The Rotten Rockers -The Secret Society of Rock 'n' Roll.
Release Date: 1st May 2023.
Reviewed 5th June 2023 by Dave Diamond.
The band are from: Italy, Venice region.
Vocals: Lorenzo (Larry) Drums: Alex (Spider) Guitar: Matteo (Hellvis) Electric Bass: Sergio (Barney)
Produced and Mixed by: Davide Rossi Mastered by: Davide Rossi Front cover artwork by: Andrea Mr. Four
Let’s have a listen to the tracks – White Knights: Here we go... great sample starting of this tune… excellent shuffling drum beat from Spider, with Barney’s outstanding bass line and fabulous guitar work via Hellvis, then in comes the deep tremendous vocals from Larry… for sure this has an excellent anthem vibe to it.. you could imagine it being in a film intro section…very catchy number indeed with excellent lyrics. It's about the Templar Medieval knights. You’ll be right at the front with your arms stretched up and in the air and shouting back… “you can see him fighting all night long!”
Teddiest Teen: pure European Teddy boy excellence… starts off with guitar and drum stix then explodes right in with a fantastic tempo and rockin’ all the way home… another very catchy tune indeed, so much that I actually thought I had heard it before! This one’s going to be a big hit on the scene for sure, and with a magnificent instrumental section and stomping all the way for the full 3 minutes… fantastic!
Italian Teds: Starts off with a second sample and this time of footsteps walking and then opening the door… another self-written track from the guys.. detailing the Italian Teds and a day in the life of the rock n rollers and Rotten Rockers. This is a very well worked out tune with a great drum section mid-way through and the racing bass line interspersed with a great guitar link and stops too before the vocals re-join the party... This tune will get plenty of airplay at Rockers Rule Italy… fantastic song!
Rock ‘n’ Roll Has Been Our School: an original from The Rotten Rockers, and this time a jive tempo track from the guys: it has a fantastic chorus section that will go round your head all day long… excellent musicianship once again accompanied with magnificent lyrics and loving the backing vocal ‘ahhhh’s right near the end too!
Death Of The Guilty: kicking off with the bells ringing… guitar intro and off we go! This number is very powerful indeed and moves along tremendously… Deeper vocal once again and “you’re going straight to hell!” This is a very well worked out tune indeed, with lots of key changes, stops, and storming instrumental sections… this one’s gonna be a massive hit on the Ted scene… high octane rock ‘n’ roll!
Spirit Of Hank: Wow! 4 minutes 18 seconds for an original tune… awesome! The guys tell me this song is written about two of our great masters: Hank Williams and Hank Thompson. It has more of a country rockin’ feel to it… fabulous guitar work, with the drums and bass sitting back a lot more in the mix and the lead vocal deep and melodic right up front...and loving the whistles in the break, and the track has a fab stop at 3 minutes 30 seconds, great change of direction at the half point of this 13 track release… excellent.
Rocket Man: originally done by Swedish band The Spotniks back in 1962, here The Rotten Rockers have really added some extra spice to an already classic instrumental and bringing it right up to date…I’ve always loved this tune and the chaps have done a magnificent version indeed. It’s a slightly quicker tempo to the original but still 16 seconds longer! It’s so fantastic to have this included on this C.D. love it!
It’s Weekend: At 2 minutes 16 seconds a shorter track this time round from the band… it’s a real drinker’s song and one that you’ll be jumping up and down to… “5 days a week working 9 to 5”… forget your troubles! It’s the Weekend and let’s have some fun and rock n roll parties! This is a fab jovial song and guaranteed to get you in that happy crazy mood!
Why Don’t You Dance: Detailing a guy who likes to rock n roll and have a great time but keep asking his gal. “don’t worry baby, I'm a little crazy and I know…” BUT “why don’t you dance with me?” Fantastic bass solo mid-way through and excellent drum rolls with tremendous guitar work throughout… and the vocals are spot on once again… at 2 minutes and 48 seconds this mid-paced track is a terrific song.
Johnny Ringo: here we have a cover of the Tommy Husky track. Wow! The Rotten Rockers have rocked up the original version, once again excelling in all musical areas the guys have nailed it and bang on backing vocals…
Stay Wild: back to an original and this one has a much slower strolling tempo to it. 100% guaranteed to get the girls up strolling straight away at one of the band's live gigs. It’s a very catchy tune and a real head shaking foot stomping number… really digging it! Nice addition of the backing harmonies “stay wild” at the end… What a fabulous track. This one comes from our experiences playing gigs all over Europe with the European teddy boy family.
Teddy Boy Pride: So here we have the penultimate track from The Rotten Rockers… starts off with Larry on his own, telling the story of his youth and childhood with no money and no toys… and now he is proud to say now ‘I am a Teddy Boy!’ Back to that anthem style with the Dixie guitar from Hellvis running through the instrumental section…Spider’s great snare sound and Barney’s bass once again pure class… if this doesn’t get you up and shouting for more than you are at the wrong club and gig…. Me… I’ll be right at the front!!
On The Road Again: here, The Rotten Rockers take on the Willie Nelson tune and another great cover version from the guys… this really has been a fantastic 13 track C.D. release to review… just the 3 covers and 10 original tracks. Another great instrumental section which is so fantastic and the lead vocal is bullseye and just perfect… What an excellent choice to end this album!
In their own words – We were friends and knew each other before playing together. Spider and Barney had been playing together for years before me and Larry joined them in 2017. We sure love those classic teds sound from the 70-80s and wanted to bring it on and keep it going in Italy where it had almost died... Each one of us brings his idea to the table... what we like we start working on, what we don't we leave. I am personally a big fan of country music and might take themes and subjects from there as well as more personal rock n roll life episodes... for example "Italian Teds” speaks pretty much about our gigs abroad and how we live it...
Anything special about any gigs you have done or any accidents or other bands you have been in?
Too many to list! With more than 100 gigs we have seen almost anything happening. One of the funniest things probably was in Germany in 2019 where they had forgotten to book any pa and stage equipment for us (we weren’t even the headliners.. How could that happen? Lol) so we plugged directly into the place mixer... and actually managed to play 3 songs before the whole system broke down with an awful sound. But those 3 songs drove everyone wild and everyone loved it... short gig, but very intense! Pure rock n roll...!
Gigs planned for 2024? 17 june in Belgium, red wings party 23 september Trento, northern Italy 4 November suited n booted - Drayton Manor Tamworth UK 18 November lyon France rockabilly party
Distribution: We don’t have one at the moment, it’s all in our hands on Facebook or at our gigs
CLOSING COMMENTS ABOUT THE ALBUM What a pleasure it has been to review this tremendous 13 track C.D. If you like the sounds of Teddy Boy Rock ‘n’ Roll then look no further than this fantastic release from these four guys from Italy… The musicianship is fantastic and lead vocals spot on… each song adds that little bit of extra spice to the album, and I would highly recommend you contact the band and grab yourselves a copy!
The band told me that the album was completely recorded and mastered in 2 working days, the studio had a big food and beverage vending machine! They consumed all the 60+ beers it had and they were then forced to call the company for refill, and’ that doesn’t count the wine we had at lunch, we used to take a 2 hours lunch break with our sound guy (great technician!) Davide... man, we had fun!’
The Rotten Rockers mostly use 90s, early 2000s instruments. Nothing too interesting apart from a cool Music Man head for the bass amp and a hand wired Vox ac30 for the lead duo jet guitar.
So, contact the band on their Facebook and ask them for a copy right now, daddios! Reviewed by Dave Diamond.