Tomcat y El Rock & Roll Combo - EL CAMINO REAL
Released via BIG E’s LONE STAR RECORD HOP RECORDS in 2022
Reviewed by Paul 14th July 2023
Tomcat hails from a beautiful part of the world. Monterrey is his hometown in Mexico but has been treading the rock n roll world for a while now. He formed the Combo in 2016 He’s on tour at the moment in Europe check them out if you can! In his own words he describes his influences:
“I must tell you that the secrets of sound that I have learned over the years in my shows in Texas, alongside bands like The Go Getters, The Octanes, Boz Boorer, Danny B Harvey, The Modern Don Juans, and many others, have inspired me. They helped me find that my album would sound different at home, one of the tracks, that each one of them had direct influences from my favorite artists”
Here we have 12 great rockin’ tracks for your party or listening loud in your automobile. They are all in Spanish so I can’t translate much, but I “get” the feel of the tracks which are all great. Here goes:
TEKNIKOLOR STUDIO. Retro “vinyl” start to this great bopper. Tomcat really stretches his voice, and there is great backing from the combo.
SIN MI ESTA NOCHE (without me tonight) Solid drum intro to this stroller. The beat is relentless until about 2.5 minutes when there’s a lovely guitar solo to the end
DESENCADENA MI CORAZON (unchain My Heart) superb version of this classic. strong sax solo.
EL CAMINO REAL: wonderful version of the song that gave Lee Dresser a late turntable hit. Obviously important to Tomcat as the road is so ingrained into the local culture
EL TREN DE LAS 3 (the three o’clock train:) Johnny Burnette sounding rockabilly track that really motors along.
MIENTRAS DURE LA CANCION: the legend Boz Boorer is playing clarinet and guitar on this track with a real jazzy feel.
LA VAMPIRA SURF: lovely guitar intro to this trtack that sounds a bit garagey (is that a word?? ha ha) to these ears. Maybe its about meeting a midnight vampire surfer whatever it sure rocks along!
PEGGY SUE DE CASO: I won’t translate as you can probably guess. It’s a lovely light version that bounces along. Perhaps my favourite track, it features Danny B Harvey on guitar.
PARANORMAL: driving beat into this Tomcat original. Paranoia! good stuff
GRANDES BOLAS DE FUEGO: I won't translate this either - you KNOW what it is! Tomcat manages to inject great enthusiasm to this good cover.
In addition to these tracks if you get the CD it’s refreshing that the next two are on the CD ONLY. I wish more bands would do this especially for us old school fans!
JOHNNY JETT: an incessant beat and great chorus this must be a highlight of their live shows!
LA BEASTIA: different again, this is a wonderful blues track
So, in summary, it's great to hear these originals and a few covers sung in spanish by some really good musicians that Tomcat has surrounded himself with.