Released in October 2023 by Bluelight Records. Available from Bear Family Records and main streaming platforms. Reviewed November 2023 Buy the album here: https://www.bear-family.com/hi-speed-rockets-turn-back... The Hi-Speed Rockets are a quartet from Finland who play 1950’s style rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly.
Members of the band are: Lead Vocals: Alex Ojasti, Guitar: Gona Lehtinen, Double Bass: Janne Anttonen Drums, Harri Kunnas. Mixer, Sound Engineer: Tomi Leino Mastering Engineer: Olli Holopainen Just over half of the songs on the album are original compositions of the band.
Review Weeping Heart – The opening track is one of the original titles. A good up-tempo rocker and a blistering guitar break.
Lonesome Joe from Kokomo – Originally a truckers song from Phil Baugh, this version is rockabilly through and through. Some impressive slap bass and great guitar break too.
Ghost Train – Back to original material, this is more country rock than rockabilly. Nice vocals and twangy guitar.
Turn Back the Time – The album’s title track and it’s a ballad reminiscent of the early 60s records from Billy, Marty and Cliff.
Look Out Heart Here Comes Love – A honky tonk track originally recorded by Bill Brown in 1961 on the Republic in the USA. This is a more rocking version.
Man Of Steel – A 50’s style rockabilly track written by the band. A good bopper.
I Love You – Not surprisingly this is a ballad. It could have been recorded in the 50s or 60s but it’s an original recording by the band. It’s sung with feeling. Turn down the lights and let the smooching begin!
Don’t Come Back Knockin’ – A slightly rockier version of one of Buddy Holly’s early Decca tracks although it is true to the original in many ways.
Green Emerald Eyes – Some very clever guitar work at the start of this bopper. Excellent guitar playing makes this my favourite track on the album.
Rockin’ Bones - Ronnie Dawson "The Blond Bomber", did the original which was released in 1959 on the Texas based Rockin’ Records label. Again the band stay pretty close to the original. Great rockabilly.
Dragged Into – More original authentic rockabilly done well. Another good bopper. Like a Hi-Speed Rocket – As the title suggests this is high octane rocker to close the album.
Summary & Recommendation I really enjoyed this album especially the amazing guitar work of Gona Lehtinen. The guy can really play! There is a nice mix of originals and covers of songs not often covered. The musicianship and vocals are all top notch as is the production. Definitely a worthwhile purchase.
YouTube Clip: https://youtu.be/EHOO3qI4ycI?si=9iEnp3yx99V8DxwN
Reviewed by Jailhouse John Alexander