Take a little bit of Punk attitude, mix it with some classic Blues Rock then add some French flair and you might get an idea of what The Chris Rolling Squad sound like. This power trio offer up a different take on what could be termed as “The Blues”, giving the genre a healthy push in a more modern direction.
Take opening track “Whore” for instance, it’s fast, it’s frantic and it hits you right in the nuts. Very Punk Rock influenced but I can’t recall any Punk bands that created a guitar sound like this as the majority of Punk bands couldn’t play for shit but that was their appeal. Chris Rolling, however, can play. His guitar is very much pushed to the forefront and some of the solos featured are incredible, Rolling is ably assisted by Brice Duval on bass along with drummer Romain Cauneau. The five tracks on offer will fly past you in a blur of Iggy Pop backed by Stevie Ray Vaughan as Jimi Hendrix lends a hand.
“Whore” gives way to “Help Me” which is less Punk more Trad Blues. One pleasant aspect to the EP is that Rolling sings in his natural French accent, similar to the way that Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro and Sam McTrusty from Twin Atlantic sing in their native dialects. Keeping it real rather than going for a faux American accent is pleasing to hear. ”My Redemption” is another modern day guitar romp with added bite and Rolling totally lets fly with some glorious soloing from the mid way point. ”Vampire Blues” is my favourite track, with echoes of “Pride & Joy” from Stevie Ray Vaughan, it has a great shuffle to it and it sounds like one big amazing jam between all three band members. A cover of ”Janet Says Go Go Go” from 90’s Swedish band Indian Red rounds things off with some cracking PsychoBilly action.
This is a short but enjoyable introduction to a band that certainly deserves further investigation.For more information on the band head over to their bandcamp page.
Review By Dave Stott