Generally, when you like a band, or rather, love a band, you’ll do the usual: Buy their music. Go to their concerts. Purchase merch to declare your unwavering support. Maybe even get a tattoo. You can basically be a casual fan owning one album or take it to Trekkie extremes and create a treehouse shrine complete with autographed posters, locks of the drummer’s hair, and wax figure replications of the lead vocalist. But either way, usually curiosity is piqued when a member of a fave band steps out from his pack and releases a solo record, or rises up and produces a release for a group that you’re unfamiliar with. In which case (like the hoards of Jack White fans) you’ll more than likely want to check out this hot, new talent. And this would be the case with one Phil Somervell of the Datsuns (who I dig, like a John Deere backhoe) and the rock ‘n’ roll hooligans that he would mentor in the studio, the Caballeros.
Hailing from Perth, Australia, the most isolated, continental capital city in the world (for you National Geographic obsessoids), the “Most Handsome Band In Town” formed in 2009 under the leadership of Jake England. Covering all of their bases in the garage rock credentials department with their love for the Sonics, early Stones, and the Stooges, the Caballeros naturally hit the club circuit with their “Jam-on-steroids” sound. Clad in suits and ties, they delivered a striking visual presence that would give the Hives competition on the fashion walkway. Fusing their love of rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, and ’60s garage, the Cabs built a reputation for breathtaking performances that rapidly built their street cred. It was only a matter of time before something or someone would enter the picture and help the band take their music to another level. With enough material to put together a full length album, Jake enlisted the services of the aforementioned Phil Somervell, whose expertise in the studio would craft an “all killer, no filler” record for a rabid fan base. With core members Paul Bovenkerk on bass and Jason Mirosevic on guitar (Nick Dudman and Lukas Murphy would join later), the finished product “Ladies and Gentlemen: The Caballeros” was an absolute astounding debut, shattering any doubts that quality, high energy rock could no longer come from the land of Vegemite sandwiches. Where groups like Jet and the Vines had lost the plot and called it a day, Jake and his tribe was (and still are) ready to carry on the real musical meat ‘n’ potatoes with unrivaled quality.
Released last year, “Ladies and Gentlemen: The Caballeros” is a potent blend of influences that shine through on this most excellent debut. The opening track, “Lovesick Casanova” immediately hooks you with its maximum riffage that gives you little time to breathe, and the vocals of Jake “Dr. Green” England at times recalls Larry May of the Candy Snatchers, yet delves off into a young Glen Danzig-style yowl. “Julie Of Broken Hearts” follows with a “get your ass up” motivation with such professional delivery that you’re already wishing the Cabs are going to release five albums next week. “(I Got) the Blues” (the third track) is by no means a slow number, and by this point, you’re already wondering why in the hell these guys aren’t everywhere, ushering in a new wave of the garage rock ‘n’ roll gospel. Their post-modern ’70s sound comes through beautifully on “Want Me To Go”, and “Another Day” feels like the Murder City Devils collaborated with the Lords Of Altamont (therefore relegating this tune as my favorite on the whole album). The Caballeros are capable of dropping the tempo with the retro feel of “Cinderella” which sounds like one of the best songs that the Deadly Snakes never did. Another favorite, “Last Chance” is very Hives-like, and even though I love the Swedish ones, I’m glad they didn’t do this one. I can’t say enough about this album, and even though it was released in 2016, it needs to be up for consideration for one of the best albums for 2017. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Caballeros, they are going to (hopefully) pave the road for a new era for real rock ‘n ‘roll.
“I Got the Blues”
“Ladies and Gentlemen: The Caballeros” can be purchased on Bandcamp.
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