By Frisco Rosso
Keeping it all-American is New Jersey’s Bottle Cap Rockets, a trio with classic rock, blues boogie shuffle credentials tattooed in their veins and enough musical force to be worth a regular listen.
Bottle Cap Rockets’ recently released EP First Seven has an abundance of insightful tunes that give listeners a reminder of the fundamental elements of rebellious, free-spirited rock.
The musical force of the group appears to be provided mainly by singer/songwriter and guitarist Al Gross, whose engaging voice lies somewhere between those of Gerry Rafferty and Ronnie Van Zant. His prowess on the fretboard is evidenced through gutsy rhythm and lead work, and is ably complimented by Chris Wolfer on bass and drummer Yuergen Renner.
From the sleaze-fest of Look What You’ve Done, which packs in an abundance of Gross’s raunchy riffage and hooks, to the ambling road anthem qualities of Can’t Stop the Bleeding, and Yardbirds-esque It’s Ok, First Seven is an intriguing selection of tracks that command attention and respect. However, the EP’s variety pulls the listener in a few directions too many, making it difficult to identify a distinctive Bottle Cap Rockets feel and angle.
With a sound that brings to mind greats such as Steppenwolf, Grand Funk Railroad and ZZ Top, Bottle Cap Rocket are more akin to the real American rock flavour of the 70s and early 80s, than the specific rhythms rockabilly purists look for. That said, the group are the real deal, and if the limited examples of their live performances are anything to go by, they know how to kick-start an evening and enthrall the masses.
1. Black Eldorado
2. It’s Ok
3. Hold Out
4. Can’t Stop the Bleeding
5. Means to an End
7. Look What You’ve Done
With more tension than your mother’s suspension, I am Frisco Rosso. I’m likely to deliver a few lines worth at any given moment regarding film, music, sport, books and anything morally unsound that strikes a blow between the eyes in the name of entertainment.