Angel Air Records (label)
05 May 2014 (released)
12 May 2014
Tyla Gang were formed from the ashes of Ducks Deluxe back in 1972, resulting in the band being signed up immediately to Stiff Records, followed by legendary CA label Berserkley. Although the original formation disbanded in 1979, the original line-up – fronted by Sean Tyla and with the addition of Mammoth’s John McCoy - reformed in 2010, once again bringing their irrepressible punk- and boogie infused rock ‘n’ roll to fans and hopefully a new generation audience.
For this album – recorded live in March 2013 at the Akkurat Bar, Stockholm - the band expanded to a 5-piece, courtesy of Swedish guitarist and keyboard ace Max Lorentz.
Now as then, the 12 tracks on the album turn out to have bite and punch, and we’re talking good-time rock ‘n’ roll delivered in the finest puck rock tradition. This comes across in the overall sound, which sits just right and hasn’t been polished later on in a studio.
Opener ‘Cannons Of The Boogie Night’, with additional slide guitar by Max Lorentz, comes on fierce, and layering on the ole fretwork thick and fast while knocking out one hell of a rhythm. Sean Tyla’s vocals and guitar do the rest. Anyone who does guest stints with Joan Jett (and he played on her albums ‘Bad Reputation’ and ‘I Love Rock N Roll’) has my vote!
Catchy sing-along ‘The Young Lords’ evokes those golden 70’s, not least thanks to some added Hammond keys. It’s a moreish ditty and begs to be listened to over and over again. A damn fine number indeed, enshrouded in a timeless classic rock sound.
‘Lost Angels’ is a hybrid of glitter- and pub rock, yet sounding as fresh as a daisy, while ‘New York Sun’ turns out to be a finely tuned, harmonious rock ballad complete with obligatory piano.
Other gems include classics such as ‘Dust On The Needle’, and the blues n boogie heavy ‘Styrofoam, the latter an absolute scorcher on the album, what must it have been like live at the Akkurat Bar?!
‘Speedball Morning’ kicks off with fantastically combined fretwork courtesy of Bruce Irvine on lead guitar, blazing throughout the entire track without reprieve, but it’s the much slower-paced and country-hued ‘Willin’ which is the surprise track here. Despite the rootsy and organic feel, the strong use of a Hammond organ actually complements as opposed to distract.
The relentless drive of ‘Suicide Jockey’ (great drum work by Michael Desmarais) and the thunderous, sonic blaze of ‘Hurricane’ once more prove that the Tyla Gang are one hell of a energetic live band that knows how to transmit this energy to their audience. Blistering solos, and a great vibe make this a fantastic live album, with the hilariously titled, stomping ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre Boogie’ the crowning glory of it all. Ka-pow!