Big Stir (label)
25 May 2021 (released)
18 July 2021
Of all the folks likely to make as groovy and fun a record as ‘New Roaring Twenties’, you wouldn’t imagine a couple of criminal defence attorneys to be among the most likely candidates. However, that is indeed the day job of The Forty Nineteens’ singer/guitarist John and guitarist Chris, and they named their band after a US legal term meaning ‘time off your sentence for good behaviour’. So how do they fare in the court of rock n’ roll?
Well, much of ‘New Roaring Twenties’ comes across as a love letter to classic US garage rock, with most of the songs clocking in under three minutes, and the energy quotient high throughout. Opener ‘It’s For Fun (That’s All We’re Living For)’ sets out their stall: buzzing guitars, a propulsive beat and some great harmonies.
They do tinker with this recipe, though. Lead single ‘Late Night Radio’ (featuring an appearance from The Standells’ Tony Valentino’ is an early highlight, with a psychedelic twist and keyboards squeaking away in the background. Elsewhere, you’ll be singing the choruses of ‘You’ve Got Stardust Eyes’ and ‘It’s The Worst Thing I Could Do’ to yourself for days on end. Only on closer ‘We Can’t Change’ do they sound a little downbeat, although why on earth they’d feel the need to change is beyond us.
Occasionally things veer a little too close to parody, with John seemingly turning in his best Elvis impression on ‘We’re Going To Las Vegas’, and ‘Go Little GTO’ whizzing by like something from the Rock N’ Roll 101 songbook. They’re still decent tracks in their own right, though, and more importantly, they’re infused with a sense of fun - which, if you haven’t got the message by now, is what The Forty Nineteens are all about.
The verdict? A criminally good record, and may we recommend a sentence of a few months on the road? Call it community service, because an evening of fun, loud rock n’ roll is exactly what we all need right now.