ALL OF NOTHING - The Good Old Boys (Beast Records)
Beware: Rock and roll prodigies at work.

They're barely old enough to vote but these Good Old Boys sound like they're going to rule the rock and roll world for years to come on this debut album via French label Beast Records. It's straight-ahead, three-chord rawk in the style of an endless conveyor belt of like-minded protagonists from Scandinavia in the '90s and '00s but, damn, it sounds good.

The Good Old Boys hail from deepest Brittany in Western France and have nothing in common with the Dukes of Hazzard - unless Luke and Bo have a collection of Hellacopters and Thin Lizzy albums we never saw on the TV show. With an average age of 18, The Good Old Boys rely on over-driven guitars and an uncluttered production style to punch their message home. That message is: Rock the fuck on, madames and monsieurs.

The 'Copters comparisons are a little lazy; I'm thinking there's a lot of AC/DC, the Nomads and the Dictators also going on here. The Five get a nod on the raw "You Gonna C'mon" and the Berry-isms go down just fine on "Rock 'n' Roll Roadhouse". Guitarists Pete Hurricane and Bruce McLean have great tone (the latter's pictured with a Tek-styled Crestwood) and peel out some inventive leads. Case in point: "MC Garden TV Show" which has a riff like a rattlesnake uncoiling.

The rhythm section is up to the task of keeping pace and bassist Steevy Rayban does a good job with the vocals but at times he's fighting a battle to be heard, such is the guitar fury going down around him. Styllistically speaking, "All Or Nothing" isn't anything new; it's just balls-out, guitar rock and roll done particularly well.

It sounds cheesy to say that bands like this give you hope that rock and roll isn't terminally ill but it's a fact that the Forces of Hip Hop and Techno are rolling back back the borders as we speak. The French defenders especially are doing it tough in a country where "low culture" has never been enthusiastically embraced, so that makes bands like The Good Old Boys even more important in the scheme of things.

"All Or Nothing" will warm the cockles of your heart and piss off your neighbours if you give it a chance. - The Barman

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