KICK UP A HULLABALLOO - Lucky Punch (Punchin' Productions)
During my brief tenure in Canberra many years ago, I shared a house with a German post-graduate student. At one stage one of his German friends came over to Australia for a visit, and we spent a night in our backyard drinking Resch's Dinner Ale and listening to my music collection. As the ale flowed, the Germans decided to start singing German language versions of Led Zeppelin, Nick Cave, The Pogues and AC/DC. It was going so well, until my housemate's friend fell off his banana lounge in a drunken stupour, where we left him while we tried to contain our laughter (and resist the temptation to do what Australian men are prone to doing to other men who pass out after too
much alcohol).

What's the relevance of this self-indulgent anecdote? Little, except that it demonstrated to me that Germany has its fair share of aficionados of pub rock who are able to give a unique cultural interpretation on that tried and tested genre. Lucky Punch demonstrate the point further. Their new album, "Kick Up a Hullabaloo", is an album full of rockin' pub tunes that conjures up images of thrashing heads and long hair bouncing to a straight 4/4 beat. But rather than produce a collection of AC/DC and Led Zep covers, this is rapid paced garage blues with a jazz boogie-woogie injection.

"A Hell of a Ride" opens the album and sets the scene for what's to come, with a tight rolling blues rock riff providing the basis for the eventual descent into wailing metal rock solo territory. The appropriately title ... just keep on goin' does just that, without exhibiting much to spur it on. The album's funkiest tune, "Back in the Days", owes a serious debt of gratitude to AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock", with a lyrical narrative describing days of yore when rock was all knowing, all powerful and all pervasive.

So what you gona do about it? and Kick up a hullabaloo take the foot off the accelerator, lounging back into a more classic country blues feel, while "Behind the Smile" and "You Got Me Goin' "suggest a FM-friendly generic rock feel. Why don't you spend a minute starts out suspiciously similar to Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile" but the rock preacher lyrics more than make up for any suspected plagiarism.

"Wake Up Girl" opens politely with a soft, acoustic intro before bursting violently into some invigorating cock rock. The album's concluding track, "Far Out (Still Tryin' to Get Back In)" ends proceedings with some eminently danceable garage country blues.

This is rockin', entertaining stuff, without for a moment pretending to be ground breaking. Throw it on the stereo with some spicy bratwurst sausages and some decent German lager and bang your head. - Patrick Emery