THE HARDEST TOWN - Rhino Bucket (Acetate)
Five spins in and I've got these guys pegged. Hey, it wasn't hard. Their formula is unashamedly simple, as is their motive. It's to be the biggest and best sounding AC/DC cover band since AC/DC. Which would normally be an anathema in these quarters but, hell, they've got me hooked, if only begrudgingly.

That they sound like they do should be no real surprise as ex-AC/DC drummer Simon Wright has been on board since the early '90s. Wright is the guy who replaced Phil Rudd, and made way when he wanted back in. Rhino Bucket were part of the Warners stable back then, and landed a song on the "Wayne's World" soundtrack before taking a long hiatus.

Fast-forward to the 2000's when they returned, landed a song on the soundtrack of "The Wrestler" and started cranking out records all over again.

Rhino Bucket don't just sound like AC/DC - they ARE the Seedies with Doc Neeson of the Angels (aka Angel City to the Americans) up front on coals with his psychoses toned down. The swing is the thing with Wright's timekeeping a major strength, and there's that metal-blues middle ground thing to the guitars that makes baby boomer white men in large crowds break out in silly grins and devil's head hand gestures.

So why are you reading a review of an album by AC/DC soundalikes at the I-94 Bar? For one, "The Hardest Town" sounds great and the songs don't get bogged down in the usual cliche and imitation. They make their point, acknowledge their reference points and get on with things. For another, this sort of big, dumb riff-laden rock is fairly timeless and it takes a good band to rise above the rest of the pack. And the last Rose Tattoo album was pretty good.

Years of travel and conversing with people over the Internerd have shown me that Accadacca has fans in the most unlikely places and they rival the Stones for influence. We Australians like to claim them as our own (even they're British/Dutch by birth and rarely get back to these shores - but making out everyone's an Aussie made good is an ingrained national trait). So if I don't have an allegiance to declare I can at least acknowledge the size of the cult. I just wouldn't pay 99 bucks to see them.

I reckon loads of you will secretly track this down and play it back-to-back with their Pistols and Stooges records, really loudly. Just do us a favour and draw the line at Motley Crew and Poison, OK?

3/4

 

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