ROLE MODELS - The Go to Guy
It's odd how music has the ability of rewinding time, to take you back to another moment and place in the blink of an eye.
Having located in Soho from the four corners of the globe, ROLE MODELS have to date released a couple of singles, and a well received EP, and are now ready to release their debut album THE GO TO GUY on an unsuspecting public. Whilst the line up of the band may have changed occasionally over the course of their existence, they are now settled on a line up of founder and leader Rich Rags on vocals/guitar, Daniel Hussayn on bass, Rich Jones on guitar/vocals and Simon Maxwell on drums.
From the opening riffs of "Lie for Today" I am transported back to the roster of artists that were active in the late 70's on Stiff Records- Nick Lowe, Wreckless Eric, Dave Edmunds and most particularly Elvis Costello. I'm not sure if its just the vocals, but this guitar driven rock track seems to have the feel of the new wave/power pop that achieved a more commercial foothold in the music business than raw punk rock. The song is a toe tapping cracker (and also has more than a touch, in a melodic way, of AC/DC's "You shook me all night long"). Similarly "Saturday Night Sailor" with its Skids style guitar and "Show Me" are also catchy, radio friendly numbers than you could have heard blasting out of your Ford Cortina, back in the day, when you were out with your mates on the pull.
Just to prove they have another side the next track has a harder edge. Rich Rags has name checked Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers as an influence and you can see it in album title track "The Go to Guy", a song which has more than a dash of Glunk stable mates The Sick Livers about it.
But normal service is soon resumed and "Nowhere" is a choppy, gravelly slice of Americana, whilst the "Jerk" is a future single for sure. Whilst clearly not deliberate, Rich's voice on this song reminds me so much of Mr Declan MacManus that this song could easily have been on "This Years Model" or "Armed Forces".
A nice rolling thunder drum intro starts "(Where They Only Half) Know My Name)" and the upbeat tempo and mood continues on "Reality Holiday". More incessant power pop follows on penultimate number "Let Gets Started", whilst the album wraps up with a slight curve ball in the slow starting, acoustic "Leave Tonight" that ultimately ends with a big, climatic finish. I can see the lighters in the air from here!
The band say about themselves that they never grew up and have set about making a seven day weekend and who I am to argue. Power pop at is best, they have produced an album chock full of catchy tunes that made an old(ish) man happy.