Stray Cats
Rant 'N Rave


4.5
superb

Review

by Douchebag USER (6 Reviews)
March 3rd, 2009 | 14 replies


Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It may not be the most experimental album of all time, but the Stray Cats show you how to rock like its 1959 all over again in the space of half an hour.

Stray Cats - Rant 'N' Rave (1983)
Brian Setzer - Guitar, Vocals
Lee Rocker - Upright Bass, Backing Vocals
Slim Jim Phantom - Drums, Backing Vocals

The Stray Cats are a band that are loved by many, but also not known at all by many, especially nowadays which is quite sad because underneath the almost too cheesy album cover lays some brilliant musicianship and undeniably catchy tunes. This release was their last album before they broke up to pursue other projects. The band has since reformed many times and still tours today playing classic songs from all 3 (yep, count them) of their albums. The band is known for their slightly punked up brand of rockabilly and whilst this isn't as raw as their first album, it is still a very fun album even if it does slightly lean towards more of a traditional rockabilly style.

At only 10 tracks the album does not overstay its welcome, which definitely adds to the overall solid feel of the album, however I personally believe two or three more songs wouldn't hurt the flow at all. With that out of the way, it's worth saying that every single song on here is classic. Each and every song is catchy in its own unique way and surprisingly they lose none of its appeal after repeated listening. Everywhere you turn, one of Setzer's Guitar licks will catch your ear and the drums and bass are sure to keep your foot tapping for the duration of the record.

'Rebels Rules' starts with an engine starting up and quickly moves into some catchy drums before some bass and guitar joins in. The lyrics are nothing amazing, but this music never needed thought provoking lyrics. The words are sung well and are bound to get stuck in your head for days. The song bops along with it's very teenage lyrics and moves into the sing-along chorus complete with background "heys!". The song then moves into one of its strongest tracks 'Too Hip, Gotta Go!". If the chorus from this song doesn't get stuck in your head, then I don't know what will. Again the chorus is complete with a shout out chorus thanks to the backing vocals and the foot tapping guitar solo in the middle breaks up the song nicely.

"I won't stand in your way" is the song that definitely breaks of the album. All the songs have a similar formula which may seem to wear thin on the casual listener however this song definitely breaks the album up nicely and is critical the overall flow of the album. Many people won't like this song, and I’ll admit it had to grow on me. Many fans hold this as there favourite song by the band so it definitely has a following. The song itself is very, very mellow and has an incredible 50's swing feel to it, complete with "Doo wop!" backing vocals and light chord strumming and drumming. The song is extremely vintage sounding and so props to the band for having the balls to write something like this in 1983. As mentioned above I feel its main quality is breaking up the album and giving the listener some chill out time.

"Hotrod Gang" sounds like an Elvis song and instantly gets you back on your feet again! Not much can be said about this song than it is classic Stray Cats and has some nice guitar and vocal response verses. "How Long you wanna live" Is one of the strongest tracks and allows the album to go with a bang! It begins with Setzer yelling "Alright Cats! a 1 a 2 a 1 2 3 4!" before a punk type riff blasts out and some drum rolls get the song going. The lyrics are typical teenage rebellion lyrics but they fit the music perfectly and gives the song a great edge. The song has everything Stray Cat signature, from the yells before the brilliant solo; from the marching drum beats and the catchy chorus this song shows you why they are such a fun band.

With every song sounding as good as they do, "Rant 'n' Rave" is an album that sadly seems to have been forgotten. You won't find it in any top 100 classic albums, or influential albums but if you your a guitarist or just a lover of plain and simple rock 'n' roll then you owe yourself a listen to this forgotten slab of rockabilly rock. Sure, it's not for everyone, but no single album is for everyone, but if you keep and open mind and take the album for what it is, then hopefully you will enjoy the album as much as I have.

Reccomended Tracks:
Rebels Rule
Too Hip, Gotta Go
(She's) Sexy and 17
How Long You Wanna Live, Anyway?



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Douchebag
March 3rd 2009


3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wanted to give this a 5, but I feel a 4.5 was more appropriate.

fireaboveicebelow
March 3rd 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great record, pretty good review too

Jim
March 4th 2009


5110 Comments


pretty nice review, crocmeister

Vooligan
March 4th 2009


3541 Comments


sweet review crocadillus

Douchebag
March 4th 2009


3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers for the positive feedback, to be honest I'm still not completely happy with this one, I dare say I will put much more effort into my next (5th) one.

STOP SHOUTING!
March 4th 2009


639 Comments


I like some of their early singles, such as stray cat strut and runaway boys. Was there a rockabiliy movement at that time, Crocy? I can only think of Shakin Stevens.

Douchebag
March 4th 2009


3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Being 18 i'm not really sure. I did hear that the band moved from America to England in an attempt to make it because punk was dying down and it was 'cool to be cool' again.

ConorMichaelJoseph
March 4th 2009


1870 Comments


Great review, may just check this out

Fugue
March 4th 2009


7354 Comments


Nice one Croc, I've been meaning to hear the stray cats for a while now, are they really this good?

I wanted to give this a 5, but I feel a 4.5 was more appropriate.


I had pretty much the oppisite problem for my Run DMC review, wanted to give it a 4.5 but read over the review and couldn't justifiably knock it down.


fireaboveicebelow
March 4th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

stray cats are class A

Douchebag
March 4th 2009


3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah i had to knock it down because really, 30 minutes is far too short, and they don't really bring anything new to the table. But yeah, definitley a 5 for fun factor.

just a warning though, they aren't for everyone.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2009


20858 Comments


Very good review Croc… Worth a pos. The only grammatical errors I could find are missing or wrong words in each of the first 2 sentences of the 4th paragraph.

As for The Stray Cats, they are indeed very influential and I guess I should like them more than I actually do. I’ve never been big on Rockabilly, but these guys are both punky & accessible so they sort of attract me.

Douchebag
March 4th 2009


3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yep same. You won't find me listening to elvis but I love these guys because of their musicianship and punky influence.

fireaboveicebelow
March 4th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

elvis is terrible



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