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Sparked by a Spanish reunion tour and reissues of the band’s back catalog, the Del-Lords‘ reformation has spouted Elvis Club, a full-on brand new record. It’s like they never left. With one foot in the rootsy rock & roll of the 50s and early 60s and the other in the hard-rocking proto-punk of the 70s, the band sounds as vital now as it did when it was originally a going concern. As usual, leader Scott Kempner pens a batch of killer songs, and lead guitarist/co-singer Eric Ambel, drummer Frank Funaro and new bassist Michael DuClos perform them with fire and taste. The record explores every avenue in Roots Rock City: poppy jangle (“Flying,” “When the Drugs Kick In”), heart-on-sleeve balladry (“All of My Life,” “Letter [Unmailed]”), cheeky country (“Chicks, Man!”), burly blues (“You Can Make a Mistake One Time”), plainspoken heartland rock ( “Silverlake,” “Everyday,” co-written by Dion DiMucci), cheeky rockabilly (“Damaged”) and, of course, muscle-bound rock & roll (“Princess,” “Me and the Lord Blues”). Ending with a rumbling cover of Neil Young‘s “Southern Pacific,” the Del-Lords proclaim their full-strength return, loudly and proudly.
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