It's an album that needs more snap, more crackle, but less pop.
Susie Goldring 2008
Teenage brothers and sisters all over the world get together in their bedrooms and sing along to rock 'n' roll. But not all brothers and sisters are like Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, and not all siblings build a fully functional studio to record in, particularly one based on Memphis' legendary Sun studios. This is the North London family who, backed by their parents Ingrid Weiss and Graeme Durham, on double-bass and guitar respectively, raised the roof at the 2008 South By South West festival and have supported artists such as Mika and Razorlight.
R&B: they’ve got it; Swing: they've got it; Country, Blues, Hawaiian and Rock 'n' Roll... the list goes on. And, like true musicians they swap instruments as much as they swap tunes. But, despite the analogue production, what this album lacks is conviction.
The first single from the album, Mean Son Of A Gun, recorded for Rob Da Bank's Sunday Best record label, lacks pep. It just doesn’t do justice to the original honky tonker by Johnny Horton. Maybe it's the perspective of 21st century urban youth, or maybe it's fledgling musical talent that means that whilst you might want to join in the knee-slapping sing-a-long, you just don’t quite believe that these guys are: ''going to some place where [they've] never been before''.
Kudos, however for the self-penned Buggin' Blues. It brings the sounds of the 50s into contemporary teenage life with all it’s complexities and insecurities; ''Now I reconsidered darling/I want you by my side/I don’t care how I get you baby/ I’ll get you dead or alive….You made me so lonely/You made me weep and moan''. Meanwhile the band's swinging Hawaiian strains (Honolulu Rock-A Roll-A and Swinging Hawaii, complete with plucky ukulele) make you want to get up and swing your little grass skirt.
The album does, at times, recreate some great nostalgic sounds, particularly those coaxed from the harmonica (Polly Put The Kettle On and Mean Son of A Gun, for instance) and the old 88s (Buggin' Blues), but on the whole it just manages to make you want to listen to the great originals. It's an album that needs more snap, more crackle, but less pop. Elvis doesn't quite live on, but nor will he be turning in his grave.