Big John Bates
"Take Your Medicine"

(Devil Sauce Recordings 2006)Big John Bates - Take Your Medicine

Who knew Canada had a greaser scene? If you do not know yet, you are about to. The third full-length release, entitled "Take Your Medicine," from the Canadian group known as Big John Bates is ready to make you shake, rattle and roll with a hip and swinging rockabilly sound. Big John Bates are full of confidence and attitude. "Stray Cat Strut" it certainly is not.

Quick and full of energy, "44 Loves Bites" pulls you closer with its haunting melody as "Rollin' West" is memorable and bouncy. Big John Bates and his crew are about more than just hot licks and catchy riffs. Dark melodies come out on "Citywide" and the raw and ready gritty rhythm of "Train Wreck" creeps up on you. But while other tracks might hint at the bass-drums relationship, "Burlesque Is Dead" jumps and swings as Bates weaves an unassuming riff throughout the track before "Poppa Spoonful" takes it slow with full buzzing instrumentation. The band also sticks a faithful-to-the-original cover of The Cramps' "Goo Goo Muck" on the CD as well as a surf instrumental, "Salome's Last Dance," that evokes Dick Dale's style and adds some zest to the otherwise straightforward album.

Fans of Reverend Horton Heat may want to take notice of Big John Bates. Where the Rev puts catchy little rockabilly tunes, Big John Bates puts a rough blend of garage rock, punk and rockabilly that pulls you into a grimy and dangerous sound. "Take Your Medicine" is a modern spin on old school done in a way that is accurate to both the past and the present, with updated lyrics set over rough thumping upright bass.


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