There has been much talk about the albums of this last year, and even though I’m probably not the most objective, or best person to review this, I am loathe to close the book on the music of 2006 without having something to say about the Vegas Valentinos Five and Dime Quartet.
The band is four guys out of New England who love rock, soul, blues, punk and anything to fall out of the hallowed halls of Stax or Sun Records. So it makes perfect sense that the 14 tracks were recorded in Memphis (at Sun), debuted at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame show and then premiered at Baltimore’s Night of 100 Elvises. It also makes perfect sense that despite a modern rock sound with heavy contemporary influences, the music harkens back to that familiar place.
The Five and Dime Quartet, as with all three previous efforts, is a jumping, energetic album, heavily sprinkled with tongue-in-cheek humor that translates beautifully to their live shows. From the open strains of “Springer” (an ode to the debauched television show) to “Games to Play” (a lament on a love grown cold) the VV’s give us their best, and you just have to love it. Even their covers of the Shods’ “The Zig”, and their ingenious medley of a Louis Prima and an Elvis song “Buena Sera/Kiss Me Quick” demonstrates their mastery of the musical medium.
Okay, so maybe I’m not the most objective reviewer here. After all, I am related to three of the four members of the band, and the bass player is well, Dad. However, this band is dynamic, and they can make the worst song a great song. Or at the very least make you laugh at it. They are a must-see live spectacle. You judge the quality of a band not only on its studio output, but most importantly on its live effort: this band has fun. They make good, often great music that is as much a joy to hear as it is for them to make it.
Above is a link to a live set you can find on their website.
I hope you like it.