The Delta Bombers – Self-titled

The Delta Bombers album coverBased in Las Vegas, Nevada, The Delta Bombers are a rockabilly quartet steeped in the history of the style.

While I first encountered them via a high energy live set supporting Tiger Army at the second 2017 Octoberflame show their most recent, self-titled, album, presents a slightly different, but none-the-less impressive side of the band.

Opening, as the name might suggest, in a raw Delta Blues style with the a cappella stomper of Son House’s Grinnin’ followed by the down and dirty blues of No Shoes starts the record how it means to go on, sounding like it could have been recorded anytime after 1953 and capturing the raw feel that is a trademark of the best of this style.

Across the record it switches from the blues to pure rockabilly (Lock The Door), with straight up old school rock ’n’ roll and Cajun voodoo (Marie LeVeau) hints thrown into the mix as acts as diverse as early Elvis, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and The Jim Jones Review all spring to mind.

What really makes the record though is the sound of it.

This sounds like a more raw and raucous version of an old Sun Records session (rather like a more intense version of what The Dodge Brothers did on The Sun Set), and, whether it was the case or not, listening brings to mind an image of the band gathered in one room and being recorded live with well placed microphones picking up the sounds as best they can (to be clear it wasn’t recorded at Sun but at Wild Records studios in Hollywood).

The Delta Bombers circa 2014
The Delta Bombers circa 2014

Amongst the sounds captured the highlights come with the powerfully gritty vocals of Chris Monichen, who really feels like he’s leading the charge as a frontman should, and the deceptively dextrous electric guitar work of Andrew Himmler which is just what the best rockabilly guitar always is to my mind.

As the album nears its end .44 suddenly features an accordion and a kind of waltz time signature that give it a bit of a vintage country flavour with dark and murder ballad-like lyrics, before Come Home brings it to a close in a more country rockabilly way.

This all makes for a record that, if more lo-fi than I was anticipating, captures the essence of The Delta Bombers brilliantly while also being just a great vintage style rockabilly record with a hint of a modern twist.

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