Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Review -- DR. RAGE and The UPPERCUTS -- Hittin' Wood and Diamond Hard

HITTIN' WOOD and DIAMOND HARD
Dr. Rage and The Uppercuts
Absurd Machine Records
8-out-of-10
This is one of those CDs that completely threw me a wicked curveball.
When the CD first crossed my desk I took note of the bloody hand playing guitar on its cover, noted the name Dr. Rage and penciled it in as a likely foray into the world of metal.
When I finally cracked the cellophane a few days later and threw it on the player the lead cut Backbiters and Syndicators had a definite metal-influenced feel, and I thought 'OK here we go!'
However, Dr. Rage quickly changed gears, or at least geared it down a notch, as the CD continued moving from thoughts of metal, to what is best terms drivin' rock blues, in the same vein as that played by Big Poppa Chubby.
You start to hear the transition on Hey Yeah, the CD's second cut, and by the time the Doctor is into Cry Baby Cry and Hey Lil' Sister, your bluesin' big time.
There are several great cuts here, although I particularly like when Dr. Rage slows it down with the bluesiest cut of all; Ride On Thru, a feel he follows up nicely with September.
Of course the strength of this CD comes from the rockin' beat, and that comes through on numbers such as the aforementioned Cry Baby Cry, Hittin' Wood, Revolutions and Titus.
The CD is powered by songs penned by Dr. Rage and the band, which includes Les Dzialik on bass, Colin Musulak on drums and Chris Parkes on rhythm guitar, with Dr. Rage taking the lead guitar and vocals spot.
Just to add some heritage to the mix the Doctor does mix in a killer rendition of Sonny Boy, Williamson's Good Mornin' Lil' Schoolgirl, and a nice version of I Just wanna Make Love To You by Willie Dixon.
Out of Winnipeg, Dr. Rage really pulls of the rock and blues genre well, and I can only imagine live this guy would burn down a bar room stage. Check him out at www.drrage.com
CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper July 18, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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