Rock 'n' Roll Stormstroopers - On Fire

Where do you start with this album? I have to say this took me completely by surprise, one look at the album cover and I was convinced I was gonna dislike it. The cover is reminiscent of Overkill's 'Taking Over' album… if Overkill had all had haircuts, dropped the guitars, moved to Germany and wore the tightest denim cut off shorts imaginable. Seriously, the shorts are like speedos made of denim. Status Quo's swimwear range. On playing it though, I had a huge surprise… this album has BIG DUMB FUN stamped all over it in great big letters!

You cannot fail to smile while listening to this. Sure it's cheesy as hell (song titles include 'We're Gonna Rock You', ' Rock 'n' Roll Guitarman' and the cheese-tastic '(We Are) Ready to Rock!') but you really can't help but love it. Each song clocks in around that perfect 3-minute mark ensuring that they never outstay their welcome. Vocalist Tex Torpedo (no, really!) has a strong accent that may take some getting used to but the songs themselves are pure surf-punk, similar in style to The Queers, The Nobodys or a more poppy Ramones.

Opener 'Bulldozers On The Loose' sets the template for all that follows with a huge chorus, some great simple guitars and even handclaps. The only problem with this album is that it may get too samey and not stand up to repeated listens but with 12 tracks in 36 minutes it's perfect for a quick blast of fun. Second track 'Astro Girl' has a typical "Hey Ho!" opening but even though it's completely generic it still feels quite fresh. Lyrically it's totally throwaway, don't look for anything deeper than "She's a discomaniac, She's always giving boys the sack".

Production is great for the vocals, bass, guitar and drums but all the other small touches like little bits of piano get completely lost in the mix. This is full of songs that stick in your head long after the album ends, even the slower song 'Waste My Time' has a huge sing-a-long chorus. I love this album and am now a total convert to the fun world of Bulldozer Rock 'n' Roll. Still not convinced about the shorts though!

by John Baxter

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