The Matlocks - Hats, Dogs 'n' Daggers

Not since "Biff Malibu" and his Gluecified brothers finger clicked their way cool tunes into my black heart, have a band of pure rock n roll hellcats had me spanking my air guitar like my life depended on it.
But, one or two spins of "Hats, Dogs and Daggers" from Sweden's "The Matlocks" was all it took to ease me into this set of fastback saloon turbo charged 3 minute salvos, that had me reaching for my cuban heels, black canvas jeans, spotted shirt, baker boy hat and the all important imaginary Les Paul.

"The Matlocks" proudly proclaim they make a Glam-Slam-Rock'n'Roll-Commotion, and you wouldn't be a million miles away if you could get your feather cuts around what a head on collision between "The Hellacopters" back catalogue and a truckload of super strength lager might sound like.

The melody and pace of "Hats, Dogs and Daggers" hits the maximum pleasure button via album opener "Part of the Plan", whilst also rather slyly doffing the (baker boy) cap to a certain Hedwig and her Angry Stump, and this frantic one size fucks all sound is also rammed home good and deep through tracks like "Sweet Talker", "Dez Is Here" and "C'mon C'mon". The self-deprecating "Fat Fuck" and (please tell me this song is about the Gran Canaria Theme Park). "Sioux City" meanwhile shows the bands appeal holds no international boundaries when it comes to penning that musical Cheshire cat grin normally reserved for the works of Messrs Happy Tom and Hank Von Helvete.

It's in direct contrast then that the strutting cock swagger of "Wage Slave" and the Hanoi esque "Cold Feet" are when "The Matlocks" truly take it up a notch and get the needle grinds firmly in the groove.

Testament to the strength of "Hats, Dogs and Daggers" is that throughout the album I kept thinking "thank god there's now someone to plug that gap left by Gluecifer and The Hellacopters". This is however more than simple imitation; this band has the charisma and songs to take on the world.

So, is the world ready to sample some of "The Matlocks" self styled Pilsner Rock?
Well, if the infectious grooves of "Hats, Dogs and Daggers" can be heard worldwide then I'd say by this time next year we should all be drinking it by the truckload.

4 3/4 out of 5

by Johnny H.

Visit the Matlocks Website