Rosalita! - Thee Wylde Oscars (Off The Hip)
Let’s not beat around the bush: This is a cracker of a record and the best garage rock album to land in these parts so far in 2017.
“Rosalita!” (the album) leaps out of the speakers from the get-go with the surging crash-bang-wallop of “Seven Inch Record” and doesn’t let up for 11 more songs. “Rosalie!” (the song) might be an obvious crib of Ricky Nelson’s/The Allusions’ “Gypsy Woman” but who cares? When it’s good as this, stealing’s not a crime - except if you’re Led Zeppelin.
It’s all in the backbeat, you know, and the engine room of George Wylde (drums) and Monk Wylde (he’d be on bass) have it nailed down tight, with a warm groove to boot. Roger Wylde’s vocal is just this side of demented and his rolling Ian Stewart piano, tied to Jay Wylde’s guitar, is the combination punch that’ll bring you to the canvas. “Going Out This Saturday Night” is a great case in point: Boogie meets fuzz and damn the torpedoes.
It’s also in the songs. The Oscars write and play tunes mostly in the style of the early Pretty Things and The Sonics with loads of Stax soul. They reference the Stones, too, but who doesn’t? The songs quote little musical phrases from all over the place yet manage to sound fresh. No mean feat.
Thee Wylde Oscars come from Melbourne and have made inroads into Europe, which should be no surprise. This is their second full-blown album (there’s a vinyl LP with different versions of tracks from their debut, “Right, Yeah”.)
The songs on “Rosalita!” are all tight little rockers with the exception of the Morricone-meets-Johnny-Cash “Rio Grande”, which works despite the stylistic U-turn. “All The Time” is pure beat group bliss. The closer “Outta My Mind” is nice wrap-up. Stop. Hit repeat.
It’s in mono (you guessed that) and the biggest risk to your stereo is that “Rosalita!” will become wedged in your CD player.
There’s a digital version of the album on Bandcamp but if you’re not into that format the CD is through Off The Hip. Time for me to chase down a copy of the first album.