The Chris Rolling Squad - The Chris Rolling Squad (self released)
These are dark times. It ain’t easy playing rock and roll in most countries and France is no exception. High culture looks down its nose at anything that’s not home-grown - just like a Paris waiter in an expensive restaurant sneers at linguistically-challenged tourists who can’t read the menu.
So give Chris Rolling and his band some credit for swimming against the tide. Chris who?
Chris Rolling is a guitarist-vocalist from Western rural France and his band, The Chris Rolling Squad, are Brice Duval on bass and Romain Launeau on drums. They’re heavily influenced by classic rock like Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen and the Texan strain of blues.
“Whore” is a strong opener, a tirade against an ex-girlfriend with Rolling’s deft guitar work cutting a swathe through the middle. “Help Me” and “My Redemption” are taught rockers, too.
“Vampire Blues” is a solid blues tune played in Stevie Ray Vaughan style. Rolling launches into long, weaving lead breaks while his bandmates lay down a simple but effective groove. “Janet Says Go Go Go” is a rockabilly-style punk-boogie, a cover of a song by Swedish band Indian Red. The old adage about if you’re going to play a cover, make sure it’s a good one, springs to mind and this fits the bill.
A lot of European bands don't "get" rock and roll because they didn't grow up with it being an all-pervading influence on the radio airwaves. The Chris Rolling Squad is a band that does sound like it understands it and confidently puts its best foot forward. They have one of those ubiquitous Bandcamp sites where you can try before you buy.