thee rum covesIs it really a surprise in 2015 to hear rocking garage soul that has its origins in the UK played better than almost anyone else around by a band that comes from Auckland in New Zealand? Meet Thee Rum Coves.

These guys (and girl) should be the toast of the summer festival circuit in Europe. They deserve to fill the vacuum left by the demise of The Jim Jones Revue. Thee Rum Coves have everything going for them for a shot at success in Europe…except geography. Not that this should matter.

Thee Rum Coves describe themselves as “garage soul played by punks”. Vocalist-guitarist English Jake and bassist Jimmy Christmas were founding members of Detroit-styled Kiwi killers The D4, a band that almost broke through internationally on the back of the so-called New Garage wave in the early ‘00s. Thee Rum Coves sound nothing like them, drawing inspiration from the wellspring of bands like The Sonics, the Pretty Things, Chants R&B and The Yardbirds.

English Jake handles most of the vocals, with flame-haired keyboardist Kendall Elise adding her own voice on a few. They’re an inspired pairing on songs like “When I’m Looking At You” and “She Waits For Me”. Then there’s the especially great “Baby Please”, where their call and response duetting straddles a song that cooks like the early Yardbirds at the Crawdaddy Club.

There’s a four-minute instrumental (“Cosmo”) that showcases a psych side and a fistful of soulful rockers like “Nasty Evil Sickness”, and the gritty “Shake a Stick” that both reverberate like a ride on the last Tube train home in a carriage full of mods on black bombers. There’s also a loose and limber untitled 11th track that deserves to be outed and named.

The punchy production is by Bob Frisbee, who played no small part in shaping the sound of The D4 - and coincidentally mastered one of those Chants R&B releases on Norton a decade ago.

If there first record is this good what's the second going to be like? There’s a Bandcamp link below where you can listen to the album. There’s also an order link - just so you can’t make any excuses.


Thee Rum Coves on Bandcamp

Thee Rum Coves on Facebook