The Respectables release The Power of Rock ‘n’ Roll


The Respectables release The Power of Rock ‘n’ Roll


The Respectables are much more than respectable – they are wildly talented quintet who have replaced some members over the years, but have nonetheless retained their musical identity and character in a music world that all too often rewards bands who surrender both in the name of the limelight and financial glory. Their latest release The Power of Rock ‘n’ Roll bristles and rolls with the aplomb and authenticity that’s been their hallmark since first emerging from Canada in the early 1990’s and they have lost none of their innate enthusiasm for tackling a variety of material despite touring the world, opening for The Rolling Stones, and rubbing elbows with many other legendary figures. It’s a mark of the esteem many hold for them – their staying power is as well.

The opening song, “The Power of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, is like a small explosion blowing the album open for you. It’s the first of two songs featuring a guest shot from guitarist Waddy Watchel, an onetime creative foil for legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards in the band X-pensive Winos, but he doesn’t try to dominate the song – instead, he serves it and helps the band bring it even higher. It would be a fine effort without his presence, however, because this is a band who knows what they are doing and you can see that confidence reflected in the song’s video. It’s must see.

“That Girl”, the second track Watchel appears on, comes from a much rougher and ready place than we heard with the album opener, but it’s still identifiably The Respectables all the way. I like the mix of acoustic guitar underlying the track, the massed backed vocals, and the light churn of the electric guitar rolling over the top. The drums swing really strong and the vocals match that swing while still hitting some nice peaks along the way. “The Shotgun Seat” uses backing vocals in a great way too, never too heavily, and illustrates an excellent point about the music that may elude notice without listening closely – this isn’t insular music, but instead reaches out for its audience and brings us into its experience. This has one of the best tempos on the album, one they dispatch with considerable energy, and their confidence is unmistakable.

“Give Some” goes in a little bit of a different direction. This is a bruising guitar workout, never out of control, but even the riffing possesses a quality widespread across the eleven songs on this album – melody. You’ll find yourself humming along early in the tune and relishing its bite. “Wheel In My Hand” has some of the same sound and slant you hear with the earlier “Shotgun Seat”, but it forsakes the relatively straight ahead rock of the latter tune in favor of a much more blues oriented attack. It’s never the bucket of blood variety, however, but has a light touch. There’s a couple of ballads in the second half of the album, “As Good as Love Gets” and “Oasis”, that are a breed apart for the album, but the real highlight for me in that second half is the low key yet soulful “Limousine”. They really strip everything back to a bare bones spartan touch, but it never feels like it isn’t enough. Instead, it shows off how they focus, bear down, and bring everything home for listeners without ever succumbing to self indulgence. It’s a quality defining the entirety of The Power of Rock ‘n’ Roll.


Jamie Morse