Friday 24 November 2023

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : ,

Lately, there's been repeated remarks about 'cover artwork' and here's another, this is not a cassette but Ramrock Red Records' latest on vinyl by DB Cohen.

So you think you know Ramrock Red with their heavy influences from the US (like Twelve Caesars modern classic, 'Ride The American Wave' - see review HERE) and now, this album is actually a re-issue of a 2013 lost gem.

Ok, there's a strong Dylan influence at times with the 'Hurricane'/'Just Like A Woman' period harmonica, organ and lyrically cleverness but equally, the music seems to owe just as much to the UK with The Kinks, 2-Tone (more Dexy's soul and Specials dips into reggae), a touch of 70s Stones, throw in some Blur, the peak-swing of the Libertines and angst of Essex Bragg; quite a gig! 

In fact, Essex 'everpresent' Snowboy is on here (he of the 'New York Afternoon' LP and more recently seen on Dele Sosimi & Estuary 21 - see review HERE) as he produced the album and it's not surprising the influence spread as the London scene he gathered here have played with many head-liner acts like Faithless, Gorillaz, Adele, JTQ, Steve Hooker, Roger Daltry et al (oh! and Adele). In fact, I'm sure people were thinking the DB was all ready to be on all the top festival billings/chart success.  

But now's the time to give this album the love it deserves.  The past 10 years have done nothing to lessen the relevance of the songs.  Kicking off with a song about being a teacher, 'Shit Jobs' (of course, you don't have to be in Education industry to have one of those) and if you've got, 'Tim Smart on 'bone from the Specials' at your service doing his best "Rico", what more do you need?, 

Cohen's troubadour lifestyle has helping him with the subject matter of the songs with 'The Dealer' (remember: sometimes words have more than one meaning), 'Bus 142' (is that Fulham?) and the title track, 'Scratchcards'.

Unllike scratchcards, this collection has matured with age [like wine] and is sure to be 'Album Of The Week' on all good radio stations - putting my money on BBC 6 Music, Radio Essex and Colne FM for first a trifector/patent winner!  Bigger odds that a sratchcard.

A new album is planned for next year 'On Targe' (sounds a bit mod?) and I hope Snowboy can get involved as he did such a brilliant job here; roll on 2024.

Artist: DB Cohen 

Title: Scratchcards & Wine

Release date: 24th November, 2023

Label: Ramrock Red Records

Cat. No: RRRLP012 / Digital / Bandcamp


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