It’s here Ladies & Germs! The latest CD from those swingin’ masters of mirth, melody and mayhem, The Gas House Gorillas! With the strongest line up in the band’s history, God’s favorite Rhythm & Blues band deliver 13 gems guaranteed to make a dead man smile!
Rick Fink/ vocals
Crusher Carmean/ bass
Tim Veeder/ tenor sax
Hiro Suzuki/ guitar
Dan Hickey / drums
The reviews are coming in:
Remember those hoodlum friends you had when you were a teenager? Remember the way they used to hang out down by the drugstore in their zoot suits, snapping their fingers and acting too cool for school? Well, they grew up to be the Gas House Gorillas.
This primo jump blues band has it all: an amazing rhythm section, awesome sax playing, fabulous guitar, a killer frontman, and fantastic songs. And more than all that, these guys have the ability to cross over from jump blues to swing to rock and back again, often within the same track.
“All She Wants To Do Is Rock” boogies and swings and rocks and kicks and, like most of the tunes on this disc, has an absolutely infectious hook. Hiro Suzuki positively wails on guitar, taking the whole thing up and way over the top. Rick Fink’s suggestive vocal delivery is magnificent.
“Memories Of You” is a quieter, sweeter number, blending pop with a gentle swing and a touch of blues. Tim Veeder’s sax backing is exquisite, and again, Suzuki lets his guitar go for broke, this time eliciting a lonely and heartrending cry. “Swing That Thing” is a piston-pumpin’ masterpiece, giving Veeder more room to ply his trade. “Nine Lives” is pure, rhythm-section-led evil, racing along at breakneck speed. Upright bassist Crusher Carmean clicks away like a madman, while drummer Dan Hickey keeps it tight and oh so right.
From romantic ballads to raucous dance tunes, the Gas House Gorillas have got it covered. They even have the good taste to offer up a rendition of the Groucho Marx classic, “Everyone Says I Love You.” Now, that rocks!
Michael Macomber - Retro Music Review (Mar 26, 2008)
The Gas House Gorillas
Five Gorillas Walk Into a Bar...
This is truly a breath of fresh air. The Gas House Gorillas do tremendous things to old fashioned rockabilly rock n' roll. The entire album has a good sense of humor about itself without diminishing from the quality of the songs. The vocals are clean and simply enjoyable. The guitar, saxophone, and bass flow. And the drums have a great ability to back up the band and have the freedom to go on their own tangent. Every instrument adds something to each track which makes this album simply amazing. The album starts off with a humorous and fun track "All She Wants to Do Is Rock." The saxophone flows perfectly with the vocals and the guitar is simply old fashion Rock n' roll, from its rhythm to its solo. The third track, "Where Did Harlem Go," shows the dexterity of the drummer and saxophonist while keeping a steady fast upbeat pace.
"Nine Lives" has a great rockabilly feel similar to that of the Stray Cats (no pun intended.) It has an immense punk rock sense to it while keeping the theme of old fashioned rock and roll that is evident throughout the entire album. The solos on this track are great, the guitar and sax just explode into phenomenally energetic paths, and the lead singer's screaming into the microphone just blows your mind.
I could go on for a page about how well done this album is, but due to a need to condense I'll stop here. The album brings something new to the table that this decade has seldom seen. I can't praise this album enough because it is truly a definite buy. I hope for the best with these guys because they truly deserve it.
Peter Markoski - Upstage Magazine (Apr, 2008)
Yeah! The Gorillas are back!
I caught these guys last year at The Red Bank Blues & Jazz Fest, and they were... AMAZING! They took a sedate crowd and brought them to a fever pitch, especially when bassist Crusher Carmean jumped off the stage with a this big-ass, stand-up bass, running through the crowd, up a steep hill, and back up on stage - never missing a beat! I felt like I was back at The Leopard Lounge (at Club Bene in Sayreville), with all those cool retro-swing bands that promoter, DJ, and all-around cool cat Lenny Lounge (and let's not forget his main squeeze Kit Kat), put on.
The new CD opens with "All She Wants to do is Rock," which sounds like a jilted boyfriend’s lament, but it actually turns into a swinging, rocked-out dance number. Don't look to deep for political, or over-emotional songs. The Gashouse Gorillas are only here to get you out on the dance floor and shake your tail feathers - and that's a good thing!
"Kidney Stew" is flat-out New Orleans blues with The Gorillas’ special mojo. Rick Fink- vocals, Crusher- bass, Hiro Suzuki- guitar, Tim Veeder- sax, and Dan Hickey- drums, are the ligament heirs of the retro-swing genre, that are not only are keeping it alive, but bringing it to the next level. Big Band, Bop,
Swing, Rockabilly, and even Punk Rock are the foundation of bands like The Gashouse Gorillas, Cherry Poppin' Daddys, Brian Setzer, etc. On tunes like "Last to Know," or "Nobody's Fool," "Three Words," and "Stay," the band does get a bit sentimental, taking you to the submarine races, but they wisely keep away from any type of self-pity in favor of ain't-nothin'-gonna-keep-me-down, upbeat vibe, like Dion & The Belmont's "The Wanderer."
The closing number, "Burglar in the House of Love," is barrel-house rock and roll! An all-out rocker that leaves you wanting more! And to get more, you gotta see The Gas House Gorillas live! Check their website, you won't be disappointed! - Phil Rainone
Phil Rainone - POP VULTURE (Mar 11, 2008)
THE GAS HOUSE GORILLAS
"FIVE GORILLAS WALK INTO A BAR......."
You just can't keep good gorillas down. Mighty Joe Young had several hits, King Kong keeps coming back, and now, THE GAS HOUSE GORRILAS have returned. Unlike those former famous gorillas, whose first hits were their best, "FIVE GORILLAS WALK INTO A BAR......", the latest release by THE GAS HOUSE GORILLAS, which features many new band originals - is as excellent as their first.
The five, gorillas for whom this discs title refers to, are: RICK FINK on vocals, CRUSHER CARMEAN on bass, TIM VEEDER on tenor sax, HIRO SUZUKI on guitar, and DAN HICKEY on drums. Now let's go listen.
It's no wonder that "ALL SHE WANTS TO DO IS ROCK", it's probably because she's listening to this track. However, the Gorillas may have something else in mind when they say "She wants to rock and roll all night long". This hot rocker features fabulous vocals by Rick, with alternating heat being provided by TIM and HIRO on sax and guitar. Meanwhile, the rhythm Gorillas are furiously fanning the fire.
While RICK is asking "WHERE DID HARLEM GO?", the band seems to have musically found it. This short, swinging, one and a half minute track - featuring some great scat by RICK, is very reminiscent of the era when Harlem, NY, was one of the city's hot spots.
The Gorillas do a great job on "KIDNEY STEW", a cover of a song made popular by one of my early blues influences, EDDIE "CLEANHEAD" VINSON. This one features the band tightly locked into a smooth groove throughout the track.
"MEMORIES OF YOU" is one of those tracks that, just after the first few beats, has the slow dancers taking their partners by the hand and leading them to the dance floor. This one brought back great memories of some of the classic songs of early rock and roll. This is the kind of stuff that most of us blues fans grew up listening to and THE GAS HOUSE GORILLAS make it sound as good now, as it did back then. Great vocals by RICK on this one.
"NINE LIVES" is what you might need if you listen to this track while driving. Calling this one an all out jam would be an understatement. If an all out jam were equal to driving on I-95 at a pretty fast speed of 85, "NINE LIVES" is the vehicle that just blew by you making it look like you were standing still. Now you got the picture? This track may very well be the wild and frantic cousin of a song by The Boss - "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out"......it could have easily been called "Tenth Avenue, Freak-Out".
"SWING THAT THING", as with several other tracks, is one of those short numbers that I could have easily taken a lot more of. Of course, by hitting replay I did, but this should have been at least double in length. Once again, the Gorillas are all in a smooth groove on this swinging shuffle featuring more great sax and guitar leads.
Some of the discs best rhythm, guitar and sax work can be heard on "NOBODY'S FOOL". CRUSHER, DAN & HIRO are all on the mark and TIM is easily at discs best, as he makes the tenor sax alternately sound like it's a baritone and an alto. Great stuff.
Other tracks on "FIVE GORILLAS WALK INTO A BAR......" are: "QUEEN OF THE NIGHT, "EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU". "LAST TO KNOW", "STAY", "HEP CAT KING OF EVERYTHING", "THREE WORDS" and "BURGLAR IN THE HOUSE OF LOVE".
Not only have I had the pleasure of reviewing both of THE GAS HOUSE GORILLAS CD'S, but about two years ago, at the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival, I also had the pleasure of being blown away by their live act. I highly recommend you check out the band at www.gashousegorillas.org - and make sure you tell them the Blewzzman's responsible for your visit.
Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com