cover art for American Grease features a classic
pink car with frightening rocket power and a smooth sailing
fin, which may be just the right image for the Athens,
Georgia, threesome known as Rocket 350. They deliver high-energy,
in-your-face rock-and-roll, with the volume cranked up
to 10. Unlike many bands flaunting the greaser image,
Rocket 350 doesn¹t suffer from all-our-songs-sound-the-same
disease, but they are certainly an acquired taste. No
dulcet tones or easy ballads to be found here. Without
having ever seen this band perform, I can only imagine
their stage antics.
CD's most appealing tracks are the fast-driving Rockabilly
songs, with standouts including "That's Life"
and "All Night Long", which has a catchy sing-a-long
riff. "Wray Street" and "Six-Gun"
divulge a Dick Dale influence, the former being an excellent
surf guitar instrumental, and the latter a cowboy song
with a raging six-string. Two '50s jukebox style slow
dance songs, "She's Gone" and "Lonely Rock
N' Roll Nights", have nostalgic appeal, yet despite
the mood shift, the band's rambunctious, eager energy
comes creeping through. The unlisted bonus track at the
end of the CD tries for an old-fashioned microphone recorded
sound with interesting lyrics.
musical layout of American Grease is balanced overall,
and the performers' skill is tempered only by their drive
for powerful excitement.
This is an unapologetically loud band, most clearly underlined
in hardcore Rockabilly songs like "Voo Doo"
and "Seven Days." Fans of Rockabilly who like
frantic energy and an Elvis slur sung in a volume more
reminiscent of The Big Bopper will enjoy this disc immensely.
But be warned: Rocket-powered antics tend to shake the
car at high speeds.