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Four Horsemen – Welfare Boogie (21st Anniversary Edition)

‘Twas Mike who sent me this disc (thanks Dude!) and who requested I get it covered in these pages. What took me so long to get to this EP? I dunno. Hence the IOU Series! Here’s an 80-word blast… Holy AC/DC, Batman! Let’s get it!

four-horsemen-welfare-boogieI can smell the cigarette smoke and beer pong in the air, I can see black leather jackets and big-haired women in pants that were too tight on them ten years ago. I can see the band on stage, rockin’ while the crowd pumps fists in the air…

Like AC/DC before them, it takes a special band to make the typical 12-bar blues sweaty, swaggering and Four Horsemen manage it easily.

Go get you some of this!

 

PS: This one contains 4 studio tracks and 5 demo versions of other songs. For a real review of it, GO READ MIKE’S!

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Four Horsemen – Nobody Said It Was Easy

Mike (our almighty Lebeard) sent me this disc and I was keen to try it. Ages ago, Mike had also given me their Welfare Boogie EP, which I also probably need to review in these pages. Anyway, I liked that one, so this was exciting stuff. So, are ya ready? Let’s give ‘er!

The title track kicks us off, and it’s a solid barroom rocker. Part of my brain really thought it was hearing the Black Crowes’ intro to Stare It Cold, but I went back and played that one and the similarities are there but just negligible enough I suppose that I maybe shouldn’t even be typing this sentence. Oh well, let’s pad the word count! It’s interesting, though, ‘cos this was a year after Shake Your Moneymaker, same label… Hmmm…

Rockin’ Is My Business is pure AC/DC songbook and it bloody cooks. I really enjoyed this one, especially after finally getting to hear a couple of those discs from our Heavy Metal Overlord Scott, recently. Tired Wings is already an album favourite for me. I love slide blues rock guitar, and this is a slinky funky beautiful highlight track. It’s a keeper.

Can’t Stop Rockin’ ramps up the pace again, which is the best thing they could have done after the brilliance of Tired Wings. Good track selecting here. This is a good old 12-bar bang out with a great guitar solo. Wanted Man wasn’t all that great. I mean, I guess they rhymed Mexico with Idaho, but if he’s such a wanted guy everywhere he goes, it sounds like he should just stay home. When the song finally does take off, it still sort of doesn’t, and I know that’s the point. This just felt like a toss-off track, to me.

Let It Rock is another AC/DC rocker, complete with vocals to match. In fact, I even double-checked the liner notes to see if this was a cover of an actual AC/DC tune. It’s not. Hot Head is another Crowes-ish tune (I hate to make the comparisons all the time, because it probably isn’t fair, but it’s all I can hear). It’s mid-tempo, and with those same guitars. The tambourine is a nice touch. 

Moonshine smartly picks up the pace again. The vocal effects were off-putting. And… sirens? Other crashing noises? Oh dear, they’ve figured out how to add sound effects to a track. Anyway, it’s a straight-on rocker, which even has the obligatory breakdown for live audience sing-alongs. The piano part was good here, but it should have been louder in the mix.

Homesick Blues is exactly that. More barroom rock that I believe would be really fun in a live setting. 75 Again brings back the speed blues and the AC/DC vocals. I turned it up and it got even better. Another ripping guitar solo. Cool track. And it goes right into Lookin’ For Trouble, which is so close to 75 Again, you could be forgiven for not noticing that the track number had changed. No matter, it’s another quick blast of mayhem. Go, man, go!

I Need A Thrill/Somethin’ Good is a great album closer. I Need A Thrill might have been a slower, ballad-like song until it starts to rock along nicely. It’d be a fun shout-along in concert. Then, around the 2:40 mark, Somethin’ Good becomes a lighter-waving concert, er, album closer track with full sing-along lyrics in effect. Nice. The only thing I didn’t like here was the abrupt ending with the sound effect of a reel-to-reel tape running out. I mean, really? Just fade out like normal people do, guys. Honestly.

In sum, this is a great rock record that pulls heavily on its influences. They really shine on the 12-bar blues tracks where they might get a chance to sound more like themselves. Still, there’s tons to like here. Pick it up if you can. Thanks heaps, Mike!!

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