You can argue that rock’ n’ roll found its perfect form a long time ago, any time from the late 60’s to the early seventies. You could posit that all people can hope to do with it now is make interesting, fun, exciting, and exquisite copies based on its iconic template. And why not? It’s a great springboard from which to launch your music into the public conscience. But just because the heavy lifting has already been done, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t carry on ploughing that musical furrow. And why not stand on the shoulders of giants? The view is pretty good up there,
So, let’s be honest; it isn’t really about the mechanics of the music any more; it’s more about what you hang on those timeless structures. It’s about less tangible elements such as swagger and attitude, vibe and excitement, groove and grit…things which are more about the musical chemistry of the band itself rather than anything fundamentally new that you can bring to the format. And, you could argue that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
I say all this in my long, rambling and verbose fashion so that I can tell you that The NEW Bardots are everything that I have advocated above, and Thrill of the Night, their latest release, might be following in some familiar footsteps. But there is also a freshness, a modern take, a new and energetic polish added to the sense of edge and excitement that has long been the hallmark of rock and roll.
Thrill of the Night might be made in a familiar mould, but it is nothing if not of the here and now. Its backbeats groove like hell, doing their job so eloquently that all the guitars have to do is slash, slice and swagger across the top, adding colour and cool to the proceedings. The bassline, in particular, delivers such an engaging melody that it feels as if it has got the song over the finishing line whilst the guitars are still getting up to speed!
Top it off with some dexterous vocal verses, which, in turn, take you into sublime sing-along choruses, and it is safe to say that in three minutes and three seconds, they have ticked every box imaginable on the Essential Elements of Rock and Roll musical checklist.
It’s fun and groovesome, fresh and new, but it sounds like you have been taking a spin to its dulcet tones around the floor of the alternative nightclub since your formative days. And that is the art of making rock and roll music (and yes, this is rock and roll music rather than the slablike and groove-challenged genre that we now call rock) with such an established history behind it. Deliver something that feels like it is already part of the listener’s DNA, yet give them something that makes them flip their wig, cut a rug, throw some crazy moves…or whatever the kids call it these days. Thrill of the Night does all that and more. Job done.