Dragstrip Riot – S/T

Rockabilly. It’s one of the oldest & most enduring forms of rock n’ roll, and yet there are very few bands out there making a go of it today. Perhaps that’s why the brave few that keep the legacy going are so damn good. Let’s face it, rockabilly (the music and the culture) are just plain fun. It reminds us of the pleasurable (and maybe a little bit naughty) things in life like hot rods, alcohol, tattoos, retro clothes, and more. I love rockabilly and if you do too, you’ll surely dig Dragstrip Riot and their recently released self-titled debut.
Absolutely everything about this Seattle band screams rockabilly. They infuse just the right mix of country, blues, and a little bit of punk into their rock n’ roll – complete with vocals that move from crooning to all out bellow, surf-rock boogie guitar, the slap of an upright bass, and bouncing drum work. Even though Dragstrip Riot has only been together since 2001, these boys do their predecessors more than proud. I haven’t heard anything this fun since the last time the Reverend Horton Heat whirled through town!
One of the best things about modern rockabilly is that no subject is taboo. You won’t find all sorts of political correctness bull in any of Dragstrip Riot’s songs. Besides the normal odes to boozing and fast cars, you’ll find lots of tunes about good girls and bad women. Most of the lyrics here are just oozing with dark humor, like “36 Inch Wheels of Death” and its tale of a man tying his lady to the railroad tracks and the “American Sick-O” saga of a stalker getting knifed by his victim. It’s all done with tons of swagger, some high-octane fuel injection, and a sneer that you can’t help but love.
For a debut album, Dragstrip Riot has outdone themselves, but they’ve clearly got enough energy to keep this up for a long time to come. It’s unfortunate that modern rockabilly only lives on as a small musical niche and this band, like so many others, will likely never be a mainstream hit, but as long as there are fans out there I imagine Dragstrip Riot will be rocking their socks off. If you love good rock n’ roll, you won’t want to miss this band. Kudos to these guys for keeping it alive and fun!