Release Date: Aug 5, 2008
Record label: Gigantic
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
In the U.K., the Rumble Strips are treated as something of an oddity. They’re seen as nothing more than a Dexy’s Midnight Runner’s knock-off, solely because Dexy’s are the only other ska band that ever really hit the mainstream there. In actuality, the Rumble Strips don’t even sound like a ska band (unless you count having a trumpet and a sax player in the same lineup); they sound like just about every other new-new Britpop band to hit BBC Radio 1 in the last five years, wiht bright sing-along choruses, fast, post-punk rhythms, and hyper-literal lyrics.
The Rumble Strips don't take any chances on Girls and Weather, but that's because they don't need to. If the Devon foursome's fun, innocent, and refreshingly light tone -- not to mention their eschewing of guitars in favor of horns -- isn't enough to make their debut album stand out, then their musicianship and wry lyrics certainly are. It takes a few listens to discern the Rumble Strips' technical proficiency, because it's all too easy to get caught up in the fun that they're having instead.
When Dexys Midnight Runners' Kevin Rowland was Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, presumably he never bothered to look in Tavistock, Devon. However, this unlikely rock'n'roll outpost has spawned a band who have the sound of Rowland's combo circa 1980. The Rumble Strips have Stax beats, brass sections, oodles of passion, and singer Charlie Waller seems to have somehow laid his hands on Rowland's voice box.