Album Review: Rhino Bucket – “The Last Real Rock ‘n’ Roll”
Half-Finnish half-American rock ‘n’ roll bruisers Rhino Bucket are one of those bands who’ve been slugging it out for years now. Originally rising to prominence at the scuzzier end of the ’80s sleaze explosion, their AC/DC indebted brand of riffed-up rock saw them riding the same wave as bands like The Four Horsemen, Junkyard (who they now share a label with) and Circus of Power. They managed to stick it out for three albums but by the time the last of these came out, the tide had turned and grunge had pretty much killed their career stone dead.
The group reformed in the early 21st century, and The Last Real Rock ‘n’ Roll is their seventh album. And to be honest, it’s pretty much a straight continuation of the previous six (with the exception of 1994’s Pain which was an ill-advised attempt to jump on the grunge bandwagon), that is to say, it’s straight up knuckle-dusting rock ‘n’ roll straight from the Bon Scott template. Now there’s plenty of bands who’ve been through these pages in recent years trying and failing to capture that particular sheet of lightning in their respective bottles, but at least Rhino Bucket, similar to the likes of Broken Teeth and Danko Jones, at least have that genuine wrong-side-of-the-tracks authenticity which makes it believable. The likes of Hello Citizens, Falling Down The Stairs and I’m Your Doctor have that right mix of bad attitude, toe-tapping riffs and shoutalong choruses to make them a good listen, while the freewheeling Forgiveness and Swing And A Miss are the sort of songs that Buckcherry probably wish they could still write.
It isn’t plain sailing all the way through. The addition of gospel singers on the chorus of Last Call is a brave attempt to vary the sound up, but it just ends up kind of diluting the power a bit unfortunately, while a couple of numbers such as So Long and Bang My Drum dwindle off into Airbourne-style mediocrity. Overall though, The Last Real Rock ‘n’ Roll is a decent effort to remind the world that Rhino Bucket are very much still out there and kicking.
Rhino Bucket aren't gonna win any awards for originality with this one but at least The Last Real Rock 'n' Roll is a fun collection of songs with enough energy and enthusiasm to power it through. While there's a few of their contemporaries who could defintely be accused of phoning it in these days, at least these veterans are still putting the effort into making decent music and fair play to 'em for that.