All Hopped Up!
Hank Angel and his Island Devils
I’m a sucker for that driving rockabilly sound and Hank Angel and his Island Devils lay it down like a dirty roadster on an oiled up country road. With over thirty years on the scene this sharp dressed Vancouver Island based Albertan represents the high standards and ongoing tenacity of our small yet devoted western Canadian rockabilly community.
Hank Angel and his Island Devils are revved up, skin tight and pump out that pounding jungle beat full throttle. Beyond the one detour down lovers lane with the semi successful Tejano balladry of Te Amo Cariño, the rest of the tracks on All Hopped Up! are full on rockers.
Angel’s voice is one part blues shouter, one part Texas twang and on an insane psychobilly track like Crash The Hop I can definitely detect a hint of tuberculosis served up with a side of demon possession. Veterans Andy Graffiti (drums) and Big Daddy Bo (bass) whip up an infectious beat that turns your extremities into skittering dust devils while Aiden Engel picks out a relentless storm of blistering southern fried licks that would leave vapour trails across a hardwood floor.
The added dimension created by sax man Sean Winter is like gravy on your pie and he especially shines on songs like Honey Don’t Cool Off, and on one of my favorite tracks, Woman You’re Just A Pusher. Angel makes it hard to pick out the good ones because there’s so damn many, but I’ll also have bring some well deserved attention to the title track with its big bass groove, double entendres and road rockin’ lyrics. I’m also seriously addicted to the blues breakin’ get-down of Shakin’ In My Shoes, penned by Victoria bopper Slim Sandy and featuring him throwing down some wild harmonica on the track.
With All Hopped Up! Hank Angel and his Island Devils whip up a big sizzling mess of jump blues and hillbilly rockers, steeped in tradition and yet hell bent on new horizons.
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