Are you into the power trios that defined Rock ‘n’ Roll in the 60ies & 70ies and laid the ground work for all things heavy to come? Well, then you may want to put The Chris Rolling Squad on to your radar screen. Now, to be clear, I am not suggesting that Chris Rolling (guitar/vocals), Brice Duval (bass) and Romain Cauneau (drums) are copying the early Taste, Cream or Jimi Hendrix Experience. Or I would through in some SRV, too. However, while there is an omnipresent resemblance to these acts, the band has its own sound, which also incorporates a good portion on Punk rock.
One of the aspects why I appreciate this record so much is the fact that all three band members have their priorities right – meaning, the focus is on the end-product, the music itself and not individual showcasing of their undeniable talent. The album lacks of any – what you would typically expect and find – ‘8-minute guitar solos’, and that’s a good thing. I have nothing against a good, long guitar solo, but only if it’s conducive to the song. Though, the five tracks on this release are of a different category and I sure do value the fact that the band understood that and therefore refrained from adding any elements that could have deterred from the spirit of the material.
With all that being said, as a listener you will quickly pick up on the excellent musicianship of the France-based trio. Chris’ technique, phrasing and general approach to guitar playing is reflective of someone who knows what he’s doing. With confidence, reassurance and playfulness Chris’ Fender Strat along with his vocals lead through each song. However, not by taking over the whole thing, but rather relying on his rock-solid rhythm section as the foundation and driver behind all of it.
Here is the tracklist of ‘The Chris Rolling Squad’:
2. Help Me
3. My Redemption
4. Vampire Blues
5. Janet Says Go Go Go
The band manages to effortlessly combine and navigate through a variety of genres. It’s a tight, cohesive album, offering the listener a healthy amount of lyrical depth, reflection and fun. Sound-wise, this is Rock ‘n’ Roll in its truest sense: gritty, naughty and ‘not-all-that-serious’ at the same time. The five tracks make appetite for more and I can’t wait for the next release by the Chris Rolling Squad. Go and check it out, it’s definitely worth it. Below are a bunch of reference links to learn more about the band and their merchandise.