Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pat Todd and the Rankoutsiders - Blood and Treasure

I know that I've written about Pat and his projects (The Lazy Cowgirls as well as the Rank Outsiders) at length, as I've known the man for several decades now and have always dug and respected his r'n'r soul. Having just seen the Rankoutsiders do a terrific set at Cafe Nela in LA, I picked up this, their latest effort. I think this is one of his better recent releases, with a variety of sounds - all within Todd's country/r'n'r/ r'n'b/punk stylings, of course - and a cool booklet with a little info on each of the tunes.

Starting out with a patented Pat rocker, "This Counterfeit World", the band then moves into a couple cool, r'n'b/early r'n'r numbers by Lazy Lester, "Sugar Coated Love"/"I Hear You Knockin'" with hot-shot guitar work from Nick'n'Kevin. They slow it down a bit for a country-ish ballad, "West of Your Last Chance" (dig the C&W guitar licks in this one), and then do a fantastic bluegrass/blues with "The Fast Kendall County Blues", an older number than includes ex-Cowgirl Michael Leigh on on acoustic slide guitar, producer Earle Mankey on bass and banjo and "Stanley" on mandolin. Love this one! Back with a kinda Slade-ish hand-clappin', foot-stompin', sing-along rocker in "My Own Way" and a couple of highly melodic Pat high-energy numbers, "Don't Be Sellin' Emptiness To Me" and "Tell Me Now" (how does he always get the same kind of nasal backing vocals no matter who is in his band?). A bit slower, "Ole Fortune & Fame" is a sadder song of these elusive traits, and "Stand Up & Sass Back" has Mankey again on bass and Brian Irving on drums (instead of regular, ex-Creamer Bob Deagle) for a stripped-down pop tune while "Just Another Broken Day" adds some bluesy harp work by Jeremy White. Johnny Thunders-ish guitar work highlights the upbeat "Gone Are the Days", "Some Days You Eat the Bear" is energetic and harmony-driven, "Play'n In the Dirt" is a sad'n'slow, well-written ballad and, somewhat appropriately titled for a closer, "Tomorrow's On It's Way" is a fast'n'furious rock'n'roller.

Really solid effort with a great balance of rock'n'roll, blues, bluegrass, country and whatever else they decide to throw into the mix! Great job, Outsiders!