Verdict: 1.5 / 5
‘Backseat Bingo’ sees the band showcasing their hillbilly sound to the world.
The first track, ‘Do I Have to Explain?’ starts with a lively honky-tonk and organ keyboard before exploding with a fast paced rhythm section. Alarmingly, in those precious first moments the drum beat refuses to gel with the rest of the music but Brandon ‘Slim Anus’ Shore manages to recollect himself and steer the ship. The song’s vocals are a let down, as the harmonies do not always remain in their allocated key and in this case the tone and style of Dom and Alexia’s vocal delivery lack the energy and electricity needed for a fast paced hillbilly tumble like ‘Do I Have to Explain?’
‘Shot a Man Down’ continues the lacklustre vocal trade the girls deal in but luckily it has some tasty guitar chord chops and slide guitar to distract your ears a bit. Sadly, that distraction is quickly dissolved by an irregular and unstable drum pattern that refuses to find the groove.
‘Don’t Call Me Baby’ is a slow dancing, Doo Wop number. The vocals start off strong but the chorus and interlude ‘oohs’ of the vocals molest their key, rupturing your faith in the song immediately. Certain melodies are ill-conceived and don’t flatter the compositional skill of those involved either.
‘Baby Girl You’re Gonna Burn!’ offers a solid rock and roll guitar lick, bass line and beat. The vocals are catchy but too often fail to match harmonically. The star on the E.P. is the ‘Beatles’, ‘Oh Darling’. It comes as a relief to savour pleasant vocal arrangements, melodies and stable drum tempos and patterns.
As with the rest of the world, retrograde acts seem to be finding favour in certain quarters of the local scene but unless you’re Brian Setzer or a hillbilly from the Deep South it is all too easy to slip into pretentiousness, which is ironic considering the genre, all too easy to sound amateur and out of depth and all too easy to fall into naïve revivalism that revels in nostalgia for a golden age. With the awareness that such claims might be seen as self aggrandizing, one is forced to conclude simply, that if the band were to tighten their arrangements and overall song writing then they might pull off their odes to the 1950s more convincingly.