42 DECIBEL – Overloaded (SPV)42 DECIBEL – Overloaded (SPV)

Pop quiz: simple question. Do you like prime-time AC/DC – yes or no? If your answer’s the latter, then 42 Decibel are unlikely to appeal to you, as their brand of classic rock-cum-metal-cum-boogie does draw heavily on the Antipodeans’ songbook, largely (but not exclusively) thanks to Junior Figueroa’s vocal similarity to Bon Scott and the fact that ‘Overloaded’ could easily be the long-lost sibling of ‘Let There Be Rock’ or ‘Powerage’; hell, the clue’s in the band’s name for all to see.

But there’s much more to this Argentinian quartet than schoolboy sound-alikes. ‘Overloaded’ – the band’s third album – sees 42 Decibel (which features rhythm/slide guitarist Billy Bob Riley, bassist Matt Fraga and drummer Nicko Cambiasso alongside guitarist/vocalist Figueroa) continuing on their groove-laden journey through the jungles of traditional old school Seventies’ music by way of a thoroughly prepossessing and unpretentious but ultimately hugely satisfying forty minutes of head shakin’, foot stompin’ no-nonsense, high energy rock ‘n’ roll. The album’s ten cuts are despatched with little in the way of frills and fuss, and range from the slide guitar swagger of ‘Lost Case’ through the more subtle, bluesy ‘Double Itch Blues’ to the barnstormin’ bad ass opener ‘Whiskey Joint’.

‘Overloaded’ (perhaps as the title suggests) is a high-energy offering that crackles with vitality and holds the attention from start to finish; it’s good time music for the good times and for the bad times; it’s a magic pill to blow the blues away. It won’t right all the world’s wrongs, but it will put a smile on your face and a stamp in your stride. And, when all’s said and done, isn’t that what a great record should do?

© John Tucker June 2017