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CD Review
Reckless Ones - Set the World on Fire

Reckless Ones

Set the World on Fire
Record Label:
Review by Kaleb Bronson
February 2011

Some may say that Rockabilly is dead, but the riotous Reckless Ones, hailing from the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN) have proven that statement wrong. Their second album release of die-hard rock ‘n’ roll and Rockabilly/Psychobilly vibes knocks out the competition with an upright-bass-left-hook.

They launched onto the Twin Cities Rockabilly scene in 2009 and have since taken control of it, packing clubs and venues while creating a wave of new bands to follow suit. After touring globally and showing the world with their name, the Reckless Ones returned to record Set the World on Fire . This is the band’s second album of Psychobilly slaughterhouse goodness. Frontman Kevin O’Leary’s 1950s styled growls penetrate and soothe throughout. Dylan Patterson’s knock-down, stand-up drum-kit slams, and Adam Boatright’s thunderously arousing upright bass gather a complete comprisal format for this trio of style, renegade pursuits, and gracious gnarls. 

Set the World on Fire starts out with a fiery inferno pushing the threesome forward, titled “Summer Streets,” which shows off the abundance of skill the band has acquired since the initial launch. The record has a structure that holds it as one piece and does not let the mind wander off of the greased societal tracks. One heavier focus the trio took on this album was the romantic approach, which dove back in time to Rockabilly. Not as many current Psychobilly bands offer this approach, but Reckless Ones do not fear the repercussions, and they shouldn’t. The gracefulness, yet rowdy-slickness of tracks such as “Country Bars,” “Nothin,’” and “Go On and Tell Her” offer a thick aspect of love, without the sloppy-seconds of sound.

As the albums progresses, the darkness settles in to shake things up a bit with “Sleepwalker,” the gratifying doom of the album. The lyrical content matches what Glenn Danzig would have offered with the Misfits during the glory days of punk rock, except Reckless Ones slow it down enough to swing to, or possibly with, a corpse. These Grimm Tales follow as the album continues, but the pace increases like “Road Warrior” straight out of the 1981 sequel to “Mad Max.”

“One Knife for You” slashes into the eardrums with a bloody splatter of celebration spread over the entire track. A slam-pit or car-hop would enjoy the quickness of this song. “What can I say I couldn’t take it anymore,” O’Leary spouts off, warning his enemies within the track, while the musical backdrop intimidates all who surround these Reckless Ones. The end of the album calms all listening to have a sit down track known as “Tender Nights,” which Carl Perkins would have appreciated in his final days. This mellowing cloud of musical sediment rains over the listeners to absorb after the album finishes.

Set the World on Fire has a sacrificial edge, perfectly puckered poise, and a grizzly growling sound straight from a 1958 Buick LeSabre. Reckless Ones have transferred sounds through many unchained musical levels, but they still remain dedicated to creating pure rock ‘n’ roll.

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