Monday, May 16, 2011

CD Spotlight: The Only One

Title:  The Only One (Amazon, iTunes)
Artist:  Roustabouts (MySpace, Facebook, PureVolume)

I had originally planned on waiting until next year to do this album as a Blast from the Past, but since the Roustabouts have decided to do use the great honor and favor of getting back together to play some shows, I figured now was as good a time as any to talk about the brilliance that is The Only One. 

Released in 2002, The Only One was the Roustabouts debut and only full length album.  In 2000 they had record another record for an upstart label but due to contractual issues the album never saw the light of day (but boy would I like to have one of those!).  In a way that turn of fate was a good thing because it opened the door for them to create what is by far my favorite album by any Oklahoma artist and one of my favorite records of all time.  When I reviewed the CD for the fourth issue of OklahomaPunkScene.com I commented on not only the excellence of the music but the genre defying nature of it. 
The Roustabouts debut CD, The Only One, is nothing short of brilliant.  Perfectly mixing roots rock 'n' roll with pop and street punk, The Roustabouts have put together 12 anthems that will have you singing along for days.  Songs like "Dead Generation," "We Believe," "Center of the City," "Lesson's Learned," and "Heart is Gone" are instant classics.  Fans of Screeching Weasel, The Clash, Rancid, The GC5, The Ramones, Stiff Little Fingers, and Chuck Berry need to get this CD.
The only thing that I missed in that review was the influence of Hot Water Music on the Roustabouts.  At the time I was completely unfamiliar with HWM other than knowing that they were an emo band, so I wasn’t able to recognize the influence.  This in fact was the driving influence behind much of the bands subsequent material.  I also hadn’t caught the brilliance of Jesse Smith’s drumming at the time.  His style is reminiscent of Bill Stevenson (ALL, Descendents, Only Crime, Black Flag) and I would argue that he is the best drummer in punk rock next to Stevenson. 

For the past nine years The Only One has been a CD that has gotten a lot of play in my car, on my computer, CD players, and MP3 player.  In fact if I had to pick 10 CDs to take with me to a desert island, The Only One would be on that list (along with my 10 all-time favorite albums list).  It truly is that good. 

When the band called it a day in 2005 I was extremely saddened.  They are without a doubt my favorite band from Oklahoma and were always impressive on stage (and super nice guys to boot).  A few years ago the Roustabouts played some reunion shows that I sadly had to miss, so the fact that they are getting back together to play some show is absolute music to my ears!  Now if we could get them to maybe release a new record (I’d love to hear what they could do with Stephen Egerton behind the board) or at the very least get The Only One re-released with a bunch of bonus tracks.  Either way I will look forward to the shows and spending many more years listening to The Only One. 

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