Man, THE DING DONGS’ new song “Weekend” is a serious rock and roll stomper of the kind that just don’t get made anywhere near enough anymore. And this record is just FULL of songs like that! Mark Sultan, our man BBQ (we last had him up here @ Hassle Fest 2, when it was still called Homegrown Fest), has been involved with a massively disproportionate amount of those modern rock & roll/ late R&B/ early soul and country rockin’ classics. His solo records for sure, but especially his collaborations, both famously with King Khan and less so with Bloodshot Bill as THE DING DONGS, are rife with at least somewhat crustily-fi’d riffs on the aforementioned mid-1950s-ish/ early 1960s sweet spot in American music where white and black music collided and initially fused together. The guy is a great singer, and he knows his rock & roll roots inside out. BLOODSHOT BILL is another Montreal rock & roll miscreant long travelling in the same circles as the King Khans and BBQs of the world (in fact my band opened up for Bloodshot Bill who was opening up for King Khan and BBQ Show early this year and Bill also plays with Khan in TANDOORI KNIGHTS). It must not have been too hard for these two to find each other, both being “one man band guys” of a rock & roll persuasion of one form or another.
The first album by THE DING DONGS arrived in 2010, and it was everything you could hope from a BBQ record, and featured much in the way of fine playing and song contributions from BLOODSHOT BILL. Just as King Khan does in their band together, BLOODSHOT BILL seems to be able to perfectly meld with BBQ, each roughing out the other’s edges. And further proof of that has just showed up in the form of RANG TANG DING DONG, the band’s second LP for NORTON RECORDS (“where the loud sound abounds” reads that awesome tagline of theirs). RANG TANG DING DING is also the name of a great and obscure strange doo wop rocker by a group called THE CELLOS (though that song’s exact title is as follows: “Rang Tang Ding Dong (I Am The Japanese Sandman”)). No coincidence there.
“Stammer and Sin” is the sunny pop shaker of my dreams. Whistling, jangling chords, and a dark melodic turn here and there. “Motorcycle Girl” adds some twang to the mid-tempo rockin’ that is just non-stop throughout this record. The melody just melts right over this grimey, scuzzy groove. This is the 2nd amazing song I know of titled “Motorcycle Girl” (FEEDTIME does the other, and I’m sure there’s plenty more). Guess the girls on bikes are leaving inspiration in their wake as they go blasting on by. Overall what you have here is 16 songs, many of them of the variety that will get stuck deeply within your skull after a few listens. Prepare to have a new favorite record if this kind of music appeals to you at all. Damn. Even though it would ruin his other band’s name, we might just have to start calling Mark Sultan KING BBQ.