NRBQ- All Hopped Up 2018 reissue review

NRBQ All Hopped Up Omnivore

The ultimate “You had to be there to get it” group, NRBQ is as likely to confuse listeners as they are to entertain them. Get past the gimmicky stuff, and you have an incredible bar band that could play most anything they wanted. Coming out at the peak of punk in 1977, All Hopped Up was the Q’s first album for their Red Rooster label, and in this configuration recently released by Omnivore one hears just how out of step with the times the group was.

All Hopped Up kicks off with Al Anderson’s absolutely delightful “Ridin’ In My Car,” a near-power pop classic that should be on every mix tape made from today to the end of time. Terry Adams’ earnest “It Feels Good” and “Queen Talk” are similarly incredible. “Call Him Off, Rogers” and “Things To You” are more typical NRBQ fare, slightly off-centre and appealingly awkward. Joey Spampina offers up the retro-sounding—one imagines even to mid-70s ears—“Still In School” and the trippy “Doctor’s Wind.” His “That’s Alright” is another power pop offering rescued from the ravages of time and memory.

More than run-of-the-mill covers of “(Does Your Mother Know You’re Out) Cecelia,” “Honey Hush,” and “I Got a Rocket in My Pocket” represent the musical roots of the quartet. The always unpredictable group plays things mostly straight across All Hopped Up, but a quick rendition of “Bonanza” hits the ditch.

The bonus tracks are just short of extraordinary, and flesh-out the set with ten additional minutes of brilliance; “She’s Got To Know” and “Do the Bump” are especially satisfying. This reissue of All Hopped Up–CD and vinyl (without bonus cuts)–isn’t going to change rock ‘n’ roll history, but it may alter the course of yours.

(review based on supplied download) I meant to finish this review last year, but it got lost in the laptop death of 2018; only found and finished this evening.

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