Brian Setzer - The Devil Always Collects

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Setzer kicks off his excellent new release with "Rock Boys Rock," three minutes of rockabilly joy that sounds like Gene Vincent on steroids. Title cut "The Devil Always Collects" is hopped-up psychobilly with lyrics about how there's eventually always hell to pay for unrighteous actions and it rocks along so fast that it kind of mimics someone trying to stay one step ahead of Old Scratch. In a surprising choice of covers Setzer has a ball with Del Reeve's 1965 novelty trucker song "Girl on the Billboard;" listeners will have fun too trying to get the lyrics right as they sing along to the cut about a big rig driver's lust for an image on a highway billboard. The pace slows down for a take on Warner Weidler's "The Living Dead" which swaggers along with a bit of a horror vibe; in actuality though the song is not about monsters but about those who don't have love in their life. The album's mid-section features three Setzer self-penned or co-written cuts with the rockabilly of "What'll it Be Baby Doll," the straight-ahead rocker "Black Leather Jacket" and the R&B informed "She's Got a Lotta...Soul!" The album's final cover comes through an interpretation of the Nick Lowe dance floor burner "Play That Fast Thing (One More Time)" and wraps up with three more originals, the swinging "A Dude'll Do (What a Dude'll Do)," the clicking rockabilly of "Psycho Suzie" and the popping street fight groove that is "One Particular Chick." The Devil Always Collects is indeed one helluva record.


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