Whenever I see a rockabilly hombre driving his monster car, I get a surf rock vibe that is impossible to shake. I dream about some rocker spinning his stand up bass and a lead guitarist strutting on stage with a guitar that is almost too big to carry.
It’s an image I can’t shake, and honestly, a style I wish I could pull off. Like that old Gaslight Anthems line, “I always kinda sorta wished I looked like Elvis and in my head there’s all these classic cars and outlaw cowboy bands.”
Admittedly, Calgary might not be the place you think of when you think of the best surfabilly band in Canada, but over the years The Ramblin’ Ambassadors have more than earned the distinction with a unique mix of Dick Dale, hillbilly and Spicoli (amazingly enough, I dropped hombre in that review too, and probably haven’t since).
On the band’s latest LP, Ramble On, The Ambassadors still crunch through sun kissed instrumentals but without question the results are more scaled back and straight forward. The songs are clear and concise and much more muscular, thanks to the decision to split the guitars down the middle like a junior high dance (each remains in an individual channel).
At only 25-minutes, Ramble On doesn’t overstay its welcome, but the band still manages to throw some curve balls that catch you looking. Plus, where else can you find a theme song to the meat sweats and awkwardly groping and fumbling in the back seat of your parents car on the LP? Exactly.
MP3:: The Ramblin’ Ambassadors - Standoff at Calfrobe Bridge
Web:: mint records