Billy Bremner

Rock Files

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Erstwhile Rockpile guitarist Billy Bremner returns with Rock Files, his first album since 2006's No Ifs, Buts, Maybes. Vocally, Bremner may sound measurably older -- he whistles through through his S's, he quivers and shivers as he reaches for the notes -- but the sound of the album is clean, bright, and punchy, a worthy heir to the albums Dave Edmunds made in the early '80s, just after he left Rockpile. Bremner played on Twangin' and he picked up on some of that cheerful old-fashioned boogie, bringing a bit of his own country chicken-picking to the equation and a little bit of a rockabilly lilt to Rock Files. Billy isn't trying to sound modern -- he's happily stuck in the past, filtering the '50s through the prism of the '80s -- but he's got sharp, funny tunes, isn't afraid to get silly ("The Alliguitar and the Rockodile"), occasionally gets deep ("My Life Has Stopped on Red"), and finds considerable sustenance within that old-time rock & roll he's loved for years and years. If you've ever been a fan of anything he's been involved with, it's hard not to listen to these Rock Files and smile.

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