The Kaisers

Beat It Up!

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Frozen forever in the snapshot moment before the Beatles broke and they still toiled on speed and booze and rock & roll in Hamburg nightclubs, Scotland's the Kaisers made a career of slavishly accurate, atavistic Merseybeat. That they did it with style as well as requisite substance is amply proven on Beat It Up! The band's exuberance on such numbers (among the mix of originals and covers) as "Whatcha Say?," "She's Gonna Two Time," and "Lets Stomp" (as well as the requisite cover of Chan Romero's "Hippy Hippy Shake") make two things perfectly clear: the Kaisers have no intention of stretching out musically, keeping their Beatle boots firmly planted on the Merseyside, and if you dig the Beatles' dueling, harried shouts on their cover of the Isely Brothers' "Twist & Shout," you'll likely not care how original the Kaisers are. They get the spirit right, much like Billy Childish's early band, the Milkshakes, did ten years before and more than Beatlemania ever did. The playing is six-practices-a-week tight, and the production (it was recorded at favored Childish studio Toe Rag) captures a live atmosphere while assuring that you hear every absolutely, perfectly great, un-original guitar line, drum fill, vocal harmony, and wild shout.