Cross Cuts

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If you were a fan of the Count Bishops' brand of high-energy rock & roll, then 1979's Cross Cuts, while it wasn't their best work, was exactly what you wanted and expected from them. Driven by some ferocious guitar attack courtesy of Johnny Guitar along with Dave Tice's gruff-as-gravel vocals, the tunes are a smattering of oldies like Sam & Dave's "I Take What I Want," Fleetwood Mac's "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight," and Sonny Boy Williamson's "Don't Start Me Talking" done up rough and ready, as well as a handful of band originals including the high-octane rocker "What's Your Number," the blues stomper "Your Daddy Don't Mind," the melodic kiss-off "No Lies," and the peppy "Hands on the Wheel." There are a couple of missteps like the watered-down covers of Them's "Could You Would You," the Strangeloves' "I Want Candy," and the Easybeats' "Good Times" that find them treading perilously close to bar band territory, but for the most part the record is filled with the kind of energy and style that put them in the same rarefied league as Dr. Feelgood, a fact made clear by that band's welcoming of Johnny Guitar after the Bishops broke up following this album.

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