Brrrring!! It's The Rumble Strips. Look lively...
Apparently The Rumble Strips' drummer smacks his skins standing up. I have no idea if this fact is of any interest to you (and to be perfectly honest, I don't really care if it isn't), but it propelled my unruly brain into override. It began contemplating if the sonic quality of any other instruments could benefit from their operatives employing a contrary performance stance - if you'll pardon the pun...
What if a pianist tickled the ivories (I know you're thinking I mean "tinkled" but you're wrong - for me that word evokes images of Jamie Callum taking a piss on a Steinway) whilst suspended from the ceiling on a bungee rope? What if a clarinettist gently gathered his/her soft lips around that hallowed rod of deep, resonant wood (careful) whilst bouncing across the stage on a pogo stick? Would this add anything to the performance? Would other musicians see the light and follow suit? Probably not.
To be honest, I've always thought drummers are lazy bastards anyway. I mean think about it - their only form of exercise appears to be dragging the fucking thing to a gig in the first place and then they get to sit down while the rest of the group struts, sweats and scampers around the stage like a pack of emaciated penguins that've been given the keys to Billingsgate Market. So, all in all, I'm rather glad that at least one tub-thumper has seen the light and got off his fat arse to put some effort in.
The Rumble Strips has been lauded as one of the bands to watch in 2007; critically lauded by the likes of Q, Music Week, The Times (and, somewhat unfortunately, the NME) and when you crank up 'Alarm Clock' to a volume that causes your ears to dribble, it's not hard to understand why they've been slated for the big time - even if it isn't wholly warranted.
'Alarm Clock' is a jovial 3:15; its big bouncy bassline, frenetic drums, and silky-smooth sexy saxophones are bolted to a lyric of simplicity so sorely missed in these post-indie-post-art-skool-post-punk-post-post-post-clever-dick times. The sharp edges may have been blunted slightly by the slick production - somewhat mitigating what could be an abrasive, stand-up-and-shout classic - but it's still got enough spirit to satisfy.
They're currently touring the U.K, so if you fancy a bit of Stax-lite funk, check out the schedule and get your Teddy boy gear out of storage.