The Respectables – The Power of Rock ‘N’ Roll


Rejoice, lovers of rock and roll, because there are still bands out there pushing forward with a vision of the genre as fresh as ever, but grounded in its roots. The Respectables are one of Canada’s best rock exponents and, if you’ve never heard them before, their latest release The Power of Rock ‘n’ Roll is an excellent place to begin before backtracking through their 20+ year catalog. The eleven song collection doesn’t ever settle for being some one note excursion but, instead, shifts gears at critical points to show the band is much more than some generic retro act. It’s that variety that makes this all the more better and puts an exclamation point on creativity that over two decades plowing away in the popular music world has yet to exhaust.

The title song unleashes the album on listeners with a blast of unadulterated rock and roll goodness wholly appropriate for the title. One quality that comes through in this music, even in its most serious moments, is the unbound joy these five musicians and their collaborators share in delivering the goods to a hopefully eager public. Moreover, there’s no pretentiousness here – some, at an initial glance, might roll their eyes at a song title like this, but The Respectables aren’t about remaking the songwriting wheel. Nonetheless, as this song and the video coming along with it show, they are proud to be carrying on in a tradition with skill and a smile.

“The Shotgun Seat” is the first of a few songs included on the album centering somewhat around car imagery, a tried and true rock and roll topic if there ever was one, but they infuse the familiarity with a personality and rambunctiousness separating it from anything smacking of cookie cutter nonsense, but “Give Some”, the follow up”, is steeped largely in rock with a powerful guitar riff and drumming teaming up to knock listeners out with its punch. The vocals grab a hold of the lyrics with a bluesy muscle and, when the chorus hits, it is sure to bowl over a lot of the band’s target audience.

“As Good as Love Gets” might come as a surprise to those new to the band thanks to its balladic style and inclusion of strings, but it’s one of the more measured yet impassioned moments you’ll find in recent music history and that’s no overstatement. The fusion of these seemingly straight forward rock band with such a lush musical setting underlines how The Respectables are like few other acts today. “18 Wheeler” recalls the band’s country influences, but never in a pop country style, but rather a classic ode to truck driving much like Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” or something similar, but they own it with a feel and vibe that isn’t like anyone else. I can’t say enough good things about this album – it unrolls for us with loose limbed confidence and never wastes a second of the listener’s time. It should be on anyone’s playlist who loves honest music.


Clay Burton