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The Hydromatics Powerglide

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Wednesday, November 6, 2002 @ 1:35 AM


(Freak Show Records)

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The Hydromatics feature a genuine Detroit legend in the form of Scott Morgan, frontman of '60s soul rockers The Rationals, guitarist in Sonic's Rendezvous Band (alongside the MC5's Fred "Sonic" Smith), member of super group Dodge Main (featuring MC5's Wayner Kramer and Radio Birdman axe-smith Deniz Tek), and leader of his own Scots Pirates. He's a name that many of you heavy metal dudes may not know but should, as he's got some of the best pipes in the rock n' roll game and is a mean songwriter. If you like the aforementioned bands, or dig the Stooges, early Bob Seger, early Nuge, etc then I suggest you start digging up the Scott Morgan catalog. And Powerglide is a damn good place to start.

Morgan formed the Hydromatics alongside guitarist Tony Slug, bassist Theo Brouwer and Hellacopters leader Nicke Royale (back on drums here) in 1998 and released an awesome debut CD in '99 called Parts Unknown that revisited the Motor City rock sounds of yesteryear in the form of a modern day power punk rawk outfit. Though Royal doesn't play on this one, Powerglide is more of the same but even stronger song-wise. Featuring brand new tunes alongside several choice remakes, the band delivers a one 1-2 punch after the other and mixes hard rock power with soulful R&B strut.

"Ready To Ball," "RIP RnR," and "Soulbone" make for a smashing three-way introduction to this disc, leaping out of the gate, one after the other, with a garage rock fury that would make the White Stripes poop their little red and white panties. "Tumblin' Down," "Love and Learn," and "Green Eyed Soul" delves into rootsy Motown for influence but rock nonetheless, often sounding like Van Morison's Them if covered by, well, the Hellacopters! We also get three SRB remakes in the form of "Do It Again," "Electrophonic Tonic," and "Asteroid B-612," which is cool considering how hard the original versions are to come by these days.

Morgan sings his ass off and the band provides much sonic firepower to back up his massive vocal gusto, switching gears effortlessly between kick ass hard rock and smoky soul. It's a potent cocktail for sure and one that fans of this genre would be foolish to pass up on. Not for diehard punk or metal fans, this is a treat best enjoyed by cats who like to rock n' roll and dig the swingin' sounds of the '60s…albeit as pounded through walls of Marshals and a thick curtain of horns and noise.

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