THE DOUGHBOYS — Hot Beat Stew

Album: Hot Beat Stew

Artist: Doughboys

Label: Ram

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Doughboys 4-12

www.thedoughboysnj.com

BY LEE ZIMMERMAN

What began as a special surprise gathering of former childhood pals and a one-off reunion of the band they started in the sixties quickly evolved into a mostly full time preoccupation that’s already yielded four albums, ongoing gigs, and a literally life all its own. Everyone’s aged, but the thing that hasn’t changed at all is their seminal sound and style, which remains a basic infusion of garage band racket rife with early British Invasion influences. The fact that the new album should boast a version of that old chestnut “Tears of a Clown” offers a broad hint about their MO, but it’s their ability to craft songs that frequently sound like only a minimal variation of the original template is the thing that sets them apart.

Or not. If this was 1965, it would be hard to distinguish them from any band residing on the far side of the Thames. Songs such as “Shake It Loose,” “You Can’t Catch Me,” and “For Your Love” capture the sound of the ‘60s so precisely, the not so coincidental song titles scarcely even matter. Singer Myke Scavone sounds like a cross between Mick Jagger, Manfred Mann frontman Paul Jones and the Yardbirds’ Keith Relf, and even when the band refrains from their usual strut and shuffle on the “Ruby Tuesday” clone called “Soho Girl,” one would swear Mick n’ Keef were manipulating the action from behind the scenes. That’s a complement of course, assuming that the Dough Boys’ true intention is to actually sound as derivative as they do.

There’s no heady stuff here beyond the stomp and swagger, only a bombastic fusion of rock ‘n’ roll and R&B created with the same spirit and dedication as their forebears. It’s a damn good racket that ensures no heavy lifting is required.

DOWNLOAD: “Shake It Loose,” “You Can’t Catch Me,” “For Your Love”

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