Label: Nettwerk Release date: 05/05/09 Website: Tom Allalone Myspace Tom Allalone and The 78s come in with a bang. A smooth hybrid of 50s style big band and down ‘n’ dirty rock ‘n’ roll, Allalone and The 78s have a serious infatuation with the old skool, but done their way. Unfortunately, they don’t do much to bring the styles they obviously draw so much inspiration from dragging, kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Full bodied jive swing, great lyrics such as ‘I need to party like ancient Rome did’, plenty of horns and fantastic retro-yet-clear production go a long way towards making this release a strong contender. However, it’s a sad fact that to tap into the cultural heritage of these sounds, to align oneself with such well-defined genre parameters (the tone, the bluesy melodies, the 12-bar rhythms) is to limit oneself. For every high point, every great solo and sweet riff, comes a compulsion to think of artists that have pioneered these sounds, done them more legitimately and at a more appropriate time. To their credit, what The 78s do very well is punctuate the full on rockabilly with softer, more melodic moments. A more varied instrumentation breaks things up a bit in these tracks, the double bass graduating from ‘wanna-be retro’ to ‘interesting choice’ and ‘great timbre’. Tom Allalone has nailed the retro rockabilly sound impeccably, with songs full of energy, swing, and pomp. Conversely, it’s repetitive, as I often find the majority of rockabilly, uninspired and heavy-handed. If you have a massive greasy quiff, enjoy breaches and grey flannel then this is a fantastic rockabilly hit. If, however, you’re on the lookout for something a little different to the alternative or mainstream, then I’d advise you keep looking for now. Rating: 6/10 MP3: Tom Allalone and The 78s- Crashland Tom Allalone