So this is the fifth album from BROKEN TEETH, eh? Apparently, I've been out of the loop with regard to Jason McMaster's (DANGEROUS TOYS, IGNITOR) high-voltage rock 'n roll outfit that was formed in 1999 with former members of DANGEROUS TOYS, DIRTY LOOKS, and PARIAH. If nothing else, the one thing about "Viva La Rock, Fantastico!" that is an uncontestable certainty is that it is a far more suitable vehicle for McMaster's wild 'n wooly, whisky-burn vocals than is the case with IGNITOR, that's for damn sure. Even better is that it is destined to be one of the year's best in the category of ass-kickin' hard rock.
That McMaster can tear up a mic when the down n' dirty is involved will surprise no one. The upshot is that "Viva La Rock, Fantastico!" benefits from much more than Jason's immaculate performance. Collectively, the 13-track offering is a damn definitive representation of balls out, AC/DC-inspired, American rock 'n roll. You can throw out any number of names for comparison purposes, including NASHVILLE PUSSY, AIRBOURNE and THE FOUR HORSEMEN, all of which are relevant for one reason or another, but a large part of the electrifying energy and rousing songwriting harkens back to the Bon Scott era of AC/DC, albeit with a cruisin' and boozin' American hard rock bent. The not-so-secret secret of this unquestionably unoriginal (about which nobody should give two shits) and unashamedly loud 'n proud album is the mix of propulsive bass/drum back-beat, rubbed-raw riffing, screaming Angus-esque solos, and choruses that are easily-grasped and shout-worthy. I mean really now, if you can't get your fire lit with quick and catchy hotshots like "Twister", "Dressin' Up in Flames", "Exploder", "Back on the Road", and "Spitting Nails", then a trip to the doctor is in order because of the distinct possibility that you are without a pulse. While the bulk of the material consists of up-tempo barroom brawlers, an album highlight, all around-around great song, and prime example of Australian amplified groove is heard on the sleazy and bass-driven "Break the Spell". Finally, guest vocal contributions from Danko Jones on the title track and "Big Spender" add contrasting flavor.
Album number five hasn't a thing to do with surprises, with the possible exception of it being so goddamn much fun. Resounding, raucous and hotter than hell, "Viva La Rock, Fantastico!" proves that there are still bands left out there that not only get it, but that also are capable of knocking it out of the park, as BROKEN TEETH have so ably demonstrated here.