The Trip Daddys have become a St. Louis institution as they've evolved into the city's premier rockabilly outfit. However, this iconic status has as much to do with the band's fifteen-year career as it does with singer/guitarist Craig Straubinger's unwavering devotion to slick, twangy and reverb-heavy guitar licks — in other words, an ageless style that mixes easily with the Daddys' fusion of rock, country and punk. The trio has gone through a slight reboot with Roll On!, as a new rhythm section (Ded Bugs drummer Dennis Williams and Sex Robots bassist Tracey Morrissey) contributes punkish backbeats to its ten tracks. Still, the new guys fit right in, starting with first song "Dressed in Black," whose to-the-floor urgency stems from a shot of low, rumbling drums and Straubinger's self-assured vocals. Roll features three cover songs (including a pitch-perfect version of the Greg Kihn Band's "The Breakup Song"), but its originals strike a neat balance between '50s- and '60s-era song structures and a smirking lyrical tone. To wit: "The East Side," which is certainly one of the best songs to be written about the glories of strip clubs in Sauget, Illinois, shuffles along with the sweetness of a country rocker. But in the end, Roll On! is an apt title for the Trip Daddys' latest album: The group shows no signs of slowing down and sees little reason to tinker with its tried-and-true methods — making it unsurprising that it still sounds pretty fine after all these years.
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