Bughouse 5 Bull Mercury

Bands with a true grasp of classic rock (I'm talking the '50s here) seem few and far between these days. It's not really surprising, since who really has the patience to learn how play their instruments that well? And besides, bands like the Blasters already revived that stuff in the '80s. Well, don't tell that to Vancouver's Bughouse 5 (there's actually only four of them), who seem fuelled by both the original fire of the music as well as the immediate post-punk after burn. And before you get the idea that they're a bunch of neo-rockabilly cats, check out the pure twang on "It's Not Too Late" and the Bo Diddley via Springsteen exercise "September's Chill." In fact, B5 move easily between several genres, mostly through guitarist Scott Smith, who displays a fine tone and deftness at slide and pedal steel guitar. If there's any fault to be found, it's that the songs (all originals) often never quite live up to the established standards that the band are striving for. But then again, it's only rock'n'roll, and you'll probably like it. (Independent)