In twenty words Get Rough with It! is an acoustic blues rock tribute to an eclectic mix of contemporary jazz and blues standards in the key of rockabilly. These giddy high-energy cover tunes are the kind of thing you whip out on a camping trip, but only if the camp fire is a raging bonfire and you remembered to pack your drum kit and bass.
The high quality of the recording is amazing for a self-recorded and produced album, for any album for that matter. With the right headphones (which generally aren’t the $2 shop variety) you could be sitting at Annie and Martin’s place with Brent, the Mr S himself, and the Thames blues band The Machine Guns. Put this on loud pre-gig and you’ve already got yourself an opening band.
The stand out track is a cover of ‘Do It!’ by Brent’s own band, Hangman. Musically it’s a fusion of Primus’ ‘Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,’ moments of Agent’s ‘Hiatus’ (and by extension the band Tool) and bit of pre-‘Bucket’ era Kings of Leon’s new country feel.
The album on whole is a jocund affair; a by-product of the general frivolity present in the contemporary neo-blues of the free world. After a celebratory nod to Johnny Cash’s ‘Big River’ you’ll find the happiest rendition of Gershwin’s classic ‘Summertime’ ever played by human kind. The laughter at the end of ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ and clear uplifting tone of the fast paced guitar strum celebrates the present life instead of pining away in the memory of the old one; a stark contrast to the melancholic Delta blues of old, where the voices dripped and the guitars growled, still heavy with the memory of a hundred years of American slavery and apartheid.
To conclude the album we have the rocky ‘Greatest Lover’ a song you can sing along to without knowing the words. You’ll be humming the chorus “I want to be your Greatest Lover” for hours afterwards, sometimes even belting it out when no one is around, but never getting a strange look when you’re caught because your flat mate will be humming it too.