By Barry Gilbert
St. Louis Post-Dispatch


April 14, 2005

"High Life High Volume"
Yep Roc

Bet you can't play this just once.

Less referential and reverential than the Australian retro band Jet or Chicago Beatle-worshipers the Redwalls, Atlanta's Forty-Fives leave their sweat on the garage floor in a set that covers some of the same territory but is infused with their own style.

Where Jet and the Redwalls fashion a guitar attack and stop there, the Forty-Fives' third CD adds knockout keyboard work by Trey Tidwell, harmonica and horns to three-chord rockers that conjure up the entire British Invasion, especially the Kinks, the Who and, yes, the Dave Clark Five, and America's garage heroes, notably Detroit's MC5, Boston's Remains and a touch of Young Rascals.

The cover art -- a young woman in a plaid mini and high boots carrying a portable 8-track player -- and the title "High Life High Volume" signal what's in store. "Who Do You Think You Are" kicks off the CD with hooky guitars, organ fills and some sludgy sax holding up the floor.

And it's a race from there, with "Go Ahead and Shout," "Bad Reputation" and "Superpill" leading into the instrumental "Backstage at Juanita's," featuring a fine sax solo by Jordan Shaloup and organ by Tidwell.

The soulful ballad "Too Many Miles" changes gears, and the album's one cover, a killer take on Otis Blackwell's "Daddy Rolling Stone," inspired by the Who's 1965 B-side, adds a B52's flair with the backing vocals of Deanne Iovan.

Drummer Adam Renshaw and bassist Mark McMurtry keep the pedal to the floor, and singer-guitarist Bryan G. Malone rides gleefully over the top.

One more thing: great hand claps.