"Sometimes it can be a daunting task to keep things fresh on an hour long Rockabilly leaning program. Sure there are the classics and lots of new acts that are great but sometimes things can get to sounding the same. Then there are days you get a single like "Vicetown" by Skip Frontz Jr. & his Left Handed Luckies. I was hooked from the opening seconds and it just kept getting better. Rockabilly, Psychobilly, New Orleans Jazz, Punk...and that's just the half of it. If you're looking for something fresh, I can guarantee you that you don't have anything like this in your playlist...yet. Give it some spins and you'll agree it's exactly what you've been missing. You just didn't know how to describe it. It's ok... I still can't describe it other than it's a perfect fit!"
- James Riley, Rockabilly N Blues Radio Hour
"If you like it low down and dirty then head to "Vicetown" where the sounds of Psychobilly meet a mean Mexican Mariachi sound. Not for the faint hearted."
- Morgyn Wiliams, UK Rock and Roll Magazine
"Upon first listening to "Vicetown" it gave me a toe tapping fresh feel for the music. It's got quite a bit of depth to it than just your average rock and roll/ rockabilly sound that's out there right now."
- Loner Troubadour, host of the The Big D Boogie Woogie on KSVG 89.7 FM Savage Radio
"Vicetown" is a heavy-hitting swing track, mechanized by the propulsive explosion of energetic rock and roll, driven by lawless insanity!"
- Urb Thrasher, 420radio.org
"What a great album. Skip takes all the best bits from Jazz, Rhythm n Blues, Rockabilly, swing and a whole lot more. He blends them together and adds his own modern twist.
What this produces is an album with loads of variety, great music and entertainment. This is definitely an album that once you have played it you feel great and the world seems a better place."
- Tony Screti, Slap that Bass Rockabilly, R&B, Album Reviews
"Skip Frontz Jr. & his Left Handed Luckies gave us a sneak peek of their new project, "Vicetown". At the time there was only a single with a B-side (“Vicetown” and “12 Gauge Love Affair”).
Besides the aforementioned single (see the Oct. 21st issue of The Pulse for that review), the album contains eight other tracks, each one a study in rockabilly and blues. Musically, Frontz is a man out of time. He has not only mastered the performance of music from a bygone era, he has mastered the ability to write that music as well, bringing to life fresh, new tunes that are so authentically vintage you can smell the Bakelite as the tubes heat up in the Victrola.
“Asphalt (in My Veins)” is a thigh-slapping, foot-tapping bit of musical energy dedicated to life on the road and the drive so many musicians feel jumping feet-first into a lifestyle that frequently has non-musicians questioning their sanity. Fancy guitar work, beautiful pedal steel and a classic Buddy Holly hiccup in the vocals, the tune is nouveau-retro.
“We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)” is as smooth as southern sippin’ liquor, a laid-back bit of music with classically lazy horns, a gently strummed guitar and vocals that just slip on out. Frontz is an excellent lyricist. Other writers don’t say half as much with twice as many words.
“The Axeman (of New Orleans)” which features the always beloved 9th Street Stompers is the happiest, hottest tune about a homicidal maniac you’re likely to hear all month. Light, frenetic, and tight, the song showcases the instrumental virtuosity of the players and the lovely background vocals are a pleasant addition and a bit of texture I’d like to hear more of in the future.
“Wormwood” is the band’s answer to, “Hey, you got any Gypsy music?” The instrumental piece (an homage to absinthe perhaps?) features an interplay between violin and guitar that may as well be a duet between lovers. Polyrhythmic and sensual, it adds a nice flavor to the mix of the album and is undoubtedly on Gomez and Morticia’s playlist.
“One Dime at a Time” is everything good about rockabilly; shuffling drums, bouncing bass, lead guitar to die for and verses that make us wonder when in the hell Frontz stops to breathe. There’s definitely some Johnny Cash in the flavor of this tune. “Dustbowl” is a similar, but decidedly jazzier, sort of tune properly themed to the era.
“Chain Gang Boogie” is where you go if you want to see the moment where “not yet rock and roll” became rock and roll. It’s the sort of song that would be equally at home with Ray Charles, Elvis, Brian Setzer or Jerry Garcia.
“Black Widow Stomp” is the last song to talk about on the album. Admittedly one of my favorite tracks, it is a very slight departure in as much as the guitar work is marvelously fuzzed up in a Tex-Mex style that plays well with Frontz’s low-key, slightly dangerous sounding vocals.
The point has already been made once, the album is eleventh months overdue, but the takeaway from this collection of music is that Frontz & his Left Handed Luckies are perfectionists and the extra time was time well spent. It’s hard to know if they captured precisely what they meant to, but I have to think so, and either way they’ve undeniably captured a bit of lightning in a bottle.
The album is flawless, exceptional and available November 22nd at a show near you or via skipfrontzjr.com
by Marc Michael
November 2, 2016
© 2015 Viper House LLC