The Regulators - 1998 Bar And Grill

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited March 23 in year-1998

ARTIST: The Regulators
ALBUM: Bar And Grill
LABEL: Southbound Records
SERIAL: SBR 22212-5
YEAR: 1998

LINEUP: Ronnie Farrell - lead vocals, rhythm guitars * Gary Jeffries - lead vocals, rhythm guitars * Johnny Barnes - guitars * Johnny Travers - guitars * Randy Smith - bass, backing vocals * Chris Turbis - piano, hammond organ, backing vocals * Chuck Radek - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Breakin' Out * 02 Money, Pride & Greed * 03 Eatin' Crow * 04 The Real Deal * 05 Burn Them Bridges Down * 06 The Fire * 07 Maple Leaf Rag (Instr) * 08 My Bags Are Packed * 09 Above The Law * 10 Lies * 11 Sweet Sustain



It's been a while, but one of our regulars Dave Shaw has long been on my back to review this 1998 album from Los Angeles South Bay band The Regulators. Listening to these guys, it's not hard to imagine that they sound 'displaced', living in L.A where they probably should set up shop in Macon, Georgia or Jacksonville Florida, given their hard rockin' southern stance.

The band itself is a by-product of the late 80's, and actually signed a deal with Polygram, which unfortunately went all pear-shaped when one of the key personnel of the band - Jimmy Smith, was shot. His death meant that the first Regulators album was held up indefinitely. Undeterred but still shaken by events, they finally released their first album in 1992 for Polydor.

Well known through the biker community and the South Bay area of L.A, it would be another six years before the band would reappear with a new album: 'Bar & Grill'. Sure, the southern instincts are apparent, but so too are a few Californian traits that keeps this album a bit more balanced.

The Songs

The Regulators plow straight into it with 'Breakin' Out', with coarse vocals a la Danny Joe Brown, and steamin' guitar riffs. 'Money Pride & Greed' moves along at a good clip, and has all the hallmarks of smooth Texan blues rock.

The strangely titled 'Eatin' Crow' might have you bawking at the sight of KFC on your dinner plate, but this song is quite melodic and commercial - surprisingly so. 'The Real Deal' bashes out the barroom boogie with absolute abandon, similarly 'Burn Them Bridges Down' also has a tip-tappy piano feel, though the guitars are beefed up like a yard full of Texas heifers!

'The Fire' moves things into stoner territory, but remarkably taking a trailer load of melody for the ride. I liked the Friday night rock n roll of 'My Bags Are Packed' too, good hearty stuff, 'Above The Law' is a grinding rocker, all about the 'boys in blue' as you can imagine.

'Lies' is a track that brings together the southern influences along with that stoner sound heard earlier. The 7 minute 50 closer 'Sweet Sustain' is part ballad part rocker. Somewhere between Guns N Roses and The Allmans with a light dose of hair metal thrown in for good measure. Make sense? Have a listen in any case.

In Summary

The band has since released one other album beyond this called 'Above The Law' which is essentially this same album, with one changed track ('Maple Leaf Rag' for 'Leadfoot') plus a remixing job to boot. It was released by the Swedish label Record Heaven.

Not long ago, the band made available a series of tracks from their 1992 Polydor sessions (the ones that weren't released), and put them out under a collection called 'Got Smith & Wesson?', the name derived from their earlier band name, but the tracks are only available via download.

It seems all quiet on the horizon with The Regulators, but I believe they are still in operation, judging from their web presence. Thank you to David Shaw for all the nagging.

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