The Wheels ‘Road Block’ (Big Beat/Ace Records)
If you areseeking high energy, mid-1960s, maximum R&B /rock ”Ën’ roll action, look no further than ‘Road Block’ by The Wheels, a great CD of the band’s complete recordings, covering the years 1965-1966, which is thankfully also available on beautiful vinyl.
Of course, record is the optimumway to listen to The Wheels no holds bard sonic attack, featuring two lead singers; the searing harmonica, guitar and crazed, soulful vocals of Rod Demick and the impassioned vocals and wailing keyboards of shaven headed Brian Rossi (the man looks uncannily like the late High Priest of The Church of Satan, Anton LaVey). Ace’s Big Beat label Wheels collection comprises the A and B-sides of their three singles, together with their equally abandoned remaining sessions that they cut at Regent Sound. The high quality, totally convincing period design of the Road Block album package makes up for the fact that the band did not release an LP at the time.
The driving and abandoned ”ËRoad Block’ and ”ËBad Little Woman’ by The Wheels are solid gold 1960s garage punk classics;their frenzied sounds familiar to aficionados of the American “Pebbles”Â series of compilation albums.US garage band deitiesThe Shadows Of Knightwould cover the band’s ”ËBad Little Woman’ composition, but The Wheels were not Americans; they were from Northern Ireland. Blasting out of Belfast’s Maritime Hotel (which contained an R&B scene on a par with the Newcastle’s Club A’GoGo and the Crawdaddy in Richmond, which sired The Rolling Stones), where they shared the stage with friend Van Morrison and his similarly R&B obsessed Them, The Wheels forged their own blitzkrieg beat with covers of Bo Diddley’s ”ËMona (I Need You Baby)’, Paul Revere & the Raiders’ ”ËKicks’, Jimmy Reed’s blues ”ËYou Got Me Dizzy’, a suitably propulsive, white heat version of John Lee Hooker’s ”ËI’m Leaving’ and, ironically,Them’s anthemic ”ËGloria.’
The Wheels never hit the big time, Them had cornered the R&B market and big changes were happening in music, but the tracks that comprise Road Block are a fitting testimony to the band’s raw power. The Wheels continue to roll, forty-five years on.
1. Road Block
2. I m Leaving
3. Bad Little Woman
4. Send Me Your Pillow
5. Don t You Know
6. Call My Name
8. Tell Me (I m Gonna Love Again)
9. You Got Me Dizzy
11. Mona (I Need You Baby)
12. Bad Little Woman (US Version)