You just can't keep good gorillas down.

You just can't keep good gorillas down. Mighty Joe Young had several hits, King Kong keeps coming back, and now, THE GAS HOUSE GORRILAS have returned. Unlike those former famous gorillas, whose first hits were their best, "FIVE GORILLAS WALK INTO A BAR......", the latest release by THE GAS HOUSE GORILLAS, which features many new band originals - is as excellent as their first.
The five, gorillas for whom this discs title refers to, are: RICK FINK on vocals, CRUSHER CARMEAN on bass, TIM VEEDER on tenor sax, HIRO SUZUKI on guitar, and DAN HICKEY on drums. Now let's go listen.

It's no wonder that "ALL SHE WANTS TO DO IS ROCK", it's probably because she's listening to this track. However, the Gorillas may have something else in mind when they say "She wants to rock and roll all night long". This hot rocker features fabulous vocals by Rick, with alternating heat being provided by TIM and HIRO on sax and guitar. Meanwhile, the rhythm Gorillas are furiously fanning the fire.

While RICK is asking "WHERE DID HARLEM GO?", the band seems to have musically found it. This short, swinging, one and a half minute track - featuring some great scat by RICK, is very reminiscent of the era when Harlem, NY, was one of the city's hot spots.

The Gorillas do a great job on "KIDNEY STEW", a cover of a song made popular by one of my early blues influences, EDDIE "CLEANHEAD" VINSON. This one features the band tightly locked into a smooth groove throughout the track.

"MEMORIES OF YOU" is one of those tracks that, just after the first few beats, has the slow dancers taking their partners by the hand and leading them to the dance floor. This one brought back great memories of some of the classic songs of early rock and roll. This is the kind of stuff that most of us blues fans grew up listening to and THE GAS HOUSE GORILLAS make it sound as good now, as it did back then. Great vocals by RICK on this one.

"NINE LIVES" is what you might need if you listen to this track while driving. Calling this one an all out jam would be an understatement. If an all out jam were equal to driving on I-95 at a pretty fast speed of 85, "NINE LIVES" is the vehicle that just blew by you making it look like you were standing still. Now you got the picture? This track may very well be the wild and frantic cousin of a song by The Boss - "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" could have easily been called "Tenth Avenue, Freak-Out".

"SWING THAT THING", as with several other tracks, is one of those short numbers that I could have easily taken a lot more of. Of course, by hitting replay I did, but this should have been at least double in length. Once again, the Gorillas are all in a smooth groove on this swinging shuffle featuring more great sax and guitar leads.

Some of the discs best rhythm, guitar and sax work can be heard on "NOBODY'S FOOL". CRUSHER, DAN & HIRO are all on the mark and TIM is easily at discs best, as he makes the tenor sax alternately sound like it's a baritone and an alto. Great stuff.


Not only have I had the pleasure of reviewing both of THE GAS HOUSE GORILLAS CD'S, but about two years ago, at the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival, I also had the pleasure of being blown away by their live act. I highly recommend you check out the band at - and make sure you tell them the Blewzzman's responsible for your visit.

Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro - (Mar 30, 2008)