Brian Setzer : Gotta Have The Rumble Review
By Griff Stevens
Brian Setzer releases his first solo album in seven years via Surfdog Records called Gotta Have The Rumble. The album contains eleven songs, all written or co-written by Setzer, produced by Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell and Cheap Trick), and recorded in Minneapolis (Setzer’s adopted hometown) and Nashville. Setzer is on fire from start to finish—keeping his American music amped up to 10–with songs that are full of enthusiasm and swagger. “Obviously, it’s a reference to my motorcycles and hot rods, something that hasn’t changed since I was 15 years old,” says Setzer about the album title Gotta Have The Rumble. “I still have the same passion for going fast and adrenaline. But it’s also about my hearing problem with tinnitus–the ringing of the ear. It was pretty bad, and I realized that I couldn’t play the way I wanted to. As I recovered, standing in front of a small amplifier just didn’t cut it. The sound from my big amp makes the guitar rumble. Which is a big part of my sound. I was really despondent for a while because I thought I wouldn’t be able to do that again. So, ‘Gotta Have The Rumble’ refers to both of those things.”
“Checkered Flag” begins the set with an energetic rockin’ selection that is filled with Setzer’s trademark clean, delayed guitar and walking bass. The song brings in elements of blues and 50’s rock-n-roll. The chorus is a catchy figure that will stick to the mind for hours. Setzer still has a classic and timeless appeal and “Checkered Flag” is a fine song with all the classic Setzer sounds.
“Stack My Money” is a fun shuffle with a lot of Setzer’s superb guitar playing throughout. The call and response of the chorus adds character and an energetic atmosphere. However, the effortless touch with which Setzer unfurls stellar guitar lines and his unique singing is what makes the cut. His tasteful riffing imbues earthy blues and rock-n-roll and is always filled with elegant elements that add to the performance. Setzer’s guitar has a distinct sound and creates the perfect atmosphere.
Gotta Have The Rumble shows that Setzer still has his charisma and rumble emanating from his fretboard, and his singing is individual and gives an added rumble to all eleven tracks. The album has a consistent rock-n-roll concept that Setzer is known for. The acoustic and electric textures mix to provide a progression that sounds timeless and comes across as authentic. Inevitably, Gotta Have The Rumble is a captivating listening experience. Most if not all music lovers, particularly guitar players, will no doubt want to begin diving deep into the rumble.
Label: Surfdog / Mascot Label Group
Release Date: August 27, 2021