Home Read Albums Of The Week: Trading Aces | Rock ’N’ Roll Homicide

Albums Of The Week: Trading Aces | Rock ’N’ Roll Homicide

The riff-rock supergroup pull out all the stops on their outrageous debut album.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Obsessed with fast cars, hard drinkin’, breakin’ laws and breakin’ hearts, Trading Aces are a four-piece band of rock ‘n’ roll outlaws with a blood-and-beer-soaked debut album.

Comprised of musicians spanning three different countries, Trading Aces met during the pandemic, hustlin’ music to survive while the world froze. Featuring members of Warrior Soul, Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs and The City Kids, the band’s sound is a mix of hard rock, punk, and old school heavy metal, laced with plenty of catchy pop hooks. Think Wildhearts meets Social Distortion. Think Cheap Trick meets Judas Priest. Think AC/DC meets Hanoi Rocks. These sounds are spilling over with volume, attitude, and thrills on Rock ’N’ Roll Homicide. And it only took the end of the world to get the ball rolling.

“When the pandemic hit, I got laid off from work and The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs went on hiatus, so reached out to Kory Clarke from Warrior Soul about writing some songs,” recalls singer-guitarist Frank Meyer. “Turns out, they were about to start recording the all-covers album Cocaine and Other Good Stuff, so I ended up signing backing vocals and playing keyboards on that. Dennis Post plays guitar in Warrior Soul, so we met there, and soon I was doing session work with his Leeds-based band The City Kids. Since then, we have made tons of music together and have been really prolific.”

But it was the sudden death of a rock icon that inspired the two shredders to really dig into their collaborative spirit. “In October of 2020, Frank reached out to me after Eddie Van Halen passed away. We were all devastated,” says Post. “He suggested we gather up some mates and record a Van Halen cover song in tribute to raise money for his favorite charity Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, so I called up Ivan Tambac from Warrior Soul and my longtime collaborator Bjarne Paamand Olsen and we all recorded a rippin’ version of In A Simple Rhyme remotely. That was the birth of Trading Aces, really.”

Soon Post and Meyer started hammering out song ideas and recording demos, and Trading Aces’ 12-song Rock ’N’ Roll Homicide was on its way, with the band self-producing their tracks remotely. Soon, together — yet thousands of miles apart — Trading Aces made their cocksure debut album.

With anthemic punky fist-pumpers like Hello Hangover and California Scheming alongside Rolling Stones-meets-KISS boogie numbers Ain’t It A Bitch and Social Disease, plus headbangers like Napalm Bombs and the title track, Rock ’N’ Roll Homicide is a earworm tour de force of riffs, hooks and strut. Beautiful Sunday is chock full of pop hooks that would make The Fab Four proud, yet lyrics about pizza and B-movies to keep the stoners a-tokin’. Destination Insane and F.A.B. could be leftovers from Guns N’ RosesAppetite For Destruction, and the band’s cover of Frank Zappa’s Dirty Love sounds like Fu Manchu and Funkadelic met in a barfight, but took mushrooms instead!

“Dennis came in with these straightahead riffs, and then Frank would add of these wild lyrics and cool harmonies, and before long we had some really strong material worked up,” Tambac enthuses. “My job was to glue it all together, to keep a solid beat that pushes it along, yet add character and details.”

“That’s when it started to get really off the wall,” laughs Olsen, “Suddenly we were doing a Zappa cover, we brought in Paul Roessler (The Screamers, 45 Grave, Nina Hagen) on piano, a backing singer popped in the mix, a horn section got added to a few tunes, and the thing really came to life. This went from a few demos getting passed around to an absolute monster of an album quickly!”