This young, stylish London trio (plus a drummer) dropped out of the spotlight after releasing Polecats Are Go!, a gem of a rockabilly revival album. Producer Dave Edmunds applies the same polish he brought to the Stray Cats, and these ‘Cats truly sparkle. Piano, saxophone and careful vocal harmonies ice the usual neo-rockabilly cake of trebly guitars, acoustic bass and driving drums. A bizarrely conceived stab at David Bowie’s “John, I’m Only Dancing” doesn’t quite come off; otherwise, this mix of oldies and originals parties like crazy.
The Polecats’ American label passed on releasing the band’s original LP, and instead patched together a seven-cut disc from singles (the glossy title track, a version of T. Rex’s “Jeepster” and the aforementioned Bowie tune) and album tracks.
The original trio (plus a different drummer) reaffirmed its continued retro-rock existence in 1989 with a live mini-album (seven okay cuts, including “Blue Jean Bop” and “Rock Billy Boogie”) and a new studio set. Despite a garish cartoon cover which reflects the development of a garage-trash/rock’n’roll side, the snappy rockabilly cuts on Won’t Die are even more traditional than the group’s initial pop efforts. (No more glam-rock covers: the handful of old tunes here are strictly Eddie Cochran et al.) The revival fad may have ended, but the Polecats rock on.