Personnel: Michael Ohlhoff (guitar, bass guitar); Ed Csupkay (fiddle); Andreas Proff (saxophone); Marc Mittelacher (bass guitar, drums); Andy Merck (bass guitar); Efa Schütte (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Jorg Siemer.
Audio Remasterer: Tom Meyer.
Liner Note Author: Marc Mittelacher.
Recording information: Sound Service Bremen.
Photographers: Rumble on the Beach; Marc Mittelacher; Ingrid Maye.
West German retro-rockers give away the game in their very name: they pledge allegiance to the altar of Link Wray, worshipping all the leather jackets, switchblades, and shades that come with it. They also like his power chords and swagger, elements they spike with a bit of bravado borrowed from Eddie Cochran but maybe learned from the Stray Cats, given that the band recorded their first album in the 1985. On Bear Family's 2016 two-fer, Two Legendary Albums: Rumble Rat & Rumble, it's possible to hear their '80s roots via guitars pushed through stompboxes, a bit of a rebel yell styled after Joe Strummer and, especially, through a novelty cover of Prince's "Purple Rain," which revs up at the chorus. Whenever Rumble on the Beach plays it straight: the group never attempts to be anything other than a greasy throwback, placing just a little more emphasis on style than song. This means their originals kind of fall apart -- they're pastiches, one and all -- but the covers aren't bad and the whole thing is mildly entertaining, providing a dose of nostalgia for a dose of nostalgia. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine