Now that the '90s are over, will the retro-trend -- the one that gave back to that decade everything from swing to disco -- fade away? While it might hurt Rocket 88's bank account if this were the case, the veteran quartet's devotion to the past seems so pure that it will keep its audience regardless of pop culture's fickle nature. "Rockin at Midnight!" offers mostly cover songs (one original) of a diverse selection of '50s rockabilly greats. Whether it's Carl Perkins' rootsy "Match-box," Louis Jordan's loungy ode to booze "Whiskey Do Your Stuff" or the jump-blues of "Diamond Lane," they all work.
Everything from production values to attire is designed for maximum retro-fetish appeal. It's admirable that Rocket 88 makes no attempt to update its style for a contemporary audience. And Chuck Zayas, his first time out as vocalist, sounds a bit like Lyle Lovett -- and it doesn't get more authentically retro-rific than that.