I thought I’d start posting published and unpublished reviews I’ve written for various publications here. I’ll do six at a time for ease of sharing but not so many that it’s a scrolling nightmare. Please feel free to share and comment. Anyone who wishes to send me their stuff to review please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
THE EPILEPTIC HILLBILLYS
‘Atomic – It’s The Bomb’
The band that keep coming back better and better. This is on sludge green 10” vinyl and part of the on-going series. The six tracks kick off with ‘Men From Mars’ and to give you an idea on how fast it is I found myself checking I’d not got the play speed on 45rpm instead of 33rpm! The three tracks on side one are real bass thumping Sci-Fi themed stompers with fun lyrics and out of this world guitar, this is supercharged psycho-rockabilly. Flipping it over and the tempo or pounding doesn’t let up but lyrically things get a little more terrestrial with ‘Turning My Back On You’ dealing with the uncertainties of failing relationships showing that the Hillbillys have hearts as well as immense talent. Anyone who has the band’s previous output will know that when I suggest this album is their best yet, it’s praise indeed.
‘Inshallah’ means ‘God Willing’ in Arabic, there’s the educational bit of this review. The rest of the review is all about the great time you are going to have listening to this album. It’s a real fun stompathon from the frogs who not only sing about ecclesiastical issues as in the title but include theft (there’s a 60’s feel to that one), dissection, orgasms and ginger boys. This is fast and furious chock full of the slapping bass, helium guitar and frantic lyrics that ensure a good time will be had by all. A winning album for all batrachophile psychobillies out there.
The Vibes only existed from 1984 ‘till 1986 but made a mark in that decade’s thriving trash scene. Such a mark that they are a name still worthy of getting fans of the ilk misty-eyed at the mention of their moniker. It’s a 13 track live show recorded on May 31st 1985 warts and all with no overdubs or tidying up. One of the highlights for me was prior to belting out Hasil Adkins’ ‘In My Head’ it transpired via an on-stage announcement that the late great man was in the audience which is pretty damn cool.
‘Z2 – Rampage’
This is an album that really could launch The Zipheads out there into the big wide musical world where they belong. It rocks, and it stomps hard. 15 tracks that with guitars cranked to the max rock all over the psychobilly roots that are undoubtable still there. Ranging from ‘No 2 Ways..’ which is fast and furious warp-speed psycho blur all done in just over a minute to ‘Damned’ a bluesy ode to modern life nudging five. This is a lyrically intelligent, well-crafted that could break out ensuring St Albans boys The Zipheads have a bright future.
‘No Way In, No Way Out’
The Shockwaves have just released their debut album 29 years after recording it then vanishing soon after not seeing the light of day until now. In the finest traditions of four guys who wanted to form a band and weren’t going to let their musical ineptness stop them, they latched onto easy to emulate punk, trash, rockabilly etc. Let loose in a Croydon studio in December 1987 they came up with what’s described in the sleeve-notes as a ‘raucous racket’. It’s actually far better than that ‘20:20’ being a stand-out track.
NORM AND THE NIGHTMAREZ
Putting this psychobilly album in rockabilly context this harks back to Elvis, Scotty and Bill belting out ‘That’s Alright’. Fitting then that all three get a mention in the opening track. This is psychobilly as it was back in the primordial soup of 1980, very much still rockabilly with a psycho edge. That to me is a guitar sound that wouldn’t sit well with the purists here and a twisted lyric there all mangled with a certain attitude. This is back to the basics and doesn’t it sound refreshing – I know someone has coined the phrase I’m after but this is psychobilly free from extraneous matter and it’s superb.
ALL OF THE REVIEWS ABOVE WERE PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED IN UK ROCK N ROLL MAGAZINE PLEASE SUPPORT THE MAGAZINE THAT SUPPORTS ME.