Rereleased on 10” Vinyl is hard to believe that this was four-track EP first released 23 years ago back in 1996 but as a 7” on Fury. That was four years after the reformation of the trio with Gary Day but that line-up had already disbanded, this was #1 back with original bassist Steve Whitehouse (Mark Broome of The Lost Souls was to have joined but #3 didn’t get past the promo photo stage). This sees the band in top (hat) form with the title track seemingly an exercise in Steve Whitehouse determined to out speed slap his predecessor Gaz on bass, the jury is out in if he did or not but it makes for great listening. Alan Wilson’s lyrics are as always, smile inducing, full on psychobilly illustrating that whoever was on bass they were an amazing trio.
‘Rockin’ At The Lost & Found’
The album that sprang to mind as I listened to this compilation for the first time was the classic ‘Home Grown Rockabilly’ released back in the early 1980’s on Alligator Records and later on Nervous. That was largely recorded in that twilight zone, rockabilly with a distinctive edge before psychobilly reared its head. The biggest surprise is how a lot of this hasn’t had a proper release before this. There are 25 excellent tracks with some cracking moments, stand outs for me, Howlin’ Wilson’s ‘The Gibberish Man’ and Billy Oxley’s ‘Lonely Moon’ from a no filler compilation.
‘Just A Bad Dream’
Cherry Red have been bringing out a whole slew of excellent compilation 1980’s boxsets in the past year, though none have really fallen into our bracket, until now. This three x CD set includes a lot of names readers of these reviews will know, X-Men, The Vibes, Tall Boys, etc as well as the more obscure. It covers the period when the garage, trash and psychobilly scenes edges were blurred and to be fair still are. A lot of long-term collectors will have many of these on various compilations or on vinyl but to have them in one place with comprehensive sleeve notes in an extensive booklet is a real treat with something new for pretty much everyone to discover.
‘No Words Necessary’
Instrumental albums are often lamented and certainly have reviewers scratching their heads looking for the right words to describe music with none. There was no such difficulty with this one, 25 tracks each with an individuality though ‘The Flames’ multiple appearance making it 21 individual artists. The music runs the gamut from country rockabilly to crazy psychobilly as you’d expect from bands on the Western Star roster, there are even a few words too. The only negative, being an anorak is that the lack of sleeve notes made it a little frustrating when wishing to know who the creators of such excellent music were, The Flames being one example.
Readers of a certain age will remember when the Wild West at least those that watched the TV, there was a ‘Western’ on the box almost every day. These days all things ‘Western’ is out of fashion. This album shows what a shame that is. Don’t be fooled by the angelic looks of Ms Vista, mess with her and she’ll come for you. Beautifully sung dark tales of bad deeds and retribution either to the strains of a Mariachi western funeral march or a jumping rockabilly jaunt and all in between, it’s all going to get you, the best bit is you’ll be glad, if anyone asks, Dark Western did it.