I thought I’d start posting published and unpublished reviews I’ve written for various publications here.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
JACK RABBIT SLIM
This another in the 10” coloured vinyl series from Alan Wilson’s Western Star label, the ideal format to showcase the latest offerings from one of the roster jewels. They let loose sex, sorry six, tracks, five self-penned by founder and stalwart front-man Bob Butfoy and an instrumental ‘Gotham’ where the entire band get the credit. The latter is a powerful rocker with some exemplary slap bass from new kid on the block Nico Sc’erri and a masterfully rocking guitar solo from Paul Gaskin. It’s Gaskin that gives the mini-album its texture, Butfoy’s distinctive voice and lyrics ensure that the JRS identity is instantly recognisable but opening track ‘Next Time’ is unashamedly a tribute to Johnny Burnette and the Rock N Roll Trio. For years we all thought that it was Paul Burlison’s guitar sound he’s mastering but now we know it’s Grady Martin’s big shoes, and they’re admirably filled. The cover for the album is a recreation of the classic Coral Rock N Roll Trio 10” at least we know all the personnel in the photo are the band in these grooves!
Next up it’s the sound of Gene Vincent, or rather the guitar in the uncanny style of Cliff Gallup on ‘Run What You Brung’, he’s cracked it, as have the band complete with Dickie Be Bop screams. It’s all very well to emulate the greats but it’s nice to kick into some Sleeze-A-Billy and close side one with ‘XXX’ which is eased down a notch and infused with the blues as Butfoy goes into seduction mode, his ardour only temporally tempered by a slicing Gaskin solo.
Time to flip it over and it’s Nico Sc’erri responsible for the harmonica that keeps the blues infusion mainline with ‘The Devil Made You’ which kicks off side two. The guitar hook had me tearing my hair out, where have I heard it before, probably looking too much into the obvious influences on side one. Of course I’ve heard it before, somewhere, it’s a classic blues lick that’s been interpreted in many ways over the last six, seven or even eight decades and it works again with this track massaging the vocal and bouncing off the harp. The penultimate ‘Blood, Sweat ‘n’ Fears’ is the hardest rocking of the vocal tracks on the record. A real neo-rockabilly stomper taking no prisoners where the joys of being ‘in with the out crowd’ are championed in a breathless frantic workout. Each and every member of the band let it really rip for an exhilarating one and a half minutes. Trust me that will be plenty for all but the fittest boppers. That brings us full circle to the end and Gotham, by no means a filler but an aural defibrillator to kick those knackered dancers back into gear. This is yet another in a long series of releases which prove without question why Jack Rabbit Slim are at the top of any stack-o-records.
DENVIR JET AND THE SHOCKWAVES
‘The Raw Sound Of’
This is a really is a treat, Denvir Jet the ‘Prince Of Rock N Roll Guitar’ really shows off his talents with this 10-tracker, a mixture of covers and instrumentals. The cover versions are hardly imaginative in choice, ‘Rockin’ Daddy’ ‘Brand New Cadillac’ to name two, but he makes them his own with his surf twang. It’s the instrumentals that really hit the spot, ‘Malaguena’ kicks things off tougher than tough but the jewel in the crown is ‘Gizzard’ named after the studio it was recorded in. Tank echo like a canyon, tremendous stuff.
‘Songs For Hope About Despair’
This is a delightfully sleazy album of rock n roll noir from a collective of rocking talent including Gaz Day. It’s a record that oozes atmosphere with plenty of horn, rolling piano and searing guitar all encapsulating some dark lyrics. It’s almost a two part listen, part one is a collection of songs about love, life and death then the sombre ‘London Is Dead’ complete with construction work samples kick us headlong into the theme, the desolation felt as the heart is torn out of London’s live music scene. It’s a depressing topic but a far from sombre album, it rocks.
The eponymous debut from Cologne’s Minestompers is certainly explosive from the start. This is hard-hitting psychobilly which has all you’d expect and more. Jungle drums and rapid guitar are accompanied by bass guitar which is actually quite refreshing. The lyrical content certainly scrapes the barrel ‘Mama’s Clit’ ‘Bukkake Twist’ and ‘Drive By Cumshot’ will appeal to lovers of the lowest common denominator, this is psychobilly. The album really does deliver the goods for those after a meat and two veg no nonsense fun and thrills packed psycho party. Chuck Harvey even pops up telling the kids to do their homework, what more could you want.
‘We Will Fight To The End’
(Download @ Soundcloud)
‘Rothstein’ is the first solo release from Nico Sc’erri, multi-instrumentalist and double bassist for Jack Rabbit Slim but if you are a fan of them don’t expect more of the same. I might get a hoot for reviewing this on this page from some quarters because it’s got little to do with psycho or rockabilly. What it is a damn fine dirty rock n roll record with a driving riff which is sure to get you speeding if listening when at the wheel of your motor. It’s free, so go download and break some speed limits.
THE GO GO CULT
The Go Go Cult have been a Western Star standing dish and are back with a very tasty six-track platter on 10” pink vinyl. I’d dare to say that this is their best offering yet with half a dozen eminently danceable slabs of garage rock n roll. The bass tone Alan Wilson gets engineering some of these tracks is so low it’s subterranean it’ll vibrate the ice in your Jack. I can imagine these tracks going down as well at garage festivals like ‘Hipsville’ as well as ‘Bedlam’, they have such a perfect blend going on.
ALL OF THE REVIEWS ABOVE WERE PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED IN UK ROCK N ROLL MAGAZINE PLEASE SUPPORT THE MAGAZINE THAT SUPPORTS ME.