CD and Record Reviews – Published and Otherwise

I thought I’d start posting published and unpublished reviews I’ve written for various publications here.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 would like to send me their releases for review please email me

56k lotl

‘The Last Of The Lawless’
(Pragar Music International)
56 Killers are a Portsmouth super-quintet with members of various bands coming together for the greater good. There have been some line-up changes since their inception but have now gelled together as one tight unit and come up with a quality long-player. Long-time Caravan’s drummer Lee Barnet has marched out from the shadows to provide excellent vocals for this dark and bluesy rockabilly offering. Fellow Caravan Mark Penington’s guitar work shines in a gritty collection of tunes with surprising Dept S’s ‘Is Vic There’ and Dr Feelgood’s ‘Milk & Alcohol’ wildcard covers. Simon Nott


This is one of those wildcards that Diablo sometimes throw into the game, not psychobilly but totally rocking. It’s the fun of the B52s trashing it up in 1960’s Californian garage waiting for the surf’s up though they may well be too wasted to actually hit it when it is. This is terrific stuff, ‘Beatnik’ really hits freakzone but there is no stand-out track, they are all cracking. I’m praying to hear this blasting from camper vans at the beach all summer. Oh and that opening track, even our German friends will love ‘Achtung Spitfire’, I promise. Simon Nott

‘Back To Blue’
(Crazy Love)
Blue Rockin’ have come up with a real classy and varied rocking album, don’t be misled by their moniker, yes there’s a real R&B element here with harmonica and blues guitar in places but it’s rapid stuff played at full velocity. It’s certainly got the tempo of psychobilly not letting up but probably best described as neo-rockabilly of the toughest order but there is a serial killer song so you decide. Recorded in Berlin, the album is self-penned bar one track, lyrics are in English and rhythm section in overdrive, super-crisp pummelling things along. Simon Nott

‘The Band That Wouldn’t Die’
(Roku De Nashi)
This is tough stuff, meant in the best possible way when I say that it has all the spirit of proper good old fashioned pub rock and roll, the sort of music that would get them stomping at some high-fenced bike gang HQ. The album is largely self-penned, no holds barred lyrically and rolls along as if lubricated with steaming Castrol GTX. There’s a definite 60’s garage element in there too and songs like ‘Motivator’ will resonate with anyone who’s gone to bed early because they finished all their lines. Simon Nott

‘Terror Is Loose!’
(Crazy Love)
There’s no need to beat around the bush trying to pigeon-hole this lot – this is right in your chops full on slap-bass slapping psychobilly. The Lab Ratz are a three piece belting it out for all they are worth, the bass is so clear you can hear the strings squeaking – maybe something to do with their name. The title track in a sprinter, all over in less than two minutes but any longer would ensure the older section of the wrecking pit would need de-fibrillating. Recorded in Quebec so I’m guessing French Canadians, the sickness is spreading. Simon Nott


‘Me, Me, Me’
(Mad Drunken Monkey)
I’ve found it’s always been a joy to hear new Peacocks recordings and this EP is no exception. The Swiss trio have long-since found their own niche which is best described as punkabilly though I’m pretty sure Hasu and the guys won’t thank me for labelling their music. All the songs have the topic ‘Me’ and typically sardonic lyrics in which they excel, telling you exactly how it is in no uncertain manner. Three very different tracks but all pure Peacocks if this is a taster of a new album I can’t wait. Simon Nott


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