Monday, June 10, 2019

The Bloodstrings "Born Sick"

(Wolverine Records 2017)

Born Sick
Ready For The Storm
Kiss Goodbye
Mondsüchtig (Featuring Kitty Casket)
Cutthroat Love
Best Of Me
My Heart Is Like An Engine (Featuring Mo Diggerz)
Last Call
Tonight We Dine In Hell (Bonus Track)
Hold The Line (Bonus Track)

The Bloodstrings from Aachen first came to my attention back in 2014 when they released their début album Coal-Black Heart. My initial impression of the band was that they were like a kind of psychobilly version of The Spookshow. It's an excellent record. Their new album though takes the sound of the first album and adds a lot more aggression. It's as if the band have carved out their own niche over the past 5 years and put their own stamp on what is loosely termed punkabilly. There's a lot more to The Bloodstrings than can be summed up by using that particular term. The band is a melting pot of influences and it's that diversity which somehow blends perfectly together that make the band stand head and shoulders above their competition. People ask me how can I only listen to one type of music? I don't. Take this album, it's not "one type of music". It's filled with aural delicacies ranging from punked-out new school psychobilly to horror punk and ballads filled with dark romance. The latter of which I absolutely love and really showcases Celina's excellent vocal chords. Speaking of vocalists, there are a couple of guest spots on the album in the guises of Kitty Casket from Kitty In A Casket and Mo Diggerz from The Diggerz. If chanting punk rock backing vocals, finely executed instrumentation, lyrics that deal with societal woes and heartbreak told through the medium of horror topped off with an expertly slapped bass appeal to you then snap this one up before it disappears into the ether like their first album.

The Bloodstrings on Facebook
Buy the album on vinyl or CD
Hellacious Harmonies on Facebook

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Johnny Rocket "Come A Little Closer"

(Wolverine Records 2019)

Got To Tell You
Beggin' For More
I Like You Baby
A Ride
Yeah Yeah Yeah
Bring It On Home
I Know A Lot Of Dumbs
Come A Little Closer
Sold My Soul
Jesus And The Motherfuckers
Boobs 'n' Beer

Equal parts rock and roll, Johnny Rocket have finally released their third album. The boys have been on the go since 2006 and this is only their fourth release. The first being their 2007 EP Who's Your Daddy? Quality not quantity though right? They hail from Germany but their sound is very much in keeping with that Southern rock sub genre from the US of A. Unlike most of the bands from that particular field though, the boys have the added bonus of some finely slapped bass giving them a unique rockabilly back beat. Crunchy rock guitar played with a country twang sits atop a slap bass and drums rhythm section with raucous whiskey-soaked vocals adding the final touch to give Johnny Rocket a sound that transcends the musical boundaries that can pigeonhole many bands. 11 self-penned ditties with a couple of covers of Sam Cooke and Prince songs make up this excellent release from Johnny Rocket. Speaking of the covers, although (thankfully) not the usual choices we've come to expect from bands with an upright bass in their lineup, they fit the album and the style of the band perfectly. I must also mention there are some fine backing vocals/harmonies to be heard here too. I have all of Johnny Rocket's previous material, but I just have such a sizable music collection, that I haven't revisited their stuff for a long time. This album makes me want to do exactly that. It's out now on Wolverine Records on CD and a slab of vinyl that's as thick as any porn star's shlong! ....and all the streaming/download sites of course.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Stray Cats "40"

(Surfdog/Mascot Records 2019)

Cat Fight (Over A Dog Like Me)
Rock It Off
I've Got Love If You Want It
Cry Danger
I Attract Trouble
Three Time's A Charm
That's Messed Up
When Nothing's Going Right
Mean Pickin' Mama
I'll Be Looking Out For You
Devil Train

No need for an introductory paragraph when it comes to arguably thee most famous and influential rockabilly band of the past 40 years. Everyone from within the rockin' scene and most from without knows the Stray Cats. Their initial output and indeed image was fresh, exciting, different. Runaway Boys was unlike any other rockabilly song I'd heard up to that point. Granted, I was only 10, but when I heard it on the radio and then saw them on Top Of The Pops I was immediately taken by the whole package. These boys had everything. Fast forward to 1983 and the Rant n' Rave album. I took the lyrics about not going to school on (She's) Sexy + 17 seriously and subsequently failed most of my subjects that year as I was never there to learn anything. Point being. the Stray Cats played a big part in my life growing up. I wanted to be Slim Jim. That guy was my hero. As the years passed and more albums were released, some were hit and some were miss. By this time though I'd crossed over to the realms of psychobilly and the new breed of neo rockabilly and Cats albums weren't the be-all and end-all for me anymore. So when the trio announced a new album was in the pipeline I was hopeful of something great. I say hopeful and not sure as the Setzer solo stuff did nothing for me. The first two teaser songs the boys released, "Cat Fight (Over A Dog Like Me)" and "Rock It Off" dashed those hopes. Tedious, tired, run-of-the-mill songs. Still, I held out hope for the album. Unfortunately it was just more of the same with maybe a couple of okay-ish songs that might grow on me with further listens but at this point, forcing myself to like something kinda defeats the purpose. Nothing really grabs me on this album. Nothing! They say you can't judge a book by its cover. Well you can definitely judge this album by its cover! Unimaginative, lazy and well, it's all been done before. It's definitely been done by Setzer before as on more than one occasion he's borrowing from past output or in the case of Cry Danger simply adding different lyrics to a song which is a carbon copy of Aztec from his solo outing The Knife Feels Like Justice. The production is muddy with the snare sounding like it's from a demo tape and the slap of the upright bass is barely audible. Seemingly it was recorded live in the studio. But the finished product sounds like...well, it's like when you can hear a band playing in a venue but you're outside on the street a couple of doors away. Maybe if they had hired Dave Edmunds to produce this album it may not have been such a disappointment. But with that said, the song writing is just not that great to begin with so maybe not. I read an article in The Washington Post recently where Lee Rocker is quoted as saying " “We are the best band that has ever played this music.” No Lee. No you are not. Either that statement is completely pompous or the Stray Cats are completely unaware of the plethora of rockabilly and neo rockabilly bands out there that make this album sound pedestrian. Having read some feedback around the net there seems to be two camps when it comes to this release. Those that love it and those that find it mundane. I didn't want to belong to the latter camp but unfortunately I do.

Stray Cats Official
Stray Cats on Facebook
Hellacious Harmonies on Facebook

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Pope Paul & The Illegals "When The Stars Come Hurtling Down"

(Dial Back Sound 2019)

Big Bitch Boogie
Beautiful Music
Drug Song
Signs & Wonders
Demon Ate My Dog
Up In The Clouds
I Love The Way
Awkward Dance
Old & Bitter

Eclectabilly outfit Pope Paul & The Illegals are back with another dose of impossible-to-pin down scorchers. This time on a big slab of vinyl and a sexy little download card for your aural ease. Once again, it's like you've attended a festival but as it turns out, only one band was on the bill. The lads transcend all the highways and byways of Americana and roots music in such a way that pigeon holes are well and truly roadkill. The boys rev it up, slow it down and drive sensibly in equal measure. From the manic to the melancholic. It's all here. The mixing and mastering is spot on. Crisp and crunchy, which incidentally is just how I like my women. Or is that cornflakes? I always get the two mixed up. No wonder I can't hold down a relationship. However, if you have one of those days where you can't decide what you want to listen to, then listen to this. It's like a various artists compilation without the various artists. I don't know how the lads pull it off (oooh matron!) but they do. And do so with fine aplomb. Once again, I'll get out my pimp overcoat and shove a load of links on the end of this where you can find out more about the lads and sample their wares for twenty dollah!

Buy the LP

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Eddy Blake Trio "Bucko"

(Sleazy Records 2019)

Terrible Tara Belle
Do A Little Bop
Every Day Of My Life Is A Waste Of Time
Good Old Boys
Play It Up
That's Why I Do What I Do
Lost And I'll Never Find My Way
Love Me Baby
My Girl Mini
I'm A Wrecking Ball
Blues Stay Away From Me
You Can't Walk My Walk

Slap bass demigod Eddy Blake and his two cohorts know what rockabilly and roots music is all about. With a fine pedigree behind all three, this is some fine slap bass driven bop with the kind of stripped back appeal that made The Shakin' Pyramids one of my all time favourite bands. The music flows perfectly between rockabilly and honky tonk to some hairy bollocked rock'n'roll. Harmonious, echo-laden, doghouse bass drenched ditties abound but with enough variety in style to keep you going back for more. Now then, let me get this off my chest...the internet is alight recently with chatter about the forthcoming release of the Stray Cats new album. The much vaunted trio should hang their heads in shame. With the financial clout behind them they could have done a far better job on the production and mixing side of their new music. Granted I've only heard one song, but it's enough! Muddy, slapless demo-quality disappointment. Then we have The Eddy Blake Trio. A band with fuck all financial clout in comparison to the New York megabucks ensemble. The Eddy Blake Trio shine where the Cats don't. Now this may sound somewhat pejorative when it comes to the Cats. I don't mean it to. I love em. I don't love the missed opportunity with their new output. Conversely Eddy and the boys have recorded something that really shows how to breathe life into the 65 year old genre and keep it exciting. When I'm not actually listening to music, THIS is what rockabilly sounds like in my head. 
In addition to the CD release and of course the download option, there is also a 45 featuring three tracks taken from the album (Stormy/Wrecking Ball/Terrible Tara Belle) out now on limited edition vinyl on Modern Syndrome Records who have brought us some of the finest and rarest rockin' sounds over the years.   
Hellacious Harmonies on Facebook                                                    

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Nevrotix "New Worlds"

(Crazy Love Records 2019)

Lost Contact
Bad Dream
Voodoo Blues

 So, with this being the third release from The Nevrotix I think it's safe to say that this band release consistently great material. This release is a six-track mini LP/CD filled to the brim with old school psycho/neo beats and space age sonance.   When it comes to new material and studio recording techniques The Nevrotix are simply streets ahead of a lot of their counterparts. Production and mixing on New Worlds is immaculate. These boys understand what psycho/neo is all about. In a relatively short time they've become one of those newer bands that have surpassed some of the psychobilly old guard in my favourites ranking. I'm not a one for dwelling on past glories and declaring that such-and-such an album from 1985 is thee best thing I ever heard. Certainly that era was fresh and the albums released back then ingrained the whole psychobilly thing into my psyche but it's a new millennium and The Nevrotix keep that torch burning and sound just as fresh to me as the first time I heard Batmobile's first album or Frenzy's Hall Of Mirrors. To sum it up, I fuckin' love The Nevrotix me! The little dulcet delight is out now on limited orange vinyl (99 copies), black vinyl for the colour blind such as myself and sexy CD.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Crazy Love Records - Vinyl Reissues.

Guido over at Crazy Love Records has gone ballistic in recent times reissuing some psycho and rockin' classics on vinyl. Have a gander below at all the goodies on offer from the prince of pristine and his label of loot!

Originally released back in 2003 as a CD-only album, you can now get your claws on it in both black and orange vinyl. The orange pressing is a hand-numbered limited edition of 108.

Buy the black vinyl here!
Buy the orange vinyl here!!

 This 2005 release from Rockabilly Mafia is also seeing its first outing on vinyl. Again we have two colours to choose from. Hard man black and gigolo red. The red is a hand-numbered limited edition of 110.

Buy the black vinyl here!
Buy the red vinyl here!!

Two tracks from Demented Are Go which were first featured back in 1985 on the Hell's Bent On Rockin' compilation album. Not only have we three colours to choose from (black, red and orange...the red is limited to 54 copies and the orange to 56) but the sound on this release is superior to the original vinyl release.

Buy the black vinyl here!
Buy the red vinyl here!!
Buy the orange vinyl here!!!

Late last year Stomp Records gave us the Gutter Demons 5th studio album. You can read my review of it here if you haven't already. Anyway, our Guido has licensed a vinyl release of the 12 inch throbber on both black and silver vinyl. You guessed it, the silver is a limited edition.

Buy the black vinyl here!
Buy the silver vinyl here!!