Sunday, April 29, 2018

Beat Devils "Dig My Beat"

(JetNoise Records 2018)

Dig My Beat
Andy The Frog
Dynamite Eyes
Baby's Got Me Wrong
Murder Of The Snowman
Bad Boy
Just A Little More Fun
Headless Horseman (The Polecats Tribute)
I Don't Care If You Care About Me
My Gal (The Ratmen Tribute)
Lonely Boy (Wigsville Spliffs Tribute)
Night Falls Down
Dancing On My Bones

The Beat Devils are a class act. There's no two ways about it. They're the kind of band that never disappoint with their releases and this is no exception. The boys play that perfect blend of neo rockabilly and psychobilly that I instantly love! Good songs can be let down by shit production when it comes to anything with "billy" on the end of it. Especially the slap bass sound. The bass sounds excellent here and drives each song in a way that makes it impossible not to slap your leg in time and have a big satiated grin on your gob. The guitar is clean, reverby in all the right places and played faultlessly. The drums are blended into the mix to perfection adding to the infectious beat. The vocals are reminiscent of The Stringbeans (especially in the pronunciation department). It's blatantly obvious that the boys are steeped with influences from the neo/psycho outfits that came out of Europe in the mid-80s but instead of trying to recreate that sound, they take the essence of it and add their own energy and take it off in a direction that's both refreshing and contemporary. There are three neo covers on here which really prove the point I made about those influences. Absolutely excellent versions of songs by the Polecats, Ratmen and Wigsville Spliffs. The boys have written some instant classics on here but they haven't rested on their laurels and just flung in a few note-for-note covers to fill out the album. They've put (Tribute) beside the song titles because they've reworked those songs and made em so Beat Devils-esque that if you didn't already know the songs you'd think that they penned them. They work seamlessly with the Beat Devils originals. I could wax lyrical about this album for another three paragraphs such is my enthusiasm for what the band have produced here but I think you get the gist of it. Plainly put, "Dig My Beat"? Too fuckin' right I do!
The O'Prez

The album is available to pre-order now on both vinyl and CD and a whole gamut of different packages/colours are available. It's available on all the streaming/download sites too for all you futuristic/impatient/lazy bastards. You can check out the Beat Devils Facebook page for links but I might add some here because I'm nice that way. 

Buy the vinyl, CD, vinyl and all sorts of Beat Devils goodness in various colours!
Dig My Beat on Google Play
Dig My Beat on Deezer
Dig My Beat on Spotify
Dig My Beat on iTunes
Hellacious Harmonies on Facebook

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Goddamn Gallows "The Trial"

(Crazy Love Records 2018)

Blackened Soul
It's Gonna Be OK (No It's Not)
When No One's Around
The Trial
City Of Fools
Dreadful Sinner
Down With The Ship

The ever-prolific Goddamn Gallows are back with another album of genre-mixing mayhem. The hobocore quintet seamlessly blend all manner of musical influences whilst maintaining their dark carnival bluegrass essence. Tempo-wise it's a more sombre affair when compared to the more ballistic beats I generally associate with the Gallows. They say you can't judge a book by its cover but you can certainly judge this album by its cover. It sums up the sounds within perfectly. The boys have crafted 10 songs that are dark, menacing and just plain evil sounding. Not death metal evil. Backwoods rustic evil! I have it on good authority though from a Rhode Island friend of mine that the lads are actually nice as pie off stage. Well their on-stage doppelgängers are the anti-pie! The Goddamn Gallows prove once again with the release of The Trial that if you want to hear real American roots music, delivered with underpant-soiling menace, then steer clear of The Grand Ole Opry and get your arse down to one of their shows. They're on tour now!
The O'Prez

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Toxenes "Hot Rod"

(Killjoy Records 2017)

Hot Rod
Green Room
Alley Cats

I was in Minneapolis a (good) few years ago. The Toxenes were probably running around in their nappies causing all sorts of mayhem down the crèche back then. But fast forward a (good) few years and the trio of Twin Cities temptresses are unleashing their blend of garage punk with a big whack of toughness and a side order of seduction. This is the follow-up 45 to their début album which came out on cassette a while ago on Killjoy. I don't have a tape deck but I do have a sexy turntable so this is my first introduction to the band. Snarling guitars, tight bass lines and crunching drums abound. Add to this concoction vocals that exude attitude and throat-slitting sexiness and you just know these girls are the rock'n'roll real deal. Three self-penned ditties and a cover of The Pandoras' (I Want My) Caveman. As usual for Killjoy Records, it's limited to 500 pieces (400 black vinyl, 50 purple...only available from the band, and 50 turquoise only available from Killjoy). The song Alley Cats is also the title song of a short film by Nyala Sarita which you can find out more about here and here! The Toxenes are the perfect musical choice given the premise for this film and the tracks on this EP are testament to that fact. Our very own mini-girl gang. Pleasing on the ear and eye but not so much on the jaw if you so much as look at em crooked.
The O'Prez

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Henry And The Bleeder "Looking Backwards"

(The Western Star Recording Company 2018)

'87 Bound
I Gotta Rock On (For You)
Day Trippin'
Too Many Heartaches
Vicious Circle
This Town
No Regrets
Weed Farmer
Letter To Moseley
Gypsy King
Man With The World At His Feet

I liked Henry And The Bleeders since the first time I saw their video for Hillbilly In A Psycho Band. It was those shouty hiccuping vocals that reeled me in. I pre-ordered this the minute I became aware of its imminent release. On this album the lads are veering off in all sorts of directions whilst still retaining that Bleeders raw energy. Don't worry though, the directions they take are not to the land of shite. Let's face it, the music we like has all sorts of influences but influences that stem from good music! And that' what you get here! Good music! I could throw a load of genres into the ring when attempting to explain the sounds betwixt the silver optical data delights on this album but I'll just create a new one, no I won't. It's impossible to pigeon-hole em. The boxofchocolatesabilly (oh wait, I just did) quartet, really do have something for everyone with even a modicum of taste and prove to be a gorge-fest for those that like it all. If you liked the variety of the Klub Foot line ups from way back when but want a current band with that youthful vigour and in-your-face attitude then snap this one up. 
The O'Prez

Haystacks Calhoon "Good, Good Night Out"

(Self released 2018)

Good Good Night Out
Good To Be Home
Glow In The Dark
Another Minute With You

Who? Eh? Well that's what I said (in my mind, because I have no real friends to talk aloud to) when vox-man and slap bassist of Haystacks Calhoon (Who? Eh?) sent me the link to his new outfit. Psychobilly types will know our Eddie from his previous combo The Hoodoo Voodoo Dolls. Well his new ensemble have just released a 6-track mini album and it's available from their bandcamp page in digital download and sexy CD format. Anyway, so what do Haystacks Calhoon sound like? Well, they call themselves Swampabilly but I'll elaborate on that. They're melodious as fuck and their songs are cleverly constructed social commentaries on every day life with a twist of dark humour. Musically it's rootsy rockabilly and it's lyrically and vocally stylistically reminiscent of the excellent Terry And Gerry. And..I don't think I've ever typed so many words one after the other ending in "ally". Haystacks Calhoon are the kind of band that make me immediately sit up and take notice. Let's face it, we all love things ending in "billy" but a lot of it is samey and uninspired so when a band like this comes along it's always a welcome breath of fresh air. A rare breed of band that stamp their own identity on our chosen sub culture. 
The O'Prez

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Psychward Breakouts "The Psychward Breakouts"

(Crazy Love Records 2018)

Johnny Bastard
Pretty Girl

Sweden has always been a bit of a hotbed for talent when it comes to psycho and neo outfits. The latest shower of ne'er-do-wells to join the Nordic notebook of infamy are The Psychward Breakouts. These boys play psychobilly with an evil, take-no-prisoners kind of style. They've listed their influences as Demented Are Go, Klingonz and Banane Metalik. Well, they certainly do sound like a perfect blend of all three. This mini-album is a sonic onslaught to the senses. They sound like you wish most horror films would look. Frightening. In a good way. They do manage to mix things up a bit though. In amongst the psychobilly mayhem, they stick in a macabre love song with a certain 50's B-movie pastiche. There's also the slightest bit of ska on Dead. For the most part though, what you're getting here is stuff that'll make for a sweaty, bloody, testosterone-filled wrecking pit. Production values are on the money and suit the songs perfectly. I'm big on aesthetics too and these boys look every bit as fucked as the lyrics they spew. If you like your psychobilly with a big dollop of gore and with the emphasis on the psycho as opposed to the billy then The Psychward Breakouts should slot nicely into your CD rack of repulsion.
The O'Prez

Rockabilly Mafia "Signature In Blood"

(Crazy Love Records 2017)

Unchain The Force
Torsby Rock'n'Roll
On The Run
Schwarze Rose
Walk, Don't Talk
Nicht Für Mich
Bass, Gitarre Und Trommel
Rockabilly Beat
Bop Alter Mann
Signature In Blood

It's been two years since the last Rockabilly Mafia album. Jaysus it feels more like two months. You know that music has taken over your life when you start putting time scales on things in conjunction with when such and such an album was released. Anyway, the trio are back with another knee-slapping tour de force of neo rockabilly refinement and Teddy Boy-esque tunesmithing excellence. Rockabilly Mafia have always had a very simplistic approach to music. Their recipe is fairly elementary. Take a set of drums, a guitar, a slap bass and write infectious rockabilly rhythms. But this concoction takes skill to pull off right. The songs on here don't sound like a million other rockabilly songs. At the risk of sounding like Louis Walsh...they make rockabilly their own! The only downside to Rockabilly Mafia albums (for non-German speakers) is that it's usually a 50/50 mix of German/English language songs so half the time I don't know what the fuck they're singing about. But with that said, that infectious Rockabilly Mafia beat coupled with those ear-pleasing guitar hooks make me not particularly care what they're singing about anyway. But with THAT said...I always enjoy the wit and grass roots approach they take with their English language tracks. This is the 16th album from the lads, all self-penned songs (including an excellent reworking of On The Run) and all in keeping with the standard you've come to expect from Rockabilly Mafia. Coming in sexy digipak packaging with a twenty page booklet including lyrics and all manner of insights. These boys are thee most melodious outfit on Planet Rockabilly. The perfect fusion of neo rockabilly and Teddy Boy stomp.
The O'Prez