Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Quakes "Planet Obscure"

(Orrexx Records 2012)

Dark Shadows
Die Too Young
It's A Curse
Streets Are So Lonely
Don't Follow Me
This Night
You're A Joke
Anti Social Girl
Festa Do Estica E Puxa
All About You
 When I first heard this album I didn't like it. This can go one of two ways. I'll either never like it, or it will grow on me and I'll love it. It was the latter. What it's not is the usual psychobilly growling and 100mph toneless clicking. But then The Quakes are not your usual psychobilly outfit. What it is is some finely crafted pop songs which makes it very evident that Paul Roman is as much inspired by 80s new wave as he is by rockabilly. It must be very disconcerting for him as a musician and artist that in all likelihood his songs will possibly never reach a wider audience than that of the incumbents of the psychobilly domain. Don't get me wrong, I'm one of those incumbents of which I speak and know good music when I hear it but there is also a certain zombie-loving ilk that won't get this at all. But he's not writing for them so fuck 'em. All the good ol' Quakes elements are still very much in evidence though...catchy guitar riffs and hooks, slap bass to the fore, Adam Ant-style drums, acerbic wit and those familiar "Hey" shout-outs. What sets Paul Roman's music apart from 99% of his adversaries is that the guy can write hit songs; songs that to my ear could have mass appeal (yet still retain that Quakes psychobilly trademark sound). Not bad for a band that when it comes to studio albums is basically a one-man show. This latest Quakes boundary-pushing aural outing belongs in any self respecting psychobilly/rockabilly fan's collection but has as much right to take pride-of-place in any mainstream music collection too (of the credible mainstream variety - not that manufactured bollocks that's crowding up the airwaves).

The O'Prez 2012

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