Monday, December 14, 2015

Gutter Demons "Unfinished Business"

(Falsetto Records 2015)

Digging Up
After Dark
Phantom Creep
Unfinished Business

A few years back the Gutter Demons decided to be a trio of cunts and disband. This left me in utter dismay. Sure, I tried to love other bands but it just turned out to be nothing more than lust. I felt so cheap. I was ashamed. I could hardly even bring myself to put on my headphones at one stage. The sense of loss coupled with the sense of abandonment was just overwhelming. I pleasured myself nightly to other psychobilly outfits but it was no good. Then one night in 2014 whilst watching the ink bleed from a photo of Toxik as my tears alighted on his un-sliced loaf of bread styled quiff, I read the news that they were back together and a new album was in the pipeline. Well, after I changed my shirt (as my nipples had pierced the one I was wearing, such was my glee), I immediately became whole once more and stared at my computer screen waiting for the day the new album would be released. So, here we are now in 2015 and I have sores on my arse and bloodshot eyes but such scourges were worth the wait as the new album was pushed through my slit a few days ago. Now with a band like the Gutter Demons, where you have very high expectations, this could go either way. Are they going to go in a new direction after all these years OR are they going to hit us betwixt the thighs with an album full of instant Gutter Demons classics? Well right after the 56 second intro the answer presented itself in no uncertain terms. This is the Gutter Demons we all know and love. Pounding slap bass and drums, crunchy guitar and Toxik's distinctive vocals. I fuckin' love the Gutter Demons me and this album only cements that fact. Tucked away neatly between the originals is a fantastic cover of The Jiants "Tornado". When I saw the track listing I was hoping it was going to be this song. But the new batch of originals, fuck me but they're cleverly constructed lyrical masterpieces. One song I've always loved from the Gutter Demons was "Out Of Sight". Psychobilly ballads (if you could call them that..) have always appealed to me so one of thee standout tracks on this outing is "Pieces". Others to immediately grab me by the frenulum were Gutterkings, After Dark, Bloodfeast and Phantom Creep. These were all immediate favourites with the rest being of the variety that grow on you and sometimes surpass the immediate favourites over time. Now then, I won't be sticking up a sample track at the end of this as I noticed that in addition to the Falsetto logo on the back that there's also a Universal Music logo on there and those big boys can be a bit narky when it comes to that sort of thing. But the album can be sampled via all your favourite download sites or of course you can purchase the sexy CD that comes housed in digipak format with pristine artwork from Paskal Millet. That's what I did! Did I mention I love the Gutter Demons?

The O'Prez

Monday, December 7, 2015

King Moroi "Hardly Better Than Nothing

(Bellfire Records 2015)

Hiding In The Graveyard
Staying Bad
Sir B.I.A.
Crying Dying Man
Hardly Better Than Nothing
My Train (Has Gone)

I must admit I'd never come across King Moroi before until this release. Aesthetically the album looks great coming in a gatefold digipak with some excellent artwork by Horror Rudey. There are some world class artists on this scene that don't get the recognition they deserve (me included *ahem*). But does it sound as good as it looks? Yes. Yes it does. It kicks off with a sound that to my ears is reminiscent of the Krewmen sound during their Egyptian the Into The Tomb album. That sound pops up again here and there throughout the album. Lead vocals are shared between guitarist Jerry Toothpaste and slap bassist Smirnov. At least I think they are as the vocals take the band in very different directions stylistically with one vocal being of the clean, rockin' psychobilly variety and the other being of the punkabilly or psychOi! variety. I prefer the former, but that's just me. The latter seems ultra popular on the psychobilly circuit. So you could say they're catering for both sides of the coin. The guitar sound/style give the boys that much needed stamp of individuality in a scene that's swamped by "itallsoundsthesame-abilly". No mean feat for a band to come up with something fresh-sounding when every other band wants to sound like their 1980s forefathers. Yes, I know I mentioned the Krewmen earlier on you nitpicking shower of cunts but that was a comparison, I'm not saying they're a Krewmen tribute act. They sound fuck all like em, the guitar just reminded me of that Egyptian thing they had going on. Quit bustin' my balls. But anyway, King Moroi. A powerful release from the German trio of male models that will please both fans of old school psychobilly and their upstart punkabilly siblings alike.

The O'Prez

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Hyperjax "March To Your Own Beat"

(Lime Digital Music 2015)

Staring Out The Old Guard
Hard Knock Chops
Blood And Sand
City Of Broken Rain
Three Sheets To The Wind
Whatever Happened To The Krewmen?
Blast Me Into Outer Space
Sweet Solitary
Burn In Your Own Flame
It's The Nature Of The Beast
Angry Young Man
Carats, Briefs And Boils

The Hyperjax eh? One of those bands that seem to have been on the periphery of the scene for many years. But which scene? Too clever for psychobilly, too ballsy for rockabilly and too rockin' for punkabilly. The boys are a law on to themselves. Perhaps as the album title suggests, they definitely march to their own beat. And what a fuckin' beat it is. It's an enigma of sorts. There's pounding drums and slap bass accompanied by that Holy Grail of guitars, the Gretsch. Nothing different about that ensemble of musical tools when it comes to things with "billy" stuck on the end, but it's what the lads do with their tools (oooooh matron) that makes the sound instantly recognisable as The Hyperjax. They're like a sub genre on to themselves. Thedogsbollocksabilly! Yes, that's it. This is some powerful stuff. Power mixed with melody. Some bands have either one or the other (some neither) but The Hyperjax have both. They're fuckin' hyper alright. And I had to run to the jacks* in between songs as the sounds within loosened my sphincter. (*jacks is Irish slang for toilet...hyper...jacks...did you see what I did there? ....tough crowd!). But anyway, the lads have a fairly sparse back catalogue given the fact they've been playing together in various incarnations for almost 20 years. I of course own all the stuff they've released prior to this and it's self-evident that the boys have really honed their skills in the studio/production department. That's by no means disparaging towards their previous output. It simply means that the production values on this album hits a new pinnacle of perfection for the trio. It just oozes quality...sonically and lyrically. The album is currently available as digital download from over 200 sites (Amazon, iTunes, 7digital etc.) with both CD and vinyl releases to follow. Fine, I'll stick up some links ye lazy shower of shites! Usually I add a sample song at the end of these reviews but it's hard to pick just one so you can sample em all on the download sites below. What a guy!

The O'Prez