Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lara Hope And The Ark-Tones "Love You To Life"

(Crazy Love Records 2017)

Fast, Cheap, Or Well Done
Love You To Life
Callin' My Name
'Til The Well Runs Dry
I'm Yours
Dr. Bartender
This Is What I've Got
I'm The One
Working Man's Tools
Luckiest Girl In Town (The Wedding Song)
Hotel Yorba

Jaysus Lara will you cover up them legs like a good girl. You'll catch your death. A nice pair of sensible slacks is what you want in this weather. Well, well I never!
So, now that I've dished out some leg-related life lessons, it's time to talk shop. Us lads from the psychobilly brigade will be interested to note that the name "Ark-Tones" is in fact an amalgamation of the names of big slapper Matt's old psycho outfit The Arkhams and Lara's previous rockin' ensemble The Champtones. You're welcome! What? It's not like I got that nugget of information from merely reading the band bio on their website. Well, it is yes. And stop glancing at Lara's legs!! On to the music. I see on the sleeve notes that Lara won the Best Female Rockabilly Artist at the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Awards. (That nugget is also on the band bio on their website...just SHUT UP, right?). Anyway, to my ears, on this album at least, yes there are elements of rockabilly but they're no straight-up rockabilly act. They encompass a broad spectrum of styles which all come under the broader umbrella term of rock'n'roll. Fuck sake, this is going to look like all I've done is read their website! But the band is exactly what it says on the virtual tin. A fusion of all things rockin' and roots. This kind of thing plays havoc with my music database genre entries! Lara's warm yet powerful vocals suit the full sound of the band to perfection. Speaking of which, it's that full sound that leads them out of rockabilly territory and into rock'n'roll territory. The prerequisite slap bass, guitar and drums is fattened up with horn sections and some keyboards here and there. They stray into calypso-esque and country territory too. It's quite an eclectic album which is a good thing as I find rock'n'roll can get boring if it lacks variety. They've certainly packed the variety into this package. Lara Hope And The Ark-Tones are the kind of band that have that je ne se quoi which makes them appeal to aficionados of the retro world and the denizens of the modern world in equal measure. The album...on out now on Crazy Love Records.

Jayke Orvis "Bless This Mess"

(Broken Neck Records 2017)

Murder Of Crows
Bound To Ride
West Wind
Pick Up The Steam
Crooked Smile
Slow Down
Lead Me Astray
Long Way Home

Jayke's second solo album is out now on vinyl courtesy of Broken Neck Records. If you don't know by now, Broken Neck Records is a subsidiary of Crazy Love Records and has been bringing us the best in new roots and alt. country goodness for a while now.  I say new roots and alt. country. But the basic fact is that it's neither new nor alternative. It's just that the current state of the country music industry is so far removed from what it sounded like when it actually was what it claimed to be that artists like Jayke Orvis are now considered alternative! Well to my ears he plays proper Americana and roots music so I suppose he's an "alternative" to the absolute bollocks that claims to be what it's not! Anyway, since his first solo outing it would appear that our Jayke has healed that broken heart and is now bopping along in a much more upbeat and uptempo way. It immediately reminded me of UK outfit the Skiff Skats and what they called skiffabilly back in the mid 80s. But with that said, this 100% made in the USA stuff. Fiddle, banjo, mandolin, twangin' guitar, slap bass etc. and a Southern drawl coming from a mouth you'd expect to see slugging fuck knows what from a jug with XXX engraved on the ceramic. What I particularly like about Jayke's authenticity in the music he creates is that he deosn't give two fucks about Nashville. He has steeped himself in Americana in its purist form and injected some rockabilly backbeat energy into it. If you like your music comprised of instruments made of wood with f-holes carved into them with musicians who can actually play those instruments and knee-slapping stories put to verse then this is the album for you. She's out now on limited orange vinyl (99 copies) and good auld black vinyl. Links to purchase below...
The O'Prez

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Jayke Orvis "It's All Been Said"

(Broken Neck Records 2017)

A Recipe For Tea
Yankee Taste
Feelings Like This
Beatin' My Head
Empty Bottles On A Broken Shelf
Thunderbolts And Lightning
Gone Forever More
Shady Grove Gypsy Moon
Dreadful Sinner
(Untitled Bonus Track)

If you don't know who Jayke Orvis is then you're a fuckin' eejit. This is (was) his début album that first saw the light of day back in 2010 on Farmageddon. It's now out on everyone's favourite format...vinyl..on Broken Neck Records. The Jaykester will be known to fans of The Goddamn Gallows...because he's one of em! See? Now the light bulb has lit up. Anyway, his solo stuff isn't a million miles away from the Gallows stuff but at the same time it's something completely different. They're both coming from the same melting pot of influences but Orvis's solo output keeps two feet firmly in the roots-infused clay of old time country and bluegrass without straying into folk punk territory. It has a certain musical purity to it. That purity extends to the song writing too. Apart from a few bluegrass stompers, the overall feeling of the album is one of desolation. Good old fashioned heartbreak is order of the day here. Our Jayke comes across as a very forlorn character if his lyrics are anything to go by. This is the kind of thing that'll have you crying into your pint. I quite like stuff that has that effect. The man has the ability to connect with his listeners. We've all suffered from that quivering bottom lip at some stage and he brings it all flooding back! But it's not all doom and gloom as I said. There's some fine upbeat bluegrass pickin' to be heard too. Actually, the musicianship on this album is nothing short of stellar. Oh, and while I'm at it. I hate sneakily titled songs like (Untitled Bonus Track) as I have all my music in a sexy database. So if you're as OCD as me...that song is actually an excellent rendition of Faron Young's 1958 ditty Alone With You. The album is out now CD and on red (limited to 105 copies) and black vinyl from Broken Neck/Crazy Love Records.
The O'Prez

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Wreck "Sailors Grave"

(Crazy Love Records 2017)

Axe To Beat
Space Outlaw
The Nosferatu
Jungle Planet
Attack Of The Giant Bumblee
The Day The Earth Stood Still
The Curse Of Frankenstein
What Are You Doin'?
Sailors Grave

Since I last reviewed The Wreck's two-dittied-delight I have invested in some disposable underwear and sphincter-tightening tablets. I'm wearing a pair of those paper pants now and have taken 10 of the sphincter-tightening accidental shite stoppers. Thank fuck I pre-prepared. The album has exceeded my expectations and my bottom-bomb-halting muscle is indeed twitching with nervous excitement. The Wreck have gone straight into my top 5 of favourite bands. Their sound is right up my street. They bring something new to psychobilly and the songs are constructed in such a way that they are never predictable. Don't let the run-of-the-mill psychobilly song titles fool you. These songs are very different to the usual psychobilly fare. It continues along in the same vein as the teaser they released earlier in the year. Psychobilly with a twist of post punk new wave goodness. By the way, the two tracks from that teaser are included here but are completely reworked versions. That fact alone is sure to turn the teaser into a collector's item. But back to the album....the difficulty I have is finding the words to give it the praise it deserves. The production and mixing give it that old school psychobilly appeal. Clean, crunchy, slap heavy excellence minus the bullshit demonic vocals that came later. But at the same time it sounds fuck all like anything from the days of yore. The Wreck are very much their own thing. Cast your minds back to when psychobilly had oodles of originality. Frenzy, Torment, Demented Are Go, Guana Batz, Batmobile etc. all had their own sound. That was probably easier to do 30 years ago when there was nobody else to copy. Not so easy for a band nowadays though as you might think it's all been done before and influences turn into replicas. Not so with The Wreck. One of a handful of bands to emerge in recent times to stamp their originality all over the psychobilly genre both musically and visually. And with that said, this album for me is indeed album of the year!
The O'Prez

The Wreck on Facebook
Buy the CD

Moonshine Wagon "Porca Miseria"

(Broken Neck Records 2017)

Mad, Unhappy & Stupid
Porca Miseria
Running & Hiding
Everybody Lies
Eu Não Sei
I Better Live Alone
Where The Fuck Are My Friends
My Liver Is Trying To Survive

I really like this band. I like the vocals, the musicianship and the gritty honesty to their lyrics. Hailing from the Basque Country and calling themselves Hellgrass, what you get is an ultra-talented trio of pickers and slappers singing from the heart. Melodic folk-punk vocals atop a psychobilly slap bass and a combination of all your favourite acoustic instruments played with an adroitness that most of us would love to possess. It's mostly high speed stomping stuff but that fiddle playing adds a certain melancholy feeling to proceedings. I love that! I'm going to start a fan club and call it The Basque Street Boys....The Basque Street Boys! ....Anyone? Feck off then. The album is a hoedown-tastic bluegrass-with-balls banquet. The boys have obviously honed their respective skills through their incessant touring schedule. Fuck knows where they get the time to sit down and write songs of this calibre but they do. And what songs they are. Lyrically intelligent but not pretentious. They appeal to the common man. Basically, they take every day life happenings and make outstanding melodic rhymes out of them. Sounds simple enough but I'll be fucked if I could do that. The skills these three boys have are off the charts. The album is out now on limited (109 copies) red vinyl and sexy black vinyl on good auld Broken Neck Records.
The O'Prez

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Spellbound "New Blood"

(Self-released 2017)

Say It Isn't So
Take The Money (And Run)
Smash It Up
Write My Name On The Wall
Burning Out
Legend Of The Past
I Seen The Face Of Elvis

Psychobilly. It can either be just that or an umbrella term for all sorts of rockin' goodness. The latter is more than apt when it comes to this, the 5th studio album by the Irish* quartet of wizard's sleeve merchants Spellbound  (*now with 25% British beef). The title "New Blood" alludes to the new members in the ensemble: Glen Carrigg on drums (a stalwart of many combos) and Gaz Marson of Surf Rats fame. The bauld Gaz has added his penmanship to a good few of the delectable ditties on here and flexes his vocal chords on 'Sometimes' and 'I Seen The Face Of Elvis'...I wish that song was longer! Spells slapper Simon takes over lead vocal duties on Celine and for all the rest, our very own Frankie gives his usual full-on powerful vocal performance. This man must be taking steroids for his throat. I've said it before and I'll say it again; he is thee best singer on the psychobilly (etc.) scene. Back to the title though for a second. Before Simon sexted me with the blurb pertaining this release, I was of the impression that the title "New Blood" was referring to the fact that Frankie's young lad Taylor was featured on the front cover...thus new blood as in new, younger, fresher blood being injected into the scene. Anyway, enough shite talk, onto the music. 11 songs, all originals, with each member of the band on quill duties. And what an eclectic bunch of quills they possess. There's everything going on here from Teddy Boy Rock'n'Roll, to rockin' country straight through to, as you'd expect, psychobilly delivered with a swift punch to the tympanic membranes. The album is almost like a record label compilation album...only it's the same band throughout! For me, the standout tracks are those penned by Gaz Marson. So with that in mind, between the musicianship of the boys, the vocals of Frankie and now the added bonus of Gaz's song writing, this is the dawning of a new era for Spellbound. I loved em before but now I want to enter into a civil partnership with em. Bollocks I want to marry them. That's legal here now you know! (Well, maybe the polygamy bit isn't but a boy can dream). Spells connoisseurs will notice some of the tracks have been previously available on a couple of limited edition 7 inches. So if you missed out on those, here they are in all their glory on a whopper of a 12 incher!  Which reminds me, this is a vinyl-only release which will be sure to please the audiophiles and those of us that like to hold something substantial in our hands (I do most nights). It's virtually impossible to pigeon-hole this release into any specific category as it has influences akimbo. God help the poor fucker down the record shop trying to slot this into the correct section.
The boys have a couple of release night coming up in Ireland in December: Friday 15th in the Harbour Bar in Bray (with Belfast psychobilly outfit Madhouse) and Saturday 16th in The Taproom in Dublin (with Dublin rockabillies The Slick Hicks). You can pick up the album on the night from either of these shows or of course you can buy it directly from the band. I'll whack in a direct link to their email below.
The O'Prez

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Retarded Rats "I Hate Chocolate"

(Killjoy Records 2017)

The Head And The Axe

The never-predictable Killjoy Records have unleashed on us some brand new *deep inhale* oldschoolpsychogaragesurfpunkabilly from The Retarded Rats. This time coming out on sexy flexi-disc no less! Jaysus I haven't seen one of those since getting one free on the front of some paranormal magazine years ago purporting to feature "voices of the dead". So, both band and record label breaking from the more traditional formats but with that said, download codes are included for all you psychobillies from the future. Before I crack on and talk about the music though, the packaging needs a special mention as it's excellent and very cleverly constructed. But you'll just have to buy it to see for yourself. It comes in a gatefold sleeve with lyrics included. I love it when that happens. Once again it's strictly limited to 500 so grab one now before they appear on Discogs for extortionate money. Oh, and F.-J from the Beam Orchestra is on drumming duties here as opposed to our Kris The Kid.  So, onto the music. Side A sounds like a sci-fi asylumesque mash-up. If you read that in a review pertaining to any other genre you'd probably give it a miss immediately and go back to watching The X Factor or some similar shite. But this is our genre and all the offshoots that go along with it so that description is appealing!....and apt. Flipping her over you get more of that evil sounding lunatic fringe fare that has become synonymous with The Retarded Rats. They definitely are unique. They seem to be able to blend genres yet retain a psychobilly core but still have so much more going on. If these are the sounds emanating through their respective heads whilst putting pen to paper or finger to fret board, then those heads much surely be deranged. God I love deranged heads. This is the kind of record that reverberates in your skull even after you've finished listening. Add to that some atypical psychobilly lyrics and you just know you're on to a winner. 
The O'Prez

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Trillionairs "Haunted"

(Killjoy Records 2017)


The Ruhr-based quartet The Trillionairs initially came to my attention last year with the release of their first long player "10.16". They struck me as different even before I put needle to platter owing to the minimalistic sleeve design. I like a band that doesn't follow it musically or indeed artistically. If you haven't got that album you're missing out. The boys straddle the line between classic psychobilly and neo rockabilly perfectly. They're dishing up more of the same here, albeit a Weight Watchers portion of 2 songs. The title song has a ricochet rhythm throughout with some cleverly constructed drumming. When we speak of psychobilly, more often than not we get overly excited about the slap bass. Well I'm giving the drummer kudos here for a change. That's not to say the rest of the lads aren't doing their bit...they most certainly are. It's just the drums are supplying more than a backbeat, they really add to the craftsmanship of the song. Flipping her over we have more catchy goodness with a guitar sound that gets stuck in my head, a bit like Batmobile's Transsylvanian Express did or Frenzy's Hall Of Mirrors...or in more recent times The Spastiks' infectious Wolfman Crawl. The Trillionairs are a band that just seemed to pop up out of nowhere but what an impression they've made! I can't recommend these boys highly enough. If you like your psychobilly with a fraughty top of neo rockabilly then snap this up. Watch out for these lads.
The 45 is out now on Killjoy and as is the norm for the label it's a limited edition of 500...400 black, 50 red (only available from the band) and 50 white directly from Killjoy.
The O'Prez

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Jinetes Fantasmas "King Kong Stomp"

(Crazy Love Records 2017)

King Kong Stomp
Botas De Cuero Negro
 Jekyl Y Hyde
Frankenstein En Mi Casa
Botas De Cuero Negro (Rare Version)

Jinetes Fantasmas (Ghost Riders) have been treading the psychobilly boards since 2009. Hailing from Argentina (the first Argentinian psychobilly band), the quartet are musically straight-up psychobilly but with a more aggresive punk(abilly) vocal style. This album was mixed and mastered by our Doyley of Diablo Records fame. Released on Guido's Crazy Love Records (the label that has an aversion to releasing shite), it's a 7-dittied delight. Sure, I can't understand a fuckin' word they're singing but there's enough reverb-laden guitar and frenetic slap bass and drums to cancel out the language barrier. Besides, the songs are melodic as fuck too. I just wish I paid more attention in Spanish class...but then again I didn't have a Spanish class so that fucks that! This album is sure to please the mental menagerie that inhabit planet psychobilly with its wreckin'-friendly stomping beats though they do ease off the gas on the alternate version of  Botas De Cuero Negro (Black Leather Boots) which incidentally is my favourite song on the album. So stick this in your CD player, open Google Translate in your web browser then sit back and attempt to stay still. No easy task.
The O'Prez

Jinetes Fantasmas Official
Jinetes Fantasmas on Facebook
Buy the CD
Hellacious Harmonies on Facebook

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Cult Of The Psychic Fetus "Cult Of The Psychic Fetus"

(Killjoy Records 2017)

The Morgue
Night In The Life
Out From The Grave
I Live With The Dead

I don't exactly have my finger on the pulse of all things horror punk (though horror punk is only a part of what Cult Of The Psychic Fetus are). You'd probably imagine I would given its close relationship to psychobilly, So why don't I then? Simple. Slap bass. I just love that instrument. It's not the be-all and end-all in horror punk though so it's not my go-to music on a regular basis. With that said though, I do have a smattering of bands in my collection that I turn to when I get psychobilly burnout. The Spookshow, Calabrese, Blitzkid, The Rosedales...and yes, Cult Of The Psychic Fetus. When it comes to the macabre though, and making the macabre into something audible, Cult Of The Psychic Fetus are in a league of their own. Often hailed as the originators of gothabilly, they effortlessly transport the listener to the dark side of life. I'm talking 19th century Whitechapel, foggy, cold menacing surroundings, the Universal horror films of the 1930s. Lyrically they're morbidly poetic. Musically they're monstrously melodic. With undertones of a garage rockabilly beat, with surf guitar on top and an unhealthy dash of theatre bizarre. This EP has it all. Incredibly this is their first outing on vinyl in their 25 year history. 500 copies as is the norm with Killjoy. The 50 clear are sold out but there are still some of the black to be had. Links below...
The O'Prez

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Wigsville Spliffs "Born To Ride"

(Killjoy Records 2017)

Born To Ride
Eyes On My Baby

 My God have you ever seen such attractive men? Form an orderly queue ladies...for the emergency exit. Hmmm, maybe that photo was just taken at a bad angle (facing them in this case). But enough insults and on with the plaudits. I first heard the Wigsville Spliffs back in 1984 I think it was on the Lost Moment Records "Dance To It" compilation. They stood out for me back then with their infectious neo rockabilly sound. Next time I heard em was on one of the Stomping At The Klub Foot compilations and on The James Deans Of The Dole Queue compilation with their absolute gem of a song "If I Tell You I'm Lonely" and then saw em via the gift of Jettisoundz and their good auld VHS releases which captured the cream of the crop of the scene forever on celluloid. The neo rockabilly scene produced some excellent bands in the 80s...The Caravans, Fractured, Restless, Sgt. Bilko's Krazy Combo, Get Smart...and of course the Wigsville Spliffs. Like all the aforementioned bands they had a sound unique to them. The Spliffs have lost none of this uniqueness over the years and this new slab of vinyl is testament to that. They do sound more powerful though, but not in a rock sense, more in a not resting on their laurels sense. You'll see what I mean when you buy this 7" and compare the 1984 version to the 2017 version of Eyes On My Baby (a neo rockabilly classic). The title track is typical catchy-as-fuck Wigsville Spliffs. I'm glad these boys didn't just fade into obscurity and came back to the scene as they have excellent songs to unleash on us still. 2011's Fat 41 more than proved that point too. As usual with Killjoy releases, this is a strictly limited release of 500 copies. The 50 grey ones are gone already, the red (50 also) might still be available from the band but you can still pick up the black. Links below as always. Anyway, pick this up before it's gone and the boys over on Psychoholic start adding it to their wantlist over on Discogs because they missed the boat.
The O'Prez

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Brainiax "Rock'n'Roll Lobotomy"

(Self released 2017)

Cape Fear
Brainiax Boogie
The House On The Hill
The Bastard Sun
Straitjacket Stomp
Galactic Mystery
Devil Doll

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, The Brainiax are relative newcomers to the psychobilly scene. The lads have been together a year but Collin O'Brainiac tells me the lads have been acting the bollix in various bands for several years. You'd know it too. This is some quality stuff. They love the cream of the crop of musical genres which shows in their sound. Taking influences from psychobilly, punk, country and rockabilly, you just know these boys have good taste. Their début show was opening for Canadian sexpots The Gutter Demons and they've just released their first album...all by themselves I might add. It makes me so proud *sniff*. But seriously though, when a band goes down the self-release road I think they deserve as much support as they can get. They do it for the love of the music. Let's face it, there's fuck all profit in psychobilly and any money made goes straight back in to the band (well, maybe a small portion goes to the pub). Anyway, what struck me straight away about The Brainiax is that their sound is somewhat reminiscent of Hayride To Hell and to a certain degree The Hellbillys. They're very much of that tough American psychobilly ilk as opposed to the more "fun" for want of a better expression European psychobilly sound. There's a nice bit of echo chamber on the vocals which gives a sexy rockabilly twist but the music is not for rockabilly aficionados with their heads planted firmly up their arses. It's for rockabilly aficionados like me with my head planted firmly between two arse cheeks...with rockabilly tattooed on one and psychobilly on the other. It's not in-your-face psychobilly either. By psycho standards it's mid-paced. Groovy! I'll tell ya what. I fuckin' love The Brainiax me. If you like your psychobilly with a glint of a flick knife and a knuckle duster to the man-spuds this'll be right up your street. You can grab it directly from the band (and pick up some merch while you're at it...seemingly if you wear one of their shirts, sew a couple of their patches over your nipples and apply a sticker (or 10 in my case) over your shlong, it's guaranteed to result in panty evaporation). It's available now on CD and digital download...links to purchase below.
The O'Prez



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Big Black Wolf "Rock'n Roll Trash"

(Self Released 2017)

Bad Blues
Wrecked Roll

Big Black Wolf from France are a genre-defying quartet (I'm guessing the drummer was holding the camera in the photo I used here). With the classic rockabilly instrumentation but played in a more trashy rock'n'roll style with a big dollop of angry punk rock vocals on top. In keeping with the underground aesthetic, the EP is 100% home made but to my ears sounds every bit as good as anything mixed and mastered in a professional studio. Big Black Wolf are the kind of outfit that will appeal to both psychobillies and punks in equal measure. Rockabillies will be holding their 1950s crucifixes aloft! If you like your psychobilly and all it's related offshoots and relations to sound violent and threatening then look no further than Big Black Wolf. The EP is available directly from the band's Facebook page (though there mightn't be many left). Another reason to like Big Black Wolf is their initials also equate to that most alluring of woman!
The O'Prez

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Salidos De La Cripta "Enemigos De La Humanidad"

(Crazy Love Records 2017)

Blues Del Vicio
Enemigo De La Humanidad
La Meretriz Del Diablo
Otro Día
El Efecto De Su Oscura Oración
La Ruta Al Infierno
Hey! Señor Juez!
Diles Que No Me Maten

I love a challenge me. The challenge this time being typing out those song titles. Bloody Colombians...coming over here and not bothering to sing in English...stealing our women...seducing them with their big Latin shlongs and suits. Shower o' bastards! Look at them there. God Almighty they make me sick! Ah no, I'm only pulling your lariat. The Colombians...a great bunch of lads. So, Salidos De La Cripta (Out Of The Crypt...or Departed From The Crypt..or Coming Out Of The Crypt..I DON'T KNOW...QUIT BUSTIN' MY BALLS...for us non-multilingual gobshites) have just released this scorcher of an album on Germany's Crazy Love. The lads use the "psychobilly" moniker on their Facebook page but there's a lot more to them than just that. Psychotic rockabilly with the odd twist of Latin or maybe even Tex Mex rhythms here and there with oodles of reverb-drenched twang which adds plenty of "billy" to the aforementioned psychobilly. Rockabilly is all too often lost in the mix when it comes to a lot of newer psycho outfits but not so with Salidos De La Cripta. The strep throat vocals add to the aggressive sound the boys have...and I don't mean Sparky rip-off vocals...I mean good ballsy angry powerful vocals. It never ceases to amaze me how much talent there is in this little subculture of ours. This band is brimming over with talent. This album is excellent. Grab it by the scrote now on either vinyl (for snobby bastards) or CD (for lazy bastards) and use the side of your knee like I do as a double bass and slap along to the frenetic rhythms.
The O'Prez

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Screaming Kids "Hasto Luego Mi Amor"

(Crazy Love Records 2017)

Le Bruit Des Anges
Encore Un Soir
Le Fossoyeur
Hasta Luego Mi Amor
Prends Le Comme Ca Vient
Ton Ame En Peine
A 4 Dans La BM
Tes Magies
Petit Chaperon Rouge

Waaaait a minute...Screaming "Kids"? These boys are taking the piss. It's been 27 years since their first album saw the light of day on Nervous Records. Well I suppose like the rest of us in the psychobilly world they probably have the mental age of 12 so I'll gloss over that. So what are they like now? I prefer em now. I can't understand a word they're singing (see song titles) (my French teacher would be so proud) but then again I have trouble understanding psychobilly when sang in English! Straddling the lines between power rockabilly and psychobilly with some fine vocals it reminds me a bit of their fellow countrymen The Lucky Devils. It's more than evident that the lads haven't left their instruments in the attic for the past 27 years as there's some top notch playing to be heard. All instruments seem to ricochet off one and other. There's passion in the playing and indeed the singing. Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood) isn't a cover of the old Sam The Sham favourite but is a Kids original and finishes out the album in such a way that you want to go back and listen to it all over again. Instant classic that song! Once again 2017 just seems to offer up more and more stellar releases. Out now for your wallet-emptying pleasure on Crazy Love on both vinyl and CD. You know you want it...
The O'Prez

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Wreck "The Nosferatu"

(Crazy Love Records 2017)

The Nosferatu
The Day The Earth Stood Still

While the rest of the psychobilly world is off in Pineda sunning their pasty arses I'm stuck here in overcast Ireland wiping mine. But that's not a bad thing exactly. For you see, such was my excitement upon receiving the new teaser-single from everyone's soon-to-be favourite band The Wreck, that I immediately shat in my lace panties...I mean...boxer shorts. Yes, that's it. Boxer shorts. *crickets* ...But anyway, there's been a lot of media attention regarding this band, a bit of a super-group really if you care to read their bio on their Facebook page. So they're not just a Johnny-Come-Lately outfit. Do they live up to the hype though? Put it this way, I fuckin' love this two-shantied-shite-inducing disc-o-delights! Now from what I can garner from Crazy Love is that it's a limited edition copy with each order of the forthcoming album. If the rest of the album maintains the quality of the two songs on offer here then I think it's going to be a contender for the Hellacious Harmonies album of the year and there's plenty of stiff competition so far. Apart from the pristinely-produced psychobilly beats, what I especially love is the vocals. They have somewhat of a new wave tonality to them. For my money their impending album is going to be exemplary. Let's just hope it doesn't get pirated....pirated...did you see what I did there? Feck off then!
The O'Prez

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

X-Ray Cat Trio "I Lied"

(Killjoy Records 2017)

I Lied
Ram Riders
Lonely On A Saturday Night
The Devil's Come Rag

This is the third slab of wax from the Leeds-based outfit X-Ray Cat Trio. I'll get the particulars out of the way first shall I? Okay, This is available on black vinyl (400 copies), hot pink vinyl (50 copies - band edition) and lizard yellow vinyl (50 copies - Killjoy Records edition).  Now then, the music. Well, in a nutshell, this 7 incher is a funsize Rockabilly Psychosis And The Garage Disease. Packed with quality and diversity. This is a must-have for anyone with even a modicum of good taste. By my calculations, it's a 10 minute joyride through everything I love about my chosen music genres. From trashy, sleazy garage rock'n'roll to surf, right into a bit of 1950s bubblegum pop balladeering (with bollocks) and a rockabilly chaser for the road. The boys show expert prowess on every one. Usually at the end of these I stick on a sample track of what to expect, but in this case, sticking on a single track wouldn't do the boys justice so I'm sticking on a sample of all 4 songs sexily merged together by me because I'm nice like that. The lads are no museum piece though. Yes they play an eclectic mix of styles rooted in the 1950s and 60s but do so with such vigour and dynamism that they wouldn't have been "radio-friendly" back then. With that said, they're not radio-friendly now either and that's why I love em. Having the ability to appeal to a multitude of subcultures is a rare trait in a band but from where I'm sitting this a trait the X-Ray Cat Trio have in abundance.  
The O'Prez

Monday, May 22, 2017

Radarmen "Radarmen"

(Killjoy Records 2017)

Invasion Of The Radarmen
Cosmic Kidnapping
End Of Line

Well this one took me by complete surprise as I wasn't familiar with the band at all. So with no expectations to be met whatsoever, I stuck it on the turntable and had immediate erect nipples. This is straight-up 100% psychobilly with no harmful additives. Clean guitar, pounding drums and slap bass aplenty. The opening ditty is like a more evil sounding Guana Batz. Me likey. What follows is more of the same minus the Batz influence but still heavy on the classic psychobilly sound....of the mid 80s European variety. Me likey again. This EP is one wrecking pit-friendly slab of excellence. Lyrically it steers away from the usual horror fare and the boys opt for a more nihilistic sci-fi  approach. Well they are called the Radarmen so the clue was right there. Fuck me there's even some old school psychobilly screams to be had. I love screams me. The lads hail from California and this is their début release. It was available on purple and white vinyl but those are already sold out but the sexy black ones can still be purchased from stocks though so get yer finger out of yer arse. As début releases go, this is right up there with the best...and better than a lot more. Radarmen are definitely a band to look out for and are injecting a much needed shot in the arse to the somewhat stagnant US psycho scene as far as new talent goes. This record is filled with melodious aggression and I love it.
The O'Prez

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Bob Wayne "Bad Hombre"

(People Like You Records 2017)

Hell Yeah
Mr. Bandana
Still Truckin'
420 Bound
Hangin' Tree
Take Back The USA
The Last Breath You Take
Fairground In The Sky
Devil's Backbone
Kiss My Ass God Bless The USA
80 Miles From Baghdad
Working Class Musician
Wake Me Up

Outlaw Country eh? Just what is it?  There are many exponents of this Country music offshoot doing the rounds. But is it a Country music offshoot? I don't think so. It's just that real Country has become so watered down and sugar coated that it's barely recognisable. So maybe the Outlaw tag by these artists is a two-fingered salute to what is passing off as Country these days and guys like Bob Wayne are actually the ones playing the real deal. Anyway, musings aside, on with the music. Two instruments I love to hear are pedal steel and fiddle. Especially on slower songs. I'm a glutton for the melancholic. There's pedal steel and fiddle aplenty to be heard on this album. And...seeing as this is a psychobilly/rockabilly site, I'm pleased to announce there's a nice slapping bass in the fray too! This is Bob's 8th album but the first I've heard. Sorry Bob. Lyrically he's telling stories of his own life experiences which anyone can relate to...that is, those of us that weren't born with a silver spoon in our mouths and have enough life experience under our belts to be able to appreciate the story telling. This is music for the ordinary man (or sexism here...isn't that right bitches?). I can hear that Waylon Jennings style Country in abundance (especially in the story telling department) but it also veers into that Bakersville/Buck Owens sound here and there. In a nutshell, what this album is is 100% sugar free, down to earth, honest to fuck Country music played with the kind of heart and veracity that "modern" country has all but forgotten. The album is out now on CD and vinyl and you can pick it up directly from the good folks over at People Like You Records (links below).
The O'Prez

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Brook Blanche "Brook Blanche"

(Broken Neck Records 2017)

Fools On The Barstools
Your Side
Empty Promises
Two Wrongs
Sink & Burn
Head Of The Table
Prettiest Girl
With Me

There's a lot of dross to be heard in modern cuntry music. The honesty is gone out of it. The simplicity. Conversely there are still artists like Brook Blanche who haven't jumped on the train-o-shite to Shittington and play a mournful, honest and simple version of all things Americana just like it was meant to be played. This is stripped down stuff. It's as if him and his mates have all turned up in your sitting room to serenade you with tales of heartbreak in all its guises. Warning: If you are going through some form of heartbreak this will have you reaching for the kleenex and, if you're a girl...add a big tub of ice cream to the tissue quota....and an understanding female (or gay) friend for comforting purposes. Brook Blanche really knows how to compose a song that tugs on the heartstrings. This is in no small part due to that aforementioned honesty. We've all been there. That feeling of loss and regret. He just has an impeccable talent for articulating those feelings and putting them to song. It's a universal thing and Blanche poetically puts into words what most of us haven't the ability to but wish we had. A modern-day troubadour for the heartbroken.
The O'Prez

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Long Tall Texans "Headless"

(The Western Star Recording Company 2017)

Countdown To A Breakdown
In My Dreams
Who Told You
Even The Cops Cried (The Day Elvis Died)

Nothing screams Long Tall Texans more than the art of Geo Parkin. He's been synonymous with the Texans imagery for years. My nipples screamed with glee when I saw he did the art for their sexy new 10 inches of blue pleasure. Was this a sign that the music would be every bit as good as the art? To be honest, I've missed Mark Denman's penmanship since his departure. He's written some of the band's best material. But fuck me, that Garry Castleman knows exactly how to pen a whole host of new Texans classics. His song writing style fits the band's sound to a tee. He was the one-time guitarist with the Texans but thankfully still writes for the band. Of course I've missed Denman's guitar style too but 'Brother' Matt Windler...well, sorry Mr. Denman, he's picked (no pun intended) up where you left off and now he has that trademark Texans sound. Fuck me I'm fickle. Now then, in keeping with the informative shenanigans before I press on and talk about the actual music, four of the ditties on here are penned by the aforementioned Mr. Castleman and there are two covers but they both have direct links to our Texans. Countdown To A Breakdown is a cover of a Viki Vortex and the Cumshots song for whom Theo plays the drums, and In My Dreams is a song from the 1996 Home album by The Hotknives of which Mark Carew has been a long-time member. 
Now then, great songs can all go to shit with piss poor production. Enter one Mr. Alan Wilson. This just keeps getting better and better doesn't it? The three Texans (via Brighton) as a unit, Parkin's art, Wilson twiddling his multiple knobs. This is Long Tall Texans gold. All the ingredients are there. There were one or two speed bumps along the road of 2017 releases that I was really looking forward to but this is not one of them. The boys have always had a distinctive sound and Headless has it in spades. Instantly recognisable as The Long Tall Texans but at the same time sounding as fresh and original as they did when they first saw the light of the day on turntables back in the 1980s. A standout release from a standout band with a clean punchy production from Alan Wilson. Countless bands have come and gone since the Texans first release and thirty odd years later they're still putting a lot of their cohorts to shame. The 10 incher is out now on Mr. Wilson's Western Star label but is sold out on his webstore. It's limited to 500 copies but there are still some knocking about from the usual outlets so get it while the going is good. 
In the meantime, I've ordered a rubber stamp from eBay and am whacking this on the cover upon its arrival...
The O'Prez

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Klax "Last Zyborg"

(Crazy Love Records 2017)

The 4 Tribes
Zyborg Coming
Rock Salt
Queen's Control
Broken Mirror
Last Zyborg
Silent Bell

I'm kicking off this review with a blurb from the band themselves....and then I shall wax lyrical about what I think. So, from Klax: "This is a very powerful and aggressive release. The album also tells a back story set in a polluted and corrupt future for human kind. There are 3 tribes who vote globally and one Human Admiral (Kernt) who enforces all law. The tribes consist of lazy but intelligent humans, Androids who are used for basic chores of slave labor and Cyborgs who are also slave laborers but for more difficult jobs. The Androids have free will and are always upset with their rates and working conditions. They have been rebelling for decades and are led by a Gynoid Queen. Admiral Kernt and Dr. Zyaut have designed an artificial organism fused with it's robotic shell. This new design should be absent of free will and free thought. It will merely be a mindless slave. Although, it will still consist of much attention to detail and can work for a 100 years without rest or maintenance. The Admiral has rallies and promotions that are needed for support and votes to pass approval of all 3 tribes. He has Dr. Zyaut awaken their 1st prototype "Zyborg". As soon as he awakes, he destroys everything in sight and shows plenty of free thought and free will..."
Now that the copying and pasting duties have been taken care of, what we have here is a rare breed indeed...a psychobilly concept album! Artistically, the cover art strikes me as a kind of Krewmen/Klingonz mashup.  Musically, this mashup continues. This is a harder, more threatening sounding Klax to the sounds to be heard on their 2012 album Recycle-Billy. Psychobilly slap bass and drums laden with cyber punk guitar and vocals. It's like a soundtrack to every post apocalyptic film you've ever seen.  But it doesn't go so far into cyber punk waters that the psychobilly gets lost in the mix. Klax have found the perfect blend between the two. All instruments are perfectly balanced too in a way that all are played in audible conjunction with one and other. They've really caught that menacing sound in keeping with the subject matter throughout. The all-important lyrics are included in the booklet too so you could say it's also the first psychobilly audio book with each song being a chapter. Anyway, to sum up, what Klax have released here is a pounding, slap bass driven psychobilly/cyber punk stomper minus those bullshit horror/theatrical vocals that are all too common and fucking boring. See that psychobilly bands? Take a leaf out of Klax's can still sound dangerous and sing in your "actual" voice. The album is out now on all platforms but fuck streaming...go and buy a physical copy from everyone's favourite German sexpot Guido Neumann. 
The O'Prez

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Gamblers Mark "Dirty Needles"

(Gamblers Mark 2017)

13th Hour (Intro)
Dirty Needles
Long Summer
I'll Never Know
Temporary Defeat
Madame Ching
Black Stilettos
Safety Word
We're Desperate (Featuring Jackie Mendez)
Looking In Your Window (Featuring The Flashbax)

A while back Gamblers Mark posted a taster of what was to come on their then forthcoming album Dirty Needles. The song in question was Long Summer. It was a live-in-the-studio rendition of the song on the Loaded Bomb YouTube channel as part of their "Live at D.O'B. SOUND" series of videos. Now, I look forward to a lot of new releases, and 2017 is quite the year for new releases. But I was more than looking forward to this release. I was excited about it. This one song went straight into my ranks of all-time favourites. It also begged the question though, could the boys have more songs up their sleeves on this album that gave me such an immediate "fucking hell!" moment? Or, would the rest pale in comparison?! Well....there are "fucking hell!" moments in abundance on this album. I'm not going to single out songs and talk about them as I find that makes for boring reading. Besides, some songs have been creeping up on me and overtaking the others that gave me that initial ear-pleasure. The lads have written and produced an album that the makers of Red Bull would be proud of. It's blazing maniacal stuff but played with a skill and dexterity that brings me back to that "fucking hell!" moment every time I listen. But the lads throw in a few curve balls here and there with a couple of ska and new wave songs. I like ska and new wave. These lads can do no wrong on this album. All self-penned except for a cover of X's "We're Desperate" and what always impresses me is when a band can combine lyrics that actually have some substance to them with music that's powered by a 16 horsepower slap bass and drums backbeat and still be thought-provoking. There are a couple of songs on here that are high speed but still maintain an air of melancholia. I love melancholia me! I love this album!! If you've read the track listing above (and if you haven't then you're a half-arsed reader) you'll notice some guests in the song titles. The guests in question are The Flashbax and Jackie Mendez...The Flashbax are an offshoot of Gamblers Mark and a melting pot of different musical stylings and Jackie Mendez is on vocals in the aforementioned Flashbax. See? Not only are my they're educational as well. Now then, as I alluded to earlier, 2017 is quite the year for new releases, I've been looking forward to a lot of em. One or two were utter disappointments so won't be gracing these pages, but this one, this one is head and shoulders above a lot of the stuff released so far this year and has surpassed stuff I've had in my ledger-o-favourites for the past 30 years. 
The O'Prez

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Them Old Crap "Galeria Fantasma"

(Broken Neck Records 2017)

Breath Your Life
Crucified By Love
Constant Sorrow
By My Side
Whisper Help
Make Up
Lean On Me
Guerreiros Do Submundo
Barutcha Kreputcha

I like a bit of Bluegrass me...or in this case...Undergrass. At least that's what Brazilian trio Them Old Crap call themselves on their Facebook page! And fuck me, but it suits em. The lads have taken Bluegrass in a whole new, somewhat darker direction. This album hits the spot in a lot of different ways. The artwork really suit the sounds emanating from me sexy Sennheisers. Tis a 16 page booklet with all the lyrical delights within and features some fine photography. The musicianship coming from the hands and hearts of these three boys is off the fucking chart! (There's a host of guest musicians on here too which just makes the talent to be admired more abundant). It veers into gypsy territory every now and again and to my ears at least, maybe even into indie/rock territory. I think the latter may be due to the vocal stylings of frontman Eduardo Ribeiro. Well whatever the sounds are I love em. There's an honesty to the lyrics that's so often lost in music. I mean, in a world where lyrical content consists of "ooooh baby etc.", it makes a welcome change to sit back and listen to actual stories being told through the medium of song. Heartfelt, down-to-earth lyrics that'll have you singing along one minute and sitting back and listening intently the next. Now I know it's only March but this is one of thee best albums I've heard this year. See? I'm not all about psychobilly and pretending the side of my leg is a slap bass...though I did slap the side of my leg-bass a lot whilst listening to this. Them Old Crap are anything but crap. They're the.....anti-crap! 
The O'Prez