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

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Nevrotix "Alive"

(Crazy Love Records 2018)

No Name
Werewolf Stomp
The Hatching
Fire Train
Nervous Beat
Voodoo Island
Butcher Boy
Different Lives
The Plague

There's a certain nod artistically (not musically..well maybe a bit) to The Krewmen on this album. The tray insert especially. It features little mini posters as it were for each song as if they were individual short stories. Well they are. And finely executed too. There's also a nod to not only the 80s psychobilly sound but 80s horror films/creature features too. Two things I love. The trio of nubile sexpots are once again blurring the lines between psychobilly and neo rockabilly with the stomping beat of psycho and the twang of neo. Also two things I love. On this, their second album, they continue to carve out their own distinctive sound. As follow-up albums go, this is the perfect successor. They've kept the rockin' beat of the first and ramped it up to make it an even wilder affair. The Nevrotix are an excellent band. It's as simple as that. Sometimes when a band release the follow-up to a début I was quite taken with I can quite easily lose interest as their quest for "progression" just alienates their initial listeners. Well these three boys know how to be progressive and still satiate these picky-as-fuck ears. 
The O'Prez

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Saint Dom And The Sinful "Holywell Dene"

(Self-released 2017)

Get Up And Get Out
Motorbike Rider
Mr Saint
Ghost Town
Holywell Dene
Cause I Do
Cat Feet
Jenny Won't Play No More
Phantom Lady
One Foot In The Grave

For a few years now there has been a video by an ensemble called Sinful which was recorded for UK TV back in 1983 on a programme called The Works which has garnered much interest from the psycho/neo community. It regularly pops up on social media and there was always a certain mystery surrounding the band. Interest was also piqued owing to the fact that Simon Badminton who later went on to form Spook And The Ghouls was the slap bassist. In 2012 an album of demo material appeared on the band's Reverbnation page which only added to the burgeoning interest surrounding the band. I loved those demo recordings, and then, out of the blue a few months ago I see a post by a guy called Peter Turner on one of the Facebook psycho/neo group pages advertising the release of an album by Saint Dom And The Sinful. The penny didn't drop for a few minutes until I had a listen to the samples he posted. I immediately wrote to Peter who as it transpires is now the slap bassist for known as Saint Dom And The Sinful and we had a chat back and forth. He then put me in contact with Saint Dom himself, Dominic Malia, frontman and lyricist extraordinaire, the CD was purchased (though the cheap bastard even charged me the 25p for the envelope), the wait for the postman began, and then it dropped on my plush red carpet. The self-released gem, much to my surprise, is no hastily put together package as is the way sometimes with self-released stuff. This thing comes with a 16 page booklet and the paper is so thick that it barely fits in the jewel case. Now I heard the samples of course as I mentioned before, but I also had that 2012 demo and loved the raw energy of it. Sometimes when songs are taken into a studio and mixed/engineered properly all that magic can be lost. That raw energy can become flat and banal. From the opening few chords on this album I knew this was not going to be the case. Thank fuck! It becomes even more evident when Dom's vocals kick in that this is neo rockabilly with power. This man has some pipes. All the songs from the aforementioned demos are here, there are 12 songs in total, all self-penned and not one of them is shite! This a most unusual occurrence. I rarely, if ever, like every song on an album. This release is in a league of its own when it comes to quality song writing. Dom's singing also keeps my finger away from clicking next on my player. He has an infectious voice! Add to that the acoustic resonance of the slap bass and the crunch of the snare, the clean, sometimes heal-palmed guitar and it's a recipe for neo rockabilly purity. I'm glad someone gave Dom that well-deserved kick up the arse to get a band together and finally get these songs properly released for the baying audience he probably didn't even know he had. You can buy the CD directly from the band from their Facebook page and it's on all the major digital download/streaming sites.
The O'Prez

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Rhythm Reactorz "Feel The Fallout Of The...Rhythm Reactorz"

(Crazy Love Records 2017)

Run Away
Lost Time
Chloe Cries
Broken Hearted Dreamers
Never Will Forget
Chalk Line Blues

When I think of neo rockabilly my mind immediately zones in on the UK and Europe. But The Rhythm Reactorz from Los Angeles have their own version of neo rockabilly. It's a more smooth or maybe eloquent version of the raucous neo sounds we get over this side of the pond. Smooth and eloquent pretty much sum up the sounds emanating from my headphones when listening to The Rhythm Reactorz. While there is a pounding double bass and drums back beat, the guitar and vocals give The Rhythm Reactorz a kind of plush velvet sound. There's a kind of dark romantic vibe going on in the melodies and guitar playing. I fucking love it! There's no bullshit about bopping or cadillacs to be heard here. Lyrically it's mainly comprised of songs about love and women. But there's no clichéd rhyming schemes or words you can fill in before they're even sang. This is some excellently crafted stuff, both lyrically and musically. There's a certain melancholia to Tony Pelayo's vocals that adds a sincerity to the songs. Don't get me wrong though, there's not a slow song on the entire album. It's all slap-tastic neo rockabilly. It's the rhythms and vocals sitting on top of the beat that sets them apart from their less-than-original counterparts. It's rockabilly with substance. Who would have thought there was such a thing?
The O'Prez

The Rhythm Reactorz on Facebook
Buy the LP
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