Friday, October 30, 2015

Restless "Originals"

(Bluelight Records 2015)

Don't Say It Unless You Will
Get Away
I Wanna Get With You
The Fool
Maraca Man
Runaway Train
I Want It All
Travellin' Man
You Drive Me Insane
You Know It Ain't Right
Some Folk

Restless! The band synonymous with the term "Neo Rockabilly". I love neo rockabilly and psychobilly in equal measure. However, neo rockabilly outfits are few and far between in comparison to the profusion of psychobilly combos currently doing the rounds. So, quality not quantity, right? Of course it also means a neo rockin' ensemble will really have to set the bar high for us hard-to-please listeners who have an expectation that can so often be deflated. This is especially true when a band like Restless release an album of all original material (hence the album title...and the fact that it's the original line up from 100 years ago!). Expectations are beyond high. Having Ben Cooper back in the fold and penning some of the songs is the equivalent of having Mark Denman back in the Long Tall Texans flexing his musical biro. You know what I mean right? With this line up we're all expecting that classic Restless sound. Do we get it? YES! Yes we DO!! I remember as a teenager, I'd take days off school or leave early as I'd be gagging to hear albums I'd bought at the weekend and just couldn't be arsed staying in school when all that was reverberating through my head were songs that I just couldn't wait to listen to again. This album makes me want to go back to as once again I can't be arsed going as I'd much rather be at home being filled with aural pleasure. This is Restless. It's like a glorious concoction of all the best stuff they released on Nervous, ABC and Madhouse. Classic Restless and all brand new putting the naysayers to shame. The album's production values also give it that all-too-rare element of it not sounding like their previous output whilst maintaining the trademark Restless sonance, where if you hear a song it's instantly recognisable as being from that album. But I was almost bitterly disappointed. I'd listened to 11 tracks of pristine Restless up-tempo perfectly formulated neo rockabilly but there was one missing ingredient. A Mark Harman ballad. They've always been my secret pleasure, like a treat after the main course. And then there it was. Track 12. Thanks Mark. Perfect placement too given my dessert analogy. 
On a side-note...Bluelight Records always package their releases beautifully opting for super jewel cases as opposed to the standard jewel cases. Aesthetics are important to me too. 
So, Restless fans rejoice. THIS is what you've been waiting for. Now Restless have the unenviable task of penning a follow-up album that reaches the same heights or surpasses this one. 
The O'Prez

The album is available online on both CD and vinyl formats from all purveyors of the finest rockin' sounds. My go-to guy is Howard at Raucous Records. Also, the CD has two tracks not available on the vinyl...and the vinyl has two tracks not available on the CD!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Intolerants "100% Of Nothin'"

The Western Star Recording Company 2015

Number One
Crawlin' Back
The Bitterness That Lasts
While You Were Out
Ten To Two
Can't Be Arsed
Red Dress
So Long Baby Goodbye
The Next Time I See You
Do You Hate Me?
Without You
Why Do I Do It
Coal Miner's Son
En Gång Till

So what have we here then? Fucked if I know! First I thought it was a crackin' new release on Alan Wilson's Western Star label by a garage band I wasn't familiar with called The Intolerants. But then I thought no, they're actually a psychobilly wait....a rockabilly band? A country band? A neo rockabilly band?? Jaysus these lads are hard to pigeon-hole. Diversity is order of the day on this album. 14 ditties, 13 of which are self-penned with the cover coming by way of  that old Blasters classic So Long Baby Goodbye, which while still retaining that rootsy feel is delivered with more of a punk rock sensibility than the roots rock original. The self-penned stuff, while all fits under the big umbrella of all things rockin', is where things grab hold of your scrote (or front bottom) and refuse to let go. It's everything great about all the different sub-genres that have "billy" stuck on the end all in one place. The album can go from Luther Perkins-esque stylings to Poison Ivy infused goodness, straight through to Mark Harman inspired neo-rockin' and end up with moody slow-set material where you try and feel a girl's arse before the lights come on down at the local nightclub. Quality stuff that encapsulates everything I love about the broad spectrum of music that can be deemed simply rock'n'roll as I'd be here all day listing the more precise definitions of the music these guys play. There's even a song about Maggie Thatcher for fuck sake! Top that!!

The O'Prez

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