Monday, December 12, 2016

Mikey Classic And His Lonesome Spur "Mikey Classic And His Lonesome Spur"

(Broken Neck Records 2016)

Feed The Fire
Climbing Up The Walls
Bow Down To No Man
ShameShameShame
Wicked Day
No More Games
Sun & Moon
The Oil Field's Burning
Heaven
Pass Me The Bottle
Y'All Motherfuckers Need Jesus
The End Of My Rope

As solo albums go this really is "solo" along the same lines as one-man band exponents like Bloodshot Bill and Hasil Adkins. Now reissued on heavy weight vinyl by Broken Neck Records, the album originally saw the light of day back in 2014 on Farmaggedon Records. Mikey Classic is a well known and highly respected artist across all facets of the sub-cultural music scene. Taking time out from his front-man duties with The Goddamn Gallows, Mikey sings and plays his heart out while exploring the more rootsy, stripped down elements of what can broadly be described as Americana. Featuring Mikey on vocals, guitar, banjo and kick-drum, it just goes to show what a talented artisan of all-things musically pure and raw he is. There's no over-production or polish to this album. It's heartfelt, honest music which ranges from folk to delta blues to bluegrass to Southern rock. For all the maniacal playing and singing, the lyrics show Mikey is a deep thinker and modern-day poet for the ordinary working class man (or woman...I'm not sexist...sexy yes, not sexist). There's a nice balance between the songs with loads of anger and those slower ditties with loads of raw emotion. What I really like about Mikey Classic's vocals are his tendency to go into a falsetto yodel every now and again and there's plenty of that to be heard here. This is the kind of record that makes me want to go for a few pints with Mikey and have a ballad session ensue where by the end of the night, after having a right knees-up we're all crying in to our Guinness. The album is available on limited green, limited red and good auld black vinyl for us colour blind gobshites.

The O'Prez


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Doghouse Rose "Bourbon & Gasoline"

(Broken Neck Records 2016)

Intro
Lurking In The Dark
Dead Or Alive
Another Day Goes By
I'm Gonna Drink
The Working Song
Waiting For You
You Should Know
Wild West
Warning
The Carnival Show
40 Days

Rebel country, cowpunk, rockabilly, hints of psychobilly, it's all going on on this the second album from Canada's Doghouse Rose. More than likely you'd find it in the country section of your record shop but that would be an unfair, or perhaps untrue classification. You can tell there's a melting pot of influences and not just from the usual mix of genres associated with our underground scenes. They also branch out into pop, rock and alternative territory making the whole thing refreshing and different. I love bands that push the boundaries. Rule books are for arse-wiping purposes if you ask me. On this album we have 12 songs written on 12 sheets of rule book shit tickets with which the rule makers can cleanse their anuses and......I think I'll just shut up now. You get the idea with that. So, Doghouse Rose have the enviable ability of being able to slot in on the bill at a country, rockabilly, psychobilly or punk show and go down a storm. Of course there would be a strong male contingent up front ogling the ravishing Sarah Beth....I mean...listening to her velvet vocals. Yes, that's it. Seriously though, that girl has a fine voice. I especially like it on slower parts when accompanied by mournful fiddle and lap steel. Vocals are shared between our Sarah Beth and bassist Jefferson "MegaJeff" Sheppard. His vocal stylings remind me a lot of Waylon Jennings. As a matter of fact, this album reminds me a lot of the Jennings, Cash, Nelson, Kristofferson Highwaymen ensemble and their whole outlaw country thing, only to my ears Doghouse Rose are streets ahead of anything The Highwaymen did. But then I'm no county purist and am listening to this with ears that grew up on rockabilly, psychobilly and punk. Doghouse Rose are my new favourite rebel country cowpunk rockabilly psychobilly pop rock alternative band. There. I've said it. Eventually.

The O'Prez

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Urban Pioneers "Feast Or Famine"

(Broken Neck Records 2016)

Maybelle's Farewell
Sunrise After Sunset
He Didn't Know My Name Back Then
High On A Mountain
Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss
Goliath Coming Down
Lazy Bones
John Brown's Dream
Never Had A Waffle At The Waffle House
Mary The Elephant
Do You Dream In Color
No Blood In The Stone

Wouldn't Garth Brooks be spinning in his grave if he heard this platter from the Urban Pioneers? Well, he would be if he was dead. Or maybe it'd be better had he never been born at all and then a lot of that "new country" bollocks would never have seen the light of day. But who cares about that when there are grass-roots combos like the Urban Pioneers sticking six collective v-sign fingers up at em. Unlike a lot of bands from the Broken Neck stable, the Urban Pioneers were not new to me. I have their Addicted To The Road and Vehicle In Transit albums so was filled with glee when I got this, the latest sonic output from the trio of talented troubadours. I like to classify my music collection and in the genre field for Urban Pioneers I have Bluegrass/Hillbilly/Americana/Rockabilly/Folk. That pretty much tallies the musical concoction they brew up...well, there's a bit of gypsy stuff going on too  but we don't want to get too bogged down in genres and just let the music speak for itself. Back in the early 90s there seemed to be a mini explosion of bands over this side of the pond and beyond trying to emulate all that was best about American roots music and to some extent Irish folk music. Bands like The Cropdusters, Ivor And The Engines, Tokyo Skunx etc. Now those bands were all great in their own right but you just can't top the real thing. That is to say, a band that are actually American, playing all manner of American roots music..with actual American accents! It's a bit like when I hear some American bands trying to do the Irish Folk Punk thing. No one can pull off an Irish accent and make it sound authentic unless you're actually Irish. I pull off a great Irish accent...because I'm Irish. But anyway, fuck me I go off on tangents sometimes, back to the music. It's not easy to sit down and listen to/review this album. It has that infectious quality of making you want to prise your arse out of the chair, slip in to some dungarees (or bottomless chaps) and dance a jig around the room. It is, for the most part, foot-stomping, good-time music. When I think of what most people (those brainwashed by the mass media) think is good music, and compare it what I know is good music (Urban Pioneers), I despair for the world and those brainwashed gobshites. I really do.

The O'Prez


Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Kings Of Nuthin' "Get Busy Livin' Or Get Busy Dyin'"

(Crazy Love Records 2016)

Let It Burn
King For A Day
Other Side Of Hope
Get Busy Livin' Or Get Busy Dyin'
Playing The Fool
Miss April
Kings Of Nuthin'
Boston Bound
My Hometown
Where Do We Go?


This is the first release from Boston-based punk rock rhythm 'n' blues outfit The Kings Of Nuthin'. Originally released back in 2000 on Reckloose Records, it saw a couple of vinyl releases (both on Crazy Love Records) in 2001 and another CD release in 2003 on Bad Dog Records. Lead singer Torr Skoog died tragically in June 2013 and this month would have marked his 40th birthday. So it's only fitting that we should remember him and his unique band with this timely reissue of a début album that was both ground breaking and led the way for a succession of follow-up albums that cemented the band firmly as one of the most unique and wildest ensembles to ever put their stamp on the term rock'n'roll. Skoog's vocals are like a deranged Little Richard. They say rockabilly was the original punk rock. The music on this album would have caused mass panic in the 1950s when the terrified US media branded rock'n'roll the Devil's Music. It's sweaty, raucous, in-your-face rock'n'roll with lashings of rhythm 'n' blues and rockabilly with a big pair of hairy punk bollocks being pressed into your eye sockets. They slow it down here and there for some heartfelt slower numbers but for the most part it's all violent rock'n'roll. The perfect music to get drunk to, to dance to, the fight to....or give your girlfriend a good rogering to! It's available now on black vinyl and limited edition golden vinyl from Crazy Love Records.

The O'Prez


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Death Valley Surfers "More.....Beer"

(Punkabilly Records 2016)

More (Beer)
Dead Man's Surf (Hanging 10)
Milner (Dix Mix)

If there's one thing I like more than The Highliners and King Kurt, then it's a combination of both,
which is pretty much what Death Valley Surfers is. Fronted by ex-Highliner Russ Surfer on vox and guitar, with the man with the massive horn, John Reddington of King Kurt fame on sax, Dick Dynamite of Doppelgängers fame slapping the bass, Jay Vee tapping his organ and more besides and Karl Väster on foreskins. There are some guest musicians and backing vocalists on here too which all add to the pissed-up party atmosphere. From the opening hoedown of More (Beer) through to the garage-surf of Dead Man's Surf (Hanging 10) to the rootsy country-rockabilly twang of Milner (Dix Mix), it's an eclectic little package of pearls. Our Dick Dynamite even gets a chance to flex his multi-instrumentalist skills on dobro and fiddle. For such a bunch of lads that are clearly out to have a laugh and take the piss, their musical skills are no laughing matter. There's talent in abundance running throughout this three-track CD single. Naturally it's very reminiscent of The Highliners and King Kurt output but it's a lot more rockin'. Milner really reminds me of Eddie Tudor-Pole's Hayrick Song-era stuff. Comparisons aside, Death Valley Surfers are their own band and bring all their past ensembles and current influences together to give us a scorching little three track package of tunes that reminds us that psychobilly is actually supposed to be fun.

The O'Prez


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Nekromantix "A Symphony Of Wolf Tones & Ghost Notes

(Hellcat Records 2016)

Glow In The Dark
NekroTopia
War Bats
Mind Mausoleum
Cry Yourself To Sleep
Cabin Fever
Creeping It Real
Resting Witch Face
Were Coyotes Of Rose Hill
No More Room In Hell
Ghost Babe

Having came to psychobilly through the rockabilly/neo rockabilly route it wasn't long before the first wave of psychobilly wasn't leaving me satiated. I needed it harder and faster (ooooh matron) and within a relatively short time period the second wave of psychobilly kicked off, arguably spearheaded by Denmark's Nekromantix, and I was satiated once more. A fanny-load of releases and line-up changes later and indeed a move across the Atlantic and here we are in 2016 with the band's 10th album (9th studio album). I was 20 when the first one came out and got hooked on all things Nekromantix from that day to this. The common consensus appears to be that Curse Of The Coffin is thee Nekromantix album. For me it has always been Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend. But fuck it I like all their albums! Fans...some fans...almost dismissed the Nekromantix when all traces of Sandorff had been taken out of the equation, feeling the trademark Nekromantix sound had began to dwindle or transform into something almost too "Hot Topic". However, I'm never swayed by anyone's opinions (whether it's the popular opinion or not) and I make up my own mind. Anyway, on to the task in hand. I've had this album for a while now. When I first got it I gave each track a quick listen...quick as in not even waiting for the choruses to kick in. "Typical Nekromantix" I thought. "I'll come back to it". This happens with every Nekromantix release. I need to shut meself off from all distractions and actually "listen" to their albums. This way my initial thought of "typical Nekromantix" goes out the window as the songs unfold and the technical brilliance kick me right up the hole. Anyone missing the old Nekroman/Sandorff sound can perk up as the Nekroman/Mesa compositions on here are very reminiscent of that era. The handful of naysayers over on Psychobilly Worldwide haven't a leg to stand on with this release (not that anyone gives a shit about their petty bullshit anyway). Nekroman has always sounded and looked the part when conjuring up an audio/visual description of psychobilly. If the 1922 Nosferatu got together with some of his solar-challenged chums and made a record, the resultant sounds would be the tunes on A Symphony Of Wolf Tones & Ghost Notes. The thing about the Nekromantix is that they're unique. They don't sound like anyone else. They're one of the rare bands that influence others as opposed to being influenced by others. Monster Metal at its finest. 

The O'Prez



Nekromantix "A Symphony Of Wolf Tones & Ghost Notes

(Hellcat Records 2016)

Glow In The Dark
NekroTopia
War Bats
Mind Mausoleum
Cry Yourself To Sleep
Cabin Fever
Creeping It Real
Resting Witch Face
Were Coyotes Of Rose Hill
No More Room In Hell
Ghost Babe

Having came to psychobilly through the rockabilly/neo rockabilly route it wasn't long before the first wave of psychobilly wasn't leaving me satiated. I needed it harder and faster (ooooh matron) and within a relatively short time period the second wave of psychobilly kicked off, arguably spearheaded by Denmark's Nekromantix, and I was satiated once more. A fanny-load of releases and line-up changes later and indeed a move across the Atlantic and here we are in 2016 with the band's 10th album (9th studio album). I was 20 when the first one came out and got hooked on all things Nekromantix from that day to this. The common consensus appears to be that Curse Of The Coffin is thee Nekromantix album. For me it has always been Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend. But fuck it I like all their albums! Fans...some fans...almost dismissed the Nekromantix when all traces of Sandorff had been taken out of the equation, feeling the trademark Nekromantix sound had began to dwindle or transform into something almost too "Hot Topic". However, I'm never swayed by anyone's opinions (whether it's the popular opinion or not) and I make up my own mind. Anyway, on to the task in hand. I've had this album for a while now. When I first got it I gave each track a quick listen...quick as in not even waiting for the choruses to kick in. "Typical Nekromantix" I thought. "I'll come back to it". This happens with every Nekromantix release. I need to shut meself off from all distractions and actually "listen" to their albums. This way my initial thought of "typical Nekromantix" goes out the window as the songs unfold and the technical brilliance kick me right up the hole. Anyone missing the old Nekroman/Sandorff sound can perk up as the Nekroman/Mesa compositions on here are very reminiscent of that era. The handful of naysayers over on Psychobilly Worldwide haven't a leg to stand on with this release (not that anyone gives a shit about their petty bullshit anyway). Nekroman has always sounded and looked the part when conjuring up an audio/visual description of psychobilly. If the 1922 Nosferatu got together with some of his solar-challenged chums and made a record, the resultant sounds would be the tunes on A Symphony Of Wolf Tones & Ghost Notes. The thing about the Nekromantix is that they're unique. They don't sound like anyone else. They're one of the rare bands that influence others as opposed to being influenced by others. Monster Metal at its finest. 

The O'Prez



Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Black Rose Phantoms "Betrayers"

(Crazy Love Records 2016)

Oath Of An Outlaw
Betrayers
Pick Your Poison
Not Much To Live For
Cocaine Covered Hills (Featuring Mikey Classic)
No Redemption Found
Shooting Sparrows
The Long Road To Hell
Chasing Devils
Another Bourbon Night
Old Regrets
Til The Whiskey Runs Out
Written In Blood
Crazy Ale For A Crazy Heart
If I Die Tomorrow
Weighing Sins And Forgiveness

Right then, if you know The Black Rose Phantoms then you'll be expecting some hardcore metal infused gothic psychobilly. Well grab some 4-ply toilet paper and wipe your arse with those expectations as this is quite the departure from the Phantoms usual fare. It's not a pretentious concept album though. What we have here is the lads going all country! Well slap-a-mah thigh...over a bit...up a bit...in a bit...gentle....oooooh yeah! Having listened to the album I was surprised to see it on Crazy Love Records and not on their Broken Neck subsidiary
label as the sounds on here are more akin to the rustic stomp roster of bands they have on there. Good auld Mikey Classic of Goddamn Gallows fame guests on the album too with some fine yodelling! I fuckin' love yodelling me. Anyway, the album features a more subdued Black Rose Phantoms  (for the most part...there is of course a lot of stomping gypsy-esque hoedown stuff too) with all the elements you'd find in proper country and not that absolute bollocks Nashville passes off as country these days. Lap steel, mandolin, banjo...all backed up with the classic rockabilly/psychobilly combination of twangy guitar, slap bass and drums. I'm used to the lads playing at 100 mph so on this album it's nice to hear just what a talented bunch of pickers, slappers and bangers they are behind all the in-your-face speed of their usual output. This is really excellent stuff in every regard. From the song writing to the playing through to the harmonies and the production. "Modern Country" is just country music without the o. This release from The Black Rose Phantoms is the real deal; not that candy-arsed shite you see on CMT. 

The O'Prez



Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Magnetix "Rabbit The Robot - Robot The Rocket"

(Crazy Love Records 2016)

Do It Like Gorilla Does
Martian Fever
Rabbit The Robot - Robot The Rocket
Gorilla And Crocodile
It's Magnetic Me
Satellite Baby
Wombie Zombie
Drybone Beat
(You Must Fight To Live On The) Planet Of The Apes
Parallel World
Me The Ghost
Mr. Moonbeam
Girls That Do
Cool Daddy-O

 When I imagine what psychobilly sounds like in my head, THIS is what it sounds like....fucking mental rockabilly! Tribal rhythms with a tommy gun beat going on between the slap bass and drums and memorable guitar hooks aplenty. It's the kind of psychobilly that makes you want to dance as opposed to wreck. There's a more raw sound to this, The Magnetix third album, in comparison to the previous two and I detect the boys may have been influenced by some of the wilder, more obscure late 1950s rockers and a smattering of lo-fi too. Well, the clues are more than evident in the two well chosen covers which slot in to the album perfectly and compliment the sound to a T. As each track progressed I was wondering if the lads could maintain the quality of music on offer and fuck me pink they did. Sometimes the initial love of a great album wears off just as fast as it appeared because the songs just don't have staying power after a few plays. Well there is absolutely nothing sonically ephemeral about the songs Terry Drybones has concocted here. The man knows how to write instant psychobilly classics. That brings me nicely along to Mr. Moonbeam. This song has gone straight into my list of all time favourite ditties of any genre and shows the guy can sing too! Even the instrumental Drybone Beat is great and I usually hate instrumentals. So we're in November now and I have to say that for me this album is the absolute highlight of the year. It won't be beat! And what's more...when you buy the album you become an instant fanny magnet!

The O'Prez

Buy the CD (I'll update this link when it becomes available)


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Rubber Chukks "Queen Of Hell"

(Crazy Love Records 2016)

Intro
The Blow
Candy Girl
Hold Me
Dreamer
Johnny
Queen Of Hell
Carry On
Fat Brat
Rebel Riding
All What I Want
Sandra Lee 

The Rubber Chukks eh? What does that name remind me of? Oh yeah....I once had a girlfriend, well, I say girlfriend...it was actually a rubber woman that I called Chuckles because she made me smile. However, it was a short lived romance, as one night after a steamy session of rubber romps there was an unfortunate incident involving a post-polymer-penetration cigarette which left my Chuckles feeling deflated so she left me. Well, I say she left me....she flew all around the room making somewhat of a flatulent sound before eventually finding her way out through the bedroom window never to be seen again.

 *ahem* Soooooo anyway, Hamburg's Rubber Chukks have just released their second album. I loved the first one so how does this one stack up? Well, the first one was neo rockabilly with some roots influences here and there. This one is neo rockabilly with the rock part of rockabilly accentuated with lots of roots influences. It's power rockabilly à la Francine to certain degree but a lot more rootsy. There's even a reworking of Sandra Lee from the first album which is done in a melancholic style complete with mournful violin and no percussion. It's my favourite track on the new album as it happens and is testament to the eclectic content on offer and really acts as a show-piece for Tom's excellent vocal dexterity. The album kicks off with a couple of neo rockabilly numbers and then the gears get cranked up and that power kicks in. It's like a more rockin' Multi Climex/Flesh Roxon in parts. You know the sort of thing....excellent vocals and choruses that get stuck in your head. The rootsy twang isn't
so much Blasters but a more deranged Johnny Cougar. The boys are like a melting pot of various influences but have managed to blend them all together to make one harmonious killer of a second album. 

The O'Prez



Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Zipheads "Z2: Rampage!"

(Bomber Music 2016)

Surfquake
Rampage
No 2 Ways About It
Last Man On Earth
Ill Repute
Welcome To The Real World
Instead
After All
Only Yourself To Blame
Pet Hate
Patron Saint
Damned
Revenge II
Orca To Majorca
Get Ready

'Twas back in 2011 when I first came across the St. Albans trio The Zipheads. Between 2011 and 2012 they released a few digital only (I think) teasers of what they were all about. Coming with the classic psychobilly constituents of slap bass, drums and guitar but with a unique image, I liked em immediately. They released their début album "Prehistoric Beat" in 2013 and 2015 saw the release of their "Just Don't Seem To Care" 7" on The Western Star Recording Company label. So now in 2016 the lads are about to release their sophomore album in November. It'll be available on 180 gram magenta vinyl and CD digipak. My good mate Simon Nott sent me an advance copy for review purposes. So, psychobilly constituents aside, this is no psychobilly album. But it's not the much maligned "punk with a slap bass" either. It's too clever and well constructed to be that. What it is is melodic punk rock with equal parts punk and rock with a power rockabilly backdrop.
Cast your minds back to when The Living End hadn't strayed from their rockin' roots. It's kinda like that. It reminds me in parts of Saturnalia-era Long Tall Texans too. I don't want to call their music punkabilly as it doesn't do it justice. It's too broad ranging to be any one thing. It's rock'n'roll with a fanny-load of influences. It's all in there. I mean good rock'n'roll. Not what the media call rock'n'roll. Rockabilly, punk, new wave, rock, little bits of ska and swing here and there. You know, good fucking rock'n'roll. Add to the music some intelligent lyrical content and you can't go wrong. Don't expect to like it straight away though. I didn't. I actually love when that happens as I know I won't get sick of it all within 5 minutes of hearing it and put it back on the shelf-o-shite for evermore. As a lifelong psychobilly aficionado, I really appreciate bands like The Zipheads who slot in to our scene and keep the whole thing fresh and original. This album is both of those things. I'll update this with links to purchase the album when it becomes available on November 11th. In the meantime though, check out The Zipheads Facebook Page, bookmark their Bandcamp page and bookmark the Bomber Music page while you're at it!

Updated with links to purchase/pre-order:

BOMBER MUSIC
RAUCOUS RECORDS (CD)
RAUCOUS RECORDS (LP)

The O'Prez


Monday, September 12, 2016

Hanzo "Hanzo"

(Self-released 2016)

Bubblegum
Loose Lips
Friends
Tarantula
Doll Face
Sweet Tooth

I recently received a message from Eddie Burnham, bassist extraordinaire with Warwickshire outfit Hanzo. The boys call themselves a rock'n'roll band influenced by rockabilly, psychobilly and surf. That self description is fairly apt. Anyway, their self released/self titled album was sent and the headphones were put on. A sextet of professionally produced rock'n'roll refrains emanated from the aforementioned sonority accessories. Straight off the bat this is rock'n'roll à la a less garage/more polished sounding Cramps, Bikini Red era Screaming Blue Messiahs or to a certain degree The Irving Klaws. The surf influence is very audible as is the garage and there is a twist of rockabilly. I'm straining to hear any psychobilly though unless the psychobilly they alluded to in their list of influences is that of its very early incarnation (pre-Meteors) when garage rock'n'roll bands were right on the border of garage punk and rockabilly. If so, then yes...I shall strain no more. With all that said
though, the boys aren't ones to be pigeon holed by any one specific genre. This is more than palpable when listening to this album. Songs can go from having a tom tom heavy rockabilly beat with surf twang and then spiral in to a more straight up rock jam session. Lyrically, the songs have sweet fuck all to do with any of those influences mentioned earlier and this is what gives the band their own identity. Dare I say the lyrical content is more intelligent than the usual fare associated with the influences in question? Quiffed-up purists may gasp in dismay at the lack of a slap bass on these recordings...especially by a band claiming such influences, but as I said, the lads refuse to be lumped in in any one particular genre. The rule book is well and truly used as emergency toilet paper in this instance. If you're in the mood for something different then I highly recommend you give Hanzo a listen and leave your closed minded hat on the hook by the door. The album is available to download via the band's bandcamp page and physical CDs are available at shows and direct from the band. Links to buy below...

The O'Prez


Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Goddamn Gallows "Ghost Of Th' Rails"

(Crazy Love Records 2016)

Heaven
Smoke Satan
Ghost Of Th' Rails
Pass The Bottle
Wanders
Shattered
City Of Hell-A
Underneath The Stars
Smoke Stacks
Big Man
Planet Of The Apes
Ticket To Bleed
Yet another European reissue of an earlier Goddamn Gallows platter. This time 2009's Ghost Of Th' Rails. This time around any traces of psychobilly have all but gone. There are still some traces of rockabilly but the punk rock black grass sound is very much to the fore. It's a harder, more violent sounding Gallows than their previous output. Carnivalesque in parts and still retaining their trademark distinctive style. The guitar sound has that metal gain sound to it and that screamcore is once again in the fray. The boys put a lot of work in to these songs as is evident by the unpredictability of the direction each song goes in. They're not just three chord run of the mill shite. It's obvious that a lot of construction and technique went in to the crafting of these songs. Fans of the first album (when they were called The Gallows) will find this album to be quite a departure from that. But fans of the band who have metamorphosed along with the band throughout their sonic journey will lap this up! The album is available on black vinyl, limited edition yellow vinyl and CD for your delectation. Links to buy below...

The O'Prez



The Goddamn Gallows "Gutterbillyblues"

 (Crazy Love Records 2016)

A Sinner's Song
Everybody Dies
Save Us
Gutterbilly Blues
Wherever I Go
I Got A Woman
Born 2 Lie
Face The Day
Saint O' Killers
Don't Feed Me
Tired
Another reissue of an old Goddamn Gallows favourite sees Crazy Love present their 2007 album Gutterbillyblues for the European market. It's a rootsy psychobilly blend crossing in to punk territory in places...or gutterbilly as the album title states. There is some fine story telling going on here through the medium of song and what's more you can download the lyrics from the band's website here. One thing I find grating is the odd bit of screamcore that pops up here and there. But what do I know? I just like what I like and don't like what I don't. God knows I don't want to get on the wrong side of these guys. Fuckin' heads on 'em. Seriously though, The Goddamn Gallows do what they do and they do it well. In amongst the dementia of the stomping music there is an air of melancholia set to a backdrop of pessimistic and dark lyrical content. It's the perfect soundtrack for tormented souls. The album is available on black vinyl, limited edition red vinyl and CD. Links below.

The O'Prez



Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Ditchrunners "Rips Aus Dem Graben"

(Broken Records 2016)

Ditch Stomp
Horseplay
Cannibal Ballad
4 Wheel Drive
Ghost Train
Slashburner
710 vs 420
Whiskey Smoke
Truck Driving Wildman
Musky Jacks
Yankee Yell
Street Ratt
Mongers Song
White Horse

I'd not heard of The Ditchrunners before this sexy little digipak alighted on my plush red carpet during the week. The title suggested it was a German band as did the record label...Broken Neck, a subsidiary of Crazy Love. Alas, I couldn't have got the whole shebang more arseways. Turns out The Ditchrunners are in fact from the US of A, Wisconsin to be precise....Stevens Point to be preciserer!! It also turns out the band have been around for a few years and this particular album since 2013...but this version has more ditties o' delight and that version was called Rips From The Ditch...which is the English translation! They're a four-piece outfit that describe their sound as "Honky Tonkin' Gypsy Gutter Grass" and have a list of contributing members so long that it wouldn't fit on a roll of wallpaper. Anyway, having had no preconceived notions before slipping this in to the CD player, I was immediately kicked in the man-purse by the opening instrumental. A rousing piece of rustic stomp. But, all too often, great players are let down by shite vocalists. Buckshot Bredlau is NO shite vocalist. He's a fucking EXCELLENT vocalist. Gravelly and baritone. I was always drawn to bands who had a more ballsy approach to American roots music. The Skiff Skats in the 80s, The Tokyo Skunx in the 90s. Bands like Custom Made Scare in the Noughties. Bands like the Urban Pioneers now. Then I hear these guys (and girl) and fuck me I love em. Yankee Yell was making me skull vibrate for fuck sake! If you made a list of every form of American roots music ever and swapped out those original watered down (by the powers that be) artists and gave that list to a pack of deranged musicians with a penchant for the maniacal then this would be the resultant album.

The O'Prez



The Gallows "Life Of Sin"

(Crazy Love Records 2016)

The Gallows
Shakin'
Last Night
Cold Dark Night
Life Of Sin
Screamin' Heart
Torture Chamber
House Of The Dead
Underground Destiny
Wreck Of Ol' 97
You're Gonna Get It
Never Be The Same
Originally released in 2005 and 11 years later seeing the light of day again on Crazy Love Records is the now Goddamn Gallows first long player when they were simply known as The Gallows...and had just three members and a more raucous psychobilly sound before they mutated in to their gutterbilly guise of today...and I win the prize for longest opening sentence ever! So in hindsight, this is a stripped back psychobilly version of The Goddamn Gallows but there are hints of the direction the band would take in later years. For the most part though it's very much in-your-face psychobilly of the American variety. US psycho outfits generally seem to veer more towards a rootsy tinged with punk take on psychobilly as opposed to their European cousins. This is very much the case on this album. The album has a "live in the studio" sound to it. It's full of punk attitude with the bollocks of a psychobilly beat. It's a rare beast of an album. You think you know what you're getting but then the boys throw you a curve ball and you're gone in to a different genre altogether. There's a lot going on here, especially when you take in to account it's only three guys! You could say it's the perfect introduction to the genre-bending band they were to become. The album is available on both vinyl and CD....links to buy below.

The O'Prez


Friday, September 9, 2016

The Spastiks "Sewer Surfing"

(Crazy Love Records 2016)

Sewer Surfin'
My Baby Was Abducted By Aliens
Radiation Baby
Retard
Wolfman Crawl
Hatchet
Mickey Mouse
Dynamite
Another Dead Hooker
Brown Eye Girl

Well they finally did it. They've reached their ultimate goal. They've climbed to the highest rung of the ladder in the tights of psychobilly. That's right readers....grab those horns and sound the fanfare! The Spastiks are, at last, getting a full album review by me! .............Hello? Is this thing on? Tough crowd. Well feck off then.
FINE! They've finally released their début platter (which, incidentally comes on black AND limited edition yellow vinyl...110 pieces...hand numbered...AND CD!) on everyone's favourite label, Crazy Love Records, owned by everyone's favourite German, Gorgeous Guido Neumann. Look at him there girls, isn't he only gorgeous? So, 10 ditties of reverb drenched psychobilly with oodles of twang and lyrics that the boys over at Troma Entertainment would be proud/jealous of. The shlockabilly lyrics are made more threatening by the minacious rhythms of the guitar and ballsy bass slapping. You can hear quite clearly that the boys are very much influenced by the first wave of psychobilly. It's pure...oh, I better not say that....it's authentic psychobilly! The boys have been arsing about in loads of bands over the years but they all seemed to just fizzle out. Not so this time around. The Spastiks continue to go from strength to strength and are gaining a worldwide audience. European as well as their native US festival promoters have began to sit up and take notice of this trio. This fine release should see them gain even more well deserved acclaim. Sexily packaged too I might add with some fine artwork by the legendary Oscar Hertin (not quite as legendary as me mind). If straight-up no frills psychobilly with lashings of rockabilly rhythm is your bag (it's mine) then make that purchase! Upon arrival of your purchase, gently tease your finger in to the hole (if CD) or carefully hold the rim (if LP) and place your purchase on the relevant aural pleasure device....and don't forget that kitchen roll lads (I recommend Plenty) as you'll get so excited that pant-splash may occur.

The O'Prez

The Spastiks on Facebook
Buy the Yellow Vinyl
No...I want the Black Vinyl
No wait....the CD...I want the CD
(you can of course buy all 3)
Hellacious Harmonies on Facebook


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Eddy Blake "The Wooden Whale"

(Eddy Blake 2016)

The Titan
Low Down To The Ground
All I Can Do Is Cry
As Tears Go By
Love Float Away
Leviathan
Dream Of A Miner's Daughter
Drink Up And Go Home
I Love Everyone

I'd heard a song called Walk My Walk a long time ago somewhere on the net and made a mental note to research the band in question....Canada's Cockroaches. But of course I forgot until they popped up again on one of the Modern Syndrome Neo Rockabilly Nation compilations last year. So this time around I was adamant to find out more. After much Googling I discovered the names of the band members and then it was on to Facebook to see if any of them had a profile on there. Lo and behold who should I discover only slap bass and vox frontman Eddy Blake. I sent him a message asking if The Cockroaches self titled 2007 CD was still available! It was, a purchase ensued, an autograph was signed, and the CD was mine! I was delighted with meself! Anyway, as it turned out, Eddy was still very active musically what his Eddy Blake And The Honky Tonk Heartbreakers rootsy garage-a-billy ensemble and now this, his brand new solo album "The Wooden Whale". Eddy says it's a concept album. The concept being the only instrument used is the double bass. I was sold on that idea before even listening to the album. "The album is a bass trip for me. I've been playing upright bass about 20 years now, in all sorts of rockabilly, r n' b and bluegrass bands and I've also played classical music. So the main thing from a musical perspective was to make a record with just the bass, to see where I could go with that" said the ultra-talented Mr Blake when I quizzed him further. Well, he went beyond anything I expected! The bass is slapped, plucked and bowed. It's a rootsy rockabilly symphonic masterpiece. And I don't use the term masterpiece lightly. Mostly self penned songs and instrumentals with a few choice covers make each song flow perfectly from one to the other. Anything with "billy" attached to the end of it has been done to death and it's not easy to take that, or any musical genre that's been around for years in a new direction. Our Eddy has done just that with stellar results. I like to keep my music collection categorised but this in a category all by itself. It's a moody, dark, double bass carousel of delights.

The O'Prez








Tuesday, August 16, 2016

King Moroi "Let Me Out!!"

(Bellfire Records 2016)

Let Me Out
Dr. Cogan

Well, what have we here then? Only 7 inches of red vinyl sexiness from King Moroi, that's what! The A side is instantly memorable and stylistically reminds me somewhat of Asmodeus. It's a ballsy in-your-face ditty with a battle-cry chorus that begs to played on repeat. The lyrics are included on the sleeve which I always love to see. Kitty In A Casket appear briefly too for added sex appeal. It's a mid-tempo psychobilly stomper that will have us all pulling evil grimaces for just over 3 minutes. Well, I noticed my facial expression change whilst being transformed by the song anyway. Flip it over and we have an instrumental that's in stark contrast to the "fuck you!" stylings of the A side. Another mid-paced ditty but this time around it's a very clean sounding neo rockabilly 2 minutes of pleasure. That's twice as long as my usual pleasure-time lasts! It's no mean feat to release something so eclectic seeing as there are only 2 songs! Horror Rudey has been drafted in on artwork duties once more. I like when bands use the same artist for their releases as it lends them a kind of instantly recognisable trademark; a bit like Geo Parkin with the Texans and Pieter M. Dorrenboom with Batmobile. King Moroi are one of the hardest working bands on the scene and are adamant that their efforts will see them rise within the ranks of psychobilly. The talent is there in spades so I can see that work ethic paying off. To grab hold of this platter you'll need to contact the band directly or pick it up at one of their shows. It's available in black as well as the aforementioned red vinyl and as a digital download for all you psychobillies from the future! No CD version will be forthcoming though.

The O'Prez








Monday, August 15, 2016

The Retarded Rats "Screams From The 10th Planet"

(Killjoy Records 2016)

The Engine Starts
No Time To Die
Neo-Psychobilly
You Lost My Brain
Headshot
Searching
Fingertip In The Sky
Inquisition
The Key
Coulrophobia
Nananananananananananana
Screams From The 10th Planet


From the jangly euphony that opens this album you just know you're in for some excellent underground psychobilly with lashings of garage and surf reverb. It's lo-fi without suffering from piss-poor production. The stuff on here would be right at home on 1984's Rockabilly Psychosis And The Garage Disease album. It sounds like the Rats have been influenced by just about every act on that classic compilation and then some. Now I fuckin' love slap bass...who doesn't? It sounds great on here with Anna thumping the absolute shite out of it. It's nicely accentuated by some cracking heal-palmed guitar work in places and drums that have that nice snappy snare sound. It's the kind of sound that lots of psychobilly bands strive to create on their recorded work but fail to do so. Psychobilly for all intents and purposes is an underground sound and The Retarded Rats are thee sound of the underground. All the songs on here bar 3 were recorded live on 8-track wheel to wheel. It's available on limited edition (500 copies) clear red vinyl with extra thick sleeve and poster inlay and wait for it....on cassette too! There are only 100 cassettes available. Let's hope there are 100 cassette players left in the world!! Right, I'm off to listen to Nananananananananananana again...and you can too via the gift of my YouTube uploading skills.

The O'Prez


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Klingonz "Klownz 'Я' Us"

(Drunkabilly Records 2016)

Klownz 'Я' Us
Alcoholic Klown
Gynacamastia
Bitch
Lepreporn
Fellatio Academy
Honk Time Boogie
A.K.A.B.
Where's Captain Kirk
Your Mother Is A Whore

 Yup ya bai ya! The Klingonz are back with a new platter courtesy of the purveyors of bad taste over at Drunkabilly Records. It's out on CD and a limited edition orange vinyl pressing (which includes the CD), only 500 of these though mind, so hurry the fuck up. Now then, I first saw the Klingz back in 1988 or 89 at the Santa Pod psychobilly weekender. That is, I saw them acting the bollix in the back of a van. I can't remember if they actually played or not. The whole thing is a blur. But, I did purchase their Psycho's From Beyond album from the record stall and when I got home and played it I didn't know what to make of em. Back then I liked fanny loads of rockabilly in me psychobilly and well, the Klingz weren't exactly in that niche. The more I played it though, the more I liked it. They were an acquired taste. Anyway, I've bought every album they've released since then and each one is, like me (as my ex-girlfriends will attest to), a grower, not a shower. This new one is a real mixed-bag of psychobilly, punkabilly, punk'n'roll and a bit of good auld céilíbilly flung in too for the craic. The punk'n'roll stuff I can take or leave but the psychobilly stuff is pure klingabilly klass! There's a circus vibe running throughout the album too which is no surprise given the whole clown thing the lads have going on. Psychobilly nerdists will have perky nipples when they hear some fine fiddling by one Mr. Simon Cohen on the album. Fuck me, there's even some piano and saxophone on here too which isn't usually listed on your Kling nutritional information leaflet. In all, the album has a more punk-infused sound than previous Klingonz output (maybe influenced by the departure of Doyley and Strangy) but with that said, it's undeniably that Klingonz sound we're all familiar with. I took a punt on it out of me hard earned dole money and I'm glad I did.

The O'Prez
 


Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Terrorsurfs "Surf Bomb"

(Killjoy Records 2016)

Surf Bomb
Loco Dinosaurio

Fresh from the sun-drenched climes and sandy beaches (well, overcast drizzly climes and stony beaches) of the UK come The Terrorsurfs with their first single on everyone's favourite DIY-as-fuck label Killjoy Records. In true Killjoy fashion it's a limited edition of 500 copies (50 pink/black - only available from the band, 50 turquoise/white - only available at Killjoy Records and 400 black slabs of sonic rays of sunshine). Right, that's that out of the way, on to the sounds. The A side is excellent powersurf with catchy as fuck guitar which to my ears is equal parts surf-twang and groovy garage goodness rolled into one. It reminds me a lot of the stylings of US outfit The Irving Klaws (only they use slap bass). Surf Bomb is a simplistic yet memorable titillating two minutes of twangtastic transcendence.  Flip her over and we have the more complex Loco Dinosaurio which is another winner. Fine craftsmanship with more of that plectrum pounding surf with a twist of spaghetti western. I appear to have received a test pressing (if you look at the image I posted up there) as the actual pressings are a lot sexier. So why not surf on over to the links below (did you see what I did there?) and pick up this fine example of new millennium surf before it's sold out. 

The O'Prez



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Nausea Bomb "Bonechestra"

(Crazy Love Records/Zombies Union Records 2016)

Oschestra
Death Floor
Dick Cut Drinker
Blood Fall
Pussycat Vampire
Wake Up Your Madness

More French nastiness to be had, this time coming from Nausea Bomb, a female-fronted punkabilly outfit with their new mini album out on a Crazy Love/Zombies Union Records collaboration. I say female-fronted which is true but vocals are shared with the male contingent in the band. Also, when I say punkabilly, I don't mean that annoying as fuck hardcore punk with a double bass; this is more of a 1970s anthemic-punk sound...with a double bass. For a quartet the sound is very full, with a lot going on rhythmically in the background. I only like a handful of punk bands as I'm very picky when it comes to that genre, but Nausea Bomb seem to be influenced by the same handful of punk bands that I like. In fairness I can't understand a word they're singing as it's in French but then I can barely understand most psychobilly lyrics sung in English anyway. The production is flawless which gives a kind of "live in the studio" feel where all the raw energy has been captured. Those choruses though are what makes Nausea Bomb stand out from the rest of their punkabilly cohorts. As I alluded to earlier, anthemic! A crackin' little release from Nausea Bomb with some crackin' little ditties to be heard. The album is available on CD and limited edition vinyl. Links below...

The O'Prez



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Lucianos "Think Twice Before Cheating"

(Killjoy Records 2016)

Think Twice Before Cheating
Dark Angelo

Germany's Killjoy Records have unleashed upon us their new Buzzkill 45 series which gives a big nod in the direction of 1960's surf 45s. But this is no museum piece. Fresh out on the label is the new single from French powersurf trio the Lucianos. Featuring members of psychobilly demi-gods the Astro Zombies and Demented Are Go you just know this is going to be quality stuff before the needle hits the groove. The A side explains in no uncertain terms why this is referred to as powersurf. It's a surf instrumental with balls. Guitarist Gino Luciano must have forearms like Popeye the dextrous-fingered-freak of nature. There's a hint of Spaghetti Western going on too. The B side kicks off with a more subdued feeling. Perfect for sipping cocktails on the beach whilst being fanned by a palm leaf-holding native. However, as the song progresses you can forget all the sun and fun you normally equate with the original surf movement of the 1960s. There's an appealing dark vibe to this one (the clue was in the song title) which makes you think peril is just around the corner.

You can pick up the single from the band or from Killjoy Records (links below). It's a limited pressing of 500 copies: 400 black, 50 clear/white both of which are only available from the band or there's 50 blue which you can buy from Killjoy. Killjoy have also released a full length album from the boys on cassette Yes, cassette!

The O'Prez


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Spastiks "Cannibal Clan"

(Crazy Love Records 2016)

Cannibal Clan (From Bambooland)
Wolfman Crawl
Upskirt Blues
Dynamite

Leaping testicles of steel! Guido Neumann's big package gave me much pleasure this morning; for inside there were not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4....ok there were 4...4 7 inch discs of delight. My ocular deficiency in the colour department was put to the challenge, but I'm reliably informed that this 45 of frolics comes in black (I knew that one) and in very limited numbers of green, yellow and magenta. Now then, what does it sound like? Who cares?? Check out that erect-nipple-inducing artwork! Fuck me pink who ever did this is the king of art. Everything from the front cover, the rear, the labels...this monarch of mastur...I mean mastery should be seated on a throne immediately. Oh, hang on, it was me. I did it. Me. Johnny O'Prez.... www.the-oprez.com and ww.facebook.com/TheArtOfTheOPrez
Johnny O'Prez. The King Of Art

But that's enough subtle hints about the artist (me...I did the art)...onwards to the sounds. Myself and guitarist Tim Gagné are bffs and he's been pleasuring me for years with his various musical output.  I've always been an admirer of his guitar style which has a lot of rockabilly twang. Therefore I was gagging to get me claws on this release from his band The Spastiks. The trio of Nu Yoik ne're-do-wells have been tirelessly honing their craft for ages now and it's evident upon listening to this EP that that work has paid off. It's real underground psychobilly the way it's meant to sound. Lashings of psycho perfectly infused with that rockabilly twang I mentioned earlier. Couple that with B movie lyrics and a twist of the perverse and that sums up The Spastiks. Sonically, the mixing is pristine. The slap bass and drums compliment each other perfectly and the guitar almost adds an air of menace. It transports me back to a time when I was hanging around street corners in me 14-hole Dr Martens. I love this release. If this doesn't see The Spastiks rise through the ranks of the psychobilly scene then the denizens must all be tone deaf. 

The O'Prez

BUY THE RECORD(S) (I've linked to the black...grab the coloured ones quick)
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