Saturday, October 22, 2016

Rubber Chukks "Queen Of Hell"

(Crazy Love Records 2016)

The Blow
Candy Girl
Hold Me
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 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)

No 2 Ways About It
Last Man On Earth
Ill Repute
Welcome To The Real World
After All
Only Yourself To Blame
Pet Hate
Patron Saint
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:


The O'Prez