Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

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Virgil

Virgil has 422 articles published.

The Nut Jumpers

nut jumpersThe Nut Jumpers – Boogie In The Shack

 

Rhythm Bomb RBR5879 [2018]
Woah Oh Ho – Set Me Free – Love Truck – My Pearly Doll – Boogie In The Shack – Pandit – Cʼmon, Cʼmon – Blow Your Top – Catholic Boy – Gonna Stand My Ground – No Good, No Good – Keep A little Place – Nut Jump
The Nut jumpers is a new band formed by well known figures on the rockin’ scene, namely Helen Shadow, Ricky Lee Brawn and Jake Calypso.
Together or separately their names were associated with the Queen B’s, the Blue Ridge Rockets, the Johnson Family, the Big Six, the Stargazers, the Space Cadets, the Shooting Stars, Hot Chickens, Mystery Train and a couple more that I forget right now! Quite a pedigree!
Recorded live, their debut album is everything one could and should expect from a Rock’n’roll album. It’s wild, raw, agressive, threatening, uncompromising and short. No time to lose, it’s a concentrate shot of Rock’n’roll straight to your ears.
Each member penned songs and both Calypso and Shadow sing which brings a lot of styles and variety to the final result.
Calypso’s voice is perfect for that kind of weird stuff and the Rockabilly material. It’s perfectly completed by Shadow’s unique tone that I’m crazy about since I first heard her cover of “I did what I did for Maria” on the Queen B’s album. Talking about signature sound, Ricky’s way of mistreating his snare is also immedately recognizable and provides a solid backbone to all this rockin’ mayhem.

On the more garage side of things, you’ll find “Set me Free”, think about the Kinks meet Billy Childish, and the two instrumentals. “Pandit” has a strong Link Wray/Dick Dale vibe while “Blow Your Top” is the musical equivalent to a locomotive moving full steam ahead with no one to drive or stop it.
Many strange images popped in my mind while listening to this album. The weirdest being generated by Calypso’s My Pearly Doll. I thought “Woah! This is how Buddy Holly would have sounded if he had recorded a tune just after his fatal plane crash.”  Sounds creepy? Listen to the song and we’ll talk about that later. Still in the Rockabilly style you’ll find “Catholic Boys”, with slide and a Diddley beat, and “No Good, No Good” with cowbell and a similar riff to Dale Hawkins’ Suzy Q.
There’s also plenty of blues influenced stuff that either reminds of Elmore James or Jimmy reed but with a dirtier sound and a punkish attitude. In betweeen they find time to include a gospel/chain gang song simply backed by handclaps and foostomps a more countryish number with “Keep A Little Place”.
It’s very pleasant and highly enjoyable to have bands like the Nut Jumpers that are here to have fun and don’t give a damn about styles and genres (and purists) and mix them all to create their music. After all that’s how rock’n’roll was born.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Trillionairs

trillionairsThe Trillionairs – Haunted

Killjoy records – Kill 023 [2017]
Haunted – Alohol
The Trillionairs are a German neo-rockabilly/psychobilly quartet. After a short dialog taken from what I assume to be a old movie (though I didn’t recognize it), Haunted kicks off. Two guitars, one with a distorted sound and another with a more rockabilly sound, a powerful slap bass completed by superb drumming (the band’s secret weapon), and on top of that a fierce and aggressive voice. With a change of pace in the middle, this is first class psychobilly.
B sides takes more or less the same ingredients, including fine drums breaks too, but is slightly faster. That’s all I love and I ask from a band : tight musicianship, good songs and more than two ideas for the arrange them.
500 copies (400 black, 50 red and 50 white)

Available here.

The Toxenes

The ToxenesThe Toxenes – Hot Rod

Killjoy records – Kill 026 [2018]

Hot Rod – Green Room – Caveman -Alley Cats
Like Prince the Toxenes are from Mineapolis but the comparison ends here. This trio plays a solid and straight in your face brand of garage rock.
Hot Rod is the perfect opener for this four-track ep. A perfect blend of garage, desperate rock’n’roll and surf. Next is Green Room which is my favourite, having a strong Cramps feel on the guitar.
B side opens with an excellent cover of the Pandoras’ Caveman and is followed by the more rockin’ Alley Cats with hiccupy vocals.
As usual with Killjoy records, it’s a limited release (400 black vinyl, 50 purple vinyl and 50 x turquoise vinyl) so grab one while you can.

Available here.

Cult of the Psychic Fetus

Cult of the Psychic Fetus

Cult of the Psychic FetusCult of the Psychic Fetus – Cult of the Psychic Fetus

Killjoy records – Kill020 [2017]

The Morgue  – Night in the Life – Out From the Grave – I live with the Dead

Spook’n’roll, Gothabilly, Macabre surf ? How would you describe Cult of the Psychic Fetus ? What about god damn rock’n’roll (you know the kind of stuff that don’t save soul) ?
Listening to this fine 45, I thought that this was the kind of release that haunts Dave Vanian in his wildest nightmares.
The Morgue has a good twangy vibe with the almost spoken sepulchral voice. Night in the life is less rockin’ and more atmospheric. On the flip is Out from the grave, a bass led tune completed by an organ. And, since we already lost all the so called purists, I can say that I live with the dead almost brings a touch of cold-wave to the mix of influences.

Available here

Wigsville Spliffs

Wigsville SpliffsWigsville Spliffs
Born To Ride

Killjoy records – Kill 022
Born to ride – Eyes on my baby

Wigsville Spliffs formed in the early 80’s with Ian Aitken on vocals and guitar, Mike Lister on double bass and Danny Mowl on drums. They split in 1987. During that time they appeared on numerous compilation albums but never had a single or an album of their own. Years later, in 1996, Raucous records released a cd gathering old songs.
Finally the band reformed in 2008 and their first proper album saw the light of day in 2011. Shortly after that Aiten left the band.
One could feel the worst with the loss of such a pivotal member. Instead the band kept on going and now have Spike Arrow who played with Frenzy and the Rapids on guitar on vocals. With Paul Richardson on drums, the trio recorded this killer single for Killjoy records.

Side one is penned by Arrow and has a strong psychobilly edge, powerful yet rocking and melodic. The flip is more familiar. Eyes on my baby, written by Aitken appeared on the band’s first demo in 1982 and on Dance to it in 1984 (or so). This is a brand new version. They kept the neo-rockabilly vibe but added a good dose of energy. Both are very good.
Hopefully we’ll get more releases and a full lp from this line up soon.
500 copies (400 black, 50 red and 50 grey)
Available here and here
Wigsville Spliffs on Facebook

Lynette Morgan And The Blackwater Valley Boys

Lynette MorganLynette Morgan
And The
Blackwater
Valley Boys
Step Back Brother

Dog House Records [2016]
Roadside Diner – Wolf Talk – Let’s Stay Together – Yodel Song – Step Back Brother – Avalon – Dear Mother – Were Gonna Rock – Portobello Fellow

Since the Tennessee Rhythm Riders appeared on the rockin’ scene, we all know that Lynette Morgan is one talented lady when it comes to sing Hillbilly music.
Her latest album, recorded by Pat reyford at Sugar Ray’s vintage studio, with Willy Briggs on steel guitar, Gary Boller on double bass and Chris Wilkinson on guitar and drums (being a man of many talents he’s also in charge of the beautiful graphic design) definitely proves it.

Step Back Brothers” is, with Charlie Thompson’s Foothill Sessions and the Doel Brothers’ recent releases, one of the very best Hillbilly bop/western swing  influenced album to come from Great Britain.

It features two covers – Avalon, the old jazz standard also covered by Milton Brown and the Light Crust Doughboys, and Jimmy Newman/Rusty and Doug’s Let’s Stay Together – and seven originals penned by Briggs (Roadside Dinner), Briggs and Boller (Portobello Fellow also sung by Boller) and Morgan (the remaining five.)
As I said, this is super fine Hillbilly bop with plenty of Maddox Brothers and Rose influences but also shades of Johnny Horton (Wolf Talk), early western swing reminiscent of Patsy Montana’s band the Sweet Violet Boys (reinforced by the presence of a clarinet on three tunes), a waltz (the touching Dear Mother) and a bit of yodel madness (who doesn’t like some yodel ?)

Do not miss this perfect album and grab a copy while you can!

 

Lynette Morgan
Lynette Morgan © RK Studio

 

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