Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

The Toxenes

in Contemporary artists/Reviews/Singles/T

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

in CD/Contemporary artists/Reviews/Singles

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

in Contemporary artists/Reviews/Singles/UVWXYZ

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

in Albums/Contemporary artists/IJKL/MN/Reviews

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

 

Colton Turner

in Albums/CD/Contemporary artists/Reviews/T
Colton Turner - S/T
Colton Turner – S/T

Colton Turner – S/T

Self released [2017]
Rock It – Truly – Honky Tonkin’ Ain’t What It Used To Be – Don’t Forget – Drifting – How Many Times – Live By Night – Rock-A-Bye – Won’t You Come Back Home – I Miss You Baby – That’s Right – Saturday Night

With the exception of Alberto Telo their drummer who played with the Horton Brothers and Shaun Young, I have to admit I don’t know much about this band. I assume they come from California and used to play in a band called the Senders. That’s pretty much all that I can say except that besides Colton Turner on vocals and Alberto Telo on drums the other musicians are Zane Turner on lead guitar and Yari Bolanos on upright bass. But that doesn’t matter since what is really important is that album. And trust me, this is one of the very best Rockabilly album I’ve heard in ages.
It’s made of twelve originals with a majority of mid-tempo Rockabilly, some Honky Tonk here, a slow tune there and a wild number thrown in for good measure.
Colton Turner sure knows how to write songs and icing on the cake, he has the perfect voice to sing them. A true Rockabilly voice (with hints of Johnny Maccree of the Smith’s Ranch Boys mixed with some Carl Perkins too.)
Recorded at Fort Horton by Billy Horton (talent knows talent), this album blew me away from start to finish. When I first played it, it took me back to 1990 when I listened to “Fly Rite with Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Trio” for the very first time. Yes, Colton Turner and his band are THAT good.

Available at Swelltune records.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Scum Rats

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S
Scum Rats
Scum Rats – ep

Scum Rats
S/t

Rumble records – Gang 003 [1990]
I See Your Face – Too Much Pain – Blood In Your Face

Led by Charlie Fallensteller’s fast slap bass and vocals, this quator from Germany delivered a powerful three tracks ep of self-penned tunes on the extreme side of the Psychobilly genre with hard core influences. If you prefer they were closer to band like Demented Are Go or the Krewmen (when led by Tony McMillan) than the Long Tall Texans.
In addition to the supersonic bass, the ingredients are Fallensteller’s rasping voice, hard hitting and thud drums (with barely no cymbals) and fine arrangements that rely on the different sounds and textures of the two guitars. All in all an excellent ep.


Scum Rats - Go Out Into a Scum Dream
Scum Rats – Go Out Into a Scum Dream

Scum Rats
Go Out Into a Scum Dream

Rumble records – RUMBLE001 [1990]
Scum Rats – Go Out – Scum Of The Night – I Love Rock & Roll – Money – Runaway – Die To Be Free – My Baby Is Alone – Come On Little Sister – Scum Love – Cryin To Be Satisfied

The Scum Rats debut album doesn’t differ much from the ep in term of sounds (and show no sign of amelioration in term of cover design either).
The same ingredients can be found to serve solid and powerful originals and two covers (Joan Jett’s I Love Rock’n’roll also released on single and Del Shannon’s Runaway sung by the guitar player, probably not the band’s best moment).
Once again the way the two guitars interact is worth noticing, one with a distorded sound and the other with a clean sound. All of this makes of Go Out… one of the best Psychobilly album of the the early 90’s.If my memory serves me right the first pressing was on green vinyl.
It was later reissued on cd with their second mini album.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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