Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

Kokomo Kings (the)

in Albums/Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews

The Kokomo Kings – Too Good To Stay Away From The Kokomo Kings – Too Good to Stay Away From

 

Rhythm Bomb – RBR5848 [2017]

Too Good To Stay Away From – The River Turned To Steam – The River Turned To Steam – I Can’t Go Home Looking Like This – She’s Stealin’ Candy – Pillow Of Gold – When I Tried To Think – Girl From The Moon – I’m Your Plumber – Silicone Brain – Standing In The Cold Rain – A Wasted Day Is Forever Lost – You Need A Little Dirt (To Make The Grass Green)

Our favorite bluesmen from Scandinavia aka The Kokomo Kings  are back, not only with a new album but also with a new singer since Harmonica Sam more or less retired from the road. But don’t worry, the new boy Martin Abrahamsson perfectly fills the void and Sam is still present on this this album, singing three songs and playing harmonica too.

Well, what can I say about this band that you don’t already know ? The twelve songs, all originals written by bassman Magnus Lanshammarn, are all excellent with clever lyrics (I’ve seen her picking pockets in the welfare line / Stealing from the poor makes her feel fine / Tonight she’s going out for a special treat / Gonna feed the neighbour’s dog with poisoned meat) or more profound (You make in a day what you spend in a year (…) It doesn’t matter how much you have in the bank, you’ll die when you get too old.)

The music is top notch and groovy as hell, a perfect blend of Louisiana blues, swamp rock, Chicago blues and a dash of Rock’n’roll here and there.
This excellent album comes in a beautiful gatefold sleeve perfectly illustrated by Henrique San.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Gina and the Rockin’ Rebels

in Contemporary artists/GH/Reviews/Singles

Gina and the rockin' Rebelsgina and the rockin rebelsGina and the Rockin’ Rebels

 

ALL 102 – 1978
Rockin’ on down the line / Thinkin’ on you

Gina and the Rockin’ Rebels were Gina Wall (vocals) Johnny Wall (rhythm guitar) Paul James (lead guitar), Lol Lewis (bass) and Billy Sloane (drums). They recorded their debut single in 1978 for Alligator Records a British rockabilly label based in North London, active between 1978 and 1980. The songs were recorded at BTW Recording Studios in Wood Green, North London.
Gina Wall had a really great voice made for Rockabilly and the band provided the perfect backing. Penned by Gina and bassist Lol Lewis, Rockin’ on Down the Line sounds like a mix between “That’s All Right” and Buddy Holly’s song of almost the same name.
Thinkin’ of You is equally good, mostly acoustic with just a little electricity on the guitar.
They later evolved into Gina and the Strollers, and continue til this day, minus Gina, as the Strollers.

Gina and the Rockin' Rebels

The Nut Jumpers

in Albums/Contemporary artists/MN/Reviews

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

in Contemporary artists/Reviews/Singles/T

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

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

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