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garage rock

B. Confidential and the Secret Four

B. Confidential and the Secret Four – Black Is The Colour Of My Baby’s Soul

Martin’s Garage Records [2022]
Black Is The Colour Of My Baby’s Soul/Satan Is Her Name

B. Confidential and the Secret Four - Black Is The Colour Of My Baby’s Soul

B. Confidential and the Secret Four are from Croatia. The combo consists of Dalibor Pavicic on guitar (Bambi Molesters), Branko Radovančević (Mad Men, B and the Bops) on vocals, Mislav Kurspahic (thee Melomen) on bass, Ivan Horvatić on drums and Bruno Vrgoč on guitar.
Side A is a superb instrumental drenched in reverb, evoking the theme of a spy film from the 60s. The song takes time to develop, creating a fantastic and deliciously intriguing atmosphere.
The second side, sung this one, develops an agonizing, even menacing strip club atmosphere, with a haunting saxophone—sort of like a B-series version of Fever.

B. Confidential and the Secret Four – Down The Subway

Martin’s Garage Records [2022]
Down The Subway/Cuttin’ Out

B. Confidential and the Secret Four - Down The Subway

This is the second single of B. Confidential and the Secret Four, and it’s as good as the first if not better. The A-side is a cover of Down In the Subway, Jack Hammer’s 1966 single. The band keeps the Soul of the original and injects a solid dose of Garage into it. The result is fantastic.
The Pirates were an American Garage band (some say they were from Louisiana, but they appear on a compilation of Texas bands). In 1965, they released Naughty Girl, which featured Cuttin’ Out on the B-side. This is the track that B. Confidential and the Secret Four cover. It’s an excellent Garage tune with a Bo Diddley rhythm and psychedelic influences.

Both singles are available here.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Milkshakes (the)

The Milkshakes – It’s You

Milkshakes Records – BILK-0 [1982]  
 It’s You / Please Don’t Tell My Baby 

Mickey Hampshire (guitar and vocals) and Mark’ Banana Bertie’ Gilbert played with two friends in a band called Mickey and the Milkshakes. They also accompanied the Pop Rivets (featuring Billy Childish on vocals and Bruce Brand on guitar) during a tour of Europe as roadies. When half of the Milkshakes lost interest in the band, and the Pop Rivets broke up, the natural move was to merge both bands. Childish learned to play the guitar in the process, and Brand switched to drums.

Childish and Hampshire quickly began to pen minor classics one after another, becoming the Garage rock equivalent of Lennon & McCartney, Childish bringing the Punk energy and Hampshire the melodic side.

The career of the Milkshakes was placed under the double influence of the early Beatles and the Kinks (with always some Link Wray thrown in for good measure.) The A-side of this single is clearly on the Kinks’ side. It’s You bears more than one common point with the Kinks’ I Need You (B-side of Set Me Free.)

Sung in a husky voice, Please Don’t Tell My Baby is more desperate and shows the band’s Punkish side. But lyrics like “Please don’t tell my baby I saw her last night / I saw her kiss that boy / Please don’t tell her that I know / ’cause when I catch her gonna get it all / I’m gonna put it on the line / That I’ll take her…all her lying / She made me very mad / I’m gonna treat her bad / She gonna wish she never told the lie she had” remain close to the Beatles’ Run For Your Life.

The Milkshakes – Soldiers of Love

Milkshakes - Soldier of love

Upright records – UP-6 [1983]
Soldiers of Love / Shimmy Shimmy

By 1983, Russ Wilkins, formerly of the Pop Rivets, had replaced Mark Gilbert on bass, but that was the only change in the band since, stylistically-wise, the Milkshakes didn’t change their musical formula. Their second single was a vivid demonstration of their love for the Star Club days of the Beatles. If both songs weren’t from the pen of Lennon and McCartney (Soldiers of Love was an Arthur Alexander song and Shimmy Shimmy derivated from a traditional jazz tune), the Milkshakes versions were obviously inspired by the covers of the same songs made by the Beatles; they even got the same wrong credit as the Beatles for Shimmy Shimmy.
Soldiers of Love is also the first apparition by the Milk-Boilers who soon became the Delmonas.

Debbie & Jackie

Sting Rays (the)

Sting Rays (the) – On Self Destruct

Sting Rays

Big Beat Records SW82 [1983]
Dinosaur – Math of trend / Another Cup Of Coffee – You’re Gonna Miss Me

With On Self Destruct, the Sting Rays released an impressive debut EP. What made their sound so peculiar was using a double bass to play Garage and Psychedelic influenced stuff. One could say that this single made the bridge between the early Psychobilly scene and the Garage scene. Dinosaurs opens with the Sting Ray theme played backwards then erupt into a wild form of Psychobilly, a bit like a raucous version of the Ricochets. The same can be said about Another Cup Of Coffee. Math Of Trend is Psychedelic with a dash of sixties pop. This excellent and essential piece of vinyl ends with a frantic cover of You’re Gonna Miss Me, the Thirteen Floor Elevator’s hit.

Debbie & Jackie

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.