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Gazmen (review)

The Gazmen

The Gazmen - Rigormortis Rock
The Gazmen – Rigormortis Rock

The Gazmen – Rigormortis Rock

Vinyl Japan JRT9 [1996]
Western Star [2020]
Rigormortis Rock – Teenage Operation – Kid From Mars – Ace Of Heart

This ep initially came out in 1996. The Gazmen formed around the charismatic personality of Gary “Gaz” Day. Day is known for his collaboration with many influential bands, notably The Frantic Flintstones, The Sharks, The Nitros, The Caravans without forgetting his stint with popstar (and rockabilly aficionado) Morrissey, whose influence can be heard on the last track of this ep. The rest of the band was basically The Sharks with the addition of ex Born Bad and Morrissey’s guitarist, Alain Whyte. They played a traditional brand of psychobilly close to the Sharks (not very surprising) and the early Meteors, Day’s voice reminding the great Nigel Lewis, but with a fuller sound. The song Rigormortis Rock was first released by Alan Wilson (who wrote it ) under the moniker of The Space Cadets (not to be confused with Mouse’s band) around 1984 on the Nervous compilation Hell’s Bent on Rocking. Some of these songs were also part of the set when Gary was in the Sharks. One can hear early versions of Teenage Operation and Kid From Mars on the excellent compilation Rare Psychobilly from the Vaults.
In 2000, the American label Rock-It re-released it on cd.
The vinyl version became an object of collection with both Psychobillies and Morrissey’s fans looking for it.
Western Star has now reissued it on 10” colored vinyl, but don’t wait to buy one it’s a limited edition
Available here.

V/A – Rare Psychobilly from the Vaults

Rare Psychobilly from the Vaults
Rare Psychobilly from the Vaults

Rare Psychobilly from the Vaults – Vol.1 – X-Ray Studio
Raucous Records
The Kid From Mars – THE SHARKS / Teenage Operation – THE SHARKS / She’s Dead – THE SHARKS / Surfcaster – THE SHARKS / Scratchin’ My Way Out – FRANTIC FLINTSTONES / Unfortunate Jake – FRANTIC FLINTSTONES / Lunatics Are Raving – FRANTIC FLINTSTONES / Diablo – FRANTIC FLINTSTONES / Mudman’s Revenge – BREAKOUT / Witchcraft – BREAKOUT / Tornado – BREAKOUT / Borstal Breakout – BREAKOUT / Punks On Billy – SKABZ / Go Find Yourself A Guy – ROCKIN’ BANDITS / She’s All Mine – LUX / Leopardskin – LUX / Down In The Cellar – LUX / Leopard Skin – LUX / Fashion – LUX / Bad Trip – THE MEN FROM UNCLE / Can’t Get Enough – THE MEN FROM UNCLE / Charlie 2 – THE MEN FROM UNCLE / Scratchin’ My Way Out – THE MEN FROM UNCLE / Man With The X-Ray Eyes – THE MEN FROM UNCLE

Alan Wilson (the Sharks) formed the X-Ray studios in the early 80’s. It can be seen as an early incarnation of the Western Star studio he runs today. Included on this compilation are rare tracks that were recorded there and see the light of day for the first time.
The first four tracks are Sharks demos recorded when Gary Day was in the band (around 1993-94). He sings lead on Kid From Mars and Teenage Operation. They never appeared on a Sharks album but were recorded by the Gazmen (who were basically the Sharks plus Alan Whyte). The other two are a jam around a rockabilly riff (She’s Dead) and an alternate version of Surfcaster. These are not perfect and slick recordings but they are very interesting as you can hear songs in construction (listen to Gary repeating the same verse and indicating chords during Teenage Operation). One can find more Sharks demos on the excellent cd “Ruff Stuff” also on Raucous.
Next band is the Frantic Flintstones. They recorded some of their best albums at X-Ray. Featured here are Wilson’s Scratchin’ My Way Out and demos of songs that later appeared on Jamboree. You can’t go wrong with Chuck and his gang.
Breakout was a neo-rockabilly/psychobilly band that recorded some songs at X-Ray but never had to my knowledge a proper release. They’re not exceptionnal but the songs, including a cover of the Ricochets, are good.
Skabz was a punkish band and to be honest I’m happy this cd features only one song from them instead of four.
Go Find Yourself A Guy” shows the neo-rockabilly side of the The Rockin’ bandits. What a pity there’s only one.
Lux is a band very hard to pigeonhole. They mixed psychobilly with elements of the Gun Club, some Damned and a bit of 80’s new wave. Very good. Strange but very good. This songs remained unreleased until now. Why? It’s a mystery cause they’re easily as good and ten times more originals than many bands.
The remaining four tracks are from the Men From Uncle who were actually the Space Cadets (NOT Mouse’s band) : Alan Wilson, Simon Seago and Hodge. Recorded around 1983-84, this songs previously appeared on a bootleg lp called Cream Of the Cats (long story told in the booklet) and appear here for the first time on cd . “Charlie 2”, “Scratching My Way Out” and “The Man With The X-Ray Eyes” would later be re-recorded by the Sharks.
A great comp full of lost treasures.