Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

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neo-rockabilly

Ravenna and the Magnetics

in Contemporary artists/R/Reviews

The Magnetics – Rockabilly Fools

the magnetics rockabilly fools

Rollin’Rock LP-025 [1980]
Bound To The Sound – Rockabilly Fool – Waterproof Love – I Like Your Kinda Love – Hypnotized – Headaches & Heartaches – Rock Around With Ollie Vee – Bang Bang – Willin’ & Ready – Good Love – Hot Pink Cowboy Boots – Changing All Those Changes – I Need Your Love – Swamp Sally

The Magnetics – Mean Mean Man

Rollin’ Rock 45-050 / RoundeletROUND 1001

Mean Little Mama / Mean Mean Man

Mean little 7″ indeed.
A side, sung by Jeff Poskin and is a cover of Roy Orbison’s Mean Little Mama . It’s a wild piece of Rockabilly.
B side is a cover of Wanda Jackson’s Mean Mean Man sung by Ravenna. It features a superb guitar solo that rocks like no tommorow.

Ravenna and the Magnetics – Tennesse & Texas

Rollin Rock /Rondelet ABOUT 1008 [1981]
Tennessee & Texas – Find My Baby for Me – The Turning Tide – Surefire Shaker – Lonely Weekends – Waitin’ To Come Back – I Never Lie – Nite Owl – Feel So Good – Baby That’s All Right – 6918 Peach – Vibrate

Ravenna & the Magnetics - partRavenna and the Magnetics – Rockabilly Fools / Tennessee & Texas

Part-CD-691.001
Bound To The Sound – Rockabilly Fool – Waterproof Love – I Like Your Kinda Love – Hypnotized – Headaches & Heartaches – Rock Around With Ollie Vee – Bang Bang – Willin’ & Ready – Good Love – Hot Pink Cowboy Boots – Changing All Those Changes – I Need Your Love – Swamp Sally – Tennessee & Texas – Find My Baby for Me – The Turning Tide – Surefire Shaker – Lonely Weekends – Waitin’ To Come Back – I Never Lie – Nite Owl – Feel So Good – Baby That’s All Right – 6918 Peach – Vibrate

Very good idea from part to reissue on one cd this two album by Ravenna and the Magnetics. Too often overlooked and neglicted in modern rockabilly history. Ravenna and the Magnetics formed in the late 70’s and disbanded in late 1982. The first 14 tracks represent the bands’ debut album recorded at Rockin’ Ronny Weiser’s studio. At the time they went under the name of the Magnetics and were a tight rockabilly combo with Ravenna (aka Freda Johnson) on vocals, Tom Bergham on guitar, Jeff Poskin on second lead guitar and vocals, Steve Grindle on slap bass and Tom Svornich on drums. Both Ravenna and Poskin sang lead sharing the vocals duties equally and writing the stuff they sang, with occasionnal help from Bergham and Grindle. This brings a great variety to the album. Ravenna has a strong voice, in the style of Sparkle Moore and Janis Martin. One can also hear the influences of Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly (covered twice with Rock Around With Ollie Vee and Changing All Those Changes) with a contemporary twist.
After a few line-up changes, Ravenna and the Magnetics recorded Tennessee & Texas. They had lost Poskin who left to form the 88’s but added a saxophone and a piano. As a result Ravenna sang lead throughout and the sound of the band morphed from straight rockabilly to piano led rock’n’roll, most of the original being written by pianist Richard Hogan. Two songs taken from a single complete the set.
Retrospectively it’s hard to imagine that in the wake of the Rockabilly boom initiated by the Stray Cats they didn’t have more exposure. They could easily have national chart success. Maybe they were too raw at places and Rollin Rock’s distribution probably couldn’t handle a national distribution (that’s why the Blasters moved from Rollin Rock to Slash). On a sad footprint to the band’s history, Ravenna passed away in 1997, at the very young age of 42). It’s good to see that her talent is now available to a brand new generation of young Rockabilly fans who will enjoy the Magnetics’ music and perpetuate her legacy. The cd comes with a thick booklets featuring the original liner notes written by Ronny Weiser, a band bio by Tom Bergham, a detailed discography and additionial infos from Bernd Holzapfel and Paul Diffin (Sugar Ray Ford, Blue Cats) who played with the band during their European tour (many rare photos included too).
Get yourself this piece of Rockabilly history.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Ravenna & the Magnetics

Crazy Legs

in Contemporary artists/Reviews

Crazy Legs – Hello, Hello

Crazy Legs - Hello Hello

Tally-Ho Records ‎– TH 14189  [1989]

Hello, Hello – Crazy Legs – Ring Of Fire – Let´s Fall In Love – Death In Neck – A Teenager In Love

Crazy Legs is a German band formed by Mike Reuter on double bass and vocals, Armin Frob on guitar and Christian Kron on drums. Hello Hello is their first effort on vinyl and was released in 1989.

If a bit young in term of sound, this ep shows the potential of the band. This is neo-rockabilly in which one can hear the influence of bands like the Keytones to name but one.

The result is quite enjoyable with two self penned songs (Hello Hello and Death in Neck) and four covers. Gene Vincent’s Crazy Legs is an obvious choice and is pretty good. Ring Of Fire is sung by Christian the drummer. Cole Porter’s Let’s Fall In Love seems to be a mountain to high to climb for the band but to be honest this has too be one the hardest song to sing whereas Dion’s Teenager In Love suits them better.

Crazy Legs

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Javes (the)

in Contemporary artists/Reviews

Javes (the) – TV Quarrel

Javes tv quarrel

Razzle Dazzle Records – RAZ 811101 [1985]

TV Quarrel – 77 Sunset Strip – Stranger than Paradise – Jivin’ with my baby

The Javes were a German trio formed by Torsten Langner on guitar and vocals, Jürgen Berger on double bass and Oliver Hartmann on drums. They released this ep with four original songs in late 1985 / early 1986.

The title track is pure neo-rockabilly in the style of Restless’ first album. Very good guitar, solid double bass and drums and screams. Both 77 Sunset Strip and Stranger than Paradise border on early Psychobilly. If you want to pursue the comparison with Restless, let’s say those two tracks would be more at their place on Do You Feel rather than Why Don’t You Just Rock. Despite what I can say, don’t believe this guys were copycats, it’s just to give you an idea of the sound.

The last track is Jivin’ With My Baby which has a superb jazz feel to it with brushed snare drum and appropriate jazz chords.

Maybe the production is a bit thin at place and a fuller sound would have been better (especially when you know that they recorded some démos for Northwood later that year with Boz Boorer.) But that’s just one minor flaw (so minor you can’t even call it a flaw.)

Both Jurgen and Torsten later joined 45rpm.

Javes

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Saint Dom and the Sinful

in Contemporary artists/Reviews
Saint Dom and the Sinful

Saint Dom and the Sinful – Holywell Dene

Get Up & Get Out – Motorbike Rider – Mr Saint – Ghost Town – Holywell Dene – Cause i Do – Cat Feet – Jenny Won’t Play No More – Phantom Lady – Slaphouse – One Foot In the Grave – Mohawk

Better late than never as they say. It’s never been so true. First I should have written this review a long time ago. Then because Saint Dom took 30 years to release this album.

The band originally formed in 1983, featuring Simon Badminton who later formed Spook and the Ghouls, and disbanded in 1987 their only recording legacy being some demos.

In 2011 they reformed with Peter Turner (Sureshots, Johnny and the Roccos) on double bass and Mark Coppin (Sureshots, Sugarpuff Demons) on drums. In early 2016 they finally started to work on an album and two years later Holywell Dene was born.

And let me tell you, that was worth the wait! This is one of the very best neo-rockabilly album I’ve ever heard. Not “the best of 2017” or “one the best of the decade”, no I repeat: one of the best I’ve ever heard! It can stand proudly near anything released by Restless, the Sharks or the Blue Cats.

All twelve songs are penned by Dom Malia (aka Saint Dom) who’s not happy to be a mighty fine songwriter and one hell of a singer is also an ace guitar player (listen to Cat Feet their instrumental.)

The album kicks off with Get up and Get Out. Man! If I had to explain what is modern Rockabilly to someone who doesn’t have a clue, I’d surely use this song and the Blue Cats’Man with a mission.

After such a strong opener you have to be good. And Saint Dom and the sinful are! The songs follow one after another always bringing something new. Some are very close to Psychobilly like Mr Saint or One Foot in the Grave. Others are more traditionnal like Cause I Do (with a riff similar to the Moonlighters’ Broken Heart) or the title track with its powerful slap bass. It must be noted that the slap bass is particularly well recorded; You can hear both the slap and the bass and the sound is warm.

A bit of glam can be heard on Ghost Town (maybe it’s the intro that makes me say that) and some boogie blues on Jenny Won’t Play No More with guest harmonica player Scotswood Slim. Talking about guest, Steve Clark of the Neutronz can be heard adding a touch of Mark Harman influenced guitar on some tracks.

If at this point you didn’t understand that you should order this record without delay, I guess one of us has a problem… No seriously, order it right now!

Saint Dom on reverbnation.

Saint Dom at Raucous records.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang

in Contemporary artists/Reviews
Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang - Wild Youth
Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang – Wild Youth

Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang – Wild Youth

Rockhouse [1982]
Wild Youth – She Will Come Back – 56 Boys –  Tainted Love – Love Me – My Turn – On The Move – One And Only – Flea Brain – Should I Ever Love Again – Summertime – Baby Blue – Just Can’t Believe – Wow

Having left the Blue Cats in 1980, Dave Phillips took some time off before forming his own band. Still with Gene Vincent in mind he named his new band the Hot Rod Gang after the 1958 movie featuring the screaming kid. The first line-up consisted of John Day and Ray Thompson on guitars, Rob Tyler on drums and of course Dave Phillips on double bass and lead vocals. But it’s the second line-up with Mark Harman from Restless on guitar replacing both Day and Thompson that entered the history of modern rockabilly. Harman was the perfect choice, his fast Gallup influenced licks being the perfect complement to Phillips. The trio recorded Wild Youth in late 1981 and contrary to what the cover reads it’s Tyler on drums and not Andrew Wrightson who was the band’s driver (even on the cd reissue features the mistake).
One can suppose that the label (Rockhouse for both) acted with Phillips the same way he did with the Blue Cats’ second album (with Clint Bradley) hence the presence of many familiar cover in a more traditional style (Flea Brain, Summertime, Baby Blue and the Phantom’s Love Me sung by Harman). But there’s enough modern stuff to make of Wild Youth a benchmark in Neo-Rockabilly history, the best known being their cover of Tainted Love. It’s an instant classic that will have a lasting influence on many young bands.
Essential to any decent collection.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Dave Phillips

Dave Phillips – Rockhouse Mini L.P. Collection

Rockhouse Records – MLP 8420 [1985]

Brand New Beat – The Fun Of It – In My Dreams – So Now You’ve Lost her – You Don’t Want to Know – The Trip

I said it before and I’ll say it again, mini lp are often the best support for Rockabilly. It’s short, every number counts and there’s no place for fillers.

Dave Phillips’ mini lp for Rockhouse is the perfect exemple of that statement.It’s almost perfect and dare I say, even better than his debut solo album.

Once again one can hear the influence of Gene Vincent, with the covers of Brand New beat (imagine Vincent revisited by Restless of vanish Without A Trace period) and In My Dreams which is probably the weakest song of the album (but to his discharge it’s hard to compete with Vincent on that type of song.)

The four remaining tracks are originals. You Don’t Want to Know features Mark Harman of Restless (and former hot Rod Gang member) on guitar and is a rockin’ ballad with once again the shadow of Gene Vincent over it.

So You’ve Lost Her is a medium rocker while the Fun of it is a fast neo-rockabilly with breaks later covered by French band the Happy Drivers on their debut album and the Trip is Worth th eprice of the album alone. This fast modern rockabilly number (with a dash of psychobilly) is a modern masterpiece.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Read our in depth interview with Dave Phillips here.

The Scannerz

in Contemporary artists/Reviews/Stories

The Scannerz started in late 1985/ early 1986. Sebastian Glenz aka Semmel (guitar) met Uwe Klein through his older brother. Uwe had started to play doublebass and was looking for a guitar player to form a neo-rockabilly / psychobilly band. They were very young (Glenz was 16!) and that was the first band for both of them. Klein and Glenz were soon joined by Murphy (singer/second guitar) and Pennmütz on drums (both from Bonn). Semmel quotes Restless, The Sharks as well as Gene Vincent and Johnny Burnette as influences while the others were more into the 80’s Psycho scene and a bit of Punk too.

Murphy stayed with the band for less than a year then left leading Semmel to take over the vocals duties and the band carried on as a trio. Then Pennmütz left and Gonzo took the drums. Finally Klaudia Menzel joined the band sharing the vocals with Semmel.

They eventually got a contract with the newly created Maybe Crazy records (later home of Mad Sin, Scallywags) but Gonzo left before the recording because he had to go to the army.The Lp was recorded with Johannes Bokskopf who Semmel knew from another musical project.The album is quite good and has aged rather well. It features 10 originals and one cover. It’s solid neo-rockabilly with a touch of psychobilly featuring an excellent lead guitar and a powerful slap bass with a sound very close to Restless (Vanish Without A trace/Girl Invisible era). The songs are well done, with a will to make melodic and original tunes. Klaudia’s voice is a real plus. She sings b-vox on a couple of tracks and lead on two, including the cover of The Ricochets’ Night Ship and the ska/new wave/psychobilly Change Myself. Sadly this is the sole release of the band (with the exception of one demo).

The band kept on with another drummer (Johannes Bokskopf wasn’t able to join the band full time, which maybe explains why you can’t see the face of the drummer on the cover of the album) called Gammel but the musical direction changed and Semmel left the band. The Scannerz continued a bit with a new guitar player (Michael) and Gonzo back on drums, playing more in a 60’s beat style but it didn’t last and by the end of the decade the band was no longer in activity.

scannerz
scannerz

Since then Sebastian has played with the Hot-Riffs, The Paralysers and today his “Mark Harman meets Cliff Gallup” guitar style can be heard in The Tin Cans.

Discography

1987 -S/T – Maybe Crazy LP 001 (black vinyl and 433 copies in clear vinyl)
Later reissued on cd in 2003 by Crazy Love Records – CLCD 64200

A big “Thank You!” to Semmel for the infos.

the Scannerz - s/t
the Scannerz – s/t

The Scannerz – s/t

Maybe Crazy / Crazy Love Records CLCD64200
I’m A Victim Of Your Love – Tell Me – Night Ship – He’s A Murderer – Crime – Fun On The Fretz – Stupid Informations – Want A New Life – Station Girl – You’ve Left Me – Change Myself
The Scannerz were a German quartet. They only had one release in 1987 on Maybe Crazy records. They played neo-rockabilly with a touch of psychobilly featuring an excellent lead guitar and a powerful slap bass with a sound very close to Restless (Vanish Without A trace/Girl Invisible era). The songs are well done, with a will to make melodic and original tunes but the real plus of the band comes from Klaudia. She sings b-vox on a couple of tracks and lead on two, including a superb cover of The Ricochets’ Night Ship and the ska/new wave/psychobilly Change Myself. If you dig 80’s neo-rockabilly/psychobilly this one is for you.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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