neo-rockabilly - Page 8

Scam

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Scam - Gamblin fever
Scam – Gamblin fever

Scam – Gamblin’ Fever

Count Orlock
Pirates And Thieves – Captain Caveman – Magic Bus – Searching -. Hangover – Nutcrackers – Island Of Rock -. Somebody Tell Me – Losing Touch – Gamblin’ Fever – Dr. No – Ready, Willing And Able
Scam released their debut album on Count Orlock in 1988, this first album is very representative of the sound of the day. Light drums, slap bass and a clean electric guitar, influenced by Restless and fellow Dutchmen Batmobile. The sound is good (Johnny Z. produces. Any link to Johnny Zuidhof from Batmobile?) but could be a bit “fuller”. They have good original songs (Hangover, Captain Caveman, Ready Willing & Able) but the long distance (12 songs) tends to disadvantage the band and the album sounds a bit repetitive, they could have reduced it to eight solid songs. They also cover the Who’s Magic Bus,a band previously covered on the Juvenile Delinquents album (My Generation). I’m not sure sure it’s been reissued on cd, so try to grab a vinyl copy on ebay.


Scam - Infant Years
Scam – Infant Years

Scam – Infant Years

Tombstone
Haunted House – Death Train – Can I Get A Witness – Cry Out – I Can’t See – The Eyes – Boogie Disease
Despite an ugly cover, this mini lp, recorded in 1989, shows an improvement from the first album. If there’s not a big departure in term of sound but the band is tighter and the songs less repetitive.

 


Scam - A million dollar scam
Scam – A million dollar scam

Scam – A Million Dollar Scam

Rockhouse
The getaway – Dead and gone – Cold as ice – Where did I go wrong – Stop bugging me – I’m going crazy – Hang ’em high – Stop that gorilla – You can’t trick me – Goodbye so long – Which way now – Devil’s music – It ain’t right – Bloodbrothers – Trouble tonight – Loved that woman – Drink that bottle down – Candy man
Released in 1991, this album (their third after Gamblin Fever and Infant Years) marks a new step for the band. To their usual brand of light psychobilly/neo-rockabilly, they add a good dose of rockin’ blues with blues harp, saxophone and slide guitar. The set is varied and the song inspired. A guest singer is present on a couple of songs and brings a bit of diversity. A good album that shows the evolution and the maturity of the band. Reissued on cd with four bonus tracks.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Wildkats – Rockin’, Boppin’ and Strollin’

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wildkatsft057 Foot Tapping records FT 057
Lonesome Train – Endless Sleep – Rockin’ Daddy, Get Rythm – Drivin’ Wheel – I Fought The Law – Roll Over Beethoven – Washing Machine Boogie – All By Myself – Baby Blue – Gone Gone Gone – Girl Of My Best Friend – Be Bop Alula – Worrying Kind – Tear It Up(3rd version)
This quartet comes from England. They are an all cover band (at least on this cd) but that doesnt mean a lack of personnality. The songs may be well known (Gene Vincent, Johnny Burnette, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry…) but the Wildkats play it in their own neo-rockabilly style. You can hear the influences of the Stray Cats on their version of I Fought The Law. This band knows its stuff. the rhythm section is solid with a good work from the acoustic rhythm guitar (too many bands forget the importance of the acoustic rhythm guitar in rockabilly), Alan Wilson’s (not the one from The Sharks and Western Star studio) solos are creative and Bob’s voice sounds a bit like Robert Gordon.
The whole thing is very well recorded/produced and you spend a very pleasant moment in company of these four lads.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Caravans

The Caravans - Easy Money
The Caravans – Easy Money

The Caravans – Easy Money

Nervous Records – NERD 036 [1988]
Rough Diamond – Sneakin` Out – I`ve Lost , You Win – Cryin’ – I Ain’t Got No Excuses – Easy Money – A Better Place – Blues Train – Stranded – Good Bye, Good Bye – In The Heat Of The Day – Sometimes I Wish – Stoned Tired & Cryin` – (Be My) Heart`s Desire – Love Me Like You Do

The Caravans formed in 1983 and after a few contributions to various compilation albums they finally released ther debut album on Nervous records in 1988. The line-up for this album was Mark Pennington (double bass/lead vocals), Rich Caso (lead guitar who replaced former lead guitarist Rob taylor), Darren Francis and Brian Gillman (rhythm guitars) and Lee Barnett on drums.
The result is very good melodic but hard hitting neo-rockabilly. All the songs are originals mostly from the pen of Pennington. Some songs are very good (Easy Money, Goodbye Goodbye, Sneakin’ Out, A Better Place, Cryin’ in a neo-Gene Vincent style or the hillbilly skiffle of In the Heat of the Day with accordion) still, some are more average and break the dynamic and the homogeneity of the records . And on some songs the two rhythm guitars add more confusion than power.
A good album but had it been limited to 6/7 tracks it could have been a killer.
Later reissues on cd include four unreleased songs from the same sessions.

the Caravans


Caravans - No Excuses
Caravans – No Excuses

The Caravans – No Excuses

Chuckeedee Records – CHUC 001 [1991]
After the release of their debut album (Easy Money) the Caravans saw some line up changes. Brian Gillman, Darren Frances and Lee Barnett had left . Mark Pennington (vocals and double bass) and Rich Caso (lead guitar) then recruited Johnny Bowler (who played bass with Caso in Get Smart) to play drums and this three piece band recorded No Excuses for Chuck Harvey (Frantic Flintstones) short lived label.

Though Easy Money was good, it contained a few fillers that broke the dynamic of the album and were a bit monotonous on long distance. This is not the case here. No Excuses is simply perfect. It’s exactly what one can expect from a neo-rockabilly album with powerful slap bass, syncopated drums (with breaks and rolls), light guitar. The absence of the two rhythm guitar doesn’t affect the sound of the band, far from that. It’s clearer and Caso’s solos are more in evidence rather than drawned in the rhythm section like on Easy Money. The better mix also helps alot to achieve that.

The reissue features the three tracks of the « On The Rocks » Ep.


The Caravans - Straightside
The Caravans – Straightside

The Caravans – Straightside

Rockout [1994] Crazy Love [reissue 2001]
Sure Miss You – Hobo Baby – Rockin’ Tonight – Baby Blue Eyes – Sunset Blues – She’s Just Rockin’ – Baby that’s Where You’re Wrong – Mean & Cruel – Lost Love Blues – Do Without You – That’s What It’s Meant Tobe – Freight Train – That Gal Of Mine – That’s My Belief – Gonna Love Ya – Ole River Blue – Want U Back

New album and new line-up for the Caravans. On Straightside Sean Goan arrived on drums, Jonny Bowler switched to doublebass and leader Mark Pennington ended on… guitar.
But this is the main change to be noted for the music remains more or less the same than on the previous albums.
Good originals and tailored made covers to suit the brand of neo-rockabilly that became the Caravans’ trademark.
Originally released on orange vinyl on Gaz Day’s Rockout records and later reissued on cd on Crazy Love with five bonus tracks.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

X-Invaders

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x-invaders
x-invaders – Storm boys

X-Invaders – Storm Boys

Pinner Records 201
Storm Boys – Lover Boys

Shrillish guitar, sparse drums, fast slap bass and high pitch vocals: every ingredient for a 80’s neo-rockabilly/early psychobilly single are here. Storm Boys is more interesting and original than the b-side which is just “another” fast tune.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

X-invaders

Quiff Cuts

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Quiff Cuts - Cruisin'
Quiff Cuts – Cruisin’

Quiff Cuts – Cruisin’

Korea ‎– KOREA 05 [1987]
Cruisin – Jitterbop Baby – Moonlight Rock – Mystery Train

Too many neo-rockabilly albums don’t hold the long distance and end up being a bit repetitive and monotonous. Quiff Cuts avoided this trap and released a four-song ep. The sound is particularly good and very clean, the arrangements are tight and  their singer is actually good and you don’t have the feeling to hear for the umpteenth time the same guitar solo. One could be afraid to see three well known covers but they play them with enough personality to make them sound, if not originals, very good. The fourth song “Moonlight Rock”  is a self penned number that shows some psychobilly influences. Recommended.

The Boppin’ Kids

The Boppin' Kids - Still Rockin' EP
The Boppin’ Kids – Still Rockin’ EP

The Boppin’ Kids – Still Rockin’

[1987]
Maybe One Day – You’ll Never Loose – Brand New Cadillac

This is the first recordings made by this Italian band and it’s a good neo-rockabilly Ep typical of the sound of the mid-80’s. “Maybe One Day” falls somewhere between Frenzy’s earliest work, Dave Phillips and Restless, “You’ll Never Loose” is faster and leans more toward psychobilly and Batmobile. The last song is a cover of Brand New Cadillac and is not quite as good as the other two.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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