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Nervous records (label)

Ricochets (the)

Ricochets (the) – Made In the Shade

Nervous Records NERD 005
Hey, Girl – Yomping – I’m A Loser – Crazy Dream – King Rocker – Black Magic Baby – Runnin’ Wild – Hit Man – Worried ‘Bout You Baby – Brand New Cadillac – Night Ship – Everybody’s Rockin’ (Live)

the ricochets

This album is a landmark in the history of Psychobilly in more than one title. Not only is it one of the very first albums to define Psychobilly, but it also inspired many young musicians to form their own combos. In addition, the Ricochets also had Sam Sardi, who later joined the Guana Batz, and Ginger Meadham, who drummed for the Meteors and later the Highliners, in their ranks.
The Ricochets first started under the name Pink and Black and played a more traditional style of Rockabilly. The original line-up featured Sam Sardi (double bass), Steve Sardi (guitar), Ginger Meadham (drums) and Dave (Sam and Steve’s cousin) on vocals. But by the time of the recording, he was deeply involved in his day job, and Lester Jones replaced him. The legend says that Roy Williams went to hear them rehearse and was far from convinced until the band – not knowing that the label owner was still listening to them – started messing with more modern and adventurous stuff. A deal was quickly signed, resulting in a noticeable appearance on the compilation album Hep Cat Hop, followed by an album.
Being pioneers, the Ricochets invented the style while they were playing it. Hence, the band didn’t feel contrived by rules and definitions. The Ricochets were playing the kind of music they liked, the way they felt and wanted to. The result is a fantastic album, built around a Rockabilly structure, featuring a frantic slap bass, with dark lyrics, and permanent anguish, elements of Punk (they cover Gen X’s King Rocker), some garage with a Psychedelia flair influences (the magnificent Night Ship). Even a bit of Glam can be heard in their instrumental Yompin (they also covered Slade’s Don’t Blame Me for the compilation album Stack-A-Records, later reissued on the CD version of Made In The Shade). Even what could be pointed as a potential negative point (Jones isn’t the most tuneful singer ever) turned to the band’s advantage. His singing brings a strange and uneasy yet addictive feel to the songs, comparable in a certain way to what Nigel Lewis brought to the Meteors.
Shortly after the release of Made In the Shade, Ginger joined the Meteors and appeared on two of their legendary albums (Live I and Wreckin’ Crew); Sam teamed up with the Guana Batz for a string of classic albums. In the late eighties, the original line-up of the Ricochets was reformed with Dave Sardi on vocals and released On Target for Count Orlock records.

Ronnie And The Jitters

Ronnie And The Jitters – Roll Over

Nervous Records – NERD 014 [1984]
Roll Over Richard – Wild Weekend – Love Somebody New – She’s Not The Girl – Rock Away – Black Slax – Truck Stop Song – Can’t Fool A Woman – Take Me In Your Arms – Crazy Place

Ronnie and the Jitters

Ronnie and the Jitters were a band from New Jersey that appeared on the New York scene in the late 70s. The band consisted of Ronnie Decal on lead vocals and guitar, Warren Keller on saxophone, Steve Missal on drums and Dave Post on bass.

They first released a single in 1979, then an album titled Roll Over in 1983 on an American label. The following year, it was licensed to Nervous Records and included the tracks from the single.

Eddie Angel (Planet Rockers, Los Straitjackets) is also credited for some guitars on this album.

Roll Over Richard opens the set. It’s a no-brainer powerful rock with a blasting sax and a wild Rock’n’roll piano. It’s reminiscent of George Thorogood, but the drums sound typical of the 80s mars it. Next is a cover of the Rockin’ Rebels Wild Weekend. Originally an instrumental, their version features lyrics, probably written by Decal since he appears on the credits. It conjures the recklessness of the 50s, and the result is not far from what John Cafferty did for Eddie and the Cruisers.

Love Somebody New is more modern and inscribed in its time by its arrangement and style. She’s Not The Girl is a bouncing rockabilly that evolves into Rockaway, a mean instrumental, before briefly returning to the song.

B-side opens with an excellent cover of the Sparkletones’Black Slacks. Next is another cover, this time from Kristy McColl. Though titled Truck Stop Song on the records, its original title is There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop, Swears He’s Elvis. In an attempt to conquer the American market, the label and McColl made a version named There’s A Guy Works Down The Truck Stop, Swears He’s Elvis. Anyway, the Jitters covered it, and it’s a great country rock in the vein of what Dave Edmunds had recorded. Can’t Fool A Woman is a ballad (every Rock’n’Roll album should have one) with the mandatory spoken part. Take Me In Your Arms is a modern rocker; think the Rockats (Make That Move era of the band) with a saxophone. It was a good idea to finish the set with a good rocker like Crazy Place; too bad that the band doesn’t seem to know how to conclude the tune, which could easily be one minute shorter. Roll Over is clearly not an album for the purists, but it tries, and often succeeds, to capture the spirit of a lost period but with a modern twist.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Kevin Fayte and Rocket 8

Kevin Fayte and Rocket 8 – Ridin’ In A Rocket

Kevin Fayte and Rocket 8 - Ridin’ In A Rocket

Nervous Records NERD 024 [1985]
Bluest Of Blue – County Jail – Money Talks – Blame It On The Moon – Hey, Baby – Gal O’ Mine – Rock Candy – So What – Oh, My Little Claudie – Ridin’ In A Rocket – Baby, I Know – I’m A Rebel – Big Ol’ Sun – You Can’t Come Out Tonight – I Don’t Know – Teacher, Teacher – Get Off My Train – Movin’ To Memphis – Bop, Man, Bop – Gonna Rock

Kevin Fayte and Rocket 8 were a traditional Rockabilly trio consisting of Kevin Fayte on vocals and guitar, Buster Fayte on vocals and bass, and Joe Snare on drums. They seem to be forgotten today, which is rather unfair. Maybe they came too early. When most of the bands were trying to follow the Stray Cats paths, Kevin Fayte and Rocket 8 choose to remain faithful to the Rockabilly of the origins.
The band formed in 1983 and disbanded around 1986. In between, the trio managed to release this album consisting of twenty original songs, penned by the band members, but their producer, Gary Rebholz, also contributed to the songwriting. One could fear that twenty tracks are a tad too much for a rockabilly album, but the songs are short, and since both Kevin and Buster share the lead vocals, they manage to keep variety all along the lp. Most of all, they really knew how to write songs, focusing on the melodic aspect.
This excellent album deserves to be rediscovered today.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Elektraws (the)

Elektraws – Shock Rock

Nervous records NERCD083 [1996]

Lost In A Time Vortex – Raving Mad – Elektones – Heartless Man – Fist Fight – Mad Man – Get Tattooed – I`m Gone – Let`s Cry Out – Delirious – Hell`s Bent On Rockin’ – Gallows Birds – Thurdering Love – Shock Rock – Lost In A Time Vortex (#2)

French Psychobilly band the Elektraws first started as a Rockabilly band under the name of the Bobkatz in 1991. They recorded some demos with covers of 50’s classics like Something Else, Rockhouse, Long Blond Hair but also tunes like Gary Glitter’s Rock On which was also recorded by the Happy Drivers on War.
Around 1993/1994 they decided to change their sound and morphed into a psychobilly band called the Elektraws. From the beginning, the line-up remained steady: Nicolas Hervier on double bass and vocals, his brother François on drums and Georges Defretiere on guitar.
The Elektraws first appeared on the compilation album “Banana Juice Kongpilation.” They then sent a demo tape to Roy Williams of Nervous records and the result was not only an appearance at the Big Rumble but also a record deal with Nervous. In October 1995 they recorded their debut album “Shock Rock” with Alan Wilson (of Sharks fame) engineering and producing.
In a period (the mid-nineties) when more and more bands were adding metal elements to their psychobilly (Nekromantix, Krewmen…) the sound of the Elektraws was quite refreshing. One could hear the influence of Frenzy (both versions of Lost in a Time Vortex could easily figure on Hall of Mirrors), early Meteors, Sharks and they Ricochets (both bands cover Jimy Wages Mad Man.) On Elektones, an instrumental tune, one could also hear a bit of surf. But the most obvious influence of all, both musically and vocally, is the one of Batmobile.
Of course, the album is not flawless. The main problem being the drums that are not always in place. But it’s only on a couple of songs and the whole album remains a very enjoying experience.
In 1996 they recorded songs for a possible second album with a more agressive sound but split soon after. These recordings can be heard on “Alive” on Klub 333 label.
Nicolas went on to join the Hellbats. Sadly in 2006, he was shot in the street after a fight and died.

The Radioactive Kid

Nervous records

Nervous records, the legendary rockabilly/neo-rockabilly/psychobilly label formed by Roy Williams (interviewed here), once called by Paul Roman of the Quakes “the Sam Phillips of Psychobilly”.

nervous records

Nervous Records discography

The Polecats – Cult Heroes – NERD 001
Deltas – Boogie Disease – NERD 002
Various Hep Cat Hop – NERD 003
Restless – Why Don’t You Just Rock – NERD 004
The Ricochets – Made In The Shade – NERD 005
Buzz & The Flyers – Self titled – NERD 006
Various – Stack-A-Records – NERD 007
The Sharks – Phantom Rockers – NERD 008
Dave Taylor – Midnight Rock – NERD 009
The Blue Cats – Early Days – NERD 010
The Blue Cats – Early Days Vol2 – NERD 011
Big Daddy Sun and Outer Planets – Rockabilly – NERD 012
Freddy Frog – Self Titled – NERD 013
Ronnie and The Jitters – Roll Over – NERD 014
Restless – Do you Feel Restless – NERD 015
Frenzy – Hall Of Mirrors – NERD 016
Various – Hell Bent On Rockin’ – NERD 017
Rochee & The Sarnos – Understanding Sarno – NERD 018
Rapids – Turning Point – NERD 019
Pharoahs – Blue Egypts – NERD 020
The Jets – Session Out – NERD 021
Various – Aussiebilly – NERD 022
Various – Zorch Factor One – NERD 023
Kevin Fayte & The Rocket 8 – Ridin’ In A Rocket – NERD 024
The Torment – Psyclops Carnival – NERD 025
Restless – The Early Years – NERD 026
Get Smart – Self Titled – NERD 027
Skitzo – Skitzo Mania – NERD 028
Various – Zorch Factor Two – NERD 029
Rhythmaires – Losin’ Out – NERD 030
Coffin Nails – Ein Bier Bitte – NERD 031
Torment – Three is a Crowd – NERD 032
Frenzy – Live At The 100 Club – NERD 033
Frantic Flintstones – A Nightmare On Nervous – NERD 034
Batmobile – Bail Was Set At $6000000 – NERD 035
The Caravans – Easy Money – NERD 036
The Quakes – the Quakes – NERD 037
The Jackals – Prowlin’ – NERD 038
Skitzo – Terminal Damage – NERD 039
Pharoahs – Hammer & Sickle blue – NERD 040
Ratmen – Live Fast, Die Young – NERD 041
Various – Zorch Factor Three – NERD 042
Spook & the Ghouls – Whitechapel Murder – NERD 043
Catmen – Catmen – NERD 044
Surfin’ Wombatz – Lager Loutz – NERD 045
Sharks – First & Last Live – NERD 046
Griswalds – Who Framed The Griswalds – NERD 047
Various – American Rockabilly – NERD 048
The Nitros – Stompin’ Beat – NERD 049
Torment – Around The World – NERD 050
Rusti Steel & The TinTax – More Dollars Than Cents – NERD 051
Rattlers – Never Say Die – NERD 052
Various – Home Grown Rockabilly – NERD 053
Lost Souls – Chasin’ A Dream – NERD 054
The Screamin’ Kids – Don’t Get Down – NERD 055
The Nervous Fellas – Born To Be Wild – NERD 056
Torment – Hypnosis – NERD 057
The Quakes – Voice Of America – NERD 058
The Coffin Nails – Who’s he? – NERD 059
The Catmen – Cuttin’ Through The Red Tape – NERD 060
Various – Boppin’ In Canada – NERD 061
The Scamps – Mayday – NERD 062
Nekromantix – Curse Of The Coffin – NERD 063
Beverley Stauber – Nail My Feet To The Kitchen Floor – NERD 064
Frenzy – Clockwork Toy – NERD 065
Various – Live At The Big Rumble – NERD 066
Sonny West – Relentless – NERD 067
Radium Cats – Other Worlds – NERD 068
The Blue Cats – The Tunnel – NERD 069
The Taggy Tones – Viking Attack – NERD 070
Colbert Hamilton And The Hellrazors – Self – NERD 071
Restless – Figure It Out – NERD 072
The Quakes – New Generation – NERD 073
The Rattlers – Scare Me To Death – NERD 074
Three Blue Teardrops – One Part Fist – NERD 075
Colbert Hamilton And The Nitros – Wild At Heart – NERD 076
Voodoo Swing – We’re Usin Code Names – NERD 077
Tim Polecat – Virtual Rockabilly – NERD 078
Mean Cat Daddies – Ghost Of Your Love – NERD 079
The Taggy Tones – Lost In The Desert – NERD 080
Various – Is It Cool – NERD 081
Darrel Higham – Mobile Corrosion – NERD 082
The Elektraws – Shock-rock – NERD 083
The Quakes – Live In Tokyo – NERD 084
Wild – Good To Go – NERD 085
King Memphis – The Astonishing – NERD 086
Restless – The Very Best Of – NERD 087
The Backbeats – Back To The Beat – NERD 088
Bill Mc Elroy – Slimline Daddy – NERD 089
Skitzo – Vertigo – NERD 090
The Muskrats – The Young And Restless – NERD 091
Hayride To Hell – Self Titled – NERD 092
Nine Lives – Roundabout – NERD 093
Rock Island Line – The Very Best Of – NERD 094
Various – The Nervous 45 rpm Collection – NERD 095
The Midnight Dynamos – Do You Wanna Dance? – NERD 096
Bonneville – Trouble – NERD 097
Various – Rockabilly Gold – NERD 098
High Voltage – Danger… – NERD 099
Blue Flame Combo – Rockabillies Go Home – NERD 100
Mystery Gang – Hot’n’Wild Rockabilly Cuts – NERD 101
The Jime – It’s Still Rock’n’Roll To Me – NERD 102
Johnny Black – Extra Chrome – NERD 103
JC Lee – Tokyo Heat – NERD 104
Mick Satan & The Rockin Devils – Teddy Boy Anthems – NERD 105
Vernon & The GI’s – GI Bop – NERD 106