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Nervous records

Rattlers (the)

The Rattlers – I Don’t Want You

Lost Moment LOM003 [1984]
I Don’t Want You – Hey Baby

Rattlers

Debut single for the Rattlers (Mark Carrington on vocals, Steve Davey on lead guitar, Nick Peck on slap bass and Graham Woodside on drums.) Both songs are originals.
A side is a good Rockabilly number with powerful slap bass and clean guitar, while B side shows some Psychobilly influences in the structure and the vocals.


The Rattlers – Scare Me to Death

Lost Moment Records – LMLP 001 [1984]
Scare Me To Death – Little Red  Mine All Mine  Kat Krept In  Hey Baby  Always Yours – Your my Baby – The Rattlin Boogie

Scare Me To Death

The Rattlers were formed in the early 1980s around Mark Carrington (vocals), Nick Peck (double bass), Steve Davey (guitar) and Graham Woodside (drums). In 1984, the group signed with Lost Moment Records and, in the wake, released their first 45 rpm. Shortly after, the Rattlers released their first album under the guidance of Boz Boorer (Polecats). Musically, the Rattlers sound like the turbulent little brothers of the Polecats (for Carrington’s voice) and the Deltas for the energy. The influence of the emerging Psychobilly scene can also be heard on their cover of You’re My Baby (also covered at the same time by Guana Batz). The group does not hesitate to cover songs more associated with the Glam scene (Cat Crept In by Mud or Always Yours by Gary Glitter). The Rattlin Boogie is an excellent instrumental with a second Les Paul-influenced guitar that bears Boz Boorer’s mark. Even though the band has an excellent guitarist and a powerful bassist, it’s sometimes a little chaotic, even shaky, but it always remains new and exciting, which is what Rock’n’roll should always be.


The Rattlers – Take A Ride

Lost Moment Records – LMLP 007 [1985]
Shake Your Money Maker  Knife Edge Baby  Life In A Coffin  Bloo Zoot  Gona Rock  007 Theme  Take A Ride  Mine All Mine  Bad Moon Rising  Blow Up Baby  She’s The One  Love Me  Bare Foot Nelly

Take A Ride

For their second album, the Rattlers are now playing as a trio. Steve Davey and Graham Woodside have both left the band. Robert Clarke is now the Rattlers’ guitarist, and Mark Carrington has moved to drums while continuing to provide vocals.
But these changes in no way affect the group’s energy and ability to play and compose excellent Neo-Rockabilly numbers.
Additionally, the band is produced by Paul Stewart, who knows how to get the most out of the trio. The production is perfect. The stripped-down quasi-acoustic sound of the double bass and drums (almost played without cymbals) contrasts wonderfully with Clarke’s inventive electric guitar. The group gets closer to the Deltas on certain songs (Bloo Zoot, Shake Your Money Maker) to switch, the next moment, to an instant Psychobilly classic (Life In A Coffin) before moving on to a Rockabilly Pop song (Gonna Rock) which, with a bit of promotion could almost have been a hit. The trio also offers an excellent version of the 007 Theme, recorded at Stewart’s suggestion because the group lacked songs to complete the album. Along the same lines, Blow Up Baby was composed in the studio, with each group member contributing to the writing.
Many Psychobilly and Neo-Rockabilly groups, from Meteors to Swamp Dogs via Stage Frite or Voodoo Dolls, have covered Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival). Still, the Rattlers’ version is undoubtedly one of the best. Unfortunately, like many other bands before them, in fact, all except the Cramps, the Rattlers fail to recreate the energy and urgency of The Phantom’s Love Me. The album ends with Barefoot Nelly, a hillbilly/skiffle with banjo.


The Rattlers – Never Say Die

Nervous 052 [1989]
Crazy Love CLCD6494
Gone Forever – Cruisin` Around – For Your Love – She`s The One – Savin` It All For You – Loaded Dice – Leavin` You Behind – Never Say Die – The Man With The Twilight Eyes – For You No More – Forbidden Love – October Moon – Never Catch Me Again

The Rattlers - Never Say Die - Nervous
The Rattlers – Never Say Die – Nervous

The Rattlers formed in 1984. the band released various albums, singles, ep’s before splitting a couple of years later. Nick Peck (slap bassist) joined Paul Roman (Quakes) in Paul Roman and the Prowlers for a short time but soon re-frormed the Rattlers, with Doug Sheperd on guitar (formerly in Something Shocking and one time member of the Rattlers for the stage) and Doug McCarthy on drums. A deal was concluded with Nervous Records and they recorded “Never Say Die” with Pete Gage in 1989.
This album is really excellent and though the previous one were good it’s by far a more accomplished work (I believe that Gage is no stranger to that).
The core of the album is made of a majority of self penned neo-rockabilly numbers very well written with tight arrangement and a special care on the vocal harmonies. Peck is a more than competent singer too. A couple of songs border on psychobilly like the title track (superb) and Forbidden Love. At the exact opposite October Moon and Leavin’ You Behind find the band in a jazzy-rockabilly style similar to the Nitros.
The original pressing is now long out of print but it’s been reissue on cd by Crazy Love records and is also available as mp3 download.


The Rattlers – Face The Fact

Raucous Records RAUC 012
Face the Fact – Running / I Feel Fine – Waiting for You To Call

face the fact

After the resounding success of “Never Say Die,” the Rattlers continued their momentum with a new EP the following year. Produced by Boz Boorer (Polecats), the EP featured a new line-up with Alistair Dick on double bass, allowing Nick Peck to focus solely on vocals. The EP is well-produced and features fast-paced beats and catchy songs. “Face The Fact,” a composition by Boorer, showcases a melodic Neo-Rockabilly style, while “Running” leans more towards Psychobilly with its intense rhythm, raspy vocals, and contained rage.
Despite Peck’s somewhat imprecise singing, “I Feel Fine” works very well. It demonstrates how well the Beatles’ music lends itself to Neo-Rockabilly, following the likes of the Nitros, the Stringbeans, the Polecats, and Dave Phillips.
The EP concludes with “Waiting For You To Call,” driven by the lively drums of Doug Mc Carthy.


The Rattlers – Never A lost Moment

Lost Moment [1991]
Tear It Up – Mystery Train – She’s My Baby – Good Rockin’ Tonight – Rockhouse – Hey Baby – Ting-A-Ling – Little Red – Your My Baby – Walkin’ Whistlin’ Blues – I Don’t Want You – Mine All Mine – Dancin’ Doll – Your My Baby – Rattlin’ Boogie – Life in a Coffin – Take a Ride – Bad Moon Rising – Love Me – 007

The Rattlers - Never a lost moment
The Rattlers – Never a lost moment

What happens when a label wants to cash in on a band’s name? They gather early recordings (very early and much uninspired), poorly recorded live songs as well as a couple of outtakes and alternate takes and the result is a 20 song album that is barely audible. It’s a pity because the Rattlers were a good band and deserved a better treatment than this hastily made compilation. For hardcore fans only (but only them!).


The Rattlers – Live in Europe

Jungle Noise – APECALL 004 [1990]
Rock On – She’s the One – You’re My Baby – Face the Fact – Running – Life in a Coffin – My Way – For Your Love – Twilite Eyes – Waiting for You – Loaded Dice – Bad Moon Rising – I Feel Fine – Forbidden Love – Friday on my Mind – I’m ready – Never Catch Me Again – Little Red – King Creole – Oh Boy

The Rattlers recorded this live album in 1990 with the four-piece line-up of the band, which is the trio of Never say Die with new member Al Dick on bass, allowing Peck to concentrate on vocals.
With 20 songs, it’s a good value for money, though the majority of them are played at the same tempo, which tends to be slightly monotonous after 12 songs. Eight songs are originals while the remaining twelve come from Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Elvis, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Easybeats, Garry Glitter, the Beatles and the Jackals, an American Rock’n’roll band that released one album on Nervous.
The sound is excellent, and the slap bass is very well recorded. It’s a nice addition to your Rattlers collection, though I prefer the studio recordings on which the vocals are better.


The Rattlers – Gangsters and loose Women

Count Orlock R.O.C.K. XII [1991]
Rock On – Change Your Mind – It’s All Over – What Have I Done? – The Chase – Ring On The Other Hand – Back Of My Hand – Through The Curtain – The Race Is On – Haunted Hill – Win Or Lose – Lux Luther Blues – She Don’t Love Me – Beat Out My Love – All The Tears – King Creole

the rattlers gangsters and loose women

With Gangster and Loose Women, the group moves from the neat Neo-Rockabilly of Never Say Die towards a lively and sometimes melodious Psychobilly. The compositions are quite good but, overall, lack a bit of variety both in rhythms and in sound.
Never Say Die benefited from Pete Gage’s presence and experience as a producer. He knew how to get the best out of the group, extending their style while renewing it. Here, the absence of a real producer (the album is produced by Sheperd, Peck, and the sound engineer) is cruelly felt.
Unfortunately, the songs all end up looking a bit similar, although some of the tunes stand out from the rest. We will note the excellent Lex Luther Blues (with harmonica), which recalls the first incarnation of the Rattlers, the acoustic and tuneful All the Tears (although a little weak in terms of vocals), the frantic and excellent The Chase (already released as a single) and a handful of others. But the album, which still contains sixteen tracks, ends up seeming long, which is a shame for a Rock’n’Roll album. The group would have been wiser to leave the often unnecessary covers (Rock On and King Creole being already present on the live album and Beat Out My Love that sounds terribly thin, especially compared to what the Cramps did of that same song) to have a tighter and ultimately more effective record.


Rattlers promo card
Rattlers promo card – first line-up

Spook and the Ghouls

Spook and the Ghouls – Whitechapel Murders

Nervous Records – NERD 043 [1988]
Reaper Grim – Demon Barber On Fleet Street – Vampira – Nightmares From Beyond – Love Me So – Let ‘Em Swing – Twisted Kind – Gallows Are Awaiting – Werewolf In Our Town – Dead Flesh Creeping – Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Live And Raw – Death Ride – Rocker

Spook and the Ghouls

Spook and the Ghouls formed in the mid-1980s with Simon Badminton (vocals and double bass), Dave Kingdon (guitar), and Vic Greener (drums). The band’s outrageous makeup on the album cover tends to make them lose credibility. But it would be a shame to stop at this first sight because you would be missing out on an original group that stood out in the Psychobilly landscape of the second half of the 1980s.

Spook and the Ghouls develop a highly original style that is dark, grim, and very gloomy—in other words, gothic—but always melodic and in which the Rockabilly base remains very present.

The group’s success lies in their unique approach. Their music is not about being loud or aggressive. It’s about creating an unsettling, even oppressive atmosphere as if the singer is whispering a story directly into your ears. This aesthetic is perfectly captured in their cover of Bauhaus’s ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead ‘. The guitar work is a journey through various sounds and textures, from rock’n’roll to garage (Vampira), with detours into Surf and Metal (Nightmares from Beyond). The few Rockabilly tunes, lighter and bouncy, may seem out of place, but they are surprisingly effective.

Ultimately, when the trio plays a more classic and predictable Psychobilly, it loses its personality and is less convincing (like on their cover of AC/DC’s Rocker). Fortunately, there are very few.

If you’ve only skimmed through this record or are open to discovering a different album, I urge you to give this hard-to-pigeonhole record a thorough listen. You might just find yourself drawn into the unique world of Spook and the Ghouls.

The Radioactive Kid

Frantic Flintstones

Frantic Flintstones – Bedrock!

Raucous Records RAUC002 [1987]
Bedrock – Hot Head Baby – Let’s Go Somewhere – Sugar Daddy

frantic flintstones

Released in 1987, Bedrock is the first-ever effort on wax by the Frantic Flintstones. All the ingredients are already in place: demented vocals from Chuck Harvey, furious slap bass by Gary Day, and simple but effective guitar. Three fast-paced Psychobilly tune and a slower one, Sugar Daddy, to conclude.One thousand five hundred copies were pressed; 1000 with a printed sleeve and 500 with a white sleeve.


Frantic Flintstones – A Nightmare on Nervous

Nervous Records NERCD034 [1988]
Hellfire – Monte Carlo or Bust – 44 – Please Cool Baby – Oh Baby oh Yeah – Alley Cat King – Gone Gone Well Gone – Red Chevy – Ring ring ringin’ – What the Hell – Sugar Daddy – Frantic Flintstones – Safe Surf* – Shake Your Honey Maker* – Old Jack Joe* – Jack the Ripper* – Whisky Bottle Baby* [*CD bonus tracks]

frantic flintstones - A Nightmare on Nervous

Released in 1988, A Nightmare On Nervous marks the debut of a prolific career. In a certain aspect you can compare it to an early Johnny Cash album. By that I mean that this guy turn their weak points into a strength. With a guitarist far from being a virtuoso, they build their songs around Chuck’s distinctive voice and a solid rhythm section that features Gary Day on bass. Sometimes the system shows its limits. Songs like “Sugar Daddy” and “Monte Carlo and bust“, though good, could easily be one minute shorter. But this album is full of classics approaching different styles : early psychobilly (Alley Cat King, What The Hell), neo-rockabilly (44, Red Chevy) and even a wild rockin’ blues (Billy Fury’s Since You’ve Been Gone renamed here Gone Gone Well Gone). The cd version features 5 bonus tracks recorded later with Gasty on bass : two covers played the Flintstones way “Shake Your Honey Maker” and “Old Black Joe“, “Safe Surf” a semi instrumental (Safe surf repeated a dozen times doesn’t count as lyrics, does it?) variation around “Hang 10“, “Jack The Ripper” is not Screaming Lord Sutch’s but another version of “Necro Blues“, and an excellent original “Whisky Bottle Baby” previously known in a live version on the “Live & Rockin'” album.


Frantic Flintstones – Rockin’ Out

Link Records – LINK LP 051 [1988]
Rockin’ Out – What The Hell – One Night Stand – Hot Head Baby / Chuck Blows A Fuse – Rockin’ Bones – Let’s Go Somewhere (Rockin’) – No One Stays

frantic flintstones - Rockin' Out

After a successful first album but which would have benefited from being much shorter, the Frantic Flintstones returned the following year with a new label (Link Records), a new guitarist (Jon “Pug” Peet, ex-Mysterons with Gaz Day) and an explosive new mini-album.
It’s an understatement to say that the short distance (eight tracks) suits the group better.
Surprisingly, the disc opens with a Jazzy Fever-style instrumental with a muted trumpet. But something doesn’t quite match the atmosphere: it’s Gaz’s overpowering double bass, which seems invested with a life of its own. And quickly, the group slides, or explodes, the word is more correct, towards a new frenzied version of What the Hell. The future classics follow one after the other. With this new line-up, between the rich voice of Chuck, the furious double bass of Gaz and the economical but always precise guitar of Pug, the group has found its balance. Arriving at the end of side A, the breathless listener barely has the strength to turn the record over, yet the group launches into Chuck Blows a Fuse, a furious instrumental. Three superb compositions follow, two of which were written during the Mysterons era (No One Stays and House Of Rockin’ Bones), and it’s already over.
The Frantic Flintstones have a more than impressive discography, but this record alone would have been enough for Chuck and his band to inscribe their names in the Psychobilly pantheon.


Frantic Flintstones – Not Christmas Album

Link Records – Link LP 072 [1989]
Frantic – Wider Road To Hell – Honey Maker – Necro Blues – Oh Little Town Of Bedrock – Gone Gone Well Gone (Harp Mix) / Alone Again/Round Mountain – Just Because – Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me – Santa Claus Is Back In Town – Blue Christmas – Ole Black Joe

Frantic Flintstones not christmas album

The year 1988 ends and the Frantic Flintstones seem to show no signs of fatigue. With their new double bassist, Gasty from the Blue Ridge Rockets (Martin “Griz” Smith, also from the Blue Ridge Rockets plays drums on some tracks), they entered the studio to record what would become Not Christmas Album.
With the help of its guests (saxophone, slide guitar, banjo, harmonica), the group expands its range. So the album begins with a cover of Prince Buster’s Madness, aptly renamed Frantic. The sax and slapped double bass combination gives an explosive result.
Alternating slow and threatening parts with sudden accelerations, it’s a return to Psychobilly in top form with Wider Road To Hell. Shake Your Money Maker by Elmore James is transformed into a psychotic blues that fits Chuck and his acolytes perfectly. Necro Blues, also recorded under the title Jack the Ripper, leans more towards the Rockabilly/Hillbilly side.
Oh Little Town Of Bedrock begins as a gospel song (Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem) before the group launches into a furious new version of Bedrock.
Chuck and his gang then give a new version of Gone, Gone, Well Gone (Billy Fury’s Since You’ve Been Gone), which benefits from an extended bluesy intro with a harmonica.
Alone Again begins slowly in a country blues atmosphere reinforced by slide guitar before ending with a festive Round Mountain.
Then comes an excellent version of Just Because with sax, and continuing on the Presley vein, the Frantic Flintstones play three Christmas classics played by the King, including an excellent Santa Claus Is Back In Town, bluesy as hell.
Ole Black Joe concludes this superb and eclectic album in style.


Frantic Flintstones – Live’n’Rockin

Link Records – LINK LP 098 [1989]
Alone Again – Round the Mountain – What The Hell -. Shake Your Moneymaker – No One Stays – Rockin’Bones – Necro Blues – Hang Ten – Bedrock – Old Black Joe – Gone Gone Well Gone – Playschool Baby – Just Because -. Whisky Bottle Baby – One Night Stand – Blue Christmas

live'n'rocking

The Live and Rockin’ serie on Link was mostly a poorly recorded (and often poorly played) affair. One notable exception was the Frantic Flintstone live album recorded during the Rocking Out tour in November 1988. Despite being recorded just after the departure of ace bass player Gary “Gaz” Day who is replaced by Gasty from the Blue Ridge Rockets, it found the Flintstones in top form playing classics one after another. The songs come from Nightmare on Nervous, Rockin’ Out and for the large part Not A Christmas Album recorded a couple of weeks after this gig.


Frantic Flintstones – The Nightmare Continues…Demonic Verses…Chuck’s Revenge

Link Records LINK LP 109 [1989] 
Smack Smack – Dog Rip – Bone Rest – Twisted Retard – Rasppin’ Grasses – Burned ‘N’ Turned – Dustbin Case – Five Clawed Talon – Angel – Lost Love – Astral Cowboy – Waste of Life

frantic flintstones

After a few high-end Psychobilly albums still very much influenced by Rockabilly and Neo-Rockabilly, the Frantic Flintstones released The Nightmare Continues in 1989. The album was recorded in June that year, with Gasty (ex-Blue Ridge Rockets ) on the double bass. The result may be surprising at first. If Chuck’s voice remains recognizable among thousands, the whole album is very dark. The sound is heavy and powerful, supported by one or more distorted guitars. It’s as if the Frantic Flintstones had merged with Demented Are Go. It’s pretty successful, and the graft between Psychobilly Gothic and the Frantic Flintstones works well, although it’s a bit repetitive in length. The sound homogenizes everything, and all the songs end up sounding similar.


Frantic Flintstones – Schlachthof Boogie Woogie

Link Records LINK LP 129 [1990]
Drugs in the Valley – Holy Sisters – Playschool Baby – Absolution – Endless Sleep – Hang 10 – Trips – Pantman – Breakout Mania – Gonna Miss Ya! – Sexy Red Number – West of London – The Race Is On – Legion Song – D.S. – Pantman

Schlachthof Boogie Woogie was released in 1990. If it contains good songs, there’s also a good dose of filler too. The whole album lacks coherence and suffers from the absence of a solid line-up behind Chuck and Johnny Pug. The group is scattered a little between the acoustics of Drugs In The Valley (Peace In the Valley), Holy Sisters, which recalls The Nightmare Continues and yet another version of Playschool Baby (this time with fiddle, perhaps in an attempt to sound like Demented Are Go?) And those are just the first three tracks on the album. The rest is of the same ilk, a catch-all mixing skabilly (Endless Sleep), tunes with a laid-back feeling (Trips), a massacre of a classic tune (The Race Is On) useless instrumentals like Breakout Mania or Pantman (aka Batman) with which we are gratified (afflicted ?) two versions. It’s not always played very well, so Sexy Number‘s double bass leaves something to be desired. The best song remains West Of London (an adaptation of John Denver’s West Virginia), but again, the group will record a superior version on Cuttin’ A Fine Line.


Frantic Flintstones – Well Gone In Europe

Kix4U KIX 3358 [1990]
Ole Black Joe – Alcohol Buzz – 44 – Honey Maker – Necro Blues – Gone Gone Well Gone – Let’s Go Somewhere – The Race Is On – Legion Song – Cryin’ Eyes (Country Mix – Broke Up (f/mushrooms Mix) – Endless Sleep (Skankabilly Mix)

frantic flintstones well gone in europe

The Frantic Flintstones released many albums often with the same songs. In the end, you keep wondering if you have another best-of of slightly different versions. This is what happens with “Well Gone In Europe.” Except if you’re a total and absolute completist, you can live without that one.


Frantic Flintstones – Take A Hike

Kix 4 U KIXCD3363 [1991]
Your Cheatin’ Heart – Dream On-Blue – Just A Dream – Sweet Nothings – So Sad – Little old Lady – Necro Blues – Burned’n’Turned – Rockin’ Bones – Frantic – Honey Maker – Gone Gone Well Gone – Blue Xmas – Santa Bring My Baby Back – Santa Claus Is Back In Town – Old Black Joe – Dream On-move

take a hike
Frantic FLintstones – Take A Hike

Though the sound is quite good, this album is far from being essential. Actually, on the 17 songs , 7 come from “Not A Christmas Album”, 3 are re-recorded versions of Flintstones classics (Burned and Turned, Rockin’ Bones, Necro blues) and in the remaining 7, Dream On is featured two times (a slow one and a fast one). That said the new versions are excellent, the group is in fine form and the Frantic Flintstones have released far worst than this album. One for the completist.


Frantic Flintstones – Rockin’ With…

Rumble Records – GANG 011 [1991]
Tom Dooley – Gotta Know – Brown Eyed Girl – Therapy

Rockin with the Frantic Flintstones

Out of the four songs that constitute this EP, only Therapy is unissued, the other three being lifted from Cuttin’ A Fine Line. It’s a Doo-Wop tune with only Chuck, a vocal accompaniment by the band and light piano.You never know what to expect with the Frantic Flintstones and that’s why they are great!


Frantic Flintstones – Cuttin’ A Fine Line

Rumble RUMBCD009 [1991]
Chilled bones – You’re the one who done it – Sweet Marilee – Jungle love – Time of day – You got me rockin’ – Tom Dooley – Gotta know – Brown eyed girl – Boneshaker baby – Slowly killing me – Don’t want you baby – Drug squad – West of London – Love me – Am I that easy to forget

frantic flintstones - cuttin a fine line

Released in the early nineties for the German label Rumble Records (Scum Rats, Rockabilly Mafia, Punishers etc.) “Cuttin’ A Fine Line” finds the band in superb form with the return of Gaz Day on bass with Rich Taylor on drums (Nitros), Pug still on guitar and of course the unmistakable voice of Chuck Harvey. This excellent album (one the very best ever released by the band) mixes classic psychobilly numbers (Chilled Bones, Don’t Want You Baby that features Gaz on lead vocals), blues (Time Of A Day), first class rockabilly (You’re The One That Done It, Sweet Marilee, Gotta Know), skiffle (Tom Dooley) and some country songs like West Of London and Drug Squad that deals with one of Chuck’s favourite subject. The selection is rounded with two acoustic numbers (Elvis’Love Me and Am I That Easy To Forget) with just Pug and Chuck that announces their following album, the all acoustic Skin Up, Chill Out, Just Buskin’ Through.


Frantic Flintstones – Skin Up, Chill Out, Just Buskin’ Through

Rumble RUMCD018 [1992]
Hello Marylou – Blue Moon of Kentucky – Will the Circle be Unboken – You Are my Sunshine – Tom Dooley – I Can’t Help it – Born to Lose – Goodnight Irene – It’s Hard to be Humble – Love me – Drugs in the Valley – Take me Home, Country Roads – I Gotta Baby – Am I That Easy to Forget

The only thing predictable with the Frantic Flintstones is that they are unpredictable. For this record originally released on Rumble Records in 1992 the band – reduced to just Chuck and Pug – went for an acoustic session. The mood is very laid back and the repertoire is made of covers of classic rockabilly and hillbilly tunes taken from the catalog of Hank Williams, Mac Davis, John Denver, Ricky Nelson, Elvis, Johnny Cash, The Carter Family and though they appear in brand new version here, some of them have been recorded by the band before. It’s not completely representative of the style of the Frantic Flintstones but it’s a nice addition to your collection.


Frantic Flintstones – Flesh’n’Fantasy/My Woman Is A Leach

Tombstone Records – Tomb CD 2006 [1992]
My Woman Is A Leach – J.B. Boogie – Will The Circle Be Unbroken – So Close To Heaven – Out Of My Face – Lock Me Up – Fruit Batz – Don’t The Moon Look Lonesome (Lupo) – Sweet Nothings – Gone To The Dogs – Drugged Up Fool (Bonus Track) – Stiffies (Bonus Track) – Devils Rain (Bonus Track) – Fantasize – Fantasize You (Bonus Track) – Sub-Sic-Mental-Menial (Bonus Track) – Tom Dooley (C.D.B.) (Bonus Track) – Necro Blues ’91 (Bonus Track)

We find the Frantic Flintstones, this time made up of Chuck, Pug, Jonny Bowler on double bass, and Rich Taylor on drums, but also Gaz on three tracks from a previous session and Graeme “Captain Drugbuster” Grant.
The album begins with the excellent “My Woman Is A Leach”. After the neo-rockabilly interlude on the Rumble label, we find the Frantic Flintstones more Psychobilly than ever in the vein of The Nightmare Continues. Then follows an instrumental that is not particularly original but has the merit of highlighting Jonny Bowler’s double bass (probably the “JB” of the title). The next track is the Country classic Will The Circle Be Unbroken, which the band plays over an almost Rocksteady beat. So Close To Heaven and Don’t the Moon Look Lonesome are two blues-tinged songs which allow us to hear another, more demonstrative side of Pug. Out Of My Face is a typical Frantic Flintstones song, alternating slow and fast parts. Way stranger is Lock Me Up. The music mixes Rockabilly with Samba on a House beat. It could almost work (almost), at least until halfway through, when the group abandons us, letting the rhythmic loop play ad nauseam.
The listening continues with a pair of Psychobilly tracks (Fruit Batz, Gone To The Dogs) and a more Neo-Rockabilly Sweet Nothings. Then comes a series of “bonus tracks”. The first is Don’t Be Cruel, transformed into Drugged Up Fool, which is neither original nor very good. More interesting are the three songs (Stiffies, Devils Rain, Fantasize – Fantasize You) on which Gaz Day plays and produced by Bon Boorer. We find the very dark Frantic Flintstones from Nightmare Continues. More or less in the same line, Sub Sic Mental Menial is reminiscent of Demented Are Go (One Sharp Knife), with Chuck’s voice played backwards. The album ends with Tom Dooley and Necro Blues, the latter coming from Take A Hike.
In the end, the album indeed contains good songs, even if none reach the status of the group’s classic. Still, Flesh’n’Fantasy/My Woman Is A Leach clearly lacks the direction and homogeneity to rise to the rank of some of its illustrious predecessors.


Frantic Flintstones – Rock it Boy

Rumble RUMBCD024 [1993]
Marylou – You Call Everybody Darlin’ – You Ain’t Nothing But Fine – I Cant Trust Me In Your Arms Anymore – Carry Me Back To Old Virginia – Blues Stay Away From Me – Blue Moon Of Kentucky – Your Cheatin’ Heart – I’m Walkin’ – Sweet Baby Doll – Will The Circle Be Unbroken – So CLose To Heaven – Jimmy Jazz – Love For A Nutter – Broken Heart

Originally released in 1993, this is the third Frantic Flintstones’ album for the German label Rumble records. And like “Cuttin’…” and “Skill Up…” it has a strong rockabilly flavour in it. The line-up for this one is Chuck, Pug, Johnny Bowler (Get Smart, Guana Batz) and Scag. It’s a very good album that only lacks of original songs, but with a charismatic band-leader like Chuck (and a solid band to back him) that’s not such a big problem. The band draws into the catalog of Jerry Lee Lewis, hence the presence of a piano, Ricky Nelson, Rockin’ Sydney, Johnny Burnette/Delmore Brothers, Hank Williams and delivers an excellent rockabilly version of the Clash’s Jimmy Jazz. As usual with the FF it features different versions of previously released tunes like Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Will The Circle Be Unbroken and Your Cheatin’ Heart wasted by the backing vocals. “Love For A Nutter” is a demo recorded with Alan Wilson that announces the following albums (X-Ray Sessions and Jamboree) and the beginning of a fruitful collaboration. Bowler closes the set with a vocal prestation on “Broken Heart” that won’t figure as one of the highest moment in the Frantic Flintstones history. It’s been reissued on the British label Raucous Records with a slightly different cover.


Frantic Flintstones – Jamboree

CDMPSYCHO15 [1993]
Detroit Dirtbox – Love For A Nutter – Your Time Is Up – Mean Mean Woman – Diablo – Stay With Me – Sweet Georgia Brown – Lunatics (Are Raving) – Busted – Mindkill – (To The Devil)A Son – Oh 898 – Candyman – He’s Waitin’ – Sad N’ Lonely – Suspended – Chop-Chop, Slash Slash – Honey Child – Hey Chuck – Detroit Bloodbox

Frantic Flintstones – Live and Rockin’

Previously issued in 1993 but out of print since then, Anagram had the good idea to reissue this 20 songs album in their Psychobilly serie. Produced by Sharks frontman Alan Wilson who also plays most of the guitar parts, with former bassist Gary Day back in the line-up, this is one of the 3 best album the Frantic Flinstones ever made and probably the richest in styles approached. Wilson is one hell of a guitar player and songwriter and his team with Chuck Harvey is just perfect. From “Diablo” with its surprising jazzy solo in the middle, to the country tune “To the Devil A Son”, and even a waltz (“Sad’n’Lonely”) they apparently have fun to work together and explore various kind of music. Some guests are present too. Detroit Donny plays harmonica on “Detroit Dirt Box” a bluesy instrumental and on Roy Orbison’s “Candyman”, Sonny West, who had an album on Nervous, plays some guitars and sings The Sonics’ “He’s Waitin’”. Alan Wilson sings “Mindkill” he co-wrote with Hodges. This one can be seen as the first song from the resurrected Sharks for this is during this recording that Gaz Day convinced him to reform the band. Psychobilly is present, of course, with”Your Time Is Up” which is not far from “What The Hell” on their debut album, “Sweet Georgia Brown” (not the jazz standard) and the great “Love For A Nutter”, although I do prefer the demo version issued on “Rock It Boy”. Add a bit of rockabilly (“Honey Child” and “Mean Mean Woman”) and if you still wonder why are the Frantic Flinstones so great, just ask yourself who could better than them sing a song about a psycho killer like a sixties pop ballad?

The Radioactive Kid

Lost Souls (the)

Lost Souls (the) – Erazer Head

Tombstone Records Tomb-Disc 698 [1991]
True Love – Dead Or Alive -(Get Me To The) World On Time – Hell Train – Spiral Dreams – Angel Of Death – Lysergic Acid – Erazer Head – Tomorrows Fool – S.O.A.P.Y – Witch Hunt – Doctor Death

lost souls - erazer head

Released shortly after their debut album, Erazer Head showed some changes in the sound of Lost Souls. The group’s sound has asserted itself, mainly the guitar, which has a more Metal tone and takes a more prominent place than on Chasin’ A Dream. The album also benefits from a better production. Roughly, one could say that if Chasin A Dream was close to the Mark Cole era Krewmen, Erazer Head is closer to Tony McMillan’s Krewmen. We can also hear the influence of emerging groups such as Nekromantix. This influence is also felt in the compositions, notably the two-part vocal parts of Hell Train. Overall, the sound has toughened up, making the group more aggressive and “in your face”. Likewise, the group introduces changes and breaks in rhythm (Spiral Dreams, Lysergic Acid), which bring the Psychobilly of Lost Souls into the 90s. Broome really delivers on double bass, ideally supported by the drums that followed the general evolution with a fat sound (and sometimes bordering on Punk). In the end, Lost Souls delivers an excellent nervous Psychobilly album, very representative of its time.


Lost Souls (the) – Chasin’ A Dream

Nervous Records NERD054 [1990]
Chasin’ A Dream  All Day And All Of The Nigh – Prisoner Of Love – Dancing With Myself – Still Feel The Pain – Only One For Me – Dead Stay Dead – Devil in Disguise – Surf Bitch – She’s Gone – Skid Row – Never Gonna Stop – Death Bone Alley – Lost Souls

Lost Souls

Lost Souls began in the mid-80s as a four-piece band. They then evolved as a trio and were discovered by Roy Williams, who sent them to Madhouse studio to record their debut album produced by Mickey Mutant (Meteors, Coffin Nails, Restless). The lineup on this album consists of Mark Broome on double bass and vocals, Neal Hattersley on guitar and vocals and Ian Lydell on drums.
Released in March 1990, Chasin’ A Dream is very representative of the Psychobilly sound of the era, namely a wicked and raspy voice, a light electric guitar (sometimes similar to the early Frantic Flintstones) and a powerful rhythm section led by an even more powerful and fast slap bass. 
The majority of this album is rather good and very pleasant, with excellent compositions. Moreover, the group has a good idea to add covers that have not been played ad nauseam, such as Billy Idol’s Dancing With Myself and The Kinks’ All Day And All Of the Night.
There are a few weaker songs and a bit repetitive, but it’s a detail, and the whole thing is more than successful.

Polecats (the)

The Polecats – Live’n’Rockin’

Link Records – LINKMLP 069 [1988]
Pink & Black – Blue Jean Bop – Rockabilly boogie – Hip hip baby – We Say Yeah – Runnin Back – Miss Bobby Sox

Polecats - live'n'rockin

It’s a way too short live album from the Polecats. One can wonder why Link didn’t release a whole show, considering the band probably had one in its archive. The sound is good without being overwhelming; the double bass, in particular, lacks a little depth, and the drums are not too present in the mix. That said, it is very well-played and very catchy too. The group overflows with youth’s exuberance, allowing certain vocal approximations to pass (for example, We Say Yeah). The group also knows how to be wild on certain songs, notably their cover of Rock-Billy Boogie by Johnny Burnette. All the songs are covers (Benny Joy, Gene Vincent, Dennis Herrold, Sonny Fisher, Cliff Richard & the Shadows) except for Runnin’ Back, which was composed by Boz Boorer and comes from Polecats Are Go.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Nekromantix (the)

Nekromantix (the) – Curse Of The Coffin

Nervous Records – NERCD 063 [1991]
Devil Smile – Curse Of The Coffin – S/M – Motorpsycho – Alice In Psycholand – Way Down To Hell – Howlin At The Moon – New Born Son Of Satan – Save My Grave – Survive Or Die – Part2 – Drugshock – Rockin’Reptile – Mama Don’t Allow

Nekromantix curse of the coffin

The Nekromantix formed in the late eighties. They quickly gained a considerable reputation with their psychobilly-meets metal with a touch of Goth. This reputation reached another level with the release of their debut album on Tombstone Records. The next step was signing with Roy Williams and Nervous Records. The result was one of those albums that changed the face of Psychobilly. Superbly produced by Micky Mutant, aka Pete Gage (who worked with the Meteors, Demented Are Go and Restless), Curse of the Coffin redefined the word Psychobilly (for better and for worse) at the dawn of the nineties.
With Kim Nekroman(real name Kim Gaarde) at the helm, slapping his coffin bass at a supersonic pace, Peter Sandorff playing a mean guitar that owed more to speed-metal shredders than Cliff Gallup or Paul Burlison, and Peek giving the beat, the Nekromantix unleashed a wild beast upon the Psychobilly world.Albeit fast, even ultra-fast, their brand of Psychobilly always remained tuneful and melodic. That aspect resides in the special treatment given to the vocals, with interactions in the form of questions and answers between Kim Nekroman and the band, the latter being an essential part of the singing. The songs are very well-written and don’t seem to have been heard trillions of times.
After the pioneers (Meteors, Ricochets, Sharks…) and the second wave of Psychobilly that still had its two feet firmly anchored in the Rockabilly idiom, the Nekromantix personified the new wave of bands that included more and more metal elements with only the slap bass to echo their Rockabilly roots.

Nekromantix
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