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Nervous records

Elektraws (the)

in Reviews

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

Rattlers (the)

in Reviews

Rattlers

The Rattlers – I Don’t Want You

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

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

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

 

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

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!).

Rattlers promo card
Rattlers promo card

Mean Cat Daddies (the)

in Reviews
Mean Cat Daddies
Mean Cat Daddies

The Mean Cat Daddies – Ghost of your Love

Nervous Records NERDCD 079 [1994]

Sally-Ann – Sign Of The Times – (She’s) Just A Memory – Why Do I Cry? – Drivin’ All Night – I Can Tell – Decision Time – Tell Me – Am I The One? – Ghost Of Your Love – Midnight Cruise – Losing Game – Waitin’ For You – This Is The End

The Mean Cat Daddies were a Rockabilly quartet from the North West of England; They took their name from Harold Jackson’s song of the same name.

They released their one album titled “Ghost of your love” on Nervous Records in 1994. The Mean Cat Daddies were Tony Huyton on vocals and acoustic guitar, Andy Bolton on lead guitar, Gary Maguire on double bass and Johnny Gribbin on drums.

The opening track is a solid modern Rockabilly tune. The next song shows a strong Buddy Holly influence to it complete with the appropriate drum pattern and a bit of Joe Meek production. “Sign of the Time” is a very interesting number, being a Rockabilly number with a social comment about the difficulty of finding a job in Great Britain. “Why Do I Cry” is another highly melodic song with strong double bass and a bit of country and western influence. “I Can Tell,” the sole cover of the album is pretty good. Andy Bolton sings both “Decision Time” a very modern song, and “Am I the One” that brings a touch of blues with slide guitar.

They sure know how to write melodic tunes as prove “Tell Me.” In a similar vein, you’ll find and the title track. It’s described by Roy Williams of Nervous Records as a song that “would have worked well in a French art-sex film of the mid-Sixties.” Why not, Roy? They’re also more than able to rock, with the hard-hitting Rockabilly of “Midnight Cruise.”
“Losing Game” is more classic Rockabilly with powerful slap bass while “Waitin’ for You” is another highlight sounding like Johnny Cash meets Chris Isaak.
It’s too bad that the Mean Cat Daddies only released this one album. They knew how to craft highly melodic songs and were very originals.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Mean Cat Daddies
Mean Cat Daddies

Nervous Fellas (the)

in Reviews

Nervous Fellas - Born to be Wild - Nervous
Nervous Fellas – Born to be Wild – Nervous

The Nervous Fellas – Born to be Wild!

Nervous Records NERD056 [1990]
Real Gone Lover – Finally Met My Baby – Jealous Heart – I’ll Be Sorry – Get Outta this Town – Until You Came Home – Mon-Eyed – Born To Be Wild – Gimme Somethin’ Strong – Dateless Night – Evil Ways – Don’t Bug Me

This Vancouver quartet born out of the ashes of the Rockin’ Edsels and once featuring Ronnie Hayward on double bass released this album on Nervous records in 1990. The line-up at this time was Shaun Butch Murphy on Vocals, Mark Weldon on guitar, Pete Turland on doghouse bass and John Decan on drums. This is a very good and varied album, comparable in style to the Paladins, mixing powerful rockabilly (Real Gone Lover, Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild), Jumpin’ Rockabilly (Get Outta This Town, Jealous Heart, Until You Come Home, Dateless Night), heavy Blues (Finally Met My Baby, I’ll Be Sorry with tons of slide guitar), and some country tinged stuff (Evil Ways).
Though it’s never been reissued on cd, it’s possible to download it legally on musical platforms via Nervous.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Frenzy (psychobilly)

in Reviews

Frenzy - Hall of mirrors
Frenzy – Hall of mirrors

Frenzy – Hall of Mirrors

Nervous NER016 [1985]
One last chance – Schitzophrenic emotions – Choice – Hall of mirrors(1) – Frenzy – Asylum moves – Skeleton rock – Sweet money – Ghost train – Long gone – Surfin’ bird – Was it me? – Wound up – Frustration – Hall of mirrors(2) – Robot riot – Cry or die – All alone – Torment

If a label “classic psychobilly album” would exist, Hall Of Mirror would be among the first to deserve it.
In 1983, the split of the Sharks allowed Steve Whitehouse to fully concentrate on his new project: Frenzy. By many aspects Frenzy were more adventurous than the Sharks. It marked a new step for the psychobilly scene that was in full bloom and the band went into musical territories rarely explored by slap bass led combos. The recording of Hall Of Mirrors began with Simon Brand on guitar and Merv Pepler on drums, this trio having already released one ep for a Dutch label (included on thecd reissues of this album). But Brand quickly left the band (he later formed Torment) with only three songs ready for the forthcoming album (Frustration, Frenzy, Sweet Money).
Whitehouse eventually hired Kev Saunders to complete the album. Both Saunders and Pepler came from different musical horizons and combined with the double bassist’s rockabilly background the result was an unusual, unique and explosive combination.
Musically speaking, Whitehouse fast slapping and technique proved to be a lasting influence for the many psychobilly bassmen that followed.
Hall Of Mirrors offered originals (including a reworking of the Sharks’ Skeleton Rock) and one cover (Surfin’ Bird) probably the only weak track of the album (but who could come after the Trashmen and the Cramps?).
The lyrics also set up new standard. I addition to the usual crew of ghosts, skeleton etc. you can also find songs about madness, frustration and teenage angst.
Brilliant!


Frenzy - Clockwork Toy
Frenzy – Clockwork Toy

Frenzy – Clockwork Toy

I.D. Records ‎– NOSE 8 [1986]
Clockwork Toy – I See Red – Misdemeanour – Nightmares – Love Is the Drug – Mexican Radio – Howard Hughes – In My Prison – Aftermath – Nobody’s Business

With Clockwork Toy, Frenzy confirmed their status of “Psychobilly band with more than two ideas in their songs”. The accent is put on arrangements and variations, giving more elaborated melodies (and sometimes more pop sounding) than your usual fast paced rockabilly (Misdemeanour, Clockwork Toy, Howard Hughes…). And if Whithehouse’s heavy slap bass links the whole thing to the rockabilly idiom (listen to “I See Red” – which spent some decent time in the indie charts – or “Nightmares“), the sound of the guitar doesnt owe anything to the genre. There’s a lot of production work. A powerfull live band, they also want to prove they can deliver a “real” album and not only a hastily live in the studio recording of stage favorites. These’ll remain a constant (with varied degrees of success) in Frenzy’s carreer. Retrospectivly, it sometimes turns to the disadvantage of the band and this will to explore technology shows its limits. The synthetizer’s sound on “Love Is A Drug” (yes Roxy Music’s one) or the drums on “Howard Hughes” sound terribly dated now, and let’s say it, very cheap.
But this minor flaws left aside, Clockwork Toys is as important, for different reasons, as their debut album and still stands today as a classic of the genre.
It’s later been reissued on cd with two b-sides from the same period and 3 songs from Sally’s Pink Bedroom


Frenzy - Live at the 100 Club
Frenzy – Live at the 100 Club

Frenzy – Live at the 100 Club

Nervous Records NER 033 – Raucous Records [1988]
I see red – Misdemeanour – Love is the drug 4.House on fire – Howard Hughes – The hunt – Clockwork toy – Migraine – Gotta go! – It’s All Over Now – Robot riot
In the quantity of live albums released by psychobilly bands, many were disappointing, whether they were poorly recorded (remember the Live & Loud serie on Link) or the band wasn’t able to recreate the studio recordings on stage. Among the best you find The Long Tall texans’ Five Beans In The Wheel, The Sharks’ Live In Japan, a couple of Meteors and… Frenzy’s Live At The 100 Club. Recorded in 1986, it’s a magic combination of a perfect recording and a tight band of true professionnals, playing at that time 150 dates per year. The set draws heavily into “Clockwork Toy” recorded that same year.They kick off with a roaring version of their indie charts hit “I See Red”. “Misdemeanor” quickly follows, featuring a pumping slap bass, showing how good Steve Whitehouse is.Roxy Music’s “Love Is A Drug” is far better than the album version. The keyboards parts being replaced by a guest saxophonist giving a bit of a ska touch. They alternate “straight in your face” wild numbers (House On Fire) with their more complex and melodic songs (Clockwork Toy, Howard Hughes) with equal degrees of success. Next are a couple of covers, The Ricochets'”Migraine”, The G-Men’s “Gotta Go” and a epic 8 minute “It’s All Over Now” a song previously performed by Withehouse in The Sharks’ set. This perfect disc ends with a 100 mp/h rendition of their “early” classic “Robot Riot” that almost manages to make you forget the studio version. Issued on vinyl by Nervous in 1988, it’s been reissued by Raucous in 2001.


Frenzy - best-of
Frenzy – best-of

Frenzy – The Very Best-Of

Rage CD 107 [1990]

A very good overview of the band’s seven first years including songs from Hall Of Mirrors, Clockwork Toy and This Is the Fire as well as unreleased stuff like Long Gone recorded live at Hemsby and some b-sides too.


Frenzy – Live in Japan

Frenzy Live in JapanRaucous Records RAUCD046

Nervous Breakdown- Clockwork Toy – Misdemeanour – Hall of Mirrors – I See Red – This is the Fire – CC Rider – Love is a Drug – Mad Mad World – Brand New Gun – Long Gone – Tush – Robot Riot – It’s All Over Now – Cry or Die

Another very good live album recorded in Japan (see Restless and the Sharks for others great live albums recorded in jpan with Steve Whitehouse) in 1993.

It’s a very powerful set with all the classics and a couple of covers like Brand New Gun (Tall Boys), Tush (ZZ Top), Nervous Breakdown (Cochran), CC Rider (Elvis) and Royx Music’s Love is a Drug.

It’s very different – and yet very complementary – to Live at the 100 Clubsince Carl Parry has a very Metal sound compared to Kev Saunders who was more ‘new wave meets rockabilly’. It sometimes a bit too much, but more often than not it works very well, even with the songs from Hall of Mirror and Clockwork Toy.

Frenzy

Frenzy

Deltas (the)

in Contemporary artists/Reviews

The Deltas – Boogie Disease

The Deltas - Boogie Disease

Nervous Records NER002 [1981]

Boogie Disease – As You Like It – Blues In The Bottle – Honey Babe – Victim Of My Love – London Girls – Who – That Ain’t Your Business – Raging Sea – Heart Attack – Temperature – Pie ‘n’ Mash – Moonshine – Nine Below Zero – Fashion Train – Long Black Train

The Deltas were playing wild and frantic Rockabilly but unlike many other bands, they related heavily to the blues idiom covering the likes of Doctor Ross, Slim Harpo, Lightnin’ Hopkins or Sonny Boy Williamson. If the Meteors created psychobilly by mistreating rockabilly music, the Deltas were doing the same to the blues.

The Deltas were one of the very first act to be signed by Roy Williams on his Nervous label. It’s no surprise for their were among those who wanted to push the boundaries of the genre like Restless, the Meteors, the Blue Cats to name but three.

Their debut album is loaded with 16 wild and psychoticwith half of them penned by the band. The triple attack of Littlejohn’s double bass, Pat Panioty’s guitar and Steve Bongo banging his drums while singing his heart out (which often leads him to end the song faster than it started) takes no prisonners.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

deltas-first45The Deltas – Heart Attack b/w Spellbound

Nervous Records NER005 [1981] 
In 1981 the British rockabilly scene was in bloom. After Raw Deal split, Paul Fenech and Nigel Lewis formed the Meteors and Pat Panioty formed the Deltas. This single announces their excellent debut album. The version of Heartattack is different than the one that appears on the album.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

 


The Deltas - You Cant Judge a BookThe Deltas – You Cant Judge a Book

Raucous Records – RAUC006 [1988]
How Come You Do Me Like You Do – You Can’t Judge A Book – Do What I Do – This Train Is Bound For Glory

Superb ep recorded for Raucous featuring high octane rockin’ blues in the same vein of Tuffer than Tuff.

 

 


The Deltas - Mad for itThe Deltas – Mad for it

ID Records NOSE 11 [1986]
Whip It Up – Cigarette – Catch’em Young – The Cat – Age Of Nil – Electric Chair – Hit The Road Jack – Mad For It – Sex Therapy – Gimme The Drugs – No More No More No More – How Come You Do Me Like You Do* – You Can’t Judge A Book* – Do What I Do* – This Train Is Bound For Glory* (*cd bonus)

In 1986 the Deltas returned with a brand new album and a brand new lineup. The orginal trio (Captain Pat Marvel, Little John and Steve Bongo) added a drummer Ricochet Ray (allowing Steve to fully concentrate on the vocals) and a second guitar and a saxophone in the person of Boz Boorer of the Polecats who also produced the album and wrote several originals. With the addition of guests on piano and blues harp, the result is a blusier album, yet with a rockin’ feel to it, and a fuller sound.
It also sees them more at ease to go into new territories like the jazzy “Electric Chair”. But fans of the first lp and their psychotic rockabilly will sure enjoy the title track and their cover of the Cat. The cd version includes the “You Can’t Judge a book… ep” recorded for Raucous in 1988.

Deltas


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