Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

Tag archive

old-school psychobilly

Midniters (the)

in Albums/Contemporary artists/MN/Reviews

Midniters - Easy MoneyThe Midniters – Easy Money

 

Razor [1988] – Planet X [2018]
Easy Money – Little Devil – Dead Man`s Curve – Sin City – Better Of You – When The Walls Come Tumbling Down – Another Nail In My Heart – Swords Of A Thousand Men
Easy Money (Demo) – Nightshift (Demo) – Walls Come Tumbling Down (Demo) – Gun Law (Demo) – Dead Man’s Curve (Live) – Little Devil (Live) – Walls Come Tumbling Down (Live) – Swords of 1000 Men (Live) – Easy Money (Live)

The Midniters formed in the mid 80’s. After appearing on Fury’s compilation album they released their debut album in 1988 for Razor with Steve Jeffery on vocals and guitar, Nick Wade on drums and Mark Beard on double bass. This album is now reissued on cd with extra bonus tracks.
Being friends and labelmates with the Long Tall Texans, it would be all too easy to compare both bands. And though they sure share some similiraties in term of sound, the Midniters have enough personnality in their songwriting or vocally speaking to avoid this comparison.
With only 8 songs, Easy Money (the original album) is a relatively short affair which is always a good thing for a debut album. Not only you won’t find any filler but it allowed the band to spend more time on each song. And with the help of producer Roger Tebutt (Long Tall Texans, Happy Drivers, but he also worked with the Meteors on Sewertime Blues) they tried different things in term of sound and texture and used the studio as a creative tool. This is not your usual “Live-in-the-studio-with-a-pack-of-beer”
As I said the songwriting is pretty solid, oscillating between neo-Rockabilly and Psychobilly. Fans of heavy double-bass will also appreciate this album too and since it’s been remixed I believe it helps too (since I only owned the original on cassette I can’t remember if that fat bass sound was already in the original mix.)
Six of the songs are originals and the covers are Jan and Dean’s Dead Man Curve and Tenpole Tudor’s swords of 1000 Men.
Tracks 9 to 12 are demos including two songs that didn’t make it to the album but they possibly are from another era of the band since a sax can be heard on Nightshift.
Five excellent live tracks rounds up the package.
All in all a very good and well deserved reissue.


Midniters Terror IncognitoThe Midniters – Terror Incognito

Planet X [2017]
Got Too Hurry – Personal Jesus – Dead Man’s Hand – Pistolero – In the Shadows – Motorbike Mike – House of Stone – Terror Incognito – Drive By – Face in the Dark – All Out Attack – Butchers Basement

Here’s a new Midniters album, nearly 30 years after Easy Money. But if you expect a trip down memory ane, let me tell you you’re plain wrong. ”Terror Incognito” is here to tell you that we’re in 2018, not 1988 !
The Neo-rockabilly bordering to Psychobilly of their first effort evolved into a modern form of Rockabilly with a harder and a fuller sound. In the same time they added elements of New-wave. This mix of influences, some songs could be defined as Adam Ant meets the Stray Cats makes them sound at place like the recent Quakes album. Some songs are much harder and more psychobilly that are not that far from the early Nekromantix.
All songs but two are originals written by Steve Jeffery, the cover being Depeche Mode’s Personnal Jesus in a very personnal rendition and a Spaghetti western influenced instrumental composed by Steve Stevens (guitar player for Billy Idol.)
It’s good to see a band that dosn’t try to run after its youth and return to create and propose something new.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Wigsville Spliffs

in Contemporary artists/Reviews/Singles/UVWXYZ

Wigsville SpliffsWigsville Spliffs
Born To Ride

Killjoy records – Kill 022
Born to ride – Eyes on my baby

Wigsville Spliffs formed in the early 80’s with Ian Aitken on vocals and guitar, Mike Lister on double bass and Danny Mowl on drums. They split in 1987. During that time they appeared on numerous compilation albums but never had a single or an album of their own. Years later, in 1996, Raucous records released a cd gathering old songs.
Finally the band reformed in 2008 and their first proper album saw the light of day in 2011. Shortly after that Aiten left the band.
One could feel the worst with the loss of such a pivotal member. Instead the band kept on going and now have Spike Arrow who played with Frenzy and the Rapids on guitar on vocals. With Paul Richardson on drums, the trio recorded this killer single for Killjoy records.

Side one is penned by Arrow and has a strong psychobilly edge, powerful yet rocking and melodic. The flip is more familiar. Eyes on my baby, written by Aitken appeared on the band’s first demo in 1982 and on Dance to it in 1984 (or so). This is a brand new version. They kept the neo-rockabilly vibe but added a good dose of energy. Both are very good.
Hopefully we’ll get more releases and a full lp from this line up soon.
500 copies (400 black, 50 red and 50 grey)
Available here and here
Wigsville Spliffs on Facebook

Scum Rats

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S
Scum Rats
Scum Rats – ep

Scum Rats
S/t

Rumble records – Gang 003 [1990]
I See Your Face – Too Much Pain – Blood In Your Face

Led by Charlie Fallensteller’s fast slap bass and vocals, this quator from Germany delivered a powerful three tracks ep of self-penned tunes on the extreme side of the Psychobilly genre with hard core influences. If you prefer they were closer to band like Demented Are Go or the Krewmen (when led by Tony McMillan) than the Long Tall Texans.
In addition to the supersonic bass, the ingredients are Fallensteller’s rasping voice, hard hitting and thud drums (with barely no cymbals) and fine arrangements that rely on the different sounds and textures of the two guitars. All in all an excellent ep.


Scum Rats - Go Out Into a Scum Dream
Scum Rats – Go Out Into a Scum Dream

Scum Rats
Go Out Into a Scum Dream

Rumble records – RUMBLE001 [1990]
Scum Rats – Go Out – Scum Of The Night – I Love Rock & Roll – Money – Runaway – Die To Be Free – My Baby Is Alone – Come On Little Sister – Scum Love – Cryin To Be Satisfied

The Scum Rats debut album doesn’t differ much from the ep in term of sounds (and show no sign of amelioration in term of cover design either).
The same ingredients can be found to serve solid and powerful originals and two covers (Joan Jett’s I Love Rock’n’roll also released on single and Del Shannon’s Runaway sung by the guitar player, probably not the band’s best moment).
Once again the way the two guitars interact is worth noticing, one with a distorded sound and the other with a clean sound. All of this makes of Go Out… one of the best Psychobilly album of the the early 90’s.If my memory serves me right the first pressing was on green vinyl.
It was later reissued on cd with their second mini album.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Es-Feiv (psychobilly from the Netherland)

in Albums/Contemporary artists/EF/Reviews
Es Feiv - Cows in Motion
Es Feiv – Cows in Motion

Es-Feiv – Cows in Motion

Kix 4U {1989}
The Prisoner – No Comin’ Back – Brand New Cadillac – Heart Breakin’ Days – She Turns Me On – Ain’t Takin’ No Train – Everything She Says -Move Your Buds – Be My Baby Tonight – Vendetta – Real Good Time – Cretin Hop – Gimme Your Love – Cows In Motion

I recently rediscovered this album (originally released in 1989) and though it’s not entirely good, it contains enough excellent moment to interest any Psychobilly maniac especially those who are into what is now called “old-school Psychobilly” (I don’t like the term but I believe that everyone understand what it means). So what about Es-Feiv? It’s a mix of good ol’ psychobilly, neo rockabilly and more average material. They sound like many bands of that era (light guitar, upright bass to the fore and simple but effective drums). Among the best tune you’ll find “Heartbreakin’ Days” (with a sax), “Brand New Cadillac” (inspired by the ricochets version), “Real Good Time” (an excellent neo-rockabilly tune with a little “rock this Town” feel in it), “Cows In Motion” (an psychobilly version of an Ennio Morricone tune) and a couple of others (No Comin’ Back). On the other side their cover of The Ramones’ Cretin Hop (a reminiscence of their Punk days?) is poor, but it’s hard to compete with the original, and some other songs are just fillers, and though the light production works on the good stuff, it reveals the flaws of the less successful material. A mini lp with 8 songs would have been more efficient.

More infos here

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Es-Feiv ‎– Nous Nous O.K. ...
Es-Feiv ‎– Nous Nous O.K. …

Es-Feiv ‎– Nous Nous O.K. …

Play Loud! ‎– TBS 4505 {1988}`
She’s Allright – Cynthia – Real Good Time – She Turns Me On – No Protection

Limited ep (500 copies). It features ealier versions of Real Good Time and She Turns me On.

The Jekills

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews
The Jekills - The Jekills
The Jekills – The Jekills

The Jekills – s/t

Tombstone [1989]
Aston – Nobody In The Street – Marilyn Monroe – Gladiators – The Girl Is Mine – You’ll Be A Priest – Psycho Beat – Dr Jekills – Ballade Du Chomeur
A short lp that is the only testament of the short career of this Belgian psychobilly band that had a bright future in front of them. They started in the mid 80’s under the name of Riot Guns and evolved into The Jekills. They never ceased to progress until the death of Sergio their bass player that marked the end of the band. Released in the late 1989, this self titled album quickly sold out its initial pressing of 1000 copies and was re-released by Tombstone. The band is clearly influenced by Batmobile both for the music and the voice but with enough personnality. The album is not flawless far from it. The sound is a bit thin at places, it’s not always in tune and there’s a couple of filler, for example “Marilyn Monroe” x-rated tribute to the famous actress (“I’d like to f*** her” doesn’t represent what I consider to be great lyrics). But at least half of the songs are very goog uptempo psychobilly numbers with good slap-bass including Nobody’s in the street, Girl is Mine and la Ballade du Chomeur that reminds of Los Carayos.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Krewmen

in Albums/Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews
The Krewmen - Into the Tomb
The Krewmen – Into the Tomb

The Krewmen – Into the Tomb

Lost Moment Records ‎– LMLP 014 [1987]
Let Loose – Should I Stay or Go – Devil’s Daughter – Public Enemy Number One – Hava Nagila – Curse of the Pharaohs – Solid Gold Easy Action – Hostage – I’m Not Dead – Swamp Club Ball

Third and last release with the classic Psychobilly line-up of the Krewmen (Tony Mc Millan on guitar, Mark Cole on vocals, Dominic Parr on drums and Jason Thornton on double bass).
The sound hardens a bit compared to the Adventure and Sweet Dreams with a fast paced cover of the Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go (a song that was heavily covered by Psychobilly bands at one point). Other covers are T-Rex Solid Gold Action and a Dick Dale inspired version of the traditionnal Hava Naguila.
All in all it’s a solid album, though maybe a little less essential than the first two albums.


The Krewmen - Plague of the dead
The Krewmen – Plague of the dead

The Krewmen – Plague of the Dead

Lost Moment [1988] – Reissue Part Records – PART-CD 6114-001 [2014]
Plague of the Dead – I’m Not Your Stepping Stone – Scream of the Banshees – Jeanie Jeanie Jeanie – What’s Wrong – I Can’t Stop – Take a Little More – The Clock – Legend of the Piper – Do You Wanna Touch – Beat the Devil – My Generation

One can distinct three main periods in the history of the Krewmen. The first one was the Rockabilly-blues years that saw the release of two singles with Carl Sonny Leyland. Next they changed their style to psychobilly with Mark Cole on vocals and the recordings of three classic psychobilly albums (the Adventure of, Sweet Dreams and Into the Tomb). Cole eventually left in 1987 and Tony McMillan, then guitar player took over the vocal duties and came with a new line-up including Steve Piper on drums and a Mark Burke.
The sound changed with the line-up too, getting harder and including different elements than Psychobilly and Rockabilly like metal, punk rock, glam rock. “Plague Of The Dead” combines all those influences. The choice of the covers reveals this orientation and McMillan’s varied tastes. From Eddie Cochran’s Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie to Gary Glitter’s Do You Wanna Touch via The Who’s My Generation and Steppin’ Stone (Paul Revere, The Monkees but also covered by The Sex Pistols). Tony quotes classic rockers like Chuck Berry and Elvis for influence but he also adds Alice Cooper, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jimmi Hendrix and Sex Pistols to the list.
It wasn’t easy to follow Cole and their first three albums, but McMillan succeeds to renew the band and “Plague Of The Dead” contains some very good moments like “Legend Of The Piper”, “Take A Little More” and the previously mentioned covers. It’s  also quite refreshing to see a band that doesn’t care about boundaries.
So once again it’s agood job from Part Record to reissue this album (with interesting booklet that contains press clips). Hopefully they’ll release the rest of the band’s discography in the near future. One can only regret the label didn’t include the non-album b-sides released at the same time as bonus.


The Krewmen - Power
The Krewmen – Power

The Krewmen – Power

Lost Moment LMLP 021 [1990]
Devils Lair – Miranda – Undead – The Rats – Anymore – Stone – Get Lost – 2 Souls – Knight Moves – Back To The Ball

Little by little, fans of the Krewmen saw them adding more and more hard core elements to their music and slowly drop the rockabilly idiom out of their sound. This musical position culminates with Power, which is plain hard-roce with heavy and distorted guitars, hard pounding drums with breaks, raspy voice and powerful slap bass. Some elements are even strictly heavy metal / hard rock with tatseless guitar like Knight Moves.
It’s still very well produced and play and features ecellent tunes like Back to the Ball a follow up to Swamp Club Ball from Into the Tomb, but far from the traditionnal psychobilly sound of the three albums released with Mark Cole.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

1 2 3
Go to Top