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old-school psychobilly - Page 2

Radium Cats (the)

Radium Cats (the) – Pink Hearse

Raucous Records Rauc 013T [1991]
Pink Hearse / Teenage Werewolf – Haunted By Your Love

Radium Cats

The Radium Cats, the Scottish Psychobillies with the crazy quiffs, released this three-song 12“ in 1991 on Raucous Records.
Brothers Lee and Paul Paterson are still respectively on double bass and guitar, but Mark Carr has replaced Johnny Maben on drums. Maben later joined the Kaisers. Lee takes the lead vocals on Pink Hearse and Haunted By Your Love, while Paul sings Teenage Werewolf.
Pink Hearse is wildly rocking, with a Gene Vincent feel to it. If the melody is somewhat traditional, the song is highlighted by a hot guitar solo in a superb Gallup meets Setzer vein. Teenage Werewolf is not the Cramps tune (all songs are originals) and sounds more like a slow from the Fifties, although it has a slight gothic and weird mood (well, it’s a werewolf-themed tune, what did you expect?). The last track, Haunted By Your Love, is a slow-paced threatening tune, sounding like the missing link between the Cramps and the early Guana Batz.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

radium Cats

Nevrotix (the)

Nevrotix (the) – Light & Shade

Crazy Love Records CLCD 64493 [2023]
Bone Rattle Beat – Blue Again – Creature – She’s My Baby – Cast A Spell – Out Of Sight – All That Was – Midnight Boogie – Distance – Parallel World – Aviophobia

Nevrotix Light & Shades

The Nevrotix are Axel Wennerlund on guitars & vocals, Cecil Kriisin on drums, and Henrik Hellberg Lizama on double bass. They come from Sweden and, may I add, wear lovely jumpers. They play Psychobilly. By that, I mean real Psychobilly (we’ll debate elsewhere if it’s pure Psychobilly), not Punk or Heavy Metal with a double bass. They play with the codes of the genre: a powerful double bass, a light guitar with a clear sound and pounding drums that do not hesitate to slip into tribal rhythms on occasion.
Above all, the Nevrotix has two strong points. First, although they are excellent musicians, what is striking about this trio is its cohesion. We do not have the impression of hearing three individuals or a rhythm section accompanying a singer. On the contrary, the band sounds like a whole, giving the group a unique dynamic. Of course, that doesn’t preclude guitar solos (the album is peppered with brilliant guitar parts) or double bass breaks. And all this is for what? This is where we come to the group’s second and main strength: their songs and arrangements. The Nevrotix compositions are never content to be simply sped-up Rockabilly with a few zombie-themed lyrics thrown in for good measure. Their Psychobilly is highly melodic, and the seemingly simple songs always move into unexpected territories. Each piece has a slight variation or subtle change that will make all the difference. Take songs like Out Of Sight or the Distance, for example. What could be, for the former, a fast track with muffled chords, à la What The Hell (Frantic Flintstones), is quickly transformed into something new by a subtle melodic variation.
The group also manages to brilliantly translate the lyrics’ atmosphere into music. Again, we feel that it has been thought of as a whole. For example, Blue Again is a fast track with a catchy riff that accompanies the track and enters your head like the singer’s discomfort.
Cast A Spell is another track that conveys the narrator’s fear and angst through music.
The group also excels in tracks containing rage and danger, bursting out in brief flashing moments. Thus Bone Rattle Beat is almost based on the double bass and the drums giving the track a jungle atmosphere, evoking Batmobile’s Zombie Riot or the Meteors’ Voodoo Rhythm before accelerating on the chorus. Another song that carries a high dose of danger is Midnight Boogie. Everything about this song screams “danger”, yet listening to it makes you want to roam the city with your friends in the middle of the night.
The group welcomes some guests on certain tracks. Thus we hear Terry Drybone of the Magnetix on Creature bringing his mean voice to this strange alien story. All That Was is a superb dark country/country noir ballad featuring Gunnar Frick on pedal steel guitar, on which Axel duets with Hanna Wennerlund (any link?). The feel is close to the duets recorded between Sparky and Emmanuella of the Hillbilly Moon Explosion. The album closes with Aviophobia, a fast instrumental featuring Anton Eriksson (the Test Pilots) on guitar and, surprisingly, but a good surprise, a saxophone played by Oskar Bäcklin.
One last word to tell you that the production is faultless from start to finish and that the famous Oskar Hertin drew the cover.
Don’t think twice, and grab a copy of this terrific album right now! I said NOW!

Available on CD and LP at Crazy Love Records
https://www.facebook.com/thenevrotix

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Nevrotix

Rusty Robots (the)

Rusty Robots (the) – A Forest

Rob-O-Tone – ROBOT-001
A Forest / Carnage In Dark Streets – Twilight Love – At Night

Rusty Robots

The German Psychobilly scene is particularly healthy nowadays. Earlier this year, we were graced with the release of the excellent compilation album The Young And the Wild Ones featuring Rango Meißner, who replaced Paddy on slap bass in the Rusty Robots along with Norman’ Salmi’ Denks on vocals and guitar and Chris Harbart on drums.
This is their first release with this line-up and drum roll: this is a killer.
The band previously recorded The Cure’s A Forest for their debut album and placed it at the end of the CD as a hidden track. That was an already excellent version, but this new one is even better. It perfectly captures the angst of the original song, but Salmi’s voice and guitar add a manic and frantic dimension to the tune. Next to him, Chris keeps the beat, and Rango propels the song with a powerful slap bass.
But there’s more! When you think things couldn’t get any better and the song might end traditionally, the trio slides into something completely different and darker with added lyrics. In fact, this extended version takes its inspiration from the excellent live performance played by the Cure in Werchter in 1981, when the band was asked to leave the stage resulting in an epic nine-minute version of A Forest (go watch it on youtube, you won’t regret it!). How clever of the Rusty Robots to take a live ‘accident’ and incorporate it to propose a new version of the song. And you wonder why this trio is my favourite contemporary Psychobilly band? There’s another reason, to tell you the truth, more obvious: the Rusty Robots play Psychobilly in its purest form (yes, even a bastardized music like Psychobilly can have a purest form); I mean this is not sped-up Rockabilly or Punk with a double-bass or else. The band’s influences may come from various sources, but the final result is that every groove of that record screams ‘Psychobilly’. The three songs featured on side B, all penned by the band, perfectly illustrate what I am trying to say. Carnage In Dark Street is threatening but with a steady pace (like Wreckin’ Crew was), and Twilight Love showcases the excellence of the rhythm section. At Night closes the set with some syncopated/tribal drums and equals the Batmobile’s best moments.

So grab a copy of this perfect slice of Psychobilly, but be fast since it’s a limited edition to 500 copies.

Buy it here: https://therustyrobots.bigcartel.com/

Rusty Robots (the) – Sweethearts, Kisses, Bloody Knives

Killjoy Records KILL 029 [2018]

Sweethearts, Kisses, Bloody Knives – The Last Man On Earth – Dust to Dust

Rusty Robots

To my great shame I didn’t know the Rusty Robots until very recently. I must admit being some kind of a traditionalist. I like my vampires to look like Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee rather than Robert Pattinson and when it comes to Psychobilly I prefer a good old fast rockabilly slap bass, spare drums, light guitar and a mean singer rather than a punk-metal band with a double bass. And the Rusty Robots sound exactly as if they came straight from the 8O’s. Had they appear on the scene 35 years earlier they would top the bill at the legendary Klub Foot .

Their latest release for Killjoy records makes no exception. First, look at that cover! Have you seen something cooler since the front cover of the Scannerz or the back of Batmobile‘s debut album? Talking about Batmobile, the title track is a superb fast psychobilly number that would make Johnny Zuidhof and the Haamers brothers red with envy. Instant classic.

On B-side you’ll find the last man on earth, another classic old school psychobilly tune with nice changes of pace. It’s followed by Dust a Dust a demo recording. The sound is raw, but far from being a problem, this stripped down sound shows the qualities of the Rusty Robots in term of musicianship and melody.

Limited to 500 copies, 450 in black and 50 in yellow, though I’m afraid that the yellow ones are already out of print.

Available at Killjoy records or Razmataz records.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Psycho Tendencies

The Minestompers vs Psycho Tendencies

Get stomped Rec GSR 004 [2022]
Minestompers: Satisfier 2.0 – Rim Fire / Psycho Tendencies: Feel the Rop – Run Out Of Weed

I have already had the opportunity to write all the good things I think about these two groups. So imagine my joy when I received this split-Ep from Get Stomped records. The Minestompers and Psycho Tendencies are two different groups, but this difference works particularly well because the two groups are complementary. And if we have to find a common point between the two groups, apart from the fact that they play a first-rate Psychobilly, it is bad taste, but good bad taste. Who doesn’t want to buy a record that says, “unsuited for small-minded dickheads” as a warning?
The Minestompers, from Cologne, play a traditional Psychobilly with an electric bass, which could bring them closer to the Meteors (Wreckin’ Crew period) and the first Coffin Nails. Sastifier 2.0 is mid-tempo with a solid drive and benefits from the presence of Boney (from the Rockabilly band Boney & the Shakers) on the backing vocals. Rim Fire is faster. The track alternates purely Psychobilly parts with Rockabilly guitar and darker Garage, almost metal, moments.
Psycho Tendencies are from Barcelona and are also in the old-school vein. After a slow and superb slap bass intro, Feel The Rope alternates jungle drums with fast parts and magnificent guitar work throughout. Run Out Of Weed (these guys know to write about essential subjects) is already, at least for me, a classic. Led by a high-pitched and mean vocal, this wild track takes no prisoner. Clocking at 1’37“, you barely have time to realize what is happening to you.
It’s been released in Red, Yellow, Green, Blue and Black but don’t wait too long; there are only 300 copies available.

https://theminestompers.bandcamp.com/album/the-minestompers-vs-psycho-tendencies-split-ep


Psycho Tendencies – Big Foot Stomp

Get Stomped Records [2020]
Bigfoot Stomp / Friday Night / Discos are on fire / Alone in the moon

Psycho Tendencies is a Spanish Psychobilly band, named I suppose from the same name’s Raucous compilation. They previously released one studio album and one live recording on cassette. Yes, you read it well, these guys do it the old-school way. The same goes for the music you’ll find on this ep, published by the newly created Get Stomped Records from Germany (Martin Grobe from the Minestompers, see below, is behind the label) and limited to 300 copies.
Their singer sings with a hoarse voice that works perfectly well with the tight rhythm section and the clean guitar sound. Kudos to Ivan, their guitar player, who produces a monumental amount of work whether to add meat on the rhythm with intricate patterns or with his fast solos.
The A-side is a bit more Psychobilly and wild, while the B-side shows some hint of neo-Rockabilly. Both are excellent.
Had it been released in the late 80s, my Psychobilly buddies and I would have made an anthem of Friday Night!
The cover designed by King Rat is splendid.

https://psychotendencies.bandcamp.com/

The Radioactive Kid

Juvenile Delinquents

Juvenile Delinquents – Jumpin Around

Tombstone Records – TOMB-DISC 666 [1987]
Jump Around – Glad All Over – Ghost Train – Our Generation – Oeh Ah – She’s Wild So Wild

Juvenile Delinquents

It’s not easy to find pieces of information about The Juvenile Delinquents. The trio consisted of Crazy Eef on guitar, Ome Piet on electric bass and Robert van Driel on drums. They formed in the second half of the eighties and recorded this mini-album in January 1987. Using an electric bass gave them a fuller and more in-tune sound than many. If the Juvenile Delinquents are, musically speaking, a tight little band, one can’t say the same about the vocals that are a bit young.
Anyway, the songs are good, even excellent, like Ghost Train, and they had a good idea to release a mini-album to avoid the repetitions.

Rockats (the) – Psychobilly band

Rockats, not to be confused with the famous American neo-rockabilly band, were a psychobilly trio from Amsterdam. Originally known as a high school band named the Wild Rabbits, the Rockats formed in November 1987 with Martijn Spanteren on guitar and vocals, Arjan de Witt on electric bass and Remko Visser on drums.
After the band split, Remko Visser remained active, playing with Asmodeus.

Rockats (the) – The First Take Off

Tombstone Records Tomb-Disc 671 [1988]
Take-Off – Poor Zombie – Lost City – Lonesome Cowboy – I Hope She Loves Me – Mama – Gone – Don’t Leave Me Alone – Lucy – Prisoner – Screw & Roll – Baby Baby – Rapping Spirit

In May of the following year, they recorded their first album, “The first Take Off”, for Tombstone Records. It contains some good songs, but the global sound is slightly “young” though, like the Juvenile Delinquents, the use of an electric bass gives them a fuller and more precise sound. The main problem is the vocals. The singer tends to overact, and his scratchy voice is a bit annoying in the long run.


Rockats (the) – Keep On Turning

Tombstone Records Tomb-Disc 675 [1989]
Rockats – The Shadow – Rattlesnake – Nightmare – Let’s Go Crazy – Doctor Doctor – Everybody Needs Somebody To Love – Black Sunshine – All I Have To Do – Redlight Woman – Spend The Night With You – Whiskey On The Rocks

rockats keep on turning

One year later, they released “Keep On Turning”, still on Tombstone. This one is way better. It contains a few good ideas like Rattlesnake, a spaghetti western-tinged number, and original arrangements too. Furthermore, the singing shows quite an improvement.


Rockats (the) – The Last Crusade

Tombstone Records Tomb-disc 687 [1990]
Keep On Rock’In – Wanted – 1991 – Satisfied – Seducer – Last Crusade – Break Out – Fire – One Night Stand – Your Eyes – Burn In Hell – Jane

“The Last Crusade”, their third and last album, appeared in 1990. It contains excellent songs like the Seducer, featuring superb bouncing bass.
Other songs slightly departed from their previous release with more aggressive melodies and metal influences akin to the Krewmen of the same period.

The Radioactive Kid

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