Browse Tag

psychobilly

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
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 live in europeThe 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.

Rattlers promo card
Rattlers promo card – first line-up

The Graveyard Mutants

The Graveyard Mutants – Afterlife Love Machine

Crazy Love Records CLEP64518
Afterlife Love Machine – Bloodlust / Puzzle Girl – The Witch

graveyard mutants

The Graveyard Mutants are a new trio from Spain. But if the band is new, the musicians are well-known names in the Spanish Rockabilly/Psychobilly and Punk scene.
David (lead vocals and double bass) previously slapped his bass in the Calamitiez and, before that, Smell of Kat. Julio (guitar) also played in the Calamitez, and Miguel drummed for various Punk bands.
Their new venture is one of the best Psychobilly releases I’ve heard in years, along with the Rusty Robots and the Nevrotix. But since the genre has seen many evolutions since its creation, and sometimes not for the best, and to avoid confusion, the term early-Psychobilly would be more appropriate (I also thought about borrowing the term Mutant Rock to Paul Fenech). There’s no trace of Metal or Punk in their music, despite the pedigree of some band members. The Graveyard Mutants play their own style of unhealthy Neo-Rockabilly, dealing with weird themes. But don’t think they’re a retro-sounding band trying to imitate what has been done 30 years ago. Even though you could take one of their songs and include it on any compilation album from the 80s without anyone noticing it, their EP, consisting of four self-penned tracks, manages to be, at the same time, a record that unmistakably sounds like a release from 2023. In other words, their music is timeless. That’s a prowess not given to anybody.

Let’s talk a bit about the music in detail. First, if you expect fast tunes, you will be disappointed. The band is clever enough to know that a song, especially a spooky one, needs breath to create an atmosphere. The four songs here are all mid-paced, some even with a slight country beat. The musicianship is also top-notch. I guess you can’t beat experience. David’s bass and Miguel’s drums work well together, blending to create a perfect rhythm section. Too often, the drums are poorly played and just here to give the tempo, or the band thinks that they have to put the bass and especially the slap to the fore, destabilising the ensemble’s sound. Not here. Then you have an excellent guitar player playing with a clean sound who favours fast licks instead of powerful chords. Then those licks explode into hot solos that are always inventive. Woah! With such a setting, David just has to add his confident and powerful voice, though he never shouts or screams, to these four excellent mutant gems.
Icing on the cake, Crazy Love released it in five different colours (black, green, yellow, red, mixed colors and white).

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

Guana Batz

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Guana Batz - Held Down... At Last!
Guana Batz – Held Down… At Last!

Guana Batz – Held Down… At Last!

CDMPSYCHO64
Down The Line / Got No Money / Can’t Take The Pressure / Nightwatch / Lady Bacon / King Rat / You’re My Baby / Nightmare Fantasy / Please Give Me Something / Bust Out / See Through / Batman (Live) / B-Side Blues
Truly a classic and without a doubt one of the ten “must have” psychobilly records. After two singles that made quite a stir on the relatively new psychobilly scene and a decent life in the indie charts, Pip and the boys toured heavily, switched to double bass by recruiting Sam Sardi of the Ricochets and took their time to write a solid debut album.
Expectations were high, but the debut long player (10 songs for 25 minutes) largely fulfiled them (and even more). Not only the Batz were talented, but they came with a different sound, both classic and innovative.
The A-side delivers a solid set of five originals, mostly acoustic with slap bass and rhythm guitar to the fore, light drums and electric lead guitar. It stays close to 50’s rockabilly, but more frantic (Can’t Take The Pressure, Got No Money) and weird (Nightwatch, Lady Bacon).
B-side is slightly different. It opens with the manic pace of King Rat, followed by the wild cover of Johnny Cash’s You’re My Baby. Nightmare Fantasy, written by Sam Sardi, is no less frantic and shows the influence of the Ricochets. Please Gimme Something is the slower song of the side but is very torrid. The original album closes with an instrumental from the Busters’ catalog.
This reissue features three bonus songs that come from a 10″ issued around the same time. Seethrough is as good as any of the songs included on Held Down, B-Side Blues feels more like a studio jam and their cover of Batman is fun though not essential.


Guana Batz - Loan Sharks
Guana Batz – Loan Sharks

Guana Batz – Loan Sharks

CDMPSYCHO69
Pile Driver Boogie / My Way / Slippin In / Tiny Minds / Radio Sweetheart / Life’s A Beach / Loan Shark / I’mWeird / Hippy Hippy Shake / Live For The Day / No Particular Place To Go / I’m On Fire / Your Baby Blue Eyes
Anagram/Cherry Red reissues Guana Batz’s second record. Originally released one year after their successfully debut album, “Loan Sharks” marks a big move into the sound of the band and delivers their most radio friendly album (and it did a decent stint into the independent UK charts). Though they’re still firmly anchored in Psychobilly with heavy slappin numbers like Pile Driver Boogie, the spooky “I’m Weird” or their instant classic “Loan Sharks”, they don’t hesitate to explore new territories like the self-penned “Tiny Mind”, a jazzy number with piano (a psychobilly version of this songs is available on the b-side of the single version of I’m On Fire). Under the guidance of their producer Danny Dawson, the band has added a couple of instruments to expand the sound of the band like saxophone, harmonica, piano and…  synthesiser (hey ! this album has been recorded in 1986). They also escape the rock’n’roll clichés by covering unusual songs for a psychobilly band (but what is a psychobilly band?) like Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire and Elvis Costello’s Radio Sweetheart. Though different you can compare their direction with the one taken by Frenzy around the same period. Of course one can argue that half of the album is made of covers, but you can’t deny that Pip and the boys had totally made them their own (with maybe the exception of “Baby Blue Eyes” included here as a bonus track – it was formerly a single b-side – which doesn’t bring anything new to this great song). It’s probably not the Guana Batz album I’d recommend to someone who wants to discover the band, nonetheless it’s a good record.


Guana Batz - Rough Edges
Guana Batz – Rough Edges

Guana Batz – Rough Edges

Streetwise / Open Your Mouth / One Night / Good News / Rockin On Creek Road / Fight Back / Spy Catcher / Love Generator / Bring My Cadillac Back / Rock Around With Ollie Vee / Two Shadows / You Can Run
After the more pop oriented “Loan Sharks”, the Guana Batz returned to the classical sound of their first album. The band threw away saxes and the keyboards and the covers came from the catalogs of Buddy Holly, Elvis and Baker Knight & The Knightmares. In term of cohesion, recording and songwriting, Rough Edges (which is by no means “rough”) is their absolute best album showing an accomplished band at the peak of its creativity that benifits of a clean (but NOT slick) production. The band offers a solid mix of psychobilly (Streetwise, Fight Back), wild neo-rockabilly (Love Generator, Open Your Mouth), instrumental (Spy Catcher) and even an excellent jazzy number (Two Shadows). You won’t find any filler here and even the construction of the album is perfect. If “Held Down…”, was the revelation of a great band to a wide audience and “Loan Sharks” showed a band avid to explore new territories, “Rough Edges” was simply the album of a band in full mastery of his art.


Guana Batz - Electra Glide In Blue
Guana Batz – Electra Glide In Blue

Guana Batz – Electra Glide In Blue

CDMPSYCHO71
Electraglide In Blue / Green Eyes / Texas Eyes / No Matter How / Wondrous Place / Katherine / Stylin / Spector Love / Self Made Prison / Who Needs It / Lover Man / Take A Rocket / Lights Out
With their fourth album, the Guana Batz surprised their fans with a heavy sounding and powerful lp that goes further the “psychobilly” label. The sound is compact and for some of the tracks the word “Glamabilly” seems appropriate. Though it works rather well on most of the A side from the roaring Electra Glide In Blue to the melodic Texas Eyes, Billy Fury’s Wondrous Place and Katherine on which Stuart takes the lead vocals, on the full length it sounds repetitive. The fact that all the good songs are on the first half doesn’t help either. Had this album been reduced to seven or eight songs it would have been excellent.


Guana Batz – Stuff

NV ReCords – NVEP05 [1995]
Thing In The Cellar – Stuff / Flashy Car (and a Diamond Ring) – Streetwise

Finding information about this ep concerning the line-up and its recording date is challenging. One can assume that the line-up is Pip on vocals, Stuart on guitar, Johnny Bowler (Get-Smart, Frantic Flintstones, Caravans) on double bass and John Buck (Deltas, Polecats) on drums. It was released in 1995, and Boz Boorer engineered and produced it. He also wrote two songs (Thing In The Cellar and Stuff), the other two being from the pen of Stuart Osbourne.
The sound is uncluttered, almost roots and reminds me of the band’s debut album.
The EP kicks off with Thing In the Cellar, a mean Rockabilly track finding the band (that guitar!) and Pip in fine form. It’s simple, yet evident, one of the band’s best tunes. Next is “Stuff”. It has a reggae vibe and sounds a bit like a Clash tune. 
Flashy Car and A Diamond Ring is a slow, mellow tune with a country-blues flair. Once again, Pip’s hoarse voice brings a touch of sadness to the song. Before you start complaining about the lack of Psychobilly, their new version of Streetwise sends a shot of adrenalin straight to your veins and closes this four-track 1O” in beauty.


Guana Batz - Burning Up
Guana Batz – Burning Up

Guana Batz – Burning Up

Tombstone Records – Tomb-45 122 [2017]
Burning Up – Faded Memory – Girl on a Motorbike- Martian Princess

After a recording silence of more than 20 years, the Psychobilly legends from Feltham return with an impressive brand new ep.
The least we can say is that time didn’t lessen their energy. With Jonny Bowler on drums, Paul “Choppy” Lambourne on bass and of course Stuart and Pip at the helm they’re more powerful than ever.
As usual withthe Batz the arrangement are pretty good with a special care given to the recording, the production and the different mood and texture of each of the songs.
Guana Batz fans will jump on it, new fans will discover a new bands and everybody will eagerly wait for a full album.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Surfin’ Wombatz

The Surfin’ Wombatz – Lager Loutz

Nervous Records – NERD 045 [1989]
Take the Money and Run – Bad Company Blues – Down the Line – Manhunt – The Sound – I Hear the Pounding of My Heart – Dick Turpin – Welcome to the Nightmare – Trapped in My Bottle of Beer – Norman – Moving Down the Street – No More – Wild Man – Make Your Name Count

the Surfin' Wombatz

The Surfin Wombatz were formed around 1987. In 1988, they appeared on the Zorch Factor 3 compilation with the excellent I Hear The Pounding Of My Heart. They can also be heard on the compilation I Ain’t Lonely No More (Fury Records) with Wild Man, another good track.
In February 1989, the group recorded their first album for Nervous Records titled ”Lager Loutz”. The band’s name and the album’s title say it all: the Surfin’ Wombatz are a pleasant group, here for having some fun and probably the beer.
They play a traditional Psychobilly, that is to say, with a light guitar (even a little under-mixed at times) and a very present rhythm section. They clearly don’t have the ambition to revolutionize the genre, and their Psychobilly, tinged with skiffle at times thanks to the presence of a washboard, is rather enjoyable… up to a certain point. Over the length of the album (fourteen tracks!), the group shows its limits. The singer’s voice using always the same mannerisms ends up getting boring, and the compositions lack originality, and all sound a bit similar. The presence of Trapped In My Bottle Of Beer, sung by the guitarist, offers a welcome variation in an album that is a bit monotonous over the long haul. In the end, the Surfin’ Wombatz are more of a compilation group, or perhaps they should have, like many bands of this era, released a mini-album more focused on their qualities.

The Radioactive Kid

Termites (the)

The Termites – Raucous 4 Track E.P.

Raucous Records RAUC008
Every Time– Rockin’ All Night / Home Sweet Home–Long Time Now

The Termites

The Termites were a Psychobilly band from Scotland. They formed in the second half of the eighties. In 1987, they appeared on the compilation album Gypsy Girl with the excellent Devil Call. The following year, they released their first EP on Raucous Records. The band was then Ewin Murray on drums, Scott “Bally” Ballantine on guitar, Kenny Mitchell on vocals and Gerry Doyle on electric bass. The Psychobilly they play is very aggressive and fast, with distorted guitar in the wake of the early Coffin Nails, the Krewmen and sometimes Mitchell’s voice sounds a bit like a wild and demented version of Pip (Guana Batz). The whole thing is rather pleasant and well done, albeit not very original.It could be a tad repetitive on a long-play, but the EP format suits them well.

The Radioactive Kid

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