Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

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Sharks (the)

Sharks (the)

in Contemporary artists/Reviews/S
 The Sharks ‎– Phantom Rockers
The Sharks ‎– Phantom Rockers

 The Sharks ‎– Phantom Rockers

Nervous records ‎– NERD 008 [1983]

Moonstomp – Skeleton Rock – It’s All Over Now – Crazy Maybe – Take A Razor To Your Head – Death Row -Love Bites – Short Shark Shock – Ruff Stuff – Phantom Rockers – Charlie! – Slipped Disc – I Can’t Stop – Electrifyin’ – Ghost Train* – We Say Yeah* (* cd only)

 

 


The Sharks - First and Last Live
The Sharks – First and Last Live

The Sharks – First and Last Live

Nervous /Crazy Love [1988 – reissue 2002]
Rock The Joint ~ Pink & Black ~ Tired ‘n’ Sleepy ~ Teenage Boogie ~ Tear It Up ~ Wildcat Rock ~ Sugar Doll ~ We Say Yeah ~ Deathrow ~ Moonstomp ~ Ghost Train ~ Crazy Maybe ~ Buddy Can You Spare A Dime ~ It’s All Over Now ~ Phantom Rockers ~ Chainsaw Charlie ~ I Can’t Stop.

This album captures two shows. The first one has been recorded by the trio at the beginning of their career and the second is the last they played just before they split in 1983, hence the title. It’s mostly made for fans and it’s surely not the best album to discover this great and highly influential band. But it remains very interesting. You can hear a band of teenagers evolving from a good rockabilly cover band (the first show: well played but nothing too exceptional) into a tight psychobilly unit, this time with self penned material and a sound truly of their own.


The Sharks - Live In Japan
The Sharks – Live In Japan

The Sharks – Live In Japan

Crazy Love CLCD 64143
Deathrow – Bye Bye Girl – Cold Heart – Crazy Maybe – Dealer – Schitzoid Man – Love Bites – Morphine Daze – Side Show Freak – Between Two Worlds – Moonstomp – Surf Caster – Phantom Rockers – Charlie – Time Bomb – Ghost Train – Skeleton Rock.
The psychobilly scene counts very few solid live recordings. The reason can be found in the fact that the majority has been released in the mediocre Live’n’Rockin’ serie on Link records. But one can find some exception like The Meteors Live I, The Quakes’ Live In Tokyo, Long Tall Texans’ Five beans In The Wheel (though it’s half fake), Live’n’Undead by the Nekromantix and on top of the list : “Live In Japan” by the Sharks.
 This live recording has been captured on tape in September 1998 in Nagoya and Tokyo, during a successful tour of Japan with the pair Wilson and Whitehouse (both on top form) and Carl Parry (guitar player for Frenzy at the time) on drums who replaces Hodge the original drummer. 
The set spans the entire career of the band with “Phantom Rockers” taking the lion’s share. The trio gives a breath of fresh air – and even surpasses the studio recordings – to their classics like Love Bites, Charlie, Moonstomp and breathtaking versions of Skeleton Rock and Ghost Train. The songs from “Colour My Flesh” and “Recreationnal Killer” are well represented too here and the live gives a grittier sound than the well produced studio versions.
There’s a spirit of sheer joy (even with songs about vampires, psycho killer, electric chairs…) all along this hour plus of tight musicianship (remember we’re talking about Alan Wilson and Steve Whitehouse) that is highly communicative. In the end it’s more than a great psychobilly album, it’s a great rock’n’roll album (that deals with kids with chainsaw, girls from Transylvannia and so on, okay I know).


The Sharks - Songs from the Sarcophagus
The Sharks – Songs from the Sarcophagus

The Sharks – Songs from the Sarcophagus

Western Star [2011]
She’s Fallen In Love With A Monster Man – Draculas Daughter – Jack The Ripper – Monster In Black Tights

We’ve waited for years for it. Here it is, at last, a brand new release from those neo-rockabilly/psychobilly masters.
This 4 songs vinyl ep is a tribute to the late Screaming Lord Sutch and who was more designed to do it than the Sharks and Joe Meek specialist Alan Wilson? They manage to give their own rendition of these classics while staying true to Meek and Sutch versions.
A total, definite and absolute must have.


 

The Sharks - Infamy
The Sharks – Infamy

The Sharks – Infamy

Western Star WSRC 057 {2012}
House of Wax – A Tornado Called Smith – Holloway Road – The King Of London – First Men On the Moon – Control – Ship To Shore – Hell Riders – I Can’t Believe You’re Back – Breakin’ Bones – Luck O’ The Irish – Desert Diamond – She’s Fallen In Love With The Monster Man

The Sharks are back! After a 15 year hiatus Alan Wilson (guitar, vocals), Steve Whitehouse (super sonic slap bass, vocals) and Hodge finally got together again to record a new album. I must say that I was a little apprehensive when I put the cd in the player. Could the band match my high expectations, after all they had released some of the best neo/psychobilly album made in the 80’s (Phantom Rockers) and the 90’s (Recreationnal Killer and Color My Flesh). Recently released material on compilation albums and an ep showed they were still in good shape, but could they make it on long distance? It took just one song to see all my doubts vanish. Not only the Sharks were good but they sounded better than ever, benefiting of 30 years of experience in term of producing, playing and writing songs. Most of all they managed to keep what make their identity and reinvent themselves in the same time. You don’t have a band of fifty year old men (or so) who run after their youth, trying to sound like they did in thirty years ago. They don’t come back by pure nostalgia but because they have solid songs to defend (mostly penned by Wilson with the exception of the First Men On the Moon co-written with Whitehouse and Lord Sutch’s She’s Fallen In Love With the Monster Man). Of course there are hot psychobilly numbers like House Of Wax (perfect opener with superb vocals from Whitehouse), A Tornado Called Smith (listen to this guitar solo, it kills!), Men On the Moon and Breakin Bones (already a classic alternating slow and fast parts). Next to this psychobilly gems you’ll find an instrumental mixing Surf guitar with Mariachi music (Hell Riders),  60’s country music with a Bakersfield feel (Desert Diamond), and a great tribute to Joe Meek in the form of a pop song (Holloway Road) featuring female backing vocals and Merv Pepler (Frenzy) playing some strange noises that would have pleased the producer of Telstar. Other real life character also have their own song like the notorious bare knuckle boxer Pretty Boy Shaw (The King Of london with plunking piano) and Ronald Biggs. That’s what I call a casting!  More surprising is Luck’o the Irish sung by Doyley (Klingonz) with accordion and penny whistle for a full Pogues ambiance.
It was worth a wait of 15 years..
Comes in a nice digipack with lyrics included.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

 

The Sharks
The Sharks

 

 

V/A – Rare Psychobilly from the Vaults

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/VARIOUS
Rare Psychobilly from the Vaults
Rare Psychobilly from the Vaults

Rare Psychobilly from the Vaults – Vol.1 – X-Ray Studio
Raucous Records
The Kid From Mars – THE SHARKS / Teenage Operation – THE SHARKS / She’s Dead – THE SHARKS / Surfcaster – THE SHARKS / Scratchin’ My Way Out – FRANTIC FLINTSTONES / Unfortunate Jake – FRANTIC FLINTSTONES / Lunatics Are Raving – FRANTIC FLINTSTONES / Diablo – FRANTIC FLINTSTONES / Mudman’s Revenge – BREAKOUT / Witchcraft – BREAKOUT / Tornado – BREAKOUT / Borstal Breakout – BREAKOUT / Punks On Billy – SKABZ / Go Find Yourself A Guy – ROCKIN’ BANDITS / She’s All Mine – LUX / Leopardskin – LUX / Down In The Cellar – LUX / Leopard Skin – LUX / Fashion – LUX / Bad Trip – THE MEN FROM UNCLE / Can’t Get Enough – THE MEN FROM UNCLE / Charlie 2 – THE MEN FROM UNCLE / Scratchin’ My Way Out – THE MEN FROM UNCLE / Man With The X-Ray Eyes – THE MEN FROM UNCLE

Alan Wilson (the Sharks) formed the X-Ray studios in the early 80’s. It can be seen as an early incarnation of the Western Star studio he runs today. Included on this compilation are rare tracks that were recorded there and see the light of day for the first time.
The first four tracks are Sharks demos recorded when Gary Day was in the band (around 1993-94). He sings lead on Kid From Mars and Teenage Operation. They never appeared on a Sharks album but were recorded by the Gazmen (who were basically the Sharks plus Alan Whyte). The other two are a jam around a rockabilly riff (She’s Dead) and an alternate version of Surfcaster. These are not perfect and slick recordings but they are very interesting as you can hear songs in construction (listen to Gary repeating the same verse and indicating chords during Teenage Operation). One can find more Sharks demos on the excellent cd “Ruff Stuff” also on Raucous.
Next band is the Frantic Flintstones. They recorded some of their best albums at X-Ray. Featured here are Wilson’s Scratchin’ My Way Out and demos of songs that later appeared on Jamboree. You can’t go wrong with Chuck and his gang.
Breakout was a neo-rockabilly/psychobilly band that recorded some songs at X-Ray but never had to my knowledge a proper release. They’re not exceptionnal but the songs, including a cover of the Ricochets, are good.
Skabz was a punkish band and to be honest I’m happy this cd features only one song from them instead of four.
Go Find Yourself A Guy” shows the neo-rockabilly side of the The Rockin’ bandits. What a pity there’s only one.
Lux is a band very hard to pigeonhole. They mixed psychobilly with elements of the Gun Club, some Damned and a bit of 80’s new wave. Very good. Strange but very good. This songs remained unreleased until now. Why? It’s a mystery cause they’re easily as good and ten times more originals than many bands.
The remaining four tracks are from the Men From Uncle who were actually the Space Cadets (NOT Mouse’s band) : Alan Wilson, Simon Seago and Hodge. Recorded around 1983-84, this songs previously appeared on a bootleg lp called Cream Of the Cats (long story told in the booklet) and appear here for the first time on cd . “Charlie 2”, “Scratching My Way Out” and “The Man With The X-Ray Eyes” would later be re-recorded by the Sharks.
A great comp full of lost treasures.

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