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Swamp Dogs (the)

The Swamp Dogs (german psychobilly band)

in Profiles/Stories
swamp dogs

The Swamp Dogs

Member of various German rockabilly and rock’n’roll bands since 1982 as a drummer and singer, Roland Heinrich, aka The Lone Wolf learned to play the double bass in 1984 (one time members of the Percolators and Fall Out) . He formed the Swamp Dogs the following year with Doc Preatorious on guitar and Atilla Yüncüoglu on drums.
Their first influences were the Stray Cats, and the Polecats. Between 1985-88, their set included covers of Buena Sera, Black Magic Baby, Live Fast Die Young, Down the Line and Lonesome Train.
Slowly the band gained a following and a distinctive sound. Their influences evolved toward bands like the early Meteors (Nigel Lewis era), The Sharks, and The Ricochets. They then opened for foreign bands touring Germany like the Wampas, the Long Tall Texans, the Meteors, Batmobile, and the Krewmen.

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The beginning of the year 1987 saw the release of their 7” on Rundell Records with two songs taken from their “played live in the studio demo”. Side one is a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising. If good, it doesn’t bring anything really new to the song; just a good sped up rockabilly version. The flip is more interesting. The self-penned “Mind & Music” is excellent and original, and though the sound is a bit “young” (it’s a demo), it shows that the band had broader influences than many of their counterparts.
Later that year, in December, the band went into the studio to record what would be their mini-lp. The idea was to release it to coincide with a tour supporting the Krewmen. But it was canceled, and the mini-album stayed in the vaults of the label until February 1989.
It marked another step in the band evolution, mixing fast rockabilly/early psychobilly (My True Story, Ardath Bay) with garage sounds like their excellent cover of Ug and the Cavemen’s Be A caveman. The Sting Rays and The Escalators were, at the time, a significant part of their influences.
As good as it is, this lp is not an accurate picture of what the Swamp Dogs were in 1989.
Between 1987 and 1989, the band grew disillusioned with the rockin’ scene, especially in Germany. The violence one could find in certain gigs and the fact that more and more bands hardened their sound to include Heavy Metal didn’t satisfy them. As a result, Doc Preatorius left the group who stopped its activities.

In 1988, the Lone Wolf met Mitch who became the new guitar player and turned him toward new sounds like Jump Blues and Swing. That’s the new direction the Swamp Dogs took in 1989. They also recorded a couple of songs under the name “Little Green Men” available on “Listen To The Apecall”. A full lp was planned for late 1989/early 1990 but never saw the light of day. They dissolved in 1990 after the release of “Jump For Joy” and Heinrich joined the Crackerjack.
He now has a succesfull solo career. Find more about his current project here. Atilla has also played with his brother in Cruisin a neo-rockabilly German outfit.

Bad Moon Rising / Mind & Music [1987]
My True Story (6 track mini lp) – Rundell [1989]
Jump For Joy [?]
(infos about this release needed please)

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