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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

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Tiny Minds

Tiny Minds – s/t

Kix 4 U Records – Kix 3357
Trouble Bound – Tell Me – Don’t You Lie – Young And Restless – Wortless and Weak – Out For The Cold / Song For You – Made In the Shade – It’s Not Me – Psycho Music – Crazy – Psycho Therapy – Shout

tiny minds

File under “another Psychobilly album”. Tiny Minds was a Swedish trio formed by Dan (slap bass, some guitars), Henry (guitar) and Harry (drums and acoustic guitar). Not sure, but it seems that each of them sing.
Considering that the band looks pretty young on the cover (confirmed by the vocals, too), you don’t want to be too harsh, but honestly, this is a more than dispensable album. It’s not as bad as the Punishers, but you can easily live without it. There’s enough slap bass to satisfy the psychotic crowd, and some songs are original and could be very good (Don’t You Lie, Wortless and Weak, Song For You) if mistakes, uneven musicianship and approximate vocals didn’t plague them.

The Radioactive Kid

Lily Locksmith

Lily Locksmith – s/t

Enviken Records EnRec181 [2022]
When I Put The Blues On You – Praying – Bad – Last Night – Player – Farther Up The Road – Burn Toast And Black Coffee – You Gotta Try – I Don’t Need – No Use But O’Well – When It’s Good Enough For You – I Tried – Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave – Catfight – You Did Me Wrong – What Do You Know About Love

lily locksmith

Caroline Låås, aka Lily Locksmith, had an incredible voice. Her sudden death, at the too-early age of 37, left a massive void on the Rock’n’Roll scene. When she passed away, Lilly was working on an album. Friends of the singer, knowing that her dream was to release a full-length vinyl album, decided to finish it. Thanks to the label, her friends, musicians, and fans who contributed to the project via a Kickstarter campaign, the project was completed and saw the light of day.
Among the sixteen tracks, nine are covers, the remaining seven being from the pen of Locksmith or guitarist Chris Bergström. The covers range from Candye Kane to Bo Diddley, with tunes by Nick Curran, Shorty Long, Little Richard, Chris Ruest, Big Mama Thornton, Larry Davis and Bobby Blue Bland in between.
The whole album is a rollercoaster through the blues idiom. You go from straightforward blues to Rock’n’roll, with groovy stuff and plenty of Rhythm’n’Blues thrown in for good measure. And, of course, like all good albums, there’s a tear-jerker ballad (Last Night). The band is top-notch, providing an excellent job and a solid structure to put the spotlight on Locksmith’s vocals and her impressive range of emotions.
We lost a great singer, but this album is not a monument commemorating the death of someone. Instead, it’s a celebration of life. Each groove of the vinyl and each bit of the CD ooze energy and vitality. This is the best hommage that could’ve been done to this fantastic singer, and I suppose that’s how her friends wanted her to be remembered.

Lily Locksmith – I Don’t Need

Enviken ENREC4512 [2020]
I Don’t Need / Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave

Lily Locksmith has a strong and powerful voice. But, unlike many, she knows how to control it, and this single is the perfect vehicle to show her skills.
The A-side, penned by Locksmith’s guitar player Chris Bergström, is a Bo Diddley tinged song with tremolo guitar and a hint of Garage.
The B-side is a cover of Little Richard. This slow tune allows the singer to play with her voice and its variations, containing the power before letting it explode.
I’m looking forward to the whole album.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Wildfire Willie and the Ramblers

Wildfire Willie and the Ramblers – Blues, Boogie and Rhythm

Wildfire Willie and the Ramblers

Goofin’ records GOOFY 557 [1995]
My Gal From Kokomo – Crazy ‘Bout You Baby / Honky Tonk Baby – A Bottle Of Loneliness

The A-side opens with My Gal From Kokomo that opens, initially recorded by Roy Brown. The band turns this jump blues into a frantic Rockabilly tune, during which Jan Svenson seems close to asphyxia.
Things calm down a bit with the next song, Crazy Bout You, an original, a mid-tempo rocka-ballad with a country feel.
Hardrock Gunter’s Honky Tonk Baby, the second cover of the EP, is more on the boppin’ hillbilly side. The last track, and for me the best, is Bottle of Loneliness. It’s a great country Rockabilly song with a Carl Perkins feel. I guess that Sam Phillips would have been proud to record this one.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Hank Edwards


Hank Ewards - In the silence of the NightHank Edwards With Hal Peters And His Trio – In the Silence of the Night

Goofin Records GOOFY 533 {1992}
In the Silence of the Night – I Wish I Has a Nickel
Another case of « wrong time, wrong place ». Had Hank Edward come from the USA and been active in the late 40’s/early 50’s, he would have shared the stage of the Opry or the Hayride with Hank Williams or some other great names of the time. Instead he comes from Sweden and began releasing records in the 80’s for an audience of fine connoisseurs.
This honky tonk single released for Goofin seems to come straight from the 50’s. Everything here is close to perfection the songs (one original on side A and a cover of Hank Williams that certain discovered under the name of Tell Me Little Darlin on the Riverside Trio debut album – on the side B), the voice and the backing provided by the always excellent Hal Peters and his trio.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Red Hot Max and Cats


Red Hot Max and Cats ‎– The Thrilling Sound Of Hot Rockabilly
Red Hot Max and Cats ‎– The Thrilling Sound Of Hot Rockabilly

Red Hot Max and Cats ‎– The Thrilling Sound Of Hot Rockabilly

Wildcat Record Company ‎– WRC-LP-5002 [1981]
Have You Heard-Rockin’ And Rollin’ With Granmaw – Rock’N Roll Ruby – Hot Shot – Been In Memphis – Stomp Rock – Baby Let’s Play House – I Have Thought – Max Rockin Boogie – Flip, Flop Mama – Red Hot Stomp – Wanne You – Rockin With Me – Dig That Boogie – Done Gone – Jitterbuggin Baby

With “the Thrilling…”, Red Hot Max and Cats made it on long distance (and what distance no less than 16 songs) for the first time after an ep that sold out in weeks.
Red Hot Max and Cats were one, if not the first, band in Sweden to use a double bass. Their brand of Rockabilly is wild and frantic as demonstrated by their Burnette influenced “Have You Heard” or their cover of “Rock’n’Roll Ruby”. Some songs feature a piano which is always a plus and they bring variety to the set with songs like “Rockin’ and Rollin’ with Granmaw” that shows some influence from Bill Haley’s Saddlemen (with steel and piano). Talking about Bill Haley there’s a couple of songs with sax that leans more on the Comets sounds while I Have Thought features an harmonica and reminds of Howlin’ Wolf’s Smokestack Lightnin’.
Too bad some songs are a bit wasted by their drummer who is not always in place and misses some break. Anyway it remains a good album.

Red Hot Max & Cats - Cuckoo Clock Rock
Red Hot Max & Cats – Cuckoo Clock Rock

Red Hot Max and Cats – Cuckoo Clock Rock

TCY Records – 024 – 2013
Bring my Cadillac back – Well, now dig this – Equator-Mama’s little Baby-Bim bam –  Cast iron arm –  You gotta be loose –  Cuckoo clock rock – Stop –  Birht of the Boogie –  School of Rock & Roll –  Jitterbop Baby – Spirit of Woodstock –  The Saints Rock & Roll –  Svartbäckens Ros – Digga Rock & Roll

Formed in the late 70’s, Red Hot Max & Cats are some sort of an institution on the Swedish rockin’ scene.This cd is th ereissue of an album originally released in 1989. With Cuckoo Clock Rock, Red Hot Max took a slight departure from thier usual rockabilly sound. The addition of a permanent sax players as well as guests on second sax, piano and even trombon saw them morphed into a tight rock’n’roll unitin the style of Bill Haley, the Jodimars and the Stargazers.
It’s very well recorded and the result is pretty good and highly danceable but lacks of originality, partly due to the fact that all songs but one are covers, and furthermore some well known ones.
The reissue includes two extra tracks not on the original release – one being a Swedish version of the Jodimars’ Now Dig This – and a nice booklet with pictures and a band history.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis