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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

CD Reviews: July/Aug 2006

CD REVIEWS July/August 2006
by DC Larson

(All reviews copyright (c) 2006 Rockabilly Magazine, reprinted by permission)

Fats Domino
"Alive and Kickin"
(Tipitina Foundation)

New Orleans-based Fats lost both
homestead and prized gold records to
Katrina and was himself missing for
days. But rather than falter in the face
of tragedy, the 78 year-old legend
produced this remarkably-bouyant
testament to the resiliance of musical
muse and human spirit. Piano-key
sprightliness and conversational vocal
stylings are complemented by rich,
sweeping brass and infectious French
Quarter syncopation. All proceeds
benefit the Tipitina Foundation's Big
Easy musicians-support efforts. That's
called, "giving back."

Recommended Tracks "Four Leaf
Clover," "I'll Be Alright"

Elvis Presley
"Concert Anthology 1954-1956"

This handsomely-packaged 2-disc set
combines vintage live tapes with priceless
contemporary rewardrobings of classics.
The former feature pioneers Scotty Moore
and Bill Black; enabling the latter's success
are Danny B. Harvey, Slim Jim Phantom
and Lee Rocker.

Recommended Tracks "I Don't Care If the
Sun Don't Shine" (old), "That's All Right
Mama" (new)

Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers
"Down To Kill"

Lurking amidst the cultivated junkie -
vagabond iconography was a singular
proto-punk stylist of exquisite rock 'n'
roll pedigree, one whose swiping and
swaggering forever tattooed the global
underground. 2 CDs/DVD offer rare
audio and professional video, arresting
personality and volatile substance
preserved for the ages.

Recommended Tracks "Born To Lose"
(demo), "All By Myself" (live)

The Kings of Nuthin'
"Over the Counter Culture"
(Sailor's Grave)

The Kings continue to strut the line
between Wynonie Harris and wrecking.
Rollicking 88s, honking party saxes and
slap-happy standup join declarative
guitar, driving skins and exhorting vocals
to contrive bachanalian fireworks. Psycho
R&B gon' get your mama.

Recommended Tracks "Only Time,"
"Quick Fix"

Guitar Wolf
"Golden Black"

Some 18 years ago, search-and -
destroy punk power trio Guitar Wolf
detonated over Japan. This incediary
retrospective collects vividly-wrought,
hyper exercises in thunderously-metallic
songcraft spanning a career of spectacular
evil. RIP, Billy Basswolf.

Recommended Tracks "Wild Zero,"
"Invader Ace"

Speedbuggy USA
"The City That God Forgot"
(Split 7)

Old-ways hinterlands rhapsodizing
with ripe voicing. Mandolin and lap
steel find welcome beside guitars,
bass, drums and harmonizing voices.
But as with Fats, the socially-conscious
group intends more than just sparkling
musicality. "All profits from this CD
will be donated to Habitat for Humanity -
Katrina Relief Fund"

Recommended Tracks "Engine #9,"
"Bitter Man"

Mad Sin
"Dead Moon's Calling"
(Sailor's Grave)

Craftsmanship is the conscious
governor of the creative impulse.
And, though frenetic in actuality,
these stellar tunes owe their
successes to authorial aptitude.
Psycho vent with dashes of whimsy
and irk. Sweet for midnight pentagram

Recommended Tracks "Plastic Monsters,"

Koffin Kats
"Straying From the Pack"
(Psychobilly US/Hairball 8)

Hard-driven, smash up minimalist
psycho with "fuck you" aplomb.
Distorted guitar delirium not for the
weak of spirit. CNN reports graveyard
wrecking outbreaks; eight reasons why.

Recommended Tracks "March of the Waynos,"
"For Hire"

Popa Chubby
"Stealing the Devil's Guitar"
(Blind Pig)

Perhaps the direst, most flame -
annointed blues guitar on this
upworld side of the proverbial
crossroads. Love, lust, desperation
and damnation come in for wry
lyrical examination as does (remarkably)
universal hopefulness. A sharpness to
cut through men's souls. Popa keeps it
real, harsh though it sometimes can be.

Recommended Tracks "In This World,"
"Long Deep Hard and Wide"

Jerry King and the River Town Ramblers
"A Date With..."

Affable, punchy late-50s-type rockin', which
means the emphasis is on melody as much as
vim. As able a group of proponents as on
offer in this age and smoothly-insinuating into
the bargain.

Recommended Tracks "You Forgot Your Name,"
"The Price of Love"

Jimmy Thackery
"The Essential..."
(Blind Pig)

Jems from the Nighthawks-founding
guitarist's subsequent solo years on
Blind Pig. Sparks by the gut-bucket load,
but also impressive, thoughtful sidetrips
into complex articulation. Two-fisted
blues with strategy.

Recommended Tracks "Jump For Jerry,"
"Wild Night Out"

"Peanut Butter and Jelly Live At
the Ginger Wing"

Forcible obstreporousness and headlong
cacophony may be inimical to the punk
ethos, but they are only parts of the
necessary whole. Energy and largely unfocused
bombast abound, though little centering sense
is discernable. Reason may come with time.
Today, brazen impulse journeys alone.

Recommended Tracks "Letter 2 London," "Ya
No Ya Wanna"

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