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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

CD Reviews: Rockabilly Magazine 2007

CD REVIEWS: Rockabilly Magazine #34 2007 by DC Larson (copyright (c) 2007 Rockabilly)

Jerry Lee Lewis
"Last Man Standing" (Artists First)

"There are those rare pioneers within whom the
fires burn only more brightly in seniority," the
sage imparted. "For them, advancing years bring
additional glories."

"But," ventured the acolyte, "suppose such were
to be paired with younger, more accessible
colleagues. Would not the old seem obsolete
beside the new?"

The elder eyed him. "Boy, are you crazy?"

Recommended Tracks "Hadacol Boogie" (w/Buddy
Guy), "That Kind of Fool" (w/Keith Richards)

Link Wray and his Wray Men
"White Lightning, Lost Cadence
Sessions '58" (Sundazed)

The guitar that savaged the world, leaving an
upright generation in tatters and urging its upstart
successor to new delirium. Link's pioneering, DIY
distortion and scramble chords threatened global
domination. Mission accomplished.

Recommended Tracks "Comanche," "Creepy"

Boz and the Bozmen
"Dress in Deadmens' Suits" (Raucous)

Bracing, in-your-face tumble from the international
guitar hero, whose hillbilly inclinations enjoyed
spotlight on this 1987 Bozmen debut LP. Basic in
conception and combustable in presentation, with
spirit nods to Eddie Cochran and Marc Bolan. Steve
Hooker brought the surly R&B swerve.

Recommended Tracks "Mars and Jupiter Stomp,"
"Wild Heroine" (Steve Hooker)

Davie Allan and the Arrows
"Restless in L.A." (Sundazed)

As much trebly vehemence as you'd hope for from the
fabled King of Fuzz Guitar, whose early works included
proud outsider biker flick soundtracks and downshifted,
pensive ruminations. A mostly instrumental set in which
Davie's ambitious lead narratives, endorsed by acrobatic
Arrows, voice more emotion than many singers.

Recommended Tracks "Toxic Terror," "Wicked Woman"

The Sharks
"Ruff Stuff" (Raucous)

'83 alternates and outtakes. Ripping ghoulish strut from UK
Strat/standup/snare. Grisly cheek. More blade-slash than
average psychos, and certainly more gallows punchlines.
Among the first and best.

Recommended Tracks "Deathrow," "Take a Razor to Your Head"

The Tremors
"Invasion of the Saucermen" (Brain Drain)

Their spooky, riveting creature-bop is loved by
legions of the finger-popping undead. GASP IN
HORROR at sparks-throwing trio rockabilly from
the great B-movie beyond. Every cemetery is a
juke joint in the skewed dimension of the creepy

Recommended Tracks "World War III Boogie,"
"Late Night Drive In Monster Show"

Dale Watson
"Whiskey Or God" (Palo Duro)

Holy Fire and alcoholic escape share more than visceral
palliative benefit. Each leaves both the haunting spectre
of last night's respite and the new morn's reality of
enduring hardships. Limber-legged old school country
acknowledges that while both spirit and spirits may be
weak, the flesh remains willing.

Recommended Tracks "Sit and Drink and Cry,"
"Whiskey Or God"

Wayne Hancock
"Tulsa" (Bloodshot)

While the moods and rhythms vary, encompassing
handy western swing, forlorn country blues and
jostling jukers, the heart never wavers. An all-originals
songlist so emotionally pregnant and skillfully crafted
deserves -- and here receives -- nothing short of First
Chair interpretation.

Recommended Tracks "Tulsa," "Gonna Be Flyin' Tonight"

The Astro Zombies
"Burgandy Livers" (Raucous)

Sweaty and frantic live sample of gnashing French demons,
including skanky stutter-stepping beside the welcome,
hyper-speed bar chord crash/bash. Fury-fueled fun. The
strange and wonderful product of punk/psycho pile up.

Recommended Tracks "You Are Shit," "666 Racing"

Buzz Campbell and Hot Rod Lincoln
"Runaway Girl" (King)

Gretsch slung low, Buzz barnstorms across rootsy
overland. Fina and fiery cover from Ty Cox and Tim
Butler. The thundering stompers may first claim your
attention, but it is the swinging and swooping muses
that will bind it.

Recommended Tracks "Joint's Gonna Jump,"
"Walk Away"

The Bluejays
"A Hundred Songs" (Hithouse)

It is the desired destination of countless musicians,
the point at which alluring strains, siken harmonies
and trusted roots stylings collude with thoughtful
verse. Real world music grounded in human experience,
but reaching still for the fantastic. For the Bluejays,
that rainbow's-end reward is but the starting line.

Recommended Tracks "Anytime," "Devil in Disguise"

The Silvermen
"The Silvermen Attack" (self)

Succeeds as foray into complex jam territory, never
losing strident rock'n'roll identity or succumbing to
self-indulgent seriousness. Dynamic and flourescent,
with alert instrumentation more than equal to the task
charted by artfully busy arrangements.

Recommended Tracks "ronky donk machine,"
"one of the things"

Trent Summar
"Horseshoes and Hand Grenades" (Palo Duro)

Contemporary country generally smothers its own
potential by denying heritage in favor of latter-day pop
envy. Not so, here. Kicking Average Joe anthems
honor both moment and memory. Full band swings,
storms and even cruises, as appropriate. A rudely
fun party.

Recommended Tracks "Louisville Nashville Line,"
"He Stopped Loving Her Today"

7 Shot Screamers
"In Wonderland" (Big Muddy)

Evolution morphed St. Louis phenoms from de
riguer neo-billies to full-blown modern rock'n'roll
personalities modeling rip-and-stitch panache.
Ear-splitting flash becomes nuanced gentility
becomes technicolor conflagration sporting a
lopsided grin. One seconds Morrisey's "rockabilly
meets the New York Dolls line.

Recommended Tracks "World Domination Ball,"
"Hand of Glory"

The Derailers
"Soldiers of Love" (Palo Duro)

Seldom are fetching tunefulness and hard-knocks
poeticisms so cleverly conjoined, especially with
the welcome plus of time-tested hardwood twang.
Harmonies, hooks, jangly six strings and story-telling
heart for the midnight masses. The sound of living.

Recommended Tracks "Soldier of Love,"
"Hey, Valerie!"

West Side Winders
"Snaken Not Stirred" (95 North)

Guitarist Dan Peters also adds hearty vocals and
pens all originals, wisely expanding soloing beyond
the familiar Sun vocabulary and instilling remarkable,
blast-force neo-rockabilly with topical sensibility. A
whimsicality looms at times, a jutted jaw at others.

Recommended Tracks "Little Doggies," "Keep it in
the Family"

Colin Winski
"Rock Therapy" (Takoma)

L.A. shouter Colin didn't so much replicate fires that
preceded as loose the mighty blaze naturally within.
Born of legendary indie Rollin' Rock and possibly the
most uproarious of 70s/80s voices (and performers),
he was equally comfortable with heartsore country

Recommended Tracks "Love Me," "Burnin' Desire"


"Dark Angel" (Cult Epics)
Story, Production and Direction by Nico B.

Paige Richards recalls the innocent sinfulness that ensured
Bettie's fame. Brief, faux verite color vignettes are intercut
with stylized b/w recreations of classic 16mm loops like
"Whip Dance," "Fighting Girls" and "Bound and Gagged."
Danny B. Harvey charges each. Extras include photo
gallery and nude shoot. Accompanying soundtrack available.

Psycho Ward (Split Seven Records)

Pro-shot club footage. The Henchmen offer a trio of
bone crunchers, followed by 5 tracks of sturm und drang
from UK/US Phantom Rockers. Highlight: 4 songs by
raging L.A. metallic grotequeries the Hellbillys. Also here,
the Slanderin, the Phenomenauts and Los Creepers. Extras
include Phenomenauts's video "The Mission" and Devil Doll

Two Tons of Steel
"Two Tons Tuesday Live from
Gruene Hall" (Palo Duro)

Freewheeling reminder that the division between honky
tonk country and orthodox rockabilly is negligible.
Colorful, whirlweind 15-song live DVD, accompanying
15-song CD. Classic covers ("Little Pig," a video version
of "Red Hot") mixed with romping originals including
"Unglued" and "Stinking Drunks."

"Psychobilly Sickness" (Hardball 8/Stay Sick)
Directed by Ryan Davis and Duncan Garcia

Psychobilly's origin and import are explored through
narration and interviews with notables like P. Paul
Fenech, Kim Nekroman, Pip Hancox and Nick 13.
Covers psycho's global spread and impact. Acts
glimpsed include Demented Are Go, the Koffin Kats,
12 Step Rebels and the Starlite Wranglers.

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