View My Stats

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Royal Dead
"Go Bat Go" (Kheperi Global Media, LLC)

A lightning bolt flashes up from the sinister netherworld, its careen hied by three distemperous psychos with un-salved serrated rips in their hearts. Hyper, flayed guitar chord chunks bounce off stone mausoleum walls, only to cede sonic territory to piercing, trebly exhortations; deathly insistent drums pound and dance the amphetemined dance of the triumphant undead; and all the while, massive standup figures unify and, at turns, leap in and around arrangements with deft deliberation. Guitarist Eddie Suicide's fever-stalking narrations lend voice to the chill.

Royal Dead have shared stages with psychobilly notables, including the Meteors, Nekromantix, Chop Tops, and Koffin Kats. In fact, Koffin Kat Vic Victor adds backing vocals to "Death Cycle." And "Zombie Stomp" spotlights the multi-instrument talents of producer D' Mackinnon (formerly of Deviant).  

Hello, Cruel World...

Recommended "Death Cycle," "Dead Sled," "Corpse Bride," "Zombie Stomp"

VIDEO "Death Cycle"

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Bedlamville Triflers
"Goin' Out Tonight" (Bedlamville Records)

Amid their own commendably ablaze entries are aptly-registered readings of Eddie Cochran, the Rock'n'Roll Trio, Larry Terry, Al Ferrier, and Tibby Edwards). All of which would by itself suffice to hoist this above rack-fellows. But on instrumental El Sol De Guerroro," guitarist Shaun Roux rises to testify with musically multilingual articulateness. Gregg Guffey accents the ambitious and successful endeavor with animated, jazz skins. And on cut after cut, upright cat Brian Akers has their backs.

One hopes to hear much more from this group.

Recommended "Graceland," "Blues Stop Knocking At My Door," "Funny Car Mama," "Cattin' Around," "Shift Gears"

VIDEO "El Sol De Guerroro" (live)
The Bad Companions
"What, Me Worry?" (CDBY)

The real country hand-tooled into their Minnesota marrow, and spat-to-hardwood disdain for trendy pretenders ("Kick off your boots, and take off your hat / 'cause you're just puttin' us on") invigorates much here, and admirably. But they do not preclude several more rockin' passages. In twang and doghouse, we know, lies genre fraternity. Besides, since when do dancers care about stylistic distinctions?

Recommended "Dressed In Black," "I Liked Hank Before You Did," ""Let Me Die," "What've You Got To Lose,' "Passage To Texas"
Nico Dupolet & His Rhythm Dude
"Goin' Back To Ya" (LME Recordz)

I'm maintaining a mental list of important contemporary advocates of old-school r&b/rock'n'roll. Nick Curran is on it. So are J.D. McPherson and Jimmy Sutton. New additions Nico and band made the rank as soon as this wax hit the turntable. There's a rightness to the groove, an unerring echo of the golden era combined with Nico's own hip-to-the-tip swagger, that wins as it spins. Mixed by Big Boy Bloater.

PR lit accompanied this France-issued review disc: "Drawing From the roots of the Black Rock'n'roll, and the good dancing afro-american music from the 40s and 50s called Rhythm & Blues, Swing, Boogie. They have for only objective to make the crowd dance and see the people move everywhere, jumpin' all around, blow the brains out!

"If you want a Rock'n'roll Daddy-O, call Nico - He'll be on the go!"

Recommended "Goin' Back To Ya," "Love Locks," "Please Don't Go," "Ready For Raph," "Don't You See"

VIDEO: "Goin' Back To Ya"
Rockhouse Trio
"This Road" (Crazy Times)

Over 14 cuts, Ugo Frugoni, Richard Chan Wai-Hong, and Jean-Louis Pucinelli simmer. Not once do they boil over. And that's a good thing: Amiable ease and gentle measure can be welcome, when all around seems forcibly disquietous. I enjoy this pacific environment, and suspect many others do, as well.

Recommended "This Is Me," "Jungle Rock," "This Road," "Give My Love To Rose," "My Love Is Just For You"

VIDEO: "This Is Me"

The Grizzly Family
"Don't Mess With the Grizzly" (Crazy Times)

None will rest as this jumps, twangs, swings, kicks, and percolates - all in manners most vivid. Even the stroll title track resonates too edgily to indulge pause. Dedicated to Dale Hawkins and Billy Lee Riley, this top-flight neo-rockabilly fun spins merrily into the outer limits of sought fracture.

Recommended "Sometimes," "Speedwoman," "Don't Mess With the Grizzly (echo version)," "Brother," "Come On Let's Rock"

VIDEO: "Don't Mess With the Grizzly" (echo version)
Pete and the Starphonics

"s/t" (Crazy Times)

Pierre Laru (vocals/acoustic rhythm guitar) penned 10 of these 15, and knows well how to put over both emotive rockers and aching ballads. Don't be misled by the cover's nonpartisan sterility - lurking within the grooves is an abundance of healthy bias toward good-times bop crusading. The listener approves finger-poppingly throughout. An ace crew of players is assembled, and they are indeed in high action. But perhaps most resounding here is Pierre's suitability to the rank of covered legends like Cash and Feathers; when he interprets their stellar material, it is as an emerging equal.

Recommended: "Move Closer," "Don't Need To Speak a Word," "Crying Out For Love," "Don't Call My Name," "Blue Moon On My Shoulders"

VIDEO: "Don't Need To Say a Word" (live)