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Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Outsiders PBR"Intensity Destiny"
(Hot Rod Wreck-Ords)

PBR=Punkabilly. And that heady union,
as evidenced here at serious volume,
makes for a defiantly abberant midnight
kicks train. Basic guitar/drums/bass
locomotive rockets clean off the tracks
and into a tilted wasteland in which
swaggering delinquents and lurching
monster-men raise cans of beery cheer.

Recommended "R.N.R.A.D.Y. ," "Intensity
Destiny," "The Scam," "American Idle,"
"Horror Movie Night"

VIDEO: "Horror Movie Night

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mad Dog Cole 
Kingdom of the Scarecrow (Western Star)

I suppose there may be veterans of the ghoulish, rampaging psychobilly sideshow who eventually evidence reduced viability, but Mad Dog Cole is outstandingly not in that number. The legendary ex-Krewman here continues his baneful and defiantly beastly narratives. Head thrown back, he howls at a blood moon with all the vitality of a never-aging cursed man thrilled to be damned. 

Recommended "Scarecrow ,"  "Bullet Holes," "One Step Closer," "Lucifer," "The Machine"

The Cool Whips 
Goodies (self )

Muscular riffs, joyous harmonies, swinging farfisa, and sparklingly upbeat power-pop sensibilities leap and gambol in this delightfully jangly retro sunbeam kaleidoscope. 

A thought presents itself: Lost on those who insist that all past phenomena share equally the deserved rejection of historic inequities is the soul-happifyin' truth that much cream soda-good also bubbled in yesteryears. In the salutary push to change upward, let's not be indiscriminate. Let's remember that preserving what made Then bearable has earned not just preservation Now, but a joyful shoulders-ride into Tomorrow. 

'Cause it turns out that a bright and happy world was here all along.

Recommended "Boom-Shang-A-Lang," "On the Seesaw," "Pink Lemonade," "Lost In the Summertime," "Turpentine," 

VIDEO: "Pink Lemonade"

Sunday, April 12, 2015


An occasional blog series, featuring my past reviews of important (if undersung) discs. Though all are recommended, these recordings appear in no particular order.

Truly Lover Trio
"Bullseye" (Twinkletone)

Suavity, enthrallingly gentle melodicism, implicit ebulliance - these rank prominently among Truly Lover Trio's identifiers. Affectionate and winsome nods to the Wink Troubadour elevate Bullseye tall o'er less graceful, clambering roarers. Refinement offers strength not accessible to unthinkingly cacophonous cut-outs.

Recommended "Twice Sorry," "You"

(This review originally ran in Rockabilly magazine #48, in 2011.)  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cold Blue Rebels
"Blood, Guts, 'n Rock'n'Roll" (Rank Outsider)
"Love of the Undead" (Rank Outsider)

If some riffs and musical moments ring familiar in these psycho-sprees, that's OK; it just illustrates the blood-bond with hip predecessors. (I should stress that unique firings outnumber echoes.) And the garish/gorish B-flick scare cinema imagery lends an appropriate dastardly vibe. The band leaps out at listeners with all the clawing immediacy of a hyperventilated 3-D haunting. Knuckle-crackin' monsters you should meet.

These discs were originally released in 2011 and 2013, on Horror House. 

Recommended "Hell Block 13," "Lil' Grave Robber " (cd 1)
                          "Haunted Hollywood,"Zombie L.A.M.F."  " (cd 2)

                "Haunted Hollywood"              

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Robert Gordon

"Something Else" (Victrola)

Collecting a singer's major label output isn't a challenge. Depending on the particular label's promotion, releases can practically fall into your lap.

But it's the dogged fan (call us obsessive, if you must be unkind), we who prowl thrift store bins and off-the-main-drag online spots, who value most an artist's toil and who, sometimes, are rewarded beyond expectation.

And so it is here, in the case of roots singer nonpareil Robert Gordon. Anyone can find the crucial, rockin' vinyl he put out on RCA, back in the day. But new this 500-copy, 2-disc set offers gems no less precious.

And it hips listeners that the Robert Gordon of today sounds even better than the RCA-era one. (We always knew he was an gifted singer of tremendous range. Now we know that he always will be. The commanding baritone of earlier days resounds as powerfully. But, with the passing of years, experience and maturity have lent bold character.

Some time back, there was talk of Robert doing some European recording with old friend and colleague Chris Spedding, drummer Todd Glass, and drummer Lesse Sirkko. As there are no personnel listings here, I can't confirm that these gentlemen appear here - though I recognize Mr. Spedding's masterful fretboard navigations.

The mood on Disc 1 is light, casual. And that bouyancy finds manifestation in the rollicking, good-time sounds.

Disc 2 is a 1978 live gig. It was recorded some two weeks after Robert and legendarily ferocious six-stringer Link Wray had completed their second LP for Private Stock, "Fresh Fish Special."

Incredibly, this taped gig sat forgotten until recently. Robert and Link are abetted with relish and joyful abandon by an uncredited crack rhythm section. Given the date, I'd wager bassman Rob Stoner was on hand. Perhaps also drummer Howie Wyeth.

Captured on these 24 1978 tracks is the sort of barnburning rock 'n' roll kicked up by men who love it. 

In fact, that last would also do as a description of the recent studio tracks on Disc 1. While they are for the main more mid-tempo than flat-out screamer, they are no less charging and vibrant. Heartening, in fact, in that they underscore the truth that worth can endure time's inexorable march. 

It pays to be obsessive!        

Recommended "Believe What You Say," "Hot Rod," "Knock Three Times,"                            "You Don't Know What 
                         You've  Got (Until You Lose It)," "Don't Let Go" 
                         - Disc 1

                         "Twenty Flight Rock," "Red Hot," "Sea Cruise," "Flying                                  Saucers Rock 'n' Roll," "Rumble"
                         - Disc 2

VIDEO "Don't Let Go"