There are numerous things to love about the debut album from German psychobillies The DiggerZ; from songwriting to sound, invention to unique devilry it is a rampant ride of contagious rock ‘n’ roll. Maybe the most notable thing about its success though is the fact it leaves the listener continuing to strut around after its departure as if they were indeed the cause of its glories. A Psycho’s Tales is a gripping and refreshing slab of diversely flavoured stomping, and one of the most compelling psychobilly incitements of recent times.
The DiggerZ emerged from Essen in 2010, the union of three musicians already well known to each other from mutually attended local shows. The line-up is Köppy (who is also the drummer for Pitmen), Andre Zaremba (guitarist of Messerstecher Herzensbrecher), and vocalist /double bassist Mo, a trio who like all good stompers decided to form a band after the consumption of a beer or ten. Shows around Essen established their adventurous sound whilst in turn breeding a potent fan base and a growing reputation only enhanced by festival appearances at the likes of Psychobilly Earthquake in Bremen, Satanic Stomp at Speyer, and Potsdam’s Psychomania Rumble, as well as an increasing number of gigs across Germany. Musically, as shown by their first album, their temptation is a mix of psychobilly snarling, eighties rockabilly infectiousness, and additional spices of surf, punk , and old school rock ‘n’ roll. It is a fascinating and excitable blend which at times plays like a fusion of The Frantic Flintstones, Pitmen, and Stray Cats but everything honed into something distinct to The DiggerZ.
The Crazy Love Records released encounter opens with the haunted Intro, a web of sinister sounds and passing tormented/innocent noises playing like a deranged opening to a horror TV show. It is slightly too long and it must be admitted after a couple of listens of the album, the tendency is to leap ahead to the first riotous offering in the compelling shape of Forgotten Son. The guitar of Andre instantly warms ears and imagination with its enticing, bait quickly joined by an intermittent juicy hook and the thumping beats of Köppy aligned to a rumbling bassline and gruff vocal pokes provided by Mo. A raging appetite is swiftly incited by the sounds and presentation, every element given its own spotlight but united in a storming stroll of a song. Spicy melodies and grooves continue to feverishly colour the infectious romp whilst the impressive tones of Mo, again clearly spotlighted within the tapestry of the track, direct the attack.
The following Breakout merges into its sultry tempting a guitar jangle which is almost ska like, whilst a shimmering melodic enterprise has as much of a surf swelter to its air as a rockabilly croon to its enticing. As with its predecessor there is no escape from its lure for feet and indeed voice, full involvement easily achieved though not quite as quickly as with Fresh Flesh From The Graveyard. A tangy hook opens up the decayed attraction, vocal cries and roving beats not taking long to leap into the affair either as a more psychobilly defined heart reveals itself within the song. To it though, spices across decades of rock ‘n’ roll again bring their hues to the death dance as the track incites its victims into bounding across the floor with limbs a blur as throats join the anthemic call.
Already a potent variety is blossoming across A Psycho’s Tales and continues in the rigorous seducing of Dreamgirl, a seductive energetic prowl of the senses and psyche. Its dark lure comes as a collection of punchy rhythms, addictive basslines, and acidic strands of sonic toxicity, all wrapped in a siren-esque melodic serenade. Its craft is so masterful that it simultaneously has the body not knowing whether to sway with its romance or rampage with its predation, in the end both is the best answer as the song ignites the passions ready for the addictive shuffle of Hangover and the heated swing of BBQ On Lost Island, again mouth-watering songs weaving a host of delicious, at times bluesy, hooks and melodies into a tenacious union of spiky beats and feverish rapacious grooves. As all tracks upon the album, both have their own confident and infectious swagger which almost alone has ears and emotions locked in and grinning broadly.
Jealousy is a frenetic motion of dark string plucking aligned to agitated rim and skin jabbing, again the rhythms a insatiable provocation to body and soul whilst the mix of tart and melodic escapades cast by the guitar alongside the magnetic vocals of Mo, flirt with ears and imagination. It is a furiously virulent uproar of sound and persuasion matched in energy and catchiness if not identity by I Want Her. Whereas the previous song seems to have the intent of wanting to brawl in its belly, its successor explores a mellower but humid landscape of melodic surf and rockabilly caressing. It is very different in sound to Jealousy but a mirror of addictiveness as the album brings itself to a raw and rousing close through a live cut of Set Me Free. Dirty and uncompromising, the song tells you all you need to know as to why The DiggerZ should be checked out in the flesh.
A Psycho’s Tales is a treat, a must for psycho/rockabilly fans providing something recognisable but very different from the crowd. The DiggerZ is the name and the sinister devouring of your passions the game.
A Psycho’s Tales is out now via Crazy Love Records @ http://www.crazyloverecords.de/diggerz-a-psycho-s-tale-cd.html
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