Recently when covering the new album from Bad Luck Gamblers we pondered how big and potent the psychobilly scene was in their native Brazil. Investigation revealed it is pretty good and growing and so it appears, going by the new album from fellow countrymen The Spaceballs, is the region’s rockabilly scene. Hailing from São Paulo, the band also recently released a new album in the shape of a self-titled debut which quickly had ears hooked and bodies bouncing.
Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Ale Marinho, double bassist/vocalist Marcelo Zarra, and drummer Jeff Billy, The Spaceballs have a sound seeded in and proudly showing inspirations from the likes of Stray Cats, Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley, The Rhythm Shakers, Bill Haley, and Billy Lee Riley, essences all providing strong flavouring which added with the bands own craft and imagination makes for a refreshing romp. It is a proposition which mixes the familiar and new with tenacious enterprise and an open passion for the genre it embraces; an invention and energy openly fuelling their first attention grabbing album.
The album opens up with I Have Fallen In Love and quickly has ears relishing a classic rockabilly melody but one with its own magnetic nature as rhythms stroll and vocals add a harmonic caress to the senses. That Bill Haley essence is alive within the song, Cochran’s too but equally there is something of The Reverend Horton Heat to the swiftly magnetic shuffle and enticement of the song. In saying that, it also reveals plenty which is distinct to The Spaceballs, in tone and character which continues in the following Be My Valentine. With the clipping lure of beats and the vibrant throb of Zarra’s bass, the song quickly has feet involved and hips swinging, Marinho’s chords equally potent while entangling the song’s melodic boisterousness and country scented smile.
Showing an Elvis thrust of its hips, next up Rockabilly Ghost soon eclipses its predecessors, the song a mischievous tempting of melodic hooks, angular riffs, and lively rhythms as vocals play. As with those around them, you feel you know the song at heart but it never has expectations met as the song with a touch of UK band The Stargazers to it, flirts and swings with body and imagination.
There is a meatier air to Never Enough straight after, the track bringing a psychobilly edge to its bold stroll, a lining which expands The Spaceballs sound and invention as well as their imagination as the track twists and turns along its captivating length with sultry melodies wrapped in further sonic heat. That broader adventure of sound continues with Just Go Away, its mix of surf inspired melodic strands and old school rock ‘n’ roll flavours a magnetic enticement matched by vocals and the flirtatious rhythmic lure of Zarra and Billy.
Good times continue to insist and impress as I Will Always Rock, with more than a hue of The Shakin’ Pyramids to it, has the listener swiftly hooked on its compelling canter. Once more there is no stopping physical participation with the excellent track which is as fresh as it is familiar, traits and success employed and found as potently by Lost in The Desert with a resourceful and almost mischievous appetite. The closing track alone has all the qualities which make The Spaceballs sound and album a highly appealing opportunity for rockabilly fans to discover and explore something new. It also makes for another thoroughly inviting gateway into what seems a very promising and exciting not forgetting varied Brazilian rock ‘n’ roll scene.
The Spaceballs album is out now @ https://thespaceballs.bandcamp.com/album/the-spaceballs
Pete RingMaster 28/06/2017
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