The Spaceballs – Self-Titled

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 @

Pete RingMaster 28/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

BigDix: Joanna & the Devil

Joanna & the Devil from Italian rockers BigDix is an album which despite its inconsistency still offers a pleasing party for the ear. The band with a name it is impossible to ignore or keep school boy humour at bay from, takes the listener through a boisterous spree of blues and hard rock brought with some mischievous psychedelic tendencies upon their album, the release simple rock n roll to have fun with.

The band formed in 2010 with the intention of blending original rock and blues with a heavy dose of hard rock. The following year saw the release of their debut album Kiss My Ace, which like their latest release was recorded at Tanzan Music Studio. It was well received though the band was set back a little with the departure of vocalist Pietro Peroni. Now with the settled line-up of Matteo “Icio” Idini (lead vocals, guitar), Fabio “Colva” Corradi (guitar, lap steel, dobro, background vocals), Mattia “Boky” Mosconi (bass, background vocals), and Marco Idini (drum, percussion), the band has returned with cylinders firing with Joanna & the Devil to easily please their fans and garner plenty more one suspects.

The album starts with the teasing You Make Me Crazy, an easy going eager slab of rock n roll. The song alone suggests the band is one who has no delusions of being anything more than a feel good and accomplished rock band. The whole album confirms it and it is this honesty which makes the release a good fun companion. As with the album overall, the song is simple but crafted with skill, its presence a feast of keen energy and pulse racing rock sounds.

As mentioned the release is uneven across its length but with tracks like the following uncomplicated hard rock track Change the Way it is impossible not to fully engage with it more often than not. The excellent cover of the Dennis Linde written Elvis Presley hit Burning Love is another feisty treat of aural pleasure, the band not doing more than giving it extra steel and energy but making it sparkle. Featuring a great solo from guest guitarist Mario Percudani of the band Hungryheart, the song is one of the t highlights of the album.

Songs like Believe, the woozy Psychedelic Blues, and the fragile ballad Time for Love, do not light any fires mainly due to personal taste, but one can appreciate the composing and their presentation. They just do not fire up anything more than nodding respect though, something which cannot be applied to the trio of songs which mark the second half of the album.

Firstly there is the lustful So Hot, a song which is as lusty as the title suggests and takes great pleasure from it. A straight forward rock song with a tongue firmly in its cheek it is another slice of fun to light up the album. The following Devil’s Blues and The Black Man are the triumph of the album, both muscular tracks with plenty of rippling passion. The first is another blues driven song which from its early narrative like scene setting turns into a mix of scorched guitars and beckoning rhythms veined with sizzling grooves. Its successor is a robust brew of attitude driven riffs and air blistering melodic enterprise, its blues breath smouldering in the ear and sparking the air. It is the most complete song on the album and the best.

Joanna & the Devil is an enjoyable album which even with its broken levels of quality is still a release any rock and blues fan should take a look at, as when it is on fire it is very easy to spend lots of time with.

RingMaster 15/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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