Norm & the Nightmarez – Wild ‘n’ Rockin’

There is no denying if there is a sniff of psychobilly or rockabilly in a release we instinctively lick our lips and with real zeal if it comes under the moniker of Norm & the Nightmarez. The band has been the source of tracks and albums which have unerringly ignited our appetite for those and aligning genres past and present so you can imagine we had a spring in our step when the gent behind the outfit sent over their new 7” EP, Wild ‘n’ Rockin’ containing four rich slices of what Norm and co do best.

Northern Ireland born but living in Birmingham since the age of 4, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Norm Elliott has been stirring up the psychobilly scene long before his latest band was a spark of an idea. The eighties saw him step forward with The Phantom Zone, an outfit which supported the likes of Guana Batz, The Vibes, and The Sting-Rays in its time. Numerous other projects followed before Norm linked up with ex-Meteors/ex-Guana Batz bassist Mick White and Sharks drummer Paul ‘Hodge’ Leigh for Mickey & The Mutants, the band releasing the outstanding album, Touch The Madness in 2013. From there Norm created Norm & the Nightmarez and has released a pair of equally impressive albums in Psychobilly Infection of 2014 and Psychobilly D.N.A. two years later. There was rumours that the band might be calling it a day or at least on a hiatus but thankfully last year it was re-energised and now in fresh inspiring form as proven by Wild ‘n’ Rockin’.

The band’s sound has always been more adventurous than the psychobilly tag suggests. It is undoubtedly psychobilly bred, nurtured, and perpetually grounded in its first love but also keenly embraces the cleaner cut rockabilly from the fifties onwards as well as further diversity inspired by both styles. It is that fact which EP opener Too Rockabilly deals with; a song going eye to eye ball with all dismissing its imagination and rich flavouring as not psychobilly, presumably accusations the band has had to dismiss despite their music always doing the talking. The rousing track opens with a juicy rockabilly chord, immediately bursting into a swinging canter with rhythmic predation as melodic tendrils entangle ears and Norm’s vocals challenge. The throbbing double bass of Chrissy Royle alone had us bouncing, the ear clipping beats of Dave Prince egging on even greater participation whilst Norm had vocal chords in league and hips swinging to his melodic antics with ease. There are essences of Ray Campi meets The Sharks to the track but as always the case to date, it is a song pure Norm & the Nightmarez.

It is followed by Bop, a track living up to its name once initially teasing with a flirtatious guitar lure. Again the body was soon lost to its manipulation, its core hook infesting the psyche as rhythms again brought the bounce in body and spirit alive. As with the first, decades of rockabilly and especially its early Sun days are embraced in its psychobilly groove, the wondering if Johnny Burnette fronting The Meteors might sound something akin to this brought about by its attributes.

The B-side to the EP starts with Catwoman; its dark salacious antics immediately toying with the senses as the guitar courts and preys on the imagination. Primarily a deliciously seductive instrumental with melodic finesse and shadow clad threats crossed by almost portentous yet encouraging echoes of its title, the track needed little time to enslave.

That success was just as quickly inspired by the closing stomp of Lonely Avenue. Considering selling its soul from the off, the encounter gallops through ears reaping melodic rewards and dark temptations; the trio spinning a web of each with their inventive craft and enterprise. It might escape the clutches of the horned one but is a devil in itself and had ears hungry for more, addiction increasing with every devouring.

Among so many great previous tracks, the four within the Alan Wilson produced Wild ‘n’ Rockin’ just might be the most thrilling bunch yet from the band. Certainly with the great artwork of Sherrie Gunstone similarly flirting from the front cover, they are some of their most contagious and arousing. Rock ’n’ roll is indeed the devil’s music and Norm & the Nightmarez’s sounds quite possibly the most devilish of them all.

Wild ‘n’ Rockin’ is out now on 7″ coloured vinyl via Western Star; available @ https://western-star.tmstor.es/cart/product.php?id=37163

https://www.facebook.com/Normandthenightmarez/

Pete RingMaster 05/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Motel Transylvania – They Dig After Midnight

Promo Photo_RingMaster Review

If your local graveyard seems a bit dull, feeling a touch lifeless, then an invitation to Italian rockers Motel Transylvania and their new EP They Dig After Midnight will be sure to get things ravenously rocking again. Fusing horror punk and psychobilly in a salaciously dirty punk ‘n’ roll stomp, the Savona hailing trio whip up a keen revelry with their latest encounter, create a sonic hex able to get decayed bodies jerking in tandem with the moves of the living. It is raw, untamed, and an easy trigger for excitement over its wares and the open potential of the band to dig down to deeper success ahead.

Formed in the final throes of 2013, Motel Transylvania began as a solo project for stand-up drummer/vocalist Toxi Ghoul. Within a few months it had grown by two more corpses with the addition of bassist/backing vocalist Vec and guitarist Eli. Inspirations to the band’s sound include, unsurprisingly listening to They Dig After Midnight, Misfits, Zombie Ghost Train, Mad Sin, and Demented Are Go, whilst equally the likes of Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 and The Order Of The Fly spring to mind at times across the release. Fair to say though, the Motel Transylvania sound breeds its own character from that healthy mix of influences, resulting in a compelling and thoroughly enjoyable introduction for ears to their tenacious incitements.

From the scenery setting Intro and its dank atmosphere around cinematically gothic and carnival-esque suggestiveness, They Dig After Midnight explodes into life with the rousing Go Psycho! Rhythms and swipes of guitar grab ears from the first breath of the track, Toxi subsequently reinforcing the bait and hold with a solo roll of addictive beats before everything unites again in a heated invitation. The grizzly tones of his vocals growl just as potently as the bass of Vec drops an addiction lighting bassline through the fiery mist from Eli’s guitar, and though the track never explodes into rowdy life as it might it becomes more persistent in its catchy temptation with every rhythmic swing and caustic hook. There is a moment when a thought arose that if The Rezillos were psychobilly, they would sound something like this, a hint to the virulence and mischievous charm fuelling the encounter.

They Dig After Midnight_RingMaster Review   The track Motel Transylvania comes next and immediately makes a more forceful but equally infectious blaze of sound and intent. Group calls make an early pungent lure, they sparking the more belligerently energetic heart of the track within a body and nature carrying a contagious provocation with an always welcome Misfits scent to its grouchy temptation.

There is a great strength of variety within They Dig After Midnight, the first pair of songs quick evidence backed by the rockabilly revelry and psychobilly irritation of The Room. Like Guana Batz meets Norm and The Nightmarez whilst digging in a punk grave, the track rocks and rolls like a devil hound on heat. The bone splitting beats of Toxi are a prime instigator of the raucous toxicity fiercely pleasing ears with guitar and bass similarly devilish and antagonistic cohorts.

Summer In the Grave arrives on the sound of waves lapping a dark beach, the guitar carrying a matching tone in its surf lined charm as calm vocals caress ears. There is a devilish wink to the moment though, one which spins a subsequent slim bodied and irresistible Tiger Army meets Buzzcocks rock ‘n’ roll tale with a further glint in its punkish eye. Its warm light within romancing shadows is a thrilling proposal quickly contrasted by the carnivorous temptation of Night of the Living Dead. Graves are emptied as The Meteors toned predation spins a deliciously essential hook as a core to rapacious grooves and hungrily badgering rhythms, they matched by the rabid urgency and snarl of the vocals. The track is glorious, one of the biggest highlights of the album especially with its venomous swagger midway setting up another tempest of savage rock ‘n roll.

It is a triumph more than matched by It’s Not So Bad, the band’s recent single. Slipping in on a heavy noir coated bassline, becoming more vocal with another of the irresistible hooks and grooved enterprise the band has already shown themselves to be potent at sculpting, the song is like a skeletal tango. Its elements unite to form and wrap the song’s volatile frame, offering individual dances in the making of one boisterous romp. There is an old black and white animated film showing skeletons in a demented shuffle, bones twisting and coming unravelled but simultaneously performing an increasingly compelling devilry; It’s Not So Bad is a sonic equivalent.

The release closes with I Wanna Be Your Ghoul, a Morricone-esque croon within a sultry climate scattered with spicy hooks for a dark blood-coated romance for the imagination. It is not a track which grabs the psyche and passions as forcibly as its companions within They Dig After Midnight though but still only pleases as it reveals another strain of imagination in the Motel Transylvania songwriting and sound.

As They Dig After Midnight infests ears for another thoroughly enjoyable romp whilst writing final thoughts, expectations are that Motel Transylvania has all the potential to grow into a formidable and even more striking proposition, and no doubt with plenty more successes like this littering the way.

They Dig After Midnight will be dug up and unleashed on December 18th via Undead Artists.

https://www.facebook.com/moteltransylvania/    https://twitter.com/MotelTransylvan

Pete RingMaster 17/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Norm And The Nightmarez – Psychobilly Infection

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     “From within the thighs of hell’s most wanton temptress, a tempest of psychobilly grooves and rockabilly hooks will converge upon mankind to turn its existence into one incessant stomp of devilish predation and virulent demonic revelry.”

Obviously that is not one of the more well-known pestilences deemed suitable to be included in religious teachings but if it was, it would go under the name of Norm & The Nightmarez and debut album Psychobilly Infection. Thirteen tracks of wickedly contagious and warped rock ‘n’ roll cultured with rockabilly seeded guitar and psychotic imagination, the release is a storming slab of rapacious psychobilly which sets a new provocative and sinisterly sculpted template for emerging genre bands.

Hailing from Birmingham, Norm And The Nightmarez is the creation of vocalist/guitarist Norm Elliot. From first band The Phantom Zone in the eighties, the musician has played in a few bands, last year most notably Mickey & The Mutants where he linked up with ex-Meteors/ex-Guana Batz bassist Mick White and Sharks drummer Paul ‘Hodge’ Leigh. The trio released the outstanding album Touch The Madness, a release it was hard to see anything bettering in UK psychobilly for a long-time to come but then we did not foresee Norm & The Nightmarez preying on the passions. Completed by drummer Frank Creamer (ex- Colbert Hamilton & the Hellrazors) and double bassist Mark Bending (ex-Sgt Bilko’s Krazy Combo) for the Western Star released album, the band embraces the decades of rockabilly infusing their ripest essences into the insatiable jaws of old school bred psychobilly irreverence and invention. It is a varied and riveting incitement which steals the will of everything from feet through to emotions, taking all on a skilful and hungry romp of mischievous enterprise.

Produced by Alan Wilson, the album is straight away gnawing on the senses with opener Stompin in My Grave, its initial earth encrusted riffs immediate potent bait to which the wrist flicking rhythms of Creamer and the dark hearted slaps of Bending add even juicier lures. Unfurling around a repetitive hook led by Elliot’s guitar, his potent vocals colour the imagination with their lyrical enticement. A flame of melodic scorching also adds a rich hue before the song takes a breather, allowing the listener’s body one too before it revs up its hypnotic suasion all over again.

The addictive start is swiftly matched by The Mischief Maker, a dark hearted slice of intimidation with robust basslines and sultry grooves which enslave attentions whilst beats slowly bruise the senses. Whether unleashing a keen gait normandthenightmarezpsychobillyinfectioncdor stalking ears, the track is an incendiary protagonist to give a blissful appetite further hungry urges which are rapidly fed by the acidic twang of The Lights Went Out. There is a scorched country-esque lilt to the invigorating prowl, the guitar of Elliot entwining ears with citric melodies and pungent hooks whilst vocally he snarls with a grizzled tone which sparks perfectly off of the heated climate of the song. The track has whispers of Tiger Army and The Quakes to its rich imposing breath but as with all songs no matter the hints it stands alone as something distinct to album and Norm And The Nightmarez.

The title track, though living up to its title, is rockabilly spawned even with its slight punkish nature. The bass and guitars sculpt a weave of riff and lures which play with body and soul like a sly puppeteer, twisting and turning imagination and passions inside out for a fevered submission. Its contagion lingers far beyond its stay though both Nightmare and Ton Up ensure in their company it is a distant memory at least. The first of the two right away triggers thoughts of The Reverend Horton Heat and Matchbox with flavourings of Johnny Burnette and Hasil Adkins also spicing the fiery encounter. Rhythmically and sonically the song entrances before the adrenaline rampage of its successor rumbles across the senses. Beats descend on ears with an unrelenting coaxing whilst the bass call of Bending brings delicious dark textures to the irresistible road trip. Elliot as ever commands the scenery with his vocals and guitar exploits whilst the trio unite for another ridiculously compelling and magnetic parade of roguish rockabilly incitement.

The flirtatious Sex Kitten teases senses with a salacious sexuality next, its smouldering grooves and sensual melodic curves as infectious as they are seductive. There is no denying a certain Stray Cats swagger to the song but also a danger to its stroll which could be compared to something with the edge of Guana Batz and addictiveness of Gene Vincent. It is an inescapable persuasion though one soon left in the shadow of the wonderful instrumental Devil Girl From Mars. There is something poetic to an intensively crafted piece of psychobilly music with its primal predation and sonic toxicity, and certainly it comes with no finer shape and beauty than here. Imagine a blend of The Tornadoes and The Frantic Flintstones and you get a whiff of its virulent might.

Both Pardon Me and The Past is a Place that I Just Can’t Go have energies and passions in a raw riot of pleasure, the first with its caustic sonic grazing and thumping rhythmic enticement whilst the following track stretches a menacing bait over ears again with jagged riffs, pulsating throaty slaps, and ear crowding beats. As impressive as its predecessor was, the second of the pair is another merciless encroaching on freedom with its rhythmic slavery, melodic venom, and vocal rapacity. It is impossible to choose a track which stands out over the rest on the album but this is always a forceful contender.

The fun filled Elvis Was a Zombie keeps things stomping along nicely and though it lacks the spark of other tracks for personal tastes it is impossible to dismiss because of that mischief and its rhythmic badgering. Its paler presence is soon swamped by the brilliant closing of the album. Massacre at Devils Plain with its Native American croon and howls over a gritty stride of sonic stabs and heavy footed rhythms, sets the imagination alight next whilst final song The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, leaves Psychobilly Infection on arguably its highest pinnacle. Bursting from a sample from the film of the same name, the track is a psychobilly irritant at its most potent and brilliant. It is a predator of a track, rhythms climbing all over the senses whilst guitar and vocals stir up the imagination with rich imposing hues. It is fair to say the song has elements of The Meteors all over it; The Hills Have Eyes springing to mind, but again Norm And The Nightmarez defuse any comparisons with their distinct invention and adventure.

From start to finish there is no escaping the might and sheer glory of Psychobilly Infection and the emergence of a brand new creative devil in our midst, though whether the UK, come to that the world is ready for Norm And The Nightmarez and their hellacious tempting only time will tell.

Psychobilly Infection is available now via Western Star Recordings @ http://www.western-star.co.uk/western-star-releases—cds_36/psychobilly-infection—norm-and-the-nightmarez_146.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/Normandthenightmarez

10/10

RingMaster 29/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Howling Bullets – Ghoul County

photo: Lily Lemonpie

photo: Lily Lemonpie

With a blood thirst to their invention and predatory stench to their sounds, Canadian horror rock band The Howling Bullets return with new EP Ghoul County to resume their preying on the psyche. Following their excellent From The Public Domain EP of 2012, the new six track stalking is a ravenous expanse of horror rock, psychobilly, and country punk unleashed in diverse permutations and uncompromising passion.

Hailing from the darkest corners of Toronto, The Howling Bullets came together around 2011, DanO Villano and Jordan Sane coming together a little earlier to write and expand on songs the former had already been working on. Soon a full band The Public Domain EP brought the band to closer attention beyond their strong local reputation including an internet presence which brought them to hunger of shows like The Bone Orchard at www.audioburger.com. A line-up change brought in guitarist Seanbelly Sewell alongside the dual attack of vocalists and bassists Sane and Villano later that year with Alvin Lapp joining on drums. Shows and festival appearances alongside the likes of Christian D and the Hangovers, Owen Mays, Bloodshot Bill, The Brains, Koffin Kats, The House Of Haunt and many more, only enhanced their stature and the appetite for their fiery horror bred sounds. April of this year saw the current line-up in place with Elena Red taking control of the rhythms with her stick mystique and now September 27th sees the next instalment of The Howling Bullets bloody alchemy set loose.

The EP growls into view with Ghoul County Limits, a carnivorous bass riff drawing in the equally rapacious guitars and rhythmic lashing 1291623_10153251806110361_950545741_nof Red. A hunger driven intensity and stroll to the song provides an unrelenting temptation which is raised further by the great vocals, the two frontman trading verses, and the melodic flames which flare up across the contagious charge. Like a meat clad bone before a hound the horror punk introduction to the release is potent bait, its equally delicious psychobilly tonic only increasing its lure and grip on awakening passions.

The addiction causing start is followed by Zombie Bat, a rampage which takes its lead from its predecessor in showing no thoughts of restraint in the riffs and rhythmic enticement. In its gait and invention the song twists, turns, and stops at a whim to show immediate diversity whilst keeping the senses and appetite greedily attentive and wrapped in unpredictable seduction. There is a familiarity to the swagger and tone of the song it has to be said, and though saying Misfits is too easy but certainly there is a sense of that flavour of horror rock at mischievous play.

Cold Cold Skin shimmers from its opening breath with a sonic guitar mist which rains down on the emerging prowl and intimidation of the song whilst caressing the imagination. There is a Samhain growl and menace to the song from the start which only ignites greater rapture for the already impressive release. Equipped with blues fumes and an uncompromising snarl, the slowly stomping burn of the track traps the passions with a blaze of guitar blues excellence in the midst of the predacious smothering of the senses, the result a seizure of the passions from the persuasive offering.

The heat is turned up with the scintillating instrumental The Djinn, a middle Eastern surf rock blaze of grumbling rhythms and tight acidic enterprise coaxed and goaded by the ever riveting dual bass attack. Wrapped in chilling mystique and dangerous melodic enchantment the piece of music is another irresistible magnet making the perfect appetiser for the best track on Ghoul County, the ravenous New Age Hex. Adrenaline fuelled with a certain punk rabidity to its Cramps like gnawing of the psyche, the track is as virulently infectious as it is skilfully intimidating, and over far too soon for these greedy passions. Impossible for feet and voice not to join in its devilry, the song lands enjoyably somewhere between Guana Batz and King Kurt in sound and as mentioned The Cramps in its rawer lining of epidemic suasion.

The closing That Hellbound Train enters into the realm of country rock for its ghostly tale of a railroad haunting. Now country music for us is as welcome as an octogenarian stripper but with its more of an outlaw cowpunk spicing and excellent guitar work it is a very pleasing finale to an excellent release, even if not quite igniting the fires inside of other songs on the EP.

For prime rockabilly/horror rock with a multifarious depth of flavours and imagination, The Howling Bullets has crafted one of the true exciting dangerous adventures, but are you brave enough to enter Ghoul County .

http://www.thehowlingbullets.com/

9/10

RingMaster 26/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Rocking the restless…introducing Bottle Cap Rockets

 

BottleCapRockets: Al Gross and Chris Wolfer  with drummer Johnny Powers

BottleCapRockets: Al Gross and Chris Wolfer with drummer Johnny Powers

Sometimes you listen to a band for the first time and there is a glint in the eye of their sound, maybe a swagger of confidence to its persuasion which leaves a lingering presence which coaxes and insists you return to their melodic arms time and time again. So it was with US rockabilly band Bottle Cap Rockets. Listening to just one song ignited a spark of hunger and suspicion that this is a band heading for satisfyingly potent horizons. Obviously music is never a friendly beast for bands and often fails to deliver deserved rewards but with their impressive rockabilly sound veined by a rich and varied spicery of flavours and invention, you can only feel Bottle Cap Rockets are set for a heady ascent.

The band was formed in 2010 by vocalist/guitarist Al Gross, the band’s songwriter. Recruiting bassist/backing vocalist Chris Wolfer to complete the core of the band, with several different drummers recruited to make a trio for gigs, Gross was soon working on songs for the debut  release, First Seven which came out in August of last year. Based in Ringwood, New Jersey, Bottle Cap Rockets did not take long to grab attention and a strong local reputation for their blend of Americana fifties style rock and rockabilly with at times a passionate country lilt, which is no surprise when you fall into the embrace of their songs. Since forming the band has earned many highlights including Go Ape coveropening for Eric Lindell at Mexicali Live in Teaneck NJ, playing the legendary Maxwell’s of Hoboken, and being part of the Roxy & Dukes Rockabilly Rally in Dunellen NJ, where they shared a stage with the likes of Nikki Hill, The Ultra Kings, and Crash Gordon with Debra Dynamite on vocals. Now working towards new release Go Ape with a planned early 2014 release, Bottle Cap Rockets’ stock is in an open ascendency which when looking at some of their songs it is not really a surprise.

As mentioned they have a great diversity to their invention and music which by just looking at a quartet of songs you sense the depth of the songwriting and vision. If you immerse yourself in the sultry warmth of We Never Said Goodbye, the band soon treats the ear to a melodic haze of tender yet energetic mastery. The song has a smouldering glaze to its caresses which wrap an eager tempo and the excellent vocals of Gross ably complemented by the equally absorbing tones of Wolfer. Like a mix of Roy Orbison and Link Wray with a whisper of Nick Lowe, and all veined by compelling guitar flames around the infectious call of the song’s core, the serenade is an instantaneously temptation which leaves resistance a void option.

Black Eldorado offers a feisty dirtier proposition but no less magnetic and contagious. With a harder rock edge to its compelling musical and lyrical narrative, the song finds a more of a Dave Edmunds stroll to its delicious hot persistence. Again the song has an even tempo which makes no demands but secures full submission but equally there is an incendiary strength and muscle to the track which leaves no thought and passion unlit.

It has to be said that for all the great tracks we have heard from the band, Can’t Stop The Bleeding is the show stopper, and just recently brought the audience to their bloodlusting feet when being featured on The Bone Orchard podcast at www.audioburger.com. Unleashing a snarl and rapacious stalking which verges more on psychobilly than rockabilly, the song prowls and taunts the imagination with an irresistible growl of predacious riffs and rhythmic enslavement, whilst its chorus is pure virulence. Like the Stray Cats meeting Black Frame Spectacle and Guana Batz on a blood splattered shadowed street corner, the slice of intimidating devilry is one of the best rock ‘n’ roll tracks of past years..

Looking at one more song to show the strength of the band’s invention, I Don’t Love You is a hungry slap of rockabilly cast with another addiction causing chorus which punches things up a gear to launch a full rabid charge of energy and an attack of exciting confrontation. The version of the song we heard was a live cut of a track set to appear on Go Ape which only lights a real hunger to see the band in performance, which on the evidence of this lone song looks like being a memorable and sweaty treat, and for the upcoming release.

The future release of Go Ape has a big appetite and anticipation to satisfy from fans and growing media awareness, but you get the feeling Bottle Cap Rockets will take on and defeat the challenge with ease if their earlier tracks are accurate teasers.

Check out the tracks above at http://www.reverbnation.com/algrossthebottlecaprockets and find out more about Bottle Cap Rockets and all their upcoming live shows at http://bottlecaprockets.com/

RingMaster 26/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Kings Of Outer Space – How To Fly A Rocket

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There is not a great deal we can tell you about UK rockabillies The Kings Of Outer Space, but one thing we can declare with loud confidence is that their new album How To Fly A Rocket is one exhilarating trip you will just want to climb on board with. Hailing from Bristol, the quintet has earned a fine reputation for their live performances, invigorating sound, and their impressive debut album Cosmic Debris. Released via Western Star Records, as its predecessor, the new album offers thirteen riotous dances of irrepressible and addiction causing temptation, rockabilly brought with passionate mischief and riveting enterprise. There is no pretence to be what it is not; the album and its tantalising contents just honest fun driven rock ‘n’ roll at its exciting best.

Themed from the likes of science fiction sexual teasing through to shadow draped mysteries with numerous energetic exploits in WSRC073_300between, How To Fly A Rocket takes barely seconds to have ear, senses, feet not forgetting emotions engaged and belted up for the soaring journey of opener P.G.I.T.U. Introduced with a galactic announcement, the song instantly cups the ear with a delicious melodic tease of guitar with swipes of muscular rhythms drawing in the excellent upright bass croon brought by Greggsy and the great vocals of Giggsy. Straight away you know what you are going to get from song and album, the uncluttered and precise devilry of the guitars and their irresistible hooks matched by a rhythmic seduction. Feet and voice is the song’s plaything pretty much from its opening and chords too, whilst the track impressively manages to have a familiarity to it but also a fresh originality. Not for the first time on the album the band offers essences of other genres with a subtle craft, punk and country just two spices which add ingenious individuality to tracks and release.

The next up 44 opens with an accordion dance provided by guest Ian Norrys, a Parisian breath toying with the opening romp of beats and guitar coaxing from Mickey and Matt. Straight away it offers a distinctively different treat, the variation continuing across the album with each song having its own character and personal toxicity for the heart. From the canter of the second track the album next steps into the menacing mystique of Fall From Grace, the shadowed romance of danger embellished with an excellent harmonica flame from another guest musician in Paul Lynch. Paced by equally heated guitar craft and the rhythmic stepping of drummer Steve, the union makes for a countryesque slightly Cajun invitation which only stokes the fires all the more.

The following Daggertrap twists around the senses with a psychobilly and surf rock mix, the instrumental one of those pieces which has feet hoofing across the floor and emotions in close attention as it lingers welcomingly long after departure, the same which can be said of the excellent Monkey Alarm. Impossibly contagious the track is an old school rockabilly cored slice of rapacious recruitment of the emotions. With an impossible to resist joining chorus and a rampant energy to its stomp, the track is another infection drenched pinnacle with the diablerie of King Salami & The Cumberland Three and the punk grit of Guan Batz.

Both Watch Me Burn and Creepy Crawl keep the release on the highest plateau, the first with a more antagonistic attitude to vocals and its darker but still magnetic sound whilst its successor is a tantalising prowl of sinisterly goings on brought to the imagination upon a gliding shadow and brooding almost taunting seductive tones. There is no decline in thrills with the easy going Cochran like Haunted Man or the smouldering Smilin’ Eyes either whilst the brilliant Cosmic Thrust just climbs up another rung with its rhythmic shuffling and melodic fascination embroiled in more rockabilly enslavement. The warning groove which erupts halfway through sends the track into the deepest reaches of rapture, its Buzzcocks like toxin pure discord touching manna.

From the enticing country twanging Long Dry Summer the album bows out with the space dwelling glories of     Moon Buggy Baby and Rocket Ride, the first a planetary crossing love affair with Gene Vincent guile, and a touch of cheesiness   which just works, and the final song a simple but energised contagion again merging vintage rockabilly and surf rock into a potent fascination. How To Fly A Rocket is nothing less than pure joy, a release which also touches thoughts of band such as The Stargazers, Mickey & The Mutants, The Ghastly Ones, and The Phenomenauts but stands distinctly as The Kings Of Outer Space at the end of the day…a great album for good times.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kings-Of-Outer-Space/110452709023793

9.5/10

RingMaster 10/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Mickey & The Mutants: Touch The Madness

picture by Cathy Bloxham

picture by Cathy Bloxham

If anything from psychobilly to fifties rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly to rhythms & blues gets your feet and heart eagerly moving than we just might have the album of the year for you in the mighty shape of Touch The Madness, the debut release of UK rockers Mickey & The Mutants. Multi-flavoured and insatiably contagious, the album is a storming slab of mutated rock ‘n’ roll brought with all the craft and devilish guile you would expect from the experience and invention of its creators.

Mickey & The Mutants is made up of double bassist/vocalist Mick White (ex-Guana Batz and ex-Meteors from the Mutant Rock/Wrecking Crew and arguably best era of the band), guitarist/vocalist Norm Elliott, and Sharks drummer Paul ‘Hodge’ Leigh. It is a trio which on past history we admit we here had greedy expectations of but with Touch The Madness they surpassed everything wished for with a wonderful devilment borne from honest uncomplicated rock music. Formed in the summer of last year the band, on the evidence of their debut, only has the single intent and that is to provide an unforgettable, high quality, bruising party for the senses and passions, something they succeed in doing within the first three songs alone and reinforce time and time again across the twelve track release.

The title track opens up the excursion through the ‘bedlamic’ enterprise’ and imagination of the band, a lone guitar and distant WSRC072_300psychotic wails displaced by a barrage of rumbling beats from Hodge and sabre like riffs from Elliott. Amongst their instant persuasion the nimble fingers of White bring throaty bass slaps into the mix and slightly crazed vocals which within the devil bred brew being cast recalls The Orson Family in touch. The song is pure psychobilly and an evocation of primal urgency to join its hungry commanding mood. The track also gives portent of the album ahead, its body a twisting and varied temptation that has limbs and voice offering their well in our case, feeble blasphemous help.

The following Elvirista (Queen Of The Dead) teases with again a single coaxing of guitar before once more the rhythmic potency of the thumping drums and belligerent bass provoke and fill the song with such depth and menace you feel you are about to succumb to aural voodoo. The vocals of this time Elliott, the vocalist within songs being who penned them, have a dark demonic shadow to their narrative which like and with White before, brings great character to each slice of devilry and the release as a whole. The track smoulders with wanton seduction and enchanting intimidation which again receives no resistance as it takes passions into realms of rapture.

These Ol’ Bones explores a country rock seeded field of compulsion which sounds like a mix of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and The Screaming Blue Messiahs, whilst veining itself with some tantalising blues guitar licks and flames which ignites further the immense pleasure the impossibly addictive song has already sparked. It completes one of the strongest starts to any album in a long time, but it does not sit back on its laurels or take a rest as the excellent Jacob And The Well Of Love and its successor Something Bad’s Comin’ Outa The Ground soon show. The first also walks with a rhythm & blues swagger and lilt to its mesmeric stroll whilst the second of the pair is a slow canter around another blues narrative that leaves the lips of satisfaction licking feverishly.

Adrenaline soon opens its boosters again as the old school stroll of Blonde Haired Assassin takes the ears in its Gene Vincent/Blue Cats like palm of sound. Not for the first time on the album the guitar of Elliott is a delicious blaze across the sky of the song whilst White leaps over the senses with his upright skills and Hodge simply hypnotises from start to finish with instinctive rhythmic bait.

If the album stopped here it would be fair to say acclaim would still only ooze from these words but thankfully it is only midway into its rewards and soon raises the temperature further with firstly the contagious punk driven Rock n Roll Messed Up My Mind and even more so with Phantom Of The Opera. The second of the two is to all extent and purposes a cover of the Meteor gem on their Wreckin Crew album of 1983, though as it was written by White anyway maybe cover is the wrong word,  nevertheless he has just reowned it with the stunning version on Touch The Madness which we would suggest surpasses the previous version, it is that good and still one of the most riveting psychobilly songs of all time.

Burn You Sinners Burn just stomps over the already seduced heart with another dark toned piece of rockabilly majesty, White and Hodge creating a menacing wrap of rhythmic menace psychotically ridden by the vocals of Elliot and his sweet toned guitar caresses. It is pure aural manna which is sidled up to in quality by the sultry and dangerous mystique of Kiss Of The Spider Woman. Winds of surf rock wash over mariachi whispers to draw out a sweltering ambience which soaks every pore of the body and senses.

The album ends on the twin psychobilly enticement of Zombie where every aspect of band and sound stalks the passions with all the relentlessness of the risen dead, the song feeding off on the eagerly given submission to its virulently infectious jaws, and the insatiable Mind Control, the only time the band really reminded of The Meteors. It has to be said expectations to like Touch The Madness were strong but to the depth that we did was wholly unexpected and greedily taken. Mickey & The Mutants has opened its account with a killer album, one which is not quite up there with the major genre classic but easily one of the very best rock ‘n’ roll albums heard in a long time.

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10/10

RingMaster 23/07/2013

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