Johnny Throttle: Johnny Throttle

Infectiously nostalgic, energetically unbridled, and irrepressibly excitable the self titled album from UK punks Johnny Throttle is the perfect album. Yes if you analysed it there are edges and elements that could be ‘improved’ but the point of music is to exhilarate, inspire, and give a good time and Johnny Throttle do this in abundance. There are plenty of good punk bands out there right now but there is nothing finer than real 70s punk and with this influencing the heart and attitude oozing vein of Johnny Throttle, there is no finer a bunch of punk reprobates than Johnny Quid and his cohorts.

Released on Dirty Water Records the album is a flurry of immediate and eager stabs of punk that light up the senses and revitalise old hearts and ambitions. Formed by ex-Parkinsons front-man Afonso Pinto (Johnny Quid), and aided by guitarist Hermano J, bassist Rory Seminal, and drummer Ricky C, their pedigree as ex-members of the likes of Menace, The Shakin Nasties, the Jackoffs, the Chinese Lungs, the Stains and Urban Shocks undeniable, Johnny Throttle go straight for the throat with blistering ill tempered sarcastic diamonds of sound and attitude. The band and each track offers up twin fingered salutes to whoever is in their aim and intent, it is garage punk without complications but bursting with vibrant riffs and catchy hook laden venom.

From the opening Heartbreakers/Ramones like Lost Sputnik the album lights up the senses and heart.  Song after song high energy and brief concussive blasts rolls through the ear with contempt and belligerence. The first track though spiky and forceful is probably the least rampant on offer but shows pop punks of today more than a thing or two on how to do it. Throughout the album Johnny Throttle or songs remind of or hint at other bands but the overriding similarity they have is to The Cortinas, a sadly overlooked band from the 70s.  The vocals of Quid have a definite Jeremy Valentine sound and both bands have a defined handle on creating irresistible hooks and melodies within their barbed tunes.

This review could go on for pages there is so much that could be said about and praised upon Johnny Throttle. It has been a long time since an album has thrilled as thoroughly from first track to last and there are fourteen classics here. If you want a taster before falling into the tempestuous arms of the album than first head to songs like the incessant longing of Ann or The Vibrators like Love Me Till I Come a spattered lust fuelled two minutes and a touch. There is also the cheerful sing-a-long casting aside of I Wanna Be Your Ex or the very early Blondie/Buzzcocks/Cute Lepers eager simple melodies of Heart Of Stone available and as sure to entice. Let us be honest here, every track will grab and pull you into their siren like well of essential punk and garage rock.

Johnny Throttle as one anticipates does not shy away from the controversial either saving that for the best song on the album in the brilliant Spazztastic. It defies anyone not to join in with its addictive chorus and heart tingling riffs. With a bass from Seminal to lose fluids over the song is immense and its brevity the only complaint, but leave them wanting more right?

Johnny Throttle is an album that revives the heart of true punk music and punks, its heart a reminder of days when things had an intensity and breath that has since dissipated, well until this band arrived came along. They have not only reminded of but ignited the heyday of punk and taken it forward with an album so impressive and enjoyable that one does not need to dig out those old vinyls, the new breed is here and its name is Johnny Throttle.

RingMaster 20/02/2012

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Dick Venom & The Terrortones – Rockin Rollin Vampire Man

With a warm smouldering glow deep inside the new EP from Dick Venom & The Terrortones is placed in the slot and the play button pushed by an eager excited finger. It has been a long long time since a psychobilly release has passed this way, a form of music that brings tingles that most genres can only aspire to at The Ringmaster Review. But can this UK quartet fulfil this anticipation or disappoint to bring an anti-climax?

The Rockin Rollin Vampire Man EP is a gem, from the moment the first track flexes its sweat soaked mischievous pecs the release courts and seduces the senses with honest graveyard rock ‘n’ roll.  Actually the press release calls this a double A-side single of ‘Rockin Rollin Vampire Man’/ ‘Sticky Pants Trance’ but with a third track included too I am sure they will excuse us calling it an EP.

Consisting of Dick Venom, Vicky Twist, Sugar Beats, and Wrex St Clair the band have a insatiable garage/rockabilly/psychobilly sound evolved through a nasty flesh violated union between the likes of The Cramps, Heartbreakers, Reverend Horton Heat and Demented Are Go. It is a glorious tease upon the senses and an instinctive instigator of the body’s rhythms, essential rock ‘n’ roll. The quartet has sucked energy and blood from audiences all over the UK sharing stages with the likes of The Meteors, The Radiacs, and Vince Ray & The Boneshakers and this EP instantly nurtures the need and want to catch the band live as for all the excitement generated on the release you just know they on stage is a totally different experience.

Sticky Pants Trance’ ~(we’ve all been there right?) opens up proceedings with a Cramps spawned garage punk energised sound and pulse racing rockabilly urgency. You can add a touch of early Birthday Party and Meteors to this but for all the comparisons and references that openly ooze the finished sound s are all Dick Venom & The Terrortones. The guitars chop greedily across the senses as the bass throbs like a wanton beast on heat whilst Venom spits and writhes with words as he thrusts the messy fun filled lyrics forth.  The rest of the release could be crap and it would not matter thanks to this excellent opener.

Of course the remaining tracks only get better. ‘Rockin Rollin Vampire Man’ is the best track on the EP, irresistible and hypnotic. With a wonderful lustful and inviting drum beat alongside a grumbling bass the song  hooks its seductive nails in firmly. This opening reminds one remarkably closely of a Zanti Misfits song ‘Kidz Songs’ (look it up) from the 80’s and it is hard to think of a better beginning to a song.  The track also carries the dark energy of 80’s band Bone Orchard and sweeps one up in its pulsating scrawny arms in a blood fuelled dance.  The track is psychobilly majesty that will bring deep smiles and longing desire from all fans of the genre.

Dirty Heartbreakers flavoured rock’ n’ roll lines the final track ‘Lilly & The Killers’, its beginning coming with a spice reminding of ‘Chinese Rocks’. As always Venom conjures a tale with his words inspiring crypt borne imagery and dangerous romance. Brief, straightforward, and direct the song is the perfect closure for a stunning release. I tried to find fault somewhere but it is impossible. Yes music like this finds a relatively narrow market, its delights and death drawn mischief a mystery and confusion for many but if you have tasted the wells of rockabilly and psychobilly and grown appreciative fangs then Dick Venom & The Terrortones will soon be an addition to your favourites folder.

Rockin Rollin Vampire Man and the decayed treasures within are simply manna from the cemetery and the cause of impatient anticipation for much more from the band. UK psychobilly is in safe hands, we can all rest in peace for that.
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RingMaster 26/01/2012

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Dick Venom & The Terrortones – Sticky Pants Trance

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