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

Norm And The Nightmarez – Psychobilly D.N.A.

N&TN_RingMasterReview

After the stomping triumph of their debut album two years ago, anticipation here for a successor from Norm And The Nightmarez was always heading towards the lustful side. Psychobilly Infection was a devilish treat of the trio’s distinctive multi-flavoured psychobilly; a rousingly virulent bout of “wickedly contagious and warped rock ‘n’ roll” which Psychobilly D.N.A. has now only gone and eclipsed.

The Norm And The Nightmarez sound is a magnetic blend of old school psychobilly drawing on and infusing the heart and creative blood of early day and beyond rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll. Formed by guitarist/vocalist Norm Elliott (Mickey & The Mutants/ Phantom Zone/ The Bionic Krugerrands), the Birmingham based band’s line-up is a fluid proposition around the core of Norm and his lively and imaginative songwriting, as further evidenced by his solo single She last year. For Psychobilly D.N.A., Norm has enticed the striking craft and enterprise of drummer Paul Mummery and double bassist Nile ‘The Rev’ Robbins; a threesome which just feels like they were meant to be as the album sparks the instincts from start to finish.

Inspirations to Norm include the likes of The Meteors, The Cramps, Johnny and Dorsey Burnette, and plenty of artists making up the Sun Records catalogue as well as various rockabilly and psychobilly offerings over the decades. They are essences which proudly and uniquely spice up Psychobilly D.N.A. from start to finish, immediately teasing ears within opener Thank You Very Much. A tribute to Elvis, the track is a contagion of anthemic beats and spicy grooves around Norm’s vocal homage. Within seconds hips are swinging and feet a blur to the lively temptation pouring from the speakers, vocal chords swiftly engaged too as the rockabilly nurtured track provides a collage of stirring enterprise bred by the trio.

The following Misery is just as forcibly infectious, its psychobilly instincts colluding with tangy melodies while being driven by the pulsating slaps of The Rev on darkly taut strings. Vocally Norm is as inviting and potent as his flair with grooves and hooks; it all matched by the eagerly landing beats of Mummery as smile sparking humour fuels the lyrical heart of the encounter. As its predecessor, the song quickly enslaves attention and enjoyment before Bury Me With My Guitar reinforces the album’s already firm hold with swinging rhythms and nagging riffs. A web of inescapable and inventive hooks invading body and imagination like a mix of The Polecats and Tiger Army infested by the spirit of Johnny Burnette, the track is a glorious trespass dictating movement and pleasure with ease.

cover_RingMasterReviewThe album’s title track steps up next, providing its own invasive catchiness and irresistible demand on the senses and limbs. The vocal backing of The Rev and Mummery is as sinisterly flavoursome as Norm’s lead as darkly toxic groves and niggly riffs all add with instinct rousing rhythms to psychobilly manna for ears and appetite.

That hunger for the album’s body and spirit ailment is instantly nourished again by the opening of The Sun Burned Down, The Rev’s shadow soaked bass line pure temptation soon joined by just as flavoursome crisp beats and the toxic beauty of guitar melody. Narrating the demise of planet earth, they combine like a final sultry sunset, seducing with portentous beauty as Norm’s vocals echo their apocalyptic radiance.

It Made Me Lose My Mind surrounds the listener next, its rhythmic palpitation alone a delicious infestation infused with the psychotic grooves of Norm while the following and irrepressible Wild Wild Woman carries a great Gene Vincent / The Shakin’ Pyramids groove before the band spice up Voodoo Street with some early Stray Cats sultriness. All three show the variety honed within and shaping the album and its creatively energetic character, a success nailed down once more in the unquenchable flirtation of the sci-fi bred Timeslip where hooks and grooves command as rhythms control whilst throughout Norm takes the imagination on a time defusing romance for yet another impossible to resist defeat of inhibitions.

Old school textures wind around psychobilly seducing for The Devil’s Gate next, its smouldering atmosphere as blood red as the dark moon shining upon is toxic tale. The track is sheer captivation, maybe not quite holding all the sparks of songs before it and certainly of successor Bad Evil Woman, but another treat to devour greedily. It is fair to say that an even lustier response was nurtured by the second of the two, a song offering another chorus which simply demands participation whilst its grooves and rhythmic enticement take swift control of body and intent with not for the first time within Psychobilly D.N.A., a touch of Leiber and Stoller like spicing colouring the songwriting.

As shown by previous releases Norm also has a handy knack at composing instrumentals which grip the imagination with their suggestive characters and melodic endeavours, Lynch Mob another fine example with it’s on the run intrigue and creative espionage. With The Rev and Mummery simply compelling too, it is an easy to get lost in adventure passing keen attention over to the fifties spawned Love You Little Baby, a scintillating track anyone like Eddie Cochran, Sweet Gene, and Link Wray would embrace in their discography.

The rhythmic voodoo of Night Fever is enough alone to send the passions into ecstasy next; the song blossoming into a boisterous bout of mouth-watering fiercely enterprising psychobilly equipped with feverish grooves and passion ensnaring hooks as rhythms cast a relentless tapestry of temptation. The track is superb but still overshadowed by the album’s outstanding closer.

To Victory is a canvas of battle strewn valour and destruction; a bold romance of bravery treated with honesty and reality as basslines eagerly prowl and beats scythe across the sonic and vocal dexterity of Norm. It is a glorious end to an album which infests every aspect of the body and emotions to leave instinctive and unbridled pleasure in its wake.

Norm And The Nightmarez might by primarily tagged as psychobilly but trust us, their sound and certainly Psychobilly D.N.A. is something any heart for rock ‘n’ roll in its various broad flavours over the decades will beat excitedly to.

Psychobilly D.N.A. is out now via Western Star Records on CD @ https://western-star.tmstor.es/cart/product.php?id=30216

and through https://www.raucousrecords.com/norm-nightmarez-psychobilly-dna-cd.html

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

Pete RingMaster 03/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright