Sunday, 26 October 2014

Cult Of The Psychic Fetus...........In The Shadow Parlour !

Something very strange in the waters of Ohio, not sure what it is, Radiation ? Pollution ? Elixir of the bizarre ?  but at the very least, to say that over the years this part of the world has spawned some wild and weird creatures is a serious understatement. Lux Intereior, and Nick Knox, Die Electric Eels, The Pagans, Pere Ubu, Stiv Bators & The Dead Boys, Devo. Not forgetting royalty in the form of Screaming Jay Hawkins no less. They all have their roots in either Akron or Cleveland.....

So it really shouldn't come as much of surprise that the CULT OF THE PSYCHIC FETUS tread these very same streets. Although they look like rejects from a Misfits tribute band fronted by a malnourished Uncle Fester, they play serious Surf & Cramps influenced Rockabilly...much, much more interesting than most of the US (predominantly Californian) bands that look as if they should be interesting and good, but deliver some form of  weird heavy metal, thrash which is so far removed from Rockabilly or Garage Punk that it should have it's own genre.....either that or I'm stuck in the mud holding up progress ?
So apart from a total obsession with the macabre, a look that wouldn't be out of place at a Danzig gig and a name that makes me think of some kind of Industrial Goth band. They actually deliver the goods spot on, Rockabilly riffs a plenty, loads of echo, Surf breaks and a driving beat mean you get a seriously cool sound. They describe themselves as 'Gothabilly' and I'm not going to argue against that looks wise, though I haven't heard any Goth band sound like this before.

Uncle fester needs a Wighat !
More 'Memphis Morticians than Sisters of Mercy for sure and certain...The Reverend Doom (vocals), Victor Von Gore (Replaced 'Ghastly' on guitar), Lord Erik (Bass) and Alex Murder (Replaced Markus Dark on Drums) obviously continue with that Ohio peculiarity for pseudonyms too. Forming originally way back in 1992, it would take them 5 years before self releasing their first full length album (S/T on Black Tower Productions). Some time between 1997 and 1999 they became involved with 'Raven Music Group' who titled and repackaged their initial album, re-releasing it as 'Orgy Of The Dead' in 1999.
Here's a review from Legends Magazine:
"Totally over the top, they blend surf guitar with rockabilly rhythms. The sepulchral lyrics are sung a little too cheerily. The only way you could not appreciate their debut, Orgy of the Dead, is if you took the band more seriously than they take themselves.
It's cheesy, gloomy surf, and the band knows it. It's fun, and it's meant to be. Dead Bride is a good example. Picture gothed out muppets bopping around on the Muppet Show stage rockin' out to dissonant guitars and golden-oldies drumming.
Despite the psycho-billy leanings, the Cult is decidedly moderately paced, preferring fun romps to fast-paced killing sprees, something a zombie could shamble to."

Wouldn't mind catching them live.

 And here's what New York's Street Beat had to say about them at the time:

Cult of the Psychic Fetus, Orgy of the Dead  (© 1999 Raven Music Group)

"Ian Hunter once said, "Cleveland Rocks," and these boys seem to keep that torch burning. There's something about rockabilly meshed with horror or gothic overtones that is like, well, peanut butter and chocolate. It just goes together so well. And though at times the effect borders on novelty, the four boys do a bang up job. "Dead Bride" is a coffin-surfing delight, a driving number that has some great lyrics – "dead bride, room temperature thighs" – that'd have Norman Bates doing a Texas two step. Lead singer Reverend Doom and company may remind you a bit of the Cramps, but then again, all good Gothabilly will, and this stuff is good. If you hurry, you can buy a copy in time for your Halloween party. Boo!"

Stand out tracks being 'Dead Bride' and  'Orgy of the Dead' you can give them a listen here :
Dead Bride 
Orgy of The Dead    

2nd album but really the 3rd.
2000 saw the release of their 2nd album 'She Devil' along with a mini CD and a 7" single featuring the title track of the album...I have tried over the years to track down both the only piece of vinyl they released and the mini CD, which have proven impossible to get hold of (Anyone have them, let me know thanks). The MCD has an unavailable track 'Blue June' and apparently the 7" was pressed in both red and blue vinyl. I'm guessing there were problems with the label/record company as it looks as if it was never generally distributed.
According to reviews and general opinion, they are more of a live sensation than a studio band, going as far as recording their albums live to capture their 'true' sound.....Usual gripe from me here, there's no vinyl !

With The Memphis Morticians.
They toured extensively in the US but as far as I'm aware have never made it across to Europe. Often headlining at festivals, they've appeared on the bill at 'The Vampyre Ball' in New Orleans, The Psychobilly Luau,  New York Psychobilly Rumble and The Drop Dead Festival as well as doing the rounds at classic venues such as CBGB's..........
They also contributed tracks to a series of 'Gothabilly' compilations on Skully Records 'Wakin The Dead' worth tracking down as not only does it feature Cult Of The Psychic Fetus but 'Deadbolt' and 'Empress Of Fur' doing their classic 'Johnny Voodoo'........She reminds me of Betty Page...

Bit of a wait for the next album and the last one with Raven Music, was 2004's 'Funeral Home Sessions' which came out in a tin box ala PIL's 'Metal Box' and again, no disappointments and so if you do come across it....grab it !
Not a lot happening on the release front since then but if the rumour mills are to be believed ?  there's a new release due shortly by Rev Doom's new project,  'Shadow Parlour' (it's aready available to download but I don't really count digi-formats as proper releases) so go give it a listen on their facebook page over there.

Facebook page :

Just right for your Halloween Hoedown !

Monday, 20 October 2014

Nothin' But Trash........The Radioactivators,..Random Round Up !

Bit of a mixed bag on this post, a few little bits I thought some of you maybe interested in, some of you may already know and some of you couldn't care less about !
First up is that The X-Men have a Facebook page up since the beginning of the month (Oct 2014) packed full of seldom seen photo's, gig posters and other interesting little gems....Big heads up to Charliespliff for bringing it to my attention. Only a few more weeks to go until they're playing live in 'Pompey'.....Can't wait !

On the subject of the aforementioned Mr Spliff, for a good number of years now he has been hosting a channel (best way of putting it) on YouTube and if you've never found it, not only will you be in for a very pleasant surprise but you'll be blown away by the sheer amount of material he's posted so far,'s without doubt my favourite place on YouTube. He's an absolute fanatic about anything 'Medway' and the 'TRASH' scene in general. You'll find unreleased material, demo's and radio sessions as well as rarities and general releases from anyone that's been associated with the whole shebang. Head on over and be prepared to get wigged out :    

Way too much Pastis if you ask me
Another place on the big bad interweb that I find myself way too often is Mr Noonification's blogspot 'Nothin But Trash V2.0'. Earlier on in the year I was shocked and dismayed when I looked in and was confronted with the image of a body on a gurney, tagged 'DECEASED'...One of my favourite blogs had decided to call it a day after 6 or 7 years of bringing some fantastic sounds and introducing me to material which otherwise may have went under the radar. Lots of 60's French (Ye Ye) stuff in addition to all the Garage, Trash and Beat....The great news is that he's back since July, hence the 'V2.0'.....Take a look and he posts regularly almost every week, so you're sure to get your jollies off......and if not, at least your ears will be happy !

Nigel Lewis & Vince Clarke !!!
Trawling through the vinyl over the weekend and listening to a good few tracks that I hadn't heard in a good while, I pulled out the The Radioactivators 7" (2001) and gave it a spin....nothing odd about that except that this has got to be the strangest, most unlikely collaboration you could imagine !
Nigel Lewis (Original Meteors, The Escalators and The Tall Boys) teaming up with Vince Clarke (of Erasure, Depeche Mode and Yazoo) to knock out some form of 'Electrobilly' ....Mind boggling BUT it's nowhere as near as bad as it sounds ! Granted, the A-side 'Knock On Your Door' has very little in the way of any Electro influences and is just a cool song unmistakably by Nigel Lewis....The B-side is a totally different kettle of fish, entitled 'Bopp' it's an Electro Synth fest, strangely listenable.

 The offending track :

 Here's a bit of an explanation of how this weirdness came into being.

'Peanut Butter & Jam released the track, coupled with a B-side ('Bopp'), the same year. Whilst there's little information available about the label, it only ever put out this single, and it was believed to have been supported by Mute. Available only as a 1500 copy limited edition 7" large-centre single, the track feels like an old-time jukebox promo, which is altogether fitting given the style of music here. 'Knock On Your Door' was written by Vince and Phil, with ex-Meteors singer / upright bassist Nigel Lewis providing the vocals. The Meteors claim to be the originators of psychobilly, which successfully fused punk with rockabilly.
In an interview with a German website (, Lewis explained that the collaboration came about through Kevin Green, the co-songwriter of 'Bopp', here credited as 'K. van Green'. Green was the bassist in a post-Meteors project Tall Boys and also worked on building studios; he had worked on a studio with Clarke, which was presumably his 37B studio in Chertsey. According to the interview, 'Vince said he wanted to make a rock 'n' roll style record so Kev got in touch with me,' said Lewis. 'Kevin more or less produced the sessions. Vince is a very enthusiastic person but I don't think he really understood what I was all about. I remember thinking ''if this isn't a success I'll eat my hat''. I no longer have a hat.'
'We had just started recording the [Family Fantastic] Wonderful album,' explained Phil Creswick to me by email, 'and Vince had met Nigel Lewis a few months earlier. He was so incredibly impressed with him, not just because of his voice and look, but because he lived his whole life as this rockabilly persona. Everything about him was associated with the Fifties and Sixties.'   

This extract was borrowed from a 'Mute' related website called 'Documentary Evidence'

It took me a while to recover after too.......

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Thee Gravemen...........Shenanigins in the cemetary !

Taking him the grave, obviously.......pun a go go !

We turned The Ghastly Ones down !

Those purveyors of everything trashy, Thee Gravemen have their 2nd album in the can now and are just waiting on a label (Crypt ? bad joke I know, but they do already have The Gravediggers !)....this eagerly awaited platter should be out sometime early next year and if it's half as good as their debut on Dirty Water Records then it'll have been well worth the wait.
The guys, Daz Trash (Ward) and Lee Tea (Thornton) got together in a pub in Malmo (Sweden, where they both found themselves relocated after following their respective affairs of the heart) after Daz had been putting a few gigs on locally, about 6 years ago, both had been in bands before and have a decent enough pedigree between them, having been in 'Skitzo' 'The Nuthins' Thee Exciters' and 'The Branded' over the years....Lee also goes by the moniker of 'Leadfoot Tea' for his one man band solo stuff.
Their first live appearance was at a Johnny Cash tribute gig way back then and the 2 man, RnR, Garage-Trash monster has been rolling on since, encouraging folk to enjoy themselves and get often the last part works?  I've no idea !  

Wish I was going !
Prolific giggers on the European circuit they can be found to be doing something most weekends. Check out their facebook page to find out what they're up to and where:

Falling somewhere between 'Screamin Lord Sutch' (although not so much the RnR sounding stuff, more 'She's Fallen In Love With A Monster Man', 'Til The Following Night', 'Murder In The Graveyard' etc) and Hasil Adkins, along with The Cramps providing additional inspiration as a duo (no bass). The drums and guitar are well to the fore with Daz knocking out pounding rhythms to Lee's often scuzzy, dirty guitar sound, listen to 'Night Terrors' or their cover of 'The Jiants' Tornado to get where I'm coming from. They're not exactly a garage band, distinct lack of organ, but they're not exactly a 'Rockin' (as in Rockabilly) band either although in saying that, in many ways it's a stripped down, minimalist Rockabilly approach, they've managed to blur the lines between the two. Kind of 'Garbageman' era Cramps with a dash of The Ghastly Ones (sans the surf) in terms of visuals, although neither can claim originality in that dept either or the ghost of Abe Lincoln would be on the phone asking for his image/look back !

The first EP from 2009.
Thee Gravemen released their first vinyl offering back in 2009, the great 'My Girlfriend Is A Werewolf' EP (and dedicated to the Memory of Lux) on the aptly named 'Dig The Grave' label, the title track being a great stomper about a hirsute lady fetish no less.....This was followed in the same year by the release on London's 'Dirty Water Records' of the 'Haunted' single, a self penned ditty with a great cover on the flipside of Screamin Lord Sutch's 'All Black and Hairy'.....something of a pattern emerging here.....Bearded ladies anyone?
Daz and Lee do all of their own recording in Lee's studio 'The Gravecave' (Malmo, Sweden) all vintage analogue and only ever direct to tape, there's been a good few bands recorded there to date too including 'The Felines','The Scumbags' and 'The Youth' to name but a few. (All the info for enquiries at the bottom of the post or contact Lee through the website by clicking on Thee Gravemen tab/icon on the side or Facebook).

On vinyl in glorious mono
 In 2011, Dirty Water Records released their debut album on both vinyl and CD, a punchy 14 track platter which includes the 4 tracks from their first EP as well as a couple of covers like Randy Alvey's 'Green Fuz' and the absolutely demented 'Oh Baby' which is actually Phil Spector on some serious drugs...Check out the original here, you won't be disappointed :

Daz also surpasses himself on his take of Sandy Nelson's 'Let There Be Drums'....a rather nice bit of drumming if ever there was !

There's no getting away from these guys !
Their 3rd 7" came out on Sweden's 'Heptown Records', entitled 'Rockin' In The Graveyard' but shouldn't be confused with the classic by Jackie Morningstar as this is a self penned original with some great use of what sounds like a Theremin to me, the flipside being a fave of mine 'Tornado'. While the guys were doing the obligatory gig in Brighton for 'Stay Sick', Neil 'Sick' Smith filmed them out and about in town and at the beach which they neatly turned into a rather cool video for title track, here it is for your perusal

Apart from the constant gigging, the studio, the occasional release on their label, the latest being a solo effort by Lee Tea as 'Leadfoot Tea' called 'Grease and Oil' (some available on tasty pink vinyl, and he's done split 7" with 'Five Finger Discount' both of which are well worth picking up if you can find them...taster here, love the way he's nicked the riff off of 'Uranium Rock' for 'Shake It On Down' ...:   But I'm getting side tracked here, every year, the guys organise 'The Munster Raving Loony Party' in Spain. 

Thanks to Ryan Air,  I'll be heading off me thinks.
In Daz's own words, here's the what, where and who for next year....

"The MRLP is a annual on going party near Tarragona/Barcelona that will definitely happen in 2015, between april 30 – 2 May to be exact. It will be the 4th year running now and happens at the new site at a little seaside town called “Roda de Bara” at a holiday bungalow and camping site called “Arc de Bara”. It’s a great 3 day party “usually” in basking sunny weather just 50 metres from the beach on site there are swimming pools, concert marquee, bars, club, supermarket and a load of fantastic bungalows. The party has become a real family thing where everybody knows everyone and we all get drunk and party together each year! A super mini holiday before the tourist season starts!! It is nearly fully booked with bands already but nothing I am releasing at the moment".

Back on the subject of musical output, last year (2013) the guys teamed up with the one and only 'Dead Elvis' to release an uber ltd 4 track EP (which I don't have, so anyone got a spare going ?  I'm sure we could work something out) and there are plans afoot to release more together, probably making it at least an annual thing to coincide with the MRLP event. (See previous post on the man Dead Elvis himself)....I can let you know though that the single/EP for release next May has already been recorded !

Talk about limited editions....just 200 copies !
Now this year, while finishing the upcoming album and between playing, they managed to get another release out on their own label 'Raving Loony Records' a great slab of 7" vinyl (100 copies each of Red & Green wax) featuring the excellent 'Night Terrors'. The B-side is 'Papa Was A Java Skull' by Denmark's 'Java Skull' who I think may be ex-members of The Untamed...very cool indeed as I actually prefere Java Skull over The Untamed.....and good luck finding a copy of this, although if you've enough chance you may still be able to get a copy through Thee Gravemen Facebook page.....just don't hold your breath ! 

There's probably another release from 'Leadfoot Tea' before the end of the year so keep your eyes peeled for that, as per usual it'll be a very limited release. Daz has an event happening in Berlin Blues Trash in December, check the flyer above and here's a link to the facebook page for it :
and you get into The Ramones museum too....
And something to make me look forward to next year is 'Leadfoot Tea' coming to Ireland next spring (at least I think it'll be springtime, not that it matters as it'll be raining anyways).

Here's all the contact blurb, gig news and the best way to get your hands on their releases.
Thee Gravemen on Facebook :
Leadfoot Tea, One Man Trash & Roll on Facebook :
Munster Raving Loony Party in Spain on Facebook :
Dead Elvis & Thee Gravemen on Facebook :

For ordering records, try contacting them via facebook or try Heptown Records, Monster Mash Records, Dirty Water Records mail order sections.

Keep it cool folks.


Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Hillmans.........One Part Hillbilly, One Half Punk !

Before you read any further just listen to this :

Why someone hasn't picked up on The Hillmans and put out a full length LP is beyond me, the above track sounds like it should have been on 'Songs The Lord Taught Us' and at the very least 'Swamp Devil' deserves a 7" release.....something like Mystery Plane with a demented Big Bopper on vocals.........seriously out there !

The Hillmans

Clive (aka CC) Reeve, Chris Roskilly and Bob Hillman got together nearly 4 years ago (Dec 2010 although Chris and Bob had been playing in bands together since the mid 80's) with the idea of playing 'Old School, early 80's' style Psycho Rockabilly with a very, very heavy Cramps influence which comes across in all their recordings to date very well indeed. With 3 EPs under their belt so far, the debut from late 2011, 'My Baby Loves To Fight' captures perfectly what they're about.....much more 'The Orson Family' or early 'Raymen' (Germany) than the likes of contemporary bands like Tiger Army or Nekromantics (Thank god as I don't like either !) and there's even a little nod to Garbageman on 'Til I'm Outta Town'
Their second offering, a 6 track mini album was released in Nov 2012 entitled 'Barn Dance Music For Plumbers' and has an early Rev Horton Heat vibe going on with what sounds like the bastard son of Lux and Hank Ray providing the vocals..Stand out tracks for me are 'Lazy Bones and 'Losing Touch With My Mind' but there isn't a bum track there so no worries.

Really guys !  The wife's tights !
Their 3rd outing, another 6 track mini album, is the fabulous 'Go Diddlo' released in October last year (2013) and contains the brilliant 'Swamp Devil' and 'C'mon Little Mama' which owes a great deal to 'Tear it Up' bad thing if you ask me !

Here's an extract from their bio.....
The Hillmans are a Rockabilly/Psychobilly/Garage trash band from somewhere in the 1980s. 
Brought up on The Cramps, The Meteors, 60's garage and surf, 70's punk, Ford Cortinas, mopeds and Carry On films. Bob Hillman and Chris Oxide first met around 1984, playing in the "Sons of Morticia" and latterly "Belgranos Revenge" There's one rare recording that survives from this period, known as "The Anarchy in the Back Bedroom recordings". 
Sir Clive Reeve, AKA CC Reeve, meantime was wreaking havoc around the Caterham area, where a lot of the original British Psychobilly originated from.
Scroll forward several years, with moves to Brighton, hair loss and domesticity looming, The Hillmans formed up in Dec 2010, with an idea to play the Psycho sound of the 1980's. Psychobilly has moved on, with faster and more furious bass slapping and a more punk & metal sound which is great (is it really ? me) but The Hillmans just wanted to take that step back to where the inspiration for current Psychobilly bands came from.

All their releases are available as downloads (until someone sensible puts them out on vinyl) from bandcamp here : 

If you fancy catching them live which I would strongly recommend then you can add them or like them or whatever it is you do with the Facebook thingy here :
Upcoming live dates include:
12th October, Brightona, Madeira Drive, Brighton (Motorcycle show)
7th November, The Welly (Duke of Wellington) Shoreham
8th November, The Wedgewood Rooms, Pompey Rumble
Sat 13th December,The Green Door Store in Brighton.
Fri 19th December, Biggin Hill
as well as being on the bill for next years 'Bedlam Breakout' in Northampton on Friday the 13th March (2015).
They've even got a proper website :

Anyways, I'll be there to see them in November along with The X-Men and All Cramped Up at the Pompey Rumble...........really am rather looking forward to it !

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Cramps...........busy in the bootleg dept !

Greek pressing and limited to 50 copies......apparently.

Love them or loathe them, it's a matter of taste although I must admit to getting a little pee'd off with some of the more recent releases getting re-hashed and just doubling up on what are not always good quality recordings, even fair recordings would be welcomed as opposed to some of the crap being pumped out in recent months. Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy to pay a few shillings for a piece of vinyl containing tracks previously unavailable or live material that is of audible quality. Where I get slightly peeved is the total lack of quality control, if someone is going to release a boot, at least put a bit of thought into it, decent artwork will often go a long way in forgiving poor sound quality but when you get crap sleeves with crap sound it makes me feel cheated......anyway, there are some good ones all the same,

Nice sleeve, quality worth picking up
 Although this is lifted directly from 'How To Make A Monster' it's a nice piece and comes in a couple of colours, (mine is yellow) and from what I understand originates from Canada, 4 tracks, 'Call of the wighat', '5 years ahead of my time' Hanky Panky and All women are bad'. The first 3 are A&M recordings from 1982 and the last a home the sleeve notes from 'HTMAM'

No way of confusing this with the original !

Another welcome addition is a ltd repress of 'Totally Destroy Seattle' the original screen printed sleeve has been completely changed which always helps to stop some of the more uninformed passing it off as the genuine article......According to various blurb, there are 300 copies pressed, some in clear and some in red vinyl....I picked mine up via mail order from a London store for £20 which is a damn sight better than the silly asking prices on Evilbay or jokesite 'musicstack'. You can try and get from here:

It would appear that someone in Greece has been pretty busy of late with a load of mediocre at best releases which you can find on Ebay, all 7"s, all with starting prices of around $50 US, personally I wouldn't be encouraging him/them as there are better, at more reasonable prices to be had.......

From Greece........with love.

Happy shopping !