Thursday, 16 April 2015

Marcel Bontempi....'Catman' a new 7" for Trash Wax !

The Original 'CATMAN'
Hey Santa, you know what I want !
Folks, what can I say ?  I'm really very excited about this and although it's a few months away I can't help myself but talk about it !  'CATMAN', one the most amazing songs to have EVER been recorded in the 50's is going to be released for us on TRAX WAX by the one and only, the wizard of rhythm....Mr Marcel Bontempi himself !
Whether you're a purist Rockabilly or a Trash hound, this is guaranteed to please....probably one of the most seminal, although generally, lesser known tracks to have been written and released by Gene Vincent and His Bluecaps, it was and still is proto-punk before proto-punk.

F... having them next door !
My first exposure to the track came in the early 80's from the (1980) single of Aussie Swamp rockers, The Birthday Party when they used it as a B-Side to 'The Fiend Catcher'.....Even then I remember thinking 'What the f...!' When the song was included a few years later (1984) on the Big Beat compilation 'Rockabilly Psychosis And The Garage Disease' covered by The Sting Rays, I was doubly impressed, (as I was by the whole album at the time.). It's brooding, it has menace and some rather dark undertones, which are probably best left to a psychologist to analyse !

Essential and obligatory !
It's one of those tracks which for me is timeless and kind of 'out of place' in the 50's....Like Link Wray or The Collins Kids 'Whistlebait' and Eddie Cochrane's (Jerry Neal) 'I hate Rabbits'. What treatment Mr Bontempi (or should that be Dr Bontempi ?) gives this classic ? remains to be seen but going on his previous track record it will be something awesome if not downright amazing. Marcel had been considering covering this track for years and will finally be heading into the studio over the coming months to record this and, no doubt, a good few other tracks which will see the light of day before the year is out on various labels around the globe.
It's OUT !
In the meantime you can get to dig a whole heap of the twisted genius' work on the long awaited and much anticipated 'Witches, Spiders, Frogs & Holes' which should be hitting the stores as we speak ! Just so that you know, the vinyl version of the album comes with an additional 7" and the CD version is fully should try it !

You can now follow us/like us/friend us on that Facebook thing but be aware that I'm not all that up to speed with social media stuff and tend to just click and hope.

So look us up, there is a 'Trash, Garage Garbage & Other Delights' Facebook page here :

TRASH WAX Facebook page :

Gene Vincent 'Catman' :

The Birthday Party 'Catman' :

The Sting Rays 'Catman' :

We'll keep you updated with the progress and other stuff we've planned.



Sunday, 12 April 2015

THE MUMMIES.......Sheer brilliance or just plain crap ?

4 Guys in bandages !
The Mummies, love them or loathe them, they were truly the nearest thing the US had to a Trash band per se. Yes, there were The Fireworks with their stripped down garage-rockabilly and the Daddies of all Trash-Garage-Rockabilly bands, The Cramps as well as a good few more lesser known bands. But The Mummies were different, not a trace of any 50's influence whatsoever, opting for a more 60's style approach with a healthy dose of raucous punk attitude, almost single-handedly creating the phenomenon of budget-rock/lo-fi in the states (Hasil Adkins apart). Embracing ineptitude as a prime quality and generally not giving a flying fuck. And while there were a million garage bands in the US, each following the revivalist principles with varying degrees of zeal, The Mummies were a straight forward party band out for fun or so it would appear.........

First single. That Girl.
The Mummies were a four piece American garage rock band from San Mateo, California, formed in late (Dec) 1988 by Larry Winther (Guitar), Trent Ruane (organ, vocals), Maz Kattuah (bass) and Russell Quan (drums) with their true identities, hidden beneath homemade raggedy, though pretty cool Mummy costumes, taking their cue from the iconic Boris Karloff character in Universal’s classic horror movies although they'd probably been watching the goofy Hanna- Barabara cartoons of the 60's & 70's too
Flyer for the debut gig.
Musically, they drew heavily from the raw Pacific North-West (USA) sound of the early 60's, most notably The Wailers & The Sonics as well as the Frat-rock of the The Kingsmen, not forgetting the scuzzy guitar influence of Link Wray either. Around this time England had seen the various incarnations of Billy Childish's bands, not least The Mighty Caesars, the earlier Milkshakes and (probably the most influential) Thee Headcoats who were also a significant influence on The Mummies and the appreciation was reciprocal even going as far as The Mummies releasing an album on Billy Childish's label 'Hangman', the fabulous 'Fuck Cd's, It's The Mummies' LP. As well as a tour with Thee Headcoats early in the 90's.
The Mummies had their first gig at the Chi Chi Club after 3 months of practicing together, although it would be reasonable to ask what those practice sessions actually consisted of ? For the rest of the year (1989) they played regularly around California, notching up some 30+ gigs including several at the 'Pony Express Pizza Parlour' !!!  

First LP (A compilation of 7"s)
It would take until 1990 and the formation of their own label Pre-BS before their first single came out (That Girl), swiftly followed by another (again on Pre-BS) called 'Food, Sickles and Girls'. All in all, The Mummies released 5 singles in 1990, for Estrus (The Fabulous Mummies, their nod to The Wailers), Rekkids (Skinny Minny) and Regal Select (Shitsville) to which the label got warning letters about using a beer brand logo or somesuch. All of these releases were comped for the Estrus album 'Play Their Own Records' released in 1992.
1991 saw the Mummies playing outside of California for the first time (Canada, New York and the N.West US), going on tour with The Phantom Surfers and again later in the year with Thee Headcoats but this was not before going into the studio to record an album for Tim Warren's Crypt label which would only see the light of day quite some time later (1994) as the bootleg 'Tales From The Crypt'.

And there was I thinking they were a 90's band
'91 also saw them appearing on various comps (you track them down) including 2 tracks on a 60's garage comp put out in France called 'Follow That Munster Vol 2'.
Much had been made of The Mummies stance regarding their output and their (Most commendable) 'Vinyl only' position which didn't last, although admittedly it was years before they actually appeared on CD for the first but not last time. They also enjoyed the reputation of being a 'Fuck You' band, famously giving Sub-Pop the two fingers and whilst they probably got a kick out of it as well as some cliquey kudos, I doubt very much that the label gave it a second thought. This 'don't give a damn' attitude along with their now infamous Lo-Fi ethos eventually took them to a new low, almost becoming a parody of themselves with a race to the bottom of who could release the worst record and still get the fans to swallow it.

Skinny Minnie 7" (Rekkids).
At The beginning of 1992 following the bands return to San Francisco, they decide to call it a day and split up !!! but such was the demand for The Mummies material that another handfull of 7" singles were released during the course of the year for the likes of Estrus, Telstar & Rekkids as well as albums on Estrus, Telstar and Hangman. 1992 was also the year that The Mummies appeared on the loathed CD format....'Fuck The Mummies' was apparently put out by a disgruntled label owner following a disagreement of sorts. Around this time Europe had cottoned onto the Mummies in a cult sort of way and offers for tours were being made in the event they reformed.....and after an absence of 12 months they took the opportunity of doing just that, spending a month on tour with Supercharger around Europe, actually kicking it off with a date at CBGB's.

Well worth picking up.
Apart from the tour, not a lot actually happened for them in '93 but '94 saw them return to Europe on their own for a month, headling in their own right. Even managing to squeeze in a recording session for John Peel at the BBC studios which was subsequently put out as a 7" bootleg on both white and black vinyl, it has also recently resurfaced on pink vinyl and with labels this time as the first simply had plain white ones, it also has one of the better sleeves in my humble opinion. An LP, 'Party At Steve's House' was released on German label Pin-Up as was a 7" called 'Gwendolyn' too, not their strongest releases. The faux Sub-Pop single suddenly appeared on the scene in early '94 as if to add insult to injury regarding their snub of the Seattle label, although there have been whispers over the years that it was all a bit of a marketing ploy and that The Mummies and Sub-Pop were the best of friends, whichever is true ? it's hardly relevant now. 

Double 7"split for SFTRI.
Since splitting again following their return to the US after the '94 European tour, they frequently reformed for Festivals and the odd, short jaunt around Europe, Japan and South America, releasing a further 6 singles and 4 albums over the years, 2 of which were CD's no less......A great legacy on vinyl and fond memories for the folk who got to see them and for those of you who didn't ? There are plenty of videos out there to see what you missed. 
Since parting and going their seperate ways (reunions notwithstanding), they have been involved in numerous bands and projects, not least Russell Quan who was in The Dukes of Hamburg, The Count Backwurds, The Flakes and The Bobbyteens to name but a few. And both Russell and Trent Ruane spent time with Surf supremos, The Phantom Surfers, not bad work by any means.   

Without further ado and as they say, FUCK THE MUMMIES !      

The Mummies website, full discography, gig history and tons of flyers/posters, worth half an hour of anyones time ! :

Enjoy, D.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Vinyl overload !!!..........Ambrosia for the ears !
Looks like a case of self inflicted poverty for the months of April and May ! far too many great releases which have to be nabbed ! I was only mentioning recently, where was the promised HEAVY TRASH album ? Then low and behold, out it comes on Bronze Rat Records. Entitled 'Noir!'....and limited to a 1000 copies on vinyl only, no CD release.
This is a pretty eclectic mix of various different recordings, some instrumentals, a jam or two, some out-takes and spanning what I'm guessing is their career to date. Now, I would say that this is probably not the best starting place if you haven't really listened to Heavy Trash in the past as it's pretty hoary in places and may leave the casual listener wondering how they ever got out of the garage and into a studio, personally, I love it but then I've never been one noted for sophisticated tastes ! Not only that, but those purveyors of the perverse, Stay Sick in Brighton have got Heavy Trash playing during July, the 12th to be exact and I think my place is already reserved....just wondering if Bloodshot Bill will be doing Double Bass duties ?
Now it may come as a surprise to some of you but I'm a huge Polecats fan, always have been and probably always will be, so while a lot of my buddys were fawning over those American blow-ins, The Stray Cats, (whom I could never take to for some reason) I was digging some Post Glam-Billy, you have to admit that it took balls to cover Dave Bowie and Marc Bolan back then with all the aggresive, purist Rockabillies growling! This was put out a few weeks back by Rockabilly Records (Part of the US label Cleopatra) and comes on either pink or orange vinyl, there's nothing new to discover here but it is a beautiful comp of their best toons. Oddly enough I was over in the UK on the hunt for records etc just 2 weeks ago and while in No Hit/Sounds That Swing, Noel, who works there told me that another record shop had opened beneath them by none other than Boz & Lyn Boorer ! (For those of you with short memories, Lyn was the bass player in The Shillelagh Sisters) Imagine my excitement from this double whammy ! So after a long browse and some great chat, as well as a sterling coffee, I left with a pile of records a Polecats T-shirt and a silly grin....Needless to say I will be back often ! Check them out on Facebook : Vinyl Boutique Camden.
Off to the Munster Raving Loony Party at Arc de Bara at the end of this month and that coincides with the release of the long overdue second album from Thee Gravemen, 'Monster Blues' on lovely red vinyl ! It's been released by their long time buddy and oft partner in crime, DeadElvis on his essential Monster Mash records....12 trashy tracks from the funeral parlour, as it says on the sleeve. Not only that but there's a split with Charm Bag which is only available at the event ! And Charm bag also have their LP out on Kizmiaz Records (France) too...while we're on about the incestuous couplings going on, Leadfoot Tea and Fernando Smogger (also in the Charm Bags) have a 12" platter out called 'Long Gone With' on Green vinyl.....

The one in the middle looks most handsome of the 3.
They've been busy alright but a bit like British buses.....nothing for a while then loads all turn up at the same time ! Here's another joint release from Thee Gravemen and Deadelvis, 4 tracks out on Monster Mash very shortly. My advice is to snap this up as early as possible because their first one went really quickly and yours truly blinked and missed it !
Another essential release you need to get your grubby mitts on is the new album (CD only at present but we're told the vinyl will be released later this year, hope that doesn't mean Nov-Dec) by Almon 'Silvertooth' Loos and The Witch, it's called 'Witch Music' and you can get it direct from the man himself via a PM on Facebook. He has posted a few of the tracks from it on Youtube so you can do the aulde 'try before you buy' carry on too.   

Erm, I've gotten myself one of them Facebook pages too by the way, not quite sure what to do with it but feel free to go onto it and like me, befriend me or whatever.....but just because we're 'friends' on facebook doesn't mean I'm inviting you round for dinner or anything.....well, not unless you're female and you look like Betty Page in her prime !  Facebook : Franky Stine :

Be cool, Ghouls.

Monday, 6 April 2015

TRASH WAX !.........A new label !

Hey Folks,
                  we've decided to take the plunge !  I suppose that after thinking about it on and off for the past couple of years but not doing anything about it, the decision to give it a go wasn't all that hard, particularly considereing all the encouragement and great mails from the blog readers the past year....So, without further ado, TRASH WAX will be starting out with an LP from The Vibes, and if the timing is right it will be released on the 31st of May (2015), exactly 30 years to the day it was recorded, live in Enger, Germany during The Vibes 1985 tour there.

Trash Wax LP number 1.
The whole idea and concept is to preserve some of the great sounds that were about during the classic 'Trash' period and commit them to vinyl as is only fitting and our releases won't be sloppy, thrown together attempts. There will be liner notes and contributions from the band members themselves, previously unseen photographs, remastering of the source tapes where necessary and class artwork from the likes of Chris Moore, Marcel Bontempi and others and while we will be focusing on unearthing forgotten gems and digging up material previously presumed lost, you can expect regular releases from current bands and artists that we no proper order, we've this pile of  vinyl set to be unleashed over the coming months !

- LP  The Vibes  'Voodoo Juju'
- 7"   Vince Ripper & The Rodent Show.  'Ripperville' & 'Teenage Werewolf'
- 10"  The Raymen  'The 6 track Green Alien Cassette release from 1984'
- 7"   The Bugs.  EP of unreleased studio material from '87.
- LP  The Go Go Cult.  'Into the Valley of'  Their first LP (Licensed from Western Star).
- 7"   The Half-Lings.   Pre-Bugs,  EP of unreleased studio material from '86..
- MLP   The Shockwaves.  8 unreleased studio tracks (Like The Vibes & Purple Things).
- 7"  Marcel Bontempi  (Title to be confirmed but it will be a goody !)
- LP  The Vibes  'Ain't It Hard'  (working title, live in Berlin '85).
- 7"   The Teamsters.
- LP  The Men With The Golden Gonads  'Unreleased LP'

And a whole lot more, all the details will be posted once we've confirmed 100% with the bands, we're also working on a series of compilations of forgotten garage goodies as well as chatting with folk about licensing older releases for possible revamps and giving some of these fab tunes a well deserved second lease of life.

There is a Facebook page for Trash Wax too now, so feel free to take a look, like it or whatever it is that you do with it ?

We'll keep you up to speed, meanwhile.......STAY SICK !