Sunday, 20 September 2015

Records & Releases.......Mondo A Go Go, The Shockwaves, Harry Violet & The Sharks, The Pacifics !

Ltd Edition, red vinyl and just 300 copies !
What can I say huh ?  Even with the best efforts of the majors and their heinous plans to flood the world with Led Zep, Bee-Gees and Pink Floyd vinyl reissues for those bearded hipster would appear that there are corners of sanity still prevailing, although against the odds it must be said! With some factories now giving delay times of up to 6 months to press 7"s and 4 months+ for 12" vinyl coupled with pricing which is making the production of 7" singles prohibitive (factories would rather press 12" vinyl and so try to dissuade 7" production) it's a small miracle that there have been a good few bits managing to see the light of day over the last couple of months...not least our own !  Here's a bit of a round up of what's caught our eye recently and what you can expect very shortly !

Kicking off with something of a surprise release, Mondo A Go Go (TWLP007) wasn't due out until next year but by some twist of fate, one of the pressing plants contacted us with a slot which became available due to a in we jumped. This is a real beauty of an album, 20 tracks covering their 20 year career ! The title track is a garage classic and should be in everyones collection, couple of covers including Arch Hall Jr's 'Wild Guitar' and The Crazy Teens' 'Crazy Date'. The sleeve design was done by Wendy Phillips who did those sleeves for Girly Grungers L7....very nice indeed ! This will be available in a couple of weeks time so keep your eyes peeled !
This little beauty dropped in my letter box this week and blew me away, can't recommend it enough, Harry Violet & The Sharks debut 7"....'Jungle Cavalcade' is a brilliant Sax & Guitar driven toon in the spirit of The Wailers early material with more than a nod to early 60's Surf and a dash of Cramps to round it off nicely....I think you may recognise the guitar parts ! The guys are currently working on writing material for their first album and play regularly around London so if you get the chance to catch them, It'd be well worth it ! They've a few of their songs up on Youtube and they do a blistering cover of Screaming Jay Hawkins 'I Put A Spell On You' which lends itself really well to the sound of the sax.....Also available for Weddings, Christenings and Bah Mitzvahs !

Ltd quantity available from :
Another fantastic 7" platter worth tracking down is the recent 4 track EP from Dublin based The Pacifics, if early 60's - Milkshakes style, Rhythm and Beat is your thing ?  You'll be drooling for this release but you'll have to be quick as it was released by the guys themselves and pressed up in (Eire, as it says) as a very limited run. Four original, self penned songs, 'Say You Love Me' & 'Little Ruth' make up the A-side with 'Girls, Girls, Girls' & 'Bavaria Bop' the 2 equally as strong tunes on the flip......If you haven't picked up on these guys yet ? They've been around for a few years now and have a sold out album (and another EP + split 7" with Thee Cormans) under their belt. Not quite sure why they haven't had more exposure and released more material....Would suit State/Soundflat or Screaming apple down to the ground !

Not the worst by a long shot.

Those perrenial Psychobillies, The Meteors have a new double LP out, although new only in as it's just been released, a compilation, it must be said, of some of their better post original line-up tracks...500 copies on Yellow vinyl housed in a decent gatefold sleeve means that it'll be gone soon enough, I'm sure you'll be able to track a copy down though if you look hard enough ! Includes The Crazed, Johnny Remember Me, These Boots Are Made For Walking, Rawhide, Please Don't Touch and fifteen other tracks.

Absolutely Awesome !
Another long awaited release that should be making an appearance soon enough is The Shockwaves CD which will be out before Christmas at the very latest...It's truly amazing that records of this quality and calibre never saw the light of day at the time, in this case they were recorded in 1987...Genuine TRASH FROM THE VAULTS and here's a little taster :  The CD release will be limited to a couple of hundred copies and followed up with a vinyl release in 2016.....slip this baby between your Vibes and Purple Things records ! Big Thanks to Diabolik Dan and Bruce Brand for the greatly appreciated help with the artwork.
More on these dudes to follow later.

Buy Me !

Here's the shameless commercial bit !
More than 500 'one off' titles of Garage Punk, Trash and deranged Rockabilly up on the Discogs page now...head on over and grab yourself something before they all go ! :
And lots of new stock items on the website/shop including some pretty cool Cramps T-Shirts including the classic 'Rock N Roll Monster Bash' design....:

The Stompin' Riffraffs......A Dude & 3 Chicks !

It's no real secret that I have a bit of a soft spot when it comes to Japanese Rock 'n' Roll bands, be it The Bait Ones, The 5678's, Guitar Wolf, The Tokyo Cramps, early Supersnazz & Mad 3 or any of the literally 100's of garage and rockabilly bands that have emerged over the last 25 years (and longer)....The Stompin' Riffraffs are no exception. I love the attitude that they all seem to share in common regarding their varying musical ability and approach to what if they don't always get the words right and who cares if there's a bum note or 10 !.....They ROCK and they know how to party !  Our good buddy Lee Powell recently wrote a nice piece on them which should leave you wanting to seek out and get their releases....Here it is.

Need the glasses ?

Stompin’ Riffraffs.
I’m not the world’s biggest fan of social media but to me personally one of its great appeals is being able to follow news on bands and labels which otherwise may well be overlooked.  It can also acts as a wonderful catalyst for the exposure of a bands work and provides the means to reach a far greater audience, which is how I inavertedly stumbled across one of the most exciting and immediately captivating bands I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in quite some time.  I was scrolling through the Facebook page of Wild Records, who in my mind are one of the most impressive, high-calibre labels around, when I happened across a kooky looking video, whose static image reminded me of something out of a Tarantino film only more psychedelic.  I was intrigued so pressed play and instantly the music that burst from the speaker slapped me around the face and threw me to the ground in an explosion of rockabilly in raging Technicolor turned up to its full volume and then some.  It was bloody amazing and instantly pulled me into the atmosphere and sound it created. I was buzzing with excitement and flabbergasted by what I’d heard. I had to know more and so began my bizarre journey into the strange and unusual world of the magnificent Stompin’ Riffraffs. 

High Class Riff Raff !
The song that initially caught my attention and started my torrid love affair with one man and three chicks was the phenomenal “Phantom Rock”. It burst from laptop screen in a full-on audio and visual tsunami of fast-paced rockabilly music and images. If you think of wild primordial rockabilly set in a world where 60’s Batman collides head-on with the visuals from The Monkey’s TV show opening theme song (but not the audio), amid a bar-room brawl where the house band oozes  a kitsch sexuality and entrancing charisma then you’re most certainly heading the in the right direction.  It was genuinely one of the few songs I’ve instantly been captivated by, it rocked relentlessly and by god I needed to hear and know more about the band. 

Lucky Fella !
Formed in 2011 the quartet from Tokyo, Japan consist of the swarve looking Nao on lead vocals and guitar, who is joined by the wild, masked girl gang of Rie on bass (and screams), Miku on piano, Theremin (and screams) and Saori on drums (and screams). Together they produce an amazing, none stop-barrage of rockabilly tinged rock ‘n’ roll which is awash with shreds of 60s garage punk-rock ala The Sonics and the cool slick early 60s instrumental surf, which are encapsulated in the tight embrace of relentless energy, fun and passion. There’s no way in the world you could listen to The Stompin Riffraffs and not feel the urge to let the music move you.
The band have produced an impressive canon of work since their formation which is made up of 5 or so 7” singles, an EP and two albums, the most recent of which has just been released on the US Wild Records label. The album is due to be followed in a few months’ time by the 7” releases of the aforementioned “Phantom Rock” which I can’t wait to get my hands on.

As it says on the tin....The Front Cover !
Their new album, the incredible “A man and Three Chicks” pulls in every element of their sound; rock n roll, garage-rock, surf and rockabilly; and thrust it together as one hell of a white-knuckle rollercoaster of rock n roll.  With excellent production and for that authentic analogue texture, recorded directly onto ¼ inch tape in Wilds Records studio, it helps produce a wonderful live and loud feel to the overall sound of the album. It just screams to be played loud and the louder the volume gets the wilder the rockin’ atmosphere of the album delivers.   Each song is an absolute gem filled with a wild, untamed in-your-face rock n roll ferocity and vigour, and bloody hell it’s fun too.  I can imagine watching this quartet tear up the stage live would be a show you’d never forget, so hopefully like their label mates The Delta Bombers they’ll become frequent visitors to these shores.  But until then pick up their new album and experience 12 killer tunes played with the feral and unbridled passion rock n roll should be played. 

Roaring trade in Green Hornet masks !
“A Man and Three Chicks” should be readily available by the time you read this, so if you like rock n roll, loud, fast and fun then you need this album. Check out the bands Facebook page for videos and music and their websites for news and a chance to get your hands on some very limited 7” vinyl’s, which they are more than willing to ship worldwide (I’ve received my package as I was putting this article together).
I may have raved about the Stompin’ Riffraffs rather a lot but I honestly can’t enthuse enough about them and their music which I quite simple adore.  I must have listened to the new album pretty much daily since it arrived and it just keeps getting better with each listen.  The Stompin’ Riffraffs are without doubt one of the best examples of contemporary rock n roll around. I’m so grateful I stumbled across that video. 

Big thanks to Lee and The Stompin' Riffraffs.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The Terrorsaurs....Dinosurf Schlock & Roll ! By Lee Powell.

We're really being spoilt of late with some great home-grown Surf bands making a splash ! (Sorry about that), What with The Sine Waves down Hastings way, bands springing up left right & coastal....and these guys, The Terrorsaurs from the Midlands !..It would appear that something is a happening ! Although there is a chronic shortage of beachfront in their vicinity, they've taken The Trashmen philosophy 'You don't need no beach to be a Surf band!' and ran with it.....
All round good guy and Alt-Ted, Lee Powell recently had this to say about them...Enjoy !    

The Terrorsaurs
“Well, I don't know about art, but I know what I like
I'll be a-surfin' in a swamp on a Saturday night”

“I Ain't Nuthin' But A Gorehound” – Lux Interior, The Cramps

David Ickes worst nightmare !
Instrumental guitar driven surf as a musical genre has always sat side by side with rock n roll and during its heyday in the early to mid-60s it offered the same air of rebellion that emanated from the rockabilly and rock n roll. The mood was intense, the music fast and furious, danceable and fun, all attributes that helped surf establish itself as a sub-genre of the larger rock n roll scene, and spawned tracks such as Miserlou by Dick Dale which has become a timeless surf classic and a track still covered by many in the “billy”/RnR scenes today.
Fast forward 60 years and much like rockabilly and rock n roll, surf is going strong with a number of bands riding the wave of a surf revival which has rolled in alongside a wider appreciation of rock n roll as a whole.  However modern day surf sits somewhere in the darkened under-belly of the R’n’R genre which is inhabited by the strange, weird misfits of raw and untamed 50’s and 60’s independent rock n roll bands, burlesque/bump and grind soundtracks, 60’s garage punk, early 80’s trash and psychobilly and anything else which slips between the cracks of respectability of conventional rock n roll. And you don’t get any more unconventional than The Terrorsaus, a 3 piece instrumental beast that has limbered in from the Swampland, in the grime 'n' slime of central England or Birmingham as it’s known to most of us.  

Now Dig This !
Combining the primordial beat of early rockabilly and the untamed, raw walls of guitar driven surf instrumentals The Terrorsaurs have become overlords of pure, unadulterated Schlock ‘n’ Roll, Creating tidal waves of interest, intrigue and fear in their wake. So much so that the US’s leading rockabilly label Wild signed the band in 2014 before releasing their debut album ‘the Shlock Singles’ the same year and their follow up, the hotly anticipated monster of a sequel “Atomic Lizard Party" in February 2015. Whilst not exactly fitting into the conventions of the usual Wild roster it goes without saying that the Terrorsaus possess that unbridled passion that resonates from their label mates and deliver in with guitars a blazing across track after track of lowbrow instrumental rock n roll surf and then some.
Origins of the band are somewhat sketchy but rumour has it what a certain “Rumble” guitarist may have accidently created a time warp through a wall of guitar noise and went back in time only to return with 3 souvenir eggs from a chance rendezvous with a devishly frisky female  Komodo Dragon. 
With a salute to instrumental surfs origins The Terrorsaurs strive to expand on the sounds and atmospheres’ that can be created in rock n roll music of this ilk and do so with a smooth, swarve charisma finished with a cheeky wink. Their music is lush, head bobbing, toe-tapping, tail swinging dance music, with a wonderfully sleazy yet somehow almost decedent feel to it. The trio who make up the band obviously have a great passion for the music they play even if it is presented with a tongue firmly in cheek, and why the hell not. Wasn’t rock n roll all about rebellious fun and challenging the pre-conceived? So the band may record under aliases, so they may play with reptile/dinosaur masks on but bloody hell they rock and their music personifies this wonderfully. 
Creating somewhat of a cult following the band have just retuned a mini Japanese tour and showcased their own brand of fuzzed out shlock ‘n’ roll at various venues around the UK throughout the year. They have also just released a fantastically collectable 7” single in green vinyl with a scaled feel cover on Dig The Fuzz records which is limited to just 299 copies. 

Stellar Surf !
Whilst some may not approve of the bands theatrics even if their music more than demonstrates their skill as musicians, I have a feeling that if he were still with us Lux Interior would have whole heartedly approved about what the Terrorsaurs are going and rightly so. Put your reservations to one side, shed those clothes and enjoy what the Terrorsaurs are doing.  Legions of fans already are.  Are you brave enough to join them?

With a new single out shortly and their 1st album still available from various outlets including the Trash Wax store ( you really should check them out if you haven't done so already and they're doing a UK (& Dublin) tour in Oct-Nov so catch up with our scaley friends and have yourselves a ball !

Big Thanks to UK Rock 'n' Roll Magazine for giving these guys coverage in the first place.