Rockabilly Central

Neo, Psychobilly, etc - Reviews

Dragstrip 77 - "Sin City Hotrods"

Let me start by saying, this record kicks some serious ass, but it's not for the feint of heart. If you're still mourning the day Elvis added drums then this is probably not the disc for you! On the other hand if you don't mind getting you tattos dirty while you fix up your hot rod, and you like rock & roll that doesn't take itelf too seriously, then this might just be what you're looking for! My favorites are probably the opener "Daisy Dukes" and the very tongue-in-cheek "Memphis". These guys even take Ronnie Dawson's "Rockin' Bones" back from the Cramps! "Dark Highway" is not unlike something the Three Blue Teardrops might do.

This is primitive rockabilly rock & roll. I have heard some purists say this this kind of music isn't rockabilly, screw that! Remember this, Gene Vincent didn't cut no wimpy records! (At least, not 'till later, LOL!)

Speed Devils - "Self Titled"

This bands style falls somewhere between hard neo rockabilly and psychobilly, personally I call it "Turbo charged psycho rockabilly". This CD comes out with guns blaring, right from the opening track "Snake Eyes", and doesn't let up until it's done. But this is not the demented noise that you might expect from some psychobilly bands, these guys tip their hats to guitar masters, such as Link Wray and Dick Dale, along the way with tunes like their spagetti western on drugs "Teenage Riot", in fact they even include covers of Link's "El Toro" and "Rumble Mambo".

Bovine - "Self Titled"

If you can image neo-swing music played by a rockabilly band then you have an idea of what Bovine is about. They have the traditional rockabilly line-up of upright bass, guitar and drums, but the music is a mixture of rockabilly and swing. Tunes like "Lonesome Cow" and "Long Gone Baby" are in a similar vein to groups like the Frantic Flattops, while tunes like "Devil's Bop" and "Rhythm" sound like something a neo swing band would do, only minus the horns and Gap commercials. The record also contains some quieter tunes, such as "Shoot For The Moon" and "Indiana", that bring back memories of some of the Rev's quieter moments. All in all I'd say this is a pretty cool CD, I know I'm playing it alot.

Rev. Horton Heat - "Space Heater"

You've gotta admire a man with the balls to attempt a combination of hardcore, lounge, surf, disco and rockabilly. But this sketchy concoction from the Gretsch-wielding, X-rated preacher of all that is trash may make you wonder if the Reverend is leading his congregation astray. Middle-of-the-road mediocrity like "Revolution Under Foot" waters down Space Heater. The disco-bastardization of "Goin' Manic" may actually make you question your faith. Rodeo-rockers like "Lie Detector," "For Never More" and "Native Tongue of Love" are fun, if more grungey than Reverend fans may be accustomed to. The swaggering, minor-chord "Mi Amor" revisits the Reverend's Tex-Mex, three-sheets-to-the-wind blues. "Texas Rock-A-Billy Rebel," "The Prophet Stomp" and "Baby I'm Drunk," modeled after the classic shit-kickin', foot-stompin' sounds of the Rev's first two brilliant releases, are the exception rather than the rule on this confused release.

Live, the stuff on Space Heater is probably more fun than cow-tippin' (believe me, I know), but it's definitely not something you'd want living on your turntable.

-Geeta Dalal, Philadelphia City Paper

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