Saturday, April 16, 2011

Various - Infamous Instro-Monsters Of Rock'n'Roll El Toro There's gas-guzzling guitars a go-go furnishing frenetic big-finned twang n' N'Awwlins sax hollerin' it's way to the Russki-scalping space-age gumbo all it's own amid piano stampedes on this round up of less obvious cuts & / or B-sides from classic choices (The Champs, The Ventures, Duane Eddy, Link Wray) to obscurities like the long lost & sole singles by both The Fugitives & The Eldrondos plus the first of only two by The Intruders. This Spanish label's releases are consistently high quality so the only drawback here is that having tapped into this pit of street-racing ramrodders, delinquent wildcat crawlers, western serenades & strollers full of both the unbridled rampaging joy & moonshine melancholy of the early R'n'R era to watch your shirts brighten, skirts tighten & your swing somewhat loosen by, it should well have been a set of Texas oil-spurt proportions perhaps a la the Bear Family label. Stu Gibson
Gary Setzer and Barry Ryan - Rockabilly Express Raucous As the title could suggest, this debut pairing corrals a range of styles roving through Rockabilly & Americana history as well as their own travels (notably Rockin' Rebels & The Rockats respectively). The meaty grind of 16-ton opener Hot Train To Hell through to Las Vegas Blues & Whiskey Boys may not be too many steps from Stray Cats moves (Setzer being the original drummer) but the real delights come in their referencing & renovating tradition along the way. The Hurtin' Kind escorts Ring Of Fire across the border into accordion-courting Cajun territory, You're Gone recalls Roy Orbison's lavish balladry & Barry's Breakdown is pretty exquisite bluegrass jazz. Though it doesn't shake seismic musical surprises from its shirt - or duck - tails it doesn't sit in brother Brian's shadows nor have to strive over earnestly to escape it. In fact, unless you're especially desperate for his brother's more Eddie Van Haley histrionics then this classy little nugget has a whole lot more to offer. Stu Gibson
Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs - No Help Coming Transdreamer Already on their fourth release (& getting to almost Fall-figures for the good lady herself) this love n' liquor-fuelled alliance (multi-instrumental maestro Lawyer Dave plays guitar & drums simultaneously) plough the ever fertile terrains of gritty Americana, rickety rockabilly & more, & still come up with something fresh as it is ancient, thanks largely to their idiosyncratic approach to traditional themes of lovelust, death, religion, liquor, guns & ammo. Plaintive cowtrail lamenting, junktown blues & hooch-strewn downhome hoedown boogie echoing along corridors like canyons heavily laden with the footsteps of their musical forbears only aided & abetted by Holly's disembodied though ever-affecting voices, none more than on the hauntingly embroiling River Of Tears. Coupled with there still being the essence of kooky, playful, kitsch-pop melodies as on the alphabetical countdown on Get Out My House or the nursery rhyme reminiscent slide-ladled sing-song country swing of Leave It Alone makes it a well-rounded, as well as oiled & rolling where necessary, affair, full of wit, woe & merriment, however mordant. Though what really makes these albums such enchanting successes is the unique, resonating presence & character they inject into music dug from such overcrowded graveyards. Stu Gibson
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