Thursday, May 10, 2012

Roy & The Devil's Motorcycle - Tell It To The People
Voodoo Rhythm

And so we turn, or twist, or downsright slide and swivel spinsomely, to the Roy riders' new album. Not the skronk-strewn melee of that debut (below) but hell, that was 15 searing years ago, so it's no displeasure either that it's a touch calmer if not more considered, but still defiantly touched and not constrained or sedate. Alongside further embellishing their tradition of taking choice covers to uncharted heights (see the filthily shimmering 'Johnny B.Goode' on BECAUSE OF WOMEN') with Furry Lewis's 'casey jones' there's also the catastrophic proof - if it were ever needed - that they're no simplistic Spacemen 3 apists with a sixteenth of weed but no skins, a runaway reverb account and barely a vintage tremelo pedal between 'em (though they seem to share a similar stylistic knack for knitwear judging by the cover of this & Spacemen classic 'THE PERFECT PRESCRIPTION' - incidental twat-ed). Sure, the Spacemen's pulsating drones and driving surges are an intrinsic element of their mesh of noise and enchantment but more than the homage to 'Suicide' of 'i'm allright' is the anguished soundscraping cover of 'will the circle be unbroken' which transcends itself way higher than the Spacemen's version, and possibly many others too, wading deep into purgatory's dark waters Elsewhere, like 'cristina', they can still summon many erstwhile spirits from the gentle, laconical tidal lapping of early JJ Cale to the manic possession of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and voyage around shifting stratospheres but retain in reserve a knack of the unexpected gear-shift to propel us along into shamanic-mantra realm with them.
Stu Gibson
Die Zorros - Future
Voodoo Rhythm

Well, what more can you say, 'cept that the latest release from voodoo's rhythmical lunatic asylum finds Die Zorros sandblasting a monstrously trash-matic mish-mash of kitschy B-Movie organ-grinds pebbledashed with surfy guitars in wide-open wondrous perma wipe-out mode, creating a sort of malfuntioning Kraftwerk elevator music of the kind some future physicist may find careering round Cindy Wilson's head, should she leave that cosmic delight to science. I aren't usually one for plundering the cheat-sheets but the band's own description of Farfisa Organ Fiasko kinda consummately rams the nail right through the collective heads of several shopping arcade's full of customers (a song titled 'Meek The Joe' is rather apt too). Wonder what they give by way of change? Or a receipt. Anyway, wander in, leave your senses (no doubt forever) outside the door and give them over to splendidly zonked covers of 'Black Sabbath', a bad-trip so-good-you'll-be-consuming-Roky Erickson / Julian Cope-quantities- and-needing-more account of 'Paint It Black' and a pointedly short snapshot of 'Nights In White Satin' nestling scumfortably amongst their own bonkers broadcasts from the surf stroll vs garagey-stomp of 'The Shark' and 'Good Bye Baby' to the very much all at, or all over, the sea, jazz of 'Streets Of Baltimore' (definitely NOT the country song it shares a title with - the japers, eh!), then settle back for a comically queasy nightcap/mare to the strains of 'Sailing'. Yes...that one. Maybe not catering for all occasions but certainly cocktail lounge bar music for quack-heads. All seating arrangements unsuitably supplied.
Stu Gibson
Roy & The Devil's Motorcycle - Forgotten Million Sellers
Voodoo Rhythm

Well, if anything was ever gonna get me to commence battle in the decrepit-computer desert and start scrawling again then it was only really ever gonna be the backlog building up from this label, eh? And what better way to trigger things than this reissue of not just the Swiss psych-stewards long-unavailable first full-lenghter, but the labels too - coupled with the delightful boast that it makes 'Jon Spencer sound like Joni Mitchell'. All too tantalising. As us cynical scribblers know all too well, such things are usually ridiculous slurry largely revealing such statements to be the musical equivalent of a particularly un-inventive mollusc.
So, yarse, I'm quite fucking ecstatic to announce it does indeed make the somewhat at times over-rated Blues Explosion sound like a band simpering beneath slaps from irate fish-wives. Open this unassuming garden gate and you're immediately (kind courtesy of one of the best racket screeches of an 'Intro' ever) sucked into a vortex of skewed country-blues (starting their trend of taking old chestnuts on a ride round the Roy's own asteroid belt with 'Train I Ride') casually chucking cows'n'trees every which way into the caterwaul and merry cataclysms they conjure then dismiss to their destruction chambers - shruggingly redefining the meaning of gonzoid - interspersing the rippling drones and rickety reels with snatches of samples, spoken word, erm, insights, screams n' hollers, feedback and chord squalls like earthquakes resembling snippets of Red Crayola's FreeFormFreakouts, all the while hammering it ragged into the red so far your eyes almost leave your head to see what the hell's happening to your ears. A stunning madcap melange that'll make meringue out of your mincemeat.
Stu Gibson
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