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The Voo-Dooms - Destination Doomsville

  • Published in UNX

Quite the enigma this lot. If you don’t know the band’s history, then it won’t take very long; remarkably they only formed around a year ago. However, they are all seasoned musicians and have been knocking around for a while. You’ll most certainly will be familiar with the individual members; Bassist - Bruce Brand (Milkshakes, Headcoats, Masonics, DuTronc, Len Bright Combo etc.), Guitarist - Kev Smith (The Baron Four), Drummer - Dave Prince (The Sundowners, The Untamed, The Rat Pack etc.) and Guitarist/Vocalist - Mick Cocksedge (The Untamed, Cordwood Draggers and The Dead Bone Ramblers).

And, there’s been a buzz about the fuzz from the get go; their t-shirts popping up on Facebook - the ghoulish design - green and red with a shrunken head. Definitely enough to capture the imagination of us garage/rock 'n' roll hungry ‘kids’ (please humour me) with a penchant for vintage horror schlock. Then a slew of videos from our favourite UK studio North Down Sound (Ah, so that pesky Mole is involved … further intrigue!) the LP recorded in demonic ‘Mo-Fi’ no less.

In May, as fortune would have it, I happened to be down South. The Voo-Dooms played their debut gig, supporting The X-Men, at the Con Club in Lewes. I’d heard a couple of teaser tracks already - 'The Hangman Stomp' being one of them (now a favourite), and they sounded pretty darn good (expecting no less). Fast forward a few weeks, and they had managed to secure themselves places on the bill at the two best garage, surf and beat festivals in the UK - The Franklin Fest and Beatwave.Their undead power growing stronger and stronger and (because I happened to see them perform at both fests) becoming more relaxed, confident and having plenty of eerie fun with each performance.

Mwah-ha-HA! to the album - Destination Doomsville - a delectable and dizzying journey through the sounds of yesteryear. The cover art, designed in-band, sets the scene (should there be any doubt in your mind - at all - that this band are on a horror trip!). Stand out tracks like ‘Hangman’s Stomp’, ‘Gravedigger’s Night Shift Blues’, earworm ‘Do The Plague’ (‘it’s the new dance craze!’) particularly the latter; really showcases Sgt. Von Doom’s Bobby Pickett-esque intonation, and is nothing short of spine chilling. But it’s not all horror finks and fiends, although they do bring a kooky creepiness to their version of Shel Naylor’s marvellous 'One Fine Day', and the country-esque 'Meet Me Here (In New Orleans)'. Moody ‘No Reflection’ is down right putrefied perfection, and Burke N. Hare (in the sleeve notes) ponders on what we’ve always wondered ‘if one is thus disadvantaged, how come Dracula was always so well groomed?’. It’s also worth mentioning the fabulous lyrics, which throughout the LP, are always delivered with much playfulness.

Needless to say the whole LP is full of feral frights, devious delights and rollicking rock n roll. I hesitate not in saying that we’ve all been well and truly Doomed!

Destination Doomsville is still available as a signed copy with free, yes FREE limited album promo sticker and badge for a measly £15.00 + postage worldwide directly from the band or from Trash Wax without the extras here.

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The Dirty Contacts - The World's End

  • Published in Singles

Hastings five-piece The Dirty Contacts (a dirty contact being an electrical term I am told) roll out their debut single on thee prestigious State Records label, recorded and produced by maestro Mole, and mixed by Jim Riley at Ranscombe Studios no less.

You may recognise drummer Mr. Greensmith from his most excellent recent appearance with The Nuevo Ramon Five (for those of you lucky enough to catch them at Beatwave this summer). There's also an ex-Cannibal in the mix - bassist Mr. Forrester and Sinelabs/Fratcave/Beatwave and self confessed Robo-man, Mr. Ellis on keys. Will all this name dropping ever end I hear you say? And do these tracks live up to such exalted credentials? In a word, yes!

Title track ‘World's End’, for those of a churlish disposition, could be assumed to refer to living in Hastings, and indeed the cover art depicts a scene of the pier on fire. Frosty The Fuzzman does not restrain himself in unleashing the fuzz; cutting like a buzzsaw, it’s heavy, scuzzy, almost grungy, and it screams, crackles and pops like a bowl of apocalyptic Rice Krispies* whilst Mr. Rees has his wailing down pat to compliment this. I admire (very much) a band who are not afraid to go into the red.

It’s worth a mention that these tracks were both recorded live to 8 track - and it shows - the sound production is second to none. The whole composition feels like it's being pushed to it's very limits. In short, it's ordered chaos, contained madness and it’s also quite different from what I expected. This isn't your standard garage-by-numbers offering (and for that reason it's a little lost on me), which doesn't mean to say that it's not an outstanding track for all of the above reasons and in and of itself.

On the B side you'll find a cover of the Billy Childish penned ‘When You Stop Loving Me’ (oh, that riff). But why a cover? TDC are clearly more than capable of writing their own stuff. It's brave to take on Childish - the Medway god of garage punk himself. However, they nail it good and proper (I almost want to say exceed the original, but can’t bring myself to do it!). The organ adds another dimension to the overall sound, which the original lacks, and brings us back into more familiar territory (and 3,2,1 I'm back in my wee garage comfort zone). So if the title track is a little too off piste for your tastes, the flip side is definitely worth the purchase alone.

 

*did I really say that?

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