prowling the psychoness with Demented Are Go!

ROCKABILLY IS GETTING OLD, GOING ON 60 YEARS NOW.  DESPITE ITS AGE, IT HAS SOMEHOW REMAINED POPULAR ‘UNDERGROUND’ MUSIC FOR DECADES (with the exception of The Stray Cats cracking the top 40 in the 80’S), MANAGING TO CREATE NEW LEGIONS OF FANS EVERY GENERATION.   NOT THAT THIS HAS BEEN A STATIC JOURNEY.  ROCKABILLY HAS MANAGED TO RETAIN CERTAIN UNCHANGING QUALITIES WHILE UNDERGOING MANY SUBTLE TRANSFORMATIONS.

OR SOMETIMES NOT SO SUBTLE, AS IN THE CASE OF PSYCHOBILLY: THE INSPIRED INTEGRATION OF PUNK ROCKS’ SPEED, VOLUME AND ATTITUDE INTO SOME OF THE CONVENTIONAL SOUNDS AND INSTRUMENTATION OF ROCKABILLY.

IN ANY MEDIUM OF ART, THERE ARE INNOVATORS AND IMITATORS.  ONE COULD SAY THIS APPLIES ESPECIALLY TO ROCKABILLY/PSYCHOBILLY, WHERE THE INNOVATORS ARE FEW AND THE IMITATORS FAMOUS.  BUT EVERY SO OFTEN THERE ARE THOSE FOLKS THAT CARVE THEIR OWN DISTINCT MARK INTO THE LONG (AND SOMETIMES RIGID) TRADITION OF ROCKABILLY;  HASIL ADKINS WAS DOING HIS OWN WARPED VERSION STARTING IN THE LATE 1950’S, THE CRAMPS LAUNCHED THEIR NEW SOUND IN THE 1970’S AND THE 1980’S SAW A PSYCHOBILLY REVOLUTION COMING OUT OF THE U.K..

DEMENTED ARE GO! WERE A TRULY UNIQUE AND HILARIOUS PART OF THE FIRST-WAVE OF BRITISH PSYCHOBILLY,  ADDING FANGORIA-MAGAZINE-STYLE STAGE MAKE-UP, AMPED-UP GUITARS AND ABSURDLY TWISTED SONG LYRICS TO THEIR APPROACH.   [THE GUANA BATS ARE ALSO WORTH MENTIONING HERE – FUNNY, FAST & FURIOUS AT TIMES –  BUT THEY DIDN’T STRAY QUITE AS FAR AWAY FROM THE TRAD ROOTS OF ROCKABILLY AS DID DEMENTED ARE GO.]

DEMENTED’S 1988 ALBUM KICKED OUT OF HELL MIGHT BE CONSIDERED BY SOME (including us) TO BE A CLASSIC PSYCHOBILLY ALBUM OF THE DECADE .  THE RHYTHM SECTION IS RELENTLESS, WITH THUNDEROUS DRUM SOUNDS AND AN AMPHETAMINE-DRIVEN SLAP BASS.  THE GUITARS VACILLATE BETWEEN ROCKABILLY TWANG AND METAL DISTORTION……… AND THEN THERE ARE THE VOCALS.  SPARKY SOUNDS AS IF HE’S A BATTERY-ACID GARGLING DEMON CROONING OUT TWISTED MOUNTAIN BALLADS, BELTING OUT SUCH TENDER NUMBERS AS “SATAN’S REJECTS”, “CRIPPLE IN THE WOODS”, “HUMAN SLUG” AND “DECOMPOSITION”.

IS THIS MUSIC ROCKET SCIENCE?  NO.  IS IT SILLY OR ABSURD?  SURE, AT TIMES.  BUT THAT DOESN’T PRECLUDE IT FROM KICKING ASS!!   KICKED OUT OF HELL IS CERTAINLY NOT TO BE ‘TAKEN TOO SERIOUSLY’, BUT ALWAYS WORTH THE LISTEN.


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