Slingshots - Feel So Right
The Drugstore Cowboys -
gotta marvel at the durability of rockabilly. Most other popular
genresjazz, Motown, R&B, rock and roll, et al.have
mutated and cross-pollinated so much that they often barely recall
their origins. But rockabilly just keeps chugging along. That
there are still bands who play exuberant, adventurous rockabilly
to a dedicated (some might say slavish) fan base is a testament
to how great the music is.
course, rockabilly hasnt remained entirely unchanged since
it first exploded back at the dawn of rock and roll, when white
boys with guitars began mixing R&Bs raucous elements
with their hillbilly stylings. Of all the developments in popular
music, punk has had the most influence. In many ways, early punk
resembles early RAB: hyper, energetic music played for and by
kids with a distinct fashion sense who scared the bejeezus out
of their parents. Consequently, rockabilly bands these days by
and large fall into one of two categories: post-punk and pre-punk.
Two new releases on Raucous Records out of England typify each
camp. In one corner, represented by The Slingshots, is the traditional
form of rockabilly, all Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent. In the
other is rockabillys bastard brother, psychobillyfaster,
darker, and demented (think early Reverend Horton Heat)as
exemplified by The Drugstore Cowboys. Both are excellent discs.
Slingshots adhere more closely to rockabillys country roots.
You can distinctly hear the blues and boogie in almost all their
songs. Even sans a drummer, they have a propulsive rhythm that
makes them easily as lively as The Drugstore Cowboys power
RAB. The Cowboys play fast and hard, slowing down only to amp
up their more sinister aspects. Both bands feature excellent
guitar playing, and each recording offers a fine example of why
rockabilly isnt going anywhere soon.