THE ILLEGAL MOVERS vs THE COYOTE MEN - The Illegal Movers/The Coyote Men (Captains of Industry)
Yeah, they had me for a minute there. The cover of "Savage" (by Brisbane's Fun Things) was obvious but I had to dig through album covers to work out that the Cosmic Psychos had originally put "Can't Come In" to vinyl all of 20-something years ago. But playing "Name That Tune" is a diversion from The Main Game. Which is a split album by Northern England's own Bowery punks, The Illegal Movers, and their Mexican wrestling mask wearing touring partners and alter egos, The Coyote Men.

We at the Bar were mighty impressed with our first taste of the Movers, "Buzzpunkpowerpoprockactiondeluxe" on Middle Class Pig, and this disc does nothing to detract from that first impression. Ten tracks - half by the Movers, including the aforementioned Oz covers, and the balance from the Coyotes - make for a mighty slab of turn-it-up, slam-'em-down-hard Rock Action. It's recycled rifferama - but that ain't no put-down. If you're gonna borrow, grab from the best.

And in the case of the Movers/Coyote Men that means the Hitmen school of rock 'n'' roll jukebox, the Dictators and anyone who else ever took wrestling, cars, girls, pizza and beer in equally serious amounts. Throw in some Heartbreakers grime as well ('though their vices don't appear on the list above). All in all, this is fun, fun, fun in the warm (?) Newcastle-on-Tyne sun.

You know "I Coulda Been a Contender" reads like a Handsome Dick manifesto but you also know it feels good. Not much wrong with the aural hammering "You Can't Kill Rock 'n' Roll" gives you either (and it's an admirable sentiment, to boot).

As might befit the masks and their name, Los Coyote Men mix a liberal amount of chilli and Cajun spice into their punk rock tortilla, with "Monkey Glands" a direct descendent of the Psychotic Turnbuckles' cover of the Shandells' "Go Go Gorilla" and the Dolls' "Stranded in the Jungle". "Little Latin Lupe Lu" is as loopy as you like while "I'm Cryin' " resembles the Animals in only so much as the term's a description of a kingdom (like vegetable or mineral). The Coyotes' stuff feels a tad looser and less overdriven than the Movers' quintet of tunes, but no less worthy.

And the tag team winner is...a draw with both teams coming out on top in a cage match rumble that leaves no man unbloodied. Clearly Rock 'n' Roll is the winner. The Movers and the Coyotes are touring the UK and Europe over December 2003-February '04 (love to see them join themselves on stage for an encore). Copies of the split album are limited to 1000 and you can bet most of them will move off the merch stand in quick time, so drop a line and order with haste. - The Barman


The Illegal Movers sent a note with the promo copy of their album that said they didn't want to play cricket, just kick some rock action arse - and that's probably an advisable thing to do considering Poms can no longer play the bat and ball game competently. What (some) English bands - and these guys, quite obviously - can still do is play fast, loud and energetic rock and roll. You couldn't help but rock when you're so exposed to Sweden - and in the case of the Illegal Movers, your ranks include a former American Ruse member and Jeff Dahl sideman in Flyin' Brian Atkinson (guitar, vocals and all songs). Shouldn't be a surprise as the Poms have taken rock back to the Americas on so many occasions that it's almost impossible to keep count.

Anyway, the Illegal Movers are fast, direct and bereft of pretensions. And very Dictators. "Rock Action Deluxe", "How Can It Be Wrong" and "Shake It Wild" would do Adny and Co proud. Not lightly said but there's more than an echo of Ross the Boss in the guitar on "Contact High" too. Smatterings of "Apocalypse Dudes" Turbonegro here and there. Fans of the Psychotic Turnbuckles would approve of the musical tenor and mindset of a (curiously abbreviated) song like "Wrestlin' 'n' Rock 'n' Roll", which winds up the whole shebang.

The only real beef is that it's all over before it's begun, clocking in at a miserly 21 minutes. Leave 'em wanting more, I reckon the strategy was. Come to think of it, Manitoba's Wild Kingdom did the same back in the '80s with their one and only long player. - The Barman