THE DEVIL'S LOOKING FOR YOU - Java Skull (Hepcat Records)
Psychobilly meets burlesque on this eight-song 10" mini-LP from Danish duo Java Skull. It's a simple formula that exudes cool, thanks in no small part to the melodramatic vocals of Marco Burro. Mixing sparse keyboard and guitar arrangements and the swing of Uncle Jakob on drums, it's a satisfying combination.
You might find yourself listening for horns on a song like "Bullshit Blues" while a couple of the others (the title track and "Friendly Fire") are so simple they sound unfinished, but that's a reflection on Java Skull keeping it minimal, I guess. Production is mostly clean with a lot of time obviously spent on getting the drums to sound right - this is no lo-fi stomp despite the members' origins in Copenhagen garage band The Untamed.
Things get fuzzy on "The Gravedigger" where vamping keyboards are pushed to the front. The lyrical content isn't original - just how many songs can you name in a minute about working in a cemetery? - but Java Skull don't mind tapping into the ghoulish campiness that goes with the style. "Shithole Hotel" is the heavy one, fuzzed-up with clattering percussion and a heavy kick drum.
If you're looking for a reference point from Australia you might try the Intercontinental Playboys, whose suave, groove-heavy universe intersects with that of Java Skull. - The Barman
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