CAVE GIRL - The TexReys (Ugh! Records)
Had I not known boss man Brendan Kibble's prior rap sheet (Citadel artists The Bam Balams, Aussie Cajun swamp rockers the Navahodads and the Rob Younger Brit '60s jukebox Nanker Phelge) I might have been tempted to sideline this on the strength of its "69 BC" schtick. Hadn't that stoneage thing been done to death? Of course we at the Bar never damn discs without a listening or three and "Cave Girl" is proof, it it were needed, that you never, ever judge these things by their cover.
Speaking of, not only is the Cave Girl thereon a looker - and ya just gotta love a lady who can out-sneer El Presley - but the disc inside is the aural equivalent. In short, it's a temptress with 13 lucky tracks of grooving garage goodness who not only knows how to cut to the chase but parties like it's 1965. What more could the 21st Century version of Fred Flintsone need?
As you may have guessed, these are not songs about existentialism and its part in post-modern existence or the pain of a long-term break-up. These are scholcky rock tunes about vampires, stoneage bonking, going bananas and generally having a fun time. I'm sure you can deal with all that. There's no better place to be influenced by the '60s than Texas, I reckon, home to the Elevators, Moving Sidewalks and the Zakary Thacks to name three great bands. The TexReys don't so much celebrate '60s punk as revel in it.
It is great to hear "Wig" Kibble's commanding vocal all over these songs and mixed up front. For those not in the loop, Kibble's an expat Sydneysider who's been transplanted to Austin, Texas (o lucky man), by a spousal job shift. Seeing Austin's a musical capital of sorts, Wig wasted little time assembling a local band whose ranks are blessed by early line-up Dead Boy member/Stiv Bators Bomp period sideman Eddy C. Best on geetar. John Dorn (drums) and Vic Gerard (bass) are Austin scene fixtures with the latter a member of fuzz surf king Davie Allan's bands. All things considered, that's a tale about Wig landing on his feet.
Even with a kilelr band it'd be hard work without good songs and there's plenty here. "Primitive Love", the wistful jangler "Conjurgation" and the insistent pop rocker "Melt My Mind" would be champions in most leagues. "Ghoul Au-Go-Go" recalls Lord Sutch with the addition of the Lyres as backing band (it's actually guest player Jeanine Attaway on keys), while fuzz fans can take special solace in the sounds of "Evil One" and "Goin' Ape".
The production is a little homespun in places but great garage rock hardly needs technological sophistication. I'm hearing the sounds of my collection of '80s Oz singles in this - which, along, with sinusitis or a big night is the thing most likely to make me go all rheumy-eyed at this time of the year.
There's no better place to score this than CD Baby. Pick up a club and beat a path to their cave door. - The Barman
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