Share DELICIOUS DEATH – The Untamed (Heptown Records)
Country. Rockabilly. Horror. Place these three words in a sentence (and particularly one involving musical genre) and you’d normally have me quietly backing towards the door. If ever a dead horse has been flogged, gutted and hung out to dry, that is it. Every failed punk in the world has turned his tattooed nose to that particular grindstone and usually had less than mixed results. I picked up this disc from the enormous pile the Barman had sent me and shrugged. It had to be shit. Still, those CDs needed reviewing and I figured I’d start at the bottom of the barrel and work my way up.
Wrong. This record is fantastic. Forget any preconceptions you might have. Sure this is a (Swedish) three-piece rockabilly/country band with all lyrics having a horror theme. They have the requisite tattoos and bat logos. They have the female bassist with the name Helle Hellcat whose use of black eye makeup may force a global shortage. Their drummer is called the Ghoul. Like Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel in “The Producers”, I’m sitting here scratching my head and wondering where did they go right.
Well, for a start, they take the music seriously. I don’t mean they put on scientist suits and try to pull it apart. No. What they do is play it like they mean it. You’d think that would be the simplest thing but it’s getting increasingly rarer. They’ve listened to other people’s records and they’ve loved what they heard. They haven’t said “wouldn’t it be funny if we did that”. They haven’t thought about picking up a few bucks by playing music they’ll let you play in a bowling club. They are in love with a sound and that love shines through like the warm hum of a diamond needle hitting vinyl.
Marco Burro’s vocals are a joy to listen too. He might not be a Roy Orbison but at the very least he is a Charlie Rich. One thing that often ruins these bands is a vocalist who sounds like he only knows two notes but is afraid of using the second one in case someone calls him a sissy. That’s not a problem here. The playing is outstanding from all concerned. Faultless. Dynamic. Just plain fun. Listening to them makes me jealous in the best possible way.
Another thing this band has got going for them is that they’re not afraid of sidestepping the genre. They have a fuzzbox and they know when and where to use it. They’ll punk out in a guitar solo when the need arises. I bet they set every room they play in on fire. This is the sort of band you’d see on a Friday night and then go see on Saturday and Sunday too.
I’d like to think that if you’re ever in Copenhagen, you’d look them up. Alternatively, if enough people buy this disc, maybe they’ll come to Australia and tour. Well, it’s worth a thought, anyway. What I will tell you is that your collection is not complete without this disc and I’m keeping mine! - Bob Short
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