Guana Batz: Original Albums Plus Peel Sessions

Psychobilly favourites’ early recordings boxed up.

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This West London four-piece were ace faces of the psychobilly scene of the mid-1980s, and are still keeping their flat-tops bristling today.

It was their manic live shows at places like London’s Klub Foot that cemented their reputation, though, and even if that anarchic energy is sometimes slightly sanitised on their first four studio albums reissued here (mostly thanks to producers’ attempts to give it a pop polish) on their 1985 debut and 1988’s Rough Edges it still channels the punk rock urgency and Cramps-y menace with which they injected their clutch of covers (including unlikely offerings such as Springsteen’s I’m On Fire) and rockabilly originals.

The Peel sessions sound particularly good, with turbo-charged readings of King Rat and Nightwatch, plus other choice non-album cuts like Zombie Walk and The Cave that benefit from being as rough and ready as the band’s early gigs were./o:p

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock