Forget Crockett and Tubbs, Live Aid and the Rubik’s Cube. For psychobillies, the 80s were all about a face full of chicken blood, a swig of Newcastle Brown Ale and a cut-down Vespa PX125.
The Meteors – the genre’s originators; fan christened ‘OTMAPP’ (Only The Meteors Are Pure Psychobilly) – have released a shedload of studio and live albums since their spawning in 1980.
This new box set mines the mid- to late-80s glory years. So, aside from a colourful cardboard box and all-too-brief liner notes, you get 1984’s Stampede; Monkey’s Breath (’85); Sewertime Blues (’86); Don’t Touch The Bang Bang Fruit (’87); and The Mutant Monkey And The Surfers From Zorch (’88).
Each platter is classic Meteors, blissfully free from tedious stuff like artistic development: bastard Luther Perkins riffs, a bitch-slapped bass and drums played like they’re falling down the stairs. What makes this worth a deeper sniff are the bonus mixes of Meteor staples like the seasick vibe of Go Buddy Go (Wonkey Donkey Mix), the glam-rock drum-fuelled Stampede (King Ray Bat Escalator In The Dark Mix) and a raucous blast through CCR’s Bad Moon Rising which sounds like it’s sung from the murderous hillbilly perspective in this instance.
The Meteors are still doing the business and the virulence of their punk/rockabilly DNA splice has infected countless bands like Tiger Army, HorrorPops and the much-missed Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers. Five Classic Studio Albums represents the blueprint of the music that refuses to die./o:p