|Depravity in Zero Gravity, Various Artists
Western Star, WSRC001
This is the first release of the Western Star Recording Company out of Bristol (UK). I figure Western Star wanted to try something completely different, or maybe try to reach a broader audience, because this compilation is the strangest collection we've ever seen on the rockabilly scene. It's not all rockabilly, but an odd mix of psycho, rock 'n' roll, surfrock and some contemporary rockabilly, all with a space age theme. Not quite my taste I must admit. Especially the Kill Van Helsing tracks are totally out of scope on our rockabilly website, and their opener "Destroy All Humans" might sound like a lot of noise to most fans of authentic rockabilly. Same goes for Frenzy's "The Truth". Shock Therapy has a more solid rockabilly rhythm, the band is reviewed elsewhere on this website.
I had never heard of Popeye's Dik before (you could get arrested for a name like that in the 50s), but the track included here "I Saw Something Moving On Uranus" is actually pretty cool, despite of the distorted guutars and vocals. Howlin Wilson's rendition of the all-round surf classic "Telstar" is pretty close to the original. Next is Bill Fadden & The Silvertone Flyers with "Satellite Rock", authentic rockabilly, previously released on a 45 vinyl EP. The Mystery Gang song "Rocket-O" was new to me, I don't have it on any of their previous releases, but it's a genuine rockabilly song from this very cool rockabilly band from Hungary. Check out their full length CD "Hot 'n' Wild Rockabilly Cuts".
Dawg House is also present on this platter with a nice country style bopper titled "Bodysnatchers Got My Dog". Bill Smarme is also a new name to me, but he's doing a nifty version here of Don Lang's "Red Planet Rock". J.D. & The Chasers are doing Billy Lee Riley's "Flying Saucers Rock 'n' Roll", and they do a good job, cool & wild rockabilly with a hard thumping upright bass. Another Kill Van Helsing song "Quartermass" is a garage style surfrock instrumental, and darn good too, if you like the genre. Chuck & The Hula's do their own interpretation of "The Purple People Eater", staying quite true to Sheb Wooley's original, with a greasy English accent.
Shock Therapy has got a second track titled "Barbarella", neither of the Shock Therapy tracks are on their "Tearin' Up The Road" CD. Bill Fadden's "Rocket Powered Daddy" was written espcially for me I guess, 'cause when I get on the road on my mean motorcycle machine, I feel indeed like a rock powered daddy. Cool rockabilly song!
Here's another superb Howlin Wilson space surf song for you "Fireball XL5", but Far Cue's "Fine All Front Here" is more of a punk hardrock song and doesn't really fit in on this compilation. Mystery Gang's "Fly To The Moon" is a well known song on the rockabilly scene, being released before on 45 as well as CD, it'll still rock your socks off. More cool rockabilly comes from The Blue J's with "Space-Hopper Rock", exquisite rock 'n' roll guitar picking. Bill Smarne does a little blue grass rockabilly for you titled "Satellite baby" and Neck-Valve closes the album with the hardcore title song "Depravity In Zero Gravity". This sounds more like Ramstein, and certainly has nothing to do with rockabilly or rock 'n' roll.
If you enjoyed the Kill Van Helsing tracks, check out their latest release "Alien Hotrod", also on the Western Star label (out of scope for this website).
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2003