Monday, 10 August 2009

The Meteors - Hell Train Rollin'

The Meteors - Hell Train Rollin'
People Like You Records

Tracklist: Surfing Home On a Dead Girl, Hate Train, Psychobilly Number 1, Another Day On Fire, The Old Man's Down the Road, Down and Dirty, If Thats the Way You Want It, Creepy, Pure Evil, Devil Bone, Cut by Cut (Slice by Slice), This Town, 4lb Hammer

I think it's 24 official albums in 29 years for the Kings of Pyschobilly, The Meteors. The lynchpin through this time has been guitarist and vocalist P. Paul Fenech, who is again the dominant force on Hell Train Rollin'. The early work with Nigel Lewis was such a breath of fresh air and their first two albums, the immortal In Heaven and the relentless follow-up Wreckin' Crew are two of my favourites albums and are rightly reagrded as pyscho classics. To me, In Heaven is the benchmark for pyschobilly in the same was that Elvis' Sun singles are to rockabilly. The Meteors have gone through many line-up changes since 1980 and currently features Simon Linden on bass and Wolfgang Hordemann on drums. The trio are a tight as a drum and the good name of the band is in safe hands.

Hell Train Rollin' won't surprise anyone, it's full of all the gore and hate you'd imagine, and musically comes with the full-steam attack that a mosh-pit demands. The opener, Surfing Home On a Dead Girl, is everything the title says - the dark ominous tone of Dick Dale's guitar being more the inspiration than the Beach Boys style of surf. Fenech released a solo surf album as The Surfing Dead so this isn't new ground for him. It's a great start before all miserable bastards are invited on to the Hate Train. I really enjoyed the frantic Psychobilly Number 1 (I'm the bastard son of the devil's rock 'n' roll) and John Fogerty's The Old Man's Down the Road is the perfect vehicle for Fenech.

The album really kicks to life for me with the two manic rockers Down and Dirty and If Thats the Way You Want It, before going into pure pyscho heaven with Creepy, which has some tasty Fenech guitar. It's probably the best soing here and reminds me of the early stuff as does the dark and moody, Pure Evil. Devil Bone is bit of rockin' Chicago blues with harmonica to the fore. So all told, a really strong album that should appeal to old fans. I've just played it again this morning and the guy in the car with me who isn't in to my music actually liked it! The problem is,. People who aren't in to it, never get to hear it because there's no music channels on the radio or tv with enough balls to try something different.

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