Billy – Volume One – Review


Volume One (Hepcat)
by Grady Gadbow

I have to admit, it’s been a while since anyone has asked me what the word “rockabilly” referred to, but next time they do, I’ll hand them this comp and send them back to the rock beneath which they did hitherto abide.

With a few notable exceptions, rockabilly is a hipster costume party emulation of rock and roll’s first unsteady steps out of the primordial soup that covered America until 1955 when Marty McFly went back in time and invented the guitar solo. I do a lot of darn research for these things, you know.

Anyway, this comp is a very good cross-section of the genre. A lot of the songs are re-heated corn dogs dipped in Velveta and will make you puke. Conventional love song themes in general, and “Steady Baby” by Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Trio in particular, are hard to choke down.

The Reverend Horton Heat got a well-deserved first track (he shoulda had the rest as well, but it’s a sampler, after all) and it’s premium Heat with funny lyrics about drinking and whatnot.

The Nekromantix and Blue Moon Boys manage to make their predictable songs worth hearing by playing the guitar very fast, which is cool. Os Catalepticos have a sound going with some punk rock elements I kinda dig and fast, tricky percussion. You’ll have to skip that song at your ’50s costume party or someone might break character.

The last track is a Deke Dickerson instrumental with hot rod noises. I wonder how he does it live? Also: Wayne Hancock, James Intveld, Marti Brom, Three Bad Jacks, Demented Are Go, Dusty 45’s, Cave Cat Sammy, Restless, The Quakes, Josie Kruezter, Frantic Flintstones, Flea Bobs, Big Six, Rambling James and the Billyboppers, Go Cat Go.
(PO Box 1108 Orange, CA 92856)