The Meteors 'Don't Touch The Bang Bang Fruit' – album review
The Meteors are set to release their new album ‘Doing The Lords Work’ in October; as such this Anagram Records reissue is a timely reminder of just how long Fenech and Co. have dominated the psychobilly scene.
The Meteors ‘Don’t Touch The Bang Bang Fruit’ (Cherry Red)
First released in 1987; a year fondly recalled by those with an interest in psychobilly and all other derivatives…and if you look back now it seems you reflect on a time and attitude now lost; back then differing genres would emerge and entire sub-cultures would rise up. The Pistols declared 1977 to be Year Zero, what followed was mod, then Two-Tone, New Romantics each sound within its fans had a visible identity, and in the mid 80’s perhaps on the back of the attention The Cramps gained came the hell spawn that was psychobilly;
In 1987, and arguably to date, one band dominated the scene and notched up both column inches and national chart hits to match. That band is The Meteors, the self declared purveyors of “pure psychobilly”Â whose own following, the highly visible ”ËWreckin Crew’ was the most fervent.
The Meteors laid out a blueprint that was widely copied and with the release of ”ËDon’t Touch The Bang Bang Fruit’ they effortlessly demonstrated their characteristic hook laden song writing abilities, and stuck to their lyrical themes of psychos, grave robbing ”â though opening with a cover of The Stranglers ”ËGo Buddy Go’ probably surprised a few. John Peel picked up on the track, which was then rush released as a separate single reaching #15 in the Indie Chart and propelling Fenech’s crew into the psyche of the Men In Black’s followers.
Now you don’t listen to The Meteors to observe musical invention, they rigidly stay within their own self defined boundaries, but knowledge is key and in Paul Fenech The Meteors have a man steeped in the history of rock ”Ën’ roll ”â he draws influence from country, rockabilly, blues through to surf which he feeds through the punk mixer before throwing in the schlock horror lyrics.
The Meteors line-up for this recording included Arms Malone (Bass) and Toby ”ËJug’ Griffin (Drums) who provide a intimidating powerful rhythm section to compliment Fenech’s dark tales of depravity; like I stated The Meteors aren’t ever going to throw in real out there curveball tracks but the album across the twelve tracks does offer variation, ”ËMidnight People’ and in particular ”ËLow Livin’ Daddy’ with its hammered harmonica reach back to the blues, ”ËCrack Me Up’ defines psychobilly ”â a pure unadulterated Wreckin Crew classic, fast guitar riffs, hog slappin bass and Fenech’s deranged caterwauling, which just about prepares you for ”ËPsycho Cat’ a hellfire rage that fuels the slam dancing. I did for a moment consider that The Meteors might have listened to their critics who accuse them of being one dimensional, how else could you explain the humour laced title track as Fenech warns his Kattle and Krew of the dangers of the deadly Bang Bang Fruit, even instructing Jugs to “speed it up Juggy Wuggy”Â, but no The Meteors don’t listen to anyone as their mantra states “if you don’t like us…fuck off!”Â The Meteors work on their own terms
The album comes with four bonus tracks previously lost on out of print 12”Â singles ”â the entire package serves as a reminder of the potency of The Meteors and demonstrates exactly how they built their fanatical fan base, and why they remain the Kings of Psychobilly.
1. Go Buddy Go
2. Midnight People
3. Low Livin’ Daddy
4. Your Worst Nightmare
5. Wildkat Ways
6. Repo Man
7. Don’t Touch The Bang Bang Fruit
8. Crack Me Up
9. Shakey Snakey
10. Psycho Kat
11. Let’s Go
12. Revenge Of El Trio Los Bastardos
13. Go Buddy Go (Wonkey Donkey Mix)
14. Don’t Touch The Bang Bang Fruit (Manky Monkey Mix)
15. Dateless Nights
16. Corpse Grinder
The Meteors are set to release their new album ”ËDoing The Lord’s Work’ via People Like You Records on the 8th October 2012.
The Meteors live:
The Waterfront, Norwich 20th September
The Fleece, Bristol 21st September
The Garage, London 22nd September 2012 (Tickets)
The Hydrant, Brighton 23rd September