The Sabrejets’ new album ‘Sin-sational’ review by Mully

OK Cats and Kittens…LETS GO!! We’re gonna take a trip – a trip back to the future. Join me on a journey to where a ’70s punkster classic is transformed into a ’50s big bopper and the Rockabilly Beat gets dragged, a-kickin’ and a-screamin’ into the present day. This is the real “screw and smash music”, to quote that old codger George Melly. ‘Sin-sational’ is the new release from Belfast’s premier Rock’n’Roll Greaser Kings – The Sabrejets. These hard rockin’ daddies – Brian Young (guitar/lead vocals); Liam Killen (guitar/vocals); Bill Johnston (double bass/vocals) and Laurence McKeown (drums) – have produced a foot tappin’, thigh slappin’, piston pumpin’ turbo-charged slice of rockabilly juke-box Zeitgeist.

Kicking off with a howling ‘Lone Wolf Blues’, we are next regaled by the story of ‘Cindy Ray’ – she being that infamous groundbreaking female tattooist from Williamstown, back in 60s Australia. She has become firm friends with the band after they wrote this composition and, after contacting her, she says she loves the song. The songs come thick and fast, a hot-wired assault on the listener’s ears – tracks celebrating those staples off rock’n’roll tunesmithery – girls and cars (‘Long Black Stockings’ and ‘Hot Rod Hullabulloo’). An album full of hot mamas getting outta pyjamas, fast cars generatin’ steam heat – hot dames, hot rods, all quiffs ‘n’ riffs and tattooed dudes. Propelled by the twin-throttled full frontal attack of Gretsch and Fender keepin’ the pedal to the metal, it’s only the slap-happiest doghouse bass (‘Let’s Fool Around’) and the meanest tub-thumpin’ drums (‘The Devil Drives A Cadillac’) that keep her rubber-side down.

As well as their own tunes, we are treated to a scattering of cover versions – ‘Lets Bop’ (Rockin’ Rebels) – which in my opinion is the weakest track on the album -; ‘Ultra Twist (The Cramps); ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ (The Outcasts) and, the aforementioned alternate take on punk rocker, ‘Blitzkreig Bop’ (The Ramones). You can hear the band’s musical influences scattered throughout the album – Link Wray style riffs, Stray Cat struts with side orders of Carl Perkins, Sam Phillips and an undercurrent of Johnny Thunders, a bowl ‘o’ Chuck Berry for dessert – all perculating into a genre-crossing, time-travelling heavy trash-can of Rockabilly mayhem. With a ton-up boys instrumental (’39th & Norton’) to finish, this CD truly has it all. Overall a rough rockin’, tough talkin’ (with tongue thrust firmly in cheek – check out ‘I Dig Dames’) son of a gun slab of rock ‘n’ roll rapture – it oozes sleaze – it’s nice ‘n’ greasy every time.

So Guys and New York Dolls, you will find seventeen (sic) deadly sins included in this CD – so, dust off them blue suede shoes and circle skirts, stick it in your player and lets twist. When you have finished listening to it, all you’ll wanna do is get stewed, get screwed and get tattooed….and then tomorrow night – you’ll wanna do it all over again!!

Take It Easy, Greasy.

Available on Raucous Records


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