X Ray Cat Trio ‘Love, Blood & Monsters’ – album review

X Ray Cat Trio ‘Love, Blood & Monsters’ (Buzzards Claw Records / Trash Wax Records)
CD | LP | DL
Release date: 6th March 2020

Leeds’ favourite surf punks, X Ray Cat Trio are back with another slab of dirty trashy rock ‘n’ roll; the follow up to their late 2015 debut ‘Out For Blood’ and the more recent ‘I Lied’ EP which we described as “dark, jagged and will fuck you over with a smile”

Thankfully they seem to have taken that as a compliment!

“Love, Blood & Monsters” is a befitting title for a collection of songs that switch from graveyard blues howlers via mescaline induced psychedelic doo-wop to psychobilly grinding surf grooves. It’s a stunning set that literally encompasses every nuance from the birth of rock ‘n’ roll – opener ‘Terrordactyl’ (sic) is a brooding instrumental, complete with deathly howls that builds into an explosive Farfisa rage, play it loud enough and you will pick up some neat vocal harmonies deep in the mire; whilst ‘Morticia’ is clearly a forlorn lament over a Ramones sourced bobby-socks bopper but not without a sense of dark humour.

There is literally so much on offer, El Nico and his boys have plundered from the fetid waters of rocks least travelled streams, the tequila laced ‘Deathrace 2000’ that seems to glorify in the blood and splatter – yet even that will not prepare you for the warped high school croon of ‘When You Gonna Do It’ which has guest vocals courtesy of Harriet Hyde who previously fronted stoners Black Moth alongside El Nico.

Let’s not forget, this is the band who penned ‘The Devil’s Cum Rag’, when you have a title as luminous as that you don’t want to give it up easily, hence we get ‘Pt. 2’ – a psychobilly belter built around razor-sharp guitar, and taut 50’s drumming that hits like a claw hammer, perhaps the same hammer the drums are being savaged with during ‘Getalonggang’ which sounds like a dripping raw one-take recording, a pounding rhythm, frazzled guitars, vocals that need medicating, similarly for the honking brass on the multi-genre binge contained within ‘Ah C’Mon’

Blink and you miss it ‘Goodnight Little Vampire’ – a 27 second Billy Childish stained wailing and a whooping stomper that precedes the break-up ‘Nina Noelle’ which is all sorrowful, except its X Ray Cat Trio so it’s like a Buckfast sponsored ‘Wicked Game’… should a video exist it would be shot in Hunslet as opposed to Hawaii and a certain Miss Christensen would be replaced by either San or Tray.

X Ray Cat Trio are essential a rockabilly band, drawing their influence from a genre many disregard as revivalist; “Love, Blood & Monsters” sees them effortlessly debunk that theory, they have acknowledged the Born Bad torch bearers, but with rich song writing, a healthy dose of self-belief and blood splashed vaudeville, are able to breathe new life into this particular old dog.

The album is being launched with a FREE hometown show at the Brudenell, Leeds on Thursday 5th March 2020

Launch Event

CD Edition available direct from X Ray Cat Trio | Ltd LP edition available from Trash Wax Records

X-Ray Cat Trio Online:


Previous articleRaining in the Mountain – film review
Next articleLes Amazones D’Afrique ‘AMAZONES POWER’ : album review ‘5 star release from Mali of modern African women empowering pop’
Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here