Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Stompin' Riffraffs......A Dude & 3 Chicks !

It's no real secret that I have a bit of a soft spot when it comes to Japanese Rock 'n' Roll bands, be it The Bait Ones, The 5678's, Guitar Wolf, The Tokyo Cramps, early Supersnazz & Mad 3 or any of the literally 100's of garage and rockabilly bands that have emerged over the last 25 years (and longer)....The Stompin' Riffraffs are no exception. I love the attitude that they all seem to share in common regarding their varying musical ability and approach to what if they don't always get the words right and who cares if there's a bum note or 10 !.....They ROCK and they know how to party !  Our good buddy Lee Powell recently wrote a nice piece on them which should leave you wanting to seek out and get their releases....Here it is.

Need the glasses ?

Stompin’ Riffraffs.
I’m not the world’s biggest fan of social media but to me personally one of its great appeals is being able to follow news on bands and labels which otherwise may well be overlooked.  It can also acts as a wonderful catalyst for the exposure of a bands work and provides the means to reach a far greater audience, which is how I inavertedly stumbled across one of the most exciting and immediately captivating bands I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in quite some time.  I was scrolling through the Facebook page of Wild Records, who in my mind are one of the most impressive, high-calibre labels around, when I happened across a kooky looking video, whose static image reminded me of something out of a Tarantino film only more psychedelic.  I was intrigued so pressed play and instantly the music that burst from the speaker slapped me around the face and threw me to the ground in an explosion of rockabilly in raging Technicolor turned up to its full volume and then some.  It was bloody amazing and instantly pulled me into the atmosphere and sound it created. I was buzzing with excitement and flabbergasted by what I’d heard. I had to know more and so began my bizarre journey into the strange and unusual world of the magnificent Stompin’ Riffraffs. 

High Class Riff Raff !
The song that initially caught my attention and started my torrid love affair with one man and three chicks was the phenomenal “Phantom Rock”. It burst from laptop screen in a full-on audio and visual tsunami of fast-paced rockabilly music and images. If you think of wild primordial rockabilly set in a world where 60’s Batman collides head-on with the visuals from The Monkey’s TV show opening theme song (but not the audio), amid a bar-room brawl where the house band oozes  a kitsch sexuality and entrancing charisma then you’re most certainly heading the in the right direction.  It was genuinely one of the few songs I’ve instantly been captivated by, it rocked relentlessly and by god I needed to hear and know more about the band. 

Lucky Fella !
Formed in 2011 the quartet from Tokyo, Japan consist of the swarve looking Nao on lead vocals and guitar, who is joined by the wild, masked girl gang of Rie on bass (and screams), Miku on piano, Theremin (and screams) and Saori on drums (and screams). Together they produce an amazing, none stop-barrage of rockabilly tinged rock ‘n’ roll which is awash with shreds of 60s garage punk-rock ala The Sonics and the cool slick early 60s instrumental surf, which are encapsulated in the tight embrace of relentless energy, fun and passion. There’s no way in the world you could listen to The Stompin Riffraffs and not feel the urge to let the music move you.
The band have produced an impressive canon of work since their formation which is made up of 5 or so 7” singles, an EP and two albums, the most recent of which has just been released on the US Wild Records label. The album is due to be followed in a few months’ time by the 7” releases of the aforementioned “Phantom Rock” which I can’t wait to get my hands on.

As it says on the tin....The Front Cover !
Their new album, the incredible “A man and Three Chicks” pulls in every element of their sound; rock n roll, garage-rock, surf and rockabilly; and thrust it together as one hell of a white-knuckle rollercoaster of rock n roll.  With excellent production and for that authentic analogue texture, recorded directly onto ¼ inch tape in Wilds Records studio, it helps produce a wonderful live and loud feel to the overall sound of the album. It just screams to be played loud and the louder the volume gets the wilder the rockin’ atmosphere of the album delivers.   Each song is an absolute gem filled with a wild, untamed in-your-face rock n roll ferocity and vigour, and bloody hell it’s fun too.  I can imagine watching this quartet tear up the stage live would be a show you’d never forget, so hopefully like their label mates The Delta Bombers they’ll become frequent visitors to these shores.  But until then pick up their new album and experience 12 killer tunes played with the feral and unbridled passion rock n roll should be played. 

Roaring trade in Green Hornet masks !
“A Man and Three Chicks” should be readily available by the time you read this, so if you like rock n roll, loud, fast and fun then you need this album. Check out the bands Facebook page for videos and music and their websites for news and a chance to get your hands on some very limited 7” vinyl’s, which they are more than willing to ship worldwide (I’ve received my package as I was putting this article together).
I may have raved about the Stompin’ Riffraffs rather a lot but I honestly can’t enthuse enough about them and their music which I quite simple adore.  I must have listened to the new album pretty much daily since it arrived and it just keeps getting better with each listen.  The Stompin’ Riffraffs are without doubt one of the best examples of contemporary rock n roll around. I’m so grateful I stumbled across that video. 

Big thanks to Lee and The Stompin' Riffraffs.

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