The Irradiates “Lost Transmissions From The Remote Outpost”

10 previously unreleased, live, or rare songs by France’s best surf rock band The IRRADIATES. “All You Need Is… Transmutation” puts you right into the band’s vintage sci-fi world with some strident punked-up surf rock. “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die” is a great song title, and no wonder that you can hear the DEAD KENNEDYS‘ spirit in it. The IRRADIATES have never been a trad surf band, but they sometimes get close to it in songs like “Ca$h” or “Dr. Holidays.”
While the tracks are mostly instrumental, you’ll hear some vocals in “Slide Machine” (13th ELEVATORS cover with JERRY SPIDER GANG‘s vocalist Lo as a guest), “Everything Turns Grey” (live AGENT ORANGE cover with Mike Palm guesting on vocals!), or in “Knowledge From Abroad” that surprisingly almost sounds like a FUGAZI song.
This record comes out in a cool gatefold cover, including notes about each song and black and white pictures of the producers/audio engineers who worked on these songs. Good job again, guys! /Laurent C.
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The Irradiates “Revenge Of The Plants”

RevengeOfThePlantsWatch out! France’s best cosmic surf punk band is back with 12 new songs recorded and mixed by Jim Monroe (CJ Ramone, The ADOLESCENTS, etc.) in Besançon, France (Cube Studio.)
“Revenge Of The Plants” is mixed in a more old-school (trad-surf rock) way than the band’s previous releases (Their 2010 release “Audio Mental Manipulation Device” was recorded by Steve Albini, and thus had a more “indie/punk rock sound”), here guitars from Dick Den’s and Arno DeCea are orgasmically fighting with each other (“Locked In The Chromatic Spectrum”, “Malherbologie”, “Audrey Jr.”) while Buanax and Macst’s groovy punky rhythm section solidly stands in the back.
You’ll hear some raw guitar riffs mixed to moody ones in songs like “Shut Up. Let’s Grow” or “Parola 12345678(9)”, some classic rock’n’roll guitars and punk rock vocals (“Jack-In-The-Pulpit”, or the amazing “Tales Of A Poisoned Seed” and its DEAD KENNEDYS vocal touches), and clever tributes to the pioneers of surf music (Link Wray, Dick Dale, etc.) in songs like “Caulerpa Taxifolia”, “Unidentified Wild Flower”‘ or “Sap Rain.”
Ending on a dramatic note with a track called “Herbivore” (not too surprising for a vegetarian band, right?), “Revenge Of The Plants” will drown your mind in a colourful Sci-Fi, B-Movie sea while your feet won’t do anything but dance!/Laurent C.


The Taikonauts “Mysteriis Alienis Mundi”

TaikonautsIt seems like I hear about a new French surf music band every two weeks these days! The TAIKONAUTS don’t dress as cosmonauts or sci-fi creatures, they chose the classy black and white Reservoir Dogs look instead, but just like most other bands in the style, they use vintage movie samples and probably worship Dick Dale every day before breakfast.
The TAIKONAUTS are not a new band though, they released their first album “Surf Music From Outer Space” 3 years ago, and offer us 14 new instrumental songs that should be able to make you dance all night long, because as good as it is, surf rock is live music before all. The CD comes out in a nice retro/50s sci-fi looking digipack , and the vinyl version probably looks even better!
Track titles such as “S.S. Conspiracy”, “UFO Stomp”, “Fatal Radiation Overdose” or “Mexico Deluxe” should be enough to make you check The TAIKONAUTS out… If you like traditional surf music spiced with modern energy, then you need to get “Mysteriis Alienis Mundi.”/Laurent C.

Demon Vendetta “Guardians Of The Bitter Sea”

DVendettaNasty Samy gets back to surf rock with this 8 song vinyl. While he used to play bass in HAWAII SAMURAÏ (one of the best French surf bands!), he now uses his guitar to bring us this horror movie influenced project.
This is surf music, but not in a traditional way, think of DICK DALE jammin’ with M.O.D. or The BEACH BOYS partyin’ with Rambo! Surf guitars, punk rock beats and thrash metal riffs altogether is what you get on here. Quite an original recipe and some great moments (“The Force Of Gravity”, “Retaliation Stomp”…) DEMON VENDETTA even offers us their own version of JOY DIVISION’s “Transmission” (here rebaptized “Transmission Mono” as they don’t play it by the book), the song that got me into Ian Curtis’ band back in high-school! Just another proof that a good song can work in many different music styles.
Sometimes not far from the MAN OR ASTROMAN? in their vision of surf music, DEMON VENDETTA created a new monster with this debut release, call it crossover surf, surf metal punk or whatever, but that swampy creature will get you if you let it approach you… /Laurent C.

The Sunmakers “Viens Twister Ce Soir”

The French surf rock scene has brought us some interesting acts these last years, bands such as HAWAII SAMUAI or The IRRADIATES for instance.
The SUNMAKERS hail from wine city Bordeaux and enjoy 60s French Yéyé twist (“Le Twist des Sunmakers”, “Surboom Chez John”, “Cette Fille-Là”, “Starfire”…) as much as traditional surf rock (“Le Rail Du Jugement Dernier”, “Waiia”, “Welcome To The Surfin’ Horror Show”…)
60s Z-movies, 50s robots, sunny beaches and vintage sounds are all part of The SUNMAKERS’ universe but the band also sometimes sounds more rockabilly-ish on “Back To You” or “Crazy Legs”.
This is the kind of album you need to get before the dark winter days come. It might be useful!/Laurent C.

The Barabarellatones

Tranni cryptic rock’n’roll from space? Glam goth’n’roll from sunny California? The BARBARELLATONES are hard to describe but listening to their new album « Interview With a Vampire » made us want to know more about them. Robbie answered our questions.

Can you introduce the band ?

My studio band is me (Robbie Quine) on electric sitar, guitar, bass, vocals, Dave dagger on drums and Joe vant on lead guitar, and Peter DiStefano from Porno For Pyros/Peter Murphy on lead guitar on some trax. My live band here in Hawaii is Hillary Marsh on guitar, Alan Jackson on Bass and Dave Dagger on drums with me on sitar/vocals.

Your new album is called “Interview With A Vampire”, is there any concept behind it? Are you aware of the existence of the band/artist called Glampire?

I have been a glam/goth dude for a long-ass time! So I’ve been calling myself a glampire since the 80’s. I know there is an artist called Glampire, but in Hollywood it’s a common term. I feel that one thing glam and goth have in common is that they are both erotic forms of rock and androgynous.

What are your musical influences? Seems like David Bowie has had a big influence on you, am I wrong?

My influences are pretty obvious…Bowie! I also love The Cramps, The Velvet Underground, The Seeds, T-Rex, the list goes on and on!

Speaking of influences, there?s a lot of “movie atmospheres” in your music, what movies influenced you?

I love bad B-Movies and silent horror films. I also love campy shit like ‘Rocky Horror’.

Have you played a lot of shows so far? Best memories? Worst ones?

I love playing live. I usually dress in drag, and I’m also in the tranni-rock band ‘Sex With Lurch’. I loved playing the fetish ball in Hollywood, but even if we’re playing a sleazy dump somewhere it’s fun to me. Like all bands, some nights shit just goes wrong…broken strings on stage or feedback on the monitors, but ya just roll with it and crack some jokes or something, or take your clothes off!

Have you played in different States there? I guess there must be places where the band’s image probably shocks people?

The only states I’ve gigged in are California and Hawaii, but I would love to play in Europe one day. I’ve been to Gay Paris, but not with the band unfortunately. It is a dream of mine to play out in your neck of the woods.

Can you tell us more about your songs? What are they about? Fiction? Reality?…

I write about what I love and have experienced. I am a surfer, so a lot of my songs have that influence. I was a Junkie for a zillion years too, but I’ve been clean and sober for the past 14 years-One day at a time, of course. So I know the darkness intimately but I also know about hope and healing too. I enjoy pop culture like I said before, with the whole monster thing.

It seems like there’s more bands with a strong image now than 5 years ago, whether they’re into glam rock, goth metal or J-Rock/Visual Kei?, what’s your opinion on it?

I have to think about that a little. To me the most important thing is good songs. I think image is also important, but it’s cool when an artist is being creative when inventing his/herself. Ziggy Stardust is a perfect example.

What?s your opinion on the music business today? Is it worse than in the past?

I hate the music biz! I am glad to be unsigned doing the DIY thing. Most of the music I hear is Dorky and does not pass my goosebump test!

What are the band’s projects?

My latest project is a ‘Best Of The Barbarellatones’ cd I’m finishing up. I remixed some of our earlier songs and recorded some new stuff also. There’s a track called ‘Pussycat Babylon’ produced by punk legend Geza X (Dead Kennedys, Germs) that’s on there and Paul Roessler from 45 Grave and Nina Hagen is playing keyboards on it. I am such a name-dropper, it’s scandalous! This year we got our song ‘The Fire Of Love’ licensed for The Sopranos-episode ‘Luxury Lounge’ aired 4/23 on HBO. Thanx, Luv, Robbie