The Devil's Looking For You - Java Skull (Heptown Records)

javaskull-devilPsychobilly meets burlesque on this eight-song, 10" mini-LP from Danish duo Java Skull. It's a simple formula that exudes cool, thanks in no small part to the melodramatic vocals of Marco Burro. Mixing sparse keyboard and guitar arrangements and the swing of Uncle Jakob on drums, it's a satisfying combination.

Music To Chase Cars By - The Majestic Kelp (Head Records)

musictochasecarsCanines chase cars and humans drive them, so I’m not sure where the name comes from for this second album for Dom Mariani’s instro/surf music offshoot. It is probably just a signal that they’re not taking it all too seriously. It’s doubtful the disc contains sounds with frequencies too high for all but animal ears, but it sure sounds damn fine when you’re behind the wheel.

Turn Up The Sun - Dom Mariani and The Majestic Kelp (Head Records)

turn-up-the-sunStar billing for Mr Mariani in the band name these days is no surprise. He's been leading this diverse and floating crew for years and they've never failed to deliver on a promise of broadening the limited palette of traditional surf music. Putting Dom's moniker on the cover won't hurt sales and most of the playing is his own work.

Blades Of Grass - Dirty Streets (Alive Naturalsound)

dirty-streetsBeen on a Humble Pie trip for a bit around the I-94 Bar and it struck me that the less pastoral and more excessive they became, the better those guys got. This Mississippi-via-Memphis trio Dirty Streets is coming from the same place and despite their album's misnomer of a title (there's no sign of rolling fields and English countryside here) they purvey a fine line in swaggering rock.

The Living Eyes - The Living Eyes (Z-Man Records)

The-Living-EyesLike what we all think of as ‘the '50s’, ‘the '60s’, as far as I can see, lasted from about 1963 to 1969. Unlike the preceeding decade, the breadth and scope of the musical landslide was so utterly extraordinary that bands are still borrowing and leaching off the period today.