vibrajets - The I-94 Bar
Gold Foil Fever - The Vibrajets (Off the Hip)
So much goodness over just five songs. Warm, fat guitars permeate this predominantly instrumental record like honeybees holed up in in an old hive.
The Vibrajets are Melbourne-based and include past or current members of The Stems, The Shimmys, The Futuras and The Breadmakers - which should tell you most of what you need to know. This 12-inch 45 is their second piece of recorded output, not so hot on the heels of a mono single four years ago. The Vibrajets sound owes its origins as much to the Chet Atkins as “Apache”.
The vintage sound of Sammy-lou Croissant and Julian Matthews’ guitars are all over rumbling opener “Greasy 186”, one of a brace of originals. The shaking cover of Long John Hunter’s “El Paso Rock” reeks of Tecate beer and Tequila chasers. Lick, sip, suck!
With more twang than you can poke a tuning fork at and a vibe that’s positively from the ’50s, this modest little vinyl EP from a Melbourne band is a bona fide gem. Three of the four songs are instrumentals but, unusually for that sort of music, with no surfboards overtly in sight.
It’s valve amp retro rock that draws its inspiration from the pre-surf era of guitar-driven popular music. With Julian Matthews (Stems bassist and also in The Level Spirits) the “star turn” who’s something of a guitar master these days, The Vibrajets embrace the old with a dynanism that steers clear of this ever being authentic for authenticity’s sake.
“Rock til the End of Time” gives rhythm guitarist Sammy-Lee Croissant her time at the mic with a vocal that’s straight out of The Wanda Jackson School. The guitars get up and dance on “33 Errol Street” and while “Petrol Fumes” is a straight-up rocker, “Steak & Eggs” belies its name and is a vibrato monster.
Shake down The Vibrajets on Facebook if you want a mail order copy or hassle them at a show. Reckon Off The Hip would be the right retail place to ask about it in Melbourne if bricks and mortar is your thing.
Greetings Rockers and Goomers! It’s the end of another weird year. How many is that now?
Here are my Top Ten releases - mostly Australian artists - and venues, in no particular order of preference. Not all were released in 2021 - but close enough. These releases and venues kept me sane in 2021.Merry Xmas and a free and Happy New Year!