Finally, a band from that stands out from the musical pabulum: PHANTOM OF THE BLACK HILLS are in a separate category that really speaks for them. There are some musicians that go in a similar direction (Hellbilly or Doom Country) such as Hank III and ASSJACK, Hipbone Slim or in the broadest sense Bob Wayne. The CRAMPS have already proved in the Seventies what depth this kind of sound can have. You can hear the CRAMPS in the PHANTOM OF THE BLACK HILLS, which is probably because the album was produced by their ex-bassist Chopper Franklin and mixed by punk legend Geza X (DEAD KENNEDYS, BLACK FLAG etc.). The special feature is the Phantom’s especially brutal use of fiddle and banjo, which is reinforced by striking guitar riffs and very critical lyrics. Overall, the result is a brutal, varied album, suitable for both line dancing as well as the Pogo. (9 stars) Igor Eberhard, Ox-Fanzine, Germany
Archive for December, 2012
An older but still great review of the only full length release by Hollywood’s Berlin Brats has been brought to our attention, read it here:
EXHUMED: Berlin Brats Believe It or Rot 1973-76 LP
Finally, Hollywood’s first and foremost New York Dolls worshipping glam scum (and best band to appear in a Cheech and Chong movie), The Berlin Brats, have been given their just dessert with the release of Believe It Or Rot: 1973-1976. Eleven tracks of great, glammy, rock n’ roll recorded in what sounds like a fallout shelter. The obligatory inclusion of the “(I’m) Psychotic” 7” is found here on the A-side as well three other studio cuts, apparently discovered on a “lost” tape that one can assume had been left next to a boiler for the last three decades.
The second side of the LP features six live tracks, with slight repetition setting in during the reappearance of “(I’m) Psychotic” and “Vinyl.” A good cover of the Stones’ “Surprise, Surprise” and Mr. Berry’s “Bye Bye Johnny” mix in with a smattering of originals last heard when Iggy was a platinum blonde – all adequate documents of the moister side of rock n’ roll, circa the mid-1970’s.
Across the board, the sound is tinny and thin but the punch is as raw and vicious as ever, so if the Berlin Brats come off as a poor man’s Dolls, then that’s because they were more desperate and hungry than their East Coast inspiration. What the BB’s lacked in skill and originality they more than made up for in their attack (in an almost identical manner to the UK’s Hollywood Brats – I’m beginning to see a theme here…). This is the shit, fuckers.
Berlin Brats in 1976
Read the review on the Victim of Time site by clicking HERE
Artist: The Mau Maus
Album: Scorched Earth Policies: Then & Now
Label: Rachet Blade Records
Reviewer: Cassandra Young
Date: Oct 21, 2012
Established in 1977, resulting from the breakup of their former band the Berlin Brats, the Mau Maus have a notorious reputation as trouble makers. With the release of their first legitimate recorded album ‘Scorched Earth Policies: Then and Now’, the band has given their fans something tangible, as they have been craving for almost forty years.
With the legendary Rick Wilder filling the position of front man; Robbie Krieger, Michael Livingston, and Greg Salva on guitar; Scott “Chopper” Franklin on bass; and Paul “Black” Mars on drums, the band has become an icon in the Punk scene. Though Wilder is the only original member still standing, all have a chemistry that is undeniably powerful. Their drive and ability to create a lasting sound has made them a permanent staple in the music industry.
With a history like The Mau Maus, there is no escaping their reputation. Band members changing like the days of the week, cops appearing at their doorstep about five times a night, and starting uncountable riots, the band hasn’t just made their mark on music, they’ve made it on society. Incorporating both songs from their past as well as recently written and recorded songs from today, they have pieced together a compelling album that will be played for many decades to come.
Kicking of their album with “(I’m) Psychotic”, they already paint a picture of just who they really are. The dominant bass line, sweet guitar solos, extremely fun chorus, and just about as much china as you can handle introduces The Mau Maus in the best way possible. “Warbaby” is the perfect song for one who’s looking for the angst expected from angry rockers. With impressive guitar riffs and a single amazing guitar solo the song has become a fan favorite. “Joyride (to the End of the World)”, written by Wilder, is one of the slower (however, not slow at all), and more powerful songs. “Doomsdaze”, one of the most enjoyable songs on the album, opens with the group yelling, “Yeah, yeah, yeah” which continues throughout the song, giving off the loud, rambunctious vibe loved by all Punk listeners.
Though they’re what would be considered veterans of the scene, The Mau Maus plan on releasing another album in the future. With talent like theirs, there is no reason not to. The Mau Maus have been an influential band throughout the entire Punk industry since 1977 and are continuing to influence bands in today’s music scene.