Moving Right Along
I have a whole lot of Davie Allan & The Arrows CDs and LPs. But whenever a new one arrives at GAB Headquarters, I can't help doing a little end zone victory dance. This latest offering of fuzzed out guitar boogie has a little of everything. There are new versions of old Davie penned favorites such as "Bongo Party" and "Slip Stream." There are covers of a couple choice standards in "Shape of Things to Come" and "Ghost Riders in the Sky." There's a great female vocal version of "Listen to the Guitar Man." There are a number of vocal tracks in which Davie proves he's more than just a phenomenal axeman. Check out "Heartache" and "Restless in L.A." if you think I'm making this part up. Of course, there is a veritable plethora of raging guitar on track after track of biker movie manna. Davie is a national treasure as far as I'm concerned and as long as he keeps putting out quality material I will continue to snatch it up and pretend I'm a naughty running back all alone on the one yard line with a football gently landing in my arms. (Spinout Records - www.spinoutmusic.com)

Live Wire! - CD
I'm always amazed at how many incredibly talented musicians have come and gone without getting their due. Thanks to dedicated record collectors and labels with the moxie to take chances, some of these unsung heroes occasionally get a second chance at capturing the public's imagination. I had never heard of Phil Baugh before, but he did have a country hit in the '60s with "Country Guitar," one of those songs where the singer mentions famous guitar pickers and his axe slinger nails the signature style. The baker's dozen tracks on this CD were all recorded between '64 and '65. They showcase the clean and intricate finger picking of Phil and his longtime singing partner Vern Stovall. While the vocal tracks are good, things really get cooking when Vern gives his pipes a rest and Phil takes center stage. Like Jimmy Bryant and James Burton, Phil played so beautifully it almost seems like he must have had a pact with the devil. As great as his recorded legacy is, though, it didn't set the world on fire when he made his stab at stardom. Phil Baugh might never be remembered by more than a small number of fans, but those few fortunate souls will treasure these tracks forever. Did I mention that Deke Dickerson did the liner notes? (Sundazed Music - www.sundazed.com)

Thatcher's Children - CD
Billy has recreated himself again. I can't even keep up anymore. This is the third album he has released with The Musicians of the British Empire. Billy has put together his most stripped down group yet. This pounding, plodding trio is made up of Billy on vocals and guitar, Nurse Julie on vocals and bass and the ever-engaging Wolf Howard on drums. The only surprise here is that Billy has managed to continue his forward momentum with a new lineup without skipping a beat. All Billy's angst and raw rock power are on display on the twelve blasts of primal energy that make up this latest in a long, long, list of '60s inspired punk albums. Billy's snarl is softened on some tracks by Julie's background crooning. On "Coffee Date," "He's Making a Tape," "Back Among the Medway Losers" and "I'm Depressed," the good nurse steps up to the microphone and delivers a blistering squeaky, dishwater blonde lead vocal that is right up there with anything Thee Headcoatees ever sang. Mr. Howard takes center stage on an instrumental ditty called "Dole Drums (the Wolf Howard Theme)." This "Wipeout" inspired bit of lunacy is a highlight for me, but there is a welcome retro feel throughout. Go Billy Go! (Damaged Goods - www.damagedgoods.co.uk)

Travelled and Unravelled - CD EP
Hot on the heels of their debut album Soundtrack to the Daily Grind comes this four-song blast of garage rock groove. "Too Few Things" is stunningly well crafted and executed. This could have been the hottest single from the best 1967 underground psychedelic sensation out of London. But it's not; it's Graham Day of Prisoners, Mighty Caesars and Buff Medways fame along with Dan Elektro and Buzz Hagstrom of The Woggles. The aforementioned tune and the title track to their debut album are paired up with two new tracks. "The Most Expensive Sleep" and "Backstage Bore" are rife with the same grandiose garage rock drive and punch that made Soundtrack to the Daily Grind such a welcome blast last year. Freakbeat is alive and well. I'll be looking forward to more Gaolers CDs in the future. (Damaged Goods Records - www.damagedgoods.co.uk)

Featuring The Diplomettes - CD
All aboard for the funkiest soul train experience in town. The party groove sensations are back. This time out they have thrown out all the stops and have brought along some lovely ladies to boost the excitement level a few notches. There are still some instrumental ravers for those who only need a Hammond organ, tight rhythm section, chunka chunka guitar and some swinging sax to make their feet do the boogaloo. When Sarah Cram, Katherine Ruestow and Abbie Sawyer chime in, though, the band reaches the next plateau. This could be the album that breaks this group to a much broader audience. This is definitely radio friendly. The Diplomats have always shined in the studio and this new expanded version of the band showcases their recording prowess like never before. According to the liners, the music was all done live in the studio. That's some hot playing! (Pravda Records - www.pravdamusic.com)

Spaghetti Surf - CD
Poor old Jimi Hendrix must be spinning in his grave faster than a Neutron Star on steroids. By the time the surf music craze has died out in places like Croatia and Outer Mongolia, the Americans will jump back in and start a whole new wave of hot-dogger mania. I Fantomatici is from Greece or maybe Italy, but that doesn't really matter because surf knows no language barrier. Hmmm, maybe these hodads could record a song called "Language Barrier Reef" and cut me in on the profits. I won't be holding my breath. Anything could happen, though. I mean they do have some rather zany song titles. "Crockabilly" and "Orgasmo Intergalattica" aren't that far removed from one of my stinker puns. How can you not get excited about a guitar based, reverb enhanced band that does a swinging tune called "Klaus Kinski," I ask you. This is music that is guaranteed to take you to "Banana Beach" then put you in orbit with a stirring vision of "Sputnik." Go with the flow, Daddy-O. (Green Cookie - www.greencookie.gr)

"Instrumental E.P." - 7 incher
It's extremely rare that I review 45s anymore. This one is worth bending my self-imposed rules for. Jason, Justin and Kevin continue to entertain and enthrall. There are a few vocal spasms on this E.P., but they are only thrown in as occasional reminders of a couple of the song titles. Kind of like "Tequila" or "Comanche." Even then, the vocal snarls here are so mumbled, garbled and buried in the mix that it's rather hard to decipher exactly what they are going on about. I can still remember how excited I was when The Milkshakes put out "The Men with the Golden Guitars." This five-song platter has the same raunchy, three-chord, give your throat a rest, rock and roll vibe. The lads scored a major coup; they got Don Craine of Downliners Sect (legend status to the max!) to do the liner notes. Don did a wonderful job of describing the rockin' "Domino," the drivin' "Praying Mantis," the eerie and mysterious "The Leap," the blues fueled "Strolling through Belgium" and the ravin' "In the Hands of a Madman." Nice!!! (Wee Rock Records - www.weerockrecords.com)

Bozstik Haze; Have Love Will Travel; Ballad of the Insolent Pup; Here Comes Cessation - CDs
Wow, what a great thing to find in your mailbox! I already had two of these albums on vinyl and the other two on Japanese import CD, but I still got a thrill when I opened this demo package from Damaged Goods and all these treasures came spilling out into my lap. For anyone who has been living in a cave for the last fifteen years, Thee Headcoatees were the gals who hooked up with Billy Childish and enabled him to make his brand of garage manna as palatable to girl group enthusiasts as it had been to us retro guy-rock devotees all along. Thee Headcoatees were Bongo Debbie, Holly Golightly, Kyra LaRubia and Ludella Black. One would sing lead, the others would sing backups and Billy and his buddies would bash out the music on tune after tune, on album after album and I was just as happy as a clam to go along with the program year after year. Thee Headcoatees rode off into the sunset after they had saved the day, but they left behind a wealth of music. Many of the songs were reworked versions of numbers Billy had already released under Thee Headcoats or Mighty Caesars mantle, but there were always nice little surprises and hearing the gals' patented laid back warble always made me smile. Now's your chance to get all the goods you may have missed out on the first time around. Yahoo! (Damaged Goods - www.damagedgoods.co.uk)