BAD DOOLEYS - WILD HEART
Bad Dooleys - Wild Heart
Released 22nd November 2022
Reviewed by Kate 8th January 2023
Bad Dooleys are:
Sven Eyberg - Guitar /vocals
Hajo Mokick - Bass
Matthias Prost - Slap Bass
Robert Haller - Drums
Released via Stay Sick Records
Imagining parallel universes is always a fun time-waster. What if Elvis had achieved an old man grunge renaissance like Johnny Cash? What if the Cadillac had never been invented and Vince Taylor had to sing about his Brand New Rolls Royce? What if the late great Vivienne Westwood had turned her hand to a-line dresses and sweetheart necklines instead of punk? While, sadly, these questions will never be answered in this timeline, we can definitively answer the question of whether the Bad Dooleys will ever get the recognition they deserve, and the answer is ‘hopefully, with this absolutely brilliant old school psycho album’.
Founded in Braunschweig, Germany in 1985, they’re one of Germany’s longest running psychobilly bands and have played with big-hitters like The Meteors and Batmobile. This, their 6th studio album, features five re-recorded classic tracks and five new songs, and should have been released two years ago to celebrate their 35th anniversary (but, y’know, there was this pandemic…). They’ve carved their own path through the psychobilly sound, keeping it old-school and not chasing after any of the flashier trends on the scene. Think the Krewman meets the Sharks with just a dash of early Guana Batz and you’re on the right track with this underrated band!
Wild Heart: Starting with a snappy little drum roll and very intense slap bass, this peppy number about fighting evil features so much relish from Sven on his gritty, rolling vocals. It’s dark and minimal, and so Meteors it hurts. Break out your creepers because this is a big wrecking number.
Dead Man Walking: Sinister snarls over creepy guitar in this slower number which breaks down into pure rockabilly instrumental sections. It’s got this empty-warehouse demo feel to it which highlights the bluntness of the drumming and shows that you don’t need bells and whistles to make a good psycho track.
Who Do You Think You Are: Defiant lyrics and a simple repeated and distorted guitar riff like a radar beeping while looking for danger are the big hallmarks of this track. We dip our toes into surf territory and there’s so much slap bass hidden away in the background to search for. Sven has one of those iconic psychobilly voices, like a slightly deeper Sparky, and it’s glorious.
Me & My Chevy: Touching country and western on this trashy road trip song with a slight flavour of Mad Sin’s ‘9 Lives’, and Sven’s guitar fun over Matthias really going at it on the slap bass makes this one of my favourite song son the album.
Psycho Rebels From Hell: If there’s a song which sums up this record, it’s this one. A brilliantly dramatic track with a stripped back vibe and Robert working overtime on the drums. It deserves a cover by Nekromantix, but then that would sadly take away the grime on the vocals.
Shark Attack: This has to be their equivalent of King Rat: a singalong from the early days of the band which must be a fan favourite. If you aren’t singing ‘Shark-shark-shark attack, that’s a SHARK ATTACK!’ after listening then I’m concerned. It’s a menacing, fun, jumping song and the best song I’ve heard about sharks in a long time.
John The Fly: A rhythm section like a galloping horse under some brutal guitar chords, and we really appreciate what having two bass players can do to a song’s sense of impending doom. ‘He loves the danger..’ snarls Sven and you will too.
Hey Little Girl: I was expecting this to be a renamed cover of ‘Babe I’m On Fire’, but instead we get a dark country song with that kind of vicious feel that Kryptonix throw into tracks like ‘The Outlaw’. It’s all guitar solos, loneliness and a gang of backing vocals in this salaciously wonderful tune.
Ghostfighter: The perfect compliment to Transylvania Express, it’s a fun, cartoonish number about a hero fighting supernatural forces. With a quick tempo and a light touch on the guitar, it’s a great addition to the genre and gives you the push to buy tickets to whatever festival Bad Dooleys are playing next!
Wild Wood: Not a Paul Weller cover, this is another supernatural themed jam about the dangers of finding yourself lost in the woods. A smooth finish to an otherwise pleasingly jagged record to ease us out of the world of the Bad Dooleys and back to reality, and this bluesier number shows how many genres the Dooleys have dabbled in over their long career.
This is a great album showcasing both the highlights of a band with a rich history in the psycho genre and the new direction they’re going in. Check it out, sing along to Shark Attack and give this band the recognition they deserve for being one of the originators of the genre.