BATMOBILE - BRACE FOR IMPACT.
Release Date: 4th February 2023. Reviewed 8th February 2022 by Dave Diamond. Distribution: Batmobilewebshop.com or your local record store. https://batmobileforever.com/product/cd-brace-for-impact/
BAND MEMBERS: Vocals & Guitar Jeroen Haamers. Drums Johnny Zuidhof. Bass-slap: Eric Haamers. Backing vox: all of the above. Produced and Mixed by Jeroen Haamers at the Sh*tpit Studio. Mastered by Jeroen Haamers at the Sh*tpit Studio. Front cover artwork by: Pieter. M. Dorrenboom.
So where do I start as a brief introduction? Batmobile are a neo-rockabilly/psychobilly band from the Netherlands ..Breda and Rotterdam. The name was suggested by Johnny who put it forward during a band rehearsal. Formed back in 1983 and celebrating their 40th year and after all this time the trio are all together! They were the first band not from the United Kingdom to perform at the mecca of all psychobilly clubs, The Klub Foot in Hammersmith, London on the 10th May 1986 and have a powerhouse live stage performance that’s not to be missed! All tracks on this album are written by Jeroen Haamers, except for Marula Rockahula by Eric Haamers and Brace for Impact and Dance Monkey Style by Johnny Zuidhof with no covers.
In their own words – We formed in 1983, played all over the world in the same line up ever since! Our hopes for 2023 is to get to 2024 alive!! "We didn't get into psychobilly, but that got into us." – Jeroen Haamers”!
Let’s have a listen to the tracks –
Brace For Impact: 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 Zero…. And here we go!… wow what a kick off! Jeroen’s guitar is just screaming right from the start, and I'm loving that noodle lick, kick ass slapping bass from Eric and wowza! What great snare work and sound from Johnny. ”Buckle up and hold on tight!”: raw powerful vocals from Jeroen on this opening number and for sure listeners and readers… you will need to brace yourself for some hard kicking, stomping stuff from this trio. Love it and it’s only the first song!
Batmobeat: song number 2 kicks off with a quick drum intro then all the gang are in on this mid paced number… I am really loving the catchy chorus on this one… and wow! The change of tempo straight afterwards…this one’s gonna get you jumpin’ and a swayin’ when you hear it live… for sure move your feet to the Batmobeat! Nice slap backs on the vocals, I’m really digging the whole structure to this very well worked out tune.
I Wanna Ride: 9 stab section with drums, bass and guitar in unison with rip roaring vocals on this one, with a fab key change on the middle eight… nice eerie sounding guitar, with that slapping bass swiftly right behind it, and those powerhouse drums keeping everything in line! Going all night…I want a ride! Fabulous instrumental section…this number has a very anthem vibe to it. Wild and crazy ending… marvellous!
Sick Love: this track has a 20 second instrumental start and it has great sonic-billy effect in the background… really like that deeper guitar sound, mixed in with the floor tom and non-stop slapping double bass. The guitar lick reminds me of the Johnny Burnette rhythms but brought right into the 21st century with that style called… Batmo-billy!
Dance Monkey Style: oh my god…this one’s a powerful, wild explosive high octane number, with its stumming geetar, the bass just running wild and higher in the mix, and those drums are just pure stomping all the way through Dance dance dance dance monkey style! This tune will leave no one standing watching the band, but full on in the pit with shirts off and hands in the air… let's go..Monkey Style! I gotta add, I am listening to 1 minute 57 seconds of pure non-stop psycho-tastic sounds!
You’re Wrong (About Me) – Johnny starts this one off with a fantastic drum pattern, joined with Eric hard slapping bass joining in the part and strong guitar once again from Jeroen. This song has a great hook line… "Baby you’re wrong about me"... great well thought out lyrics on this tune. This number really showcases the bands musicianship…it really does have everything!
Lili Curd: This one’s a short track at 1minute 36 seconds… I can see everyone heading right to the front for this number. It’s a song about an ugly girl which is 'lillekerd' in dutch slang and that became Lily Curd. Another fantastic great lead vocal from Jeroen that just adds to this head shaker of a tune. It’s a great rhythmic dynamic track and, by the end of it, you will be out of breath as it’s going to spin your brain around and around…this is spellbindingly brilliant!
A Marula Rockahula: all on on this song! A marula tree is believed to have a spiritual connection with the ancestors and as the band say it’s gonna drive you wild…but the marula rockahula fever is gonna drive us wild! Fantastic key changes throughout and great ear worm chorus; another stomping track from these Psychobilly legends… full on sound once again and another non-stop high-powered track from the three guys.
Run Forever: this one grabs you by the throat straight from the off, and it's very reminiscent to those halcyon days of The Klub Foot in ’86….“Run run run run forever…don’t let them getcha…go save your skin!” This one is going to be a new favourite for all Batmobile fans with stops, starts, spectacular slappin, snare, stabs and boom! That guitar is picking awesome! I have to play it again as it’s so god damn dynamically good!
Ba-Baboon: A slower catchy paced number from the trio. Extra baboon yelps and squeals add to this track and its appeal… “12 little monkeys jumpin’ around, we’re the happiest apes that ever been found..." I can see shout backs coming from the faithful when this numbers played live…top notch indeed!
Baby Gets Me: this tune really does get your heart pounding into pudding as that beat and bass really cut through the guitar and the vocals sit just right in the mix… Hey Hey! Once again a fantastic rhythmic tune and extremely impressive mighty vocals once again with lots of change on Jeroen’s vocal range. Catchy snappy number and extremely melodic. It’s so fab…you’re gonna love it!
Fat Boot Girls: those wrist twisting single snare shots really cut through on this number and snare rim shotting brilliant. The Bass continues to shine through; it's so awesomely brilliant and added in with the twangingly fantastic guitar is mind-blowingly brilliance at it’s best. Jeroen continue to excel with his vocal delivery… Fat Boot Girl on my mind! At only 1minute 48 seconds this is pure quality and no more quantity is required!
I’m Just Me: Blimey…I can’t believe I’m about to listen to the final number of this 13 track release..so here goes, gang… I knew it! Batmobile just had to end with a rockin’ high tempo stupendous tune! High end guitar work from Jeroen, nice vocal accompaniments…knockout bass playing from Eric once again and tsunami drumming from Johnny…fantastic self-penned track once again. “Looks like an angel stings like a bee”, “you’re a whole lotta woman and me… I’m just me!”
Band influences: Jeroen tells us that 'Influences have always been Elvis for me, old rockabilly for the band. The new stuff we learned from the UK early 80's, like Restless, Blue Cats and Ricochets. Loved all different kinds of music through the years, Motorhead, The Jam, Housemartins, Link Wray, list is too long to mention them all.'
CLOSING COMMENTS ABOUT THE ALBUM: This album is released as a Limited Edition, Number Stamped and on Yellow Translucent vinyl. This is the trio’s 14th L.P since that first one back in 1985, and Bat-sters what a belter they have dished up for you in this their fourth decade of making fantastic Psycho-bat-billy! This album is a fantastic mix of powerhouse rockers and mid-paced dynamic stompers that are all gonna give you a full dosage of Batmobile medicine, and are loaded with a tactical armoured assault right into your ears!! Jeroen tells me that … “we recorded stuff live, which gives this album a slightly different feel I guess. We also turned back to basics with a more rockabilly sound or Batmobilly if you like. No funny stories just really happy to be back in the saddle with the old crew and working on new stuff already." The album is out so what are you waiting for!! ..go get yourselves a slice of Batmobile and be ready to get revved up!!...Batmo-maniacs are g-o-o-o-o!!
Don't miss out on seeing them at their next UK date on 10th March at Bedlam Breakout!
ANY YOU TUBE CLIPS? https://youtu.be/un1oncPlkv0
Reviewed by Dave Diamond