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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Allvey


Evil Daltons - Psycho Dad

Released October 29th 2022

Reviewed by Kate, 23rd January 2022

Released by Your Blood Records

Evil Daltons are:

Gunnar - Guitar / Vocals

Rodney - Drums

Heiner - Bass/Double Bass /Backing Vocals

Everyone loves a story of a great rise and fall, or fall and rise. From the Lion King to Donald Trump, these capture our imagination. How about this for a story, then? Three young guys, two of whom had barely left high school, decide to start a psychobilly band in 1992. Their first album is a huge critical success, they tour with big-hitters like the Meteors and keep it together despite lineup changes….until their project gets put on ice. One member completes his degree, another starts a bakery, and they all start families. In 2010, two of the original members meet at a birthday party and realise the magic is still there, and begin quietly rehearsing the guitarist’s cellar. They release a second album in 2016 after recording fourteen tracks in three days, The psychobilly world had not forgotten them and in 2017 P Paul Fenech of the Meteors mastered their live album. Now, with a third album released thirty years after they’ve formed, they are on the up again and playing their brand of Gutter-Demons flavoured psycho all over their native Germany. The story of Evil Daltons has got it all, and that’s before I’ve even mentioned how great Psycho Dad is…

Surfin’ Witch - Dark waves of surf guitar and witchy cackles in the spirit of KIller Tone Jones. The only words are the title and the only limits to the drumming are Rodney’s arm strength, which is surely pushed to its limits on this harsh number.

This Way - There’s a primitive, early eighties energy to this number which is wild and snarling. There’s slap bass to spare and a great, unhinged guitar breakdown, and if you like deliberate underproduction to keep things rootsy, you’ll love this record.

Lonesome Rider - One of my favourites on the album. A trotting cowboy number with enough lonely desert road energy that you can almost smell the campfires, and Gunnar’s guitar work is super effective.

Girls - It reminds me of drunken walks along the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. A simple shout along party classic about how much the band like girls. It’s fun in a Ramones kind of way and it’s going to go down well live.

Desert Trail - There’s always room for more outlaw songs in my life. It’s clear that these guys have the same heritage as Rosemary’s Triplets and this song would make a fabulously dark collaboration. The rhythm doesn’t let up for a second.

Coffin Surfer - Raucous and fun with hoedown tinges, this will be a big dance number live. Heiner’s bass work and shout along backing vocals are brilliant, and the switches between serious and playful are genuine and enjoyable. The slower section two thirds of the way through must be there to give everyone a break from wrecking.

Shark Lady - The closest they come to a conventional rock song, this number is the sound of a band getting into their stride. “Shark-shark-shark girl” never sounded like such a compliment and they stretch their range to bring in a building harmony in praise of this apex predator. Again, there’s a Ramones flavour to this number which is really enjoyable.

Tainted Love - The Soft Cell original has been covered by everyone from Marilyn Manson to King Salami, so what can Evil Daltons bring to it? A shedload of slap bass under punk guitar, that’s what! We get a hint about how much fun their shows must be when we hear the shout of “Let’s Go!’ Sometimes you have to strip a song back to its bare bones and rebuild it in a new image to appreciate how good it is, and that’s just what Evil Daltons have done.

Party Time - Wild bass and popping drums take us on a walk, and the punk simplicity of the lyrics is great. Sometimes we get so caught up in the 50s horror movie world of psycho that we forget that we’d be nowhere without punk in our lineage, and there’s always room for a loud, brash party song in the genre.

Psycho Dad - The title track has a brilliant opening and an angry popping rhythm. You can’t really go wrong with a good murder song on this kind of album, and it’s the zest on words like ‘blood’ that make this one a brilliant tune.

Sympathy For The Devil - a big cover, and with only the original Rolling Stones song and the questionable Guns and Roses version to compare it to there’s a lot of room for innovation. I’m a huge fan of the slap bass work on this song and the constant pop of the drums. It’s glorious in a Sid Vicious ‘My Way’ sense.

Demon Breed - Let’s throw in a monster song in the vein of Demented Are Go’s ‘Can’t Sleep At Night’! It’s menacing fun with some very impressive vocal gymnastics and very unsettling guitar.

Highnoon - If you want to throw a cowboy theme party which you feel will degenerate into a whisky fuelled wrestling event, this is the song that will soundtrack it. Fast, excellent pit music.

The Passenger - Iggy Pop’s iconic song gets a psychobilly make-under. I’m in love with the adapted intro, and this song is full of enough rowdy Gogol Bordello-esque charm to win over fans old and new.

If you like your psychobilly stripped back and your covers with a pub singer, raucous energy like a fight about to break out at a saloon, then Evil Daltons are the band for you. I’m so pleased they are back from the wilderness bringing their punk stylings to the scene, and you will be too as soon as you crack open Psycho Dad.

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