NORM & THE NIGHTMAREZ - SINISTER TALES
Sinister Tales Album by Norm & The Nightmarez
Release Date: 20/10/2022 on CD & Download on Normal Records.
Vinyl Release will be around March 2023 on Crazy Love Records
Reviewed on 25/10/2022
Reviewed by Holger E. www.radioteddyboys.com
Norm & The Nightmarez on this album are: Norm Elliott with D Bass Player John Goodey on selective trax.
All Nightmarez songs written, Recorded & Produced by Norm
The Phantom Zone were: Norm, Dean Evans & Russel Moles.
The two Phantom Zone songs were recorded at Rich Bitch Studios in Birmingham UK around 1984/5 & produced by Birmingham music legend Rob Bruce,
Ladio at Wreckin’ Bones designed the artwork and cover design though artist Lee Trashcan Minton painted the amazing front cover image of Norm.
Before we start let’s have a quick recap of Norm:
Born in Northern Ireland then moving with is parents to Birmingham UK at age 4. Let’s skip a few years: at 12 years old he discovered 1950’s rock n roll & the 70’s ted scene . Around that time he picked up a guitar at a friends house and within hours he could play it a little, it simply came natural to him. A few weeks later he had bought for him a cheap guitar & a few weeks after that played his 1st live gig in a Rock’n’Roll band … his debut on stage ! After hearing the original Meteors his life changed forever & of course of his music style. He went to the dark Side of Rockabilly. His first psychobilly band ‘The Phantom Zone’ played with early bands like The Guana Batz, The Sting-Rays, The Vibes etc etc. Fast forward to 2022 Norm & The Nightmarez deliver their 4th studio album & it’s one hell of an album. Recorded at Norm’s own Studio (NormZ Studio) & produced by Norm. Norm is not only a master musician and songwriter, he is an Institution of the old and new psychobilly scene, not only in the UK but worldwide.
Track by Track Review:
1.: Dr Phibes: An extraordinary intro to some gruesome lyrical masterpiece, layered with tons and tons of reverb heavy twangy guitar in an old school psychobilly style. Sitting just ever so slightly in the background is an awesome Slap-Bass that does not miss a beat. The Drums sound so easy going but still hard enough for this track. Only a Cat has 9 lives.
2.: The Radioactive Man: This is Norm’s follow up to the Meteors RadioActive Kid & we find out what’s become of him. This track is to coin Norm’s phrase: pure Rockin’ Psychobilly. Up-beat and hard is the way this Slap-Bass goes. Hope all strings are still intact. Great drum beat too. Norm is proving that there is a reason that he is around the psycho scene for so long. The combination of his shredding guitar and evil vocal is like demented silk (maybe green silk). Will we all end up glowing green? It even ends with the same earth shattering explosion the original ends with.
3.: Like No Other Night Before: Hit them Drums hard Norm. He definitely has all under control. John Goodey is imprinting his Slap-Bass ability again on this track (wow). Dry sounding guitar that lifts the vocals and is not overpowering. Great guitar solo too. It sounds like there is a bit of echo on the vocals which fits spot on. Real old school Rockin PsychoBILLY with a great groove.
4.: Jake Monsetta: Twangy surf guitar gives this song a dark soul snatching feel. Cymbal driven drums that run at a rattling pace. The Bass slips in at grumbling timing to fill out the background. If not the Devil maybe Norm is after your soul and the introduction to the dark side that is psychobilly.
5.: Magazine: This goes right back to the beginning of psychobilly. Like punk meets Slap-Bass. Screaming guitar like the good old days. Lots of angry Hi-Hat and Snare Drum. The Psychobilly Slap-Bass really thunders on. This is every young boys wet dream in a song.
6.: Rise Of The Mothmen: Welcome to Mexico. Beautiful finger picking Gretsch sound underlined with some percussion. Lazy sounding Slap-Bass to give it the spaghetti western feel at a shoot-out. Full bodied drums played so soft like the Tumble Weed in the dessert. Cool Instrumental Track to say the least.
7.: Old Scratch: A solid wrecker ! Just in time for halloween, this wraithlike old school psychobilly pulls you in like Old Scratch will do. Norms captivating guitar is coupled with dry sounding drums and tons of double tapping on the Slap-Bass from thee bassman John Goodey, he’s in a league of his own !
8.: Psychobilly Pensioners From Outer Space: Heavy rocking rockabilly guitar with the forward thrusters on full blast. Laser beam precession from this unbelievable Slap-Bass. Drums that switch from left(Psychobilly) to right (Jazz) to give the track a cool break without pissing yourself. Full on psychobilly humour than will ring a bell with the original psychos !!
9.: Future Shock: The western soundtrack from outer space would be a good description. Cool rhythm that integrates and lifts the twangy guitar. Drums and Slap-Bass are on par and not set into the background. Roses are red and Mexican Space Westerns are not dead. A pure Sci Fi psycho instrumental with a little acoustic guitar classical solo snuck in. This is the instrumental version of RadioActive Man. Just as the original Meteors did in a couple of cases.
10.: She Goes Out With A Wolfman: Reverb and blues heavy guitar on a down-beat tempo, that has a slight hint of the 60’s surf vibe during the solo. Cool Drums that lift the whole thing to the next level. The Slap-Bass is giving you the right feel and holds it all together.
11.: Then There Were None: This dark blood-curdling song is a horror movie. Stone dry finger picking Slap-Bass with 100% clear double and triple tapping like the fresh air in the woods. Slow played Drums sounding more like gun shots from a hunting rifle. Screaming reverb guitar to give it the suspense only a gruesome revenge horror story needs.
Two previously unreleased demos by Norm’s 1st Psycho band: The Phantom Zone:
12.: Adam’s Rib: A real pit wrecker ! Lots of effects on the vocals to give it the impression of the early years of psychobilly ( which it was ) hard, fast and screaming mad, just the way we like it.
13.: The Thing: This song is using the same effects on the vocals. The Drums are slightly up front and gets help from the bass to keep the guitar and vocal in check. Welcome back to the early 80’s & the early years of psychobilly !!!.
1.: Dr Phibes:
2.: The RadioActive Man:
3.: Like No Other Night Before:
4.: Jake Monsetta:
6.: Rise Of The Mothmen:
7.: Old Scratch:
8.: Psychobilly Pensioners From Outer Space:
9.: Future Shock:
10.: She Goes Out With A Wolfman:
11.: Then There Were None:
12.: Adam’s Rib:
13.: The Thing
Norm was, is and ever will be one of the masters of lyrics, just listen to all these songs. Not just words, he is telling horror stories with a smile. As everyone knows, laughter is good medicine. You could argue that he is not the first, but seriously, he is out there, in your face and you can leave it or love it. I know where I stand … I LOVE IT !!! I go as far as saying ’Genius’ when it comes to dark horror psychobilly lyrics and how to structure & play them.
Check Norm & The Nightmarez on YouTube etc and then go to Norm Elliott’s facebook for CD releases on his label ‘Normal Records’ where all profits go to the cancer ward that nursed his father until he sadly died. For Norm’s vinyl releases go to Crazy Love Records website where you will find a huge amount of quality psychobilly vinyl releases as well as Norms.
Norm & The Nightmarez return to live work from March 2023 until the end of June 2024.
To book one of their wild guitar shredding live shows email: email@example.com
Facebook Band Page : https://www.facebook.com/Nightmarez666
YouTube: Just search Norm & The Nightmarez