ZOMBIE JAMBOREE - MEN FROM THE EAST
Released on Coprolithe Records Reviewed by Nick ‘Rockin Doc’ Kemp, 25th January 2022
Zombie Jamboree are: Damien Baldeck - Drums Sebastien Muller - Double bass Rudi La Goutte - guitar and lead vocals
When I first saw the name of this band my mind automatically had them down as a psychobilly band. This was based in no small part on Demented Are Go’s stage make-up and their song Zombie Stalk as well as the Cracks’ and Banane Metalik’s stage attire, and of course, sometimes the name of a band, I think here, specifically of Blood Sucking Zombies from Outerspace. Add to this the name of a Frantic Flintstones’ album ‘Jamboree’ and you can begin to understand my logic. Except that, a little bit of research quickly established that the band’s name was in fact directly borrowed from a song by easy listening, calypso king Harry Belafonte. So, to which of these two genres does the band in hand most closely coalesce? Whilst the answer is obviously the former, it is by less distance than you might imagine because whilst the term rockabilly is appropriate to Zombie Jamboree, the term psychobilly is not. Just to dispel one further misnomer, the ‘East’ to which they refer in the album’s title is not Eastern Europe from where such impressive bands as the Magnetix and Stressor emanate, but rather from Eastern France.
‘Gone, Gone Dream’ kicks of the album and it does so with some absolutely delightful guitar playing on top of some terrific slap-bass. The singer is also very cool and delivers his lines with considerable aplomb. This is a super way to begin an album with a very strong track.
‘Ma Voisine’ is next and is in French so I have no idea what it is about, but there is splendid interplay of male and female vocals in what is another really strong song with great guitar playing all the way through.
‘No Doubt About It’, is a quirky and fun number listing the ways in which women can be cast in devilish fashion: ‘you’re my monster baby’, ‘you’re my vampirella’ ect. With very nice guitar work.
‘I Stubbed My Toe’, is pretty much the only lyric in this excellent piece of nonsense, that leaves you in no doubt that this guy can really play the guitar.
‘Come Sweet Chariot’ slows the pace significantly and is something of a lounge number. It is remains, however, a fine song.
‘Working On The Railroad’ has a nice groove to it. `The only words of the song are those in the title.
The next song, ‘Hiver Brumeux’, exhibits the sort of flare that has been evident in modern rockabilly since the advent of the Reverend Horton Heat in the early 1990s. This song is instrumental.
On ‘Zombie Jamboree’ we then have a Bo Diddleyesque guitar pattern before morphing into a very jolly rockabilly number with some very tastey lead work.
‘Evil Ways’ is another sort of lounge number but with nice blues guitar.
‘Poor Mother’ also uses some of the minor chords used by the Rev and does so to good effect here.
‘Accidentally’ is a very nice-clipped song with perfect bass playing as is true of the whole album incidentally. The distinctive baritone vocals of Rudi work well on this.
The final song, ‘Men From the East’, perhaps somewhat ironically conjured up images of the wild west. It is an instrumental and a superbly evocative one.
This is a superb rockabilly album. It might as the band suggests, be at the savage end of rockabilly, but I evidently happen to like that end very much. Certainly, this band is well worth checking out, but more than that, if you should happen to see any of their records while you are out and about, do the right thing, and pick them up. Highly recommended. I await the next album with artwork by Marcel Bontempi, no less, with scarcely contained enthusiasm.