“The Scourge of the South”

Invading Europe from North Carolina (USA) with their own kind of original stomping rockabilly sounds, here are Jimmy, Slim & Stretch. The Tremors are something out of your mamas worst nightmare, mixing the pill poppin’ style of Carl Perkins and the sex appeal of Elvis these boys will charm you with a little dixie fried rock’n’roll and send you straight to Mars with its original alien rock: “The Scourge of the South”. Their dedication to the musical roots of rock’n’roll comes through in every whipsaw atomic blast. Through passionate research and exploration into rock’n’roll history, the band has assembled the finest and most legendary songs of the 50s. Throw in some of their own rockin’ original material and you’ve got rockabilly as pure, authentic and strong as Tennessee sour mash. I guess you have to be a US southerner to know what Tennessee sour mash is, but I think I got the message here. Starting off with a hard pounding, fast paced rockabilly bopper titled “100 Proof Blues Boogie”, you’ll know immediately that these guys mean business. Rockabilly business that is, fast and loud. Actually, what caught my attention first was the cover of this new album “The Scourge of the South”, ‘cause it looks like a 50s horror comic, not to mention the looks of the band members themselves on the inlay picture... Guitarist Jimmy looks as if he has just had his fingers in a 220 volt socket, chubby
Slim (how about that contradiction) appears to have escaped from a ZZ Top fanclub night, and Stretch tries hard to tear up yet another one of his skins. Superb design, great pictures, and a magnificent re-design of the Sun Records label. Very well done!

Only 2 cover songs on this album, Jerry Lee’s “It’ll be Me” and Warren Smith’s “Who Took My Baby”, both these original Sun tracks got the Tremors treatment, just as they did to the Sun Label. The Tremors’ self-penned tracks vary from authentic 50s rockabilly (”My Kitten is Up a Tree”), to hard knocking neo-rockabilly with scorchy lead guitar breaks (”Pill Popper”), and a little of everything else in between. Not for the faint-hearted rockabilly fan, but great rockin’ music, with a touch of horror, all the way.

“The Scourge of the South”

Back when rock was still in its infancy and considered scandalous by the general populous, teenagers flocked to small garage and backyard shows in defiance of parental distain and in celebration of their musical rebellion. Today, as that rebellion has been co-opted into a world of top Billboard hits and glossy packaging, the Tremors bring us back to that raw backyard feel, giving listeners the opportunity to bop to a hearty rockabilly beat.

Their newest album on Brain Drain Records, The Scourge of the South, seamlessly incorporates the Tremors’ adoration of mentors, such as Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, with the raw rock sound that has evolved since times past. This combination of new and old is best reflected in “Rockin’ All the Time,” in which front man Jimmy Tremor brings a bit of the modern devil rockabilly strut into what could otherwise be mistaken for a song at the local VFW mixer.

Slim Perkins (upright bass) and Stretch Armstrong (percussion) deliver a mean foot-tapping bass beat. Just make sure you don’t sit too close to the speakers, as Jimmy Tremor frequently oversteps his ability to slingshot his voice to new heights in such songs as “Pill Popper” and “Call To My Reward.” The Tremors also run ragged with production quality, but they use it to their advantage, filling their songs with images of cats, kittens, drinking, dancing and simple rocking out–cliche, perhaps, in this time of rockabilly and psychobilly revival, but with this trio, you truly believe they sing from life experience.

This is not music for the cute cherry purse and hair pomade crowd. This is music for the hard-drinkin’, tattooed, backwoods kind of rockabilly listener.


“The Scourge of the South”

The Tremors have an authentic rockabilly trio sound and have captured it well in this collection of 13 tracks, output from several different studios fitting together seamlessly although judging from the spirit of the music any stitching should stand right out, ugly and scarred like the stuff on the Frankenstein monster's neck. The Greensboro, NC, group wisely embraces all the important aesthetics of the genre, more than simply evoking monsters, psychedelia, rednecks, juvenile delinquents, and many other fun things in both the music and artwork. In terms of the sound it is exactly what a rockabilly fan would expect and want, this not being a genre that offers up creepy "progressive" or "fusion" alternatives. Groups playing with this kind of approach indeed exist internationally and on a superficial level all seem the same, symbolizing a kind of unification that seems at odds with rockabilly's rebel spirit. Unscrew these jars of homebrew and sniff: there will be variations in quality based on intricate aesthetic details that the Tremors hardly seem shaken by. The guitar is not overdone as is the case with certain groups overwhelmed by the difference in amplifier power in the last five decades. Jimmy Tremor's leads as well as his singing are a serpentine chase across back roads, an officer of the law probably in hot pursuit. The rhythm section of Slim Perkins and Stretch Armstrong is thoroughly enjoyable, their choice and feel of tempos complimenting the songs which are largely original but include a Jack Clement cover. Bassist Slim Perkins pulls off a coup on the wonderful "Who Took My Baby," perhaps playing a bit more aggressively than a traditional rockabilly cat but making you wish they had all listened to him. ~ Eugene Chadbourne


“The Scourge of the South”

Primitive, right in your face punked up hillbilly - The trio's revved-up Rockabilly has the determination and attitude of Psychobilly paired with unpolished hillbilly charm. Their influences span from SUN artists (the only two non-originals
are SUN Records songs) to Esquerita and Reverend Horton Heat. Lotsa fun after a few beers, I can imagine.


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