Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Our Boy Roy & Show # 506

In 2010, Telephone Explosion, a record label based out of Toronto, Ontario put out a tribute album to Roy Orbison. Titled Our Boy Roy, this was not your average tribute album, it was a Garage Rock tribute to Mr. Roy Orbison. The album featured many bands from the labels roster such as Teenanger, Holy Cobras, and other popular newer Garage artists such as Ty Segall, Charlie & The Moonhearts, Jacuzzi Boys and six others. For those of you who are not familiar with the label or the above aforementioned bands, they are not only Garage bands, but they also venture into noisy, distorted territory at times pushing high thresholds of volume and Punk Rock attitude.

The first track on this eleven-song album “Problem Child” originally appeared on Roy Orbison’s 1961 album At The Rock House. Camero Werewolf Band covers this track in a gritty, lo-fi take on the Orbison original and starts the album off on an offbeat note. This one track, which at times sounds like a bootleg recording sets the tone of what to expect on the Our Boy Roy compilation. It's going to be dirty, loud and different from what you might expect from a Roy Orbison tribute album. Jacuzzi Boys offer up their take on “You Got It” as the next track. This lush cover is one of the highlights of the album with its clean scratchy guitar in the verses and fuzzy guitar lines at the end of each of the catchy choruses. Montrealer Bloodshot Bill covers the obscure 1958 Orbison song “Cause of It All” in his Garage/Rockabilly style following this.

Throughout each of the eleven tracks found on Our Boy Roy, we travel from distorted, noisy versions of Orbison songs, classics and some obscure. On the noisy, sludgy side we have Haunted George’s version of “Rock House” that has garbled vocals and oozes with a primitive sludge that sounds like a cross between The Phantom, The Sonics and something that has crawled out of a radioactive sewer. There is also the Holy Cobras version of “Domino” almost unrecognizable as a Roy Orbison song here. It sounds musically as if it was recorded with one microphone at the back of a room, while slightly more audible vocals rest on top. Ty Segall tackles “Pretty Woman” adding his trademark fuzz, echo and reverberations to this track with the addition of psychedelic yelps that pop up at various points before leading us in to “You’re My Baby”. This song is done by Toronto’s Garage Punkers Teenanger.  They deliver this track with the original soul and emotion that Roy Orbison first showed us back in 1956, but with a dash of Garage and a pinch of Rockabilly showcasing an edge similar to early music by The Gun Club. Oh and if that isn’t enough this song was originally written by Johnny Cash, but performed by Roy Orbison.

Demon Claws add depth to this album with their jangly Garage/Indie take on “It’s Over”, providing a wonderful rendition of this Orbison ballad deterring us from what we might expect based on their ominous band name. Cheater Sticks perform an aggressive version of “Crying”, while still maintaining the melody and emotion of the original. This version musically sounds like a mixture of early Velvet Underground and a Surf band. Surf licks lay overtop the Garage Rock foundation of this song. Charlie & The Moonhearts, a band featuring Mikal Cronin, who is not only a solo artist, but he also plays frequently with Ty Segall’s live band and has recorded some material with Ty cover “Chicken Hearted”. This track is a bastardized version of the original “Chicken Hearted” and comes off with the feel of something on the Reverse Shark Attack album by Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin.

1000 copies of Our Boy Roy were originally pressed in 2010 on vinyl only by Telephone Explosion. It sold out quickly. But the thought of Roy Orbison and Garage Rock is not something completely foreign. Back in 1966, Roy Orbison released the single “Twinkle Toes” for the MGM record label, reportedly in an attempt to sound current at the time. The song features a prominent and ominous fuzz guitar line amongst the rowdy crowd noise filling in the background of this track. On this tribute album, Roy Orbison’s complex and dark ballads take on a new life just as it did on his song “Twinkle Toes” in 1966. The rowdy crowd noise and ominous fuzz guitar is pushed forward from the background into the foreground on this compilation album and it was all inspired by our boy Roy Orbison.

The Play List:

1. The Stand GT - Cool As Me
2. Famines - Faux Famous (Live July 14, 2008)
3. The Ugly - Alley Cat
4. OFF! - Void You Out
5. The Coathangers - Merry Go Round
6. Sabers - Big Fish
7. Natural Child - Rounder
8. Chris Bell - I Am The Cosmos (2012 Movie Mix)
10. Big Star - September Gurls (2012 Movie Mix)
11. Roxy Music - Street Life
12. Scattered Bodies - Rain On The Red Tin Roof
13. Particle Wave - Grand Unifier
14. Laughing Clowns - Diabolic Creature
15. Roy Orbison - Twinkle Toes
16. Bloodshot Bill - Cause Of It All (Roy Orbison Cover)
17. Teenanger - You’re My Baby (Roy Orbison Cover)
18. Mystics - So Cold
19. Ty Segall - Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison Cover)
20. Raised By Weeds - Fun And Games
21. Sex Pistols - Whatcha Gonna Do About It
22. Supergrass - Mansize Rooster
23. Ramones - Teenage Lobotomy
24. Radiohead - Bodysnatchers
25. Weirdonia - Don't Move To New York
26. Fergus & Geronimo - Uncanny Vision/Spies
27. Nirvana - Stain

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 29. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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