Following the demise of the brilliant UFO Gestapo, I interviewed Seb KKK, who told me of the band that would rise from the ashes, “Transatlantic Rat’s Atom”, to include himself and Sinapati. But what of their erstwhile drummer, Johnny UFO? As he was the brains behind the amazing artwork and B-movie fanatic, I was curious what was to become of the final third of this amazing band. We didn’t have to wait long – the madman himself got in touch with us at The Sleeping Shaman, and two weeks later, 3 beautifully packaged CDrs were waiting for me on my doormat (yes, the postal service in Germany is as sketchy as in England).
The first band I treated myself to (and by far the best of the three CDs) was a compilation that consisted of two sessions recorded by Johnny’s band The Zombos. Opening with an earsplitting blast of noise, I found myself treated to some astoundingly mental and enjoyable scuzzed-out punky rock’n’roll, with every instrument pushed into the fucking red, in the best tradition of the legendary Guitar Wolf. I mentioned in my UFO Gestapo puff piece that the music sounds like it’s constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown – The Zombos are beyond help and are the soundtrack to fast and furious, fully fledged insanity.
Their sound consists of a frightening wall of fuzz, occasionally punctuated by atonal solos that flounder and stab at your ears, with screaming vocals drenched in endless reverb (Japan’s Acid Eater are also highly recommended if you dig this sort of thing). Track 4 is the most outright playful track on the CD, starting off with some mischievously sampled German Schlager, the listener eventually becomes aware of a distant beat and riff, a surprisingly subtle element for a band as primal and LOUD as this! Track five, “Carla Puta”, seems to up the ante even more, with Johnny deciding that the vocals need even more reverb and delay (is it possible to have too much? I think not!), a spacey and sleazy epic of its kind, which descends into a vertiginous oscillating whirl that leaves you feeling quite ill: a good thing, in my book – psychedelia should scare the shit out of you. The terrifying B-movie horror nature is pushed full throttle on final track “Zomboize Me”, which is punctuated by the sound of an endless screaming woman. In short, from the first note of “Gerontholocaust” (!!) to the messy delirium of its ending, I bloody loved this compilation. Highly recommended for anyone who likes their rock’n’roll filthy fast, loud and sleazy. Methinks a split with the similarly grimy and deranged “Satan’s Satyrs” would be perfect! Any takers?
The remaining two CDrs are slightly more subdued affairs, with Johnny UFO’s more abstract Drog taking centre stage. The “6 Songs” EP is the better of the two, with outer-limits synth freakouts being the order of the day, reminiscent of Yamazaki Maso’s analog wizardry in “Space Machine”. Endless bass and the obligatory fuzz combine to create a truly entrancing psychedelic journey, that grew on me more with each listen.
The same can’t be said for the third CDr, “Worshipers of Frogs”, a split with a band from Birmingham called “Ufo Antler Band” – the pace is somewhat faster for the Drog material, but consequently lacks the beguiling rhythm of the 6 song EP. That said, the artwork is fantastic across all three discs (again, curiously slightly inferior for the split CD), looking as if it was drawn from various entries in the Something Weird DVD label’s catalogue – it fits the music perfectly; sleazy, messy and psychedelic! Interestingly, it seems the Zombos CD has two artwork variants: the one I received features a veiled, nude lady holding a candle and a skull, with a flower concealing her genitalia! I’ve found other version that features a vintage fetish model brandishing a whip over a husky!! I wouldn’t expect anything less demented, and I’m really looking forward to seeing both these acts progress over time.
Scribed by: Saúl Do Caixão