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Vampire Beach Babes

Beach Blanket Bedlam

Review by Gary Hill

Toronto has a new claim to musical fame. While Toronto's favorite musical sons, Rush, are probably in no real danger of losing their title, there is a new kid in town Vampire Beach Babes. This band has a very cool blend of classic 50's sounds with a heavy dose of the B-52's and The Cramps. Put this package all together with a solid tongue in cheek approach and strong songwriting, and you have a real winner. While the disc is not without its weak points, it is a far more winner than loser.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hot Foot
Remember "Rock Lobster"? Well, take that beach B-52's sound and combine it with some real '50's surf music and you pretty much have this cut. It rocks and is a lot of fun.
Broken
This one has a bit less of the B-52's edges with more of an old school punk texture and even a little Talking Heads.
Bad Boys Bad Girls (The Nya Nya Song)
This one feels like a merging of the last two tracks, but it is the best of the three. As cool as those two are, that says a lot. The arrangement on this one is brilliant.
Johnny Don't Race
A '50's ballad style with a camp twist makes up this cut. The gag is funny, but the early parts of the song are a little hard to take. I should say, though, that '50's rock and roll, with few exceptions, has always left me feeling embarrassed to be listening 
Stars in Your Eyes
The beach sound is all over and through this. This is worlds better than "Johnny…" It's a very retro sounding cut that's pretty cool - just not a standout.
Sunshine on Me
A more balladic cut, this feels a bit like The Cure or some of the more gothic of the '80's post punk outfits.
Waves
This one combines the sounds of the rest of the disc with '80's new wave sounds.
Devilman
This cut is a serious fifties rocker with the Bo Diddley beat. It's one part Elvis, one part George Thorogood and one part B52's - it's all oh so cool.
Spank That Thang
This is a more good time retro rocker that really works well.
Droppin' Da Curl
This cut is early Rush does surf. An instrumental this is simply incredible and my favorite cut on the disc.
When You Cry
This is a retro sounding ballad. It's OK, just not great.
Slippin' Away
They end the CD on a high note. Retro surf blends with B52's and even a little Southern Culture on the Skids to create this awesome cut. This is definitely one of the coolest pieces on the disc and a great closer.
 
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