Mojo (Publisher) (p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Shivers down the leg bone and wipeouts galore!"
Liner Note Author: Keb Darge.
Following up 2011's Volume 1, Keb Darge & Little Edith's Legendary Wild Rockers, Vol. 2 finds the retro U.K. DJs once again dipping into the rockabilly and surf vaults -- the '50s to late-'60s section -- and grabbing a wealth of obscure wonders that are infectious, exciting, and, just like the cover says, wild. The big differences between this one and its predecessor are the bittersweet liner notes, which mention that the duo are leaving the U.K. for the Philippines, with the idea that the scene spawned by their rockabilly, Northern soul, and retro funk gigs is in good hands and will remain fertile. Those looking to take their place should be inspired by blueprints like this, a party-minded set of tunes kicking into overdrive once the Excels' beat the tribal drums and invite all teenagers -- and teenagers at heart -- to dance. Track titles lead to the expected sounds as "Lobo Jones" is a barrelhouse rocker about a no-good soul, "Ghost Train" is a creepy, uptempo instrumental drenched in reverb, and "Madness" is all wailing sax and wild laughter, but these obvious and gimmicky moves don't wear out their welcome, all of them hovering around the two minute mark. It's mostly rockabilly with just a handful of surf, yet it's still diverse as Jimmy Grubbs comes at his track with a proud "country boy" twang while the Shandells combine doo wop and proto-garage rock on the wild beast called "Gorilla" ("Listen to me baby and we'll do the gorilla/And if you do it right you'll get a thrill-a"). "Trick or Treat" by Bryan "Legs" Walker with His Walkin' Talkin' Sax is like a great mash of Boots Randolph, Frankie Avalon, and Bobby "Boris" Pickett, while the closing Dubb Pritchett & the Rock-A-Taires cut sounds like a damned version of the Everly Brothers, offering the same harmonies but with a stone-cold delivery as they gripe about the fickle nature of womankind ("Well first you want to do the chicken/And then you want to do the freak"). Great set, presented by two admirable and authentic hepcats. ~ David Jeffries