steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Big John Bates

"Take Your Medicine" CD

Devil Sauce Recordings / Wolverine Records

Genre: rockabilly, surf

May 2007

From lovely Vancouver, BC comes Big John Bates, a man and a half who's gonna rip your clothes off and get you dancing with his very own brand of devilish rockabilly. Whether he's performing onstage with his burlesque troupe of scantily-clad gothic Voodoo Dollz or breaking the shit out of your boombox speakers, BJB likes to have fun and Take Your Medicine shows it. The band's sound strikes me as a cross between Killdozer and JSBX, with the main knock being a lack of variety and melody. Certainly, these thirteen songs prove a fun romp, but I can't shake the feeling that they might be better off live - particularly with BJB's notorious stage antics. The best song on here is "Train Wreck," with its hellish guitar and desperate vocal, though a few other songs stick out. For the most part, however, I find a lot of this to kind of blend in with itself. Surely, Take Your Medicine is a solid collection of rockabilly tracks, but I'd suggest checking BJB out live (he's currently touring Europe) before snagging this one.

mp3s (from aren't you pretty (organ version), tainted love cover


youuuuuuuutube!: the video for "tombstone twist" (not on this cd), live footage of "kitten with a whip"

Fun Fact: BJB and the Voodoo Dollz starred in Episode 1 of Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica, which can be seen here.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the band, released Dec 2006]