Vince Lee - vocals / guitars
Martin Vowles - guitars / backing vocals
Al Wallis - bass / backing vocals
Kevin Crowe - drums / backing vocals
Becca Langsford - Backing Vocals & Lead vocal on "Sweet Baby Of Mine".
Gate-fold digi-pak with stunning artwork.
The Wildcards 3rd studio album 'When The Moon Shines Bright' features brand new material written by band members Vince Lee and Martin Vowles. The quality of songwriting is stronger than ever, clearly showing how the band has evolved since their first album 'On Fire' (2004). The band spent most of 2009 writing and arranging tunes for this new disc, taking time out from their usual busy touring schedule to re-evaluate The Wildcards overall direction and it's paid off! There is a much more up-tempo feel with less emphasis on the straight-ahead blues feel of previous recordings. Be prepared for a rock‘n’roll freak show of dark Cuban rhythms laced with heavy tremelo surf 'n' swamp guitar tones, killer vintage R&B, infectious jungle swing and nitro-powered rockabilly all delivered with trademark Wildcards retro weirdness. With suitably creepy artwork from the twisted mind of Vince Lee sealing the package, you can expect a more than worthy successor to the bands critically acclaimed previous release 'Raising Hell’.
The title track is a relentless, hypnotic rollercoaster of a song written by Vince Lee, all about the effects of the full moon on humanity and the animal kingdom. Written as an observation of all the crazy things and strange situations that occur on a full moon... A grinding de-tuned guitar riff and growling bass drive the groove while chanted lyrics deal with Insanity, jealousy, sexual tension, violence and greed. All the good stuff! 'Welcome to The Snakepit', another Vince Lee original with a seductive Eastern vibe. Vince tells the story of a musicians downfall, while his guitar leads the way like a medicine show snake charmer; an epic recording with a highly descriptive story line written in the classic calypso tradition. Martin Vowles wrote and plays lead guitar on the slightly sinister “Django on acid” instrumental 'Dead Cat Bounce' which would have made the perfect sound track for some weird 50's B-movie! He also wrote the surf guitar influenced 'Out of Control', a bass and drum stand-off which features Al Wallis punching out a particularly nasty groove on the Fender bass locked in tight with Kevin Crowe's signature 1940's style jungle drum stampede. The song explores exhilarating new musical and experimental territories for the band.
All of this is served up with a bunch of obscure vintage tunes such as 'Chocolate Shake' by Duke Ellington, a cool re-working of the original big band arrangement, stripped down to its dirty bare bones, a song with some very dark lyrical undertones... pretty risqué for the 1930's you might say!
The Wildcards invited young female vocalist Becca Langsford to add a new dimension to their sound, and to sing the lead vocal on their version of Ruth Brown's 'Sweet Baby of Mine'. It showcases Becca's awesome vocal talents on this rocking track from the 50's, full of handclaps and Vince's cool doo-wop backing vocals.
Time to shake it all up with a kick-ass rendition of Little Ike's 'She Can Rock'. Vince screams out those Little Richard inspired vocals the only way you can... like he's possessed by Satan himself!. 'Gal From Kokomo' is a West Coast jump blues classic from Roy Brown, fat guitars replace the tenor and baritone saxes of the original version. Guitar Slim's 'Got Sumpin' For You' takes the mood into early 50's rhythm & Blues territory, Vince's outrageous guitar solo mimicking the original's ‘over-amped and too loud in the mix' qualities to chaotic perfection. Time for a little controversy with our last selection, 'Women Are The Root Of All Evil'. An overlooked gem from the 50's by Paul Willams featuring Martin's off the wall guitar fills and a lot of tongue in cheek gospel testifying. Make of it what you will... Praise Them Roots!
Rate This CD!
1. When The Moon Shines Bright
2. Women Are The Root Of All Evil
3. She Can Rock
4. Chocolate Shake
5. Out Of Control
6. Got Sumpin' For You
7. Dead Cat Bounce
8. Gal From Kokomo
9. Sweet Baby Of Mine
10. Welcome To The Snakepit
11. Women Are The Root Of All Evil (Reprise)
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"Every now and then you get to listen to a cd that instantly has your attention. This is one of ‘em. The Wildcards are a British band that releases their 3rd studio album called “When the Moon Shines Bright”. Filthy, horny and gritty are the keywords with this band, that not only consists of a few good instrumentalists. They sound like a tight unit that will do well in any bar, as long as it’s in a Robert Rodriguez movie.Listening to this album I am taken from genre to genre without being an undecided mish mash of genres: Rockabilly, touch of Dub Reggae, Ska with some Westcoast Swing and a touch of Horror Surf to top things off. There’s been a lot of writing about the new generation of blues musicians that have the fire and passion that older musicians lack.
These guys don’t look like 20 somethings to me but the devilish energy drips from my speakers, the music is that filthy and passionate.Together with Nick Curran’s “Reform School Girl” this is already one of the best releases of this year. I hope the year will continue in this manner, and let one of those releases please be one of singer Becca Langsford. I just love her vocals on the track “Sweet Baby of Mine”“Thank you Sir may I have another?”Some highlights for me: When the Moon Shines Bright: Spooky intro and track that should make it to the soundtrack of HBO hitseries “True Blood ”Chocolate Shake: Wonderfull filthy rendition of the Duke Ellington classic Gal from Kokomo: That’s the way to cover Roy Brown these days! No sissy dancesteps in your bright colored zoot zuit Swing music, but but gritty and wild!"
Marcel “De Schuur” Schuurman, April 30th
Review Squad - http://www.bluesforum.com
"The Wildcards are spreading their swing blues tentacles far and wide, and are clearly having a lot of fun in the process. The jungle swingarama of ‘Gal From Kokomo’, the Little Richard howl of ‘She Can Rock’, the nervy ‘40s noir nuance of ‘Dead Cat Bounce’ plus a glut of surf’n’swamp guitars all add up to a frenetic firestorm of transnational delight. And if the dizzying guitar work doesn’t pull you in by the lapels and throw you into a lindy-hop, Vince Lee’s tungsten-tough, weather-worn baritone croon surely will". 24/7 Magazine - Feb 2010