The debut EP from Kryptos is something completely different to psychobilly, scratching an itch that’s been nagging you for who knows how long. With an undeniably unique sound that is as smooth as it is mental, this almost-perfect recording sets your speakers on fire.
I first heard these guys off the California Psychobilly compilation from Rockin’ Psycho Records, where they closed off the comp with a titanic six minute long track called “Between Here and There” (Lo-fi mono sample in Episode 74). This one stood out on the comp, primarily due to its length combined with its constant fresh and evolving sound. In a genre that’s rooted in punk and rockabilly, most songs feature a predictable formula and rarely exceed 3 min. Kryptos break this mold with some very out of the box influences that my tiny brain can’t even begin to identify.
There’s more to this band than the long songs, though, it’s primarily how different everything sounds. Their bassist is simultaneously clean and frantic with almost none of that slap-knocking sound (another surprisingly rare element in psychobilly). This was heavily exploited with some of the smoothest reverb’d guitars, creating a BIG, smooth and suave musical anomaly. It might just be because of how over-the-board this bass guy goes, but it also stands out even more when the second guitar gets in the mix. Even if you only heard their song “Hypocrisy” once, you’ll know that these guys are absolute creative geniuses (Low-fidelity monaural version heard in Episode 81).
While there’s the balls-mental psychobilly, the crystal-clean product, the unique edge and original style, this EP isn’t without its flaws. According to Kryptos’ band profile, they’re not just a psychobilly band. They categorize themselves as a “Psychobilly/Experimental/Progressive” band, and the progressive experiments are obvious in tracks four and five. If you’re a person who put on this EP for hearing some of THEE wildest rock and roll, then these are going to blindside you like they did me. These two tracks are slower and long-winded, creating a confusing vibe that could only be pulled off if it were trashy. Instead they sound too artistic, akin to what I imagine as Morissey is like. It’s a huge risk for a band to split their soon-to-be-branded sound on a debut release, especially within the niche genre of psychobilly. But are those two tracks bad? I honestly don’t know if it’s BAD music, I just know I skip them.
Even with the two weird tracks, this EP is still going to blast out your speakers and earbuds. The good stuff is absolutely WILD, while adding enough flair to stand out in a sometimes formulaic genre. Hopefully, Kryptos keep it wild with future releases. Get your hi-fidelity, stereophonic copy at Rockin Psycho Records. And to all you vinyl hounds, I feel your pain. While it’s definitely worth the few odd dollars, this is EP is for digital download only.
Still need more Kryptos? Check out their Reverbnation or Facebook. Need more Zorch Radio? The podcast is all cleaned up on our Archive Page. Follow Zorch Radio on Twitter and like us on Facebook. More info is also on the contact page.
Zorch Radio Episode 81: All Psychobilly
Airdate: Thursday, January 26th, 2011
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No surf, no garage punk, no sleazy RnB, just the sweet meats tonight! Tried not to do very much talking to squeeze in as much psychotic, hell-bent, mutant rockabilly as possible. On the week previous, on Jan 19th, there was an ice-storm in Washington state and good ole KGRG lost power. I learned that a lack of electricity makes radio shows much more difficult. To get back on schedule, we closed off this night’s show with the thirtieth episode of Gone Mental from the fine folks at Twin Cities Rockabilly. Also, my radio station boss told me I can’t say “THE ALL NUDE KGRG” anymore and I have to stick with the station’s official circle “R” tagline: “THE ALL NEW KGRG.” So… does it sound better when I wear pants? Leave a comment below if you like it naked.
Still need more Zorch Radio? Check out the Archive Page, all organized and easy to sort through. Follow Zorch Radio on Twitter and like us on Facebook. More info is also on the contact page.
The Meteors – Maniac Rockers From Hell – Ace Records – Episode 81
The Meteors – You’re Mine – Sonovabitch Records – Episode 81
The Meteors – Down and Dirty – ‘People Like You’ Records – Episode 81
Steve and The Raise – Jack The Ripper – Self-Released – Episode 81
The Flapjacks – 6th Street – Tim Kerr Records – Episode 81
The Spectres – Jesse James – My Checkbook Records – Episode 81
The Arkhams – She’s Got the Power – The Space Records – Episode 81
7 Shot Screamers – Meet Me – Westminster Music – Episode 81
The Memphis Morticians – Rock and Roll Guitar – Episode 81
The Rockets – Robot Rock – Pot O Gold Recordings – Episode 81
Dicemen – Boogieman – Lude Boy Records – Episode 81
The Hangmen – Little Men in Suits – Ripper Records – Episode 81
TR6 – Psychobilly Mayhem – Headache Records – Episode 81
Hellbillies – Bucket of Blood – Ransom Note Recordings – Episode 81
Calavera – Brains on Fire – Love Arrow Records – Episode 81
Demented Are Go – I Wanna See You Bleed – Knock Out Records – Episode 81
Graveyard Shift – The End of the World – Dead Body Wreckerds – Episode 81
The Deadneks – The Change – Sickobilly Records – Episode 81
Fury III – Nerve Shot – Flying Saucer Records – Episode 81
The Tombstones – Preachin’, Prayin’, Guitar Playin’ – Saustex Media – Episode 81
The Quakes – Last of the Human Beings – Orrexx Records – Episode 81
The Kryptos – Hypocrisy! – Rockin Psycho Records – Episode 81
The Scallywags – Radioactive Decay – Crazy Love Records – Episode 81
Torment – Psyclops Carnival – Crazy Love Records – Episode 81
Frenzy – Robot Riot – Crazy Love Records – Episode 81
Mad Sin – Brainstorm – Maybe Crazy Records – Episode 81
The Ricochets – Love – Count Orlok Music – Episode 81
The Krewmen – Wild Fire – Lost Moments Records – Episode 81
The Meteors – Shout So Loud – Anagram Records – Episode 81
The Frantic Flinstones – Lunatics Are Raving – Raucous Records – Episode 81
Taggy Tones – 501 – Raucous Records – Episode 81
The Deltas – Victim of My Love – Nervous Records – Episode 81
Jimmie Lee Maslon – 3D Daddy – Rollin Rock Records – Episode 81
Hasil Adkins – She Said – Norton Records – Episode 81
The Alley Dukes – No More Hot Dogs – Flying Saucer Records – Episode 81
Batmobile – Ace of Spades – Nervous Records – Episode 81
Tommy Blake – Loray Hoody – Rhino Records – Episode 81
Season of Nightmares – Vigilante Murder Trial – Flying Saucer Records – Episode 81
The Meteors – Mutant Rock – Sanctuary Records – Episode 81
—Gone Mental Episode 30—