Various Artists – Your Face is a Mess – Best Of Rebels Volume 4 – album review

Various Artists – Your Face Is A Mess

Raving Pop Blast Records

Out Now

Raving Pop Blast are based in Bristol and are ‘A small DIY Label struggling to survive’ they have an excellent back catalogue and I know because I own a fair number of the releases. This compilation is the fourth in the series and as good as all the others. As it says on the sleeve 17 Smashes! Garage! Punk! Surf! Beat! Psych! Modernist! 17 Thrillers From The Underground, plus all the profits made from the release go to Homeless charities in Bristol. You can read what we thought below.

I got this through the post, a while after I had bought it. But that’s par for the course nowadays, I take it out of the cardboard envelope, stamped with the seal of quality.. Raving Pop Blast and with DO NOT BEND and FRAGILE written all over it. The sleeve is reassuringly heavy, matt cardboard, with a suitably lurid cover and inside, well. The record is bright pink, like glowing. I put it on the turntable and as I switch everything on I put the volume up high. Then put the needle down carefully on to the pink slab of vinyl and we are away. 

You never really know just how this is going to go, I’ve not listened to the tracks on the bandcamp page as I wanted to hear it here first. There have been three ‘The Best of Rebels’ so far, each one excellent and different. Will this one be as good? Will the songs be of the same calibre as those before? Will my appetite for garage fuzz be slated for a while? Well, the answers are.. Yes volume four continues the journey through the dives and dark corners of the garage rock world as well as the other three. Yes, the songs are as good, if not better than before and yes, just for a while my quest for fuzz has been fulfilled. 

There are fuzzy sixties garage vibes, there are songs named after psychotic sheriffs from Russ Meyer movies, there are twangy plaintive emotional grooves. We get slow burning cool gentle riffs, Drop dead cool rockabilly and proper nasty screaming punk rock’n’roll that would make the Cramps proud. Fuzzed out organ led brilliance, handclaps, ludicrous names and smooth vibes. You should get the picture by now. It’s a wealth of ace tracks in one place. I would say listen to it first, but buying the album and playing it is just as good, get on with it.

Raving Pop Blast are on Facebook and have a Bandcamp page.

Adrian Bloxham

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