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Stylistic origins: Early Rock'n'roll, R&B, Rockabilly, Blues, Surf rock, Punk rock, Garage rock
Cultural origins: late 1970's United States and England
Typical instruments: Guitar - Bass - Drums - Some more garage rock influenced acts may incorporate a Farfisa organ
Mainstream popularity: Lagely underground and popular with punks, goths, Greasers, Scooterboys, indie kids and bikers
Gothabilly, Punkabilly, Surf rock, Horror punk, Deathcountry Garage punk, Indie rock, Garage rock
Regional scenes
England, Europe, the United States and Japan
Other topics
Timeline of alternative rock

Psychobilly is a genre of music generally described as a mix between the British punk rock of the 1970s and the American rockabilly of the 1950s. The genre is also characterized by lyrical references to horror films, violence, exploitation films, lurid sexuality and other topics generally considered taboo, sometimes presented in a comedic, tongue-in-cheek fashion. Psychobilly music is generally played with an upright bass instead of an electric bass.



The term "psychobilly" was first used by Wayne Kemp when he penned the Johnny Cash song "One Piece at a Time," a Top 10 hit in 1976, where he makes reference to a "psychobilly Cadillac", although this song has nothing musically to do with Psychobilly. It came into use as a genre a few years later, when the Cramps described their music as "psychobilly" and "voodoo rockabilly" on flyers advertising their upcoming shows. Although the Cramps rejected the idea of being a part of the psychobilly scene, they, along with artists such as Screamin' Jay Hawkins and the Stray Cats, are considered important precursors to psychobilly. Musically speaking, there are also antecedents in the garage rock scene of the 1960s and the pub rock scene of the 1970s. The very first verifiable psychobilly band is considered to be the Meteors in south London in 1980. With one member being part of the rockabilly subculture, another being part of the punk subculture, and the last being a horror movie fan, their musical ideas overlapped to begin psychobilly as it exists today. The Meteors also invented the concept of psychobilly being apolitical, by encouraging their shows to be a "politics-free" zone in order to avoid disputes among fans, as was becoming common in the punk rock scene of the time.

The Meteors' second LP, Wrecking Crew. It is considered a classic and influential psychobilly album. The Meteors' second LP, Wrecking Crew. It is considered a classic and influential psychobilly album.

International prevalence

In 1982, a nightclub called Klubfoot opened in Hammersmith, west London, creating a home for the UK psychobilly scene. The club was eventually demolished and replaced with offices and a bus station. Because the psychobilly scene has never become very popular, psychobilly fans often organize "Psychobilly Weekenders" where many bands are featured on one bill to attract many attendees from all over. The first weekenders were organized in the UK in the mid-80s. In the U.S., they happen with frequency in Texas [1], New York and California.

Psychobilly eventually spread throughout most of Europe, (particularly Germany, Italy, and Spain), Canada, parts of the United States, and is gradually spreading to Asia, especially Japan. While the psychobilly of the early 1980s (the Meteors, the Sharks, Batmobile [2]) was similar to punk or 1960s garage rock, with obvious rockabilly influences, the psychobilly of the later 1980s and 1990s (the Nekromantix, Demented Are Go, the Klingonz, Mad Sin, Asmodeus [3], Milwaukee Wildmen) had a different sound which was a bit harder. The psychobilly of 2000s is closer to the American psychobilly sound (The Spectres, The Knuckle Draggers [4], the Koffin Kats [5], Los Gatos Locos, the Barnyard Ballers [6], The Young Werewolves, The Beards and The Matadors[7]).

External links

Some Psychobilly Acts

Tiger Army
The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
Los Difuntos
Frantic Flintstones
Speed Crazy
Koffin Kats
Memphis Morticians
Barnyard Ballers
The Great Scots
The Cramps
The Young Werewolves
The Meteors
Os Catalepticos
Demented Are Go!
12 Step Rebels
7 Shot Screamers
Banane Metalik
  Godless Wicked Creeps
Guana Batz
Gutter Demons
Kings Of Nuthin
Mad Sin
Los Gatos Locos
The Creepshow
The Matadors
The Slanderin'
The Quakes
The Tombstone Brawlers
The Reverend Horton Heat
The Rocketz
Concombre Zombi
The Dead Kings
The Formaldehydes
Hayride To Hell
Hellbound Hayride
Battle Of The Ninjamanz
King Kurt
Three Bad Jacks
Zombie Ghost Train

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.