By my calculations, there are approximately one zillion garage, trash and rockabilly compilations out there and most of them are quite appropriate for dancing around the living room. Although many of these compilations are quite well known and celebrated (think Nuggets and Pebbles and the like), others simply don’t get the same kind of notoriety. That’s not to say that they don’t deserve greater recognition, it’s just a numbers game.
Today’s Record of the Day, These Cats Ain’t Nothin’ But Trash, is a compilation that turned out to be one of those singular finds that pop up when you least expect it (while wasting a lunch hour at the record store) and turns into a dance party whether you’re ready to dance or not. Not really a traditional comp, it’s more like a split LP between three* bands out of London in the mid-80s – (Thee) Milkshakes, The Sting-Rays, and The Cannibals.
For the uninitiated, (Thee) Milkshakes (variously known as Milkshakes, The Milkshakes and Thee Milkshakes) was one of Billy Childish’s earliest bands, coming on the heels of Pop Rivets in the early 80s. Channelling The Kinks and pulling out all the 80s-does-60s garage stops, it is exactly as great as you imagine it to be. Please Don’t Tell My Baby and It’s Gonna Be are my favourite tracks here.
(Thee) Milkshakes – Before the Night is Through
(Thee) Milkshakes – Nothing Said
(Thee) Milkshakes – Please Don’t Tell My Baby
(Thee) Milkshakes – It’s Gonna Be
The Sting-Rays blew my mind on this compilation. Drawing on The Cramps and a deep connection to psychobilly, each and every one of the band’s tracks are strong contenders for my favourite song on the album. I am especially enamoured of The Cat (I’m a cat person, what can I say?) and Dinosaurs.
The Sting-Rays – I Want My Woman
The Sting-Rays – The Cat
I say three* bands are on this compilation because, uncredited on the sleeve but hinted at by a cheeky little comment (“THIS ALBUM HAS HIDDEN CHARMS”), is an early (AND TOTALLY AMAZING) track from Link Wray… you guessed it, Hidden Charms!
Not that anyone needs an introduction to Link Wray but this song is a GODDAMN LINK WRAY DREAM.
Link Wray – Hidden Charms
The Sting-Rays – Dinosaurs
The Sting-Rays – Math of Trend
What can I even say about The Cannibals? Holy BANANAS! If nothing else on this compilation turns your crank, The Cannibals will do it. Light Bulb Blues introduces the band with a bang, Can’t Seem to Make You Mine, with Mike Spenser’s plaintive yelps, breaks your heart, Weekend On Mars will have you shaking all the way out to space – or at least around the dance floor – and Come See Me will keep you there.
The Cannibals – Light Bulb Blues
The Cannibals – Can’t Seem to Make You Mine
The Cannibals – Weekend On Mars
The Cannibals – Come See Me
Basically, what I’m saying is that this compilation is the perfect accompaniment to your Thursday evening dance party. So click the links above, crank up the volume, and shake it along with me!!