Rockabilly is not one of those music genres you run into all the time. Aside from acts like Brian Setzer and/or the band he has been a part of for years, Stray Cats, you rarely run into Rockabilly. So when you find someone creating new music from the genre, it truly stands out in the music industry where Pop-Rock is mainly the norm. One band that has added to the Rockabilly genre with their music is the band The Teledynes.
The Teledynes is a three-piece ensemble much like the aforementioned Stray Cats who are creating their own Rockabilly music. The trio features the talents of Will Cooley, Eric Lepene and Mike Volatile, three men who have been performing for well over fifteen years. The difference between the two bands is that The Teledynes seem to draw from both the Stray Cats as well as the Brian Setzer Orchestra as the band combines elements of Rockabilly, Big Band and several similar styles together in order to create the music on the band’s new self-titled release.
“Crazy Train” is the first track of the self-titled release from The Teledynes. While the title of the track brings to mind the song from one Ozzy Osbourne, this is a much different song. The track begins with a musical passage that brings to mind the Jump Blues feel of the Brian Setzer Orchestra before the combination of the Rockabilly feel and the inclusion of the horns on the track come together. The bouncy feel to the music as well as the driving pace create a song that would easily have been right at home during the Big Band Revival during the nineties and early 2000s.
While the first track off of the self-titled release from The Teledynes brings to mind the Brian Setzer Orchestra, the second track takes the band’s music in a slightly different direction. The track “Callin’ On the Devil” calls up comparisons to a different band that had some success of their own during the nineties. “Callin’ On the Devil” is a track that draws upon the influences of Gangster Bop band Royal Crown Revue, a band who became known after its song “Hey Pachuco” was used in the movie The Mask with Jim Carey. The style and influence of Royal Crown Revue is very evident in several ways on the track, starting with the style of the music and the title of the track. Using some of the influence from Royal Crown Revue, the “Callin’ On the Devil” contains a fun feel to the music while still containing a bit of evilness to the lyrical content of the track.
Big band, Rockabilly and Gangster Bop are only three influences that help shape the music of The Teledynes. With the track called “Cohaagen,” the band calls upon the influence of Stratocaster king Dick Dale. The instrumental track contains a very similar style to the recently deceased musician who became known for songs including “Miserlou”. The Stratocaster-led track “Cohaagen” contains the same Surf Rock style that was around in the sixties. The Teledynes do a very good job of reviving the style while keeping the music fresh. For those who enjoy Surf Rock, this track is definitely for you.
Perhaps the most unique track on the self-titled release from The Teledynes is the song entitled “Way Out West”. Continuing to add more layers to their sound, the band combines the aforementioned influence of Brian Setzer and Stray Cats with a generous amount of Western influence. The result is a track that starts with a strong Rockabilly feel and the addition of the Western/Country flavor gives the track a different feel than any of the tracks that came before it. “Way Out West” with the twang in the guitar stands out as unusual when compared to the tracks that came before on the release. But that unusual delivery simply helps to keep the album moving along and staying fresh.
The self-titled release from The Teledynes continues with the track “47 Cadillac”. While the track easily contains a strong Stray Cats influence as that is the main influence that comes through, the track also brings to mind the sound and style of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. Of course, that should be rather evident with the title of the track bringing to mind that band’s classic track “Hot Rod Lincoln”. The track from The Teledynes contains the same loose, fun feel as the music of the older band.
For the next track called “Shot of Whiskey,” The Teledynes create a track with a solid Rockabilly flavor to it. The fun, bouncy beat contained with this track allows the band to create a track that sounds very familiar. But unlike other tracks on this album that feel influenced by the Stray Cats, “Shot of Whiskey” simply draws upon the overall genre of Rockabilly and not a specific influence.
Like the song “Cohaagen” from earlier in the release, the track entitled “September” features the band creating a strictly instrumental track. But instead of the influence from the likes of Dick Dale, “September” feels more like something from the instrumental duo of Santo & Johnny who were known for songs such as “Sleep Walk”. In fact, the track will undoubtedly take the listener back to the early fifties as the song contains that sort of feel to the music.
As the listener makes their way through the self-titled release from The Teledynes, they encounter many different styles of music that help add shape to the band’s sound. The inclusion of styles like Jump Blues, Rockabilly, Instrumental Rock and other sounds create an ever-changing patchwork of sound. The release never stays in one spot, musically, for more than one song before it changes directions. The three members of the band have a lot of talent and the various styles of music contained within the release make it truly evident.
For a taste of the music from The Teledynes, check out the song “Crazy Train”.
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To check out the entire self-titled release from The Teledynes on spotify, click on the album cover below: