The possible news of Voodoo Rhythm Records’ demise got me thinking. Depressed me, too. It’s the little things, right? The little things that send you over the edge. It’s not the big disasters. It’s the thousand tiny ones, with one eventually pushing that button.
I sent a query out to “Blender” some months ago. As is typical, I did not get a response. All I wanted to know was whether or not the magazine or website would be interested in running my review of Lightning Beat-Man and His No Talent’s “Wrestling Rock ‘N’ Roll.” I even wrote a rough draft of the review specifically tailored to “Blender.” Since the magazine states that it “discusses cutting-edge trends across several music genres,” I figured I would have a chance at getting the review published and making some scratch. At the very least I figured I’d get a simple rejection.
So here’s the rough run of the review. Why let it go to waste?
In 1994 Reverend Beat-Man, founder of Switzerland’s incredible Voodoo Rhythm Records, released Lightning Beat-Man and His No Talent’s Wrestling Rock ‘n’ Roll as a 10” record. Now Voodoo Rhythm Records has rereleased it on LP and CD for all those who missed it the first time around and added three bonus tracks to keep the fans happy.
Lightning Beat-Man and His No Talent bridges the gap between Beat-Man’s other acts, The Monsters and Reverend Beat-Man. It takes the lo-fi rawness of Reverend Beat-Man and mixes it with the straightforward rock of The Monsters ... and throws in the visual of Mexican wrestling for good measure. Broken down to its purest form, the release is a love letter to Hasil Adkins, and you really couldn’t ask for anything better.
With 19 tracks, including “Wild Baby Wow,” “I Wanna Be Your Pussycat” and “Wrestling With Satan,” you can only imagine what the live shows must have been like. One can easily picture lots of beer, distortion and sweat -- all that is right and proper with primitive rock ‘n’ roll. It actually makes you wonder how the rest of the underground music scene could have gone so wrong.
Lightning Beat-Man and His No Talent is early American rock done right. Recorded in “almost stereo,” it deserves a place in the collections of those who purposely ignore the beaten path in order to find a more spiritually pure form of music. Those in the know (and their numbers are growing every day) have found that musical nirvana with just about everything Voodoo Rhythm has done, and it continues here. Those who were unaware have no excuse anymore, though. This is real. This is history. This is essential.