Written by Fantasma el Rey
Rising from the streets of Long Beach, California, to wreak havoc on a scene filled with stale, over-the-top, wanna-be art types comes Gestapo Khazi. After working for a while and building a loyal fanbase, they have released their first self-titled EP. Those that don’t know the power of Gestapo Khazi soon will as the six-track EP serves as one hell of a sample of what this driving band can do.
Their classic four-man line-up consists of Stark Raving Erik up front on highs (guitar), Third Reich Mike beating the cans (drums), Gestapo Grazi working the lows (bass) and Holy Roller in the middle of it all spitting words at the masses like a madman. It all comes together in a force that rips roofs off of houses and shakes the crowds into frenzy. Drawing influence from solid rockabilly, surf instrumentals, punk, and post punk, they truly make a sound and fury all their own. Live or on disc, if these kats don’t move you, then check your pulse cause you’re probably dead, or should be.
In the opening 30 seconds of “Smoke Signals” they have you, displaying a bit of who they are right there. The bass drops the message so listen up because the guitar is hot on its heels, weaving in with a bit of surf instrumental on steroids. Following fast and hard are the pounding, machine-gun attack of the drums with Roller quickly pouncing to the front with his deep, forceful vocals, delivered loud and at times in a growling scream. The band pushes you back but dares you forward to get in the mix and withstand the barrage of good, solid rock ‘n’ roll imposing its will upon you. They dare you not only to stick around for the two minutes of the opening track but to see if you can handle the fist-pumping, mosh-pit-inducing rock that will bombard your ears for the EP’s 13-minute run and infect your mind for a lifetime.
“Miss Temptation” and “Time Eats Time” pound out more of the same as the band members play off each other well, further displaying their skills with cutting guitar solos; thick, up-front bass runs; hammering, rumble drums; and powerful vocals.
“Samuel Hall” screams with tuff surf/ drag strip ‘60s instrumentals kicked up to punk levels while “Ain’t Worth A Dollar” reflects the Cure’s darkest period with its bass and drum work, yet mixes in more of that midnight drag race guitar.
Closing the EP is “Come One Come All,” a fine blending of New Model Army meets The Cramps. The lyrics to this tune sum up the way Gestapo Khazi leaves you feeling well: “Beaten, Bleeding…Sometimes walking/Sometimes crawling…Come one come all.” It’s like an invitation to one of their kick-ass shows and the EP will kick you and beat you, but you’ll kick and fight back by moving to the beat and keeping the pit swirling. Gestapo Khazi makes it all worth it and won’t let you down as you spin the disc over and over again.
Gestapo Khazi is a small masterpiece that leaves you wanting more, more to listen to, more of their shows to make it to, more good solid r ‘n’ r which seems to be missing from the street scene in general. So check them out on Myspace to see where these vandals will turn up next and how to get a copy of the EP. Word on the street is that “the best looking band around with massive bulge action” will be putting down some seven-inch vinyl soon.
Keep an eye out for that and this fun lovin’ pack of lunatics and their just as odd and crazy crew which consists of punks, bolo-wearing Dogs D’Amour rockers, and wave after wave of hot chicks on the streets and pubs of L.B. And you just might catch Fantasma in the crowd as well, the lone greasy, rockabilly.