Search - Screaming Blue Messiahs :: Bikini Red

Bikini Red
Screaming Blue Messiahs
Bikini Red
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

CD reissue of the 1988 album from the London Punk/Pop trio led by vocalist/guitarist Bill Carter. Mixing Pub roots, Pop smarts and Punk energy, The Screaming Blue Messiahs crafted near perfect albums that have stood the te...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Screaming Blue Messiahs
Title: Bikini Red
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Wounded Bird Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1988
Re-Release Date: 7/7/2009
Album Type: Original recording reissued
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 664140075528


Album Description
CD reissue of the 1988 album from the London Punk/Pop trio led by vocalist/guitarist Bill Carter. Mixing Pub roots, Pop smarts and Punk energy, The Screaming Blue Messiahs crafted near perfect albums that have stood the test of time. Features 'I Wanna Be A Flinstone'.

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CD Reviews

Decibel-Powered Defibrillator
loce_the_wizard | Lilburn, GA USA | 02/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Messiahs' sophomore record reveals no slump after their outstanding premier on Gun-Shy. This is a straight-ahead, pile-driven storm, full of power, emotion, and wit, with a menacing rockabilly tone powered by vigorous bass and taut drumming. Bill Carter, a bald, sun-glasses-wearing full moon of guitar madness played with fervor and abandon, but his layered rhythms and loopy solos are sweet music to my ears. The CD starts up like a chainsaw, ready to rip and slash, as Sweet Water Pools threatens to overpower the woofers. The delightfully politically incorrect I Can Speak American would not be out of place blaring from American tanks rumbling across the Iraqi deserts on their way to Baghdad. Big Brother Muscle and the wonderfully titled Jesus Chrysler Drives a Dodge are full of those wonderful blistering riffs that distinguished this great, lost band. The SBM's one hit, if you want to call it that, I Wanna Be a Flintstone, is wonderfully deranged and zany.Bill Carter wrote and played like a man whose liver was being gnawed by wolverines. His lyrical obsessions reveal a kindred spirit to the Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and they share some of the same confrontational themes: guns, fast cars, outlaws, loathing, alcohol, fast living. Sometimes I wonder what siren call or twisted muse egged Mr. Carter on and triggered these outbursts (and how I might invoke that muse). I also wonder what happened to him following the band's disintegration. (Chris Thompson and Kenny Harris, his erstwhile sidekicks, recently resurfaced in the Killer B's along with Tony Moon, who was cowrote several SBM songs and was in a band called Motor Boys Motor along with Carter and Thompson. Thompson, who played bass in SMB, has switched to lead. Still no sign of Bill Carter, though.)The production quality is terrific, especially considering all the Screaming Blue Messiahs' output took place during the mid- to -late '80s, not exactly an era known for rendering much in the way of truly memorable music. This CD, the ultra rare "Gun Shy," and the slightly less intense "Totally Religious" are all gems and worth the treasure hunt. When your rock 'n roll soul needs to be revived, this music makes a superb defibrillator."
pat | Vietnam | 03/18/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I am not going to rehash the superlatives and great detail that the other two reviewers have provided you, dear reader, because they are right on the money. SBM have remained for me, together with bands like PiL, Husker Du, Died Pretty, The Church-one of the defining acts of the 80's. This reissue is long overdue. I own the vinyl and previous Warner's version of the CD and also bought this one. And...I could be wrong but it seems to me that something has gone very wrong in the remastering of this. When I compare the old CD version with this, it is clear that a lot of the botttom end is missing from the new one. Where is the floorboard-shaking kick of the kick and bass in 'Sweetwater Pools'? And for the rest of these great songs? And my other complaint: SBM were not prolific (but they were GREAT) but there is a bunch of songs that should have been considered for re-release. The previous Warner's versions of Bikini Red and Gun Shy came with extra tracks. This version has none. And there are b-sides (Jerry's Electric Church) and 12" versions also missing.

So, because it has been as rare as rocking horse poop for a long time, because these are fantastic songs and because you know it makes sense, this is worth getting with the caveat that on the technical and "extras" side, it is ordinary when it could have been brilliant..."
Psychobilly Hellcats
Mike B. | 10/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Screaming Blue Messiahs were the best and most interesting band of the mid-to-late 80's, and not easy to describe. Their music was rooted in blues and r&b, but topped off with punk, rockabilly, metal, and disco. Disco, you say? Well, kind of - yeah. The extremely steady beats-per-minute ratio executed by human drum machine Kenny Harris is eminently dance worthy. If this had come out in the 70's, they'd be as highly regarded as The Clash.

Bill Carter's vocals and phrasing owe a lot to Joe Strummer. His guitar playing is unusual in that he doesn't perform many solos, but fires off staccato machine-gun bursts to fill the gaps between Harris and barracuda bassist Chris Thompson. For a trio, they raise the roof with an incredibly loud and full sound.

Though British, Carter was lyrically obsessed with American pop/trash culture. It's as if he'd grown up watching our TV shows and movies of the 50's and 60's - which he probably did, considering they were widely exported in later years. Favorite song topics: backwoods killers, cars, television, cartoons, comic books, sci-fi, running away from the law (or getting caught), and evangelical religion. To hear the band at their angriest and most propulsive, look into their stellar debut "Gun-Shy". To hear them at their most fun and accessible, don't miss the follow-up album "Bikini Red".

Carter co-wrote half of the songs found here with Tom Moon, whom he had previously played with in the band Motor Boys Motor - and produced by Vic Maile (Dr. Feelgood, Motorhead). "I Wanna Be A Flintstone" was a big hit that got them on England's "Top Of The Pops" TV show, but made many unfamiliar with the group perceive them as a novelty act. The second single "I Can Speak American" further fueled that perception. The rest is in keeping with what came before and after. As a whole, the "Bikini Red" album is looser and funnier than their debut. In an effort to quell the critical backlash that resulted, SBM's became serious again on their third and final release "Totally Religious". All 3 of these studio albums are fantastic and worth owning - as is "Live At The BBC". When all is said and done, there's really no one else that sounds like them.

David Bowie was a big fan, and said flattering things in interviews. He saw to it they opened for him on a couple of his U.K. "Glass Spider" tour-dates. When asked if he'd ever think of producing The Screaming Blue Messiahs, Bowie replied: "No, I wouldn't touch them. They're perfect just as they are." He was right.