Omnivore reissue introduces retro rockers The Kingbees to a new generation

The Kingbees‘The Kingbees’
The Kingbees (Omnivore)
4 stars out of 5

Brian Setzer and his Stray Cats ushered in a rockabilly revival in the early 1980s, but they weren’t the only ones injecting those classic sounds of the 1950s with some New Wave flavor. Jamie James-fronted outfit The Kingbees weren’t as popular as the Stray Cats, but they were every bit as effective.

The Kingbees CDThe folks at Omnivore are introducing The Kingbees to a new generation of listeners with this expanded reissue of the band’s 1980 self-titled debut album. It’s a shame that James, Michael Rummans and Rex Roberts didn’t garner more acclaim for this fantastic slab, but here’s a chance for it to be discovered and appreciated all these years later.

In addition to the original 10-track recording, the reissue includes eight bonus tracks comprised of demos and a handful of rare live recordings. Songs like “Sweet Sweet Girl to Me,” “Man Made for Love,” “No Rspect,” “Fast Girls” and “Follow Your Heart” hold up amazingly well and the demo versions of “My Mistake,” “Burnin’ the Town Tonight” and “Fast Girls” make it worth the upgrade. And check out their killer cover the Rolling Stones hit “Not Fade Away.” The Kingbees were legit, y’all. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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