Johnny Cage And The Voodoo Groove- ‘Spirit Animal Superstar Signals From The Electric Boneyard’ (Deaf Crow Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Nev Brooks   
Friday, 06 January 2017 04:00

Johnny Cage avatarIs it really that long since I first experienced the Voodoo Groove, supporting the always mighty Urban Voodoo Machine and giving them a real run for their money? Checking back into the Über Rock archives, it was all the way back in 2014!


In fact, I followed that up with catching the guys at their own residency in Cardiff and booking them for a little charity soiree that I run locally. To say that I’m a bit of a fan would be an understatement.


Does the name ring a bell? The guys appeared on TV last year in ‘Britain’s Best Part Time Band’, losing out very narrowly to Bombskare from Scotland, but exposing the guys to a very large audience in the meantime. Fast forward to NYE leading into 2017 and the guys played a launch party for this little beauty in Cardiff’s Moon Club, with a proposed release date in March.


So how does it sound? As dirty low down and sleazy as you’d expect, the New Orleans sleaze, pumped up with a Cuban groove, but tight as fuck to boot, always on the edge but superbly renditioned.


‘Human Remains’ eases itself out of the speakers giving that half bottle of whisky feeling a whole new dimension, before ‘3 Brass Monkeys’ stomps all over it; and then we’re into it big style, deeper and darker in to the voodoo groove, and those keyboards really kick through real bar room style: ‘Superman lll’, in fairness, is a real monster of a track bringing the party fast forward.


What the band do to ‘Jockey Full Of Bourbon’ doesn’t bear thinking about it’s that hard to better perfection, but yup it trashes the original, giving a real shake up, to a track that in fairness was always a classic. ‘Better Off Alone’ has that gorgeous 60s psychedelic feel wrapped all around it, you can just feel the vibe and see the lava light pulsing light show kicking this into another dimension.



Every time you hear ‘Well Well Well’ you just get the urge to get up and dance those Ivories really introducing the song in style, another time when a class original is given a real twist. Heading back to the psychedelia with ‘Got It All Wrong’, until you get that glam rock stomp that places its mark all over this baby yup “Everybody loves that rock and roll”.


There really is no let up to this LP, there’s no weak track present, and we haven’t even got into the next beast, ‘Charley Jones’: listening to the horn leading in gives this live monster another dimension. And we’re coming to the end, the Loa taking shape, each song distinct, instilled with the bands own personal likes and dislikes, distinct sacred rhythms, songs, dances, and then we drift out with ‘This Ain’t The Love, holding you in the post coital embrace. Hats off to Peanut, for a hell of a vocal performance.


If you haven’t come across Johnny Cage yet, shame on you, but what a place to start, an early contender for LP of the year. I’ll leave the band to tell you all about themselves:


“This gargantuan Rock & Roll juggernaut forged it's magic in the blood of madness with fire and rattlin' bone passion and the sweet sweat of sacrifice to the burning beast of electric boogie, punk fuelled Cubana soul, rockabilly, swamp funk, garage blues and the essence of the roots of the rebel rouser. The Voodoogroove, driven by a dog headed whiskey spirited determination that could make the dead dance, take the stage like an electrified rhino stampede wrapped in the loins of a 50ft Go-Go dancer about to give birth to Rock & Roll itself. They live and die on the note of the moment in the almighty bid to make an audience lose it's mind completely, forgetting past, forsaking future and erupting in the all consuming now.”


‘Nuff said!