Home Read Classic Album Review: Big John Bates | Mystiki

Classic Album Review: Big John Bates | Mystiki

The Vancouver rockabilly boogie man ticks all the boxes on this predictable affair,

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Innovative rockabilly acts come along about as often as gangsta rappers with PhDs.

For every distinctive outfit like, say, The Cramps or Rev. Horton Heat, there are scores of imitators — like, say, psychobilly Vancouver singer-guitarist Big John Bates. It isn’ that the former Annihilator songwriter hasn’t got the hang of the genre; if anything, it’s that he’s learned his lessons a little too well. His second album Mystiki — that title alone should be a tip-off — is a disappointingly predictable affair that determinedly delivers every psychobilly cliche in the too-short book. Revved-up rockabilly a la Horton? Check. Bo Diddley beats and gnarly guitars? Check. Hiccupping vocals soaked with reverb? Check. Crampy cartoon-horror cuts like Crankenstein, Vampire Lezbos and Bad Girls Go to Hell? Check, check and check. Toss in a pair of burlesque dancers dolled up like evil nurses and sure, you might have an entertaining live show. But you  don’t have anything that’s gonna make Lux Interior lose any sleep.