With twanging guitars, Hawaiian shirts, and song titles like “Chop Suey Rock” and “Thrilla in Manila,” Robert Johnson & Punchdrunks are a formidable orgy in kitsch. Their main influence is naturally surf music in the style of Dick Dale and Wray Link, but the fiery stage performance holds more in common with Rev Horton Heat and definitely Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Formed as a trio in 1992, they included drummer Ed Johnson, bassist Thorsell, and front figure and guitarist Robert Johnson, who had earlier played with the garage band the Bottle-Ups. Robert Johnson & Punchdrunks played live for the first time in Stockholm in 1993, and when the movie Pulp Fiction was released in 1994, the revival of surf rock that followed boosted the interest for the band considerably. In 1995 they released their debut album, Beavershot - Live at Studion, on their own label, Nilroy, and the next year saw the album Feels Like Buzz Aldrin getting great reviews by some of Sweden’s most influential critics. This probably meant more gigs the coming years, but building on kitsch and playing instrumental music effectively prevented Robert Johnson & Punchdrunks from getting a big audience. After the inclusion of bassist Ögren, the band released Aloha in Havana and went on tour with Bob Hund. The cooperation proved to be longer lasting than that, and the coming year, Robert Johnson & Punchdrunks released a few singles on Bob Hund’s label Silence. For artistic, or maybe kitschy reasons, the first three albums had all been recorded in mono, but Thomas Öberg and Jonas Jonasson from Bob Hund, who were to produce the coming album, finally convinced the band to make it in stereo. Fried on the Altar of Good Taste is a good description of Robert Johnson & Punchdrunks and was also the title of this fourth album, the stereo one, released in March 2000. The new drummer on the album was Rönnholm and the band had also recruited keyboard player Wigerdal.
As of 2005 Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks now consists of Robert Johnson and Per Thorsell both on guitars. Their newest album “100% Pot Success” is set for release on August 18th 2009.
Edited by Woorcy on 11 Jun 2009, 09:40
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