Why You Should Take A Trip Into The Wardrobe


“…flashing lights will take you to another world…and the answers you’re looking for may just be found in the inner wardrobes of your mind…”


The Vibes, 1980s trash garage band. Inner Wardrobes of Your Mind


The Psychedelic World of The Vibes

The Vibes’ EP ‘Inner Wardrobe of Your Mind’ is a mind-bending, almost synaesthetic, voyage into another dimension. I recall one sunny autumn afternoon bunking off college with my best mate. We were in my bedroom, waiting for the mushie-tea we’d choked down to kick in. The red and purple and white of the EP label was spinning in a carnivalesque haze on my hi-fi turntable. I was about to do a hand-trail test, convinced the mushies weren’t working, but then did a quick double take on the album cover. The words were undulating, the frazzled bloke’s hair was pulsing and his eyebrows were twitching. I glanced at my mate, but she was too engrossed in smoking a Superking to notice. Back to the cover. It was still hoaching and writhing like a maggot infestation. The deranged bloke on the cover was now nodding and squinting at me. Had he been in the wardrobe? Was that what you look like before you go in or when you come out? What was he trying to tell me?

“This could be the answer you’re looking for…”

I was desperate to know, and allowed myself to merge into the purple and red.

 I sat cross-legged on my bedroom carpet, lost in an unhinged world for an hour, five minutes, a year – how long did it take my mate to smoke that fag? I reached over to switch the light bulb off, it was way too bright. But, despite my attempts, the damn thing stayed on. Frustrated, I turned my attention back to the wardrobe, desperate to see inside and learn its secrets. And all the while the bloke’s hair was pulsing and his eyebrows twitching. Jesus Christ, that wardrobe was a dark place and didn’t offer any hint to its cavernous possibilities. And then, in what seemed like half an eyebrow twitch, the purple and red spewed me out. Side Red had finished and I had to get up and flip the record over to Side Purple.


The Vibes, Inner Wardrobes of Your Mind


Trash is Glorious

If you like your rock ‘n’ roll to spit out a screechin’ and howlin’ explosion of energy, you’re in luck. Punk-trash-garage meets psychedelic-tripped-out rockabilly, this is one helluva trip through your mind’s inner wardrobes. Mine are still leaning precariously to one side with both doors hanging off. The Vibes emerged from the same swamplands as The Sting-Rays and Thee Milkshakes, and have the welts and bruises from the Cramps’ stiletto heels all over them.

There are only four tracks on this EP, and the hallucinatory overtones add to its intensity. Side Red includes ‘I Hear Noises (extended trip version)’ and ‘I’m In Pittsburgh (And It’s Rain’in)’. The latter is a more menacing and urgent cover of The Outcasts’ 1965 garage track. Side Purple brings us ‘Hasil Adkins In My Head’, and ‘Scratch My Back’. For those of you unfamiliar with Hasil Adkins, he was known as the ‘godfather of psychobilly’, and his suitably weird and filthy lyrics were a major influence on the Cramps, who covered ‘She Said’.



Everyone Needs a Wardrobe

‘Yer awfy quiet,’ my mate said, grinding the dowt into the saucer-come-ashtray, ‘let’s get out of here.’ We wandered up to the local post office, where we stood outside for an unknown period of time, trying to get it together to go in and buy a 1st class stamp.

Like bioluminescent fireflies, The Vibes’ lifespan was short. They formed in 1983, but by 1986 they had all but self-immolated.  Although they had several 12” and 7” releases, they only produced one studio album ‘What’s Inside?’ in 1985. Several members went on to form The Purple Things, and Lloyd Tripp moved to America where he still performs as Lloyd Tripp and the Zipguns.

 ‘Inner Wardrobes of Your Mind’ is a bit like The Vibes themselves – it tears through your head like a crazed and hellacious rockin’ twister and then, all too quickly, it’s over. It might be a short ride, but a journey into the wardrobe “could be the answer you’re looking for”.

Check out our 1980s page for more groovy stuff to watch/read/listen to.

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