Britain and Ireland seem to be undergoing its biggest rockabilly revival since the Stray Cats' combs stretched their quiffs across the Atlantic. And at the forefront of all that reverbed twang is Dublin-bred Imelda May, who having aligned herself to the likes of Jools Holland and Jeff Beck in the wake of her previous two albums, is set for international attention on the strength of her third which has already spent a long time at number one in her homeland.
Thankfully, Mayhem proves she's more than a neatly conceived period-specific musical opshop. Her combo of rock'n'roll vixen and torch tune vamp make for an entertaining mix. That's whether it's on the best of her own songs (the Chrissie Hynde-like ballad Kentish Town Waltz, the Bo Diddley beat-powered Pulling the Rug, the surf guitar attack of Psycho) or her spirited cover of Tainted Love which reclaims the tune from the Soft Cell synthpop hit back to its Motown roots.