Well hello and thanks for checking in. Your Monday just got a whole lot better as Stiv Bator hits the screen. Seeing as it would have been Stiv’s birthday last week it seems only fair that we air this classic and I make no apology for the shitty quality of the footage. R,I.P Stiv we miss ya
No Monday morning middle finger would be complete without this classic single from the mighty Wonk Unit and RPM would like to offer our congratulations to Alex and his wife on the birth of their Daughter.
Power poppin’ synth rockin, of course, they’re Canadian – isn’t that the epicenter of the power pop world? It sure as shit seems like it. With their second offering this Vancouver Trio. There’s some right retro synth action on the go in the style of classic Japan or maybe the first album from Duran Duran but wait those guys rocked – sure maybe they did it differently but where else are you going to hear some real synths with plenty of punch and right up front in the mix?
‘Jessica Don’t Like Rock And Roll’ is up first and as I shake my head and wonder why hasn’t anyone taken her to one side and had a word. How can this be? surely if your standing front center at the rock and roll show something terrible must have happened and in true 80’s style, we’re left wondering did she or didn’t she? Maybe on the next record, we’ll find out. The poor girl.
With songs about love and bars and girls and rock n roll, it’s all in there folks – time to get lost in some good time power pop for half an hour as Autogramm take control. ‘Bummer Party’ is like the distant relative to some early Duran and even touches of classic Numan.
‘Sea Of Regret’ If it were to be sung by Debbie Harry it’d be a smash hit or have been should I say. ‘Wandering eyes’ gets a little proggy for my taste but it does make you want to watch ‘The Warriors’ and wander around with a bandana around your wrist and on top of one of your Reebok hi-tops. Settle down folks don’t panic ‘Cool Kids Radio’ could easily be the title track to some high school teen flick or on the radio as some kid whos part werewolf is riding around on top of a van roof with this blasting out.
‘Small Town’ is a bit mod like in its delivery with a jarring guitar and punchy beat it’s a bright number with great harmonies but its the final fling of a really good record and ‘Peter Pan’ swoops in with a cool bass line and a refreshing new wave sound not heard for a while and to wrap this punchy bad boy up ‘I Wanna Be Whipped’ could have been penned by Blag Dahlia such is its infectious melody or an unearthed Dee Dee song that the Ramones never got to use either way its like a cool summer breeze of an album and a great pick me up if your feeling down. Nice one Autogramm I like it. New wave is back in town and it goes by the name Autogramm.
The ten songs making up “Egomania” swing between Alice Cooper and Reckless Love, with a big dollop of Ghost on top. Sometimes hitting the spot and other times not. There are highs in the shape of the fantastic debut single “Bum to Bum” and some not so highs with the Def Leppard drenched gloss of second single “Blood”.
Eleven years on from the glories of “Retox” and seven years on from the utter crapness of “Doctor Midnight”, Hank’s back with “Egomania”. The first release under his devil in white, Von Hell guise. Right then, I got my kutte on, my balls are waxed clean and I’m going in…
Title track “Egomania” kicks off side one with a nice big “Dudes” intro running into a fine “Retox” style stomp-along tune. “Pretty Decent Exposure” is as the name suggests is pretty decent too with pounding drums and a ripping chorus. Great stuff !!
Unfortunately, third tune “Blood” creeps into view to spoil the party; unless of course, you love the Mutt Lange processed sound that has served Finland’s cock rock emperors “Reckless Love” so well in the last couple of years.
Thankfully “Dirty Money” gets things back on track with another latter-day Hank-era Turbo workout.
Thank the lord for “Bum to Bum”, the album’s debut single and standout tune. When I saw the video on YouTube, I was excited, proper excited. It was everything I wanted from Mr. H and more. It’s a top Alice inspired (Turbo) tune.
Side two kicks off with “Never Again”. Pretty much a stock Ghost tune. It’s pretty cool and far less pompous than Tobias Forge’s bunch of ghouls. “Bombwalk Chic” takes us back to Turbo territory; it’s a pretty sexy tune. Unfortunately “Wild Boy Blues” takes us to Reckless Love land once more. Perhaps it’s ironic …… well maybe. Next up “Too High” is a bit of a filler. It’s okay without being great.
Finally “Adiós (Where’s My Sombrero?” is where the Alice Cooper undercurrent really pops it’s head up. Starting out a little like “Stephen” from “Welcome to My Nightmare”, the song builds up into an epic. A great way to end the album and to start again as I flip the plastic over for another go.
I guess I’m ten or so plays into “Egomania” now and some of the tunes that didn’t initially grab me are beginning to sink their teeth in. Maybe I should review this bad boy again in a couple of months time!!
Egomania is due to be released on November 2nd, 2018 through Sony Music Entertainment / Century Media Records on black vinyl, orange vinyl and CD. Also if you’re a saucy Swede you can get exclusive, pink, red and white vinyl editions you lucky buggers!
We kicked off this past week by being the first to review the brand new record released from Tyla’s Dogs D’amour ‘In Vino Veritas’ I don’t know why people are surprised at how good it is because it was a no-brainer to RPM so why not get on it if you missed it first time around and get involved Here
We also featured two new releases from South Wales featuring past members of the mighty Sick Livers in the shapes of Deathtraps who brought their second album to the table in the shape of ‘Gotta Get Some’ and its been a firm favourite of RPM since we heard it and being their second album in about a year they’re prolific and to be fair bloody good as well and if you like your Rock n Roll fast ‘n’ furious and a little fucked up then you will love this.
As for Nicotine Pretty, their EP is a little more laid back. Quite different to what many were expecting but none the less entertaining and a real triumph in the face of some pretty tough times for the band since they came into existence. We were mightily impressed with what we heard and look forward to catching some live shows as the band get up to speed and share their ‘Real Life Glories’ with us and I’m sure once you hear these songs you too will be all over this one.
In fact we brought this past week we’ve been truly global by bringing you Japanese Garage Rock in the shape of the magnificent King Brothers that you should check out if you ever had a little love for Jon Spenser or Guitar wolf or Electric Eel shock but amplified by 10 (is that even possible folks?) you need to hear this one – trust me! There were reissues from the SoapGirls acoustic from our favourite glamslamin’ punk rockers from the USA and a fantastic tribute album for a fallen Finish brother Claude in the shape of Eduardo Matinez & The Thunderclouds all reviewed on RPM online this past week so we really scoured the seas far and wide to bring you the best in Rock and Roll releases but to finish off the week we shared some love in the shape of Jeff Dahl and went to Australia for some off The Living End .
We also brought you news of tours, Bands on hiatus (Biters) and new releases and reissues but before we can look forward to a week packed with reviews of the likes of Iggy Pop, Hank Von Hell, Canadas new kids on the block Autogramme and LA resident Mike Christie we also bring you live reviews of Ryan Hamilton, The Brutalists and Rich Ragany & The Digressions plus much, much more so keep tuned into RPM it’s a music revolution! but before we sign off the week we have to report on another fallen brother.
The week ended on the saddest of news our friend and brother in Rock and Roll Todd Youth passed away so we leave you with some video footage of Fireburn Todd’s last band, this is their first ever performance in public and Todd picked up the bass as the band rip it up and the amazing footage of Chrome Locust whipping up a shit storm over at Coney Island High with some typically awesome rock n roll . R.I.P Todd ‘Youth’ Schofield you will be missed by many. Rest easy Brother rest easy.
Not so long back I caught a great doubleheader over the bridge in Bristol consisting of Jesse Malin and Chuck Prophet. Now people in the know would probably remember Chuck Prophet from his days in a band called Green on Red, I caught them live a couple of times back in the day, and could never quite categorize them, psychedelic, alt-country, alt-rock, indie there were so many labels that fitted but if you got bogged down in how to listen to them from which viewpoint you missed the fact that they were a Bloody good live band. Where am I going with this, not long after seeing Chuck this little beauty dropped in my inbox from Dan Stuart, the guitarist, and frontman of Green on Red.
Settling in and kicking back you are immediately caught up in the production, it’s so clean, the music breathes, its given space. There’s something in the picked intro to opener March 5th, 1961 that pulls you into the story that runs through the LP, setting you up chapter by chapter, song by song.
We drift through the story, it’s definitely got that Alt-Country vibe, steeped in that Americana tradition. Moods and emotions change as you work your way through and fleetingly my thoughts drift towards the Who as a point of reference especially on “Here comes my boy”. There’s even a hint of Bowie wrapped around “Tucson”, what I’m saying is very much as with Green on Red you can’t quite label things, to me a sign of how comfortable someone is with their music, letting things develop organically taking on its own life story, following its own pathway to the finish.
This LP draws in so many references to so many different artists, sometimes Lou Reed, Sometimes Roger Waters, Sometimes Roger Daltrey, Sometimes Steve Earle, what have they all got in common? They are fantastic storytellers.
I would class as one of those evenings into late nite LP’s when your sat, drifting along with the sound, watching the sun go down following the story as it unfolds. This is a companion piece to a novel that will be published at the same time the third part in the Marlowe Billings trilogy. This is an excellent piece of work getting darker as the LP moves forward track by track someone going through their life story, laying everything bare. Well worth some attention from a much wider audience.
I love the Living End or at least I used to love the Living End Now I like them a lot but wish they’d regain the early highs. Listen Chris Chaney is one awesome guitarist and the band are always excellent live, the last time I caught them was supporting Green Day and these cats stole the show that day hitting hit after hit out of the park with so much energy it was a joy to see. Prior to that the Living End did a warm-up show in my town many moons ago and it was a small club that was barely half full and that night they were incredible but, and it’s a big but. The last couple of studio albums were missing that bit of magic that spark That killer song you know the couple of classic Living End tunes that littered earlier recordings so forgive me for entering ‘Wunderbar’ with more than a hint of trepidation.
as I dropped the needle and listened to the first play a little like the scream painting by Edvard Munch but hey ‘Don’t Lose It’ sees my hands drop and that fear ebb away as this is more like it. The Living End have a fire in their bellies again and a great opening tune that sounds pretty bloody decent goes a long way to help that.
So with a great heartening opener under their belt ‘Not Like The Other Boys’ is a little more laid back and commercial but it’s still better than anything on the last album or two easily. By the time we reach the rapid pounder of ‘Death Of The American Dream’ the Living End I know and love are in the house and the salamander stick slap in the breakdown is excellent as are the lyrics. Superb.
Like a magpie, the band pick pieces from here and there and throw them in the pot that gives them their identity and when ‘Death Of The American Dream’ fades through the final lament I’m really enjoying this record. Wherever their mojo was it’s back and I can easily grow to like their more commercial edge like ‘Drop The Needle’ when its bookended with such quality.
Damn ‘Proton Pill’ is a blast and the band goes for it maybe I’ve been unfair on the band and I should revisit the last two albums but not until I’ve given ‘Wunderbar’ a lot more love. ‘Amsterdam’ might seem a strange song to pick for the second single from the album seeing as there aren’t any bass or drums on the song but a fantastic melancholic ode a fine city it is.
To be honest with you I’ve really enjoyed ‘Wunderbar’ and if you have ever been a fan then check it out Sure it might not be the best record they’ve ever made but it is definitely a return to form and a band that has a fire and passion in their heart and from top to bottom this is a rock n roll solid album and I’d give it both thumbs up no question.
Firstly how did you get to the point of writing and recording what is effectively a solo album after the Breakdowns?
I started recording the album two or three months afterward I think. I’d already recorded the demos at home on my 4-track so there wasn’t really anything to prep. I just had to wait for some Studio time to become available. It is a solo record I guess but I didn’t wanna present it in that way which is why I gave it a band name.
How long did you have these songs written before deciding how to record them?
They were all 3 years old & all written about the same thing, so it’s a concept album really! – which is why the artwork has a movie poster feel to it. To connect them all to the same story. I knew I was gonna sing it all & play the instruments because that way it’d get done really quick!
Was it always the intention to get it out on vinyl and were you just doing it as a studio project that’s taken on a life of its own or secretly did you want to put a band together and play these songs live?
A bit of all of that really. Originally I only intended to record the songs & put them up on Bandcamp, but secretly I did have an idea that it would work well as an album – & would look great on LP. During the recording, I agreed to do a one-off gig for Some Weird Sin’s Power Pop Weekender back in July (which was really great) & that has lead to more gig offers & more interest in the Speedways.
Tell us a bit about the tracks on the album?
They’re a collection of songs written about the same summer. I knew how they were gonna fit together. I knew the Tube Train at the start of ‘Regular Summer’ would screech into shot immediately as ‘Don’t Tell Me’ finishes & I knew ‘All I Want’ would open the album with a telephone ring (which is why she’s holding the phone on the cover etc..) ..& I knew ‘Reunion In The Rain’ would have a long fade-out & close the album. I wanted to record them without pedals & power chords. I wanted them to be clean & catchy. I knew they’d have a lo-fi quality but not in a garagey way. I really like ‘One Kiss Can Lead To Another’ in particular – I just don’t hear other bands playing those kinda tunes so thought I’d give it a try.
Whos playing in the live band?
The hardest working drummer in show business Kris Hood of Los Pepes, More Kicks & Miscalculations is keeping the backbeat, Adrian Alfonso ex-Randy Savages & currently of Dead Meat is on bass guitar and Mauro Venegas of Miscalculations (former Duncan Reid/Godfathers/Jonny Cola) is on lead guitar duty. ..& obviously, I’m in it too. It’s worked out really well.
what are the chances of more dates?
The chances are very good! There are 3 other shows booked for later this year – including an album launch gig in London on October 18th. There are a few things in the pipeline for next year too which could be pretty cool!
What about a follow-up album?
I could record it tomorrow if I had a studio! Because all the songs on ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ were written between 2014 & 2015 there’s 3 years worth of recent stuff knocking around in my songbooks – although I haven’t written anything new for a while if I’m being honest.
I would like to put out a 45 with The Speedways though. Hopefully early next year I can get that sorted.
I keep banging on about this but my next album/EP will definitely be with a female singer. I’ve got the songs written for it & they’re all great. The project could be called something like ‘Suzy & The Speedways’ in theory (the album’s called ‘Empty Pages’)
I know you love your rock n roll and punk rock but what makes a great record?
A good hook, a great lyric, good sleeve artwork..the whole package. It’s gotta make you feel something, hasn’t it? I was listening to A-Ha & Abba just as much as I was Tom Petty & The Ramones when I was making the album.
Talk us through a few of your favourite songs/albums and why?
I’ll give you an album & three songs, otherwise, I’ll literally be typing forever! Albums – Please Please Me – The Beatles – the greatest band of all time playing live in the Studio with raw energy, youthful pomp, mistakes all over the shop, charming as fuck performances & an insane deadline which would destroy mere mortal bands.
Song 1 – This Charming Man – The Smiths – a game changer & a life changer for me. Song 2 – Nothing In Return – Roky Erickson – a pop masterpiece by a genius. Song 3 – You Don’t Know – Helen Shapiro – best-unrequited love song ever.
When did you start playing the guitar? anyone make you pick up a guitar?
I was 14 or 15. There was always music playing in the house so I was already really into guitars, but I think when I first saw ‘Back To The Future’ I became obsessed with Johnny B Goode! (& Earth Angel too!) – My Dad had a couple of Chuck Berry LPs so I just used to listen to them over and over. Then a few years later I got really into The Ramones and my guitar style became a very confused mix of Chuck Berry & Johnny Ramone.. with some George Harrison & eventually Johnny Marr thrown in for good measure. I was really into Metal in my mid-teens but I just couldn’t play it. It never really fell under my fingers the way that early Beatles did.
You play a few instruments on the record what other talents do you have? Did you always fancy yourself as a bit of a frontman?
No! I’m very reluctantly fronting a band! ..but I’m the only one who can sing these particular songs so I’ve just gotta get on with it! It’s cool really. & no, sadly I’m not blessed with many talents elsewhere!Facebook
RPM was saddened to hear the news rippling across social media this evening that our friend and awesome guitarist Todd Youth has passed away. Details are unannounced thus far but our condolences and sadness go out to Todd’s family and friends. The Rock and Roll world has lost another good one and its light shines a little dimmer this evening.
We first met Todd when he played the UK with Chelsea Smiles and he was such a lovely humble sweet guy and we further met him when he was playing as part of Jesse Malins St Marks Social. Todd was a cool guy who turned in some awesome rock n fuckin roll records when he played as Chelsea Smiles and we got excited when he surfaced playing in Fireburn recently and we were happy to give column inches to their records. His current bandmate Ras Israel Joseph had this to say
On the passing of my friend, and my Brother Todd Youth
There are no words to express how sad I am at the passing of my brother Todd Youth. The music he made will forever be remembered, and I’m so thankful that I was able to work with him and that we created Fireburn together. Todd and I were living separate lives doing hardcore and reggae music. We met each other in 1992 and then never spoke again until 2017. We created Fireburn within two weeks of knowing each other and finished writing two of my favorite hardcore records that I ever worked on: “Don’t stop the youth”, and “Shine”. Closed casket records signed the band and we were on our way. We had great shows and lots of people showed up to them. We toured with gbh from England, hung out with the guys from Negative Approach, and got our blessings about our music and our records from the Bad Brains. I know that Todd is now resting in peace and I know that Krishna is taking his soul to a better place. He was a devout Hari Krishna and The Devout human being. Todd wherever you are I hope that we will make music again one day. Life is a circle and I know I’ll meet you again in that circle brother. We will meet again. Rest In Peace, Rest In Power, rest my brother. I am saddened that we cannot make music again together, but I am happy that you are finally going home to be with Krishna that Haile Selassie has finally giving you peace and comfort my brother. one day, I too will lay down and die. This body that I ware is temporary. I will probably be alone. They’re probably be no one around me. However I know that I will join you and all of our other friends in that good place and we’ll all see each other again. I’m sorry you died Todd. I’m sorry I can’t see you again. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help you. You are my friend and my brother and I love you. Rest in peace my brother. May your visit to our Heavenly Home be full of peace, and comfort, and closeness to Krishna. Haribo. Haile Selassie I. FIREBURN.
The Paul Collins Beat is proud to present the Out Of My Head European Tour February 7-March 2, 2019.
In celebration of the Alive Naturalsounds Records release of the newest Paul Collins record “Out Of My Head”
Released worldwide September 28.
Paul Collins is one of the most enduring cult rockers of the late seventies and a founding member of the legendary band The Nerves (with Jack Lee and Peter Case). He started his solo career in 1979 with the release of his album The Beat on Columbia Records under the management of the legendary Bill Graham, and has released more than 11 studio albums as Paul Collins, The Beat or Paul Collins’ Beat.
The record is receiving rave reviews from around the globe and many site this as one of Paul’s finest records, on par with his best work in The Nerves and The Beat. (Review Here)
The icing on the cake is that now, after some thirty-five years, original drummer of The Beat, Michael Ruiz is back in the band!
The new lineup also features Paul Stingo, musical partner with Paul on Out Of My Head.
All About Frank create a unique sound on this debut album that recalls the 90’s for me when a lot of bands were starting to blend alternative and harder elements together. I think of bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, Jane’s Addiction, Last Crack, Love On Ice, and other bands that never wanted to be put into a box of any kind. Your fate with this band will likely rise and fall with the vocal work by Ashley Stone who can certainly do some vocal gymnastics. Overall, my feelings on this album kind of mixed due to my personal tastes, but there are some very good songs on here that do connect with me.
‘All the Way’ serves as the perfect opener to the record as a straightforward hard rocker with my favorite riff on the album. This sits as my second favorite song. Stone really picks his spots on the falsetto which makes it much better and more effective than at other points on the album for me. ‘The First One’ really highlighted to me that the falsetto type vocals don’t do much for me here when they are used frequently. Stone has some awesome texture in his voice, but the higher pitched vocals lose their bite when they are frequently used or are not actually singing words. This song goes into some aggressive early Smashing Pumpkins type bedlam. The title track follows and is my favorite song on the album. It is also a seven-minute epic which is risky, but this is a monster of a song. The electric guitar intro has a haunting melody that is captured perfectly in the vocals by Stone. The production and mix on this one hit the sweet spot too as the drums sound stronger and the guitars have more bite. I would be extremely disappointed if I saw them live and didn’t get to hear this song.
After the high of ‘Follow the Sun,’ the band was really set up for a drop no matter what song came next, but ‘Open Your Eyes’ fares alright with me. It is initially very accessible with a quiet verse and chorus, but there is a sense of boiling intensity happening here that really works for me. The falsetto vocals here sound much better and create a hook with a simple and effective chorus. The intense last verse is my favorite part of the song. Up next ‘Sailing’ also has an acoustic intro and some electric guitar (Russel Harrison) flourishes that I really like. There are moments where I can sense something would sound a lot better if a band had some financial backing to do more in the studio. This album sometimes suffers because the band just does not have the time to do all that I think they want to do. The backing vocals here almost sound like they are droning on at times. The ending of this song and the rest of this album tells you the band has some great ideas and might sound positively huge with more resources. ‘Easy Way Out’ is another highlight from the album. This has a great midtempo feel that had me scribbling down the likes of Jefferson Airplane and thinking of some of the early videos on MTV where bands had been filed in the 60’s and 70’s in some trippy colors that immediately stood out when they were played. The chorus is to the point, snappy, and contagious.
‘Make a Change’ remains a song that just does not connect with me at all. I have tried listening to it a few ways, but this one is just not for me. It starts with some acoustic guitar and an easy going first verse that gives way to some intensity. It is the high pitched vocal section that starts with about a minute to go that just completely misses the mark with me. It has also consistently been the point where I lose all the momentum from the beginning of the album. ‘Birdie’ unfortunately is another one that has just not stuck with me or drawn me in for a deeper listen. I keep catching myself zoning out on this one, which is not helped by its 6 minute running time. ‘On and On’ turns the corner for me as I really felt myself get more interested in what was happening. There is plenty of space for the band to maneuver here. I really like Frank Pirois work on the bass as it sets the mood of the song. The transition to a faster beat by Pete Sims (drums) around the midway point works perfectly on this seven-plus minute epic. In some ways, this one reminds me more of the more experimental material on ‘Love Your Self Abuse’ by Baby Chaos. ‘Sometimes’ closes the album on an alright note, but it doesn’t blow me away.
I really like some of the songs on here and appreciate what the band is doing. As a debut album, I think it establishes the identity of the band and showcases some great strengths that the members have developed over the years in prior bands. I would love to see the band get an opportunity with a bigger budget next time as I think it would have helped. There are only so many things a band can do, especially when you are having to bust your butt to get it done within a tight budget and timeline. I think people will find some enjoyment in the album and maybe the back half of the album will grow on me in time.