Denver trio The Yawpers fuse Americana and groove-heavy blues with raw punk aggression and have far outgrown their roots rock beginnings in recent years. Their last album, 2017’s ‘Boy In A Well’, was a concept album, a tragedy set in WW1 France, about a mother abandoning her newborn child. Ambitious and passionate, main songwriter Nate Cook took his songwriting skills to another level on this album.
But where do you go after such an ambitious project? Well, in contrast ‘Human Question’, their third album for the ever cool Bloodshot Records, was written and recorded over a 2 month period. Tracked live in a single room ‘Human Question’ has a live immediacy to it that perfectly suits the band’s dual guitar/drums set up. It sees Nate in a self-reflective mood rather than a self-destructive one, utilising his lyrical suss as a cathartic healing process.
Opener ‘Child Of Mercy’ builds on a nifty little blues riff over upbeat drums. Nate’s vocals reaching falsetto as the song builds and builds to a distortion-filled industrial climax that would make Trent Reznor proud. One song in and already The Yawpers sound like no one else, as they defy genre tagging with an opening salvo.
Nate has stated this album is therapy for past traumas rather than wallowing in depression and self-destruction. Yet, musically the band seems more diverse than ever before.
The psychedelic-tinged title track is a Beatles-esque trip that straddles indie territory, the sort of thing Kula Shaker pulled off with great success back in the late 90’s. They blend those same indie beats of new drummer Alex Koshak to great effect with garage rock power chords on ‘Earn Your Heaven’. A ramshackle breakdown full of scratchy noisemongering that takes the band into Blues Explosion territory, which is always a mighty fine place to be. And talking of such things, the dancefloor friendly ‘Dancing On My Knees’ has a Jon Spencer style smoothness about it too, and some crazy ass slide guitar goodness thrown in for good measure.
Elsewhere ‘Forgiveness Through Pain’ is 70’s boogie rock with Jack White dynamics thrown in, that gives a fresh modern twist.
The art of Springsteen style storytelling is ever present, Nate showing how much he has developed as a songwriter. Take the gentle, countrified vibes of the contemplative ‘Man As A Ghost’, where the mix of acoustics and hushed percussion are just enough to accompany his tale of a man with nothing left to give. ‘Can’t Wait’ is a perfect slice of Americana. The juxtaposition of upbeat drums and lazy, laid back Tom Petty style vocal harmonies works real good here, and the addition of ringing tremolo guitar is just sublime to these ears.
The eerie, yet exquisite ‘Carry Me’ has a ‘Nebraska’ quality to it. A laid bare and stripped back feel, just 3 guys in a room feeding of each other’s energy. Such a passionate, yet gentle delivery, you actually feel like you are intruding on the recording. The instrumentation is minimal, leaving space for the vocals to breathe and build. Here Nate comes on like prime Steven Tyler doing gospel as the song reaches a climax. The ensuing sax solo just seals the deal really. A song to close your eyes and drift away to.
The ten track album finishes with crisp, clean guitar tones and a Dylan-esque vocal delivery as Nate Cook takes us to church with ‘Where The Winters End’. He delivers his own personal redemption song, as uplifting and moving as it is solemn. It may leave you with a tear in your eye, but it will also leave with the feeling that everything is going to be ok.
The Yawpers cherry pick from folk, country and scuzzy blues. At times they are the MC5 or The Stooges, frantic and on edge, elsewhere they soothe the soul with acoustic led Americana, dark and desperate at times. Yet at all times they are cohesive and utterly captivating. I feel these Colorado rogues may well have delivered their most complete album to date.
Author: Ben Hughes
Buy ‘Human Question’ Here
Pizzatramp. what can one say about a band like Pizzatramp who’ve in fairness been around for ages done some amazing shows and done some shit shows that were amazing and written a tonne of songs that are short shorter and shortest and love to use a profanity or two and aren’t keen on Bono, bad backs and Goths but quite like booze punk rock and drugs.
You know what you’re going to get with a pizzatramp record and that’s lots of short sharp hardcore punk rock they were good when they first started doing this and to be fair ‘Grand Relapse’ they’ve pretty much nailed it in the sound – the songcraft – and the performance. when Dan didn’t turn up at Rebellion we did wonder but once we saw the videos for a couple of the new songs we just knew that these boys were on fire (I’m sure there are some who wish they were quite literally on fire).
The artwork is classic Pizzatramp and to open with the frantic drill down of ‘Captain Sea Org’ and the smattering of C Bombs appeals to my inner child and I love it its a fuckin’ rush of a song and in true Hardcore fashion it doesn’t hang about and with a massive FU Pizzatramp are in the house.
As we hurtle along the songs get better and better ‘Millions Of Dead Goths’ is a bit harsh but what a fuckin’ Banger of a tune Dan’s drumming is sensational as is the sound they ring out of those instruments. Sammy Two Cabs has perfected the hardcore glug and rumble on that bass guitar and captured it to perfection in the studio which is no easy task as ‘Gone Full Mitchell’. This is pure gold and Jimmy No Wammy is belching out those lyrics like Caldicot’s Beddis meets Tom Araya if Araya chose the Hardcore path and not the screaming diablo loving metal behemoth he chose (or chose him) ‘There’s bin a moida’ maintains the quality and I begin to wonder if they can continue this momentum or will they crash and burn? ‘137995’ is like their Van Halen I guess as Danny bang bang does his bang bang and if only Van Halen had played like this it’s almost prog-like clocking in at over two and a half minutes it’s like a pizzatramp rock – opera.
They manage to have two consecutive songs clocking in at 1:11 seconds which took some doing especially as ‘I Got Work In THe Morning’ sees the band take a mature turn as they get all conscientious and intro it with some trip hop boyzzz.
To be fair it doesn’t get boring at all and you’ll find yourself smirkin’ more and more as you realise the band has indeed maintained an incredible standard throughout the fifteen songs as ‘Neville Clartos’ thrashes into ‘Nappy Thrash’ which you won’t be hearing on the radio any day soon. and to finish the album with the brilliant left hook right hook of ‘Stop Being A Racist Cunt’ how nicely put and perfectly delivered (no say what you really think boys) I doff my cap and firmly jump inline with their view and it could only get better with ‘Nobhammer’ wrapping this fucker up with its bruising three and a half minutes of punk rock awesomeness. Pizzatramp have delivered the good make no mistake about that and anyone who doubts them needs to have a long hard look at themselves. A band who know what they like and know how to deliver on record exactly how Hardcore should sound whilst maintaining a sense of humour. Regardless of what they might tell you, They’ve been thoroughly professional about this record and I think it’s fair to inform you that there won’t be a better Hardcore album released all year I think I can safely predict that even this early into 2019. ‘Grand Relapse’ is the fuckin’ Biz!
Buy Grand Relapse Here
Author: Dom Daley
Hear the newly re-mastered versions of ‘Love You More’ and ‘You Say You Don’t Love Me’: Here
Another new album from Pup and another new album that’s a must-have. Canadian punks Pup have been causing a stir for the best part of a decade now and this is album number three. Not too shabby on the recording front to be fair.
A wall of pop-sensible punk rock with lyrics out of the teenage bedroom scrapbook raging against growing up its the modern progression of kids who grew up listening to Green Day and Weezer. The songs have an edge of the underground but I don’t know how long they’ll be able to hang out with the cool kids in the underbelly of entertainment because this is going to push these cats overground (I’m confident of that). I haven’t got a clue what they’re going to shout and scream about then. Whatever it might be I’m sure it’ll sound great as this does.
The title track is an excellent warmer upper with a smattering of angst profanities about not fitting in and being bored and a tad pissed off. It’s catchy and pissed off all at the same time – you get some lush gang vocals on ‘Free At Last’ and the chance to thrash around a bit as the song soars towards its abrupt ending. ‘See You At Your Funeral’ sounds like its Weezer meets My Chemical Romance and downs a vat of beer at the frat house then fucks off to act the nuisance and I like that – a lot.
‘Scorpion Hill’ begins with some piano and guitar all melancholy and a cotton picking cats choir before the inevitable take off. for a five minute song, you sort of knew it was coming but when it arrives it’s decent and that’s all you can ask for as it meanders its corse to the end. Are you real or Fake’ is the question they ask on ‘Bloody Mary, Kate And Ashley’ a real high point of the record with great vocals from all the gang as the noise builds. ‘Sibling Rivalry’ is a wall of noise on the intro but you’re almost lulled into a false sense of security as we reach the chorus and again you can’t help but move to the rhythm.
‘Full Blown Meltdown’ is just that, They knock out a perfectly acceptable slice of raging punk rock with everything turned up to 11 and sounding like a Bronx song (but they’re not Bronx I know but this is in that universe and that’s always a cool place to be). With only a couple of tracks left I felt the record flew by only noticing where I was because I had to flip the record over which is a compliment that this almost forty-minute album has flown by. Ending the record with ‘City’ their most diverse song to date with its melancholy first half then a feedback-laden middle while the bass turns up the noise before everything distorts and kicks the jams right out and fucking with the sound engineers headphones the band sign off in style and I can declare that indeed ‘Morbid Stuff’ is a roaring success make the most of this band because before long there will be an avalanche of fans demanding their attention and on the strength of this new record it will be thoroughly deserved.
Buy Morbid Stuff Here
Author: Dom Daley
A ringing 12-string guitar introduction. A dreamlike lyric that seems to hold the cosmos in its hands. It’s still the most recognisable, covered and widely beloved song in the catalogue of a band that’s released a remarkable 26 albums. And it’s 30 years old this year. The song is ‘Under The Milky Way’, from The Church’s most successful album, the undisputed classic ‘Starfish’.
In 2019, the Australian paisley underground pioneers are still enjoying the unique celebrations, which started with a sold-out appearance at the Meltdown Festival in London on the personal invitation of curator, The Cure’s Robert Smith.
They return to British shores with the following tour dates in order to mark another remarkable anniversary:
Sat 8th/Sun 9th June – ‘Of Seance and Starfish’ – The Church Weekend, Bush Hall, London
Mon 10th June – Manchester Club Academy
Tues 11th June – La Belle Angele, Edinburgh
For these shows, ‘Starfish’ will be performed in its entirety, along with a selection of other gems from the band’s career, which now spans an incredible 38 years.
Starfish remains best known for its iconic singles ‘Under The Milky Way’ and ‘Reptile’. But like all classic albums, it’s a journey – and it starts with ‘Destination’, the six-minute opus which opens the album.
From there, the list of hits, band and fan favourites is long. ‘Myrhh’, which leader Steve Kilbey described in his memoir ‘Something Quite Peculiar’ as the definitive Church song. ‘Ripple’, from the masterful ‘Priest=Aura’. Almost anything from 1982’s ‘The Blurred Crusade’. Expect songs from ‘Hologram of Baal’, itself celebrating its 20thanniversary. And, of course, there’s ‘The Unguarded Moment’, the single that launched the band onto world stages on its release in 1981.
But this is not just a nostalgia trip. The Church have been revitalised since 2014 with the addition of guitarist Ian Haug, formerly of another iconic Australian band, Powderfinger. “Ian is a big part of the band now,” Fellow guitarist Peter Koppes says. “He’s a consummate, intuitive musician with fantastic tones.”
Koppes goes on to sum up the band. “Music is like inner space and we’re astronauts,” he says. It’s a spellbinding thing, it’s hypnotising. That’s why people like it. It takes them into another world and we’re here to open those doors.”
The Church’s strange journey remains an endless sea of possibilities. it’s time for the band to celebrate one of their crowning glories, not to be missed.
For more information visit www.thechurchband.net
Jeffrey Ross Hyman better known as Joey Ramone passed away at the age of 49. His fight against lymphatic cancer ended on this day after a long a widely reported battle. Hyman was born in Queens on the 19th of May 1951. Joey was born with a parasitic twin, the twin was surgically removed however he did have a sibling, brother Mickey Leigh.
His musical journey began when he played the drums from the age of 13 before picking up an acoustic guitar and then moving onto vocals and the rest, as they say, is history as he performed all over the world playing thousands of shows to millions of people. He loved the Beatles, The Who, and the stones as much as he loved 50’s girl groups and The Ramones managed to do a fine job of mashing up all those influences throughout their iconic career.
Joey has a street named after him in NYC but the band managed to play their farewell show in California. His iconic hunched form with tinted shades ripped jeans converse shoes and the black leather jacket has been copied a million times over as has his band’s music. He will forever be remembered in connection with CBGB and leaves behind a wonderful legacy of Ramones records as well as two solo albums before he passed away as well as being immortalised in the Simpsons and even got a speaking part as well as singing the Spiderman theme song doesn’t get cooler than that folks. Rest In Peace Joey Ramone one of the finest frontmen ever in music – period. King of the outsiders
The last song Joey heard was a U2 tune, not a band I usually like to share but hey it’s about Joey so it’ll do and the Ramones did support U2 at the Longest day way back in the 80’s so kudos to them for doing that at least besides where else was a kid going to see The Ramones?
anyone who ever saw the band can testify as to how good they were and even when they weren’t good they were still good – yeah? Iconic punk rockers amazing image – even more amazing catalogue of songs and albums – incredible characters – dysfunctional, goofy, awkward, enigmatic, influential. Lucky for us there has been something of an avalanche of reissues, bonus material, box sets, books, DVD’s. The Ramones will forever be remembered and rightly so. Rest In Peace Joey you ruled!
Morning rockers get an earful of some fine Welsh double Denim this Monday morning. Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard is their name and rock n roll is their game check em out.
That’s something new how about this olden but golden slice of rock from the valleys of South Wales care of 60 ft Dolls
and to wrap it up for this week keeping things Welsh here’s our favourite misfits those loveable Sick Livers with their Cocain Jeans. Chow for now as they say in Llandow. Next week its aJesuss three just for Easter 😉
Debut EP from Georgian garage rocker Rod Hamdallah has been around for a while fine tuning his craft in the dark arts of Garage rock and blues but imagine turning those amps up a little then a little better that’s where Rod is shooting from. ‘Think About It’ kicks off with the title track that is the sound of all guns blazing as the touch paper is lit and off he goes. A wild and simple ditty ‘Think About It’ has a vibrant – loud – simple set up of guitar – bass and drums before the vocals kick in and just tear it up. to accompany that and sew the seeds of variety ‘Carry You Home’ is a twist with a darker bluesy sound adding a Whurlizer for texture and some rhythmic floor tom thumping its a great side step. It also features Colonel J.D Wilkes from Legendary Shack Shakers who brings added soul to the party.
‘I Don’t Mind’ turns those guitars into fuzzed up overdrive heaven as the band gets their groove on as the buzz of the amps fills the speakers ‘I Don’t Mind’ brings some welcome attitude.
Flip it over side one is done. Fans of The Urban Voodoo Machine need to pay some attention right here as we get some swamp gypsy rock n soul going on with an epic widescreen western tune that is ‘Heartbeat’ it conjures up all the imagery of a tobacco chewing guy sat on the porch looking out over the savanna at the cotton fields between slugs of moonshine. Take nothing away from Rod here because his vocal is outstanding to be fair as he sings for his supper.
To take this sucker home the amps are turned back up for some bluesy soul straight out of the garage with the records most commercial number ‘Take Me Back’ ends this brief encounter on a high as it breaks out on the chorus into some loud Rock and Roll. Maybe a bonus tune or two wouldn’t have gone amiss but maybe not this EP is exceptionally well crafted and contains some excellent songs that cross several genres comfortably but it ebbs and flows really well. Check it out would be my advice not to sit there and ‘Think About It’ for too long.
Buy ‘Think About It’ Here
Author: Dom Daley