Samantha Fish is not afraid to cross the lines between genres, though it doesn’t take a genius to work out she is an out and out disciple of the blues. Her latest offering Kill or Be Kind kicks off with all of the fuzz-soaked blues goodness we’d expect. Opening track Bulletproof is loaded to the brim with tasty slide guitar licks and that hefty stomp that makes your head bob along.

Recorded in Memphis, this album is full to the brim with soul, and so it should be, it was recorded in the same room as many soul giants such as Al Green and Ann Peebles.

Second track Kill or Be Kind has an almost melancholic feel, Samantha’s softly sweet vocals are almost haunting. The track has a guitar solo to die for, her playing is fantastic, her phrasing harks back to the greats of the blues and you can feel every note.

Love Letters, with its incredibly round low end, is almost R n B in its approach. Right now in the music world, there are a few artists putting a very contemporary swing on the standard blues formula. I think Samantha and Gary Clark Jr. are flying the flag for the future of blues in an ever-modernising world.

I’m a sucker for a great riff and Watch It Die hooks me in from the first bar, that riff followed by the slide guitar that underpins the verse is exactly what I think the future of the blues should look like. This has a bit of rock for the hard-hitting lovers in the room but retains enough of the classics to satisfy the purists.

I can’t help but feel that the vibe in that Memphis studio inspired Try Not To Fall in Love with You, the song drips Motown and Soul vibes from every musical orifice, and that’s not a bad thing. I’m hearing elements of some of my favourite Motown tracks in the melodies and in some of the “belting it out moments” she even sounds a little like Susan Tedeschi whose voice I love. This has all the old school grunt you want it to have with the modern guitar stylings of John Mayer. I knew from the first note of the guitar solo on this track that it would be my favourite lead break of the whole album. I can even hear a little BB King over the outro lead licks.

Fair-Warning further keeps the contemporary vibe going, I could hear this song fitting into the UK Charts, it’s certainly got all the modern ballad boxes ticked but yet it remains genuine and very much believable. Can I change my mind about my favourite guitar solo on the album? This one might have taken the lead.

Love Your Lies picks up the pace, loud horns, fast paced guitars, here is a song that will get the room shaking at any gig. I think Samantha’s voice sounds particularly great on this track, it’s great to hear some of the power she can harness.

In recent years I’ve discovered the joys of Americana, it’s a genre which shares some elements of country but is often fairly down tempo and fantastic for chilling out. Dream Girl is a song that certainly fits into my idea of this style. Fantastic slide guitar and gorgeous vocal harmonies make this song a wonderful listen for me.

It’s about time we got back to the soul and blues and She Don’t Live Around Here takes us straight there.  This shuffle laden ballad tells us the story of being used and finding strength in leaving. I keep mentioning the slide guitar parts, but I can’t help but feel that each time they offer something fantastic to the song.

Dirty is an angry song, it might not sound angry on the surface but listen to those lyrics! Someone has done Samantha wrong and she’s out for blood. From the sounds of it, she’s going to get it!

Arriving at the final track, You Got It Bad, the album has flown by. I feel I’m not ready to let it end just yet which I think is always a good indicator of a strong album. This song takes us back to some bluesy, riff driven stompage (Is that even a word?). The horns that frame the chorus gives the song that wonderful Memphis sound as it interweaves with the dirty guitars. Then there’s the slide guitar solo… I won’t go there again but it’s awesome.

All in all, this album has hooked me in from the word go. I’m impressed. I’ve been somewhat watching Samantha from a distance over the years but admittedly never having had the chance to sit down and go over her discography. From today, I’m a convert. I’d perhaps like to have heard a song or two that pushed the rockier edge of things, but honestly, I’m struggling to even look for something to pick out here that I didn’t like.

It’s got it all… riffs, leads, blues, soul, energy. Kill or Be Kind… Samantha is KILLING it.

 

Author: Leigh Fuge

Buy Kill Or Be Kind Here

We love Rock and Roll here at RPM and because you’re reading this I guess its fair to assume you love a bit of Rock and Roll as well. Keep reading fellow Rockers because  by the sounds of it we’re in good company on the evidence of this long-player.  Local Drag clearly loves Rock and Roll as well because they ooze the stuff.

From the opening chords of ‘Can’t Probably Wait’ I have that feeling that I’m listening to greatness and this is a record I’m going to fall head over heels in love with.  Its dirty power pop with some added Replacements and American indie rock (Husker Du)  thrown in for good measure  (I don’t reference those giants lightly either).  The chorus of ‘Pot Holes’ is subtle; maybe understated but fuck me man its killer and I love the harmonic riff and solo on the fade-out, it’s simple but so so effective.  Then to follow it up with some bubblegum riff-a-rama of ‘500 Hours Free’ which has a touch of The Posies with its loud guitar pop crashing through it is excellent and I can’t Ignore the Boys-inspired chord progression.

‘Double Bird’ has some Westerberg at the core of its DNA and that’s always a good thing. Simple acoustic strumming with great double-tracking vocals simple yet so effective.  To follow that with the runaway train of ‘Trash Bones’ with its bluster and melodic crash-bang-wallop this is proving to be a record that’s covered all bases and one I’m gonna be investing a lot of time in over the coming weeks maybe months.  Damn, they even have a tune about beer! fuck it I’m in.

‘Water Wings’ kicks up a shit storm of loud power pop and the penultimate track ‘Metal Gear Winter’ is like Classic Teenage Fanclub and their self-titled album closer ‘Local Drag’ is one of the best songs on an already outstanding record.  Lets not fanny about here I can throw a dozen superlatives about the songs on this record when I could sum all that waffle up by telling you to just get it! Don’t mess about wondering if you should take a chance get an ear full of anything off this record and you’ll be convinced that you’ve made the right choice.  Carry on loving music by buying Local Drags and Shit is definitely looking Up!

Starburst Records 

Author: Dom Daley

A record thats been getting a lot of plays at RPM HQ is Local Drags and the awesome ‘Shit’s Lookin’ Up’ so before the review drops here’s a sampler for you entitled ‘Hidden Track’.

 

Next up, continuing a theme of fast cars and loud guitars we have Electric Frankenstein who just blazed a trail across mainland Europe and have just repressed their classic ‘How To Make A Monster’ album so to celebrate the kings of American Action Rock heres EF with ‘Learn To Burn’

Finally, today if there are any rain clouds in the sky this will banish them away and for no other reason other than I love this band and everything they do so here is The Dahmers with ‘To The Night’

Gone but not forgotten – Steve Rodriguez, the bassist from the Dragons, died four years ago today. Rodriguez was only 48.

The Dragons were an awesome punk rock band who regularly played the U.S. and Japan He toured with Sami Yaffa playing the bass in Mad Juana and he also toured with The Dragons supporting The Wildhearts even giving Ginger a pair of his boots when Ginger’s shoes fell apart.

The Dragons Formed back in 1991 in San Diago by frontman Mario Escovedo, lead guitarist Ken Horne, drummer Jarrod Lucas, and Rodriguez. They did release seven albums, including 2000’s ‘Live at the Casbah’ and finally called it a day in 2005 after releasing their final album ‘Sin Salvation’ on Gearhead Records in 2003.  It wasn’t the end for the band who sporadically reformed for several shows, including in 2014 for the iconic Casbah club’s 25th anniversary.

Frontman Escovedo did post a touching tribute video to Rodriguez, sharing, among other things, that Rodriguez “always made an impression; beautiful, sexy, fashionable, loud, dangerous, funny, hilarious, a hugger, and compassionate. He was all that and more… He was the 4th of July all year long.”

The bassist also had stints in The Zeros, Mad Juana as mentioned above and MEX. Before he passed Rodriguez was playing with Saint Shameless but they didn’t last after Steves passing. Put on a Dragons record and raise a toast to Steve Rodriguez – May he rest in peace

“What a difference a day makes,” who was it that sang those very wise words?

I mean 24 hours earlier I was packed like a sardine into a local pub listening to a shed-full of young (and some maybe not so young) punk bands who charged £10 for a T shirt whilst supping lager at £3 a pint. Tonight, I find myself in the University Great Hall in Cardiff where T Shirts are almost three times as much and you’ll be lucky to get two pints for a tenner never mind three. This though by Garbage’s standing is still what you would call “an intimate gig”, they really do not HAVE TO play venues of this size anymore, in fact only the previous night they had played a huge outdoor show at London’s Kew Gardens and having sold over 50 million albums worldwide I’ll certainly not begrudge them any of their hard-earned success.  In fact when Shirley Manson talks glowingly tonight about the University circuit being her bread and butter back in her Goodbye Mr Mackenzie days you know it’s not the usual rock star bonhomie bullshit, she genuinely is excited to be able to for once see the whites of people’s eyes, and it shows.

Having witnessed Garbage live on the ‘Version 2.0’ tour first time around back 1998 (at the Newport Centre if I remember correctly) I’m delighted to see the band still sounding as clinically lethal as they did two decades earlier, maybe even more so with the anniversary tour of said album now adding additional tracks from the two albums the band have recorded since 2010.  Plus, unlike most anniversary tour’s what Garbage do is play selected songs from the album mixed into the set rather than play the whole bloody thing in sequence, something I must admit I’ve found pretty hit and miss when other bands do it.

So tonight it’s kind of like a greatest hits set albeit they don’t play one of their biggest hits (‘Queer’) and with the more recent tracks like the pulsating ‘No Horses’ the prophetic ‘Blood For Poppies’ and the almost ambient b side ‘On Fire’ adding some stunning musical light and shade to the minimalist yet hugely effective stage set up I’m delighted to say this is miles away from being just 90 minutes of nostalgia for the jumpers around the shoulders brigade who tend to blight these kind of shows, in fact there aren’t many of those types in attendance tonight, albeit perhaps a few too punters who could have reigned in their camera phone usage a bit. Still its not every day rock royalty play such an intimate show so I’ll forgive them this once. Just don’t be doing it when The Cult come to town this October, or there will be trouble.

With a set packed full of songs as awesome as ‘Vow’, ‘Stupid Girl’, ‘Push It’ and encore ‘When I Grow Up’ you could almost forget that Butch Vig wasn’t behind the kit tonight (he’s been temporarily replaced once again by the returning Matt Walker whilst he undergoes surgery on his shoulder) especially with Manson, Erikson and Marker on such find form, the trio posing and preening like musicians half their age, and putting some younger bands (I’ll come to Du Blonde in a minute) totally to shame.  Having witnessed a few bands recently where I found myself watching the clock as they trundled into the home straight tonight was a full scale 90 minute musical adrenalin rush and if anything I wish they could have played for longer. Unlike it has to be said tonight’s opening trio Du Blonde who not only looked like they’d just fallen out of bed but also sounded so bloody nice I just wanted it to end, after just a trio of songs. People around me though certainly seemed to enjoy them, but for someone who has worked in the industry for well over a decade now I was perhaps expecting something a little bit more challenging from Beth Jeans Houghton.

Talking of which is was Dinah Washington wasn’t it who popularised ‘What a Difference a Day Makes’, now that was one provocative singer if ever there was one. Du Blonde please take note!

Author: Johnny Hayward

A quote from the 1987 film “Wall Street”, kicks off Good Riddance’s 9th full-length album, but still in 2019 the sentiment rings true and we’re faced not with the same fears and worries but bigger ones.

Good Riddance was on hiatus/break up then with the most excellent comeback in 2015 with ‘Peace In Our Time’. Now,  Four years on from that, the band delivers something of a gradual follow up, with a  cheeky sideways glance at the often trouped out sentence, “Thoughts and Prayers”. Hollow words that really don’t mean a whole bunch when politiciens trot them out after a school shooting or mass killing but hey they think they’re hoodwinking the public so…

American politics is always been a giving topic for punk rockers and Good Riddance find plenty of material and inspiration inside the Trump circus currently pitching its tent on the white house lawn that well just keeps on giving.

Anyway, Bill Stevenson has been like the band’s secret weapon since 1999 producing everything the band has released and given them a tight and big sound that really suits their style of punk rock. evident right from the opener ‘Edmund Pettis Bridge’ which is named after a confederate general and #Grand wizard of the KKK. also, the scene in 65 where police opened fire on civil right movement protesters attempted to cross the bridge,  Heavy stuff indeed to open a new album with but educational and interesting.

‘Rapture’  continues the punk rock assault and Good Riddance are showing no signs of slowing up or growing old gracefully and they’ve certainly not lost any of their edge.  If anything, they’ve gone more hardcore than pop-punk. But they have maintained the melody as well so its more a progression than a sea change.

‘No King But Caesar’ might be about someone in particular but the state of society looms large in the lyrics. In fact, the theme for the album is as consistant as the aggressive attack of the playing nor the speed and vitriol.

It’s not all blood and thunder as ‘Wish You Well’ shows a softer side, Whenever they slow it down it’s not for long before they turn up the pressure  ‘Pox Americana’  which gets its head down and sprints off.  Lyrically it doesn’t offer any solutions to these times of unrest but does hold up a mirror perfectly pulled together in the parting shot of  “Requisite Catastrophes”. Sad times indeed but if one kid takes notice then it’s job done besides the music is excellent and the delivery of the usual high standard. Guess I’ll see you back here in a couple more years when hopefully the lyrics will be about hope and better times but I won’t hold my breath.

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Author: Dom Daley

Tour Dates so far with more to be announced –

  • 02 Aug in Biarritz, France @ Festi Lasai
  • 05 Aug in Lindau, Germany @ Club Vaudeville
  • 06 Aug in Tolmin, Slovenia @ Punk Rock Holiday
  • 07 Aug in Zwiesel, Germany @ Jugendcafe
  • 08 Aug in Leipzig, Germany @ Werk 2 – Kulturfabrik Leipzig
  • 09 Aug in Berlin, Germany @ SO36
  • 10 Aug in Hamburg, Germany @ Hafenklang
  • 11 Aug in Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Blue Collar Hotel
  • 13 Aug in Igea Marina, Italy @ Bay Fest
  • 14 Aug in Zurich, Switzerland @ Dynamo
  • 16 Aug in Stemwede, Germany @ Stemweder Open Air
  • 17 Aug in Vyskov, Czech Republic @ Pod Parou Festival
  • 13 Sep in Winnipeg, MB, Canada @ Park Theatre

Pirates Press is incredibly proud to announce more of the details and the list of bands playing the 15th Anniversary “ROCK THE SHIP” weekend, October 17-20, 2019 in the Bay Area (CA).

It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to host an epic punk rock show on the flight deck of a legendary AIRCRAFT CARRIER! Three months from TODAY, your favorite Pirates are doing just that – and have tagged on a bunch of other shows scattered around Oakland and beyond, so everyone can celebrate with us in style!

350 LIMITED Weekend Passes will go on sale at 9 am Monday morning (California time) @ ROCKTHESHIPFESTIVAL.COM. If you want to see most of these bands, you need one.

Individual tickets to the Saturday show aboard the USS Hornet will be sold once the weekend passes are gone, but having a weekend pass is the only way to attend the 4 other official “ROCK THE SHIP” events at the Starline Social Club & Ballroom. You’ll get a poster and free gift too!

Trust us, you’ll be kicking yourself for missing this. Don’t assume you’re going to be on a list or get one later – get ready for MONDAY.

Again, 9 am PT MONDAY. ROCKTHESHIPFESTIVAL.COM – Don’t miss out!

***All of the Pirates would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to TIM ARMSTRONG for this brilliant piece of artwork he made for us, as his contribution to the festivities – followed by another round of praise and THANK YOU’s to HOLDMYTICKET, LAGUNITAS, USS HORNET FOUNDATION, The City of Alameda, Audra and Greg @ Dino & Luigi Presents, and everyone at all the venues for helping make this all come together!***

The Exploding Hearts were vocalist/guitarist Adam Cox, bassist Matt Fitzgerald, guitarist Terry Six, and drummer Jeremy Gage.

Shortly after the release of their debut studio album, Guitar Romantic, Cox, Fitzgerald, and Gage were killed in a car accident on July 20, 2003, after which the band ceased to exist.

The bands sound was born from power pop and new wave – punk drawing from the classic acts such as Buzzcocks, The Boys, The Only Ones. There was a brief groundswell of bands in the northwest part of the USA along with The Exploding Hearts The Briefs also rose to prominence from the same scene. The band signed to Dirtknap Records who released their debut album in 2003.

On July 20, 2003, the band was headed home to Portland on Interstate 5 after having played a show at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. It is believed that Fitzgerald, who was driving, fell asleep and lost control of their van near Eugene, Oregon. Cox, 23, and Gage, 21, were thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene and Fitzgerald, 20, died at a hospital. Guitarist Terry Six, 21, and manager Rachell Ramos, 35, sustained only minor injuries. The band disbanded in the aftermath of the accident having lost such vital members under such tragic circumstances.  Man, these were just kids when this tragic accident happened with their whole lives in front of them.

A compilation album was released by Dirtnap Records in 2006. In 2009, their song “Modern Kicks” is a classic slab of punk rockin’ power pop and has since been covered by bands who just got what The Exploding Hearts were all about.

Terry Six joined former members of the Portland-based band The Riffs, Gabe Lageson, Colin Jarrell, Alan Mansfieldwent, and established the Portland-based power pop band, The Nice Boys. They released a 7″ single on Discourage Records entitled “You Won’t See Me Anymore” b/w “Lipstick Love” and a S/T full-length album on Birdman Records but that’s it no more music.  it was such a shame as The Exploding Hearts had so much to offer but their star shone so brightly yet briefly. Play some ‘Guitar Romantics’ today and pay tribute.

The Cry! did a pretty decent cover of ‘Modern Kicks’ (remember them?) anyway enjoy some awesome power pop and remember The Exploding Hearts today of all days. there is also a rumour that a movie is in production on the band but as yet no details are available so we can neither confirm nor deny this as being a fact. There isn’t a huge resource of information on the band but there are two terrific albums and some youtube footage.  Go check em out and if you can pick up a record you won’t regret it.

 

Is life getting you down? Are you sick to death of politics, with the tangerine presidents and bumbling buffoons bullshitting their way to power. Are you exasperated by the fact that Miley Cyrus was the most rock ‘n’ roll thing at Glastonbury, or maybe you’re just disappointed that the dragon show didn’t end the way you wanted it to?

Whatever the reason, whatever the dilemma, you probably just need a dose of power pop to lift your spirits, and LA ‘s finest exponents The Dollyrots are just what the doctor ordered.

Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas have been delivering high energy, bubblegum punk pop, choc-a-bloc with buzzsaw guitars and catchy choruses, for nigh on 20 years now. After a stint on Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records roster, the duo has continued to release their material independently, funding through the likes of Kickstarter and the now defunct PledgeMusic platform. ‘Daydream Explosion’ is their 7th long player, recorded and released with the help of Little Steven’s ever cool Wicked Cool Records label.

 

There’s something instantly satisfying about a Dollyrots record. Whether it’s the way their sound takes you back to a time when things were a lot simpler or the fact that every song sounds like it could soundtrack any turn of the century teen movie, from ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ to the highly entertaining Josie & The Pussycats movie. (Yeah, I’ll admit to liking both of those movies).

From high energy opener ‘Animal’ to the closing ode to their daughter ‘Daisy’s Song’, the husband and wife team (and whoever plays drums this time) deliver sickly sweet pop ditties with guitars slung low, turned up to 11 and always with a smile on their face.

‘Everything’ is a high energy burst of noise that could’ve fitted in nicely on Ginger Wildheart’s ill-fated Hey! Hello! project. It will urge you to shout “awesome” and suck a lollipop ( I’m on the way to the shop to grab a pack of Chupa Chups as you read this!). A great build up and a fantastic chorus makes this song a perfect single, job done. Elsewhere, shouty cheerleader anthem ‘In Your Face’ is part Transvision Vamp and part Tony Basil, and I’ll take that sound any day of the week. And ‘Naked’ with its helium-induced chorus and cleverly placed handclaps is as kitsch as you can get. Aly & AJ’s ‘Potential Breakup Song’, anyone? A guilty pleasure indeed.

Mixing up the sounds of The Runaways and Ramones with Green Day and kids Saturday morning TV, The Dollyrots have the knack of making you forget about your daily woes and escape to a world where you party hard to punk-pop anthems all day, while scoffing pick-a-mix and chugging on cherry coke.

Ever present we have Kelly’s helium-induced vocals, Luis’s fuzzy riffs, a handful of melodic hooks and killer bubblegum choruses to die for. Highlights for me are ‘Flippy In My Red Dress’, a song that takes things down, coming on like The Creepshow and veering into rockabilly territory. And ‘I Know How To Party’, an instant earworm I just can’t shake. A proper party anthem if ever there was one. I dare you to press play and not have an overwhelming desire to strip to your pants and dance like no one is watching. Or maybe that’s just me!

 

Let’s get one thing straight. ‘Daydream Explosion’ is not going to change your life, but the Dollyrots are not claiming it will. What they do promise is escapism from this crazy world we live in with their euphoric, catchy tunes. Maybe you can lose yourself for 40 minutes and return time and time again when you need a pick me up. And in that respect, Kelly and Luis have succeeded in spades.

Yeah, a Dollyrots album is the best legal high you could spend your hard earned on right now. And as ever, it comes on rather lush marbled vinyl that looks good enough to eat, what’s not to like here?

Buy Daydream Explosion Here 

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

The Drippers are a super sexy bunch. Of course they’re Scandinavian, ‘cos most great high energy Rock ‘N Roll bands are these days. They’ve got one foot in the original Action Rock gene pool of The Stooges, MC5, Motorhead and KISS and the other foot firmly planted in the nineties Scando rebirth of bands like Gluecifer, The Hellacopters and Turbonegro. The Drippers stand proudly amongst the young contenders like The Hip Priests, Flash house, Deathtraps and of course Scumbag Millionaire, shoving dirty Rock ‘N Roll into the ear holes of those who wanna Rock & Roll All night (and party every day)!

The album is a full-on, shit-kicking raw power freight train. With great tunes, a ton of energy and the legendary Tomas Skogsberg and the controls, what could go wrong…

Opener ‘(Ain’t No) Shangri-La’ grabs you right by the balls straight off the bat. One minute and twenty-five seconds of brain pounding ecstasy. Niclas Kristoferson is a drum god, FACT!

Max Ljungberg of Scumbag directed a video, for lead track ‘Gimme The Shakes’ and you are gonna love it. It’s one hell of a cool tune with more than a nod to Max’s Millionaires.

‘Feldman’s Exit’ is another pounder with Victor’s bass thump and William’s scorching glunktastic guitar creating another Scando-scorcher.

I realise I’m gushing like a fanboy about this chunk of plastic but I’ve been blasting it out for the last couple of weeks and it’s up there with the latest releases by The Hip Priests and Jonny Manak & The Depressives as a contender for my album of the year (so far) !!!!

 

‘Långgatan’ is full on Turbonegro with a nod to Cheap Trick, while ‘White Light’ shakes its ass in a  Motorhead meets Scumbag kind of way. The double lead vocals throughout the album really add some bollocks to songs at set them apart from other bands.

‘Backbeat’ is a seriously groovy tune that in a sane world would take it to the top of the charts. This is a tune that’ll bend ears and turn heads.

‘ Bottled Blues’ starts like rolling thunder. If you like Motorhead of in fact any of the bands mentioned above you are gonna love this shit. It’s quite simply a Scando Rock ‘Ace of Spades’.

The closing third of the album kicks off with ‘Sweet Action’. Fast, full on and furious stuff. Another cracking chorus and some serious Fast Eddie riffory. If Motorhead works for you, then songs like ‘Sweet Action’ and ‘Finskt Blod’ will certainly give you a neck ache.

 

‘Ready To Fall’ takes you back into Scumbag land with a hook that any pirate would be proud of, while ‘Day Turns To Night’ closes the show in a full bore, no shit saved blast. You can taste the sweat dripping from your speakers.

 

The Drippers use a ton of distortion but this is DS1 heaven and not hell. While the guitars and vocals are seriously overdriven, they haven’t fallen into the trap of other full-on rockers and drenched the drums in fuzz too, meaning that the power and bollocks are retained. It’s the Sunlight Studio magic!

 

Action Rock’ is released on 2nd of August through The Sign Records. Buy it and thank me for turning you onto The Drippers later !!!

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Buy it Here

Author: Fraser Munro

Checkout the video for the track “Solitary Speaking”. While not appearing on ‘Action Rock’, it was included in the “A Fistful More of Rock and Roll” compilation released by Sal Canzonieri of Electric Frankenstein.

Along with debut single ‘Full Tilt Boogie’ also missing from ‘Action Rock’.