An often forgotten incarnation of Scottish punk legends, The Rezillos. A name change developed to get out of record contract obligations. Although only a slight change of a consonant, a definite stylistic shift saw the group becoming more of an Irn Bru tinged B-52’s. This new New Wave output was prime for the American market and achieved a very much converted spot on a John Hughes teen movie soundtrack. Although the band maintained a massive following in Japan, they struggled to make a lasting impact in the UK & the US.
Behemoth main man Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski started Me And That Man as a solo project with folk stalwart John Porter. Their debut album ‘Songs Of Love and Death’ released in 2017, was as far removed from the extreme metal of Behemoth as you could get. Bringing together influences of Johnny Cash, Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, their sound was an amalgamation of blues, country and folk music all wrapped up in glorious gothic-laced goodness.
Following the departure of Porter, Nergal called on the extreme metal fraternity to help him out when it came to the challenge of recording the sophomore album, fittingly entitled ‘New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 1’. With Nergal taking a back seat in the vocal department, this album features contributions from members of Slipknot, Trivium and Emperor amongst many others…but not as you would know them.
First single and album opener ‘Run With The Devil’ shows a change in direction with a tongue-in-cheek ‘Deathproof’ style promo video, and a new dark sense of humour. It’s a blast of rock ‘n’ roll featuring the vocal talents of Jørgen Munkeby from Norwegian proggers Shining. In the video Nergal and Munkeby can be seen burying a body labelled ‘John’ and then drinking a toast by chinking bottles labelled ‘Porter’, an obvious reference to the departed ‘that man’ and the metaphorical burying of the past. Musically, it’s an upbeat, sleazy blast of rock ‘n’ roll, with cool vocals and saxophone that injects some sass and sex into the gothic melting pot. The “my heart is pure, but my church is black” refrain is effortlessly cool and carries on Nergal’s continued fight against the church.
Gothic is still the operative word with Me And That Man. Grave Pleasures vocalist Mat Mcnerney delivers one of the early highlights on ‘Burning Churches’. It’s all Nick Cave poetic lyricism with a Danzig-like vocal delivery. The minimal instrumentation, tribal beats and cool, church choir vocals give a cinematic quality. This could’ve come straight off the ‘Henry’s Dream’ album if I didn’t know any better.
Elsewhere, ‘Coming Home’, has Madrugada main man Sivert Høyem crooning Ian Astbury inspired lyrics like an 80’s goth lord at his finest, while Rome’s Jérome Reuter keeps things dark and doomy with the Fields Of The Nephilim styled ‘Man Of The Cross’.
Then Nergal takes us to church on the soulful and haunting ‘Surrender’. Featuring the raspy vocals of Dead Soul singer Anders Landelius and sweet slide guitar courtesy of Volbeat’s Rob Caggiano, it builds with intensity to a captivating crescendo.
There are many different vocal styles at play, and it could have easily lacked cohesion as an album, but it still flows nicely as a complete body of work. ‘Deep Down South’ is upbeat, moonshine swiggin’ goodness, featuring banjo, fiddle and harmonica. The duel vocals of Lucifer’s Johanna Sadonis and Hellacopters legend (and Lucifer drummer) Nicke Andersson work perfectly together. Sweet guitar solo too. The Devil went down to Georgia indeed, via Poland and Sweden obviously!
Emperor main man Ihsahn joins for one of the more spaghetti western themed moments. And I must say you would not know it was him, stripped of the high pitched black, metal screaming and challenged to actually ‘sing’, he pulls off one of the performances of the album on ‘By The River’. It’s all ringing chords, Tarantino vibes and drama, with an over the top killer guitar solo that lays the whole place to waste as a climax, cool as you like.
One of the most surprising highlights is ‘You Will Be Mine’ featuring Trivium’s Matt Heafy as you’ve never heard him before. The mainly acoustic, laid back track sees the singer bare his soul, out of his comfort zone, crooning Nergal’s dark lyrics to perfection over a burst of chilled harmonica. He nails it perfectly.
The epic ‘How Come?’ features Slipknot’s Corey Taylor taking the lead, guitars from Volbeat’s Rob Caggiano and a blistering guitar solo from Mastadon’s Bret Hinds, how could it fail to impress?
Hats off to Nergal, with ‘…Vol 1’ he has succeeded in realising his vision and encouraged all the players to reach out of their comfort zone and become characters in his spaghetti western/goth rock hybrid. This is how I imagine outlaw country should truly sound. While it’s self-produced, Me and That Man’s sophomore album feels like Rick Rubin has collaborated with Tarantino, stripped the fat, accentuated the cinematic and dark appeal of the songs and produced an upbeat and cohesive body of work that in actual fact just so happens to be a monster of a rock record.
Buy a copy Here
We go a long way back with Crazy & The Brains all the way back when they were first released by Baldy Longhair Records and from that debut release they’ve always hit the spot with their out of step punk rock with a twist of Garage and Xylophone madness and something they like to call anti-folk (I dunno either) anyway, They’re back in the house with a raging barnstorm of a new record and always offering value for money with their records this one is full to bursting. They’ve never strayed far from the blueprint of what made them great and once ‘Over The Edge’ hits the speakers you know what you’re in for. Its vibrant, rapid, maybe slightly off the wall but it’s a right powerhouse of an opener. Its the second track that intrigued me more from the thumping bass line raging throughout or those chanted vocals this tune is on fire, I Mean FIRE! ‘Live Fast Burn Cash’ is roided up from the grunt on the guitars to the pounding on that Xylophone – Top tune.
It isn’t all bash n pop as ‘Brown Rice’ kicks back and to be fair like its predecessor ‘Out In The Weedz’ this has been enhanced by Pete Steinkopf of Bouncing Souls who once again recorded the record in Asbury Park, NJ. I think on the evidence before me the songs are really strong on this release and songs like ‘Not Today’ should be huge these cats should be heading towards the top of festivals like punk rock bowling they’ve got the chops and prove it year on year.
The Ramones influenced ‘I Don’t Deliver Pizza Anymore’ is a blindingly good example of how good this band can be and it features cello from Jen Fantaccione, who also plays with The Front Bottoms (Great name) from the opener to the skank of ‘Born Free’ the Brains trust hit the spot again and really do deliver. If you’ve never heard of them nows your chance to jump on board and what a back catalogue to discover. It’s not like you’ve got anything else to do at the moment and discovering great bands who cut great records is an awesome way to pass the time whilst on lockdown and no better place to start than with the real Jersey boys. Crazy And The Brains. Get on it!
Author: Dom Daley
Heres a couple of right bangers recently released we thought it was fair to give these a good airing again. Enjoy The Bar Stool Preachers & The Urban Voodoo Machine & ending with a brand new one from the daddies of em all The Rolling Stones.
After being introduced to one of Ginger Wildhearts children it was interesting to hear what his music sounded like and branching out after Alive With Eyes and JAW$ Jaeko sees Jake doing his own thing and we caught up with him whilst under quarantine for a word or two. Check out the thoughts and plans for Jaeko…
I guess the best place to start is a brief introduction. Who are you? What got you into music? Is Jaeko a band or a solo project? Growing up in London, I was always brought up around music since I can remember. With both my parents being in bands in the punk rock scene, I’ve been inspired by many people that I’ve crossed paths with. At 12 years old Jake started my first band Alive With Eyes and then progressed through a number of other bands and projects. I love being part of a band but whenever a band was near to gaining proper momentum, people couldn’t commit. So at the age of 19, I just said to myself “f**k it, I’ll just this myself” and that’s when JAEKO was born
You’ve chosen to go down the digital route and put out single tracks online. What’s the motivation for this route? Well JAEKO only properly became a thing a couple weeks before I put out my first single out, Cold Heart Killer – so it’s all very new and fresh at the moment. Streaming platforms have deemed the most accessible for me at this point of starting to get JAEKO off the ground but expect CD’s and Vinyls coming your way at some point this year.
online you’re flying under the radar at the moment will there be a larger presence that people can latch onto such as facebook page, Bandcamp, instagram etc etc? JAEKO is such a new thing that I’ve been working hard in silence, writing and crafting some big things for this year. Expect to hear more about JAEKO in the coming months. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram, both under @jaekomusic
Whos playing on the songs you’ve released so far? What would you say is your instrument of choice? Well, all the music written by me, but I gotta appreciate all the talented people I have around me. My instrument of choice is Guitar but I usually play guitar and bass when I’m in the studio. I’m all for involving other people in my music though, there’s never any harm bringing in people who can bring a different dynamic to a song. I think that’s the magic of JAEKO, there’s no limit to who can be involved. The more that JAEKO evolves the more I have planned to involve and collaborate with various bands, artists and people I admire. So keep your eyes peeled for that.
From the four songs you’ve put out so far where would you say you fit in (everybody or most love to put a label on their artists? As much as I admire all the music I’m lucky enough to be surrounded with, I don’t want to restrict myself to a label or a comparison to other artists. My vision for my music is constantly evolving and each song will be different but will always have that “JAEKO” vibe over it.
How much material have you written and recorded? The thing is with my songwriting is that I can never restrict myself to a certain genre.
There are a few contemporaries I heard in your songs but they are quite varied ‘Sometimes’ is nothing like ‘How you Living’? I want to keep surprising people and pushing to see what racket I can create out of my old noggin. I’m always writing new music and have recorded too many songs to put a number on but I’m just very picky about what I put out.
Where do you see yourself in the next 12 months? What about live shows? I got some great plans for the next 12 months, but the main aim is building up JAEKO into something that is actually making an impact in the music industry. At least 1 album is a must before the end of this year, alongside plenty of headline gigs, music videos and collaborations. But ultimately, I want my music to be something that can help people, or that someone can relate to or even something that people can turn the f**k up to.
If you don’t mind me saying (and this isn’t meant to sound patronising but there is a maturity about the songs you’ve put out so far that far exceed your age you make it all sound like a piece of piss this rock and roll lark. I really appreciate that, always a breath of fresh air when people like the music. I’ve been surrounded by music all my life. I have always wanted to do music so I’ve had a lot of years to really find my sound and what I wanted to do within the music. I’ve gone through so many different sounds to really discover what my songwriting and music is and I don’t think that discovery is gonna stop any time soon. I’m excited to see what I sound like in 5 years, let alone 10 years.
Are you using this pandemic downtime to be productive if so how are you keeping yourself busy musically? I think the growing insanity of being cooped up indoors all day and night has really pushed me for new ideas and concepts for songs. It’s made me really think outside the box for lyrics.
I look forward to hearing what you do next, Keep in touch with RPM and we look forward to what Jaeko does next. What you’re doing is exciting and interesting and I’m sure this will be reflected in people jumping on board with your music. I especially like ‘Sometimes’ because it’s different and not predictable at all and ‘Colder Than The Sea’ care to expand on what the songs are about? Thank you so much, it’s really interesting to see which is the favourite for people as it’s always such different choices for different reasons. Always love too see what people think. Let me start with what’s been/being released first. ‘Colder Heart Killer’ is about a relationship I had which turned very sour towards us breaking up, which is where the song title was inspired from, I then wrote lyrics around this phrase.
‘How You Living?’ is about being on top of things no matter what’s going on in your life. Sometimes my mind can be my worst enemy. We’re shaped by our thoughts and we become what we think. So this song is all about staying cool, calm, collected and focused through the landmine in my head. This is where the title came from, in a question to myself or the listener, “How You Living?” as a reminder to keep on top of things.
Sometimes is all about chapters in my life that have proved to be very tricky. I’ve gone through enough hard times in my life, and I thought to myself “why haven’t I written a song about this yet?”. This song is an expression of times that life has proved really hard and deciding to come back stronger from it.
‘Colder Than The Sea’ is about a relationship where I was very conflicted in my choice to leave or to stay. Throughout the duration of the song, it expresses the battle in my mind to make this final decision.
So that’s our brief chat with Jaeko since we’ve all been locked down. check him at the links he posted above @jaeko on the socials and give his solo material a listen. We’ll keep you posted and thanks for the time always good to have new music and musicians happening.
Oh yeah, groovy baby! Australia seems to be at the centre of a lot of whats happening in rock and roll from punk and new wave to rock and further afield so when I got the new Datura4 album to review I kinda put it off for a while what with the psychedelic quotes and a few bits and pieces I’d heard but Alive has always put out quality music and I love some of the rock and roll records they’ve been behind so after reading up on these cats I decided to clear my schedule and dive in.
Starting off with the title track its less Psycadelic than I was expecting and whilst there are swirling keyboards and sound effects once they get their groove on it’s obvious that Datura4 know how to rock and roll. After the intro they step back into the ’70s for a punchy groove that they keep up towards the catchy chorus. Impressive stuff to be fair and power pop with the melodies and roots that belong in the garage without it tucking up the MC5 or Birdman. I think the titles might be a bit misleading and playful but the harmonica howling on ‘Wolfman Woogie’ is a great sound. I think these cats like to Rock out rather than wig out and keep it laid back when they need to and cut loose when they want as well.
‘Mother Medusa’ sounds like the riff Lenny Kravitz had when he wanted people to go his way but it’s a great groove. They come over all Gillan on the spacey ‘You’re The Only One’. They sound like a Cream inspired barroom blues combo on the retro bustin’ ‘Rule My World’ now turn up those fuzz pedals and honk on that gob iron!
‘Give’ sounds like their take on Neil Young with added swirling organ which I’m sure Young would approve of. It’s classic retro Rock and Roll for sure but the acoustic guitar take it somewhere else other than down a simple rock route.
Before they check out ‘You Be The Fool’ is Bolan boogie and my pick of the pops on offer on this retro ride if it weren’t for the excellent barroom rocker ‘Get Out’ that follows. Simple – melodic and a great bit of boogie woogie on that joanna. I’ve enjoyed this trip and as a result, I’m digging into their extensive catalogue to see what else they have to offer.
Ten songs of variety and played by consummate professionals who’ve been doing this Rock and Roll thang for long enough they clearly love the sounds they create and live it to the max they give it that warm retro feel and are proud to don the aviator shades, bellbottoms and big furry handlebars If I’m wrong I’ll eat my Boss fuzz pedal and a whole Wurlitzer organ.
Buy ‘ West Coast Highway Cosmic’ Here
Author: Dom Daley
Discovering new music-WolfWolf
How many of us settle with the stuff we listen to, happy in our own little bubble don’t really think about what’s new, different, in your face, or just challenge our own perception of what music should sound like.
Who knew that through exploring the wonders of the internet, you’d find an exciting, vibrant underground music scene growing, allowing individuals/groups to challenge genres, re-imagine styles and most importantly find an audience.
When this band appeared in my inbox with a brief note from RPM Online’s head honcho, saying this one’s for you Brooks, my first thought was, it must be right out there, or maybe a standing Prog joke?
But ultimately absolutely nothing of the like that usually crosses the RPM doorstep, and boy was I right!!! But conversely I love it!!!!!
So welcome to the strange world of WolfWolf
And first up? Wolf Wolf- ‘Cryptid Zoo’ released in 2017, and boy was the world not prepared for it!!
This is absolutely nuts from the off even the press pack is off the scale for weird I mean check it out,
“They’ve left the protective gloom of the deep forest and are slinking around the towns, devouring hippies, hipsters and bass amplifers – and anyone unable to endure their howls is one-two-three-four pounded to pieces by Mr. Wolf, the stand-up drummer. Those able to withstand them are bombarded with trash by gitarrero Mr. Wolf. Anyone left standing after the onslaught is one of those real rock’n’roll creatures that WolfWolf yowl about in their latest album: socio-, psycho- and other -paths, yetis, aliens and swamp monsters. Only those able to survive the WolfWolf assault belong in the Cryptid Zoo”
I have to be honest listening I’m getting drawn more and more towards the Legendary Shack Shakers, and vocally there’s very much the Colonel’s style of delivery over what I would say is a mutated bluegrass skeleton, mutated as in intertwined with scuzzed up delta-blues . Now if you like the Shack Shakers, the Cramps and maybe from Europe, The Country Dark, then you will absolutely love this baby, as I’m smiling my way through the opening tracks number five up catches my attention with just the right amount of Urban Voodoo machine carny “Linzer Waltzer” is the title to look out for. I have to be honest from this point I’m hooked. Next up “Roswell” definitely heads towards Devo territory but going along a very strange path to get there, via the Cramps.
For “Tuzenak” I guarantee you will be taken by surprise, this raises the weirdness bar to an impossible level , what the fuck it is? I have no clue!! There have been way too many psychedelics consumed.
But before we head back towards the alternate reality of normality that this LP pushes, I just need to screw my reviewing head back on straight and stop dribbling. “The hunter from Hell” moves it right back into the Shack Shakers vibe, but pushing even their dark boundaries. The Cajun stomp that introduces “Leave This town”, actually turns into the easiest to pin down and potentially the most recognizable genre contained within this LP.
The cunning plan would have been to push this as a single, and then laugh when you imagine people realizing that it’s nothing like the rest of the album.
Finishing both me off and the LP, “Creepy things” comes on like the bastard son of The Cramps and the Fuzztones, that’s been listening to many alternative tentacles releases while consuming huge amounts of DMT!!
Go on you know you want to, peer into the strange distorted reality of WolfWolf, it’ll defiantly alter your perception of what music should sound like, be afraid, but be adventurous and willing to experiment.
But never one to bottle it I dived in further finding a brand new release from
Not quite sure where this one would take me, I think whisky is called for “just to settle the nerves. Turns out that’s a very good choice as the drawn out blues of “Lucifer” introduces the lp in a very different way, who’d have thought it, this is a very different animal, maybe a band settling on a style or maybe just exploring a very different musical heritage. There’s almost a punk rock vibe to “Klaus” before some very strange things start to happen and we dip into Shamen territory all-be -it briefly.
There’s a picked acoustic blues entry to “The Gin Diary” and I’m sure that guitar run came straight out of the Doors –people are strange!!! As I’m taking stock and just drifting through the next couple of tracks I’m drawn back to the Legendary Shack Shakers before again I’m thrown into an industrial Ministry style Land of Rape and Honey track “Birdman”. Next up “Dark night” again is that track that will lull people into a false sense of security. “Crushed the Devil” scratches the Urban Voodoo Machine itch, before Fat Fly takes it off into another plain, the techno drum beat, holding the track together before we start to enter Young Gods territory with a blues twist. Boy was I not prepared for the jazz saxophone that opens “She’s a threat” there’s a hint of Tom Wait’s to this baby, but its buried deep!!!
Finishing up with the Alt-country vibe of “time to say goodbye” and your left with the thought on first listen of I’ve never heard anything like it before and probably will hear nothing like it again, it’s nuts, all over the place, but stands on it’s own because of it.
WolfWolf are not for the faint hearted, definitely not for your average Massive Wagons fan, but if your willing to challenge your boundaries and hear something totally different this band are 100% for you.
Buy ‘Metamorphosis’ Here
Author: Nev Brooks
Difficult times call for direct action, and never having been a band to shirk their responsibilities Brighton ska/punks The Bar Stool Preachers have decided to use the current lockdown situation we find ourselves in here in the UK to not only lift the spirits of their fans via a couple of completely new (and FREE) songs but also seize the opportunity to help raise some money for healthcare workers here in the UK.
To be honest, I’d actually have been a little disappointed if the Preachers hadn’t jumped at the opportunity to try and help out during this ever-developing crisis, and it certainly never hurt anyone to have a social conscience. So, whilst they maybe can’t help the frontline directly if releasing some new music can help in any way then I salute the guys for having the minerals to stand up and be counted.
Of course, the Preachers will always look to do something a little differently and that’s why along with making these new songs FREE to download from their website from April 24th over the past couple of weeks they’ve also been busily piecing together a video for the lead track (the prophetically entitled) ‘When This World Ends’ that is set to feature their fans and friends from all over the world delivering their own particular take on the song’s rather poignant lyrics, something that will be sure put a much-needed smile on all our faces too.
The song itself (which has been slightly tweaked lyrically since I first heard it as ‘At The World’s End’) is a mid-tempo anthem with a huge commercial hook-driven but gang backing vocals that should have us all screaming along when we are finally able to go back to attending gigs once again. Speaking of which ‘State Of Emergency’ – the other FREE track available – is something of a live favourite with Bar Stool Preachers fans already. A blaring siren providing the perfect introduction to a tune that is easily one of the best songs that Tom and the lads have written to date.
Perhaps the single most exciting thing I can take away from hearing these tracks is that whilst the rough demos I got to briefly hear a few months back had all the early indicators that album number three would be the band’s best yet, these Jake Rousham engineered versions have taken those songs to an all new level completely, and I seriously cannot wait to hear what they will do with the likes of ‘Love The Love’ and ‘Late Night Transmission’ which were both played on the band’s recent UK tour and which rather ominously might also have been my last gig of 2020.
Look, if you are feeling a little stir crazy at the moment and are looking to get some positivity back in your life then you won’t go far wrong checking out the action Here because that’s where you’ll find the real ‘Soundtrack To Your Apocalypse’.
Author: Johnny Hayward
Minneapolis favourites Soul Asylum return with their 13th studio album, and their first since 2016’s ‘Change of Fortune’. The new album ‘Hurry Up and Wait’ was preceded by the single ‘If I Told You’, which gave a hint that Asylum fans could expect the band to return with their trademark romanticism, with melodies as delicate as ever, flowing in the line with Pirner’s vulnerable vocal delivery. While the ‘Change of Fortune’ album was a mixed bag, the new single ‘If I Told You’ was already perhaps a better song than anything from that album, up there with ‘Misery’ in terms of Soul Asylum ballads.
A good omen then for the new album, which was finally released 17 April 2020. And fans won’t be disappointed. Whereas ‘Change of Fortune’ was perhaps at times a little overblown and a little overproduced, ‘Hurry Up and Wait’ is more direct and earnest, following more in the footsteps of the inspiring ‘Delayed Reaction’ from 2012. The sound is instantly recognisable, but as with most later Asylum stuff, it’s more explorative in its sound, demonstrating Pirner’s expert song writing skills which have been present at least since the early days.
The album opens with the strong riffing of the aptly named ‘The Beginning’ before the song almost immediately swings into familiar territory, full of sweet melodies and catchy hooks. Going straight into the superb ‘If I Told You’, this is the Soul Asylum that fans have come to love. This of course permeates throughout the album with songs such as ‘Make Her Laugh’, and ‘Social Butterfly’, but there is enough variety on this album though to keep it interesting at every turn. The Slade-esque stomp of ‘Got it Pretty Good’ is a fine upbeat number, whereas ‘Dead Letter’ takes a decidedly folky turn. There’s also a lot of rock on this album, from the bluesy romp of ‘Landmines’ to the harder ‘Hopped up Feelin’’.
Every song on the album is a strong as the last, and the variety is refreshing. Less polished than ‘Change of Fortune’ and more consistent than ‘Delayed Reaction’, the record is certainly the best album since ‘The Silver Lining’, and maybe even before. For Asylum fans, ‘Hurry Up and Wait’ will definitely rank alongside their best.
Buy ‘Hurry Up And Wait’ Here
Author: Craggy Collyde