I was quite excited to go and see Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard live in my home town back in April but then the world decided to go tits up and the show never took place. There is however a bill poster at the venue that I plan to liberate when all these baddie germs finally fuck off.
Now, after being tipped off by friend and colleague Mr. H Bomb Hayward that there was a new band in town and they played Rock and Roll and weren’t afraid to wear double denim. Then hearing the first couple of tunes I and seeing them strut their stuff on TV I was rather looking forward to the live experience having already paid upfront for my album pre-sale and finally mid pandemic it duly arrived.
Now, first things first. When the packet was left on the doorstep by my friendly Royal Mail person he duly backed off. Now, was this a sign? was he just pandemic virus fearful and following guidelines? or who knows, maybe, he knew what was lurking inside the 12″ x 12″ cardboard mailbox. I have to say dai yawn diolch, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, for daring to run with such a confident album cover. I just hope it was done with a straight face and there was no giggling taking place. Boy, its a statement album cover if ever there was one I’ll give you that. Like Jaggers crotch with the zipper or Lords Of The New Church and their ‘Like A Virgin’ picture sleeve, this bad boy is right up there.
Anyway enough shenanigans what are the fucking tunes like? I mean, they could have gone with a Dwarves cover or a pose of Ian Botham proportions but if they didn’t have the chops to back it up they were going to look a little daft mun as they say around these parts.
Fear not my Rock and Roll comrades for as soon ‘Double Denim Hop’ is counted in the confidence of the sleeve is instantly matched with a ’70s Bolan Boogie-woogie, glam rock stomper, to rival any of the pretenders to the retro crown. For on this evidence alone, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard (so good they named them thrice) have it sewn up as they stomp and Rock right out the door and back again. The dueling solos and the chorus is so spot on its one of those earworms you simply can’t shake out of your head for days. What an opener.
This ten-track behemoth has got it all. They are like a little band of magpies as they nick a riff from over there off that Kinks record and they were clearly paying attention to the Bolan Boogie. I’d wager they have more than a passing hankering for a small faces record or two. To be fair for the first few tracks they just Take Care Of Business and kick out the jams.
They even entertain with the slight interlude of audio widescreen panoramic views entitled ‘Theme From Early Morning’. Before chilling out with the acoustic ‘Long Day/Free Day’ with its simple arrangement and sparse vocal that grows and grows but never goes too far.
They head off into “we’ve joined a cult” tune with the breezy ‘John Lennon Is My Jesus Christ’ as they tip their hat to the people who clearly inspired them to pick up their instruments and play. Penultimately they head off into a sixty second Fleetwood Mac noodle but sound like they lost interest as well. This only leaves the ‘Sugarloaf Mountain Crucify Me’ when they set a foot into Neil Young territory, briefly, Which is cool even if it does take almost four minutes to raise its pulse.
In the main, this is a breath of fresh air, the sound of a band enjoying making music and playing with passion, heart and a cheeky grin. Just get a copy and turn it up mun – Right up!
Is it really six years since the last album from Bristol thrashers Onslaught?
Wow, how time flies eh?
Perhaps more shockingly though is the fact that 2020 also marks the 35th anniversary of me first getting to hear the band via their awesome self-released debut album ‘Power From Hell’.
Throughout the intervening years and with a myriad of band members passing through their ranks one thing has always remained a constant for me, and that is the simple fact that Onslaught always have been and perhaps always will be the UK’s number one thrash metal outfit. Likewise, the one band member who has been the driving force (see what I did there?) behind the band’s career is guitarist Nige Rockett, and here on the band’s seventh studio album he is joined by long standing bassist Jeff Williams, drummer James Perry, guitarist Wayne Dorman along with new(ish) vocalist Dave Garnett who had previously stood in for then frontman Sy Keeler when he was unable to play live back in 2019.
I must admit the thought of a Keeler-less Onslaught did initially have me a bit worried, I wasn’t exactly blown away by the Steve Grimmett fronted line up and when the band initially re-grouped back in 2005 it was a joy to see Keeler back alongside his old bandmates.
So, where my concerns warranted?
Well, if videos premiered by the band mid UK lockdown were anything to go by perhaps not. ‘Religiousuicide’ was/is like an unsuspected stab in the eye from a band sounding hungry and angry as fuck, whilst ‘Bow Down To The Clowns’ sounds like a lesson to all the Bay Area bands still thrashing in how to take your A game to a whole new generation of headbangers. Garnett I must admit rising to the challenge and then some.
One listen to album opener proper ‘Strike Hard Strike Fast’ (which shoots straight out the blocks after the scene setting ‘Rise To Power’) will immediately have you windmilling and throwing horns like there is no tomorrow and to follow this with the aforementioned ‘….Clowns’ really does make for as impressive an introduction as you could hope from Onslaught in 2020.
‘Generation Antichrist’ fits nicely into the gap in the thrash metal world left vacant by the recently semi-retired Slayer whilst ‘All Seeing Eye’ feels not unlike a 21st century reboot of the mighty Priest’s ‘Electric Eye’, well in the subject matter at the very least.
‘Addicted To The Smell Of Death’ continues the breakneck pace of the record with gang vocals cementing the band’s toxic call to arms. ‘Empire’s Fall’ is up next and this for me is perhaps the sound of Onslaught at their finest, seamlessly blending old school rifferama with a slightly more modern melodic chorus, this is a song that actually makes me want to listen to metal again…something I don’t say too often these days.
Closing things out we have a reworking of the band’s 2019 tribute to Motorhead ‘A Perfect Day To Die’ this time around with Garnett barking out the vocals and making it the almost perfect way to end the record.
‘Generation Antichrist’ is perhaps Onslaught’s finest album since their 1986 thrashterpiece ‘The Force’. So, Trash Till The Death brothers and sisters – this beast of a record is OUT NOW!
Mickey Leigh has been a fixture on the New York rock scene since the late 1970s, fronting the Rattlers and Stop, appearing regularly at CBGB, joining Lester Bangs in Birdland and his brother, Joey Ramone, in Sibling Rivalry. The guitarist, keyboard player and singer has become something of an elder statesmen. In addition to being an author (‘I Slept With Joey Ramone’) and an all-around swell guy, he organizes the annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash charity concert. Here he is with his brand new video for ‘Little Cristine’.
Whilst not strictly a video but a great track off the new EP. Ships from Europe and the UK and can be purchased Here and as you know RPM Online loves to champion independent artists who write and play great music and Craggy Collyde does that. check out ‘Dead Refrain’ from ‘Wrapped Up In Ribbons’.
Finally it’s pop-punkers Catholic Guilt from Melbourne Australia. Taken from the upcoming EP ‘This Is What Honesty Sounds Like’ out at the end of the month on Wiretap Records. Website / Facebook
I’m not a massive believer in fate or why things happen but I was asked to give a record a listen and possibly review it. The dilemma I had was it was originally released late 2019 but hey the world has been on stop for some months anyway sure I’ll listen. Then when I was putting together the pictures and links for this review I got a message from a label and asked if I’d ever heard a band named Stacy Crowne. Now here’s where it gets spooky up until a few weeks ago I hadn’t but they did a split with a band I love (Christmas as it goes) and I reviewed the single last month and was really impressed with the sounds coming outta Stacy Crowne and then things snowballed The singer got in touch I played the record and then the label got in touch over something else entirely and bang as I type I have one of those boxes pop up whilst I’m spinning the record on my laptop its only Stacy Fucking Crowne! now that might just be a coincidence but we all know the evil powers of Rock and Roll and how they work so it might well be a sign and horns up for the band because I took it as the rock and Roll Gods telling me to turn the fucker up and band out my review and let everybody know how damn good this slice of Hard Rockin’ action is!
Strap yourself in kid this might get bumpy! From the opening ring of the overdrive, this is most definitely in the same ballpark as the scene back a couple of decades that had Gluecifer and The D4 ruling the roost along with Hellacopters and a hint of Supersuckers and Turbonegro. If anything this is understated which is a shame (I missed it when it was released) because opener ‘Oblivion’ sets the tone but by no means is the standout track maybe its the loosener opening couple of shots to accompany the big one and you have to build up to that nobody dives straight in or you’ll crash and burn but its got all the vital ingredients to Rock and Fuckin’ Roll but ‘White Lies’ adds the tambourine which is nice as the band cruise through the gears with a song not a million miles from Captain Poon and Biff Malibu its loud got a cool hook and plenty of punch but remains cool as without a bead of sweat on their brow nor a hair out of place this is good no I mean Good!
There’s always time for a bit of Boogie along the lines of Backstreet Girls ‘Tightrope’ with a really tight chorus with layered BV’s almost power-pop wearing big boys leather gloves and mirror shades if you know what I mean? and the keys added really lift it. Great track.
When they just want to rock out they do so with consummate ease (‘Some Equals None’) they add some neat bass runs on ‘Get Loaded Now!’ Basically if you ever hankered after a record that has loud guitars but not for the sake of it loud and ever wanted riffs and plenty of crash bang wallop then ‘We Are Electric’ is an album you have to hear. The title track or ‘We Are The Rest’ delivers in spades and throw in some of that dirty rock that bands like American HEartbreak or The Four Horsemen touched upon but also delivered great records.
If I had to pick a standout track then it would have to be ‘Lovebite’ sure it sings from that classic Gluecifer hymnsheet but damn it’s a good song with gang vocals and laid back verses it’s quality and some splendid guitar playing, especially on the breakdown. It only leaves the power ballad of ‘Too Easy’ to cruise off into the sunset. Only joking its not a token power ballad but it is like one of the Hellacopters road movie tunes, a little more laid back than the others maybe, and with some dueling guitars noodling for good measure its been a blast.
I’m only gutted I didn’t pick this up late last year but hey we can’t be on top of everything and I’m glad I’ve had the pleasure of playing it over and over now. I won’t be making that mistake again. Just buy it.
Hooray some good things happen in the face of adversity like we have incompetent Governments like the Tory party and their cabinet of chaos and the states have Trump and his fucked up and incestuous administration and they both have some things in common like fucking up dealing with a pandemic but out of such adversities we’ve had some great music and Stateside has seen Portland dish up some good old public civil disobedience against the corrupt man and they’ve also given us Guerrilla Teens and over on the East Coast whilst NYC has been swamped we eventually get this blinding collection of in your face fuck you covers from the inimitable and uncompromising Chesty Malone & The Slice EM Ups.
Right let’s get this out there from the top Chesty Malone & The Slice Em Ups are busting a gut to try and blow my speakers with this awesome rip-snorting fucked off and fucked up six-track digital release. Fuckin Hell if Discharge and 4 Skins covers don’t get you in the mood check this shit out! – Venom and Slayer are taken to task in the slice em ups style but wait they even dismantle a Madonna cover and kick the living shit out of it, to be honest and it never sounded so good.
Let’s start from the top and their opener, Discharge and ‘State Violence / State Control’ oh, of course, they do a nigh-on perfect rendition of this banger they could cover the likes of Discharge in their sleep. It’s got power passion and clarity that this is done from a place of love and respect. Same for ‘Evil’ by the 4 Skins – no brainer job done. but then the fun begins. Who saw a Madonna cover being part of Chestys repertoire? well, believe it boys and girls it happened and owned it they did. Whether it sounds like the original I haven’t a single clue nor do I give a flying fuck this version is killer!
Void and ‘Time To Die’ is the noise that a serial killer must hear when they’re off it which only leaves two tracks the penultimate is a blistering take on ‘In League With Satan’ from the mighty Venom the chorus is slung out as if they know something we don’t. In league with Satan, I’ve no doubt they are. Which only leaves me with the final song and what a belter this one is. ‘South OF Heaven’ by Slayer is owned, dethroned, and tossed out like Beelzebub himself has channeled his thoughts through the medium of a well oiled, well-drilled bunch of Noo Yawk reprobates turning punk into metal and metal into punk and doing it well. I bow down to Chesty Malone & The Slice Em Ups you have created a small slice of magic and in a just non-pandemic globe this would be the marker of how to cover a song or songs. Brilliant!
Again its another week and another bunch of brand new, hot off the press singles. A few debutants and some seasoned vets of these pages get covered. I’m always impressed by the quality of some bands and labels and the lengths they go to to make the little records and this bunch of singles we’ve gotten hold of is no exception. If there was a prize for record of the week, month, the year there was only ever going to be one winner and that honour goes to the new one from The Black Halos. So good it is and so passionate that we drafted in Rich Rags to put pen to paper and pour his thoughts over the page on the release. It’s fair to say he does justice and some to such an awesome song. Now I’ll step aside so you can check out this weeks 7″ singles…
The Black Halos – ‘Ain’t No Good Time To Say Goodbye’ (Yeah Right! Records) Vancouver, Canada’s punk heroes The Black Halos pen impassioned tribute single for inspiration, legend and friend, SNFU’s Mr. Chi Pig.
After the critically lauded 2019 single “Geisterbahn II” and the sold-out shows that followed, many people were hoping that the new line-up of the Halos would continue as a going concern. And for now, it is. At its rock ‘n’ roll heart are the original members, frontman Billy Hopeless and the guitar team of Rich Jones and Jay Millette, joined by pals John Kerns (Age Of Electric) and Danni Action (ACIIDZ) on bass and drums respectively.
When the world’s plans changed due to the pandemic, traditional ways of creating and working had to change along with it.
This single was recorded in isolation. And you couldn’t tell if ya tried. Its rich deep sound and empathetic interplay of guitars, the ragged and street-sure confidence of the rhythm section… well… it all gives a supportive encouraging shoulder for Billy’s aching anthemic send-off. Like the friends who embrace you while still donning their knuckledusters.
The boys surely have his back on this one.
The storied public life and works of Mr. Chi Pig (Earth Name: Ken Chinn) started with the formation of SNFU in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada in the ‘80s. I personally was from a couple of hours south, so let me impart to you the influence and huge amount of PMA that their explosive early existence created. The shockwave was thus… You (yes YOU!) too can come from a city trapped within the mind-numbing cotton wool of hundreds of kilometres of prairie boredom and tragedy and still stand up, be counted and heard. He and his band let ya know you could reach out and connect… you just had to be willing to work. Hard.
Many amazing songs came from the greatest titled albums (“Something Green And Leafy This Way Comes” anyone?). From the “get yer hands off the waitress, asshole!” hardcore skirmish of “She’s Not On The Menu” to the achingly beautiful “Painful Reminder”, they showed everyone you don’t need to be a one-trick kid. Just yourself. Your humour, your heart, your anger… they all can have a chance. Get on that road and let ‘em live.
So I think it’s fitting this song was written and recorded by The Black Halos. The bleeding sunsets they themselves chased lit fires and branded hearts and minds across North America and Europe. All along the miles of matchbook stages, hotel beds and floors… looking at the same neon lights blinking through the drapes that SNFU had.
There’s a family-like connection in that, and it shows.
Billy and Ken were close friends, seeing each other regularly in Vancouver over the years. Hopeless’s love and pain are evident in the song’s lyrics. “If you’re hearing these words, one of us ain’t alive”… writing after the fact a common knowledge or pact they both carried. That whoever remained would surely remember. “I never wanted to sing these words…” pouring out of his perfectly poised poison heart.
He does sing them, though.
The great singers are obituary writers in their own way. They take the thoughts and feelings we didn’t say or find hard to share, no matter how difficult to face, and make sense of them for us. Billy has taken his personal loss and made it into something universal that we can all carry with us to help us through our own experience.
All of this is guided by the perfect touch of Rich Jones’ late-night beer-light to guide us songwriting. This is one of the very best and most emotionally realised works of their long partnership.
Getting better after all this time. Still inspired and inspiring.
The excellent cover of SNFU’s “Rusty Rake” rounds this off nicely, taking their song and giving it a respectful and energised spin back home.
I’ll leave you with the words of Billy Hopeless himself…
“Just know this; whether you cry or smile when you think of him, it’s because he reached you. And you should never let go of that.”
All proceeds of the single will be going to the Chi Pig Mural Fund, for a tribute to be displayed in Edmonton, Canada.
Author: Rich Ragany
In true Halos style and a touch of class, they have pledged to donate all profits from the sale of vinyl and digital copies of the single to theChi Pig Mural fundand as such, the songs will not be available on any streaming services. You know what to do, you good people, you always do. Pick it upHere
Adam West – ‘Hi-Ball’ 7″ EP (Savage Magic Records) Savage Magic Records is turning 10! …and what better way to bookend the first ten years than to release an Adam West record! Their first release was the live Adam West EP ‘Merci, Bon Soir!’. Ten years and over 50 records later, They dish up this little gem.
These three tracks were originally intended to make up half of a split 10″ EP on Munster Records in Spain, but something happened (as things often do) and this entire recording session from 1998 was shelved and remained unreleased in any form until now. Celebrating ten years of doing the record label, Savage Magic wanted to do something special with one of their all-time favorite bands.so here it is kids – Adam West’s “Hi-Ball” EP! The opening track is a high octane rocket ride that’s running on pure adrenaline and is of the finest vintage and being left for a decade to ferment has done it no harm as it sounds like it was penned yesterday and fired onto the wax or bludgeoned by a hefty les paul. ‘Hi-Ball’ might be a blast but the bass line of utter filthy proportions on ‘For All I Care’ is a real rush and as the song rattles along its nasty and snarling like a rabid dog. Adam West and Savage Magic you spoil us with these tunes. If these two weren’t enough there is a third, ‘Something Wicked’ is a rolling riff of gargantuan proportions and it’s making my tweeters and woofers rattle like some old man’s dentures. If this isn’t a slice of supreme Rock and Roll of the action kind then I don’t know what is. Awesome!
Pre-order it now Here but be quick they’re limited in colour and quantity
Manne Olander Following – ‘The Misanthrope EP’ (Savage Magic Records) First solo effort from Deadheads frontman. Some classic garage rock anyone? Manne Olander comes outta the blocks like his backside is on fire and only gets more intense as the track unfolds. The EP only gets better as the second track ‘Dystopia’ has plenty of thump from the lower end as the bass absolutely rattles my speakers. Flip this bad boy over and there’s a stonking Rocker ‘Backstabber’. Uncompromising Loud Rock and Roll just the way it should be. Outlaws dancing with the devil and playing all the best tunes. Oh and Manne Plays everything himself! let that sink in as you spin his single!
Very limited number here – 100 on solid red wax, 100 on white wax, 100 on black wax. Buy It Here
Guerrilla Teens – ‘Mad Love’ (self Release) Well, fuck all for an age then all of a sudden you put ’em on lockdown and they want to monkey around making new music. Recorded remotely our new favourite noisemakers from the mean streets of Portland, Guerrilla Teens are back in the house and this time they’re bringing some ‘Mad Love’ and of course, it’s a fuckin’ banger, what did you expect?
Catchy, sharp and shorter than an orangutang not one more track but two. How about some snotty Steve Jones inspired punk rock and roll riffage entitled ‘Gateway’? what a tune this is. Possibly the best this fledgling band have offered thus far. I only hope some fair-minded label picks these up and when they don’t have to social distance they get into a studio and record an album full of these songs. It’ll be in my top ten for the year no question about that. Go pick em up without delay – Here
The Lurkers – ‘Fits You Like A Glove’ (Damaged Goods Records) Yeah you read that right it’s the fuckin’ Lurkers! Stride, Moore, Esso are back swinging with this catchy little ditty. With a great big dirty riff with plenty of Chugg all the way to that chorus with its understated melody. We might be a bit early here but we couldn’t wait in giving you the heads up. The B Side ‘ When You Are Borderline’ is a bruising encounter from the thuggish riff to the chorus it means business and is pretty damn good. The A-Side is taken from the new long-player ‘Sex Crazy’ oh didn’t I mention there’s a new long-player? Well, there is and if its got better songs than the b side which is exclusive to this single then I can’t wait to get an ear full. Catchy and a bit nasty – perfect! Limited to 500 copies on Yellow vinyl keep your eyes peeled Facebook
Young Francis Hi-Fi – ‘I Wanna Hold You Tight (Tonight)’ (Self Release) Young Brighton punks kicking up a bit of a storm on this up-tempo Banger. They claim to pen two-minute pop songs about love and getting high, well, it is what it is and these guys have the chops with a confident melodic slice of energy which we like a lot round these parts and I guess they walk the walk as well as talk the talk seeing as its less than two minutes long, about Love but we can’t corroborate if they were high when recording so two out of three ain’t bad. To add some context here this Berlin-born Brighton based punk hooked up with those Rotten Foxes which might be why we love it so much and probably why we can confirm that their mission statements must be true and he does indeed love to get high and if it wasn’t for The Black Halos this would be our pick of the pile no doubt about that. – now can we have an album full of songs like this, please? thank you kindly. Check it out Here Social media – Facebook / Instagram / Twitter
The Jailbirds – ‘Dull My Brain’ (Golden Robot Records) Some classic hard rockin riff-a-rama from Canadian Hard rockin trio. With big riffs, big hooks and big vocals The Jailbirds turn the clock back to cock rock o’clock. Man this band sound like they were born several decades too late and had this been the late ’80s they’d be contenders with the big boys. Warrant and Dokken or on a technical side Mr Big fans should be all over this.
The Slackers – ‘Nobody’s Listening / Sleep Outside’ (Pirates Press Records) The Slackers are a band that shouldn’t need any introduction. They fuse the best elements of Ska and reggae. Here they release two brand new songs that showcase what they’re all about and should put a big fat smile across your face. To be fair they’re poignant and send out a timely message when they are so desperately needed. Evoking a sense of nostalgia and sending a message to your feet to not stand still and whilst you’re taking in the lyrics (and Grinning from ear to ear) remember to dance like there’s no tomorrow oh, that sax break on ‘Nobody’s Listening’ is awesome. Check it out. Facebook
Borracho with Jake Starr – ‘Borracho with Jake Starr’ (Savage Magic Records) In the not too distant past well 2015 to be exact at the Strange Magic Showcase Night #1 in Pomona, Jake Starr took the stage with Borracho and knock out two amazing versions of Adam West classics. I’m reliable informed it sounded incredible, So much so that plans were made about getting these two songs recorded in the studio and releasing a 7-inch. Lo and behold, and almost five years later it is actually happening!
‘Sixth Son of a Seventh Son’ from Adam West’s 2002 single of the same name, and ‘Bulletproof’ from Adam West’s 2005 album ‘Power to the People’ are reconstructed Borracho-style! Again super limited amounts of this available with 100 on solid purple wax, 100 on solid green wax, 105 on traditional black wax. The A-side is loud and fair play to Borracho they are fucking loud even when the volume is on low its LOUD! Stoner Rock whatever you’d call it a good tune will always be a good tune and this is proof no matter how its reimagined it’s still a banger As for ‘Bulletproof’ it sounds like something Lemmy would have recorded around ’79 – heavy fuckers . Available Here
Nekrokraft – ‘Witches Funeral / Return of the Kvlt’ (The Sign Records) From Ska to classic Black Metal complete with church organ intro anyone who knows me knows I’m quite partial to a bit of Black Metal and the likes of Venom and Midnight will always have a space in my Black Heart and classic noisemakers like early Mayhem and Hellhammer too. so, Nerokraft (top name obviously) manage to cram in as many cliches as possible from the gruff scary vocals to the double bass thump and spooky scooby doo intro I only hope they wear Monks robes to the supermarket and corpse paint 24/7 and their favourite tipple is a vintage bottle of virgins blood. Anyway, the first track even ends with a clap of thunder so far plays to that whilst ‘Return’ has a thrashing metal riff that goes for broke and is easily the pick of the two on offer here. this Swedish five-piece have re-recorded these tunes and still thrash like satanic mofos so job done. Horns up motherfuckers Nekrocraft are in da house and it’s rather splendid and I’m delighted that they resisted going into Danni Filth territory with the vocals. Nice one gents Facebook
Throwing Stuff – ‘ACIYHAB’(TNS Records) With a take on the classic Black Flag artwork Throwing Stuff are here to raise some money for Black Lives Matter UK and Food Not Bombs Myanmar so we’re always going to get behind good causes through music. The band themselves will match the donations which is a fantastic gesture. The single was recorded across the locked down cities of Manchester, UK, and Yangon, Myanmar, where vocalist Ben now lives.ACIYHAB, which stands for “all coppers inside your head are bastards”, is about how police forces serve to both consciously and unconsciously control those considered a “threat” to the status quo. In your face punk rock is the order of the day and it should be supported. Buy HereFacebook / Twitter
Volcanova – ‘Super Duper Van’ (The Sign Records) With their stoner heavy fuzzed-out rock riffs Volcanova Its the third single taken from their debut album ‘Radical Waves’ its got a big harmonic chorus wrapped up in an even bigger riff that is true to its fuzzed-out roots and God damn it I hear a cowbell! Never will there be a point where I don’t smile upon hearing a song with a cowbell in it and this is no exception. These Icelandic Rockers are cool as a polar bear sitting on an ice cube and they know it. Wear those Kaftans with pride gents you deserve it.
Fontaine’s opener merely walks out of the traps. It hasn’t got its proverbial chest puffed up it just strides confidently with ‘I don’t belong’ coming across like a band weened on the reissues of Joy Division but hooked on melodies from Mozza but with that delightful Dublin lilt. The track never breaks sweat but neither does it want you to look away either.
In a world where bands don’t have to conform or look like they’re in a gang and often look as far removed from being in a band of uncompromising post-punk noisemakers that you could possibly imagine. Fontaines D.C are like that and I doubt they give a single flying fuck what you or I think as to what a band should look like in 2020. In a world where Idles and Sleaford Mods can seemingly walk on water and breakthrough into the mainstream then there’s always room for another and Fontaines might well be that band. this sophomore release rides the coattails of the debut in double quick time in case the streaming generation might forget who you are with the click of a mouse.
It’s not until ‘Televised Mind’ do they get out of that strut walk I mentioned and you can finally take a breath and maybe move if you want. It builds very much along the lines of a joy division with the guts being wrung out of the guitars effects.
Swirling Hawkwind effects signal ‘A Lucid Dream’ is taking hold. With some frantic drumming holding this number together this could be best described as space rock for the Covid generation as it ebbs and flows. Last year, Fontaines D.C. released their debut album Dogrel to widespread acclaim, garnering a legion of fans worldwide along the way. They toured behind it relentlessly. In another time, this would be nothing but a success story: A young band delivering on the hype rather than being swallowed by it. They should have been riding high; it should have been nothing but a triumphant year. But to hear the band speak of it, the whirlwind experience almost destroyed them.
‘A Hero’s Death’. It’s an album that has its moments of frantic, claustrophobic songs that gasp for air often challenging the listener in challenging times. At times there are songs full of charm like ‘You Said’ which is simple song as is the lite and beautifully simple ‘Oh Such A Spring’
‘A Hero’s Death,’ ‘I Was Not Born,’ and ‘Televised Mind’ all predate ‘Dogrel’ so if you liked that then there’s a fair chance this is going to ring your bell as well. They’ve not gone and done a Radiohead and cut their commercial throat deliberately here because they haven’t. Fontaines D.C. know what the do and what they’re good at and hammer it home and using those principles they’ll never go out of fashion nor turn in a bad record like Idles they aren’t always an easy listen and that’s good because different tunes will leap on you when you least expect them to and those records have longevity and I like that dip in and dip out but you know they’re there. ‘Difficult angular sharp sounds for difficult times possibly the perfect chaotic record for the chaotic times we live in. At times challenging and others soothing and just nice.
BLACK SABBATH CELEBRATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THEIR ICONIC ALBUM ‘PARANOID’
VINYL DELUXE EDITION OUT OCTOBER 9th VIA BMG
Five-LP Collection Includes Original Album Plus Rare Quad Mix
Along With The Vinyl Debut Of Two 1970 Concerts
Also Available As A 4CD Set
PRE-ORDER THE ‘PARANOID: SUPER DELUXE EDITION’ HERE
Widely regarded as innovators of the musical genre which came to be known as Heavy Metal, legendary Birmingham-bred Black Sabbath celebrate the 50th anniversary in 2020 of their multi-million selling album Paranoid with a 5-LP/4CD edition released on October 9th, featuring the vinyl debut of two 1970 concerts.
PARANOID: SUPER DELUXE EDITION includes the original album, in addition to a rare 1974 Quad Mix of the album folded down to stereo, plus two concerts from 1970, from Montreux and Brussels, that are pressed on vinyl for the first time. The five-LP set comes with a hardbound book with extensive liner notes featuring interviews with all four band members, rare photos, and memorabilia, a poster, as well as a replica of the tour book sold during the Paranoid tour.
After the success of the band’s self-titled debut in early 1970, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward returned that fall with Paranoid. The record became the band’s first album to top the U.K. charts and has sold more than 4 million copies in the U.S. alone. Today, songs like “War Pigs,” “Planet Caravan,” “Iron Man,” and of course, “Paranoid,” continue to inspire a new generation of musicians around the world.
PARANOID: SUPER DELUXE EDITION first two LPs feature the original album plus a Quadraphonic Mix of the album. Originally released on vinyl and 8-track cartridge in 1974, but subsequently long out of print, the Quad Mix has now been made available as a fold-down to stereo mix on vinyl for this set.
The collection’s final three LPs mark the official vinyl debut of two 1970 live performances. The first was recorded on August 31 in Montreux, Switzerland shortly before the release of Paranoid. It captures the band, already a tight musical unit, thundering through new songs like “Hand Of Doom” and “Iron Man” while mixing in “N.I.B.” and “Behind The Wall Of Sleep” from their debut album. The second concert was recorded a few months later in Brussels during the band’s performance for Belgian television. Unofficial versions of this classic show have circulated in the past, but they’ve never sounded this good.
Pre-order the ‘Paranoid: Super Deluxe Edition’ HERE:
One of the few good things to come out of Lockdown is Bandcamp standing by their toiled artists and offering the consumer a day to purchase to their heart’s content knowing that their money is going straight into the artist’s pocket. These events have been highly successful and a much needed financial assistance to musicians whose income has taken a potentially massive dent. There is a lot of content on Bandcamp and this can intimidate all of us, not knowing where to invest our hard-earned cash. Here are a few of my recommendations to consider if you are looking to get involved..
‘Exile Parlour’ – the latest release from Merseyside’s Post Punk rising stars Eyesore & The Jinx. Hypnotic basslines, beautifully distorted guitars and targeted concise lyrics giving them the make-up of a coherent Fall. Released on Eggy records. Currently, on Bandcamp, the bands discography is available on digital format for the bargain price of £6.19. What are you waiting for?
‘Lies Paradise’ – Debut LP from Moscow based Neonic Sunrise. Very hard to categorise this group with the sound changing and adapting track to track, with influences coming in the form of Garage Rock, Post Punk and Shoegaze. Stand out tracks for me being Heal and single Taste Your Lips being my favourite single of the year so far.
‘Stray‘ (Wharf Cat Records) – Finally we have the third outing by the Southern gothic trio Bambara. This LP came out in February and was criminally overlooked but its not too late to get it on your album of the year list. Often compared to Nick Cave, although I feel they are an intimidating mix of both the Bad Seeds and the harsher Birthday Party with excellent Cow Punk chops giving a nod to the Gun Club at the same time.
Author: Dan Kasm
JSK & The Lockdown Lovers – ‘Lockdown Lover’ A late call up comes in the shape of Johny Skull Knuckles and his Kopek Millionaires who’ve recorded a special track for this special Friday on Bandcamp. He’s also promised a special video to accompany it as well so get stuck in ya rock and rollers. Of course it’s good. Its got plenty of heart and exactly what you’d expect from Johny, great chorus and all the sleazy Rock and Roll chops you could want. the second track sees Skull Knuckles reach lofty notes he’s not reached in a while I’d guess? but he’s riffin like a good un here and turning up the Rock! go Johny and go good people of RPM Online world and support these artists on this Friday seeing as Bandcamp have done the right thing and given a bit more back to the artists who underpin their success. (Take note Spotify and other streaming sites) Bandcamp
If Rob’s name is familiar it’s because he was a member of Government Issue and Artificial Peace — two iconic Washington, D.C. hardcore bands.
Looking to get back into the rock ‘n’ roll game, Rob called up old friends and friends of friends to record an album of new material. While a bass player in his past, Rob now plays rhythm guitar and sings lead vocals.
Tell us about your current album. How did it come together?
Rob Moss and Skin-Tight Skin is the first music I made since I was the bass player in Artificial Peace and in Government Issue in the early 1980s. A few years ago I picked up a guitar and taught myself some covers. Then I wrote a bunch of originals and posted them on Facebook. A friend asked if I wanted to record them in his studio.
You have a different lead guitarist on every song. Why is that, and how did you get them to play on your album?
I wasn’t sure I had time to put together a working, touring band. And asking a lead guitarist to record 14 songs as a favor would’ve been a lot to ask. I thought it might be easier to ask 14 guys to play lead on just one song. So I called up old friends and friends of friends, thinking the worst they could say is ‘fuck you!’ Only two turned me down.
But kidding aside, it gave me the chance to work with guys who mean a lot to me. Back in 1979, I first saw Marshall Keith in the Slickee Boys. They were having so much fun on stage that I wanted to start my own band even though I didn’t know how to play an instrument. And around the same time, I first heard Bob ‘Derwood’ Andrews on the first Generation X album. That those two guys – and many more of my favorite musicians – would play on my new album is beyond tremendous.
How did you get ‘Derwood’ to say yes?
I just asked him.
What’s the response been to the album?
Many people comment on the song quality. That even after hearing the album once, they find themselves humming the songs. The earworm thing. To me, that’s the best compliment.
What was the early Washington, D.C. scene like for you?
It was new and fun, and things happened fast. Brian Gay (the original bass player in the GIs) and I started writing songs before the Teen Idles or any of the Dischord stuff happened. But there were almost no all-ages shows back then. Marc Alberstadt (original drummer in the GIs) has brother a few years older than us. He’d sneak us into places. That’s how we first saw the Slickee Boys, the Bad Brains, Tina Peel, Sorrows and other bands.
Musically, Brian and I took cues from :30 Over DC – a compilation album of local bands that came out in 1978. We formed a band called The Indians around the same time that Government Issue started. Brian on guitar, me on bass, Mike Manos on drums and a female singer. After one show, Steve Polcari replaced her and we changed our name to Assault and Battery.
We were still in high school and played shows with S.O.A., Minor Threat, the GIs and others. In September of 1981, Brian went to art school in Chicago. So Pete Murray, who’d been in Red C, became our new guitar player and we changed our name again.
As Artificial Peace we played mostly in the DC area, Baltimore and New York City. We were on the bill with a lot of early hardcore bands, including the Bad Brains. We also played with Black Flag on their Damaged tour. Recording-wise, we did a few sessions. One of which had three tracks on the Flex Your Head album and that entire session was later released as an album on Dischord.
I was going to University of Maryland, while the rest of the guys in the band were going to community college or not at all. I’d come home on weekends to practice. I had limited time, I wanted to work on new songs. But, at the time, they were less driven. That led to the band breaking up. They formed Marginal Man, and I went on to join Government Issue and play on their ’83 USA tour.
After the tour I learned I got accepted to transfer to a school in Boston. Stabb and Marc understood. But Tom was not too happy, knowing he’d have to break in another bass player. And by that time, for me, the scene was not so fun. People took themselves too seriously.
Today it’s easy to know what’s going on in different cities. How did you do that pre-Internet?
I had pen pals. Vote Vasko in Finland. And a bunch of kids in LA, Northern California, Toronto, Vancouver and elsewhere. We’d send each other letters about what was happening. We’d trade flyers, fanzines, cassettes and vinyl. So, we were aware of what was going on in different scenes.
Of course, there was Yesterday & Today Records. Skip Groff, the owner, would bring back records from London. He’d stock imports. Other than trading, that’s where I got most of my punk records.
What’s your plan, post-pandemic?
Well, I was never completely set on forming a touring band. I’m more interested in songwriting. So how things will affect me once venues open up is unclear. And I’m not sure I could find one lead guitar player who could do all those songs justice. As far as recording a follow-up album, I’ve written more songs that are as good or better than the 14 on the current album. I’d like to record them. We’ll see.
The album’s available as a CD and digital download on Here on Rock On Records
Note: the full list of musicians on the album can be found on the Bandcamp page and the album’s available as a CD and digital download on Bandcamp at the link above