Ross Halfin and Rufus Publications are pleased to announce the publication of ‘Edward Van Halen by Ross Halfin’ a 356-page celebration of rock’s iconic guitar player, a man who changed the way rock music would be played forever. This extensive photo book features many classic and unseen shots chosen by Ross from his personal archive together with an exclusive introduction from Edward’s friend and fellow player Tony Iommi. Respected journalist Mark Blake provides a career essay on Van Halen’s hugely successful career.
“I am very pleased to announce my latest book ‘Edward Van Halen by Ross Halfin’ which is available for pre-order now from Rufus Publications. I started shooting Van Halen in 1978 when they were just a support band for Black Sabbath . This book delves deep into my archive covering the early tours with Roth in the late 70’s onto the commercial explosion of the early to mid 80’s on through the vastly successful “Van Hagar” era covering every album and tour and even the Gary Cherone fronted VH III era . I always enjoyed shooting Van Halen, from a photographer’s perspective they always gave you something and the many studio shoots always generated a lot of laughter and good memories . The book also contains a really great foreword from Tony Iommi.”
The Standard Edition:
A 356 page coffee table book, casebound with a printed cover and a material, embossed slipcase. £89 plus delivery.
The Metal Guitar Edition:
A 356 page coffee table book, casebound with an embossed cover and exclusive 3D lenticular. Personally signed by Ross Halfin and complete with limited edition contact prints. The book is supplied in a unique aluminium, shaped and printed, slipcase. 300 numbered copies worldwide. £275 plus delivery.
‘Edward Van Halen’ by Ross Halfin can be exclusively pre-ordered at www.rufuspublications.com The pre-order is open now on a first come first served basis
Pre-orders can claim a 10% discount with the code EVH21 at the checkout. Edward Van Halen by Ross Halfin is shipping June 2021
Alice Cooper must be one of a very rare breed in rock ‘n’ roll. Having now written and released music across seven different decades, I bet if you polled his fanbase for their favourite era or albums, the results would probably encompass most, if not all, of his many different career phases.
Me personally, I love the original Alice Cooper band albums (along with some of his mid and later era albums like ‘Special Forces’ and ‘Dirty Diamonds’) and of those records, it’s ‘Killer’ and ‘School’s Out’ that are my own go-to’s whenever I truly need to rekindle my love of Alice’s extensive back catalogue.
This rather conveniently brings me to ‘Detroit Stories’, an album that not only sees Alice return to his hometown and Alice Cooper band era roots, but also sees him fully reunited with producer Bob Ezrin, the man behind the desk for both of those old Alice Cooper band records I love so much.
Written and recorded using only Detroit based musicians (albeit with the exception of guest guitarists Joe Bonamassa and current AC band mainstay Tommy Henriksen) the fifteen songs that make up ‘Detroit Stories’ are what Alice himself refers to as being ‘Pure Detroit’. With the crack team of musicians assembled around him boasting the likes of Wayne Kramer (guitarist with the MC5), Johnny ‘Bee’ Badanjek (drummer with the legendary Detroit Wheels), Paul Randolph (legendary Detroit jazz and R&B bassist) as well as the Motor City Horns, they all help to build on the formula that Alice first tested out with his 2019 ‘Breadcrumbs EP, and in turn are all helping him create perhaps his most diverse set of (luney) tunes in quite some time.
As with ‘Breadcrumbs’ a few of these songs turn out to cover versions, like the excellent album opener – Alice’s version of Velvet Undergrounds’ ‘Rock And Roll’. However, what Alice does here (unlike with the covers that he does with Hollywood Vampires) is he really makes this song sound like one of his own. I mean you could be forgiven for thinking that ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ is actually an Alice song, or that it was at perhaps written just for him.
‘Go Man Go’ is the album’s first Cooper co-write and having been originally included on the aforementioned ‘Breadcrumbs’ EP the almost punk-like swagger of this tune might actually come as something of a surprise to some of Alice’s more hard rock biased fans who are yet to hear that EP, however knowing just how many punk rockers were originally influenced by Da Coop it’s great to hear him re-engaging with that rougher 70s spirit once again.
Likewise, ‘Our Love Will Change The World’ is also something of a surprise – not least because it’s a pretty faithful retelling of a 2008 penned Outrageous Cherry tune – and as such it sounds not much like Alice and much more like a latter day John Lennon song, one that bounces around on an optimistically youthful refrain. Some AC fans have already voiced their dislike of this song since it was first aired back in late 2020, but I like it as it fits perfectly within the jigsaw puzzle of songs that make up the complete ‘Detroit Stories’ picture.
‘Social Debris’ is up next and that finds us very much back on more familiar Alice Cooper band territory (featuring as it does Messrs Dunaway, Smith, and Bruce), albeit I just can’t get out of my head how much this could be a song written for an in his prime Ace Frehley. And talking of KISS on ‘$1000 High Heel Shoes’ AC once again proves that anything Starchild can do he can do better, as this delicious funky soul jam has seemingly already earned the moniker of one of the oddest songs Alice has ever recorded…well it is I suppose if all you have ever heard by AC is ‘Poison’ or ‘Trash’.
‘Hail Mary’ and the 2021 reboot of ‘Detroit City’ (originally on Alice’s 2003 ‘Eye’s Of…’ album and featured again on the ‘Breadcrumbs’ EP) return things to Alice’s more modern day upbeat hard rock territory before the sleazy blues jam of ‘Drunk And In Love’ and the high kicking ‘Independence Dave’ both once again usher in the anything goes attitude of those ‘70s Ezrin produced albums I mentioned earlier.
The Cooper, Dunaway, and Ezrin penned ‘I Hate You’ is another fantastic sonic curveball, as is the almost showtunes-y ‘Wonderful World’. Both tracks giving the mid-section of ‘Detroit Stories’ a couple more “WTF” moments (and I do mean that in the most positive sense too).
As ‘Detroit Stories’ enters its final four chapters the inclusion of MC5’s ‘Sister Anne’ and Bob Seger’s East Side Story’ are the only times when I’m left thinking that perhaps they were best just left on ‘Breadcrumbs’, largely because the original Cooper tunes that they bookend in ‘Don’t Give Up’ and ‘Shut Up And Rock’ just sounds so much more interesting. It’s the only tiny gripe that I have with ‘Detroit Stories’ though, as four years on from ‘Paranormal’ and with everything else going on across the world right now it’s just an absolute joy to get to grips with such an upbeat and positive sounding Alice Cooper record.
Oh, and talking of ‘Paranormal’ if you are fortunate enough to get one of the expanded formats of ‘Detroit Stories’ you will also find a DVD or Blu-ray copy of Alice’s A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris’ concert film included as part of your package, as the great man wants us to experience this show in the safety of our homes. A truly wonderful gesture from an artist who with ‘Detroit Stories’ is proving he is still one of the greatest storytellers the rock world has ever had.
New York, NY (February 24, 2021) – Autogramm, the synth-driven, power-pop trio from Vancouver premiered a video to the title-track single off their upcoming sophomore album, ‘No Rules’, due out April 16 via Nevado Records.
Featuring lead vocals from the currently Chicago-based drummer The Silo (Destroyer, Spun Out, Black Mountain, Lightning Dust), he notes regarding the track’s inspiration… “I’m an enthusiastic dancer. Skilled? No. But I love to dance, and this song is an ode to my relationship with dancing: Flex abandon, enter the void!
It’s one of my favourite things to do. I don’t believe there are any rules in dance, apart from not hurting anyone else or infringing upon their personal space. It might seem weird to begin a song called “No Rules” with two rules, but it’s kind of like a snake eating its tail, no? No rules for no rules, including the absence of rules…”
Discussing recreation of a Billy Joel classic video, bassist CC Voltage (Dysnea Boys, Loyalties, Black Halos, Spitfires) adds, “we email videos around to each other all the time. Sometimes to inspire us, sometimes to discover something new, or sometimes just to have a laugh at a ridiculous music video. In this case it was the latter.”
Featuring guitars and vocals from Jiffy Marx (Hard Drugs, Blood Meridian), Autogramm draw on influences from The Cars, The Go Go’s, Gary Numan, 20/20 and Devo. Along with calling Canada, the U.S., UK and Germany home at various points, the band also has a long standing connection to the art, punk, and skateboarding communities world-wide.
“No Rules” out April 16th, 2021 on Nevado Records: Here
ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM, SWEEP IT INTO SPACE,
OUT APR 23rd ON JAGJAGUWAR
Dinosaur Jr. return with Sweep It Into Space, their new album out April 23rd on Jagjaguwar, and a new single, ‘I Ran Away‘. ‘Sweep It Into Space’ is their first new collection of music since 2016’s Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, continuing what is perhaps the greatest “second act” of any band ever. Originally scheduled for mid-2020, this record’s temporal trajectory was thwarted by the coming of the Plague. But it would take more than a mere Plague to tamp down the exquisite fury of this trio when they are fully dialed-in. And Sweep It Into Space is a masterpiece of zoned dialing.
In the decades since the release of Dinosaur Jr.’s original triptych of foundational albums, it has become clear that their sound, once hailed as a sort of almost-tamed noise, is/was/always-has-been fully functioning pop music of a sort. There had always been melodies at the centre of everything they did. What Dinosaur Jr. produce is nothing but a beautiful new version of the rock continuum – riff, power, beat and longing, created with an eye on the infinite future.
Recorded, as usual, at Amherst’s Bisquiteen, the sessions for Sweep It Into Space began in the late autumn of 2019, following a West Coast/South East tour. The only extra musician used this time was Kurt Vile, who co-produced the album and played the lead 12 string on the upbeat ‘I Ran Away’. J Mascis’s voice is immediately catchy over soaring, electrifying guitar lines.
Pre-order ‘Sweep It Into Space’, physically or digitally: Here
After recording with Kurt got disrupted, J Mascis “ended up just mimicking a few things he’d done. I was listening to a lot of Thin Lizzy, so I was trying to get some of that duelling twin lead sound. But the recording session was pretty well finished by the time things really hit the fan. When the lockdown happened in March, that meant I was on my own. But it was cool.”
As is typical, Lou Barlow writes and sings two of the album’s dozen tunes (delivering perhaps his finest Dinosaur contribution in ‘Garden‘) and Murph‘s pure-Flinstonian drumming drives the record like a go cart from Hell. Lou’s songs here are as elegant as always. J’s tracks flow and flower in the different directions he often follows. Some are guitar howlers, with a string sound midway between Hendrix and Asheton. Some are power ballads, and there are anomalies, like ‘Take It Back‘, which starts with a blue-beat rhythm putting one in mind of Keith Richards’ Jamaican explorations (at least for a little bit.)
But there are very few moments where you wouldn’t know you were hearing Dinosaur Jr. in blindfolded needle drop. They have a signature sound as sure as the Stooges or Sonic Youth or Discharge ever did. They continue to expand their personal universe with Sweep It Into Space, without ever losing their central core.
Finnish Hard Rockers PLASTIC TEARS proudly unleash the single & video for “Riot Zone”, track is taken from their upcoming album “Anthems For Misfits” due for release on 26 03 2021 via Wormholedeath Records worldwide.
“Riot Zone is a fast loud punky rock song about standing up for yourself, freedom, peace and fighting the injustices of the world. About being the underdog, finding your way and standing up for your rights. It’s a song that makes you wanna raise your fist, bang your head and pogo like crazy! The lyrics are meant to be uplifting rock ‘n’ roll rebellion and defiance, with a slight socially critical undertone. So don’t take life too seriously and strengthen yourself through the power of rock ‘n’ roll! Plastic Tears new album ‘Anthems For Misfits’ is released this year through Wormholedeath Records.”
PS. Plastic Tears condemns all violence and violent riots
Try not to be too disappointed that this is only five tracks and not the new full-length new album but I’m sure that isn’t too far away so see it as a bonus that’ll tide you over nicely.
This offer is suitably snotty and it chews out a rhythm like fellow well-crafted power poppers from their neck of the woods The Exploding Hearts. Its guitars below the belt buckle, leather jacket on with the collars turned up, Some creepers or cons and turn those amps up a little bit louder than you think they should be and let’s go!
‘See Her In Action’ the song kicks things off and with all the vital ingredients present and in situ it’s all systems go. There’s a dreamy vibe to the melody as the band just eases into the rhythm. They’re not reinventing the wheel here they’re just having a good time hanging out and kicking out the jams and it sounds like they have the best of times. ‘Only Lovers’ tweaks that Chuck Berry riff a little and the guitars just roll with it. It’s a timeless lick and it’s been used by many far and wide the good and the great and sometimes the not so great but The Cheap Cassettes know how to handle the string bending and put it to great use.
‘Lil’ Bit Everyday’ is the last of the three studio recordings and for me it’s they’ve saved the best till last and with a hint of mop-top mod melody in the chorus I like it a lot and the solo just hits the bullseye in the sweetest way. Now to get a good idea of where bands like The Cheap cassettes work best there are a couple of live recordings thrown into the mix and the first is the epic ‘Valentine’ originally by The Replacements (obviously) and The Cheaps do it justice and sail pretty close to the original and another of the bands they are clearly inspired by being nailed to the mast. Job done! then to sign this impressive EP off they power their way through ‘Red Line Blue’ and my appetite is suitably whetted for the next long-player. Bring it on.
Vienna, AT – Austrian punk rockers DeeCRACKS have released their video for “We Can’t Help It,” the first single from their upcoming album Serious Issues which comes out March 12th on Pirates Press Records.
“The song’s basically about life and love. How we can direct ourselves in a certain direction. Make things better or worse for us every day. But we can’t help to fall in love with someone. It just happens,” says lead singer Matt DeeCRACK.
‘Serious Issues’ is the follow-up record to the band’s 2017 LP, Sonic Delusions. The band toured relentlessly around the world in support of the album including a month-long European tour with the legendary CJ Ramone.
Although these hard-working fellas won’t be able to hit the road amidst the pandemic, they have not lost their DIY spirit and pension for staying active. Instead, the band has refocused their energy and will be releasing multiple music videos and live studio sessions over the next few months to promote the record.
Make no mistake about it, DeeCRACKS will be on the road as soon as the pandemic is over so we can safely enjoy these new tunes live!
Do all the decent bands come from Sweden? It certainly seems like it at the moment and The Hawkins are no exception to the rule. ”Live in the Woods” is an eclectic collection of tunes with a sound ranging between Tom Petty’s cool and the frantic pop of The Killers.
”Live in the Woods” was partly recorded in a deep Swedish forest, partly recorded in an abandoned barn, and partly recorded at Brasstacks Brewing.
In the download digital world, you get 7 cuts, but if you’re feeling saucy you can get an extra track on a cheeky slab of green vinyl. Well, it would be rude not to…
Disclaimer – Obviously being Swedish there is an undercurrent of Hellacopters throughout so I won’t mention them again today.
Kicking off with 4 tracks recorded live somewhere in the trees. ‘ Hilow’ is a cool slice of post-grunge Americana with a kind of Tom Petty meets Goo Goo Dolls vibe though it really doesn’t set the direction of the rest of the album. Next up ‘Stranger in the Next Room’ swings the listener off into a falsetto and funky world with only the slightest hint of the sound that came before it.
Still in the same forest “Black Gold’ flings us into a country super speed country barn dance with a little hint of The Darkness to it.
Finally, before we move indoors and the woodland field trip ends, ‘Libertine’ bringing a further shift towards Justin Hawkins (oooh fancy that) and Brandon Flowers vocally but with much more meat than their respective bands. Much heavier than the previous 3 tracks, ‘Libertine’ takes the band to the borders of Muse territory….. but in a good way!
Side 2 takes us indoors to Brasstacks Brewing with ‘Roomer ‘. Certainly, as the album progresses I’m hearing more of a Killer’s feel, and coupled with ‘ Cut Moon Bleeds’, the full-on and massive sound is stepping further away from the Scandi-rock of the clubs and well into arena territory.
Finally ‘ Fisherman Blues’ takes us into the aforementioned barn. However, this barn must be located in Progsville as we’ve shifted musical style again. Sure it’s a heady mix of the Darkness and Muse though this may be 1 swerve too far for me.
All in all, a really good album mixing styles in and around a classic rock vibe.
Order the LP on green vinyl (with an extra track) from – Here
Written and recorded in-between lockdowns in 2020, New Zealand born but London based punks Desperate Measures managed to escape the COVID-19 madness for some cathartic writing and recording sessions and the first taste of those gatherings arrives today with ‘The Rich-Tual’, a bullet of classic punk reloaded for the pandemic generation that rips from the speakers screaming ‘fuck the system, before the system fucks you!’ Recorded at The Brook Studios in South London by Andy Brook, ‘The Rich-Tual’ is taken from a forthcoming mini-album that will be released this summer by British rock n’ roll label Easy Action (home to and in good company with Iggy and the Stooges, The Damned’s Brian James, Marc Bolan and T-Rex and Lords Of The New Church). The video, assembled by Craig Temple, perfectly captures the intensity of ‘The Rich-Tual’.
The “Queen Of Rock N’ Roll”’s new single and video for the song ‘The Devil In Me’. Pioneering American rock vocalist and musician Suzi Quatro has confirmed the release her superlative new studio album, ‘The Devil In Me’, on Steamhammer / SPV on March 26th as a Digi Pak CD (+ poster), double gatefold 140 gram black vinyl LP (with printed inner sleeves), download and stream.
DEAD DIRTY DINOSAURS release new video for single ‘Holding Back‘, announce new EP.
The Merseyside Garage punks are getting out the starting gates early for 2021 with yet another solid mini-album release, fleshing out the previous single ‘12,000 miles from new’ with five new tracks. 2020’s ‘12,000….’ is a grinding ordeal with an L7-esque bassline that will seep into your subconscious, a welcomed guest that will never leave.
Like previous releases the lads have cranked out the Big Muff in spades, delivering their sonic assault of Proto-Punk. The second track ‘I never washed it’, sounding as dirty as it’s proclaiming all while channeling a masterful Lux Interior.
Stand out track here undoubtedly ‘condition 19’, painting a picture all too familiar for everyone in the past year. Whether you’re hitting the bottle or trying to appease yourself by learning Spanish, cabin fever is setting for all of us. The Covid theme continues with the fantastic Mudhoney tongue in cheek number ‘(Don’t) touch me, you’re sick!’.
Thrown into the mix, as if a cherry was even needed on the cake, a stripped-down cover of New York Doll’s ‘Vietnamese baby’. A much starker version delivered here with a little cheeky riff from other Dolls classic ‘Jet Boy’ tacked on at the end, a great tribute to the recently departed Dolls guitarist Sylvan Sylvan. Go get yourself a copy.