▪ Remastered 30th Anniversary Edition Double LP & Bookback CD

In the late ’80s to early ’90s there was an explosion of alternative music coming out of the US of A and some climbed to the top of the pile but they weren’t necessarily the best bands out there.  Sure the early ’80s had the Husker Du’s and Replacements to trail blaze but of the late decade bands, I remember having a mixtape sent to me that had a lofi song from a bunch of punks called The Lemonheads the track as it goes was ‘I Don’t Wanna’ and it was easily the best track on the tape out of about 40 bands I didn’t take a great deal of notice until I heard ‘Lick’ and loved it along with the fantastic cover of ‘Luka’ but these records weren’t easy to track down in a small city in the UK.  I remember seeing an interview with Evan Dando and being impressed with his slacker credentials and good looks.  It must have been around the time of Lovey when they signed to a major and heading out to pick it up and loving it and the next two and a half major-label albums should have seen them trade against the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam because out of the three The Lemonheads threw up the best records for my ears.

Fast forward thirty fuckin’ years and the Re-Release of ‘Lovey’ in a big book like format with an impressive bound bunch of liner notes and a lavish reproduction of an 8 track session the band did in Australia for Triple J. but more of that later.

‘Lovey’ saw the band step back and trade in some of that feedback and rage for a gentler acoustic approach or mash-up as songs like the jangly ‘Half The Time’ saw Dando mix up the alternative punk with a power-pop more melodic set of songs with much more thought out vocals. Covering Gram Parsons and Big Star sort of set out the path he was taking.  Maybe with one eye on the prize of international stardom and chart success whilst remaining true to his musical roots.

What’s not to like about the radio-friendly ‘Year of The Rat’ or the beautiful ‘Ride With Me’ there was always a fragility or a vulnerability to Dando’s voice and he used it to great effect from ‘Lovey’ on in. ‘Stove’ was always a live classic and more in keeping with what was to come with the smash album ‘Shame About Ray’ but this was certainly the forerunner.

 

They still had an edge and could kick out the jams when they wanted as they proved on the next few tracks ‘Come Downstairs’ and ‘Left For Dead’.  It was then the wonderful take of Gram Parsons ‘Brass Buttons’ which they nailed by the way.

Worth a reissue on vinyl with a big book type set up?  Sure it is what are the odds of ‘Shame About Ray’ getting the anniversary treatment along the same lines as this which would be very nice but, the real jewel here is the inclusion of the ‘Live At The Wireless’ sessions.  Let’s face it The Lemonheads were always good on record but live they were awesome and this session is perfectly captured from the ‘Lick’ era opener of ‘Come Back D.A’ and the cover of Big Star ‘Nighttime’ and the misspelled download of ‘Year Of The Cat  -Rat’ but the pick of the songs is the epic ‘Ride With Me’ followed up with a raucous ‘Die Right Now’. As much as I loved the Taang!! records they really hit their stride when they hit paydirt and that boys and girls started with ‘Lovey’ and even after 30 years its stood the test of time and remains a fantastic album

 

Deluxe CD Bookback – Pre-order linkHere

Deluxe 2xLP out today 24th October 2020 (Record Store Day) 

Four years on since ‘Smash Hits’, any fans will be relieved to know that little has changed in the dayglo world of Helen Love. No introspective, bleak dramas or unwelcome ballads. If anything, this album is more in your face, relentlessly upbeat and frenetic. The usual lyrical suspects are here; Ramones, glitter pop, radios and plastic.

 

In the current climate, this is quite a relief. No mention of the ‘real’ world, you can lose yourself in Helen’s bold, primary colour land. ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ (not that one) is jubilant; “I’m in love and it feels so good”. I’m glad someone’s happy! It’s a rarity nowadays. Single ‘Debbie Takes Control Of The Radio’ comes on like a bubblegum Sputnik, complete with ‘Pump It Up’ sample. ‘Jackie’ has a riff to make Johnny Ramone smile, ‘Dead In My Head’ has a suitably Buzzcocks intro, while ‘Sandra Dee’ waxes lyrical about Ms Newton John.

 

‘Power Of The Music’ is like a kids’ birthday party full of those lovely old E numbers, on a trampoline. And it references ‘Shout It Out Loud’. ‘Star’ is equally nuts; “we love the way you dance in your plastic pants like a New York Doll”. ‘You Wear Your Hair Long’; “like Joey Ramone”. Obviously. What else were you expecting? ‘On My Own’ condenses a Duncan Reid album into one song.

 

Helen Love clearly makes music because she loves it. It won’t win over doubters, or Radiohead fans, but that’s not the point. If you want an escape from grim reality, this is what the doctor ordered.

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Author: Martin Chamarette

 

 

 

On October 30th Jim Jones unleashes The Righteous Three onto the world with an exclusive filmed performance to help raise funds for The Bowery Electric in New York.

The limitations of Coronavirus have put the full Righteous Mind band on ice for the time being. Stripped back to the raw elements of a three piece featuring Gavin Jay on bass and Aidan Sinclair on drums, Jim lays down heavy duty fuzz riffs over primal, Neolithic rhythms and snarling, growling grooves. The bands first public outing will be a streamed video of two Cramps songs.played live in the studio as part of an online festival for The Bowery Electric. Watch this space for more news from Jim Jones Righteous Three soon.

Like many venues, The Bowery Electric is facing uncertain times. This years ‘Sally Can’t Dance featuring music by The Cramps’ festival will go ahead as a paid live stream, with a mix of socially distanced performances from the venue and pre-recorded videos. Tickets cost $15 USD and the night features a stellar line-up with performances from Kid Congo, Chuck Prophet, Bob Bert, Bebe Buell, The Schizophonics and many, many more.

Air time is 9pm EST (USA) Friday Oct. 30th.  For those not in America or into early morning rock ‘n’ roll, the show will be available for viewing at any time of the day for 2 weeks after broadcast.

Ticket link here: https://theboweryelectric.veeps.com/…/events/d6d35af8136b

Long Live The Cramps and The Bowery!

IF Kurt Baker is a new name on you then I suggest you sit up, Pay attention and get your purse at the ready. How could you not agree with that statement? It doesn’t matter what guise Baker releases music under be it solo or Combo or whatever the guy can do no wrong.  He has a fine ear and knows exactly what is required to make a sumptuous ear caressing tune.

What began as noises emanating from a Maine basement is poised to be the soundtrack to a pandemic as Kurt Baker gets back to his roots on this rocking new album.

“The idea for the Combo was always to be a band that showcased my more Garage/Pub Rock/Punk side, while the U.S. group is firmly rooted in Rock/Pop/Power Pop,” explains Baker. Counting those two albums with the Combo, ‘After Party’ is the artist’s sixth full-length record, in addition to his previous work with Pop/Punk band The Leftovers.

After heavy airplay on Little Steven’s Underground Garage and touring in Europe and the U.S. It seemed that the wider world was in on our little Rock and Roll secret that’s been cooking for a while over there.

Wyatt Funderburk, who produced, engineered and mixed the record, also played guitars and co-wrote all the songs with Kurt. The pair previously collaborated on songs for many of Kurt’s releases before he moved to Spain. “The fact that the songs came to us so easily, after such a long time not working together, made me realise how special this collaboration is,” Kurt recalls.

Keyboardist Kris Rodgers is now a successful Wicked Cool recording artist in his own right. The recent single “She Likes To Party” by Kris Rodgers and The Dirty Gems follows up “Every Little Crack,” which Stevie Van Zandt declared the number one Coolest Song Of The Year for 2018. “Kris shines with his vocals on ‘Wandering Eyes’ and piano on ‘A Song And A Drink.’”

Also on guitars is Geoff Palmer, well known to Underground Garage listeners with his band The Connection, who’ve received Coolest Song honors multiple times. “His guitar playing is just so Geoff and he makes sure you know that.”

Craig Sala, who has played with everyone from John Entwistle to Captain Kangaroo, rounds out the group on drums. “He tracked all the songs in a couple hours – a few in just one take.”

Most of the album was recorded in the basement of Kurt’s parents’ house in Portland last year. Funderburk tracked drums and finishing touches in his Nashville studio. “The best thing about these sessions was when we were all together singing into the same microphone, each of us doing our vocal parts, with Wyatt coaching us like Brian Wilson during a Pet Sounds session,” Kurt recalls.

Kurt rode out the terrifying early months of the pandemic in his Madrid apartment, amidst the epicenter of the first wave in Spain, where restrictions were serious. “Even when I’d go for a five-minute walk to the grocery store, the police would stop me to question what I was doing and what I was going to buy! It was a bit surreal. One thing that saved me during the lockdown was that each day Wyatt would send me a new mix of the record. This kept me positive and excited.”

The record opens up with ‘New Direction’ Nah he’s not gone death metal or techno, however, I’m sure if he did then he’d pull it off and make it most listenable. Anyway where was I? oh yeah, ‘New Direction’ immediately lockdown doesn’t quite seem so bad after all. The keys are light behind the big backing vocals and meandering guitar licks its classic power pop.  Had Cheap Trick opened their new album they’d be back playing enormadomes. The middle breakdown is cool with the spoken words just smile and chew your bubblegum with a bit of attitude.

 

‘I Like Her A Lot’ has a bit of punch like Baker had been playing some Green Day perhaps for inspiration. The song motors along and sounds fresh as. You’ll be singing along before the first play is over. It’s a shame chart music isn’t full of songs like this anymore.  If the kids only put down their game consoles and played some sunshine Rock and Roll maybe the world would be a better place, there would be more parties that for sure. Love the hook on the chorus and they nail those backing vocals. ‘Wandering Eyes’ is a killer track.

Baker drops a line in the inspiration pond and pulls out a staple from the fab four songbook for the light ‘Waiting For You’.  We then build it back up with the new wave tones of ‘Good’ sure Costello looms large here but its shaping up to be such a great record so far and we’re only half way through and we’ve ventured through several of the power pop subgenres and done it with that seal of quality that comes with a Kurt Baker record.

The record continues to ebb and flows really nicely from the easier listening of ‘Used To Think’ with its doo wap diddy BVs through the synth-heavy ‘Keep Dreaming’ to the harder rockin Ramones meets Green Day vibe of ‘She Don’t Really Love You Dude’. ‘A Song And A Drink’ is a strange one something of a jazzy barroom number with a really dreamy vibe but an impressive vocal from Gina Brown to bring this one home and something that sits nicely on this record but not something I’d generally gravitate towards but hey, there’s a first time for everything.

To close this record off Baker pays tribute to Single Bullet Theory and it leaves you filled with hope at the end of the record and no matter if you’re feeling lousy this will pick you up as it builds and builds and confirms Kurt Baker as something of a power-pop genius and once again hes crafted along with the help of some supremely talented friends and musicians that ever clud indeed has a silver lining and ‘After Party’ is a lockdown tonic we should all take a swig of. Get on it!

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Pre-save/Pre-add ‘After Party’ Here

Stream the single ‘Over You’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

Recorded during the lockdown in July 2020. Spear Of Destiny has re-recorded the hit album ‘World Service’. I’m sure there are those who’ve clicked here wondering why? Royalties?  Those less cynical amongst us might have recently read Kirks reasons where he sites the original production being a pop/rock record which was never his intention and whilst Rusty Egan did a job (and a jolly good one too) Brandon was never happy and with a settled, more Rockin line up currently playing the songs.  Also, it was a chance to change the artwork – (oh well you can’t have everything even if this new one is better than the ’80s version.) The tracklisting has been arranged and to be fair Brandon’s recent explanation makes sense and this re-imagination is certainly a lot harder hitting. Following on from 2019’s rerecording of ‘One-Eyed Jacks’

Trying to put fresh ears on a record I’ve played hundreds of times isn’t an easy thing but I will say I’ve not actually played it for a few years to be fair and probably the last time I did was when Brandon was touring with mike peters under the dead men walking banner so there you go.

Opening with ‘World Service’ the re-recording has a punch that’s for sure and the saxophone wails perfectly the other thing I notice is Brandon’s vocals are infinitely stronger.  He has a unique style that’s instantly recognisable and there are moments here where he really excels like on the punchy ‘I Can See’.

I was never keen on the piraty ‘Come Back’ although I would say here it sounds more Strummer than Strummer ever did on his Mescaleros recordings.  The breakdown and sax is excellent here and the song isn’t as piraty as I remember it being. To be fair its songs like this that have benefitted most from the re-recording.

‘Mickey’ is still a chest pumping classic. Now minus the ’80s drum sheen and overall compression squeezing the life out of everything having it stripped away has breathed new life into all these songs. The original album opener ‘Rocket Ship’ has fallen down the tracklist and has a harder rockier edge breathed into it which is another good reason to have done this.

One of the songs that strangely was more “Rock” on the original for me is ‘Last Card’ but having the ’80s Rusty shaken out of it makes the song brighter. ‘Walk In My Shadow’ is possibly the song that’s changed the least with it still having that Blues based undercoat workout. ‘Up All Night’ reminds me a bit of Adam And The Ants with the guitar sound and drum beat but that where the comparisons end.

To finish off this rework is a beautiful piano-led take on ‘Young Men’ which fits perfectly as some sort of come down and mellow out from what’s gone before.  I haven’t seen the line up with Craig Adams in and I can’t understand why that hasn’t taken place so once we’re all able to venture back inside a venue I will be taking myself to see the band and hear how this reworked album unfolds live – but then Brandon always excelled live. It’s a no-brainer for diehards but for casual fans and newcomers, it’s a great place to jump in. Like the titles tracks lyrics “It only seemed like yesterday, I hear music”  where did all those years go? Two reworks and both well worth investing in with this one being the boldest and brightest.  Great job.

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Author: Dom Daley

DEATH BY UNGA BUNGA
NEW ALBUM ‘HEAVY MALE INSECURITY’ OUT ON 12 FEBRUARY ON JANSEN RECORDS
NEW TRACK ‘LIVE UNTIL I DIE’ OUT NOW
STREAM IT HERE AND ON SOUNDCLOUD
Norwegian rockers Death By Unga Bunga have announced the release of their new album ‘Heavy Male Insecurity‘, out on 12th February via Jansen Records.
They have now shared ‘Live Until I Die’, the third single taken from the upcoming LP. Following rock banger ‘Not Like The Others‘ and summer stomper ‘Trouble‘, the new track isaccording to the band, “about living your life to the fullest/max and not caring too much about making a complete fool of yourself in the process. A pandemic rock anthem about not forgetting that no matter what, you’ll have to live until you die”.
LISTEN TO ‘LIVE UNTIL I DIE’ HERE AND ON SOUNDCLOUD
For over a decade, Death By Unga Bunga have supplied their own blend of punchy rock and roll, joyful power pop, and wavy psychedelia that reels you in and doesn’t let go. Formed in Moss, Norway, in 2007 and taking their name from the title of an album by legnedary garage-punk band The Mummies, the band have since released 5 albums and numeours EP and have toured around the world many times over.
With a new album ready to come out next year, listeners should buckle up for rock’n’roll that will fill your soul and music that will allow you forget about the troubles of modern life.
As we always try to bring bands to your attention that you might never have come across and when we do we like to pass it on down the line and we continue to introduce quality music when we hear it.  Today is no exception ladies and gents can we please introduce the most excellent Zodiac Panthers… 

Where Dya get the name Zodiac Panthers from?

I Lifted the zodiac part from Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction. I always loved that name. The panthers part came from looking at MC5 albums with all the white panther party propaganda. It just clicked Zodiac Panthers would be a great name!
Who is in the band and what do they play?
I’m Johnny Yeagher (vocals/guitar), Angela Yeagher (drums/backup vocals) & Nate Erney (bass).
Where do the Zodiac Panthers call home?
We’re from Wilmington, North Carolina.
What are your influences?
We’re influenced by 60s garage rock & 70s/80s punk mostly. Sonics, Music Machine, Stooges, Ramones, Testors, The Cramps, The Saints. The list could go on!
Who brings what to the table as far as songwriting goes?
I write all of the music and most of the lyrics. Angela also writes lyrics and helps come up with lyrical themes. Once Angela and Nate work out their parts the songs take on a whole new life. That’s when it sounds like the Zodiac Panthers.What releases have you had so far and what can we expect over the next 6 to 12 months as far as recordings go?
We’ve released three EPs:
‘Zodiac Panthers’ / I Don’t Gotta, But I’m Gonna, Cause I Wanna’ / ‘Hexray Vision’

Four singles: ‘I’d Rather Be Dead’ / ‘Primal Astrology’ / ‘666 Feet Away From My Love’ / ‘Black Leather Heart’

Luckily I have a home studio so we can continue to release new music. ‘666 Feet Away From My Love’ and ‘Black Leather Heart’ were released during this pandemic. We have more material we’ll be releasing in a couple of months.

What about post pandemic and playing live?
This pandemic has definitely hurt us as far as playing shows and promoting our band. Playing live is how we generate most of our income for the band and make the majority of our fans. I’m just not sure how soon it’ll get back to normal or what the new normal will be.

If you could co-write with anyone who would you like a crack at? I guess alive or dead is fair game. 
It would be Stiv Bators. I love his vocal style and his lyrics. He was definitely one of a kind. Very raw.

We’re heading to a desert island and you have to travel lite. Give us three records you’d take one book and three films?
The first New York Dolls record. I never get tired of hearing it. It’s so perfect.

The Jim Carrol Band – Catholic Boy. He’s one of my favorite lyricists. Theirs so much attitude in his voice.
The first Ramones record. It changed my life. It was my introduction into punk.
I usually read music biographies. So my one book would be ‘Please Kill Me’. As far as punk history books go, it’s the best.
As for Movies, It would be ‘Escape From New York’. An awesome sci-fi movie starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken. It’s a killer! Next up ‘Trick or Treat’ which was a great ’80s heavy metal horror movie. Some of the scenes were actually filmed here in Wilmington. The Warriors is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s so dark, grimy and sleaze. I love all the different gangs and how they have to fight their way back home.

Check this out.  WE’ve always supported Ryan and his music and found this during lockdown and if you’ve half an hour spare then check it out – it’ll be worth it…

Ryan Hamilton’s Communique (A Documentary)

OUT NOW!

Hi Friends!

I am SO EXCITED to share this short film (30 mins), “Communique”.
The documentary features footage, and commentary from my cross country road trip, which led to the creation of “Nowhere To Go But Everywhere”.
This trip changed my life. It was a very emotional thing to be a part of putting together. A total labor of love. I am super proud of it, and thankful to all involved for making it happen.
I really hope you enjoy this. I think you will. It was truly a life changing journey.

The documentary is available on YouTube, and the band’s Facebook Page.
This isn’t something we’re selling. This is something I want you to watch, in hopes that you find something helpful, inspiring, or at least, entertaining 😉

Not the sort of one-man-band you saw outside Woolworths in the 70s, John Schooley is firmly in the blues-trash vein of Daddy Long Legs. Hailing from Austin, Texas, and with a love of Howlin’ Wolf and primal, dirty rhythm and blues, this is his second album for Voodoo Rhythm Records. A mixture of classics and originals.

 

The album is bookended with ‘Black Diamond Express Train To Hell’ parts 1 and 2, ‘Chicago Breakdown’ being the first full song, with the rhythm of an out of control train, in 1930s Chicago, obviously. ‘Factory Dog’ is an original, not that you’d know, as John is fully immersed in his chosen field. This is a compliment. He even throws in a third chord, just to show off. ‘Cat Squirrel’ is a foot-stomping tune, while ‘She Ain’t Comin’ Home’ is a slower, slide-infused song.

 

‘Drive You Faster’ does exactly that. John is almost beating Daddy Long Legs on his own here, he certainly doesn’t hold back. Live, he must be a sight to see. ‘Honest I Do’ pushes the distortion to the edge, ‘I Wish You Would’ takes it back to its original roots, ‘A Lover Not A Fighter’ is like a old, blues dude wrestling The Cramps. Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘Killing Floor’ wraps things up nicely, just as it should sound.

 

If Daddy Long Legs’ last album was too slick for your tastes, this will float your boat. Feral production values and plenty of rough edges. Real rhythm and blues.

Buy ‘John Schooley & His One Man Band’ Here

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Author: Martin Chamarette

Klammer/The White Ribbons split single. 7″ BLACK vinyl. 

Due to popular demand, this is being repressed as a black vinyl single.
Two classic Pete Shelley songs – ‘I Don’t Know What It Is’ and ‘You Say You Don’t Love Me‘. The first release from the Yesterday’s Not Here tribute to Pete Shelley project, a limited runhand-numbered black vinyl singles comes complete with a numbered colour portrait of Pete by Buzzcocks’ photographer Steve White. This is a different image to the ones to be issued with the clear vinyl.
All profits to the Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign.