“We were on tour in Germany opening for Iron Maiden when Powertrippin’ crashed into the UK National Chart at #5. The Maiden boys held a party for us that night in their hotel to celebrate. We suddenly felt very validated, looking back I think we were “
Although initially inspired by punk, when Scottish school friends Stump Monroe (drums), Floyd London (bass) and Ricky Warwick (guitar, vocals) joined forces with guitarist Tantrum in 1988, they chose a harder rocking, heavy metal sound. Snapped up by Polydor Records for 1989 debut “Blood, Fire & Love”, their more punk infused aggressive approach was a welcome relief from the glam orientated sounds imported from across the Atlantic. This was followed by “Soul Destruction” in 1991, and then “Powertrippin’” in 1993.
The Almighty demonstrated that British hard rock had plenty to offer at the beginning of the decade, and in 1991 The Almighty were special guests of Megadeth, a tour where Alice In Chains were the opening act. This tour highlighted which way the wind was blowing, away from hairspray bands in favour of something grungier from the Pacific Northwest of America. “Powertrippin’” was also the first album to feature guitarist Pete Friesen, replacing original member, Tantrum.
As well as the singles ‘Addiction’, ‘Over The Edge’ and ‘Out Of Season’, this expanded, deluxe reissue of “Powertrippin’” includes the B-Sides ‘Blind’, ‘Bodies’ (originally by the Sex Pistols), ‘Insomnia’, ‘In A Rut’ (originally by The Ruts) and ‘Fuckin’ Up’ (originally by Neil Young and Crazy Horse). Live versions of ‘Takin’ Hold’, ‘Jesus Loves You…But I Don’t’ and “Powertrippin’” illustrate what a powerful band The Almighty have always been on stage. The bonus disc also includes demo versions of ‘Free ‘N’ Easy’ and the title track from Soul Destruction: which was never officially recorded or appeared on the final album. Plus there’s even time for an acoustic take of Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’!
This release features a fully illustrated booklet, complete with detailed liner notes from Malcolm Dome based on interviews with the band.
Disc One: Original Album
3. Over The Edge
4. Jesus Loves You…But I Don’t
5. Sick & Wired
7. Takin’ Hold
8. Out Of Season
9. Life Blood
12. Eye To Eye
Disc Two: Bonus Tracks
1. Takin’ Hold (Live)
2. Jesus Loves You…But I Don’t (Live)
3. Powertrippin’ (Live)
4. Blind (B-Side)
5. Soul Destruction (Demo)
6. Addiction (Radio Edit)
7. Insomnia (B-Side)
8. Wild And Wonderful (Demo Version)
9. Fuckin’ Up (B-Side)
10. Out Of Season (Demo Version)
11. Bodies (B-Side)
12. Free ‘N’ Easy (Demo Version)
13. Rockin’ In The Free World (Acoustic Version)
14. Hell To Pay (Acoustic Version)
15. In A Rut (B-Side)
16. Out Of Season (Radio Edit)
Buyers will also receive the non-album instant-grat track ‘Tunnel Of Love’
“We knew the new album had to be special. We’ve been away for a while. The first album was a straight shot, the second on the rocks, with this new one we had to kick down the brewery doors!” Pete Spiby
Back in June of 2017, Sheffield rock beasts Black Spiders waved goodbye to an army of loyal fans with some sonically charged shows at London’s House Of Vans and Sheffield’s Corporation before retreating into the shadows to lick their wounds and shed their skins.
And then, in November of 2020, with the world in the grips of the Coronavirus pandemic and after a long year of very little fun and even less rocking, from out of the silhouettes they returned with ‘Fly In The Soup’, the first new Black Spiders music in six years. And it felt good. Just under four-minutes of prime riff-crammed rock action, a stadium filler waiting to happen, and exactly the feel-good shot in the arm the world needed, while we await that other vaccine.
The seeds of the Black Spider return were actually planted last summer, when singer and guitarist Pete Spiby began taking to guitarist Ozzy Lister to start writing new material and before they knew it, they had amassed the best part of 40 songs in a very short period of time which they honed and whittled down to album contenders, ready to hit the studio. And then the pandemic hit.
“It’s certainly been a strange process, in unfamiliar territory,” explains Pete. “We started to look at how we could do it given the restrictions and not only that, but we had to replace our original drummer too. More obstacles throw in our way to smash through. We found a way. For us and probably most other bands, we would usually take a riff or song idea to a rehearsal and thrash it out ‘till we either had something or it ended up in the song graveyard! This time around we couldn’t do that, so myself, Ozzy and on occasion Adam Irwin (bass player) started to send ideas back and forth until we had something to work with in GarageBand. We got to a point where we had enough song ideas with basic structure to go into a studio proper, at a convenient time, to put something down. It was at this point when we had to look for a new drummer.”
With former drummer ‘Tiger’ Si Atkinson unavailable to play, with a week or two of grooming, the band took a chance on Planet Rock DJ Wyatt Wendel to occupy the drum stool. Without having played with him, and in some cases, never having met him, they demoed some of the songs through the wonders of modern technology and once they got into the studio (Axis Studios in Doncaster) with producer and engineer Matt Elliss, who had recorded both previous Black Spiders albums, the music came together thick and fast.
“I’ve never joined or worked with a band in this way EVER,” laughs Wyatt. “2020 certainly made it surreal. One minute I’m making some online drum videos for a radio station and then Pete pops up and asks if I’m busy. In the second minute I’m asked if I’d like to record some tracks. The third minute I agree. Soon after I’m in a studio recording tracks I’ve only heard demos of, having NEVER met the band or rehearsed, and it was all done on a wing and a prayer. In a weird twist of fate none of this would have happened without the pandemic of 2020! Funny how things can work out….”
“A Pete/Ozzy writing session at the beginning of the year had produced some promising results, but it felt like barriers were popping up everywhere,” explains bassist Adam Irwin. “We started talking about how we could use technology such as GarageBand to help, and slowly but surely the song writing gathered pace. We could sketch out ideas on the iPad, send them out to everyone else who could then add their own parts, suggest changes etc. Confidence grew, as did our newfound editing and recording skills. It was time to hook up with our old producer Matt Elliss and try these new songs out in the studio.
“Heading into the studio to record songs we’d written but never played together, with a drummer that we’d never met, is one of the stranger experiences I’ve had while being in a band. Thankfully, Wyatt has turned out to be an excellent addition, who despite his faults (loud, southern) has fit right into the band dynamic. I feel like I’m already starting to get a feel for his playing style despite the fact we’ve still not actually played together, and I can’t wait until the moment when we can start playing live again. Covid has made life really tough for so many of us in our industry. And yet, this new way of song writing has been liberating, this is the most consistent and prolific we’ve ever been, and I am immensely proud of this album.”
And they have every right to be. Against all of the odds, Black Spiders have crafted an album that features thirteen tracks of high-energy, feel-good rock n’roll contrasted by demonic doom that despite the disjointed, isolated way it was recorded (even second guitarist Mark Thomas, in lockdown in Spain, recorded his parts remotely), sounds like a band, firing on all cylinders, sweating it out in a dark and dank practice space with lyrics that perfectly document these insane times we are living through.
“We had to dig down deep to pull out some gems and what would we want from Black Spiders,” questions Pete. “Probably not just your regular boys adventure stories, so I looked at themes for the songs, in the bands that I held dear and what was relevant to my and our lives, as a lot had gone on personally for us all, over the time we have been away. Sabbath had all the answers I needed…war, vengeance, mental health, death, conservation & climate change, where are we from? Relationships, friendships, our flaws. Where are we going? Alien life and Mother Earth – some of which made the record.”
Kicking off with the aforementioned ‘Fly In The Soup’ single, this third self-titled long-player wastes no time in grabbing you by the scruff of the neck and dragging you through an album where good times, hooks and riffs are not in short supply, but the doom-drenched likes of ‘Wizard Shall Not Kill Wizard’ and the psychedelic groove of album closer ‘Crooked Black Wings’ give us an album of many moods and dynamics and a reason to be cheerful in 2021.
And why does the album have no title?
“It wasn’t hard picking a title for the album, as we decided that the focus should be on the band, not the album title, so we decided not to have one. It was the easiest thing of the whole process. Let the music do the talking….
NEW ALBUM ‘HEAVY MALE INSECURITY’ OUT ON 12 FEBRUARY ON JANSEN RECORDS
Norwegian rockers Death By Unga Bunga have recently announced the release of new album ‘Heavy Male Insecurity‘, out on 12th February via Jansen Records.
The band has now shared the video for latest single ‘Egocentric’ below.
‘Egocentric’ is a beer-drenched banger about looking out for number 1. “The egocentric mind has no empathy for others and their opinions. Something you’d expect from a child, but it’s often still the case for an insecure grown man. It’s OK to be selfish sometimes, but it doesn’t mean you have to be a complete dick all the time”. It follows the release of bombastic first three tracks ‘Not Like The Others‘, ‘Trouble‘ and ‘Live Until I Die‘.
Second up we have the new video from our very own Craggy Collyde with the splendid ‘In The Shade Of The Big Oak Tree’ Hit Craggy up over on Bandcamp Here
Then finally how about some ‘Panic’ from the fantastic Millie Manders & The Shutup’ Taken from their debut LP Telling Truths, Breaking Ties. Panic discusses our destruction of the planet and our horrendous farming practices, and the release date for the video reflects Millie’s desire to inspire New Year’s Resolutions for change.
For those wondering what 2021 has in store for Texan singer/songwriter Ryan Hamilton, a cryptic teaser came early in the first week of January with a video merely carrying the number 1221 and the hashtag: #newmusic
Hamilton, recently heralded by Spin magazine as one of the ‘Best Lesser-Known Artists of the Last 35 Years’, now explains the concept: “It’s a song a month, on the 12th of every month, for the whole of 2021. 12 songs. In 2021. Not only does ‘1221’ look cool, it’s not like I’ll get another chance in my lifetime to take advantage of this numerical palindrome”.
The first release coming on January 12 is a goosebump inducing cover of Spin Doctors’ ‘How Could You Want Him (When You Know You Could Have Me)’, a track from the band’s seminal debut 1991 album, ‘Pocket Full Of Kryptonite’. Each monthly track will be released digitally across all regular platforms for download and streaming via Stevie Van Zandt’s ‘Wicked Cool’ label.
Giving the origin behind the Spin Doctors cover, Hamilton says: “Credit to Producer extraordinaire, Dave Draper for the nudge on this one. He knows I love the music of the 90s, and he suggested this Spin Doctors song. Lyrically the song is SO interesting, and I thought the chill, sunshine-y vibe was a great way to start the year. Plus, I know Chris Barron a little from when my former band played with the Spin Doctors. I can’t wait for him to hear my cover of his song. “
Future 1221 monthly releases will see brand new songs from the pen of Hamilton, creating a virtual album across the year.
Facing the real potential of several more months in isolation, the kernel of 1221 took root. Renowned for his killer live shows, but with any regular form of touring currently off the table owing to the prolonged pandemic, Hamilton considered how best to stay busy in the coming year. Using present-day recording techniques across the internet, having producer and collaborator Dave Draper on a separate continent was certainly not a barrier. The pair had recorded Hamilton’s solo EP of Country covers, ‘Communique’, during the very first lockdown of 2020, in isolation from Texas (Hamilton) and the UK (Draper). Communique proved to be a winning formula, scoring Hamilton his first iTunes No. 1, a feat repeated with his subsequent release with the Harlequin Ghosts, ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’, an album that also scored high on multiple Official UK Charts.
With several UK festival appearances transplanted from 2020 to – everything crossed – this summer, thoughts for Hamilton’s return to live & in-person shows preoccupy the artist’s thoughts for the year: “I’m used to spending half the year in the van touring and that thrill in hearing audiences singing my lyrics back at me will never grow old. Online shows are fine for engaging with fans in the meantime, but it’s no replacement. On a recent Stage-It show we lost the live feed and I ended up giving the performance of a lifetime for an entire song to an audience of literally just my dog Peaches. We had to plan a ‘safe word’ in the live chat in case it happened again. That word, I can proudly say – is ‘BANANA!’ “
Here’s to Hamilton having the opportunity to share these new lockdown creations with live audiences again very soon – this time without the need for a ‘safe word’.
RYAN HAMILTON RELEASES “How Could You Want Him
(When You Know You Could Have Me)” 12 JAN 2021, VIA WICKED COOL
Well, you’ve had yer clocks you’ve had yer paintings and yer messages on bottles. He’s made music that’s soundtracked yer life and played shows you’ll take to the grave. He tells tales and japes and never acts his age and on this here CD he does what he’s best at and that’s writing music and songs that we’ve all championed at some point during our adult and not so adult lives.
More Pam Airs and John Cooper Clarke and Bukowski than Shelly Or Keats and that’s where the charm lies. If you’re a fan you get it. Some do some don’t but it is what it is from the wonderful artwork to the fractured recitals it’s all part of the charm.
‘Isolation Station Blues’ is a rugged often dark walk on the Wildside where the bottleneck gets put to good use and the blues come rolling on by. The opener sets the tone and is something we’ve all been living for the past twelve months and jolly good it is too. The great thing here is the songs come thick and fast and the next one to peel open is the wonderful ‘Humans Just like You’ its classic Tyla from the style of playing to the drawl and melody. You lean in closer and drink it all in. Demo or not it’s a quality slice of tunage that for sure.
If you are looking for a reference then I’d happily put this next to the magnificent Johnny Thunders and his ‘Hurt Me’ album. take songs like ‘The Chambers’ for example it could easily have come out of a Thunders writing session full of dark melancholy. The delivery is late night and exquisite.
The fact that it’s not just a man with an acoustic guitar but he plugs in a dry Electric for songs like ‘Life Goes On’ is cool. It’s the germs of some fantastic songs right here some of the best I’ve heard from T in quite a while he’s mining a rich seam of songwriting recently maybe this lockdown malarky is focussing and in turn some fine fine material is pouring out not just here but ‘The Powder Dry EP’ was exceptional. I love the melody of ‘Where The Past Never Goes’ but this was only release number one there are two more to go.
Volume two begins with a reflective ‘Deliver Me’ then ‘Ballad Of An Extraordinary Man’ and the big Chords of ‘Lighthouse’ in contrast ‘Mayday Mayday’ is a bruising electric riff. ‘Rewind’ is a short recital along with ‘Tales Of The Money God’ which is a little piraty oh argh! But Vol 2 ends with the excellent ‘Tenderhooks’ and onto Vol 3 which is entitled ‘El Dia De Los Muertos’ you know Day of The Dead. It’s another ten demos folks and again some crackers are hatched in here I mean I love ‘Best Thing Ever’ dont know why I gravitate towards that one over another but thats the beauty of music right there hell, ‘Dorian’ has the potential to be a glorious Tyla song.
We have spoken words amongst the demos as well so in a nutshell this two-CD collection we have over forty compositions and all flavours and shades of Tyla that we know and love ‘Wherever You Go’ has touches of Bowie and Ronno going on from the melody to the delivery its Hunky Dory either way. I’m sure when normal human gatherings are a thing and Tyla can get in a studio and explore these songs with his fellow musicians they will grow and blossom further and some will be just right as they are in this early raw form. Either way, my advice would be to get your mitts on these here demos and get em on the player pronto yer lockdown will fly by, trust me I’m a…happy chappy. Chin chin as they say around these parts and with almost a dozen additions to the previously available tunes its a no brainer.
9LP DISTORTION: 1996-2007 BOX RELEASED JAN 22nd 2021 ON DEMON
TWO FURTHER VINYL BOXES TO ARRIVE IN 2021
8LP DISTORTION: 1989-1995 & 24CD DISTORTION: 1989-2019 BOXSETS BOTH OUT NOW
On January 22nd, 2021, Demon Music Group will release Distortion: 1996-2007, the second of four vinyl boxsets chronicling the solo career of legendary American musician Bob Mould. It follows hot on the heels of the recently released 8LP Distortion: 1989-1995 boxset, which took in Mould’s early solo outings as well as his records with the much-beloved Sugar, and the 24CD Distortion: 1989-2019 box, which covers the entirety of his post- Hüsker Dü output.
Distortion: 1996-2007 takes in six studio albums across nine LPs: Bob Mould (1996), The Last Dog and Pony Show (1998), modulate. (2002 – first time on vinyl), Long Playing Grooves. (2002 – first time on vinyl), Body of Song (2005) and BLOWOFF (2006 – first time on vinyl), as well as a new compilation Distortion Plus: 1996-2007 which features an array of bonus tracks including the demo version of ‘Dog on Fire‘ (the theme from The Daily Show), B-sides and other rarities, pressed on clear vinyl.
As with the previously released Distortion: 1989-1995, each album in the set has been mastered by Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at Peerless Mastering in Boston and is presented with brand new artwork designed by illustrator Simon Marchner and pressed on 140g clear vinyl with unique splatter effects. The boxset includes a 28-page companion booklet featuring liner notes by journalist Keith Cameron, contributions from Death Cab For Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard and Best Coast‘s Bethany Cosentino, lyrics, memorabilia and much more. An exclusive indie edition limited to 750 copies worldwide also includes a 12″x12″ screen-print of the new modulate. album cover hand signed by illustrator Simon Marchner and Mould himself.
“It’s called Distortion because it describes the music and it fits the world we live in,” says Mould of the boxsets. “In this new age, everybody shares their life in real time. But I’m not done yet. If I didn’t have a constantly active career, this anthology might feel like the proverbial dirt landing on top of my coffin — though somehow I seem to be able to crawl my way out of the dirt every time!”
2021 will see two further vinyl Distortion boxsets covering the years 2008 to 2019 rounding out a year-long celebration of one of the most storied, creative and consistent voices in the American underground. As Cameron offers:
“In 1989, Bob Mould was already a renowned figure, thanks to his trailblazing work with Hüsker Dü: the Minneapolis trio which refracted ’60s pop melody through the discord of hardcore punk, creating a new language that Pixies and Nirvana would subsequently teach the world to sing. With his debut solo album Workbook, however, Bob Mould amazed his audience with its pastoral beauty and contemplative tone.
“It would be the first in an ongoing series of artistic transformations, each profoundly shaped by Mould’s sensitivity to his environment. In 1992, he formed Sugar, a band whose debut album Copper Blue earned both critical plaudits and a long overdue popular dividend. Just three years later, with Sugar at its commercial peak, Mould ended the band and made a self-titled solo record mapping the most nakedly personal path down a road already hallmarked by unsparing self-expression. He shocked then confounded fans by announcing his retirement from rock music in 1998 and re-emerging in the new century as an experimental electronica artist and successful DJ, whose club night Blowoff became a phenomenon across the US. By the end of the ’00s, Mould had found a harmonious accommodation between his musical selves, and in 2012 released the catalytic Silver Age, made with his latest power trio configuration, and heralding a resurgent decade. A succession of albums up to 2019’s Sunshine Rock followed, each one a real time/real life distillation of fearless artistic vision and a master craftsman’s skill.”
Discover more about the boxsets including full tracklistings and FAQs Here
The 9LP Distortion: 1996-2007 boxset is released Jan 22nd, 2021, via Demon Music Group. The 24CD Distortion: 1989-2019 and 8LP Distortion: 1989-1995 boxsets are both available now. Keep your eyes peeled for two further vinyl boxsets later in 2021.
With Dan Baird last year announcing his much-earned retirement from touring, it seems as good a time as any to revisit the glory days of the Georgia Satellites. Following his departure from the band in 1990, Baird toured extensively over the years as a solo artist with his band Homemade Sin, counting former Jason and the Scorchers guitarist Warner E Hodges as one of his touring partners (Hodges now continues successfully with his own solo band, releasing a new album in 2020). The Satellites themselves continue to tour after Rick Richards (also widely-known for being Izzy Stradlin’s recurrent guitarist) stepped up to take over the vocal duties.
Now in 2021, the Satellites have given their consent to this ultimate collection made up of the three albums produced while signed to Elektra Records from 1986 – 1990, specifically “Georgia Satellites”, “Open All Night” and “In the Land of Salvation and Sin”. Released through Cherry Red records, the CD boxset also includes numerous b-sides, live records and covers, with 13 tracks appearing for the first time ever on CD. The collection also includes detailed notes about the recordings from each of the band members – Dan Baird, Mauro Magellan, Rick Price and Rick Richards – a wealth of new photos, and the UK discography.
With all three albums here in one collection, it’s clear just how prolific the Satellites were and just how great their output was. From songs such as the mega hit “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”, which shot them to stardom with their first album, to the excellent “Sheila” from their second, and “All Over but the Cryin’” from their final (and in many ways their best) album with Baird, this 53-track journey through the years is absolutely littered with quality material. With such a wealth of gems, this new Ultimate collection is a must-have retrospective – a great starting place for new fans, and a brilliant round up and new addition for the existing ones.
You really cannot underestimate the importance of Jane’s Addiction to music fans who – at the time of the release the band’s self-released debut live LP – were looking for an alternative to the brainless drivel major record labels were pumping out in the name of hard rock/heavy metal. I myself was lucky enough to be swept up in the largely underground hype surrounding the band towards the tail end of the ‘80s, and whilst I cannot claim to have seen them live on their debut UK tour – and not many can – I was lucky enough to ride the live waves of joy they were generating by the time they had released ‘Ritual de lo habitual’, and that those shows still loom large with me to this very day should be enough for you to understand just how much of a game changer that band really was.
Initially splitting up just as grunge took over the world Jane’s Addiction in many ways became like The Velvet Underground of that scene, and in their singer Perry Farrell, I guess you had the scene’s very own Lou Reed. Albeit without his critical or commercial success, which means a lot of what is contained within this soon to be released ‘The Glitz; The Glamour’ box set might in fact be new material to the more casual listener.
Celebrating the mercurial talents of the self-styled Godfather of Alternative Rock, ‘The Glitz; The Glamour’ then is a 68 track collection of Perry Farrell’s work outside of Jane’s Addiction and Porno For Pyros spread across a 6 CD/Blu-ray and an indie shop exclusive 9 LP/Blu-ray box set, that is a perfectly timed release with Christmas looming large on the horizon.
Let’s face it, with 2020 being the shitshow it has turned out to be we all need something to make us smile right now, and ‘The Glitz; The Glamour’ might just be the thing to make it happen.
Kicking things off with a 5 track EP from Farrell’s pre-Jane’s Addiction band PSI Com, this set is what many will be after in this collection. it’s an engaging glimpse into the life of the young artiste, formed very much in the image of UK post-punk bands like Killing Joke and Public Image, and what’s perhaps most striking is that Farrell himself was already singing in the style he would largely go onto become renowned for in Jane’s Addiction, this is especially prevalent on the likes of ‘Xiola’ where his banshee screams were already waking the dead.
2001’s ‘Song Yet To Be Sung’ is Farrell’s first solo album proper and is a huge shift for him musically, being heavily influenced by the UK drum and bass scene it actually has a kind of Daniel Lanois producing ‘Earthling’ era Bowie feel about it and as such I found myself completely absorbed by its depth and the eclectic nature, especially on tracks like ‘Did You Forget’, ‘King Z’ and ‘Say Something’ which literally bristle with creative electricity.
By contrast, if ‘Song Yet To Be Sung’ was Farrell at his most introspective 2019’s nine track ‘Kind Heaven’ sounds like the soundtrack to kind of party David Lee Roth was renowned for throwing around the time he launched his solo band. Opening track ‘(Red White and Blue) Cheerfulness perfectly summing up Farrell’s joyful intentions for the record in two minutes and 20 seconds flat. There’s no time for self-examination on this record and the heavy involvement of his wife Etty Lau seems to keep the mood of the record very much upbeat. It’s a truly wonderful musical surprise if you’ve yet to hear it.
Sandwiched in between these solo albums was of course Satellite Party, the musical collective Farrell formed with Etty Lau that also featured the likes of Nuno Bettencourt, John Frusciante, Flea, Peter Hook, and Kevin Figueiredo on their one album ‘Ultra Payloaded’ originally released back in 2007. At the time I remember really enjoying this album as it provided a fresh perspective on the voice behind Jane’s Addiction and after their excellent reunion album ‘Strays’ it also kind of gave a glimpse of the more commercial sound the band would follow on 2011’s much-maligned ‘The Great Escape Artist’ opus. Listening to ‘Ultra Payloaded’ 13 years later the likes of ‘Only Love, Let’s Celebrate’, ‘Kinky’ and ‘Mr. Sunshine’ have me dancing along to a kind of Sly & The Family Stone at the Hacienda groove and there’s a riot going on that’s for sure.
Which rather neatly leads me to the disc of Farrell/Satellite Party tracks remixed and re-imaged by the likes of UNCKLE, Groove Armada, Booka Shade, and a whole lot more besides and also includes Farrell’s dancefloor collaboration with The Avalanches on the ultra-funky ‘Oh The Sunn!’. It’s the ideal soundtrack for driving around town in your Corsa late at night, but eleven tracks of this for the more casual/rock-orientated listener might prove a little bit too much for them to stomach.
Very much more back at the end of the rock end of the spectrum though are the eight tracks contained on the disc of B-sides, where the likes of Starcrawler get to share some studio time with their hero on the feral ‘Turn Over The World’, the two previously unreleased tracks from ‘Rev’ get another day in the sun and ‘Cling To Life’ (recorded with the Kind Heaven Orchestra) once again has me thinking that the Farallels between our once dreadlocked anti-hero and the big band loving solo years of David Lee Roth might be even closer than I alluded to earlier.
With only a stream of this mighty box set on which to base this review I, unfortunately, can’t shed any light of what the ‘Kind Heaven’ record mixed in Dolby Atmos along with three new Atmos tracks from the remix record actually sound like, or in fact what the photographic memoirs hardback book or Zoltan prints aesthetically add to the package, but from what I have heard this really is an essential purchase for any die-hard fan of Perry Farrell’s music outside of Jane’s Addiction and Porno For Pyros.
Oh! ‘The Glitz; The Glamour’ – this is one box set I really do need in my collection.
Tennessee’s very own Renaissance man and cowpunk pioneer, Pete Berwick, is seeing off 2020 with a retrospective of his extensive and active career. The ‘Too Cow to Punk’ anthology, set for release in January 2021 through his own label Shotgun Records, cherry-picks songs from a back catalogue stretching from 1976 to 2019 over a series of critically acclaimed albums. A man of many talents, Berwick has crossed several boundaries – from amateur boxing to novel writing, stand-up comedian to actor, the wandering storyteller has a wealth of experience from which to draw inspiration for his tales of love, loss and regret.
From the hard-hitting snarl of opener ‘Is That What You’re Telling Me’, through the darkness of ‘Chained’, to the reflective ‘Streets of Pasadena’ (the final song of his most recent album ‘Island’), you’re getting all sides of Berwick’s character – a 37-song collection of heart-on-the-sleeve confessions delivered down hard-fought years. The album finishes with the defiant ‘Vacancy in My Heart’, the free-flowing slide guitar of this bluesy barnstormer capping off a thoroughly brilliant, raucous and rousing record.
The energy and charisma which have dominated Berwick’s life is presented here in almost half a century of music. The anthology is far more than just a collection of songs – it’s a journey that includes re-recordings and remasters, some rarities and one unreleased song, ‘Preachers Kid’. A songwriter long before cowpunk became a thing, Berwick has explained how the title of the album comes from when one audience member told him many years ago he was “more cow than punk”. Throughout the years, Berwick has been an artist treading a dusty road between rock, country and punk, and this latest release is undoubtedly the perfect starting place for new listeners wishing to follow him down that long, colourful road.