Everything was better in the old days. Everything but Christmas who became more unstoppable from year to year. While other bands pop up and quickly burn away, CHRISTMAS just gets better and better. More resilient, more brutal and more like the cockroach after a nuclear holocaust.  It was said that if Motorhead moved next door your lawn would wither and die unless the next-door neighbour happens to be Christmas.  They wouldn’t give a shit the lawn was dead because they were going on tour anyway

Christmas has spent the last ten-year making music with over thirteen releases in those ten years, playing a mammoth 500 gigs across countless countries and gone through a spinal tap amount of band members. Rock ‘n’ Roll is said to be on its last legs and hardcore punk is a dying genre, funnily enough, nobody sent Christmas the memo and if they did they’d use it to light the stick of dynamite they’re about to throw into your speakers.

This album is ignited when ‘Turn Me Lewd’ kicks off in your speakers with a really addictive brass line running alongside the vocals and those guitars are white-hot like a rabid ‘Nasty’. I might be mistaken here but this seems to have upped a gear or two from previous recordings from Christmas ‘Hey Mate’ is cheeky whilst the title track is an exercise in how to riff.

‘Waterloo’ has a brown noise rumbling low end on that bass guitar before sounding like its been fired out of a cannon. Great stuff – classic Christmas.  Hold the front page ‘Elvis Is Dead’ if only he had sounded like this or he sang a song like ‘Fuck It Up’. Brutal and uncompromising Christmas go full tilt on us on ‘Born To Booze’. As we raise a glass to yet another top record from Max and co and if you were in any doubt ‘Go Hard Or Go Home’ is a rocket ride of pure aggression and pounding hardcore that is done exceptionally well. Man, we’ve reached the end as there is only ‘Candy Me’ to play out. Max has got this down to a fine art now and he knows what it takes to pen a Christmas record and not a sleigh bell anywhere just hardcore punk rock done to perfection.  How long will it be before these guys are treated the same way as Bronx or Zugly for being as good as punk rock gets in the motherfuckin’ roaring ’20s.

Get on it people because they’re going to keep on regardless but Max needs to crowd surf and the more people who get into them the easier it will be to be carried around like royalty. It’ll be a ‘Hot Night’ anywhere if Christmas are playing any of these top tunes.

 

Buy ‘Hot Nights In Saint Vandal’ Here

Facebook

Here’s an unexpected collaboration. After buying one of Luke Haines’ paintings online of Lou Reed, Peter Buck made contact and some form of musical bond was formed. Life can be wonderfully strange. So, here we are, in the unique mind of Luke Haines. I’d be interested to know the level of Buck’s contribution, not that I doubt it, rather, this sounds like pure Haines subject matter and style.

 

While every album is different, you know it’s him. This is partly the voice and presence, but also the choice of subjects. So, a not exactly concept-album, which references; the rocket scientist and occultist, Jack Parsons, who came to a spectacular end; post-apocalypse radio which only plays Donovan; Bigfoot; the Enfield Haunting and Andy Warhol.

 

For better or worse, my review is in the form of my list of notes for each song. As a tribute, and because, frankly, if you don’t know Luke Haines yet, it’s probably too late. So…

 

‘Jack Parsons’; rocket science/occultist, Crowley/Thelemite, recorders, L. Ron Hubbard, dreamy melody, interview segments remind me of B.A.D.

 

‘Apocalypse Beach’; post-apocalypse Donovan only radio station, Leach/beach, acoustic strum.

 

‘Last Of The Legendary Bigfoot Hunters’; tabla intro, fuzz guitar, groovy, “cover me in feathers, like dead Liberace”.

 

‘Beat Poetry For The Survivalist’; homemade transistor wireless, lists, “heavy Zen and a record by KISS”.

 

‘Witch Tariff’; Enfield Hauntings, “all the bad cats know where it’s at”, ouija contact Johnny Ray, Billy Fury, “if you wanna be a legend you gotta break a few legs”.

 

‘Andy Warhol Was Not Kind’; glam beat, “we come in peace from Finsbury Park”.

 

‘French Man Glam Gang’; sleazy, electro-glam pulse, la discotheque, like Human League Glitter cover.

 

‘Ugly Dude Blues’; as it says, harmonica, RECORDER!,

 

‘Bobby’s Wild Years’; Cramps intro, angular/Ants verse, “everyone’s a genius in varying degrees”.

 

‘Rock N Roll Ambulance’; “hey, hey, hey”, get on board the rock n roll hearse, “our last hit-the closest to a hook that we’re ever gonna get”.

 

I can say this; if you don’t like recorders, don’t buy this album! But, if you’ve ever bought a Luke Haines album, you should buy this one. Righteous.

Buy ‘Beat Poetry For Survivalists’ Here

Facebook

Author: Martin Chamarette

 

France’s Wild Zeros play fun, frantic trashy rock & roll with a late-70’s punk edge, steeped in the sounds of DMZ, Vibrators, Teenage Head, and The Devil Dogs. Although formed in 2007, this gruesome threesome has been prolific as hell over the last two years, unleashing a slew of 7″ers on labels such as Crocodile, Chickpea, Nerve Centre and Permanent Freak. “Well Cooked!” compiles those releases and throws in two exclusive live tracks for good measure. The studio tracks feature band originals as well as covers of The Pack, The Penetrators, and The Cigarettes.

If you like your rock and roll frayed around the edges and straight outta the garage then what’s not to like about Wild Zeros? Of all the covers they’ve pulled in here one thing you notice is they’ve picked well and they’ve managed to take ownership of the tunes and make them fit right in with the Wild Zeros original.

I’m a big fan of the single always have been and when a compilation record gets put together it can showcase a band’s best bits for sure so what you might deduce here is Wild Zeros know their way around the scene and have plucked a few gems that you might well be unfamiliar with and done an exceedingly good job of compiling a really enjoyable long-player.  I’m sure should I have happened across this trio in a bar somewhere and they’d have knocked out a set comprising of these very songs in this manner I’d have been very impressed and would have wanted to tell everyone that would listen how good Wild Zeros are.  So on that evidence, I’ll say go check em out turn it up and get your freak on this tasty feast is ‘Well Cooked’ but certainly not overdone.

 

Buy ‘Well Cooked’ Here / Label

Facebook

Author: Dom Daley

If the likes of ‘Hell Awaits’, ‘Restless And Wild’, ‘Black Metal’ and ‘Screaming For Vengeance’ got you bouncing around the room with excitement the first time you heard them then ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ the Metal Blade debut album from Midnight is the “must hear” album of 2020 for you.

Long term Midnight fans will no doubt already be tutting at my reference to ‘Black Metal’ but across their impressive 17 year back catalogue there is no way of distancing the band’s sound from that primal guttural roar of Cronos and Co. They are the band I once dubbed as “being able to play Venom’s back catalogue better than Venom”, and I’m going to stick by that.

‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ then is Midnight possibly taking their first steps into “doing a Ghost” by moving away from the metal underground and into the more mainstream. Fear not though, as the title of opener ‘Fucking Speed And Darkness’ alludes Midnight main man Athenar isn’t about to be prancing about like the Pied Piper in its accompanying video any time soon. Nah, this is still very much “go for the throat” heavy metal music, it’s just this time around it really feels like Athenar has stepped up his game in the songwriting department and here all 10 tracks hit home with equal parts ferocity and finesse.

If I were to single out one thing that ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ has throughout its 33 minute running time it is that there is a clear focus to deliver brutal yet memorable songs, and therein lies the secret of why for me Midnight stands head and shoulders above the rest of the black metal pack. There’s still some tongue in cheek stuff going on (Devil’s Excrement’ for example – which could very easily be a Trigger McPoopshute song) but essentially this is heads down no-nonsense heavy metal celebrating everything that is great about the genre in 2020. The likes of ‘Cursed Possessions’, ‘Escape From The Grave’ and ‘The Sounds Of Hell’ would and should be instant dancefloor fillers at any metal all-nighter – if such things still exist?

Granted ‘Rising Scum’ might sail a little close to Venom’s ‘Nightmare’ in terms of being the obvious track to be pulled as a potential single, but this comparison is not being made because of plagiarism, it’s being made simply because it’s also a song driven by a drumbeat set to raise the dead. Likewise, the opening few bars of album closer ‘You Drag Me Through Fire’ are primetime Priest yet the song soon catapults the listener back into the very depths of hell with just enough time left to polish your studded gauntlets before pressing the “Repeat” button on your death deck.

At the top of this review I mentioned a quartet of heavy metal records that loom large over the metal community to this day, ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ has all the potential to be such an album for the generations to follow, you just need to decide if you want to buy the inverted cross CD or the limited coloured vinyl.

‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ is released Tomorrow get the date in your Necronomicon.

Buy ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ Here

Facebook

Author: Johnny Hayward

 

Legendary Northern Irish punk rock act Stiff Little Fingers are delighted to announce a full UK tour in March 2020 – The 2020 Tour.

The tour will see the band play their 29th consecutive Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom St. Patrick’s Day show as part of their traditional March tour. The band also headline London’s Roundhouse to end the 13-date run.

All the dates will feature support from The Professionals and TV Smith. The Roundhouse show only will also feature a very special guest slot from the Neville Staple Band. With an iconic career of over 40 years, Stiff Little Fingers remain as vital as ever.

The full tour dates are as follows:
Thursday 12thMarch 2020                               Bristol, O2 Academy
Friday 13thMarch 2020                                     Cardiff, Great Hall
Saturday 14thMarch 2020                               Birmingham, O2 Academy
Monday 16thMarch 2020                                Norwich, UEA
Tuesday 17thMarch 2020                                 Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom
Thursday 19thMarch 2020                               Troon, Concert Hall
Friday 20thMarch 2020                                     Newcastle, O2 Academy
Saturday 21stMarch 2020                                Leeds, O2 Academy
Monday 23rdMarch 2020                                Northampton, Roadmenders
Tuesday 24thMarch 2020                                 Nottingham, Rock City
Thursday 26thMarch 2020                               Portsmouth, Pyramids   
Friday 27thMarch 2020                                     Manchester, Academy
Saturday 28thMarch 2020                               London, Roundhouse

Tickets are available from www.slf.rocks

www.slf.rocks  / www.facebook.com/StiffLittleFingers  / www.twitter.com/RigidDigits

Punk Rock made by people with incredibly short attention spans make a record crazy how Jake Robertson finds the time because as well as being Alien Nosejob he is in about a bazillion other bands at the same time.

You’d think Jake Robertson would already have his hands full playing in the likes of Ausmuteants, Leather Towel, School Damage, Drug Sweat et al. But no, evidently there’s always time for one more.  Alien Nose Job’s (best not to ask what inspired that band name) music is inspired by the likes of Devo and a lot of early post-punk meets indie pop and other lo-fi offerings the range of influences is spectacular from the Ramones to Depeche Mode I kid you not.

There’s soul-pop, sci-fi slop-punk, straight-up college rock balladry and a whole lot in between. Surprisingly ‘Suddenly Everything is Twice as Loud’ is a record that flows really well. It’s rough as fuck and fits in with the Devo Lo-Fi thang. Sure, the use of cheap drum machines and guitars that sound like the strings are as old as the guy playing them but that’s all part of the charm these songs could unravel in an instant but of course, that’s the skill – they won’t.

‘Rainbow Road’ is pure pop with a soppy melody but its addictive with open chords strumming on an electric guitar and as soon as the solo comes in the song fades and it’s gone. The to follow on ‘Black Sheep’ is a Ramones blast of pure energy for the next two minutes.  Nothing soppy about that then. ‘Spin Cycle’ sounds like it was recorded in the next room on a Panasonic cassette recorder and was once an idea put together by Pete Shelly when he was recording a solo record.

Wonk Unit fans will find the western-like charm of ‘Daintree’ appealing. As if to highlight the eclectic nature of the songwriting on offer ‘Don’t Need Love’ is a shade of glam punk with a great melody and something that will burrow into your ear and take up residence then the synth pop post punk of ‘Freezing Cold’ throws another curveball. We’ve sadly reached the end of the record and there’s only time for the Depeche Mode meets Miscalculations of ‘Alian Island’ that will have a double take from any Numanoids checking in.

Give Alien Nosejob some time.  Let it sink in. Absorb its weirdness and off the wall nature and embrace it for what it is – a top album of top tunes.  I like it, I like it a lot now turn down the bass and tweek that high end a little and press loop I’m going back in.

 

Split release with Anti Fade (AUS). First 100 on Red Vinyl

 

Buy ‘Suddenly Everything Is Twice As Loud’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

THE HANGMEN are back this 2020 for a European Tour, the first European tour in seven years to present the excellent new records ‘Cactusville‘ released last year on Acetate Records. , The band hit  France, Portugal and Spain this time, save the dates you lucky Europeans maybe next time for us poor people on shit Island.
 8/3 PARIS – FR | LE KLUB
‪19/3‬ RENNES – FR | MONDO BIZARRO
‪20/3‬ LORIENT – FR | LE GALION
‪21/3‬ BORDEAUX – FR | TBC
‪22/3‬ BIARRITZ – FR | TBC
‪24/3‬ CORUÑA – SP | FORUM CELTIUM
‪25/3‬ OPORTO – PT | FERRO BAR
‪26/3‬ MADRID – SP | WURLIZTER BALLROOM
‪27/3‬ CASTELLON – SP | JAPAN ROCK
‪28/3‬ BENIDORM – SP | FUZZVILLE FESTIVAL
‪29/3‬ GRANADA – SP | LEMON ROCK
‪31/3‬ SEVILLA – SP | SALA X
1/4 VALLADOLID – SP | PORTA CAELI
2/4 ARRASATE – SP | GAZTETXEA
3/4 BURGOS – SP | SOHHO
4/4 PAMPLONA – SP | FONROCK FESTIVAL
5/4 BARCELONA – SP | ROCKSOUND

PRE-ORDERS NOW AVAILABLE AT THIS LOCATION

Sounding like you hope and dream, South Welsh rockers Buffalo Summer will be releasing their third-and-monumental-album ‘Desolation Blue’ on March 27th, 2020 through Silver Lining Music.

With their unique air of mystery and magic enveloped by some of the warmest and most addictive rolling riffs this side of the planet, ‘Desolation Blue’ was recorded capturing the band’s energy at its very best – live off the floor at Rockfield Studios and Monnow Valley Studio in Wales. Produced by Barrett Martin (The Screaming Trees) once more, and predominantly engineered by Tom Manning, the sessions took just 5 days, giving ‘Desolation Blue’ an electric, spontaneous edge.

Andrew Hunt (vocals), Jonny Williams (guitar), Darren King (bass) and Gareth Hunt (drums) are joined on the album by Peter Buck (REM) with a 12 string guitar on “The Bitter End” plus mandolin on “Last To Know”, Kelby Ray Caldwell (The Cadillac Three) with lap steel on “Hit The Ground Running”, Emma Bryden with cello on “Last To Know” and “Pilot Light” plus Barrett Martin stepping out of the production chair to play some percussion, vibraphone and Fender Rhodes & Hammond organ across the board.

Whether quoting Bukowski or throwing down the sort of thick, warm, swervy-curvy grooves that will have bikers revving their engines and patchouli-scented rockers rollin’ their bodies to the riffs, Desolation Blue is a masterfully mature step-up for Buffalo Summer. The first single, “Everybody’s Out For Number 1”, brims with the sort of cocky, hip-swinging attitude, and overall, from the bewitching guitars of “Deep Water” to the boot-stomping, lip-curling snarl of “Hit The Ground Running”  and classic rock swagger of “Untouchable”, Buffalo Summer have forged a dozen songs that will accent your life with the sort of freedom and attitude great classic rock ‘n’ roll brings.

Excited to bring Desolation Blue to the world, Buffalo Summer will be embarking on a string of UK dates from February 2020, kicking off in their hometown of Swansea. Full dates are below; tickets available here

UK Tour Dates:
28thFebruary – Sin City, Swansea
5thMarch – The Pier, Ilfracombe
6thMarch – The Station, Cannock
7thMarch – The Tivoli Venue, Buckley
8thMarch – B2 VENUE NORWICH, Norwich
10thMarch – The Black Heart, London
11thMarch – Waterloo Music Bar Blackpool, Blackpool
12thMarch – Bannermans Bar, Edinburgh
13thMarch – Nightrain, Bradford
14thMarch – Corporation Sheffield, Sheffield
15th March – The Patriot, Crumlin

FOLLOW BUFFALO SUMMER ON:
www.buffalosummer.net
www.facebook.com/buffalosummer
www.twitter.com/BuffaloSummerUK
www.instagram.com/buffalosummer

You know that feeling when you hear a record that you had zero expectations of and it made you sit up and pay attention, Well Pedaljets did that. The last time I played Pedaljets was when they released ‘Whats In Between’ almost seven years ago!  Thats almost ‘Chinese Democracy’ levels. This Kansas City band have been a unit since the mid ’80s and they’ve outseen the likes of some of their peers that have long since shot their bolt so to speak bands such as Husker Du, The Replacements and the likes of other contemporaries like Meat Puppets and the Flaming Lips all bands they’ve been lucky enough to play with over the years.

 

what we’ve got here is a band who knows a thing or two about this volatile game of Rock and Roll and who lay down some markers with the spikey ‘Dissasociation Blues’ with its sprightly pace and wholesome tone clashing with the rough overdriven guitars whilst Mike Allmayers vocals remind me of a midwestern Greg Dulli at times but with a wider range but on the opener, we are talking similar ballparks.

In contrast ‘Placid City Girl’ has the melody of REM being driven by the spirit of Lou Reed. ‘Down Town’ on the other hand rocks it up.  The band draws on all their combined experiences to cut a most listenable slice of rock. ‘Loved A Stone’ whilst knocking out a rough-edged riff the vocals are warm and engaging and it comes across as a band confident in who they are and what they are trying to achieve with their music. they stretch themselves in another direction with the more laid back ‘Transfer’s Done’ but that’s all blown away on the album highlight that is the menacing ‘This Is Sepsis’ that reminds me of The Fall meets the Cramps and swaps some tunes over a handshake and a few tabs. but its a really engaging tune with a really off the wall guitar break – excellent stuff indeed.

As the album meanders through a great blend of tunes from the chillin’ ‘Sleepy Girl’ passed the more sprightly ‘One Away’.  The title track is a great magnet that pulls in everything that’s gone before it on the record a really good track of timeless alternative Rock and Roll call it scuzzy Americana but it makes for a great tune before being serenaded by the acoustic ‘What Only Cats Chase’ with its sparse arrangement and warm strings.  Before signing off with the street rumbling of ‘The Fader’ and we’re done as the band rides off into the sunset like a Rock and Roll Thelma and Louise leaving the world fading in their rearview mirror amidst a cloud of dust.  Pedaljets might just have made their finest three-quarters of an hour of music yet.  Great effort guys – well worth the wait.

Facebook

Buy ‘Twist The Lens’ from Feb 14th

Author: Dom Daley