First up in anticipation of their soon to be released new album ‘Barrage Rock’ we thought you’d like to get down and get with it at Zegema Beach.

Next up is a video that should come with a health warning – no not because of the ginger mullet but the sandal and socks combo.  Jesus wept as my good friend ginge would say.  But there is no denying this bunch of Australian punks can write top tunes Smoko it might not be but zero fucks are given by the looks of it. *Not For Vegans*

Finally getting this week off to a bang seeing as they hit the UK clubs this week we have some classic Electric Eel Shock – Enjoy

 

Friday night it’s pissing down and we’re heading to some town in the middle of the Welsh valleys for what promises on paper to be one hell of a night out.  Once we navigate around the one-way system (Manhatten it isn’t) we still manage to fuck it up mind you but the Gods are with us and as we enter the venue Deathtraps are about ten seconds into their set and Loud it is.  To be fair I’ve seen these boys a few times lately and by a country mile, this was the tightest they’ve sounded and kudos to the sound man because he got their Garage punk action rock sound lock-in and wringing the shit out of the sweet spot.  With two albums in and another on the way, This three-piece are on fire and the people of Aberdare are in early and in fairness giving the band a healthy round of applause and their uncompromising set is going down really well (and so it should) With a well-balanced set of songs from both albums with ‘Teenage Knife Crime’ Going down particularly well and sounding huge.  Once again an enjoyable set but having a great mix helped and that not something you can always say about support bands.

Next up were local lads Heavy Flames at first they ambled onto the stage and looked like a bunch of misfits (maybe they are I’m not judging) but to be fair once they started playing their bluesy garage rock n roll sounded decent.  Of course, I didn’t have a clue what the songs were but they sounded alright and Bez on the harmonica was a nice touch to the sound.  Leading the band and patrolling the front of the dance floor the singer had an excellent voice and really belted out the numbers and to be fair pulled everything together.  I possibly wouldn’t go out of my way to see them but if they were on the bill I’d make sure I was there in time to catch them play. Which is something the locals obviously agreed with because the room was filling up nicely as Aberdare got down with their local band and really got behind them.

Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind has a brand new record out and tonight was the first night of the tour.  I’m always pleased to travel to this kind of venue because it would be so easy for a band as good as JJ&TRM to give somewhere like Jacs a swerve and just play your usual handful of big city shows to people who are generally spoilt or get more than their fair share of live gigs.  Well, tonight much like the last time they played south Wales in Ebbw Vale Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind really put on a show and for the next hour and some delivered life-affirming, high octane, earth-shaking rock and roll.

With a decent crowd intent on having a good time the band didn’t look or sound like a band on the first night of the tour as they burnt through the set list like a band possessed with hardly any mid-song banter Jim kept it tight and let the music do the talking and as they threw out songs from the debut album and the new ‘CollectiV’ they were going down a storm.

My trusty travelling companion was witnessing the power of a Jim Jones show for the first time and commented that Jim had the best Rock and Roll voice he had ever heard in a live setting and he was indeed correct and it was an intuitive observation as Brother Jim bellowed out his words of wisdom from his rock and roll altar.  Decked out in matching turtle necks the band were in danger of overheating such was the heat generated from their performance as the audience moved as one to songs like ‘Shazam’, ‘Killer Brainz’, or the magnificent ‘Satan’s Got His Heart Set On You’ Even songs off the first album like the epic ‘Til It’s All Gone’ or ‘Boil Yer Blood’ went down a storm. This band are on fire and whatever they play just sounds like dynamite easily one of the best live bands anywhere and tonight they weren’t going easy on Aberdare as they played until they couldn’t physically play anymore and the performance didn’t drop one single percent had they been playing the Albert Hall or Jacs it matters not because Jim Jones And The Righteous Mind are about the people and getting out there and doing it these guys walk the walk and Aberdare was lapping it up every second of it.

If you want Rock and Roll played with passion, conviction and a tonne of brilliant songs then hit up Jim Jones And The Righteous Mind because these lifers deliver every single time and not a second is wasted with insignificant guff because time is precious and ‘I Found Love’ its called Jim Jones And The Righteous Mind the time to Testify is now people sit up take note and jump on board. The Gospel of Rock and Roll was set on fire in Aberdare and I was a witness Now come back and play ‘Aldecide’ you must have forgotten to play it this time.  Simply stunning! now to spread the word and get people to join the CollectiV because the evil power of Rock and Roll is alive and well and with bands like this it’s in safe hands –  for now.

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Author: Dom Daley

 

*Seeing is believing so this week we don’t just bring you the opening night of the tour but in a few days you can read what went down when Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind played the iconic 100Club London*

Following on from his saw blade release previously this year the ever-popular Ginger Wildheart releases ‘Maggie‘ on a shaped 12″ it’ll be limited to 1000 copies and features Two brand new exclusive tracks from The Wildhearts frontman. Recorded as part of ‘ The Pessimist’ s Companion’ album sessions – to be commercially released later in 2019 – and produced by long-time collaborator Dave Draper (The Wildhearts, Ginger Wildheart, Ryan Hamilton, Terrorvision). ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ – originally performed by John Cooper Clarke and ‘No Regrets’ – originally performed by The Walker Brothers. Diverse as ever get ready to rumble in order to secure your copy expect to pay £15.99 for this one.

 

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’ s debut studio album ‘The Message‘ was released on Sugar Hill Records in October 1982 and is widely regarded as one of the most influential hip hop records of all time. The title track, seen as an offshoot of funk upon its release, has since been credited with re-calibrating the direction of hip hop and was hailed the Number 1 greatest hip hop song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. This limited expanded edition features bonus tracks and instrumentals pressed on 180g Sugar Hill Blue vinyl and also commemorates the 40th Anniversary of Sugarhill Records.  Oh, and you’ll get a penny change probably for this double album.

 

Green Day Woodstock 94‘.  don’t even look on eBay at this one it’ll make you giggle like a school kid with the prices quoted a laugh in themselves.  this will obviously be a very popular record to track down on RSD so good luck and remember kids don’t pay eBay prices. Even if it is a bog standard release no doubt with no picture inner bag it’s not on coloured vinyl nor is it 180gm so I’d imagine this will retail about £17.99 and I’ve no idea how many are pressed so I’d imagine a lot.  Pssst if it does sell out then there are bootleg copies on the web I’m sure of it a friend told me.

 

 

whilst we’ll brush over the plethora of Grateful Dead releases Green River are seeing a follow up to the ‘Rehab doll’ and ‘Dry As A Bone’ reissues a 2000 piece release of a live show,  It’s taken from the bands personal archives. Recorded on Sept 28,1984 at the Tropicana in Olympia Washington. It might be fairly unspectacular to most but I’d bet its a damn good show but might be a little uninspired considering what else is on offer. I’m sure it’ll set you back around the £20 mark.

 

 

 

 

One that will no doubt fly off the shelves (much like the CD did)is this fantastic offering from Heavy Drapes. Described as the brightest burning meteorites in the UK punk scene; a band that soared from playing to twenty-odd people (I’m sure they weren’t odd) in Bathgate in Scotland to the main stage of Rebellion 2017, the biggest punk festival in the world in little over 24 months. The sudden death of frontman and motormouth Garry Borland was the only thing that could have possibly stopped them and that tragic event has seen the best band in the UK dissolve before the release of this, their long-awaited debut album. Thankfully, the surviving band members and producer Mark Freegard have made sure that the legacy of Garry lives on. He lived and breathed this band and this is exactly how he would have wanted it. Garry spent every waking hour in the pursuit of his dream – the dream that Heavy Drapes would release the best album that they possibly could. It was a long time in the making; that was Garry, it had to be perfect. These ten songs stand tall and proud; Heavy Drapes took a very simple formula and gave it a towering, enigmatic makeover. Dangerous, glamorous, sexy and soaring, all of the things that punk rock generally isn’ t in the modern world. Heavy Drapes have crafted an album that truly doesn’ t have a dull moment on it – these songs do not need to be fawned over; they need to be played, loud, proud and indignant, just like Garry……NOW for the first time released on YELLOW VINYL. I’ll have one of those thank you very much! A bargain at £18.99

Ian Gillan ‘Mr. Universe’ 40th Anniversary edition what seems like a very poignant record now in light of the recent passing of Mr. Torme this might just be a hidden Gem in this years RSD releases. Demon Records proudly presents the 40th Anniversary Special Edition of Mr. Universe, the second album and the first issued in the UK. This exclusive and unique Record Store Day release includes Split Coloured (blue and red), 180g heavyweight vinyl. Pay around £22.99 for this one.

 

 

 

Now it wouldn’t be RSD without an Iggy Pop record so this year’s inclusion is a 7″ Dark green ‘Pain & Suffering‘ and its the first time on vinyl. Numbered. also, this year is this bad boy Never reissued on vinyl. No new vinyl is available online. Recorded live during the ”Lust for life” tour at l’Hippodrome de Pantin, Paris, on September 23, 1977. Released with authorization of Iggy Pop. this Packing includes Green color double vinyl with original record labels, printed inner sleeves, gatefold cardboard jacket with 2 pockets that has the original cover art and LP marketing OBI (side spine) with RSD April 2019 logo. but wait for it, it retails at mouth-watering £57.99 for the double vinyl import.  Due to that I’m out which is a shame.

 

This RSD release is the 2 x lp version of the album Jacobites ‘Robespierre’s Velvet Basement’ Originally issued in 85 as a single album as it was regarded as too expensive for a double lp . It has never been re issued on vinyl in the uk since that time . Here we have for the very first time the tracks in the original desired running order and remastered for vinyl and expanded to the 2 discs.  Presented in a gatefold sleeve with unseen photos from the time and liner notes from surviving member Dave Kusworth. ( partner Nikki Sudden having died in 2006). The album is already an Underground Classic. This version will be pressed on red white and grey splatter vinyl to incorporate the colours from the sleeve art. around £23.99 seems like a fair price.

 

Japan – ‘Life In Tokyo’ / ‘Quiet Life’ Released to mark the 40th anniversary of the groups’ 1979 breakthrough single ‘Life In Tokyo’ and follow up album ‘Quiet Life’, this 4 track, double A-side RSD exclusive 10″ is released on original Hansa red vinyl and includes ‘Life In Tokyo part I and II’ and the UK 7″ and extended mix of ‘Quiet Life’. coming in at £14.99 doesn’t seem to bad either.

 

 

 

 

Joe Strummer’s ‘The Rockfield Studio Tracks’ features ‘Forbidden City (Demo)’ and ‘Cool Impossible’. This limited edition 12″ is pressed on heavyweight vinyl and the artwork features an image of the original audio master tape with a removable photo of Joe.  These previously unreleased tracks from 1993 are taken from the Joe Strummer Archive and follows the recent release of the critically acclaimed ‘Joe Strummer 001’ – the first compilation to span Joe’s entire career outside of his recordings with The Clash featuring remastered and unreleased recordings from the 101ers, The Mescaleros, solo albums, soundtracks, and rarities. To be fair this one also looks like it’s coming in at £11.99 which is pretty decent for a 12″ these days.

Johnny Thunders – ‘Que Sera Sera Resurrected‘ The 1985 studio album gets the VIP treatment from Jungle and boy have they done a good job (RPM will review this in the run-up to RSD)- completely remixed and revamped with many unheard tracks – as it should have sounded. It Includes two unreleased tracks left off the original album, plus a bonus album with six previously unreleased outtakes and six live versions. Includes 12″ x 24″ lyric insert with unseen pics. Remixed by The Vibrators’ Pat Collier, for the first time with the guitar fully up in the mix! Johnny missed the mixing sessions, now it can be heard as he originally intended. Limited edition in purple & white vinyl. New sleeve notes by Thunders biographer Nina Antonia. Every Record Store Day has a winner and this boys and girls is this year’s winner.  a stunning album just got better! Expect to pay about £20.99 for this double album
Mansun – Legacy This double EP is on 12″ vinyl for the first time. The single’ s lyrics mocked pop and rock bands vying for stardom, but with tongue firmly in cheek as the memorable official promo video featured puppet versions of themselves on their pathway to fame. The EP was released in two parts in 1998, each with four songs, and is now released on one 12″ for the first time – on exclusive RSD19 red vinyl with an OBI wrap sleeve similar to the original 7″ single packaging. Not a bad little purchase this and should only be £19.99 Ben has it firmly in his sights but I’ve not been able to find out how many were pressed to ease his tension.
Ming City Rockers – ‘Lollipopper‘ This is the first Ming City Rockers release since their Steve Albini recorded album ‘Lemon’ in 2016. It is a new line up for the band who have been touring extensively in Europe for the last two years. It signifies a change of musical direction for them and whilst its obviously Mings, their love of hip hop has come to the surface. Mings will be touring the UK to support the release. It will be their first full UK tour since touring with Palma Violets in 2016. There will be a download code with the single. This song is the first produced by Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, The Kills, MIA, The Horrors etc) No sleeve and a bank bustin £10.99
Whilst on the letter M there are a few Motorhead releases out this year possibly the best being the artwork for their cover of the Ramones classic ‘Rockaway Beach’ but the picture disc 7″ is one Johnny Hayward has firmly in his sights and with it limited to 1000 copies he might have to camp out and sharpen his elbows ready for the bun fight. A 40th anniversary double 7” picture disc celebration of the loudest, dirtiest, bastard rock ‘n’ roll of 1979, the year Motorhead released both the seminal Overkill and Bomber albums. This die-cut, gatefold two single set contains the lead singles from those classic albums. Limited to 1000 Copies. £23.99 for this double single as well which isn’t cheap. Whilst ‘Rockaway’ will only set you back £13.99

The New Barbarians ‘Buried Alive‘ gets the triple album deal and clocks in at £33.99  The reasons that Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Ian McLagan, Stanley Clarke, Bobby Keys and Joseph ‘Ziggy’ Modeliste toured as  The New Barbarians in 1979 started piling up five years earlier, when Keith took time out from the Stones to join Ronnie, then  finding time away from The Faces to record his first solo album. Their obvious affinity, both musically and personally, led not only to  Ronnie replacing Mick Taylor in the Stones but to the formation of the New Barbarians as a truly back-to-basics Rock ‘n’ Roll project.Neatly timed to coincide with the punishment duly allotted for Keith’s 1977 Canadian drugs bust, the band performed alongside the  Stones at two 1979 benefit gigs for the Canadian National Institute For The Blind before embarking on a short North American tour.  In May they headlined at the Capitol Center Arena in Largo, Maryland, and this superb 3 LP set documents that show.  Originally released on black vinyl as a boxset in 2010, it is now being made available exclusively for RSD 2019 on black yellow and red vinyl x 3 (triple vinyl) in a beautiful gatefold sleeve – this historic epic show is an essential purchase for all fans of Ronnie, Keith and The Rolling Stones – for Rock ‘n’ Roll outlaws everywhere.

Staying with Keith and Ron for a bit there are several Stones related items up for grabs sadly nothing too spectacular with ‘Through The Past’ Volume two being reissued as well as Vol one being the ‘Big Hits’ High Tide and Green Grass album. with the most interesting being the 10″ of ‘She’s A Rainbow’  recorded a couple of years ago which will be about £11.99 wheras the two LP’s are both gatefolds so look to cough up £29.99 each!

The Sonics – ‘Night Beats‘ Few artists loom larger in the garage-rock legend than THE SONICS. With raunchy, cult classics such as “SHOT DOWN” and “HE’ S WAITIN” off their 1966 album, BOOM, the pioneering band staked their claim on rock ‘ n roll, putting the Pacific Northwest scene on the map and cementing their place as heroes for future generations. Those that followed include Danny Lee Blackwell’ s NIGHT BEATS, a group with its own underground origins as well as a direct, fuzz and feedback-coated link between the impact of THE SONICS and their own potent sound. It’ s this connection that led NIGHT BEATS to record BOOM in its entirety, a proper homage to their musical forbearers. Blackwell, along with an arsenal of ace musicians manage to maintain the spirit of original recordings like “CINDERELLA,” “DON’ T YOU JUST KNOW IT,” and a particularly unhinged version of “LOUIE LOUIE,” while injecting their own brand of earth-quakin’ soul-shakin, maximum R&B. Blackwell takes the lead on vocals and guitar, interpreting Gerry Rosalie’ s mean scream with ease. Mike Brandon holds things down on drums as his partner in crime, bass genius Nate Ryan, while Julien O’ Neill grooves things up on keys and Joe Santa Maria wails on the horns. Finishing touches come from Marlon Rabenreither on acoustic guitar, plus Cole Alexander and Dan Gerbang on backing vocals-all working together to keep THE SONICS’ legacy intact, even as they tear the whole place down.Next time you hear a loud boom and your windows rattle, it’ s probably a sonic boom alright; but on the other hand, it might just be “THE SONICS BOOM.”  £23.99 for the single album.

Thin Lizzy – Black Rose Released in 1979, Black Rose is one the iconic Irish bands best loved albums, the record has the only occasion guitarist the late Gary Moore recorded with the band and his influence is felt throughout the album. The album peaked at No 2 in the UK charts and is one of the bands most successful albums and a firm favourite with the fans This version exclusive for Record Store day contains the original album as well as a set of unheard (till now) Demos of the record from Phil Lynott’s archive. The album has enhanced artwork and a new cut has taken place of the record for the best audio quality. It’s a double album and coming in at £29.99 doesn’t seem too bad considering the vaults have been raided for the bonus disc

Teenage Fanclub ‘King’ Repress of second album by Fanclub, originally deleted on its day of release in 1991.  don’t snooze this time will cost around £22.99

UK Subs – ‘Another Kind Of Blues’ the 40th ANNIVERSARY edition of the debut album by Punk Legends U.K.SUBS.Originally issued in 1979 and now issued as a deluxe double 10″, in two different shades of Blue Vinyl. It comes with a gatefold sleeve and two inner bags featuring new liner notes by the band members plus lyrics and a repro of the original inner bag. This new edition now features 6 bonus tracks including the UK hit singles “Tomorrows Girls”  and “Stranglehold” £25.99 for these 10″ records.

Various – ‘Max’s SKAnsas City’ Recently unearthed ‘lost recordings’ from the early New York ska scene in 1980, in limited edition milky clear vinyl LP. When the NYC ska scene germinated in parallel to the UK Two-Tone movement, the Max’s Kansas City club was at the heart of it. The clubs pioneering record label, run by Max’s booker Peter Crowley, recorded a number of sessions in 1980, including with legendary Skatalites founder Roland Alfonso. But only two 7” singles, by San Francisco’s The Offs and NYC’s The Terrorists, ever got issued. Subsequently, the NY ska scene exploded, with many bands achieving great success. Only now can these previously unreleased studio tracks by Roland Alphonso, The Terrorists and The Offs be heard. The album has 15 tracks, eleven of which are issued for the first time, and it comes with authoritative sleeve notes by ska writer and player ‘Marco On The Bass’.and retailing at £17.99 its one of the best bargains this RSD

Venom – Manitou  Released as part of the bands 40th Anniversary celebrations this shaped disc is a classic slab of Black Metal and we all love a bit of Black Metal and Venom this 12″ is going to be the (un) Holy grail as there are only 300 copies made.  We’ll be filling up on cup-o-soups of virgins blood the night before and looking for some Bealzibub assistance in picking up a copy Johnny Hayward has put the call out to his local coven to ensure he gets his cloven hoof on a copy and with it costing £21.99 I’m only disappointed it was £6.66 ITs a teaser for the soon to be released whopper of a box set that is believed to be signed by Cronos as well. Seems like as good a time as any to play this then

X-Ray Spex – ‘I Am A Cliche’ Available for the first time on double coloured vinyl (pink and green dayglo to be precise), this brand new compilation brings together all the classic tracks from punk legends, X-Ray Spex’ exclusively for Record Store Day 2019. The limited edition album will be available on pink and green vinyl and packaged in a gatefold sleeve featuring exclusive images from the Poly Styrene archive. The album features the classic singles ‘ Oh Bondage Up Yours!’. ‘ Identity’, ‘ The Day The World Turned Day-Glo’, ‘Germ-Free Adolescents’ and ‘ Highly Inflammable’ plus a bonus 12″ featuring an early 1977 live recording from The Roxy Club, London. A hefty £29.99 will see this added to your collection.  And that just about wraps up RPM’s guide to what’s hot in this years RSD shakedown.  you might agree or disagree you might wonder why on earth we haven’t mentioned this or that and where is the Stiv OST we wanted to keep something under wraps for ourselves Doh!  happy shopping folks I hope you get what you want and it doesn’t leave you short. If it does don’t worry its only rock and roll.

Let us guide you through some of our choice picks from the pile of this years RSD releases and the ones we fancy as well as the ones that might just be a Record shop bun fight. As fans go toe to toe for that collectible 7″ that you hope and pray won’t be on eBay for even larger inflated prices than you pay on the day.  Anyway, we’ve picked through the list alphabetically and where possible we’ll give you online guide prices (some of which will make your eyes water).  This is part one – part two will follow tomorrow.

First up is a no brainer for us as The Alarm celebrate reissuing ‘Strength’ on vinyl and give it the old dark arts of a remaster there is also a RSD double live album of one of their best bootlegs live from Boston Orpheum in 85 on the Strength Tour. Four of the tracks (Where Were You Hiding?, Deeside, Sixty Eight Guns & Knocking On Heaven’ s Door), were used as B-sides and extra tracks with the band’ s ‘ Spirit Of ‘ 76’ UK single release of early 1986 which put the band into the UK Top 30, with ‘ Howling Wind’ being issued in the USA only as part of the ‘ Live For Life’ IRS Records cancer benefit compilation album. The audio was recorded by WBCN Radio Station in Boston, MA on November 9th 1985 and was a pretty hot show to record.  Certainly, one to pick up.

 

Second up is possibly one of this year’s most popular releases that of ‘Bingo Hand Job – Live At The Borderline 91‘ Who you might ask? Well, if you have asked its probably not for you then.  It’s none other than REM and some friends such as Billy Bragg pre-MTV unplugged superstardom taken from a set they played in London under the name BHJ.  Again this is a two-disc LP and has reached mythical status amongst REM fans over the years as to its validity.  Heads down 1-2-3-4 Go! Expect to pay stupid money for a copy of this if you find yourself without a copy on the day.

Next we see Bob Dylans classic ‘Blood On The Tracks‘ being advertised as the original New York Test Pressing and its also to be found on rough Trades website for £26.99 the story goes like thus – Months before Bob Dylan released ‘Blood On The Tracks’ in early 1975, a small number of test pressings were circulated, consisting entirely of material from sessions at A&R Recording Studios in New York City. (Dylan re-recorded five of these tracks in Minneapolis for inclusion on the final album.) Those original records were soon bootlegged, and the alternate history of one of Dylan’s most acclaimed works was born. This LP is an exact duplicate of the test pressing, containing unique mixes from the New York session available for the first time. It doesn’t say if this is limited so I’d imagine this might well be pressed in big numbers thus making it available after the furor of RSD has gone.

Next is Brett Smiley and ‘Sunset Towers‘ an eight-track release. Brett recorded a session at what was to become Cherokee Studios, in the Valley in Los Angeles. Owned by The Robbs, three brothers who had previously been the house band on ‘60s TV music show Where The Action Is (and who backed Brett on the session) and produced by Del Shannon, the session has lain in the vaults till now. This album of previously unreleased recordings is a what could have been for American glam music. expect to pay £21.99 for this album

RSD stalwarts Cheap Trick have something to offer this year that is one of the limited pieces and will be globally sought after ‘The Epic Archive Vol. 3 (1984-1992) (Limited 2-LP “Flame Red” Vinyl Edition)’ After Releasing Two Packages of Cheap Trick Rarities on LP for Record Store Day and BlackFriday to Great Acclaim (and Great Sales), Real Gone Music Is Back with Its Third and FinalCompilation of Hard-to-Find Epic Label Nuggets. coloured vinyl and limited to 2000 pieces this will fly which is why they’ve put an eye-watering price of £44.99 on it for a double album! Ouch!

The first seven-inch single we are really interested in is from Chuck Mosley. Never before released its limited to 750 copies worldwide. Chuck former singer with Faith No More, Bad Brains, Indoria and Primitive Race decided to pursue a solo project with a raw, psychedelic, acoustic direction. Armed with his guitar, a vocal effects processor, and a few friends (Cris Morgan, Randy Pirosko, and Douglas Esper), he embarked on a two-year tour and completed a few recording sessions. During a six-hour block in August of 2017 with producer Joe Haze, Chuck recorded two covers, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” originally written by Prince (and originally made famous by Sinead O’ Connor), and “Take this Bottle” by Faith No More (a FNM cut recorded during Mike Patton’ s reign). The two recordings have never been released until now. This ended up as Chuck’ s last time recording in a studio before his death on November 9th 2017. His guitar solo on Nothing Compares 2 U never got completed as the band had to leave for a show that night in Salt Lake City. Tracks : A Side Nothing Compares To You B Side Take This Bottle.

Bowie always a RSD favourite for the scalpers as they look to take advantage of the limited quantities available this year sees ‘Pin Up’s‘ getting the picture disc treatment and already its advertised on eBay for upwards of $80 a snip I guess if you can’t be bothered to go find a copy and go against everything RSD stands for even if it does look a very nice record. Good luck baggin’ one of these folks.  It doesn’t say how many have been pressed but I’d imagine it’s not enough to satisfy the demand.

 

 

 

The Crow – OST Original motion picture soundtrack to the movie of the same title, to be released on vinyl for the first time since its original 1994 release. The album features covers, including Nine Inch Nails who covered Joy Division’ s “Dead Souls”, Pantera who covered Poison Idea’ s “The Badge”, and Rollins Band who covered Suicide’ s “Ghost Rider”, and Rage Against the Machine re-recorded their 1991 B-side “Darkness of Greed” and renamed it “Darkness” for this soundtrack. It’s a three-sided record with side four being an etching.  It seems like this is the popular thing at the moment to leave side four blank and put an etching on it but hey maybe I’m old fashion I’d rather some more music.  Expect to pay  an eye watering £34.99 for this but it is limited to 1000 pieces

 

 

Dexys Midnight Runners Live At The BBC‘ is also on some RPM lists as this 1982 recording of the band at the peak of their powers and for the first time on vinyl, this legendary Newcastle BBC In Concert was regarded as a turning point in the band’ s career. the concert features a host of the finest Dexys’ tracks as well as introducing the audience to Dexys new “Celtic” sound including ‘Geno’, ‘Let’ s Make This Precious’, ‘Jackie Wilson Said’, ‘The Celtic Soul Brothers’… The concert introduces the Emerald Express string section and the audience are treated to the not heard before ‘Come On Eileen’-listen to the reaction after… The LP set finishes with 4 tracks from a David Jensen session from the same year. This double album pressed on Green Vinyl will look to set you back £27.99 if you’re lucky enough to bag one of the 1400 copies.  Good luck!

The first real big money item has to be ‘The Doors – London Fog’ pressed on 10″ this Individually numbered limited edition (if you can call 18,000 limited – cough cough) will look to set you back £42.99. It’s a Lift-top package designed to look like a vintage storage box.and has Seven songs on both CD and a 10-inch record that’s made to resemble a test pressing, Postcards, Setlist handwritten by John Densmore, Liner notes included from Sunset Strip legend Ronnie Haran-Mellen and Five black and white 8×10 reprints of unpublished photos.  sounds neat but limited?

 

Pink & Blue Double LP (3 sided, the 4th side is etched) live recording from The Oakland Coliseum April 1984 another I know several RPM scribes will be all over this in their shoulder-padded coats jostling to the front of the shop to make sure they get their copy.  Oh didn’t I say its Duran Duran. This one surfaced originally as a bonus to the 2010 reissue of ‘Seven And The Ragged Tiger’ ‘As The Lights Go Down’ has never been officially released on vinyl.  until now that is. only 5,500 pieces available.  One thing I often think about RSD is the packaging often it leaves a lot to be desired and seems rushed considering the mark up they put on the records it could and should be much better.
Whilst the Fall seems to have about as many releases as they had band members in the 90’s its Fallen Angels that really interests us.  Getting the double coloured vinyl treatment it also comes in a gatefold and has a cool booklet with extensive notes and pictures from the recordings.  It features the original album plus bonus Lp of singles and extra tracks. In 1984 Hanoi Rocks were signed to CBS and about to hit the charts they found themselves with a few weeks off. Meanwhile, The Vibrators were also taking a break, and Knox had some great new songs sitting there waiting for fate to intervene. It did, and they got together for this much-lauded and awesome album.  Jungle has done this release proud and you should be able to score a copy for around £21.99 which is money well spent if you ask me.  RPM will be reviewing this release in depth just before RSD.
Frank Black also sees his long out of print albums ‘Teenager OF The Year‘ and self-titled albums get a long overdue re-release on coloured vinyl but these should be available after RSD has passed.
We’ll end this first part of our RSD round up with another 7″ single this time it’s a Red Vinyl contains two previously unreleased mixes of the classic single ‘ Your Generation’ and later b-side ‘ Trying For Kicks’ From the mighty Generation X. Both tracks are previously unreleased and are Exclusive to this release and do not feature on the Deluxe Edition of the band’s album that is being released later on in April through Chrysalis Records.

Now expanded to a four-piece Old Firm Casuals are back with a big sounding Rock record no make that Huge sounding record. Sure they mix it up a bit but the riffs are like Duffy when he was on his DC Electric tip and this is more of that Cult from Electric era riffage than aping old Oi! greats but there is plenty of punk and Oi! to keep the masses happy sure there is but OFC are more than that and this record is proof of that.

Lars voice might not be classicly trained but his stories are compelling and there is passion aplenty in there and the tone of this really lends itself to lars style.  From the spikey top to the skinhead boots and braces OFC is more of a melting pot than a lot of people give them credit for and this album proves that.

Classic rock riffs and handclaps to rapid hardcore blasts ‘Holger Danske’ has it all. From the opening horn blowing this might just be the bands finest hour. ‘Get Out Of Our Way’ takes no prisoners with a brutal full bloodied left and right hook straight from the off. It’s like Venom and Motorhead playing some Oi! and Punk and the breakdown is rather tasty.

‘Motherland’ and its heads down lets fuckin’ ave it! Is a bit of a foot stomper with swirling keyboards and a trademark Lars vocal.  Some great backing vocals that get the blood pumping. Then back to the big riff of ‘Pendulum’, perfect to get any dancefloor a bit messy and some great lyrics.  The riffin’ on ‘De Ensulum Uve’ is more Angus than Hetfield but only lasting for just under a minute it sets the tone rather nicely for the title track and its acoustic guitars which wasn’t something I was expecting but it was a welcome trade-off and only adds to the grandness of the song and again Lars tells the story and you want to listen to his tales from Denmarks history its something that works really well..

They continue to raise an eyebrow as the street Rock and Roll of ‘Casual Rock and Roll’ is anthemic and fist pumping. There’s time for some AC/DC riffing on the intro and this will get the blood pumping. It’s a simple tune and the chorus will no doubt get the crowd singing along.   There’s always time for a quick blast of hardcore street punk and ‘Traitor’ is that song.  Short sharp and fighting for its space in an already really good and diverse record the band moves effortlessly from style to style whilst keeping it all smooth and like it belongs on the same record.

Another instruments intro or short interlude is ‘The Golden Fall Pt 1’ which leads the band into the hard ‘Thunderbolt’ which riffs like fuck coming over more Hetfield or Body Count than some straight up street punk or Oi! which is what sets these boys apart that they are prepared to take that risk and if a song needs to be heavier then so be it to be fair ‘Overdose On Sin’ is more early Slayer complete with Moon the Loon drumming before the guitar shredding begins and its heads down and see you at the end with a fuckin’ huge sound its rapid and menacing and that bass thump is excellent.  There are no prisoners taken here its shock and awe all the way. Driving the pace of the song to be one of the best tracks on the whole record.  Great stuff!

It only leaves ‘Nation On Fire’ that sounds most like it could be off a Bastards record and to end ‘Zombies’ is a slower more menacing introduction before gathering pace and it’s a melting pot of several styles and they’re all stitched into one cohesive blend that makes this band different and this second album very listenable indeed.   ‘Holger Danske’ still lies sleeping and if he wakes and needs a soundtrack to go into battle then maybe he could give Lars a call because the OFC have got some tunes he might be interested in. It doesn’t matter if you’re a metal head or a punk rocker or boots and braces type of guy this album might open you up to other styles and the bottom line is Lars and the boys have hit the bullseye because ‘Holger Danske’ is game set and match and easily their best offering to date. and Lars that is one fierce Donkey Jacket fella you are rockin’ it big time.

Buy Holger Danske Here

Author: Dom Daley

You never really know what musical curveballs you are going to get when a new album from Swedish streetpunks City Saints drops on your desk for review, although with their fourth long player ‘Pa Svenska’ you could say the writing is on the wall, or perhaps, the sleeve.

That’s because ‘Pa Svenska’ or ‘In Swedish’ is a collection of a dozen songs written and recorded in the band’s mother tongue.

Having had a bit of a soft spot for bands that do just this ever since I first heard the French language version of Trust’s ‘Repression’ LP (I learned more French from that album than I ever did from my piss poor chain-smoking schoolteacher that’s for sure) and more recently the likes of Kvelertak and the hugely impressive Ondt Blod having both made sizeable dents in my trusty old Wharfedale cones, I have to admit I’m really intrigued to find out what City Saints have to offer this time around.

Diving straight in then and if anything ‘Pa Svenska’ is the most straight-ahead street punk rock ‘n’ roll record that Stefan Johansson on vocals and harmonica, Gabriel Aadland on guitar and backing vocals, Carl Linnaeus on bass and Robbin Larsson on drums have recorded since their ‘Kicking For The Working Class’ debut.

The opening 1-2-3 of ‘Banditer’, ‘Verklighet’ and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ all motor along on razor sharp riffs filled with infectious melody lines and if anything these songs remind me of another album that I was listening to around the time I first got into Trust, namely Rose Tattoo’s seminal debut record.

‘Enade’ (a song about uniting against the evils of politics) has more than a hint of City Saints long time influence, the mighty Cock Sparrer, going on in the guitar intro and I’m pretty sure that the total thrash out that is ‘Skallebank’ has more than a little bit of a Dirt Box Disco going on within its grooves. This is still very much City Saints though and as ‘Karma’ proves a fantastically catchy song is a fantastically catchy song whatever language it is written and sung in.

The boogie-tastic ‘Göteborg’ ‘Fyllecell’, ‘Stryk’ and ‘Tvär’ will immediately have you tucking your thumbs into your belt loops as the Swedish frantic four invite us to a riotous double denim party, you just need to bring your own party seven to make it complete. Rounding things off on side two ‘Parasiter’ and ‘Svin’ somehow manage to drink in the spirit of early Undertones whilst raising a one finger Stooges piano driven salute to racists everywhere.

With a running time of 28 minutes, ‘Pa Svenska’ simply flies by in a blur of memorable riffs and hooks and you’ll be speaking Swedish before you know it.  Perfekt!

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Author: Johnny Hayward

We had the original record come out in 1985 on IRS records then we had the box set in 2000 that had a bunch of bonus cuts from B sides all pulled together then in 2015 we had the 30th Anniversary edition that was re-recorded and re-arranged. Peters himself is of the opinion song for song word for word its the strongest album of the original line ups material in the ’80s.

A big claim indeed and one that will no doubt cause debate amongst the believers from here until the cows come home.  For me, Not a chance…am I getting into that debate here, I’ll keep my powder dry, for now with regards to where ‘Strength’ fits in to the bands best list.

Fast forward to 2019 and as part of the reissue project Peters is undertaking we’ve already had the ‘Eponymous’ and ‘Declaration’ records they come out last year and to be fair they were fantastic in  content, packaging and pulling the releases and periods of The band together under one title.

they were a fine example of how to carry out such a mammoth labour of love. Whilst it showed a band that might have been a bit nieve from their first recordings they soon found their feet and identity in the big wide world of the music biz and the hunger and desire to compete and succeed was evident. A band who could write some tunes as well and ones that have stood the test of time. So onto ‘Strength’ and that difficult second album – stand still and just be content with what you’ve got or twist and grow. For a band who were forging its own slice of history amid some pretty fierce journalism and a fairly hostile press who fought hard to bury the band amongst some rubbish comparisons and cheap jibes but what doesn’t kill you and all that the Alarm weren’t having any of it and rose above the jibes.

The Alarm grew in confidence and stature and the fans on the street got behind them we knew the score.  They played the UCLA to a big crowd granted it was a free show but it was the Alarms show and whilst the mix was a bit fucked and lacked a bit of Sharpies bite and Twists bass drum it was still great to see and hear the band breaking historic ground and all with some dodgy haircuts and questionable wardrobe choices (but it is the mid 80’s I hear you say) anyway this isn’t a history lesson of my youth its a review of the bands sophomore album ‘Strength’.

I think Peters has said that McDonald had said to him to write songs about himself and who and where he’s from rather than big grand gestures which he took on board and penned some of the bands most popular material in ‘Spirit Of 76’, ‘Deeside’ and ‘Walk Forever By My Side’.

I’m not one of the fans who think the original line up is the only lineup and the band and songs cease to exist after Brixton, far from it, but, sure I have my favourite periods and albums like most people. If I’m honest I loved the ‘Eponymous’ period and ‘Declaration’ has the best songs and that’s when I got into this band and they were mine and were a big part of growing up. I loved the sound of the electrified acoustics of those early years and the live shows were sensational so the more chart-friendly sound and ‘produced’ mix of ‘Strength’ took some getting used to. There are parts of the album I adored and still do ‘Deeside’ and ‘Majority’ being two of my favourites from the period I could never believe how the latter was only the B side to ‘Strength’. Of course, I wanted “my band” to be the biggest band on the planet and wanted them to have every success and people to like them as much as my friends and I did as we followed them around the country  and thought that ‘Absolute Reality’ was going to be where they were heading and I loved that as it was such a great song but sadly it was missing from the album when it hit the shelves. What were they doing? How could they? Thats two songs left off the album – man this is going to be some follow up if they didn’t make the cut.

Anyway, I’d heard a lot of the songs live before I’d heard the record and ‘Knifedge’ was always a great opener so this was fine with me it’s got a good tempo and it rocked on the record as it did live. Looking back I can’t believe the first three songs on the album clock in well over five minutes which is nuts when you think about it and maybe a good two minutes too long and I never liked the keyboard sound on ‘Dawn Chorus’ because I loved the song and the way the verses built and the gang vocals worked but those keyboards. Now don’t get carried away its not like I hated the record, honest.

Then to follow that they had the epic almost ‘Stairway To Heaven’ like ‘Spirit Of 76’ that built and built and told the story of where Peters came from and I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this song and there have been times when I’ve loved it having seen it performed well over 100 times and some and other times I found it bloated and hoped it was omitted from the set.  Then when I decided I wanted to write a review for the release I have played it quite a few times probably more than any other period over the last thirty years (God now I feel Old).

I was quite excited at the package of the CD and vinyl set having the motherload of tracks from the period and I guess some time away from playing ‘Strength’ maybe laying fresh ears on it has given me distance and perspective.  I now see it like a long lost and fondly looked upon relative rather than the debut albums nemesis and songs like ‘Spirit’ rightly hold a special place in the band’s history.  I can remember thinking – the cheeky bastards having the front to make a seven-minute single and have female backing vocals and a Pete Townsend guitar break in the middle as the song seemed to take on part 1 part 2 and so on.  But time has healed and I now look back at some of the shows where I sat on my mate or brothers shoulders and sang every lyric as my life depended on it and maybe I was harsh on such a great tune.

Maybe it says more about me and my concentration span that the shorter faster songs were the ones that most appealed and to be fair ‘Deeside’ has stood the test of time it was always a belter and I still love hearing it.

‘Father To Son’ always struck me as a bit of an album track. Whilst showing the band had evolved and could write a pop song (of sorts) it was never going to be a single and I doubt it will be any alarm fans favourite track but it worked on the album and to be fair Sharpy plays a blinder with some great fills and playing and when I’ve heard it live in recent years its sounded great. ‘Only The Thunder’ is another I always classed as a bit of an album track.  Better than ‘Father To Son’ but quite lyric heavy but one where they got the balance of the commercial keyboard sound with the electric guitar band blends right on the money.

I always loved ‘The Day The Ravens Left The Tower’ and loved the lyrics and the arrangement and thought Peters turned in a fantastic performance with his vocals and always loved it live. I can remember I always used to wish the lyrics would come true (some things never change eh). Nine songs on my original version Ten on the US one which only left that soppy ballad at the end.  ‘Walk Forever By My Side’ was always a cheesy song (sure I had it played at my wedding). It was always the song to take a toilet break live or get to the bar and nothings change there, my wife will no doubt have it as her favourite Alarm song which says it all. Anyway, the remaster does nothing to change my mind there then. Possibly The Alarms ‘Marmite’ song.  Anyway the addition of ‘Absolute Reality’  warms the cockles of my heart always was and still is one of the bands finest songs. A great choppy riff and some great lyrics to boot I never liked the pound shop U2 jibes and I still don’t. besides, U2 never wrote a song this good and I’m sticking to that ‘Absolute’ was a game changer. As was the ‘Absolute tour’.

To complete this reissue Peters has delved into his diaries and packaged the recordings like the first two and bloody lovely they are too but this seems more comprehensive well above and beyond than 99.9% of other bands will deliver.  Rich in detail and with the required amount of passion you’d expect from the man who still believes in Rock and Roll and leaves nothing on the stage every time he performs. When nobody else cared about his band and legacy he did and that’s why he’s built it up from the smoldering embers of peoples memories to a raging bonfire The Alarm is currently. Bloody good on him for that too hard work and passion has paid off.  I saw him play to several dozen in Newport or St Asaphs or Swansea or wherever and all these years later its sold-out Gatherings and university Great Hall sell outs as decades later many reconnect as well as get into the band for the first time and that’s down to the hard work and dedication of Peters and his team at the MPO but without his catalogue of songs it simply wouldn’t be possible.

I’m still a fanboy and happy to admit it,  I buy all the records and was buzzing when this dropped on the mat. Opening the package and digging in and rediscovering songs I ignored and also having songs like the Acoustic  ‘Absolute Reality’ in its proper place alongside ‘Caroline Isenberg’ is sweet (but I still can do without the progtastic mix of ‘Strength’) I do however have to concede that the single version of ‘Spirit’ just doesn’t seem right at only four minutes.  Now I wouldn’t have admitted that back in ’85, no chance.

there is a second CD in this epic collection which pulls together the Absolute tour flexi with the rehearsals where they blast through some pretty ropey versions of songs like ‘Get It On’ as well as a top version of ‘Dawn Chorus’ without those keyboards. Whilst Twist does his best Moon the Loon on ‘Summertime Blues’ even if Peters hasn’t a clue of the lyrics, it matters not. They even open up their hard rockin side with a metal as fuck ‘Burn’ complete with the laughter such a tune deserved, (good on you boys).

The ‘Strength’ with added lyrics which sound just weird (well done for not running with these, “over the rainbow, I can hear you now”Lyrics)  Michael?

Throughout the jam sessions, the one thing that shines is how much fun the four of them were having just playing music and hanging with mates doing something they possibly thought was never going to happen or places they could only dream about going were now a deserved reality.

It’s funny the songs that I love from the record are the ones jammed live and hardly altered and ‘One Step Closer’ was and still is one hell of a song and the live jam of it on this CD is mega. When a band hit that groove no matter how its arranged may it be acoustic – full band – whatever, songs like ‘Closer’ are timeless and from the first time I heard it, it was The Alarm in a nutshell. Just four minutes full of passion, bristling with energy and Dave Sharps finest few minutes as a songwriter.  from the breakdown to the build it back up its a magnificent song then and still is now and this is the best version.

Its no secret my love of everything Rod The Mod from The Faces to Leopard print trousers. I was always loving The Alarm having a go at ‘Maggie May’ a song I think I first heard them do in the Marquee Club back in the midst of time. hearing it here is a thing of beauty as is the politicly charged ‘Stand Down Mergret’ and ‘Maggies Farm’ thrown in for good measure (I’m always down for a bit of Thatcher-bashing). Hearing the Brass Band warming up is a bit weird but I did quite enjoy the live version of ‘Walk Forever’ but don’t tell my wife.

So, That’s the CDs dealt with now onto the Vinyl.  Ok, I won’t go on too much honest. (Well I did say I was a Fanboy and Classic Rock, Uncut or Record Collector won’t give The Alarm the attention they deserve much to their eternal shame)

The second record features nine demos for the original album concept of ‘Absolute Reality’ including three previously unreleased songs ‘Sons Of Divorce’, ‘Black Side Of Fortune’ and ‘Memorial Day’. ‘Strength’ engineer Nigel Luby was at the desk for these songs and it features early versions of ‘Knife Edge’ and ‘Majority’ both with different lyrics that take some getting used to for us fanboys as well as the original version of ‘Deeside’ which was then known as ‘Steeltown’. But it’s great to hear how the record grew and morphed into what was finally released. If I’m honest I prefer this production its got grit and more like the band sounded live its got some of the gloss that made the commercial record radio-friendly stripped away and its all the better for it. ‘Sons Of Divorce’ sounds great and you wonder why this was shelved. ‘One Step’ always was and still is a thing of beauty great lyrics – great arrangement – great delivery. Fantastic to hear this take on it.  A few lyric changes to get your noggin’ round but it’s worth it for ‘Black Side Of Fortune’.

The album also includes two other unreleased demos being ‘In The Cold Light Of Day’ (which was originally written for The Who’s Roger Daltrey), and Dave Sharp’s ‘River Still To Cross’. Something of huge interest to Alarm fans from back in the day no doubt about it and what makes this collection so special.

I make no apologies for waffling on because for me its what make this crazy business so special and why I think about music pretty much from the moment I wake until I finally rest my head. A hugely enjoyable package for fans and whilst it might not have such strong appeal to casual fans but it’s this kind of attention to detail that fans of bands love and I’m lucky it’s “my band”, whilst I currently own more copies of the original studio albums than it is healthy to admit to,  due to worn out copies or one copy picking up an annoying click during the quiet bit of ‘Spirit Of 76’ or I needed the picture disc then this is a most welcome addition to that collection. These days I look after my records correctly like any responsible parent or grown-up should unlike back in my youth.  My advice is don’t delay it get on the link and buy it you absolutely won’t regret it. Ladies and Gentlemen the ‘Strength’ Well is well and truly drained along with the Boston show that is coming out in April for RSD. Fill yer boots.

So, Now the wait begins for the ‘Eye Of The Hurricane’ Treatment and another ‘war and piece’ length review. We’ll keep you posted. Keep the faith.

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Buy Strength Here

Author: Dom Daley

Nashville based guitar and vocalists are a dime a dozen, but some are worth a bit more currency. Spotlight onto JD Simo. His honest, raw take on the tried and tested blues-rock formula certainly hits home with me. I grew up surrounding myself with blues so JD’s fresh take on this is a warm, welcoming hug coupled with a punch in the guts… I love it!

 

‘Boom Boom, Out Go the Lights’ kicks off proceedings with a wall of fuzzy guitars and tasty licks. I’m feeling elements of the chaotic nature of Buddy Guy coupled with the rock sensibilities of more modern blues torchbearers such as Gary Clark Jr. The lick around the one minute mark even makes me think of a late 60s Cream era Eric Clapton throwing some woody sounding licks over the Disraeli Gears album.

 

‘Off at 11’ brings a more mellow, jazzy edged shuffle but I can’t help but feel something is going to explode out of the speakers at any moment. Oh and here it comes, the wah soaked licks. Simo is making that guitar scream and shout. This track takes me from Albert King to Jimi Hendrix via a sea of psychedelic madness.

 

‘You Need Love’ picks the pace up again with a heavy, gritty stomp. The groove is heavy here and the guitar licks are flying. Simo has taken everything good about the 60s and 70s, coupled it with classic blues, put it in a blender and delivered it with his own fuzzy stamp. His vocals in this track certainly remind me of another of my favourite Nashville based singers, Noah Hunt from the Kenny Wayne Shepherd band. Perhaps there is something in the water that makes these Nashville singers phrase their vocals in that magic way.

 

‘I Got Love If You Want It’ takes the listener back to the early days of blues. We’re heading to the Delta on a freight train and we ain’t getting off ‘til we reach the Mississippi. JD shows that he’s not only someone who can take the formula and bring it to modern day, but he can also hang with the old guard and make his guitar sing like the best of the best.

 

Sometimes, well, anytime you play the blues, you have to get a little moody. ‘Temptation has a stunning, crisp guitar intro that has the hallmark of the Texas greats swimming in an ethereal reverb sea. This could be my favourite track off the album, though with such strong competition it’s hard to pick just one. As with all great down tempo songs, it’s only right to explode into a crescendo of power and madness at the end of the track.

 

‘Mind Trouble’ brings a southern stomp. This is music to drink whiskey and tap your foot along to. JD might have Mind Trouble according to the lyrics but he certainly doesn’t suffer from song writing troubles. This song is so swampy that you can almost taste the frogs on the bayou. It’s exciting to hear a very traditional blues style track with fuzzy guitars and acoustic solos.

 

It takes balls to cover BB King. After all, he is the King. But damn, JD has balls and he pulls off this fantastic rendition of ‘Sweet Little Angel’. From the moment he hits those first notes through to the end of the track, he is channeling his inner BB King. Always adopting the less is more approach when it comes to lead guitar in this track, he makes the guitar sing and moan with conviction with no note being played without a purpose.

 

The albums closing track is a Sixteen minute forty-seven second monolith titled ‘Accept’. While I don’t think this jam fest will be getting any airplay on the BBC due to it falling (only just) outside of their 3 minute and 30 seconds rule, who cares. JD and his band take you through scenes and movements through blues, fuzzy rock, mind-bending psychedelia and jazz. Strap in, you’re in for a ride! Sure, it’s long, but when you can play that good who cares? This man is on fire!

Author: Leigh Fuge

Buy Off At 11: Here

 

 

Formed in Seattle in 1984 and imploding during the recording of their debut album in 1987, Grunge pioneers Green River left a small but indelible mark on the music world during their brief existence, yet they went on to influence a whole host of bands and define a whole musical movement.

Put together by singer/guitarist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Jeff Ament and drummer Alex Vincent, (soon to be completed by guitarist Stone Gossard), Green River were part of a growing post-hardcore evolution in Seattle spearheaded by the likes of Sonic Youth, The Replacements and Butthole Surfers. Green River’s genre defining sound straddled post-hardcore punk, blues and, dare I say it, classic rock.

 

Recorded in June 1986 and released the following year, ‘Dry as A Bone’ was Green River’s second EP. Produced by the now legendary Jack Endino and released on a fledgling label called SubPop. It was a sludgy mix of hard rock, punk and metal, promoted as “ultra-loose grunge that destroyed the morals of a generation”.

Yet, band in-fighting was already rife by the time the band entered the studio to record their debut album. Ament and Gossard wanted to pursue a major label deal while Arm wanted to stay fiercely independent. They agreed to complete the album, but Ament, Gossard and guitarist Bruce Fairweather had already decided to quit. By October 1987 the band was over and ‘Rehab Doll’ finally surfaced the following year.

By this time Arm and Turner had formed Mudhoney and recorded their debut single ‘Touch Me, I’m Sick’, while Ament, Gossard and Fairweather were already making waves across Seattle with Mother Love Bone. And the rest as they say is history.

 

While these two releases previously surfaced as a single CD back in 1990, they have been unavailable on vinyl for many years. Now, they have been given the long overdue deluxe reissue treatment, with a whole host of previously unheard songs and 8 track demos recorded at Endino’s Reciprocal Recordings studio, which capture the true energy of the band live.

If you weren’t aware of Green River at the time, on first listen you may wonder what all the fuss was about. While in 2019 the sound of these two albums has aged remarkably well, to the casual newcomer they may sound derivative of a genre that was, let’s face it, oversaturated. But you have to think back to 30 years ago, and listen to them in the context of an 80’s musical climate and how fresh they must’ve sounded up against the mainstream US radio and the glam metal that was coming out of LA and beyond.

 

Originally a 5 track EP, ‘Dry As A Bone’ has a whopping additional 11 tracks on this re-issue. Some only previously available on much sought after and long deleted compilation albums. Sludgy, garage rock chaos, the brooding riffage and rambling Iggy-like vocals laying the blueprint for what would define the sound of Grunge a few years down the line. The likes of ‘Searchin’ and the dark, psychotic ‘Bazaar’ are just as essential as ‘This Town’ and ‘Unwind’. This is the raw punk delivery of a band trying to channel the energy of The Stooges to mid 80’s America. A storming cover of The Dead Boys ‘Ain’t Nothin’ To Do’ just goes to seal the deal really.

 

Considering the band were falling apart at the time, their one and only full length album ‘Rehab Doll’ sounds more focused and together than the raw sounding EP. Production wise, the hardcore elements have been polished up giving a more alternative sound.

The title track has a 70’s rock swagger and the first tastes of the signature sound that would propel certain members to mega stardom a few years later is evident. The acoustic slide and cowbell of ‘Take A Dive’ make way for a cool as you like, sleazy Stooges workout. And the brooding ‘One More Stitch’ has the sort of stripped-back, dark acoustic feel that Alice In Chains would make their own on 1994’s ‘Jar Of Flies’.

While the demo versions are not sonically that far removed from the album versions, the addition of the boisterous ‘Somebody’ and a killer version of Bowie’s ‘Queen Bitch’ make them essential listening.

 

While Ament and Gossard got the major label, muliti-platinum success they desired with Pearl Jam, Mudhoney still remain influential, and match Pearl Jam with album releases and world tours. Whether either band are better or more essential than Green River is open to debate, but one thing’s for sure, Green River were pioneers of the Grunge movement and remain the most rock ‘n’ roll of the bunch.

These two re-issues have been lovingly restored by original producer Jack Endino and are a snapshot of an exciting period of musical history. They show the raw beginnings and the evolution of musicians in a scene that would go on to do bigger and better things. But wherever they went the legacy of Green River would always follow.

Essential listening for both Grunge aficionados and any casual fans of garage-based rock ‘n’ roll.

Buy Dry As A Bone Here

Buy Rehab Doll Here

Author: Ben Hughes

Who doesn’t love a great wild west film where the hero gets involved in a shootout at high noon.

Well, how about for a change an album that you could put in your player and would instantly be the soundtrack to your favourite western.

Sarah Vista has managed to write a great album with killing fever that instantly transports you back to the wild old west.

The title track “Killing Fever” gets things off to a great start and is a great murder ballad.

The second track “Get 3 Coffins Ready” is yet another stunning track with horns starting the track and carrying on through which adds an extra nice touch.

Another highlight is the track “Now You Are Sleeping” which has a sound that mixes rockabilly with country and is instantly catchy and will get your foot tapping.

“Belle Starr” comes in with an irresistible country sound and keeps the quality of this album high.

“Hell At High Noon” is up next and as the title suggests is a track about retribution at high noon with the drums and guitar giving it a great atmospheric sound that drags the listener in.

Overall every song on this album is a winner and equally as good as the songs mentioned above.

Sarah has succeeded in writing a great album that takes the listener on a journey with every song having a great story behind it yet being instantly catchy that makes you go back for more and rediscover something new on each listen.

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Buy ‘Killing Fever’: Here

Author: Gareth Hooper