Legendary US rockers Cheap Trick are back with their latest release – In Another World. That isn’t to say that they haven’t been busy over recent years, since 2016 they have put out four (including this) studio albums and got inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. After the tricky departure of drummer Bun E Carlos in 2010, guitarist Rick Nielsen enlisted his son Daxx to play as a touring drummer and he’s been a permanent fixture ever since. Julian Raymond has again twiddled the knobs on the album and the band now consider him the ‘fifth member’ of Cheap Trick. The production on the album is fantastic and really helps to propel the songs to another level.
The bands back catalogue is immense with tracks like ‘California Man’, ‘Surrender’, ‘I Want You to Want Me’, ‘He’s a Whore’ and the massive hit ‘The Flame’ being part of so many record collections around the world. This doesn’t seem to stop the seemingly endless amount of quality songs that Cheap Trick keep springing on their countless fans. Raymond’s influence on their sound is obvious and he really helps to make the songs on ‘In Another World’ shine brightly.
The album opens with poptastic ‘The Summer Looks Good on You’, a fantastic song with more hooks than Captain Quint aboard the Orca. This should be blasting on every radio station from now until September! ‘Quit Waking Me Up’ is another feel good track with a horn section paving the way into the verses. ‘Another World’ has an almost Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers feel to the song with some fantastic lead work from Rick Nielsen.
Vocalist Robin Zander sounds great throughout the album, his delivery a vital part of their sound. ‘Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll’ is another catchy, pop-rock slab of loveliness that will sound great live. ‘The Party’ grooves like a bastard, with a beautiful feel from drummer Daxx Nielsen. ‘Final Days’ has a bluesy, greasy feel and shuffles along nicely. ‘So It Goes’ has elements of classic Beatles with a haunting feel and lots of flute! More brilliant vocal lines from Zander makes this track a highlight of the album for me.
‘Light Up the Fire’ has yet another sing-along chorus. This is what Cheap Trick does best in my opinion, hard rock and pop combined brilliantly. ‘Passing Through’ has a dreamy feel with layer after layer of sublime vocals and guitars. ‘Here’s Looking at You’ is an up-tempo blast with a Sex Pistols influenced riff done in the inimitable Cheap Trick style. There’s not a track over four minutes long on the album, it’s a short, sharp shock to the system and makes the album an easy and pleasurable listen.
The final track is a cover of John Lennon’s ‘Gimme Some Truth’ this was originally released for Record Store Day Black Friday 2019 and features the instantly recognisable guitar work of Steve Jones from the aforementioned Sex Pistols. Overall, Cheap Trick has delivered the goods yet again. It’s nice to know that even in these most uncertain of times we can all rely on bands like Cheap Trick to put a smile on our faces. They have the zest and vigour of a band that is just out on their musical journey but with the experience and quality of song writing that comes with the many years that Cheap Trick has been around. Long may it continue!
OK, so April is well underway and we pay a visit to the singles club as we’ve ad a few belters that need to be spun. Its like London busses, when you wait for ages a whole bunch turn up at once well. The Singles Club is like that.
Chubby & The Gang – ‘Lightning Don’t Strike Twice’ (Partisan Records) London punks Chubby & The Gang are back with a no-holds-barred thunder in a bottle of pub Rockin blues based punk rock. Picture a bit of slide for a prelude before a quick drum roll that’s like a fumble around the back of the disco before the two litres of bow kicks in and its onto the dance floor with your mates because the DJ is playing Sham 69. Chubbys not fucking about with his gang as they knock out an infectious couple of minutes of noise that just burrows down inside your ear and stays put. Can’t wait for the new album? This will have to do…for now. Chubby ain’t going to lose on this evidence he’s a winner and I don’t think he should ever have doubted it. We’ll run the news with the video later in the week along with links for where you can get your grubby mitts on this bad boy!
The Lancasters – ‘Scallywag’ (Fuzzy Cracklins Presents (CA)) Italian rock and rollers release a new video for the single ‘Scallywag’. ‘Scallywag’ talks about the lies that people accept as words of truth, superstitions and other inaccuracies perpetuated by the media, the internet, and other scallywags. From the video, you can hear the band have an ear for the likes of The Kinks and a bit of Dave Edmunds and even some McCartney going on here. With a decent tune the band aren’t to be confused with the Oi! band of the same name. This is a good time slice of rock and roll – enjoy it! Grab it here
Dinosaur Jr. ‘Garden’ (Jagjaruwar) A second taster of the wizardly trio’s new album, ‘Sweep It Into Space’ (co-produced by the band and the inimitable Kurt Vile), ahead of it landing in a few weeks’ time. This time out it’s ‘Garden’ getting an airing, which ranks among the finest Lou contributions to a Dinosaur Jr. record, a soaring, breezy ballad with soft guitar filigree that builds into a wholesome song that never gets out of hand and remains a heartfelt charming song and another great reason to preorder the album. Lou sings on two of the songs off the new album with ‘Garden’ being one of his strongest offerings to date. check out the video here. Excited much?
Ravagers – ‘Down The Road’ (Spaghetty Town Records) Another new track from the much anticipated long player (due September) from Baltimore’s finest. Ravagers wisely used their downtime to decamp to record in Atlanta with Tuk Smith and Dan Dixon where they used their collective skills to hone the Ravagers into the lean fighting machine that we hear today on this single.
The song has a polished edge that wasn’t present on previous offerings and maybe that’s what they needed making them more assessable to the masses. This has a great hook on the chorus and is short but oh so sweet more aggressive than ‘Nasty Night’ but its the second slice of Rock and Roll and a sidestep from the previous release which makes a mouth-watering proposition for the new album. Its littered with rock and roll diamonds glistening with every lick and pounding drum beat. Get an earful of this and get September in yer diary as Ravagers new album month.
Atomic Eater / Kool & The Gang Bangers – ‘Split’ (Helvetes Kitchen/No Front Teeth) It was a no brainer that this slice of Scandi Punk would come out on NFT its the perfect fit, to be fair it’s lo-fi not no-fi with some added drum machine action to accompany the swirling synths. They have a sound that’s a perfect fit for NFT Records and behind that scratching guitar that’s driving this hypnotic tune from start to finish is a really good song. As for Kool & The Gang Bangers, it’s again a lo-fi extravaganza of abrasive guitars and crash band wallop then they were gone. You know where to go for this split if not then head over to Bandcamp. It’s short but oh so sweet!
DeeCRACKS – ‘Lost In The Middle’ (Pirates Press) A most excellent song from Europes finest. Its not as rapid as I was expecting and slowing down the attack has ‘Lost In The Middle’ coming across as more Rocket From the Crypt rather than The Ramones and its a really good tune for it. Pick up the album here
Venomous Pinks – ‘Based On A True Story’ (Self Released) Tracks taken from the bands Bridge City Sessions. Arizona punk rockin trio sound fantastic like the Ramones meets L7 with a whole bunch of attitude that seems like it’s well suited to the live session arena and seeing as they have a liking for TSOL in their press kit it was a no brainer for me.
Head over to iTunesHere or SpotifyHere and save this cracker. The lead track is indeed a take on the Joan Jett track but they amp it right up and give the original a damn good run for its money.
The Automatics – ‘Shine Everlasting’ It’s an uplifting track taken from the album’ A Grand Swandive Into The Void’ The band host an impressive back catalogue of old school punk n roll with catchy powerpop hooks and ‘Shine Everlasting’ is a great example of what they can deliver. check out the video and their impressive back-catalogue over on www.theautomatics.co.uk. they’ve been around for several decades and some and were regulars back in the day at venues like The Marquee Club when it was on Wardour street
HUMAN FAILURE – ‘Barbed Wire State’ (Riot Records) Of course they’re punk as fuck – with a name like human Failure and singing about barbed wire states it’s like 82 never happened. But from the bass rumble and caustic riff its howling feedback and raw vocals is always a winner.
The bands upcoming ‘Urchin EP’ begins with a flat-out hardcore that’s done in the blink of an eye or 30 seconds, starting the EP with a bang and giving a taste of what’s to come. It then opens up to more melodic and metal flavours and ends with driving hardcore punk. Check out these Australian noise bringers Here
Jesse Malin – ‘The Way We Used To Roll’ (Wicked Cool Records) Saving the best till last here’s the new one from the inimitable Jesse Malin Available now on Wicked Cool Records Here
A laid back mid-period Stones like number sees Malin not waiting on a friend but forging ahead on his own. Some great interplay going on here with a fantastic arrangement bring on a new album we need it! ‘Time Runner’ is another with that Jesse Malin swagger going on upbeat and thoroughly enjoyable over and over again.
Plastic Tears have been around the block for a while and have the bruises to show for it. They’ve seen plenty of Spinal Tap-like lineup changes throughout that time and have sort of poked at being able to play with the big boys and finally on ‘Anthems’ they might just have arrived at their rightful destination.
It’s fair to say the genre of sleazy Rock n roll is one littered with wannabes and bands who’ve been chewed up and spat out along the road and very few have the longevity to wear those battle scars with pride and most importantly have the chops on their records (which is where it really matters) you can have a scarf on your mic-stand or smoke a lucky strike no filter out of the corner of your mouth but if you can’t carry a tune then forget about it right Dave? Right.
This isn’t Plastic Tears first outing but its head and shoulders their best. Finally, after much lineup shifting they’ve hit upon a stable (hopefully) line up that has the chops to carry the tunes. Miqu can be proud of the band he fronts on this lockdown load as the songs are present and correct and finally have their own identity in a crowded field as they can now jostle with their head held high towards the front and centre of the punk n roll scene with enough swagger and confidence in these songs that’s authentic and to be fair pretty bloody good. Listen there’s no reinventing the band or anything they’re still a sleazy Punk n Roll outfit but now I think its fair to say they seem really comfortable with the music and the addition of the piano is most welcome and right from the off ‘Doomsday Girl’ is a statement of intent and a rollicking good time it is too.
‘They stay on the tempo of the opener with ‘Riot Zone’ and just ride the wave of energy they’re oozing from the speakers. It’s the arrangments that hit me first and I like the breakdown sure its Hanoi inspired but if you’re being influenced by anyone then it might as well be the best.
‘Clash In The Night’ is the first sidestep as the acoustics come out for a campfire intro but the mid-paced breakout is good and again the subtle organ is a great bit of texture and plays well off the vocals which are really good. I think its when the band aren’t trying too hard the music seems effortless and the songs carry them home. Again the video gives a taste of ‘Look Of Lies’ which has an air of familiarity but is bright and breezy and shows off a great arrangement and a really nice job on the production that also helps raise the record from the pack.
‘Hallucinations’ is a dreamy jazzy number, again, inspired by Finlands finest and the fact the band are brave enough to venture outside of the big ballsy loud guitars shows the confidence I mentioned, and I like the melody and backing vocals and the fact they can lay back on the solo and use the old adage that sometimes less is more which really works. Cool track.
With twelve tracks on offer and some decently varied tempos, I believe Plastic Tears can be extremely proud of their latest offering its a really enjoyable record where everyone plays their part and the band is the sum of those parts and it works really well and you can also hear that these will work really well live as well. The lyrical matter isn’t all sex drugs and Rock and Roll either which is good for lastability and not just an instant fix. ‘Candlelight Hate Affair’ is another of the albums stronger songs and it’s a great mid-tempo before the final fling when the band come out swinging before bowing out on ‘Communication’ with its great bass rumble. Taking the album home is ‘Imaginary Virgin Mary’ that signs off with that stamp of confidence.
A really enjoyable record that covers all punk rock and roll bases and some. Plastic Tears are here and they’re going nowhere and ‘Anthems For Misfits’ is a chest puffed out – fist in the air Rock and Roll record that they can be extremely proud of and one misfits everywhere can enjoy – It’s only rock and Roll but I Like It!
RPM Online is proud to get the video exclusive of the new Brad Marino single ‘Even The Score’. Its taken from the new album “Looking For Trouble” Out April 21’ in the U.S. on Spaghetty Town Records (Vinyl) & Rum Bar Records (CD) On vinyl in Europe from Ghost Highway Records and Beluga Records. With such awesome record labels on board, you know its a worthwhile record to invest in. Brad Marino – ‘Even The Score’…
Brad Marino returns with his sophomore Full-Length release, jam-packed with power poppin’ rock and roll extraordinaire… ‘Looking For Trouble’.
“Let Brad Marino know how much you dig him.” – Genya Ravan
“Brad Marino is looking to ‘Even The Score’ in his latest garage rock effort, bringing us back to the kind of garage rock the Rolling Stones have made such a long and storied career out of! Rock n roll at its most enjoyable.” – Uber Rock
“What Do You Know?” meets at the intersection of straight-forward rock and roll and the poppier side of the Ramones – which has always been a sweet spot for Marino. In my fantasy world where millions of people still buy rock and roll records, this tune is a hit! If you dig rockin’ two-minute pop songs, you need to be all over Looking For Trouble – and every other record that Brad Marino has ever been a part of!” – Lord Rutledge
“What do I know? Well, if there’s one thing I know is that Brad Marino can do no wrong, and this single proves he just gets better and better with every release!” – The Ledge, Real Punk Radio
“‘What Do You Know’ is sent around the ether like a cannonball. Sure it’s got melody and a solid rockin’ backbeat and a whole heap of hooks and of course a raw guitar making it a must-hear track. Forging the way forward in powerpop circles. Don’t delay and be sure to hit Marino up and check this out you won’t regret it.” – RPM It’s A Revolution
What you have is a release filled top to bottom with tried and true rock n’ roll. Rockpile meets the Ramones, Mick and Keef get into a tussle with the Flamin’ Groovies, The Knack get all tangled up in blue. Hints of Chuck, shades of country, stabs of punk, and jolts of power pop, celebrated and created in the Garage… get the picture?
Brad Marino “Extra Credit” still available on Vinyl LP in limited edition color variants (Coke Bottle Clear, Blue & Black) & CD direct from Rum Bar Records.
Brad Marino “False Alarm” still available on limited edition 7inch Vinyl & CD EP direct from Rum Bar Records. …while supplies last!!
Classic rock n roll… Surely, everyone here knows what I am talking about when I say rock n roll. Whether you think about the Rolling Stones, Faces, Georgia Satellites, Dogs D’amour, Quireboys, Electric Angels, Rock City Angels, Black Crowes, Low Cut Connie, etc., we are talking about the kind of music that pumps through my veins and nourishes my soul. Spencer & the Elegant Blackouts released a great four song EP back in 2018 and have returned with another four song EP that picks up where they left off- delivering vintage high quality rock n roll.
As you many have guessed from the introduction, these guys are not chasing trends or trying to reinvent the wheel with their music. Their focus is on getting your fists in the air and your body moving which should not be an issue. ‘Ain’t Never Drinking Again’ opens with the sound of a bottle opening and some old rag time piano in the background before the electric guitar riff arrives to get the party started. If you turn this up really loud, you will feel like you are in your favorite dive bar with the smell of alcohol and perfume in the air. Timeless vintage rock n roll designed to put a smile on your face. Their single from last year ‘Just Another Heartache’ follows and actually sounds better in the context of the EP. The production suffers a bit in the pre-chorus where it doesn’t quite connect sonically. The song is solid and features a solid hook that I really want to hear live where these songs will no doubt shine ever brighter. I really love the guitar work throughout this song.
Next up, ‘Nuthin But Everything’ comes rocking out of the speakers and musically reminds me a bit of Izzy Stadlin. The chorus here is more subdued which works as the singalong becomes a grower, and the guitar solo becomes a huge hook first. Again, if you want a glossy sheen, this is not the place for you as these songs are covered in grit. Closer ‘Me or the Bottle’ is carried by piano and embodies the classic closer where people in the crowd all sing along to the chorus at the end of the night before everyone crawls back home to face the responsibilities and duties of the morning sun. Shout out to the players in the band: Spencer Willhouse whiskey grit and smokey guitar, Eric Mauro- Howlin Hammond and Pinetop Rattlin, Sean Flynn- Big Bends and Sinister Slide, Chris Herninko- Bass thumpin and camel blues, and JoJo Buerklin- Twig twirlin and skins.
Spencer and the Elegant Angels have delivered another really highly enjoyable EP that pairs perfectly with their first release. If you like any of my reference points, I highly suggest you give this a spin, play, stream or whatever the case might be. Let’s make 2021 a year for rock n roll, and hopefully these guys can find a way to play some live dates at some point. In the meantime, I will be here singing along and bouncing around home.
It’s unbelievably six years since Swedish glam/death punks Razorbats first came into my life via their musical suckerpunch of a debut record ‘Camp Rock’. Word of how insanely catchy that eleven track tour de force was spread like wildfire across the world wide web back in 2015 and if I remember correctly it was actually an avid reader of Uber Rock (who I was writing for at the time) who sent me a message saying “whoa John you really need to check this album out, it’s like Turbonegro jamming previously unreleased Starz and Cheap Trick songs. You will love it….”
And love it I did… as fast forward just a few short months and not only was ‘Camp Rock’ my favourite new album but the band were also booked to play a couple of UK shows, one of them being a headline slot at the legendary Slugfest here in south Wales, at which the band would go on to film the chaotic video for their then still to be released single ‘This High’.
Things were certainly looking good for Razorbats, when news suddenly broke that singer Even Berg was out the band and was being replaced by Paul Vercouteren (from sleaze rockers Virginia Hill) ahead of the release of the band’s 2018 sophomore album ‘II’. With Berg having been an intrinsic part of the Razorbats unique blend of punk and hard rock, I must admit I didn’t initially warm to that second album, and it took a good number of plays before I finally got beneath its skin. So, if the blurb that accompanies the band’s third long player to date is to believed – then things all kind of got on top of the ‘bats too, as this new record is an album they actually never thought they’d get around to writing, never mind recording. The band almost imploding for a second time in the back of their van amidst the hectic touring schedule that followed the release of ‘II’.
Praise be to the rock gods though that they did make it through, as even after just an initial couple of listens ‘Mainline Rock ‘N’ Roll’ is easily one of the best albums I’ve heard so far in 2021. With guitarist and band mainstay Kjetil Wevling along with Vercouteren once again joining up with guitarist Asle Tangen and adding a new powerhouse rhythm section of bassist Martin Korsgaard Hervig and drummer Christian Håpnes Svendsen along the way. Now these guys really do sound like they are ready to take on the world.
Kicking off this all new 10 track album we have ‘Rock N Roll Kills’, and the immediate thing that hits me is the step up this record has in the production department from its predecessor. The main riff to ‘Rock N Roll Kills’ really does sound like more of a mission statement than a song title given the immediate shock it is to the system it generates, and I do have to wonder if the production team of Kjetil Wevling (yup he’s a man of many talents) and Torris Ilievski might also happen to be fans of Michael Beinhorn’s stellar work during the multi-platinum selling grunge days, such is the potential for this tune to immediately be syndicated by rock radio stations worldwide. And it doesn’t stop there either folks, as the immense ‘Working For The Weekend’ and the almost Hanoi (with a decent production) greatness of ‘Rebel Soul’ twist and turn into your psyche like a slinky Axl Rose sideways dancing his way through the late 80s.
It’s when we get to ‘Little Ms. Crazy’ though that ‘Mainline Rock ‘N’ Roll’ really throws me the first musical curveball (not unlike ‘Camp Rock’ excelled at doing), and this really is when Razorbats stand out from the Scandirock pack. Granted this tune might be a step down in pace following the album’s frantic opening trio, but just for the last 30 seconds alone with its vocal refrain just waiting to get stuck going round and round in your head, this is without doubt a true highlight of this record.
For the rest of ‘Mainline Rock ‘N’ Roll’ the pedal is well and truly to the metal with the likes of ‘The City’, ‘White Trash Radio’ and album closer ‘Nightcrawlers’ perhaps being the closest the crue (sic) have ever sauntered into the field of cock rock, whilst the likes of the anthemic ‘Cocaine Karma’ and ‘Big Time’ and the reflective ‘Venice’ simply sound like Razorbats right back at the very top of their game and enjoying every second of it.
Look, buying a copy of ‘Mainline Rock ‘N’ Roll’ should be made compulsory for not just every RPM Online reader but also anyone who owns a record by any of the bands/musicians I’ve namechecked here. Trust me, ‘Mainline Rock ‘N’ Roll’ is guaranteed to drive you (Razor)bat shit crazy folks.
Now, hit the link/s below to get your copy!!!!! (UK fans can pick up a copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org)
Who knew in 2020 Redd Kross would be rescheduling these shows to 2022?… no one!!! they’ve lost a couple stops but gained a few more. Yay to Vigo, Vienna, Orëbro and Newcastle,… and don’t forget Rotterdam! All 2020 tickets will be honored. If you have a ticket for a town not listed refunds are available. They were excited last year to do this,… but now they are electrified!!!
The Damned’s upcoming shows have been rescheduled to 2022. The events will now take place in Feb 2022-
11th Feb for Glasgow, 12th for Manchester whilst Birmingham is now set for the 16th Feb and the two London shows
Friday 9th July 2021 moves to Friday 18th February 2022
Saturday 10th July 2021 moves to Saturday 19th February 2022
They will be joined on tour by the following guests:
Friday : Special guests Skids + TV Smith & The Bored Teenagers + Small Town Tigers
Saturday: Special guests Wildhearts + Penetration + Small Town Tigers
THE DAMNED original line-up has reunited for a UK tour featuring the founding members Dave Vanian, Rat Scabies, Captain Sensible and Brian James.
*If you cannot attend the rescheduled date, you are eligible for a refund* for the face value of your ticket(s).
All tickets must be returned to and received by us prior to the rescheduled date. Please return them, along with a quick note stating your order number to: Eventim Customer Services, PO Box 75668, London, WC1A 9QE.
(Please note: we recommend sending tickets via recorded delivery, as we cannot issue a refund if these are lost in transit)
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