Born January 1969 Cranford would or should have just turned 50 but sadly never made it this far. Cranford left behind a wife and two children when he checked out in 2002 from drug releated issues.

Cranford headed up his band The Malakas as well as playing solo sadly he didn’t make it long enough to record a lot of the songs he was working on which are available on his website. Cranford struggled with addiction during his brief life but he was able to write some great tunes like the one we’re playing here he pretty much wrote straight from the head and the heart singing about what he saw and how he was living.  I thought he was a massive talent and its such a shame that he never got to show off those songs to a wider audience.  R.I.P Cranford Gone but not forgotten.

Also on this day in 2013 Iron Maiden Drummer Clive Burr lost his battle with multiple sclerosis. Burr was Maidens drummer between 79 and 82. R.I.P. Clive had previously plied his trade with Samson before moving onto Maiden and played on their three finest records before being replaced after falling foul of Harris. Strangely enough, Burr went on to replace his replacement Nicko McBrain in Trust.  funny old world eh? Oh and for all you metal fans The guy who fired Burr celebrates his Birthday today Born in 1956 Happy Birthday Steve Harris.

But we can’t have all this sadness without a ripple of light coming through on this day so Happy Birthday Graham Coxon guitarist with Blur who was born on this day in Germany to English parents and finally Peter Doherty was also born on this day in 1979.

 

After Dark is a 30 minute chunk of sugar sweet indie pop that transports you right back to the much missed C86 era of The Darling Buds, Primitives, Flatmates and The Shop Assistants. A glorious time of striped t-shirts, skin light denim, Cuban heals and bowl cuts.

 

Some Sort of Rock n’ roll kicks things off like the Banana Splits finally unleashing The Sour Grapes Bunch on an unsuspecting end-of-the-sixties world. I’m a Witch kicks in all drums and screams, with no chord wasted and no harmony missed. Lovely!

 

Hanky Panky Franky is walking bass-line-tastic with some sweet and sexy hand claps and next up cracker, You’re a Doll is a song that would get Biters fans tapping their too-cool-for-school toes to ….. complete with theramin / keyboard magic.

 

That Old Ghost Don’t Lie slows things down a touch with it’s echo-to-the-max guitar riff, while All My Baby Brought Back Was the Blues brings a bit of harmonica to the (KKK Took My Baby) mix. This is great stuff and while it won’t change your life but it’ll sure brighten up your dull day.

 

The Kids and Johnny are pure buzzsaw Ramones, with the later adding a bit of deep sax to the musical palate…. ooohhh saucy!

 

Hiding from the Moon, Show Me Another Way to Your Heart and Doo-Wop Showaddywaddy all sound like mega pop hits and should find a nice place in your life where you can groove each night away on a star-spangled dance floor where nobody gives a fuck about tomorrow.

 

Sadly every party has to end but those nice Pale Lips girls see us off down the road with a little Cosmic Love in our hearts and it’s a banger.

 

So there you go, just under 31 minutes of pure pop fun. Coincidently the Banana Splits ran for 31 episodes….. it’s a sign I tells ya!

 

Think shoving your Redd Kross lp on 45, think Ronettes playing Ramones tunes and if you really need some more Hanna Barbera rock & roll in your life, click the BUY button on the website of your favourite purveyor of quality music.

 

Buy After Dark: Here

 

Author : Fraser Munro

As I scratch my head wondering where to pitch my thoughts I hear a little country honk on ‘Refills’ that veers from a little ragged Teenage Fanclub to a coating of Neil young without really sounding like either if that makes any sense? Anyway ‘My Dark Roots’ is more of the same with s great driving beat there is an undercurrent of Neil Young Rockin out to proceedings.  Maybe this is more Pavement kinda indie doing 70’s rock n roll but I  guess it’s fair to say there is an element of all the above in here.

‘Howler’ is like a long lost Alice Cooper Band track its got a slightly dreamy coating as it awkwardly glides through the airwaves. The great thing about this album is I’m not sure where the next one is heading and so the journey begins and meanders down the river of rock n roll Sometimes through babbling calmer water and sometimes heading downstream at pace with a bit of fire. ‘Twister Sister’ being a good case in point as it flows with a slight galic undertow its almost as if it’s been here before as it plays with your head.  The underlying point is you won’t switch off and you’re in it for the long haul as you settle down for the rest of the journey.

‘Cold Case’ sounds like it could have been played by the Waterboys once upon a time and again on the albums closing number ‘Nice And Slow’ the devil is in the detail as the sparse arrangement of a cotton picking guitar takes the lead with the laid back drum beat ushering in a fiddle that has a real calming effect on me as another really interesting track unfolds up until the Roger Whitaker whistling enters the room and I’m stopped in my tracks as the song heads down a Crosby, Stills and Nash melody which I wasn’t expecting and didn’t enjoy which is a shame but I can always head back to the top and get my rock on with ‘Sleep Rock’.

 

Eight out of nine isn’t bad going at all and the opening half of this record is really good and at times they sail pretty close to Nikki Sudden and Dave Kusworth especially on ‘Girl In Chicago’ from the arrangement to the melody even the sound is similar and that’s always going to grab my attention.  A thoroughly enjoyable record with lyrics I wanted to hear and stories I felt obliged to give my full attention to now that’s not something you hear all the time and with enough of a curio edge to make it really interesting. Great rock n roll doesn’t always have to be conventional it can come in all shapes and sizes and to be fair I’m now going to investigate further to find out what Bohannons are all about.

 

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Author: Dom Daley

This will let a little sunshine into your Monday morning blues.

Second up we have got this blast from the past.  Firstly to wish Bernie a speedy full recovery from his recent hospitalization and also because Mr. Philip Lewis released a brand new album last Friday with LA Guns on their 30th year as a band but we delve further back when he was singing about being a star!

Finally to finish off this fanciful three here’s one from Black Bombers whos new EP is reviewed later this week. happy Monday folks!

 

Climb in the Delorian and set your clock to the ’80s because The Alarm has been busy overseeing their back catalogue this past twelve months and this coming week sees the band reissue a remastered ‘Strength’ album.  they’ve also remastered the video for the lead and title track ‘Strength’

The video was shot at Jacob Street Studios (a former dog biscuit factory in the East End of London), during the month of September 1985.

Directed by Nick Morris and produced by Fiona O’Mahoney, the video perfectly reflects the lyrical content in that it’s predominantly dark theme is interspersed with bursts of hopeful colour.

“The Strength video marked the first time that we worked with a stylist”, says Mike Peters. “Nick Morris the director wanted us to dress in a way that would fit with the monochromatic film look he was after, and so wanted us all to adopt a certain dress code. Working with the stylist (that he brought in), wasn’t something we were particularly comfortable with, but the girl in charge soon put us at our ease and found some great pieces to add to the black and white high contrast look Nick wanted to achieve. I absolutely loved the jacket she found, which was loaned from a high-end bespoke clothing designer in the fashion district behind Oxford Circus. I’d been allowed to keep it for the live television appearance on Saturday Superstore on the weekend after the video shoot and desperately wanted to keep it for the tour, but the designer wouldn’t sell as they wanted it for their fashion show in Paris. Dave is wearing a shirt from Johnsons, a then super hip rock and roll clothing store at the World’s End area of the Kings Road in Chelsea. His ubiquitous leather jeans which he wore all through the Strength tour and beyond, were from the (I kid you not), hard to find London Leatherman underground fetish clothing store on Queenstown Road, Battersea. Nigel is wearing a pretty dandy high collared shirt and cravat which made him look very distinguished and Eddie is sporting a black satin jacket that he had worn on his wedding day a few weeks earlier”.

Strength 1985 -1986 – An Oral History Updated begins serialisation from this Monday

In other Alarm news tickets for the winter tour are here – and onsale now

03.10.19 ABERDAREColiseum Tickets
04.10.19 FLEETThe Harlington Tickets
05.10.19 COLCHESTERArts Centre Tickets
11.10.19 HOLMFIRTHPicturedrome Tickets
12.10.19 SELBYTown Hall Tickets
19.10.19 CRICKHOWELLClarence Hall Tickets
23.10.19 BROMSGROVE Artrix Tickets
24.10.19 SWINDON Arts Centre Tickets
25.10.19 KINGSKERSWELL Church Tickets
26.10.19 NEWBURY Arlington Arts Tickets
31.10.19 TRINGThe Court Theatre Tickets
01.11.19 NEWBRIDGEMemo Tickets
02.11.19 PORTSMOUTH Wedgewood Rooms Tickets
03.11.19 SHREWSBURYTheatre Severn Tickets
08.11.19 DERBYThe Venue Tickets
09.11.19 DARWENLibrary Theatre Tickets
14.11.19 BURYThe Met Tickets
15.11.19 GATESHEADThe Sage Theatre Tickets
19.11.19 LIVERPOOL Epstein Theatre Tickets
20.11.19 LEEDS Brudenell Tickets
21.11.19 EDINBURGHThe Caves Tickets
22.11.19 ABERDEENThe Lemon Tree Tickets
23.11.19 PERTHJoan Knight Studio Tickets
29.11.19 STOWMARKETJohn Peel Centre Tickets

Royal Republic proudly presents ”Fireman & Dancer”, the newest and arguably sexiest member in our armada of relentless moodboosters! Packed with guitar-riffs the size of Mount Everest, pow-pow-pounding rhythms and lyrics that make Dr. Feelgood himself sweat bullets – it is your solution to, well, everything!

Fireman & Dancer is the first song out of the gate from the forthcoming full-length album ”Club Majesty” – scheduled for release on May 31st 2019.

Pre-Order of ”Club Majesty” – PRE ORDER Royal Republic are also happy to announce our joining forces with the amazingly talented people at Arising Empire / Nuclear Blast!

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Already picking up admirers such as BBC Radio 6  and BBC introducing I Am Lono sound like the real deal with a cold as steel exterior yet it just covers a boiling hot center borrowing from masters of the dark post-punk synth rockers like The Cure and The Mission there is also a healthy amount of pop via the likes of Japan and Bauhaus.

You have the heaving thump of the bass guitar on the sparse ‘Lovers’ with its mechanical drum thud and bass throb it has the echoey vocals and synth layering the song until after the chorus when it soars as the guitar takes over.  Huge sounding record and to be fair a really impressive track too.

Let’s not jump the gun here and rewind to the opener ‘America’. There is a real familiarity to this one – sounds like a dark Visage (if I might be so bold).  I love the bands I’ve mentioned in my introduction and there are shades of all of them in this for sure and ‘America’ reminds me of the post 90’s period Bowie.  Call it art rock or post-punk synth pop I couldn’t care less its captured superbly and the moody ‘Abigail’ sounds huge and should rightfully turn heads as people will sit up and take notice. The production and songwriting is excellent with the songs being really well arranged and none of them outstay their welcome with just the right amount of Guitars and Synth and great vocals throughout. In fact, Mr. Hussey could do a lot worse than check these out and maybe take them on tour with him, his audience would love this.

Available on 10″ vinyl maybe its time to embrace your dark side and get a headful of I Am Lono you might be very pleasantly surprised.

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It might just be the new way in which old Rockers like to do things as Backstreet Girls knock out a brand new track via digital platforms. ‘Angel Face’ is released today from the Oslo Rockers and is the first new music from the band since ‘Don’t Mess With My Rock And Roll’ came out in 2017.

 

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The La Guns are in the house and this time they look and sound happy as pigs in shit and that my friends is reflected in the music.  Now I won’t ever shy away from letting people know how much I love hearing Phil Lewis sing and that goes way back when he was in Girl right through the mighty Torme and into LA Guns who for me were never really part of the heart of cock rock or hair metal although they’ve picked up the flag and ran with it through their career no doubt about it.  The La Guns have always been a bit more than that.  they always had a certain spirit about them for me that’s a flame that burns bright inside Mr. Lewis’ heart always has always will no doubt.

I wouldn’t want to speak for the band but when they did the cuts CD way back they opened up their heart and having Queen alongside Generation X and Hanoi Rocks confirmed for me that my judgment was right.  I’ve not always loved everything they’ve done not at all but I’ve always been drawn back and like an old friend hoping that they still have that spark and can deliver and feeling smug when I can nod my head that the LA Guns are in the house and they’re as good as they ever were and that’s also better than most of their competition and pretty much all the so-called hair metal or cock rock bands.  There was always something about seeing that logo that gets the blood pumping and with this being their 30th year together it feels like they have their mojo intact and are chomping at the bit playing constantly and honing their tunes to reach this point so as the metaphorical needle drops I get ready to dive head first into the new long player ‘ The Devil You Know’.

Kicking off with the lead track ‘Rage’ is everything you want to hear a great big dirty stinking riff that’s biting and snarling and sounds like a band that’s hungry as fuck!  great vocal too. Woohoo! LA Guns are in the house boy! They weren’t joking when they said they were going to capture Zepplin and The Hellacopters in a bottle and shake it up.

The next few tracks are upbeat and varied just like LA Guns of old sure Tracii is playing like his life depends on it but it does sound like he’s playing off the rest of the band and the rhythm is solid and tight and on the grinding title track they have groove for sure.  ‘Needle To The Bone’ has a great ‘guns melody and I’m a sucker for those gang vocals. ‘Going High’ is certainly in that Zepplin riff ballpark it sounds huge.  ‘Gone Honey’ clocks in just under six minutes but takes the listener on an epic journey and I’m all ears as Lewis tells his story on top of some really cool riff-a-rama. More than a touch of old Alice Cooper here.

As we are flying through the albums eleven tracks I have to say that whilst it’s no bullshit Rock n Roll  I’m loving it and it sounds fresh and there is a tonne of energy captured throughout the record. This album is coming out swinging and this is up there with their best – I kid you not.  Without a ballad in sight, we reach the penultimate cut for something even remotely slow or balladlike although the title might give you a glimpse into how this is heading ‘Another Season In Hell’ is pissed off and spitting feathers along the same lines as ‘Over The Edge’ if you’re looking for a pointer, Lewis delivers a magnificent vocal and turns the clock back and shows his peers how to belt out a passionate vocal and then for Guns to set fire to his fretboard – was that really over six minutes long? an epic slice of driving hard rock n roll to end the album proper but wait they turn up the amps one more time and let rip with ‘Boom’.

To be fair I enjoyed that more than I thought I was going to and without the slightest hesitation I’d recommend it to anyone who ever bought an LA Guns record and thought their best was long behind them because this is right up there with the first couple.  If this is Cock Rock then I’m fuckin’ having me some because maybe it is better ‘The Devil You Know’ if the devil you know is this good. Turn it up!

Buy ‘The Devil You Know’ :Here

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