Fraser Munro.

 

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Supersuckers and Eddie Spaghetti and Co are celebrating with album number 12 “Suck it”.The ‘suckers have mutated again, now featuring the 6 strings of Marty Chandler and tub-thumping of Chris Von Streicher but are they are still the self-proclaimed Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band in the World?

 

While the last album, “Holdin’ The Bag” dug deep into the country side of the band, “Suck It” is total rock & roll (but with a country flavour).  Full on 70’s rocker “All The Time” kicks things off in classic (latter-year) Supersuckers style, while “The History of Rock & Roll” slows it down a little and takes the coolest bits of Guns & Roses and serves it up raw and dirty, with Eddie reminding us of all the greatest bands in the world, while being sure to point out that he’s still top of the pile. One thing that immediately strikes me is that Eddie’s vocals sound a little gruffer than on previous albums, maybe a little more attitude-y and balls to the wall, which is cool in a Motorhead kind of way. “Dead Inside” feels more like a traditional ‘Suckers tune, “Breaking My Balls” takes you to the land of Nashville Pussy and finally side one closer “Worst Thing Ever” slows things right down with a touch of grunge.

 

Side two screams into action with the full-on “What’s Up With This Mother Mother Fucking Thing”, taking you right back to the Rick Sims era, then immediately takes a left turn in to classic country Supersuckers land with “Cold Wet Wind”. “Til I Die” is a classic boogie stomper all about jerking off and “ Private Parking Lot” is another Faces-ish banger delivered with classic ‘Suckers style.

 

All too soon, ZZ Top tune “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” comes along to close side two with a full pint salute, reminding us that it’s not only the spirit of rock n roll running through their veins of Supersuckers.

 

As Eddie says in the press blurb, “We’ve finally become the band that we’ve always threatened to be.”  He may be right….. Supersuckers remain (one of) the Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band in the World !!!

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Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts
release debut single 
Bottoms Up (Here’s To Goodbye)
19th October 
UK tour  
& video for their cover of ‘Straight Up’

 

 

The tour starts in Leeds at Brudenell Social Club on Wednesday 10th October and culminates with a show at the Camden Assembly Room in Camden on Friday 19th October.
Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts have just signed to Wicked Cool Records and they have been working with the legendary Stevie Van Zandt. The band are proud to announce the first single with the new label Bottoms Up (Here’s To Goodbye) on 19th October. Released as a limited edition pink vinyl 7”, the B side is a swaggering cover of Paula Abdul’s 80s smash Straight Up.
In 2017 Ryan and the band reaped critical acclaim with debut album ‘The Devil’s In The Detail’ – under their previous name ‘Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors’. Singles ‘Heavy Heart’ and ‘Smarter’ received heavy radio play and were each voted Classic Rock magazine’s ‘Track of the Week’, as well as their Ginger Wildheart collaboration and Samaritans charity single, ‘F**k You Brain’.
Having already achieved Steven Van Zandt’s ‘Coolest Song In The World’ thrice on his ‘Underground Garage’ radio show, Little Steven recently heralded Ryan as ‘hope for the future’ – holding him up with such luminaries as Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl and Bille Joe Armstrong.
Speaking of the video to accompany ‘Straight Up’, Ryan says:
“I wanted something fun and quirky, something that looks like the 80s threw-up on a music video! In making it we limited the technology to old school 80s/90s effects – we’re super happy how it turned out.”

Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts / Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers 
The Bottoms Up UK Tour dates
October
Wed 10th Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Thur 11th Voodoo Rooms (the Speakeasy room) Edinburgh
Fri 12th Think Tank Underground, Newcastle
Sat 13th MFN, Nottingham
Sun 14th Night & Day Cafe, Manchester
Tue 16th Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
Wed 17th  Fuel, Cardiff
Thur 18th Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton
Fri 19th Camden Assembly, London
If you miss the chance or just need another fix of the band then they head back to the UK for a support slot to The Alarm.
The Alarm and Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts UK tour dates
November
Wed  28th  ULU. London
Thur 29th Wedgwood Rooms Portsmouth
December
Sat 1st Arts Club, Liverpool
Sun 2nd O2 Academy 2,  Birmingham
Wed 5th Sub 89, Reading
Thur 6th Brudenell, Leeds
Fri 7th Liquid Room, Edinburgh

Hot on the heels of the release of their ‘Spunk Volcano Bastard BBQ Sauce’ a few months ago, (200+ bottles sold and counting!) those rock and roll freaks in Dirt Box Disco are now preparing to launch yet another hot sauce!

In association with the legendary Chilli Pepper Pete, Dirt Box Disco is proud to announce the release of their ‘Freaks Hot Green Salsa’.

Drummer Maff Fazzo says “Our Bastard BBQ Sauce was received incredibly well and I don’t think that any of us expected it to be quite so popular. The only criticism we heard was that it wasn’t hot enough, so we thought we’d best come up a hotter version. In my favourite colour green!”

Clocking in at 5/10 on the heat scale, ‘Freaks Hot Green Salsa’ is a delicious green sauce with a bit of a bite and a whole lot of zing! Perfect as a dipping sauce with nachos and vegetables, or as a salad dressing. Or just poured all over your chips! The sauce was created using all natural ingredients, is suitable for vegans and is wheat, dairy and GM-free.

The sauce was officially launched at this year’s Rebellion Festival in Blackpool and is now available to order online from the Dirt Box Disco/Spunk Volcano website.

 

After another awesome weekend at the Great British Alternative Music Festival and before SV & the Eruptions head out on the road with Wolfsbane Europe can catch them at these dates throughout Rocktober and the by fans for fans video for ‘My Life Is Shit’ – Enjoy!

Numanoids gather round.  BMG has got a two-disc audio recording taken from Brixton Academy and one DVD box set from the Savage tour coming out in November.  With an awesome eighteen track set list you’ve got time to save your pennies and pre-order to avoid disappointment Buy Here

It comes out the same day as he releases a three track EP entitled ‘The Fallen EP’ via Townsend Music which will be available on 12″ coloured vinyl and CD single. Townsend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dom Daley.

A couple of Cripps and a Mogg what could possibly go wrong?  Well, nothing to be fair because this is one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had musically all year.  Mogg on the mic now who’d have thought that?

 

The Brutalists sit somewhere between the Beat, Selector, and Wilco Johnson and his old pals in Dr. Feelgood and a whole host of other bands and musicians that spring to mind as I listened to the musical landscape of this self-titled debut album.

 

Sure its a new genre on me this ska pub rock but to be fair that’s about exactly where it sits.  It comfortably strokes the pub rock chin with some great lyrics and cheeky melodies and also has the happy go lucky charm of some decent ska like chops.

 

‘I Don’t Believe A Word’ is like a mid summers breeze from the choppy guitar riff-a-rama through the chilled keyboard swirls but it’s held together nicely by a great early door down the pub melody.  If that was a nice surprise then the Kinks beatnik vibe on ‘Far Away’ is excellent and that nod of appreciation is turning into a smug grin that These Brutalists might be onto something here and you’re in on it.

‘Form & Function’ is like a mid 80’s dash of Jagger and at times has some Adolescent Sex about it which is always a good thing in my book. ‘Meet Me Half Way’ is a good old knees up so crack open those jellied eels and turn up those bass bins.

The band really hit their stride by the time ‘Talk Of The Town’ bosses proceedings you’ll be bowlin’ down the street with this bad boy on your headphones a right proper jack the lad anthem.  When ‘Know Your Value’ is finished with its keyboard swirl these guys show that they’re not afraid to tread on some pop-smart tones in pursuit of a good tune before the happy go lucky ‘Nutter’ shows up for a bit of 70’s glam slam and like a first cousin once removed of Hanoi Rocks ‘Boiler’ if I might be so bold. Then they rock it up whilst dropping the C Bomb on ‘You Got It’ and to close off proceedings they simply turn in an immaculate bit of rock n roll like ending this bad boy with a huge exclamation mark.

 

Mick, Nigel, Kent, Charlie, and Robert know how good this album is and so do I – I only hope you’ve got the sense to follow the links and pick up a copy for yourself you can thank me laters me old chinas. Now ‘op it and do yourself a favour – you won’t regret it!

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Fraser Munro.

The words “Power Pop” don’t usually drag me in; I tend to think of it as the AOR equivalent of punk but this my friends is different. “Just Another Regular Summer”  is stripped down dirty pop, played with the attitude and honesty of a man living every chord and every word. Think Tom Petty playing Revolver or perhaps Johnny Thunders jamming with latter-day Monkees and that’ll only get you half way there…

 

Matt Julian, formerly of the rather splendid Breakdowns, is serious about his pop. Hardly a day goes by and when he’s not posting a picture of his latest record store find. This boy is serious about the 7” single. All this research has now paid off as he’s only gone and crafted a perfect pop album. A record that most bands could dream of making and he’s done it pretty much all on his tod.

 

Side 1 just whizzes by from Thunders-esque opener “All I want”, through to the song everybody will wish they the had written, the title track “ Just Another Regular Summer”, complete with a little Alarm-like harmonica (please don’t hate me for that one !!??!). So far, there’s nothing not to like and everything to love.

 

Just when you think you’ve hit the high point, “That’ll Be The Day The Earth Stood Still (Drink The Pain Away)” kicks off side 2. I had to stop there and play it again. Matt Julian take a bow you talented bastard! “Lonely Girl” is pure pop and closer “Reunion In The Rain” insists you flip the plastic over to live the last 35 minutes of your life again.

 

“Just Another Regular Summer” is released on October 19th via Canada’s  Gods Candy Records, but get in there quick because if you want the record there are only 50 White, 100 Solid Pink and a 100 on good old Black.

 

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Rock Legends KING’S X Join Golden Robot Records, Set to Release First New Album in Over a Decade in 2019
Australia’s leading international independent record label, Golden Robot Records continues to grow at an unprecedented pace. The label is absolutely thrilled to announce that globally revered, Billboard-charting rock icons KING’S X are now part of their ever-growing international roster. KING’S X recently signed a global deal with Golden Robot Records which will see their long-awaited forthcoming new album released worldwide in 2019 via Golden Robot Records’ partners in the U.S., Europe and Japan.
I’m really excited to release the next KING’S X album with Mark, Derek and the crew at Golden Robot! May the groove be with us all,” says vocalist/bassist dUg Pinnick. Guitarist Ty Tabor adds, “I’m looking forward to working with Golden Robot Records!
Drummer Jerry Gaskill adds, “It’s been a while since we’ve made a record. During that time, I’ve been thinking, when and if we make a new record, I want it to be the best we can do. I want to believe in it. I want to make it great, whatever it takes. I don’t want to just make another KING’S X record. I think and hope that we are in that place. I think and hope its time and I feel good about the team we’ll be working with at Golden Robot Records. I’m going to do my best. Let’s do this thing.
When we started to talk to KING’S X about signing with Golden Robot in the U.S. and we met dUg in LA a few times, I knew 100% that we would end up working with them. I’m loving the fact they are still the original members and I really believe this new album will be there best yet! It’s incredible how many people inside the industry – and I’m talking about very well-known musicians – love these guys and can’t wait for a new album. We are all very excited indeed,” says Mark Alexander-Erber, Group Founder and President.
“I am delighted to finally be able to work with one the most respected, creative rock bands of the past 30+ years. KING’S X is not only a superb rock band with an ardent fan base but are also a ‘musician musicians’ band. Golden Robot Records is determined to finally help KING’S X receive the worldwide recognition it fully deserves,” says Derek Shulman, Executive Chairman of Worldwide Expansion.
Since the release of their debut record, Out Of The Silent Planet, in 1988, KING’S X released a dozen albums that have seen them rightfully earn their place on the rock royalty family tree. Fusing progressive metal, funk and soul grooves with vocal arrangements rooted in blues, gospel and even the British Invasion era influences, KING’S X created a style all their own which continues to be an inspiration for bands to this day.
Featuring vocalist and bassist Doug Pinnick, guitarist Ty Tabor and drummer Jerry Gaskill, KING’S X have never changed their line-up, a rarity in the music world and a testament to the band and musicians and friends.
Critically acclaimed from the start, KING’S X are musician’s musicians, name-dropped by everyone from Anthrax and Suicidal Tendencies to Iron Maiden and Blue Murder for their instrumental prowess. Pearl Jam’s bassist Jeff Ament even declared that “KING’S X invented grunge”. They also enjoyed a long life via the David Letterman Show with their track, “We Were Born To Be Loved” (from 1990’s Faith Hope Love), also a favourite of the Paul Shaffer’s CBS Orchestra to play during commercial breaks.
In 1992, KING’S X signed to Atlantic Records/Megaforce Records, released three albums and toured with bands as diverse as Scorpions, Type O Negative and Pearl Jam. In the early 2000’s, KING’S X released three studio albums and their first official live album via Metal Blade Records. In 2005, the band signed to German-based progressive music speciality label, InsideOut Music, and released Ogre Tones, an album described as a return to the bands classic sound. KING’S X forged ahead with new albums, DVD’s and tours up until 2012 when drummer Jerry Gaskill suffered a major heart attack. The band then quickly compiled an exclusive live release from their archives entitled, Burning Down Boston. The proceeds of which went directly to assisting Gaskill with his medical expenses. They rolled on for two more years until Jerry suffered another heart attack, which resulted in him having a double bypass operation and ultimately led to the band taking an indefinite hiatus.
This break didn’t last long, as they were back on the road in mid-2015, shortly afterwards announcing they would begin work on a new studio album. This would be the band’s first since 2008’s XV. KING’S X began meetings with Golden Robot Records management in Los Angeles in early 2017, eventually signing a global deal in October 2018.
While it’s been a decade since KING’S X have released a new record, the wait has definitely been worth it! Watch this space for news on the forthcoming album in the very near future.
Golden Robot Records online:

THE STRANGLERS WILL HEADLINE CAERPHILLY CASTLE IN 2019

The Stranglers
+ Ruts DC

Friday 5th July 2019
Caerphilly Castle

The Stranglers return to Wales in 2019 as part of their Back on the Tracks UK Tour, which will include a special show at the historic Caerphilly Castle, South Wales on Friday the 5th of July. Tickets will go on general sale at 10 am on Wednesday the 3rd of August through Ticketmaster.co.uk, Gigantic.com, and Seetickets.com.

During a hectic 2018 touring the Southern Hemisphere, Europe, and the UK, which included a stellar sell-out performance at Tramshed Cardiff, The Stranglers have also been busy writing and rehearsing new material. Audiences at the famous castle can expect to experience some of these new cuts, alongside classic favourites and lesser-performed numbers drawn from their eloquent and extensive catalogue.

GENERAL SALE TICKETS

Leigh Fuge.

I still remember the first time I caught the Quireboys live, in Swansea’s Sin City, it was a dark, cold and (Most likely) damp December evening in 2008. I had been trying to catch the band live for a few years and low and behold, they arrive in my hometown poised and ready to rock.

They were deep in the touring cycle for 2008’s Homewreckers and Heartbreakers. I had been a fan of the band for a few years before this album’s release but hearing the Quireboys release an album of stripped back, bluesy rock with mandolins and acoustic guitars was surely something to tread carefully around. Upon first listen back in 2008 I was enamored. Here we sit, 10 years later and the band is celebrating 10 years of homewrecking and heartbreaking, and rightly so.

The band has decided to celebrate with a re-released version of the album with 5 additional live tracks. I was unable to attend the 10th Anniversary concert in September so I’ll make up for that by enjoying the re-released album.

The opening bluesy licks of “I Love This Dirty Town” still get me excited. The drums kick in and it’s party time. This is vintage Quireboys are their juke joint swinging best. Spike’s voice is timeless, is it even possible for the man to sound bad? The song was written about his beloved Newcastle, but I think most of us have our own dirty town that we love.

Track two leads to an immediate change of vibe, the mandolin has been broken out and it’s time for a heartfelt singalong titled “Mona Lisa Smiled”, this song finds its way into the bands live setlists tour after tour and deservingly so, the hook still stands strong after 10 years. Sure, it might be a departure for a band known for keeping the swagger of the blues alive, but they pull it off.

Louder” was always a favourite of mine, blistering slide guitar licks, driving drums and a chorus asking if you want it louder. That’s a recipe for rock and roll success.

Four tracks in and we take another sit down for a slower track, “Hello”. While the tempo might drop, the band still keep the licks coming. The tempo doesn’t stay down too long though, the next track “Blackwater” takes us firmly back into that swampy blues stomp that we can’t get enough of. I challenge anyone to listen to this track without nodding their head.

Next up, we have a trio of downtempo songs, kicking off with “Fear Within the Lie”. The swirly, mellotron-esque keys instantly remind me of Zeppelin’s “No Quarter” coupled with that Quireboys backbeat swagger. Spike’s voice sounding particularly vulnerable and fragile here, gripping the listen and making you hang on his every word. He means everything he’s singing and you can feel it. “One For The Road” is a piano and acoustic led ode to the good times, which retains the stripped back vibe of this section of the album it creates a sense of fun, the sentiment being the older we get, things get harder but there’s always time to have one for the road.  The trio of downtempo tracks is rounded off by the tenderly sung “Late Nite Saturday Call”, there are plenty of meanings someone could apply to a song like this. Spike and the boys have kept the subject matter deeply personal, yet open to interpretation. One of the reasons why I believe that after four decades, their songs are still powerful and poignant.

Hall of Shame” shifts the gears back up and we’re off to a slide guitar fuelled, bluesy smasher. This is a song that I’ve always wished the band would drop into a live show, and perhaps they have, but all the times I’ve seen them live this song has not made the cut. For me, this was always one of the highlights of the album. It has all the elements that I expect from a band like The Quireboys, all the things that evoke the energy I felt when I first heard the band in 2005.

I am a sucker for a pretty guitar intro and “Take a Look At Yourself” delivers just that. There’s a definite 60s vibe to this with a touch of American West Coast smoothness. A heartfelt, mid-tempo tribute to getting it wrong and living as two people, perhaps something many of us have been guilty of over the years.

It would be rude to not go out with a bang, “Josephine” picks the energy back up for the final bow. The band is firing on all cylinders now, as Spike said rightfully in 2001 “This IS Rock and Roll”. High octane, head nodding, foot stomping rock and roll at that. When I first got turned onto bands that originated in the 80s, one of the early songs that turned me onto this was “Cathouse” by Faster Pussycat. When I hear “Josephine”, it reminds of me of that exact feeling of hearing that fast-paced, 12 bar blues attack. Half my life later, hearing that kind of music still gets me ready to rock. Clocking in at less than 3 minutes, the band deliver the goods and cut to the chase. What a way to end an album.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary, we are also treated to 5 live tracks spanning the bands career, “Too Much of a Good Thing”, “Homewreckers and Heartbreakers” (Which is interestingly not on this album, it was on 2013s “Beautiful Curse”), “Mona Lisa Smiled”, “Mother Mary” and “I Love This Dirty Town”. These tracks showcase how electric the band sound live. I particularly loved the live take on Mona Lisa, with some added punch to the guitars. If you have not seen this band live, I urge you to do so. These live tracks will give you a taste, but you really need to get to a show and let your ears give you the fix that you need.

10 years of Homewreckers and Heartbreakers done and dusted. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 20.

 

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Gerald Stansbury.

Shanda & the Howlers released a killer debut album (‘Trouble’) last year that ended up in my top 20 albums of the year. This new album snuck out on me at the beginning of the summer and finds the band steering clear of the sophomore slump by playing to their strengths. Shanda’s vocals were immediately identifiable on the debut and seem to be a little higher in the mix on this one as the band plays a 60’s style Stax influenced rhythm and blues style that packs some attitude.

Luke Metz bass gets the album started and brings ‘Hold On’ to life. Shanda immediately reminds us that she is a star waiting to be discovered by the mainstream. The call and response vocals on the chorus sound amazing, and the quick rhythm gets us moving from the first moments of the album. ‘Baby, You’re the One’ carries the momentum forward with another up-tempo beat combined with a strong hook. Shanda again asserts her identity on ‘Good Morning Heartache’ with its retro rockabilly feel compelling me to move.

‘Crying Over Nothing’ shines with its gentle horn touches adding some low-end texture to the methodical beat. Shanda has plenty of room here to be the focal point with each word she sings. The band’s ups the tempo with the fun ‘Wait and See’ that should see the dancefloor become a whirl of activity. The whole band is on fire with the rhythm section keeping the beat moving underneath the guitar hooks and awesome horn play. Sandra largely sings in a higher tone here guaranteed to make the hairs on your arm raise, and this sounds like a massive hit from back in the day. ‘Hand in Hand’ slides in on a slow pulsating groove. Trevor Johnson’s guitar solo takes the spotlight as everything fades away as he slowly takes the song to another level. ‘The Girl’s No Good’ makes for a rocking blues good time with a beat that would be at home on some early George Thorogood albums. Shanda has an awesome throaty low tone that commands a performance.

Keeping the toes tapping and the hips shaking, ‘Scurry Like a Rat’ sizzles out of the speakers with moments where every instrument hits the mix hard at one time and sounds like pure magic. This song swings hard on the beat. I really have to say that the sax work by Micah Lapping-Carr is incredible throughout this album. The title track introduces harmonica and acoustic guitars to a gritty vocal by Shanda. I think the best compliment I can really give this album is it makes me want to hear the whole album in a live setting in some dive bar with condensation sliding down the wood walls. ‘Blue-Eyed Trouble’ has been a grower on the album with a groove that builds onto its frame as the song goes. Johnson shines on the guitar here again, especially as the song reaches its final stretch. Finale ‘Close Your Eyes’ has an initial guitar lick that immediately made me think of ‘May This Be Love’ by Jimi Hendrix but immediately moves into more of Temple of the Dog’s ‘All Night Thing’ kind of musical vibe. It doesn’t quite hit the pinnacle that ‘You’re Gonna Cry’ hit on their debut, but it does close this album in style.

Shanda & the Howlers are two for two in releasing high-quality albums that take musical inspiration from the past and make it feel fresh, vital, fun, and powerful. Shanda will see her star rise in the years to come with her awesome vocals, especially with the dynamic, excellent musicians who make this a complete band and not a one lady show. Don’t let this album slide under your radar as you owe it to yourself to enter the world of Shanda & the Howlers.

‘Hurt For Me’ is available now

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