It’s just a few days since I was last sat behind the keyboard waxing lyrical about the return of Swedish sleaze rockers Backyard Babies, now Century Media are at it again, messing with my musical memory banks with the return of Buckcherry, another band who thankfully saved me from a life a beige back at the tail end of the nineties.

The connections don’t end there either as just like with BYBs I pretty much fell out of love with Buckcherry around the time their albums started to contain the same amount of ballads you’d expect to find on a Celine Dion long player, and then when the news broke In May 2017 that guitarist Keith Nelson was leaving the band you’ll forgive me for thinking that things might just be over for Buckcherry.

How wrong could I be though, as here they are back with a bang in 2019 with studio album number eight and wearing the ‘Warpaint’ this time around singer Josh Todd is the sole survivor from the ‘Lit Up’ years whilst guitarist Stevie D is still there at his side from Crazy Bitch’ era. Also in attendance this time around are ex-Orson man Kevin Roentgen on guitar (he was also in the rather splendid American Pearl who opened for Buckcherry back in the early 00s), bassist Kelly LeMieux and the already departed Sean Winchester on drums.

Having rolled my eyes into the back of my horse’s head at the band’s pointless cover of Nine Inch Nail’s ‘Head Like A Hole’ which is also included here, I’d deliberately stayed away from any other album teasers as I really wanted to fall in love with Buckcherry all over again, and with ‘Warpaint’ kicking off with the album’s title track I’m pleased to say that some of that initial fire the band had in their stomachs around the time of their first two albums appears to have returned, BUT, and this is a big BUT, the overall feel I get is one of a band slightly holding back, as the acoustic lead ‘Right Now’ proves. This is a track that should explode from the speakers after the initial strut of the verse but instead, it pops and fizzes along where it should really be ripping your throat out.

I thought it was me initially, but I’ve also noted some other people on social media commenting about the mix being a bit subdued, however to point the finger solely at Mike Plotnikoff (who manned the desk on this project as he had done on their third album’15’) to me seems a bit harsh as when the band do ultimately slip into ballad territory as they do on ‘Radio Song’ and ‘The Hunger’ the sound simply soars. Surely there were more pairs of ears in the control room than Mike’s when the bite and crunch that should be there on the guitars on the opening riff for ‘The Vacuum’ end up muffled below the rhythm section? Still, it’s a good song, with a great vocal melody from Todd. I just wish again that the killer instinct was a bit more to the front.

Where ‘Warpaint’ does score a full 10 for me is on the superb ‘Bent’ (a track that could have fallen off the band’s classic and hugely underrated ‘Time Bomb’ album) and on the double time almost country-tinged shuffle of ‘No Regrets’, both tracks showing that Buckcherry are anything but a spent musical force.

Likewise, the gospel-tinged ‘Back Down’ is a sultry little number that could be a sleeper hit single whilst ‘Closer’ thunders along on an AC/DC like staccato riff that immediately has me tapping my hoof.

Look I’d love to say this is the best thing Buckcherry have recorded since ‘15’ just like Josh Todd is doing in the press rounds right now, but I can’t, simply because it isn’t, and tracks like ‘The Alarm’ plus album closer’ The Devil’s In The Detail’ just aren’t up there with the likes of ‘Onset’ and ‘Broken Glass’ the tracks they (kind of) correspond with if you stand the two albums alongside one another.

Make no mistake though ‘Warpaint’ is still a really decent hard rock album, and it is a breath of fresh air compared to the turgid bullshit being peddled as the next big thing by certain other record labels, it’s just for me it lacks that immediate knockout punch that some of the band’s previous album possessed in spades, so for now, I’ll leave my love-light on standby.

Buy ‘Warpaint’: Here

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Author: Johnny Hayward

 

 

 

 

 

Not like T.S.O.L. to twist your melon man so what do they do?  They only go and cover Amerie’s 2005 hit single “1 Thing.”  Bet ya didn’t see that coming.  Jack had this to say –

“I like go-go music and soul and anything that really moves. I first heard Amerie’s “1 Thing” in 2005, when it was released. Fucking infectious man, the way that groove keeps rolling, and she’s such a great vocalist. The lyrics were your basic relationship trip but then it hit me, this isn’t just a song about some dude, these lyrics read like a song to a system or a government that’d been up to no good. When she sang, “memories keep ringing bells” I was thinking of the state of our union today, the turmoil in our society, and where we’d been before—I was musing on our involvement in the Middle East, Latin America, Vietnam. I was thinking about the dirty deeds that this nation had been up to and then she sang, “why don’t you just admit it” and I realized that no one in power, not in this country, was ever gonna admit that we were wrong.”

The vinyl is available on limited edition vinyl in transparent red, white or blue and w/ black and white silk-screened American flag on the reverse side. This is limited to 150 units of each color. Records ship late March.

The record is now available for pre-sale via the Hardline Entertainment web store: Here.  If you live outside the USA take a deep deep breath because This single isn’t cheap.Ouch!

 

Buckle Up UK Gene and the boys are heading over to Shit Island to make a noise.  Also the latest album is getting a vinyl release and its a limited edition “Waking Up Dead”. This vinyl will have two unreleased tracks that will not be available anywhere else. It comes in red vinyl with only 300 copies available. Each copy will be numbered and signed by the band. Hurry as this new vinyl will only be available for a limited time. Pre-order today: Here 

Find your city below and get your Tickets for the up and coming 2019 Spring UK tour at http://www.bulletsmusic.com , your normal ticket outlets or at the links below.

‪May 16th – Cavern – Exeter – UK (http://www.wegottickets.com/event/466280)‬

‪May 17th – Temple of Boom – Leeds – UK ‬

‪May 19th – Garage Attic – Glasgow – UK (https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/360056679B064EEE)‬

‪May 21st – O2 Academy Islington 2 – London – UK‬

‪May 22nd – Sin City – Swansea – UK (https://www.sincityclub.co.uk/…/b2c8a3f6-7044-4b8c-905e-355…)‬

‪May 23rd – Beta – Nottingham – UK‬

‪May 24th – The Crauford Arms – Milton Keynes – UK (https://www.seetickets.com/…/bull…/the-craufurd-arms/1326778)‬

‪May 25th – Satan’s Hollow – Manchester – UK‬

‪May 26th – Call of the Wild Festival – Lincolnshire – UK‬

‪May 28th – The Flapper – Birmingham – UK (https://www.seetickets.com/…/bullets-an…/the-flapper/1326574)‬

‪May 29th – Bannerman’s Edinburgh – UK‬

‪May 30th – Head of Steam – Newcastle – UK (https://www.seetickets.com/promoter/eastside/7803)‬

‪May 31st – The Anvil – Bournemouth – UK‬

‪June 1st – Waterfront – Norwich – UK (https://www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk/ents/event/7356/)‬

See you all soon
Gene Louis, Felipe Rodrigo, Zachary Kibbee and Jonny Udell

Bullets and Octane exploded onto the scene in 2003 with their debut EP “One Night Stand Rock N Roll Band” on Critereon Records. 2004 saw the 2nd EP “Bullets And Octane” and their debut album “The Revelry” produced by Gilby Clark of Guns And Roses also on Critereon Records. In 2005-2006 they Supported Avenged Sevenfold in America and Europe on the City Of Evil Tour.
2006 was a big year for the band as they were signed to RCA/BMG Records. They released their first major label album “In The Mouth Of The Young”, which was produced by Page Hamilton of Helmet. They played The Download Festival and where on “The Family Values Tour” with Korn, Stone Sour, Flyleaf and Deftones. They headlined their own UK tour as well.
2007 saw them Leave RCA for Ares Records, release “Songs For The Underdog” album and tour with Unwritten Law. They had headlining UK Tour with The Knives that year as well. In 2009 they released “Bullets and Octane ” a full length album and Toured the U.K. with Gunfire 76 (Wednesday 13’s project).
In 2016 they played Lost Highway motorcycle show and concert with Social Distortion, Foghat and Eagles Of Death Metal as well as releasing a new song “Burning At Both Wicks”. In 2017 back at it full time with a solid line up, released songs and videos for “Bad Mother Fucker” and “Waking Up Dead”, headlined a very successful tour of the U.K and Sweden. They finished the “Waking Up Dead” album and played a string of successful shows in Hollywood, Orange County and Las Vegas. In 2018 they are looking to release the album “Waking Up Dead”. They are already slated to headline U.K. dates and Sweden dates in February to kick off the 20 Year anniversary of the band with what has been touted as the most solid line up in it’s history.

Australia is easily producing some of the best new records anywhere on the planet currently and Melbourne garage rockers Money For Rope add further weight to that assumption with their new long player ‘Picture Us’. From the restrained introduction of ‘Hold’ works well before easing us into ‘Actually’ again quite restrained to begin with it builds steadily rises to the solo then falls back into line again maybe reflecting the fact this was recording during another balmy Australian summer so nothing too frantic which is understandable.

It’s not until ‘Stretched My Neck’ does the tempo break a sweat with some great vocals and backing vocals the temperature gets raise as the solo soars.  Guitarist, singer and songwriter Jules McKenzie is a talented guy and has a great handle on writing pop-tinged garage psych songs never overstaying their welcome and managing to keep things fresh and interesting throughout the record. ‘O’Chelles’ is quirky yet listenable something along the lines of new wave maybe a slightly fucked up XTC maybe?

‘Earl Grey’ is perhaps inspired by the bands time spent in North London before writing and recording the album but again its got a slightly spacey new wave feel to proceedings with a solid backbeat courtesy of the bands double drumming approach. Again a slightly restrained feel until it breaks out and the tempo raises. The best track on the album so far.

To be fair this is the albums purple patch as ‘Trashtown’ takes a walk on the wild side and has a psychedelic stretch out . To close off the record McKenzie lays back with the acoustic guitar for a gentle strum through ‘What Takes So Long’ on a simple yet enjoyable tune.  File under fairly easy listening and if the weather gets nice n hot over the summer then sling this on when it’ll all make perfect sense and ‘Picture Us’ will come into its own.

 

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Author: Dom Daley

Copenhagen trio like to make Noise Rock and they hit the spot with an angular post-punk explosion that often head fucks your ears but with pop music Not chart music but dark pop. ‘Session 1’ is firing from the Sonic Youth territory with plenty of surface noise which is good because as they say life has surface noise.

Its a theme carried on through the record as Mathias Bertelsen (lead vox + guitar), Anders Hvass (backing vox + baritone guitar) and Jonas Wetterslev (drums) can make a noise and not having a bass guitar and replacing it with the baritone Guitar is an original and interesting move maybe not something conventional rock music is totally ready for but on several plays this has legs.  ‘Joaquin’ has shades of Janes Addiction but the rhythm is in the Cure camp perhaps and that’s a good thing right?

 

‘Sail Away’ is more guitar-based pop and quite European in style I love Belgium off the wall alt-rockers Deus and Sail Away sounds inspired and qwerky.   Whilst most of the tunes are short and sharp towards the middle of the record a couple of tunes go into extended overplay with a Buzzcocks like a repetitive rolling riff on ‘Be Mine’ that is a relative of ‘Why Can’t I Touch It’ but they do and it really works and is followed by the dark brooding tones of ‘Heroine’ in its six-minute epic. It twists and turns like Sonic Youth meets a more conventional Smashing Pumpkins or Dinosaur Jnr all making as much noise as possible.  Frank Black would like this.

The songs fall back into line toward the end with the shorter tunes and the lovely ‘Morning Son’ with its simple strum and melody. ‘Noise & Romance’ is both and after many plays was an excellent joy on my ears as not everything has to beat you over the head sometimes it’s nice to be greeted with a twisted grunge-like crooked smile and we can all then go about our day.

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Author: Seb Boyd

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