RYAN ROXIE (Alice Cooper guitarist) has released a new lyric video & single for ‘God Put a Smile Upon Your Face‘. The song is taken from his new solo album, “Imagine Your Reality”, which was released on May 25 via Cargo Records UK. The video can be viewed below.
A Coldplay song would not be the obvious tune to cover on a ‘guitar-driven’ rock record like Ryan Roxie’s Imagine Your Reality. Roxie takes the melancholy mood of the Coldplay song and injects a punkish energy to it with layer upon layer of raw guitar tracks while still staying true to the song’s dark timbre. Complimented by a new enigmatic video shot on location in the Las Vegas Desert by Director/Cinematographer Denise Truscello with graphic lyric overlay by Gustav Kronfelt and additional editing by Jonny Vegas, God Put a Smile on Your Face will do to you just what the title suggests.
God Put a Smile Upon Your Face was produced by Kristoffer Follin at Purple Skull Studios in Stockholm, Sweden and is the 5th song released off of the ‘Imagine Your Reality‘ album.
Ryan Roxie – Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, who is best known as Alice Cooper’s longtime lead guitarist and collaborator, has also worked with Slash and Gilby Clarke and been a member of Classic Rock award-nominated band CASABLANCA.
Roxie began working with Alice Cooper in 1996. He was initially offered a ‘one year tour’ and 22 years later (with one leave of absence for family commitments) he’s become an integral part of the band.
In 2000 Roxie wrote and recorded on Slash’s Snakepit’s second album Ain’t Life Grand.
Ryan Roxie’s new music is currently being featured in the U.S. on Eddie Trunk’s Sirius/XM radio show, in the UK on Joe Elliot’s Planet Rock radio program and Rick Palin’s Firebrand radio. Roxie also appears on the ‘Nights with Alice Cooper‘ syndicated radio show as well as getting regular rotation on both Sweden’s Bandit Rock and Pirate Rock radio along with many other rock and alternative stations that are proudly supporting the return of ‘guitar-driven rock’.
A unique band with an unrivaled catalogue of singles a clutch of albums that are the top of any garage punk chart and the constant rebirth and pursuit of recognition The Hip Priests are relentless in their pursuit of the next-best song they seem to effortlessly write and release 45’s play memorable sporadic shows and on the verge of releasing a brand new album. Maybe the stars have aligned and finally 2019 will see an industry wake up and public catch on to what they’re about. How could I resist not slinging a few questions at Lee and Austin about what’s coming and whats been happening in the world of The Hip Priests (which usually is quite a lot)…
A new album? What made you decide to get back into the studio to record a full-length album?
OZ– In all honesty, there weren’t really any plans to do one, we were gonna carry on churning out the 7 inches. But I’ve never been totally happy with any of the albums we’ve done, either the Recording or the mixing has always been rushed and I wanted to do one album I’d be properly proud of where everything was right. So I mentioned it to Lee when we were playing in the US last year and twisted his arm until he Agreed haha.
Lee- I’d sworn I wouldn’t do one but then, yeah, Oz persuaded me. Part of it, too was that we had yet another person then fuck off (Joe Blow) and, in my/our own odd twisted way, we then think we need to go and show everyone again. I’m forever saying I’ve had enough n part of that is we just hit a point where it was evident, despite our ‘successes’ that we’d hit some bullshit Rocknroll glass ceiling.
Can you reveal the title?
Oz– We could but we’re gonna keep it under wraps for now until we know how it’s gonna be released.
Lee– Nah – I’m gonna piss Austin off and tell you (I’m sure that it’s been mentioned online anyway). It’s going to be called ‘Stand for Nothing’. I first heard it as a negative/pessimistic expression but then realised how amazingly it also tied into the Malcolm X Quote ‘A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything’. It then gave it that potential duality of meaning and then I just loved it and resisted changing it. Most people will likely just read it as another ‘Oh the Priests are pretending to be all nihilistic again’ thing anyway.
How many songs will be on it? Did you get a label yet mate?
Oz– The plan is that there’s gonna be 10 songs on the CD and 11 on the vinyl. As you know mate, we were on the verge of signing with SPV Steamhammer at the end of last year and actually had a draft contract but in true rock n roll cliché style, that all went to shit and we’ve since been looking for another label to release it. Ideally, it will come out on a bigger label that can sort us some PR and better distribution, as that’s what we’ve needed for a few years but we’ll see. If not we’ll do it the usual way I guess…..
Lee – As Oz said, we recorded 14 so ones gone towards a single and two have been left aside for the moment. We’re still trying to sort out who’s definitely doing it.
How did the writing process go? how do The Hip Priests work? from inception to recording?
Oz– Slightly different to usual in that Lee actually recorded rough demos of the songs this time and sent them round to the rest of us, which made it a quicker process to learn them. We then knocked them around in rehearsal until they sounded right and went in and recorded them. We also did the album over three-weekend sessions this time rather than one long, painful week of recording which was way better for everyone’s sanity! In typical Priests style though we did end up squeezing in an extra tune a couple of days before the last session just to get another 7” down!
Lee– Yeah, I bought some cheap as little Boss recorder and did rough as fuck demos with me just playing a couple of tracks of guitar and doing a couple of tracks of vocals. I guess it helped with also deciding what we’d work on and what we perhaps wouldn’t. The album started to give ideas of second guitar parts here and there. I guess the main thing that’s different on this album is the writing itself in that I’ve taken on different subject matters and characters even on this one. I really didn’t want to do another album that primarily about my fabricated ego, getting fucked up and/or fucking.
You’ve gone from a four-piece to five what was the reasoning behind this move? What have the two new boys brought to the band? Introduce us and let us know a bit about them?
Oz– We’ve talked about getting another guitarist for a long time just to fill out the sound. In smaller venues we’d get away with it through sheer volume but when we played some bigger festival shows it was noticeable in places that it was lacking an extra guitar. Mike had been pestering us for a while to join and as some of the ideas Lee had for the new album were needing a bigger sound, we decided to give him a shot. Having just auditioned drummers and found Des we couldn’t really be arsed with auditioning again for a guitarist so we just told Mike to come down and if it worked he was in, simple as that. It does sound fuckin huge now too and Mike’s got the rhythm side of things nailed. I guess what they’ve brought to the band, as well as their playing, is some new enthusiasm cos the rest of us are pretty jaded haha.
Playing shows sporadically around shit island to a rabid audience of people who actually “get it” must make up for those that don’t get it? Are people afraid of the Hip Priests? Songs like the last 12″ (‘No Time’) left the listener in no doubt about how you view what’s going on here in 2018 is the album going to be songs of a similar vein?
Oz– Haha, I’d rather play to a bigger rabid audience, to be honest, but garage/punk ain’t ever been a big hit in the UK really has it? Rather than being scared of us, I think most people are still oblivious to us as, despite everything we’ve done, we’re still kinda under the radar to most people. The album’s a perfect mix I think, there’s some similar stuff on the state of the UK as well as tunes about wasting yr life playing this stuff, surviving as a band for over 10 years, the narcissism of social media……just no songs about fucking.
Lee– I still think people here especially don’t get us and we’ve never been welcomed into any of the Island’s nepotistic ‘punk rock’ scenes or it’s middle-aged seaside specials. We still exist totally under the radar – and because we’ve always been committed to the idea that we’d never beg or brown nose anyone it’s been a hindrance. But then again, how many other UK underground punk or whatever fucking bands are on their 24th 7” single, 4th album and get invited onto bills with the Hellacopters, etc. “Hey, boys – you can come to Holland all expenses paid and play with RFTC, The Turks and the Hellacopters or play with The Anti Nowhere League in some bogging seaside town?”. Haha. As regards ‘No Time’ being a prelude to the new album. Yeah – I guess it was in a way. It’s pretty fucking dark in many places. I’ve always been socially and politically aware but it wasn’t something I’d really allowed to come into my writing, bar just expressing anger and admittedly worthless negativity but then I got to the point where I simply couldn’t stop it. I could have rattled off 14 songs about the state of the UK but chose to kinda make it snapshots of other things too, none of them very cheery though! Hahaha. From the sociopathic psychos that you might find in any town (actually written the day after meeting some scary bloke in le Pub early this year) to Mainstream brainwashing media, Zombie Social Media, broken relationships, woeful self-medication, etc I imagine it’s sounding like a laugh a minute!
You’ve played with some immense bands over the last few years and taken your blitzkrieg to mainland Europe – is there a different take on what you do over in Europe is there less judgment of a band like The Hip Priests?
Oz– They just understand rock n’ roll better in Europe and support live music in a way that the UK doesn’t. Some of the festival lineups we’ve played on have been ridiculous in terms of bands we love (The Hellacopters, Zeke, RFTC, New Bomb Turks and Nashville Pussy all on the same bill!) and that would never happen in the UK. In fact, you’d be lucky to ever get The Hellacopters or the Turks back in the UK.
The album will be out in early 2019 are there any other plans you can reveal that are being incubated? Tours? Singles?
Oz– A lot depends on who releases it at the moment but there should be another 7” before the end of the year to keep you going and we have a couple of other spare tracks from the album sessions too. We’re working on a run of shows in the UK with Scumbag Millionaire in early 19 too but waiting to see what happens album wise before we confirm it.
Lee – Can I say the word ‘retirement’ again?
The Spasm Gang are a supportive bunch and when the band release a new record they tend to be limited numbers that get hoovered up straight away and when they become available on sites like Discogs they fetch silly money the rabid bunch are around several hundred strong what are the plans to expand that mentalist club and what exclusive goodies have you got in the pipeline for the album.
Oz – Yes, they’re a loveable bunch of nutters and obsessive collectors, pretty much like the band members! There’s actually 200 out there, from Australia to Brazil and everywhere in between, which is pretty amazing for a little band like us. Weirdly enough, we’ve never really pushed it so it’s organically just grown through word of mouth. Yeah, we always do an exclusive SG version of every release for members only, there’ll be one for the album but no idea what it will be yet.
Lee – You liar – I told you my mental new hair-brained idea for the album giveaway in the van the other day! I’m not saying here though! Yeah, the Spasm Gang fucking rule. The loyalty some of them have and effort they make for our little fucking group is sincerely humbling – even for a massive arsehole like me Haha. When people travel around the world to see you it’s pretty mind-blowing…
Lee you write all or most of the material now must be a great time to be Lee Love with such horrible so and so’s in charge of powerful countries and so many people breaking cover with right-wing agendas and racist views it’s like shooting fish in a barrel for you, isn’t it? Would you like to write with anyone else? if you had the chance who would you look to for a helping hand not that you need it obviously but as a vanity project?
Lee- As I said, I could easily have written a whole album on how fucked up, scary, unfair, inequitable and more this nation and the rest of the world is starting to look but tried very hard not to.. I’ve never felt so fucking angry and depressed about it, how much worse it might get and what my son might have to fucking contend with. For this band to have overnight become some kind of agitprop band would have been a step too far.
As regards writing with someone else? I don’t know. Mind you, Oz wrote some lyrics on this one which I then adapted and made fit some tunes and it wasn’t long ago we did the Motherfucking Motherfuckers thing with our Bitch Queen boys but that more turned out that Harry rattled of half the tunes ‘n’ I did the others. Maybe the Priests are my vanity project Haha! It’s what happens somewhere between my ludicrous ego clashing with my crushing self-doubt. Actually, I’ve written a few super Aussieproto punk things recently which I might keep aside for something else for some fun. Perhaps I might sing ‘em too as I did a couple on the MFMFers. I don’t know, many days I just wanna stop and try to be ‘normal’ whatever the fuck that’s meant to mean.
Having played some superb festivals over the last few years and touring with your European boyfriends in Bitch Queens who else is doing it for you musically?
Oz – The Scumbag Millionaire album that’s about to drop is a scorcher for sure and Bitch Queens have a new one on the way too. Grindhouse from Aus are the best garage/punk band I’ve heard in a long, long time andhopefully, they’ll make it over here next year so we can hook up for some shows. I just got the Powerline Sneakers album (ex Bored!) which is fuckin great too.
Lee – I still listen to the same old Scandi/garage/rock ‘n’ roll shit I always did. Grindhouse are my biggest faves in a while – alongside all our mate’s bands like the Queens, Flash House, Rotten Foxes, Deathtraps etc.
Is this the best record you’ve ever made?
Oz – Without a doubt. Best songs, best playing, best production.
Lee – Yes. Everything else we’ve done there’s maybe a tune or lyrics that make me cringe a little. The lyrics on these I’d happily publish. It sounds like us still but I/we tried hard to change things a bit and fuck with arrangements, the usual kind of guitar parts, etc. I hope it’s noticeable! Haha
Who will be the first Hip Priest to record a solo record
Oz – Hopefully, nobody’s that much of a dickhead
Lee – Cheers! That’ll be me then. Haha
Right, it was time to let these two go about their business and with all that news in mind maybe its time to start getting excited about the new album when its released in early 2019. Easily one of the most prolific bands to release records anywhere and the UK should be proud to have them. when they play check em out when they release a record buy it you won’t be disappointed I promise you and if the last single is anything to go by they are getting better and better maybe they’ve gone through puberty and are growing into well-rounded adults… Nah they’re still the filthy – rude – foul mouthed garage punk rock and rollers they ever were its just they know what they’re doing now either that or they do a good job trying. God bless the Hip Priests!
The Supersuckers 30th Anniversary Tour begins 11 November! Where the band will be performing the “Evil Powers of Rock ‘n’ Roll” album in its entirety along with hits and tunes from the new record “Suck It.”
Ticket info at supersuckers.com or on @bandsintown
They might have been Born With A Tail but ‘Suck It’ confirms they’ve lost none of that fire in their bellies & their continued adventures in Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is most welcome round these parts.
What possible reason do we need to show a youthful Spaghetti and co kicking up some dust on the classic ‘Born With A Tail’ anyway? Buy tickets and look out for RPM’s review of ‘Suck It’ coming soon…
Henri Herbert returns to Green Note after his 3 sell out shows last year, for a rare solo piano performance. This will be Henri’s last London show for a while before he relocates to Austin, Texas. Henri Herbert is a piano-playing phenomenon, and definitely one of the best and most sought after boogie-woogie blues piano men in the world. The former pianist of the mighty Jim Jones Revue now blazes his own trail, and after extensive touring around the UK, Europe, USA and Canada both solo and with his band “Henri Herbert and The Fury”, including performances at SXSW and Cincinnati Blues Festival, Henri has firmly established himself as an electrifying live act and accomplished songwriter. Strongly influenced by the greats Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, and Jerry Lee Lewis and equally at ease with a pounding boogie or a soulful jazz standard, Herbert has amassed an incredible 16 million hits on Youtube for his performance at St Pancras train station..prepare for boogie detonation!
Henri Herbert solo piano show November 1 2018…catch Henri live at The Green Note in Camden.
When a bands promo lands on your desk and you put in on the player and immediately within 30 seconds it has your attention because those cats are singing off the same hymn sheet you are and its pretty clear they have all the right credentials and then you don’t hear anything about them for a while then all of a sudden a great label picks up a band and releases an album and out of the blue you get asked to review this cool band and all of a sudden they reappear on your radar. Well, IdolLips are like that. Picked up by Wanda Records they released their third and strongest album to date,r so I thought it was about time we got in touch. I fired a bunch of questions at Tony Volume and this cool as band of Italian punk rock n rollers gave me the lowdown on what’s happening in IdolLips world and the who why and wherefores are now in print so you can have no excuse for not checking out ‘Street Values’. Over to you Tony…
Firstly tell us a little history of the band. Where are you Tony and how long have you guys been playing? why play in a punk rock ‘n’ roll band & where did the name come from? Idollips were born around 2005, basically from the only guys who had a common love for old-fashioned heroes from the original punk scene. We lost our heart in 1977, the New York of CBGB’s and max’s where Heartbreakers, Ramones and Dead Boys played at volume 10. only one big problem: we came out too late and from a little town, Cecano, in the center of Italy, in the center of nothing, with no clubs and no scene. we took our name from a lipstick, what else? growing up with New York Dolls in your dreams? after few line up changes the band is now four pieces: Tony Volume on vocals and guitar, Dee Blade on drums, Vale Blade on guitar (we three from the beginning) plus new one Adrian X on bass.
The new album has been picked up by Wanda in Germany how did this come about?
We had the work almost ready, so we took a look around in search for a label to put out our new tunes. Wanda came in help and sincerely did a great work. so you have in your hand a great vinyl. We’re proud to be on the same label with bands we like such as the Stitches, the Crazy Squeeze and many others.
This is your 3rd album after ‘Too Much For The City’ came out in 2006 then ‘scene repulisti’ in 2011 that was quite a gap between record and then a bigger gap to this the new one ‘Street values’ any reason for the gap?
I don’t think our new lp is what the world is needing. ok, seriously it’s really hard for us to keep on playing what we like. our songs came out from incredible pain or rage, broken-hearted, broken bottles and all other stories rock’n’roll is famous for. we do our little part. we don’t invent anything but we do it right.
The band has stayed true to its style is there much of a scene where you are? How does Italy do for rock ‘n’ roll?
The first song of street values is called “outta scene”. if there’s one we’re not in. We only play out of fashion punk rock. in your face, or where you prefer…
Is the line up more stable now? Tell us about the new album. Where did the inspiration come from and who handles the songwriting?
actually, I think it’s the best line up we’ve ever had. we recorded the new tunes with Danilo Silvestri and maybe for the first time, we managed to put our real sound and energy on vinyl. after some pre-production we almost recorded it live in the studio. He knew a lot of tricks and did a really great work for us. most of the songs like previous works are mine but on the new one there are some tunes from Vale but at last, it’s a choral work. everyone added something. I feel we grew up more as a band.
as I said before our roots are in the first punk scene, we totally devoted to the Patron Saint of the losers, Mr. Johnny Thunders.
Do you get to play many live shows and what are the chances of you maybe playing live in the UK? There are some excellent bands around at the moment who are similar to you guys is there anyone you’d like to play with?
some years ago we played in London. three gigs opening and as a backing band for the great Rick Blaze. A lot of fun and a lot of stories… today it’s getting harder to play in general, sure there are bands we’d love to share the stage with, The Stitches, Crazy Squeeze, The Briefs, the Gaggers, Cyanide pills The Spent Idols and many others…it’s could be great go back in the UK so if someone reading can help us – write soon. we had some gigs in Italy in autumn scheduled and in December we’ll fly to Istanbul for some gigs too.
What are your plans for the immediate future and anything you’d like to tell the readers?
we’re a punk rock band, no future!!!!! Joking…maybe not…
thank you guys for keeping the faith alive in real rock’n’roll
Let’s start with a bit of a rant, this gig or the promotion, marketing and pricing of this event was a total fuck up from day one. Imagine the promotion company conversation
Partner 1“ Lets set up a series of gigs? Where shall we put them on? How about a patch of waste ground outside Bristol?
Partner 2 “Sounds good don’t we need planning permission?
Partner 3 “Nah it’ll be fine, think how much money we’ll make.
Partner 1 “We didn’t get planning, what are we going to do? All venues are booked with their own events, and we’ve got all these punters money in our bank account building up interest?
Partner 2 I have it!!!! Bristol City Stadium have a concourse/ exhibition space, let’s book that? It says it can hold up to 3000 we pack the punters in like sardines there won’t be a view for the guys at the back, but it’ll be fine – sorted”.
Partner 3 But won’t sound be poor, it is under a metal construction, the sound will bounce?
Partner 2 Punter’s are not experts, they won’t care!! We’ve only got the pub P.A. from Charlie anyway (names have been changed) It’s all about them getting to see the band Innit!!! Stop whining and get on the phone before we have to put it on in the backroom of a pub.
N.B. (Remember guys sarcasm is the lowest form of wit)
You can just picture the scene can’t you, well Imagine how I felt arriving at my worse nightmare, a long narrow corridor under the main stand at Ashton Gate Stage at one end literally 18 “ high, Huge mixing desk halfway back, pillars either side, leaving a corridor approximately 50ft long and 20 feet wide where you might get a sniff of seeing the band, so I would say about a third of the audience got to see the band, or at least a band member (If they were over 6ft).
I suppose the good thing about it, I got there early so positioned myself about 3 rows back from the stage dead-center so at least if the sound was poor I could see the band (and that’s where I stayed).
I have to say none of this is either of tonight’s band’s fault, the blame lies entirely with the promotions company that put it on so enough of my rant first up was:-
Field music, now I’ve wanted to see these guys for quite a while and while the sound was indeed painfully poor, the band put on a really good show, at times reminiscent of Talking Heads, at times leaning towards solo Peter Gabriel at times hinting at a much darker underbelly. But no matter how hard they tried the little nuances and ideas that light up their LP’s was lost in a mire of pub quality sound, not the bands fault and I for one will look to catch them again, but in a real music venue, with a proper sound system, preferably in a headline slot.
So we’re on to the Main Event, and believe it or not this isn’t the first time I’ve caught The The live the last time was in Newport Centre way back in the day with a certain Johnny Marr on guitar, replaced tonight by Barry Cadogan (last time I saw Barry was with Primal Scream), both are consummate Guitar Slingers of the highest order, but sound wise tonight you couldn’t even pick out when Barry changed guitar. I would have loved tonight for the sound to be as good as the band performance, but it was never going to be, so tuning out the distortion/bounce and poor quality became my mission and my focus became the band stagecraft and professionalism in the face of adversity. Matt Johnson brought up the chaos around the venue, tried to pacify and even asked how the sound was (Matt it was shocking).
Lyrically tracks like Heartland really sent a message of the time as did Armageddon days and the Beaten Generation, but sadly or prophetically their message has become even more relevant today, with Trump in Power across the water, the far right rising within the echelons of power throughout Europe, Brexit on the Horizon and Boris Johnson sat politically as a prime minister in waiting as soon as May and her minions write away Britain’s hopes of a future.
Stand out tracks tonight? “Infected”, newbie “We can’t stop what’s coming”, “Dogs of Lust”, the three aforementioned and set closer “I’ve been waiting for tomorrow (all my life)”.
As a band to a man the musicianship on show was superb, the choice of set impeccable, but and it’s a huge but, the power and intensity that the music deserved was sadly lost in appalling less than pub quality sound, nothing to do with the band or sound engineers, but all to do with putting on a band in somewhere that can’t in any way shape or form be classed as a music venue.
As a footnote, I actually complained to the promoters, the response I got? Nil, Nada, Nothing, so do you know what FUCK YOU TOO!!!!
‘Black Confetti’ is the first single off the forthcoming new album ‘In Vino Veritas’, available to stream/download w/ exclusive b-sides now from all good digital platforms, or as a limited edition CD only from www.tylasarttavern.com
Released via the pledge platform the much-anticipated album is due for release to pledgers it also comes in a bundle along with a cd of cover songs as well as a veritable feast of goodies from these vagabonds you pays yer money you take your pick but remember folks some of these items are limited. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
‘In Musica Veritas’ is the cover song accompaniment to our new album #InVinoVeritas🍷, featuring a variety of beloved tracks handpicked and performed by Tyla and co.
Ash have just announced that the brilliant Oslo-based power-punks Death By Unga Bunga, will be joining them on their upcoming UK tour latest this month. The band will also be performing a headline show in Huddersfield in and amongst the dates with Ash.
The band has been handpicked by Ash for the dates as they are known for their wild live shows across Europe and the US.
Death By Unga Bunga recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary as a band by releasing the brilliant album ‘So Far, So Good, So Cool‘ via Jansen. In 2017, the band joined punk legends Stiff Little Fingers on their 40th Anniversary World Tour.
Settle down readers dim that light because old Rags is clearing his throat and with his newly assembled comrades he’s gonna take you on a journey along his story highway – so buckle up folks it’s gonna be the ride of your lives.
There are many things that puzzle me like how does gravity work? Why does the bread land butter side down and how the fuck Rags isn’t a household name in this God forsaken industry?
After knocking out three albums in three years with his beat combo Role Models he’s back in the room with this- something of a debut solo record Hell its got his name on the sleeve, of course, it’s a solo album. Songs that didn’t quite fit the Role Models remit but most certainly needed to be heard.
Had this record not been recorded then I’m sorry folks that would have been a travesty a tragedy even and I’m not for a second joking around. Once you get stuck into this album – time will be an irrelevance and you’ll have a bunch of your new favourite songs. You’re gonna laugh and maybe even wipe some of that stuff that falls from your eyes when watching Lassie because this is the work of a man and a band so on top of their game it’s nuts.
With something of a gentile opener ‘To The Sea’ is just a couple of guys playing acoustic and electric guitars as they harmonise you know the deal just like the good ones used to back in the day y’know those Don and Phil boys – that kinda deal. It does build but in keeping with the tempo and it never gets ahead of itself or reveals its hand too early as the key being able to hold everyone nicely in place as you the listener gets as comfortable as possible.
‘That World’ has some guitar breaks that wouldn’t sound out of place nestled in the best work of Peter Buck or Dave Pirner (I’m not even joking) with some fantastic twists like Johnny Marr always throws in his work but it’s all wrapped up nicely around a great Rags tale Take a bow Gaff you nail with such empathy.
I wouldn’t like to say that the album reaches an unassailable peak this early but ‘Your Distance’ is a stunning piece of writing from the intense lyrics to the playing of the band this is easily Rags finest three minutes and twenty-five seconds of songwriting and the backing vocals give me chills even after the one hundredth play. I might be accused of over-hyping records and I admit to getting carried away (who doesn’t? Isn’t that what music is supposed to do?). Trust me, I’ve had these songs in my possession for months and I promise you I simply can’t get enough of it and I make no apologies for ‘bigging’ it up or going overboard. when you have to say it like it is then just let it out so here it is guys consider this me letting it out!
The title track is a bright song that has Kit Swing on fire with her vocals and the arrangement lifts it ten feet tall as Rags holds his own and manages to raise a smile with some great lyrics. Feel free to punch the air rocky style once you put down the tennis racket after playing air guitar to Gaffs (Michael Gaffney) great solo.
Onto ‘Lose With Me’ what might well be seen as a distant relative to some 80’s /90’s Americana juggernauts like…Nah I’m not naming them this stands shoulder to shoulder with them. This is the sound of a band having an absolute blast working with some superb songs and running with it giving it everything they have and the final mix is the pay off as we all get to hear it.
To show that Rags can fish out a pair of glitter bellbottoms and paint his face like Marc did as ‘Scotty Thompson’ sounds like Mott The Hoople and Roxy Music stumbling in at sunrise with the keys to Elton’s Roller and having no idea how that happened.
Settle back down kids and pour yourself another glass because Rags has sat on the rocking chair and is opening up his big book of stories as ‘Story Highway’ unfolds and again you can feel your face resting into the smile because it’s another shade as his brush sweeps over yet more quality songwriting.
Me I might never measure up for that guitar-shaped swimming pool I was going to build but you know what? Give me a record as complete as this any day of the week. ‘Heart Souvenir’ has some great keyboards holding this one to book as Simon Maxwell, Andy Brook, Ricky McGuire, Gaff, and Kris Rodgers all play with great sympathy but without their deft touches and light and shade, something would be missing.
Say it quietly but Rags has surpassed himself here and these songs show that he has so much talent and such a great ear for a song and with a little help from his friends has written played and arranged the years finest album. Oh sure he also manages to sing his heart out as well and he’s most definitely taken his music to places he’s not been before and sounded accomplished and capable with songs that are rich in depth, feeling and above all quality. ol’ Rags has shone his light into corners of music that can often be dark and cold but not this. Warm- engaging – uplifting and without a doubt his finest work so far.
There’s still the upbeat ‘Later Than it Is’ to underline what’s gone before it and to add that confident exclamation mark before we ride off into the sunset happy to know that we are here and we get to hear this great music. It only leaves the squeezebox on ‘Easy’ to show that this is anything but, but in the hands of professionals, it certainly sounds it.
Be smug – Be happy – spread the word Rich Ragany & The Digressions have turned in one hell of an album that’ll inspire you and make you believe that great music is out there and you want some and this is the proof.
Hey Rags before you decide on where to go next let’s take …Like We’ll Never Make It… and get as many people as possible to jump on board and hear these songs because they deserve to be heard make no mistake about that.
Once upon a time – and not that long ago actually – many within the music industry and even fans held the belief that “girls can’t rock”. The notion that a group of women could unleash explosive rock ‘n roll was unthinkable to many. It has been only a little over forty years since The Runaways changed the music landscape, and in 2018, ‘grrls’ in rock are back blasting up the music scene like never before. These four women are well acquainted with the history of women in rock, and this comes out through their music. Their years of being in different bands mean they are each able to bring something to the table for us to deliciously dine on.
Having already built a devoted fan base around the globe, they’ve have recently released their first ever 7″ as a collaboration with Alternative Tentacles Records and Dirty Water Records USA. They’ve also just reissue of their twin debut 10″ EP’s; melted in full-bloom on a spectacular slab of of 12″ pink splattered vinyl.