Ben Hughes.

Japanese garage rock legends King Brothers are probably one of the greatest live bands you could ever clap your eyes on, their incendiary live shows are legendary.  Hell, they have even been banned from venues in Osaka. Yet tonight, in York’s finest music venue, they play to less than 30 people.

Even my 19-year-old son couldn’t entice his gig going buddies away from their TV’s and computer screens on a Monday night. It’s a damn shame, but it’s their loss because King Brothers played like their lives depended on it as I’m sure they do every night.

 

More of that later, as we have two very fine bands to check out before we get some Japandemonium going. Opening tonight are Manchester based scuzzy blues trio Bones Shake. Now, these guys are mighty special, a guitar and drum set up with a difference. They immediately come on like The Cramps meets The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, it’s raw and sleazy, just the way I like my rock ‘n’ roll.

Dressed head to toe in black with a mop of unkempt hair, singer David cuts an imposing figure. He struts the stage and howls his lyrics to all who will listen. Part Nick Cave, part Stiv Bators, he has the moves and his band have the grooves. With an interesting style, a mix of fingerpicking and slide, guitarist Andy brings the blues to their gritty primal sound, as drummer Davey keeps it all together with frantic beats. It’s not long before the sweat is literally dripping from the guitarist’s arms as he jams out riff after riff. The set culminates with the singer in the crowd, on the floor gyrating like he is having a seizure.

Their primal brand of garage rock goodness is bluesy and ballsy in equal measures, and they enthrall from start to finish. You should certainly be checking them out, I know I will.

Tonight’s the night of the three-piece band it seems. The mysterious Black Mekon hail from Birmingham, they wear superhero masks and dress in matching black shirts. Up front, you have a pair of Mekons, the singer, who is a leftie and plays a right-handed strung guitar upside down, (if you catch my drift), and the guitarist, who just plays the damn thing normally! The drummer has a massive beard and dresses like an extra from Peaky Blinders…he doesn’t need a mask.

The songs are short, sharp and quirky. They sound like a 50’s rock ‘n’ roll band with the erratic moves of Franz Ferdinand. Although I’m unfamiliar with their songs, I sure do dig their grooves, there is something mesmerising about this unusual trio. The back catalogue beckons methinks.

 

“York people, we are King Bruthaaas from Japaaan!! “ Shouts frontman  Keizo from the stage for the first of many times as an introduction prior to his band laying waste to The Fulford Arms. Dressed in black suits and ties the trio play like men possessed in a show with no let up from start to finish.

There may not be many people here tonight, but King Brothers play like they are destroying a stadium crowd. 2 guitars, 2 voices and a shit-kicker of a drummer who plays the first song with a Jason Vorhees mask on.

They play a host of garage rock classics from their back catalogue and choice cuts from excellent new LP ‘Wasteland’. Including a killer version of ‘No Thanks’ with audience participation, even though we have no idea what Keizo is trying to get us to sing.

It’s not long before guitarist Marya is in the crowd. In fact, the band spends as much time in the crowd as they do on stage. They are drenched with sweat after only a few songs. Someone places a beer by each member; they don’t touch a drop as they are in the zone, too busy rocking the fuck out!

It culminates with Keizo helping drummer Taichi drag his kit onto the dance floor while Marya removes his shirt, and gets a ton of distortion from his guitar on stage. He then takes over vocals as the band bash out an intense punk fuelled jam. Marya shakes and screams like an extra from ‘Train To Busan’. He ends up crowd surfing around the whole venue, which was pretty impressive considering there were 30 people here!

A high energy, chaotic show with enough insanity to appease even the most hardcore of gig-goers. The King Brothers should be high on everyone’s list to catch live. Tonight, it was 6 quid for 3 excellent bands, that’s value for money any day of the week, but I’m still left with the question “Where were you York?”.

 

 

Buy King Brothers Here

Wasteland review Here

Photo credit to Martin Frank

Leigh Fuge.

We all know Billy Idol, he’s the peroxide hair, curled lip punk rocker who made a successful transition to 80s mega-stardom. Idol brings the attitude and snarl of his punk background and combines it with some pop sensibilities to give us the arsenal of anthems we all know and love. I’ve always had a soft spot for Billy Idol.

Vital Idol was a best of album, putting all his best-known bangers into one place. Here we have the “Revitalized” version of the best of. This time, the tracks are framed in a new way. Remixed by some of the world’s top electronic music producers.

So, what happens when you take the punk rock stomp and 80s pomp of Billy Idol, chop it up and make it more electronic-focused? Well…

White Wedding kicks off proceedings, but initially, I can only think of one word to describe this new take on the track. It rhymes with white but starts with a different letter.

Straight into ‘Dancing with Myself’ we’re welcomed with a pulsing synth line over Idol’s trademark snarl. This feels more Ibiza 1998 than LA 1987 to me.

Eyes Without a Face made me wish I was a head without ears.

Rebel Yell with its new dubstep style leanings is about as revitalized and exciting as an Osmond’s reunion tour.

There are so many great songs on this album, but the new treatment has certainly made them as thunderous as a damp rag. From the strange 90s style ambient house leanings of Flesh for Fantasy to a modern EDM pop style take on Hot In The City, this album is making no great impact.

While I am not a fan of electronic music in general, I can appreciate a good remix when I hear one. It all feels a bit dated and contrived and even with some big hitters like Moby and Paul Oakenfold in the frame, it still does not revitalize this track listing.

Revitalized? I think not. This is more a case of the vital signs fading. Come on Billy, let’s get those guitars turned back up to 10 and get the place rocking again.

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In a week when RPM brought you interviews Live Reviews and album Reviews from far and wide, we scoured the globe to bring you bands and releases that matter so you don’t have to do the hard work. Sit back skive off and enjoy.

 

As far as interviews go we went to Vienna for Reverend Backflash Swansea for Jack Jones out of Trampolene who head out on tour this month all over the UK.  we also brought you the words of Jeff Dahl and what his plans are for 2019. Right there are three reasons to keep it RPM for all the chatter that matters in the same week as well! Damn, how good was that?

If those interviews weren’t enough we also brought you album reviews from legends like Glen Matlock who released a new record with some help from the likes of Slim Jim Phantom and Earl Slick. If that wasn’t enough to make you good to go then we also brought you music from Australia in the shape of the excellent Black Heart Breakers, Noo Yawk City in the shape of The Erotics and obviously it wouldn’t be right if Canada didn’t wade in with a new record from a band with immense potential and a bunch of tunes you’d expect from a band who have been around the block a few times in the shape of Sick Things whose album is just getting the vinyl treatment from Gods Candy Records.

 

We might have been a bit stingy on the live front this past week but we did venture to Vienna for some TV Smith and finish the week wiping the sweat and maybe a tear or two from one’s cheek as Jonny Cola And The A-Grades said hello goodbye and thanks for the ride which was a great place to check out for the week.

Now. This week we’ve already brought you Rich Jones and Paul Collins interviews and we have some killer live reviews from the likes of King Brothers and Eric Martin as well as plenty of albums we crack open from Dave Kusworth, Palmyra Delran and Estrons as well as a classic reissue that’s coming on RSD Black Friday that people shouldn’t miss.

 

Not too shabby on the old rock and roll front there I’m sure you’ll agree? Remember to keep it RPM and don’t let anyone tell you there isn’t any rock and roll anymore because we know and you know that’s just bull shit right? Right! If you think you have what it takes to join our band of scribes then drop us a line at rpmonlinetcb@yahoo.com and introduce yourself – we don’t bite and are quite a welcoming bunch.  thanks and as Lux said – stay sick!

Gerald Stansbury.

Sometimes bands just appear that hit the right boxes at the right time, and I have to say the Bitterlicks did that for me. On the surface, this band from Tampere, Finland hit a similar sweet spot to the Hellacopters but have some different ingredients in the mix that really give them a different twist. These guys have no issue mixing classic rock, country, and blues into their punk n roll original formula. This creates a lot of diversity on this seven-song EP/ mini album and sets them up very well for the future as I anticipate they will be playing a few of these songs long into their career.

‘Snake in the Grass’ serves as a solid opener with its urgent beat (Simo Stenman) and catchy guitar riff by Raffe leading into the first verse where Juha Pöllänen reminds me of Nicke Andersson circa the ‘High Visibility’ album. The urgency and simplicity in the chorus compel the listener to start singing along quickly. The band slows things down a touch with ‘We’re on Fire.’ This comes across as some solid 70’s influenced hard rock with a well-picked guitar riff coming from the same musical ocean as the Hellacopters, Heavy Tiger, etc. The midtempo pace serves this song extremely well.

The band launches back into some high energy punk n roll with ‘Until We Meet Again’ which flies by in under two and half speed filled minutes. The bass breakdown by Samuli Pyykkönen sets up the guitar solo perfectly. The chorus is once again simple with the song title repeated a few times but doesn’t seem repetitious due to the lightning pace. The rolling beat of ‘Who?’ provides something very different and gets my feet moving each time it plays. The wordy chorus gets some added oomph with the additional vocals providing an initial hook that becomes stronger with repeated listens as the full chorus gets stuck in your head.

My favorite song here remains ‘Long Cold Winter’ after multiple listens with its opening line of ‘the last time I saw the sun rock n roll was still cool’ being an ace opening line. The chorus is loaded with a killer hook and reminds me musically of something Michael Monroe would do. The guitar solo is quick and simply slays. ‘Stay Close Enough’ is the initial video from the band and feels very nostalgic with its basic hook falling a little short of the classy song that immediately precedes it. Ironically though, this was the song that made me want to take a deeper listen, so it served its purpose well and speaks highly of the band that it gets swallowed up by the other songs here. ‘Grains of Sand’ closes the album with a blend of Johnny Cash, Social Distortion, and some current rockabilly influences. The chorus provides a great hook, and I could actually see this as their standard exit song as the country influences really add something different here. It also feels like a closer as opposed to a song that was just randomly placed at the end.

The Bitterlicks have served up a very enjoyable debut with these seven songs providing a wide spectrum of ideas for their future. They have clearly spent some time developing their own identity and working on their songs. I am not sure if this mini album will crack my Top 20 of this very strong year, but I would definitely rank ‘Long Cold Winter’ as one of my favourite songs of the year. My hunch tells me that this mini album will remain in my rotation for a long time.

‘Benzo Blues’ is available now.

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Yup its wet as outside and most people are heading out the door to earn a crust to buy more records and go to more gigs – well the sensible ones are so we have  a couple of new tunes to help you on your way into the big wide world this Monday morning.

Reviewed coming on RPM this week are the impressive Estrons and their album ‘You Say I’m Too Much I Say I’m Not Enough

Next up are Jonny Cola who we reviewed last week with their awesome ‘Halo’ video.  Gone but not forgotten round these parts – Enjoy! Could have should have – didn’t. you know the drill folks

To finish off this weeks offerings we reviewed these Canadians this past week and think they deserve to reach a much wider audience and as you splash through the puddles to work why not have some great rock n roll ringing in your ears.

 

Dom Daley.
So when is it a good time to look back on a recording catalogue thas rich with quality yet seemingly something of an unknown quality to the general music buying population?  Right here right now I guess.  Dave Kusworth is something of an enigma in the music world he still writing and recording and making music but modern technology and social media tools have somewhat bypassed the guy and he will happily carry on in his own inimitable way creating music for his dedicated fanbase to feast upon and he’s teamed up with the good people at Easy Action Records to put together an amazing double album that spans his career and showcases just what a talent he has.
this record begins with the band he formed with the sadly passed Nikki Sudden who wrote this song whilst on acid and it was Kusworth that stole the music from the barracudas and changed the title which kinda makes it as good a place to start as any as the guitars jangle along to the uptempo beat.  Next its ‘Shame For The Angels’ from the EP of the same name that I love. Great lyrics an interesting story about what happened to the tapes of this allegedly.  Rock and Roll pirates and vagabonds to the end.
The Bounty Hunters are up next and with Glen, David and Alan  Kusworth rocked things up to a “Happy” pitch and songs like ‘Threads’ led the way in boozy rock and roll and could or possibly should have seen these guys become as popular as The Quireboys and The Dogs D’Amour. Over the next side and some The Bounty hunters rock and roll like their lives depended upon it ending up with ‘Riches To Rags’ which sort of seems quite fitting.
The second record in this collection sees a solo recording of ‘Next Tuesday’ that is taken from the fantastic ‘All The Heartbreak Stories’ and is a beautiful melancholic wander through the mind of Kusworth.
His tenure with the Tenderhooks are up next and the loose version of ‘All I’ve Got Left’ is fantastic and whilst I tend to lose the thread(no pun intended) as to what he was calling the band at the time and what album this one or that one is off because as long as the title contains the words Dave Kusworth – I’m in.  bounty Hunters or Dave Kusworth Band who knows or to be honest who really cares ‘Paint And Sugar’ is a pretty simple song and it mixes up perfectly the whole Keith and Johnny vibe with his more Waterboys tinged side.  To be fair to Kusworth having his output condensed down into twenty songs seems a bit of a headache for whoever contrived this and not a project I’d have liked bestowed upon me.  Sudden had a boxed set and I’m thinking this could easily have been the case because for every reason there is for including the rocking and excellent freak out of ‘Someone Else’s Shoes’ there must be another ten tracks you could have snook in but for consistency and variety this collection could always be considered a starting point eh?
The World Of Dave Kusworth can often be a magical and terrifying adventure and judging by the soundtrack on offer from Easy Action one that should be grasped at with both hands but the best thing is this being Vol 1 & 2 suggests there is more to come so watch this space.  Fantastic talent – fantastic legacy – Buy it!

 

Dom Daley.

When a term gets hijacked and used for bad things or at least if I were to say retro many would already have turned off but if I were to say T Rex, 60’s pop and walking on the darker side of the road inspired Noo Yawk Rock and Rollers from the shady recesses of the lower east side who tap into some of musics historic veins and draw inspiration then it means the same thing right? To me it does but not to others it would seem but when I drop a track from the new Beechwood record I hear ghosts from some of my favorites drifting through the laid back chilled out airwaves.  T Rex, for example, is all over ‘Bigot In My Bedroom’ and as good as Marc was he wasn’t Noo Yawk cool though was he as he strutted around Barnes and Roehampton.

‘Over On Everyone’ has a fantastic melody that could have been written by a pop-savvy Boys rather than their boys in the bar style and had hung out in the lofts with Andy and co. Beechwood ooze style and a laid-back class on this record (their second in less than a year) Clearly these cats can rock out and I wouldn’t mind betting Keith and Mick features heavily in their collection but so would The Beach Boys and the Everleys as some of the melodies are forged in the past.  Take ‘Nero’ and its biting guitar riff that shows a doff of the cap to Ron Asheton and his Stooges for sure and me not being a fan of the instrumental I love this and its groove.

There is a darkness that hits upon the likes of the Jesus And Mary Chain on ‘I Found You Out’ from the roaring chords to the hushed tones on the lead vocals to the clean picked guitar lick its certainly got style and substance and then as it crashes to its conclusion its followed up with the 60’s pop of ‘Up And Down’ and before we’re done here the beautiful ‘I Don’t Blame You Anymore’ is a killer tucked away nicely at the death and it kinda falls into the country-tinged drink up its time to go home of ‘Our Love Was Worth The Heartbreak’ that sounds like the Dolls jammin with Keith n mick and shooting the breeze with Bukowski whilst he’s observing these barflies.

Another day another great band falls out of the club and onto my ever-expanding list of bands to keep an eye on, on the basis of them making great records that look good and sound better.  Get yourselves some Beechwood I’m serious you be glad you did.  Remember kids you snooze you looze!

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BEECHWOOD upcoming European tour dates :
November 13 @ Merleyn — Nijmegen, NL
November 14 @ Paard — Den Haag, NL
November 15 @ Patronaat — Haarlem, NL
November 16 @ Q Factory — Amsterdam, NL
November 17 @ Espace B — Paris, FR
November 18 @ Kesaco — Puymirol, FR
November 19 @ Stereolux — Nantes, FR
November 21 @ Blah Blah — Torino, IT
November 22 @ Arci Taun — Findenza, IT
November 23 @ Cox 18 — Milano, IT
November 24 @ Super Bock Under fest — Lausanne, CH
November 27 @ Les Pavillons Sauvages — Toulouse, FR
November 28 @ Amperage — Grenoble, FR
November 29 @ Le 106 — Rouen, FR
November 30 @ La Bulle Cafe — Lille, FR
December 1 @ La Grange à Musique — Creil, FR
December 2 @ Le Galion — Lorient, FR

You’re currently on tour with Michael Monroe and are about to hit the UK with MC50.  Must be cool gig to get playing in a band with Michael, Sami, Steve and Karl and then getting to play as guests with the likes of Wayne Kramer must be a dream job?

Oh yeah, I mean I grew up with the Hanoi Rocks stuff and I loved it, and these guys are some of my best friends in the world. It’s a rare situation being in a band where there isn’t one arsehole who makes it a nightmare being on the bus, haha. We all get along so great and I think you can see that onstage as well. And those guys are total badasses at what they do so it makes it so easy every night onstage when you know you can rely on everyone else to be killing it. 

The MC50 thing is great for us as well, hopefully, it’ll get us out in front of some people who might not know us and may be surprised by what this band is all about. I think it’s a great fit. Hopefully, we don’t get bottled off! 

You’ve also just finished recording the new album.  When can we all get to hear the new songs?

Hopefully soon, but I’d guess sometime in the spring. We’ve taken our time with it, making sure the mix is right and that that the record is the best it can possibly be. So we’re just going into mastering now, we haven’t really even thought about release dates yet.

How does the writing work within the band?  What with you guys spread out all over the globe?

It really depends. For ‘Blackout States’ I went to NYC with Steve and Karl and we spent a week working out ideas and then finished them up at home. This time we couldn’t really manage to find the time when we could do something like that so everyone did a lot of work at home and then sent demos around. Steve and I will find hotel time when we can and bash around ideas – we wrote one of the new ones in Tokyo last year – but mostly it’s been a case of sending finished songs to each other.

You’ve also gotten together with a few Black Halos to record a new record with those guys as well? Do you get bored easily? 

Ha! I just try to keep busy, I don’t like having a lot of down time. The Black Halos thing has just been rolling along slowly, I try to work on stuff when I have gaps in my schedule. We’ve got enough songs for a record now but we don’t really have a complete band line-up. Jay Millette from the original Halos lineup just played on some stuff but I don’t think he really wants to tour these days. John Kerns has been playing bass and I’d love it if he’d come along for the live shows as well. We’ll see. Karl Rockfist played drums on some stuff and so did TV from Radio Dead Ones. There’s not a lot of pressure on this stuff yet, we’ll probably make some real plans once we’ve recorded a full album. Right now it’s just a bunch of demos and a few finished-sounding songs.

Do you have to get into a different mindset when writing for The Monroes perspective compared to the Black Halos or with Rags?  is there a different pressure involved?

I wouldn’t call it pressure, although I suppose it was at first with Monroe. There’s such a high standard of writing with that band that I was worried that my songs weren’t going to be up to scratch. But now it’s pretty relaxed for me, I kind of know what works and what doesn’t which makes things a lot easier. So I wrote a lot more for this new record than I did for Blackout States. As with anything though, you need to get into a certain mindset for what suits the band and the people that you’re working with. So I know what’ll work for the Halos, and what’ll work for Michael. 

With Rags it’s usually just me and him having a bunch of drinks and a laugh and if something comes out of it, cool. He’s such a great, prolific writer that my involvement in his stuff is usually pretty minimal – I’ll maybe say ‘change a chord here’ or ‘try this bridge’ etc. The bulk of the work is always coming from him.

I don’t suppose you’re going to give away any of the titles of the songs or give us any idea as to what to expect?  

For the Monroe record? Well, I don’t want to give too much away right now. It’s a much more broad record than Blackout States. There’s still some raging punk rock but there’s a lot more diversity in the stuff. I mean we’re not going funk or anything but I think it sounds like a band that’s getting comfortable enough to stretch out more than in the past. We’ve got some great guests on it as well – Nasty Suicide plays some guitar and it’s the first time he’s recorded with Michael and Sami in something like 25 years. So that was cool to be a part of. There’s a couple of other people on there as well. Some surprises 😉 

The artwork and merch also involve yourself and you’ve certainly been responsible for some amazing pieces.  Do you have a particular favourite sleeve you’ve come up with? does it get inspired by the music or are you always coming up with new ideas?

No, I tend to look for inspiration once I get a job. Normally I ask if someone’s looking for a certain vibe and then work from there. It depends on how much free reign I get as well – some bands that I’ve worked with in the past want to let every member have their say in things and it ends up as a sort of ‘design by committee’ situation and that pretty much always turns out awful. As far as favourite stuff that I’ve done… it’s hard to pick one. Feel free to go check ‘em out at my website though *cough* turningrebellion.com. haha

It must be inspiring working with such talented and creative people. You’ve always surrounded yourself with people who work really hard at their passion.  Are there some projects that really stand out that you’ve been involved in?

Honestly, it’s this band. Everyone’s got such a great work ethic and we all complement each other really well. Making records with these guys is such a blast – it’s an amazing feeling hearing my home demos get taken to the next level and turned into these fully-realised songs. I love working with Ginger and Jon Poole as well – two absolutely insanely talented guys who push me to work harder and be better at what I do when I’m around them. When we’re not in the pub, that is.

Taking a look at what you’ve done so far take us back to where it all began.  what or who were the main reason you got into playing the guitar and wanted to be in a band?

Oh that’s an easy one. My parents took me to see Queen when I was 8 and that was it. Brian May ripping into the Bohemian Rhapsody guitar solo COMPLETELY sold me on playing music! So by the time I was 12 or 13 I had bands with my school friends playing Black Sabbath and Judas Priest covers (because that’s all I could really manage to learn how to play – Paranoid and Breaking The Law!) and then I never really stopped. Early records I loved were things like Adam & The Ants and The Pretenders. David Bowie. Then I took a little turn into metal for a while – I’ve seen Iron Maiden so many times dude, hahaha! But funnily it was those Hanoi records that made me look back to stuff like the New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders. Seeing the Ramones when I was 18 or 19. Discovering Stiv Bators catalogue of stuff. You know, you keep looking and finding new music and it leads you down these little paths of discovery. I still love it to this day. There’s so much great new music out there that makes me want to keep playing and writing.

You’ve played on plenty of records over the years are there any that people might be surprised to find you had a hand in?

Probably the weirdest one is a single that I recorded a few years ago for Andy Cairns’ birthday. It’s me, Michael McKeegan & Neil Cooper from Therapy?, Tim Wheeler from Ash, Ricky Warwick, Diamond Dave (beloved radio host) and we were called The Gemils. We covered Another Girl, Another Planet and also did one original song called Purveyor Of Quackery. Only 10 vinyl copies of the single were pressed and they were given out to the band members and Andy for his 50th birthday. Possibly the rarest single ever! 

When you’re writing songs how do you go about it?  Is it a guitar part like a riff or a melody that comes first and do you come up with lyrics as well and hows your drumming?

It can be anything. Sometimes it’s a riff or a melody but usually I get a spark for a lyric and start working it into a chorus. I often get ideas while I’m out walking my dogs so I end up quietly singing them into my phone while pretending I’m on a phone call so people don’t think I’m an absolute lunatic. From there it’s a case of working out melodies and writing lyrics that fit. So generally speaking when I’m writing for Michael I’ll try to inhabit his headspace a bit and then write the lyrics from that point of view. Then I’ll demo it all up at home and send the guys a complete song. As for my drumming, well that’s what drum machines are for my friend!

What’s the best thing about your job? Live? Studio?  the creative aspect of writing?  and on the flip side what do (if anything) you least look forward to.  (Travel) (hanging around) making a video or waiting for the records to come out once they’ve been finished?

Touring is fun for sure. Being on the bus, playing the shows – I love those parts of it. I like making records and designing merch, doing the album artwork. That’s all a lot of fun. The airports and soundchecks, missing my family and the endless hours of waiting around I could live without. I’m not a fan of photoshoots and making videos either but they’re a necessary evil, haha. Honestly though, I really can’t complain about anything – this is my day job and it’s the best job in the world. 

A few quick questions.

Do you have a favourite song to play with Michael?

You know, it’s a blast playing pretty much everything in the set. It’s nice to be able to change things up and play some new stuff but I’m not sure I have a favourite. Right now we’re doing an acoustic set in the middle of the show and that’s a lot of fun because it’s something different and refreshing. But then I also like bashing people over the head with the punk rock hammer as well

How does it work when picking a set list?  

There’s just some stuff that we have to play. It’s expected that we’ll play some Hanoi and we’ll play some of the bigger solo songs. So there’s stuff that’s just always there and then we try to mix up the rest of the set as much as we can. I try to stay out of it for the most part because having 5 guys try to pick 20 songs over email is an endless and frustrating experience, haha!

Are all the Hanoi songs fair game and what would you like to play that hasn’t been in the set list yet?

Yeah I guess so. I haven’t really thought about it too much. We’re not gonna play any of the Hanoi ‘reunion’ stuff but we’ll dig into the original band’s material a lot. Right now we’re playing ‘Lost In The City’ and ‘Lightnin’ Bar Blues’ which we’ve never done before. As for stuff I’d like to play – I just want this new record out so we can play some new songs!

When the Monroe album comes out can we in the UK expect a headline tour?  what about some summer dates and a return to Rebellion after this years show-stealing performance easily the best set played at the festival by anyone.

I’m sure we’ll be back to the UK sometime next year. We’d love to do Rebellion again if they’ll have us – it was a blast! I really wasn’t sure how we’d go over but the crowd was fantastic. So we’re looking at summer festival offers now and we’ll see what happens. We’ve got a few in Spain already and hopefully, we’ll get back over to see you guys as well. I think things will become a little more clear once we’ve got the album ready to go!

Thanks for your time Rich hopefully I’ll catch you on a show somewhere sometime in the near future and I look forward to hearing all this new music you’ve been recording.  Exciting times.

Thank you, Dom, always a pleasure! Hope to see you soon

Leigh Fuge.

2018 is the year that a new Gospel is bestowed upon the world, ‘The Gospel According to Thomas’. This is the long-awaited full length from Thomas Silver. You may recognise that name from his days delivering the riffs with Swedish sleaze gods Hardcore Superstar. Thomas parted ways with the band in 2007 after the awesome Dreamin’ in a Casket album. Over the last 11 years, he has teased new music a few times but finally, the news drops that it’s time for an album. Silver is back, and he’s got some preaching to do.

Hardcore Superstar was one of my biggest influences growing up as a musician and a person. I always loved Silver’s playing and I’ve certainly been hoping for years that one day he would come crashing back onto the stage. Time to strap in, it’s time to listen to the sermon.

‘Caught Between Worlds’ kicks off proceedings. The guitar tone, the rhythmic and bouncy riffs… I’m back in 2005 and I am loving it. This song feels like a natural place to pick up from an 11-year break. This is vintage Hardcore Superstar, but with a more mature edge. Big choruses, big riffs, and big hooks, what a way to start an album.

‘Public Eye’ is track number two and there’s certainly no resting just yet. We’re straight in with a big, head bobbing verse before launching into quite possibly the best chorus hook I’ve heard in 2018. There was a feeling that Silver’s playing created inside me when I spent countless hours trying to learn riffs from their self-titled album and its follow up Dreamin’ In A Casket, two tracks in and this album has transported me to that moment again.

‘Minor Swing’ keeps the tempo up with it’s short, stabbing groove and huge backing vocals. You cannot help but nod your head to this. This banger is short and sweet, before we drop the tempo into D-Day, with it’s clean, sparkling guitars coupled with moody vocals which instantly remind me of the 69 Eyes. The chorus is full of that bombastic, Helskini gothic groove that the 69 Eyes pioneered but with the streetwise attitude of Gothenburg. The mid-section even bears a slight resemblance to an Iron Maiden style section with some driving riffs, soaring solos and harmonized guitars.

‘Coming In, Going Under’ kicks things back into gear with its driving punk riffs and infectious melodies. I’m a sucker for a dramatic pause in any song, this song has plenty to keep me happy. ‘Time Stands Still’ has anthem written all over it. This is the type of song that just demands a room full of people waving their arms and singing along. I’d be lying if I didn’t say the number of guitar harmonies on this album hadn’t been exciting me and we’re only halfway through!

‘Bury The Past’ is a song that anyone who has closely followed Silver’s career over the last decade should be familiar with. It was released as a single back in October 2015. Upon hearing this for the first time three years ago, I was extremely excited, was this marking the comeback of Silver? Unfortunately, at that time, the album didn’t materialize, but as they say, good things come to those who wait. We’ve waited, and Thomas has delivered.

Then we launch into ‘On A Night Like This’, but what’s that? Horns? I always think rock and roll musicians should be more receptive to experimenting with other instruments. The horns perfectly outline the 80’s rock swagger of the songs main riff and chorus.

‘Mean Town’ makes me think of some tracks Silver wrote with HCSS over their first few albums. A combination of pop sensibilities, cleaner guitars and big choruses. For me, the song really takes off when the guitar solo kicks in. The next track, ‘Not Invited’, follows suit with its cleaner guitars and catchy hooks. I’m getting a slight Hanoi Rocks vibe from this track which is certainly nothing to turn your nose up at.

‘All Those Crazy Dreams’ brings the album to a close, the first verse has only just begun, and I know this is going to be a fist in the air, anthemic singalong. It references dreaming about being a rock and roll star, we’ve all been there. The song chronicles the rise of a band from a teenage dream to the big stage. What a ride and what a story.

11 years of waiting has provided 11 tracks of pure gold. I for one have missed the sound of Silver’s guitar playing. Was it worth the wait? You bet it was. If this is the gospel, I’ve seen the light. Let’s hope the next gospel isn’t far behind. It’s time to rejoice.

Released 23/11 & 21/11 in Japan

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Dom Daley.

Strangely named band of Floridians and not Australians from the middle of nowhere and strange title for their record but these boys rock out with a blues-based psych-out that straddles generations of rock and roll and to be fair they do it ever so well.

From the opening ‘Something New’ they lay their cards on the table and it neatly leads into a Cramps tinged rock and roller that kicks back to the name of ‘Hangin Blue’ sure it’s unoriginal sound and style but you can’t deny its a bloody good time coming out of those speakers? Besides these guys reach back – way back into the depths of this business to draw inspiration and they have the chops to pull this damn thing right off.

This record could only have been grafted from the past fifty years of records and plonked right here right now.  So we’re a little late to the party but that doesn’t matter.  The fact we’ve found the party and we’re turning up carrying a bottle or two is what’s important.  ‘I Don’t Want You’ opens with a great big organ (woof woof) and the sort of echo chamber vocals whilst the drums shuffle towards the chorus its veered into Fuzztones territory. but this garage rock lark isn’t something you can just throw together you have to be in it to win it and Woolley Bushmen are certainly winning.  They might look like lab assistants and Geography teachers but looks can certainly be deceiving as no Geography teacher of mine ever rocked out like these boys do on ‘Don’t Let Him In’ or the 60’s flavoured ‘Too Much Love’.

It’s like a trip into the 50’s doo-wop for the heartbreaking ‘I’d Rather Die’ but you know what it only needs to be one minute and thirty and that’s exactly what you get. they clearly have a sense of humour as ‘Medicated’ just kicked my backside and the lyrics are great it’s like a B Movie in sound and who can deny that keyboard. It makes me want to dance like the swinging 60’s were back in vogue and everyone wanted to go to the rock and roll show and just have a great time. Never too late to the party and never to old to enjoy rock and Roll and never out of step with the general population it’s just others that need to catch up and catch on.  The Woolley Bushmen get on it folks! I think you’ll dig it.

 

The band are touring Europe this Winter so be sure to check em out

 

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