It seems like yesterday that I made the decision to avoid John Lydon and PIL and instead make my way to catch Ryan Hamilton at 2018’s Camden Rocks. Since then a lot of things have changed for the band without even thinking about the name change (when I caught them they were Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors). I suppose the most important change being the band no longer have to put their material out themselves, they have been signed to Wicked Cool Records. For those in the know, this is the Garage Rock label founded by “Little Steven” Van Zandt in 2005. The label evolved out of Van Zandt’s weekly syndicated radio show Little Steven’s Underground Garage, in fairness Van Zandt recognized that some brilliant rock music just wasn’t getting the push it needed and he was the right guy to do it.
The first thing I noticed when the band hit the stage was the sharp suits, the second thing I noticed was that the sound had gone up a gear, they rocked!!! Tracks moved away from the alternative country feel, sped up hit hard and the between song banter talked about the Little Steven influence and how great he was to work with.
This performance as Ryan pointed out was just one within a run of dates that will be the last solo tour for a while, they’ve already picked up some serious support slots for next year and that’s all after time spent in the studio recording the new LP. If the new single performed tonight “Bottom’s up, (here’s to goodbye)”bought tonight on 7” pink vinyl available here
is anything to go by it will be a blinder. Tracks like “Be Kind Rewind”, “We should never have moved to LA”, “Karaoke with no crowd” and “Gulf of Mexico” just breathed, the band let loose, enjoying the feeling of being let loose. The stories, crowd banter and impromptu song “Sorry Chloe” showed a side of Ryan that wasn’t there in Camden, confident, excited and looking forward to what’s coming up. The cover than ended the set tonight I think shows that confidence, the B-side to the new single a rocked out, funked up version of Paula Abdul’s “Straight up”. The future is very definitely golden.
Whilst the world and his wife seem to be getting their collective knickers in a twist over Download lineups and Kiss tour dates the real news has just snook out there in plain sight.
Its fuckin’ true brothers and sisters Jones, Cook, Idol and James are doing this and there is a live show booked. I know there was a collective dribble at RPMHQ earlier when the news dropped and we keep our fingers crossed that this goes well and is the start of something good and they bring this to the UK as well as who knows – some recordings and tunes but for the moment we won’t get ahead of ourselves we’ll just wait for this to pass.
If there is anyone in the city of angels attending this bad boy that would like to make some friend over this side of the pond please get in touch your services are very much required
Well hello and thanks for checking in. Your Monday just got a whole lot better as Stiv Bator hits the screen. Seeing as it would have been Stiv’s birthday last week it seems only fair that we air this classic and I make no apology for the shitty quality of the footage. R,I.P Stiv we miss ya
No Monday morning middle finger would be complete without this classic single from the mighty Wonk Unit and RPM would like to offer our congratulations to Alex and his wife on the birth of their Daughter.
To finish off your soul cleansing Monday morning FTW you can’t go wrong with the mighty D Generation
Power poppin’ synth rockin, of course, they’re Canadian – isn’t that the epicenter of the power pop world? It sure as shit seems like it. With their second offering this Vancouver Trio. There’s some right retro synth action on the go in the style of classic Japan or maybe the first album from Duran Duran but wait those guys rocked – sure maybe they did it differently but where else are you going to hear some real synths with plenty of punch and right up front in the mix?
‘Jessica Don’t Like Rock And Roll’ is up first and as I shake my head and wonder why hasn’t anyone taken her to one side and had a word. How can this be? surely if your standing front center at the rock and roll show something terrible must have happened and in true 80’s style, we’re left wondering did she or didn’t she? Maybe on the next record, we’ll find out. The poor girl.
With songs about love and bars and girls and rock n roll, it’s all in there folks – time to get lost in some good time power pop for half an hour as Autogramm take control. ‘Bummer Party’ is like the distant relative to some early Duran and even touches of classic Numan.
‘Sea Of Regret’ If it were to be sung by Debbie Harry it’d be a smash hit or have been should I say. ‘Wandering eyes’ gets a little proggy for my taste but it does make you want to watch ‘The Warriors’ and wander around with a bandana around your wrist and on top of one of your Reebok hi-tops. Settle down folks don’t panic ‘Cool Kids Radio’ could easily be the title track to some high school teen flick or on the radio as some kid whos part werewolf is riding around on top of a van roof with this blasting out.
‘Small Town’ is a bit mod like in its delivery with a jarring guitar and punchy beat it’s a bright number with great harmonies but its the final fling of a really good record and ‘Peter Pan’ swoops in with a cool bass line and a refreshing new wave sound not heard for a while and to wrap this punchy bad boy up ‘I Wanna Be Whipped’ could have been penned by Blag Dahlia such is its infectious melody or an unearthed Dee Dee song that the Ramones never got to use either way its like a cool summer breeze of an album and a great pick me up if your feeling down. Nice one Autogramm I like it. New wave is back in town and it goes by the name Autogramm.
The ten songs making up “Egomania” swing between Alice Cooper and Reckless Love, with a big dollop of Ghost on top. Sometimes hitting the spot and other times not. There are highs in the shape of the fantastic debut single “Bum to Bum” and some not so highs with the Def Leppard drenched gloss of second single “Blood”.
Eleven years on from the glories of “Retox” and seven years on from the utter crapness of “Doctor Midnight”, Hank’s back with “Egomania”. The first release under his devil in white, Von Hell guise. Right then, I got my kutte on, my balls are waxed clean and I’m going in…
Title track “Egomania” kicks off side one with a nice big “Dudes” intro running into a fine “Retox” style stomp-along tune. “Pretty Decent Exposure” is as the name suggests is pretty decent too with pounding drums and a ripping chorus. Great stuff !!
Unfortunately, third tune “Blood” creeps into view to spoil the party; unless of course, you love the Mutt Lange processed sound that has served Finland’s cock rock emperors “Reckless Love” so well in the last couple of years.
Thankfully “Dirty Money” gets things back on track with another latter-day Hank-era Turbo workout.
Thank the lord for “Bum to Bum”, the album’s debut single and standout tune. When I saw the video on YouTube, I was excited, proper excited. It was everything I wanted from Mr. H and more. It’s a top Alice inspired (Turbo) tune.
Side two kicks off with “Never Again”. Pretty much a stock Ghost tune. It’s pretty cool and far less pompous than Tobias Forge’s bunch of ghouls. “Bombwalk Chic” takes us back to Turbo territory; it’s a pretty sexy tune. Unfortunately “Wild Boy Blues” takes us to Reckless Love land once more. Perhaps it’s ironic …… well maybe. Next up “Too High” is a bit of a filler. It’s okay without being great.
Finally “Adiós (Where’s My Sombrero?” is where the Alice Cooper undercurrent really pops it’s head up. Starting out a little like “Stephen” from “Welcome to My Nightmare”, the song builds up into an epic. A great way to end the album and to start again as I flip the plastic over for another go.
I guess I’m ten or so plays into “Egomania” now and some of the tunes that didn’t initially grab me are beginning to sink their teeth in. Maybe I should review this bad boy again in a couple of months time!!
Egomania is due to be released on November 2nd, 2018 through Sony Music Entertainment / Century Media Records on black vinyl, orange vinyl and CD. Also if you’re a saucy Swede you can get exclusive, pink, red and white vinyl editions you lucky buggers!
We kicked off this past week by being the first to review the brand new record released from Tyla’s Dogs D’amour ‘In Vino Veritas’ I don’t know why people are surprised at how good it is because it was a no-brainer to RPM so why not get on it if you missed it first time around and get involved Here
We also featured two new releases from South Wales featuring past members of the mighty Sick Livers in the shapes of Deathtraps who brought their second album to the table in the shape of ‘Gotta Get Some’ and its been a firm favourite of RPM since we heard it and being their second album in about a year they’re prolific and to be fair bloody good as well and if you like your Rock n Roll fast ‘n’ furious and a little fucked up then you will love this.
As for Nicotine Pretty, their EP is a little more laid back. Quite different to what many were expecting but none the less entertaining and a real triumph in the face of some pretty tough times for the band since they came into existence. We were mightily impressed with what we heard and look forward to catching some live shows as the band get up to speed and share their ‘Real Life Glories’ with us and I’m sure once you hear these songs you too will be all over this one.
In fact we brought this past week we’ve been truly global by bringing you Japanese Garage Rock in the shape of the magnificent King Brothers that you should check out if you ever had a little love for Jon Spenser or Guitar wolf or Electric Eel shock but amplified by 10 (is that even possible folks?) you need to hear this one – trust me! There were reissues from the SoapGirls acoustic from our favourite glamslamin’ punk rockers from the USA and a fantastic tribute album for a fallen Finish brother Claude in the shape of Eduardo Matinez & The Thunderclouds all reviewed on RPM online this past week so we really scoured the seas far and wide to bring you the best in Rock and Roll releases but to finish off the week we shared some love in the shape of Jeff Dahl and went to Australia for some off The Living End .
We also brought you news of tours, Bands on hiatus (Biters) and new releases and reissues but before we can look forward to a week packed with reviews of the likes of Iggy Pop, Hank Von Hell, Canadas new kids on the block Autogramme and LA resident Mike Christie we also bring you live reviews of Ryan Hamilton, The Brutalists and Rich Ragany & The Digressions plus much, much more so keep tuned into RPM it’s a music revolution! but before we sign off the week we have to report on another fallen brother.
The week ended on the saddest of news our friend and brother in Rock and Roll Todd Youth passed away so we leave you with some video footage of Fireburn Todd’s last band, this is their first ever performance in public and Todd picked up the bass as the band rip it up and the amazing footage of Chrome Locust whipping up a shit storm over at Coney Island High with some typically awesome rock n roll . R.I.P Todd ‘Youth’ Schofield you will be missed by many. Rest easy Brother rest easy.
Not so long back I caught a great doubleheader over the bridge in Bristol consisting of Jesse Malin and Chuck Prophet. Now people in the know would probably remember Chuck Prophet from his days in a band called Green on Red, I caught them live a couple of times back in the day, and could never quite categorize them, psychedelic, alt-country, alt-rock, indie there were so many labels that fitted but if you got bogged down in how to listen to them from which viewpoint you missed the fact that they were a Bloody good live band. Where am I going with this, not long after seeing Chuck this little beauty dropped in my inbox from Dan Stuart, the guitarist, and frontman of Green on Red.
Settling in and kicking back you are immediately caught up in the production, it’s so clean, the music breathes, its given space. There’s something in the picked intro to opener March 5th, 1961 that pulls you into the story that runs through the LP, setting you up chapter by chapter, song by song.
We drift through the story, it’s definitely got that Alt-Country vibe, steeped in that Americana tradition. Moods and emotions change as you work your way through and fleetingly my thoughts drift towards the Who as a point of reference especially on “Here comes my boy”. There’s even a hint of Bowie wrapped around “Tucson”, what I’m saying is very much as with Green on Red you can’t quite label things, to me a sign of how comfortable someone is with their music, letting things develop organically taking on its own life story, following its own pathway to the finish.
This LP draws in so many references to so many different artists, sometimes Lou Reed, Sometimes Roger Waters, Sometimes Roger Daltrey, Sometimes Steve Earle, what have they all got in common? They are fantastic storytellers.
I would class as one of those evenings into late nite LP’s when your sat, drifting along with the sound, watching the sun go down following the story as it unfolds. This is a companion piece to a novel that will be published at the same time the third part in the Marlowe Billings trilogy. This is an excellent piece of work getting darker as the LP moves forward track by track someone going through their life story, laying everything bare. Well worth some attention from a much wider audience.
Buy the album Here
I love the Living End or at least I used to love the Living End Now I like them a lot but wish they’d regain the early highs. Listen Chris Chaney is one awesome guitarist and the band are always excellent live, the last time I caught them was supporting Green Day and these cats stole the show that day hitting hit after hit out of the park with so much energy it was a joy to see. Prior to that the Living End did a warm-up show in my town many moons ago and it was a small club that was barely half full and that night they were incredible but, and it’s a big but. The last couple of studio albums were missing that bit of magic that spark That killer song you know the couple of classic Living End tunes that littered earlier recordings so forgive me for entering ‘Wunderbar’ with more than a hint of trepidation.
as I dropped the needle and listened to the first play a little like the scream painting by Edvard Munch but hey ‘Don’t Lose It’ sees my hands drop and that fear ebb away as this is more like it. The Living End have a fire in their bellies again and a great opening tune that sounds pretty bloody decent goes a long way to help that.
So with a great heartening opener under their belt ‘Not Like The Other Boys’ is a little more laid back and commercial but it’s still better than anything on the last album or two easily. By the time we reach the rapid pounder of ‘Death Of The American Dream’ the Living End I know and love are in the house and the salamander stick slap in the breakdown is excellent as are the lyrics. Superb.
Like a magpie, the band pick pieces from here and there and throw them in the pot that gives them their identity and when ‘Death Of The American Dream’ fades through the final lament I’m really enjoying this record. Wherever their mojo was it’s back and I can easily grow to like their more commercial edge like ‘Drop The Needle’ when its bookended with such quality.
Damn ‘Proton Pill’ is a blast and the band goes for it maybe I’ve been unfair on the band and I should revisit the last two albums but not until I’ve given ‘Wunderbar’ a lot more love. ‘Amsterdam’ might seem a strange song to pick for the second single from the album seeing as there aren’t any bass or drums on the song but a fantastic melancholic ode a fine city it is.
To be honest with you I’ve really enjoyed ‘Wunderbar’ and if you have ever been a fan then check it out Sure it might not be the best record they’ve ever made but it is definitely a return to form and a band that has a fire and passion in their heart and from top to bottom this is a rock n roll solid album and I’d give it both thumbs up no question.
I started recording the album two or three months afterward I think.
I’d already recorded the demos at home on my 4-track so there wasn’t really anything to prep.
I just had to wait for some Studio time to become available.
It is a solo record I guess but I didn’t wanna present it in that way which is why I gave it a band name.
How long did you have these songs written before deciding how to record them?
They were all 3 years old & all written about the same thing, so it’s a concept album really! – which is why the artwork has a movie poster feel to it. To connect them all to the same story.
I knew I was gonna sing it all & play the instruments because that way it’d get done really quick!
Was it always the intention to get it out on vinyl and were you just doing it as a studio project that’s taken on a life of its own or secretly did you want to put a band together and play these songs live?
A bit of all of that really.
Originally I only intended to record the songs & put them up on Bandcamp, but secretly I did have an idea that it would work well as an album – & would look great on LP.
During the recording, I agreed to do a one-off gig for Some Weird Sin’s Power Pop Weekender back in July (which was really great) & that has lead to more gig offers & more interest in the Speedways.
Tell us a bit about the tracks on the album?
They’re a collection of songs written about the same summer.
I knew how they were gonna fit together. I knew the Tube Train at the start of ‘Regular Summer’ would screech into shot immediately as ‘Don’t Tell Me’ finishes & I knew ‘All I Want’ would open the album with a telephone ring (which is why she’s holding the phone on the cover etc..) ..& I knew ‘Reunion In The Rain’ would have a long fade-out & close the album.
I wanted to record them without pedals & power chords. I wanted them to be clean & catchy.
I knew they’d have a lo-fi quality but not in a garagey way.
I really like ‘One Kiss Can Lead To Another’ in particular – I just don’t hear other bands playing those kinda tunes so thought I’d give it a try.
The hardest working drummer in show business Kris Hood of Los Pepes, More Kicks & Miscalculations is keeping the backbeat, Adrian Alfonso ex-Randy Savages & currently of Dead Meat is on bass guitar and Mauro Venegas of Miscalculations (former Duncan Reid/Godfathers/Jonny Cola) is on lead guitar duty. ..& obviously, I’m in it too.
It’s worked out really well.
what are the chances of more dates?
The chances are very good!
There are 3 other shows booked for later this year – including an album launch gig in London on October 18th.
There are a few things in the pipeline for next year too which could be pretty cool!
What about a follow-up album?
I could record it tomorrow if I had a studio! Because all the songs on ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ were written between 2014 & 2015 there’s 3 years worth of recent stuff knocking around in my songbooks – although I haven’t written anything new for a while if I’m being honest.
I would like to put out a 45 with The Speedways though. Hopefully early next year I can get that sorted.
I keep banging on about this but my next album/EP will definitely be with a female singer. I’ve got the songs written for it & they’re all great. The project could be called something like ‘Suzy & The Speedways’ in theory (the album’s called ‘Empty Pages’)
A good hook, a great lyric, good sleeve artwork..the whole package. It’s gotta make you feel something, hasn’t it?
I was listening to A-Ha & Abba just as much as I was Tom Petty & The Ramones when I was making the album.
Talk us through a few of your favourite songs/albums and why?
I’ll give you an album & three songs, otherwise, I’ll literally be typing forever! Albums – Please Please Me – The Beatles – the greatest band of all time playing live in the Studio with raw energy, youthful pomp, mistakes all over the shop, charming as fuck performances & an insane deadline which would destroy mere mortal bands.
Song 1 – This Charming Man – The Smiths – a game changer & a life changer for me.
Song 2 – Nothing In Return – Roky Erickson – a pop masterpiece by a genius.
Song 3 – You Don’t Know – Helen Shapiro – best-unrequited love song ever.
I was 14 or 15.
There was always music playing in the house so I was already really into guitars, but I think when I first saw ‘Back To The Future’ I became obsessed with Johnny B Goode! (& Earth Angel too!) – My Dad had a couple of Chuck Berry LPs so I just used to listen to them over and over.
Then a few years later I got really into The Ramones and my guitar style became a very confused mix of Chuck Berry & Johnny Ramone.. with some George Harrison & eventually Johnny Marr thrown in for good measure.
I was really into Metal in my mid-teens but I just couldn’t play it. It never really fell under my fingers the way that early Beatles did.
You play a few instruments on the record what other talents do you have? Did you always fancy yourself as a bit of a frontman?
No! I’m very reluctantly fronting a band! ..but I’m the only one who can sing these particular songs so I’ve just gotta get on with it! It’s cool really. & no, sadly I’m not blessed with many talents elsewhere!Facebook
Catch em live at these two London dates –
Friday, November 30th – Dirty Water Club + The Fleshtones + Muck & The Mires @Nambucca London
Saturday, December 1st – Black Wax Club + Muck & The Mires + Los Pepes @PhoenixLive Harlow