The re-release of this overlooked early noughties debut, that wouldn’t look out of place alongside the rougher more streetwise garage rock that littered the era, imagine Eighties Matchbox after the acid trip or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club if they were inclined to get into more bar fights.
The Los Angeles group certainly know their stuff, this record is a brutal melting pot of garage, psych and cow punk from the getgo. ‘Too far down’ kicks off the affair with a classic psychobilly rhythm and vocals full of hypnotic drones. ‘She’s trouble’ lives up to it’s mantra with savage Cramps style guitar lines but with a pumped up bass line laced with steroids.
The album ticks all the boxes for me like a winning bingo card, the guitars are scuzzy, the organ sounds are plentiful and the only real downer is that some of the songs pass by too quickly but there is the real genius where it leaves you wanting more!
Whether you are a revival fan of the genres represented here or a sixties purist it’s hard to deny that this is a treasure trove of Nuggets from any era. If you’re like me and this debut is a new discovery for you, make up for lost time and get it on heavy rotation straight away.
Buy The Guilty Hearts Here
Author: Dan Kasm

Way back in the early 2000s, Steve Pegrum launched a website like many others charting the family tree of Punk Rock in his localities.  (www.southendpunk.com). There was a similar one here for South Wales bands that was fantastic but I’m sure there were loads cropping up as punks got tech-savvy.

 

With Southend being a mere stones throw from the epicentre of the UK Punk scene in London. It was easy to see how the scene grew quickly and way before mobile phones and 24hr news it was accessible. This CD is ground zero with Volume One being the giveaway as every stone gets turned.  Its fourteen tracks of original material plus a veritable feast of a booklet with a short but succinct summary of the band and the song which makes for a great read.  Shame its just the CD and not a record with a big book to accompany it for those who now have to wear readers.

The styles are varied ranging from kids who clearly haven’t had their instruments long but are quick learners and enthusiastic participators like the opening ‘You Better Hear’ from The Machines it’s snotty and vibrant and took the band all the way to the epicentre and shows at the Vortex and Roxy.

You also have the more Pub Rock, power Pop end of the spectrum with the excellent Steve Hooker Band. Interestingly at number three on the running order and clearly inspired by those Banshees sees Alison Moyet kick out ‘Radio Roy’ in fine style and a decent demo it is too.

 

The next few tracks were assured are ultra-rare recordings from the Deciballs with their Snotty ‘Solitary’. The Psychopaths do ‘Drugs’ and you have to love the timing issues with something more akin to the Buzzcocks.  One of the best songs on display might be one of the poorest recordings but that’s understandable due to the time-lapse and it was probably taken from a C60 – The Shocks playing with a fantastic exuberance on ‘Too Close For Comfort’.

The Bullies go for a more sophisticated sound and build into the song with some skank on the verse ‘The Fighting Continues’ is a decent song and might have been riding the curve from Strummer and his mob. with a decent arrangement and quite an intricate solo for its time.  short-lived as were most of the bands at this furtive time.

Back to the more aggressive bosh of The Icons and their ‘5.15’ before the crustie punx wade in as The Sinyx are up first and its not hard to see their Crass style but they make way for the more aggressive ‘Blind People’ from The Kronstadt Uprising’.

Allegiance To No One dared to incorporate a synth into their armoury like Joy Division did or Tubeway Army even.  A band who obviously saw a bigger picture than a lot of their contemporaries. You have to love the energy of Burning Idols who clearly had a lot of love for The Clash with ‘Give Me A Chance’.

By now we’re well into the ’80s and production clearly has improved from the DIY demos of the late ’70s. The Prey had ‘Sleepless Nights’ which has a familiar melody and I like it. They’d had time to absorb all that had gone on in the previous decade and make use of what they’d taken on board and clearly penned a decent song.

 

Wrapping this compilation up are the Armless Teddies (who knows why?) but they had clearly spent the early ’80s becoming one with the Damneds back catalogue of the Algy Ward years and beyond as ‘Serenade’ dared to dream with the keyboards and acoustic guitars and the build isn’t a million miles away from Smash it up pt 1  and bits and bobs off ‘The Black Album’ good on em I say shame there’s no vocals though but hey maybe on Volume Two.

 

Sarfend I salute you and Steve for his obvious love for the scene that was Southend that clearly painted a rich tapestry judging by the songs on this very enjoyable compilation.

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Author: Dom Daley

Once upon a time, it was cool to be a full-tilt Rock and Roll band and get in a van with your mates and drive around continents plugging in goofin’ round and playing it like your life depended on it night after night putting in the hard yards – earning those Rock and Roll stripes without much fuss just doin’ it because you had to it where your heart was taking you for little reward except to find like-minded people around this globe digging what it was you were playing and the records you were writing and releasing.  Well, guess what.  It’s still cool and those guys who were in the trenches back then are still in the trenches fighting for their cause in the name of entertainment some Brothers fell by the wayside like The Dragons but some kept at it and still have records coming out like the recent ‘Live At The Pic’ set on Yeah Right! Records so I thought Id give CC a call and find out what it was like playing in cool rock and roll band and let him tell the story of The Spitfires.  So here goes folks sit back relax and enjoy…

 

Tell us about The Spitfires how did the band come about where did you guys meet?

The original line up of the band grew up in the ‘burbs outside of Vancouver. We’d been jamming for a couple years under different names, not being very serious about anything. Being from a small town, anyone who had an instrument, or a place to jam, was someone you knew. The later members were friends we made in Vancouver.

 

 

That debut CD how did it come about?

 

C.C. We had a record finished and ready to release with Vancouver’s Mint Records before they suddenly dropped us. I think we were too trashy for them. I sent around the recordings (on cassette tape and in the mail!) to a bunch of labels I’d seen in Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll or Flipside. Mike at Sonic Swirl in Cleveland loved it, and he had released some stuff from Jason Solyom’s other garage rock band, The Fiends. Somehow Brian at TSB in Scotland got a hold of the album too, and he released the UK/Euro version.

 

Was the late 90s a good time for Rock and Roll bands in your district?  Who else was out at the time? That you’d meet on the road?

Yeah, it was a blast. We had a really amazing group of friends up and down the West Coast. The Dragons, Murder City Devils, Humpers, Black Halo, Catheters etc. We’d gone to NYC a few times and never really made any tight friends. In Columbus we had the New Bomb Turks, and up in Montreal and Toronto we had The Spaceshits and The Deadly Snakes. It was a fun time. People made phone calls to book tours, and connect with people. We’d drive into some new city and hope the promoter would pick up the phone. Otherwise we’d sometimes be stuck at a coin phone at some gas station. Compton was a particularly interesting gas station phone booth to wait at.

 

What bands were inspiring you guys at the time?

We were really into Crypt Records bands and Sympathy for the Record Industry. A lot of the “Glunk Punk” as Eric Davidson would later coin it. But we were all suburban kids, who weren’t afraid to say we liked Alice Cooper, Kiss, Aerosmith and all the other great arena rock bands of our youth.

 

You managed to get Junk to press the new album on Vinyl.  That must have been so uncool at the time hardly anyone was pressing vinyl at the time what kinda deal were labels like Junk offering at the time was there the opportunity to hit Europe on tour?

Haha, that’s a different perspective. Over here vinyl was totally cool at that time, at least with the scene we were in. Labels like Junk, Estrus, Sympathy, Crypt, were all putting out loads of good stuff. On CD too of course, but we had been hoping to get some real vinyl out. It was actually Estrus who put out our first vinyl single, “Cut Me Some Slack”. Junk was a really good label at the time. Lou Carus, the owner, was working as an engineer with Boeing. I’m pretty sure he spent every penny he earned on his bands. He’s still a really good friend, and every time I’m in California I make sure to see him. Junk was a sub label to Nitro at the time, so we really had great press and distribution. We didn’t get to Europe until the third album though.

 

Who decided on the third album title?  I guess you were firing on all cylinders at the time? You also added a second guitarist.  What was the reason for that?  and by the time you made it back into the studio, you were back to a four-piece for the ‘Aim Low’ album.

I think that “Three” was a band decision? We love classic rock, and that seemed like a cool classic rock kind of thing to do. And yeah, we were on fire at that time. We did add Dave Paterson for that album, who was a lot of fun and a great player, but he only lasted a year. We replaced him with Jay Millette from the Black Halos, because Rich had just quit their band and moved to L.A.. “Aim Low” was a few years after the band had actually broken up. Jay Millette wasn’t in the band by then, he had moved to Toronto. It was actually a 5-piece recording with Marcel LaFluer and Deano on guitars. Deano, the last of the originals besides me and Solyom, was still in the band but he quit after the recording. That’s when Graham Tuson joined. We recorded a few songs with that line-up that are still in the vaults.

 

Did you ever get any heat from other bands called the Spitfires?

Good question. At the time that we started we had found out that “Pooch” from Flipside Magazine had a band in L.A. called the Spitfires. So I wrote him a letter and sent a demo tape. I said we’d happily chnge the name if they wanted us to. He wrote back to say, in fact, they would change their name! They became The Condors, and I’ve remained friends with Pooch to this day.

 

What were some of the tours like?

That’s funny, Marty (drummer) and I were talking about this just the other day. I’ve forgotten a lot of the stuff we did. We were a rolling disaster. I mean, we had a lot of fun, but I wouldn’t be able to tell my colleagues at work any of those stories! Haha. One of my best memories though was the U.K. tour we did in 2002. We had so much fun and so many laughs. The highlight was playing the Astoria in London with the Rezillos! We also played the Dirty Water Club which was packed and super fun.

 

What with hindsight was the best Spitfires album?

I’m partial to “Three”. I think the production and songs are really the best we had. Howard Redekopp recorded and produced it at a really great studio (Mushroom RIP), and that made a big difference. A lot of people thought we had recorded that on Pro Tools (which people thought was lame at the time) but it’s all analogue 24 channel board to 2-inch tape.

 

 

 

 

On the Yeah right! Bandcamp page they say to hide the fire extinguisher.  Care to expand?

Well, this goes back to The Dirty Water Club in London. We had set an extinguisher off on stage, and it was awesome. Looked totally cool and it was a mellow shot of water that misted the whole room. But when we did it at the Horseshoe, it ruined our career and got us banned in Toronto. The build-up to the ban in Toronto was signing on with a bigwig agent, Ralph James at the Agency Group and touring with the Headstones (and getting them back on the sauce). When our agent got us a show at the Horseshoe Tavern for Canadian Music Week we were blown away. Then we ended up being Now Magazine’s pick of the week and headlining the show with Robbie Robertson, Chad Kroeger, Brittany Murphy, etc. in attendance. Ralph was fast tracking us at the time. Then our singer shot off a chemical fire extinguisher on stage which choked the crowd and created a panic and rush to the exit. This was shortly after the Great White fire in Rhode Island, so people were on edge. Anyway, it effectively ruined our career and probably rightly so! haha.

Who’s idea was the ‘Live at the Pic’ album? just released after some 17 years,  It’s a bit tasty.  How well did it capture the band live?  Recorded in 2003 the line up had two guitars again, did the dynamic change when the band went from 4 to 5? What memorable shows stand out and why? Was the pic a one-off show for the recording or were you recording shows most nights and this is the pic(K)  sorry couldn’t resist it 🙂

The album has been sitting collecting (digital) dust for more than 17 years now! It was the pinnacle of our career I’d say. We were totally on fire, and this might be the only recording that truly captures what the band sounded like. It was recorded by Howard Redekopp before he became well known (Tegan and Sara, Mother Mother, New Pornographers). The live footage that will accompany it was shot by Danny Nowack and his crew (Hard Core Logo etc.), so there’s some Canadiana there. The video was lost in our Jason’s basement until this spring! It is, however, not just a digital release. Yeah Right! Records is releasing the vinyl LP before Xmas this year!

 

When you hit the UK for some shows how did that come about?

That was through the help of Brian at TSB records in Scotland. He hooked it up with Ian at Hidden Talent over in the UK who booked everything and set up the gear/van/driver. Unfortunately, it was The Spitfires only trip off the North American continent. Our other bands have all toured Europe, but we never quite managed. It was an incredible tour tough, and we loved it. We got as far North as Glasgow and as far South as Brighton. Met a load of great people. Mark (RIP) up in Nottingham, Baz and the Punker Bunker, Dave Kerr and the Chery Kicks up in Scotland at the time. It was so fun.

 

 

Neil Leyton tried hard to put on a few tours of these shores for bands like The Pariahs as well as his own band.  How cool was the scene back where you are because of all the Canadian bands I saw him bring over they were all excellent and there has always been a really healthy underground that I’ve been aware of especially power pop and alternative rock n roll bands.  Is it still a cool place for bands and shows?

Yeah, it’s a cold country, what else are we gonna do? Haha. I think there are probably a few advantages we have here like Sweden, with a good education system that supports arts and music, as well as government assistance programs to support and develop Canadian talent. Which translates into free money for wild rock and rollers to take expensive trips around the world. You’re right though, this last decade has seen a hell of a lot of great Canadian music from all genres.

What’s next for the Spitfires post-pandemic?

There’s still all that new and unreleased stuff we recorded in 2009 sitting in Jason’s basement. At this rate we’ll have a new album done by 2030 hopefully!

 

You guys will win the record for the most bands within a band tell us about some of the projects you guys are working on that you think the readers should check out??

I really like the Dysnea Boys stuff I did while living in Berlin, but I’m in a New Wave/Power Pop trio now called Autogramm. I’m also working on an album with Rich Jones (Michael Monroe/Loyalties/Black Halos) called “Dangercans”. It’s an epic project that I hope we actually finish. Jason Solyom is drumming and mixing the record too. Jason is in a great 70’s inspired boogie rock band called La Chinga. They’ve done a bunch of touring. Jay Millette in the reformed Black Halos (who I am managing!) and recording his own solo stuff under the name Silver Receiver. Jay Solyom also has a recording studio and Graham has also been recording a bunch of new stuff. Shock, the newest Spitfire, has a band going called The Slip Ons.

 

Buy ‘Live At The Pic’ Here

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Author: Dom Daley

The Midlands, Home to England’s second city, and a stone’s throw from London yet far enough away from all the Capitol city’s dramas and egos.  From an outsider’s perspective it’s a grounded part of the world yet a hotbed of talent always has and always will be.

It’s the home of Thee Acid Tongue featuring members of Fuckdust 4 and Skanks as well as a drongo and a Maximum Rock and Roller. As soon as the music hits the air they sure as hell rattle and roll my speakers as the full audio assault of Thee Acid Tongue hits you square on the jaw.

The dual guitar assault of Ohms and Mauronik is like a snarling dog straining at the leash but in order to be so ferocious, the rhythm section of Tracey Skarzynska on Bass and Steve Gameson on drums are the B2 bombers carpet-bombing their rhythms at the low end leaving Tommy Farrell the freedom to sing over the top.

The second ‘Lake Of Tears’ leaps into the ether the track sees the band boogie at volume and already you’re punching the air and joining in with those gang vocals. But hold on to your hat because the band is just settling into their groove as ‘Get Some’ brawls its way through before ’36 Needles’ pokes its dirty Rock n Roll into proceedings.

Sounding like a thunderous cousin to Sorry & The Sinatras or the bastard children of Lemmy and Charlie Harper at the peak of their powers Thee Acid Tongue clearly has a knack for penning great melodic loud Rock and Roll songs and that’s a fine art, It’s one of those things you either have it or you don’t and never will. It’s just a gift that is way beyond a lot of bands but not it would seem Thee Acid Tongue who have it in spades.

They then borrow a few absolute, stone-cold bangers from the ghost of Fuckdust 4 as ‘Radio’ paves the way for ‘Lorraine’ to strut into the ether and what was or is one of the finest Rock and Roll tunes to break out of the underground in many a year has gotten herself a lovely makeover,  and if I might be so bold it seems to have benefitted from the surgery with a wonderful solo and backing vocals to die for (ok maybe not die for but you get the picture) Damn, I can’t get the melody out of my head and now I’ve managed to piss off the kids, the wife and half the street they’re probably wondering who the fuck Lorraine is.  If only they knew they’d be dancing too.

‘Monkey At Sea’ has the benefit of some fantastic Bass bomb drops and the Hanoi Rocks breakdown is fanfuckintastic!  If you thought this album couldn’t get any better then wait for the Motorhead chug of ‘Bullets’.  With all these lockdowns and constantly being kicked in the knackers by lying politicians everywhere you look I wanted an album to grab me by the throat and kick me up the backside and by jove Thee Acid Tongue have gone and given me that shot of energy.

Man I’m already at the adrenalin ride of ‘Blood, Sex & Alcohol’ and there’s only ‘Nun With A Gun’ which is like The Beastie Boys if they cut their teeth in Edwards Number 8 and played three and in in Walsall rather than rapping in Queens and shooting hoops.

 

I love Rock and Roll when it’s loud, fast and a little bit grubby and it makes me smile because the writers have obviously grown up on the same tunes as me and have had the skills to Rock and Roll them onto a record or CD. Me,  I’m going back to the replay button and I’m going in for some more and then some more again.  When all this virus stuff has gone I’m gonna go see these good people and buy em a beer and sing along to their tunes because they bloody well deserve it.  Excellent album, Buy It!

Buy Thee Acid Tongue Here

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Author: Dom Daley

 

Wow has it really been 20 years since Brody and her band The Distillers unleashed their seminal debut album on the world.

Well believe it or not it has and what we have here is a freshly remastered version which sounds fantastic so now is as good a time as any to take a look back on this stunning piece of music.

The album starts off with the snotty punk of “Oh Serena” and man does this remaster sound good with the rhythm section of Mat Young and Kim ‘Chi’ Fuelleman sounding thunderous and Brody’s and Caspers guitars thrashing away.  This ladies and gentlemen is how to start an album off,  what a bang.

“Idoless” is up next and Brody’s rip snarling vocal sounds magnificent and yet again we are treated to a full-on wall of sound.

“The world comes tumblin’ has always been this reviewer’s personal favorite and it’s great hearing it so fresh and that riff mixed with that voice is heavenly.

“L.A. Girl”  and “Distilla Truant” are both great upbeat numbers and the pace doesn’t slow down for a second.

The cover version of the Patti Smith song “Ask the angels” sees Brody makes it her own and what I like about this song is the way Brody approaches the vocal as this song is a bit slower than the ones that come before this shows what a beautiful powerful melodic voice she does possess.

“Oldscratch” is just under a minute of pure punk rock frenzy. “Girlfixer” is another short track that is just over a minute and sees Kim taking the lead vocal while Brody handles the chorus and is a great number.  “Open Sky” starts off slow before the band kicks into a high octane thrasher with a great bass solo in the middle.

One of my personal favourites off this album is “Red carpet and rebellion” as I just love the chorus and pounding drums on this track. Saying that its such a strong album the likes of “Colossus U.S.A.” and “Blackheart” are so strong tracks they keep the quality of this album at a high until the end.

“Gypsy rose lee” is just a masterpiece of a song with a beautiful melodic opening before it picks up the pace and this track just has a fantastic melody. The album closes with “The Blackest years” and is a great track to bring this statement of intent to a blistering finish.

All in all this remastered reissue is an essential purchase as it sounds amazing and fresh but doesn’t lose the power of the original.

Buy ‘The Distillers’ Here
Author: Gareth ‘Hotshot’ Hooper

York based indie rock desperados Hello Operator formed while still at school over a mutual love of Queens Of The Stone Age, The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys. In the six years since their formation the four-piece band have toured heavily, including appearances at such famed festivals as the Isle Of White and Reading & Leeds fest. Their debut single ‘Stephanie’ was championed by Radio 1’s Greg James and Frank Carter. Following a steady slew of single and EP releases, the band finally unleash their self-titled debut album on an unsuspecting world.

Featuring five past singles that I am aware of, it is no surprise that there is an instant familiarity on first listen. But what I wasn’t prepared for, was how hard these boys rock! Don’t be fooled by the bands indie rock leanings, as I am happy to report ‘Hello Operator’ is a full-blown monster of an album. With fuzzed up guitars, booming bass and pummeling drums that have the combined power to dislodge your spleen from the stomach, the band create a desert rock wasteland for main songwriter and singer Max Dalton to croon over until the cats come home.

Following radio interference and feedback, ‘Decimator’ gets things off to a raucous start. Fuzzy, Josh Homme inspired riffage courtesy of guitarist Peter Greenwood, the powerhouse rhythm section of Sam Dalton (bass) and Eddy Ellison (drums) and Max’s ultra-cool falsetto hook, combine with definite Arctic Monkeys influences to create a beast of an album opener blasting off at 3 minutes and 33 seconds.

Of the already released singles there is much to enjoy. ‘I Created A Monster’ takes a bluesy, Tarantino-esque vibe and runs with it. A cool bass line and solid drums lead us through a tale of creating a lady Frankenstein who lives in a dumpster or something, while Max delivers a cool, memorable chorus and Pete matches the intense rising beats with frantic riffage.

‘King Solomon’ sees the band stomp a heavy leather boot in yer face, with Jack White harmonised guitar lines and a killer chorus refrain. Elsewhere, ‘Reeperbahn’ sees the boys cruise down an 80’s new wave influenced highway. With a driving beat and a killer vocal hook that imbeds in the brain, this is a quality single release. (It’s also worth hunting down the various dance remixes available online that just add to the diversity of this band).

The regimental beats and Liam Gallagher style whine of ‘King Of Ruin’ hits the spot. The alternative 90’s feel at the fore, it comes on like Oasis raging against the machine. Is that a thing? Well, it is now!

 

But there’s one particular song on this album that stands out from the rest. One song that is the focal point of what this band are truly capable of. When I first heard ‘The Choreographer’, I was blown away. The next two people I played it to had the same reaction. I recently heard someone suggest it would make an ace, alternate Bond theme tune, and I think they hit the nail right on the head.

This song has a cinematic quality for sure. The picked acoustic guitar intro, the subtle strings that build nicely, to the haunting vocal performance that shows a vulnerability to Max’s vocals. Then there’s that unexpected moment when the band kick in that makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. This is a band taking things to a whole new level. It could well be the song of the year. Simply stunning.

 

The clever arrangements, infectious hooks and glorious guitars keep on coming and keep this listener’s attention. ‘Strangers in The Rain’ and ‘Animalize’ are cool as you like, and album closer ‘I Am Your Bible’ follows a similar cinematic path to ‘The Choreographer’. A dark and foreboding vibe is created as a skulking bassline drives the song. The guitars intertwine as it flows along nicely, before unexpectedly going off on a tangent into some otherworldly Danny Elfman soundscape with jagged guitars and raging drums. Up and down, it takes the listener on a rollercoaster ride of emotions before descending one final time to fade.

In the past they’ve been called feral, ferocious and fucking amazing! Now, with the right management and record label, it seems the time is right for the band to make their move. With strong songwriting, a killer sound and a production job that brings out the best in the boys, Hello Operator have released a debut album that’s up there in the running with anything released this year. It’s the perfect mash of indie vibes and desert rock goodness you never knew you needed in your life. I highly recommend you click the link, buy the digital version for now and hassle the hell outta their record company to release the thing on vinyl in time for Christmas.

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems to be the common thread in Rock and Roll these days. Either a retrospective is being released or an artist is claiming they had no intention of making a record but circumstances dictated they do so seeing as touring is a no go and all they have is time to think and create.  It’s like a silver lining I guess considering the turmoil the world is currently so TV Smith sees himself penning a new album and here we are with ‘Lockdown Holiday’.

 

Conceived, written, and recorded in lockdown Britain over the Spring and Summer of 2020, “Lockdown Holiday” is TV Smith’s sixteenth album of new songs and marks a career highlight after more than forty years of making music so nobody could accuse TV of taking it easy and having a pandemic break and hibernating until its safe to re-enter venues.  When we do He’ll have a whole raft of new material in his armoury.  Tim said that when he finished recording ‘The Lucky Ones’ he went straight into the next one and so on such was his energy and drive to get this done.

From his sickbed, Tim watched with utter disbelief as the mismanagement of the situation got worse and worse, and when he started to feel well enough he began the process of what I have here in my hands.

Big chords and heartfelt storytelling. You weren’t expecting a techno album, were you? Intense times breed intense subject matter and some of Smith’s most personal lyrics yet began to pour out of his punished body and some of his finest I might add.

He takes on the Virus and the second wave and extolled his experience on what you need to do to survive this virus. Don’t think Brexit or the US elections get away with it and aren’t too far from Smiths’ thoughts and entwined in all of that would be ‘Fake News’ and with a beaten vocal Smith delivers a really fine lyric.

It’s a collection of songs that can be enjoyed as one sitting, like you’re there with him as he lays down the songs and his feelings unfold and wash over you.  There is the usual uplifting feeling of TV Smith and his acoustic guitar.  These strange times call for drastic measures and artists to take a chance and do whatever it is they have to do to move on.  TV Smith writes songs,  TV Smith plays those songs with passion and a sense of DIY and get off one’s backside and keep going.  Lockdown Holiday is everything you’d expect it to be it’s not Techno nor is it ballads.  It’s the sound of one man and one guitar delivering the goods. Sit back relax and enjoy, I Did.

Buy ‘Lockdown Holiday’ Here

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Author: Dom Daley

To be honest I know bugger all about the Mud City Manglers. I picked up their debut album “Heart Full of Hate” a few years ago off of eBay having read about them on Facebook and thought that I’d missed the boat on another great band from the turn of the century but I was wrong…….. they’re back (or perhaps they never went away).

 

It’s only taken 20 years for these Pittsburgh rock & rollers to release a their second album but was it worth the wait? Hell yeah !!!!

 

“Give Me The Hammer” drags you into a world of melodic Motorhead via the crunch and choruses of New Bomb Turks and Scumbag Millionaire.

“The Way It’s Gonna Be” and “Hangover Hurricane” have a strong Nashville Pussy vibe, which is no bad thing at all.

“One of These Days” notches up the ferocity. Lyrics are spat out with venom. These sure ain’t love songs.  “Better off Dead” dials down the speed but not the attitude. Another tail of desperation and debauchery.  Half way through the hell ride, side two kicks into gear with “Bring It Down”. There’s almost  a fucked up Sunset Strip feel to this bad boy. Faster Pussycat would have killed for a tune like this back in the day. “ Armstrong Park” doesn’t let up the pace much either, it’s kind of got me thinking of The Throbs but more nasty.

 

“Cheater Bar” is full on Motorhead or maybe melodic Zeke (if there is such a thing).  “One More Mile” is takes you right back to Pussy Town. It’s not only a stand out track on this album but it could’ve been a stand out track on “Let Them Eat Pussy” too.  Blain-tastic mate!

 

“Hammered” is an angry Orgasmatron. An exercise in controlled frustration rolled up in monologue with a message – “Be the motherfucker who is unwilling to play along, be the mother fucker who calls them out on their shit…”

 

Ten tracks in and “Jump into the Fire” throws it all up in the air with a throbbing bass giving way to a banging riff – the spirit of The Five is alive and well – “we can make each other happy!!!”

 

So there you go…. the wheel has not been reinvented and nor should it. It’s taken Mud City Manglers twenty years to release “Give Me The Hammer” and it’s a shit load better than “Chinese Democracy”. Go and listen to it on Bandcamp and if you’re feeling flush hop over to Spaghetty Town Records, Ghost Highway Records or Beluga Records a grab a copy before it’s too late.

 

Give Me The Hammer a listen on band camp whilst the limited orange pressing of 100 sold out instantly on pre-order but the traditional chunk black plastic (limited to 400) is still available from  Spaghetty Town Records in the USA along with Ghost Highway Records and Beluga Records in Europe.

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Europe buy Here / Beluga Records or Here / Ghost Highway Records

USA buy Here / Spaghetty Town Records

Author: Fraser Munro

It seems to be a thing in 2020 with no live shows to get excited over and everyone everywhere being on lockdown.  Some labels have been very busy trawling the archives for material to pull together box sets and nobody has been better at it recently than Cherry Red who have released a plethora of great box sets of the last few months many that we here at RPM have been very happy to get our teeth stuck into.  Today we tackle another of the better box sets that which belongs to Mudhoney easily one of the best bands ever to emerge out of the early 90s grunge explosion but those who know are well aware there was so much more going on with Mark Arm and his band of Brothers than being anther Grunge band because they never really fitted into the genre comfortably as much as the media wanted to paint them as just another Sub Pop band they were more closely belonging to the post Stooges garage scene than anything else and their music was so much better than 99% of the other bands coming out of the USA at the time.  showcasing Mudhoney’s major label period, 1992-1998.

What we have here is the three albums, some B-sides and live recordings, plus the promotional-only ‘On Tour Now’ live album that the band did during their major label period in the ’90s, 1992-1998 if you want to be precise.

Also includes are rare outtakes and sampler-only tracks. as well as the singles ‘Generation Spokesmodel’, ‘Suck You Dry’, ‘Blinding Sun’, ‘Five Dollar Bob’s Mock Cooter Stew’ and ‘Into Your Shtik’, plus the B-sides.  This was also loving put together in conjunction with Mudhoney. and to be fair the Sleevenotes includes new interview material with Mark Arm so a thorough trawl has been made.

Having emerged in 1989 and become a mainstay of the American alternative scene, Mudhoney moved from Sub Pop to Reprise Records and produced three albums during the 1990s for Reprise Records. Whilst not achieving the success enjoyed by the likes of Pearl Jam and Nirvana, the band kept at it and even expanded their live following and always maintained the respect of their peers.

 

The live promo-only recording is unhinged and shows how damn good Mudhoney was/are live.  ‘Suck You Dry’ still sounds fantastic and ‘Piece Of Cake’ was and still is a cracking album. For me I loved ‘My Brother The Cow’ most of all and still consider it their finest album from that head fuck slide of ‘Judgement, Rage, Retribution And Thyme’.  The brooding menacing of ‘In My Finest Suit’. The wild ride of ‘F.D.K. (Fearless Doctor Killers)’.  Some of the period B sides do leave a lot to be desired and were cutting room floor experiments to amuse the band and probably were better off staying uncovered. ‘Sissy Bar, ‘Carjack 94’ etc are fine examples of a band not taking themselves too seriously. but amongst the rough tracks are the diamonds that need a little spit and shine and songs like ‘Not Going Down That Road Again’ are gems.  HArdcore fans and completists will find a lot fo this as much needed nuggets from Arm and co.
‘Tomorrow Hit Today’ is one of those long-overlooked albums but when you have distance and clarity like maybe now, it’s a lot better than I remember.  Who knows if the band were tired or had hit a bit of a wall only they know that but songs like ‘I Had To Laugh’ and ‘Poisoned Water’.
Finally, disc 4 sees the first eight-track being commercially available for the first time but taken from the promo ‘On Tour Now’ recorded in Seattle in ’93 at the peak of the band’s powers and rightly so. They were the kings of the scene for me they embraced Garage Rock of the Stooges and MC5 as well as what was current in the alternative rock scene as Grunge they had it all but were perhaps too cool and hip to be regarded as Grunge frontrunners.  But those who know,  know.  Mudhoney fans and people with a hankering for some loud fuzzy Rock get a hold of this box set now.  Happy Christmas one and all!

Buy  Real Low Vibe Here

 

Author: Dom Daley

In October 2010 The Damned, The Boys and 999 were booked to play at Zakk in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Damned had to pull out due to an injury to Dave Vanian’s back. But the posters all showed them as playing. There are 3 left in the world of which Duncan Reid is kindly auctioning off to raise funds to help small music venues survive these hard times https://saveourvenues.co.uk/watch/#/

You can place a bid on one of the posters Here

 

Good luck!