Chez Kane will likely be a new name to many, but she has been singing with her sisters in the excellent Kane’d for many years. With her solo album, she has an opportunity to shine on her own and definitely makes the most of the opportunity. Kane clearly loves the music of the 80’s as evidenced by her work here and with Kane’d. If you have watched any of her YouTube videos where she covers old songs, you already know that she has a killer voice. If you are not a fan of 80’s hard rock and have no interest in it, this is probably not the album for you. For the rest of us, this is sonic gold.

Kane kicks off the album with the excellent ‘Better Than Love’ which introduces itself with a bunch of keyboards that remind me a bit of Shy in their ‘Excess All Areas’ phase. The music in the verses takes a back seat for Kane’s vocals which are excellent and just hit me in the right ways with the inflections she uses and how she hits every note. The horns in this song are a surprise at first, but they complement the song nicely. ‘All of It’ follows and the beginning actually brings to mind Meat Loaf’s ‘Life is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back’ with the way the opening vocal and music are done. This one has a bit more grit than the opener, but it is still firmly in AOR territory. At this point, this is the song that has grabbed me the least. I don’t consider it a bad song, but it is probably my runt amongst these ten songs.

‘Rocket on the Radio’ would have been in constant rotation on Dial MTV back in the day and is one of my favorites from the record. Kane delivers a killer vocal, and the hook is huge while not being placed too high above the music in the mix. In some ways, it is almost a combination of Lita Ford, Slippery era Bon Jovi, and 80’s Heart, but Kane always has her own individuality in the music too. The guitar solo will have the listener breaking out the air guitar too. ‘Get it On’ begins with a huge chorus of melodic voices and gives way to a clever guitar riff that is supported by some funky bass and keyboards. When the next chorus comes in after the first verse, it leaps right out of the speakers. Kane hits some higher notes here that really showcase her range. Wrapping up the first half of the album is ‘Too Late for Love’ where I am reminded of Honeymoon Suite. There are hints and moments of others here as well with the keyboards providing a debt to the 80’s. In terms of current bands, I would reference the likes of Midnite City and The Defiants.

Kicking off the second half of the album, ‘Defender of the Heart’ carries a power to it with its midtempo beat giving it the feel of an epic. Kane’s vocals here are awesome and given it a chance to shine without her trying to artificially create those moments. There is a purity to it in that she has a great set of songs here, and her voice has a magical quality to my ears.  ‘Ball N’ Chain’ might be the first time where I really hear the influence of Crazy Lixx whose Danny Rexon brought Kane to the attention of Frontiers and who I believe wrote the songs here. This is another song that I was singing part of the chorus before my first listen was done. Hard rocker ‘Midnight Rendezvous’ follows with Kane channeling some attitude with this up tempo rocker leaping out of the speakers. This song would have likely been “too heavy” back in the day to be a single but still feels very AOR today. The subtle ‘here comes trouble’ refrain in the chorus adds a cool touch as well with the echo of the vocal on the end seeming to be a nod to Def Leppard.

Keyboards also usher in the beginning of ‘Die in the Name of Love,’ and I would really enjoy seeing this song be a video or single from the album. The backing vocals are big here and serve as an excellent counterpoint to Kane’s lines. If you told me this song was featured on an 80’s soundtrack, I would not be surprised as it just seems like it should have a visual attachment in my brain. Closer ‘Dead End Street’ is the longest song on the album and reminds me of a relatively recent album by LaValle as the song carries some extra weight even with the keyboards. The chorus is much more subdued than the other songs on the album with the keyboard run after the first chorus establishing itself as a hook. The guitar solo is exquisite here as nothing feels rushed at all in the song.

Chez Kane has released an album that stands apart from her work with Kane’d. While there are some common influences, this album definitely feels glossier in terms of the production and the keyboards. There is a fine line where that can go very wrong, but it works to the positive here. Kane has released a solo album that really feels like a true reflection of her based on the covers she will put on YouTube. If you want a gritty rock album, this one is not going to be for you. If you have ever liked any 80’s hard rock songs, I highly recommend this album. I am a huge fan of Kane’s vocals and really like the collection of songs here that come together as an actual album and not just a collection of random songs.

‘Chez Kane’ is released March 12th    

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

 

HARD-ONS: THE MOST AUSTRALIAN BAND EVER! FEATURE-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY NOW IN PRODUCTION AND ACCEPTING TAX-DEDUCTABLE DONATIONS.

DONATE NOW VIA DOCUMENTARY AUSTRALIA FOUNDATION AND FORCE THE ATO AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT AUSTRALIA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL PUNK BAND OF THE ‘80’S AND BEYOND!

 

“I fucken love the Hard-Ons!”  – Eamon (The Chats)
“(The Hard-Ons) opened my eyes to a whole new world!” – Ian Haug (Powderfinger)
“They absolutely changed everything for me!” – Adalita (Magic Dirt)

 

 

Living Eyes films is pleased to announce that its forthcoming production Hard-Ons: The Most Australian Band Ever!, has been accepted by Documentary Australia Foundation for its fiscal support program, which provides filmmakers a portal through which they can solicit donations, at all stages of documentary development, production, post-production, outreach and impact campaigns. Fans are encouraged to visit the film’s page on DAF’s website; and while there no rewards for contributors (except a thanks in credits), all contributions are tax-deductible. The announcement follows Screen Australia’s decision to give the film seed funding.

 

“Hard-Ons are trailblazers!” – Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys)

One of Australia’s most loved and influential bands from the mid-‘80s through to now, the Hard-Ons came out of the multi-cultural South-West Sydney suburb Punchbowl and quickly won a large following nationally with their irreverent attitude and catchy, noisy high energy sound. Appearing on the Radio Birdman-influenced Sydney scene of the early ‘80s and preceding the punk-pop boom of the ‘90s, the Hard-Ons were a musical bridge and became a punk and alternative music sensation, blowing open doors by incorporating disparate elements – like a range of metal styles, from glam to thrash – which were previously unheard in Australian punk.  All the while they were forced to push through other barriers; barriers that appeared because of their mixed ethnicity – Ray was born in Korea to Korean parents and Keish was born in Sri Lanka to Sri Lankan parents, while Peter Black was born here of Croatian parents – and their willfully transgressive and irreverent nature, which was typified by their name, and by Ray’s outrageous artwork.

“Hard-Ons are the nicest guys!” – Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters)

In their prime, the Hard-Ons shared bills with the likes of the Ramones and Nirvana and appeared on numerous Big Days Out. They scored a never-bettered 17 consecutive number 1s on the Australian independent charts and in 1989 were the only Australian band still based in Australia to hit the top 5 in the NME charts (the only Australian artist to have achieved that – Nick Cave and the Go-Betweens – had both been UK-based).  Still an ongoing proposition, despite break-ups and the formation of other bands (Ray & Blackie’s other ongoing band Nunchukka Superfly) and, in Blackie’s case, a solo career, the Hard-Ons undertook their 19th European tour in 2018, when they played the massive metal festival Hellfest, alongside Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Joan Jett. Soon to celebrate 40 years together (yes they started very young), they are currently recording their 13th album.

“I love the Hard-Ons! It was an honour to tour with them!” – Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Hard-Ons: The Most Australian Band Ever! is being made with the group’s participation. Hard-Ons bassplayer and spokesperson Ray Ahn says: The Hard-Ons are extremely pleased to be having a documentary made about us, by professionals that know our band musically, spiritually and ideologically, very well. We are honoured and flattered. We look forward to the finished film in great anticipation. We want our story told.”

Living Eyes principal and the film’s director Jonathan Sequeira adds:  “We’re thrilled to be making this film about one of the most important bands in Australia, and a terrific bunch of people. Hard-Ons are a band that everyone in Australia should know about and be proud of. It’s great to get some initial Screen Australia seed funding, but it’s not easy or cheap making movies and we need your support. DAF is a great organisation, and all contributions are tax-deductible plus you get your name on the big screen!”

Director and producer Sequeira’s first film – and Living Eyes’ first film – was the internationally acclaimed documentary Descent In The Maelstrom: The Radio Birdman Story, about the iconic punk-era Sydney band. He directed and co-produced another internationally acclaimed feature Waiting: The Van Duren Story (about the long-lost Memphis power popper) with producer Wade Jackson, and now the two have teamed up again, together with an additional co-producer Nalini Sequeira, as Living Eyes returns to Aussie punk and alternative music with Hard-Ons: The Most Australian Band Ever!

Over the years, the Hard-Ons have won the vocal support of artists like Dave Grohl, Henry Rollins and Jello Biafra. They’ve influenced subsequent generations of punk bands – from the Meanies to Frenzal Rhomb to Private Function – as well as a wide ranging groundswell of Australian alternative artists – from Spiderbait to You Am I to Silverchair to Regurgitator to Magic Dirt to Powderfinger to the Dirty Three to the Chats – each of whom has been inspired by the Hard-Ons’ energy, free spirit, and uncompromising dedication.

“Iconic. Totemic… The Hard-Ons are everything.” – Tim Rogers (You Am I)
“Hard-Ons were and still are amazing” – Warren Ellis (Dirty Three/Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)
“(They) should be in the ARIA Hall of Fame!” – Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus)

Hard-Ons: the Most Australian Band Ever! | Documentary Australia Foundation

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Hard-Ons:  The Most Australian Band Ever! is expected to be released in 2022.

In more sane times perhaps the world at large wouldn’t be sat at home losing their shit on social media about which no hope celebrity it is singing autotuned bollocks whilst dressed up as some comic creature. No, maybe, just maybe they’d all be sat at home losing their shit over the fact that legendary punk rocker Sonny Vincent and doom metal pioneer Bobby Liebling have somehow managed to record perhaps one of the best albums of their careers in ‘Caveman Logic’, the soon to be released debut album from their supergroup The Limit.

 

Also along for the thrill in this perhaps most unlikely of unions are guitarist Hugo Conim and drummer João Pedro Ventura from Portuguese band Dawnrider plus on bass Jimmy Recca once of the Stooges and Ron Asheton’s New Order, and together, boy oh boy do these guys kick up one hell of a glorious racket.

 

Opening track ‘Over Rover’ perfectly sets the scene for what’s on offer here, somehow seamlessly blending doom laden Sabbath-y guitars with Liebling spitting out a soulful variation on his distinctive vocal style and in turn sounding not a million miles away from the singer’s singer, Scott Morgan. It’s exciting stuff that’s for sure, the band sounding very much like it’s on a mission to prove that great rock music really should have no boundaries, or in fact genres, and in ‘Black Sea’ the lead single from the record, they somehow also manage to add to a tinge of gothic attitude to the type of amazing music that should have made the likes of Radio Birdman (other great garage punk bands are available) superstars a hundred times over.

 

‘These Days’ and ‘Human Vs Nature’ continue with the frantic in your face born in a garage style that The Limit quickly adopts as their own before ‘Fleeting Thoughts’ slows things down to let Vincent shine on a guitar chug that Steve ‘Guitar Hero’ Jones would have been proud to have penned.

 

Elsewhere the album’s title track sees The Limit pushing the button marked Stooges on the control desk, whilst ‘Sir Lancelot’ sees Liebling deliver yet another fantastic soul charged vocal that wouldn’t seem out of place amongst The Hydromatics or The Sonics back catalogues.

 

At one minute thirty five seconds in length ‘Life’s Last Night’ is perhaps the band’s defining musical statement, a total middle finger to convention, and a joyous celebration of everything great about this band. Likewise ‘When Life Gets Scorched’ and ‘Kitty’s Gone’ are tunes set to take the eyebrows off anyone who might be sitting too close to their speakers at the time, and it’s only during the more pensive ‘Death Of My Soul’ and the swaggering album closer ‘Enough’s Enough’ where you finally get a chance to draw breath and reflect on what has gone before.

 

Album-wise 2021 has certainly got off to a fantastic start and with the thirty six minutes of music The Limit are about to gift us all with ‘Caveman Logic’ it’s definitely reached one of its most interesting and surprising points yet.  Make a date in your diary for 9th of April 2021, get your copy of ‘Caveman Logic’ via the links below, then on the date in question pour yourself a well-deserved libation, drop this bad boy on the stereo, and then prepare to fall in love with great rock ‘n’ roll music all over again.  Essential!!!!

Buy ‘Caveman Logic’ Here

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Author: Johnny Hayward

 

Nearly 40 years in, NOFX are still making records and surprising people with the quality of the music.  Behind all the goofin’ around and the white noise that goes on off stage and behind the scenes Fat Mike and his band after all said and done are a bloody good band with a shit load of great tunes. what else is there to say about NOFX? I’ll tell you what else there is to say and that is ‘Single Album’ is right up there with their best work and that’s no mean feat considering they’re fourteen albums in and during a pandemic ‘n’ all they should be able to do this in their sleep right? Right!.

 

There’s the six-minute post-hardcore opener (‘The Big Drag’).  To be fair a lot of the so-Cal scene bands tend to stick with the tried and tested and every couple of years regurgitate their last album which did the same for the previous one but lately, NOFX and Fat Mike, in particular, have really pushed the envelope and with the mightily impressive Cokie The Clown and the split they did with Frank turner and throw into the mix that this was originally planned as a double album with the band having tracked twenty-three songs but for one reason or another it became a single album hence the title.  The first single (‘Linewleum’) is a tribute to all the bands who covered ‘Linoleum’ badly. They knock out the reggae-inflected song about a mass shooting (‘Fish in a Gun Barrel’). there’s even time for a piano ballad (‘Your Last Resort’).

To be honest, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the band and gone through fazes where I’ve loved an album and then not played it for years then loved it again but lately, I’ve really enjoyed the albums and Cokie was fantastic, hell, they even made me listen to some Frank Turner I wouldn’t have gone near. From the heaving opener, this is NOFX at the top of their game.

 

‘Fish In A Barrel’ is a blinding song and I love the sax solo it reminds me of Jaya The Cat.  To be fair NOFX has written some great songs here and there is plenty of variety hell there’s even a piano ballad for fucks sake! did I mention that already?  ‘Doors And Fours’ is a big heaving metallic riff behind a bluesy guitar intro and a throbbing bass line.  Mike says that he got the idea from a Fatty Arbuckle Autobiography which isn’t as off the wall as it might seem hell, the guy likes to drink and do drugs so why not?  Drugs are still a great source of inspiration in the process of songwriting and besides it was a big drug in the 80s’ – Dark shit.  A theme that crops up throughout the album as ‘Birmingham’ was delivered whilst under the influence it would seem but if it helps deliver records as good as this one then so be it who am I to object?

 

Probably the oddest song on the record lyrically is ‘My Bro Cancervive Cancer’ which is a true story Fat Mike describes it as the least important song on the record but it’s a snappy piece of punk rock that NOFX can do in their sleep but boy they do it so well.  Pretty much the MO for the whole record and damn I wish it had been a twenty-three-track monster like it was originally intended I want to hear it all because NOFX have hit one hell of a rich vein of form hear ‘The Fake a Wish Foundation’ track. but that can wait for another day because I’m going to live in the now and enjoy the hell out of ‘Single Album’ first because it’s one hell of an album one you should at least give your undivided attention to.

 

Buy ‘Single Album’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

 

 

 

Greetings friends of twin-guitar, party rock n’ roll, Mick Ronson riffs, hooks and lyrics that’ll stick in your head long after you have hit the repeat button half a dozen times, visions of CREEM Magazine, torn jeans, rock n’ roll radio dials long before the term “classic” was put in front of it, sitting and waiting by your stereo cassette recorder with your finger firmly holding the record and pause buttons awaiting to record that brand new song you been waiting all hour for the station to premiere, have we got something for you!! New York City’s The Nuclears have returned with a brand new single “Siamese Connection” off their upcoming brand new full length “Seasides” due out this Spring. We are double shot psyched and ready to crank this one up as we drop the single on you today, go ahead, hit that play button…

Next is an epic performance from Killer Kin check this out!

You may have seen the BBC recently reporting on legendary rock originating from Wales. No, not that programme about Stonehenge; I’m referring to Tudur’s TV Flashback, the show where comedian Tudur Owen looks back through the BBC Wales archive in search of long-lost televisual gold. A recent half-hour spectacular devoted several wonderful minutes to a name not heard in a long time… Ivor Beynon, Lord of Steel.

 

For those not familiar with the name (have a long, hard look at yourselves, seriously) Ivor Beynon was the nearest Wales got to a superhero after SuperTed’s skirmishes with Texas Pete. Armed with just a CD player, DIY music releases (the best coming complete with a free Ivor mask), and a wizard stage prop, Ivor Beynon quickly strode from oft-kilter heavy metal curio to bona fide Welsh television star. The Biz, a partnership between BBC Wales and the Welsh Development Agency, found Ivor as one of six finalists on a televised quest for success, before an appearance on The X-Factor saw even Sharon Osbourne raise an eyebrow (the Lord of Steel could have saved her a fortune in plastic surgery bills). Also, I once gave the actor who played Mr. Muscle in the television commercials an Ivor Beynon album and he was thrilled. It seems apt, then, that the rebirth of this Welsh legend should come, at least partly, by way of a television show. But reborn it appears the Lord of Steel is.

 

‘Those Who Offend Beware’ is an epic comeback: a 32-track, double-disc album that is part reboot, part sequel; like that 2011 version of The Thing… but without the dodgy CGI. Split into two distinct halves, ‘Those Who Offend Beware’ will, from the first vocal spat out of the Lord of Steel’s warpaint-smeared mouth, caress the auditory canals like a long-lost friend. Fear not, though, those unfamiliar with the Ivor legend for the first half of the album is a rollicking history lesson.

 

That first half – ‘Born in Ebbw Vale (The Story of Ivor Beynon)’ – is a sprawling 17-track fever dream of a life story that revolves around a masterful reworking of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’. With screaming metal mayhem (“we’re a runaway heavy metal freight train; we’ll give you a frigging heart attack!”) riding shoulder to shoulder with more thought-provoking hard rock (take my hand, together we’ll fly; not even death can stop us, we’re gonna carry on…”), this is a history lesson like no other, with Ivor’s inimitable vocals like siren song to those semi-retired members of Team Steel; their sleeveless shirts and copycat make-up kits itching to get dusted down and reintroduced to an unsuspecting new decade. Those who never fell under the Lord of Steel’s spell first time around –and, remarkably, there were a few – will find this heaving half o’ heaviness a crash course in all things Ivor and fall now they will. Spattered with a dash of timeless cover versions and audio from Ivor’s X-Factor audition amongst the rocking original tracks, ‘Born in Ebbw Vale’ is a real-life rock opera, closed out by the iconic theme tune par excellence, ‘Lord of Steel’. “You want rock? I rock.”

 

How could a local legend who even had his own comic strip in a local newspaper possibly follow that? By recreating those legendary Ivor Beynon live shows from the Noughties that saw gig goers openly weep such was the aural pleasure on offer, that’s how. From ‘Bark at the Moon’ to ‘Turbo Lover’, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ to ‘Tainted Love’, ‘Ivor Party 2021’ is more than just the second half of a typically ambitious project from the Lord of Steel – it will quite possibly be the most entertaining thing that anyone will hear all year.

 

Wrapped in suitably grandiose artwork by Adam Llewellyn (the artist behind Valleys animated series, ‘The Vale’), with a fold-out inner sleeve capturing Ivor with all manner of miscreants from his chequered musical past – from Ben Shephard to Bob Catley to the Butcher of Bethcar Street – ‘Those Who Offend Beware’ might just be your first essential purchase of 2021.

 

“We’ve been apart, but this is our time,” Ivor wails on ‘Friendship Songs’ and, be honest, we could all do with a friend, a superhero, in these troubled times. Now we just have to find a phone box for him to get changed in…

 

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Author: Gaz Tidey

A new song for you all… inspired by the memory, life and songs of Cush.

Bandcamp Link Here

 

In early February our friend Cush (from the revered and loved band The Men They Couldn’t Hang) sadly and unexpectedly passed away.

His humour, energy and artistry will be sorely missed… his friendship and brotherhood with his legendary bandmates and loved ones… irreplaceable.

When I was a teenager my old friend Paul Shreenan played them to me… “Here Rich… you’ll love these guys… they are like the Pogues but the real thing… REAL bad asses!”

We cranked it in his parent’s K-Car stereo… He was right.

Years later in London…I am on a train into town and I receive a frantic and hilariously delivered message from one of my closest friends Tom Spencer (well MOST of his messages are like that, but anyway)…

“RAGS! You on your way into town? I gotta gig. Free booze 50 quid and a sold-out crowd. Support bailed and we need a troubadour. I have a guitar for you! Borderline. Get here now!”

I did. And that was my formal introduction to the band.

I was pretty damn nervous going on stage supporting these guys… in front of an audience that famously will not tolerate mediocrity…

I pulled it off… walked backstage and Swill gave me that million watt smile! “You did great! They don’t hate you!”

Then Cush approached me… slapped me across the shoulders, grinned and said, “Like where you’re going with your songs… you’re playing is a bit like Richard Thompson”

 

And with that wonderful supportive gesture and comment… I glided through the rest of the weekend wickedly smirking and telling everyone that I was the next Richard Thompson! “CUSH SAID SO!”

Then they paid me 80 quid instead of the 50 and said, “Let’s do this again!”

That lead to a load more support slots for The Men… and loads more laughs and good times and drinks and smiles and shared stages.

A lot of confidence was gained through the acceptance of Cush and the band… and I am truly grateful and will never forget it.

When I got the call from Tom with the news, he had mentioned the musical family we are lucky to be part of.

And that struck me…

This weird and vibrant and sometimes heartbreaking world of music which we have found ourselves in… the characters … the inspiration… the adventures and the music … it all runs through us and connects us… all of it incredibly in the moment… then regenerated through the music and lyrics… like the super nova that once blasted bright, scattering the elements across the universe…  found in your lifeblood now… and in rust … and lonely cold planets… both in life and decay. All of it real and important.

So I wrote this in honour of Cush and my musical family.

You will be remembered… you and your songs will carry on within us… the cycle of love and remembrance.

Recorded it with my band mates Ricky McGuire (a longtime member of The Men and incredibly close friend of Cush’s… and of course the talented Andy Brook, ever by my side in these things)

Artwork by my brother Rich Jones… using a photo of Cush provided by Marianne and Nigel Williamson… more family.

All money goes towards the making of a compilation of Cush’s work… this single won’t be a platinum seller… but it’s a small thank you for the great times and shows… keepin the cycle going…

Cheers, and love to you all…

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekX7kPa9R_I&feature=youtu.be

Always being one to challenge himself and push the boundaries of what is expected of our rock and rollers and having to put up with more than his fair share of hard luck and heartache Peters cannot be killed or derailed by conventional weapons it would seem and goes from strength to strength with each passing year.

A guy who clearly has trouble sleeping and would rather be challenging himself and creating be it writing plays, film scores, albums, tours etc Peters is also unstoppable and regardless of quality in as much as the next album might not be as good as his last one, etc you cannot hold him back nor deter his infectious optimism and love for his craft.

 

Now I’ll lay my cards out on the table here and state that I’m a bit of an Alarm fanboy and have been for decades and decades and clocked up treble figures for shows attended I’ve got the books the records all the politics. I also am happy to get down off the fence with regards to what period I like the most and if I’m not so keen on a song I’m happy to say it.  Oh for the record of course the early years of train station platforms and long bus journeys and lots of hanging around are my fondest memories but I’m not one of the “the original line up is the only line up” brigade because I’m happy to say that I loved the poets and the line up of Adams, Grantley, Stevenson, Peters & Taylor were some of the best shows ever and his earlyish solo albums were awesome as were ‘Under Attack’ period (such a highly productive period) I’ve seen some amazing shows and Gatherings and I can safely say I’ve only ever seen one maybe two under par shows.

Moving onto the new album and whilst I was waiting patiently saving my pennies for the expensive new box set I got a little sidetracked and fell behind on the social media avalanche that sometimes happens from artists and wasn’t sure what was actually happening until I sat down and tried to follow and realised this wasn’t the next album but quickly became something that snowballed and superseded the new album into becoming the newer album – confused?  you might be I was. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, ‘War’.  I guess lockdown sent some a little loopy and Peters was no exception with all live shows shelved he found himself in a situation that he hadn’t found himself in all his adult life and apart from putting the bins out (Oh I believe he wasn’t sure of what day) he decided to set himself a challenge which evolved into ‘WAR’ A new album written and recorded and released in a matter of weeks! Metallica and Def Lepard look away now.  IT couldn’t be done, could it?  Pressing plants are bogged up for months with orders?  HAs Peters built a pressing plant in lockdown? Struck a deal with Old Nick?  No, he’s only gone and hand lathed copies hot off the press.  Genius! A little expensive for sure but unique and one of a kind.  I always have an internal argument with myself when I set a ceiling for how much I’m prepared to pay for my music and always disappoint myself that I have to have it – the kids won’t starve, will they? Oh well, we could all cut down a little and it’s Rock and Roll history being made.  Ten songs make up the album and I guess after waffling for the opening few paragraphs I guess it’s time to press play and hear what been cooked up.

 

The album opens with ‘Protect And Survive’ and as we build up I like it, Raw, vibrant and in your face, with no time to overproduce or use too much technology it’s where Peters has produced some of his best work over the last few decades. It’s time to take music back to its primitive old-school ways and kick out the jams motherfuckers and this hits the spot.  Inspired by what went on in the US in January and that mad day on capitol hill is captured perfectly in the album’s exquisite opener. ‘We Got This’ follows suit with some added acoustic guitar and keyboard stabs but it’s those geetars knocking out the Riffolas that maintains the energy levels.

Maybe without the time to procrastinate and tinker Peters has taken a brave turn and used songs he’s been working on or finish and harnessed the urgency of the deadline he’s working to good effect and so far after only a handful of plays I can safely say this is the best I’ve heard The Alarm for a few albums. ‘Still Unsafe’ is more laid back and visits themes and lyrical imagery that’s been done by Peters before from day one I guess something he returns to and gets comfort from.

‘Crush’ again turns up the amps and some radio-friendly riffs fall from the speakers and another really enjoyable song burrows into my eardrum.  Now I’m not the best at following videos of recording sessions I prefer to wait until a record comes out and then if I like it I’ll revisit the videos (Yeah I know, not how they were intended to be viewed) ‘Warriors’ is uptempo with a bit of synth trickery going on between some impressive riffs that lead to a quality Smiley drum fill before the guitars get stuck in.

‘Fail’ explores a decent melody and I like the Mescaleros breakdowns and I’m sure Strummer would definitely approve and whilst I’m at it he would absolutely approve of this project and the way it was put together.  It’s exciting and worthwhile and Peters can hold his head up high and take a little break at least for ‘War’ is a triumph, it’s fresh and bursting with life and energy and most importantly it’s got some of the best work Peters has penned for years.

‘Gods And Demons’ is something of a departure and Peters challenging himself musically and showing you can teach an old dog new tricks.  Now the last time I hear Benji was on the epic Bad Sam song ‘I Love The Port’ I can’t say I ever expected him to rock up on an Alarm album but hey why not?  What a collaboration and one that could and possibly should puncture the charts for Rock music and draw this album into a whole new world of curious music fans from genres Alarm fans would never have expected.  ‘Safe From Harm’ is a banger (as the kids say).

Closing off the album is ‘War (Its Not OVer Yet)’ again another twist of the melon as The band takes on lockdown and the pandemic something we can all relate to wrapped up in a twisted pop song.  Now, even though I’ve only played this album a handful of times due to its emergence and the guerilla way it was released – it’s a fantastic triumph and a really strong album full of excellent songs.  Ask me in a week what I still think of this album or in a month.  I reckon it’ll be on rotation on the RPM death decks and come the summer I’ll be buggin’ my socially distance house guests when I hold a BBQ and tell them the story of this lathe cut album and the story behind it.

The Alarm manage to stay ahead of the pack with an innovative and exciting project that happened and is bloody good to boot – how about that then? Still sticking two fingers up to the haters and penning quality tunes – long live the Alarm and all who play on it.

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Pre-order your limited edition and individually hand painted, signed by Mike Peters’ Exclusively at http://thealarm.com

Author: Dom Daley

Ross Halfin and Rufus Publications are pleased to announce the publication of ‘Edward Van Halen by Ross Halfin’ a 356-page celebration of rock’s iconic guitar player, a man who changed the way rock music would be played forever. This extensive photo book features many classic and unseen shots chosen by Ross from his personal archive together with an exclusive introduction from Edward’s friend and fellow player Tony Iommi. Respected journalist Mark Blake provides a career essay on Van Halen’s hugely successful career.

“I am very pleased to announce my latest book ‘Edward Van Halen by Ross Halfin’ which is available for pre-order now from Rufus Publications. I started shooting Van Halen in 1978 when they were just a support band for Black Sabbath . This book delves deep into my archive covering the early tours with Roth in the late 70’s onto the commercial explosion of the early to mid 80’s on through the vastly successful “Van Hagar” era covering every album and tour and even the Gary Cherone fronted VH III era . I always enjoyed shooting Van Halen, from a photographer’s perspective they always gave you something and the many studio shoots always generated a lot of laughter and good memories . The book also contains a really great foreword from Tony Iommi.”

The Standard Edition: 
A 356 page coffee table book, casebound with a printed cover and a material, embossed slipcase. £89 plus delivery.

The Metal Guitar Edition: 
A 356 page coffee table book, casebound with an embossed cover and exclusive 3D lenticular. Personally signed by Ross Halfin and complete with limited edition contact prints. The book is supplied in a unique aluminium, shaped and printed, slipcase. 300 numbered copies worldwide. £275 plus delivery.

 

PRE-ORDER DETAILS

‘Edward Van Halen’ by Ross Halfin can be exclusively pre-ordered at www.rufuspublications.com  The pre-order is open now on a first come first served basis

Pre-orders can claim a 10% discount with the code EVH21 at the checkout.

Edward Van Halen by Ross Halfin is shipping June 2021