Given the title of Marilyn Manson’s eleventh studio record you’d half expect it to be an inexorable sonic fist in the face, perhaps even harking back to the fury and anger of his ‘Antichrist Superstar’ days. But think again, because ‘We Are Chaos’ is a body of work designed to challenge and confound listeners, and in fact after numerous listens it actually takes me back to the days of ‘Mechanical Animals’, and a time when screams of ‘SELL OUT’ could be detected from within the more hardcore element of the Manson family.
I suppose discovering that this ten tracker (you get two extra acoustic tracks on the deluxe CD) was being co-produced by Shooter Jennings should have given the more astute Manson fan some indication that that this would be anything but a “by numbers” record (something that perhaps could be levelled at MM’s last two studio records) and on first hearing the acoustic driven title track via the obligatory teaser lyric video I was certainly intrigued to hear more.
Kicking off with the part spoken word ‘Red Black And Blue’ this is without question the most old school Manson sounding track contained herein. The spoken word intro making about as much sense as Manson’s (almost Cantona-essque) press releases these days, it’s not long before the trademark staccato rhythms are banging away at my brain and I can just see the self-styled God Of Fuck screaming his lungs out draped over the lightbox/monitor stage front and centre. Oh, for a live gig though eh?
One of the funniest things I read online in the run up to the album’s September 11th release date was that the title track reminded one listener of an eighties charity single, it’s a comment I simply cannot get out of my head never mind how many times I have subsequently listened to it, so maybe just maybe it is just that, a cry for help in our troubled times, and perhaps something we can all reflect upon.
‘We Chase The Dead’ is up next and this is for me is where the album truly slips into gear, a huge slice of gothic pop, this beauty segues perfectly into the anthemic ‘70s melancholia of ‘Paint You With My Love’ and thus truly submerges you within the qualities of the album as an art form.
This rich vein of songwriting form continues within the Satanic funtime grooves of ‘Perfume’, the prophetic electronic blitz of ‘Infinite Darkness’, which once again touches on the raw Manson nerve endings of old, whilst the down beat ‘Half-Way And One Step Forward’ and ‘Solve Coagula’ perhaps best illustrate what Marilyn means when he says that “shards and slivers of ghosts haunted my hands when I wrote most of these lyrics”.
The epic ‘Broken Needle’ closes things down and this once again acoustic lead track actually has me checking it is Marilyn Manson I’m listening to and not in fact 90s indie rockers Mansun. That’s because like I said at the top of this review ‘We Are Chaos’ is an album that in equal measure will challenge and confound you but thankfully it will not disappoint you.
Oh, and before I sign off, ‘We Are Chaos’ is also a concept album. Good luck figuring that one out.
In this world of Lockdown bereft of live music, who’d have thought it, how many of us are searching the internet picking up on new stuff due out, or stuff in different genres we’d never have contemplated before? With that in Mind I got bounced an email from Church of the Cosmic Skull’s main man Bill Fisher with an invite to join the Billuminati and a link to a mysterious new LP (the one in my title Mass Hypnosis and the Dark Triad). With said LP duly ordered, the first press sold out in under24 hours!!! Really makes you wonder whether record companies are interested in old school promotion in music or is just the endless clicking on streams or downloading single songs for playlists that spark their interest.
As is the want after reading the blurb I was expecting a heavier offspring to the Church of the Cosmic Skull and fair play it’s been duly delivered. Opener “All through the night” took me right back to the 70’s and early Sabbath/Black Widow era, but the vocals link it to the Church inexorably, it’ll hold on to and satisfy the fans of “The church of the cosmic skull, the heavy intense riff overlaid with some great guitar work leading us throughout.
Next up “Mirror of tomorrow”, opens with that down tuned riff that we all appreciate, but heavily distorted evoking some of the heavier elements of Alice in Chains, moving the LP in a very different direction, held in sway by those un-mistakable vocals.
Moving on into “Celador” led through the opening by the vocals, the incessant guitar picking at you before it shifts up a gear, the riff rising and falling building throughout to a crescendo.
“The Dark Triad” again harkens back hitting that intense Sabbath style riff, led by the vocals again guiding you through the song, Then we move into a personal fave “Psychopathy” this is all over the place up a gear, with the bass starting to step in and take a lead, I think this is the song that pulls all the influences together, crystalizes the difference between this solo venture and the main band guitar and solo vocal replacing and leading rather than harmonizing through multiple vocal lines.
“Days of old” moves back into the 70’s picked guitar and solitary vocal producing the soundtrack to a new age of Aquarius, this is the song that will ground the LP holding on to the ethos of Church of the Cosmic Skull. This feeling of the 70’s continues into “Message from the sky” before we move into LP closer “Mass Hypnosis” a much heavier beast but finishing the LP on a real high. If you’re a fan of Church of the Cosmic Skull, get this in your collection, if your not then back track and give them a listen, but make sure you give this LP the time it deserves, Lp’s sell out that quickly for a reason, we’re working through the second pressing now, join the Billuminati!!!!
Paul Collins’ new album with his pioneering power-pop band The Beat, ‘Another World – The Best Of The Archives’ Features 18 previously unreleased tracks from Paul’s personal archives going back to 1978 and the early days of the Paul Collins’ Beat.
Culled from Paul Collins’ personal archives Another World – The Best Of The Archives compiles previously unreleased tracks going back to 1978 and the early days of the Paul Collins’ Beat. All of these songs have been carefully remastered.
Complete with extensive liner notes by the man himself, this is an album for rock & roll lovers everywhere. The vinyl comes with an insert, while the CD version includes a 6-page booklet and 4 bonus tracks, not on the vinyl.
From the opening dampened chords of ‘Hey DJ’ its sunshine Rock and Roll. Whatever mood you find yourself in this guy and his band I guarantee will put a smile across your face and most probably make your toes involuntarily tap. One thing I noticed is the sound is of its time especially the earlier material ‘On The Highway’ sounds like bellbottom denim and a tight leather jacket and one of those oversized ghetto blasters honking out the guitar licks.
Plenty of bands still chase the ability to write songs like these bands like The Speedways have got the X-Factor to pen tunes and melodies like ‘Another World’ but its often left to the originals like Collins to really deliver the goods from the upbeat rockers to the more pop-minded songs like the jangly ‘Lonely Teardrops’ with some lush harmonies.
‘This heart’ is like a lost Dave Edmunds tune jamming out Buddy Holly. You do wonder how these songs were shelved and how lucky we are that they are finally seeing the light of day. Collins crooning on the sparse ballad ‘Baby I’m A Fool’ is fantastic same goes for ‘Witches Fall’ except it comes with added guitar solo and harmonies.
Sure these songs lack the glossy production of a finished studio album but for fans who like to dig deeper than the casual listener its a wonderful insight into what might get left on the cutting room floor and the fact that they’re left bare adds some authenticity to what you’re hearing. Saying that I’d love to hear songs like ‘Girl From New York City’ get the full studio treatment and big modern production. Same for the rockier tunes like ‘Let’s Go!’.
To hear the birth of a master craftsmans work is great. Anyone who loves power-pop should at least give this the once over and see how this stuff is really created.
With a brand new box set ready for release we thought we’d catch up with Boys legend Matt Dangerfield and ask him about his time on Safari Records as we look back on the time the Boys went down to a four-piece and all things Safari. I also ask what’s next for one of the finest bands ever to come out of the United Kingdom.
How was it revisiting the Safari catalogue of releases? Did it bring back fond memories?
Yes it did. Best of all was listening to the “Hell” tracks because this is the first time that it’s sounded good on CD. CDs didn’t exist when the album was released, and later when the first CD version came out it sounded like over-compressed shit. All subsequent CD releases of “Hell” were copied from that CD so I feel sorry for anyone who bought any CD copies of “Hell” prior to this release.
Were there any songs from the ‘To Hell’ record that you have since revisited during remastering changed how you feel about them? I’ll admit I’ve not played the records for a while and when the news came through about the box set I have since given them a good listening to and there are parts of songs that jumped out at me that I feel I previously missed or had forgotten. Was this the same for you?
Very much so. For the reason I just mentioned, I couldn’t bring myself to listen to “Hell” on CD since the last century! So listening to it now for me is almost like hearing it for the first time and it all sounds fantastic from start to finish! We still usually include four of the songs in our live set: “Can’t Hurt a Memory”, “Terminal Love”, “See Ya Later” – and we use “Sabre Dance” as our intro music.
I loved reading your notes along with the specific song playing and was surprised to see you wrote lyrics on the way to the studio, and I chuckled at the thought of it happening due to studio time and schedules, etc did you not ever get worried you wouldn’t come up with anything? Out of this process what would you say were your best lyrics?
Well, that was mainly in the early days when we weren’t given much studio time and I was working on two or three songs at a time. But generally speaking, I’ve always responded well to deadlines and would often leave things until they really need to be done and then work like Hell. There’s nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.
Your notes for ‘Waiting For The Lady’ and the Beatles reference I hadn’t really put it together previously but ‘Independent Girl’ has a real Lennon feel to it. Some of the harmonies throughout ‘To Hell’ have a certain Lennon and McCartney feel is that fair? They were obviously an influence but more so that album (Not that The Beatles would have sounded like you guys they weren’t that good) 😉
Flattery will get you nowhere, but thanks anyway! The backing vocals on “Waiting for The Lady” in particular, were Beatles inspired. But we were inspired by lots of bands and all the music that we grew up within the 60s which was a great era for musical creativity and innovation.
Who Owns The ‘Junk’ tapes now? How complete was the ‘Junk’ album? How does the process go with masters? If you didn’t own them the label did but they didn’t own the songs did they? If they weren’t finished, Could you have gone away – changed a lyric here or a title there and released it anyway? How involved were you with the day to day business of the band and management and label?
The ‘Junk’ tapes are just the rough monitor mixes on cassette from Rockfield Studios that I took away with me to work on ideas, lyrics etc. with the intention that we would come back and complete the album there. But after NEMS didn’t pay the studio and Rockfield wouldn’t release the two-inch tapes, we finally lost our patience with NEMS and went on strike for a few months until they eventually let us go. Our manager, Ken Mewis, generally dealt with the label, promotion and tour bookings, but we took care of the creative and recording side of things.
How do you look back on the time spent On Safari!?
We had a great relationship with Safari, which was basically John Craig and Tony Edwards. Two great guys who did all the right things for us in terms of albums, tours etc and generally looked after us and gave us the freedom to be creative. What more can you ask for as a band?
I always loved the cover of ‘Boys Only’ whose idea was that?
The designer was John Gordon (I fished out the original vinyl copy to get that detail) who was responsible for the concept. All I remember that it was our longest and most tiring photo session ever and took a whole day to get all the necessary pics.
Going out as a four-piece was it ever not going to happen? Did you think around that time that the band was done? What about the recording process, how different was it?
It was different without Cas but we took it in our stride, I knew that the band wasn’t finished and it didn’t feel that much different playing live. Recording was as easy going as ever and John and myself were writing enough songs but we did have to work harder on the backing vocals and harmonies without Cas being there.
Would you say that John recording with Pete Stride made him a more confident writer and bandmember? He brings quite a bit to the table for Boys only and sings on quite a few. How did you decide who sang what? are there versions recorded say of ‘Monotony’ with you delivering a vocal and Duncan or was that never done? because you say he (Duncan) sang it live.
Yes, John had become more confident and also had become a better singer. As regards who sang what, I usually only sang the songs that I’d written or written with Cas, and Duncan usually sang John’s and a few Steel/Dangerfield songs that we thought would suit his voice. I think “Monotony” was only ever likely to be sung by John on record.
You got to record in some iconic studios such as Rockfield, Pye and Olympic were you aware of your surroundings at the time? Was there a favourite? or a particular song you look back on that you really nailed because of where you were. Rockfield had the toilet at the end of the hallway with a mic in the hall did you ever apply such techniques?
Yes, I was definitely chuffed to be using the same studios where some of my favourite tracks had been made. Rockfield/Dave Edmonds/Sabre Dance; Pye/The Kinks etc; Olympic/lots of Stones stuff etc. Rockfield was probably my favourite for its vibe because you also lived there and could totally concentrate on the recording. “Brickfield Nights” was definitely ‘nailed’ there.
When the band gets back to playing live is there a chance some of the more obscure tracks might creep into the set? You mention songs like ‘Little White Lifeline’ and its solo would sound great live.
We sometimes slip in a lesser known track. We do “Lifeline” at acoustic gigs sometimes but without the solo, because even straight after recording that solo, I was never able to play it again.
When you have writing credits say like on ‘Schoolgirls’ Cas yourself and John how do you decide who gets on the credits?
It’s usually decided on the spot – if anyone added anything of substance to the song they’d get credit.
Changing up songs like ‘Kamakaze’ in the style of VU for ‘Jap Junk’ whose idea was that and was this done on any other songs because it’s quite a departure the saxophone is great on the single mix
The minimalist drums were my idea of a tribute to the Velvets, who first opened my eyed to punk, and I think we’d always had it in mind to get a sax on the song.
How many more tapes might there be with the likes of ‘Cry Tomorrow’ on them? Fantastic stuff, maybe another acoustic album is on the cards with some of the rare tunes mixed with the more popular ones you did on the acoustic album. a live acoustic album recorded at Rebellion because a couple of acoustic sets were fantastic from the pubs almost acoustic stage and then the opera house were real highlights?
Well those tapes turned up out of the blue, so who knows what else might turn up. We may consider another acoustic album – it’s a lot easier to make than a full studio album, as is a live album.
The band always did great covers are there any you think would have really suited you guys? Any you worked on that never got recorded? The other side of it is other people covering The Boys. Who have you particularly admired any jump out as doing a great job or really getting what the song was about? Michael Monroe did jimmy Brown and it must always be great when Die Toten Hosen release a covers album and include a Boys Song.
I love Michael’s version of “Jimmy Brown”. I also like the Hosen’s versions of “First Time” and “Brickfield Nights”, and Nicky Sudden’s cover of “Independent Girl”.
The live album sounds fantastic, I’ve always liked the BBC sessions, from some of my favourite bands possibly, because the BBC always had great engineers and their sound recording was top notch and the live ones always sounded so good what are your thoughts on the live album?
Yes, it’s true those Beeb producers and sound engineers were very good and worked very quickly, which really suited us as we generally record fast. I remember that the BBC sound people always seemed to have beards, maybe it was a job requirement.
You illude to it not being your usual audience. The applause sounds great even after the ‘worm song’ their faces must have been a picture.
They were very polite.
I’ve mentioned it to Steve but it would be great to have these ‘Safari’ recordings as a vinyl set I wouldn’t need my glasses then for the booklet which is great to read your memories of each song. Did you ever keep diaries or is it just a sharp knack for remembering. What next for the Boys? Is there anything left in the archive or what about new material. ‘Punk Rock Menopause’ was such a great album is there going to be a follow-up?
We’d love to get them out on vinyl and a lot of our fans would love it so who knows?
“Anyone buying the Box Set directly from The Boys this month (September 2020) will be given a PDF document of Matt Dangerfield’s full Safari notes along with an unreleased 1979 demo of “New Guitar In Town”. For more information email The Boys at email@example.com“
Special thanks to Steve Metcalfe for always having The Boys corner and doing a sterling job keeping their flame alive and making running features on them such a pleasure.
From debut album ‘WE ARE THE PLAGUE’ released July 31st
on Negative Prophet Records / Cargo Records
As Autumn creeps through the door, Suzie Stapleton has unveiled a timely new film clip for the appropriately titled track ‘September’. ‘September’ is the fourth single from the Brighton-based artist’s self-produced debut album ‘We
Are The Plague’ which was released on July 31st via Negative Prophet Records. The album, which weaves it’s way through alternative rock to gothic-blues and dark-folk, has been stacking up praise with Stapleton being compared to Patti Smith, Nick Cave, Emma Ruth Rundle, and Mark Lanegan. ‘We Are The Plague’ was voted into Louder Than War’s Top 22 Albums of 2020 So Far in July and tracks from the album have been played on BBC6, Radio Eins,
Double J and more.
Whilst ‘We Are The Plague’ is the defiant call of a generation sold down the river, ‘September‘ takes a more introspective turn. Stapleton’s band – bassist Gavin Jay (who also filmed and edited the video) of Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind and drummer Jim Macaulay of The Stranglers – rumble beneath Stapleton’s driving guitar lines which are reminiscent of an unhinged Thurston Moore. Lyrically Stapleton doesn’t disappoint with a feverish shamanistic outpouring as the song crescendos and her dry-wit shining through with lines such as ‘Muses don’t
It seems Stapleton is keeping up the pace on other fronts, recently making a cameo on backing vocals on Crippled Black Phoenix’s single ‘Cry of Love’ from their forthcoming album ‘Ellengæst’ . Stapleton also contributes guitar to a Bauhaus rendition on the album which is set for release on October 9th via Season of Mist. Stapleton met Crippled Black Phoenix via their 2014 collaboration on The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project which Stapleton
contributed to whilst still based in Australia.
Stapleton’s next live dates are in February supporting Humanist in London, Manchester, and Brighton.
Suzie Stapleton is touring the UK Feb 2021 supporting Humanist
6th Yes (The Pink Room) MANCHESTER (solo)
8th The Prince Albert, BRIGHTON (full band)
9th The Lexington, LONDON (solo)
BUY TICKETS HERE
TAKEN FROM NEW ALBUM, BLUE HEARTS,
OUT SEPT 25th ON MERGE RECORDS
the latest single from his explosive upcoming album Blue Hearts, which arrives via Merge Records on Friday, September 25th. Pre-orders are available HERE.
Mould released this statement about ‘Siberian Butterfly’:
“The genesis of ‘Siberian Butterfly’ spoke to the notion of “collectors” — people with excessive means who gather the works of creative folk for their ego-driven portfolios.
“As I kept writing, the narrative shifted toward themes of change, growth, and freedom. These motifs are central to how we become our true selves. This is how we begin our journey toward our true identities.
“It’s autobiographical as well. I put myself through some self-hating years as a young gay man — never feeling “good enough”, not recognising the positive qualities I had to offer, while inhibiting the development of my gay identity.
“I hope for a world where all people can be what they want to be. Life seems shorter every day; maybe this simple song can be of use to people who are struggling to find their true selves.”
‘Siberian Butterfly’ is the third song released from Mould’s 14th solo LP, Blue Hearts – and follows the provocative first single ‘American Crisis‘ and the powerful second single ‘Forecast of Rain‘. Blue Hearts is the rawest and most confrontational work of Bob Mould’s four-decade solo career, a raging 14-track collection described by its creator as “the catchiest batch of protest songs I’ve ever written in one sitting.” Produced by Mould at Chicago’s famed Electrical Audio with longtime collaborator Beau Sorenson engineering, the album – which once again features backing from the crack rhythm section of drummer Jon Wurster and bassist Jason Narducy – nods to the veteran singer-songwriter’s groundbreaking past while remaining firmly planted in the issues of the day. Where Sunshine Rock captured Mould at his most “violently happy” (according to Rolling Stone), Blue Hearts is both seething and pointed, the raging yin to the previous album’s positive yang. Acoustic opener ‘Heart on My Sleeve‘ catalogues the ravages of climate change, while ‘American Crisis’ – written initially for Sunshine Rock but deemed “too heavy” by its writer – spits plainspoken fire at the people who fomented this catastrophic moment in history, while ‘Forecast of Rain’ questions the ethos of American community: “This love this neighbour thing: Does it apply to all mankind, or only those who fit neatly inside your narrow lines?”
Always an absolute pleasure to get an earful off The Boys and this much-anticipated box set has come at just the right time in what has been or rather what is a bonkers year.
In a nutshell (or should that be clamshell), what we have here is Safari Records five-disc set of Boys material beginning with the fantastic ‘To Hell With The Boys’ followed by ‘Boys Only’ then the ones that will have fanboys salivating. One CD of Rarities (Granted many of which have already seen the light of day, here and there, like when Captain Oi! released the ‘To Hell’ they included five bonus cuts which are all present in one form or another.
These discs have been lovingly remastered by Matt and James Bragg and are a cornucopia of loud guitars and cheeky chaps doing what they do best… play exceptional Rock and Roll. The five discs are all accompanied by a really smart booklet with excellent notes from Matt Dangerfield which gives you a feel for where the band was at the time and corresponding pictures that help paint what the band were up to at the time.
From Cas’ swirling keyboards that sit on top of the mix of ‘Rue Morgue’ these songs could have been mastered underwater and they’d still sound sharp as a tack. The fact that a lot of these songs still sit prominently in the live set would show how highly the band still regards the ‘To Hell’ album. Tunes such as ‘Terminal Love’, ‘You Can’t Hurt A Memory’ & ‘See You Later’ shows how versatile and creative the band was.
Man, they don’t make Rock and Roll bands like this anymore The Boys had everything, more than the one songwriter, a pair of great guitar players who had their own styles and a whole extra dynamic with more than one vocalist helps with some fantastic backing vocals. They were never afraid to put a rocker like ‘See You Later’ next to such a mellow laid back and sweet song as ‘You Can’t Hurt A Memory’ with one of Matt’s finest vocal deliveries hitting the spot perfectly, a fantastic arrangement and getting John Mayall to hoot along on this was inspired and all for the price of a bottle of Vodka! Brilliant. I love ‘Kamikaze’ for those honkin’ Sax breaks and I didn’t realise it was Johns first foray into lead vocals.
To be fair having this all pulled together in one place long after most of this is hard to get hold of unless you have deep pockets is an achievement in itself and the booklet with all the fantastic memorabilia is a great addition and well worth checking out even for the casual its the perfect gateway into the band and their music.
The BBC live album is a corker but then if you’ve ever seen the band live you’ll know they don’t do bad shows and this foray into the BBC and the heart of the establishment, mixes up their output thus far with old and new songs and spot-on delivery.
As the blurb says 71 tracks in all, 22 rare and previously unreleased songs, the X Rated Yobs Crimbo album just in time to play around the table as your nan tucks into her Christmas dinner round your house. Of course, I highly recommend you buy this box set, its a keeper and for those who are looking to tie up loose ends, this is perfect maybe 2020 hasn’t been a total bust after all its not every year you get a Boys box set. Buy it!
“Anyone buying the Box Set directly from The Boys this month (September 2020) will be given a PDF document of Matt Dangerfield’s full Safari notes along with an unreleased 1979 demo of “New Guitar In Town”. For more information email The Boys at firstname.lastname@example.org“
Wildstreet began in 2006 and released their self-titled debut album on Retrospect Records in 2009. The band spent the next 4 years touring nonstop & performing at US festivals including: Rocklahoma (5 consecutive years), SXSW & M3 Rock Festival. Wildstreet rocked alongside Black Veil Brides, Vains of Jenna, The Bouncing Souls, The Last Vegas, Twisted Sister, Michael Monroe, Crashdiet, Diemonds, Kix, LA Guns and more. The band won the Best Buy/Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands for Rockstar Energy’s Uproar Festival, and opened for Avenged Sevenfold, Sevendust and Three Days Grace in Camden, NJ.
In 2011, the band released Wildstreet II..Faster..Louder! to widespread critical acclaim. They made an appearance on “The Jimmy Fallon show” and their songs were licensed to TV shows on E!, MTV, VH1, Oxygen, TBS & in a THQ Video game. Later that year, the band released the official music video for “Poison Kiss,” which included a cameo by Don Jameson of “The Metal Show.” Wildstreet now had the attention of rock fans worldwide. In 2012, the band released the single “Easy Does It,” and it’s official music video. The video went viral on YouTube. (Wildstreet has well-over 5 million views and nearly 8,000 subscribers on that platform).
After taking a 2 1/2 year break off & dodging rumors of a band breakup, Wildstreet exploded back onto the NYC scene in 2016, headlining Gramercy Theatre with new lineup. In early 2017, the band rocked NYC with Faster Pussycat and The Biters and headed to Rocklahoma for the 6th time.
The band began work on their single “Raise Hell” after Rocklahoma. Released in December 2017, it ushered in a new period for the band. They headlined Irving Plaza for the single’s release party, and was handpicked by Dorothy to open for her New York City tour date at The Bowery Ballroom. In February 2018, the band released a lyric/concert video for “Raise Hell.” Wildstreet spent the remainder of 2018 in the studio recording, Wildstreet III. They performed regional tour dates/festival dates. Highlights include: opening for Sebastian Bach & Escape The Fate. In March, the band sold out The Knitting Factory Brooklyn and then headed out on their first tour in Europe, playing 10 shows in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany, including Sleaze Fest 2019 in Bochum, Germany. Upon returning to NYC, Wildstreet filmed the official music video for “Tennessee Cocaine.” In July, they headlined a sold out NYC show at Saint Vitus and headed out for a short west coast tour which included stops at The Whisky-a gogo & Great American Music Hall. The band toured the US in February before the pandemic outbreak. Their last three singles, ‘Tennessee Cocaine (200k),’ ‘Three Way Ride (100k),’ & ‘Born To Be (225k)’ have over 100k Spotify streams & their last two music videos have over 100k Youtube views.
Already confirming festival dates for 2021 including: Rockfest 2021 (US), Sleaze N’ Hard IV (CO) & Hard Rock Hell Spring Break Festival (UK), COQ festival (EU), Wildstreet will perform a full band livestream concert on youtube on September 26. They are shooting the video for their next single ‘Still Love You’ which is set to be released this fall.
Back in 2013, when the world was still pretty weird, but markedly less bizarre than it is now, Captain Sensible and then former Damned bassist Paul Gray reunited for an album called ‘A Postcard From Britain’ under the name The Sensible Gray Cells. This was long before Paul Gray re-joined The Damned for their ‘Evil Spirits’ album in 2018 and allowed the pair to reacquaint their musical partnership and explore their love of the quintessentially British late 60s psych-pop period that has always been their passion.
And now, with live music derailed for the foreseeable future and 2020 already proving to be an unforgettable year for all of the wrong reason, Sensible and Gray were inspired to reignite their Sensible Gray Cells persona, together with Johnny Moped drummer Marty Love, for ‘Get Back Into The World’, released via Damaged Goods Records this coming November 27th.
“PG and myself being garage psych aficionados feel there should be more of this kind of music and this is our contribution to the cause,” explains the Captain. “If I said that some of these songs were ‘Damned rejects’ that shouldn’t be seen as an indication of inferior song writing, more that they’re not wearing the right shirt.”
“I’ve never been a prolific writer being a lazy so and so, I think it’s best to wait for inspiration to call, which explains the 7 year gap ( how many albums could the Beatles have crammed in that period!) but in the meantime Paul re-joined the Damned and we’ve gigged about a bit, which is always fun – CAN WE HAVE LIVE MUSIC BACK AGAIN PLEASE!”
‘A Postcard From Britain’ was a snapshot of modern life and similarly, ‘Get Back Into The World’ provides a comparable document.
“It’s sad that high streets around the world have been destroyed by online shopping but nobody’s forcing people to do it – what can you do,” he states. “These are very strange times we’re living though – I just count myself lucky to have been around to witness the 2nd half of the 20th century; a fab time for music, culture, ideas and that without even mentioning Benny Hill and On The Buses. The new album coincides with all this virus malarkey, which, unpleasant as it is will undoubtedly be used by the powers that be to tighten the screws on us little people on behalf of their billionaire paymasters. Blah blah, etc. There’s a bit of that hidden away in the album.”
Back in June, listeners got their first taste of the new Sensible Gray Cells in the form of the ‘So Long’/’What’s The Point In Andrew?’ seven-inch, now long since sold out. Show-casing what to expect from the album, the strutting rock n’ roll of ‘So Long’ was a stark contrast to the whimsical royal-baiting of ‘What’s The Point Of Andrew?’ (“Known forever as the royal spare”) and shows the variety of moods and styles on offer here.
Now comes ‘I Married A Monster’, a stomping 60s garage punk nugget that pays tribute to their love of old horror films.
“We love all those old Ealing comedies, ‘Carry On’ films and 1950’s hammy-horror movies like The Blob and I Married A Monster From Outer Space,” explains Paul. “This is our musical tongue-in-cheek spoof homage to them….after all, you never can quite be sure…can you??”
Get Back Into The World is available for pre-order in the following formats HERE:
The title track will also be released on a 7” single along with an exclusive B-side two weeks prior to the album release.
ALBUM OPTION ONE
An exclusive black and yellow splatter vinyl LP (12 tracks) + a black vinyl 12” single containing two extra tracks + a set of three signed postcards. Limited to 500 copies.
ALBUM OPTION TWO
Standard release grey vinyl LP (12 tracks)
ALBUM OPTION THREE
CD (14 tracks)
ALBUM OPTION FOUR
Cassette (14 tracks). Limited to 100 copies
‘Get Back Into The World’ 7” single featuring exclusive B-side ‘World of Confusion’
Blue vinyl – mail order only – Limited to 400 copies
Grey vinyl – mail order only – Limited to 400 copies
Not everything is Black & White but in these strange times, it helps polarize your brain and when these Londoner’s plugin and turn it up with their sharp angular chords thrashed out with much anger and frustration along with some pissed off rhythms that embrace modern technology these post-punks seem to love hiding in the bleak grey corners of your mind and jump out with loud overdriven, often intense songs that lack any colour and do so with the intension of making everything seem just a little out of focus.
I get the impression Girls In Synthesis aren’t for compromising and their views are clear as daylight. The politically charged and perfectly delivered ‘They’re Not Listening’ fits with the angst and rage of the times when politicians only work inside their own echo chamber and fuck the rest of us, never apologising for mistakes nor recognising when they might be wrong. The delivery is at times in keeping with the likes of Sleaford Mods but the music is born from real instruments and not an apple mac book being Londoners I guess the concrete jungle has played a part in creating the music they play. The sounds they create are aggressive, jarring and every void is filled to the brim.
They waste no time as they soundtrack the worst of times like a nuclear bomb going off ‘Arterial Movements’ could be what it sounds like in your head. from the frantic feedback being wrestled like a giant anaconda. the chorus has gang vocals from a concrete bunker in response to the dry vocal its chaos but never is it too fucked up and it certainly gets the blood pumping.
It’s a pretty unrelenting album as well as uncompromising and it’s not until halfway when the pace eases up but not the tension as ‘Human Frailty’ is a moment for you to catch your breath. the solo is mental and the bleakness of the music is intense.
If you might think that side two is going to get any easier then forget it ‘Cause For Concern’ is pounding whilst that industrial concrete bass throb is on the attack on ‘Coming Up For Air’ which is a short sharp foray into carpet-bombing using the medium of audio. Perhaps a bit out of step with the shorter songs you then get ‘Set Up To Fail’ with its five-plus minutes beginning with a cleaner sound reminding me of PIL meets crass as it gains momentum but never does take off preferring to ease back and hammer on with a more jazz vibe with the brass flittering around the speakers.
To close this one down there’s the buzz of ‘Tirades Of Hate And Fear’ with its flat delivery of the lyrics from a low chat in your ear it gets more and more intense before signing off. Better to burn out than fade away for sure Girls in Synthesis deliver an album that will keep on giving and is totally in keeping with these strange times. Post Punk, noisy, aggressive and digging you on the temple to shut up and just listen. Check it out.