If you were to cross members of Nekromantix, The Brains, Stellar Corpses, and Rezurex! You’d get a batty mix of Psychobilly punk rock and roll so it’s a bit of luck that just that has waled into the ether and dropped onto RPM HQ. With special guest slots form the likes of Jyrki 69 of The 69 Eyes and Danny B. Harvey! It’s fair to say I was sitting up waiting for the air to be filled with the sound of some pretty heady rock and roll. It’s fair to say I wasn’t disappointed.

As I scan the cover I notice a few surprises in the choice of covers ranging from The Damned and some pretty famouse pop tunes given a good seeing to. With fifteen original tracks and five psychobilly-infused covers including their renditions of Danzig (“Mother”), the king of surf Dick Dale (“Misirlou”), The Damned (“Love Song”), Gloria Jones (“Tainted Love”), Portugal. The Man (“Feel It Still”), and Panic! At The Disco “Say Amen” (Saturday Night). To be fair ‘Tainted Love’ has previously been given the Psychobilly treatment from Living End and this is a very similar version. also doing Danzig isn’t too much of a stretch either seeing as both vocals are very similar.  The one that really intrigued me was them taking on the mighty Damned and ‘Love Song’ and to be fair it’s such a monumental tune its never going to touch the original but as far as interpretations go this is decent.  Great crunchy guitar with the drums rolling through like a steam train and whilst they remain fairly faithful its a great attempt and Damned fan needn’t look away. As far as ‘Mother’ goes this is cool as I’m not a huge Danzig fan and I guess it would have been too easy to pick a Misfits tune so this is good and once it breaks open I love it.

 

As for the original tunes I love the groove they get into on ‘Graveyard Girl’ and the guest vocalist work of Jyrki is suitably Gothic and dark How cool would it be if he took a bit of this direction back to 69 Eyes? to be fair twenty tracks is a lot of music to work your way through and whilst the heart is always Rockabilly there is enough variety here and with the inclusion of the covers breaks up the record.  Saying that it could have been two albums six months apart but hey what do I know?

If you want a bunch of songs to pick through to try before you buy then look no further than ’50s inspired ‘She Wolf’ or the melodic ‘We Own The Night’ which is like one of the best songs the Misfits never got hold of. ‘Getaway Car’ is poptastic from the acoustic guitars it’s like a modern ‘Leader Of The Pack’ and could easily sell huge in the American alternative market and crossover. ‘The Man’ follows suit I love the dripping reverb on that guitar lick an interesting cover, to say the least.

Fans of the other bands these guys are in will be interested in checking this out as will rockabilly rebels and fans of quality Rock and Roll out looking for a whole lot of music for your money and excellent tunes they are too.  Pick it up!

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Author: Dom Daley

Douglas Glenn Colvin is better known as Dee Dee Ramone (September 18, 1952 – June 5, 2002)  Arguably the main songwriter who brought punk rock to the masses, Dee Dee was and is a legend.  Wielding his white Fender P well below the recommended belt buckle guideline and known as the guy who counted in every Ramones song ever 1-2-3-4 – Dee Dee had it all.

Initially the band’s lead vocalist, though his (then) inability to sing and play bass at the same time resulted in original drummer Joey Ramone taking over the lead vocalist duties (however, he still sang lead vocals in the band on occasion most notable ‘Wart Hog’). Dee Dee was the band’s bassist and songwriter from 1974 until 1989 when he left to pursue a short-lived career in hip hop music under the name Dee Dee King. He soon returned to his punk roots and released three solo albums featuring brand-new songs, many of which were later recorded by the Ramones. He toured the world playing his new songs, Ramones songs and some old favorites in small clubs, and continued to write songs for the Ramones until 1996 when the band officially called time on the whole circus.

Dee Dee struggled with drug addiction for much of his life, particularly heroin. He began using drugs as a teenager and continued to use for the majority of his adult life. He appeared clean in the early 1990s but began using heroin again sometime later. He died from a heroin overdose on June 5, 2002.

Born in Virgina Dee Dee was the son of a German mother and a father who served in the Military. Which was why Dee Dee found himself in Berlin until 15 then after his parents separated Dee Dee settled in Forest Hills where he first met Johnny And Tommy.

After playing in prog metal bands and getting married in 78 Dee Dee lasted until 1990 married to Vera then he married Barbara who looks over his estate until this day but had to wait until 95 when his divorce was finalised.  She blamed drugs and mental illness for the strain on their relationship.  During this time Dee Dee found fame (no fortune) after he named the band siting Paul McCarney as the inspiration for Ramone.

Dee Dee wrote about what he knew and where he lived.  The Ramones songs are gritty and to the point and whilst one of their most famous songs was first recorded by Johnny Thunders due to Johnny not wanting to play songs about drugs but he later relented.  even when he left the band he still wrote songs for them and always remained closely involved even joining in when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame the first year they qualified to be inducted and shortly after Joey had passed away.  the tragic decline of the band continued when Dee Dee himself passed away shortly after his appearance where he congratulated himself on his achievements as a Ramone.

He wasn’t only a punk rocker Dee Dee also tried his hand at Rap and became Dee Dee King if you can check out his rap work Tupac or Chuck D he wasn’t.  His later years as a recording artist were scattered and chaotic with live records and eps coming out poor quality recordings and little else Dee Dee descended into skin and bones He also wrote a book Memoirs of a Rock and Roll star and tried his hand at acting. Dee Dee had it all yet he had nothing.  He was laid to rest in Hollywood not far from his fellow Ramone Johnny however Dee Dee has a more modest stone with the Ramones seal and the words “O.K…I gotta go now.” engraved on the bottom.  Dee Dee probably doesn’t get the kudos for his significant part he played in music, ok acting and rapping I’ll concede but as a songwriter, he was one of the best and that’s a fact the amount of songs he wrote is phenomenal  although the band credited them evenly it was well known that Dee Dee was the main man and for that alone RPM salutes Douglas Glenn Colvin. May he rest in peace.

 

 

Nick Marsh 1962-2015.  Most famous for being the voice and guitar player in Flesh For Lulu and later an integral part of Urban Voodoo Machine. After his diagnosis, Marsh documented the early months of his battle with the disease through Facebook. “I didn’t know how else to approach it really,” he told Classic Rock. “I just thought, ‘Here I am.’ Facebook is like an open diary if you want it to be. I just felt like I wanted to do that. I don’t know why now.”

Marsh came to the public attention in 83 when his band Flesh For Lulu crawled out of the legendary Batcave Goth Club. the following year they released their debut album they certainly got noticed and became an underground hit.  IT was several years later when they got a big break when ‘I Go Crazy’ was featured in a hit John Hughes movie ‘Some Kind Of Wonderful’ which helped propel the band into the American underground where they did rather well especially with their singles as opposed to their albums. the band broke up in the early ’90s. Marsh went on to form Gigantic in the mid ’90s but that didn’t quite see out the decade which meant Flesh For Lulu was reformed just as the noughties were dawning.

It wasn’t until Marsh found a home as an integral member of Urban Voodoo Machine that he re-emerged no our radar. 2003 was the year and Marsh alongside his commitment to swinging the six string with the Blues punk Bop n Stroll merchants he also found time to record a solo album, ‘A Universe Between Us’, in 2006, revealing a much gentler side of his music, a more introspective sound that created huge soundscapes as big as the sky and quite beautiful songs they were too.

Before his passing, Marsh had been working with his wife, Katharine Blake (formerly of Miranda Sex Garden and The Mediaeval Baebes), under the moniker From the Deep who released the album to much critical acclaim.  but finally before his passing, he revived Flesh for Lulu with a new lineup and plans for the future, but those plans were sidelined when he was diagnosed with throat and mouth cancer. After going through radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Marsh – feeling upbeat about his chances for recovery – launched an IndieGoGo campaign to finance the recordings and plans to tour alas that was in 2013 and then in 2015 at the age of 53 Marsh was taken from his loved ones after cancer returned. He leaves behind an impressive, versatile and above all quality legacy that his partner and two daughters can be proud of as future fans will no doubt discover his talents – Nick Marsh Rest In Peace.

 

This month on RPM we have plenty of awesome albums to review as well as celebrating important players who’ve had an impact on us all.

 

We’ve put together another playlist championing some of the records we’ve covered or will be covering as well as tipping the hat to some of our brothers who’ve passed away and people we won’t forget and if it makes you go investigate a back catalogue or discover new music then Awesome! that’s our job done.  Tell your friends – tell us – buy music and keep Rock and Roll Evil oh and stay sick!

Californian Singer-songwriter Jordan Jones has a record coming out via those good people at Beluga Records (Swe) and Spaghetty Town Records (USA) here is the first track taken from it and if it’s on those two labels then that’s good enough for us. 

Coming this week we have the fantastic new long player from The Satanic Overlords Of Rock And Roll reviewed by Gerald the record will be available from Savage Magic Records – Get in touch and let em know who sent you!

Whilst there is some fantastic new music coming at you this month we also tip the hat and pay tribute to some of our musical heroes who are no longer with us – the brilliant Nick Marsh, Stiv Bator and Dee Dee Ramone, Ronnie Lane and Roky Ericson who passed this month. Lives well worth celebrating I’m sure you’ll agree. What better way to remember them than to indulge in their music.

Back to new records released one of the best albums to hit the shops in June and a shift of gears from the day job, Duff McKagan released ‘Tenderness’ this month and Ben reviewed it for RPM. Whilst he rightly noted it won’t sell like GnR it’s right up there with the likes of Izzy Stradlin and the JuJu Hounds for quality so we’ve picked the title track to go in our playlist but think you should check out the whole record.

We also carried an interview with Birchy from Black Bombers who of course aren’t on Spotify neither are Gunfire Dance (both would be on our playlist if they were) so we’ve included another band he plays with currently and The Godfathers and their classic ‘Birth School Work Death’.

 

Back to the newer bands you might not have come across yet and for your listening pleasure, we have the stunning new album from The Sweet Things reviewed on RPM so we include one of the best songs on the album.  Coming up we have the review of Dangers Of Love have a listen in our playlist then order the record – you know it makes sense.  There is also a choice cut from the Bat!  June seems like a good minth to review a few compilation albums so we give you the tribute to Dead Moon out on Ghost Highway Records and it seemed like as good an opportunity to play one of the original tunes so we included Dead Moon ‘Walking On My Grave’.  Seeing as this week marks the passing of Stiv Bator and also the release on DVD of the movie ‘Stiv’ we’ve put ‘A Million Miles Away’ in this month.

With the sad news of the passing of Roky Erickson, we thought it would be fitting to include one of our favourite tracks from the guy so ‘If You Have Ghosts’ makes the cut  Rest In Peace Roky!

Before we sign off we thought we’d leave you with another banger and one to watch out for.  From the Spaghetty Town compilation record, we include RMBLR  and their epic tune ‘Next Time’ so until next time go check out some Rock and Roll via our playlist but better than that we hope you discover a new favourite band and go search out the record and support Rock and Roll buy buying off the bands and labels who are keeping Rock and Roll alive. Over and out.

So click the Spotify link give us a follow and spread the word.  Maybe we’ve missed someone you think should be making our playlist why not get in touch on social media or email us at rpmonlinetcb@yahoo.com

 

Atlanta so much to answer for… Nah, ok, so it was Manchester besides what has Atlanta got to answer for?  Well, it could answer for this rockin’ bastard of a compilation.  championing fourteen of its favourite (adopted) sons celebrating Atlanta’s annual Down South Showdown Festival.  This bad boy plays out in just about half an hours worth of top tunage.  this compilation is a fuckin’ stunner simple as that.  What’s more thirteen of these tracks are unreleased or have never been put on physical media before, including a new track from Dirty Fences!

shit from the off RMBLR with ‘Next Time’ get this party started.  Sure you know the history of this band (if not then off you go there’s your homework) what a barnstormer of a tune makes you want to get that feather cut and rush off out to get that throat tat you promised yourself and start flippin’ off cop cars because all you care about is the Rock and Roll and this is Rock and Fuckin’ Roll! superb.

Dirty Fences is a breath of power pop fresh air with ‘M.O.N.E.Y’ Whilst BBQT has got their foot on the monitor wedge as they blast through ‘Savage’ woohoo! like Blondie fronting the runaways on 45rpm.  Then things get punky with Sick Bags and the early ’70s Dolls influenced ‘If You Can’t Join Em (Beat Em Up)’  with some mighty fine lyrics that had me smiling and that Riff- the undertones want it back when you’ve finished beating it to death. Pine & Tolliver get a little freaky with the keys on “Somethin’ More” sounding like they Od’d on Lou Read.

Fixed Faces ‘The Call’ is a slow burner then when they get going and the Riff kicks in sounds like a late night getting kicked out of Max’s and hitting CBGB’s on the wrong night mixing Toilet Boys with a lethal dose of Jayne County is some serious Rock and Roll for anyone and luckily it fits right in on this compilation. MAMA rock out with a slice of Thin Lizzy in a pair of creepers with a feather boa draped over the mic stand as they go for the ‘Sugar Burn’ another great tune it would be remiss of me to gloss over any of the bands on here.

 

Flip it and Austins Trouble Boys barge in with ‘Ricky’ in tow and if things hadn’t turned ugly before then once these punks rock up it might just be the match that lit the fire. If Donos Boys are asking if we’re ready or not then obviously we’re ready willing and able as they do their best Ramones whilst pogoing. RPM always has time for Ravagers and their muscular punk rock n roll. ‘#They Live’ has the gang bv’s we love and turn in a bruiser.

We loved the Criminal Kids when we had their album to review and ‘Run For The Police’ proves they have more to offer and that rollicking barroom piano is working a treat as they kick up a shit storm and turn in the highlight of the album along with RMBLR.  Only leaving The Uppers to rock out with ‘Bulldozer’ and a new band on the RPM radar is a welcome addition as I’m sure it won’t be their last coverage if they have more to offer that’s half as good as this rocker and I love the breakdown.

Bad Sons won us over when we had one of their singles hit the 45 RPM round up so we were excited to hear what ‘Hammers’ was going to sound like and it didn’t disappoint at all with their aggressive slice of punk n roll.  Which only left Cheap Tissue to sign off this absolute belter of a compilation.  ‘Up My Sleeve’ isn’t a quiet goodnight but lights flashing and horn honkin’ rev of the engine and like the getaway car in a robbery this is the wheels spinning swift exit middle finger out the window you would expect.  Do not tell me you love rock and fuckin’ roll and pass this by.  I can only apologise for not getting to this sooner it will be to my eternal shame that I wasn’t on the button with this review but it’s better late than never besides like all good things come to those who wait or he who rocks last rocks longest or something like that.  Just flippin’ buy it!

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RMBLR (Atlanta, GA / Baltimore, MD)
Dirty Fences (New York City)
BBQT
Sick Bags (Richmond, VA)
Pine & Tolliver (Atlanta, GA)
Fixed Faces (Greenville, SC)
MAMA (Chicago, IL)
Trouble Boys (Austin, TX)
Dino’s Boys (Atlanta, GA)
Ravagers (Baltimore, MD)
Criminal Kids (Chicago, IL)
The Uppers (St. Louis, MO)
Bad Sons (Chicago, IL)
Cheap Tissue (Los Angeles, CA)

June 04 1990 was the date that I lost one of my Rock and Roll heroes. Born Steven John Bator in Ohio back on October 22, 1949, Stiv passed away on this day in June almost thirty years ago! Shit is it really that long? Bator was taken to a Paris hospital but reportedly left before seeing a doctor, after waiting several hours and assuming he was not injured after being hit by a car near his Paris home. Reports indicate that he died in his sleep as the result of a traumatic brain injury. Dave Tregunna said that Bators, a fan of rock legend Jim Morrison, had earlier requested that his ashes be spread over Morrison’s Paris grave and that his girlfriend complied but not after some friends of Stivs snorted some of the singers ashes it was later revealed in the movie about the singer (‘Stiv’) Which was released yesterday as it happens (pick it up Here

Stiv not only fronted the amazing punk rock legends The Dead Boys back in the mid-’70s but after he split he had a successful solo career releasing the amazing ‘Disconnected‘ album back in 1980 Batos then went on to front the punk supergroup the Wanderers who managed one very underrated album ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ along with Dave Parsons, Dave Tregunna and Ricky Goldstein but that was short lived and it wasn’t long before BAtors was onto his next project with help from Tregunna he formed another supergroup – The Lords Of The New Church  featuring Brian James of The Damned, Tregunna from Sham 69 and The Wanderers and Nicky Turner from The Baraccudas. The band released their first self entitled album in ’82 and arguably their finest work.  Over time it has to be considered a stone wall classic.

The Lords continued for the next half a dozen years and some before imploding onstage that fateful night at the Astoria when Stiv came onstage for the encores wearing the t-shirt of the advert that James and Tregunna had made to replace Stiv.  I was there that night and couldn’t believe what I’d seen but it was pre-internet and pre multi news updates so it wasn’t until I had it confirmed in Sounds that what I’d thought happened really did.  gutted to see one of my favourite bands bite the dust was an understatement, to say the least.

It was then that Stiv moved to Paris and embarked on his next phase and a solo record. The rest is history.  There were no reunions and Stiv passed in such tragic circumstances.  He has been the subject of the much-covered movie ‘Stiv’ and his Legacy is the records and concert footage and memories he has left with us all.  Stiv Bator Rest In Piece you were one of a kind and should be remembered as a legend. That certainly what RPM will look back and think when his name is mentioned.

 

 

Ronald Frederick “Ronnie” Lane (1 April 1946 – 4 June 1997) was  best known as the bass guitarist and founding member of two English rock and roll bands: The Small Faces followed by The Faces.  With Small Faces, he was nicknamed “Plonk”. After their breakup, reorganisation and Lane’s losing the band’s frontman slot to Rod Stewart, he earned the nickname “Three-Piece”.

In the late 1970s, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and was supported by charity projects and financial contributions from friends, former bandmates and fans. After suffering from the disease for 21 years, he died at 51.

born in Plaistow Maternity Hospital, to Elsie Lane and Stanley Lane, a truck driver. Lane later described his father as a “saint”, who would work a long work day, and then return home to nurse his wife and two sons, all of whom were diagnosed with M.S.  Doctors assured Lane as a child that the destructive disease was not necessarily inherited, although he found out later in his life that he had indeed inherited it.

After leaving school at the age of 16, Lane met Kenney Jones at a local pub, and they formed a group they named The Outcasts. Initially playing lead guitar, Lane quickly switched to bass. When shopping for a  bass, Lane visited a Bar (shock horror), where he met Steve Marriott, who was working there. Lane bought his bass and went to Marriott’s house after work, where Marriott introduced him to his record collection. Lane and Marriott set out to form a band, recruiting friends Kenney Jones and Jimmy Winston, who switched from guitar to organ. Marriott was chosen to be the frontman and singer.

The name “Small” was chosen as they were all under 5’5″ in height. They made their debut in 1965, with Ian McLagan replacing Winston in November 1965. Lane and Marriott began writing hit songs consistently, including “Itchycoo Park” and “All or Nothing”. At least a dozen successful songs credit Lane, and the 1968 concept album ‘Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake’ features songs co-written by Lane with one exception. The band imploded in 1969 as Marriott left the group.

In 1973 Ronnie Lane moved to Fishpool Farm in the village of Hyssington, Montgomeryshire, Wales, just over the border from England, off the Shrewsbury to Bishop’s Castle road. With Ronnie already beginning to feel the effects of MS, he moved back to London in the late 70s After leaving the Faces, Lane formed his own band, Slim Chance.

Lane emigrated to Texas, USA, in 1984 (first to Houston, then Austin), where the climate was more beneficial to his health and he continued playing, writing, and recording. He formed an American version of Slim Chance, which was, as always, a loose-knit conglomeration of available musicians. For much of the time, membership included Alejandro Escovedo. For close to a decade Lane enjoyed “rock royalty” status in the Austin area. He toured Japan but his health continued to decline. His last performance was in 1992 at a Ronnie Wood gig alongside Ian McLagan.

In 1994 Ronnie and his wife Susan moved to the small town of Trinidad, Colorado. Jimmy Page, Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood funded his medical care as no royalties from the Small Faces work was forthcoming – until Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan were eventually able to secure payments, by which time Steve Marriott had died in a house fire and Lane had also died.

Lane finally lost his life due to pneumonia, in the final stages of his progressive multiple sclerosis, on 4 June 1997 and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Trinidad, Colorado.

A street was named after him, “Ronnie Lane”, in Manor Park in 2001and if you’ve got an hour spare check out this beautiful documentary on Ronnie.  Rest In Peace both – Legends

Remaking albums can often go spectacularly wrong as the artist often runs into a barrier that cannot be overcome- the nostalgia factor of fans. Following up the brilliant ‘In Vino Veritas,’ Tyla and his Dogs have unleashed a celebratory new version of ‘A Graveyard of Empty Bottles’ that will be my new go-to version of the album. I know there will be some that will think I have to be wrong as the original version was perfect back at the end of the 80’s. For you, I ask that you approach the album with an open mind and give it a listen. While Tyla also redid the album back in 2012, this version soars above it by essentially finishing what that one started. The 2012 version now sounds like a painting that wasn’t complete with Tyla saying as much in his notes about this penultimate version.

This album originally came with a note that these were ‘soft songs for hard people’ as they were all largely acoustic and the best unplugged album that ever existed. This version contains the same 13 songs that made up the 2012 version and did make me start wondering what people would think if the band had changed the running order. The vinyl version will contain the original 8 songs though which would have likely made it impractical to change the running order on the other platforms. Lead song ‘I Think It’s Love Again’ should have been a hit single back in the day and sounds as magical today as it did 30 years ago. An excellent production and mix allow every instrument to be heard with a nice bit of guitar by Gary added into the chorus here. Tyla sounds excellent and like he is having the time of his life. ‘So Once Was I’ slows the pace (as most of you already know) with the piano (by Scotty) being a nice addition to the darkness and serving as a great complement to the slow bluesy guitar licks. Some haunting backing vocals give the song some additional depth.

Picking up the pace with ‘Comfort of the Devil,’ the band hits an awesome groove with an excellent bass line by Matty given plenty of space to burrow into the brain. This was one of my favorites 30 years ago and has become even better over the years. Back on the 2012 version, I felt that ‘Saviour’ truly lost something in its incarnation there. The additional instrumentation here, especially the prevalence of the piano has created something very special as the pace is increased too. It has a very different feel from the original with it feeling more like a midtempo rock song than the ballad on the original. Simon’s drum work is outstanding, and it provides an outstanding close to the first third of the album.

Old school side 2 opener ’Errol Flynn’ has been a constant in the setlist and for good reason. This version burns nicely with the band in exquisite form. Another one that has been a fixture is ‘Bullet Proof Poet.’ This is another one where the added instrumentation is used to great effect. There is a haunting feeling to the music with the added piano and drums. This paean for Charles Bukowski contains some of my favorite lyrics by Tyla. He paints a portrait of this character with his words that makes him extremely real and relatable.

One of the biggest changes back in 2012 was on ‘When the Dream Has Gone’ which went from a short acoustic song, essentially a coda to ‘How Come It Never Rains’ into a full band song that almost doubled the length of the song. The 2012 version serves as the jumping off point here. Tyla sounds excellent, and the bass line by Matty remains as catchy and sharp as barbed wire. The spacing in the song helps it grow with the refrain from ‘How Come It Never Rains’ being an excellent reward for the listener. Original closer ‘Angel’ has been a constant on my Dogs and Tyla mix tapes and CDs over the years. While I really enjoyed the 2012 version, there is a charm with the original for me that it did not quite capture. The changes they have incorporated here bring back that charm though with aplomb. I cannot even imagine how many times I have listened to this song over the years. These first eight songs by themselves formed a classic album which has lost nothing in this awesome remake.

We received the added bonus of 5 additional songs back in 2012, and those same songs are also included as a bonus here. The piano based version of ‘Just an English Outlaw’ has been even further developed to create the penultimate studio version of the song. It branches out from the 2012 version at the first chorus when the drums and electric guitar make themselves heard. There is a depth to the mix here too that has found me hearing new things with each listen. The guitar work by Gary and Tyla compliments the song perfectly, and it maintains the momentum of ‘Angel.’ When the 2012 version was released, ‘Gone Are All the Angels’ was an immediate hit with me in this format. After hearing only an acoustic version for years, the full band version was a revelation. They have improved it even more here for my tastes. Tyla’s vocal performance sounds like it was lifted from the early ’90s or late ’80s. There is a positive energy in this band that just exudes out of the speaker. It was apparent on ‘In Vino Veritas’ and just as evident here. ‘Died Fore She Got Young’ could have easily got missed in the big shadow of the previous songs as the band slows the pace back down at the start of the song. The pace picks up nicely though as the song progresses. The electric guitar licks are well placed in the mix, and the hook in the song locks onto you like gum on your favorite shoes.

‘Stealing from the Devil’ provides an acoustic bluesy showcase and really serves as the curveball epic to the album. The band plays with a delicate touch that conjures images of dark deserted buildings with only hints of flickering candlelight. The backing vocal really helps take the song to a whole other level with how it is placed in the mix. The story in the lyrics reminds me of local Texas legend Ray Wylie Hubbard. In some ways, I am surprised they did not make this the closer of the album as it casts a very different feeling, but ‘Won’t You Let Go’ then feels like a sunrise coming over the ridge after a dark cold night. There is a tangible warmth in the music that soothes the soul and lets the listener know that things will be alright.

I am quite aware there will be a handful of people that will not take the time to listen to the album and cling to the original. The original is a classic album, but this version by the current Dogs is also a classic that does not copy the original. In some ways, this feels like the electric version of the album as it carries a bit more of an edge. The additional songs add essentially a side 3 to the record and can stand toe to toe with the original 8 songs. It is a special time in Dogs D’amour camp as these 4 gentlemen have amazing musical chemistry. I may need to find a way to change the rules I impose on myself around Album of the Year nominees….

‘A Graveyard of Empty Bottles MMXIX 30th Anniversary Edition’ is available Here   

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

 

 

There was always more to Duff McKagan than just being the punk dude bassist from Guns n’ Roses. That much was evident on ‘Believe In Me’, his first solo album, released way back in 1993.

That album was recorded on downtime during the massive ‘Use Your Illusions’ world tour. Similarly, ‘Tenderness’ was written and recorded during Guns recent ‘Not In This Lifetime’ world tour. The difference? 25 years of sobriety, 25 years of losing friends to addiction and depression, and 25 years of life experiences and raising a family in a world that is increasingly dangerous and more fucked up by the day.

 

As the title suggests, ‘Tenderness’ is a much more sombre and reflective body of work than anything Duff has ever recorded. Observations of life on the road during Guns world tour gave the inspiration, and musically, it’s stripped bare. A rootsy, rock record, more akin to Exile-era Stones than the sleazy, Sunset Strip that made the band (and the man) famous.

Hooking up with Shooter Jennings to produce and shape his first solo album since those hedonistic days was a masterstroke. Like he did a couple of years back with Leroy Virgil from Hellbound Glory (check out the marvelous ‘Pinball’ album), Shooter used his own backing band to help sprinkle Nashville style magic all over the album.

Now, this backing band is like a modern day version of The Band, proper cool cats. I saw them perform 2 sets in a night at The Whisky-A-Go-Go, one with Hellbound Glory and then another with Shooter. They will be doing the same on Duff’s forthcoming European tour. When this rhythm section of bassist Ted Russell Kamp and drummer Jamie Douglass get together with fiddle player Aubrey Richmond and John Schreffler Jr on guitar, some sort of magic happens. It’s no surprise they are Shooter’s go-to guys. He knows what sound he needs and they deliver.

 

The title track opens the album and sets the scene. “Blackened days, we’ve lost our way” sings Duff over Shooter’s haunting piano, it sets the scene for the next 45 minutes. The country-tinged arrangement is perfection and the sentiment delivered with sincerity. The sparse musicianship never overplayed, just enough in all the right places to accentuate the melodies and the vocals.

By the time the last chorus is played out, you already have the desire to gather the ones you love and sing along in unison. Moving stuff indeed.

The social commentary Duff is laying out is perfect for these trying times and it’s something we can all relate to. “Turn off the screen, take a long walk and meet your fellow man…it’s not too late’ he sings on the following ‘It’s Not Too Late’, delivered with sincerity over mournful pedal steel and heartfelt violins.

The juxtaposition of the sweet music and the honest lyricism is on point and Duff is not afraid to tackle any subject, from addiction and homelessness to school shootings and abuse. Take ‘Last September’, a hard-hitting, yet beautifully delivered countrified look at the ‘#metoo’ movement.  A lone acoustic breaks the silence like a ‘Nebraska’ outtake, before haunting, choral backing vocals join the lead vocals. Fragile, almost to the point of breaking. “She said no, he said yes, he held her down and choked her neck”. The hard-hitting lyrics are brutal and to the point, sung over laid-back, bare-bones Americana.

 

On a personal highlight, Shooter teases out Duff’s Johnny Thunders influences on ‘Wasted Heart’. The soaring vocals and sweet brass courtesy of The Suicide Horn Section (featuring Duff’s brother Matt McKagan on trombone) is sublime to these ears.

The hard-hitting ‘Parkland’ name-checks the schools affected by shootings and highlights the crazy US gun laws. It could have easily come across as being cheesy, but it’s handled in just the right way by someone who has bought up daughters in that environment. The more upbeat ‘Chip Away’ has a killer Rolling Stones vibe, as Duff drawls about smoking crack over Hammond organ, skiffle beats and handclaps that take us to church…divine.

Elsewhere, the hickey, hard luck story of ‘Breaking Rocks’ is brilliant in its simplicity. It fits the bill nicely, as Duff’s wavering vocals meet in a great duet with Shooter himself. Mental wah-wah guitars seal the deal. A song to sit on the porch and drink moonshine too.

The album closes with the reflective ‘Don’t Look Behind You’. Riding on acoustic and sparse accompaniment, before veering into almost lounge territory as the brass section are left to their own devices, with even a saxophone solo for good measure.

 

Duff McKagan has nothing to prove. He’s been there and done it all. He’s been (right next door) to hell and back and survived to become a better man. But every great musician needs to create and right now Duff has something to say and recording this album is the best thing he could’ve done.

For me, it’s as good as, if not better than Izzy’s Ju Ju Hounds, and it’s up there with Gilby’s ‘Pawnshop Guitars’.

As with past Guns n’ Roses members solo albums, ‘Tenderness’ will go largely unnoticed by the music buying (or streaming) public, which is a crying shame, as it is one of the finest releases this year and probably the best thing the man has put his name to since ‘Appetite For Destruction’.

Buy ‘Tenderness’ Here

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

Ok first up this Monday is a video from Texan Rockers the Satanic Overlords.  Coming on part Toilet Boys and part sleazy stooges ‘Superficial Lamb’ is taken from the new album reviewed soon on RPM.

Next up is a video off the brand new ‘Bat Album Bat Music For Bat People’ and Bat release ‘Villain’.  But who are those masked men?

Rounding off this weeks three videos try the brand new Virginmarys for size

I know it’s only sposed to be three but when this dropped from White Reaper how could we ignore it.  Call it a gift from RPM it’ll bring the sunshine this Monday

Should have been huge! How many times do we hear that said of a band?  We’ve all seen bands we think should have – could have, but there is one in particular band I love who seemed to slip between the cracks and time overtook them and alas that moment was gone.  Darren Birch was a quarter of one of if not the most exciting bands of the UK underground scene who played around the toilet scene in the late ’80s early ’90s – they were Garage punks from Birmingham who, with a pocketful of excellent tunes and a strong image had it all.  In Ant, they had a frontman who had the swagger of a Jagger and the cool spirit of Iggy.  They stormed Londons Marquee Club on numerous occasions and put on a show every time. They were head and shoulders the best band anywhere at the time, yet, they remained unsigned with only a seven inch and twelve-inch singles to their name. It was years later they released a CD that delivered all the tunes they played live and managed to capture that magic onto tape yet their moment had gone and sadly had their frontman.  They lost frontman Ant under tragic circumstances so the chance of a reunion had gone. 
Bass player Birchy has a story to tell and has played with some of the pioneers of the first wave of punk and some – he currently plies his trade in several bands namely the Godfathers and Black Bombers (currently)  if you’re not familiar then you need to change that pronto. But not until you read the words from our little recent chat. Over to you Mr. Birch.
Let’s take it back to the beginning for you.  What made you want to pick up a guitar and why the bass? 
I had my first Bass at fourteen years old. A Jazz copy with an awful high action…The guys I played with in my first band called it the Bow and Arrow.  I loved the Damned as a kid and was inspired by hearing Algy play that intro to ‘Love Song’ and then the sound Paul (Gray) had when he joined the Damned.
Who else was influencing a young kid in Birmingham?
There were others I was drawn to like JJ Burnel and Lemmy they were certainly influences on me at the time. I’d also say around that age I was discovering Bowie and the Spiders era and loved Trevor Bolders playing.  then as I was growing older I was discovering all sorts of players from Dennis Dunaway, Bootsy Collins, Barry Adamson…Even in my Jazzier moments Charles Mingus!!
What about early memories of playing shows?
The earliest shows I was playing was in punk bands.  I’d only been playing about six months and even though the other guys I was playing with were three and four years older than me I guess it was the usual story of ropey PA’s just for vocals in pubs I wasn’t anywhere near old enough to be in – Fun Though.
My first memory of seeing you play was in London with Gunfire Dance.  You were always a band I’d go and see and I found the live shows so exciting? Tell us how the band came into being?
Gunfire Dance was the first 2Proper” band I was in.  Me ‘n Ozzie started the band around 83/84we were influenced by the growing scene of Hanoi, Lords, Thunders…that kind of thing. The line up you all know and love (haha ) with Jeff and Ant (R.I.P)  consolidated around 87/88.
Yeah, We always wanted to be a high energy band… We loved gigs like the Cramps, Lords, Iggy that kind of unpredictability.  I think the band is more appreciated now than back in the late ’80s were certainly more understood…We were never part of that Stones/Face thing that was going on nor were we part of the Glam/Hard Rock scene I think we were out on our own at the time…our influences stretched back to the ’50s, 60’s the whole punk scene maybe bands like Thee Hypnotics were kind of our kindred spirits back then.
What about memories of playing abroad? Did you enjoy touring? 
The tours we did around the UK were always self-financed and self-organised except the tour with Tigertailz (Island paid for that.  We had a publishing deal with them but alas no record deal) we also went out with Bang Tango!!! We certainly had a lot of fun and those Marquee shows were always great (as I recall)
Most people will know of your work with Gunfire Dance.  I remember buying a demo cassette and eventually a 7″ single and 12″ why did it take so long to get a long player out? 
We spoke to loads of managers , labels  etc… But fo rone reason or another it just never happened. We recorded lots of stuff at Island some with Rat (Scabies) and some with Brian (James) but none of it got released until the Evil Boy Records put out ‘Archway Of Thorns’ in 2005.
When we played CBGB with D Generation and The Waldos a guy named Rat Boy (Motorcycle Boy) was playing in Pillbox put us in touch with Jeff Dahl and he released the 7″ on his Ultra Under label in the States then the ‘Killing Time’ 12″ we did that ourselves.  Then we went back to the States for a second time and did New York but the band was falling apart, I guess the combination of doing it without success will do that.
What did you do after the band broke up?
After the band called it a day I didn’t play for a while the “Music Business” had left a bitter taste in my mouth for a while anyway.  I had been DJaying and had a club called ‘Stay Sick’ which lasted a few years – That could get messy.  Then Oz, Ant and myself got together with a friend called Mark Barrows and started Stepping Razors which came about inadvertently by us being asked to tour with Tyla (now that’s another story).  Jeff had left for New York by this time so we got together and it was fun…We were a great band – We cut a demo at the famous Toe-Rag Studio and then got some interest from Island (again) after a great show with Royal Trux but again it fell apart for one reason or another it was around this time I’d also started playing with Alan (Black Bombers) in the Morricone influenced Horse Feathers. Still going to this day we even got as far as recording that album (reviewed Here)
Me and Oz ended up playing with Brian (James) he’d asked us back in the Gunfire Dance days if we’d play in his band doing his solo album (the one on New Rose Records) we would have been The Brian James Gang but Brian suffered the loss of both his parents and then he had the money from Guns N Roses for using his song so he moved to France to raise his Son away from London.  some years later we got a phone call out of the blue it was Brian – he’d moved back to the UK and was now in Brighton and he wanted to do something so we resurrected the Brian James Gang with Jez Miller on guitar and vocals doing some Lords, Early Damned and his solo stuff… my ears still have yet to recover!!
I guess the next time I caught you live was when you were playing with Walter Lure.  Tell us how that all came about?
The Walter thing was when Oz got in touch via myspace we saw he’d been to Europe and released a live CD so we asked if he’d be interested in coming to the UK and we’d put a band together for him.  He said yes and the first show was that 100 Club gig where Walter flew in the day before we had one rehearsal and did the show it was brilliant.  He hadn’t played here for twenty-five years.  I can remember the expectancy and when I see the youtube footage of that gig I feel proud of what we did with one rehearsal!! Ha ha, We ended up doing a few more plus the Rebellion show and supported Jim Jones at their final show at the Forumthen when Walter finally retired from Wall Street we did a full UK tour.
Was there ever a chance to record as The Waldos?
It would have been good to record with Walter but there was never the time……He’s over here soon with Mick Rossi….When we played with Brian the plan was to record an album but it got sidetracked by that Lord’s reformation and never happened…
Onto your recent exploits – Black Bombers and Godfathers.  Firstly tell us how the band came together (Black Bombers)?
It came out of the Blue to be honest. Having not done anything for ages Alan and I got together with a few friends and ended up pulling a few songs together originally it was a four-piece but we struggled to find a direction. Eventually, it went down to a three-piece and when Dave joined on Drums we sort of found our sound.  We wanted to just play Rock and Roll but it had to be adult rock and roll musically and lyrically and try and avoid cliches…cranky…and gnarly – much like us men of a certain age! Haha.
The sound of the recordings is unbelievably good and I always tell people to go listen to the sound of the songs it’s huge. Have you always used the same guitar and amp?  What if any effects do you go through? We did the first 7″ in our rehearsal room, miked everything up and blasted away, even the vocals came straight from the PA ala ‘Funhouse’.  We did it that was not only to keep the cost down but we really liked it.  Recording like they used to back in the day – old bluesmen or something at Chess and that’s pretty much how we’ve done everything since.
In fact ‘Vol 4’ the backing tracks are all first takes we never played a song twice.  We rehearsed them without vocals so we knew them inside out and when it came to recording we just bashed them out. as for gear I have the same Precision that I bought with the Island advance back in Gunfire Dance days and I use no effects at all just crank it up!
You’ve recently found a home with Easy Action who also appreciates and releases some fab music and the packaging is always quality who came up with the artwork and design of the LP?  Dave our drummer is our resident artist, He designs all our covers he does a lot of work for easy action on the Dave Kusworth albums, in fact, he plays on some of them.
 
With a new Mini album or is it an EP? just released what next for the band? Yeah we just put out ‘Vol 4’ a 10″ mini album its been having some great reviews and we did a short run of shows to support it with the likes of Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, The Folk Devils and a few more throughout the year (any promoters get in touch)  Also we’ve started putting some new songs together that will make a new album.
You’re also a member of Godfathers and recently released a live album, the sound of the band is exceptional and the band sounds like its having a ball really attacking the back catalogue. A lot of those old songs sound amazing and really fresh.  Tell us how and why you got involved with Peter and Godfathers?
I’ve been involved about three years now.  I stood in for a few festivals originally then Peter said they were going to record a new album and asked if I’d be involved and it’s as simple as that really. We made ‘A Big Bad Beautiful Noise’ which I think is a really good album and it stands up to any of the early 80’s Godfathers albums.
Before we finish up I wanted to ask why ‘Archway’ has never had a vinyl pressing.  Any chance of one?
 I would like to do a vinyl version of Archway of thorns…..Maybe get a band page up first see if there is enough interest…
Songs like ‘Blue’ sound timeless, how did the songwriting work in the band? The songs would come together in rehearsals really…’Blue’ for instance was just written around the bass line and some chords I threw together…Jeff put his thing over the top and Ant wrote the lyrics…We were all quite individual musicians and everyone played their part.
Is there anything still on the cutting room floor or did ‘Archway Of Thorns’ have the lot? 
There are some songs that we never recorded…..A few on YouTube clips…I have some live tapes from the Marquee with songs on that we never did in a studio…
Good Quality?
Not Bad.  The tapes I have were recorded by our driver on a minidisc player…There are a couple from Edward’s in Brum too.
You ought to celebrate the band and release the album on vinyl.
Jeff is coming over and doing a couple of Electrajet gigs in November…Oz is gonna play drums. ..Black Bombers gonna support. …That’s probably as near as you’ll get to a reunion…. Ha…
and that’s where we’ll end for now.  Thanks, Birchy for your time and effort.  I loved gunfire Dance still do and they shouldn’t be forgotten they should be championed as should his contribution to music whether it be through Walter Lure when he tours or as part of The Godfathers or with his own band Black Bombers if you’ve never heard any of them then be prepared for a treat  all mightily fine bands that deserve people time oh and if you would like to see ‘Archway Of Thorns’ on vinyl where it belongs then the campaign starts here.

Further adventures in Rock and Roll featuring Darren Birch can be found below

Horse Feathers Review Here

Black Bombers Review Here

Godfathers Review Here

It is with great regret that Australian paisley underground pioneers The Church announce the cancellation of their scheduled ‘Starfish’ 30th Anniversary shows in the UK this June due to unforeseeable circumstances in the form of a major injury to their drummer Tim Powles.

The band had been due to celebrate 30 years of their most successful album, the undisputed classic ‘Starfish’ featuring their iconic track ‘Under The Milky Way’ at the following shows:

Sat 8th/Sun 9th June – ‘Of Seance and Starfish’ – The Church Weekend, Bush Hall, London

Mon 10th June – Manchester Club Academy

Tues 11th June – La Belle Angele, Edinburgh

 

In a statement released on the band’s social media on 25th May 2019, they said:

“In the last minute of the last song, on the last night of the USA tour last week, our drummer Tim Powles suffered a nasty fall off the front of the stage and fractured his foot. Up until today we had wanted to proceed with the shows with our “miraculous one footed drummer”, but new tests reveal Tim has developed a blood clot in his leg, while awaiting surgery.  The high risk of DVT in this condition means that flying is entirely out of the question. After much deliberation today,  we sadly have no choice other than to cancel the upcoming June shows in Germany and the UK – Including the 2nd Annual CHURCH WEEKEND event.

 

Nobody is more disappointed by this than the band.

 

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and look forward to making it up to everyone as soon as we can.

 

We would like to soften that blow by providing you with a free ticket and meet and greet when we are next in your area.

 

Once again, we are extremely sorry. We usually roll with the motto of – “the show must go on” ….. but in this case …sadly it was just not possible.”

 

Refunds will be available from your point of purchase. Please contact your ticket vendor directly.

If you have made special arrangements to travel to London for the VIP event that are non-refundable, please contact:contact@thechurchband.net