The break-up album can be an artist’s defining career moment. Time after time it has been proven that heartache and relationship breakdowns have fuelled the writing and inspired some of the greatest albums of all time. Whether we talk Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’, Nick Cave’s ‘The Boatman’s Call’ or Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’, writing and recording music can be an exorcism of the pain, anger and confusion of a break-up. It has been said that when an artist is at their most vulnerable…they are at their best.

When Texan singer/songwriter Ryan Hamilton was faced with an unexpected divorce last year, he was a broken and confused man. He did the only sane/insane thing he felt he could do. He cut off his hair, packed up his troubles in the back of his car and took to the road with just an acoustic guitar and his dog Peaches for company. Travelling Route 66 and living in the back of his car, this time of solitude and soul searching was designed to ease the heartbreak and maybe help him find direction. Whether it made things better or worse, you would have to ask Ryan, but it certainly spawned new music and a new album.

 

Taking its title from one of Ryan’s heroes, Jack Kerouac, ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ is a trip through the mind of a man searching for answers and re-evaluating his life, to a soundtrack of radio-friendly Americana, backed by his transatlantic rock ‘n’ roll band. Recorded at his home studio in Texas and finished off back in the UK by his band and producer Dave Draper, this is a more introspective and emotional journey than we are accustomed to, from a man who deals in catchy, power pop ditties.

Opener ‘Only A Dream’ sets the tone with sweet acoustic guitars and Ryan’s even sweeter vocals. It has definite Tom Petty vibes as Americana marries dreamy, folk pop to perfection. Highlighted by swathes of keys and a rhythm section who know exactly how to take it where it needs to go. It builds nicely in the pre-chorus with great chord progression, to soaring vocals in the chorus. An emotive and harmony soaked introduction to the album.

Second track (and second single) ‘Oh No’ is a duet with Letters To Cleo singer Kay Hanley. Classic album titles make up pretty much all the lyrics in this clever celebration of musical influences. Upbeat and summery, this is more in the vein of what we know and love from the Texan songwriter. The juxtaposition of male/female vocals in the chorus is complete radio fodder. How many album references can you spot?

Yet, ‘Jesus & John Lennon’ is probably the most radio friendly single on offer. That “na-na-na-na” intro is an instant earworm, both euphoric and spiritual in equal measures. Co-written by Steven Van Zandt and featuring The Alarm’s Mike Peters on backing vocals, this could be the happiest sounding song about a break-up ever written. Referencing Brian Jones &The Rolling Stones and Martin Luther & the Catholic Church, it’s a break-up song about how some things were never meant to be.

 

The 11 track album feels like a journey, as we travel with Ryan through many emotions. From happy-go-lucky love songs such as ‘Out Of My League’ and Geordie anthem ‘Newcastle Charm’, onto the struggles of a religious upbringing and going back to the roots on the likes of ‘Can I Get An Amen’ and ‘Southern Accents’ respectively. Even though it is mostly upbeat, throughout there is a sense of yearning and heartbreak. It only hits home on the heartfelt ballad ‘Don’t Fall Apart’. Prime mixtape fodder for the girl you love, pedal steel gives a countrified, Americana vibe. A song overflowing with sentiment, as he sings the words of a man coming to terms with his whole world crumbling around him.

‘We Gave It Hell’ seems like the natural album closer. A goodbye and thanks for all the fish moment, as Ryan bids farewell to past love, and looks forward to pastures new to an accompaniment of pedal steel and understated percussion. Album closer proper ‘Pick Yourself Up’ seems like more of a reprise, as Ryan continues the theme of starting over accompanied by a lonesome piano.

It must be said that Dave Draper has done a great job of capturing Nashville vibes as he did on ‘Grand Ole Otley’, Ryan’s collaborative covers album with Terrorvision frontman Tony Wright. And as always the long time rhythm section of Rob Lane on bass and Mickey Richards on drums play their parts to perfection.

 

To avoid being consumed by the sadness of his marriage break-up, Ryan Hamilton has used songwriting as therapy and channelled his emotions into his art. This is not an angry album, it’s more of a cathartic look back over a failed relationship. Dissecting what was good and not dwelling on the bad, trying to figure out where it all went wrong and where to go from here.

As he bids farewell to one chapter of his life and looks forward to what the future brings, it seems through no fault of his own or any grand design, Ryan Hamilton has written a poignant and confessional album that could well be the best of his career.

Buy ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ – Here

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Author: Ben hughes

 

 

 

 

Healthy Junkies are everything that epitomizes the indie punk spirit-driven, authentic, and capable of causing a riot at any moment. As they prepare to release a seminal album which mashes up psychedelic rock, punk, grunge, and goth, the first single ‘Last Day In L.A.’ sets the bar high. As a band that has toured relentlessly since their formation in 2011, until the global lockdown of 2020, they came into this record still firmly locked in the groove.

Alt Press premiered the single describing it as a kickass rocker that’s blindingly great’ and the track is available now via Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/healthyjunkies/last-day-in-la-official-version

 

The album was made during the aforementioned period of quarantine and is titled ‘Forever On The Road’. It has reflections of recent tours and life beyond the road and offers a compelling record more akin to chapters of a thrilling novel rather than bubblegum throwaway rock n pop. Lead singer Nina Courson shines throughout with her Parisian drawl inflecting the Junkies’ brand of rock n roll with tones of 60s femme Fatales Nico and Brigitte Bardot.

‘Last Day In L.A.’ harks back to a recent US tour which captures the strange magnetic pull of the city of angels, especially for this group of runaways from Paris and Greater London. They united together to write songs and feed their passion for music as a life-saving exercise after narrowly escaping a youth filled by gangsters, abuse, and the like. Phil Honey-Jones is Nina’s writing partner and plays guitars and sings on many tracks too. Their bond was firmly formed almost a decade ago through music as a form of healing self-expression, creating their own world within a world, turning their personal horrors into sonic beauty, and out of the bizarre madness of the global pandemic has conjured a record sure to catapult them to the larger stages of next year’s major festivals. The band also feature bass player Dave Whitmore from Maidenhead, Berks who provides that extra bit of madness and creativity needed to cement their destinies together and jettison them on the journey that brought them to the recording of ‘Forever on the road’. The drums on this album were provided by an anonymous American drummer during the lockdown and mixed by Phil at home. This was the only way the album could be created during these restricted times.

On this album, they have further pushed the boundaries of the genre using hip hop beats, piano and string arrangements, horror film style soundtracks, and even reggae alongside goth, punk, and grunge. The album is the soundtrack to their USA tour of autumn 2018.

Healthy Junkies also bring similar people together and have been running a monthly London night called Punk & Roll Rendezvous for nine years, which includes an annual free three day festival with 25+ bands. The event has always been held at the Unicorn pub in Camden but due to Covid-19, the band are running the festival online this year. The fanbase for this band as well as their Punk & Roll night keeps growing as they continue to popularize a community spirit, the sharing of ideas, giving artists an opportunity to perform, and somewhere to hang out. This cast of misfits has built a beautiful tribe of punks and rockers and look set to expand their loyal devotees as they continue to hit their stride.

Rodney Bingenheimer (Sirius XM/Kroq) has played the song ‘Last Day In L.A.’ five times already this year on his Sunday show Underground garage and it hasn’t even been released yet, but his enthusiasm after getting hold of a copy has prompted the band to lead the new record out with this single and it’s a fiery number set to have you pogoing wherever you are as Nina, “Waves goodbye to the dead-end life” and “the Hollywood nights”.

 

Healthy Junkies are known to the niche college and punk scenes across UK, Europe and US and have enjoyed coverage and airplay from KEXP to KROQ to BBC London and BBC Jersey, Tom Robinson’s fresh on the net on 3 separate occasions to ARTE TV, BT Sport (for the televised champions league) and magazines like Big Cheese, Vive le rock, louder than war and Big takeover in the USA. This new single and album set for autumn is just about ready to explode and give us a shot of much needed junky love. 

 Find out more at: www.instagram.com/healthy­_junkies/

 

Bringing you the finest new releases from across the genres of Rock, Punk, power pop and Alternative RPM Singles Club opens its door for September and the wind blew these fine tunes in

 

The White Ribbons – ‘Leftovers’ (STP Records) When you take 4 musicians enjoying nothing more than a jam session in mid 2017, and that jam session then develops into a band that was formed to support the amazing work done by www.whiteribbon.org.uk  which is part of the global White Ribbon movement to end male violence against women by engaging with men and boys, raising awareness, and influencing change and providing resources to make change happen, ladies and gentlemen what you get is The White Ribbons band.

‘Leftovers’ is exactly how I imagined they’d sound.  There’s a vibe about the band that says Joy Division and the sparse intro until the distorted guitars crash in its got a subtle hook but never pours over into a frenzy.  ITs a cold feeling of a post-punk mid-80s however the real gem is ‘S.O.P.H.I.E’ and a powerful subject matter is tackled really well and all wrapped up in a fine tune I especially like that bass sound on the breakdown. There are hidden gems here after the song fades away with ‘Social Work’ sounding like they’ve been jammin’ with the Levellers with that powerful lyrics and acoustic-driven alternative music with added Clash thrown in as a reference what’s not to like? Strummer would have approved no doubt about it.

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Guerrilla Teens –  ‘Upside Down’ (Self Release)  COVID lockdown has been nicely punctured by the one and only Scott Drake Deluxe and his wonderful Guerrilla Teens and their regular Bandcamp drop of a pair of bangers that are shaping up nicely to what would easily make one of the best albums this miserable year.

This weeks drop is an altogether darker more menacing tune in the shape of ‘Upside Down’ with the ringing lead guitar and Drakes vocals softer and more restrained its another drop of pure class from the Teens.  Then the second tune is an altogether more bruising number thats the sound of a band windmilling the opponents with a super cool laid back chorus ‘Fight Or Flight’ is a top tune. Deaf Jeff and Saul Teen are on fire here kicking up a shit storm with those buzz saw guitars.  You’d be a dummy if you pass by on these tunes and the previous offerings. Top of the pops this edition?  You bet!

Pick it up Here

 

Rock N Roll Manifesto Split  ‘7″ Series Vol. 1’ (Self Release)  We love a split single round here and when it has some of our favourite artists on that we’ve reviewed many times before it is always a pleasure so when this one dropped from down under and JJ & The Real Jerks popped up we knew we were in a good spot. Pressed on three different coloured slabs of wax this is a bargain we knew we had to tell you about.

Tiger Touch is first out of the traps with a right banger. ‘Problems’ is all up in your face poking and jabbing with that nasty guitar hook and a vocal that’s not pausing for breath until it’s finished whatever the fuck it wants to say.  What a great tune to kick this split off.  Oh if you’re not convinced how about Fret Rattles and their ‘Thanks For Nothing’ with its super snotty garage, frantic dash to the solo punk rock.  Hip Priests fans will have to check these bad boys out because they might have a new champion stateside. Then halfway through our old pal JJ & The Real Jerks are back in town with a right high octane blast of energy in the shape of ‘Split Decision’ complete with JJ blowing that mean Saxophone solo to raise the bar a little bit more.  Excellent stuff and to take this sucker home how about the punk fueled Missile Studs wrap this awesome EP up like a wrecking ball.  We featured their split a few weeks back they did with Thee Evil Twin. They’re Straight outta shitville USA and are on fire, this is the fourth awesome track on an EP that is unrelenting and reeking with quality. If you love loud fired up Rock and Roll you’re gonna want this in your collection no doubt about it. Pick It Up Here

 

Dead Low – ‘Listen Up!’ (AUDIO EPIDEMIC RECORDS!)  Buy Here / Digital Copies

First Boy On The Moon – ‘Sofia’ (Manic Records) Relocated Californian David Pedroza is now set up in Sweden and his band ply their post-punk trade drawing influences such as The Cure and Early U2 on this wonderfully vivid pink coloured vinyl 7″.  The lead track is an uptempo throwback if you like to that mid-80s guitar-driven sound and with a good hook on the chorus it’s not a bad introduction to the band at all.  The flipside is a heavily effected bass throbbing builder. Not a million miles from the more chart orientated American Indie of early Killers.  Me, I prefer the first track much more I like the later years Bowie influence going on which is never a bad thing.  Facebook
Minatore – ‘Boys Tell Lies’ (Self Release)  Nottingham based two-piece sound like a whole band and some on this ‘Boys Tell Lies’.  A dark tale dealing with Rape Culture this walk on the dark side is surprisingly uplifting and whilst its steeped in grunge meets punk along the lines of early Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr it sounds huge. Aggressive and measured it’s a fine introduction to a band.  The second track is more of the same but a little less fury and more in keeping with the band influences of Smashing Pumpkins with all the time changes. Pick it up here

In The Whale – ‘Drugdealer’ (Riot Records/ golden Robot Records)   Just so you don’t think we’ve gone soft, coming on like Helmet when ‘Betty’ was a thing this has a huge groove that crosses over into prime Downset territory. Heavier than two anvils In The Whale are in da house kids!
IN THE WHALE have been turning heads and accumulating a mass of die-hard fans and followers thanks to a relentless tour schedule and an explosive live performance. Artists and festival promoters have taken notice, with the band playing Riot Fest, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and Afro Punk, as well as shows with Jane’s Addiction, The Descendents, The Offspring, Gogol Bordello and many more

 

HOOKERS & BLOW ‘Trampled Underfoot’  (Golden Robot Records)  Moving into the 21st century Dizzy Reid & Alex Grossi Releasethis from their soon to be released covers album. They tackle Bowie, the Stones and Eddy Money, as well as this, Led Zep classic with all parts recorded in quarantine during the pandemic.  Of course they turn in a near-perfect rendition if classic Rock is your thang then you’re going to love this.

Hookers & Blow would like to dedicate the release of ‘Trampled Underfoot’ to their good friend and colleague, the late Frankie Banali, who passed away recently after a battle with cancer. A portion of proceeds from this single will be donated to https://www.pancan.org/

 

The Nude Party – ‘Lonely Heather’ (New West Records) Second album set for release next month but first this very listenable jig that’s equal parts VU and The Stones (early ’70s) comes with a catchy animated video. Besides when can a song have too much cowbell?

 

The Jimmy Tarbuck Experience – ‘Under Class’ (self-release) Now Heres a top tune.  Catchy with a bit of a punch.  The band got in touch to say the EP they were going to put out has been held back due to the obvious but did release this one track and accompanying video featuring some of their punk pals; Kevin Nixon from Anit Pasti, Glynn Barber from Chron Gen, Paul Rooney from Vice Squad and Pete R Jones from PiL / Department S and every other band in London (so it says here)   but we certainly love the tune and the more we play it to more it gets stuck in your noggin’ just what a singles supposed to do right?.  Tidy!

 

Kurt Baker – ‘Over You’ (Wicked Cool Records)  Don’t take my word for it just click the link and decide for yourself but just in case you need convincing.  Kurt Baker is one hell of a talent regardless of what guise it is be it solo, with his combo or with the Leftovers the guy has no visible faults or weaknesses.  He pens infectious upbeat Rock and Roll power pop and probably does it better than almost anyone you could name.  Here he is with the lead track off his new album that released next month. Pre-save/Pre-add ‘After Party’ Here / Stream the single “Over You” on all digital platforms: Here

 

Frankie And The Studs – ‘(Not Your) Victim’ (Golden Robot Records) What a great tune.  Sure its fairly generic style-wise but I love that backbeat and the chorus is quite memorable. Hollywood rockers Frankie and the Studs just signed with Australian Punktured Media and this is their first single since signing.  It’s about women being empowered and the inherent strength they possess and not to forget it.  Sure it’s inspired by Quatro and Jett but what’s wrong with that?  If you’re going to seek inspiration then go to the top and it shows in this single and the more plays to more it stands out.  A decent earworm for sure. Preorder/SaveHere 

“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.” Like Rowdy Roddy Piper, wrestler turned actor (wasn’t a huge transition, granted), I may be all out of bubblegum, but I’m certainly not out of bubblegum wrappers and packaging, especially those jaw-troublers that came wrapped in mini-album covers.
I write, of course, of one of the greatest examples of kick-ass confectionary that the Eighties ever produced – Chu-Bops! Umm, I mean… Chu-Pops! Hold on, I think I think was meant to type… Hit-Pops! Wait, I’ve even confused myself here. Hang on while I tip a can of Top Deck Lemonade Shandy into my Lay-Z-Spa and attempt to blur the lines between fantasy and reality and Axl dance my way home sweet home to the 1980s… Hitting the aisles of U.S. retail outlets at the dawn of the Eighties, Chu-Bops were created by Amurol Products Company, operating out of Naperville, Illinois.
The premise of this most badass of products was pretty simple: a big hunk of pink bubblegum made to look like a hit album from a variety of the (then) biggest musical acts on the planet. Measuring 3” by 3” and featuring an exact replica of the album cover in question, Chu-Bops came with the lyrics to one of the featured band’s greatest hits on the back “cover” and featured a tear-away flap that offered dedicated bubble-blowers the opportunity to purchase a Collectors Display Album that housed eighteen of the mini-covers in a 12” gatefold sleeve-sized piece that “hangs on your wall or stands on a shelf.” Nine series of Chu-Bops were released in the U.S. between 1980 and 1983, retailing at a very decent 29 cents each. The first series featured ABBA, Rush, The Knack, Pat Benatar, Billy Joel, The Spinners, Robert Palmer, and, erm, the Pat Travers Band. Okay, I may have been squinting my typing fingers a little when I typed “biggest musical bands on the planet” earlier. Actually, Series Six of the Chu-Bops line featured all Elvis Presley albums; Series Seven all Beatles; and the final releases, Series Nine, all Rolling Stones; but across the other series acts as diverse as Judas Priest, The Brothers Johnson, Blondie, KISS, David Bowie, Foghat, Commodores, Steve Winwood, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, Journey, Little River Band, The Isley Brothers, Heart, Neil Diamond, The Police, ELO, Meat Loaf, and the mighty Loverboy all got the bubblegum treatment.
Amurol test marketed Chu-Bops in Japan and several European countries, including Norway, Denmark, Finland, Holland, and the United Kingdom. This is where the variations on the product name came into play: the brand name changed to Chu-Pops in some countries, becoming Hit-Pops when launched with a whimper in Britain. Sales, sadly, didn’t match the downright awesomeness of having record-shaped bubblegum inside a quarter-sized copy of Judas Priest’s ‘Point of Entry’, and, as soon as the limited numbers that made it onto shelves in their new territories were exhausted, the product was quickly phased out. I am, for my sins, a complete hoarder (damn autocorrect – I tried to type “cultured collector”) and even I only have five of these little packets of pink pop power in my collection… but what fine examples! I’ve got ‘Moving Pictures’ by Rush (a favourite of the editor here, I’m led to believe) with the lyrics to ‘Vital Signs’ on the back; David Bowie’s ‘Scary Monsters’ with ‘Fashion’ lyrics; ‘British Steel’ by Judas Priest with the sheer poetry of ‘Living After Midnight’ on the reverse; ‘Light Up The Night’ by The Brothers Johnson with the words to their classic (possibly) ‘Stomp’ – all branded as Hit-Pops – and ‘Unmasked’ by KISS, complete with German KISS logo, ‘Shandi’ lyrics, and Chu-Pops branding.
They really are cool little collectables and I really should have more: I frequently see sets or part-sets on eBay (going for some tidy sums of money, as it happens) but, y’know, I get a little cautious when buying forty-year-old foodstuffs.
I’m not cautious about reminiscing, however, and, damn, I can almost taste the powdery gloop of half-chewed bubblegum record that resulted in a clicking jaw and a small piece of memorabilia for music- and pop-culture-obsessed kid like myself. I’m not sure which long-lost local shop I bought the things in, though… and that bugs me.
I keep thinking of Davies & Harding’s (now a pizza shop) where I got an incredible Starsky and Hutch vinyl sticker once, and also Ethyl’s, a beloved retail hovel that looked derelict and completely out of date even then, that stood next to The Mount, the birthplace of infamous Welsh music/mayhem festival, Slugfest. Both establishments, sadly, now architectural ghost lands. Then again, I could have got them in John’s – home to spinner racks full of highly sought after U.S. Marvel and DC comics – or Ted’s, the greatest newsagents ever, where my sister bought her Matchbox ABBA dolls… but that’s a story for another time… I came here to write about Rush bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum…
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The Hawkins strike me as a band of brothers who like loud guitars and goofin’ around in equal measures.  After the quiet intro we get straight down to business with the vibrant ‘Roomer’.  It sounds like they have a love of classic Rock and scandi attitude Action Rock again in equal measures and the whole of that is encapsulated in the single ‘Roomer’

There is a love of the duel guitar licks a la Thin Lizzy as perfectly performed on ‘Hilow’ but played out in the verses and chorus to some very sharp power pop.

It’s retro but in a thoroughly modern way.  They’ve been together forever it would seem doing what they do and perfecting their art since 2013 which would explain their tightness.

During the first four years, The Hawkins kept the ball rolling by releasing EPs and singles while constantly being on the road, playing everything from small venue gigs to some of the biggest festivals in Scandinavia, including Sweden Rock Festival, Metallsvenskan and Peace & Love. They ended the year of 2016 with a huge bang by flying over to Russia to support pop/punk act ”4 Aprils” on a 10 day tour.

The Hawkins debut album “Ain’t Rock N Roll” (released via GAIN/Sony Music) entered the world with a superb bang in October 2017. The album included the single ”Fuck You All I’m Outta Here”, a powerful song with a strong anti-fascist message which quickly gained momentum in the Swedish rock scene, securing the band’s role as one the most promising bands of the country.

But three years have flown by and now in 2020 the time has come to step up and when they rock out as they do on ‘Stones’ they are easily a match for the likes of Imperial State Electric its fast-paced and tight and its catchy.  Often I feel like we’ve met before.  Whilst I’m not a big fan of the layered vocals ‘Mynah’ I certainly do get songs like ‘Minuette’ and its rough edges and the fire in their guts it reminds me a little of The Dahmers and they are always fantastic.  I’m sure in a tight club with volume on their side these songs would take on another dimension especially cuts like ‘Libertine’.

On the final tune, I get a vibe of My Chemical Romance maybe in the vocals and the drama of the song which shows they draw from a large pool and whilst there are bits I’m not keen on there are some belters on here and I’m sure once one of the hooks lodges itself in my head that’s it  -they’ll reel me in.

 

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Author: Dom Daley

Rumour has it that that well-worn adage of “if you know, you know” was actually written especially for Wythenshawe’s finest Slaughter And The Dogs.

Having played the legendary 1976 Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall show with the Sex Pistols and Buzzcocks they were actually one of the first UK punk bands to sign to a major label (Decca), and in 1978 (along with their then labelmates Cock Sparrer) they released their debut album ‘Do It Dog Style’. To this day though it’s hardly ever Slaughter & The Dogs (or for that matter Sparrer) who get name-checked in any punk nostalgia pieces run by the mainstream media, and always the likes of The Clash, The Damned, and of course the compulsory Sex Pistols.  I wonder why? As ‘Do It Dog Style’ really is something of a stone-cold “classic” album from that first wave of UK punk.

Formed in 1976 around the creative axis of school mates (singer) Wayne Barrett and (guitarist) Mick Rossi, Slaughter And The Dogs actually took their name from two of Barrett’s favourite albums Mick Ronson’s ‘Slaughter on 10th Avenue’ and ‘David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’ and after adding bassist Howard ‘Zip’ Bates and drummer Brian ‘Mad Muffet’ Grantham to their line up it wasn’t long before they were playing shows like the aforementioned Free Trade Hall gamechanger along with the likes of The Hope & Anchor and the Roxy in London.

Releasing their blistering debut single ‘Cranked Up Really High’ through indie label Rabid Records in May 1977 it was this important stepping stone that saw Dogs snapped up by Decca and almost immediately they had ‘Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone’ released as a single and were sent out on tour with fellow Manchurians The Drones offering up the prospect of Slaughter On The Streets for those lucky enough to snap up a ticket.

Two singles later ‘Dame To Blame’ and ‘Quick Joey Small (Run Joey Run)’ (the latter featuring their hero Mick Ronson) and an early 1978 tour of the UK with the also criminally underrated Eater in support it was finally in June of that year that ‘Do It Dog Style’ hit the shelves….a week after (well, if legend is to be believed) the band split up.

And herein is the reason why I think Slaughter And The Dogs are not looked upon with the same sense of reverence as many of their punk rock peers. With the guys never achieving any of the sales figures or tabloid infamy of their former gig mates the UK music press always seemed to stop well short of affording them the rightful respect they deserved. Hence this 3CD set (from the always reliable Captain Oi!/Cherry Red joint venture) which finally fully celebrates the ‘Do It Dog Style’ album in all its expanded glory should be an immediate addition to any music fan’s collection. I’ve had it on vinyl for years – but here with an additional 29 tracks added in the shape of early singles, demos and live performances I don’t think it’s ever been afforded such an in-depth or (in fact) loving tribute.

Disc one is ‘Do It Dog Style’ in full, kicking off with the frantic bass driven ‘Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone’ which for me is still right up there with ‘Neat Neat Neat’ as a true anthem of 1977 and along with tracks like ‘Boston Babies’, ‘’I’m Mad’ and ‘We Don’t Care’ the glam meets punk riffing and lyrics of Rossi and Barrett truly shine…and again if I’m totally honest it has more than a little in common with the early days of their then label mates Cock Sparrer.  For the uninitiated it’s perhaps the band’s choice of covers that best exemplify their sound and influences with Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’ and New York Dolls’ ‘Who Are The Mystery Girls’ (once again complete with Ronno on guitar) both given a “Dog Style” makeover, the latter being perhaps one of the best Dolls cover versions of all time. I kid you not.

Disc two brings together 19 non-album tracks which includes the ‘Cranked Up Really High’ debut single, plus their two song contribution (‘Run Away’ and a truly savage Boston Babies’) to the seminal ‘Live At The Roxy WC2’ LP. Plus, there’s a whole host of non-LP B-sides, the scarce ‘It’s Alright’ EP and studio demos to keep even the diehards happy.

If this wasn’t enough there’s also the raw sounding third disc ‘Live Slaughter Rabid Dogs’ to help round things off. This ten song, 38 minute blast of live energy was recorded in Manchester in 1977 and originally released the following year by Rabid Records and sound wise it is streets ahead of most live recordings from that period – I swear you can almost hear the whistle of the pint glasses flying at the band prior to ‘Victims Of The Vampire’.  It’s brutal stuff that’s for sure and also a fitting way to bring this most handsome of deluxe CD sets to a close, as during a reprise of ‘We Don’t Care’ the gig appears to end in total chaos, not unlike the band themselves would seemed to make a habit of it in the decades that followed.

‘Do It Dog Style’ – if you know, you know.

Buy it Here

Author: Johnny Hayward

 

 

 

UK punk rock band, VICE SQUAD featuring legendary Punk Vocalist and writer BEKI BONDAGE, have announced the release of their new album “Battle of Britain“, out on October 16h, 2020 via LAST ROCKER RECORDS/CARGO RECORDS. The album will be available digital, on CD and limited 250 copies on white vinyl / 250 copies on black vinyl can be pre-ordered: Here

The first rule of Punk is there are no rules and VICE SQUAD ably illustrate this with ‘Battle of Britain’. Written, Recorded and Mixed by Beki Bond and Paul Rooney in their home studio. The 13 track album opens with the blistering ‘Ruination’ which cuts through the bullshit of small time promoters and blaggers with consummate swagger and melody while ‘I Dare To Breathe’ is an amphetamine driven anthem to paranoia. ‘When You Were 17’ is almost-tender and tells of first tattoos and under age booze whilst the more chilling ‘Ignored To Death’ rails against isolation and homelessness.

The explosive ‘Born In A War’ rages along like a missile ravaging a third world country and warns ‘See how they treat refugees? That’s how they’ll treat you and me’. Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’ reworked with a pulsating industrial bass segues into title track, ‘Battle Of Britain‘ where Beki‘s vocals soar like a Spitfire over the crunching de-tuned riff and spit fury over the hypocrisy of putting war memorials before people.

The dystopian ‘Poverty Face’ hits you with the opening line ‘Disinheriting the meek, slyly killing off the weak’ and is counter balanced by the more upbeat ‘How The Other Half Lives’. ‘No Evil’ is a relentless attack on the normalisation of the suffering and death of billions of animals for the meat industry. Battle of Britain’s hard hitting collection of anger and riffage pulls no punches in covering topics from austerity and factory farming to the pernicious influence of the Mainstream Media – ‘Led by lies lambs to the slaughter, tax exiles say who you vote for’. Brexit, fake patriotism and cognitive dissonance all get a good kicking too.

The penultimate track, ‘You Can’t Fool All Of The People‘ mixes baritone guitar with violin and Celtic rhythms climaxing in an epic James Bondesque heavy guitar/orchestral blend and breaks every rule in the Punk Police hand book whilst pleading for unity against a rigged political system. ‘Pulling Teeth’ with its ominous riff and hilariously frustrated lyrics ‘Dithering jibbering solid as jam, is it fair I’m both the woman and the man’ closes the album in manic style.

VICE SQUAD are a UK Punk Rock band who’s first single releases included the classic ‘Last Rockers’ 7” in 1981. This was followed by the landmark albums ‘No Cause For Concern’ in the same year and ‘Stand Strong Stand Proud’ in 1982 which were both released on EMI.

Since then VICE SQUAD have delivered short sharp songs with incisive political lyrics and a dash of humour spat out over a thunderous rhythm and machine gun Rock ’n’ Roll guitars. Their latest releases are the EPs ‘Born In A War’ and ‘Ignored To Death V2’ taken from the forthcoming album ‘Battle of Britain’ set for release on their own Last Rockers label in May 2020.

The band have become 100% DIY since forming Last Rockers Records in 2009. In keeping with the DIY ethic the previous albums were recorded in the band’s own ‘Sci Fidelity’ studio South London and the new album ‘Battle of Britain’ continues this with the band maintaining full artistic control with the benefit of global distribution via Cargo. Their last album ‘ Cardboard Country’ was launched on the back of a very successful Pledge campaign raising funds for the Shelter homeless charity in line with the album title which was inspired by ‘Cardboard City’, the name given to the settlement of homeless people living in cardboard boxes near London’s Waterloo station. Vice Squad is fronted by raucous voiced singer/guitarist Beki Bondage who was famed for being a teenage champion of Animal rights long before the current popularity of veganism.

VICE SQUAD’s song ’Humane’ was one of the first ever Animal Rights songs. Beki has been featured on the front cover of a number of influential music tabloids such at Melody Maker, NME, Sounds, Record Mirror and Smash Hits. After a hiatus, Beki formed a new version of Vice Squad in 1997 featuring longstanding members of her post VS outfit The Bombshells and they have released several quality albums of powerful punk songs that have been very well received across the world. VICE SQUAD are considered one of the most influential punk rock bands of all time, paving the way for other female Punk and Rock singers and influencing male performers such as Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame who was introduced to VICE SQUAD via his sister’s record collection.

www.vicesquad.co.uk
www.facebook.com/vicesquaduk

Man, I love some sleazy Punk Rock ‘n’ Roll. It would seem that these Bostonians otherwise known as Indonesian Junk do as well and as if by magic they write songs in that style with a bit, sorry a lot of swagger and no doubt a cocksure knowledge that what they’re doing is the best, they make it seem so effortless.

They’ve managed to absorb everything that’s good and great from the last 50 years plus and pour it into their tunes covering huge Rock behemoths in the shape of Kiss and one for the cool kids in the shape of The Joneses whilst adding some glam Starz style to their punk rock old school of Slaughter and the Dogs.

Man on the opener ‘Cmon and Love Me’ they throw in a cheeky Kiss number to draw you in but more impressively they follow it up with a super sleazy right on the money version of ‘Pillbox’ man that’s a great song but easy to get wrong but not the boys in Indonesian Junk they kill it! they take it to school and own the fucker! now that how to tip the hat to your forefathers and those who ploughed the furrow so we could all follow.

This is a compilation of curio B sides, singles and covers and they show us exactly what a tight little combo they are and you get to marvel at their swagger as they turn up the amps to 11 and just let rip. ‘Last Night Alive’ is basically a loosener, an aperitif if you like with the only lyrics being the title of the song shouted from the back of the room like a bunch of leary drunks but man it kicks your backside good and proper.

‘Now That Its Over’ comes on like a long lost Stiv Bater LA LA session and seamlessly the original tunes muscle in snugly with the covers and taking ownership of The Joneses, Kiss and Slaughter and The Dogs aren’t to be taken lightly but when you hear these version if you know you’ll know.  Bloody great stuff.

Finishing with a few unreleased numbers is cool as well this is a compilation that’s not just thrown together its been lovingly prepared for the discernable lover of all things sleazy, glamorous punk rock and roll and Starz never sounded this good on ‘Outfit’. Inspired choices for covers and inspired original tunes.  Give Indonesian Junk a chance you’ll love em then you can delve into their back catalogue knowing you’re in for a glam-punk treat, get it!

 

Buy A Life Of Crimes Here

Back for more this impressive trio from the North West who really impressed me with their ‘Wait’ album and they start this follow up with a hugely impressive ‘Undertow’ with its classic period Buffalo Tom flavours and pandemic punchy lyrics.  they’ve got a great sound and really know how to bring it out to the benefit of the songs as ‘Still Need Singing’. A sprightly tempo thrashing around the speakers and as the refrain of “This Voice Is All We Have” through a fractured strain is powerful and really engaging.

The melodic punk punch of ‘What Doesn’t Kill Me’ is blisteringly good. But one thing for sure Pardon Us aren’t hanging around as one track clashes into the next and they leer from one with a strong riff to one with a strong melodic chorus, theirs is a great turn of phrase to a great gang vocal sing-along chorus but its not all bluster and bravado some of the guitar solos are restrained and thoughtful ‘To, Two, Too’.

There’s a jour de Vivre about a lot of this record – a confidence in what it is they’re doing.  I think it’s fair to say Pardon Us knows how good they are.  ‘Safety Net’ is a powerful bass chug that is layered with a sprightly off-kilter beat towards the chorus when the chords jar to what is a great song. Not a million miles from the honest wholesome Billy Liar songwriting school.

‘In The Loop’ has a video to accompany it and it seems an obvious choice for a single but then you could pick anything off this album its all pretty accessible.  If these were Americans they’d be a big noise on the punk alternative scene with the likes of Bad Religion – I kid you not.

 

I guess hashtagging themselves as melodic punk is a bit of a disservice they’re more than that and this album signs off with a thoughtful ‘The Last Word’ a perfect way to sign off another hugely impressive outing from Pardon Us – do yourself a favour and don’t pass them by, stop have a listen – check em out and thank me later.  Buy it!

 

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Author: Dom Daley

Doesn’t really need an introduction but here goes – Jesse Malin pays tribute to NYC hardcore legend and former bandmate in both D Generation and Malins St Marks Social. It features Bad Brains Legend H.R as well and you can order the 7″ via Bandcamp from Wicked Cool Records.

 

‘In the Shade of the Wild Oak Tree’ – from the album ‘Wrapped up in Ribbons’ by Craggy Collyde is up next and the 10″ record can be purchased from their Facebook page also shipping from the UK.

Finally, check this one from The Hawkins taken from their new album out this week on The Sign records.