Cheap Gunslingers introduce themselves as a band quite nicely on their debut album which prefers to ignore the past 40 years and channel a blend of glam, the Ramones, and ’77 punk to great effect. Many, many years ago, Jeff Dahl put out a series of compilations call the ‘Ultra Underground’ that would have served as a perfect place to find the Cheap Gunslingers. I did a quick review of Sal Canzonieri’s new ‘A Fistful More of Rock and Roll’ series as that would be another great place for these Gunslingers to be but did not see them listed on any of the upcoming volumes yet. Their songs are filled with trashy, fuzzy, addictive, familiar hooks that musically do not offer a lot of surprises, but the album is downright fun.

‘Record Store’ gets the party started with a beat and structure that reminds me of Joan Jett’s version of ‘Roadrunner,’ but the production is much more aligned with the early Ramones’ albums. The Chuck Berry infused guitars riffs cut with a nice touch of distortion added for some extra crunch. The chorus is simple and leads to some badly out of tune backup singing by me as I write this. It really serves as an ideal lead track for the album as it immediately pulls the listener in and leaves you wanting to know what they will do next. They maintain the momentum with ‘Good Time’ delivering just what the title says. Some tasteful ‘oohs’ in the background of the chorus provide another reason that this one sticks in the brain. ‘Defective’ serves up some straight ahead rock n roll but doesn’t hit the same heights with me that most of the other songs here do. ‘Three Chords’ comes in with the rhythm section laying down the beat, and the guitar solo serves up some well placed distortion. The hook is not fancy but works well and is designed for crowd participation. The first half of the album comes quickly to a close with ‘Run Girl’ bringing back the ‘oooh’s’ for backing vocals before the chorus gets stuck in your brain like gum on your shoe.  The break in the back half of the song really helps provide some dynamics to the song to take it to the next level.

‘Junky Friends’ was the first song I heard by the Cheap Gunslingers when I was seeing if I wanted to review the album, and it initially left me flat. It was enough to tell that the band were in my musical wheelhouse (or at least one of them), and I was curious enough to want to hear the whole album. With all that said, this song has continued to grow on me, and I really like it within the concept of the album. The opening riff and beat reminding me more of someone like the Heartbreakers with a similar production quality. It packs a little more punch than some of the other songs here. I have no doubt that I would prefer to hear this song live. ‘Please Kill Me’ brings a cool blues groove and one of the best choruses on the album. If the band make another video for the album, this would be my recommendation with the guitar riffs getting plenty of room in the mix here as well.

The band slow the beat down for ‘Water Table Line’ with the ‘Darklands’ era by Jesus and Mary Chain coming to mind musically (‘April Skies’) with perhaps some Velvet Underground type feel in the vocals. The biggest obstacle on this one is the song can feel a little monotonous due to its length at four and a half minutes. The extended guitar solo is very well done, but they could have trimmed this song down a bit elsewhere. ‘Off the Rails’ gets us back up at full speed and hits the sweet spot, bringing to mind Little Richard, Chuck Berry by way of Izzy Stradlin through a transistor radio. This one sits with my other favorites from the album and will be finding its way into my playlists for an extended period of time. Wrapping up the album is ‘Bars of the Song’ where the band incorporate elements of a 50’s rock ballad. This confessional is perfectly placed with the vocals dripping sincerity and bringing the album to a solid close.

Cheap Gunslingers could have easily come from decades ago, and I would not have been surprised if someone had told me this album was a re-release from the end of the 70’s or beginning of the 80’s. This album leaves me wanting to hear more from the band in the future as this clearly sets up expectations for them to deliver in the future. When this album hits the mark, which it does far more than it misses, it is a rocking good time and should be welcomed by a lot of people who love rock n roll.

‘Cheap Gunslingers’ is available now.

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

Frank Turner is set to release his new album  ‘No Man’s Land’ in August.

Produced by Catherine Marks (Foals, The Big Moon) and due out August 16 via Xtra Mile/Polydor, ‘No Man’s Land’ is driven by the lives & legacies of 13 extraordinary women, previously marginalised by history. A self-confessed history nut, Turner began work on the project after learning about Jinny Bingham, a witch who lived in Camden in the 1600s.

Whilst there’s a couple of familiar names profiled on ‘No Man’s Land’ (incl. Godmother of rock’n’roll, Sister Rosetta Tharpe), the album shines a light on those overlooked by the mainstream – including Egyptian feminist activist Huda Sha’arawi, Dodge City dancehall dancer Dora Hand and the ‘Jazz Baroness’, Nica Rothschild.

Today, new track ‘Sister Rosetta’ arrives alongside the first episode in a new 13-part podcast series which Frank has created with production company Somethin’ Else, ‘Tales From No Man’s Land’, which unpicks the stories of each woman in conversation with various special guests, followed by an acoustic performance of each track.

Pre order Here

Stream episode 1 of ‘Tales From No Man’s Land’: Here

 

FRANK TURNER will be performing in the UK throughout the summer:
JULY
11th        2000 Trees Festival, Cheltenham
12th        Wasteland Festival, Newcastle
14th         Folk By The Oak Festival, Hatfield
AUGUST
3rd        Wickham Festival, Fareham
4th        Tunes in the Castle, Exeter
9th        Cropredy Festival, Cropredy
22nd        Cottingham Folk Festival (Solo Show)
25th        Greenbelt Festival, Kettering

 

Every month we will try to promote the bands who grace the pages of RPM Online and ask that if you do follow us on Spotify then please where possible try and support the bands by picking up their physical music as well as just streaming.  We appreciate its a great way to discover new music but bands make better records and earn more from you buying their physical products.

Support us and the bands by sharing this page on social media and following the playlist on Spotify

This month we’ve either reviewed – seen or reported on new music heading our way from some of our favourite artists and this month is no exception beginning with Manchester The Empty Page who has a new track out that we feature this month.

Then Poison Boys have just released their blistering debut album we reviewed here but the album isn’t on Spotify yet so we delved into their back catalogue for this months playlist. But buy the album its a belter (Here).

We also welcome back The Hives with their new single.

The living end were awesome supporting the mighty Stray Cats recently so we included one off their last studio album.

One of my favourite albums this year has been the much-anticipated solo record from Billy Liar.  One of my favourite tracks off the album is added to our playlist – simple – beautiful – ‘Independent People’ is awesome and one of the best tunes this month.

Supporting Billy at his album launch is Rich Ragany & The Digressions so why not include the fantastic ‘Your Distance’ from the superb ‘…Like We’ll Never Make It…’

There are also some superb tunes on our playlist from the likes of Duncan Reid, Joey Cape, Razorbats and more.  go check us out and spread the word.

 

Spotify Playlist

Now I have to be honest, given the choice of sitting in a field with 125,000 of the hunter welly wearing brigade, swopping anecdotes about how much I’d always wanted to see Kylie, or worse still sitting at home watching the BBC sanitized version moaning about how I’d missed out on taking out a second mortgage to buy tickets in the faint hope there’d be someone there I liked, there was only ever going to be one winner tonight. Lets get Skanking to a night of Ska punk, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones bringing the party to the o2 in Bristol.

 

Walking in to the o2 about ten minutes to start, I’ll be honest I was just a little bit nervous for the Preachers, to say it was sparsely populated would be an understatement. Worries however were short lived, by the time the Bar Stool Preachers hit the stage we had a more than sizeable audience, vastly different to the last time I caught them in the Exchange. Right from the off you can see that the months on the road have sharpened things up, they sounded huge!!! You can’t help but dance, with Tom, the demented ringmaster presiding over the maelstrom of noise. Now I’ve followed the bar Stool Preachers since they were a twinkle in Tom’s eye, reviewed both their LP’s and watched them change and adapt and grow going from an out and out party band into a politically charged machine (The guys arrived from a guerilla gig outside No10) and the place exploded when a personal fave from Grazie Governo “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” was dedicated to probably the most inept prime minister Britain has ever endured, that is until Boris rides in on his white charger, put in place by the fcking idiots who vote Tory!!!

As the band have grown in confidence the sound has developed, the message getting stronger and stronger, I turned to Johnny H and said “They’ve been listening to too much Steel Pulse” (How far off the mark am I TJ McFaul?) After all Ska came out of the dancehall, mutated into Roots Reggae and there isn’t a genre more politically charged. A rapidly swelling crowd got more and more into the band and the whole place, looking round had a huge smile on its face and no doubt some dodgy knees this morning, Trickle Down, One Fool Down, Bar stool preacher, set the tone, but the newer stuff played tonight has the potential to put them in the shade. I for one can’t wait to catch them in Clwb Ifor Bach on September 21st

 

Next up we had a band I’d caught live in Camden Underground Sonic Boom Six and in fairness at that gig they really brought the noise and the party it was mental, but tonight I’m not sure if that sound translated into a bigger venue, there was a definite struggle for an identity present and I wonder how much management have become involved? They just didn’t seem the same band, or maybe it was just down to the fact that the Bar Stool Preachers had blown my mind, but where the one band is pushing forward, the other seems to be changing direction and not quite sure which way to go.  Both bands loosely tied together by the word Ska.

Now The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are a band I caught way bag in the day and if memory serves me right they played the Cheap Sweaty fun’s 10th anniversary gig originally scheduled for Tj’s but displaced to The Irish club after a difficult personal circumstance for Tj’s owner John Sicolo.

 

They were Fckin awesome then and tonight watching them sober they haven’t changed a bit and the party atmosphere just grew and grew, we had skanking, we had dancing, we had crowd surfing everything a proper gig needs and it was relentless, the o2 getting hotter and hotter, going thermo-nuclear way before the end. Before you even realized we were an hour plus in and tracks like “Someday I suppose”, the cover of the Wailers “Simmer Down”, “the Rascal king”, “The Punchline” had all flown by. These guys are the consummate professionals and all nine of them, yup nine on one stage made movement look so effortless as they changed positions, danced off and brought the brass section to the fore. What a performance. Now if I had to pick a winner tonight it would have to be The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, they are a real heavyweight in the Ska punk division,  been there done it got the T-shirt, but there is a young contender from Brighton coming up through the ranks very quickly.

Great night did I miss Glastonbury? Not in a million fckin years and tonight for once sound was spot on for all the bands, happy days.

 

Author: Nev Brooks

Now we do love a new band of misfits playing rock and roll so when the Suicide Notes dropped this new video we had to share it with the good people who read RPM Online.  Not a ballad but an acoustic song we’re told.  Now kids remember its not big or clever to smoke a cigarette not anymore but Billy loves a capstan no filter or two.  check out the video and drop by on their facebook page to see what’s happening Here

OF course, fans of Hot Knives will be all over this and so they should.  With more to come, we’ll keep you posted.

 

 

Friday is always a day where you are either confident that your pre Rebellion training is paying off or the first day that the hair of the dog feels like a great idea and you start to feel the burn.

After a hearty breakfast in some greasy spoon or a vegan falafel and a power walk. Or if your of a certain age like us a banana and a bowl of bran. then a quick blast along the seafront to get some of that sea air in your lungs and then its good to go for round two.

After some Bingo with Max (fingers crossed we win the trouser press from his hotel room (cough cough) eyes down for a line (its bingo speak) then it’s some magic with Rat Boy before the Rock and Roll starts proper.

After a decent perusal of the running order, I would recommend partaking in some limbering up and stretches to T-F-G or as you would know them – The Fucking Glorious (what? we don’t know or ask) but they make a decent noise so pop into the sauna that is the Arena nice n early before the walls start perspiring. Then I suggest you stay put for some of that Grime street punk that is the Riskee And The Ridicule. A band we’ve been following since we were introduced to their recent debut (reviewed Here) With barely time to grab an ice cream and wipe off the sweat it’ll be a hop skip and jump into The Pavillion for Turbulent Hearts but here goes the first clash of the day as Raging Nathans are on at the same time back in the Arena – a band who were seriously good in the Introducing stage last year.  Proving that the organisers do take notice and bands do progress.  so, always worth getting your tapes in or whatever constitutes a demo these days. Hard work certainly pays but don’t forget you have to have some tunes too.

The one thing you try not to get bent out of shape over are the clashes.  Sure its often unavoidable and when it happens its a bummer. Make your choice and stick to it sometimes its good to watch the first half of one then go to the other for the last half especially if it’s later in the day and the bands are playing for an hour you can comfortably see half a set.  Sadly for me, Friday is going to be all about choices I’m going to either plan ahead (military style) or just flip a coin and stick to it.

As for the Empress early evening, you can catch up with some established acts like Penetration who are immediately followed by TV Smith playing The Adverts. Tonight the UK Subs also hit the Empress Stage and will turn in their usually epic set over the last few years their sets have become more and more epic and The Empress usually fills up so if you are partaking in some Subs get in early it’ll get very busy.

But, Let’s not get ahead of ourselves because over  on the Club Casbah stage at 3.15 we welcome back Dragster after missing them last year they’re back with a new album and a sharper more focussed sound. If the weather has anything to do with it they’ll be on when only Mad Dogs and Englishmen (and a few Welshmen)  will be out and about in support of that ‘Anti Everything’ album it’ll be a wild ride if previous performances are anything to go by and one I would recommend catching.  If Casbah is an escape from the greenhouse effect of walking around the pop-up shop stalls then its only a short wait until another band who was widely missed last year hit the stage, Argy Bargy. They only made a return to the stage in May so that will be a popular set no question that’ll be busy and you might as well hang around because fresh from the studio Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions are on after Argy with their ‘Double Bastard’ epic in tow. Why not join in and throw yourself around like a teenager it’ll will be the perfect loosener.

I might then Pop over to the Opera House for some 1-2-3-4 with The Avengers who are back again from Sunny California. Damn, I feel bad for not mentioning what on the Almost Acoustic stage where you can sit (not always) in relative comfort and see the whites of your favourite punk rockers eyes as they’re stripped bare (not literally unless its HeWho). My top tip for who where and when would be Duncan Reid who is picking up the acoustic for a run through his fantastic power pop repertoire. This is listed to happen at the highly responsible time of 9.25 by which time the beer will have kicked in so a fine chance to sing-a-long could be on the cards.  If Duncan plays the final number quick enough it shouldn’t be  a problem hot-footing it over to the Opera House for Cheetah Chromes Dead Boys sure, sure, sure we’ve heard the rumours about whos playing will they won’t they; well, so far it hasn’t been cancelled so I guess I’ll be elbowing my way to the front for some ‘Sonic Reducer’ whilst the night is still young.

 

So Hopefully Dead Boys show but if not you could head over to the Empress for some ‘Golden Brown’ and The Stranglers or why not head back to the Acoustic stage for Alex Wonk and join him for some songs about plastering and/or race horses, either way, it’ll be good. I could keep going as to where to be and at what time but such is the quality on offer. You could be in any vicinity of a PA and I’m sure if you stand still long enough a quality tune will waft over the airwaves towards you and if you have a beer in your hand there will be someone to talk to and shoot the breeze with.

Now that’s two down and two to go hopefully you’ll just need a gentle cool down because like we say its not a sprint. I’ll be off to bed dreaming about the morrows fry up and we’ll no doubt dissect the action so far.  Onwards and upwards and bring on the weekend when things tend to get a little messy.

Ticket details Here

Author: Dom Daley

Our favourite purveyors of filthy Rock and Roll and 100% rock n rollers the hip Priests have knocked out a video in support of their latest single that can be found through the band’s page Here It’s their twenty-fourth single thus far and the band just get better and better.

 

They prepare for their Sjock appearance alongside their European dates with the mighty Electric Frankenstein just before they hook up with The Dwarves for a few dates (how cool is that?).  If you’ve not seen them live this is your chance. Get out there and support live music and top Rock and Roll bands – Tour dates Here 

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British group Def Robot have opened up their repertoire with their debut album ‘Makers of Mountains’, blending an essence of 90s alternative rock with a touch of garage. It’s an album with a few twists and turns, knocking up a few surprise moments on the way.

Starting off in dreamy, brooding fashion is album opener ‘Falling Apart Again’, wrapped up in a wealth of vocal harmonies and effects. It’s a slow start for the record, and an interesting choice, making the following track, ‘A Mover and Shaker’, a bit of surprise with its hard hitting bass riff and cranked up guitars. It’s a catchy wake-up call before descending back into the slow, trudging dream of ‘Fall on You’.

The album continues to chop and change between moods, lulling you into a sense of calm before promptly slapping you in the face again. Songs such as the rather short, ‘Fortune Cookie Writer’ and the immediate singalong song ‘Long Time Dead’ are dark and atmospheric, whereas the swaggering ‘Ferman Saved My Life (CUT!)’ offers something heavier. There are one or two surprises throughout. ‘Sweet and Sour’, for example, serves up a huge poppy chorus in Brit pop style with jangling tambourines, while ‘Pieces of Me’ delves in to 80s pop territory with its sweet saxophone sounds cutting through the mix. ‘Gordon from Gordon’ is the closest the band get to a solid, straight up rock song, and it’s a welcome change of pace towards the end of the album. The final track is ‘Last Stop Coney’, which seems to end just as its kicking off, prompting an immediate re-listen. It seems an odd time to stop, but then this whole record is keen to let you expect the unexpected.

The record is steeped in guitar and vocal layers, offering a full sound of experimentation over a selection of solid riffs and quirky songwriting. It’s indie inspirations, coupled with its variety of sounds and directions, make this a record a fresh and interesting debut from Def Robot.

Buy Def Robot Here

Author: Craggy Collyde

So for an extra night, Hammersmith is about to become a hop jumping jive shack as those Stray Cats get to strut their stuff once more over London Town.  tonight they are joined by Australias finest wielders of that Setzer Gretsch The Living End and one of the UK’s finest exponents of Ska the Selecter.  An odd line up considering The Living End saunter onto the cavernous Hammersmith stage first and waste no time in cranking out the big guns as ‘Roll On’ is fired off followed by ‘Second Solution’.  I was lucky enough to see The Living End play a warm-up show many moons ago in my home town to about fifty people and tonight it seems that the London crowd are slowly filling up the large void that is the stalls and I’m sure those who are in early doors would agree that those choosing the overpriced London G&T’s to the Rock and Roll display currently on display need to have  a word with themselves.

With a reasonably new album in tow The Living End mix the set up with old and new whilst bookending their brief set with a few classics that this audience would or should love. By the time they hit ‘West End Riot’ and finished with ‘Prisoner Of Society’ they were just loosening up and getting into their stride.  I do love the living End and in frontman Chris, they have one fine guitar picker and someone who can mix up punk, rock-a-billy and some hard-rockin’ riff with ease and turn them all into some fine tunes deserves a much wider audience.  The perfect opener for any band especially one of the stature of the Stray Cats.

Next up The Selecter who have crafted the tightest band currently knocking out some top Ska anywhere. Having seen the band several times I know how good they are and at Festivals with the limited time, they get it that you have to play certain tunes or else.  Tonight sandwiched between The Living End and the Stray Cats seemed a little odd maybe they should have opened but that’s just my opinion maybe wanting Living End to play to a bigger audience but ‘Three Minute Hero’ is as good as the genre of UK Ska gets and the band sounds fantastic with a superb live mix noticeably better than what Living End had.  To be fair they began really well but it did tail off with ‘Danger’ and then ‘Train To Skasville’ and the instrumental ‘James Bond Theme’ stretching it.  It wasn’t all lost as plenty of rockabillys decided that they could moon stomp when ‘On My Radio’ was fired up.  Which only left ‘Too Much Pressure’/ ‘Pressure Drop’ and then they were gone no doubt leaving with several new fans who were impressed with what they’d just seen and heard.

Right Scream for me Hammersmith its time for those throwback Rock and Rolling exponents of 50’s rock and roll the Stray Cats who strut onto the stage looking like the best-dressed gang in town waste no time and kick off a monster set with the lead track off their brand new album.  ‘Cat Fight (Over A Dog Like Me)’ wastes no time as its kicked down the link by ‘Runaway Boys’ and as they say in Memphis the joint was a jumpin’ for sure.

Gene Vincents ‘Double Talkin’ Baby’ is aired as the trio pays homage to one of their heroes. We also get ‘Stray Cat Strut’ early and the boys in the band are sounding superb.  It’s been quite a considerable time since I first saw the band live and the years haven’t diminished their look nor their sound and their belief that unwavering belief in what they do is a joy to see. Lets not over look the fact that Setzers guitar playing is out of this world and his sense of style when playing is as good as its ever been.  Sure they might not leap about the stage quite like they did forty years ago (who does?) but the energy is there for all to see and their unwavering belief in what they play is still there.  Never throughout the set do you get the impression that they are going through the motions and they are still in love with Rock and Roll.

We get the super cool ‘Gene & Eddie’ followed by ‘Cry Baby’ and of course Setzer is going to show us he can still find his way around his guitar as a man possessed. Don’t forget Stray Cats is all about the unit and not just a vehicle for one guy as Lee Rocker takes the mic and sings ‘When Nothings Going Right’ as he drags that big assed salamander stick around the Hammersmith stage. ‘(She’s) Sexy And 17’ gives Lee some respite before he’s back on lead vocals for the excellent ‘Bring It Back Again’.  The set list is everything a fan would want and some and sometimes it’s easy to forget how many great tunes the band has and it’s not just about the three or four that hit the charts hard in the 80’s as ‘Blast Off’, ‘Fishnet Stockings’ will back me up.

‘Rock This Town’ brings the curtain down on the main set as the band retreat from the stage to howls from a really appreciative audience who’ve spent the last seventy-five minutes being entertained by one of the greats. After a quick change of shirts, the band are practically sprinting to get back on stage to wrap up a wonderful and entertaining night ‘Rock It Off’, ‘Built For Speed’ are rattled out as slim jim Phantom is still patrolling his kit like  a jack in a box standing on his bass drum to look out over the audience saluting back as ‘Rumble In Brighton’ brings proceedings to an end.  I have no idea if this is the last time we’ll get to see this most awesome of rock and roll bands and if it is then they signed off on a real high and kicked The world famous Odeons back side a final time. Setzer- Rocker- Phantom. The Stray Cats strut out of the building in fine style having done what they do best ‘Rock This Town’.n.

  1. lay VideAuthor: Dom Daley

Buy Stray Cats ’40’: Here

Buy The Living End: Here

Buy Selecter: Here

Photos courtesy of Johnny Hayward