One guarantee when hearing new music from Johny Skullknuckels and his Kopek Millionaires is the songs are from the heart and he will keep the music honest and 100% Rock and Roll. With a title like ‘Love And Loud Guitars,’ you might get an inkling that Johny isn’t straying from his tried and tested and that I like. If you grow up in a glorious age of music coming at you from all over the world and new styles and sounds ever day and you act like a sponge and absorb those songs and sounds then when the time is right you rince those tunes into some beautiful new tunes.
Call it a mini album or extended EP it matters not what does matter is there are six new tunes of Rock and Roll from the kaleidoscopic mind of Johny since 2016’s “Hopes and Dreams and Goldfish”. In fact, it’s taken that long to get to this point so was the wait worth it? Of course it was. ‘Sid Wishes’ is first out the traps and a ramshackled Heartbreakers sweat and snot opener it is too. All puffed up chest and Townsend windmills. ‘Tell Me Baby’ doesn’t hold back either like mixing the ’70s glam meets pub rock with the 80s Hanoi punk like tiger feet in a mystery city. Sing – Dance throw yourself about because you’re worth it.
If I was to pick a favourite ‘Punk Girl From Another World (A Manchester Love Song)’ would be that tune. Love the melody and the flow and if this were written by McCoy and Monroe people would be gushing over it. It wasn’t and I’m giving it the props it deserves. In a just world, this would be a hit no question one of the best songs Skullknuckles has written.
It’s not all blow the doors off party Rock and Roll. ‘A Picture In My Memory’ is a melancholy piano roll with some sweet guitars setting the tone, the perfect shade to go with the multicoloured Rockers. To close off this perfectly formed six-track mini album ‘The Thieving Hands’ close the show in fine fashion with a cheeky smile and they wring out a little bit more snotty Glam Rock ‘n’ Roll. I love where Kopek Millionaires are coming from and I’ll champion this release – starting here. Get on it all you glam rockin’ punk rockers and get punching the air, the party has started and kopek millionaires fire off the confetti canons of Rock and Roll during this lockdown. Get on it, the true sound of DIY Rock and Roll in all its glory.
Christmas / Bronco – Split (Lux Noise Records / SIXTEENTIMES MUSIC) CHRISTMAS team up with Swiss heavy-stoner boys BRONCO to deliver you some super delicious sound from the underground. This one comes out on limited colour vinyl and the super saucy sleeve. Bronco dish up ‘Cowboy’ and what a heavy riff-a-rama slice of noise it is. No prisoners at all as for Christmas? well, ‘Candy Me’ is a belter. Crisp riffs and crushing drums is exactly how Turbonegro wish they sounded in 2020. Having Max Motherfucker blow you a kiss at the end is better than a stick in the eye. Hardcore heaven with a cheeky picture on that artwork very cheeky indeed. Very limited numbers so snooze you lose.
L.A. Guns – ‘Let You Down’ (Frontiers) After the excellent return to form last years ‘The Devil You Know’ this sees the guns shifting gears to something a lot less turbocharged. Recording in isolation the band saw fit to get this out for the fans to hear whilst they work on the follow-up Looks like that rich seam they are on is set to continue. Clocking in over five and a half minutes it ebbs and flows nicely something this line up is never set to do is let you down. check it out Here
The Speedways – ‘This Ain’t A Radio Sound’ (Snap Records) Second single from the upcoming album ‘Radio Sounds’ (eta June 2020) sees The Speedways add some stardust via a liberal sprinkling of Keyboards. The verse is light and the perfect foil to the chorus and the dreamy solo. Bv’s and handclaps the Speedways go straight to the top of the Power pop class no question. To add the cover is timewarp tastic. Diggin’ deep and throwing a real curveball shows that Matt and the boys have no boundaries and are fearless in their execution. Should be heard on the wireless all summer all over the land and some. Can’t wait for the album now on the strength of this.
includes our cover of the Billy Ocean classic.
Chesty Malone and the Slice ’em Ups – ‘The Fine Art of Choking’ (Quarantine Version) (self Release) The lockdown seems to have galvanised a lot of bands and has got the old creative juices flowing and Chesty Malone are no exception. Looking for a soundtrack to get those exercises done well here you go ‘The Fine Art Of Choking’ is that soundtrack. A little more laid back (if I might be so bold) than the usual fair from these Noo Yawk City maniacs but fear not my punk rockin’ friends it’s a bonafide fuckin’ banger. If you really want to push yourself then ‘State Violence/State Control’ is more in your face punk rock kicking and screaming but what else would you expect if you cover a Discharge song. Wonderful noise as always maybe we should quarantine these punk rockers more often. Love the solo on this. Buy Here
Matty James Cassidy – ‘4x4x1’ (Self Release) Hold on a cotton-picking minute! Matty James Cassidy has lassoed in a few of his bandmates to play on these four countrified blues numbers as the band rip it up on the barnyard ‘The Race Is On’ and capture the mood perfectly. Next up they twist the Stones ‘Dear Doctor’ into a much lighter beast and take ownership of this classic and do it justice. ‘How Come’ is a real belter and the arrangement is excellent and adds a much-needed chink o flight in these dark times. Everybody loves a bit of boogie woogie on the old joanna and some clean guitar breaks right? Yehaw!
To take this excellent EP home Matty goes for the acoustic ‘Old Shoes’ and an end must come which is a shame because this is a really excellent collection. Great stuff. Buy Here
Pabst – ‘Hell’ (Ketchup Tracks / The Orchard) Berlin’s Pabst have released the video for brand-new single ‘Hell’, a song that openly confronts the darker emotions and what a banger it is too. After supporting the likes of Husker Du’s Bob Mould Pabst are set to release their new album ‘Deuce Ex Machina’ mid-June and if this is an indication of what to expect then its something to look forward to and get in on the pre-orders. A fantastic song from a really talented band who write great hooks and use everything at their disposal call it post-punk, indie pop, whatever they clearly know how to write great tunes and ‘Hell’ is another. Pre-order the album HERE. Facebook
Fontains DC – ‘A Hero’s Death’ (Partisan Records) Barely a year since their debut ‘Dogrel’ earned them a spot as one of the most acclaimed new bands of 2019, Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. will return with ‘A Hero’s Death’ the LP in a couple of months. A glimpse under the curtain as to what to expect is the video for the title track of the new album right here.
Michael Des Barres – ‘Anarchy In The UK’ (Wicked Cool Records) fronted the bands Silverhead and Power Station. The latter played the Live Aid festival in 1985. Michael is currently a DJ in Little Steven’s Underground Garage and yup you’ve read that right This release is a cover of The Sex Pistols’ ‘Anarchy in the UK’, which was produced and arranged by Stevie Van Zandt. If you’re expecting a snarly slice of Des Barres punk rock then I suggest you step away from the speakers now. This one got strings and swing and whilst I’m not really convinced if he just tried to copy the original we’d all be laughing like we did when Mutley Crue and Megadeth had a go at being the Pistols. The B-side is an original, which features Genya Ravan on co-lead vocals. and that’s much more appealing. Facebook Buy Here
Hot Nuns – ‘Rude, Dumb & Anxious’ (Loyal Blood Records) Norwegian power punk rock duo Hot Nuns, featuring members of Blood Command are back with a new EP titled “Rude, Dumb & Anxious” it features four new tracks including a cover of The Boys’ “First Time”.
The duo comments on the album. “The record is four tracks of stripped-down punk rock. Its only drums, bass, and our vocals. We have a rule that if we can’t play it live we can’t put in on record either. So there is no cheating here. Not trying to be pretentious, but we try to make music the same way Lars Von Trier made Dogville. No fancy extra layers needed to get the story across. The lyrics are mostly about sad losers longing for love except for the title track ‘Rude, Dumb & Anxious’ which is about people who will say whatever about stuff they don’t know just to fit in and look good.” So the proof is always in the pudding as they say. The opening track comes on like a thunder blast of melodic aggression not to dissimilar to something Therapy? might write (with some obvious sound differences second cousins if you like). ‘I Love You Still’ is more of the same a groovy adjit pop tune played by post-punk rockers. they’re not the first to go with the overdriven bass and drums but they do fill a room and its surprisingly listenable that’s for sure. The track I was looking forward to hearing most was how they’d interpret the Boys cover and to be fair they do a sterling job and one I’m sure the writers would be proud of but then again it’s such a classic it’s hard to fuck up even if that’s what you were trying to do. To wrap it up the title track is a right banger as well so top marks from me for this EP. great effort! Facebook
FRND CRCL – ‘Deception’ (FCMedia) New Joirsee pop-punkers go for broke on their new album and pay homage to the genre rather than reinvent it. This is taken from their second album and like I say does a grand job in a Blink or all American rejects style. Nothing new but really well done. It’s bright and upbeat and ebbs and flows nicely. Layered with acoustic guitars n all sorts so a lot going on when it’s loud it’s loud and when it’s building it does so rather well to be fair. More punk than pop to be fair Website / Facebookyou can buy the album Here
Thee MVPs – ‘A Song For The Councillor’ (Eesy Records) A song about how we should probably get together more often. Sardonic verses, a damn catchy chorus (even if it is wordless) a shreddy middle 8, a motown bassline followed by a heavy chug riff in the bridge, a little bit of everything this record offers all in one tune, something the psych heads can shake it too, the dads with a night off can crowdsurf too, goths can throw shapes too and the skaters and crust punks can throw fists too (all common sightings at any MVPs gigs). Lyrically speaking it’s Funeral Part 2 without the name, a Spiritual Successor which is also spiritual with the words without getting too Rainbow Rhythms. I think this tune is ringing through a bit clearer during this pandemic if you ask me, everyone really should talk to each other more. In memory of Uncle Will, who served in the Desert Rats in WW2, who we all called Councillor when he arrived at the pub after he’d ridden his bike two miles into town and put his bets on for the day, he passed at 96, he only packed in the cycling 6 months prior. Gravesend’s Harry Dean Stanton. The Second Single from the First LP from Thee MVPs and the First LP from Eeasy Records.
SHIT TINNIES – ‘Town’ (Riot Records) Shit Tinnies you that’s their name Shit Tinnies haha is there such a thing? They’re a whirlwind of punk rock, ska, hip-hop and everything in between but here it’s more basic and street punk. Exploding onto the Sydney scene in early 2019, Of course they’re Australian where else on the planet is it called a tinnie? To be fair they play a fairly standard punk sound clearly influenced by the likes of Rancid on this evidence and others like some of the Brit Oi! bands who’ve seen a resurgence in recent years it’s great to hear young ones taking on board the sounds and turning it into something new and trying to keep things fresh will also get the metal fans on board with those crunching riffs FacebookBuy Here
Jessie Wagner – ‘Over And Over’ (Wicked Cool Records) Sweet sweet soul music from Jesse with some cool brass and some blues that would make joe Perry blush when he’s honkin’ for bobo. The horn section adds some polish to a really cool tune. It’s soulful and street cool all in one and like she’s shaken her moneymaker and danced with Kravitz and played her Bellrays albums over and over. To add another texture the laid back ‘Put Off Saying Goodbye’ is soulful and her velvet-smooth vocals against the violin is wonderful and the fact she resists breaking out on the tail end of this is great to hear. A really impressive introduction to a very talented performer I can’t wait to hear more.
The Zipheads & The Nosebleed – ‘Banrobber’ / ‘Train In Vain’ (The Strummer Foundation) both popular stalwarts of the DIY punk scene have teamed up with the Joe Strummer Foundation to release a song each from The Clash’s back catalogue in their own raucous styles, raising money to provide opportunities to musicians and support to projects around the world that create empowerment through music. What’s not to like a great worthwhile cause and two fantastic songs. Worth a couple of quid of anyone’s money if you can support it at these tough times then grab yourself a couple of top covers in exchange
Goldie Dawn – S/T (Drunken Sailor Records) ‘Gone With The Wind’ is the sound of about a dozen awesome bands rolled into one bubblegum blowing snotty slice of rock and roll. So it’s not the catchiest record you’ll ever hear but its pretty damned good for an introduction especially when the engine gets warmed up after a couple of minutes and they channel their inner Brain James. ‘Crime’ will certainly clean out any hearing problems with the feedback before we roll off round the block on a badass hotrod of attitude punk rock n roll. Love the riff as it scuffs off the rock-solid rhythm like the bastard child of Ziggy era Bowie. but wait the best is yet to come as ‘What’s Inside (Never Dies)’ and what a Heartbreakers joy ride this is. So yup its got handclaps and a Walter Meets Johnny guitar lick coursing through its veins and I’m always a sucker for some of that. top tune. But it’s not ending there because the band does ease back a little as we ride out into the sunset with ‘It’s Nothing To Me’. Bookmark Goldie Dawn or whatever it is the kids do these days I’m expecting great things if this is what they can offer us. Buy Here
Percy – ‘Will Of The People’ (Ten Foot Records) The track comes from their new album ‘Seaside Donkeys’. The album is a work that represents the gritty realism of the 2020s and that is extremely relevant to a country and planet on the brink of unchartered waters. Will Of The People is a fine slice of punk rock with gritted teeth this song sums up living on Shit Island for many people. Buy Here
Cement Shoes – ‘A Love Story Of Drugs & Rock & Roll & Drugs’ (Drunken Sailor Records) After they’ve finished fuckin’ round with the universal fanfare its heads down and hit go but don’t just hit it SMASH The Fucker! ‘Smashed On Glass’ is like a punch in the face using an elephants hoof on the end of a jackhammer. A marvelous slam of punk rock but it doesn’t end there because ‘Knocked Into The Reptile Enclosure’ sounds exactly how you’d feel if you were. Terrifying wild frantic and a little metal. But wait, there’s more but this time it’s a little more melodic and restrained. ‘Going Off The Grid’ is like a psychedelic hardcore Black Sabbath jammin’ with The Fall. Fucked up? You bet but I like it to be fair I like it a lot. Cement shoes kick right off – great stuff and right fuckin’ noisy!
Acid Blood – ‘Waste No Time’ ( JanML/MvL) Swedish punk band Acid Blood have a brand new video out for the track “Waste No Time”, taken from the LP ‘Acid Blood’). The video was directed by Nicklas Viberg and shot at the old blues bar Droskan in the bands hometown of Umeå. Like a steamtrain that can’t stop fueled by Motorhead riffs and a tonne of attitude. Acid Blood are right on it like Graham Bonnett but better, much better.
There are many mysteries in this world, but one of the greatest for me is why Butch Walker is not a household name at this point in his career. From his humble beginnings with glam rock hopefuls SouthGang, to chart bothering, power pop sensations Marvelous 3, onto a burgeoning solo career that has accumulated no less than 8 solo albums over the last 20 odd years. Oh yeah, did I mention the day job? His production credits include the likes of Weezer, Panic At The Disco, Pink, Taylor Swift and most recently Green Day…need I go on?
For me, Butch Walker has a certain way with melody and wordplay that few can match. He has the ability to tell a story and tug at the heartstrings, putting the listener right in the picture. Every album has its own merits and every album is better than the last, as Butch strives to not repeat past work and continue to do something fresh.
When I first heard ‘Sycamore Meadows’, I thought he wouldn’t better it, until with his band The Black Widows, he released ‘The Spade’, and so it went on. A master of introspective and retrospective lyricism, his work culminated in 2016 with ‘Stay Gold’, a masterpiece of 80’s throwback stadium rock and lashings of Americana. The blue collar ethics of Springsteen and Bon Jovi were recreated and produced to perfection, the likes of ‘East Coast Girl’ and ‘Can We Just Not Talk About Last Night’ solidifying his reputation as one of America’s best kept secrets.
So how does Butch Walker take it up another notch in 2020? He only goes and releases a concept album, doesn’t he! ‘American Love Story’ is a full blown rock opera, a story of hate wrapped up in glorious, upbeat signature melodies to die for.
Inspired by the 2016 presidential election, Butch started writing songs about bigotry and race hate, and he then found he could write about nothing else. No love stories, no break up songs. This is a story loosely based on his upbringing in Georgia and the characters he saw around him growing up in a small town environment. These are bittersweet tales told to a soundtrack of late 70’s /early 80’s rock radio from the point of view of a cast of characters. Most songs are sung from the perspective of Bo, a white, middle-aged bigot, along with the gay classmate he bullied in school and a hippy chick named Paris that he ends up marrying.
As with every story it has a beginning and an end. The album flows as one body of work, to be experienced with the press of a button and it will have your attention until the disc stops spinning. With segues and radio interference throughout, it does feel like a journey, a movie in audio if you like.
‘The Singer’ immediately gets the brain ticking with its “are we having a conversation? “ refrain, before first track proper ‘Gridlock’ introduces our protagonist as he returns to his childhood town. Musically, it’s prime Butch Walker, harking back in feel to ‘Letters’. Lush harmonies, a cool guitar lick and though provoking lyrics draw the listener in from the off. Whiffs of 70’s power pop emanate from the speakers, and the sounds of ELO and Gerry Rafferty fill the ears.
The radio friendly ‘Flyover State’ mixes spoken word drawl with upbeat acoustic vibes. Here Butch channels Lou Reed and Tom Petty, while the genius pilfering of Tight Fit’s ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ melody is cleverly changed to fit the theme, “freedom, dumb my way” he sings.
‘6ft Middle-Age American Man’ explores redneck stereotypes, to a happy-go –lucky, Billy Joel like piano led tune. And answers on a postcard if you can guess who the line “my Jesus wore a frown and a red ball cap” refers to.
Anti-love song ‘Fuck It (I Don’t Like Love)’ paints a stark picture of where our man comes from over a soundtrack of Kiss guitar harmonies and stadium-sized handclaps. We are then introduced to his school victim and his struggle with living the American Dream and ultimately coming out in the piano-led ‘Divided States Of America’.
We are mid-album and that leads nicely into the moment of change in the story. ‘Out In The Open’ is told from the perspective of ‘the bullied classmate’ in vivid detail. From the school days of bullying, empathising with Bo and ultimately the irony of pulling “the guy who called me ‘faggot’” from a car wreck and saving his life. Musically it’s ‘Hazard’ meets ‘Dry County’, FM territory done the Butch way, with an epic guitar solo to boot. I feel the contrast between the melody and the lyrics is what makes this song so damn immersive.
“So, are we having a conversation yet?” Announces Butch, as if needing confirmation that we are hooked. Side two sees Bo questioning his beliefs on ‘Torn in the USA’ and following pro-white radio interference, the funky ‘Everything White’ owes as much to Chic as it does to Springsteen and Gerry Rafferty.
‘Pretty Crazy’ introduces the hippy chick Paris, who comes along and changes Bo’s life for the better. Again, this is classic Butch, it could’ve easily fitted nicely on either of the Black Widows albums. A nice guitar line that follows the church choir “wooh-wooh’s” on a sweet melody. Catchy, soaked in summer vibes, with great bluesy guitar licks and handclaps, what more could you ask for in a song about a girl who claimed she did coke with Jesus in the bathroom of a train!?
‘You Gotta Be Just Who You Are’ sees our story jump a few years. Bo and Paris got married; they had a kid who turns out to be gay, oh the irony! But Bo is now a changed man, and this is a love letter to his son told over bombastic 80’s beats, swathes of electronica and choppy, guitar chords straight off a Duran Duran record.
Emotive piano-led closer ‘Forgot To Say I Love You’ is a haunting reprise. Bo, now an old man, has lived, loved and lost. He takes the ashes of his wife across the desert to see the country as he always said they would.
Apparently, Butch has been sitting on this album for 2 years waiting for the right time to release it. With racist and homophobic references that will surely offend the not so open-minded, it’s a brave and ambitious album to put out into the world and it is sure to jolt minds and fire up conversation. Many will take it out of context and not realise these are the actions of characters from observations of an artist who grew up in a redneck town in Georgia, a place that still holds a place in the writer’s heart.
Even though ‘American Love Story’ was recorded pre-quarantine, the collision of upbeat, radio friendly melodies and dark subject matter make for a thought provoking rock opera, a snapshot of American life that is needed in these troubled times.
Well kiddies if you’ve never happened across these two barber Rock and Rollers then this might just be your lucky day because this here live record is exactly how they’re supposed to sound. No studio niceties, no bullshit treatment (apart from the Guns N Roses style crowd noise) Picture this – It’s November of 2019. The Cutthroat Brothers (aka “The Sweeney Todds of punk rock”) are hitting stages across mainland Europe to showcase their brand of two-man hack n slash tunes.
Suddenly, a change of plans! Covid-19 happens and everything grinds to a screeching halt. A global pandemic followed by travel bans and quarantines changes everything overnight, causing The Cutthroat Brothers’ upcoming tour to be postponed. But worry not fiends because they had the good sense to record the last night of that 2019 tour from Belgium and release it in all its finery.
Featuring twelve choice cuts from their exclusive range and leaving something for the weekend its tight and wild and at times right on the bloody button drawing from their two studio albums. The fuzz buzz of ‘Potions’ sounds fantastic and quite exciting as it cuts through the airwaves.
Singer Jason Cutthroat sounds great – full of energy and slashing out the chords takes the songs somewhere different to the studio recordings. Donny Paycheck (ex-Zeke) sounds like ten drummers on the epic ‘Killing Time’.
‘Black Candle’ is menacing but the songs that stand tallest are ‘Wrong’ with a wicked intro and I love the rhythm on ‘Oceans’ as the guitar scuffs and rolls towards the chorus – great stuff. The songs were mixed and mastered by Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden) while everyone was quarantined in their respective homes. Making this a hattrick of cuts with The Cutthroat Brothers.
As far as live records go this one is pretty damn good and when this crazy world slows down and we return to live shows and foreign travel maybe these cats can come to Shit Island and dish up a set like the one on this record. I’ll be there and I suggest you do as well Hell we might even get treated to a drum solo like the one on ‘Kill For You’ Not that this kind of behavior should be encouraged but I’ll make the exception here because this one is rather good and it adds to the tension. Ending the set with a blistering and moody ‘King Is Dead’ reminds me of the full-on experience of watching master craftsmen do their finest much like a Gallon Drunk but only two of them and far more menacing (if that’s even possible) Get on it because they’re worth it! Let’s hope that in the coming months this can get a vinyl pressing it deserves.
Multi-platinum, four-time GRAMMY-nominated rock band Goo Goo Dolls have debuted a brand new lyric video for their single “Fearless,” one of the standout songs from the band’s 12th studio album ‘Miracle Pill’. Directed and produced by Michael Perlmutter, the comic-book-inspired piece is a heartfelt celebration of life’s everyday heroes.
Goo Goo Dolls also filmed a live performance of “Fearless” in association with Global Citizen for their “Together At Home” Series. The stripped-down rendition was recorded in an effort to spread awareness and raise funds for the World Health Organization to help end the coronavirus Here
The Strokes, saviours of rock ‘n’ roll or affluent city kids at the right place at right time? Or perhaps a little from column A and B….. Like them or loathe them, they have stayed the course of their career, never flooding the market with an abundance of material and taking hiatus breaks just long enough to build up nostalgia and maintain headlining positions at international festivals.
On listening to the latest offering, The New Abnormal, I’m at odds with the sound of the album. Almost as if I’m listening to a new Duran Duran release in an attempt at an edgy direction. Overall the material here is New Wave throwback meeting a painfully modern production quality leaving a mainstream radio friendly sheen.
There is a basis for some great songs on the album for the most part, although cluttered with hometown-isms which for me comes across as clichéd and a hallmark of an act running out of ideas (hello Red Hot Chili Peppers).
The first two tracks showcase a particularly barren lo-fi sound, to a more successful degree on second song “Selfless”. As soon as it’s over we are awoken into a feverish, unpleasant delirium of the Killers esque “Brooklyn Bridge To The Chorus”.
Where to begin with second single “Bad Decisions”. Already publicised and forgiven by critics for the heavy lifting from Generation X’s “Dancing With Myself”, no one seems to have noticed that the verses have been ripped from Modern English’s “Melt With You”. Following on from this we have “Eternal Summer”, reminiscent in my mind of a drunken Marilyn Manson jamming with Phoenix on some Psychedelic Furs melodies. These two tracks alone show enough appropriating to make Noel Gallagher shake his head in disbelief.
The real high points of the album reveal themselves in the second half. “At The Door” and “Not The Same Anymore” are exquisite and desolate, showing Casablanca’s finest vocal moments on the entire record. Even the poppier “Why Are Sundays So Depressing” can drag the unconverted along for the ride.
Album finisher “Ode To The Mets” brings us on home. It certainly displays passion but ends up falling short in measure against the strength of the previous tracks.
Overall the album has the potential to make a very interesting artifact in terms of being the sound of a band who arguably defined their era/scene, coping with middle age and avoiding predictability. And I must stress that this is a compliment, changing and adapting is a virtue. In this case though they do not quite hit the mark on the road of creative development well trodden by Neil Young, Bowie, Prince, Depeche Mode etc etc etc.
Album pre-order link – Here Also The first single ‘FATAL DISTRACTION’ is aired below.
Enuff Z’nuff are the living, breathing example of what a rock ‘n roll group should be. Now centered around bass player and vocalist Chip Z’nuff and also featuring Alex Kane, Tory Stoffregen and Daniel B. Hill, the band are still delivering their patented power pop melded with hard rock stylings.
‘Brainwashed Generation’ is the follow-up to 2018’s well received ‘Diamond Boy’ and showcases a diverse collection of songs that demonstrate the progression of musical styles in the Enuff Z’nuff catalogue, all the while retaining the undercurrent that has kept them a loyal fanbase since the ‘80s. The album also features guest appearances from original frontman and guitarist Donnie Vie (‘Strangers In My Head’) plus guest appearances from Mike Portnoy and Daxx Nielsen (Cheap Trick).
Chip Z’nuff says of the new album that “this batch of songs are simply gifts from above via a plethora of influences. There’s certainly plenty of fodder at this unprecedented time in our world.” He adds: “We recorded the album in a few interesting locations, such as Stonecutters Studio in downtown Chicago, Chris Steinmantz’s studio [White Lion, Styx], which was a ghost town, and my studio on the Southside that was filled with extracurricular activities during the whole process.”
On working with guest musicians, he continues: “Fabulous rock musicians came by during these sessions to lend their magnificent skills, including members of Cheap Trick [Daxx Nielsen], Mike Portnoy [Sons of Apollo, Winery Dogs] and Steve Ramone.”
Enuff Z’nuff plan to tour in both North America and Europe in support of ‘Brainwashed Generation’ as soon as the world situation allows.
Originally formed in 1984 in Chicago, Enuff Z’nuff received their big break in 1989 when they signed to Atco/Atlantic Records. Their self-titled debut album was a monster hit and spawned two evergreen singles, ‘New Thing’ and ‘Fly High Michelle’. Both received constant airplay on radio and heavy rotation on MTV, spending over 60 weeks in the US Top 10. 1991 saw the band release a follow-up album, ‘Strength’, which had hard rock overtones and sustained the success achieved with their first album. The band made high profile television and radio appearances on the likes of David Letterman and Howard Stern and were featured in Rolling Stone’s Hot Issue as ‘The Next Big Thing’. They adapted during the changing musical climates of the ‘90s and have gone on to release a dozen more studio records.
2020 marks 25 years since underground British Heavy Metal kings Orange Goblin first got together to play their Motorhead/Sabbath inspired music to the world, and this year was supposed to be a celebration of all that they have achieved over those 25 years. Sadly things aren’t going as expected for them with the current Coronavirus pandemic scuppering all touring plans which were to include well-earned slots at the likes of Bloodstock Open Air, Sweden Rock and Rock Fest Barcelona.
However all is not lost. To try and make sure the 25th Anniversary isn’t a complete dead loss the band have thought outside the box and decided to release a live album from the achieves of live material they have lying around. As the band (surprisingly) do not have a record contract at present, the live album was released digitally on the Bandcamp platform. In true Orange Goblin style the band got the fans involved in this project by asking for pictures of the band, memorabilia, fan photos etc from over the 25 years of them being together to be submitted to them for possible inclusion in a digital booklet which came with the album.
The first thing you notice about the release is the fantastic artwork by Dominic Sohor depicting the band on motorbikes riding down a highway with nods to the artwork of pretty much every other album they have released to be found elsewhere in the picture. Then the digital booklet itself has some great photos throughout of the band and their fans which no doubt made a few people happy as they looked through it and recognised themselves or their photos, and that is before you even get to play any of the music.
Opening with a crushing one two of Sons of Salem and The Devils Whip it soon becomes abundantly clear that while this release may not have been originally the planned, the quality of the material on hand really is superb and the mixing and mastering by Gez Walton has really captured the intensity and energy of an Orange Goblin live show. This is all the more impressive as the material is harvested from several different gigs in London, Athens and Skylar Open Air festival in France and while the tracks are split up you really don’t notice the breaks or a drop in energy levels.
By the third track, Saruman’s Wish from the band’s debut album Frequencies from Planet Ten, you can’t help smile as you hear frontman Ben Ward demand “Lets get the fucking party started”, as you can almost feel the fat sweaty bloke that would be normally be standing next to you spill beer on you as he gets over excited, that is of course if the fat sweaty bloke isn’t in fact you.
From then on in the album doesn’t let up with personal highlights being a crushing Made of Rats, a frankly stunning Shine which does indeed allow the fantastic bluesy guitar work of Joe Hoare to shine, and the furiously wild Bandcamp exclusive track Your World will Hate This.
While we all know that a huge amount of people only stream music these days, this digital only release has really had a bit of time, effort and thought put into it to try and make it that bit more special for those that buy it. For the price of a couple of warm flat pints at a gig you really do get something pretty special and you can give yourself a pat on the back knowing that you have helped one of the UK’s finest underground bands continue to be able to be just that in what is a pretty testing time right now.
Download the album, grab a beer, bang your head and repeat after me……Orange Fucking Goblin Baby!
CELEBRATE THE LOUDEST DAY OF THE YEAR MOTÖRHEAD DAY!
‘Ace Of Spades’ – the title track of Motörhead’s 1980 iconic, game changing album – isn’t just one of the greatest hard rock songs ever written, it has truly become a lifestyle anthem for several generations of rockers, metalheads, punks, bikers, athletes, rebels, outcasts, and freethinkers all around the world.
Few songs in modern history can instantly ignite the adrenaline of music fans the way the song’s opening dirty bass riff and drum roll can. From zero to 100 mph in a matter of seconds, that speaker-destroying opening riff is unstoppable. And the song changed the course of hard rock… forever.
Now, 40 years later we are celebrating this milestone album’s anniversary on Motörhead Day 2020, ‘The 8th Of May’ by inviting you, and fans from around the globe, to join us on this special day where everything is louder than everything else!
Here’s what’ll be happening on the day:
WORLDWIDE PREMIERE OF NEW VIDEO
A new lyric video for the most iconic of Motörhead songs – ‘Ace Of Spades’ will premiere here.
WARPIG YOUR FACE
Use a unique Facebook and Instagram filter of the snarling embodiment of Motörhead to transform your face.
LIMITED EDITION ROAD CREW MERCHANDISE
A limited edition Road Crew merchandise capsule will be released on the webstore here. A portion of the proceeds of the Road Crew merchandise will be going to Live Nation’s Crew Nation Fund to provide financial support to touring crews affected at this time. #WeAreTheRoadCrew
RAISE A TOAST TO MOTÖRHEAD!
Fill a glass with your favourite libation and post your toast to Motörhead online with the hashtag #8thofmay. Jack and Coke optional.
We do hope you can join us as part of this celebration of all things Motörhead. Lockdown may be going on all around us but the world is ours and we were born to raise hell! We look forward to celebrating 40 years of lawn killing, bastard Rock n Roll with you all!