Ben Hughes.

Punk/Pop are two dirty words that shouldn’t be used in the same sentence these days, right? Overly used by reviewers, (hell, I’ll be the first to hold my hands up!) it’s an easy double-barrelled description to pigeonhole a band. But Ontario based boys The Dirty Nil are not a punk band and they most certainly are not a pop band. The three-piece, comprising singer/guitarist Luke Bentham, bassist Ross Miller, and drummer Kyle Fisher will be the first to tell you their band is a straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll outfit.

Their sophomore long player ‘Master Volume’ contains ten short, sharp shocks of power pop laced rock ‘n’ roll fury, with the songwriting suss of Westerberg and Cuomo and a raw visceral delivery akin to Nirvana on ‘In Utero’ or The Manics on ’The Holy Bible’. Bold comparisons to live up to yes, but check out the similarities.

 

There’s a nihilistic, fuck you attitude within the grooves of ‘Master Volume’. Just several songs in you get the feeling that Luke’s manic, almost schizophrenic vocal and guitar delivery could well turn from tongue in cheek to window licker at any given moment. What could tip him over the edge?

Largely written on the road, the lyrics explore themes of death, loss, and boredom, yet sound-wise it’s a remarkably upbeat album. The opening one-two of ‘That’s What Heaven Feels Like’ and ‘Bathed In Light’ certainly explore those themes to the full. The former a mid-paced rocker that rides on a sleazy riff and a Lit melody, the latter channels The Replacements with bouncing bass and pop sensibilities aplenty.

The Dirty Nil deal in irresistible, radio-friendly hooks and have crafted an album chock-a-block with the fuckers! Whether it’s raw, in your face punk energy of ‘Please, Please Me’ with its live feel and glorious ramshackle live climax, the punk/pop (there, I said it!) goodness of ‘Smoking is Magic’, the glorious Mega City Four feel of ‘Pain Of Infinity’ or just getting lost in a stoner wasteland on ‘Always High’, there is not a duff tune in sight.

Highlights? ‘Super 8’ deals with the tedium of motel life and has one of the finest hooks you’ll hear all year, you’ll think you’ve heard it before somewhere, it’s that good. Luke takes things down if only momentarily in ‘Auf Wiedersehen’,  a break-up song for two fuck-ups that builds Westerberg style, to an epic, bile-spitting chorus.

While the album paints a picture of self-destruction and living on the edge, there is also introspection and a warm-heartedness to several songs. How can you not feel the sentiment in ‘I Don’t Want That Phone Call’, a song that names no names but is a shout out to a friend’s addictions.

 

A stadium-sized production job courtesy of John Goodmanson (Bikini Kill/Death Cab For Cutie) manages to capture the sound and feel of a band writing songs during soundchecks and practicing harmonies between gigs in the back of a van or a cheap motel.

Yes, there’s something special about ‘Master Volume’. Maybe it’s the familiarity, they certainly remind me of Mega City Four, The Replacements and The Senseless Things amongst others, or maybe it’s the lyrics that just seem to hit home. Whatever it is, it makes me wanna turn the volume of life up a notch, hit the gas and ride towards oblivion on a high.

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LOUISE DISTRAS ANNOUNCES HEADLINE UK TOUR
NEW ALBUM PRODUCED BY ROSS PETERSEN (BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, GOO GOO DOLLS, THE VAMPS) COMING IN 2019

Louise Distras is pleased to announce she’s back on the road for a stretch of headline tour dates next January.

Commenting on the news, Louise says “It’s going to be just me, my guitar, and my songs. I can’t wait to hit the road and finally share everything I’ve been working on over the past 12 months.”

This year Distras announced she’s been recording her sophomore album in Oakland CA with producer Ross Petersen (Bruce SpringsteenGoo Goo DollsThe Vamps) and Steve Whale of The Business. Set for release in 2019, Louise says the new record will “take the songs to a new level with harder hitting lyrics and harder hitting concepts.”

Tipped as the voice of punk‘s next generation, praise has poured in from the likes of Kerrang! Magazine, The Guardian, Vive Le Rock, Louder Sounds, BBC Radio 1, Radio X, and KROQ. She’s also appeared at Glastonbury, 2000 Trees, Godiva, Punk Rock Bowling and shared stages with Billy BraggBuzzcocksThe DamnedStiff Little Fingers and The King Blues to name a few.

Louise’s headline tour will be the perfect teaser of what to expect from the new album. Her talent for crafting powerful and direct messages with addictive melodies over righteous punk rock hooks has really come to the fore more than ever before. Hold tight!

Tickets for the tour are on sale now at www.louisedistras.co.uk

Following on from the excellent ‘Chokehold’ video Slaves release ‘Magnolia’ from the new album ‘Acts Of Fear And Love’.With very few tickets remaining you’d better get on it if you want to see the band on this tour.

 

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Never let it be said that Trampolene sit idle waiting for their dream to come true as they hit us with a brand new song ‘The One Who Loves You’ which follows hot on the heels of Jack Jones debut solo single and recent compilation album ‘Pick A Pocket Or Two’ and that’s on top of some incredible shows and critically acclaimed debut album ‘Swansea To Hornsy’.

The band are about to head out once again on a never-ending tour of the UK  – Catch them whilst you can playing these sized venues

 

 

The One Who Loves You,’ was produced and mixed by Josh Green at Konk Studios and includes ‘There’s No More Rockstars’ on the flip side, is the followup to ‘Hard Time For Dreamers’, which was playlisted at Radio One and Radio X. ‘The One Who Love You’ is available now on digital download: https://tinyurl.com/iTunesTheOneWhoLovesYou  & 7” vinyl. Listen on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/SpotifyTheOneWhoLovesYou
Says Jack, ‘The One Who Loves You’ is quite different for us, less distortion and more melody. It’s a song I started writing after my first love at school and only got round to finishing recently…it’s about offering the world to someone you love… but the world is never enough. Suffice to say it didn’t last. ’There’s No More Rockstars’” is pretty self-explanatory ‘they don’t play guitars’”
TRAMPOLENE‘s latest album ‘Pick A Pocket or Two’ went into the indie chart at no 10 last month. ‘Pick A Pocket or Two’ features a compilation of songs and poems not included on the band’s debut album ‘Swansea To Hornsey’ (October 2017). ‘Swansea To Hornsey’ was described as a “Brilliant debut from indie gutter poets” **** by Q Magazine and featured in The Independent’s ‘Top Ten Albums of 2018’.

 

Dom Daley.

Firstly don’t let the cover fool you this isn’t a foray into the woods with some Black Metal loons but a well-rounded bash over the head with a sonic assault that is varied and well above average.
Starting with the punchy ‘Gotta Get Through’ with its four to the floor before the guitars wail in and the bass tries its best to summon up the dead as the vocals just repeat the song title in a manic and panicked manner.  Its a rush of an opener and quite exciting and certainly interesting because this could go all manner of ways including tits up or straight to the top of any end of year best of list.
These Northern upstarts have indeed got divine rights and it is their divine right to shout about it and shout about they shall. This island off mainland Europe can indeed drop into a cesspit of corrupt right-wing self-serving politically self-serving scumbags and every now and again the kids need to rise up and put on their shit kickers and kick some shit and maybe that time is now. ‘L’etat Cest Moi’ nicely throws its weight into the jerking rhythm of ‘Hate Song’.  At times this power trio sounds menacing in a way that Cabbage sometimes also achieve and that modern take on noise is showcased on the epic ‘Where No Man Comes’.

If there is a theme running through this album then its of a band of brothers raging against the machine and throwing stones and musical bombs until people sit up and take notice no matter if its via the preaching purposeful march of ‘Free The Slave’ taking a left turn via the beaute dan le rue of ‘Ballad Of Winston Smith’ with its 60’s style storytelling that builds and swirls majestically to ‘Et Tu’ with its heavy hypnotic riff-a-rama before ‘Brutus’ is the sound of a stressful mind twisting and turning as it comes to grips with what is going on on the streets of our austerity ravaged towns.  It’s no shock that these boys are playing with Idles and Cabbage for what would be an extremely heavyweight line up of modern rock bands who have something to say and say it well and manage to wrap it up with some awesome musicianship.

‘Brave New World’ is a rollicking song with a spring in its step not unlike who they might be alluding to in the lyrics it’s confident and brash taking Kasabian to an extreme in some ways but actually having something to say.
The album signs off with a cold and sparse ‘Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska)’ but as you hold your breath and take in the lyrics you’ll smile that finally some bands on shit island are waking up and creating music with meaning and variety and guts.
Viva le revolution – bring it on kids lets wake up the good people of shit island and show them the way through Rock and Roll for its a broad church and all are welcome.

UK Rock ‘n’ rollers THE BLACK BULLETS are back with another blistering slab of sleazy rock. The much-revered quintet delivers their new single ‘When The Devil Comes Knocking’, on Friday 16th November, via Animal Farm.

Five bastard children from hell, THE BLACK BULLETS, are the real deal; they live, breathe, and consume Rock ‘n’ Roll. Formed in 2012, THE BLACK BULLETS locked together to produce the filthiest Rock n Roll to penetrate human ears. Since their inception, the crew has been handed their share of setbacks from personnel departures and internal fallouts. They have suffered high and lows, and everything in between, but, like a hurricane, with every hurdle thrown in their path, this posse has kicked on and kept on progressing through adversity.

Famed for their impressive recorded work, the hellraisers have also toured throughout the whole of Europe, sharing stages with The Anti Nowhere League, UK Subs, Vibrators, Warrior Soul, The Main Grains, and more recently Love / Hate, Lita Ford, LA Guns, and Michael Monroe. As ever, further shows and touring will support the release of their next single, When The Devil Comes Knocking, which lands this November. The band remarks about the track “’When the Devil Comes Knocking’ is a dark tale of star-crossed lovers trapped by temptation and desire in the seedy underbelly of Camden Town. It’s a song for the empty, whiskey-drenched souls, the sad and lonely who’ve danced with the Devil and for those who’ve played dice and rolled a 13.” The band has touring plans in the works, so keep posted with their movements via their social sites.

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The Sunset Strip has been a buzz this year with stellar returns from the classic hard rock artists that made the strip .. well … the Sunset Strip! We just saw music by Kingdom Come on stage the other night, LA Guns returned with a new album release, Tesla and Warrant just played through Agoura Hills – it’s been tremendous to feel the music one more time. For the true American hard rock die-hards, what started with the fashion of Jim Morrison and his bare chested, steel belt buckled leather pants bad boy image that evolved into an endless list of artists including all the rarities fans collect on old cassette tapes to this day – that street has seen it all.

Lesli Sanders, the embodiment of what real bubblegum fanatics call the last man standing, rode alongside every major label hard rock icon from the era of hair spray – Guns n’ Roses, Warrant, Poison – ahhh, the ever poppy Pretty Boy Floyd; yes, Lesli was there. What began as a literal explosion of sound had looked like riding an endless wave of girls, cars, money and parties that people still talk about now, yes, decades later … it just didn’t last.

Sanders stood on stage at the Whisky when it was alive, and he stood there again as the dreams of every young rocker on the planet saw the life they know fall under the oppressing fanfare of grunge. The tide that carried in the music that made our lives quickly swept down Sunset and off into the ocean somewhere down around the Santa Monica Pier. If you lived it – you know what this means, and if you didn’t, then you know what it means to have missed the boat.

It was perfect. It was amazing. It was Hollywood.

Lesli Sanders didn’t quit the music. He did, however, quit the drugs, the booze, the parties and the lifestyle that every hard rock local was privy to. He got in a car and drove back to Seattle and straightened out his shit! Then, as any musician would do – he started to write for his passion of expressing himself and not for the girls and glam. He wrote songs! Flash forward to last year’s single – “Take Me To Your leader.”

In and around April 2017, Sanders rounded up friends from his era of debauchery and mapped a route across the US, ready to kick ass in any club that would take ‘em. He put together a band, packed his gear on wheels and performed shows coast to coast. Some of the shows were electric, some of the shows were acoustic and all of the shows brought back the edgy, glammy, and passionate music that Sanders has crafted throughout his career.

It was perfect. It was amazing. It was Hollywood.

The album is aptly titled “Nothing But The Truth.” it’s being released on October 26th through Bill Chavis’ HighVol Music and you can follow for details here:

https://www.highvolmusic.com/

It features 10 hauntingly poignant songs that speak from the voice of a soul that flourished and suffered on the Sunset Strip and lived through an industry of broken dreams, stolen opportunities and character building that has made Sander’s unique in his music, and our lives.

 

 

Ben Hughes.

The first live review I ever did was back in 2011 when The Urban Voodoo Machine played at the old Fibbers venue in York. It seems fitting then that the first live review I write for RPM is of that very same band who are now celebrating 15 years of bourbon soaked gypsy blues bop ‘n’ stroll.

Billed as ‘An Evening With The Urban Voodoo Machine’, the band will play 2 sets and there will be no support band. Like entertainers did at theatre shows back in the day, the (virtual) curtain will drop between sets and there will be an intermission where you can go and buy merch, puff on your E-cig or go eat one of the Brudenell’s famous pies. Whatever you do, make sure you’re back in 20 minutes, as you won’t want to miss one second of the entertainment Paul-Ronney Angel and his gang of ne’er do well’s have to offer.

 

In black ‘n’ red, the band enter from the back in procession and take to the stage for ‘Theme From The Urban Voodoo Machine’, the rip-roaring instrumental from their debut album that opens most shows. There’s a good reason for that, it creates drama like a shot of adrenaline to the arm, a spaghetti western styled UVM theme song that distills everything that is to come into just a few minutes of carnival-themed chaos. The 8 piece band establish their onstage boundaries and try not bash into each other, as our ringleader of this crazy circus Paul-Ronney Angel bounds about the stage like the bastard son of Andy McCoy and Barnum on crack.

Where do you look? Do you watch the two drummers who have their own little sideshow going on, the ever cool guitarist Tony Diavolo, the accordion-wielding Slim Cyder, do you eye up the goddess of sax appeal Lucifire Tusk or just concentrate on their fearless leader? Your guess is as good as mine, but before you know it he stops the show, addresses the audience, mouthing words with no sound. The slapstick comedy has begun and we are all laughing and waiting on his every move, he has the packed room in the palm of his hand already and that’s when you realise they haven’t even played a song yet!

You want songs, they got em! What follows is the greatest hits set, sorry TWO greatest hits sets. ‘High Jeopardy Thing’ and ‘Cheers For The Tears’ fly by, they are just two of the many highlights from set one. ‘Not With You’ builds to a glorious, righteous sing-along and the shufflin’ ‘Train Wreck Blues’ is so, so good tonight. Dedicated to Nick Marsh and Robb Skipper, ‘Fallen Brothers’ is a firm live favourite that ends the set leaving us wanting more.

 

A short break and set two is where the real fun begins. The entertainment resumes with the surf-inspired instrumental ‘Police Paranoia’. With a fresh shirt and a killer straw hat and shades combo, Paul-Ronney Angel and the band take us ‘Down In A Hole’ before ‘No Bail Blues’ transports us back to the juke joints and watering holes of a different place, a different time.

You want swampy blues, cabaret, gypsy music, and the finest drunken sing-along’s the band can muster? You got it. Do you want audience participation? They even got that covered! ‘Orphan’s Lament’ is still one of my favourites and it’s performed to perfection. ‘Crazy Maria’ has become a live favourite the last few years, a typical example of the upbeat, gypsy folk drinking songs P-R pens seemingly at will.

The crazy chaos tonight includes P-R licking the legs of Lucifire (she’s his sister, don’t you know?!) when she knocks over his JD & Coke. That same woman later removes her high heels and performs a full-on Irish jig routine, in fact, the band members all get their solo spot to shine in the introductions. But it’s Paul-Ronney Angel’s invitation to buy everyone a drink if he manages to throw his hat on the mic stand that steals the show. Of course, his routine succeeds with a bit of help, before he wrings out his sweat-drenched headscarf into the mouth of a worryingly eager female fan, who then immediately spits it back at him. It’s all in a nights work for The Urban Voodoo Machine.

And just when you think they are done after two sets, the band return for encores. An acoustic ‘January Blues’ precedes a full band return for ‘Heroin (Put My Brothers In the Ground)’. You could not ask for anything more.

 

The Urban Voodoo Machine is still my favourite live band in the country. The fact that an independent band can fill The Brudenell and give fans what amounted to 3 hours of the highest quality entertainment, is a testament to all the hard work and passion this band has given over the last 15 years. They never compromise their music or their art and they never put on anything less than a top quality show, let alone a bad one. I’ll raise a glass for the next 15 years!

 

 

 

 

Paul Draper was the frontman of Mansun – one of the most iconic bands of the late ’90s. Over the course of three albums (a fourth issued posthumously), they achieved something unique – after fostering a fervent cult following, they managed to maintain critical and commercial success with a series of intensely radio-friendly yet increasingly experimental records. Off the back of their biggest radio record, Mansun imploded in 2003 and Paul all but disappeared from view.

Paul Draper’s long-awaited debut solo album, Spooky Action takes its cue from his two 2016’s EP releases which were recorded in collaboration with Catherine AD (the Anchoress) and longtime Mansun collaborator PDub, The record’s eleven tracks veer from warped voodoo psych (Don’t Poke the Bear) to glistening synthetic soul (Things People Want); from warped, razor wire rock’n’roll (Grey House) to glorious widescreen analogue pop music (Jealousy Is A Powerful Emotion). Collectively, they represent Paul’s strongest, most consistent set of songs to date – half a lifetime’s work condensed into just over an hour of perfectly formed music.

Paul will be performing a special ‘Six’ set, with tracks from the 1998 album.

 

Ex-Mansun frontman Paul Draper’s 14-date Spring ’18 tour celebrated the 21st anniversary of one of the most favoured British albums from the late Britpop era – Mansun’s Attack of the Grey Lantern.

When the band played in Manchester, Ronnie Stone who produced the original album agreed to come along and record the show to give us a new live version of the album recorded for the 21st anniversary, capturing Paul’s energetic stage presence, his fantastic band and classic Mansun tracks such as “Wide Open Space”, “Taxloss” and “Disgusting”, performed to a wonderful Manchester audience.

This 2LP Limited Edition Vinyl is available for Black Friday 23rd November in your local indie retailer and all good record stores. Includes an mp3 download of the album.

Great news! For anyone planning to come along to Paul’s acoustic tour in November, we will also have a very limited quantity, signed by Paul and available on this upcoming tour.

Tickets are ON SALE NOW for Paul’s November 2018 Acoustic Tour: http://pauldraperofficial.com/tour-dates/

Performing tracks from his debut solo album Spooky Action, as well as Mansun classics and deep cuts. PLUS as yet unheard songs from Paul’s second solo album, due 2019.

 

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Every now and then somebody or somebodies come along and shape the person you are through their music.  One such larger than life character in Rock ‘n’ Roll who certainly had it all to offer and the potential to be one of the greats.  Born on this day back in 1962 Antti Hulkko was his name you and I would probably know him as Andy McCoy (The Cosmic Ted).  A man who had style, individuality and an abundance of talent as well as penning some of my favourite songs ever whether he realised that potential is another question for another time.

Here at RPM we’d like to wish Andy McCoy a happy birthday and whilst we haven’t baked him a cake nor have we got him a gift we have however got a few links for you to share the love and maybe watch a video of his unique talent and ability.

 

Many happy returns Mr. McCoy hows about a rock n roll album someday soon?

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