Phoenix thrash legends Flotsam & Jetsam return with their fourteenth studio album Blood in the Water, and what a barnstormer it is. The band has been around a long time, they were initially formed back in 1981 under different guises before settling on the Flotsam & Jetsam moniker in 1984. There have been many line-up changes in the band over the years, the one that most metal fans will be aware of is former bassist Jason Newsted leaving to replace Cliff Burton in Metallica. F & J enjoyed moderate success in the mid to late 80s with albums such as the classics, Doomsday for the Deceiver (the only album ever to get a 6K review in Kerrang!) and No Place for Disgrace, and they went on to build up a strong following as a live act. The band never really transcended any higher unfortunately but continued to record and tour.
This latest record continues hot on the heels of their 2019 release The End of Chaos the line-up is largely unchanged apart from new bass player Bill Bodily. The sound of the band has evolved into a more prog metal sound over the years, that said, there are some moments of sheer thrash brilliance on this album. The first single and video to be released from the album Burn the Sky features some blistering riffs and astounding drumming from legendary drummer Ken K Mary (one of my all-time favourite drummers). Vocalist AK Knutson still hits those high notes with ease and the guitar duo of Steve Conley and Michael Gilbert shred insanely.
More highlights include the frenetic Brace for Impact, Too Many Lives with its Painkiller era Judas Priest feel, and the superb Grey Dragon with more insane musicianship and full-on metal lyrics about a ‘metal creature flying through the air’. You really can feel that the band has channeled all their anger, frustration, and unspent energy from the last twelve months or so that has rendered most musicians helpless and unable to do the thing they love most.
A fantastic album that shows that aggressive metal written and played well is very much alive and thrashing!
Is it really six years since the last album from Bristol thrashers Onslaught?
Wow, how time flies eh?
Perhaps more shockingly though is the fact that 2020 also marks the 35th anniversary of me first getting to hear the band via their awesome self-released debut album ‘Power From Hell’.
Throughout the intervening years and with a myriad of band members passing through their ranks one thing has always remained a constant for me, and that is the simple fact that Onslaught always have been and perhaps always will be the UK’s number one thrash metal outfit. Likewise, the one band member who has been the driving force (see what I did there?) behind the band’s career is guitarist Nige Rockett, and here on the band’s seventh studio album he is joined by long standing bassist Jeff Williams, drummer James Perry, guitarist Wayne Dorman along with new(ish) vocalist Dave Garnett who had previously stood in for then frontman Sy Keeler when he was unable to play live back in 2019.
I must admit the thought of a Keeler-less Onslaught did initially have me a bit worried, I wasn’t exactly blown away by the Steve Grimmett fronted line up and when the band initially re-grouped back in 2005 it was a joy to see Keeler back alongside his old bandmates.
So, where my concerns warranted?
Well, if videos premiered by the band mid UK lockdown were anything to go by perhaps not. ‘Religiousuicide’ was/is like an unsuspected stab in the eye from a band sounding hungry and angry as fuck, whilst ‘Bow Down To The Clowns’ sounds like a lesson to all the Bay Area bands still thrashing in how to take your A game to a whole new generation of headbangers. Garnett I must admit rising to the challenge and then some.
One listen to album opener proper ‘Strike Hard Strike Fast’ (which shoots straight out the blocks after the scene setting ‘Rise To Power’) will immediately have you windmilling and throwing horns like there is no tomorrow and to follow this with the aforementioned ‘….Clowns’ really does make for as impressive an introduction as you could hope from Onslaught in 2020.
‘Generation Antichrist’ fits nicely into the gap in the thrash metal world left vacant by the recently semi-retired Slayer whilst ‘All Seeing Eye’ feels not unlike a 21st century reboot of the mighty Priest’s ‘Electric Eye’, well in the subject matter at the very least.
‘Addicted To The Smell Of Death’ continues the breakneck pace of the record with gang vocals cementing the band’s toxic call to arms. ‘Empire’s Fall’ is up next and this for me is perhaps the sound of Onslaught at their finest, seamlessly blending old school rifferama with a slightly more modern melodic chorus, this is a song that actually makes me want to listen to metal again…something I don’t say too often these days.
Closing things out we have a reworking of the band’s 2019 tribute to Motorhead ‘A Perfect Day To Die’ this time around with Garnett barking out the vocals and making it the almost perfect way to end the record.
‘Generation Antichrist’ is perhaps Onslaught’s finest album since their 1986 thrashterpiece ‘The Force’. So, Trash Till The Death brothers and sisters – this beast of a record is OUT NOW!
The DeRellas – ‘Inner City Rock ‘N’ Roll’ (Rockaway Records) produced at Perry Vale Studios by the legendary Pat Collier. Set in a world of isolation, this is a frantic underworld of Trash as The DeRellas set their time machine for the Bowery and a table booked next to the Dolls and Bowie. Its brash and the most in your face dirty punk n Roll the band has ever sounded and its a gas gas gas! Timmy and Luca dish up an appetizing dish of Inner City Rock ‘N’ Roll its a dash of glamour in a seedy dark nighttime world thats just been set on fire and this is the soundtrack blairing across the city. The new album ‘Something’s Got To Give’ will be out at the end of 2020. so until then this will be Available on download at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc.,
Stevie R. Pearce & The Hooligans – ‘Rip It Out’ (Self Release) Rip it out for Rock and Roll! Stevie R Pearce & The Hooligans are in the house kids and they’re locked and loaded with a truck full of huuuge Riffs as this lead track set to be released later this month testify being locked up has fueled the fire of a beast of a band who are ready to Rock. Big stomping Riff with a super steady rhythm pounding away as Stevie swings from hushed vocal verses to the soaring chorus. Rock is not dead and a global pandemic can’t stop this juggernaut. Get ready kids its a coming! Pissed off and ready to let you ‘ave it!
Volcanova – ‘Sushi Sam’ (The Sign) Volcanova released an interesting and amusing music video for the single “Sushi Sam”, the first taste of their upcoming album “Radical Waves” out August 21st. Facebook
R.M.F.C. – ‘Reader’ (Anti Fade Records) R.M.F.C. (or Rock Music Fan Club) is the brainchild of 18-year-old Buz Clatworthy, who writes, performs and records all of the group’s output himself in his bedroom in South-east NSW.
The project began in late 2018 after showing a friend a demo, in which they encouraged a proper release. A hypnotic rhythm rattles along, an extremely listenable tune that has a great raw guitar hanging in tune by a thread but as the Buzzcocks type tune also hums with a sweet keyboard. Not an instant hit to be fair but worth investing in for sure.
Nico Bones – ‘Cheatin Heart’ (Dead Beat Records/ Wanda Records). We occasionally miss a great release and for that, we can only beg your forgiveness. Originally released late 2019 this Cali based bunch of punks showed up on our radar when Dead Beat picked it up and put it out in this month’s releases. Nico Bones plays a blend of American Rock ‘n Roll influenced by the sleazy original punks like the Heartbreakers, Dead Boys, and the New York Dolls. The first song sounds like an upbeat Ramones outtake circa 1976… rambunctious and rockin’. They follow it up with 3 more cheatin love songs with snotty vocals, supercharged leads, and catchy melodies that sit somewhere between Johnny Thunders, Stiv Bators, Sonny Vincent, and Jeff Dahl. Facebook / Bandcamp
The Hip Priests – ‘ZFG 2020’ (Shitpark Records) Nothing new going on you say? well, you might be half right but this is the 2020s latest line up of The Hip Priests taking to task one of their finest songs, ‘Zero Fucks Given’. What was already an absolute banger of a tune one of their finest I don’t mind admitting. Is it possible to love a track more? possibly. This sounds huge and I mean colossal huge but not production huge. It always had that Stooges groove but I’m sure if Iggy were to hear this he’d doff his cap and prob ask if he could cover it on his next album and bow out on top. In recognition of what was built on the Stooges foundations this raw pissed off anthem is still a fuckin’ beast. On the flipside is ‘Social Hand Grenade’ taken from the bands last album ‘Stand For Nothing’ and it seems and sounds more apt with every passing day. One of the albums standout tracks (on an outstanding album it has to be said) With a limited number of these available you have to be quick to jump on this one as the gang of believers grows with every passing day. One day they will blow up and explode on the wider public. Shit Islands finest are back in the groove. Facebook
Mäsh – I Don’t Want You’ (WandaRecords) Facebook /Bandcamp Alright let’s go! a sloppy twelve-bar Quolian riff gets proceedings off to a flier and by the second verse they’re running through the Chuck Berry guitar lick 101 handbook and we’re down with that all the way. The song fizzes like a good un and is catchy as hell. Love the breakdown all it needed was more handclaps and possibly some cowbell and it might have become the blueprint for all future punk rock n roll sleazy singles but we also understand you don’t want to shoot your wad early doors and keeping something in reserve is cool. The B Side ‘Whisper’ is like a really good Diamond Dogs tune I’m sure Sulo would be down with these cats as they shake their shit on another top tune. Rock and Roll can’t always be serious or dark sometimes its fun and living in the moment and Mäsh have got it going on and even double denim is cool as fuck just like this singe is.!
PizzaTramp / Incision – ‘Split’ (Self Release) Imagine being bludgeoned to death by a blunt weapon but quite enjoying it as long as it doesn’t hurt too much and doesn’t last more than 3 minutes. That what this Split is like. Repeatedly smashed on the head by a few guitars and a bass drum pedal and some throat-clearing its not painful though and it’s quick but like I say its enjoyable. Two songs each and Pizzatramp win by virtue of being Welsh and their two songs last a progtastic four minutes but fair play to Incision ‘Jennifer Anniston’ is fuckin’ brutal. Buy Here
Wonk Unit – ‘Summer Time/You’re Sick’ (Plasterer Records) Laugh I nearly went to Ethiopia. Fair play to Alex and the gang this is a fuckin hoot. One of if not the most surreal and barmy summers ever now has a soundtrack. Maybe inspired by the likes of Blue doing ‘Girls and Boys’. Part dance euro-pop trash but obviously with a huge dollop of Wonkiness. “Sexy boys sexy girls touch yourself” had me holing I have to be fair. but once it’s in yer noggin’ it’s not leaving any day soon. To cleanse the palate for many is the classic slice of Wonk with ‘You’re Sick’ bringing up the rear. With a steady beat and familiar caustic guitar riff-a-ram Wonk Unit knock it out of the park as they say in ‘merica Buy Here
Godfathers – ‘I’m Not Your Slave’ (Self Release) The Godfathers’ brand new, double A-side – ‘I’m Not Your Slave’ & ‘Wild And Free’ Available in limited edition, clear red vinyl single & also limited edition 4 track CD that features the 2 songs, plus demo versions of both songs unavailable in any other format!! pre-order NOW only from Here This release is for the 35th anniversary of the band’s existence. From the iconic debut to this, there has always been a recognisable sound with crisp, driving guitars and a tight rhythm section and its pleasing to say ‘I’m Not Your Slave’ has all the hallmarks of a classic Godfathers tune. The other side is a steady anthem in the shape of ‘Wild & Free’ following a healthy linage of rockers with attitude from the gang vocals in the chorus to Coyne’s spoken vocals its got groove but I tip my hat to the guitar soloing that’s on display here. Interesting times as the next chapter of The Godfathers unfolds.
The Mercy Kills – ‘Alone’ (Golden Robot Records) Melbourne’s THE MERCY KILLS release their newly remastered single ‘Alone’. The track is taken from their debut album ‘Happy To Kill You’ and has been remastered and re-released as a single for those reaching out digitally in COVID-19 isolation. The message is simple, “You can’t make it alone!” Mixing up the influences of the likes of L7 from the Grunge heyday along with something more rock such as Faster Pussycat with attitude born from the likes of The Ramones. Facebook
The Dust Coda – ‘Early Days – Raw & Unplugged’ (Self Release) In this almost surreal pandemic world, the band decided to brush the dust off some old recordings and release a collection of four acoustic tracks, which will give fans an intimate listening experience. This EP further unveils The Dust Coda calm soothing acoustic works. Each song as gentle as the previous with an almost Southern rock warmth akin to the lighter workings of The Black Crowes sound and style. Throughout the EP mellow guitar riffs combined with the gritty vocals are the key elements setting the scene for an intense acoustic journey. Electricity was used to power a guitar but not a lot. Chill out in the sun and socially distance kids this retro southern rock will do the job. Facebook
Larkin Poe – ‘Back Down South’ ( ) Featuring guest appearance from fellow Nashville musician Tyler Bryant this is another slice of Southern Roots-Rock with some really strong vocals all round and with subtle swirling Hammond thrown into the mix it’s not just about the cotton-picking guitar licking as it approaches the crossroads from the fuzzy slide, these sisters have got it going on with a tune thats got an air of extreme confidence it never breaks out remaining laid back right to the bitter end. Taken from the forthcoming album ‘Self Made Man’ this will only add to the expectations of the long player.
Onslaught – ‘Religioussuicide’ (AFM Records) U.K. Thrashers present their new single ‘Religiousuicide’, The song is taken from the upcoming album ‘Generation Antichrist’, which will be released in August. ‘Religiousuicide’ marks the debut of new vocalist Dave Garnett who recently replaced long term frontman Sy Keeler. They’re not reinventing the wheel here kids its Thrash Metal as we know it and its exercised to perfection from the rumbling gutwrenching bass to the pneumatic drumming Dave Garnett settles in nicely as the guitars buzz around the speakers towards the dueling solo. thrashtastic and you know it dives bombs rapid tapping, frantic double bass its all here present and correct and it also has the gang vocals – job done.
Dead Horse – ‘Night’ The first cut from Londoners Dead Horse EP released next month. Dead Horse formed in 2019 when former Love Buzzard frontman Kevin Lennon (bass/vox) returned to London from Brighton, meeting up with long time bandmates (Rumour Mill/Kids From K Hole) Duncan Clark (drums) and Josh Kemp (guitar) via a mutual interest in garage rock/punk, old and new. Facebook
Metal legend Ross “The Boss” Friedman has written music history as a founding member of Manowar and The Dictators and his influence in heavy metal and also punk is noticeable to this day. Manowar’s first six masterpieces which saw him significantly involved in between 1982 and 1988 are immortal classics today, and that the band wasn’t able to deliver the same quality again after his departure speaks for the New York based guitarist and songwriter.
Since 2006, Ross has been releasing traditional and raw epic metal which calls up memories of the Manowar masterpieces from the 80’s with its very own style. New album ‘Born Of Fire’ is the fourth release from Friedman and his band which arrives not even two years after their chart breaking 2018 effort ‘By Blood Sworn’.
While ROSS THE BOSS used the time between these releases for extensive touring, their latest epos will excite fans worldwide, ‘Born Of Fire‘ comes pounding out of the speakers fresher and heavier than before, but contains all of the typical Ross The Boss trademarks.
01 – Glory To The Slain
02 – I Am The Sword
03 – Fight The Fight
04 – Shotgun Evolution
05 – Denied By The Cross
06 – Maiden Of Shadows
07 – Born Of Fire
08 – Demon Holiday
09 – Godkiller
10 – Waking The Moon
11 – Undying
12 – The Blackest Heart
ANVIL have released their new music video ‘Legal At Last’, the title track from their upcoming album. “Legal At Last is our way of telling the public: ‘It’s okay, Anvil are okay, you’re allowed to like us at last!’ ”states Lips.
‘Legal At Last’ will be released via AFM Records and the album will be available as digipak, digital, black vinyl and some limited colored vinyl.
ANVIL got busted, back then when they were touring in Nebraska & this is what their new pounding and powerful single is about. The reason?
When it comes to virtues such as endurance, unconditional commitment and a thoroughly down-to-earth attitude, Anvil are the measure of all things. Like few other metal acts, the band surrounding founding members Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow (vocals, guitars) and Robb Reiner (drums), plus bassist Chris Robertson have earned their laurels of blood, sweat and tears.
Since their 2009 documentary film The Story Of Anvil which revealed the unvarnished truth about the music industry, the world has been aware that the day-to-day life of most musicians doesn’t consist of MTV Awards, Grammy ceremonies, red carpets, champagne and caviar but mainly of energy-sapping tours with little sleep, junk food and meagre earnings. Yet these difficult conditions have made Anvil what they are today: a band that stands rock solid in the turbulent waters of a musical genre that produces music like no other, by fans for fans.
So Robb Reiner refers with a sense of justified pride to Anvil’s latest release Legal At Last simply as “one more Anvil album”. Because quotes such as this show that the band has
survived despite all adversities, losing none of its musical style or sense of reality. Kudlow, Reiner or Robertson would never use clichés such as “harder, faster, louder” or attempt to present their own accomplishments as superhuman feats. Robb Reiner is right: Legal At Last is simply an impressive new statement by a band that stands for the same values in 2020 as it did when it was first launched in autumn 1978.
This new album is very special to Anvil: “Legal At Last is mainly about two things,” Reiner explains, pointing to the cover artwork with a grin. “We celebrate the legalisation of the Anvil bong because Canada changed its marijuana laws last year, which means we no longer sail close to the wind all the time. That’s why the album title announces that Anvil are legal at last.
Our fans have always known that, but the public at large treated us like criminals for a long time.” Kudlow adds: “Legal At Last is our way of telling the public: ‘It’s okay, Anvil are okay, you’re allowed to like us at last!’”
Kudlow is referring to songs which highlight Anvil’s great creative power. Be it the steam hammer flair of the title track, the unmistakably tongue-in-cheek ‘Nabbed In Nebraska’ with its driving mid-tempo groove which brings to mind the Anvil classic ‘Metal On Metal’, the critical undertones of ‘Plastic In Paradise’, the doomy orientation of ‘Said And Done’ and ‘Gasoline’, or fast and hard numbers such as ‘No Time’, ‘Chemtrails’ and ‘Food For The Vulture’: Anvil always get to the core of their characteristic sound. Which also applies to ‘I´m Alive’ and ‘Bottom Line’ – both rock numbers in the best sense of the term – and the comparatively catchy ‘Glass House’.
Talking of sound: For the first time in a career that spans more than forty years, Anvil have worked with the same producer on three consecutive albums. Like its predecessors, Anvil Is Anvil (2016) and Pounding The Pavement (2018), Legal At Last was produced by Martin ‘Mattes’ Pfeiffer (U.D.O., among others). Jörg Uken was in charge of mix and engineering at his Soundlodge studio in Rhauderfehn, Germany, where Pounding The Pavement was also finalised. Says Kudlow: “As a band, you need to surround yourself with people who share the same passion and commitment. Martin and Jörg have both, that’s why we make a perfect team.” And that’s exactly what every single note on Legal At Last oozes!
D-A-D head to the UK at the start of their European tour in November/December to play a couple of shows in Manchester and London, with special guests Hangarvain supporting.
20th November, Academy 3, Manchester 21st November, Dingwalls, Camden
It’s been 8 years since Denmark’s most celebrated rock band D-A-D released their last studio album but finally the wait is over, it’s been a long time coming but it has been well worth it! The new album harks back to the core of what D-A-D does better than most: four guys who play thrilling rock music with ferocious energy, catchy songs and an infectious commitment. ‘APrayerForTheLoud’ has a clear musical link to classic D-A-Dalbums such as ‘No Fuel Left ForThe Pilgrims’ and ‘Riskin’ It All’. The band was able to pick and choose from a large selection of songs which have been distilled down to what bassist Stig Pedersen describes as the “cream of the crop”. Among the 11 tracks on ‘APrayerForTheLoud’ you’ll find songs that fit right into a vintage D-A-D mould: throbbing, adrenaline-soaked rock, big ballads and mid-tempo songs guided by strong melodies.
According to the band itself, this is a contemporary D-A-Dalbum where the quartet has refined some of their cardinal virtues. Everything superfluous has been discarded in the editing suite, cutting the sound and the band’s expression right down to the core.
This is what D-A-D have to say about their new album: “In the past we have occasionally gone down new avenues to try out stuff that was pretty far from the heart of what we do. It’s been a lot of fun, but this time we have tried to narrow it down to the essence. This time around, we are just being who we really are. ‘APrayerForTheLoud’ is a record where the focus is on melodies and energy. We’ve made a real effort when it comes to writing the choruses and it’s resulted in some great songs where we were meticulous with the details without losing the original rawness and pure energy.”
The band worked on ‘APrayerForTheLoud’ forthe past three years, while breaking off to go touring. Thealbum was produced in familiar surroundings at Grapehouse studio in Copenhagen with longtime collaborators Nick Foss and Rune Nissen Petersen. It’s resulted in a record which the band is thrilled about. Frontman Jesper Binzer says: “Most of all we are proud that we have nailed 11 awesome tracks that are based on where we are right now. We are not shooting in the dark here – this is straight from the heart.”
AFM Records are extremely excited to announce the new album ‘Killection’ from the acclaimed Finnish Hard Rock/Heavy Metal monsters LORDI! ‘Killection’ will hit the streets 31st January 2020 and this, the tenth album in the band’s history, has turned out to be the most extraordinary and varied album so far. Rock/Heavy Metal monsters LORDI were founded in 1992 by lead singer, songwriter, visual art designer and costume designer Mr. Lordi. The band has deep Finnish roots originating from the city of Rovaniemi in Lapland. In 2006 they celebrated their international breakthrough by winning the Eurovision Song Contest (‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’). But is it possible that this is only a pale misperception of our poor, limited reality? What if LORDI would have already been making music since the early 70’s? And what if they have been releasing one hit single after the other since those times and now, almost 50 years later, are looking back on a full collection of songs that have been successful ever since? This is exactly the idea that LORDI are executing with their newest studio album Killection.
Killection will be released on January 31st via AFM Records. Once more Mr. Lordi, the master of the masquerade, presents us with one of his ideas, absurd and genius at the same time, and comes up with a concept that has never been done before in the music industry: This is a compilation album that simply says “what if” LORDI had been in existence since the early 70’s. It contains all their imaginary hit singles from different periods done with painstaking attention to detail using authentic studios and vintage technology. This is how they would have sounded if LORDI had made music back then and therefore would have had the hit material to release this compilation now. This is how Mr. Lordi himself sums it up: “Killection is a fictional compilation album. It contains songs that LORDI would have written between the early ’70s through the mid-’90s. The compilation contains one “brand new” song from 2019 as well, cause that’s somehow always typical for compilations.“