Tennessee’s very own Renaissance man and cowpunk pioneer, Pete Berwick, is seeing off 2020 with a retrospective of his extensive and active career. The ‘Too Cow to Punk’ anthology, set for release in January 2021 through his own label Shotgun Records, cherry-picks songs from a back catalogue stretching from 1976 to 2019 over a series of critically acclaimed albums. A man of many talents, Berwick has crossed several boundaries – from amateur boxing to novel writing, stand-up comedian to actor, the wandering storyteller has a wealth of experience from which to draw inspiration for his tales of love, loss and regret.

From the hard-hitting snarl of opener ‘Is That What You’re Telling Me’, through the darkness of ‘Chained’, to the reflective ‘Streets of Pasadena’ (the final song of his most recent album ‘Island’), you’re getting all sides of Berwick’s character – a 37-song collection of heart-on-the-sleeve confessions delivered down hard-fought years. The album finishes with the defiant ‘Vacancy in My Heart’, the free-flowing slide guitar of this bluesy barnstormer capping off a thoroughly brilliant, raucous and rousing record.

The energy and charisma which have dominated Berwick’s life is presented here in almost half a century of music. The anthology is far more than just a collection of songs – it’s a journey that includes re-recordings and remasters, some rarities and one unreleased song, ‘Preachers Kid’. A songwriter long before cowpunk became a thing, Berwick has explained how the title of the album comes from when one audience member told him many years ago he was “more cow than punk”. Throughout the years, Berwick has been an artist treading a dusty road between rock, country and punk, and this latest release is undoubtedly the perfect starting place for new listeners wishing to follow him down that long, colourful road.

Buy Here 

Author: Craggy Collyde

The Deathtraps are putting out a couple of tunes next Friday too. They’re two of the tunes that were given away with pre-orders of the last record but they’re sitting there doing nothing so we thought we’d sling them out for anybody who’s picked up on the band since that album came out pre-pandemic. There’ll be a video too but that’ll come soon enough.
Be naughty or nice maybe Santa will drop it pre-Christmas.  Hit em up on Bandcamp and buy your family some gifts from the Rock and Roll Gods this Christmas – Here
If that’s not enough how about this bad boy? Aldora Britain Records have put together a compilation on Bandcamp for the princely sum of £1.80 but don’t be fooled there are some great bands and songs on offer Deathtraps being one who offers up their homage to Joan Jett.
AB Records is an e-zine and record label that promotes the music and work of authentic independent or underground artists from all around the world. Originally established in 2013, they revamped themselves in 2018 with a brand new approach. Their first weekly compilation, aptly titled ‘The Second Coming’, was released in late 2019. They now also release original singles, EPs, and charity projects. ‘Night Shadows’ offers twenty-two tracks from a whole variety of underground bands.  Get it Here

For those wanting a distraction from the news and the world in general, Bandcamp Friday is a welcome addition to lockdown life. For those not familiar, these monthly events are a great opportunity for music fans to spend whilst being safe in the knowledge that 100% of the cash goes straight to the artists. This is achieved thanks to Bandcamp forgoing their cut for 24 hours and allowing acts to maximise their income. At present Spotify, Amazon, Apple etc do not offer anything similar to this scheme…….

This month I’m putting forward 10 new releases, all of which are absolute bangers! This is how I plan on spending my cash this Friday, check out these releases and all your favourite artists Bandcamp pages and support them in these trying times.
The Dry Retch – 12,000 miles from new
 
The new single from Scouse/Antipodean garage punk rockers the Dry Retch. A crunchy slab of psyched out proto punk channelling all the best parts of Mudhoney, with vocals reminiscent of SY Thurston Moore. This for me is rounding out to be their best track so far. All of this for the more than reasonable sum of £1. The guys have a selection of stellar albums available also.
Buy Here
Graveyard Party – Lady Lazarus
A special Halloween release here from Tulsa’s own Graveyard Party. A tranquil yet scuzzy single with a wonderfully slow and drawn out bass intro sounding like a dark post punk tinged Pavement. The single is available for download for the very agreeable price of $1 as well as a range of other solid material to purchase.
Buy Here
Mom – Pleasure Island
For those of you looking for something on the sweeter side, check out power pop swedes Mom. This album release will take you back instantly to your carefree youth, a much needed endless summer as winter sets in. This record is a must for bubblegum fans of Cheap Trick, Warm Soda etc. The full album is at a recession proof price of $6.
Buy Here
Taffee – Have taste in your own bad faith
This stripped back EP is the latest work by the Berlin post punkers. Hypnotically simple with an approach sounding like a Siouxie led Fall. Made available generously at name your price, this EP is well worth parting with your money.
Buy Here
Lee Bains & the Glory Fires –  2-4-6-8 Motorway EP
The new EP from Americana tinged punks LB & the Glory Fires is headed off by Tom Robinson Band classic Motorway but the rest of the release is a much softer and more poignant affair. Although all acoustic numbers on the 3 remaining tracks, the songs certainly don’t lose their lyrical bite. All yours for $3.99.
Buy Here
The Lotts – we are the Lotts
Debut EP from Warrington’s own garage punk rockers the Lotts, released back in July but definitely worth a mention on this list. With a sound leaning towards the cleverer side of the early 00s garage revival, the Lotts have great lofi swagger reminding me of D4 and the Black Lips. This EP has a lush sounding production and is certainly worth £4 for the privilege.
Buy Here
Black Country New Road – Science Fair
 
This is the latest track and taster for the debut album from the London post rockers. Please be warned that this is definitely not to everyone’s taste, and to be honest not always to mine but the sheer frenetic verousity of the vocals and the melding of the horns and distorted guitars hit a jazz like crescendo that you really have to admire. This quasi single is out now and available for $1.30.
Buy Here
Lowlives – Gravity
This track dropped last month from the LA based quartet and further showcases their hard yet accessible alternative rock sound. Lowlives have been bubbling under for a while now thanks to some solid releases and a few well placed support slots. Gravity is a straightforward ballsy 3 minute rock song that will definitely be enjoyed by 3 Colours Red fans but the B-side Hate, Greed, Liars, Thieves expands their sound further with very epic post grunge meets Deftones feel. This release is $1.99. Buy it, these guys are going to be massive.
Buy Here
Static Fur – Sorry Future
 
Brand new release from the West Virginian post punks. With an almost Birthday Party tribilistic sound with bleak dystopian synths thrown in for good measure. This first outing is a strong collection of songs and at $6 this mini album is a steal.
Buy Here
SUA – You Don’t Care
 
And finally we have Spanish alternative rockers SUA blending a poppier side of post punk with riot grrl swagger, reminiscent of mid to late 90s British indie girl groups Fluffy, Kenickie and Elastica. Great lyrics and great price of 1 Euro this track is definitely worth checking out.
Buy Here
Author: Dan Kasm

One beacon of light for music fans worldwide throughout this sorry Covid-19 mess has to be the website Bandcamp. It’s given us a veritable treasure trove of new stuff to discover these past six months (The Hip Priests, Bob Vylan, Division Of Laura Lee, Stay Voiceless and Phoxjaw to name but a few of those all getting some of my shilling) plus to top it all off they also went and set up “fee waiver days” to further support their clientele currently unable to work.

Now that to me really is keeping with the true spirit of punk rock, so it’s kind of apt that Scott ‘Deluxe’ Drake a veritable legend of the US punk rock scene has decided to utilize the platform to launch his new band Guerrilla Teens.

Having already released a contender for album of the year in the shape of ‘Bats From Planet Skull’ (via the then already disbanded Lovesores) back in April, Scott has wasted little time in bringing us Guerrilla Teens – formed once again out of Portland Oregon by members of The Humpers, Lovesores, Suicide Notes, Magick Gardens, Epoxies, 8 Foot Tender and Sex Crime, with the band line up consisting of Guerrilla Deluxe aka Scott Drake on vocals, Anna Bananas aka Anna Anderson on bass and vocals, Deaf Jeff aka Jeff Fieldhouse on guitar and vocals, Tim Panzee aka Tim Connolly on drums and vocals and finally Saul Teen aka Saul Koll on guitar.

Originally released via Bandcamp in staggered bite-size segments across consecutive months ‘All Our Hits’ is all the band’s Covid-19 demos, together in one convenient package, however in saying this the most immediate thing that hits you from the first guitar chime of opener ‘Dillinger Red’ is just how NOT demo sounding these tracks actually are. Each of the ten tracks bristling with uneasy low-slung guitar energy, the bass and drums pumping out hypnotic rhythms over which Scott works his trademark sneering vocal magic.

Take one listen to the likes of ‘Tell Me What To Do’, ‘Super Aces’ or ‘Black Weather’ and you’ll feel the immediate need to self-isolate with this album on constant rotation.  It’s infectious and dangerous and if it does ever get a physical release it absolutely demands the full gatefold vinyl treatment just so you can lie on your bed, headphones cranked, staring dreamily into the band members bloodshot eyes.

Straight outta the Covid-19 garage, Guerrilla Teens really are a full throttle sonic assault on the senses – a 100% ballad free zone, which in these anxious times, really is music to my (perma-ringing) ears

Looking ahead Guerrilla Teens have already stated (right here on RPM) that post lockdown they would love to tour the UK and Europe just to kick the living shit out of Boris Johnson, plus of course play ‘All The Hits’. So, please make sure you all click on the link below – go purchase your download and let’s make this happen!!!

Buy ‘All The Hits’ Here

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Author: Johnny Hayward

One of the few good things to come out of Lockdown is Bandcamp standing by their toiled artists and offering the consumer a day to purchase to their heart’s content knowing that their money is going straight into the artist’s pocket. These events have been highly successful and a much needed financial assistance to musicians whose income has taken a potentially massive dent. There is a lot of content on Bandcamp and this can intimidate all of us, not knowing where to invest our hard-earned cash. Here are a few of my recommendations to consider if you are looking to get involved.. 
‘Exile Parlour’ – the latest release from Merseyside’s Post Punk rising stars Eyesore & The Jinx. Hypnotic basslines, beautifully distorted guitars and targeted concise lyrics giving them the make-up of a coherent Fall. Released on Eggy records. Currently, on Bandcamp, the bands discography is available on digital format for the bargain price of £6.19. What are you waiting for?

 

Neonic Sunrise
‘Lies Paradise’ – Debut LP from Moscow based Neonic Sunrise. Very hard to categorise this group with the sound changing and adapting track to track, with influences coming in the form of Garage Rock, Post Punk and Shoegaze. Stand out tracks for me being Heal and single Taste Your Lips being my favourite single of the year so far.

 

 

 

 

 

Bambara
Stray(Wharf Cat Records) – Finally we have the third outing by the Southern gothic trio Bambara. This LP came out in February and was criminally overlooked but its not too late to get it on your album of the year list. Often compared to Nick Cave, although I feel they are an intimidating mix of both the Bad Seeds and the harsher Birthday Party with excellent Cow Punk chops giving a nod to the Gun Club at the same time.

 

 

 

 

Author: Dan Kasm

 

JSK & The Lockdown Lovers – ‘Lockdown Lover’  A late call up comes in the shape of Johny Skull Knuckles and his Kopek Millionaires who’ve recorded a special track for this special Friday on Bandcamp.  He’s also promised a special video to accompany it as well so get stuck in ya rock and rollers. Of course it’s good. Its got plenty of heart and exactly what you’d expect from Johny, great chorus and all the sleazy Rock and Roll chops you could want. the second track sees Skull Knuckles reach lofty notes he’s not reached in a while I’d guess? but he’s riffin like a good un here and turning up the Rock! go Johny and go good people of RPM Online world and support these artists on this Friday seeing as Bandcamp have done the right thing and given a bit more back to the artists who underpin their success.  (Take note Spotify and other streaming sites) Bandcamp

Armed with a venomous swagger The Heat Inc. release their debut single ‘Raptors’, a caustic slice of vitriolic rock’n’roll through Melted Dino Records.
 
On this scorching debut, The Heat Inc. have delivered a visceral thrill, with Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age) hailing ‘Raptors’ as “a perfect rock song.”.
 
Describing themselves as a “Rock and Roll band”, The Heat Inc. recorded ‘Raptors’ in the RYP Recordings Studio in North West London, with Michael Smith (Elvis Costello) producing.

 

So when I say I know rock ’n’ roll when I hear it, you best believe I know rock ’n’ roll when I hear it—and The Heat Inc. are good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll, just like mother used to hate. You might have a good idea of how great The Heat Inc. sound—but don’t bother because The Heat Inc. are so cool they defy definition. There’s all kinds of heat. There’s the summer hot heat that’ll drive you crazy. There’s the in-ring heel heat that’ll get a wrestler over. And there’s the relentless hard heat that’ll track you down until you’re trapped. But ain’t none of them can compare to The Heat Inc you’re about to hear—and that’s not hyperbole, that’s a fact. Who you gonna believe, me or your own ears?”  exclaims Jeffrey Morgan – Creem journalist and biographer of Alice Cooper and Iggy & The Stooges.
 
The Heat Inc. is the suavest new band around and enough to make most God-fearing rockin’ rollers believe in miracles.
 
To purchase Raptors go to Bandcamp or Stream ‘Raptors’  Here
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As we spend our days playing through our LP collections, looking back at stuff we haven’t played in a while, how about looking at things in a different way? How about exploring a style previously unheard? How about diving in and just trying something different? Well for yours truly this really rips up the rule book, “It’s Karma it’s Kool.”

 

Now this baby appeared in my inbox after one of those do you fancy giving our band a listen conversations that you have over the inter-web and whatever Social Media platform you choose to frequent. As the opening intro to “Our love is an amplifier” eases its way out of the speakers you are instantly drawn to the pop sensibilities that permeate throughout, this is undeniably catchy as Fuck, and you find yourself tapping along to it as the lyrics bounce around your brain. Now as I listen I keep thinking it’s treading a path that another band I reviewed took me down, that Band was a Brighton band called World Secret. I mean when you introduce the phrase “pop” you are looking across all sorts of era’s and all sorts of styles, this LP is very much a pop LP for now, lets not go down Brit pop or power pop or indie pop route, lets call it well crafted music that’s going to appeal across the board.

 

As I sit listening I’m drawn back to the sixties at times, I feel the ghost of Syd Barrett will be up there smiling, there’s definitely more than a hint of psychedelia, maybe a hint of Alternative country (especially on “I woke up in Hollywood” the title track that contains some gorgeous harmonies) definitely the seventies with an updated version of the Byrds sound, that can be pulled out right the way through. We have a band I feel that have their influences grounded in the past but not afraid to play around with it, update it, while at the same time creating something that is defiantly different.

 

James Styring on vocals at time’s hit’s that classic Michael Stipe sound without copying, at times moving into Counting Crows arena size sound. This LP is an LP that washes over you, hints at lots of times spent immersed in music, crossing genres but at all times keeping your interest.

 

There’s some gorgeous guitar work on “The girl who gave you everything”, it weaves it way throughout, drawing in your focus. There’s a real homage to the previously hinted at 60’s psychedelia in “New Age Eve” but not from where you expect, the almost early ska type guitar run sets the scene before the vocals lead you into a brass section led element that twists and turns the music into all sorts of directions.

 

If your not smiling by this point as you listen your way through, there’s something seriously wrong, you really need to be sat in the sunshine, preferably with mates (remember guys no more than 6 at this time) with this LP setting the scene and creating the environment.

 

There’s a return to that alt country feel with “Ghosts of Rome” before probably my favourite track on the LP “Battle of Burnt out Bliss”, it just holds you, and draws you in the flamenco guitar giving some real colour to the sound.

 

AS the band themselves say “IT’S KARMA IT’S COOL throws away the rulebook, scribbles all over the blueprints, and forges their own path. Deliciously deceiving, their melodies will wiggle their way into the empty crevices in your brain and never leave.”

 

Too quickly we’re into the final track “Sunflowers” This is an LP that could form the soundtrack to your summer, its meant to be played with friends, outside and I’m sure the band would sound fantastic on a festival stage (maybe next year) let yourself get drawn into the band, remember “It’s Karma it’s Kool”.

 

Dare to be different, don’t follow the masses!!!!

Bandcamp

Buy ‘Woke Up In Hollywood’ – Here

Author: Nev Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

Always a safe bet that you need to check out a release when it carries the Rum Bar Records logo and this album serves as another example of a great release. The Hi-End have released an excellent album based in classic rock n roll values with some cool additives that make this highly recommended. The band themselves feature members from other current Boston bands as well as an old favorite of mine the B-Movie Rats who should be familiar to many of our readers.

The opening guitar on ‘Looking for Some Kicks’ immediately provides an idea of what is to come. The attitude fueled vocals of Johnny Carlevale take us through the verse to serve up a catchy chorus with some tasteful backing vocals. The guitar interplay of Curt Flozcak and Bruno Giordano works perfectly. This is prime rock n roll. ‘Nervous Breakdown’ skates along a catchy guitar riff and provides some female backing vocals to go with the band’s own backing vocals. This is a winning formula all the time in my book. This is classic rock n roll with an emphasis on the roll. The guitar solo pops out of the speakers and brings us back for another run through the huge chorus. The band continue the party on ‘Perfect Company’ which immediately puts a smile on my face each and every time it plays. The band add some hand claps and howling here for this compact rocker.

Anthony Giordano (bass) and Scott Sugarman (drums) work perfectly as a rhythm team on this album with ‘It’s a Long Way Down’ shining a perfect example. The guitars dart in and around the beat with Carlevale laying down another great vocal. The group backing vocals add that little bit extra when they finally arrive. It took me a few listens to suddenly realize that this album will have your body moving without you even being aware of it. ‘Get in Touch’ provides a great mid tempo beat with excellent lead guitar work. The hook is mighty here, and I still find myself on repeated listens finding my favorite song changing as I work my way through the album with whichever one is currently playing taking the lead. The first side of the album ends with ‘Identity Riot’ offering yet another great hook that plants itself in your brain with a very brief breakdown that is probably a lot of fun live as I could see them extend it a bit in that setting before the big scream.

‘Feed My Need’ rumbles out of the gate to start the second half of the album and unleashes a chorus with a catchy groove and vocal hook. One constant that comes to the surface on this album is how awesome it would be to see them live. Sugarman shines on the drums here and gives the song everything it needs. The guitar solo is like the blood red cherry on the top. Next up is ‘One Day at a Time’ which reminds me of an older song in its feel, but I cannot place it. At almost five minutes, this is easily the longest song on the album. The song has a mellower feel with a great chorus. ‘Blood Red Lips’ increases the tempo with a down and dirty beat that again transforms into a great vocal hook. This is an album that oozes heart and soul with each song feeling like an old friend that you have been missing who suddenly arrives.

Starting the final quarter, ‘The Way She Moves Me’ motors along in fine fashion with the guitar work that leads the pre-chorus into the chorus being a highlight for me. This album hits the same sweet spot for me that the full length by the Poison Boys did last year in that it is one great song after another with a foot firmly planted in the spirit of rock n roll. ‘To Be Alive’ adds some piano to the mix with Carlevale laying down a great vocal. The song almost has more of a haunting feel due to the guitar riff running through the song and is another great example of the variety across the album. Album closer ‘A Way of Life’ roars to life feeling like a more restrained ‘Ace of Spades’ and serves as a great lyrical nod to Motorhead. It serves as a nice way to close out the album and get you in the mood to start it all over again.

If you like rock n roll with hooks, heart, soul, charisma, and more, this album comes highly recommended. There is nothing current about it, but there is also nothing that feels dated about it either. This is timeless music that makes us feel better and provides an escape from whatever we are facing. As we reach the midway point of the year, I am quite certain this album ends up being high on my year end list, and I anticipate staying in regular rotation for years to come.

‘Class Kicks’ is available now.

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

 

 

Earlier this week this all new nine track album from Portland Oregon’s Lovesores hit me completely out of the blue like some virtual hammer blow to the head, for three very differing reasons.

Firstly, cranking this baby up via Bandcamp I noticed I somehow totally missed their 2018 Thee Slayer Hippy produced ‘Gods of Ancient Grease’ album, yup I know that’s an epic fail on my part, especially as I had everything the band had released up to that point.

Then secondly, I check in with the band’s singer Scott Drake on Facebook only to see him sharing the news that Lovesores had split up and ‘Bats From Planet Skull’ would be their last record. Unless it made the band millionaires, then, and only then might they do one more…but only one!

Finally, there’s the all-important music that these guys produce. This is music that makes me recall a time when music lovers and musicians alike weren’t hell bent on being part of some here today gone today scene and we just went to gigs irrespective of genres simply because we loved the bands. Remember those halcyon days? Well opener ‘Some For Tomorrow (Some For Tonight)’ is a classic example of this – it’s like someone has just taken the stiletto sharp street spirit of The Cramps and the spit and sawdust savagery of Nashville Pussy put them in a blender alongside generous helpings of The Humpers back catalogue and the result immediately has me bouncing off the walls. Something that shows no signs of letting up for album’s twenty something minutes run time.

Highlights? Well, each of the nine tracks is a cold-blooded punk rock ‘n’ roll killer, but if I were forced to single out a few tunes of particular note then I would have to say that the nine pint swagger of ‘Belle In The Belfry’ (think Harrington Saints minus the hardcore influence and you won’t be too far away) coupled with insanely catchy ‘Bishop Of Worms’ which cleverly twists Smokey Robinson into the type of horn driven punk rock stomper that RFTC once excelled in writing, are immediate stand outs.

In some ways ‘Bats From Planet Skull’ reminds me of Spermbirds awesome ‘Go To Hell And Turn Left’ from just last year. That LP also appeared out of nowhere and blew all comers out of the water, and believe when I say it will take a lot to top this record for sheer unbridled low-slung guitar rock ‘n’ roll joy in 2020. Oh, and whilst I remember in ‘Hot Pants’ the band have penned perhaps the unintentional anthem for this summer, should we ever be allowed out of ours houses that is.

‘Bats From Planet Skull’ is available digitally right now via the Bandcamp link at the bottom of this review. It’s also up as a “name your price” download, so even if you are struggling for cash right now you can still get to hear this fantastic blast of punk rock music at a budget to suit you.

Go fill your Chelsea boots brothers and sisters and don’t forget to tell Scott that RPM sent you. Let’s make Lovesores millionaires so he then has to get the band back together for one more record, because the joyous racket that the Lovesores make is just sooooooo damn fine!!!

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Author: Johnny Hayward

 

I always love happening across a band who just gets it.  The Night Screams are one of those bands.  ‘In Motion’ is a right banger full of snotty punk rock played with conviction and passion they sound like they live it like they love it and right from the off just crush it.

 

Hailing from Brooklyn The Night Screams strip it back and from those thunders licks that fire the first volley on opener ‘Love Is A Sham’ it says everything you need to know in the first sub two minutes.  With song titles like ‘Rip It Up’ I guess you don’t need to be a member of MENSA to work out what’s going down. Crash – Bang – Wallop and Screeeeam.  Ave it!

‘A Song’ is my pick of the pops.  It’s a bit more contemporary and who doesn’t love a bit of floor tom thumping? Perhaps a bit more restrained than the previous and is that a Xylophone I hear plonking in the background?  Not as immediate as my Jersey favs Crazy And The Brain who always represents with killer Xylophone tonking but this is a welcome addition none the less.  Punk as fuck is one of them innit?  ‘Morning Sun’ is a totally different beast with a more menacing tempo and howling guitar chime carrying the lead over the purposeful groove – good stuff.  To wind it up they finish with the punchy ‘Ain’t Dead Yet’ showing they are much more than just some snotty punks.  A great introduction to the band and punk certainly Aint Dead Yet with bands as good as this cropping up above the lockdown parapet and long may it continue. Interesting to see what they come up with next.

 

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Author: Dom Daley