Sudbury rockers and preeminent road warriors – Dany Laj and the Looks – have released their brand new single and video for “You & Me”. The track is the second offering from their upcoming third full-length album “Ten Easy Pieces”, set for release on June 11 via We Are Busy Bodies.

The video for “You & Me” was created by award winning film director Ryan Thompson (Farm Dogs / Monowhales). As sidekicks Laj and Jeanette Dowling sip cocktails and battle sea serpents on a tropical island, the viewer is taken on a spectacular maritime journey. The track features the unmistakable vocal harmonies of Dowling as the song runs through a variety of classic influences that seamlessly cross genres. Laj says of the new track “You & Me is a sixties-esque pop love blender with seven lines of lyrics, containing seventeen words slapped together with drums, bass, guitar, vocals, keys and tremolo. It’s a vacation on your favourite pure-pop island.”

 

 

Produced, recorded and mixed by Laj at La La Pop Shoppe in Sudbury, “Ten Easy Pieces” speaks volumes to the focus and determination it took to bring together this addictive assortment of tracks. Fans of Chuck Prophet, Cheap Trick, Flamin’ Groovies, The Rubinoos, Sloan, Nick Lowe, The Turtles, or The Kinks will not be disappointed!

 

D I S C O V E R

Website: http://www.danylaj.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danylaj

Twitter: https://twitter.com/danylaj

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5P76mSOqbsmjpkw5GENs9J

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danylajandthelooks/

Legendary US rockers Cheap Trick are back with their latest release – In Another World. That isn’t to say that they haven’t been busy over recent years, since 2016 they have put out four (including this) studio albums and got inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. After the tricky departure of drummer Bun E Carlos in 2010, guitarist Rick Nielsen enlisted his son Daxx to play as a touring drummer and he’s been a permanent fixture ever since. Julian Raymond has again twiddled the knobs on the album and the band now consider him the ‘fifth member’ of Cheap Trick. The production on the album is fantastic and really helps to propel the songs to another level.

The bands back catalogue is immense with tracks like ‘California Man’, ‘Surrender’, ‘I Want You to Want Me’, ‘He’s a Whore’ and the massive hit ‘The Flame’ being part of so many record collections around the world. This doesn’t seem to stop the seemingly endless amount of quality songs that Cheap Trick keep springing on their countless fans. Raymond’s influence on their sound is obvious and he really helps to make the songs on ‘In Another World’ shine brightly.

The album opens with poptastic ‘The Summer Looks Good on You’, a fantastic song with more hooks than Captain Quint aboard the Orca. This should be blasting on every radio station from now until September! ‘Quit Waking Me Up’ is another feel good track with a horn section paving the way into the verses. ‘Another World’ has an almost Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers feel to the song with some fantastic lead work from Rick Nielsen.

Vocalist Robin Zander sounds great throughout the album, his delivery a vital part of their sound. ‘Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll’ is another catchy, pop-rock slab of loveliness that will sound great live. ‘The Party’ grooves like a bastard, with a beautiful feel from drummer Daxx Nielsen. ‘Final Days’ has a bluesy, greasy feel and shuffles along nicely. ‘So It Goes’ has elements of classic Beatles with a haunting feel and lots of flute! More brilliant vocal lines from Zander makes this track a highlight of the album for me.

Light Up the Fire’ has yet another sing-along chorus. This is what Cheap Trick does best in my opinion, hard rock and pop combined brilliantly. ‘Passing Through’ has a dreamy feel with layer after layer of sublime vocals and guitars. ‘Here’s Looking at You’ is an up-tempo blast with a Sex Pistols influenced riff done in the inimitable Cheap Trick style. There’s not a track over four minutes long on the album, it’s a short, sharp shock to the system and makes the album an easy and pleasurable listen.

The final track is a cover of John Lennon’s ‘Gimme Some Truth’ this was originally released for Record Store Day Black Friday 2019 and features the instantly recognisable guitar work of Steve Jones from the aforementioned Sex Pistols.  Overall, Cheap Trick has delivered the goods yet again. It’s nice to know that even in these most uncertain of times we can all rely on bands like Cheap Trick to put a smile on our faces. They have the zest and vigour of a band that is just out on their musical journey but with the experience and quality of song writing that comes with the many years that Cheap Trick has been around. Long may it continue!

Pick up a copy Here

Facebook

Author: Kenny Kendrick

Smashed-slang. : drunk, intoxicated. Synonyms & Antonyms Example Sentences Learn More about smashed.

Gladys -It means God’s Princess from the bible, 1 Peter 2:9. An alternative meaning would be the sword used by a gladiator in Roman times.

Born from the embers of the vibrant Toronto punk scene, Smashed Gladys helped to craft a legendary period of New York City rock.

Lead singer Sally Cato started as a singer in the art rock band The Concordes, while guitarist Bart Lewis did a brief stint with Canada’s most dangerous band, The Viletones, before departing for NYC.

Soon after relocating to Gotham, Sally & Bart met songwriter Tommy Boyce, who (along with his partner Mickey Hart) had coined most of The Monkees songs. Under Boyce’s guidance, the group began rehearsing at a well known studio in midtown Manhattan.

SG started playing venues in and around the NYC area, during which time they met Gene Simmons. Simmons offered them a production/ management deal.

The band’s original 4 members: Sally Cato- Vocals , Bart Lewis- guitar , Matt Stellutto- drums and Ken Fox (Toronto’s Raving Mojo’s , Jason and the Scorchers and The Fleshtones)- bass –  along with the addition of Hilly Micheals, drummer from the Ian Hunter band – went into the studio and recorded close to an albums worth of material produced by Simmons.

Four of the songs from those sessions are being released now, for the first time ever, on the Golden Robot release, ‘Raw’.

Simmons captured the personality and raw grittiness of the band perfectly and by the end of 1984, SG were in the UK recording their first album, Smashed Gladys, with Mark Dearnley at the producer helm.

Smashed Gladys returned to the states and began touring and doing opening slots with The Dead Boys, Van Zant, Nazareth, Ace Frehley, Cheap Trick, Poison, Rick Derringer, Blue Oyster Cult, Crocus and others.

It was during this feverish period that they established the infamous Wednesday night series at The Cat Club. The night became a launching pad for several bands, and grew to become a showcase venue, late night hang, and playing party stage for artists such as David Bowie, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger and several others.

Selling out venues in Manhattan and the surrounding tri-state area, Smashed Gladys caught the attention of Elektra records A&R rep Micheal Alago. In 1986 they were signed by Elektra VP, Howard Thompson.

The band played a signing gig to a packed house at one of the first venues they played in NYC – CBGB’s. Elektra picked up the rights to the first record and then sent the band into the studio to work on their next record, Social Intercourse, recorded in NYC with Rick Browdie and in L.A with Michael Wagner doing additional tracking and mixing.

While making the record, they met the artist working in the adjacent studio, Ozzy Osbourne, who made a guest background vocal appearance on the song “Cast of Nasties.” Osbourne had warned the band that some of the titles and subject matter on the record might get them in trouble in certain markets and banned altogether from retailers such as Walmart. He was right, and touring in certain Midwestern states became dangerous at times forcing the band to bring along new members … Mr Smith & Wesson.

SG was making demos for their third record when they received offers from producers John Paul Jones and Mick Ronson. They went with Mick Ronson and began pre-production, but Ronson fell ill. The Band was then picked up by Teddy Slatus, Johnny Winter’s manager and label.  Tragically, SG’s third bass player, Mark Sliker, then died from a drug overdose. Following the trials and tribulations, Sally left the music business and returned to being a graphic artist.

On May 19, 2020 Sally Cato passed away.

The ‘Raw’ album is a collection of some of the works that were initially the demos for the third record, which have been remixed by the bands first producer, Mark Dearnley, whose credits include a wide range from AC/DC to Paul McCartney. The album rounds out with an additional 4 songs from the Gene Simmons sessions due out in 2021 on Golden Robot Records.

Dead Dirty Dinosaurs – ‘Too Many Questions: The Abbey Road Masters’ (Riot Records) ‘Holding Back is a brooding beast of a track with the slow purposeful twelve-bar riff building into a cacophony of noise’.  To be fair its bettered by track two which is another brooding number with a menacing verse followed by raising the volume for the chorus before falling back.  A nice idea that works on ‘Revenge’.

 

A love of 90’s alt-rock, punk, post-punk and post-rock serves them well as ‘bad Timing’ rocks like a good un.  Signing off this four-track EP with the excellent ‘Monica’ mixing up the likes of Therapy? with the Pixies is a fine way to introduce yourselves for this Brisbane trio.  They’ve certainly got the chops on what is an excellent balanced EP.

Stream/buy ‘Too Many Questions: The Abbey Road Masters (Remastered)’ HERE

 

The Dogs featuring Frank Meyer – ‘Under The Coast’Chicanery Chick Records/Die Laughing Records) Underground punk legends THE DOGS have unleashed a new digital single ‘Under The Coast’ that was co-written with and features fellow rock ‘n’ roller Frank Meyer (The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, James Williamson & The Pink Hearts) on guest vocals and guitar. The socially conscious, topical song is available now on all digital formats and deals with the chaos and dissonance of modern times.  None more Rock and Roll than Frank when he’s in full fight so it’s great to have him here belting out a really good song.

Now if they were to record a whole album as good as this then the pandemic would have had a good final outcome from a year of lockdowns and turmoil.  Please make it happen.

Stream/buy ‘Under The Coast’ HERE

Die Laughing Records will also issue ‘Under The Coast’ on vinyl later this year as the B-side to The Dogs’ previous digi-single Welcome to the Revolution.’ 

 

Chuck Norris Experiment – ‘Dirtshot’ (Self Release)  The Scandinavian Rockers channel their innermost DC with a huge riff that sees them continue with their pursuit of all things loud.  It also confirms them as Swedens premier Action Rock and Rollers a position they’ve had hold of for as long as I can remember.

It’s as good as anything they’ve done for ages and the solo is an absolute blast. In fact I go so far as to say it could become one of their highlights live such is the energy of the song – great effort!  Always a pleasure and never a chore to put on some CNE you should join me.  Facebook / Bandcamp

 

 

 

Cheap Trick – ‘Boys And Girls And Rock and Roll’ (BMG) With a new album coming in April Cheap Trick release another new tune and what a ball of energy it is.  Still Relevant – Still go tit and still going (Thank God) Hall of Famers are still cooking with this new record sounding lean and mean they certainly rock it up with this one. Its anthemic and pure unadulterated Cheap Trick – Awesome!  CONNECT WITH CHEAP TRICK: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

 

 

 

The Erratix – ‘You Don’t Care’ (Beluga Records) Another new band releasing excellent music on Beluga Records.  this time it’s a slice of power pop ear candy hailing from Minneapolis, USA, and what a stonking introduction it is too.  Mixing old school Costello with some Exploding Hearts and a whole lot more besides.  It’s only two songs but if this is an indication of what’s to come then bring it on this is a wonderful debut single. Be it the A-side of ‘We Don’t Care’ and its boundless energy or the other side ‘When Will It End’ which is infectious and boundless energy poured onto a side of a 7″ record.  It’s outta the same handbook as bands like The Cry but with some added keyboard swirl or The Briefs, yeah you know and on this evidence so do The Erratix.  Buy it Here     The Erratix Facebook

 

 

 

Slander Tongue – ‘Ride’ (Slovenly Records)  what I’d like to pigeonhole as a right toe-tapper.  Slander Tongue are riffin’ it up on this one like early AC/DC but with more attitude! Yeah, thats right more attitude than Bon and the boys it’s got a house party of chorus going on here and the solo is on fire. Hell, flip it over and ‘Lockdown’ is platform shoed glam slammin’.  IF there is a better single coming out then I’ve not heard it and it hasn’t found its way onto the RPM Jukebox but this bad boy has. Berlin is a lucky place to have these cats call it home and If you have a few coins going spare and want a band to chuck em at then this is all killer and no filler, Buy it! Bandcamp

 

 

 

 

Cousin Betty – ‘Left’ (Golden Robot Records) “Distorted and psychedelic influenced indie desert rock with some grungy garage infused overtones”.  Quite a mouthful to introduce yourself but I think it does them a disservice as ‘Tape Hiss’ cracks open this EP in fine style and once it gets going it’s an infectious slab of loud rock! albeit with an abrupt end. ‘Drone’ is another slab of hard, loud, rawk!

Born out of the pandemic and boredom main architect Damien Stofka whos an old hand at this music business spent his lockdown collaborating with artists he liked from around the world and ‘Left’ Was Born. Instrumental ‘Lazy Bones’ wasn’t for me but the pop undertones of ‘Loan Sharks Of Love’ mashed up with noise and chaos my interest perked up. but they saved the best till last as ‘AWOL’ is a runaway train reminding me of something Josh Homme might put together.

Pre-order/pre-save Left HERE

 

 

DeeCRACKS – ‘Get out of My Head’ (Pirates Press) Austrian punks DeeCRACKS have released their video for “Get Out Of My Head,” the third single from the band’s new record ‘Serious Issues’. It is available now for purchase from the Pirates Press Records webstore and all you punks looking for a fix of gabba gabba Hey! can fill yer boots here because DeeCRACKS do it so well.  It’s catchy and timeless.  Now bop til you drop.   Find DeeCRACKS online:

 

Diner Drugs – ‘Need Time’ ( )  A real blast of energy from Diner Drugs as the only band I know outta New Brunswick so must be the best the area has to offer releases ‘Need Time’ as it thunders around my speakers.  Walking the path trodden by the likes of Bronx, Cancer Bats, and heart attack kids is always going to get a listen around these parts and it is with great pleasure that they did.  Top tune! get on it kids it’s a banger! Bandcamp

Featuring members of Bong Jovi, The Human Comedy and Savage Young, collectively they’ve been playing music in Moncton since 2009 and ready to take on the next trip and my advice is jump on it you won’t be disappointed -noisy bastards!  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

 

 

 

Tommy’s RockTrip – ‘Got To Play Some Rock ‘N Roll’ (Frontiers) OH baby it’s like a steam train rolling down the tracks.  Retro Rockers Tommy’s Rocket Trip is on Fire! Flying V’s double bass drums its happening kids and Got To Play Some rock and Roll is running on down the track.  Formed by drummer Tommy Clufetos and featuring lead vocalist Eric Dover (singer and/or guitarist with Jellyfish, Slash’s Snakepit and Alice Cooper), Eliot Lorengo (bass), Hank Schneekluth (lead guitar) and Nao Nakashima (rhythm guitar) so it’s obvious these cats can play and play they most certainly do they might not be reinventing the wheel but they are setting it ablaze!

Facebook / Instagram

 

Coming outta Helsinki Finland, Plastic Tears have been around for ages knocking out a glam-punk sound on their own terms. They’ve just recorded a brand new album and to be fair it’s taking them to the next level with some excellent songs and they have undoubtedly found their own sound and added some good time Rock and Roll into the mix.  We thought it was about time we sent out the call and brought them in for questioning. So it’s with great pleasure frontman and mainstay of the band Miqu who joined us for a chat and talk about all things Plastic Tears…

 

The band has been through some changes since starting out – how do you look back on the band’s career so far? You claimed that break-ups, lineups changes, record company changes and drama enough for a soap opera.  Talk us through some of those soap opera moments?

We’ve been around for long, so we’ve seen a lot of ups and downs. The dramas are mostly stuff that happened in the beginning of our career. But we’ve split up on stage, had fights on stage, been filmed completely wasted for national TV and so on. We were wild, young and cocky then, I guess we’re a bit more stable nowadays. We’ve had a lot of lineup changes back in the day, and Eco and I are the only ones that are left from the early days. But I’m not much for nostalgia myself, I prefer to focus on the present.

 

 

The lineup is settled now, right?  who writes the tunes in the band?  and why?

Yeah, we’ve had this lineup since the last album, ‘Angels With Attitude’, and the band has matured a lot I think. I guess that’s what happens when you find the right guys who stay together. If you look through the band catalogue I seem to have written most of the songs. But I guess that’s kind of natural as I’ve been in the band from the start. But everyone in the band is welcome to contribute to the songwriting, and on our new album Juha has also written a couple of tunes. And that’s good because it widens the band’s sound.

 

 

The new album ‘Anthems For Misfits’ is about to be released, tell us about who’s releasing it an Italian label I believe?  Where it was recorded? Give us some of the background as to how it was recording under lockdown during a pandemic or had it already been tracked?

Wormholedeath Records is releasing it worldwide. We’re really excited to work with them as they seem to be doing good work and still leave us the freedom to do stuff ourselves. That’s important to us, as we’re used to being independent and doing a lot of promotion ourselves. We had a European tour at the end of 2019, and before that we had already recorded the base for the album, the drums and bass.

 

When we got back we continued recording, but soon after that the pandemic started showing signs of itself. We were still able to continue recording, even though it progressed slower than originally intended. Our original plan was to release this album in the summer of 2020. We had to look for a new keyboard player too, as the one that was lined up didn’t want to expose his family to the virus. That’s understandable, but luckily we found Ville who did a marvelous job in the studio. We recorded at East Sound Studios in Helsinki with Sammy Aaltonen who also did the previous album with us. It’s easy for us to work with him as he comes from similar musical backgrounds and we could well fit on the same bill as his band Private Line.

 

As somebody who has been lucky enough to hear it, it’s fair to say it’s your strongest album thus far.  Is that fair?  I think the songs are stronger and the songwriting is really good there have been a few risks taken would that be a fair assessment?

I agree, it’s our strongest album this far. ‘Angels With Attitude’ already got a great response, and people have doubted me when I’ve said the new album is even better. I guess that’s how bands always feel about their new release, but I honestly think this is true. The band, the songs, and the production is better. We gave a lot of thought to the arrangements and wanted it to be a diverse album. I guess there are some risks, but, it’s not like we’ve consciously calculated what risks to take, the songs just came out like this.

We’ve always mixed in a bit of this and that, like ‘Spanish Whispers’ (still one of my favorite songs) reggae vibe on the first album, ‘Beat Me Blue’ on the second and so on. But I guess this time the production makes these things stand out better, and overall the album is diverse in a good way I think.

 

 

The first video/single is ‘Riot Zone’ which has a good hook but is only a fraction of what’s on offer why choose this one as the first to go public off the new record?

We had a lot of choices so this was a hard decision to make. The label wanted to make an animated lyrics video to go with the single, so in the end we made the choice based on which song would fit that kind of video the best. It’s also a strong ‘bang your head and raise your fist’ style of song that shows our punkier side and is easy to sing along to. And it has a really funny midsection!

 

The album opens up with a real shot of energy with ‘Doomsday girls’ which is a real Rocker with some fantastic piano that really lifts the song – whos playing that? and how important is the running order of a record?

‘Doomsday Girls’ is a great opener, and it immediately gets you into a party mood. The piano was played by Ville Tolvanen, aka Doc Tolvanen. He also played all the other piano/organ/keyboard parts on the album. He’s a blues/roots guy, but he did fantastic work on all the different styles of the songs. He himself said he’s never used as many different sounds and styles in a studio session, that kind of sums up the album. A big thank you to Ville, his parts were the icing on the cake! The running order is really important. We’re old school in the way that an album is the crown of your work and want it to be strong and balanced from start to finish. So we spent a lot of time thinking of the running order, and I think it worked out pretty good.

 

 

Talk us through some of the highlights of the album in your opinion? I love the opener but in the first three songs, there is a wealth of rock and roll all different but all obviously by the same band.  Has this lineup struck on its identity?

‘Doomsday’ is one of my favorites too. I also love the dark gothic feel of ‘Candlelight Hate Affair’, the pop sensibility of ‘Clash in the Night’, the New York Dolls meets Elvis of ‘Crybaby’ and Hallucinations is a really special song that I can’t really categorize. I think we have. We’ve never wanted to be a band that’s easy to define. There’s rock, punk, glam, power pop, hard rock and more blended into our own sound, and I think all the pieces fell together like they were meant now.

 

What’s the scene like in Helsinki? for fans of Rock and Roll, live music? places to go bands to see?  I know you have support over here on plague island are there any plans to play any shows further afield?

Well, there used to be clubs and venues before the pandemic, let’s see what’s left once this is over. The scene is pretty good, there’s good rock bands of all kinds, and of course a lot of metal bands as we’re talking about Finland. What I’m missing here is the kind of small half-sleazy rock bars, like old Loose and Bäkkäri were. But as always, clubs and bars come and go. Still, good venues to go see bands here, like Tavastia, Semifinal, (new) Loose, On The Rocks, etc.

We had a UK tour scheduled for last year with Paradise Alley, but then came the virus. The plan was to reschedule them for this year, and we’re still on the lineup for HRH Sleaze in August, hopefully, it can be carried through. And if, then we’ll hopefully get some other gigs booked there too. We’re also looking forward to getting back to mainland Europe once that’s possible.

 

What formats will the new album be available on?

Italian label Wormholedeath Records is releasing it on CD and digital. There have been requests for vinyl too, but as our deal doesn’t include vinyl, we’re still trying to find a way to get that done.

 

With regards to the new record tell us how it comes together?  How do you go about putting it together?  Do you demo the songs as individuals? What works for Plastic Tears?

Usually, someone makes a rough demo at home which is then played to the other guys. We then start arranging it and everyone puts in their own parts before entering the studio. As we recorded over a quite long time frame with Sammy we still had the chance to make some changes at Sammy’s East Sound Studios. I think this a couple of days of recording every now and then works well for us, as it gives us time to do changes, as opposed to doing it on a tighter schedule.

Tell us a bit about yourself Miqu. Did you always want to front a band?  Who were your influences growing up and what other artists still make music you relate to and get inspired by?

Me, I’m just a rock’n’roll singer, who writes a lot of songs of which only a fraction are completed. I guess since I fell in love with rock’n’roll at about the age of ten I knew I someday wanted to work with music in one way or another. Elvis was my first step into the world of rock. Shortly after that, I got hooked on punk and soon widened my musical taste with bands like Lords of the New Church, Cheap Trick, Hanoi Rocks, Slade, and many more. Of older artists that still make music I can relate to and get inspired by, I would say, Alice Cooper, Blondie, Social Distortion, John Fogerty, and Rolling Stones. Of the newer bands, I love The Interrupters, Tiger Army, The Sounds, and The Baboon Show. I’m a music fan so I listen to a lot of old and new music.

Thats always good to hear, someone still in love with music.

Congratulations on the album I think it’s your best to date and a big step up in production and songwriting and the whole package (that’s not to say the previous ones were bad, they weren’t but this is excellent)

Thank you Dom, happy to hear this and I agree completely!

Facebook / Website / Order the album Here / Instagram

Cheap Trick get set for new album with the release of a new single – ‘LIGHT UP THE FIRE’
LISTEN HEREIt’ll be the bands 20th Studio album ‘IN ANOTHER WORLD’  and will be released  on APRIL 9th
PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE HERE

“Quick, think of any other American rock band formed in ‘70s who is still putting out albums in the modern era that not only don’t embarrass the band but repeatedly revitalize their career. The list starts and stops with one name: Cheap Trick.”
– Paste“Few acts inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as Cheap Trick deservedly was in 2016, are cranking out music as fresh, honest, energized and explosive as these guys… If this recent burst in activity keeps going, they will be the poster boys for how ageing rock and rollers can stay relevant without selling out or trying to be hip…Long Live Cheap Trick.”
– American Songwriter

The one and only Cheap Trick have announced today’s premiere of their pummeling new single. ‘Light Up The Fire’ is available now at all DSPs and streaming services. The song heralds Cheap Trick’s eagerly anticipated 20th studio album, IN ANOTHER WORLD, arriving via BMG on Friday, April 9th digitally as well as on standard black vinyl and CD. Limited edition blue and white splattered vinyl will be available at independent record stores nationwide. In addition, a limited edition picture disc will be available exclusively via Target. Pre-orders are available now, with all pre-orders joined by an instant grat download of ‘Light Up The Fire.’

Produced by longtime associate Julian Raymond, IN ANOTHER WORLD sees Cheap Trick doing what they do better than anyone — crafting indelible rock ‘n’ roll with oversized hooks, mischievous lyrics, and seemingly inexorable energy. Trademark anthems like ‘Light Up The Fire’ and ‘Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll’ are countered by more introspective – but no less exuberant – considerations of times past, present, and unknowable future on such strikingly potent new tracks as ‘Another World’ and ‘I’ll See You Again.’

IN ANOTHER WORLD – which marks Cheap Trick’s first new LP since 2017’s double-header of WE’RE ALL ALRIGHT! and CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS – further showcases Cheap Trick at their most eclectic, touching on a myriad of distinct sounds and song approaches, from the swampy Chicago blues number, ‘Final Days’ (featuring fiery harmonica from GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer and Wet Willie frontman Jimmy Hall) to a timely rendition of John Lennon’s still-relevant ‘Gimme Some Truth,’ originally released for Record Store Day Black Friday 2019 and featuring the instantly recognisable guitar sound of erstwhile Sex Pistol Steve Jones. As irresistible and immediate as anything in their already awesome catalogue, IN ANOTHER WORLD is Cheap Trick at their irrepressible best, infinitely entertaining and utterly unstoppable.

CONNECT WITH CHEAP TRICK:
OFFICIAL
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM
TWITTER

The Band describes their sound as Happy Hard Rock and their influences are worn as a badge of honour with the likes of Joan Jett, The Donnas, AC/DC, and The Ramones to name but a few.  The band was formed back in the 2000s and has undergone some personnel changes up to this point of the new album coming out. 2020 sees them release their finest bunch of songs to date on ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’

We caught up with lead singer Mirjam and fired some questions at her to find out just Who are The Dirty Denims and can you introduce yourself to RPM Online…

So who are The Dirty Denims?
We are a Happy Hardrock band, a mix of hard rock, rock ‘n roll, power pop and punk rock. We are 2 boys and 2 girls: Suzanne on drums, Marc on bass, Jeroen on guitar and me (Mirjam) on vocals/guitar. Think AC/DC meets Joan Jett meets KISS meets The Ramones.
Where do you call home?
We are from Eindhoven, that’s in the south of The Netherlands. It’s also called Eindhoven Rockcity 😉
How did the band get together?
We started in 2006, Jeroen and Mirjam are in the band from the beginning and since more then 2 years we are very glad to rock with Suzanne and Marc. It’s a too long story how it all came together, but I think the main influence is the all girl American band The Donnas, that’s why I wanted to start an all-girl band too, but I’m glad it turned out to be a 2/2 line-up, the best of both worlds!
Previous recordings available?  
Yes, we have 2 EP’s and 3 full albums now (including the brand new one). If you are curious, you can check out our website, here you can see everything we’ve released: Here
Finally Post pandemic what’s the plan?
Pandemic or not, we really enjoy connecting with likeminded rockers online. We meet them there and get to know them better there. But of course, we like offline even better. So post-pandemic, we plan to play a lot again live. We are glad most of the gigs are postponed to late 2020 or 2021, and it would be great to book some extra shows too. It will also be cool to play outside of The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany for the first time! We get quite often questions from people in France, the UK and Spain to come on over. We hope we can book some mini-tours in the future.
With their latest release ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’  The Dirty Denims bring a versatile album full of Hard Rock, Power Pop and Punk Rock.

Back in November 2019 they released part 1 (including 2 singles) of their latest album on cd and online streaming services. Then on July 3rd the complete album came out on cd, vinyl and online.

In the opening track ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’, you hear how much they enjoyed recording the album with this new line-up (with Suzanne on drums and Marc on bass). ‘Turn Off The Radio’ is about commercial radio stations’ noise pollution and in ‘Too Much Information’ they take you on an annoying public transport trip.

Creatures Of The Night’ turns out to be a successful first single for the complete album, with some cool The Cult vibes. The lyrics describe the famous kitchen scene from the 80s movie The Gremlins. ‘Roll The Dice’ is a way of singer Mirjam telling herself and the listeners to take more chances every now and then.

The Dirty Denims played some large festivals like Lowlands, Rockin’ Park, Zwarte Cross and Bospop and supported Slash, Whitesnake, Golden Earring, Extreme, Cheap Trick and Steel Panther. Their song “24-7-365” got them national airplay on the biggest radiostation of The Netherlands 3FM. The song also was featured in 2 international Comedy Central campaigns. So headway is being made on the continent but here in the UK headway is still needed which is where we come in.

 

Website / Facebook

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=kl9rlwwJxR4&feature=emb_logo

Band pic – Willem Wouterse

Is this Power Pop?

A question that is often all caps shouted across screens by keyboard warriors defending their record collection decisions.

Power Pop. A holy grail whose contents are loudly proclaimed obvious (depending who ya ask) and essential.  Apparently sacred (yet neverendingly argued) since the storied days of Peter Case losing his Nerves to then lace up his Plimsouls. Somehow important yet almost impossible to achieve… one wrong move, a drink too far, a chord eschewing a jangle and you’re “just rock n roll”.

Or so it seems…

The Speedways. The members languidly lean on the bars of darkened London pubs or float like spectres in corners of Some Weird Sin and Garageland gigs. Striped shirts and leather jackets. Dirty street-tamed Chucks and scuffed Thunders boots carry them from one late night heartache to another.

They are true believers who take their turn on stage with hearts outshining the Cheap Trick badges.

Heart.

How do you capture it? How do you?

This album is a stellar example of doing just that. It is the emotion, the essence of love (lost and yearned for) that makes special songs, damn the torpedoes and neat classifications.

This is their second full-length album and the growth since ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ is apparent right off the opening track. ‘This Ain’t A Radio Sound’ opens with a playful ‘80’s Cars ‘Heartbeat City’ keyboard that is somehow right at home alongside the dirty street jangle of Mauro Venegas’ guitars. Then Matthew Julian saunters in, his vocals accomplishing a feat in common with that of my favourite singers. It is instantly recognisable. Equal parts world-weary and up to the fight. Like how Phil Lynott would somehow whisper your thoughts back to you. At once like a friend and someone you wish you had the nerve to approach. A very rare and special dichotomy that gains trust from the listener. People will say you’re born with that. I can see here that you can earn it.

‘The Day I Call You Mine’ shakes off the skinny tie and gets tough. And sweet. The rhythm section of Kris Hood and Adrian Alfonso are like a modern day Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke of The Smiths. Taking the gorgeous songcraft and walking it home like schoolyard best friend bodyguards. In fact, every melody and arpeggiated chord on this long-player is kept safe in their scrappy hands.

“Daydreaming’ opens with razor-sharp back alley chords and a streetwise snarl that has me all of a sudden thinking, “Is this ROCK N ROLL???”

Speaking of that… ‘Your Brown Eyes Look So Blue’ comes dangerously close to sounding like a forgotten outtake from the soundtrack to “Grease”. High School dancing itself right to the edge of the parking lot of kitsch to puke, but teetering there and miraculously feeling much better, thank you! It was a close one boys, but then again, some imminent peril makes albums and nights out exciting.

The track order on this album has a great arch to it. The way it builds to a cinematic centrepiece starting from the dreamy fade into focus intro of ‘This Is About A Girl Who Loves The Sun’. It builds wonderfully into widescreen guitar pop. The song takes you off the dusty and noisy summer city streets and into the cinema to catch your breath and “to stop taking it out on yourself” as Matthew reminds you in the lyrics.

The exuberance of ‘Number Seven’ kicks the cinema doors wide open and the sunlight comes streaming through. We’re in The Speedways’ neighbourhood now, and there’s a place they know that’s perfect for an afternoon drink. Matthew puts his arm around you on the walk and lets ya know that you’ll get by… it doesn’t matter who believes you.

Another standout track is the band next door sound of ‘Empty Pages’. Effortlessly cool and just the right riff for just the right lyrics (“On Halloween I couldn’t hide”… who hasn’t felt that way? Vulnerable and surrounded by Pound Shop devils and clowns) The song is the sound of hanging out. Pure and simple.

The whole set does an excellent job of establishing a recognisable sound while crossing gang lines into territories that may feel like defection. The early Petty and almost ‘50s stomp intro of ‘Had Enough This Time’ giving way to a sun shower of cascading guitar shimmer and a riff that steps right off a beach to join in? Really? It works. Really well.

The album closer, the rather magnificently titled ‘In A World Without Love It’s Hard To Stay Young’, is a perfect bookend. A pocket symphony of guitars that shine like the afternoon sun reflected off a Camaro’s dashboard. Its harmonies sonically answer Julian’s proclamation, “I thought I was the only one to feel this way, until…” with the easy embrace of a close pal.

No. You’re not the only one who does, Matthew. You just have a timeless way of expressing it. Your band is right there with you bringing these songs into brilliant focus as well.

Pretty happy that a band like this exists, making albums to this calibre.

It sounds awfully good with a cold one or a double too!

OH! Power Pop?

I ain’t getting’ into that! Whaddya think, I’m crazy?

 

Buy Beluga Records Here / Speedways Bandcamp Vinyl Here

Author: Rich Ragany

It’s that time again, RPM-people, where I dip a retro-futuristic toe into the Pop Culture Schlock archive hoping to find something that will get your nostalgia nubs tingling and have you rushing to the secondary market seller of your choice, PayPal log-in details set to stun.

It’s the cavernous physical media section of the archive that I am plundering on this fine day, fingering a forgotten Eighties flick (that’s if you even knew of it in the first place!) that is more than deserving of the Cult Classic status that appeared desperately out of its reach as the film fell between the cinematic cracks, despite housing exclusive output from hit parade hot properties like Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Cheap Trick, and, erm, Earth, Wind & Fire… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

 

1983’s Rock & Rule was the first fully animated feature film produced entirely in Canada. Nelvana, the studio behind it, was founded in 1971 and had reached for the pop culture skies several years later when it contributed to 1978’s much-maligned (long-forgotten if Lucasfilm could have its way) Star Wars Holiday Special; the studio creating the ten-minute animated segment that famously featured the first appearance of Boba Fett, the galaxy’s most-feared bounty hunter (well, until we found out that he was cloned from that bloke off of Shortland Street, at least).

 

Nelvana’s animators were ballpoints-deep in developing an animated feature entitled Drats! when they were approached by producer Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes, Twins) to work on a feature-length movie based on the classic magazine, Heavy Metal. Nelvana nixed the idea in favour of producing its own title. Heavy Metal, the movie, eventually released in 1981, utilised the services of several different animation houses, took around twenty million dollars at the box office, and became a cult classic. Them’s the breaks.

Drats! toiled through a development hell of sorts; originally intended as a more child-friendly Grimm’s fairy tale-like opus, the project was subject to countless changes, from tone to title. Now called Rock & Rule, the project dashed into production without a completed screenplay. Re-writes abounded, characters were changed long after their original footage was completed, the studio had to move location part-way through production, investment dried up, and the production sailed past every deadline. At least Nelvana had the might of MGM/UA behind them. Well, not quite. Boardroom musical chairs at MGM/UA resulted in the suits who had fallen for the animated project being hung out to dry and new suitors, if you could call them that, were less than enamoured with the work as a whole. Cuts were demanded, voice actors replaced, the title changed to Ring Of Power, resulting in the movie being dead on arrival – buried by a studio before it even had a chance to find its audience upon eventual release in 1983. But why? Was it really that bad?

 

Watching Rock & Rule now it’s easy to find fault – the post-apocalyptic tone is diluted too often by comic relief characters more suited to Saturday morning cartoons, and the cuts demanded (two different versions actually exist; American and Canadian) make for a patchy viewing experience – but, as far from perfect as it is, there is plenty on offer for this forgotten film to warrant rediscovery. It is, however, the rock and roll of Rock & Rule that will be of the greatest interest to RPM readers.

The story in a nutshell: on a post-apocalyptic Earth where the population has mutated from rodents to human form, a legendary super rocker, named Mok, resides in Nuke York and is obsessed with an evil experiment that will bring forth a demon from another dimension. To do this he needs to find an angelic voice to sing a certain combination of notes. Meanwhile, in a seedy club, a fledgling rock band has a keyboard player just finding her voice. Her name? Angel…

 

Mok was originally to be named ‘Mok Swagger’ until the talent representation of Mick Jagger objected. How did they know at such an early stage of development? Well, the Rolling Stones frontman was considered for the role of Mok (no doubt why the animated character has lips-a-plenty), as were David Bowie, Sting, Michael Jackson, and Tim Curry. Don Francks – who had provided the voice for Boba Fett in the aforementioned Holiday Special animated sequence – was eventually cast as Mok, although the character’s musical sequences were performed by none other than Lou Reed.

 

Who could provide that angelic voice, though? Well, voice-over veteran Susan Roman was cast as Angel, but the character’s potentially demon-inducing singing voice was provided by Debbie Harry. Add to these that fact that Angel’s bandmate, Omar, had a singing voice provided by Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander, and the one-and-only Iggy Pop voiced the thing from another dimension, and you have a proper rock ‘n’ roll curio almost certain to be missing from many a collection.

‘Angel’s Song’ is, in fact, an early version of the song, ‘Maybe For Sure’, that would appear on Harry’s 1989 solo album, ‘Def, Dumb & Blonde’. This was just one of three songs written by Harry and fellow Blondie founder, Chris Stein, for the movie; the others being ‘Invocation Song’ and ‘Send Love Through’, the version of the latter featured at the climax containing lead vocals by both Debbie Harry and Robin Zander. Zander’s Cheap Trick bandmate, Rick Nielsen, penned three tunes for the movie (‘Born To Raise Hell’, ‘I’m The Man’, and ‘Ohm Sweet Ohm’), Lou Reed two (‘Triumph’ and ‘My Name Is Mok’), and Iggy Pop just the one (‘Pain & Suffering’). It’s the Earth, Wind & Fire tune that you want to know about though, right? Well, ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ plays out in a neo-disco scene set at Club 666. Now you’re interested!

 

Arthouse cinemas and film festivals provided the only opportunities to view Rock & Rule after its initial flop at release, aside from a rare mid-eighties airing on Canadian television, where it was promoted as a music special rather than an animated feature. Eventual home video releases on video cassette and laserdisc finally allowed the movie to find something of an audience until, in more recent times, a long-awaited double DVD release presented an anamorphic widescreen version to curious viewers and collectors alike. This digital versatile disc set is now out of print so good luck in finding a copy. I did, and it now resides in the Pop Culture Schlock archive where another curious item lies waiting to be fingered for my next RPM column…

 

Until then, keep watching the skies!

Facebook

Author: Gaz Tidey

Rock photographer Bill O’Leary has a book Featuring over 175 full color concert images from the ’70s through ’90s of icons like Van Halen, Rush, Judas Priest, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Queen, Pink Floyd, Zappa, and more Available Here
During his career, photographer Bill O’Leary took pictures of some of rock’s biggest names at the peak of their powers – Van Halen, Rush, Judas Priest, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Queen, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, etc. And now, he has opened his archives for the first time ever – assembling a collection of not only his best images, but also, offering stories and recollections behind concerts he shot over the years. Indeed, this book is comprised of over 175 full color, live concert images photographed primarily from the late 1970’s through the 1990’s.

Artists include…AC/DC, Albert King, The Allman Brothers Band, Anthrax, Blues Traveler, Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, Def Leppard, Dixie Dregs, Foreigner, Frank Zappa, Grateful Dead, Hot Tuna, Jeff Beck, Jethro Tull, Joan Jett, Judas Priest, Kiss, Marillion, Mercyful Fate, Michael Schenker Group, Molly Hatchet, Mötley Crüe, Motörhead, Outlaws, Overkill, Ozzy Osbourne, Pat Travers, Phish, Pink Floyd (The Wall), The Police, Queen, Rainbow, Reo Speedwagon, The Romantics, Rossington Collins Band, Rush, Scorpions, Slayer, Styx, Ted Nugent, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, Triumph, UFO, Van Halen, White Zombie, XTC, Yes, Yngwie Malmsteen with Alcatrazz, and ZZ Top.

O’Leary says:
“Hard to believe that I have been shooting concerts for 4 decades now, beginning in the mid 70’s when I went to my first concert at the world famous Madison Square Garden in New York City. I felt at home among the walls of speakers and the towering lighting rigs, I also immediately knew that leaving the show with a ticket stub, program and maybe a t-shirt would not be enough, so I had to capture the memory permanently. Within’ weeks I had traded my Sony home stereo system for a black leather jacket and my first Minolta SLR camera. After a brief learning period experimenting with the constantly changing lighting and vast array of colors, film speeds and the quick movements of the artists, I was told by many people that I was a “natural”. I have always felt that “knowing” the music deeply and being passionate about it as well, really was the “secret” to capturing the “moment”. With that confidence, I was soon shooting many concerts, 46 in 1980 alone. By then I was also being published in many major magazines as well. In the early days, I practiced “gorilla type tactics” to get my equipment into the venue’s. Later, I was forced to play the game of securing credentials in order to shoot shows. All too soon, promoter and band management rules and demands on photographers began to take the excitement out of shooting shows. Then the ” first 3 song” rule became common, NO more pictures after the third song. Pro concert photographers know that the “best” part of a shows production comes later in the event. In the end, I’m glad to have been a part of the glory days of concert photography.”

FOREWARD by Freddie Salem of The Outlaws:
“Bill O’Leary has played an extremely important part in the rock n’ roll world, as the consummate live performance photographer for over 40 years. As a professional musician, rock photographers are a part of the music scene – whether it be shooting promotional shoots, live concerts, or simply capturing life on tour. Bill first photographed us back in 1979 – a couple years after I joined the Outlaws, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. We were touring in support of our latest album, In the Eye of the Storm. Madison Square Garden is a big show for any touring band – as well as me personally, as a musician. A landmark venue. The following year, 1980, Bill again photographed me onstage – twice. Once at a Pat Travers Band show at the Palladium in Lower Manhattan in April, then again later that fall in November, as the Outlaws were touring in support of our latest album, Ghost Riders. This time, we were playing a smaller venue in Passaic, New Jersey, called the Capitol Theatre. Hundreds upon hundreds of marquis performers from all over the world have been captured on film by Bill – with the help of his trusty camera. I am surely anticipating the release of Bill O’Leary’s book, featuring his life’s passion and his iconic photography work. Looking at the thousands of live photos Bill has shot over the years one thing is very clear – he knows when to “pull the trigger.”