When is a new record not a new record? When it was Recorded back in 2017 might be regarded as such a thing.  It’s taken These Goons a few years to get it right (or so they say) Explaining that it only took well over a year, but in true Goon fashion they think they’ve finally figured out how to get a proper version of the super limited, custom made and long sold out third LP right!

Let us the listeners be the judge of that thank you very much would be the usual response.

Originally released in an edition of 300 copies on the band’s own SunWray Records label with photocopied artwork pasted onto garbage thrift store LP covers, the “Rip It Up” album is now ALMOST available to the masses on MADE IN THE USA vinyl, with digital mastering handled by Tim Warren at Crypt Records. Compare this new version to the only other digitally available tracks that were uploaded by a slobbering fan to Youtube, and prepare to have your asses handed to you and knocked two steps back! That’s the official line anyway from the band. From the opening bar of ‘Watch You Shine’ I knew I was hooked. Literally, it took about ten seconds to sit up, shut up and listen to what was unfolding through my speakers as these fucked up rock and rollers were causing a stir in my heart and sending my head spinning.  It’s like when I first heard the Dolls or what I imagine hearing the Stones kicking up a shit storm in some tiny club its like unbridled rock and roll has been let off the leash for the first time (which we all know isn’t true) and we are hearing some guitars and reckless vocals for the first time in our lives. This feeling doesn’t dissipate for the next thirty minutes.  Trust me I’m a Doctor.

By the time you get to the epic ‘Any Girl/Bad Stuff’ and you’re not convinced then maybe this rock and roll thing isn’t for you? Seriously maybe you have a head trauma injury or severe tinnitus or a lobotomy because a six-minute furious rock out that marries the good and the great is nothing short of spectacular.  Its got piano like little Richard, Guitar licks like Chuck Berry is in town and a vocal that’s part Iggy Part David Jo and the rhythm is relentless – I fuckin’ love it!

‘Outta Control’ is raw it’s rough it’s totally rockin’ and yeah it might fall apart in the blink of an eye it’s part Joneses part Heartbreakers its what Gunfire Dance might have sounded like had they grown up in the US of A but they’re cut from the same cloth I’m convinced of it.

If you’re waiting for that gentle slow dance number I guess ‘Let Loose’ isn’t going to be it you won’t find a slow dance in this one but you might find a healthy dose of Stooges vibe going on with songs entitled ‘So Far Out/Rip It Up’ and ‘Watch Your Back’ I guess you might have an inkling what these cats are up to So impressed was I that I had to dig out their back catalogue I needed to catch up and get my fix in one hit I know that can be a dangerous thing but so pure and unadulterated was the Rock and Roll I was happy to take the chance and the result is beautiful.  Follow suit kids and get a copy of Gino and the Goons its not something you’ll regret at all. Just do it.

*This pre-order is listed as coming out in July due to a Bandcamp limitation, but they’re gonna be unleashing this Budget Rock Masterpiece in early September. Until then, stream the fuck outta this Bandcamp exclusive, or BUY the damn download and add it to your devices.
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Author: Dom Daley

 

To say I have been looking forward to this album would be a massive understatement, their early singles over the past two years should have been blasting on every rock radio station in the world, and these guys should already be huge from the likes of ‘Love to Leave’ and ‘Slather.’ To be clear, my anticipation for the album would have made it easy to be disappointed in it, but my faith has been rewarded with an album that could very easily be my album of the year and is sure to be one that will remain in constant rotation for years to come. The Sweet Things have distilled the essence of rock n roll’s primal ingredients and then added their own secret spices to make it all their own. Comparison points definitely include the Rolling Stones and Guns N’ Roses, but those are not the only ones, for example, as I would say the spirit of Chuck Berry is essential to the band as well.

Lead video ‘Liquor Lightning’ kicks off the album in fine style as we hear the sound of bottles clinking together before a riff that encompasses the shambolic spirit of something like the Black Crowes ‘Thick n Thin’ gives way to Dave Tierney frantically spilling the words from the first verse over the riff in a race to the finish line. Everything then falls perfectly in time as the band is in fine form with the addition of some excellent piano work included behind them to give the song even more flavor. The reprieve in the pre-chorus provides even more urgency to the chorus as the horns explode in the background. The guitar solo is razor sharp and captures the Chuck Berry spirit before the band slam the chorus at us again. If someone asks for a song in the spirit of rock n roll, this can be it. Follow up ‘Dead or Worse’ slows the beat a bit and features some excellent harmonica work. Sam Hariss (also bass) provides the first verse on this one with his rasp being a perfect fit, similar to Izzy’s vocals in GN’R. The production gives the music plenty of space with Tierney taking over for the second verse before they combine vocals at the end. I hate to think how many times I have heard the live version of this on YouTube. The excitement and the vibe have translated over to the vinyl in remarkable fashion.

The title track takes us on a mid tempo journey with a timeless classic rock epic that immediately grabbed me with the band again receiving support from piano, horns, and some harmonica. Simply put, I do not understand how fans of early Black Crowes, Dogs D’amour, Quireboys, Faces, Rolling Stones could not be drawn in with this song. I have this urge to lift a glass in the air and singalong with this one every time it plays.  Another of the early release songs follows with ‘Almost Faded’ being another perfect rock n roll song with some horn work that would do 80’s era Hanoi Rocks proud. It is not a stretch to think Tierney (also guitar), Hariss, Lorne Behrman (guitar/ vocals), and Darren Fried (drums) had a cryptic meeting with someone down at the crossroads to come up with this album. The time that has gone into creating these songs and this album has paid dividends. If you are not singing along with ‘Almost Faded,’ I really do not know what to tell you other than your rock n roll spirit is apparently dead. Hyperbole? Give it a listen and find out for yourself. Wrapping up the first half of the album is ‘Dr. Crazy Girl’ whose guitar riff slowly builds before the song starts moving and conjuring the spirit of the New York Dolls. While perhaps not as monumental as the first four songs, this one keeps the momentum going nicely.

Flipping the record over introduces the classic rock infused ‘Drained.’ Again the band has really thrown in all the bells and whistles…. Okay, maybe it is all the horns and piano to create something really special that will still kick butt in the live setting without them. The chorus begs for a singalong from all of us listening. ‘Coke’n’ has been one they have played live which was originally done by Izzy Stradlin back on his 2002 ‘On Down the Road’ album and fits the Sweet Things like it was written with them in mind.  The groove is timeless and shows in terms of the songwriting the heart and soul that Izzy provided GN’R. This is another one just made for blasting out the windows wherever you are as everyone around you should be listening to it too. ‘Through the Cracks of the City’ is another I am familiar with as the band originally released it a couple years ago and have played it live. The hook simply sticks to you and does not shake loose, and the guitar riffs throughout the song are awesome.

‘Fix to Kick’ brings us to the final stretch of the album with the band making another timeless riff look effortless. The Sweet Things simply rawk in all the right ways with this being another classic chorus that they smartly do not use to overwhelm the music. It falls right in line with the music in the mix, giving it a great live feel. This has future single written all over it. Finale ‘Feed My Dog’ slows things down a touch with another slow burner that does not waste one second of its five minutes. The guitar licks are perfectly done and the extended musical section in the song gives me chills before the vocals come back to wrap up the album.

I wrote in another piece here on the site how several huge albums have come out in May between the Wildhearts, the Darts, Glam Skanks, and the Sweet Things. I only have the Glam Skanks yet to hear, but every album in that group has simply killed. This stands tall as an Album of the Year contender and beyond that really as the album is simply a timeless piece of art and a testament to the band. World dominance should be next for them as long as you give this a listen, buy it, and then let your friends, acquaintances, and even your enemies know about it as everyone needs this rock n roll in their lives.

 

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

 

As part of one of my son’s activities at school, I was recently in a theater filled with elementary school age children and parents watching the new kids’ movie ‘Ugly Dolls.’ It obviously would not be a movie I would be watching if my wife and I didn’t have children, but the time as a family is priceless. I am sometimes amazed by how much I know about Peppa the Pig, the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and the like. I have seen Thomas the Train and the Cat in the Hat get eclipsed over time with these other shows and movie characters.

 

I have lamented the lack of importance and value of music in today’s world. There seem to be fewer and fewer well-known bands and artists creating a legacy and leaving an imprint than in previous generations. Over the years, music has been a powerful tool for people from a personal level to a societal level. It has provided comfort to us when needed to help us in our times of need as well as been a soundtrack for great moments. It has courted the ire of the powers that be due to its ability to unite people behind a common goal   It has been condemned as a tool of a devil and the inspiration for teenage debauchery. I love going back through time and discovering old music. Time machines do not exist, but there is something magical about losing myself in old songs and imagining life at that time, whether it is Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five, Chuck Berry, Janis Joplin, or another artist. I love knowing what was happening at the time, what inspired the songs, and information about the artists. Those artists have also transcended time and continue to be widely known.

 

I do not see music resonating with as many people the same way today though. Music has become an inessential afterthought to the mainstream in many ways. With the internet, we have lost some of the iconic moments such as what it meant to be on the cover of Rolling Stone, being the musical artist on Saturday Night Live, having a video world premier on MTV, etc. These were significant things in our culture in the past. Musical genre did not matter as there were stars in seemingly every genre who would cross lines in terms of popularity. For example, I did not listen to country but knew who the artists were. In the 80’s, I was mainly a metal head, but my seeds of listening to everything were also planted at that time. I was listening to oldies as well as bands like Jesus and Mary Chain, INXS, and NWA. I didn’t realize at the time just how costly this form of salvation would cost me in the years to come. I even got an electric guitar around the age of 14 and had to come to grips with a hard truth- I have not one ounce of musical talent anywhere in my body. It did not stop me though from creating my own rock band in my head, writing songs (lyrics), and imagining giving interviews. After all, I had read that was what Joe Elliot of Def Leppard had done when he was younger.

I wasn’t thinking about any of this when the movie started the other night. I was wondering how loud all the kids would be during the movie, how bad the storm was outside, which way to go if one of my kids needed to go to the bathroom, and a hundred other thoughts. We sat through what seemed like 20 previews before ‘Ugly Dolls’ finally started. Almost immediately, we had the main character starting to sing a song and then other characters were contributing lines to the song. While I will say the poppy genre didn’t do it for me, I appreciated that it began with a song. Pretty soon, we had another song and then another.

 

Each song propelled the narrative in a way to engage the kids’ attention. My mind began to go down other avenues now where I thought about so many of the other animated movies and the songs that are attached to them. I have never been unfortunate enough to sit through ‘Frozen,’ but I know the hook from ‘Let It Go’ like it has been cut into my brain with a rusty nail. I can still hear the ‘Thomas the Train’ theme in my head. Just think of all the music in ‘Shrek,’ it is one of the reasons I really liked the movie. When ‘Trolls’ was recently released, both of my kids loved the music and wanted the soundtrack so they could sing along. If they hear any of the songs from the movie, they are dancing, singing, and letting me know it is from ‘Trolls.’ With all this flooding my mind, I started wondering where we are losing our passion for music and our willingness to support the artists. Kids obviously still love music. On a side note, one of my favorite scenes from ‘The Hangover’ is when Stu sings his short song while the tiger passes out from the roofies.

 

Twice per week, my son has a music class where he is exposed to different musical instruments and songs. They learn to sing songs, and some of them perform for us during the school year. I remember doing the same thing when I was in elementary school and thinking ‘Silver Bells’ was the best Christmas song in the world. I can’t tell you why; there was just something about it at that time. Band was important, even at that age to many students as they were already playing instruments, even if it wasn’t always what they wanted to be doing. Now, we have education budgets under fire with the arts being one of the first to always be on the cutting board. Perhaps, that was the same in the ’80s, and it just wasn’t part of my world at the time as I was too busy in sports to think about trying to play music. I can’t help but think though that it is part of where music as a cultural phenomena is struggling. It is being minimized, and that message is making it down to the kids.

Another possible factor is truly ironic to me. We have too much music which truly spreads popularity across so many artists that there are fewer and fewer icons. For those of us that love music, we are constantly discovering new bands and artists from all over the world. Within a day, I may discover several bands that I love such as the Dead Furies from Estonia or the Fadeaways from Japan. I might not have ever heard of these bands though back before the Internet. I am incredibly happy to have found them because I love the music. It can start to spread us thin though because there are only so many hours in a day. This month I find myself extremely excited that there are four new releases released I have been anticipating- the Darts, the Wildhearts, the Sweet Things, and the Glam Skanks. I imagine there will be someone else that suddenly appears which will also connect with me. How do I find the time to listen to all of them? Seriously, I am open to ideas on this one as the Darts and Wildhearts are already on constant rotation.

 

As the final song in ‘Ugly Dolls’ set up the final scene where the doll’s dream of being with a child is realized, I was pulled out of my thoughts and back to the hustle and bustle of getting out of the theater. I ultimately have hope that kids today will help us rediscover music and get it back to where it belongs in society. There is something to be said about people being able to remember more through the power of music such as recent studies of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s have revealed.

 

I don’t think the platform to truly demonstrate the power of music has found itself again yet. Print magazines have sadly continued to disappear with the decline of book stores making that even more prevalent. We have wonderful music sites like this one, but we need to be in front of more people. We can be an excellent conduit for new music to the people who try and say there is no great music being made. It is being made, and it can be found all around the globe. It just takes a little more digging because it is not in heavy rotation on MTV or all over magazines at the check stands. People also do not have the record stores to lose themselves in and discover a hidden gem. The music is out there though. Let’s each make sure that we remember to tell others what music means to us, what music moves us, and why we need it in our lives.

 

Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

COMPULSIONS Front Man Returns From Road, Releases Album Teaser Featuring ROLLING STONES Cover (Feat. GUNS N’ ROSES, RAGING SLAB Players)

From camping out in the recording studio with an army of killer New York musicians to racing around England and Germany on a co-headlining tour with
CRYBABYS front man, Darrell Bath (DOGS D’AMOUR, IAN HUNTER, UK SUBS), 2018 has been a busy year for COMPULSIONS leader, Rob Carlyle.
“I had a blast on the road with Darrell,” says Rob. “It’s rare for me to have that much in common with another musician. But musically speaking, we were two peas in a pod. Anyone who brings Now Look by Ron Wood on tour is all right by me! And after one of the German shows, I’m told someone on Facebook called us ‘The Two Greatest Rockers from Each Side of the Pond.’ So, I guess we did all right (laughs).”


But now that he’s back home, Carlyle’s been back in his second home: the recording studio. The New York-born frontman has been putting the final touches on Ferocious, the follow-up to his wildly acclaimed band’s sophomore effort, Dirty Fun (2015) – a release music scribes spilled much ink over as they favorably compared the underground underdogs to legendary artists such as AEROSMITH, THE NEW YORK DOLLS and THE ROLLING STONES.

“The recording process has taken longer than I expected but then again, we had about thirty tracks in the works,” explains Rob. “And it wasn’t until recently that we narrowed them down to the ten songs that’ll be on (Ferocious). But on the flip side, with the other 20 or so tracks already in progress, we have a great head start on the next couple of albums.”
As he continues to tinker with producer Ken Rich at Grand Street Recording, Rob springs a second Ferocious teaser video on the unsuspecting public.

To quickly backtrack: The first clip was unleashed in late 2017, featuring upcoming ditty, “Dirtbag Blues” – an obscenity-laced spurt of back alley sleaze with none other than Earl Slick (yes, DAVID BOWIE’s guitarist!) delivering a rapid-fire barrage of snarling CHUCK BERRY-style licks and riffs. In addition to Carlyle and Slick, rounding out the “Dirtbag” lineup was ex-NEW YORK DOLLS drummer, Brian Delaney, and ex-RAGING SLAB bassist, Alex Morton

Fast forward to today for the release of a second Ferocious video.

In this latest video, Rob and a seemingly heavily sedated nurse are sprawled out on a dirty basement floor while Rob strums his battered Telecaster. The music features THE COMPULSIONS tearing through THE ROLLING STONES’ country-inspired classic, “Dead Flowers”. The “Flowers” recording lineup consists of two GUNS N’ ROSES alumni, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on guitar heroics and Frank Ferrer on drums, along with Carlyle and Morton in their respective roles – not to mention gospel-tinged backing vocals by Nicki Richards (borrowed from MADONNA and MARIAH CAREY) and boozy barroom piano by Andrew Sherman. The new teaser video featuring “Dead
Flowers”

An official release date for Ferocious has yet to be announced, however, Rob offered this: “I thought we’d release (Ferocious) in 2018, but between working on almost 30 tracks and the tour dates that popped up unexpectedly, we’re gonna now shoot for 2019. In the meantime, I hope everyone gets a kick outta this little clip. And please keep spinning THE COMPULSIONS real loud and please keep telling all your friends about the band. Rock ‘n’ roll needs your love… every little bit counts! God bless!” More COMPULSIONS news is coming soon. Check the website for details