Hooray, another day another new album from the Last Ramone in through the door to shout 1-2-3-4. Solo album number four I believe and once again Fat Wreck Chords have got CJ Ramones back.
What does it sound like? What do you think it’s going to sound like doofus! C’mon its like a guy who joined one of the best gangs ever, made some records with them, toured the world and lived the dream. Sure when that all stopped it must have been weird – so take a break recharge the batteries and come back doing exactly what you do you’ve earned it (who wouldn’t) To be fair since being back in the saddle he has made consistently good records under the name CJ Ramone.
He never fell out of love with punk rock and I’m delighted to say that this one is more of the same. I don’t want my Ramones to break new ground; do industrial, rap, murder ballads or grime. Hell, I want a steady beat (‘This Town’) I want catchy sing-a-long Chorus and loud guitars. The occasional hand clap and maybe a dozen songs that put a smile on my face and that’s exactly what CJ does. Thank God for that.
There are covers like the awesome ‘Crawling From The Wreckage’ to be fair you have to go some to mess that one up and this is a particularly good take. I mean Dave Edmunds is a legend around these parts so why not tip the hat and give it a good run through besides CJ know it a top tune. There are highs such as ‘Waiting On The Sun’ wait what’s this an acoustic guitar and some brushes on a snare? Sure is, ‘Hands Of Mine’ is a curveball but man what a great song. CJ’s vocals are warm and the songs flows like a late night red. A lovely tune and another string to the bow methinks.
Worry not punks ‘There Stands The Glass’ is fast and furious and back in the groove and a great cover it is too. Some Cowpunk al a Supersuckers on ‘Moving On’ and in the home straight CJ pumps a fist in the air on ‘Stand Up’ something he’s always done so well. ‘Blue Skies’ is timeless with a great hook and melody.
Closing this record with ‘Rock On’ is a beauty and a tribute to Steve Soto who passed away last year just before his band the Adolescents played Rebellion which was a moving performance and fitting tribute to their brother and bandmate and this is a heartfelt tribute and one I’m sure Steve would have been proud to hear and I’ve no doubt there will be a ray of sunshine shine down on CJ whenever he plays this live.
Another day another great record fro CJ Ramone and long may it continue. the Holy Spirit is with us all God Bless you CJ Ramone!
Seeing as its the last roundup of 45’s in 2018 we check out some recently released singles as well as look forward to some about to hit the shelves of virtual stores (mainly) and gawp at some videos made. here goes.
First off you might have gathered already here at RPM that there are bands we believe in wholeheartedly and right at the top of that list is without doubt shit islands darlings of the underground The Hip Priests. They have a brand new album in the bag ready to unleash on us mear mortals early in 2019 and I’ve been reliably informed that it is going to blow us away so when they said they had a split recorded and ready for release how could we turn down a sneak peek at the masters of garage punk rock n fucking roll and their awesome new split featuring a pretty impressive Satanic Overlords.
The Hip Priests/The Satanic Overlords – Split (Gods Candy Records)
with their usual promised exclusive for the Spasm Gang issue this blindingly good EP kicks off with ‘Press Darlings’ and as far as I can hear its a profanity-free bundle of pure energy and a chorus that you will just want to shout back at Von Cruz when you catch them live. The bulked-up duel guitar attack of Silent Mike and Austin Smith is a real force here and at a time when Shit Island is crying out for bands to rise up and rally, the Hip Priests are front – centre. I’d go over the top with these guys as long as ‘The Nihilist Twist’ was playing from the circling choppers. Now its fair to say when they’ve done splits before they’ve not shied away from a challenge as bands like the mighty Dwarves have accompanied them. I have to say these two songs from The Satanic Overlords give The Priests as close a run for their money than any predecessor has as their superb take on ‘Beat My Guest’ is a killer and the delivery is pure proto-punk that would raise an eyebrow from Handsome Dick if he were to hear this bad boy.
V8 Interceptor – Steamin (self Release) Well next up we have a video shot in a caravan. Awesome? Fuckin’ right it is in a mobile home for God’s sake – enjoy
Andy McCoy – Soul Satisfaction (Ainoa Productions Oy)
Its been a while since we’ve had any new music from the most talented guitar slinger of a generation and it was this time last year when he released his one track Christmas single so this is a most welcome CD to emerge from Finland. My only complaint about this is a four-song CD single for the price of an album is a bit of a sting but on inspection the fourth track ‘Wild Kingdom’ is listed as being a non album track which would suggest that the sheriff has an album all wrapped up and ready to go which is exciting and by the sounds of these songs its certainly going to please the purists amongst us who want to hear the king of the six-string knock out something along the lines of ‘Too Much Too Soon’ or ‘Building On Tradition’ and not Grease Helmet. The lead track is a rocker with a whole bunch of that McCoy magic built around a rolling riff and a big groove with his unmistakable drawl capping off a fine tune. Now ‘Gimme Time’ starts off with some super cool sax and then a gentle paced song that is a step in the right direction – great song! ‘Bible And A Gun’ is a honky-tonk romp as is the non album track of ‘Wild Talk’ plenty of bluster and a rollicking piano laying the foundation for McCoy to do his thing. Welcome back Andy we’ve missed you now get this album done we need it! Facebook
CJ Ramone – Christmas Lullaby (Fat Wreck Chords) With a month full of big hitters CJ is in great company and with the first and only festive 45. Two track one being a cover of The Kinks ‘Father Christmas’ and the other being the lead track ‘Christmas Lullaby’ being a classic Ramones lite Crimbo tune the only thing its missing is some sleigh bells oh wait, hang on – there they are. Well done CJ for taking this on. In a world that’s gone to shit and left fights right on every turn the festive tunes seem to have dried up until now. Its warm and fuzzy and a little bit of festive fuzz from CJ. His rework of the Kinks tune is more what you’d expect from a former Ramone bruda.
Alvin Gibbs & the Disobedient Servants – Ghost Train (Time & Matter Records) An album that has really got us excited here at RPM is the soon to be released long player from UK Subs four stringer Alvin Gibbs. Alvin has put together a two-track taster from the album in the shape of a traditional two-track seven-inch record with amazing artwork from Gaye Advert this features a plethora of special guests that would be a veritable whos who of punk rock n roll and on the one side you have the fantastic ‘Ghost Train’ which is Alvin looking at mortality because lets face it, none of us are getting any younger it sounds like the finest bit of punk rock n roll Iggy never wrote. It would have fitted in on his Brick by Brick album with its meandering rhythm it’s a real grower that you’ll find yourself humming long after the song has finished. Make some room for the flip side as ‘Clumbsy Fingers’ is spectacular and has Alvin’s motoring bass line that really attacks your core. Now if Guns n Rose were to announce a new single and they played this on the radio there would be a collective wetting of gentlemen’s undercrackers and the magazines would be clamoring over themselves to tell you how good it is so with a bonkers solo from the one and only Brian James to boot it falls to me to tell you that if there are any left you really do need to pick one up – Pronto! Buy Alvin Gibbs Here
Young Skulls – Bomb Train Blues’ (Slovenly Records) With a swirling organ and a frantic beat Young Skulls have got this garage punk rock n roll thing off to a tee and with the opener ‘Bomb Train Blues’ they scream and howl their way into my brain with relative ease because this is excellent. Continuing the locomotive theme (and I thought it was Christmas) on the B Side is a slower but none the less agressive menacing ‘We’re Gone’ its wreckless and exciting as it pounds towards its natural death They’re not fucking about here kids there are no festive jingle bells or chestnuts roasting on an open fire just raw vital garage punk rock. check em out Bandcamp
The Troubled Bones – Broken Biscuits EP (Self Release) Its a longish story why its taken this one so long to get onto RPM but its here now and that’s all that counts. Leading the way is the brooding slow burn of ‘Broken Biscuits’ with its hand jive rhythm it’s walking a path previously trodden (more recently) by the likes of Jim Jones and at times the Urban Voodoo Machine Trouble Bones understands what it takes to make good music and do it with aplomb. With their roots in a blues-based voodoo swamp rock thang, there are traces of the Cramps in this and ‘Ma Cherie’ is a great number with its waft of European chic there is a certain Joie de vivre to proceedings and a most enjoyable EP it is too. Check out them Troubled Bones at the link and tell em RPM sent you facebook
Ditchbanger Demos (Self Release) I daren’t not give these gents a few words after contacting us as one look of their artwork it could be my ditch they’re diggin’. Coming out of the big smoke this three-piece aren’t fucking about with a thrashing punk rock n roll that isn’t taking any prisoners and from the off ‘Light A Fire (Under YOur Ass) is like the classic Uncle Sam heaven or Hollywood album in delivery. Sure its a demo but who gives a fuck eh? I like it – I like it a lot and it might be the heartwarming sound of three mates kicking out the jams and being their own biggest fans its a beautiful thing. ‘Moosehead’ is like old school speedrock just like Zeke and before you can blink its gone but fear not because they save the best til last and ‘Pure Hell’ is unleashed. Great stuff look forward to hearing what’s coming next. Bandcamp
How about a video to break things up a little? Well, you’re getting it anyway. here goes…Radar State with ‘Strays’ from their soon to be released long player coming out in January 2019
The Blankz – (Its A) Breakdown (Slope Records) Power Poppin’ punk rockin’ this is a great tune from Arizonians its got a huge new wave synth right through its DNA its gonna’ make you pogo pogo from start to finish with its simple lyrics especially on the B Side ‘You’re Not My Friend Anymore’ its happy go lucky but I’ll be friends with The Blankz if they’re asking they play music I love and do it oh so well and a band that will certainly be on the RPM radar from now on. Simpe no fuss punk rock new wave – love it! Bandcamp
Baby Blue / Triple Junk – ‘Rock N Roll Or What?’ I always love it when a record crops up and I don’t know why or how it got to circle my orbit and stick around but I am grateful it has and this certainly fits that category. Hailing from Tokyo Baby Blue deliver power pop goodness in the shape of two tracks with the first being a straight-ahead rocker in the shape of ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Your Sorry’ with a great hook on the chorus whilst the second offering is a more laid back ‘I Can’t Let You Go’ a classic slower number that’ll let you wave your lighters in the air whilst slow dancing. flip it over and Triple Junk turn up the amps with the perfect accompaniment. Playing classic power pop and playing it really well. ‘Tax’ being the pick of the two it reminds me of The Breakdowns and Classic Cheap trick now there’s big shoes to fill. Bandcamp
Well, that’s your starting eleven for the festive campaign. Some to get excited over and some to hunt down but hopefully, I’ve made it easier for you to find your new favourite band so click on the links and check em out see you all in 2019 keep it RPM for all your 45’s.
After a quick jaunt across Europe, The DeRellas have been announced to perform at next years Rebellion festival on the back of an excellent show in the Opera House this past August. Joining them will be Headliners Cock Sparrer as well as the excellent CJ Ramone so already its shaping up to be a fantastic lineup. We’ll keep you posted as other acts are announced.