The Fuzztones Celebrate Their 40 Year Anniversary With A Heartfelt Love Letter To Their Home City of yup, you guessed it Noo Yawk City.

When I checked the track list I did a double take as I thumbed down the tracks wondering how these purveyors of wee small hors garage rockers were going to take on the tunes or had I just imagined that Rudi had finally lost his shit and gone for songs I’ve never heard but on the first play, I was on my feet shaking my head grooving like a good un because God damn it Them Fuzztones had only gone and knocked this one out of the park and just when you thought they’d bitten off more than they could chew they would only go and raise the bar a little higher. I mean c’mon, sure going for The Fugs is something I could see, or even the fine rendition of ‘Dancing Barefoot’ closing off the record is done with the utmost respect and perfectly in keeping with the idea that The Fuzztones were going to own this record take these songs and lovingly recreate them into their own unique fuzzed up slice of the big apple.

Opening with a Sinatra classic and making it jive and groove will raise an eyebrow and get people talking but hitting Wayne County ‘Flip Your Wig’ was perhaps more predictable and with the familiar Fuzztones organ honking away towards the chorus its a decent stab but its quite safe. Again The fuzztones tackling the Cramps is a no-brainer and ‘New Kind Of Kick’ is respectfully carved up.

Hold onto your hats kids because their reconstruction of The Ramones ’53rd & 3rd’ is spectacular and I love it.  they’ve nailed the chorus and the vocal delivery from Protrudi is brilliant. ‘Psilocybe’ is spooktacular and then the band let their collective hair down and crack open the harmonica on ‘Skin Flowers’.

I guess the songs I gravitated to the most were The Dead Boys and Dolls tracks so when I heard ‘High Tension Wire’ begin I sat back and appreciated that Rudi and the gang had really excelled on this one with a particularly good vocal. Sure ‘Babylon’ had the organs turned up to eleven and a suitably trashy take on a classic is duly delivered.

Its fair to say I was a bit surprised to see a Blue Oyster Cult track nestled in between some classics and its dwarfed by the version of Mink De Villes ‘Let Me Dream’ which I think pips the original for the groovy guitar work and the harmonica is excellent and whisper it but Rudi Petrudi is having a ball with the vocals.

‘Microdot’ is a take on ‘Chinese Rocks’ and given a royal garage psychedelic wipe down. but the one track I wanted to be done well more than any on offer here was the Dead Boys ‘ Not Anymore’ and its twisted a little by being sped up but the haunting feel is still intact and the lyrics still sound amazing. Could The Fuzztones all take a bow here because they’ve really stepped up here and the reconstructing of some seriously classic songs has really worked well. Leaving only the Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers rare track ‘You Gotta Lose’ being worked over out the back yard with only a switchblade knife between the original and this take and then ‘Dancing Barefoot’ wafts in on a cloud of mysterious substances like some ’60s black and white B movie.

Protrudi & Co have sealed this l-u-v letter with a kiss and swanned off having taken their curtain call and been called back for an encore that they throughly deserve.  To be fair they’ve owned each and every song here and have goven every one the Fuzztones make over and come up trumps because to cover a song and do it justice is a tricky thing but to do it for a whole album is really taking a risk and for and The Fuzztones deserve to own these classics – #Never forget your roots kids and never forget to tip your hat to those who paved the way and gave you the lifeblood coursing through your veins.  The Fuzztones – ‘NYC’ was never in doubt, was it.  Rudi, the Big Apple loves ya man it’s at the core of what you do and you’ve paid your respect in the best most fuzzed-up way. – Buy It!

Buy ‘NYC’ Here

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Author: Dom Daley

I’d heard recently that a certain Mr. Scabies was providing the drums for ex-Ant/Wolfmen bassist and singer Chris Constantinou’s new project. Having played The Wolfmen’s albums to death previously, this was bound to be interesting.

 

It is a side-step in retro sounds, to these ears. Most musicians ape the 60s, but this is firmly in the “90s take on psychedelia” territory. Hang on! That’s not as bad as it sounds. While Chris didn’t play on Adam Ant’s ‘Wonderful’ album from 1995, tracks like ‘Beautiful Losers’ and ‘Definition’ wouldn’t sound out of place there. He’s learnt something from the backing vocals, for sure. ‘Rain’ is woozy, psyche-pop, with the effortless basslines we’d expect.

 

‘Kings X Guru’ has Rat providing the groovy, Beatles rhythms. ‘Andy’s Wonder World’, musically at least, reminds me of The Dowling Poole’s more laid back moments. ‘Kill Me If You Love Me’ is more chorus friendly, while ‘2% Out’ could see you frugging round the sofa with your maracas, man.

 

It certainly has a character, as an album, and Chris obviously knows what he wants. I’d have liked a few more uptempo songs, but that isn’t really what this is about. ‘I Like Sex In The Suburbs’ is what Liam G should be singing, and ‘Gerry’s Ashes’ is reminiscent of ‘Floodland’ era Sisters. So, an interesting set of songs, if you’re in a mellower mood.

Buy 2% Out Of Sync’ Here

Author: Martin Chamarette

When two legends join forces it should be something to get excited about.  Hype it up baby I say.  If you were to mention Radio Birdman or ‘Raw Power’ by the stooges people who know a thing or two about Rock and Roll would pin their ears back and rub their hands at the prospect of the two guitar player making a record together.  Following in the footsteps of previous pioneers such as Wayne Kramer and Brian James or the ill-fated union of Johnny Thunders and Wayne Kramer the prospect of James Williamson and Deniz Tek joining forces is a mouth-watering prospect.

Wait no more pop pickers for ‘Two To One’ is here the two legendry six-string players and let me tell you it doesn’t disappoint in any way shape or form.

Sure the opener ‘Jet Pack Nightmare’ is a wall of hard-rockin’ guitars sounding like prime time Thin Lizzy rocking on a garage rock backbeat and no sooner has it hit the speakers are you immediately taken to that place where music fans grin from ear to ear and know that these two are about and they compliment one and other perfectly. Scandinavia has spent decades trading off the work of these two and bands like the Hellacopters owe a huge debt to their skills and now the old dogs are about to teach a few new tricks.

Reading the pair’s mutual admiration for each others work both historically and current is heartwarming and the fact that they both found the time to do this is a real triumph.  Williamson’s last foray into the recording world was the most excellent ‘Relicked’ album but that was a whole six years ago! so having Deniz on board was an exciting proposition.  The lead track ‘Stable’ sure has that guttural ‘Raw Power’ ‘Kill City’ sludge to it and its begging to be played at volume –  where it really excels and sounds best and the inclusion of the one-note piano is a classic touch.

To be fair I was wondering how the vocals would be split and if they had the chops to pull it off. To be fair I don’t know why I doubted either because they stay in their comfort zone and the low almost spoken tones really work to temper the rough edges of some of those raw guitar licks and has an air of reassurance about the vocals throughout the record.

 

The pair take on subjects like ‘Climate Change’ and are a match for any band making garage rock and roll records in 2020. The enjoyment shines through as does the effortless quality riffs as they fly out of the speakers.  Its not all raw power mind, they crack open the melodic, restrained laid back tones for the likes of ‘Take A Look Around’ with some impressive harmonies and the excellent acoustic-driven ‘Small Change’ which add depth to the record not that it would have been boring had it just been eleven driving proto-punk anthems but by the sounds of it this was a well-thought piece of work and not thrown together.

As the album wears on, its the changing of gears that make this record one of the best I’ve heard all year.  The restrained build of ‘No Dreams’ and the widescreen lyrics that draw you in are excellent. The closing track ‘Mellisa Blue’ is more Lou Reid than Iggy Pop and by the sounds of it, the pair have taken the time to write a great record and not just live out what people would expect them to be for one last hurrah! The reason these two can still make records like this is that they are great songwriters and their catalogue of music will tell anyone that. It’s not luck, its skill and talent and it’s one of those ideas that came together and just feels right. By the sounds of it ‘Two To One’ is all killer and no filler, maybe the next one can be called ‘One Becomes Two’  what d’ya think? take my advice and just Buy It!

 

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Author: Dom Daley

 

A couple of years ago I just happened to bump into Rose Tattoo’s Angry Anderson at Hellfest for the briefest of chats following the band’s blistering set on the festival’s main stage. He let it slip to me that the line up (albeit minus the stand-in drummer at the time) would soon be hitting the studio to record the first Tatts album since 2007’s ‘Blood Brothers’ and I must admit that at that point my inner Rose Tattoo fan did do a little fist pump.

As 2019 drew to a close I then happened upon the fact that said album was finally due to be released in early March 2020 and it would be entitled ‘Outlaws’, BUT as a rockin’ amigo of mine was quick to point out…whilst it may be a new album it wasn’t really new material being recorded. That’s because ‘Outlaws’ is the band’s SEMINAL ten track debut record re-recorded complete with three bonus tracks; songs originally written during that era but not originally on the debut.

On learning this my initial gut reaction I must admit was to holler ”WWWWHHHHHYYYYY?” I mean how can you improve something that is already perfect?

Winding my neck in for a minute and recalling having once seen a Rose Tattoo show at Dudley JBs where Angry (suitably refreshed, due to it being his birthday) totally reworked the vocals on most of the band’s back catalogue, I was now more than just a little bit intrigued to see what this would sound like. Plus, when you also factor in this line up now also boasts the talents of Mark Evans (ex-AC/DC) on bass, (ex-Skyhooks and The Angels) guitarist Bob Spencer, slide guitar player Dai Pritchard (who had been hand-picked by the legendary Pete Wells to replace him not long before he passed away from cancer) along with (Jimmy Barnes’ son) Jackie Barnes now behind the kit, it must at least be a half-decent record right?

Well, yes of course it is, not least because it’s well recorded, the performances are tight (albeit Angry does a bit AWOL on a couple of tracks, not least the “ahem” bluesy love song ‘Rosetta’ where he kind of vocally jams around the tune – let’s not forget he is 72 though), and as I mentioned above a few of the classic tracks do get some fresh air in their lungs (especially a bruising ‘Remedy’ and an almost Faces-like take of ‘Snow Queen’ which are both excellent) thanks to this great line up of the band.

HOWEVER, then when it suddenly sinks in that (if you live in the UK) it’s going to cost you £30 plus just to own ‘Outlaws’ on limited edition coloured vinyl or £15 on CD I come to the collusion that I’ll probably just stick with the much cheaper option of simply streaming it (and that’s the platform I’m reviewing this from here), as its most certainly not as one Amazon reviewer insanely claimed “better than the original”.

‘Outlaws’ is still very much a decent Rose Tattoo album though; it’s just that it feels more like one of those bonus discs reformed stadium rock bands recorded when they released new material. You know that limited bonus “hits” disc to try and attract older lapsed fans back into buying new music once again. So, as such ‘Outlaws’ is something of a disappointment, especially after the quality ‘Pain’ and ‘Blood Brothers’ records that preceded it.

Who was it again that said “always trust your gut reaction?”

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Author: Johnny Hayward

This fully restored and expanded set from Woolwich Coronet This 2020 version has been newly remastered and includes several tracks that were left off the original release! Includes all-new artwork with full liner notes and a personal message from drummer Rat Scabies !

Available on both digipak CD and a 2LP vinyl set in your choice of either RED or BLUE vinyl! I had this when it first came out many moons ago and loved it.  It captured the band at the time perfectly.  whilst they might have been at a commercial career-high the studio albums were a bit beige around the time of MCA but live they still had it and that tour was a blaze of fun.

Expanded to nineteen tracks this is well worth tracking down and getting hold of from the opening keyboards of ‘Curtain Call’ they were on fire. The quality of the recording is good as well not overdubbed nor flat this is a picture of a band living it large and doing it well. As you would expect there is a decent smattering of tracks from ‘Phantasmagoria’ and ‘Shadow Of Love’ particularly sound great. As does the much-maligned ‘Grimly Fiendish’ that I quite enjoy hearing live these days and back in the day or the mid-’80s to be precise it was quite a departure. It seems odd to hear tracks like ‘There’ll Come A Day’ played so fast and full of energy. that tour with The Fuzztones was exceptional and I have such fond memories of Cardiff New Ocean Club.

‘Gun Fury’ makes me smile as does the version of ‘Lust For Life’ 1985 seems like yesterday but its also so long ago.  when the Damned could have been and should have been we are left nuggets of pure Gold like this recording to remind us that it doesn’t matter what happened commercially because they were always the best and still are capable of amazing shows and the odd record that ignites a fire inside my heart and it seems odd to hear them end the set with a one two of ‘Disco Man’ Val Doonigan style followed by a rip-roaring slash of ‘Born To Kill’  If only all bands were this good.  Don’t think twice just buy it and revel in it. Fiendishly good!

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Author: Dom Daley

It only seemed like yesterday that The Brutalists breezed through the door with an album that made many people sit up and pay attention as these seasoned pros (I’m sure they won’t mind that) used every sinew of nous between them to craft one of last years best debut albums. I’m pleased to announce that 2019 they’ve seen fit to put on their dapper zoot suits and loafers and jump on their Lambretta’s to deliver their sophomore album ‘We Are Not Here To Help You’.

Let’s get straight down to business with ‘Leave IT Out’ (try not to put on your best arfu Daley when saying that. It’s bright and breezy as it ducks and dives around in its pork pie hat and finest Mod fretwork.  With a nod and a wink to the ’60s rhythm and blues we’re right on it. What you might call a right solid opener.  Not spectacular and certainly not disappointing. The guitar playing is tasty and the solo is retro tastic.

It’s not about the singer its not about the image it’s about the song and These Brutalists have got a duffle bag full of ’em. Nigel Mogg guitarist/vocalist Kent Holmes, bassist Robert Cripps and vocalist/drummer Charlie Nice are knocking out a really good legacy of tunes as The Brutalists ‘If I Just Do Nothing Now’ is complimented by a really sweet rolling organ underneath the melody as that Cockney charm is given a workout.

‘Take It All Away’ gets a bit Bowie funky on us and shows that this isn’t just a one-trick pony although it fits in with the bigger picture it’s more akin to the Stones around their ‘Emotional Rescue’ phase perhaps even on the middle eight it has shades of Japan or a more pop sensible Hanoi Rocks I kid you not. ‘Something To Say’ falls outta Notting Hill in the late ’70s and no doubt Mogg gets his best Strummer happening as the band chill out and kick back. Getting a little deeper in their Ska ‘Price On Your Head’ is an excellent bit of skank as the musicians really cut loose.

If you never heard the debut and thought you might be picking up a Rock album considering the LA Guns and Quireboys connections then I suggest you take a deep breath and open your mind to new sounds because this isn’t like either this is something else entirely with elements of the Small Faces and the Clash mixed with some Rock and Roll and Ska this is a mixed bag for sure but its the sound of a band really working on their songs and delivering another impressive record ‘You Got Nothing On Me’ rocks it up to compliment the laid back vibe of the previous few tracks but essentially this is a band comfortable making music they want to hear and writing the second album of really strong material it might be lacking the instant appeal of the first one based on the fact that I expected to hear something along the lines of what they deliver and I’m glad to report that it doesn’t disappoint.

Fear not rockers because ‘Useless Information’ is a sweet little rock and roller.  If only Keith and Mick could put an album together as good as this these days fans would be drooling. The last part of the album is definitely in Stones territory and the sum up this album on the final track ‘It Was Never Meant To Be  So Easy’ well, that’s certainly what they make this Rock and Roll business sound like, It’s not a piece of piss is it? but the Brutalists make it sound like that.  I strongly suggest you at least check this out but I’d go further and say just Buy it you won’t be disappointed.

Buy We Are Not Here To Help You Here

Author: Dom Daley

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This has been a really strange review for me, it’s, in fact, the second review I’ve written for it, I scrapped the first thinking it just didn’t fit. Not easy this reviewing lark!!! I mean come on I loved the Beat, love Ska, have very definite reggae roots but something wasn’t fitting with this LP. Maybe before I heard it I had too fixed a perception of what it was going to sound like, maybe it ticked too many of my boxes and I just ran out of things to say? Who knows, but here we go the second stab.

 

Opener ‘Rebel Down’ skanks out of the speakers, Ska with a great punk edge, I can imagine the band opening with this baby and sending a venue mad. Next up “Tattoo King “slows things down with a more traditional Ska beat, grounded in the dancehall as does next up “When I call Your Name”. There’s almost a Lovers Rock lilt to “Girl and Boy”, yeah it holds on to that Ska underpinning but drifts across the reggae genres. I suppose I was expected more of the excitement generated by the beat, but let’s be honest musicians tend to gravitate towards their roots or influences.

 

Next up “Be As One” picks up the pace, but feels restrained, almost held back, but again definitely a track I can see in the live arena really exploding getting the place moving. Next up “Wrong Shoes” again skanks nicely but has that feeling of restraint, something being held back. There’s a pattern developing here!!  “Original Rudegirl Sound” again Skanks out of the speakers but doesn’t explode in the way it could. live I think this would be stunning, I just wish it didn’t feel so held back. “Why Oh Why” again hits almost a Lovers Rock vibe, only the horns hinting at its underpinning, I sound like a broken record this would sound great exploding off the stage, the dual vocals countering each other could give it a real edge. “Ska to the Beat” strays into Madness territory, but with a more traditional feel, this could almost have come out of the sixties dancehall sound in Jamaica.

 

Next up “Dirty little Liar” again hits that traditional Ska sound and in all honesty prior to next up “Way of Life” the LP had begun to lose me, this to me is probably the stand out track on the LP, it kicks some serious ass, skankin’ as it should but then we drift with “Way I love you” and “Woulda Coulda Shoulda”.

 

Now if you’ve read this far you’d probably think, well is it a good LP or not? Truth is I’m really not sure what I think. As a traditional Ska LP, it ticks every box, live I can really see it sending a venue into a frenzy, as the band did at this year’s Rebellion Festival. But for me something’s not quite right it feels restrained, almost lacking in confidence, not quite sure of its place or time, almost held back, let the fucker explode!!!! This could be immense.  I suppose that’s why I’ve written this twice, live it would be absolutely immense but on LP it hasn’t quite done it for me.

Buy Rude Rebels Here 

Author: Neville Brooks