A few years ago Sonny Vincent’s family were the victims of a terrible life-changing accident. Sonny at the time was living in Europe and plying his trade playing Rock and Roll for a living.  The former Testors frontman dropped everything to be by his family’s side and care for his loved ones.

The American health system is what it is meant that Sonny has had to graft and fight for every single bandage and rubber glove since that fateful night.  Unable to do what he does Sonny has been by his family’s side since and through the kindness of others has kept his head above water and there was a compilation album released where the proceeds went to Sonny and his family’s medical costs and now after taking pre-orders it was a no brainer to part with a small donation and get a double CD in return of 32 covers of Testors songs from all over the globe.  Many will be unknown to most some will be known to many so without further delay lets dig in.

Now out of the 32 tracks on offer the only gripe I have which is a minor gripe but did half a dozen bands have to record ‘Bad Attitude’ and another few recorded ‘Zooed Out’ or ‘Together’.  Picky I know but maybe it might have been better for them to toss in an original song influenced by Testors I dunno, oh stop moaning I know I know.

First up on disc one is The Enders ripping through ‘Madras Prison’ and it sort of sets the tone for what’s to come and that’s a full force compilation album of dedicated punk rock and rollas doing what they do best and helping a brother when he needs a hand. Take a deep breath because this is a rocket-fuelled ride – hold on to your undercrackers because Baby Shitters own ‘Tracy McPrichtease’ and the solo rips and I’m sure when Sonny heard this he raised an eyebrow at least.

I actually own the Black Cat Rebellion album so I’m aware of these guys and their contribution is quality and sleazy. Another I’m up to speed with is Zodiac Panthers and their take is caustic and fired up and ‘Primitive’.  I ain’t ever heard of the Electric Tool City Boys but they blast through ‘Bad Attitude’ and give it some of their own attitude as they take it, strip it back and kick it around for a while before  doing it all again faster and harder this is turning out to be one hell of a compilation album with bands I’ve never heard of really impressing me.  I’ll be honest there isn’t a bad track on offer here and the bands chosen deserve so much credit as does whoever put this together because I bow down to their superior knowledge of underground punk n roll n trash rock n roll because there are so many awesome bands on this CD its insane.

It’s not really until the tenth track when Frank Makak kicks back and plays ‘Rainy Night’ at less than full tilt and I needed the breather and when it’s as good as this I just smile. things do pick up again mind as you’d expect.  the first disc is brought to a close with Les Lullies knocking out a rampant ‘Bad Attitude’ aaaaand breath, hell, go for a lie-down CD two is coming up.

Not a name I was expecting to see on this punk tribute was that of Scandinavian Black Metal legends Darkthrone but fuck me sideways ‘Bad Attitude’ is apt and theirs is a punk as fuck version even if its not that much of a stretch from Black Metal to punk  its great to hear them pay their dues and do it so well.  you also have Simon Chainsaw rockin’ up with his offering of ‘You Don’t Break My Heart’. After Flesh Rag tip up with the third interpretation of ‘Bad Attitude’ as well as it’s delivered maybe there should have been a limit to what you could record.

A band several of us rave over is Londons Los Pepes who offer up ‘Together’ in their own style and with their harmonies its the obvious choice and exceptionally delivered. Clockwork Boys from Lisboa deliver ‘Morte’ (Its Only Death) and jolly good it is too (as you’d expect).

You do get four versions back to back of ‘Together’ with the Psychotic Turnbuckles delivering a live version that sounds like an old school bootleg played in a bucket of water but hey it’s punk rock yeah? Hell yeah! and to be fair it’s a world away from Lester Greenowski’s take on the same track all smokey and late-night an excellent take on a classic. But wait Billy The Kidd has done the last version and its a sparse piano ballad, not something I saw coming thats for sure so lumping these same songs together is fine as the interpretations are magnificent making this one hell of a tribute album leaing just Cheap Damage to play ‘Scary’ with strings n all making it very seductive indeed. Closing off the whole shebang is The DC Spectres with ‘Sonny Vincent Knows’ and what a splendid way to end this CD.  Some garage punk played by people who give a shit and care about their brothers and sisters on the other side of the pond.

Big Hearted bands help because they care about Sonny and his family now dig deep people and share the love and in return, you’ll get your hands on a mighty fine compilation CD with some great playing of some great Testors tunes.  Now don’t hang about get on it! Now!!!

 

Author: Dom Daley

Order now!!- TESTORS ‘COVERS’ Double CD Benefit ALBUM !!
$15 USA
$22 Europe
includes shipping!
https://paypal.me/sonnyvincent?locale.x=en_US

or go to directly to Sonnys PayPal address and send as gift for family/friend.
His PayPal is-

sonnyvincentpersonalmail@gmail.com
(Include your mailing address in the PayPal note!)

You can also contact him on facebook about sending a check and other ways to order this Album!!

This one has long been on the list of must-attend no excuses shows.  Regardless of what else might be on a few miles away as tonight Matthew the hills are alive with the sound of music.  But, there was only one place RPM Online was going to be. With all due respect to other venues in the region and other events taking place this was the only Rodeo we were interested in.

First up – Red Light Syndrome. Ably led by Craigy Rees on vocals and guitar this four-piece are somewhere between Husker du, Lemonheads and early Soul Asylum and to be fair they have crafted some really excellent songs that on first listen sound epic. Opening with ‘Stop’ the quality and passion were evident. In their brief set, they managed to impress those clued up people wise enough to come to see all the bands on offer and it’s obvious they have an understanding of the music that inspired them to put these chords together and write music. Bands like The Replacements spring to mind – sure it’s early in proceedings to lay such mammoth role models upon them but if you’re going to aspire to anyone it might as well be the best in the genre. The excellent ‘See Things Through’ was a highlight much like the closing ‘6 Feet Bellow’ and ‘Heartburn’ what a great opener.

Deathtraps.  what can I say about the band who I’ve seen more than my own kids recently – everywhere I go they seem to be as well (not that I’m complaining mind), getting on the bill of some great shows lately and every time I see them they improve on the last time to be fair.  (Regardless of that being the night before in this case but you know what I mean) With a decent crowd in front of them, they get to work on demolishing some of their finest tunes (and a few new ones to boot).  To be fair the band are hot (not in that way) – na, make that red hot at the moment and playing all these shows are turning people onto their uncompromising Action Rock and Roll as they hammer it home. It’s good that Both Fraser and VJ share vocal duties to mix it up as they motor through the setlist lurching from the bulldozer punk rock not quite as speedy as a Zeke more your Rocket From The Crypt with some of the chord-heavy chops like the outstanding ‘Cool Kids’ which again sounds excellent.  I can assure you that Rock and Roll isn’t anywhere near dead with bands like this knocking it out and playing plenty of shows with a variety of bands will win them an ever-increasing following. More of the same next time, please (which I’m sure won’t be far away).

DC Spectres are on next and a twist on the Rock and Roll melon man with their garage fuzz fix high on the menu. With the heat in the venue meaning the walls are perspiring its nice to relax with some Psych fuzzed up surf punk (if there’s such a genre).  Imagine The Fuzztones jamming on The Cramps inspired by those Stooges and your somewhere in the same ballpark.  As the set got going they really hit their groove and for about ten minutes they were on fire until the dreaded technical hitch sidelined them briefly. Those damned guitar string breaks and the momentum is halted. By the time the band have regrouped and got going again, there wasn’t enough time to regain the same momentum  I do think they did enough in half an hour to impress the ever crowd that had gathered and joined them on their journey. The highlights were  ‘Later Than You Think’ and a new song I believe was called ‘I Gotta Know’ Which was most excellent.  I look forward to seeing them again and what they come up with to follow up the excellent ‘Vibrations’ album.

So, onto tonight’s headliners The Hip Priests.  what can possibly be said that hasn’t already been splurged over the internet about our favourite east Midlands fuck ups?  Now with brand new six-stringer Ben in situ? I took my place and waited for the sonic solution to all this turmoil around us in society. As I waited to have my hearing interfered with by an hour of the finest Rock and Fucking Roll I was pleased that there was a good turnout considering everything else that was happening in a ten-mile radius of the ‘Port these boys deserve it for always playing South Wales even when South Wales hasn’t turned out in force – maybe the tide is turning and these fucking boys finally get the kudos they thoroughly deserve.

Anyway.  tonight begins with a tsunami of sound washing over the attendees but with no lifevests needed as we were all going down together this latest incarnation of the Hip Priests sounds absofuckin’lutely huge! I kid you not. With their best album under their belts, they have every reason to attack these shows with a cocksure swagger (not that it’s stopped them before mind) but this time seems different – if they could bottle this it would be lethal.  I’ve said it many times before and I’ll keep on saying it – when you see some bands getting great tour slots and people falling over the sound of some plodding rock like its the second coming of The Stones or the New Stooges has finally arrived it’s one of those scratch your head times as to how can’t others see or hear what you hear. ‘Stand For Nothing’ is the finest loud record recorded by any band on Shit Island in a decade – no question about it. Whilst their audience is slowly growing I can’t believe it’s not exploding.

Anyway, with the dual lead guitar swinging on either side of the stage the band aren’t fucking about and get on with the job of leathering the shit out of the new album. Sparks fly and song after song spills forth from their instruments. from the minute ‘Motherfucker Superior’ attacks you it’s like your being chased down by a pack of rabid dogs such is the ferocity of this current line up.

It’s great to hear some fresh new songs sprinkled throughout the set as ‘Stand For Nothing’, ‘Shit Island’ and ‘Social Hand Grenade’ blend in seamlessly much like the new youf on guitar.  With Oz and Ben things seem like they are pushing each other with each song to be better than the last one and they’re rising to the challenge and it seems to have worked superbly well. Weaving in and out of the songs new and old. ‘Deja FU’ and then ‘Cheers To Me’ was a particular high point in the set which only left ‘Sonic Reproducer’ of in the main set.

The audience felt it and I’m sure the band felt it there was something a little different tonight something a bit special was happening and when Von Cruz offered an extra number be it Iggy or Hip Priest original it was the original Hip Priests song that got a louder cheer surely it was a sign?  I don’t know what for but I’m sure Lee Love was seen smiling which must be a sign so get out of here and get excited because when the Hip Priests come to your town – which they will do then you make sure you’re there and you’re ready – now, people of Shit Island and further afield what are you going to stand For? Stand for Rock and Fucking Roll and Stand for The Hip Fucking Priests who’s time is now, Right Now!

Author: Dom Daley

 

Dom Daley

Eleven tracks of prime garage rock and referencing Sonny Vincent is never going to be a bad move (not round these parts anyway).  With a B Movie introduction, we’re in! Its lo-fi hi-fi and the drums thump the floor tom and the wall of garage fuzz is a welcome sound before the vocals kick in. ‘Bitter Path’ is full steam ahead and a great way to start any record as the guitars wail the rhythm section hold things steady and stop this hot rod veering off the track but it’s in the fucked up Fuzztones path and that’s somewhere not a lot of bands are heading these days (mores the pity) but RPM is always going to sit up and take notice as ‘Mirror Mirror’ has more than a nod to the Lords OF The New Church about it and I like that a lot.

The title track is more of the same as the band’s modus operandi is simple.  Rock out – turn up the fuzz pedal – slam the floor tom and snare with passion and energy and get the heart and soul of the song captured on tape (or digital file or whatever gadgetry they use these days).

With a nod of respect to the bands forefathers waaay back in the 60’s who first got a little psychedelic and fucked up and then more than a nod to the likes of the Stooges and Mc5.  One of the most intriguing songs is the snotty ‘Sonny Vincent Knows’ and a visceral axe-wielding is hacking at the chords as the sirens wail and feedback is just about contained it’s a fantastic rush of blood.

 

That snotty edge is maintained on ‘Oedipus Hex’ as it hacks and slashes to its conclusion. The punk rock comes to the fore on the next few tracks as ‘Wait And See’ is like a 60’s mop top track that’s been captured tortured and fed illegal amounts of caffeine.  I can imagine DC Spectres need to be seen live to get the full value of these songs and take in their full potential.  There’s even time to dance with the devil on ‘Diablo 66’ before getting the fuck out of dodge which only leaves ‘Island Girl’ to close off a really impressive album with talk of Voodoo and a more measured groove taking this bad boy home ‘Vibrations’ is an excellent introduction to a band and one I’d certainly recommend.

 

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