Expectations sometimes provide shocks to the system when things prove to be quite different that what you expected. The Poison Boys have released some previous singles/ EPs and material, which I have loved, and I went into this debut album expecting the album to be a more straight forward up tempo punk n roll album. While it is definitely a punk n roll album at its core, these 12 diverse songs make up an album that is diverse, deep, accessible, and a whole lot of fun. I have been following the Poison Boys for a few years now, and I could not be happier with what they have done here. I can imagine everyone from Chuck Berry to Johnny Thunders wanting a chance to come back and guest on this one.

The title track gets the party started and hits my original expectations as it comes on like a cross between the Humpers and Electric Frankenstein. The mix allows the guitar riffs by Matt Dudzik to pop out of the speakers and the bass (mostly Adam Sheets) and drums (mostly Matt Chaney) hit just as hard. ‘Slow Down’ starts with some brief piano notes before everyone else gets in on the action. The riff in the song feels pretty standard, but the song really connects perfectly. I actually thought about old artists like the Big Bopper here as well as someone like the J. Geils Band as this song compels the listener to smile and enjoy the moment. I can picture the glasses in the air as the crowd sings along to the main hook. Another stone cold rock n roll style classic follows in ‘Cut Right Out.’ If anyone out there remembers the likes of Junk Records, this one would have fit like a glove on their roster with those backing ‘wooohs’ settling nicely in the mix. The beat here carries a great groove, guaranteed to get the hips shaking.

Starting on track four with ‘Empty Heart,’ we start to see the band really expanding the songs. The thundering groove of this epic five minute plus song initially may feel a little long, but this one has proven to be a grower with Dudzik’s charismatic vocals being stretched and pulled on the journey. ‘Downtown’ returns to a fairly basic trash rock standard approach with a simple hook that hits the spot. It feels a bit like the Stones jamming with Hanoi Rocks, especially the way some of the guitar pops in the mix where it gets some extra space. I also love the false ending but perhaps I should not give that away. Wrapping up the first half of the album, ‘Up to the Sky’ opens with some acoustic guitar reminding me of Johnny Thunders before the song kicks in at a midtempo pace on this fellow five minute rocker. The acoustic guitar touches really give this album a wonderful depth. Dudzik’s vocals on the chorus really inspire a singalong, even if you are like me and can’t sing a note.

Flip the record over and the good times show no let up with first single/ video ‘Tear Me Apart’ getting it started at breakneck speed. The vocals really take a backseat here with the verses featuring fewer words, and the electrifying guitar riffs pushed to the surface. The hook in the chorus is sharp, but it is the guitar that has stayed with me the most on this one so far. The piano that is featured here and across other songs will hopefully be replicated in the live setting. ‘Desperado’ features some awesome saxophone and again reminds me of early Hanoi Rocks, right down to Dudzik’s vocals, the tasteful backing vocals, and the way the chorus is constructed. This has been one of my early favorites from the record.  Hopefully, the band will get an opportunity to make this a single at some point. Slowing the pace down a bit, ‘True Romance’ simmers along nicely with the groove getting under the skin. The backing ‘woooh’s’ are used again here to awesome effect. When the main chorus hits, it really opens up the whole song with the switch in the dynamics.

‘I Won’t Look Back’ turns the tempo back towards rocket speed with the guitar licks again deserving to be highlighted, but the song itself has been the slowest to connect with me. The band hit trash rock nirvana again with the rollicking ‘Say Goodbye’ reminding me again of the Humpers with the rhythm section nailing this one. Closing song ‘Been Here All Night’ truly feels like it had to be the closer on the album and ends the record on an incredible high. The song shimmies and shakes on the beat with the guitar riffs begging to be played by the listener. Something tells me the guys worked long and hard on this one but knew exactly where it needed to be on the album. It just feels like a celebration musically.

The Poison Boys showcase that there is plenty of magic left in rock n roll over the course of these 12 songs. There has clearly been a ton of heart, sweat, and love used to create this album as these songs drip with the genuine distilled spirits of everything that makes rock n roll amazing. Are the vocals always spotless? Do the instruments hit every note perfectly? Absolutely NOT! This is pure, primal rock n roll the way nature intended. A great summer for music became even better with this album.  Recommended? You should have it put it on order when you started reading my introduction.

‘Out of my Head’ is available Here

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

Los Angeles California so much to answer for but thankfully one of them isn’t Hammered Satin.  Taking Smash Fashion and Giuda to the next level and channeling the Gypsy Rollers. The next level is to time warp – time machine these four lifers in all their glam-tastic -high heeled stomping glittery rock n roll finery  ala sweet meets Bolan meets the glitter band with extra plumes of feather boa and I might add stints in some pretty cool bands form their CV’s such as  the Zeros, Flamin’ Groovies, Flytraps, S’cool Girls and Teachers Pet. this is going to be one hell of a ride!

Sure as shit stinks they have a track called ‘Dynamite’ that does indeed have sound effects of explosions with one with extra glitter for the finale and hand claps and added slap on that snare drum.  Man, this is unashamed retro Rock and Roll.  Fuck me song titles that include words like ‘Candy’ ‘Sugar’ ‘Velvet’ ‘Starchild’ ‘Silver’ Satin’ Stomp’ they just about tick every box that has been left unopened properly since the ’70s.  ITs like every Top Of The Pops album got warped in the sun and melted into one (not so) original album. Did he just say lollipop and bubblegum in the same sentence? Of course he did the songs entitled ‘Cand Sugar Baby’ for fuck’s sake!

 

Sure there’s nothing remotely original here its simply glam stomping fun.  a lot of that glam hasn’t been used this brazenly for decades and why not?  Damn, they take huge lumps of Bolan and Glitter and make it their own in 2019 and I’m good with that the title track is pure Bolan and why not they’ve even borrowed his lyric book and backing vocal tapes. Giuda went there but with double denim and tried to tough it out with a bit of street thrown in but Hammered Satin go the full hog mog and set fire to the double denim and go straight for the thrift store bellbottoms and silver platforms.

‘Silver Streak’ is about a bike (of course it is) and what a bottleneck guitar bruiser it is too.this one is the start of the albums purple patch because ‘Baby Vampire’ has the records best backing vocals and ‘Honey Squiss’ is Hanoi Rocks cool in the melody stakes and the albums golden nugget. I would say its a hidden gem but there’s nothing hidden or under the radar on this record no Sir not for a second.  By the time ‘Starchild’ has begun you realise that that’s it and the record is on its last legs and this slower acoustic led ode to Starchild is the curtain call and that a shocker because it went by so quickly.  So re-apply that eye shadow pull up those satin bellbottoms are flip this bad boy over and go straight back in for another round.  It’s a lot of fun and whilst its dredged the underbelly of the 70’s glam scene it’s a hoot a proper blast of glitter oh, and the last quarter of this record is excellent.  Get on it and ride that white swan til the end ‘Velvet Vortex’ is addictive as hubba bubba and space dust and about as much rock and roll fun as is legally permitted.

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Author: Dom Daley

Trash Culture are right up our street. Snotty brash lo-fi punk rock straight out of London town.  it’s fast – it’s raw – it’s uncompromising – it’s in your face and most of all its fuckin’ excellent.

Swinging straight out of the traps like they’ve been mainlining Dead Boys and DeaKennedys all their lives and had nothing but a steady diet of pissed off Rock n Roll and nothing less to suckle on. ‘Me Myself And You’ is smashing the nail right on the head with its frantic backbeat and rollicking chorus spitting bile all over the turntable from the opening lick to the frantic ripping soloing of the final hurrah! But breath quickly because the ticking time bomb tempo of ‘SOS’ is hot on the heels. If you’re not impressed with a bunch of hot sweaty lads throwing themselves about the gaff hitting things indiscriminately and making an unholy racket then quite frankly I couldn’t give a shit and I’d imagine Trash Culture aren’t for you. However, if you like to hear men shouting and screaming loudly and guitars being wielded about and hearing strings being throttled then this most certainly is for you and perhaps you should check out these boys because they have got it going on.

The title track is right off the Dead Boys press and Cheetah would be proud to have kids like this bastardising and twisting the likes of ‘Sonic Reducer’ into something equally as dangerous and uncompromising as this.  It’s eight songs that don’t hang about they’ll kick you in the bollocks nut you then leg it and having Dan at the North London Bomb factory master it is like a seal of quality right there. It’s like The New York Dolls on meth and speedballs mixed with Dead Boys rolling in the dirt so its not so much of a stretch – big deal they’re not reinventing the wheel here folks they’re just rockin’ it out and making as much racket as they can whilst leaving some pretty fuckin’ good tunes in their wake.

Treat yourself, climb onboard, strap up and let yourself be taken for a ride because Trash Culture are ready and able and I fuckin’ love it!

Author: Dom Daley

No great surprise to see The Gala hailing from Boston seeing as the place seems to just ooze quality Garage punk rock and Power Pop and the Gala are all those things.  Raw guitar riffs and swirling keyboard licks all wrapped up in songs with energy and melody.

 

Emily Doran has a rasp on her vocals they’re not sugary sweet nor are they rough as Wendy O Williams but somewhere in between as one track body slams into the next with songs like ‘Blood Orange’ having a hypnotic riff and that Captain Sensible two-fingered keyboard lick and some fine tunage is born.

Once it finishes ‘Crybaby (Dream Of Me)’ kicks in sounding like early Blondie a little which is a great place to find yourself trust me. But the Gala isn’t a one trick pony because ‘Fragile’ is a neat slice of punk rock or New Wave punk pop if you like.  It fizzes along on a rock solid drum beat and the throbbing bass line is cool with just the right amount of keyboard stabs on the chorus but don’t get too comfortable because what did you expect Shes Fuckin’ Fragile.  Alright, we’ll have some of that and its a great scream at the end.

‘Boy’ is sweaty and the highlight of a very enjoyable record as it builds to the chorus.  To be fair as far as debut albums go this ones very decent with a great ebb and flow to the whole record, At times they have the organ stabs of The Fuzztones but the rhythm and distorted guitar is way more punk rock Ramones style at times I heard Lena Lovich fronting Da Brothers which is a weird proposition I’m sure you’d agree but that’s where this is pitching itself at times.

I like the rawness of the guitar its got plenty of punch and is often at odds with the keyboards on tracks like the Abrasive ‘Blood Orange’ it then has the keyboard melody whilst the rest of the song speeds off in another direction – that’s not to say I don’t like it because that’s not the case but it does take some getting used to.  With no new video ready you’re going to have to take my word for it.

 

To end the record the band take you on a punky ‘Pity Party’ but end the record with a really strong song in the shape of the hard rocking ‘The Spins’ that has a great pogo riff that makes you want to curl your hand into a fist and start pumping the air as the band rocks out showing they’re most certainly not a one trick pony and can dance to a few styles and its a great vocal delivery to end on as well. So remember the name and its safe to say it’s not all ‘Bad News’ because The Gala brings some good news.

 

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Author: Dom Daley