With summer fading fast its time to cwtch u to your stereo or however you currently listen to your music and check out the RPM Spotify Playlist to hear who are the movers and shakers at RPM Towers. From the albums, we’ve reviewed and are reviewing and the shows we’re attending to the interviews we have coming up. Here is a playlist to accompany your reading.
This month we feature the following bands who have new albums or are playing live shows.
Hollywood Brats, Andy McCoy, The Bar Stool Preachers, Cock Sparrer, Jim Jones and the Righteous Minds, Duff McKagan, Jesse Malin, Queen Zee, Subhumans, Black Star Riders, Strung Out, Dead Shed Jokers, Pardon Us, Paradise Alley, Dead Furies, The Chuck Norris Experiment, TSAR, New Model Army, Ginger Wildheart
OK, bank holiday so the commute is on hold – what better way to celebrate than with some kick-ass rock and roll. Here ya go have some ear candy courtesy of Los Pepes with ‘Let Me Tell You Something’ from their album “Positive Negative”. Out UK/Europe via Wanda Records and Adrenaline Fix Music and the USA via Spaghetty Town Record. Pick it up, folks! Hear full LP Here:
Second up this band holiday is this New Jersey Band we love they play some mean anti-folk punk rock Called Crazy and The Brains. Check out this video from earlier this year
Finally, you can bounce along to this bad boy from Redd Kross. A simply delicious way to spend any day regardless of this one being a bank holiday here on shit island.
Because its a bank holiday get an earful (and eyeful) of this stone-cold bad boy from Dead Furies with ‘Stay Gold Ponyboy’ taken from their soon to be released album ‘Stay Gold’ another one to add to the list of must-own albums.
So the time is here for a new batch of 45’s to spin and /or new videos I guess as there seems to be a bit of a drought lately yet we get video submissions all the time. First up is the new video from The Membranes ‘Black Is The Killer’ taken fro the band new long player ‘what Nature Gives …Nature Takes Away’
Dead Furies – Stay Gold, Ponyboy Well this is like a breath of fresh air blowing through the Singles roundup. Whilst it might not be pressed on a slab of wax and run at a speed of 45 RPM the new single from Dead Furies is easily the finest slab of noise in this bunch of singles. With the classic one-fingered piano honk and a rollicking Stooges riff that Ron and Iggy would have been proud to have written and it hits you like a steam train. ‘Stay Gold Ponyboy’ is majestic and guaranteed to get the blood pumping its classic scandi rock and traditional formula. simply Write a top tune and then play the fuck out of it – Hey presto! Single of the month hands down – buy it!
Jack Rabbit Slams – ‘Crackerjack’ Scottish three-piece like to make a noise as ‘Crackerjack ‘ will testify. Taken from their debut album that’s to follow this tense loud slab of Rock also has a cool video to accompany it and one that works well with the tune. Zombies – loud guitars – time changes – Blood – gang vocals what’s not to like?
Joey & The Rats – Stick To You (Stardumb Records) On their brand new 7 inch which we’re looking at right here, Joey and the Rats? Confused? what happened to Lucy? Fear not folks its just Lucy is taking a break from vocals and Joey has stepped up to the plate. With two glorious slabs of rock‘n’roll fun. Guitarist Joe Tolosa is taking care of the lead vocals of both songs, Its a punkier couple of tunes for sure, be it still got the power pop side of punk happening think The Boys, Teenage Head, Buzzcocks. Currently playing with the Rats as well as snotty punks Johnny Throttle. this is what 45’s were invented for. Sloppy, punchy and totally rockin’ – excellent single.
The Drippers – Bottled Blues (The Sign Records) From the ‘Action Rock’ album soon to hit the streets on Sign Records The Drippers kick the living shit out of ‘Bottled Blues’, coming on like the bastard children of Lemmy daddy daycareing early Hellacopters and Total 13 and having Zeke over for some foreign exchange. Rapid – exciting and ripped to the tits ‘Bottled Blues’ is all killer and no filler just like the album. Check it out and tell me I’m wrong. Who said gamblings for fools? If you want to know what Action Rock sounds like chew on this one for fun!
Piston – Rainmaker Rockers Piston come forward with a downloadable track off their new long player originally entitled ‘Piston’ its a hard-rockin’ wall of riff-a-rama that will have the fans of Rock radio drooling. Check it out in video form below.
Black Sheets Of Rain – Through The Storm (W.A.R. Productions) If Piston wasn’t enough how about more hard rock in the shape of Black Sheets Of Rain and ‘Through The Storm’. Taken from their debut EP its classic hard rock. sure it lacks originality but they can play obviously they’re rockers! Four and a half minute that felt like four hours. Not the best track I’ve had to review recently it reminds me of Queensryche (now that’s a band I never thought I’d mention on RPM)
Junky Love – Nowhere To Go (Red Thread Records) 4th single by London based psych/garage rock trio is a bit of a slow burner; a song about substance abuse comes to the boil slowly. Its a grower, not a shower and never gets ahead of itself. Interesting and a band to perhaps keep an eye on. A touch of early nirvana about the track which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Slaughter Beach, Dog – One Down (Lame-O Records) Not your typical single song. A real gentle yet seductive song. ‘One Down’ has a flavour of Neil young and more indie driven bands such as a gentle Dinosaur Jr maybe or Sonic youth go Eels as the song builds they control the feedback nicely and its a great introduction to the new album coming late summer. Although ‘Good Ones’ which has also been released to promote the album release is a mighty fine tune mixing acoustic with fuzzed electric really well like Lemonheads used to do so well.
Beauty in Chaos – ‘Drifting Away’ ft. Robin Zander (Synthetic Capricorn Mix)(33.3 Music Collective) Robin Zander and Michael Anthony (Synthetic Capricorn Mix) Remix by Paul Wiley (Marilyn Manson) and Steven Alexander Ryan (The Black Queen) Sounding more like A Pete Murphy song this is one that will test Cheap Trick disciples and people who wondered what Michael Anthony was up to lately. A pop experimental remix is about as much as I can say Fair play to the artists for stretching themselves and really stepping out of their comfort zones on this one. I’m sure many will be open-mouthed and gasp in horror. Oh well, I bet the artists had a ball. This remix really pushes the boundaries.
Baby Shakes – Baby Blue/ In My Arms Again (Surfin Ki Records) Classic two track slab of power pop. Crunchy guitars built around a dreamy melody and delivered by the softly sung vocals like a knuckle duster in a velvet glove Baby Shakes give it some of that sweet Johnny Thunders guitar breaks and who doesn’t love that? the flip side is a cover of the Shoes ‘In My Arms Again’ – lovely. Head over Here to pick up a copy from the label or the band’s Facebook page I’m sure they’ be delighted to have you. Besides, they’re heading out of New York and heading to Europe and Shit Island for a whole bunch of dates so how cool would it be to know a couple of tunes to sing along to down the front?
Ruled By Raptors – Ouroberos EP (Pulse Music) Noisy Geordie alt Rockers release new EP and accompanying video get an ear full of their angular alternative Rock or just check out their video below. Quite melodic yet bruisingly heavy the band get set to burst onto the alt-rock scene and make a lot of noise doing so.
MoLD – Breaking Bones (GMR Music) Hard ‘n’ Heavy is the order of the day. Built around a rolling riff the band cite the likes of Motorhead, Sabbath and The Cramps as influences whilst I can hear the first two in this track I’m intrigued as to where the Cramps fit in but this is only the first track off the new record they’ve aired. ‘Breaking Bones’ is the first track taken from the album ‘Horrors’ which is out next month. Oh, one thing. There seems to be one string too many on that bass.
Rat Face Lewey – Comfortable Taken from their second album this upbeat effort from alt-rockers who’ve been compared to the Manic Street Preachers (not a comparison I’d go for but hey ho) Its got a load of energy and who doesn’t like skateboard videos?
Para Lia – Hawk Hill (Bandcamp) Influenced by The Mission and a bunch of other alternative vagabonds Para Lia release this three track EP via Bandcamp. The use of the male/female vocals on the chorus is very All About Eve meets the Mish as is the guitar solo over a wall of harmonic guitars. The second track ‘Over It’ is a much stronger tune and I like the melody on the chorus but it sounds less cluttered that ‘Hawk Hill’.
‘On My Way Home’ has added cello if this wasn’t Gothic enough and sounding more Echo And The Bunnymen especially on the verses it’s a good tune with a decent arrangement. you can check out the songs via the bands Bandcamp page.
Psychobabylon – Is This All There Is? (Self Release) Four track EP is the way to go for this five-piece with a hard edge but melodic hook the band slam down the opening track ‘All There Is’ part Metallica part Almighty hard rock it’s a bruising affair yet has a strong melody as it weaves to its conclusion. There’s no reinventing the wheel here just bruising hard rock Released digitally and on CD you can find it at the link Here. ‘Die Alone’ is a hard and heavy riff that drops to reveal a filthy bass line rumbling away holding this one together before the inevitable gang vocals. Will please audiences up and down the country who want something loud and heavy.
GOON – ‘Check Engine Light’ (Partisan) LA-based scuzz rockers release video for the track ‘Check Engine Light’ off their album set for release mid-July. Check it out here and search out the band’s social media for details of their new album.
Finally, Welsh duo Henrys Funeral Shoes release a video for ‘Everybody Say Hi’ the first track off their new album ‘Smart Phone Rabbit Hole’ due for release on September 20th. Old school blues with a twist, fuzzy vibes and a simple chorus you can all sing along to and a rather addictive sound as it burrows into your ear cool soulful vocals is one way to describe this one check out the video and make your own mind up.
Until next time when we’ll bring you the new singles and videos – Stay sick!
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.