“Hate It Here” is the third gunfire of The Heck’s upcoming 2nd album. The Heck are another of Henri Soulmann’s brilliant bands alongside De Keefmen, The Miracle Men, and The Sensational Second Cousins.
The Speedways – ‘This Is About A Girl Who Loves The Sun/The Day I Call You Mine’ ( Snap! Records/Hurrah Musica) A bit of a departure with a more dreamy Johnny Marr style on the intro into the chorus. It’s one of the stronger songs from the album ‘Radio Sounds’ very understated and the more you play it the better it gets.
Then a more power-pop song you won’t hear this year from the overdriven guitar to the gang vocals ‘The Day I Call You Mine’ is like a little ray of sunshine on a cold winter’s morning. For good measure, there’s a lo fi live recording of ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ If you needed further encouragement to pick up this bad boy it comes with a download code for their live Radio broadcast for WFMU. Bargain!
WARPED – ‘Raised By Goats’ (Golden Robot Records) Ok so we’re ending the year with another awesome bunch of singles so its fitting that Warped join the gang with this heavy as a fuckin anvil dropped from an airplane. Hailing from Geelong, Australia WARPED are a 3-piece band that have been around the traps for 30 years and are highly respect scene veterans even if we’ve never heard of them now is as good a time as any to become introduced. Facebook
Bigspin – ‘Bottomless’ Punk as fuck Facebook / Bandcamp Taken from the bands new album it’s skate punk or whatever you want to call it but it’s a slice of Californian punk style but from Mexico City that’s been missing for a while. With that huge heavy bottom end as the song sprints towards the end via a sing along chorus. It’s a tidy tune to introduce you to the band who’ve been absent for many a year and even though the album sneaked out in the opening of 2020 it makes sense they see the year out with a neat video.
Ghosts Of Sunset – ‘Another Rock N Roll Show’ (Golden Robot Records) Hold onto those leather trousers lads Ghosts Of Sunset are turning back the clock with a hefty sleazy slab of Glam Rock with it’s catchy chorus. You know what the lyrics are about obviously a lot of tears when this one gets aired.
Featuring Tim Mosher from Junkyard on Lead Guitar. It’s unashamed glam rock from multi-instrumentalist Todd Long. Hit that play button. Why not Pre-order/pre-save the EP ‘Headed West’ HERE
Come Closer ‘Get It Wrong’ (Pirates Press) Southern California’s COME CLOSER has released their debut single “Get It Wrong” which comes from the band’s upcoming album ‘Pretty Garbage’ which will be released in early 2021 on Pirates Press Records.
Indie rock sensibility, with influences from legends like Husker Du and early Lemonheads, Come Closer’s knack for creating lo-fi, hook-laden tunes will make you want to instantly hit the “replay” button and if this is a taste of what’s to come they can definitely abandon the social distancing rules and come closer.
You can listen to “Get It Wrong” on all major streaming services, Bandcamp, and YouTube: Here.
Delilah Bon – ‘School’ (Self Release) Not content with writing a few acoustic covers or doing a livestream or two during this ole pandemic, Hands Off Gretel’s Lauren Tate went one better and invented a whole new alter-ego she christened Delilah Bon. Motivated by the backlash she endured online when she spoke out about women and young girls getting harassed at gigs (remember them), the Barnsley based songwriter channeled her fury into a new project. This day-glo collision of hip-hop beats and bratty punk attitude has already spawned 5 singles since its inception back in July.
New single ‘School’ is the dread-headed singer raising a middle finger to the school bullies and teachers who said she would amount to nothing. While it’s not as instant as the likes of ‘Bad Attitude’ or the excellent ‘Devil’, it’s still a quality diatribe from the potty mouthed, punk princess. It’s like if Eminem and Pink had a baby and bought her up on a diet of Public Enemy, L7 and Gorillaz, and that’s a good place to be.
This project is all self-written, self-played and self-produced. As Delilah Bon, Lauren Tate continues to excite with music and attitude that pushes boundaries in her quest to be the poster riot grrrl for the jilted generation. Bring on the album!
(Reviewed By Ben Hughes)
Paul-Ronney Angel – ‘Seven Spanish Angels’ EP (Gypsy Hotel Records) Following his debut solo single ‘One Horse Town’, The Urban Voodoo Machine main mouthpiece Paul-Ronney Angel has ditched the horse, grown wings and flown the coop with James Brown’s wife Tomirae Brown! While not strictly true, this single is a cover of the old Willie Nelson/Ray Charles duet ‘Seven Spanish Angels’ and is a collaboration with the Godfather Of Soul’s widow. Recorded at Space Eko Studio in London by Alex McGowan, the acoustic-driven single is full of raw emotion and countrified blues. PR’s raw vocals mix well with Tomirae’s sweet tones, like the devil and the angel taking us to church with handclaps, acoustic guitars and a bottle of whisky. He’s even dressed as a dandy highwayman in the video!
A cover of Linda Gail Lewis’ recent (and topical) single ‘Oh Pandemic’ fits the Urban Voodoo groove perfectly with brass and banjo adding rustic charm to PR and Tomirae’s vocals’. Also, the acoustic reworkings of ‘Goodnight My Dear’ and ‘Pipe & Slippers Man’ are suitably ramshackle and the spaghetti western style instrumental ‘The Flattened Earth’ make this a value for money purchase and the perfect stocking filler for all those ne’er do wells craving some rock ‘n’ roll salvation. Buy ‘Seven Spanish Eyes’ Here
(Reviewed by Ben Hughes)
Another week comes to a crashing end and another week of pretty impressive singles get dumped on the RPM Singles Club dancefloor. The finest in wax, digital and video are here to tickle your taste buds and hopefully inspire you into finding your new favourite band. From all corners and alleyways of the world we search
Jenny – ‘Same’ (Wanda Records) When we saw that this band was fronted by LA Drugz Justin Maurer we had to go and crack it open and crank up the volume and from the first clashing chords of the harmonious ‘Stupid Band’ we smiled knowing we were in the presence of a power pop genius. But with five tunes on this release, it could only get better as the dreamy ‘Rose City’ took us in an upwards trajectory as far as moods go towards that layered vocal chorus it was already a must-have new record. ‘Cockroach Tea’ is more power-pop goodies leaning more towards the pop and then the 60s infused acoustic Thunders melodic ‘Alright With Me’ it has a really early Who mod like quality if it’s possible to mash up some Thunders, meets The Who if it’s not possible then it has just been invented.
To round it off there’s the acoustic ‘Song For Sadie’ an old Suspect PArts track but redone here making this a more eclectic offering than Maurers LA Drugz or Suspect Parts but none the less desirable. Don’t dilly dally as they say in the olden days get it here or on one sided vinyl 12″ from Wanda Records Here
Stiff Richards – ‘Going Numb’ (Legless Records) With two albums in the bag Australias Stiff Richards are hot property. If you managed to get a hold of their debut album first time around then you’re good if you managed to pick up a repress then, well-done pat yourself on the back. Then came ‘Dig’ which was also pretty spectacular to be fair and seemingly unable to do any wrong they sneak out this digital single to let us all know they’re still alive and ready to go (hopefully) with album number three due in October it looks like a winter assault from Melbourne’s finest and we can’t get enough from the southern hemisphere who are leading the way with some awesome punk rock.
Death By Unga Bunga – ‘Trouble’ (Jansen Records) The second in a series of new singles set to be released in the coming months. These Norweigan Nutters have got a slice of summer sunshine in the shape of ‘Trouble’ With a great hook over that steady beat its catchier than a global pandemic. once this one lodges itself into your head it’s not coming out and you’ll be muttering the lyrics for days wondering just who the hell it is. That’s Death By Unga Bunga that is and with the news of more to come there is light at the end of this pandemic that’s for sure and it’s coming from Norway and not some lab in England it might be power pop it might be death metal but one thing for sure it’ll have the DBUB logo on it. Get it here
Killer Hearts – ‘Get Some’ (Spaghetty Town Records) Houston we have a problem. We’re not getting enough Rock and Fucking Roll and that’s a problem. What isn’t a problem is when Killer Hearts this is the first glimpse of what’s coming on their long player ‘Skintight Electric’. Lots of loose riffs and oohs and arghs and some of the best sleazy Rock and Roll since Flash Boys and The Adjusters were about. Go Get some high octane Rock and Roll if you know what’s good for you! Buy Here
Guerrilla Teens – ‘Tell Me What To Do’ (Self Release) Another day another Guerrilla Teens record gets released via Bandcamp. This week’s offering is a right thumper by the name of ‘Tell Me What To Do’ backed by ‘Hurry Up’. One is in your face and bouncing on its toes like a young hooligan the other is a more laid back confident slow burner but both ooze quality and will make for awesome tracks when these weekly offerings finally get pressed by some awesome record label onto a slab of plastic to nestle alongside Those Humpers, Lovesores records you’ve got. buy Here
14 Units – ‘Listen’ (Self Release) This is the lockdown-busting debut release from 14 Units who cram five tunes into this debut EP, Five songs about drinking, getting old, murder, regret, not drinking and Brexit (possibly). opening with a neat uptempo twelve-bar with melody and somewhere between Frank Turner vocally and a cowpunk Quo. They get their jig on from a sprightly ‘Can’t Unlike You’ its melodic and uptempo and carries a decent melody. They certainly like to boogie and then they turn down for a more mellow knocking on heavens door progression for ‘Looks Like Rain’ which heads off down a Buffalo Tom wormhole and its probably the best track on offer with the sparse verse with just percussion before the guitars rejoin for the build-up to the chorus which is a catchy sing-along. A decent EP and first offering from 14 Units. Buy Here
Grindhouse – ‘Ramma Damma’ (Tuff Cuff Records) Melbourne must have something in the water because over the last couple of years its turning up some smoking hot records and this summer has seen that continue with those purveyors of pounding Rock and Roll Grindhouse are back in the room with some sweaty flesh pressing high octane Rock and Roll. in the shape of ‘Ramma Damma’ and ‘City High’ with its bruising riff-a-rama and moon the loon like drumming this is the dogs bollocks. If there ever was a sleeve that best described what was going on in the grooves before you ever played it then it’s this bad boy. or should that be bad girl? Rock and Roll can get you high so fuckin high and Grindhouse has the goods baby!
Relentlessly good band and with a new album on the way these are good times for fans of high octane Rock and Fuckin’ Roll Grindhouse Style. Bring it on. Buy it here
Girls In Synthesis – ‘They’re Not Listening’ (Harbinger Sound) Taken from the debut album ‘Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future’ this video will guarantee you a head fuck from the Jesus and mary chain feedback and the repetitive pounding to the strobe on the video GIS are fucking with you and that’s always a good thing. turn it up and then some more and get lost in that caustic guitar riff before the bass rumble nails you to the floor. Extreme music for extreme times uncompromising and uncomfortable just like punk rock should be. Like crass for the 2020s the album is due the end of the month. Let’s hope this isn’t the soundtrack to the apocalypse like my neighbours think it is.
Cutters – ‘Cutters’ (Legless Records) Another day another slice of punk rock from Down under. This time labelmates of Stiff Richards Cutters are here with this tasty three-track EP. With howls of feedback and a frantic hoof around your ears, this is relentless. ‘Chewed Up Fortune’ is first up and lead throat Al insists he wants to fuck and sleep in that order I guess. Cutters aren’t fucking around either with their Lo-‘Fi take it to the edge of reason and give it a good fuckin’ thrashing. If you think they would be spent after that opener then you’d obviously be wrong. ‘Robo Debt Blues’ is like Motorhead in their late 70s heyday knocking out some ANL and uk82 anthems and dragging through the Melbourne back streets before dropping them off at the studio. Nice!
But then they get all proggy on the five-minute headfuck frenzy of Twister’. Only yanking your chain the intro is painless before they go fuckin’ ape-like Venom meets the Exploited. Its frantic, Nasty, out of control and fuckin’ champion – Buy it here
Zip Gun Bomber – ‘Paper Aeroplanes EP’ (Rum Bar Records) Outta Cambridge, Massachusetts Zip Gun Bombers have been a thing since 2011 and with this being a revisited yup, you guessed it its a new improved take on that EP. Sure its a Nostalgic trip for that early 90’s era Lookout! Records and all things Green Day. ZipGun Bomber’s ‘Paper Airplanes’ EP embraces and embodies all of that. From the opening of ‘Chase That Feeling’ to the acoustic closing of ‘Paper Airplanes’, its easy on the ear pop-punk where the lyrics are easy to embrace and before you know it you’ll be singing the songs like they’ve always been on your playlist. Well worth checking out if any of the previous words ever meant anything to you jump in and lose yourself in the tunes. Sure there is a familiarity here but it’s only pop-punk Rock and Roll and I like it! Oh and if you like you can download the EP for free or name your price. Pick it up Here
Science Man – ‘Match Game’ (Swimming Faith Records) Punk as fuck – a 7″ single with not 2 or 3 songs on it but nine slabs of uncompromising head mashing industrial hardcore. Science Man from Buffalo NY isn’t here to compromise he’s here to lay out his manifesto and from the opening repetitive thump of ‘Tiny Tower’ it’s game on through the frantic thirty-two seconds of ‘Steal The Street’. Don’t leave the fuckin room for gawds sake.
‘Surge’ sounds like the cassette on a Commadore 64 or finally, the aliens are coming. At times it sounds like out of control chaos but I suspect it’s far from that and the almost prog length of the final track ‘Cursed’ clocking in at almost two minutes is a challenge but industrial hardcore isn’t meant to be easy listening, I’m sure only the hearty punk amongst us will endure or even get this straight off. But its certainly interesting as well as a challenging listen.
Pick it up here
S V & the Eruptions – ‘Tomorrows Promises’ (Avenue Recordz) An altogether more sombre and thoughtful SV & The Eruptions, It’s not all cheeky chappies and a bit of slap and tickle it can’t be. Here SV busts out a mid-paced thoughtful number with a big catchy chorus that drops back into the muted guitar work and into another tuneful verse. A most excellent twist and shows how versatile and downright bloody good these gents are. I have told him myself the tunes you aren’t expecting are some of his best work and this will grow and grow and in time will be one of those late in the set anthems you look forward to. Excellent song with great vocals.
Ryan Hamilton & Kay Hanley – ‘Oh No’ This dropped last minute so we thought we’d include it in the singles Club because we love some Ryan Hamilton.
The Fuzzstainz – ‘Sick! Sick! Sick!'(Beluga Records) How could we sign off this week’s singles Club without dropping in on Scandinavia Again. Always reliable, Always churning out quality Rock and Roll from all the corners of the world Beluga Records have released this banging 7″ platter with two tracks of sizzling Garage Punk courtesy of The Fuzzstainz. The lead track is sick – no it literally is sick! those guitars sound like razor blades trying to cut through some barbed wire. But it’s catchy and easy to sing along to but the best is yet to come in the shape of ‘Thinkin’ ‘Bout Me’ again the same standards are set but with added floor tom and is that a buzzsaw? Gawd knows but its got swagger and I love it. Pick it up here
Adding a little ray of sunshine as lockdowns are ignored across the western world how about we get lost in some great rock n roll music? This Monday we bring you one from the fantastic Low Cut Connie from their new album ‘Private Lives’ we bring the title track.
One taken off the bands forthcoming album ‘Peace’ Levellers dream up an amazing video for ‘Our New Day’ well the first interview piece is original, enjoy.
Finally a new track from The Blinders album ‘Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath’. Out next month. You can however, Pre-order it Here – check out ‘Mule Track’ which reminds me of classic Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, any way enjoy. Facebook
And now for something completely different. Death By Unga Bunga. If you don’t like these and it doesn’t put a smile on yer kisser then check for a pulse. DBUB Here
C’mon folks cheer up its only week 752 of Lockdown but worry not here are a few bangers for you to enjoy. First up is the awesome Wyldlife with their brand new video for ‘Kiss And Tell’ taken from the wicked Cool Records Album ‘Year Of The Snake‘ enjoy!
Next is the awesome Duncan Reid & The Big Heads with the lockdown video for ‘To Live Or Live Not’ taken from their most excellent ‘Don’t Blame Yourself‘ Album
Finally bringing up the rear is the awesome Death By Unga Bunga with their first new track ‘Not Like The Others’.
Some of the writers managed to send in their list of the top ten live shows they went to in 2019. they attended hundreds of shows all over the place via trains, planes and automobiles. On another day I’m sure these lists would change many times over. RPM Online supports Rock and Roll and loves a live show and as you browse through the lists there are many genres covered as well as some familiar suspects there are many new entries this year. We’d love to take this opportunity to thank all the bands who toured and played shows all over the UK and continue to do so, All the festivals that supported independent music from Rebellion Festivals and Camden Rocks to Steelhouse Festival in South Wales and all the festivals around Europe and wider thank you. Continue to look after independent Rock and Roll and help it thrive and reach a wider audience if you want to get involved get in touch we always welcome fresh eyes and ears to spread the word: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Roxie – The Asylum, Birmingham
Michael Monroe – The Fleece, Bristol
The Cult – University Great Hall, Cardiff
Kenny Wayne Shepherd – City Hall, Salisbury
Kiss – The Arena, Birmingham
Alice Cooper – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Paul Gilbert – The Fleece, Bristol
The Wildhearts – The Tramshed, Cardiff
FM & The Quireboys – The Globe, Cardiff
Pulled Apart By Horses – Newport Le Pub (Reviewed Here)
Primal Scream – Great Hall Cardiff
Alice Cooper, MC50, The Stranglers – Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Nick Cave – Millenium Centre Cardiff
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bar Stool Preachers – O2 Bristol
The Hip Priests, DC Spectres, Deathtraps – Le Pub Newport
The Wildhearts, Towers Of London – SWX Bristol
Wonk Unit – Drogonfly Pontypool
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Sin City Swansea
Holy Holy – Tramshed Cardiff
Ginger & The Sinners – St John’s church Cardiff
Clowns, BBSC – The Exchange Bristol
Amyl And The Sniffers – Louisiana Bristol
Rich Ragany & The Digressions, The Speedways, More Kicks, The Spangles – The Blackheart London
The Wildhearts, Janus Stark – Komedia Bath
The Hip Priests – Le Pub Newport
Bar Stool Preachers, Rich Ragany & The Digressions – Clwb Ifor Bach Cardiff
Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind – Jacs Aberdare
The Stray Cats, Selector, The Living End – Hammersmith Eventime London
Bar Stool Preachers, Rich Ragany & The Digressions, Social Experiment – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff (Reviewed Here)
The Hip Priests, Rotten Foxes, Flash House, Glitter Piss – The Pipeline, Brighton
Rebellion Festival 2019 – Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Jim Jones & The Righteous Minds, Heavy Flames, Deathtraps – Jacs, Aberdare
Death By Unga Bunga, Seek Warmth – Hy Brasil, Bristol
Dboy, The Vega Bodegas, Nigel – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
The Stray Cats, The Selector, The Living End – Hammersmith Apollo, London
Grave Pleasures – The Fleece, Bristol
Pulled Apart By Horses, Baba Naga, Dactyl Terra – Le Pub, Newport
Clowns, Broken Bones Gentleman’s Club, Glug – The Exchange, Bristol
Kiss – Kiss Kruise, Miami
Michael Monroe, Electric Eel Shock – The Fleece, Briatol
The Hip Priests – The Drippers, Deathtraps – JT Soar, Nottingham
Alice Cooper, MC50, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Turbonecro, The Hip Priests – The Chameleon, Nottingham
Dboy – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
The Damned – KK’s Steel Mill. Wolverhampton
Skidrow, Backyard Babies – The Forum, London
the Wildhearts, Towers Of London – Tramshed, Cardiff
Michael Monroe – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (Reviewed Here)
Duff McKagan/Shooter Jennings – Academy 3, Manchester
The Wildhearts – Stylus, Leeds
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Low Cut Connie – The Fulford Arms, York
Amyl & The Sniffers – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Ryan Hamilton Songs & Stories Show – Bloomfield Square, Otley
Tyla’s Dogs D’amour – The Fulford Arms, York
Levellers – The Minack Theatre, Cornwall
Hands Off Gretel – The Fulford Arms, York
The Stray Cats – O2, Birmingham
Saint Agnes – Plymouth Junction, Plymouth
The Wildhearts – Cavern, Exeter
Motörgoblin (Orange Goblin plays Motörhead) – St Moritz Club, London
Ginger Wildheart – St Johns Church, Cardiff
Queensryche – Islington Assembly Hall, London
Mother Vulture – End of the World Festival, Plymouth
Uriah Heep – Steelhouse Festival, Wales
Cradle of Filth – London Palladium, London
Ghost – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Blaze Bayley – The Junction, Plymouth
Rebellion Festival – Winter Gardens, Blackpool (Reviewed Here)
The Damned – London Palladium, London
Michael Monroe, Electric Eel Shock – The Fleece, Bristol
Duncan Reid &The Big Heads, Cyanide Pills, Bruno – Louisiana, Bristol
Amyl & The Sniffers – Lousiana, Bristol
Ginger & The Sinners – St Johns Church, Cardiff
Clowns – The Exchange, Bristol
Rich Ragany & The Digressions, The Speedways, More Kicks, The Spangles – Black Heart Camden, London
New Model Army – Tramshed, Cardiff
The Wonder Stuff – O2, Bristol
Bristol is like band central tonight, Angelic Upstarts, Terrorvision and Fat White Family are all in town and with all of them playing within easy walking distance of the rather splendid Hy-Brasil Music Club you could be forgiven for thinking that a gang of five nerdy Norwegian garage punks might be struggling for a crowd in such a claustrophobic gigging situation.
Rest easy though my RPM chums because common sense (and that Ash support tour from last year) has saved the day and by the time Death By Unga Bunga take to the venue’s compact and bijou stage the dance floor if full of people, who just like me, have just happened to have discovered one of the best-kept secrets in rock music right now.
Up first though tonight is local Indie (as in proper mid-80s/early 90s Indie) trio Seek Warmth who plough a kind of 4AD furrow whilst managing to be somehow understated yet also remain intriguing all at the same time. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this kind of music personally, but the band is tight, have some very decent tunes and have one hell of a drummer behind the kit. I actually found it kind of refreshing to be whisked back to that age before grunge when Indie guitar music didn’t sound as forced and manufactured as it does today, so credit indeed to Seek Warmth for making that happen.
With Iron Maiden’s ‘Ides Of March’ booming out from the PA there is an immediate shift in my 80s throwback mindset, as I travel back to an age when metal also was nowhere as stylised as it is today and taking one look at the five musicians that are clambering onto the stage like extras from the Ant Hill Mob it makes me feel warm inside to say Death By Unga Bunga are never going to be called fashionistas. One look at the already sneering face of frontman Sebastian Ulstad Olsen and I can’t help but chuckle at his ‘70s Dennis Waterman meets Blakey (from On The Buses) image and he radiates that bad boy you love to love persona to absolute perfection. On the downside, he’s forgotten his Killers T-shirt tonight and is instead sporting a Dickinson-era Iron Maiden affair so he loses a few instant cool marks for this. Still with songs as amazing as opener ‘Into The Night’ who really give a flying fuck what Death By Unga Bunga look like, the sounds they create are some of the most original feelgood sensations you’ll ever experience live, and I’m just going to let myself be totally immersed in the next 30 odd minutes of absolute powerpop perfection.
With their roots in the Norwegian punk scene watching Death By Unga Bunga is not unlike that fist in the face experience you would expect from a hardcore show, especially when Sebastian is off the stage and prowling the raised area of the club looking for even more converts to join us on the dancefloor, its just that songs like ‘Turn My Brain Off’ and the knock out blow of ‘Soldier’ could very easily be hit singles and have seen the band on Top Of The Pops, if such a thing still existed of course.
Amongst all the tongue in cheek between song banter there’s also an underlying appreciation of all things hard rock that makes the Bunga truly bounce live, with ‘Cynical’ sounding even more like Thin Lizzy live than it does on the band’s amazing ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ album, and is something which manifests itself into all out fanboy status when the guys (jail)break into a brief segment of ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ before leaving us all wanting “10 more songs” (something the dreadlocked punk next to me is screaming like his bus fare home depended on him securing the deal for us).
Watching Death By Unga Bunga live makes you smile, it makes you sing and most of all it makes you want to dance, and in the world we live in right now that’s all you can really ask for from a great rock n roll band, the thing is watching Death By Unga Bunga makes me want to do it every night. I wonder if they need a sixth member?
Author: Johnny Hayward
Buy DBUB Here
“Its hard to hold a candle in the cold November Rain”
November was truly the month for live shows as the scribes got their gig legs and ventured far and wide for our fix of live rock n roll. With RPM in full swing, we were getting the hang of this as the albums poured in to keep us out of trouble and keep the air full of excellent Rock n Roll.
We brought you interviews with some up and coming talent in the shape of Jack Jones from Trampolene who have been prolific both in the studio and on the road. Earning their stripes by hitting the road zigzagging across the country Jack also found time to travel to Japan and just completed another round of dates as recently as December. As mentioned yesterday Jeff Dahl dropped by to tell us about his plans for the new mini album and that he was currently busy recording a new album that will be out in 2019.
Then Gerald caught up with Vienas Reverend Backflash for a great interview about the band and their grand plans for the future and it was an opportunity for those of us unfamiliar with the band to get acquainted and we were glad we did as Gerald has said the new album is easily one of his highlights of the year.
we also scoured the globe as you would expect to uncover some of the best music currently available like Black Heart Breakers who were ‘Rotting Out’. We welcomed The Erotics and Beechwood from the East coast. Canada’s Sick Things were in the house before we headed North to Norway for a few words about the most excellent Death By Unga Bunga then as we headed south Leigh was mightily impressed with Thomas Silvers solo album headed back to the big smoke for the years biggest turkey that was Billy Idols remixed revisited rejected disco versions of classic Idol. Dear dear, what was he thinking?
however One of the brightest albums of the month was easily that belonging to Glen Matlock who was ‘Good To Go’ and along with his star-studded list of special guests, he turned in a mightily impressive record – again!
Right we’ll break the album list up with a quick rundown of some of the best shows writers went to in November where better to start than when Martin and Rags popped into London town to see a newly reformed for one night only Jony Cola & The A-Grades and Martin described it as a bit of an experience and a show he was delighted to have witnessed for himself whilst Rags was equally impressed, man I think its fair to say that there are several amongst us who thought Jony Cola put out the flame way too soon but it was nice to have been reminded of tracks as good as ‘Halo’ once again.
Craggy took in a couple of shows over on mainland Europe notably in the shape of TV Smith in Viena but he raved about the Levellers in Prague and best of all was finally catching up with Buffalo Tom in Berlin I haven’t read the reviews either so does that mean that they didn’t happen? Fortunately, they did happen because I’ve seen the pictures of Craggy swapping singles with Buffalo Tom.
As for us lot still on this island well we weren’t forgotten because there was the Damned tour dates to catch up with as Armitage caught their performance down in Brighton as they went around shit island for a second time this year. There were several sightings of Nashville Pussy as Martin ventured across the channel to see them in France but Johnny and Fraser took in their performance at the Globe in Cardiff which didn’t disappoint either. MC50 played some great shows but the daddy of all live shows in November just had to be the incredible line up that was put on in Holland under the banner Helldorado. Boy, what a tremendous lineup. There were many discussions as to why we couldn’t see a bill that good in the UK for a festival and it was decided there isn’t enough appetite for a fantastic jam-packed underground festival outside of what they do at Rebellion but this as a slightly different beast to be fair; even if most of these bands could cross over under the rebellion banner would it be raved about by a wider audience? It remains to be seen but I’d love to have a discussion about it with promoters in the UK. Anyway I digress, those that went agreed that Danko Jones were on fire and whilst they might not be the best band at the festival they put on the best show that weekend. Oh, apart from the little guy who came on stage during The motherfucking Dwarves set oh and the guy who set himself on fire also during the Dwarves set. Spectacular! I’m sure you’ll agree?
Whilst we’re on the live front Rpm was reporting at some superb shows like The Alarm and Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts in York where Ben was impressed by the performance of Peters and his levels of energy he also reported on another superb showing from The Virginmarys and Hands Off Gretel. Whilst down south Armitage got to see another exceptional performance from The Damned in Brighton
Another band covered in November was Junkyard who played Fibbers as headline act before they headed out around the rest of the country supporting Blackberry Smoke. Finally, on the live front, there was another epic performance from The UK Subs in Bristol who continue to turn in top performances and records. To cap off an amazing November Leigh went to Prague to see Buddy Guy certainly a player and event you won’t get the chance to see every month. This is what he had to say about it..not Buddy but Leigh, “After years of waiting to see one of my guitar idols I finally got to see him in 2018. This could be the gig highlight of my entire life. I’d been waiting what felt like a lifetime to hear a bonafide blues guitar legend do this thing before my very eyes. In his 80s but with the charisma and energy of a fresh-faced 20-year-old, Buddy Guy is the man.”
The King Of Power Pop Paul Collins sat in the interview chair in November to talk about his new album and tour commitments but ti was a fantastic interview with Rich Jones letting us in on what is coming up in the Michael Monroe camp as ‘One Man Gang’ is finished and off to the manufacturers ready for a 2019 release. We got some background on Jones and his impressive CV.
On the interview front we weren’t finished there because we only had a chat with the frontman of the finest power poppin punk rockin band on the UK live circuit bar none Phil from Cyanide Pills also said about the plans to release the follow up to the awesome ‘Sliced And Diced’ in 2019 which is good news for people with exquisite taste and an exceptional ear for a top tune. November wasn’t finished just yet because we also had a quick word with Sal from Electric Frankenstein who told us about his compilation releases and what EF were up to.
To wrap up a quick foray into November I’ll leave you with Leighs feature where he talks guitars, amps and pedals this time with Mike Christie under the microscope we hope to satisfy the tech-heads amongst you as Leigh dreams about guitars – he plays em when he’s awake he even has his duvet printed with Gibson guitars and his pillowcase is Fender prints oh and he sleeps on Les Paul Jr shaped bed. I kid you not. I’d like to add here that he’s just submitted a 7000-word tech talk interview with a legend out of New York that’s coming up on RPM but its as good a place as any to wrap up November or at least a brief glimpse into the month that gave so much and there was so much we left out.
Come back tomorrow when December or at least part of it gets nitpicked. Some of the choice picks from November are as follows
The bizarrely named Death By Unga Bunga and their fifth studio album ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ is about as perfect a place as any to start though as having just wowed audiences across the UK in support of Irish rockers Ash we thought it was about time you also discovered why this 5 piece from Norway were handpicked by Tim Wheeler and Co out of relative obscurity to secure such a prestigious slot.
Originally released back in April of this year I first got to hear about the band when a Facebook mate of mine sent me a link to the total nerdgasm that is the video to their track ‘Into The Night ‘with a note that simply said “this is your new favourite band.”
Well that infectious slab of powerpop was certainly enough to grab my attention and the fact that the band also just happened to look like the bastard sons of Biff Malibu only helped to increase my interest. The real game changer happened just before ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ was finally due to hit the streets though when the guys dropped the second video from the record, the superb ‘Soldier’, a song so catchy I just had to get my shots at my local rock ‘n’ roll doctor and experience the full majesty of Death By Unga Bunga.
Having lived with this record (it’s also out on CD and download) for nearly six months there is rarely a day that goes by when ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ isn’t actually on my stereo, as the 11 tracker (note 2 tracks are quirky incidental interludes) is simply one of the best powerpop records you will hear anywhere this year.
With a particular penchant for writing instantly memorable 3:30 minute pop/rock tunes just like say Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, The Knack and yes, their UK touring buddies Ash what Death By Unga Bunga do ever so well is make their own particular brand of powerpop sound totally unique to them, something I haven’t really felt since the heady days of when Scandinavia was seducing my eardrums at an alarming rate with genre defining bands such as Gluecifer, Division of Laura Lee and Randy.
It’s simply impossible to pick a stand out track amongst the 9 equally brilliant tracks captured within the all killer no filler grooves of ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ but ‘Boys’ really is up there with the very best hard rock tracks released this year and in ‘So Cool’ the Bunga boys give Turbonegro a lesson in how to use synths without having to sound like Van Halen circa ‘1984’.
‘So Far So Good So Cool’ is quite simply essential listening for anyone who has albums by the likes of Fuzzbubble, Sugarbomb and The Semantics within their collection. I’m just gutted I didn’t get a chance hear this record played live.