American rock and roll guitarist Deniz Tek, most famously known for founding Australian cult influencers Radio Birdman, returns this year with a vinyl re-issue of his 1992 album ‘Take It To The Vertical’, released through Wild Honey Records. This was his first solo release after his time with Radio Birdman.

The result was, and remains, a fine, lead-guitar driven record which delights in its garage roots, throwing up bluesy moments interspersed with rockabilly and more traditional rock sounds, still with that punk veneer that Radio Birdman had been harnessing from the mid-70s. Now, nearly 30 years after its original release, ‘Take It To The Vertical’ still beams with boundless energy, making it a joy to listen to.

Aside from the liveliness of the record, one other notable thing about this album is how smooth it sounds. From the numerous guitar hooks to the time changes, every song appears almost effortless. ‘Dead If Looks Could Kill’, for example, is full of clever changes – one minute sounding like a streetwise strut, the next being interspersed with delicate, flowing piano.

The album is bold and strong throughout. Driving rockers such as ‘Run Out Of Water’, ‘Don’t Axe Me’ and ‘Is It Good Enough’ keep the momentum going, whereas the rockabilly of ‘Where Dreams Go’, the blues of ‘Me & Gene’ and ‘Steel Beach’, and the pop hooks of ‘Those Times Are Gone’, demonstrate the range of Tek’s creativity and ability.

Having spent a long time out of print, many fans will be happy to get their hands on Tek’s first solo album, and now with added liner notes and never seen before photos. ‘Take It To The Vertical’ is one in a series of archival re-releases from Deniz Tek.

 

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Author: Craggy Collyde

DENIZ TEK
GROUNDBREAKING FIRST SOLO ALBUM ‘TAKE IT TO THE VERTICAL’ FEAT. THE STOOGES’ SCOTT ASHETON  AND RADIO BIRDMAN’S CHRIS MASUAK REISSUED ON 19TH MARCH VIA WILD HONEY RECORDS
Garage rock legend Radio Birdman founder Deniz Tek has announced the reissue of the groundbreaking album ‘Take It To The Vertical’. The album will be released for the first time on vinyl, digitally and on DSP’s on 19th March via Wild Honey Records.
‘Take It To The Vertical’, originally released by Redeye/Polydor Records Australia in 1992, was Deniz Tek’s first solo album. Recorded at historic SugarHill Studios in Houston, Texas, the album features Radio Birdman’s Chris Masuak on guitar and keyboards; and The Stooges’ Scott Asheton on drums. There are extensive liner notes, never before seen photos, and a bonus track that was not on the original release.
This amazing album has been long out of print, rare, and nearly impossible to find. It will now be available worldwide from Wild Honey as part two of a series of archival releases of Deniz Tek’s work.
Deniz has now shared the first track from the album. ‘Press On’, a ripping rock and roll anthem about air combat, was recorded live in the studio during the “Vertical” album sessions. This rare, unreleased track features Deniz and Chris Masuak, veteran Radio Birdman guitar slingers doing what they do best, and a smoking hot rhythm section led by the legendary Scott “Rock Action” Asheton on drums.
AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME ON VINYL, DIGITALLY AND ON DSP’S
HEAR FIRST TRACK ‘PRESS ON’ HERE, ON SOUNDCLOUD AND BANDCAMP

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

 

 

Wondering if we’d ever get another record from Jeff a couple of years ago and then low and behold Made In Hawaii rocks up and in the blink of an eye there was the collaboration with Swedens “Demons” and boy Jeff was back in the saddle.  Last year we got the ‘MR Antlers’ EP which gave us a brief glimpse into his next record and after a brief wait followed by the wonderful people at USPS and Royal Mail taking an eternity to get a copy to my door it’s better late than never.  I was like a kid at Christmas just after Christmas as the virtual needle dropped on this new album from the mighty Jeff Dahl. Dahl plays guitar, bass and vocals with Sam Bradley playing drums and Dave Swaim on piano and that’s it as ‘Until We Bleed’ doesn’t so much fall out of the speakers but lurches out and grabs my head like some horror flick unfolding. The guitars are raucous whilst the bass and drums are measured and driving forward with purpose. Great way to open any album let alone album number Thirty plus.  In itself is some achievement but to sound so vibrant, enthusiastic and relevant is a beautiful thing.

To follow that up with a less rapid but groovetastic ‘Superstar Cafe’ that had Iggy come up with this the music press would be heralding the return of the messiah but sure its got that ‘Funhouse’ vibe happening on the hypnotic riff.  The best track lyrically and groove-wise Dahl has come up with for a long long time.

I am so wasted is rapid like the Dead Boys were but ‘the Violence Squad’ is a real trip with its stomping handclapping journey back to the 70s like a night out looking for a good time with Bolan and Hunter two musicians who I know Dahl holds close to his heart and who would be proud to have penned this one. Everything is like a perfect storm from the foot-stomping rhythm to the floor tom rattle and shake to the sweet guitar solo.  Another excellent song.

To get to the halfway point of the record and have the bottleneck and woohoos! is a thing of beauty and again another artist who I have the utmost respect for manages to knock me over with a new record that sounds so good. Its a real rush hearing stuff like this and Sam on the drums deserves a mention here for smashing the cans up with such passion and managing to drive the song with his monster beats it leaves nothing but a good taste ‘In My Mouth’.

It’s not always thunder and bluster as the laid back ‘Psychedelic Spaceman’ takes you on a trip for almost five minutes.  It’s become apparent that Dahl has managed to cram so many grooves into this record it would have been a crime not to release it. ‘The Woo Girls’ is electrified from ‘Mr. Antlers’  ‘Viva Vibrator’ is a shot in the arm, just some red hot punk rock and roll.

As we enter the home straight ‘NFG’ is anything but no fucking good.  Man, Deniz Tek yeah he of Radio Birdman channels that Thunders meets Rono tone and solo licks for the guitar breaks its a blast boys and girls like if Bowie had gone full punk rock after he was Ziggy – wonderful stuff he also lays down the solo on ‘Violence Squad’. Then the Dahl curveball to close the record ‘Weirdly, Richard’ is a piano lament and a much needed come down as if to prepare you for entering the real world again after taking the ‘Electric Junk’ trip.

Mr. Dahl sir I salute you.  Another day another fantastic record and I have to say head and shoulders one of the best records you’ve ever made.  Sure I’ve only been playing it a couple of weeks but every time I’m hearing something new, getting different influences and vibes on each play and the pecking order of my favourite track is moving up and down the tracklist every time.  I think I can safely say with the new decade so fresh this will be one of the albums of the year and if you’re looking for a fix of Dirty badass punk rock and roll then you need look no further. Jeff Dahl ‘Electric Junk’ all day long will tick every box you need ticking – Buy it!

Buy ‘Electric Junk’ Here

Beluga Records Vinyl Here

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Author: Dom Daley

To kick off the year why not follow our recommendations on streaming services.  All the bands are either heading out on tour early 2020, released albums late 2019 or got records ready to drop which we’ve been lucky enough to hear and by lending a helping hand we’re offering you the chance to hear what we’re hearing on our players at RPM Towers.  Go fill yer boots guys n gals and let em know who sent you.

 

Ok, Heres the deal.  Limited to 100 copies then they’re gone as an appetizer to the new LP that’s on the way.  This CD only features Deniz Tek on a couple of tracks and is seven songs deep – Three Exclusive to this EP.  Two from the last Studio album (still available on vinyl from those good looking lifers at Ghost HighwayRecords) the to round it all off there are a pair of tracks from the forthcoming new long player ‘Electric Junk’. If thats not enough to get your Rock and Roll heart skipping a beat then I’d check for a pulse and thats before the virtual needle has dropped on this little lot.

Right then settle down as Deniz Tek joins our man Jeff on the first exclusive and rather intriguing ‘Mr. Antlers I Presume?’ imagine this a smokey barroom with some honky-tonk piano and a raw guitar riffing away before riding in on a sinister dark lick and the band crash in.  Well, that the opener with a spoken narration from Dahl before your mind get fucked with some Jazzy middle eight.  Don’t get too worried you punk rock kids because ‘Burned Out’ is like being punched in the face and enjoying it – More, please.  An Acoustic ‘The Wooo Girls’ which has the loose feel of capturing the vibe of some repeated listening to Bowie’s ‘Hunky Dory’ album. Laidback and cool Like a mid ’70s bit of NYC rock and roll Lou Reed would approve I’m sure of it.

A couple of beauties from the ‘Made In Hawaii’ album are up next the first is the catchy ‘Kailua 5 a.m.’ followed by the slide guitar rock and rolla of ‘Bang On’ with its Glam undertones inspired by The Faces and some excellent 70s BV’s that make you want to hand clap and stamp your feet. Oh shit, I’m getting ahead of myself here because the first glimpse into the new album is ‘Violence Squad’ and man they’re stomping their feet and handclapping alright.  Again Tek adds his six-string expertise to this stonking rocka that whets the appetite for what’s to come. Another taken from ‘Electric Junk’ is ‘Until We Bleed’ and Dahl once again shows his roar with a no-nonsense slab of punk rock.  That’ll do nicely sir until we can all get down and get with the new long-player and if this pair of tracks are anything to go by we’re in for a treat pop pickers.

Now, what are you waiting for get over on the link and secure a copy before they’re gone and cost you a fortune on some website in six months. Essential purchase!

 

Buy it from direct from Jeff Here

Author: Dom Daley