Singer/songwriter Lucy Ellis, formerly of Aussie punk legends The Spazzys, relocated to London in 2015 and put together The Rats with Johnny Throttle guitarist Joe Tolosa, Animal Cannibal bassist Mike Cannibal and Three Tumbitas drummer Manu. And if the collection of band names mentioned in the previous sentence doesn’t whet your appetite, you should leave the building right now!
Following their 2018 self-titled debut album, Lucy & The Rats return with their sophomore record ‘Got Lucky’. An album that promises 12 tracks of delightful power pop, transporting you back to the golden age of Phil Spector girl groups as much as the sweat and grime of CBGB’S or The Marquee.
The word ‘Punk’ is flung about nonchalantly by reviewers to describe any band that has aggression and 3 chord distorted guitars to their sound. I put my hand up for being guilty for it too, but I wouldn’t use it to describe this London based four piece. As with the likes of RPM faves The Speedways and The Role Models, their sound is rooted firmly in a late 70’s/early 80’s new wave/power pop place, where clean, ringing guitars, sweet vocals and instant hooks reside. You see, there’s a heart-warming familiarity to their sound that stays with you long after the record has stopped spinning.
If you dig the debut, then you’ll love this album too, as its business as usual for this 4 piece. Opener ‘September’ builds on a sweet vocal over jangly guitars, which lead to a lush, harmony-filled chorus elevating the song to another level. 60’s inspired “woah-woah” backing vocals give a high energy, euphoric feel that will have you singing along before the first chorus ends.
Memories of first hearing the likes of Redd Kross and Teenage Fanclub come to mind as much as Blondie and The Go-Go’s for me. This is such a happy-go-lucky record that will brighten up the dreariest of days and do its upmost to cheer up those with a broken heart. The songwriting shines through, and it’s fair to say the fine art of a catchy chorus and clever use of song dynamics is not lost on these guys.
Next up they deliver ‘Real Thing’ which I can excitedly describe as The Shangri-Las doing Ramones. With twangy guitar riffs and cool vocalisin’, it’s a hook-laden sound of the summer, designed to blast from your radio and sing at the top of your voice.
Two tracks in and I’m already sold, I guarantee you will be too. The more punky ‘Pinch Myself’ sees the band ramp up the aggression. Urgent drums, gang vocals and guitars turned up to 11 sees the Rats channel the NY sound of Blondie and Ramones to the max.
Quirky lyrics and heartfelt sentiment takes us into Kirsty MacColl territory on the likes of ‘Time To Time’ and ‘Lucky’ as layered, sweet vocal harmonies and reverb drenched guitars gel perfectly.
‘Get Down’ has that classic 60’s Phil Spector feel. The drum beat, the percussion and the little guitar riff, the way the song builds is perfectly executed. The stops before the verses, the sultry vocal delivery, it all gels to make a perfect pop ditty that would’ve hit the top of the hit parade back in the day pop pickers.
Featuring more potential radio hits than you can shake a stick at, ‘Got Lucky’ is song after song, with not a bad track on offer and it’s highly enjoyable from start to finish. If your heart misses a beat at the mention of The Go-Go’s, or if you get all dreamy and misty-eyed at the sound of Blondie, or maybe you just miss the simplicity of a 3 chord Ramones pop song, then you could do no better than dig into what Lucy & The Rats have to offer. Dirty Water Records do it again delivering a great product from a fantastic band you need in your life right now. Hit the link below and buy the record, you won’t regret it.
Considering we’re in the early knockings of a new decade it’s impressive that bands take the time to put out singles at this time of year anyway. We welcome some fresh meat onto our pages and welcome back some brothers we always have time for on RPM for their sheer excellentness and an amazing repertoire of top tuneage. Oh, and good effort on bands like Smash Fashion who are embracing the format with two new bangers which is everything we love about Rock and Roll. So here’s an impressive starting eleven me lovers, check these treats out…
The City Kids – ‘Best Of You’ (self-released) Not to be confused with Welsh glam legends City Kidds, this is the new project from former Main Gains axe-slinger JJ Watt. ‘Best Of You’ is the first single from their upcoming debut album ‘Things That Never Were’ and all proceeds from this release go to Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of Mikey Lawless from Falling Red.
JJ handles vocals and guitar on this project and he is joined by Dennis Post (Warrior Soul/Flush The Fashion), Berty Burton (Tigertailz) on bass and Falling Red drummer Dave Sanders.
‘Best Of You’ is a low slung, gritty rock ‘n’ roll number that stays true to JJ’s roots. Think Circus Of Power meets The Yo-Yos for reference. Vocals that can’t hide a 40 a day habit and a penchant for a rum or two, mix with greasy biker rock and tons of melody, what more could you desire?
Billy Tee and Alex Holmes from The Suicide Notes add vocals, guitar and a certain swagger to the ramshackle ‘Round And A Round’, which was co-written by JJ and a certain Mr Kory Clarke. This four-track release adds demos of the single and an old Main Grains track that they never recorded called ‘You Get Nothing’ that is worth the asking price alone.
All tracks feature on the album, albeit different versions, making this release more than just a curio for lovers of The Main Grains, The Wildhearts, Warrior Soul or anyone with a love of no-frills rock ‘n’ roll. Bandcamp / Facebook
Smash Fashion – ‘Got Da Hee Bee GeeBee’s’/ ‘Benny And The Jets’ (Yeah Right! Records) Smash Fashion tip the hat to the early punk rockers and they manage to spit their gum out long enough to knock this one right out the park. exactly what a 7″ single should sound like, “cool as” kids trust me, Snotty and with a bit of street muscle Smash Fashion turn their efforts to the classic 7″ single and do it justice – nice. Then flip it over for some retro-tinged Hoople hand-clapping, shithouse shaking Rock and Rolla. Damn Smash Fashion just gets better and better. Check it out right now! Its an order. Facebook Pick it up Here
The Hip Priests – ‘Drink To My Demons’ (Speedowax Records) Well as I wipe my brow those Hip Priests are in the house making good on the reason why a singles club is an essential staple of any website. Yeah, so they’ve done plenty of singles so what? This ones a sexy picture disc! They’ve not done that before so new ground there for those purveyors of awesome Garage Rock. With more power than a front row of F1, this is a tasty twosome. ‘Drink To My Demons’ is a banger (of course it is bla bla bla) No it really is. Nobody does it better as Von Cruz spits out the lyrics and no doubt fueled by the world they live in, The Hip Priest lead the charge in 2020, For me, all the intrigue was about the B side and how The Priests were going to tackle the Adam And The Ants B-side from the ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ single – ‘Press Darlings’. Oh wow! truly spectacular this needs to be heard Adam should hand over ownership pronto The Hip Priests absolutely kill it. magic stuff. Don’t pass this one by folks, just buy it or be left with custard pie(ella) on your face. Spasm Gang members can pick it up with some rather tasty beer mats thrown in as well. Facebook
Rotten Mind – Not One Of You (Lövely Records) Today marks the release of “Not One of You”, Rotten Minds third and last single taken from the band’s fourth album “Rat City Dog Boy”, set for release this week February 7 to be precise on Lövely Records. “Not One of You” is the most darkwave- inspired track of the LP. The reverby guitar sounds, fat and pumping bass à la Joy Division and lyrics about alienation contribute to a gloomy atmosphere.Facebook
Hells Ditch – ‘Vacant Hearts’ (Disconnect Disconnect (UK), Rose Coloured Records (UK) & Bypolar Records)
Featuring ex/current members of Bad Ideas, River Jumpers & Dearist Hells Ditch release their debut single next month on 7″ but is available now to stream. With a modern punk rock sound its no surprise to see the band get Mass Giorgini who has previously worked with the likes of Rise Against, Anti Flag and Alcaline Trio. Whilst hailing from the UK they have a sprightly American sound which will have wide appeal. Be interesting to hear some more of these guys they could do really well.
ÅSKVÄDER – ‘NOTHING TO LOSE’ (The Sign Records) Unadulterated pure ’70s Rock that’s where ÅSKVÄDER are coming from with this the first single taken from their upcoming S/T debut album, to be released on The Sign Records this coming March. Yes, they’re from Sweden (where else?) is it Action enough for the Action Rock crowd? (I’d say it certainly is) with some of that southern Rock boogie and a raw on the prowl guitar sound, this is sharp and whilst its roots are back in the mists of time they are not. Check it out on streaming sites everywhere.
The Venomous Pinks – ‘I Want You’ (Die Laughing Records) Tempe, AZ all-female punk rock trio The Venomous Pinks has released a new single and music video, a cover of Joan Jett & The Blackhearts’ “I Want You,” which will appear on the band’s upcoming album of the same name.
The Venomous Pinks hit this particular nail squarely on the head with a ten-pound sledge. No subtlety, no compromise just a damn good interpretation of a Jett classic. Not a band to be trifled with. Top tune! Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter
The Monsters – ‘I’m A Stranger To Me’ (Slovenly Records) Wild, reckless, outta control. Just the way we like it here at RPM. The lead track rattles along in spectacular fashion. With a guitar that’s like a twitching, buzz saw hacks and cuts through the moon the loon style drumming – its a rocket ride of a tune and that’s good enough for us. Check em out. flip it over to see if they are more than a one-trick pony and ‘Carpool Lane’ begins with some white noise before the slow Sabbath with no bottom end enters the fray …oh hang on we’re off on some hypnotic march. Nuts I tell thee but what’s wrong with that? Nothing that’s what. Check out Monsters they rock!
Soraia – ‘Dangerous’ (Wicked Cool Records) Philadelphia rock quartet Soraia will release their new album ‘Dig Your Roots’ on March 13 via Steven Van Zandt’s label Wicked Cool Records. American radio is blowing up over these cats and having been influenced by the likes of Joan Jett and the vines so it’s a no brainer they were going to feature on the pages of RPM. Being part of the Wicked Cool roster isn’t too shabby either. this track released off the album ‘Dig Your Roots’ is punchy and has a decent riff on that chorus as you can see Joan Jett has indeed been an influence and its good to hear that again this month! Facebook
The Ghost Wolves – Lets Go To Mars (Dirty Water Records) Austin Texas has thrown up plenty of noteworthy bands and Ghost Wolves are certainly one of the busiest. Blending rock n’ roll, punk rock, garage and blues with electronic elements, the duo has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in the modern rock n’ roll underground, touring internationally for almost 8 years straight, with nearly 1000 shows between them in 23+ countries including most of Western Europe, USA, U.K., and Japan. ‘Let’s Go To Mars’ is their latest offering on wax
Märvel – ‘Märvellous’ (The Sign Records) The EP contains four tracks of hard hitting Rock n Roll; ‘Amaze-O’, ‘Marvellous’, ‘Public School 75’ and ‘A Taste of Platinum’. Digital and 7″ vinyl.
Märvels debut EP “Märvellous” claimed to be recorded in 2002 for the American label New York Powerhitters during the bands exchange semester in Colorado. Märvel returned to Sweden before the songs were released, and the EP never got to reach the ears of Märvels dedicated fans. Well, Worry no more Märvel fans because the band has re-recorded the EP and it’s here. What does it sound like? Well, its got a flavour of classic Märvel of course but its got classic rock running through it from the Kiss like riffage on ‘Amaze-O’ and the pick of the four would go to ‘Märvellous’ again, more than a nod to what they learnt in Kisstory lessons at Rock school. So you know where this ones going kids its quality Rock! Marvel style. Now go get one before they’re all gone gone gone.
First up on this rather fresh UK morning are the Ghost Wolves with their track ‘ Let’s Go To Mars’ this will twist your melon first thing.
The undisputed kings of Americana are back in the game with ‘Thoughts And Prayers’ taken from their soon to be release new album. Enjoy
We hope Ricky is on the mend after his recent stay in hospital so to share the love we bring you the brand new Black Star Riders video for ‘In The Shadow Of A War Machine’
Finally a last-minute addition will warm the cockles of your heart and one for all action rockers to put on before braving the cold outside is the excellent ‘Phoney Highs’ from the excellent Electric Shakes. It’s a right belter taken from their EP 2019. Find it and fill yer boots.
See you next week same time same place when we’ll have a few more choice videos might be new might be classic who knows. Tra
One of our favourite bands at RPM HQ needs some help.
The Cavemen left their jobs & their homes in London in order to do this tour, so they clearly do not have the money to fly themselves to Cuba without any financial assistance. So we’ve decided to start taking up a collection for them. There will be a JAR that people can drop small contributions into during their USA tour in Dec/Jan… and people around the world can also contribute here.
If we collect more than we need to get the guys to Cuba, we will ask our musician friends in Cuba to make us a list of gear they need, and then we’ll use the extra money to buy it and send it to Cuba with the Cavemen!
If you can’t make any of the shows but would like to make a donation, get in touch and we’ll tell you how!
JAN 14 – Oakridge – Club Fungus
JAN 15 – Charlotte – The Milestone Club
JAN 16 – Atlanta – 529
JAN 17 – Jacksonville – Jack Rabbits
JAN 20 – Ft Lauderdale / West Palm – TBC
JAN 21 – Miami – Churchill’s
JAN 22 – Miami Beach – Kill Your Idol’s
24-26 ENERO – MEXICO CDMX
27-30 ENERO – CUBA?!?
31 ENERO – 2 FEBRERO – CANCUN / MERIDA
The Scaners follows-up on their 2019 LP (Dirty Water Records/Adrenalin Fix Music) with a new 7″ featuring a little nugget off the long-player called “X-Ray Glasses: On.” An exact release date is yet to be announced but it is expected out in December via a consortium of labels including Adrenalin Fix Music, Dangerhouse Skylab, Spaghetty Town Records, and Ghost Highway Recordings. Below, you can watch the band’s video for “X Ray Glasses: On” directed by Hugo “Frogy” Reymond.
AIRBOURNE have unleashed an official music video for their current single, ‘Backseat Boogie’; shot at their sold-out Copenhagen show at Amager Bio just last month, this latest clip captures fans rocking out to new songs from the recently released studio album, ‘Boneshaker’, for the very first time.
The Swedish sextet Hellsingland Underground released their fifth full length studio album, called “A Hundred Years Is Nothing”, on August 30. The sound on this album is a big step forward for the band, both sound- and songwriting wise. You can still sense their early day folk and blues influences, but you’ll also hear echoes of Pink Floyd, Queen and The Doors. Mini-moogs, mellotron and accoustic guitars has been added into a perfect mix of great personal lyrics, and some of the finest songwriting to ever come from a Swedish rock band. “A Hundred Years Is Nothing” is their strongest album to date, no doubt
Everybody loves a compilation album, don’t they? Even if its a taster that’ll put you on notice to never buy a Ted Nugent record ever after hearing Axe Attack as a kid.
When you hear some band from a far off land pre-internet and then have to go on a ten-year hunt to find that record that was only released in Australia we’ve all been there haven’t we? Well in 2019 and with all the playlists under the sun I find myself getting quite excited with the release of a couple of compilation albums and The Last Testament is one of those records that has some bands I’m familiar with and some I’m not which has me intrigued and rather like my ten-year-old self quite excited at the prospect of maybe discovering my new favourite band.
I did chuckle to myself when I read the press sheet and it asked the questions are you fed up of wimpy kids with effects pedals? Uh, Yes! Do you like hard drugs and cannibalism? Um, not really but I’m listening. and then do you want to punch a cop in the face? Fuckin’ Hell yeah! How about six bands two songs each spread out over roughly twenty-five minute? Not going to tax even the most easily distracted hipster. If I were to inform you that the six bands were Black Mambas, the Cavemen, The Scaners, The Fadeaways, Les Lullies and Nave Nodriza. Now you’re interested!
Those Black Mambas are ‘Up All Night’ shaking their shit like its the last night on earth and they’re the house band. Catchy and punchy as fuck Man I love Black Mambas. The Cavemen play fast live faster and get to the end of the tune fastest. Its garage punk it’s lightning fast and it’s a fuckin’ banger if you know the band you know what to expect its a chaotic one and a half minutes that’s barely hanging on to reality let alone any sanity ‘My Baby Knows’ is a killer! the Scaners start off like a cold vintage car before igniting the jet engine and away we go.
The Fadeaways do slow it down on ‘I’m Useless’ with a groovy slice of garage rock n roll before Les Lullies turn the amps right up and slam out some rapid rock and roll like a cross between Sonny Vincent and Chuck Berry there are some awesome guitar licks in there and one of the best tracks on offer on this collection. I’ve been blown away by Les Lullies and what I’ve heard so far. Side one is closed with Nava Nodriza with ‘Destruyete’ that’s like Captin sensible joined Motorhead and just Destroyed it. That’s side one shut down then now to flip it and see what’s cooking on the dark side.
Well, more of the same from the same bands (no surprise there then) What you do get is another six excellent tunes. If I were to pick a winner it might go to Black Mambas for their Cramps meets Quo meets Stray Cats amped up rock n roll ‘Baby I’ll Give It To You’ which is just superb. Dirty Water has released some fantastic records over the years and introduced some awesome bands that have lightened up a special corner of my life and no doubt countless others. Compilation albums like this can only be a good thing no make that a great thing. Check it out then check out the individual bands and we’re all winners. Brilliant – loud – wild rock and roll just how I like it!
The Ramones, The Dickies, The Briefs, Tubeway Army, Parker From Thunderbirds all spring to mind if your wanting reference points to describe the sound of Lyons The Scaners. IT’s upbeat rapid punchy in your face hooks galore with guitars, bass, drums and synths. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell like being punched in the gob by some wackos with dayglo shades and a shit-eating grin across their faces.
‘Random City’ sounds like Tubeway Army playing The Ramones and absolutely nailing it. You should know how this plays out, its a dozen songs lasting about two minutes each all packed with melodies and gang choruses and sandpaper raw guitars buzzing around a rock-steady punchy beat with accented synth stabs here there everywhere! There are exceptions to the rule mind. No, I’m not suggesting there is a country and western track tucked away and neither is there a heavy metal track about dragons and fire but ‘Space X-Ploration’ clocks in at a prog bustin’ four minutes. Four fuckin minutes mind, wow. Most of that the intro to be fair which sounds like thunderbirds are blasting off and the video will be yoghurt pots and fishing wire with a paper mache moon you can imagine the drill now. The body of the song is a banger to be fair. I love the song and the instruments just work perfectly.
‘Galactic Race’ carries on a theme with a fantastic Diggle like guitar slash that is like Buzzcocks playing Devo right in the ‘Why Can’t I Touch It’ pocket if that song were on speed. ‘X-Ray Glasses’ is a much gentler tune well, when I say gentle – it’s slower and purposeful with a great bass guitar throb. ‘Spin Like A Record’ is like The Briefs just straight ahead punk rock goodness. Imagine The Ramones if Johnny wore a keytar, not a Mosrite well that’s ‘Don’t Run We’re Your Friends’ or at least in the same ballpark.
Over the course of these twelve songs, fans already on board will be delighted with what they hear.as The Scaners kill it throughout with a most excellent bunch of tunes and if you’re looking for some top-notch punk with a twist then you might just have found your new favourite snotty punks.
Don’t say we never have off the wall Rock ‘n’ Roll or we don’t go the extra mile for you good people because we certainly do. Weird Omen is a garage rock trio with Baritone Sax along with Guitar and drums being the weapons of choice for Weird Omen. The sound, however, is a shimmering slab of Cramps meets Fuzztones meets psychedelic garage if there is such an axis. Sometimes it’s chaotic sometimes it’s trippy sometimes its killer but depending on what mood you’re in I guess will be the deal breaker.
I love the slow groovy blues harmonies of ‘The Goat’ but I haven’t got a clue what the fuck it’s about but I suspect it doesn’t matter one single Jott. The album kicks off with the echoing head fuck of Baritone Sax honkin’ like a good un as the guitar and drums join in and take you on a walk through some choppy waters. The song builds and builds and gets you in a right trance. It sets the tone and I love it.
I do think you have to be in the right headspace for a bit of Weird Omen as sometimes it can get overwhelming and the sound can take you under but the garage goodness of ‘Please Kill Me’ is most welcome anytime. ‘Earworm’ races like ‘Fortune Teller’ on jazz fags and acid. By the time you hit the ’60s tinged San Fran psych of ‘Out Of My Brain’ if you’ve done it in one sitting then you’re doing exceedingly well.
Clocking in at just over half an hour I liked it I wouldn’t say I loved it but it certainly has its moments in both directions. I would however go and watch them live no doubt about that because in the moment I reckon they could be awesome with all that sax appeal. Go check em out and see for yourself.
From the dark heart of Yorkshire, this is Snakerattlers’ second album, and I admit that this is my first encounter with their music. The duo are husband and wife, Dan and Naomi Gott, guitar/vocals and drums/vocals, and, unlike some other duos, they have the tunes to ensure that they are no novelty act. Yes, there are elements of The Cramps here and there; ‘Do The Rattle Rock’ and ‘Rattle Rock Stomp’. But, their approach has more in common with Dan Sartain; see ‘I’ll Destroy Your Soul’. ‘She’s Strange’ sways, makes your hips shake. In fact, you could dance to the whole album, should you feel inclined.
They certainly have too much class to be tagged as psychobilly, in my opinion; a lazy description. ‘Standing On My Own’ is worthy of any Tarantino soundtrack, while ‘Ooga Booga’ does pretty much what it says. ‘Wild’ is a fitting end and makes me want to see them in a sweaty club sometime soon; their natural environment. But this is also a fine addition to your album collection. They know how to roll.
This came out a number of weeks ago yeah we know but don’t hold it against us we were a twinkle in out arents eye then and not up and running but we couldn’t let it get past you without covering it for RPM.
So who the fuck is Lucy and why is she hanging around with the rats? Firstly Lucy is a singer-songwriter in London town and the rats are allegedly the happening in a lab experiment and judging by that experiment something went right because straight from the off ‘Pills’ gets inside your head and those melodies and hooks take hold. sure the dreamy vocals interspersed with those jagged guitar stabs is the perfect power pop combination but it doesn’t end there. By the time you’re into this time doesn’t matter. Songs like ‘Lose My Mind’ are so fuckin’ infectious its mental. there is even time to lean towards the pop as on ‘So Simple’ it takes me back to the new wave power pop that Blondie perfected in the 80’s like on ‘Melody’ but don’t be mistaken because Lucy is her own boss and on the strength of ‘Night’ she should be round to Duncan Reids and get scoring a duet with him and his Big Heads that would be a perfect match up as they sing from the same hymn sheet.
It’s not retro it’s timeless It’s power pop audio bombs. I love the bass on ‘Hold On Me’ and the throwaway trash talk lyrics it could have come from a Tracy Ulman lyric sheet and as we reach the end and the tub-thumping finale its got sand between its toes as Lucy laments about losing her dosh at the seaside. I live near the sea and if Lucy needs to reach out I’ll get her an ice cream cone and a bag of chips as payback for knocking out an album as heartening and bright as this one.
Its power pop Jim exactly how you know it and exactly how it should sound and as far as experiments go on animals I guess this one is ok! Powerpop Goodness is available to buy here