Its August and this week sees us roll with our comprehensive Rebellion Festival round-up so why not run our twent choice cuts from our perspective. We’d have listed the likes of Zero Zero and Rotten Foxes but they’re not on Spotify so we’ve gone with a solid old and new twenty plus. Check em out there has to be something for every taste in there. Remember kids don’t just stream go out and watch these bands and buy their merch and music. It keeps them making the music we love.
Wow, every month I start to see what’s out there in the 45 rpm section and wonder why there aren’t any being released or, I wait until the Hip Priests have a single out; which is normally once a month to be fair. Then I get to thinking, man, there aren’t enough I’m going to have to hold ’em over till next month. Then as if by magic, poof, a bunch of 45s lands either on the doormat or through the email.
This month threw up exceptionally high-quality singles and most pleasing there were many made of wax. you know 7″ round things which I love so without further waffle here’s Julys releases…
SUSPECT PARTS ‘You Know I Can’t Say No’ b/w ‘Song For Sadie’ (17 Television) “An Apocalypse Pop super group with ex and current members of The Briefs, Clorox Girls. More Kicks, RadioDead Ones, Maniac and Red Dons. Here on their brand new single “You Know I Can’t Say No” they combine late 70’s California beach punk and power pop with 60’s garage and bubblegum. It’s a cotton candy-meets-razorblade concoction that goes down surprisingly smooth”. That’s what they said in the press blurb and it’s hard to disagree. Man their long player blew me away and this is more of the same. When rock and roll is in the hands of experts who really really really know what they’re doing then it’s as easy as 1-2-3. Suspect Parts – Record of the month? Too right it is.
Rotten Foxes – ‘Arrive, Raise Hell, Leave’ (Self Release) Brighton’s Rotten Foxes make a ‘fuck off noise’. They play hard and fast and loose and take no prisoners at all. I can’t possibly include the video but I’m sure that’s not where you dip your chocolate biscuit. Its a killer tune and you should be all over this brief exert from the band. ‘Make Me Pretty’ is a cry for help but not even Jim could fix that (Too Soon?) ‘Over The Ropes’ is Exploited meets Motorhead meets Stone Cold Steve Austin – Hell yeah! chug a six-pack n’ lay the smack down and count to three. Killer tune. Rotten Foxes have Rotten hair cuts and perished denim shorts but their Rock and Roll are as Action Rock as anyone. Loud, hard and fast – Get in there! Uncompromising in your face punk as fuck Ave It! I think I love Rotten Foxes – Get em because we hear they won’t be around for long Here
The Speedways – ‘Seen Better Days’/’They Don’t Know’ – Facebook
‘Seen Better days’ gets a new singles mix and aren’t the last band this month to feature a synth running riot over some awesome power pop. It’s no secret how much I love The Speedways and including live favourite ‘They Don’t Know’ is a beautiful thing. That’s exactly how you take on a pop classic, play it like you love it and own it like you wrote it. A Stunning rendition of a stunning slab of perfect pop. Buy it!
Duncan Reid & The Big Heads – ‘Kellys Gone Insane’ (Crocodile Records) Having the original debut solo record reissued with bells and whistles and new tracks recorded around the time (obviously) it makes perfect sense to release a single to promote it, just like Duncan would have done in those olden days when bands made singles to promote their LP. ‘Kellys Gone Insane’ is a belter of a tune I know it and you should too. If you don’t then here’s your chance to pick up a copy. It has two tunes on the B side ‘Pretty Little Rachel’ and ‘Baby Baby’ neither have been on record before so for less than ten pounds whats not to want to own? The lead track first came out seven years ago! Wow, time flys but one thing remains timeless and thats top Rock and Roll and Duncan Reid plays Top Rock and Roll ‘Kellys Gone Insane’ will drive you insane its catchy as hell and will lodge itself in your head – honest!
Kurt Baker Combo – (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You (Wicked Cool Records) Its Kurt Baker Combo they don’t do bad songs so it was a no brainer that we were going to love this one. When we got the slightest whiff of a new single and once again wicked Cool has snapped up a great band.
Its great from the opening lead break and throbbing bass line to the snare slap and that’s before Kurt comes in with his new wave drawl. With a great big hook ‘n’ riff and those woohoo! backing vocals, of course, this is a ray of sunshine and another excellent track from KBC. those key stabs remind me of Hot Hot Heat as well which is always welcome – so what’s not to love?
The Hives – I’m Alive/Good Samaritan (Disques Hives) Hooray the Hives are back on wax. Always one of the best rock and roll bands out there on the live front and to be fair they’ve managed to pen the odd banger or two. ‘Good Samaritan’ is classic Hives. With that rapid riff and drum beat with Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist leading the charge, it’s got a killer chorus. it’s great to have the band back sounding fresh and ready for the attack.
Budokan – C’Mon Daddy (Bandcamp) I loved their long player ‘Spin A Little Gold’ and once again these Canadian purveyors of Power Pop have delivered the goods with this classic slab of rock and roll. It’s just a fantastic pop tune played with loud rock and roll guitars. It’s got a great hook and it grooves like a good un. The album came out back in 2012 so I can only presume they’ve been having such a groovy time they lost track of the time between releases who knows. Let’s hope there is a long player on the way folks because these guys are great. Play it loud! Bandcamp
The first video single this month is from South Korean band Bursters with ‘Barriers’ its released as a double A-side single “Barriers / Hero”. Driving metal riffs mixed with instantly memorable melodies and screamed vocals. The band mix the very best of metal with explosive live performances born from consistent touring across Korea. the bband hit the UK this coming week to support the single. K Rock is in the house.
Kettle of Kites – Orchids (Unsigned) Taken from the bands soon to be released album this eco-warrior tune is a haunting new cut that offers a reflection on the blurring of fiction and reality as Earth stands on the precipice of environmental disaster. Deep stuff for a 45. But something different for us here at RPM singles round up so why not get involved and check em out –Facebook
Automatic – ‘Calling It’ (Stones Throw Records) synth punks Automatic take it one step beyond Tubeway Army. The band hail from the underground scene of Los Angeles where they met this is our first taste of the LA new wavers so join us as we catch up with ‘Calling It’ video
Continuing the theme of new bands on us and ones with new video singles out here are Project Revise with ‘Just a Story’.
Next up we have Swedish Metalheads Narnia and their new single ‘You Are The Air That I Breathe’ – Facebook
Genya Ravan ‘Don’t Go Into The Bathroom’ (Rumbar Records) When I first heard this I thought it was an odd title but in the context of the lyrics, Genya makes perfect sense. I mean I went there once and was horrified that there was no stall door for a start but her ode to CBGB is a fine tune. Genya headed up CBGB Records at the behest of Hilly himself so when she sings the lyrics take notice this force of nature is a pioneer and for that she gets our Kudos. Facebook
The Empty Page – ‘He’s Very Good At Swimming’. After Rags reviewed this on its release here’s the accompanying video for your viewing pleasure.
Autogramm – ‘Bad Day’ (Jarama 45 RPM Records) Canadian power-pop signed to a Spanish label singing Ramones Classic in Spanish now beat that. With an ear-splitting synth leading the charge on this throwback new wave no wave. It’s unoriginal yet nobody else I can think of is doing it these days so totally original that is until you hit their cover of The Ramones ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ but in Spanish of course. Didn’t see that one coming wow. Mind blown right there. you just have to hear it if you’re a fan of Da Brudas and power pop then you have to check it out. Whilst I’m here these guys are heading to Europe and playing a bunch of shows and they’re not ducking the UK they have a couple of shows lined up here too so my advice is to check em out if you can – Website / Bandcamp
Hardship Anchors / Death Lottery – Split (Freetime Boyz Entertainment Worldwide Inc.) Yeah you know we love to hear new bands and when they reach out with music we’re not familiar with its a beautiful thing. Sneaking under the fence at the 11th hour is this split 7″ all the way from Ft Lauderdale. Pressed on marbled vinyl and blood splattered sleeve with free stickers I’m in all ready before the needle drops. Death Lottery kick it off with an uncompromising wah infused slab of garage punk with wild and reckless solos on opener ‘Cease + Desist’ and it just takes off from there. ‘Trespassin’ is up next and sounding like a really lo-fi misfits horror track its a great track brief and to the point much like all three of their contributions. As for Hardship Anchors, theirs is a slightly less chaotic contribution that doesn’t sound like its driven on adrenalin and has more of an early Replacements vibe happening Evan Dando when he way young hungry and fueled on punk. the final track ‘Fake’ has a bit of Buzzcocks going on which is always welcome round here. Check em out on their Bandcamp page and pick it up.
The Kopek Millionaire (Johny skullknuckles) – Hey Mikki (self Release) Bandcamp When you’re waiting around for your band to get their shit together and you have the means why not fuck around with a classic slab of pop music. Johny gives this 80s pop classic a right roughing up I’m sure you’ll agree. Toni Basil would no doubt be blushing at the compliment paid by Johny who calls it a cover of a cover and a silly one at that. Not that we agree because we love some sloppy rock and roll. Well done Sir now get that band sorted and lets have the new record.
Beechwood – ‘I Know It’s Not Right’ (Alive Natural Sound) Ok we have to sign off somewhere so why not sign off with a direct line of heritage handed down from Johnny Thunders in the shape of Beechwood. They have that NYC cool and Gordon Lawrence sure knows how to channel his thoughts into his music. Regaling a dark time in his life through the song Lawrence said he was happy with the outcome of such a dark experience explaining how he was in such bad shape when he wrote the song, he described himself as broken but he was still able to believe that things would get better; and this was a reminder of that dark time. It’s haunting but mourish and Lawrence certainly has charm and charisma in his songwriting, Not an instant single for sure but one you should check out.
The band are about to embark on a quick tour of Europe with a couple of UK dates added.
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This month we’ve either reviewed – seen or reported on new music heading our way from some of our favourite artists and this month is no exception beginning with Manchester The Empty Page who has a new track out that we feature this month.
Then Poison Boys have just released their blistering debut album we reviewed here but the album isn’t on Spotify yet so we delved into their back catalogue for this months playlist. But buy the album its a belter (Here).
We also welcome back The Hives with their new single.
The living end were awesome supporting the mighty Stray Cats recently so we included one off their last studio album.
One of my favourite albums this year has been the much-anticipated solo record from Billy Liar. One of my favourite tracks off the album is added to our playlist – simple – beautiful – ‘Independent People’ is awesome and one of the best tunes this month.
Supporting Billy at his album launch is Rich Ragany & The Digressions so why not include the fantastic ‘Your Distance’ from the superb ‘…Like We’ll Never Make It…’
There are also some superb tunes on our playlist from the likes of Duncan Reid, Joey Cape, Razorbats and more. go check us out and spread the word.
Friday is always a day where you are either confident that your pre Rebellion training is paying off or the first day that the hair of the dog feels like a great idea and you start to feel the burn.
After a hearty breakfast in some greasy spoon or a vegan falafel and a power walk. Or if your of a certain age like us a banana and a bowl of bran. then a quick blast along the seafront to get some of that sea air in your lungs and then its good to go for round two.
After some Bingo with Max (fingers crossed we win the trouser press from his hotel room (cough cough) eyes down for a line (its bingo speak) then it’s some magic with Rat Boy before the Rock and Roll starts proper.
After a decent perusal of the running order, I would recommend partaking in some limbering up and stretches to T-F-G or as you would know them – The Fucking Glorious (what? we don’t know or ask) but they make a decent noise so pop into the sauna that is the Arena nice n early before the walls start perspiring. Then I suggest you stay put for some of that Grime street punk that is the Riskee And The Ridicule. A band we’ve been following since we were introduced to their recent debut (reviewed Here) With barely time to grab an ice cream and wipe off the sweat it’ll be a hop skip and jump into The Pavillion for Turbulent Hearts but here goes the first clash of the day as Raging Nathans are on at the same time back in the Arena – a band who were seriously good in the Introducing stage last year. Proving that the organisers do take notice and bands do progress. so, always worth getting your tapes in or whatever constitutes a demo these days. Hard work certainly pays but don’t forget you have to have some tunes too.
The one thing you try not to get bent out of shape over are the clashes. Sure its often unavoidable and when it happens its a bummer. Make your choice and stick to it sometimes its good to watch the first half of one then go to the other for the last half especially if it’s later in the day and the bands are playing for an hour you can comfortably see half a set. Sadly for me, Friday is going to be all about choices I’m going to either plan ahead (military style) or just flip a coin and stick to it.
As for the Empress early evening, you can catch up with some established acts like Penetration who are immediately followed by TV Smith playing The Adverts. Tonight the UK Subs also hit the Empress Stage and will turn in their usually epic set over the last few years their sets have become more and more epic and The Empress usually fills up so if you are partaking in some Subs get in early it’ll get very busy.
But, Let’s not get ahead of ourselves because over on the Club Casbah stage at 3.15 we welcome back Dragster after missing them last year they’re back with a new album and a sharper more focussed sound. If the weather has anything to do with it they’ll be on when only Mad Dogs and Englishmen (and a few Welshmen) will be out and about in support of that ‘Anti Everything’ album it’ll be a wild ride if previous performances are anything to go by and one I would recommend catching. If Casbah is an escape from the greenhouse effect of walking around the pop-up shop stalls then its only a short wait until another band who was widely missed last year hit the stage, Argy Bargy. They only made a return to the stage in May so that will be a popular set no question that’ll be busy and you might as well hang around because fresh from the studio Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions are on after Argy with their ‘Double Bastard’ epic in tow. Why not join in and throw yourself around like a teenager it’ll will be the perfect loosener.
I might then Pop over to the Opera House for some 1-2-3-4 with The Avengers who are back again from Sunny California. Damn, I feel bad for not mentioning what on the Almost Acoustic stage where you can sit (not always) in relative comfort and see the whites of your favourite punk rockers eyes as they’re stripped bare (not literally unless its HeWho). My top tip for who where and when would be Duncan Reid who is picking up the acoustic for a run through his fantastic power pop repertoire. This is listed to happen at the highly responsible time of 9.25 by which time the beer will have kicked in so a fine chance to sing-a-long could be on the cards. If Duncan plays the final number quick enough it shouldn’t be a problem hot-footing it over to the Opera House for Cheetah Chromes Dead Boys sure, sure, sure we’ve heard the rumours about whos playing will they won’t they; well, so far it hasn’t been cancelled so I guess I’ll be elbowing my way to the front for some ‘Sonic Reducer’ whilst the night is still young.
So Hopefully Dead Boys show but if not you could head over to the Empress for some ‘Golden Brown’ and The Stranglers or why not head back to the Acoustic stage for Alex Wonk and join him for some songs about plastering and/or race horses, either way, it’ll be good. I could keep going as to where to be and at what time but such is the quality on offer. You could be in any vicinity of a PA and I’m sure if you stand still long enough a quality tune will waft over the airwaves towards you and if you have a beer in your hand there will be someone to talk to and shoot the breeze with.
Now that’s two down and two to go hopefully you’ll just need a gentle cool down because like we say its not a sprint. I’ll be off to bed dreaming about the morrows fry up and we’ll no doubt dissect the action so far. Onwards and upwards and bring on the weekend when things tend to get a little messy.
“Didn’t we have a luvuly time the day we went to Blackpool, Kiss me quick and Lets Rock Like Fuck!”
August. All roads lead to Blackpool, for it’s time to head into the Winter Gardens for the UK’s finest alternative extravaganza and catch an awesome line up at this year’s Rebellion Festival. However you look at it this year was one of the finest line-ups ever at the festival and RPM scribes were in attendance for plenty of giggles, wobbles and plenty of old and new favourites. I wouldn’t know where to start to sum it up and do justice to the bands who played, however, there were a couple of outstanding performances at this year’s festival most notably Michael Monroe who stole the show with the Sunday night headline in the Opera House.
There were so many other high points so many great bands and looking back there are so many memories that I’ll never have again. As the year unfolded and I look back bands and people that I’ll never see again which makes me grateful to have had these moments however brief in the first place.
There were a few mentions I need to make as I mentioned the performance from Michael Monroe. sure its no secret I think the guy is the best in the business and an incredible talent and has never had the credit he deserved by wider audiences but those who get it just get it and can see that the guy and his band ooze class and he has a back catalogue so full of great songs its one of life’s mysteries how he’s not selling out stadiums and sitting on a pile of platinum records globally but hey life ain’t like that and he just gets on with it and does it with a smile and a wink as he and his band rocks like Fuck! at least now Rebellion knows this as well.
TSOL rocked like fuck – Pizzatramp turned up like fuck (well except Dan) – Clowns blew my mind – Neville Staples skanked like teenagers and considering we stood on the side of the stage to take them in for a song or two we ended up staying for the whole set and loving every minute of it – The Adolescents did Soto proud with an awesome heartfelt performance and all power to them for having the balls to turn up and play and not cancel. The Briefs showed that not all Americans are stupid – Buzzcocks were once again worthy headliners knocking out over an hour of power pop buzzsaw classics. Bar Stool Preachers were also worthy headliners and with their new album in tow, they showed a lot of established bands with decades under their belts how to rock the house and do it with a smile an outstanding and memorable performance.
Idles told it as it is and their assessment of the Tories was spot on. We danced with The DeRellas and pogoed with the Cyanide Pills. We boogied with The Boys who did two sets on two stages and ripped it up on both possibly with the Acoustic taking first prize maybe because it was a little different but the songs sounded so good acoustic. All in all, Rebellion was once again the highlight of the festival season and as far as the UK goes still the best there is beside where else are you going to chat with Supla and see his action figure – you should try it sometime you’d enjoy it. To be fair Rebellion has so much going on besides the bands its championing alternative culture in so many ways and they also had Mr. Lydon trying to be so controversial but only making himself look like a silly billy as a result but even his bizarre words can’t damped what was a massively enjoyable four days and we’re proud to be a small part of championing them because its a platform that’s pretty much free from the clutches of the big circus-like festivals that charge a fortune and treat the fans like customers in a supermarket and only want your cash because that could never be leveled at Rebellion that’s for sure and we’ll be back next August if they’ll have us to do it all again If they’ll have us that is.
But this was only the first weekend of August and this budget-busting month was barely alive and already there was so much going on.
Ben managed to take in The Wildhearts acoustic performance in York where all the hits were stripped bare. Before we could even get over Rebellion it was back to South Wales where we had a date with some Big heads oh and Duncan Reid who turned in a spectacular performance on a night that decided it was going to rain like when Noah built his ark, in fact, it was rumoured that Duncan had to swim back to the Severn Bridge where his band had hired a bigger boat but it didn’t matter to the hardy souls who braved some water falling from the sky because there was rockin’ and rollin’ to take care of.
To kick back a little Leigh Fuge took a leisurely stroll through Hyde Park and happened upon one of his guitar-slinging heroes – none other than old slow hand Eric Clapton kicking up a bluesy stink in Hyde Park along with some other six string slingers (you say that after a few bottles of house red at British Summertime Events prices) namely Carlos Santana and Gary Clark Jr. it really was the Cream (sorry couldn’t resist it) of old-school blues guitarists.(who said we aren’t a broad church here at RPM?) Leigh had to tick this one off his must-see list and was glad he did as the bluesmen certainly delivered. He also took in Maiden in Birmingham he said this about it, “Even after 40 something years of rocking, this band seem to improve with age like a fine wine. While they may not be to everyone’s taste, this year’s Legacy of the Beast tour was one of the highlights of my year. I’ve seen the band 14 times now and this one felt like something very special.” Who said we’re not a braod church?
As far as album releases in the month of August go – There was Idles releasing their ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ which went down rather well at RPM. there were also albums released by some old friends that were more than welcome making a return to our turntables namely Mr Walter Lure who managed to put out a new album with the Waldos for the first time in 24 years! has it really been 24 years? My God, I feel old but ‘Wacka Lacka Boom Pop A Loom Bam Boo’ yeah that’s right it is called ‘Wacka Lacka Boom Pop A Loom Bam Boo’ but its Waldo and its rock n roll just accept it and move on. Ian McNabb also put out his latest long player this month with ‘Our Future In Space’ rocking out like he promised he would. There were also notable releases from The Ringleaders with their superb effort ‘Bi-Coastal Blasphemy’ and if that wasn’t enough Lovesores released ‘Gods Of Ancient Grease’. Craggy was outside his local record shop at half eight in the morning to purchase his copes of The Dahlmanns ‘American Heartbeat’ and Fertile Hump ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ in August as well he hasn’t stopped playing them since. sneaking in through the back door right at the last minute of August was a fantastic record that I was shocked to hear but in a good way and the more I played it the more I liked it and to be fair its been easily one of the highlights of the year. Oh yeah, The Brutalists with their debut long player ‘The Brutalists‘. go check it out its a belter.
As far as singles go those 45 RPM releases saw the wonderful Damaged Goods celebrate being in existence for 30 years by releasing a whole bunch of cool singles and the first one being those wonderful chaps Cyanide Pills and their take of the Glitter Band single and what a job they did on ‘Just For You’ which we picked up at Rebellion along with a new 7″ from TSOL and The Briefs ‘Kids Laugh At You’ but I have to mention TV Crime as well because their single ‘Hooligans’ was pure earworm and once it was in the old noggin I couldn’t shake it. Fantastic stuff. Hopefully, 2019 will see them release a long player we can hear never mind “shitty attitude – killer tunes” sort it out gents I want the album, thank you kindly.
In a nutshell that was the briefest glimpse into our August. On to September…