Make No Mistake I’ve got a lot of time for London Rockers Neon Animal and their first album had moments where they showed confidence and played like they had it going on and they could certainly be the next big thing and wouldn’t just be one of those bands where only a few remembered the name let alone any of their songs.

Album number two is here and ‘Make No Mistake’ is something of a giant leap for me and that hype and confidence might just be about to be realised and they now have the songs to go with the look and they are talking the talk and walking the walk.

There’s more to this record than being posers who site influences from the downright cool to the downright premier league of recording artists. It’s not a record of garagy punk rock there’s more going on here and the new Neon Animal is certainly a different beast this time around. It might well be heavier, dirtier, broader than the debut and throughout the albums nine new tracks its a more confident more expansive record that explores the time-honoured subject matter of sex, the drugs and the rock ’n’ roll. Sure it’s decadent but it’s quality.

Opening with a really strong track in the shape of ‘Rock and Roll War’ its a statement of intent and has the energy to make you sit up and listen. That heavier tag is evident on ‘Let’s Make The World Rock’ with its simple chorus and biting riff its the breakdown and into that thumping bass riff and solo that lifts this into something quite exciting and Rock and Roll needs that.  Sure its got some garage Rock and Roll going on but it’s mixed with a punk rock bass and hard-rocking riff and it blends really well. There a polished edge to this record but its also rolling on a dirty stage floor and a great example of that is ‘Rock and Roll Suicide’ it’s restrained and is a really well-written song.  Sure it’s not reinventing the wheel or anything but so what that’s for others because Neon Animal are about the here and now and we need some bands to just kick out the jams and ‘Rock and Roll Suicide’ is a real highlight, something you should be hearing on the radio in the middle of the day if there was any justice.

The band get their groove on with a straight-up groove rocker with ‘I Can Tell You Love Me’ man they make me blush it’s like overhearing a dirty conversation between two lusty teens and the mix of sleazy funk and rock is infectious,  You won’t be hearing this on any radio station I know that!

The band introduce some big acoustic guitars for the sunshine of ‘Hello L.A’ a top-down get the beers in the fridge kinda Bowie influenced number. Something quite different from the rest of the louder songs but a very nice sidestep into something altogether more ’70s glam and who isn’t down with that?

The album closes with the dark ‘Broken Mirror’ it’s like a Soho late-night mini-opera from a bygone era as it twists and turns another quite different sidestep that is excellent and adds another flavour to this record that is growing and growing the more I play it.  Had it been all riff-ola crash bang wallop then it would have been missing that x-factor but the gear shifts and twists and turns elevate this to something quite special.  Neon Animal might just have arrived and have the tunes to mess with the big boys and throw a big sleazy-glam-garage-rock ripple in the stale pool of Rock and Roll ‘Make No Mistake’ is one hell of a statement piece and I give it my full support.  Get on it kids this is most excellent.

 

Buy ‘Make No Mistake’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

 

Italian rockers Bravata released their debut album ‘Pray for Today’ in May 2020 – as with so many bands, a very unfortunate time to release an album. However, the result is an accomplished, catchy collection of songs.

The Lecce-based band seem to effortlessly mix 70s American rock and roll with British-style Brit pop and beat, perhaps most notable in the song ‘Magpie’. There’s as much to remind me a little of New York Dolls as there is Suede, but the delivery is certainly not as hard as either. Offering up well-crafted songs with a laid back delivery, the album chimes easily from one song to the next, making each one a delightful pill to swallow.

It’s an easy album to get hooked on. While it’s punk rock and roll that drives it, it’s heavily layered with pop melodies and harmonies. The garage-infused title track is about as hard as it gets, whereas ‘I Don’t Know’ has a great The Cure-esque lead guitar hook and multiple harmonies. ‘Generate’ carries a bit of a darker sounds and definitely a highlight on the album.

Bravata traverse a lot of complementary genres to achieve these thoroughly enjoyable 10 tracks. They certainly do know how to craft a decent song or two.

Buy ‘Pray For Today’ Here

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Author: Craggy Collyde

 One of the best things about doing this website is hearing new music you possibly would never have come across if you’re not being sent emails, speaking to people who suggest a band they’ve come across or a band they’ve heard live somewhere around this beautiful globe. Besides during this lockdown whilst everything seems to have hit pause or slowed right down it has given us time to sniff out some great new bands and records getting released and one of those bands and records has to be this lot from Toulouse.

 

whilst that name didn’t exactly strike me as a grat name as soon as the sounds hit the ether I sat back and listened and inevitably turned it up,  then turned it up a bit more.  sure they use Rickenbackers and wear rollnecks and Winkel pickers because these cats play Garage Fuzzed up Rock and Roll and do it exceedingly well and it came as no surprise to find out they shared the stage with the likes of RPM favs The Lords Of Altamont and toured the States a few years ago with the likes of The Real Kids and were due to play with The Sonics.  So they demand to be taken seriously.

The album was recorded and produced by Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Bellrays, The Sonics, The Fleshtones…) and they have that slightly reverbed production that’s raw and savage and has all that fuzzed up charm you want to hear from a Garage Rock record.

To see they shared a stage with the likes of The Lords Of Altamont will come as a good yardstick for people who’ve never come across the guys before because I’m reminded of them on songs like ‘No No No’ with its energy and sound. Another band I’m reminded of would be some of the earlier recordings from The Hip Priests they may not be as fast and certainly not as potty-mouthed but that attack is there on tracks like ‘Breaking Down’ and ‘Run Run Run’.  They really get on a groove for a lot of the songs and tub thumpers like ‘Don’t Need You’ are more traditional garage maybe steering clear of that classic Hammond or Farfisa organ whirling would be too much for these punks whist with one Cuban heel in the garage the other is in snotty fuck you loud Rock and Roll the likes of MC5 peddled and that’s always going to go down well around here. You can lob in a grenade of Motorhead to proceedings but only when they were a three-piece with Philthy and Fast Eddy as ‘Don’t You Try’ will testify its a formidable racket when you turn up those amps and just go for it.

From top til the bottom, this is a pretty relentless record where you’ve not got a slowie just to break it up its full-tilt zero bullshit and the sleazy ‘Fall For You’ is a great groove to set up the finale on and that finale is the cliched ballad,  Oh no it’s not.  Of Course it isn’t ‘Gonna Get You’ is a fine sign off of energy being expelled before the smoke finally gets wafted from the speaker that will smoke long after this has finished.  Take a break, lie down in a darkened room then get back on it.  Turn it up and kick out those jams motherfuckers!

 

Buy ‘On The Run’ Here

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Author: Dom Daley

Before I start this review I have a confession to make, I’m a bit of a fan of the Fuzztones, Lysergic Emanations has been played to death as have virtually every other LP in their back catalogue, and my excitement levels went through the roof when this baby landed in my inbox, especially with the accompanying record company Blurb.

 

“The Real Sound of “In Heat“: the disclaimer on the album states, “NOT produced by Shel Talmy” (The Who, Kinks). The original version of the album “In Heat” as it was intended to sound.”

 

For the uninitiated, THE FUZZTONES have been around for over 30 years, call them under-ground, call them psychedelic?  Call them the band that brought Garage Rock back into fashion.  Though originally from New York City, they were massively embraced by Europe, where the fuzzed out retro vibe really hits home. Now remember when In Heat first came out it was back in 1989 at the peak of the garage revival, when bands like the Chesterfield Kings, Lyres and Cynics were all the rage.

 

So here we go polished up, fuzzed out re-mastered and everything you could want from a modern day masterpiece, as this now sounds. What hits you straight away is how fresh it now sounds, and on first listen there are things that jump out for example “What you don’t know” comes from that classic Lords of the New Church Blueprint, before it takes off and moves into a huge guitar laden climax.

 

As I’m pulling thoughts together, smiling to myself, influences start to come to mind, Chocolate Watch Band, 13TH Floor Elevators, Strawberry Alarm clock from the psychedelic sixties, early 70’s, but blend them into a Stooges led Iggy, add in a definite punk rock and roll attitude “ala” the Cramps and you end up with the classic “In Heat”, worth buying the LP for this track alone!!! I mean any tracks with the opening lyric “I’m a big bad wolf, can’t you here me howl?’ how much more rock and roll could you be.

 

This LP deserves a place in every ones collection!! the swamp boogie, New Orleans sound of “Nine months later” with it’s nod to the bubblegum pop of the 60’s chorus is a real thing of beauty. While  “You must be a witch” is just garage rock perfection, the organ tempered down sitting properly within the song. I suppose this LP keeps drawing me into Cramps style comparisons, if you’re a fan of one then the other will definitely appeal. I could go on talking through the other tracks, but if you’ve read this far, this LP is definitely for you, what an LP, re-mastered, up to date, vibrant and in your face, now lets get them back into the UK preferably with the resurgent Hypnotics on the same bill, what a double header that would be, Happy days.

But ‘Raw Heat’ Here

Author: Nev Brooks

 

Released on April 4th those Motherfuckin’ Motherfuckers are at it again this time with a coloured 7″ EP containing four blasts of punked-up Garage Rock and Fuckin’ Roll.

Its three originals and another cover this time it’s ‘Crash Landing’ from the Violent Femmes.  There are only 170 of these bad boys available on coloured vinyl so be quick or be left out in the cold paying silly money on some record auction site in the months to come. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya.

Who are they you say? Four members of two of your favourite bands The Hip Priests and Bitch Queens from Shit Island and Basle Switzerland respectively. after their initial EP that was Fuelled by hangovers, More Lager, Nicotine, Bread and Cheese they tossed out six glorious sonic slices of Primetime, Pedal to the motherfuckin’ metal Overdriven, OD1 Scandi garage noise – smashing strings, skins and yellin’ as if their bullshit lives depended upon it. It was so good they reconvened and did it again first releasing the follow-up single ‘Trillion $ EP’ and now this ‘Dance Motherfucker EP’  so what are you waiting for get on it.

Pre Order Here

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Råttanson LP “I’d Much Rather Be with the Noise” (Open Mind Records) is now available for streaming and download on various platforms. On the menu, this time is a delicious Spectoresque garage pop tune, a mouth-watering musical dish that will take you through the late summer and beyond.

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Råttanson is a Swedish garage rock/power pop/rock’n’roll DIY solo project that has been searching for that god damn rock’n’roll and supreme shakes since 2013. It’s all about three chords, guitars and self-penned tunes. On the fabulous self-produced debut album “Full-scale Shakeability”, released in 2017, Råttanson sang and played all instruments himself, but on the upcoming second album, he’s brought in the drummer extraordinaire Anders from the Turpentines/the HiJackers. The debut album was described as: “It’s like The Monkees on acid at rush hour, sucking in some Barracudas along the way and spitting it all out in the name of garage, beat and rock’n’roll” and the 14 new original songs follow the same explosive and guitar-saturated recipe.

Every once in a while an album comes along that almost completely flies under your radar but the tunes on offer stop you in your tracks and kick you straight between the legs like some musical steel toe capped boot.

‘Black Door’ the all-new eleven tracker from Australian five-piece The Volcanics is just such a record. Boasting a Jim Diamond mix job this record cuts, like a fucking knife, the tunes are that sharp. The songwriting adding a fantastic pop twist to the already well-worn garage rock/punk rock formula that sees oh so many bands falling at the final hurdle when it comes to having that extra edge to make them stand apart.

Perhaps The Volcanics secret ingredient is the huge presence of vocalist Johnny Phatouros who shines throughout, and where some singers might just put their foot on the monitor and scream out belters like ‘Talk’  and the album’s title track, Johnny throws in off-kilter vocal hooks that at first seem at odds with the band’s throbbing backbeat, however once they sink in you cannot help but marvel at just how simple and effective his approach is. In many ways, he is like the band’s Pelle Almqvist or their Skye Vaughan-Jayne.

Talking of Skye for a moment the immediate buzz I got when listening to ‘Black Door’ for the first time was this could very easily have been the follow up to The Chelsea Smiles awesome ‘Thirty Six Hours Later’ album from 2006, and if you are familiar with that classic, you’ll know that we don’t make comparisons to that work of absolute punk rock genius that often here at RPM towers. So, if that’s sparked your interest then ‘Changes On My Mind’ is the tune I suggest you listen to first (via the Bandcamp link below) and trust me when I say “have a cold beer in hand when you press play” and “just let the music do the rest.”

With influences as wide-reaching as You Am I and AC/DC The Volcanics actually remind me more of Radio Birdman and Midnight Oil, albeit with (thanks to the aforementioned Diamond mix) a sound that manages to hammer home the intensity of the band whilst retaining the clarity of the melodies, the latter being the essential difference and why tracks like ‘2000 Years Ago’ and ‘You Don’t Even Know The Song’ work so bloody well.

To be honest I’m a little bit gutted that I’m only just discovering The Volcanics now. five albums into their career. Still better late than never eh, and when the first tracks I get to hear by them are as fucking fantastic as those on ‘Black Door’ then the real positive about this situation is I’ve now got four more Volcanics albums to look forward to catching up on.

Look I can’t recommend The Volcanics highly enough, they are chock full of positivity in an age of the negativity and I challenge you right here and now to go listen to ‘Black Door’ and not get the same buzz I did the first time of listening.

Album of the year material? You betcha.

Author: Johnny Hayward

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Based on the notion that there is not enough true rock ‘n’ roll in the sprawling capital of Berlin (if anyone wants to prove them wrong, then contact us), Bella Wreck are a garage sensation doing their best to correct that unforgivable wrong. With this reissue of their 2014 self-titled debut album, they are giving us another chance to indulge in this raucous sensation, and with a few new tracks to boot.

Bella Wreck aren’t afraid to pin their colours to the mast and leave no doubt as to what inspirations are driving this party. The album builds on the classic garage rock ‘n’ roll sounds, mixing a bit of Radio Birdman with a bit of Nomads and finding time for New York Dolls along the way – listen to ‘Untold Fury’ and ‘Trash’ and you could be right back there with Thunders et al. They give it their own shine though and it’s fair to say that this album is fantastically enigmatic.

The high level of song writing is on display from the first moment with opener ‘Can’t You See’, and happily it doesn’t stop there. The album is littered with fantastic hooks and catchy choruses, and energy abounds, whether it’s the intensity of ‘Vienna’ or the cool of ‘Fear Me’. Songs such as ‘1000 Years’ and ‘Fun’ have a confident swagger, whereas ‘Run’ and ‘Fight’ change up the mood a bit with pop hooks and superb melodies.

This self-titled record is worthy of a reissue and, hopefully, a much bigger audience. Simply put, if you like garage rock and punk, you will love this.

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Author: Craggy Collyde

 

 

One of shit Islands finest “Best-kept secrets” Black Bombers have only gone and recorded another barnstorming slab of garage rock n roll that played at volume will I guarantee – knock you off your feet. the only downside is this is only six tracks but then for the sake of our sanity it makes sense as anything more would be a waste besides, why release ten when you can say it all in six? ‘Volume 4’ begins with the call to arms riff-o-la and anvil pound before Alan Byron joins in with his vocals as his drawl is hitting the nail squarely on the head as the off kilt melody draws you in and then slips a Black Bomber under your tongue then you can relax as the trip takes you through a garage wormhole that’s dripping with attitude and bang on the money tunes. Over the next three minutes and fifty-two seconds this power trio give you a fantastic one-note guitar solo a bass and drums breakdown that is as good as anyone and all roads lead to the smashing climax and we’re straight into ‘Relentless’ and its train kept a-rollin’ rhythm mixed with enough Brian James tone playing some fuzzed up Stooges licks that is healthy to try and once you imagine that you’re in the right ballpark.  Its taken me quite a few plays to get through this record because as soon as one finishes rather than let the next one play I can’t help but press repeat.

Dave Twist (drums), Darren Birch (bass guitar), and Alan Byron (guitar and vocals) were clearly paying attention to what was the good and the great when spinning the black circles in their bedrooms now older and (hopefully) wiser they are unraveling all that pent up aggression and knowledge into their records with Black Bombers because this is excellent.  Sure there are shades of previous bands happening here and there (why wouldn’t there be) but the power and execution is exquisite on ‘Animals And Cages’ even with the ‘I Wanna Be Your dog’ lift it nails their colours to the mast with style but the real ace in the pack here is ‘Gnarley’ Now this is something I never thought I’d be saying out loud but a song with no words is absolutely fuckin’ killer.  Brooding with menace and mesmerizing from the opening chord through the Bass breakdown its worth the price all on its own.  Astounding stuff.

‘Sometimes’ is more of the same with its raw power (sorry couldn’t help myself) and boundless energy. Closing with a cover of the most excellent ‘Hair Of The Dog’ that’s every bit as sleazy and hanging on by a thread as the original if you’re going to do a cover then this is how you do it.

These Black Bombers aren’t illegal but they will keep you up all night my only advice would be to pick up a copy of this right now and enjoy the trip it’s awesome.

 

Buy Vol 4 Here

 

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Author: Dom Daley

Another week rolls by and we head towards Christmas but there are no mince pies or sherry being overindulged round here when there are records to review and Shows to see and last week was no exception as RPM brought you a diverse bunch on the live front as well as on the death decks.

 

Sadly the last seven days saw another rock n roller pass on to the next life and we said goodbye to Peter Blast.  I had the pleasure of reviewing several of his albums and spoke to him in the last twelve months.  On behalf of everyone here at RPM I’d like to offer our condolences to his family and friends and raise a glass to his memory.

 

We also brought you an interview with Phil Privilege from the  awesome kings of power punk n pop Cyanide Pills with an amazing trail of singles and albums as part of their repertoire Phil told us they were on the way to deliver the next long player as well as answer a few of our questions about the band, Catch up with it here

 

We also had some pretty diverse live reviews from the likes of hard rockin’ Junkyard Cowboy Junkies and a doubleheader from He Who Cannot Be Named and the Awesome Hip Priests. But our bread and butter has to be our album reviews and with Black Friday RSD releases in thin supply some of our favourite labels did manage to put out some quality must have records in the shape of MC5. UK Subs ‘Sub Mission’ got its first pressing on record  and we again scoured the four corners of the globe to bring you the likes of Civic from Australia, X Darlings from Switzerland, Paris’ Youth Avoiders and Californias Smash Fashion to name a few.

As for the coming week, we continue with Bens California Dreaming road trip where he visits some pretty amazing places as he skips across the USA. we also caught a few amazing live shows and bring you some fantastic records by some well-known people as well as some of the finest new performers current kicking up a storm on record players and concert halls around the planet. Remember to stick with RPM for all your alternative news and reviews. As Lux used to say “Stay Sick” www.rpmonline.co.uk its a rock n roll revolution!