To be honest I know bugger all about the Mud City Manglers. I picked up their debut album “Heart Full of Hate” a few years ago off of eBay having read about them on Facebook and thought that I’d missed the boat on another great band from the turn of the century but I was wrong…….. they’re back (or perhaps they never went away).
It’s only taken 20 years for these Pittsburgh rock & rollers to release a their second album but was it worth the wait? Hell yeah !!!!
“Give Me The Hammer” drags you into a world of melodic Motorhead via the crunch and choruses of New Bomb Turks and Scumbag Millionaire.
“The Way It’s Gonna Be” and “Hangover Hurricane” have a strong Nashville Pussy vibe, which is no bad thing at all.
“One of These Days” notches up the ferocity. Lyrics are spat out with venom. These sure ain’t love songs. “Better off Dead” dials down the speed but not the attitude. Another tail of desperation and debauchery. Half way through the hell ride, side two kicks into gear with “Bring It Down”. There’s almost a fucked up Sunset Strip feel to this bad boy. Faster Pussycat would have killed for a tune like this back in the day. “ Armstrong Park” doesn’t let up the pace much either, it’s kind of got me thinking of The Throbs but more nasty.
“Cheater Bar” is full on Motorhead or maybe melodic Zeke (if there is such a thing). “One More Mile” is takes you right back to Pussy Town. It’s not only a stand out track on this album but it could’ve been a stand out track on “Let Them Eat Pussy” too. Blain-tastic mate!
“Hammered” is an angry Orgasmatron. An exercise in controlled frustration rolled up in monologue with a message – “Be the motherfucker who is unwilling to play along, be the mother fucker who calls them out on their shit…”
Ten tracks in and “Jump into the Fire” throws it all up in the air with a throbbing bass giving way to a banging riff – the spirit of The Five is alive and well – “we can make each other happy!!!”
So there you go…. the wheel has not been reinvented and nor should it. It’s taken Mud City Manglers twenty years to release “Give Me The Hammer” and it’s a shit load better than “Chinese Democracy”. Go and listen to it on Bandcamp and if you’re feeling flush hop over to Spaghetty Town Records, Ghost Highway Records or Beluga Records a grab a copy before it’s too late.
Give Me The Hammer a listen on band camp whilst the limited orange pressing of 100 sold out instantly on pre-order but the traditional chunk black plastic (limited to 400) is still available from Spaghetty Town Records in the USA along with Ghost Highway Records and Beluga Records in Europe.
Mud City Manglers get set to release their brand new record via some of the best independent record labels known to man. You can get your greasy mitts on a copy by hitting the Pre Order Here or Here they’ve covered North America and Europe with this deal and it sounds blistering. These Pittsburg punks have been knocking out filthy Rock n Roll since the mid ’90s and show no sign of old age with this new one. on limited colours pick one up from Spaghetty Town Records and Ghost Highway Records as well.
No new videos yet but just revel in this bad boy from 2000 when they released their album ‘Heart Full Of Hate’
Dutch rock ‘n’ rollers The Dirty Denims follow up 2017’s ‘Back With A Bang’ by releasing their brand spankin’ new long player ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’. It sees singer/guitarist Mirjam and guitarist Jeroen joined by a couple of new, denim-clad players aka Marc on bass and Suzanne on drums.
Continuing their tradition of releasing their albums in stages, 5 tracks were released as singles over a period of 6 months, this they entitled ‘Part 1’. Now, July sees the band release their full new album on CD, download and of course lovely vinyl.
This Eindhoven based band has been at it for a decade now and sound-wise they follow on where The Donnas left off. The Dirty Denims combine the traditional rock ‘n’ roll sound of The Runaways, Suzy Quatro and The Sweet with a slew of AC/DC riffs thrown in for good measure.
They claim to play ‘Happy Hard Rock’ and don’t take themselves too seriously. Lyrically, we ain’t talking ‘The Wall’ here, the likes of last year’s single ‘Last Call For Alcohol’ is a testament to that. What they do deal in is upbeat, powerhouse rock ‘n’ roll with a sound and energy that makes you want to turn the dial up a notch and party with the best of them.
With its powerhouse 80’s drums, rumbling bass and tongue-in-cheek lyricism ‘Thunder From Down Under’ tips its hat to AC/DC in more ways than one and they even throw in the riff to The Cult’s ‘Wild Flower’ for good measure. ‘Roll The Dice’ follows a similar path, with killer riffs emanating from each speaker, stabs of piano, high-powered hollerin’ and cool, gang backing vocals.
‘Turn off The Radio’ will incite you to do just that and put a damn record on! Today’s radio tunes are boring anyway, right? The Dirty Denims know that and so do you! Here, we are in prime power pop Donnas territory. Urgent, anthemic and melodic, just the way we like it. Elsewhere, ‘Creatures Of The Night’ is not the Kiss classic, but it crunches nicely and powers through, a solid traditional 80’s rocker that stands on its own two feet.
‘Band Not a Brand’ is killer, bubblegum pop full of handclaps and organ riffs. It’s their Saturday morning kids TV theme, a middle finger to high street stores that sell Ramones shirts to Instagram influencers who wouldn’t know ‘Road To Ruin’ if it smacked them in the face. It’s also the best and most commercial song they have released to date.
‘Messin Around’ adds cool handclaps and percussion to the sound. This mixes well with Mirjam’s high octane hollerin’ and Jeroen’s token AC/DC riffage to give 70’s footstomping glam nostalgia.
They like ‘Last Call For Alcohol’ so much they played it twice! The album closes with a ‘Hangover Version’, stripped back and laid bare with acoustics and percussion, it’s the Sunday morning hangover remedy to the Saturday night party.
‘Ready, Steady, Go!’ is a fun, party record that does exactly what it says on the tin. The Dirty Denims are doing nothing new, they aren’t here to change the world or preach a message in these uncertain times. But if you want escapism, if you desire something old school to kick your ass into next week and to blast from the stereo while you hit the highway to Hell, then you could do no better than visit Eindenhoven Rock City for 40 minutes or so.
Hot on the heels of Junes summer sizzlers we had a bunch of other contenders for inclusion. So, it only seemed fair to reconvene the Singles Club this weekend and hit the 45 RPM switch and drop the needle for some new singles from the superb to the very good through the downright weird or catchy but none dull or not worth inclusion. Welcome one and all round two of the June singles Club…
The Sensible Gray Cells – ‘So Long’ (Damaged Goods) This bad boy dropped out of nowhere. I knew they were recording a follow up to the magnificent debut album and then a scuppered tour then this. Fuckin’ champion it is too. A rollicking Who like anthem (handclaps as well) ‘So Long’ is a belter Welcome back gents, I can’t wait to hear the album now. In direct contrast, the humour of the characters involved asks a very pertinent question on the B Side and they’re right. What is the fuckin point of any of em? Never mind just Andrew. Damned fans should be all over this and if its a good representation of the long-player then bring it on I can’t fuckin’ wait. Facebook / Pre Orders Here
Chuck Norris Experiment / Sator – ‘Split’ (Ghost Highway Records) Not heard from CNE in a while and I love a bit of Sator and what they offer so was pleased to see they did a split on the most excellent Ghost Highway Records. Opening up is a right sharp shooting ‘Turning Me Inside Out’ from CNE. Its tight, loud, and fast! everything you want from one of the finest Swedish exports currently making noise. Then a second more laid back groove as ‘One Hand On The Hip’ is a sleazy example of the versatility of the band who can easily excel in the full-tilt rockers as well as chilling with the acoustics and now it seems keeping it short and sweet as well. As for the Sator offering ‘Feathered Remedy’ is up first and the band give it some wellie and it sounds like a runaway steam train rattling down a hill with a great chorus. Wrapping up this bad boy is ‘A Song For You’ which is a glamorous romp in all its sub one minute glory. Buy it before they’re all gone its a banger. CNE Facebook
Spaghetti & Mayer- ‘Shits Fucked’ (Acetate Records) Eddie Spaghetti & Frank Meyer from the awesome Supersuckers and Street Walkin’ Cheetahs respectively put on their shit kickers and kick some shit. Its got a stolen Stooges riff, some rollicking’ barroom piano and a bunch of profanities what’s not to like? It’s a veritable top rock n roll tune by numbers and hits the spot. Only available from Acetate Records direct download it’s the best buck-fifty you’ll spend this pandemic that’s for sure. Get on it kids and turn it up! Now, how about a whole long-player from the two imagine if that were a goer and it sounded as good as this track? Fuck me sideways I’ll take some of that
Jerry Lehane – ‘Kiss My Tattoo’ (Rumbar Records) Taken from his EP Dogmatics man Jerry Lehane releases this mighty fine slice of energetic rock and roll with the emphasis on Rock! from the gutsy solo to the punchy tempo this is like listening to a gang of brothers cruising towards a rumble knowing they will get the job done. Excellent single and well worth checking out. Get on it Here
Dirty Streets – ‘On The Way’ (Alive Records) Like a throwback to a time when long hair and bellbottoms were the thang and three-piece bands were where it’s at. Dirty Streets jam their thang and lean heavily on the dirty blues from Cream to Led Zep and the likes of Free especially on ‘Can’t Go Back’ from its classic guitar break its like Humble Pie and paul Kosoff never roamed the earth. they hit their groove and stay on it. from the hushed laid back summer tune ‘On The Way’ through the hedonistic rock out of ‘Can’t Go Back’ to the jig is up White boy blues of ‘Walk A Mile In My Shoes’ which for me is the pick of the three and quite reminiscent of a certain Georgia Brotherhood band who shook their money maker. The album is eagerly anticipated and is available next month. Website / Facebook
Brian Ray – ‘I Ain’t Superstitious’ / ‘Spell Breaker’ (Wicked Cool Records) Gia Ciambotti take a bow lady. Why did you ask? well take a listen to that voice she can sing the living hell out of that song. whilst its a cover of a classic the vocals take it to another level. that and the neon green and black splatter on that wax. The flip side features the Wicked Cool recording artist Michael Des Barres. Spell Breaker is a cool smouldering track again a great vocal performance from Des Barres on a slab of dark pop-rock with added sparkle on that production of the co written song between Barres and Ray.
The Owen Guns – ‘Fuck Cyclists’ (Riot Records) Australian Hardcore Punk act THE OWEN GUNS have released their first single & video ‘F**k Cyclists’for Riot Records (Part of the Golden Robot Global Entertainment Group). ‘F**k Cyclists’ is a short blast of punk rock born out of the frustration of frequently being stuck behind cyclists on narrow country roads. Straight to the point, it pulls no punches.
THE OWEN GUNS would like to point out that they don’t condone acts of violence towards those Lycra clad irritants, no matter how tempting.
The Rellies – ‘Isabella Is Annoying’ (Damaged Goods Records) The Rellies are brothers and songwriters Ryan (13yo) guitar and vocals and Riley (11yo) Bass and Vocals as well as Jarlath (11) on drums and Aiden (12) on guitar. All met in Sydney’s infamous suburb of Kings Cross. What were these young ones doing in such an area? Learning music of course – ha ha. The band has been playing together for around three years. Songwriters Ryan and Riley like to argue a lot at rehearsal but actually love nothing more than to grab their vintage guitars and play songs by their favourite band, The Beatles. Aiden & Jarlath seem happy to do whatever. The Rellies play a mix of indie, garage-punk and rock.
Their greatest achievement is becoming part of the Damaged Goods family and playing live at Sydney venues like The Oxford Arts Factory and El Rocco. Don’t question Damaged Goods Records for they’ve released Cyanide Pills and Thee Spivs previously so they know what they’re doing besides when this enters your head you’ll be annoying everyone you know with the sound of The Rellies.
Fur – ‘Grow Up’ Like a mash-up of Weezer, Green Day and the anti folk club ruled by the likes of Crazy & The Brains this is twisted pop at its finest.
Fontaines D.C. – ‘I Don’t Belong’ (Partisan Records)“I Don’t Belong” taken from the forthcoming album out 31st July on Partisan Records. Pre-order / Pre-save the album: Here
Jailbirds – Watery Grave’ (Golden Robot Records) Drawing their influences from the obvious (Sabbath) and the not so obvious Jailbirds are loud and they play ROCK! They come from Canada and its big riffs, big vocals and big production on this new single. Check out the video below.
Tom Wardle – ‘Secrets’ Power-Pop tastic. Big hook, Big solos & bigger production but sadly no big hair. Tom had praise from high places Namely Rolling Stone Magazine for his last single ‘Jacqueline’ and on this evidence that’s not going to stop any time soon. This power-pop rocker just gets bigger as the song motors along. The recipe isn’t a secret it’s just born out of hard work and talent (obviously) The only downside is the inspiration behind the song. The least said about the tricky trees the better but at least Tom supports his local team which we can get behind. check out the video and
Originally released as a compilation album featuring five-tracks from New Yorks Electric Frankenstein and the equally wonderful Crash Street Kids alongside The Thing and Kathedral. what you have here is an EP of the Electric Frankenstein tracks plus the addition of ‘EF Theme’ making it a tasty six-track EP. It’s got the same artwork as the original comp but the track running order has been rearranged.
The street-tough Action Rock of ‘Lie To Me’ gets this party started was it really twenty years ago? Wow, time flies when you’re having fun. A year after their classic ‘How To Make A Monster’ and a most fertive period for the band who really were prolific around that period and flying the flag for punk attitude hard rock I’m not even sure we had a name for it back then and split it into sub-genres of a genre of Rock and Roll. Damn, it loud guitared Rock and Roll isn’t it however you want to carve it up. Anyway EF always stayed true to their original sound and blueprint and pushed on regardless of who fell by the wayside or sold out because EF never sold out nor did they stray and go with the trends. the one thing ‘the Dawn..’ sounds is fresh and as vibrant as it ever did.
Electric Frankenstein always kept it simple knocking out high energy guitar-driven songs with snotty attitude steeped in the history of the likes of the Dead Boys and the MC5 and even some early hard rock to create a monster wall of noise. This collection gives a pretty decent introduction to those who might not have crossed paths with the band before, which is fine it’s better late than never. ‘One Last Show’ is as macho as it gets using volume and power like a lightning rod when out looking for trouble. ‘Ruin you’ is my pick of the pops with its dirty riff and snarling lyrics that are barked out sounding like a life choice of gargling razorblades and washing them down with some paint stripper but still managing to do it with style. Top tune.
The final offering on this six of the best is one that goes right back to the heart of EF and from the birth of the band as ‘EF Theme’ originally picked off the debut album ‘The Time Is Now’ back in the midst of time or 1985 to you and me is sewn onto the end of this collection. It’s still a belter of a tune like Alice Cooper band in the backseat with a wasted Wayne Kramer controlling the radio riding shotgun to Kojak whos at the wheel a real Frankenstein party right there but there’s a bit of them all in the DNA of Electric Frankenstein and that’s the beauty of the kings of Action Rock. It’s a great EP to own seeing as a lot of their records are as expensive as hell on the second-hand market and as some get reissued and gobbled up its nice to see places like Ghost Highway respecting the rock and breathing new life into solid gold like this – As if it needs saying but go get it, kids, you won’t regret it.
Kurt Baker. A name that is like the stamp of quality on any product of value like a watermark of exceptional craftmanship and a name you should never walk on by if someone offers you the chance to listen to one of his records. If its solo, Kurt Baker Trio or Bullet Proof Lovers take our advice and check hi out.
Now previously I picked up the Bullet Proof Lovers when I found out who was on it and loved every second of every track and when I found out I’d missed the Self Titled EP and especially as it was on the exceptional ghost Highway I was ashamed and made myself stay back for rock and roll detention and write I promise not to miss another Bullet Proof Lovers record release again 1000 times. Now the detention was helped on the grounds that I had the self-titled EP on loop whilst I carried out my punishment.
It’s not all about Baker mind (although I bet he could make this record by himself write it, play it, record it and bloody well press it himself as well) he is ably assisted knocking out all this good time Rock and Roll noise by Luiyi Costa (Txorlitohead, Lolas Club), Joseba Arza (Brigada Criminal, Señor No, Ladislao), Gonzalo Ibañez (Nuevo Catecismo Católico, La Perrera) and Juan Irazu (Discipulos de Dionisos, Gran Yate Especial). The downside is it’s only five tracks. I hear you and feel your pain (what are they thinking?) Five tracks? C’mon I know it should carry a govt health warning this shit is more addictive than crack and cigarettes but it’s not at all bad for you (unless you dent your bank balance).
‘Razor-Sharp’ is all uptempo rockpile rock n boogie with a great powerpoppin’ melody you know exactly what you want from Kurt Baker. The guitars are beefy and the rhythm is tight and punchy. ‘Under Pressure’ isn’t the Queen Bowie cover (mores the pity, Imagine that?) It’s another stonking uptempo rocker fro the Lovers. ‘The Neon Bomb’ is rock and roll and if Giuda wrote this people would be wetting their double denim over how good it is from the BV’s to the barroom piano to the breakdown again, top stuff.
You can stamp your feet and clap your hands to ‘I Don’t Wanna Want No More’ and if you want to get your head around a comparison then think Biters at their best and if Tuk ever wanted to co-write with someone who knows his way around a power-pop melody then he couldn’t find anyone better than Kurt Baker unless he was busy then he’d go visit Cheap Trick.
To take this bad boy home; ‘Fist Full Of Dirt’ is up. and this should be the end of side A, not the end of the EP you bad boys. cool as a polar bear perched on an ice cube Bullet Proof Lovers must know they’ve penned a good un here and you should make sure you give it a listen. There’s no point coming this far and then you don’t check it out. You can thank me laters until then I’m gonna go turn this bad boy up again. Bye!
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!
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!
The Dirty Denims – Back With A Bang (Handclap Records/Ghost Highway Records)
Sneaking under the radar is this the second album that was released a couple of years ago on one of our favourite record labels and with a new album written and recorded and on the way we thought we’d open up a new feature entitled Under The Radar where we reacquaint you with a band we think you might like and with their debut EP getting a rerelease what better way to say hello here’s The Dirty Denims who are Back With A Bang.
With their hard rock meets garage rock leanings this four-piece rock hard n loud. The band began in 2009 and released their first EP ‘Going Out’ which is getting a rerelease and available from the band maybe try Facebook. The band have released a pair of albums and a bunch of Singles and EP’s to keep their fans happy. Sure these Dutch rockers pray at the altar of Angus and all those big hard riffs but they aren’t afraid to mix it up like they do with ‘Heartbeat’ and introduce a cool garage organ that shakes it up a little so one dimensional they are not.
there are anthems and a whole bunch of feel good fist punching rockers like the cowbell heavy keith n Ronnie rock n roll on the intro of ‘Can’t Get Enough Of That Rock and Roll’ This also works really well with Mirjams voice as sounds like prime time Runaways a comparison that is sometimes inevitable but one I use as a big compliment. It comes as no surprise then when they smash their way through a brutal ‘Bad Reputation’ maybe an easy cover but its done exceptionally well and to be fair is full of fire and fury. ‘Loud Stuff’ has a great intro and works great along side ‘Gotta Run’. I’m glad the band closed with some cool duel guitar riff-a-rama on ‘We Wan’t More’ and resisted throwing in a balad or a slow one and what happens next for the band is exciting.
You can catch them on the road and look out for the reissue of the debut EP – The Dirty Denims are in the house.
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.