Gone but not forgotten – Steve Rodriguez, the bassist from the Dragons, died four years ago today. Rodriguez was only 48.
The Dragons were an awesome punk rock band who regularly played the U.S. and Japan He toured with Sami Yaffa playing the bass in Mad Juana and he also toured with The Dragons supporting The Wildhearts even giving Ginger a pair of his boots when Ginger’s shoes fell apart.
The Dragons Formed back in 1991 in San Diago by frontman Mario Escovedo, lead guitarist Ken Horne, drummer Jarrod Lucas, and Rodriguez. They did release seven albums, including 2000’s ‘Live at the Casbah’ and finally called it a day in 2005 after releasing their final album ‘Sin Salvation’ on Gearhead Records in 2003. It wasn’t the end for the band who sporadically reformed for several shows, including in 2014 for the iconic Casbah club’s 25th anniversary.
Frontman Escovedo did post a touching tribute video to Rodriguez, sharing, among other things, that Rodriguez “always made an impression; beautiful, sexy, fashionable, loud, dangerous, funny, hilarious, a hugger, and compassionate. He was all that and more… He was the 4th of July all year long.”
The bassist also had stints in The Zeros, Mad Juana as mentioned above and MEX. Before he passed Rodriguez was playing with Saint Shameless but they didn’t last after Steves passing. Put on a Dragons record and raise a toast to Steve Rodriguez – May he rest in peace
Thanks for checking out my little corner of the Internet again. There really are no rules or expectations of what I am going to do here. Immediately after completing my first one though, this piece started writing itself in my head. It’s also shifted back and forth a bit during that time. The Wildhearts recently released their latest studio album ‘Renaissance Men,’ and it is quite simply a monster of an album. It is a serious album of the year contender with its 10 mostly compact songs reminding us of those albums of yesterday that did not waste time and placed an emphasis on all killer, no filler. That album served as the inspiration for the topic here- the stigma of mental illness.
Completing the first half of the album, ‘Diagnosis’ finds the band making a powerful statement that cannot be heard enough. The album has been on constant rotation, and that song kept nudging me to emphasize it for anyone that carries a mental health diagnosis with them. Coincidentally, I also saw a study by Record Union which indicated 73% of independent musicians suffered from some form of mental illness (https://www.the73percent.com/). I do not believe this is by any means a new phenomenon, but there has thankfully been much more awareness raised now. Unfortunately, there continues to be a stigma attached to mental illness that needs to be destroyed. People are NEVER a diagnosis. I do not care if it is a physical health condition or a medical health condition. Labels have genuine consequences.
‘You are not your diagnosís
You’re not that prescription in your hand
You are not your diagnosís
Simplified for them to understand’
(Ginger Wildheart, The Wildhearts, ‘Diagnosis’ from their latest album ‘Renaissance Men’)
I have worked in behavioral health for many years and have seen remarkable changes taking place within the field which are innovative and produce remarkable results. I remember the first time the clinic I where I worked brought a Peer Support Specialist (PSS) on board. We only had one, and there was some definite ignorance among the clinical team as for the first few days there was an unsaid belief that the PSS probably should not work with someone in crisis because it could cause the PSS to also go into crisis. I am very happy to report this belief was eradicated within about a week because we experienced the power of peer support. Clinically, we had failed to connect with the person, but this approach was remarkably powerful. In the not too distant past, I introduced a Peer Support Specialist to an inpatient psychiatric unit where the concept was entirely new.
“The stigma I experienced working in that facility has permeated through my recovery story. Before I reached wellness, people were telling me that my reality wasn’t true. Throughout my journey, having friends and loved one’s back away. Now in my profession as a Peer Specialist, being denied opportunities to help someone because it would “trigger a crisis” in myself according to their opinion. I am not my diagnosis. I am not my past. I am a person. My name is Jessi.” Jessi Davis, MHPS RSPS Transition Age Youth Coordinator Via Hope
I have been fortunate that I worked in a system that celebrated strengths and meeting people where they are. It inspired a passion for me in my career to always try to do everything I can to make this world a better place. Some days are more successful than others. I have heard and seen horrific stories. I have heard and seen beautiful acts of love, empathy, support, resilience, and recovery.
I know that I never liked the task in school when I was asked to identify 3 strengths or things I liked about myself. I think it has become much easier with time, but I honestly do not know if it is because of the experiences I collected on my way to adulthood or some other reason. Parts of my adolescence were awful, and it didn’t change until I was well into my 20’s. I also know though I was extremely lucky and fortunate in many ways, especially in that I found coping mechanisms that worked for me. Music spoke to me and was my escape from the challenges I experienced. I also began writing in a journal, and, while they were initially song lyrics, my limitations in musical talent (having none) meant that these would become essentially poetry, even if that wasn’t what I wanted to call it due to preconceived stereotypes about my role in this world as a man and how we are trained to guard our feelings. My darkness I felt when I was younger had outlets- healthy outlets.
Along the way in my career, I was presented with an exciting opportunity. Despite having no behavioral health diagnosis, I had the opportunity to attend a two week Peer Support Training class as part of my orientation for a job. Part of the training is the Peer Support Specialist being able to share their story in a way that inspires hope and resiliency. It was scheduled for about the middle of the training, and I felt uncomfortable with the idea of being in the class that day. I felt like I was an outsider and was betraying my classmates trust in some way. On the second or third day, I said something to one of my classmates during a break. This came out later that day in class, and our instructor told me he was sure I would have a story to share. Sure enough, I was annoyed that we only had 10 minutes to share as I felt it was not nearly enough time. While I have never experienced some of the things my classmates had, I had experienced similar emotions, similar moments in my life, and was moved by the stories I heard. Those two weeks have been extremely inspirational in my career. I have worked with others who have also received that training, and the power and energy these individuals radiate with afterward are contagious.
Turning this back to the song ‘Diagnosis’ and what inspired this, people are never just one thing. If you take 60 seconds and write down everything you are, I am sure you will have quite a list. It might start with father, son, husband, supervisor and then it gets really interesting as we drill down even deeper into what makes us who we are. To label someone as a disease takes away everything else they are. I have been fortunate to work with a CEO who frequently serves to remind others of this and has inspired significant changes in organizations across multiple States on this side of the pond with his approach. He also plays to people’s strengths and understands that you meet the person where they are in their reality, which can be quite challenging for some staff. Whatever the person is experiencing is what is real to them, if that is not validated, what reason does the person have to trust you?
If you watch the evening news, scroll Facebook or Twitter, pick up a newspaper after a horrific event, you will be hit hard with the power of stigma as people are quickly labeled or assumed to be (fill in the derogatory word that comes to your mind). What word was it for you? How did that become your conditioned response? Statistics over the years have demonstrated that individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a crime than the perpetrator.
While I am not writing this to dig out all of those reasons why that might happen, I believe addressing the stigma of mental illness can help serve as a catalyst for change. If people felt like they could discuss what they were feeling and experiencing without the negative responses and shame, I believe it would begin to make differences, even if the ripple of change is small. Several of them become larger and a wave can form with enough of them. It starts with each of us though. We interact with people on a constant basis in our lives. We do not know what most of them are experiencing or have gone through in the moments before we see them, earlier that day, earlier in their lives. We often get one snapshot of that person. In my worst moments, I would not want someone to take that as being all I am.
When I look at the artists whose lyrics have hit me in the heart and soul the hardest, it is the likes of Frank Turner, Ginger Wildheart, Tyla, and others who articulate so clearly many of the thoughts that have passed through my brain over the years. Many of their songs have become personal anthems that inspire me when I need them. They inspire resiliency and let me know my brain is not really that strange in those weak moments. Turner’s ‘Get Better’ Being a powerful anthem for many and a reminder that we can always get better as people as long as we are still breathing.
Thinking about this topic has also given me a reason to really take a look across several parts of my collection with various albums immediately coming to mind that has connections to this blog. If we travel back in time to 1978 when I was just a boy, Alice Cooper unleashed ‘From the Inside’ which was conceptually based around his stay in a psychiatric hospital of the time.
The ballad ‘How You Gonna See Me Now’ has always been one of my favorite Alice ballads, and I have really enjoyed the lyrical depth to it that became apparent as I got older. Titus Andronicus released ‘The Most Lamentable Tragedy’ in 2015 and shared the story of someone dealing with symptoms related to bipolar disorder over the course of a rock-opera with the band releasing one segment of the story as a music video that portrays someone receiving services in an institution.
Stand Atlantic released a music video for their song ‘Lavender Bones’ in 2018 which show their singer being treated the same as everyone else and being taught to think and act the same way. She breaks free from the authority in the video, and, to me, celebrates the character she is playing by showing all of the different sides to who she is as a person through all of the colors she uses in her painting (my interpretation).
Ginger Wildheart has been very open with the challenges he experiences and their impact on him. Between Twitter, his music, his charitable actions, and even negative incidents, he has let fans have a window into a world that would not have been seen decades earlier before the rise of social media. Ginger Wildheart has albums such as ‘Ghost in the Tanglewood’ and ‘The Pessimist’s Companion’ that really speak to the insecurities and dark emotions that we experience and provide catharsis. He has also addressed these experiences in specific songs over the years as well such as ‘The Order of the Dog’ and personal favorite ‘Drive.’ Ginger was recently on “Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon” with Alan Niven talking about their recent suicide attempts and mental health care. Here is a link to the show:
Wade Bowen is a red dirt singer/ songwriter based here in Texas who has a discography of amazing albums, and he has never backed away from singing about person topics that have affected both him and his family, such as his song about post-partum depression ‘Turn on the Lights.’ He recently released a piece on YouTube that addresses his own recent struggle with a physical illness as well as the suicide of his nephew who was also a member of their team. While Bowen and the team continue to process their grief, it serves as another reminder to eliminate the stigma that keeps this topic from being discussed. Here is a link to ‘Inconsistent Chaos.’
Another band that served me extremely well back in my late teens when I felt mentally exhausted and struggling was Suicidal Tendencies. I felt like Mike Muir was often tapping into my own brain with the likes of ‘You Can’t Bring Me Down,’ ‘Alone,’ ‘Can’t Stop,’ etc. His lyrics served as a kick in the butt while also tapping into human emotions that all of us feel at some point in time. They also helped provide another realization in that we need to like the person we are and be comfortable in our own skin. I feel like that goes back to my earlier example where I would struggle as a teen to identify my own strengths.
As the Wildhearts served as the inspiration behind this blog, it seems fitting to close it with Ginger Wildheart and Ryan Hamilton ‘Fuck You Brain’
I was overjoyed when through my letterbox popped the remastered double cd version of the classic Wildhearts self-titled album (otherwise known as the White album).
Before we get into this sonic beast of an album I want to point out how lovingly packaged this reissue is.
Round Records is Ginger’s own label and in fairness to us Wildhearts fans we would be happy with a newly remastered White album but in this day of digital downloads, Ginger and his team have gone out of their way to give us something special and boy do they deliver. This double cd book edition features great inside comments from the band on the making of the white album and also has stunning pictures which make this a must-have.
Right onto the music and kicking us off is the nearly 9 minute opener ‘Rooting For The Bad Guy’ which just blasts out of the speakers with a heavy riff, pounding drums and driving bass with ginger’s great gruff vocals shouting out and leading us into a gorgeous harmonic chorus with great backing vocals from Cj and Scott.
Next up is ‘The Sweetest Song’ which is a tale of a woman who has ruined a relationship and starts off with another ginger shouty vocals then goes into a stunning band sang “Na, na, na” chorus.
‘The New Flesh’ was a single off the album and is yet another earworm with some great call to arms lyrics of troubled times which sadly in the years since this album has been released are still as relevant as ever.
“Slaughtered Authors” starts off with the driving bass of Scott Sorry with the drums of Ritch Battersby joining the party before Ginger and Cj complete the line-up. This gem of a track starts off in a slightly more relaxed mode and then builds up to a great band sung chorus. This track is another over the eight-minute mark but with its great instrumental passages when it finishes leaves you still wanting more.
‘Bi-Polar Baby’ is another in a long line of classic Wildhearts tracks with it’s beautifully arranged pop melody wrapped up in bone-crunching guitars.
Ending this album is the other single off the album the pounding ‘Destroy all monsters’ which is a tale of a man spurned by a woman and brings the original White album to a fantastic end.
Now after this emotional rollercoaster of an album has come to an end if like this reviewer you want more (and you will) slip in disc 2.
Right out of the speakers is the awesome track titled ‘Borderline’ which was available as a download off the band’s website many moons ago and is a song worthy of being included on any Wildhearts album with it’s catchy melody which immediately gets in the listeners head and stays.
Other highlights on this bonus disc are ‘Oh Bonita’ and ‘Unbroken’ which were extras on the Japanese version of the white album and the ‘New Flesh’ single which will just show the quality of this bands music that even songs that didn’t originally make the album are songs which are pure class in their own right.
With cd versions and vinyl versions available, this caters to every Wildhearts fans needs and is a must buy.
Well, British Summertime is in full swing. Cold Wet Miserable one minute, sunny the next. but hey, Worry not let RPM introduce you to a few new videos that will blow away any blues first up are these nutballs hailing from Switzerland with their Garage noise better known as The Jackets with ‘Loser Lullaby’
Next up we turn the plane around and head East to Canada to be precise and your in-flight entertainment is courtesy of this new video from Autogramm who tell us all about ‘The Cool Kids’. “Cool Kids Radio” was originally written by C.C. in Berlin with Rich Jones (Michael Monroe, Loyalties, YoYo’s, Ginger Wildheart etc.) Hey just check this bad boy out and then if you happen to be in the area why not catch them live here –
July 19 @ Yoko, Hamburg DE
July 20 @ VEB, Lübeck DE
July 23 @ Kap Tormentoso, Stuttgart DE
July 24 @ Geschichtswerkstatt Altes Volksbad, Mannheim DE
Finally, one taken from the recently reviewed album ‘The Down South Spaghetty Accident (reviewed Here) RMBLR is their name and ‘Next Time’ is the track so until next time take it away RMBLR and remember kids play fair and Stay Sick!
Seeing as four is the new three we thought we’d throw this Rock and Roll hand grenade into the mix and add some Rainy Days & Mondays extra time. Hot off the press Wet Dreams drop brand new video for ‘Boogie’ check it out here
Following on from his saw blade release previously this year the ever-popular Ginger Wildheart releases ‘Maggie‘ on a shaped 12″ it’ll be limited to 1000 copies and features Two brand new exclusive tracks from The Wildhearts frontman. Recorded as part of ‘ The Pessimist’ s Companion’ album sessions – to be commercially released later in 2019 – and produced by long-time collaborator Dave Draper (The Wildhearts, Ginger Wildheart, Ryan Hamilton, Terrorvision). ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ – originally performed by John Cooper Clarke and ‘No Regrets’ – originally performed by The Walker Brothers. Diverse as ever get ready to rumble in order to secure your copy expect to pay £15.99 for this one.
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’ s debut studio album ‘TheMessage‘ was released on Sugar Hill Records in October 1982 and is widely regarded as one of the most influential hip hop records of all time. The title track, seen as an offshoot of funk upon its release, has since been credited with re-calibrating the direction of hip hop and was hailed the Number 1 greatest hip hop song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. This limited expanded edition features bonus tracks and instrumentals pressed on 180g Sugar Hill Blue vinyl and also commemorates the 40th Anniversary of Sugarhill Records. Oh, and you’ll get a penny change probably for this double album.
‘Green Day Woodstock 94‘. don’t even look on eBay at this one it’ll make you giggle like a school kid with the prices quoted a laugh in themselves. this will obviously be a very popular record to track down on RSD so good luck and remember kids don’t pay eBay prices. Even if it is a bog standard release no doubt with no picture inner bag it’s not on coloured vinyl nor is it 180gm so I’d imagine this will retail about £17.99 and I’ve no idea how many are pressed so I’d imagine a lot. Pssst if it does sell out then there are bootleg copies on the web I’m sure of it a friend told me.
whilst we’ll brush over the plethora of Grateful Dead releases Green River are seeing a follow up to the ‘Rehab doll’ and ‘Dry As A Bone’ reissues a 2000 piece release of a live show, It’s taken from the bands personal archives. Recorded on Sept 28,1984 at the Tropicana in Olympia Washington. It might be fairly unspectacular to most but I’d bet its a damn good show but might be a little uninspired considering what else is on offer. I’m sure it’ll set you back around the £20 mark.
One that will no doubt fly off the shelves (much like the CD did)is this fantastic offering from Heavy Drapes. Described as the brightest burning meteorites in the UK punk scene; a band that soared from playing to twenty-odd people (I’m sure they weren’t odd) in Bathgate in Scotland to the main stage of Rebellion 2017, the biggest punk festival in the world in little over 24 months. The sudden death of frontman and motormouth Garry Borland was the only thing that could have possibly stopped them and that tragic event has seen the best band in the UK dissolve before the release of this, their long-awaited debut album. Thankfully, the surviving band members and producer Mark Freegard have made sure that the legacy of Garry lives on. He lived and breathed this band and this is exactly how he would have wanted it. Garry spent every waking hour in the pursuit of his dream – the dream that Heavy Drapes would release the best album that they possibly could. It was a long time in the making; that was Garry, it had to be perfect. These ten songs stand tall and proud; Heavy Drapes took a very simple formula and gave it a towering, enigmatic makeover. Dangerous, glamorous, sexy and soaring, all of the things that punk rock generally isn’ t in the modern world. Heavy Drapes have crafted an album that truly doesn’ t have a dull moment on it – these songs do not need to be fawned over; they need to be played, loud, proud and indignant, just like Garry……NOW for the first time released on YELLOW VINYL. I’ll have one of those thank you very much! A bargain at £18.99
Ian Gillan ‘Mr. Universe’ 40th Anniversary edition what seems like a very poignant record now in light of the recent passing of Mr. Torme this might just be a hidden Gem in this years RSD releases. Demon Records proudly presents the 40th Anniversary Special Edition of Mr. Universe, the second album and the first issued in the UK. This exclusive and unique Record Store Day release includes Split Coloured (blue and red), 180g heavyweight vinyl. Pay around £22.99 for this one.
Now it wouldn’t be RSD without an Iggy Pop record so this year’s inclusion is a 7″ Dark green ‘Pain & Suffering‘ and its the first time on vinyl. Numbered. also, this year is this bad boy Never reissued on vinyl. No new vinyl is available online. Recorded live during the ”Lust for life” tour at l’Hippodrome de Pantin, Paris, on September 23, 1977. Released with authorization of Iggy Pop. this Packing includes Green color double vinyl with original record labels, printed inner sleeves, gatefold cardboard jacket with 2 pockets that has the original cover art and LP marketing OBI (side spine) with RSD April 2019 logo. but wait for it, it retails at mouth-watering £57.99 for the double vinyl import. Due to that I’m out which is a shame.
This RSD release is the 2 x lp version of the album Jacobites ‘Robespierre’s Velvet Basement’ Originally issued in 85 as a single album as it was regarded as too expensive for a double lp . It has never been re issued on vinyl in the uk since that time . Here we have for the very first time the tracks in the original desired running order and remastered for vinyl and expanded to the 2 discs. Presented in a gatefold sleeve with unseen photos from the time and liner notes from surviving member Dave Kusworth. ( partner Nikki Sudden having died in 2006). The album is already an Underground Classic. This version will be pressed on red white and grey splatter vinyl to incorporate the colours from the sleeve art. around £23.99 seems like a fair price.
Japan – ‘Life In Tokyo’ / ‘Quiet Life’ Released to mark the 40th anniversary of the groups’ 1979 breakthrough single ‘Life In Tokyo’ and follow up album ‘Quiet Life’, this 4 track, double A-side RSD exclusive 10″ is released on original Hansa red vinyl and includes ‘Life In Tokyo part I and II’ and the UK 7″ and extended mix of ‘Quiet Life’. coming in at £14.99 doesn’t seem to bad either.
Joe Strummer’s ‘The Rockfield Studio Tracks’ features ‘Forbidden City (Demo)’ and ‘Cool Impossible’. This limited edition 12″ is pressed on heavyweight vinyl and the artwork features an image of the original audio master tape with a removable photo of Joe. These previously unreleased tracks from 1993 are taken from the Joe Strummer Archive and follows the recent release of the critically acclaimed ‘Joe Strummer 001’ – the first compilation to span Joe’s entire career outside of his recordings with The Clash featuring remastered and unreleased recordings from the 101ers, The Mescaleros, solo albums, soundtracks, and rarities. To be fair this one also looks like it’s coming in at £11.99 which is pretty decent for a 12″ these days.
Johnny Thunders – ‘Que Sera Sera Resurrected‘ The 1985 studio album gets the VIP treatment from Jungle and boy have they done a good job (RPM will review this in the run-up to RSD)- completely remixed and revamped with many unheard tracks – as it should have sounded. It Includes two unreleased tracks left off the original album, plus a bonus album with six previously unreleased outtakes and six live versions. Includes 12″ x 24″ lyric insert with unseen pics. Remixed by The Vibrators’ Pat Collier, for the first time with the guitar fully up in the mix! Johnny missed the mixing sessions, now it can be heard as he originally intended. Limited edition in purple & white vinyl. New sleeve notes by Thunders biographer Nina Antonia. Every Record Store Day has a winner and this boys and girls is this year’s winner. a stunning album just got better! Expect to pay about £20.99 for this double album
Mansun – Legacy This double EP is on 12″ vinyl for the first time. The single’ s lyrics mocked pop and rock bands vying for stardom, but with tongue firmly in cheek as the memorable official promo video featured puppet versions of themselves on their pathway to fame. The EP was released in two parts in 1998, each with four songs, and is now released on one 12″ for the first time – on exclusive RSD19 red vinyl with an OBI wrap sleeve similar to the original 7″ single packaging. Not a bad little purchase this and should only be £19.99 Ben has it firmly in his sights but I’ve not been able to find out how many were pressed to ease his tension.
Ming City Rockers – ‘Lollipopper‘ This is the first Ming City Rockers release since their Steve Albini recorded album ‘Lemon’ in 2016. It is a new line up for the band who have been touring extensively in Europe for the last two years. It signifies a change of musical direction for them and whilst its obviously Mings, their love of hip hop has come to the surface. Mings will be touring the UK to support the release. It will be their first full UK tour since touring with Palma Violets in 2016. There will be a download code with the single. This song is the first produced by Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, The Kills, MIA, The Horrors etc) No sleeve and a bank bustin £10.99
Whilst on the letter M there are a few Motorhead releases out this year possibly the best being the artwork for their cover of the Ramones classic ‘Rockaway Beach’ but the picture disc 7″ is one Johnny Hayward has firmly in his sights and with it limited to 1000 copies he might have to camp out and sharpen his elbows ready for the bun fight. A 40th anniversary double 7” picture disc celebration of the loudest, dirtiest, bastard rock ‘n’ roll of 1979, the year Motorhead released both the seminal Overkill and Bomber albums. This die-cut, gatefold two single set contains the lead singles from those classic albums. Limited to 1000 Copies. £23.99 for this double single as well which isn’t cheap. Whilst ‘Rockaway’ will only set you back £13.99
The New Barbarians ‘Buried Alive‘ gets the triple album deal and clocks in at £33.99 The reasons that Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Ian McLagan, Stanley Clarke, Bobby Keys and Joseph ‘Ziggy’ Modeliste toured as The New Barbarians in 1979 started piling up five years earlier, when Keith took time out from the Stones to join Ronnie, then finding time away from The Faces to record his first solo album. Their obvious affinity, both musically and personally, led not only to Ronnie replacing Mick Taylor in the Stones but to the formation of the New Barbarians as a truly back-to-basics Rock ‘n’ Roll project.Neatly timed to coincide with the punishment duly allotted for Keith’s 1977 Canadian drugs bust, the band performed alongside the Stones at two 1979 benefit gigs for the Canadian National Institute For The Blind before embarking on a short North American tour. In May they headlined at the Capitol Center Arena in Largo, Maryland, and this superb 3 LP set documents that show. Originally released on black vinyl as a boxset in 2010, it is now being made available exclusively for RSD 2019 on black yellow and red vinyl x 3 (triple vinyl) in a beautiful gatefold sleeve – this historic epic show is an essential purchase for all fans of Ronnie, Keith and The Rolling Stones – for Rock ‘n’ Roll outlaws everywhere.
Staying with Keith and Ron for a bit there are several Stones related items up for grabs sadly nothing too spectacular with ‘Through The Past’ Volume two being reissued as well as Vol one being the ‘Big Hits’ High Tide and Green Grass album. with the most interesting being the 10″ of ‘She’s A Rainbow’ recorded a couple of years ago which will be about £11.99 wheras the two LP’s are both gatefolds so look to cough up £29.99 each!
The Sonics – ‘Night Beats‘ Few artists loom larger in the garage-rock legend than THE SONICS. With raunchy, cult classics such as “SHOT DOWN” and “HE’ S WAITIN” off their 1966 album, BOOM, the pioneering band staked their claim on rock ‘ n roll, putting the Pacific Northwest scene on the map and cementing their place as heroes for future generations. Those that followed include Danny Lee Blackwell’ s NIGHT BEATS, a group with its own underground origins as well as a direct, fuzz and feedback-coated link between the impact of THE SONICS and their own potent sound. It’ s this connection that led NIGHT BEATS to record BOOM in its entirety, a proper homage to their musical forbearers. Blackwell, along with an arsenal of ace musicians manage to maintain the spirit of original recordings like “CINDERELLA,” “DON’ T YOU JUST KNOW IT,” and a particularly unhinged version of “LOUIE LOUIE,” while injecting their own brand of earth-quakin’ soul-shakin, maximum R&B. Blackwell takes the lead on vocals and guitar, interpreting Gerry Rosalie’ s mean scream with ease. Mike Brandon holds things down on drums as his partner in crime, bass genius Nate Ryan, while Julien O’ Neill grooves things up on keys and Joe Santa Maria wails on the horns. Finishing touches come from Marlon Rabenreither on acoustic guitar, plus Cole Alexander and Dan Gerbang on backing vocals-all working together to keep THE SONICS’ legacy intact, even as they tear the whole place down.Next time you hear a loud boom and your windows rattle, it’ s probably a sonic boom alright; but on the other hand, it might just be “THE SONICS BOOM.” £23.99 for the single album.
Thin Lizzy – Black Rose Released in 1979, Black Rose is one the iconic Irish bands best loved albums, the record has the only occasion guitarist the late Gary Moore recorded with the band and his influence is felt throughout the album. The album peaked at No 2 in the UK charts and is one of the bands most successful albums and a firm favourite with the fans This version exclusive for Record Store day contains the original album as well as a set of unheard (till now) Demos of the record from Phil Lynott’s archive. The album has enhanced artwork and a new cut has taken place of the record for the best audio quality. It’s a double album and coming in at £29.99 doesn’t seem too bad considering the vaults have been raided for the bonus disc
Teenage Fanclub ‘King’ Repress of second album by Fanclub, originally deleted on its day of release in 1991. don’t snooze this time will cost around £22.99
UK Subs – ‘Another Kind Of Blues’ the 40th ANNIVERSARY edition of the debut album by Punk Legends U.K.SUBS.Originally issued in 1979 and now issued as a deluxe double 10″, in two different shades of Blue Vinyl. It comes with a gatefold sleeve and two inner bags featuring new liner notes by the band members plus lyrics and a repro of the original inner bag. This new edition now features 6 bonus tracks including the UK hit singles “Tomorrows Girls” and “Stranglehold” £25.99 for these 10″ records.
Various – ‘Max’s SKAnsas City’ Recently unearthed ‘lost recordings’ from the early New York ska scene in 1980, in limited edition milky clear vinyl LP. When the NYC ska scene germinated in parallel to the UK Two-Tone movement, the Max’s Kansas City club was at the heart of it. The clubs pioneering record label, run by Max’s booker Peter Crowley, recorded a number of sessions in 1980, including with legendary Skatalites founder Roland Alfonso. But only two 7” singles, by San Francisco’s The Offs and NYC’s The Terrorists, ever got issued. Subsequently, the NY ska scene exploded, with many bands achieving great success. Only now can these previously unreleased studio tracks by Roland Alphonso, The Terrorists and The Offs be heard. The album has 15 tracks, eleven of which are issued for the first time, and it comes with authoritative sleeve notes by ska writer and player ‘Marco On The Bass’.and retailing at £17.99 its one of the best bargains this RSD
Venom – Manitou Released as part of the bands 40th Anniversary celebrations this shaped disc is a classic slab of Black Metal and we all love a bit of Black Metal and Venom this 12″ is going to be the (un) Holy grail as there are only 300 copies made. We’ll be filling up on cup-o-soups of virgins blood the night before and looking for some Bealzibub assistance in picking up a copy Johnny Hayward has put the call out to his local coven to ensure he gets his cloven hoof on a copy and with it costing £21.99 I’m only disappointed it was £6.66 ITs a teaser for the soon to be released whopper of a box set that is believed to be signed by Cronos as well. Seems like as good a time as any to play this then
X-Ray Spex – ‘I Am A Cliche’ Available for the first time on double coloured vinyl (pink and green dayglo to be precise), this brand new compilation brings together all the classic tracks from punk legends, X-Ray Spex’ exclusively for Record Store Day 2019. The limited edition album will be available on pink and green vinyl and packaged in a gatefold sleeve featuring exclusive images from the Poly Styrene archive. The album features the classic singles ‘ Oh Bondage Up Yours!’. ‘ Identity’, ‘ The Day The World Turned Day-Glo’, ‘Germ-Free Adolescents’ and ‘ Highly Inflammable’ plus a bonus 12″ featuring an early 1977 live recording from The Roxy Club, London. A hefty £29.99 will see this added to your collection. And that just about wraps up RPM’s guide to what’s hot in this years RSD shakedown. you might agree or disagree you might wonder why on earth we haven’t mentioned this or that and where is the Stiv OST we wanted to keep something under wraps for ourselves Doh! happy shopping folks I hope you get what you want and it doesn’t leave you short. If it does don’t worry its only rock and roll.
The Wildhearts release Dislocated, the first song from their forthcoming album ‘Renaissance Men’. Listen to the cathartic Dislocated
On3rd May ‘Renaissance Men’, The Wildhearts’ first full-length studio album in 10 yearsis released by Graphite Records.
The Wildhearts’ classic line up of Ginger, CJ, Ritchie and Danny, recorded the energetic and diverse ‘Renaissance Men’ at theTreehouse Studio. Produced by Jim Pinder ‘Renaissance Men’ findsThe Wildhearts at their full creative tilt delivering hard-hitting, retooled classic rock with a modern twist. Bristling riffs and jagged, riotous hooks are their poison and the 10 songs are the perfect manifestation of the band’s immutable wit, charm and righteous anger.
The album cover for ‘Renaissance Men’ was painted by Eliran Kantor (Testament, Iced Earth, Sodom).
The honest and irresistible ‘Renaissance Men’ is an unequivocal triumph, which encapsulates and distils perfectly The Wildhearts’ live energy.
To pre order ‘Renaissance Men’ and stream Dislocated go Here
The album is available to pre-order in usual CD and vinyl, with T-Shirt bundles available, plus in exclusive limited edition transparent red vinyl and orange tape cassette formats. iTunes preorders will receive Dislocated as an instant track download.
‘Renaissance Men’ track listing
02 Let ‘Em Go.
03 The Renaissance Men.
04 Fine Art of Deception.
06 My Kinda Movie.
07 Little Flower.
08 Emergency (Fentanyl Babylon).
09 My Side Of The Bed.
10 Pilo Erection.
To coincide with the release of ‘Renaissance Men’ The Wildhearts play an 8 date UK tour. This intimate tour will start in Manchester at the Academy 2 on Friday 3rd May and concludes at the Riverside in Newcastle on Sunday 12th May.
“Well fuck me it’s only been 10 years since our last release and we have a monster album on its way. Danny is back in the band and we hit the road in May, playing new tunes and all the old hits. Can’t wait and I know the boys are super bloody excited for this. ROCK!” – CJ Wildheart
Before the Renaissance Men UK tour, The Wildhearts play 2 festivals: the Winters End 2019 in Chepstow and Great British Alternative Festival in Minehead, plus a special warm up show at the Exeter Cavern on Friday 8th March, which is sold out.
Creatively brilliant, The Wildhearts play a distinctive fusion of hard rock, perfectly complemented by contemporary melodies. With a career spanning 30 years The Wildhearts helped change the landscape of British rock through the ’90s, and to this day they haven’t shown any sign of slowing down. Miss these shows at your peril.
The next wave of artists for Camden Rocks Festival 2019 is here! The multi-talented punk and folk singer-songwriter Frank Turner is joined by hitmakers The Wonder Stuff, Random Hand, Discharge, Richie Ramone, The Professionals, Eliza And The Bear, Sonic Boom Six, Area 11, Spunge, Shvpes and ninety other phenomenal bands across indie, rock, punk and metal announced.
They join the first wave of acts that includes Ash, Ratboy, New Model Army, Wheatus, Carl Barat, Ginger Wildheart, Milkteeth, Pretty Vicious, Raging Speedhorn, Angelic Upstarts, The Virginmarys, The Last Internationale, Bang Bang Romeo, Rews and many more.
This year Camden Rocks Festival is a two day event for the first time! Bringing you 400 artists across twenty grassroot venues in Camden Town.
Get out your microscopes and open up a spreadsheet to map out your days. If you were to ask us here obviously the star attractions of The Wonderstuff and Ash will have their fans but watching The Hip Priests, The Spangles or Rich Ragany & The Digressions is where the gold dust is. We’ll be doing our bit on the run-up to the event when we know venues and band times and let you know where we’ll be heading.
Ginger swings from rock genius to self-indulgent pledge monster, crafting some of the finest tunes the UK has tasted in the last 25 years or so, but seemingly a social media time bomb primed to explode. Either way, whenever I’ve met him he’s been a totally nice guy so in I guess that’s just the internet for you…
Kicking off with the low key “May The Restless Find Peace”, I can’t quite place the songs it reminds me of but it’s a nice downer of a tune much greater than the sum of its parts.
On to “Why Aye (Oh You)”. I could be facetious and say this is pound shop Jimmy Nail or I could be constructive and compare it to Del Amitri. You decide.
The album carries on in a similar vein. I guess the slide guitar gives it a country kind of vibe. You could say it’s a companion piece to 2018’s previous outing “Ghost in the Tangle Wood” It certainly sounds like an extension of that acoustic driven folky introspective sound.
Along with the aforementioned “May The Restless Find Peace”, “Better Love” is another standout track. To my ears it has a Crowded House feel, with perhaps a bit like Billy Bragg’s “Don’t Try This At Home” era. A great tune none-the-less.
The title track “The Pessimist’s Companion” has a bit more going on but remains on the “sounding up but feeling down” theme.
Like many of the tunes found here, “Sweet Wanderlust” and “In Reverse” feel like sketches of classic (Wildhearts) tunes, proving without a doubt that below the self-destruction is a great songwriter trying to find his way out of a chaotic mind.
Last up is the dark and desperate “There Is A House”. Another stand out tune and certainly one you’ll want to skip back to once the album ends.
Ultimately, if you’re a paid-up disciple of Ginger’s gang you’re gonna love this album. whatever I or anyone else thinks about it and more power to you.