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

Nev Brooks.

Not so long back I caught a great doubleheader over the bridge in Bristol consisting of Jesse Malin and Chuck Prophet. Now people in the know would probably remember Chuck Prophet from his days in a band called Green on Red, I caught them live a couple of times back in the day, and could never quite categorize them, psychedelic, alt-country, alt-rock, indie there were so many labels that fitted but if you got bogged down in how to listen to them from which viewpoint you missed the fact that they were a Bloody good live band. Where am I going with this, not long after seeing Chuck this little beauty dropped in my inbox from Dan Stuart, the guitarist, and frontman of Green on Red.

Settling in and kicking back you are immediately caught up in the production, it’s so clean, the music breathes, its given space. There’s something in the picked intro to opener March 5th, 1961 that pulls you into the story that runs through the LP, setting you up chapter by chapter, song by song.

We drift through the story, it’s definitely got that Alt-Country vibe, steeped in that Americana tradition. Moods and emotions change as you work your way through and fleetingly my thoughts drift towards the Who as a point of reference especially on “Here comes my boy”.  There’s even a hint of Bowie wrapped around “Tucson”, what I’m saying is very much as with Green on Red you can’t quite label things, to me a sign of how comfortable someone is with their music, letting things develop organically taking on its own life story, following its own pathway to the finish.

This LP draws in so many references to so many different artists, sometimes Lou Reed, Sometimes Roger Waters, Sometimes Roger Daltrey, Sometimes Steve Earle, what have they all got in common? They are fantastic storytellers.

I would class as one of those evenings into late nite LP’s when your sat, drifting along with the sound, watching the sun go down following the story as it unfolds. This is a companion piece to a novel that will be published at the same time the third part in the Marlowe Billings trilogy.  This is an excellent piece of work getting darker as the LP moves forward track by track someone going through their life story, laying everything bare. Well worth some attention from a much wider audience.

Buy the album Here

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 Nev Brooks.

When this gig flashed up on my watching list, the juices really started to flow, I mean an essential part of the great Green on Red (Chuck Prophet) that I have vague recollections of catching way back in the day at the reading festival in 1989 when it returned, taken over by The Mean Fiddler group.

 

Add into the mix probably my favourite live artist at the moment Jesse Malin part of the superb D-Generation and more to the point an incredible live act on his own, electric or acoustic. Tickets were booked instantly,

 

But enough of the waffle, arriving at the venue I have to say, parking was a bit of a nightmare, be warned, (it’s a venue I’m going to watch out for in the future) Hey Ho! The joys of driving everywhere!! Moving upstairs I did a bit of a double take, a seated gig? Hmm, and then we’re into it with Jesse Malin and I have to say what a set, even though shortened to 50 mins, we had a sample from the new LP, scheduled for release mid 2019 (my little life, meet me at the end of the world) an awesome cover of the Pogues classic,” If I should fall from grace with god”, a great collection from the St Marks social LP-love it to Life, including all the way from Moscow and an absolutely blinding “Burning the Bowery” were I to say none of the audience remained sitting would be more than fair.

 

The songs from New York before the war just keep getting stronger and tonight we had “The year that I was born” and a track that stopped me cold “Turn up the mains”. Without going track for track, we had his whole career represented, from The fine art of self destruction, through to the Outsiders with Glitter in the gutter getting a more than welcome representation.

 

With such an outstanding catalogue the music itself was always going to be top drawer, but what came across tonight was Jesse Malin the storyteller, if you get chance to catch this tour anywhere don’t miss, but also what should also hit you is why isn’t this guy huge!! I suppose a damning inditement on the malaise that the mainstream music world is currently investing it’s time in.

 

Now you’ve probably guessed I’m a bit of a Jesse Malin fan and his set was my main reason for travelling over tonight, but I was 100% in the minority the audience were here to catch Chuck Prophet so strapping in, not really knowing what to expect from a solo Chuck I entered the set with an open mind.

 

Struggling with a virus I have to say what a set followed from Chuck, and what a vocalist Stephanie Finch is, a perfect foil from that swamp blues drawl, splitting vocal duties her voice very much came across with hints of early Marianne Faithful, that innocence embedded in pop sensibilities, while also giving a nod to that world weary Americana style. This was part of a series of Americana gigs being promoted by the Hen and Chicken after all.

 

As a singer/songwriter Chuck Prophet is faultless, but the track that caught me was a track by the McCoys from 1965, re-interpreted by David Bowie on the Hunky Dory LP-Sorrow, stripped down, slowed up and re-interpreted as an Americana classic. Other tracks that stuck with me, were “Bad year for Rock and Roll, The left hand and the right hand, doubter out of Jesus” and the Bob Dylan cover “Abandoned Love”.  Again what hits you are the stories between songs, holding the audience enthralled, these two have toured together for years, hit the same audiences and made the same connections and what came across to me was the link both had to a fledgling Ryan Adams and again the though flits across my mind, they should be standing alongside him on the much larger venues.

 

As an aside, I picked up a vinyl copy of Glitter in the Gutter, one I was missing and ended in a conversation with Jesse, and what a humble guy, wrapped up in music, grounded and focused.

 

Pick up the Jesse Malin back catalogue here

Pick up the Chuck Prophet here