Ho Ho Ho!, Nothing Christmassy about this bunch of records except to say I’d be one happy chappy if these were hanging in my stocking come the big day.  It’s always quality before quantity here at RPM Singles round-up. As we welcome back old friends and applaud like a bunch of performing seals when the music hits the airwaves… With an immense array of talent on offer we bring you the pick of the new releases because we’re like that and its the season to give, give, give…

Motherfuckin’ Motherfuckers – ‘Trillion Dollar Man’ (Lux Noise Records) Its always a pretty good bet that as soon as I get things in order to write up a compilation of new singles and videos that are about to drop Those Lovely Hip Priests boys appear as if by magic (either its coincidence or they have my house tapped) but hang on before you get carried away this is only half of the Hip Priests together with half of Bitch Queens under the umbrella of Motherfuckin’ Motherfuckers (never a more appropriate name eh?)

Following on from that glorious cacophony of noise that was the debut mini-album ‘Trillion Dollar Man’ is the fearless foursome back for more with a two-minute one-second rip ride of unadulterated punk rock and roll. from the intro tape to the snot fueled solo it hits you like a speedball if you flip it over side two is more of the same.  Too much drugs, too much booze, too many amps and guitars will ki… Never be enough! we live in tough time kids so when you have a band put together as a bet that can turn up and knock these out then things aren’t all bad proving once again that they can go toe to toe with the greats and channelling their inner Motorhead, MC5, early Hellacopters you get the idea where these punks are coming from. Just buy it for fuck’s sake you know you want to. Click here and let em know your order before they all go, which they will. Then you’ll still be uncool and not even have the new Motherfuckin’ Motherfucker single in your possession either. Oh and they cover D4 as well it’s almost as if D4 knew one day it would happen and some bunch of ne’er-do-wells would turn it up and kick out the jams on their classic and bring it to a whole new generation of rock n rollas. so,  what are you waiting for?

 

The Black Halos – Geisterbahn ii (Yeah Right! Records) A band that shouldn’t need an introduction but we’re giving them one anyway.  Hailing from Vancouver and been in some sort of semi-hibernation until now.  Seemingly out of nowhere this old/new single drops.  the A-side is something familiar to those who pay attention as it was released a while back when they played the Black Heart in London and some shows in Spain a few years ago but the single was delayed due to one thing or another until now.  the band has been writing new songs back in Canada and we are about to hear the benefits of that. Original members Billy Hopeless, Rich Jones, and Jay Millette have reunited and are joined by the rhythm section of Danni Action and John Kerns on these new recordings.  These songs mixed by long-time collaborator Jack Endino C’mon folks it’s a banger from the off.  Its got the wonderful vocal delivery from Billy (who else?) and a vibrant workout from a band who sound like they love to crank it up and get on with their business.  I for one can’t wait for the album next year it’s going to be special and on the evidence of these samplers one, you should be interested in no question.  Recorded back in Berlin by RDO TV Mork and features Rags n CC Voltage (they don’t need an introduction here do they?)  just buy it!  Bandcamp

THE ILLICITS ‘Left Behind / Born Slippy’ (Creation 23)  The elephant in the room here is these cats have only bagged themselves a guest slot from the one and only Steve ‘Fuckin’Jones!  Yeah, that’s right the lonely Boys strapped on his Les Paul and threw down a riff on ‘Left Behind’. What’s it like then you ask. Well its a pretty decent noise to be fair as is their take on ‘Born Slippy’.  Terrace punk would be a fair description somewhere between the pub rock of early britpop and Jonesys Professionals these guys have a swagger cutting through their record and its impressive, maybe the time is right for some real guitar bands to kick out the jams once again and give this industry a good fuckin’ shakin’.  Get on it here 

Märvel – ‘Marvellous’ (The Sign) Märvels debut EP “Märvellous” claimed to be recorded in 2002 for the American label New York Powerhitters during the bands exchange semester in Colorado. Märvel returned to Sweden before the songs got a release, and the EP never got to see the light of day… Until now!  After the success of their ‘Guilty Pleasures’ album, the barons of rock have re-recorded their “lost EP”. After seventeen years of making albums and touring,  the band has a long tradition of writing hits while constantly developing their sound which has enabled them to re-record an almost twenty year old EP and make it sound as if it was written yesterday. ‘Märvellous’ will officially be released January 24th through The Sign Records. go check it out.

 

Rotten Mind – Burn For You (Lövely Records) the first single taken from Rotten Minds upcoming album Rat City Dog Boy. “Burn For You” is a melody-driven, upbeat punk anthem clocking in at just under two minutes. Despite its relatively short length, it manages to capture the essence of Rotten Mind; defiant lyrics sung from the heart, accompanied by a fast drum beat and poisonous guitar melodies drenched in reverb, creating a thick yet vibrant soundscape. It’s a captivating track with a somewhat uplifting atmosphere, and yet there’s something melancholic lurking in the shadows.

Combining elements of 77’punk, post-punk and garage rock, Swedish indie- force Rotten Mind are back with their fourth full length album. With Rat City Dog Boy, Rotten Mind returns to their musical roots while embracing new influences to create an album that sounds both fresh and vintage, making Rotting Mind appealing to old-school punks as well as newfound lovers of the scene

The Doghunters – Hitchhiker (Tonzonen Records)  Taken from the German Bands soon to be released album ‘Splitter Phaser Naked’.  Some smooth indie rock that’s well recorded and delivered and is a bit of a grower to be fair. Bandcamp

Autogramm – ‘Bad Day’ (Self Release)  Again Autogramm deliver some quality synth-driven power pop.  Its got a great infectious hook on the chorus but carries a serious message.  The fact that all profits go to a great worthy cause, of course, we’re going to champion this single. Check out the video below and make a donation or pick up a physical single – you know it makes sense.

 All proceeds from digital sales will be donated to World Federation For Mental Health Save “Bad Day” to your preferred music service: https://orcd.co/badday Donate to The World Federation for Mental Health: https://wfmh.global

Available on 7″ vinyl from Jarama 45RPM Records

Gun – Rock The Casbah (Silver Lining Records)  Lifted from their album ‘R3loaded’ this is a pretty impressive cover to be fair.  Gun seem to get it (whatever it is) their take on this Clash Classic is available for you to see as well as hear below so click away kids Facebook

Bitch Queens, The Lombego Surfers, Nicole Bernegger, Luc Montini – Gimme Shelter (Lux Noise Records) – An extremely limited edition of only 100 red records here, all for a good cause the charity  ‘Save Free Spaces’ sees this collaboration cover the stones classic not once but twice!

Whilst the fast side sort of whizzes through its got a suitably dirty guitar sound that is befitting such a classic, upping the tempo misses the dirty dangerous groove that the original delivered but hey its a cover so why try to reproduce the original right? right!  Saying that its the slower version that grabbed my attention and boy do they nail such an iconic tune.  Nicole Berneggers vocals are exceptional to be fair and well worth checking out if you haven’t already. Bandcamp

 

Stevie R Pearce & The Hooligans – ‘Rush Of Blood To The Head’ (Cargo Records) With a new album recorded live in Blackpool entitled ‘Give Me Everything’ ‘Rush Of Blood’ is a brand new track to follow on from last years studio album.  You want loud guitars and Rockin’ tunes with a heap of attitude then Stevie and his bunch of Hooligans are your boys just ask Jizzy Pearl and Kory Clarke they know a thing or two about guitar players.  reunited with two of the Black Bullets players Stevie has got Carl and Lance in to rock out as his new Hooligans a line up completed by Richard Jones. Stevie recons it’s the lightest of the new songs they’ve written but the chorus is a keeper and couldn’t be ignored he’s not wrong it’ll lodge itself in your noggin’ and you’ll be humming it all bloody day long. It’s gritty yet polished and if this is the lightest he’s come up with then I’m intrigued – Top tune make no mistake about that, America listen up – This could and probably should rule the FM airwaves.  Facebook

The Electric Shakes – 2019 EP (self Released) Why not treat yourself to some of the digital records you know, flac or mp3. so it’s not something you can put in a jukebox but these four tracks sure do rock and fuckin’ roll. From the garage fuzz of the catchy ‘Phoney High’ Electric Shakes have got it going on.  this Bournemouth three-piece make a wonderful noise and a cautionary tale about cheap narcotics. ‘Rye And Dry’ ups the tempo with some lovely Poison Ivy stylings on that six-string whilst the rhythm section holds down the backbeat to the chorus that’s like a rush of adrenaline. Cool stuff. Probably my pick of the four tracks on offer would be the spikey ‘Hound Dog’ with its distorted riff-a-rama that takes you to the holin’ chorus.  Oh wait don’t jump the gun because they saved the best till last as ‘Trash’ is one angry motherfucker as it rallies against the modern world and the disdain poured onto the people at the bottom of the ladder and the homeless or those who just struggle.  Good on you Electric Shakes this is a band we like and will support, a band with a moral compass and a bunch of top tunes to boot give them a shout folks and get behind them they rock. Pick up the EP Here

The Zeros – ‘In The Spotlight’ (Munster Records) The Zeros are back baby and this December sees the first new music in God knows how long (over twenty years). It’s   Released on Munster Records outta Spain and this slice of Rock and Roll shows that Javier Escovedo has lost none of his spark and these two blistering tunes are full of energy and are as vibrant as anything their contemporaries can put out in 2019. I hear rumours of an album and If these tunes are an indication of what we could expect from a long-player in 2020 then bring it on brothers because these tunes are fantastic. Sleazy Rock n Roll from the heart with some wicked lead breaks mixed with some howling harmonica on the lead track whilst ‘Nowhere To Run’ has boundless energy mixed with plenty of snotty rock n roll. Welcome back boys we’ve missed ya!

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THE CHERRY DOLLS – State Of Mine (Bread And Butter Records) with a brand new record Australias Cherry Dolls rock up with something that has a hint of The Strokes mixed with something darker from the origins of The Stooges for sure. ‘State Of Mind’ is a fuzzed up slice of Rock and Roll that we love around these parts and this is a welcome addition to our singles club. Go check them out on Bandcamp and Facebook and tell em RPM Sent You! 

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http://www.thecherrydolls.com/

Tom Baker and the Snakes- ‘Cancel It’ (Rum Bar Records)  It’s always a rockin good day when a Rum Bar Records record drops through the ether.  It’s like the quality stamp of approval you don’t even need to ask who it is because chances are its gonna lodge itself in your noggin and take root.  The fact its Tom Baker backed by The Snakes is something of an afterthought. (God knows who? Tom Baker has never made a bad record either) lifted from ‘Dirty Snakes’ its an absolute throwback rocker think Georgia Sats kicking it out with Mellencamp when he turned up the amps.  Its a corker and in a few weeks the full album will be released Facebook
Tensheds – Goldtooth (Tensheds Music) taken from the soon to be released album ‘Deathrow Disco’ the more observant of you might notice the keyboard player from a certain Jim Jones & The Righteous Minds.  This has been described as a cross between Jerry Lee and Lady Gaga but its more White Stripes with a great big dirty Rhodes organ instead of a guitar it’s like James Leg has a UK based twin but with a more style and better hair.  Facebook

Beat Hotel – Feel It (Occultation Recordings) The first single off this Brighton based bands self-titled mini album with a great sense of songwriting with great lyrics and well worked arrangments it’s a great slab of noisy pop taking chunks of influence from the alternative scene of the 80s with bands like the Bunnymen and Teenage fanclub clearly having some influence as well as a most welcome dash of Jesus & Mary Chain.  Great song and I look forward to hearing the full minialbum.
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Pist – Fools Gave Chase (APF Records) As we’re such a broad church here is the latest offering from those heavy as a 10000 tonne boulder Pist are in the club with the rifftastic ‘Fools Gave Chase’ in all its non-single length glory. Taken from the album ‘Hailz’ Available Here

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Grande Royale / Liar Thief Bandit – Split (The Sign Records)  Action Rockers strap yourself in for a royale showdown as Liar Thief Bandit lay down the challenge with some classic Action Rock riff-a-rama as they offer up ‘Virtue As A Vice’ whilst fellow Action rockers Grande Royale announce that they were ‘Saved By Rock ‘n’ Roll’ its limited to only 300 pieces its an easy chorus to remember Saved by rock n roll wohoho! so get out your tennis racket and play along and don’t spare the sweatbands

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Scottish rock veterans GUN are thrilled to announce the release of their best of album “R3L0ADED”, due out on 29thNovember via Silver Lining Music. In addition the band will launch the first single “Superstition”.

“R3L0ADED” is a real declaration of intent. GUN are looking to the road ahead, to new challenges, unfulfilled ambitions. While the album is a celebration of the band’s illustrious past, it also forcibly underlines that their focus is fixed firmly on the future. There’s a real feeling of optimism and creativity… of so much more to be achieved.

Whilst celebrating the 30thAnniversary of “Taking On The World”, the band’s 1989 debut album, the double record gathers in one collection GUN’s best singles, taken from their award-winning career spanning three decades. “R3L0ADED” is presented as a double album, Disc 1 features singles from the band’s seven albums, such as first chart hit ’Better Days’ (1989), ‘Steal Your Fire’ (1992), ‘Don’t Say It’s Over’ (1994) and ‘Favourite Pleasures’ (2017).

Guitarist Giuliano “Jools” Gizzi comments: “R3L0ADED is a collection of our best singles.  We wrote a bunch of songs – the best we could do and had no idea if they’d be successful or if people would connect with them.” He then continues: “They are the soundtrack to a lot of good times and bad.  Now, people come up to us to say how these songs have touched them or made an impact, however small, in their lives. In 1989, we WERE taking on the world. We still are.”

Frontman Dante Gizzi adds: “Taking On The World really put us on the map.  Thirty years ago, our dream was simply to sign a record deal, release an album and maybe go on tour, no more than that. So it’s great to recognise something which means so much to us, and also to the people who have stayed with us over the years.“

Disc 2 is a collection of cover songs, which includes ‘Word Up’ by Cameo (1986), for which the band won the prestigious MTV Europe Music Award for Best Cover.  The band have recorded new versions of ‘Every 1’s A Winner’ by Hot Chocolate (1978), ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)’ by The Beastie Boys (1986), ‘Union City Blue’ by Blondie (1979), ‘Rock The Casbah’ by The Clash (1982), ‘Everybody Knows’ by Dixie Chicks (2006), ‘Diamonds’ by Rihanna (2012) and ‘Take Me To Church’ by Hozier (2013).  Firm proof GUN can also pull some real musical aces from the pack are the inclusion of the classic ‘Superstition’ by Stevie Wonder (1972) and ‘Success’ by Iggy Pop (1977).

Jools reveals: “These tracks are our favourite songs by acts we’ve grown up with.  But we tried not to pick the obvious ones. Our aim was to make heavy rock versions of these great songs.  It’s what we do.  It’s become one of our strengths both live and in the studio.”

Dante continues: “There are many people out there who still want to hear GUN… We have an incredibly loyal fan base, so we owe it to them – as well as ourselves – to keep shooting for goal. Everything is a challenge or a pressure… but it’s a good challenge or a good pressure.  We’ve never had it any other way.  You always want to march on.  But the feeling is that there is still so much more to be done.  We’re far from finished.  R3L0ADED is just the beginning… the start of a new chapter.

To coincide with the album release and the 30thanniversary of seminal debut album “Taking On The World”, the band will embark on a full UK tour alongside other two rock legendary names: FM and Dan Reed Network.

The Big 3-0 Tour Dates
9thDecember – Bristol – o2 Academy
10thDecember – Southampton – Engine Rooms
11thDecember – London – o2 Shepherds Bush Empire
13thDecember – Wolverhampton – KK’s Steel Mill
14thDecember – Norwich – LCR UEA
15thDecember – Nottingham – Rock City
17thDecember Newcastle – o2 Academy
18thDecember – Leeds – o2 Academy
20thDecember – Manchester – Academy 2
21stDecember – Glasgow – Barrowland

Steelhouse Festival is the annual Welsh Classic Rock Festival situated on top of a mountain in Ebbw Vale, which now in its ninth year, is a little gem of a festival which slowly grows year on year despite its reputation for being generally a bit on the damp side. 

After the particularly wet event last year I was half expecting to see a smaller attendance, but no, still people turned up in their thousands and that is down to the repeatedly great line ups and the sheer friendliness and affordability of this festival, I mean, what other festivals can you go to and get 4 pints for a mere £15! 

Those in attendance were not only rewarded with a whole weekend of glorious weather, but with some great performances across the weekend from both the old stagers and the up and coming bands.

Friday nights entertainment started off with solid sets from both Blackwater Conspiracy (6/10) and The Rising Souls (7/10), but it was local boys Those Damn Crowes (8/10), who despite not being my thing, were the first band to really win over the whole crowd and put in a great performance. 

However Massive Wagons (9/10) a band I have previously described as “sloppy pub rock” took the honours of the day in style. The energy from the stage took the crowd to the next level and sporadic Dad dancing was seen all over the top of the mountain especially as they kicked out the Rick Parfitt tribute ‘Back to the Stack’ and the fantastic set closer of Slade’s ‘Come Feel the Noise’, which saw all the other bands join them for a triumphant sing along. A great way to end day one.

Day two openers Liberty Lies (6/10) didn’t do much for me musically, but it has to said that frontman Shaun Richards is not only a great singer, but also knows how to keep the crowd engaged which some funny in between-song banter. Ryder’s Creed (8/10) however were on a completely different level and looked like 5 guys who had been force-fed Red Bull and Haribo all morning before being unleashed onto the stage. Great catchy tunes and the sheer enjoyment on the band’s faces was just contagious. 

Unfortunately, Hollowstar (5/10) couldn’t follow that, and despite being perfectly competent and getting a good reception from the rest of the crowd sent me to the bar, which is where I stayed for a while causing me to, unfortunately, miss The Wild who I did hear good things about. 

Crobot (9/10) were one of my must-watch bands of the weekend after picking up a copy of their Something Supernatural album 5 years ago and they didn’t disappoint. Kicking off with Legend of the Spaceborn Killer, frontman Brandon Yeagley took to the stage looking like some crazy merman and he didn’t let up for the whole gig, completely owning the stage and in fact the mountain. Tight, heavy, big riffs and catchy choruses, job done! 

After that, I found Gun (8/10) a bit strange. To watch they were a bit dull, but the sheer strength of their songs made their performance work and work well. Watching people drunker than I sing along joyously to the likes of ‘Steel your Fire’, ‘Better Days’ and ‘Taking on the World’ really made me want to go home and dig out those albums again. 

The Temperance Movement (9/10) were my band of the day and had me throwing some hideously drunken shapes from the minute they walked on until the minute they walked off. The standard of musicianship was second to none as they drifted from epic strutting singalongs like ‘Only Friend’ to the stunning Deeper Cut which completely sent shivers up my spine. After that performance, I wouldn’t expect it to be long to see them return as a headliner. 

Thunder (8/10) don’t do bad gigs, and though they didn’t deliver the best gig I have seen them play, still had the crowd eating out the palms of their hands and singing along word for word from the minute they kicked off with ‘Loser’ to the minute they finished with a song I can’t remember due to a long days drinking and enjoying myself! 

The final day was opened up by fellow Cornishmen Willie and the Bandits (8/10) who I felt sorry for as they didn’t get the crowd they deserved due to issues getting into the arena with bag searches. Their laid back Bluesy Rock was the perfect start to the day and was a performance worth far better than their lowly spot on the bill. Sadly the good start to the day came crashing down to earth with The Amorettes (3/10) who frankly looked and sounded like two average bands had been stuck together with cheap sellotape to make one below average band. 

Completely the opposite of that were Tax the Heat (8/10) who returned to the mountain with another great display of slick, stylish rock and roll. Scott Gorham loves this band for a reason, even if he had to berate them for driving too slowly up the mountain! 

The charismatic Mango Kid himself Mr Danko Jones (8/10) brings a blistering set of balls-out garage rock and certainly wins over a legion of new fans. As an old fan, my only complaint was that he missed the golden opportunity to play the track Mountain which would have been perfect for the occasion.

Band of the weekend? Well, that goes to Uriah Heep (10/10) who provided a set of absolute perfection. The sound, the musicianship, Bernie Shaw’s timeless vocals, and Mick Box’s huge smile completely stole the show. How a band soon to be moving into their 50th year can still play gigs sounding this fresh and exciting is beyond me. Happy Daze indeed! 

At one point Corey Glover of Living Colour (8/10) said “who’s idea was it for us to follow Uriah Heep?” and that was the only problem with their set. While perhaps a band that didn’t quite fit in and draw the crowd that the Heep did, Living Colour came on and played superbly for those prepared to listen to them, and bringing out the festival legend Bernie Marsden for a cover of Cream’s ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’ was a masterstroke. 

Closing the whole weekend was then left for Thin Lizzy (9/10) who were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the legendary ‘Black Rose’ album by playing it in its entirety. I was a little sceptical in advance but I have to say Thin Lizzy absolutely smashed it. This was in no small part to a rhythm section made up Mastodon’s Troy Sanders and Judas Priests Scott Travis, who were one of the most impressive I have heard in many years, but for me the star of the show was Mr. Ricky Warwick, who has gone and proved himself time and again to be someone who not only sings the songs of the late great Phil Lynott with style but who almost makes you think that perhaps he was the man who wrote and sang them first time around. No disrespect is meant it that comment, but Ricky Warwick does the job perfectly with the utmost respect and deserves that respect right back. 

With a closing ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ finished off with a great fireworks display Thin Lizzy were the perfect end to an amazing weekend, the only problem now is how are Steelhouse going to top that for their 10th Anniversary?! 

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Author: Nigel Taylor