To celebrate the new Michael Monroe album ‘One Man Gang’ that is released this week we’ve got it reviewed and now we wanted to brighten up your day with something old, something New and something borrowed – Enjoy
It’s been a while since we heard anything from the Sherriff McCoy. In fact, its 10 years since Hanoi Rocks performed their last hurrah and put the band to bed with a final show at the Tavastia in Helsinki. So what has Michael Monroe’s former partner in crime been up to? Well, if you believe the comments on YouTube, it appears he has been a lighthouse keeper for 10 years! While I would love that to be true, apart from the short-lived Grease Helmet and a few guest appearances, it seems he has done little musically to speak of and has spent more time on his artwork, clothes design and even a stint on Finland’s Celebrity Big Brother.
But the guitar legend is back with a 12 song slab of ‘21st Century Rocks’, his first solo album since ‘Building On Tradition’ that came out way back in 1995. And what a welcome surprise it is.
Lead single ‘Seven Seas’ came out of nowhere a month back and actually upstaged Monroe’s first offering from the highly anticipated ‘One Man Band’. Andy always had an ear for melody and ‘Seven Seas’ confirms he still has a trick or two up his sleeve. A definite classic Hanoi feel comes across, as it builds to a fantastic uplifting chorus that fills the ears and soul with a feeling of euphoria no drug can give. Can Andy McCoy possibly be the king of all comebacks? We will have to see if the rest of the album holds up to the same quality.
That familiar guitar tone blasts from the speakers as the title track sets the scene for the album. The even more familiar vocal drawl follows. Andy McCoy’s vocals are certainly an acquired taste, but let’s not forget Hanoi Rocks’ back catalogue would not be the same without those quirky ‘out of tune’ backing vocals of his. And that guitar solo… no one plays guitar quite like Andy McCoy! Killer stuff indeed.
The ghost of his bastard past is never far away. ‘Undertow’ comes on like ‘A Day Late, A Dollar Short’, there’s even a sax solo to boot. I wonder if it originated from those sessions. Whether it did or not, it’s a cool tune for sure. Then ‘Batteram’ takes things way back in time. That melody comes on like Hanoi’s ‘Desperado’ to these ears. And the way he sings “round” and “ground” in the chorus with an unmistakeable accent is cool as fuck.
Andy’s songwriting and guitar playing has always been more experimental, taking in eastern and reggae influences, and he certainly creates a few more mental beats to make a diverse album. While Monroe has stuck to his rock ‘n’ roll roots for his whole solo career, (and we wouldn’t want it any other way, right?) McCoy explores the obscure and recaptures the quirky influences that peppered Hanoi’s earlier albums.
‘Maria Maria’ is pure class. Mariachi vibes all over as trumpets and strummed acoustics take us into spaghetti western territory. The Urban Voodoo Machine comes to mind as Andy transports us to the Mexican border to smoke a doobie or two, down tequila and jam out in the scorching sun with a chiquita or two. That is what I imagine Andy has been doing in the wilderness years! While I don’t think Andy is even allowed anywhere near any US boarders anytime soon due to his past antics, the idea is spot on.
‘Soul Satisfaction’ is another track that is out there, even in Andy McCoy terms. A tripped-out pre chorus leads into a 70’s New York groove as the main man slurs his words like Keith Richards on his second bottle of Jack.
‘Bible and a Gun’ could sit nicely anywhere in his discography. A bluesy, Stonesy little number with honky tonk piano and a cool barroom boogie groove. Elsewhere, Andy makes his guitar gently weep on the opening riff of ‘The Hunger’. The laid back, jangly backing, harmonised guitars and the ‘Village Girl’ style breakdown to fade makes this a rapturous and satisfying ride.
As we reach the final stretch it comes to mind that Andy McCoy actually comes on like vintage Alice Cooper, which is something that I never realised. Take away the smoky sax on ‘Gimme Time’ and listen intently to closer ‘This is Rock ‘n’ Roll’ with its gang backing vocals and Detroit garage rock delivery and maybe you’ll catch my drift.
Obviously, ‘21st Century Rocks’ will be measured up against ‘One Man Gang’ as they literally come out within weeks of each other. Michael Monroe has an established career as a solo artist and has one of the best live bands in the business, and Andy is…well he’s just Andy McCoy, the guitar-slinging outlaw! Let’s not take anything away from either camp. Both are living legends that together produced some of the greatest albums in my record collection and influenced a whole generation of bands.
While they made magic together, they continue to do the same on their own terms. ‘21st Century Rocks’ is a testament to that, a surprise hit on many levels. Who’s for a UK tour then?
Buy 21st Century Rocks Here (Finland)
Buy 21st Century Rocks Here (Amazon)
Author: Ben Hughes
Arizona in the early 90’s generally is known for jangly rock along the lines of the Gin Blossoms, Refreshments, Dead Hot Workshop, Piersons, and Pistoleros. That wasn’t all Arizona had to offer though as the Meat Puppets would see a surge in popularity after being covered by Nirvana, and other bands like Jesus Chrysler Supercar brought in the grunge and 90’s rock elements in their own ways. In addition, N17 (November 17) found themselves signed to Slip Disc Records. Amidst this musical garden of excellence, the Beat Angels incorporated glam, rock, punk, and a ton of fun in their music that equally set them apart from the “popular” Arizona sound. People often say that timing is everything, and I believe that is very much the case of what went wrong for these guys. If they had been on either coast playing these songs in the mid to late 80’s, I believe they would have been signed and done very well on a national level. They had the songs, the live show, the image, and the charisma to find stardom. Check out the writing credits for ‘Sideshow’ on Alice Cooper’s ‘The Last Temptation’ album, and you will find a Beat Angels connection. Much the same could be said for DGeneration at the time who embraced more punk than glam but found themselves marketed all wrong in my opinion since punk was becoming all the rage at the time. Let’s get this back on the Beat Angels though, and the legacy they left through their two official albums of the time and the songs that snuck out afterwards.
The Beat Angels likely came to my attention via a co-worker who was a huge fan of the band, and we shared a lot of favorite bands so it was only natural that I would find my way to shows by the Beat Angels. The live shows were nothing short of amazing with the raw edge of the band always present along with the vocal harmonies that made every song a ‘raise your glass and sing along’ song. I saw them at many places in the Phoenix area with Hollywood Alley in Mesa probably being my favorite venue to see them. As a side note, I was always extremely partial to Hollywood Alley as the sound there was amazing, and I saw the likes of Tyla (Dogs D’amour), Electric Frankenstein, and plenty of other bands there too. Back to our topic though, the Beat Angels were a blend of visual styles with each member bringing their own identity to the band. The photo from Brian Smith (vocals) Facebook page providers an idea of what you would see when they took the stage each night.
The band released two albums independently on the Arizona based Epiphany Records, who I will note also released tremendous albums by the Refreshments and the Piersons that continue to be played by me. Both of the Beat Angels’ albums were produced by Gilby Clarke who should really need no introduction from his time with Candy, Kill for Thrills, GN’R, and solo work amongst others. The debut ‘Unhappy Hour’ has some rougher edges overall in the production which serves the band well, even if it does not get to the rawness of their live show. The straight ahead power pop rock of ‘Hung Over With Jenny’ serves as a great introduction. Brian Smith’s vocals have an identity all their own and fit the music perfectly. They are immediately accessible, easy to understand, and make you think you can sing as well as him…. until you try and fail miserably. This song also lets the listener know something else right away; these songs are going to tell stories that paint the picture and deliver a narrative. It is a gift Smith has continued to use today as an author. Consider the bridge which goes ‘Work is always the curse of the drinkin classes she said. Midnight and it’s the end of the ball. Little Cinderella’s gotta crawl back in her bottle.’ Where awesome bands like the Dogs D’amour/ Tyla might lyrically feel grittier and more Bukowski influenced, Smith had a more romantic and sentimental tone, even when everything might be going wrong for the character in the song.
‘Grow Up’ breaks down the door while never losing its pop edge in the chorus where you suspect it could have been used in an edgy Saturday morning cartoon back in the day. The sentiment of all the realities of being a grown up leave us wanting to retain our youth and the joys that come with it. Smith again paints a character portrait on ‘The Most Beautiful Loser in Town’ which features an addictive pre-chorus that unloads into a massive hook in the chorus. I always thought this should have been the song featured on a local compilation album (‘Buzz’) back around that time as it is simply perfect. The band kept the adrenalin up with ‘Idiot Train’ being one of my live favorites. Jon Norwood’s (RIP) drums give way to a beautiful melody that combines a quiet verse with an upbeat tempo and a slightly jagged chorus. They then completely turned the tables with the acoustic rock based ‘Too Much Jazz’ being one of those songs that, for me, hits as hard as ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ does for many Manic Street Preachers’ fans. Smith again paints the scene with his lyrics perfectly with the opening line of ‘shopping malls only bring you down; they’re the last cathedrals in town’ highlighting how much has changed over the years with the shopping malls slowly fading into memory as people shift to staying home and buying everything through the glow of their phones and tablets.
Getting past the halfway point of the album with the glam infused ‘Scaredy Cat’ keeping the album in classic territory with the tasteful backing vocals taking the chorus to a different level. Another song that would have made a great single follows in ‘I Love You Sometimes.’ The guitar work of Keith Jackson and Michael Brooks is awesome across the albums as they give each song everything it needs without going overboard. This song can inspire some air guitar workouts where you find yourself also providing karaoke backing vocals at the same time. ‘Name Your Trash’ might not hit me quite the same way all these years later as I seem to remember it was an early favorite from the album. It is a very nice mash up of power infused pop and glam.
I would consider ‘She’s a Setting Sun’ an exceptional ballad that really doesn’t hit any of the formulas of the day. The guitar at the beginning almost finds a bit of a twang as everything comes down to acoustic guitar and vocals for the first verse before everyone comes back through the chorus. They stay far wide of the power ballad label with this one really feeling more like a mellower song with a really nice brief guitar solo. The driving beat of ‘Jaded’ increases the tempo again but doesn’t connect with me nearly as much as the rest of the album. Closing song on the debut ‘Don’t Kiss Me’ holds the distinction of being the song that was featured on the local compilation I mentioned earlier, which has always been odd to me. At under two minutes, the song carries a bit more swagger and punk attitude. I don’t think the studio version hits nearly the same as it did live though. The chorus is really simple which I thought put it at odds with a lot of the other songs they could have used. It works fairly well as the album closer and is not one to be skipped even if it is not at the standard of the live show.
The band stayed with Epiphany Records (who would soon fade away) for album number two which simply continued the magic. The rocking ‘Snot’ carries with it a bit more venom than their debut album. The album carries a slightly more live feel than the debut, and the release party for this album was an incredible show. Ironically, the opener is probably the one I skip if I am pressed for time. The staccato guitar that opens ‘You’re a Wreck’ gives way to another catchy song that does a fine job of setting the stage for the album and everything that follows. Something funny happens when you listen to this album the first few times, there is a good chance that you will really love the first two songs and think the band has done a great job of building on their debut. What you don’t realize yet though is that this album is only getting ready to explode into one of the most wonderful things you will ever hear.
‘My Glum Sugar-Plum’ starts the trip into the stratosphere with the opening line being ‘She looked like Marianne Faithful in 1965; a pop-tart all gin and cigarettes, lips and heaven.’ The chorus here is huge and gets everyone quickly singing along. In some universe, this song is as huge as other power pop masterpieces. The brief acoustic guitar outro takes us into ‘Glitter Girl’ where the band again find the perfect sweet spot to maximize the melody and give it some rock at the same time. The rhythm work of Tommy Caradonna (bass) and Frankie Hanyak (drums) is simply magical. The chorus slices deep into your memory with each listen. They then follow it up with the incredible ‘Saturday Punks’ which hits hard and again comes with a monster chorus that in part features this opening line ‘Saturday punks, dumber than junk, don’t even know about Strummer and Jones.’ The guitar work of Jackson and Brooks again getting plenty of space to shine. It ends the first half of the album on an incredible high.
Remarkably, the band continue to push the envelope even higher with the classic ‘Crashing Back to Her.’ This is catchier than the plague in the dark ages and a magical elixir that immediately puts a smile on your face as you sing every word. The tempo is quick but still contains a poppiness that shines on the album. ‘Keep It Up’ is an interesting one for me as I remember someone telling me that it would be their huge breakthrough hit. I am thankful that it didn’t as I don’t know if I would appreciate it as much today if it had been played nonstop back in 1997. The hook is simple and designed for everyone to sing which runs the risk of it feeling repetitive. Within the space of the album though, it feels magical and one I look forward to hearing. I’m sure everyone has similar experiences with songs that they initially loved before it was oversaturated on the radio and television. One of mine would be ‘No Rain’ by Blind Melon which I loved within the context of their debut, but I struggle to play it much now.
‘Crashing Back to Her’ might be my favorite song by the Beat Angels which probably means I don’t need to say much about it based on the praise I have heaped on the other songs. It has seemingly collected every nuance of the band and created this amazing 4 minute flawless burst. Another live favorite follows with ‘Hey Little Peep-Show’ keeping the rock swaggering with a pre-chorus that could have been the hook leading into an even bigger chorus. ‘Cinnamon Says’ is the last listed track on the album and would have been an awesome closer on its own as it features a catchy guitar riff with the song only getting more and more addictive as it goes. The band then threw in an unlisted cover of ‘Celebrate Summer’ by T.Rex, which fits the album perfectly.
That was sadly where things disappeared in terms of releases, outside of ‘Liquor Pig Boyfriend’ appearing on one of the ‘Ultra Under Trash on Demand’ compilations put together by Jeff Dahl. I highly suggest you track down those compilations by the way as there are some amazing artists that need to be heard. There was a third Beat Angels album though that was recorded and fell into the darkness of time. Some of these songs were released on the limited edition best of ‘Holy Mother of Christ! It’s the Beat Angels.’ This third album called ‘Let It Beat’ found the group continuing to evolve musically with the opening ‘Girl Walking Backwards’ feeling contemporary and classic at the same time. It could have likely earned a lot of college radio play with its melodic chorus begging to be sung and the guitar popping out of the speaker. The pace increases with ‘She Shoots Starlight’ feeling like something from ‘Unhappy Hour’ with its catchy chorus and guitar licks both leaving their hooks in the listener.
Brian Smith kept spinning creative lyrics that allowed the likes of ‘She Shoots Starlight’ to sit comfortably next to ’24 Hour Porn Star Shine.’ The melodies remained huge with the band maintaining a rocking vibe that still recalled the influences from their debut while perhaps not being quite as gritty at times. Please make no mistake though, this would have in no way been a sell-out album. This was a band that was fully realizing the diversity they could offer while always still sounding like the Beat Angels. With that in mind, ‘Liquor Pig Boyfriend’ could have been written and recorded at any point in the band’s life. The rocking gutter glitter glam giving way to an easy to sing hook and beat that will make you want to hop around the room. ‘Gutter Snobs’ ends the first half of the album with a guitar hook that reminds me of something Andy McCoy might have done post Hanoi Rocks in the 80’s. The chorus here relaxes the backing vocals with the guitar lick being the hook that stays with me after repeated listens.
Kicking off the back half of the album is the politely titled ‘Whorehouse Priest,’ which is another of my favorites by the band. Some tasty backing vocals in the background provide the song even more texture and really showcase that the mainstream could have started phasing in the Beat Angels alongside the Marvelous 3 and other turn of the century rockers. ‘Misery Becomes You’ starts gently before exploding into a straight forward rocker that is an enjoyable album track for me but has not been one I seek out to play on its own.
The acoustic based ‘Little One’ again highlights that the band was not interested in writing straight forward ballads. This feels much more like an acoustic based song from the 70’s with its melodies flying out of the speakers and lifting birds into the air. The band then crank the amps back up for ‘Stay With Me.’ The band lay down an addictive chorus that you want to hear again and again. This remains one of the songs that sadly will never be heard by people and quite honestly feels like discovering a diamond in a mine that was closed. Wrapping up the album is a cover of ‘Terminal Love’ which fits perfectly on the album. I might have made another song the closer, but that seems like useless complaining when this album was never officially released.
Three albums by a band that never had an opportunity to release an album for a major or well known independent record company that should have catapulted them into the spotlight. The packaging on ‘Unhappy Hour’ and ‘Red Badge of Discourage’ are top notch as well so I highly recommend tracking down physical copies of those albums. These albums have remained in my rotation for over 20 years, and I do not see that changing anytime soon. The release of the best of and discovering the third album several years ago were a blessing as I got to hear even more by these guys. If you know these albums, spend some time spinning them and enjoying these songs all over again. If you don’t know them, start searching for them and enjoy some sonic pleasure that needs to be experienced.
Author: Gerald Stansbury
Andy McCoy has set a date for the release of his brand new solo album and sets the time and place for the launch show – Facebook. The Album titled ’21st Century Rocks’ is coming out on Ainoa Productions and can be pre ordered Here
New Andy McCoy single ‘Seven Seas’ was released on August 15th, 2019 (digital) and full album (CD and digital) September 25th, 2019. Vinyl release later in November. The Tracklist is ’21st Century Rocks’, ‘Undertow’, ‘Seven Seas’, ‘Batteram’, ‘Maria Maria’, ‘Bible And A Gun’, ‘The Hunger’, ‘Give A Minute Steal A Year’, ‘Love It Loud’ and ‘This Is Rock And Roll’.
I remember when I was a little kid being obsessed with Elvis and Glam Rock. My Uncle gave me his old Elvis signature guitar which was as big as me and I would thrash away on it singing Elvis and Sweet songs so the spark probably started there, lol. Consciously though it was probably when I was around twelve and my friends and I started to talk about having a band, it just seemed to make you really cool and I was never one of the cool kids, hahaha.
How did you find your music as a kid?
Was it tough putting a band together when you first started out compared to now in 2019?
I would say easier back then than now. You could just meet people when you were out at the pub or in record or music stores which was really organic. Plus you had lots of ways to advertise for musicians, local music stores were everywhere and had notice boards and you had Sounds, Melody Maker and Kerrang classifieds so it seemed easier to network then. Strange when you think about social media now but so many “musicians” now seem purely driven by how much money are they going to get paid or when you ask for influences they just blurt out what they like and then say I want a band like that – there isn’t a band that sounds like Guns N Roses mixed with Slayer and Perry Como as far as I know, hahahaha. I mean, I like a lot of diverse stuff, but when it comes to the music I play, all of us in the band know where we are coming from musically.
When or what was the spark that made you want to resurrect the band?
Never say never eh? I was actually in Helsinki at the time and was with my friends from Plastic Tears, Miqu and Edu and we started talking a bit about our shared history and stuff and it cam up about how we had never actually managed to tour together which was something we had mentioned in the past. Anyway, by the end of the night I had contacted Taj and asked him if he fancied us putting the band back together and carrying on the legacy.
Did you reach out to the other past members or don’t they do Rock and Roll anymore?
Other than Taj, no. We had tried that before back in 2013 and that did not work out at all. People’s heads were in different places, old habits that had caused problems in the past were still there and it just became hard work to be around. In the end we were doing it for fun and certain individuals were making it anything but so we played our last show with a rag tag line-up in June 2015 and just walked away.
You recently returned to the stage. How was it?
It felt really good, we had some fire back in the belly and the audience reaction was just like the old days. It was a bit rough round the edges but that’s rock’n’roll and as we play more shows, etc things will smooth out more.
You have finally got all the pieces of the band together tell us about the band in 2019? who what and where did you find them?
Well, we are still drummerless actually and relying on session drummers to do the shows at the moment so that’s not ideal. We have a couple of really good guys helping us out on drums but it would be good to have the role filled permanently. Sadly everyone who contacts us either assumes we are signed to Universal Music and expects a massive salary, or just does not get what we are doing musically, so the search continues.
Taj has been in the band since 1998 and been a friend even longer (since about ’89 or ’90), I always say he is my Nasty Suicide. We work together well and we both have a shared love of Hanoi Rocks.
Ben Webster, the other guitarist we actually found through Facebook. We had been looking for ages and his name kept cropping up and in the end, his mate put him forward for it. We met up and just sat around, had a few drinks, jammed and it gelled right away. He had the right attitude and was under no illusions that we were about to get signed for 10 million dollars or any of that crap. He has definitely helped put the fire back in the belly. Ben Alexander on bass was actually a fan of the band and again we were linked through social media. We knew he played bass so when we started putting the band back together we asked him if he was up for this That was pretty much it.
The music climate has changed massively since the 90s what are the biggest changes you’ve noticed?
what about new music? Have you picked up a guitar and written any material?
You spent time in NYC and LA have you been recently? They were always great Rock and roll towns but it seems the world is heading to hell in a handcart and not holding a bottle of jack but wearing loafers and no socks with a lovely smelling beard? Do you think sleazy Rock and Roll will ever come full circle?
Haven’t been back to LA or NYC recently although I know they are both shadows of their former selves. There are plans to visit both from a band point of view, but I’m not saying more than that just yet, don’t want anyone else stealing my plans.
What new music have you been listening to? (If any)
Does the Michael Monroe band count? hahahaha. I try and listen to new stuff but most of it just leaves me cold and even when I say I have listened to something new, it usually turns out to be from the late 90s or early 2000s. I do like The Struts. Got into them when the first album came out and no one here had a clue who they were. Sadly, I can see the rough edges getting chipped away and they are becoming slicker and slicker. I hope they resist it and keep that little British edginess, but I reckon the mighty dollar will win in the end. Can’t blame em, they are there to make money, but I like my artists to have a little bit of integrity.
Will there be any other live shows? who would you like to tour with?
Of course, there will, we are back and live is where we shine. We’re back in London at The Big Red on August 10 then off to Y Lew Coch in Mach as part of the Rock’n’Roll Circus weekend on August 25. There are other dates confirmed but we’ll be announcing those soon enough. We will tour with anyone we can. I don’t want to get stuck in the nostalgia circuit though which is very easy to do. It’s lazy on the part of some sections of the industry to just lump you in with certain bands but we seem to attract all types of music fans and we aren’t out to just live in the past.
If you were to explain what your band is all about how would you best describe your sound (we all love a pigeon hole)
oooooh, that’s sneaky, hahaha. We’re just a rock’n’roll band that takes influences from all over the place and it comes out sounding like Paradise Alley. If you wanted to narrow it down I guess I would say Aerosmith meets the Ramones….that sound like a good pigeonhole to you Dom?
If you have anything else you’d like to say nows your chance –
Matti Antero Kristian Fagerholm (Born 17 June 1962), you might know him as the legend that is Michael Monroe. Not content with being the leader of the 80s best band Hanoi Rocks he then went on to form Demolition 23 (ok so Jerusalem Slim was before but that was something of an experiment) after Demolition 23 broke down he went on to record some superb solo albums as well as reform Hanoi for a few years with Andy before forging ahead with his solo career.
Beginning with ‘Nights Are So Long’ Monroe spent time living in NYC before returning to his native Finland where he still lives today. You can debate til the cows come home as to which album is the best but for me ‘Nights Are So Long’ was the first and best. ‘Not Fakin’ It’ followed and whilst it was commercially more accessible I never really liked the sound of the record as it tended to lean towards to Rock fraternity stateside and was the least Rock and Roll album of his back catalogue even if it did have some great tunes on it.
During the two thousands, his solo work contained some excellent self-penned songs as well as some awesome covers that gave the listener a glimpse into his record collection and what shaped him musically, before arriving at the last decade where his output and stable(ish) line up consisting of longtime collaborator and accomplice Sami Yaffa, Karl Rockfist and Steve Conte and Rich Jones are helping churn out some of the best live performances of his career as well as his most consistent albums since Hanoi. ‘One Man Gang’ is eagerly anticipated and I’m sure will be a massive hit with fans old and new.
Svart Records were responsible for doing an amazing job on ‘Nights Are So Long’ and ‘Peace Of Mind’ and work is well underway on the next reissues. So with these the tour and new album its all ramping up to an exciting second half of 2019 and no sign of Monroe slowing down any day soon.
Ask anyone who’s seen him live as he still performs like a teenager. Constantly touring around the world playing songs from all corners of his career he still has the chops that’s not even up for debate – the energy and above all the songs are there as is his energy Monroe is a lifer to the cause of Rock and Roll and the multi-instrumentalist still has the passion.
Having just announced an extensive UK tour for later this year to coincide with the release of this album as well as working on re-releases of his solo albums with new packaging and bonus tracks Michael Monroe is a formidable force of nature. when the album comes out buy it and when the tour comes around watch it.
Over twenty albums and countless singles and guest appearances, Monroe deserves all the plaudits he gets and the adulation of his many fans. Keep Rockin’ like Fuck and Happy Birthday from RPM Online.
Further adventures in Rock and Roll featuring Darren Birch can be found below
Horse Feathers Review Here
Black Bombers Review Here
Godfathers Review Here
One of the albums of the year gets a re-press on Blood Red vinyl for those who missed out on the initial press. RPM reviewed it Here and we urge you not to sit on your hands a second time as this will sell out as the first run did. Go Go Go!
Alvin says, “For all you vinyl junkies that missed out on obtaining my solo album ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ on 12 inch vinyl earlier this year due the initial 300 being sold out in short order, Time & Matter Records have manufactured a new batch of 300, this time on blood-red vinyl and minus the accompanying CD and download code. This release will, therefore, be sold at the lesser price of £17 (the first pressing was priced at £22) and can be ordered from this Here”
It features twelve songs written by yours truly and an array of very talented guest musicians that reads like this: Brian James – The Damned / Lords Of The New Church; Leigh Heggarty – Ruts DC; Mick Rossi – Slaughter & The Dogs; James Stevenson – Generation X / Chelsea / The Cult / The Alarm; Barry ‘Barrington’ Francis – The Saints; Timo Kaltio – Johnny Thunders band/Hanoi Rocks / Cheap ‘N’ Nasty; Mel Wesson – Keyboard player & Ambient music designer – TV Smith’s Explorers/The Verve ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ / U.K. Subs ‘Diminished Responsibility’ LP / Films Mission Impossible 2, Batman Begins, Hannibal etc; Steve Crittall – The Godfathers; Jamie Oliver – U.K. Subs.
“I would advise interested parties to get their orders in sharp to avoid what occurred last time, which was a lot of people missing out due to the speed that the original batch sold at. In fact it was due to so many people voicing their disappointment at not being able to get a vinyl copy in time that persuaded T & M Records to go with this colour-altered second run. For those of you that are not so disposed to a bit of vinyl, there is also a CD version of the album available from the same link. Ta! A x”
Way back in the mists of time there were records that got released that a small collection of people went absolutely nuts over much to the bemusement of the rest of the population and still to this day some bands – records are the things of legend and that first Fallen Angels album can certainly be placed into that bracket somewhere near the top if you please. Sharing the same management and having the stars align meant Knox could have what some (me included) to have the dream team rhythm section helping knock these tunes into shape that would eventually make up The ‘Fallen Angels’ album. It originally surfaced early 84 after being recorded late 83. Fallout records released it The band consisted of Knox, Sami Yaffa, Razzle, Nasty Suicide Knox cousin Richard Wernham (The Motors), Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy also guested on the recordings.
The sleeve notes are the same as those used on the CD reissue in 2006 but this RSD exclusive has an extra two tracks to that CD so don’t dismiss this out of hand because those of us who know – know right? Right!
Judging by the sleeve notes it was a bit of a riot recording this and those Hanoi boys had a ball as Sami testifies but lets not gloss over their efforts here because those kids could play and whilst they did like to indulge they were also extremely talented players and Knox knew this and with the rock and roll songs he’d written they would lend themselves perfectly to each other. From the single ‘Inner Planet Love’ to the ‘Chinese Rocks’ of ‘Rain Rain Rain’ its blistering stuff.
What’s not to love about the snotty ‘Runaround’ and the magnificent ‘Amphetamine Blue’ probably the definitive version right here edging it due to Razzles sense of rhythm and his floor tom rolls having said that how he managed it with Yaffa and Nasty trying to put him off god only knows. The album proper finished with the melancholic ‘Vipers In The Dark’ with its acoustic strum which just about wrapped up an absolute 24 carrot album from the middle of the ’80s make no mistake about that and seeing as its celebrating its 35th year this year why not bring it back for more people to enjoy.
This version pulls in the singles and B sides over the two discs and to complete the set and make this the definitive copy it also has the 12″ version of ‘Inner Planet Love’ and the 7″ version of ‘Amphetamine Blue’ oh and it does come pressed on a couple of lovely coloured records. Make this one you head straight for on RSD on forever kick yourself its a belter! The biggest shame is the line up never got to play these songs live now that would have been something.
Author: Dom Daley