I think we’re up to reissue number sixty nine or something like that but I couldn’t care a less. When it’s the Diamond Dogs it’s all about the song and the Double D’s have ’em in spades.

Record label Wild Kingdom is re-releasing Diamond Dogs’ first 5 classic Long-Players (1993 – 2003). and including the singles and EPs from the same period.

Diamond Dogs were formed in 1991 in Katrineholm, Södermanland. From the very beginning hugely influenced by British Early 1970s R&B rock like Rod Stewart and The Faces, Frankie Miller, Dr. Feelgood, etc. and they are most unapologetic about that and so they shouldn’t be too.  When a band rocks up with an opener like ‘Charity Song’ and along with that huge swing, they have more horns than you can shake a big stick at, and before you know it whatever shitty day you were having will be transformed.

By the time the band made it to ‘Too Much Is Always Better Than Not Enough’  they’d changed personnel a bazillion times except for the lifers and integral members the Diamond Dogs built a formidable reputation for their live shows, with the charismatic singer Sulo, as well as The Duke of Honk and his organ (ooh er Mrs) The sound and style of gritty rock’n’roll was cast in stone. Sören ‘Sulo’ Karlsson also being the main songwriter, and Henrik ‘The Duke of Honk’ Widen serving as the group’s principal producer. as long as the quality of songs was being written the sound was going to be died in the fabric of the bands DNA. Former Oddball Stevie Klasson has the deft touch of a Keith Richards or a Ronnie Wood and could crash out a chord when he needed to like his old boss Mr. Thunders. Such is his quality and the fact the guy oozes it every time he picks up a guitar he was exactly what the Diamond Dogs stood for and then some and he really came into his own on this record.

This their third proper album ‘Too Much Is Always Better.. ..Than Not Enough’ showed they weren’t done yet, the album was released in 2002 (almost twenty years!),it opened some cool doors enabling the band to tour with the likes of The Cult, Nazareth, Ian Hunter, Hanoi Rocks, The Damned, The Quireboys, Dan Baird/Georgia Satellites, Sensational Alex Harvey Band to name a few.

‘Bound To Ravage’ was released as a single and its slide guitar-driven upbeat rocker was classic boogie-woogie. but the band weren’t just about the good times as they mixed it up with the slower more reflective rockers ‘Sad To Say I’m Sorry’ and the epic balladeering of ‘Somebody Else’s Lord’ with the swirling organ is a match for the Rod the Mod classic ‘I Would Rather Go Blind’ or the Stones ‘Get Your Ya Yas Out’ version of ‘Love In Vain’ and I kid you not when I say that. Then to follow it up with the wonderful ‘This Ones For My Lady’ shows that The Diamond Dogs had many strings to their bow and were experts when dealing with the precious tunes that were bestowed upon them. They step back into the beginnings of Rock and Roll with the 50s inspired swing of ‘Desperate Poetry’. Strangely this album is preserved with the same twelve tunes that made up the original release but somehow after all this time the wonderful tones of Stevie Klasson have somehow elevated it for me and his playing gives it the edge on the previous releases.  It might not have the bands best songs on it but as a complete album it’s exceptional.

Now had the Black Crowes continued on the trajectory of the first two and a bit albums I would hold them in the same esteem but alas they went all beardy Casey jones on us and fucked it up.  It always puzzled me how the Robinson brothers could fill large arenas and got people wetting their panties at the prospect of their reunion to play the money maker album but the real tunesmiths are here hiding in plain sight.  Ripping the shit out of rock and Roll and cooming up with top-notch album after top-notch album yet playing in local pubs.  Sometimes life does indeed give you lemons but if my words help one soul turn the way of The Diamond Dogs then I’d be happy and if you remember the band who dished this treat of an album up almost twenty years ago and want the chance to hear it on vinyl – well this is your chance because Too Much Diamond Dogs is never enough just buy it!

Buy it Here

Author: Dom Daley

As my learned colleague, Craggy waxed lyrically when he reviewed ‘Honked’ the first of these Anniversary albums from Diamond Dogs, I went on a journey down the Rock and ROll highway and played every Diamond Dogs album released and the overriding thought I had was –  Damn this band was smoking hot when they got in that groove.

They were honking on the whole Faces early ’70s Stones vibe and they were killing it every time and the most important thing was they had the tunes to go with the swagger and if those five albums were my gift to the world I’d be so proud of my band and the songs we’d created. Its quite some collection and as the band aged like a good wine they changed taste but remained true to their roots and sound.

On reflection, it seems like yesterday the band were rolling into my small village and pitching up their amps in a restaurant at the rear of my local boozer on a Sunday night after having a show in the City cancelled they then proceeded to Rock the socks off the locals with a wonderful and impressive set. These sets are pressed on vinyl as well as CD and contain a plethora of bonus tracks (singles B Sides) to wrap up the tunes from that period in a perfect set.

As Your Greens Turn Brown: After the keys introduce the listener with a bit of ‘Bloodshot’ before kicking up a shitstorm in the shape of the fantastic no holds barred ‘Goodbye, Miss Jill’ even now it makes me smile a five-mile smile when the band kicks in and the harmonica starts honkin’.

The record ebbs and flows superbly with the highs being particularly high and when the band gets going man they sounded authentic and passionate.  The lulls when they’d kickback. Their blend of Hammond and Rock and Roll overdrive mixed with a few horns stabs here and there is timeless. Let the good times roll on the ballsy ‘Hardhitter’ and then they can drop a few gears as they venture off into Small Faces territory via ‘Singing With The Alleycats’ it’s easy to see how these guys got gigs with Punk rockers like the Damned or Rockers like The Cult and Nazareth when you hear the raw ‘Bite Off’ with its too fast to live riff and with that variety in mind you pick up the flavour of just how talented a songwriter Sulo is and he lives these songs and wears them on his sleeve you can’t bluff Rock and Roll this good which is why he attracted the likes of Darrel Bath and Steve Klasson into the fold.

 

The band were comfortable letting go and cutting loose as they were doing the jig is up country-tinged ‘Anywhere Tonight’ as they were doing the whole Thin Lizzy duel guitar kick-off that had songs like ‘Boogie For Tanja’ being so effortlessly good. Then when they needed to turn down the lights they could glide into ‘Yesterdays Nymph’ in one fell swoop. When Sulo took the mood down he has a wonderful tone on his voice and as far as taking on the Brits doing the whole R&B thing there’s no contest Diamond Dogs were more consistent than a lot of their contemporaries churning out albums of exceptionally high quality and this bad boy is right up there with the best of them and when your B Sides are as good as your A-Sides you know you’re onto something.

Fifteen songs of exceptional quality its like they once said Too much is never enough! Bring on the next one and I’ll get me filled up on more trips down memory lane and promise myself to play these records more often they deserve it and so do you – Buy it!

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Buy Diamond Dogs Here

Author: Dom Daley

Former Tiny Monroe and The Snakes guitar slinger Richard Davies takes centre stage for the first time as principal songwriter and singer with the Dissidents, a band who include Mega City Four/The Snakes drummer Chris Cannon and Last Great Dreamers bassist Tim Emery.

As well as playing guitar for indie band Tiny Monroe in the 90’s, and recording 3 albums with alt country collective The Snakes, Richard Davies has also worked with the likes of Glen Matlock and Peter Perritt as a hired gun, which sure ain’t a bad place to be.

An album that has been a long time coming, ‘Human Traffic’ was recorded last year and deals in retrospective songs of life, love and human nature.

 

If you like your rock ‘n’ roll from the shady side of town, where the nights are so long and starry-eyed girls have that certain shake appeal, then ‘Human Traffic’ will be right up your ally.

The title track gets things off to a power pop start. This is high energy rock ‘n’ roll, with guitars slung low and lyrics from the heart. A stripped-back, ramshackle sound can’t hide Davies’ knack for a catchy melody and ‘Human Traffic’ is first of several tunes to channel Ian Hunter in his prime.

The material is mostly originals from the heart and soul of the main man, with a few choice covers thrown in for good measure. ‘Lay Me Low’ is a traditional Shaker hymn re-worked with ‘Dissident’ style to sound like an outtake from Michael Monroe’s first solo offering. ‘Heartbeat Smile’ is a cover of an Alejandro Escovedo tune, and in the hands of The Dissidents, it’s a rollicking, Stonesy ride with solid beats, Keef style riffs and Mick-like hollerin’. Richard Davies also recalls his past with a new take on the Tiny Monroe song ‘Under The Skin’.

Of the originals on offer, it is hard to pick a favourite, as they are all pretty strong to be fair. Latest single ‘21st Century Man’ is power pop perfection to the max. With hooks you’ll swear you’ve heard before, the chorus is as catchy as the verses are cool. Think Elvis Costello meets The Replacements here, tinny guitars and cowbell give that added retro 80’s alternative feel. It’s a theme that reappears throughout the album. A tinkling of the ivories and spaghetti western guitar twang give ‘Way Of The Wild’ a certain anthemic feel, like The Alarm meets The Psychedelic Furs. A memorable, driving chorus only adds to the appeal for me. And is that Rick Richards jamming with Tom Petty on the ‘(Long Road) To Your Heart’? No, it’s only Richard Davies & The Dissidents jamming it out and putting their heart and soul into their rock ‘n’ roll music. What a tune! It has classic stamped all over it, as guitars riff loosely over a ramshackle beat that builds to a killer chorus.

 

In cool hat, dark shades and brandishing a guitar, Richard Davies emerges from the shadows with an accomplished debut album, choc-a-bloc with rootsy rock ‘n’ roll to soothe the soul.

Why it’s taken him so long to get an album out is anyone’s guess. But hopefully, this is the start of something long and productive, as Richard Davies & The Dissidents have released an album that harks back to simpler times, but still has the tunes and the staying power to match any of the other great rock records released so far this year.

 

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running With The Boss Sound –  Today is January 26th and for me, one of my favourite and most cherished albums was released into the world way back in 1979.  I still play it regularly as it had a big influence on an impressionable young lad.  From the attractive lady on the cover to the pills never mind four gangly lads with leather trousers and scruffy died hair. It was everything I wanted it to be and I can still remember twisting my mothers arm to let me go home from Woolworths with my very own copy tucked under my arm and when I got home it might as well have been welded to the house stereo because it only left the turntable to get turned over for what must have been weeks or months even.

‘Valley Of The Dolls by Generation X might not be as revered as ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ or ‘The Clash’ it doesn’t get talked about as much as The first Joy Division album or the first few classic Buzzcocks records but to me it might only be outclassed from the 70’s releases by ‘Damned Damned Damned’, ‘LAMF’ and ‘Machine Gun Etiquette’.  It was the Dogs danglies as far as I’m concerned and still is and much like the previously mentioned favourites it still gets played quite frequently by myself. 

‘January that year was the first glimpse of these four pirates as ‘King Rocker’ is released as a single and one of those seminal moments in time as Idol sneered his way through their performance on TOTP.  Reaching a very respectable number 11 in the UK charts at the time was quite an achievement although their label wasn’t so happy.  It came out with a picture of each band member on specific colour pressings something that bands have copied since to increase sales – me I only ever got the tony James cover but it was on red vinyl (still got it)

The album came out on this very day forty years ago and took a right panning in the written press , with reviewers slateing it as “overblown and artistically hollow” and only managing to reach number 51 in the UK album charts the next single being the albums title track only managing number 23 in the singles charts things weren’t looking good for the band amidst trouble at their live shows the summer saw the third and final single being released off the record and ‘Fridays Angels only managing number 62 which must have been a killer for the band and their management not even hitting the top 40. the band began to fragment with Andrews leaving before the year was out and Laff following suit soon after via a harsh sacking from James and Idol due to the classic musical differences.

I was also gutted to find out many years later about the internal squabbling involved in the making of this album and when the band got Ian Hunter in to produce he wasn’t impressed with LAff and his drumming and got Clive Bunker from Jethro Tull in to play the drums as hunter didn’t feel Laff was up to the job in the studio.  Now had I been in the band and as much as I love Ian Hunter I think I’d have told him to fark off over there and then fark off a little bit further as being in a band was all about a gang you know four lads who shook the world riding in to the valley of the dolls and all that comrade but it seems not every band is like that and Bunker was indeed drafted in.

There was an interview with Andrews in 2013 where he stated “The style changed in as much as we had a famous ‘rock-star’ producer in Ian Hunter, a bigger budget, more time and a wider gap between the two older guys and me and Laff. It was actually heartbreaking for Mark Laff to be told by Ian, Billy and Tony that he was not going to play on this album and for him to choose a replacement drummer. He chose Clive Bunker from Jethro Tull and whilst teaching him the parts with two kits set up it was decided it sounded great with two drummers. If I took too long tuning up for an overdub I could see Tony James through the studio glass calling Chris Spedding! It wasn’t the same camaraderie as the first album”

that’s a real shame because in my eyes VOTD has stood the test of time and in 2019 it deserves to be championed as a bit of a classic and for all the rock star buzzkill that was happening at the time they did manage to write and record some fantastic songs.  I think its more in line with the style and sound of Hanoi Rocks than they get credit for and maybe this record was a little bit ahead of the game and would have gone down much better had it been released maybe five years later who knows?

 

Buy Valley Of The Dolls Here

Recorded back in 1976 in Woodstock the late Great Mick Ronsons ‘Just Like This’  finally get the release this posthumous collection of recorded songs deserves.  Sure it only contains seven songs but the quality is awesome and the tracks themselves aren’t too shabby either.

The title track is a great riff that just seems to glide as the band hammer down that groove. It sort of sets the tone for what we are about to hear to be fair and on ‘Hard Life’ I love the way the band throws in a snippet of ‘Ziggy’ in the middle of the track as the band is locked in and jamming out.

Ronson is joined by Mick Barakan on Guitar & Backing Vocals, Jay Davis on Bass and Backing Vocals plus lead vocal on Takin’ a Train & Hey Grandma, whilst Bobby Chen plays Drums and Backing Vocals.  The songs are described as having a harder edge which is fair to say but the playing remains the (Not So)  secret weapon and the players involved recollect that they didn’t realise how good Mick was as a player until they got up close to the guy in the studio but you don’t get to work with the likes of Bowie, Hunter and Dylan by being average I guess.  It’s also mad to think that these tapes and songs might never have seen the light of day due to lack of funds at the time and the classic record label unhappy with what they were hearing now that would have been a tragedy had we never have been able to drop the needle on these tunes..

Original ‘1998’ tape restoration & mastering was re-done in 2018 Re-Mastering duties were handled by Anders Peterson at Ghost Mastering & Post, Sweden. It’s great that recordings like this aren’t lost forever and still people care enough to preserve them and sadly in Ronson’s absence us folks out on the high street can finally enjoy some fantastic musicians making music.

Officially endorsed by Ronsons family this edition comes on blood red vinyl and with great sleeve notes reminiscing about the recording of these tracks by the people who mattered but its the music that is captured in the grooves that shine brightest.  I love the laid-back groove of ‘I’d Give Anything To See You’ which has some amazing restrained playing and then to follow it up with ‘Takin’ A Train’ is sublime.

 

who wouldn’t love the full-tilt groove of ‘Hey Grandma’ but my favourite has to be the epic ‘Crazy Love’ where you can easily get lost inside some fantastic guitar playing. Long live the music of Mick Ronson –  Ronno On! indeed such a cool talent that’s greatly missed.

Buy Just Like This Here 

Author: Dom Daley

COMPULSIONS Front Man Returns From Road, Releases Album Teaser Featuring ROLLING STONES Cover (Feat. GUNS N’ ROSES, RAGING SLAB Players)

From camping out in the recording studio with an army of killer New York musicians to racing around England and Germany on a co-headlining tour with
CRYBABYS front man, Darrell Bath (DOGS D’AMOUR, IAN HUNTER, UK SUBS), 2018 has been a busy year for COMPULSIONS leader, Rob Carlyle.
“I had a blast on the road with Darrell,” says Rob. “It’s rare for me to have that much in common with another musician. But musically speaking, we were two peas in a pod. Anyone who brings Now Look by Ron Wood on tour is all right by me! And after one of the German shows, I’m told someone on Facebook called us ‘The Two Greatest Rockers from Each Side of the Pond.’ So, I guess we did all right (laughs).”


But now that he’s back home, Carlyle’s been back in his second home: the recording studio. The New York-born frontman has been putting the final touches on Ferocious, the follow-up to his wildly acclaimed band’s sophomore effort, Dirty Fun (2015) – a release music scribes spilled much ink over as they favorably compared the underground underdogs to legendary artists such as AEROSMITH, THE NEW YORK DOLLS and THE ROLLING STONES.

“The recording process has taken longer than I expected but then again, we had about thirty tracks in the works,” explains Rob. “And it wasn’t until recently that we narrowed them down to the ten songs that’ll be on (Ferocious). But on the flip side, with the other 20 or so tracks already in progress, we have a great head start on the next couple of albums.”
As he continues to tinker with producer Ken Rich at Grand Street Recording, Rob springs a second Ferocious teaser video on the unsuspecting public.

To quickly backtrack: The first clip was unleashed in late 2017, featuring upcoming ditty, “Dirtbag Blues” – an obscenity-laced spurt of back alley sleaze with none other than Earl Slick (yes, DAVID BOWIE’s guitarist!) delivering a rapid-fire barrage of snarling CHUCK BERRY-style licks and riffs. In addition to Carlyle and Slick, rounding out the “Dirtbag” lineup was ex-NEW YORK DOLLS drummer, Brian Delaney, and ex-RAGING SLAB bassist, Alex Morton

Fast forward to today for the release of a second Ferocious video.

In this latest video, Rob and a seemingly heavily sedated nurse are sprawled out on a dirty basement floor while Rob strums his battered Telecaster. The music features THE COMPULSIONS tearing through THE ROLLING STONES’ country-inspired classic, “Dead Flowers”. The “Flowers” recording lineup consists of two GUNS N’ ROSES alumni, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on guitar heroics and Frank Ferrer on drums, along with Carlyle and Morton in their respective roles – not to mention gospel-tinged backing vocals by Nicki Richards (borrowed from MADONNA and MARIAH CAREY) and boozy barroom piano by Andrew Sherman. The new teaser video featuring “Dead
Flowers”

An official release date for Ferocious has yet to be announced, however, Rob offered this: “I thought we’d release (Ferocious) in 2018, but between working on almost 30 tracks and the tour dates that popped up unexpectedly, we’re gonna now shoot for 2019. In the meantime, I hope everyone gets a kick outta this little clip. And please keep spinning THE COMPULSIONS real loud and please keep telling all your friends about the band. Rock ‘n’ roll needs your love… every little bit counts! God bless!” More COMPULSIONS news is coming soon. Check the website for details