Lately I seem to hear the term Garage Rock attached to just about everything I’m listening too, as it was to this baby, without going into a rant about how many different styles and eras there are of Garage Rock (again). I’m just going to look at this as a release grounded in influences, but ultimately standing up on its own as of today, it’s going to just be classed as seriously cool music.
For the uninitiated (I would expect very few who read RPM to be uninitiated) the Sensible Gray cells consist of Captain Sensible and Paul Gray from you know where alongside Marty Love (Johnny Moped amongst others) on drums with a guest appearance from Monty Oxymoron.
As the LP kicks off I’m not so much drawn into a garage rock vibe but instead led back to thoughts of Phantasmagoria era Damned ‘Sell her Spark” is a great opener, but I can’t help but wonder what it would have sounded like with Dave Vanian on vocals? And that’s a thought that I just can’t shift, and it comes back to me intermittently throughout.
The fact is this could be an absolutely cracking Damned LP, and to court controversy, I rate it a better Damned LP than Evil Spirits, but lets not go there! As I’m blasting through the first few tracks, “Black Spider Memo man” for some strange reason hits at “Eloise” but at the other end of the scale “So long” smashes through the speakers more in tune with classic Who material, were the Who ever a garage rock band? Where as ‘Just a little Prick” runs everywhere from Pink Floyd to the kinks via the Beatles its ridiculously catchy and holding on to some classic influencers.
“DJ with half a Brain”, hits that Fuzztones vibe raw American garage rock, but presented from a typically British standpoint. I wonder as I’m listening through for the umpteenth time how great this would have been as a Damned track with Vanian to the fore, lets hope it can somehow be assimilated into a Damned live show. “Jam tomorrow” is a great track, different to everything that has come before, with some seriously cool guitar work from the Captain and a great keyboard run, hinting at Dub and Pschedelia with maybe a hint of the Orb within the samples.
Taking stock this is a seriously good LP, grounded in that guitar based underground rock that we’ve grown up with not afraid of experimentation, not afraid to push some boundaries, but at times I just wish certain tracks could have been recorded by the Damned! You’ll be able to pick them out.
There’s an early Syd Barrett quintessentially English vibe to “What’s the point of Andrew” a very definitive anti Royalist sentiment that any sane individual would wholeheartedly agree with, yes it takes the Piss.
“Fine Weather friend” could have been written for Dave Vanian, that name just keeps coming up, but when you listen the theatrics are just there, the vocal presentation is tailor made, again with some serious guitar work and a terrific locked down bass run. Next up “I married a monster” is a real burner, grounded in the underground, and “You and me” follows suite before we’re into LP closer ”Another world” weaving it’s way forward as a real slab of Psychedelia, an almost Eastern feel to the guitar led intro.
Great LP, now how do we persuade the Captain to hand over some of the vocal duties to his day job vocalist and introduce them to a Damned live performance?
Back in 2013, when the world was still pretty weird, but markedly less bizarre than it is now, Captain Sensible and then former Damned bassist Paul Gray reunited for an album called ‘A Postcard From Britain’ under the name The Sensible Gray Cells. This was long before Paul Gray re-joined The Damned for their ‘Evil Spirits’ album in 2018 and allowed the pair to reacquaint their musical partnership and explore their love of the quintessentially British late 60s psych-pop period that has always been their passion.
And now, with live music derailed for the foreseeable future and 2020 already proving to be an unforgettable year for all of the wrong reason, Sensible and Gray were inspired to reignite their Sensible Gray Cells persona, together with Johnny Moped drummer Marty Love, for ‘Get Back Into The World’, released via Damaged Goods Records this coming November 27th.
“PG and myself being garage psych aficionados feel there should be more of this kind of music and this is our contribution to the cause,” explains the Captain. “If I said that some of these songs were ‘Damned rejects’ that shouldn’t be seen as an indication of inferior song writing, more that they’re not wearing the right shirt.”
“I’ve never been a prolific writer being a lazy so and so, I think it’s best to wait for inspiration to call, which explains the 7 year gap ( how many albums could the Beatles have crammed in that period!) but in the meantime Paul re-joined the Damned and we’ve gigged about a bit, which is always fun – CAN WE HAVE LIVE MUSIC BACK AGAIN PLEASE!”
‘A Postcard From Britain’ was a snapshot of modern life and similarly, ‘Get Back Into The World’ provides a comparable document.
“It’s sad that high streets around the world have been destroyed by online shopping but nobody’s forcing people to do it – what can you do,” he states. “These are very strange times we’re living though – I just count myself lucky to have been around to witness the 2nd half of the 20th century; a fab time for music, culture, ideas and that without even mentioning Benny Hill and On The Buses. The new album coincides with all this virus malarkey, which, unpleasant as it is will undoubtedly be used by the powers that be to tighten the screws on us little people on behalf of their billionaire paymasters. Blah blah, etc. There’s a bit of that hidden away in the album.”
Back in June, listeners got their first taste of the new Sensible Gray Cells in the form of the ‘So Long’/’What’s The Point In Andrew?’ seven-inch, now long since sold out. Show-casing what to expect from the album, the strutting rock n’ roll of ‘So Long’ was a stark contrast to the whimsical royal-baiting of ‘What’s The Point Of Andrew?’ (“Known forever as the royal spare”) and shows the variety of moods and styles on offer here.
Now comes ‘I Married A Monster’, a stomping 60s garage punk nugget that pays tribute to their love of old horror films.
“We love all those old Ealing comedies, ‘Carry On’ films and 1950’s hammy-horror movies like The Blob and I Married A Monster From Outer Space,” explains Paul. “This is our musical tongue-in-cheek spoof homage to them….after all, you never can quite be sure…can you??”
Get Back Into The World is available for pre-order in the following formats HERE:
The title track will also be released on a 7” single along with an exclusive B-side two weeks prior to the album release.
ALBUM OPTION ONE
An exclusive black and yellow splatter vinyl LP (12 tracks) + a black vinyl 12” single containing two extra tracks + a set of three signed postcards. Limited to 500 copies.
ALBUM OPTION TWO
Standard release grey vinyl LP (12 tracks)
ALBUM OPTION THREE
CD (14 tracks)
ALBUM OPTION FOUR
Cassette (14 tracks). Limited to 100 copies
‘Get Back Into The World’ 7” single featuring exclusive B-side ‘World of Confusion’
Blue vinyl – mail order only – Limited to 400 copies
Grey vinyl – mail order only – Limited to 400 copies
Want a second round of Singles in August? Damn right. So many 45s and video singles coming out how could we not update you on whats hot.
Scumbag Millionaire / The Drippers – Split (Lux Noise) Two of the hottest bands on the Scandi Action Rock scene have teamed up for a split which is never going to be a bad thing. arch your back plug in your air SG and drink some beer because ‘Let Go’ rips like fuck from the howl of feedback its off like a dragster. Top tune to be fair and the band justify exactly why they are one of the best exponents of the scene currently. As for The Drippers, their track is ‘Långgattan’ Don’t worry little Englanders the lyrics are in English and the track is absolutely blistering. This is a shining example of how to do a split. Two bands kicking the shit out of two songs. Simple. Lux Noise know their shit – Buy it!
The Gotham Rockets – Blast Off (Rum Bar Records) Oh Yeah man how cool is it to hear a bunch of tunes dripping with sleazy Lowe East Side grease and dirt all over their horn honkin’ low slung rock and roll. If we were to mention such cool bands as The Devil Dogs, The Waldos, Jack Black, The Pristeens, Simon and the Bar Sinisters, and The Fleshtones then you get the picture. This is cool all-girl bv’s tambourine shaking twelve-bar shmoozing Rock and Roll and we dig it. ‘What’s Done Is Done’ has lashings of super sexy saxophone and we love that. ‘Rip this Night’ is a familar rolling of that stone known as the hand jive rhythm and to close off this bad boy ‘Nothing But A Man’ is hip shakin’ detroit rock and roll its got the beating heart of the MC5. Well done to Rum Bar for again pulling up some brothers and letting them ride the crazy train to a wider audience of Brothers and sisters who just get it. Join in and blast this bad boy off! Facebook
Reverend & The Makers – ‘Elastic Fantastic’ (Cooking Vinyl) New song ‘Elastic Fantastic’ is taken from the ‘Best of Reverend & The Makers’ double vinyl, double CD and digital download album. ‘Elastic Fantastic’ is one of two new track featured on this best-of album. the video is shot by multi BAFTA-nominated director Chris Shepherd. It features Rich Westley from The Moonlandingz and can be pre-ordered Here
Dogmatics – ‘Summertime’ (RumBar Records) It’s been 30 years since Boston’s legendary Rock n’ Rollers the Dogmatics has recorded new music together and this is the taster for what’s to come. later this fall there is gonna be a long-player that’s hitting the shelves.
Its cool Rock and Roll boys and girls and although its a cover its got style and a whole bunch of swagger and a fair indicator that these cats have still got it. Click the link and sample it for yourselves. If this is the appetiser then bring on the main course it’s gonna be great!
Sweet Knives – I Don’t Wanna Die 2×7″ (Big Neck Records) Rather than wait for the inspiration to do a full album Fat Neck convinced Alicja and gang to do a special Double 7″ with a Gatefold Cover! Alicja has already created 2 videos for this release and they just completed a tour with the songs laced in throughout the set.
Synth Rock, with soulful vocals that have guitar hooks and ripping lyrics striking like a cobra attack! isn’t a million miles away from what I’m hearing. ‘U Don’t Mind’ is like a rough house Buzzcocks tribute. Besides I can’t remember the last time I picked up a double 7″ single how cool is that?
Synth New Wave call it what you like but the four songs on offer are really impressive with ‘Some People’ stealing the show with its dark riff and futuristic synth parps. Check it out for yourselves at the link
Chuck Norris Experiment – Back It Up (self Release) Taken from their new record ‘Shortcuts’ our friends CNE do what they do best and that’s rock hard and do it on their own terms this one is brief and to the point. They’ve even shot a promo video for it where they flex their muscle. Its always good to hear some new music from Swedens premier hard rockers. Go check it out
MARK SULTAN “Filthy Rat” EP – (Slovenly Recordings) Garage rocker Mark Sultan has one cool 7″ single out on Slovenly. I love how they framed this single “Monsieur Sultan makes autobiographical on the suave and sparse “Filthy Rat,” switching gears from slow to GO! on the swinging flip “Heart Attack,” harmonizing with his own bad self over a classic teenpunk shuffle beat with the unmistakable goldenthroat that all the crazed kids the world over swoon for”. How can one better that? One can’t so just pop along to his Bandcamp page and check this shit out for yourselves ya crazy punks.
Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour – Devils Flynn – (King Outlaw Records) CD and vinyl edition signed and numbered by Tyla
In Celebration of 30 years of the ‘Graveyard of Empty Bottles’. 2019 Dynamite versions of both ‘Errol Flynn’ and ‘Comfort of the Devil’ by Tyla’s Dogs D’amour. Features Si, Gaz, Matty and Scotty, and T. When I heard about the reworking I was a bit skeptical as to why seeing as the original was and still is one of the finest recordings I’ve ever heard and then I actually gave it a listen and low and behold, whilst it’s not to be compared with the original (Its not a competition) its something of an accompaniment and is different enough to warrant a rework and to be fair sound bloody good, No scrap that it sounds fantastic. Like Gerald penned in his review recently, I would certainly concur with his fine words. It’s great to see Tyla back on 7″ plastic that’s for sure and this is a worthy addition to the collection. Buy Here
Indonesian Junk – City Lights (Rum Bar Records) The first track to be released from the band’s forthcoming new album ‘Spiderbites’ is another tip-top slab of sleazy low slung Rock and Roll. Straight out of Milwaukee this Rockin’ trio have been cutting tunes on Rum Bar Records for a number of years and the one constant (or rather One Of the constants) is the quality of the tunage they keep maintaining. Its loud guitars, cool hooks, melodies, and just all-round great songs. What more can you want from your Rock and Rollers these days?
You can be sensible and pre-order the album Here because as night follows day if this is an indication of what’s to come then this is gonna be a good un and you can take that to the bank – Stone Cold Fact!
Sinner – Last Exit Hell (AFM Records) The first song from the new album is released on video ahead of the album coming out in September “Santa Muerte” is out 13th September Order here: https://shop.afm-records.de/sinner/
Hawk Eyes – Smokes (Drakkar Entertainment) With a track taken from the album “Advice” which hits the streets next week out September 6, 2019 Order: Here Comes out via a video single this slice of hard rock will have many a bedroom rocka reaching for the tennis racket an mirror
Bankrupt – Come Back Joe Strummer This snappy track from Hungarian Bankrupt is a tribute to Punk Legend Joe Strummer (obviously) with some Eastern European ska-punk in full effect. check it out then pick it up Here
Tarja ‘Tears In Rain’ (Ear Music) Tarja release the single ‘Tears In Rain’ from their album that’s released this week. Some heavy harmonies and classic rock riffage leads the way for this Heavy Rockin outfit. Pre-order “In The Raw”: Here Get the single “Tears In Rain” here: Here
Riskee & The Ridicule – Cut Your Teeth (Bomber Music) Fresh from Rebellion Festival Riskee & The Ridicule are back with some in your face grime n punk taken from the album ‘Body Bag Your Scene’.
Black Income – Loaded Gun (Tubeit)
Taken from their brand new album ‘Unsound’ Black Income is available Here Their dark brooding Hard Rock is something of a throwback to some classic 80’s hard rock but twisted with new techniques and a modern feel check out ‘Loaded Gun’ – Website Here
Automatic _ Too Much Money (Stone Throws Records) Straight outta LA’s DIY scene this three-piece low – Fi post punkers are doing their bit for sleazy pop punk with this catchy ’45. More instant than ‘Calling It’ ‘Too Much Money’ is like a late ’70s early ’80s throwback when anything goes and as long as it sounds cool its punk rock. from the tin-pot snare hits to the constant bass throb and those Sonic youth spoken vocals this is addictive like sugar pop but dark inside. The band are heading to the UK and Europe as part of their Winter tour. If I had to offer a comparison it would have to be Suicide now go check em out Here at these social media outlets. Bandcamp | Instagram | Facebook
Johnny Moped – Hey Belinda (Damaged Goods) Out on Red vinyl to coincide with the band’s Rebellion appearance is ‘Hey Belinda’ taken from their ‘Lurrigate Your Mind’ ita slab of stone-cold solid punky pub Rock and the production is rather splendid and offers a fine-tune an air of sheen and polish. It’s backed by an old but gold tune that’s been given an update and again the production is rather splendid and lends itself to ‘Hiawatha’ Making this limited edition 7″ blood red single isn’t a bad purchase punk rockers in fact it would be a bloody good one Get it Here
Diamond Dogs – Recall Rock and Roll (Sound Pollution) Classic good time barroom honkin’ Rock and Roll. Sulo and the boys are back in the ring taking some hefty swings with this barnstormer PArt classic Bowie and part classic Mott The Hoople but all Diamond Dogs. Taken from their forthcoming long-player ‘Recall Rock ‘n’ Roll and the Magic Soul’: Here
The Electric Shakes – Phoney Highs (Self Release) This South Coast three-piece have brought the volume. Always finish on a high they say so what better way to round up this 45 rpm jaunt. Are you sure there’s only three of em? Sounds like a batallion of riff-a-rama throwing shapes and rockin’ the fuck out. ‘Phoney Highs’ is no-nonsense rock and roll played through some sturdy amps and harnessing (just) extreme volume for the sake of playing dirty Rock and Roll. Call it Garage Rock or Action Rock with a touch of ’70s hard rock thrown in with the odd bullet belt (please tell me these boys wear bullet belts?) If they don’t they should. the second track is the cowbell thumping riff n roll ‘Hound Dog’ and its barking at the moon stuff. What a fine pair of tunes and if you love Rock and Roll like we do here at RPM HQ then this is totally up your alley. Strutting like a rock and roll peacock this is excellent and the way to close the door on this months round-up and get this party started. Lets Rock! Bandcamp
If you thought fans of Guns ‘n’ Roses had a hard time waiting for a follow up to the “Lose Your Illusions” albums, 17 years, spare a thought for disciples of Croydon’s (2nd) finest band Johnny Moped; 13 years between their 1978 debut “Cycledelic” and it’s follow up “The Search For Xerxes” and then a further 25 years until the band’s next album,“It’s A Real Cool Baby”, hit the real and virtual Record Shops in 2016. Splitting the difference Johnny Moped weren’t expected to be releasing anything new until at least 2038. That was until the band unleashed a new single in the shape and form of “Catatonic” in 2017. Part of the band’s renewed activity was the passing of Johnny’s legendary wife Brenda, who back in the day ruled his Social and Band Calendar with a Rolling Pin of iron and then in later years, due to her failing health, Johnny became her full-time, main carer, pretty much sidelining his quest to regain his poster boy crown for the disenfranchised “80% disabled” (his words not mine) Rock Star. Until now!
Earlier this the band decamped to Panther Studio in Reigate to hone their craft that would see Marty Love, formally of Case and currently of the Weird Things and The Sensible Gray Cells, making his full-length studio debut, taking over drum duties from the down stepping Dave Berk, joining Slimy Toad, Rock ‘n’ Roll Robot and JackoPistorious and of course the man himself Johnny Moped.The result of which is the 14 track “Lurrigate Your Mind” album. Unlike it’s predecessor all the songs on offer are new, none are from “back in the day” demos that have re-recorded, apart from the b-sides to “Catatonic” and “Livin’ In A Dream World” which were “Hard Lovin’ Man” and “Save The Baby Seals” respectively. Although the final track, that features the guitaring skills of original member Captain Sensible,lists all the pre-Moped band names “Black Witch Climax Blues Band Generic Breakdown” (what no ‘Assault & Buggery’?!) is an obvious nod to the past with its autobiographical lyrics and with the subject matter of “Where’s Shergar?” rather on the old side maybe the seeds to some of the songs had actually been sown earlier in Johnny’s career. With a cry of “Okay Tomcats, let’s do this” on the alternate album version of “Catatonic”at the start of the recordwe know that Johnny means business and business is going to be good. It’s been known from past Bootleg tapes that Johnny’s colleagues will on the sly record him in conversation and then put his missive to music. This is what seems to have happened with “The Little Shop”. Johnny is either reading a shopping or a price list from his local convenience store. “Beers, two for five quid” all accompanied by a piano. The ultimate music for a ride in a lift that’s never going to stop at your floor. As well as Captain Sensible, former member Xerxes makes an appearance adding Saxonette on “I Feel Like I’m Falling Away” and on “Oh Baby” it suspiciously sounds like Johnny has phoned in his vocals, which is fortunate as he sings about wanting to swim naked with some unsuspecting Boiler in a Swimming Pool. Hardcore Moped fans will lap this up, casual Punk Rock fans might need to see Fred Burns’ “Basically…Johnny Moped” documentary before fully appreciating why grown men will get all teary-eyed over the Moped mega-dross sound.
“Lurrigate Your Mind” is available on either Blue or Red vinyl, a limited mega bundle that includes split coloured vinyl, a scarf, a slipmat, and a Badge.
This one is a beauty! Celebrating 41 years of Billy Childish, a double CD or triple gatefold LP.
It’s out on May 24th and is available for pre-order now. Click on the pic to reserve a copy on the format of your choice.
The Billy Childish Story 1977-2018
Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot – 2CD/3LP – (Release date 24/5/19)
41 Years of Childish! Career-spanning compilation!
Triple Gatefold Vinyl! Double gatefold CD
Sleevenotes by Stewart Lee!
How did Billy come to be? Holed away in the distant inter tidal marshland of mid-Seventies Kent, breaking rocks in the hot sun as a teenage dockland stonemason, undiagnosed dyslexia and general insubordination denying him the educational path he might have taken, Childish took the punk gospel Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols preached in 1976 as revealed scriptural truth.
Forty-two years later Childish is the last man standing, the most enduring, uncorrupted and prolific of the class of ‘77. And some heroic fool has now tried to sum him up in a mere forty-eight songs, from the thousand or so he has recorded.
This compilation provides tiny tasters of each of Childish’s phases, and some snippets of short-lived side-projects too. Administered correctly, it will make an addict of you. You have been warned. Here’s a field guide to the many faces of Billy Childish.
1 Whatcha Gonna Do About It (Live) The Pop Rivets
2 Kray Twins (Demo) The Pop Rivets
3 Love Can Lose The Milkshakes
4 I’m Out of Control The Milkshakes
5 You Make Me Die Thee Mighty Caesars
6 The Double Axe Thee Mighty Caesars
7 Come Into My Life Thee Mighty Caesars
8 Cowboys are Square Thee Mighty Caesars
9 I feel Like Giving In The Delmonas
10 Brimful Of Hate Jack Ketch And The Crowmen
1 Davey Crocket Thee Headcoatees
2 Girl From ’62 Thee Headcoats
3 All My Feelings Denied Thee Headcoats
4 Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot Thee Headcoats
5 An Image of You Thee Headcoats
6 Evil Thing Thee Headcoatees
7 Wild Man Thee Headcoatees
8 Hurt Me Thee Headcoatees
9 I’m Hurtin’ Thee Headcoats
1 Step Out Billy Childish and Holly Golightly
2 Upside Mine Billy Childish and Holly Golightly
3 I Don’t Like The Man I Am Billy Childish And The Singing Loins
4 Muscle Horse Billy Childish and Sexton Ming
5 This Wondrous Day Kyra
6 Rum and Coca Cola Wild Billy Childish And The Blackhands
7 Mr Hitler Wild Billy Childish And The Blackhands
1 Archive from 1959 The Buff Medways
2 Troubled Mind The Buff Medways
3 Unable to See the Good The Buff Medways
4 Strood Lights The Buff Medways
5 The Man with The Gallows Eyes The Chatham Singers
6 The Angel of Death The Chatham Singers
7 Medway Wheelers The Buff Medways
8 You Piss Me Off The Buffets
1 Joe Strummer’s Grave The Musicians of the British Empire
2 Snack Crack The Musicians of the British Empire
3 Christmas 1979 The Musicians of the British Empire
4 Polygraph Test The Guy Hamper Trio
5 We Spartan Dreggs (Be Fine) The Spartan Dreggs
6 Headlong Fly the Achaeans The Spartan Dreggs
7 A Shropshire Lad The Spartan Dreggs
1 A Song For Kylie Minogue CTMF
2 In A Parallel World CTMF
3 Something’s Missing Inside CTMF
4 All Our Forts Are With You CTMF
5 Cadillac The Dear Watsons
6 It’s so Hard to be Happy The Shall I Say Quois
7 CTMF CTMF
Definitely Nicht Tot!
Damaged Goods are also very excited to announce the release date of the new JOHNNY MOPED album…
It’s called ‘LURRIGATE YOUR MIND’ and it’s on LP/CD/Digital and it’s out on the 24th May 2019
Time flies! It’s three years since the band’s last album, It’s A Real Cool Baby, but the band have been busy in the meantime. Following the amicable departure of founding member Dave Berk, they welcomed Marty Love as their new drummer.
Since then the band have had successful tours of the UK, Germany, Holland and Scandinavia. They’ve had prestigious slots at Blackpool’s famous Rebellion Festival, recorded two radio sessions for Marc Riley’s BBC 6Music Show, and played a storming set at Damaged Goods 30th Anniversary show at London’s Koko last September. Plus they played with longtime friends, The Damned on their 2018 tour and finished the year with a headline Christmas show at The Lexington.
A biography of the band is currently being written. More details to follow on that nearer to publication date. There’s even talk of gigs in the US and Japan in the not too distant future. Fingers crossed eh!
So what can we tell you about the new LP? Well, it has 14 tracks including recently sold out single ‘Catatonic’. There’s a guest appearance from Captain Sensible, a longtime friend and Ex-moped of course and the now found Xerxes. It was recorded at Panther Studios, Reigate and produced by longtime associate Dick Crippen.
LURRIGATE YOUR MIND – VINYL OPTIONS…THE BIG LURRIGATED BUNDLE – £40 (VERY LIMITED!)
This includes the following
LURRIGATE YOUR MIND – SPLIT RED/BLUE VINYL LP (ONLY AVAILABLE WITH THIS BUNDLE)
HI TOMCATS SCARF
SET OF 4 BUTTON BADGES
All for £40 (plus shipping)
IT will also be available on CD and Red or Blue vinyl clocking in at a very reasonable £13.99 for the vinyl and £9.99 for the CD – Get ordering Here!