RPM Online Album Of The Year

Well, we’ve reached that time of year again where the writers of RPM were forced into the voting both given a blunt pencil and forced to vote for their album of the year.  Unlike a certain General Election result this time I don’t think people were too disappointed with the final result and by a landslide rock and Roll won.

 

Interestingly this years winner didn’t win any single writers vote but featured very heavily throughout the writers lists more than any other artist or artists so its a fair cop guv and, to be honest, had the live show count been anything to go by it was a landslide and another good year all around. With writers coming from several continents and five different countries there might be a few miles between us but we all have some things in common and one of those is a love for Rock and Roll. I’m sure had it been a Top 20 people would have still had a headache as to what to put in.  Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s been a shit year for new music as there were plenty of records released and many of them reviewed on RPM Online and with over 50 albums getting a mention from the team of writers (that’s just their top 10!).

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank not only all the artists who’ve released new records in 2019 and to all the excellent press departments and Labels especially the independent ones who’ve worked tirelessly to bring us the music and obviously to the songwriters and musicians whose work we’ve had many many hours of enjoyment listening to and raving about you know who you are many of whom it’s been a pleasure to get to know throughout the year.

What we’ll do is give the top ten a rundown in reverse order then each individual writers ten albums in no particular order so here goes.

Number 10

Duff McKagan – ‘Tenderness’ (UMC)

Review 

 

Number 9

Jim Jone & The Righteous Mind – ‘Collectiv’ (MaSonic Records)

Review

 

Number 8

Jesse Malin – ‘Sunset Kids’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Review

 

Number 7

Redd Kross – ‘Beyond The Door’ (Merge Records)

Review 

 

Number 6

Rich Ragany & The Digressions – ‘…Like We’ll Never Make It!…'(Glunk Records)

Review

 

Number 5

Andy McCoy – ’21st Century Rocks’ (Ainoa Productions)

Review

 

 

Number 4

Hunt Sales Memorial – ‘Get Your Shit Together’ ( Big Legal Mess Records)

Review

 

Number 3 

The Hip Priests – ‘Stand For Nothing’ (several independent labels)

Review 

 

Number 2

The Wildhearts – ‘Renaissance Men’ (Graphite Records)

Review 

 

Number 1

Michael Monroe – ‘One Man Gang’ (Silver Lining Music)

Review 

 

 

So congratulations to all the bands who made the RPM Online top ten.  Especially Michael Monroe for taking top spot in the hotly contested category as well as all the ones that didn’t there were dozens and dozens of albums released in 2019 that we reviewed.  We managed to catch up with a few of the bands who made it onto the pages of RPM Online in 2019 to find out what made it onto their turntables this year and to find out any highlights they might have had.  Here is some beginning with Jeff from The Brothers Steve…

 

Jeff Whalen (Guitar /Vocals – The Brothers Steve)

“I don’t think I listened to any records that came out in 2019!  So I picked my top 5 records that were new to me in 2019!”

 Tiny TimGod Bless Tiny Tim
The BeaglesHere Come the Beagles
White ReaperThe World’s Best American Band
The SpeediesYou Need Pop
The MillenniumBegin
Rich Jones Guitarist (Michael Monroe/Black Halos)
Pup – Morbid Stuff
The Wildhearts – Renaissance Men
Jeff Rosenstock – Thanks, Sorry! / Sorry, Thanks!
Berlin Blackouts – Nastygram Sedition
The Menzingers – Hello Exile
BEST RE-ISSUE: The Replacements – Dead Man’s Pop
Duncan Reid – Duncan Reid & The Big Heads
Starcrawler – ‘Devour You’ (especially the track No More Pennies)
2 Albums which spoke to my Country Side:
The long Ryders – ‘Psychedelic Country Soul’ (especially Greenville)
Kim Lenz – S’lowly Speeding’
Not an album but the single ‘Fire Ready Aim’ by Green Day which was superb
And The Baby shakes  ‘Cause a Scene’  (especially the title track)
As for Highlights, there were Many highlights of 2019 especially Rebellion which went superbly for us and I’m really looking forward to the release of our new album early 2020 as well as playing the Kubix Festival.
Steve Coulter – (Drums) The Brothers Steve 
The Gold—T’he Gold’
The Armoires – ‘Zibaldone’
The Cutthroat Brothers – ‘Taste For Evil’
The Coolies – ‘Uh Oh! It’s…The Coolies’
The New Pornographers – ‘In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights’
As for the highlights of 2019 it has to be making the Brothers Steve ‘#1’ & The Go All The Ways as well as writing about music ‘Go All The Way A Literary Appreciation Of Power Pop!

Lee Love (The Hip Priests)

Clowns – ‘Nature/Nurture’

TV Crime – ‘Metal Town’

Bitch Queens – ‘City Of Class’

The Drippers – ‘Action Rock’

Schizophonics – ‘People In The Sky’

 

Melchior Quitt (Bitch Queens)

Clowns – ‘Nature / Nature’

Amyl & The Sniffers – ‘Amyl & The Sniffers’

The Hip Priests – ‘Stand For Nothing’

Saint Agnes – ‘Welcome To Silvertown’

The Schizophonics – ‘People In The Sky’

As for the Highlight of 2019, There are several. Two for Bitch Queens were to put out our brand new album ‘City Of Class’ and to finish our new recording studio to keep on doin’ what we are doin’ far away from the big business.

The Best event this year was Sjock. “What could be better than hanging out with my boys from The Hip Priests and seeing the best Action Rock bands from all around the world! I am looking forward to touring with Bitch Queens in Europe next year and to record a shitload of new singles and split 7“ And of course, there are two of the probably best records 2020 in the pipeline – The Good, the Bad & the Zugly and Kvelertak. 2020 is gonna be good!

Mathius Engelbrekt Carlsson – “Demons”  – 
 All right. My top picks for 2019.
Jeff Dahl – ‘Electric Junk’
Guitar Wolf – ‘Love & Jett’
Amyl & The Sniffers – ‘Amyl & The Sniffers’
The Hip Priests – ‘Stand for Nothing’
Bitch Queens – ‘City of Class’
The Drippers – ‘Action Rock’
Dead Furies – ‘Stay Gold Ponyboy’
“One of few highlights of 2019 was getting ‘Kiss Off’ off the ground. This has been one of those years. For music it has been a great year though and especially for Rock’n’Roll.
Next year it’s the 25th anniversary for “DEMONS” and we hope that we can tour as much as possible starting with Japan in January. A new record will be out as well as some old stuff. Hopefully our first unreleased album and possibly a Demonology II. See you on the other side.”

Now you know we love nothing more than championing bands that we love and there aren’t many bands we love more than the Hip Priests Shit –  Islands very own Garage Rock N Fuckin’ Roll darlings.  Unless you’ve been dwelling under a rock or sat with your head up a UKIPers arse you’ll know they have a brand new album on the way (Stand For Nothing). We love it and we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t let you in on the pre-orders so here goes –

The new Magnum Opus (Hopeless?) goes LIVE this morning 10 am in advance of the official release date of March 11th! Here’s the first track off the album in video form, ‘Welcome To Shit Island’ has some fine lyrics and is just a brief taster of whats to come. You know what to do folks!

 

Order your copy  Here Xx

Video by Baron Von Strange and Dan Poole @ GVFilm

 

Ben Hughes

Now here’s a crackin’ combo if ever I saw one. Dwarves guitarist He Who Cannot Be Named and our very own punk rock faves The Hip Priests joining forces for a string of UK shows. A trip to the Brudenell in Leeds was a given for me, The Hip Priests were mighty with Thee Hypnotics earlier this year and He Who Cannot Be Named…well, how can you not be intrigued by a guy who wears just a ski mask and a codpiece on stage? I can’t wait to battle through the punk rock hordes to the front for a magnificent hot and sweaty punk rock show.

 

Hang fire a minute! Have I got the wrong night or even the wrong venue? There’s some shite indie band called 77:78 on in the main room and this show is in the Community Room tonight. Ok, I’ve seen bands in there before, it’s not the same atmosphere, more of a school gym feel, but hey ho…let’s go!

It’s 8.30pm, The Hip Priests are due on and there is nobody here, literally nobody! What the hell Leeds, is there some other show going on I don’t know about?

They give it 15 minutes before cracking on as the Spasm Gang Leeds massive finally filter in, 25 people at a stretch and it doesn’t get any busier for the whole night. If this was York, I could understand it, but Jesus, this is Leeds! We are in the heart of studentville with the Uni just around the corner and the bar next door is jam-packed with alternative looking dudes and dudettes who seem none the wiser about some punk rock show going on next door.

 

Zero fucks are given by The Hip Priests, they play a blinder anyways. From the opening salvo of ‘Livin’ Breathin’ Lightning’ and ‘Instant Delinquent’ to the closing ‘Sonic Reproducer,’ they deliver 40 minutes of high octane rock ‘n’ roll with all the thrills and spills you could desire.

The black denim clad brothers, led by panda eyed singer Nathan Von Cruz, blast their way through a selection of 7 inch singles and choice album cuts from their very strong back catalogue of Stooges/Hellacopters influenced rock ‘n’ roll.

To Von Cruz’s left, bassist Lee Love keeps the low end tight and guitarist Silent Mike keeps the riffs coming, giving Austin Rocket the freedom to pull all the rock guitarist shapes he can muster stage right. With his back arched and his guitar pointed to the stars, he peels off sonically powered licks and wah-wah induced solos on the likes of ‘MF Superior’.

With chanting choruses aplenty, the likes of ‘Jesus Died So We Could Ride’, ‘Sha Na Na Na Nihilist’ and latest single ‘Cheers To Me’ would make even the most staid of observers nod their heads and sing along.

The Hip Priests look and sound fantastic, and with more than a handful of glorious anthems to get high and get wasted to, can you really deny them their claim to be “the best band on shit island”?

 

When you come on stage with nothing but a studded leather codpiece, a Mexican wrestler mask and an arsenal of quirky punk rock anthems such as ‘Getting Pissed’ and ‘Duct Tape Love’, the chances are you will not fail to entertain. And Dwarves guitar slinger He Who Cannot Be Named does just that, with the help of a very tight band.

Running through his solo back catalogue and a few Dwarves songs for good measure, the band veer between catchy Ramones styled goodness and fast as fuck hardcore. They even chuck in a fantastic cover of ‘Commando’ for good measure. Rarely have songs about drinking, fucking things and killing things sounded so uplifting!

While HWCBN handles lead vocals, quirky moves and switching between two battered road worn guitars, its bassist Bobby Wilcox who takes center stage and does most of the talking. With his bass hanging from his knees and sporting a Ramones shirt, he looks and plays the part to perfection. To his side, Keith Mueller plays the leads and Eric Borst seems to be having the time of his life bashing away on them skins behind them, what a drummer!

Talking of behinds, the drummer wasn’t the only one to get an eyeful of bare punk rock arse. The moment HWCBN bends over to change his amp settings will be embedded in my mind for some time. Let’s just say that codpiece was a little on the loose side. Unfortunately, you can’t un-see some things!

‘I Eat Babies’ sounds amazing, pure pop-punk goodness, and there’s plenty of “oi oi” style chanters thrown in for good measure. ‘Good Problem’ from the newly released album ‘The Good, The Bad and the Brutal’ is instant and fits the set perfectly.

To be honest, He Who Cannot Be Named were the most entertaining band whose songs I don’t really know, that I have seen in a long time (if you catch my drift?).

 

The Leeds punk massive may have stayed at home, but the faithful few were treated to two great bands tonight that truly deserved a bigger crowd. I just hope the crowds are bigger for the rest of the dates, as I don’t believe this is just a Northern thing, is it?

I am trying not to be too downhearted about gig attendances, but with disappointing turnouts at the last 4 gigs I have attended, it does make me worry about the future of underground music. I feel for the bands, I really do, it must be soul destroying playing to empty rooms, but the likes of The Hip Priests and He Who Cannot Be Named are consummate professionals and continue to play every show like its packed, and it’s up to all of us to continue supporting live music before the bands we love disappear for good.

 

Buy He Who Cannot Be Named Here

Buy The Hip Priests Here

Photos courtesy of Neil Vary Photography