If 2019 was the year the music world once again woke up to The Wildhearts, then 2020 really should have been the year that they cemented their position as the very best seven-legged live band the UK has to offer.

 

Luckily for me The Wildhearts were one of the last bands I got to see live before the world was consumed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and now when I think back to that amazing Friday night headline slot at Butlin’s Punk & Alternative Weekend – where playing to a largely partisan audience they made so many new friends – I take one look at the track listing of ’30 Year Itch’ (the band’s soon to be released double live album) and I must admit I can’t help get a little robot chubby on at the prospect of hearing the band delivering the goods once again…albeit right here in my living room.

 

Consisting of 17 tracks spanning the length and breadth of the band’s (almost) three-decade long career – and thankfully avoiding some of the perhaps more obvious tracks – this album was recorded across both The Renaissance Men and Diagnosis tours undertaken by the band in 2019 and achieves what every great live album sets out to achieve by making you feel like you are right back in the audience stage front and centre (don’t worry though as other crowd positions are available if the pit is a bit too rough for you). Plus choosing to work once again with the wizard that is Dave Draper really does add plenty of sonic salt ‘n’ shake to proceedings, making this one of the most remarkable sounding live albums I’ve heard since Exit_International’s ‘Live At Le Pub’.  Anyone spot the connection?

 

From the furry boxing glove opener that is ‘Dislocated’ through to the set closing – best song ever with a music video filmed on a flatbed truck – ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ there is hardly a second to catch your breath as riff after motherfucking riff hit you from every direction, and whilst ‘Let ‘Em Go’ might not be in my list of all-time favourite Wildhearts’ songs it’s impossible not to be swept along in the moment and I suddenly find myself singing along at the top of my voice.

 

Highlights? Well hearing the likes of the sublimely brutal ‘Urge’ and err anthemic ‘Anthem’ live is most welcome in my house, whilst the huge singalongs that are ‘Sick Of Drugs’ and ‘Vanilla Radio’ are just designed to have you bouncing down the street when you plug this sucker into your in-car stereo system.  Of the deeper cuts aired here ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ and ‘The Jackson Whites’ perfectly capture the band’s latter years, whilst in ‘Diagnosis’ (which seems to be  everyone’s favourite song from 2019’s ‘Renaissance Men’ album) the guys have written perhaps their most ‘Earth V’s’ era sounding song in many a long year, and thus perhaps unintentionally brings them sonically full circle.

 

Whatever you may think about this point though in this current rich vein of form The Wildhearts really are a 30-year itch you can’t help but scratch, and what more, if you were lucky enough to pre-order this bad boy from the band’s website you should have also have received a bonus 4 track CD of tracks not included on the album including a blistering ‘Top Of The World’ plus a pogotastic ‘Shame On You’ before ‘Nothing Changes But The Shoes’ and ‘My Baby Is A Headfuck’ sends yours truly ambling off down memory lane via two tracks that still sound as awesome as they did when they first got me into The Wildhearts all those years ago.

 

‘30 Year Itch’ is truly amazing stuff! Make sure you are in on the celebrations when the double album goes back on sale via the band’s website soon.

Buy ’30 Year Itch’ Here

Author: Johnny Hayward

It’s all gone a bit Bob Mould bonkers this last month what with the post Husker Du reissues and Box set bonanza and this here new album. Solo album number fourteen if I’m not mistaken has seen him go from the darkness of ‘Black Sheets Of Rain’ to his last offering ‘Sunshine Rock’ covering just about everything in between the polar opposites.

‘Blue Hearts’ see that sunshine hidden behind some pretty dark clouds from the crackle of the opening acoustic Mould certainly does wear his heart on his sleeve as he pulls no punches.  Government, Climate change its a sad portrait he paints but one that can’t be denied or refuted. From there on the guitars are turned up to eleven and the ‘Next Generation’ crashes in.

Sure it’s familiar territory but I kinda like it when Bob Mould is raging against the machine.  Like being hit on the temple by a wrecking ball, Mould gives his guitar one hell of a seeing to as he doesn’t go gently into the night.  But wait it gets darker, ‘American Crisis’ is as angry as I can remember him Husker Du and Sugar included. Regan Bush and now Trump there seems to be an ever lasting conveyor belt of shit rolling through the white house doors and Sub two and a half minutes punk rock with a dark melodic chorus is the only thing that can save us. It’s crushing.  Pausing momentarily in the middle for breath (Not).

Fourteen songs mean its not anywhere near prog lengths for each number as one crashes into the other like a stormy sea its wave after wave as your senses get pummeled with each track devouring the last but there is respite with acoustic guitars being abused on ‘Forcast Of Rain’  even with its church organ sarcastically filing ever corner of darkness with more darkness its bleak and depressing but it isn’t if you know what I mean.

I don’t know if I should admit to being pleased that Mould is pissed off or disappointed with the wider world because it brings out the beast in his songwriting and this has been the case here.  He voices his disappointment at the state of the US at religion at the fact that man in the western world doesn’t seem to learn from its mistakes and as he roars “never thought I’d see this bullshit again” yet here he is. It’s fair to say Trump won’t ever see Mould wearing one of his trucker caps nor waving a patriotic flag at a rally any day soon.

‘When You Left’ sounds like a one-take number as Bob tries to break his voice it does mellow (did I just say mellow) I mean ease up a little on the next couple of tracks maybe Bob thought we needed to catch out breath and he’d be right.

I bet Bob’s guitar amps all go to eleven, it sounds like they do and it must be exhilarating to listen to the playback in a good studio as he wrestles to control the feedback on ‘Baby Needs A Cookie’.

The fact that this came out the same day Idles released their new album I think it’s safe to say that alternative guitar music is in safe hands.  Men who give a shit are standing on a mountain raging against the pricks and I like it.

It might be brand new but I already love it.  Don’t ask me in a month I love it here and now and it’s just what I need to hear every time I turn on the news I’m disappointed and I find myself shouting at the interviewers to hold the politician’s feet a little closer to the fire and I wish one day the powers that be will tell the truth or be a little honest or humble but until then I’m getting behind people like Bob Mould because they can turn that rage into something quite beautiful.  ‘Blue Hearts’ is Bob Mould doing what he excels at just at the right time. Anger is an energy and energy is something Bob Mould has in spades – come to think of it anger is something he’s pretty bloody good at as well – Exquisite record.

Buy Bob Mould Here

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Author: Dom Daley

Let’s not hang about here ‘War’ is the sound of bombs dropping from the sky and panic on the streets. Idles are on it and as a unit won’t be stopped by conventional weapons or pandemics it would seem.  Taking it to the next level after the joy of the Glasto performance and it would seem being taken into the bosoms of the press beast and being hailed as the saviours of alternative post-punk rock and roll all by themselves. Idles have taken it in their stride and just gotten on with it, seemingly oblivious as to the outpouring of adulation currently being heaped upon them.

I liked ‘Brutalism’ and I liked what they offered as the next step on ‘Joy As An Act’ so it was with an intake of breath I pressed play on this their third long-player as the band lock-in and pour out what is inside them onto the black grooves.

 

Frontman Joe Talbot says of “Grounds”: “We wanted to write a song that embodied self-belief, and gave us self-belief – a counter-punch to all the doubt we build up from all the noise we so easily let in. We wanted to make the sound of our own hearts’ marching band, armed with a jackhammer and a smile. We wanted to make the sound of our engine starting. So we did. Thank you.”  Talbot sounds like he knows the score. top tune and instantly recognisable and more honed in, more finely tuned.  Sounds like they know exactly where they’re going with this lark.

If you thought the band had hit the peak on ‘Joy’ and the worm might turn from here on in, well, think again this album is more vibrant, focussed and raging than the previous offerings.  Across all twelve songs, there is a brutality as the band continues the social commentary of their past work, with themes of class, gender inequality, nationalism, community, and toxic masculinity and empowerment and ultimately fighting back.  Its not preachy it poignant and informative that there are people who think just like you!

 

Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire) and Adam ‘Atom’ Greenspan (Anna Calvi, Cut Copy), ‘Ultra Mono’ sounds huge. The album also features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth (Savages), and additional guest contributions from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), David Yow, and Jamie Cullum like it needed any.

The constant touring sounds like it has galvanised the band and they’re locked in as one and the twists and turns of the opening few tracks are epic and brutal but quite beautiful as well.

Safe it isn’t but I’m sure there will be a hipster backlash along anytime soon saying something along the lines of them selling out or commercial this and that and not being the same anymore (not with these lyrics).  Tosh, I say this is where they’ve been striving to get for the last two albums and this is excellent.  Even after a few plays I’m easily enjoying it as much as the previous offerings if not more due to the production and songs being a lot tighter.

I’ve not read any of the reviews yet but I’ve seen the comments to the videos released so far and I like it and it would seem so do the punters (those that matter anyway).  Hopefully when all this pandemic strife is sorted and we can get back to live music being a thing I’m sure these songs will take on a new life as they get performed and dissected more by the public as we break them in.

 

Its a pummeling album and songs like ‘Mr. Motivator’ has taken things to the next level without a doubt.  I’m sure reviews will champion them as the soundtrack to the revolution, Well, the likes of the Guardian and Mirror will and The Mail will hate it. Fuck em!  This album is demanding another spin and I’m already liking it a lot “How D’you like them cliches?”.  To be honest,  Idles have managed to create music that is pretty much universally recognisable which is always a bonus and something bands strive to achieve – sure they borrow bits here and there who doesn’t but the magic when they are in full flight is awesome.

Ultimately ‘Ultra Mono’ is a document of its time and a bloody good one at that.  They look destined to get bigger and bigger.  From their Rebellion Festival appearance to their Glasto triumph and now this release and the raft of enormadomes they will play once it’s safe to do so is proof that alternative music is alive and kicking and screaming.

Crack on Idles I love it.  Some will love join me – some just won’t get it and others will shy away because they’re too popular. fuck that if you can’t love ‘Anxiety’ then why not? Talbot hits the nail on the head lyrically and when he states our government does hate the poor he means it but not to be cool or trendy but because it matters and people need to wake up maybe this is the sound of the fightback.

It’s not all crash, bang, wallop mind.  Well, I say that ‘Kill Them With Kindness’ has a polite intro before Talbot barks his best Iggy Pop. ‘Carcinogenic’ has a lovely throbbing bassline as does ‘Reigns’ as they push the envelope a little further again. A dozen songs later and I’m thinking that Idles have penned a classic of its kind it’s easily their best twelve songs thus far (no seriously) Check it out.  Stream it (if you have to) buy it on tape if you’re hip but turn the volume up for others to hear and sing along. ‘Ultra Mono’ might only have just been born but it sounds like a band has grown in stature and become a real force to be reckoned with – alternative music always needs bands like Idles so let’s enjoy them here and now – Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

Strange… when I was assigned this album to review, I was vaguely familiar with the band and went to check out a couple of the early songs released from the album. I wasn’t blown away by them at the time. With that said, I approached the album with some apprehension, even knowing the members of the band have a wealth of greatness among them. It turns out I was either in the wrong frame of mind to hear the early songs, or they did not necessarily immediately translate in the video format to me. At the end of the day, this has become a very enjoyable album for me, which sounds fresh, even if it channels its sound from the glorious nuggets of the past.

Perhaps the difference in how this album came to life for me is the brilliance of opening song ‘Coat-Tailer,’ which I had missed on YouTube. The tasteful group vocals that open it with the classic feeling rock n roll guitar that is buoyed by the piano perfectly set the table for the album. The harmonies are outstanding, and there are multiple lines in the song that will get stuck in the listener’s brain. The guitar solo by Elliot Easton is right on the spot. Second song ‘Remember Days Like These’ features Ringo Starr and is a song that I have a feeling I will like more down the line. It has been a slow grower so far and really reminds me more of something Phil Spector would have produced. The band gets right back into the classic rock n roll vibe with ‘Well, Look at You’ featuring some great horns and a killer chorus. Wally Palmar’s smooth vocals are perfect for this music. They continue to mix things up with the bluesy ‘Jonathan Harker’s Journal.’ The sound effect laden intro suits the opening guitar perfectly. The rhythm work of Clem Burke (drums) and Andy Babiuk (bass) is razor tight and establishes an awesome groove. The vocal work here is awesome as well, especially throughout the chorus.

The up tempo ‘Sometimes Shit Happens for a Reason’ once again takes us back to a classic rock feel with a song that should feature on a cool indie romantic comedy. This song reminds me of everyone from John Cafferty to the rocking side of the Texas Tornados to the light hearted side of Bruce Springsteen such as ‘Glory Days.’ At this stage, this is probably my favorite song on the album. Follow up song ‘The Best That I Can’ keeps the rocking going but suffers in the shadow of the previous song for my tastes. Each member gets a chance to show off their musical chops here. Much like ‘Remember Days Like These,’ I think this one will benefit as the album gets more and more plays in the time to come. ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ roars in as another nuggets style rocker that features more brilliant vocals by Palmar. This is another brilliant slice of poptopia that should receive a ton of plays on Little Steven’s Underground Garage.

‘Come On and Try It’ was one of the songs I heard before listening to the album, and it still really does not grab me. I think part of it is that refrain of ‘nah nah nah nah’ just feels repetitive in this rocker.  In the context of the album, I like it better, but this is not likely to be a song that I seek out to play on its own.  The ballad ‘The World as we Know It, Moves on’ definitely works better for me as a great change of pace song with some tasteful backing vocals in the chorus. It is also one that does not overstay its welcome either. ‘The Haunting of the Tin Soldier’ settles into a midtempo feel which features some great drum work by Burke but still one of the ones that doesn’t fully grab my soul.

The closing group of the album starts with the attitude filled ‘Death by Insomnia.’ The harmonica work here adds a great feel to the song with the slow bluesy groove designed to get the body moving. This is another one of my early favorites from the album. ‘The World’s Gone Insane’ was another song I heard on YouTube prior to the album, and I like it much more here. The rocking tempo serves to get the album in full rock n roll mode again with a classic feeling riff. The chorus is simple but hooky. I cannot see it ever being my favorite on the album, but it is one I look forward to hearing when I play the album. The closer ‘Indigo Dusk of the Night’ is also the longest song on the album with its acoustic introduction immediately different from everything else on the album. The lyrics paint a picture that you can experience throughout all of your senses. Musically, this one could sit on the Beatles ‘White Album’ and really makes a great finale to the album. The added instrumentation as the song moves forward is terrific, and I imagine it will sound even better on headphones. The closing of a door then ends the record.

This album really provided me with a nice surprise and hit that nuggets sweet spot while still sounding current and fresh. I am very glad that I did not let the first song or two I heard ahead of the full album form my impression of the whole record. This album will be receiving a lot of plays, and I anticipate several songs from the album will make their way onto monthly playlists of mine in the future.

‘The Second Album’ is available now. Buy Here

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

It’s been over a decade since I first discovered that even when Mommy Sez No you can still get your musical kicks from a trashy, crypt-cool beat combo souring airwaves with its self-soiled brand of “Spook ‘n’ Roll.”

 

 

From debut splatter platter, ‘Hotwaterburnbaby’, via the putrid poetry of follow-up, ‘Eeeeeeeeep!!!’, to the 2-4-5 Trioxin-addled new album, ‘The Dwellers Below’, the Saint Paul, Minnesota ghouls Mommy Sez No have traversed the gutters and gateways of the punk rock underground for so long that you’d probably be excused for thinking that this was a band destined to be stumbled across when lovingly fingering your wholly unfashionable physical media collection; the cobwebs blown from a disc or two decaying in the creepy corner labelled ‘Where Are They Now?’ But, no – this six-legged monstrosity (Jeff Arndt on guitar and vocals; Alex Smith on drums; Thomas White on bass) is back in the hunt; better, stronger, faster than it was before.

 

 

Okay, the enhancement might not be bionic, but it’s by some other ungodly advancement that finds the horror punk veterans kicking lumps out of the opposition with a thirteen-track (what else?!) long player that, actually, doesn’t play for that long given its frenetic pace, but oozes with a gooey, unexpected slap of, dare I say it, maturity.

 

 

Looking cooler-than-thou wearing its wraparound artwork skin courtesy of fellow Minnesota mayhem maker, artist Bill Hauser (creator of many a striking punk rock album cover), ‘The Dwellers Below’ takes the lowbrow splatter punk of Mommy Sez No out of the garage and into, well, at least the garage forecourt. With better production, better artwork, better just about everything to be honest, this is the band’s most accomplished work to date… but fear not horror punk purists, this record is still a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

 

 

From opening cut, ‘Take Me To The Hospital’, to the power ballad, ‘Maggots In Yer Guts’, via the chaos of ‘Hahahahahahaha’, Mommy Sez No is still as subtle as a killing spree and as manic as a final girl chase scene. The big difference is that the band doesn’t stumble at all throughout the entirety of this album.

 

 

Even when introducing more straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll strut to the tracklisting with the likes of ‘Lil Bit Of Voodoo’, ‘Rock And Roll Death Patrol’ and the alternate reality KISS riff-led ‘Uh Oh… I Think…’ the band still has that unnerving way of making the listener feel like they need a good wash after partaking in an auditory exercise; the songs to die for (possibly literally) rather than a diversion.

 

 

The aforementioned artwork may give off a sense of the post-apocalyptic (doesn’t everything these days?!) but the album still has a hoof or two in the band’s tried, tested, and tortured peculiar amalgam of straight-to-video horror and no-budget punk rock… except there is a budget these days, but that shouldn’t put you off; think the upgrade from The Evil Dead to Dead By Dawn – better everything, but with that same, fierce independent spirit. ‘The Dwellers Below’ is a crazed, ass-kicker of an album that will easily force its way into my Top Ten albums list of a crazy, asshole of a year. Recommended.

 

Buy the album Here

Author: Gaz Tidey

Seemingly untouched by the global crisis as much as any passing trend, Billy Childish continues to swell his catalogue at an amazing rate. After CTMF’s ‘Last Punk Standing’, comes the first of four albums by his latest project, The William Loveday Intention. Yes; four albums, already in the can. Joined by James Taylor and Dave Tattersall, “People Think…” has the flavour of a western-themed record. The Medway Delta is augmented by tales from the saddle, while Billy’s voice remains firmly in the Kent marshlands.

 

The production is lush, as befits the ‘widescreen’ feel of most of the songs here. Violins and mariachi trumpets enhance songs like ‘My Love For You’, which has the richness of The Urban Voodoo Machine, while ‘Again And Again’ and ‘This Wondrous Day’ reminds me of Dan Sartain’s recent ‘Blue Prairie’ album, though I imagine that Billy has cast an influence on them already.

 

The richer sound suits the songs and the cinematic feel throughout, but there are still the Lo-Fi elements you’d expect; the insistent, monotone keyboard riff of the title track, which manages to name check Kylie Minogue, and the fiddle led lament of ‘The Bitter Cup’.

 

I’m guessing that it’s Julie singing on ‘You’re The One I Idolise’, though I don’t have all the details to hand. A sweet song that echoes some slower T Rex tunes. Then there’s the skeletal blues riff of ‘My Father Was A Railroad Man’, one of the oldest riffs, that John Lee Hooker must have heard as a child.

 

This is an interesting side-step from Billy, and bears repeated listens. What the next three albums will bring, only he knows, but this is very promising.

Damaged Goods Records

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Author: Martin Chamarette

If you were looking for a touring buddy or reference comparison for Dirty Fences I’d have to go for Los Pepes because both write upbeat, melodic, punk rock n roll songs that are full to bursting with catchy tunes and they churn them out with consummate ease or at least that’s how they make it appear.

 

This the third release from the NY combo is thirteen tunes from the recess of the Fences minds and something of a compilation of what they sum up as fondest memories and strange melodies and they’re not far wrong but the one abiding feeling I have after I play a Dirty Fences record or it crops up on a playlist is – Damn, what a tune and this is no exception from the runaway grinfest of the opening track and absolute Banger ‘Sid’ I’m lost in the music. But wait it’s not all bish bash bosh! as the laid back and a more dreamy affair that is ‘Kings Cross’ is nestled in neatly on side one. But wait the more ’80s inspired ‘Judy (Don’t Go)’ reminds me of an XTC melody even if XTC never sounded this daring or punchy.

Clearly The Bruddas are a big influence on bands all over the globe but the great bands that have some Ramones running through their DNA rather than ape Joey and co and you can add The Fences to the list of those who have some of that skill and craft in their DNA and touch on the melodies that Dee Dee might have penned and their influences are deeper like the acoustic-driven ‘Tommy & CC’.  There’s a great guitar lick workout going on via the down n dirty ‘High School RIP’  but I must admit to really liking the mellow Dirty Fences like ‘I’m Here’ just as much as the punk rock ‘n’ bop of ‘Teen Angel’ which just goes to make for a varied melting pot of Rock and Roll and yet another excellent release from a really really good band.  I know its only rock and roll but I love it! When the USPS sort themselves out I’m having myself one of those Mint Green Blob and neon purple splatter records they look awesome. That is if there are any left once the world catches on to some Dirty Fences.

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Author: Dom Daley

The break-up album can be an artist’s defining career moment. Time after time it has been proven that heartache and relationship breakdowns have fuelled the writing and inspired some of the greatest albums of all time. Whether we talk Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’, Nick Cave’s ‘The Boatman’s Call’ or Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’, writing and recording music can be an exorcism of the pain, anger and confusion of a break-up. It has been said that when an artist is at their most vulnerable…they are at their best.

When Texan singer/songwriter Ryan Hamilton was faced with an unexpected divorce last year, he was a broken and confused man. He did the only sane/insane thing he felt he could do. He cut off his hair, packed up his troubles in the back of his car and took to the road with just an acoustic guitar and his dog Peaches for company. Travelling Route 66 and living in the back of his car, this time of solitude and soul searching was designed to ease the heartbreak and maybe help him find direction. Whether it made things better or worse, you would have to ask Ryan, but it certainly spawned new music and a new album.

 

Taking its title from one of Ryan’s heroes, Jack Kerouac, ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ is a trip through the mind of a man searching for answers and re-evaluating his life, to a soundtrack of radio-friendly Americana, backed by his transatlantic rock ‘n’ roll band. Recorded at his home studio in Texas and finished off back in the UK by his band and producer Dave Draper, this is a more introspective and emotional journey than we are accustomed to, from a man who deals in catchy, power pop ditties.

Opener ‘Only A Dream’ sets the tone with sweet acoustic guitars and Ryan’s even sweeter vocals. It has definite Tom Petty vibes as Americana marries dreamy, folk pop to perfection. Highlighted by swathes of keys and a rhythm section who know exactly how to take it where it needs to go. It builds nicely in the pre-chorus with great chord progression, to soaring vocals in the chorus. An emotive and harmony soaked introduction to the album.

Second track (and second single) ‘Oh No’ is a duet with Letters To Cleo singer Kay Hanley. Classic album titles make up pretty much all the lyrics in this clever celebration of musical influences. Upbeat and summery, this is more in the vein of what we know and love from the Texan songwriter. The juxtaposition of male/female vocals in the chorus is complete radio fodder. How many album references can you spot?

Yet, ‘Jesus & John Lennon’ is probably the most radio friendly single on offer. That “na-na-na-na” intro is an instant earworm, both euphoric and spiritual in equal measures. Co-written by Steven Van Zandt and featuring The Alarm’s Mike Peters on backing vocals, this could be the happiest sounding song about a break-up ever written. Referencing Brian Jones &The Rolling Stones and Martin Luther & the Catholic Church, it’s a break-up song about how some things were never meant to be.

 

The 11 track album feels like a journey, as we travel with Ryan through many emotions. From happy-go-lucky love songs such as ‘Out Of My League’ and Geordie anthem ‘Newcastle Charm’, onto the struggles of a religious upbringing and going back to the roots on the likes of ‘Can I Get An Amen’ and ‘Southern Accents’ respectively. Even though it is mostly upbeat, throughout there is a sense of yearning and heartbreak. It only hits home on the heartfelt ballad ‘Don’t Fall Apart’. Prime mixtape fodder for the girl you love, pedal steel gives a countrified, Americana vibe. A song overflowing with sentiment, as he sings the words of a man coming to terms with his whole world crumbling around him.

‘We Gave It Hell’ seems like the natural album closer. A goodbye and thanks for all the fish moment, as Ryan bids farewell to past love, and looks forward to pastures new to an accompaniment of pedal steel and understated percussion. Album closer proper ‘Pick Yourself Up’ seems like more of a reprise, as Ryan continues the theme of starting over accompanied by a lonesome piano.

It must be said that Dave Draper has done a great job of capturing Nashville vibes as he did on ‘Grand Ole Otley’, Ryan’s collaborative covers album with Terrorvision frontman Tony Wright. And as always the long time rhythm section of Rob Lane on bass and Mickey Richards on drums play their parts to perfection.

 

To avoid being consumed by the sadness of his marriage break-up, Ryan Hamilton has used songwriting as therapy and channelled his emotions into his art. This is not an angry album, it’s more of a cathartic look back over a failed relationship. Dissecting what was good and not dwelling on the bad, trying to figure out where it all went wrong and where to go from here.

As he bids farewell to one chapter of his life and looks forward to what the future brings, it seems through no fault of his own or any grand design, Ryan Hamilton has written a poignant and confessional album that could well be the best of his career.

Buy ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ – Here

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Author: Ben hughes

 

 

 

 

Man, I love some sleazy Punk Rock ‘n’ Roll. It would seem that these Bostonians otherwise known as Indonesian Junk do as well and as if by magic they write songs in that style with a bit, sorry a lot of swagger and no doubt a cocksure knowledge that what they’re doing is the best, they make it seem so effortless.

They’ve managed to absorb everything that’s good and great from the last 50 years plus and pour it into their tunes covering huge Rock behemoths in the shape of Kiss and one for the cool kids in the shape of The Joneses whilst adding some glam Starz style to their punk rock old school of Slaughter and the Dogs.

Man on the opener ‘Cmon and Love Me’ they throw in a cheeky Kiss number to draw you in but more impressively they follow it up with a super sleazy right on the money version of ‘Pillbox’ man that’s a great song but easy to get wrong but not the boys in Indonesian Junk they kill it! they take it to school and own the fucker! now that how to tip the hat to your forefathers and those who ploughed the furrow so we could all follow.

This is a compilation of curio B sides, singles and covers and they show us exactly what a tight little combo they are and you get to marvel at their swagger as they turn up the amps to 11 and just let rip. ‘Last Night Alive’ is basically a loosener, an aperitif if you like with the only lyrics being the title of the song shouted from the back of the room like a bunch of leary drunks but man it kicks your backside good and proper.

‘Now That Its Over’ comes on like a long lost Stiv Bater LA LA session and seamlessly the original tunes muscle in snugly with the covers and taking ownership of The Joneses, Kiss and Slaughter and The Dogs aren’t to be taken lightly but when you hear these version if you know you’ll know.  Bloody great stuff.

Finishing with a few unreleased numbers is cool as well this is a compilation that’s not just thrown together its been lovingly prepared for the discernable lover of all things sleazy, glamorous punk rock and roll and Starz never sounded this good on ‘Outfit’. Inspired choices for covers and inspired original tunes.  Give Indonesian Junk a chance you’ll love em then you can delve into their back catalogue knowing you’re in for a glam-punk treat, get it!

 

Buy A Life Of Crimes Here

Top of the list of “bands I should have seen live before I moved”, Pussycat And The Dirty Johnsons are back with album number four, ‘Beast’. Check out any live footage of the band, and you’ll see what I mean. Puss was born for the stage, and with the perfectly fuzzed riffs of Dirty Jake and tribal drums of Filfy Antz, they are a three-piece who command your attention.

 

Don’t panic, but some songs are over three minutes long, and one breaks the four-minute barrier. Almost prog length by their standards, but the music remains as feral as ever. As ‘Lying In My Bed’ batters your speakers with the fear of “existential dread”, yet you can still shake your bones to it.

 

There is much, righteous anger and venom across the twelve songs, which shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with their work. Keeping an essentially live sound works well, ‘Doin It’ is perfect for a sweaty club, encouraging you to follow your dreams, regardless of the doubters. Zero tolerance of idiots and hidden agendas runs through ‘Not Your Baby’, ‘Knee Jerk’ and ‘Shit’, while ‘Stale’ despairs at the small town attitudes of “Basingstoke psychosis” (in itself a good title). ‘Abuser’ is plain talking, while the four plus minutes is devoted to ‘Do Ya Feel Me?’, their unique take on a love song, when you wait to see each other again.

 

‘Hey Honey’ builds from an almost hushed intro, a list of the inevitable judgements of others for carving out your own path. Puss and co. chose their own way long ago. It’s the only way to be happy, and they’re on fine form here.

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Author: Martin Chamorette