Following the recent news of an upcoming ‘best of’ package and vinyl re-issues of four classic albums, Sweden’s finest purveyors of glam slam boogie the Diamond Dogs are back with a new long-player of brand new music to whet the appetite.

It seems you can’t keep a good band down, and four years after they called it quits, following the tragic death of saxophonist Magic Gunnarsson, original members Sulo and keyboard player Henrik “Honk” Widen decided it was time to get the band back together. Joining the duo are long-serving guitarist Lars Karlsson, fellow guitarist Martin Thomander, bassist Stefan Bellnas and Thomas Broman on the drums.

While a revolving door of band members has come and gone over the years, the sound remains the same. Let’s just say, if you dig the cool as you like vintage rock ‘n’ roll of The Faces meets The Stones, then grab a Jack & Coke, drop the needle and sit back and enjoy!

 

Now, when I say new music, all is not quite as it seems. If you were to purchase this album on vinyl then you could say side A is Diamond Dogs originals; recalling their rock ‘n’ roll roots. And then side B is their own tribute to Soul legend Sam Cooke; six cover versions of classic cuts from the Soul singer, reinterpreted in their own classic style.

While their last few studio albums have been a bit patchy, this is a banger of an album from start to finish. Their trademark rock ‘n’ roll shuffles bring to mind a golden age of early 70’s British rock. Anyone from The Stones, Slade and Quo comes to mind at any given moment. You know the score.

 

Opening song ‘Recall Rock ‘n’ Roll’ sets the bar high from the off and sees singer Sulo in introspective mood as the band fire on all cylinders behind him. “Let’s turn back time and make it roll!” he suggests before blasting into a euphoric chorus. The likes of ‘Valentina (Queen Of Broken Hearts)’ and ‘Heavy Swing’ have that classic Sulo chorus refrains in abundance. High energy rock ‘n’ roll, with a tinkling of the ivories and key changes that takes it up nicely to the climax. No one does Mott meets The Faces better.

There’s a hint of sadness to the soulful balladry that ‘Singin’ With Elvis’ brings to the table. Sulo reminisces about times gone by and the ghosts of the past. “I walk down the street where we all used to meet, but it was all dark and quiet” he sings in an almost broken rasp. Swathes of Hammond organ and great, Stones inspired backing harmonies make this essential Dogs material.

The uber-cool ‘There Is A Fire Down There’ has a Black Crowes swagger, with trademark killer backing vocals and a wild n’ crazy slide guitar solo. No one does rock ‘n’ roll rapture quite like the Diamond Dogs do these days.

 

The album is split down the middle by ‘Soul Folks’, a re-recording of a Sulo original that first appeared on his album ‘Hear Me Out’. Sulo’s own tribute to his soul hero that actually comes across like an Exile-era Stones outtake. Cracking stuff indeed.

Now, the Sam Cooke side of things includes a bunch of guests. First up, we have Quireboys frontman Spike lending his gravelly tones to the good time rock ‘n’ roll of ‘Good Times’. Handclaps, sax and heavenly, female backing vocals bring the soul and help get the party started.

The good time boogie of ‘Don’t Fight it, Feel It’ and the 12 bar blues stomp of ‘Somebody Have Mercy’ are delivered in fine Diamond Dogs style, you wouldn’t even guess they were old Soul songs on first listen.

They breathe new life into ‘Keep Movin’ On’. Faster and more uplifting, that killer chorus introduces a song that sounds like it has always been in your head. Hellacopters main man Nicke Andersson adds his dulcet tones to this banger.

Thunder frontman Danny Bowes duets with Sulo on ‘Nothing Can Change This Love’. With the lyrical sentiment and the sparse musicianship, it retains the soulful feel of the original, but it’s given the Diamond Dogs treatment.  A rendition that sounds like it was recorded 50 years ago, not six months ago.

‘Sugar Dumpling’ closes the album and is my favourite of these cover versions. Featuring Swedish rapper Papa Dee, they take to another level entirely. To me, it comes on like The Dave Clarke Five meets The Archies, classic 60’s pop and a surprise finale. What a tune!

 

‘Recall Rock ‘n’ Roll And The Magic Soul’ will not only satisfy Diamond Dogs fan who have been craving more material, it will also remind those who forgot exactly why we missed them in the first place.

Ok, so it may not be an album full of original material. But as the title suggests, this new album is a throwback to the roots and the influences of what made Diamond Dogs one of Sweden’s greatest musical exports. And that is something we should all celebrate.

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Author: Ben Hughes

The first new record from Lucas and his Subhumans in a while (Twelve Years?) and with the current global situation its not like Lucas has had writers block or lacking the inspiration.  Everywhere you look there’s a meltdown – climate change, government leaders lying, despots taking over, smiling, lying and cheating yet it seems OK to the public. Nobody loses their jobs its all fair game. Summed up nicely on ‘Fear & Confusion’. A more polished sounding record that their last outing ‘Internal Riot’ but it every bit as sharp and relevant.

To be fair Subhumans have always released intelligent records their Anarcho leanings have always been dressed really well in big riffs, tight time changes and some sharp as fuck punk rock. ‘Crisis Point’ seems apt as Lucas starts the war cry with the flurry of opening punches on ‘Terrorist In Waiting’ great lyrics (as usual) thunderous drumming and riffs raining down on the listener with an energy and excitement that sets the album up really well.

throughout the albums eleven tracks the ebb and flow is excellent.  I love the attitude on ‘Atom Screen War’ emanating from the riff as it pounds away but it’s nicely pinned by the bass thats rumbling away underneath.  To be fair the sound is reminiscent of the last few UK Subs albums. ‘Follow The Leader’ takes that edginess up a notch as the album has warmed up and is really taking flight. Strange land has the feel and sound the band had back in the ’80s with that flange riff and repetitive beat its a really good tune and one that shows how bloody good a band Subhumans are.

Its no good looking for a weakness because there isn’t one.  Its a really consistent album its focused and as you’d imagine thought provoking with excellent lyrics and a great production. ‘Crisis Point’ is ticking all the boxes whats not to like? If you want fast no nonsense heads down punk rock then Subhumans do that ‘Poison’ if you want intricate musicianship Subhumans can do that for you, if you want lyrics that are well constructed and thought provoking to prick your conscience subhumans can do that. They were a big part of that early ’80s punk explosion and are still going strong along with the Subs,  they always turned in better records than Crass and Conflict in my humble opinion and this record is proof that they are as relevant now as they always were. ‘Crisis Point’ can cover all your modern punk rock needs as well as you old school punks wondering if Dick has still got it.  Of course he has. My advice is get hold of ‘Crisis Point’ now and get on board its never too late. Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

 

Strung Out has been together for almost 30 years –You would be forgiven for thinking they are a new band such is the energy of these songs. Produced by Cameron Webb, who was behind the helm of 2009’s Agents of the Underground, it’s a record that has the fire of a new band.

The band are older (obviously) and dare I say it wiser. Yet they play like young men musically and lyricly they view a “big Picture”  as they struggle to make sense of the chaos of the world we live in.

Much of frontman Cruz’s lyrics come from the death of someone he was incredibly close to. That’s something which has exaggerated and exacerbated Cruz’s emotional fragility and continues the spiritual and philosophical journey he says he’s found himself on in recent years. At the same time, though, these songs are also infused with a spirit of hope and defiance.

“I lost my best friend six or seven months ago,” explains Cruz. “It was right before we started writing this record, and that really put a shadow on things. Some of these songs – especially “Monuments” and “Bloody Knuckles” – reflect that loss. But that’s what’s always made our band work. The music is this metal machine and then you get these vocals that express this vulnerability in a melodic way – and there’s love and there’s searching in all that machine. This record starts out hopeful and then it kind of degrades. It sobers and ends with loss. But there are so many things on this record that I’m still figuring it out.”

The albums starts with ‘Rebels And Saints’ and don’t get lulled into a false start becasue its a woven dash and the sunny Californian feel hits you. Melodic and fast. whilst ‘Daggers’ might be darker its almost punk metal in the riffs and pace it tells a story of personal turmoil within the backdrop of an increasingly dystopian America.  Strung Out’s trademark melody and aggression is more metal than Bad Religion and its ebb and flow is maintained throughout the album. Its not really a scene that has taken off massivly in the UK and has a very American feel to it songs like ‘Dissapearing City’ cross over as does the pacey and layered harmonies of ‘Politics Of Sleep’.

Penultimate track ‘Strange Notes’ is bordering on Anthrax metal thrashing mad with a frantic drum roll on the intro like I say some might say it ebbs and flows through the gears throughout the album whilst the next man might say its that constant ebb and flow that pulverises that detracts from the songs as there doesn’t seem too much light and shade throughout the three quarters of an hours worth of music. They could totally land a slot at Download though which might well help US punk cross over to the UK.

The band head out in support of the album for the rest of the year throughout North America where I’m sure they’ll hoover up audiences with their energy alone.  To be fair they’ve always had a tonne of energy  but this is a little more metallic that say ‘Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues’ that was just the right side of this frantic paced style of music.

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Author: Dom Daley

Strung Out will be making the following appearances this fall. Dates below.

SEPTEMBER

18 – Ybor, FL – Crowbar

19 – Gainesville, FL – The Wooly

20 – West Palm Beach, FL – Respectable Street

21 – Jacksonville, FL – 1904 Music Hall

22 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl

24 – Wilmington, NC – Reggie’s 42nd St.Tavern

25 – Virginia Beach, VA – The Bunker

26 – Baltimore, MD – Otto Bar

27 – Asbury Park, NJ – Asbury Lanes

28 – New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge

29 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall

OCTOBER

01 – Portland, ME – Port City Music Hall

02 – Montreal, QC – Club Soda

03 – Quebec City, QC – La Source

04 – Ottawa, ON – The 27 Club

05 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House

06 – London, ON – London Music Hall – Rum Runners

08 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Crafthouse Stage & Grill

09 – Detroit, MI – Small’s

10 – Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge

11 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club

12 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room

13 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre

31 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre

NOVEMBER

01 – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre

02 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon

03 – Boise, ID – The Olympic

04 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall

08 – Dallas, TX – Three Links

09 – Corpus Christi, TX – House of Rock

10 – Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live

12 – Scottsdale, AZ – Pub Rock

13 – Las Vegas, NV – Dive Bar

14 – San Diego, CA – Irenic

15 – Santa Barbara, CA – Velvet Jones

16 – Sacramento, CA – Holy Diver

17 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s

19 – Fresno, CA – Strummer’s

20 – Morro Bay – The Siren

21 – Lancaster, CA – American Legion

22 – Garden Grove, CA – Garden Amp

23 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre

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Vancouver’s hard-rock icons ART OF DYING are set to release a new studio album, “Armageddon”, on the 4th October 2019. The album will be preceded by a new title track single taken from the album

The Art Of Dying story starts with their talismanic front man Jonny Hetherington. From hours busking on the corners of frozen streets to gatecrashing some of North America’s biggest venues, to writing and recording records of truly earth-shattering proportions, the trajectory of the quartet’s career has astonished both fans and industry insiders alike.

ART OF DYING have been able to create muscular, vivacious hard-rock bursting with lung-shattering choruses and a sincerity that is impossible to fake. Equally at home with a lead-fingered riff or a deft slow-burner, there is an ease of breadth in AOD’s repertoire.

“I was blown away when I first heard their independent record,” enthuses DISTURBED guitarist Dan Donegan. “I lived with it for quite a while and I was so impressed with the quality of the songwriting that I had a feeling there was something special going on. David (DISTURBED vocalist David Draiman) and I had been looking for someone to sign to our imprint for a while, but I wanted to make sure the guys could do it live – it’s hard to find a band that are the complete package these days. So, we invited them out on a DISTURBED tour of America, we really threw them in the deep end!”

The band introduced guitarist Tavis Stanley and bassist Cale Gontier to their ranks on the eve of the run with DISTURBED – the quartet playing onstage together for the very first time during the soundcheck of the opening show of the tour. But suddenly, everything clicked. “The moment I knew that we had it right was when our voices started harmonizing,” says Hetherington, of the band’s now-trademark three-way vocals for which David Draiman has dubbed them “Eagles in Chains” referencing a blend of 70s supergroup The Eagles and 90s grunge rockers Alice In Chains.

Now, with two critically-acclaimed and widely-played major label releases under their belts, Art Of Dying are returning with Full Length Album “Armageddon”, their most imperious effort to date. “It’s a dark record.” Says Jonny. “Even the cover art (featuring NYC artist Stefano Losi’s painting of Pharaoh Thutmose III) is inspired by the album title. Thutmose lead the historic battle in Megiddo, (aka Armageddon) the first war in history where proper records were kept and a body count was taken.”

Themes like “No One Ever Wins”, “Dark Days” and “Unoriginal” take the listener down to visit the depths of the deep end. But no Art of Dying record would be complete without the inspirational balance of spine-tingling anthems like new single “Armageddon”, “Cut It All Away” and “ShatterProof”.

Of first single “Armageddon” Jonny Hetherington says, “Life sucks. Life is beautiful. Writing Armageddon got me through a tough time and helped shake a few of the demons off my back. If you feel like your world is caving in, like you’re trapped in your own personal Armageddon, I hope you will find the strength to get out.”

If ARMAGEDDON is about one thing above all else it is a study on the power of human will and the uplifting capacity of one’s own self belief. This is rip-snorting rock ’n’ roll that will smash your self-doubt into a million pieces.

 

“Armageddon” is released through Get A Grip on the 4th October 2019. The new album is available to preorder now, including a limited transparent red vinyl pressing:
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It is a remake of the “Hip To Be Square” scene from American Psycho in which Emily puts herself in the place of the axe-wielding Patrick Bateman.

 

It’s such a glossy track that sounds sort of like Mazzy Starr meets Nick Cave & Patti Smith. It was produced by Stew Jackson of Massive Attack and comes from Emily’s new album ‘Rituals’ which is due out on September 6th on Sugar Shack Records.

 

She’s also had BBC 6 Music and Radio X airplay recently as well as some great press acclaim so far.

The third single from forthcoming Emily Breeze album Rituals (Out September 6th) is a shimmering indie pop anthem entitled “Work”. The glossy sonic exterior and radio friendly chorus act as a foil for the ice cold cynicism and pitch black humour of the lyrics which were inspired by Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) and Emily’s own experiences of hauling herself out of bed every morning to make a pointless profit for somebody else.

 

The video for the single re-enacts the American Psycho “Hip To Be Square” scene with axe-wielding Emily taking the place of Patrick Bateman. The refrain ‘I’m dead inside’ repeats amidst washed out guitar noise as we’re left with Emily covered in blood, her victim laid out on the floor.

Emily’s first two singles “Limousines” and “Ego Death” received airplay from Radio X, BBC Introducing in the West, Tom Robinson (BBC Radio 6) and led to Emily being described as “Nancy Sinatra on Ketamine” (Louder than War) and “a 21st Century Patti Smith” (Tom Robinson BBC Radio 6).

Produced by Bristol luminary Stew Jackson writer, producer for Massive Attack, who has also worked with Tom Waits, Patti Smith and Nick Cave and performed by Emily’s Stellar Band of Rob Norbury (lead guitar), Andy Sutor (drums), Graham Dalzell (bass) and Duncan Fleming (keys/synth), “Work” is the soundtrack to the world gradually falling apart in an absurd state of late capitalism, insurmountable admin, antidepressants and unreachable targets.

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I’ve been a huge fan of Ricky Warwick for a long time and have enjoyed whatever music he has put out whether it’s the loud punk-metal of The Almighty or his storytelling solo albums and what we now come to know the great rock’n’roll of the Black Star Riders.

On the first trio of the Black Star riders albums, the songs have been largely co-written by Ricky and guitarists Damon Johnson and the legend that is guitar slinger Scott Gorham.

So it was a surprise when it was let known that Damon Johnson was moving on to pastures new and that the vacant guitar player slot was being filled by Christian Matrucci who is guitarist of Stone Sour and also to my delight I have discovered he has had various bands of his own over the years which I have found too have released top draw music but the question is  would he gell with Black Star Riders.

Fear, not Christian has not only fitted in but the music is all the better for it.

Starting off this new album titled “Another State Of Grace” we have the track “Tonight The Moonlight Let Me Down” and immediately the ears are treated to a great guitar riff and Ricky’s trademark gruff vocal. Scott and Christian’s guitar mesh together beautifully to create a great rock’n’roll sound and we even have some saxophone added into the mix which fits in perfectly.

On track two we get the song “Another State Of Grace” which was the first song to be released as a single and this song has a big Celtic sound to it with a backing chant of “hey” being shouted which really makes the track stand out.

Up next we have “Ain’t The End Of The World” which is the second single to be released and this track has what I would call the classic Thin Lizzy sound with Scott Gorham’s trademark guitar all over it yet has a freshness that while takes you back to the glory days of Thin Lizzy it also shows how the Black star riders are very much their own band with their own identity.

“Underneath The Afterglow” starts off with a great classic rock guitar riff with a great vocal by Ricky and what strikes me is how Christian’s backing vocals go together so well with Ricky’s that you would think they have been in a band together for years.

“Soldier In The Ghetto” is up next and this track adds a funky intro before relaxing back into a great Black Star riders chorus and shows a band that’s not afraid to mix things up a bit but when they do they do it well.

“Why Do You Love Your Guns” slows the pace down a bit with a beautifully crafted acoustic guitar intro before a crunchy electric guitar riff is introduced to build the song up and a great passionate vocal by Ricky makes this track another winner.

Next up we have “Standing In The Line Of Fire” and this track picks the pace back up with some pounding drums and driving bass and a shredding guitar solo that makes this a great rock song.

“What Will It Take?” is another track which features acoustic guitar mixed with electric to add to a song with great harmonies. Also, we have some great female backing vocals which yet again add another dimension to the Black star riders sound.

“In The Shadow Of The War Machine” is a awesome rocker of a track with some real biting guitar and lyrics that describe the troubled times we are living in yet even though this is a serious song it still has the great harmonies and an uplifting chorus that I hope to hear live on the upcoming tour.

Finishing off the album is the track “Poisoned Heart” and this is how an album should be finished off and that is with style with Ricky’s soaring vocals backed with great backing vocals from Christian and great all-round work from the rest of the band making sure this album goes out with a bang.

Overall words are hard to describe how great this album is because every song on here is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser with no weak tracks or filler to be heard anywhere.

This is a great album that on repeated listens is an album that will keep on giving and in this reviewer’s opinion is Black Star Riders finest work to date.

Buy ‘Another State Of Grace’ Here

Author: Gareth ‘Hotshot’ Hooper

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party music for the demise of the human race.  Hold onto that happy thought that came from one of this dynamic duo who once kidnapped a fleet of execs and subjected them to their world vision and immediately had every tom dick and harry begging to sign them which in this day and age is no easy task.  they have friends in high places as Space produces Idles and his able co-pilot Vibes are behind this headfuck slice of rock and roll.

The pair have absorbed their journey (and what a journey its been thus far) and poured every last drop into their music its fascinating – often compelling but never boring ‘ Never Not Nothing’ is what it is and maybe you should tune in turn on and drop out the Black Futures have go tit going on and from the opening heave of ‘Body & Soul’ it an intriguing journey as the pair involve their special guests such as Bobby Gillespie (no surprise that the Futures would collaborate with him there are large parts of the Screams in what Black Futures do.  A really impressive opener engages the listener as you move a little closer to the speakers (but not too close mind it could be dangerous)

Its like a headfuck of Suicide meets primal Scream meets Prodigy meets a heap of other influences that pile in when you least expect them to. Industrial electro-punks, krautrock, wooshing synths and wild vocals its got Idles danger and unpredictability a plenty on ‘Gutters’. whereas ‘Karma You Dig’ lulls you into a false sense of security before kicking you swiftly between the legs as it builds with menace.

‘Love’ could be Nine Inch Nails and to be fair there is a lot of Trent influence happening but its mixed with some of the more experimental Bowie if I might be so bold. ‘Trance’ will play with your head but then so much of this will do that to be fair.

 

I’m not sure how long I will play this album but when it’s playing I really enjoyed its uncontrollable edginess songs like ‘youthman’ would sound amazing live either in a huge field or in the tight confines of a small club.  Interesting album and enjoyable it has to be said. some really bleak sounds mixed with some really warm songs it will fuck with your senses and that’s always good fun.

 

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Author: Dom Daley

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So who’s doin’ the ragged Americana these days?  Gaslight Anthem went on hiatus Paul Westerberg has vanished outta sight I don’t know whos hitting the right notes and whos got that ragged guitar-driven story tellin’ Rock and Roll thing goin’ on?  the Hold Steady it would seem still like to turn up the amps, they still like to rock out they still haven’t gone full country or joined the balladeer circuit (well they might have individually but as a unit) these cats still make a noise.

Opener ‘Denver Haircut’ is just a great little uptempo story about the guy n gal next door but it’s done through a clean marshall amp and sounds mighty fine.  ‘You Did Good Kid’ is like Eels but louder or Waits with a better, less damaged voice.  Its got a lot of music going on under the storytelling with keyboards being hit and horn being honked damn there’s even tubular bells being struck if I’m not mistaken.  If Bruce hit writer’s block I know a band he could work with who would get him and what he does perfectly without becoming the E Street Band but no doubt were influenced by him especially on ‘Traditional Village’.

Finn is up there with the likes of Nick Cave for captivating an audience with his take on life and just scratching around surviving and the guy next door or down the street something someone like Mellencamp use to own. ‘Entitlement Crew’ is a class example of this whilst ‘T-Shirt Tux’ is like Costello when he started out with his Attractions.

The quality is maintained to the bitter end through the Lou Reed guitar clash of ‘Star 18’ and closing proceedings off with the jaunty ‘Confusion In The Marketplace’ I guess it is what it is and an album I was looking forward to picking up because I felt I trusted Finn and the band to just deliver a stone wall solid record and that’s just what I’ve got.  Whist its not going to change the world for half an hour it’ll make it a much brighter place and I love that.

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Author: Dom Daley

Everyone’s favourite Etonian punk poet Frank Turner is back in familiar territory on album number 8, musically anyway. Turner has stated that he does not want to repeat himself with each album and ‘No Man’s Land’ sees the troubadour approach writing an album from a different angle. ‘No Man’s Land’ is a concept album based on the tales of forgotten women in history. From a 17th century Camden landlady who poisoned and cooked her lovers, to a Dutch courtesan, executed by firing squad, onto the tale of an Egyptian feminist, history buff Turner has done his homework .

A series of podcasts entitled ‘Tales From No Man’s Land’ accompany each song, and the themes of strong women stretch further than just the lyrical content. Gone (for now) is his band The Sleeping Souls, replaced by a full female backing band and producer to boot.

 

Frank’s canny lyricism and his knack of telling a fine tale does have a tendency to draw you in, and you can’t help but immerse yourself in the lives of these women. Some you will have heard of, some you won’t have a clue about, but after a few listens you will find yourself reaching for Wikipedia to find out a bit more. While over the course of a 3 and a half minute song the songwriter can only say so much, the point is made, and it’s up to the listener to find out more. Sometimes it works a treat and other times… not so much.

Opener ‘Jinny Bingham’s Ghost’ is a mighty fine, upbeat drinking song. Fiddles and skiffle beats fill the air like The Urban Voodoo Machine partying with The Pogues, as Frank reels off the first of many tall tales. Interestingly, the story is set in Camden Town, at The Underworld, on the spot where Jinny Bingham ran the tavern where she committed her dirty deeds.

The following ‘Sister Rosetta’ is typical Turner radio fodder. A pop-laced, perfect single about the godmother of rock ‘n’ roll, who I first learned about through the teachings of Alabama 3. A nifty accompanying guitar riff and a crisp production job courtesy of Catherine Marks makes this song sparkle and shine.

The jazzy ‘Nica’ is a complete contrast from anything else and works really well. Full of brass, woodwind and smoky juke joint vibes, it mirrors the subject matter perfectly. Elsewhere, the album falters in just a few places. ‘Silent Key’, about tragic Challenger Space Shuttle astronaut Christa McAuliffe, is a song that first featured on the album ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’. It’s a bit of a (space) oddity to be honest. Frank just seems to be going through the motions here with a lazy vocal melody that doesn’t really go anywhere. And closing track ‘Rosemary Jane’, a song about his mum, while heartfelt and personal to Frank, is just plain dull.

But there certainly are flashes of brilliance to behold. The stripped back country of ‘Eye Of The Day’ closes side one ‘Nebraska’ style, just the man and his acoustic laid bare, recounting the tragic tale of Mata Hari and her untimely death. Simple, heartfelt and probably my favourite track right now.

Soaring choruses in the likes of ‘I Believed You, William Blake’, written through the eyes of his long suffering wife Catherine, and the epic feel of side 2 opener ‘The Death Of Dora Hand’ stay with me long after my white vinyl album has stopped spinning and I turn my attention to find more about these remarkable women.

 

‘No Man’s Land’ is a perfectly executed album, to be listened to from start to finish as a body of work. The podcasts are interesting, though not essential to enjoy the album to its fullest. Some have labelled the concept of this album as ‘gimmicky’ before even hearing the fruits of his labour, but I say this album is far from it. Is it Frank’s best album? No, but it’s up there with his best and has already had the most plays since ‘England Keep My Bones’ was released for me, so he must be doing something right. A lot of thought has gone into the production, the concept and the lavish packaging and it makes ‘No Man’s Land’ a welcome addition to anyone’s collection. Fascinating stuff indeed.

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

 

Airbourne will release their fifth studio album Boneshaker on October 25th via Spinefarm Records. The band revealed the cover artwork for BONESHAKER, which was a collaboration between Matt Read of Combustion Ltd, and Sean Tidy of Design House Studio Ltd.

On the topic of the artwork, guitarist Matthew Harrison states: “The whole sentiment we were after was about rock n’ roll for life. We wanted to create something tattoo worthy, and that the artwork was classic and stood the test of time.”

With the creation of Boneshaker, all-action Aussie rockers Airbourne decided to take the bolder path; to align with Nashville’s Number One producer, Dave Cobb, whose credits include both Chris Stapleton and the ‘Star Is Born’ soundtrack, as a way of staking out new turf away from comfort zones and safe havens…

“It’s a live gig in the studio. This is always something we wanted to do – find a way to bring the soul and power of an Airbourne live show into an album. Cobb caught our lightning and put it in a bottle.” states bandleader Joel O’Keeffe.

Relocating to historic Studio A on Nashville’s Music Row, six-time Grammy Award-winning producer Cobb’s natural home and one of Music City’s most prized creative hubs, the four musicians set themselves a challenge: to make a record cut from the same frayed cloth as those classic late-’70s recordings from Australia’s legendary Albert’s house of ‘Oz Rock’ that inspired the band so much.

There are no weird tangents here, no un-called for asides, no messin’ about. This is straight-down-the-line pure rock ‘n’ roll drama smelling of burnt rubber, spilt gasoline and valves glowing red hot. No ballads, no acoustic guitars, no keyboards. 10 tracks, 30 minutes of music. Everything lean an’ lethal, stripped to the bone, to those essential elements that rock ‘n’ roll requires to properly do its work: raging guitars, pounding bass ‘n’ bass, vocals packed full of real personality – the kind of passion that only comes from willfully pursuing a life on the line.

Pre-orders for Airbourne’s fifth studio album Boneshaker are now live, with an instant download of the first single & album title-track and special bundle options including t-shirts, hoodies, enamel badge and poster. Boneshaker was premiered live at Wacken 2019 in front of 80k+ people, their fourth time at the legendary festival, which felt like a homecoming for the band. Order your copy HERE.

 

As always, you can find Airbourne on the road. They will be crisscrossing the planet, in true Airbourne fashion until 2022.

“We are pumped about playing these new songs live, it’s always cool to do that first tour on the album cycle, especially that first run of shows. The first time you hear people singing the words back at you to a new song, it makes us really appreciate how much our Airbourne family around the world supports us. “ states drummer, Ryan O’Keeffe. “2020 is already shaping up to be a jam packed year.”

Airbourne Live Dates 2019:

23.08 – Reload Festival – DE

24.08 – Le Cabaret Vert – FR

24.09 – Ucho – Gdynia PL

25.09 – Proxima – Warsaw PL

26.09 – Kwadrat – Kraków PL

28.09 – Club Zal – St Petersburg RU

29.09 – Station Hall – Moscow RU

02.10 – Roxy – Prague CZ [SOLD OUT]

04.10 – Amager Bio – Copenhagen DK [SOLD OUT]

05.10 – Münchenbryggeriet – Stockholm SE

07.10 – Pakkahuone – Tampere FI

08.10 – Circus – Helsinki FI

10.10 – Rockefeller – Oslo NO

11.10 – Trädgår’n – Gothenburg SE [SOLD OUT]

12.10 – Voxhall – Aarhus DK [SOLD OUT]

15.10 – Melkweg – Amsterdam NL

16.10 – Trix – Antwerp BE

17.10 – La Laiterie – Strasbourg FR [SOLD OUT]

19.10 – La Cigale – Paris FR [SOLD OUT]

20.10 – La Cigale – Paris FR [SOLD OUT]

22.10 – Santana 27 – Bilbao ES

24.10 – Paris 15 – Málaga ES

25.10 – La Riviera – Madrid ES

26.10 – Razzmatazz – Barcelona ES

28.10 – La Paloma – Nimes FR [SOLD OUT]

29.10 – Alcatraz – Milan IT

31.10 – Komplex – Zurich CH

01.11 – Haus Auensee – Leipzig DE

02.11 – Orpheum – Graz AT

03.11 – Tonhalle – Munich DE [SOLD OUT]

05.11 – Barba Negra – Budapest HU

06.11 – Arena – Vienna AT

07.11 – Columbiahalle – Berlin DE

09.11 – Schlachthof – Wiesbaden DE [SOLD OUT]

10.11 – E-Werk – Cologne DE [SOLD OUT]

13.11 – UEA – Norwich UK

14.11 – Rock City – Nottingham UK

16.11 – Academy – Manchester UK

17.11 – O2 Academy – Newcastle UK

18.11 – Beach Ballroom – Aberdeen UK

20.11 – Ironworks – Inverness UK

21.11 – Barrowlands – Glasgow UK

22.11 – O2 Academy – Liverpool UK

24.11 – Cardiff University – Cardiff UK

25.11 – O2 Academy – Bristol UK

26.11 – O2 Forum – London UK

28.11 – O2 Academy – Sheffield UK

29.11 – O2 Guildhall – Southampton UK

30.11 – O2 Academy – Oxford UK

2020:

04.01 – Summernats – Canberra AU

08.02 – RAC Arena – Perth AU*

11.02 – AEC Theatre – Adelaide AU*

14.02 – Rod Laver Arena – Melbourne AU*

15.02 – Qudos Bank Arena – Sydney AU*

18.02 – Entertainment Centre – Brisbane AU*

20.02 – The Trusts Arena – Auckland NZ*

22.02 – Horncastle Arena – Christchurch NZ*

* Denotes Special Guest on Alice Cooper dates

For 2020 and beyond – watch this space…