Just over two years ago, snowed in and listening to new sounds I had a link bounced over to me by Pity my Brain’s main man Jamie Richards, that stopped me in my tracks, the LP was called Time the band was called Dystopian Future Movies. Looking into the background after duly ordering said LP I found that the band’s mainstays were Bill Fisher & Caroline Cawley from the rather tasty Church of the Cosmic Skull (If you haven’t discovered them yet I suggest you get a shift on!!).

For this album Bill and Caroline are joined in the band, by Guitarist, Rafe Dunn and Bassist Oisin O’Doherty. The rather stunning artwork comes from an image of an abandoned Tuberculosis Sanitorium in Caroline’s native Ireland.

Dark indeed and that’s where I want to start this review, opener “Countenance”, eases it’s way out of the speakers, at times Intense, at times sparse, leading with a dark brooding sense of decay, Caroline’s vocals adding an almost otherworldly ethereal feels. Being honest if you try and pitch a particular style of genre, you’d be wrong! Taking a stab I’d say post-Industrial at times? Highlighting a time in the future, where dark paths have been taken. There’s an underlying dread, but maybe a sense of hope?

Moving on next up “wreckage” draws you in, the discordant acoustic lead demanding attention before the vocals lift it up a gear you start to get the feel of a story being played out musically, the counterpoint vocals giving it a depth before we’re drawn into an industrial-style framework, with Bills drumming starting to become incessant, demanding almost. Before we get lost in the wreckage we’re moved forward into “Rules” almost a taking stock of what’s happening, vocally this is a powerful performance, the voice setting the tone for the at times sparse orchestration that eventually pulls you upwards and into the story unfolding. “All the Light” is a coming to terms song what’s come before and a movement away from where we’ve been. Again the vocals lead over a discordant, sparse musical background drawing you indefinitely less is more giving this track both an intensity and fragility. This fragility comes to the fore within next track “Kathleen”, a real stand out.

Moving or easing forward into “Black cloaked” and we’re drawn back into a haunted past, unable to break free from what we’ve experienced, this is a seriously good track and really pins you back, probably the most intense on the album, distorted, discordant and driving in equal measures. Before we’ve come to terms with what we’ve heard we come to a conclusion with “Ten years” we’re now the observer overseeing the whole, removed no longer part of the story.

This is a seriously good LP, bursting with ideas, and me for one will look forward to seeing it translated into the live arena.

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Author: Nev Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enduring and endearing that’s the threesome that makeup Therapy? they’ve have never been ones to follow convention even when they do something quite conventional like releasing a greatest hits album.

‘The Greatest Hits’ takes tracks from throughout their career of highs and maybe not so highs. This their 30th-anniversary run sees this new album breathing a fresh breath of brutality into already fiery songs.  I’ve always seen Therapy? as an iron fist in a velvet glove kinda band.  they can write some right out and out abrasive in your face slabs of noise but they can also be touching and heartfelt whilst delivering that punch (if you know what I mean?)  Oh and before I forget it also comes with a bonus live album.  Always offering value for money. I always thought the old adage about Motorhead applied to Therapy? because they will survive after any holocaust along with the cockroaches then probably put on a show before feasting on the mites such is their dogged determination to push on and never stand still even when looking back at themselves and what they’ve achieved they twist it and push the boundaries rather than offering up some cut and pasted best of and that’s because they give a shit about their legacy, their fans and the future.

‘Teethgrinder’ is first up and with a sparkling production, it has to be said. The band worked with producer Chris Sheldon, who produced the original ‘Troublegum’ album as well as working on ‘Semi-Detached’, ‘High Anxiety’ and ‘Cleave’ so a safe pair of hands – someone who knew the band and what they were/are about and was able to give them that extra piece of x-factor needed on this project.  No cost spared as they headed for Abbey Road none the less and its paid off in spades.

The 12-track album includes all their UK hits including ‘Screamager’ and a reworking of ‘Diane’; Featuring James Dean Bradfield of the Manics.  I forgot how fuckin’ menacing ‘Turn’ sounds with that grinding bassline twisting the listener’s inner ear throughout.  The one thing that stands out is how damn fresh these songs sound.  They never suffered from a shit production but this is another level as 2020 sees songs reborn.  ‘Nowhere’ still sounds epic and a real rush of adrenaline.  I can’t help but feel there’s a little chuckle being made having James Dean Bradfield singing on ‘Die Laughing’  maybe they should have renamed it ‘Dai Laughing’.

‘Diane’ is one of my favourite song from the band and this new take is brilliant.  Welcome to the church of noise one and all and those old-timers this is a great celebration happening here and those new to this band you’re most welcome but where the fuck have you been you maniacs? Heres to the next milestone and something else from Therapy? Oh, I guess I should mention the bonus disc, well, that’s fifteen songs one from each album live as a bonus with the CD version. It’s a great time to be a fan of the band then with so much going on as they head out the door to promote their 30-year plan so you can see them after you’ve played this greatest hits package to death.

As far as greatest hits go this one is up there with the best in the noisy bastard genre. Still on fire – Still not compromising – Still doin’ the biz. Therapy? I love em

Greatest Hits (2020 Versions) here

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Author: Dom Daley

 

The world needs stars. Real stars, self-made weirdos, who are forced to make their art because it’s a part of them. The downside is that the world at large ignores them nowadays. The gems glitter in the dark corners, hidden from view. David Ryder Prangley has always known this. Regardless, he helmed Rachel Stamp, and now Sister Witch. With this, his debut solo album, he is spoiling us.

 

While there are only seven songs, the quality demands your attention and cash. Yes, you can listen for free on Bandcamp, but if you love what you hear, grab a cd. Give me seven great songs over 30 minutes rather than another dull, drawn out album any time.

 

Yes, there is the anticipated, crunching glam sound, but also a broad palette of tunes. ‘They Came From The Stars To Capture Our Hearts’ opens the album, ethereal piano and vocals. I’m reminded of the stupendous Jonny Cola And The A-Grades, who, no doubt, owe a debt to Mr R.P. It’s beautiful.

 

‘Space Station Number Nine’ cranks up the riffs and drums, with some slinky, dual guitars. Music to pout to. ‘Trouble Every Day’, quite reasonably, sounds like Rachel Stamp. The production is great, proving that you don’t need a big budget if you know what you’re doing. ‘Forever In Starlight’ was the first track released with an accompanying video, plaintive and simple. I like to think that  Bolan would be making music like this. Love the guitar tone.

‘The Apple’ is an instrumental interlude, which brings us to the hip-shaking title track. Unashamedly glam, guitar and sax vying for attention. Prepare to strut your stuff. ‘Captain Sugar’ reminds me of Roxy Music and Prince, which takes some doing. It starts like something from ‘For Your Pleasure’, before the vocals get all fruity and the solo kicks off.

 

11th March, you can witness this for yourself at Nambucca, London. Sadly, I’m the wrong side of the channel now, but what’s your excuse? You won’t regret it.

 

Buy Black Magic And True Love Here

 

Author: Martin Chamarette

 

So here it is boys and girls, the seventh (or eighth if you include the ‘Hooray! Hooray!’ compilation) studio album from those lovable punk rock anti-heroes Dirt Box Disco and it’s also their first since the departure of singer Weab.

With news of the frontman’s decision to leave the Disco sending shock waves through the punk rock community back in early 2019 masked guitarist and songwriting dynamo Spunk Volcano decided (with the help of his bandmates; Maff Fazzo on drums, Deadbeat Chris on bass and Danny Fingers on guitar) that the time was right for him to step forward and grasp the microphone with both hands and ‘TV Sex Show’ is the result.

I guess some of you will probably be thinking, “oh it’ll just sound like Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions now”, and yes, on one of two occasions like on the foot to floor mosh pit fight starter ‘VDTV’ and (the first of two bonus tracks on the CD version) ‘Tizwatitiz’ you might have a point, as both of these tunes could (to my ears at least) very easily have been written as Eruptions songs. But, and this is huge BUT, within the context of the fourteen songs (there’s twelve on the vinyl) on ‘TV Sex Show’ this is still very much a Dirt Box Disco record.

Kicking off with ‘Unstoppable’, this a song that is destined to be an immediate live hit. It actually reminds me in many ways of ‘Rum & Cola’ from the band’s ‘Are You Ready?’ EP released back in 2011. It’s a rousing call to arms, a song of solidarity, and a clear message that Dirt Box Disco are not going to be messed about with almost a decade into their career.

‘Insomniac’ which is up next is where ‘TV Sex Show’ really shifts up through the punk rock gears though, and coupled with the trademark Volcano/Fingers six string chugger that is ‘Barebones’ I have to admit that after thinking I might well me doing a Judy Collins by now and asking “where are the clowns?, send in the clowns”, I’m not, and this has to be down to the strength of the songwriting with the likes of ‘I Want Out’, ‘Reminisce’, ‘3 Bottles Down’ and ‘Bitch Full of Stitches’ being some of the catchiest songs the band have ever recorded, and I’m not joking when I say that the Disco sound positively supercharged during the likes of ‘Dickhead And Hype’ and album closer (well if you have the CD anyway) ‘Wake Up’.

There are a couple of tunes that I’ve still yet to fully get my head around, namely ‘The Count of Monte Cristo Lives in San Francisco’ which whilst insanely catchy still has the ominous spectre of ‘Reminisce’ looking over its shoulder, and the same could be said of ‘Ain’t Life Grand’ which is the LP closer that has me thinking I’ll have to buy the CD too just to hear ‘Wake Up’ which really is this set of songs very own ‘Dirtbox Days’.

It would have been all too easy for Dirt Box Disco to have called it a day after Weab left, but it is to Spunk, Maff, Danny and Chris’ credit that they have risen to the challenge by releasing their strongest set of songs since their err.. legendary 2012 album ‘Legends’. So, my advice to everyone is get off your arses check it out sharpish. Pre-sales for ‘TV Sex Show’ are live right now via and if you want to secure one of the mega limited 500 only vinyl LPs you best get your skates on and get clicking the linky.

 

Buy ‘TV Sex Show’ Here

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Author: Johnny Hayward

Italy’s THE ROOZALEPRES are rocking out hard, serving heavy riffs and some of the finest full speed ahead Rock ‘n’ Roll. If you love rearing guitars and fast songs, this band is just what you deserve for a rocking Friday night or a pleasant trip on the highway with your car. Lay back and enjoy “Alien Television Show”, the raging and brand new music video.

We chose this song, first of all, because we like the idea of representing the meaning of the lyrics in a video and our friend Wötsu was certainly the right person to collaborate with. We knew she would have fun doing it. The song speaks about the violent act of playing songs itself, dictated by the desensibilization that all media impose to the masses, getting alienated and addicted to it. And the other reason of our choice is that “Alien Television Show” is the first track ever written by the band.“, the band comments.

THE ROOZALEPRES s/t album will be coming out March 13th on Go Down Records and is available for pre-order RIGHT HERE

For more info visit:
Facebook / www.godownrecords.com

Philly punks Trash Knife has put together a collection of trashy lo-Fi punk rock that enters the cranium via the ear and buries itself in the part of the brain that experts would designate as the pleasure zone. Tell me that ‘No Ones Dancing’ doesn’t cause involuntary twitches at the very least.

It’s not rocket science being performed here its punk rock n roll with a tonne of melody trashy guitars clashing with the drums that are taking a good hiding and some vocals that range from the softly whispered ear caressing to the fuck you and the horse you rode in on screams and shouts. The songs are between a minute or two long and that’s it.  wham bang ‘The Party Party’ to bass rumbling pogo of ‘Struggletown Freakout’ via the Damned like hands in pocket shuffle of ‘I’m Down’ this record is an explosion of colour and sound.  Like I said it might not be breaking any new ground but the path they take is well worn and they walk the walk so damn well.

 

Go throw yourself around to ‘Kill your Selfie’ and if anyone asks you to turn it down flip em the bird and let em know you’re playing Trash Knife for fuck’s sake!

If you’ve got a short attention span and like to have a soundtrack whilst you break things then hey jump on board this, no doubt about it. It’s perfect for a frenzied attack.  Who said punk was dead? Trash Knife ‘Ep/Ep’ get it.

 

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Author: Dom Daley

American Jetset arrived in the world a little over a year ago and immediately impressed me on their debut EP ‘Live Love Die on Main.’ It quickly became a fixture in my rotation for the rest of the year. This release I suppose could fall in the mini-album category at six songs plus an intro. If you rewind 35 years, these songs would now be lodged into your brain by being played over and over again over the years as they would have been stars on the Sunset Strip, but the nice thing is American Jetset injects a healthy dose of a modern feel into their sound.

‘Welcome to Devil’s Canyon’ serves as a brief intro track that takes across the desert and into town as the train passes by. Drums rise in the background until we hear a woman scream that takes us into the sleazy awesome ‘Walking Contradiction.’ I love the bass intro by Kevin Harrington as it really sets up the entire song. With a sleazy groove that reminds me of early Faster Pussycat with some Junkyard added into the mix, this one contains a great hook in the chorus both vocally and musically. Ian Kaine MacGregor (also guitar) possesses a voice that can be really smooth but can also carry a slight sleazy whine when it is needed.  ‘Gold and Nines’ keeps up the excellence with a commercial feel, huge chorus, and plenty of guitar licks throughout the song to make you break out the air guitar. They even add in a part totally designed for a crowd to sing the chorus with them which makes it extremely contagious on even a first listen.

Lance Reeder and MacGregor have loaded these songs with plenty of guitar riffs and solos so even the mid-tempo ‘One More Time Around’ features an excellent riff and a vibe that just screams celebrating life, this moment, and blocking out whatever wall reality may be ready to throw at you. It makes me wish I had the ability to play guitar. They take a slight turn on ‘Getaway Car’ which adds the slightest of twangs to the music but is in no way a country song as it is still clearly a rock song, just more subdued. The backing vocals give it some nice depth, and the guitar solo works perfectly.

‘1000 Ghosts’ features a quick riff that provides an immediate hook to the song that sticks to you like maple syrup on your feet. They then lay into a catchy chorus that will likely find you singing along as you’re bouncing around the room, car, etc. The final song ‘Never Be Goodbye’ provides that acoustic campfire kind of send off that works perfectly for this release. As the band’s stature grows, this could turn into one of those moments where it is just the crowd singing and clapping as the band prepares for an encore.

At just about 20 minutes, there are no wasted moments here. It is over way too fast and leaves you wanting more. The solution is, of course, to play the whole thing over again, and, if you don’t have them yet, I recommend adding the first EP and the ‘This Ain’t Hollywood’ single to your mix for more of a full album experience. American Jetset crashed into my world over a year ago because of their great songs, and this release shows that they were not a one-trick pony. Pick up this album and prepare to sing your butt off while these songs remind you of how good music can make you feel.

‘Saloon Rock Whiskey Pop’ is available now.

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

 

 

 

Album #3 from Newport’s finest exponents of gutter-level rock ‘n’ roll is finally here and it’s worth the wait bruthas and sistas! Deathtraps formed after a chance meeting between two ex Sick Livers and a Flyscreen at a Dwarves gig in the summer of 2016, and Veej(vocals/guitar), Matty (drums) and Fraser (vocals/bass) haven’t looked back since.

Riding on two killer albums, namely 2017’s ‘Justice For The Risca One’ and 2018’s sophomore ‘Gotta Get Some’ the scuzzy three-piece offer up their new long player ‘Stole Your Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and what a glorious slab of filthy noise it is too!

 

“Deathtraps stole your rock ‘n’ roll and they play it much better than you” they scream in the title track. “But who did they steal it from?” I hear you cry. Well, maybe they stole the beat from the lord or they sold their souls to the devil at Risca junction, but whatever happened, they sound like Turbonegro dry-humping The Hellacopters with their middle finger shoved so far up Motorhead’s ass it’ll come out bleeding, yeah they’re that good! Think Zeke, think MC5 or ‘Total 13’era Backyard Babies, think turbo-charged rock ‘n’ roll of the highest order and you’ll be getting close muthafuckers!

It starts with a brutal assault on the senses with their anti-love song ‘Let’s Fall Out Of Love’ and doesn’t let up for the following 35 minutes or so. An earful of dirty guitars, a mouthful of blood, spit & beers and catchy hooks aplenty. This is the sound of Motorhead jamming with the finest rock ‘n’ roll bands that Scandanavia has to offer.

With songs about killing, self-destruction and unfortunate oral encounters delivered at breakneck speed, ‘Stole Your Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is not for the faint-hearted. It’s for those who like their music hard, fast and loud.

The cool kids will love ‘Fuck The Cool Kids’, with its bass rumble, AC/DC riffage and high energy delivery. The punks will dig ‘Too Fast To Last’ a song that has ‘em coming on like a Welsh Hip Priests. And anyone who has ever donned a biker jacket in the name of rock ‘n’ roll will get down to any song that name-checks Runaways members and the band’s own deprived introduction to the queen of the Blackhearts herself. Yes, ‘Joan Jett’ has a chorus so simple yet effective, you’ll be humming it all week, while scouring Ebay for a copy of ‘I Hate Myself For Loving You’ on 7” vinyl. And that’s a mighty fine place to be in my book. What’s not to like here?

Top track for me has to be ‘Tastes Like Blood’. It sounds like Turbonegro ripping off The Wildhearts (again), a glorious gang vocal chorus and riffs to matchmakes this an album highlight any day of the week.

 

The thing that sets Deathtraps apart from the gazillions of trashy punk bands, is their use of melody. They have the fine art of a catchy chorus nailed. Yeah, they are raw and fast, but the sing-ability of the likes of ‘Backstabbing For Beginners’  and ‘The Devil and Me’ will keep you singing and banging the head that doesn’t bang for days.

‘Stole Your Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is a shot of adrenaline straight to the jugular. It’s a high energy, euphoric collection of songs and fucking enjoyable from start to finish, job done.

 

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

After the tragic death of Scott Weiland, I (like many other STP fans) had no interest in new music from the band with a new singer, especially an X Factor contestant. The recruitment of Jeff Gutt just reeked of Rockstar INXS to me and it felt like a betrayal on the legacy of their enigmatic frontman. No one could replace Scott Weiland, surely?

But, look at it from their point of view. Dean and Robert Deleo, along with drummer  Eric Kretz have a hell of a back catalogue, one that took them to the top of the charts back in the ’90s, and why should they not continue to write, record and tour as that band? Let’s face it, many bands have continued and even become more successful after the loss of their singer (AC/DC anyone?).

That said, I gave their last album a wide birth and had no interest in the band until word filtered through of an acoustic album they had recorded. Ever since their famous MTV Unplugged session back in 1993, it seems STP were destined to release an acoustic album, it was just a matter of when.

 

‘Perdida’ was self-produced by the band and recorded at Eric Kretz’ Bomb Shelter studios. Using vintage instruments and exploring themes of loss, death and goodbyes, (Perdida literally means loss in Spanish) the band has crafted an introspective album that sees them bare their souls, as they come to terms with the grief and sadness that has filled their lives in recent years.

Opener ‘Fare Thee Well’ is an uplifting, monumental song. Lyrically about lost love, yet full of sentiment and hope. The ghost of Scott Weiland is all over this track, Jeff’s vocals bare an uncanny resemblance, and there is no denying it. And it sort of makes me feel uncomfortable like I shouldn’t really be liking it…but I do, I really do, the hairs standing up on the back of my neck don’t lie.

Dean’s folk-inspired guitar intro leads to a heartbreaking melody that builds and builds to a glorious chorus, with almost gospel-tinged backing. The drums are powerful yet understated, giving a solid base for the instruments to breathe life into a song that is utterly beautiful after just one listen. It sets the tone for the album and sets the bar very high indeed.

With a ‘less is more’ approach to this album, the sparse arrangements create space and the rustic instrumentation is added only where needed to accentuate the songs. Here, the addition of flute, alt sax and guitarrone add another dimension to the STP sound.

The likes of ‘She’s My Queen’ could easily be a bombastic rock song with different production and arrangement, yet here stripped back to bare bones with open chords and lush harmonies, it shines.

‘Three Wishes’ could have sat nicely on the more experimental third album ‘Tiny Music..’. Dean’s signature slide guitar and Robert’s bass runs certainly hark back to that era of the band. Similarly, ‘I Didn’t Know The Time’ with its flute solo and jazzy, lounge feel is something the band has toyed with in the past and here it sits remarkably well.

Nylon string guitar takes precedence over the Spanish influenced title track, it comes on a bit too Euro-folk for its own good for me, but ‘Years’ with its lazy, sun-drenched California vibes, has an almost Beach Boys meets Simon and Garfunkel feel.

Big mention for the folky ‘Miles Away’ that flows on a killer vocal melody and swathes of mournful violin, giving a rustic Parisian feel, more in line with The Urban Voodoo Machine. This is a glorious song – make no mistake.

 

Stone Temple Pilots have delivered the album they have always hinted at making. And while ‘Perdida’ is a departure for the band and something that has been brewing for years, it is still very much Stone Temple Pilots by name and by nature. There’s a newfound vulnerability to the band that brings to mind Alice In Chains classic ‘Jar Of Flies’ acoustic album.

Hauntingly, the ghost of Scott Weiland looms over every chord they play and every note that Jeff sings, it probably always will. Haters are gonna hate, but I for one think that these songs are too good to ignore and am totally surprised and grateful that Stone Temple Pilots have delivered an album I never thought I would hear, and to be honest it has made me fall in love with this band all over again.

Buy ‘Perdida’ Here 

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Everything was better in the old days. Everything but Christmas who became more unstoppable from year to year. While other bands pop up and quickly burn away, CHRISTMAS just gets better and better. More resilient, more brutal and more like the cockroach after a nuclear holocaust.  It was said that if Motorhead moved next door your lawn would wither and die unless the next-door neighbour happens to be Christmas.  They wouldn’t give a shit the lawn was dead because they were going on tour anyway

Christmas has spent the last ten-year making music with over thirteen releases in those ten years, playing a mammoth 500 gigs across countless countries and gone through a spinal tap amount of band members. Rock ‘n’ Roll is said to be on its last legs and hardcore punk is a dying genre, funnily enough, nobody sent Christmas the memo and if they did they’d use it to light the stick of dynamite they’re about to throw into your speakers.

This album is ignited when ‘Turn Me Lewd’ kicks off in your speakers with a really addictive brass line running alongside the vocals and those guitars are white-hot like a rabid ‘Nasty’. I might be mistaken here but this seems to have upped a gear or two from previous recordings from Christmas ‘Hey Mate’ is cheeky whilst the title track is an exercise in how to riff.

‘Waterloo’ has a brown noise rumbling low end on that bass guitar before sounding like its been fired out of a cannon. Great stuff – classic Christmas.  Hold the front page ‘Elvis Is Dead’ if only he had sounded like this or he sang a song like ‘Fuck It Up’. Brutal and uncompromising Christmas go full tilt on us on ‘Born To Booze’. As we raise a glass to yet another top record from Max and co and if you were in any doubt ‘Go Hard Or Go Home’ is a rocket ride of pure aggression and pounding hardcore that is done exceptionally well. Man, we’ve reached the end as there is only ‘Candy Me’ to play out. Max has got this down to a fine art now and he knows what it takes to pen a Christmas record and not a sleigh bell anywhere just hardcore punk rock done to perfection.  How long will it be before these guys are treated the same way as Bronx or Zugly for being as good as punk rock gets in the motherfuckin’ roaring ’20s.

Get on it people because they’re going to keep on regardless but Max needs to crowd surf and the more people who get into them the easier it will be to be carried around like royalty. It’ll be a ‘Hot Night’ anywhere if Christmas are playing any of these top tunes.

 

Buy ‘Hot Nights In Saint Vandal’ Here

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