The Membranes release the heaviest album of the year so far.  Not heavy in the way of an Iron Maiden (obviously) but heavy as in dense physical mass as it lurches from the shade into the light and back again like a beast that’s bee in the wilderness for decades and then suddenly it wanders into the metropolis as the opener will testify covering everything about this record in one track.

The title track is Robbs punchy throbbing bass line right front and center in the mix is a heaving throwback to the days when Joy Division was kicking up dust over the Northwest. These aren’t rounded soft and pleasant noises the band is throwing out there. ‘A Murder Of Crows’ is like the bastard child of Bow Wow Wow as the song jerks and leers towards the listener in an uncomfortable noise yet its compelling enough to keep you listening.  Like some sort of musical cooperative if you want in just turn up and shake a tambourine or blow a horn I’m sure there’s someone hitting a kitchen sink in there somewhere along with throwing a piano down a flight of stairs.

There has to be a Bauhaus influence in there as ‘Black Is The Colour’ about the dark epicenter of winter bloody well sounds it.  Not what you might call TOTP material for a single unless its the post-apocalypse TOTP with a chaotic reverb emanating of Robbs jagged bass line it’s uncomfortable yet listenable and they’ve got the levels spot on.

this double album is an ambitious project and it’s often dark yet alluring uninviting and cold yet warm at the same time one thing it is for sure and that’s epic.  If you’re trying to take it in in one sitting then strap yourself in it might be a bumpy ride just listening to the Janes Addiction sounding chaos of ‘The 21 St Century Is Killing Me’ from its choir on the chorus to the juddering riff its a whole load of epic in one track. the final track ‘Pandoras Box’ is like a headfuck with Choirs, strings, thumping bass, Dead Kennedy’s riff, at times it sounds like a lost Stranglers track and others it sounds like a gift from above its exhausting listening but in a good way.

Another feature of this record is the guest list Kirk Brandon (Theatre of Hate, Spear of Destiny) and 84-year-old folk singer Shirley Collins.  TV presenter Chris Packham also contributes to ‘Winter’, also Jordan turns up, yes she of the Kings Road and a woman who practically invented the punk Rock shock look in 1975. Half the tracks also feature the 20-piece Choir.  So you can’t fault the band for trying to include the Jewson lot into this record besides it doesn’t always work but what the hell they’re trying and that’s a strength.  when it works its a beautiful thing I can’t tell you where it works that’s for you to decide but I would suggest you at least give this a try you never know it might reel you in.

 

The band must have driven themselves half round the bend recording this but I bet once they had the record in their hands and dropped the needle in that first groove they’ll feel it was all most definitely worth it.

 

Buy What Nature Give Here

Author: Dom Daley

As of today, ‘What Nature Gives … Nature Takes Away’ will be available on vinyl and CD, and digitally from stores such as iTunes and streaming platforms. There is also a deluxe double vinyl ultra limited edition of 150 copies.

This summer, cosmetics company Lush will also release a Membranes perfume called ‘A Strange Perfume’ after the album’s opening track. I bet you weren’t expecting that were you?

Dead Moon was formed in Portland, Oregon. They existed from 1987 to 2006, Featuring the talents of singer/guitarist Fred Cole,  bassist Kathleen “Toody” Cole, (Fred’s wife), and drummer Andrew Loomis. The Band toured Europe’s mainland which is where most of their support was to be fair.

They announced that they were breaking up with the last gig at the Vera club in Groningen late 2006. Fred and Toody owned and operated their own guitar shop, Tombstone Music, for 30 years and also ran the Tombstone General Store in Oregon for about eight years.

Sadly drummer, Andrew Loomis, died on March 8, 2016. at the young age of 54 then little over a year later Frontman Fred Cole died in the November 2017 at the age of 69 the band recorded just under a dozen albums as well as numerous live and compilation records and a heap of singles.

Nineteen of those tracks have lovingly been interpreted by the likes of The Hellacopters who do a stunning version of ‘Rescue’ to open up proceedings and take ownership doing a really neat Hellacopters job on owning the song. In fact of the bands I already knew well like Sator, Chuck Norris Experiment, “Demons”, Nomads, Lovesores, Marys Kids and King Mastino there were others I’ll hold my hands up to not being too familiar with and mixing up the bands is a great way to discover more ways to spend money on records.

 

As I disappear down the wormhole that is Dead Moon tribute album I’m not disappointed with the likes of Nomads who breath new life into the songs with passion and stunning interpretations of great tunes.  By the end of the record, I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe Dead Moon was one of those bands who were overlooked but clearly left something on a scene and have managed to have a chunk of their catalogue rediscovered by others who dare I say it made the tunes better!  There I’ve said it.

Side B featuring “Demons”, Fellow Portland rockers Lovesores, The Nomads, The Boatsmen and Monomen steal it on the line with the strongest performances (not that this is a competition I know that) but I love this group of songs and each performance is different and excellent.  There are one or two that didn’t sing to me like some of the others which I guess is natural some of the more Grunge interpretations maybe on side C like Dirty Coal Train and their take of ‘The 99’s’ reminds me of Sonic Youth but I loved La Secta and Buffalo with a dark garage take on ‘Dead In The Saddle’. The Brooms went psychedelic whilst Suicide Notes blew me away with ‘Johnny Got A Gun’ before King Mastino wrapped it all up nicely with a great ‘War Is Blind’.

If your not familiar with Dead Moon or any or many of these bands then I suggest you get involved quickly and check this out.  Ghost Highway always delivers quality and this is the latest in a long line and a wonderful journey of discovery it is too now we’ve given you the heads up what are you waiting for?  Get out of here!

 

Buy Tribute To Dead Moon Here

Chaputa! Records

Remaking albums can often go spectacularly wrong as the artist often runs into a barrier that cannot be overcome- the nostalgia factor of fans. Following up the brilliant ‘In Vino Veritas,’ Tyla and his Dogs have unleashed a celebratory new version of ‘A Graveyard of Empty Bottles’ that will be my new go-to version of the album. I know there will be some that will think I have to be wrong as the original version was perfect back at the end of the 80’s. For you, I ask that you approach the album with an open mind and give it a listen. While Tyla also redid the album back in 2012, this version soars above it by essentially finishing what that one started. The 2012 version now sounds like a painting that wasn’t complete with Tyla saying as much in his notes about this penultimate version.

This album originally came with a note that these were ‘soft songs for hard people’ as they were all largely acoustic and the best unplugged album that ever existed. This version contains the same 13 songs that made up the 2012 version and did make me start wondering what people would think if the band had changed the running order. The vinyl version will contain the original 8 songs though which would have likely made it impractical to change the running order on the other platforms. Lead song ‘I Think It’s Love Again’ should have been a hit single back in the day and sounds as magical today as it did 30 years ago. An excellent production and mix allow every instrument to be heard with a nice bit of guitar by Gary added into the chorus here. Tyla sounds excellent and like he is having the time of his life. ‘So Once Was I’ slows the pace (as most of you already know) with the piano (by Scotty) being a nice addition to the darkness and serving as a great complement to the slow bluesy guitar licks. Some haunting backing vocals give the song some additional depth.

Picking up the pace with ‘Comfort of the Devil,’ the band hits an awesome groove with an excellent bass line by Matty given plenty of space to burrow into the brain. This was one of my favorites 30 years ago and has become even better over the years. Back on the 2012 version, I felt that ‘Saviour’ truly lost something in its incarnation there. The additional instrumentation here, especially the prevalence of the piano has created something very special as the pace is increased too. It has a very different feel from the original with it feeling more like a midtempo rock song than the ballad on the original. Simon’s drum work is outstanding, and it provides an outstanding close to the first third of the album.

Old school side 2 opener ’Errol Flynn’ has been a constant in the setlist and for good reason. This version burns nicely with the band in exquisite form. Another one that has been a fixture is ‘Bullet Proof Poet.’ This is another one where the added instrumentation is used to great effect. There is a haunting feeling to the music with the added piano and drums. This paean for Charles Bukowski contains some of my favorite lyrics by Tyla. He paints a portrait of this character with his words that makes him extremely real and relatable.

One of the biggest changes back in 2012 was on ‘When the Dream Has Gone’ which went from a short acoustic song, essentially a coda to ‘How Come It Never Rains’ into a full band song that almost doubled the length of the song. The 2012 version serves as the jumping off point here. Tyla sounds excellent, and the bass line by Matty remains as catchy and sharp as barbed wire. The spacing in the song helps it grow with the refrain from ‘How Come It Never Rains’ being an excellent reward for the listener. Original closer ‘Angel’ has been a constant on my Dogs and Tyla mix tapes and CDs over the years. While I really enjoyed the 2012 version, there is a charm with the original for me that it did not quite capture. The changes they have incorporated here bring back that charm though with aplomb. I cannot even imagine how many times I have listened to this song over the years. These first eight songs by themselves formed a classic album which has lost nothing in this awesome remake.

We received the added bonus of 5 additional songs back in 2012, and those same songs are also included as a bonus here. The piano based version of ‘Just an English Outlaw’ has been even further developed to create the penultimate studio version of the song. It branches out from the 2012 version at the first chorus when the drums and electric guitar make themselves heard. There is a depth to the mix here too that has found me hearing new things with each listen. The guitar work by Gary and Tyla compliments the song perfectly, and it maintains the momentum of ‘Angel.’ When the 2012 version was released, ‘Gone Are All the Angels’ was an immediate hit with me in this format. After hearing only an acoustic version for years, the full band version was a revelation. They have improved it even more here for my tastes. Tyla’s vocal performance sounds like it was lifted from the early ’90s or late ’80s. There is a positive energy in this band that just exudes out of the speaker. It was apparent on ‘In Vino Veritas’ and just as evident here. ‘Died Fore She Got Young’ could have easily got missed in the big shadow of the previous songs as the band slows the pace back down at the start of the song. The pace picks up nicely though as the song progresses. The electric guitar licks are well placed in the mix, and the hook in the song locks onto you like gum on your favorite shoes.

‘Stealing from the Devil’ provides an acoustic bluesy showcase and really serves as the curveball epic to the album. The band plays with a delicate touch that conjures images of dark deserted buildings with only hints of flickering candlelight. The backing vocal really helps take the song to a whole other level with how it is placed in the mix. The story in the lyrics reminds me of local Texas legend Ray Wylie Hubbard. In some ways, I am surprised they did not make this the closer of the album as it casts a very different feeling, but ‘Won’t You Let Go’ then feels like a sunrise coming over the ridge after a dark cold night. There is a tangible warmth in the music that soothes the soul and lets the listener know that things will be alright.

I am quite aware there will be a handful of people that will not take the time to listen to the album and cling to the original. The original is a classic album, but this version by the current Dogs is also a classic that does not copy the original. In some ways, this feels like the electric version of the album as it carries a bit more of an edge. The additional songs add essentially a side 3 to the record and can stand toe to toe with the original 8 songs. It is a special time in Dogs D’amour camp as these 4 gentlemen have amazing musical chemistry. I may need to find a way to change the rules I impose on myself around Album of the Year nominees….

‘A Graveyard of Empty Bottles MMXIX 30th Anniversary Edition’ is available Here   

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

 

When the news initially broke earlier this year regarding this Limited Edition vinyl-only box set that brings together remastered editions of the four studio LPs and a double live album recorded by the original line up of Black Metal gods Venom, I was immediately intrigued.

Add into the mix a further double LP of previously unreleased demos, an exclusive shaped picture disc of ‘Bloodlust’, and a veritable cornucopia of memorabilia that includes amongst other things a stunning 40 page ‘History Of Venom’ hardback book along with (if you pre-ordered it from the band themselves) a 12×12 art print signed by Cronos himself, and before I could yell “C’MAAAAAAAAAAAN TURN IT UP’, I had bought a copy.

I actually received mine at the start of May well ahead of the official release date of May 31st but I wanted to really get to grips with this mammoth set before giving you my verdict simply because with a retail price of £150 this is never going to be an impulse purchase.

As I’ve mentioned the ‘History’ book already let’s begin with a little bit of my own history and how I first heard Venom. It was early 1983 and a close friend (who remains so to this very day) who first introduced me to ‘Black Metal’, oddly via a mate of his who had bought said LP (complete with poster) and as he thought it was shit, he had given it away. It wasn’t really like any of the other metal bands we were listening to at the time other than those noisy bastards Motorhead and Tank, in fact, it reminded me more of the relentless racket created by the UK82 punk bands my other school mates were listening to at the time like G.B.H and Discharge. I have to admit I wasn’t exactly an immediate fan but I did have a copy of ‘Black Metal’ taped for me (there’s a gag in there that I won’t need to explain to old school fans) so it did make numerous appearance on my Walkman over the summer of that year but it wasn’t until June 1984 when I just happened to buy a ticket on the door for the awe-inspiring Seventh Date Of Hell show at Hammersmith Odeon that I fully got what Venom were really all about.  

Picking up the “remastered from the original tapes” splatter and swirl LPs contained in this lavish box set (they all come with reproduction sleeves and inners) I actually begin my aural assault with ‘At War With Satan’ because that was the Venom record I first purchased for myself (on picture disc) at that legendary Seventh Date gig, and here pressed on heavyweight clear splatter vinyl it sounds absolutely magnificent. Okay, the gatefold doesn’t have the gold leaf cover of the original pressing or the original merch/poster inserts but that’s probably just me being a little bit too pernickety as otherwise this is stonking stuff.

I then go back to the band’s beginnings, with ‘Welcome to Hell’ and ‘Black Metal’ played back to back, and here the rumbling bottom end that bursts out the speakers is enough to wake the dead, or at the very least the neighbours. Both LPs come in embossed sleeves (and include replicas of the posters and lyric inners – here reproduced on the inner bags) and are again pressed on splatter vinyl, sounding as raw as they did back at the dawn of the eighties and equally just as ground-breaking.  The only small niggle I have here is my copy of ‘Black Metal’ came with nasty click on the run-in groove to side one, again I may be being over critical here but with the hefty price tag attached to this set I would expect nothing short of perfection.

Which is something I do get with the 74 tracks on offer here that’s for sure, with perhaps the real highlight for me being the chance to rediscover 1985’s (at the time) critically panned ‘Possessed’ LP. A record that has never sounded better than it does here, and coming as it does pressed upon splatter vinyl complete with the original inner bag and a huge poster it’s never looked as good either.

Moving on to ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik’ from 1986 and this double live LP for me has never really cut it, largely because some bright spark decided to leave silences between the tracks, so its not really like listening to a live album at all, and why would I want to listen to the band live just as they were falling apart at the seams when I could simply slip in my almost worn out VHS of The Seventh Date of Hell? The soundtrack of which I have always felt would have been a much better alternative as their official live album. Here ‘Nachtmusik’ is lovingly restored in a gatefold sleeve complete with the inner bags, so I’m sure I’ll get to play it more this time around.

With many Venom fans probably looking to buy this box set just for the 15 track ‘Sons Of Satan’ double LP I have to admit that if this were a standalone release I wouldn’t have been happy paying a top price for it. However, as a piece of Venom history contained within such an absorbing time capsule commemorating the band’s 40th anniversary it actually works well. Initially transporting us right back to 1979 via some very boomy cassette recordings of the band’s first line up complete with singer Christ, this is a world away from the Venom that would ultimately change heavy metal forever. However, by the time we get to the 1980 Impulse Studios demos that make up sides 2 and 3 of ‘Sons Of Satan’ the more recognisable “organised chaos” of the classic Venom sound is all but a few bottles of Jack Daniels away and waiting to take on the world. Something Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon were more than ready to do by the time they released the original ‘Bloodlust’/’In Nomine Satanas’ 7” single back in 1982 and thankfully it is included here as a shaped picture disc exclusive to this box set.

Whilst immersing myself in the satanic sounds of this box set I found the aforementioned ‘History Of Venom’ book to be the perfect accompanying piece, formed as it is from quotes from all the band members as well as being crammed with some of the cheesiest band photographs ever taken. This book for me is where this box set truly adds a bit of (black) magic to the mystery of Venom, as does the memory jogging reproduction tour programme.

Wrapping up the memorabilia part of this set you also get a huge Seven Dates Of Hell poster along with a Venom’s Legions back patch and if like me you order it from the band’s official store (linked below) you also get a very frameable art print signed by Count Cronos himself.

So, is it worth the £150 then I hear you cry?

Well, if you don’t already have these seminal albums on vinyl it most certainly is a must buy. If however you are a hardcore Venom collector and have these albums already a bazillion time over you’ll probably have done what I did and already have this box set filed away in your collection, in which case, “what the hell are you doing reading this review?” Ha!

‘In Nomine Satanas – 40 Years In Sodom’ will take a lot to top in the box set stakes that’s for sure and it once again proves that the devil really does still have all the very best tunes.

 

signed by Cronos Copy Here

Buy Here

Double CD best of book edition Here

Author: Johnny Hayward

Being together as a band for almost 40 years now – I guess it’s safe to say that D-A-D would have to be very comfortable in their own skins to have survived quite so long.
It’s hardly surprising then that ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ the band’s first new studio record in eight years is grounded in this ethos, the band having graduated from their humble Disneyland After Dark cow-punk beginnings into major label arena rock contenders who then, through their own hard work and helpyourselfishness, managed to survive the onset of grunge when most hard rockers perished through to eventually becoming the band they are today and have been since the release of ‘Everything Glows’ back in 2000. An album which coincidently not only saw the band change their name to D-A-D but also saw the band’s newest member Laust Sonne join the core trio of the band (singer/guitarist Jesper Binzer, bassist Stig Pedersen and guitarist Jacob Binzer) behind the drum kit.
So, what does almost two decades of being (this version of) D-A-D actually sound like?
Well, remember those days when new albums by the likes of Aerosmith and AC/DC used to leave you thrilled and wanting more? That’s instantly how I felt about ‘A Prayer For The Loud’, as both those hard rock giants sprung to mind during the first couple of spins, but of course this is always going to be a D-A-D record what with the instantly recognisable rich and raspy vocal tones of Jesper Binzer ever present and ready to strike.
Of the eleven new cuts on offer here at least nine of them are total bangers, pure four to the floor rock n roll music, with even glimpses of the mighty Gluecifer and The Cult (circa ‘Electric’/’Sonic Temple’) creeping into the mix during the simply immense ‘The Real Me’.

The album itself gets off to a blazing start with ‘Burning Star’ and the throbbing ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ and I challenge anyone to listen to either of these tracks and not draw an immediate arc back to the band’s commercial peak (here in the UK) of ‘No Fuel Left For The Pilgrims’ and ‘Riskin’ It All’, two albums that any connoisseur of quality guitar-driven rock music will have had in their collections for decades now.

Elsewhere with ‘Musical Chairs’ which crops up just past the halfway mark, the guys have written the song Airbourne have been searching for since they floundered for a sound to take them to the next level, whilst ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ and ‘The Sky Is Made Of Blues’ are the perfect soundtrack for top-down summer driving.

Of the two slower moments on ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ album closer ‘If The World Just’ is my preferred choice over ‘A Drug For The Heart’ purely because the latter sails a little too close to a certain Backyard Babies track for its own good, albeit with Jesper at the mic this is much more Aerosmith than Social Distortion ballad territory.

Kudos must also be given here to the production team of Nick Foss and Rune Nissen Petersen who have taken heavy hitters like ‘No Doubt About It’, ‘Time Is A Train’ and ‘Happy Days In Hell’ and given then an enormous sound that instantly fills your head with rock ‘n’ roll melodies that will live with you for days, no make that years, to come.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m so surprised by how amazing ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ is because D-A-D have always produced quality albums, it’s just this one is right up there with their very best work and is as a said at the beginning of this review the sound of a band very comfortable in their own skins.

Hands down this is the best classic/traditional (label it what you will) album I’ve heard in 2019.
BUY IT!!!!

Author: Johnny Hayward

Buy ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ Here

When I saw Aussie punks Amyl & The Sniffers live recently, singer Amy Taylor launched herself into an excited and sweaty pit to sing and mosh with her fans for the first of several times…the band had been on stage less than a minute.

Part Yolandi Visser, part Wendy O Williams, Amy Taylor is a tiny, platinum-haired Aussie whirlwind of fun. Along with her mullet sporting flatmates; Declan (guitars), Bryce (drums) and Gus (bass) whom she formed the band with back in 2016. They have steadily been making waves since writing, recording and releasing their debut EP in the space of 12 hours.

These waves have made it across continents since the vinyl release of their ‘Giddy Up/Big Attractions’ EP, culminating with the band recently touring the States and the UK to rave reviews and packed clubs.

 

They don’t fuck around when it comes to music and live they are a high-octane blast of energy guaranteed to incite riots. That riot-inciting attitude is captured perfectly on their debut, self-titled album.

Just look at that goddamn album artwork and tell me you don’t need a piece of that in your life right now? Imagine a mash of The Rezillos, The Dead Boys and X-Ray Spex covering The Breaking Glass soundtrack and you might get close to their sound.

No one is doing late 70’s punk right now with as much balls, as much energy and certainly with as much authenticity as Amyl & The Sniffers are.

 

‘Starfire 500’ is simply one of the best album openers of the year, what a track! It blasts from the speaker with a statement of intent, riding on some out-of-this-world  Ramones-a-like riff. In Sniffers terms it’s an epic beast; Amy’s distinctive, snotty vocals don’t even start until the 1 minute 30 mark.

It’s clear from the off that the band have taken things up a level and they have come a long way since that lo-fi debut EP. While the production has improved, the songs are still full of raw, undiluted garage rock goodness.

If Kylie had been mentored by GG Allin instead of Pete Waterman she would probably have come out with a song like ‘Gacked On Anger’, a furious diatribe set to a wall of fat distortion.

Previously released singles are present and correct. The brilliant ‘Cup Of Destiny’ has a hook that will embed itself in your brain instantly and album closer ‘Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)’ is like some anti ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. A “fuck you!” song to an ex about his new bird (or dog in this instance). Amy even throws in some choice “woof-woofs” for good measure.

The band bashes out 3 chord bangers like they were born to do it, with every track worthy of 7” release, like old school punk classics. ‘Monsoon Rock’ rides on a stabbing Dr. Feelgood style riff before descending into a power trip of Dead Boys proportions. The vocals spat with venom and the dirty guitars delivered with the power of a DC 10. The Stooges-like ‘Control’ is a chaotic, death trip jam, and ‘Angel’ is as close as the band gets to a love song…at least I think it’s a love song, but it sure ain’t no ballad, folks!

‘Got You’ sounds like an early Adam & The Ants b side. Riding on a rumbling bass line and a great chanting chorus, the lead vocals delivered with a most nonchalant punk rock attitude. The accompanying video features the boys in the band on leashes being walked by their singer. You gotta love it, and I have so much love for this tune right now.

 

Garage rock bands are two a penny, but Amyl and The Sniffers are the dirty penny you want to scrub up and keep for good. They have the tunes, the style and the attitude to match. They also have a growing fan base, a ferocious live reputation and now a killer album to boot. How can they possibly fail? An essential purchase.

Buy Amyl And The Sniffers Here

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After releasing their new critically acclaimed album “Shock” in March 2019, Tesla will play worldwide throughout 2019.

The band have a series of European dates in June 2019. The band have just added a UK headline date to their existing June 2019 tour. Details below

Fri 14thJune 2019                             Download Festival, Donington UK
Sun 16thJune 2019                           O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London UK
Wed 19thJune 2019                          Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg GERMANY headline
Thurs 20thJune 2019                       Rock The Ring Festival, Hinwil SWITZERLAND
Sat 22ndJune 2019                            Azkena Festival, Vitoria SPAIN
Sun 23rdJune 2019                           Hellfest Festival, Clisson FRANCE

For Shepherds Bush Empire date tickets are on sale Thursday 28thMarch, 2019 at 9 am GMT HERE

For the New Album ‘Shock’ Pick it up HERE

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Texan singer/songwriter Ryan Hamilton has been on our rock ‘n’ roll radar for a good few years now. We at RPM have been following his power pop goodness since the days of People On Vacation and ‘Hell Of A Day’. So, we were pleasantly surprised and overly pleased when the artists formally known as Ryan Hamilton & the Traitors only went and bagged a record deal with the uber cool garage rock label Wicked Cool Records, owned by the legendary Little Steven.

Joining a label that has released albums by RPM faves such as Prima Donna, Kurt Baker and Wyldlife probably excites us as much as it does them, and being mentored by a NY legend who champions so many cool underground artists can only be good news for Ryan Hamilton & the Harlequin Ghosts.

 

So, a name change, an image upgrade and a debut album usher in exciting times for Ryan and his UK based band of bruthas (and 1 sista). Following the most excellent ‘Bottoms Up/Straight Up’ pink vinyl 7 incher, the band now release their highly anticipated debut long player.

‘This Is The Sound’ follows on where the ‘Traitors Club: Year 1’ EP left us in 2018. And what is clearly evident is that the fine art of a catchy chorus is never lost on Ryan Hamilton. Yep, this album, like his past work, is littered with power pop goodness, quirky vocals, positive energy and an overall message of hope, something that is hard to come by in 2019.

 

The band starts strong with opening single ‘Mamacita’. With a Little Steven penned chorus, this is a classic sounding earworm that will have you singing the chorus on first listen and long into the night. Gloriously addictive and happy go lucky; you would be forgiven for thinking the band has shot their proverbial load prematurely with their strongest effort. But fear not power pop pickers, as ‘Mamacita’ is just a taster and not even close to being the best song on this album.

Like I said, this album has a very positive energy and you can bet your bottom dollar that in these trying times, Ryan will be there for you to raise your hopes. Whether he’s urging you, in pure David Lee Roth style, to “raise a glass and then kiss my ass”, or professing to “bustin’ through ceilings and love you like a superhero” on the brilliant and bouncy ‘Let You Go’, Ryan Hamilton & the Harlequin Ghosts will be with you every step of the way.

‘Bottoms Up (Here’s To Goodbye)’ is a high energy toast to going down with the ship. Full of 90’s Brit Rock vibes and Silver Sun soaked melodies. The band is firing on all cylinders in an effort to remind you all of the good times and promise more of the same ahead. A killer hook and summery vibes, this is a song to wear shades and down cocktails to.

The anthemic title track delivers the kind of euphoric, turn of the Century pop punk goodness the likes of American Hi-Fi gave us. Mickey’s urgent beats help bring the message to the fore, as it builds to a sublime chorus. The feel good themes of the album summed up in 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

 

You can take the boy out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the boy! Fort Worth resident Ryan Hamilton’s roots are still all over this album. The goodtime rock ‘n’ roll of ‘Get Down’ is a bar room boogie that will have you shakin’ and a groovin’ and downing them beers. While ‘All Fall Down’ has shades of Tom Petty storytelling, while ‘Girl vs Monster’, with its mournful slide guitar and tinkling of the ivories, is full of country twang.

There’s a very fine line between cheesy and genius when it comes to radio-friendly sentimental balladry, but these guys have it nailed, hands down. The beautiful chorus in ‘So Gone’ really hits in the feels.  A mixtape worthy song that will urge you to tightly squeeze the hand of the one you love and never let go. And ‘Feels Like Falling In Love’ has hit single stamped all over it, with Donnie Vie like vibes and hazy, lazy backing vocals, for me, its one of the strongest songs on offer.

The album closes on a reflective note with the piano led ‘Won’t Stop Now’. A heartfelt, haunting dittie, full of church hall echo, soaring vocal harmonies and strings that take it up to an ethereal plane.

 

If you are the sort of person that relies on music to get you through the day, let me introduce you to Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts. They have crafted an album of masterful songs that are guaranteed to lift your spirits, make you smile and reach for the play button the second the disc stops spinning.

‘This Is The Sound’ is a very strong album and expect to see it riding high on End of the Year lists six months down the line and with the backing of Wicked Cool Records who knows what the future holds.

Buy This Is The Sound Here

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

As far as soundtracks go this was a no brainer for me.  Having seen the film and always been a huge Bators fan in this day and age I’ll take anything on offer and Danny Garcia did such a great job I can’t imagine a Stiv fan not wanting a piece of this. I know its been a long time coming but its finally here and just ahead of the video or DVD release April saw a RSD special with the soundtrack hitting certain shelves (mainly) through America I know at first I couldn’t get my paws on it over here on Shit Island but thankfully I managed to score a copy off the internet and not too soon the Red 12″ record sort of landed on my mat.

 

Featuring twelve cuts from the likes of Deadbeat Poets, The B-Girls, Lustkillers and Jimmy Zero to name a few its a quick smile at the cover art with Stiv van surfing and the needle drops.  Side one kicks off with the wonderful Deadbeat Poets ‘The Stiv Bators Ghost Tour’ then the wonderful B Girls and ‘Mystery’ before Stivs track ‘Don’t Go Away’ that was previously released on the Easy Action album released a few years ago of the work Stiv was working on before he passed.  I can only presume this is from the very same sessions so would feature Neil X on guitar but I can’t say for sure as there aren’t any credits on offer here it’s just your basic sleeve with tracklist a few thank yous and a nice Red slab of vinyl.

I love the Lustkillers and ‘Revenge’ is an excellent track taken from ‘That which Does Not kill Us’ It’s uncanny that two people could sound so alike and play similar kinds of music but I love it and think ‘Revenge’ is such a good tune. Next up and one that made this a must-have was Stiv performing ‘Evil Boy’ live in Berkely Sq back in 1980. Club Wow performing ‘Nights Are So Long’ is another great cut even if I am more familiar with the Michael Monroe version which he did so well this is a top tune and brings a really strong side one to a finish. Jimmy Zero from the Dead Boys, Jeff West from The Testors I guess it all fits together with Deadbeat Poets with Frank Secich and this (club Wow)  Jimmy Zero and Stiv its a big family at times but it’s not all at the same time.  These songs are such killer songs It breaks my heart to think that only a (relatively) small number of people get to hear them and exposure is minimal especially in today’s quick as a flash musical climate.  I’m always really excited to hear about films like ‘Stiv’ and records like this coming out in the hope that these bands and artists have a lasting legacy and who knows some kids might dig it again and we see a resurgence in some great music.

Anyway, flip it over and side two is more of the same great songs starting with the dark and brooding ‘Paris’ from Jimmy Zero followed by the fantastic ‘You Don’t Go Away’ from Alpha Kitty whilst The Stiv Bators Ghost Tour are back for a second bite with the excellent ‘Room Full Of Strangers’. Danny Fury rocks up with ‘Dark Star’ from his band Tango Pirates before the soundtrack is signed off with ‘To Feel You’ The Primadonna Reeds pure Noo Yawk cool like you didn’t already know that.

 

All in all there is so much good music on offer here and as far as soundtrack records go it might not be the Ghostbusters soundtrack but its got an abundance of great songs by great bands for a great cause and if you have any sort of love for Stiv and his legacy then you need to snap this up pretty quickly before they’re all gone and you won’t be able to find one for love nor money.  Get out of here!

Buy Stiv Vinyl Here or CD Here

Order The DVD of the film Here

Author: Dom Daley