Is it really six years since the last album from Bristol thrashers Onslaught?
Wow, how time flies eh?
Perhaps more shockingly though is the fact that 2020 also marks the 35th anniversary of me first getting to hear the band via their awesome self-released debut album ‘Power From Hell’.
Throughout the intervening years and with a myriad of band members passing through their ranks one thing has always remained a constant for me, and that is the simple fact that Onslaught always have been and perhaps always will be the UK’s number one thrash metal outfit. Likewise, the one band member who has been the driving force (see what I did there?) behind the band’s career is guitarist Nige Rockett, and here on the band’s seventh studio album he is joined by long standing bassist Jeff Williams, drummer James Perry, guitarist Wayne Dorman along with new(ish) vocalist Dave Garnett who had previously stood in for then frontman Sy Keeler when he was unable to play live back in 2019.
I must admit the thought of a Keeler-less Onslaught did initially have me a bit worried, I wasn’t exactly blown away by the Steve Grimmett fronted line up and when the band initially re-grouped back in 2005 it was a joy to see Keeler back alongside his old bandmates.
So, where my concerns warranted?
Well, if videos premiered by the band mid UK lockdown were anything to go by perhaps not. ‘Religiousuicide’ was/is like an unsuspected stab in the eye from a band sounding hungry and angry as fuck, whilst ‘Bow Down To The Clowns’ sounds like a lesson to all the Bay Area bands still thrashing in how to take your A game to a whole new generation of headbangers. Garnett I must admit rising to the challenge and then some.
One listen to album opener proper ‘Strike Hard Strike Fast’ (which shoots straight out the blocks after the scene setting ‘Rise To Power’) will immediately have you windmilling and throwing horns like there is no tomorrow and to follow this with the aforementioned ‘….Clowns’ really does make for as impressive an introduction as you could hope from Onslaught in 2020.
‘Generation Antichrist’ fits nicely into the gap in the thrash metal world left vacant by the recently semi-retired Slayer whilst ‘All Seeing Eye’ feels not unlike a 21st century reboot of the mighty Priest’s ‘Electric Eye’, well in the subject matter at the very least.
‘Addicted To The Smell Of Death’ continues the breakneck pace of the record with gang vocals cementing the band’s toxic call to arms. ‘Empire’s Fall’ is up next and this for me is perhaps the sound of Onslaught at their finest, seamlessly blending old school rifferama with a slightly more modern melodic chorus, this is a song that actually makes me want to listen to metal again…something I don’t say too often these days.
Closing things out we have a reworking of the band’s 2019 tribute to Motorhead ‘A Perfect Day To Die’ this time around with Garnett barking out the vocals and making it the almost perfect way to end the record.
‘Generation Antichrist’ is perhaps Onslaught’s finest album since their 1986 thrashterpiece ‘The Force’. So, Trash Till The Death brothers and sisters – this beast of a record is OUT NOW!
The DeRellas – ‘Inner City Rock ‘N’ Roll’ (Rockaway Records) produced at Perry Vale Studios by the legendary Pat Collier. Set in a world of isolation, this is a frantic underworld of Trash as The DeRellas set their time machine for the Bowery and a table booked next to the Dolls and Bowie. Its brash and the most in your face dirty punk n Roll the band has ever sounded and its a gas gas gas! Timmy and Luca dish up an appetizing dish of Inner City Rock ‘N’ Roll its a dash of glamour in a seedy dark nighttime world thats just been set on fire and this is the soundtrack blairing across the city. The new album ‘Something’s Got To Give’ will be out at the end of 2020. so until then this will be Available on download at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc.,
Stevie R. Pearce & The Hooligans – ‘Rip It Out’ (Self Release) Rip it out for Rock and Roll! Stevie R Pearce & The Hooligans are in the house kids and they’re locked and loaded with a truck full of huuuge Riffs as this lead track set to be released later this month testify being locked up has fueled the fire of a beast of a band who are ready to Rock. Big stomping Riff with a super steady rhythm pounding away as Stevie swings from hushed vocal verses to the soaring chorus. Rock is not dead and a global pandemic can’t stop this juggernaut. Get ready kids its a coming! Pissed off and ready to let you ‘ave it!
Volcanova – ‘Sushi Sam’ (The Sign) Volcanova released an interesting and amusing music video for the single “Sushi Sam”, the first taste of their upcoming album “Radical Waves” out August 21st. Facebook
R.M.F.C. – ‘Reader’ (Anti Fade Records) R.M.F.C. (or Rock Music Fan Club) is the brainchild of 18-year-old Buz Clatworthy, who writes, performs and records all of the group’s output himself in his bedroom in South-east NSW.
The project began in late 2018 after showing a friend a demo, in which they encouraged a proper release. A hypnotic rhythm rattles along, an extremely listenable tune that has a great raw guitar hanging in tune by a thread but as the Buzzcocks type tune also hums with a sweet keyboard. Not an instant hit to be fair but worth investing in for sure.
Nico Bones – ‘Cheatin Heart’ (Dead Beat Records/ Wanda Records). We occasionally miss a great release and for that, we can only beg your forgiveness. Originally released late 2019 this Cali based bunch of punks showed up on our radar when Dead Beat picked it up and put it out in this month’s releases. Nico Bones plays a blend of American Rock ‘n Roll influenced by the sleazy original punks like the Heartbreakers, Dead Boys, and the New York Dolls. The first song sounds like an upbeat Ramones outtake circa 1976… rambunctious and rockin’. They follow it up with 3 more cheatin love songs with snotty vocals, supercharged leads, and catchy melodies that sit somewhere between Johnny Thunders, Stiv Bators, Sonny Vincent, and Jeff Dahl. Facebook / Bandcamp
The Hip Priests – ‘ZFG 2020’ (Shitpark Records) Nothing new going on you say? well, you might be half right but this is the 2020s latest line up of The Hip Priests taking to task one of their finest songs, ‘Zero Fucks Given’. What was already an absolute banger of a tune one of their finest I don’t mind admitting. Is it possible to love a track more? possibly. This sounds huge and I mean colossal huge but not production huge. It always had that Stooges groove but I’m sure if Iggy were to hear this he’d doff his cap and prob ask if he could cover it on his next album and bow out on top. In recognition of what was built on the Stooges foundations this raw pissed off anthem is still a fuckin’ beast. On the flipside is ‘Social Hand Grenade’ taken from the bands last album ‘Stand For Nothing’ and it seems and sounds more apt with every passing day. One of the albums standout tracks (on an outstanding album it has to be said) With a limited number of these available you have to be quick to jump on this one as the gang of believers grows with every passing day. One day they will blow up and explode on the wider public. Shit Islands finest are back in the groove. Facebook
Mäsh – I Don’t Want You’ (WandaRecords) Facebook /Bandcamp Alright let’s go! a sloppy twelve-bar Quolian riff gets proceedings off to a flier and by the second verse they’re running through the Chuck Berry guitar lick 101 handbook and we’re down with that all the way. The song fizzes like a good un and is catchy as hell. Love the breakdown all it needed was more handclaps and possibly some cowbell and it might have become the blueprint for all future punk rock n roll sleazy singles but we also understand you don’t want to shoot your wad early doors and keeping something in reserve is cool. The B Side ‘Whisper’ is like a really good Diamond Dogs tune I’m sure Sulo would be down with these cats as they shake their shit on another top tune. Rock and Roll can’t always be serious or dark sometimes its fun and living in the moment and Mäsh have got it going on and even double denim is cool as fuck just like this singe is.!
PizzaTramp / Incision – ‘Split’ (Self Release) Imagine being bludgeoned to death by a blunt weapon but quite enjoying it as long as it doesn’t hurt too much and doesn’t last more than 3 minutes. That what this Split is like. Repeatedly smashed on the head by a few guitars and a bass drum pedal and some throat-clearing its not painful though and it’s quick but like I say its enjoyable. Two songs each and Pizzatramp win by virtue of being Welsh and their two songs last a progtastic four minutes but fair play to Incision ‘Jennifer Anniston’ is fuckin’ brutal. Buy Here
Wonk Unit – ‘Summer Time/You’re Sick’ (Plasterer Records) Laugh I nearly went to Ethiopia. Fair play to Alex and the gang this is a fuckin hoot. One of if not the most surreal and barmy summers ever now has a soundtrack. Maybe inspired by the likes of Blue doing ‘Girls and Boys’. Part dance euro-pop trash but obviously with a huge dollop of Wonkiness. “Sexy boys sexy girls touch yourself” had me holing I have to be fair. but once it’s in yer noggin’ it’s not leaving any day soon. To cleanse the palate for many is the classic slice of Wonk with ‘You’re Sick’ bringing up the rear. With a steady beat and familiar caustic guitar riff-a-ram Wonk Unit knock it out of the park as they say in ‘merica Buy Here
Godfathers – ‘I’m Not Your Slave’ (Self Release) The Godfathers’ brand new, double A-side – ‘I’m Not Your Slave’ & ‘Wild And Free’ Available in limited edition, clear red vinyl single & also limited edition 4 track CD that features the 2 songs, plus demo versions of both songs unavailable in any other format!! pre-order NOW only from Here This release is for the 35th anniversary of the band’s existence. From the iconic debut to this, there has always been a recognisable sound with crisp, driving guitars and a tight rhythm section and its pleasing to say ‘I’m Not Your Slave’ has all the hallmarks of a classic Godfathers tune. The other side is a steady anthem in the shape of ‘Wild & Free’ following a healthy linage of rockers with attitude from the gang vocals in the chorus to Coyne’s spoken vocals its got groove but I tip my hat to the guitar soloing that’s on display here. Interesting times as the next chapter of The Godfathers unfolds.
The Mercy Kills – ‘Alone’ (Golden Robot Records) Melbourne’s THE MERCY KILLS release their newly remastered single ‘Alone’. The track is taken from their debut album ‘Happy To Kill You’ and has been remastered and re-released as a single for those reaching out digitally in COVID-19 isolation. The message is simple, “You can’t make it alone!” Mixing up the influences of the likes of L7 from the Grunge heyday along with something more rock such as Faster Pussycat with attitude born from the likes of The Ramones. Facebook
The Dust Coda – ‘Early Days – Raw & Unplugged’ (Self Release) In this almost surreal pandemic world, the band decided to brush the dust off some old recordings and release a collection of four acoustic tracks, which will give fans an intimate listening experience. This EP further unveils The Dust Coda calm soothing acoustic works. Each song as gentle as the previous with an almost Southern rock warmth akin to the lighter workings of The Black Crowes sound and style. Throughout the EP mellow guitar riffs combined with the gritty vocals are the key elements setting the scene for an intense acoustic journey. Electricity was used to power a guitar but not a lot. Chill out in the sun and socially distance kids this retro southern rock will do the job. Facebook
Larkin Poe – ‘Back Down South’ ( ) Featuring guest appearance from fellow Nashville musician Tyler Bryant this is another slice of Southern Roots-Rock with some really strong vocals all round and with subtle swirling Hammond thrown into the mix it’s not just about the cotton-picking guitar licking as it approaches the crossroads from the fuzzy slide, these sisters have got it going on with a tune thats got an air of extreme confidence it never breaks out remaining laid back right to the bitter end. Taken from the forthcoming album ‘Self Made Man’ this will only add to the expectations of the long player.
Onslaught – ‘Religioussuicide’ (AFM Records) U.K. Thrashers present their new single ‘Religiousuicide’, The song is taken from the upcoming album ‘Generation Antichrist’, which will be released in August. ‘Religiousuicide’ marks the debut of new vocalist Dave Garnett who recently replaced long term frontman Sy Keeler. They’re not reinventing the wheel here kids its Thrash Metal as we know it and its exercised to perfection from the rumbling gutwrenching bass to the pneumatic drumming Dave Garnett settles in nicely as the guitars buzz around the speakers towards the dueling solo. thrashtastic and you know it dives bombs rapid tapping, frantic double bass its all here present and correct and it also has the gang vocals – job done.
Dead Horse – ‘Night’ The first cut from Londoners Dead Horse EP released next month. Dead Horse formed in 2019 when former Love Buzzard frontman Kevin Lennon (bass/vox) returned to London from Brighton, meeting up with long time bandmates (Rumour Mill/Kids From K Hole) Duncan Clark (drums) and Josh Kemp (guitar) via a mutual interest in garage rock/punk, old and new. Facebook