we’ve got an exclusive interview coming this weekend from frontman Matt but to wet those rock and roll appetites here’s their new video
Album Reviewed Here
A lot can change over the course of three years. The debut full length by the Glam Skanks rocked my musical world with its mix of 70’s glam and glitter influences mixed with classic rock, hard rock, and a healthy dose of attitude. After living with the album for quite some time, it became the first review I ever wrote so it carries that special memory with me as well. Since that time, charismatic vocalist Ali Cat left the band during the end of the touring cycle for the album with her replacement Vanessa McNiel joining, and the band continuing to tour. I was shocked at the change because I feel Ali just has “it,” that star quality that so few possess. Vanessa had huge shoes to fill for my musical taste, and I had totally unfounded concerns in my head soon after the change that this would be the end of that special musical connection I felt with the band. My hunch is the members spent the time touring and discovering that they have a great chemistry with Vanessa as well, whose excellence I will champion throughout this piece. Another key change in the world involved the presidency here in the United States and several things that have come to be due to current policies. Lyrically, there have been some changes where the band have some songs spell out exactly how they feel. With ‘Glitter City,’ some of the lyrics dealt more with interpersonal relationships and the bad things that can happen to people when they treat others poorly (‘Karma’ and ‘Bad Bitch’ for example); the band has successfully addressed much larger social issues on this album. The Glam Skanks have come forward to remind us that not only are they one of the best up and coming bands, but they are also one of the best bands period.
A gradual fade in introduces ‘No Way to Live’ which carries with it some AC/DC edge in the verses combined with some 70’s glam accents on the end of the chorus that really give the song more character and a Glam Skanks stamp on it. Veronica stands tall as one of my favorite guitarists as she lays down the riff and resists the urge to overplay on songs. This lead song immediately told me that things would be a little different than their debut. While I have heard their lead single from the album many times, I did my best to black it out while listening to the album. Vanessa gets some open verses to highlight and make her voice known. Her voice fits the band perfectly, and you will be singing along with her by the last chorus. ‘How Do You Sleep at Night?’ features a great riff by Veronica with a nice groove being laid down by Millie (bass) and Jessica (drums). Sound-wise, the band has perhaps channeled more 70’s rock than glam on the album, but this is quite simply timeless in its execution. The chorus on this one is not complicated, but it has enough to become addictive without feeling repetitive. Vanessa uses a combination of power and a lighter touch in her vocal as she encourages the listener to pay attention and take action in the world. Another awesome riff and groove feature in ‘Push and Pull Me (like you do)’ features one of my favorite hooks on the album and provides a great showcase for Veronica to lay down a great guitar solo.
‘Anything in Between’ follows and is another hard rock gem with the band expertly explaining why gender norms are not necessary and up to each person. This is another great chorus that immediately demands to be sung while the guitar riff is part Aerosmith, part NWOBHM (think Def Leppard and not Diamond Head), and pure excellence. ‘Jurassic Snark’ comes from the same musical well as ‘Karma’ from their debut with the slow hard burning blues putting the emphasis on the power. It provides a great close to the first half of the album as each musician gets to shine on this one.
First single/ video ‘Time Warp Woman’ opens the second half of the album, and, while it took a couple listens for me, this is another great hard rock song with another anthem for a chorus. I love that beat that Millie and Jessica lay down with the piano in the mix really highlighting that this song comes from the ’70s by way of today. It is a brilliant melding of musical worlds. The vocals in the bridge are a highlight from the album, even if I wish it stretched out a bit more, as well with the band showing yet another side to their sound. The band then change gears with a slower early Alice Cooper vibe giving way to a sizzling performance by Vanessa on the vocals where her tone and feel recall a big ballad approach. This combination with some tasteful backing vocals give the song a unique approach. It also continues to show that the Glam Skanks are not going to be boxed into any categories. They showed incredible diversity on ‘Glitter City’ and have continued to show they do not want to make songs that all sound alike, but they also all have this common DNA which let’s us know that we are listening to the Glam Skanks. Their albums become a journey where you do not want to just listen to a song or two, you want to hear them all because they all bring something different to the experience. The band bring together decades of rock n roll with the ‘Spirit of Rock n Roll’ recalling many trailblazers from the past, similar to ’29 x the Pain’ by the Wildhearts. The guitar solo comes from the spirit of Chuck Berry with the band also musically recalling everyone from the likes of David Bowie, T.Rex, and Suzie Quatro.
The last two songs go deeper lyrically with today’s social media dominated world being address in ‘Who’s Watching Who?’ where the band questions our goldfish bowl type approach to life. The bluesy groove fits the song perfectly with the pre-chorus setting up a great hook. Veronica lays down another great solo which is short on the album but could be a great opportunity for an extended one live. Final track ‘Land of the Free’ features spoken word style vocals as the current story of the southern border of the United States is told. The band brings many elements to the table here with the initial samples at the beginning and the chorus of voices near the end of the song being joined by some punk spirit that reminds us of how varied and deep the Skanks are in their approach. The closing sample again reminding us of our civic responsibilities to do what needs to be done.
‘Glitter City’ was a landmark debut for me, and I was honestly afraid this album was doomed to fail when the change in singers happened. I have seen drummers come and go in the band more frequently than Spinal Tap, so those changes have not rattled me. The musical combination of Veronica and Millie is quite simply magical. Ali brought with her strengths and contributions which will always be amazing; Vanessa has demonstrated that she fits the band equally well with her own unique abilities. The old adage that a sophomore slump is to be expected because of the length of time artists have to create their debut versus the follow up can be thrown out the door here. The Glam Skanks have continued to grow and develop as artists while creating 10 new songs that do not copy what they did before but instead also provide them with 10 more songs that can be used in the live setting to highlight their diversity. In a year with so many great albums being released this summer, it takes a lot to take up musical residency on my system, but this one has joined the rotation with the likes of the Wildhearts, Poison Boys, Dogs D’amour, Darts, Geoff Palmer, and the Sweet Things. Rock n roll is truly alive and well.
‘Anything in Between’ is available now.
Author: Gerald Stansbury
OK pop pickers here are three proper bangers for you that’ll guarantee to set your Monday off on the right foot. Poison Boys ‘Tear Me Apart’ is taken from their stunning new long player out now on Dead Beat Records and we’re not joking when we tell you these boys are stunning. You’d be a bit daft or Mumford and Son if you ignored them.
Next up is ‘Ship It In’ from those Rotten Foxes. With a 7″ record on its way, this is some low down dirty punk rock n roll that we think you’d be pretty daft to ignore. Even if we don’t recommend thats where to dip your choccy biscuits
Finally, we’ll sign off with this classic that’s just had a 7″ piece of plastic made as the album gets a re-release with bonus tracks n stuff. Not only Kelly but I think we’ve all gone insane- take it away Duncan
Every month we will try to promote the bands who grace the pages of RPM Online and ask that if you do follow us on Spotify then please where possible try and support the bands by picking up their physical music as well as just streaming. We appreciate its a great way to discover new music but bands make better records and earn more from you buying their physical products.
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This month we’ve either reviewed – seen or reported on new music heading our way from some of our favourite artists and this month is no exception beginning with Manchester The Empty Page who has a new track out that we feature this month.
Then Poison Boys have just released their blistering debut album we reviewed here but the album isn’t on Spotify yet so we delved into their back catalogue for this months playlist. But buy the album its a belter (Here).
We also welcome back The Hives with their new single.
The living end were awesome supporting the mighty Stray Cats recently so we included one off their last studio album.
One of my favourite albums this year has been the much-anticipated solo record from Billy Liar. One of my favourite tracks off the album is added to our playlist – simple – beautiful – ‘Independent People’ is awesome and one of the best tunes this month.
Supporting Billy at his album launch is Rich Ragany & The Digressions so why not include the fantastic ‘Your Distance’ from the superb ‘…Like We’ll Never Make It…’
Expectations sometimes provide shocks to the system when things prove to be quite different that what you expected. The Poison Boys have released some previous singles/ EPs and material, which I have loved, and I went into this debut album expecting the album to be a more straight forward up tempo punk n roll album. While it is definitely a punk n roll album at its core, these 12 diverse songs make up an album that is diverse, deep, accessible, and a whole lot of fun. I have been following the Poison Boys for a few years now, and I could not be happier with what they have done here. I can imagine everyone from Chuck Berry to Johnny Thunders wanting a chance to come back and guest on this one.
The title track gets the party started and hits my original expectations as it comes on like a cross between the Humpers and Electric Frankenstein. The mix allows the guitar riffs by Matt Dudzik to pop out of the speakers and the bass (mostly Adam Sheets) and drums (mostly Matt Chaney) hit just as hard. ‘Slow Down’ starts with some brief piano notes before everyone else gets in on the action. The riff in the song feels pretty standard, but the song really connects perfectly. I actually thought about old artists like the Big Bopper here as well as someone like the J. Geils Band as this song compels the listener to smile and enjoy the moment. I can picture the glasses in the air as the crowd sings along to the main hook. Another stone cold rock n roll style classic follows in ‘Cut Right Out.’ If anyone out there remembers the likes of Junk Records, this one would have fit like a glove on their roster with those backing ‘wooohs’ settling nicely in the mix. The beat here carries a great groove, guaranteed to get the hips shaking.
Starting on track four with ‘Empty Heart,’ we start to see the band really expanding the songs. The thundering groove of this epic five minute plus song initially may feel a little long, but this one has proven to be a grower with Dudzik’s charismatic vocals being stretched and pulled on the journey. ‘Downtown’ returns to a fairly basic trash rock standard approach with a simple hook that hits the spot. It feels a bit like the Stones jamming with Hanoi Rocks, especially the way some of the guitar pops in the mix where it gets some extra space. I also love the false ending but perhaps I should not give that away. Wrapping up the first half of the album, ‘Up to the Sky’ opens with some acoustic guitar reminding me of Johnny Thunders before the song kicks in at a midtempo pace on this fellow five minute rocker. The acoustic guitar touches really give this album a wonderful depth. Dudzik’s vocals on the chorus really inspire a singalong, even if you are like me and can’t sing a note.
Flip the record over and the good times show no let up with first single/ video ‘Tear Me Apart’ getting it started at breakneck speed. The vocals really take a backseat here with the verses featuring fewer words, and the electrifying guitar riffs pushed to the surface. The hook in the chorus is sharp, but it is the guitar that has stayed with me the most on this one so far. The piano that is featured here and across other songs will hopefully be replicated in the live setting. ‘Desperado’ features some awesome saxophone and again reminds me of early Hanoi Rocks, right down to Dudzik’s vocals, the tasteful backing vocals, and the way the chorus is constructed. This has been one of my early favorites from the record. Hopefully, the band will get an opportunity to make this a single at some point. Slowing the pace down a bit, ‘True Romance’ simmers along nicely with the groove getting under the skin. The backing ‘woooh’s’ are used again here to awesome effect. When the main chorus hits, it really opens up the whole song with the switch in the dynamics.
‘I Won’t Look Back’ turns the tempo back towards rocket speed with the guitar licks again deserving to be highlighted, but the song itself has been the slowest to connect with me. The band hit trash rock nirvana again with the rollicking ‘Say Goodbye’ reminding me again of the Humpers with the rhythm section nailing this one. Closing song ‘Been Here All Night’ truly feels like it had to be the closer on the album and ends the record on an incredible high. The song shimmies and shakes on the beat with the guitar riffs begging to be played by the listener. Something tells me the guys worked long and hard on this one but knew exactly where it needed to be on the album. It just feels like a celebration musically.
The Poison Boys showcase that there is plenty of magic left in rock n roll over the course of these 12 songs. There has clearly been a ton of heart, sweat, and love used to create this album as these songs drip with the genuine distilled spirits of everything that makes rock n roll amazing. Are the vocals always spotless? Do the instruments hit every note perfectly? Absolutely NOT! This is pure, primal rock n roll the way nature intended. A great summer for music became even better with this album. Recommended? You should have it put it on order when you started reading my introduction.
‘Out of my Head’ is available Here
Author: Gerald Stansbury
“a spiral scratch
gave me my life back
a vinyl solution
ended my confusion
I heard a voice in the noise pollution” – Mike Peters
Since the beginning of Rock and Roll, the 45 has been an integral part of a bands arsenal. Maybe in 2018, it’s not quite the marketing tool it once was back in the 50’s, 60’s and beyond and bands no longer sell hundreds of thousands of the beautiful seven-inch plastic circles. There are however many different ways of letting people know you have a few new tunes available or you might (like me) still be in love with the vinyl single. Here at RPM, we’re going to celebrate the little beggars and let you know what is available in our regular roundup and what’s been on rotation on our deathdecks.
What better place to start than with a good friend and his debut 7″.
Craggy Collyde – Sorry Now (Self Released)
With a two-track release being the format of choice Craggy gets down to business with a pair of fantastic slices of power pop that are infectious and memorable. ‘Sorry Now’ is also featured in the video link below and can be ordered off the Bandcamp site. The lead track is a measured catchy number that has a great power pop feel with some indie undertones sort of Buffalo Tom territory whilst the more sprightly B-side ‘Go Ahead And Break Me’ is a song with a foot in the cowpunk of the Supersuckers but more pop savvy and Craggy manages to rinse out a great guitar break as well. Very infectious and well worth checking out.
Lana Loveland – Strange Charms (Hound Gawd!)
Fuzztones – Garage Rock – psychedelic retro freak out we fuckin’ love it here at RPM.Lana Loveland has the credentials and chops worthy of joining our little club of seven-inch plastic lovers. Being Organist with The Fuzztones as well as being a member of the Music Machine and fronting her own band Loveland certainly keeps her busy and out of mischief ‘Strange Charms’ is the A-Side whilst ‘Web Of Sound’ back things up on the flip side.
Maybe leaving a seven-year gap is quite some time between releases but some things are worth waiting for. Fuzzed out guitars and 60’s pop being the main ingredients here what’s not to like? Over on the other side its hammer time (no not the rapper in the daft trousers but Hammer Horror) its a spooky garage rock mash up and with a modern twist its great to hear someone doing something new with something they have had for years. Anyways Hound Gawd Don’t do bad records we know that much so go investigate and get some fantastic new music in your head just click the link.
Muck & The Mires – Hashtag Loneliness (Rum Bar Records)
Muck and the Mires’ official video for ‘#Loneliness’ from the EP MUCKUS MAXIMUS, available on Rumbar Records: Its power poppin’ baby but has the honking Hammond as well as the classic Rickenbacker twang. You don’t need me to tell you about Rum Bar Records bands and how good they are and Muck are no exception. For latest Muck and the Mires tour dates, go to Website
Poison Boys – Poppin’ Eyes (Bandcamp)
Oh Boy, you just knew that this was going to rock and fucking roll right outta the speakers and sure enough within the first bar I know that I’m having this bad boy. Poison Boys are mainlining Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers and some Chuck Berry and a whole bunch of other golden oldies and along with their brothers from another mother in Crazy Squeeze and countless other great bands they are just nailing it on ‘Bustin Out’ and they shine up the brass knuckles on the altogether more bruising ‘Run And Hide’ that taps into Stiv and his Dead Boys for some down and dirty punk rock and I love it. don’t walk on by brothers and sisters this is the bomb! Now get on with an album before it ends in tears – Poison Boys are killing it – again! Facebook
Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam – ‘Meatloaf To The Camera’ (By The Time It Gets Dark Records)
(pre-order here) The second single from the soon to be released album ‘Black Cowboy’ its all loud guitars and chiming melody like a collision between Teenage Fanclub and The Lemonheads SFL have amassed over a hundred songs and show no sign of stopping just yet so until November 9th this will more than do to pass the time. You can catch the band around the UK in November 02 Nov – The Lanes – Bristol
03 Nov – Sunflower Lounge – Birmingham
04 Nov – The Castle – Manchester
05 Nov – Wharf Chambers – Leeds
08 Nov – The Portland Arms – Cambridge
09 Nov – Rough Trade – Nottingham
11 Nov – Old Blue Last, London
Gino And the Goons ‘She Was Crushed’ (Slovenly Records)
A heady mix of The Ramones and some Lo-Fi X-Ray Spex this has some great loose saxophone playing whilst ‘Got Messed Up’ is a thrash around whilst pissed out of your head kinda tune. There’s no autotune and no overdubs. ‘Wrong Side Of The Cigarette’ is all hocked up on late 70’s lower east side smash and grab punk rock and we love it and so would a youthful Richard Hell. Finishing up with ‘Early Retirement’ just about kicks over the toms and bass drum and takes out the mic stand as well before running off down the street before the cops turn up. Rock and fucking roll alright! Awesome ‘n snotty – Buy It
Les Lullies – ‘7 am’ (Slovenly Records) Oh boy oh boy, it’s like Jerry Lee hooking up with Chuck Berry and snorting two tonnes of amphetamines before laying down this barnstormer. Flip it over and you’ve got the cocksure swagger of ‘Dog Food’ that’s like the Dolls rockin’ out with Angus with a healthy amount of Iggy attitude. Doing France proud and doing it fuckin’ loud! What a great 45. Here
The Cavemen -Burn Out For Love (Dirty Water Records/Mandinga Records) Oh fuck if having an album released in 2018 isn’t enough and some sporadic live action the purveyors of filthy low down and wild ‘n’ dirty garage punk are back in the house with a 7″ slab of frantic rock ‘n’ roll in the shape of ‘Burn Out For Love’ the b side is no hiding place for a shrinking violet because if anything the craziness is turned up a notch on ‘Dancing On The Razors Edge’ and what a beautiful racket it is too. Click the link to sample these exotic fruits and then pick up a copy its a banger!
Well, folks, there’s got to be something in there for everyone unless Black Metal is your thing? Worry not we’ll regularly round up singles here and if a black metal band has something to offer then we’ll cover it. Forty-Five RPM indeed.