Public Eye’s second album ‘Music For Leisure’. Written in the wake of the US presidential election in 2016, and surrounded by the sinister political voices that seemingly felt legitimised by Trump, it’s the sound of fury, Boredom, Alienation, exercised through repetitive solid basslines, raw guitar stabs that loop (‘Awful Questions’)  and a production that sounds cold at times and angular, sharp and isolated. Arty punk if you like videos that would be black and white and feature urban landscapes apartment blocks and concrete you know the drill.

Formed in Portland, Oregon in 2016, Public Eye’s membership takes in three-quarters of notorious punks Autistic Youth,  vocalist Nick Vicario delivers his words through a one-paced tone it remains melodic taking a leaf out of Joy Divisions Ian Curtis’ book (possibly) as he remains impassive throughout its tastefully melodic stuff.  There is a certain amount of metallic industrial Buzzcocks going on as well like the borrowed licks on ‘New Years’ which is totally early Shelley and Diggle.

The vibe might be one of worry about how the world is turning to shit due to all the right-wing nonsense we’re currently experiencing in countries around the globe and not just America which helps resonate these songs. It’s not a warm fuzzy record but a jarring jolt and they encapsulate that on the excellent ‘Lost Dog’. I guess they’re preaching to the converted here because I can’t imagine a Make America Great again trucker hat-wearing no to immigrants or let’s help the less fortunate is going to gravitate towards a record of this nature anyway.

It does soften and the mood isn’t always one of despair honest! ‘Neat Machine / Red Flag’ is a great mid-paced song with great arrangement and I love the bv’s and gang vocals on the chorus. If you want to escape the madness tracks like the lo-fi riffs of ‘The Fiend’ is basic and simple but that doesn’t take anything away from the energy it creates. Certainly, the second half of this record gets warmer if you know what I mean and the penultimate slab of black and white ‘The Duet’ is excellent with its rolling bassline taking centre stage before the headfuck whig out of the saxophone comes crashing in. It only leaves the decidedly frosty but strongest track on the record ‘You’re Being Laughed At’ to wrap this up all the best bits of this record all poured into one three and a half minute song.

If all else fails and we’re indeed heading to Hell in a handcart thanks to governments who only serve themselves then we’ve got a pretty decent mixtape for the trip and this would make the cut.

Bandcamp

THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE
DIAMONDS
UK TOUR 2021

28.07.21  YORK Fulford Arms
29.07.21  NEWCASTLE Cluny
30.07.21  EDINBURGH Opium
31.07.21  GLASGOW Ivory Blacks
03.08.21  MANCHESTER Night People
04.08.21  NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
05.08.21  WOLVERHAMPTON Slade Rooms
06.08.21  BRISTOL Exchange
07.08.21  LONDON Garage
tickets and information
flagpromotions.co.uk / ticketweb.co.uk / fatsoma.com

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, Canadian post-punk goth act The Birthday Massacre have been forced to postpone a November 2020 UK tour to promote their new album, ‘Diamonds’, which was released in late March. All nine shows have now been rearranged for the summer of 2021, as per the itinerary above.

The tour will be the first opportunity for UK fans to see two recently installed group members, drummer Phil Elliott and bassist Brett Carruthers, perform with the band. Carruthers is also the frontman of fellow Toronto-based act A Primitive Evolution, who released an excellent album of industrial tinged rock entitled ‘Becoming’ on Metropolis Records in 2018 and have remained an ongoing concern.

After a 35+ year hiatus from music, Rob Moss recorded an album of 14 proto-punk-inspired rock ‘n’ roll songs, featuring 14 different lead guitarists, including:

Bob ‘Derwood’ Andrews – Generation X
Nels Cline – Wilco, Nels Cline 4
Don Fleming – Velvet Monkeys, Gumball, Dinosaur Jr
Franz Stahl – Scream, Wool, Foo Fighters
Billy Loosigian – Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band
Mario Monterosso – Tav Falco’s Panther Burns
Marshall Keith – The Slickee Boys
Brian Gay – Government Issue
Stuart Casson – Smash Fashion, Dove, The Meatmen
Saul Koll – The Lovesores

In addition to top lead guitar talent, Spit Stix (Fear) drums on two songs and Francesco D’Agnolo (also of Tav Falco’s Panther Burns) plays piano on another.

If Rob’s name is familiar it’s because he was a member of Government Issue and Artificial Peace — two iconic Washington, D.C. hardcore bands.
Looking to get back into the rock ‘n’ roll game, Rob called up old friends and friends of friends to record an album of new material. While a bass player in his past, Rob now plays rhythm guitar and sings lead vocals. From the opening proceedings of ‘Babble Tower’ to the curtain call of ‘Rock n Roll Is Dead’ Rob turns in an impressive array of songs from the confident punch of the opener, Rob calls upon his friends from back in the day to lend a hand and help out a Rock and Roll brutha and the array of talent does just that.
The list of guitarists lending a hand is impressive which also adds some colour to the palet of Robs straight up Dead Boys meets Social Distortion old school punk n roll. Chris Rudolph lets off some steam on ‘Babble Tower’ and straight into ‘Ugly Chair’ that has Rob drawling on a Lou Reed vibe with Saul Koll bending the six strings like a good un.
We take a slight detour on track four and wander through the Coops garden picking up a lick here and a shuffle there sounding like prime time Alice Cooper band is never a bad place to find oneself. Stuart Casson is the player who lends some Roll to the Rock that’s being cooked up. ‘No 48 Crash’ is solid 70s glam as a tip of the hat is made to the lady in leather who no doubt inspired the groove.
If you want another change of gear ‘Oxygenate’ has some classic rock swirling organ for good measure.  I must admit I always love me some sleazy rawk n roll with a snotty dash of punk rock swagger and ‘Real Fine Kitty’ might be generic but I love it and its strut all that’s missing is the horn section tooting surely Rob had a Memphis horn section in his little black book?
Brian Gay turns up for a little tip of the Johnny Thunders handclappin’ rock and roll on ‘A Maltese Falcon’ and when a record has too much Johnny Thunders licks on it I’m tapping out as well.
The track I anticipated the most was the final knocking with Former Gen X band member Bob ‘Derwood’ Andrews who to be fair plays the song and doesn’t use it to jerk out a bazillion notes where they’re not needed and besides he has the cowbell going on as well and when has a record ever had too much cowbell? Exactly.  Andrews is a fine addition but cmon guys ‘Rock and Roll Is Dead’?  Never, not on my watch and not on the watch of Rob Moss & Skin Tight Skin either.  If you still believe in punk rock and roll with swagger and plenty of ’70s inspired glam rock then what are you waiting for hit the link and pick it up.
Pick up the album Here

Think post-punk think Joy Division, think a band who loves making a fuckin’ racket, barking like a dog and general anti-social antics like Pavement jarring rhythms riffing on Queen Zee songs.  Think Idles think Slaves think Wonk Unit think Queen Zee for sure It’s out there but just a little further.  Oh and of course Steve Lamacq loves em.

The collection will be the band’s first physical record and includes new single ‘Role Model’, as well as previously-released singles ‘Seeking Arrangement’ (Permanent Creeps), ‘Gayboy’ and ‘Total 90’, plus their limited edition cover of Peaches hit single ‘Fuck The Pain Away’, previously only released on a decomposing peach. Put that in your promotional ideas pipe and smoke it…

The quintet have released music irregularly, starting with a three-track EP in 2016 and then following on with a series of singles beginning in 2018. After the release of the EP, the band played constantly in their hometown and in London, honing their craft and growing together as a unit, waiting almost two years before hitting the studio again to record their follow-up, ‘Seeking Arrangement’.

DITZ released their single ‘Total 90’ at the tail-end of 2019 (the first for new label Alcopop! Records) picking up plays from BBC Radio One, The video for the track—which sees the band face off against a team consisting of members of friends from Slaves and FUR—was made to highlight discrimination and inequality within football. It was shot at The Dripping Pan, official ground for Lewes F.C. since 1885, and sees the band wearing Altrincham F.C.’s Football vs Homophobia rainbow coloured kit. They were also illustrated especially for the single release by badly-drawn sticker duo Panini Cheapskates. So whilst they might not have been prolific in recent years they are making up for it at the moment and might well ride this wave of enthusiasm from the likes of the Beeb.

The thumping bass throb is incredibly primal and on tracks like ‘Gayboy’ it hits you right in the chest and those guitar chords sound like riding a fuckin monster that’s awoken from a particularly nasty nightmare. They’d have fitted in nicely with the 90’s nomeansno and the Fugazi crowd who must have also been an influence?

‘Role Model’ is like a false intro before the huge avalanche of noise which is fleeting which only leaves that Peaches cover which I might add is nailed within an inch of its life. They should go on tour post-pandemic with Cabbage I think I’d enjoy that one.  check em out, kids that’ll piss off anyone who lives within 200 feet of your stereo no joke.

Website Label Page Here

 

Dropping this baby onto the virtual deck and what leaps out in opener “Stop everything” is a sound grounded in the underground, hinting at punk, fuzzed-up rock “ala” the MC5. Does it move towards the new genre that I seem to hearing about everywhere “Action Rock”, I don’t think so, even though this will appeal to anyone with more than an affiliation to the underground. No, it draws on a much richer musical tapestry, but ultimately pinning your ears back and screaming “LISTEN TO ME!!!!!”

 

Next up “No Money, No Peace”, moves up the intensity, there’s a hint of the much-missed Stiv Bator’s sneer, but blink and you’ll miss it, this ain’t prog in any way shape or form.  Moving into “How much will this affect us” and things get a darker heavier feel, that bass run holds you, before the guitar demands your attention, I really like this track it’s a real burner. “Worlds within a world” hits the raw fuzzed up psychedelia of the fuzztones, while at the same time kicking it up the arse, with that incessant punk underpinning.  “Language Lesson” comes tearing out of the speakers, that iggy and the stooges madness taking centre stage, this is a blinder, but for once I’d have liked it a bit longer!!, “Slow Shadow”, moves to a very different beat, more commercial? Dare I say? Yup, it would make a cracking single, this just drips fuzzed-out psychedelia, dropping into 13th-floor elevators territory, complete with the space rock exit!

“The Process” kicks in with a tasty Tribal drummed intro, before it takes off and moves you on a very different path, this is rapidly becoming a fave for yours truly. “Strange Melody” again revisits the psychedelic sounds of the sixties, but with an added pop sensibility reminiscent of The Only Ones.

 

It’s at this point you begin to realize how good an LP this is, crammed full of ideas, honing a musical heritage, taking hints of the past, reimaging them for a current listening audience. I’m starting to drift here but I’m as always thinking about how this will play out live and smiling to myself. Maybe these years Camden Rocks?

 

“Shark Bait” again grabs you from the start, holding that crossover vibe, hinting at a more commercial line, there’s an almost gothic Guitar underpinning and extra to this track.  “Some Colours”, “No Barriers” and “The People I see” maintain the power and intensity, “No Barriers” in particular mixing up the vocal style and again rapidly becoming a favourite, while “The People I see” moving into territories held up by The Ruts.

 

Finishing up with “For Barbara Dane” an acoustic gem with an underlying message, think The Kinks meet the Subways!!! Before the lp plays out with “The American Empire”, I love this Hardcore blast and what a way to finish up a powerful LP from a band that I’ll look forward to picking up on the live scene, and definitely an LP I’ll be investing in.

 

Find Dealing With Damage at WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / BANDCAMP / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM / YOUTUBE

Author: Nev Brooks

 

Animated video to fan-favourite and album highlight “Never Fight A Man With A Perm”. The video was put together by the team behind Fluffer Records (Al Brown, Russell Taysom & Stella Belle Hex) who have said the following about the concept:

“The idea for the “Never Fight A Man With A Perm” video came directly from the lyrics of the song and how it tackles the subject of toxic masculinity. Using a British take on the classic arcade beat ’em up platform game seemed like a cool way to put this across visually.”

 

More info:
http://www.idlesband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/idlesband/
https://twitter.com/idlesband
https://www.instagram.com/idlesband/

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?