Love em or loathe em you can’t ignore them. We happen to love em so here you go you mongrels it’s Amyl & The Sniffers with ‘Some Mutts’
Next up we have the brand new video from Henrys Funeral Shoes ‘High Shoulders Everywhere’. ‘Smart Phone Rabbit Hole’ is the album that it’s taken from which is Released everywhere on 20th September 2019
Finally, this haunting offering from The Prophets Of Addiction closes off this rainy days collection of new video releases
We all remember a time when hard rockin’ guys walked the earth and MTV was happy to have programmes dedicated to genres of rock outside of Led Zep or AC/DC and then Grunge was alleged to have almost made a whole scene extinct apart from a few outposts that kept the faith well, 2019 and some of those people who remained true to their roots have come crawling out of the ashes of the past and are once again proud to drape a scarf over their mic stand and wear their attire like they were born to rock rather than some work clothes and sneakers like they’ve just walked in from working on their car. Babylon Shakes are one of those bands – no not work clothes and oily clothes but a band who remember when Tyler and Perry rocked or when Faster Pussycat had the strut on Sunset Blvd.
Without a hint of irony, ‘Exile To The Velveteen Lounge’ can and will be compared to that Debut Faster Pussycat album or pre MTV Aerosmith because that’s where they are coming from or strutting from. Take the second song ‘Sunset Striptease’ its certainly got that sleazy Joe Perry riff happening and the song is a rollicking good time and the fact they are happy to hit that cowbell like its going out of fashion is marvellous. It’s sleazy, loud and a bloody good time and it keeps it rock n rolling and not falling into that cheesy metal field. I think the fact they are wearing their influences on their sleeves and its stretching back into the ’70s for inspiration rather than the 80’s makes this record authentic and above all the songs whilst often have cliched lyrics are pretty decent.
The production is big but it’s not Bon Jovi big and they keep it real without the temptation to add studio trickery or lush keyboards ‘No Pictures Please’ could be The Sweet and it’s impossible not to reference classic Faster Pussycat on songs like ‘Velveteen Liberteen’ and possibly add to that a hint of the Dogs D’Amour swagger.
Similar themes crop up throughout the rest of this album and they don’t stray from their tried and tested comfort zone and there’s nothing wrong with that being a loud sleazy Rock ‘n’ Roll band is alright with us and I thought I’d got away without there being the big soft ballad but then ‘Star In Your Eye’ crawled out of the speakers like it’s 7 am and they’ve just got in. It’s a decent arrangement but I’m not convinced it was needed but hey that’s one opinion.
Leaving just ‘Motel Lights’ to rock this bad boy home and with a great rumbling bass line, it certainly does that. I like Babylon Shakes and this album is a very decent affair now if they along with label mates the Prophets Of Addiction can kickstart more bands to follow suit then we might be in for a resurgence of a genre people said was gone forever but we know better folks and on this evidence so do Babylon Kicks. Good Work fellas good work!
Try this for size and if you’re sitting on a tube or subway train turn it up so everyone can hear it. Beautiful!
If you need to chill after that then you might like to check out the new video from The Prophets Of Addiction
Try this for size. zeke drummer Donny Paycheck has another band on the go and this is them. Cutthroat Brothers and Barbers…No I won’t spoil that seeing as Fraser has a review on RPM this week of their album but this is a little sneak peek ladies and gentlemen I give you…
Ever felt like a band truly had the misfortune of being dropped into the wrong musical era? You listen to an album and know that there would have been a much higher chance of commercial success for the band. All that said, it can be pretty awesome as a fan as we feel like we have this cool secret band that others would not understand, and you meet some really cool people along the way because they are also awesome enough to get “it.” Prophets of Addiction strike me as a great example of this as I listen to this acoustic-based album and know that some people would be totally put off by this album but then those same people probably don’t get Johnny Thunders either so I wonder about them anyway…. As Lesli Sanders and Glenn Gilbert have travelled across this world recently playing acoustic sets, this album provides an awesome studio souvenir of these shows.
The first thing to make clear is that Lesli Sanders has a very distinctive voice that reminds me of several singers such as Tyla (Dogs D’amour), Daniel Lucas (Boss Caine), Jesse Malin (DGeneration), etc. There is a gruffness, often a low baritone, and a clever slur to the words that serve the songs extremely well. Lead single and video from the album ‘American Dream’ makes the perfect opener from these songs as it features a strong quick hook, and some outstanding guitar work by Glenn Gilbert. There is a playfulness to the lyrics as Sanders looks back nostalgically on some old debauchery. The added piano really adds a nice touch as well. The tongue twister ‘Altar of Altercation’ follows with an extended acoustic guitar riff intro that loses some of the magic found in the electric version of the song. I catch myself each time thinking that I would rather hear it on an electric guitar. ‘Babylon Boulevard’ meanwhile sounds great stripped down in this format recalling something from one of Tyla’s acoustic albums. The dark ominous tone works perfectly in the acoustic format with Sanders rambling style vocal working perfectly with the music. Gilbert nails a brief well picked solo.
The band brings back some good time feeling vibes musically on ‘Talkin.’ Lyrically, Sanders tells us about someone that you just can’t talk to because they turn everything against you with some subtle ‘oooh’s’ added in parts. The guitar solo by Gilbert fits perfectly. Keeping a good time beat flowing, ‘Last of the Words’ is another of my favourites on here with its lyrical hook being extremely deadly. This really feels like we are lucky enough to be sitting in the room with the guys as they just start playing. The addition of the piano here again works perfectly and really adds some magic to the song.
Flipping the album over… at least figuratively since that didn’t work with the iPod… ‘Spare the Bullets’ brings us another solemn song that works extremely well because of its contrast with the end of side 1. Sanders sounds extremely fragile on the chorus with this being another song that should really appeal to others like myself that love Tyla’s acoustic works. At nearly 5 minutes, this is an awesome epic. Following that one was never going to be easy, and it didn’t initially help that ‘Hollywood’ was an early release song that didn’t connect strongly with me. It has improved with multiple listens, but the jangle of the music and the hook just don’t quite do it for me compared to the other songs here. The gentle ‘Atmosphere’ hits me hard though, and I can imagine that anyone who might have been chatting at a live show shuts up here. Sanders sounds like he is pouring out his heart (to borrow a term from another performer). The very minimal orchestra type backing works perfectly.
‘Heart of Mine’ keeps the momentum going and reminds me a bit of Michael Monroe going acoustic. Ironically, I have tended to prefer the verses to the chorus on this one for some reason, but this is simply quality acoustic rock n roll. Wrapping up the record, ‘Return the Smile’ gives us one final huge musical moment that is lifted by the resiliency in the lyrics. The initial darkness giving way to a message of hope and strength. I catch myself putting this song on repeat at the end of the record before I play it all over again. The chorus is simply beautiful.
Prophets of Addiction have crafted a fine addition to their catalogue with this acoustic album feeling a bit like ‘A Graveyard of Empty Bottles’ by the Dogs D’amour. At 10 songs, the album seems to pass by extremely quickly even with a couple of longer songs here. Sanders and Gilbert have done a great job of recreating the majority of these songs in this format with the only moment I caught myself wishing they had done something a bit different was on ‘Altar of Altercation.’ Don’t be surprised if this album becomes your late night favourite first and then bleeds over to the morning. As I mentioned at the beginning, some will not get this record at all because it is not flashy, hip, or current. I will gladly take these songs from the gutters, back alleys, and dives that bleed passion, heart, and soul as they infuse my spirit.
The Sunset Strip has been a buzz this year with stellar returns from the classic hard rock artists that made the strip .. well … the Sunset Strip! We just saw music by Kingdom Come on stage the other night, LA Guns returned with a new album release, Tesla and Warrant just played through Agoura Hills – it’s been tremendous to feel the music one more time. For the true American hard rock die-hards, what started with the fashion of Jim Morrison and his bare chested, steel belt buckled leather pants bad boy image that evolved into an endless list of artists including all the rarities fans collect on old cassette tapes to this day – that street has seen it all.
Lesli Sanders, the embodiment of what real bubblegum fanatics call the last man standing, rode alongside every major label hard rock icon from the era of hair spray – Guns n’ Roses, Warrant, Poison – ahhh, the ever poppy Pretty Boy Floyd; yes, Lesli was there. What began as a literal explosion of sound had looked like riding an endless wave of girls, cars, money and parties that people still talk about now, yes, decades later … it just didn’t last.
Sanders stood on stage at the Whisky when it was alive, and he stood there again as the dreams of every young rocker on the planet saw the life they know fall under the oppressing fanfare of grunge. The tide that carried in the music that made our lives quickly swept down Sunset and off into the ocean somewhere down around the Santa Monica Pier. If you lived it – you know what this means, and if you didn’t, then you know what it means to have missed the boat.
It was perfect. It was amazing. It was Hollywood.
Lesli Sanders didn’t quit the music. He did, however, quit the drugs, the booze, the parties and the lifestyle that every hard rock local was privy to. He got in a car and drove back to Seattle and straightened out his shit! Then, as any musician would do – he started to write for his passion of expressing himself and not for the girls and glam. He wrote songs! Flash forward to last year’s single – “Take Me To Your leader.”
In and around April 2017, Sanders rounded up friends from his era of debauchery and mapped a route across the US, ready to kick ass in any club that would take ‘em. He put together a band, packed his gear on wheels and performed shows coast to coast. Some of the shows were electric, some of the shows were acoustic and all of the shows brought back the edgy, glammy, and passionate music that Sanders has crafted throughout his career.
It was perfect. It was amazing. It was Hollywood.
The album is aptly titled “Nothing But The Truth.” it’s being released on October 26th through Bill Chavis’ HighVol Music and you can follow for details here:
It features 10 hauntingly poignant songs that speak from the voice of a soul that flourished and suffered on the Sunset Strip and lived through an industry of broken dreams, stolen opportunities and character building that has made Sander’s unique in his music, and our lives.