It’s always great to come across an act like the Dogmatics, new to yourself and a complete revelation. With an air of East Coast Replacements about them, with rockabilly elements and enviable songwriting skills. Much like the aforementioned Mats, you come to the conclusion: how have I, or indeed everyone never heard of this group.
Now you’ve got the picture, let me introduce you to “Poor and Infamous”, the second long-player from these four Gothenburg gutter deviants. The record that’ll get you safely through the rest of this Covid craziness.
From full-throttle opener, “Demi-God” to sleazoid closer “One For The Road”, “Poor and Infamous” is an ass-kicking classic. Think early ‘copters (obvs), think classic Motorhead and you’re almost halfway there. Where ever there is !?!
Lead single “Ain’t No Doubt” is everything The Backyard Babies used to be, totally Total 13 and a bang on dyed in the wool classic. Check out the video.
“You Had It Coming” gets a little Mick Taylor-era Stones groove on, while “Chasing Dawn” pummels you in the ears into submission.
The distorted bass intro to“Put A Price On My Soul” is pure Boss DS1 magic courtesy of the legendary Sunlight Studio. Tomas Skogsberg’s production is spot on, the man is the Phil Spector of the garage punk metal universe.
“Desperado” is a monster. A face-fucking distorted onslaught.
“Subterranean Twist” reminds me of the early Scumbag singles (check out US compilation “Fast Track Big Pack” if you missed them).
“Highway Blues” calls on those super sexy bass tones again. Not as full on as its “Poor and Infamous” bed fellows but it’s a tune that BYB would kill for.
“Trouble City” is pure Motorhead magic and “Dead Man’s Hand” ain’t no slacker either.
Rounding things off with the aforementioned Sea Hags-tastic “One For The Road”, “Poor and Infamous” is simply the bollocks.
Pre-order the album Here on limited transparent magenta vinyl, regular black vinyl or on ye-olde traditional CD.
While you’re at it grab the US comp “Fast Track Big Pack” along with debut album “Speed”. You won’t regret it. Guaranteed !!!
Author: Frazer Munro
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.
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.
Kool name that to be fair. How was I ever not going to open the file with a name as good as that? But hey don’t even bother searching for their Facebook profile or their Instagram pics of them with cats and dogs n booze n birds coz you know it’s not ever there right? Right!
Sixteen snotty fucked off punk rock tracks for your delectation with minimal mix, no autotune, no studio trickery just blistering stabs of short and sweet punk rock that’s what Kool & The Gang Bangers offer at the altar of Punk Rock.
‘Night Of The Living Deadbeats’ is the Ramones playing Dead Boys it’s as simple as that kids and if you’re looking for the ray of sunshine I guess you won’t find it on ‘Hate Your Guts’ or ‘This City Sucks’ nor are you finding a rainbow on the snotty ‘Full Of Shit’. However, you can pogo and you can chew on the inside of your gums whilst shaking your head along to the beat, that’ll comfort you.
These Swedish punks have got a natty line in raw riffola and catchy lyrics but it’ll take a few plays to tune into the lyrics so low down in the mix they are on times but that’s perfect for the attitude and it doesn’t take a lot of concentration to get into each song seeing as almost everyone is under one and a half minutes from start to finish ‘Drag Me Around’ even has a spot on guitar solo. But wait ‘Rats Crawl Back’ tips over the two-minute barrier almost the perfect TOTP length but that’s never going to happen (mores the pity). Hang up the phone reminds me of when The Hives kicked off with a good hook over a repetitive riff ‘cept this is far more punk rock.
’15 Minutes Of Pain’ starts on the bass and to be honest I wasn’t even sure there was one on there previously such was the raw lo-fi racket being kicked up. The album saves the best til last as ‘I Hate The World’ wraps up proceedings. I might leave it an hour before hitting repeat I might go out and pick some flowers or run through a field just to prove that it’s not all bad maybe I’ll cwtch a puppy or feed some birds then when I’ve had a tit full of being nice I’ll play some more ‘Feel Bad Music’. Maybe you should too.
Buy ‘Feel Bad Music’ Here
Author: Dom Daley
The story of the RATBOYS goes back to the summer of 2008. In epic Def Lepard and Guns N Roses lengths of recording breaks, The Ratboys have taken their time between albums to let the first one breathe haha!
Truth is the band fell apart and it took them until 2017 for Vincenzo and Eric St John to reboot the RATBOYS. With little success at first until finally in early 2019 guitar slinger James and new drummer Reno entered the pictures.
Within a couple of weeks the sophomore album “Click” was recorded and, like the first album, it was mixed by the one and only Pierre Vervloesem. Proceedings get underway with their homage to the one and only Ramones with ‘Everybody Loves The Ramones’ which is a fair statement and using ever Ramoneclone trick in the book voila! a song is born. The retro crunch of ‘Swimming With The Sharks’ is more of the same to be fair with familiar Ramone like melodies its uptempo but with a mixture of Sweet glam thrown in for good measure which is the MO for the album I guess with various degrees of separation from the likes of The Heartbreakers and other sleazy Rock and Rollas thrown into the mix at various junctures.
‘Listen Closely To Your Heart’ has that johnny and Walter trade-off going on which is never a bad thing at all. The band change gears throughout the album with songs like ‘Summer School girl’ being more power pop and laid back it adds the classic power-pop jangle whilst ‘Stand Up And Fight’ is straight outta The Boys songbook with added attitude and a bit of a kick.
After a brief venture through Motor City territory, we end up at ‘The Golden Age Of Trash’ and one of the best tracks on the album as the band stray off the power-pop path and take a trip through the mid ’70s Mott like glam which makes for a really good tune. They introduce a swirling keyboard to proceedings on penultimate track ‘Leave Me No Choice’.
Whilst it doesn’t break new ground its a really solid album blending all the components I love from power pop to punk rock to ’70s glam its great to hear bands like the Ratboys kick out the jams and I hope they continue to evolve and hope its not another decade or two before they follow this one up.
Author: Dom Daley
Italian rockers Bravata released their debut album ‘Pray for Today’ in May 2020 – as with so many bands, a very unfortunate time to release an album. However, the result is an accomplished, catchy collection of songs.
The Lecce-based band seem to effortlessly mix 70s American rock and roll with British-style Brit pop and beat, perhaps most notable in the song ‘Magpie’. There’s as much to remind me a little of New York Dolls as there is Suede, but the delivery is certainly not as hard as either. Offering up well-crafted songs with a laid back delivery, the album chimes easily from one song to the next, making each one a delightful pill to swallow.
It’s an easy album to get hooked on. While it’s punk rock and roll that drives it, it’s heavily layered with pop melodies and harmonies. The garage-infused title track is about as hard as it gets, whereas ‘I Don’t Know’ has a great The Cure-esque lead guitar hook and multiple harmonies. ‘Generate’ carries a bit of a darker sounds and definitely a highlight on the album.
Bravata traverse a lot of complementary genres to achieve these thoroughly enjoyable 10 tracks. They certainly do know how to craft a decent song or two.
Buy ‘Pray For Today’ Here
Author: Craggy Collyde
This fully restored and expanded set from Woolwich Coronet This 2020 version has been newly remastered and includes several tracks that were left off the original release! Includes all-new artwork with full liner notes and a personal message from drummer Rat Scabies !
Available on both digipak CD and a 2LP vinyl set in your choice of either RED or BLUE vinyl! I had this when it first came out many moons ago and loved it. It captured the band at the time perfectly. whilst they might have been at a commercial career-high the studio albums were a bit beige around the time of MCA but live they still had it and that tour was a blaze of fun.
Expanded to nineteen tracks this is well worth tracking down and getting hold of from the opening keyboards of ‘Curtain Call’ they were on fire. The quality of the recording is good as well not overdubbed nor flat this is a picture of a band living it large and doing it well. As you would expect there is a decent smattering of tracks from ‘Phantasmagoria’ and ‘Shadow Of Love’ particularly sound great. As does the much-maligned ‘Grimly Fiendish’ that I quite enjoy hearing live these days and back in the day or the mid-’80s to be precise it was quite a departure. It seems odd to hear tracks like ‘There’ll Come A Day’ played so fast and full of energy. that tour with The Fuzztones was exceptional and I have such fond memories of Cardiff New Ocean Club.
‘Gun Fury’ makes me smile as does the version of ‘Lust For Life’ 1985 seems like yesterday but its also so long ago. when the Damned could have been and should have been we are left nuggets of pure Gold like this recording to remind us that it doesn’t matter what happened commercially because they were always the best and still are capable of amazing shows and the odd record that ignites a fire inside my heart and it seems odd to hear them end the set with a one two of ‘Disco Man’ Val Doonigan style followed by a rip-roaring slash of ‘Born To Kill’ If only all bands were this good. Don’t think twice just buy it and revel in it. Fiendishly good!
Author: Dom Daley
So here it is boys and girls, the seventh (or eighth if you include the ‘Hooray! Hooray!’ compilation) studio album from those lovable punk rock anti-heroes Dirt Box Disco and it’s also their first since the departure of singer Weab.
With news of the frontman’s decision to leave the Disco sending shock waves through the punk rock community back in early 2019 masked guitarist and songwriting dynamo Spunk Volcano decided (with the help of his bandmates; Maff Fazzo on drums, Deadbeat Chris on bass and Danny Fingers on guitar) that the time was right for him to step forward and grasp the microphone with both hands and ‘TV Sex Show’ is the result.
I guess some of you will probably be thinking, “oh it’ll just sound like Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions now”, and yes, on one of two occasions like on the foot to floor mosh pit fight starter ‘VDTV’ and (the first of two bonus tracks on the CD version) ‘Tizwatitiz’ you might have a point, as both of these tunes could (to my ears at least) very easily have been written as Eruptions songs. But, and this is huge BUT, within the context of the fourteen songs (there’s twelve on the vinyl) on ‘TV Sex Show’ this is still very much a Dirt Box Disco record.
Kicking off with ‘Unstoppable’, this a song that is destined to be an immediate live hit. It actually reminds me in many ways of ‘Rum & Cola’ from the band’s ‘Are You Ready?’ EP released back in 2011. It’s a rousing call to arms, a song of solidarity, and a clear message that Dirt Box Disco are not going to be messed about with almost a decade into their career.
‘Insomniac’ which is up next is where ‘TV Sex Show’ really shifts up through the punk rock gears though, and coupled with the trademark Volcano/Fingers six string chugger that is ‘Barebones’ I have to admit that after thinking I might well me doing a Judy Collins by now and asking “where are the clowns?, send in the clowns”, I’m not, and this has to be down to the strength of the songwriting with the likes of ‘I Want Out’, ‘Reminisce’, ‘3 Bottles Down’ and ‘Bitch Full of Stitches’ being some of the catchiest songs the band have ever recorded, and I’m not joking when I say that the Disco sound positively supercharged during the likes of ‘Dickhead And Hype’ and album closer (well if you have the CD anyway) ‘Wake Up’.
There are a couple of tunes that I’ve still yet to fully get my head around, namely ‘The Count of Monte Cristo Lives in San Francisco’ which whilst insanely catchy still has the ominous spectre of ‘Reminisce’ looking over its shoulder, and the same could be said of ‘Ain’t Life Grand’ which is the LP closer that has me thinking I’ll have to buy the CD too just to hear ‘Wake Up’ which really is this set of songs very own ‘Dirtbox Days’.
It would have been all too easy for Dirt Box Disco to have called it a day after Weab left, but it is to Spunk, Maff, Danny and Chris’ credit that they have risen to the challenge by releasing their strongest set of songs since their err.. legendary 2012 album ‘Legends’. So, my advice to everyone is get off your arses check it out sharpish. Pre-sales for ‘TV Sex Show’ are live right now via and if you want to secure one of the mega limited 500 only vinyl LPs you best get your skates on and get clicking the linky.
Buy ‘TV Sex Show’ Here
Author: Johnny Hayward
It’s always a good day when The Zuglys drop a new record of any description. A bunch of Oslo natives kicking out the jams on their terms – dancing only to their own tune GBZ as we like to call them, are a force of nature and you need to let them into your life it must be pretty empty without them, that’s all I can assume? Besides I’m declaring right here right now that this is the finest Deathpunk album since ’98s ‘Apocalypse Dudes’ which is quite some gap.
Album number four (or five if you include the compilation of early releases) it would be fair to say that Zugly are one of the best-kept secrets in all of punk rock land. How? Fuck knows is often a few words we use to describe the phenomena or just that people generally haven’t got a clue what’s good for them. Over the next few paragraphs, I’m hoping to either put you off music for life or help persuade you to click the red words below and go investigate this band of maverick noisemakers.
Right, let’s do this. ‘Algorithm & Blues’ contains thirteen songs of varying levels of intensity mostly stressful full-on in your face punk rock Oslo style without compromise or a hint of wanting to conform to reach a wide audience of nodding dogs who wouldn’t know a good tune from a puddle of piss. The opening track is ‘Welcome To The Great Indoors’ which is nice. It begins with some Angus like scales working out up the fretboard before the rhythm section joins in building up to the crunch point then bosch! We’re off as the guitars pin you to the back of your seat and we’re careering downhill at a frantic rate of knots. Fuck this is how to kick off your album. Ivar Nikolaisen leads the charge with his uncompromising vocals and what a thrilling four minutes that was.
Forget Turbonegro and Kvelertak this is how to rock out 2020 style. this is where the bar gets set, these are the leaders and others will just have to follow, simples. ‘Fake Noose’ is intense and has a really haunting melody through the vocals it’s like audio crack it’s that addictive but then when you tackle the subject of elected dying and going to Switzerland to do it its gotta be a little intense right?. The quality charge continues as ‘Staying With The Trouble’ is up next with its triumphant guitars and pop-savvy melody on those backing vocals its a lighter side of The Zuglys for sure. Have they finally decided to sell a little of their soul for success and chart acceptance?
After the slight interlude of ‘Follow Your Dreams’ were right back at it hammering away on ‘Kings Of Inconvenience’. ‘The Man Behind The (Oxygene) Mask’ is the Zuglys on top of their game it’s bold, it’s grand, it’s epic. It gallops from the off (no great shock there to be fair) but the melodies happening are fantastic and the more you play these songs the more things jump out you didn’t notice on the last play and this song is one of the best examples of that. Remember what you thought when you first heard Turbo knock out ‘Apocolpse Dudes’ well, this is like that.
‘Fuck Life…But How To Live It’ is hardcore heaven. Uncompromising and just full of boundless energy like the Beastie Boys tackling early Black Flag. The second single off the album ‘Corporate Rock’ is anything but. Hounding out fake bands with a huge riff that belted out like a 30lb hammer landing on your temple. I’m standing firm behind these boys they know the score!
‘The Kids Are Alt-Right’ is tackling the hot potato of today’s global politics but I hope they’re wrong on this one I hope that Hope Not Hate prevails and the Kids are alright and our children don’t head down a wormhole of Trump and tory hate for anyone and everything except money and not 90% are nihilists. C’mon Oslo’s finest offer us some hope? whilst there is a darkness I have to believe the kids are generally all right.
Blimey, for some light relief from the last one ‘Fuck The Police’ raises the alarm, Doh! bollocks lets go with them. Use the intro to inhale then prepare to enter the pit as the intensity escalates. “Fuck, Fuck Fuck the Police” if you can’t beat them join them. That my friends is pretty much where we get off this trip except for ‘Requiem’ and its one last hurrah! Rounding off an absolute belter to kick-off 2020. The Good The Bad And The Zugly are everything you want them to be they make you think, Smile, Laugh, break things, give yourself over to the noise they make, be grateful you have them in your life and you also have impeccable taste in hardcore punk rock and roll Oslo style.
As they said it themselves on this record “Don’t tell me that the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon” Go The Zuglys I’m rootin’ for you to break on through. Let’s make this go overground! Just go Buy it! it’s because you’re worth it!
Buy Algorithm & Blues Here
Author: Dom Daley