We love pop culture here at RPM so why wouldn’t we be all over this bad boy.
When does a genre of music become overground? How many records do you need to sell to stop being underground? All questions plenty of genres deal with day in day out and year in year out. From the origins of Ska to today there have always been plenty of bands skanking it out. Politics or just goofy misfits acting out Ska covered it all.
‘Pick It Up! Ska In The 90s’ just about covers a whole scene with the movers and shakers playing their part and covering the story in detail. A thoroughly enjoyable movie that gives the back story and takes on all comers using the people who were in the trenches from Tim Armstrong narrating to No Doubt being included along side the big players from The Specials to Operation Ivy to Reel Big Fish and Blink 182 right up to today’s players like Aimee Interrupter.
Focusing on the 90s explosion this film is a great two hours of musical education thats a comprehensive coverage. Regardless of if you like or love or can’t get into it at all its a really engaging flick. I particularly like how fondly and honestly the main players talk about the scene. When it went from the top of the scene right back down to going underground its a great story and the flow is really good.
As far as music films go its watchable and informative cramming a hell of a lot of detail into just over an hour and a half its great to see the likes of Roddy Radiator getting screen time to tell his story alongside how No Doubt broke out they give props to the likes of Operation Ivy through to Rancid and their contribution. who knew Goldfinger played 385 shows in a single year! Amazing stuff.
Someone describes it as like a pendulum swing and I like that because its spot on from grunge to ska punk to nu metal back to rock to indie and back round again. the endurance of some of the bands like The Slackers and Rancid has no doubt helped bands like The Interrupters and Bar Stool Preachers who are coming through and will be the next generation to challenge the BossTones and thats cool and as it should be and to see The Specials and Neville Staples filling halls in 2019 is awesome.
Check this film out its like a ray of sunshine in dark times and the soundtrack is really really good. Put on your pork pie hat and get skanking you know you want to.
Out and out heavy fucking metal. No bullshit, no fuckin’ around just heads down Hard rockin’ noise in the tradition of heavyweights Motorhead and early Sabbath. But and that’s a big but this is the creation of a pair of punks. Released early summer this seven-track slab of vinyl is an absolute blast. From The opener ‘Crackdown’ to the final distorted fade out of ‘Dragdown’, this is something of a throwback and the best old school heavy metal, hard-rockin’ record you’ll hear in a while.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Satanic Overlords album that breathed new life into a tired and on its knees genre of music and like London busses as soon as one arrives another isn’t far behind and thankfully Charger don’t so much as open the door and walk through they blow it clean off the hinges. I guess having their “day Jobs” in other bands its a chance for them to just do something for pure enjoyment without too much pressure for it to be something to make ends meet and the fact they set it all up to have fun and enjoy the songs it shines through in the record that they love turning things up and just making an absolute racket because they love it and nothing else like I said no bullshit and nobody to please except themselves.
Like a Charger ‘Crackdown’ is a muscle car with plenty of punch don’t get in the way or you’ll get mowed down its got the hammer down on the drums and that Freeman bass rattle is a killer combination. sure its got plenty of Motorhead happening but it’s just picked up the torch and is traveling at speed with it. the playing as you can imagine is exceptional you can raise the horns kids as this is how to play heavy metal.
Its not about playing a varied assault on the genre remember it started as some fun between mates but I suspect once the music took hold they were breathing fire and wearing spandex with their gauntlets and denim cut-offs. ‘Victim’ rattles along with some great interplay between bass and the guitar as they reach the chorus. unlike a lot of their peers in this genre this trio don’t let any tune overstay its welcome and as soon as Freeman has finished his bass workout on ‘Damage’ and the Sabbath wave washes over us all the albums longest song clocks in at a progressive sub four minutes.
Pedal to the metal for ‘All Kings Must Die’ that get turned up a notch or two as we ‘Pray For Light’ as we head into the home straight theres still time for some fist-pumping as ‘Fall Out’ is like a tribute to Neat records wrapped up a West Coast minute. It’s almost a pity that Sounds magazine isn’t still with us to report on this one but a top tune all the same.
To finish I did wonder if there would be a little bit of Maiden happening and ‘Dragdown’ is it. With a tip of the hat to DiAnno era Maiden Charger know what to do and with a familiar gallop it’s like Burr, Stratton and DiAnno have found their spiritual brother in 2019.
What a refreshing take on a tired genre Charger is a blast, a kick up the backside, twenty minutes of unbridled fun so strap on the bullet belts and let’s get ready to Rock!
Buy Charger Here
Author: Dom Daley