Alice Cooper must be one of a very rare breed in rock ‘n’ roll. Having now written and released music across seven different decades, I bet if you polled his fanbase for their favourite era or albums, the results would probably encompass most, if not all, of his many different career phases.

 

Me personally, I love the original Alice Cooper band albums (along with some of his mid and later era albums like ‘Special Forces’ and ‘Dirty Diamonds’) and of those records, it’s ‘Killer’ and ‘School’s Out’ that are my own go-to’s whenever I truly need to rekindle my love of Alice’s extensive back catalogue.

 

This rather conveniently brings me to ‘Detroit Stories’, an album that not only sees Alice return to his hometown and Alice Cooper band era roots, but also sees him fully reunited with producer Bob Ezrin, the man behind the desk for both of those old Alice Cooper band records I love so much.

 

Written and recorded using only Detroit based musicians (albeit with the exception of guest guitarists Joe Bonamassa and current AC band mainstay Tommy Henriksen) the fifteen songs that make up ‘Detroit Stories’ are what Alice himself refers to as being ‘Pure Detroit’. With the crack team of musicians assembled around him boasting the likes of Wayne Kramer (guitarist with the MC5), Johnny ‘Bee’ Badanjek (drummer with the legendary Detroit Wheels), Paul Randolph (legendary Detroit jazz and R&B bassist) as well as the Motor City Horns, they all help to build on the formula that Alice first tested out with his 2019 ‘Breadcrumbs EP, and in turn are all helping him create perhaps his most diverse set of (luney) tunes in quite some time.

 

As with ‘Breadcrumbs’ a few of these songs turn out to cover versions, like the excellent album opener – Alice’s version of Velvet Undergrounds’ ‘Rock And Roll’. However, what Alice does here (unlike with the covers that he does with Hollywood Vampires) is he really makes this song sound like one of his own. I mean you could be forgiven for thinking that ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ is actually an Alice song, or that it was at perhaps written just for him.

 

‘Go Man Go’ is the album’s first Cooper co-write and having been originally included on the aforementioned ‘Breadcrumbs’ EP the almost punk-like swagger of this tune might actually come as something of a surprise to some of Alice’s more hard rock biased fans who are yet to hear that EP, however knowing just how many punk rockers were originally influenced by Da Coop it’s great to hear him re-engaging with that rougher 70s spirit once again.

 

Likewise, ‘Our Love Will Change The World’ is also something of a surprise – not least because it’s a pretty faithful retelling of a 2008 penned Outrageous Cherry tune – and as such it sounds not much like Alice and much more like a latter day John Lennon song, one that bounces around on an optimistically youthful refrain. Some AC fans have already voiced their dislike of this song since it was first aired back in late 2020, but I like it as it fits perfectly within the jigsaw puzzle of songs that make up the complete ‘Detroit Stories’ picture.

 

‘Social Debris’ is up next and that finds us very much back on more familiar Alice Cooper band territory (featuring as it does Messrs Dunaway, Smith, and Bruce), albeit I just can’t get out of my head how much this could be a song written for an in his prime Ace Frehley. And talking of KISS on ‘$1000 High Heel Shoes’ AC once again proves that anything Starchild can do he can do better, as this delicious funky soul jam has seemingly already earned the moniker of one of the oddest songs Alice has ever recorded…well it is I suppose if all you have ever heard by AC is ‘Poison’ or ‘Trash’.

‘Hail Mary’ and the 2021 reboot of ‘Detroit City’ (originally on Alice’s 2003 ‘Eye’s Of…’ album and featured again on the ‘Breadcrumbs’ EP) return things to Alice’s more modern day upbeat hard rock territory before the sleazy blues jam of ‘Drunk And In Love’ and the high kicking ‘Independence Dave’ both once again usher in the anything goes attitude of those ‘70s Ezrin produced albums I mentioned earlier.

 

The Cooper, Dunaway, and Ezrin penned ‘I Hate You’ is another fantastic sonic curveball, as is the almost showtunes-y ‘Wonderful World’. Both tracks giving the mid-section of ‘Detroit Stories’ a couple more “WTF” moments (and I do mean that in the most positive sense too).

 

As ‘Detroit Stories’ enters its final four chapters the inclusion of MC5’s ‘Sister Anne’ and Bob Seger’s East Side Story’ are the only times when I’m left thinking that perhaps they were best just left on ‘Breadcrumbs’, largely because the original Cooper tunes that they bookend in ‘Don’t Give Up’ and ‘Shut Up And Rock’ just sounds so much more interesting. It’s the only tiny gripe that I have with ‘Detroit Stories’ though, as four years on from ‘Paranormal’ and with everything else going on across the world right now it’s just an absolute joy to get to grips with such an upbeat and positive sounding Alice Cooper record.

 

Oh, and talking of ‘Paranormal’ if you are fortunate enough to get one of the expanded formats of ‘Detroit Stories’ you will also find a DVD or Blu-ray copy of Alice’s A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris’ concert film included as part of your package, as the great man wants us to experience this show in the safety of our homes. A truly wonderful gesture from an artist who with ‘Detroit Stories’ is proving he is still one of the greatest storytellers the rock world has ever had.

 

Long live Alice Cooper!

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Author: Johnny Hayward

Its been a while since RPM first made contact with Montreals The Dangereens who describe themselves as,

“The most elegant-decadent rock n’ roll unit of the 21st century”. which is quite some boast, However, when we heard their long player ‘Tough Luck’, it was obvious they actually have the tunes to back this up. When everything settles down maybe the world at large will finally have the chance to see for themselves if this just a case of idle promises or The Dangereens are indeed the real deal.  What the world needs right now is some glamorous, decadent Rock and Roll so we reached out to lead singer Hugo to find out who the hell are The Dangereens and why should we check em out and for Hugo to introduce us to the world of The Dangereens.  So, Read on and get excited for The Dangereens…
Firstly, ‘Tough Luck’ (the album) was recommended by one of the writers here at RPM Online, and when he said the magic words “there is a hint of Hanoi Rocks in here” I knew I had to order the record.  I did and he was right. So with that in mind where would you say you sit musically on ‘Tough Luck’?
Quite frankly I don’t believe that Tough Luck should be examined as a whole (in terms of musical genres), but rather as a collection of songs that draw from various influences. There are touches of 70s glam rock, punk, power pop and southern rock, 60s garage rock, 50s R&B and rock’n’roll, 40s boogie-woogie… So, you know… I guess I’d describe it as a “glitter rhythm and punk” effort… Then again, I’m not too good with labeling my own shit. I’m sure you’d do a much better job at it 😉
How long have you been together as the Dangereens?
About 4 years
What about influences and what you wanted to achieve with the ‘Tough Luck’ long-player?
Our influences are as numerous as they are scattered… Some of the guys like 80s hard rock, heavy metal and other types of mustache music that I know nothing about. Personally, I like 3 chords, light-hearted love songs, tear-jerking outcries and obscure rock’n’roll moronities… Anything that moves and grooves, you know? One thing we all agree upon is that it’s gotta be soulful, it’s gotta have that swing, and it’s gotta sound like us. I guess my role as the leader of the gang is to take that harder edge from the other guys and make it snap, crackle and pop so that at the end of the day, every song’s a groover. I really focus on a song as a song, and not as a part of a concept or anything like that. How our album ended up sounding like an album (with a common thread and a continuation in the themes) really beats me! I still don’t know how we pulled it off…
What was the process for writing the record?  Is there one main writer and how does it roll as far as jamming the songs in a rehearsal room or is there a set method?
There is a main writer: me. Now is probably a good time to introduce myself. I’m Hugo and I’m the singer. I also play rhythm guitar on the album. That being said, I’m not alone in this band, and I cannot overstate the importance of the role that the other guys have played in the writing process of this album. I like the idea of working really hard in the beginning of a project on elaborating an aesthetic and a sound that gathers (or at least tries to) a common side of every member’s personality. Once you’ve built that core, then you can start slacking and drinking, and still the songs will come pouring like it’s the monsoon.
About the writing process now… So I come up with the words, the chords and the vocal melody and I show it to the guys, and I guide them roughly towards a certain way of approaching the song. Once I see that everyone understands how the song should be approached, it’s really not mine anymore… As long as we all respect the song, I’m happy. Sometimes one of the guys will come up with something brilliant I haven’t even thought of. This is proof to me that the song lives and that it can speak, and that is always a good start. Oh, and this all has to happen in this crappy (but cheap) room we use as a jam space, and as quickly as possible. If too much effort or talking is required to get there you probably oughta let this one slide until the time is right.
As far as the process for recording the songs is concerned, we really focused on how that “core” should sound by jamming 3 times a week and by trying to build it with raw-live-off-the-floor energy. Even there, we still got to the studio unprepared and had to deal with a bunch of last minute freak-outs, but we pulled through gracefully (in my own opinion). How we managed to do that is beyond me as well. I believe in my heart that rock’n’roll is about sensibility, and that’s not something you can prepare or train. I guess that what I really mean is that rock’n’roll is about laziness (haha).
How have you dealt with the release with touring being off the agenda?
We had absolutely no idea things were gonna freeze like that… We figured we’d release the album a bit later than expected (May instead of April), but still in time for the summer. We thought we’d be out of this shitshow by then… we were wrong. I guess that’s why we’re musicians and not global medical analysists… analysisticians?… analysts? (haha)
Is there any music written for a follow-up?
Oh hell ya! If there’s anything good about this pandemic, it’s that it pushed me to write new material. We’ve got about 10 new songs now that we can’t wait to share with y’all!
You preceded the album with a pair of tracks ‘Lucky In Love and Holy Water,  why were they left off the album?  They are two totally different numbers and show a real maturity in the writing and I love a saxophone in my Rock and Roll and Jay plays a major part in the sound?
The label we’re affiliated with for distribution (ALIENSNATCH! Records) suggested to take them out. They were initially supposed to be on the album. I agree with you that they add a certain depth to the band’s repertoire as they are slower songs. We might reissue the album including the 2 singles one day…
 
Blue Jay is a wonderful guy. We love working with him. He comes from a jazz background and everything he added on the album came out naturally. We hope to work with him on future recordings.
The album has a classic feel to it but also sounds fresh and versatile.  Do you have a particular track that you love?  If I was to tell someone about this new band I’m playing called Dangereens what would you suggest I play them and how would you describe it?
Thank you! We love working with old-school material like tape machines and 60s transistor soundboards because they force you to commit to decisions. The entire album was recorded on analog devices and I guess it gives it this naturally compressed and warm sound which we now consider “classic”. I don’t want to get into the details of analog recording because it bores the daylights out of me, but I can say it also made the recording and mixing process a whole lot faster because we’d rarely go back to fix mistakes (mistakes are a crucial part of the Dangereens’ sound) and because we didn’t need to colour the sound with a bunch of VST’s or anything like that. During the mix, it was mostly a matter of making certain things shine a bit more and leave other things in the background and Ryan Battistuzzi made a phenomenal job at that.
 
About my preferred numbers, usually, my favorite song is the last one I wrote. Having let some time pass now, I’d say my favorite ones are Microwave Boogie for the story-telling type of lyrics and the general delivery of the band, Love Jive for the pedal steel arrangements and guitar works, and Hearse Driving Blonde for the simple, uplifting vibe. Tomorrow I might say something else though.
The band is quite different from the one that released that first EP back in 2018 even if those songs are excellent again showing the versatility within the band both being able to just Rock and Roll on ‘Reign Of your mind’ and then the acoustic side as on ‘Libertine’ and the two tacks you released on Bandcamp that covered show you delved deep into the back catalogue of rock and roll.  Why those two tracks in particular?
Yes, the EP marks a different era. As a matter of fact, we were another band back then, literally. We were 4, Yan, who plays piano on the record, was our drummer, and we had another bass player, Miles. After Yan and Miles left, they were replaced with Olivier (actual drummer) and Jordan (actual bass player). As I was saying before I like to write/compose for the band I have. These new cats have different artistic orientations and tastes, and I feel it is my duty to represent that in the songs, you know?
 
About the cover songs, it’s very simple… We initially booked 2 days of studio to record the 14 rhythm tracks (the 12 Tough Luck songs + Lucky In Love and Holy Water). Thing is, we were so hot on the 1st day, we ended up canning 12 of them, leaving only 2 for the second day. I then decided we’d use the remaining time to record live-off-the-floor performances, 50s style. Break Up was already part of our live set and High Blood Pressure is just a song I love so I showed it to the guys on the day of the recording and off we went! 
As for live shows, how long has it been since you last played and what are the plans?  Is Europe a possibility when it’s safe to do so?
When the pandemic hit us, we had just come back from a 3 days mini-tour in the US. We played Brooklyn, Manhattan and Boston. All three shows went incredibly well and we made awesome friends (shouts to Muck and The Mires who rocked our socks off)! Man, were we riding high…  Also, we were planning a Europe end of summer tour so you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll come around as soon as borders open!
What about promo videos any more planned?
We made the one for Streets of Doom (it’s on our Youtube channel, Dangereens Official) and another one that should be out anytime soon! I can’t tell you for which song though 😉

 

Going back to the album.  I love songs like ‘Thieves’ and ‘Worried Mind’ and would love to hear them played live.  When I’ve been playing the record I hear bits of inspiration from bands like thin Lizzy and some traditional boogie-woogie mixed with the likes of Hanoi or a bit of Bolan boogie the whole thing just rocks, and a whole bunch of others that jump out to me, in a sound or maybe a chorus or melody.  the way you mix up the influences on ‘1003’ with the sax and some fine piano playing whilst keeping it fresh is something not a whole bunch of bands are doing right now it would be great if success on a big scale was around the corner.  They do say it comes in waves and we’re just about ready for Rock and Roll to dominate the charts again. How was the album recorded?  songs like ‘Little Uptown Girl’ sound like they were one live take would that be a fair assumption?
Aww, now you’re gonna make me blush (haha)! I don’t know about rock’n’roll dominating the charts, but it doesn’t really matter to us anyway… The way I see it, this band is all about good times, and good times never go out of style (although we all may feel that way these days). All those bands you’ve mentioned are definitely up there in our spiritual altar, but we also listen to more recent stuff. To me, a good song is a good song. It doesn’t matter if it’s rock’n’roll or new age, you know? When I write a song, I think of the melody and rhythm first, then I lay words on it. The fact that they end up sounding the way they do is because of the way we naturally approach music as a band. Rockin’ and rollin’ is part of our daily routine.
 
About the recording process, we start by recording the rhythm (drums, bass and guitars) tracks altogether, then we do overdubs for vocals and other instruments (saxophone, trumpet, piano, organ, strings, etc.). In my opinion, the more elements you record simultaneously, the better it sounds. Giving that we were working with a 16 tracks tape machine and in a small basement room, it would’ve been impossible to achieve recording everything all at once, but at least we got to work off of our live rhythm tracks, without using a click. Saying that our songs sound like they’re live takes is possibly the best compliment you could’ve given me!  A song is like a picture, you know? It’s about capturing that unique moment in time. You can always take a snap of some willow tree by a lake, then photoshop Kate Moss kissing you on the cheek underneath it later, but eventually someone will figure out that shit’s not sitting right…
Ok enough of me waffling,  what plans have Dangereens for the future?  the next record?  Singles?, Tours?  and where is the best place people reading this can get the album in physical format from obviously digital copies its Bandcamp right?
It sucks because I can’t tell you much about the future since we are in the midst of negotiations and I don’t want to jinx it, but we’ve got BIG plans… All I can say is you’re gonna see a lot more of us in 2021 going forward!

To get a physical copy of our album, you can go through ALIENSNATCH! Records‘ Bandcamp page. They’re also available through Green Noise Records for North America. Otherwise, if you’re in Montreal, hit us on Facebook and we’ll come and deliver it to you. We have black and clear red vinyl. They look and sound amazing! As for digital, you can find us on all platforms (Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Amazon Music, etc.) or buy a digital copy via Bandcamp.
So there you have it, The Dangereens ladies and Gentlemen now hit up some of the links and check out the music.  Thanks to Hugo for being so generous with his time.

It might’ve taken 20 years but here it is: the original line-up of The Flaming Sideburns unleashes a brand new album “Silver Flames”. It can be seen as a follow-up to their now legendary debut “Hallelujah Rock’n’Rollah”, which was released two decades prior in 2001.

“Silver Flames” is an album nobody expected to happen. Most certainly it’s out of time and out of place in 2021 but that has never stopped the Flaming Sideburns on their mission. Instead, they launch a rock’n’roll assault at full throttle.

It’s all there from straight-ahead rockers (“Silver Flame”, “Searching Like a Hyena”) to deep psychedelia (“Niburu”, “Reverberation”) and from classic rock (“A Song for Robert”) to pop-tinged choruses (“Perfect Storm”, “Cast out my Demons”). The album is wrapped up by “Trance-Noché” and its unusual combination of Latin American madness and Arctic hysteria — topped with the lyrics en Español.

 

 

Pre-orders have started. Digipak CDs, regular black vinyl, and limited crystal clear vinyl edition available HERE

Just in case you didn’t know – The Wildhearts are releasing a brand new live album.  Reviewed Here
It gets an official release in December for those who didn’t know.
“Ginger gave me two instructions: “Loud guitars and loud crowd”….I didn’t have a choice in either as that’s what was captured during the recording” – Live album producer Dave Draper

At a time when we are craving live shows more than ever, Round Records presents  ‘The Wildhearts – 30 Year Itch’, recorded live during the band’s ‘The Renaissance Men’ and ‘Diagnosis’ tours during 2019.

The 17-track album showcases the incendiary energy that has made The Wildhearts one of the best loved UK live rock acts of the last thirty years. A perfect moment in time, thirty years from the band first playing live, that shows a band still at the height of their powers, bristling with energy as they deliver classic tracks such as ‘Caffeine Bomb’, ‘Suckerpunch’, ‘Let Em Go’, ‘Vanilla Radio’ and ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’.

Ginger says, “There are a few authorised bootleg live albums of The Wildhearts doing the rounds, but as soon as Danny rejoined the band I knew I had to capture the classic Wildhearts line up on record. There were a few reasons for this, the main one being that we’re still alive, which is a situation that could change at any second with this group.

I also wanted people to hear how insanely powerful The Wildhearts are as a live band. Pounding drums, chainsaw bass and bombastic guitar riffs, all underpinning harmony vocals and huge anthemic songs that every member of the audience sings like a football crowd. 
It’s a surprisingly emotional blend of noise, passion and unity.

As far as I’m concerned this is a classic album by a unique band playing timeless songs that don’t fit into any established genre. Is it rock? Is it punk? Who cares, it’s The Wildhearts.”

Although the release date of the album was set pre Covid, the albums Imminent release will give the fans a little taste of what they can’t have with the current situation.

Mastered once again by maestro Dave Draper, this double album captures the band’s balls out performance that still kicks the ass of crowds up and down the country, 30 years since they started!

Dave explains “Never Outdrunk, Never Outsung‘ was my first adventure into the world of working with The Wildhearts. I carried a lot of pressure on my shoulders to make sure it was as close to the experience of actually being in the crowd. Judging on what the feedback has been since it came out, I can say I think it worked out just fine.

So when the time came around to make another live album for the boys, myself and Elliot Vaughan once again jumped in the car and captured a few shows from The Renaissance Men and Diagnosis tours of 2019.

When it came to the mixing, like on ‘Never Outdrunk…’, it was really good to hear older tracks having a new lease of life and power from the boys…. the two songs from ‘Endless Nameless’ that have made this new album are highlights for me and I’m sure many of you will agree. Timeless songs with all you mad bastards singing your hearts out on. What’s not to like? Ginger gave me two instructions: “Loud guitars and loud crowd”….I didn’t have a choice in either as that’s what was captured during the recording, Thank you for making my job a lot easier, guys!”

The album will be released commercially on the 4th December 2020. The commercial release also features an exclusive limited edition coloured vinyl version and also a CD version with 4 exclusive postcards, that will only ever be available with this version.

Buy ’30 Year Itch’ Here

The Fuzztones Celebrate Their 40 Year Anniversary With A Heartfelt Love Letter To Their Home City of yup, you guessed it Noo Yawk City.

When I checked the track list I did a double take as I thumbed down the tracks wondering how these purveyors of wee small hors garage rockers were going to take on the tunes or had I just imagined that Rudi had finally lost his shit and gone for songs I’ve never heard but on the first play, I was on my feet shaking my head grooving like a good un because God damn it Them Fuzztones had only gone and knocked this one out of the park and just when you thought they’d bitten off more than they could chew they would only go and raise the bar a little higher. I mean c’mon, sure going for The Fugs is something I could see, or even the fine rendition of ‘Dancing Barefoot’ closing off the record is done with the utmost respect and perfectly in keeping with the idea that The Fuzztones were going to own this record take these songs and lovingly recreate them into their own unique fuzzed up slice of the big apple.

Opening with a Sinatra classic and making it jive and groove will raise an eyebrow and get people talking but hitting Wayne County ‘Flip Your Wig’ was perhaps more predictable and with the familiar Fuzztones organ honking away towards the chorus its a decent stab but its quite safe. Again The fuzztones tackling the Cramps is a no-brainer and ‘New Kind Of Kick’ is respectfully carved up.

Hold onto your hats kids because their reconstruction of The Ramones ’53rd & 3rd’ is spectacular and I love it.  they’ve nailed the chorus and the vocal delivery from Protrudi is brilliant. ‘Psilocybe’ is spooktacular and then the band let their collective hair down and crack open the harmonica on ‘Skin Flowers’.

I guess the songs I gravitated to the most were The Dead Boys and Dolls tracks so when I heard ‘High Tension Wire’ begin I sat back and appreciated that Rudi and the gang had really excelled on this one with a particularly good vocal. Sure ‘Babylon’ had the organs turned up to eleven and a suitably trashy take on a classic is duly delivered.

Its fair to say I was a bit surprised to see a Blue Oyster Cult track nestled in between some classics and its dwarfed by the version of Mink De Villes ‘Let Me Dream’ which I think pips the original for the groovy guitar work and the harmonica is excellent and whisper it but Rudi Petrudi is having a ball with the vocals.

‘Microdot’ is a take on ‘Chinese Rocks’ and given a royal garage psychedelic wipe down. but the one track I wanted to be done well more than any on offer here was the Dead Boys ‘ Not Anymore’ and its twisted a little by being sped up but the haunting feel is still intact and the lyrics still sound amazing. Could The Fuzztones all take a bow here because they’ve really stepped up here and the reconstructing of some seriously classic songs has really worked well. Leaving only the Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers rare track ‘You Gotta Lose’ being worked over out the back yard with only a switchblade knife between the original and this take and then ‘Dancing Barefoot’ wafts in on a cloud of mysterious substances like some ’60s black and white B movie.

Protrudi & Co have sealed this l-u-v letter with a kiss and swanned off having taken their curtain call and been called back for an encore that they throughly deserve.  To be fair they’ve owned each and every song here and have goven every one the Fuzztones make over and come up trumps because to cover a song and do it justice is a tricky thing but to do it for a whole album is really taking a risk and for and The Fuzztones deserve to own these classics – #Never forget your roots kids and never forget to tip your hat to those who paved the way and gave you the lifeblood coursing through your veins.  The Fuzztones – ‘NYC’ was never in doubt, was it.  Rudi, the Big Apple loves ya man it’s at the core of what you do and you’ve paid your respect in the best most fuzzed-up way. – Buy It!

Buy ‘NYC’ Here

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Author: Dom Daley

Mark your calendars!  October 22, 9 pm ET/6 PM PT, Spaghetty Town Records are having the live music streaming event of the year, and it’s FREE! Live performances from Criminal Kids, Pale Lips, Killer Hearts, Fast Eddy and Motosierra.  Hosted by the only person that replies to their emails, Sleazegrinder!

 

some of RPM Online favourite current rock and roll bands are heading to Town and we’ve cleared our diary -Will You?
RSVP Here

 

If 2019 was the year the music world once again woke up to The Wildhearts, then 2020 really should have been the year that they cemented their position as the very best seven-legged live band the UK has to offer.

 

Luckily for me The Wildhearts were one of the last bands I got to see live before the world was consumed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and now when I think back to that amazing Friday night headline slot at Butlin’s Punk & Alternative Weekend – where playing to a largely partisan audience they made so many new friends – I take one look at the track listing of ’30 Year Itch’ (the band’s soon to be released double live album) and I must admit I can’t help get a little robot chubby on at the prospect of hearing the band delivering the goods once again…albeit right here in my living room.

 

Consisting of 17 tracks spanning the length and breadth of the band’s (almost) three-decade long career – and thankfully avoiding some of the perhaps more obvious tracks – this album was recorded across both The Renaissance Men and Diagnosis tours undertaken by the band in 2019 and achieves what every great live album sets out to achieve by making you feel like you are right back in the audience stage front and centre (don’t worry though as other crowd positions are available if the pit is a bit too rough for you). Plus choosing to work once again with the wizard that is Dave Draper really does add plenty of sonic salt ‘n’ shake to proceedings, making this one of the most remarkable sounding live albums I’ve heard since Exit_International’s ‘Live At Le Pub’.  Anyone spot the connection?

 

From the furry boxing glove opener that is ‘Dislocated’ through to the set closing – best song ever with a music video filmed on a flatbed truck – ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ there is hardly a second to catch your breath as riff after motherfucking riff hit you from every direction, and whilst ‘Let ‘Em Go’ might not be in my list of all-time favourite Wildhearts’ songs it’s impossible not to be swept along in the moment and I suddenly find myself singing along at the top of my voice.

 

Highlights? Well hearing the likes of the sublimely brutal ‘Urge’ and err anthemic ‘Anthem’ live is most welcome in my house, whilst the huge singalongs that are ‘Sick Of Drugs’ and ‘Vanilla Radio’ are just designed to have you bouncing down the street when you plug this sucker into your in-car stereo system.  Of the deeper cuts aired here ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ and ‘The Jackson Whites’ perfectly capture the band’s latter years, whilst in ‘Diagnosis’ (which seems to be  everyone’s favourite song from 2019’s ‘Renaissance Men’ album) the guys have written perhaps their most ‘Earth V’s’ era sounding song in many a long year, and thus perhaps unintentionally brings them sonically full circle.

 

Whatever you may think about this point though in this current rich vein of form The Wildhearts really are a 30-year itch you can’t help but scratch, and what more, if you were lucky enough to pre-order this bad boy from the band’s website you should have also have received a bonus 4 track CD of tracks not included on the album including a blistering ‘Top Of The World’ plus a pogotastic ‘Shame On You’ before ‘Nothing Changes But The Shoes’ and ‘My Baby Is A Headfuck’ sends yours truly ambling off down memory lane via two tracks that still sound as awesome as they did when they first got me into The Wildhearts all those years ago.

 

‘30 Year Itch’ is truly amazing stuff! Make sure you are in on the celebrations when the double album goes back on sale via the band’s website soon.

Buy ’30 Year Itch’ Here

Author: Johnny Hayward

Racism and homophobia, homelessness and job loss, fear-mongery, anxiety, and suicide. These are not new words, but along with ‘Pandemic’, are these the keywords that we will look back on to describe the year 2020? One thing’s for sure, there’s been a lot of relevant music released so far this year that seems to fit the lockdown vibe, but you need look no further than Bob Vylan for the ultimate reaction and the perfect soundtrack to the new normal.

‘We Live Here’ was actually recorded in 2019 and is self-released because the music industry won’t touch them with a barge pole. Even radio and magazines cite them too extreme, and fair play, this 8 track EP from the London duo Bobby Vylan and Bobb13 Vylan is 18 minutes of uneasy listening, but it is also essential listening.

 

A mash up of grime and punk rock, ‘We Live Here’ pulls no punches from the very first pulsating beats until a cheerful girl signs off at the end of the last track, telling us not to forget that “the Queen killed Diana”!

My first introduction to Bob Vylan was the single ‘We Live Here’. It is one of the most brutal, hard-hitting tunes I have heard in a long time. A sloppy Slaves-esque guitar riff, frantic rhythms and a diatribe of childhood racial abuse, delivered with the rage of a lion and power of a ten-ton hammer coming down on a balsa wood Houses of Parliament. It’s no coincidence that Bobby is sporting a Crass t-shirt in the video, this is politically-charged punk rock 2020, and utterly essential listening.

Police brutality is covered in the hardcore ‘Pulled Pork’. A song that channels Rage Against The Machine and Body Count to great effect. You want edgy? Well, this is teetering on the edge of the fuckin precipice, bruthas and sistas! And the skulking beast that is ‘Lynch Your Leaders’ could very well incite you to do just that with its hypnotic beats and deep, thought-provoking lyricism.

You just can’t ignore Bob Vylan. This is life through the eyes of black working-class youth, an angry mouthpiece for generations of black minorities that have suffered prejudice in the same country they were born in.

“I can’t breathe, just leave me alone” screams Bobby on the fear and anxiety induced trip through the London underground that is ‘Northern Line’. Scarily, it mirrors recent events more than the writer could have ever imagined.  Then ‘Save Yourself’ offers retribution before blasting into a 2 minute brutal assault on the senses. It’s the last song proper before ‘Moment Of Silence’ literally gives you breathing space to digest the Bob Vylan experience.

 

This is an album that needs to be heard, a wakeup call that is loud and clear. It crosses genres and it crosses classes. Like the musical equivalent of LiveLeak, it’s what the ‘powers that be’ don’t want you to hear, what they don’t want you to feel or act on. This is the sound of the streets, the true punk rock and the most relevant collection of songs you will hear all year.

You won’t hear it on the radio, you won’t be able to stream it on Spotify, but you can buy it directly from the band on their own Bandcamp page. I strongly suggest you get clicking right away!

Buy ‘We Live Here’ Here

Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

Strange… when I was assigned this album to review, I was vaguely familiar with the band and went to check out a couple of the early songs released from the album. I wasn’t blown away by them at the time. With that said, I approached the album with some apprehension, even knowing the members of the band have a wealth of greatness among them. It turns out I was either in the wrong frame of mind to hear the early songs, or they did not necessarily immediately translate in the video format to me. At the end of the day, this has become a very enjoyable album for me, which sounds fresh, even if it channels its sound from the glorious nuggets of the past.

Perhaps the difference in how this album came to life for me is the brilliance of opening song ‘Coat-Tailer,’ which I had missed on YouTube. The tasteful group vocals that open it with the classic feeling rock n roll guitar that is buoyed by the piano perfectly set the table for the album. The harmonies are outstanding, and there are multiple lines in the song that will get stuck in the listener’s brain. The guitar solo by Elliot Easton is right on the spot. Second song ‘Remember Days Like These’ features Ringo Starr and is a song that I have a feeling I will like more down the line. It has been a slow grower so far and really reminds me more of something Phil Spector would have produced. The band gets right back into the classic rock n roll vibe with ‘Well, Look at You’ featuring some great horns and a killer chorus. Wally Palmar’s smooth vocals are perfect for this music. They continue to mix things up with the bluesy ‘Jonathan Harker’s Journal.’ The sound effect laden intro suits the opening guitar perfectly. The rhythm work of Clem Burke (drums) and Andy Babiuk (bass) is razor tight and establishes an awesome groove. The vocal work here is awesome as well, especially throughout the chorus.

The up tempo ‘Sometimes Shit Happens for a Reason’ once again takes us back to a classic rock feel with a song that should feature on a cool indie romantic comedy. This song reminds me of everyone from John Cafferty to the rocking side of the Texas Tornados to the light hearted side of Bruce Springsteen such as ‘Glory Days.’ At this stage, this is probably my favorite song on the album. Follow up song ‘The Best That I Can’ keeps the rocking going but suffers in the shadow of the previous song for my tastes. Each member gets a chance to show off their musical chops here. Much like ‘Remember Days Like These,’ I think this one will benefit as the album gets more and more plays in the time to come. ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ roars in as another nuggets style rocker that features more brilliant vocals by Palmar. This is another brilliant slice of poptopia that should receive a ton of plays on Little Steven’s Underground Garage.

‘Come On and Try It’ was one of the songs I heard before listening to the album, and it still really does not grab me. I think part of it is that refrain of ‘nah nah nah nah’ just feels repetitive in this rocker.  In the context of the album, I like it better, but this is not likely to be a song that I seek out to play on its own.  The ballad ‘The World as we Know It, Moves on’ definitely works better for me as a great change of pace song with some tasteful backing vocals in the chorus. It is also one that does not overstay its welcome either. ‘The Haunting of the Tin Soldier’ settles into a midtempo feel which features some great drum work by Burke but still one of the ones that doesn’t fully grab my soul.

The closing group of the album starts with the attitude filled ‘Death by Insomnia.’ The harmonica work here adds a great feel to the song with the slow bluesy groove designed to get the body moving. This is another one of my early favorites from the album. ‘The World’s Gone Insane’ was another song I heard on YouTube prior to the album, and I like it much more here. The rocking tempo serves to get the album in full rock n roll mode again with a classic feeling riff. The chorus is simple but hooky. I cannot see it ever being my favorite on the album, but it is one I look forward to hearing when I play the album. The closer ‘Indigo Dusk of the Night’ is also the longest song on the album with its acoustic introduction immediately different from everything else on the album. The lyrics paint a picture that you can experience throughout all of your senses. Musically, this one could sit on the Beatles ‘White Album’ and really makes a great finale to the album. The added instrumentation as the song moves forward is terrific, and I imagine it will sound even better on headphones. The closing of a door then ends the record.

This album really provided me with a nice surprise and hit that nuggets sweet spot while still sounding current and fresh. I am very glad that I did not let the first song or two I heard ahead of the full album form my impression of the whole record. This album will be receiving a lot of plays, and I anticipate several songs from the album will make their way onto monthly playlists of mine in the future.

‘The Second Album’ is available now. Buy Here

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

It’s been over a decade since I first discovered that even when Mommy Sez No you can still get your musical kicks from a trashy, crypt-cool beat combo souring airwaves with its self-soiled brand of “Spook ‘n’ Roll.”

 

 

From debut splatter platter, ‘Hotwaterburnbaby’, via the putrid poetry of follow-up, ‘Eeeeeeeeep!!!’, to the 2-4-5 Trioxin-addled new album, ‘The Dwellers Below’, the Saint Paul, Minnesota ghouls Mommy Sez No have traversed the gutters and gateways of the punk rock underground for so long that you’d probably be excused for thinking that this was a band destined to be stumbled across when lovingly fingering your wholly unfashionable physical media collection; the cobwebs blown from a disc or two decaying in the creepy corner labelled ‘Where Are They Now?’ But, no – this six-legged monstrosity (Jeff Arndt on guitar and vocals; Alex Smith on drums; Thomas White on bass) is back in the hunt; better, stronger, faster than it was before.

 

 

Okay, the enhancement might not be bionic, but it’s by some other ungodly advancement that finds the horror punk veterans kicking lumps out of the opposition with a thirteen-track (what else?!) long player that, actually, doesn’t play for that long given its frenetic pace, but oozes with a gooey, unexpected slap of, dare I say it, maturity.

 

 

Looking cooler-than-thou wearing its wraparound artwork skin courtesy of fellow Minnesota mayhem maker, artist Bill Hauser (creator of many a striking punk rock album cover), ‘The Dwellers Below’ takes the lowbrow splatter punk of Mommy Sez No out of the garage and into, well, at least the garage forecourt. With better production, better artwork, better just about everything to be honest, this is the band’s most accomplished work to date… but fear not horror punk purists, this record is still a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

 

 

From opening cut, ‘Take Me To The Hospital’, to the power ballad, ‘Maggots In Yer Guts’, via the chaos of ‘Hahahahahahaha’, Mommy Sez No is still as subtle as a killing spree and as manic as a final girl chase scene. The big difference is that the band doesn’t stumble at all throughout the entirety of this album.

 

 

Even when introducing more straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll strut to the tracklisting with the likes of ‘Lil Bit Of Voodoo’, ‘Rock And Roll Death Patrol’ and the alternate reality KISS riff-led ‘Uh Oh… I Think…’ the band still has that unnerving way of making the listener feel like they need a good wash after partaking in an auditory exercise; the songs to die for (possibly literally) rather than a diversion.

 

 

The aforementioned artwork may give off a sense of the post-apocalyptic (doesn’t everything these days?!) but the album still has a hoof or two in the band’s tried, tested, and tortured peculiar amalgam of straight-to-video horror and no-budget punk rock… except there is a budget these days, but that shouldn’t put you off; think the upgrade from The Evil Dead to Dead By Dawn – better everything, but with that same, fierce independent spirit. ‘The Dwellers Below’ is a crazed, ass-kicker of an album that will easily force its way into my Top Ten albums list of a crazy, asshole of a year. Recommended.

 

Buy the album Here

Author: Gaz Tidey