This video was shot at the legendary Berlin punk club, ‘Wild at Heart’ on the first night of the tour. Burlesque troupe The Velvet Creepers joined the band on stage that night. The track is taken from their second album ‘Taste For Evil’ released on Hound Gawd! Records and was reviewed Here During the global lockdown the band released an excellent live album recorded on their recent European Tour check out the review and link to buy it Here
Oh yeah, groovy baby! Australia seems to be at the centre of a lot of whats happening in rock and roll from punk and new wave to rock and further afield so when I got the new Datura4 album to review I kinda put it off for a while what with the psychedelic quotes and a few bits and pieces I’d heard but Alive has always put out quality music and I love some of the rock and roll records they’ve been behind so after reading up on these cats I decided to clear my schedule and dive in.
Starting off with the title track its less Psycadelic than I was expecting and whilst there are swirling keyboards and sound effects once they get their groove on it’s obvious that Datura4 know how to rock and roll. After the intro they step back into the ’70s for a punchy groove that they keep up towards the catchy chorus. Impressive stuff to be fair and power pop with the melodies and roots that belong in the garage without it tucking up the MC5 or Birdman. I think the titles might be a bit misleading and playful but the harmonica howling on ‘Wolfman Woogie’ is a great sound. I think these cats like to Rock out rather than wig out and keep it laid back when they need to and cut loose when they want as well.
‘Mother Medusa’ sounds like the riff Lenny Kravitz had when he wanted people to go his way but it’s a great groove. They come over all Gillan on the spacey ‘You’re The Only One’. They sound like a Cream inspired barroom blues combo on the retro bustin’ ‘Rule My World’ now turn up those fuzz pedals and honk on that gob iron!
‘Give’ sounds like their take on Neil Young with added swirling organ which I’m sure Young would approve of. It’s classic retro Rock and Roll for sure but the acoustic guitar take it somewhere else other than down a simple rock route.
Before they check out ‘You Be The Fool’ is Bolan boogie and my pick of the pops on offer on this retro ride if it weren’t for the excellent barroom rocker ‘Get Out’ that follows. Simple – melodic and a great bit of boogie woogie on that joanna. I’ve enjoyed this trip and as a result, I’m digging into their extensive catalogue to see what else they have to offer.
Ten songs of variety and played by consummate professionals who’ve been doing this Rock and Roll thang for long enough they clearly love the sounds they create and live it to the max they give it that warm retro feel and are proud to don the aviator shades, bellbottoms and big furry handlebars If I’m wrong I’ll eat my Boss fuzz pedal and a whole Wurlitzer organ.
Buy ‘ West Coast Highway Cosmic’ Here
Author: Dom Daley
By 1980 the UK’s finest purveyors of ‘erbert rock Sham 69 were all but a spent force. Singer Jimmy Pursey having long since become disillusioned with Sham chose the start of a new decade and the release of the band’s fourth album (‘The Game’) as a platform from which to announce his intentions to pursue a solo career (by way of a previously failed attempt to team up with Steve Jones and Paul Cook as Sham Pistols in 1979). Thus, leaving the remaining Sham members Dave Parsons (guitar), Dave Tregunna (bass) and (drummer) Rick (Goldstein) Rock singer-less and wondering what the hell to do next.
Quickly hooking up with (ex-The Dead Boys) frontman Stiv Bators (I’ll not share the story here of how this came about as the excellent Dave Parsons penned sleeve notes included in this reissue pick up on the finer detail) The Wanderers were soon born and signing to (Sham’s old label) Polydor they were dispatched to write and record what would become their one and only album ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’.
Having long since been out of print on any format (copies of the original LP and the reissue CD are currently going for around £40 online) and as such deemed very much a “collector’s item” amongst fans ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ is thankfully now being given a long overdue reissue on vinyl (pressed up on a variety of random colours) by US label Gutterwail Records. I myself finally picked up a CD copy (released via Captain Oi! here in the UK) over a decade ago at Rebellion Festival for the princely sum of £5 and it’s still very much one of those go to albums in my collection, when someone asks that well-worn conundrum of “what band do you think should have been huge but never actually made it?”
Expanded here to fourteen tracks and finally including the (rumoured to be) lost track ‘They Made Me A Criminal’ which bizarrely had its lyrics printed on the original Polydor LP sleeve but was never included in the final track listing, this reissue offers up the chance for a whole new generation of fans to experience perhaps the definitive version of this much overlooked “cult classic”.
Sounding not unlike a poppier version of the band Bators and Tregunna would go on to form just a few years later it’s the Mick Glossop production on ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ that immediately has me wondering if had been building himself up for the bass and drums onslaught he would bestow on Waysted’s classic ‘Vices’ album just a few years later, as here it’s the keyboards and trebly edge on cuts like ‘It’s All The Same’ and the parp-tastic ‘A Little Bit Frightening’ that tend to catch the ear.
In fairness (keyboards aside) the same production does give the album a kind of “timeless” charm and cuts like the Sham Boys crescendo of opener ‘No Dreams’, the glorious two minute pogo-pop overload of ‘Beyond The Law’ plus the superb proto Lords punks of ‘Ready To Snap’ all have me wondering what it would have been like to have seen The Wanderers live with the energy levels cranked to the max. Likewise the likes of ‘Sold Your Soul For Fame’, ‘It’s All The Same’ and the aforementioned (faithfully restored from cassette) ‘They Made Me A Criminal’ add a depth and maturity to the songwriting that belies the band’s fledgling tenure.
I’m not entirely sure where the source of this reissue was taken from but my promo MP3s feature a couple of light pops and crackles – something that the Captain Oi! CD never had – and this makes me think it must have been taken from the original vinyl or perhaps the promo itself is a rip from a re-pressed LP? Either way, ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ is an excellent album, and is most certainly one every self-respecting fan of Sham 69 and The Lords Of The New Church should have in their collection.
Buy the record: Here (USA)
Buy the record: Here (Europe)
Author: Johnny Hayward
Seb Byford (guitar/vocals) and Tom Witts (drums) formed Naked Six while still at school to a backdrop of fog and mist on the North Yorkshire moors. The self-proclaimed grunge/schizoid blues band have been on our rock ‘n’ roll radar for a number of years following gigs with the likes of The Virginmarys and The Temperance Movement. Originally a York based band they recently relocated to Manchester, following the release of their debut EP ‘No Compromise’. They then roped in Tom’s cousin Callum to play bass, and now the three piece band are ready to take on the world with their debut album ‘Lost Art Of Conversation’.
They may be a long way from Seattle and a generation after the Grunge movement, but that same feeling of isolation, working class struggle and small town angst is omnipresent in their sound and high energy live performance.
Naked Six specialise in 2 chord/2 minute blasts of high energy angst, delivered with the passion of newbies who have something to prove and yet the confidence of seasoned pros. A top notch production job courtesy of Thomas Mitchener (Gallows/Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes ) only helps to capture their live energy. Urgent beats, buzzsaw guitars and vocals are spat with the aggro nonchalance of young punks who have something to say. And yeah, Naked Six do have something to say, lyrically they touch on highly topical subjects; our reliance on social media and mental health for starters.
The likes of ‘Song Of The City’, ‘Split’ and ‘Sticky Gum’ are their bread and butter. Coming on like The Vines meets The Virginmarys, this is the sound of a Naked Six gig captured on wax for all to experience. Elsewhere, if you had told me ‘Poison Apple’ was a lost Nirvana outtake, I would’ve tipped my hat in agreement. From the erratic spiky guitars to the spooky Cobain/Grohl style vocal harmonies, its quality stuff.
They take things down for a more 90s art rock, tripped-out vibe with ‘The Change’. Offbeat drums and effect-ridden guitars bring to mind the sonic sound of Perry Farrell’s side project Porno For Pyros, as the band take the listener on a trip to another plane.
Bouncy, distorted bass and jagged guitars introduce first single ‘Gimme Something’, a song that confirms the Foo Fighters meets Royal Blood comparisons I have used in the past. A confident and cocksure sound, and one that’s tried and tested.
While Naked Six promote a grungy, garage rock sound, there are hints that this band has the potential to be so much more when they think outside the box (or garage in this case!). The album is bookended by a couple of surprise tracks that confirm this for me. Album opener ‘21st Century Brawl’ is an atmospheric art piece, coming on like Jane’s Addiction in their prime, as Seb reels off descriptive lyrics, almost spoken word, over an alt rock backdrop of groovy bass and guitar harmonics. In complete contrast the introspective album closer ‘Outside Looking In’ showcases what this band is truly capable of. As they have proven in the past with ‘Broken Fairytale’, Seb Byford has a knack for penning heartfelt balladry as much as he does angst driven rock. The sentiment is real, as he delivers his most fragile, yet strongest vocal of the album over understated piano chords and atmospheric saxophone breaks. A winning combination that only helps accentuate the overall emotion of the song.
With lyrics that deal in social commentary, questioning our attachment to our screens, our actions and motives, and music that harks back to a time when the alternative was mainstream, edgy and downright essential, Naked Six seem to be on to a winner. ‘Lost Art Of Conversation’ is a modern rock record that is exciting, authentic and comes at the perfect time.
Times they are a changing, and while this album was of course written pre-lockdown, I can’t help but think the lost art of conversation is something a great deal of us are re-learning right now due to isolation and social media being our only form of communication.
“This is the dawn of a new age…” announces the singer in the title track. I wonder, did Seb Byford know how true those words would ring just a few months later?
Buy ‘Lost Art Of Conversation’ Here
Author: Ben Hughes
Berlin power-trio PABST share video for new single Skyline and announce new album ‘Deuce Ex Machina’
Berlin power-trio Pabst are today sharing the video for brand-new single Skyline, a track that was born from their frustrations with living in a city that is being rapidly gentrified. In what they describe as a “post-grunge hymn” on which their rage is manifested in a muddy, fuzzed-out wall of distortion, they bemoan being priced out of their own town, and condemn homelessness, greed and profit. Pabst, being three of a dying breed of non-riches in their city, are watching the development of theirs and other cities in disbelief, with Skyline erupting into its hook, “This city is no place for losers like us.” The band explains further.
“Although more than half of the world’s population lives in cities (and the trend is rising), they seem to be becoming more and more hostile places as they increasingly develop into “locations”. Especially in Berlin, where we come from, we have noticed vast changes in this direction in recent years. High fluctuation determines the cityscape and the housing market, with more and more furnished apartments being built. If you want to live somewhere, you often have to compete with hundreds. Houses classified as dilapidated will be demolished or fully renovated (’cause otherwise the price will not rise).
Nobody who owns the apartments really lives in them: students live there who stay in the city for a comparatively short time, tourists stay there for whom the apartments are converted into holiday homes, and above all; for people who can afford it. Everyone else has to move out of the city to where it’s boring and cheap. You know that, it’s nothing new. And, of course, this affects not only living space, but also the rest of the infrastructure. Many clubs and other cultural venues have to close because their rental contracts are passed on to the highest bidder, or because of a few residents who seemingly realized too late that the city apartment is not a country house by the lake.”
After releasing the critically acclaimed debut album ‘Chlorine’, playing too many gigs to count, supporting the likes of Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü) and Kadavar on tour – as well as making over 30 festival appearances in 2019 alone – Pabst return in 2020 with the announcement of their new album Deuce Ex Machina for release June 19. Lead single Ibuprofen was accompanied by visuals reminiscent of classic ’90s MTV music videos with pastel-grunge scenes, directed by Constantin Timm. Watch Ibuprofen HERE.
Pre-save / Pre-order the album HERE.
‘Play The One We Know’ is the second track from ‘Stole Your rock N Roll’ to get a video. The Album was released March 6th 2020. Get your copy of the album now from their disinfected Big Cartel shop Here
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
Just over two years ago, snowed in and listening to new sounds I had a link bounced over to me by Pity my Brain’s main man Jamie Richards, that stopped me in my tracks, the LP was called Time the band was called Dystopian Future Movies. Looking into the background after duly ordering said LP I found that the band’s mainstays were Bill Fisher & Caroline Cawley from the rather tasty Church of the Cosmic Skull (If you haven’t discovered them yet I suggest you get a shift on!!).
For this album Bill and Caroline are joined in the band, by Guitarist, Rafe Dunn and Bassist Oisin O’Doherty. The rather stunning artwork comes from an image of an abandoned Tuberculosis Sanitorium in Caroline’s native Ireland.
Dark indeed and that’s where I want to start this review, opener “Countenance”, eases it’s way out of the speakers, at times Intense, at times sparse, leading with a dark brooding sense of decay, Caroline’s vocals adding an almost otherworldly ethereal feels. Being honest if you try and pitch a particular style of genre, you’d be wrong! Taking a stab I’d say post-Industrial at times? Highlighting a time in the future, where dark paths have been taken. There’s an underlying dread, but maybe a sense of hope?
Moving on next up “wreckage” draws you in, the discordant acoustic lead demanding attention before the vocals lift it up a gear you start to get the feel of a story being played out musically, the counterpoint vocals giving it a depth before we’re drawn into an industrial-style framework, with Bills drumming starting to become incessant, demanding almost. Before we get lost in the wreckage we’re moved forward into “Rules” almost a taking stock of what’s happening, vocally this is a powerful performance, the voice setting the tone for the at times sparse orchestration that eventually pulls you upwards and into the story unfolding. “All the Light” is a coming to terms song what’s come before and a movement away from where we’ve been. Again the vocals lead over a discordant, sparse musical background drawing you indefinitely less is more giving this track both an intensity and fragility. This fragility comes to the fore within next track “Kathleen”, a real stand out.
Moving or easing forward into “Black cloaked” and we’re drawn back into a haunted past, unable to break free from what we’ve experienced, this is a seriously good track and really pins you back, probably the most intense on the album, distorted, discordant and driving in equal measures. Before we’ve come to terms with what we’ve heard we come to a conclusion with “Ten years” we’re now the observer overseeing the whole, removed no longer part of the story.
This is a seriously good LP, bursting with ideas, and me for one will look forward to seeing it translated into the live arena.
Author: Nev Brooks
The complete debut tape in full length + one bonus track! First time ever available on extremely limited vinyl! Remastered from the original tapes! that came out in the late ’80s An instant rarity for vinyl lovers and punk rockers alike. If you like your punk rock raw and without frills then this is for you its old school alright coming on like classic voidoids from the song titles to the subject matter ‘Junkie For You’ sets the tone of teen love then follow it up with the undertones like ‘I Want You To Be My Boyfriend’ it has shades of early Misfits as well like it was recorded together live on the hoof to save time and money and because its punk rock god damn it!
‘Waves’ is a more gentle meander down the rock and roll highway with piano and acoustic strumming happening a real NYC Lower East Side feel for sure. ‘Back Of My Hand’ is more upbeat with clashing clanging guitars accompanying the snotty lyrics its vibrant and has stood the test off time. ‘Love Story’ isn’t at all soppy or slow in fact its the one most likely to be used in some B movie Warriors street fight scene. A decent melody and what’s not to love about those Thunders string bending skills a song born to pull big shapes to in front of the bedroom mirror with the tennis racket and hairbrush.
Flip this bad boy over and ‘The Lottery’ is up first full of piss and vinegar and a chorus even the most challenged glue bag fantatic can sing along to. The ante is upped on side two as ‘Let’s Have A Riot’ lights the oily rag in this Molotov cocktail.
As we Rock and Roll our way through side two there’s a bunch of energy still in these recordings and its a real trip checking out these tunes they deserve to see the light of day and be heard. The Broken Toys had it going on for sure and still don’t need ‘Drugs’ but we do need the snotty riffs and curled lips. We all have a debt to pay to the guys like Johnny Thunders and Broken Toys are paying it back with ‘Sugar ‘N Spice’ check it out its well worth it.
Author: Dom Daley