Enduring and endearing that’s the threesome that makeup Therapy? they’ve have never been ones to follow convention even when they do something quite conventional like releasing a greatest hits album.

‘The Greatest Hits’ takes tracks from throughout their career of highs and maybe not so highs. This their 30th-anniversary run sees this new album breathing a fresh breath of brutality into already fiery songs.  I’ve always seen Therapy? as an iron fist in a velvet glove kinda band.  they can write some right out and out abrasive in your face slabs of noise but they can also be touching and heartfelt whilst delivering that punch (if you know what I mean?)  Oh and before I forget it also comes with a bonus live album.  Always offering value for money. I always thought the old adage about Motorhead applied to Therapy? because they will survive after any holocaust along with the cockroaches then probably put on a show before feasting on the mites such is their dogged determination to push on and never stand still even when looking back at themselves and what they’ve achieved they twist it and push the boundaries rather than offering up some cut and pasted best of and that’s because they give a shit about their legacy, their fans and the future.

‘Teethgrinder’ is first up and with a sparkling production, it has to be said. The band worked with producer Chris Sheldon, who produced the original ‘Troublegum’ album as well as working on ‘Semi-Detached’, ‘High Anxiety’ and ‘Cleave’ so a safe pair of hands – someone who knew the band and what they were/are about and was able to give them that extra piece of x-factor needed on this project.  No cost spared as they headed for Abbey Road none the less and its paid off in spades.

The 12-track album includes all their UK hits including ‘Screamager’ and a reworking of ‘Diane’; Featuring James Dean Bradfield of the Manics.  I forgot how fuckin’ menacing ‘Turn’ sounds with that grinding bassline twisting the listener’s inner ear throughout.  The one thing that stands out is how damn fresh these songs sound.  They never suffered from a shit production but this is another level as 2020 sees songs reborn.  ‘Nowhere’ still sounds epic and a real rush of adrenaline.  I can’t help but feel there’s a little chuckle being made having James Dean Bradfield singing on ‘Die Laughing’  maybe they should have renamed it ‘Dai Laughing’.

‘Diane’ is one of my favourite song from the band and this new take is brilliant.  Welcome to the church of noise one and all and those old-timers this is a great celebration happening here and those new to this band you’re most welcome but where the fuck have you been you maniacs? Heres to the next milestone and something else from Therapy? Oh, I guess I should mention the bonus disc, well, that’s fifteen songs one from each album live as a bonus with the CD version. It’s a great time to be a fan of the band then with so much going on as they head out the door to promote their 30-year plan so you can see them after you’ve played this greatest hits package to death.

As far as greatest hits go this one is up there with the best in the noisy bastard genre. Still on fire – Still not compromising – Still doin’ the biz. Therapy? I love em

Greatest Hits (2020 Versions) here

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Author: Dom Daley

 

Before I start this review I have a confession to make, I’m a bit of a fan of the Fuzztones, Lysergic Emanations has been played to death as have virtually every other LP in their back catalogue, and my excitement levels went through the roof when this baby landed in my inbox, especially with the accompanying record company Blurb.

 

“The Real Sound of “In Heat“: the disclaimer on the album states, “NOT produced by Shel Talmy” (The Who, Kinks). The original version of the album “In Heat” as it was intended to sound.”

 

For the uninitiated, THE FUZZTONES have been around for over 30 years, call them under-ground, call them psychedelic?  Call them the band that brought Garage Rock back into fashion.  Though originally from New York City, they were massively embraced by Europe, where the fuzzed out retro vibe really hits home. Now remember when In Heat first came out it was back in 1989 at the peak of the garage revival, when bands like the Chesterfield Kings, Lyres and Cynics were all the rage.

 

So here we go polished up, fuzzed out re-mastered and everything you could want from a modern day masterpiece, as this now sounds. What hits you straight away is how fresh it now sounds, and on first listen there are things that jump out for example “What you don’t know” comes from that classic Lords of the New Church Blueprint, before it takes off and moves into a huge guitar laden climax.

 

As I’m pulling thoughts together, smiling to myself, influences start to come to mind, Chocolate Watch Band, 13TH Floor Elevators, Strawberry Alarm clock from the psychedelic sixties, early 70’s, but blend them into a Stooges led Iggy, add in a definite punk rock and roll attitude “ala” the Cramps and you end up with the classic “In Heat”, worth buying the LP for this track alone!!! I mean any tracks with the opening lyric “I’m a big bad wolf, can’t you here me howl?’ how much more rock and roll could you be.

 

This LP deserves a place in every ones collection!! the swamp boogie, New Orleans sound of “Nine months later” with it’s nod to the bubblegum pop of the 60’s chorus is a real thing of beauty. While  “You must be a witch” is just garage rock perfection, the organ tempered down sitting properly within the song. I suppose this LP keeps drawing me into Cramps style comparisons, if you’re a fan of one then the other will definitely appeal. I could go on talking through the other tracks, but if you’ve read this far, this LP is definitely for you, what an LP, re-mastered, up to date, vibrant and in your face, now lets get them back into the UK preferably with the resurgent Hypnotics on the same bill, what a double header that would be, Happy days.

But ‘Raw Heat’ Here

Author: Nev Brooks

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

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Author: Johnny Hayward

Philly punks Trash Knife has put together a collection of trashy lo-Fi punk rock that enters the cranium via the ear and buries itself in the part of the brain that experts would designate as the pleasure zone. Tell me that ‘No Ones Dancing’ doesn’t cause involuntary twitches at the very least.

It’s not rocket science being performed here its punk rock n roll with a tonne of melody trashy guitars clashing with the drums that are taking a good hiding and some vocals that range from the softly whispered ear caressing to the fuck you and the horse you rode in on screams and shouts. The songs are between a minute or two long and that’s it.  wham bang ‘The Party Party’ to bass rumbling pogo of ‘Struggletown Freakout’ via the Damned like hands in pocket shuffle of ‘I’m Down’ this record is an explosion of colour and sound.  Like I said it might not be breaking any new ground but the path they take is well worn and they walk the walk so damn well.

 

Go throw yourself around to ‘Kill your Selfie’ and if anyone asks you to turn it down flip em the bird and let em know you’re playing Trash Knife for fuck’s sake!

If you’ve got a short attention span and like to have a soundtrack whilst you break things then hey jump on board this, no doubt about it. It’s perfect for a frenzied attack.  Who said punk was dead? Trash Knife ‘Ep/Ep’ get it.

 

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Author: Dom Daley

 

Released on April 4th those Motherfuckin’ Motherfuckers are at it again this time with a coloured 7″ EP containing four blasts of punked-up Garage Rock and Fuckin’ Roll.

Its three originals and another cover this time it’s ‘Crash Landing’ from the Violent Femmes.  There are only 170 of these bad boys available on coloured vinyl so be quick or be left out in the cold paying silly money on some record auction site in the months to come. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya.

Who are they you say? Four members of two of your favourite bands The Hip Priests and Bitch Queens from Shit Island and Basle Switzerland respectively. after their initial EP that was Fuelled by hangovers, More Lager, Nicotine, Bread and Cheese they tossed out six glorious sonic slices of Primetime, Pedal to the motherfuckin’ metal Overdriven, OD1 Scandi garage noise – smashing strings, skins and yellin’ as if their bullshit lives depended upon it. It was so good they reconvened and did it again first releasing the follow-up single ‘Trillion $ EP’ and now this ‘Dance Motherfucker EP’  so what are you waiting for get on it.

Pre Order Here

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Rain rain go away come back another day.  Shit island has had enough wet stuff falling from the sky but whilst we wait for Spring how about the brand new video from The Hangmen.  Yup that’s right LA delivers from time to time and this is exceptional stuff from Smalls and the rest of the band.

 

How about a brand new video from Rich Ragany & The Digressions. The title track from the debut album gets the video treatment as the band announced as support on the Status Quo winter tour 2020.

With a brand new album hitting the streets this month what else can we do than play the brand new lead track from ‘Deathtraps ‘Stole Your Rock and Roll’.  Ladies and germs I give you ‘Let’s Fall Out Of Love’

 

American Jetset arrived in the world a little over a year ago and immediately impressed me on their debut EP ‘Live Love Die on Main.’ It quickly became a fixture in my rotation for the rest of the year. This release I suppose could fall in the mini-album category at six songs plus an intro. If you rewind 35 years, these songs would now be lodged into your brain by being played over and over again over the years as they would have been stars on the Sunset Strip, but the nice thing is American Jetset injects a healthy dose of a modern feel into their sound.

‘Welcome to Devil’s Canyon’ serves as a brief intro track that takes across the desert and into town as the train passes by. Drums rise in the background until we hear a woman scream that takes us into the sleazy awesome ‘Walking Contradiction.’ I love the bass intro by Kevin Harrington as it really sets up the entire song. With a sleazy groove that reminds me of early Faster Pussycat with some Junkyard added into the mix, this one contains a great hook in the chorus both vocally and musically. Ian Kaine MacGregor (also guitar) possesses a voice that can be really smooth but can also carry a slight sleazy whine when it is needed.  ‘Gold and Nines’ keeps up the excellence with a commercial feel, huge chorus, and plenty of guitar licks throughout the song to make you break out the air guitar. They even add in a part totally designed for a crowd to sing the chorus with them which makes it extremely contagious on even a first listen.

Lance Reeder and MacGregor have loaded these songs with plenty of guitar riffs and solos so even the mid-tempo ‘One More Time Around’ features an excellent riff and a vibe that just screams celebrating life, this moment, and blocking out whatever wall reality may be ready to throw at you. It makes me wish I had the ability to play guitar. They take a slight turn on ‘Getaway Car’ which adds the slightest of twangs to the music but is in no way a country song as it is still clearly a rock song, just more subdued. The backing vocals give it some nice depth, and the guitar solo works perfectly.

‘1000 Ghosts’ features a quick riff that provides an immediate hook to the song that sticks to you like maple syrup on your feet. They then lay into a catchy chorus that will likely find you singing along as you’re bouncing around the room, car, etc. The final song ‘Never Be Goodbye’ provides that acoustic campfire kind of send off that works perfectly for this release. As the band’s stature grows, this could turn into one of those moments where it is just the crowd singing and clapping as the band prepares for an encore.

At just about 20 minutes, there are no wasted moments here. It is over way too fast and leaves you wanting more. The solution is, of course, to play the whole thing over again, and, if you don’t have them yet, I recommend adding the first EP and the ‘This Ain’t Hollywood’ single to your mix for more of a full album experience. American Jetset crashed into my world over a year ago because of their great songs, and this release shows that they were not a one-trick pony. Pick up this album and prepare to sing your butt off while these songs remind you of how good music can make you feel.

‘Saloon Rock Whiskey Pop’ is available now.

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

 

 

 

After the tragic death of Scott Weiland, I (like many other STP fans) had no interest in new music from the band with a new singer, especially an X Factor contestant. The recruitment of Jeff Gutt just reeked of Rockstar INXS to me and it felt like a betrayal on the legacy of their enigmatic frontman. No one could replace Scott Weiland, surely?

But, look at it from their point of view. Dean and Robert Deleo, along with drummer  Eric Kretz have a hell of a back catalogue, one that took them to the top of the charts back in the ’90s, and why should they not continue to write, record and tour as that band? Let’s face it, many bands have continued and even become more successful after the loss of their singer (AC/DC anyone?).

That said, I gave their last album a wide birth and had no interest in the band until word filtered through of an acoustic album they had recorded. Ever since their famous MTV Unplugged session back in 1993, it seems STP were destined to release an acoustic album, it was just a matter of when.

 

‘Perdida’ was self-produced by the band and recorded at Eric Kretz’ Bomb Shelter studios. Using vintage instruments and exploring themes of loss, death and goodbyes, (Perdida literally means loss in Spanish) the band has crafted an introspective album that sees them bare their souls, as they come to terms with the grief and sadness that has filled their lives in recent years.

Opener ‘Fare Thee Well’ is an uplifting, monumental song. Lyrically about lost love, yet full of sentiment and hope. The ghost of Scott Weiland is all over this track, Jeff’s vocals bare an uncanny resemblance, and there is no denying it. And it sort of makes me feel uncomfortable like I shouldn’t really be liking it…but I do, I really do, the hairs standing up on the back of my neck don’t lie.

Dean’s folk-inspired guitar intro leads to a heartbreaking melody that builds and builds to a glorious chorus, with almost gospel-tinged backing. The drums are powerful yet understated, giving a solid base for the instruments to breathe life into a song that is utterly beautiful after just one listen. It sets the tone for the album and sets the bar very high indeed.

With a ‘less is more’ approach to this album, the sparse arrangements create space and the rustic instrumentation is added only where needed to accentuate the songs. Here, the addition of flute, alt sax and guitarrone add another dimension to the STP sound.

The likes of ‘She’s My Queen’ could easily be a bombastic rock song with different production and arrangement, yet here stripped back to bare bones with open chords and lush harmonies, it shines.

‘Three Wishes’ could have sat nicely on the more experimental third album ‘Tiny Music..’. Dean’s signature slide guitar and Robert’s bass runs certainly hark back to that era of the band. Similarly, ‘I Didn’t Know The Time’ with its flute solo and jazzy, lounge feel is something the band has toyed with in the past and here it sits remarkably well.

Nylon string guitar takes precedence over the Spanish influenced title track, it comes on a bit too Euro-folk for its own good for me, but ‘Years’ with its lazy, sun-drenched California vibes, has an almost Beach Boys meets Simon and Garfunkel feel.

Big mention for the folky ‘Miles Away’ that flows on a killer vocal melody and swathes of mournful violin, giving a rustic Parisian feel, more in line with The Urban Voodoo Machine. This is a glorious song – make no mistake.

 

Stone Temple Pilots have delivered the album they have always hinted at making. And while ‘Perdida’ is a departure for the band and something that has been brewing for years, it is still very much Stone Temple Pilots by name and by nature. There’s a newfound vulnerability to the band that brings to mind Alice In Chains classic ‘Jar Of Flies’ acoustic album.

Hauntingly, the ghost of Scott Weiland looms over every chord they play and every note that Jeff sings, it probably always will. Haters are gonna hate, but I for one think that these songs are too good to ignore and am totally surprised and grateful that Stone Temple Pilots have delivered an album I never thought I would hear, and to be honest it has made me fall in love with this band all over again.

Buy ‘Perdida’ Here 

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Special release to raise money for wildlife injured in the Australian bushfires. All proceeds will go to Wildlife Victoria.

This digital download of ‘Thylacine’ includes a bonus, previously unreleased track ‘Song of Murray’s Brigade’, an adaptation of a 1940 poem by Australian bush poet Banjo Paterson.  Purchase Here

Suzie said about this fundraiser, “ I have been completely heartbroken watching the destruction caused by the fires in Australia. I’ve created a special release to raise money for Wildlife Victoria to help injured and displaced wildlife.

This digital release of ‘Thylacine’ includes an exclusive, previously unreleased bonus track called ‘Song of Murray’s Brigade’ which is an adaptation of a 1940 poem by Australian bush poet Banjo Paterson. It was recorded at the same time as ‘Song of Artesian Water’ (another adaptation of Paterson’s poetry) though hasn’t been available to purchase previously. The song is stripped back with acoustic guitar and Gareth Skinner on cello.

Many of the species that have been affected by these fires were already threatened or endangered due to factors such as habitat loss from land clearing for agriculture and urban development, invasive species, and pressures from extreme heat caused by climate change and ongoing drought. These fires pose a huge threat for their ongoing survival, but we still have a chance to help and ensure that they don’t end up in the history books next to the thylacine (now extinct).

The cost for both tracks is £5, though you can pay as much as you want. 100% of proceeds will go to Wildlife Victoria. This release will be available for a limited time. Every little bit helps”.

 

Suzie Stapleton – vocals & guitar
Gavin Jay – bass
Jim Macaulay – drums
Gareth Skinner – cello

 

To make a contribution click: Here

I can’t remember where or when I first heard Red Arms it might well have been one late night when I vanished down a Bandcamp wormhole and just happened across ‘Better Than Nothing’ the second track on ‘Critical State’. Maybe the first thing I noticed was they were Canadian and to be fair they throw up more than their fair share of great records in recent years.  Post punk, Power pop or alt rock  whatever you want to call it  Red Arms dish it up in spades and have made a most excellent long player.

I’ll level with you I don’t know anything about the band when I went looking for details and previous work I struggled to find anything  so it was a real discovery for me .I hear some Husker Du and The Who as well as more modern alternative bands like some Buffalo Tom and Anti Flag as well for good measure so a real melting pot but the production is bright and the songs sound well constructed and worked on. The album kicks off with ‘Post Punk’ which has something of a Stooges riff and rhythm about it and to be fair its more No Means No or Fugazi than anything else.  Its got energy for an opener and it’ll reel you in for sure. As the record unfolds the songs tend to settle down to mid paced efforts but with strong melodies and harmonies take ‘All This Noise’ as an example.

‘Midwinter’ builds around a bass rumble but a bit of an epic as the first minute takes its time to get going but by the second minute things get rockin’.  To be fair the second half of the album only gets stronger for me and I love the groove they get in on  ‘Pathetic Charms’. If you like a thumping bass rumble then ‘Huckster’ is for you before it starts thrashing around it ebbs and flows through some tempo changes.

To be fair I hear different influences on every play but they’ve managed to create a really listenable sound with a bunch of top tunes. Red Arms are another fine string to Canada’s impressive bow of Rock and Roll bands strutting their stuff this being immersed in the alternative underground but full to bursting with excellent melodies and tunes.  Go check em put but don’t hold me responsible for starting you off down that wormhole of discovery but it will be worth it.

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Author: Dom Daley