I’ve reviewed Corner Boys singles before and when I heard they had an album in the can it was a no brainer. Imagine Buzzcocks and Undertones mashed up with some New Wave and rolled it into the modern age and whilst these cats doff their caps to their forefathers in punk rock they have just about handcrafted a whole bunch of awesome power pop. Superbly crafted punk rock songs played at pace with melody and equal amounts of angst and loud sharp guitars. Songs like ‘Lies And Excuses’ throw some punchy bass lines into the mix along with some Gatlin gun drum rolls. Damn Corner Boys have got it all.
Spit and snot aplenty there is a triumphant fist-pumping we know we’re great thing happening here. Seriously playing this record through had me comparing it to Cyanide Pills for quality on quality on quality and so it goes. You keep waiting for the next tune to drop off and you tut that they weren’t really the best thing since sliced bread but it doesn’t happen the title track is a much more juvenile snotty pogo through the best of SLF whereas ‘Norman’ is just a massive sugar rush on a rolling guitar lick in a similar vein as the Briefs and The Stitches or at least if you love them you have a fair idea where these cats are coming from. It’s not complicated its just great fucking songs one after the other from start to finish. If there is a complaint its there are only ten songs on here and that’s it. They’ve really mainlined the lyrical quality and melody of the late great Pete Shelley on ‘Guilty Galaxy’ No I don’t know what it’s about but it doesn’t matter I was too busy jumping up and down trying to get in time with the music.
‘(I’m such A) Mess’ is like the best Briefs song they never wrote and ‘Don’t Come Back’ is more Buzzcocks that Buzzcocks which is a great place to be. I love that bands from thousands of miles away really just get it whatever it is they get “it” enough to go into a studio and just have a bunch of fun hacking out tunes faster than the last one and doing it well. sure Corner Boys won’t ever get inducted into any stupid hall of egos but they’ll make their way into a bunch of really fucking cool record collections of like-minded people who just get it as well. Why not be one of those people and let a little sunshine into your life and get yourself some Corner Boys punk rock n roll because its simply excellent stuff now ‘Tell Me’ What You Waiting For?
Buy ‘Waiting For 2020’ Here
Author: Dom Daley
A few weeks ago I was coerced into going to to see legendary post-punk outfit the Mekons by a good friend of mine who demanded I witness the band he calls “the originators of the alt-country movement” live.
To say that gig left me flabbergasted is perhaps something of an understatement, not only because the band managed to squeeze more musicians on stage at Le Pub than I’d ever have thought humanly possible (is that really Lu Edmonds hiding behind in the darkest recesses I wondered?…yes it is), but also not really knowing any of their songs I was enthralled by the band’s ability to mix up genres for the sake of a great tune, and which only showed the merest touches of alt-country if truth be told, so much so in fact, you could call me something of a convert. Not that the band really needed me, as fans of the band had long since sold out the gig travelling from all over the country and indeed the globe (fuck you flat earthers) to witness Jon Langford leading his band out on his home turf.
You see although the Mekons are hailed as a Leeds based band, by way of Langford’s adopted home of Chicago, he is still very much a Gwent boy at heart, and someone who up until a few weeks ago, I knew much more about as an artist, than I did as a musician.
This was all about to change for me though when I picked up a copy of ‘Deserted’ the 9 track album the band were promoting on that recent UK/Euro tour. This is an LP recorded on the fringes of Joshua Tree National Park to maximise the band’s creativity and the thing that hits me straight between the eyes is just how many of the tracks off this album they played live I actually remembered. No mean feat for a bunch of songs I’d only heard once before I’m sure you’ll agree.
‘Lawrence Of California’ which open the album is one such tune, a folky fiddle driven number that has more than just a hint of a drunken night on the tiles about it. Langford’s buzzsaw guitar and doubled vocals (with his vocal counterpoint Sally Timms screaming her lungs out) all underpinning this very strong call to arms. Likewise, the Tom Greenhalgh hollered ‘Harar 1883’ which follows vividly stuck in mind not least because it was such a shift into almost Keith Richards songwriting territory that it almost knocked me bandy live.
With repeated listens I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s impossible to pigeonhole ‘Deserted’, which I mean in every sense in a good way, the band genre hopping all over the place and essentially writing and playing the music they want to hear.
Personal highlights for yours truly include ‘Into The Sun’ which kicks some serious butt in an almost B.A.D kind of way, whilst ‘In The Desert’ drifts through your mind like some Gabriel-esque soundtrack moment and acts as an almost perfect juxtaposition musically to the way too piratey for my tastes ‘How Many Stars’ which it follows on the album. Elsewhere there are elements of Berlin-era Bowie evident during the frankly bonkers-brilliant ‘Weimar Vending Machine’ and finally, I do get some alt-country in the shape of the staggeringly beautiful ‘After The Rain’ which closes out the album.
That a band as creatively magnificent as the Mekons are almost hidden away from the mainstream means that you can still see them live for less than ten pounds, the music they deliver here on ‘Deserted’ however really is priceless. Make sure you don’t miss out on this absolute gem of an album, it’s well worth making that musical leap of faith for…trust me.
Buy Deserted Here
Author: Johnny Hayward
Cotton picking country blues – born on the Bayo poor boy fingerpickin’ dreamy roots rock and roll. There you go if you were looking for a Genre to hang your hat on that should just about cover it. Lonesome Shack starts off with the first couple of tunes picking the blues out of his geetar. But wait this isn’t a solo album Lonesome Shack is a trio. Lonesome Shack is Ben Todd (guitar/voice), Kristian Garrard (drums), and Luke Bergman (bass). and this record gets really interesting by the time ‘New Dreams’. Then ‘Lonely’ builds on a repetitive hypnotic riff that rolls and rolls gathering pace on the snare drum but the vocals are kept to a fairly distant dream-like level. Its a primitive journey you’ll take with Lonesome Shack that’s for sure. There ain’t nothing modern or hi-tech jiggery pokery happening here my only complaint is the song perhaps outstays its welcome clocking in at almost five minutes. However, saying that this album takes on a different feel when you add volume there is an earthy tone that is totally engaging and that’s ramped up on the highlight of ‘Only One’ with its darkness and sparse arrangement. Had this been from the pen of say the Urban Voodoo Machine we’d all be raving about it and rightly so.
I was quite surprised to see they’re based in London via Seattle and not from some crossroad down on the Delta. ‘Too Bad’ is a batton carrying rhythmic affair from the bluesmen of many moons ago and has a wonderful rhythm and hypnotic feel to it. Its not always about what you play sometimes the magic is what you leave out and sometimes the minimalist arrangement and delivery is the strength of a song ‘The City Is A Dessert’ is one such tune as it thumps the chord and rhythm over and over as if they’re forging the tune on a smoking hot day it gets inside your head and you drift off with the rhythm. Lonesome Shack has a gift and on this record, they’re leaving the best till last as the title track is a splendid slice of Bluesy rock n roll and Keith ‘n’ Ronnie would approve I’m sure of it. Great stuff.
Cool as drinking Tequilla on a hot hot day check out this piece of urban delta blues its refreshingly good.
Author: Dom Daley
Buy Lonesome Shack Here
Fuengirola’s municipal area is one of the smallest in the Málaga province and it is virtually reduced to a coastal strip that the city and the district of Santa Fe de los Boliches take up. It extends along seven kilometres of coastline with plenty of excellent beaches. Fuengirola is also only a 20 minute drive from Malaga airport.
THE NEVILLE STAPLE BAND has announced their new single ‘Working Hard Everyday’ hot on the trail of their ‘Rude Rebels’ album, involving Specials’ original guitarist Roddy Radiation (a.k.a. Roddy Byers), and single ‘Put Away Your Knives’, a 2-Tone influenced punky ska and reggae cry to young people involved in knife crime, motivated by a tragic event that struck their family in September 2018 – the fatal stabbing of Neville’s 21-year-old grandson Fidel Glasgow.
Neville and Sugary Staple co-wrote ‘Working Hard Everyday’ with Charlie Organaire (a.k.a. Charles Cameron), best friend and colleague to ska pioneer Prince Buster. He was involved in many of the legend’s hit songs, as well as writing his own music and working with Prince Buster’s son Sultan.
Catch The Neville Staple Band on tour with The Undertones throughout May and onwards on their own awesome steam at venues and festivals throughout the summer. June also brings several celebrations for the 40th Anniversary of 2-Tone, together with The Specials’ Jerry Dammers as DJ and Beat Goes Bang (comprised of members of The Beat, General Public and Dexys Midnight Runners).
May 2 LONDON – Electric Ballroom (with The Undertones)
May 3 COVENTRY – Empire (with The Undertones)
May 4 BRISTOL – SWX (with The Undertones)
May 9 NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE – Boiler Shop (with The Undertones)
May 10 LEEDS – O2 Academy (with The Undertones)
May 11 MANCHESTER – O2 Ritz (with The Undertones)
May 16 NORWICH – Open (with The Undertones)
May 17 BEXHILL ON SEA – De La Warr Pavilion (with The Undertones)
May 18 COOKHAM – Lets Rock The Moor (2:00)
May 18 SOUTHAMPTON – Engine Rooms (with The Undertones)
May 25 HERTFORDSHIRE – Stone Valley South Festival
May 26 MERTHYR TYDFIL – Merthyr Rising
June 1 CHIPPING SODBURY – SodFest
June 8 SHEFFIELD – Music For The Homeless
June 15 KETTERING – 40th Anniversary of 2-Tone (with Jerry Dammers DJ, Beat Goes Bang)
June 22 WESTON-SUPER-MARE – 40th Anniversary of 2-Tone (with Jerry Dammers DJ, Beat Goes Bang)
June 29 STANHOPE – Stone Valley North Festival
July 5 BLYTH – North East Chilli Fest
July 6 SOUTHAMPTON – Let’s Rock Southampton
July 13 THAME – Thame Music Festival
July 14 EXETER – Wonder Fields Festival
July 19 MELKSHAM – Melksham Music Festival
July 20 HOLMFIRTH – Holmfirth Ska Splash
July 21 TAMWORTH – Warton Music Festival
July 27 CHIDDINGLY – Chiddfest
Aug. 3 SUDDINGTON / MACCLESFIELD – Rewind Festival North
Aug. 9 WINCHESTER – Boomtown Fair
Aug 10 RATLINGHOPE – Farmer Phil’s Festival
Aug 17 STRETFORD – Great Northern Ska Festival
Aug 18 HENLEY-ON-THAMES – Rewind Festival South
Aug 31 CASTLE DONINGTON – Off the Tracks Festival
Los Angeles California so much to answer for but thankfully one of them isn’t Hammered Satin. Taking Smash Fashion and Giuda to the next level and channeling the Gypsy Rollers. The next level is to time warp – time machine these four lifers in all their glam-tastic -high heeled stomping glittery rock n roll finery ala sweet meets Bolan meets the glitter band with extra plumes of feather boa and I might add stints in some pretty cool bands form their CV’s such as the Zeros, Flamin’ Groovies, Flytraps, S’cool Girls and Teachers Pet. this is going to be one hell of a ride!
Sure as shit stinks they have a track called ‘Dynamite’ that does indeed have sound effects of explosions with one with extra glitter for the finale and hand claps and added slap on that snare drum. Man, this is unashamed retro Rock and Roll. Fuck me song titles that include words like ‘Candy’ ‘Sugar’ ‘Velvet’ ‘Starchild’ ‘Silver’ Satin’ Stomp’ they just about tick every box that has been left unopened properly since the ’70s. ITs like every Top Of The Pops album got warped in the sun and melted into one (not so) original album. Did he just say lollipop and bubblegum in the same sentence? Of course he did the songs entitled ‘Cand Sugar Baby’ for fuck’s sake!
Sure there’s nothing remotely original here its simply glam stomping fun. a lot of that glam hasn’t been used this brazenly for decades and why not? Damn, they take huge lumps of Bolan and Glitter and make it their own in 2019 and I’m good with that the title track is pure Bolan and why not they’ve even borrowed his lyric book and backing vocal tapes. Giuda went there but with double denim and tried to tough it out with a bit of street thrown in but Hammered Satin go the full hog mog and set fire to the double denim and go straight for the thrift store bellbottoms and silver platforms.
‘Silver Streak’ is about a bike (of course it is) and what a bottleneck guitar bruiser it is too.this one is the start of the albums purple patch because ‘Baby Vampire’ has the records best backing vocals and ‘Honey Squiss’ is Hanoi Rocks cool in the melody stakes and the albums golden nugget. I would say its a hidden gem but there’s nothing hidden or under the radar on this record no Sir not for a second. By the time ‘Starchild’ has begun you realise that that’s it and the record is on its last legs and this slower acoustic led ode to Starchild is the curtain call and that a shocker because it went by so quickly. So re-apply that eye shadow pull up those satin bellbottoms are flip this bad boy over and go straight back in for another round. It’s a lot of fun and whilst its dredged the underbelly of the 70’s glam scene it’s a hoot a proper blast of glitter oh, and the last quarter of this record is excellent. Get on it and ride that white swan til the end ‘Velvet Vortex’ is addictive as hubba bubba and space dust and about as much rock and roll fun as is legally permitted.
Author: Dom Daley
While many of his contemporaries and occasional sparring partners went on to play arenas, Adam Bomb’s own rock ‘n’ roll show has soldiered on relentlessly, doggedly frequenting the small clubs of the world – certainly in Europe anyway. Having played with the likes of Geoff Tate and Tommy Thayer, and rubbing shoulders with Kiss and Guns ‘n’ Roses, he could easily claim to have been hard done by. But that’s the just the way it goes. And rather than disappear into obscurity like many others from the era, he continues on with rock ‘n’ roll belief, delivering his show night after night.
Tonight in Brno is no different. The Mersey club is indeed small, but the atmosphere is great and the club is a local favourite among gig-goers. Unfortunately, due to the typical issue of people living near an old music club and complaining about it, the show must stop at 10pm. There are three bands on tonight so the show starts at a nice and early 7.15.
Understandably, I was a little late and entered the club to the electrifying Blue Movie. Hailing from New York City, this genre-bending metal band plays it loud, hard and intense. Their first time in Europe, Blue Movie weren’t about to let the early doors hold them back. Their show is full-on energy with relentless, solid metal riffing. The band tore through a crackin’ set of pummelling tunes before taking a well-earned rest. And their drummer is an absolute machine. She is fantastic. Enjoy Europe guys!
Aside from Adam Bomb, the main reason I’d come tonight was to check out local band, Liquid Jesus. While described as glam punk, Liquid Jesus are just as much glam metal as punk – sometimes more on the side of Skid Row than New York Dolls, perhaps. Either way, there is a glam void in Brno and it is being delightfully filled by these guys. Fun and energetic, the Jesus have brought with them a loyal following who are enjoying every moment. The riffs are tight and the show is upbeat, with a great string of tunes before showing off their punk roots with a roaring cover of Dead Boy’s ‘Sonic Reducer’. Great stuff.
Another quick changeover and Adam Bomb is on stage in no time at all in order to meet the curfew. The last thing he needs is the police turning up again, judging by his recent Facebook posts about run-ins with the Swiss arm of the law. Never failing to put on a show, Bomb always looks the part no matter the size of the venue. Dressed in glitter and stars, the veteran and his band pour into his high-octane set, taking songs from throughout his rich career. Songs such as ‘I Want my Heavy Metal’, ‘Rock like Fuck’ and ‘DWI on the Info-Super Highway’ light up the stage almost as much as his pyrotechnics which had me looking for the most direct route out of there. A touching tribute to Johnny Thunders (his untimely passing remembered only days before this show) with ‘Johnny in the Sky’ is quickly followed by Thunders’ own ‘Little Bit of Whore’. A few more select numbers are wrapped up by ‘One Punch Can Change the Fight’ and more pyrotechnics, before Bomb and co move on to Prague to continue their 2019 trek around Europe. An early but great night all round.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes describe ‘End Of Suffering’ as their third and most important record, and they are not wrong. Following the success of their first two albums (‘Blossoms’ and ‘Modern Ruin’ were recorded back to back just 8 months apart) the band hit the studio in London during the record-breaking heat wave of 2018, with the intention of taking their time to create the biggest and best album they could.
To help achieve this, they roped in famed producer Cam Blackwood (Jack Savoretti/George Ezra) and the legendary mixing talents of Alan Moulder (NIN/QOTSA) to help turn their blood, sweat, and tears into something truly special.
The title ‘End Of Suffering’ comes from the Buddhist mantra for finding enlightenment, and the themes of this album document Frank’s struggles for the last 2 years. First single ‘Crowbar’ may have lulled fans into a false sense of security that this album was going to be choc-a-bloc with primal, fist-pumping anthems of empowerment’, but it’s safe to say Frank and songwriting partner/guitarist Dean Richardson have worked hard to take The Rattlesnakes to the next level. I believe their songwriting has matured beyond any of their previous work.
At the heart of this album is the song ‘Anxiety’, a highlight at the recent intimate shows. With a hard-hitting video and relatable lyrics, it’s a song that has already touched the hearts and souls of many fans. Dean’s lone, haunting guitar riff sets the tone for Frank to open up more than he ever has before. ‘Anxiety’ is an anthem for unity, a song to raise your hands to and stamp your feet along to.
You see, Frank Carter is a man who cares, and understands he is in a unique position where he can make a difference to people’s lives through his music. And if the message he gives out prevents just one person from shutting themselves off from the world, making them realise that they are not alone and that it is ok to not be ok, then his job is done.
Heavy talk aside, ‘End Of Suffering’ is introspective and puts out a positive message. It is not a punk album, nor is it an indie album. ‘End Of Suffering’ is a modern rock record that perfectly bridges the gap between Gallows and Pure Love, much more successfully than either of their two previous albums did.
While the hardcore influence of Gallows that was still present throughout the first two albums is now all but a distant memory, ‘End Of Suffering’ is no less intense for it. Opener ‘A Butterfly Can’t Love A Spider’ sets the intensity levels high from the word go. Riding on a formidable, pulsating beat and brooding vocals that build to a soaring crescendo, as Dean bashes out a dirty riff. “When I’m high, I’m in Heaven, when I’m low I’m in Hell” sings Frank, and we believe every word.
The band then fire into the skulking beast that is ‘Tyrant Lizard King’. Featuring a cool, desert rock riff and a chorus that slithers from the speakers like a snake ready to inject its venom straight into the soul, it captivates and enraptures. A trademark off the wall solo from a certain Tom Morello fits the feel of the song perfectly. This tune is guaranteed to be a mainstay of The Rattlesnakes live set for years to come. 2 songs in, and it’s safe to say the band has taken things up a notch or two.
“I’m a punk rock renegade” drawls Frank on the opening line of the space age, indie punk hybrid ‘Kitty Sucker, before launching into another anthemic, high energy chorus that matches the intensity of Gallows at their finest.
With the likes of ‘Little Devil’ with its QOTSA feel and the regimental beats and high energy, post-punk vibes of ‘Heartbreaker’, The Rattlesnakes offer enough to satisfy all the cravings their fans desire. They even explore Portishead territory on the downbeat electronica soaked ‘Angel Wings’, a song that creates beautiful and cinematic imagery, if you just take the time to close your eyes and take it in.
The emotive closing title track offers yet more with acoustic guitars, a piano refrain and a recording of Frank’s four year old daughter laughing as the song fades out on singular ivory notes. “I’ll be waiting…even if I’m gone” Frank assures the listener in a near broken voice.
Between sorrow and beauty, where love and hate collide, the deeply personal ‘End Of Suffering’ could be the album to rocket Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes into stadiums around the world. It has already been stated elsewhere that this is their ‘The Holy Bible’, that this could be their ‘In Utero’. The difference being…this album offers hope where the others only gave despair.
Funnily enough, the opening quote of this review was taken from the introduction of the U.S. mix of ‘She Is Suffering’ by the Manic Street Preachers. How’s that for a tenuous link, pop pickers!
Buy End Of Suffering Here
Author: Ben Hughes
Dust down your dead man’s suit and lace up your dancing boots, ‘cause Daddy Long Legs are back with a new album, and may well be coming to your town. ‘Theme From Daddy Long Legs’ eases us in gently before new single ‘Pink Lemonade’ takes us down a slightly different route than you might expect. Not a drastic change, but it updates their traditional sound; if you heard it on the radio, you’d like it, but not necessarily think it was them.
‘Ding, Dong, Dang’, on the other hand, could have been recorded in 1939, and sounds exactly like the title suggests, which is no bad thing. Some fine twanging from Murat here. ‘Morning’, Noon, Night’ would have a nod of appreciation from Howlin’ Wolf; down and dirty blues, just the way it should be played. ‘Glad Rag Ball’ gets the hips shaking, “suited and booted” indeed. If this doesn’t get you moving, consult your local medicine man.
‘Bad Neighborhood’ is a scuzzy, acoustic riff, and ‘Celaphine’ keeps up the train-track rhythm, all handclaps and foot taps. ‘Winners’ Circle’ has a breezy, up-tempo Chuck Berry feel to it, while ‘Back Door Fool’ slows things down in a country style, worthy of Jason Ringenberg. Classy.
‘Snagglepuss’ berates a “mean old bag of bones”, ‘Be Gone’ brings a hoe-down flavour; shove your coffee table aside and prepare to move, before ‘Wrong Side Of The River’ brings it all to an end with a more somber tone. If you’re familiar with their work, you’ll know that Daddy Long Legs won’t let you down. Another fine album, but to capture their essence, see them on their upcoming U.K tour.
Author: Martin Chamarette
Buy ‘Lowdown Ways’ Here