With the Easter bank holiday sun blazing in the early evening sky it feels like a very Good Friday indeed as I descend on The Dolls House for the first night of the Dementia Aware Fest Wales being hosted by our good friends at The Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus.

Unfortunately, tonight is the only night I can make this year, and even then, I can only make it for the last four bands of the evening, so my apologies to Kinstrife and Smithgrind for missing your sets, I’m sure I’ll catch up with you soon.

Scarlet Rebels are up first for me and they turn out to be a very competent Welsh five piece very much in the modern melodic rock mould, going down an absolute storm with the fans they have brought along with them. This Elegant Chaos on the other hand are an angsty gothic metal quartet from Birmingham who thunder through their set like they’re headlining an arena, with bassist Greg being like the band’s very own Phil Collen, but without the multi-platinum back catalogue to play…well not yet anyway.

The bastard sons of the Dorset Delta otherwise known as The Electric Shakes are the band I’ve really come here to see tonight, my 30 minute car journey paling into insignificance compared to how long it must have taken them to drive here from Bournemouth, so it’s a real shame there aren’t more of the local rock community present to witness the band’s fantastic blend of R&B (as in the 60s kind) infused garage rock.  More fool them I say…suckers!!!!

Kicking off with the spritely new track ‘Lightspeed’, there’s no time for banter as the trio of Steve (guitar and vocals), Eric (bass) and Basha (drums) tear straight into the Glitter boogie of ‘The Doctor’ from their 2017 ‘Electrohypnosis’ CD and suddenly there’s a rock ‘n’ roll cure for all of our ill, yeah and it’s called dancing. Of the new tracks aired tonight ‘Rye N Dry’ sounds like the perfect aperitif for the band’s soon to be released EP whilst older tracks like ‘Shot Me Down’, ‘Magpie’ and frisky (geddit?) set closer ‘Blue Meanie’ make me wonder why someone hasn’t had this lot out on the road playing the length and breadth of the country with Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, reclaiming venues from the grips of the tribute terror that is feeding off the apathy of casual gig goers like the fucking Blob of Beige.

Sadly, there’s no time for any tracks from the band’s excellent debut ‘Stereotypical Girls’ EP tonight but then with a tight schedule to follow you can’t have it all can you.

Having somehow managed to miss tonight’s headliners at Hard Rock Hell Sleaze last September all I seemed to hear following the festival was just how great The Midnight Dogs were that weekend, so its once again such a shame that a band commanding such a high reputation amongst those “in the known” end up playing to just the real Dolls House diehards by the time they hit the stage with a swaggering hunk of rock going by the name of ‘Fooling’.

The Leicester based band certainly remind me of the greats like Zeppelin and Aerosmith albeit they do it without the plagiarism of many of the current contemporaries (I could have perhaps have done without the cover of ‘Come Together’ though) and its their non-stop dancing and part time cross dressing frontman Rob Cass who is the band’s most critical element in their ability to continue to do so.  New video single ‘Let’s Go’ sounds like a real doozy of a tune live but for me it’s its predecessor ‘I’m With You’ where The Midnight Dogs truly shine, this is 2 minutes of intense guitar driven hook laden rock, and if the Dogs can write a bunch of tunes as great as this they very well could be a true musical force to be reckoned with come October when they finally release album number two.

As it is The Midnight Dogs will return to The Dolls House a couple of weeks before said album is released when they headline Dollfest 6 on Saturday 28th September which is once again being organised by the metal gods at The Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus.

So, kudos once again to Ceri and Paul at The Circus , along with Jammy and Southy at The Dolls House, as well as all the bands who played not only tonight but across the whole weekend, simply for keeping original rock music alive and well in south Wales, whilst raising money for a very worthwhile cause indeed.

Kudos indeed my friends…take a bow one and all!

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Author: Johnny Hayward

Brett Smiley was a singer-songwriter from America who was as glam rock as David Johanson and Marc Bolan and in the 70’s he had one single (‘Va Va Va Voom’) and one album that quickly vanished and is now the price of a small island if you want a copy on CD (‘Breathlessly Brett’) It was recorded in the mid ’70s but released in the early 2000’s he was once taken under the wing of Andrew Loog Oldham and the rest is history (albeit feint obscure History) well RSD tends to throw up a few curveballs from the box of records kept under the stairs and 2019 threw up ‘Sunset Towers’ – A collection of Eight songs recorded by Smiley before Oldman got hold of him this was recordings captured at Cherokee Studios in the Valley (also used by Bowie) what we have here is eight classic slabs of original first wave Glam rock plain and simple.  Great tunes camp as Christmas proper glam rock – brickies in platform silver boots and feather boas it’s a moment caught in time.

 

Only a few of the tracks made it onto the ‘Breathlessly Brett’ album and to be fair they aren’t the standout tracks here which makes it all the more puzzling how and why Brett wasn’t more well known. To be honest it was 2004,  Nina Antonia’s book about Smiley, ‘The Prettiest Star: Whatever Happened to Brett Smiley’ that made me dig into who he was and his sad story. Smiley performed until 2015 in New York City and was recording songs for a new CD. He sadly died on January 8, 2016, after a lengthy battle with HIV and hepatitis but thanks to things like RSD we get to revel in his legacy and wonderful silky smooth voice.  Whilst I said the music is classic glam his voice is wonderful take the Stonesy rip off of ‘Highty Tighty’ You’ll hear the melody and Stones influence which is always cool. There’s the Bowie/Bolan swagger of ‘Abstracted Billy’. 

You also have the pomp and Mott like ‘Space Ace’ with its drug-addled lyrics which I’m sure at the time would have seemed wild and out there.  There are lyrics and delivery phrases here that remind me of Marc Almond something that crops up several times throughout the record to be fair.  I love ‘Queen Of Hearts’ it’s so dramatic it’s like a light to Lou Reeds Shade.

‘Lying In The Sun’ sounds like a demo compared to the previous tracks and the unproduced nature is warming and engaging and to be fair the exact same could be said for the final offering of ‘Diamonds Couldn’t Bring You Back’ which has a certain Johnny Thunders quality to it and seems like the perfect way to end the record.  I do hope that the quality of songs he was working on as late as 2015 surface and follow on from these recordings and we one day get to hear them.  Rest In Peace Brett Smiley your star burned brightly if only for a new york minute and I’m glad it got captured on record. It might not be the greatest Glam Rock record ever made but its quality and if you like Mott The Hoople, Bowie, Reed, Bolan, the Dolls then fill yer boots this is a keeper. If you can pick one of these up before they cost a fortune.

 

Author: Dom Daley

 

Hi Everybody:
I know there has been some curiosity, speculation and, yes, rumor about why I haven’t been Rampaging songs on FB or, more importantly, out on tour promoting my book “There’s No Bones in Ice Cream” and playing in a town near YOU.
First the BAD news: For about a year now, I have been battling cancer.
Then the GOOD news: I have an upcoming surgery with a great doctor that may do the TRICK.   There will, however, be a somewhat lengthy recovery period (at least a year).  I have not been able to work since last year and have more surgery scheduled.  I love life! As hard as life has been to me these past 2 years I want to live and I know with your love & support I’ll have the best chance that I could ever have,  
Love
Sylvain Sylvain

Please, if you can click the link below at Sylvains Go Fund Me Page –

Donate Here 

 

I guess another way to help a rock and roll brother would be to buy his Book Which is a fantastic read ‘There’s No Bones In Ice Cream’ Here

In the week Iggy turned 72 he announced he’d be reissuing the long deleted ‘Zombie Birdhouse’ which will come out on 28th June pre-orders Here

 

It wasn’t a great shock seeing as ‘The Villagers’ was picked as a RSD single this year. Maybe it’ll also see Iggy finally release some of the albums he made that never got onto vinyl finally get a vinyl release off the back of the interest in this.

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The Dahmers are heading out on the European roads to support The Dwarves.
As a warm-up, they bring us a brand new video!

“DEMON NIGHT…IT’S ALRIGHT!
Oh boy, check out our brand new thriller.
A stop motion nightmare of the song “Demon Night” from our latest album “Down in the Basement”.
– The Dahmers

 

Tour Dates:

2/5 – Grand – Malmö, SWE
13/6 – Kraken – Stockholm, SWE *
14/6 – Røverstaden – Oslo, NO *
15/6 – Musikens Hus – Gothenburg, SWE *
16/6 – Underwerket – Copenhagen, DK *
18/6 – Patronaat – Haarlem, NL *
19/6 – Club Vaudeville – Lindau, GER *
12/7 – Midnight Light Festival – Vilhelmina, SWE

* supporting The Dwarves

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With 2019 being the 40th anniversary of Venom, it’s well worth noting that it’s also the 10th anniversary of the band’s current line-up of Cronos (vocals and bass), Rage (guitar) and Dante (drums). Their recently released ‘Storm The Gates’ album is the band’s fifteenth to be bursting out with metal of the non-more black variety and thanks to a huge (very limited edition) Venom LP box set and 2 disc career retrospective being on the fire stoked horizon Spinefarm Records are giving this 13 tracker another push right now, which is great for me as this release somehow totally passed me by when it originally hit the shelves back in January of this year.

Which is something I can’t help but feel a bit annoyed with myself about really, simply because Venom are a band that not only reinvented heavy metal but also birthed a bazillion other subgenres, so why aren’t they lauded as all-conquering heroes and afforded multiple page tributes by the metal press like Motorhead always were every time they release a new record…and I then don’t end up missing them?”

Now there’s some food for thought eh?

In fact that Motorhead parallel is even more prevalent once you get to hear ‘Storm The Gates’ because just like what Lemmy did with the Mikkey and Phil line up, Cronos and Venom are doing pretty much the same here, by making some of the best full throttle black metal rackets they have made since their early to mid ‘80s heyday.

Opener ‘Bring Out Your Dead’ is an absolute barnstormer of a track with Cronos rattling his r’s over a pounding rhythm designed to get the heads banging and which seamlessly sets up the full on metal grind of ‘Notorious’ a track that sees Rage out Mantasing the band’s former guitar ninja with his use of the divebombing whammy bar, and the goodies don’t stop there either. ‘Dark Night (Of The Soul)’ is a fierce metal fist to the face as is the album’s title track ‘Storm The Gates’ a track that I can just see a pumped up Cronos stood arms folded 50 hole Dr Martins akimbo commanding his Legions to do his bidding in the live setting.

As a long-time fan of the band I have to admit I do find the flat out and nowt else approach the band take to their songwriting these days more than just a little relentless at times. So, for those of us who might still long an all new ‘At War With Satan’ or perhaps even a 21st century ‘Buried Alive’ you will not find anything remotely like that on ‘Storm The Gates’. In fact, tracks like ‘Over My Dead Body’ and ‘The Mighty Have Fallen’ are perhaps the most brutal the band have ever sounded, largely thanks to the superb almost out of control freight train drumming of Dante and the razor-sharp riffing of Rage.

‘Storm The Gates’ then is the sound of Venom heavier and angrier than ever before, I just hope that with this being such a special year for the band they finally get the credit and recognition they so rightly deserve as a truly ground-breaking metal band especially here in the UK where late-afternoon slots at Bloodstock aside we’re lucky to get to see them live at all.

C’MAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!!!

Buy Storm The Gates Here

Author: John Hayward

 

 

 

 

Christmas comes but once a year but we know different as those noisemakers from Europe have unleashed a brand new video for ‘Sex Sells’.  when Max asked us if we’d be interested in showing it to you good people with taste, of course, it was a no brainer so here it is’  Christmas ‘Sex Sells’   top tune and video

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Now don’t be too afraid with all that facial hair because even RPM has to occasionally make an exception and let a few in through the door but the Nuclears have just about maxed out our quota for the whole of 2019 its bloody lucky that they managed to release one of the best debut albums we’ve heard in a long time.  With ‘Barrage Rock’ not far from the player we couldn’t resist getting under the flag and finding out what makes Mike Dudolevitch and his rock n roll comrades tick.
Tell us a bit about the band and where you guys met?
I’ve known my older brother Brian forever and he became friends with this guy Bobby early in high school because they both liked the Doors and Led Zeppelin or something. They started a beginner band with beginner guitars and basses respectively and then got a battle of the band’s gig at a real venue nearby. They said to me “hey you’re starting to get pretty good at guitar, want to join the band?” I said “Ok I guess” and half my life later here we are. We couldn’t hold down a steady drummer for years until we met Kevin in our apartment building in Brooklyn, who has since become integral to the sound and style of the band. Briana rounded out our lineup during the recording of this album- she’s guested on previous records and live shows but stars aligned and we decided to ask her to be a full-time Nuclear.
What’s your background in music?  What influenced you growing up that made you want to pick up a guitar and play in a Rock and Roll Band?
My brother and I didn’t come from a background with a lot of musicians in the family, but our folks got us onto some good music early on- The Who, R.E.M., the Cars, etc. As a kid in the 90s Nirvana and Alice in Chains were exciting to me. Hearing Black Sabbath for the first time made me feel like I had to play guitar. After I started playing early in high school, the rabbit hole of inspiring Rock ‘n’ Roll just kept on going- the Datsuns, the Dictators, the Hellacopters, Alice Cooper, the NY Dolls, Hanoi Rocks, etc. That’s where all my musical sensibilities come from.
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Is there a healthy live scene where you are?  whats a Nuclear show like?
There’s no shortage of live music in North Brooklyn where we are located. It can get overwhelming! It feels like there’s usually a handful of good concerts going on every night and not enough time and money to come close to catching them all, which is a blessing and a curse. At a Nuclears show- expect tons of energy, lots of times bordering on out-of-control, sometimes not just bordering. Three of us take lead vocals, and we give a damn about strong song hooks. Brian and I try to melt your faces off with dueling guitar leads. When the cylinders are all firing there’s a lot of band chemistry onstage, and it ought to be evident from the crowd that we’re having a great fucking time and trying to be contagious with it.
Lets move onto the record.  Where did the title come from what’s that about?
The title ‘Barrage Rock’ was one of a few sub-genres we half-jokingly made up about ourselves because of how surprisingly difficult it is when people ask “What kind of music do you play” or “What do you guys sound like?” without having seen us play. Just saying ‘Rock and Roll’ means like Eddie Cochran to one person and Poison to the next so that gets ya nowhere. I don’t know, like a garage rock band with a bit more B.O.C. and early Judas Priest sonic influence on it- Barrage Rock. Lots of riffs, solos, harmonies, all kinds of shit comin’ at you. Figured the shoe fit enough with this set of songs to give it that title.
Tell us a little about whats on the record.  Where was it recorded that kind of thang. Who’s responsible for writing the songs?
It was recorded in the Lower East Side of Manhattan with our friend and engineer/producer David Pattillo behind the controls. The songwriting process starts with myself or Brian coming up with a guitar riff that’s got potential to drive a song and have a good hook to go with it. Then we make a little phone demo, bounce it off each other, figure out a lyrical angle, add and subtract from the original idea, bring it to the full band to work up, give it some reps live, and then record it with David while scrambling to finish a couple of songwriting loose ends in the studio.
What was the plan when recording? Was it always to just have so few songs? There must be more written, right? What about more recordings in the can?
To be honest, the plan was to lay down some tracks we were writing and see where it went, but there was a lot of challenges and things in transition during the recording of ‘Barrage Rock’. Brian relocated from NYC to the Washington DC suburbs, where we grew up, and the recording studio was a shared space so we’d have to hope to sign out recording time when he was in town, then have a lot of pressure to get as much done as possible in a limited window until we could track again, maybe a month or two later sometimes. For some of Briana’s vocal tracks on the record, she was just guesting, she wasn’t in the group when she recorded them. There was some learning on the fly about how to factor in her versatile vocal abilities when she joined for good. As far as the track count- Producer David called me and said the money squeeze was getting put on him so we ought to get final mixes and masters of this crop of songs before the rate he was giving us had to get hiked. We decided we had a good, dynamic set of tunes to release and shopped for a label to put release ’em to our fans ASAP. We’ve already begun the recording process for the next release at a studio outside of DC- I want to accelerate our turnaround time to get Nuclears Rock n Roll to hungry eardrums so while we’re gearing up to put out ‘Barrage Rock’, I’ve got an eye towards the future with some killer material we’re all really excited about.
Are you taking the band across the states on tour?  
We spend the Summer going on tour to push the record, but it’s all broken up into separate manageable runs of shows in different directions. One month we head to the Midwest and back, one month we head to the South and back etc.
What about anything further afield like Europe?
I’d love to bring the Nukes to Europe to play- hearing from friends’ bands that have toured across the Atlantic, there’s a supportive audience for Rock n Roll music and we’d love to bring the party that way, just gotta clear some logistical and financial hurdles.
Who would you ideally like to hook up with for shows?
As far as bands we’d like to link up with- we always have a good time sharing some shows with our friend’s Indonesian Junk from Milwaukee, WI. I’d love to play with Hammered Satin from L.A. again. but apart from that, we’re open to offers.
So there you have it folks the Nuclears your new favourite Rock and Roll band from The US of A.  Thanks to Mike for accepting our advances and letting us into some Barrage Rock.
Live shot credit to Johan Vipper
opening band pic Credit Nate ‘Igor’ Smith

Dublin City. Five young men with a head full of dreams and songs.  With the likes of Idles breaking out of Bristol with their post-punk tunes now seems the right time right place for a band like Fontaines D.C to step up and show what they have.

Part indie, part punk, part pop all delivered with a broad Dublin accent I like what I hear. ‘Big’ is uptempo and lays the ground zero point from which Fontaines D.C are kicking this off.  Its a slightly restrained rage like a cross between Idles (there’s no getting away from it) and someone like Pavement. ‘Sha Sha Sha’ is a Friday night out of work and down the pub anthem for the underdog and it makes you feel good. ‘Too Real’ is a brooding wall of noise.  As it ebbs and flows rather nicely in a New York City kinda way that maybe had the Strokes been from Dublin then they might have had a bash at this.  That Strokes vibe comes through on ‘Television Screen’ as well as it builds nicely.

‘Hurrican Nicely’ doesn’t make any sense to me but what does make perfect sense is that rhythm section roll on the cymbals and the rumble of the bass which is great and only escalates when the guitars kick in.  Its got a heart as big as The Falls back catalogue  and the flat delivery of the lyrics would have Mark E Smith inhaling with great approval I’m sure.  In contrast ‘Roy’s Tune’ has a really strong melody and gets sung in a very Britpop sort of way as the song drifts along.

With many hats being worn here it’s hard to pinpoint or categorise the band which is refreshing and helps you listen to the songs without expecting to hear this style or that style. There is a reflective mood to ‘The Lotts’. ‘Liberty Belle’ is made for a sweaty live environment as is ‘Boys In The Better Land’ in all it’s happy go lucky let’s make a noise kinda way. Then to end it with the late night smokey barroom lament of ‘Dublin City Sky’ is a fine way to put a full stop on this barrel full of alternative music and a big bunch of very enjoyable tunes.  It could go one of two ways here I guess- one, I’ll want to hear some of these songs again and again as they draw me in or two. I’ll crave a loud night in listening to a lovely Dublin lilt telling me stories of his home town and the people who live there all wrapped up in some gritty alternative rock and roll.  Always a pleasure and never a chore that’s for sure.

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Buy ‘Dogrel’ Here

Author: Dom Daley