What’s the prerequisite for a great record then? Catchy hooks, killer riffs, meaningful lyrics and some snazzy cover art are high on my wants, needs and hopefuls list. Well, ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ by The Speedways ticks all the boxes, as it has all those things and more.
We like this album so much we have reviewed it twice! Well, sort of. Released last year, ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ is a concept album of sorts, about a summer romance, written and recorded by one dude called Matt Julian. Matt used to be in Nottingham band The Breakdowns, until they broke down. With his new project The Speedways, he took that same pop suss and magnified it tenfold, recording all instruments by himself and made an album that sounds like it was recorded live in the studio in just one take.
This new re-mastered edition is presented for the first time on CD for the US market with 5 additional tracks to savour and very cool artwork, again by the uber talented Josh Clark.
So let’s cover the album for those who are yet to catch up. Someone recently told me ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ is the best album Elvis Costello never made, and that’s as good a place to begin as any. But if I bandy about names such as The Replacements, Ramones and Tom Petty, and if I drop in gone but not forgotten gems like The Soho Roses and The Exploding Hearts, then you get an idea of the record sleeves Matt Julian has been fingering for inspiration. Yeah, we are talking low-slung, guitar driven power pop of the highest order.
The thing about The Speedways is that they have potential hit singles in their arsenal… massive hits. ‘Seen Better Days’ is the perfect 3 minute pop single, full of a youthful innocence that takes you back to summer daze creating mixtapes to send to the girl of your dreams. ‘In Common With You’ hits you right in the feels, as dampened chords lead to an emotive and yearning chorus. The sort of tune Tuk Smith was smashing out of the ball park before his Biters signed with a major label.
On the title track, Matt Julian takes us on a tube train ride to Holloway Road to reminisce about the girl with glitter in her hair. The pop-tastic melody is as familiar as the tale of heartbreak we have all experienced at some point in our life. Matt has the ability to draw the listener in with his descriptive storytelling, as we clench hands and eat ice cream on the bench with the couple and hope their love will last…at least until the record stops spinning!
Elsewhere ‘That’ll Be The Day The Earth Stood Still’ is an upbeat and glorious slice of Spector-lite pop and The 50’s guitar twang of ‘One Kiss Can Lead To Another’ has an instant familiarity, as does the warming vocal harmonies.
Included on this US version are both tracks from their recent 7” single release. The single mix of ‘Seen Better Days’ hardly differs from the album version to these ears, but the flipside is worth the entry fee alone. Pop fact: Kirsty MacColl’s ‘They Don’t Know’ was made popular by Tracy Ullman in 1983 and was only kept off the number one spot by Culture Club’s ‘Karma Chameleon’. That’s the version I know best and so do you, just admit it! They tackle the track to great effect; a perfectly crafted pop song about teenage love that fits the album concept like a crushed velvet glove.
The addition of rough acoustic demos of ‘Just Another Regular Summer’, ‘Reunion In The Rain’, and ‘Seen Better Days’ present the songs in their rawest form, all dirt under the fingernails goodness, proving a good song is a good song even in its unpolished form.
Choc-a-bloc with bubblegum induced choruses ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ is a tale of love and heartbreak, set to a soundtrack of youth.
The Speedways were intended as a one-album project, done and dusted. And that would’ve been a crying shame, as these songs are too good to go unnoticed. I’m happy to report the project has grown to a fully-fledged band since the initial release. So, joining Matt are Mauro Venegas on guitar, Adrian Alfonaso on bass and Los Pepes tub-thumper Kris Hood. They have been sporadically gigging and are currently recording The Speedways album number 2. We await the follow up with baited breath, but for now, this expanded edition CD is well worth seeking out to tide you over.
Another year begins and so we embark on other singles roundup. With January barely alive and the songs begin to trickle into RPM HQ not so much an avalanche but a gentle stroll through the door. But that’s not to say the quality drops because we can assure you that’s not the case at all and we start as we mean to go on with the first banger out of the traps in 2019 we give you…
Watts – Breaking Glass (RumBar Records) Never let us down before so no reason to doubt their impeccable taste in Rock n Roll and from previous reviews, Watts is a band not to be ignored or passed over and ‘Breaking Glass’ is a wonderful way to begin the year. IT got big loud guitars and is the sound of a band with its head held high and chest puffed out because it knows how fuckin’ good it is. From the intro of breaking glass and the throbbing bass guitar you know this is happening as we riff towards the chorus this is a breath of fresh air not because it’s original or groundbreaking but because its bloody good. They know it – Rum Bar knows it – Boston knows it and RPM knows it and now you know it. Amps turned up Riff – n – Roll and Rock solid. Watts are winning every day of the week with songs as cool as this watts not to like and for $1 how can you refuse? Bandcamp
Tad Overbaugh & The Late Arrivals – Demons In The Dust (Rum Bar Records) Well Rum Bar are setting the bar high in 2019 as the label gets off to a blazing start with some quality releases and the second this month is Tad Overbaugh’s whose songs fall somewhere between the twang of Steve Earle and Ryan Hamilton with a little dash of the countrified Supersuckers and the songwriting of Tom Petty. No question this collectives five songs veer from the big open roads of the southern states and barroom saloons and smokey bars and late nights. the excellent ‘Lethal Charm’ is a soft song for tough guys taken from ‘Beauty And Barbed Wire’ but its opener ‘Hey Lonely’ that sets off this EP. Sounding like Mellencamp when he rocked it up its a beautiful thing and superbly played and arranged. For a change of pace check this out via Bandcamp
The Lurkers – Electrical Guitar (Damaged Goods Records) with Pete Stride and guest vocalist Danie Centric sharing lead vocal duties, the first fruits of which being this brand new 7”, limited to 750 copies on split black/clear vinyl Damaged Goods Records release this two-track slab of noise. In typical Stride fashion its a blunt to the point slab of punk rock. Like the lyrics say its simply a direct statement of belief in the essence of rock ‘n’ roll – 4 beats to a bar, electrical guitar, sometimes that’s all you need! its as simple as that folks and the B side is a darker riff but a bludgeoning riff all the same with lead vocals going to Danie. This will wake you up of a morning no doubt about that – banging! return to form. Buy Here
The Mistakes – Walk Tall (NBQ Records) Taken from the new LP “Upstarts and Heretics”, Walk Tall is no-nonsense street punk rock – Ave it!
Bad Sons – Kick Rocks (Self Release) Chicago punks Bad Sons are back with their second release and it’s more of the same sleazy punk rock n roll played with a tonne of swashbuckling gusto and just the thing that RPM HQ loves. The second track ‘Hammers’ pounds away and lives up to the band’s mantra of only having two rules – Loud and Fast and we say a big fat Amen to that brothers and sisters and you know what? They don’t let you down either as they kick the shit out of my speakers. The only downside I can see is there are only two tracks on this single whereas ‘Cry Tough’ had four tracks. My only hope is there’s an album on the way because I’ll have some of that if there is What an excellent debut on RPM this is go check em out – you won’t be disappointed we guarantee it! Facebook
Glitter Piss – Demo (Self Release) Garage punk rock n rollers Glitter Piss hail from Brighton and peddle a noisy trashy garage punk that Iggy and the Stooges used to do many many moons ago ‘Life Is Deadly’ is fast and fucked up just like Those Hip Priests but more fucked up and..well…Glittery and trashy but the DNA is in there. Not afraid t work with the feedback or the odd out of tune string it matters not a fuckin’ jot. what does matter is the fact they can kick up a shit storm with their instruments and we like that and will always have time for a band who have passion and as they succinctly put it a stench of piss. There is no big budget studio finery on display here just guts and great ideas and tunes aplenty and we’ll take that any day of the week. Oh, and Iggy would love ‘Party Town’ I’m sure of it. Bandcamp
Weird Omen – A Place I Want To Know ( Dirty Water Records) Primitive garage trash brass, reverb, and fuzzzzz”, Mixing ‘60s pop and psychedelic garage This French three-piece are carving a genre of their own and whilst there are aspects of bands like The Cramps and early Stones along with some of the more trippy psychedelic bands there is a shade of riotous punk beating away in there along with a big bold saxophone. VU has an influence on the lead track for sure and the second song is a trip as well ‘Girls Are Dancing On The Highway’ wins this month’s oddest title and I’m sure these cats will take that. It’ll draw you in and put your brain in a blender but one thing you’ll know is you like it and you will be back for more. Warning highly addictive!
Happy to squeeze in a quick video. This offering is from Ditchbanger and it sounds like they’re in league with the big red feller down there as they release a video from ‘Pure Hell’. click the link in satan red and let em know RPM sent you they might have mercy on our souls then.
So there you have it. Welcome to 2019 and a bunch of singles that require your attention in our humble opinion. Half a dozen good reasons to be in love with music and discovering something old and new. Until next month enjoy and if you hear anythign you think we would like or should like then give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org you know it makes sense.
What with the madness that is the end of the year there were some EP’s and some pretty good singles that hit us late on that we didn’t want to ignore and so we are here with a little extra crimbo treats for you good people who still believe in Rock n Roll. So as 2018 fades into the distance and we all look forward to 2019 we leave this neat little pile under the tree for your listening and viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Darrell Bath & Los Tupper – Rocking The Streets (Sunthunder Records) Alright let the festive season begin. Sneaking in at the last knock of 2018 this cheeky three-track CD single hit the doormat just in time. Featuring Los Tupper & Mr Bath recorded in Spain it’s exactly what it says on the tin – ‘Rocking the street’. it’s just a very handsome 12 bar rock ‘n’ roll number done with style and a touch of class which we’d expect nothing less from Bath and Los Tupper.
Some lovely slide walking right over this bit of boogie it’s what every Crimbo party needs. It’s loose and sleazy and an excellent tune. Whilst ‘Hand Of Mercy’ is a different beast altogether, a more laid back track with Bath crooning on top of some lovely swirling Hammond courtesy of the Tupper boys. I wouldn’t want to give Mr Bath a big head but this could easily have fallen off a Ronnie Wood record when he was at his peak and be one of the standout tracks for that matter. Then tucked up nicely is ‘Hold Me Close’ is loose and a lovely tip of the hat to the one and only Mr David Essex. What a cool record glad it got to me in time. Cheers me dears! it’s only Rock ‘n’ Roll but I do like it. www.sunthunder.net
Lester Greenowski – let’s Get Fucked Up (Tornado Ride Records) songwriter Lester Greenowski, he of The Crybabys and Honest John Plains band is coming out with a brand new single “Let’s Get Fucked Up” on the 25th of December 2018. The single will be available on all the major web stores and precedes the release of his second solo effort “Out of Tune, Out of Key” out in 2019 on Tornado Ride Records. You know its gonna rock you know it’s gonna roll you know you want it so when you’ve finished stuffin’ the bird go online and click the links to pick up this festive cracker.
The Rizzos / Top Nachos – Split (King Pizza Records) Of course they’re from Brooklyn NY. They ply their rock n roll trade on the mean streets of the big apple and turn in a melodic garage slab of rock n roll where the amps are set to howl and the vocals courtesy of Meg are sugar sweet and lull you into a false sense of security before the noise breaks through. Two tracks are on offer from The Rizzos and pretty damn good they are too. ‘Bless This Mess’ leading the way with a thumping bass line and a neat tempo – pick of the pack for me right there.
As for Top Nachos contribution, well, ‘Fast’ is um, fast. It’s tuneful and rapid and LoFi and then it’s gone. Noisy and punk as fuck. I like it. The pick of the two is ‘Getcha’ with its Misfits like melody and a top tune it is too. rounding off a really good split EP and another two bands we’ll put into our little black book to remember to check out over the coming months and weeks to see if they have anything else released and we feel you should follow suit.
The Night Screams – Stuck EP (King Pizza Records) Wow another day another new band hits the RPM death decks and this time The Night Screams also on King Pizza Records and also from Brooklyn NY are down and dirty scuzzing around in the whole garage punk action rock scene and writing some really impressive tunes. Five song EP in less than ten pulsating minutes we absolutely endorse that and from the moment ‘The Road I Run’ crashes in we nod our approval. The sound is like these were recorded in a garage from the primal stomp of ‘That Look’it’s not about a slick production job its all about the tunes and there are five of them to band against your eardrum right here. ‘Big Picture’ sounds like the Hives without the sharp suits and the closing song ‘Freedom Of Choice’ is the longest and possibly the pick of the bunch here as it drives past some Devo meets Iggy and ends up with some duelling guitars through the feedback its a really good song and the more I play it the better it gets so why not take a chance and check out The Night Screams I’m glad I did.
Demons – ‘Bad Neighbourhood’ (Lux Noise) Wow another we didn’t see coming. Hot on the heels of their collaboration with RPM fav Jeff Dahl Demons knock out two new songs on our favourite Swiss label. Its a strong song that leads the way and packs a pretty mean punch from the barking guitars on the riff to the solo that leads into the gang vocals on the chorus its street punk rock and its an excellent single. The B side is a bastardised classic ‘I’d Much Rather Be With The Girls’ and we like that – of course its good, its sloppy rock n roll kids and it’s gone. Two songs one single just pick it up folks you know you want to! its only rock n roll and we like it!
PELLE MILJOONA OY – Anna Soihtusi Palaa (Stupido Records) I apologise in advance as my Finish isn’t as good as it should be and neither is my translator anyway, there are a couple of names connected to this that made us sit up and take notice and we think therefore its only fair that we should tell you good folks out there all about Andy McCoy and Sami Yaffa playing on some excellent new songs together. the lead track ‘Anna Soihtusi Palaa’ is a banger – we kid you not. McCoy’s guitar noodlings are all over this and it sounds fantastic. I haven’t a clue what its about but rock n roll doesn’t have barriers with language because we should all be singing off the same page and this lead track is most excellent.
‘Hei Hei Hei’ has a familiar feel to its opening riff that will be music to many peoples ears and the song has a bag of energy all the way to its rocking chorus. On closer inspection of the CD I did ask myself wow, could I pull off those strides Andy is wearing? I came to the conclusion that apart from Andy and possibly Ali ba ba nobody outside of Alladin could and that’s what makes him so special. The closing song ‘Olen Unessa’ is a fine way to finish a curious EP that I rather enjoyed to be fair despite the language barrier. Check it out folks.
OK seeing as its Christmas we thought we’d treat you all to a couple of festive related videos that have just been released for the Holiday season. We begin this visual wormhole with Mad Caddie and their seasonal offering out on ‘Fat Wreck Chord –
wonk unit – Christmas in a crack house (Cadiz Music) it doesn’t really need an explanation does it? its Alex Wonk and the rest of his unit with their seasonal offering from the most excellent ‘Terror’ album seasons greetings to you all and as a gift from them to us to you here is the rather soppy video for their limited edition red vinyl single ‘Christmas In a crackhouse’ don’t do it, kids, they did it so we don’t have to’
How about as its the season of giving we point you in the direction of some Free music? Yeah! can I get a Hell Yeah? well click the link and pay the Rum Bar a visit and let Lou introduce you to some of the excellent bands he has signed up on his rather splendid label. this free track is Nat Freedberg and the track ‘Devil Rockin Man’ you know it makes sense and it’s going to be good so what are you waiting for?
Kris Rodgers & The Dirty Gems – Every Little Crack (Wicked Cool Records) some of you will be familiar with Kris when he toured the UK as part of Scott Sorry awesome band and he also helped tinkle the ivories with Rich Rags on some Role Models tunes and also his album released on rum Bar records. Well, Kris is back in the hood with this spellbinding slab of rock and roll complete with some Stones like riffage and horn stabs that lift this belter into the realms of if the house party needs spicing up this Christmas then put this on and let’s trash the place. Its only rock n roll folks but boy do I like it. flip this bad boy over and those ivories get tinkled as Kris dishes out some mighty fine Rock n Roll in the shape of ‘All I Wanna Do’. Hey, Rodgers, we salute you-you rock my friend and this is a big as possible smiling slab of good time music that makes you glad to be alive.
Midnight Towers – All The Songs (self Release) Well this one slipped through the cracks released back at the end of October it will interest quite a few of you readers I guess if we mentioned Ex-members of The Black Halos, The Spitfires, Darlings of Chelsea, Kill Cheerleader, Die Mannequin, Wasted Again, Electric Blood, CJ Sleez, Red Hot Lovers, and more. you might be sitting up right now. well, this is a four-track EP full to bursting with plenty of Action Rock and Roll and right from the opener ‘Heartbreaker’ you know what you’re getting here. Zero bullshit just straight up punk attitude rock and roll. ‘Ride WithMe’ is a departure, Nah, it’s not, of course, it’s not. It’s more on the money riff-a-rama rock with added one-fingered piano tonking that would make Iggy and The Stooges blush seeing as they invented it. They even turn up the heat on ‘Crazy For You’ this would be the dogs danglies live I bet. Beefed up 12 bar riff all the way to the chorus and then you’re done. Oh, they do cram in a brief breakdown before the soaring solo – wickedly good rock n roll folks trust me. Just click the link and make the purchase they even saved the best til last as ‘Stuck In My Brain’ comes out swinging. Love it!
To finish off the singles and EPs of 2018 we thought we’d leave you with this lovely slice of punk.
Rat Cage – Night Of The Rat (Kids Of The Lughole) Every now and then its good to cleanse the soul with a slab of hardcore that just kills it dead. No fucking about just blunt trauma force that hits you square on the head and doesn’t relent for its short lifespan. Well, Rat Cage will certainly fit that bill two tracks on this single ok so they’re no Pizzatramp potentially prog in length compared but they more than make up for it with their attitude and delivery as they absolutely pulverise you with punk rock hardcore. Fucking champion stuff. ‘Night Of The Rat’ lulls you in then Bang! we’re off! just pick it up its angry – shouty and fantfuckintastic.
It would also be a dereliction of duty if we didn’t give you the new video from Jayne County to round up an awesome 2018 so as one year ends we sign off with ‘IgenderTy’ and look forward to what 2019 will offer in the 45rpm catagory and what great videos will also get delivered. Chow for now
“a spiral scratch
gave me my life back
a vinyl solution
ended my confusion
I heard a voice in the noise pollution” – Mike Peters
Since the beginning of Rock and Roll, the 45 has been an integral part of a bands arsenal. Maybe in 2018, it’s not quite the marketing tool it once was back in the 50’s, 60’s and beyond and bands no longer sell hundreds of thousands of the beautiful seven-inch plastic circles. There are however many different ways of letting people know you have a few new tunes available or you might (like me) still be in love with the vinyl single. Here at RPM, we’re going to celebrate the little beggars and let you know what is available in our regular roundup and what’s been on rotation on our deathdecks.
What better place to start than with a good friend and his debut 7″.
Craggy Collyde – Sorry Now (Self Released)
With a two-track release being the format of choice Craggy gets down to business with a pair of fantastic slices of power pop that are infectious and memorable. ‘Sorry Now’ is also featured in the video link below and can be ordered off the Bandcamp site. The lead track is a measured catchy number that has a great power pop feel with some indie undertones sort of Buffalo Tom territory whilst the more sprightly B-side ‘Go Ahead And Break Me’ is a song with a foot in the cowpunk of the Supersuckers but more pop savvy and Craggy manages to rinse out a great guitar break as well. Very infectious and well worth checking out.
Lana Loveland – Strange Charms (Hound Gawd!)
Fuzztones – Garage Rock – psychedelic retro freak out we fuckin’ love it here at RPM.Lana Loveland has the credentials and chops worthy of joining our little club of seven-inch plastic lovers. Being Organist with The Fuzztones as well as being a member of the Music Machine and fronting her own band Loveland certainly keeps her busy and out of mischief ‘Strange Charms’ is the A-Side whilst ‘Web Of Sound’ back things up on the flip side.
Maybe leaving a seven-year gap is quite some time between releases but some things are worth waiting for. Fuzzed out guitars and 60’s pop being the main ingredients here what’s not to like? Over on the other side its hammer time (no not the rapper in the daft trousers but Hammer Horror) its a spooky garage rock mash up and with a modern twist its great to hear someone doing something new with something they have had for years. Anyways Hound Gawd Don’t do bad records we know that much so go investigate and get some fantastic new music in your head just click the link.
Muck & The Mires – Hashtag Loneliness (Rum Bar Records)
Muck and the Mires’ official video for ‘#Loneliness’ from the EP MUCKUS MAXIMUS, available on Rumbar Records: Its power poppin’ baby but has the honking Hammond as well as the classic Rickenbacker twang. You don’t need me to tell you about Rum Bar Records bands and how good they are and Muck are no exception. For latest Muck and the Mires tour dates, go to Website
Oh Boy, you just knew that this was going to rock and fucking roll right outta the speakers and sure enough within the first bar I know that I’m having this bad boy. Poison Boys are mainlining Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers and some Chuck Berry and a whole bunch of other golden oldies and along with their brothers from another mother in Crazy Squeeze and countless other great bands they are just nailing it on ‘Bustin Out’ and they shine up the brass knuckles on the altogether more bruising ‘Run And Hide’ that taps into Stiv and his Dead Boys for some down and dirty punk rock and I love it. don’t walk on by brothers and sisters this is the bomb! Now get on with an album before it ends in tears – Poison Boys are killing it – again! Facebook
Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam – ‘Meatloaf To The Camera’ (By The Time It Gets Dark Records)
(pre-order here) The second single from the soon to be released album ‘Black Cowboy’ its all loud guitars and chiming melody like a collision between Teenage Fanclub and The Lemonheads SFL have amassed over a hundred songs and show no sign of stopping just yet so until November 9th this will more than do to pass the time. You can catch the band around the UK in November 02 Nov – The Lanes – Bristol
03 Nov – Sunflower Lounge – Birmingham
04 Nov – The Castle – Manchester
05 Nov – Wharf Chambers – Leeds
08 Nov – The Portland Arms – Cambridge
09 Nov – Rough Trade – Nottingham
11 Nov – Old Blue Last, London
Gino And the Goons ‘She Was Crushed’ (Slovenly Records)
A heady mix of The Ramones and some Lo-Fi X-Ray Spex this has some great loose saxophone playing whilst ‘Got Messed Up’ is a thrash around whilst pissed out of your head kinda tune. There’s no autotune and no overdubs. ‘Wrong Side Of The Cigarette’ is all hocked up on late 70’s lower east side smash and grab punk rock and we love it and so would a youthful Richard Hell. Finishing up with ‘Early Retirement’ just about kicks over the toms and bass drum and takes out the mic stand as well before running off down the street before the cops turn up. Rock and fucking roll alright! Awesome ‘n snotty – Buy It
Les Lullies – ‘7 am’ (Slovenly Records)Oh boy oh boy, it’s like Jerry Lee hooking up with Chuck Berry and snorting two tonnes of amphetamines before laying down this barnstormer. Flip it over and you’ve got the cocksure swagger of ‘Dog Food’ that’s like the Dolls rockin’ out with Angus with a healthy amount of Iggy attitude. Doing France proud and doing it fuckin’ loud! What a great 45. Here
The Cavemen -Burn Out For Love (Dirty Water Records/Mandinga Records) Oh fuck if having an album released in 2018 isn’t enough and some sporadic live action the purveyors of filthy low down and wild ‘n’ dirty garage punk are back in the house with a 7″ slab of frantic rock ‘n’ roll in the shape of ‘Burn Out For Love’ the b side is no hiding place for a shrinking violet because if anything the craziness is turned up a notch on ‘Dancing On The Razors Edge’ and what a beautiful racket it is too. Click the link to sample these exotic fruits and then pick up a copy its a banger!
Well, folks, there’s got to be something in there for everyone unless Black Metal is your thing? Worry not we’ll regularly round up singles here and if a black metal band has something to offer then we’ll cover it. Forty-Five RPM indeed.