Hailing from West London, Charlie Manning and his group of wandering minstrels – Chubby and the Gang – might be right up there with Dirt Box Disco in the “don’t be fooled by the shit name” awards but could be real contenders to nick the latter’s Rebellion crown.
Kicking off with a fast and frantic two-minute declaration on intent – Do “Chubby and the Gang Rule Okay”? Fuck yeah!
I guess you could start with a Sham or Cockney Rejects comparison. It’s certainly very London street punk but there’s definitely some Damned in there too along with a ton of other bands in your record collection. But that’s a good thing, right? Believe me, you’re gonna love it…….
Second up is “Pariah Radio” and it’s a banger, proving that speed and melody aren’t mutually exclusive
I’ve heard a few people say that this could be the album of the year and three songs in, “All Along The Uxbridge Road” may have sealed the deal for me. If you don’t believe me, feast your eyes on this…
“Speed Kills” is the first song so far that breaks the two-minute barrier and with a sprinkling of Generation X it doesn’t disappoint. While “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” might be a bit more of the same, “Trouble” slows things down a gear with a bit of a love song. A wonderful tuneless tune with a hint of Madness.
After a momentary pause in the frantic riffery, we’re off again…..“The Rise And Fall Of The Gang” and “Hold Your Breath” gets the fists pumping in oi-tastic fashion and when bands can play live again, “Moscow” is gonna rip your local club apart.
“Bruce Grove Bullies” kicks into a Kinks-tastic riff and with a healthy undercurrent of Hammond Organ, while the yanks will go mental over the bark and bite of “Blue Ain’t My Colour”.
There’s no way you can avoid the comparison of “Grenfell Forever” to early Billy Bragg but fuck it, I for one think it’s a real stand-out tune.
“Union Dues” rounds things on in a Quo-tastic way. And what a way to say goodbye.
So there you go, thirteen songs that’ll fit on one side of a C60.
Speed Kills is available to pre-order now on the band’s Bandcamp page on yellow vinyl (with cartoon sticker sheet), black vinyl (with colour-in sleeve and crayons), hipster-friendly cassette, and ye olde traditional CD.
Recorded during the lockdown in July 2020. Spear Of Destiny has re-recorded the hit album ‘World Service’. I’m sure there are those who’ve clicked here wondering why? Royalties? Those less cynical amongst us might have recently read Kirks reasons where he sites the original production being a pop/rock record which was never his intention and whilst Rusty Egan did a job (and a jolly good one too) Brandon was never happy and with a settled, more Rockin line up currently playing the songs. Also, it was a chance to change the artwork – (oh well you can’t have everything even if this new one is better than the ’80s version.) The tracklisting has been arranged and to be fair Brandon’s recent explanation makes sense and this re-imagination is certainly a lot harder hitting. Following on from 2019’s rerecording of ‘One-Eyed Jacks’
Trying to put fresh ears on a record I’ve played hundreds of times isn’t an easy thing but I will say I’ve not actually played it for a few years to be fair and probably the last time I did was when Brandon was touring with mike peters under the dead men walking banner so there you go.
Opening with ‘World Service’ the re-recording has a punch that’s for sure and the saxophone wails perfectly the other thing I notice is Brandon’s vocals are infinitely stronger. He has a unique style that’s instantly recognisable and there are moments here where he really excels like on the punchy ‘I Can See’.
I was never keen on the piraty ‘Come Back’ although I would say here it sounds more Strummer than Strummer ever did on his Mescaleros recordings. The breakdown and sax is excellent here and the song isn’t as piraty as I remember it being. To be fair its songs like this that have benefitted most from the re-recording.
‘Mickey’ is still a chest pumping classic. Now minus the ’80s drum sheen and overall compression squeezing the life out of everything having it stripped away has breathed new life into all these songs. The original album opener ‘Rocket Ship’ has fallen down the tracklist and has a harder rockier edge breathed into it which is another good reason to have done this.
One of the songs that strangely was more “Rock” on the original for me is ‘Last Card’ but having the ’80s Rusty shaken out of it makes the song brighter. ‘Walk In My Shadow’ is possibly the song that’s changed the least with it still having that Blues based undercoat workout. ‘Up All Night’ reminds me a bit of Adam And The Ants with the guitar sound and drum beat but that where the comparisons end.
To finish off this rework is a beautiful piano-led take on ‘Young Men’ which fits perfectly as some sort of come down and mellow out from what’s gone before. I haven’t seen the line up with Craig Adams in and I can’t understand why that hasn’t taken place so once we’re all able to venture back inside a venue I will be taking myself to see the band and hear how this reworked album unfolds live – but then Brandon always excelled live. It’s a no-brainer for diehards but for casual fans and newcomers, it’s a great place to jump in. Like the titles tracks lyrics “It only seemed like yesterday, I hear music” where did all those years go? Two reworks and both well worth investing in with this one being the boldest and brightest. Great job.
Let’s not hang about here ‘War’ is the sound of bombs dropping from the sky and panic on the streets. Idles are on it and as a unit won’t be stopped by conventional weapons or pandemics it would seem. Taking it to the next level after the joy of the Glasto performance and it would seem being taken into the bosoms of the press beast and being hailed as the saviours of alternative post-punk rock and roll all by themselves. Idles have taken it in their stride and just gotten on with it, seemingly oblivious as to the outpouring of adulation currently being heaped upon them.
I liked ‘Brutalism’ and I liked what they offered as the next step on ‘Joy As An Act’ so it was with an intake of breath I pressed play on this their third long-player as the band lock-in and pour out what is inside them onto the black grooves.
Frontman Joe Talbot says of “Grounds”: “We wanted to write a song that embodied self-belief, and gave us self-belief – a counter-punch to all the doubt we build up from all the noise we so easily let in. We wanted to make the sound of our own hearts’ marching band, armed with a jackhammer and a smile. We wanted to make the sound of our engine starting. So we did. Thank you.” Talbot sounds like he knows the score. top tune and instantly recognisable and more honed in, more finely tuned. Sounds like they know exactly where they’re going with this lark.
If you thought the band had hit the peak on ‘Joy’ and the worm might turn from here on in, well, think again this album is more vibrant, focussed and raging than the previous offerings. Across all twelve songs, there is a brutality as the band continues the social commentary of their past work, with themes of class, gender inequality, nationalism, community, and toxic masculinity and empowerment and ultimately fighting back. Its not preachy it poignant and informative that there are people who think just like you!
Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire) and Adam ‘Atom’ Greenspan (Anna Calvi, Cut Copy), ‘Ultra Mono’ sounds huge. The album also features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth (Savages), and additional guest contributions from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), David Yow, and Jamie Cullum like it needed any.
The constant touring sounds like it has galvanised the band and they’re locked in as one and the twists and turns of the opening few tracks are epic and brutal but quite beautiful as well.
Safe it isn’t but I’m sure there will be a hipster backlash along anytime soon saying something along the lines of them selling out or commercial this and that and not being the same anymore (not with these lyrics). Tosh, I say this is where they’ve been striving to get for the last two albums and this is excellent. Even after a few plays I’m easily enjoying it as much as the previous offerings if not more due to the production and songs being a lot tighter.
I’ve not read any of the reviews yet but I’ve seen the comments to the videos released so far and I like it and it would seem so do the punters (those that matter anyway). Hopefully when all this pandemic strife is sorted and we can get back to live music being a thing I’m sure these songs will take on a new life as they get performed and dissected more by the public as we break them in.
Its a pummeling album and songs like ‘Mr. Motivator’ has taken things to the next level without a doubt. I’m sure reviews will champion them as the soundtrack to the revolution, Well, the likes of the Guardian and Mirror will and The Mail will hate it. Fuck em! This album is demanding another spin and I’m already liking it a lot “How D’you like them cliches?”. To be honest, Idles have managed to create music that is pretty much universally recognisable which is always a bonus and something bands strive to achieve – sure they borrow bits here and there who doesn’t but the magic when they are in full flight is awesome.
Ultimately ‘Ultra Mono’ is a document of its time and a bloody good one at that. They look destined to get bigger and bigger. From their Rebellion Festival appearance to their Glasto triumph and now this release and the raft of enormadomes they will play once it’s safe to do so is proof that alternative music is alive and kicking and screaming.
Crack on Idles I love it. Some will love join me – some just won’t get it and others will shy away because they’re too popular. fuck that if you can’t love ‘Anxiety’ then why not? Talbot hits the nail on the head lyrically and when he states our government does hate the poor he means it but not to be cool or trendy but because it matters and people need to wake up maybe this is the sound of the fightback.
It’s not all crash, bang, wallop mind. Well, I say that ‘Kill Them With Kindness’ has a polite intro before Talbot barks his best Iggy Pop. ‘Carcinogenic’ has a lovely throbbing bassline as does ‘Reigns’ as they push the envelope a little further again. A dozen songs later and I’m thinking that Idles have penned a classic of its kind it’s easily their best twelve songs thus far (no seriously) Check it out. Stream it (if you have to) buy it on tape if you’re hip but turn the volume up for others to hear and sing along. ‘Ultra Mono’ might only have just been born but it sounds like a band has grown in stature and become a real force to be reckoned with – alternative music always needs bands like Idles so let’s enjoy them here and now – Buy it!
The emotional centerpiece off the Bristol band’s forthcoming LP, ‘Ultra Mono’ (out Sept 25th via Partisan). The accompanying music video features the band driving with their parents through their hometown streets to the shops, providing a grey window into suburban English life that matches the song’s heavyhearted churn.
Frontman Joe Talbot says of the song: “‘A Hymn’ is a hymn that rejoices in the sinister flesh-eating virus of the pedestrian. It sings the tune of normal’s teeth sinking into your neck as you sleep stood up with your eyes open. Amen.”
“A Hymn” follows the release of other ‘Ultra Mono’ highlights “Mr. Motivator” and “Grounds,” the latter of which earned a spotlight in the NY Times (“What’s a British post-punk band to do at a moment of black American protest that has spread worldwide? Slam and declare solidarity.”)
Ahead of release, IDLES will host a series of three live performances from an iconic studio space (to be named later) on Aug 29 & 30, which will be professionally recorded, filmed, and livestreamed. Tickets on sale now, more info and link to purchase HERE.
Talbot also recently launched a new virtual talk show called BALLEY TV, rolling out new episodes every other Friday this summer. Guests have already included Mike Skinner (The Streets), Nadya Tolokonnikova (Pussy Riot), Lauren Mayberry (CHVRCHES), Hak Baker + more. Watch the most recent episode HERE featuring Arlo Parks and Billy Bragg. Subscribe to see more episodes HERE.
Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire) and Adam ‘Atom’ Greenspan (Anna Calvi, Cut Copy), with Kenny Beats (FKA Twigs, DaBaby, Vince Staples) providing additional programming, ‘Ultra Mono’ was sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record. The album also features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth (Savages), and additional guest contributions from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), David Yow, and Jamie Cullum.
On September 25th, IDLES will release their anticipated third album – ‘Ultra Mono’ – via Partisan Records. Accompanying this announcement, the band have shared album highlight and thunderous call-to-action – “Grounds” – alongside a music video (dir. by Rob French).
Frontman Joe Talbot says of “Grounds”: “We wanted to write a song that embodied self-belief, and gave us self-belief – a counter-punch to all the doubt we build up from all the noise we so easily let in. We wanted to make the sound of our own hearts’ marching band, armed with a jack hammer and a smile. We wanted to make the sound of our engine starting. So we did. Thank you.”
Ahead of release, IDLES will also host a series of three live performances from an iconic studio on Aug 29-30, which will be professionally recorded, filmed, and livestreamed. Upon purchase of a ticket, attendees will receive a unique link to access the performance live. Tickets on sale now, more info and link to purchase HERE.
Recorded in Paris and produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire) and Adam ‘Atom’ Greenspan (Anna Calvi, Cut Copy), with Kenny Beats (FKA Twigs, DaBaby, Vince Staples) providing additional programming, ‘Ultra Mono’ was sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record. Across all twelve brutally relevant tracks, the band double down on the vitriolic sneer and blunt social commentary of their past work, with themes of active presence, inclusivity, class, gender inequality, nationalism, community, and toxic masculinity remaining ever-present. ‘Ultra Mono’ also features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth (Savages), and additional guest contributions from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), David Yow, and Jamie Cullum.
If their last record – 2018’s ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ – was meant to detail IDLES’ manifesto, then ‘Ultra Mono’ is the sound of the band heading into battle, battering ram in hand, for those tenets. The phrase “momentary acceptance of the self” serves as spiritual guide and mantra throughout, as Talbot elaborates on further in an essay printed inside the album’s physical packaging.
In addition to sharing the tracklist for ‘Ultra Mono,’ the band have also made available the dates on which all upcoming album tracks + videos will be released (see below).
‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ was one of the best reviewed rock records of 2018, debuting top 5 on the official UK album charts. ‘Joy’ earned the band instantly legendary performances at Glastonbury, Jools Holland, NPR’s Tiny Desk, and sold out tours across the world. They were profiled by the NY Times and PBS NewsHour as part of a group of new bands tearing down outdated perceptions of masculinity, won the coveted Ivor Novello Award for Best Album, and were nominated for the Mercury Prize and a Brit Award last year. All 10,000 tickets to the band’s Dec 2019 headline performance at London’s Alexandra Palace sold out in under 24 hours.
Hot on the heels of Junes summer sizzlers we had a bunch of other contenders for inclusion. So, it only seemed fair to reconvene the Singles Club this weekend and hit the 45 RPM switch and drop the needle for some new singles from the superb to the very good through the downright weird or catchy but none dull or not worth inclusion. Welcome one and all round two of the June singles Club…
The Sensible Gray Cells – ‘So Long’ (Damaged Goods) This bad boy dropped out of nowhere. I knew they were recording a follow up to the magnificent debut album and then a scuppered tour then this. Fuckin’ champion it is too. A rollicking Who like anthem (handclaps as well) ‘So Long’ is a belter Welcome back gents, I can’t wait to hear the album now. In direct contrast, the humour of the characters involved asks a very pertinent question on the B Side and they’re right. What is the fuckin point of any of em? Never mind just Andrew. Damned fans should be all over this and if its a good representation of the long-player then bring it on I can’t fuckin’ wait. Facebook / Pre Orders Here
Chuck Norris Experiment / Sator – ‘Split’ (Ghost Highway Records) Not heard from CNE in a while and I love a bit of Sator and what they offer so was pleased to see they did a split on the most excellent Ghost Highway Records. Opening up is a right sharp shooting ‘Turning Me Inside Out’ from CNE. Its tight, loud, and fast! everything you want from one of the finest Swedish exports currently making noise. Then a second more laid back groove as ‘One Hand On The Hip’ is a sleazy example of the versatility of the band who can easily excel in the full-tilt rockers as well as chilling with the acoustics and now it seems keeping it short and sweet as well. As for the Sator offering ‘Feathered Remedy’ is up first and the band give it some wellie and it sounds like a runaway steam train rattling down a hill with a great chorus. Wrapping up this bad boy is ‘A Song For You’ which is a glamorous romp in all its sub one minute glory. Buy it before they’re all gone its a banger. CNE Facebook
Spaghetti & Mayer- ‘Shits Fucked’ (Acetate Records) Eddie Spaghetti & Frank Meyer from the awesome Supersuckers and Street Walkin’ Cheetahs respectively put on their shit kickers and kick some shit. Its got a stolen Stooges riff, some rollicking’ barroom piano and a bunch of profanities what’s not to like? It’s a veritable top rock n roll tune by numbers and hits the spot. Only available from Acetate Records direct download it’s the best buck-fifty you’ll spend this pandemic that’s for sure. Get on it kids and turn it up! Now, how about a whole long-player from the two imagine if that were a goer and it sounded as good as this track? Fuck me sideways I’ll take some of that
Jerry Lehane – ‘Kiss My Tattoo’ (Rumbar Records) Taken from his EP Dogmatics man Jerry Lehane releases this mighty fine slice of energetic rock and roll with the emphasis on Rock! from the gutsy solo to the punchy tempo this is like listening to a gang of brothers cruising towards a rumble knowing they will get the job done. Excellent single and well worth checking out. Get on it Here
Dirty Streets – ‘On The Way’ (Alive Records) Like a throwback to a time when long hair and bellbottoms were the thang and three-piece bands were where it’s at. Dirty Streets jam their thang and lean heavily on the dirty blues from Cream to Led Zep and the likes of Free especially on ‘Can’t Go Back’ from its classic guitar break its like Humble Pie and paul Kosoff never roamed the earth. they hit their groove and stay on it. from the hushed laid back summer tune ‘On The Way’ through the hedonistic rock out of ‘Can’t Go Back’ to the jig is up White boy blues of ‘Walk A Mile In My Shoes’ which for me is the pick of the three and quite reminiscent of a certain Georgia Brotherhood band who shook their money maker. The album is eagerly anticipated and is available next month. Website / Facebook
Brian Ray – ‘I Ain’t Superstitious’ / ‘Spell Breaker’ (Wicked Cool Records) Gia Ciambotti take a bow lady. Why did you ask? well take a listen to that voice she can sing the living hell out of that song. whilst its a cover of a classic the vocals take it to another level. that and the neon green and black splatter on that wax. The flip side features the Wicked Cool recording artist Michael Des Barres. Spell Breaker is a cool smouldering track again a great vocal performance from Des Barres on a slab of dark pop-rock with added sparkle on that production of the co written song between Barres and Ray.
The Owen Guns – ‘Fuck Cyclists’ (Riot Records) Australian Hardcore Punk act THE OWEN GUNS have released their first single & video ‘F**k Cyclists’for Riot Records (Part of the Golden Robot Global Entertainment Group). ‘F**k Cyclists’ is a short blast of punk rock born out of the frustration of frequently being stuck behind cyclists on narrow country roads. Straight to the point, it pulls no punches.
THE OWEN GUNS would like to point out that they don’t condone acts of violence towards those Lycra clad irritants, no matter how tempting.
The Rellies – ‘Isabella Is Annoying’ (Damaged Goods Records) The Rellies are brothers and songwriters Ryan (13yo) guitar and vocals and Riley (11yo) Bass and Vocals as well as Jarlath (11) on drums and Aiden (12) on guitar. All met in Sydney’s infamous suburb of Kings Cross. What were these young ones doing in such an area? Learning music of course – ha ha. The band has been playing together for around three years. Songwriters Ryan and Riley like to argue a lot at rehearsal but actually love nothing more than to grab their vintage guitars and play songs by their favourite band, The Beatles. Aiden & Jarlath seem happy to do whatever. The Rellies play a mix of indie, garage-punk and rock.
Their greatest achievement is becoming part of the Damaged Goods family and playing live at Sydney venues like The Oxford Arts Factory and El Rocco. Don’t question Damaged Goods Records for they’ve released Cyanide Pills and Thee Spivs previously so they know what they’re doing besides when this enters your head you’ll be annoying everyone you know with the sound of The Rellies.
Fur – ‘Grow Up’ Like a mash-up of Weezer, Green Day and the anti folk club ruled by the likes of Crazy & The Brains this is twisted pop at its finest.
Fontaines D.C. – ‘I Don’t Belong’ (Partisan Records)“I Don’t Belong” taken from the forthcoming album out 31st July on Partisan Records. Pre-order / Pre-save the album: Here
Jailbirds – Watery Grave’ (Golden Robot Records) Drawing their influences from the obvious (Sabbath) and the not so obvious Jailbirds are loud and they play ROCK! They come from Canada and its big riffs, big vocals and big production on this new single. Check out the video below.
Tom Wardle – ‘Secrets’ Power-Pop tastic. Big hook, Big solos & bigger production but sadly no big hair. Tom had praise from high places Namely Rolling Stone Magazine for his last single ‘Jacqueline’ and on this evidence that’s not going to stop any time soon. This power-pop rocker just gets bigger as the song motors along. The recipe isn’t a secret it’s just born out of hard work and talent (obviously) The only downside is the inspiration behind the song. The least said about the tricky trees the better but at least Tom supports his local team which we can get behind. check out the video and
TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR GEORGE FLOYD, HIS FAMILY, AND EVERYONE PEACEFULLY SEEKING JUSTICE TO BE SERVED SOUL ASYLUM ARE RELEASING FREE DOWNLOADS AND STREAMING OF THEIR SONG “BLACK AND BLUE” AS WELL AS A COVER OF “NAZI PUNKS F*CK OFF” BY THE DEAD KENNEDYS. WE HIGHLY ENCOURAGE DONATIONS TO “OFFICIAL GEORGE FLOYD MEMORIAL FUND” ON GOFUNDME, AND PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION “JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD” ON CHANGE.ORG.
tHEY ALSO ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO REGISTER AND VOTE IN ALL ELECTIONS, ESPECIALLY LOCALLY WHERE YOU MAKE THE LARGEST IMPACT ON CHANGE IN OUR POLICE AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENTS. SYSTEMS CAN BE CHANGED THROUGH VOTING, AND IT IS IMPORTANT TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR LOCAL AND NATIONAL ELECTIONS SO YOU CAN ELECT PEOPLE WHO SHARE YOUR POINTS OF VIEW. WE MUST VOTE OUT SYSTEMIC RACISM. HTTPS://WWW.HEADCOUNT.ORG/REGISTERTOVOTE/
“LET’S ALL UNITE TO FIGHT RACISM PEACEFULLY AND INTELLIGENTLY. NAZIS, RACISTS, WHITE SUPREMACISTS AND FASCISTS, YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS IN OUR AMAZING CITY. TO THE REST OF YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, LOVE FROM MINNEAPOLIS, MN!”
IDLES have returned with a new track – “Mr. Motivator” – a battering ram of positivity that’s also the first preview of their highly anticipated third LP due out later this year. The song doubles down on the (self-admitted) sloganeering and social commentary that’s become the band’s signature, yet here more than ever they’re able to take clichés and turn them into music that’s deeply complex and brutally relevant. Listen/watch the accompanying self-directed music video, which features fan-sourced exercise footage and the band members themselves.
IDLES frontman Joe Talbot says of the song: “We want to start this journey with a means to not only encapsulate the album’s sentiment, but to encourage our audience to dance like no one is watching and plough through these dark times with a two tonne machete of a song and the most beautiful community of scumbags ever assembled. Let’s go. All is love.”
IDLES last album ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ was one of the best reviewed rock records of 2018, debuting top 5 on the official UK album charts. ‘Joy’ earned the band instantly legendary performances at Glastonbury, Jools Holland, NPR’s Tiny Desk, and sold out tours across the world. They featured on the covers of DIY, Loud & Quiet, NME, Kerrang!, CRACK and So Young, as well as earning high praise from many more. They also won the coveted Ivor Novello Award for Best Album, and were nominated for the Mercury Prize and BRIT Awards. All 10,000 tickets to the band’s Dec 2019 headline performance at London’s Alexandra Palace sold out in under 24 hours.
Christmas / Bronco – Split (Lux Noise Records / SIXTEENTIMES MUSIC) CHRISTMAS team up with Swiss heavy-stoner boys BRONCO to deliver you some super delicious sound from the underground. This one comes out on limited colour vinyl and the super saucy sleeve. Bronco dish up ‘Cowboy’ and what a heavy riff-a-rama slice of noise it is. No prisoners at all as for Christmas? well, ‘Candy Me’ is a belter. Crisp riffs and crushing drums is exactly how Turbonegro wish they sounded in 2020. Having Max Motherfucker blow you a kiss at the end is better than a stick in the eye. Hardcore heaven with a cheeky picture on that artwork very cheeky indeed. Very limited numbers so snooze you lose.
L.A. Guns – ‘Let You Down’ (Frontiers) After the excellent return to form last years ‘The Devil You Know’ this sees the guns shifting gears to something a lot less turbocharged. Recording in isolation the band saw fit to get this out for the fans to hear whilst they work on the follow-up Looks like that rich seam they are on is set to continue. Clocking in over five and a half minutes it ebbs and flows nicely something this line up is never set to do is let you down. check it out Here
The Speedways – ‘This Ain’t A Radio Sound’ (Snap Records) Second single from the upcoming album ‘Radio Sounds’ (eta June 2020) sees The Speedways add some stardust via a liberal sprinkling of Keyboards. The verse is light and the perfect foil to the chorus and the dreamy solo. Bv’s and handclaps the Speedways go straight to the top of the Power pop class no question. To add the cover is timewarp tastic. Diggin’ deep and throwing a real curveball shows that Matt and the boys have no boundaries and are fearless in their execution. Should be heard on the wireless all summer all over the land and some. Can’t wait for the album now on the strength of this.
includes our cover of the Billy Ocean classic.
Chesty Malone and the Slice ’em Ups – ‘The Fine Art of Choking’ (Quarantine Version) (self Release) The lockdown seems to have galvanised a lot of bands and has got the old creative juices flowing and Chesty Malone are no exception. Looking for a soundtrack to get those exercises done well here you go ‘The Fine Art Of Choking’ is that soundtrack. A little more laid back (if I might be so bold) than the usual fair from these Noo Yawk City maniacs but fear not my punk rockin’ friends it’s a bonafide fuckin’ banger. If you really want to push yourself then ‘State Violence/State Control’ is more in your face punk rock kicking and screaming but what else would you expect if you cover a Discharge song. Wonderful noise as always maybe we should quarantine these punk rockers more often. Love the solo on this. Buy Here
Matty James Cassidy – ‘4x4x1’ (Self Release) Hold on a cotton-picking minute! Matty James Cassidy has lassoed in a few of his bandmates to play on these four countrified blues numbers as the band rip it up on the barnyard ‘The Race Is On’ and capture the mood perfectly. Next up they twist the Stones ‘Dear Doctor’ into a much lighter beast and take ownership of this classic and do it justice. ‘How Come’ is a real belter and the arrangement is excellent and adds a much-needed chink o flight in these dark times. Everybody loves a bit of boogie woogie on the old joanna and some clean guitar breaks right? Yehaw!
To take this excellent EP home Matty goes for the acoustic ‘Old Shoes’ and an end must come which is a shame because this is a really excellent collection. Great stuff. Buy Here
Pabst – ‘Hell’ (Ketchup Tracks / The Orchard) Berlin’s Pabst have released the video for brand-new single ‘Hell’, a song that openly confronts the darker emotions and what a banger it is too. After supporting the likes of Husker Du’s Bob Mould Pabst are set to release their new album ‘Deuce Ex Machina’ mid-June and if this is an indication of what to expect then its something to look forward to and get in on the pre-orders. A fantastic song from a really talented band who write great hooks and use everything at their disposal call it post-punk, indie pop, whatever they clearly know how to write great tunes and ‘Hell’ is another. Pre-order the album HERE. Facebook
Fontains DC – ‘A Hero’s Death’ (Partisan Records) Barely a year since their debut ‘Dogrel’ earned them a spot as one of the most acclaimed new bands of 2019, Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. will return with ‘A Hero’s Death’ the LP in a couple of months. A glimpse under the curtain as to what to expect is the video for the title track of the new album right here.
Michael Des Barres – ‘Anarchy In The UK’ (Wicked Cool Records) fronted the bands Silverhead and Power Station. The latter played the Live Aid festival in 1985. Michael is currently a DJ in Little Steven’s Underground Garage and yup you’ve read that right This release is a cover of The Sex Pistols’ ‘Anarchy in the UK’, which was produced and arranged by Stevie Van Zandt. If you’re expecting a snarly slice of Des Barres punk rock then I suggest you step away from the speakers now. This one got strings and swing and whilst I’m not really convinced if he just tried to copy the original we’d all be laughing like we did when Mutley Crue and Megadeth had a go at being the Pistols. The B-side is an original, which features Genya Ravan on co-lead vocals. and that’s much more appealing. Facebook Buy Here
Hot Nuns – ‘Rude, Dumb & Anxious’ (Loyal Blood Records) Norwegian power punk rock duo Hot Nuns, featuring members of Blood Command are back with a new EP titled “Rude, Dumb & Anxious” it features four new tracks including a cover of The Boys’ “First Time”.
The duo comments on the album. “The record is four tracks of stripped-down punk rock. Its only drums, bass, and our vocals. We have a rule that if we can’t play it live we can’t put in on record either. So there is no cheating here. Not trying to be pretentious, but we try to make music the same way Lars Von Trier made Dogville. No fancy extra layers needed to get the story across. The lyrics are mostly about sad losers longing for love except for the title track ‘Rude, Dumb & Anxious’ which is about people who will say whatever about stuff they don’t know just to fit in and look good.” So the proof is always in the pudding as they say. The opening track comes on like a thunder blast of melodic aggression not to dissimilar to something Therapy? might write (with some obvious sound differences second cousins if you like). ‘I Love You Still’ is more of the same a groovy adjit pop tune played by post-punk rockers. they’re not the first to go with the overdriven bass and drums but they do fill a room and its surprisingly listenable that’s for sure. The track I was looking forward to hearing most was how they’d interpret the Boys cover and to be fair they do a sterling job and one I’m sure the writers would be proud of but then again it’s such a classic it’s hard to fuck up even if that’s what you were trying to do. To wrap it up the title track is a right banger as well so top marks from me for this EP. great effort! Facebook
FRND CRCL – ‘Deception’ (FCMedia) New Joirsee pop-punkers go for broke on their new album and pay homage to the genre rather than reinvent it. This is taken from their second album and like I say does a grand job in a Blink or all American rejects style. Nothing new but really well done. It’s bright and upbeat and ebbs and flows nicely. Layered with acoustic guitars n all sorts so a lot going on when it’s loud it’s loud and when it’s building it does so rather well to be fair. More punk than pop to be fair Website / Facebookyou can buy the album Here
Thee MVPs – ‘A Song For The Councillor’ (Eesy Records) A song about how we should probably get together more often. Sardonic verses, a damn catchy chorus (even if it is wordless) a shreddy middle 8, a motown bassline followed by a heavy chug riff in the bridge, a little bit of everything this record offers all in one tune, something the psych heads can shake it too, the dads with a night off can crowdsurf too, goths can throw shapes too and the skaters and crust punks can throw fists too (all common sightings at any MVPs gigs). Lyrically speaking it’s Funeral Part 2 without the name, a Spiritual Successor which is also spiritual with the words without getting too Rainbow Rhythms. I think this tune is ringing through a bit clearer during this pandemic if you ask me, everyone really should talk to each other more. In memory of Uncle Will, who served in the Desert Rats in WW2, who we all called Councillor when he arrived at the pub after he’d ridden his bike two miles into town and put his bets on for the day, he passed at 96, he only packed in the cycling 6 months prior. Gravesend’s Harry Dean Stanton. The Second Single from the First LP from Thee MVPs and the First LP from Eeasy Records.
SHIT TINNIES – ‘Town’ (Riot Records) Shit Tinnies you that’s their name Shit Tinnies haha is there such a thing? They’re a whirlwind of punk rock, ska, hip-hop and everything in between but here it’s more basic and street punk. Exploding onto the Sydney scene in early 2019, Of course they’re Australian where else on the planet is it called a tinnie? To be fair they play a fairly standard punk sound clearly influenced by the likes of Rancid on this evidence and others like some of the Brit Oi! bands who’ve seen a resurgence in recent years it’s great to hear young ones taking on board the sounds and turning it into something new and trying to keep things fresh will also get the metal fans on board with those crunching riffs FacebookBuy Here
Jessie Wagner – ‘Over And Over’ (Wicked Cool Records) Sweet sweet soul music from Jesse with some cool brass and some blues that would make joe Perry blush when he’s honkin’ for bobo. The horn section adds some polish to a really cool tune. It’s soulful and street cool all in one and like she’s shaken her moneymaker and danced with Kravitz and played her Bellrays albums over and over. To add another texture the laid back ‘Put Off Saying Goodbye’ is soulful and her velvet-smooth vocals against the violin is wonderful and the fact she resists breaking out on the tail end of this is great to hear. A really impressive introduction to a very talented performer I can’t wait to hear more.
The Zipheads & The Nosebleed – ‘Banrobber’ / ‘Train In Vain’ (The Strummer Foundation) both popular stalwarts of the DIY punk scene have teamed up with the Joe Strummer Foundation to release a song each from The Clash’s back catalogue in their own raucous styles, raising money to provide opportunities to musicians and support to projects around the world that create empowerment through music. What’s not to like a great worthwhile cause and two fantastic songs. Worth a couple of quid of anyone’s money if you can support it at these tough times then grab yourself a couple of top covers in exchange
Goldie Dawn – S/T (Drunken Sailor Records) ‘Gone With The Wind’ is the sound of about a dozen awesome bands rolled into one bubblegum blowing snotty slice of rock and roll. So it’s not the catchiest record you’ll ever hear but its pretty damned good for an introduction especially when the engine gets warmed up after a couple of minutes and they channel their inner Brain James. ‘Crime’ will certainly clean out any hearing problems with the feedback before we roll off round the block on a badass hotrod of attitude punk rock n roll. Love the riff as it scuffs off the rock-solid rhythm like the bastard child of Ziggy era Bowie. but wait the best is yet to come as ‘What’s Inside (Never Dies)’ and what a Heartbreakers joy ride this is. So yup its got handclaps and a Walter Meets Johnny guitar lick coursing through its veins and I’m always a sucker for some of that. top tune. But it’s not ending there because the band does ease back a little as we ride out into the sunset with ‘It’s Nothing To Me’. Bookmark Goldie Dawn or whatever it is the kids do these days I’m expecting great things if this is what they can offer us. Buy Here
Percy – ‘Will Of The People’ (Ten Foot Records) The track comes from their new album ‘Seaside Donkeys’. The album is a work that represents the gritty realism of the 2020s and that is extremely relevant to a country and planet on the brink of unchartered waters. Will Of The People is a fine slice of punk rock with gritted teeth this song sums up living on Shit Island for many people. Buy Here
Cement Shoes – ‘A Love Story Of Drugs & Rock & Roll & Drugs’ (Drunken Sailor Records) After they’ve finished fuckin’ round with the universal fanfare its heads down and hit go but don’t just hit it SMASH The Fucker! ‘Smashed On Glass’ is like a punch in the face using an elephants hoof on the end of a jackhammer. A marvelous slam of punk rock but it doesn’t end there because ‘Knocked Into The Reptile Enclosure’ sounds exactly how you’d feel if you were. Terrifying wild frantic and a little metal. But wait, there’s more but this time it’s a little more melodic and restrained. ‘Going Off The Grid’ is like a psychedelic hardcore Black Sabbath jammin’ with The Fall. Fucked up? You bet but I like it to be fair I like it a lot. Cement shoes kick right off – great stuff and right fuckin’ noisy!
Acid Blood – ‘Waste No Time’ ( JanML/MvL) Swedish punk band Acid Blood have a brand new video out for the track “Waste No Time”, taken from the LP ‘Acid Blood’). The video was directed by Nicklas Viberg and shot at the old blues bar Droskan in the bands hometown of Umeå. Like a steamtrain that can’t stop fueled by Motorhead riffs and a tonne of attitude. Acid Blood are right on it like Graham Bonnett but better, much better.
The Strokes, saviours of rock ‘n’ roll or affluent city kids at the right place at right time? Or perhaps a little from column A and B….. Like them or loathe them, they have stayed the course of their career, never flooding the market with an abundance of material and taking hiatus breaks just long enough to build up nostalgia and maintain headlining positions at international festivals.
On listening to the latest offering, The New Abnormal, I’m at odds with the sound of the album. Almost as if I’m listening to a new Duran Duran release in an attempt at an edgy direction. Overall the material here is New Wave throwback meeting a painfully modern production quality leaving a mainstream radio friendly sheen.
There is a basis for some great songs on the album for the most part, although cluttered with hometown-isms which for me comes across as clichéd and a hallmark of an act running out of ideas (hello Red Hot Chili Peppers).
The first two tracks showcase a particularly barren lo-fi sound, to a more successful degree on second song “Selfless”. As soon as it’s over we are awoken into a feverish, unpleasant delirium of the Killers esque “Brooklyn Bridge To The Chorus”.
Where to begin with second single “Bad Decisions”. Already publicised and forgiven by critics for the heavy lifting from Generation X’s “Dancing With Myself”, no one seems to have noticed that the verses have been ripped from Modern English’s “Melt With You”. Following on from this we have “Eternal Summer”, reminiscent in my mind of a drunken Marilyn Manson jamming with Phoenix on some Psychedelic Furs melodies. These two tracks alone show enough appropriating to make Noel Gallagher shake his head in disbelief.
The real high points of the album reveal themselves in the second half. “At The Door” and “Not The Same Anymore” are exquisite and desolate, showing Casablanca’s finest vocal moments on the entire record. Even the poppier “Why Are Sundays So Depressing” can drag the unconverted along for the ride.
Album finisher “Ode To The Mets” brings us on home. It certainly displays passion but ends up falling short in measure against the strength of the previous tracks.
Overall the album has the potential to make a very interesting artifact in terms of being the sound of a band who arguably defined their era/scene, coping with middle age and avoiding predictability. And I must stress that this is a compliment, changing and adapting is a virtue. In this case though they do not quite hit the mark on the road of creative development well trodden by Neil Young, Bowie, Prince, Depeche Mode etc etc etc.