Minneapolis favourites Soul Asylum return with their 13th studio album, and their first since 2016’s ‘Change of Fortune’. The new album ‘Hurry Up and Wait’ was preceded by the single ‘If I Told You’, which gave a hint that Asylum fans could expect the band to return with their trademark romanticism, with melodies as delicate as ever, flowing in the line with Pirner’s vulnerable vocal delivery. While the ‘Change of Fortune’ album was a mixed bag, the new single ‘If I Told You’ was already perhaps a better song than anything from that album, up there with ‘Misery’ in terms of Soul Asylum ballads.

A good omen then for the new album, which was finally released 17 April 2020. And fans won’t be disappointed. Whereas ‘Change of Fortune’ was perhaps at times a little overblown and a little overproduced, ‘Hurry Up and Wait’ is more direct and earnest, following more in the footsteps of the inspiring ‘Delayed Reaction’ from 2012. The sound is instantly recognisable, but as with most later Asylum stuff, it’s more explorative in its sound, demonstrating Pirner’s expert song writing skills which have been present at least since the early days.

The album opens with the strong riffing of the aptly named ‘The Beginning’ before the song almost immediately swings into familiar territory, full of sweet melodies and catchy hooks. Going straight into the superb ‘If I Told You’, this is the Soul Asylum that fans have come to love. This of course permeates throughout the album with songs such as ‘Make Her Laugh’, and ‘Social Butterfly’, but there is enough variety on this album though to keep it interesting at every turn. The Slade-esque stomp of ‘Got it Pretty Good’ is a fine upbeat number, whereas ‘Dead Letter’ takes a decidedly folky turn. There’s also a lot of rock on this album, from the bluesy romp of ‘Landmines’ to the harder ‘Hopped up Feelin’’.

Every song on the album is a strong as the last, and the variety is refreshing. Less polished than ‘Change of Fortune’ and more consistent than ‘Delayed Reaction’, the record is certainly the best album since ‘The Silver Lining’, and maybe even before. For Asylum fans, ‘Hurry Up and Wait’ will definitely rank alongside their best.

Buy ‘Hurry Up And Wait’ Here

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Author: Craggy Collyde

 

WENDY JAMES

REVEALS NEW TRACK ‘LITTLE MELVIN’

TAKEN FROM THE ALBUM ‘QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT’

OUT 1ST MAY

 LISTEN HERE

WENDY JAMES showcases her love of Motown on new track ‘Little Melvin’, taken from her forthcoming 5th solo album QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT, which is released on 1st May 2020.

An English singer-songwriter born in London, Wendy exploded onto the British music scene in 1988 as the fearless front woman of chart-topping alt-rockers Transvision Vamp. When the band disbanded Wendy went on to collaborate with Elvis Costello, James Williamson (Iggy & the Stooges), Lenny Kaye (The Patti Smith Group) and James Sclavunos (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), who joins her on drums and percussions for QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT. Also joining her on this album are James Sedwards (lead guitar), Harry Bohay (bass), Alex J. Ward & Terry Edwards (horn section) and Louis Vause (accordion).

Wendy began writing QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT after a long stretch of writing/recording/delivering/touring her previous album ‘The Price Of The Ticket’, which charted in the UK at No.14. Wendy says of the title track, “I gravitated toward some jazzy type of chords which lent a gentle lilt to the song, it sounded smooth and it reminded me of when I was a young child listening to Sergio Mendes ‘Brazil ’66’! Some of those lovely chord progressions, some of that lovely harmonizing the singers did and of course Bacharach and David.”

“Overall, my taste and style have not changed with time,” Wendy says. “The music that excites me now, ultimately, is the same as when I was starting out songwriting and back through my days in Transvision Vamp. I continue to marvel at Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, I continue to be blown away by The Stooges, I continue to be everlastingly enthralled by Bob Dylan, but of course, the older one gets the more one discovers and I am now informed more cohesively and fully by all the music, new and old, which settles into my consciousness.

“My track listings are never altered from the order in which I write the songs, maybe it’s because it’s too tangential for me to try to shuffle songs around but really I think, in some kind of holistic way, the order in which the songs are written must surely be the very most natural order for them to be listed in. Around about song 14 ‘Bliss Hotel’ I hit a wall. I did not know where the inspiration was going to come from! But then somehow, miraculously, it comes again and one pushes on through, as it turned out, to some of my favourite songs on the entire album. My perfect moment? song 18 ‘Cancel It… I’ll See Him On Monday’; it was a ‘Eureka’ moment. I ran out into the garden and started dancing, “I’ve got it! I’ve got it!!!””

Elsewhere on the album, Wendy embraces Motown with ‘Here Comes The Beautiful One’ and ‘Little Melvin’, she returns, once again, to her favourite guitar guttural filth and sex for ‘Perilous Beauty’ and an unlikely sounding love

song in ‘Chicken Street’, 90’s pop groove in ‘Ratfucking’, melancholia in ‘Testimonial’, Django Reinhardt whimsy in ‘I’ll Be Here When The Morning Comes’. On ‘The Impression Of Normalcy’, Wendy says, “Thanks to James Sclavunos, who told me to “speed the fucking song up”, I have a proper speed punk song.” Finally, track 20 ‘Kill Some Time Blues’ is the ultimate 60’s girl group number.

Wendy recently toured the UK with her permanent band THE WENDY JAMES BAND opening for The Psychedelic Furs, which was a huge success. She has just rescheduled what should have been a May tour, saying, “By doing simple math, it was easy for me to see that when I’d be due to begin rehearsals in April in LDN, it was just not going to happen, nor an all-clear of COVID19 by 5th May when my tour was scheduled to begin. So making a calculation as best as possible, I’ve postponed all the dates until September 2020. All the ticket links are still valid and working! All the VIP are still valid and welcome!” On the upside she said, “QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT will have been with you all through the summer months and I expect you to all be able to sing every lyric along with me in September! A successful record could make these gigs very electric!” Details of her rescheduled 19-date tour are below…

Wendy currently divides her time between New York City, Paris, South France and London.

 

TOUR DATES:

3RD SEPT – BRISTOL FLEECE

4TH SEPT – SWANSEA CINEMA & CO

5TH SEPT – CARDIFF CLWB IFOR BACH

8TH SEPT – BRIGHTON CONCORDE 2

9TH SEPT – CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION

10TH SEPT – BIRMINGHAM INSTITUTE 3

11TH SEPT – STOKE SUGARMILL

12TH SEPT – PORTSMOUTH WEDGEWOOD ROOMS 15TH SEPT – NOTTINGHAM BODEGA

16TH SEPT – MANCHESTER DEAF INSTITUTE

17TH SEPT – LEEDS BRUDENELL

18TH SEPT – BLACKPOOL WATERLOO MUSIC BAR 19TH SEPT – NEWCASTLE CLUNY

21ST SEPT – GUILDFORD BOILEROOM

22ND SEPT – TUNBRIDGE WELLS FORUM

23RD SEPT – LONDON ISLINGTON 02

26TH SEPT – GLASGOW KING TUTS

27TH SEPT – EDINBURGH BANNERMANS

29TH SEPT – NORWICH ARTS CENTRE

 

Tickets available Here

Their first album in almost 30 years, since releasing 1991’s World Outside and splitting up soon after. Reuniting early on in the Millenium, existing as a touring entity only, I was genuinely surprised to hear that the band had signed an album deal as I always assumed there was no appetite to record new material. With the bands last commercial peak being 1987s Midnight to Midnight they were seemingly destined to remain a nostalgia act spending a majority of their time on the road in the U.S.
 
A strong opener in “The Boy Who Invented Rock & Roll”, a great layer of brooding synth showing growth in their song output and even having a bit of a Dark Wave element. “Don’t Believe” is the established first single released back in January. It really sits in the foundations of classic non-pop Furs, which makes recent single “You’ll Be Mine” even more of a disappointment. It’s a limp number at best.
“Wrong Train” kicks off like a New Order football jingle though quickly detours into a bitter-sweet, epic confessional. Speaking of pills, car crashes and turmoil amid filthy guitar and sax duels. An absolute stand out track. The only low here being when it finally ends, though “This’ll Never Be Like Love” drags you into a somewhat beautiful pit of despair. The track really does hark back to the sound of their last two (criminally overlooked) albums.
“Ash Wednesday” has the same level of brood, but at over 5 minutes it never really goes anywhere and it’s a bit much to take. It’s the same case for “Come All Ye Faithful”, trying to be direct and edgy but coming across very much like filler material. “No-One” thankfully grabs us by the scruff of the neck and puts us back on course, giving us Richards Butler’s dark cacophony of lamenting croons.
“Tiny Hands” is very American rock radio commerciality straight out of the gates. It’s not terribly unpleasant, just very questionable production. The production here is provided by former member Richard Fortus (G’N’R fame). Not slighting Fortus’s role here, though I am disappointed the band didn’t go with someone who potentially could of put them to work. Someone with a similar background such as Flood or Alan Moulder?
“Hide The Medicine”, a very dreamy number that builds and builds but ends very abruptly almost as if it had never even begun? “Turn Your Back On Me” has really grown on me after several listens, revealing itself as a subtle but epic number. Album finisher “Stars” rolls in. Another dreamy composition, building in parts, taking us to a collage of sounds, distorted guitars and synths melding together only to disappear bluntly. A surprising track to place at the end, not really giving much as a send off.
Overall the album is a bit of a mixed bag. Not a classic but certainly not disappointing. My lingering thoughts only that I hope they try their hand at another release sooner rather than later. Definitely seek out this new album but be prepared to take the rough with the smooth.
Buy ‘Made Of Rain’ Here
Author: Dan Kasm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ncz9b2dIHkU&feature=emb_logo

The Fall were an English post-punk band, formed in 1976 in Prestwich, Greater Manchester. They underwent many line-up changes, with vocalist and founder Mark E. Smith as the only constant member.

First associated with the late 1970s punk movement, the Fall’s music has always pushed & challenged boundaries, with Mark. E. Smith at the helm on and off stage, the band has always been characterised by an abrasive, repetitive guitar-driven sound and tense bass and drum rhythms, along with Smith’s caustic lyrics, described by critic Simon Reynolds as “a kind of Northern English magic realism that mixed industrial grime with the unearthly and uncanny, voiced through a unique, one-note delivery somewhere between amphetamine-spiked rant and alcohol-addled yarn.”

The Fall have been called “the most prolific band of the British post-punk movement.” From 1979 to 2017, they released thirty-two studio albums. They were long associated with BBC disc jockey John Peel, who championed them from early on in their career and described them as his favourite band, famously explaining, “they are always different; they are always the same.” Earlier this year, Smith died at the age of 60, effectively putting an end to the group.

No other band in the world can touch The Fall’s magnificence and sheer volume, which are captured here in ‘Box of Ten #2’. Issued on Cog Sinister, The Fall’s official label, and following on from the “Set of Ten” released last year, this is a limited-edition set (only 500 units) of 11 discs of previously unreleased live recordings, spanning three decades. The earliest recording taken from 1984 and the most recent 2014.

Live in Cork 2012 is a bonus disc and will not be available to buy separately.

Each limited edition box set contains:-

The Fall – Live in Hanover 1984 The Fall – Live from New York Tramps 1984 The Fall – Live in Motherwell 1996 The Fall – Live in Edinburgh 2001 The Fall – Live at the Manchester MOHU 2009 The Fall – Live in Newcastle 2011 The Fall – Live in Leeds 2012 The Fall – Live in Cork 2012 The Fall – Live in Nantes 2013 The Fall – Live in Dublin 2013 The Fall – Live in Nimes 2014

New Single ‘DON’T BELIEVE’ AVAILABLE NOW

LISTEN HERE

LIVE ROYAL ALBERT HALL MAY 14TH

Highly influential post punk stars, The Psychedelic Furs release their new album, their first in nearly 30 years,  ‘Made Of Rain,’ through Cooking Vinyl on May 1st 2020  A single, ‘Don’t Believe,’ is available to stream now and download when you preorder the album from HERE 

To celebrate the release of ‘Made Of Rain’ The Psychedelic Furs have announced a very special show at the renowned Royal Albert Hall in London (May 14th). This show will feature exclusive performances of the new album along with the band’s fabulous and unforgettable hits. An exclusive presale for The Royal Albert Hall will be available next week for fans who preorder the new album from the band’s Official Store.  Tickets will be on general sale on Friday 7th February.

From its exhilarating opening bars, Made Of Rain – sounds like The Psychedelic Furs and them alone. It’s a joy to hear again, fresher than ever. Their peerless permutations of art, aggression and ambience drive the dynamics, and it’s always been this originality which has set them apart, a cut above. The album was produced by Richard Fortus, whilst mixing duties were handled by Tim Palmer (David Bowie, U2, Robert Plant).

Led by vocal and lyrical genius Richard Butler with his brother Tim on bass, The Psychedelic Furs released seven critically acclaimed studio albums – ‘The Psychedelic Furs” (1980), ‘Talk Talk Talk’ (1981),  ‘Forever Now’ (1982), ‘Mirror Moves’ (1984), Midnight To Midnight’ (1987), ‘Book Of Days’ (1989) and ‘World Outside’ (1991). They released many classic singles throughout the ’80’s and into the 90’s, including: ‘Sister Europe,’ ‘Love My Way,’ ‘The Ghost In You,’ ’ Pretty In Pink,’ ‘Heaven,’ ‘Heartbreak Beat,’ ’All That Money Wants’ and ‘Until She Comes.’

In recent years the band have toured continually completing a tour of North America in 2019 and played acclaimed shows at The Hollywood Bowl, All Points East, Hyde Park and Benicàssim. A celebrated handful of UK shows including headlining the prestigious Meltdown at the Royal Festival Hall at Robert Smith of The Cure’s request. This past October, the band played a sold-out tour of the UK and Europe which culminated in a triumphant show at the Roundhouse in London.

The last few years has seen the band’s legend growing, highlighted by the fact they have scored over 150 million streams of their songs worldwide. Their influence since arriving on the post-punk scorched-earth landscape four decades ago has reverberated and resonated from everyone from The Killers to REM to Foo Fighters to Bob Dylan has sung their praises.“I’m aware of the fact that people cite us an influence”, says Richard, “though I don’t often recognise it in their music. It’s gratifying of course, as it is that there’s still an interested and enthusiastic audience for us. That’s an honour.”

Many moons after Pretty In Pink (sort of) inspired that John Hughes movie, Love My Way has featured in Oscar-winning film Call Me By Your Name and The Ghost In You in sci-fi smash Stranger Things showing that The Psychedelic Furs are sounding stronger than ever. As anyone who’s seen the band lately knows, Butler remains one of the most watchable frontmen in the game.

Richard Butler – Vocals / Tim Butler – Bass / Mars Williams – Saxophone / Paul Garisto Drums / Amanda Kramer – Keyboards / Rich Good – Guitar.

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So, the next PROFESSIONALS chapter officially begins, to take the band into 2020.

6 new songs recorded during 2019, will be available to advance order from today (29th November).

The 3 EP’s will be released in January, February and March of the new year. Each EP will feature 2 new tracks plus two live recordings of older material. They’ll be available individually through Transistor Music on CD, limited edition vinyl and super limited edition colour vinyl, or as various bundles with exclusive T- shirts and signed posters. The new tracks are contenders for next year’s October released album, the follow up to the critically acclaimed ‘What In The World’. There’s also talk of adding guests to the new recordings before the release, taking advantage again of Paul Cook’s immense punk rock address book.

Studio time has been booked around the band’s tour with SLF and US dates, where further new material will be put down.

 We have a 2020 vision and hope you’ll all be part of it.

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