2020 has been a year that we all would rather forget due to the pandemic live shows have been sorely missed so any new music we must grab with two hands so that brings me to the latest EP release by The Damned titled ‘The Rockfield Files’.
The Damned has recorded some of their classic material at Rockfield and the welsh studio was where the band decided to record their last album Evil Spirits.
‘Keep em’ alive’ is the first track on Rockfield files and it doesn’t disappoint with a chanting intro the track then bursts into life with guitars and drums crashing in and with Dave Vanian’s glorious vocals over the top the tune is a sure-fire winner.
‘Manipulator’ is next up and is a melodic punk ripper with sneering vocals from Dave and some great slashing chords on the guitar courtesy of the Captain. This track also contains some powerhouse drumming from Pinch who sadly said goodbye to the band and with the Palladium and now this EP as his swansong he is leaving on an extreme high.
The spider & the fly’ is an interesting track as the beginning sounds like something off ‘Phantasmagoria’ but quickly morphs into the psychedelia of “The Black Album” and shows what a diverse band The Damned are.
The last track ‘Black is the Night’ is a song most Damned fans will know as it was the bonus track on the anthology of the same name released last year albeit this is an extended version and a welcome edition here for any fan who has not picked it up.
Overall this EP is top quality with some more great songs from such a great band.
Do yourself a favour and go and buy it and cheer yourself up cause after the last couple of months we all need some happiness in our lives and what better way to do that than with music.
In these strange times you can always rely on the RPM singles club to come up with a full basket of tasty Easter treats from the 7″ department of some of the best independent labels (and some major ones too) We have a slimmed download this month for obvious reasons but a pandemic won’t stop the rock, no sir. Let me introduce some of our picks from recent releases and ones about to come out from New York to Europe and everywhere in between check out these pretty pieces of plastic that came our way…
Watts – ‘Seventeen’ (Rum Bar Records) You want Rock and Roll in these tough times? sure you do what about FREE Rock and Roll? Hell Yeah! Well, hit up the link and download yourself some stonking foot-stomping bullshit-free Rock and Roll courtesy of those dudes Watts and rum Bar Records. It’s got keif Richards riff-a-rama on the guitar and those rasping hard-living vocals wrapped around a shitgrinning rocker get on it already. ‘When The Party Ends’ is a more ‘morning after’ feel but it’s an absolute belter oozing Rock n Roll. Hit the link and grab it now and let the good times enter your life Here Record of the week? Hell Yeah! not because it’s free but because it’s so damn good. Watts and Rum Bar are a match made in heaven and this is as good as it gets, timeless and class.
Sin City – Hold On (self Release) Holed up in Alicante Spain Two Cavemen recorded a couple of bluesy American classics in the shape of ‘Hold On’ and ‘Broken Hearted Man’ obviously being quarantined has seen them open their beat-up soul. Recorded with one mic, an acoustic guitar, an electric piano, a tambourine and whatever else they could find lying around the house. So plug it in, turn it up and let Sin City and their Mojo Machine get to work on ya! hit the link for the Bandcamp page Here Hell they’ve even worked out how to press record on their phone to shoot a video. It’s taken from a download album that’s rather tasty to be fair showing their not just drunken marauding animals who like fast n loose they can chill out and plonk da blues. Check it out Here
The Dollyrots – ‘Make Me Hot’ (Wicked Cool Records) With a cracking chorus The Dollyrots have got themselves a banger of a seven inch single. ‘Make Me Hot’ is a blast of power pop that should be heard across the globe this summer blazing from radios everywhere. flip it over for a rip ride cover of Lisa Loeb ‘Stay (I Miss You)’ in all its unashamed glory pop music rocked up. This will sell out no doubt as the band go from strength to strength with a hugely confident single. Buy Here
Mickey Leigh – ‘It Felt Like Love’ (Wicked Cool Records) If you want a distraction from the global pandemic it seems Wicked Cool has happened upon one antidote for the self-isolation blues and that’s by releasing a bunch of wicked cool singles. Mickey Leigh being one such 45. If your wondering who is he well, let me introduce you to Joey Ramones brother who has a wonderful slice of rock and roll with the A-side that reminds me of Stiv Bators solo era. A wonderful track that has a great hook on the chorus as the song just chugs along effortlessly. Keep digging though because the B Side is a real vibrant cracker ‘Trouble Man’ motors along. His brother would be proud of these tunes and the playing is fitting and really impressive, I like this a lot. Buy Here
Primo! – ‘Machine’ (Anti-Fade & Upset The Rhythm) Jangly Power Pop courtesy of Melbournes Primo! lifted off their album ‘Songi’ which will be released later this month. Check out their hotrod video now
Electric Frankenstein / Scumbag Millionaire (Ghost Highway Records) If ever there were two bands best suited to do a split single then these two would certainly be contenders. USA v Europe yet bonded by a love of loud guitars and some Garage Punk Rock n Roll attitude. EF contribute the riff-a-rama of ‘One Step Away’ with its bruising riff its classic EF then on the flipside you have the brutal and rapid riffs of Scumbag Millionaire ‘Strike Me Down’ its reminiscent of when Hellacopters broke onto the scene with the same vocal style and crash bang wallop of the verses colliding with the chorus and then smash – we’re into the soaring solo. Winner by a country mile!
Twisted Wheel – ‘I Am Immune’ (The Orchard Music (on behalf of Independent) Taken from their brand new album ‘Satisfying The Ritual’ Your left in no doubt that this is a right banger folks. Check it out and pre-order the album Here why don’t you?
Bloodshot Bill – ‘Its The Out Of This World Sounds Of…Vol 2’ (Ghost Highway Records) 1950 rockabilly inspired rock and roll just like The Cramps used to mess with your brain and some. ‘It’s A..Aa,a.Aaaggghhh!’ B Movie rock n roll from Bloodshot Bill its certainly out there from another planet ‘Moon Rocketing’ then ’50 Megaton’ sparse and authentic but totally fucked up and wonderful. Then you have the acoustic ‘Be My Satellite’ sounds like it was recorded on moonshine round an old wireless in the woods. Its got whistling n all so whats not to like. this is what makes the wonderful world of Rock and Roll so entertaining. Facebook
The Dahlmanns / Tommy & The Rockets – ‘Scandinavian Affair’ (Beluga Records/Ghost Highway Records) Yes through times of adversity you can always rely on some people to keep the spirits high. Another great team up in splitsville as One side is the Dahlmanns with the power-pop piano lead of ‘Part Girl’ it’s like an early ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. Music that should be on the radio playlists everywhere but isn’t but don’t let that get you down just let this ray of sunshine into your life. Then you have Tommy & his rockts turning the amps up for another slice of power pop but from another angle. ‘you Don’t Know What You Do’ again like The Dahlmanns they just ooze classy power pop and if you ever had a hankering for something pop but with guitars then Tommy & the gang are for you. Pick it up from Beluga or Ghost Highway before they’re all gone. Buy Here
The Cocktail Slippers – Nighttrain (Wicked Cool Records) Oslo Norway isn’t the place I thought would throw up some cool street power pop not a million miles from Blondie rockin out had you said Queens then I’d have assumed it present and correct. Its got the swagger of the lower east side These ladies have got themselves a catchy glam rockin slice of power pop.Buy the track Here / Facebook
Aborted Tortoise – Scale Model Subsistence Vendor (Goodbye Boozy Records)
Their new EP, ‘Scale Model Subsistence Vendor’, is one that backs this up once again. Arriving via cult-adored Italian punk label Goodbye Boozy Records, the EP brings together another four tunes bursting with energy. Moulding rock with heavy punk It’s sharp and succinct, ‘Making A Mint’ is frantic and will get yer blood pumping then ‘Factory’ is more laid back (really? Laid back?) ok, its not so rapid on the verse and sounds like its hanging on by a thread as the guitars chop away its got Pavement meets the Dead Kennedys running through its blood stream but so much more going on besides. Perth Australia has never sounded so inviting. Flip it over for the frantic ‘Violent Consumer’ before ‘Plastic Orgasm’ takes this EP home with its sharp romp to the finish line. Aborted Tortoise make it sound easy but being this good isn’t easy. Cracking EP from the artwork to the noise in the grooves buy it! . Bandcamp
Wyldlife -‘Automatic’ (Wicked Cool Records) I’ve not had the pleasure yet of hearing the new long player but have had a couple of glimpses through the window so to speak and of course I’ve loved what I’ve heard, why wouldn’t I? I’ve always loved Wyldlife and on hearing the new single ‘Automatic’ I can fanboy swoon once again and tell everybody I know that the album is coming. With the loud guitars and understated melody, it’s exactly what I wanted to hear in these dark times. A band who are nailing it every time and this new Wicked Cool Record is going to blow away the opposition – great tune – simple buy it! Inspired by a mutual love of Jesus And Mary Chain with a friend this is Rock and Roll Year of the snake be damned it’s the year of Wyldlife get on it pop pickers it’ll brighten up your social isolation Facebook
The BD3 – ‘Snowfake’ (Dischordia Records) Bradford ner do wells The BD3s have a double-sided single out and with the understated menace ‘Snowfake’ cruises along with a lovely slice of post-punk edge with a rasping buzzsaw guitar and spoken/chanted vocal jarring away its got some of the Fall happening its the audio equivalent of being poked in the chest and told whats what. Much like Greater Manchesters Cabbage The BD3 have carved out their own niche and they sit comfortably in there or should that be uncomfortable? the other tune on offer is the raging ‘Sypharus’ with a wicked riff and jarring lyrics its post punk for the 21st century and on this introduction, it sounds bloody good. Facebook
SHVPES – Lions Den (Spinefarm) Ahead of a decent UK tour and new record these rockers knock out another interesting video for ‘Lions Den’ Keep up to date Here
Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour – ‘Lightnin’ Bar Blues’ (King Outlaw Records) Tough times currently can be made easier by some sweet tunes and Tyla and his Dogs D’Amour have covered the classic Hanoi Rocks ‘Lightnin’ Bar Blues’ Tyla style.
Its all for a good cause don’t you know. Get on over to the Bandcamp page and drop a virtual quid in the box and own this most wonderful take of a wonderful song. Originally Hanoi put the track on their ‘Oriental Beat’ album but this take on a classic is very different but totally Tyla (if you know what I mean). Pour yourself some ripple wine and turn it up. You know it makes sense now what are you waiting for? Fark Orf if you’d be so kind and click Here
L.A. Guns – ‘Crawl’ (Golden Robot Records) Having recently signed to Golden Robot Records part of the Golden Robot Global Entertainment Group, the legendary L.A. Guns are set to release their new single ‘Crawl’ on April 20th. ‘Crawl’Pre-Order / pre-save: https://smarturl.it/LAGuns-Crawl Not to be confused with the other band called L.A. Guns of course. Not really having a clue where I stand on this name game but as far as songs go this one is alright and sounds like you’d expect L.A. Guns to sound but don’t think its the Phil Lewis vocals because it’s not this one is Kurt Frohlich on vocals. With a very 80s sounding track ‘Crawl’ is turning back the clock for all you cock rockers. Facebook / Instagram / Label link
Johny Skullknuckles – This City (Self Release) Free music? Johny Skullknuckles is giving away a tune? Today just got a lot better. We love free music and we love Johny Skullknuckles and we love ‘This City’ as it drifts in on an acoustic strum and meanders toward the chorus with just a bass drum and occasional snare and acoustic (and a voice or two) Skullknuckles opens his heart about his town and how time moves on and places change and not always for the better. Cheer up Johny you’ve still got yer memories and the ability to write proper rock and roll tunes keep it up and we look forward to your next offering already. Get it Here kids you know it makes sense.
Brassick – ‘They Say’ (TNS Records)Brassick seem to have been around for an age and when they used to turn up and play Slugfest they always turned in a thoroughly convincing and passionate set and when I’ve seen them at Rebellion the same. I did wonder what they would be like on record and don’t quite know how I managed to avoid it thus far and to be fair this is a belter. You get taken on a roller coaster of a journey from the bass rumble that will loosen any fillings to the soaring chorus. To the Buy the track Here ahead of the album release later this month.
Political punk icons, Anti-Flag,release their brand-new album, 20/20 Vision, this week.
They’ve been raging against the machine for over two decades and releasing music, touring, organizing, and repeat since the early ’90s. With ’20/20 Vision’ the Pittsburgh, PA based band prove that they have plenty of vitriol left. With the fascistic hate-mongering of the Trump administration at large and seemingly out of control ’20/20 Vision’ is the sound of the times we find ourselves living in. It’s an album intended to explicitly address the here and now.
I generally tend to like a lot of Anti Flag records or to be fair I’ve pretty much liked them all but for some reason when I last caught them live I thought I’d fallen out of love with their passion and delivery (I know that could have been me seeing as the rest of the audience was going nuts) but when this new opus came in for review I filed it away not in any great rush to review. Then, when it came time to give it a spin and hearing Trump on a newsreel kick things off I kinda sat up and paid attention. It might not have been opener ‘Hate Conquers All’ that lit a fire but it did send up the flag that 20/20 Vision was where they were going to take another stand against fascism, racism, and champion good against evil such as the leader of the western world and it was time to get behind them.
The second track ‘It Went Off Like A Bomb’ which took things quite literally. Sure its Anto Flag doing Anti Flag but its got boundless energyand there is a fire raging inside to be fair. I guess dealing with the here and now certainly has its subject matter globally to rage over but the deeper you get into the record the better it gets. The title track is blistering. But it does get better and better as they freewheel downhill towards the Clashtastic ‘Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down’ what a great thumping bassline and sing-along chorus that is everything I love about Anti Flag. In fact, to be fair this is the best the band has sounded for quite a while maybe as strong as they’ve sounded in a decade it’s that good.
It’s still accessible for mass appeal and veers close to modern Green Day at times the two draws from the same well so its to be expected. As the record rolls on the variety is a great flow from the spikey punk to the more laid back acoustic ‘Un American’ which couldn’t be more American sounding if Mellencamp and Springsteen sang gang vocals. Then to close it off we have the brass infused ‘Resistance Frequencies’ that has all the triumph and gusto of a band who know its winning with this record that’s exuding confidence and great tunes. Where do I sign up to join the resistance – I’m in!