Tensheds is the brainchild of keyboard wizard Matt Millership, a multi-instrumentalist who tinkles the ivories full time for Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind and Beans On Toast. While in these bands Matt is more of a hired hand, Tensheds is completely his baby, and with long time drummer Ed Wells, he has been exploring unique ways to bring piano music crashing into the 21st Century for well on 10 years now.
The pair recently retreated to Free House Studios in Wales and tracked their 4th album ‘Deathrow Disco’ in 3 days. Taking a minimalistic approach, it was recorded completely with a Rhodes organ and drums, with just the occasional tinkle from his beloved 1835 Collard & Collard grand piano. No guitars, bass, synths or ulterior motives were used in the making of this album.
‘Deathrow Disco’ is not your average piano based record, that’s for sure. This is a hard hitting, gritty alternative beast full of heavy beats and gravelly vocals. If you dig a bit of James Leg (which we certainly do at RPM) then you will most likely enjoy ‘Deathrow Disco’. There are many parallels; the pair both follow the same 2 piece band format of Rhodes organ and drums. But while James Leg has a more swampy blues approach, Tensheds are more, dare I say…gothic noir. Imagine Tom Waits on crack, downing whiskey and jamming out Donna Summer records all night long and you might get some idea where Tensheds are coming from with ‘Deathrow Disco’.
Thumping beats pump through the stereo on opener ‘Youngbloods’ before Matt’s gritty vocals take over, sounding like a man on 40 a day. ‘Gold Tooth’ has a signature Rhodes refrain and musically goes off on a tangent to itself. It’s fast, fuzzy and its dare I say…dancy!
Tensheds create dark imagery as Matt weaves sonically seductive effect-ridden Rhodes runs all over gothic, Tim Burton-esque soundscapes. But this isn’t a Danny Elfman style soundtrack, oh no. Well, maybe if you kidnapped the songwriter, scrubbed his vocal chords with sandpaper, soaked the open wounds in cheap whiskey and packed him off to an Amsterdam whorehouse for a dirty weekend, it would be!
‘Slag’ takes the fuzz to another level as Matt growls about the rich and the poor, the music builds in intensity, as piano runs and stabbing chords fight for supremacy. A three and a half minute deathrock opera. ‘Black Blood’ is upbeat and funky, yet dark and foreboding, a schizophrenic musical delight, and ‘Secrets’ is a seductive murder ballad that will haunt your very soul.
Let’s get one thing straight ‘Deathrow Disco’ is not a party album, well not any party I have ever attended anyway! It’s a dark and emotional rollercoaster ride through the deep recesses of the songwriters mind, exploring the themes of incarceration, whether that be metaphorical or physical. He suggests there is no freedom from love, loss, politics or the destruction of our planet. The lyrics are topical and the music is simply fascinating.
Ho Ho Ho!, Nothing Christmassy about this bunch of records except to say I’d be one happy chappy if these were hanging in my stocking come the big day. It’s always quality before quantity here at RPM Singles round-up. As we welcome back old friends and applaud like a bunch of performing seals when the music hits the airwaves… With an immense array of talent on offer we bring you the pick of the new releases because we’re like that and its the season to give, give, give…
Motherfuckin’ Motherfuckers – ‘Trillion Dollar Man’ (Lux Noise Records) Its always a pretty good bet that as soon as I get things in order to write up a compilation of new singles and videos that are about to drop Those Lovely Hip Priests boys appear as if by magic (either its coincidence or they have my house tapped) but hang on before you get carried away this is only half of the Hip Priests together with half of Bitch Queens under the umbrella of Motherfuckin’ Motherfuckers (never a more appropriate name eh?)
Following on from that glorious cacophony of noise that was the debut mini-album ‘Trillion Dollar Man’ is the fearless foursome back for more with a two-minute one-second rip ride of unadulterated punk rock and roll. from the intro tape to the snot fueled solo it hits you like a speedball if you flip it over side two is more of the same. Too much drugs, too much booze, too many amps and guitars will ki… Never be enough! we live in tough time kids so when you have a band put together as a bet that can turn up and knock these out then things aren’t all bad proving once again that they can go toe to toe with the greats and channelling their inner Motorhead, MC5, early Hellacopters you get the idea where these punks are coming from. Just buy it for fuck’s sake you know you want to. Click here and let em know your order before they all go, which they will. Then you’ll still be uncool and not even have the new Motherfuckin’ Motherfucker single in your possession either. Oh and they cover D4 as well it’s almost as if D4 knew one day it would happen and some bunch of ne’er-do-wells would turn it up and kick out the jams on their classic and bring it to a whole new generation of rock n rollas. so, what are you waiting for?
The Black Halos – Geisterbahn ii (Yeah Right! Records) A band that shouldn’t need an introduction but we’re giving them one anyway. Hailing from Vancouver and been in some sort of semi-hibernation until now. Seemingly out of nowhere this old/new single drops. the A-side is something familiar to those who pay attention as it was released a while back when they played the Black Heart in London and some shows in Spain a few years ago but the single was delayed due to one thing or another until now. the band has been writing new songs back in Canada and we are about to hear the benefits of that. Original members Billy Hopeless, Rich Jones, and Jay Millette have reunited and are joined by the rhythm section of Danni Action and John Kerns on these new recordings. These songs mixed by long-time collaborator Jack Endino C’mon folks it’s a banger from the off. Its got the wonderful vocal delivery from Billy (who else?) and a vibrant workout from a band who sound like they love to crank it up and get on with their business. I for one can’t wait for the album next year it’s going to be special and on the evidence of these samplers one, you should be interested in no question. Recorded back in Berlin by RDO TV Mork and features Rags n CC Voltage (they don’t need an introduction here do they?) just buy it! Bandcamp
THE ILLICITS ‘Left Behind / Born Slippy’ (Creation 23) The elephant in the room here is these cats have only bagged themselves a guest slot from the one and only Steve ‘Fuckin’Jones! Yeah, that’s right the lonely Boys strapped on his Les Paul and threw down a riff on ‘Left Behind’. What’s it like then you ask. Well its a pretty decent noise to be fair as is their take on ‘Born Slippy’. Terrace punk would be a fair description somewhere between the pub rock of early britpop and Jonesys Professionals these guys have a swagger cutting through their record and its impressive, maybe the time is right for some real guitar bands to kick out the jams once again and give this industry a good fuckin’ shakin’. Get on it here
Märvel – ‘Marvellous’ (The Sign) Märvels debut EP “Märvellous” claimed to be recorded in 2002 for the American label New York Powerhitters during the bands exchange semester in Colorado. Märvel returned to Sweden before the songs got a release, and the EP never got to see the light of day… Until now! After the success of their ‘Guilty Pleasures’ album, the barons of rock have re-recorded their “lost EP”. After seventeen years of making albums and touring, the band has a long tradition of writing hits while constantly developing their sound which has enabled them to re-record an almost twenty year old EP and make it sound as if it was written yesterday. ‘Märvellous’ will officially be released January 24th through The Sign Records. go check it out.
Rotten Mind – Burn For You (Lövely Records) the first single taken from Rotten Minds upcoming album Rat City Dog Boy. “Burn For You” is a melody-driven, upbeat punk anthem clocking in at just under two minutes. Despite its relatively short length, it manages to capture the essence of Rotten Mind; defiant lyrics sung from the heart, accompanied by a fast drum beat and poisonous guitar melodies drenched in reverb, creating a thick yet vibrant soundscape. It’s a captivating track with a somewhat uplifting atmosphere, and yet there’s something melancholic lurking in the shadows.
Combining elements of 77’punk, post-punk and garage rock, Swedish indie- force Rotten Mind are back with their fourth full length album. With Rat City Dog Boy, Rotten Mind returns to their musical roots while embracing new influences to create an album that sounds both fresh and vintage, making Rotting Mind appealing to old-school punks as well as newfound lovers of the scene
The Doghunters – Hitchhiker (Tonzonen Records) Taken from the German Bands soon to be released album ‘Splitter Phaser Naked’. Some smooth indie rock that’s well recorded and delivered and is a bit of a grower to be fair. Bandcamp
Autogramm – ‘Bad Day’ (Self Release) Again Autogramm deliver some quality synth-driven power pop. Its got a great infectious hook on the chorus but carries a serious message. The fact that all profits go to a great worthy cause, of course, we’re going to champion this single. Check out the video below and make a donation or pick up a physical single – you know it makes sense.
All proceeds from digital sales will be donated to World Federation For Mental Health Save “Bad Day” to your preferred music service: https://orcd.co/badday Donate to The World Federation for Mental Health: https://wfmh.global
Gun – Rock The Casbah (Silver Lining Records) Lifted from their album ‘R3loaded’ this is a pretty impressive cover to be fair. Gun seem to get it (whatever it is) their take on this Clash Classic is available for you to see as well as hear below so click away kids Facebook
Bitch Queens, The Lombego Surfers, Nicole Bernegger, Luc Montini – Gimme Shelter (Lux Noise Records) – An extremely limited edition of only 100 red records here, all for a good cause the charity ‘Save Free Spaces’ sees this collaboration cover the stones classic not once but twice!
Whilst the fast side sort of whizzes through its got a suitably dirty guitar sound that is befitting such a classic, upping the tempo misses the dirty dangerous groove that the original delivered but hey its a cover so why try to reproduce the original right? right! Saying that its the slower version that grabbed my attention and boy do they nail such an iconic tune. Nicole Berneggers vocals are exceptional to be fair and well worth checking out if you haven’t already. Bandcamp
Stevie R Pearce & The Hooligans – ‘Rush Of Blood To The Head’ (Cargo Records) With a new album recorded live in Blackpool entitled ‘Give Me Everything’ ‘Rush Of Blood’ is a brand new track to follow on from last years studio album. You want loud guitars and Rockin’ tunes with a heap of attitude then Stevie and his bunch of Hooligans are your boys just ask Jizzy Pearl and Kory Clarke they know a thing or two about guitar players. reunited with two of the Black Bullets players Stevie has got Carl and Lance in to rock out as his new Hooligans a line up completed by Richard Jones. Stevie recons it’s the lightest of the new songs they’ve written but the chorus is a keeper and couldn’t be ignored he’s not wrong it’ll lodge itself in your noggin’ and you’ll be humming it all bloody day long. It’s gritty yet polished and if this is the lightest he’s come up with then I’m intrigued – Top tune make no mistake about that, America listen up – This could and probably should rule the FM airwaves. Facebook
The Electric Shakes – 2019 EP (self Released) Why not treat yourself to some of the digital records you know, flac or mp3. so it’s not something you can put in a jukebox but these four tracks sure do rock and fuckin’ roll. From the garage fuzz of the catchy ‘Phoney High’ Electric Shakes have got it going on. this Bournemouth three-piece make a wonderful noise and a cautionary tale about cheap narcotics. ‘Rye And Dry’ ups the tempo with some lovely Poison Ivy stylings on that six-string whilst the rhythm section holds down the backbeat to the chorus that’s like a rush of adrenaline. Cool stuff. Probably my pick of the four tracks on offer would be the spikey ‘Hound Dog’ with its distorted riff-a-rama that takes you to the holin’ chorus. Oh wait don’t jump the gun because they saved the best till last as ‘Trash’ is one angry motherfucker as it rallies against the modern world and the disdain poured onto the people at the bottom of the ladder and the homeless or those who just struggle. Good on you Electric Shakes this is a band we like and will support, a band with a moral compass and a bunch of top tunes to boot give them a shout folks and get behind them they rock. Pick up the EP Here
The Zeros – ‘In The Spotlight’ (Munster Records) The Zeros are back baby and this December sees the first new music in God knows how long (over twenty years). It’s Released on Munster Records outta Spain and this slice of Rock and Roll shows that Javier Escovedo has lost none of his spark and these two blistering tunes are full of energy and are as vibrant as anything their contemporaries can put out in 2019. I hear rumours of an album and If these tunes are an indication of what we could expect from a long-player in 2020 then bring it on brothers because these tunes are fantastic. Sleazy Rock n Roll from the heart with some wicked lead breaks mixed with some howling harmonica on the lead track whilst ‘Nowhere To Run’ has boundless energy mixed with plenty of snotty rock n roll. Welcome back boys we’ve missed ya!
THE CHERRY DOLLS – State Of Mine (Bread And Butter Records) with a brand new record Australias Cherry Dolls rock up with something that has a hint of The Strokes mixed with something darker from the origins of The Stooges for sure. ‘State Of Mind’ is a fuzzed up slice of Rock and Roll that we love around these parts and this is a welcome addition to our singles club. Go check them out on Bandcamp and Facebook and tell em RPM Sent You!
Tom Baker and the Snakes- ‘Cancel It’ (Rum Bar Records) It’s always a rockin good day when a Rum Bar Records record drops through the ether. It’s like the quality stamp of approval you don’t even need to ask who it is because chances are its gonna lodge itself in your noggin and take root. The fact its Tom Baker backed by The Snakes is something of an afterthought. (God knows who? Tom Baker has never made a bad record either) lifted from ‘Dirty Snakes’ its an absolute throwback rocker think Georgia Sats kicking it out with Mellencamp when he turned up the amps. Its a corker and in a few weeks the full album will be released Facebook
Tensheds – Goldtooth (Tensheds Music) taken from the soon to be released album ‘Deathrow Disco’ the more observant of you might notice the keyboard player from a certain Jim Jones & The Righteous Minds. This has been described as a cross between Jerry Lee and Lady Gaga but its more White Stripes with a great big dirty Rhodes organ instead of a guitar it’s like James Leg has a UK based twin but with a more style and better hair. Facebook
Beat Hotel – Feel It (Occultation Recordings) The first single off this Brighton based bands self-titled mini album with a great sense of songwriting with great lyrics and well worked arrangments it’s a great slab of noisy pop taking chunks of influence from the alternative scene of the 80s with bands like the Bunnymen and Teenage fanclub clearly having some influence as well as a most welcome dash of Jesus & Mary Chain. Great song and I look forward to hearing the full minialbum. Keep up with Beat Hotel Facebook | Bandcamp | YouTube | Twitter | Soundcloud | Spotify | Vinyl order | Press contact
Pist – Fools Gave Chase (APF Records) As we’re such a broad church here is the latest offering from those heavy as a 10000 tonne boulder Pist are in the club with the rifftastic ‘Fools Gave Chase’ in all its non-single length glory. Taken from the album ‘Hailz’ Available Here
Grande Royale / Liar Thief Bandit – Split (The Sign Records) Action Rockers strap yourself in for a royale showdown as Liar Thief Bandit lay down the challenge with some classic Action Rock riff-a-rama as they offer up ‘Virtue As A Vice’ whilst fellow Action rockers Grande Royale announce that they were ‘Saved By Rock ‘n’ Roll’ its limited to only 300 pieces its an easy chorus to remember Saved by rock n roll wohoho! so get out your tennis racket and play along and don’t spare the sweatbands