FOLK DEVILS have returned with their first new music in 33 years. The band blazed a trail across the UK’s independent music scene of the mid-80s with their unique brand of post-punk energy, known for their acclaimed indie-chart singles ‘Hank Turns Blue’, ‘Beautiful Monster’, three John Peel sessions, plus live dates opening for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Fall, The Gun Club, Screaming Blue Messiahs and others.

The 3-track Forever EP lands on 10” (clear red vinyl) and digital on 18 September via Optic Nerve Recordings and features two new compositions, the title track ‘Forever’ and ‘My Slum Soul’, plus an incendiary new version of an old live favourite ‘Ink Runs Dry’.

Recorded at London’s famous Konk Studios in North London and mixed and co-produced by Grammy Award-winning engineer Rik Simpson, the re-born Folk Devils drew inspiration for new recordings from the release of their 2016 career retrospective Beautiful Monsters (Singles & Demo Recordings 1984-86) and the excellent reactions at subsequent live shows around the UK with kindred spirits Membranes, Inca Babies, The Wolfhounds and The Cravats.

Founder members, guitarist Kris Jozajtis and bassist Mark Whiteley, reformed the group by recruiting members of a short-lived 1987 version of Folk Devils; guitarist Nick Clift and drummer John Hamilton. Together with singer Dave Hodgson they soon discovered they had created a well-oiled twin-guitar juggernaut that brimmed with the same restless, twisted blues that characterized the first and second iterations of the band from 1983-87 when they were fronted by the highly underrated and now sadly-departed singer/songwriter Ian Lowery. Hodgson, a fellow transplant from the North-East, had known Lowery in the early 80s prior to Folk Devils, when the two were in their respective post-punk bands Ski Patrol and Parting Shots.

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The Gun Club will get a full-length documentary in 2020. It’ll focus on lead singer and main songwriter Jeffrey Lee Pierce it’s been revealed that it will carry the title ‘Elvis From Hell’ which was the title of a double compilation record released by Bang a couple of years ago. Pierce passed away at the young age of thirty-seven over twenty years ago.

The band was Formed in Los Angeles in 1979, the Gun Club’s style of mixing punk, blues and rootsy country have made them one of the most influential bands of the last 50 years. Influencing the likes of R.E.M., Sonic Youth and a whole host of other bands that went on to have huge success. Jack White even went as far as to say that Pierce’s songs “should be taught in school.”

The Gun Club managed over the course of their career to release seven studio albums, including ‘Fire Of Love’ and ‘Miami’, being two of the most popular best sellers. Blondie singer Debbie Harry contributing background vocals under the name D.H. Lawrence.

Directed by Heiko Lange and Jessica Andree, ‘Elvis From Hell’ will feature interviews from fans and performers such as Nick Cave, Jim Jarmusch, Mark Lanegan, Iggy Pop, Moby and Kid Congo Powers. It will also include never before seen footage of the band.

This is not the first time Pierce has been the subject of a film. Kurt Voss’ “Ghost On The Highway: A Portrait Of Jeffrey Lee Pierce And The Gun Club” was released in 2006, while 2008 saw the release of ‘Hard times Killing Floor Blues’, which chronicled Pierce’s life while he lived in London. Further details will be brought as and when released

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Considering its size Poland has yet to really lay a glove onto the blueprint of Rock and Roll yet a lot of the bands I speak to that tour there rave about the reception they get and how passionate the fans are for Rock and Roll. so in 2018 it’s strange to think that underground Rock and Roll is still so far underground that everywhere else never gets to hear about it. Well, let RPM change that misconception as we champion this new CD from Poland’s Jack Saint.  Their garage rock n roll has a lot of traditional dark tones and some familiar influences and if you needed to know what side of the track these boys walk there is a cover of the Gun Clubs ‘Stranger In Our Town’ thrown in for good measure and a way of tying their flag to the mast.

Its dark, swamp blues with a very healthy dose of Gallon Drunk meets the Birthday Party meets the Gun Club if you’re looking for a line in the sand and know what I mean?  It’s unmistakably in that ballpark.  If I was to be picky and complain then it would be that a couple of the songs might be a tad overly long when they clock in at almost six minutes but if it needs it then that’s fine but a couple of these don’t but maybe that says more about my concentration span than the bands songwriting.  It’s only a minor gripe to be fair.

Album opener ‘Stop Hanging On Ma Door (Lil’ Bitch)’ sets the tempo with a groovy little number with an overdriven riff its got the DNA of the Stooges and associated bands but it’s not copying or aping their heroes. The first video (included below) has some of the Nick Caves about it which again isn’t a bad thing at all and I love the guitar breaks and the way they work with the hypnotic bass line – nice tune no doubt about it. Including the Gun Clubs ‘The Stranger In Our Town’ is an easy choice and its done very well indeed.

I also like the Swampy stomp of ‘Beer For A Dollar’ with its excellent rhythm. To be fair as the album progresses the Bass sound edges forward and takes a prominent place in the mix and that’s a good thing because some of the bass lines are great and set the tone for the song – ‘One Jump’ is chaotic and rough and a lot of that is to do with a driving bass line.

 

To close the album they take on the Laughing Hyenas ‘New Gospel’ with its sparse arrangement and honking Harp it’s a great way to close off a very impressive debut offering.  Hopefully, Poland is listening to the sound of its underground and it won’t be long before the kids catch on and Jack Saint are at the forefront of a musical avalanche from Central Europe.

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Author : Dom Daley