Check out our Spotify Playlist and check out the bands. Of course they’re great we’ve reviewed them or will be reviewing them this month. First up Doojiman & The Exploders with ‘Buzzkill’. More Kicks are a band we can’t get enough of so check out their latest single.
The Drowns have a new album this month so why not check out their in your face punk rock with the album opener ‘Black Lung’. ‘Tommy In The 80s’ from the ever magnificent Beach Slang is in this month’s playlist because it and they re so good.
We thought we’d add New Bomb Turks – no they haven’t got a new album out (wish they did) but because we can. Enjoy it. Supersuckers have a new album out so only fair they get included.
One of the best albums released this year is without doubt Humanist so here’s a track featuring Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan. On the live front this month The Interrupters have been tearing it up across the UK so check out their cover of ‘Bad Guy’. Staying on the live front, Backyard Babies have been entertaining many of the RPM team so let’s go back to when they ruled and some ‘UFO Romeo’. On the same tour, The Wildhearts were busy schooling their Swedish travel companions and showed you can teach old dogs new tricks because ‘Dislocated’ sounded brutal. Its the Wildhearts of course.
It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t include some Black MEtal at its finest courtesy of the new top dogs Midnight with ‘Fucking Speed And Darkness’.
The Alarm are up with ‘My Town’ which got aired at the Gathering 2020. Stateside our man Gerald raved about Soraia who are ‘Dangerous’.
So there you have it another right old mixed bag of Rock and Roll for February. That lot should keep you entertained for the rest of the month so we’ll see you back in March so until then keep it RPM
With three bands on the bill tonight and the M4 traffic, it was always going to be a struggle to get there early enough to catch all three so sadly Buster Shuffle was a victim of congestion getting off the motorway so as we make our way into the packed Tramshed The Skints amble onstage and proceed to lay out their stall of ska but with added dollops of Reggae. With vocals coming from Josh, Jamie and Marcia there was a lot going on especially with Marcia providing keys as well as Saxophone, flute and drum pads. Not for me, I’m afraid to say, I prefer my ska with added rock like The Bar Stool Preachers or Jaya the Cat but I did appreciate they handled their craft with style and precision but it was a little laid back for me tonight maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for a chill-out.
Now the last time I saw the headliners was their first headline tour of the UK whilst they were good (the songs are great) I found the showbiz side of their slick performance a little too much too soon if you know what I mean. Tonight, Was a different beast altogether. Sure they were still slick and the songs are great, upbeat numbers were knocked out thick and fast with added brass for good measure. The band is so positive and smiley tonight there was little banter between songs and they pretty much got on with the job and rocked! Let’s face facts here The Interrupters have drive-in abundance and a will to get to where they want to be and through sheer determination, they simply have to get to the top, they don’t expect anything less and if it’s through hard work and hitting the road then they’re going to put in the hard graft.
Cardiff is bouncing on a School night and if the band is gonna play then they are going to get a helping hand from the audience and the enthusiasm is infectious. In Aimee, they have star quality born with a beaming smile and a tonne of energy and backed up by the brothers three tonight they are on fire.
Starting off with ‘A Friend Like Me’ and straight into ‘By My Side’ it was a sign of intent. By ‘Take Back The Power’ the audience was won over and this was cooking up to be a special night. The band breaks into ‘Bad Guy’ by Billie Eilish and totally own it. Kevin took a breather and then the band jammed a crowd-pleasing ‘Message To Rudy’ Kevin seemed genuine when he said how blown away he was with this first night of the tour and a new City. I’m sure the band were impressed enough to come back next time when they have a new record to haul around the globe and I’m sure the thousand capacity venue that’s rocking and rolling as one won’t be big enough to house those who want to come see the band who have managed to cross-generation divides as the audience is from teens to people almost collecting their bus passes and they’re all beaming.
‘She Got Arrested’ bled into ‘Gave You Everything’ and it was already time for the encore. What a difference and sure Kevin played a snatch of Oasis followed by some Tom Jones which seemed to make his brothers and he laugh out loud but by this point I’m sure had he sung the local take away menu the crowd would have sung along. For the final slice of fake encore, we were taking stock of what had happened, oh yeah we’d even had a drum solo! oh yeah, remember them? ‘Family’ preceded the final bow of ‘She’s Kerosene’ and we were out of there. The Interrupters had come of age. Played a blinding set full of great tunes and people were wandering into the cold night air drenched in sweat and beaming smiles all around – It’s great when a band is just winning at life and by doing what they do spreading a little bit of that love and happiness around this island that short on that right now. Until next time see ya! Exactly what the doctor ordered to shake of those January post Holiday blues.
When does a genre of music become overground? How many records do you need to sell to stop being underground? All questions plenty of genres deal with day in day out and year in year out. From the origins of Ska to today there have always been plenty of bands skanking it out. Politics or just goofy misfits acting out Ska covered it all.
‘Pick It Up! Ska In The 90s’ just about covers a whole scene with the movers and shakers playing their part and covering the story in detail. A thoroughly enjoyable movie that gives the back story and takes on all comers using the people who were in the trenches from Tim Armstrong narrating to No Doubt being included along side the big players from The Specials to Operation Ivy to Reel Big Fish and Blink 182 right up to today’s players like Aimee Interrupter.
Focusing on the 90s explosion this film is a great two hours of musical education thats a comprehensive coverage. Regardless of if you like or love or can’t get into it at all its a really engaging flick. I particularly like how fondly and honestly the main players talk about the scene. When it went from the top of the scene right back down to going underground its a great story and the flow is really good.
As far as music films go its watchable and informative cramming a hell of a lot of detail into just over an hour and a half its great to see the likes of Roddy Radiator getting screen time to tell his story alongside how No Doubt broke out they give props to the likes of Operation Ivy through to Rancid and their contribution. who knew Goldfinger played 385 shows in a single year! Amazing stuff.
Someone describes it as like a pendulum swing and I like that because its spot on from grunge to ska punk to nu metal back to rock to indie and back round again. the endurance of some of the bands like The Slackers and Rancid has no doubt helped bands like The Interrupters and Bar Stool Preachers who are coming through and will be the next generation to challenge the BossTones and thats cool and as it should be and to see The Specials and Neville Staples filling halls in 2019 is awesome.
Check this film out its like a ray of sunshine in dark times and the soundtrack is really really good. Put on your pork pie hat and get skanking you know you want to.
Green Day announced world tour dates today and the ones already confirmed are listed at the link along with a couple of new tracks off their soon to be released new album ‘Father Of All Motherfuckers’. they head out around Europe followed by the United States June 2020 the dates announced so far are at the link as well as pre-sale dates – Tour Dates & Pre Sales Here
Those New Green Day songs are on the tour playlist
Not Just your regular summer, no sir, this one is hot! and its only getting hotter!
Whilst May was relatively quiet (slang) June was positively bristling with releases and live shows for the RPM crew and the beginning of the festival season was open. But we couldn’t mention June 2018 without a few tributes to fallen comrades in Rock and Roll.
Firstly, Heavy Drapes frontman Garry Alexander Borland passed away the first week after returning from Holland after a really successful show at Rebellion over there. Garry’s passing was a huge shock to people close to him obviously but his passing was also felt in the wider alternative community with his band on the verge of much bigger and better things what with the up and coming decent billing at Rebellion UK and their debut album ready to go so its only right we record this moment and pay tribute to Garry. May he rest in peace.
Another sad passing was that of DJ Fontana who was Elvis Presley’s drummer for many a year, Dominic Joseph Fontana was responsible for laying down the backbeat on almost 500 songs with the king which is no mean feat and a really impressive CV by any standard also it’s only right we recognise his contribution to music. Rest in Peace DJ.
Sadly a third influential musician passed away in June this year, none other than Nick Knox the second but longest-serving Cramps drummer. Nick joined the band from the Electric Eels and occupied the drum stool from 1977-1991, Knox toured with the band and appeared on some of the Cramps’ best recordings, ‘Songs The Lord Taught Us‘, ‘Psychedelic Jungle’ and ‘A Date With Elvis’. Rest In Peace Nick Knox the man behind Lux and the man behind the shades.
Sadly the fourth person to pass away in June was none other than West coast punk rock legend Steve Soto of The Adolescents. Steve was originally the bass player in Agent Orange back in ’79 he then served as bass player in the Adolescents until passing. the most recent album ‘Cropduster‘ being his final piece of work and easily one of 2018 finest albums. The band went on to tour the summer around Europe with stand-in player and dedicated the set each night to Steve where they had a backdrop replacing the band’s logo and replacing it with SOTO at Rebellion in August Tony Reflex dedicated the show to his bandmate in a touching speech and subsequent performance that was electric and memorable, Rest In Peace Steve 54 is way too young.
Right hopefully onto much happier matters for the month of June 2018. With Festival season in full swing Fraser headed to Download and watched The Bronx, The Hives and Turbonegro show the festivals other acts how Rock and Roll was meant to be delivered to the people. elsewhere it seemed like the world and his Mrs were off to see the Rolling Stones play some enormadome or should that be a field?
IT might have cost the GDP of some countries to get close enough to see the band measure up to the size of a subbutteo player but it has to be said nobody was disappointed in either the performance or the setlist the band was knocking out on this leg of the tour. Jagger was ever his peter pan like self careering from one side of the huge stage to the other like he was a child with more energy than most performers more than half his age and some.
Nev decided he’d bowl darn London way and take in what Camden Rocks had to offer. Basically, all the pubs of any note and the dive bars, as well as the more famous landmarks such as Dingwalls, Electric Ballroom etc throw, open their doors to live Rock and Roll for the day and if you have a wristband and there’s room at the inn then uh, you’re in! Just wear some comfortable shoes and a stage planner. You might just happen across your favourite new band or someone you’ve been meaning to catch and hey presto there they are. (Deep Breath time) This year Nev caught The Ramonas at the Dublin Castle – Dirty Thrills at The Underworld Talia Dean in Brew Dog then back to the underworld for Sonic Boom Six and some knees up skanking ska which went down rather well with Nev. It wouldn’t have been right had our roving scribe not caught Urban Voodoo Machine down at the lock where the place to be was indeed Dingwalls then to finish off a marathon of live entertainment it was Camden Assembly for some Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors before the Rifles was a curtain call for Mr Brooks but he wasn’t banking on bumping into Paul-Ronny Angel either so his night wasn’t quite over!
Ben went to Rambling Man Fair and enjoyed the performances of such heavyweight rockers as The Cult and also managed to catch RPM favourites Jim Jones and The Righteous Mind as well as the real mock rockers Steel Panth..Nah I can’t type it sorry folks I’d be doing RPM a disservice even mentioning them. anyway, Ben also managed to take in the large club gig of the month that was the triple-headed Britrock Must Be Destroyed touring carnival that featured a rotating line up of Reef, The Wildhearts, and Terrorvision. there were multiple dates to be fair and it was decided on the day how the running order would play out. I reckon each band made new fans on the night as reports were coming in of all three raising each others game and an excellent way to tour. The night Ben had in Leeds also saw Dodgy added to the lineup.
Our intrepid European correspondent or one of them Craggy got to see Repetitor live at Kabinet Muz, Brno I said Craggy got to see Repetitor in Brno…oh forget it he enjoyed it anyway said it was one of his highlights of the year to be fair.
Now with a sharp intake of breath June was positively overflowing with album releases that would bother top tens come the end of the year. Just a few of those contenders has to be The Interrupters with their ‘Fight The Good Fight’ that saw them leap up the rankings with a fantastic collection of tunes that was shaking up not just fans of the bands previous two albums but new music fans who heard one of the many potential hits on the radio or tv with the album set to just keep on selling and selling we are looking at the next big thing as they won’t be playing clubs for much longer.
Getting Tim Armstrong in to produce the record is a great move as the guy oozes class and knows his way around a ska-punk record and if he had a hand in any of the songwriting or arranging then boy pat yourselves on the back because the infectious ‘A Friend Like Me’, ‘Shes Kerosene’ and the awesome ‘Got Each Other’ are three reasons why this record will deservedly be in many ends of year top 3’s and rightly so..
Elsewhere June saw the release of London Towns Portuguese legends The Parkinson’s return with the LP ‘The Shape Of Nothing To Come’ that confirmed that these gentlemen still had it and it was a fine return to the fold in every way. Now expanded to a five piece you can take the boys out of punk rock but you can’t ever take the punk rock out of the boys and that boys and girls is a fact. the Parkinsons still have the chops.
Another couple of worthy mentions in the albums released in June has to be Smash Fashion and their ‘Rompus Pompous’. Which has gone down a right storm at RPM as they’ve really hit their stride on this one and joioning them would have to be Nottingham’s The Speedways with the fantastic slice of power pop that is ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ the brains behind the idea to write an album was Matt former guitarist of The Breakdowns he’s since formed a band after the success of the record and has played a number of shows and next year they’ve already planned some shows in Spain and London. It really is power pop perfection and a record we highly recommend.
The old school shouldn’t be forgotten either because June was also the month when the phrase you can’t teach an old dog new tricks was debunked because The Uk Subs once again released a new album ‘Subversions’ of some of their favourite songs by other people – sure a cover album. there might well be some you could see coming but there are others on the album that you would never have seen coming.
Over in NYC the birthplace of hardcore and home to some of the best bands around Madball made a new record they put out in June 2018 and the brutal ‘For The Cause’ was unleashed on the world and immediately felt at home with the RPM crew.
Finally a mention of records released in June this time for the magnificent London power poppin’ punk rockin’ Los Pepe who released their long playing Greatest Hits on Snap Records! it came with a CD of the album and they also got to knock out a single this month as well which was nice. Don’t get me started on singles that appeared this month because ther were plenty with my pick of the pack coming from the Randy Savages who were ‘Guilty Of Nuthin’ .
Originally announced for the Fleece this sold out in the blink of an eye so was moved to the much bigger SWX which also sold out in the blink of the other eye. Tonight The Californians are joined in the Westcountry by opening band of punks and four siblings from Hastings that make up Made Of Ace. Its remarkable that four siblings actually like the same music for a start because my brothers hate punk rock and I’ve got six of them and whilst the band sound like they really know what they’re doing and play well. Whether they are suffering a poor mix or what but I’m just not feeling it and they seem to lack a standout song – something to really remember them by which was a shame.
Next up was the three piece; Grade 2. Hailing from the Isle Of wight and breaking with the order of the day as none of these are related (as far as I know) anyway, again, a bit of a muddy mix for their Oi! punk rock. Grade 2 like openers Made Of Ace had energy but didn’t have a stand out track that I would find myself humming on the way home or enough to entice me to the merch stall. I don’t want to be negative but tonight’s headliners could never be accused of not owning a catchy tune that sticks in your head for ages something the openers don’t quite have yet anyway.
Right, Tin hat on. The Interrupters seem to be riding the crest of a wave currently and receiving all sorts of accolades from all quarters for their most excellent new album and their live shows. Tonight a bulging – expectant crowd waited to see what these four likable Californians had to offer and over the next hour and fifteen. They duly obliged to entertain albeit in a scripted razz-matazz sort of way with the wacky encore not encore and bursts of Motley Crue, Rancid and Green Day tunes but let’s not get ahead of ourselves quite yet.
The band took to the stage and in the first five numbers, they pretty much blew away most of the audience judging by the number of bouncing souls wedged into the club tonight. The sound was no longer muddy and in fact was crisp and crystal clear (hell, maybe too crisp and clear) and Aimee has a voice as good live as on the records. ‘A Friend Like Me’, ‘By My Side’, ‘She’s Kerosene’, ‘Take Back The Power’ and ‘She Got Arrested’ were energetic but were they about to peak early blowing a stack of their finest too early? There’s no way a band can maintain this high – can they?
To be fair much like Green Day the band are very slick and rehearsed and seemingly without spontaneity as Kevin’s banter sounds like he’s said it every night of the tour just changed the town or am I being a bit unfair? I don’t have a problem with their happy smiling faces God knows we need something to make us smile these days and The Interrupters have got a lot to smile about. I might well be being a tad over critical because the music was excellent and you can’t help being swept along with the happiness and humbleness of the band’s approach. I guess not every band wings it and isn’t gnarly burnt out punks with a chip on their shoulder because none of those could ever be tagged on The Interrupters that’s for sure they seem to be heading to the same place as Green Day and I’m happy with that because the more bands shifting records and selling out concert halls can only be a good thing for the scene as a whole no doubt about that. (Thats not the first time No Doubt has been mentioned either tonight)
I did enjoy the Operation Ivy cover midset and ending with ‘Family’ seems genuine (Hell 3/4 of this band are related) they seem like such good, warm people; I wish them every success and having Tim Armstrongs influence and guiding hand is a masterstroke because the guy oozes talent and someone who knows how to pen a hook and chorus.
Now, if their next album has as many good tunes and an upbeat catchy feeling they will go overground and we won’t be seeing the likes of them in a venue under 2000 capacity that’s for sure. I do hope that happens because The Interrupters are onto something and about 1800 people leave SWX beaming and mumbling along to one or other of their many songs it’s why they are blowing up right now and also why they’re bossing decent size venues everywhere. They may be slick, polished and just so up and happy in times as weird as these I’ll bet on these four cracking this crazy business right open on this evidence and they’ll have worked hard and put the miles in to deserve it. Maybe its time for this cranky old hack to suck it up and just enjoy the moment and not worry about anything other than the seventy minutes the band are on stage because as far as entertainment goes The Interrupters have got it and as we look for younger bands to break through maybe these guys are going to start a fire under a scene desperate for young blood to give everyone a lift. Mr. Grumpy over and out
Picture the scene, I’m Sat watching BBC 4 (someone has to) and on comes out of the blue (not entirely) Roots, Reggae, Revolution, an absolute classic fronted by Akala, an in-depth analysis of the history of reggae and how Ska came forth from the Dancehall.
Sitting where it began as something that came out of necessity, through times of struggles, designed and delivered to help lift up the community sending forth a huge message both political and social. Further down the line it drifted with real Roots reggae taking hold, sat simmering in the background until it leapt to prominence again in the late seventies/early eighties under the banner of Two Tone. Now if we look at music and cross genres, Rock and Roll always preached rebellion, looking down on an older generation, Punk spat not just Anarchy but a sense of Nihilism, whereas Two Tone (Ska) preached togetherness, Black and White united against a social structure where the far right were at their most active. The message cutting forward against a Thatcherite Britain, promoting togetherness, kicking against austerity measures and giving a clear message through infectious rhythms and well-voiced opinions.
Leaders of the movement The Specials, The Beat, The Selector all still going great guns now, or should I say all re-ignited given their voice back through those same issues coming full circle, the far right rising, Brexit looming and the need for the musical underground to find a voice. Taking the sound on mutating it and adding a hint of Anarchy was always going to be a good thing so it stood to reason that Ska was going to infiltrate the Punk underground for its next stage of development.
Now over the last four/five years I’ve really immersed myself in the sound and one band that look set to cross over into the mainstream has to be The Bar Stool Preachers, skanking out of Brighton I’ve ended up in conversation with vocalist TJ McFaul on a number of occasions raved about both their LP’s Blatant Propagandaand Grazie Governo both of which you can pick up hereBar Stool Preachers live they put on an amazing show and second LP Grazie Governo should be the one to launch them into the big time, if you can get bigger than playing to 15,000 across Europe supporting Die Totenhausen. You might not have heard of them? I suggest you rectify the matter, check it out
Next up if that really takes your fancy bounce along to The Popes of Chillitown again a band simmering away tearing up venues nationwide whether you pick up the first LP A word to the wise (it was a pledge release) their sophomore LP To the Moon or the new LP Work hard, Play hard See you in the Graveyard you will not be disappointed All of which you can pick up here :-
Popes Of Chillitown these are a must-see live act, ripping through Reggae/Ska/Dub/Punk/Hip-Hop and Drum and Bass all done with an infectious smile, check it out
Now you might be starting to build one of those recommended playlists if your streaming this stuff, which granted most people do nowadays, but what you really should be doing is supporting the bands not the streaming platforms, get on the website or better still buy at a gig, you might even manage to get it signed!!!
Next up has to be Skacietybouncing out of Kent they released an absolutely blinding LP Overstaying our welcome you can pick it up here
Bandcamp again yet another band tearing up stages across the UK, check them out
Sitting on the TNS roster of bands next upFaintest Idea released an LP that absolutely tears your face off called the Minimum Rage, followed up by the second LPThe Voice of Treason politically in your face and with a real hardcore edge this attacks the genre from a different angle, still ska undoubtedly but leaning more towards a real punk/ political edge. You can pick both up here
or the band I’m going to leave you with Jaya the Cat? Here come the Drums indeed!! Enjoy go ahead and discover your new favourite band. As with everything the biggest fun you’ll ever have in this musical world is discovering something new.