What’s the prerequisite for a great record then? Catchy hooks, killer riffs, meaningful lyrics and some snazzy cover art are high on my wants, needs and hopefuls list. Well, ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ by The Speedways ticks all the boxes, as it has all those things and more.
We like this album so much we have reviewed it twice! Well, sort of. Released last year, ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ is a concept album of sorts, about a summer romance, written and recorded by one dude called Matt Julian. Matt used to be in Nottingham band The Breakdowns, until they broke down. With his new project The Speedways, he took that same pop suss and magnified it tenfold, recording all instruments by himself and made an album that sounds like it was recorded live in the studio in just one take.
This new re-mastered edition is presented for the first time on CD for the US market with 5 additional tracks to savour and very cool artwork, again by the uber talented Josh Clark.
So let’s cover the album for those who are yet to catch up. Someone recently told me ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ is the best album Elvis Costello never made, and that’s as good a place to begin as any. But if I bandy about names such as The Replacements, Ramones and Tom Petty, and if I drop in gone but not forgotten gems like The Soho Roses and The Exploding Hearts, then you get an idea of the record sleeves Matt Julian has been fingering for inspiration. Yeah, we are talking low-slung, guitar driven power pop of the highest order.
The thing about The Speedways is that they have potential hit singles in their arsenal… massive hits. ‘Seen Better Days’ is the perfect 3 minute pop single, full of a youthful innocence that takes you back to summer daze creating mixtapes to send to the girl of your dreams. ‘In Common With You’ hits you right in the feels, as dampened chords lead to an emotive and yearning chorus. The sort of tune Tuk Smith was smashing out of the ball park before his Biters signed with a major label.
On the title track, Matt Julian takes us on a tube train ride to Holloway Road to reminisce about the girl with glitter in her hair. The pop-tastic melody is as familiar as the tale of heartbreak we have all experienced at some point in our life. Matt has the ability to draw the listener in with his descriptive storytelling, as we clench hands and eat ice cream on the bench with the couple and hope their love will last…at least until the record stops spinning!
Elsewhere ‘That’ll Be The Day The Earth Stood Still’ is an upbeat and glorious slice of Spector-lite pop and The 50’s guitar twang of ‘One Kiss Can Lead To Another’ has an instant familiarity, as does the warming vocal harmonies.
Included on this US version are both tracks from their recent 7” single release. The single mix of ‘Seen Better Days’ hardly differs from the album version to these ears, but the flipside is worth the entry fee alone. Pop fact: Kirsty MacColl’s ‘They Don’t Know’ was made popular by Tracy Ullman in 1983 and was only kept off the number one spot by Culture Club’s ‘Karma Chameleon’. That’s the version I know best and so do you, just admit it! They tackle the track to great effect; a perfectly crafted pop song about teenage love that fits the album concept like a crushed velvet glove.
The addition of rough acoustic demos of ‘Just Another Regular Summer’, ‘Reunion In The Rain’, and ‘Seen Better Days’ present the songs in their rawest form, all dirt under the fingernails goodness, proving a good song is a good song even in its unpolished form.
Choc-a-bloc with bubblegum induced choruses ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ is a tale of love and heartbreak, set to a soundtrack of youth.
The Speedways were intended as a one-album project, done and dusted. And that would’ve been a crying shame, as these songs are too good to go unnoticed. I’m happy to report the project has grown to a fully-fledged band since the initial release. So, joining Matt are Mauro Venegas on guitar, Adrian Alfonaso on bass and Los Pepes tub-thumper Kris Hood. They have been sporadically gigging and are currently recording The Speedways album number 2. We await the follow up with baited breath, but for now, this expanded edition CD is well worth seeking out to tide you over.
Wow, every month I start to see what’s out there in the 45 rpm section and wonder why there aren’t any being released or, I wait until the Hip Priests have a single out; which is normally once a month to be fair. Then I get to thinking, man, there aren’t enough I’m going to have to hold ’em over till next month. Then as if by magic, poof, a bunch of 45s lands either on the doormat or through the email.
This month threw up exceptionally high-quality singles and most pleasing there were many made of wax. you know 7″ round things which I love so without further waffle here’s Julys releases…
SUSPECT PARTS ‘You Know I Can’t Say No’ b/w ‘Song For Sadie’ (17 Television) “An Apocalypse Pop super group with ex and current members of The Briefs, Clorox Girls. More Kicks, RadioDead Ones, Maniac and Red Dons. Here on their brand new single “You Know I Can’t Say No” they combine late 70’s California beach punk and power pop with 60’s garage and bubblegum. It’s a cotton candy-meets-razorblade concoction that goes down surprisingly smooth”. That’s what they said in the press blurb and it’s hard to disagree. Man their long player blew me away and this is more of the same. When rock and roll is in the hands of experts who really really really know what they’re doing then it’s as easy as 1-2-3. Suspect Parts – Record of the month? Too right it is.
Rotten Foxes – ‘Arrive, Raise Hell, Leave’ (Self Release) Brighton’s Rotten Foxes make a ‘fuck off noise’. They play hard and fast and loose and take no prisoners at all. I can’t possibly include the video but I’m sure that’s not where you dip your chocolate biscuit. Its a killer tune and you should be all over this brief exert from the band. ‘Make Me Pretty’ is a cry for help but not even Jim could fix that (Too Soon?) ‘Over The Ropes’ is Exploited meets Motorhead meets Stone Cold Steve Austin – Hell yeah! chug a six-pack n’ lay the smack down and count to three. Killer tune. Rotten Foxes have Rotten hair cuts and perished denim shorts but their Rock and Roll are as Action Rock as anyone. Loud, hard and fast – Get in there! Uncompromising in your face punk as fuck Ave It! I think I love Rotten Foxes – Get em because we hear they won’t be around for long Here
The Speedways – ‘Seen Better Days’/’They Don’t Know’ – Facebook
‘Seen Better days’ gets a new singles mix and aren’t the last band this month to feature a synth running riot over some awesome power pop. It’s no secret how much I love The Speedways and including live favourite ‘They Don’t Know’ is a beautiful thing. That’s exactly how you take on a pop classic, play it like you love it and own it like you wrote it. A Stunning rendition of a stunning slab of perfect pop. Buy it!
Duncan Reid & The Big Heads – ‘Kellys Gone Insane’ (Crocodile Records) Having the original debut solo record reissued with bells and whistles and new tracks recorded around the time (obviously) it makes perfect sense to release a single to promote it, just like Duncan would have done in those olden days when bands made singles to promote their LP. ‘Kellys Gone Insane’ is a belter of a tune I know it and you should too. If you don’t then here’s your chance to pick up a copy. It has two tunes on the B side ‘Pretty Little Rachel’ and ‘Baby Baby’ neither have been on record before so for less than ten pounds whats not to want to own? The lead track first came out seven years ago! Wow, time flys but one thing remains timeless and thats top Rock and Roll and Duncan Reid plays Top Rock and Roll ‘Kellys Gone Insane’ will drive you insane its catchy as hell and will lodge itself in your head – honest!
Kurt Baker Combo – (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You (Wicked Cool Records) Its Kurt Baker Combo they don’t do bad songs so it was a no brainer that we were going to love this one. When we got the slightest whiff of a new single and once again wicked Cool has snapped up a great band.
Its great from the opening lead break and throbbing bass line to the snare slap and that’s before Kurt comes in with his new wave drawl. With a great big hook ‘n’ riff and those woohoo! backing vocals, of course, this is a ray of sunshine and another excellent track from KBC. those key stabs remind me of Hot Hot Heat as well which is always welcome – so what’s not to love?
The Hives – I’m Alive/Good Samaritan (Disques Hives) Hooray the Hives are back on wax. Always one of the best rock and roll bands out there on the live front and to be fair they’ve managed to pen the odd banger or two. ‘Good Samaritan’ is classic Hives. With that rapid riff and drum beat with Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist leading the charge, it’s got a killer chorus. it’s great to have the band back sounding fresh and ready for the attack.
Budokan – C’Mon Daddy (Bandcamp) I loved their long player ‘Spin A Little Gold’ and once again these Canadian purveyors of Power Pop have delivered the goods with this classic slab of rock and roll. It’s just a fantastic pop tune played with loud rock and roll guitars. It’s got a great hook and it grooves like a good un. The album came out back in 2012 so I can only presume they’ve been having such a groovy time they lost track of the time between releases who knows. Let’s hope there is a long player on the way folks because these guys are great. Play it loud! Bandcamp
The first video single this month is from South Korean band Bursters with ‘Barriers’ its released as a double A-side single “Barriers / Hero”. Driving metal riffs mixed with instantly memorable melodies and screamed vocals. The band mix the very best of metal with explosive live performances born from consistent touring across Korea. the bband hit the UK this coming week to support the single. K Rock is in the house.
Kettle of Kites – Orchids (Unsigned) Taken from the bands soon to be released album this eco-warrior tune is a haunting new cut that offers a reflection on the blurring of fiction and reality as Earth stands on the precipice of environmental disaster. Deep stuff for a 45. But something different for us here at RPM singles round up so why not get involved and check em out –Facebook
Automatic – ‘Calling It’ (Stones Throw Records) synth punks Automatic take it one step beyond Tubeway Army. The band hail from the underground scene of Los Angeles where they met this is our first taste of the LA new wavers so join us as we catch up with ‘Calling It’ video
Continuing the theme of new bands on us and ones with new video singles out here are Project Revise with ‘Just a Story’.
Next up we have Swedish Metalheads Narnia and their new single ‘You Are The Air That I Breathe’ – Facebook
Genya Ravan ‘Don’t Go Into The Bathroom’ (Rumbar Records) When I first heard this I thought it was an odd title but in the context of the lyrics, Genya makes perfect sense. I mean I went there once and was horrified that there was no stall door for a start but her ode to CBGB is a fine tune. Genya headed up CBGB Records at the behest of Hilly himself so when she sings the lyrics take notice this force of nature is a pioneer and for that she gets our Kudos. Facebook
The Empty Page – ‘He’s Very Good At Swimming’. After Rags reviewed this on its release here’s the accompanying video for your viewing pleasure.
Autogramm – ‘Bad Day’ (Jarama 45 RPM Records) Canadian power-pop signed to a Spanish label singing Ramones Classic in Spanish now beat that. With an ear-splitting synth leading the charge on this throwback new wave no wave. It’s unoriginal yet nobody else I can think of is doing it these days so totally original that is until you hit their cover of The Ramones ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ but in Spanish of course. Didn’t see that one coming wow. Mind blown right there. you just have to hear it if you’re a fan of Da Brudas and power pop then you have to check it out. Whilst I’m here these guys are heading to Europe and playing a bunch of shows and they’re not ducking the UK they have a couple of shows lined up here too so my advice is to check em out if you can – Website / Bandcamp
Hardship Anchors / Death Lottery – Split (Freetime Boyz Entertainment Worldwide Inc.) Yeah you know we love to hear new bands and when they reach out with music we’re not familiar with its a beautiful thing. Sneaking under the fence at the 11th hour is this split 7″ all the way from Ft Lauderdale. Pressed on marbled vinyl and blood splattered sleeve with free stickers I’m in all ready before the needle drops. Death Lottery kick it off with an uncompromising wah infused slab of garage punk with wild and reckless solos on opener ‘Cease + Desist’ and it just takes off from there. ‘Trespassin’ is up next and sounding like a really lo-fi misfits horror track its a great track brief and to the point much like all three of their contributions. As for Hardship Anchors, theirs is a slightly less chaotic contribution that doesn’t sound like its driven on adrenalin and has more of an early Replacements vibe happening Evan Dando when he way young hungry and fueled on punk. the final track ‘Fake’ has a bit of Buzzcocks going on which is always welcome round here. Check em out on their Bandcamp page and pick it up.
The Kopek Millionaire (Johny skullknuckles) – Hey Mikki (self Release) Bandcamp When you’re waiting around for your band to get their shit together and you have the means why not fuck around with a classic slab of pop music. Johny gives this 80s pop classic a right roughing up I’m sure you’ll agree. Toni Basil would no doubt be blushing at the compliment paid by Johny who calls it a cover of a cover and a silly one at that. Not that we agree because we love some sloppy rock and roll. Well done Sir now get that band sorted and lets have the new record.
Beechwood – ‘I Know It’s Not Right’ (Alive Natural Sound) Ok we have to sign off somewhere so why not sign off with a direct line of heritage handed down from Johnny Thunders in the shape of Beechwood. They have that NYC cool and Gordon Lawrence sure knows how to channel his thoughts into his music. Regaling a dark time in his life through the song Lawrence said he was happy with the outcome of such a dark experience explaining how he was in such bad shape when he wrote the song, he described himself as broken but he was still able to believe that things would get better; and this was a reminder of that dark time. It’s haunting but mourish and Lawrence certainly has charm and charisma in his songwriting, Not an instant single for sure but one you should check out.
The band are about to embark on a quick tour of Europe with a couple of UK dates added.
Every month we will try to promote the bands who grace the pages of RPM Online and ask that if you do follow us on Spotify then please where possible try and support the bands by picking up their physical music as well as just streaming. We appreciate its a great way to discover new music but bands make better records and earn more from you buying their physical products.
Support us and the bands by sharing this page on social media and following the playlist on Spotify
This month we’ve either reviewed – seen or reported on new music heading our way from some of our favourite artists and this month is no exception beginning with Manchester The Empty Page who has a new track out that we feature this month.
Then Poison Boys have just released their blistering debut album we reviewed here but the album isn’t on Spotify yet so we delved into their back catalogue for this months playlist. But buy the album its a belter (Here).
We also welcome back The Hives with their new single.
The living end were awesome supporting the mighty Stray Cats recently so we included one off their last studio album.
One of my favourite albums this year has been the much-anticipated solo record from Billy Liar. One of my favourite tracks off the album is added to our playlist – simple – beautiful – ‘Independent People’ is awesome and one of the best tunes this month.
Supporting Billy at his album launch is Rich Ragany & The Digressions so why not include the fantastic ‘Your Distance’ from the superb ‘…Like We’ll Never Make It…’
There are also some superb tunes on our playlist from the likes of Duncan Reid, Joey Cape, Razorbats and more. go check us out and spread the word.
Album launch show for Rich Ragany & The Digressions you say?Camden Town you say? The Spangles, The Speedways and More Kicks on the same bill for less than a tenner? Fuck me sideways I’ll have some of that.
It might be dryruary or whatever you want to call it, people might be feeling the post-Christmas pinch and the weather might be a bit baltic outside but worry not this is the Black Heart and as we all know it’s like a Rock ‘n’ Roll sauna upstairs and tonight it didn’t disappoint again.
First up tonight, The Spangles. kicking off tonight’s proceedings with their first soiree into London Town and I think it’s fair to say that I can speak on behalf of those here present they certainly didn’t leave anything behind as they knocked out tune after tune from their rather spiffin’ debut album ‘Sweet FA’. With some quality cheeky banter and beaming smiles, the top tunes kept coming. It was the perfect way to get this show underway. In thirty sweaty minutes, they showed that Rock ‘n’ Roll is in good hands and songs like ‘The Only One’, ‘Dirty Pictures’ and ‘Hold My Hand’ ensured that we’re in safe hands and on this evidence this might be the first visit to the Capital but it won’t be the last time these three talented guys hit London and I’m sure on the evidence of their performance and the quality of the music The Spangles are a tasty proposition and they will undoubtedly go from strength to strength.
Next up were those power poppin’ rock ‘n’ rollers The Speedways. Off the back of their debut album, they’ve been getting some decent column inches for a stunning piece of crafted power pop that is ‘Just Another Regular Summer’. This was my first time seeing the band live and with a rougher edge to the songs and some played faster it seemed to add to what are already really good songs. I think it worked really well having Mauro Venegas on lead guitar to buffer off Matt and his style of playing and it added to the sound of the songs. The band looked and sounded superb again much like The Spangles you would be forgiven for thinking they’d been a band for years. ‘Seen Better Days’ reminded me of Stiv around the ‘Disconnected’ era and live without the keyboards and that rougher edge they really hit the spot. If you wanted to hear the definition of powerful pop songs then this was it. ‘In Common with You’ was better than the recorded version sped up and sounded really good. Playing the album pretty much in sequence up until they threw in a faultless rendition of ‘They Don’t Know’ yeah that’s right the Kirsty MacColl number Tonight The Speedways took ownership and totally nailed it. The second band down and another band with a rosy future and capable of great things. I only hope they make more music together as they have a rosy future on the strength of a performance like that. Excellent!
We reach the halfway point of tonight’s proceedings and up next is the three-piece pop melodies of More Kicks. They might not have made it to an album launch of their own yet but their debut three-track single was excellent and if that’s the shape of things to come then let’s get it on. There are no airs and graces on display tonight, no egos jostling for the top spot just good time, honest Rock ‘n’ Roll played by people who clearly love what they’re doing and who walk the walk as well as talk the talk. More Kicks have got it all to prove and right from the off seem intent on letting the punters see what they have in their locker and again like the previous two bands they didn’t disappoint.
After seeing their last performance that was with The Briefs up at the Lexington I thought they took this one up a notch and they seemed to wring out a little more energy which was a fantastic achievement for a band brimming with the stuff. Again, More Kicks blast out hook after hook and melody after catchy lyric with the likes of songs as strong as opener ‘Young Enough’ it seemed like no biggie to just plug in and play confident that the tunes will stand up on their own and like Ali walking to the centre of the ring and doing the Ali shuffle followed by a knock out blow More Kicks must know these songs are so strong? They’ve not just got the one outstanding tune but a whole bloody set of them. Songs like ‘What A Mess’ are just wonderful live so full of energy and life if you could bottle this you’d be loaded.
Sulli is a great frontman, so enthusiastic and full of good energy with songs like ‘Shes A Reaction’ they can slow things down (a little) so it’s not all crash bang wallop! but beauty in such strong melodies, as well as a little dash of chaos, makes for the perfect power pop. Exploding Hearts, Stiv doing his power pop or The Boys these are all lined into the DNA of More Kicks as much as the charm and style of The Fab Four or the Kinks. oh and they’ve got the tunes as well trust me. By the time they play ‘Blame It On The Satellite’ – they’ve got it all going on and tonight they might just have stolen the show so far. A magnificent performance and if you can catch them I urge you to do so because you’re in for a right treat. Oh, and after the next single release can we have that album please guys?
Right, How the fuck do you follow that? Well, I guess one way is to pump classic Rod the mod over the PA as your intro tape then head straight into the title track of that brand new album. That’s one way of keeping this train on track as this six-piece set off as they meant to go on – there was no time for mucking about there was music to play and the audience seemed intent on having the best of times as the Digressions seemed duly obliged to deliver. ‘That World’ was dispatched and the band seemed to settle back and just clicked from Gaff’s empathetic lead guitar breaks to Kit Swings searing vocals. Andy (Brook) knew when to fill in and when to ease back on the keyboards it was a delight to hear such an accomplished set delivered by such a talented band. The rhythm section of Simon and Ricky locked everything down which left the room for Rags to lead everyone down his ‘Story Highway’ as songs like ‘Lose With Me’ took on a life of their own and sounded huge.
‘Scotty Thompson’ had swagger and it must have been great for the band to hear people singing back on tracks like ‘Later Than It Is’ considering it has only been available to pledgers thus far but it seems people have really taken to this side of Rags music and it might be less of a good time party band that Role Models is but that doesn’t mean its not about a good time because this is the best of times folks, make no mistake. Hearing the fourth band tonight with a new record in hand and just available it was a real pleasure. Considering the quality on offer I think it’s staggering it’s in the Black Heart and not somewhere five times the size such has been the standard on show. (maybe next time)
There was just about time for a Digressions take on Tom Petty’s ‘Listen To Her Heart’ before a really great version of ‘Easy’ before they ended the set with a spectacular ‘Your Distance’. That was too quick the set just flew by but before the curtain was drawn on a brilliant nights entertainment ol’ Rags was on stage alone lapping up the applause from the audience as he led them through an impromptu ‘Born To Lose’. Johnny would have been proud of that one that’s for sure!
We came we saw we conquered – Four bands just kicked Camden’s backside make no mistake about that. Four bands that deserve fantastic futures and every column inch of praise for writing and performing music that matters and doing it to such high standards – Goodnight Black Heart it’s been emotional. But oh so good can we do it again sometime?
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’ .
Muck and the Mires will make you want to Twist and Shout and Blitzkrieg Bop. No one does it better than Muck and the Mires, we swear by it! Also on the bill in London are RPM favourites The Speedways. Get there early and dance like you’ve never danced before.
Camden Black Heart – January 25th a Friday London Town. Roll up, roll up. As the festive period is upon us what better way to show your loved ones that you care than with a ticket for the hottest show in town? Damn it’ll be the only show in town. Camden Black Heart is the place to be and the date to pencil into your diaries is Friday 25th January. Tickets are available Here. Just to let you good people know that this will sell out make no mistake about that and with a line up that boasts The Spangles, The Speedways and More Kicks this isn’t the time to sit on your hands and wait.
We spoke to Rags who was so excited about this line up for his solo album release show he could hardly get his words out (those who know Rags will find that hard to believe and therefore appreciate just how excited he was/is) All the bands on the bill have brand new records out or on the way and its an exciting time for Rock and Roll so this isn’t a show you want to miss folks trust me.
We’ve already reviewed The Speedways and Rags albums but don’t take our word for it look what others have already been saying about …Like We’ll Never Make It…
“Rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t get more genuine than this. This is the life-affirming gospel according to Rags. Buy it”. Ginge Knievil – Mass Movement Magazine
“Cult power-pop alchemist aims high with perfectly executed crossover album” 9/10 – VIVE LE ROCK
“Like We’ll Never Make It” is a collection that, if it came from across the pond, would see the protagonist hailed as an Americana superstar, over here it is the work of a gifted songwriter and a fine band. Rating 9/10 – MaximumVolumeMusic Facebook
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS…
MORE KICKS – London Power-pop upstarts. Incredible live band with killer songs that will be fresh off a tour of Spain. Facebook
THE SPEEDWAYS – Another amazing band that Radio Free Amaericana descibes as “…like a cross between the Nerves and The Ramones” They are NOT WRONG!
The Spangles – Punk Rock n Roll from members of well-loved bands The Main Grains And The Idol Dead. Another live detonation ready to be ignited!
If you’re new here welcome. If you missed a thing or two then welcome back and if you’re a regular then what harm does a recap do? Right, this past week we brought you Live reviews from Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts as well as another show another town same old awesome show for The Urban Voodoo Machine and we also had The Dirty Strangers, The Brutalists and Rich Ragany & The Digressions live in London for your reading pleasure. We also introduced you to several debut albums and EP’s that have or are recently coming out like the driving Rock of Mike Christie formerly of The Black Marquee LA who really impressed with his debut mini album and there is more to come over the next few weeks from Mike as catch up with him for a new feature we’re cooking here at RPM Online. We also brought you reviews from Canada, Australia, Scandinavia, Germany and the UK
There was a live albums from Iggy and a very nice reissue of an album that could have been but has only recently seen the light of day for Primal Scream. Where we wondered if you the readers had an opinion of which version was better the one that saw the light of day several decades ago or this the Memphis sessions Please feel free to get into it over on the facebook page. there was also the comeback album from The Electric Boys reviewed and more. In the UK at the moment there are a few new bands making a noise that is going down really positively and one of those bands is The Speedways from Nottingham and the record was the brainwave of Matt formerly of the Breakdowns and making what could be argued as his debut solo album but instead he named it The speedways and we caught up with Matt for a few words about his fantastic album ‘just another regular summer’ thats just been released via Gods Candy Records and we think you should check it out and read Matts interview here.
there was also news of new records from Springsteen.Ginge Knevils charity CDs that shouldn’t be passed up and we couldn’t ignore the show of the week which happened in LA at the Roxy where Cook, Jones, James and Idol took the stage for a short but oh so sweet set under the banner Generation Sex. hopefully its the start of something very special to come in 2019 but who knows.
Anyway enough looking back here’s to the week ahead and RPM Online brings you more interviews from the likes of Jeff Dahl, Jack Jones (Trampolene) .and Reverend Backflash have already been covered We also have plenty of new albums from the Likes of Glen Matlock, Death By Unga Bunga, The Erotics, and Black Heart Breakers so global -a-go-go again for RPM and we leave no stone unturned around this Rockin’ and Rollin’ planet. There is also time for TV Smith in Vienna for you enjoy so keep it RPM for a music revolution and remember to Stay Sick folks! and keep it RPM!