C’mon folks cheer up its only week 752 of Lockdown but worry not here are a few bangers for you to enjoy. First up is the awesome Wyldlife with their brand new video for ‘Kiss And Tell’ taken from the wicked Cool Records Album ‘Year Of The Snake‘ enjoy!
Next is the awesome Duncan Reid & The Big Heads with the lockdown video for ‘To Live Or Live Not’ taken from their most excellent ‘Don’t Blame Yourself‘ Album
Finally bringing up the rear is the awesome Death By Unga Bunga with their first new track ‘Not Like The Others’.
‘Backstabbers’ and the B-side ’Crawling Back to You’ (Tom Petty) were released digitally and as a limited 7” on Little Steven’s Wicked Cool Records.
‘Backstabbers’ is the first song from Jesse’s upcoming new album ‘Lust for Love’, planned for early 2021. Recorded during the ’Sunset’ Kids’ session, the song is produced by Lucinda Williams and Tom Overby. Of the song Malin says: “the story is pretty much coming of age, getting out of your small town, and coming into the city searching for something new.”
’The Fine Art of Self Distancing’ on Youtube every Saturday. Rolling Stone called it the best-streamed performance of the stay – at – home era. – Please take a look Here and when you have the time – check out his previous efforts. Rolling Stone just happens to be right here folks.
So, you’re stuck inside twiddling your thumbs, you’ve watched everything on Netflix and eaten all the banana bread. What’s even worse is that Record Store Day has been postponed and you have some surplus cash to spend on records.
Fear not music lovers, for we at RPM have scoured the Interweb for our pick of the coolest EP’s around (and a few 7 inchers and digital delights for good measure). So what are you waiting for? Get reading, hit those links and panic buy like there’s no tomorrow!
Johnny Jetson – ‘Love Me For My Car’ / ‘Knocked Out’ (Minnie Apple Records) These are the first singles off the upcoming album ‘Make Your Move’ on Minnie-Apple Records from Johnny Jetson. If you’re wondering where he’s been then don’t he’s back in the saddle and ripping it up with a new record and music that bears his heart and soul and the former Tattooed Millionaire and Space Age Playboy might like to blow his own trumpet with his past achievements but in the here and now Has Jetson got the chops? does he cut the mustard? Hell yeah! Kids fear not Jetson has got the swagger and doesn’t stray far from his roots, ‘Love Me For My Car’ is full of the spirit of 70s glam Bolan style you can imagine him sliding on his knees to play the solo and its got handclaps so what’s not to like? as for ‘Knocked Out’ its a tougher beast with some street-tough rock and roll motoring along. ‘Make Your Move’ album is reviewed soon on RPM and fans of scuzzy Dirty Rock and Roll won’t be disappointed Jetson delivers the good – Simple as that! Facebook / Bandcamp / Twitter / Spotify / Youtube (Author: DD)
The Hÿss – ‘Extraterrestrial’ (Self Release) released through their own Bandcamp page you can stream the title track here: Bandcamp They take on some spooktacular topics like aliens and UFO’s which is a bit of a giveaway from the artwork but it does contain five tunes of the fuzzy Stoner variety. At times heavy as fuck and others quite psychedelic. I do like ‘Disco Frankenstein’ but could live without the keyboards swirling. They hit the heavy groove on ‘In Shadows’ and when it gets going its got some good energy. The guitars are turned up for the last two tunes as they get right into their groove and rock more metallic than Stoner if I’m being honest but it’s not a bad introduction and I’m sure post-pandemic hearing these in a crowded room would be much more appealing. Facebook / Instagram
The Urban Voodoo Machine – ‘Living In Fear’ (Gypsy Hotel Records) Always with their finger on the pulse UVM hit the nail on the head once again and like some Bop n stroll gypsy rockin’ Nostradamus Paul – Ronney Angel penned this bad boy before Covid – 19 was even a thing and it was meant in an ideal world to come out to coincide with some tour dates but this not being an ideal world it is what it is. Regardless, it’s a banger all ragged rock and roll ‘Living In Fear’ is another prime slice of life the Urban Voodoo Machine way with astute observations of how the worlds gone wrong with its references to recent Great British scandals like Windrush (“they’re shipping them back”) and Grenfell (“it’s hard to sleep in a plastic tower”). But now with the current climate, bandleader Paul-Ronney Angel says of the release “Living in fear . . . wow, never in my wildest imagination did I expect to live through something like this – talking about literally the whole world LIVING IN FEAR!” He ain’t wrong kids you should listen to him. Check em out on Facebook
Hands Off Gretel – ‘The Angry EP’ (Puke Pop Records) You’ve probably read the reviews and the comparisons lauded on Barnsley based grunge rockers Hands Off Gretel. A glorious, day-glo hot pot of riot grrl goodness, everyone from L7, Hole and even a ‘punk rock Pink’ has been referenced in regards to this four piece, and rightly so. Last year’s sophomore album ‘I Want The World’ exceeded all expectations, and following keyboard warriors ongoing online hate aimed at outspoken singer Lauren Tate, and her ongoing campaign to bring awareness to the way women are treated at gigs, (that includes performers as well as punters, so good for her!) they have had publicity in all the right places for all the wrong reasons.
But Hands Off Gretel are the real deal and this three track blast of angst-driven noise only helps to hit the message home. Opener ‘She Thinks She’s Punk Rock n Roll’ is a live favourite that has been crying out for the recorded treatment for a while now. A deliriously catchy hook, schizophrenic vocal delivery and pure, raw power make this an essential listen in 2020. Spiky, guitar-driven goodness.
‘Don’t Touch’ is all skulking bass, buzzsaw guitars and cool-as-you-like vocal interplay. The 90’s riot grrl influences to the fore and maybe more edginess than the band have shown up until now.
On ‘Bigger Than Me’ Sean Bonn’s grunge influenced guitars marry perfectly with Lauren’s sultry vocals, before breaking into a sludge-driven monster that is raw and untamed.
While it lacks the instant melodies of their previous singles, ‘The Angry EP’ makes up for it with sheer unadulterated, angry punk rock power. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, ‘The Angry EP’ is a short, sharp shock, a middle finger raised to the naysayers, from one of the most colourful and exciting bands on the UK club circuit right now. The perfect cure for teenage angst if you ask me. Facebook
Saint Agnes – ‘The Family Strange’ (Death Or Glory Gang Records) Talking of teenage angst leads us nicely onto Saint Agnes, who follow up the release of their 2019 debut album ‘Welcome To Silvertown’ with an EP that could be the soundtrack for outcasts and degenerates the world over.
Lead by singer Kitty Austin and guitarist Jon Tuffnell, Saint Agnes claim “murderous sibling rivalry and wild rebellion” and with ‘The Family Strange’ they go a long way to shake the Dead Weather comparisons.‘Daughter Of Lucifer’ opens, all break beats, fat, fuzzy guitars and chanting vocals. Dark, sinister and a real slap in the face. Kitty’s “this is my family” refrain delivered with attitude. There’s a ‘Firestarter’ quality to this track, as in its pretty intense.
‘And They All Fall Down’ is like Gwen Stefani having a knife fight with Jack White. Sultry vocals build with the ‘I got a bigger gang than you’ refrain, delivered with a cocksure arrogance, in a good way. Playground chants, helium-induced almost rapped vocals, this is a killer tune that sees the band reach new levels, make no mistake. ‘Brother’ mixes up modern beats, scratchy, repetitive guitars and crazy ass vocals. But it’s ‘The Meanest Little Kid In Town’ that is the curve ball here. Swathes of hammond and electronic, hushed, effect-ridden vocals take it into Billie Eilish meets Garbage territory. This is dark pop music, and it works, it works really well.
Saint Agnes claim to like Satan, witches, B movies and leather. They look cool and the videos back it up. In their heads they exist in a Russ Meyers/Tarantino alternative reality. But in reality they come from the night-time, neon city wasteland we call London town and they sound like a gang ready to take on the world. Facebook
The Future Shape Of Sound – ‘It’s Gone All Wrong – Live EP’ (Gypsy Hotel Records) London based collective The Future Shape Of Sound deliver a live EP to soothe our isolated souls and remind us what we are missing. Lead by Captain Future (aka Alex McGowan) and a host of cool cats, their heady mix of primitive, gospel-tinged blues is perfect for the live sweaty venues (remember those?).
“It’s all gone wrong!” shouts Captain Future as he leads his band into opener ‘Gone All Wrong’. The lead vocals of the newest diva on the block Debbralee Wells steal the show on these choice cuts from their debut long player ‘Shakedown Gospel’. Replacing the departed Sister Cookie was going to be no easy feat, but she takes it in her stride, sharing the mic with Fay Francis.
The captain incites crowd interaction as the band blast into a high energy, gospel-tinged ‘Rise Up’, the full 3 piece backing harmonies that take us to church. Then, the groove heavy ‘Number One’ skulks along, with female vocals it sounds like a completely different beast to the album version.
Closer ‘Toe The Line’ goes a long way to capture the feel of a high energy rock ‘n’ soul show.
If you are missing your live music fix, if you desire to expel more energy than a walk around the block will suffice, then turn the volume up, hit play and get transported to a sweaty night in London town. You can literally feel the sweat, taste the whiskey and get up and dance to the sound of live rock ‘n’ roll music like they used to do back before Coronavirus changed the world as we know it. Dance like no one’s watching…The captain insists! Facebook
Jaeko – ‘How You Living?’ (self-released) Jaeko may be an unfamiliar name to most, but this young chap happens to be the eldest offspring of a certain Ginger Wildheart. Following on from his bands Alive With Eyes and JAW$, Jake has re branded himself as a solo artist going by the name of Jaeko.
Don’t expect a baby Wildhearts here, the sound of Jaeko is a more leftfield, sound of the streets. New single ‘How You Living?’ is a funky, punky trip full of gang vocals and guitars. Coming on like a Rage against Sugar Ray or something, but lacking the full power of either. It’s decent for sure, but nowhere near as good as his previous release ‘Cold Dark Killer’, a perfect mix of Bloc Party and Jamie T, with the added rawness and attitude that neither of those named artists posses.
Again, ‘Sometimes’ is a strong track, radio friendly and cinematic. Jake’s vocals a perfect match. Elsewhere, ‘Colder Than The Sea’ shifts between cool bass and noisy guitar breaks with vocals that show a confidence and maturity.
I’m sure if Ginger gave his son any advice it was to do what you want to do, be your own man and not to bow to what you think people expect of you, and I reckon Jaeko is proof of just that.
Jay Allen And The Archcriminals – ‘Little Daggers’ (Rum Bar Records) Now we head over the pond to the ever cool Rum Bar Records for the new EP from Boston garage punks Jay Allen and The Archcriminals. If you know Run Bar, you know what you’re gonna get here. ‘Little Daggers’ opens with a dirty, low slung riff and strung out vocals. This is the sound of rock ‘n’ roll that resides on the street and in the bars. Dirty and dangerous, coming on like The Dictators meets Uncle Sam.
‘Beautiful Chaos’ is more commercial pop/punk with cool backing harmonies, bouncy yet still raw and edgy. Jay Allen’s vocals cut through nicely in ‘Big Lie’, a definite Replacements vibe going on here which is always a bonus.
Hit the link to download this cool EP for free, that‘s no money whatsoever for some cool new sounds! What do you have to lose? Facebook
Jesse Malin – ‘Backstabbers’ (Wicked Cool Records) Recorded during the sessions for last year’s critically acclaimed ‘Sunset Kids’ album, ‘Backstabbers’ is the new single from our favourite New York troubadour Jesse Malin. The introspective, upbeat tune follows the same path as ‘Meet Me At The End Of The World’. It’s an autobiographical tale of leaving a small town for the big lights of the city, searching for something. Lucinda Williams and Tom Overby’s warm production bring out the best out of Jesse’s songwriting yet again.
Sweet acoustic guitar, keys and lush vocals make the added cover of Tom Petty’s ‘Crawling Back To You’ as the b side an essential purchase. The lyrics are delivered with the sentiment I imagine they were written with. If you don’t feel the goosebumps rise, you must be dead inside.
Jesse can currently be seen every Saturday night hosting ‘The Fine Art Of Self- Distancing’, playing songs and telling stories from his apartment in New York. If you’re a lover of live rock ‘n’ roll music, it’s the best thing on the internet right now, and this single is the perfect addition. Facebook
Alvin Gibbs And the Disobedient Servants – ‘History EP’ (Time & Matter Records) Following last year’s critically acclaimed ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ album, UK Subs bassist Alvin Gibbs returns with a new four track EP spilt over two 7 inchers. Recorded at Perry Vale studios in South London last year with ex-Vibrators bassist Pat Collier co-producing, Gibbs is ably assisted by fellow Subs drummer Jamie Oliver and Ruts DC guitar slinger Leigh Heggarty.
Ringing guitar chords introduce first track ‘History’ before Gibbs graces us with his low slung bass rumble and Iggy-like tones. A gang vocal chorus and sneering lead vocals seal the deal and its business as usual. There’s 40 years of punk rock history in every breath ladies and gentlemen.
The punk rock intensity of the rhythm sections day job comes through in ‘Pavlovian’, the overly cool ‘If Only’ sees the singer channel his inner Dave Vanian, as Heggerty’s high speed power chords match the frantic beats.
Haggerty then takes lead vocals for his self-penned ‘Bad About You’. A power pop melody shines through and there’s a cool little guitar hook going on.
With a handful of songs coming on like ‘Instinct’ era Iggy, it’s a no brainer what you need to do next right? This EP is available to pre order right now as a double 7” pack, one white and one black, housed in a lavish gatefold sleeve with artwork from ex-The Adverts man Gaye Black. Facebook
Ken Fox & Knock You Out – ‘S/T’ (Rum Bar Records) Yet another little gem from the Rum Bar roster is this new mini album from The Fleshtones bassist Ken Fox. His latest single is a blistering cover of The Pink Fairies classic ‘Do It’ which can be found smack bang in the middle of this recently released 5 track blast of garage rock goodness.
Lead track ‘One Less Step’ is a radio friendly single, full of power pop chops and handclaps. If you dig the sound of The Fleshtones or The Plimsouls, you won’t go far wrong with this record.
New single ‘Do It’ is a cover of the Pink Fairies classic released back in 1971 I believe. This version stays true to the garage rock roots, “It’s rock n roll!” shouts the singer in between the “d-d-d-d-do it!” stutterin’ goodness. A nice wah-wah infused guitar solo and cool gang vocals give it punk rock credentials. Yeah, it’s better than the Rollins Band version, fair play.
‘Love Is The Grave’ is a groover that could get the dead dancing. So instant and catchy you would swear it’s a cover…it’s not. A great, upbeat melody and a catchy chorus will remind us all that good times are just around the corner, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. As is closer ‘Stranded (In The Heat). A full horn section, handclaps and a nice Thunders-esque low slung transport the listener to 70’s New York, which is a good way to bow out.
The BD3 – ‘Snowfake/Sypharus’ (Self-released) Going pretty much full circle, we end where we began in North Yorkshire. The BD3 are Yorkshire’s very own Peaky Binders, a trio of ne’er do wells with beards, tattoos and thrift store suits who deal in dark, punky rock ‘n’ roll. Led by the vivacious Ed Stones, they follow up last year’s ‘The Sick Of It’ 7 incher with a new double A side single.
Recorded in Keighley and mixed by legendary producer Dave Draper, these two tracks follow the same rock ‘n’ roll path The BD3 have been travelling for many years. Coming on like The Damned meets The Cramps with a good dose of The Blockheads thrown in for good measure. Clever lyrical interplay and a cool, dark punky vibe make ‘Snowfake’ a song of our times. Good use of space and fiery vocals delivered with intensity. “I don’t wanna live forever” sings our man Ed, as a dampened riff surges and drums crash around him.
‘Sypharus’ marries the dark, intensity of Joy Division with the craziness of The Cramps. Ed’s psycho ward vocals wail over fuzzy guitars and urgent beats that’ll make you either want to dance like no one’s watching or bang your head against the wall, making this a song that begs for the repeat button. Facebook
Well, these are strange times and Rock and Roll won’t be clamped down even if we are. Thanks to the magic of this here interweb we can still get our mitts on new music (gloved up of course) first up on this playlist is a right banger from Noo Yawk Citys Wyldlife . It’s recently been reviewed on RPM and I happen to agree with Ben when he claimed it could be a contender for record of the year. We have added ‘Sacre Bleu’ to our banging playlist.
Next up is a band from Sweden called Dictator Ship and Fraser covered this one and ‘Your Favourite’ is a great slice of scandiRock with ‘Eat The Poor’ making the cut in our Playlist.
Australia is quickly becoming the epicentre of Global Garage Rock and you sure can add The Chats to that list of fine Australian bands and with their recent record ‘High Risk Behaviour’ hitting the shelves we’ve included ‘ The Kids Need Guns’ to our playlist with its classic DC early days rawness and their snotty lyrics The Chats rightly are causing a stir around this globe all of their own.
It’s not all snotty records this month we did have some offerings from the Classic Rock and Grunge crossover of Buffalo Summer so included the excellent ‘Hit The Ground Running’ taken off their recently released album ‘Desolation Blue’ with some fine cool slide on the otherwise beefy riffs it’s a real tour de force from Soth Wales on this new album.
It might have been a lifetime ago that The Psychedelic Furs last released a new album but the wait is over and Made Of Rain is almost upon us. We’ve included the first single taken from the record ‘You’ll Be Mine’.
Naked Six have a new album out and the lead track off that album is ’21st Century Brawl’ and that makes our playlist with its jarring poke before the album kicks off with some great tunes. Well worth investigating so let this opener suck you in but don’t forget to buckle up.
Ben found his stereo working overtime as The City Kids released ‘Things That Never Were’ so we’ve added ‘You Get Nothing’ To our playlist.
I know a girl, a girl called Party, Party Girl. Bono sang that but the Dahlmanns sing ‘Party Girl’ which was released as part of a split with Tommy & The Rockets on Beluga Records a classic castanets clacking slice of power pop with saxophone and New Wave approved piano.
Then Comes Silence who we include ‘Devils’ from their most excellent ‘Machines’ album that was recently reviewed with some dark Goth undertones this has been on heavy rotation around some RPM circles as the corpse paint went on and certain writers were only venturing out after dark with this on their playlists. Get on it kids.
If a bit of Goth isn’t your thang then why not grow out those sidies and some facial hair and get on down with Rookie. We’ve got ourselves a ‘One Way Ticket’ to listen to this great playlist and ride out this Global pandemic.
As well as some awesome reviews April sees us bring some news that bands push out so why not include some of the movers and shakers who are busy this month either re arranging tours or putting the final touches on new releases. How about some Rock with American Jetset? ‘Gold & Nines’ is classic cock rock n roll so it makes the cut. Our old friend Jizzy Pearl also announced that he has signed a new deal with Golden Robot Records so expect some new music and live shows soon. We head back to when he did the album ‘Just A Boy’ and include the cracker ‘Do You Wanna Get High’.
With everybody with a guitar and camera phone shooting home shows we have a few suggestions of who you could check out starting with Rich Ragany & The Digressions who bring ‘Later Than It Is’ to our playlist off the excellent debut album and rumour has it that recording has begun for the follow up which commenced before this lockdown but be sure we’ll bring you the news as and when.
Another artist smashing the numbers watching his home broadcast is Mike Peters with his ‘Big Night In’ I’ve not tuned in yet but rest assured I will. Heres one from his recent output ’13 Dead Raindeers’. Another live streamer is Jesse Malin who we also interviewed recently and who has a brand new single out sadly it’s not on this service yet so make do with a cut off his last album ‘Chemical Heart’.
There’s fifteen reasons to stay in and have RPM Playlist be your companion and while away the hours playing some quality rock and roll . Go on a journey of discovery and see where it takes you as you avoid the rocks on the choppy water of Rock and Roll 2020.
‘The Time Has Come To Rock & Roll’, so proclaimed New York punk ‘n’ rollers Wyldlife back in 2013. Now in 2020, they find themselves still rock ‘n’ rolling with their fourth long player. Following hot on the tails of 2016’s ‘Out On Your Block’, ‘Year Of The Snake’ is the band’s second album on the ever cool Wicked Cool Records label. Owned by the legend that is Steven Van Zandt, Wicked Cool Records has brought us quality albums from the likes of Ryan Hamilton, Jesse Malin and Kurt Baker over the past few years.
Recorded at Little Steven’s very own Renegade Studios in NYC, the album title is taken from the Chinese year of the snake; 1989, the year that band mates Dave Feldman (vocals), Sam Allen (guitar), and Spencer Alexander (drums)were born. ‘Year Of The Snake’ is everything you want from a Wyldlife record and more. The spirit of NY punk flows through these boys veins. From the early years, when Ramones and The Dolls were treading the boards of CBGB’S, to the late 90’s when D Generation ruled the underground, they have it all. But its more than just cool shoes and leather jackets, you have to have the rock ‘n’ roll minerals to stand out from the crowd, and Wyldlife prove they have it in spades.
Opener ‘Deathbed’ comes on with the anthemic bravado usually reserved for the likes of Green Day in their prime. Featuring a melody you will swear down you’ve heard before. It grabs you from the off, a musical crockpot of low slung riffage and high energy melodies guaranteed to give goosebumps and raise hopes in equal measures.
Quick as a flash, before you have even had time to pick your jaw up off the floor it’s over, and we’re into first single ‘Neon Nightmare’. This… this is the rock ‘n’ roll sound I need in my life right now. High energy, upbeat and catchy as fuck. Also, it’s the perfect escape from the nightmare that is reality right now.
Two tracks in and its pretty safe to say vocalist Dave Feldman and guitarist Sam Allen have my full attention with their songwriting antics. You could say their themes of paranoia, anxiety and bad relationships are par for the course in 2020, well now Wyldlife add the soundtrack. With the spirit of Hanoi Rocks and the power pop suss of The Replacements, Wyldlife run though 11 tracks of highly essential rock ‘n’ roll.
Highlights are plentiful. ‘Kiss and Tell’ rides on tribal beats and Ramones chords as it builds to yet another catchy chorus that’ll surely incite air guitar and hairbrush vocal action in bedrooms and living rooms the world over. The radio friendly ‘Automatic’ is the albums curve ball, a song that hits right in the feels. Inspired by The Jesus and Mary Chain, it’s a song written by the frontman about a girl he knows who works in a florist shop. With lush, indie pop melodies, female backing vocals and lyrics full of sentiment, its pure power pop goodness coming on like Squeeze meets Fountains Of Wayne and that’s a good place to be.
The fast and furious ‘Sacre Bleu’ is as punk as fuck. Spiky, high energy bursts of noise, think Hives meets Randy and you’ll get close. Sam’s chord bashing matches the frantic drums as Dave spits vocals with the venomous antics of a snake. This and the aforementioned ‘Automatic’ couldn’t be further apart in sound but they are fired from the same Wyldlife gun and both definitely hit the spot.
An overly familiar riff takes the title track into orbit as it builds to a relentless, killer refrain that pummels the senses. Gang vocals and guitars are the order of the day as the likes of ‘Tulsa Superstar’ and ‘Keeping Up With CT’ marry the power pop goodness of The Replacements and The Exploding Hearts with urgent beats, swathes of Hammond and Johnny Thunders licks, very nice indeed.
As I write these words New York is the hardest hit city in the world as far as the Coronavirus goes. No one could’ve predicted this turn of events and no one knows what the future holds for live music or our favourite bands. All we can do is be grateful that albums this good are still coming our way and do our best to help by buying albums, merch to help support the bands we love and the music they create.
2020 will be remembered as the year of the virus, but I also hope it will be remembered by the cool cats as the year Wyldlife gave us ‘The Year Of The Snake’. Essential listening, buy or die punks!
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.
OK, kids, The Singles club is open for March and with a few choice picks we got a right mixed bag of genre-hopping choices to suit every pallet. WE’ve got punk of all persuasions and old rockers – we’ve got some legends of several scenes and a few eyebrow raisers as well as some really exciting new bands for you starting with the single of the month as Lemmy said March or Die…
Dead Meat – Dead Meat EP (No Front Teeth Records) What a way to start the singles club round up. A four track EP on one of my favourite labels some trashy punk rock featuring some of my favourite bands out there making a noise at the moment. This one is chuffin’ awesome. Snotty, fast, down n dirty Rock and Roll. Blink and you’ll miss this one it features four track lasting between a minute and some and two minutes and some and the players have pedigree featuring members of THE CAVEMEN, SUICIDE GENERATION and THE SPEEDWAYS need I say any more? Put it this way if you don’t curl out a smile when pogoing to ‘I Give Up’ then real Rock and Roll maybe isn’t for you. Just buy it out get out of here its a keeper and my record of the month! Buy it here
Faz Waltz – ‘Grown Up Guy’ (Spaghetty Town Records (USA) and Wanda Records (Germany)) Since forming in 2007 Faz Waltz have been a non-stop rock machine recording six albums these boys are relentless. ‘Grown Up Guy’ is what Faz Waltz do they Rock and Roll with the best of them. You wanna call it retro 70s bubblegum boot boy rock and roll then fine but this lot are tough and that riff is a cracker as are those BV’s.
The B side is just as punchy it’s like a party on plastic they’ve captured the mood perfectly and this one comes with added shakers and handclaps so what’s not to like? Faz does breakdowns and solos with the best of them and this ones no exception. Just like the TV Times, I didn’t realise there was so much in it!
The Scaners – ‘X-Ray Glasses: On’ (Spaghetty Town Records (USA), Adrenalin Fix Music (FR), Dangerhouse Skylab (FR) and Ghost Highway Records (Spain) Supersonic gonzo-synth punk – Intergalactic swirling garage rock’n roll spaceship – Soundtrack for UFO pilots and weird aliens and decent thinking punk rockers (with taste)
First, it appeared on the 2019 LP The Scaners II, and two brand new songs are the order of the day for these loons. Blink and you’ll miss opener ‘Alien Boy’ with its sub-one-minute slam dance. What a mint tune that’s how to do it punk rockers. In contrast, the numanoid feast that is ‘X-Ray Glasses’. Sounding like a really cool Tubaway Army thumper from the dumbed-down bass line to the swirling synth and robotic vocals – great stuff. ‘I Really Wanna Know’ isn’t hanging about either. Brief and fleeting but a lot of fun. The Scaners are delivering the good big time on this right smart offering. What a top single.
The Outliners – ‘House Of Thieves’ (self Release)
Unleashing slamming punk cuts and appealing hooks, Brit threesome THE OUTLINES are planning their attack across the UK with the release of their new EP, House Of Thieves, It features the track ‘Mind Trip’ which they were kind enough to shoot a video for. they are the creation of singer and guitarist, Kyle Peters, who formed the band in 2015 after leaving Ferocious Dog. Peters enlisted old school friends Martyn Brown (Bass) and Dean Hill (Drums), and the newly rejuvenated three-piece began rehearsals to craft a live set and to shape a sound that would be powerful and raw, but also refined. As you will notice the song is built around a sharp guitar riff and full-bodied sound. It should do really well and will go down really well live. ‘Man Down’ is a lively opener as it comes out of the speakers swinging. Bullish and full-bloodied. ‘Mind Trip’ is more of the same with a great production giving the songs a bright punchy sound and giving it the room to just do its thing. The title track of the EP is a bit of a beast with some piraty backing vocals as the verses swirl around a decent riff it’s a really strong introduction to the band who can rock out and show restraint. Go check em out Website / Spotify
Dystopian Future Movies – ‘Black Cloaked’ (Lasairfhíona Records) Second single off their soon to be released album ‘Inviolate’
Bona Rays – ‘Poser’ ( Flashback Records) Bona Rays’ Poser, is the last great undiscovered UK 1970’s Punk single to see light of day and the only UK punk single recorded in the 1970s fronted by a woman of West Indian descent. Poser is finally released on limited 7 on 28th February.
Back in 1978, Punk Songwriter and Guitarist Tony Keating had a few songs he’d written and was looking for a singer. A friend encountered Chas at a tube station after a gig and asked her if she was interested in singing on Tony’s tracks. A few weeks later, they had christened themselves Bona Rays These tracks were pushed around labels in ’78 but to no avail that is until now. sounding a little dated it’s Drum Toms and synth giving it some on ‘Poser’.
40 years later, Chas was moving house and decided to sell her records. She took them to Flashback Records where owner Mark Burgess bought the collection. In amongst these records was an unknown 7” acetate. After Chas left the shop, intrigued by this oddity, Mark played ‘Poser’ on the shop system. Fate stepped in as Chas walked back into the shop at that moment to sell a few DVDs she’d forgotten to bring along earlier and said – “Oh – you’re playing our song”. What are the chances eh? www.bonarays.bandcamp.com
Billy Talent – ‘Reckless Paradise’ (Spinefarm Records) Canadian rockers Billy Talent have released the first official single from their forthcoming album, due out this fall. The song, “Reckless Paradise” showcases the powerful driving riffs and pointed lyrics the band is famous for. Produced by Billy Talent guitarist and Juno Award nominee (Producer of the Year) Ian D’Sa, “Reckless Paradise” is available now everywhere you listen to music. With a huge riff and distinctive vocals, Billy Talent sits between ‘Dookie’ and something totally harder rockin’ if that’s a place but the layered vocals and heavy guitar will lend itself to a wide audience.
City Saints – ‘Peter and the Test Tube Babies on the Radio’ (Sunny Bastards Records)
Swedish punks City Saints play loud guitar, bass and drums street punk. With the A-side, good old sing along with a happy go lucky hook on the chorus and a gang vocal even the drunkest of listener can join in with.
Recorded with Peter Bywaters from peter and the Test Tube Babies. It features just the one original and two covers. The band managed to capture a lot of big fun in the recording of this A-Side and having Peter from the Test Tube Babies shouting along is great I’m not sure he would shit em though they’re a bunch of buff lads.
There does seem to be a theme with the two other tunes as they follow on the time-honored tradition of Peter & his Test Tube Babies as they smash ‘Alcohol’. Then they rock and roll their way through ‘Giving Up Drinking’ with aplomb. Peter will be pleased with the credits but I think more so the fact he’s been honored with two fine takes by this handy band of Swedes who sure do know how to Rock and Roll. Facebook
Biff Byford – ‘Me And You’ (Silver Lining Music) Now everyone loves a bit of Biff. his endearing endurance is something to celebrate and his singlemindedness to carry on through the decades with Saxon and then when it was announced he was going to release solo album eyebrows were raise. you know what it is something different from the singer and opening his heart like this is great stuff it’s not what was expected and using the saxophone worked for me and this should be celebrated as a triumph. Good on you Mr. Byford you are a true legend and long may you continue to perform and make music – RPM Salutes you. to get your copy visit www.biffbyford.com
The Empty Hearts – Remember Days Like These (Wicked Cool Records) You want power pop from a supergroup? Hell, we all do. the Empty Hearts dish up a delicious helping of Rickenbacker backbeat power pop with the emphasis on the pop. With lush backing vocals and daydreams of laying on cut grass staring up at the clouds in a deep blue sky Hell they’ve even managed to rope in Ringo Star on the drums for the lead track and Clem Burke sits it out. Truly a supergroup. Elliot Easton – guitar, backing vocals Wally Palmar – lead vocals, guitar, Clem Burke – drums, backing vocals, percussion and Andy Babiuk – bass, backing vocals. The B side or is that AA side ‘Tell Me Reasons Why’ is my pick of the two tracks on offer and is the sound of some guys loving what they’re playing and delivering the good. For lovers of Rickenbacker power pop garage. Bandcamp
Johnny Jetson – ‘Love Me For My Car’ (Minnie Apple Records) Two tracks taken from his brand new soon to be released album ‘Make Your Move’ Jetson plays in yer face Rock and Roll. He’s stewed it in a vat of influences including the good and the greats. Bolan and T Rex are in the DNA for sure as the tune gyrates and does a virtual lapdance all through your ears and that’s a great feeling. Fuzzy guitars and tambourine and shakers behind a tried and tested riff that’s where this bad boy is hanging and we’re down with that for sure. ‘Knocked Out’ is an altogether nastier, sleazy slab of rock n roll. Mashing up some Pistols with the Coop as it rushes to finish before the cops turn up and throw this track in the clink. A welcome return for Mr. Jetson its been a while. We missed your confident strut and your fistful of rock n roll tunes. Keep em coming we like it! Facebook
Slumlord Radio – ‘Gonna Be A Riot’ (White Elephant records) Dirty hard-rocking mofos with a cowbell. What’s not to like? With one foot on the wedge owned by the likes of Warrior Soul with a dash of The Forr Horsemen thrown in fo rgood measure this Michigan born beat combo is dishing up a shitstorm of hard-rockin’ tunes with plenty of attitude and for extra bonus points, who doesn’t love a band who kick out the jams on ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. they treat it with due care and attention and don’t fuck it up but give it plenty of menacing roffola which is cool and add in that beautiful 1 finger piano riff – check it out. Pick it up Here
Lucy And The Rats – ‘Dark Clouds’/’Get Down’ (Stardumb Records, Dirty Water Records) Taken from their second album this new single is Lucy raining down some wonderful power pop on us. With lush melodies on the chorus its atop glimpse into what we can expect from the new album (hopefully), it is rounded off with a thoroughly splendid guitar break. If only all power-pop singles were this good, the charts would be in much better shape if Lucy was in the top 10 and when you got in your car for the ride to work this happened to be blaring on the radio. Until that happens go visit the band on their Facebook page and check em out – you won’t be disappointed Facebook
Eddie Money & The Grave – The Lost 79 tapes (Still Unbeatable Records)The Lost 1979 Manchester Studio Recordings + new bonus track! Recently discovered in the USA and sent over to the UK! Remastered from the original tapes! Original 1979 Power Pop Punk! Available on 7” vinyl 45rpm with a limited run on coloured vinyl you have to check this out just for the lyrics. Absolute class and of its time. It’s one for fans of The Boys and classic power-pop-punk rock. Its got that analogue crackle for good measure to give all the audiophiles a warm tingle when playing this one. Buy Here
Cockroach Clan – A New England (Fysisk Format) A song that’s been covered a couple of times and some gets the Cockroach Clan treatment. It did test my gag reflex watching the video with Farage and Widdicombe flashing up on the screen waving their butchers aprons but hey ho it takes all sorts I guess. It’s a decent stab at a great tune but sadly not as good as the original or the Kirsty McCall version but its worth a listen and stick with the video even after the intro the outro is worth the wait. Nice one guys!
Go Mod Go! – ‘Duke’s Jetty’ (Fandango Records, Ghost Highway Recordings, KOTJ Records) Go Mod Go! Whats not to like here. It’s something totally different and harks back to the swinging 60s for sure. A project consisting of Jake Starr (Adam West, Jake Starr and The Delicious Fullness) and Tom Barrick (Adam West) featuring a 10-piece powerhouse band with horns, keyboards, and a dynamic woman vocalist.
After the band recorded their debut album “Alright!”, they went into the studio to record a few new songs with original vocalist Jamie Boyd. Jamie soon left the band and was replaced by superstar vocalist Mundy, and the band started recording their upcoming second album.
These two songs are the final recordings with Jamie and showcase the 60s garage side (“Duke’s Jetty”) and the sultry French Yé-Yé side (“Zou Bisou Bisou”). Oh, la la tre bien Mr. Starr this is something left of centre and why not? Released on a limited edition 7″ of 200 on bubblegum pink vinyl, this is the perfect bridge between Go Mod Go! albums. Kiss kiss! Bandcamp
New York Punk Rockin Power Poppers Wyldlife announce pre-sales for their brand new album ‘Year Of The Snake’ on Wicked Cool Records. Available on yin and yang black/white vinyl. All pre orders get instant two track download. Bandcamp / Facebook
Album pre-orders have launched along with a bold new single titled “Kiss And Tell”.
Of the new single, frontman Dave Feldman says, “After listening to “Definitely Maybe” for more times than we can count, Sam and I wanted to make a song that was tough and angry but still confident and cool. The lyric “I’d rather be ignored than be adored” was a riff on another favorite Manchester band, the Stone Roses. Obviously we as a band want to be celebrated and have an impact on people’s lives, but most times I just want to be left the fuck alone. WYLDLIFE tends to have a larger than life personality, but most people don’t actually know anything about us. I’ve said “good to see you” to more people I don’t know than I’m comfortable with.“
“I feel like WYLDLIFE is kind of the biggest outlier band of our time,” says Dave Feldman, lead singer of the fierce four-piece NYC Rock ’n’ Roll machine that continues its stylishly anachronistic upending of Rock ’n’ Roll expectations with their fourth album and boldest artistic statement yet, Year Of The Snake, out April 17 on Wicked Cool Records.
Stuffed with catchy riffs and choruses, charmingly specific lyrics and a palpable love of ’70s punk, glam and power pop, Year Of The Snake is the long-anticipated follow-up to WYLDLIFE’s Wicked Cool debut, Out On Your Block. That 2017 release, featuring their breakthrough hit “Contraband,” made the upper half of the CMJ and NACC college radio charts and was hailed by Thrasher as “Rock ’n’ Roll that makes your heart beat faster and your fists scream.”
All 11 songs on the retro-fueled new album were co-written by Feldman with guitarist Sam Allen. The two are “the Mick and Keef of the band” as bassist Spencer Alexander puts it. Dave and Sam have been friends since age 11 and have been writing songs together for nearly two decades.
“A lot of times, I’ll have a melody in my head, usually with lyrics, and I’ll just have to sing the thing out to Sam since I can’t play guitar to save my life,” says Dave. “I’ll be frantically trying to explain, ‘It should sound like this Stooges song, but with this Oasis song for the drums and this bass line like The Rezillos or whatever. Sam will transform it into something that’s close to what I meant but even better.”
The childhood friends have been augmented for some time now by Spencer on bass and Stevie Dios on drums. Dave sings their praises: “Stevie is like a self-flagellating workhorse. After every take he’ll be like, ‘I fucked that up, let’s do it again,’ when he’s the only one who heard anything. Spencer is super fucking relaxed pretty much about everything in life. He’s a rocker, but he’s even more of a roller.” An in-demand illustrator and designer, Spencer is also the visual genius behind the album’s striking art direction.
The record and its title track drew naming inspiration from 1989, the year in which Dave, Sam and Spencer all were born, and the third most recent year of the snake according to the Chinese zodiac. “We’ve always been crawling for glory, unwilling to compromise and are considered to be mesmerizing while simultaneously dangerous,” Feldman offers, without a trace of venom.
“There may be listeners who think there’s a bit more negative energy or anger on Year Of The Snake,” says Feldman, “but there’s always been a hard truth to our songs. Topics include paranoia, anxiety, bad relationships with others, bad relationships with self, hustling in every sense of the word…but it’s not all good news! I guess the overarching theme is: ‘It’s 2020. Life is obviously fucked, nothing matters whatsoever, let’s party about it.’”
The album kicks off with “Deathbed,” in which Dave laments about “Joey and Bowie and little old me,” referencing departed heroes Joey Ramone and David Bowie. He explains: “Death seems like the easiest, fastest way to make your mark, like a cheat code to notoriety. There’s always been a fear in my head: ‘Will people remember you? Will they remember WYLDLIFE?’ I hope someday I die with a bit of certainty that the answer is ‘yes.’”
While packed with upbeat rockers in the classic three-minute WYLDLIFE mold, the album does find the band showing off some new tricks. The taut “Automatic,” a song both inspired by The Jesus and Mary Chain and named after one of their albums, features harmony vocals by friend of the band Sasha Cibic, the first woman to guest on a WYLDLIFE song. Barrier-breaking album closer “The Falcon” is an epic five-minute cocaine bender with ominous overtones, complete with tubular bells and perhaps Feldman’s most intense vocal to date.
“The track was recorded in December and it just so happened that there was a set of tubular bells on loan in the studio; we knew we had to use them and to be honest, it’s my favorite part of the track. Upon completion Spencer pointed out that the Falcons happen to be Atlanta’s NFL team. As it stands, this is the only time I feel like I’ve ever been in the absolute right place in the absolute right time: fucked up soaking wet in a parking lot in Atlanta, Georgia.”
The blistering “Neon Nightmare” was the first Snake track to see the light of the day when released as a single in late 2019. It quickly achieved Coolest Song In The World honors on Little Steven’s Underground Garage, heard on SiriusXM and internationally syndicated radio. “Kiss And Tell” is the band’s first single of 2020, with a typically madcap music video on the way. Both “Automatic” and the irreverent French travelogue “Sacré Bleu” are also slated for airplay.
Recorded in late 2019 at Renegade Studios, NYC, home base of Wicked Cool head Stevie Van Zandt, the album was produced by Sam with Geoff Sanoff, the engineer known for his work with Bruce Springsteen, Fountains Of Wayne, Dashboard Confessional and others.
The latest release in Wicked Cool Records’ ongoing partnership with The Orchard as distributor, Year Of The Snake is poised to sustain the label’s momentum on the heels of its 2019 Billboard Heatseekers Top 10 albums by Jesse Malin and The Dollyrots. Both Malin and The Dollyrots are releasing new music via the label in 2020, as are The Empty Hearts, Soraia and more.
Dave Feldman — vocals
Sam Allen — guitar
Spencer Alexander — bass
Stevie Dios — drums
To give a sample of what to expect check out the youtube clip of the single ‘Neon Nightmare’ that’s taken from the album
Considering we’re in the early knockings of a new decade it’s impressive that bands take the time to put out singles at this time of year anyway. We welcome some fresh meat onto our pages and welcome back some brothers we always have time for on RPM for their sheer excellentness and an amazing repertoire of top tuneage. Oh, and good effort on bands like Smash Fashion who are embracing the format with two new bangers which is everything we love about Rock and Roll. So here’s an impressive starting eleven me lovers, check these treats out…
The City Kids – ‘Best Of You’ (self-released) Not to be confused with Welsh glam legends City Kidds, this is the new project from former Main Gains axe-slinger JJ Watt. ‘Best Of You’ is the first single from their upcoming debut album ‘Things That Never Were’ and all proceeds from this release go to Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of Mikey Lawless from Falling Red.
JJ handles vocals and guitar on this project and he is joined by Dennis Post (Warrior Soul/Flush The Fashion), Berty Burton (Tigertailz) on bass and Falling Red drummer Dave Sanders.
‘Best Of You’ is a low slung, gritty rock ‘n’ roll number that stays true to JJ’s roots. Think Circus Of Power meets The Yo-Yos for reference. Vocals that can’t hide a 40 a day habit and a penchant for a rum or two, mix with greasy biker rock and tons of melody, what more could you desire?
Billy Tee and Alex Holmes from The Suicide Notes add vocals, guitar and a certain swagger to the ramshackle ‘Round And A Round’, which was co-written by JJ and a certain Mr Kory Clarke. This four-track release adds demos of the single and an old Main Grains track that they never recorded called ‘You Get Nothing’ that is worth the asking price alone.
All tracks feature on the album, albeit different versions, making this release more than just a curio for lovers of The Main Grains, The Wildhearts, Warrior Soul or anyone with a love of no-frills rock ‘n’ roll. Bandcamp / Facebook
Smash Fashion – ‘Got Da Hee Bee GeeBee’s’/ ‘Benny And The Jets’ (Yeah Right! Records) Smash Fashion tip the hat to the early punk rockers and they manage to spit their gum out long enough to knock this one right out the park. exactly what a 7″ single should sound like, “cool as” kids trust me, Snotty and with a bit of street muscle Smash Fashion turn their efforts to the classic 7″ single and do it justice – nice. Then flip it over for some retro-tinged Hoople hand-clapping, shithouse shaking Rock and Rolla. Damn Smash Fashion just gets better and better. Check it out right now! Its an order. Facebook Pick it up Here
The Hip Priests – ‘Drink To My Demons’ (Speedowax Records) Well as I wipe my brow those Hip Priests are in the house making good on the reason why a singles club is an essential staple of any website. Yeah, so they’ve done plenty of singles so what? This ones a sexy picture disc! They’ve not done that before so new ground there for those purveyors of awesome Garage Rock. With more power than a front row of F1, this is a tasty twosome. ‘Drink To My Demons’ is a banger (of course it is bla bla bla) No it really is. Nobody does it better as Von Cruz spits out the lyrics and no doubt fueled by the world they live in, The Hip Priest lead the charge in 2020, For me, all the intrigue was about the B side and how The Priests were going to tackle the Adam And The Ants B-side from the ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ single – ‘Press Darlings’. Oh wow! truly spectacular this needs to be heard Adam should hand over ownership pronto The Hip Priests absolutely kill it. magic stuff. Don’t pass this one by folks, just buy it or be left with custard pie(ella) on your face. Spasm Gang members can pick it up with some rather tasty beer mats thrown in as well. Facebook
Rotten Mind – Not One Of You (Lövely Records) Today marks the release of “Not One of You”, Rotten Minds third and last single taken from the band’s fourth album “Rat City Dog Boy”, set for release this week February 7 to be precise on Lövely Records. “Not One of You” is the most darkwave- inspired track of the LP. The reverby guitar sounds, fat and pumping bass à la Joy Division and lyrics about alienation contribute to a gloomy atmosphere.Facebook
Hells Ditch – ‘Vacant Hearts’ (Disconnect Disconnect (UK), Rose Coloured Records (UK) & Bypolar Records)
Featuring ex/current members of Bad Ideas, River Jumpers & Dearist Hells Ditch release their debut single next month on 7″ but is available now to stream. With a modern punk rock sound its no surprise to see the band get Mass Giorgini who has previously worked with the likes of Rise Against, Anti Flag and Alcaline Trio. Whilst hailing from the UK they have a sprightly American sound which will have wide appeal. Be interesting to hear some more of these guys they could do really well.
ÅSKVÄDER – ‘NOTHING TO LOSE’ (The Sign Records) Unadulterated pure ’70s Rock that’s where ÅSKVÄDER are coming from with this the first single taken from their upcoming S/T debut album, to be released on The Sign Records this coming March. Yes, they’re from Sweden (where else?) is it Action enough for the Action Rock crowd? (I’d say it certainly is) with some of that southern Rock boogie and a raw on the prowl guitar sound, this is sharp and whilst its roots are back in the mists of time they are not. Check it out on streaming sites everywhere.
The Venomous Pinks – ‘I Want You’ (Die Laughing Records) Tempe, AZ all-female punk rock trio The Venomous Pinks has released a new single and music video, a cover of Joan Jett & The Blackhearts’ “I Want You,” which will appear on the band’s upcoming album of the same name.
The Venomous Pinks hit this particular nail squarely on the head with a ten-pound sledge. No subtlety, no compromise just a damn good interpretation of a Jett classic. Not a band to be trifled with. Top tune! Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter
The Monsters – ‘I’m A Stranger To Me’ (Slovenly Records) Wild, reckless, outta control. Just the way we like it here at RPM. The lead track rattles along in spectacular fashion. With a guitar that’s like a twitching, buzz saw hacks and cuts through the moon the loon style drumming – its a rocket ride of a tune and that’s good enough for us. Check em out. flip it over to see if they are more than a one-trick pony and ‘Carpool Lane’ begins with some white noise before the slow Sabbath with no bottom end enters the fray …oh hang on we’re off on some hypnotic march. Nuts I tell thee but what’s wrong with that? Nothing that’s what. Check out Monsters they rock!
Soraia – ‘Dangerous’ (Wicked Cool Records) Philadelphia rock quartet Soraia will release their new album ‘Dig Your Roots’ on March 13 via Steven Van Zandt’s label Wicked Cool Records. American radio is blowing up over these cats and having been influenced by the likes of Joan Jett and the vines so it’s a no brainer they were going to feature on the pages of RPM. Being part of the Wicked Cool roster isn’t too shabby either. this track released off the album ‘Dig Your Roots’ is punchy and has a decent riff on that chorus as you can see Joan Jett has indeed been an influence and its good to hear that again this month! Facebook
The Ghost Wolves – Lets Go To Mars (Dirty Water Records) Austin Texas has thrown up plenty of noteworthy bands and Ghost Wolves are certainly one of the busiest. Blending rock n’ roll, punk rock, garage and blues with electronic elements, the duo has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in the modern rock n’ roll underground, touring internationally for almost 8 years straight, with nearly 1000 shows between them in 23+ countries including most of Western Europe, USA, U.K., and Japan. ‘Let’s Go To Mars’ is their latest offering on wax
Märvel – ‘Märvellous’ (The Sign Records) The EP contains four tracks of hard hitting Rock n Roll; ‘Amaze-O’, ‘Marvellous’, ‘Public School 75’ and ‘A Taste of Platinum’. Digital and 7″ vinyl.
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 were released, and the EP never got to reach the ears of Märvels dedicated fans. Well, Worry no more Märvel fans because the band has re-recorded the EP and it’s here. What does it sound like? Well, its got a flavour of classic Märvel of course but its got classic rock running through it from the Kiss like riffage on ‘Amaze-O’ and the pick of the four would go to ‘Märvellous’ again, more than a nod to what they learnt in Kisstory lessons at Rock school. So you know where this ones going kids its quality Rock! Marvel style. Now go get one before they’re all gone gone gone.
There are moments in time where you come across a band, and it is just a magical moment. Rewind back to 2017 when I heard Soraia for the first time, I heard their song ‘Why’ and could not buy the album fast enough. ‘Dead Reckoning’ ended up being my Album of the Year for 2017, and they are on the verge of releasing the long-awaited follow up album ‘Dig Your Roots.’ I came into this album with huge expectations that were never going to be easy to meet, but they have done it. While I cannot say yet that this is going to be my 2020 Album of the Year, they have set the bar incredibly high for everything else I hear this year.
‘Dangerous’ gets the album going and immediately shows that this album is not going to be as glossy as ‘Dead Reckoning’ was in terms of its production. This song hit me immediately and was not as subtle as the first two songs they released from the album. ZouZou Mansour’s vocals are laced with attitude and a confidence that could dominate the world. The backing vocals are perfectly done, and the bridge takes the song to another level. ‘Wild Woman’ settles into a cool groove after a hooky guitar riff and then later a great solo by Mike Reisman. The mix across the album is faultless with Travis Smith’s bass getting plenty of exposure. Soraia doesn’t just write songs; they craft them in some magical place. Brianna Sig (drums) and Smith are dynamic together across the album with ‘Evergreen’ being just one example. The shouty backing vocals give the song a live feel, and the bridge here slows things down and lets Mansour’s vocals penetrate your soul.
Soraia has many roots in the garage rock of the Nuggets era but has also allowed many other ingredients and spices into their sound. ‘Foxfire’ features some nice guitar work by Reisman and carries much of that Nuggets influence as a semi-ballad that features some tasteful backing vocals. The bass line has also been stuck in my head for three days now. I have already mentioned it and will again, but I really want to stress that Mansour sings her ass off on this album with this song being just one example. ‘Darkness (is my Only Candle)’ turns up the tempo as the song builds and builds into an electrifying chorus, and the song serves as the perfect counter to ‘Foxfire.’ The keyboards here provide some extra texture to the song. The band decides to do a Prince song on this album too after covering ‘Wow’ on ‘Dead Reckoning.’ They have opted to tackle ‘Nothing Compares 2 You.’ I can remember when Sinead O’Connor had a huge hit with this song, and I will say I didn’t appreciate the song then as my musical tastes were almost strictly hard rock and metal at the time. The band incorporates more of a 60’s ballad feel with extra power added to the music. Sig’s drums really pop in the mix. I could definitely see this version of the song finding a new audience if it received some plays on mainstream radio. Mansour’s vocals will stop you in your tracks and don’t be surprised if you suddenly realize the hairs on your arm are standing. The guitar solo fits perfectly with Reisman shining across the entire song.
‘Superman is Gone’ turns up the tempo with some jangly guitar and excellent rhythm work pulling the listener into the song. Another killer chorus is delivered, and I have found myself singing this in my head over the last several days. Keeping the energy going with ‘Way That You Want It,’ Smith’s bass and Reisman guitar both stand out here with the guitar solo jumping out of the speakers. One of the immediate draws to Soraia for me was the lyrics, and this album continues that brilliance. This song takes a pretty standard topic but conjures incredibly cool imagery and really paints a sonic picture. The first song that was released from this album quite some time ago now was ‘Still I Rise’ which has become something of a person anthem for me. The band again incorporates a heavy Nuggets influence here but also keep it feeling fresh and modern. It serves as another example of the band’s lyrical abilities. I also love how the band once again utilize some keyboards here to give the song extra texture, and the mix allows everything to be heard. Sig’s drumming is amazing across the album with this being an excellent example of her work.
Reaching the closing stretch of the album, ‘Don’t Have You’ initially features Mansour singing over just a piano as the ballad slowly builds. Mansour’s lyrics connect with me on every level; the spoken vocal here is beyond magical and adds so much character to the song. Reisman’s guitar solo is laid down perfectly. ‘Euphoria’ serves as a hook laced closer about the power heroin can carry with it. Mansour sings with incredible power here as she again paints a canvas with her words. The groove created by the band will have you moving, and, to be fair, I have not stopped rocking and shaking since I first started typing this review. The band speeds things up as they increase the temp on the way out the door.
This album has been pretty much on repeat for three days now for me, and I have found no faults with it. As I said in the beginning, I cannot crown it Album of the Year yet as we still have 11 months to go, but I am having a hard time imagining finding a record that connects with me as much as this one does in that time. Soraia have created another masterpiece with an album that showcases each member of the band while also showing how well they come together as a group. Mark your calendar now and buy this one as soon as you can. Your soul will thank you.