It’s been 5 long years since The Hip Priests’ last studio album, but as some wise old sage once said “good things to those who hate”.

During that time events have certainly seen the UK become a more divisive place to live and as such ‘Stand For Nothing’ has never felt like a more perfectly timed record. It’s one the band said they’d never release but now felt compelled to, plus it’s also one that contains not a single song about the old in out … a true first in Priests terms.

But wait just a minute, because I’m getting ahead of myself here and forgetting you just might be someone discovering The Hip Priests for the very first time, sat there all comfy on your toilet (I mean where else would you read about the Hip Priests?) thinking that in those intervening 5 years the band’s core trio of bassist Lee Love, guitarist Austin Rocket and vocalist Nathan Von Cruz must have been hidden away on some tropical island paradise recording a masterpiece in studio fuckery with Muff Flange. Well, you’d of course be very wrong indeed, because during the past 5 years what The Hip Priests have actually been doing is working their arses off by relentlessly touring (with the likes of Zeke, The Dwarves and The Bitch Queens) whilst releasing a bazillion independently funded and released limited edition 7” singles. Whilst in the process of doing all this they also managed to lose 2 drummers (before arriving at current sticksman D.P. Bomber), decided to turbocharge their sound via the addition of a second guitarist (via the enigmatic Silent Mike – who has subsequently moved on to pastures new), and then came within a hair’s breadth of finally getting themselves signed to a major label. Something that would ultimately come to nothing when the A&R guy signing them was “let go” by the label.

Phew! That potted history reads like a draft film script doesn’t it, but this boys and girls is the harsh reality of being in a proper rock ‘n’ roll band, one that is driven to succeed at all costs.

So, after all that does ‘Stand For Nothing’ live up to my heady expectations as the record to propel them into 2019 as the number one independent rock band on the UK scene?

Well, it takes exactly one line of the album’s blistering opener ‘Welcome To Shit Island’ to answer this conundrum as Nathan Von Cruz venomously spits out “Small minds, dumb pricks – drop a bomb on this isle of shit” and I can immediately feel myself grinning from ear to ear whilst punching the air with absolute joy. YES! Someone is finally not afraid to speak the truth and there really is no time like right now (excuse the pun) to celebrate it. In fact, all joking aside if ever there was a sign that The Hip Priests were evolving into a much bigger and angrier sounding beast than ever before it was that 10 minute epic (which curiously doesn’t make the final track listing here) that well and truly pissed the line in the sand regarding the band’s musical ambitions.

The expansion of sound that was so evident during the horn-driven ‘No Time (Like Right Now)’ is thankfully driven headlong into this album too and the aforementioned addition of a second guitarist gives tracks like the stunning ‘Losers Of The Faith’ (which I must admit is my favourite track here) and the glorious one-finger piano-driven ‘Stand For Nothing’ an additional melodic edge, something that just might have been missing from previous Priests’ records where the band chose to simply bulldozer you into aural ecstasy.

Fear not though fellow Spasm Gangbangers because that old school Priests sound is still very much here in abundance during tracks like the caustic ‘Social Hand Grenade’, and the thundering album closer ‘Rock N Roll Leper’ plus let’s not forget the already firmly established live favourite ‘Cheers To Me’. It’s just that this time around I’m finding myself going back to the likes of the pounding ‘Deja F.U.’ and the dare I say it the “gothic sounding” ‘How Do You Get Off?’ (is that a hint of Farfisa I here in there lads?) time and time again as The Hip Priests truly spread their musical wings…sonically speaking of course.

What also really stands out on this record are the lyrics, and on the vinyl only track ‘U Okay Hun’ we get to rejoice in Lee Love’s lightning fast take on the world of the vacuous self-centred fucks that litter social media, a track which is without doubt one of his finest moments yet, and he’s written quite a few of those that’s for sure.

At the start of this review I stated that ‘Stand For Nothing’ contained no tracks about sex, which will be a total shock to any Priests fan’s moral system I know, but for those of you hankering for the ‘Saints Of Excess’ of old there’s still ‘Last Train Wrecks’ to look forward to, a glorious tale of self-destruction that comes complete with an intro from Happy Tom and actually revolves around some of the very people who will no doubt be rushing to buy their copy of this album when it goes on pre-sale on Feb 4th via the various labels involved and linked below.

Look, in ‘Stand For Nothing’ The Hip Priests have written one of, if not THE most important garage punk albums of 2019. Buy it now (via the links below) and help the band save Shit Island from forever falling into the sea of musical mediocrity.  Essential!

Spasm Gang

Buy Music Here

Author: Johnny Hayward

Eight tracks in around twenty minutes may get you thinking that this spawn of founder Zeke drummer Donny Paycheck is as fast and furious as his previous band. You’d be so wrong……

 

Donny has teamed up with fellow barber (I shit you not), Jason Cutthroat and producer legend Jack Endino to create a swamp rock masterpiece. This thing is dirtier than a teenagers mind, think Jesus and Mary Chain, think Cramps, think DEVIL’S MUSIC !!!!!

 

Kicking off in real downbeat style, “Kill 4 U” has a great “Dying to kill, killing to die for you” hook. If the devil stole the beat from the lord, then the Cutthroat brothers grabbed it, chucked in the boot of their car and dragged it into a clearing in the woods where they did unspeakable things to it.

 

“Skeleton Rides” follows, suite, another cool tune in the same vein as the opener but it’s the third track “Violent Crime” that really kicks it off for me.

 

“Violent Crime” sits somewhere between The Marychain’s “April Skies” and “Some Candy Talking”, it’s simply the dogs bollocks! Striiped down, sleazy, moody, dirty and delicious. You need this song in your life.

 

We’re off and running now. “Potions and Powders” takes the pace up a notch, complete with hand claps and its “Every hour, on the hour” hook line. People will be nicking ides from this bad boy, mark my words and there’s a video for it too. The Cutthroat Brothers just spoil you.

Keeping up the pace with “Oceans of Fire”. Stripped down with simple but spot on drum beat and just enough guitar to give it grit and space.  Again, think Marychain meat Deliverance.

 

Next up, “Teenage Pain” has a slow and brooding vibe. There enough here to put a smile on the face of any Velvets fan or even lovers of the late eighties “shoe gazer” gang.

 

We’re in the home straight now with “Psykik Chemist” bounding along with a cool dirty rockabilly drum beat. “Come on and cure me before I loose my mind” Jason screams but if what’s on show here is any indication, that ship has already sailed.

 

The curtain falls to the sound of “Snake Breath” which the blurb describes as hving a “psychedelic swing” and what a cool song it is.

 

So, eight tracks in around twenty minutes feels like a reasonable proposition for my hard earned but Great album. Get it Here!!!

Author:Fraser Munro

Wake up you Nutters its Monday!

Try this for size and if you’re sitting on a tube or subway train turn it up so everyone can hear it. Beautiful!

If you need to chill after that then you might like to check out the new video from The Prophets Of Addiction

Try this for size. zeke drummer Donny Paycheck has another band on the go and this is them. Cutthroat Brothers and Barbers…No I won’t spoil that seeing as Fraser has a review on RPM this week of their album but this is a little sneak peek ladies and gentlemen I give you…

It’s a heatwave

with Summer just around the corner, the (dis) United Kingdom was warming up nicely surprisingly  May was a rather quiet month for the scribes at RPM well before RPM but you get my gist. Ben was getting his head around The Future Shape Of Sound and their ‘Showdown Gospel’.  Whilst we’re on the subject of the Gypsy Hotel it might be the right time to mention that Urban Voodoo Machine also released a record this month which happened to be a compilation record entitled ’15 Shots From The Urban Voodoo Machine’ which wrapped their singles and bits and bobs up very nicely into the one package and it seemed like the best idea to then go out and tour the record.  I also got to see them once again and same as before and the time before that etc etc they were absolutely awesome and never fail to play the most entertaining live show out there. 

whilst we’re on the subject of records released in May 2018 I have to mention a few of my personal favourites that put out great records firstly a man who should need any introductions but I’m going to anyway – James Williamson & The Pink Hearts. featuring (The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs) and Petra Haden (Haden Triplets) with the fantastic ‘Behind The Shade’. also I have to note that Kevin K also put out his something like 95th solo album ‘Too Much too Sun’ I might jest about how many records the guy has released but he’s a phenomenon and deserves respect for the amount of time and effort he puts into his music and I love it when he does release his next CD and even if he says no more, trust me he will.

Also in the pre-summer rush, those cool cats from Burbank California Prima Donna saw fit to release ‘S/T’ and much like Urban Voodoo Machine they can do no wrong in my eyes and have never made a bad record. Kevin Preston leads the band into their Fourth Long Player this time coming out on the excellent Wicked Cool Records now a four piece line up ‘4 Real’ was released as the lead single from the album.

Also casting our minds back to May, Beach Slang released their long-awaited Quiet Slang altar ego that featured a whole long player full of orchestrated tunes entitled ‘Everything Matters But No one Is Listening’. James Alex is one talented guy and going from alternative rocker to string arrangements and softly delivered tunes such as the amazing ‘Dirty Cigarettes’ is no easy step. Fantastic record and not only one of this month’s highlights but one of the years highlights.

On the live front, there were a few tours that went out most notably the doubleheader that was Zeke and The Hip Priests tearing it up across the UK which Fraser noted as one of his years’ highlights.

However, it has to be noted he (Fraser Munro) also managed to see Steps play Waddon Road which is Cheltenham Towns football ground the same month he saw Zeke and the Hip Priests so maybe Zeke affected his head or he bumped it whilst on the good ship Thekla? Maybe he didn’t and he’s really a massive steps fan as he also is rumored to have a picture of Ian Watkins on his wall lets hope its the real H and not some imposter – you decide.

 

On that bombshell maybe its best we leave May and quickly delve into June.  I’ll leave you with two of the finest albums of 2018 in the shape of ’15 shots’ from the magnificent Urban Voodoo Machine and Quiet Slang’s ‘Everything Matters’.

.

 

March Madness

If you thought February was a bit full on then welcome to March.  Whilst the UK did its usual shit the bed over some snowfall the rest of the planet got on with what it had to do without much fuss. Such was the panic, Fraser had to abort his trip to Londinium to see Turbonegro unless he hired a chopper then paraglided in, he was stuffed due to the Baltic conditions and an inefficient panic-stricken country. Anyway.

RPM scribes did manage to leave the house at some point because Ben caught Ryan Hamilton & the Traitors up North whilst Dom caught the tour in Cardiff. When Ben saw the tour party it was as advertised because on the night in Cardiff the Main Grains couldn’t attend due to…Um… snow on the roof of their car! No Car couldn’t find it under snow, leaves, it had blown away or they couldn’t make it because it was waaay too far when London was next on the schedule, ticket sales weren’t exactly great or some similar excuse, oh well, it wasn’t to be so Hamilton was left to break the news of the Main Grains transport issues cough, cough. Like the trooper he is he and the Traitors played an extended set to the few hardy souls who ventured out into the great wide open to fly their freak flags and a thoroughly enjoyable evening was had. It would have been nice to have both bands but there we go.

So with most people tucked up in their castles listening to punk rock praying that those hardy postal workers managed to get into work so they could deliver a veritable avalanche of new releases, some even made it onto the death decks of future RPM scribes such as Dirt Box Disco with their ‘Immortals’ album and joining them this month would be Eureka Machines with their brand new pledge endorsed campaign ‘Victories’, which went down well (to be fair) all Eureka pledges go well as Chris Catalyst seems like a guy with a plan and knows how to execute  a well-oiled campaign always full of little extras.

 

 

There were also some notable records released in March by the likes of Christmas with their most excellent ‘Scum As You Are’, Ryan Hamilton also got recording this time with Tony Wright and their ‘Grand Ole Otley’ and showing that we’re not all about the crash, bang, wallop! Boss Caine and his album ‘Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love‘ was also released this month.

The most hotly anticipated release of the month has to go to those speed dealers Zeke and their brutal, frantic and breakneck take on rock n roll that made ‘Hellbender’ such a success. There was also tour dates announced for a few months that would have some of the scribes at RPM all hot and bothered. Last Great Dreamers released their latest offering also through Pledge it was the most excellent ’13th Floor Renegade’ it certainly got HQ rocking and rolling.

Hot Snakes released ‘Jericho sirens’ mid-March which also bothered turntables and speakers all over our gaff. Its no secret that we love a single here at RPM and seeing as we love the little things in life who could forget some epic 7″ releases in March most notably in the shape of Fireburn and their EP ‘Shine‘ a band that will feature later in the year under more tragic circumstances. Fireburn might not have had the sheer brutality of Todd Youths Bloodclot project it certainly was pretty damn good and along with their EP something we are delighted to champion.

Finally and thankfully people managed to stay out of jail or the morgue this month which is always a good thing. Again its quality over popularity for RPM scribes and the champions of March are plenty but I’d have an inkling if we had a vote it would have to be Zeke for the ‘Hellbender’ album. 1-2-3-4 woosh!

 

 

 

Billed as an incredible rock ‘n’ roll freakshow there will never be any chance of Helldorado being done for false representation. With over 30 live bands, live wrestling, burlesque acts and a whole lot more besides the 40 odd Euros I shelled out for early bird tickets made me feel like I’d bagged myself one of the gig bargains of the year. But would it really live up to my expectations?

Arriving at the Klokgebouw (an arts/theatre venue in a huge multi room warehouse complex situated on an industrial park within a bicycle kick’s distance of PSV’s ground) with about half an hour to spare before the doors were due to open this gave one or two of our travelling group the chance to walk off their fragile states following the previous night’s Turbojugend meet up in the city’s Café The Jack (steady on Daley there were no retrievers in sight here) which had proven to be as colourful an introduction to the city as the Glow art event that was also taking place that same evening.

After finally making our way through the airport style security (which was done as quickly as possible by very friendly staff who seemed to be able to speak a multitude of languages all at the same time) I finally made my way into the venue and hit the main Cobra stage just as Prima Donna were launching into the 2nd song of their set.   With just 30 minutes on stage there was no time for banter or messing about so Kevin Preston and his prima donnas (ouch) just do what they do best and play a set packed full of infectious rock ‘n’ roll anthems largely drawn from their excellent ‘S/T’ album. A better sound mix (something which you’ll see becomes of a recurring theme throughout the day) might have drawn out some of the band’s poppier saxophone driven moments but at 1pm in the afternoon, warming up a largely still hungover crowd, the boys did mighty fine indeed. Now make sure you catch them on the road with Danko Jones right now!

Moving over to the adjoining Lion stage for a little bit of fun with Cirque Du Mort’s Trashy Pandas and it’s somewhat confusing to discover that after travelling all this way this UK troop’s lead hostess speaks with the broadest of Welsh accents. Alright butt. Then just as The Devils (no not the Nick Rhodes pre-Duran act) prepare  to take to their makeshift stage in the middle of a wrestling ring situated mid dancefloor one of our group (whose been on a proper walkabout around the complex) points out we best make our way over to the Tarantula stage as it’s a tad smaller than the other two stages and the buzz surrounding the arrival of The Hip Priests complete with their very own trashy panda on lead vocals might just see us left out in the cold (and boy was it cold outside) if we’re not sharpish. On our way over though we just have time to check out the doom drone of Monolord on the Cobra stage which on another day in another venue might have inspired me to throw my horns in the air, however today I’m all about the Priests. 

Getting into position a few rows behind the Spasm Gang diehards who follow The Hip Priests all over the globe the most rewarding thing for me (and I’m sure the band too) was to glance around and see the venue was indeed fully packed out. If ever there was a reason for this band to exist then there really was no time like right now to fully deliver on their musical promise. With the Fuck Cancer t-shirted Von Cruz dedicating their set to Kathy Rocker this just seemed to light their fuse as they sped off through a set littered with career defining tunes that just exploded right in our faces. The ever present ‘Instant Delinquent’ got the first proper pit of the day going whilst in ‘Zero Fucks Given’ I still say the band have the best Stooges song Iggy never wrote, and it’s not just me that thinks this as the crowd literally hollered the song’s title back at them during the extended coda outro. ‘Stand For Nothing’ might be the ironic(?) title of the band’s soon to be released fourth studio record, but for the thirty minutes spent in their company today they stand for everything, so cheers to you guys you really are muthafucking superior.

It’s almost impossible to get my bearings after such an incendiary set so I drift between Death Alley and The Rock N Roll Wrestling and then Vintage Caravan (none of them able to get anywhere near what had preceded them) and in the meantime I also manage to somehow miss The Dahmers (who talking to someone later were apparently excellent) altogether. Bollocks!

It was the lure of witnessing Nicke Andersson back behind a drum kit (for the first time since his days spent with the mighty The Solution) playing with Lucifer over on the Cobra stage that dragged me out of my stupor, and as the band unfurled its very own fringed tops take of Psych-Doom I suddenly started to have flashbacks to a few years back when a good mate of mine made me watch Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and Witchcraft back to back at Hellfest and I honestly thought I’d just woken up in 1972. In many ways I feel Lucifer are perhaps not unlike an Andersson’s Night for the Scando-Doom generation, and whilst I personally don’t dig it the many people around me who headbanged constantly throughout the band’s 45 minutes set treated them like headliners in waiting. I’ll stick with my Blues Pills LPs thanks.

Price pointing their merch at 10 and 15 Euros a pop the muthafuckin’ Dwarves really were living up to their rock legends tag long before they had even played a note today. It’s simple acts of punk rock genius like this that see most people either sporting or carrying a cross-boners themed item of  merch by the time the band hit the Cobra stage, and initial dodgy sound aside Blag and his gang of reprobates simply could do no wrong as they stampeded their way through the likes of ‘Way Out’, ‘Sluts Of The USA’, ‘Back Seat Of My Car’ and ‘Devil’s Level’ leaving me with barely time to take a gulp of my beer between the classic tunes crammed into the set list this afternoon. With added human fireball, smurf and a bevvy of lovelies providing visual stimulation for a mosh pit seemingly set on self-destruct (especially during a frenzied ‘I Will Deny’) the only thing that was really missing was more tunes from the band’s superb ‘Take Back The Night’ LP. Then again when you’re as good looking as these fucks you can do whatever the fuck you want and still end up being one of the best bands of the day.

Moving back to the Lion stage for the highly anticipated return of Supersuckers, out on the road promoting the (almost) 20th anniversary of ‘Evil Powers Of Rock N Roll’, it actually took me 2 or 3 songs before I realised this was the same band that totally blew me away all those years ago. The current 3-piece version of the band seem to favour the type of flat-out wall of noise approach to gigs that Motorhead pretty much made their trademark, and to be honest it all kind of goes over my head, especially early doors. Couple this with an Eddie Spaghetti who is obviously trying to warm up and not over stretch his voice (for obvious totally understandable reasons) I simply found the whole thing very frustrating indeed. Yes of course the band still soared majestically when they aired the likes of ‘Born With A Tail’ and ‘Pretty Fucked Up’ but I’d be gobsmacked if anyone went out and bought a copy of ‘Suck It’ as a result of hearing any of the songs aired from that here this evening, and that’s a crying shame because it’s actually a very good album.

Jogging back over to the Cobra stage to find Zeke were just about to into ‘All The Way’ from their ‘Hellbender’ LP the packed out room then proceeded to just totally lose it. This being my third time of seeing the band on this tour meant I knew what was about to come and the odd beer shower was an almost welcome relief from the already oppressive heat being generated by the Olympic sized pit moving at pace stage front and centre. With side stage also packed full of other bands all keen to experience the Zeke-effect it was reassuring to finally put to rest the urban myth that Nick Oliveri and Blind Marky Felchtone were in fact the same person, Oliveri screaming most of the band’s back catalogue from the wings like their number one fan whilst the more eagle eyed amongst us also spotted Austin Rocket from The Hip Priests revealing himself as a closet KISS fan by singing along to the Zeke-ified version of ‘Shout It Out Loud’. If you’ve seen Zeke live yourself recently, you’ll get what I mean when I say they are impossible to critique, they just are muthafuckin’ Zeke end of.

With prospect of the night turning into a progressive/psych type of affair if I hung about in the main stage areas to watch DeWolf and then Kadavar, I instead plumped for the much more sensible (and less satin flared) option of checking out Nick Oliveri – Death Electric back in the Tarantula stage. Backed by his Dwarves bandmates and dedicating his set to Todd Youth, from the opening ‘Tension Head’ to the final chords of ‘Millionaire’ what we were given tonight was a simple lesson into why Nick is so badly missed by Josh Homme in his now piss weak stadium filling version of the once great band. I could have listened to this stuff all night but with barely an hour before the first of the two!! headliners were set to take the stage it was time to finally catch my breath.

Chatting with friends old and new in the food concourse for the best part of that hour the highlight of which involved us people watching two lads trying to get a 12” record into a 10” locker that eventually ended up with said record being bent slightly in half in order to get it in (yeah I’m still cringing writing about it here) it was thankfully the sound of Rich Knox’s kick drum heralding the arrival of  Danko Jones over on the Lion stage rather than the snap of an LP that brought us back into reality with a bump.

Now having mentioned how off the mark the sound had been for a number of bands earlier in the day the immediate thing that impressed me when I took up my place on the barrier for Danko was just how clear and powerful it now was. Could the curse of Castle Donington have made its way all the way to the Netherlands? Oh, what the hell, I’d last seen the band about 5 or 6 years ago at Hellfest struggling a little bit to get a reaction from an audience only looking to throw devil horns and headbang but here at Helldorado Danko Jones (the band) really were in their element, plundering their extensive back catalogue to keep people dancing and humming their tunes long after their hour long set had ended. ‘The Twisting Knife’, ‘Had Enough’, ‘Play The Blues’ and of course ‘Sugar Chocolate’ (which took me right back to 2001 and the band’s  debut UK support slot with Backyard Babies) were all present and with Danko (the frontman) on top form banter-wise tonight really was theirs for the taking and just like with The Hip Priests earlier in the day it was absolutely fantastic to see a band with originality high on their menu (even if it’s the bits they steal from other bands) getting the reception they so justly deserve. Karma indeed!

Having released an album that has caused some pretty diametrically opposite reactions from their diehard fans the Turbonegro of 2018 have certainly come a long way since I first saw them live back in the early noughties playing a small club in Birmingham promoting their then reunion LP ‘Scandinavian Leather’. However, whilst I’m man enough to admit to quite liking ‘RockNRoll Machine’ it’s the distinct possibility of Queen covers (something they have been doing more recently) being played that found me entering into this Cobra stage headline set with more than just a bit of unease. I shouldn’t have worried though because here tonight the band blended the post-Hank and pre-Tony years into a set of high-octane stadium rock that must have had even the out and out haters of ‘RocknRoll Machine’ nodding along. I mean how can you sing along to the likes of ‘Wasted Again’, ‘All My Friends are Dead’ ‘Get It On’ and ‘Back To Dungaree High’ and then not also be drawn in by the likes of ‘Hurry Up & Die’ or the hilariously titled ‘Hot For Nietzsche’ (the pereft counterpart to the band’s love letter to Van Halen’s ‘1984’ that is ‘Chrome Ozone Creation’)?

With an encore consisting of 2 more classics from ‘Apocalypse Dudes’ (‘The Age Of Pamparius’ and ‘Selfdestructo Bust’) before the ultimate vinegar stroke of ‘I Got It Erection’ was dispatched to send some of us off into the cold night air night, I’m not entirely sure where all the anxiety I had about seeing Turbonegro in 2018 came from, they are still the same fun loving bunch, they’ve just polished the whole thing up a bit that’s all.

So as the party raged on hard well into the wee small hours back at the Klokgebouw I walked back to the hotel reflecting on the fact that with hotel, train and gig tickets plus flights, this trip worked out around £275 for each of our party. That’s for a weekend in a fantastic city we’d never been to before, the chance to meet some great new mates plus catch up with some great old ones, plus watch a shit load of superb bands in the process. I just know I’m gonna wake up feeling like I want to do it all over again next year. That’s because you gotta live life people – take some risks- because you never know what you might discover just around the corner even on an industrial park somewhere near PSV Eindhoven’s stadium.

Thank you Helldoardo for being so fucking amazing!!!!!

Author : Johnny Hayward

Helldorado