We had the original record come out in 1985 on IRS records then we had the box set in 2000 that had a bunch of bonus cuts from B sides all pulled together then in 2015 we had the 30th Anniversary edition that was re-recorded and re-arranged. Peters himself is of the opinion song for song word for word its the strongest album of the original line ups material in the ’80s.

A big claim indeed and one that will no doubt cause debate amongst the believers from here until the cows come home.  For me, Not a chance…am I getting into that debate here, I’ll keep my powder dry, for now with regards to where ‘Strength’ fits in to the bands best list.

Fast forward to 2019 and as part of the reissue project Peters is undertaking we’ve already had the ‘Eponymous’ and ‘Declaration’ records they come out last year and to be fair they were fantastic in  content, packaging and pulling the releases and periods of The band together under one title.

they were a fine example of how to carry out such a mammoth labour of love. Whilst it showed a band that might have been a bit nieve from their first recordings they soon found their feet and identity in the big wide world of the music biz and the hunger and desire to compete and succeed was evident. A band who could write some tunes as well and ones that have stood the test of time. So onto ‘Strength’ and that difficult second album – stand still and just be content with what you’ve got or twist and grow. For a band who were forging its own slice of history amid some pretty fierce journalism and a fairly hostile press who fought hard to bury the band amongst some rubbish comparisons and cheap jibes but what doesn’t kill you and all that the Alarm weren’t having any of it and rose above the jibes.

The Alarm grew in confidence and stature and the fans on the street got behind them we knew the score.  They played the UCLA to a big crowd granted it was a free show but it was the Alarms show and whilst the mix was a bit fucked and lacked a bit of Sharpies bite and Twists bass drum it was still great to see and hear the band breaking historic ground and all with some dodgy haircuts and questionable wardrobe choices (but it is the mid 80’s I hear you say) anyway this isn’t a history lesson of my youth its a review of the bands sophomore album ‘Strength’.

I think Peters has said that McDonald had said to him to write songs about himself and who and where he’s from rather than big grand gestures which he took on board and penned some of the bands most popular material in ‘Spirit Of 76’, ‘Deeside’ and ‘Walk Forever By My Side’.

I’m not one of the fans who think the original line up is the only lineup and the band and songs cease to exist after Brixton, far from it, but, sure I have my favourite periods and albums like most people. If I’m honest I loved the ‘Eponymous’ period and ‘Declaration’ has the best songs and that’s when I got into this band and they were mine and were a big part of growing up. I loved the sound of the electrified acoustics of those early years and the live shows were sensational so the more chart-friendly sound and ‘produced’ mix of ‘Strength’ took some getting used to. There are parts of the album I adored and still do ‘Deeside’ and ‘Majority’ being two of my favourites from the period I could never believe how the latter was only the B side to ‘Strength’. Of course, I wanted “my band” to be the biggest band on the planet and wanted them to have every success and people to like them as much as my friends and I did as we followed them around the country  and thought that ‘Absolute Reality’ was going to be where they were heading and I loved that as it was such a great song but sadly it was missing from the album when it hit the shelves. What were they doing? How could they? Thats two songs left off the album – man this is going to be some follow up if they didn’t make the cut.

Anyway, I’d heard a lot of the songs live before I’d heard the record and ‘Knifedge’ was always a great opener so this was fine with me it’s got a good tempo and it rocked on the record as it did live. Looking back I can’t believe the first three songs on the album clock in well over five minutes which is nuts when you think about it and maybe a good two minutes too long and I never liked the keyboard sound on ‘Dawn Chorus’ because I loved the song and the way the verses built and the gang vocals worked but those keyboards. Now don’t get carried away its not like I hated the record, honest.

Then to follow that they had the epic almost ‘Stairway To Heaven’ like ‘Spirit Of 76’ that built and built and told the story of where Peters came from and I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this song and there have been times when I’ve loved it having seen it performed well over 100 times and some and other times I found it bloated and hoped it was omitted from the set.  Then when I decided I wanted to write a review for the release I have played it quite a few times probably more than any other period over the last thirty years (God now I feel Old).

I was quite excited at the package of the CD and vinyl set having the motherload of tracks from the period and I guess some time away from playing ‘Strength’ maybe laying fresh ears on it has given me distance and perspective.  I now see it like a long lost and fondly looked upon relative rather than the debut albums nemesis and songs like ‘Spirit’ rightly hold a special place in the band’s history.  I can remember thinking – the cheeky bastards having the front to make a seven-minute single and have female backing vocals and a Pete Townsend guitar break in the middle as the song seemed to take on part 1 part 2 and so on.  But time has healed and I now look back at some of the shows where I sat on my mate or brothers shoulders and sang every lyric as my life depended on it and maybe I was harsh on such a great tune.

Maybe it says more about me and my concentration span that the shorter faster songs were the ones that most appealed and to be fair ‘Deeside’ has stood the test of time it was always a belter and I still love hearing it.

‘Father To Son’ always struck me as a bit of an album track. Whilst showing the band had evolved and could write a pop song (of sorts) it was never going to be a single and I doubt it will be any alarm fans favourite track but it worked on the album and to be fair Sharpy plays a blinder with some great fills and playing and when I’ve heard it live in recent years its sounded great. ‘Only The Thunder’ is another I always classed as a bit of an album track.  Better than ‘Father To Son’ but quite lyric heavy but one where they got the balance of the commercial keyboard sound with the electric guitar band blends right on the money.

I always loved ‘The Day The Ravens Left The Tower’ and loved the lyrics and the arrangement and thought Peters turned in a fantastic performance with his vocals and always loved it live. I can remember I always used to wish the lyrics would come true (some things never change eh). Nine songs on my original version Ten on the US one which only left that soppy ballad at the end.  ‘Walk Forever By My Side’ was always a cheesy song (sure I had it played at my wedding). It was always the song to take a toilet break live or get to the bar and nothings change there, my wife will no doubt have it as her favourite Alarm song which says it all. Anyway, the remaster does nothing to change my mind there then. Possibly The Alarms ‘Marmite’ song.  Anyway the addition of ‘Absolute Reality’  warms the cockles of my heart always was and still is one of the bands finest songs. A great choppy riff and some great lyrics to boot I never liked the pound shop U2 jibes and I still don’t. besides, U2 never wrote a song this good and I’m sticking to that ‘Absolute’ was a game changer. As was the ‘Absolute tour’.

To complete this reissue Peters has delved into his diaries and packaged the recordings like the first two and bloody lovely they are too but this seems more comprehensive well above and beyond than 99.9% of other bands will deliver.  Rich in detail and with the required amount of passion you’d expect from the man who still believes in Rock and Roll and leaves nothing on the stage every time he performs. When nobody else cared about his band and legacy he did and that’s why he’s built it up from the smoldering embers of peoples memories to a raging bonfire The Alarm is currently. Bloody good on him for that too hard work and passion has paid off.  I saw him play to several dozen in Newport or St Asaphs or Swansea or wherever and all these years later its sold-out Gatherings and university Great Hall sell outs as decades later many reconnect as well as get into the band for the first time and that’s down to the hard work and dedication of Peters and his team at the MPO but without his catalogue of songs it simply wouldn’t be possible.

I’m still a fanboy and happy to admit it,  I buy all the records and was buzzing when this dropped on the mat. Opening the package and digging in and rediscovering songs I ignored and also having songs like the Acoustic  ‘Absolute Reality’ in its proper place alongside ‘Caroline Isenberg’ is sweet (but I still can do without the progtastic mix of ‘Strength’) I do however have to concede that the single version of ‘Spirit’ just doesn’t seem right at only four minutes.  Now I wouldn’t have admitted that back in ’85, no chance.

there is a second CD in this epic collection which pulls together the Absolute tour flexi with the rehearsals where they blast through some pretty ropey versions of songs like ‘Get It On’ as well as a top version of ‘Dawn Chorus’ without those keyboards. Whilst Twist does his best Moon the Loon on ‘Summertime Blues’ even if Peters hasn’t a clue of the lyrics, it matters not. They even open up their hard rockin side with a metal as fuck ‘Burn’ complete with the laughter such a tune deserved, (good on you boys).

The ‘Strength’ with added lyrics which sound just weird (well done for not running with these, “over the rainbow, I can hear you now”Lyrics)  Michael?

Throughout the jam sessions, the one thing that shines is how much fun the four of them were having just playing music and hanging with mates doing something they possibly thought was never going to happen or places they could only dream about going were now a deserved reality.

It’s funny the songs that I love from the record are the ones jammed live and hardly altered and ‘One Step Closer’ was and still is one hell of a song and the live jam of it on this CD is mega. When a band hit that groove no matter how its arranged may it be acoustic – full band – whatever, songs like ‘Closer’ are timeless and from the first time I heard it, it was The Alarm in a nutshell. Just four minutes full of passion, bristling with energy and Dave Sharps finest few minutes as a songwriter.  from the breakdown to the build it back up its a magnificent song then and still is now and this is the best version.

Its no secret my love of everything Rod The Mod from The Faces to Leopard print trousers. I was always loving The Alarm having a go at ‘Maggie May’ a song I think I first heard them do in the Marquee Club back in the midst of time. hearing it here is a thing of beauty as is the politicly charged ‘Stand Down Mergret’ and ‘Maggies Farm’ thrown in for good measure (I’m always down for a bit of Thatcher-bashing). Hearing the Brass Band warming up is a bit weird but I did quite enjoy the live version of ‘Walk Forever’ but don’t tell my wife.

So, That’s the CDs dealt with now onto the Vinyl.  Ok, I won’t go on too much honest. (Well I did say I was a Fanboy and Classic Rock, Uncut or Record Collector won’t give The Alarm the attention they deserve much to their eternal shame)

The second record features nine demos for the original album concept of ‘Absolute Reality’ including three previously unreleased songs ‘Sons Of Divorce’, ‘Black Side Of Fortune’ and ‘Memorial Day’. ‘Strength’ engineer Nigel Luby was at the desk for these songs and it features early versions of ‘Knife Edge’ and ‘Majority’ both with different lyrics that take some getting used to for us fanboys as well as the original version of ‘Deeside’ which was then known as ‘Steeltown’. But it’s great to hear how the record grew and morphed into what was finally released. If I’m honest I prefer this production its got grit and more like the band sounded live its got some of the gloss that made the commercial record radio-friendly stripped away and its all the better for it. ‘Sons Of Divorce’ sounds great and you wonder why this was shelved. ‘One Step’ always was and still is a thing of beauty great lyrics – great arrangement – great delivery. Fantastic to hear this take on it.  A few lyric changes to get your noggin’ round but it’s worth it for ‘Black Side Of Fortune’.

The album also includes two other unreleased demos being ‘In The Cold Light Of Day’ (which was originally written for The Who’s Roger Daltrey), and Dave Sharp’s ‘River Still To Cross’. Something of huge interest to Alarm fans from back in the day no doubt about it and what makes this collection so special.

I make no apologies for waffling on because for me its what make this crazy business so special and why I think about music pretty much from the moment I wake until I finally rest my head. A hugely enjoyable package for fans and whilst it might not have such strong appeal to casual fans but it’s this kind of attention to detail that fans of bands love and I’m lucky it’s “my band”, whilst I currently own more copies of the original studio albums than it is healthy to admit to,  due to worn out copies or one copy picking up an annoying click during the quiet bit of ‘Spirit Of 76’ or I needed the picture disc then this is a most welcome addition to that collection. These days I look after my records correctly like any responsible parent or grown-up should unlike back in my youth.  My advice is don’t delay it get on the link and buy it you absolutely won’t regret it. Ladies and Gentlemen the ‘Strength’ Well is well and truly drained along with the Boston show that is coming out in April for RSD. Fill yer boots.

So, Now the wait begins for the ‘Eye Of The Hurricane’ Treatment and another ‘war and piece’ length review. We’ll keep you posted. Keep the faith.

MPO: Shop

Buy Strength Here

Author: Dom Daley

Nashville based guitar and vocalists are a dime a dozen, but some are worth a bit more currency. Spotlight onto JD Simo. His honest, raw take on the tried and tested blues-rock formula certainly hits home with me. I grew up surrounding myself with blues so JD’s fresh take on this is a warm, welcoming hug coupled with a punch in the guts… I love it!


‘Boom Boom, Out Go the Lights’ kicks off proceedings with a wall of fuzzy guitars and tasty licks. I’m feeling elements of the chaotic nature of Buddy Guy coupled with the rock sensibilities of more modern blues torchbearers such as Gary Clark Jr. The lick around the one minute mark even makes me think of a late 60s Cream era Eric Clapton throwing some woody sounding licks over the Disraeli Gears album.


‘Off at 11’ brings a more mellow, jazzy edged shuffle but I can’t help but feel something is going to explode out of the speakers at any moment. Oh and here it comes, the wah soaked licks. Simo is making that guitar scream and shout. This track takes me from Albert King to Jimi Hendrix via a sea of psychedelic madness.


‘You Need Love’ picks the pace up again with a heavy, gritty stomp. The groove is heavy here and the guitar licks are flying. Simo has taken everything good about the 60s and 70s, coupled it with classic blues, put it in a blender and delivered it with his own fuzzy stamp. His vocals in this track certainly remind me of another of my favourite Nashville based singers, Noah Hunt from the Kenny Wayne Shepherd band. Perhaps there is something in the water that makes these Nashville singers phrase their vocals in that magic way.


‘I Got Love If You Want It’ takes the listener back to the early days of blues. We’re heading to the Delta on a freight train and we ain’t getting off ‘til we reach the Mississippi. JD shows that he’s not only someone who can take the formula and bring it to modern day, but he can also hang with the old guard and make his guitar sing like the best of the best.


Sometimes, well, anytime you play the blues, you have to get a little moody. ‘Temptation has a stunning, crisp guitar intro that has the hallmark of the Texas greats swimming in an ethereal reverb sea. This could be my favourite track off the album, though with such strong competition it’s hard to pick just one. As with all great down tempo songs, it’s only right to explode into a crescendo of power and madness at the end of the track.


‘Mind Trouble’ brings a southern stomp. This is music to drink whiskey and tap your foot along to. JD might have Mind Trouble according to the lyrics but he certainly doesn’t suffer from song writing troubles. This song is so swampy that you can almost taste the frogs on the bayou. It’s exciting to hear a very traditional blues style track with fuzzy guitars and acoustic solos.


It takes balls to cover BB King. After all, he is the King. But damn, JD has balls and he pulls off this fantastic rendition of ‘Sweet Little Angel’. From the moment he hits those first notes through to the end of the track, he is channeling his inner BB King. Always adopting the less is more approach when it comes to lead guitar in this track, he makes the guitar sing and moan with conviction with no note being played without a purpose.


The albums closing track is a Sixteen minute forty-seven second monolith titled ‘Accept’. While I don’t think this jam fest will be getting any airplay on the BBC due to it falling (only just) outside of their 3 minute and 30 seconds rule, who cares. JD and his band take you through scenes and movements through blues, fuzzy rock, mind-bending psychedelia and jazz. Strap in, you’re in for a ride! Sure, it’s long, but when you can play that good who cares? This man is on fire!

Author: Leigh Fuge

Buy Off At 11: Here



Formed in Seattle in 1984 and imploding during the recording of their debut album in 1987, Grunge pioneers Green River left a small but indelible mark on the music world during their brief existence, yet they went on to influence a whole host of bands and define a whole musical movement.

Put together by singer/guitarist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Jeff Ament and drummer Alex Vincent, (soon to be completed by guitarist Stone Gossard), Green River were part of a growing post-hardcore evolution in Seattle spearheaded by the likes of Sonic Youth, The Replacements and Butthole Surfers. Green River’s genre defining sound straddled post-hardcore punk, blues and, dare I say it, classic rock.


Recorded in June 1986 and released the following year, ‘Dry as A Bone’ was Green River’s second EP. Produced by the now legendary Jack Endino and released on a fledgling label called SubPop. It was a sludgy mix of hard rock, punk and metal, promoted as “ultra-loose grunge that destroyed the morals of a generation”.

Yet, band in-fighting was already rife by the time the band entered the studio to record their debut album. Ament and Gossard wanted to pursue a major label deal while Arm wanted to stay fiercely independent. They agreed to complete the album, but Ament, Gossard and guitarist Bruce Fairweather had already decided to quit. By October 1987 the band was over and ‘Rehab Doll’ finally surfaced the following year.

By this time Arm and Turner had formed Mudhoney and recorded their debut single ‘Touch Me, I’m Sick’, while Ament, Gossard and Fairweather were already making waves across Seattle with Mother Love Bone. And the rest as they say is history.


While these two releases previously surfaced as a single CD back in 1990, they have been unavailable on vinyl for many years. Now, they have been given the long overdue deluxe reissue treatment, with a whole host of previously unheard songs and 8 track demos recorded at Endino’s Reciprocal Recordings studio, which capture the true energy of the band live.

If you weren’t aware of Green River at the time, on first listen you may wonder what all the fuss was about. While in 2019 the sound of these two albums has aged remarkably well, to the casual newcomer they may sound derivative of a genre that was, let’s face it, oversaturated. But you have to think back to 30 years ago, and listen to them in the context of an 80’s musical climate and how fresh they must’ve sounded up against the mainstream US radio and the glam metal that was coming out of LA and beyond.


Originally a 5 track EP, ‘Dry As A Bone’ has a whopping additional 11 tracks on this re-issue. Some only previously available on much sought after and long deleted compilation albums. Sludgy, garage rock chaos, the brooding riffage and rambling Iggy-like vocals laying the blueprint for what would define the sound of Grunge a few years down the line. The likes of ‘Searchin’ and the dark, psychotic ‘Bazaar’ are just as essential as ‘This Town’ and ‘Unwind’. This is the raw punk delivery of a band trying to channel the energy of The Stooges to mid 80’s America. A storming cover of The Dead Boys ‘Ain’t Nothin’ To Do’ just goes to seal the deal really.


Considering the band were falling apart at the time, their one and only full length album ‘Rehab Doll’ sounds more focused and together than the raw sounding EP. Production wise, the hardcore elements have been polished up giving a more alternative sound.

The title track has a 70’s rock swagger and the first tastes of the signature sound that would propel certain members to mega stardom a few years later is evident. The acoustic slide and cowbell of ‘Take A Dive’ make way for a cool as you like, sleazy Stooges workout. And the brooding ‘One More Stitch’ has the sort of stripped-back, dark acoustic feel that Alice In Chains would make their own on 1994’s ‘Jar Of Flies’.

While the demo versions are not sonically that far removed from the album versions, the addition of the boisterous ‘Somebody’ and a killer version of Bowie’s ‘Queen Bitch’ make them essential listening.


While Ament and Gossard got the major label, muliti-platinum success they desired with Pearl Jam, Mudhoney still remain influential, and match Pearl Jam with album releases and world tours. Whether either band are better or more essential than Green River is open to debate, but one thing’s for sure, Green River were pioneers of the Grunge movement and remain the most rock ‘n’ roll of the bunch.

These two re-issues have been lovingly restored by original producer Jack Endino and are a snapshot of an exciting period of musical history. They show the raw beginnings and the evolution of musicians in a scene that would go on to do bigger and better things. But wherever they went the legacy of Green River would always follow.

Essential listening for both Grunge aficionados and any casual fans of garage-based rock ‘n’ roll.

Buy Dry As A Bone Here

Buy Rehab Doll Here

Author: Ben Hughes

Who doesn’t love a great wild west film where the hero gets involved in a shootout at high noon.

Well, how about for a change an album that you could put in your player and would instantly be the soundtrack to your favourite western.

Sarah Vista has managed to write a great album with killing fever that instantly transports you back to the wild old west.

The title track “Killing Fever” gets things off to a great start and is a great murder ballad.

The second track “Get 3 Coffins Ready” is yet another stunning track with horns starting the track and carrying on through which adds an extra nice touch.

Another highlight is the track “Now You Are Sleeping” which has a sound that mixes rockabilly with country and is instantly catchy and will get your foot tapping.

“Belle Starr” comes in with an irresistible country sound and keeps the quality of this album high.

“Hell At High Noon” is up next and as the title suggests is a track about retribution at high noon with the drums and guitar giving it a great atmospheric sound that drags the listener in.

Overall every song on this album is a winner and equally as good as the songs mentioned above.

Sarah has succeeded in writing a great album that takes the listener on a journey with every song having a great story behind it yet being instantly catchy that makes you go back for more and rediscover something new on each listen.


Buy ‘Killing Fever’: Here

Author: Gareth Hooper

Trash Culture are right up our street. Snotty brash lo-fi punk rock straight out of London town.  it’s fast – it’s raw – it’s uncompromising – it’s in your face and most of all its fuckin’ excellent.

Swinging straight out of the traps like they’ve been mainlining Dead Boys and DeaKennedys all their lives and had nothing but a steady diet of pissed off Rock n Roll and nothing less to suckle on. ‘Me Myself And You’ is smashing the nail right on the head with its frantic backbeat and rollicking chorus spitting bile all over the turntable from the opening lick to the frantic ripping soloing of the final hurrah! But breath quickly because the ticking time bomb tempo of ‘SOS’ is hot on the heels. If you’re not impressed with a bunch of hot sweaty lads throwing themselves about the gaff hitting things indiscriminately and making an unholy racket then quite frankly I couldn’t give a shit and I’d imagine Trash Culture aren’t for you. However, if you like to hear men shouting and screaming loudly and guitars being wielded about and hearing strings being throttled then this most certainly is for you and perhaps you should check out these boys because they have got it going on.

The title track is right off the Dead Boys press and Cheetah would be proud to have kids like this bastardising and twisting the likes of ‘Sonic Reducer’ into something equally as dangerous and uncompromising as this.  It’s eight songs that don’t hang about they’ll kick you in the bollocks nut you then leg it and having Dan at the North London Bomb factory master it is like a seal of quality right there. It’s like The New York Dolls on meth and speedballs mixed with Dead Boys rolling in the dirt so its not so much of a stretch – big deal they’re not reinventing the wheel here folks they’re just rockin’ it out and making as much racket as they can whilst leaving some pretty fuckin’ good tunes in their wake.

Treat yourself, climb onboard, strap up and let yourself be taken for a ride because Trash Culture are ready and able and I fuckin’ love it!

Author: Dom Daley

Some claim Suzi is the “Queen of Rock & Roll” but for me, that just doesn’t cover it. Suzi is TOTAL ROCK & ROLL! She stands alongside Lemmy, at the top of the pile, influencing all the people that influenced your favourite bands.

It seems almost crass to remind you of Ms. Quatro’s history. Not only are there the great singles like ‘Can The Can’, ‘48 Crash’ and ‘Devil Gate Drive’, but there’s also been 17 studio over the last five (yeah FIVE !!!) decades and of course there was her heart mangling role as Leather Tuscadero in the classic TV series Happy Days. As a matter of fact, I was innocently sporting my Suzi shirt on the KissKruise last year when bloke after bloke after bloke stopped me share their Suzi love. See, not all Kiss fans are bellends.

Anyway, enough of the bull and on with the show…

No Soul/No Control is a dirty rock revelation. It’s kind of L7 to be honest, with a bit of Foo Fighters thrown in for good measure and it’s a banger!!! Going Home is grinding blues, with than a hint Joan Jett – probably owing more to Suzi’s influence on Ms. Jett than the other way around.

First single,  Macho Man is pure Deep Purple and probably my favourite track on the album. A guaranteed future live favourite, sure to take centre stage amongst the Quatro classics. 

Easy Pickings has that kind of sleazy shuffle favoured by Mr. David Lee Roth and is another great slab of rock& roll.

Don’t Do Me Wrong takes you back to the land of the dirty blues, while  I Can Teach You To Fly has a badass Neil Diamond vibe to it that drags you right back to the sixties and won’t let go.

Suzi is non-stop and not stopping. As she rightly says, “I’ll retire when I go onstage, shake my ass and there is silence” and I’m not holding my breath for that moment!

No Control is released on March 29th, 2019  on CD along with a super sexy double LP on yellow with black swirly vinyl (complete with a couple of extra tracks and free CD version).

Look out for Suzi on tour across the UK this April.

4th April – Manchester – O2 Apollo
5th April – Leeds – First Direct Arena

6th April – Cardiff – Motorpoint Arena
7th April – Brighton – Brighton Centre
9th April – Newcastle – Metro Radio Arena
10th April – Nottingham – Motorpoint Arena
11th April – London – The SSE Arena
12th April – Birmingham – Genting Arena
13th April – Liverpool – Echo Arena
14th April – Bournemouth – BIC


With more dates across Europe and Australia also in the works for later this year.

Author: Fraser Munro

Buy No Control Here


Suzi Quatro, who more than lives up to her name as the “Queen Of Rock N’ Roll”, has signed with SPV / Steamhammer Records to release her stunning new studio album ‘No Control’ on March 29th.

The American rock vocalist has enjoyed success as a musician for more than fifty years, performing with unbridled energy her greatest hits such as ‘Can The Can’, ‘48 Crash’, ‘If You Can’t Give Me Love’, ‘She’s In Love With You’ and ‘Devil Gate Drive’, let alone wowing her fans again and again with her new material. It comes as no surprise that she’s not thinking of retiring; “I’ll retire when I go onstage, shake my ass and there is silence” she states, fully aware that that moment is still a long way off.

The majority of ‘No Control’, which contains eleven brand new songs, (plus two bonus tracks), consists of collaborations with her son from her first marriage, Richard Tuckey. Suzi explains “This was our first attempt at writing and recording something together. The creative progress began with ‘Don’t Do Me Wrong’. And, through the unusually beautiful English summer of 2018, we sat outside, acoustic bass, acoustic guitar, iPad recording app, and lots of paper, throwing ideas back and forth.” With amazing results, as the new album proves – to Suzi herself not only on a musical but also on a personal level.

Take, for example, ‘No Soul/No Control’, which features the message “Don`t let go of yourself for anyone”; Suzi: “This is my personal mantra. All you have in this world is you.” Remembering the conception of the composition, she says; “We were busy as hell, buried in the songs. Richard had a new idea and showed me. It was very unusual and I liked it. A very basic guitar and drum track was put down for me to work on the melody and lyric. I went into the living area of the studio and about 15 minutes later, it was done. It flew out of its own accord, as the best songs do.”

The same applies to numbers such as ‘Macho Man’ (Suzi: “It’s a no-brainer that this is an opening live song; you cannot help headbanging to it, it just grabs you”), ‘I Can Teach You To Fly’ (“a definite throwback to the sixties”), ‘Easy Pickings’ (“I’ve been playing this riff on acoustic guitar forever, at least the last ten years. Then all of a sudden, it became a song”) and ‘Love Isn’t Fair’ (“Got this idea sitting in our Hamburg home. I wanted to create a Blondie-meets-Mavericks song, and I think I accomplished that”).

Perhaps most unusual track on the album, ‘Strings’, has developed into a true little masterpiece during the studio recordings. Suzi: “This is all about the strings that tie our lives together. Great riff. I drove everyone mad singing nonstop in this weird voice ‘Strings’. I couldn’t get it out of my head, and – hallelujah – it came out in the recording exactly as I’d imagined.” Then saxophone player Ray Beavis asked if he could do a horn arrangement. “I didn’t really hear it, but of course I said yes. What he came up with knocked us all off our feet. What a track!”

You can tell how proud Suzi Quatro is of ‘No Control’; pride and delight at a career which has lasted for five decades and has maintained the creativity of the American rock icon to the present day. Suzi states “I’ve never stopped releasing through the years. ‘Back To The Drive’ in 2006, ‘In The Spotlight in 2011’, ‘Quatro, Scott & Powell’ in 2016. These albums were thought about and planned out in great detail. I am proud of all three releases, very proud. But my new album ‘No Control’ is its own animal.”

Suzi Quatro Live in 2019:-

4th April            Manchester – O2 Apollo
5th April            Leeds – First Direct Arena

6th April            Cardiff – Motorpoint Arena
7th April            Brighton – Brighton Centre
9th April            Newcastle – Metro Radio Arena
10th April          Nottingham – Motorpoint Arena
11th April          London – The SSE Arena
12th April          Birmingham – Genting Arena
13th April          Liverpool – Echo Arena
14th April          Bournemouth – BIC


SUZI QUATRO – No Control:   March 29th, 2019 CD DigiPak and 2LP Gatefold, 180g, printed inner sleeves, yellow with black swirls vinyl, 2 bonus tracks + CD (in paper sleeve) seems like a bargain for vinyl lovers. Available to pre order Here

Londonium folky alternative types Skinny Lister drop their fourth long player – A loosely-based concept album, “‘The Story Is…’ anthologises a series of personal vignettes inspired by a chaotic few years for the band and binds them into 14 tracks of unmistakably Skinny-sounding rock’n’roll”. Well, that’s the press blurb sorted then. Concept albums? ‘The Wall’ yuck,  ‘American Idiot’ that’s better –  so not such a daunting prospect then. The band have a sparkling production on this record with swirling keyboards  big drum sound and some fantastic vocal performances all wrapped up in some poptastic melodies like the huge ‘My Life My Architecture’

The band can go from balladic pop like the wheezing accordion of ‘Diesel Vehicle’  as it just drifts by like a modern-day Kinks or a hint of Lennon going on within the tracks DNA.  The album sees the band expand their horizons and arguably finds them in the most potent pop form of their career. ‘The Story Is…’ Produced and mixed by the highly capable Barny Barnicott (Arctic Monkeys, The Enemy, The Temper Trap) does a fantastic job twiddling the knobs.
‘Rattle And Roar’ will have the folky side of their work fans purring. ‘Artist Arsonist’ begins to get a little bit piraty for my taste and I’m not won back until the title track hits like Eels in its arrangement,  the song just gently rolls by complete with lush strings. Things pick up on ’38 Minutes’ as the band just get their rock on and sound like something between Teardrop Explodes and maybe some of Strummer’s solo work.
with possibly the albums best couple of songs towards the latter part of the record ‘Stop And Breath’ is another gentle acoustic stroll and dare I say it even easy listening.  Do I have to hand in my punk rock membership or is it ok to expand one’s horizons? ‘Cause For Chorus’ is back on that Strummer tip or even veering ever so slightly into Billy Bragg territory. They really get down to business on ‘Alister McAlister’ again rockin’ out in a strummer lite manner.
In summery its a really mixed bag of an album.  It sounds like a hit and a production and mix that should have wide appeal and a handful of songs that really resonate but it is interspersed with a few tracks that didn’t do anything for me or the continuity of this album which is a shame because it started so well and certainly ended well.


Author: Dom Daley

Not a country I could visit seeing as every creature there wants to kill you and I’m terrified of snakes so I’ll just settle for them producing some of the best bands old and new and that’s good enough for me.  First up today we have the brand new video from the most excellent Clowns


Second up and its a right banger from Amyl & The Sniffers who are about to drop a new record and tour the UK which we can’t wait for so the new single will just have to do

Couldn’t decide what to throw in for the third was it going to be The Living End or Black Heart Breakers it would have been Main Street Brats if they only made a video maybe in the future so this time its a classic bit of footage from Radio Birdman with ‘Descent Into The Maelstrom’