Seeing the Pledge debate rage on social media recently I couldn’t help but think of my friend Duncan Reid who had very recently announced a campaign for his new album.  Luckily it was barely hatched when he was able to pull the plug on the campaign and regroup to find a way around the shenanigans going on within Pledge Music. We decided to have a little catch-up and find out what’s going on round Duncan’s place?

You’ve always been self-sufficient when it comes to your solo career.  Was it daunting or a welcome challenge when you first decided to start up a solo career from scratch?

It was daunting. I didn’t know how to make and release a record.  Modern recording is very different from when I was in The Boys when we recorded onto 2-inch tape. It’s much more suited to DIY now. It’s very difficult to record drums at home on a proper kit (that’s why all these bedroom dance records use drum software programs) and you need to do that in a proper studio. But to a greater or lesser degree, if you spend about £2,000 on a good microphone, you can do the rest at home and mix it in a studio.

All of this was taught to me by Tony Barber (Ex Buzzcocks, Chelsea, Nirvana etc) when he produced our first 2 albums in a shed. We’ve settled on recording drums, bass and guitar in the studio because we want them to sound as good as possible and it’s not too time-consuming. What really takes the time on our records are the vocals because there are so many of them. One song might have over 20 vocal tracks on it so I do that at home. I also do keyboards as well. All of that gets emailed over to the studio to put with everything else and mixed.

These are the kind of things you have to learn how to do now because no record company is going to pay someone to do it for you when you play the music we play.

Similarly, you have to learn where to get CDs and LPs manufactured and find people who can design a sleeve for you. You need to get a digital distributor. I use AWAL who make all the tracks available on Apple Music, Spotify etc. I put the tracks on Bandcamp myself. You need a physical distributor to put the CDs and LPs in shops and online. Otherwise, you have to sort out your own Amazon and eBay accounts in every country in the world.

You have to learn about marketing, advertising on Facebook and other social media etc and, unless you want to spend a fortune every time, how to use photoshop and video editing software.

I had to pick all of this up from friends and paying to go on the odd course.

Just compare that with the seventies. Then you just played a gig and got drunk! But you know what? I really enjoy doing this stuff now. It requires a different sort of creativity and it makes me feel clever! Not just being a dumb musician getting ripped off. No one can do that because I’m paying all the bills!


Did you ever get involved during your time with The Boys?  They had some infamous managerial decisions or how would you describe them, off the pitch distractions shall we say?

I hadn’t worked in the music business for decades and The Boys didn’t really put out any records after we reformed. We were discussing making one but I left before it was made. Probably just as well. There would have been blood on the floor if we’d been locked in a studio together.

As I said, the whole DIY side of it was completely unknown to me but I’m a quick learner. With The Boys, I did tend to be the one who worked with Steve Metcalfe in liaising with promoters. But everything was laid on a plate for The Boys really. Being an ex-bass player/singer of The Boys was very different. It’s getting to a stage now after 6 years where promoters contact me and I have a great network of friends like Janne Lagestrom in Sweden, Dany Torres in Spain, Cristo Blick in Argentina and Bernd Lange in Germany who help out, but in the early days I had to fight to get shows and to get people to show up. It was far more difficult than I expected.

Having released several solo records now and having an established line up (I won’t say stable ) what made you look towards the Pledge platform?

I used to be sceptical about Pledge but friends like Paul-Ronney Angel and Nick Hughes from his experience in Role Models encouraged me to have a look at it. When I did, I appreciated how good it was. First: it means musicians don’t have to beg, steal, borrow and ramp their credit cards up to the maximum to get a record made. Secondly, and just as important, I appreciated just how much fans enjoy knowing that they are playing a crucial role in making that record possible. The whole communication side of it is great as you feel an obligation to make videos of the process to let everyone know how it’s going and that they will see something for their money.

I had a few negative comments from some musicians about how they wouldn’t pay Tesco a year in advance for a roast chicken. I might have said that once but it’s not right. There is no emotional bond between me and Tesco and Tesco don’t need any help from me to get the chicken in the shop. None of the people criticising were willing to lend me the £8,000 or so it will take to get the record made, manufactured and promoted instead!

Were you aware of any other crowdfunding platforms like IndieGoGo, Crowdrise, sellaband or Kickstarter as well as Pledge?

Vaguely, but I haven’t looked at them in detail.


Did you have reservations when signing yourself up?  Had you been made aware of what was brewing?

I had no idea of the trouble they were in. As I said, friends had used them and had a really good experience. But having signed up I began to have suspicions. I was new to it. I had questions. They were always saying “Hi. I’m So and So. I’m your account contact. Any questions just email or call me.” But when I emailed I had no response and calls weren’t answered. I thought it felt like an organisation who were understaffed and, being in money troubles, maybe they were trying to run it with too few staff. To get someone to contact me I would tweet them publicly asking if anyone was there. It’s a tip I’d give anyone. If you are being ignored by a company just tweet them. They tend to respond pretty quickly especially if you have 2,000 followers!


Was it easy to stop the campaign?  How accommodating are they with a cooling off period?

We had just launched our campaign. After less than 2 days we had raised over half our target. Then Nick Hughes emailed me the video made by the American guy saying people weren’t being paid. As I said before, I wasn’t surprised that they were in trouble and messaged them straight away saying that it was all over the internet that they were breaking their contracts with Artists and not paying up. I told them I wanted the Pledge campaign stopped immediately. They couldn’t argue with it as they didn’t have a leg to stand on.

It’s such a shame that they messed up. Until that point they had performed a good and valuable job for bands and fans seemed to have a genuine affection and trust for them.

Will you see any of the money that fans had already laid out?

We were so lucky. As we were less than a couple of days in no one’s credit card had been charged. I think in any case the law is that if you don’t get something you pay for on a credit card then Visa, Mastercard or whoever have to give you your money back.


Where are you now with the album release?  Is it still on target have you had to change your red lines or goals? Did you have to cancel the delivery of the Hot tub or just put it on hold?

The other way in which we were lucky is that having gone through the launch with Pledge we saw what was involved and it’s not rocket science. As with all the other things I was talking about earlier you can learn to do it yourself. I’d just upgraded our website (We use WordPress) to a “premium” service which for £90 a year means we can run our own shop. I think there are other sites, like Music Glue, who offer a similar service. It took me about a week to work out how to put all the stuff we had on Pledge onto our website and essentially do the same. It’s not quite as sophisticated but some people have told me it’s easier to use. And the money goes straight into our Paypal account so everyone can be sure it is going to be spent on the album.

You can look here to see how it works: Order New Album Here

People have been superb in supporting us. We don’t have all our target, so please ask everyone to feel free to pledge for some of the items there, but we have enough to know that the album will be made, even if we have to top it up ourselves. The more we get in, though, the more studio time we have.

We have recorded drums and bass and currently, the long process of recording vocals is underway. I’m getting a truckload of help with that because a line of people have pledged to sing backing vocals which is great.

I seriously think it’s going to be a great album. I’m loving seeing the songs come alive as everyone plays on them. I can’t wait for it to be finished. Probably won’t be till September as it has to be fitted around everything else and we have a load of festivals to play from next month.

This new album does it have a title yet?

We usually chose the title last thing. Quite a few of the songs reflect by advanced years and impending mortality. So I’m toying with the idea of “14 Jolly little songs about Death”. 

Any idea of the songs titles yet or maybe give us a brief outline of what we can expect?  

Three of the songs we already play live. One “For All We Know”, about an actual true encounter with a stranger who convinced me to buy him a drink on the basis that “it could all end tomorrow and you can’t take it with you”. I had a lot of fun with that coming up with various allegories and symbols for kicking the bucket (but not that one).

As with my draft album title, it’s actually a jolly song with the theme of let’s party and let tomorrow look after itself.
Another song is called “Motherf*cker” about a politician I particularly admire (or not!).
“Welcome to My World” is about a guy who wakes up in a strange place “on the wrong side of a bottle” and can’t remember where his car is. Nick Hughes thought I’d written it about him!
I think it will be the usual mix of melodic rockers and slower songs, all brilliantly written with smart lyrics, plentiful harmonies and a couple of musical surprises.
Great stuff. Anything else have you been busy doing I saw you posted pictures of a re-press?
We have an updated rerelease of ‘Little Big Head’ coming out with unreleased bonus tracks and a new cover.
So there you have it.  The sharp end of being an independent artist in 2019. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger or something like that.  Its always a pleasure catching up with Mr. Reid and his infectious enthusiasm and I hope you can find it to support the making of this new record and look forward to seeing him and his band play sometime soon  – Always a pleasure never a chore.

No great surprise to see The Gala hailing from Boston seeing as the place seems to just ooze quality Garage punk rock and Power Pop and the Gala are all those things.  Raw guitar riffs and swirling keyboard licks all wrapped up in songs with energy and melody.


Emily Doran has a rasp on her vocals they’re not sugary sweet nor are they rough as Wendy O Williams but somewhere in between as one track body slams into the next with songs like ‘Blood Orange’ having a hypnotic riff and that Captain Sensible two-fingered keyboard lick and some fine tunage is born.

Once it finishes ‘Crybaby (Dream Of Me)’ kicks in sounding like early Blondie a little which is a great place to find yourself trust me. But the Gala isn’t a one trick pony because ‘Fragile’ is a neat slice of punk rock or New Wave punk pop if you like.  It fizzes along on a rock solid drum beat and the throbbing bass line is cool with just the right amount of keyboard stabs on the chorus but don’t get too comfortable because what did you expect Shes Fuckin’ Fragile.  Alright, we’ll have some of that and its a great scream at the end.

‘Boy’ is sweaty and the highlight of a very enjoyable record as it builds to the chorus.  To be fair as far as debut albums go this ones very decent with a great ebb and flow to the whole record, At times they have the organ stabs of The Fuzztones but the rhythm and distorted guitar is way more punk rock Ramones style at times I heard Lena Lovich fronting Da Brothers which is a weird proposition I’m sure you’d agree but that’s where this is pitching itself at times.

I like the rawness of the guitar its got plenty of punch and is often at odds with the keyboards on tracks like the Abrasive ‘Blood Orange’ it then has the keyboard melody whilst the rest of the song speeds off in another direction – that’s not to say I don’t like it because that’s not the case but it does take some getting used to.  With no new video ready you’re going to have to take my word for it.


To end the record the band take you on a punky ‘Pity Party’ but end the record with a really strong song in the shape of the hard rocking ‘The Spins’ that has a great pogo riff that makes you want to curl your hand into a fist and start pumping the air as the band rocks out showing they’re most certainly not a one trick pony and can dance to a few styles and its a great vocal delivery to end on as well. So remember the name and its safe to say it’s not all ‘Bad News’ because The Gala brings some good news.




Author: Dom Daley

Being a lover of 50’s rock’n’roll and rockabilly I was over the moon when I first heard the screamin’ rebel angels.

With their new release ‘Heel Grinder’ they have done an outstanding job of taking me back to those great artists of the 50’s such as elvis and jerry lee lewis but also adding their own sound and bringing the music up to date.


The album kicks off with the blistering, leg shaking blast of fast rock’n’roll that is ‘Oh my soul’. This track was first released as a single last year which was accompanied by video and this gets the album off to a great start.

Close on it’s heels (no pun intended) is the next two tracks which are ‘Baby Gets Down’ and the album title ‘Heel Grinder’ which like ‘Oh My Soul’ are fast rock’n’rollers that keep the quality high.

Next up is a cover of a great track called ‘Hands Off’ which the band do a great job of making the track their own.

This is followed by ‘I Believe’ which has a great rockabilly feel to it and is a song that Brian Setzer would be proud to call his own.

What I love about vintage Rock’n’ Roll is that it takes Blues, Gospel and Country and mixes it all together to create that great sound and the Angels certainly do it as good as a lot of the greats before them which is shown on the track ‘Something On Your’ mind which goes down the bluesy route.

‘Sweet Petunia’ is a stand out with it’s laid back start that builds on the tempo throughout the song to a blistering finale. The album finishes with a great rocker ‘Racing Death’, as good a way to close any album with such a high.

Screamin’ Rebel Angels built around the songwriting talents of vocalist Laura and guitarist Brian and they have created a modern day take on that vinatge Rock’n’Roll template.

Overall this is a great album that whether your a fan of rockabilly or just great music in general and can appreciate top musicians and songwriters then this has something for anyone to enjoy, it will put a great big smile on your face and keep your ears wanting more.


Author: Gareth Hooper

By now if you’re a music fan you’ve begun to plan your holidays around whichever of this year’s music festivals you’ve decided to hit. Whether you’re a fan of Metal, your probably creaming over this year’s Download Line up, or if your much more mainstream nowadays you’ll be down with the cool kids at Reading, throw in the mash-up of mainstream artist at this years Isle of white and for the more adventurous of us you’ll be thinking Sjock or Hellfest or even both.


Sometimes you’ll even be sick of the thought of a festival if you’ve followed the Hard Rock franchise and already attended HRH Prog, HRH AOR, HRH Punk and whatever else they’ve churned out over the course of a year.  For yours truly I’m more into the underground, the new bands, the variety of styles so over the last few years I’ve travelled up to the big Smoke to Camden Rocks and been surprised caught by something new every year , trouble is it ends up costing me a fortune in merchandise or new vinyl, because after all it’s the only way sometimes the bands can make a decent amount of money from the day. I’ve ended up deep in Conversation with Paul Ronney Angel (sadly not playing this year), talked music with Brandy Row and been blown away by one of the most unassuming singers I’ve ever met Suzie Stapleton.


And that’s a good place to pick up ones to watch with the Afore-mentioned Suzie Stapleton, playing Sunday this year around the 4 O’clock mark, with a new LP due to drop, if the last single Negative Prophet is anything to go by it’s going to be a stunning performance, whether its acoustic or with her band you will be blown away if you like your music in the vein of PJ Harvey, Patti Smith et’al then this ones for you.

Another band I’ll be bouncing along to are the Mighty Random Hand, now if you love your Ska with a heavy punk influence this will be where the party starts. And definitely one to tick off my current bucketlist.


Sticking with the Sunday The Virgin Mary’s are really kicking up some serious interest with a sound firmly set in the underground, these guys put on one of the best live shows your likely to encounter, I should know I’ve caught them a few times already.


As I’m looking at the line up I’m thinking How could this not excite you? Why wouldn’t you go? Others on Sunday I’m heading for? Discharge, (It’s been a while), The Last Internationale, and hopefully Millie Manders and the shut up, again one on my current bucketlist.!!!


As with every year the enormity of the task facing any reviewer is the sheer volume of bands playing and if you think over 400 bands are playing across 20 venues, there will be clashes a plenty when time slots are allocated. The other thing to think about, if your going, is that some of the venues have limited capacity so allow yourself time to get a space. I would suggest you queue overnite to catch RPM faves The Hip Priests these guys are clawing their way out of the underground into the greater consciousness kicking and screaming but refusing to bend, change their attitude or take one step backwards, these guys will be anyone’s highlight of the weekend guaranteed. Welcome to Shit Island Indeed!!!! Get over and order the new LP if you love it hard and fast Stand for Nothing!!!!


Now add in Bands like the media darlings of the underground press Hands off Gretel (It helps to have a blinding live show) again a band with a new LP to push. Plus other female fronted bands like The Healthy Junkies and The Duo that really splits the press in terms of  Imagery The Soap Girls, musically they can’t be faulted a great garage punk noise.


Other bands to Consider shifting focus to the Saturday completely a rare outing for Warrior Soul, do I really need to say how important this band is when you talk about attitude, edge, image and how ground breaking they were when they first hit the public’s attention straight in the face.


Then we have yet another RPM fave, Glunk Records own Rich Ragany and the Digressions,  immerse yourself in the LP Like we’ll never make it one of the best LP’s of the last year, you can pick it up here


But don’t take it as gospel give them a listen


Other’s I’ll be looking to catch, Ginger Wildheart will be a must, The Professionals, the Angelic Upstarts and a personal fave New Model army currently working on the follow up to one of the best LP’s they’ve ever recorded Winter.


Even salivating about some of the bands I’ve mentioned so far what I always enjoy is discovering something new, last year it was a band called Sleep Token, music after all is a personal journey, everyone’s taste varies, changes, mutates and adapts to whatever situation we find ourselves in, so this year I’ll be looking lower down the list, checking out potentially the next big thing, you never know, so Brain Ape, Alive with eyes, The Black Roses, looking forward to checking you out live


If you’ve read through, hopefully perked up your interest, maybe watching a video has led to you exploring some more of the bands back catalogue I’ll see you in the Pit somewhere, if your taste runs to the more metallic, then you’ll be going in a very different direction but remember taste is very much a personal thing, the important thing is to be there, soak up the atmosphere and most importantly enjoy the experience.

Author: Nev Brooks

Canada does it again I don’t know what they’re putting in the water up there but fuck me sideways they’ve got the rock and roll happening all over the country at the moment no doubt about it and Isolation Party join the, Um, Party!

Post punk power pop with melody and enough Buzzcock vibe going on to reel you in Isolation Party are more than that. Songs like the happy go lucky ‘Fine Lines’ remind me of the trashy elements of The Replacements.  there isn’t much polish going around but the tunes are really hitting the spot.


They keep up the trashy power pop noise going on ‘Mr Telephone’ as it hurtles along sounding like when Dando recorded ‘Lick’ but with more melody. The songs are short and oh so sweet with plenty of snot mixing it with New Yorkers Wyldlife and Baltimore’s  Ravagers Isolation Party are the real deal.  The Briefs and The Stitches must have a bearing on Isolation Party’s record collection because they dance to the same beats on tracks like the frantic ‘Pointing fingers’ and how can you not love ‘Sleeves’? for all its trashy drug talk and bittersweet melodies.

Throughout the ten tracks, the band weaves a really enjoyable tapestry of twisted melodies and its very listenable and fairly instant as well. I guess if you have even a mild interest in any of the bands that I’ve referenced then you really should check out Isolation Party because they’ve definitely got the chops and this album is really consistent and most definitely doesn’t fade away and right up to the last chorus of ‘These Things’ I know I’m going to hit repeat and go right back to the beginning and play it all over again.  Great album!


Author: Dom Daley

Scott Randolph Asheton (August 16, 1949 – March 15, 2014) born in Washington, D.C. but famous for when he and his brother Ron moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where He co-formed the Stooges in 1967 along with his older brother, Iggy Pop, and Dave Alexander. The rest, as they say, is history.

During the Stooges’ separation, Scott was one of the few ex-members to play again with Pop, with the mini-reunion occurring during a 1978 European tour. Asheton also played drums with Scott Morgan in different bands, among which were the Scott Morgan Band, Scots Pirates, and most notably Sonic’s Rendezvous Band. He then went on to play drums touring in a late incarnation of Destroy All Monsters, under the name Dark Carnival. He also recorded extensively with Sonny Vincent, playing drums on four full studio albums along with Captain Sensible on bass, as well as making special guest appearances on other Vincent releases. In addition to recording with Sonny, Asheton toured the U.S. and Europe with Sonny and Steve Baise (on bass) of the Devil Dogs.

The Stooges reformed in 2003, and remained active until 2016, releasing a fourth album in 2007. Following the death of Ron Asheton, the group worked with guitarist James Williamson. Other than Iggy Pop, Asheton was the only consistent member of the Stooges after the death of his brother, guitarist Ron, in 2009.

After they played Hellfest Festival on June 17, 2011, he went into temporary retirement from live duty. He was replaced by Larry Mullins (a.k.a. Toby Dammit), who had played in Iggy Pop’s band in the 1990s. He died of a heart attack in March 2014 at the age of 64.


I love that during an interview about the Ashton Brothers Iggy said of Scott hes the least talkative person I know any words he needs to say he does it with his drums.  He played on some of the most influential records of all time for many of us here at RPM no question about it and it was pleasing that before he passed away he was able to reap some of the benefits of his work finally after the Stooges split the first time he was reduced to teaching drums to anyone who wants teaching and scratching around for a wage which is a travesty considering his contribution to an industry that couldn’t particularly give two shits for a period.  A rock and roll hall of Famer and drum legend.

Scott leaves behind a pretty impressive catalogue of records he played on from The Stooges and Sonny Vincent to Sonic’s Rendezvous band The guy deserves legend status and that’s what we afford him, Rest In Peace Rock Action you had rhythm coursing through your veins and a style and swagger that was the power behind such a monumental band as the Stooges. Gone but never forgotten.

THE DAHMERS takes their high energy horror rock n’ roll out on the European roads again, supporting US legends THE DWARVES! You can also catch them on their own at two Swedish spots.  Wow, those lucky peeps in Mainland Europe are in for a treat – I’d love to see this show hit the UK that’s for sure. Us UK mortals have to wait until Rebellion to catch The Dwarves

                                                                                 Live Dates:

2/5 – Grand – Malmö, SWE
13/6 – Slaktkyrkan – Stockholm, SWE *
14/6 – Røverstaden – Oslo, NO *
15/6 – Musikens Hus – Gothenburg, SWE *
16/6 – Underwerket – Copenhagen, DK *
18/6 – Patronaat – Haarlem, NL *
19/6 – Club Vaudeville – Lindau, GER *
12/7 – Midnight Light Festival – Vilhelmina, SWE

* supporting The Dwarves


NEW PIZZATRAMP. Yes mate! This album is available for pre-order now and will be released on the 5th April. Also… PICTURE DISC! And Orange Vinyl. And CD. There is also a Koozie. Winner. So you can keep your hands warm and your rola-cola warmer.

It’s finally here. The second album from Pizzatramp is now available to pre-order from the TNSrecords webstore on Picture Disc, Orange vinyl and CD. 

Head here to pre-order: Here

Frequenters of UK DIY gigs know who Pizzatramp are.  Chances are, they love them.  Knocked up in 2014, they’ve built a strong following for their no nonsense fast thrash-punk noise.  Their new album, Grand Relapse, is out 5th April on TNSrecords.

Though the punk world had been waiting for them since the early 70’s, it was 2014 when the band burst onto the scene.  They’ve got years of experience, but the band describe this as their best album yet, spitting out any normal conventions of song writing. Prepare for your ears to bleed and your feet to stomp.

Discussing the album, guitarist and vocalist Jim said: “This album tackles the cult of Scientology, the dangers of taking pills on school nights, the stupidity of white racist scum, the systematic destruction of the NHS, the mindless hell of working rubbish jobs and a load of songs about hangovers, comedowns and drinking.”

This 15 song offering very quickly tells you what you’re in for – fast, thrashy punk with dark undertones of a faltering society.  TNSrecords love the album; it sums up everything the DIY community stands for.  It’s a massive middle finger to the norm which will make your heart boom and your soul dance.

Pizzatramp are arguably one of the leaders of the DIY scene and this new album will be a welcome addition for many a record collection.  After an amazing gig at Rebellion 2018, they’ve shown they can easily dance with the big boys.  These are exciting times in the punk rock world.


One of shit Islands finest “Best-kept secrets” Black Bombers have only gone and recorded another barnstorming slab of garage rock n roll that played at volume will I guarantee – knock you off your feet. the only downside is this is only six tracks but then for the sake of our sanity it makes sense as anything more would be a waste besides, why release ten when you can say it all in six? ‘Volume 4’ begins with the call to arms riff-o-la and anvil pound before Alan Byron joins in with his vocals as his drawl is hitting the nail squarely on the head as the off kilt melody draws you in and then slips a Black Bomber under your tongue then you can relax as the trip takes you through a garage wormhole that’s dripping with attitude and bang on the money tunes. Over the next three minutes and fifty-two seconds this power trio give you a fantastic one-note guitar solo a bass and drums breakdown that is as good as anyone and all roads lead to the smashing climax and we’re straight into ‘Relentless’ and its train kept a-rollin’ rhythm mixed with enough Brian James tone playing some fuzzed up Stooges licks that is healthy to try and once you imagine that you’re in the right ballpark.  Its taken me quite a few plays to get through this record because as soon as one finishes rather than let the next one play I can’t help but press repeat.

Dave Twist (drums), Darren Birch (bass guitar), and Alan Byron (guitar and vocals) were clearly paying attention to what was the good and the great when spinning the black circles in their bedrooms now older and (hopefully) wiser they are unraveling all that pent up aggression and knowledge into their records with Black Bombers because this is excellent.  Sure there are shades of previous bands happening here and there (why wouldn’t there be) but the power and execution is exquisite on ‘Animals And Cages’ even with the ‘I Wanna Be Your dog’ lift it nails their colours to the mast with style but the real ace in the pack here is ‘Gnarley’ Now this is something I never thought I’d be saying out loud but a song with no words is absolutely fuckin’ killer.  Brooding with menace and mesmerizing from the opening chord through the Bass breakdown its worth the price all on its own.  Astounding stuff.

‘Sometimes’ is more of the same with its raw power (sorry couldn’t help myself) and boundless energy. Closing with a cover of the most excellent ‘Hair Of The Dog’ that’s every bit as sleazy and hanging on by a thread as the original if you’re going to do a cover then this is how you do it.

These Black Bombers aren’t illegal but they will keep you up all night my only advice would be to pick up a copy of this right now and enjoy the trip it’s awesome.


Buy Vol 4 Here



Author: Dom Daley

It’s just a few days since I was last sat behind the keyboard waxing lyrical about the return of Swedish sleaze rockers Backyard Babies, now Century Media are at it again, messing with my musical memory banks with the return of Buckcherry, another band who thankfully saved me from a life a beige back at the tail end of the nineties.

The connections don’t end there either as just like with BYBs I pretty much fell out of love with Buckcherry around the time their albums started to contain the same amount of ballads you’d expect to find on a Celine Dion long player, and then when the news broke In May 2017 that guitarist Keith Nelson was leaving the band you’ll forgive me for thinking that things might just be over for Buckcherry.

How wrong could I be though, as here they are back with a bang in 2019 with studio album number eight and wearing the ‘Warpaint’ this time around singer Josh Todd is the sole survivor from the ‘Lit Up’ years whilst guitarist Stevie D is still there at his side from Crazy Bitch’ era. Also in attendance this time around are ex-Orson man Kevin Roentgen on guitar (he was also in the rather splendid American Pearl who opened for Buckcherry back in the early 00s), bassist Kelly LeMieux and the already departed Sean Winchester on drums.

Having rolled my eyes into the back of my horse’s head at the band’s pointless cover of Nine Inch Nail’s ‘Head Like A Hole’ which is also included here, I’d deliberately stayed away from any other album teasers as I really wanted to fall in love with Buckcherry all over again, and with ‘Warpaint’ kicking off with the album’s title track I’m pleased to say that some of that initial fire the band had in their stomachs around the time of their first two albums appears to have returned, BUT, and this is a big BUT, the overall feel I get is one of a band slightly holding back, as the acoustic lead ‘Right Now’ proves. This is a track that should explode from the speakers after the initial strut of the verse but instead, it pops and fizzes along where it should really be ripping your throat out.

I thought it was me initially, but I’ve also noted some other people on social media commenting about the mix being a bit subdued, however to point the finger solely at Mike Plotnikoff (who manned the desk on this project as he had done on their third album’15’) to me seems a bit harsh as when the band do ultimately slip into ballad territory as they do on ‘Radio Song’ and ‘The Hunger’ the sound simply soars. Surely there were more pairs of ears in the control room than Mike’s when the bite and crunch that should be there on the guitars on the opening riff for ‘The Vacuum’ end up muffled below the rhythm section? Still, it’s a good song, with a great vocal melody from Todd. I just wish again that the killer instinct was a bit more to the front.

Where ‘Warpaint’ does score a full 10 for me is on the superb ‘Bent’ (a track that could have fallen off the band’s classic and hugely underrated ‘Time Bomb’ album) and on the double time almost country-tinged shuffle of ‘No Regrets’, both tracks showing that Buckcherry are anything but a spent musical force.

Likewise, the gospel-tinged ‘Back Down’ is a sultry little number that could be a sleeper hit single whilst ‘Closer’ thunders along on an AC/DC like staccato riff that immediately has me tapping my hoof.

Look I’d love to say this is the best thing Buckcherry have recorded since ‘15’ just like Josh Todd is doing in the press rounds right now, but I can’t, simply because it isn’t, and tracks like ‘The Alarm’ plus album closer’ The Devil’s In The Detail’ just aren’t up there with the likes of ‘Onset’ and ‘Broken Glass’ the tracks they (kind of) correspond with if you stand the two albums alongside one another.

Make no mistake though ‘Warpaint’ is still a really decent hard rock album, and it is a breath of fresh air compared to the turgid bullshit being peddled as the next big thing by certain other record labels, it’s just for me it lacks that immediate knockout punch that some of the band’s previous album possessed in spades, so for now, I’ll leave my love-light on standby.

Buy ‘Warpaint’: Here



Author: Johnny Hayward