Double dumb and full of fun Larry Mays The Candy Snatchers have gone and done it again.  Not content with flushing out one great album after the next they only go and lose records and forget where they put them or whatever shape it’s in.  This moronic pleasure was a lost treasure of Mays and it’s gone and been resurrected by Jake Starr and all at RPM can say is thank fuck for that!

Listen, If it’s by The Candy Snatchers and features the full face melting vocals of one Mr. Larry May then we’re reviewing it and even before the needle has dropped and hit the plastic we just know what’s going down. – A full-throttle audio assault and by the titles alone we can’t stop that shit kicking grin that’s spreading over our chops like a cheap hooker. A quick squizz down the titles and ‘No Time To Waste’ is setting things off in true Candy Snatchers fashion.  After a quick once round the kit in rapid fashion say hello to the air raid siren Larry May as he screams like a hall full of students being chased by some maniac in a mask on a killing spree.


Recorded back in the ’90s by the original nihilistic foursome they hit their stride on the beautiful ‘Pissed Off Ripped Off’, it’s unbridled, out of control and totally kicking the shit out of everyone and everything.  Larry and the boys have got the Stooges groove ‘If You Can’t Have Fun You Aint No Fun’ that is owned by the unconventional playing style of Matthew Odietus (R.I.P)  I bet these sessions were fun they sure sound it.  Jesus Wept, even on record they sound unhinged – they managed to capture that magic no question about that.  Take ‘You Make It Hard’ it’s fast – furious – uncompromising, but it has rhythm – groove and a tonne of attitude and is a pleasure to listen to.

Hold onto your hat kids it’s not all out of control as you’ll find out when they get their twelve bar groove on to ‘Hard Up’ as May takes five and croons with the best of them. Whilst thinking about a highlight or something I can hang my hat on to reel in newcomers its such a tough choice as there are nineteen bangers on here and each one has merits for a recommendation.  ‘Real Thick Head’ has handclaps and Gregorian chanting backing vocals and some shake your ass tambourine so there. There is even time (of course there’s time) for May and the boys to throw in a couple of covers in the shape of The Stooges on ‘Fresh Rag’ not that you’d notice. ‘Such A Fool’ is from the household names that were Rubber City Rebels not.  But it’s a cool tune and in fact one of the slowest most purposeful songs on offer here. For the most part its full throttle High Octane Rock and Fucking Roll of which there isn’t enough of and when these boys are at it full tilt or grooving it doesn’t matter because it’s magical.

The sound takes a twist for the last few tunes which is fine but with titles like ‘Ass Casserole’ I dread to think and then you have the gentle plow through of ‘Bum’ and again lyrically I haven’t a clue nor would I be rude enough to ask but the chorus has more than a nod to the misfits.  I’m not even sad when track nineteen rocks up because when the song fades or rather crashes and burns I can flip it over and do it all again. Larry May, you sirs are the ringmaster supreme and a magician, apart from that rasp and scream you possess you have a rock and roll band who are true in spirit and kick seven shades of shit out of 99.9% of bands “having a go at Rock and Roll” Out – Fuckin – Standin’ – Buy It! and thanks in no small part to JAke Starr and Hound Gawd! for making this all happen what a pleasure and not Moronic at all!

Buy Moronic Pleasures Here

Author: Dom Daley

WONK UNIT @ Skate-aid 6
14 band benefit gig in Stamford, Lincs

14 acts, one massive all dayer of a punk gig!  The Scary Clown Present boys Skate-aid 6 all-dayer is one of the friendly DIY Punk gigs you can go to (Wonkfest excepted!),

Enjoy the June sun as you chill with a cold drink, decent food (vegan bbq by Resist!), great company, and 11 full bands, with 4 acoustic sessions.

Probably a specially brewed beer again,  possibly a few stalls too – and all in aid of Skate-aid charity, raising funds to put skate-parks in some of the worlds most deprived areas of the world.

 TICKETS ARE £15 for 14 acts – a quid a band is fantastic value for money!!


evening session…

The Crippens
The Menstrual Cramps
The Siknotes
The Long Game (aka Skaciety)
Swan Prince
The Deadites

acoustic session …

Mark Murphy (Croc Gods/No Marks)
Sam Maloney (Mixtape Saints)
Christian Smith
Arms and Hearts  

early session (12.30)…

Not for You
Punch Drunk



Time to get excited.. and a ticket!

IT’S WONKFEST, it’s the funnest, craziest day in the punk rock calendar. The best in music, the best in atmosphere, the best in people.



plus loads more xxx

We’ve got new bands, we’ve got buffet, T-shirt screening, badge making, BBQ, all included in the price of a ticket.

Please grab advance tickets ASAP. It really does help with the financial worry of staging an event like Wonkfest. Doors 11.15am – come for breakfast

Disgraceland frontman Ollie Stygal is possibly the South West’s version of Henry Rollins, perhaps with a slightly different physique. Like Rollins, Ollie is getting angrier as he ages and this is highlighted mid-set with the fantastically titled 100% Cunt which is dedicated with real vitriol to the Tories, Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson, and let’s face it, it’s well deserved.
While being angry, Disgraceland are still an exceedingly tight punk rock n roll machine, playing fast, furious and very catchy tunes that wouldn’t be out of place alongside Dead Kennedy’s, early Damned and even Motörhead numbers. With gigs lined up around the country and their debut EP due on 1st June, Disgraceland are a band well worth keeping an eye on.
Following the storm kicked up by Disgraceland was never gonna be easy and despite their best efforts Bristol’s idestroy don’t really manage it. Songs tend to pass by without ever really grabbing you and it’s hard to understand just what the band is trying to be. One minute they are trying to get big crowd clapalongs going and then the next trying to get all aggressive, but it all seems a bit fake to these eyes and ears. Idestroy might be the band’s name, but on tonight’s showing, Imildlybruise might be more appropriate.

It has been 13 years since Bullets and Octane last graced the Cavern stage, and while they are a completely different beast now, with only madman frontman Gene Louis remaining from those days, they haven’t lost any of the fire or huge sense of fun that they had back then.


Louis remains that frontman that wants to connect with every single person in attendance, and that he does, spending as much time off stage as on it, hugging, high fiving and dancing with everybody and anybody and even getting one fan to take over vocals for him on a few occasions, which may or may not be due to him forgetting the lyrics!


The band themselves are no slouches though with the rhythm section of Jonny Udell (who strangely was in support band The Knives when B&O were last at the Cavern), and Zachary Kibbee holding the mayhem together while guitarist Filipe Rodrigo provides another focal point throwing himself around the room, while still delivering in spades.

Newer songs like ‘Bad Motherfucker’ and ‘When we were Young’ are greeted as enthusiastically as classics like ‘Caving In’ and ‘Pirates’ by the small but very appreciative, and often very drunk, crowd, who give back as much as they receive right up until the final chords crash out.


On leaving the venue I overhear someone say “that was the most fun I have had at a gig for ages”, and that sums up a Bullets and Octane gig better than I ever could! Keep singing that Song for the Underdog!


Author: Nigel Taylor
Buy ‘Waking Up Dead’ Here

Never mind Brexit this is the European Union, in session the Hillbilly Moon Explosion features two Englishmen currently residing in Switzerland A French Drummer and one Italian/Swiss to round it off oh and a guest from Deepest darkest Welsh Wales. Mixing up an eclectic blend of Roots Rock and Roll, some Dark Rock, a punk attitude at times with a healthy or should that be unhealthy dose of Rockabilly and throw in some swing, soul, ska, garage and pop  – I kid you not this really is a melting pot that can go anywhere they like and still come out sounding cohesive and well, bloody magic.

The ‘Sparky Sessions’ is the bands seventh album, yup I know what you’re thinking, I wasn’t sure how many I have either; a few but seven is remarkable. A band this good can’t go under the mainstream radar for so long (when I say so long the sixteen million views on youtube aren’t all bots I guess).  When I say mainstream, I mean I told a few people who I was listening to and they shrugged their shoulders, these are people who listen to a lot of underground music of all persuasions and they’d never heard the band.  So strap yourselves in and join me on a journey into the magic sprinkled ‘Sparky Sessions’ courtesy of The Hillbilly Moon Explosion.

What we have here is a whole long player of duets featuring the guest vocals of the one and only Mark Phillips he of the Demented Are Go parish here in South Wales. After dueting on the murder ballad from 2011’s ‘Beg Steal Or Borrow’ to be fair nobody in their right mind would have mixed the oil and water of Phillips vocal style with that of Emanuela Hutters – but it works and the choice of songs is inspired.  Forget Cave and Minogue or Jagger and Turner – its Phillips and Hutter that have the magic. This whole record will testify that from the rockers to the sultry smoldering murder ballads this is an exceptional piece of work. A magnificent eleven that is weaved into an exceptional record that is one of the finest I’ve heard all year thus far,  one I’m sure will be carried triumphantly into the end of year best of – easily.


The covers are stunning but the original songs stand shoulder to shoulder alongside such classics as ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ and ‘Baby I Love You’.  A total of seven new songs were recorded along with the four that had previously seen the light of day of the originals ‘Black Ghost’ builds and builds into a cacophony but it’s not the jarring racket but a harnessed noise that builds to an awesome climax.


It’s a bold and brave offering that has more than a sprinkling of magic throughout Hutter has a voice that can melt the ice caps of the north pole and Sparky has the vocal cords to rival a drilling from Thors hammer and put together it’s a beautiful thing brothers and sister trust me. ‘Northern Crown’ is smokey whilst ‘Jackson’ is just a total fuckin’ killer version.  I must have heard about a million covers of this one and this Hillbilly Moon Explosion take is head and shoulders the best yet even better than Carter and Cash in Fulsome Prison.  They absolutely take ownership and just kill it stone dead – sublime. and to end with that Murder Ballad ‘My Love For Evermore’ is still a spine-tingling classic that just works.

If there’s a better record released this month then I need to hear it but I seriously doubt it, folks, this is my album of the month maybe album of the summer – let’s see. Enough waffle from me pick it up and let the music do the talking this one just won’t shut up!  I only hope that this won’t be the end and one day like Skywalker on that mountain the Hillbilly Moon Explosion will come calling and Sparky will hear that call and once again record some new songs together but if that never happens (never say never) thank God we have this collection to live with. Love Songs And Murder Ballads a near-perfect collision of beauty and the beast, light and darkness.  Just buy it!

Author: Dom Daley


Buy the Sparky Sessions Here


Glenn Hughes needs to postpone his upcoming ‘Performs Classic Deep Purple Live’ due to illness. He sends his regrets that he is unable to perform his UK tour which was due to start May 14th through May 24th.

He needs to be treated for an illness that while not life-threatening, must be dealt with immediately in order for it to not become a serious problem. He is expected to make a full recovery and be back on the road in June.

Ticket purchasers are kindly asked to wait for further information and will be updated as soon as possible.

The former bassist and singer of Deep Purple, known to millions as the ‘Voice of Rock’, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and the current front man for rock super group Black Country Communion, was scheduled to kick off the second leg of his ‘Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple’ UK Tour at the Holmfirth Picturedrome on Tuesday 14th May with special Laurence Jones. The first leg of his UK received rave reviews. One of which was here at RPM

This one has long been on the list of must-attend no excuses shows.  Regardless of what else might be on a few miles away as tonight Matthew the hills are alive with the sound of music.  But, there was only one place RPM Online was going to be. With all due respect to other venues in the region and other events taking place this was the only Rodeo we were interested in.

First up – Red Light Syndrome. Ably led by Craigy Rees on vocals and guitar this four-piece are somewhere between Husker du, Lemonheads and early Soul Asylum and to be fair they have crafted some really excellent songs that on first listen sound epic. Opening with ‘Stop’ the quality and passion were evident. In their brief set, they managed to impress those clued up people wise enough to come to see all the bands on offer and it’s obvious they have an understanding of the music that inspired them to put these chords together and write music. Bands like The Replacements spring to mind – sure it’s early in proceedings to lay such mammoth role models upon them but if you’re going to aspire to anyone it might as well be the best in the genre. The excellent ‘See Things Through’ was a highlight much like the closing ‘6 Feet Bellow’ and ‘Heartburn’ what a great opener.

Deathtraps.  what can I say about the band who I’ve seen more than my own kids recently – everywhere I go they seem to be as well (not that I’m complaining mind), getting on the bill of some great shows lately and every time I see them they improve on the last time to be fair.  (Regardless of that being the night before in this case but you know what I mean) With a decent crowd in front of them, they get to work on demolishing some of their finest tunes (and a few new ones to boot).  To be fair the band are hot (not in that way) – na, make that red hot at the moment and playing all these shows are turning people onto their uncompromising Action Rock and Roll as they hammer it home. It’s good that Both Fraser and VJ share vocal duties to mix it up as they motor through the setlist lurching from the bulldozer punk rock not quite as speedy as a Zeke more your Rocket From The Crypt with some of the chord-heavy chops like the outstanding ‘Cool Kids’ which again sounds excellent.  I can assure you that Rock and Roll isn’t anywhere near dead with bands like this knocking it out and playing plenty of shows with a variety of bands will win them an ever-increasing following. More of the same next time, please (which I’m sure won’t be far away).

DC Spectres are on next and a twist on the Rock and Roll melon man with their garage fuzz fix high on the menu. With the heat in the venue meaning the walls are perspiring its nice to relax with some Psych fuzzed up surf punk (if there’s such a genre).  Imagine The Fuzztones jamming on The Cramps inspired by those Stooges and your somewhere in the same ballpark.  As the set got going they really hit their groove and for about ten minutes they were on fire until the dreaded technical hitch sidelined them briefly. Those damned guitar string breaks and the momentum is halted. By the time the band have regrouped and got going again, there wasn’t enough time to regain the same momentum  I do think they did enough in half an hour to impress the ever crowd that had gathered and joined them on their journey. The highlights were  ‘Later Than You Think’ and a new song I believe was called ‘I Gotta Know’ Which was most excellent.  I look forward to seeing them again and what they come up with to follow up the excellent ‘Vibrations’ album.

So, onto tonight’s headliners The Hip Priests.  what can possibly be said that hasn’t already been splurged over the internet about our favourite east Midlands fuck ups?  Now with brand new six-stringer Ben in situ? I took my place and waited for the sonic solution to all this turmoil around us in society. As I waited to have my hearing interfered with by an hour of the finest Rock and Fucking Roll I was pleased that there was a good turnout considering everything else that was happening in a ten-mile radius of the ‘Port these boys deserve it for always playing South Wales even when South Wales hasn’t turned out in force – maybe the tide is turning and these fucking boys finally get the kudos they thoroughly deserve.

Anyway.  tonight begins with a tsunami of sound washing over the attendees but with no lifevests needed as we were all going down together this latest incarnation of the Hip Priests sounds absofuckin’lutely huge! I kid you not. With their best album under their belts, they have every reason to attack these shows with a cocksure swagger (not that it’s stopped them before mind) but this time seems different – if they could bottle this it would be lethal.  I’ve said it many times before and I’ll keep on saying it – when you see some bands getting great tour slots and people falling over the sound of some plodding rock like its the second coming of The Stones or the New Stooges has finally arrived it’s one of those scratch your head times as to how can’t others see or hear what you hear. ‘Stand For Nothing’ is the finest loud record recorded by any band on Shit Island in a decade – no question about it. Whilst their audience is slowly growing I can’t believe it’s not exploding.

Anyway, with the dual lead guitar swinging on either side of the stage the band aren’t fucking about and get on with the job of leathering the shit out of the new album. Sparks fly and song after song spills forth from their instruments. from the minute ‘Motherfucker Superior’ attacks you it’s like your being chased down by a pack of rabid dogs such is the ferocity of this current line up.

It’s great to hear some fresh new songs sprinkled throughout the set as ‘Stand For Nothing’, ‘Shit Island’ and ‘Social Hand Grenade’ blend in seamlessly much like the new youf on guitar.  With Oz and Ben things seem like they are pushing each other with each song to be better than the last one and they’re rising to the challenge and it seems to have worked superbly well. Weaving in and out of the songs new and old. ‘Deja FU’ and then ‘Cheers To Me’ was a particular high point in the set which only left ‘Sonic Reproducer’ of in the main set.

The audience felt it and I’m sure the band felt it there was something a little different tonight something a bit special was happening and when Von Cruz offered an extra number be it Iggy or Hip Priest original it was the original Hip Priests song that got a louder cheer surely it was a sign?  I don’t know what for but I’m sure Lee Love was seen smiling which must be a sign so get out of here and get excited because when the Hip Priests come to your town – which they will do then you make sure you’re there and you’re ready – now, people of Shit Island and further afield what are you going to stand For? Stand for Rock and Fucking Roll and Stand for The Hip Fucking Priests who’s time is now, Right Now!

Author: Dom Daley


Not been so wet recently as summer seems to have graced Shit Island so let’s give you a few tunes to mull over on your Monday travels to work.  first up from Derby brothers Johnny and George Marriott, PET NEEDS play fractured party music (apparently)  so you decide but we think ‘How To Perfectly Pretend’ is a pretty good introduction to the band that I’m sure we’ll all be hearing a lot more form.



If that didn’t impress you how about this bunch of loons. Dboys is the name punk fuckin’ rock is their game.  Check out this video before we hit you with a live review this very week.

Finally, take a squizz at this absolute cracker courtesy of Hillbilly Moon Explosion.  Sparky from Demented Are Go features on ‘Jackson’ taken from their new album out this week on Jungle records.

The Minack is an open-air theatre carved into the cliff face at Porthcurno, 4 miles from Lands End, in the South of Cornwall. It is one of the most spectacular venues in the world, with the most dramatic, natural backdrops you could ever imagine. Seeing a band here has always been on my bucket list, but the opportunity or the right band has never arisen…until now.

The Levellers have been a constant on my stereo for over 25 years. I first saw them live at an Anti Nazi League festival at Brockwell Park in ’94 with The Manics and Credit To The Nation. At the time they were at their peak, they even headlined the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury that year. I had already been force fed them for 12 months by my flat mate, but they didn’t really click with me, not until I saw them live.


It’s a beautiful day (no pun intended)! With no chance of rain or even a cloud in the sky, we take to our seats and admire the beautiful setting, as the sun slowly disappears behind us and the green/blue waves lap against the rocks below us, as if they are also trying to get a glimpse and join in with the fun.

Pictures can’t really do the surroundings any justice and it is difficult to describe how steep the incline is. Let’s just say, if you suffer from vertigo this would not be your ideal evening.

The seating areas are granite pews, many areas covered with grass as padding for your weary ass. The stage area is also granite; to the left a smaller circular raised stage framed by an archway that leads out to the cliffs and the sea.

This is the first of two sold-out shows and the venue is at its maximum 750 capacity. So we squeeze in and take our seats, as around us rockers, ravers and lovers settle for the evening with tinnies and pasties or just a hot coffee for company. As we await 3 Daft Monkeys, it’s clear that bringing a jacket and a flask of Jack Daniels was definitely a good idea.


3 Daft Monkeys have been around for nearly 20 years and have regularly supported The Levellers. The Cornish-based four-piece are a full-on gypsy folk band of the highest order. And their good time party songs are the perfect warm up. Singer Tim Ashton is an engaging frontman, along with fiddle player Athene Roberts, who looks like she has stepped out of a Somerset field circa 1994, a drummer who has no drumsticks and a bassist with one too many strings on his bass. They insist on crowd participation, in part to try and attract the dolphins, which sadly never appear.

While the inclusion of three members playing tin whistles is a bit twee for my tastes, overall it’s an entertaining and enjoyable set, full of mournful fiddle and quirky lyrics. The likes of ‘Year Of The Clown’ and ‘Days Of The Dance’ offer much, and it’s easy to see why these guys are regulars on the summer festival circuit.

High energy tunes with rustic, Parisian charm. 3 Daft Monkeys are best seen in a tent at 2am with a can of cider in your hand and a doobie in the other. Well worth checking out.

The years have been good to The Levellers. They may no longer be the angry punks they were in the 90’s, but their socially conscious message is even more relevant than it was 25 years ago. While the touring and record releases are more sporadic then they were back in the day, the band still have something to say. And now they have their own record label and their very own Beautiful Days festival to continue doing things on their own terms.


If you have heard the recent ‘We The Collective’ album, then you will know what to expect from an acoustic Levellers show. Tonight, the 6 piece band are joined by a string section and an extra percussionist. With a set that mixes up both old and new songs, deconstructed and rearranged, to bring something new to something old.

Vibrant string arrangements take charge as acoustics and keys take a background role. Opener ‘Exodus’ is a sprawling, cinematic piece of beauty, as 3 violins and a lone cello work the melodies in perfect harmony for vocalist Mark Chadwick to deliver his, still fiery vocals.

The chorus of ‘England My Home’ still bursts with the energy and the passion it did 30 years ago. Beautiful vocal harmonies intertwine with fiddles, strings and banjo, as we breathe the salty sea air.

It’s a chilled affair and ‘Edge Of The World’ and even ‘Alone In This Darkness’ seems quite fitting, as we chillax and watch the surroundings slowly disappear as the world around us ushers in the night and the hues of blues and gentle reds and oranges projected from above, slowly take over and silhouette the band.


The Simon Friend led tunes seem especially poignant and emotive tonight. ‘Elation’ With didgeridoo action and beautiful, haunting backing vocals from the cello player, give extra special mystical and celtic vibes. And ‘Men-An-Tol’, well it just seems to have been written to be played right here and right now.

The usually animated bassist Jeremy Cunningham takes a background role and is not involved in several songs musically. He sits, ever smiling, nods his head and sings along, his heavy red dreads bouncing along with the beat. Every now and again he looks up at the crowd as if he has just remembered where he is, transfixed by a view even he and his well travelled band are not that used to.

Old favourites such as ‘Julie’ and ‘Hope Street’ get a welcome airing alongside lesser known tracks such as ‘Drugs Bust McGee’ and ‘61 Minutes Of Pleading’ in a great set that ends with the obligatory crusty anthem ‘One Way’.

‘Subvert’ with its stabs of strings and dramatic drums is like a call to arms and takes things to another level, love it. And the sublime encore of ’15 Years’ proves you can take an upbeat classic, take it down a notch or two and still breathe new life into an old dog.

These beautiful surroundings are not far from where I grew up, and witnessing a band I admire sing a bunch of songs that I have loved for many years, it’s almost a spiritual experience. I can’t say I have ever seen a band play a gig with the sea as their backdrop, and I hope the opportunity arises again.

The gods shone down and granted us the perfect weather for The Levellers to entertain in a setting that is perfect for their music. It sure was a beautiful day.

Author: Ben Hughes

Pictures courtesy of  Roz Hughes


Nuclear Blast are delighted to announce the release of Black Star Riders new studio album “Another State Of Grace” on the 6thSeptember 2019. The band will support the record with a full UK and Ireland tour in October 2019 with additional dates in other territories to be announced in the near future.

The album is available on CD, vinyl and vinyl picture disc, limited edition boxset and limited edition light green vinyl. Full album tracklisting for all formats below:

“Another State Of Grace” sees the band deliver another stunning collection of songs. The bands new members Chad Szeliga (Drums) and Christian Martucci (Lead Guitar) further developing the band’s burgeoning reputation as one of the most essential contemporary rock acts. Recorded at Sphere Studios in Burbank, California in February 2017, “Another State Of Grace” was produced & mixed by Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Anthrax, Uriah Heep).

After a long period off the road, Black Star Riders are back with a 15 date UK & Ireland Tour with special guests Stone Broken and Wayward Sons. Dates for Black Star Riders 2019 UK & Ireland Tour are:

Thursday 10thOctober                                   O2 Academy, Bristol
Friday 11thOctober                                         Corn Exchange, Cambridge
Saturday 12thOctober                                    O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Sunday 13thOctober                                       William Aston Hall, Wrexham
Wednesday 16thOctober                              Academy, Dublin *
Thursday 17thOctober                                   Limelight, Belfast *
Friday 18thOctober                                         Braehead Arena, Glasgow
Saturday 19thOctober                                    O2 Academy, Newcastle
Sunday 20thOctober                                       Rock City, Nottingham
Tuesday 22ndOctober                                    De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill
Wednesday 23rdOctober                              O2 Academy, Bournemouth
Thursday 24thOctober                                   University Great Hall, Cardiff
Friday 25thOctober                                         Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
Saturday 26thOctober                                    O2 Academy, Leeds
Sunday 27thOctober                                       O2 Ritz, Manchester

* BSR and Stone Broken Only    § BSR Only as Guests to Saxon
Tickets are on sale now.
For Ticket Info please visit

‘Forever’ is the new album from alt-country rebels Vandoliers. Following their first two albums ‘Ameri-Kinda’ (2016) and ‘The Native’ (2017), ‘Forever’ is their first record to be released through Bloodshot Records.

Hailing from Dallas, Vandoliers are among the new wave of country music coming out of Texas. Blending classic country styles with triumphant and punchy punk rock, the band soaks up many of the subgenres that surround them. If you want blues, country, rock ‘n’ roll and a touch of cowpunk and Tejano, this album has it all.

The album kicks off with ‘Miles and Miles’, and steeped in country fiddle the song offers that typically American sound of roadworn weariness, a theme that can be found throughout, such as in ‘Sixteen Years’ and ‘Nowhere Fast’, with the added interest of Tejano sounds that are made full use of throughout. If you’re expecting a record full of lyrics about spit, sawdust, fist-fights and lonesome nights, you won’t be disappointed. While some songs, such as ‘Troublemaker’ are forceful, unapologetically raucous numbers, songs such as ‘Fallen Again’ and ‘Cigarettes in the Rain’ offer a more introspective theme.

The album consistently lies on the edge of a well-produced chaos. And while the slick production represents a very modern band, (just listen to the harmonies and melodies of the poppy ‘All on Black’) the songwriting and wide array of instruments ensure that the record crashes energetically from one song to the next. It rarely lets up. ‘Shoshone Rose’ manages to combine a lot of it into one song – from an opening reminiscent of ZZ Top’s ‘Rhythmeen’, it tumbles effortlessly into something both country and pop.

‘Forever’ is a confident and boastful album mixing classic Americana with modern, full production. The country sounds, punk attitude and anthemic choruses places Vandoliers somewhere between Social Distortion, Rank and File and the Dropkick Murphys, and fans of any of these would certainly find something to enjoy here.

Author: Craggy Collyde

Buy ‘Forever’: Here