Erik Nervous is a new one on me as are the Beta Blockers but they’ve joined forces for this self-titled album.

‘Violent Dreams’, Is first out of the traps with its angular punk rock borrowing from the USA wave of punks like Minutemen and maybe a little Devo with something that’s not a million miles away from Tubeway Army and the angular early Buzzcocks.

‘Gravure’ is more of the same it’s intense and sparse but well-produced and not at all tinny sounding but full fat or should that be full phat (as the kids would say)

But it’s not at all one-dimensional dum punk that people might expect on hearing the “hanging on by a thread” ‘Richard’ with its basic one-note guitar breaks and thumping bass line. As the Bontempi is plugged in and early Human League gets exercised on ‘Blasted Heath’.

It all goes a lot Devo meets Kraftwerk on ‘Want To Not Wanna’ the vocals get treated and the sampler goes into overdrive before the distorted guitars go off-piste on this captivation and interesting midway point.


It’s not a safe record by any means there are challenges for the listener as Erik leads the players through some difficult runs both high and low. Titles make me giggle like a school kid as the Joy Division inspired ‘(I’ve Got A) Desklamp For A Hand’ is up next.  what inspired the title? God only knows but it doesn’t envoke lampshades or missing limbs. You crazy kids…Treat the record as something of a voyage of discovery some bits will stand out whilst others don’t quite work  I’ll let you decide which is which but it’s well worth checking out.

‘No Chorus’ strays into Fall territory whilst ‘Make Up To Break Up’ is more straight forward punk rock. ‘Horseshit’ and ‘Stateline’ are both worthy slices of new wave punk rock and are really well delivered. Hop onboard kids – Erik and The Beta Blockers offer an alternative to punk rock and twist it out of shape using the past to progress to the future.  Another great release from Drunken Sailor Records one that shouldn’t make anyone Nervous except Erik that is.  Go check it out.


The official music video for ‘Round the Bend’ is out now, featuring work from the talented Michael Roberston and Toon53 productions. Working on it was a fucking dream and we’re stoked to show it you!

🔥 ’Round The Bend’ is about being at the very edge of your emotional strength, I guess. I wrote it when I was at a breaking point of sorts, where I felt like what I’d been trying to make happen with the band for 12 years, wasn’t in fact going to happen… 🔥

The band are also pleased to announce a full U.S. tour. An artist presale from today. Use the code BACKFOOT. Get em before they’re gone!!

Don’t forget they will also be hitting up the UK including🔥FUCKING HEADLINE SHOWS🔥in Leeds AND London!!!

Head to the website for all the details!!

There were a couple of recent(ish) episodes of the superb YouTube series ‘Produce Like A Pro’ that featured Roger Joseph Manning Jnr talking with the host Warren Huart about how Jellyfish recorded their wonderful ‘Bellybutton’ and ‘Spilt Milk’ albums. Within each of the enthralling episodes (a must-watch for music nerds everywhere, trust me) Roger revealed how the band would always go back to one other band’s music to sense check if what they were doing was right – and if it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for us kind of thing -and (spoiler alert) that band was the greatest band to ever come out of Swindon, XTC.


So, what the hell has this got to do with the third studio album from Willie Dowling and Jon Poole I hear you ask? Well, Jellyfish and their influences are exactly the right place from which to start this review, not least because ‘See You See Me’ opens with a title track that welcomes the listener in like some long lost friend of the masters of 90s bubblegum pop, a band who introduced a whole new generation of us to the delights of Supertramp, The Beach Boys and the Raspberries amongst many others.


Where The Dowling Poole perhaps now have the slight edge on Jellyfish is that they have almost three decades of new influences that they can channel into their songwriting and that’s why whilst ‘The Product’ might sound at times like an in his prime Elvis Costello its comes complete with a haunting Rialto (remember them?) like harmony vocal refrain and sounds just like the guys had Missy Elliott helping out behind the desk. It really shouldn’t work, but by God it does.


Likewise, ‘Keeping The Stupid Stupid’ has that Marilyn Manson patented march as a backbeat but over it, Dowling and Poole sounds more like the modern-day Squeeze, and without a doubt things are certainly very cool for these cats.


Then there’s the white soul of recent video/single ‘Hope’ a song so fantastic you could just imagine Robert Palmer or Prince having it on one of their mega Platinum selling records. In fact, it’s a song I’d love to hear Jarle Bernhoft get to grips with one day. Now that really would be one hell of a collaboration.


Elsewhere ‘Made In Heaven’ suddenly has me looking for the Andy Partridge co-write credit on the press sheet, and ‘Human Soup’ has me thinking that The Dowling Poole might just be the ideal support act for Crowded House’s UK return this summer, and at the same time ‘Alison’s Going Home’ suddenly makes me want to go dig out those classic Head Automatica albums all over again.


Lyrically on point throughout the album, there are those who will argue that politics (however subliminal they might be) should be kept out of music, but when the songs are as joyous as those contained here on ‘See You See Me’ you’d have to be a total moron not to appreciate the social context in which these tracks are being written. Oh, and for those of you thinking “all he’s done here is reference other bands in his review”, just look at those bands, XTC, Jellyfish, Elvis Costello and Squeeze. I’m sure that’s a quartet of artists Willie Dowling and Jon Poole won’t mind sharing some review space with.


So, with their former Wildhearts bandmates justifiably receiving plaudits galore for their ‘Renaissance Men’ album, ‘See You See Me’ whilst an altogether different beast, is every bit as great as that record. The million-dollar question I suppose though is will you be brave enough to make the purchase leap when it’s released at the end of February? Go on I dare you – and who knows – perhaps in just a few years’ time we may be watching Willie and Jon doing their very own ‘Produce Like A Pro’ webisode, because to my ears ‘See You See Me’ is absolute powerpop genius.

Buy ‘See You See Me’: Here

Author: Johnny Hayward

Big Cartel Shop  / Facebook

American Television are a punk rock band outta DC.  They play fast and are a throwback to the kind of punk that swamped MTV back in the day. At times they remind me of the likes of Anti Flag, Bad Religion and of course Green Day.  This is their debut album and for the Genre their hitting outta they do it really well. The band themselves say that its an album of ten tracks of pop melodies with a punk rock attitude and that’s a fair assessment of what ‘Watch It Burn’ is all about.  There is an air of being uplifted by the songs and that’s always a good thing, right? Like their genre compadres Anti Flag they feel that the “Man” is crushing the man and money and greed is taking over above the greater good and I like that and you can hear it in their lyrics.  Bands like American Television offer hope and are eternal optimists and that’s always cool.


I particularly love the bass thud of ‘Drinks’ – married with the thunderous riff its the standout song. Close on its heels is ‘Dad’s Song’ which is probably reflected right around the globe currently. to be fair when you dig into the album the guts of the tracklist is really strong and songs pop out the more you play it. ‘Technology’ is grabbing me at the moment followed by the harder-edged ‘Wasteland, USA’ with its sub-two minutes heads down and hit it hard attitude.

Something of a call to arms for all the disenfranchised and misfits out there ‘Misprint’ is autobiographical and something many punks can relate to and it’s wrapped up in a good tune and they reference Greg from Bad Religion to boot.  If you’re waiting for the slow heartfelt set-ender then forget it.  these guys light the torch and carry it on ‘Great Divide’ reminding me of the Downtown Struts and that’s always a cool sound.  Check it out I really liked it and can only see it growing on me even more.

Facebook / Instagram / WireTap Records

Buy ‘Watch It Burn’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

Cold, Wet & Miserable no not Randy Savages the fuckin’ weather outside your window if you happen to live on Shit Island.  Worry not rockers let the sunshine in with the latest offering from Randy Savages

Next up is the first video taken from their second album ‘Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psycopath’ which is set for release in May The Blinders ease back with ‘Circle Song;

Finally, The mysterious HeWhoCannotBeNamed has a new video for “Good Kill” off of his most recent album “The Good, The Bad, And The Brutal”. This video is so beautiful it should be hanging in a museum.

2020 sees Austin alternative rockers And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead celebrate their 25th anniversary with the release of their 10th album ‘X: The Godless Void And Other Stories’. It’s been six years since their last album, and with the departure of long time bassist Autry Fulbright and guitarist/drummer Jamie Miller, founding members Conrad Keely and Jason Reece seem to have come full circle and recorded ‘X’ as a duo, sharing lead vocals and guitar/drums duty, as they did for their first 2 albums.

With themes of loss, introspection and displacement, largely fuelled by Conrad’s forced move from his home of Cambodia back to his native Texas, Trail Of Dead challenge themselves, as with every album, to create rich musical tapestries of post punk / art rock.


‘X’ opens, as many Trail Of Dead albums do, with a slowly building, atmospheric instrumental that sets the scene for the upcoming musical journey. The mystical ‘The Opening Crescendo’ does exactly what it says on the tin, and with bells, whistles and chanting, it is probably the most grandiose of all of their opening offerings.

Known for their incendiary live shows and the tendency to trash their instruments and themselves (in the past anyway) Trail Of Dead are a band who exists on their own plateau, like Jane’s Addiction meets A Perfect Circle, where art rock and prog meets punk in an explosive mish-mash of glorious sound.

A Trail Of Dead album is not a casual, nor at times an easy listen, yet with each repeated plays the rewards are there to be taken. For me, it is a journey to be taken in as a full album experience, artwork in hand to peruse at will.

They veer from the melancholy and moody to aggro-rock with ease. Trademark beats, intricate guitar work and familiar melodies are rife in ‘All Who Wonder’, and ‘Into The Godless Void’ marries grungey guitars, tribal beats and guttural wailing in a way that has not been envisioned since Jane’s Addiction shocked the system with ‘Nothing’s Shocking’. A 3 minute art rock epic, it’s the alternative to the Alternative, and probably the best thing Jason Reece has sung on since ‘Caterwaul’.

Yet there’s a moment in ‘Who Haunts The Haunter’ where Trail Of Dead sound remarkably like Oasis. The stabbing refrain echo’s ‘Morning Glory’s iconic intro. And while Conrad’s vision of millennial pop music is far removed from Noel Gallagher’s mainstream radio-friendly songwriting style, interestingly they share the same ability to create grandiose, stadium-sized tunes. Take album centrepiece ‘Children Of The Sky’, a sprawling epic tale of loss that builds in a ‘Champagne Supernova’ sort of way. You’ll never hear this tune on the radio though.

The 90’s nostalgia continues elsewhere, ‘Don’t Look Down’ with its jangly guitars and indie pop vibes brings to mind Mega City 4, and sweet acoustic guitars and a haunting melody give a melancholy vibe to ‘Something Like This’ before waves of distortion takes the song off on a musical tangent.


Keely and Reece still put their heart and soul into Trail Of Dead after a quarter of a Century. While themes of heartbreak, loss and regret may on the surface seem depressing and miserable, these are the things that fuel the tortured artist and breathe fire into their creative mind. In truth,‘X’ is an uplifting album that offers much. It’s easy to get lost in the song dynamics, from the proggy sections to the punk intensity, it’s a noisy and thrilling joyride through sonically seductive expanses of sound. Even  Conrad’s ever-stunning artwork that is as thought provoking and rapturous as the music itself.

Still doing things on their own terms, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead show no signs of slowing down just yet, and ‘X’ is a fine addition to their discography.

Buy Here







On February 21st 2020, legendary Saxon frontman Biff Byford will step into the spotlight with his first ever solo album, School Of Hard Knocks.   The album will be supported with an 10-date UK Tour in April which features 2 halves – Biff in conversation with American comedian Don Jamieson about his life and career, followed by live performance featuring a selection of new material, covers and a sprinkling of Saxon.

With his roots firmly in The North of England, Biff has earned the right to be considered The Heavy Metal Bard Of The North and his debut album reflects the man and his personality, his loves and his musical versatility.

School Of Hard Knocks fulfils Biff Byford’s long-standing wish to explore rock ‘n’ roll a little more. The album is a personal journey highlighting his life and his passionate interests, from the history of the Middle Ages to growing up in the industrial North. A classic, masterfully constructed old-school British hard rock album, School Of Hard Knocks embraces a variety of musical genres and includes the Yorkshire folk classic Scarborough Fair, famously covered by Simon and Garfunkel. Byford and Fredrik Åkesson’s arrangement breathes new life into the legendary song.

Watch the previously released videos for “Welcome to the Show” and “School Of Hard KnocksHERE.

School Of Hard Knocks features Biff Byford on vocals (and a spot of four string thunder) along with Fredrik Åkesson (Opeth) on guitars, drummer Christian Lundqvist and bass player Gus Macricostas.  The album also features guest appearances by Phil Campbell (Motörhead/Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons), Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody of Fire and Turilli / Lione Rhapsody), Nick Barker (Voices), Dave Kemp (Wayward Sons) and Nibbs Carter (Saxon). The album was produced by Biff Byford, recorded by Jacky Lehmann at Brighton Electric Studios in Brighton (UK) and mixed at Queen Street Studios in Stockholm (Sweden) by Mats Valentin.

School Of Hard Knocks UK Tour

Byford recently announced his first ever solo tour dates. The tour begins in the UK in April and continues to Europe in May.

The show, in the form of ‘An evening with…’, will be split into two halves. The first features Biff in conversation with Don Jamieson (American comedian and star of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show) on all aspects of his life and career. After the break Biff and his band will play some new songs, covers and, maybe, a Saxon song or two.

Biff says: “It’s a show I’ve wanted to do for a long time and one which I don’t think has been done in hard rock before. It’ll be something different and a lot of fun.

April UK tour dates:
Friday 17th Gateshead Sage 2
Saturday 18th Birmingham Town Hall
Monday 20th Glasgow St. Lukes
Tuesday 21st Leeds City Varieties
Wednesday 22nd Bath Komedia
Friday 24th Liverpool Arts Club
Saturday 25th Aberdare Coliseum Theatre
Monday 27th Milton Keynes Stables
Tuesday 28th London Islington Assembly Hall
Wednesday 29th Brighton Old Market


Tickets are available from

May EU tour dates:May EU tour dates:


Friday 1st THE NETHERLANDS Tilburg, 013
Saturday 2nd GERMANY Essen, Turock
Sunday 3rd BELGIUM Sint-Niklaas, Casino
Tuesday 5th GERMANY Hamburg, Gruenspan
Wednesday 6th GERMANY Osnabruck, Rosenhof
Friday 8th SWEDEN Malmo, Kulturbolaget
Saturday 9th SWEDEN Trollhattan, N3 Stagebox
Sunday 10th SWEDEN Stockholm, Nalen
Tuesday 12th GERMANY Berlin, Passionskirche
Wednesday 13th GERMANY Munich, Technikum
Thursday 14th SWITZERLAND Zurich, Dynamo
Friday 15th FRANCE Vaureal, Le Forum
Tickets are available from all usual outlets and agents


As a special bonus, fans buying tickets prior to 2nd of March 2020 for the European shows only will receive a personally signed 10”x8” photo together with entry into a draw to win one of 10 VIP Meet and Greets for each show.
Follow Biff Byford on:

Kurt Baker.  A name that is like the stamp of quality on any product of value like a watermark of exceptional craftmanship and a name you should never walk on by if someone offers you the chance to listen to one of his records.  If its solo, Kurt Baker Trio or Bullet Proof Lovers take our advice and check hi out.

Now previously I picked up the Bullet Proof Lovers when I found out who was on it and loved every second of every track and when I found out I’d missed the Self Titled EP and especially as it was on the exceptional ghost Highway I was ashamed and made myself stay back for rock and roll detention and write I promise not to miss another Bullet Proof Lovers record release again 1000 times.  Now the detention was helped on the grounds that I had the self-titled EP on loop whilst I carried out my punishment.

It’s not all about Baker mind (although I bet he could make this record by himself write it, play it, record it and bloody well press it himself as well) he is ably assisted knocking out all this good time Rock and Roll noise by Luiyi Costa (Txorlitohead, Lolas Club), Joseba Arza (Brigada Criminal, Señor No, Ladislao), Gonzalo Ibañez (Nuevo Catecismo Católico, La Perrera) and Juan Irazu (Discipulos de Dionisos, Gran Yate Especial). The downside is it’s only five tracks.  I hear you and feel your pain (what are they thinking?) Five tracks? C’mon I know it should carry a govt health warning this shit is more addictive than crack and cigarettes but it’s not at all bad for you (unless you dent your bank balance).

‘Razor-Sharp’ is all uptempo rockpile rock n boogie with a great powerpoppin’ melody you know exactly what you want from Kurt Baker. The guitars are beefy and the rhythm is tight and punchy.  ‘Under Pressure’ isn’t the Queen Bowie cover (mores the pity, Imagine that?) It’s another stonking uptempo rocker fro the Lovers. ‘The Neon Bomb’ is rock and roll and if Giuda wrote this people would be wetting their double denim over how good it is from the BV’s to the barroom piano to the breakdown again, top stuff.

You can stamp your feet and clap your hands to ‘I Don’t Wanna Want No More’ and if you want to get your head around a comparison then think Biters at their best and if Tuk ever wanted to co-write with someone who knows his way around a power-pop melody then he couldn’t find anyone better than Kurt Baker unless he was busy then he’d go visit Cheap Trick.

To take this bad boy home; ‘Fist Full Of Dirt’ is up. and this should be the end of side A, not the end of the EP you bad boys. cool as a polar bear perched on an ice cube Bullet Proof Lovers must know they’ve penned a good un here and you should make sure you give it a listen.  There’s no point coming this far and then you don’t check it out.  You can thank me laters until then I’m gonna go turn this bad boy up again. Bye!


Ghost Highway Records 


Author: Dom Daley



Rock musicians including Keith Richards, Slash, Myles Kennedy, Michael Monroe, Taime Downe, and Jizzy Pearl have come together and signed a unique Gretsch guitar, hand-painted by TylaJ Pallas, to raise funds for New York Dolls’ legend Sylvain Sylvain who has been undergoing cancer treatment in the US.


In April 2019 New York Dolls’ guitarist Sylvain Sylvain confirmed that he had been diagnosed with cancer, was undergoing treatment, required further surgery and would be unable to work for some time. As an original member of the New York Dolls, who had inspired a generation of rock musicians, this was devastating news to many within the rock community. Given the costs of medical care in the US, a Go Fund Me page was set up and fans of the New York Dolls, including musicians, have been donating and raising funds to support him. To date $69,860 out of the $80,000 target has been raised.

In the UK an idea was born. One of our own legends, Tyla (of Dogs D’Amour fame) and his friend/business partner, Alan Hampton (at whose bar both Sylvain Sylvain and Tyla had played in recent years), decided they wanted to do something. Alan had the idea of buying a Gretsch guitar, as played by both Sylvain and Tyla, getting Tyla to paint it and then auctioning it off to raise money. Tyla went one stage further, sourced a new guitar generously donated by Mike Taft at Gretsch, hand-painted an original New York Dolls design on it and asked his friends within the international rock community to sign it. And they did … and then some.


The painted guitar (a new Gretsch Electromatic) is stunning. A unique one-of-a kind piece of rock memorabilia that reads like a Who’s Who of ’80s and beyond debauched rock music in all it’s finest glory. A full list of the artists who have signed the guitar (along with images of the guitar) can be found at the foot of this release.


Tyla, said,

“I was gutted when I heard about Sylvain. Cancer’s horrific for anyone, but most musicians struggle to get insurance and in the US it’s even worse. The Dolls inspired so many of us and we just felt we wanted to do something. It was Alan’s idea. The least I could do was do one of my paintings on it and get in touch with a few old mates. I never expected so many to get involved. It’s great, innit? We’ve set a reserve, but to be honest I hope it’ll go for a lot more and it may come close to helping him hit his target. He’s almost there”.


Due to the logistical difficulties, the cost of shipping the guitar around the world and the tour schedules of those who wanted to contribute, Tyla and Alan’s plans nearly didn’t happen. But, not to be put off, an alternate plan was conceived involving another musical contact of Tyla’s – this time in Canada. Bruce Hotchkies, The Deadly Romantics, has a specialist printing business, and all artists wishing to sign the guitar would provide authenticated handwritten signatures that would then be process-printed on to the back of the guitar, and the handwritten signatures would be included along with the guitar and case when auctioned. To enable this to happen the signatures made their way across the Atlantic.



Alan Hampton, Owner, 10 Bar, Forfar, said, 

“I’ve been a huge fan of punk, rock and particularly the Dolls for years. I also put on some music and I’ve been in the amazing position of having had both Sylvain and Tyla, along with other acts, play 10 Bar in recent years. I felt I wanted to do something, spoke to Tyla and it took off from there. It’s been great to see the rock community come together like this and want to pay back to one of their own”.


Amongst the signatories is a fellow New York Doll, Steve Conte (guitarist, Michael Monroe Band, and solo artist), who said,


“I have spent many years with Sylvain, living in NYC, writing songs and playing in the New York Dolls together and I can honestly say – this guy is a national treasure. It’s heart warming to see that so many of these other great musicians who I know and play with have signed the guitar for Syl as well. Thank you all”


The auction will take place on]. The item will include the one-off guitar, guitar case and the original handwritten signatures. Given the charitable nature of the item, and it’s value to those in the rock community, a reserve of £3000 has been set.


Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour has also recorded a cover of the New York Dolls’ classic “Pills” (featuring Rich Jones (guitarist, Michael Monroe Band) and Alan Hampton (formerly guitarist, Courtesan) available to purchase and download from Bandcamp. All proceeds from this will also be donated to the Sylvain Sylvain Go Fund Me campaign. People can donate as much as they want when they download the song.

Guitar Signed by:

Keith Richards

Mike Tramp

Myles Kennedy
Todd Kerns
Brent Fitz

Frank Sidoris


Michael Monroe
Steve Conte
Rich Jones
Sami Yaffa
Karl Rockfist

Gary Pennick
Simon Hanson
Matty James

Dave Sabo
Rachel Bolan
Scotti Hill
Rob Hammersmith
ZP Theart

Wednesday 13

Jizzy Pearl

Donnie Vie

Taime Downe
Xristian Simon
Danny Nordahl
Chad Stewart

Nicke Borg
Johan Blomqvist
Peder Carlsson



The self-proclaimed South Wales’ finest New Wave Art-Punk Trio have finally released their debut album. Originally formed back in 2016 and with a trio of eccentric EPs under their belt. This is clearly a band to fall in love with – time and time again.

With Über Fantastique, Head Noise have put down on tape, a brilliant, out of the box, collection of modern/retro songs that border on genius. The likes of opener ‘Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors’, when put together with ‘200,000 Gallons of Oil’ are complete revelations. The utter welshness of the spoken word section of ‘Japanese Batteries’ throws this listener off a little, but on subsequent listens, makes me love it even more.

Describing themselves as a unique trio who are jam-packed with surreal nuances and very catchy oddball electro-pop tunes. This is never more evident than on ‘Anatomically Correct Shuffle’ and ‘Mystery Liquid’. The trio have clearly been working hard on this release as I really enjoyed their EP’s, which were like little tasters of whats to come and I am glad to hear this kind of music recorded with no thought given to what is ‘cool’ or ‘in’. I hear a lot of influences in the music, from the likes of Devo, Kraftwerk and The Flaming Lips, although there is an almost We’ve Got A Fuzzbox, And We’re Gonna Use It! feel to some of the songs, more in the attitude, rather than the actual songs themselves. Über Fantastique is an album that has been made by people who clearly love their music and the freedom that Head Noise affords them.

The trio are made up of Mitch Tennant, Wayne Bassett and Jordan Brill. The Cover art is by none other than Mitch’s father Will Tennant and adds an, even more, Art-Punk feel to the album and listening experience. This collection of songs is, without doubt, one of the most original debut albums to be released this side of the millennium and I can only hope that the band get to be revered for the pioneers that they truly are.

Buy ‘ Über Fantastique’ Here


Author: Dave Tetley Prince