With a brand new album winging its way to funders as I type Duncan and his Big Heads have only gone and assembled an absolute cracker and what might well turn out to be his best solo work thus far.  Always a most interesting guy Duncan stepped forward to offer some insight into the making of this record ‘Don’t Blame Yourself’ for pulling up a chair and reading on so here goes…What did you do differently recording this album to your previous releases?

Bugger all. As with all the previous albums I wrote the songs at home and made demos which I sent to the rest of the band. This time though there were bits I deliberately left unfinished for the others to fill in. We played quite a few of the songs live before recording them which helped them develop. Otherwise Karen laid down a drum track using the demo as a guide. Everyone piled in with their ideas in the studio but I recorded all the keyboard and vocals at home, including with a few people who pledged to sing on the album. That was fun.

As a band who’ve been together for a while now, there seems to be great chemistry.  Do you bounce ideas off them and are they willing participants?

They do everything I say (Believe that and I have a used Mitsubishi I’d like to sell you). We do get on incredibly well and enjoy each others company. Makes it a lot more fun.

As they have their own things going on do they come to you with ideas for Duncan Reid songs?

Until now, no. But in this lockdown I made a video about writing a song (see it Here) Part of that was showing how I start with doodles I sing into a dictaphone. Nick stole one of them from the video, finished the song and I’ve added lyrics. It’s seriously great and I’d like to do more like that. Less work for me going forward. There are other people I’d like to write with as well. I subconsciously stole the idea for Motherfucker from Simon Love. I’d like to write more with him. Sophie is very secretive about her song ideas. I’m going to prise them off her.

There is a definite shift in sound on this record (I hope you don’t mind me saying) more in line with how the band sounds live was this organic or was it an intentional move?

Intentional. When I recorded Little Big Head I wanted to (a). do as much as I could myself to see if I could, and (b). Get away from that classic Les Paul through a Marshall sound. It’s a very charming album, I think, with a deliberately Power Pop sound. The albums since have become more and more band albums and we’ve strived for a harder and harder sound. There are 14 tracks on this one with the usual sprinkle of softer, dreamily arranged songs with strings and synths. But there are also about 8 rockers that are designed to be hard.

Where did the title come from?  Always curious why bands plum for a certain title for an album.

Sophie suggested it. She suggested Bombs Away for the last one and Don’t Blame Yourself for this one because it’s her favourite Track. I don’t argue with her because I value my life quite highly.

You’ve included the sleeve notes which comprehensively detail what the songs are about.  Not something generally done bands like to keep a mystery about what it might be about but you’ve really pulled back the curtain. tell us why you’ve done that?

I’ve done it on every album and it’s very popular. I also write blogs on our website going into greater detail about certain songs. I do it because I enjoy it and I’m very proud of my lyrics which make me think I’m very clever 😉 Most of the songs are about my life, things that have happened to me or stories I’ve come across that I find interesting. I think that by giving people more insight into what’s underneath the lyrics, they also will appreciate just how clever I am.

Are you constantly looking around for ideas for songs or do you just wait for an idea to come to you?  what songs came the easiest to write and record and also the opposite what took longer something you didn’t give up on that you’re really pleased with?

I am always looking for song ideas. Sometimes a cute phrase will come into my head which I’ll write down to store up for later. Looking at my notes now an example is “A sad salad in Dundalk” which comes from the time we played at the Stags Head in that overly hospitable Irish town and had a lock-in after the gig. We arrived back at the hotel in the early hours having had no dinner and gatecrashed a wedding to get something to eat. The leftover salads were very sad. What a great story for a song. It’ll turn up one day along the lines of “Saved by a sad salad in Dundalk”. I often go long periods where nothing occurs to me then I’ll see something to spark it off. Like, on the new album, the stranger in a pub who told me I might as well buy him a drink because we could all be dead next week and you can’t take it with you. Cost me a pint but I got a song!

What did the rest of the band contribute musically or lyrically even?  We know they are an endless source of inspiration?

So much. Listen as an example to “Welcome to My World” or “Future Ex-Wife”. Listen to those intricate pop-punk type guitar bits that Sophie and Nick weave around each other that I would never think of. Listen to the drums on “Tea & Sympathy” which has been transformed into a “Police” like track. And Karen’s backing vocals. She sounds like an innocent cherub which is very amusing given what I could blackmail her about. Only trouble is she can blackmail me back!

Mortality figures several times throughout the record does having a band of naughty children help deal with that or are they part of the reason it comes to the fore?

Yes. They will be the death of me! I guess being an extremely old git playing on borrowed time creeps into the writing. The couplet in the “Grim Reaper” sums it up really: “Hear me playing these old fashioned songs. All designed to make him sing-along” I.e. I keep playing to keep the Reaper at bay. And having a bunch of naughty puppies around does that for this old dog. BTW I think my vocal on the last line of that song is the best I’ve ever recorded and Karen’s harmony on it is perfect.

Politics is also a subject you touch on or rather politicians were there ever any consideration to tone it down or cover up ‘Motherfucker’ when can we expect the concept album where you take down the cabinet of clowns we currently have?

Oh boy. As I say on the cover, reading the tweets of an Essex lad idolising an aristocratic prick who, if he met him, would think the lad with his tattoos was just a common oik made my skin crawl. I didn’t hold back in the song did I? My wife is waiting for the politician in question to sue me. Better hope we don’t get loads of attention I guess!

Within the title track of the record you to look at global problems, polarised opinions do you think the pandemic and lockdown will reset the gap somewhat or will people just go back to how things were?

Exactly the same opinions are there as before. I saw a post from a government supporter depicting Boris Johnson as a Bodacea type defending the NHS from a foreign virus. I doubt the individual will have considered that the NHS is largely staffed by low paid immigrants and that, if they die helping to save our lives, their families have no protection under the law from deportation. So, we are all united behind the NHS and carers but all in our own individual ways which still reinforce our individual prejudices. That’s not surprising. I’m a bit of a stuck record in trying to get people to watch “The Great Hack” on Netflix. It’s really important people appreciate the level of sophistication with which we are bombarded on social media to influence us and reinforce the views lurking under the surface. And that political parties in all countries, as well as Russia and China, are doing it on a massive scale. Because we are bombarded with our own tailor-made messages divisions will increase. Sounds like the ramblings of a nutter doesn’t it but watch the program. “Don’t Blame Yourself” is about those divisions and the way the internet is just one big bar fight.

Ballad of a Big Head alludes to having a great time, pandemic aside is this Duncan Reid at his best on this record and the recent live shows?  How good is your songwriting now 2020 compared to before or throughout your career are you more confident now being the frontman than before?

I’ve always been a great front man. Casino Steel called me that in The Boys. It was just my job, as I wasn’t a songwriter then, to be the guy at the front, jumping around, getting the crowd going. I’ve always been able to feel an audience and affect them by looking them in the eye. It’s hard to describe but when it’s at it’s most intense it’s the best feeling in the world. And, yes, I think I’m better now than I’ve ever been for a couple of reasons. More and more I become this other person on stage and that person seems to get funnier and more in tune with the audience. The other reason I’m better is that I’m in the best live band I’ve ever been in surrounded by people who are also great at showing off. Because that takes the pressure off I seem to grow with it.

Before a record is released there is a period where you think “Is this record up to scratch?” You’ve heard it so much you just don’t know. Now a few people have heard it and they are raving about it and saying it’s our best. So I must be a better songwriter, producer, musician and singer (although I think I’ve always been brilliant!) 😉

Staying with the lockdown I see you’ve been busy making videos, has this been a creative time song wise?

Every cloud I suppose. It’s been frustrating releasing a record and seeing a great run of tours and festivals collapse around our ears but I have been writing so that’s good.

‘Dave’ is such a great song are there any plans to make a double concept album record one is where you takedown your twelve most interesting political figures then the second record is songs about your fans because if you have writers block I know a bloke called ‘Bellend’ he’s an endless sauce of musical inspiration.

In a word ……no. No plans along those lines. But I know Bellend and I have a song up my sleeve called “Knob” for him.

Do you look back at the time you’ve spent writing and recording an album and reflect or is it full stop and move on?  If you do reflect what are you most proud of with the new album?  It had a few bumps along the way from crowdfunding to lockdown you must be delighted all things considered it even became a physical thing at all.

Right now, as we are so proud of this album, it’s all about promoting it in whatever way is possible especially given we can’t do the thing we are so good at which is play live. And yes on top of Lockdown we had the whole Pledge thing going belly up the day after we started. But actually we were really lucky. No one lost any money and we learned how to do it without paying what would have been over £1,000 to Pledge Music for them to waste on their expenses. That £1,000 was a great help in getting the album made.  There isn’t one thing above all else I’m proud of about the album. The songs, playing, sound …you name it, it’s all great. The variety though. I don’t know of other bands in our area who have as much variety. Some of the more “77” fans who follow us say “I wish you’d stop writing those slow songs”. I just reply: “You are a cloth-eared dunderhead”. I think that’s reasonable.

Have you ever been approached by other musicians to write with is that something you’d like to explore?  Maybe something out of your comfort zone?

No one has ever approached me. Probably a fear of me saying no since people apparently find me a bit frightening. I’d like to do it.

Finally, As always you make it look easy and always like its always a pleasure and never a chore what next for you guys?  Lockdown restrictions being lifted of course what would you like to do you haven’t already done or somewhere you’d like to go play?

We’d love to get back to everywhere we’ve played up till now, especially the US. I’d even amend my opinion of Boris Johnson if he could get the Americans to change their visa process for musicians so that you could get one without bankrupting yourself. Now we have 3 hours of catalogue over 4 albums to chose from I’d also love to make a double live album. One album unplugged, which we are brilliant at, and one the full on live experience with Sophie on Nick’s shoulders.

The not so difficult fourth album is upon us it would seem. He might have been in this game for several decades but as a solo artist, Duncan is a mere pup, a fresh-faced newbie of sorts (he’s still playing the introducing stages). With a line-up that’s been in situ for some time – well, more time than any other line up he’s assembled since going his own way and on ‘Don’t Blame Yourself’ they’ve really spread their collective wings and are soaring, trust me on this.

My criticism (not really a criticism I love this guys music) of previous efforts was that (as great as they were) they didn’t really reflect the band live and how bloody good they are and how much punch they give to the most excellent melodies and tunes they were playing.  Well, pop pickers that has been put to bed as ‘Don’t Blame Yourself’ has plenty of grunt under the hood and Rock out with the big boys on record as they do live. Result then?  Hell Yeah!

‘Don’t Blame Yourself’ offers up fourteen slices of powerpoppin’ Rock and Roll of all shades and sounds and has pushed Duncan and his songwriting talents to the max and on multiple plays its paid dividends each and every time. It’s reflective, humorous and on the odd occasion, it’s on political point and always insightful, damn educational even who’d have thought it? Rock and Roll teaching the masses. Above all I think Duncan has penned his best record since taking the plunge and with no better example than the opener ‘Future Ex Wife’ as it comes roaring out of the traps.

Some of the record has been road-tested live and worked, I know that because I’ve seen and heard ’em played and it looks and sounds like a great choice to do that. theres always a heap of charm with Duncan’s solo records either with wicked melodies or vocal arrangments and harmonies pretty much all over the place.

I particularly like that Duncan has sat on the fence with ‘Motherfucker’ and can’t wait for his next political observation,  Hell yeah! Brother. The flow of the record is great as you get picked up and a lyric jumps out and makes you smile only to have your thought taken somewhere else due to a killer hook or vocal arrangement, thrown together it certainly wasn’t and if it was..well, the guys clearly a genius. To make it a trio of opening cuts ‘Welcome To My World’ is a slice of power pop where the guitars weave towards the chorus where you get the layered vocals cap off another top tune.

He still throws a curveball and a change of pace. The hypnotic ‘Tea & Sympathy’ has a larger slice of pop than the previous songs as it heads down a new wave maybe XTC sort of avenue. ‘To Live Or Live Not’ is classic Reid  But wait, ‘The Grim Reaper’ sounds like ’70s New York pop or Supertramp but it doesn’t sound out of place with all its trumpet tooting grandeur.

The first time I heard ‘For All We Know’ it was instantly imprinted on my brain and its still a winner on record capturing the backstory of the song perfectly. If you were to hear it being told this is how it would sound in your head. A top tune to end side one. Side two begins with the dreamy qualities of ‘Oh What A Lovely Day’  If the keyboards of classic Damned ‘Strawberries’ and ‘Black Album’ era possibly Sensibles style and touch are your things then songs like this are right up your street.  Layers of vocals and keyboards with the hint of some guitars to take it home. After the Big Heads get their tune. The title track is like the band has channeled Bolans boogie and chosen the medium of Les Paul riffs to express themselves. Stripped it back with a sparse arrangement, unfussy riff-a-rama, and no big layered harmonies and it really works well even the guitar solo is minimal and that fits perfectly.

I could waffle here all day (some might say I do anyway),  that only gives them ‘Big Heads’ bigger heads but it would be a dereliction of duty if I didn’t big up the Big Heads and this most excellent LP. Rockin’, Rollin’, thoughtful, insightful, soothing, amusing to name a few of its qualities, as far as albums released this year goes this will unquestionably be up there as the best released in what is unfolding as the strangest years ever but ‘Don’t Blame Yourself’ is a bonafide Banger!

If you are familiar with Duncan and his music you’re going to love it and there is so much on offer you could pick out a new favourite track each time. If you’re still reading and still curious and have no idea about Duncan Reid & The Big Heads then don’t be shy – jump in they don’t bite, my advice –  just buy it! sit in the garden open all your windows and your lockdown has just got 87% more bearable. Hell, shout over the fence to your neighborhood, “Enjoy the tunes – They’re Fuckin’ Great” then tell ’em they can pick up a copy from the link.my work here is done.

Buy ‘Don’t Blame Yourself’ Here

Author: Dom Daley





Raising their voices from lockdown, fast-rising Manchester punk-trio Aerial Salad return with ‘Stressed’, the third single to be taken from their new album ‘Dirt Mall’, released as the world clamped down earlier this year via Roach Industries/Plasterer Records.


‘Stressed’ is a scream of frustration at the daily grind of working life: “I would walk past the location we filmed ‘Stressed’ every day for two years on my way to work,” explains guitarist and vocalist Jamie Munro. “I always knew I wanted to film the ‘Stressed’ video there because it’s an old office block. ‘Stressed’ is a song about my descent into madness while working in an office for a blue chip company; the song’s not a glorification of weed, more just me pointing out how sad it is that that’s the only respite that can be conjured for a lot of people in their early 20s working shit jobs just to pay rent. Shout out to Tommy from Bruise Control, Lauren from LAD$ Zine (go check that out) and Keiron from Don Blake for their extra work and Mark Richards for filming.”

“I’m glad we managed to film on location,” continues Jamie. “It was boarded up, so we recorded in early February and high winds knocked down the gate to the location so really the universe clearly needed to see this video and so do you!”


Order ‘Dirt Mall’  Here

Aerial Salad are:


Jamie Munro – guitar/vocals

Mike Wimbleton – bass/vocals

Matty Mills – drums


Find Aerial Salad online at:



I guess they hoped against hope and the inevitable had to happen but Team Rebellion has given a full and comprehensive press release that shows their class.  A full and frank release goes over and above and shows they had the fans at heart and let’s keep our fingers crossed that come next August this year’s washout will be a distant memory.
“We are absolutely heartbroken to have to announce that it’s not possible for this year’s Rebellion to go ahead.
Please keep your WEEKEND TICKETS as they will get you into Rebellion 2021.
All-day tickets will be refunded.”
“We have been monitoring the situation and looking at all options and whilst we were genuinely very optimistic 2 months ago and honestly thought that this would all be done and dusted half a year ahead, it’s clear that as each day passes things are taking a lot longer to go back to any sense of ‘normal’. All the indications are that mass indoor gatherings will not take place for some time to come. Obviously ticket sales have ground to a halt since the lockdown so the conclusion we’ve come to is that even if the Winter Gardens is allowed to open in August, we won’t be able to put on the same standard of festival that you’ve all come to know and love. We are already losing key bands and there would be people that had bought tickets that either can’t travel (if overseas travel is still banned) or choose not to travel and it’s unfair on them too. Further, we’ve listened to bands, fans and crew and the feedback has tended to move from an optimistic and positive response with people wanting it to happen to many of us now reluctantly accepting that it’s not the best thing to do for our communities health and well-being. So for those of you that wanted us to cancel, we feel we’ve done the right thing but for those of you that wanted us to carry on you can rest assured that we looked at every available option on how long we could keep going before we had to make an awkward decision. Putting on a festival of this size is a huge undertaking and our lives have been on hold with regards to pre-production and ticket sales so to be honest we’re running out of time now to make this happen anyway.
REBELLION 2021 is BOOKED!! – AUGUST 5th – 8th
Next year is our 25th Anniversary and we are planning an incredibly special event. We aim to come back bigger and better and put on the party that we are all going to be craving. It is not possible to have the same line up so we will be starting again for 2021. However we’re mindful that many people keeping their tickets bought them off the back of this year’s line up so we will do our best to re-book as many bands as we can subject to availability, budget and our plans for 2021.
Cancelling this year’s event is obviously very damaging. We do not have ‘backers’, we do not have ‘sponsorship’ – Rebellion is a truly independent festival. The venue is not ours. Our only income is from ticket sales and out of that we must cover all our expenses which as you can imagine are massive for a festival this size. We’ve had good years and we’ve had bad years, but we’ve always bounced back from the losses and if we break even then we’ve lived to see another year! But this is unprecedented – we’ve had all the expenses from August to May but if we have to refund everyone’s money it will frankly be devastating. There is a number of ways that YOU can help REBELLION
1) KEEP HOLD OF YOUR TICKET AND USE IT FOR 2021 – You will be getting in to next year at this years prices! You can save up to £45 (depending on when you bought your ticket) by using this year’s ticket to get you in to next year’s event. This will help minimise the amount of refunds we need to do. So no need to buy another ticket. Keep your weekend ticket safe for 2020 and turn up to wristband exchange next year and you’ll get in.
2) BUY A TICKET FOR 2021 NOW! – Tickets are ON SALE NOW for 2021, if you haven’t got a ticket for this year and weren’t coming, an early purchase of 2021 would really help. Our ‘EARLY BIRD’ prices last from TODAY until August 31st and we will be hitting our ‘mid price’ from Sept 1st onwards which is a lot earlier than usual. So now really is the best time to buy.
3) FREE ‘VIP’ PASSES – The first 300 tickets we sell for 2021 will go into a raffle and we will be drawing 50 winners that will receive a VIP PASS for 2021 which will get you all sorts of exclusive access and goodies.
We’ve already been overwhelmed by offers of support and generosity with suggestions to set up a funding page etc. We hope that things don’t get that bad. We are uncomfortable asking for anything as we know times are going to be hard for many. However, for those of you that are asking and are in a position to, you could DONATE YOUR 2020 WEEKEND TICKET. It would make a massive difference to the future of Rebellion and the type of festival and stages we can offer next year if you didn’t use your 2020 weekend ticket and just bought a new one. There will be a goodie bag to say THANKS for anyone that turns up to WRISTBAND EXCHANGE next year with BOTH weekend tickets showing that they had one they could have used but chose to donate that and support Rebellion by purchasing a new ticket. We certainly don’t expect this and know many can’t afford to but for the many people that have contacted offering ways to support, this is probably the easiest and fairest.
For those of you that neither want to come next year or are not in a position financially to support us then of course REFUNDS are available and the information regarding how that works can be found in detail on our WEBSITE – www.rebellionfestivals.com.
We know that many of you go to many different festivals and gigs. We don’t view any other event as a ‘rival’ event to us. We see all live events as one big family that feeds each other with our passion for music. We would urge any of you that also have tickets for other shows that are cancelled to try and avoid refunds if possible. This virus is going to have such a devastating impact on the economy and on businesses and individuals and one of the worse industries to be hit will be the entertainment industry and especially LIVE MUSIC. Many of us in this industry are getting NO SUPPORT from the government. There is no ‘grant’ if you don’t have rateable high street premises, there’s no furloughing if we’re not on PAYE and there’s no support for being ‘self-employed’ if you take money out of the business only when it’s in profit via dividends and there’s no insurance that is going to cover us for cancelling. REBELLION certainly isn’t covered by an insurance policy for this. We’re taking a hit. So many promoters, agents and bands will slip through the net regarding support. Unlike sports events which get huge revenues from TV sponsors, Live Music will be hit terribly. Our only ‘sponsors’ are the people that buy tickets and come to the gigs. Please support all our colleagues at other festivals and shows if you can by minimising REFUND REQUESTS and getting back out and buying tickets for future events as soon as we’re all allowed out again.
ONE LAST THING – Rebellion 2020 is cancelled. Tickets are valid for 2021. That will not change. But what IF the lockdown is lifted by August and many of you choose to come to Blackpool as your Hotels are booked? It would be crazy to not have some event on. Therefore, we’ve kept the dates saved with the Winter Gardens for the possibility of a scaled back event if there was any possible way we could pull this off. This might not be something we can make a decision on until much nearer the time and the type of event, the amount of days, stages and if some of it could be outdoor etc would all have to be decided and turned around quickly. If this were possible it would be a completely separate ticketed event and not be a REBELLION FESTIVAL but an alternative show within the parameters of what would be allowed to happen legally and safely. It’s a long shot and has no bearing on the decision to cancel this year which has been made.
This has been the hardest thing to ever write or publish. Both emotionally and also logistically. We’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes to work out all the procedures for a cancellation. It’s actually a lot harder to cancel a festival than it is to put one on! So, for everyone that has been moaning about us taking too long to cancel, it’s not as simple as you think! We have many ticket outlets, many price points for the tickets and so lots to get in place before we can just say ‘it’s off’. We also need to let the venue, 350 bands and agents know and all our staff, crew and suppliers as it’s not right that the first they hear about it is via Facebook. There’s also massive implications for doing this and despite what you all think we’re a small family team who’s experience is in putting punk gigs on. Therefore, making sure that everything is legal, compliant and transparent also takes time. So – we did listen to your views and that helped us make the decision to cancel. We’ve since been putting everything in place to make this a smooth process. If there’s anything you guys aren’t happy with or think we could / should have done better or differently then please go easy – we’re in unchartered territory and we’re doing the very best we can.
For now, all we ask is that you all remain safe and healthy and we hope to see as many of you as possible in 2021. Your support as ever is appreciated and never taken for granted. We love you.”
Team Rebellion xx

Brand new video hot off the press.  Download The Bar Stool Preachers’ new EP for free! https://www.thebarstoolpreachers.com

You want noise we’ve got plenty of that.  Heres the new video from France’s leading HArdcore noise bringers Stinky. “Distance” is the third preview track from “Of Lost Things”

Finally taken from his excellent new release we covered yesterday here’s Matty James Cassidy with ‘The Race Is On’.

One guarantee when hearing new music from Johny Skullknuckels and his Kopek Millionaires is the songs are from the heart and he will keep the music honest and 100% Rock and Roll.  With a title like ‘Love And Loud Guitars,’ you might get an inkling that Johny isn’t straying from his tried and tested and that I like.  If you grow up in a glorious age of music coming at you from all over the world and new styles and sounds ever day and you act like a sponge and absorb those songs and sounds then when the time is right you rince those tunes into some beautiful new tunes.

Call it a mini album or extended EP it matters not what does matter is there are six new tunes of Rock and Roll from the kaleidoscopic mind of Johny since 2016’s “Hopes and Dreams and Goldfish”. In fact, it’s taken that long to get to this point so was the wait worth it?   Of course it was.  ‘Sid Wishes’ is first out the traps and a ramshackled Heartbreakers sweat and snot opener it is too.  All puffed up chest and Townsend windmills.  ‘Tell Me Baby’ doesn’t hold back either like mixing the ’70s glam meets pub rock with the 80s Hanoi punk like tiger feet in a mystery city.  Sing – Dance throw yourself about because you’re worth it.

If I was to pick a favourite ‘Punk Girl From Another World (A Manchester Love Song)’ would be that tune.  Love the melody and the flow and if this were written by McCoy and Monroe people would be gushing over it.  It wasn’t and I’m giving it the props it deserves.  In a just world, this would be a hit no question one of the best songs Skullknuckles has written.

It’s not all blow the doors off party Rock and Roll.  ‘A Picture In My Memory’ is a melancholy piano roll with some sweet guitars setting the tone, the perfect shade to go with the multicoloured Rockers.  To close off this perfectly formed six-track mini album ‘The Thieving Hands’ close the show in fine fashion with a cheeky smile and they wring out a little bit more snotty Glam Rock ‘n’ Roll.  I love where Kopek Millionaires are coming from and I’ll champion this release – starting here. Get on it all you glam rockin’ punk rockers and get punching the air, the party has started and kopek millionaires fire off the confetti canons of Rock and Roll during this lockdown.  Get on it, the true sound of DIY Rock and Roll in all its glory.

Buy Love And Loud Guitars Here


Author: Dom Daley

Christmas / Bronco – Split (Lux Noise Records / SIXTEENTIMES MUSIC) CHRISTMAS team up with Swiss heavy-stoner boys BRONCO to deliver you some super delicious sound from the underground. This one comes out on limited colour vinyl and the super saucy sleeve. Bronco dish up ‘Cowboy’ and what a heavy riff-a-rama slice of noise it is.  No prisoners at all as for Christmas? well, ‘Candy Me’ is a belter. Crisp riffs and crushing drums is exactly how Turbonegro wish they sounded in 2020.  Having Max Motherfucker blow you a kiss at the end is better than a stick in the eye.  Hardcore heaven with a cheeky picture on that artwork very cheeky indeed. Very limited numbers so snooze you lose.

Buy Here


L.A. Guns – ‘Let You Down’ (Frontiers) After the excellent return to form last years ‘The Devil You Know’ this sees the guns shifting gears to something a lot less turbocharged.  Recording in isolation the band saw fit to get this out for the fans to hear whilst they work on the follow-up Looks like that rich seam they are on is set to continue. Clocking in over five and a half minutes it ebbs and flows nicely something this line up is never set to do is let you down.  check it out Here

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The Speedways – ‘This Ain’t A Radio Sound’ (Snap Records) Second single from the upcoming album ‘Radio Sounds’ (eta June 2020) sees The Speedways add some stardust via a liberal sprinkling of Keyboards. The verse is light and the perfect foil to the chorus and the dreamy solo.  Bv’s and handclaps the Speedways go straight to the top of the Power pop class no question. To add the cover is timewarp tastic.  Diggin’ deep and throwing a real curveball shows that Matt and the boys have no boundaries and are fearless in their execution.  Should be heard on the wireless all summer all over the land and some.  Can’t wait for the album now on the strength of this.
includes our cover of the Billy Ocean classic.

Buy Here


Chesty Malone and the Slice ’em Ups – ‘The Fine Art of Choking’ (Quarantine Version) (self Release) The lockdown seems to have galvanised a lot of bands and has got the old creative juices flowing and Chesty Malone are no exception.  Looking for a soundtrack to get those exercises done well here you go ‘The Fine Art Of Choking’ is that soundtrack. A little more laid back (if I might be so bold) than the usual fair from these Noo Yawk City maniacs but fear not my punk rockin’ friends it’s a bonafide fuckin’ banger.  If you really want to push yourself then ‘State Violence/State Control’ is more in your face punk rock kicking and screaming but what else would you expect if you cover a Discharge song.  Wonderful noise as always maybe we should quarantine these punk rockers more often.  Love the solo on this. Buy Here


Matty James Cassidy – ‘4x4x1’ (Self Release) Hold on a cotton-picking minute! Matty James Cassidy has lassoed in a few of his bandmates to play on these four countrified blues numbers as the band rip it up on the barnyard ‘The Race Is On’ and capture the mood perfectly.  Next up they twist the Stones ‘Dear Doctor’ into a much lighter beast and take ownership of this classic and do it justice. ‘How Come’ is a real belter and the arrangement is excellent and adds a much-needed chink o flight in these dark times. Everybody loves a bit of boogie woogie on the old joanna and some clean guitar breaks right? Yehaw!

To take this excellent EP home Matty goes for the acoustic ‘Old Shoes’ and an end must come which is a shame because this is a really excellent collection.  Great stuff.  Buy Here


Pabst – ‘Hell’ (Ketchup Tracks / The Orchard) Berlin’s Pabst have released the video for brand-new single ‘Hell’, a song that openly confronts the darker emotions and what a banger it is too.  After supporting the likes of Husker Du’s Bob Mould Pabst are set to release their new album  ‘Deuce Ex Machina’ mid-June and if this is an indication of what to expect then its something to look forward to and get in on the pre-orders. A fantastic song from a really talented band who write great hooks and use everything at their disposal call it post-punk, indie pop, whatever they clearly know how to write great tunes and ‘Hell’ is another. Pre-order the album HERE.  Facebook

Fontains DC – ‘A Hero’s Death’ (Partisan Records)   Barely a year since their debut ‘Dogrel’ earned them a spot as one of the most acclaimed new bands of 2019, Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. will return with ‘A Hero’s Death’  the LP in a couple of months. A glimpse under the curtain as to what to expect is the video for the title track of the new album right here.

Pre-order / Pre-save the album: Here

Purchase / Stream the single: Here

Michael Des Barres – ‘Anarchy In The UK’ (Wicked Cool Records) fronted the bands Silverhead and Power Station.  The latter played the Live Aid festival in 1985.  Michael is currently a DJ in Little Steven’s Underground Garage and yup you’ve read that right This release is a cover of The Sex Pistols’ ‘Anarchy in the UK’, which was produced and arranged by Stevie Van Zandt.  If you’re expecting a snarly slice of Des Barres punk rock then I suggest you step away from the speakers now.  This one got strings and swing and whilst I’m not really convinced if he just tried to copy the original we’d all be laughing like we did when Mutley Crue and Megadeth had a go at being the Pistols.     The B-side is an original, which features Genya Ravan on co-lead vocals. and that’s much more appealing. Facebook Buy Here


Hot Nuns – ‘Rude, Dumb & Anxious’ (Loyal Blood Records) Norwegian power punk rock duo Hot Nuns, featuring members of Blood Command are back with a new EP titled “Rude, Dumb & Anxious” it features four new tracks including a cover of The Boys’ “First Time”.

The duo comments on the album. “The record is four tracks of stripped-down punk rock. Its only drums, bass, and our vocals. We have a rule that if we can’t play it live we can’t put in on record either. So there is no cheating here. Not trying to be pretentious, but we try to make music the same way Lars Von Trier made Dogville. No fancy extra layers needed to get the story across. The lyrics are mostly about sad losers longing for love except for the title track ‘Rude, Dumb & Anxious’ which is about people who will say whatever about stuff they don’t know just to fit in and look good.”  So the proof is always in the pudding as they say.  The opening track comes on like a thunder blast of melodic aggression not to dissimilar to something Therapy? might write (with some obvious sound differences second cousins if you like). ‘I Love You Still’ is more of the same a groovy adjit pop tune played by post-punk rockers. they’re not the first to go with the overdriven bass and drums but they do fill a room and its surprisingly listenable that’s for sure. The track I was looking forward to hearing most was how they’d interpret the Boys cover and to be fair they do a sterling job and one I’m sure the writers would be proud of but then again it’s such a classic it’s hard to fuck up even if that’s what you were trying to do. To wrap it up the title track is a right banger as well so top marks from me for this EP.  great effort! Facebook

FRND CRCL – ‘Deception’ (FCMedia) New Joirsee pop-punkers go for broke on their new album and pay homage to the genre rather than reinvent it.  This is taken from their second album and like I say does a grand job in a Blink or all American rejects style.  Nothing new but really well done.  It’s bright and upbeat and ebbs and flows nicely.  Layered with acoustic guitars n all sorts so a lot going on when it’s loud it’s loud and when it’s building it does so rather well to be fair. More punk than pop to be fair Website / Facebook you can buy the album Here





Thee MVPs – ‘A Song For The Councillor’ (Eesy Records) A song about how we should probably get together more often. Sardonic verses, a damn catchy chorus (even if it is wordless) a shreddy middle 8, a motown bassline followed by a heavy chug riff in the bridge, a little bit of everything this record offers all in one tune, something the psych heads can shake it too, the dads with a night off can crowdsurf too, goths can throw shapes too and the skaters and crust punks can throw fists too (all common sightings at any MVPs gigs). Lyrically speaking it’s Funeral Part 2 without the name, a Spiritual Successor which is also spiritual with the words without getting too Rainbow Rhythms. I think this tune is ringing through a bit clearer during this pandemic if you ask me, everyone really should talk to each other more. In memory of Uncle Will, who served in the Desert Rats in WW2, who we all called Councillor when he arrived at the pub after he’d ridden his bike two miles into town and put his bets on for the day, he passed at 96, he only packed in the cycling 6 months prior. Gravesend’s Harry Dean Stanton. The Second Single from the First LP from Thee MVPs and the First LP from Eeasy Records.

SHIT TINNIES – ‘Town’  (Riot Records) Shit Tinnies you that’s their name Shit Tinnies haha is there such a thing?  They’re a whirlwind of punk rock, ska, hip-hop and everything in between but here it’s more basic and street punk. Exploding onto the Sydney scene in early 2019, Of course they’re Australian where else on the planet is it called a tinnie? To be fair they play a fairly standard punk sound clearly influenced by the likes of Rancid on this evidence and others like some of the Brit Oi! bands who’ve seen a resurgence in recent years it’s great to hear young ones taking on board the sounds and turning it into something new and trying to keep things fresh  will also get the metal fans on board with those crunching riffs Facebook     Buy Here



DESTRENDS – ‘Wasteland EP’ (Bread & Butter Records)

Jessie Wagner – ‘Over And Over’ (Wicked Cool Records) Sweet sweet soul music from Jesse with some cool brass and some blues that would make joe Perry blush when he’s honkin’ for bobo.  The horn section adds some polish to a really cool tune. It’s soulful and street cool all in one and like she’s shaken her moneymaker and danced with Kravitz and played her Bellrays albums over and over. To add another texture the laid back ‘Put Off Saying Goodbye’ is soulful and her velvet-smooth vocals against the violin is wonderful and the fact she resists breaking out on the tail end of this is great to hear.  A really impressive introduction to a very talented performer  I can’t wait to hear more.

Buy Here


The Zipheads &  The Nosebleed – ‘Banrobber’ / ‘Train In Vain’ (The Strummer Foundation)  both popular stalwarts of the DIY punk scene have teamed up with the Joe Strummer Foundation to release a song each from The Clash’s back catalogue in their own raucous styles, raising money to provide opportunities to musicians and support to projects around the world that create empowerment through music. What’s not to like a great worthwhile cause and two fantastic songs.  Worth a couple of quid of anyone’s money if you can support it at these tough times then grab yourself a couple of top covers in exchange

Buy the songs Here





Goldie Dawn – S/T (Drunken Sailor Records) ‘Gone With The Wind’ is the sound of about a dozen awesome bands rolled into one bubblegum blowing snotty slice of rock and roll. So it’s not the catchiest record you’ll ever hear but its pretty damned good for an introduction especially when the engine gets warmed up after a couple of minutes and they channel their inner Brain James. ‘Crime’ will certainly clean out any hearing problems with the feedback before we roll off round the block on a badass hotrod of attitude punk rock n roll. Love the riff as it scuffs off the rock-solid rhythm like the bastard child of Ziggy era Bowie.  but wait the best is yet to come as ‘What’s Inside (Never Dies)’ and what a Heartbreakers joy ride this is. So yup its got handclaps and a Walter Meets Johnny guitar lick coursing through its veins and I’m always a sucker for some of that.  top tune. But it’s not ending there because the band does ease back a little as we ride out into the sunset with ‘It’s Nothing To Me’.  Bookmark Goldie Dawn or whatever it is the kids do these days I’m expecting great things if this is what they can offer us. Buy Here


Percy – ‘Will Of The People’ (Ten Foot Records) The track comes from their new album ‘Seaside Donkeys’. The album is a work that represents the gritty realism of the 2020s and that is extremely relevant to a country and planet on the brink of unchartered waters. Will Of The People is a fine slice of punk rock with gritted teeth this song sums up living on Shit Island for many people. Buy Here

Cement Shoes – ‘A Love Story Of Drugs & Rock & Roll & Drugs’ (Drunken Sailor Records) After they’ve finished fuckin’ round with the universal fanfare its heads down and hit go but don’t just hit it SMASH The Fucker! ‘Smashed On Glass’ is like a punch in the face using an elephants hoof on the end of a jackhammer.  A marvelous slam of punk rock but it doesn’t end there because ‘Knocked Into The Reptile Enclosure’ sounds exactly how you’d feel if you were.  Terrifying wild frantic and a little metal.  But wait, there’s more but this time it’s a little more melodic and restrained. ‘Going Off The Grid’ is like a psychedelic hardcore Black Sabbath jammin’ with The Fall.  Fucked up?  You bet but I like it to be fair I like it a lot. Cement shoes kick right off – great stuff and right fuckin’ noisy!

Buy Here


Acid Blood –  ‘Waste No Time’  ( JanML/MvL) Swedish punk band Acid Blood have a brand new video out for the track “Waste No Time”, taken from the LP ‘Acid Blood’). The video was directed by Nicklas Viberg and shot at the old blues bar Droskan in the bands hometown of Umeå.  Like a steamtrain that can’t stop fueled by Motorhead riffs and a tonne of attitude.  Acid Blood are right on it like Graham Bonnett but better, much better.



There are many mysteries in this world, but one of the greatest for me is why Butch Walker is not a household name at this point in his career. From his humble beginnings with glam rock hopefuls SouthGang, to chart bothering, power pop sensations Marvelous 3, onto a burgeoning solo career that has accumulated no less than 8 solo albums over the last 20 odd years. Oh yeah, did I mention the day job? His production credits include the likes of Weezer, Panic At The Disco, Pink, Taylor Swift and most recently Green Day…need I go on?

For me, Butch Walker has a certain way with melody and wordplay that few can match. He has the ability to tell a story and tug at the heartstrings, putting the listener right in the picture. Every album has its own merits and every album is better than the last, as Butch strives to not repeat past work and continue to do something fresh.

When I first heard ‘Sycamore Meadows’, I thought he wouldn’t better it, until with his band The Black Widows, he released ‘The Spade’, and so it went on. A master of introspective and retrospective lyricism, his work culminated in 2016 with ‘Stay Gold’, a masterpiece of 80’s throwback stadium rock and lashings of Americana. The blue collar ethics of Springsteen and Bon Jovi were recreated and produced to perfection, the likes of ‘East Coast Girl’ and ‘Can We Just Not Talk About Last Night’ solidifying his reputation as one of America’s best kept secrets.


So how does Butch Walker take it up another notch in 2020? He only goes and releases a concept album, doesn’t he!  ‘American Love Story’ is a full blown rock opera, a story of hate wrapped up in glorious, upbeat signature melodies to die for.

Inspired by the 2016 presidential election, Butch started writing songs about bigotry and race hate, and he then found he could write about nothing else. No love stories, no break up songs. This is a story loosely based on his upbringing in Georgia and the characters he saw around him growing up in a small town environment. These are bittersweet tales told to a soundtrack of late 70’s /early 80’s rock radio from the point of view of a cast of characters. Most songs are sung from the perspective of Bo, a white, middle-aged bigot, along with the gay classmate he bullied in school and a hippy chick named Paris that he ends up marrying.


As with every story it has a beginning and an end. The album flows as one body of work, to be experienced with the press of a button and it will have your attention until the disc stops spinning. With segues and radio interference throughout, it does feel like a journey, a movie in audio if you like.

‘The Singer’ immediately gets the brain ticking with its “are we having a conversation? “ refrain, before first track proper ‘Gridlock’ introduces our protagonist as he returns to his childhood town. Musically, it’s prime Butch Walker, harking back in feel to ‘Letters’. Lush harmonies, a cool guitar lick and though provoking lyrics draw the listener in from the off. Whiffs of 70’s power pop emanate from the speakers, and the sounds of ELO and Gerry Rafferty fill the ears.

The radio friendly ‘Flyover State’ mixes spoken word drawl with upbeat acoustic vibes. Here Butch channels Lou Reed and Tom Petty, while the genius pilfering of Tight Fit’s ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ melody is cleverly changed to fit the theme, “freedom, dumb my way” he sings.

‘6ft Middle-Age American Man’ explores redneck stereotypes, to a happy-go –lucky, Billy Joel like piano led tune. And answers on a postcard if you can guess who the line “my Jesus wore a frown and a red ball cap” refers to.

Anti-love song ‘Fuck It (I Don’t Like Love)’ paints a stark picture of where our man comes from over a soundtrack of Kiss guitar harmonies and stadium-sized handclaps. We are then introduced to his school victim and his struggle with living the American Dream and ultimately coming out in the piano-led ‘Divided States Of America’.

We are mid-album and that leads nicely into the moment of change in the story. ‘Out In The Open’ is told from the perspective of ‘the bullied classmate’ in vivid detail. From the school days of bullying, empathising with Bo and ultimately the irony of pulling “the guy who called me ‘faggot’” from a car wreck and saving his life. Musically it’s ‘Hazard’ meets ‘Dry County’, FM territory done the Butch way, with an epic guitar solo to boot. I feel the contrast between the melody and the lyrics is what makes this song so damn immersive.


“So, are we having a conversation yet?” Announces Butch, as if needing confirmation that we are hooked. Side two sees Bo questioning his beliefs on ‘Torn in the USA’ and following pro-white radio interference, the funky ‘Everything White’ owes as much to Chic as it does to Springsteen and Gerry Rafferty.

‘Pretty Crazy’ introduces the hippy chick Paris, who comes along and changes Bo’s life for the better. Again, this is classic Butch, it could’ve easily fitted nicely on either of the Black Widows albums. A nice guitar line that follows the church choir “wooh-wooh’s” on a sweet melody. Catchy, soaked in summer vibes, with great bluesy guitar licks and handclaps, what more could you ask for in a song about a girl who claimed she did coke with Jesus in the bathroom of a train!?

‘You Gotta Be Just Who You Are’ sees our story jump a few years. Bo and Paris got married; they had a kid who turns out to be gay, oh the irony! But Bo is now a changed man, and this is a love letter to his son told over bombastic 80’s beats, swathes of electronica and choppy, guitar chords straight off a Duran Duran record.

Emotive piano-led closer ‘Forgot To Say I Love You’ is a haunting reprise.  Bo, now an old man, has lived, loved and lost. He takes the ashes of his wife across the desert to see the country as he always said they would.


Apparently, Butch has been sitting on this album for 2 years waiting for the right time to release it. With racist and homophobic references that will surely offend the not so open-minded, it’s a brave and ambitious album to put out into the world and it is sure to jolt minds and fire up conversation. Many will take it out of context and not realise these are the actions of characters from observations of an artist who grew up in a redneck town in Georgia, a place that still holds a place in the writer’s heart.

Even though ‘American Love Story’ was recorded pre-quarantine, the collision of upbeat, radio friendly melodies and dark subject matter make for a thought provoking rock opera, a snapshot of American life that is needed in these troubled times.

Buy ‘American Love Story’ Here


Author: Ben Hughes




Well kiddies if you’ve never happened across these two barber Rock and Rollers then this might just be your lucky day because this here live record is exactly how they’re supposed to sound.  No studio niceties, no bullshit treatment (apart from the Guns N Roses style crowd noise)   Picture this – It’s November of 2019. The Cutthroat Brothers (aka “The Sweeney Todds of punk rock”) are hitting stages across mainland Europe to showcase their brand of two-man hack n slash tunes.

 Suddenly, a change of plans! Covid-19 happens and everything grinds to a screeching halt. A global pandemic followed by travel bans and quarantines changes everything overnight, causing The Cutthroat Brothers’ upcoming tour to be postponed. But worry not fiends because they had the good sense to record the last night of that 2019 tour from Belgium and release it in all its finery.

Featuring twelve choice cuts from their exclusive range and leaving something for the weekend its tight and wild and at times right on the bloody button drawing from their two studio albums. The fuzz buzz of ‘Potions’ sounds fantastic  and quite exciting as it cuts through the airwaves.

 Singer Jason Cutthroat sounds great – full of energy and slashing out the chords takes the songs somewhere different to the studio recordings. Donny Paycheck (ex-Zeke) sounds like ten drummers on the epic ‘Killing Time’.

‘Black Candle’ is menacing but the songs that stand tallest are ‘Wrong’ with a wicked intro and I love the rhythm on ‘Oceans’ as the guitar scuffs and rolls towards the chorus – great stuff.  The songs were mixed and mastered by Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden) while everyone was quarantined in their respective homes. Making this a hattrick of cuts with The Cutthroat Brothers.

As far as live records go this one is pretty damn good and when this crazy world slows down and we return to live shows and foreign travel maybe these cats can come to Shit Island and dish up a set like the one on this record.  I’ll be there and I suggest you do as well Hell we might even get treated to a drum solo like the one on ‘Kill For You’ Not that this kind of behavior should be encouraged but I’ll make the exception here because this one is rather good and it adds to the tension. Ending the set with a blistering and moody ‘King Is Dead’ reminds me of the full-on experience of watching master craftsmen do their finest much like a Gallon Drunk but only two of them and far more menacing (if that’s even possible)   Get on it because they’re worth it! Let’s hope that in the coming months this can get a vinyl pressing it deserves.


Author: Dom Daley

Multi-platinum, four-time GRAMMY-nominated rock band Goo Goo Dolls have debuted a brand new lyric video for their single “Fearless,” one of the standout songs from the band’s 12th studio album ‘Miracle Pill’. Directed and produced by Michael Perlmutter, the comic-book-inspired piece is a heartfelt celebration of life’s everyday heroes.

Goo Goo Dolls also filmed a live performance of “Fearless” in association with Global Citizen for their “Together At Home” Series. The stripped-down rendition was recorded in an effort to spread awareness and raise funds for the World Health Organization to help end the coronavirus Here


Photo Credit: Ed Gregory & Dan Cooper