Top of the list of “bands I should have seen live before I moved”, Pussycat And The Dirty Johnsons are back with album number four, ‘Beast’. Check out any live footage of the band, and you’ll see what I mean. Puss was born for the stage, and with the perfectly fuzzed riffs of Dirty Jake and tribal drums of Filfy Antz, they are a three-piece who command your attention.
Don’t panic, but some songs are over three minutes long, and one breaks the four-minute barrier. Almost prog length by their standards, but the music remains as feral as ever. As ‘Lying In My Bed’ batters your speakers with the fear of “existential dread”, yet you can still shake your bones to it.
There is much, righteous anger and venom across the twelve songs, which shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with their work. Keeping an essentially live sound works well, ‘Doin It’ is perfect for a sweaty club, encouraging you to follow your dreams, regardless of the doubters. Zero tolerance of idiots and hidden agendas runs through ‘Not Your Baby’, ‘Knee Jerk’ and ‘Shit’, while ‘Stale’ despairs at the small town attitudes of “Basingstoke psychosis” (in itself a good title). ‘Abuser’ is plain talking, while the four plus minutes is devoted to ‘Do Ya Feel Me?’, their unique take on a love song, when you wait to see each other again.
‘Hey Honey’ builds from an almost hushed intro, a list of the inevitable judgements of others for carving out your own path. Puss and co. chose their own way long ago. It’s the only way to be happy, and they’re on fine form here.
‘The Land That Time Forgot’ Was written for the most part with Prophets longtime co-conspirator, but after the initial splurge of nailing three tracks in San Fran with Grammy-winning alchemist Matt Winegar, Prophet confesses,
“We hit a wall. Schedules. Money. Towed vehicles: a thousand large to get one van out of lockup.” So the San Fran troubadour returns with his new album varying from the rich heartland rock of songs like ‘Best Shirt On’, to the drum machine driven ‘Marathon’ and all the way back to stripped back words and guitar of ‘Nixonland’ and ‘Get Off the Stage’, Prophet’s work has always been sublime from his days as the perfect foil for Dan Stuart in the magnificent Green On Red to the roots folk and Americana of his early solo career. Chuck Prophet is a rock and roll star a real gunslinger of the six-string variety in a world that needs rock and roll stars and songwriters that just ooze class and quality.
There’s something quite beautiful about the track ‘Paying My Respects To The Train’, Turn the record player up loud, sit back, close one’s eyes and let Chuck pour some good times into my stereo speakers with that mellow baritone croon as he start singing and his stories paint a thousand pictures with the beautiful and dovetailed harmonies of his partner in crime Stephanie Finch, that have always worked so well together on his albums from the early knockings of Brother Aldo to this like a modern-day Cash and Carter.
‘Fast Kid’ has so much going on whilst swaggering outta the speakers there’s a steady beat holding everything together over some contrasting synths and slide with some easter sounds for good measure all adding up to an incredible listen.
The acoustic ‘Love Don’t Come From The Barrel Of A Gun’ is more upbeat than it sounds whereas ‘Nixonland’ is smoldering storytelling at its very best from the snare brushes to the softly spoken words your hanging onto his every word man he could be reading the phone book and it would still be cool.
The album continues to twist and turn with the fantastic balladeering of ‘Meet Me At The Roundabout’ and ‘Womanhood’ to the final cut of ‘Get Off The Stage’ and its autobiographical lyrics and spot-on assessment for a certain individual and another twist to complete what is a blindingly good record and I haven’t even gushed over ‘High Like Johnny Thunders’. Let’s just say that this is an album you shouldn’t forget and one you should cherish and love as much as his previous albums, a real genuine American talent of the highest grade, just get yourself a copy and play it to death you deserve it and Chuck Prophet deserves it.
Marilyn Manson announces the release of his eleventh studio album WE ARE CHAOS out September 11 via Loma Vista Recordings. Co-produced by Manson and GRAMMY® Award winner Shooter Jennings [Brandi Carlile, Tanya Tucker], the ten-track opus was written, recorded, and finished before a pandemic blanketed us all. Manson heralds the record’s arrival with the title track and lead single “WE ARE CHAOS,” released today. The accompanying video is directed, photographed and edited by Matt Mahurin.
Manson’s painting, Infinite Darkness, which can be seen on the album cover, was specifically created to accompany the music. His fine art paintings continue to be shown all over the world, including gallery and museum exhibitions from Miami to Vienna to Moscow.
Manson says of the album, “When I listen to WE ARE CHAOS now, it seems like just yesterday or as if the world repeated itself, as it always does, making the title track and the stories seem as if we wrote them today. This was recorded to its completion without anyone hearing it until it was finished. There is most definitely a side A and side B in the traditional sense. But just like an LP, it is a flat circle and it’s up to the listener to put the last piece of the puzzle into the picture of songs.
“This concept album is the mirror Shooter and I built for the listener – it’s the one we won’t stare into. There are so many rooms, closets, safes and drawers. But in the soul or your museum of memories, the worst are always the mirrors. Shards and slivers of ghosts haunted my hands when I wrote most of these lyrics.
“Making this record, I had to think to myself: ‘Tame your crazy, stitch your suit. And try to pretend that you are not an animal’but I knew that mankind is the worst of them all. Making mercy is like making murder. Tears are the human body’s largest export.”
LONDON / NOTTINGHAM / BRISTOL / GLASGOW / LIVERPOOL / MANCHESTER / CAMBRIDGE
To celebrate the release of The Psychedelic Furs critically acclaimed new album Made Of Rain, released through Cooking Vinyl this Friday (31st July), the band have announced seven UK shows for April and May 2021 and a special intimate Q&A for Banquet Records in Kingston. Tickets for the Albert Hall show are available now, an exclusive presale for the UK tour will be available from this Wednesday for fans who preorder the new album from the band’s Official Store. Tickets will be on general sale on Friday 31st July.
The full dates are:
27th London Royal Albert Hall *
28th Nottingham Rock City **
29th Bristol O2 Academy **
1st Glasgow Barrowland **
2nd Liverpool Academy **
3rd Manchester Academy 2 **
5th Cambridge Junction **
* Jah Wobble & The Invaders of the Heart
** Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls
The Psychedelic Furs also share a video for their song Come All Ye Faithful, the fourth song to be released from Made Of Rain, alongside No-One, Don’t Believe and You’ll Be Mine. The video, the band’s first Official Music Video in nearly 30 years is shot entirely in black and white and directed by Imogen Harrison. Richard Butler says “‘Come All Ye Faithful’ is a bit about looking for redemption in faith and riches, questioning if either are of any true value and whether redemption is ultimately necessary at all.”
On 26th April, the day before the Royal Albert Hall Show, The Psychedelic Furs will be hosting an intimate Q&A session in association with Banquet Records, at St John’s Church, Kingston KT1 2SU. The Q&A will give fans a personal insight into the making of Made Of Rain. Get tickets here:https://psychfurs.lnk.to/banquetQA Kingston upon Thames has a special resonance to Richard and Tim Butler as they were both born in the local area.
From its exhilarating opening bars, Made Of Rain is classic Psychedelic Furs in both its sound and execution. It’s a joy to hear again, fresher than ever. The album was produced by Richard Fortus with The Psychedelic Furs, whilst mixing duties were handled by Tim Palmer (David Bowie, U2, Robert Plant). Made Of Rain is available on CD, Double Gatefold vinyl and digitally as well as exclusive formats and autographed options via the Official Store.
The Psychedelic Furs released seven critically acclaimed studio albums – ‘The Psychedelic Furs” (1980), ‘Talk Talk Talk’ (1981), ‘Forever Now’ (1982), ‘Mirror Moves’ (1984), Midnight To Midnight’ (1987), ‘Book Of Days’ (1989) and ‘World Outside’ (1991). They released many classic singles throughout the ’80’s and into the 90’s, including: ‘Sister Europe,’ ‘Love My Way,’ ‘The Ghost In You,’ ’ Pretty In Pink,’ ‘Heaven,’ ‘Heartbreak Beat,’ ’All That Money Wants’ and ‘Until She Comes.’
In recent years, the band has toured, completing a tour of North America in 2019 and also played acclaimed shows at The Hollywood Bowl, All Points East, Hyde Park, Benicàssim and a celebrated run of UK shows including headlining the prestigious Meltdown at the Royal Festival Hall at Robert Smith of The Cure’s request. Most recently, the band performed a sold-out tour of the UK and Europe which culminated in a triumphant show at the Roundhouse in London.
The last few years have seen the band’s legend growing, highlighted by the fact they have scored over 150 million streams of their songs worldwide. Their influence since arriving on the post-punk landscape four decades ago has reverberated and resonated with many bands that have followed. Additionally, artists from The Strokes to The Killers to REM to Foo Fighters to Bob Dylan has have sung their praises.
In addition to lead singer Richard Butler, the six-piece line-up features co-founder Tim Butler (Richard’s brother) on bass, Mars Williams on saxophone, Rich Good on guitar, Amanda Kramer on keyboards and Paul Garisto on drums.
Doojiman & The Exploders is the dream team put together by the mighty Doojiman and his right-hand man Woogie Wombach. They flew far and wide through the galaxy to put together a robot army of cool kids under the name ”The Exploders”. On their travels through The Milky Way, they picked up quite a few influences ranging from Ramones, Alice Cooper and The Stooges to The Hives, Turbonegro and Bloodhound Gang. And of course the sounds of animals such as Dingos, Owls and Bunnies. Mixing all of the above into a superweapon to conquer Earth. With a bunch of EP’s, singles and one full-length album (Sweden’s Newest Hit Makers) they’re now here with their sophomore album “Doojiman & The Exploders II: Electric Boogaloo” to put some lotion on your skin and so forth.
Well, that’s what they wanted to say and I hope you can make sense of where these cats are at. Play either of those records and if you still don’t get it then maybe Rock and Roll just isn’t for you.
OK, so who the fuck are you?
Doojiman & The Exploders consists of Doojiman, his right-hand man Woogie Wombach, Timekeeper Patlanta, Artillery Battery Commander Dan Juan and Tank Commander Kallefornia. (Pata – Vox, Jeppe – Lead Guitar, Patrik – Guitar, Dan – Drums & Kalle – Bass). The band was put together by Pata and Jeppe in 2014 and has since picked up members along the way during drunk and fast travels around the city of Stockholm, Sweden. Think of them as the Inglourious Basterds of Scandinavian Rock’n’roll.
Where on God’s green earth are you from or what planet?
We’re from Stockholm, Sweden.
How did you put the band together?
By screening thousands of possible applicants Doojiman and Woogie Wombach eventually settled on three low life dropouts who do what they are told as long as they got something to drink.
What recordings have you made so far?
2014 – Police W. Rangler (Digital Single) 2014 – Watch Out! Look Out! (Digital EP) 2016 – Sweden’s Newest Hitmakers (Digital Album) 2018 – Rickety Cricket / Shameless (7″ Single + Digital Single) 2019 – Milk / Dogs (Digital Single) 2019 – From Myself (Digital Single) 2020 – Doojiman & The Exploders II: Electric Boogaloo (12″ Yellow/Black Vinyl + Digital Album) 2020 – Watch Out! Look Out (12″ Orange Vinyl (+ Police W. Rangler Single B-side)
Post Pandemic Plans?
Hopefully spread out music faster than fucking covid spread, we’ve heard that stuff spread pretty fast in Italy. We also are in dire need of a new Intelligence Officer (Booking Agency) so if you’re up for the task and love the songs, give us a ring!
Previous album reviews on RPM Online Here & Here Heavy Medication & Beluga Records respectively both offer great services and decent shipping rates from Europe
SO EXCITED to announce a BRAND NEW ALBUM, “Nowhere To Go But Everywhere”! The album comes out Sept 18th, BUT, our new single, ‘Jesus & John Lennon’, is OUT NOW!
Swiftly following on from their Independent Music Award winning debut album, Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts are delighted to announce its follow-up: ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’. Pre-order here.
Little over a year since the release of his enthusiastically received debut ‘This Is The Sound’, the Texan maestro backed by his trans-atlantic band will release 11 brand new tracks on 18th September 2020 in what will be their sophomore release for the Wicked Cool label.
& Here’s a handy link to listen to the new single, pre-order the album, and/or pre-save it on Spotify, iTunes etc…
Like some of the greatest records in history, the bittersweet and often beautiful songs of ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ have their basis in break-up. In the wake of a divorce and in urgent need of a new start, Hamilton hit the highway and embarked on a long, soul searching road trip across the US. Losing himself in the heartlands of old America, Hamilton found himself gazing upon the crumbling motels and diners that line fabled arteries like Route 66 and picturing what once might have been; their fading grandeur offering a unique sense of solace and inspiration. As the milometer ticked-on and new experiences began to ease those unshakeable notions of hurt and heartbreak, unexpectedly Hamilton felt himself writing some of the most intimate and personal music he has ever written.
“It’s a group of songs about heartbreak, and finding yourself.” says Hamilton of the new record. “It’s not like anything I’ve ever done. I am certain they’re the best songs I’ve ever written. When this album comes out, it will be like baring my soul… and I’m ok with that.”
Literature fans may be quick to identify the title as a quote from another creative work written “On The Road”, by a certain Jack Kerouac. Though a fan, Hamilton insists its pure serendipity in this case. Or, the influence of a lucky charm perhaps (also seen to feature on the upcoming album artwork)…
“I knew it had to be the title for this album.” he says. “Kerouac is a hero, and because of the way this album was written, his spirit is all over it. I actually own Jack Kerouac’s belt. That he wore in the 60s… It’s a cherished possession.”
With a lifelong adoration for the work of Tom Petty, listeners will no doubt detect the influence of the great man in the warm and radiant arrangements of album opener “Only A Dream” or the gentle Califonian kissed balladry of “Pick Yourself Up”. But it seems a final pit-stop and pilgrimage to the famed Norman’s Rare Guitars in LA, would play its part in determining the resultant sound of ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ too.
“Norman is the go to guy for a lot of big names out there. Including my hero, Tom Petty.” reflects Hamilton. “I went in the store at the end of that aforementioned road trip from Texas… and had no intentions of leaving with a guitar. But, Norm and I got to talkin’, and we talked about Tom… and before I knew it, I was leaving with a vintage Martin acoustic. That guitar feels like my child. I cherish it.”
Returning home filled with a sense of rejuvenation and alive with new ideas, Hamilton reconnected with The Harlequin Ghosts (aka Mickey Richards and Rob Lane) and a host of talented musicians to help recreate his journey in the songs of what would become: ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’.
Taking a similar approach to the recording process of their debut, ‘This Is The Sound’, the new album was recorded using both Hamilton’s home studio in Texas and that of producer Dave Draper’s in the UK, who also produced, mixed & mastered the final cut. Hamilton laid down the bulk of the record whilst also touring his solo acoustic tour in February 2020, before the declaration of the global pandemic saw Hamilton forced to return home to add the finishing touches.
Not one to sit still for long, Hamilton even found time to write an additional EP’s worth of material, ‘Incommunicado‘. Connecting remotely with producer Draper, plus other fellow musicians in lockdown in the UK and France, the EP recorded and released completely in lockdown. Dropped without prior warning in May 2020 and with all proceeds going to the Music Venue Trust’s ‘Save Our Venues’ campaign, it shot straight up the charts to become Hamilton’s first number 1 album (iTunes Country Chart) and sets the precedent for a magnificent long player to follow this Autumn.
Wise with the experiences of life and glowing with the sense of adventure of his travels, ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ is an exceptional new chapter in the Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts story. Just make sure to save them a table at the awards ceremonies next year…
RYAN HAMILTON & THE HARLEQUIN GHOSTS – NEW ALBUM:
‘NOWHERE TO GO BUT EVERYWHERE’- OUT 18 SEPTEMBER 2020, VIA WICKED COOL
PRE-ORDER HERE || LISTEN TO JESUS & JOHN LENNON HERE
I just can’t help it but whenever I get a new album to review from a band from my neck of the woods, I always think of the mid 1980s and the days when nearly every Welsh band out there wanted to be a Poundshop version of the fucking Alarm.
God those days used to be grim. Thankfully though, they were also pretty short lived and as the ‘90s dawned “Cool Cymru” quickly became a phrase to bandy around whenever the music press got the whiff of any new band from over the Severn Bridge, and Newport (via the Legendary TJ’s venue) earned comparisons to the then very much in vogue Seattle, spawning such bands as Dub War, 60ft Dolls, Flyscreen and Novocaine in the process, all of whom were snapped up by a major label looking to sign the next big thing.
Here in 2020 and with the UK music industry post lockdown now sailing rather precariously through unchartered waters, the cynic in me can almost sense a return to those bad old days of the 80s, which also made me lose all hope of finding anything exciting enough to get me writing again.
That was until I heard ‘Lies to Tell Your Children’ by Stay Voiceless.
Four years on from first being blown away by their profoundly off-kilter ‘Those Kids Have No Idea Whatsoever Of What Went On At Stalingrad’ single, this all new ten tracker demands you to sit up and listen right from the very first chord, acting like some kind of clarion call for those of us who’ve simply had a fucking gut’s full of the here and now, plus hidden not so deeply within the grooves of the sublime ‘Where’s Our Summer Revolution’ we also now have our call to arms.
Utilising the studio skills of ex-Novocaine man Richard Jackson (who has previously worked with the likes of The Automatic, Young Legionnaire and Future Of The Left) along with Jamie Young for ‘Lies to Tell Your Children’ is quite possibly the band’s masterstroke here though, as this is also one of the finest sounding Independent records I’ve heard all year (the thump of Andrew Edwards’ bass on album closer ‘Something For Now’ really has to be heard to be believed) and if ‘Stalingrad’ acted as my gateway drug then opener ‘They Don’t Make Prisons Like They Used To’ immediately has me back on the Voiceless gear. I really can’t help thinking that this is maybe what The Guns or Exit_International might have sounded like if they had been afforded a major label budget – but let’s not forget this is a self-financed release – and this track is a huge (but natural) sonic leap for Stay Voiceless, and when I say the band they most remind me of is little known (well here in the UK anyway) Swedish alt-rockers Division of Laura Lee then I really do mean that as a complement.
As the album progresses ‘We’re Not Lovers’, ‘Slaves & Silicone’ and first single from the album ‘I Am Weight’ all bear the buzzsaw guitar trademarks of many a ‘90s TJ’s headliner whereas ‘Comfortable’ and ‘Little Fixes’ see Stay Voiceless embracing the post-punk early ‘00s influences of their former bands while also revealing an underlying pop sheen. ‘Postmadonna’ though, is for me, where Stay Voiceless sound at their most lethal with guitarist/vocalist Chris Morgan, drummer Cerys Bennet and bassist Andrew Edwards powering along like Andy Cairns, Fyfe Ewing and Michael McKeegan at their chart bothering best.
‘Lies to Tell Your Children’ channels all of the energy of Stay Voiceless live (something I would suggest you do tout suite once it is safe to do so again) and hits you straight between the eyes, it really is like a juggernaut packed full of angst and rebellion being joyridden through your council estate at three in the morning with the next generation of Rassau freedom fighters behind the wheel.
‘Lies to Tell Your Children’ It’s released on August 7th 2020 on limited edition 12” white vinyl, gatefold digipak CD and download via the link below. So, never mind the bollocks going on in the here and now boys and girls, here’s Stay Voiceless and they are the future, your future.
First up is the first single off the excellent Pardon Us. ‘Undertow’ sees the band release their lockdown social distanced video for the first track off their ‘Seamless’ album due out towards the end of August.
Another band we a loving here at HQ is Indonesian Junk who also have a new album ‘A Life Of Crime’ out on Rum bar records
Finally, we bring you Stay Voiceless who also have a new record ‘Lies To Tell Your Children’ and the review of said record will be online this week
UK rockers, STEVIE R. PEARCE AND THE HOOLIGANS, have announced the release of their second studio album “MAJOR LEAGUE SON OF A BITCH” on September 24th, 2020. The album sees the introduction of Carl Donoghue and Lance Skybaby to the all new 13 tracks.
Stevie Pearce says of the new album: “I really wanted to go a lot further sonically, vocally and with intent with album 2- as a group. You are only as good as your last album which was ages ago now..- and mine was very well received but I’m not complacent and I’m not worried to throw some curveballs…and I think too many seem to be playing it safe…so I’ve doubled the bite for Major League. It’s not nicey-nicey rock by numbers which I’m seeing a lot of at the moment… its eclectic..its also all true… No fictional stories. I have light and dark and I’ve some surprises on it that people probably won’t know what to do with. Dave Draper has also put his heart and soul into this record.. so I’m already winning”
If you suddenly have the desire to collect The Hip Priests 7 inchers, just forget it already! That’s tantamount to saying you are gonna start collecting Star Wars figures or Kiss merchandise…there’s just too damn many, they’re too expensive and you won’t find ‘em all! But lucky for you, those fuckin’ boys have saved you the trouble and gathered together the lost gems, the hard to find cuts and the curios for all The Hip Priest fanboys and fangals to salivate over.
Yes, if you are a fully-fledged member of the Spasm Gang or even just a casual fan, (ie you don’t wear black denim every fuckin’ day!) then you probably already own the comprehensive double album ‘A Decade Of Disdain’. An album that brought together the best of The Hip Priests singles released over 2 pretty coloured records. And if you don’t, then give yourself a slap and get it sorted before we have words!
Well, ‘Solid Gold Easy Option’ is The Hip Priests strike back! 17 hard to find tracks from singles and EPs released between 2017-2019. That’s 6 cover versions bastardised by the band, sandwiched between 11 glorious original jams previously unavailable to mere mortals until now.
If quality, high octane garage rock is your thing, if you dig sonically seductive sounds delivered with more filth and fury than a Johnny Depp/Amber Heard weekend bender, then ‘Solid Gold Easy Option’ is right up your street. The dirty, the clean and the truly obscene rub sweaty shoulders and bloody knuckles in a defiant “fuck you!” to society, with no hint of socially distancing going on.
The epic ‘No Time (Like Right Now)’ is present and correct. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, it’s their punk rock masterpiece, channelling the power of the MC5 with the horns and suss of Rocket From The Crypt, while they rant a diatribe about political skulduggery and post Brexit fuckery. It’s a punk rock anthem for right now. The other 3 tracks from that EP are present and correct, but the punk and belligerent ‘All My Rowdy Friends Are Dead’ and album closer ‘I’m Too Good’ seems to pale in comparison to the overly cool ‘She’s A Queen’. It sounds like Ian Astbury jamming with The Hellacopters, with one finger piano stabs, overly fuzzy guitars and vocals delivered straight from the crotch. It could be my favourite Hip Priests song right now.
Covers-wise, the likes of Motorhead’s ‘The Hammer’ and Demons ‘ Hot Running Blood’ are perfect Hip Priests fodder and stay pretty true to the originals. The Stooges ‘Loose’ is suitably ramshackle, sped up and delivered with guts and glory. Saxon’s ‘Play It Loud’ follows the same path and sounds epic. It’s only Adam & The Ants classic ‘Press Darlings’ that doesn’t really benefit from the Hip Priests rough n’ ready, punk rock treatment for me.
Just because this is a b sides compilation, it doesn’t mean the quality has to suffer. ‘Nihilist Twist’ is a brutal, chanting 2 minute assault on the senses. ‘Dead By Sunday’ literally out ‘copters The Hellacopters and ‘I’m In Exile’ is all killer no filler. Wah-wah infused guitars fight with power chords as newest recruit Gentle Ben fills the right speaker and Austin the left, or is it the other way round? Who knows! But what I do know is the twin guitar attack sounds mighty.
27 singles, 3 EPs and 4 albums since their inception in 2007. It’s true to say that ‘Solid Gold Easy Option’ is more than just a stop-gap collection of odds and sods to keep their fanbase happy until album number 5 drops later this year. This is a quality collection of songs from shit island’s best-kept secret, and any self-respecting punk rock junkie should have it in their collection. The only trouble is do you choose green or blue vinyl?