If songwriters really do think of their songs as being like their children Spunk Volcano must have to keep a beady one eyed watch over every song he writes for the Eruptions, simply because they are the type of tunes that would hang around the shops looking to nick your XR3 whilst flicking you the vees out the back window as they speed off into the night looking for a little road rage.
Hot on heels of 2019’s expansive and belligerent ‘Double Bastard’ set, the wonderfully monikered ‘Barry Milner Is Thick’ is a collection of fourteen of Spunk’s new children that not only continue with his wry life observations but also in places sees the masked menace move the Eruptions sound into (dare I say it?) what some might call a more commercial direction.
From the opening “woah ohs” of the hook-laden ‘Broken Hearts Make Better Songs You See’ through the thunderous bass driven lead single ‘Football In The Sun (Ossie Ardiles)’ to the chugging ‘Soldier On’, the opening 1-2-3 are perhaps the most melodic tracks Spunk has ever penned for the Eruptions, and in doing so I think he’s going to perhaps draw more than just the odd comparison with his other band – Dirt Box Disco. I really do not mean that as any form of criticism, especially as that band’s last album (‘TV Sex Show’) is easily one of their strongest in years, but when you have the same singer in both bands these things are perhaps going to be inevitable.
‘Hard As Nails’ quickly brings things very much back onto more familiar Eruptions turf though and as a song it does exactly what it says on the tin, leaving me feeling like I just received a sonic boot in the bollocks from the masked man and his Eruptions. Likewise, ‘Swiss Army Dick Head’ continues the sideways look at local bellends whilst ‘Little Red Buggy’ perfectly criss-crosses the metal/punk tightrope the band have always chosen to traverse.
‘Magic Manakin’ and ‘I Should Have Seen It Coming’ once again move proceedings into singalong territory with the former containing one of the most infectious opening riffs the band have ever written. ‘Council Pop’ miraculously turns water into a 1 minute 43 second thrasher and in current single ‘Only Got Eyes For You’ Spunk and the boys might have written their greatest song yet. However, when you also add into the mix the anthemic ‘Looking For Something’ (which reminds me of Argy Bargy jamming with Misfits!) and the brutal ‘It’s Fucking Shit’ (a song I would love to think has been influenced in some way by The Hip Priests’ Austin Rocket’s infamous online music reviews) it feels kind of wrong to pick out single tracks for a special mention.
A new Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions album wouldn’t be complete without a couple of musical curveballs and here it’s the album’s second single ‘Tomorrows Promises’ that has a pounding later day Living End kind of vibe to it plus the emotionally charged album closer ‘Caving In’ which really do push the Eruptions sound into a whole new dimension.
Written and recorded by the ‘Double Bastard’ line up of Spunk on vocals, Maff on drums, Joey on bass, and Tom and Scott on guitars a long time before the current Covid-19 pandemic, whilst ‘Barry Milner Is Thick’ once again dabbles in the darker sides of life it’s still guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face and for me it once again reaffirms the fact that if degrees were awarded for songwriting social commentary, Spunk Volcano would have a masters in it.
Released on vinyl and CD on 4th December 2020 via Avenue Recordz, you can pre-order your copy of ‘Barry Milner Is Thick’ now by clicking the link below.
New tunes and videos? Here goes a bumper rainy day buster. First up is the awesome new video from Ravagers
If thats not cool enough for you then how about this banger from Smalltown Tigers. Their impressive ‘Five Things’ is available digitally and physically on Area Pirata Records through Bandcamp, as well as Spotify and all the usual platforms. Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Then finally this new video from Baby Shakes taken from their brand new single that we reviewed yesterday.
The Bloodshots – ‘No Way Out’ (Golden Robot Records). What time is it? It’s cock Rock O’Clock kids. Big chorus’s big guitars Big drums and big attitude. Who said cock rock was dead? Well, it ain’t, The Bloodshots are proving that. Gang Vocals big enough for Two Dokken albums and guitar soloing like there’s no tomorrow. Check it out, kids. I’m only disappointed they haven’t all got cowboy boots on and big hair I feel somewhat let down. Never mind turn it up and lets rock. Sharing the stage with the likes of Danko Jones can only be a good thing as the band evolves.
The Cavemen – ‘Euthanise Me’ (Slovenly Recordings) Oh baby it’s always a good day when an email drops from Slovenly and it contains the words The Cavemen and you can see it contains new music. Damn, I love this band of reprobates. They play perfect trash and bash rock and Roll and ‘Euthanise Me’ is a four-track EP that just nails it. From the sonic explosion of the title track and all its trashy sing along beauty. If that wasn’t trashy enough then get a load of the raw delights that is ‘Eat Your Heart & Wear Your Face’. As close as you can get to ‘Raw Power’ without melting in the heat generated. They’ve also got time to give you a ‘Nightmare’ as they OD on the 50s Rock and Roll. Hang on a minute, ‘Over You’ is a slower groove and an absolute peach of a track with a banging melody. and those guitars are like you’ve just wiped your ears with an angle grinder. Brilliant! Single of the week? Fuckin’ right it is. Facebook
Bitch Queens / Delilahs ’77 – Split (Lux Noise Records) Boom! Bitch Queens have been a band I’ve loved since I very first heard them and over those years they’ve managed to get better and better with each new record and live they are one of the best hard rockin bands out there. This split is yet more proof that they just kick ass and take no prisoners. A classic attack and takedown of a classic tune. Bitch Queens absolutely own it – brilliant!
For all you collectors out there its available in several highly collectable colours. As for Delilahs, it’s a Misfits mashup and to be quite honest the ‘fits haven’t sounded this good for – oh God I don’t know how long – fantastic version. The classic ‘Some Kinda Hate’ is totally owned. These two have form for sharing splits and this is a worthy addition to anyone’s punk rock 7′ collection. Of course I’m saying Buy It! Here
The Hangmen – ‘Thunderhead / She Walks’ (Acetate Records) It’s not every day you get a treat like this. The Hangmen covering Gun Club – wow! What a storming take on the Jefferey Lee Pierce Gun Club number. Blood and thunder with the slippy slide guitar and crash bang wallop its a really good take on a great song. Small talks about his love of Gun Club and pours his heart out in this cover.
As for she walks its got swagger and some awesome ivory tinkling going on, Hell it’s The Hangmen just go get it!
IT might only be a digital release through Acetate and Bandcamp but I’d love to hear more make it happen Brian. Get it Here
Jesse Malin – ‘Ameri’Ka’ (Wicked Cool Records) Laid back Malin knocks out the best single he’s penned in a while. Troubadour or bard of NYC its got great lyrics and in the darkness there seems a hope and a look to the future going on. Tough times call for tough songs and this is a beauty. But then I’m always going to say that sure I’d love to hear the guy rock out but I also love the guys more roots American vibe and this is the latter – and very good it is too.
Vacuum – ‘Fixated’ (Wanda Records) Some usual suspects from the London Punk Scene drop a two-track slice of toxic punk rock with a heap of melody and a chorus you can jump around to and sing along at the same time. Uh, Ha Fixated alright.
The B side is like the sound of some punk keying your car door then kicking your speaker cone in. It’s snotty it’s brash its an open wound you just want to scratch and I love the breakdown and solo.
The Dirts – ‘#2’ (Self Release) Five songs in under ten minutes, what’s not to like? No-fi, Tick. The spirit of The Stooges and the Damned coursing through this is just about perfect. Where do I pay my money? opener ‘Zero Boys’ is trashy as fuck but ‘Inside My Head’ takes it to the next level. The vocals are barely audible but the guitar is throwing out the licks life his life depends on it.
Recorded at home (if your home is a cell with no windows then cool! and Helvete which is just about right. Satans doorbell would be the ideal place to hang this one. This EP absolutely rips and only gets better. ‘Nowhere To Go’ is bursting with energy but ‘Homicide Eyes’ is plain Evil. Get some at the link pop pickers its a Garage punk fire fest and I love it.
Drive-By Truckers – ‘The New OK’ ( ATO Records) Patterson Hood pens the hard-hitting title track from the new Truckers album and shoots a video during the recent Portland unrest. Hood is residing in the Portland area and asks the question is the New OK OK? and hits the spot. Always astute lyrics but these strike a chord with so many right-minded people around the world and we stand side by side. Everyone should have the right to peacefully protest and everyone should respect that and Hood shoots a hard-hitting video to accompany the track. Top tune from a top band check it out.
The False Positives – ‘Favourite Things’ (self Release) When the sleeve has albums strewn over a floor and I spy such classics as The Damneds debut, Motorhead, DMZ, Nick Lowe and The Flamin Groovies I just knew this was going to be a winner and low and behold it is. A vibrant Rockin’ slab of Power poppin goodness. Two and a half minutes of Swirling Garage organs and tasty distorted licks with a solid chorus and do wap harmonies to complete the job and a lead vocal that reminds me of the late great Nikki Sudden. Very nice work indeed.
Continental Lovers – ‘Out Of My Head’ (Self Release) Glam bang Thank you, man. Trashy Rock ‘n’ Roll with a delightful smudge of glitter and attitude.
The shuffle on the verse leading to the chorus is great and the arrangement is quality. It’s a rapid burst of energy and quite possibly the best thing Joe has penned to date be it as a Breakdown or any other project he’s been involved in. It’s a top tune and if this is just a taste of what’s to come then bring it on as Continental Lovers have a bright future. Buy ‘Out Of My Head’ Here
Baby Shakes – ‘Singles’ (Dimple Discs) Glam stomping Rock ‘n’ Retro Roll. Two Undertones-related records get the Noo Yawk makeover and to be fair they turn in a pretty faultless pair of beauties. ‘Sweet N Sour’ is a stomper that was originally released by Damian O’Neill on his solo record a few years back but my pick of the pair is ‘Really Really’ a song written by drummer Billy Doherty that could be found on the B side of the 1979 hit ‘Get Over You’ which they absolutely nail.
Bipolar – ‘Bipolar EP’ (Slovenly Recordings) Thinking about how to describe Bipolar whilst the EP is playing then gancing down at the press release and seeing them described as SCREAMERS finger-banging THE DICKIES while THE SPITS egg them on I knew I couldn’t beat that so I’m using it. Bipolar is the twisted creation of Pouya and Obash, two Iranians living in Brooklyn.
Think SCREAMERS finger-banging THE DICKIES while THE SPITS egg them on – Pouya has already done time on keys with The Spits.
Of course its crude, Lo-Fi noisy and hell of a lot of fun. ‘Virus’ sounds like a twisted punk rock Motorhead on the wrong meds. As for ‘Fist Fight’ it sounds like what went on before during and after they pressed record. Its uncomplicated, dark punk rock blasts from people who truly get it. Go find em if you dare. Top EP.
Jakob Mind – ‘Watch The City Burn’ (Lövely Records) Rotten Mind singer/vocalist Jakob Arvidsson’s newly established solo project unveils the first track and its the sprightly ‘Watch The City Burn’ and bloody good it is too. It’s the first glimpse of what will be a new album early 2021 and Jakob promises songs from straight-up punk rock to a more Roky Erickson vibe so what’s not to like there? ‘Watch The City Burn’ sounds like he plays everything and a bit DIY but in the best possible way. Great song, great vibe and one to look out for. Pencil it in your diaries folks April 2021. Facebook / Instagram
I See Vultures – ‘Neversafe’ (Self Release) Something of a Gallows tip or post-punk hardcore – a little less in your face maybe but coming from the same place are these Brit hooligans I see Vultures. drawing from the At The Drive-In, Rage Against The Machine pool. Its Big vocals full of harmony that’s quite proggy sounding against the rough lead vocal but swirling guitars is the name of the game before they build up into that Rage groove. It’s glossy and rough in equal measures. Check them out for yourself in the youtube video below.
Atomic Eater – ‘Broken Earth’ (Self Release) Another off the Lo-Fi conveyor belt. Swedens Atomic Eater goes for the electronic garage punk with a Bontempi keyboard to lead you into the dense verse /chorus thump. Imagine if the early Buzzcocks used synths and riffed on Tubeway Army vibes then you’d be in the right ballpark. ‘Nightshift’ is another uptempo punch to the throat and one you’ll be toe-tapping along to but pick it up quickly because it’s over with in the blink of an eye. Crazy scandi punks.
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard – 30,000 Megabucks (Self Release) Riff it up boyos Its like a prime time slab of boogie-woogie on the intro like Angus was born in Brecon. It’s a double denim stomp off. When times are tough and you’re looking for a little ray of sunshine in strut four lads with electric guitars and a pocket full of top tunes. Get on it now my 70s inspired rock and rollas turn the amps up and play your rock and roll. This tune is majestic like the band riding over the rainbow throwing out fistfuls of magic stardust that cheer up the people via the medium of rock, I didn’t know it was possible to smile like a Cheshire cat for three and a half minutes but I do now – Buy It!