I think all of us have heard the old adage that you have your whole life to write your debut album, and it is the second one where it gets rough because now you have to write a whole bunch of new songs in a short amount of time. Now, imagine being a group of teenagers comprised of 3 brothers (Brandon Phillips (guitar/ vocals), Adam Phillips (drums/ percussion/ vocals), and Zach Phillips (bass/ vocals)) along with Heidi Blobaum (keys/ backing vocals) who have self-released a debut album and find themselves a year later signed to Tim Armstrong’s Hellcat Records at the label’s launch alongside other great bands like the Slackers, Dropkick Murphys, the Pietasters, Hepcat, and others. That second album becomes an even bigger challenge because Armstrong wants all new material for the album. That was the task the Gadjits were presented with when this album was released in 1997. Hellcat Records launched with Volume 1 of the ‘Give ‘Em the Boot’ compilation series which is outstanding from top to bottom, and ‘Beautiful Girl’ by the Gadjits was a song that I constantly had on repeat. By the time ‘At Ease’ was released, my anticipation was at a fever pitch.


This CD became one of my favorites of 1997 and rests comfortably in my favorite albums of all time with its combination of influences and originality striking a unique chord. ‘Bullet in the Mattress’ walks a delicate balance between a playful musical beat and some vocal skat with the story of someone getting killed. This has been one of the songs I will use to turn people onto the Gadjits. There is a ska influence in the beat but also combines with some traditional rock influences to create something unique. The guitar work stands out with some subtle touches. The band go from one strength to another with ‘Sh’Bop’ sounding a bit like Elvis Costello falling into some ska with some old 60’s soul influence through the band’s own musical lens. The quiet start to ‘Seat 6’ gives way to an addictive rhythm that will pulsate through your body. The way the song builds is magical, and I have always loved the line ‘subtlety is the best lesson I ever learned in school.’ Zach’s bass also stands out in the mix here.


‘Tell Yourself’ springs to life quickly with the rhythm again inducing movement in the listener. Adam’s work on the drums is stellar across the entire album with this just being one of fifteen brilliant moments. There is a slight breakdown in the song that really gives it an extra dynamic before the addictive chorus ends the song. One of the songs that gives away the band’s youth is ‘Traffic Tickets’ with the lyrics addressing the annoyance of being pulled over by the police. I love the ska influence in the music here as the band is extremely tight. I can overlook the lyrics and focus on the music. The slower beat of ‘California’ finds the band further expanding their sound with some excellent sax added to the mix.


One song was revisited from the band’s debut with the instrumental ‘Corpse I Fell in Love With’ coming in the middle half of the album. I always thought the bass and beat in the intro could have came from a spy movie before the band brings a heavy ska influence into it while working back in that spy movie motif a few times. The guitar work from Brandon is excellent. ‘Trusted’ has a slightly darker feel musically which corresponds perfectly with the lyrics. When it comes to relationship issues in music, the lyrics here may have been written by a teenager but still resonate with experiences most of us have experienced. Heidi’s work on the keys here also shines in the mix. The up tempo ‘Party Girl’ is again the band refusing to be pigeon-holed with the ska again meeting an Elvis Costello feeling with the lyrics here again perhaps lacking nuance but full of intent.

‘Back Up’ resonates on every musical level for me with the excellent groove combined with the cocky lyrics being one of the songs that would help me when I was feeling down after this album was released. Singing along to it can be like a shot of self-confidence with the vocal hook in the song being extremely catchy. Again, there is a subtlety to the guitar here where it gives the song perfectly what it needs without overdoing it. The band continue to channel musical excellence with ‘Holes in my Shoes’ by continuing to expertly blend ska, a punk attitude, and classic rock. One of two covers, ‘Skinhead Girl’ works perfectly with the sound on this album. For a 23 year-old like me at the time, it was definitely not an obvious song as I was unaware of the original way back then.


As we reach the final trio of songs, we start with the rock n roll infused ‘Need Yo’ Luv’ which is another song I used to introduce people to the Gadjits. Vocally, everything is stellar across the album, but I definitely want to highlight it here. This song feels a bit like going back in time to a room where the condensation is dripping down the walls while the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis tear the roof off the place. The other cover on the album is a bit unfortunate in retrospect, but I don’t think any of us could have imagined the connotations that come with ‘Mustang Sally’ all these years later. I will add though that the band is on fire here both musically and vocally so shove all those karaoke versions and such out of your head to try and hear the song in a fresh manner. The band close out the record with the superb ‘Beautiful Girl’ almost serving as an afterthought on the album. It definitely reflects how awesome the record is and is one of my lyrical favorites.


The Gadjits continued to flesh out their sound in the years to come. Their Hellcat Records follow up ‘Wish We Never Met’ has never connected with me in the same way ‘At Ease’ has. The band would then move over to Thick Records for ‘Today is My Day’ which is an album that constantly grows on me with the band having more of its rock and soul influence coming through. If you have not spent time with ‘At Ease,’ I highly recommend you change that immediately. I would suggest following it up with ‘Today is My Day’ and then checking out what else Brandon Phillips has done over the years in the Architects, Brandon Phillips & the Condition, and Mensa Deathsquad.


Pick up ‘At Ease’ Here

Author: Gerald Stansbury 

*Interview coming next week*


Here we have album number 12 from the alternative rock stalwarts and the fifth since reuniting the much welcomed classic lineup of J Mascis, Murph and Lou Barlow. And for this reviewer their strongest release in this new era of the original band.

Although there are radio-friendly songs present, such as lead single ‘I Ran Away’. It’s the first two tracks on the record ‘I Ain’t’ and ‘I Met The Stones’ that give the listener a well-painted picture of the group as the loud rock entity they are in the flesh. Nicely finished off with third track ‘to be waiting’ which is quite surprising that this has not been utilised as a single considering it’s a Dinosaur Jr classic waiting in the wings. I imagine this will be on their setlists for years to come, up there with ‘start choppin’ and ‘freak scene’.
Midway through we get a number penned and sung by guitarist Lou Barlow, ‘Garden’. A very well-written track with a bit of an anthemic, radio-friendly, College Rock vibe, but unfortunately sounds a little out of place on this record. Certainly not as savage and pummelling as his Sebadoh output which I have always been a big fan of. In the end Barlow makes up for this on his second stab with the final song on the album ‘You Wonder’, with an overall more complex and interesting sound.
We get back on track with ‘Hide Another Round’ which is a bit, J Mascis, by numbers but still showcases the band and leads on nicely to ‘and me’ which is very reminiscent of J’s recent solo work Elastic Days. Even more so with ‘take it back’ where the overall makeup is almost like the band taking on classic Elton John but muddied up with their own beloved elements added to the end result.
On the whole, the album is a strong effort with a lot of familiar bits to please the die-hards and the deviations are more successful than not, complementing rather than challenging their classic sound. 35 years in with more than a few bumps in the road, seeing trends come and go and contemporaries fall by the wayside. The band is still here, sounding confident, competent and thankfully not tired and going through the motions.
Most reunions for rock fans have an all too recognisable sight of gritted teeth with a need to top up the bank balance rather than a genuine desire to play. Dinosaur Jr are still out there most years, playing mid-sized venues looking like they’re having a blast. Here is hoping this will be the case for many years to come.
Buy ‘Sweep It Into Space’ Here
Website  / Twitter / Facebook
Author: Dan Kasm
*This May, Dinosaur Jr. will play two socially distanced shows in the Northwest. Following, they’ll host their beloved Camp Fuzz and then kick off a North American tour later this year. Tickets for all dates are on sale here. Additionally, to celebrate the release of  the album, Dinosaur Jr. will play a livestream performance from the Sinclair in Boston, MA on May 1st at 9pm EST. Tickets are available here, with upgrade options for exclusive merchandise and VIP Soundcheck Experience.*

Hey, you punk rock collectable fiends.  Check out the latest Throbblehead off the Aggronautix conveyor belt.

Aggronautix is pleased to present the Circle Jerks legendary “Skank Man” mascot in Throbblehead form.

The figure is limited to 1000 numbered units, stands at 7 inches tall, and is made of a lightweight polyresin.

Displayed in a vibrant full-color box, the Circle Jerks “Skank Man” is sure to liven up the pit of any Throbblehead collection!

As a pre-order incentive, the first 100 customers will also receive a “Skank Man” keychain (see HERE).

I heard the first single from this album and was grabbed immediately by the music and the powerhouse vocals. The Damn Truth have been around for several years now (which has me getting caught up on the back catalog too), and this album should make them a lot more fans. ‘Now or Nowhere’ is their 3rd album over the course of their 9 years of existence. Their sound conjures images of hard rock, a hippie vibe, powerhouse hooks, and originality being stuffed into a blender. This is a 2021 album that I can write down as a strong album of the year contender.

‘This is Who We are Now’ doesn’t so much open the album as rip the door off and throw it 100 miles away. The music is huge, and the chorus knocks your head off with Lee-la Baum’s powerhouse vocals (also guitar) delivering a statement of intent. This is a killer hard rock song without those vocals but soars to another level with them. Tom Shemer opens up ‘Tomorrow’ with a cool guitar riff that burns like a fuse to unleash the groove by PY Letellier (bass/vocals) and Dave Traina (drums/vocals). This is another huge chorus that needs to be played on the radio. What has struck me with this song is that it would have been right at home on the radio in the 90’s, early, 2000’s and up through the current.

The gorgeous slow start to ‘Only Love’ gives way to another great rock song where Baum’s vocals would be stealing the show if it wasn’t for the equal excellence of everyone in the band. The vocal notes in the chorus and the inflections induce feeling positive and smiling in me which is a neat trick for someone who can quite enjoy going into the depths of darkness in songs. The rhythmic ‘Lonely’ builds from a campfire song to the whole city singing in unison. Perhaps my biggest grief of the entire album is with this song because it is not long enough… At less than three minutes, I would love to see this one go on as about seven or eight minutes live. The midpoint of the album arrives with the semi acoustic based ‘Everything Fades’ feeling like a long lost 70’s treasure that has resurfaced in today’s world. Baum again delivers an absolutely killer vocal that carries heart, grit, hope, love, perseverance, and more.

The back half of the album begins with an inferno with ‘The Fire’ which reminds me a bit of Soundgarden in its power. The song then carries forward on musical waves which just totally blackout anything going on around me. The lead guitar work from Shemer shines throughout this record with this song simply being another standout. ‘Look Innocent’ could have come from the likes of Big Brother and the Holding Company with Baum’s vocals her reminding me of Janis Joplin and Sass Jordan. The backing vocals in the chorus are also perfectly placed. This song digs deep into my heart as the music and vocals are equally powerful.

‘Full on you’ finds another great groove by Leterrier and Traina which then has a great transition into the chorus before falling back into the groove. Another musical reference for The Damn Truth for me would be the much missed Mother Station. Shemer lets loose another great guitar solo. As a finale, the band turns to the beautiful ‘Shot ‘Em’ where the band take an acoustic intro into an epic chorus and have created, for lack of another term, a great power ballad that closes the album in style.

This is an incredible album that has laid the gauntlet for 2021. Bob Rock produces six of the nine songs on here, and I will say that I did not pay attention to see which ones are his productions. The production on the album is killer throughout and sounds cohesive across all nine songs. I will continue to enjoy this stream until I can buy the actual release which should be a mandatory purchase for the world in 2021.


Buy Here – Website


Author: Gerald Stansbury

Looking for a fresh focus following a ninety-day stint in rehab in 2016, guitarist Tyler Harper formed Capra with drummer, Jeremy Randazzo. With bassist Ben Paramore and vocalist Crow Lotus completing the line-up, ‘In Transmission’ finds the Lafayette, Louisiana outfit hitting the ground running with a debut album that is as equally brutal as it is thought-provoking.



Fusing metal, punk, and hardcore, ‘In Transmission’ is, according to Harper, “like being trapped in a tiny room with an unforgiving monster.” Quite a novel USP, I’m sure you’ll agree. There is a viciousness to this album, yes, but also an intelligence courtesy of the lyrics of Crow Lotus. Being a woman and also the child of an immigrant, Lotus throws harsh truths at the listener from all lyrical angles; from the more personal on the heavy-duty ‘Paper Tongues’ – detailing the troubled relationship with her mother when growing up – to the tribulations that women face every day of their lives on ‘Red Guillotine’. Given the brutality of the music on offer here the fact that these lyrics can be picked out with ease is testament to not only her talent as a lyricist, but also a vocalist.



What impresses me most about this album is the fact that, although the majority of it was recorded in December 2019, three of the songs – ‘Deadbeat Assailant’, ‘Mutt’, and ‘Transfiguration’ – were recorded during lockdown (with the band members entering the studio individually to record their parts), yet fit the sound of the album perfectly. You thought that the sound of lockdown was 8pm clapping and the banging of pots and pans, right? Think again.


I am reminded of the angular uneasiness of Norway’s Blood Command at times here – no doubt because of Crow’s vocals – and I pick up a ‘Birthing the Giant’ era Cancer Bats vibe on certain tracks. All in all, this is a bit of a noisy gem.


Capra online: Facebook /  Instagram


Author: Gaz Tidey

I first came across the work of Melbourne Garage Punks Civic when I happened to be browsing Bandcamp and ‘New Vietnam’ leapt out on me and I duly ordered the cassette tape (hipster) resisted growing a beard but had the EP on repeat for a while.  The band then emerged releasing a trio of singles over the past few years, including a cover of The Creation’s garage classic ‘Making Time’ Time really does fly by even during a pandemic as ‘New Vietnam’ was out in 2018 its now 2021.

They’ve made a considerable leap to the cleaner, sharper more purposeful sound on display here. the band brings a melodic edge to their muscular Garage punk without losing any of their intensity or grooves.

‘Future Forecast’ moves through the gears with ease from the more catchy songs like the single and opening ‘Radiant Eye’ through ‘As Seen On TV’ to the lap steel guitar and brutal riffs of ‘Tell the Papers’. It’s a really confident record that has a swagger and a cockiness that says Civic knows they’re good and ‘Future Forecast’ will have many people sitting up and paying attention to what they’re hatching down under.



If you (like me) loved ‘New Vietnam’ and are worried they might have moved on and left behind the punk and power then fear not because ‘Another Day’ is straight out of the ‘Young Loud and Snotty’ songbook,  ‘Hollywood Nights in Hamburg‘ with its retro proto-punk leanings is a real blast of energy, ‘Just a Fix‘ (with its raw riffage is a blast) and ‘Velvet Casino‘ all crackle along with the attitude and snot of their humble beginnings. Making this album an absolutely essential purchase.  If you love your music with riffs, attitude and above all great songs then this is for you.  It’ll breathe life into the Garage Punk Rock and Roll fraternity and give other bands a jolt and a tap on the shoulder because these boys are moving in and taking over.


Many of us have been heralding a new dawn for Australian music, ok sure The Chats and Amyl & The Sniffers grabbed a lot of overseas plaudits and rightly so but scratch the surface and there beats the heart of the beast and bands like Civic are rising up with killer albums like ‘Future Forecast’.


I’ll make a prediction, along with Stiff Richards, civic are the dingos danglies and more dangerous than 90% of the wildlife also residing on their island.  Get on it before it’s too late. Civic is the band ‘Future Forecast’ is the album so pour yerself a cold VB and get on it.  Now if they could get some UK and Europe Distro the job would be a good un and my work here would be done.

Buy Civic Here or Bandcamp


Author: Dom Daley

 In times like these we need bands like Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. This fact is not lost on the band itself, and so now here we are with their latest album ‘Dance Songs for Hard Times’. If ever music can be the cure for anything, the Rev is here to deliver.

The band aren’t kidding when they declare these to be dance songs. The Rev’s bellowing voice (stronger here than ever before) and blues craftsmanship, backed up by the endless charm of Breezy’s washboard and backing vocals, and Max’s Senteney’s drum rhythm, are as solid as always. This album, however, really is brimming with bluesy, party numbers.

From the driving opener of ‘Ways and Means’, straight into the swinging ‘Rattle Can’, this record is crying out to be enjoyed loud. The rockabilly of ‘Too Cool to Dance’ perhaps symbolizes the carefree nature of this release more than any other song on the album – “we may not get another chance/please don’t tell me you’re too cool dance.” It really is a breath of fresh air in these tough and uncertain times. It just makes me sad that we really can’t get out there to dance.

The record still leans heavily on its traditional influences, and songs such as ‘No Tellin’ When’ carry the timeless and haunting sound that is so integral to folk & blues storytelling, whereas ‘Come Down Angels’ closes out the album with a raucous riot of gospel.

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is a band that just keeps improving – technically and creatively – without ever straying from the elements that make them easily one of the best blues bands of modern times. I fell in love with them upon listening to ‘Between the Ditches’ in 2012 and have rejoiced in everything they’ve released since; however, listening to ‘Dance Songs for Hard Times’ comes closest to that feeling of utter joy I experienced the first time around.

Buy Here

Author: Craggy Collyde

Following the recent announcement of their Summer Tour 2021 Norwich / London five-piece Millie Manders and The Shutup now announce their Autumn Tour 2021 which includes a number of O2 Academy headline dates. The tour follows their debut album, Telling Truths, Breaking Ties, released last October and which featured in countless Album of the Year lists at the end of 2020. Full dates as below.

AUTUMN TOUR 2021  * With Jora The Fortuneteller


To Be Released On June 11

LOS ANGELES, CA – April 23, 2021 – On June 11, rock legends KISS will launch their new official live bootleg series, KISS – Off The Soundboard, with Tokyo 2001, recorded by the band at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on March 13, 2001. This marks the first in a series of upcoming live releases through UMe and will be available as a 3-LP standard black vinyl set, a 2-CD set, digital downloads and available to stream. Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 will also be available as an exclusive 3-LP set pressed on crystal clear vinyl with bone swirl via the Official KISS online store. All configurations can be pre-ordered HERE.

Tokyo has always held a special place of importance throughout the KISStory of the band and Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 captures KISS giving the packed 55,000 seat venue the quintessential KISS live experience, direct from the soundboard with such classic anthems as “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” “Heaven’s On Fire,” “Rock & Roll All Night” and the #7 1976 Billboard hit “Detroit Rock City,” as well as rarities such as “I Still Love You” from 1982’s Creatures Of The Night. The 21-track concert is a celebration of the band’s musical legacy and features co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, with Ace Frehley on guitar and Eric Singer on drums.

KISS are globally recognized as one of the greatest live bands of all time and are the creators of what is universally considered the best live album ever, 1975’s gold-certified and No. 9 Billboard charting Alive!KISS – Off The Soundboard continues their storied legacy of groundbreaking live albums with a document of the spectacular, larger than life extravaganza that is a KISS concert.

Known for their trademark larger-than-life blistering performances, KISS has proven for decades why they are hands down the most iconic live show in rock n roll. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers who have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide have said this tour is devoted to the millions of KISS Army fans.

AEG Presents are delighted to announce that Britain’s best-loved rockers STATUS QUO are coming back to reclaim their position on the live circuit – with a brand new tour.  The ‘Out Out Quoing’ UK & Eire Spring Tour in 2022 will visit 14 venues before the band head out into Europe. Tickets for the UK mainland shows went onsale from Friday 23rd from Here.

In September 2019, QUO performed a triumphant set at the massive Radio 2 ‘Festival in a Day’ event in London’s Hyde Park in front of 65,000 fans. That turned out to be their last UK show as the ‘Backbone’ Winter Tour of 2020 was cancelled in its entirety due to Covid-19.  Now,  STATUS QUO are delighted to be able to announce their long overdue return to the stage with the ‘Out Out Quoing’ tour.

Francis Rossi said, “We cannot wait to play again. Every gig is special for Quo but it’s been too long since we got to play anywhere. Going out is something that we all took for granted. Not any more. Going out, going out properly – ‘going out out’, as some would have it – became a bit of dream but now that dream can come true. The name of the tour is a bit of humour, but a celebration too. However, I’d urge fans not to overthink it and just prepare for all the hits and some serious live music energy!”

STATUS QUO is a band known for their live performances across their incredible fifty year career, it’s time to get back to doing what they do best. After such an unwanted layoff, the band is more ready than ever, making the ‘Out Out Quoing’ tour unmissable.



UK mainland shows: Here

MCD show in Belfast – Here

MCD show in Dublin – Here