“The Lipstick Killers were easily one of the greatest live bands I’ve witnessed in my 65 yrs. on this planet” – Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks/Off!!)

“The Lipstick Killers were the coolest and most original band on the independent Sydney scene of the late 70’s” – Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman)


HINDU GODS ARE CALLING YOU!!! Grown Up Wrong! Records is thrilled beyond belief to present the LONG-AWAITED anthology of material by the legendary Lipstick Killers, who blazed a trail in late ‘70s post-Radio Birdman Sydney before gigging with the likes of the Gun Club and the Flesh Eaters in Los Angeles where they crashed and burned in 1981. The Lipstick Killers released just one single in their life time – the perfect ’79 Deniz Tek-produced pairing of “Hindu Gods of Love” and ”Shakedown USA” on their own Lost in Space Records (and subsequently Greg Shaw’s Voxx Records out of LA)  – but a posthumous live album and a couple of archival 7” releases followed. It was all incredible. All that material is included here, as is a plethora of additional stuff, all from the best-available sources (mostly the original masters).

Out June 25, Strange Flash – Studio & Live ’78-81 will be initially available in both black vinyl and orange vinyl – 500 copies of each edition of the 2LP is being pressed. Double-CD  and digital editions, with the extended title of Strange Flash – Studio & Live ’78-81 + Psycho-Surgeons ’76-78 and a significant number of extra tracks, will also be available. 

The Lipstick Killers’ enigmatic and high-energy sound – heavily inspired by the Stooges and the ‘60s psychedelic punk sounds of bands like the Thirteenth Floor Elevators and the Chocolate Watchband – bridged the gap between Radio Birdman and subsequent Sydney groups like the Sunnyboys (whose first-ever show was opening for the Lipstick Killers), Lime SpidersHoodoo Gurus and Psychotic Turnbuckles. And of course they anticipated generation after generation of other bands with similar things in mind, right up to today’s ‘60s-inspired freaks like The Living Eyes and Thee Oh Sees. And they put it across with a wild-eyed intensity; so much so that Circle Jerks and original Black Flag frontman Keith Morris, having witnessed a couple of their LA shows,  later described them as “easily one of the greatest live bands I’ve witnessed in my 65 yrs. on this planet “.

Esteemed American critic Byron Coley, then living in LA, was another fan.  The collection includes a reproduction of a piece Coley wrote on the band for the legendary New York Rocker zine, in he which throws around terms like “high Six-Oh grunge consciousness” and “mind-churnin’ pieces of gunk” in the process of rhetorically asking what’s so great about the band. He answers himself by saying the Lipstick Killers play “some o’ the greatest stuff I ever heard, that’s what!”

Strange Flash will be available in two formats. The double-LP includes the original 1979 single, the posthumous “Sockman/Pensioner Pie’ 45 plus additional studio masters from the same ’78 session, an unreleased album length 1980 demo session recorded by Australian guitar god Lobby Loyde, and the near-complete LA show that comprised the original live album “Mesmerizer” (taken from the original cassette that went in the mixing desk!), adding a number of additional tunes but losing a couple that one band member wasn’t really happy with. The set features liner notes by Ugly Things magazine and Grown Up Wrong! Records’ Dave Laing, some killer pix and flyers and repro’s of the stunning Lipstick Killers posters designed by highly collectable Sydney poster artist John Foy, alongside the previously mentioned Byron Coley piece.

The double-CD includes also this and more, including a near complete live show recorded in Adelaide in 1978, some of which was released on a handmade cassette by members of the band in the mid-‘80s (likely in very low double-digit or possibly even single-digit quantities) and a couple of the tracks of which appeared on a very limited run 45 also released by the band in later years. But a good chunk of it has never been heard, and it is wild. Additionally, the CD edition also includes the revered “Wild Weekend”/”Horizontal Action” 45 released in 1978 by the band that the Lipstick Killers formed out of, the Psycho-Surgeons, as well as a couple of 1976 rehearsal recordings from the Psychos’ very early days, which were released on a seriously limited edition 45 on Blank Records a number of years ago.  The double-CD includes all the liners notes, images and repro’s that are included with the double-LP and adds further notes by Steve Lorkin of ‘80s Sydney zine 48 Crash fame, more clippings, including a ripper feature by Darcy Condon from Sydney’s RAM magazine, and loads more images, including some Psycho-Surgeons goodies.

With original copies of their material in high demand internationally amongst fans of both ‘70s punk and ‘60s-styled garage rock, Strange Flash – Studio & Live ’78-81 (or  Strange Flash – Studio & Live ’78-81 + Psycho-Surgeons ’76-78) will allow fans to hear the full range of the Lipstick Killers’ enigmatic powers – a range that really hasn’t been witnessed since the band last took the stage.  You’ll want to handle it with care; as Lipstick Killers frontman Peter Tillman liked to say, it might sever your torso from your legs.

I’ve been away for a while; does being a part of the “Classic Rock Revival” still consist of thinking you’ve made it because you’ve waxed your newly-grown moustache, purchased everything from the Joe Browns catalogue, and bought yourself onto a magazine’s cover-mounted disc? No? Maybe? To be honest, I don’t think the argument is really relevant in regards to this album review because, thankfully, authenticity, like natural talent, has a tendency to rise up and out of the quality control quagmire.


‘Mountain of Sugar’ is the second studio album from Swedish throwbacks, Heavy Feather, and it is a bit of a stormer. Recorded in Stockholm with producer Erik “Errka” Petersson at the controls (as was the case with the band’s debut album, 2019’s ‘Debris & Rubble’), with help from master masterer, Magnus Lindberg (Imperial State Electric, Lucifer), and Pink Floyd’s former mixer table, this eleven-track long player is a relatively faultless exercise in retro rock that throws out audio love letters to the roots rock scene of the Sixties and Seventies, hitting pretty much every mark.


Free, Cream, and Lynyrd Skynyrd are major influences that feature on the band’s press information and, yes, you’ll find that not just the sounds but also the spirit of those legendary outfits haunt proceedings here, but ‘Mountains of Sugar’ never falls into soundalike territory: there is a warm familiarity to every track on this great album more akin to meeting up with an old friend – something I’m sure we’re all desperate to do in these strange days.


Yes, this is record listening of a certain vintage; the dragging on of headphones, the pouring of a favourite beverage, and the losing of oneself in the grooves. Pulling the listener into the songs is, without question, the voice of Lisa Lystam. Hers is one of the most effortlessly wonderful rock voices that I have been lucky enough to hear in some time. Raw at times, siren song at others, this bluesy gift from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Gods is more than an impressive set of pipes – this is an art instillation.


Songs like opener, ’30 Days’, ‘Too Many Times’, and ‘Come We Can Go’ will make any earthy rock playlist with ease, while ‘Love Will Come Easy’, given half a chance, could be a breakout hit that catapults Heavy Feather up a division or two. Think about the cult status and love afforded prime Vintage Trouble and you’ll have an idea as to where this Swedish gem should find itself when this second album’s cycle has come to its natural conclusion.


A dark horse for many a Best Albums list come the end of the year, for sure.  Facebook / Instagram / Bandcamp

Author: Gaz Tidey

Video Exclusive from Hayley & The Crushers

Here’s what Hayley had to say about the track ‘Kiss Me So I Can’…


“This song is probably the most personal Dr. Cain and I have ever written together. We shot the video along the coast in our sleepy town of San Luis Obispo and attempted to show a little slice of our everyday lives together. The song is all about learning to slow down and enjoy the little things with the one you love (even if you’ve been cramped in a stinky van together for a few months). After a few years of non-stop touring, band practices and recording, we found ourselves a bit burnt out and feeling a little empty. “Kiss Me So I Can” was our recommitment to romance and fun. Sometimes all it takes is a simple kiss or singing along to the radio together to get that magic back. We’re glad this song came out in 2020 (originally on the full length album “Vintage Millennial” from Eccentric Pop Records) and now released for the first time on CD via Rum Bar Records (“Fun Sized,” Feb. 2021). We know that this kind of love song is needed now more than ever. Covid-19 presented a huge challenge for a lot of couples, but it also allowed romance to blossom in the most unexpected places, in the absence of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Wherever you are–in the beach or in the city–whether you’re single or married for years–we hope this song makes your heart beat a little faster.”        — Hayley Crusher Cain

Buy The ‘Fun Size’  EP Here

“For the uninitiated, I urge you to familiarize yourself with Hayley and the Crushers. They know how to do it and do it right, while enjoying themselves, all along the way. With gripping hooks and colorful looks they prove it without question. Check out their music videos if you need more proof. Highly contagious and infectious, with no known cure. Exactly what we need to get us through these days. Be very generous with the volume and Welcome to the ‘Crusherverse’.”
– “Boris” Boden (aka The Secret Weapon on Woody Radio)

“This band remind me of their Californian forebears The GoGo’s, with a great mix of punk, pop, new wave, surf and glam. Great melodic hooks and vocal harmonies compare-and-contrast perfectly alongside fuzzy guitars and a pounding rhythm section.” – Fear And Loathing

“Church of Flag” is one of the “punkest” tracks Hayley and the Crushers have ever done. And I love it! It captures the excitement of first discovering punk rock and how you may or may not hold on to that feeling as you grow up and grow old. That’s a timeless theme in our world, and “Church of Flag” will be tremendously inspiring to all of you who are still keeping the faith.” – Faster And Louder

One part punk-pop, one part sunny surf, all “poolside glitter trash,” San Luis Obispo, California’s Hayley and the Crushers offer up a tsunami of bold, bad girl fun. Fizzy, frothy, and still a little dangerous, be careful just how far you paddle out. There’s blood in the water and the mermaids in this part of the Crusherverse are known to nibble.

“Fun Sized” ie: A snackable treat! 2020 wasn’t fun” by any measure, but that didn’t stop California’s Hayley and the Crushers from bringing their sunniest, most infectious tunes to the world. Sticky hooks, surfy beats and soda-fueled sing-along moments ensued, transforming living rooms into dance floors, bedrooms into beach parties. Enjoy this perfectly- portioned snack, a Rum Bar exclusive! Featuring a half dozen of the band’s best 2020 hits never before collected onto one high fidelity coast- er-shaped compact disc! Comes with handsome mini poster!

If you like your rock in a mysterious ceremonial circle with a load of other rocks then ‘Vertigo’, the new album from Savonian occultists, Jess and the Ancient Ones, is for you.


The follow-up to previous album, ‘The Horse & Other Weird Tales’, ‘Vertigo’ may be seemingly simpler-titled but it is certainly not a simple rock record. This eight-track curio from the Finnish psych rock outfit is one of those rare albums that comprises solely of deep cuts, yet is strangely essential and vibrant.


The band’s previous brand of twin-guitar-led metal has mutated into organ-drenched heavy psych oddity rock that feels almost as old and certainly as ominous as the hooded figure that listeners will surely see in the corners of their eyes when listening to this audio excursion into ghostlore.


Wrapped in suitably jolly artwork – a crude, vintage photograph of a tornado laying waste to some mortals – ‘Vertigo’ features haunting, brooding tracks that could be the soundtrack to episodes of Hammer House of Horror, hauntings, or night terrors – possibly all three… and possibly within the same song.


Pop culture permeates the grooves at various intervals here: ‘Talking Board’ points its planchette in the direction of The Exorcist via the infamous “Captain Howdy” dialogue; ‘Summer Tripping Man’ steals a ‘Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’ sample to great effect; while ‘Love Zombi’ could accompany an action montage in an episode of Space: 1999.


This is folk horror rock, not to be mistaken with folk rock; in fact, situated towards the end of the album is a pair of tracks – ‘Born To Kill’ and ‘What’s On Your Mind’ – that threaten to rock out in a more familiar fashion. They only threaten it, mind; normal for this band is still as off-kilter as the most curious thing you’ll see, and be troubled by, all year.


Recreating a soulful garage psychedelia from the late Sixties was the aim of Jess and the Ancient Ones on this album and, yes, the band members’ aim is true… even if they have paired those desired sounds with occult rock sonics of a certain vintage that are sure to give those of us from the haunted generation scare flashbacks and cold sweats.


The recreation of a bygone era’s sound and folklore exhibited here is quite remarkable, it has to be noted; inspiration found on woodcut, the ritual and ceremony faithfully recreated. This is the lysergic doom album that you were looking for. In the corner of your room. At 2am. It’ll be there again tonight. Watching. As you sleep. Fucking hell. Facebook / Bandcamp

Buy ‘Vertigo’ Here

Author: Gaz Tidey



So here we are. The first Wildhearts live show in over a year. Yet the floor is not stick underfoot, there is no queue for the toilet and the general aroma is way more pleasant than the usual mixture of body odour, alcohol and dry ice. What gives? Well, this just happens to be The Wildhearts live ‘By Request’. An online virtual gig, going out live on a Saturday night. It’s a pay-per-view show, a one-off gig experience that will not be shared or released to the general public. The rice of a ticket gets you access to the show for one live viewing only, £30 gets you a 30-day deluxe pass with over 2 hours of bonus videos.

With a set list chosen by the fans and the promise of a new song from the soon to be released ‘21st Century Love Songs’ opus, tonight promises to be the best time many of us have had since this shitstorm hit the world. So, I hook up the laptop to the TV, and sit down for the virtual doors at 7.45pm with a few tinnies and a bag of Haribo to take in the virtual live Wildhearts experience.


‘The One Before The Lights Go Out’ intro music plays as the camera pans around the dark depths of some Tudor building. Past silhouetted band members stood as still as statues, headphones on and instruments at the ready, before Ginger leads his band into a roaring version of ‘Dislocated’. Much like the coveted ‘Live In The Studio’ DVD, the cameras are close-up and personal and its actually like being down the front at a gig (remember them?). The band are in a small room facing each other, but this isn’t obvious for the majority of the 1 hour and 15-minute gig, as the camera focus is on the band members faces and their instruments for the most part. The wobbly camera work and the way the camera shots change quickly, mixed with the strobe lighting in a dark room, just adds to the drama and the intensity of the Wildhearts performance. Giving the sensation of being knocked about down the front but without the lasting bruises or the sweat and beer-drenched clothing. “Fuckin hell!” quips Ginger as the final chords of the opening song ring out.

While the show is going out live, it has been pre-recorded and mixed by Dave Draper and I must say The Wildhearts look and sound phenomenal on my TV screen. Their debut album ‘Earth Versus..’ features heavily in a fan favourite set that doesn’t really leave much to the imagination. The likes of ‘TV Tan’, ‘Shitsville’ and ‘Suckerpunch’ transporting us back to 1993. That breakdown and outro in ‘Everlone’ remains to me one of their finest moments all these years later.

‘Sick Of Drugs’, ‘Caffeine Bomb’, ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ follow…you know the score, no real surprises, but every song a stone-cold classic, delivered by one of the tightest bands on the planet. Ginger and CJ’s vocal harmonies are spot on, the pair’s guitars crunch just as you want them to, one in the left speaker and one in the right, just like ‘Live After Death’, baby! And the bass and drums combo sound like there’s a war going on coming out of my speakers.

Fan boy Frank Turner joins the band for the sing-a-long anthem ‘Let ‘em Go’ and ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’. He gives a performance that is as passionate and excitable as any true fan would give getting to sing with his heroes. And then it’s all over. Job done in 1 hour 15 minutes… leave ‘em wanting more!


Did I say more? Well, if you purchased the deluxe pass, you get a wealth of extras. Not only can you watch the gig whenever you like on your chosen media for 30 days, there are bonus interviews to watch, including Frank Turner discussing songwriting with Ginger, mental health with Danny and Rich going over his drum set up. Theres even a curry cooking lesson from CJ.

Then there’s the encore, did I mention the encore yet? New song alert! ‘Splinter’ is an intense burst of punky goodness riding on a mesmerizing 2 chord riff. Its instant, catchy as hell and well, you could say this sets things up nicely as a taster for the album of the year, which you can pre-order right now!


Usual symptoms the day after a Wildhearts gig may include: Loss of hearing, sore head, neck and throat and a pocket full of change where 50 notes used to be. Oh, and a massive grin on yer face of course! While most of those symptoms are absent for the first Wildhearts show of 2021, the grin is as wide as it was in 1993! A resounding success by all accounts, but bring on real live shows and ‘21st Century Love Songs’, we are ready and waiting.

Author: Ben Hughes










Irish rockers Trucker Diablo’s latest release presents us with a much more muscular sound to their brand of Celtic tinged pop/hard rock, with a vibe not dissimilar to Black Stone Cherry et al they have really upped their game with a strong album of catchy, upbeat and  sometimes mindless (‘Rock Kids of the 80s’ particularly) tunes that will sound great at your socially distanced summer BBQ.

Opening track BTKOR has a nice fist-pumping, head-banging groove and lyrics about big trucks and beer. What more could you possibly want? ‘I Am Still Alive’ has a fine chugging riff and a Celtic feel that wouldn’t go amiss on a Ricky Warwick solo album. Don’t Hold onto Hate is another decent slab of pop-rock with another catchy chorus which is reminiscent of Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons and has some great twin lead guitar work.

Other highlights include the punky ‘Insects’ and the punchy ‘Slow Dance’ with a riff that reminiscent of the Eagles classic ‘Life in the Fast Lane’. There are some throw away tracks like ‘The Edge of Tonight’ which sounds like a lackluster Nickleback B side. ‘Woodstock to Vietnam’ is a story of two friends from the 60s who follow different paths in life, more impressive guitar work gives the track some substance. The album closes with ‘Bury the Ocean’ which has a Maidenesque jig.

Trucker Diablo aren’t looking to change the world with their knuckleheaded beer and party style of New Wave of Classic Rock. They just want to have a good time and for everyone else to do the same. Get down the front and bang your head. Easy.

Buy Trucker Diablo Here


Author: Kenny Kendrick


Frank Black / Black Francis
Official deluxe vinyl album re-issues
‘Frank Black Francis’ , ‘Honeycomb’ and ‘Fast Man Raider Man’
each released on vinyl for the first time
on 14th May 2021

On 14th May Demon Records is proud to release three Frank Black albums which have never been available
on vinyl before.
Each is lovingly issued on 140g coloured vinyl: ‘Frank Black Francis’ will be available as 2LPs on white vinyl,
‘Honeycomb’ on translucent-honey vinyl and ‘Fast Man Raider Man’ as 2LPs on translucent vinyl.
These three releases are part of an ongoing series of twelve vinyl Frank Black / Black Francis reissues in
‘Frank Black Francis’ includes solo acoustic demos from 1987 ahead of the first Pixies Studio session. Plus,
a second LP of revisited classic Pixies songs. And as Frank Black elucidates: “It had come to my attention
that a forgotten old demo, recorded by my own hand on my own boom box in my old apartment, had
resurfaced and would I be willing to release it? As a time capsule it seemed fairly interesting, but as a full
release it seemed lacking for the customers; and so while I was in London, waiting for something to happen
in my lovesick life, Keith Moliné and Andy Diagram, David Thomas’ Two Pale Boys, took me into their atelier
and let me cry into my lager while they helped me augment the demo from the crypt. At some point, I think I
took off into the night and encouraged them to do whatever the hell they wanted; I think I may have been a
bit of a drag on the session. Being the consummate professionals they are (they had played on the
Catholic’s SHOW ME YOUR TEARS record recently, so I know they were…very good eggs) Keith and Andy
really did not have a problem with this lost man paradigm, and I think their deconstructive and self-referential
art methods are absolutely lovely. Their treatment of PLANET OF SOUND remains one of my favorite
2005’s ‘Honeycomb’ is an album of Nashville collaborations with legendary musicians including Steve
Cropper, ex-Presley guitarist Reggie Young, Anton Fig and Spooner Oldham. Featuring ‘I Burn Today’, ‘Lone
Child” and ‘Honeycomb’ plus unusually for a Frank Black album, it has 3 cover songs, including “Sunday
Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day” by Doug Sahm.





While ‘Fast Man Raider Man’, released in 2006, is a double album backed by a team of all star musicians: Al
Kooper, Bob Babbitt, Levon Helm, Lyle Workman, Steve Cropper, Jim Keltner, Rick Gilbert, Simon Kirke, Ian
McLagan, Chester Thompson, Dave Philips and Spooner Oldham. The album includes, ‘Johnny Barleycorn’,
‘In The Time Of My Ruin’ and ‘If Your Poison Gets You’.
In regard to ‘Honeycomb’ and ‘Fast Man Raider Man’ Frank Black explains:
“In my last year of high school there was a show some of the students put on at the close of the year; one of
the faculty played a bit of organ and wanted to do an old number, and he brought me and a few other fellers
together to do IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR, a classic penned by Wilson Pickett and Steve Cropper. We did an
encore of the tune at the big dance a few weeks later. I didn’t really know who Steve Cropper was at the
time, but of course, I would eventually. Years later my ambition to touristically pay homage to BLONDE ON
BLONDE picked up pace when my friend Jon Tiven and producer for these sessions moved to Nashville and
reminded me (as he did every 6 months for 10 years) about my little tourist trip idea. From the embers of
burned up marriage is always a fine place to workshop some tunes, and so to Nashville I did go, and
wouldn’t you know that Steve Cropper himself was there with guitar in hand? He arrived along with other
legendary types, too numerous to list here now, many of whom were veterans of Dylan sessions themselves;
typical band conversation in Dan Penn’s laundry room, where we put the amps: “Didja y’all play on that
LAND OF 1000 DANCES?” “Yeah, I think I was on that one…”. I kept my head down and did my best to be a
band leader, wondering if I was in way over my lowered head. It turns out I was in way over my head, but the
pickers and tinklers from the American rock and roll canon were real swell about the whole affair and walked
me through it. For the next sessions on FMRM we moved over to Cowboy Jack Clement’s house and I
continued my dubious role as ringleader; an image of a fully suited Levon Helm, the late shift drummer for
the session one night, arriving in a protective cloud of cannabinoid myst at 3am, exuding gentlemanly
camaraderie and veteran charm: this remains my greatest memory. I can’t say I rang every bell I tried to ring,
but these records were such a burst of energy that allowing the burst to be the burst was the view of choice. I
am most proud of those songs I penned with my good friend Reid Paley, who has been an influence since
the early Pixies’ days.”





To purchase Frank Black Francis go  Here
To purchase Honeycomb go Here
To purchase Fast Man Raider Man go Here
The series of 2021 releases in full:
9 of these 12 releases have never been released on vinyl before.
19-Feb-21 Frank Black – The Cult Of Ray (Blue Vinyl)
previously available on vinyl in 1996
19-Feb-21Frank Black – Oddballs (Silver Vinyl)
b sides compilation previously available on vinyl in 2013
14-May-21  Francis Black Francis (White Vinyl)
                                2LP previously unavailable on vinyl
14-May-21  Honeycomb (Translucent Honey Vinyl)
                                previously unavailable on vinyl
14-May-21 Fast Man Raider Man (Translucent Vinyl)
                                2LP previously unavailable on vinyl
02-July- 21 Black Francis- Bluefinger (Red Vinyl)
                                previously unavailable on vinyl
02-July- 21 Black Francis – Live at the Hotel Utah Saloon (Blue Vinyl)
                                2LP previously unavailable on vinyl
03-Sep-21 Black Francis – Svn Fngrs  (White Vinyl)
                                previously unavailable on vinyl
03-Sep-21 Black Francis – Live in Nijmegen (Clear Vinyl)
                                2LP previously unavailable on vinyl
26-Nov-21 Black Francis – NonStopErotik ( Silver Vinyl)
                                previously unavailable on vinyl
26-Nov-21 Black Francis –  The Golem (White Vinyl)
                                previously unavailable on vinyl
26-Nov-21 Paley & Francis – Paley & Francis (Clear Vinyl)
                                previously unavailable on vinyl

Woah! I wasn’t expecting that.

When the needle dropped and you get that initial feeling as you sit back and relax,  It was less than 20 seconds in and I was gripping the armrests and holding on for dear life as ‘Action Delivery’ handed me my ears ringing on a platter of feedback, wah! and a thunderous rhythm all wrapped in a majestic pop tune with melody and hooks galore.

I had no time to recover because ‘Friday Night Forever’ sent me over the edge.  Punky as fuck but in a HArd rockin’ sort of way, these jolly seamen don’t hold anything back in reserve and you get a shot right across the bow as the volume is relentless and the energy captured in these grooves is infectious, exciting and exactly what the noise doctors ordered.  Never mind ingesting bats full of mutating viruses this is my poison of choice and consumed in large quantities is most advisable to help get you through all the real life tribulations.


‘Blame It On Me’ is awesome, like the Hives jamming on some Turbo with an unhealthy amount of punk rock blaring through your ears. It’s like a violent headwind that’s out of control.  Then to serve up a steady dose of DC with added woo hoos! sees ‘The Thirst Song’ boogie and swing like a good un – they must know they’ve written a corker here and it must have been hard to record through such a ten-mile wide grin across their faces. I’m delighted they’ve still got a thirst and raise a glass in celebration of such an exciting record.


The Boatsmen have hinted at greatness but narrowly avoided it in the past or held back for one reason or another but now is their moment to shine and like a blazing sun they are right on the button. ‘Saved By Rock’ be fucked, they’ve picked up the flag and are carrying it to the top of the mountain triumphant in the knowledge that the Boatsmen are serving up a one-stop Rockin treat and covering all bases of loud in your face good time rock and roll that is this album.


It’s relentless in its quality and tune after tune it’s a twist and turn to emphasise how damn good these songs are. Just don’t get me started on ‘Even The Good Times Were Bad’ it’s like bottled lightning and ‘I Don’t Wanna Lose This Time’ is more restrained in comparison but then they up the ante again with the drinking song ‘When I’m Drunk’.


Put the beer down you might spill it as ‘Big Waves’ roll around and it’s a chance for us all to raise another glass and sing along. We get our groove on for ‘Clap Canon’ and some cock-rock and roll with a little tip to the 70’s glam stomp of a T Rex and Sweet. I hope you caught your breath as ‘Take Your Money’ is rapid and like a runaway train speeding toward the buffers without a care in the world.


It’s not all hard Rockin and Rollin and party party party.  ‘Better Man’ is a laid back brooding, grinding song that paints a darker atmosphere but no lesser quality, that’s a given and the harmonica is an awesome addition to the texture of the record. The temptation to throw in as many puns or going overboard, seamen and piraty themes is difficult but let’s let the music do the talking because, trust me here me hearties, these tunes are superb as is the whole albums feel, attitude and playing.  The Boatsmen ‘Versus The Boatsmen’ is going to be one of the albums of the year no question about it. so hoist the sails and get out there and purchase a copy because I wouldn’t want you to miss out – land ahoy! me hearties Boatsmen ahead.


Ghost Highway Records / Spaghetty Town Facebook / Bandcamp

Author: Dom Daley

Captain Future is the alter ego of Alex McGowan, record producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire. When not holed up in his London studio Space Eko East recording roots and rock n’ roll bands such as The Urban Voodoo Machine, Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind and Son Of Dave, Alex devotes his time to his gospel-driven rock n’ soul band The Future Shape Of Sound, a 9-piece collective of musicians, soul divas and performance artists who are renowned for their explosive, colourful and energetic live shows at festivals and seedy dives country-wide.

When Covid put pay to live music 12 months ago, Alex retreated to his studio to finish his long worked on and overdue solo album. And you could say this album is a departure from the raucous, party gospel that The Future Shape of Sound deliver. Let’s get one thing straight, ‘Ghostman’ is not a party album, this is an after-party album. A chilled out, dub heavy collection of hypnotic beats and surreal, lazy vocalisin’, just what the witchdoctor ordered!


First single and album opener ‘Holy Waters’ sets the scene. Bluesy, downtempo dub fills the speakers. The captain’s deep, husky vocals are juxtaposed with haunting female vocals over minimal instrumentation, as the band just let the rhythm flow naturally. I say band, but in reality Alex handles most of the instruments on this album with a little help from a few of his friends in the vocal department.

Tribal beats and lazy percussion hypnotize the listener before descending into well trippy territory. Wait…did someone slip me and edible or two? Things sure feel weird in here! No, we’ve just segued into track 2 ‘Zombie Lover’. This is ‘Guns Of Brixton’ in dub, with deep, throbbing bass, ska guitar and an almost Spanish guitar infused acoustic interlude that takes things to another plane. A hyper, voodoo video is currently in the works as I type, and I’m sure it can only enhance the experience.

And so it goes on. Blurring the lines between Primal Scream, Alabama 3 and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy with lush female gospel vocals, tribal percussion and minimal instrumentation creating space for the music to breathe and creep deep into your subconscious.

‘As Soon As I CU’ is the house band playing the blues at 4am. A 7 plus minute smokey jam, played out when the party people have left the building, all the rum has gone and reality is desperately trying to kick back in. Talking of rum, ‘Rowing To The Pub’ is an anthem for street pirates the world over. If you were yearning for a pint before, you will be gasping by the time the trip hop beats have ceased to…beat. “Let’s row to the pub” croons the Captain, as subtle instrumentation and understated backing vocals create a hypnotic state. Row? Hell, I’ll crawl on my hands and knees brother!


Fans of The Future Shape Of Sound will hear a few familiarities as the deep, dub infused cuts are interspersed with gospel-tinged blues, it’s just all a lot more chilled out, man! In fact, ‘Oh People’ is a re-working of a Future Shape Of Sound tune complete with killer bongos and a cool organ refrain. Elsewhere, Son Of Dave lends flourishes of dirty harmonica to the likes of ‘Move On’ and ‘Ghost Woman’, with ‘Wrong As You Like’ coming on like a ‘live in the studio’ blues workout.

The eerie, cinematic vibes of instrumental ‘Sad These Rest’, augmented with bursts of brass, brings to mind The Urban Voodoo Machine at their most sombre, which sure ain’t a bad place to be. And In complete contrast, album closer ‘I Liked You When You Were Gone’ has an uplifting Alabama 3 meets Primal Scream vibe.


While the ceasing of all live entertainment has been a major disaster for most musicians, for many it has also been the chance to find new ways to be creative, and to take the time to write and record at their leisure. For Alex McGowan, it has given the man a chance to complete an album that has been on the backburner for a while.

‘Ghostman’ shows a different side to Alex McGowan’s work. Dub heavy and full of trip hop beats, it broadens the horizons past The Future Shape Of Sound and shows the influences of his past clients such as Jah Wobble and Tricky. As with his day job it’s a very ‘London’ sounding album, steeped in 90’s indie and dance nostalgia, while still retaining elements of what makes his music so fresh and exciting.

Gypsy Hotel 

Author: Ben Hughes




The Wildhearts 
announce brand new studio album 
’21st Century Love Songs’
on Graphite Records
The Wildhearts are proud to announce the release of 21st Century Love Songs, their brand new full-length studio album on September 3rd through Graphite Records.
21st Century Love Songs is the follow up to Renaissance Men, their highest charting album since 1994’s P.H.U.Q, which debuted at number 11.
Renaissance Men reminded me of our first album, ‘Earth Vs The Wildhearts’. No one knew how the fans and press would receive it, so it was balls-to-the-wall rock and fuck ’em if they don’t like it. 
Going in again, for ‘21st Century Love Songs’, naturally reminded me of our second album, ‘PHUQ’, where we got to flex our creative muscle, and show everyone what we’re capable of. This time we let the songs simmer until absolutely ready. We let the theme of the album present itself. There’s a subtlety to this album, something that people don’t often associate with The Wildhearts, and a sense of adventure in the unorthodox arrangements of the songs. This is where I become a fan of the band, when we ditch the rule book and just follow our instinct. Sarcastic, fun, angry, proud, experimental and belligerent, all wrapped up in a big ‘fuck you’, this is the sound of the band in their natural habitat. This time we’re in control.” exclaims Ginger Wildheart.
With The Wildhearts classic line up of Ginger, CJ, Ritchie and Danny still holding strong this creatively brilliant band who helped change the landscape of British rock through the 90’s are showing no sign of slowing down.
21st Century Love Songs will be available in usual CD and vinyl formats plus an exclusive limited edition red vinyl.There’s also signed photocards with each format whilst stock lasts, as well as T-Shirt bundles available from the band’s webstore
To celebrate the release of  21st Century Love Songs’ The Wildhearts play an 18 date UK tour. The tour will start in Cardiff on Friday 3rd September and concludes in Southampton on Saturday 25th September.
Their incendiary live performances over the last few years have seen the band’s popularity hit new heights as The Wildhearts continue to cement their reputation and legacy as one of the best bands the UK has ever produced.
Live 2021 dates in full 
17 Sat Ramblin Man Fair, Maidstone
25 Sun Steelhouse Festival, Ebbw Vale
29 Thu Wacken Open Air 2021, Wacken, Germany
30 Fri Rock and Blues Custom Show, Derby
31 Sat Cleethorpes Rocks, Cleethorpes
13 Fri Bloodstock
21 Sat Razernij Festival, Antwerp, Belgium
Headline Tour 
03 Fri Tramshed, Cardiff
04 Sat SWX, Bristol
05 Sun Phoenix, Exeter
06 Mon Cheese & Grain, Frome
08 Wed Academy 2, Manchester
09 Thu Electric Ballroom, London
10 Fri Waterfront, Norwich
11 Sat Chalk, Brighton
12 Sun Madding Crowd, Bournemouth
15 Wed KKs Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
16 Thu Guildhall, Gloucester
17 Fri Boiler Shop, Newcastle
18 Sat Stylus, Leeds
20 Mon Mac Arts, Galashiels
21 Tue Tolbooth, Stirling
22 Wed The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
24 Fri Foundry, Sheffield
25 Sat Engine Rooms, Southampton
1 Fri Great British Alternative Festival, Skegness
2 Sat MK11, Milton Keynes
15 Fri Roadmender, Northampton
16 Sat Cornwall Rocks, Cornwall
5 Fri MMH Radio 10 Year Birthday Bash, Birmingham
11 Thu Hedworth Hall, South Shields
12 Fri Monsterfest,  Inverness
To purchase tickets please go to: Here