A guy who needs no introduction around these parts is SAMI YAFFA, best known for his work with New York DollsMichael Monroe Band and Hanoi Rocks has announced the release of his first solo album “The Innermost Journey to Your Outermost Mind”, out on September 22nd, 2021. The first single “The Last Time” will be released on June 11th via Livewire/Cargo Records.

The Last Time is one of the first songs I wrote for this album when still living in Brooklyn NY back in 2015. It’s a story about two people whose communication is stuck. How hard it is to change one’s habits, no matter how much one wants it. It’s about the frustration and distress of addiction” – Sami Yaffa



Produced by Sam Yaffa. Mixed by Erno Laitinen. Mastered by Pauli Saastamoinen At Finnvox Studios. Recorded by Erno Laitinen / Sam Yaffa / Janne Haavisto / Jose “Puter” Puigserve.

Sami Yaffa has had a unique career as a musician. He joined the punk band Pelle Miljoona Oy at the tender age of 16 and played on the band’s now-legendary album Moottoritie On Kuuma. Pelle Miljoona Oy was Finland’s number one band at the time, but Yaffa and his future cohorts were aiming higher: as an original member of the band Hanoi Rocks, he spent the first half of the ’80s as an international rock musician with all its ups, downs and trappings. The band influenced many of the acts that would later become huge in the world of Rock n’ Roll – including Guns n` Roses.

After the break-up of Hanoi Rocks, Yaffa was asked to join some of the most notable artists in R’n’R history such as Joan Jett and The Blackhearts 2002-04, as well as one of Hanoi Rocks’ major influences, the New York Dolls 2004-10. In 2009 he started a band with the Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe. This collaboration continues to this day, but now Yaffa is also releasing music under his own name.


The idea for the solo album started to take shape a few years back. Previously I had written music for the New York Dolls and the Michael Monroe Band, but now some of the songs that I was writing and had written started to sound more and more like my own stuff instead of what I would write for those bands.

What kind of music does Yaffa release under his own name then? Versatile. “I’ve always loved bands like The Clash and Rolling Stones. They could write country, funk, reggae, rock`n`roll or jazz without fear and make it their own. I wanted to have that same kind of versatility and freedom for my own record.

The album has wide influences, but that is hardly surprising to those who have followed Yaffa’s career: in addition to his own musical career, he has been getting to know the musical traditions from different parts of the world as the host and co-creator for the Sami Yaffa: Sound Tracker TV series. “However, my roots are deeply in punk and rock`n`roll. I don’t shy away from that.

Even though it’s a solo record, Sami has always been a member of bands and because of that, a team player. Yaffa mentions a couple of names without whom the record would not have come to completion – at least the way it finally became. The first to mention is a childhood friend, drummer Janne Haavisto with whom Sami made his first forays into the world of music. Sami and Janne created the basic tracks together and invited valued friends and musicians to collaborate on the album. Rich Jones, the guitarist from the Michael Monroe band helped pull together a lot of the songs lyrically, Christian Martucci from the band Stone Sour played guitar on half of the album, the other half was played by another old friend Rane from the cult band Smack and Sami’s old bro from the Hanoi days, Timo Kaltio.


When the opening tune ‘Who Took The Rain’ explodes out of the speakers it’s like alt post-punk was back in the room.  Combining punk rock early 80s style and pop tunes it’s a real flashback to Thatchers UK but with better production.

Mixing that reverb-drenched Dead Kennedys guitar squeal the Brats go for the jugular on the rapid ‘Signs And Semantics’ delivers the lyrics with a punch and a smeared lipstick kiss and encapsulates everything that’s good about this record. It won’t be to everyone’s liking but if you do crave some punk rock with a twist then this is going to wrap a smile around your noggin’ ‘Miss America Pageant’ is quality and begins a roller coaster ride of crash bang wallop over the next few tunes.

These California punks dive head-first into songs about the environmental crisis, systemic oppression, interpersonal/intrapersonal conflict, and the trappings of modern existence and everything in between. They can be punk as fuck and they can wrap it up in some awesome pop melodies and vocal lines whilst pogoing with the best of em.  The record was recorded early 2020 (which seems like a lifetime ago now) but with no means to tour the songs or get out and about it’s been held back until now.


By the time we reach ‘We’ll Find You’ the band are using it to hunt down their base when all this is in the rearview mirror and as the band hurtle on so does the pace of the songs as they shift through the gears to reach punk rock warp speed. It hits the meltdown into hardcore by the time they spit out the fantastic ‘Harvey Weinstein (is a symptom)’ which bleeds into the highlight of this here album ‘All Nazis Must Die’ (well, title wise anyway) its a cool surf/punk number but if they’d penned lyrics to go with this it would have been freakin awesome.  Oh well, a sentiment we endorse here at HQ anyway. 


As the album reaches its final knockings they pump out the brutal ‘LeBron James’ and the virtual slamdancing begins.  To shut this party down we are treated to the L7 meets Betty Blowtorch styled ‘I Want You’ and the Brats bow out of this top-notch punk rock party on my stereo – but I’ve not had enough yet I want more so I’ll just have to go back to the start and do this all again just like I’m sure you will when you go out and get a copy of ‘Confines Of Life’ with all its magnificent splendor.  Top Notch!

Buy ‘Confines Of Life’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

Hound Gawd! Records recently announced the new album by The Cutthroat Brothers and Mike Watt. Titled ‘The King is Dead’, the album will be available as vinyl LP on Record Store Day, June 12th, 2021, followed by a digital release on July 9th. The venomous blues-punk, swamp-rock sounds of The Cutthroat Brothers and Mike Watt conjure bands like The Gun Club, The Cramps, The Stooges and The Hives. You can check out a new single called “Wrong” now and download/stream the album for review below…
No Echo says “Basically, if you love bands like The Cramps and X, you’ll be an instant fan of what these fellas are cooking up.” adding, “Mr. Watt’s mind-fucking bass lines colors the material in a beautiful way that makes you go, “Yeah, this is sick.”
This collaboration began when Mike Watt interviewed Jason and Donny on The Watt from Pedro Show. When the real-life barbers casually asked Watt to play bass on their next album, they didn’t expect to hear ‘yes’.
Mike Watt added his magic and is now an honorary Cutthroat Brother barber by blood. Watt’s gritty, powerful playing will blow your greasy black pompadour back like a jet engine.
Hailed as ‘the Sweeney Todd’s of punk’, The Cutthroat Brothers and Mike Watt are a mean and murderous match made in hell.
World-renowned visual artist Raymond Pettibon (Black Flag, Sonic Youth) contributed the cover art, making ‘The King is Dead’ packaging hotter than a wet shave and twice as slick.
Take this blood-soaked bash-a-thon and file it where it fits: right next to punk rock greats like Misfits or The Damned.
Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney) produces, mixes, and masters again (his 4th collaboration with The Cutthroat Brothers in only 2 plus years since the band was formed), honing ‘The King is Dead’ to a razor sharp point.
‘The King Is Dead’ opens with the aforementioned ‘Killing Time’, an anthem for miscreants everywhere. Up next is the rockabilly and drug influenced ‘Medicine,’ finding Mike Watt in a fuzzed up bounce reminiscent of The Minutemen’s ‘Corona’.
The third and title track ‘The King is Dead’ is a spooky blues burner that slips into the room like a night stalker, then slashes everything into a brash, bluesy bloodbath. The rest of the album pummels forward in the gritty, grimy, grinning fashion that leaves the listener sliced, shaking and twisting on the barbershop floor wanting more.
The Brothers and Watt enjoyed working together so much that you can expect further collaborations in the future!

Sudbury rockers and preeminent road warriors – Dany Laj and the Looks – have released their brand new single and video for “You & Me”. The track is the second offering from their upcoming third full-length album “Ten Easy Pieces”, set for release on June 11 via We Are Busy Bodies.

The video for “You & Me” was created by award winning film director Ryan Thompson (Farm Dogs / Monowhales). As sidekicks Laj and Jeanette Dowling sip cocktails and battle sea serpents on a tropical island, the viewer is taken on a spectacular maritime journey. The track features the unmistakable vocal harmonies of Dowling as the song runs through a variety of classic influences that seamlessly cross genres. Laj says of the new track “You & Me is a sixties-esque pop love blender with seven lines of lyrics, containing seventeen words slapped together with drums, bass, guitar, vocals, keys and tremolo. It’s a vacation on your favourite pure-pop island.”



Produced, recorded and mixed by Laj at La La Pop Shoppe in Sudbury, “Ten Easy Pieces” speaks volumes to the focus and determination it took to bring together this addictive assortment of tracks. Fans of Chuck Prophet, Cheap Trick, Flamin’ Groovies, The Rubinoos, Sloan, Nick Lowe, The Turtles, or The Kinks will not be disappointed!



Website: http://www.danylaj.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danylaj

Twitter: https://twitter.com/danylaj

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5P76mSOqbsmjpkw5GENs9J

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danylajandthelooks/

One lucky morning around 11 years ago, I was passed a copy of an album called ‘Ma, They Broke Me’ by the Minneapolis band Rockford Mules, and asked to write about it. I’d never heard them before, but duly placed the CD in the player and pressed play. Something about it immediately struck me. I fell it love with the sound, and spun it more than once that day. Lead singer/guitarist Erik Tasa soon sent me a copy of his solo album, ‘Ballad of a Winter Beard’, a far more low-key, melodic affair that ever since has been one of my most played albums. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s one of my favourite albums, or how many late, drunk evenings I’ve spent listening to it. Now, finally, a new album is on its way, this time under the moniker Mudfoot Barker. Erik was kind enough to join me for a quick chat about about the new record ‘Murky’, and what’s been going on in the several years since his last release.


So, it’s been 9 years since the last Erik Tasa solo record and 11 years since the last Rockford Mules record. Is that right? What’s been happening in that time?

It has been 9 since my last, but there was one last album the Rockford Mules released the night of our last show. Kind of a “here you go, see you later” exchange with our in-town following. It was called “O tulip, I told you so”. It was a rocker. No lap steel, just dual, down-tuned Les Pauls in conspiracy with each other. It was a download release only. I will ask the bass player, Craig, if there’s any way I can get it for you if you don’t already have it. Since then, Ryan and I recorded an album of music under the name Bloodpine, and put out a record called Fever Prone/Circus Owned. The guitar has also done its share of hanging on the wall for months at a time. Literally gathering dust. But out of the respect for all they have done for me, I at least keep ‘em wiped off and tuned up. Then there will be the months that I cannot put it down. The need to get something out gets overwhelming. And on my stumbling to catch up with it, it drops another song idea on me. We dance for months and then it dries up again. So just when I think I have it figured out, all I really learn is how much I really don’t know. The mystery of it all goes deeper, and I love it and hate it all the more. But mostly love it. What was the question again? Haha.


Well I’ll definitely get my hands on those missed releases! I didn’t even know about them. But now, a long 9 years later, finally you have a new album coming. What more can you tell us about ‘Murky’. What’s the inspiration behind it?  

They are my best songs yet. If I cannot say that about my new songs then I cannot put them out. Even if I cannot say that years later, I need to be able to say that initially. It tells me I am keeping up with who I am and documenting what I feel at the time. I have written some real crappy songs I once thought good. You think I’m an idiot now, you should have seen me then. Hopefully the distance between east and west closes up a bit more every time as I get older. The inspiration? It’s always life. I have a faith that I look at myself and life through. I look to relate and help relieve both myself and whoever might be listening. We’re all just trying to do our best and get through the day. Music is an easy hand to lend to someone you might never know or see.



Where does the name Mudfoot Barker come from? The last album was under simply Erik Tasa.

My take on John the Baptist. The man wore camel hair coats and ate locusts and wild honey. He walked the shore of the river on a mission that ended with him losing his life. Nothing glamorous or pretty about it. But he stuck to task for a future promise he would not see while barking on the banks. I guess I like that.


You’ve enlisted fellow Mules man Ryan Rud (also making music under the name Frequency Collisions) to produce this album. What can we expect from it this time round?


Ryan-sounding things. We basically put one mic in front of my mouth and one in front of my guitar’s mouth and I recorded the songs live in his living room. He did the rest. He has been my dear friend forever and I have been a fan of his for just as long. I knew he would know exactly what to do. And I got to just sit back and watch these songs come to life in ways I was hoping for but had no idea of how to do. That’s my dear friend Ryan for you. He creates music universes.


Any plans to release a hard copy of the album, or will it be solely a digital release?    

Digital for now. I have 975 copies of a former project of Ryan and I’s called Spurcut Factory Rider that I thought was going to set the world on fire. We pressed 1000. So, my gun jumping days are over. If at some point there becomes a demand, I will gladly oblige.



And what’s happening on the Minneapolis scene these days? Anything good we should be looking out for?

I hate to say it but I have not been a part of that scene for some time now. I have chosen recluse life of a musical hermit who sits on the south side of the river from mpls. I hear the faint sounds of banging drums and muffled guitars coming from that lit up beacon at night. Sounds like they are still alive and kicking. Just now without me. I have taken to keeping a backyard fire stoked and staring up at the sky wondering if that light is a plane, satellite or star.



What happened to the Mules anyway? There was almost a reunion recently that never happened?  

The final show had a poster of the back of a mule (the ass of an ass if you will) and he was staring out into an open pasture. And that’s how it went down. The mule was let go out to pasture.



And so is that it for the Mules now? 

Yes.  Kind of.  I have recruited them all to be the backing band on the next Mudfoot Barker record. It’s rather incestuous.


After the Rockford Mules finished you came out with the brilliant ‘Ballad of a Winter Beard’ within two years. But just recently I discovered you had produced more solo music, but it was never available. What’s that all about? And will it all be available at some point?


I have put out a total of 4 solo records. Only winter beard being released digitally. The other 3 hard copy only. Craig talked me into putting the second one out digitally because he really liked a song I wrote about my grandpa when my grandma died called Carl’s Waltz.  I don’t know if they all will see the light of day on the internet because I am almost 20 years removed from them being released. But who knows.



So, what’s next for Erik Tasa/Mudfoot Barker?  

Staying alive, staying in love, another cup of coffee, being the best husband and dad, mowing the lawn and putting up the pool, summers here!!


‘Murky’ by Mudfoot Barker is available now on Spotify & Amazon Music… Interview by Craggy Collyde



Over the last few years, THE SCHIZOPHONICS have built up a formidable reputation around the world as an explosive live act and have just announced a 14 date US tour which kicks off in September 2021 with an appearance at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas

The group has also just finished the final mixes on their forthcoming album entitled ‘Hoof It’ which is slated for release in early 2022 on Pig Baby Records.

Last summer during the pandemic, they quietly released a raucously fun limited edition 7″ single covering two tracks from their favorite bands Roxy Music and the MC5.

The Schizophonics plan on keeping very busy in 2022 with more tours in the works for Europe, Japan, Australia and North America.


9.8: Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
9.9: Dallas, TX @ Three Links
9.10: Houston, TX @ TBA
9.11: New Orleans, LA @ Santos Bar
9.12: Pensacola, FL @ TBA
9.13: Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
9.14: Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits
9.16: Atlanta, GA @ EARL
9.17: Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone
9.18: Nashville, TN @ 5 Spot
9.20: Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall
9.21: Knoxville, TN @ TBA
9.22: Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
9.26: Las Vegas, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling

May, 2021, Justin Sullivan steps out from New Model Army to release his second solo album, eighteen years after the first and this is a more cohesive soulful and altogether alluring encounter that is both captivating and masterful in its execution with the minimum instrumentations at play.  There are no thunderous drum rolls nor throbbing basslines or loud guitars.  Instead, Sullivan paints huge landscapes with his storytelling and dream-like subtle melodies that are thought-provoking as the listener is left in wonderment at the seemingly simplistic style yet layer on layer of beautiful musicianship and songwriting of the highest order.


Sullivan hasn’t spent the last eighteen years lounging around he’s clearly been filling his time wandering around writing drinking in everything that he holds dear and being able to pour those pictures out of his soul onto sheets of music and then record it is a magnificent achievement.  Look no further than 28th May (the day it got released coincidentally) its rebel songs with a cause, folk songs that certainly don’t invoke images of morris dancers or hippies man but gritty real-life tales of life and love and emptying one’s head of all those stories stored.


When it’s as good as this it’s a beautiful thing ‘Akistan’ is acoustic guitar pickings with some lush keys underpinning the strained vocals as Sullivan closes his eyes and lets it all out – often haunting or sounding haunted it’s immersive and emotional but all in a good way.  As the Strings roll in its sepia tones is dark but late evening darkness as the stirring triumphant vocals raise up.


‘Surrounded’ was written in the first few weeks of lockdown when we were all alone with our thoughts and Sullivan clearly had no trouble pouring out his stories and emptying his mind of all these songs he needed to get off his chest it’s powerful and uplifting none more so than ‘Unforgiven’.


It’s not a record (although sparse in arrangement ) without a cast of musicians who helped Sullivan fill up this canvas with aplomb.  Jon Thorne’s contribution is magnificent with the beautiful sliding fretless basslines, Tom Moss (Florence and the machines) contributing on Harp and Tobias Unterberg, Henning Nügel and Shir-Ran Yinon for their contributions on the strings.


Sullivan said of this album “I wanted to write about other things – some well-known stories, some less well-known, a few autobiographical and more a landscape of the imagination than social comment.”  Sullivan has penned a complete record that is an absolute joy to listen to, a fantastic accompaniment to his day job work of recent New Model Army records and enough of a departure without straying too far for fans of his band.


I’d have this right up there with ‘Secrets Of The Beehive’ from David Sylvian and Stephen Harris ‘Song From The Mission Of Hope’ as solo records in similar mellow moments. On the first dozen or so plays this has grown and grown into a huge favourite Its ebb and flow is magnificent as different songs open up different paths when different moods change how I hear the music.  A simply stunning body of work. Songs like ‘Daughters Of The Sun’ being one of the best. With its swelling sparse harp strum Sullivan almost whispering the lyrics into the depth of your ear you feel every nuance of his dialect simple yet evocative as the song swirls and builds gently before calmy fading away.  Probably only bettered by the album’s closing song ‘Surrounded’ which encapsulates everything that’s good about this album even Sullivans singing voice when he gets up to the high notes and the fluttering flute (something I never thought I’d say).


Please if you have a dozen new songs fit for solo recordings Mr. Sullivan can you not wait eighteen years to get them laid onto tape if that’s alright.


Buy Here / Amazon / Mediabook version with 2 CD

Author: Dom Daley