Edmonton’s Real Sickies have released their newest album “Love is for Lovers” via Stomp Records. The band serves up yet another platter full of tasty hooks and punk rock melodies, but this time around with a dash of pop that shows a leap in songwriting craft. Recorded in Edmonton at Rob Lawless’ Physics Lab Studios, the album offers songs that straddle the border between Ramones style aggression and Strokes reminiscent vocal takes. This color-vinyl release includes everything from explosive rockers to heart-wrenching ballads. “Love is for Lovers” is the whole enchilada! Bandcamp:https://realsickies.bandcamp.com
We aint even kiddin here kids, Sami Yaffa is about to release the record of the year and this is the second video released – check it out and pre order ‘The Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind’ released September 3rd via Vallila Music House & Cargo Records
Sami Yaffa has had a unique career as a musician both in Finland and around the world. First in Finland in the band Pelle Miljoona Oy and then as a founding member of the band Hanoi Rocks, with whom Yaffa lived the life of an international rock musician with all its spices. Fortunately for the man, there have been enough callers since Hanoi to keep him busy: Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and Hanoi Rocks’ big influence, the New York Dolls, to name a few were Yaffa’s bands for years before forming a new band with his old Hanoi Rocks partner Michael Monroe in 2009. This collaboration continues, but now Yaffa is also releasing music under his own name.
The second single from Sami Yaffa’s solo album ‘The Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind’ will be released. A song called ‘Down at St. Joe’s’ had been sitting in Yaffa’s desk drawer for a long time as a finished composition, but the lyrics were not coming together. Fortunately, Sami’s bandmate from the Monroe band, Rich Jones, came to the rescue.
“Rich had already written some lyrics for my album when I decided to send this song to him. I definitely wanted this song to be included on the album because it differs from the electronic world of the other songs on the album with its down-home acoustic approach. I wanted to raise a glass with the song to thank The Faces, Stones and Dylan for their brilliance and innovation. Eventually, the theme of the lyrics was found to be the king alcohol, its pros and cons and especially how close to a complete collapse one can get if it gets to take a stranglehold on your life. Richie’s ingenious lyrics brought this song to life, and it became one of my favourite songs on the album,” says Sami Yaffa.
Sami Yaffa: The Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind album will be released on September 3, 2021, in Finland by Vallila Music House and internationally by Cargo Records
“We are so happy to finally be announcing our UK tour dates. Before Covid-19 we were celebrating the release of our Angry EP. We only played a handful of shows before it got cancelled and then it was rescheduled three times! Soooo … the STILL ANGRY TOUR will go ahead this year and we can’t wait to scream it out with you all. It’s been TOO LONG!”
LAUREN TATE | HANDS OFF GRETEL
HANDS OFF GRETEL have announced their STILL ANGRY TOUR for the autumn of this year. The tour will pick up from where the band left off, promoting the release of their ANGRY EP. Full dates as follows:
Wed 01 YORK Crescent
Fri 03 NOTTINGHAM Rough Trade (Sold Out)
Sat 04 BUCKLEY Tivoli
Sun 05 BRISTOL Thekla
Mon 06 MANCHESTER Deaf Institute (Sold Out)
Tue 07 SHEFFIELD Leadmill (Sold Out)
Sat 11 LONDON Camden Assembly (Sold Out)
Wed 15 BRIDGWATER Cobblestones
Thu 16 BRIGHTON Green Door Store (Sold Out)
Fri 17 OXFORD Bullingdon
Thu 23 CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
Fri 24 BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy
Sat 25 WAKEFIELD Long Division Festival
Wed 20 SOUTHAMPTON The 1865
Thu 21 NORWICH Waterfront Studio
Fri 22 CAMBRIDGE Portland Arms
Sat 23 BEDFORD Esquires
Wed 27 NEWCASTLE Cluny
Thu 28 CARLISLE Brickyard
Fri 29 EDINBURGH Bannermans
Sat 30 GLASGOW Nice N Sleazy
Sun 31 BLACKPOOL Waterloo Bar
Wed 24 LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Sat 18 BARNSLEY Birdwell Venue
The three tracks on the ANGRY EP – SHE THINKS SHE’S PUNK ROCK N ROLL, DON’T TOUCH and BIGGER THAN ME – are all live favourites that fans had repeatedly asked the band to release. The EP is available on CD and 10” white vinyl – alongside all major download and streaming platforms – and can be ordered, along with previous releases and merchandise, from: www.handsoffgretel.co.uk
Talking about the EP at the time, singer Lauren Tate said: “It was great to get into the studio and record some tracks that didn’t make it onto the last album. The Angry EP captures the energy and aggression of our live shows, which is something we totally wanted to do after releasing the album, which has a more polished sound. The EP is honest and raw, just how punk rock tracks should be, and we know these are favourites with our fans so it’s great to finally release them”.
For the forthcoming live shows, the band will be adding a couple of new tracks to the set that they’ve worked on post-lockdown. Being located in Bristol, Barnsley and Scunthorpe meant the band went 12 months without seeing one another due to the pandemic. As Lauren says, “It’s been great to finally get back in the rehearsal room and start playing music again together.”
Pillbox’s sleaze rock classic from 1993 is on vinyl for the first time. Included in the release are demos long thought lost, Demos remastered by Rich Jones, and this issue comes in a gatefold jacket with updated original artwork and contains new liner notes from frontman Chris Barry! and not having played this album for many years when I turned the dial I couldn’t understand why it hasn’t been played for a while with those wild Dolls meets the snottiness of Steve Jones courtesy of Ratboy on the geeta. Hacking and slashing like the best of them from the opener of ‘Get Hip’ through the rough and ready beauty of ‘Holly’ it’s a veritable masterclass in sleazy punk n roll.
If you’re looking for bedfellows then I’d say the likes of the Sea Hags and maybe a dash of ‘Done With Mirrors’ Aerosmith would be the kinda ballpark Pillbox rolled with but I guess New York also had The Throbs, D Gen, and NY Loose. These band soaked up their surroundings like sponges and poured the spirit into their song like ‘Sister Caroline’ and its dark and brooding vibe, as it swirls in a cloud of cigarette smoke in a crowded after-hours speakeasy as Barry leads the band through the choppy waters to a triumphant chorus that kicks serious backside and if anything has aged wonderfully well since 93.
‘Jimbo’s Clown Room’ was originally released in 1993 on CD via the small NYC imprint Circumstantial, so it’s cool that Yeah Right! has seen fit to resurrect this bad boy on vinyl.
I love the mix on this record it really captured the uniqueness of what was happening on the east coast in the early 90s with other hopefuls like The Throbs or the majestic D Generation who were cut from the same cloth. The big phat bass thumping along in the engine room creating a big sound but not a polished one which is what I loved about it back in the 90s and even more so now.
There is a great ebb and flow to the album and it’s a shame they only lasted the one record with this lineup but from the cool chords on the opener ‘Get Hip’ to the clattering rush of ‘5000 Miles’ you’d be foolish to pass up owning this record. Live fast and die young like so many other bands they felt the tsunami of grunge yet remained a cool underground classic for Rock n Roll vampires who refused to accept the changing of the guard and knew there would be a resurgence for quality dirty, loud, sleazy Rock n Roll. It’s cool to hear this record expanded with the four additional tracks that are added, two on the record and two via the Bandcamp app. Long live Pillbox and remember to socially distance when inside Jimbo’s Clown Room.
It’s a limited run so don’t snooze because you wouldn’t want to miss out on this beaut.
Watch the ‘Sleepaway’video here, but be warned this is not for the faint-hearted! Based on Ginger’s love of horror and gore movies, it’s a bit… DARK
The Wildhearts release a brand new single ‘Sleepaway‘, the third single taken from the album 21st Century Love Songs, out September 3rd, 2021 via Graphite Records.
“Sleepaway is a song of hope, of fighting for improvement in ourselves. Locating the area of unhappiness and striving to fix it for a better quality of life. Physically, mentally, emotionally, positive changes can be made. It’s not too late…” exclaims Ginger Wildheart.
WithThe Wildhearts classic lineup 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 is the follow up to Renaissance Men, their highest charting album since 1994’s P.H.U.Q, which debuted at number 11
To celebrate the release of 21st Century Love Songs’ The Wildhearts play a 17 date UK tour. The tour will start in Cardiff on Friday 3rd September and concludes in Southampton on Saturday 25th September. Special guests on these dates at various venues include Those Damn Crows for nine of the shows, Raging Speedhorn, The Middlenight Men, Beach Riot, James And The Coldgun and Waco.
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
13 Fri Bloodstock
3 Fri Tramshed (Huggard Rocks), Cardiff
5 Sun Phoenix, Exeter 1
6 Mon Cheese & Grain, Frome
8 Wed Academy 2, Manchester 1, 3
9 Thu Electric Ballroom, London 1, 3
10 Fri Waterfront, Norwich 1, 4
11 Sat Chalk, Brighton 1, 4
12 Sun Madding Crowd, Bournemouth 1,
15 Wed KKs Steel Mill, Wolverhampton 1, 5
16 Thu Guildhall, Gloucester 5
17 Fri Boiler Shop, Newcastle 2, 5
18 Sat Stylus, Leeds 1, 3
20 Mon Mac Arts, Galashiels
21 Tue Tolbooth, Stirling
22 Wed The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
24 Fri Foundry, Sheffield 1, 6
25 Sat Engine Rooms, Southampton 1, 6
1 Fri Great British Alternative Festival, Skegness
The latest release from Bristol noise mongers Grand Collapse is an important one. The anger being expressed here is a direct response to the Black Lives Matters protests in their home city last summer, where the statue of the 17th century slave trader Edward Colston ended up in the harbour after protesters pushed it in. The album was written at a time where civil unrest around the world was extremely high. The eleven tracks on the album are all short, sharp shocks to the system (the entire album clocks in at just over twenty-six minutes), with a message to the world that discrimination of any kind can no longer be tolerated.
The production from Lewis Johns is crystal clear and the musicianship is superb. Drummer Glenn Tew plays an absolute blinder. The cover art is excellent with depictions of martyrdom of eras that have long outstayed their welcome. The band’s sound harks back to the nineties hardcore (think Scratch the Surface era Sick of It All and you won’t be far away). It’s not an easy listen by any means, but it’s an essential one.
The band are back out there touring very shortly, I for one will be checking them out. You should do the same!
Known as “rock n’ roll’s secret weapon”, band leader and frontman Kris ‘Fingers’ Rodgers has been a recording & touring sideman in top touring garage rock and power pop acts like The Connection, Scott Sorry, The New Trocaderos, Bullet Proof Lovers, and Kurt Baker Band for years but hes also more than that he’s a fully fledged solo artist or rather moved his stool out front, centre and headed up his own beat combo the Dirty Gems.
Born and raised a half-hour from the band’s home base of Portland, Maine, Kris Rodgers already had one full-length album and several EPs with The Dirty Gems under his belt before beginning work on ‘Still Dirty’ in 2019 (pre pandemic right). Recording commenced in bassist Ryan Halliburton’s basement, known as The Wreck Room. Along with guitarist Tom Hall and drummer Craig Sala, the four longtime bandmates tracked the bulk of the album right there. Drums and vocals for the nine original songs were re-recorded at two additional studios in Maine, and the energetic cover of Elton John’s “Take Me To The Pilot” was cut live in a pro studio environment.
Unlike previous releases where Rodgers wrote the original material himself, a more collaborative aproach was taken for this record I guess to show its a unit, a band in every sense of the word.
Having already been given the acolade of Stevie Van Zandt’s number one Coolest Song of the year.the time had come to add a little more history. Starting this tour off in funky town, with the vocoder and funky bass with added dueling jazzy solos Kris sings like hes wearing a cheshire cat smile on his face and this little ray of easy coast sunshine is up and running. The songs keep coming and the smile gets wider as the party has started and the songs keep coming, ‘I Can Still Feel It’ rattles its two left feet into the more laid back ‘Can’t Give It’ with its cool shuffle on the backbeat of course its great musicianship and theres breathing space for all the players.
They can Rock out on ‘Don’t Look Back’ and they can kick back on the dreamy ‘Across The Galaxy’ sure its got middle of the road American Radio mainlined but why not? The Elton cover is a no brainer for this band as they effortlessly nail it. But wait another change of pace with the peacock strut of ‘I’m Your Man’ – jees they get smooth for the jazzy shuffle of ‘Tortuga’ – nice!
Signing off this record theres the baladlike piano intro of ‘See You Later’. Its not for everyone and people might raise an eyebrow as to how its found its way onto RPM Online but we don’t give a damn about all that genre jazz we like to champion great musicians and whist this record is a ray of sunshine the nex trelease could easily be a slice of down n dirty garage rock n roll thats the beauty of this business and talen like Rodgers and his Dirty Gems. Fire up the BBQ and invite the famiy over and someone hit repeat and bring on the sunshine.
Well, here’s an unexpected contender for the album of the year lists. Legendary Hanoi Rocks bassist Sami Yaffa wrote a bunch of songs in his tenure with the New York Dolls and the Michael Monroe band, but a lot of these ideas didn’t quite fit the rock n’ roll shaped hole for those bands. Drawing on his multi-cultural musical influences, Sami has spent the last few years creating his first solo album with the help of his childhood friend and drummer Janne Haavisto. The bulk of the album was co-written with fellow Monroes compadre Rich Jones, who lends guitar duties, along with Timo Kaltio (Cheap and Nasty), Christian Martucci (Stone Sour) and Rane Raitsikka (Smack).
Drawing on his love of The Clash and The Rolling Stones, Sami’s aim was to create a diverse album that draws on the versatility of those bands, yet still beats with the punk rock heart of a talent who has played with the likes of Joan Jett, Demolition 23, Jetboy, Smack, Johnny Thunders…need I go on?
‘The Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind’ is a groove heavy album in many ways. With sonically seductive bass, urgent beats and low slung riffage, first single ‘The Last Time’ was an energetic taster for the album a few months back. With an instant, killer chorus it is the sort of song that imbeds itself in the brain and certainly demands your full attention. It’s a good taster of what this album delivers, but there is so much more and a few curveballs to boot.
Of the more, let’s say, signature rock n’ roll on offer, ‘Fortunate One’ sounds like classic 90’s-era Iggy Pop, and the anthemic pogo-inciting ‘Selling Me Shit’ and ‘Germinator’ knock heads with The Monroes, coming on like UK Subs meets Duff McKagan’s Loaded. All are littered with bursts of sax and crazy harmonica solos, adding much to the cool factor. It doesn’t mention in the press release who actually plays on what, but we all know a singer who plays a mean sax and harmonica, don’t we?
But it’s when Sami thinks outside the box that things get really exciting for me. His diverse influences come to the fore on the likes of ‘Rotten Roots’ and ‘You Give Me Fever’. With a hypnotic bassline that grooves an almighty aural path, the former sees Sami deliver a heavy Finnish drawl over a contemporary reggae roots song that mixes up the sounds of Gorillaz, The Clash and The Levellers with great success. The latter takes things down and visits Toots and The Maytals territory for a low down, dub heavy party, the ultimate pressure drop.
Elsewhere, ‘Look Ahead’ is an upbeat gypsy drinking anthem that sees Sami explore his Mad Jauna days. With an Urban Voodoo Machine/The King Blues feel, this is the perfect sound of the underground. The reggae groove and bursts of trumpet give bohemian vibes and full-on gypsy outlaw charm. ‘I Can’t Stand It’ has a bluesy, Jack White guitar riff and raspy, 40-a-day vocals that bring to mind Tom Waits.
Of course, you can’t have an album from an ex-Hanoi member without a bit of Johnny Thunders-esque balladry, and ‘Down At St Joes’ is full of sentiment, retrospection and heartfelt goodness. But album closer, ‘Cancel The End Of The World’ is an epic 6 minute plus epilogue. I never thought I would be referencing Hanoi Rocks and Pink Floyd in the same song, but that’s the vibe I get from this sentimental journey, so go figure. It ends things on a high.
‘The Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind’ fits perfectly alongside the discography of a musician who has held down the bottom end on some of my favourite albums and was part of a classic band who have influenced several more of my favourite bands through the years.
The debut long player from Sami Yaffa offers a few surprises and a contemporary twist on rock n’ roll as we know it. Seriously, a case of ‘always the bridesmaid, never the bride’ has now been vanquished, as the bass player steps out from the shadows of his past bands, takes to the microphone and delivers one of the most outstanding albums of the year.
Fat Wreck Chords and singer-songwriter Joey Cape, frontman of iconic punk band Lagwagon has had a lockdown more eventful than most. A reflective album that was written during a year that saw him lose his father, separate from his wife of 20 years, contract COVID, and move back in with his parents as a result of a livelihood lost, ‘A Good Year To Forget’ is a warm and beautiful record make no mistake about it. What a challenging 12 months for any human let alone being able to unravel it all inside your head and get it down on tape in songs that make sense.
Leading the collection is ‘It Could Be Real,’ a song written from the perspective of a disenchanted single person—a person who has experienced the highs and lows of multiple failed relationships. A song that sets the tone of the record and encapsulates everything that’s excellent about this record. Cape channels his best Neil Young and Ron Sexsmith and a beautiful yet heartbreaking story unfolds but is intended to be light and tongue-in-cheek.
The time Joey Cape spent with his parents over the past year didn’t just allow him to reconnect with them; it also afforded him time to write songs. Because recording studios were shutting down everywhere due to COVID, Cape got creative and turned the “cabana-type thing” he was living in into a home recording studio. “I just decided that if I was going to make a record like this, I should make it in full isolation,” he says. “I have a Murphy bed, so every morning I’d push up the bed, pull out the studio stuff, have some coffee or tea, get out my little chair and off I went.” Despite Cape’s isolation while writing ‘A Good Year To Forget’ His fans will hear much more than just a voice, guitar and bass on this record. Indeed, he ended up playing a lot of instruments when recording the album, including electric and lap steel guitars, piano, mandolin and drums. A real solo album to be fair.
‘A Good Year To Forget’ Finds the positive in the negatives to become a record of pure triumphant beauty and that’s on a serious level. I was interested to hear the record but as the songs were unfolding and I listened to the lyrics and the emotion in the vocals tied into the excellent arrangments I fell in love with what I was hearing and it really did reach out to me.
These 12 songs, especially on the wistful “The Poetry Of Our Mistakes” and the forlorn-yet-somehow-uplifting “Saturday Night Fever.” Don’t really do anything other than tell their stories but in such an empathetic way it’s hard not to get lost in the emotion of the complete record. ‘Come Home’, a song inspired directly by the words his mother had spoken on the phone, is a beautifully melancholic, folky tune
If you think you had a bad pandemic then spare a second for Joey his has been a real shit sandwich but hopefully, this can act as some cathartic experience and he can heal through his songs I know music can soothe the savage beast in us all and this beautiful record can inspire and help heal. Take a trip with Joey Cape it might not be what you expect but these beautiful songs need to be heard.
There is a lot to be angry with in the world today, particularly the last 14 months, 2 weeks, and 6 days…… But hey! Who’s counting? Although, saying that, sometimes the things that you really want might actually be there if you just reach out and grab them (no this isn’t pyramided selling). Do you want Raw Power? You got it! Do you want something Young, Loud & Snotty? You got it! Do you need something raging with the strength of a bag of amphetimin to keep you up with Lemmy on a weekend binge? You got that too! If Iron Lizards are ‘Hungry For Action’, all I can say is that it must be a pandemic in itself as I too have picked the metallic reptile’s insatiable appetite.
The record kicks off with lead single ‘It’s About Time’; I don’t know what the speed limit is in France but the pace of the tracklisting is relentless and I am here for every breakneck second of it! The seamless, relentless, and hi-octane from song to song with powerful garage punk laced riffs, the pneumatic rhythm section, all combined with the vocal delivery of James William Oesterburg giving a sermon on the mount. This rock’n’roll Jim, but not as we know it.
Four songs in we’re finally given the chance to catch our collective breath in the form of the incendiary breakdown towards the end of the ironically titled ‘no escape’. Effortlessly guiding us into the next track ‘obey/annihilate’; the band really displays its chops here in the form of their songwriting sensibilities, showing the fire and intensity of previous material but with an overall more grandiose setting and effects. From this, we’re lead even further down the genre rabbit hole with ‘death ride’, Cramped to the rafters with Lux Interior swagger.
‘Confusion blues’ takes us back on the straight and narrow of speed laced Punk’n’Roll, barely giving the punters a chance to recoup their cognitive thoughts of a world that doesn’t beat to the drum of Iron Lizard’s brutal yet beautiful onslaught.
You may have gathered whilst reading that I’m quite fond of this record, do yourselves, your friends, and your family a favour; buy this record, keep your eye on potential tour dates, and basically spend your time and money on this band. They definitely deserve it.