The latest album from French metal band Existance is called ‘Wolf Attack’. When I got the email to review it, the title alone was enough for me to click the link. To top it off, there’s an awesome picture of a wolf in a moonlit graveyard on the cover! Metal as fuck!

You have a good idea what the band will sound like just from the imagery, think Maiden, Priest, Queensryche with a splash of Helloween and you’re pretty much there. The picture of the band on the album could be a band from the NWOBHM era. Leather, chains, and the odd bandana thrown in for effect…

Duelling guitars, soaring vocals, pummelling drums and great production make for a great listen. A thoroughly enjoyable slab of trad metal with tracks like ‘Highgate Vampire’, ‘Power of the Gods’ and the title track being highlights. The guys are great musicians and vocalist/guitarist Julian Izard pulls of a magnificent performance, his voice is powerful, and he hits those high notes with ease. The rest of the band are no slouches either with some Malmsteen inspired solos from Antoine Poiret.

‘Wolf Attack’ is a solid effort from start to finish, fans of trad metal fans have plenty to get their teeth into here, and it has my favourite album title of the year so far!

Beware the moon!

Author: Kenny Kendrick

When Paul Cook asked former Loyalties/Yo-Yo’s man Tom Spencer to fill in for Steve Jones and front The Professionals for a celebratory gig back in 2015, I wager he never guessed the band would be releasing their second comeback album and be a touring band nearly 6 years later.

Cookie, Spencer and bassist Toshi return with the recently released ‘SNAFU’ and true to their punk rock credentials, it’s not as yet available on streaming sites and can only be purchased from the band or at gigs. Punk rock is alive and well, kids.

Joining The Professionals on their merry jaunt are Desperate Measures, a band formed by vocalist Eugene Butcher in Christchurch, New Zealand back sometime in the 80’s. The short-lived band only had a few releases before disbanding, but the singer is back and currently based in the UK with a new line-up including former Glitterati and current Rich Ragany axe slinger Gaff, Ricky Mcguire from UK Subs/The Men They Couldn’t Hang and former Done Lying Down drummer James Sherry.

Showcasing songs from the newly released EP entitled ‘Rinsed’, Desperate Measures are a perfect opener for a punk legend. Their brand of punk n’ roll is high energy, with memorable hooks and enough low slung riffage to thrill. Looking like yer dad’s rocking best mate, Butcher commands the stage giving all he’s got, while livewire guitar player Gaff is a mass of black hair and ultra-cool leather. The songs shine through. ‘Scars and Memories’ with its cool as you like Stooges riff and garage rock vibes is the closest thing to Lords Of The New Church I’ve heard in many years, and single ‘Flowers At Your Door’ with its gothic ‘Sisters meets The Misson’ vibes is a set highlight. They close their set with a solid version of The Stooges ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ which fits the vibe of the band perfectly, and is delivered with the same raw and ramshackle coolness that the original did.

They go down well with a sparse, yet growing crowd and I’d urge you to check out their EP and catch a live show when they drag their skinny-jeaned arses to town near you. Great stuff.

The Sex Pistols have quite a legacy, and as expected, a show featuring a member of the iconic punk legends is going to draw a crowd of 50-something, ex-punks reliving their youth. But The Professionals 2021 are more than just a nostalgia act, they always were a bit more rock n’ roll than their snarling and spitting former band. While Jonesy is sadly not involved in the new incarnation, frontman Tom Spencer is a more than able replacement. Joined tonight by his former Loyalties and current Michael Monroe guitar slinger Rich Jones, and band roadie turned band bassist Toshi, The Professionals deliver a high energy set of rock n’ roll covering the band’s entire career.

The Cook and Jones penned classics ‘Payola’ and ‘123’ bookend a killer set and showcase the power-pop direction that the duo took after the demise of The Pistols. Tom Spencer’s cheeky, cockney charm, raspy vocals, and empowered stage presence fit the bill perfectly, and Rich Jones just looks happy to be back playing live shows again. Hell, he flew all the way over from Canada to do these shows!

The new material shines through. Tracks from the critically acclaimed ‘What In The World’ go down well and have the crowd singing as much as the classics tonight. The likes of ‘Going Going Gone’, ‘Rewind’ and ‘Monkeys’ all get an airing, and now sound as classic as…the classics. It’s all cool riffs, chanting backing vocals, and killer choruses, what more could a good punk ask for?

It just goes to show that the Cook/Spencer penned tunes can stand tall up against the Cook/Jones ones.

A few tunes from the newly released‘ SNAFU’ have found their way into the set on this run. Album opener ‘Easily Lead’ and ‘Mashes’ sound great and Cookie introduces the killer single ‘Spike Me Baby’ with the story of how he got spiked on his daughter’s pot-laced choccies.

Few drummers have a distinctive style such as Paul Cook and he is often overlooked as a drummer and a songwriter, even though he has the credentials. Tonight, he doesn’t miss a beat, which ain’t too shabby for a bloke in his 60’s! You’re wondering if they played any Pistols tunes right? Well, yeah, 2 carefully chosen songs fit the bill tonight. ‘Silly Thing’ is played mid-set and for me is the song of the night, a classic of my youth. And the encore sees local lad and Eureka Machines main man Chris Catalyst join the band for a killer extended ‘Stepping Stone’, that brings all the old punks down the front to pogo, and sends the energy levels to overload.

The Professionals breathe new life into a tried and tested formula. The new songs stand up to, and in some cases surpass, the band’s early legacy. In their current guise, the live band can hold their own against any of the young cats and probably show them a thing or two as well. With a charismatic frontman, a killer, groove-heavy drummer and a cast of seasoned musician mates (who all seem to have played with Ginger Wildheart at some point in time), they cannot really fail.

Author: Ben Hughes

When the first Volume of the Alvin Gibbs story came out during lockdown I was delighted to sit out on the patio and absorb his wonderful words as fast as I could and reading that it would be spread out over several books was even better news.

Now I make no secret of my admiration for the guy’s musical talent I also have waxed lyrically about how good his books are especially when I first read ‘Neighbourhood Threat’ about his time spent as the bass player on the Iggy Pop Instinct tour alongside Andy McCoy. I absolutely loved that tour and the shows I saw and would put ‘Live At The Channel’ right at the top of my favourite live albums ever. The energy the band had was spectacular and reading Alvin’s account from inside the beast was a joy, the excesses, and musical highs were wonderfully described by someone who knew exactly how to attack such a tome. When he spoke about his memories and getting it all down on paper as it should be was something I was always going to look forward to.

His “Clang!” moments of meetings and dalliances with some of Rock and Pops royalty is almost on every page of this fast-paced memoir so much so that Alvin must have a sore back picking up all those “Clangs” – meetings with Everly Brothers, Working with Steve Jones, Iggy, chats with Bowie to name a few, it’s all in there and the period of Alvin returning to the UK with Cheap & Nasty coincided with my moving to London and chasing my dreams with the soundtrack and backdrop of London town in the early 90s and attending many of the shows Alvin alludes to in this volume of his life.

If you read the first book then you’ll know what to expect and this should be a no-brainer if this Autobiography is new to you then jump in you won’t regret it. One of the most talented people of his genre Alvin plays like a giant and writes like a pro. With the benefit of hindsight Alvin is respectful to the people he fondly writes about and some of his antics he rightly goes into detail but never excuses them but does explain them and that matters. The pace is excellent, his use of the English Language is second to none, and (I wish I could write with his style and panache) Often with a smile and a cheeky grin you turn the pages and get the feeling that you are right there by his side as he indulges us often in great detail and it’s the small attention to detail that gives the pages their beating heart. I didn’t think it was possible to give this man any more respect than I already do but again I doff my hat to him and his skills and give me volume three asap, please! Two just isn’t enough. volume 2 of Alvin’s work is a cautionary tale of the indulgences of the business but also a window into a world most of us can only dream about living – Book of the year? Hell yeah! 83-94, for the most part, Alvin lived the dream and when he wasn’t he was still on some bizarre journey as his downtime was spent with some real corpses not just of the Rock and Roll variety.

In a life that seemed to be a series of sliding door moments and opportunities that were too good to resist Alvin has seized his moments and grasped the nettle and held on for dear life it would seem, it’s an amazing journey and as far as Rock and Roll autobiographies go this is, without doubt, one of the finest (Again) bring-on volume three, I can’t wait.

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Author: Dom Daley

What comes to mind for you when you think of Motorhead? For me the name conjures up all sorts of images and sounds. Greasy, loud, metal, punk, rock n roll, warpig, ugly, Rickenbacker bass guitars, plane shaped lighting rigs, Jack Daniels, warts, the Young Ones, huge double bass drum kits, bullet belts, Strongbow and absolute coolness defined. The worldwide cultural importance of Motorhead as a brand is probably stronger than ever with celebrities being papped wearing Motorhead shirts, and every metal band of any stature stating Motorhead as a huge influence. Metallica’s Lars Ulrich was the head of Motorhead’s fan club back in the 80s. I can guarantee that if you go to any metal gig you will see the immortal image of the warpig (or snaggletooth as it’s also known), on a shirt, battle vest or inked on a body.

Motorhead are one of my favourite bands ever, (I even have a Motorhead tattoo). The band have been a mainstay throughout my life, they first battered my senses as a thirteen-year-old flicking through my mate’s older brothers record collection and finding Ace of Spades. After spinning that particular black circle, I was hooked and did my best to digest as much of their music as possible. My go to album at that time was a compilation – No Remorse, which contains one of my all time favourite Motorhead songs Killed by Death, a fuckin’ barnstormer that stills sounds amazing today.

Bringing us right up to date and we have been given another Motorhead compilation album – Everything Louder Forever. As we all know there have been countless Motorhead compilations thrown out there over the years, the quality ranging from poor to pretty good. I have to say that Everything Louder Forever is the most comprehensive to date covering every incarnation of the band. They are all here in their deafening glory, of course you get the standards – Ace of Spades, Overkill, Bomber, Orgasmatron, The Chase is Better than the Catch, Iron Fist, Killed by Death.

 You also get bangers like Burner, I am the Sword, Brotherhood of Man, Overnight Sensation, We Are Motorhead, and the heart felt 1916, Lemmy’s lyrics were always a highlight for me and always felt he was underrated as a lyricist. Their throwaway cover of the Sex Pistols God Save the Queen didn’t need to be here, and there are a few tracks that really should have been included such as – Metropolis, We Are the Road Crew and Damage Case, but I guess there’s always going to be tracks missing that people love when you have a back catalogue as extensive as Motorhead’s.

That being said, this is a fantastic compilation and a great place to start if you’ve never been exposed to the wondrous world of the Motorheadbanger. 42 tracks spread over a Deluxe 4LP foldout edition plus 2LP and 2CD formats.

They were Motorhead and they played Rock N Roll!! Thanks for the music guys.

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Author: Kenny Kendrick