As retro-obsessed as I am, a proper throwback of an album would surely be a fine way to round off my reviewing duties for the year. That album? ‘Tear Down Your Idols’, the just-released new album from Canadian gutter rockers, Dirtbag Republic.

Formed by singer Sandy Hazard and guitarist Mick Wood in 2014, ‘Tear Down Your Idols’ (titled in reference to both the tearing down of favourite bands that blow up big and heritage acts going through the motions on stage) is the Vancouver band’s third album, following 2015’s self-titled debut and 2017’s ‘Downtown Eastside’.

Described in the press blurb as having definite Hanoi Rocks and Dead Boys influences, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t more than a whiff of the former in the sonics ensconced in this eleven-track long player – ‘Sorry’ being a fine example. It’s a much more harder-edged album, though – more of a street rock ‘n’ roll record that will appeal to fans of Backyard Babies (probably the clearest soundalike here) and Buckcherry. There’s a mainlining of prime, pre-MTV Aerosmith here too. I’m guessing that you’ve already decided as to whether you’re going to check this album out just because of the bands that I’ve just mentioned? Well, here’s another one: I couldn’t help but be reminded of Helsinki scuzz rockers Hybrid Children when listening to ‘Tear Down Your Idols’.

The barroom piano on ‘Don’t Answer To No One’ adds another classic rock ‘n’ roll element, elevating the track to the top of my ‘must-play’ list from this album. At the bottom? Throwback records often trawl up questionable lyrics and this one is no different: the “anorexia nervosa” refrain in ‘Skinny’ is an eyebrow- rather than a fist-raiser that made even my headphones wince. The Manic Street Preachers’ ‘4st 7lb’ it is not.

Even though an idea that should never have made it past the rehearsal room does take the foot off the class, the band never takes it off the gas for the majority of the album; ‘Tear Down Your Idols’ could easily fill a space in your low-slung rock ‘n’ roll music collection.

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Author: Gaz Tidey

Well, here’s a late contender for one of my favourite albums of the year. I love finding things by accident. I saw a Facebook post on my local venue’s page for a gig next January. The photo alone grabbed my attention. As you can see. A strong image, I was intrigued, so I searched out the album via Bandcamp. Eleven tracks, only two that run over two minutes. A short, sharp shock.

From the off, it gets under the skin, with ‘Maniac’ setting the tone. Gloriously basic drum machine, punk riffs aplenty, 80s synths and barked vocals in French. Don’t panic! You really don’t need to know what’s going on. Whether it’s ‘Blouson Noir’ or ‘Cut Cut’, this is gonna have you pogoing around in no time.

While it’s not ‘OFF’, he has a similar approach in brevity; if you can’t do it in two minutes, forget it. Somewhere between a demented, sped-up Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Spunk Volcano, there’s not much more I can add. If it’s your thing, you’ll love it immediately. How it transfers to the stage remains to be seen. I’ll find out next month. Stay tuned, punk-pop pickers. Not arf!

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Author: Martin Chamarette

Those ever-busy folks at Damaged Goods Records are in festive mood, to an extent. So, if you fancy an alternative Christmas compilation, this will fill your stocking. As varied as expected, with Billy Childish, Helen Love, Holly Golightly, The Courettes, and many more…

Wild Billy Childish And The Musicians Of The British Empire kick it off with the decidedly un-festive ‘Christmas 1979’, a Scrooge like tale of Christmas past. The Courettes rescue the spirit with the gorgeous ‘Christmas (I Can Hardly Wait)’, and Holly Golightly brings some some country-fuelled warmth with ‘Christmas Tree On Fire’.

Helen Love is on the E numbers again with ‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight)’, which rattles past so fast you might need to play it again. I feel Joey would approve. ‘Silver Bells’ by Cookooland  is equally boptastic, while Wat Tyler strangles ‘Oh, Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ in record time.

Thee Headcoatees’ ‘Santa Claus’ is yet another version of ‘Davey Crockett’, and Severe tackle ‘Stop The Cavalry’ in Sham 69 fashion, which works surprisingly well. The classic ‘City Of Christmas Ghosts’ by Goldblade and Polly Styrene still sounds great, while ‘Little Stars’ by Holly Golightly is actually quite sweet.

The Singing Loins provide ‘Ding Dong Merrily On High’ for a traditional singalong, and the mighty Buff Medways blast through ‘Merry Christmas Fritz’. And, there’s more. If you’re a regular customer of Damaged Goods, you know what to expect, and will likely add this to your Yuletide collection.

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Author: Martin Chamarette

Keeping the spirit of 77 punk rock alive and having a blast is the order of the day for Edweena. ‘Diamond Rock’ is an unashamed love letter to the past and to a misty-eyed period in time that has been well covered by many from all corners of the globe and now with such a fast past ever-changing social media where time seems to move at the speed of light it is important we don’t forget the past and giving it up for Johnny is something that’s in danger of being forgotten. Not in Edweenas orbit though as ‘Diamond Rocks’ will testify with bells and whistles.

From the snotty Thunders tribute to the sleazy ‘She’s The One’ it’s raw and melodic. With a splash of style, the debonaire Banger turns the clock back even further on the lyrical title track as the hat gets tipped to Bowie and his 70s persona.

It’s Bangers second album and much the same as the debut its all about the flavour and the blood coursing through Bangers veins and not really some nostalgia trip but that tipping of the hat to what influenced the musical direction. It’s a narrow field of influence for sure but it was a deep and glorious pool to go fishing in for inspiration. ‘where did It All Go Wrong’ is a slower, more gentle pace but the story is good. With an ear for a decent melody, Banger throws the kitchen sink at these songs with the Les Paul more often than not front and centre. Bowie looms large on ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ and obviously ‘Aladinsane Again’ and you do get the impression Banger still feels the heat from a flame that still burns oh so brightly for the time period when giants did indeed walk through the charts in the heady 1970’s.

Before the album closes it might come as no suprise that ‘Boogie In The Well Of Love’ is Bangers tribute to the magic of some Bolan Boogie and again the lyrics are wrapped in some T Rex and Bolanisms with some sweet guitar breaks which seems to be a thing that Banger seems comfortable with.

Closing the CD off with ‘Let’s Do It’ and a rousing slab of Les rock and possibly the best track on the album that I’m sure will be a quality tune played live with its energy and passion shining brightly. It’s both a Diamond and it Rocks nice one again Edweena Banger.


Author: Dom Daley

This is the first time there has been a promotional video for the ultimate festive anthem.
‘The video is very unusual and comical. It does sum up the band’s characters HO HO HO!’ exclaims Noddy Holder.

Originally released in 1973 Merry Xmas Everybody was the band’s sixth number-one single in the UK and sold over a million copies upon its first release.  

A Christmas standard Merry Xmas Everybody has spent an incredible 105 weeks in the Official UK Singles Chart and entered the charts for an amazing 26th time this week. In 2009, PRS for Music announced that up to forty-two percent of the world’s population could potentially have listened to the song!

BMG conclude a new series of limited edition splatter vinyl reissues from Slade, with the release of ‘Slade Alive’, on 28th January 2022. Slade Alive’the fourth release in the series, will be released on red and black splatter vinyl. 
The first release in this beautifully presented re-issues collection ‘Slayed? debuted at #7 in the Official Vinyl Charts.

Slade’s first live album ‘Slade Alive!’, originally released on 24th March 1972, entered the UK album chart at #2 and remained in it for 58 weeks. Featuring the anthems ‘Get Down and Get With It’ and ‘Know Who You Are’, today ‘Slade Alive!’ is considered one of the greatest live albums of all time. “Sounds better, the louder you play it” – Los Angeles Times.

To pre order Slade Alive!’ go to: released 28th January 2022

Slade Alive’ follows the release of Slade’s third, fourth and fifth studio albums ‘Slayed?’, ‘Old New Borrowed And Blue’ and Slade In Flame’.
Slayed?’ features ten songs including Number One single, ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’  and ‘Gudbuy T’Jane’ which reached Number two in the charts. While Old New Borrowed And Blue’, features the singles ‘My Friend Stan’ and ‘Everyday’ and  The Times to retrospectively state: “This is joyous, unshackled and unpretentious stuff that reminds you how they rattled off six No.1’s.” Slade’s first soundtrack album ‘Slade In Flame’, includes the singles ‘Far Far Away’ and ‘How does it Feel’ and their seminal film was hailed as ‘the Citizen Kane of British pop movies” by Mark Kermode, BBC.
Slade are without doubt one of the most exciting bands to come out of Great Britain and were unstoppable throughout the Seventies becoming one of the biggest bands; releasing six smash hits albums, including three UK Number Ones, a run of 17 consecutive Top 20 singles and their hits provided a soundtrack to the Glam Generation.

To order ‘Slayed?’ go to:

To order Old New Borrowed And Blue’ go to: 

To order ‘Slade In Flame’go to:

Black Spiders have always appreciated the level of support from their fans and had been discussing new ways to get their music out to people.

pic by Babz

The band have been recording material towards a new album, that they hope to release at some point in 2022 but have been looking at different ways they can release their music straight to their fans.

On the 1st of December, they relaunched their Patreon ‘fan club’ with what they are hoping is a new way of forward thinking.

All the tiers are priced differently, depending on what fans can afford with regards to supporting the band, the fans that sign up to the higher ‘tiers’ will now receive a link, every single month, to hear a BRAND-NEW Black Spiders song. And we’re not talking about unfinished mixes, or rehearsal room demo recordings. One fully mixed and studio recorded brand new track, every month, for as long as they subscribe.

They aren’t dismissing the idea of traditional album releases altogether, as they still intend to release physical albums for all the collectors and vinyl lovers out there, and the next album may contain some of the tracks they are releasing direct to the fan club.

As well as a brand-new song every month, there will also be a ‘making of’ video, discussing the writing and recording process and some studio footage of the band recording the song.

Their podcast ‘The Waffle’ will continue on a more regular schedule and they’ve also got big plans for next year to host an annual show, with reduced entry for fan club subscribers.  All subscribers will also receive a discount code for Black Spiders merch store at Big Cartel, valid for all purchases as long as they remain a subscriber. There are also plans to throw in guestlist giveaways, free prize draws, and other content into the mix, as and when.

This is of course all on top of the content that is already included in the current Patreon set up – the making of the latest album, other live track giveaways, unheard song downloads, as well as a Fan Club only tee shirt exclusive patch.

Says guitarist Ozzy: “We’ve reached the point in our career, where we need to monetise our product. Our currency is music and if you want to encourage us to keep doing it, I encourage you to pay into our collection bucket and let your ears soak up the profit from your investment.”

“Since we got the band back together it’s been an incredibly creative time song writing wise,” continues bassist Adam Irwin. “We were all excited by the tunes and wanted to get new music out to fans as quickly as possible, without settling into the old routine of album/tour/album/tour/repeat. We’ve been heading into the studio every month to record, so I suggested we start giving a song away once a month to our biggest fans, the guys who sign up to our fan club on Patreon.”

Head to the Black Spiders Patreon page HERE:

Find Black Spiders online at:






I’m fortunate enough tonight to be back at the exquisite Albert Hall in Manchester, a beautiful venue lacking almost all commercial trappings that become all too customary these days. I’m catching the Jesus and Mary Chain performing the classic album Darklands in full. 

Inevitably delayed like most tours and outings, finally it has arrived in the calendar. Making their way on the stage, the distance between the brothers is almost comical and feeds into the legend of indifference and distrust between the Reid siblings. 

The band is to put it simply, effortless yet commanding, casual but also captivating. They have complete control and excellent delivery in regards to the late 80s Goth/Indie tinged Darklands sound, and with almost no visual change over of guitars perform the more Alternative Rock 90s material without missing a beat.

Launching into opening track and title track ‘Darklands’, it’s a euphoric moment for everyone here who has been waiting for these dates to be rescheduled and perhaps haven’t been to a live show for a long period of time. The euphoria doesn’t stop there, the crowd is at fever pitch throughout the first half of the record, reminding you how strong the album tracks are right up to classic single ‘happy when it rains’ and the equally tempestuous ‘nine million rainy days’. 

The storm hasn’t quite passed yet, as the band treat us to the epic and incendiary ‘April skies’ and onwards completing the album retrospective. After the little obligatory break we are treated to a ‘best of the rest’ set, touching primarily on mid and late 90s material but with some Darklands era B-sides thrown in to boot. There is a real lack of singles in the set but for the hardcore audience, this must be the obsessive completist’s wet dream. Stand out tracks have to be ‘Moe Tucker’ from Munki and fan favourite B-side ‘kill surf city’. The night is finished off with ‘never understand’ delivered in full with the feedback it deserves, sadly the only taste of Psychocandy we get tonight. 

Overall it was well worth traipsing out on a cold, wet Wednesday evening. Being the first time I’ve seen the Mary Chain I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get certain tracks from my personal wishlist but certainly not put off. The only way to remedy this is to see them again at the earliest opportunity.

Author: Dan Kasm

What’s there to do when you are stuck in Texas with just a guitar and your faithful dog for company? Well, when Covid scuppered the touring plans of singer/songwriter Ryan Hamilton last year, he came up with a new project. Not just to keep him occupied, but probably to help restore his sanity.

The plan: Record and release a song as a single on the 12th day of every month, culminating with the release of an album at the end of the year. A tall order for any artist you might think, but Ryan stepped up to the challenge and delivered.

Fast forward 12 months and ‘1221’ is finally a physical product in the shops and in the greedy mitts of fans and friends alike. With the help of his go-to producer guy Dave Draper, Ryan has crafted a 12-song collection of originals, covers and songs gifted to him.

The album is sequenced as the singles were released, so therefore opens with the first song we heard way back in January, his take on the Spin Doctors’ ‘How Could You Want Him (When You Could Have Me)’. The ringing piano notes, the regimental drums and dreamy vocals create the mood that fits perfectly with Ryan’s themes of soul searching and heartbreak, following the recent marriage break-up that inspired last year’s ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ opus.

While this album opener sees our man in a maudlin mood, the following ‘Deja Vu (I Love You)’ hits the other end of the spectrum. Cue power chords, bombastic beats and a signature, power pop hook to sing from the rooftops. This rocker is a love letter to… well, to being in love, no more, no less.

The rockers are strong on this album. The likes of ‘Shots Fired’ and ‘Do The Damage’ recall millennial, radio-friendly alternative rock, and the inclusion of a killer cover of 90’s Brit Rockers Catherine Wheel, seemingly seals the deal. In fact, there’s a late 90’s feel to the whole album. Big choruses, lyrics full of sentiment, layered vocals and a top-notch production all help.

The introspective ‘Caught Up In A Moment’ sees Ryan questioning relationships and asking the question “If you could change the past…. would you?”. It’s a heartfelt ditty, with piano accompaniment and a cast of familiar voices to back him up from across the pond.

With powerful lyrics and a sentiment about the child in all of us ‘Babies’ is an album highlight. Written for Ryan by fellow Texan songwriter Bob Schneider, it is one of those songs that grabs you from first listen. Sublime and thought provoking. Ryan matches Bob’s offering with another album highlight, the uplifting Permanent Holiday’. Pure escapism from these times in whatever way you choose. With an anthemic hook, it feels like a call to arms, a release if you will, to pick yourself up from the doldrums, put the pedal to the metal and hit the black tar rivers to better climes. A flavoursome, Brit Pop inspired ditty for sure.

While Ryan can certainly pen a catchy chorus or two, he also knows how to pick a good cover tune. The Refreshments ‘Banditos’ is a masterstroke of power pop, and I dare you to come away from this album and not be singing the “everybody knows the world is full of stupid people” refrain.

Elsewhere, ‘If Life Was A Movie’ is a feelgood earworm of 90’s indie rock that could be a They Might Be Giants b side if I didn’t know any better. Quirky, memorable and damn good fun. And he closes the album with a song for the broken-hearted, as he suggests and warms to the idea of moving on with his life as he bares his soul on the fragile and wonderful ‘Ready To Love Again’.

You couldn’t make up the shit that Ryan Hamilton has gone through in his career, ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ should’ve been the album to catapult Ryan into the big league, but Covid put pay to that. Even the documentary they were making about the crazy story of his previous band Smile Smile has been shelved due to recent events. This dude just can’t catch a break!

With no touring to promote albums, artists such as Ryan Hamilton stand no hope against the big hitters in the music world. Ryan has successfully completed a project he set out to undertake 12 months ago and maybe, just maybe ‘1221’ will see this underrated songwriter finally get the break he deserves. He certainly has the songs and the charisma, and his albums are consistently good. But don’t take my word for it, go buy the damn thing and see for yourself!

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Author: Ben Hughes

‘Rinsed’ mini album out now via Easy Action Records

New single ‘Scars and Memories’ is out

Buy/Stream HERE:

Fresh from their thirteen date UK tour with The Professionals, London rockers Desperate Measures

release the third single from their critically acclaimed ‘Rinsed’ mini album, out now through Easy Action.

A tale of a reckless life lived out of control, addiction, and regrets, it’s the story of a long-lost friend who is now on the run from criminal gangs.

Shot, directed, and edited by Craig Temple of Racketeer Pictures, the video perfectly captures the frenzied, high-energy stomp of the song.

Ending a highly productive year with the bands last gig of 2021 – ‘Christmas On Earth On Holloway’ is set to take place at Nambucca on December 16th with support from friends The Blue Carpet Band, The Duel and Los Santos.

Desperate Measures look forward to returning in 2022 when they will begin work on their debut full-length album.

Desperate Measures are:

Eugene Butcher – Vocals

Gaff – Guitar

Ricky McGuire – Bass

James Sherry – Drums

Find Desperate Measures online at:



Carlos is heading off on a small venue tour this January with Music Venue Trust…

Carl puts on his ‘solo’ hat (a rather fetching fedora!) in January and will set out on the ‘Revive Live Tour’ with his band on a noble mission to highlight the plight of small venues, whose livelihoods have been teetering on the brink thanks to this bleedin’ global pandemic in co. 

Grab a ticket while you still can HERE