First gig of the year for me is a surprise treat. Synth punk CUIR (Leather) released one of my favourite albums last year, so I could hardly miss the opportunity to see him at my local venue in my adopted French town of Angoulême.
Opening tonight is relatively local band MYCIAA. Their blurb reads “if MYCIAA are adept at DIY (ethos) it’s only to reinvent themselves better with each album and to live each gig as if it’s the end of the world”. With four albums under their belt, they transform from meek offstage to wild and chaotic onstage, committed to their particular brand of electropunk noise. Their set was only marred by technical problems for their guitarist, who, after swapping guitars, took up the mic and joined the lead singer. If “life, death, electropunk, vegetarianism and animal liberation” are your thing, check out their Facebook page for details.
CUIR has the shorter set tonight, given that his album runs at a mammoth 19 minutes with 11 songs. For fans of OFF!, Ramones and Sigue Sigue Sputnik, from the one-word chorus of ‘Maniac’ (one word in the whole song, actually), it’s a series of short, sharp ear-worms. In his pink, rubber gimp mask, he’s joined by two masked ‘potes/mates’ on guitar and samples, occasionally battering a keyboard. It deserves to be busier, but given the current situation, I’m just glad to be here. Hopefully, soon he’ll be making floors shake in packed clubs. Whether it’s ‘Cut, Cut’ or ‘Schlag’, the lyrics aren’t essential, your head will be nodding along. It’s slightly tongue in cheek; before we’re dead, let’s get pissed and enjoy it all. The video for ‘Cut, Cut’ has him dancing with the grim reaper.
Quality over quantity, then. And an early night! A great way to kick off the new year. À bientôt…
We love loud guitars and this Beluga Records/Ghost Highway and Spaghetty Town Re-Release certainly ticks all the boxes as far as loud goes. To be fair these cats are the bastard children who will inherit the earth that The Stooges once strode on. ‘Shit You Talk’ can testify to that.
This particular bad boy is the long since deleted debut from the band and not since 2000 have you been able to get hold of a copy for less than a small mortgage off the likes of Discogs but now thanks to the true believers at these labels its available on a platter of wax. ‘Heart Full Of Hate’ has dated really well like a Ramones Leather or original SG it just gets better when it’s a little worn and knackered out.
Songs like the rapid barroom brawler of ‘1234 Motherfucker’ is nasty and up for trouble punch to the beak that’ll make your eyes water for sure. Theres no hanging around as one track collides into the next and just rips. Its riff after mother fucking riff for sure and The Manglers should have been a bigger success much the same as our own shit island heroes The Hip Priests the Mud City Manglers go full tilt and don’t deal in bullshit from the opening salvo to the explosive finale its all hands to the pump and rock the fuck out! it works and it still works to this day as a formula but only if you have the tunes. Boy, do the MCM have the tunes. It’s twelve bangers and thanks to these labels for not giving up on Rock and Roll and producing these long lost diamonds and pulling them out of the rough for our listening pleasure and getting them out to a wider audience for a second time.
Get yourself one more Beer and wrap yourself in any shade of black and don’t forget to keep a knockin’ because ‘Heart Full Of Hate’ is always rockin’ and will be another cool as record in your collection its equal parts Stooges, EF, Motorhead and a whole lot more besides and if you missed them first time out then don’t snooze this time get on this Hot Rod of electric guitars and snarling vocals its a blast!
Kicking off the release with track ‘get ya on’ with the “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” punk rock formula. Ensuing pogoing is guaranteed! Things turn dramatically by the next number, ‘baby’. Almost as if we have taken a shortcut down a dark alley in the wrong side of town. Creepy and haunting in all the right ways. This first recording is a great testament to the group.
What I love about this EP is that it seems to get more and more aggressive with each passing track without losing any of their style and mystique. The ladies seemingly have the ability to be intimidating without losing any character and credibility and leaving the listener wanting more.
This five track release is nothing if not consistent, every track is a stomper and leaves you unable to isolate any track as a stand out. Repeat listening is a natural side effect and the material keeps it strength every time. There is a run of the mill tradition when reviewing powerful releases from those of the feminine persuasion, to play some sort of “riot grrl bingo”. Name checking artists, whether they are actually all that similar to our subjects. I don’t want to go down that route as it’s over travelled already. All I will say is if you like Punk Rock and Alternative Rock from the past 40 years, check out this release because these three individuals rock the fuck out!
I’m pleased to say that the first lot of physical copies of Greatest Tits has sold out already. A great achievement and the band has announced that they will try and get some more copies reissued soon. Keep an eye on their social media and their Bandcamp and also check out the live dates that are coming through for 2022.
Welcome back pop pickers and a happy new year to one and all as we resume our Monday videos and today we have a few crackers and the first offering is the lead video from Kevin Preston with ‘Caprice’ It’s his solo debut 7″ which is out now via Wild Honey Records HERE
Next, we have the latest track from the brand new album courtesy of Fast Eddy and their smoldering rocker that is ‘Take A Look’. The record is available on limited red vinyl, along with black vinyl, as well as on all major streaming and download sites from January 21, 2022. Available in North America from Spaghetty Town Records and Boulevard Trash. In Europe on Dragstrip Riot Records.
Finally here is the latest offering from Peter Doherty & Frédéric Lo. Taken from the album ‘The Fantasy Life of Poetry & Crime’ through Strap Originals on Friday 18th March.
‘The Fantasy Life of Poetry & Crime’ will be available on Vinyl (in multiple colours), CD, cassette and digital download along with exclusive and signed items from the Official Store https://peterdoherty.tmstor.es/
Bob Mould announces rescheduled dates for his upcoming Solo Electric 2022 UK and Ireland tour, which now begin on June 9th at Brighton’s Concorde 2. The tour, originally scheduled for Jan/Feb 2022, has had to be temporarily postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
In a new statement to fans, Mould writes:
“Greetings from California.“As I mentioned last fall, I’m always concerned about the safety of my audience as well as venue workers. In early December 2021, I realised it would be difficult for me — even with three vaccinations on my dance card — to stay Covid-free for the entirety of the January/February 2022 IE/UK Solo Electric tour.“Today, I’m happy to announce those shows have been rescheduled. Full dates are listed below. All tickets remain valid. Refunds can be available at your point of purchase.“Apologies in advance for any inconveniences. Lots of moving parts had to be re-positioned before announcing these new dates. With that being said, I’m hopeful for a better 2022, I’m anxious to get back to work, and I’m very excited to see you all this June!”
As Mould notes above, tickets previously purchased for the original shows remain valid across the board but for those unable to attend the rescheduled shows in June and July, refunds are available at their point of purchase. Please see further below for a full updated itinerary.
The shows – which include a new London date at Islington Assembly Hall on June 16th – will find Mould performing solo versions of music from across his iconic, 40+ year career, including songs from the lauded Distortion retrospective collection, from his landmark band Hüsker Dü and from 2020’s explosive and critically acclaimed Blue Hearts album. As Mould previously noted: “I’m looking forward to the upcoming Solo Electric shows in the UK and Ireland. I’m excited to be performing songs from 2020’s Blue Hearts, as well as revisiting the prior 40 years of my songbook.”Blue Hearts is available now on LP, CD and digitally via Merge Records. The 24CD Distortion: 1989-2019, 8LP Distortion: 1989-1995, 9LP Distortion: 1996-2007, 7LP Distortion 2008-2019, 8LP Distortion: Live boxsets and Distortion: The Best of 1989-2019 2LP, 2CD and 4CD compilations are all available now on Demon Music Group.
UK/IE tour dates:
June 9th | Brighton, UK – Concorde 2 June 10th | Southampton, UK – Engine Rooms June 12th | Birmingham, UK – The Mill June 14th | Oxford, UK – Oxford O2 Academy 2 June 16th | London, UK – Islington Assembly Hall June 17th Nottingham, UK – Rescue Rooms June 18th | Stoke-on-Trent, UK – The Sugarmill June 20th | Bristol, UK – Thekla June 22nd | Glasgow, UK – Oran Mor June 23rd | Newcastle, UK – Riverside June 24th | Liverpool, UK – Arts Club June 25th | Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club June 27th | Chester, UK – The Live Rooms June 28th | Cardiff, UK – The Globe June 30th | Belfast, UK – Limelight 2 July 1st | Dublin, IE – Whelan’s
Tickets for all shows available at https://bobmould.com/tour/
Echo & The Bunnymen have announced the vinyl reissue of their first Best Of album, ‘Songs To Learn & Sing’, which was originally released in 1985 and features highlights from their first four albums including ‘Rescue’, ‘The Cutter’, ‘The Killing Moon’ and ‘Bring On The Dancing Horses’. The album will be released on 18 February on heavyweight black vinyl and a special edition splatter vinyl which includes an exclusive 7″ of their debut single, ‘Pictures On My Wall’ / ‘Read It In Books’.
The album coincides with the band’s UK and Ireland tour celebrating a remarkable 40 years of magical songs which has witnessed twenty Top 20 singles and nine Top 20 albums and seen the band become a major influence on many of today’s biggest artists.
FEBRUARY 2022Tue 01 Sheffield City HallWed 02 Leeds O2 AcademyFri 04 Bournemouth O2 AcademySat 05 Cardiff St David’s HallMon 07 London RoundhouseWed 09 Dublin Olympia TheatreFri 11 Norwich UEASat 12 Gateshead SageMon 14 Liverpool Philharmonic HallWed 16 Manchester Albert HallThu 17 Nottingham Rock CitySat 19 Cambridge Corn ExchangeSun 20 Bristol O2 AcademyTue 22 London O2 Shepherd’s Bush EmpireWed 23 Northampton DerngateFri 25 Manchester Albert HallSat 26 Birmingham O2 AcademyMon 28 Glasgow Barrowland MARCH 2022Tue 01 Glasgow Barrowland APRIL 2022Wed 16 Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion
Gyasi – ‘Godhead’ (Alive Natural Sound Recordings) He’s got the outlandish costumes and the to die for platform shoes, Gyasi (pronounced Jah-See) is a flamboyant artist who brings the golden age of UK 70’s rock n’roll into the 21st Century.
Raised in the woods of a West Virginia holler and currently living in Nashville This young dude has all the authenticity to pull off a 70s revival with his sincere – convincing strut. Gyasi is the real deal and we know it and so will you if you’re paying any attention.
Ravagers – ‘Shake the Reaper’ (Spaghetty Town Records/Wanda Records) Record of the week? Hell Yeah! some huge riffs and a catchy chorus mixing Bon Scott Era DC with some smart Dead Boys vibe Ravagers have got it happening and the mystery X-Factor a plenty going on here. If this is the shape of things to come then bring on this new album ‘Badlands’ because I think these cats are contenders and heading out on tour with Suzi Moon is something we need over this side of the pond for sure. Rebellion should get Ravagers over this summer so we can all get down with them. Banger! Absolute Banger!
Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music – ‘Standin In The Dark’ (Wicked Cool Records) Yeah yeah we all should know who Mickey is by now but he is showing his pedigree with the tracks released so far from his solo album that’s coming down the track. This is another taster for what we can expect and it’s a rockin good time that’s for sure. The claim is Mickeys saving rock n Roll one song at a time which might be a tall order for any single person but it’s a good start that’s for sure.
In other news Mickey has made a Netflix film about his book about you know who. You know its all cool now getoutahere!
J Prozac – ‘Building Blocks’ (Rum BarRecords) ‘Building Blocks’ the first chapter of heart-worn sleeve punk in J Prozac’s forthcoming full-length release, a memoir, diary, and photo book of lost but not forgotten moments, anthemic pop-punk, garage and power pop, musically it’s something for everyone and lyrically it’s like an autobiography of the different aspects, family and loved ones in J’s life.
Kevin Preston – ‘Caprice’ (Wild Honey Records) He’s got the Alvin Stardust glove on and he’s a shake rattling and a rolling on this offbeat rockin’ tune from Kevin. A first solo offering from the longshot, Prima Donna frontman its certainly a slight sidestep in style but its got snake-hipped charm and we like that here at the Singles Club so hop on board and pick up a 7″ before their all gone gone gone.
‘Close My Eyes’ slow-burns like a long drag on a Lucky Strike. ‘I Know Where I Stand’ channels the spirit of fellow Valley boy, the late Ritchie Valens so get in the (Foxboro) Hot Tub and crank up the stereo and take a sip on a tall dark and handsome drink and let the rock and roll wash over you. It’s a no-brainer that you should buy this what will be a collector’s item.
James Domestic – ‘Mañana’ (TNS Records) James kicks off 2022 with the third single from his forthcoming solo album. ‘Mañana’ sees The Domestics’ frontman taking another sonic direction, there’s a lofi garage rock vibe meets Blurs Parklife meets a bit of West Londons Taurus Trakker about proceedings. The main thing is it really works.
It’s low-slung, chugging garage-punk with dub sirens, saxophone, steel drums and the vocal return of Clare Gillet from the ‘Push On Through’ single. All of this sounds like it’d be an unbearable mess, but somehow it’s not.
The Carrion Repeating album is released on vinyl and digital in April on Kibou Records / TNS Records (UK), and Amok Records (Germany). It’s available to pre-order from https://kibourecords.bigcartel.com/
THE CHORDS UK – ’21st Century Girl’ (EPOP Records) From the new album ‘Big City Dreams’ The Chords UK skank their way through Norf London innit with this breezy tune and some insight for what we can expect on the album released soon.
Placebo – ‘Try Better Next Time’ (SO Recordings) Lifted from the new album ‘Try Better Next Time’ further opens up what we know about ‘Never Let Me Go’s frank and honest depiction of our modern times. ‘Try Better Next Time’ – the album’s poignant centrepiece – can be easy to mistake as an apocalyptic vision of the future. Instead, we find the band focusing less on endings and more on new beginnings. It’s an anthem for the end of a world that we know. Brian thinks we might grow fins but there are a few reptiles in Government who should go back into the water that’s for sure. It’s unmistakable Placebo and that’s comforting. I await the album with a positive outlook and enter the enormadome later this year for the tour.
Placebo will embark on run of headline UK / IE tour dates in 2022. Tickets are available here.
The Drowns – ‘Know Who You Are’ (Pirates Press) A cover of a Slade Classic is the order of the day with the internet airwaves full of static about Noddy saying yeah or Nay about a slot at the commercial high table that is Glasto of a reformation. This cover pays tribute in a timely fashion and does a very decent job as well. That backbeat is a joy to hear and this take is excellent. The flip side is an original ‘Guidelines Of Control’ which begins with the heavenly sound of a cowbell before Rockin and Rollin down the line with a really good n breezy stomper sounding like it has a heavenly slice of Dave Edmunds coursing through its veins. Top tune.
Turkey Vulture ‘Twist the Knife’ (Self Released) Husband and wife duo outta Connecticut play heavy as bricks Rock with a dark punky attitude on this four-track EP. It swings from some Sabbath heaviness ‘Livestock On Our Way To Slaughter’, yeah it is a strange title but then they are called Turkey Vulture.
It gets a bit samey towards the end but maybe it’s me and not the EP and I’m not ready for some Stoner Rock /punk quite yet and maybe I should play it louder because everything sounds better louder. Check em out here and respect to Jesse for playing everything bar the drums here, impressive.
Black Sabbath are no doubt one of the most discussed bands in heavy metal history. There’s one era though that, (somewhat unfairly in my opinion) doesn’t seem to get as much love as the much-revered Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio incarnations, and that’s the Tony Martin era. Martin replaced Glenn Hughes in 1987 after the album that was effectively a Toni Iommi solo album ‘Seventh Star’, and we first heard him sing on the ‘Eternal Idol’ album. His fantastic vocal range fitted well within the band and he went on to record another four studio albums with Sabbath – the fantastic ‘Headless Cross’, as well as ‘Tyr’, ‘Cross Purposes’ and ‘Forbidden‘. He also featured on a live album: Cross Purposes Live.
Strangely, his contribution to the band seems to have been almost deleted by the Sabbath camp. Have look on Spotify etc and you won’t find any of the Tony Martin stuff apart from the ‘Eternal Idol’. Tony Iommi has hinted at releasing a remastered box set of the material in the future though, let’s hope that comes to fruition. It makes no sense to me to essentially erase a long period of work from Sabbath that gave us some very strong material. I can only assume it’s because this time in Sabbath’s history was their least successful. Who knows? The late, great Cozy Powell, who played on many of the albums with Martin, has gone on record saying that Martin was Sabbath’s best singer. Praise indeed! I loved the ‘Headless Cross’ and ‘Tyr’ albums myself, and vinyl copies sell for big money online these days, they seem to be very collectable.
Martin has released solo material sparsely over the years, the first effort being 1992s Back Where I Belong which was released when Sabbath had reformed the Dio era line up with drummer Vinny Appice and released the successful ‘Dehumanizer’. We had to wait until 2005 for the follow up: ‘Scream’. He has lent his talents to many different collaborations over the years, he has worked with the likes of Blue Murder, Secret Society, Sonic Overlords, The Cage, Giuntini, as well as teaming up with ex Sabbath and ELO drummer Bev Bevan with his band Quill. He has certainly kept himself busy.
With his latest album Thorns, we find Martin in fine voice, that range is most definitely still there, and he sounds as powerful as ever. He has enlisted a fine array of musicians to accompany him here, Danny Needham (Venom), Magnus Rosen (HammerFall), Scott McClellan (who helped co- write the album) and Greg Smith who performed with Alice Cooper, Rainbow etc.
The album is a real heavy slab of metal. Opening track ‘As the World Burns’ is a full throttle, double bass drum heavy assault with some pummelling riffs, and a superb performance from Martin. I had seen the video for this track floating around on social media and was suitably impressed. A fantastic song! ‘Black Widow Angel’ has a sludgy feel with lots of stabbing accents and some fantastic bass playing from Rosen. ‘Book of Shadows‘ has a gothic feel with its haunting chants and operatic vocals. ‘Damned by You’ features some violin along with the crunching guitars and works well! No Shame is a straight-ahead rocker which will get your head nodding along. ‘Passion Killer’ has an awesome chug along riff with some solid drumming from Venom tub thumper Danny Needham. ‘Run Like the Devil’ showcases Martin’s vocal range, he seems to hit those high notes effortlessly. ‘This is your Damnation’ is strange little ditty strummed aimlessly on acoustic guitar, it’s extremely catchy though and sticks in your head instantly. The album closes on a high point with the epic title track which features a guest appearance from the fantastic Pamela Moore. Queensryche fans will know her as Sister Mary from the ‘Operation Mindcrime‘ album.
Overall, this is a very strong traditional heavy metal album that will appeal to metal fans across the board. Virtuoso performances, great songs and good production values make the album a very pleasurable listen. Tony Martin still has a lot to offer his loyal fan base, he should pick up many new fans with Thorns. This album really deserves to be heard! The album is released today and is available on CD digipak with a double vinyl LP to be released further down the line.
For those who don’t know Cranford Nix was the singer-songwriter born January 17, 1969 – Died March 12, 2002, of a drug overdose, yup way too soon. I still can’t believe its been twenty years!
Nix was a heroin addict and an alcoholic and had been sent to rehab four times. He escaped from rehab three of those times but stayed and completed it the fourth time. His time in rehab inspired him to write his most infamous song ‘Cigarettes and Heroin’ which isn’t present here on these recordings but if you’ve never heard it you need to. Nix was the frontman for The Malakas (good luck picking up their CD/LP it costs a fortune if you can track a copy down).
If you’re quick you will be able to pick up this live recording from 1990 warts n all but it has charm and has a peter pan cheeky innocence about it but we know that’s not the case. He was a talented songwriter that’s not up for debate it’s a fact. There are parallels to be drawn with Johnny Thunders performances. It seems sometimes chaotic and teetering on the edge of a big black hole and had it fallen that would also have been fine.
I do think about artists like Cranford and wonder what they could have produced had they won their battle with addiction and come out the other side still making music I think Cranford had so much to give. His cover of the Stones ‘Dead FLowers’ is appropriate and heartwarming. Sadly there are only eleven tracks here and I’d have loved to hear more. There have been loads of recordings on the web over the years of demos and live recordings but this is a really cool set that fans will be all over.
You get Ricky Rat joining in on the closing number, ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ but the rough diamonds are ‘You’re Gonna End Up Dead’ which is a beautiful tune, and if you want to hear raw, spilled heart lyrics then this is it. ‘I Just Need A Pill’ is like a wild horse Cranford is trying to harness and get under control and ride it like he knows what he’s doing. ‘Spiders And Snakes’ is a great melody and there’s a lost soul in its spirit one that makes me sad for the loss but grateful that we’ve got the music Rest In Peace Cranford Nix I94 has got your back and this is a tonic for the fans. Great record and tunes – Buy it!
I know one thing about Los Pepes and that’s they don’t make bad records. No, to be precise they don’t make bad songs. ‘The Happiness Program’ is front to back top to bottom an absolute triumph in songwriting. Be it loud power pop, harmony dripping punk rock or just plain simple loud rock n roll Los Pepes do it better than most and do it exceptionally well.
It’s been a while since Ben and the boys got to knock out a long-player and this one kinda crept up on me. When it first showed up on my radar I made a mental note to get ready for the pre-order and then boom the single got delayed in the rush to press old Fleetwood mac albums and Adeles new opus then it fled my mind as quickly as one of their 45’s starts, rocks out, then ends.
Los Pepes have mastered the art of writing songs that sound like you’ve heard them before (but you haven’t) making your heart burst with good vibes because their music is so damn good and wanting to hit repeat and play it all again.
Whilst I await the delivery of my slime green vinyl I’ve been living with the MP3 of the album and going on walks to keep fit and trying to keep up with the beat. It’s not easy I can tell you you’ll be almost running or marching and grinning like a Cheshire cat. I don’t so much say hello to people I bark hi! like their my best mate because that’s what these songs do to you. From the roar of ‘Small Time’ with its awesome one-finger stooges piano and the X-Ray Spex horns it’s a blistering start to a record. You might be thinking it’s all rapid crash, bang, wallop! which they do exceedingly well but it’s not, well, ‘Never Get It Right’ is a bit like that but ‘I Want You Back’ is riff-tastic like the Undertones were with added Feelgood harmonica just for good measure. The guitars trade riffs n licks and it’s like a joyful out-of-body experience – seriously, it’s that good!
‘Sick And Bored’ might just be my favourite song on the record with its slick backbeat and retro groove it’s like a burst of nuclear sunshine and the melody is bursting with goodness. ‘Blur The Lines’ is jacked up on Ramones vibes.
You asked for power-pop well, ‘Anecdotes’ is full of power-pop right up to the brim and the gob iron is a nice touch adding something a little left of center but it’s perfect. If it’s rock n roll you fancy next then ‘I Remember You’ has got you covered. Damn have I said I love Los Pepes? get over it kids we need music like this, played to this standard with these melodies, hooks and choruses. The evolution wheel of rock and roll turns again and again but it might not turn to tunes as good as these often. This is an absolute banger of a record and you do need to check it out.
Where do we sign up for this Happiness Program? I’m all in. What a way to kick-off 2022. I love Los Pepes, no I really do!