A break-up album can be the most honest and personal album of a musician’s career. I feel an artist is at their best when they are going through the worst of times, it’s when they have something to truly write about. A relationship breakdown, like a bereavement, can open the emotional and creative floodgates like no other experience, and it can be the best of therapies in the darkest of times.

So, when Ginger Wildheart (and his faithful four-legged companion Maggie) retreated to a caravan in the wilds to write the follow up to the confessional ‘Ghost In The Tanglewood’ album, the pen did flow as did the whiskey, and ‘The Pessimist’s Companion’ was born.

Originally rush released as a 10-track album by Round Records back in 2018 to meet pre-order deadlines, this collection of heartfelt, soul-searching tunes has been lovingly re-mixed, re-sequenced and beefed up with 5 extra songs recorded at the same sessions, but not finished in time for release. The album now gets a proper worldwide release on Little Steven’s Wicked Cool Records label, a place that sees our man now rub shoulders with other RPM favourites such as Ryan Hamilton, Jesse Malin and Wyldlife.

Track wise and feel wise, the reshuffle turns this album on its head quite literally. The album now opens with the upbeat vibes of ‘Why Aye’, a song of hope and confidence in moving forward. That now leaves the beautiful, acoustic sermonette ‘May The Restless Find Peace’ to close things up. In hindsight, a more fitting epilogue to the story than an introduction. It now feels like the song has its rightful place and harmony has been restored in the world.

It’s interesting to note that a friend of mine (who is not a big Wildhearts lover) commented that Ginger sings in his natural accent on his solo material, and that’s something I never noticed before, but I must say the Geordie twang is more prominent on this album. And it maybe gives more of a sense of locality and a big dose of Northern charm that fits well with the country-tinged direction in which Ginger is heading.

‘I Love You So Much I’m Leaving’ is a euphoric high for dark times. A song that offers hope and contemplation in equal measures. A sound that features pedal steel and acoustic guitars, it’s the country-tinged direction we assume he will take further with The Sinners album (to be released later this year). Another album highlight is the acoustic driven ‘You Will Let Me Down Again’. Commercial and worthy of single status, it flows along on a summer breeze with lazy, hazy backing vocals courtesy of Emily Ewing.

Of the new songs, the standout is the newbie single ‘Stalemate’, which along with the title track could have fitted nicely on the ‘555%’ triple album. A signature Ginger melody and a radio friendly chorus that will stick in the subconscious, never to be removed. ‘Detachment’ has a similar melody to ‘The Words Are Gonna Have To Wait’ and ‘No Regrets’ has an almost Greg Lake seasonal feel to it.

Elsewhere ‘I Don’t Wanna Work On This Song No More’ is one of those fun, studio jams that pilfers from The Wurzels as much as it does from The Levellers, and ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ is a tongue-in-cheek romp that raises a smile or two.

Back sometime in the mid 90’s the Wildhearts leader claimed that “some of the best of me plans have been laid, and some of me best moments used”. Well, fast forward to 2022 and we find the man re-releasing his 7th (don’t quote me on that!) solo album and it seems he still has some of his best moments left in the bag.

The heart wrenching ‘A Better Love’ features a beautiful piano-led first chorus that is so gentle and fragile, it feels like any intrusion would destroy the song forever. Heart on sleeve, a love song pure and simple that implores you to hold on tightly to the one you love and never let them go.

‘Sweet Wonderlust’ is pure countrified pop with a killer chorus the likes of Nashville can never deliver. And ‘There Is A House’ is a contemplative, folky ditty along the same lines as ‘If You Find Yourself In London Town’. Full of tinkling ivories, stark percussion and creative space, it might just help heal the broken hearted…just a little bit.

While as standalone tracks the additional songs may not be the strongest on offer, they seem perfect in the context of ‘The Pessimist’s Companion’ as a whole listening experience. And now I feel relistening to the original record, it will always feel like there is something missing.

A release designed to get the talents of one of the UK’s best kept secrets out to a wider audience. ‘The Pessimist’s Companion’ is a country-tinged break-up album that is as much a therapy for the artist as it is joyful, masterful listen for fans both old and new. An album worth revisiting if you’ve been here before and also worth forwarding to those who haven’t. Let’s help spread the word.

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Author: Ben Hughes

Jan Stenfors, aka Nasty Suicide from Hanoi Rocks, Cheap and Nasty, and The Cherry Bombz, releases a new album after almost 30-year out of the game bar a few cameo live appearances with his former Hanoi bandmates. Jan has got a new band for the album which is entitled simply ‘Stenfors’.

Stenfors’ recent battle against cancer has maybe seen him revisit his past and help him get back in the game and evaluate what’s important to him. The Family Album will be released on the 10’th of June 2022 in digital, vinyl, and CD formats by the Helsinki-based record label Rolling Records. where you can pick up your copy. or just click Here for a direct link to the ten track album.


Hit this link for a listen to the new single

For those not familiar with Italy’s Faz Waltz, they formed in 2007 as the solo project of songwriter, singer and guitarist Faz La Rocca. As long as he can remember he has always been influenced by early Rock’N’Roll, Glam Rock and Punk.  Since their first release in 2008 they have gone on to release numerous singles and are now releasing their 8th album, “On The Ball”.  They have had worldwide releases in countries like the United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, and Germany to name a few.  They have played over 300 concerts worldwide, with Punk Rock Bowling (Las Vegas) as one of the last great Faz Waltz shows before the worldwide pandemic.  There they were able to play alongside The Hives, Rancid, The Specials, Descendents, The Damned, The Undertones and many more. In fact, on that US tour Rodney Bingenheimer came out to see them in Los Angeles before they made their way to Las Vegas.

Now they are back with their eighth album “On The Ball”.   This album pays homage to their love of the early days of American Rock and Roll..  You’ll hear hints of Eddie Cochran, Chuck Berry and Little Richard along with that classic Faz Waltz rock and roll sound.

Spaghetty Town Records has partnered with Surfin’ Ki (Italy) and Snap Records (Spain) to bring you the vinyl release of “On The Ball” to North America and Europe. Also available on all major streaming/download sites.

It’s the season to be jolly… oh shit wrong season. Never mind this sitting of the singles club is choc-o-bloc with great songs for you to check out whilst you demolish your kids easter eggs so fill yer boots why doncha

Kurt Baker & Bebe Buell – ‘Blood & Roses’ (Wicked Cool Records) This is a cover of The Smithereens’ 1986 hit, ‘Blood & Roses’, which hit #14 on the US singles chart this time it’s given the Kurt Baker and Bebe Buell treatment.  This is their first musical collaboration between the pair with Buell complimenting Baker on his music. It’s fitting that this is a tribute to one of their mutual favorite bands, The Smithereens.  Baker says, “The Smithereens were an integral part of my rock n roll education growing up…without [their] music I wouldn’t be where I am today”  Both artists inject their unique musical styles into a track and the finished product is outstanding.  It’s a no-brainer for us here at RPM we love Kurt’s music and Wicked Cool doesn’t release bad records. Get on it kids – Here

The Sweet Things – ‘Brown Leather’ (Spaghetty Town Records) Wooh easy tiger the Sweet Things just turned up the heat on that sloppy exile on main st tip and flipped the Black Crowes the bird with this authentic sleazy barroom rocker ‘Brown Leather’. This is the real deal kids 100% kicking ass and taking names. from that honky tonk to the horns this is as exciting as you can get. Whilst the Quireboys implode The Sweet Things get back in the game and throw this bad boy boogie right in the ring and step to the top of the pile. Make no mistake kids this is the record of the month. The album is gonna slay.  Find more about THE SWEET THINGS online at: FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

Bitch Queen / Scumbag Millionaire – ‘Split’ (Lux Noise Records/JanML Records / Maja von Lobeck) As you know we do love ourselves a split and when it’s containing two-band we fucking love it’s always a win/win. With limited pressings on these they’ll sell out pretty damned quick so don’t muck about kids – you snooze you lose. Bitch Queens offers up ‘2000 & Late’ and as it builds like a forest fire into a thumping, raging mosh pit happy slice of death rock. It’s uncompromising and further proof that its an outrage that Bitch Queens aren’t on the cover of the alt press magazines and headlining festivals.

Teaming up with Swedens Scumbag Millionaires is a great pairing as they bring the rage of ‘Fast Bob’ and with that seal of Scandinavia Quality its a blistering song from the six-string licks that Chuck Berry would be proud of to the tempo in the engine room holding this rager together – it’s a single you need to hear. Now off you fuck and order it before they’re gone! Buy here:

ELECTRIC BOYS – ‘Into The Midnight Sun’ (Mighty Music)  ELECTRIC BOYS  decided to release a couple of new tracks. These are songs that the Swedish band recorded during the ‘Ups!de Down’ sessions. A classic, psychedelic Bloom-riff over a hard shuffle beat, not usually associated with the band. Martin (Thomander) and Andy (Christell) are singing lead in the verses. In 2018 the return to studio albums finally happened and since lockdown, the band has managed to record ‘Ups!de Down ‘ bringing different shades to the Electric Boys sound. The band adds plenty of swing to their classic rock roots and along with some big guitar solos, this makes for an excellent new sound and songs. If you don’t believe us check it out here

Dub War – ‘War Inna Babylon’ The rousing ragga-punk cover of the Max Romeo and the Upsetters’ classic “War Inna Babylon”, features guest vocals from the legendary Ranking Roger of The Beat in his last ever recording before his sad passing in 2019. The vivid reimagining of the track sees the band deliver angular guitars, frenetic rhythms, and powerful and uplifting vocals from the band’s frontman Benji. What you’d call a banger right there kids.

Snuff – ‘Green Glass Chippings’ (SBAM Records) the second SBAM offering this edition of the singles club sees punks Snuff deliver the goods via moped with a great chest-beating slab of punk rock that will have them singing along in the bars and mosh pits everywhere. Lifted from their upcoming album “Crepuscolo Dorato Della Bruschetta Borsetta Calzetta Cacchetta Trombetta Lambretta Giallo Ossido, Ooooooh Così Magnifico!” yeah go on you say it. Pick it up here

The Darts – ‘Love Sunami’ (Beluga Records co-released with Adrenalin Fix, Dirty Water Records, Ghost Highway Recordings). Fantastic keyboard twitching psyche garage rock and roll from The Darts. Man, this single has an attitude from the hypnotic beat to the mind-altering chorus this is a great single for sure. It doesn’t end there because ‘Shit Show’ is almost as good. A cooler backbeat yeah! this EP is freakin awesome and the more I play it the louder I want to hear it and those retro keys are superb. Then to twist your melon a little more the third track is a psychotic romp through some great fuzzy bass guitar and lead guitar and ‘Underground’ is bouncing with energy. I would have this at number one in this bunch of pop choons kids but the Sweet Things have it by the single thread of a molting afghan coat fringe but when the album drops from these ladies I’m all over that!

Bottlekids – ‘NOWT’ (SBÄM Records) Three mates from Chepstow, South Wales announcing their brand new EP ‘ZILCH!’ to be released by SBÄM Records on May 27th lead it with ‘Nowt’ a raging slab of punk rock with obvious influences from Stateside punk like Green Day and Bad Religion and why the fuck not? Its excellently delivered and a real contender. ITs got the vital ingredients to take them far and if the rest of the EP is as good as this then why not. Love the bass line and tone it sets this up to go for it and give the Anti Flag bands a real run for their money. Quality song.

Like a lot of music seeing the light of day it was written in lockdown it’s about kicking out the jams and all that pent-up aggression had to come out in the music and to my ears, Bottlekids made some great choices. With a sparkling production, this ‘Zilch’ EP could be time for the band to blow up!

Supersonic Deuces – ‘Bored & Stoked’ (Devil’s Beat Records) We’re all about the quality in the Singles Club and it’s often a great gateway into an album or EP that’s coming down the track. To celebrate the first year of activity, Supersonic Deuces just released the ‘Hey Now!’ ep. It includes the single “Hey Now!” plus the previously released singles “Haze the Hides” and “Bored & Stroked”, and “Strutter” from the upcoming Kiss tribute album on Devil’s Beat Records. If you don’t dig this slab of garage punk n roll then we won’t be friends for long. Banger no doubt about it and you can join the cool kids by checking out www.supersonicdeuces.com and tell em RPM sent you.

Sons – ‘Nothing’ (Pias) Having landed the support slot with Jack White the future looks bright for Belgium garage ragers Sons. Here’s their latest video for ‘Nothing’ taken from their album ‘Sweet Boy’ released in the week. It’s a loud, aggressive slice of post-punk garage rock, (if you like your pigeon holes) not a million miles from Idles, and ‘Fontains DC this is set to blow up everywhere.

KOMBI KILLERS -‘Sick World’ (Riot Records) Old school 82 fuck you punk rock from Kombi Killers. Pulling no punches a direct slice of social commentary about the pandemic and their succinct feelings about lockdowns and covid. Brisbane heat and lockdowns must have got to them because they make no bones about their feelings here and let the world know in an old-school assault. Batten down the hatches Kombi Killers are on the loose again spreading their disease – punk as fuck!

Stream/Buy ‘Sick World’ HERE

Status Quo legend Francis Rossi is taking up his acoustic guitar to bring you a selection of well-known hits and some previously not-performed-live-before tunes.  He will be undertaking a massive 101 date tour next year that kicks off on 24 March 2023 in Wimborne and closes on 11 November 2023. 

For full details and ticket sales please visit francisrossi.com

It’ll be a unique evening in which Francis will reprise fan favourites from a remarkable 50+year career.  Expect original-style, acoustic versions of Quo classics, threaded together with chat in this music based evening.

Tickets go on sale Today Friday 15 April. VIP packages are available for those wishing to meet Francis before the show.

Spot looks like a little serious doggie on the cover of the album but I found after the first few play-throughs I wasn’t feeling the love and my heart was kinda serious/sad like the cover artwork – wondering why I wasn’t feeling it because it has all the hallmarks of music I listen to all the time.

Then, I found myself singing the hook of ‘Lianna’ without knowing the song or who it was by. You know the kind of brain fart moment when you’re humming a tune, no idea why that should pop into your head and you be damned if you know who it is. Then about a month ago I thought I have to give that Spot McRackin album a listen to so I can start fleshing out a review and hey presto, ‘Lianna’ Boom! there it is that’s the tune I’ve been singing half the bloody day. Damn man the earworm is burrowing into my brain and I can’t stop playing it. I love an album that does that kinda stupid shit that plays with your head. How did I ever doubt it? Was I even listening to this album maybe a gremlin got into my walkman and was playing a different album. Thank fuck I didn’t publish the review overnight with my initial thoughts. How stupid would I have looked (Quiet at the back, I’m not totally stupid)

On deeper investigation Spot has grabbed a few of his band mates and pals from The McRaklins, Trashcan Darlings and a couple of Dirtbag Republics for good measure. To be fair with it being a solo record Spot is all over this record – Singing, playing Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar and everything in between. The new album was mixed by Norwegian engineer Maria Maxwell and mastered by Justin Perkins (Screeching Weasel/Replacements) and produced by Spot and Maxwell (of course) For those uninitiated Spot has been the drummin’ dog for Vancouver based pop-punkers Mcrackins since 1995 and moonlights as the singer for Rock and Rollers “Dirtbag Republic” since 2014.

Mcrackins have released almost 20 full-length records, appeared on the legendary BBC Jon Peel show, movies, commercials and most recently co-headlined Punk Rock Raduno 4 in Italy in 2019, which was released as a live album in 2021. If that cv isn’t enough Mcrackins will also be releasing their first new studio album in 10 years this coming winter.

‘YOYVR’ is powerpop punk rock that puts a smile on your face with a catchy melody and a story of tourlife with the boys in the band. It’s a little ray of sunshine from the Glammy guitar solo to that big chorus. It’s not a bazillion miles from something Michael Monroe would put on a record. What you get is ten songs that punch and windmill like the best pit in the best dive bar. It’s not rocket science here I’m sure Spot wouldn’t mind me saying so. ‘My Dingo Ate My BAby’ is a party in your speakers. With a sleazy riff and a case of beer and good times.

The album keeps rolling on with some good riffs and plenty of hooks like the late night sing-a-long of ‘Never Said I Loved You’ followed by the punky ‘Isolation Therapy’

Spot ups the ante with ‘Abandoned’ and goes for a Ramones style 1-2-3-4. It’s rapid bullshit-free punk rock and very nice it is too I might add. As much as I like a good pogo punk rock song I do have a soft spot for the Steve Jones riff of ‘Take Me For A Walk’. It’s got attitude and it’s got a dash of sleazy glam rock as well you can whisper it quietly but there is some ‘Talk Dirty To Me’ in there as well which is cool by me.

There are no soppy love songs or lighters in the air moments and neither is there anything way out of the ordinary like a techno number but what you do have is ten songs that offer a great time and confirmation that punk rock n roll is alive and well and this old dog can teach you new tricks – check this out and tell me I’m not barking mad! Howling good time to be had courtesy of Spot Mcrackin

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Author: Dom Daley

So, an old friend of mine (who has been working with, managing and writing about cool bands for the best part of three decades) said to me a few weeks back. “Come and see Crows in Cardiff, you’ll love them”.

“Nah – they’re too Indie for me” I quickly replied.

He even asked me again on the day of the gig, and yet again I replied in the negative.

Then, as I woke the morning after said gig, I found another friend had tagged me in a live video from the gig on social media, only for me to click on it and think.  “Hang on this is actually really really good.”

And, a few quick spins of ‘Beware Believers’ (the London band’s recently released second album) later, and boy oh boy am I regretting my decision.

Why all the fuss you might wonder? Well, this week whilst the world and its dog are all seemingly losing their shit over Wet leg’s new album, Crows have crept out of leftfield with next to no media fanfare and have released one of the albums of 2022.

Having witnessed the very good The Imbeciles supporting Killing Joke just a week or so earlier I cannot help but think the self-styled Lords of Chaos missed a trick not getting Crows out with them too, because whilst Killing Joke’s flame still burns very brightly indeed Crows are (to my ears at least) the voice of a whole new generation of disaffected UK music fans.

Take ‘Garden of England’ for example, this tune bristles with the spirit of post punk circa 1978-79 and even adds a soupcon of Mr Lydon (In the “England” phrasing) towards the end of the track – yet with its subject matter of a diseased country falling to rack and ruin it is very much 2022.

Elsewhere, the gargantuan ‘Only Time’, the Mark E Smith fronts IDLES drone of ‘Room 156’, the Division Of Laura Lee-like ‘Moderation’ and the truly sublime ‘The Servant’ are all standouts in an album jam packed full of them, and it’s only when the pace (and indeed intensity) drops for album closer ‘Sad Lad’ that I actually get a chance to reflect on the greatness on offer throughout all of the record’s eleven songs.

‘Beware Believers’ is an album I could easily write 10,000 words about, but the litmus test will be you going out and listening to it and loving it too. This is all killer no filler post-punk, and in a rock world seemingly crammed full of lip synching manufactured beige bollocks it’s bands like this that really keep old farts like me interested and excited about the UK scene.

Oh, and Andy, you were right all along… I do love them.

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Author: Johnny Hayward

German high energy rock band STACY CROWNE release a new video for the song ‘HEAVY RAIN’. The band said, “We made a lyric video for our song Heavy Rain about the nefarious doings and dubious motives of warmongers and arms dealers, painting the world red with the blood of innocent people. In these times more relevant than ever before.” 

The song is part of the 12″ vinyl compilation “Demolition Derby Vol. 2” (Retro Vox Records). Six bands from around the globe contributed two songs each: The Drippers (SWE), Grindhouse (AUS), The Hip Priests (UK), The Empire Strikes (FIN), Black Gremlin (IT), Stacy Crowne (GER).

For more info visit Bandcamp

Next Shows
17.06.2022K3, Hameln, DE
22.06.2022The Pitt, Groningen, NL
06.08.2022WTJT, Hamburg, DE
20.08.2022Pitcher, Düsseldorf, DE
02.09.2022Sonic Ballroom, Köln, DE

The Anglo-American Imbeciles are led by writer / guitarist Butch Dante’s , originally starting out as a conventional punk band, Wartoad,

2019’s ‘The Imbeciles’ debut album was taped in eight deranged days,(so the story goes) in a haunted studio on the Texan-Mexican frontier, For the new album, Youth from Killing Joke’s El Mirador studio in southern Spain ,was utilised taking the music in a totally different direction. Along with the band Youth’s musical partner Michael Rendall played keyboards, with Youth playing bass and co-writing throughout.

Now at this point I have to say I stand by everything I said about the band live even though this recorded version is a very different ball game.

Opener “Tiny Blue people” sleazily crawls out of the speakers a real rock and roll intro grounded in the underground rock sound, a real ear worm of a track that really sticks with you the guitar riff holding you in a post punk haze.

On the opposite end of the scale next up “Its not about you” is almost alt pop perfection not unlike the direction Rich Ragany is moving in the vocals leading, the guitar picking at you with a real arena sound. This then takes us into ” I’m not the One “ hitting the sort of heights set out by Beastmilk, this LP really is all over the place, you just can’t pin them down (Not unlike the live set).

Next up London rain has that almost 60’s Carnaby street vibe, modernised (at least into the 70’s) with the spirit of Lenny Kravitz circa Let love rule. That Kravitz vibe remains in next up “Van Man”. Before we drop back into that 60’s/70’s garage rock vibe with “The name of the Rose” again pulling up a very different direction ala Razor bats first classic lp.

“I won’t let you down” has almost a psychedelic 70’s feel hinting at early Floyd.

Now I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed anything and mentioned Lenny Kravitz, Rich Ragany’ The Razor Bats, Beast milk and post punk in the same review as influences, not ever and probably never will again, showing how all over the place this LP is! “Your gonna Wanna” shakes that classic rock and roll tree, while “Soldiers and Junkies” drags us back into the underground Rock and roll sleazy place we love to be in. “Lets go!” tears out of the speakers and “Superstar” is just about the perfect ending to what is a cracking LP, so if you like any style of music that sits within the Rock and Roll orbit you really need to check out the Imbeciles, Simply Stunning!!!!

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Author: Nev Brooks


Now being a bit of a geek and spending a number of years in London and actually attending shows in many of the venues in book one and now it would seem volume two I love books like this and can’t get enough of them and their history. When a book of this nature is done well (like this) I tend to blitz it and then play some of the records by some of the bands I saw in these venues and it’s a great source of conversation with friends who have shared experiences. My only complaint is this (not that it’s much of a complaint) I’d have loved to have seen some pictured of bands playing in mentioned venues as well as the ticket stubs and adverts and Tesco hoardings that have since replaced these meccas of dreams.

London is such a vast tapestry of entertainment and historical places and memories books like this are essential artifacts to coexist alongside our fragile memories that need poking now and again as forgotten places and times exist in the creases of our minds. From this volume, Paul digs deeper into the magnificent city and all it had to offer to pop culture over the last sixty-plus years.

Here’s an idea for expansion on the books thus far. Delve deeper into the country and offer up a volume on the North West, Scotland, Wales, Bristol, Birmingham. The reach is limitless but I bet the research is intense. Scratching every surface of the capital city is some feat.

Its an easy read to be fair some great ticket reproductions and famous nights as well as some surprising facts and showing off some really obscure venues outside of the obvious Marquee clubs, Batcave, Palais, Astoria’s, George Robeys and Royal Standards. Paul the author of ‘Derelict London’ and ‘London’s Lost Rivers’ (Random House) doesn’t just stick to one genre he covers the whole gambit of Rock, Punk, Jazz and beyond. Whilst it’s a cool thing to have on a coffee table it’s a great pick-up with your cornflakes on when you’re in the little boy’s room. If you’re on a bus or tube it’ll pass the time for sure.

It’s one of a handful of books that should and would please everyone old and young for very different reasons. As London gets gentrified we need these historical documents to remember when the place was indeed hip and swinging and this book does the Jewson lot. Congrats to Paul and Damaged Goods for letting a second volume come out. Great stuff. Now get those pre-orders in before these are as gone as the venues contained within.

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