Out of print for several years, finally repressed and set to kill, THE SPITS first two albums on one cassette tape!
Tracklist Side One: Dropout, SK8, Die Die Die, Black Kar, Saturday Nite, Remote Kontrol, Tired & Lonely, I H8 Pussies, Suzy’s Face, Tracklist Side Two:Spit Me Out, Black & Blue, PCT, Let Us Play Your Party, Rat Face, No Place To Live, Bring, Take Back The Alley, She Don’t Care
The SPITS have been playing on porches and in front of convenience stores since their early days in Michigan. It was when they moved to Seattle that they really refined their unique blend of ripped-off chord progressions and elementary school lyrics.
First up today we bring you the new video from Crows. After Johnny’s recent review the band have released a video for ‘Closer Still’.
It’s an exercise in pummeling noise-rock. One of several unapologetically political songs on the album, where single James Cox says, “‘Closer Still’ was written about the fit-for-work scandals that kept happening where the Department for Work & Pensions were deeming people fit for work when they obviously weren’t able to, taking away what little support they received from the state in an attempt to save on expenditure. It really highlighted our government’s contempt for the vulnerable. People whose daily lives were incredibly difficult.”
‘Mornington Avenue’ finds Marc Valentine team up with Matt Dangerfield, of THE BOYS and Rock n Roll legend. It’s the second single to be lifted from Valentine’s magnificent debut solo album ‘Future Obscure’. Valentine visits old haunts in Camden Town (ones that are still there that haven’t been gentrified quite yet) and reminisces about his roots at places like his old flat where he put his band together way back in ’89.
Some great use of vintage The Boys footage adds gravitas to the video which captures the sentiment of the song perfectly. Also some great appearances from Marc’s band on the album Steve Fielding, Denley Slade and Richard Davies (of Richard Davies & The Dissidents). ‘Future Obscure’ is available to pre-order here. Facebook
Joyce Manor have announced their 6th studio album, ’40 oz. To Fresno’, set for release on June 10th on Epitaph Records. New single ‘Gotta Let It Go’ clocks in at a massive one minute fifty-three seconds, but it packs a lot in.
Joyce Manor will also be touring with The Menzingers in the UK in October of this year. Enjoy!
With ‘Combat Rock’ getting the special edition treatment with unreleased tracks The Clash also get the 4K treatment on their classic ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’
“The first time we came to Wales was with Ronnie James Dio in 1984. I have a distinct memory of being in Cardiff on a day off, being in a nice hotel, and being in the bathtub. A fire alarm got set off by some of Dio’s crew members, this was a tour of pranksters. They thought it was great fun, I had to get out of the bath, go all the way downstairs in my bathrobe, go outside and stand in the street!”
Oh dear! Ha ha.
Queensryche played my favourite ever venue – Newport Centre a few times, I believe the last time was supporting Judas Priest on their Epitaph tour in 2011?
“That’s right, that was our last tour together”.
Did you keep busy during lockdown? Is there any more to come from Sweet Oblivion or have you recorded any more solo material?
“I’ve done all kinds of things, that’s all I did really was hang out in the studio, write stuff, yeah, primarily that’s all I did. I worked on the Sweet Oblivion album, the Avantasia album. I also wrote some music for two different projects of my own that will hopefully be launched sometime this year. Busy, busy y’know?”
Did you manage to keep your voice in shape?
“Well, it’s one thing to sing in the studio, it’s a whole different thing to sing live y’know? Starting back out live I had to work for a couple of weeks to get myself back on form again. Singing’s one of those things, that you just have to do, there’s no way around it. You have to power through it and do it. You just have to keep working at it.”
Why did you decide to play ‘Rage For Order’ in it’s entirety rather than say, ‘The Warning’?
“I love the album, absolutely love it. It’s my second favourite Queensryche album. My favourite is the last album we did together, Dedicated to Chaos, that’s the one I listen to the most.
What are your favourite songs to perform live from ‘Rage for Order’ and ‘Empire’?
“I love playing the whole albums. I tell the audience every night that it’s been on my bucket list to play Rage for Order, we never got to play it back in the day. We only played a couple of songs off the album, that’s kind of the curse of most albums, you never get to play everything y’know? You just get to play a couple of tracks because people wanna hear what they know. They are really into hearing what they are familiar with (laughs), some people are not musically adventurous. The best response you have from an audience when you’re playing your album or your songs is, you come out with a new album, you only play a couple of songs, the rest you play are oldies. Next year when you come back, they are starting to like and get used to those songs, it’s a cool dynamic”.
What are your memories about the recording of ‘Rage For Order’?
“The Rage For Order album was a really fun album to make from my perspective. We were working with Neil Kernon as a producer, and he was a wild man that we got to hang out with. One of the greatest personalities to be in the studio with, he could run with your idea, and he had such a vast technical background. At the time, I didn’t have much technical experience in the studio. I would say ‘I want my voice to do this, or I want this sound I’m making to do this’, he’d go ‘ok, I’ll just turn this up here, and oh!, let me plug this box in’ (laughs). He would always have a workaround on how to make it happen. He just came in with a jovial, happy personality, he was glad to be there and contribute, a really good ‘idea guy’. I loved working with him.
On the ‘Rage For Order’ tour, Queensryche supported the likes of Ratt, Bon Jovi and Ozzy Osbourne. Did you ever feel pressured to play with other artists who were very different musically to you guys?
“We weren’t trying to sound like anybody, that whole idea of making bands conform to each other, that was later. We came in that great era when they put all kinds of different music together. We played with Jethro Tull (laughs), Roger Waters and the Psychedelic Furs. We also loved bands like Ratt, we had some great tours together, in fact we had a pretty intense bowling competition with those guys while on tour (laughs).
How do you juggle the touring and family life?
“It is what it is, my wife and I raised our kids on and off the road. They just grew up like that, they are used to travelling, eating in restaurants, being able to order a French meal (laughs). They have high expectations; they won’t go to a concert if they don’t have backstage passes y’know? (Laughs).
This week marks the 34th anniversary of your seminal album ‘Operation:Mindcrime’, how does that feel?
“It makes me feel old! (laughs) Most things make me feel old nowadays, it’s a strange time when you get into your sixties, you’re looking at all of this life that you’ve had. My grandkids are approaching their teenage years now. I’m doing shows, and everyone in the audience, has grey and white hair! (laughs) It’s just a really strange time, I don’t really see myself that way,as being an old fart, even though I am an old fart!”
Do you think that a concept album like Mindcrime would work in today’s environment with people’s poor attention spans?
“I don’t know..it was hard to get people to pay attention back in the eighties (laughs). That’s the thing about music, it’s a personal journey, music is a very personal thing for people. Some people are going to get it, some people aren’t. Some people hold music in a highly revenant regard in their lives, others don’t give a fuck”.
There’s a great line from the song Speak from the Mindcrime album: ‘The rich control the government, the media, the law’. Do you think that line is even more relevant in today’s society?
“I couldn’t even imagine the context of ‘rich’ in today’s situation with people being multi, multi billionaires y’know? (laughs) and then they don’t pay taxes, it seems incredibly wrong. A guy like Elon Musk, with a lot less that he paid for Twitter, he could eliminate hunger in the US for example. He could make a living wage for people, they could work and be paid a living wage which is enough to survive on, or at least live on. He could do so many wondrous things, but he buys a social media site, y’know? I can almost understand Jeff Bezos flying into space because they are looking for minerals and ways to mine that are not going to impact the earth”.
I must ask you about the Hear N Aid project back in 1984, how did you get involved?
“Ronnie James Dio called me, he said that was doing this thing and would I want to get involved in it. I absolutely said yes! I didn’t know what it was, or understand what it was, I just said yes, I’ll be there, just tell me what you want me to do. He sent me a cassette tape of the song Stars and a lyric sheet. A week later, I go down to LA and walked into A & M studios amidst this circus that was going on! There were so many people there, I was a very young man at the time, and I wasn’t used to that kind of situation where all of these very famous people that I looked up to and admired were all gathered together in this room. Many of them were sitting in the same room behind the glass listening to me sing my part which I didn’t know very well (laughs). It was very intimidating! It was a cool moment in time and Ronnie and Wendy (Dio) had great intentions and put their heart and soul into it. They brought together so many different people to participate, it was amazing. Especially as we didn’t have any social media or cell phones back then. I don’t know how they even got hold of all those people! (laughs).
You have a range of wine called Insania. Can we buy here in the UK?
“Normally yes, but everything is kinda messed up with the world transportation issues. If you’re in the UK you can order it from Germany, that’s where we make it, and they can send it to you. I need to find out if the Brexit thing will have an effect on the shipping too actually. Ironically, you can’t get it in the US (laughs) it’s because all of the ships are backloaded and delayed out a year. Thanks a lot Covid!”
You have another company called Backstage Travel, tell us about that. Is it back up and running? Fans can just book up and spend time with you eating and drinking?
“Yes, we just came on this tour from Tuscany, we did a weeklong trip with 32 people, and it was fun. If you like to travel, if you like to drink, if you like to eat great food, and if you like music, it’s a really fun trip to take y’know?”
What are your thoughts on the whole streaming debate?
“As long as they pay people fairly, then I’m all about it y’know? It’s one thing to make music and another thing to sell it, if you have an outlet that’s selling your stuff and you are being compensated fairly, then you’re way ahead of the game. It’s funny, the whole vinyl comeback thing, they’ve been saying that since the eighties, ‘vinyl’s coming back’ (laughs) I dug out my old turntable a while ago, and it was very expensive back in the day. I put a record on and, yep, still got that crackly thing going on!”
I was wondering if you have seen any of the classically trained vocal coaches on YouTube who spend a lot of time analysing one performance of yours, the Tokyo concert from 1984, and specifically, the song Take Hold of the Flame?
“I’ve not seen any of them, but someone has mentioned them to me. Is it a good laugh or what?
Ha ha, on the contrary, the coaches are in awe of your voice. I think they are of the opinion that heavy metal is just noise. They certainly change their opinion after watching the video!
“Oh wow, I’ll have to check that out! Sounds interesting.”
On behalf of RPM Online, thanks so much for taking the time out to talk to me today, I’m looking forward to tonight’s show and I hope the rest of the tour goes well.
“My pleasure, me too, so far so good. And on days like this, it doesn’t get any better”.
Having recently seen the band perform live supporting The Mission I spent a few days wondering where I’d seen them before (probably due to brain fog, age and the bands inactivity over the last few decades) and then it came flooding back. “Back in the day”, Salvation played that fateful evening of legend (in my house) supporting The Lords Of The New Church when Stiv wore that T Shirt and fired the band on stage. Anyway moving on some thirty years! (ah that brain fog) I find myself listening to this here live album and it sent memories flooding back from that fateful night. To be fair the songs sounded great when I saw them recently, even with the help of the rhythm section in a box it was a decent support on that Mission tour.
Songs like ‘Debris’ and ‘All And More’ sound great and sparked a flick through my record collection knowing I had at least one of their studio albums, and so it was, ‘Sass’ an album that is well represented here with ‘Paint It Rose’ having a great rolling Cult-like riff that leads this upbeat number.
This live recording captures a band that clearly loves the music they play, and to be fair, The songs have dated really well seeing as they’ve not been played for an age. From the opener ‘The Answer’, with it’s vibrant tempo. It’s something many bands, who to be fair, haven’t played a great deal over the past thirty years don’t quite capture. I’ve always liked that big overdriven guitar sound and having strong melodies always helps.
There are eleven tracks on this CD and a twelve-page booklet to accompany it. Sure fans of The Cult, Mission, and Sisters will be all over this and it’s a no-brainer if you caught any of the band’s recent shows some of these songs will be familiar anyway but Rock fans looking for a new “old band” who had a whole bunch of top tunes – dive in!
‘The Shining’ is a burst of energy before ‘Pearl Necklace’ then raises the bar. I’d love to hear what the band are currently creating studio-wise and see if they can still capture a sound that brings back such good memories. Finishing off with the vibrant ‘Why Lie?’ with its glugging bassline and rolling guitar lick it’s a great set ender.
Go seek Salvation in this live snapshot that contains some really good driven hard rock meets Goth that is delivered really well by a band who clearly still loves music.
Has it really been seven years since the publication of ‘Dear Mr. Kershaw: A Pensioner Writes’, the collection of ludicrous letters to pop stars from retired member of the public, Derek Philpott (with help from his neighbour, Wilf Turnbull)? That’s a lot of lyrical scrutiny under the bridge.
For any of you shamefully unaware of the world- and word-weary correspondence from Philpott, here’s a quick recap: curious as to why a successful Eighties pop star could find himself ‘Living In A Box’, Derek started sending letters to various denizens of the hit parade questioning the legitimacy of their lyrics. Amazingly, the pop stars started replying. In the aforementioned debut tome, luminaries as varied as Saxon, Rick Wakeman, and Toto Coelo had their work disassembled by an elderly man on a mission. So well received was that rib-tickler of a book that a second was destined to follow. ‘Dear Mr. Pop Star’, now in hardback, appeared in 2018; Derek now aided and abetted by his increasingly-cantankerous offspring, Dave. This second collection upped the ante somewhat and harboured genuine replies from the likes of Gillan, Mott The Hoople, and Tears For Fears within its hefty four-hundred pages.
The 2020 lockdowns accompanied the World turning in on itself like that monkey in Cronenberg’s version of ‘The Fly’ but, swathed in the quintessentially British way of finding humour in the harshest of climates, Derek and Dave filled their hours, not just with daytime television, but with a slew of new letters, this time focussing solely on the U.K. punk community. Cock Sparrer, GBH, Sham 69, Angelic Upstarts, Peter and the Test Tube Babies, and a gob-full more all got the D & D treatment, the letters collected into a third classic book in 2021, ‘Grammar Free In The U.K. – The Lockdown Letters’. Now, grasping technology in their arthritic hands (they’ll be texting next), Derek and Dave have only managed to get a load of those U.K. punk rockers to record their replies to the latest letters! ‘Grammar Free In The U.K. – The Audio Book’ is a wonderful companion piece to the book, the whole Philpott library to be fair, and is as brilliantly silly as hoped. The letters in audio form, quite remarkably if you’ve been with these aged anarchists long term, are often funnier now that you can hear them in fluent Philpott rather than your own boring inner narrator. And the replies, well, they really take this whole letter-writing saga to the next level. From Duncan Reid and the Big Heads to Viki Vortex and the Cumshots, via Steve Ignorant, The Vibrators, and Chelsea, the bonkers correspondence is now more crazed than even the more hopelessly hopeful could ever have yearned for. There are even a load of bonus tracks to entice you to have your auditory canals rictus-grinning: Tenpole Tudor, Bauhaus, The Piranhas, and Public Image Limited feature among these bananas bonuses. Also, as with the paperback version of ‘Grammar Free In The U.K.’, all purchases of ‘The Audio Book’ will see a portion of the profits donated to charity. Like you needed another reason to buy this.
Derek and Dave Philpott have promised to debase the annals of literary history with a fourth and final book in the near future. Personally, I hope that this pop culture dismemberment carries on forever. If, however, the Philpott legacy stops with four books on your shelf and at least one audio book in your lugholes, then I guess that’s a pretty good result.
Malmö is the place The OhNos are the band. 2017 was when they released their first album ‘Sounds From The Basement’ after they dipped their collective toes in the murky pool of shark-infested Rock n Roll waters that we know and love. you might be forgiven for thinking (such is their confident swagger) that they’ve been at this pop-punk lark for a lot longer. Signing to Beluga Records is most definitely a seal of quality and points to the fact they don’t sign and release rubbish records so be safe in the knowledge ‘Waving From Hades’ is well worth getting your mitts on.
The album struts into life with the title track and easy to see why it was picked for a video, with its catchy hook and familiar-sounding melody. It’s catchy and will ease you into this album like a ray of early morning sunshine but be careful it might get darker. And so it turns down an altogether more punchy alley with ‘Final Call’. Rattling out of the speakers with fists windmilling and some great thrashing guitars raining down on you, it’s always a beautiful thing.
‘Trouble On Legs’ has got swagger and some fierce Backing Vocals. Once the ‘Light’ gets going it’s a swirling mass of snare drum and guitars being rinsing within an inch of their life. Narrowly avoiding chaos.
‘Message’ has shades of PJ Harvey which is never a bad place to find yourself oh and I love those BV’s. ‘Kiss The Boots’ has the tone of prime-time Steve Diggle and is easy to see why it was picked to be a single, Damn, you pick anything off this record there are so many great tunes at every turn. There is some great arrangement going on on ‘Desert Dreams’ which ebbs and flows really well.
‘Tommy Gun’ (no not a cover) has a great melody and guitar lick that gets inside your ear and burrows into your brain, complete with groovy breakdown before heading down the pop-punk route. Before they sign off they offer up ‘Stop’ with its punchy verse juddering towards the chorus. They then sign off with a big grinding ‘NGBG’ like Sonic Youth covering some T Rex. ‘NGBG’ (as far as I know) is a Swedish street festival native to Malmö. All in all an excellent album with variety, attitude, great arrangements, and an album that most certainly rocks but with an eye on the pop and being able to carry all that off with consummate ease. Check this album out!
12th May 2022: The world’s favourite rebel Billy Idol has rescheduled The Roadside Tour 2022 with new dates now set for October 2022. All existing tickets are still valid for the revised dates.
Says Billy Idol: “As many of you know, this year has dealt me some health challenges which are nearly, but not quite resolved. While my recovery is almost complete, I have been given doctor’s orders to stay off the road until August – and so it is with great frustration that we must reschedule the UK Tour for October of this year. Thank you for everyone’s understanding and support. These shows will be worth the wait!”
Billy will come to the UK with new music and a stack of timeless classics. For his first appearances in the UK since 2018, Billy will play 6 Arena shows with the rescheduled dates listed below.
Supporting Billy Idol, and replacing The Go-Go’s on the original dates, are very special guests Television including original frontman Tom Verlaine.
Says Billy Idol: “Sadly, The Go-Go’s are no longer able to join us. I am thrilled to share that now opening all UK shows will be Television, one of my favourite bands from the original New York punk scene and an inspiration to me throughout my career. I will be honoured to share the stage with them and hope everyone will come early to enjoy their set!”
The global lockdown of 2020 gave Billy time to reflect and thoughts turned to his near-fatal motorcycle accident of 1990, how he dealt with it and how it related to the current crisis. “It seemed quite logical and natural to write something about my motorcycle accident,” he says. “I may have been saying, well, this is what people go through when they are in trouble. I think I was unconsciously making that connection.
“Certainly, the motorcycle accident was the catharsis, the wake-up moment. A little bit of me got left by the side of that road. Maybe I left behind the irreverent, youthful Billy and opened the door for a more attentive father and more sensitive musician. Something did get left by the roadside, but it was not necessarily a bad thing in the end.”
Billy’s reflections are captured in the lyrics of Bitter Taste, one of four tracks on his 2021 EP The Roadside, which was his first new music for seven years and as hard-hitting and relevant as ever.
Billy’s touring band features his long-time guitarist and collaborator Steve Stevens along with Stephen McGrath (bass, backing vocals), Billy Morrison (guitar, backing vocals), Paul Trudeau (keyboards, backing vocals) and drummer Erik Eldenius.
Swansea on a beautiful sunny May evening is a great place to be. The historic Patti Pavilion is where I was heading to see the legendary Geoff Tate perform not just Queensryche’s 1986 album Rage For Order in its entirety, but also their most successful album, 1990s Empire. Much has been said over recent years regarding the seemingly never-ending drama regarding Queensryche and ex-members. It does seem, however, that Tate has settled into his stride with his current band and is more than happy to be a legacy act. The number of punters wandering around wearing Queensryche T-shirts gives you a good idea of the demographic here tonight.
Before we get to the main event, we had a short but impressive set from openers Mark Daly & the Ravens. Mixing up a blend of southern rock with some Alice In Chains tinged tunes, Daly puts in an energetic performance. The sparse but appreciative audience thoroughly enjoys what they see and hear. Definitely, someone to keep an eye on.
By the time we are presented with Tate’s entrance, the room fills up considerably and there is an air of anticipation. I’ve been checking out some YouTube videos of recent performances and it seemed like Tate has been firing on all cylinders vocally. Taking to the stage with the classic ‘Walk In the Shadows’, when Tate strolls casually up to the microphone and nails that initial scream, everyone in attendance goes nuts. Snazzily dressed and looking the picture of health, Tate has the audience in the palm of his hand from the get-go. The band works their way through Rage For Order’s tracks and there is only a noticeable lull from the audience when lesser-known songs such as Neue Regel and London are being played. A fantastic rendition of ‘I Will Remember’ closes the first act with style.
After an extended break, the band returns to the stage while the intro to ‘Best I Can’ blasts through the PA. Rapturous applause from the crowd pushes the energy of the band and yet again, Tate is nailing it. For a man in his sixties to be singing this well is no mean feat. Tate gets his saxophone out for ‘The Thin Line’ and the band seems to be having the time of their lives. Scottish guitarist Kieran Robertson gets a great reaction from the crowd every time he sticks his tongue out and nails his parts with gusto. Crowd favourite ‘Jet City Woman’ goes down a storm as does ‘Another Rainy Night’ and ‘Empire’ in its full-blown glory. The sound mix tends to be a little muddy in places and drummer Daniel Laverde is obviously a very capable and talented drummer, but as a drummer myself I don’t like the fact that Daniel is using electronic drums. They just look naff, Queensryche’s original drummer Scott Rockenfield was renowned for the huge drum kits that he used, and it just doesn’t work visually for me in a hard rock/metal setting. Just my opinion of course.
‘Silent Lucidity’ sounds amazing as always. You forget how great that song is and looking around at the crowd singing every word is goosebump enticing. Tate is a master at keeping everyone in attendance entertained, even his anecdote about having to go grocery shopping for the first time in his life due to Covid canceling all his tour plans is very funny. After ‘Anybody Listening?’ the band leaves the stage to more rabid applause, shouts, and screams for more. They return for an encore of ‘Last Time in Paris’ and ‘Take Hold of the Flame’. The band has played for around two and a half hours, Tate is certainly giving his loyal fan base value for money. He is happy to press the flesh with the many fans who are front of stage trying to get a reaction from their hero. He seems genuinely over the moon to back out playing live.
The voice is well and truly alive and well. Go and see Geoff Tate if you get the chance, you won’t be disappointed, but you will be thoroughly entertained.
After the last studio album from The Fuzztones paid homage to the scene in NYC that they crawled out of it seems right that Rudi and the gang tie up all the loose ends with this rather fine collection of odds and sods fittingly entitled ‘Encore’ The Fuzztones offer up no faux retirements or fake goodbyes much like the Ramones did their adios amigos and they were gone. Let’s just take a short pause from 2020’s ‘NYC’ and then get the fuck out of dodge leaving a whiff of dry ice and an ear full of top tunes. A little something extra for those who stuck by the band for the long haul so to speak. Rudi Protrudi has gathered the gang for one last wheeze of that organ and damn the fuzzed-up tones have only brought the cowbell for added groove and included Iggy for good measure. What’s not to love here folks? Exactly.
Cover versions of obscure gems such as ‘Land Of Nod’ by Rare Earth, ‘Plastic People’ by late ’60s psych-rockers The Wildwood. The shimmering cymbal clash of ‘Marble Hall’ with its cathedral-like backing vocals. But don’t think that The Fuzztones can’t still rock out when they need to as ‘Eyes In The Back Of My Head’ testifies. It also features special guest appearances by Steve Mackay of The Stooges and Wally Waller of The Pretty Things for weight and added authenticity.
The closing track is a natty ‘Santa Clause’ before the Fuzz pedal is put away and the record groove loops out. I hope Gene and Paul have a word with Rudi and the gang and can find it in themselves to not stop and retire because it’ll be a sad day when I don’t get to spin a new Fuzztones record a band I’ve listened to and loved since I saw them support the Damned in the mid-80s. If it is that last refrain from these NYC legends then take a bow and lap up the applause which is thoroughly deserved. ‘Encore’ a fitting a worthy bow right there. Great stuff!