Here’s your starting 11 for the final knockings of October. Winter is upon us and this little lot will warm you right up. Some absolute bangers on offer in this sitting of the singles club from Europe the USA and the UK. Hit em up and check em out you might find your new favourite band

Guerrilla Teens – ‘Halfway To Maybe’ (self Release) Another day another two tunes from the trusty hand of the insanely talented Mr Scott Drake otherwise known as Guerrilla Deluxe. Let’s not fuck around here this is the single of the week and single of the month and someone fire the PR because I wasn’t notified about this release sooner. Of course it Rocks and Rolls from the opening slap of that snare through the garage vibes its got a cool hook on the chorus just like previous offerings from the Teens and anything that’s ever been released under the name or other bands that has been touched by the presence of Mr. Drake. Do the album press it on wax and take my goddamn money. Bandcamp Here

Bitch Queens – ‘Party Hard(ly)’ (Lux Noise Recordings/ Spagettytown Records) Probably the best Deathpunk band on the planet Bitch Queens have been churning out effortlessly cool and quality Pun Rock n Roll for a long time and they only seem to be getting better at it the longer they do it and that brings us nicely to this point in time 2022 boys and girls and this wall of noise kicks off with the effortlessly cool title track. It’s a huge riff piled on top of an excellent chorus and a wall of noise that just feels like the best eardrum massage you could imagine. the breakdown is well-timed and as the song builds it’s a majestic sound. These gentlemen are incapable of writing a shit tune and the modern-sounding marriage of Placebo and Turbonegro on the song ‘Stay Here Forever’ should be the song that sees the band cross over into a huge market with mass appeal.

There are five songs on offer and the halfway house is a rocket-riding thumper ‘Recycled Youth’ has it all from the grunting thunder of the bassline to the steady punch of the drums before the guitars bring the house down -sublime stuff. These boys know they’re damn good at what they do and it shows in the fact they can fill out an EP with banger after banger ‘These Secrets’ shows this. Signing off with the barnstorming weirdness of ‘Be No Evil’ they duel guitars with Beelzebub himself and give you respite until the middle of the song before kicking the living shit out of the speakers with their sonic drops of greatness. Get hold of this motherfucker before it’s too late you absolutely won’t regret it. Bitch Queens still kicking it better than most – buy it! it’s epic!

Preorder EU: Preorder US:…/bitch…

WAX ON WATER – ‘GHOULS & FIENDS AND IN-BETWEENS…EP’ (HOWLING TEMPEST RECORDS / THE ORCHARD) Maya Damaris and Steven Blessing are an Alternative Rock duo from London they take their inspiration from electronica, metal, grunge, goth and Industrial music. The EP was mixed by ex-Fields of the Nephilim guitarist Paul Miles adding extra Goth Spooktacular magic to their seasonal-themed tunes. the musicianship on the opener is familiar but it creeps and crawls through your speakers in a sonic explosion of all their influences. Maya’s vocals set the tone as ‘ Guanciale (Mark of the Vampire)’ builds with some heavy guitar layered under a tonne of synths and gregorian chants. The first three songs are mid-paced whilst ‘Part Of Me’ is a far more atmospheric laid-back track with a lot going on but it never breaks out. If you want guitars then ‘More Than I’ should satisfy your craving. It’s a different outlook on the Halloween theme and avoids cliches. Spotify:

THE WRATH- ‘Wrong Side’ (Riot Records) Not heard a full-throttled slice of Rockabilly for ages. Certainly not heard from a down under slap that salamander stick since the Living end were at their peak. The Wrath gives it some proper welly on ‘Wrong Side’ dishing out plenty of slap behind a solid beat and some crunchy riff-a-rama. A pretty decent effort to be fair these guys have been doing this for well over a decade so it comes as no surprise they know what they’re doing. Tommy Creeper leads the band on a thumping marching beat and give my eardrums a solid kicking – lets ave it!

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The Jacklights – ‘Underachiever’ (Red On Red Records) melodic punk self-aware lyrics, driving guitar, and melodic vocal leads, Nilagia McCoy and her band deliver a one-two punch of punk vibrancy. A mid-paced slice of street punk with McCoy’s dreamy vocals leading the way. ‘Womanchild’ turns up the West Coast style pop punk with a driving song. It’s been done a bazillion times and when done right has energy and stands up in a very crowded genre.

Bad Wolves – ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’ (Better Noise Music) A real headscratcher this. Not Ozzy’s best song by a long chalk but one of his most memorable power ballads as far as covering it goes I wouldn’t but hey ho they do a fairly honest and respectful version. Its go ta big production and one to show off the vocals and any guitarist would love to knock out the cock rock soloing over that acoustic pick. The band head off on a huge two and a half month tour to promote their new record and this will no doubt have the classic rock fans taking notice. Pre Order Here

The Rumperts – ‘Nazissist’ (SBÄM Records) A “Fuck You” to Misogyny! For The Rumperts. The four-piece punk band recently got the chance to travel all the way from Vienna to Colorado to work together with Chris Beeble in the legendary Blasting Room Studios, where music from Rise Against, Propagandhi, Lagwagon, Face to Face and so many more great punk rock bands were recorded.

The band set fire to their instruments and get their heads down and thrash away. With the fuel being Racists, Misogynists and homophobes everywhere the band get into a bit of a Turbonegro groove and just blaze it. I like it – all of it, short, sharp and to the point. Punk as fuck!

Rat Rod – ‘All Or Nothing’ (shock Records) Channeling their barroom boogie of DC and hard living it’s Taken from the quintet’s upcoming album, ‘Four on the Floor’, the video features the band live on stage at The Union Firehouse in Mt Holly, NJ as well as casino scenes that really sum up life so to speak.  “Life can be a gamble and there are times when you need to go ‘all in’. Horns up kids lets bang that head!

DANGEREENS – ‘ Nomadic Step’ (Golden Robot Records) – Its got some old school Motown in those honkin horns and a little dash of Squeeze on that melody. Dangereens release the new single in early November and its a swaggering rootin tootin rocker that has elements of the 70s glam and a whole lot more besides not forgetting some vintage Stones.
I loved their debut LP and the singles and this is another feather in their dandy cap. Rock on brothers I like it – I like it a lot.
Hit up the pre order links Here

Marc Valentine – ‘Swiss Laundrette EP (Self Release) Former Dreamer Marc seems like he’s having a ball what with a new album that was really impressive and what many say are fantastic live shows that are ripping it up around the UK and not one to stand still releasing a brand new EP ‘Swiss Laundrette’ as the synth swirls in this chest-beating slice of pop n roll washes over you. It’s got a great melody and Marc sounds like he’s singing it just for you. The first three tracks all featured on his fantastic solo album ‘Future Obscure’ with the fourth tune a non-album ballad ‘I’m Just A Mess (Around You)’ and I wonder why would you leave this track off any album? might even be my favourite song on this here EP – outstanding stuff. Stream it Here

Riley’s L.A. Guns – ‘Overdrive’ (Golden Robot Records) Just rip the plaster off and be done with it. Riley’s La Guns step things up with ‘Overdrive’ and after their decent offering last time out. Steve RileyKelly Nickels, with Scott Griffin and Kurt Frohlich do another very decent offering of HArd Rockin Riff-a-rama. Sure it high octane macho cars and hard riffs but this is decent and an indication of what’s to come off the new album which will be decent on this evidence. I like this – more please Mr Riley.

Buy/stream ‘Overdrive HERE / Stock is limited. You can pre-order the bundle on the Golden Robot Records online store HERE

Newtown Neurotics have given the world five albums and eight singles Of course its a lockdown record Written and recorded by the band whilst covid shut down the globe, Bands found a way to stay productive and thanks to this here internet the world is a smaller place and you can now post in ideas that can thrive and grow in to full-blown bad assed records that mean something. In these post-referendum times (the last twelve years of Tory Austerity) punk rock has got a focus to rally against and when you lock out the static noise from right-wing media with a divide-and-conquer agenda or self-serving people running our government punk rock has a target, when the punk rock has a target there are always great bands writing great songs. Newtown Neurotics bring a brand of honest positive punk rock and through Cadiz, they have a platform to make a difference. Punk Rock or good punk Rock has a big heart and soul and believes in itself that it can and will make a difference to someone somewhere.

People say they don’t like politics in their music but sadly for them, life is politics every day we wake up and take a breath we are living politics.

If you want inspiration these days in the UK the government has done fuck all else but give give give as far as ammo for songwriters. The album starts off with a jarring, sprightly ‘Climate Emergency’. The first thing I got was how punchy the production was with a well-rounded sound. Of course they aren’t kids anymore and that comes across in the tempo and delivery but the lyrics are still as sharp as ever.

the band still want to agitate, educate & organise!.  It’s like the 90 and naughties never happened and the pain of the Thatcher years are fresh kind of hell for us to endure. Have we learnt anything? This a point I feel The Neurotics ponder as well. Many of the songs focus on working people and how they live their lives. ‘Liar Liar’ has a great groove and still packs a punch. No prizes for who they might be ranting about.

I find the lyrics uplifting and inspiring not depressing and I like to think ‘Take Your Dirty Hands Off My Town’ has the beating heart of Joe Strummer and the subject matter is something he would look down on and nod in approval. I also hear some Pete Shelly in the vocal melody and delivery, excellent song!

The drive of ‘Hope’ is great with the rhythm packing quite the punch whereas ‘Dumb’ is a more swirling rhythm and I find myself leaning in to listen to the lyrics. Racism, flat earthers it’s all in here. I love the melody of ‘Hell In A Handcart’ and whilst the verse builds up to the chorus the woo hoos were unexpected. The vibe is carried on as Acoustic guitars are strummed for ‘Stand With You’, solidarity brothers in what is an altogether more gentle approach its dare I say it mellower and less angry even if the lyrics are to the point and take no prisoners. It does remind me of a cousin of ‘Stay Free’ in style and arrangement.

Leaving us with the louder ‘I Get On Your Nerves’ is a stomper the breakdown is excellent and I bet would sound awesome in a tight club dripping in sweat cleansing your conscience building and heaving before kicking the doors out and incorporating the likes of you’re so vain works well.

‘Cognitive Dissidents’ is still sticking its fingers up to the establishment and good on ’em. Newtown Neurotics clearly have a strong moral fiber running through their collective souls and it’s great that they still feel strongly enough to keep raging at the machine. Turn this fucker up and leave any preconceived misconceptions at the door. Get into ’em!

Buy Here

Website / November tour dates and tickets from Here

Author: Dom Daley

Damaged Goods reissue this debut recording by Medway legends The Daggermen. If amphetamine paced, mod styled tunes is your thing, walk this way…

With links to The Prisoners, and having seen The Milkshakes whilst still at school, our heroic trio decided that this music was their destiny. Nascent drummer Wolf Howard invited Billy Childish to see their fledgling band, and the rest is Medway history, long before these two musicians joined forces in several of Billy’s groups.

Togged-up in Carnaby Street’s finest mod threads, and armed with a set of blistering Who and Kinks influenced tunes, all at under three minutes long, The Daggermen should have been bigger. But, maybe that would have spoiled it. With 18 tracks on the CD and 12 on the LP, now’s the time to explore their legacy. Primal, but with the likes of ‘What Do I Do For You’ showing their talent for vocal harmonies, this is a strong set of songs, including instrumentals like the Link Wray influenced ‘Bundle’ and the title track.

18 tunes rattle by in no time. If you’re not shaking your thing, there’s no hope for you. It’s definitely the Medway Sound, full of youthful energy. While I wait for Billy Childish to return to the faster stuff, this is a treat. Get on it!

But it Here

Author: Martin Chamarette



2-CD And 2-LP Versions Of First Black Sabbath Albums With Ronnie James Dio On Vocals Feature Newly Remastered Audio Along With Rare And Unreleased Music

Ronnie James Dio joined Black Sabbath in 1979 which resulted in two back-to-back classic albums: Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules. On those memorable albums, Dio’s soaring tenor and gothic songwriting were the perfect foil for the band’s bone-crushing mix of razor-sharp riffs, intense grooves, and dark imagery.

BMG salutes the long shadow cast by this short-lived line-up with newly remastered versions of both albums expanded with rare and unreleased music. HEAVEN AND HELL: DELUXE EDITION and MOB RULES: DELUXE EDITION will be released separately on November 4th and November 18th. Each album will be available on 2-CDs, or a 2-LP set. Due to space constraints, both vinyl editions include a selection of bonus material from the CDs. The music will also be available via digital download and streaming services the same day.

Dio joined Black Sabbath for the first time in 1979 and quickly found kindred spirits in guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and drummer Bill Ward. When Heaven And Hell was released in April 1980, the album was met with effusive reviews for the band’s return to form on metal masterpieces like “Neon Knights” and the title track. The album reached #9 in the U.K. and #28 in the U.S., where it was also certified platinum.

HEAVEN AND HELL: DELUXE EDITION adds several bonus tracks, including versions of “Children Of The Sea” and “Die Young” recorded live in 1980 in Hartford, CT. The set concludes with live rarities like “E5150” and “Neon Knights” that originally appeared in 2007 on the limited-edition collection, Black Sabbath: Live At Hammersmith Odeon.

To follow-up Heaven And Hell, the group returned to the studio in 1981 to begin recording Mob Rules, with drummer Vinny Appice joining the band for the first time. Released in October 1981 and certified gold, the album was another Sabbath classic, including standouts like “The Sign Of The Southern Cross,” “Turn Up The Night” and the title track.

MOB RULES: DELUXE EDITION boasts an expansive selection of rare and unreleased recordings. Along with additional tracks from Live At Hammersmith Odeon, the collection also includes a newly mixed version of “The Mob Rules.” The cherry on top is an entire concert recorded in 1982 in Portland, OR. Highlights include stellar performances of “Neon Knights”, “Heaven And Hell” and “Voodoo.”

Members of The Hip Priests, TV CRIME and Blatz/The Criminals follow up the 2020s ‘Rev It Up’ mini album with yet more loud, rough round the edges, fast as fuck punk/metal. singer Jesse Luscious (Blatz, The Criminals) barks out the vocals to a backdrop of paint-peeling hack-and-slash guitar riffs and a chest-smashing rhythm section. The USA offers up plenty of hardcore punk bordering on metal bands that write succinct drops of pure noise so why can’t this side of the pond dish up something similar? The answer is simple because they can and Scene Killers do. They don’t fuck about never have, never will not in their day job bands and not as the collective that is Scene Killers.

The Album kicks off with the twisted intro that signals ‘Gimme Gimme’ has begun guitars slash and the vocals are barked out its got a tonne of energy and its pace is purposeful and confident great opener. ‘Immigrant Eyes’ takes the whole old school HC and runs with it like OFF! and the forefathers like Bad Brains it’s direct and uncompromising but a whole lot of fun to boot – get in the pit ya rascals.

As the band shift through the gears ‘One Way Street’ turns up the heat and Jesse delivers a great vocal but the guitars are on fire with Austin trying to tame the wild licks sparking off his six-string. If I was forced to pick a favourite track apart from the song ‘Big City’ with its slower more menacing tempo and thuggish gang vocals on the chorus I’d plum for ‘They’re Wrong’ for its hypnotic riff and perfecting everything on the album in one song. As the album opens up the MO is simple, play hard, play fast don’t compromise, and knock these songs out of the park with passion and power. So the band meets their brief as songs like ‘Antennas’ is raw as fuck whereas the title track sounds like a modern-day Dead Kennedys in style but I’d guess that it’s part of the band’s DNA but they certainly don’t sound like a West Coast surf punk band there are equal amounts of NYHC happening here as well absorbing all sides of uncompromising punk rock from all over this spinning rock and making it their own you hear bits of Bad Brains and Black Flag as the music pours over you but there’s more going on here – much more.

If you’re not convinced ‘They’re Wrong’ rocks up and will smash you over the head with some cracking riff-a-rama swirling around the uncompromising vocals. Keeping it short and sweet the band closes the album on track number nine with ‘We’re All Decay’ and you should feel suitably pulverised by the end of it. An excellent album that’s brutal and uncompromising with no time for light and shade just a forboding attack, attack, attack but it is addictive and beautiful all at the same time to fuck with you. Another day another top record from the collective minds of people who love punk rock but being in bands like TV Crime and The Hip Priests what else would you expect? Buy It!

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Diamond Head’s importance to heavy metal culture is undeniable, when they formed in 1976 and released their self-financed demos just in time for the NWOBHM in 1979, they were just four lads from Stourbridge with a passion and a chemistry that resulted in some of metals most revered anthems. When they originally released the debut album Lightning to the Nations in 1980, it was through independent label Happy Face Records. There were 1000 copies pressed in a plain white sleeve with no title or track listings.  250 copies sported signatures of the band. The album features the classic line up of Sean Harris: Vocals, Brian Tatler: Guitar, Duncan Scott:Drums, & Colin Kimberly: Bass.

There have been earlier attempts to put out a definitive version of Lightning including Metal Blade’s 1993 CD release, this, however, was not the original version, it was a pretty ropey remix with poor mastering. After Metallica’s Lars Ulrich got involved in getting the original quarter inch master tapes back to guitarist Brian Tatler in the early 90s, Tatler has guarded them with his life. They were thought lost in Germany until Ulrich flexed some Q Prime shaped biceps. This 2022 release features the entire album remastered from those tapes as well as alternative mixes of The Prince, Lightning to the Nations, Sucking my Love, Am I Evil?, and Sweet and Innocent.

The tapes have been painstakingly restored by being baked, yes baked, before current Diamond Head frontman Rasmus ‘Ras’ Bom Andersen took on the remastering process. There are also bonus tracks that were recorded in the 80s. There are also detailed liner notes from Tatler. It really is a lovely package of a much-loved album which thoroughly deserves this level of detail.

We all know how much this album influenced the next generation of metal bands, most notably Metallica and Megadeth. Metallica famously covered and recorded tracks from Lightning and Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine guested on Diamond Head’s 1993 album Death and Progress. This album also featured a guest spot from Sabbath’s Tony Iommi. This latest version of Lightning really feels like the album that Diamond Head wanted to release 42 years ago. It is a must have for all fans of the band, and it features some fantastic new artwork which is based on an idea from Tatler to show a character referred to as ‘The Lightning God’.

The album is available on double CD, a deluxe 180g triple vinyl, a single 180g vinyl containing just the remastered album, and of course it will be available on all streaming platforms.

I was lucky enough to catch the latest incarnation of Diamond Head at the Steelhouse Festival in the summer and they were fantastic. They actually shook the ground! They are out on tour with Saxon throughout Europe and the UK in October and November. I hope to see them again soon. They really are a heavy metal institution; long may they continue to delight audiences around the world.

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Author: Kenny Kendrick

11 November – Ipswich, Regent Theatre
12 November – Southampton O2 Guildhall
13 November – Bexhill, De La Warr Pavilion
14 November – Cardiff, St. David’s Hall
15 November – Bath, Forum
16 November – Cambridge, Corn Exchange
18 November – Newcastle, O2 City Hall
19 November – Blackburn, King George’s Hall
20 November – Aberdeen, Music Hall
21 November – Glasgow, Barrowland
22 November – Hull, City Hall
23 November – York, Barbican
25 November – Leicester, De Montfort Hall
26 November – London, Roundhouse

For UK tickets visit:

From their forthcoming album ‘Astral Fortress’ due for release on Peaceville records next week. Fenriz says “there is a revisit vibe of ‘Quintessence’ at first, which is a total coincidence as it is Ted’s song and I wrote ‘Q’. The song then explodes into fiercer metal, pounding and catching there as well, with clever riff shifts. And then the classic doom ending. Thank you, Ted” 

The ever-productive duo of Nocturno and Fenriz continue their own metallic saga with a new selection of fine, vintage sounding headbanging classics in the making .. Astral Fortress, the band’s 20th album, will be released on Peaceville on 28 October 2022, and is a swift follow-up to 2021’s Eternal Hails opus, which comes from Darkthrone’s consistent and ongoing writing process, which has been in force for some years now. For Darkthrone does not sleep – it only waits.

Carried on the brisk wind of eager rock, with foundations in black, thrash, doom and heavy metal, Astral Fortress is the latest album of stellar, eclectic old metal in the Darkthrone odyssey. With a seemingly endless dungeon full of heavy metal influences channelled through Darkthrone’s dynamic riff-machine, plus also with many increasing inspirations taken from their own past catalogue. Even though sprinkled with atmospheric touches such as synthesizers and mellotron on Astral Fortress to great effect, the Darkthrone sound remains stripped down to the core; always primitive and organic. Darkthrone has truly become its own beast within the metal world. 

‘Astral Fortress’ was recorded at Chaka Khan Studios in Oslo, the same location used for the Eternal Hails album, with Ole Øvstedal and Silje Høgevold and the album was mastered by Jack Control.

Astral Fortress is available on the following formats and pre-orders are available HERE

Limited Edition Deluxe boxed edition: includes Astral Fortress on CD, an exclusive clear vinyl LP & cassette, a printed letter from Fenriz and exclusive art prints all housed in a heavy duty lift off lid box

·       Limited edition curacao blue coloured LP – exclusively available through the Peaceville stores

·       CD

·       LP

·       Digital

·       Plus other limited edition coloured vinyl LPs are available in stores across the world – gold, white, yellow, green, purple and silver .. a collectors dream .. if you can find them! And don’t forget to check out the Fenriz Metal Pact Podcast on Patreon –“hard sounds for wise ears” Follow Darkthrone: Facebook / Instagram

‘Up The Bracket’ was one of those debut albums that had all the magic of a Rock and Roll band with the danger, the mystique, the band of brothers, the excitement the infamy, the notoriety, but above all the songs to back up all the claims and chaos that went with the band. The intricate workings of the main songwriters Doherty and Barat wouldn’t have worked without the rhythm section of Gary and John holding the ship steady through some choppy seas and letting the two songwriters have the freedom to weave their magic. I say this without hesitation but the Libertines were and are genius bands like this don’t come along that often and sometimes they can fall through the cracks they may have proven to be flawed but their genius is everlasting through their music and the fact they are still together and sounding as good as ever and being older and hopefully wiser right decisions are now being made and charting their early formative years in this box set is a beautiful thing. For a start getting Mick Jones to produce the record was a masterstroke because if anyone knew exactly where the band was coming from it would be Jones.

There’s a mammoth amount of music to get through on this comprehensive labor of love with live recordings, demos, and a remaster of the original album. The box set also includes a treasure trove of extras. a lavish sixty-page book with some amazing photographs and new interviews with the band and those who were circling the orbit of planet Libertine.

Of the 65 previously unreleased recordings many are original demos, radio sessions and live recordings all helping to chart the making of ‘Up The Bracket’, plus the jewel in the crown, a live recording from the 100 club in 2002. Imagine still owning a packet of Up The Bracket rizlas or some other priceless Libertines fanboy curio sadly I don’t. I still maintain that The Libertines sailed the closest to what The Clash was about musically, from the ragged intro of ‘Vertigo’ you find yourself handclapping along as the rowdy good times unfold and you’re taken back in time. After whizzing through the studio album the rapid raw energy of the 100 Club performance is epic and sweat-drenched and every sinew of energy is perfectly captured as a rapid ramshackle ‘Horror Show’ lights the gunpowder. The fantastic non album tracks with their howling feedback and shouting contest are brilliantly captured like ‘The Delaney’ and the shit-kicking single ‘What A Waster’. A fantastically captured time capsule where a band in full flight is captured.

Of the demos and studio jams, songs like ‘Wolfman’ will peak the deep dive interest of fans. I love the late-night jams that are songs like ‘7 Deadly Sins’ and acoustic jam ‘Mocking Bird’ with all the in-between banter left in which is somewhere fans aren’t normally able to attend. Grab a bottle of red sit back relax and turn off the light and imagine you’re in the room with the boys in the band.

There is a fair bit of repetition going on as one would expect when it’s focussed on a single album but there is so much more than what appeared on the record this is a beast of a box set. To hear and chart the progress of a song like ‘Boys In The Band’ is a treat from the germ of a song played with a drum machine Bontempi style, “oh so rudimentary” through the radio session to band-worked demo to what finally was rolled out on the finished shop product.

For the retro kids there is also a DVD for every song on the album as well as so much more cobbled together using never before seen footage and so much more like TOTP and Jools Holland all in one convenient place. Ask Santa or your nan for one of these because as far as box sets go this is right up there with the best.

Pick up a Box Set Here

Pick up doube LP & CD Here

Author: Dom Daley

Now look at the heading I’ve just written; how diverse a line-up is that? Throw into the mix that Killing Joke were a late stand in for Television, who dropped out owing to sickness and you wonder what mad genius thought up that lineup? It also makes you wonder how diverse the audience would be who came to see who.

First up in the early evening start of 7.00 was Toyah, and I like everyone else watched in wonder during the lockdown at the fun and carnage Toyah and her husband Robert Fripp foisted on the watching world! Looking backward and trawling the memory banks I have very little memory of Toyah musically or so I thought, more about her role in one of the greatest films of all time Quadrophenia. I suppose at the time back in the day female punk singers started and stopped with Polystyrene and Siouxsie Sioux for me. What came across tonight was a breath of fresh air, lively bouncy with a real self-depreciative sense of humour a real ray of light prior to the darkness and intensity of Killing Joke to follow. Opener Thunder in the mountains set the tone, before a rather tasty version of the Martha and the Muffins classic Echo Beach, before we actually hit a couple that I did recognise Good Morning Universe and It’s a mystery (It’s amazing the things that stick) interestingly I think I’ll revisit next up Neon Womb, while Space Dance a new track had Robert Fripp’s hands all over it definitely a change of direction before we finished up with the evergreen I want to be free (Again jogging the memory banks).

Now I have to say I was looking forward to catching Killing Joke, after witnessing a blinding performance at the Tramshed on the last tour, but wondered if they’d adapt their approach to maybe blend into the enormo-dome audience waiting for King Rocker himself, maybe bringing in a new set of Converts? Not a chance as we are hit straight up with the double act of Unspeakable and Wardance (the latter with a spoken intro, maybe stating “we’re going to dance, Wardance” was Jaz’s nod to the crowd before a personal fave The fall of Because. It’s really strange watching Killing Joke in a support slot wondering what will be in or out Requiem was in as intense as ever before a cracking version of Eighties, but with killing joke as always they were relentless building and building the intensity the Anathema to the light brought forward by Toyah, set closers in a set that finished way to early were The Wait, Psyche and Pandemonium.

To be honest, I’m not a fan of these huge venues but a real positive is everything runs like clockwork, bands appeared to the minute, and I don’t think even Axl Rose could Fuck up the Cardiff team’s professionalism. Glancing around I can’t really catch/ see the type of Audience that had come to see Billy Idol, people like myself waiting for the Generation X revisit people from the MTV Generation of Rebel Yell, White Wedding Et al, or curious newcomers bearing in mind Billy had a new EP just out, would it herald a more mature approach to songwriting? Maybe going down the Springsteen route? First up ‘Dancing With Myself’ one of two Generation X tracks the other being ‘One Hundred Punks’, From that MTV generation we had Flesh for Fantasy, Eyes without a face, Mony Mony, White Wedding, and Rebel Yell,

From the new ep, each track played had a story “Cage” making you realise how hard Covid had hit people with Billy missing his Mums funeral, “Bitter taste” with the recollection of his Motorbike accident and “Running from the Ghost” a nod to past addictions. As a nod to influence past we had a roaring edition of “Born to lose”.

 All in all, I think King Rocker covered just about everybody, drawing in young, old, and new fans, presented a clear history of some really influential stuff, across a number of Generations, but, yup I have a but! While I recognise the importance of Steve Stevens to the Billy Idol sound I wish someone had just turned the guitar down a notch, instead of providing a counterpoint to the vocals it fought against at times, always right at the front of the mix I’d have preferred it to fit as part of the band sound stepping forward at key points rather than be in your face at all times, the reality is it would have had much more of an impact. But what do I know at the end of the day, if you’re a fan get your skates on, catch this tour if you can, you won’t be disappointed,

Author: Nev Brooks

A long time ago there was a punk rock n roll scene exploding in Sweden and it was knocking out Rock n Roll bands ten to the dozen. Some terrific records were being made and tremours were felt near and far. The Hellacopters, ‘Demons’, Nomads, Backyard Babies and The Hives all seemed to be releasing records that were taken to the hearts of many a punk rock n roll fan around this spinning rock it also spilled over borders with the likes of Gluecifer and Turbonegro were also delivering truly awesome and memorable records.

A record that crept out on CD that was equally as good as the finest releases from this genre and a whole lot better than most. Step forward A-Bombs and the album was ‘And Constantly Rotating’. Anyone who used to pick up the Hang the DJ comp or used to order from Sonically Speaking at the dawn of this internet before things were readily available at the press of a button. Scores of records and CDs were released some instant standards for the scene and others stayed underground or less known but over time equally as influential and have stood the test of time and with hindsight have grown in stature.

Let’s get this out there right from the top, A-Bombs ‘And Constantly Rotating’ was and is an absolute stone cold banger. Originally released in ’98, I’m assured by people who lived in Sweden that A-Bombs were blowing the roof off venues with their take on punk n roll but their flame burned hard and fast and was extinguished in the blink of an eye. Their legacy is one album and a couple of singles CD eps and that’s it! but hell, if you’re going to leave behind just one album then make it a good one. and A Bombs left behind not a good one but a great one and unlike their contemporaries, it only ever hit the CD shelves… until now that is thanks to labels like these two.

As the howl of feedback builds and the backbeat is hammered out the vocals sneer into view before breaking out in one big bang and we’re off like a shot of adrenaline. A tonne of energy is unleashed and it doesn’t stop for eleven tracks. the menacing ‘Devils Own’ is more of the same a rockin ride played out over some cool wah and a cool sneering vocal.

If you’re looking for the pick of the pack or standouts then look no further than the fantastic fil scored opening of ‘Monstermind’ Just like a nuclear bomb! boom! an epic groove born in the garages and used by the likes of the Stooges and MC5 or even the Flamin Groovies its a fantastic tune and should have been the catalyst to sling these five punkers into all the right places.

‘Playing God’ has some nice n sleazy mouth organ honking on the intro as the song unferls into a beast with hints of Gallon Drunk with the amps turned up to 11! I think its great that albums as good as this get a second wind for the ever increasing vinyl market and an album I loved twenty years ago is introduced to my turntable right where it should be. Fantastic! Don’t snooze on this one kids its a bonafide Banger!

Do I mention a hidden track? Nah go buy it and go find it for yourself Essential purchase!

Buy Here (Beluga Records) Here for Ghost Highway

Author: Dom Daley