Back last year I reviewed the debut EP World on Fire by Sea of Snakes and thoroughly enjoyed it. The band are now unleashing their first full length opus called The Serpent and the Lamb via Metal Assault Records. The band effortlessly blend a mix of Sabbath, White Zombie, Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Corrosion of Conformity, and even Blue Oyster Cult to give us a unique experience. They really are fun to listen to. The production is nice and sludgy, the guitars sound great and vocalist Jason Busiek sounds like a younger version of Ozzy, his high register lifts the vocals perfectly over the gut churning low end.
Opening track Start a War kicks off the album in style, powerful drumming from Jeff Murray accents the chunky riffs perfectly. It’s not all about the powerhouse riffing with Sea of Snakes though, there is plenty of light and shade to add colour to the songs, this really helps to highlight the vocal abilities of Busiek. Demon Seed plods along nicely with some great guitar work from Jim McCloskey. Next up we have my favourite track on the album Get the Gun, which has a feel of the classic Kyuss track Green Machine before taking a more melodic turn halfway through.
End of the Sun has more of a doom feel to it with its super slow, down tuned riff. Dead Man’s Song could have been something from the cutting room floor from Jar of Flies era Alice in Chains. We are back into high riffage territory with Third Kind and In Hell, both tracks chug and stab along with urgency. The album is a step up in quality from their EP, the songs are well written and crafted, the muddy production also works perfectly.
Sea of Snakes has delivered the goods here with memorable tunes in abundance, a band to keep your eye on.
SATOR release a new music video for Brown Eyed Son taken from the band’s album Return of the Barbie-Q-Killers, released earlier this year.
The video for Brown Eyed Son was recorded at SATOR’s gig at Partille Arena on September 16 earlier this year. The idea of the video was to show off a legendary band in its proper element – on stage – in the simplest way. An element that SATOR still to this day, 25+ years into their career, manages in a way few other bands can match. During the video’s 2 minutes and 10 seconds, the viewer gets an intense insight into what SATOR is, remains and will always stand for – Rock ‘n’ roll with a slice of punk and everlasting coolness. Buy the album Here
Released next week – The Damned have the DVD (Remember them) vinyl and CD of that night at the Palladium (Remember that? seems like a lifetime ago, anyway, here is the video for ‘Grimly Fiendish’ from a Night of 1000 Vampires.
As part of FrightFest Halloween, the exclusive preview screening of the upcoming concert film ‘A Night of A Thousand Vampires’ will be held at Cineworld Leicester Square in London on Thursday 27 October, including an exclusive Q&A with The Damned and director Martin Gooch. Tickets Here
Brand new single from UK punks Grade 2 called Brassic, something we can all relate to!
The track opens with vigorously strummed power chords joined by a ripping bassline riff that introduces a maelstrom of sound. Crashing drums give way to gritty vocals that express the frustrations of the working class as the band aligns themselves with the vast majority of humans who seem to be always chasing down their next dollar.
“Brassic. Skint. Broke. On the bones of your arse,” Grade 2 explains. “The feeling too many of us feel day in day out. When you’re put on house arrest by your own bank balance, you have nothing to do but watch the world move while you stand still.”
United by a love of old-school punk, ska and oi, childhood friends Sid Ryan (vocals, bass), Jacob Hull (drums) and Jack Chatfield (guitar, vocals) formed the band at 14, honing their craft playing Clash and Jam covers before refining their own sound and songs. A European tour supporting Stomper 98 brought admiration and friendship from Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen, leading to introductions and the eventual signing to Rancid cohort Tim Armstrong’s legendary Hellcat Records in 2018.
Melding the near-mythical musical heritage of their native Isle of Wight with the humdrum reality of growing up in a tired seaside town, Grade 2 spit out blistering punk music laced with passion, angst, humour and despair. Fueled by a desire to be heard yet constrained by an ethos unsuited to daytime radio, Grade 2 ply their craft on the road, joining the likes of Dropkick Murphy’s, The Interrupters and Social Distortion to play their songs to fervent audiences around the world. Their stark authenticity, thunderous live performances and exceptional musicianship have garnered praise across the hardcore punk fanbase. Grade 2 are a band to be seen.
Watch them live on tour at the following UK gigs in 2023. Tickets available now.
Come and Join the Rejects they said and in the twenty-first century, they are still going strong making music and playing live always on their own terms and as uncompromising as they ever were. To think this is only their 9th album since the late seventies debut is perhaps the result of forces beyond the band’s will to record music and the myth that grew around them that perhaps held them back. It’s fair to say that number nine will indeed be their final offering and the band have put together some package to sign off in style. A box set, Guitar giveaway, CD, Vinyl the whole machonky as they say in these parts.
What Rejects will turn up for this final fling is quickly revealed after the opening track ‘We Were Never Bothered’ unfurls. Mick said in interviews that the record sounds like everything they’ve done for the past 45 years rolled into one which might strike fear into either their terrace anthems original fanbase or their love of Metal and hard rock fans that were turned onto them in the 80s. There are however many who like both anyone who denies not liking one or the other in my book is a bit weird or just a bit of a hipster.
Jeff is a no-nonsense talker and anyone who has seen his recent in-conversation performances knows that he’s always going to keep it real and this outing is no exception. You are taken off on a wistful acoustic intro before the Geggis riff book is opened and the ship sets sail. IT’s 21st-century terrace anthems with gang vocals and pounding rhythms all being held together by Mick’s hard rock riffs.
Sure they sing about ole London Tawn and having it but so what that’s who they are and like em or loathe them they’ve always been true to themselves. Hold onto your high tops kids because ‘Paper tiger’ is cock rock with sparks flying off those frets – so when they said its everything they’ve ever done rolled into one album they weren’t joking. Good on em!
However, I would point out that it’s more leaning toward the Rock side of the Rejects. ‘Same Ol Same Ol’ is more like FM thank classic Oi! The Metal years continue on ‘Up For The Fight’ and ‘Stab In The Back’. If AC/DC recorded ’40 Years Undefeated’ Kerrang would be championing them alright. Its late night boozer sing-a-long territory as well and Mick is pulling out all the stops with the rhythm section stepping up but not wearing spandex or high tops with one foot on the monitor it’s still the Rejects and not non ferrous maiden.
One thing you can’t level at Jeff Turner is he’s never faked what he does I’m sure if you did it would be Bosh! lights out and ‘My Heart Ain’t In It’ is like Tokyo Blade as Turner sings his cotton socks off God bless him. The title track is bordering on pomp Rock with Mick showing off his flashing blades guitar work with gentle verse picked chords and thunderous power chords on the chorus. Its like the Rejects should make a video where they’re on horseback riding into battle with their firm of ‘Ammers in tow slaying all before them. Noisy fuckers kicking up a shitstorm annoying the neighbours for all their worth doing exactly what they want to do. Love it, g’on son dish it out and turn it up. the Rejects aren’t taking prisoners and they’re going out in a blaze of Glory oh and a cover of The Stray Cats runaway Boys just to fuck up your head a bit more bet you weren’t expecting that bad boy were you? Bosh!
Best track? ‘That Thing We Do’ now that wraps up the Rejects in one three-minute song all their best sides in a bloody decent tune. they then hit the final furlong and ‘Mug’ turns up which might have me reassess the best song on the album with classic Turner lyrics. Their best song since ‘East End Babylon’, Bosh! I wasn’t going to mention the final offering but they do bow out with ‘Learning To Fly’ – Now you nor I was expecting a Tom Petty cover on a Cockney Rejects album but there you go there it is – Bosh! Ave it. Thanks for the records gents it’s been one hell of a ride that’s for sure and I’m glad you’ve made it to album number 9 and still doing it on your terms but Tom Petty? Leave it out me old chinas. Right I’m off before they come after me…The Cheeky chaps.
I’m not adverse to bands doing covers quite the contrary. sometimes covers can introduce you to a new favourite band, help get where a bands coming from musically, introduce you to someone or a song you’ve never heard or maybe never appreciated. There si a world of difference to a covers album and a covers band two very different beasts. Now let me introduce you to The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs a band I’ve been listening to fo rquite some time and a band who’ve just go ton with business regardless of whats on trend and in vocalist Frank Meyer they have one hell of a singer shit this guy can strip the paint off walls from 30 ft away he is Rock and fuckin Roll alright and boy can he sing. I’d have him up there with the likes of Larry May as one of the best vocalists for loud punk rock and roll no question about it.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, cover albums. Well, this offering of well over thirty songs, yup I said thirty! is all killer no filler and they manage to draft in some pretty impressive associates to help rock this record out. Fourteen people are credited with the playing and as I said some pretty spectacular guests adding their own flavour to what is already an exceptional playlist.
Kicking off with a quite brilliant take on ‘Know your Product’ with bells and whistles and horns a honkin this is the bomb boys and girls a quite exceptional opener right there. To be fair had they fucked this opener up I would be reviewing this album I’d be hunting them down. It ticks all the boxes of how to do a cover. Energy, awesome vocals, great guests, and a risky choice to open with. Confidence isn’t a problem here kids the band knows they’ve nailed this one so let’s just move on.
I’m gonna brush over some, not because I don’t want to type all day but because I want to leave some surprises for you the lucky listener who chooses to investigate this record further. Safe to say ‘Cherry bomb’ is a great version and having ms Currie on board only adds to its awesomeness.
There’s a rapid twist on the Dogs D’Amour swagger of ‘Debauchery’ which I really enjoyed diggin deep into the good stuff already. of Course ‘Faster And Louder’ gets nailed as does ‘Do The Pop’ fuck this is a whirlwind already and my heads a spinnin’ with the great choices thus far. they’ve even gone for a Motley Crue cover and ‘Live Wire’ has never been sung this well that won’t come as a shock to anyone and the riff sonds great. However, putting a Crue cover next to some Flamin Groovies wouldn’t always work but here it does as this one is sped up and rocked out.
One fo my favourite Stooges songs has always been the mega groove that is ‘Funhouse’ from that hypnotic bassline to Ron Ashtons snaking guitar licks to the saxophone honkin and to be fair this group has taken it all on board and created a heaving groovy take on a stone cold classic and managed to play it out for a full fourteen minutes and to be fair had it gone on a further fourteen I’d have been delighted.
It’s so cool they got the likes of Denis Tek in to play his considerable guitar talent on ‘More Fun’ and Bryan Smalls rocks up doing his finest Joe Perry on ‘Draw The Line’ alongside a great vocal delivery claiming a classic Aerosmith tune to be their own. Sandwiching an Aerosmith classic next to a Dianno era Maiden track only to punch it square in the face with an MC5 walk-through is genius.
Having Jimmy Zero in to play on the Dead Boys standard ‘Sonic Reducer’ is a rip-snorting ride that absolutely nails the energy of the original and evokes all sorts of emotions inside me Stiv would most certainly approve no question about it. Then to follow that with a breakneck take on the Hanoi Rocks barnstormer ‘Cafe Avenue’ with none other than Jeff Dahl snarling out the vocals is brilliant twisting my melon and turning this majestic tune on its head – class! Further, into the album there is another Hanoi classic and possibly my favourite Hanoi song in ‘Taxi Driver’ and this take has as much menace in the delivery and its great to hear just how someone else with exceptional taste takes a great song its got swagger boys and girls and shines a light on how damn good the original was/is.
I’m exhausted and there are still a dozen or so more to get through! Johnny Thunders has ‘I Wanna Be Loved’ turned on its head and slowed down and waltzed through – clever! then having Sylvain come in on two track made me choke up with so many departed legends having tributes paid to them in such spectacular fashion from Frank and the gang.
There are a few bands I still miss and daydream about what they might be doing if they’d hung on in there and lady luck had kept them alive and one of those bands is Dead Boys frontman Stiv Bators and having three tracks honouring him and his legacy is great especially when the versions are so good ‘Aint Nothing To Do’ is a killer but the take on ‘what Love Is’ is next level.
If this is a flick through the record collections of The Streetwalkin Cheetahs then bring on volume two these guys just simply get it. Their take on some classics and deep cuts is like a walk-through wonderland its respectful and right on the money. the musicians they draft in also get it and so do I. Waste no further time reading my waffle and pick this up asap. Long Live Rock and Roll and long like the Streetwalkin Cheetahs. Thank you and keep on Rockin! you nailed this history lesson right square on the noggin’!
Alex has been busy helping rock-n-roller punks, THE DROWNS (USA) with their upcoming tour of Europe and the UK. He’s helped sort some nights on the close-knit UK DIY punk scene so they can play most nights of the tour. They are a fantastic band and well worth catching. Alex will join them on stage in Bradford as he’s a proper Yorkshireman these days 🙂 Tickets
They play a free-entry gig at the same pub in Peterborough Wonk Unit played this year, for those cheeky chaps the Scary Clown Presents. Facebook event here.
Vive Le Rock is proud to be teaming up with legendary Los Angeles record label Cleopatra Records for their 30th Anniversary celebrations at London’s O2 Islington Academy on Wednesday October 26th for what promises to be an unforgettable night of punk and dub rock!
Gathering together three trailblazing Cleopatra artists to shake Islington’s foundations, the 30th anniversary night will be headlined by Public Image Ltd legend Jah Wobble who will perform his reimagining of the second PIL album ‘Metal Box Rebuilt In Dub’ for the very first time.
Those Rebellion festival and ‘Homicide’ favourites 999 will play a special anniversary set to mark the occasion while the kings of the Roxy club and 1976 punk, Eater will make a super rare appearance to open proceedings!
The ringmaster and compere for the nights shenanigans will be none other than the Anti-Nowhere League’s larger-than-life frontman, the one and only Animal. There will be an exclusive aftershow party until late for VIP ticket holders who will also receive a goodie bag of Cleopatra and Vive Le Rock swag and the whole night will be soundtracked by Vive Le Rock DJs!
Cleopatra founder Brian Perera says: “Thirty years has felt like just a few years because time has just flown by while we’ve been having fun working with all of these amazing artists! We’re looking forward to our big anniversary celebration in London where we have so many fun surprises planned for you. We could not have lasted without you!”
Bang! has been responsible for releasing some pretty awesome records over the years from bands that spearheaded an underground punk scene and whose records are rarer than hen’s teeth so it’s nice to see plenty get repressed like AntiSeen.
These tracks were originally released on their mid-80s EPs and are now all together for the first time on vinyl which saves a lot of ball ache if you are serious about delving into the past of punk rock. Newly remastered and with previously unreleased photography, this is the “Kings of Destructo-Rock” at their most primal!
According to Jeff Clayton’s words: “What you have here is a collection of the earliest releases of a band made up mostly of small southern town guys trying to make a name for themselves in the ‘big city’. With little help or guidance (with the exception of a few very influential cases) we created what became our sound and our attitude that would stay with us for four decades. Come hear the Dawn Of Antiseen.” and that’s about it in a nutshell. The quality of production is decent to ropey as you might expect and the same can be said of the songs on offer as well.
Opening with ‘Queen City Stomp’ its raw, rapid and punk as fuck which is exactly what you’d expect from these miscreants. They take their love of The Ramones and (probably) Motorhead to its punk rock extremes and run with it. The playing is fairly loose on tracks like ‘Nothings Cool’ and they often played the same riff at varying tempos and just wrote new lyrics about depraved subjects, teenage boredom, girls, booze, isolation and punk rock (what else were you expecting?)
what they do best is when they put their limited talent to good use and go for broke like on songs like ‘Destructo Rock’ it’s dumb and full of cum and they stumble to the finish line. What you do get is a lot of music to get through there are twenty-four tracks on offer here. Some of the lyrics are questionable and some of the production is Tascam demo at best but to some, that’s the charm right there. ‘Drug Throguh The Mud’ is like the DK’s on even cheaper amphetamines.
Side two opens with ‘Hammer Head’ totally exempt from any bottom end its scratching at your ears with a rusty nail and the chorus is hilarious going for a pound shop rob Tyner MC5 on the chorus but sounding more like the Barron nights doing motorhead shame really because with a beefed up bottom end songs like this would be brutal. ‘White Trash Bitch’ is more of the same, could be a banger with decent production and a low-end thump. Probably best to dip in because a one-sit-in trawl would be a trip only the hardcore could withstand. Again I’d reiterate that labels like Bang! provide a great service because I like many others wouldn’t have gotten hold of a lot of these early tracks and it’s great to hear a band’s career where it began and progressed from. Antiseen has always been punk as fuck and part of the underground of American punk rock that has always intrigued me from this side of the pond and it’s been a good trip delving into the origins of the band I’ve known about but not heard a great deal from until now. If you like this then get on some ‘Eat More Possums’ another Bang! reissue from one of punk rocks enduring bands who are still doing it in 2022 – creators of Destructo death punk at its finest noisy best.
We live in an era of lockdown crafted, post-pandemic albums. With live performance taken out of the equation, in that dark period between 2020 and late 2021, musicians had to get creative. And get creative they did. Stripped of the ability to perform with their respective bands, Baz Warne (The Stranglers), Paul Gray (The Damned), Leigh Heggarty (Ruts DC) and Marty Love (Johnny Moped) joined together digitally and formed Wingmen; a musical union that somehow manages to sound like the sum of all of those legendary bands, yet also nothing like them. Say hello to Wingmen, a band formed in extraordinary circumstances.
Due to be released January 27th via Cadiz Music, it’s important to stress that at no point during the recording of this debut Wingmen album were the musicians ever in the same room playing together. And they still haven’t. This music has formed, as so much did in those explosive first waves of punk that these musicians were born from, out of boredom. To stop from going stir crazy during lockdown. And the results were instantly rewarding.
“I called Paul and suggested to him that we should have a go at a new project after enjoying working together on The Sensible Gray Cells record and if so, did he have anyone in mind,” explains drummer Marty on how Wingmen came to be. “And we both wanted to work with Leigh, and he was interested in the idea. I asked Leigh if he knew any vocalists that may fancy it and he said Baz Warne could be worth a call, and to my surprise Baz said yes! So, then there were four. We all started sending song ideas to each other. The first was ‘Brits’ from Baz and then ‘Starting Blocks’ from Leigh. After that the songs just kept coming…”
The proof of this is clear to hear in the ten songs that complete the project. The album is chock full of dynamic songwriting and performances, over-flowing with ideas and inspiration. You can clearly hear the styles and identities of each individual performer in the music, and the influences of their individual bands, but somehow, despite having never played in the same room together, Wingmen sounds like a band.
Bassist Paul Gray continues…
“Although we’d recorded various parts at our homes for our respective bands before, none of us had employed this process to make a complete album! Only Marty and I had worked together before, so it was a complete leap into the unknown. We all had loads of ideas to throw into the pot – some songs arrived completely fully formed that we simply added our own parts to, and others were more akin to musical sketches that ended up as co-writes. The album is a true collaboration inasmuch as none of us knew what parts or melodies or lyrics might be added by anyone else – it was an immensely exciting process! No rehearsals, no pre-production, just us winging ideas to and fro, with the drums going on last of all in the studio – which is completely the opposite of how things are usually done, of course.”
Today, we get to sample the first taste of Wingmen’s work in ‘Down In The Hole’, a song that channels the intense moods and feelings that lockdown created.
“This album may well have never come about were it not for the fact that our lives were suddenly put on hold,” explains Paul. “Some of us felt the effects of the enforced isolation from friends and loved ones that followed – and wondering when the hell it was all gonna end – more keenly than others. ‘Down in the Hole’ is a nod to them, and those that live with the effects of depression to a greater or lesser degree on a daily basis. Not a particularly jolly subject I know, but the music suggested a fairly dark lyric and the song just kinda ended up writing itself”.
Although unconventional in its creation, the good news is that Wingmen is not a just a studio project and will be a band that plays live. Dates are currently being booked and who knows what else the future holds for Wingmen. For now, we’ll leave the final words to guitarist extraordinaire Leigh Heggarty…
“If someone had told my teenage self that I’d know members of The Stranglers, The Damned, Eddie & the Hot Rods, Johnny Moped and for that matter The Ruts – let alone that one day I would be in a band with them – I’d have probably told them that they were mad. It’s worth having a dream sometimes.”
‘Wingmen’ will be released January 27th, 2023, via Cadiz Music. Live dates are to be announced.
A launch event is confirmed to take place December 11th at the Triangle Café & Bar, SE8 to feature an exclusive album playback, acoustic show, and meet and greet. Full details TBC!
TRAMPOLENE will release their fourth album Rules Of Love & War on 17th March 2023. Rules of Love & War features 12 new TRAMPOLENE original songs and was produced by Mike Moore (Baxter Dury/Liam Gallagher), Richard Jackson (Super Furry Animals) & Jason Stafford (Albion Rooms)
Says singer and lead Tramp Jack Jones: “I can’t believe we’ve managed to stay together long enough to make 4 albums. That’s the miracle. Having been friends since school. That’s what means the most to me now. We wanted the album to have a psychedelic, cinematic feel to it with grandiose layers, brass, strings and distorted guitars. I’m delighted with how it’s turned out. We got the title from ‘Down & Out In Paris & London’ (George Orwell). It’s felt like we’ve been living in an Orwellian world recently.”
The first single to be taken from TRAMPOLENE’s new album, inspired by a CNN report on climate change, is Thinking Again, which is available now from all reputable digital music providers.
The video for Thinking Again was written and directed by film maker Ricky Allen, Rules of Love & War will be available on CD, cassette, digital download and 12” black or red vinyl, as well as exclusive formats and signed items. Preorder the album here
Fresh from opening and selling out the new Swansea Arena, TRAMPOLENE have announced a headline tour of the UK for April ‘23. Tickets for the Rules Of Love & War Tour are available to preorder now and go on general sale on Monday 17th October @ 10am from Here & Here
The full dates are:APRIL 7th Friday Glasgow – The Attic
8th Saturday Newcastle – The Cluny 2
11th Tuesday Nottingham – Bodega
12th Wednesday Manchester – Yes
13th Thursday Leeds – Brudenell Social club
14th Friday Bristol -Rough Trade
15th Saturday Swansea – Bunkhouse
20th Thursday London – 100 Club
TRAMPOLENE will also be playing six headline shows for Independent venue week in January and February 2023. Tickets are available now.