Ben Hughes

Kula Shaker – ‘1st Congegational Church Of Eternal Love & Free Hugs’ (Strangefolk Records)

Viagra Boys – ‘Cave World’ (YEAR0001)

Jo Dog & Paul Blacks Sonic Boom – ‘Everybody Rains On My Parade’ (Black City Records)

Urban Voodoo Machine – ‘Snake Oil’ (Gypsy Hotel Records)

Sloan – Steady’ (Yep Rock)

Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners – ‘Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Butch Walker – ‘Glenn’ (Ruby Red Records)

Starcrawler – ‘She Said’ (Big Machine Records)

Gyasi – ‘Pronounced Jah-See’ (Alive Records)

The Interrupters – ‘In The Wild’ (Hellcat Records)

Kenny Kendrick

Valhalla Awaits – ‘Reckoning EP’

Saxon – ‘Carpe Diem’ (Silver Lining Music)

Scorpions – ‘Rock Believer’ (Spinefarm Records)

Ozzy Osbourne – ‘Patient Number 9’ (Sony Music)

Black Lakes – ‘For All We’ve Left Behind’

Skid Row – ‘The Gangs All Here’ (Absolute)

Bob Vylan – ‘The Price OF Life (Ghost Theatre Records)

Mother Vulture – ‘Mother Knows Best’ (

Sergeant Thunderhoof – This Sceptred Veil’

Ghost – ‘Impera’ (Spinefarm Records)

Johnny Hayward

The Hellacopters – ‘Eyes Of Oblivion’ (Nuclear Blast Records)

Dream Widow – ‘Dream Widow’ (Roswell Records)

The Dowling Poole – ‘Refuse’ (369 Music)

Paul Draper – ‘Cult Leader Tactics’ (Kscope)

Voivod – ‘Syncro Anarchy’ (Century Media Records)

SV & The Eruptions – ‘Knackers Yard’ (Avenue Recordz)

Deathtraps – ‘Appetite For Prescriptions’ (Spirit Of Disaster Records)

The Black Halos – ‘How The Darkness Doubled’ (Stomp Records)

OFF! – ‘Free LSD’ (Fat Possum Records)

Kid Kapichi – ‘Here’s What You Could Have Won’ (Kid Kapichi Limited)

Elvis Costello & The Imposters- ‘The Boy Named If’ (Universal Music)

Scenen Killers – ‘Beat Beat Beat’ (Brassneck Records / Lavasock Records)

Gyasi – ‘Pronounced Jah-See’ (Alive Records)

Swami John Reis – ‘Ride the Wild Night’ (Swami)

Plosivs – ‘Plosivs’ (Swami)

Michael Monroe – ‘I Live Too Fast To Die young’ (Silver Lining Music)

Midnight – Let There Be Witchery’ (Metal Blade Records)

Then Comes Silence- ‘Hunger’ (Nexilis/Schubert Music)

Crows – ‘Beware Believers’ (Bad Vibrations Records)

Suede – ‘Autofiction’ (BMG)

Dom Daley

Bubbling just outsdie a top ten would be Suede, JJ & The Real Jerks, Peteer Doherty & Frederick Lo, Marc Valentine, Slyder Smith & The Oblivion Kids, Midnight, John Reis, The Afghan Whigs, The Vibrators, and so many more.

Whitespade – ‘Whitespade’ (Iron Grip)

Jo Dog & Paul Blacks Sonic Boom – ‘Everybody Rains On My Parade’ (Black City Records)

The Chats – ‘Get Fucked’ (Bargain Bin Records)

Ravagers – ‘Badlands’ (Spaghetty Town Records)

More Kicks – ‘Punch Drunk’ (Stardumb Records)

Rough Gutts – ‘Part 1 & 2’ (Boss Tuneage)

UK Subs – ‘Reverse Engineering’ (Cleopatra Records)

Michael Monroe – Live Too Fast To Die Young’ (Silver Lining Records)

Suzi Moon – ‘Dumb & In Luv’ (Pirates Press Records)

The Black Halos – ‘How The Darkness Doubled’ (Stomp Records)

Martin Chamarette

Simon Love & The Old Romantics – ‘Love Sex Death ETC’ (Tapete Records)

Deathtraps – ‘Appetite For Prescription’ (Spirit Of Disaster Records)

Michael Monroe – ‘I Live Too Fast To Die Young’ (Silver Lining Records)

Whitespade – ‘WhiteSpade’ (Iron Grip)

The Vibrators – ‘Fall Into The Sky’ (Cleopatra Records)

Dr Feelgood – ‘Damn Right’ (Grand Records)

Swami John Reis – Ride The Wild Night’ (Swami)

The Speedways – ‘Talk Of The Town’ (Beluga Records)

Suede – ‘Autofiction’ (BMG)

Luke Haines & Peter Buck – ‘All The Kids Are Super Bummed Out’ (Cherry Red Records)

Nev Brooks

Paul-Ronney Angel- ‘London Texas Lockdown’ (Gypsy Hotel Records)

Gogol Borello – ‘Solidaratine’ (Cooking Vinyl)

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard – ‘Backhand Deals’ (Communion Records)

Dub War – ‘Westgate Under Fire’ (Earache Records)

Ferocious Dog – ‘The Hope’ (Graphite)

Urban Voodoo Machine – ‘Snake Oil Engine’ (Gypsy Hotel Records)

Dystopian Future Movies – ‘War Of The Ether’ (Septaphonic Records)

The Ruts – ‘Counterculture’ (Sosumi Recordings)

Bob Vylan – ‘The Price Of Life’ (Ghost Theatre Records)

Gyasi – ‘Pronounced Jah-See’ (Alive Records)

Dan Kasm

Dry Retch – ‘Operation Uranus’

Mysterines – ‘Reeling’ (Universal Music)

The Black Halos – ‘How The Darkness Doubled’ (Stomp Records)

Suede – ‘Autofiction’ (BMG)

Michael Monroe – ‘I Live Too Fast To Die Young’ (Silver Lining Records)

We’d like to begin the rundown of what we enjoyed in 2022 by dishing up some of the best live shows we attended as a team. We read some books, saw some videos, listened to countless new albums, played some wonderful reissues. If you notice we haven’t covered some of your favourite bands then why not drop us a line and join the team? 2023 is already stacking up with new albums and tours already booked and if you think you can add to RPM Online then get in touch

So without delay here are some of the writer’s favs for 2022…

Ben Hughes –

Best Live Shows

  1. The Interrupters/The Skints/Bar Stool Preachers – O2 Academy, Leeds
  2. Starcrawler – The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
  3. Viagra Boys – Sheffield University
  4. Sierra Ferrell – The Cluny, Newcastle
  5. The Black Skies – The Crescent, York
  6. Ginger Wildheart & Jon Poole – The Parish, Huddersfield
  7. The Mission – The Crescent, York
  8. The Warner E Hodges Band/Ryan Hamilton – The Crescent, York
  9. Ryan Hamilton/Emily Capell – Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
  10. Chrissie Hynde Band – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds     

Best Reissues

  1. Demolition 23 – ‘Demolition 23’
  2. Silver Sun – ‘Silver Sun’ & ‘Neo Wave’
  3. Jesse Malin – ‘Glitter In The Gutter’   

Best Box Set

Jellyfish – ‘When These Memories Fade’

Kenny Kendricks

Best Live Shows 

Eric Martin – The Patriot, Crumlin

Zac & the New Men – The Patriot, Crumlin 

Saxon/Diamond Head – St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Green Lung – Steelhouse Festival 

Michael Schenker Group – Steelhouse Festival 

Valhalla Awaits – Steelhouse Festival 

Geoff Tate – Patti Pavilion, Swansea

Mother Vulture – Planet Rockstock

Phil Campbell & the Bastard Sons – Planet Rockstock 

Best Books

Dave Grohl – The Storyteller 

Rob Halford – Biblical 

Bono – Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story 

Best New Act 

Mother Vulture 

Best Reissue 

Motörhead – Iron Fist 40th Anniversary 

Diamond Head – Lightning to the Nations 

Best Box Set 

Slade – All the World’s a Stage

Biggest Disappointment 

Still no sign of a Tony Martin era Black Sabbath box set….

Contribution to Music

Judas Priest getting recognition from the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame 

Johnny Hayward

GIGS OF 2022

  1. Brett Anderson & Charles Hazlewood with Paraorchestra – Cardiff Millennium Centre  & Cock Sparrer – London Roundhouse
  2. Gary Numan – Cardiff University
  3. Rebellion 2022 – Blackpool Winter Gardens
  4. Midnight/Night Demon – Bristol Exchange
  5. Killing Joke – Cardiff Tramshed
  6. Supersuckers/The Hip Priests/Deathtraps – Newport Le Pub
  7. Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert – Wembley Stadium
  8. Jesse Malin – Newport Le Pub
  9. The Atom Age/Pizzatramp – Newport Le Pub
  10. Scene Killers/Deathtraps/System Reset – Newport McCanns 


  1. Denim & Leather: The Rise and Fall of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal – Michael Hann
  2. Stunt Rocker: The Many Faces of Andy Ellison – Andy Ellison
  3. The Road Bends – Sami Yaffa


Continental Lovers

Best Reissues of 2022

  1. Demolition 23 – ‘Demolition 23’
  2. Silver Sun – ‘Silver Sun’ & ‘Neo Wave’
  3. Diamond Head – ‘Lightning To The Nations’ 

Best Box Sets of 2022

KISS – ‘Creatures Of The Night (40th Anniversary – Super Deluxe Box Set)’

David Bowie – ‘Divine Symmetry’


The world of rock seemingly forgetting Phil Anselmo’s love of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc from just a few years ago. The Lickerish Quartet calling it a day and ‘Under The Midnight Sun’ by The Cult…I simply expect more from that band.

CONTRIBUTION to MUSIC – Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe, who turned 60 earlier this year and assembled one of the best gig line ups anywhere on the planet in 2022 to help celebrate the special occasion. He also features in my albums and reissues of year lists and having been a part of my life for about 40 years now I take my hat off to the man who (thankfully) lives to fast to die young.

Dominic Daley

The Best Reissues

Demolition 23 – ‘Demolition 23’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Gunfire Dance – ‘Witness To the Crime’ (Easy Action Records)

Manic Street Preachers – ‘Know Your Enemy’

The Joneses – Discography 1

A Bombs – ‘And Constantly Rotating’ (Beluga Records)

Silversun – neo wave & self title

The Boys – ‘To Hell With The Boys’

Black Sabbath – ‘Mob Rules’ & ‘Heaven and Hell’

Best Box Set

The Libertines – ‘Up The Bracket’

Joe Strummer – ‘002’

Celtic Frost – ‘Dance Macabre’

Best Books –

Sami Yaffa – ‘The Road Bends’

Michael Hann – ‘Denim And Leather’

Peter Doherty – ‘The Likely Lad’

Best Live

The Damned – Hammersmith Odeon

The Libertines / Trampolene / Dead Freight – Cardiff University

Midnight – Bristol Exchange

Rebellion & R Fest – Gary Numan

Jesse Malin – Newport Le Pub

Supersuckers, Hip Priests, Deathtraps – Le Pub

The Mission – Cardiff Tramshed

The Wonderstuff – Cardiff Tramshed

The Interrupters, Bar Stool Preachers – Bristol Marble factory

Soul Asylum , – Bristol Fleece

Contribution to music –

Michael Monroe – turning 60 and like John said Monroe also reissued Demolition 23, reissued Hanoi Rocks ‘Oriental Beat’ (Early 2023) He also played what would have been the show of the year and is still going super stong with tours already booked for 2023 there is no slowing down and the quality never dips.

Biggest Disappointment – pressing plants taking forever delaying releases whilst repressing a bazzillion adele and Fleetwood Mac albums that sit in warehouses. The Tories for brexshit and the escalation in mail prices for imports and causing the world and his wife to have to go on strike to fight for a decent standard of living.

Venues charging bands for merch.

Martin Chamarette

Gig of the year

The Damned Hammersmith Odeon

Dan Kasm

Best Live

Ash – Free All Angels anniversary tour, Manchester Ritz

Psychedelic Furs – Made Of Rain tour, 

Liverpool Academy

Salt The Snail – Snailmania,

Birkenhead Future Yard

Pavement – Reunion cash in jaunt, 

Roundhouse Camden

Bambara – Love On My Mind tour, 

Birkenhead Future Yard 

Best Books

Corporate Rock Sucks – Jim Rutland “I’m always a little bit out of step being a paperback fan but I’m afraid I could not wait to imbibe in the killer content of this weighty tome.

Best New act

For me the ones to watch out for are Edinburgh’s Swim School. Savage Alt Rock guitar chops mixed up with sublime dreamscapes to get lost in. 

Biggest disappointment – 

It’s been a year for splits, fractures and generally making fans pick sides through the power of social media and not letting sleeping dogs lie. Hoping for 2023 that the room will be read and certain parties will not fan the flames any further and move on. 

Nev Brooks
















So there you have some of the events and music that has been a big part of some of the writers on RPM Online throughout 2022. A big thanks from RPMHQ for all their efforts.

The first solo album by Tyla after the demise of one of the 80’s finest UK bands The Dogs D’Amour. Finally after so many reissues and remakes for vinyl this champion finally gets released on vinyl without any make overs or rerecordings. Now that might just please many Dogs fans who hanker back to a time when the classic Dynamite lineup ruled the airwaves.

You have to hark back to its original release date in ’94, (Remember dial up folks? When there used to be a chat room on a sunday of hardcore Dogs) when it only came out on CD and in the UK. It was right after the split of The Dogs D’Amour.

The album contains tracks featuring The Dogs D’Amour members, as well as a list of Tyla solo acoustic tracks. Well, this one comes pressed on vinyl with a gatefold sleeve and it’s been remastered for vinyl. Spread out over two delicious records it kicks off with the ragged glory of ‘Ballad Of Noone In Particular’ which is a slice of classic Dogs – barely hanging on by a thread its a reminder of how magical these guys were together when they entered a studio or a concert venue. Matched only by some of the best songs they wrote and recorded together since the early day’s songs like ‘All You Had’ are blooming marvelous. The Soulful wheeze of ‘Bloody Mary’ bares the band’s soul for sure with the backing vocals and keys adding touches of gold dust across a record that takes me back in time had the Stones written and recorded this the music press would have been all over it like a rash heralding a return to the glory days.

The guitar lick on the whistful meander through the rainy streets of old London town that signal the intro of ‘Where Were You’ is heartbreaking with Tyla hitting a high in his songwriting and lyrics – simply majestic. The organ wheeze of the Faces like ‘Little Things’ signals a howlingly good melancholic time that the band never quite reached when the band split and solo music appeared. Nobody did the blues quite like the Dogs.

Then ‘The Adultra’ comes in on a lick and a promise as Tylas vocals are full of heartbreak and soul as the acoustic balladmonger takes center stage for what turned out to be his finest collection of material post-original Dogs in my eyes. What follows is a master class in songwriting and solo balladeering no question. ‘Throw It All Away’ would have blown up had it been on the acoustic ‘Graveyard’ EP the band had delivered some years earlier. Truly haunting and epic in every sense the arrangement is immaculate as is the delivery. Simply spine-tingling.

I loved the simplicity and the storytelling of ‘The Town’ Tylas vocals never sounded so good and it has clearly stood the test of time. the piano and harmonica hit every note of your heart as they vibrate through your body. Tyla has had his moments throughout his career but not as consistently as this. this has no low point throughout be it the Dogs song or the piano bombast of ‘Spirit Of The Jag’ or the Blues of ‘The Whisper’ and ending with the spoken words of ‘King Of The Street’ and then silence before a certain duet gives you two black eyes and a broken nose.

As the near-perfect solo album has only been enhanced as it gets immortalised on wax with the artwork getting the sizing it deserves and the expansion of the Dog’s tracks adding that cherry on the icing on the sweetest cake ever.

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

‘Carpenter’s Cult’ is the latest spooktacular album by Lester Greenowski, with 13 songs inspired by 13 titles from the work of American filmmaker John Carpenter.

Its seventies New York punk rock (Ramones, Heartbreakers, Dictators etc.) and hard rock of the same period (AC / DC, Kiss, Cheap Trick etc.), Influences that have always been present in Lester’s work but this time the concept is a tip of the hat to John Carpenter opening with the crash, bang wallop of ‘Halloween’ no messing straight down to business Mr. Myers would undoubtedly applaud this.

With a list of band that suit Carpenters work and also sit nicely in the genre of music that Lester is steeped in the likes of the Misfits, Lords Of The New Church, Fuzztones, The Beat, The Plimsouls, 20/20 etc. all help weave the tapestry that makes Lesters music so identifiable and all fit in nicely to a Carpenter homage fest. Horror punk and psycadelic outsiders all help when thrown into the spooky pot.

Released on Rocketman Records, it features the help of Matteo Bassoli from Me And That Man on bass, guitars and synths; Davide Furlani on drums, SJ Aschieris from The Rocker on guitars and many other guests. Greenowski as well as being the author of music and lyrics is feautured on bass, synths, piano and obviously vocals.

Lester’s love for cinema and punk rock n roll is the perfect marriage for this project. Songs like ‘Prince Of Darkness’ mix well with their power pop roots alongside the darker more punk rockier leanings of ‘Vampires’. ‘Assault On Precinct 13’ is a snotty Ramones thrash through in ninety seconds but next to the new wave of ‘They Live’ works really well.

With every other song being a short sharp blast of punk rock makes the album flow well then throwing hooks left right and center. The keyboard fills on ‘Village Of The Damned’ add texture that helps to break up the record from sounding one-directional and tossing in flavours for every taste, ‘Big Trouble In Little China’ is a chartworthy bop of Punk N Roll. Ending the album with the anthemic ‘The Fog’ ties everything in nicely making sure nothing is mist (See what I did there?) A fantastic concept and tip of the hat to Mr. Carpenter from the very talented Mr. Greenowski. Go check it out kids punks and rockers alike as well as you film fans its a win win!

Buy it Here

Author: Dom Daley

Autogramm, the synth-driven, power-pop trio from Chicago and Vancouver have released a new video for their latest single. ‘Too Loud’ is the seventh official Autogramm music video and the fourth from their sophomore album No Rules. More of a short film than music video, Too Loud was shot, acted, edited, composited, and scored by the band themselves. The song is a tribute to the late-great Chilliwack / Headpins guitarist Brian “Too Loud” McLeod. The video is a loving homage to SCTV, Michael Mcdonald, Lance Mountain (Powell Peralta scene here) and of course Yacht Rock. In the video Sir Richard Branson gives Autogramm one last chance: record a hit single, or get dropped! Branson insists the band be at the studio to record by high-noon. Band member The Silo, on a bender and living on his boat, almost doesn’t make it. CC Voltage and Jiffy Marx, who have their shit together, simply enjoy a summer ride to the studio. Clocking in at eight minutes and fifteen seconds, singer Jiffy Marx says “It’s basically Autogramm’s ‘Thriller’ video.”

Photo Credit: Chuck Schmidt Staub

The video was inspired by an SCTV clip where Michael McDonald (Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers) races through the city to get to a Christopher Cross recording session (see SCTV clip here). Regarding the message behind the lyrics, bassist CC Voltage explains “We had been talking about Canadian classic rock at rehearsal, and the band Chilliwack in particular. I had mentioned the story of their late guitar player Brian McLeod and his boat, The Grand Marnier. We did a little research and realized it had a full recording studio on board and he had an awesome ‘first mate’, a dog named Sailor. Sadly he passed away in 1992, but he left a legacy of amazing classic rock music for Canadians and the world.” While Too Loud pays tribute to McLeod’s harder rock acts, the song itself comes across as more of an ELO style number. With a meandering bass run through the verses and spacious synth and drum parts, Autogramm leaves room for the song to breathe before building to the climax of the song: a vocals-only breakdown with a three part harmony. Autogramm may not receive any cinematic awards for Too Loud, but they certainly deserve an A+ for hilarity and effort. 

Order New Album “No Rules”

Singer Jiffy Marx, bassist CC Voltage, and Chicago-based drummer The Silo, draw on influences from The Cars, The Go Go’s, Gary Numan, 20/20 and Devo. Along with calling Canada, the U.S., UK and Germany home at various points, the band also has a long-standing connection to the art, punk, and skateboarding communities world-wide. Their latest LP No Rules keeps with the band’s tradition of crafting singalong pop-anthems, while adding angular elements that are reminiscent of Ghost in the Machine-era Police. No Rules has made the pages of international press like Under the Radar, Louder Than War and Exclaim! while climbing to #3 on CBC Radio 3, and charting for five months at college radio in both the US and Canada. 









Crack open the cooking Sherry and turn up the stereo The Yobs are here to get your festive season off to a rollicking start (and probable end). Pressed on Snow White vinyl this is the bollocks as they say down the boozer. Like a Blackpool bluey, The Yobs knock out a whopping festive fourteen with classics like ‘Oy Santa’ set to make the mrs blush with the lyrical eloquence of a 70s football terrace but its all set to a top-notch Rock n Roll soundtrack and to be quite frank its any self-respecting party soundtrack – forget your Now that’s what I call music festive album featuring E17 and Wham this is where it’s at.

‘Rub a Dum Dum’ is a twist on a festive season classic Yob style. Even your nan would love this as she sips on the Sherry. With some cool sleeve notes courtesy of Matt Dangerfield. The punky ‘Ballad Of Warrington’ features original Boys drummer Jack Black on vocals doing a sterling job. It’s also nice to hear Duncan Reid crooning away on ‘Silver Bells’ but the gems here are songs like the Stones bastardised ‘Who Had All The Christmas Cake’ before the riff kicks in a Dangerfield tune that was originally written for the original ‘Worst of’ put this on whilst everyone’s waiting for the brandy snaps.

The Boys/Yobs reissues are coming thick and fast and a lot of hard work goes into these reissues with the essays and sleeve notes and bonus material so crack open the kid’s piggy banks and get some top tunes in this Christmas you know it makes sense.

Buy Here /

Author: Dom Daley

When Metal Collides…

Tigertailz welcome phenomenal hard-hitting Power Quest / Dendera front man Ashley Edison as their new vocalist.

It’s said certain metals cannot be mixed, they cause corrosion. Surely this is true when trying to meld together a power metal vocalist and the UK’s most prolific Glam Metal band?

Jay Pepper: ‘Some things should never happen, and yet when Ashley came to the studio and began singing ‘Sick Sex’, the mountains in Wales started to rumble, an earthquake was happening, and his voice was causing it! From that moment I knew people had to hear it. Ashley singing Tigertailz songs is like a jet engine running on Nitroglycerin!’

Ashley Edison: ‘I am SO excited to be joining the legends in Tigertailz! A band that not only inspired so many but still put on a hell of a show! When I was with Jay singing Sick Sex, everything just felt right and fell into place perfectly! The guys have been so incredible to work with and I can’t wait to get going on some exciting future projects together!’

The Sick Sex single is available digitally from all usual outlets.

Click here to listen on Spotify. They also announce our first live show for 2023. The Underworld, Camden, London Saturday June 3rd 2023.

Tickets available here.

Bristol based thrashers Onslaught are unbelievably celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2022. God, I feel old…  To commemorate this important milestone, AFM records have re issued the 2011 album ‘Sounds of Violence’ as well as VI (2013) and Generation Antichrist (2020). The albums are being re issued on lovely 180g red vinyl and this anniversary edition of Sounds of Violence is a 2 CD digipak with plenty of extra tracks to sink your teeth into.

The albums still stands up as a bona fide thrash metal feast. Superb production from Jacob Hansen ensures that your speakers get a good rattling. The songs themselves are brilliantly crafted with blistering performances all round. There’s a nod to Slayer for the whole of the album, the title track in particular. Lots of double bass barrages, crunchy riffs, growling vocals and song titles like Born for War, Rest in Pieces, and Hatebox set the scene perfectly. The twin guitar work from Nige Rockett and Andy Rosser – Davies is exemplary, this is complimented by bass player Jeff Williams (who, by the way is from my neck of the woods), and drummer Steve Grice who plays an absolute blinder!

The album flows well, my only gripe is the pointless cover of Motorhead’s ‘Bomber’. Even with Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell guesting, it sounds weak. The bonus CD boasts live tracks as well as some re-recorded tracks from their debut album ‘Power from Hell’.

A solid package of some great thrash, see you in the pit!!  

Buy Here

Author: Kenny Kendrick

(20th Anniversary expanded edition)
2xLP  |  digital
out 17.02.23
(One Little Independent)
inc. bonus LP of the entire album reimagined and re-recorded

If one video isn’t enough how about ‘Brooklyn’ as well.

“‘Xmas, etc’ is a tale of regret and isolation,” says Malin. “Feeling alone and disconnected while everyone else seems to be loved and having a good time. When you know you messed up and can only hope for a better one next year.”

‘The Fine Art Of Self Destruction’ is out on 17th February 2023 via One Little Independent and includes a re-recorded, reimagined version of the entire album along with the original LP. “It wasn’t named for drug or alcohol abuse,” he explains. “It was more about a personal wreckage when I looked back on my life, from my parents’ divorce to failed relationships, broken up bands, dropping out of school, crashing cars, breaking things. It was more of a spiritual journey in some sense. This record is definitely one of my favourites.”

Re-recorded with Malin’s longtime band, the bonus material was produced by Derek Cruz and engineered by Geoff Sanoff, who also worked on Malin’s more recent ‘Sunset Kids’ and ‘Sad And Beautiful World’ albums.

Following his teenage years in the pioneering hardcore band Heart Attack and his 20s fronting the wild and beloved D Generation, Malin took a cue from his songwriting heroes and was ready for a chance to stand alone. His solo debut was recorded over six days in New York City, live and raw.

“I was still learning how to sing and tell stories. These songs were written in a little apartment downtown, without a record deal, a manager, or any expectation of anything coming of it – just a need to write them.”

Malin arrives in the UK in mid-February to begin a European tour promoting this reissue, before returning to New York to perform at Webster Hall, where his special guests will include Tommy Stinson (who also guests on the European dates), Lucinda Williams, Butch Walker, Cait O’Riordan (The Pogues), Catherine Popper, Adam Weiner (Low Cut Connie), opener Fantastic Cat, plus more surprises to be announced. The European tour dates are listed below

15.02.23  GLASGOW Stereo  tickets
16.02.23  MANCHESTER YES (The Pink Room)  tickets
17.02.23  LONDON The Garage  tickets
18.02.23  PARIS (FR) La Boule Noire  tickets
19.02.23  UTRECHT (NL) dB’s  tickets
23.02.23  BERGAMO (IT) Druso  tickets
24.02.23  RAVENNA (IT) Bronson  tickets
25.02.23  MARENO DI PIAVE, TV (IT) Corner Live  tickets
27.02.23  HAMBURG (DE) Nochtspeicher  tickets
28.02.23  COPENHAGEN (DK) Hotel Cecil  tickets
01.03.23  LUND (SE) Mejeriet  tickets
02.03.23  STOCKHOLM (SE) Bar Brooklyn  tickets
03.03.23  OSLO (NO) John Dee  tickets

JESSE MALIN 2022 photo by Ilaria Conte

Being truthful this isn’t a gig that I expected to be reviewing, but with a poorly Johnny Hayward asking me to step in what could you say? Now that isn’t to say I’m not a fan of the Cure, especially early doors stuff, point of interest is the first CD I ever bought was ‘Japanese Whispers’, so the surprise is that I didn’t actually buy a ticket, probably because of hate (purely personal) for these large venue gigs, sounds always poor and you’re usually watching the band from a distance losing the personality that small gigs and venues generate.

Again, being honest myself and Mrs. H, arrived towards the end of the Twilight Sad’s set catching the last three tracks and you can fully see why they’re one of the headliners for the Tomorrow’s ghosts Festival in Whitby next year. Reading some background after the gig, they’ve released five LP’s, a number of singles and live recordings, described as both post punk and indie I could add Goth into the mix, which came over quite strongly, but again Bauhaus, The Cure and Killing Joke have all been described as Post Punk and all hinted at elements of Goth at some point in their careers, Post Punk is such a huge genre and timeframe, I mean, come on when you look at when punk kicked in its almost 40 years in the past so there’s a huge post-punk timeframe, I wish we could lose the labels and just say The Twilight Sad are a critically acclaimed band, with great musicians who gave everything and their passion in the music showed through.

As with all big venues everything runs like clockwork, but the big surprise for me when The Cure hit the stage was how fantastic the sound was, definitely the best I’ve ever heard in The C.I.A. But when you think about it, this is a small gig for the band, and I get the sneaky feeling that their own sound guys would be in control, if not Kudos to the C.I.A but please can you do the same for every event? Again a huge bonus is having Reeves Gabrels in the band one of my all-time fave guitarists.

Opening with ‘Alone’ a newbie from the soon-to-be-released ‘Songs of a lost World’ LP what strikes you straight away is the Reeves Gabrels influence giving that lift he gave latter-day Bowie recordings before we had my favourite Cure track very early on ‘Pictures of You’ from the superb ‘Disintegration’ LP, I’m not going to go into every track played tonight there were 27 in all with two encores totaling 11 tracks more than some bands main sets alongside a 16 track main set, but time flew by, the visual accompaniment was superb giving a real feeling to each of the songs almost a vignette of a time and place, attaching a memory to each and every song, these representations stood out powerfully, especially within And ‘Nothing is Forever’, ‘The last days of Summer’, ‘a Fragile thing’ and ‘Lullaby’. Even as he stated with a voice that was struggling as Rob said in his own words “Because some bastard sneezed on me” you couldn’t fault the vocal performance, the struggle only really showed towards the end, but what you did get was a subtle change in delivery from the band to allow him space to rest, a sign of great musicianship that you’d barely notice.

When you backtrack through the Cure’s history every LP was represented you had everything you could have wanted, I’d say this set was two tracks from perfection (’17 Seconds’ and ‘Charlotte Sometimes’) but if you think the second encore contained all the biggies starting with ‘Lullaby’, through ‘The Walk’, into ‘Friday I’m in Love’, drifting through ‘Close to me’, ‘In Between days’ and ‘Just like Heaven’ before finishing up with ‘Boys don’t cry’  that’s a very personal thought. One thing though after listening to the new tracks, I wish I didn’t have to wait for the release of the new LP, and when we get a final release date, early next year I can guarantee it’s going to sit on any number of LP of the year lists it’s going to be a bit special.


Author: Nev Brooks