Carol Hodge is a seven-fingered, piano-pounding, Yorkshire-dwelling Singer-Songwriter. Think Regina Spektor meets Billy Bragg, but with fewer digits and a continuous existential crisis. Crass’ Steve Ignorant just about summed up this Northern Lass quite well.

This is her fourth album it’s a dreamy lovingly cool album. Whilst she might have her roots and ethics and moral fibre bourne out of underground punk rock it doesn’t sound much like ‘Feeding OF The Five Thousand’ to be fair. What it is is wholesome piano driven pop (generally) with earthy lyrics that sit comfortably on the sincere and the tongue in cheek. It opens with something of a My Chemical Romance big ballad in its melody with a relaxed vocal that builds for the chorus and a sparce construction as the lyrics unfold.

It’s not a style I generally tend to listen to but it’s not hard to appreciate how well these songs are constructed and how passionately they are delivered. I saw Carol support Ginger sometime last year and her passion and craft shon through as did her wonderfully possitive disposition. It was refreshing and different. Funnily enough her song ‘The Price’ features Ginger and is a really good pop song. At times Carol Hodge reminds me of Eddi Reader and songs like ‘Grayson’ are attention grabbing in its simplicity and delivery. The vocals and piano are intertwined and the lush strings are sufficiently low in the mix to let the story breath.

‘Never Run Out Of Things To Worry About’ has a bit of Depeche Mode meets New Order about its pulsing synths. Clean the Slate’ also features fellow Yorkshire dweller Chris Catalyst as the song “Whigs out” to it’s conclusion. This album is pretty much as far as you can get from, say Crass but thats cool that as an artist she can turn her hand to very different styles and that versatility is a possitive. She should head out on tour with Marc Almond they both do this Torch song style really well and I find it intriguing and alluring and find myseld focussing on the lyrics and the song rather than the style its delivered in often touching and always delivered with quality.

Take a left turn and let some melancholy into your life and give this seven-fingered, piano-pounding talent a go, you might just discover something you never thought you’d like. Punk as fuck see.

Buy Here

Carol Hodge Shop

Link Tree

Author: Dom Daley

A post punk album for a post pandemic generation – hailing from Cardiff South Wales Can Kicker certainly kick up a fair fuckin’ din. its riotous at times and high tension other times. It’s not for the feint hearted, it’s not polished punk by numbers – it has rough edges and the needle veers into the red at times whilst vocalist Luke Penny has a fine knack of conveying they desperate, fractured nature of hardcore post punk really well. Its attention grabbing and makes you want to concertrate on what hes howling at on the frantic ‘My History Is Not For Me’ whilst the lead guitar scraped out its melody over a rhythm section busting a gut to get to the finish line in one piece.

‘Looking For My Love’ is trying to find its way in the world as it staggers around in your speakers like the Fall on speed. ‘Aimlessly, Continually, Boring’ does exactly what it says on the tin. The vocals sound disinterested not unlike what Lydon has perfected in recent PIL albums. The format is often the same as Can Kicker rage through various stages of post-punk from rapid (‘Sterilised Experience’) to the slower metronome-paced throb of ‘Waking Dream’ again housing Perrys’ drone like vocal. The one thing that stitches the songs of this album together is how fuckin’ loud it all sounds. I imagine (and hope) this was all recorded as loudly as possible. Nowhere better is it exampled that the final offerings of ‘Stupid Game’ part 1 and The final track ‘Stupid Game’ part 2. The first sounds like prime Subhumans whilst part two have acoustic guitars next to a feedback-delayed lead guitar sounding like a post apocalypse soundscape that disappears into a void you daren’t even look into. Noisy as fuck but a whole lot of fun if fun is grey, dark, challenging and loud!

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

It’s loud, rapid, lo-fi punk rock oh and its on Drunken Sailor Records so it must be quality right? Right! Gaffer hail from Perth Australia and play punk rock. Thats it in a nut shell. Its inspired from way back when UK punk 82 hit the streets and bands like Chron Gen, Blitz and Partisans were learning to play punk rock. It’s pretty much twelve songs about life hacked out by a bunch of punks living the dream but with grit and determination and a love for what gets them through and enables them to play and record this. ‘Handcuff’ is punchy, mid tempo pogo pogo punk rock. The lyrics are spat out and the guitars are sharp as they hack and slash through your speakers. Old school from the new school paying respect but doing it their way.

‘Factory’ is slower but no less punchy as they champion Factory life. It is what it is with the one string solo hanging on by a thread its punk rock baby – authentic and enchanting. It draws you in and retains your attention exactly as it should be.

The album lists back and fore from fast punk rock with guts and aggression (‘Wonga’) through the more focussed catchy (‘Hang’) to the swaggering (‘Deadbeat’). You have to love the smash and grab of ‘Generation Gap’ as the cymbals crash and that riff cuts deep. It’s true what they say about the louder you play it the better it sounds. It certainly grabs your attention and whilst its nothing new it is a fresh take on a style long forgotten – whilst many of the originators went forward with a more metallic sound Gaffer stay true to their roots and dish up a fine platter of punk for a new generation. The more you dig into this album the better songs jup out on you from ‘Skin Of Your Teeth’, the excellent ‘Stop’ and the early Buzzcocks of ‘Clean Shirt’ my suggestion is if you’re looking for some fresh blood on an old genre of UK 82 then Gaffer is your one stop shop – Go get some and invite your friends.

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

Back in the mists of time, sometime around 1994, I was gifted a second-hand t shirt (sleeves cut off, obviously). On the front was a cartoon dog and a cat with a baseball bat, in neon pink writing the band logo of some obscure, local glam band who had long since split up. That band were called Sister Morphine and on the back of that very same t shirt was the immortal phrase ‘SUCK MY JUBE!’. To this day I still have no idea what that means, and until recently what Sister Morphine actually sounded like, but I loved that t shirt and wore it to death. Turns out the singer of that very same band would be my boss/editor/sender of cool music during my time as a reviewer for the legendary Uber Rock website.

South Wales based Sister Morphine were regulars on the club circuit back in the late 80’s/early 90’s, supporting the likes of Last Of The Teenage Idols and Gunfire Dance. But sadly, the stars didn’t align and the band went their separate ways. Who would’ve guessed that Gaz Tidey, guitarists Jamesy & Jonesy, bassist Mike DeSouza and drummer Denley Slade would get the band back together during lockdown and record the debut album that they threatened to make back in those halcyon days of hairspray, fags and thunderbird wine.

So, while you and I were baking banana bread, drinking beer at 10am and watching Tiger King on Netflix, Sister Morphine were scouring their lofts for lost rehearsal tapes, to find the best versions of their beloved songs from a lifetime ago, to see if they really could resurrect Sister Morphine from the graveyard of empty bottles and claim their rightful place as the kings of Glunk Rock 2023!

But why should you care about lost songs recorded by a bunch of 50-somethings, written a lifetime ago? Well, it turns out Sister Morphine can knock out a few tunes, and bloody good ones at that! I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the first single and title track ‘Ghosts Of Heartbreak City’. Who knew Mr. Tidey had such a sleazy vocal delivery that would stand up after all these years. With a voice that sits somewhere between Ricky Warwick and Zodiac Mindwarp, he takes the catchy melody by the scruff of the neck, over a tune that could be an AI generated mash up of The Dogs D’amour and The Quireboys. It’s a 70’s glam rock boogie of a tune and the perfect introduction to the party going on down at Heartbreak City!

Recorded at RedRock studios in Blackwood and produced by Lyndon Price of Welsh metal legends Wild Pussy, ‘Ghosts Of Heartbreak City’ is a 15-song blast of high-octane rock n’ roll that features regulars from their live sets, lost tracks from the archives and four brand new songs for you to devour.

Opener ‘Holy City Zoo’ has already been likened to Motorhead by those in the know, and references Bowie, Duran and Roxy Music. It’s a 2 minute & 22 second statement of intent, job done.

You want punky, low slung rock n’ roll with more attitude than Rocky on steroids? Then look no further than second track ‘Do You Wanna Get Wasted?’. Now that’s a song title any angst-filled youth of today can get on board with, right?  Good job it sounds like Zodiac Mindwarp jamming with Backyard Babies and Johnny Thunders then, innit!

The Scandinavian punk rock vibes continue on the likes of second single ‘Nothing Dirty In The Truth’ where the rousing verses and killer chorus showcase a band who really mean it. Elsewhere, ‘Black Hearts & Bruised Egos’ channels Circus Of Power and early Alice Cooper garage rock vibes to great effect.

What’s not to like here? I’m loving this album. Maybe it’s the nostalgia, or maybe I’m biased, but I’ll tell you one thing for certain, Sister Morphine have some killer tunes going on.

Lifting a page out of Tyla’s songbook, ‘Cry The Rain’ is a big tune about love gone bad, set to a Faces-lite rock n’ roll boogie, with some rousing backing vocals. Sava a place in your heart for this one. The hook-laden ‘8 Tracks & Zodiacs’ is another of the new songs, and a potential single for sure. A song about a girl, it has catchy 90’s brit rock vibes that sit well and is a serious earworm.

The strengths of this album lie in the songwriting, the diversity and the production. It’s all pretty high-octane stuff, but they do throw in a curve ball towards the end with the countrified blues of ‘Living With Snakes’. Acoustics, slide guitar and harmonica go a long way to show Sister Morphine ain’t one trick ponies. 

While ‘Ghosts Of Heartbreak City’ has one foot planted firmly in the past, it brings a classic sound smack up to date for 2023 with a great production. Full of rock n’ roll nostalgia and clever tongue-in-cheek lyricism, we get sleazy punk rock, 70’s boogie rock and countrified goodness all wrapped up in one cool little package.

If Sister Morphine’s only ambition was to realize their dream of releasing a debut album that could stand tall with the artists of their era, then they have easily succeeded. But I feel they have surpassed those ambitions by taking the music to places their teenage selves could never imagine. ‘Ghosts Of Heartbreak City’ is a pretty unique album, in that it has been recorded by a bunch of 50 somethings, yet it has the energy and sonics of a band half their age. And you know what? I’ll be happy to file that shiny new CD in the rack, somewhere between Shotgun Messiah and Skid Row, where it should have sat for the last 30 years.

Buy Here


Author: Ben Hughes

After releasing two albums in two years, 2023 promises to be another busy year for David Ryder Prangley. “The man who put the glam in Mid-Glamorgan” (as said Simon Price) will be releasing his third solo album this spring, alongside a reissue of Rachel Stamp’s debut ‘Hymns For Strange Children’. Just after this interview took place, Rachel Stamp announced a date to coincide with the album release on 14th April at Islington Academy. For all the details and more, read on…

‘Vampire Deluxe’ was my favourite album of 2021. There seems to be a strong lyrical link between it and ‘Black Magic And True Love’; were they written at the same time, or did you already have the idea to release two albums in quick succession?

Thank you Martin! I had most of the songs written for both albums before I recorded ‘Black Magic &
True Love’ and I always had in my mind to release two albums in very quick succession, that sounded
like companion albums. Kind of like The Police’s first two LPs where they sound the same and have a
running lyrical theme. It was just a case of picking which songs went together and making two albums out of that. I did write ‘Sweet Heartbreaker’ and ‘Hey Stargazer’ after the first album was recorded. I actually had the guitar riff to ‘Sweet Heartbreaker’ kicking around for a few years and finally put lyrics to it. In general, over the two albums, and in fact on my next album too, I wanted the lyrics to all have a similar stylistic tone and I was conscious to not veer too far from the central themes of magic and space and other stuff that I’m too polite to talk about, but if you’ve heard the albums then you’ll know what I’m saying… The songs can be interpreted differently by different people and I did that on purpose. There’s no one meaning behind any of the songs and that’s why I didn’t print the lyrics on the albums. I want people to hear whatever they hear, even if it’s not what I actually sang.

pic by Rowan Spray

Tell us about your songwriting process. Do you demo songs at home once you have a solid idea, in
order to choose which ones to put on an album? Does the finished song differ much from the
demo? I noticed that old Ants demos were practically identical to the finished song, which I
thought showed how strong Adam’s vision was for his songs. You seem to be similar, in having an
image that is as important as the music.

I don’t have one process for writing, though I often make the songs up in my head and then have to
work them out on guitar or piano. The songs on ‘Black Magic & True Love’ and ‘Vampire Deluxe’ are
very simple in terms of structure, and I arrange all the basic parts for the different instruments but
leave room for the players to bring their own personalities to the songs. The solos are left up to
whoever plays them. It’s really important for me to work with people whose playing I like and it’s
important that the band have a connection to the music. I’ve been really lucky to have great musicians with me on these albums – Rob Emms and Belle Star on drums, Laurie Black and Grog Lisee on piano, Anna-Christina on bass guitar, Liza Bec on recorder and saxophone and Drew Richards on guitar, who also co-produced ‘Vampire Deluxe’ with me. Adie Hardy co-produced ‘Black Magic & True Love’ with Marc Olivier co-producing the song ‘They Came From The Stars To Capture Our Hearts’. I started producing other bands whilst I was still in my band Rachel Stamp and I really enjoy it. A lot of what makes a good producer is being organised – which sounds a bit dull, but it’s vital to have a plan and rehearse stuff before you get to the studio so you know what you’re doing when you get there and don’t get freaked out when the red light turns on!

In terms of the connection between the image and the music – that’s vital for me. I want people to
look at the cover of the record and when they play it, the songs fit perfectly with the cover image.
It’s funny that you mention Adam Ant because I played bass with him for a short while. He’s a
brilliant musician and a great arranger, especially with vocals. He’s certainly a musical and visual
inspiration for me.

Pic by Ben Ga

What can you tell us about your upcoming solo album and the Rachel Stamp reissue? Any gigs
lined up?

My next album is on the way! I have the title and cover image already and I’ve demo’d three songs and have about four more written and I have some songs leftover from the first two albums. This album will continue the themes of the first two but have a few twists. I’ve been singing in a lower register lately so I’m going to explore that side of my voice as well as what people know me for already. I’m hoping to release the first track from the next album in April, around the time of the Rachel Stamp re-issue. That came about when we were approached by the label Easy Action to contribute the Rachel Stamp cover of T Rex’s ‘Calling All Destroyers’ to a compilation LP they’re putting out. We got on well with the label and they suggested re-issuing ‘Hymns For Strange Children’ so here we are, and the release is set for Friday 14th April and we’re playing a show at the O2 Academy Islington in London to celebrate the release on the same day.

To be honest, it was quite odd going back and working on ‘Hymns For Strange Children’ again. I never
listen to that album, but it was a surprisingly enjoyable experience. I had to go back and tweak some
of the songs for the vinyl version so ended up spending several hours with headphones on immersed
in Stampworld! I think when we originally made that album I wasn’t thrilled with the sonics but in retrospect I love it. It’s a really unusual album that doesn’t sound at all dated and doesn’t sound like
anything else. I always described Rachel Stamp as ‘Prince meets Black Sabbath’ with the heavy riffs,
tri-tones and then the synths on top of it all. We never used programming or sequencers – it was all
played live and has a very different feel to, say, the industrial bands or indie guitar bands of the time.
Everyone in Rachel Stamp has very eclectic tastes and generally were into more off the wall bands
like Devo, The Nymphs, Big Star, Parliament, Sabbath, Bodycount… bands that were doing their own
thing. It was important for us to do our own thing too and people had a weird reaction to us because
they couldn’t easily catagorise us. The press tried to dismiss us some kind of glam revival which we
never were. I mean, we loved Marc Bolan and David Bowie and Sweet, and me and Robin were certainly into some of the 80s LA glam metal bands like Ratt and Poison but we weren’t trying to revive anything, we were all about the moment. I would say that visually we were more influenced by English punk and by bands like We’ve Got A Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It and Prince and by movies like Blade Runner, Near Dark and The Abominable Dr Phibes.

The fans totally got it, but other bands were kind of scared of us. They couldn’t understand how we
could walk around the streets looking like we did and then get on stage and play super loud high
energy heavy music. So many musicians jump on trends and it blows their minds to see someone
just using their imagination. It’s actually not that hard.

Are there any more plans for Sister Witch? I was so pleased to see them play once!
I love the Sister Witch album and I love writing and working with Lux Lyall. We still write together
and we co-wrote a lot of her first solo album and I played guitar on it too. In fact, we just wrote a
song for my next album called ‘Let’s Fall Apart Together Tonight’.

I don’t think there will be another Sister Witch album as such but there will definitely be more
DRP/Lux Lyall music out there.

As an amateur musician, currently swapping between guitar and bass, I’ve been learning a lot of
your bass lines. Nerdy question; what’s your favourite guitar and bass, live and in the studio?

My favourite bass guitar is my BC Rich Eagle and Anna-Christina actually played that bass on the
‘Black Magic & True Love’ and ‘Vampire Deluxe’ albums and at my live shows. It has a really great
mid-range and doesn’t just take over the low frequencies like a Fender Precision might do. I bought
that guitar way back when Rachel Stamp got signed to WEA and I used it on the ‘Bring Me The Head
Of Rachel Stamp’ EP but it got stolen a couple of years later. Fast forward about 17 years and I was
looking on ebay and someone had it for sale! I recognised it because there was big chunk out of the
headstock where I’d thrown it across the stage at a gig, so I knew it was mine. The seller was a young
guitar dealer in Bristol who had no idea of its history – he’d just innocently bought it from a company
that had found it in a skip! I told him the story and sent him some photos of me playing it and I
luckily still had a copy of the police report from when it was originally stolen, and he was really cool
about it all and we made an arrangement for me to get it back. I was so grateful. Since then, I’ve had
the headstock repaired and I wrote ‘Suzi Q’ on the back in gold in tribute to Suzi Quatro who was the
first musician I ever wanted to be when I was a kid. She played BC Rich basses in the late 70s.

pic by Rowan Spray

As far as six string guitar goes, my favourite for recording is my old 1972 Gibson SG Special with mini
humbuckers that I bought about ten years ago. It has a very unique sound, kind of halfway between
a Gibson and a Fender tone. The previous owner had refinished it in Cardinal Red, a non-regulation
colour for that guitar so I got it for not much money at all because it wasn’t ‘vintage correct’. I don’t
really care about ‘vintage’ or ‘all-original’, I just play something and if I like how it sounds and feels
then I’m happy to use it. That guitar was all I used on ‘Black Magic & True Love’, plugged into a
Marshall JCM 900 through a 4×12 speaker cabinet. I had the amp quite overdriven and I’d turn the
volume knob of the guitar up or down depending on how much overdrive I wanted. On ‘Forever In
Starlight’ I might have plugged it into a Roland Jazz Chorus or a Fender combo, I can’t remember
exactly, but something with a cleaner sound than the Marshall. I did the solo on that song through a
Mesa Boogie Mark 3 to get a kind of Santana sound. If you listen to that album my guitar is panned
to the left and the guitar panned to the right is Drew Richards playing a Washburn Idol Goldtop. We
did the same for 95% of ‘Vampire Deluxe’, except I also used a couple of different guitars to overdub
some solos on that album, and there’s the acoustic guitars too which were my old Encore plastic
back Ovation copy and Drew’s Washburn acoustic. Those two albums were, for the most part,
recorded live in the studio with the band playing all at once. We then overdubbed percussion, vocals
and a few solos. It’s a very simple approach but it’s amazing how effective and fast it is. I wish I had
recorded all the Rachel Stamp albums this way. I plan to do the same for my next album.

When I play gigs, I use a different set up which is my Fender Stratocaster through a Marshall combo
and I use a Suhr Riot distortion pedal that I leave on all the time. With that set up I can go from clean
to fully distorted just using the volume control on the Stratocaster. Some people find that an odd set
up but it’s pretty old school actually. It’s kind of how Brian may does it, except he uses a wall of Vox
AC30s all on full volume!

How was it to play again with Adam Ant recently? You and Will obviously played with him some
years ago. I’m guessing you fitted in pretty easily. Was he an influence on Rachel Stamp?

That recent chance to play with Adam again came out of the blue when Joe Holweger, Adam’s bass
player, got covid and Adam was due to headline a big festival. I got a call from Will asking if I could
step in and I was more than happy to. I knew most of the songs to play because, as you mention, I
had played with him previously. I had to learn a few more songs and we did one rehearsal and then
it was the gig in front of 10,000 people so no pressure, right?! A funny thing happened at that show
– people probably don’t realise but when bands do those festival shows with so many other bands
on the bill, you don’t get a soundcheck, you just go on and during the first song the band is usually
frantically signalling the monitor engineer to turn things up or down so they can get their sound
balance on the stage. The audience is hearing something else entirely that’s mixed by another
engineer who is in the sound booth in the middle of the field. Well, at that show we walked on and
kicked into ‘Dog Eat Dog’ which has a very prominent bass line and I just couldn’t hear my bass at all.
I turned around and went to the bass amp and turned it up and still couldn’t hear it and then
realised the amp wasn’t working! Luckily the bass guitar is fed directly to the front of house PA
system as well as the amp so the audience could hear my bass fine, but I couldn’t hear it on stage. I
had to rely on just knowing I was putting my fingers in the right place, but it was pretty nerve
wracking. We got it all fixed after that though… Then during ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ the entire
stage power cut out and all the amps and guitars and everything just went silent! The audience
started singing the song and it became this quite magical moment of us standing on the stage
waiting for the power to come back on whilst the crowd serenaded us.

Adam was definitely a huge influence on Rachel Stamp. I even stole some of the lyrics from ‘Vive le
Rock’ in our song ‘Ladies & Gents’ and we named a song ‘Pink Skab’ because when Will came up with
that riff I thought he was playing an Ants b-side! We used to cover ‘It Doesn’t Matter’ and ‘Fall In’
too. Will had been a huge fan as a kid but I got into Adam a bit later, when a friend at school played
me the b-sides to the singles. That’s what really got me, songs like ‘Christian Dior’ and ‘Physical’.
When we first played with Adam, I think he was impressed that we knew all the ‘obscure’ songs and
we could play most of them already. There’s a great video of us playing at the Scala and we open
with ‘Plastic Surgery’ and go straight into ‘Lady’ and then segue into ‘The Day I Met God’ and the
audience goes fucking nuts. They never expected in a million years to hear those songs and all that
was basically Will’s idea. Adam would just say ‘what do you want to play?’ and we would play it and
he would sing it. It was a pretty incredible thing to be a part of.

Would you consider playing in Europe, or post-B****t is it just too complicated/ expensive? It’s a
selfish question, as I’m based in France now.

I would love to play in Europe! I’m doing more shows now with just an acoustic guitar and I really
enjoy playing that way. My solo music lends itself to being performed in a stripped-down way. I’m
not sure if that answers your question? I guess what I’m saying is that I’m very open to offers if
someone wants to book me!

Interviewer: Martin Chamarette


Buy DRP Here

Easy Action Records Here

CC Voltage – ‘Berliner Pilsner’ (Snap Records) Vancouver-based songwriter C.C. Voltage has just released his newest single ‘Berliner Pilsner’ b/w ‘Bummer Party’ on Ausländer Music and on 7-inch vinyl via Spain’s Snap Records. Voltage has a penchant for power pop. The song comes from when Voltage lived in Berlin and his favourite Beer company had a contest to write a theme song. Whats not to like I ask you? Beer and Rock n Roll its timeless and classic. Its Berliner Pilsners loss they never picked this one. It sounds like its been poured outta a can of cold 7.5 and you get carried away on the fizz and froth as it spits out of the can. A good time in a beer can what could possibly go wrong? Hang on a minute because the flip side is a slab of street fighting power pop with added 70s Lizzy happening for good measure. Go check it out and get involved CC knows how to pen a banging tune.

The Dahmers – ‘Ghouls In The Garage’ (Ghost Highway Records / Spaghetty Town Records) Gotta love some Horror Rock n Roll and nobody does it better then The Dahmers. Its a limited run so don’t muck about or you’ll miss out. Its sharp – to the point and packs a punch. I love ‘Bats Need Friends’ its a banger but thats not to say the others aren’t because they’re not.

With their back catalogue getting a reissue on various coloured vinyl this is a good time to get into The Dahmers. As for this EP its four tracks of glittery goth power pop and these tunes are excellent as an introduction to the band. Get on it kids you won’t regret it.

Civic – ‘End Of The Line’ (ATO Records) One of the most hotly anticipated albums of 2023 is ‘Taken By Force’ and if you’ve been paying any attention over the last few years they’ve been top of the pile outta Australia along with Stiff Richards, this is a slow burner that will wet your apetite for the album thats just been released. Hopefully this album will set the band on fire far and wide and everyone will sit up and pay attention. This and ‘Blood Rushes’ are smouldering classics. Get on with it and pre order, Civic are coming you wont be able to ignore them.

Civil Rats – ‘Your Dummest Friends’ (Bandcamp) Straight outta Philly this three piece of nerdowellers rock up with their EP of Ramones inspired Punk Rock. Its rough as a badgers arse but its a lotta fun as most of this kind of punk rock can be. They’ve grown up on Ramones melodies and Dee Dees style of playing. They’re aren’t going to change the world but they’re gonna have a good time as much as is humanly possible and thats always cool with us at RPM HQ.

‘Don’t Know Your Name’ is from the Undertones playbook who were all worshipers at the altar of da Brudders so you know the drill. ‘Party Mood’ if I was lazy (which I am) is in the ball park of Joan Jett and again thats always cool. There are an endless supply of riffs to write songs in this vein and bands like Civil Rats can geep mining those riff forever, so keep being you and keep going. 1-2-3-4 Go!

RILEY’S L.A. GUNS – ‘Rewind’ (Golden Robot Records) The other La Guns have also been in the studio it seems and kicking up a shit storm of hard rock n sleazy roll. Rileys version features Steve Riley, Kelly Nickels, Scott Griffin and Kurt Frohlich. Lifted from the forthcoming album ‘The Dark Horse’. You know the drill by now they play sleazy hard rock and to be fair they do it really well and the last album was impressive, not that we should be suprised. A tale as old as time ‘Rewind’ is about somethign so sweet turning sour according to Riley. Click the title to pre save on a streaming platform of your choice.

The Damned – ‘Invisible Man’ (Ear Music) The Damned releases the first single from their forthcoming album ‘Darkadelic’ and another reinvention of the finest band shit island has produced with Vanian in fine voice and Sensible knocking out his psycadelic Riff-a-rama throughout, it’s a bit of a grower and not a shower maybe if the Doors were from Sarf of the river and not San Fran and grew up in 70 England they’d sound a little like this. Hopefully the album will deliver yet more delights from the Damned.

Brock Pytel – ‘Anemic Heart’ (Scamindy Records) Sounding not a million miles from former Husker Du frontman Bob Mould on this dreamy slice of alt rock for ex Doughboys drummer Brock Pytel. Hit up this single and his previous release on Bandcamp hopefully, an album is somewhere down the tracks because this is a fine slice of music that gets better on each play. Its a real ear worm burrowing into your brain building as it meanders out of the speakers.

Automatics – ‘I Swear’ (Self Release) A dreamy ballad from punk survivor Dave Philip who has kept the Automatics band name alive and kicking over the last few years with a string of releases. Dave has covered the spectrum of rock n roll and this more gentle and dreamy number will resonate with a lot of power pop fans far and wide. Hit em up at the link.

Les Lullies – ‘ Dernier Soir’ (Belugar Records) Belugar don’t release bad records (look at their roster) this slice of European power pop is a wonderful terrace chanting slice of bop – n – power pop. I haven’t a clue what their singing about but it doesn’t matter because it makes me happy to hear an uptempo bit of loud pop with fist pumping chorus sing a longs. Les Lullies, hail from Montpellier France, they play with passion and style and make great tour partners with th elikes of the Speedways from the UK or Guida from Italy. They have the chops alright – get on it and turn the collar up on your jacket and suck on your lucky strike Les Lullies are coming and a full album will be here springtime on the wonderful Slovenly Records.

Catholic Guilt – ‘Live For The Rush’ (Wiretap Records) Melbourne alt-rockers Catholic Guilt mark their return with the new banger “Live For The Rush,” off their upcoming sophomore LP due out later this year on Wiretap Records.

Playing downstairs in the oddly shaped room of Clwb Ifor Bach to a sold out audience is a tasty proposition. They’ve played to a sold out audience upstairs last time I saw them here which was several years ago now and that was messy I’m sure if memory serves me well downstairs was carnage last time so a lot to live up to.

I was thinking when it came to writing this that I’ve seen them in the Globe, Uni, Arena and Clwb Ifor Several times in this fair city and they’ve all bee exceptional for one reason or another be it the first post covid comeback to supporting the mighty Libertines but Clwb can be a bit special.

Trampolene come from Wales bestust city and for one reason or another there is a rivalry and people of the capital lovingly refer to the good people of Swansea as “Jack Bastards” however the insult was quickly embraced by the people out west and chanted at football matches as a bage of honour and being a greeting between fellow “Jacks”. I digress, back to the sweaty pit that is Clwb downstairs. As the strains of the national anthem belt out of the PA the trio of invaiders stride onto the compact stage like marauding panto villians before launching into ‘Gotta Do More’ as a beaming Jones struts back and forth like a peacock absorbing the chants of “you jack Bastard” like some superhero using it to energise his performance because for the next hour he’s going to need it. Let the carnage begin!

‘Sort Me Out’ from the new forthcoming album and ‘Shoot The Light’ pepper the beer and bodies that are thrown around in the lively pit that is bouncing along. It’s like the worst stag do has gate crashed a party and the two quickly realise that they are a marrage made in heaven and need to make the night last forever because its not going to get any better than the here and now. The band are on a tight timeline and have a new album to promote which they throw in some of the new songs into tonight tight and focussed set. I love the debut album and the stand out songs which are getting thinner as they release more albums and there is only time to play a verse of ‘Beautiful Pain’ as well as the compilation of ‘pick a pocket’ with the highlight from the album tonight being ‘My Bourgeoisie Girl’. ‘Ketamine’ and ‘Poundland’ are raced through like terrace anthems as Jones surrenders himself to the pit. It was a pleasant suprise to see and hear the band rip through the classic that is ‘Yma O Hyd’ before having to call time on the evenings madness.

Before it go too messy ‘Uncle Brian’s Abattoire’ was an unlikely singalong but boy was it delivered.

The new songs sounded like a band on the up as much as I love the releases the new tunes that are going to be on ‘Love And War’ like ‘Money’ sound next level. There is so much happening so quickly its like trying to ride a wild horse. the trick is to live in the moment and whatever happens happens. Theres no grief, no agro just a room full of smiling happy people loving life and its current soundtrack which just happens to be getting better. ‘No Love No Kisses’, ‘Together’ both add to the soundtrack surely now is this the time for Trampolene to kick on? I certainly hope so. They deserve it, they love it and they are delivering Rock and Roll by the bucket load. With a cheeky smile and a tune or two Trampolene have the X Factor – so now its over to the new album coming out and the band being elevated to the premier league where they belong. Now dry off soak up the beer and to the next time – catch them in a small venue and embrace the madness and chaos it wont be long before we reminise about the time we saw them in Clwb Ifor and such rooms – Trampolene are coming the beautiful Jack Bastards!

Author: Dom Daley


We’ve been on top of what’s coming out of Australia for a while and along with Stiff Richards we’ve championed Civic from their EP ‘New Vietnam’ (five years ago) to their debut album (Future Forecast) and the much anticipated ‘Taken By Force’.

The cassette ‘live on PBS’ was in on heavy rotation at HQ hipster mobile tape deck for ages until the tape snapped. Thankfully, Civic have their act together and their albums are now readily available on this side of the spinning rock which is marvellous. No more crazy import prices for our rock n roll imports all of that and a short UK tour this summer.

‘Taken By Force’ is eleven songs including the opener/intro with its siren and military snare march entitled ‘Dawn’ before the “rough as” punk rock snarl of ‘End Of The Line’ kicks in. It’s got an air of confidence about it – they know they’re onto something with songs that kick ass and rock and roll with the attitude of their forefathers the likes of The Saints, Radio Birdman and MC5 all obvious influences, Civic have most certainly got the chops and the tunes to back it up and go toe to toe with anyone. These guys walk the walk and talk the talk.

The title track has a rasping acoustic guitar lying underneath the electric guitar as the gang vocals spit out the verses toward the chorus before heading back to the start. It’s not rocket science its just the beauty of writing resonating Rock n Roll garage style and doing it oh so well. I love the guitar solo thats like tryign to ride a wild horse without any saddle and that beast is pissed but you do it anyway and do it with style.

The songs generally weigh in at the sub three minutes which is short enough for anyone to deal with especially when its got the tempo of a runaway train like ‘Fly Song’. Trick of The Light’ is the exception to the rule clocking in over five minutes long. Sounding like a masterclass in The Hangmen style as its brooding tempo and swagger its a real banger as it grows like a shadow engulfing a wall.

Hang onto your strides because ‘Born In The Heat’ comes in like a rampant jaguar galloping with menace. I’ve only had it to play for a few days and I feel like I’ve been playing it for months the ebb and flow are excellent and the songs change as to what’s better the slower numbers or the out-and-out rockers. ‘Neighbor Sadist’ slashes from slower menace to out and out swinger with Lou Reid New York era poking me but with a bit more venom in the delivery.

‘Time Girl’ is just wham bang thank you man as it races to a conclusion. ‘Blood Rushes’ has grown and grown on me with its measured tempo and melody before the record signs off with the lapping of the waves of ‘Dusk’ signs off quite left of centre but it does help sooth the savage beast after quite a workout leaping around to ‘Taken By Force’. If you’re not already on board then do yourself a favour and get on it – you wont regret it at all. Civic gotta love em the abslutely rock!

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

‘Madman in the Rain’, the new album from Washington DC-based Dot Dash is out now on The Beautiful Music.  Recorded at New York City’s Renegade Studios and produced by Grammy-winning Geoff Sanoff, ‘Madman in the Rain’ features 12 new Dot Dash songs.  

It’s a strange thing fate but what initially grabbed me was the Dylan Thomas reference in the opening track ‘Forever Far Out’ withits mid 80s feel and strong melody I’m thinking sunshine The Cure and a general production that has them right in the eye of the 80s storm. Theres a change of pace on ‘Space Junk, Satellites’ with a strong melody and doubled up vocals. The organ and shuffle backbeat works well. Hold on because ‘Tense & Nervous’ is a more uptempo slice of There are moments that remind me of listening to Julian Cope and his Teardrop Explodes and then the next song its the same era of inspiration but a real shift in style. ‘Madman in the Rain’ is a building journey that has elements of The Smiths in it and a california slice of sunshine in the melody that works against the title and the idea of Madmen and rain. I think I read somewhere when looking into the band that described them somewhere between REM and The JAm and I can definately hear some of that on songs like ‘Airwaves’ and their is The Byrds in the melodies but I do find my spirits raised when playing records like Dot Dash loudly, there’s just something about the songwriting and production that makes me feel like everythings gonna be ok.

Dot Dash has managed to play shows with some of the finest there has ever been from The Psychedelic Furs, to Ash, Hugh Cornwell (ex-Stranglers), Stiff Little Fingers, The Vibrators, The Fleshtones, Glen Matlock (ex-Sex Pistols), Urge Overkill, and Ian Hunter (ex-Mott The Hoople), to name a few there are many more on their resume and if they have been paying attention then the next one will be an even better record with an even wider influence that they’ve managed to absorb into their DNA. Until then this will do nicely. It’s pop in a lot of places but old school alternative pop played with guitars, bass, drums, keys and a whole lot of melody.

In the 80s it was hard to move fo rbands like this but it changed maybe Dot Dash will spark a return of bands who pen good guitar pop – their reach should be endless and their inspiration timeless. I’m off to grow out my fringe and swoon to ‘Wokeupdreaming’ like a DC take on what Jesus and Mary Chain used to do if they listened to the Byrds and the beach boys. Dot Dash make it sound effortless. Summer music is here and Dot Dash are on my playlist will they be on yours?

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

Originally released via Zero Records in Japan back in 1995 ‘Walk On Water’ marked the reunification of what many fans refer to as the “classic” UFO line up of singer Phil Mogg, bassist Pete Way, drummer Andy Parker, keyboardist/guitarist Paul Raymond along with the mercurial talents of guitarist Michael Schenker.

Bringing back producer Ron Nevison to the fold (he had worked with the line up on their influential ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Obsession’ albums) to help re-capture the magic of the band is perhaps the secret behind why ‘Walk On Water’ worked so well and the two Mike Varney produced albums that followed it perhaps didn’t. 

There’s a real vibrancy to Schenker’s playing throughout ‘Walk On Water’s’ eight new studio tracks the guitarist dishing out some fine crunchy riffage over which Mogg’s vocals truly soar, especially on songs like ‘Venus’ and ‘Pushed To the Limit’ both of which would figure in the resulting tour in support of the record (sadly though not the splendid Way/Mogg penned rocker ‘Knock Knock’).

A tour which is captured on ‘Werewolves Of London’, a semi-official 2CD set originally released via Zoom Club Records in 2008, and according to the original sleeve notes, sourced via Pete Way, probably for a couple of Special Brews and a curry, knowing the man. Recorded at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on February 10th 1996 (jeez I was 31 the day before) whilst the band at this point had replaced Andy Parker with Simon Wright (as the former found it impossible to tour due to family commitments) they still sound bang on the button across the 15 track set list. A set list that would feature the usual crowd pleasers such as ‘Natural Thing’, ‘Love To Love’, ‘Only You Can Rock Me’ and ‘Rock Bottom’ alongside three ‘Walk On Water’ tunes (‘A Self Made Man’ in addition to the two I’ve already mentioned), whilst for the UFO purists out there there’s a sublime ‘Electric Phase’ along with a stunning ‘One More For The Rodeo’ to really get excited about.

For what is essentially a straight from the mixing desk recording (something Paul Raymond confirmed within the original CD’s sleeve notes) this a fantastic (albeit slightly flawed) live recording, in fact it’s one that I would rank up there alongside ‘Strangers In The Night’ just because it isn’t as perfect as that record. Once again Schenker sounds absolutely spellbinding in his six string delivery with the finely tuned Mogg as always as cryptic/succinct with his between song banter. Then again, we surely wouldn’t want it any other way, would we?

Listening to both releases once again all these years on, and whilst its great to hear the guys back together and writing some cracking new material on ‘Walk On Water’, I can’t help but think there’s a little something missing from the record when compared to those  aforementioned late 70s UFO albums, and the fact the original CD came with two bonus re-recorded versions of ‘Doctor Doctor’ and ‘Lights Out’ (along with a spoken word track ‘Message For Japan’ not included in this reissue), probably spoke volumes for what would happen over the next couple of years as the band once again struggled to function as a working unit. Something you can just sense is already happening within the grooves of ‘Werewolves of London’.

With both title’s having been out of print for some years it’s now Cleopatra’s turn to give both titles an all-new audience both on CD, and now for the first time ever on glorious looking (and eye wateringly expensive) coloured vinyl pressings. ‘Walk On Water’s’ eight track album complemented by the re-recorded bonus tracks as an additional 7” EP, complete with all new cover art, whilst ‘Werewolves Of London’ gets a kind of ‘Strangers In The Night’ cover art makeover and comes complete with a 17″ x 22″ poster of the band!

The flame of the ’Walk On Water’ era of UFO certainly burned brightly, and yeah, oh so briefly it looked like the five guys might finally attain the levels of success they so justly deserved for all their hard work and stellar back catalogue, but UFO being UFO it just wasn’t to be, as once again the band started to slowly unravel, in some cases in truly spectacular fashion. Relive the magic (and not the misadventures) of those years via these quality reissues.

Author: Johnny Werewolf Of Newport’ Hayward