There is nothing I like more in this musical world than stumbling across a band or a record that lights up my day and Rough Kids from outta Texas did just that with their punchy bright new album. From the cool guitar breaks and raw riffs, these guys are knocking it out of the park.

This their third offering is modern sounding garage [punk rock but also they wear their forefathers from the 70s on their sleeves. Twelve tunes in half an hour is about the perfect numbers and begins with ‘Big Fans’ a polished rush of blood with a pumping rhythm stabbing the speakers with sort of double team vocals its got elements of Bad Religion going on but with Rock guitar breaks obviously Husker Du are in there bursting out now and again but the solo takes you somewhere totally different. A really strong opener and one I’m a Big Fan of myself.

The record flows really well from ‘Feels So Real’ with a big sound banging through your speakers its fair to say I’m a fan of that gurgling bass sound they have throughout the record. Its weighty and fills the darker corners of the record with a real punch.

‘Don’t Blow It Away’ is a stabbing riff with a real early 80s feel to the melody almost new wave. ‘Breakdown’ has a rapid early Damned garage vibe going on the way Brian James used to play on Music For Pleasure and I like that a lot. These boys can play and ‘Flesh & Blood’ has a great melody being quite laid back and a real ear worm.

Its thirty minute that flew by and I didn’t feel at any time, the temptation to skip a track which is a good thing right? Right! I particularly liked ‘She’s All Gray’ there’s a sadness in the vocal and it sets the tone for the song against the gang vocals on the chorus, if this came on the radio I’d stop what I was doing and make a note of who it was but the radio doesn’t generally do quality alternative rock n roll does it.

The album keeps itself in check and on the more up-tempo songs like ‘Do The Drug’ it has restraint and never quite lets itself go into a total frenzy and their is enough quality in the playing especially on some of the solos to make you notice the stand out parts. The last third of this record is really impressive ‘Gimme Something’ and the bass thumping ‘I Wanna Be’ are real highlights. Go check it out they’re all over streaming services but pick it up on record you wont regret it. Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

Italian trio rock up on Swedish label peddling dark, cinematic soundscapes with hints of Morricone’s Spaghetti Westerns, Lynch’s atmospheres and Tarantino’s pulp. PostPunk, garage, TexMex, surf, and AltCountry merge and outline the double soul of the band: the cold and industrial Middle-European one, and the burning and desert American one. That’s a mind fuck of an introduction I know but hey, it’s pretty much spot on. Imagine a European Gallon Drunk on a dark journey right through the centre of your soul.

The gentle album opener ‘Night Driving’ is the start of that journey through hushed verses and a raging chorus. With the shimmering guitars of Poison Ivy drenched in reverb and then full on fuzz it’s a great start.

It’s a genre of music I can’t say I dip my toe into often but when I do I’m always really pleased I did and The Three Blind Mice is an addition to the likes of Gallon Drunk with their bleak dark output. Spread out over nine tracks there’s a laid-back jazzy feel to the classic ‘Winter’ as it sambas into view building as the song unfolds before laying right back down in that relaxed dusky vibe. ‘Black Water’ is mirrorball music from the shuffle drum brushes to that classic gentle guitar stabs as you grab your partner and slow waltz around the dance floor old as time but well delivered.

The next few tracks dance a macabre dance that isn’t a million miles from something the Urban Voodoo Machine has done so well. Although saying that I think the only thing ‘Russky Balera’ is missing is some lyrics. We do get back on track with the Western barroom of ‘Day’s Getting Dark’ with its brushed snare and lonesome harmonica.

If you’re looking for some super cool Rock n Roll delivered with style and a tip of the stetson to the 50s and 60s then this record is a real palate cleanser and with its short and sweet nine tracks, it sure does hit the spot.

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Mention the name Levellers to the average joe and they may give you a blank stare, if you’re lucky they may have heard ‘One Way’, but they probably won’t remember that the once favourite band of the traveller community and political activists of the 90’s once headlined the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury to 300,000 people and even performed their hit single ‘Just The One’ on Top Of The Pops in suits.

But there was always more to the anarcho-folk punk collective than dogs on strings, para boots and dreads. Yes, they had a political agenda and bought that to the music world’s attention, in a pre-internet/social media world. But putting that to one side, the Levellers have some killer tunes and have always been a formidable and energetic live band.

Their most recent album ‘Together All The Way’ is a stripped-back, acoustic reimagining of some of their finest moments and a companion to the 2018 release ‘We The Collective’. They are celebrating the release with an 18 date UK tour showcasing these new versions in a stripped back fashion at seated venues across the country.

“Does anyone need a wee yet?” asks Levellers frontman Mark Chadwick from his seat, four songs into the band’s set at the impressive Hull City Hall. The fact that several band members behind him raised their hands shows the Levellers haven’t lost their sense of humour over the years, coupled with the fact that I have seen the Levellers more times sitting down than standing up, surely says something about the way things are going for middle aged music fans and the bands they follow in the 2020’s.

Joking aside, this recent direction for the band works well, both in the studio and in a live setting and shines a new light on some of their finest work. With the band all seated, and the collective extended with a couple of Moulettes on cello and acoustic guitar and percussion, in these grandiose surroundings, it’s a different atmosphere than your average Levellers gig, but it is far from a chilled-out affair.

As the tribal beats and rustic instrumentation of ‘The Game’ reverberates around the hall creating drama, singer Chadwick is animated, gesticulating and pointing as he mouths the words of a song that has been firm live favourite, the message still as stark and moving, if not more so in this vast, cold hall.

What follows is a 90 minute, not so much greatest hits, but more like live favourites show. Breathing new life into old songs that have been stripped to bare bones, the addition of extra strings and percussion helps to create an expansive soundscape. Stripped back to just stabs of cello and Chadwick’s unwavering, emotive vocals, ‘Battle Of The Beanfield’ is a stunning highlight, as powerful as any full band version I have heard. Two new songs were given an airing. ‘Sitting In The Social’ with its tribal beats, gang vocals and socially aware lyrics is one of my favourites from the new album. The introspective ‘Man O War’, written by new guitar player Dan Donnelly, (who has replaced the much-missed Simon Friend) is quite beautiful in stark contrast.

As the set draws to a close, Chadwick assures the crowd it is ok to leave their seats and dance. A few sheepishly take to their feet at the front of the stage during ‘The Road’, and it’s not long before others follow, it then resembles the sort of gig you would expect from the Levellers. 

A 3-song encore sees recent single ‘Down By The River O’ sandwiched between chart bothering 90’s single fodder ‘Hope Street’ and closer ‘Just The One’ finishing off a quite wonderful set.

I know some fans have passed on this tour due to the nature of seated venues, but fair play to the band for moving in a different direction and taking their songs to an alternative plane. From what I gather the shows have been well attended and tonight was packed for sure. There were some notable absences from the set and I think that was a good thing, it kept it fresh and unexpected, and the new songs fit in well with the old favourites.

They may be rowdy festival favourites, but the Levellers can tone it back and get cultural too you know. A great night all round.

Author: Ben Hughes


Courtney Ranshaw, the man behind Black Adidas, is a rocket scientist during the day, and and fronts up a killer punk rock band in his down time. This is his second foray into album territory. Released on punk indie Dirt Cult Records, lying somewhere between Rancid and Social Distortion Black Adidas is steeped in vintage punk rock from as far back as the Clash.

Produced by Dave Newton at Rollercoaster Recording in Ranshaw’s hometown of Burbank, Black Adidas, unlike the debut, this one features a full real live band consisting of Daniel Alexander on keyboards and Carl Raether on bass, with Kari G. Child playing the drums on three tracks and Rob Wolk handling the rest.

To be fair it has the feel of a rockin’ combo all locked in and kicking ass. from the loud and triumphant opener ‘Be Cool’ with its snotty gang vocals it’s a swaggering and staggering call to arms from the swirling keys to the Who-like power chords.

“In My Head,” is a love letter to his wife, whom he met in the same Burbank bar, where he met his producer Newton, If you’re looking for other inspirations and influences the theres always the Replacements inspired ‘Miscellaneous’ with its countrified acoustic and organ. or the rough riffage that is ‘Home’ with its soothing organ stiching together a great track. ‘Cool Riffs’ has a touch of Dinosaur Jrs J Mascis in the vocals over those big acoustic strumming just to chill out and relax for a while.

‘My Favourite Song’ no not literally (Although it might be) has the swagger of the Pogues at their most rowdy if they were covering a Rancid song. Or whatabout the cover of the Ramones’ “Howling at the Moon (Sha La La)’, so it might not reach the dizzy quality of the original but its not a whole distance behind it’. As we reach the final knockings of this album we have the uplifting ‘These Precious Sins’ before the epic closing ‘Strawberry Kisses’, a pandemic-inspired song that tips the hat to knowing you’ve just written one mighty fine tune.

I am so glad I stumbled across the path of Black Adidas and look forward to playing this record more and more and continuing the journey with such a talented songwriter. Go get it now!

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Author: Dom Daley

When I picked up the self-titled debut from Fake Names I hadn’t heard a single song but I’m a fan of Brian Baker and Dennis Lyxzén and of course Fugazi’s body of work I’m very familiar with. So, it was a no-brainer picking up the record and when it arrived I was delighted with the strength of the song and what each member brought to the table. There were familiarities but no one overpowered the other which helped with both the flow of the album and taking it on its own strength and not just the sum of its parts.

I didn’t expect four years later to find out that ‘Expendables’ would follow it up but boy was I pleased. Brian Baker, Michael Hampton, Dennis Lyxzén, & Johnny Temple would be joined by the newest member Brendan Canty. A veritable whos who of punk rock and a wealth of songwriting talent. Something of a real dream team. ‘However instead of rehashing the past, ‘Expendables’ isn’t a rehash of the debut but a more melodic beast, sure, the punchy guitars are still present but there seems to be an emphasis on melodies and contending for chart positions or a more widespread appeal no bad thing at all.

I’m torn if this is a better collection of songs for style but it has every fighting chance to surpass its punchy sibling. Thats for future musings as I’ve only had this for a number of weeks.

The band enlisted producer Adam “Atom” Greenspan (IDLES, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). With the focus on production the melodies do pop and with the vibrant, urgent shine its got quite the rush. Having the band record in the same room certainly helped them be a proper “Band” if you know what I mean. Whilst they all hold day jobs with other established bands and for me International Noise Conspiracy are a band I miss punching in the scene with todays political landscape but Fake Names offer glimpses of INC and more. The title track is a triumphant steam train of a track with a big guitar sound sitting on top of a steady beat but the BV’s and melody is what takes charge., oh, and a great vocal.

Whats not to like on tracks like ‘Delete Myself’ and ‘Can’t Take It’ is a steady rocker with a really impressive barking vocal. ‘Go’ is an uptempo rumbling brawler bu tthe chorus is somethign of a lighter departure and a lot of the record is push pull between the urge to windmill the big distorted guitars against some sweeter melodies even if they are delivered in an aggressive manner it all adds up to a great listen.

I’m loving hitting this record up from start to finish – it makes me feel good a real throwback of an album that I’m excited to hear something new that jumps out on me and throws me around my speakers. From ‘Targets’ to ‘Too Little Too Late’ this is an album I would recommend to punks, rockers and everyone in between its such a strong record it will feature at an end of year showdown for sure. Buy it!


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Northern Ireland rockers The Bonnevilles are renowned for their incendiary live shows and soulful songwriting skills. Their music is full of heart, smart, and always fun. The duo displays its love for gritty blues, primitive rock’n’roll and Irish folk on both albums for Alive records and they’re heading for England and a pair of Scottish dates in April.

Tickets can be picked up from the links at each venue Here

2023 has been a great year so far for reissue specialist Cherry Red and its various label imprints, and this all new 3CD expanded version of Warfare’s 1985 album ‘Metal Anarchy’ is certainly no exception.

Hot on the heels of the excellent 2021 released ‘Songbook Of Filth’ 3CD set (you can read RPM’s review – HERE) where HNE provided a comprehensive history lesson in all things Warfare and their main man Evo. Here they take a deep-dive into the band’s second album uncovering the “long lost” original rough mix that Lemmy undertook prior to the final mix-down with the 9 tracks also in the intended album running order.

As with pretty much everything Warfare ever do though this release comes complete with a warning, and whilst this time around it isn’t regarding profanity or a possible health and safety issue what it does involve is the fact that the ‘Lemmy Sessions’ recordings contained on CD1 do come from the original cassette, so its complete with the inevitable tape drop outs that were only to common almost 4 decades ago. To put this into context think about what would have been considered something akin to a soundboard recording back in the halcyon days of tape trading and that is really what you are getting here.

Of course, playing the original rough mixes alongside the finished album, which is polished up for CD2 is always going to show the recordings up for what they are, rough mixes, but as a collector’s curio they are most certainly well worth a listen, as is of course the finished album. Which on playing again here I still can’t help but wonder what might have been if the band’s superb ‘Pure Filth’ debut had received the production that Lemmy afforded ‘Metal Anarchy’.

For me personally the most interesting part of this 3CD set is actually the final disc which presents the band’s 1984 released ‘Two Tribes’ EP (which was coincidently the first thing I ever bought by the band) and the ‘Total Death’ EP from the following year. Finally getting the chance to hear these two monstrous EPs back to back on CD is worth the admission price alone, and there’s even an additional ‘From Hell Mix’ of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood tune just for the 12” mix completists out there.

Right, I’m off to dig out my Metal City VHS for a long overdue watch (Google it if you are wondering what the hell I’m on about) as this set has really got in the mood for some proper ‘Metal Anarchy’.

Let’s get some hell going, right?

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Author: Johnny Hayward

NEW SINGLE ‘HOW THE BEAUTIFUL FALL’ Out Today & Debut Album ‘TROUBLE’ Out Fri 12th May

The Balladmongrels are a raucous new band featuring Dogs D’Amour frontman Tyla J. Pallas and Northern Irish singer-songwriter Matty James Cassidy. Their glorious mix of raw guitars, dark romantic lyrics, beautiful melodies and rousing choruses will implant themselves in your brain, heart and soul and never let go.

Following their first two singles; the rollicking and crashing ‘Ballad of the Knucklemen’ and the anthemic title track of their forthcoming debut album ‘Trouble’ , The Balladmongrels third single ‘How the BeautifulFall’ is a perfect example of how Tyla and Matty approached developing the record. Having had an idea for a song inspired by the Oscar Wilde character Dorian Gray, Tyla shared this with Matty who contributed the music and some additional lyrics. The result is a mid-paced, guitar-driven, sing-out-loud, hauntingly beautiful ballad. Fans of their respective solo work will be aware of it’s occasional gothic leanings, manifested through dark lyrical content that’s offset by uplifting melodies. This continues here – “Long may you rest in that kingdom of hell, Your beauty fades away like Dorian Gray”.

The accompanying atmospheric video for ‘How the Beautiful Fall’ was aptly filmed on location near Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, in an ancient graveyard not far from the school attended by Oscar Wilde and Matty himself. It was shot by local videographer and photographer Ronan McGrade in late July 2022 when Tyla and Matty were across playing a gig in Belfast and made a trip down to Matty’s hometown. They also played an impromptu session that evening in Blake’s of the Hollow – a local pub famous for it’s traditional Irish music and fantastic pints of Guinness which were dutifully and copiously consumed. The revelry was captured in the previously released ‘Ballad of the Knucklemen’ video.

New Single Pre-save-Here

Album Pre-order-Here

Towards the end of the UK’s 2nd lockdown, Tyla and Matty discussed releasing a 7” single with one of their own songs on each side. After a few drinks they decided instead to write some new songs and record an entire album. After a few more drinks (red wine & Guinness if you’re interested) they further developed the idea into an all new transient band with their co-written songs at it’s core.

Initially they thought about calling themselves The Balladmongers. A name taken from Tyla’s first solo album (The Life& Times of a Balladmonger) to reflect both Tyla’s career – in which he has variously been described as a balladeer and street poet – and Matty treading a similar, but different musical path. Matty suggested “mongrels” might be a better fit..

Speaking about the name and concept, Tyla said, “I loved the idea of two songwriters from different generations collaborating – taking one of my ballads and getting a younger mongrel, like Matty, to give it some bollocks

”Matty added, “We also liked the juxtaposition of having “ballad” in the name, as most of the album is full-tilt rock n’ roll. People may have seen us playing together acoustic and expect the album to be the same… it’s not”

Describing how things came together, Matty said, “Maybe it’s because we’ve worked together for so long we find it natural to get on the same song-writing wavelength. Tyla would write a verse, then I’d write one. It just became really easy to work up the songs. We started off with a couple of ideas and ended up with an album. It was so much fun it’d be a shame not to do another one and keep it going. If you like anything either of us has done in the past you’ll definitely find something in this record ”

Also speaking about the process, Tyla said, “I like to start writing most songs acoustic. With ‘Knucklemen’ Matty spruced it up, but with ‘Trouble’ he completely re-wrote it into something different. His vocals are higher in the mix and he leads on most songs. That’s deliberate, as otherwise it would turn into another Dogs’ album if it was centred around me. Music’s got to evolve and change.

”As an album, Trouble has much to offer fans of The Dogs D’Amour and Tyla’s and Matty’s solo material. It presents the meeting of their distinct songwriting styles as they share and take turns on vocal duties, complementing each otherwhile bringing in a range of their wider musical influences from Thin Lizzy to The Pogues.

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Oh to get a glimpse inside the head of Australian-born, UK-based one-man band Dez Dare (aka Darren Smallman). When I reviewed his second album ‘Ulysses Trash’ for RPM back in August of 2022, I remember saying that he lived in a world where “music, art and mind expansion blended into one”, and with his soon-to-be-released third album ‘Perseus War’ he’s back and bending genres and minds all over again.

Originally intended to be a companion EP to ‘Ulysses Trash’, ideas spilled, riffs flowed and ‘Perseus War’ was born. In the PR pack that accompanies the album Dez explains that “’Perseus War’ is the violent struggle that the universe and all within it has to survive. The daily pressure of existence, the beauty in the destruction left by the way and the sweet solace of understanding we have no control.” And across the 10 tracks that make up ‘Perseus War’ Dez takes us on a psychedelic garage punk voyage of discovery which just like its predecessor is quite unlike anything you’ll hear (or in fact see) this year.

Just take the opening track ‘Bozo’ for example, this crazed rocker is accompanied by a video that looks like ‘Go With The Flow’ if it had been recorded by Otters Of The Stone Age. The song itself was bizarrely hypnotic and disturbing in equal measures, and once I’d been mesmerized by its fuzzed-out over the top riffage, I just couldn’t stop playing it.

Likewise, the glorious stoner acid trip that is ‘A Chimp, A Tricycle, New World Order’, which makes me wonder if Dez has used William S. Burroughs’ “cut-up” style in compiling this anthem to giving less of a fuck. Or perhaps he’d had a cup of “mushroomy” tasting tea before writing it?

One track I would love to see one of Dare’s insane videos for would be the pulsating, almost Krautrock-like, ‘I Know Why You Cry At Adam Sandler Films’, which is not just the best song title in God knows how long, but also one of my favourite track on ‘Perseus War’.

For me, the most striking difference between ‘Perseus War’ and ‘Ulysses Trash’ is in the production department, where things, whilst remaining proudly DIY, have become ever so slightly less lo-fi. I’m not saying Des has gone full on Mutt Lange, but the drums and bass on tracks like ‘Perseus #1985’ ‘OUCH!’ and ‘BEACH!’ absolutely rattle the windows at RPM’s Newport Office, and on ‘Bloodbath-on-HI’ everything (and I’m sure there’s even the kitchen sink in there somewhere) comes together to unbridle one hell of a thunderous wall of sound.

Dare’s electronic influences return for album closer ‘STOP. STOP. STOP. TALKING’ and this track is what I’d imagine ‘Space Ritual’-era Hawkwind might have sounded like if they had ever joined forces with the Mael brothers from Sparks. It’s one truly fantastic headrush of a tune and the perfect way to end a record that is a most welcome distraction from what is going on in the world right now.

Released on 17th March you can pre-order your copy of ‘Perseus War’ via the links below. Tune in, turn on, and freak the fuck out, the Dare way!

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Author: Johnny Hayward

Heaven help the biographer who takes on the unwieldy task of compiling the career of Billy Childish. Musician, writer, painter, folklore character and more. We are here to talk music, but even this is a slippery undertaking. Having just reviewed ‘Failure, Not Success’, here comes the first album by Thee Headcoats in 22 years. Yes, Billy, Bruce and Johnny are back, after their recent tribute EP to The Downliner Sect.

Has time affected them? Of course not! Tweed Deerstalkers in place, and we’re off! 12 tracks veering from the Medway sound to their chaotic ‘Dustbin Mod’, as on final song ‘The Kids Are All Square’. On ‘Thee Headcoatitude’, they still manage to breathe life into old garage rock riffs, with ‘7% Solution’ giving a nod to Link Wray.

Whether it’s ‘The Baker Street Irregulars’ and its call of “who’ll be next in line to don the Deerstalker hat?”, complete with wailing harp, or the story of ‘Mr H Headcoat’, like an English cousin of The Cramps, you either get it or you don’t. Obviously, I’m in the former group, which means this year is getting expensive. And that’s not including buying new headgear. Can I carry off a Deerstalker? Sir Quentin may have the answer, as he is heard on ‘The Leader Of The Sect’. Confused? Don’t worry, just press play, old chap…

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Author: Martin Chamarette