Ravagers are self described as street Rock’N’Rollers from the wastelands of Baltimore, and they have just announced their first European tour. Nearly 30 shows in countries including Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, France and Spain. Now Europe can witness what America has already known, Ravagers are the real deal. No more watching videos on youtube, experience the rabid rock’n’roll first hand.
European Wasteland Tour 2023
31.03 Vienna – AT- Chelsea
01.04 Munich, DE – Glocke
02.04 Hof, DE – Punkrockcity
03.04 Berlin, DE – Schokoladen
04.04 Erfurt, DE – Tiko
05.04 Dresden, DE – Chemiefabrik
06.04 Hamburg, DE – Indra Club
07.04 Groningen, NL – Gideon
08.04 Münster, DE – Heile Welt
09.04 Lichtenfels, DE – Paunchy Cats
10.04 Arlon, BE – l’Entrepôt
11.04 Saarbrücken, DE – Tante Anna
12.04 Essen, DE – Anyway
13.04 Bochum, DE – Wageni
14.04 Hanover, DE – Bei Chez Heinz
15.04 Hameln, DE – K3
16.04 Karlsruhe, DE – Alte Hackerei
18.04 Geneva, CH – Dig It Records
19.04 Bern, CH – Rössli
20.04 Orleans, FR – Dropkick Bar
21.04 Mont de Marsan, FR – Mad Jack
22.04 Vitoria-Gasteiz, ES – Helldorado (early show)
Album number four! Number four? Prolific South Wales rockers Trampolene are right on the money with ‘Rules Of Love & War’. It’s reached the point where something has to happen and after the first play, I concluded that this album is a step up from the previous offerings in overall sonic attack and songwriting its like they’ve gone through puberty and have now come out the otherside all grown up and delivered a proper big boys album.
This has the feel of a hit album, it might be lacking in the youthful reckless thrust of say an ‘Alcoholic Kiss’ and the chaotic moments of previous offerings but this album shines brighter. The band are older and it would seem wiser but with the cheeky smile still evident, Jack and the boys have delivered an all-around massive sounding hit album – They know it – Strap Original knows it – I know it and once you take a trip with it you’ll know it. The first singles released indicated just how serious this trio are about moving to the next level, with ‘Together’ having the hook to draw you in and enough charm to keep you close it has everything the band deserves to move on up.
Then there’s ‘Money’ with its punchy bass line and Jacks’s’s monologue showing that the band can still dish out catchy chart-bothering yet hard-hitting songs from the left of centre. Captivating and thoroughly engaging. let’s not get ahead of ourselves and return to the beginning. ‘Blood Has No Nationality’ gently opens the new album with a sparse soundscape whilst Jack opens up about his fears of recent events and how people treat each other. It’s a powerful opener and one you hope will resonate far and wide. That resolutely determined energy moves into the first song proper ‘Thinking Again’ which gently strides into view before reaching the chorus and the singalong call and we’re all bouncing and punching the air. Excellently crafted indie guitar pop or whatever you want to label it, overall it’s a real earworm – well crafted from the floor tom thump to the intricate guitar work to the joyous chorus and sing along.
‘Alexandra Palace’ was inspired by The Kink’s classic ‘Waterloo Sunset’ and tells an imaginary story that Jack could see unfolding from his window. With underlying acoustic guitars and horn that burst through the speakers like sunshine breaking through a window on a crisp winter’s morning, it’s a wonderfully simple song – Old school songwriting with a great melody and storytelling lyrics with a widescreen vision of how the music frames the story. Should and could be a hit.
The indie pop of Teardrop Explodes or The Bunnymen is fired into sight on the fantastic fast moving ‘Sort Me Out’ made to get sweaty dance floors bouncing, to be fair it does all that and more. A modern anthem that tips the hat to those that did the groundwork back in the 80s and maybe the band have indeed sorted out their shit and going to give this pop star game a real go.
There are quieter moments laid next to the more vibrant moments and one shines a brighter light on the other if you know what I mean. There is the ballad with a Lennon-like piano on ‘I’m Not Your Man…Maybe’ with its backing vocals lifted from classic pop songs written as far back as pop became a thing. It’s also got a great lead vocal from Jones who sounds like he’s invested everything he has into getting his words out. Following that is a genuinely dreamy love song from Jones to his “Better Half”.
The middle of the album strikes me as profoundly personal and Jack pours his heart into these tracks and lyrics that resonate with the listener. A real triumph of personal being universal, He sounds like he’s in a great place and it’s coming through in this record. Great songs, well constructed and excellently delivered from all three in the band.
As you arrive into the thick of this album the gentler moments ease your soul with some great subtle laid-back songs, letting the music do the talking and the sound of Trampolene maturing before your very ears is warming. ‘Litany of Council House Mistakes’ is another gentle wheeze as the story unfolds. The quiet and gentle acoustic strum is then smashed with the funky sound of that flanged Bassline and dance beat on ‘Money’ pounding your speakers as Jacks poem about the inequality in society rages around your head the song hits home and I reach the repeat button to pour some more audio Molotov into this cocktail. If your looking for a danceable soundtrack to the revolution then this banger is it.
As we head for the finish line there’s time for a post covid gasp of air like a rebirth of sorts ‘Resurrection Concerto’ is the one track that I feel could fit in on any of the band’s albums with its hopeful melody and rejoicing strings arching out over six glorious minutes. The album then signs off with a poem written by Jacks’s grandfather who is tracked reciting the words under Jack’s own vocal. Haunting and wonderful in equal measures.
What a fantastic piece of work from a wonderful band that has entertained and impressed me for many years now and looks like they will continue to do so. If this isn’t a commercial success then I’ll eat my Euro 2016 beer-soaked bucket hat. I’m all in for seeing more of those chaotic adventures live but in bigger venues, packed with people who’ve boarded after being lured in by this fantastic record. All killer, no filler – The Trampolene bounce begins here are you on board? I am.
Since re-assembling Avengers-style (though probably more Suicide Squad!) in 2020, Black Spiders have continued to make a loud and compelling case for heavy guitar music from the sin city streets, with three chords and the truth – revelling in the glories of the genre, its sacred lore, with a top-shelf collection of riffs, a sly dash of humour, plus an iconic logo that sits alongside the best.
It’s a cocktail fans have come to expect from the unexpected and it’s there in double-measure on the UK outfit’s latest / fourth studio album, ‘Can’t Die, Won’t Die’ – 42 minutes of back-street trouble, produced by regular studio compadre, Matt Elliss, and set for worldwide release via Spinefarm May 12th, the band’s first campaign with the label.
As a taste of things to come, a shot before the pint, lead single / video ‘Hot Wheels’ is out now; it sees the band – led into action by frontman, Pete Spiby – in a variety of scenarios and settings, at one point surviving a close encounter with a rampant shark (sort of).
“It’s a party album from top to tail, everyone a banger! As usual there is something for everyone and maybe some surprises. We went all out, balls out on this record, each track is an ear worm…”
Noted for their unswerving dedication to the music, the middle finger (or two) and the rousing rock ‘n’ roll slogan (“EAT THUNDER, SHIT LIGHTNING!”),the Spiders are the perfect low-slung machine to raise a glass or clench a tattooed fist to, and ‘Can’t Die, Won’t Die’ – 12 new tracks including ‘Destroyer’ and ‘It Is What It Is’, all measured pace and power, and ‘Driving My Rooster’, a race towards the cliff edge – is sure to add more burnt tread to their tyres.
In support of their studio albums (the most recent of which hit the No. 7 spot on the UK Independent Albums chart), plus a fistful of EPs, Black Spiders have toured with a variety of rock’s most riff-hungry sons, the likes of Volbeat, Danzig, Airbourne and Monster Magnet, and appeared at all of the UK’s leading festivals, including Download, Sonisphere and Bloodstock.
Their plan is to spend much of 2023 out on the road, and it’s a strategy that is for once, going to plan. A full UK tour has been announced for September and pre-sale tickets will be available from Planet Rock on Wednesday March 15th at 10am, with general sale commencing Friday March 17th at 10am from here: https://planetrock.tourlink.to/blackspiders
Catch Black Spiders live at the following dates on their September tour.
The Hot Damn! to support on all dates.
Fri 15 Sep – The Forum, Tunbridge Wells
Sat 16 Sep – New Cross Inn, London
Sun 17 Sep – Moonshine, Portsmouth
Mon 18 Sep – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Tue 19 Sep – The Warehouse, Leeds
Thu 21 Sep – Live Rooms, Chester
Fri 22 Sep – The Garage (Attic), Glasgow
Sat 23 Sep – Anarchy Brewery, Newcastle
Sun 24 Sep – The Patriot, Crumlin
Mon 25 Sep – The Junction, Plymouth
Black Spiders are also confirmed to play the following festivals with more to be added:
Brit glam legends RACHEL STAMP have unveiled a ‘new’ video ahead of the reissue of their classic debut album.
‘Brand New Toy’ is taken from Hymns For Strange Children, originally released in the year 2000, and now set to see the light of day on vinyl for the first time ever through Easy Action Records.
“‘Brand New Toy’ is the archetypal Rachel Stamp rocker,” states singer/bassist David Ryder Prangley. “Part of the riff is a tri-tone, aka the ‘Devil’s interval’ which, back in medieval days, was said to drive whoever heard it crazy. I kind of stole the song title from the name of a friend’s band and the lyrics are pretty regular Stamp fare for the time – sex, insanity and Jesus Christ. The video is a new mash up of various live footage taken around 1998-2000. The gigs were always a riot, as you can see…”
Fully remastered, ‘Hymns For Strange Children’ is set for release on 14 April and is available to pre-order on limited edition 12″ vinyl and expanded CD now.
The band have lined up a special album launch show on the release date at the O2 Islington Academy, London. Tickets are on sale here.
Here at RPM we have a love of guitar bands be it punk rock or Black Metal and everything in between. Iselder is a one-man army celebrating Welsh Black Metal. Yup Venom might have paved the way back in the early years and is still the go-to leader of the extreme metal scene but it has been through some transformations over the years since Black Metal seeped into the heavy scene via the extreme Norweigan Black Metal, pure Black Metal True Black Metal whatever you want to call this Genre, fill yer boots, be it 28 hole doc martins or a pair of goats hoofs. If you were never aware of the existence of Welsh Black Metal or that there was even a scene here in the UK for the extreme side of Metal then go check out Hellripper from Scotland or this here Iselder album. In the land of song, it is a thing and it’s getting bigger with every release.
Proving that every day is indeed a School day ‘Cynefin’ which is pronounced “ku-nev-in,” is A welsh word for “Place” ‘Haunt’ or ‘Habitat’. It all makes sense when you hit play and take in the black-and-white cover of the CD. As soon as the doomy intro of the opening track ‘The World Turns To Black’ you are immediately taken to a dark corner of the world inhabited by the lines of Dark Throne with the chiming, doomy chords that hit your ears after the musical intro has played out. Sole Member Gofid leads you on a merry dance as the song twists and turns through choppy yet familiar waters that are the more modern blackest of metals. The vocals are often so grim you could never work out what’s being put forward but, Iselder goes for a style that might be dark and low you can indeed work out what’s being sung which in my book puts them at a great advantage of reaching a wider audience and not just being a scenester and going for the bleakest darkest corner of the genre.
Previous offerings have painted quite a nationalistic portrait of Gofid and have even got him in trouble with the powers that be for his inflammatory t-shirts. Personally, I loved ‘Metel Du Gwir Cymreig’ where Gofid mixed languages but here on this new album, he’s gone to reach that wider audience with just English lyrics.
‘Ingest The Bile They Spew’ is a six-minute grinding slog of slower heaviness that twists and grinds through the verses. The thing here is that all seven songs on offer are bloody long. Not necessarily a bad thing if like ‘Dead Inside’ it shifts through those Black Metal gears like a stolen Ford GTI. The comparison to Dark Throne shouldn’t be dismissed. More down to the tone of the guitar as it pierces the speakers with that nails-down glass style. For the best example go to ‘As I Gaze Upon The Stars’ especially in the intro before it shifts speed. The track ‘Home’ leans on some monumental Tony Iommi riffage whilst ‘Moonstruck’ is an altogether faster number before the album signs off with the epic ‘End Of My Time’ with its funeral march pace in the intro it briefly builds up a head of steam then falling back into the march.
In summary, I’d say musically and as far as the song structures go Iselder has taken a step up in all-around quality it might not have that one killer song that will enable a much wider audience but it’s stepping in that direction. As far as authentication and being a one-man band it’s an absolute triumph much like one of its main inspirations Dark Throne only has two members and Hellripper is also a one-man band. I guess the next step is for Gofid to recruit a band and take these huge tunes out on the road and see where that takes Iselder.
It’s always a good day when I hear that Jeff Dahl is in the studio recording a new album. You start to get word that its got that raw, aggressive punk rock that we often assosciate with people like Jeff and thats always a reason to get excited.
Album number bazillion and twenty lands on my doormat and as soon as the opening riff hits the ether via my CD player I’m smiling and nodding. The raw slash of that electric guitar kicks in and the steady beat crashes through as the title track is a throbbing, pumping, cutting slab of style and it has the swagger you want from a Jeff Dahl record.
As we exit one of the weirdest times known to man the tough get going and it seems a lot of writers were busing their downtime writing and recording via this wonderful internet. ‘All My Friends Are Crows’ is barking out the speakers and life just got a little calmer inside from the thundering drum rolls to that scratched riff its wearing an invisible coat of awesome like a forcefield, loving it. Essentially what you have here is ten slabs of old-school, no-bullshit punk rock n roll. From the Stooges via the Dolls and the Damned and a whole variety of others, the baton was indeed handed down to Mr Dahl who lit the fucker up and carried that burning torch with passion and a fistful of rock-solid punk rock records. After all these years that flame is still blazing. The likes of the mid-paced ‘Atomic Ant Invasion’ is more a stomping march than a casual stroll. Hold on though don’t get too comfortable because ‘We Must Destroy’ is thumping its way into the world from the gnarly guitars through the snotty lyrics it’s classic Jeff Dahl and if you’re not excited by this I’d get to the medical room and get checked for a pulse.
I love the infectious opening of ‘A Little Bird Said’ from the thumping drums it’s like Dahl is channeling the spirit and attitude of the Dead Boys into 2023 and who better than Jeff Dahl to take care of that spirit and use it great effect. The minamilstic guitar break hits the spot – why over play when all thats required is heart and soul.
With only ten songs on offer, Jeff has knuckled down and streamlined whats on offer and picked the perfect songs to maximise his kill count on this lean, mean rockin’ machine. It is all killer and no filler, there simply isn’t the time or space. Whether you dip in or just let it wash over you the energy is right up there ‘The Spider Sisters’ has plenty of attacks and just enough cowbell. Hell, wherever you dip in it’s the same result – ‘Manahampeetah’ or the sleazy ‘Let It Drool’ it is ‘Bat Shit Crazy’ how damn good this is.
The record is summed up on the penultimate cut of ‘Wild, Beautiful and Free’ ok it might not be free but it is Wild and Beautiful. I might heap the superlatives when I get excited over a record being released but sometimes when you get a record and have expectations that you try and dampen whats the poont? The days of tryign to be cool or not fussed are gone and after first play some records wipe you out. Why the fuck shouldn’t you rave over it? Dahl might have sold his soul to Lucifer for the quality on this record but the brooding slow builder that is the album closer ‘Saint Lucifer’ breaks out and speeds up with a hypnotic riff thats like being thumped repeatidly by a heavyweight before slowing down to a crawl and signing offwith a bye bye. I think both Lucifer and Jeff Dahl got good deals here.
The fact that Dahl does everything except hit the drums is brilliant he and Sam Bradley should be immensely proud of this album because, whilst I’ve loved the last few he’s done from ‘Electric Junk’, through the collaboration with “Demons” and ‘Made In Hawaii’ ‘this latest’All My Friends Are Crows’ top trumps the lot of them – The quality of the songs is noticable and if you can I strongly advise you to pick it up. Stateside you get in contact with Jeff for the CD and those over this side of the pond as soon as Ghost Highway drop the vinyl copies get stuck right in and pick up what will no doubt be one of 2023s best albums and you can take that to the bank as not so much an opinion but a fact! Buy It!
Jeff dosn’t want to sell these CDs in Canada, Australia, Japan or Europe. The reason is that all of these places will cost over $15 just for postage (He’s sending from Hawaii) so you’re looking at a $26 CD, which is just too damn expensive and really, don’t order it unless you can’t live without it and you’re rich or something.
Also please note that a deluxe vinyl version will is being made in Spain on Ghost Highway
South Wales noise merchants dish up a refined slimline seven smashers. South Wales is a hotbed of talent at the moment belching up bands left right and centre who are getting out there and delivering their tunes to audiences far and wide. Letting the music do their talking this three piece are hard at the coal face chiselling away their corner of the music scene. Working hard, playing shows refining your craft and dishing up the best songs you can muster is the MO and on this debut release it would appear to be paying dividends.
Kicking off with ‘Syls II’ with its jarring abrasive guitars not a million miles from Fugazi dragging Thrapy? along for the ride, it’s a rallying call where vocalist and guitar player Cameron McIntyre is barking his words into the void for anyone and everyone to hear.
‘Prince Plays At Funerals has one foot on the Idles monitor wedge whilst the other harks back to a time when Nirvana would push back boundaries in the mainstream making it possible for young men to fuck with our ears and people to enjoy that thumping bass that is cold angles poking away at your ears before driving into your head with the sharp guitars and drum assault because this is an assault – make no mistake. It’s not easy listening but once you dial in it’s pretty damn good stuff. The St Pierre Snake Invasion were and are dishing this stuff up across the border in Bristol and the popularity of Idles and their post-punk juggernaut have made post-punk and indy cross over a mainstream concern and the masses are now fair game. With old school alt-punk like Fugazi has to be an influence on the sound created here. It’s great to see and hear bands getting “it” and turning in great records that deserve to be heard far and wide.
The single ‘Swede’ is a great advert for whats coming. It’s not anew sound but boy is it a good one. But there is more going on here with some decent lyrics and great rhythms to go with the rage and passion on display. ‘Greenhouse’ being a great example of that chaos and roaring attitude making for a banging tune. ‘Cwffin Of Flowers’ has that dark melody that the Manics sailed close to when they were deep into the Holy Bible but not with this much rage to go with that darkness. That rumbling bass is excellent and it rings out loud and proud.
Signing off this excellent album is the slower, brooding ‘Malaise’ rising and chest beating before calming down and taking a breath. A fine collection of tunes on a fine platter of post-punk to rival its peers wherever they may be. Only Fools And Corpses by this time next year might not be millionaires but they’ll be out there in the dirt making music and taking names and dishing up some memorable performances on the strength of this very impressive debut offering – get on boys bach its a banger! Nothing vulgar about this Pissant.
Not content with producing some of the best punk rock music in the world right now, Australia has now seemingly set its sights on taking over the hard rock world once more. With Airbourne finally discovering what the top of the mountain really looks like by headlining the Saturday night of this year’s Steelhouse Festival and the Van Halen influenced Deraps (their drummer is Australian) taking up an early slot at Stonedead its now Starcrazy who get a major PR push here in Blighty, and it really is time to sit up and listen to what these guys have to offer, because when it comes to all things Starcrazy it’s something very interesting indeed.
Citing Janes Addiction, Hanoi Rocks and Van Halen as their influences the four piece band formed in late 2019 in Sydney’s Inner West music scene and to date have the self-released ‘Played For Suckers’ EP on vinyl and CD under their (studded) belts. The six track follow up ‘Another Day Another Squalor’ is set to be released on March 10th (via the Bandcamp link below) taking the ““Retro glam with a hint of RUSH” influence that Alice Cooper (yup that Alice Cooper) identified in the band early doors and turning up the dial marked POWERPOP.
‘Galaxy O Luv’ complete with its Slade styled titling opens the EP in the style Da Coop had already picked up on with just the merest hint of ole black eyes himself creeping into the musical mid-section. It’s when ‘The Big Time’ thunders in on a late ‘80s Rachel Bolan bassline and “devilish” (listen and you’ll get what I mean) backing vocals join in that I actually sit up and truly listen. It’s worth mentioning that the low budget promo video that accompanies this track is a creative joy to behold too. Although don’t watch it after a heavy night out.
Australia is of course renowned for its hard rock bands, but what happens when you merge the straight into the amps guitar sound of that scene with the spirit of the early 90s US alt-rock explosion? Well take a listen to ‘The Open Sea’ and all will soon be revealed. Oh, and go check out fellow Sydney band of yore The Screaming Tribesmen, whose t-shirt Starcrazy frontman Marcus Fraser is wearing in the song’s video. I think you may be pleasantly surprised.
It’s when we get to ‘Egging Me On’ and ‘Hysterical’ that the EP really excels though. The former a 1 minute 42 second barnstormer that actually has a lot of synergies with the UK’s Mother Vulture, and then there’s the latter, this is when the (bad) penny drops in my musical memory banks and I’m screaming “this sounds like Celebrity Skin (the cult US band not the song)” at the stereo. Anyone who’s ever heard their one and only album ‘Good Clean Fun’ will hopefully now be clicking on the video link below…because this tune really is good clean fun written very much in the spirit of 70s Bowie (albeit it’s not a shameless steal like Gyasi).
‘Monday Morning (Prayer For Tony)’ which brings the EP to a close doffs its cap to early Guns N’ Roses with some Slash-like six string action courtesy of the wonderfully monikered Odin Wolf, and let’s not forget the Jack action rhythm section of bassist Jack Barratt and drummer Jack Farmer who also put in a HUGE shift across the whole EP.
Starcrazy produce hard rock music of the highest quality and thankfully being from Australia they aren’t influenced in the slightest by the sterile arena rock that we’ve been spoon here in the UK this past 5 years or so. Finally I can get excited about a new hard rock band, and (the aforementioned Mother Vulture aside) that’s something I haven’t been able to say in quite some time. Joyous stuff!
Northern Irish rock outfit, THERAPY? announce their colossal new studio album ‘Hard Cold Fire’, a spiralling, hypnotic melange of grunge-rock and towering melody that sees the trio steadfast and reinvigorated. ‘Hard Cold Fire’ is set for release 5th May 2023 via Marshall Records.
Accompanying the announcement, the band also shares their first offering in the form the riotous new single ‘Joy,’and details on a run of intimate UK in-store dates coinciding with the album’s release. Fans can find more information for in-store tickets HERE, pre-order limited edition bundles of ‘Hard Cold Fire’ and pre-save HERE.
Resilience and survival have become vital watchwords for Therapy?. Enduring over three decades as the musical, cultural and social landscapes have shifted around them, the trio have forged and retained a powerful and lasting connection with a dedicated fan base around the world, doing so by putting their emphasis on the music, solidifying a hard-won reputation as forward-thinking writers and a fierce live proposition in the process.
As Therapy?’s fourth decade finally gets underway in earnest, sixteenth album ‘Hard Cold Fire’, written and pre-produced during an unprecedented time for music, is hefty, compact, and accessible, a distillation of everything that has made them what they are – hewn from County Antrim basalt, still possessed of their stoicism, but casting a renewed focus on catharsis and healing.
“One thing we did decide when we were eventually able to rehearse, was that we didn’t want to make a lockdown record,” says vocalist and guitarist Andy Cairns,“because people have been through enough.
“When we began to rehearse the songs, we realised there was an empathetic quality to them. We wanted to make something that was a bit more relatable, and less standoffish and claustrophobic – which we have a history of, and it stands in places – but we wanted to make something more approachable and open.”
“We wanted this album to be one that felt good to play live, almost a release after this period of stasis, but then also not dwelling on the whole situation – we’re moving forward, and we wanted that energy to be there,” adds bassist Michael McKeegan.
The serrated, chugging riffage, churning low-end and propulsive rhythms that are hallmarks of the band’s sound are all present and correct, but met with a new-found sense of resolution and release, as most readily displayed on the one-two punch of their first single, ‘Joy’.
“Well, ‘Joy’ started with a term from ‘Waiting for Godot’, by Samuel Beckett,” confesses Cairns“this wonderful line: ‘habit is a great deadener’. I just love that word, ‘dead-en-er’. It’s an amazing word. People get themselves into these habits, and the next thing you know, their life is over and they’ve only lived in a very small circle of experience, often through choice, which is scary.”