With a formidable reputation and a high energy, fun-packed live show, London collective The Urban Voodoo Machine are currently celebrating 20 years as a band with shows throughout this year and I’m sure I heard rumours of an upcoming live album somewhere along the line, but don’t quote me, you would have to ask their ringleader Mr. Paul-Ronney Angel for more information on that one.

They were celebrating 10 years as a band when I first saw them live, and they are still celebrating. That’s a long-ass party by anyone’s standards, but P-R Angel’s standards are very high.

With no support act tonight, The Urban Voodoo Machine take to the sold-out Trades Club stage bang on 9pm and they are firing on all cylinders from the word go. Now, in my experience every UVM show has a different dynamic, this is part of what makes them so exciting and fresh. You usually get the core 7-piece band, but the additional members vary depending who is available to tour. There could be fiddle players, someone on a washboard or a whole brass section if you’re lucky. The more the merrier and it all adds to the crazy, carnival-themed chaos that goes down every time they play.

Tonight, P-R’s faithful sidekick Lucifire is missing on sax appeal, general circus style introductions and entertainment, so its left to the frontman to bring the entertainment to the max, which of course he is more than capable of doing.

The on-stage Paul-Ronney Angel persona is equal parts drunken pirate, mariachi musician and Mexican bandit. He’s Charlie Chaplin in technicolour, he’s Harold Lloyd minus the stunts, well there are stunts, but they involve a hat, a microphone stand and a very, very sweaty headscarf (if you know… you know!).

The stellar instrumental ‘Theme From The Urban Voodoo Machine’ gets the crowd warmed up quickly and a triple assault on the senses from the new album follows in quick succession. ‘Empty Plastic Cup’, ‘Living In Fear’ and ‘Johnny Foreigner’ all have that classic bourbon-soaked, gypsy blues bop n’ stroll sound that the band have been playing for all these years. With killer choruses and thought-provoking lyricism from the pen of our illustrious leader, it’s a carefully honed live show that gives the appearance of falling apart at any moment, but the tight and energised band are never gonna fall off the tracks, not until the show is over anyway.

Clutching a wine glass filled with god-knows-what, our ringleader for the night entertains with the perfect mix of slapstick humour and punk rock attitude. Some songs are jammed out, others are rearranged slightly and it’s all good. Raucous drinking songs like ‘Love Song 666’ and ‘Goodbye To Another Year’ incite crowd singalongs and much dancing. Accordion player Slim, drummers Jary & J-Roni-Mo and guitarist Tony Diavolo all help with the crowd interaction and although it’s a more straight rock n’ roll show than a circus sideshow tonight, they still make the majority of other bands look as dull as dishwater.

Highlights for me tonight would be a spiritual ‘Help Me Jesus’ and a sombre and emotive encore with P-R Angel on an acoustic guitar and Slim on piano doing Tom Jones ‘Green Green Grass Of Home’ dedicated to P-R’s father.

It’s impossible to leave a show by this band disappointed. The Urban Voodoo Machine drip entertainment from every pore, night after night, gig after gig, and tonight was no different. 20 years down the line it is never too late to join the celebrations. If they roll into a town near you this year, I highly recommend The Urban Voodoo Machine live experience, it’s the soundtrack to the craziest party you have ever been to and for me they remain the best kept secret on the UK music scene.

Author: Ben Hughes




Today, Dinosaur Jr. announce four shows at London’s Garage and seven shows at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their sixth studio album, Where You Been. Dinosaur Jr.’s second album to be made with a major label was originally released in 1993 at the height of the grunge moment in rock, and its temporal trajectory hit #50 on the Billboard charts.  

In the decades since the release of Dinosaur Jr.’s quintessential album, it has become clear that their sound – once hailed as a sort of almost-tamed noise – is/was/always-has-been fully functioning pop music of a sort. The subsequent generations of bands who grew up breathing Dino’s fumes managed to tinker around with the edges of their original post-hardcore song forms enough for listeners to realise there had always been melodies at the center of everything they did. What Dinosaur Jr. produce is nothing but a beautiful new version of the rock continuum – riff, power, beat and longing, created with an eye on the infinite future.

In 2023, now 30 years since release, the original trio of J MascisLou Barlow and Murph firmly reunited will perform this iconic album in its entirety over a 4-night span in London in November and a 7-night span in Brooklyn, NY in December. The band will invite a spattering of guests and friends to sit in each night to celebrate this music along with a set comprising the trio’s thunderous catalog each night. Tickets will be available via pre-sale tomorrow, and general on-sale will be this Thursday, May 25th.

For more information and tickets, please visit www.dinosaurjr.com

Tour Dates:

(Where You Been 30th anniversary shows in bold)

Jun 3rd | McGill, NV – Shellraiser Festival *
Jul 6th | Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest *
Jul 21st | Washington, DC – The Anthem ^
Jul 22nd | Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE ^
Jul 23rd | Philadelphia, PA – Franklin Music Hall ^
Jul 25th | Toronto, ON – Rebel ^
Jul 27th | Louisville, KY – Iroquois Amphitheatre ^
Jul 28th | Sterling Heights, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre ^
Jul 29th | Chicago, IL – Radius ^
Jul 30th | Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room ^
Jul 31st | Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium ^
Aug 2nd | Saint Paul, MN – Palace Theatre ^
Aug 3rd | Cedar Rapids, IA – McGrath Amphitheatre ^
Aug 4th | Wichita, KS – Wave ^
Aug 5th | Denver, CO – The Fillmore Auditorium ^
Aug 27th | Tisbury, MA – Beach Road Weekend *
Sep 9th | Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Music Festival *
Sep 16th | Wyndham, NY – Cave Mountain Catskills Music Festival *
Sep 30th | Memphis, TN – Memphis Music Festival *
Nov 12th | London, UK – The Garage 
Nov 13th | London, UK – The Garage 
Nov 14th | London, UK – The Garage 
Nov 15th | London, UK – The Garage 
Dec 1st | Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Dec 2nd | Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Dec 3rd | Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Dec 5th | Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Dec 6th | Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Dec 7th | Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Dec 8th | Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg

* = festival appearance

^ = w/ special guests Clutch and Red Fang

Photo credit: Cara Totman 

Making our way through the wretched hive of scum and villainy gathered on the streets of Mos Ei… sorry I of course meant…Newport, on route to entering our favourite local cantina bar, Le Pub, I’d perhaps be forgiven for thinking I’d actually stepped back in time, to a film set not from the 1970s, but in fact the 1960s and that scene in ‘Blow Up’ where David Hemmings walks in on the Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page version of Yardbirds rippin’ through a rough as they come version of ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’’. That’s because Finland’s finest rabble rousers US are in the house tonight opening proceedings for Jim Jones All Stars, and they are making an immediate (and very positive) impression on those of us in the sweaty confines of Le Pub early doors.

Having recently completed a set of UK shows in support of the fast rising His Lordship, US are not only a band seemingly out of time, but also out of this world, their music falling somewhere between garage rock and out and out old school R&B, with the Helsinki 5 piece not only winning the sharpest dressers in Newport award tonight, but also truly sounding like the real deal too. I could say they remind me of The Strypes, as they look as young as those Irish lads did in their early years, but no, these lads actually remind me of The Sonics, and that’s a world of difference in my book.

US are playing a series of UK shows this summer including a run of 5 shows at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, make sure you catch ‘em while you can, as these guys are going to be going places. 

Having witnessed Jim Jones during his time fronting revolutionary psych punks Thee Hypnotics (first time around and the brief pre-Covid reunion), along with his roustabout Revue years and those most Righteous of Minds days, my most recent encounter with the singer/guitarist was at this year’s Vive Le Rock Awards in London where he briefly put a spell on us all fronting the house pick up band the Vive Le Rockers.

Why do I mention this? Well, simply because the 8-piece band that now makes up the collective known as the Jim Jones All Stars is like the perfect sum of all those already great parts…but (as some welly wearing comedian used to say) there’s more. Much, much more.

I’m not sure exactly what it is, but there’s times tonight where the All Stars sound like they could be Stax or Sun (oh and let’s not forget Bell either) Records recording artistes, there’s just so much soul emanating from the stage, and that extra little touch of class that the dual saxophones bring to proceedings is nothing short of musical genius.

For their hour on stage (which literally felt like it was over in the blink of an eye) we get reinventions of classic Revue tracks like ‘Cement Mixer’, ‘Burning Your House Down’, ‘The Princess And The Frog’, along with a truly off the scale ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Psychosis’ plus there’s a seismic rendition of the Righteous Minds’ ‘Satan’s Got His Heart Set On You’ along for safe measure, something that very well might just have woken up any dozing Rontos chained up outside. (Jeez, I never do any Star Wars references and that’s two in one review). Plus of course there’s the All Stars very own anthem in the making, the hip shaking, ‘Gimme The Grease’, which really is a sign of truly great things to come.

Whilst a lot of the other bars in Newport would see cover bands playing in them tonight, I will bet my mortgage on the fact that none of those bands will have covered both ‘Run Run Run’ by The Velvet Underground, and ‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey’ by The Beatles. Unfortunately, there’s no space in the set tonight for the band’s version Of ‘Human Fly’, aired during their inaugural live shows, but I’m more than happy to trade that in for the All Stars’ rendition of Thee Hypnotics’ ‘Shakedown’ that closes things out tonight. Wow! That really is all I can say, apart from this is how I always wanted to hear this song delivered live, and like the wise old sage stood by me during the show shouted in my ear, it really did “sound like The Stooges in their prime”.

With the clock ticking down to the dreaded night club early load out, there was just enough time for a whirlwind run through of the Revue’s ‘512’ before we were all being ushered out into the main bar and ultimately out into the maybe not quite as cold as usual Newport night air.

This long since sold out show will surely feature on many of its (very lucky) attendees’ gigs of the year list, and after seeing Jim Jones perform with all those aforementioned bands, I feel he’s really hit on something very magical indeed with the Jim Jones All Stars. 

This is without question his finest hour yet, truly exceptional stuff!

Author: Johnny Hayward

First up this Sunny Tuesday is this blistering slice of Sleazy Punk n Roll from the wonderful Poison Boys. ‘Steamroller’ is the first new song from the band ahead of album number three due soon (hopefully)

New Golem Dance Cult Video. From the album “Legend of the Bleeding Heart”. Looking at the World through the eyes of a Dog! Bite the hand that feed and revolt against the master!

The new full length album, “Legend of the Bleeding Heart” will be released May 23rd 2023 and can already be pre-ordered Here get in touch with them via facebook:Here

The sad news has reached us that one of his generation’s most iconic and influential musicians has passed away. the private man that was Alasdair Mackie “Algy” Ward is thought to have passed away in Hospital last Wednesday after a long illness. His contribution to music should never be underestimated. Having played with the iconic Australian punk rockers The Saints when he played on their single in 77 ‘This Perfect Day’ and also playing on the classic ‘Eternally Yours’ and its follow-up album before being replaced in the band it was in 79 he joined the mighty Damned.

Ward played on their iconic, classic post-James era album ‘Machine Gun Etiquette’. His formidable bass line intro on ‘Love Song’ cemented the album as many fans’ favourite thanks in no small part to his driving, take no prisoners, sound that fit in with the band’s MO at the time. Wards Lemmy-inspired attack made the album’s core sound and the second phase of the band’s many different genre-changing periods. His time however, didn’t last too long after internal wranglings and The Damned being The Damned, Algy left and went on to form the much underrated NWOBHM bands, Tank.

Tank was at the sharp end of NWOBHM and in 82 they released their iconic album ‘Filth Hounds of Hades’ again the band went through many lineup changes but did manage to make five albums of metal/punk but due to a lack of commercial success and the old faithful internal disputes then band fell apart and by the end of the 80s Algy wasn’t seen or heard of performing until the late 90s when he reformed Tank with Bruce Bisland on drums, and Tucker and Evans on guitars when they released one more LP ‘Still At War’ (of course they were) the band limped on into the naughties making several albums before Ward teamed up with fellow metal/punk legend Evo to record an EP ‘Damned Unto Death’ then his final record was released in 2018 the eighth studio album ‘Sturmpanzer’ and so it was done.

Rest In Peace Algy, that iconic intro on ‘Love Song’ will forever be etched into my brain where Algy with his leather jacket, cheeky grin and thumpingly effortlessly cool bass line led the way on one of the best albums ever made on this spinning rock. Alasdair Mackie “Algy” Ward your work here is done may you rest in peace.

Earlier this year we became aware of the socal band Black Adidas and were blown away by their latest album. We caught up with the man with a plan Courtney and got the lowdown on all things Black Adidas… (Review Here)

Can you give us a brief overview of Black Adidas when you started? where the name came from? whos involved? 

Black Adidas started in about 2017 as essentially my solo project.  I had been demoing most of the tracks off the first record for a band I was playing bass in.  Had a hard time getting them to want to record the songs, so I figured I’d just go into the studio and do it myself, and that became Black Adidas.  The idea was that it was going to be whatever songs were coming into my head, and not filtered out because of whatever sound or style they sort of fit into.  I just wanted a record of good songs that sounded great, and let the world I guess decide if they liked it.  

At the time, it was just me playing most of the instruments and singing, but of course I’m a terrible drummer, so I had a friend of mine come in and lay that down.  As the album got more complete, I had a few other musicians and friends come in on some of the tracks, like a horn section and piano for Play What We Know.  When the record was done, I self released it, and got a few musicians together to do a tour to promote it.  I didn’t really have many plans beyond those shows, but by the end of it, I was feeling pretty good about the sound and the reaction to us, so we kept going, playing shows, and then eventually going back into the studio.  And that (over a few years and a pandemic) led us to the new record.  

Why Black Adidas? Band names are tough to come up with, so when something works, you just go with it and try not to stress, ha.  I used to wear (and still do) this Black Adidas tracksuit that my wife hated. At the time, say 10 years ago, it was not as fashionable (at least in southern california) as they are now.  A friend I was out with one of these tracksuit nights just said that should be the name of my new record,  Black Adidas, and that was that.  

When I stumbled across the recent album whilst on a deep dive in Bandcamp I was blown away and wanted to find out more about the band.  whilst it was fun checking out a new band to me it was also frustrating that I hadn’t checked you out sooner. Nobody’s fault, just so much music out there on this spinning rock. How cool is it when people across the other side of the globe find your music? 

It is very cool, especially when I see streams from different countries, or someone reaches out from say Germany and tells me how much they love the record or a particular song.  It really does let an artist know that their music is not only relevant but that it is universal, and at least for me, that inspires me and fuels me to continue to do it.  

Are you currently working on any new music we should know about?

Absolutely we are, and since the last record came out, we’ve got a new lineup that I’m so freaking stoked on.  We played out the record release shows for album 2 and just killed it.  We’ll start laying down demo tracks and doing some pre-production this summer and if all goes well, there will be a third record out next year.  I’m very excited.  I guess if you go through our instagram reels, you can maybe get a taste of a new song called Are We There Yet, recorded by a fan at one of the shows.  

What about touring with a band is that something you have plans for?

Yes, that is both something we’ve done, and that we’ll continue to do.  We sort of work in waves.  At my age, it really isn’t practical to have a band that is ready at a moment’s notice to play.  We don’t have a weekly rehearsal or band practice night.  When there is a good reason, we like to pull together as many shows as possible in different regions, rehearse up and then attack.  One of the great things about the LA area is we can play 2 weeks worth of shows within a 100 mile radius and feel like we’re touring across the country.  There is a ton of diversity and different scenes throughout the area, and it’s really great to see how we are treated and how the fans react in these different towns.  So we try to do a few regional tours and maybe once a year something bigger.  I would love to come out to the UK for a week, maybe when we put out the next LP.  We get really great support there, our UK distro (different kitchen) sold out of the last record super fast.  

It was tough tracking down a copy of your record which I did eventually and finding out there was a UK distro was cool and saved a bunch of money.  Can you give us some links where people can check you out and buy physical music or digital (it all helps right?) 

We are going to have to reach out to the label and try more out to the UK, when we do, it’ll likely be here 

I really hate to have individuals have to pay the giant shipping costs to get an LP direct from the States, but that’s an option Bandcamp Here

And we’re available on any digital service you can probably think of.  Our link tree is pretty up to date with that, but you can just search for us. We should pop up (Spotify, Apple Music, etc): linktr.ee/blackadidas

You pretty much played and recorded everything on your debut album and the follow-up right? Do you get the chance to play the songs live with a band at all? Do the songs change and evolve much with it being a one-man band pretty much?  What about collaborating with other writers maybe as a band is this something that would excite you?

Our evolution as a band has for sure been that it started with just me, and now we are beginning to resemble a more collaborative band.  That’s what I really wanted to begin with, but again, starting and mainting what we all think of as a “band” is really hard, and so I started by myself, and let the band just evolve in whatever way it was going to from there.  I still write all the songs, but I try to do less of the production and arranging of everything and let the individual musicians throw in their take.  And I would for sure love to work with others in the band, or from other bands on songwriting.  The last record did have one song on it, Home, that I wrote the music for but the lyrics were mostly written by the singer in my band from 20 years ago.  I resurrected an old one we had written together back then, as it was recently just popping back into my head after all that time.  I did have to change the key because his range was way above mine, ha.  

Going back to the last album you hooked up with Dirt Cult Records how did that come about?

Chris at Dirt Cult is one the coolest record owners out there, and he is super supportive of artists and extremely eclectic in his taste.  It’s the sort of label I would generally buy everything they put out knowing if he put it out, it was going to be stellar.  I had been sending him demos and recordings over the last few years, and just kinda kept in touch, hoping he’d be willing to release something or just tell me what he thinks of it.  Luckily, with the last record, he liked what I was doing and was willing to put it out.  I’m forever grateful for that, and the response has been pretty amazing.     

what next for Black Adidas in 2023? more recording – live shows – world domination?

All of the above, ha.  We’ll play some shows with the new songs, and get into the studio as soon as we can.  Like I said, if all goes well, we’ll bring a copy right to you in the UK!  

Pics: Eric Stoliker

Poison Boys – ‘Steamroller’ (Self Relese) Woohoo! turn that stereo up! Poison boys aren’t messing around as they crash in on a stinkin riff and proceed to steamroll (yup) you inot submission. Of course this slice of unadulturated rock n roll is out pick of the pops for this session. Fuckin class dirty street punk n roll go buy it! These guys first came to our attention when they released a top single on NFT records and have kept turning in top notch Punk n Roll ever since and with this latest tune they show no sign of slowing down or writing anything below Grade A weapons.

Hurricane #1 – ‘Tonight’ (Golden Robot Records) Rolling in on a catchy melody these rockers are mixing indie with hard rock and this particular earworm is hopefully the first of many. Its lifted from an album the band claim to be a amalgamation of everything they love about rock n roll mixing melody with rock and moving from the greats like the beatles, Stones to the Stooges which is some ride. If they do capture the spirit of those bands then this is the tip of a particularly big iceburg. We wait with baited breath. Bring it on.

The Bellrays – ‘Ball Of Confusion’ (i94 Recordings) Everytime I’ve seen the Bellrays live they’ve pretty much blown me away with their performance which is never less than 100% and in frontwoman Lisa Kekaula they have a voice of pure punk rock n soul that is unique and utterly fabulous even if she were reading a train timetable. They own this Temptations classic and turn it into a Bellrays live classic no doubt. Flip it over and its an original song ‘I Fall Down’. The Bellrays don’t make bad records and i-94 don’t release bad records this is therefore a no brainer – Buy it!

Shop Talk – ‘The Offering EP’ (Mon Amie Records) Heres a smart Brooklyn based band knocking out five tunes on their latest relese. Its punk rock baby with a melodic slant. The opener comes in borrowing the Dead Boys Sonic intro (if you know you know) but it races off in a different direction and one we like here in the Singles Club. ‘Mirage Of Love’ sees the three punks tearing it up with something mashed up from The Gun Club meets say a bit of DK’s an odd comparison maybe but there is a lot going on here and their DNA is clearly made up from some wonderful places. All in all a really decent EP we are glad we stumbled across.

Klubber Lang – ‘Warhound’ (Fifa Records) Dublin noise makers ride in on a thumping bass line before the vocals wail in sounding like a cross between Johnny Rotten spitting out a lyric borrowed from Therapy? It’s a menacing Knockout tune (see what I did there?) as Warhound is drooling and snarling at the leash. A pretty decent single to be fair and made me want to investigate more from this powerful quartet.

Hot Breath – ‘Keep On Calling’ (The Sign Records) Following the release of the single, HOT BREATH will perform at one of Sweden’s leading festivals, Sweden Rock Festival, as well as Germany’s Enzo Festival. Besides this, the four-piece has a handful of other electrical shows booked. It’s retro baby as the band embraces what brought them together and helped them create music. Great video as well

Unfair Fate – ‘When Silence Falls’ (Wormholedeath) Sometimes here at RPM we like to go a bit metal thrashing mad and today is that day as Unfair Fate deliver the metal and we windmill like theres no tomorrow. Its unoriginal, macho and got Slayer riffs left right and centre so whats not to like? The lyrics revolve around themes like substance addiction, nuclear war, and letting loose the darkness within oneself so thats a Thrash Bingo House shout out there in one fuckin song! Hail Satan and it would have been a full house. They come from Sweden and there is only three of them making this unholy racket. They have an album out this month and we will be all over that as well. Get ready for Unfair Fate, they Rock Like Fuck!

The Lambrini Girls – You’re Welcome’ (Big Scary Monsters) raucous, shouty punk rock straight outta the mean streets of Brighton. the Lambrini girls are raging against the machine and making a pretty decent racket to be fair. ‘Van Man’ is pissed off and whilst this is a singles club ‘White Van’ wouldn’t do the band justice by only showcasing one track. Sure it’s like a pebbled beach version of Amyl meets Bikini Kill with some L7 thrown in for good measure but to be fair they’re more shouty and angry than all of those put together, and why the fuck not. I’ll be watching them tear it up supporting Iggy at the Palace where I will be in the pit throwing myself around to ‘Help Me I’m Gay’ in all its noisy glory. Short, sharp, blunt force is always good and Lambrini Girls do Blunt Force very well. If you think there is room on this record for a little light relief from all the anger and fucked offness then you have the wrong record in your hand. From the opening rage of ‘Boys in The Band’ it’s showing Idles how to do rage. ‘Lads Lads Lads’ is the sound of the roof caving in. What a top EP

I don’t really use social media for much these days, other than checking out what mates have been listening to, and to spot anything that might have passed me by and maybe not been sent to RPM towers for us to review. One such album, released back in April of this year, is ‘Vestige & Vigil’ the debut album from American goth rockers The Bellwether Syndicate. So, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the Gothfinder General, Mister Midnight himself, Jason Creighton, for bringing this album into my life, because it is one that deserves to be heard by everyone with a love of the dark side of music.

Sitting somewhere between the hyper intensity of mid ‘80s chart bothering Killing Joke, the metallic edge of ‘Vision Thing’ era Sister Of Mercy and the ‘Mechanical Animal’ stomp of Marilyn Manson, The Bellwether Syndicate are the brainchild of William Faith (formerly of Faith and the Muse, Christian Death, Mephisto Walz, Shadow Project and The March Violets) and Sarah Rose Faith (aka DJ Scary Lady Sarah) and in spite of being together for over a decade ‘Vestige & Vigil’ is their first long player (available on vinyl and CD along with download from the Bandcamp below, along with other online retailers like Amazon).

To give you an idea of just how impressive this album is it took me just one Bandcamp listen before I was ordering a copy on vinyl, as songs like ‘Beacon’, ‘Dystopian Mirror’ and ‘Republik’ simply steamroller your senses into BUY NOW submission, and if I were to single out one band that The Bellwether Syndicate remind me of most, then it is Janne Jarvis’ post Warrior Soul tour de force Hate Gallery. Which for those of us who know, is very high praise indeed, and for those of you who don’t, get Googling now.

If you like some glam with your goth then there’s the fantastic ‘Noir Thing’, which really is something else (ouch), and if its towering anthems you want then check out the Pete Murphy-like croon of ‘We All Rise’ that then literally explodes inside your head as the colossal chorus kicks in. Epic stuff!

There are some (slightly) lighter moments too hidden amongst all the darkness and these happen to coincide with Sarah Rose Faith taking over vocal duties for the sweeping ‘Clarion’ and then providing a wonderful almost whispered vocal counterpart to another great Faith melody line on ‘Golden Age’, a track that also reminds me of the band’s labelmates, Then Comes Silence. Now can someone please get The Bellwether Syndicate added to their Swedish counterparts 2024 UK tour…thank you.

2023 has so far been a great year for gothic tinged music, perhaps one of its finest since its 80s heyday, and ‘Vestige & Vigil’ is right up there as one of its true highlights.

Buy this album, it deserves to be HUGE!



Buy Here

Or The ultimate Goth kit of Dark Glasses and Fan Here

Author: Johnny Hayward

Sheffield-based hard rockers Black Spiders are ready to catch us all in their biggest web yet. It’s a big sticky one called ‘Can’t Die, Won’t Die’, and it’s guaranteed to get the party swinging. (That’s enough spider references…or is it?).

If you’ve heard Black Spiders before then you know what to expect from this latest release and you won’t be disappointed. The band’s influences are obvious, and you can hear elements of them all here. Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Kiss, and even a touch of grunge creeps into the band’s sound. The band are very capable musicians and put in some stellar performances here. Good production values also make the album a (mostly) enjoyable listen.

The album kicks off with a lengthy intro before we are thrown headfirst into ‘Hot Wheels’, a mid-paced head nodder with an annoyingly catchy chorus. Next up ‘Driving My Rooster’ (fnarr fnarr) is a full-on barnstormer with some Lizzyesque twin guitar motifs.  ‘Destroyer’ is a shameless tribute to Kiss. Lead single ‘Alright, Alright, Alright’ (a nod to Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey’s famous catchphrase) is a fun romp with some chunky, stabbing riffage. ‘Traitor’s Walk’ is another straight-ahead rocker with more fine guitar work. The album does begin to trail off a little at this stage, ‘It Is What It Is’ drifts into generic hard rock territory. ‘Strange’ is another throw away track with no real hooks to speak of. The band do manage to pull it back with ‘Another Weekend’ which has a cool swaggering riff. ‘Make Me Bleed’ has an extremely catchy chorus and more chugging riffs.

The album closes with the oddly titled ‘A Rat Is a Rat’ and ‘End of The World’, both tracks are a bit dissapointing and just about get the band over the finish line. Black Spiders are hardly reinventing the wheel and ‘Can’t Die, Won’t Die’ certainly has its moments, and if you’re already a fan then you will enjoy what’s on offer here its a safe pair of hard rockin’ hands.

Black Spiders stay in their comfort zone and deliver what they always do – solid hard rock, Safe and sound and building to that killer record I know they have in them.

Buy Here

Author: Kenny Kendrick

Of course its a loud glorious slab of punk n roll from Berlins finest. Wasting no time in getting on with the job at hand ‘Monsters Won’t Show’ is a rollicking good time with a good ole sing-a-long chorus and plenty of punch for an opener but it flys into ‘Useless Money People’ thats sharp as and right to the point Fuck em!

Lace up them creepers kids and get on the dance floor ‘The Cure’ is a hop, skip and a pogoing good time from the catchy hook and melody to the sanpaper raw riff that makes way for the solo and stabs as the band goes for it on a borrowed Clash Riff and some cool gang vocals. Album number four sees our heroes delivering the goods over their thirteen songs of punchy, tight, melodic punk n roll. they know what they’re good at and stick to their formula and over the albums thirty five minutes they knock out some pretty impressive tunes.

They even hand jive on the bouncy ‘420 o-rama’ and it has to be beer oclock becasue the party has started. They have settled into a rhythm and clearly know what it is they are good at and deliver time over strong melodies and cool riffage Berlin Blackouts are a great band and this is of the highest calibre in this genre. when they slow it down they smash the power pop Boys kinda vibe ‘I Go To Pieces’ is a fine example and delivers one of the albums high points. It may stand out more alongside the jitter riff of the Strummer like ‘My Name Is Stranger’ punching through my speakers its another quality tune and the duet works really well.

I think its the bands strongest bunch of songs so far and thats no mean feat considering how good their previous offerings were. Even though this one ends with a bizzare outro ‘420 Socialites’ its twelve of the best no doubt about it. If you haven’t let the Berlin Blackouts into your ears then this is a mighty fine place to start and work backwards. Excellent album, excellent band – Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley