Texan singer-songwriter Ryan Hamilton is tired of the Bad Breaks, ‘Bad Breaks’ is most definitely available digitally on all platforms from May 16.

“Dear music business executives. I have some things to get off my chest. Are you listening?…”
So begins Ryan Hamilton’s latest single release, pissed-off and squaring-up firmly against a
self-serving music industry.

Spin magazine has hailed Hamilton as one of the ‘35 Best Lesser Known Artists of The Last 35
years’, but owing to a calamitous series of events around the release of his latest album, it
appears the gods of rock want it to stay that way.

Hamilton entered 2023 full of optimism, stating back in January, “I’ve been on the verge of
tipping the proverbial scales for several years now. I’ve had some incredible people supporting
and championing me. Now that all the pandemic-related road blocks are out of the way, it’s

Nominated every year for the past fourteen for some kind of ‘Best New’ artist award, it felt like
the elusive ‘next-level’ was finally within reach.

Originally slated for a March 10 release, ‘Haunted By The Holy Ghost’, Hamilton’s fourth record
for Stevie Van Zandt’s ‘Wicked Cool’ label, had all the hallmarks of a career high. Advance
reviews were uniformly giddy, Classic Rock magazine for one calling it ‘genius – one for the
ages’. Then, days before the album’s release, it all turned to shit. A completely random check
discovered that CDs of the album had entirely the wrong audio. A worldwide recall was hastily

Initially pushed back by over a month, in the week of its new release date, certain retailers
inexplicably reported the album was delayed by a further week. And then by another.
Completely in the dark, Hamilton was powerless to keep his loyal fan base appraised of the
unraveling situation. Reports kept coming in of various pre-orders arriving in homes early and
the album being displayed for sale in stores, such a stuttered release totally destroying
Hamilton’s chances of emulating or eclipsing his previous multiple Top 10 Official UK Chart

His response in the face of such adversity?…

To immediately write, record and schedule a stand-alone single directly addressing the music
industry that has failed him so spectacularly.
A brand new track/ single just weeks after releasing the latest album. It’s a bold move.

After the new album delays, manufacturing errors, the album leaking early… then getting
delayed – and AGAIN! etc… I decided it was time to draw a line. Do something new, something
completely different. Something that I had total control over.
One suspects the opening guitar twang on the single doesn’t evoke Beck’s ‘Loser’ by accident,
as Hamilton rails unto his audience, spoken word:
“I am not a person to you.
I am NOT a person to you.
You are the Dealer and we are the addicts.
You don’t need me.
You have Harry Styles and Taylor Swift!”
What do you think will be the industry response to the message behind the new single –
(or should you even care?)
I don’t know and I don’t care. Which is new territory for me. I think because I’ve been through so
much shit with the “Industry” over the past several months – and years… and it’s gotten me
nowhere… I really don’t care what they think. Truth is, they’ll probably just ignore me.
Both Taylor Swift and Harry Styles get name-checked on the new single, what do you
think they’ll make of it?
They will never hear it. They live in the “super famous” bubble. They don’t visit us down here in
Struggling Artist Land.
The video for Bad Breaks looks like you’re taking a real beating…
Yeah. Nothing like getting slapped in the face repeatedly! Especially when you have to do
several takes. But it’s an accurate representation of the song, and how I’m feeling.
Hamilton continues the song by championing the cause for better treatment and remuneration of
“paycheck to paycheck” artists like himself (“your critical acclaim doesn’t fill my fridge, your
awards don’t pay my bills”), positing:
“Imagine movies – without music.
Imagine television – without music.
Imagine theatre… without music.”

Once finally out in the world ‘Haunted By The Holy Ghost’ was embraced by a hugely supportive
audience (despite many CDs still carrying the wrong audio). Aware of at least a fraction of the
lows (and lows) befalling Hamilton, several fans fighting on behalf of the underdog bought extra
copies and gifted forward to friends. But with such a fractured release the album eventually
staggered into the lower reaches of the Official UK Charts across several weeks, rather than
have one big victorious birth.

For months you seemed to be on a roll promoting this album with hilarious videos
highlighting the pitfalls you’ve struggled against in the music industry. Then a
devastating cluster of cock-ups with your album led to it being delayed by nearly two
months. Does it ever feel like someone’s playing a sick cosmic joke on you?
I must have really pissed off the Music gods, because… DAMN! We had so many incredible
things on the horizon. I turned in “Haunted By The Holy Ghost” over a year ago. We had been
planning and promoting for a year. So, for it all to go to shit the way it has is pretty devastating
as far as the hopes we had for the album.
So, is this the way forward for you – writing, recording and self-releasing as often as you
want, without ‘Industry’ interference/hindrance?
Absolutely, 100%! I’ve been so beaten down by all the recent insanity, the only thing that makes
me feel excited, or inspired, is escaping and doing things on my own.
Does this mean plenty of new music on the horizon?
It means an ABUNDANCE of it. I already have another album’s worth of material.
You announced a ‘Farewell Tour – Part 1’, which was subsequently cancelled. More bad

Yeah. You can’t make this shit up. Album delayed, Tour(s) cancelled. None of it within my
control… but I’m the one paying the price for other people’s screw-ups. It’s inspired me to do
things differently moving forward. It’s gonna be better. I believe it.
Previous single ‘Asshole’, brilliantly released on Valentine’s Day, got the attention of the
Darkness’ Justin Hawkins, humorously branding it as ‘career self-sabotage’. It must feel
good to get recognition from your peers…
Absolutely! Love that guy, and I love the way he operates. To have his support and hear
someone I look up to praise a song like “Asshole” is amazing.
On even cheerier news, you recently announced that your wife is expecting and that
you’ll soon be first-time parents. Congratulations!
Thank you. I didn’t think being a dad was in the cards for me. I’ve surprised myself by how
excited I am about it.
Hopefully no saccharine lullabies for the newborn – there’s been some real stinkers from
rock-Dad’s over the years…
Haha. ZERO chance of that happening from me. I think it will have a really interesting effect on
my songwriting. But I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
And presumably you’ll be advising your offspring AGAINST a career in the music
Haha. Nah, if they want to get into the Music Business, I’ll just be their Manager and use my
wealth of knowledge on what NOT TO DO.
And what of touring? Is it ‘farewell’?…

I just confirmed a House Party Tour for early next year. Yes, really. I’m headed to the UK to play
in people’s living rooms. I’m tired of doing the same old thing that everyone else is doing. Time
to mix it up, and reconnect with the incredible people who support me and my music.
Finally, if you could give any advice to independent artists from your own experience,
what would it be?
Don’t worry about “big” shows or “big” tours. I’ve made that mistake, and been let down too
many times. Focus on your craft, promote yourself online, or with a Newsletter (something I just
started, and LOVE) … and really focus on becoming a better songwriter, or guitar player, or
singer etc.
Here’s to Bad Breaks ushering in a run of better luck for Hamilton

Keep up to date with Ryan on his social media –


Imagine Bloodclot riffing on plenty of NYHC and throwing in some Cerebral Ballzy and the Drips for good measure. You can then press play on this fine record that is over in the blink of an eye. Proper old school hardcore. Heads down and play fast as fuck no bullshit no compromise no fuss.

Absolutely it’s a frantic ’n’ furious 13 minutes If it was any longer it would overstay its welcome – The Hell hail from Norfolk County, Cleveland, and this is their debut offering This shit is proper old school probably the most authentic mid-80s romp from the crows nest to CBGB and back again its that good. It’s relentlessly, pounding and raining earbombs on your skull that sound fresh as anything this genre has thrown up in a long while (Bloodclot probably). Ten songs fly by before you’ve even had the chance to fully get your head around what you’re hearing. If I had a gun at my head I’d say ‘National Razor’ is my Top of the pop then follow it up with the more measured and slower ‘One More Thing’ (partially slower anyway).

The band found each other due to some collision of stars or something like that having all been kicking around in underground bands but it now all makes sense because The Hell are tearing it up on this ferocious debut. It doesn’t matter what the song is called there isn’t time. what you do know when you play it is they feel memorable and fresh and vibrant and at the moment – this isn’t a nostalgia trip to a moment in time long long ago it’s 2023 and in your face enjoy it and turn it up.

You won’t hear a better Hardcore album all year anywhere and if you do, it’s gonna be one hell of a record to be better than this. Get on it! This is excellent from ‘Pistol Grip’ to ‘What A Laugh’ ten slabs of pure Hardcore gold.

Released in UK/ Europe via Drunken Sailor Records, Not For The Weak Records in the USA 

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

Action Rock or Scandi Rock call it what you like – it’s alive and kicking (and screaming) as Dead Express will testify. With this album of loud guitars with some Garage punk rockin’ attitude Dead Express sing from the same Hymn sheet as the likes of Hellacopters and Gluecifer for starters and to be fair they do it really well.

‘Game Changer’ is the bands fourth album and I’d suggest you pull up a chez lounge and a couple of cold beers and get ready to sing along. Formed in  Nyköping, Sweden. they’ve certainly not let the grass grow around their feet having produced albums consistantly with a sound DIY ethic the production is crisp and packs a punch.

The songs that come across the best are the ones with the big hooks either a riff or the gang vocals the opener ‘Roky’ has a good riff and the melody grabs your attention no doubt about it. ‘Hang Em High’ is one of the albums strongest songs. ‘Stinkin Rich’ is a badass tip of the hat to Angus and DC with a crisp riff. To be fair the Riffola is pretty relentless as the songs roll by and by the time you hit ‘Road Trippin’ with its fucked with ‘All The Day’ melody nicked from the Kinks and dragged through the dirt on the back of a drag car no doubt whist the band chug beers all the way. I dread to ask what ‘The Swamp Incident’ might be all about.

As the album screeches to a halt, there’s a track entitled ‘Method To My Madness’ – They couldn’t could they? Hell no is the answer to that, few some songs are sacrosanct and that might just be one of them. Their song of the Lord’s name is pretty decent as it wipes its snotty nose all over the song from the choppy riff to the punky melody and sing a long chorus it’s one of the best songs on offer.

This steaming rockin and rollin machine grinds to a halt with a balls to the wall all out rocker ‘The Naked Truth’ and then no doubt they all exploded into oblivion due to rockin so hard. If you want a full tilt sleazy Action Rock experience then Dead Express might just be the band you’re looking for otherwise step aside sucker because these cats aren’t stopping for anyone – they’re hellbound and outta control.

Buy Dead Express Here

Author: Dom Daley

Short, stabbing blasts of lo-fi punk, recorded in the red, and unearthed after some years, Homicide Idols is an abrasive yet extremely satisfying listen. Get over the Lo-Fi sound (it hides a multitude of sins) it shows attitude and challenges the listener whether you like it or not. oh, and I guess it’s the ultimate punk rock sacrifice (just think endless nameless – everyone whose ever played that would love to hear it clean and not fucked). Influenced by the Germs to the mighty Dead Boys to the Reatards, this album has it covered with fuzzed-out, catchy guitar riffs and gravel-spitting vocals.

From the opening punk as fuck ‘Nothing To Me’ is like the Gaggers on 78 played through a biscuit tin. Choppy abrasive riff with a melody buried deep in the mix. I guess thats the bands modus operandi because ‘young, sick And Pissed’ is more of the same just played a little faster. If someone uncovered some Dee Dee Ramone demos under his bed then this is what they might just sound like.

I do love a bit of Lo-Fi and from the rattling snare intro of ‘Terminal Weekend’ I’m all in. I’ve invested my time in this and love it, The Johnyn Thunders guitar breaks are a joy and the fact it slams straight into ‘Dead End Life’ is a bonus. furious and fucked up – crack on gentlemen you’ve got your fingers on the pulse right here.

theres nothign original on offer here but some of these Riffs are sweet – take ‘I Want Blood’ it’s got energy and sounds like a speeding runaway train heading for the buffers and nobody gives a shit because we’re living in the moment and its rockin hard. The fact its barely fifteen minutes is no time at all and certainly not enough time to get bored of the thrashing about or low vocal. Hell on ‘you Got The Leather’ they even have time for a cool yet brief break down.

The album closer starts with a rapid Bass and drum workout (yup there is a bass guitar adding low end – I think) before thrashing off into oblivion covering the listener in gob and sweat whilst wearing a shit-eating grin. That album was a fuckin blast of unadulterated energy and fun and it just leaves time for me to say get on it and fuck them all this shit is da bomb!

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

The ying and yang of RPM Online as we offer the new video from PJ Harvey lifted from her forthcoming record and follow it up with something altogether louder. A new song and video, “A Child’s Question, August,” with the announcement of her tenth studio album, ‘I Inside the Old Year Dying’.

The new album – Harvey’s first since 2016’s Grammy-nominated ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ – will be released on 7th July via Partisan Records. The album is produced by long-time collaborators Flood and John Parish. Today’s song release comes with a video, directed by Steve Gullick.

Pre Order Here

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Next up is hard rockin mofo and all round good guy Stevie R Pierce & The Hooligans with the uncompromising hard hitting ‘Out Go The Lights’. don’t take our word for it watch the fuckin video and turn it UP!

The video was shot, at the Waterloo, Blackpool.. (voted by the people on Planet Rock as the UKs #1 venue!) .. Stevie says “it’s a second home to me. We’ve done a live album there, so it was kind of fitting. On the day they really bought the idea to life, with Lee Merrison’s pyrotechnics – the idea was to capture a Hooligans show- to walk around in it, to be up close and part of it. Energy and Attitude!”


21/06 Bannermans, Edinburgh, W/ Holy Rude Vault and Main Primate http://t-s.co/st073

22/06 The Waterloo Blackpool, W/ Voodoo Sioux and Apriori https://www.seetickets.com/tour/stevie-r-pearce-the-hooligans

23/06 Facebar Reading https://www.wegottickets.com/event/575818

24/06 Corporation Sheffield w/ Blind Alice https://www.wegottickets.com/event/575819

21/07 Musician, Leicester W/ Blind Alice and Dig Lazarus https://www.ticketweb.uk/event/stevie-r-pearce-and-the-the-musician-tickets/13188608
22/07 Black Heart Camden, London W/ Blind Alice and Dig Lazarus https://www.wegottickets.com/event/575820

To stay in touch with Stevie hit the bands Social Media –


Having been under the weather for the previous few days and still suffering from an infection a very busy O2 Bristol gives Libertines, Babyshambles frontman Doherty a very warm welcome in the spacious environment for an “intimate” acoustic performance. Peter is accompanied onstage by his two rather large dogs who stroll on and make themselves comfortable making the whole thing quite surreal.

I can’t help but feel that playing this kind of show would work so much better in a small compact venue but then a fraction of the people would get in but that’s the way it goes, the O2 is impersonal and cavernous for a one-man acoustic show even if it was a treat to hear some gems played this way by a writer who has written some of the best songs and lyrics over the last few decades. Doherty is a genius and it felt a treat and a privilege to witness the man perform in this way. Whilst he might well have been playign to a set list it certainly didn’t feel that way as Peter meanders through the songs finding a comfortable pitch and easing his vocal into the set whist interacting with the audience as shouts go out for favourite songs and classic cuts this is loose as Dylan and Richards and Wood at live aid (go find it) its Libertines heavy in the opening exchanges, ‘Music When The Lights Go Out’ is very early in the set along with a couple of Babyshambles choice cuts with ‘Bollywood To Battersea’ working really well.

Mid set we were treated to a fantastic ramshackled ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ where the audience found its voice and joined Doherty for the best song written by anyone in the UK for decades. As we headed into the homestraight and Peters voice was showing little signs of wear that had him postpone a show a few days earlier ‘Don’t Look Back’, ‘Time For Heroes’, ‘What Katie Did’ went down a treat before ‘Last Of The English Roses’ was aired along with a new song entitled ‘The Barons Claw’.

Possibly the best song of the night was an epic version of ‘French Dog Blues’ before ‘Albion’ kissed goodnight to a really chilled night out where I witnessed people jostling in the pit to a one man acoustic evening which was cool. To be fair I love his lyrics and I’ll take his music be it with a rock and roll band or ensemble of musicians as well as on his lonesome. Peter Doherty is a poet and one of the United Kingdoms finest songwriters and to him stripped bare like this was a real treat.

Author: Dom Daley

Studio album number three from Finnish gothic post punkers Grave Pleasures is one I must admit to almost passing up on due to the recent trend for bands to warm up their fans with selected video singles from their soon to be released album. It’s not just ‘Plagueboys’ though, I almost passed up on the new Damned album too (coincidently both were released on the same day) due to this practise, but thankfully I saw sense and bought both and by God am I glad I did as both have turned out to be great albums.

That right there is the core issue though I think, because like The Damned, Grave Pleasure release albums, complete works of art that need to be listened to in their totality , not via cherrypicked tracks, albeit I will admit to now loving the trio of tracks I was previously pointing at my PC screen and ranting at  (for not being as immediate as tracks from the band’s previous LPs 2015’s ‘Dreamcrash and 2017’s ‘Motherblood’) when I listened to them in isolation.

Consisting of 10 tracks and with a runtime of just 42 minutes ‘Plagueboys’ is certainly “a straight to the point” kind of record, it’s the type of album that was commonplace in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and opening track ‘Disintegration Girl’ sounds just like it was birthed in that golden age of music too. A squeal of feedback segueing into tubthumping Budgie-esque (the drummer not band) drums over which a chiming slink-y (geddit?) riff unfurls in all its glorious gothic beauty and then it’s all topped off by the ever-fabulous vocals of frontman Mathew McNerney. This is a stunning opening cut, and I’m immediately thinking “what the hell was I doing ever doubting one of my favourite bands of the past decade?”

Yup it’s the tenth anniversary of Beastmilk’s epic ‘Climax’ record this year, and it’s that record from the band that would eventually become Grave Pleasures that ‘Plagueboys’ perhaps most reminds me of, especially ‘Heart Like a Slaughterhouse’. It’s a track the band themselves admit to sounding right and wrong all at once, and its one that will take a few listens for you to get your head around, but once it’s got its hooks in you, trust me, it’s like “boomshanka” and the gothic payload will fry your brain.   

‘When The Shooting’s Done’ is for me the track the band should have previewed ‘Plagueboys’ with, its simply classic Grave Pleasures at their deathrock best. Propelled by a once again slightly angular rhythmic pattern that on first listen appears at odds to the rest of the band, the key change chorus to this anthem in the making is pure gold. Now I just can’t wait to hear this one live.

The third and final video teaser ‘High On Annihilation’ was my pick of the pack in the run up to the release of ‘Plagueboys’ and it’s the track that finally got me pressing the ‘pre-order’ button for my limited coloured vinyl edition. I think its the Russell Mael like quality to McNerney’s vocals on this one that got me all excited and its certainly more gothic synth wave than apocalyptic death rock, although rest assured a gloomy undertone is never far away.

‘Lead Balloons’ and ‘Imminent Collapse’ follow, the former a sombre and majestic lament to (amongst other things) the death of ’84 and the latter continuing the hi-hat driven anthemic theme which is strong throughout ‘Plagueboys’ has me bizarrely thinking of early (that’s pre-Eno) U2.

The first of the album’s video teasers ‘Society of Spectres’ is up next, and this is a tune that has really grown on me of late, it’s another riotous gothic romp, that if I’m honest I probably had more issue with over the (what sounds to my OCD brain like) slightly out of tune vocals on the verses than anything else and just like the band said previously, its another track that sounds wrong and right all at the same time.

As ‘Plagueboys’ arrives at its final trio of tracks ‘Conspiracy of Love’ is the type of gloomy epic that The Cure has been filling stadiums with for decades now and at almost six minutes in length it is not only the most expansive track on offer here, but also the most Beastmilk-like in fact it also reminds me of their ex-touring buddies In Solitude here too.  The album’s title track delivers a more succinct message touching on 80s pop in the melody department, it’s a pulsating headrush that sets the scene perfectly for album closer ‘Tears on The Camera Lens’ a tune which hints at what Joy Division might have sounded like if they were formed in Helsinki instead of Salford.

‘Plagueboys’ is a terrific celebration of everything great in gothic music in 2023, albeit it’s probably going to take a few listens for you to truly discover just how amazing a record it is.

Me, I’m never watching or listening to a preview video ever again. Ha!




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Author: Johnny Hayward

What a starting eleven this lot are (and a full bench) . From top to bottom, there are some real bangers here from punk rock to hard rock and plenty in between – What’s your favourite? This Singles Club is on fire this May & here’s the proof

Suzi Moon & Billy Hopeless – Nothing Left To Lose (Yeah Right! Records) Yeah Right! seems about the apropriate words to use or rather Fuckin’ Yeah Right! two awesome people rockin out the duet like a modern day peters and lee or renee and ronata these cats are awesome but together they go like punk rock peaches and cream. ‘Love Is A Stranger’ is a smokey barroom ballad that unfolds into a broken hearted call to arms. Beautifully captured from the swirling organ to the chaotic chorus. The second track is the uptempo ‘Communicado’ the yang to the flip sides ying. Suzi and Billy are a match made in punk rock heaven like that time Iggy and Debbie Harry made sweet music as a proper duet. this single is limited so don’t wait just get your mucky paws on a copy asap its the record of the month hands down! Yeah Right it is.

Throwing Stuff – ‘No Gods No Kings’ (TNS Records) I can get behind this banger from Throwing Stuff. We’re on the same page here and this is a grinding wonderful slice of hardcore. Resonating lyrics and pulverising rhythm – I like this a lot. Hailing from Manchester these guys are on it and turning in some impressive material. I look forward to catching up with them at some point because live is always the litmus test and this would sound huge. I like what I’ve heard so far and they’re on TNS so it must be promising.

Atomic Suplex – No Thanks (Self Release) Didn’t see this banger coming. Atomic Suplex recorded two banging albums several years ago and this new EP is a welcome return. what you have here is four previously unused demo tracks released via Bandcamp on Bandcamp Friday which We appreciate isn’t much help seeing as this is out on Sunday but I figure any sales are welcome sales so if you’re a longtime fan then dive in and if you’re looking for something new then what are you waiting for? Lo-fi Garage rockers Atomic Suplex have never made a bad record or rather released one. These four songs are a most welcome return to the fold. ‘I Come Alive’ is a prime slice of Garage Rock n Roll swinging from the chadeliers. But like all of these songs they’re brief and fleeting. ‘So Tough’ is Jon Spenser blues kinda vibe whilst ‘Denmark’ is a lovely romp of fuzzed up punk blooze before signing off with a suitably deranged ‘Louis Louis’. Job done, rock n roll as fuck, get some!

The Balladmongrels – ‘Evil Under The Moon’ King Outlaw Records) With the album ready to be birthed into the world the reprobates of Rock n Roll release the latest digital track from the album ‘Evil Under The Moon’. This barroom brawler lies deep in the LP and with a whippersnapper pace it’s off on its toes. With a rockin’ chorus and some swashbuckling guitar playing at work it’s a top tune from the dynamic duo.

Typical of the tracks on offer ‘Evil’ is a blood and thunder affair that will have your blood pumping and your fist shaking for more rock n roll. As good as it gets and great to hear such quality from such a talented pair.

Baby Schillaci – ‘So Bad’ (Lavender Sweep Records) The latest offering from impressive Swansea punks ‘Dead Wrestlers’So Bad’ is a heaving roller coaster through some industrial bass thumping whilst the guitars are brooding in the background before breaking out screaming and the darker edges of Manics Holy Bible era breaks through. married nicely with some more chaotic howling guitars before finishing up in a full frontal assault. These boys know their way around a top tune and with repeated plays this is certainly a contender and once the EP is out their reach will be far and wide. Excellent tune get on it.

Zeke – ‘Ride Hard Ride Free’ (Hound Gawd! Records) The tracks are not available on Spotify, Apple Music and other digital platforms. Going old school is Zeke and Hound Gawd! We love that shit and we love these songs. Pure high-grade rocket fuel flying out of the speakers like a rat-arsed slice of Slayer meets Motorhead whilst listening to some pissed-off punk al a Misfits. It’s the first glimpse under the hood of what’s coming from the full-length album due later in 2023 and to be fair if this is an indication then woohoo! bring it on – two excellent slices of bad-attitude Punk n Roll from the band that was always gonna survive a lockdown. I’m not sure which track I prefer – the full tilt no fucks given of ‘Ride Hard’ or the rough backstreet brawl of ‘Smokestack Lightening’ Hell they’re both killers – Buy It!

Rotten Mind – ‘Pointless Love’ (Lovely Records) A really catchy track sees Swedens Rotten Mind release a really nice earworm that has plenty o fdirt in the tracks and enough softer melodic shenanigans to draw you in. ‘Pointless Love’ is about never growing up. Sometimes it can actually be reassuring to think about life as something pointless. Then it’s up to you to make what you want out of it. and thats something we can all get on board with. If this is the soundtrack to not growing up then I’m in.

Chris Shiflett – ‘Dead And Gone’ (Snakefarm) Written back in spring 2020 during a time of reflection, is an ode to his hometown and some of the friends and characters that have influenced him along the way. It a countrified honkin good time with plenty of attitude and rock n Roll to help it on its way. Its got groove and some Fuzz for good measure and if its an indication of what we can expect from the long player due later this year then this is a good time to get involved. A modern day guitar hero Chris doesn’t just write songs to show off his six string talent but the othe rway around he writes good tunes and adds his considerable six string talent. ah you know where were at, get on it kids.

Kurt Baker – ‘Secrets’ (Wicked Cool Records) Man where do we start with Kurt Baker? He sure as hell knows how to write catchy power poppin’ rock n roll songs thats a given. influenced by classic Motown-James Jamerson basslines, mixed with a bit of Big Star high-volume guitar and a student of classic alternative music such as Costello and his attractions and some classic 80s pop Baker is a master mixologist and churns out 7″ bangers time after time and ‘Secrets’ is no exception. Get on it it’s got summer sunshine running all the way through it.

The Hard Ons – ‘Apartment For Two’ (Cheersquad Records) What a video this is. Hard-ons release the latest video off their new long player. , new album ‘Ripper 23’ out on 2nd June on Golden Robot Records. If this is an indication of what we can epect from these Oz icons then bring on that long player. Top notch punk rock – right here.

The Hives – ‘Bogus Operandi’ How great is it to see The Hives back in the ring swinging haymakers? Easily one of if, not Sweden’s best-ever export The Hives have a new single ahead of a new album and some live shows in some pretty cool venues. ‘Bogus’ is as sharp as they ever were and the video is top-notch. Welcome back gents its been a while

Desperate Measures ‘Back To The Rats’ (Wipe Out Music) – Keeping quality at an exceptionally high standard is the latest single from Desperate Measures. ‘Back To The Rats’ is a chugging heaving slab of in-your-face garage rock with a cool riff, wholesome punishing rhythm section topped off with a great chorus. I love the quality breakdown as the song begs to be played over and over, a real earworm.

Stream it on the usual platforms and share the love. Banger, plain and simple! and the band are playing some live shows which you can purchase tickets Here

The Empty Page – ‘Big Nasty Palpitations’ (Self Release) Continuing to release excellent singles on their terms in the best DIY fashion The Empty Page are back with a very personal song in ‘Big Nasty Palpitations’. putting their hearts and soul into everything they do it comes across in the music. It’s engaging and thoughtful and resonates through the music and words their passion shines through as does their love for the music they create. a twisting brooding slice of indie done in a really good way that draws you in and makes you think about the song. Really impressive song yet again from The Empty Page.

Grave Pleasures – ‘High On Annihilation’ (Century Media) The latest single from Finnish Goths whose brand new album gets reviewed tomorrow this is here to wet your apetite ahead of the review. Its a retro slice of pop Goth mixing some 80s synth pop from the likes of The Human League with their darker edge. It has chart bothering qualities yet still holds dear its underground roots. Catchy earworm from another quality record.

Les Lullies – ‘Zero Ambition’ (Slovenly Records) OH yeah lets put the drinks on ice baby Les Lullies are in the house and they’re bringing Zero Ambition to the party. Always with an upbeat persective on Garage punk rock n roll Les Lullies don’t do bad tunes and this one is further proof to back that up. You can pre order the new long player here if you have any sense.

Black Spiders – ‘Alright Alright Alright’ (Spinefarm) A three-and-a-half-minute rock stomper, it delves deep into the psyche of frontman Pete Spiby and takes a peek into what goes on inside his head when he’s fast asleep.

“I’ve had a few weird dreams that I actually remember, but only a few make it into song lyrics. ‘Alright, Alright, Alright’ is one of them, which was centred around Matthew McConaughey having an arm wrestle with the Devil, within some sort of crazy 80’s movie,” he says. We here at RPM can get down with those sorts of fucked up crazy dreams and to be fair at the end of it the band had a decent slab of rock out of it. Winner!

Lusitanian Ghosts – ‘The Long Train’  (European Phonographic) Fascinating instrumentations using traditional instruments to create their unique Rock n Roll ‘The Long Train’, is the first single from their impending third album and what a wonderful song it is. Not that this was ever in doubt as vocalist Neil Leyton has been consistently making superb music for decades, and this ensemble certainly know their way around their beautiful instruments and how to create excellent songs. they make it sound so easy (which I’m sure it’s not) the song builds and breaths and has the feel of a train breaking into the open countryside – fantastic song and if this is the standard for the third album then bring it on. On this evidence, it’s going to be fantastic and I love the gang-backing vocals towards the end, so enjoyable. Coming from this highly talented bunch of musicians who nail this folkey malarky every time they commit to tape. check it out.

ZAC – ‘It’s Only Words’ (Wild Honey Records) Switch on your Spector detector, turn your framed “Sergeant Pepper” LP to the wall and let ZAC’s quirky pop fuel your dancing shoes. Lorenzo Moretti (Giuda’s guitarist and creative mind) and Tiziano Tarli (multi-instrumentalist and music historian) have put together another surfeit of sensational songs. Pablo continues to provide the beats, and Sterbus returns on the bass guitar. It’s infectious power pop with added Synths with an emphasis on the melody and delivery. 80s pop at its finest.

Discharge in a 100-capacity living room what a prospect this is. D Beat, Crust punk top table diners Discharge. First up, those reprobates from Port Talbot The Shunkos are currently blowing away audiences in a pool of sweat and ringing ears for their full force no compromise slice of real life along the M4 in one of the most densely populated towns anywhere in Wales they play hard and fast and sing about ‘Meal Deals’ and ‘Uni Mates’ as well as bus rides up the valley.

Deranged Frontman Mal is up for this one slipping in the pit stomping on pedal boards and causing chaos that’s suitably off the hook for their frantic set. If you get the chance to see them they are getting better with every performance tighter and leaner and finding their feet – fine choice of opener for Discharge to be fair The Shunkos entertain and leave people with beaming smiles across their faces knowing they’ve just had a top time with good tunes and plenty of insanity.

There was another band on the bill but unfortunately I missed their set so it was into the small room to find a reasonably comfortable spot to enjoy the ensuing madness that was about to rain down on the heaving masses.

Without further ado Discharge hit the stage and immediately gets on with the job at hand, with their thrash meets punk noise they do a sterling job of grabbing ones attention and holding it for the duration of their time on the stage.

With JJ prowling the bijoux space that is his stage for tonight’s performance the audience en mass takes a sharp intake of breath (Which is at a premium tonight) in the sauna like room. The next hour and some is going to be an ordeal but a good one survival of the fittest and not one for the feint of heart. ‘Ain’t No Feeble Bastard’, ‘State Violence State Control’, ‘Molotov’ and ‘You Deserve Me’, ‘Hatebomb’, and ‘War Is Hell’ leave their mark and hit the spot the music is relentless as it should be and the intensity climbs leaving a crater in the pit that’s getting filled as bodies slip and slide on sweat and beer that’s been spilt in the name of a good time. Bodies literally fly through the air as the unrelenting onslaught hammers out crust punk anthems such as the majestic ‘Protest And Survive’. Discharge are killing it with every rapid D Beat and howl on the guitar solos its pulverising and at time quite beautiful.

To an unsuspecting onlooker, this scene must look insane, utter madness as the volume is ear-splitting and unrelenting, it’s song after song each one getting more intense as they collide into each other with razor-sharp procession from a band tighter than a gnats chuff. Discharge do what they do and if you don’t get it then simply move on people it’s not for everyone but if you do get it – it can be magical and a wonderful experience of extreme musical experiences. It’s like hearing Slayer go punk as fuck as they crisscross genres in pursuit of the ultimate high.

When you’re in the mood for some extreme metal punk then there is only one band that fills that void and tonight Discharge were on fire plain and simple – no-nonsense, loud, abrasive, uncomfortable, raging and devastating just as it should be. Love It!


Author: Dom Daley

If you were to ask me to name a criminally underrated band, an artist that in an ideal world should’ve become a household name, I could give you a big list, but somewhere at the top of that list would be Texas 3-piece band King’s X.

Formed in Springfield, Missouri in 1979, the trio consisting of Doug Pinnick on vocals/bass, Ty Tabor on vocals/guitar and drummer Jerry Gaskill burst onto the rock scene in 1988 with their debut album ‘Out Of The Silent Planet’. Their heady mix of progressive rock with three-part vocal harmonies and clever arrangements was lauded by music critics and music lovers alike, they graced the cover of Kerrang! magazine and gained high profile tours with the likes of Cheap Trick, Robert Plant and Anthrax.

Their albums got stronger with each release, and with the advent of Grunge and their influence on the likes of Pearl Jam and Pantera, it seemed inevitable that success would be theirs. Yet even with high profile tours with the likes of Iron Maiden, AC/DC and Motley Crue, commercial success eluded them.

The excellent Cherry Red Records have stepped up to the task and cover their classic Atlantic period albums, with full sleeve artwork and extra bonus tracks.

With a mohawk-sporting singer who played a 12-string bass left-handed, bared a striking resemblance to Jimi Hendrix and had a gospel-tinged croon, King’s X were as far removed from the chart-bothering hair metal bands or the thrash heavyweights of the late 80’s, they stood out like a sore thumb and could not be pigeonholed.

With an album title taken from a CS Lewis book and lyrical themes of introspection and Christian beliefs ‘Out Of The Silent Planet’ was in a world of its own back in 1988. Complex arrangements, multi-layered Beatle-esque vocal harmonies, soulful lead vocals and a unique guitar tone laid the basis for their career and highlights such as the beautiful ‘Goldilox’, ‘King’ and ‘Shot Of Love’ remain firm fan favourites to this day. This led to the album being named ‘Album of the Year’ over at Kerrang! magazine.

The sophomore ‘Gretchen Goes To Nebraska’ was released in 1989. A concept album based on a short story written by drummer Jerry Gaskill, it is regarded by many as their defining album. The story follows a girl’s spiritual journey and all the obstacles and characters she encounters on her way to Nebraska.

The defining moment ‘Over My Head’ is a celebration of music, Doug welcoming all to the church of rock n’ roll with his soulful, gospel-tinged croon. The arpeggiated riff to beautiful ballad ‘Summerland’, a song full of whimsical mystery, Beatle-esque harmonies and an outstanding guitar solo, no rhythm guitar to fill the sound out, just the pulsing bass groove and the powerhouse beats.

The funereal ‘The Difference (in the Garden Of St Annes On The Hill)’ still sends shivers down my spine. About as ethereal and spiritual as music can get.

As every concept album should be ‘Gretchen..’ is a rapturous journey from start to finish. A musical journey that sucks you in, covering multiple moods and musical genres, yet always sounding like King’s X. An essential album in the history of rock let alone King’s X discography.

Even though it was their most commercially successful album, 1990’s ‘Faith Hope & Love’ is probably the weakest of the six on offer here. It was never going to be able to compete with its predecessor. While it contained some great tunes such as the killer rocker ‘We Were Born To Be Loved’ and the sublime Crowded House pop of ‘It’s Love’ and was as imaginative and ambitious as you came to expect from the band, it lacked the cohesion and direction of ‘Gretchen..’. In hindsight and with the musical tides turning, maybe the band were searching to find who they really were.

Their self-titled fourth album came out in 1992 and was the last to feature longtime producer Sam Taylor. ‘King’s X’ saw the band tighten things up songwriting-wise and things were getting a bit darker and heavier, maybe due to the rumblings in Seattle. The experimentation and the clever arrangements were back in force, the melodies on point and they had a newfound urgency and anger to their sound which was evident from the off on opener ‘The World Around Me’ and first single ‘Black Flag’.

The ambitious and clever ‘Chariot Song’ is like 10 songs in one and veers off on all sorts of tangents to itself with Queen-like reversed backing vocals.

The experimentation continued in the skulking ‘What I Know About Love’ and the beautiful ‘Dream In My Life’, a song that remains a career highlight. It is not average by any means.

1994 was a defining year for rock music. Alternative was mainstream and all the bands had to adapt to the musical and political climate. Music seemed more edgy, and it brought out the best in many bands, King’s X included.

‘Dogman’ is King’s X piece de resistance, their masterpiece if you like. From the massive riffage of the opening title track to the closing live in the studio version of Jimi Hendrix’ ‘Manic Depression’ it is an album of the time that stands the test of time itself. ‘Dogman’ is the sound of a band totally in tune with itself. Three men playing as one with years of experience, delivering one massive of act of defiance. With go-to Grunge producer Brendan O’Brien at the helm, King’s X sound pissed off, heavier and stripped back to a raw sounding live beast.

The powerful punch of ‘Complain’ hits right in the chest, Ty’s detuned guitar tone is sublime and the 3-part harmonies as beautiful as ever. That year they thrilled fans at Woodstock ‘94 and they played live in a tv studio to no audience when the LA riots were in full flow, that was what was going on in 1994.

The sublime ‘Flies And Blue Skies’ sends shivers down the spine and the band have never sounded as heavy as they do on ‘Black The Skies’. The raw anger and energy of the minute long ‘Go To Hell’ would never have worked on a King’s X album pre ‘94, but here it sounds just perfect.

This version adds live era versions of ‘Shoes’ and ‘We Were Born To Be Loved’, yet with the emphasis on groove and melody, bass that will rattle your bones and harmonies that will reach the depths of your soul, ‘Dogman’ set a high benchmark for all King’s X albums that would follow it.

The last of the Atlantic albums released in 1996 would mark the end of an era for the band and it’s a fitting benchmark. In complete contrast to ‘Dogman’, ‘Ear Candy’ draws on the more psychedelic influences of the band, here they tone down the heaviness and concentrate on a more commercial sound, veering on many songs into power pop territory.

While Ty took a back seat in the vocal department on ‘Dogman’, his lead vocals are more prolific on ‘Ear Candy’. From the psychedelic cover art, and the band members sporting short hair, it marked a change in direction. His 60’s influenced psychedelic pop songs like ‘Mississippi Moon’ and Jerry’s ‘American Cheese’ mark a nice direction for the band and album closer ‘Life Going By’ is filled with introspection and harmony as the band take a look deep inside their souls.

Fans who yearn for the King’s X of old are satisfied by the likes of ‘Looking For Love’ and ‘The Box’ is classic King’s X and has traits of the early albums, it remains a firm live favourite to this day.

While the addition of a few live tracks, alternate mixes and only one previously unreleased rarity (‘Freedom’) is not really much to attract hardcore fans into purchasing these albums again, ‘In The New Age’ is the perfect starting point for new or casual fans to find out what all the fuss was about and to have all of King’s X classic albums together in one nifty package. And while remastered versions of the albums and some extra updated interviews, notes or pictures would’ve been nice, this stunning collection of work is still an essential purchase in my book.

Buy Here

Author: Ben Hughes