Therapy?’s sixteenth album ‘Hard Cold Fire’, was written and pre-produced during an unprecedented time for music, but one the band insists isn’t a lockdown album but was rather done after lockdown and with a determination of not being another lockdown record. What it is is a hefty, yet accessible record, a concise 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.

a spiralling, hypnotic grinding, pulverising cocktail of grunge-rock meets Hard Rock meets indie full of towering melody that sees the trio focussed and reinvigorated after their layoff. A fully charged Therapy? 

This ten track offering kicks off with the twisted energetic thrust of ‘They Shoot The Terrible Master’ that distills what Therapy? do so well wrapping melody in a thunderous rhythmic blast with a filthy guitar riff stomping over the insane rhythm section. The therapy? fans will love this openermade of pure adrenalin.

And so it begins, the record twists and turns those melodies from ‘Woe’ through ‘Joy’ which sits like a barking alsatian straining on its leash building to a lush chorus of dreamlike quality before dropping back into the rhythm. Cairns’s vocals are also in top form here. Neil Cooper is in top form it has to be said as he weaves some awesome patterns on ‘Two Wounded Animals’ as the band lays back for the first time on the album letting the song breath.

‘To Disappear’ is as heavy as Therapy? get with a monumental riff then follow it up with a Cairns whispered vocal on ‘Mongrel’ that opens up into a lush melody one of the albums most accessable songs on the album. As we head into the homestraight the bands single plays out as ‘Poundland Of Hope And Glory’ is unleashed telling the story of how a lie is told so many times it becomes ones truth and the myth telling becomes normalised. Classic Therapy? lyrics you’ll invest in when digging deep into this album.

‘Ugly’ enjoys a wonderful solo whilst a twisted melody scratches away in the background of what is quickly becoming one of my favourite songs on the album. Saying that the albums closer is a brooding beast of post Grunge and for me is the standout song from the whole record the melody is a real earworm, ‘Days Kollaps’ is as stronger song the band has ever finished with. Restrained in a sea of noise and chaos dark and wonderous showing that the band are still at the top of their game and the rich tapestry of ‘Hard Cold Fire’ is a beautiful thing offeing variety and style as well as ten top tunes. Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

Toronto noise mongers Deadwolff (yes there’s two f’s) have released their debut album ‘Heavy Rock ‘N Roll’, after the band’s debut EP came out digitally which caught the ear of RPM Online.

Shortly after, Deadwolff signed with Metal Assault Records, based out of Los Angeles, and released their debut EP on cassette, which sold out.  As of recently, Deadwolff has been touring throughout Canada, bringing their catchy hooks, and eccentric live show to the masses. Building momentum quickly, Deadwolff sought out and was noticed by Golden Robot Records and there’s plenty to love about it. If you’re a fan of the Ramones, Motorhead, AC/DC and Airbourne then you’ll love Deadwolff. So what if vocalist/bassist Tommy Wolffe cant sing for toffee? It just adds to the charm of the band, Wolffe’s bass is a little too high in the mix for my liking but that’s totally subjective. More drums please!!

Deadwolff has songs about gangs, booze, and women. They certainly won’t win any prizes for being literary geniuses. The music is head down, arse up heavy rock. You get what it says on the tin. A good fun, rough-and-tumble album with some ropey production. I love it! A great soundtrack to a Friday night booze-up. You can smell Deadwolff just by listening to them. They stink of a combination of sweat, bad breath, whisky, cigarettes, and well-worn leather jackets. Big up Toronto Hard Rockers they know what time it is. It’s time to rock!

Go and give Heavy Rock ‘N Roll a spin, you can thank me later.

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Author: Kenny Kendrick

Penny Rich, a three-piece punk band from Cardiff, Wales, Their Strong evocative melodies and lyrics to match speak to us all. They were formed in 2016 from a shared passion for 90’s Grunge and Noise, which isn’t a bad place to start in my book. The album opens with some raw cold guitars scratching at your speaker before a Therapy? Heavy explosion of Riffs. Their sound is dark, grey and very metallicly cold (not making sense? Once the sounds climb out of your speakers you’ll be on board – trust me)

The production is sparse in a concrete kind of way as the guitars weave hypnotic patterns. the band has a good energy in their songs like ‘Last Meal’ as it pulverises you into submission. there is obvious influential references musically all over the place none more evident that the ‘Bleach’ era Nirvana of ‘Sugar Pill’ they hit upon a good groove as well which helps the song throb.

I particularly like ‘S.P.A.’ its got some great energy and reminds me of the early 90s and listening to NomeansNo and Fugazi very loudly and just submerging myself into the music and seeing where it takes me. ‘P.C’ is a great riff and I love the recklessness of it thrashing about from the intro. I’m sure having that bass throb pounding your chest in a tight club would be impressive and to be fair it works on the stereo as well. ‘Stasis’ is something of an alternative interlude of punk rock poetry before handing the batton over to ‘If Everyones An Expert Then Whats Left To Be Learnt’ and its frantic dash to the finish line. only leaving ‘Down River’ to dust off a pretty impressive album and one that has depth and quality throughout.

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Author: Dom Daley

The sun is still blazing in the sky over a hot and sweaty Barcelona evening as a line of people zigzags up a metal staircase to Club Razzmatazz where a packed out room is bathed in dry ice as the PA creaks to ‘Tadeusz (1912-1988)’ and the already sweaty audience breaks out into a heaving mass of football sing-a-long excitement before the band walks on for one last hurrah around Europe on the Deja Vu tour.

The few times I caught The Mission last year they were on fine form breaking in the new drummer just ahead of the UK tour post covid lockdowns and they were (pardon the pun) on a Mission and full of energy. Barca expects and as the band winds up ‘Beyond The Pail’ the club is jumping and with hardly any room to breath its a heaving mass of swathing bodies singing along and I’m imediately taken back to the early days where packed clubs like Bristol Studio or New Ocean Club in Cardiff would see you carried along in a sea of bodies well this was like that. ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ was played early doors before the band lashed out ‘Serpent’s Kiss’ and an enthusiastic ‘Over The Hills’ this was warming up to be something special.

The sound was good and the band sounded well rehearsed and full of energy. With a great mix of songs from way back to more recent offerings, it was ‘Within The Deepest Darkness (fearful)’ when we could take a breather and take in just how bloody good a band the Mission are. The show was taking shape in manageable chunks as the audience sang back every word from the epic ‘Kingdom Come’ and ‘Stay With Me’ it was ‘Butterfly On A Wheel’ where Wayne let the audience sing back to him and I think he was impressed how loud and in tune it was. the main set was brought to an end with an energetic ‘Wasteland’ before ‘Deliverance’ saw the band leave the stage for the first time. A dozen songs had just flown by and I’d found myself in a pocket of air towards the front as the band returned for a trio of songs culminating in an exhilarating ‘Crystal Ocean’ that was the highlight of the set for me. How or why I don’t know but tonight I was moved by this song even though I’d heard it live dozens and dozens of times the whole experience was uplifting and life affirming and I love that Rock and Roll can do that even in a sea of top tunes one will stand tall.

The band left the stage for a second time before Wayne returned alone to announce that one of the band needed a toilet break but would say who so it was left for a welcome return of ‘Love Me To Death’ which only left an epic rendition of ‘Tower Of Strength’ before it was done leaving only Wayne and Simon to twist out a feedback soaked ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and then it was done. Off to Madrid for one last time as we filed out into the warm night air happy I’d once again seen The Mission deliver the goods and cement their place as one of the best live bands still treading the boards.

I know they’ve alluded to this possibly being their last foray into Europe but I’d ask they reconsider that and maybe do it one last time next year or the year after and I’ll be there and by the looks of it so will a lot of others. Another night of Deja Vu with the awesome Mission. Gracias amigos.



Author: Dom Daley

We’ve been banging on about Texas singer/songwriter Ryan Hamilton since before RPM was even a thing, and for good reason. Ryan is an artist who always seems to be on the verge of breaking through with every new album, before some personal tragedy scuppers his plans and he’s back to square one.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, well that all depends on what is trying to kill you, I guess. In Ryan’s case it could be a cheating first wife, addiction, divorce, online abuse, the record business, cancelled tours and most recently…a delayed album due to manufacturing errors. All the above have happened in the last decade and you really couldn’t make it up, but Ryan is still soldiering on, and thank your lucky stars he is.

‘Haunted By the Holy Ghost’ follows his 2020 break up album ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ and the following lockdown album ‘1221’. Produced by go-to-guy Dave Draper who also plays bass, along with Ben Marsden on guitar and Carol Hodge and Emily Ewing on backing vocals. It was recorded at Draper’s studio The Old Cider Press and Ryan’s home studio in Texas, making the whole album a transatlantic power pop affair.

The opening song ‘Asshole’ shows Ryan’s current attitude towards the music business. It was released on Valentine’s Day as an act of self-sabotage guaranteeing zero radio airplay, which is maybe a silly idea if you are a struggling artist wanting airplay, but I’m sure he knows what he’s doing…. but its ok, because this album is choc-a-bloc with singles!

The title track is classic Ryan power pop, a radio-friendly earworm inspired by his Catholic upbringing. With an infectious hook and a euphoric feel, it is an early highlight. ‘Paper Planes’ again, is the sort of song Ryan first showed promise with on ‘Hell Of A Day’, full of quirky, power pop goodness and a euphoric middle section that takes it up a notch.

Ryan is never shy to pen an 80’s style power ballad or two, and for this album he has outdone himself. There are two ‘lighter in the air’ moments that could end up on future teen lovers’ mixtapes. The first ‘Overdose’ is not about drug addiction, but about falling madly and deeply, like ‘first love’ deep or ‘marriage material’ deep. You know, right? We’ve all been there. Elsewhere the emotive ‘Absence Of Love’, lyrically is the complete opposite to the aforementioned ‘Overdose, while full of heartbreak and yearning, it is still as emotive though.

A cover of Splender’s ‘Yeah, Whatever’ is given a lick of aural magic by Ryan and Dave Draper. Indie beats and those quirky vocals give the turn of the century alternative hit a new lease of life, as they do with George Strait’s ‘All My Exes Live In Texas’. This fun run through was a past single but shows its face here as a hidden track (it’s a homage to the CD era, kids!) after the closing song of the album.

‘Sad Bastard Song’ officially closes the 12-track album, and it is the best song here for several reasons. For one, I just love the countrified acoustics and pedal steel guitar vibes, and secondly the tongue-in-cheek lyrics may on the surface make it seem like a throwaway, comedic song for losers, but the stark reality is that these lyrics are from the heart and probably ring truer than you would think, and it’s probably my favourite song on the goddamn record.

It’s a sad fact that some of my favourite artist from the last 30 years will never get the commercial success or the critical acclaim they so rightly deserve. Times are tougher than ever for the underdog, but only one thing can make a difference…you, the music buying public. It would be a tragedy for an album this good to slip under the radar when it should be up there with the Adele’s and the Tayor Swift’s of the world, but how can Ryan compete with those big guns? Who knows, but maybe if when you finish reading these words, you were to click a link and buy this album, that would help just a little. I mean, c’mon, it’s worth it just for that cover art of Jesus in shades, right?  

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Author: Ben Hughes

The year is 2023 and I’m sat at home waiting for my Hanoi Rocks album to be delivered but with many things you simply have to wait and good things are worth waiting for and any original or should that be classic Hanoi Rocks album is well worth the wait.

I used to be a bit sceptical about bands doing a remaster or remix especially if its a classic album but as I’ve got older I’ve dug deep into some of my favourite records when they’ve had the overhaul treatment, especially some of those half speed jobs from Abbey Road and when I heard the difference Japans ‘Quiet Life’ had or some of the classic ‘Rolling Stones’ records sounding like a different album at times it can be a bit of a head fuck when they’re done well. What lowered my scepticism was hearing the Senseless Things overhaul of ‘The First Of Too Many’ and how much better the new version was compared to the muddy original I was converted and won over in one fell swoop and now I’d happily champion and shell out for a well-done remix/master which has brought us to this hallowed spot and the mighty, unparalleled, unrivalled Hanoi Rocks and this here Svart release of ‘Oriental Beat’.

Delays delays delays, I’ve put off reviewing this album and its re(al)mix but couldn’t wait any longer for my record to turn up so I’ve delved into the digital and sat back with my hands over my face as the virtual needle dropped and ‘Oriental Beat’ hit the ether and blew my fragile tiny mind. Wow, congratulations to Svart for doing something I didn’t think possible. ‘Oriental Beat’ sounds like an album that was released yesterday it’s got volume, punch, new clarity and moments I’d either forgotten about or were never listenable to the human ear. Sweet Baby Jesus! Hallalulija hark the herald angels sing. This is how Hanoi Rocks sound just listen to Sami Yaffa’s bass thumping its way through the title opening track it’s unbelievable. Truly a cut above and those BV’s are exceptional. I’ll admit it’s been a couple of years since I spun this album and when I heard it was being treated to an overhaul I wasn’t sure if Genius should be tampered with but on the evidence, Man I’m converted.

The strangest thing abou tthis version would be the track listing but dropping ‘Motorvatin’ deeper into the album is worth it because once you get your head around the sound the intro is a real highlight. The second Hanoi album saw them becomeing a real unique force sure they still leant on their heroes like the best song the Clash never wrote in ‘No Law No Order’ or the Mick n Keif locked in playing on the epic ‘Teenagels Outsiders’ where I think Monroe sounded amazing. Youthful exuberance and developing a unique style I think he’d really come into his own here and the saxophone use was and still is exceptional and I never understood why it wasn’t used more in punk rock when Hanoi used it it was brilliant as it was for bands like The Lords Of The New Church and Johnny Thunders but Hanoi were different, they used it best of all.

The groove and open-heart honesty of McCoys playing on ‘Sweet Home Suburbia’ is incredible the sustain is almost visual. I can’t express how much better this version is and once I get used to the track listing all will be well in the world and I will start to get on to whoever I have to to see if the master tapes for other albums are available for this sort of treatment. I don’t think I’m saying anything outrageous here but this album has only gone to cement how vital each member of the band was and how integral and truly amazing Yaffa was to the sound of the band. There are moments I haven’t fully appreciated before and some of the walking bass lines are majestic ‘Lightnin’ Bar Blues’ as is the harmonica of Monroe on ‘Devil Woman’. The band should be rightfully proud of this project its an emotional and exceptional piece of work that is an absolute must heart for any fan old or new it is worth every single penny and some. Special praise must also go to Petri Majuri for his input into this project and his exceptional work of drawing out the demons and replacing them with angels’ wings ‘Oriental Beat’ is already one of the best albums ever and is now even better – Buy this record!

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Author: Dom Daley

I arrive at the sunny surroundings of Camp Nou on a match day where 100,000 supporters file past the salubrious surroundings of Butyclan Music Bar unaware that inside are four fearless Rock n’ Roll pirates navigating their way across Europe converting followers of sleazy punk n roll to their wild and wicked ways, but I know, for I’ve also travelled far and wide to be here for this show. So, imagine my horror when I enter the venue whilst local punks Black Babies are tearing into their LAMF retro punk sound but in Catalonian so I’m fucked if I know what they’re talking about anyway. It was downstairs to an underground lair housing a bar in a cage and not a lot else – a low ceiling and a shitty PA and that’s pretty much what you have. Hey, it’s only Rock n Roll right?

Ravagers take to the stage and immediately have sound problems and it looks like there isn’t a decent mic in the building let alone a PA that can handle some sleazy Rock n Roll hell it would struggle to handle a school sports day announcement but being the road dogs they are the band smash on regardless. They kick into the opening track with no vocals and the muddiest sound ever which is a shame because apart from all the problems not of the band doing they sound tight as fuck and the benefit of being on the road through mainland Europe is paying dividends. ‘Down The Road’ is their latest video so should be familiar to many in attendance but again no vocals it’s not until ‘Just Another Rat’ that we get some vocals in the mix which helps and finally we can relax and get on with some top-notch punk n roll. The band quickly get up to speed and is smashing songs old and new, ‘Blackout’ turns the temperature up a notch or two before ‘Drowning In Blood’ cuts the mustard and was dedicated to Baltimore knife crime and by now the band are flying.

Alex Hagen is doing a sterling job leading his gang somewhere between the swagger of Stiv Bator and a whippersnapper Johnny Thunders but he’s ably supported by Matt Gabs and Sam Hariss on Bass who along with the prince of pound Ray were stoking the heat in the engine room and pouring petrol on the fire out front as the tunes were coming thick and fast. ‘White Widow’, ‘Sick House’ and ‘Nasty Nights’ all sounded tight before they hit the jackpot with their cover of the Lord’s classic ‘Downtown’ showcasing the rhythm section and how tight they’ve become over this tour.

Before you know it we’ve hit ‘Cold Heat’ and the band is being told to get the hell out of dodge which only leaves time for them to rip through ‘High On Stress’ and we’re outta here.

With all the challenges of the room being inappropriate for a rock n roll show playing half the set in total darkness and the lights being a disco light and someone switching the house light on and off I kept waiting for Vim Fuego to fall down the stairs but hey ho oh and a 1980s PA, the band soldiered on and made light of their challenges and turned in an excellent set of Punk n Roll of the finest quality despite their testing surroundings.

Now, next time come to the UK at least for a couple of shows, I’ll be there singing along and championing some low down dirty, sleazy, punk n roll. God bless Ravagers for tearing it up across Europe on a proper tour playing Rock n Roll loud, fast n with the fury it deserves. Top turn, Top tunes top night out in sunny Barca. Gracias.

Author: Dom Daley