From THE DWARVES CONCEPT ALBUM out the middle of November sees a return of the last great punk rockers The motherfuckin Dwarves. Its a spooktacular offering from Blag and the gang especially for Halloween so get your fangs into this bad boy but not whilst your having tea. The Dwarves are Rex Everything, The Fresh Prince of Darkness, Snupac, Andy Now, Black Josh Freese, Sgt. Saltpeter & Blag Jesus.
Welcome to my death trip Yeah! ‘Shotgun Full of Blues’ 20th Anniversary Edition has been completely remixed and remastered from the ground up by Matt Planton at Rocket Vault Studios with the whole band offering feedback to get the mixes just right. This is how Shotgun should have sounded 20 years ago! Right from the off the energy is exciting and exhilarating its a salamander stick slapping a slice of riotous Rockabilly, and breath.
It doesn’t stop there kids as the runaway train thrashes through the songs from the howling good time that is ‘Hell’s What I’m Used To’. What you get is a super bright and shiny album full of brawling Rock n Roll and then some. Then some is ten demos and remixes which are a work of beauty in their own right. ‘Can’t Keep Me Down’ is turbocharged and with the bass more hidden in the mix is a interesting take and the solo is awesome. The demos are from 2001 so dated in time but not sound its like the quality of a great live bootleg lifted from the desk bristling with energy.
Some remixes didn’t make the cut like ‘Get Away’ an outtake from the sessions which is full of menace and plenty of punch. I love the remix of ‘Jailhouse Tattoo’ as well with its walking bassline and all those Psychobilly aficionados who love to hear that stand-up bass slap and twang will love ‘Zodiac’ Preacher Boy Remix.
If you’re hearing the name Lonesome Kings for the first time then don’t just take my word for it dive in and fill yer boots this is a wonderful place to start. I’ll get the beers in.
LA doo-wop duo Twin Temple are a bit of an anomaly. Married couple Alexandra & Zachary James are practising satanists who incorporate their beliefs with their love of 50’s and 60’s rock n’ roll. They dress like extras from Carry On Screaming and sound like a Phil Spector produced band lost in time. Their lyrical themes of sex, Satan and witchcraft have got them on the wrong side of the fundamentalist Christians and somehow, they have found a home amongst the metal masses, touring with the likes of Ghost, Behemoth and Glenn Danzig.
Their debut album ‘Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound…Satanic Doo-Wop)’ was recorded live and in mono over a day and a half in 2019, to get the most authentic sound and it’s a scream from start to finish.
Although the live and rarities opus ‘Stripped From The Crypt’ satiated the coven of Twin Temple a couple of years back, a follow up album has been long overdue. Twin Temple unleashed their blasphemous, sophomore long player ‘God is Dead’ on Friday 13th October and it carries on where the debut left us 4 years ago.
Opener ‘Burn Your Bible’ has all the Twin Temple kitsch 60’s doo-wop trademarks you could ask for. From the sampled rain and ringing church bells to the mid-paced Spector drums, twangy guitars, xylophone and those glorious vocals, you will certainly feel like you’re doing the time warp again.
Of course, this would all be futile if the songs weren’t up to scratch, but Twin Temple have that under their control.
The songs are well (witch)crafted. The previously released singles ‘Let’s Have A Satanic Orgy’ and ‘Be A Slut’ are testament to that and are sure to upset the Christians yet again. The former is a Mariachi styled celebration, the latter a Motown romp of sexual empowerment.
‘Two Sinners’ is one of the most authentic retro doo-wop songs they have released so far. Their take on 60’s girl groups has been captured so magnificently well you would swear it’s a scratchy old 45 from way back when. Those backing vocals, handclaps and just the overall production is timeless.
Then ‘Black Magick’ goes and does it again with lead vocals that will stop you in your tracks and a melody you know you know, but can’t quite place. It all sounds so sweet and innocent until you study the lyrics and realise it’ll never get playlisted on radio.
Even the closing title track is a well-designed coda that sounds like a Dusty Springfield style finale to a satanic, cinematic experience.
Twin Temple could easily come across as gimmicky, but the proof is in the pudding so to speak. And in just 27 minutes, over the course of 8 songs, the satanic duo delivers a bit of a retro-styled masterpiece.
They have more in common with the Ronnettes or the Shangri-La’s than the bands they are touring with, and that association is probably hurting their commercial appeal. But there is so much potential crossover with Twin Temple, and ‘God Is Dead’ deserves to be an album that rises above cult status.
Author: Ben Hughes
Sŵn Festival is a multi-venue music festival based in Cardiff city centre that started in 2007 with a focus on new music, emerging artists and homegrown talent. This year RPM decided to take the plunge and get involved in Saturday evenings entertainment and try and race across as many venues as possible. First things first I’d like to make a comment just how friendly the staff were at each of the packed venues there were plenty of staff about and every venue was pretty packed it has to be said and considering it was a Saturday night in a busy city centre this was no mena feat. Whilst the venues mainly concerntrated around the Womanby St area it was only a ten minute wlak to Jacobs basement and the Tramshed which were away from the main hub but not far enough to cause an inconvenience. Now I’ve been going to shows in the city for over 4 decades and I ventured into a couple I’d never set foot in before and didn’t even know existed but the Sŵn insta page was well singed and running times were easy to navigate.
Wristbands and passes were aquired smoothly and it was off we went to see The Shunkos hit Tiny Rebel and the very busy venue quickly adjusted their trousers and put on their shit kickers for some hardcore punk rock from Port Talbots finest new kids on the block, and they didn’t disappoint with a impressive set climaxing with a cover of ‘Chaise Longue’ that taught the original a thing or two about delivery and having a good time before ‘Beer And Gear’ made it all ok. Hearing the band through a very nice n noisy yet clear PA was a treat. Top turn all round and it was smiling faces all round as the temperature was rising and the bar had been set.
Time for a wander and it was into Fuel to catch a few songs from Death Cult Electric before we ventured off to find Jacobs Basement for some DIY garage psych courtesy of Family Battenburg where it was strictly one out one in as the packed venue shook their shit as the post-punkers rattled out an impressive and infectious set of Alternative rockers.
We also had time for a few DJ sets just to focus the mind as this quick paced festival catered for all tastes in all typres of venues whilst the so called normal world carried on with its business outside the festival bubble.
It was time to head over to Tramshed for BC Camplight and their piano driven radio friendly alt rock that certainly had its fans in the appreciative crowd. After a quick turn around it was time for the fantastic Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.
They delivered a powerful and heavy set that shook the very foundations of the packed venue with the likes of ‘Rubbernecker’ and the excellent ‘Ultimate Hammer’ as the Geordies turned in a festival topping performance where Matthew Baty led the band through a Sabbath meets QOTSA dessert sessions set of mighty metalic perportions. The set was jaw dropping and exhilirating and seeing the Stone Cold t shirt made me smile something the great man would be proud to be represented at Hell Yeah! that was ass whooping stuff.
Whilst Pigs were dropping audio bombs on the Tramshed it was the turn of Getdown Services to show Tiny Rebel how to do a proper mash up with their very real and working class observational alternative pop with parts Goldie Looking Chain and part Sleeford Mods if youre looking for lazy observations but they had something about them with catchy songs that caught your attention and made you move and smile which in this day and age is always a good thing.
In summery its fair to say we were really impressed with what Sŵn festival dished up and we’re most definately going better prepared next year. Happy smiling people packing out every venue regardless of who was playing just gig goers out for a good time. Going for the whole three days and trying to defy logic and cover more bands for what was one of the best shows we’ve been to in a long time. Punctuality, friendlieness and bloody good music from a wide variety of genres which to be honest was its single most noticable super power. Diolch yn fawr iawn Sŵn, we had a blast and watched as many great bands play as possible. Heres to next year when we do it all again time 3.
Marc Valentine, the charismatic British singer/songwriter/guitarist who last year released his debut solo album to critical acclaim, issues a new single, ‘Skeleton Key’, through Little Steven’s Wicked Cool Records.
Produced by Dave Draper (The Wildhearts, Ryan Hamilton, The Professionals), Skeleton Key is a 3-minute 20-second blast of upbeat/downbeat powerpop – a haunting tale of emotional pursuit, with spirited guitar lines and a chorus to die for. Explains Marc, “When the idea for Skeleton Key came to me, I was imagining the colours and dialogue of a suspenseful opening scene from a late ’60s Hammer horror film. It’s a song about discovering the darker side of someone and the futile attempt to escape the emotional powers that can unlock everything – though, as usual, there’s a dash of dark humour.”
The single is backed with a cover version of The Shirelles’ ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ – a long-time favourite of Marc’s.
Available as a download and a limited-edition coloured vinyl 7” with picture sleeve, ‘Skeleton Key’ unlocks the door to Marc’s forthcoming album, Basement Sparks, due in 2024 – and, we make no bones about it, destined to embed itself in a good number of skulls this Halloween.
Having honed his craft fronting cult pop-rockers Last Great Dreamers across four studio albums, Marc launched a solo career in 2022, his debut long-player Future Obscure picking up praise from an array of publications.
Marc Valentine and his band play the following dates….
Thu 2 Nov – Manchester Gullivers (w/Wreckless Eric)
Sat 4 Nov – London Night Owl
Sat 9 Dec – Holt Voewood (w/Wreckless Eric)
Thur 14 Dec – London Hope & Anchor
Fri 15 Dec – Banbury Wheatsheaf
Sat 16 Dec – Swindon Beehive
Featuring Dave Gahan, Nick Cave, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, Warren Ellis, Mick Harvey, Lydia Lunch, Mark Stewart, Jim Jones, Jim Jarmusch, Peter Hayes, The Coathangers, Suzie Stapleton, Duke Garwood & more. If that list doesn’t set your musical taste buds tingling then I don’t know what will. Quite simply I got excited way back when I first heard there was going to be a volume four of Jeffrey Lees sessions. I loved Gun Club from the very first time I heard their music and everything thereafter moving through the posthumous releases I couldn’t get enough so when these releases came out and seeing the list of contributors I was delighted and this is no exception.
Ten years in the making by the late Gun Club titan’s guitarist Cypress Grove, the Project has always
aimed to highlight Pierce as one of America’s most fascinatingly influential singer-songwriters of
the last century while propelling his outpourings into modern times by placing it in the hands of
former collaborators, friends and fans. Following 2009’s We Are Only Riders, 2012’s The Journey Is Long, and 2014’s Axels and Sockets, The Task Has Overwhelmed Us presents stellar interpretations of tracks from Pierce’s Gun Club and solo canons along with fresh works constructed from rehearsal skeletons its simply exquisite. Described as a wild ride doesn’t do it justice from these skeletons and Frankenstein songs have been fleshed out into lean mean rockin machines from Depeche modes Dave Gahan’s opening haunted piano ballad take on ‘Mother of Earth’ through, Mark Lanegan singing ‘Go Tell The Mountain’ backed by Ellis and Cave (who back Jeffrey himself on ‘Yellow Eyes’) is simply haunting and the warmth in the vocal is spine-tingling. Cave duetting beautifully with Debbie Harry again on ‘On the Other Side’. The blitzkrieg bop of ‘Debbie By The Christmas Tree’ is only matched by a thumping Jim Jones ‘Going Down The Red River’.
If it’s beautiful balladeering then Suzie Stapleton doing ‘Secret Fires’ will give you the chills. But the Debbie Harry and Nick Cave duet is simply wonderful no need for superlatives it walks the walk and talks the talk. there are eighteen tracks on offer and I could recount them all and their majestic beauty but I’ll trust you to buy this and revel in the genius and beauty of the music and these interpretations. Jeffrey Lee Pierce went too soon, way too soon he had so much more to offer on top of what he did leave us. Just buy it! it’s worth every second of your time.
Kreuzberg is a whirlwind of colours and sounds, a complete patchwork of vibrancy so typical of Berlin. We arrive there at Jay’s house to drop our stuff off before heading to the venue for tonight’s show. Jay Gard is the drummer of Top Down, the band we’re sharing the gig with tonight. He’s also a very talented artist, and so in classic Berlin style, the first thing we do is head to an exhibition opening. Through the chaotic streets, where the cafes and bars seem to buckle up endlessly against each other, we reach a group of people waiting outside an old building. A disused window space is housing an exhibition in celebration of the A4 format, which is now 100 years old, and Jay has a sketch in there among over 100 other art pieces. It’s an entertaining way to begin the evening, and the curator of this event asks me to choose my favourite before I leave (which I do but he’s too occupied by the time we need to go, so I leave him to it – numbers 39 and 93, by the way).
Our gig tonight is at the Wild at Heart, a well-known and incredibly atmospheric venue with a culture all of its own. I haven’t been somewhere like this for a long while, and I’m instantly brought back to old the Intrepid Fox on Wardour Street in London. Gig posters, stickers and t-shirts hang from the dark red walls, framed by low red lighting. There’s music here every night of the week, and I spot that the Hangmen were here a few nights ago, just after we played with them in Prague (more on that in the next episode). The Supersuckers will be here soon too. We don’t have anywhere quite like this in Brno, and I’m just sitting here soaking up the atmosphere while I can.
We were kindly invited to tonight’s show by Berlin rockers Top Down, who we enjoyed great gigs with in Brno and Bratislava earlier in the year (we were also supposed to make it to Prague but that got cancelled at the last minute). Their most recent album Backyard Thunder has often been on the record player since then. This is their home turf, and they are well-known here at the Wild at Heart, meaning we’re getting a good crowd tonight. A couple of guys have come all the way down from Oslo just to see them, although I’m not sure they’ll remember anything about it considering how hammered they are. I’ve had to stop him using our records as beer mats several times already. Each time he apologises sincerely.
We’ve got our own backstage, remarkably with our own toilet, free soft drinks and a number of free beers. And we’re even getting well paid! We deliver one of our most enjoyable sets of the year before Top Down get on stage and rock the hell out of the place, Szim and Charlie swapping vocal duties as they go. The bar staff are wonderful, the sound engineer is excellent and helpful, and the crowd are having a ball. With the amps eventually cooling down, the DJ takes over with a wonderful collection of rockabilly and garage music, reminding me of wild nights at Born Bad in Brighton, down there at the Engine Rooms. The night is a blast from beginning to end, and it’s times like these that remind me why we do all this in the first place.
DEBUT ALBUM ‘RESURRECTION OF THE FLESH’ RELEASED ON NOISE/BMG ON 10th NOVEMBER 2023
PREORDER HERE –https://triumphofdeath.lnk.to/rotfPR
Tom Gabriel Warrior : “The revivification of Hellhammer’s “Massacra”, almost forty years after the song’s inception. The new single and first video clip to accompany Triumph Of Death’s “Resurrection Of The Flesh”, an immoderate on-stage celebration of Hellhammer’s music.”
Triumph Of Death’s debut live release Resurrection Of The Flesh is the culmination of three concerts. Recorded in the spring of 2023 at Hell’s Heroes Festival in Houston USA, Dark Easter Metal Meeting in Munich, Germany and SWR Barroselas Metal Fest in Portugal, the album was produced by Tom Gabriel Warrior and Triptykon’s V. Santura. The record captures the band at their primeval finest; raw, foreboding and heavy. These Hellhammer songs may date back four decades but here they are revealed to be still just as vital today as when they were written in the band’s infamous rehearsal bunker in the rural village of Birchwil, Switzerland in the early 1980s. From the thunderous opening chords of Third Of The Storms (Evoked Damnation) to the malevolent, morbid feedback of set closer Triumph Of Death, this album is a sixty minute document of the overwhelming power of the live performance of Triumph Of Death, and it captures the spirit and intensity of these historic songs that have transcended decades to become revered and timeless.
Triumph Of Death
Tom Gabriel Warrior – voice/guitar
André Mathieu – guitar/vocals
Jamie Lee Cussigh – bass
Tim Iso Wey – drums
Resurrection Of The Flesh will be available as :
- Deluxe CD mediabook
- Double gatefold LP w/booklet and posters on black vinyl and B&W swirl (HMV exclusive)
- Super deluxe double LP bookpack with bonus 7” (red vinyl) single plus posters
pic Roland Moeck
Like London busses Stevie is dorment for ages then several albums rock up in a short space of time. The title track breaks through the silence with its thick throbbing bass line and some overdriven hacking and slashing Rock n Rolling guitars and kicks over the stack before blowing up the speakers.
Its trashy and dripping in sleazy Rock n Roll Back in 2003, Steve had the chance to go back out and play with Faster Pussycat on a UK Tour and managed to pull together a band of musical acquaintances soon to run by the name The X-iDolls. Initially it was planned to do the tour and cut n run. Like a runaway train and musicians enjoying the trip quickly get down to writing and an album’s worth of material soon came together. After a host of other shows supporting Tuuli and The Quireboysit lived and breathed for a while longer than anticipated.
An EP was recorded early on with the album put together in late Summer 2003 but sadly the band was never destined to last and disintegrated before the end of that year, with the album never to see the light of day until now. ‘Some Things Never Fall’ is a Lords bassline borrowed and kicked around the seedy soho backstreets and clothed in some punky attitude its an enjoyable stomp. I like the energy Stevie puts into his music and its clear he believes in what he does and that energy is none more evident than ‘Smashed’ comple with nice gob iron blasts to add texture to the Rock n Roll.
‘For You’ has groove whilst ‘Cherry Bomb’ has a tonne of energy and would be great to hear live as Stevie kicks out his jams. ‘Cry’ is one of those hard soft(er) songs from the picked intro and harmonica wheeze and the shimmering first verse before building through its near six minutes. I like it and it has plenty of charm theres an honesty and lived in feel happening and Stevie does it really well.
This album isn’t polished and has a live energy and authenticity about it thats traceable throughout the seventies and eighties and has that very honest DNA coursing through its songs. The band motors through the latter part of the album from the sing a long of ‘Sixty Six Sick Chicks’ through the party anthem that is ‘Looking At You’ if the party consisted of twenty lucky strikes no filter and a watneys party seven and a bottle of blue and red thunderbird (the true drink of champions) a bevvy of beautiful women and your best mates all having the time of your lives and this pumping on your stereo. ‘Out With A Bang’ is what it says on the tin. A collection of really good tunes from The X-iDolls who do this sleazy punk n roll as good as anyone out there and have better shoes whilst doing it as well #Fact.
Author: Dom Daley