Multi-instrumentalist & award-winning London born (Raised in Australia) songwriter John E Vistic plays a unique brand of punk, rock n roll & alt country, described as ‘filthy’ by Damien Sayell of Mclusky and St.Pierre Snake Invasion. Musical influences include The Jesus & Mary Chain, Marky Ramone, Jesus Lizard, Cramps, Stooges, Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, Sisters of Mercy, PIL, The Cosmic Psychos, as well as contemporary acts Idles, Metz & Fontaines DC.
Thats quite the resume from mr Vistic and when the needle drops on the opening track you’re entering a world of DIY punk with thoughtful lyrics and a one-man army of sonic goodness. ‘Crime & Punishment’ is a very punchy intro to this EP and very enjoyable with its mid paced fuzzed out rock n roll.
Don’t get to comfortable because the troublesome bruiser ‘Gunz Germz and Steal’ is out of the traps like a hybrid of PIL and Killing Joke at their brutal best. Its got a air of menace not a million miles from earl yJAnes Addiction when they meant something.
It might only be an EP this time from Vistic but its four extremely enjoyable pieces of music – quite diverse in delivery and tone but a really nice flow to some excellent songwriting as the dark brooding ‘To Every Purpose Under Heaven’ before signing off with th etitle track and thumping modern post punk as it prowls around your speakers with a thuggish bassline and spoke lyrics through the verse as it twists down your ear into your brain rubbing your pleasure senses of your brain as you know you’re gonna press repeat and dive in again. Humans are all bastard my friend but not all of us just most of the right in society us wokey lefties are generally ok. Chin up Vistic and keep on playing it makes everythign sound better. Check this out its only four songs but every one is a banger.
Yeah, you read that right, Animal Shithouse is the name synth agit punk is the name of the game. Settle in make sure you’re comfortable and turn that shit up! Six tracks full of venom and craft that will ultimately earworm into your skull and fuck you up! It’s a simple plan – play chaotic punk rock with as much force as you can muster then sit back and watch the carnage unfold. It’s what punk rock could and should be in 2023 that’s for sure. From the minute ‘Downloading A Red Stripe And Punching An Old Lady Called Penny’ sets you on the path to being fair. Plenty of frenzied shouting time changes more screeching, chaotic noises, and sample drum beats all intended to set your pulse racing. To be fair job done. ‘Snowing In March’ is like the inside of Richey Manic’s head when he was writing his frenzied poems.
‘CK’ is a modern digital race pounding with drum machine tics and sample throbs before a Peter Hook bassline plays out. Love it.
‘MoreMoreMore’ is a bit of screamo hardcore punk that these Tunbridge Wells punks thrash out with vim and vigor relentless to the end or they run out of breath.
‘Enemy’ closes off this exhausting hardcore attack with a relentless romp. Raw, pulsating, and boundless energy. To be fair I enjoyed my introduction to Animal Shithouse and a finer band name I’ve not stumbled across in a long time. Get into em!
The complete Klark Kent – eighteen tracks spread out over four sides of vinyl. Stewart Copeland taking over vocal duties on what is effectively a new wave, energetic romp through a whole bunch of tunes dating back to 1980 when these songs were first recorded. It was the first solo album (of sorts) for any of the Police. There is the bonus of some unearthed gems to fill out this collection that was pressed on Wax for RSD a while back but this is bigger and better.
Obviously, there is the punky side to Copeland’s work on a fairly hefty dose of his rhythmic new wave that his then-day job in the Police did to enormous levels. There is an exceptional level of musicianship and often a lot is going on throughout the records. But you do get a sense that Copeland had a lot of input into those Police records and his sense of melody is spot on quite often.
I quite like Copelands vocals and I know they can be a little thin at times but they work for the new wave style and songs like ‘Office Girls’ it suits as it does on the catchy ‘Too Kool For Kalypso’ whilst remembering this record, these songs are 40 years old.
Some of the record sounds dated, ‘Away From Home’ with its reggae roots shuffle but that also brings a particular charm with it that I found appealing. What They haven’t done is tamper with the recordings and given them a modern sheen or recording which would have killed any energy stone dead.
The single ‘Don’t Care’ has that time capsule vibe like classic Buzzcocks with the melodies and that’s what works here. A good song is a good song no matter the time or method of recording and Copeland’s rapid snare runs shine like a star. I also like his attitude that if you don’t like it you can suck his socks, so edgy.
The 18-track expanded album will be complemented by a bonus CD of Copeland’s Kent demos, released here for the very first time. But the one gripe I have with the vinyl isn’t the mission demo but the lack of liner notes, I’d love to know the boring details of who plays what where, and why that would have been nice. Oh, and a side note I’m always happy to admit I’m never keen on instrumentals and shy away from them but here I quite enjoyed checking them out and wasn’t tempted to skip not even once. Maybe I’m getting old or just growing up who knows? But one thing I do know is you should check out this record. Be it as a fan of the Police or a curious old new wave/pink rocker who always had a soft spot for the Police and those early records. This is an excellent accompaniment.
Hit up the video link to watch Martin interview CJ Wildheart about his life in music from his humble beginnings way back and his time as one of the Wildhearts right up to his current brand new album ‘Split‘.
PAT TODD and his band THE RANKOUTSIDERS release album number seven and LA’s finest rock’n’roll band comes some 36 years full circle after the label’s first dalliances with Pat., back when he fronted the legendary Lazy Cowgirls of course. The new album shows that Pat has lost none of his spark, that his voice and songwriting have only gotten stronger, and that he’s upgraded the Lazy Girls for Some Rankoutsiders – Yet another killer band to back him.
OK a show of hands please. Has anyone ever not throughly enjoyed a Pat Todd record? No? No, I didn’t think so because whilst you might think it’s a trick question because Pat Todd doesn’t do bad record – Fact. ‘Sons Of The City Ditch’ is just a full force rockin and rollin record.
If this was a Georgia satellite record it would be causing a stir with the likes of ‘Living In A World Of Hurt’ that gets this rowdy do off to a thumping start. But hang on it’s like if Springsteen grew up on a steady diet of the Dolls and the Ramones and had an attitude of swigging beer and barroom brawls he’d be able to sound as vibrant and rockin’ as this.
‘All We Have To Show’ is carrying on the party after hours back at the shared house and the lounge is awash with beer-drinking boys and girls having the best of times and the music is just killer. Turn it up DJ we don’t wanna stop yet.
Oh, yes please ‘State Line’ is like the getaway car theme tune after the perfect heist. Keep on driving and turn that stereo up. Pat Todd and his Rank Outsiders are killing it on this record just playing sweet sweet rock n roll loudly. Fast and Loose its not rocket science it a time honoured tradition and Todd and the gang just get it.
They do kick back and ‘Donna’ made them do it. It’s a love song but soppy it ain’t. ‘Long In The Tooth (Before The Dolls)’ lulls you into a false sense of security before taking off and delivering one of the record’s real highs from the time-honoured riff to the backing vocals and into the dueling guitar solos. Sure it’s unoriginal, and doesn’t deviate from the well-trodden path but it’s all about the songs and delivering just exceptional rock n roll. That’s it, the MO is simple and some people just get it and are able to smash it pretty much every time, that’s Pat Todd that is.
The production lets the music breathe and it works well on the countrified ‘Back Down In The Basement’ another thing Todd knows how to do as well as the likes of The Supersuckers. ‘Hi, Ho Silver Lining’ is something of a glam stomping interval for me. Sure it’s a well delivered anthem but I’m not sure I’d have included it here but what do I know? ‘Goodbye To The World’ has some rasping harmonica added for good measure.
This album is right up there with that first Dan Baird solo LP for me and PAt todd is much the same but with a more punk rock handle on proceedings mixed with his Rock n Roll and his records are always Full of top tunes, great production, and knockout delivery.
Leaving just the title track to sign off in style and possibly leaving the best til last. The soloing and harmonic duel are killer but what else would you expect. Another day another excellent record added to the Pat Todd & The Rank Outsiders arsenal maybe their finest yet it’s got all the vital ingredients to take that title. Buy it!
Monday mornings never started so well. Heres another new track off the Monster Dwarves album ‘Concept’
If Elvis is the King, Ivy is the queen’….Stiff Little Fingers sticksman Steve Grantley is back! His own critically acclaimed band RT-Zed has morphed into Steve Grantley & the Zed Hedz featuring Steve on drums and vocals, John Magner on guitar and Jamie Alleyne on bass. Their debut four track EP titled ‘Poison Ivy Where Did You Go?’ is dedicated to The Cramps guitar player, and is available in CD format & streaming on the 1st December.
Steve Grantley is the drummer with punk rock legends Stiff Little Fingers. His own critically acclaimed band RT-Zed has morphed into Steve Grantley and the Zed Hedz featuring Steve on drums and vocals, John Magner on guitar and Jamie Alleyne on bass. Their brand new four track EP titled ‘Poison Ivy Where Did You Go?’ is dedicated to The Cramps guitar player to celebrate her 70th birthday. Steve said “We consider Poison Ivy to be a true feminist rock n roll icon who has been criminally overlooked. She co-founded the band, co-wrote their original material, played all the guitars and on numerous occasions, the bass as well. Ivy produced many of the bands records and it was all achieved whilst looking like a rock n roll Goddess both on and off the stage.”
After the shocking and premature death in 2009 of Lux Interior her bandmate and husband of 37 years, Poison Ivy retired from public life and has not performed or recorded since. Steve explained, “This EP is a shout-out to Poison Ivy just to let her know we miss her and wish her well.” The band stated that, in no way do they want to disrupt or disrespect her wishes to be left alone, explaining; “this is just a note to say, thank you for the inspiration and Poison Ivy we miss you”.
The latest Motorhead album to get the deluxe 12″ book treatment along side ‘Iron Fist’ and ‘No Sleep’ albums as opposed to the superb box sets of ‘1977’ and ‘Ace Of Spades’ is 1983s ‘Another Perfect Day’ This brand new half speed master from the original tapes also includes a full live show of a recently unearthed concert recorded at Hull City Hall on June 22nd 1983. As well as the story of ‘Another Perfect Day’ told through previously unpublished and new interviews and never before seen photos and rare memorabilia. I’ll let Kenny explain the diamond in this most impressive set.
Motorhead – Live at Hull City Hall, 22nd June 1983
1983 was a strange year in the Motorhead camp. ‘Fast’ Eddie Clark had left the band after Lemmy’s dabbling’s with Wendy O Williams, (apparently, Eddie was less than pleased with their ill-fated cover of Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man.) The man who replaced Eddie was ex Thin Lizzy axeman Brian ‘Robbo’ Robertson. On paper, a good choice you would think. In hindsight, this era was the most divisive in Motorhead’s long history. Robbo was reported to be a bit ‘difficult’ while being in the band, refusing to play standards such as Ace of Spades live and wearing questionable clothing on stage, shorts and ballet shoes?? (much to Lemmy’s annoyance.)
Drummer Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor was said to be a bit of a fanboy of Robbo and he couldn’t do any wrong in his eyes. Robbo’s tenure in the band was short lived but he left us a fine album with Another Perfect Day. The Motorheadbangers were unsure at the time, sales of the album reflected this, it only reached number 20 in the UK charts for example. Over time though, the album has gained critical acclaim, I think it’s a great album myself, Robbo brought some much-needed melody to the songs while it was still unquestionably Motorhead.
As part of the 40th anniversary release of the album we get a cracking snapshot of the Robbo era in a live setting with a full set recorded at Hull City Hall in June ’83. The band really are on fire here, tracks like Heart of Stone, Rock It, Dancing On Your Grave, and standardslike Shoot You In The Back & The Chase Is Better Than The Catch sound great. If there was any animosity between the band members at the time you certainly can’t pick that up here.
This is a wonderful addition to the original album that’s been remastered and repackaged beautifully on vinyl and CD formats. Go and give ‘Another Perfect Day’ a listen if you haven’t for a while. You’ll be pleasantly surprised….
Considering we’ve been a band for around 5 years, and we’re based between the Czech Republic’s second city of Brno and the Slovak capital of Bratislava, it’s somewhat surprising we haven’t played a show under the big lights of Prague. We had the chance earlier this year at Modrá Vopice – a gig we’d organised with our friends from Berlin, Top Down – but it was frustratingly cancelled at the last minute, and the opportunity was gone.
Tonight though we’re very lucky to be the support for Los Angeles rock ‘n’ rollers The Hangmen as they make a stop at Vagon Music Club in central Prague during their European tour. Bomber Booking have kindly allowed us onto the bill of a band I’ve liked for many years but have never had the chance to see live. So I’m doubly excited about tonight. I remember first encountering The Hangmen through a DVD I owned years ago called Badsville – a bizarre but brilliant collection of features and interviews from the LA underground rock scene, featuring bands such as Texas Terri, Throwrag, Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, Bubble and many more.
So tonight we will finally catch them live. Although, things rarely go smoothly in a rock band, and a day before the show we discover we’ve lost Tom. He’s not dead, but there’s a virus running riot in his house and therefore me and Veronika are back to the duo that started this whole rock ‘n’ roll circus in the first place. But can we still do it without the bass? We’ll have to, I guess.
I always love coming to Prague. The atmosphere, the darkened narrow streets stumbling over each other as they meander through the city, along the river Vltava that divides the imposing castle and its old town from the deep well of activity down here. It’s my first visit to the famous old basement of Vagon Club, and as we’re setting up our merch table, The Hangmen arrive after a 12-hour journey from Belgrade (whose idea was that?!). They’re understandably tired, but still great sports and it’s a relief to meet people you admire who turn out to be sound. The most exciting thing for me is meeting their driver (his name sadly escapes me now), and discovering his mom is also from Birmingham and his uncle produced UB40’s incredible debut album Signing Off.
We have 5 minutes to soundcheck and we manage it in about 4. The Hangmen are visibly happy that we’re a simple two piece with few complications. For a fairly big club there are relatively few people here tonight, which is a disappointment for us, sure, but mainly for The Hangmen, who have been playing to much bigger crowds all tour. Half the crowd had travelled down from Germany. Regardless, we rocked through a half hour set bassless but with few problems, before the Hangmen lit the place up. They were fantastic, full of a swagger and attitude. And despite apparent illness and a long drive they showed no signs of weariness. They were class. Me and Veronika bought up half their merch table and moved to another pub with our friend Boris from Slovak punk band Dafy and the Rafters, who had unexpectedly turned up for the show. A good night all in all. Thanks Prague, and see you again soon.
I loved the rawness of the original Hellhammer recordings and for a lad in his teens it was exactly what I wanted to be listening to mixed with all the punk I was hearing this band venom and Motorhead were the dog’s danglies. Dark, Dangerous, and most inviting to a young rebellious male that for sure.
Fast forward several decades and a return to those songs is something I was quite excited about. A little wiser (maybe) certainly a lot older and they’ve lost none of that raw, brutal charm that first drew me in. Having had a lifetime of music poured into my ears hearing ‘The Third OF The Storm’ rush through my speakers was a treat and in a live setting having that rush of energy and relentless brutality is still there which is amazing and a major achievement for Tom G Warrior. to be fair the production here is excellent and adds to that excitement and the old school feel is in full effect. Twelve songs in just a short of an hour is perfect. from ‘Reaper’ through the darkness that is ‘Horus Aggressor’ made the hairs (yes I’ve still got hair) stand up on the back of my neck as that double bass pedal bursts into life.
Having never seen Hellhammer I would be down the front of a Triumph Of Death live show in a black heartbeat. This live outing made me revisit my old tape of the first release as well as my Russian import of the complete demos and the comparing and contrasting of the new live recordings only makes right any of the production imperfections so for any metal heads out there unfamiliar with this band and the Hellhammer legacy need to stop doing whatever right now and get this on and get the corpse paint out for the mighty Triumph Of Death has finally delivered us a Hellhamme feast of power, and sheer raw Black Metal/ Punk crossover perfection. the foreboding darkness of the title track is immense and having this recording taken from three appearances through 2023 is a real treat captured forever in wax I urge you to get out there and pick up a copy pronto for your intense recreation of extreme metal at its very finest. Buy IT!
It might be Bonfire night but the only fireworks I’m interested in seeing tonight are those being generated by this stellar three band bill. It’s a line-up that has more than a hint of Slugfest about it too seeing as all the bands have shared the floor/stages at the (now thankfully, once again) annual event. There’s also more than a whiff of the UK’s number one free festival within the crowd tonight too with the X15 bus seemingly standing room only to ensure that Blaenau Gwent is very well represented early doors. And who can blame them for picking up a rover ticket?
Fresh from recent support slots with the likes of Discharge, Raw Brigade and a whole host of other bands, System Reset have certainly come a long way in there still relatively short time together (as a five piece) with their back catalogue of songs maturing with them. Songs like ‘Anxiety’, ‘Fail Safe’ (my fave song by the band) and ‘Big Business’ all sound huge played through Le Pub’s impressive sound system, and there’s an immediate smile on my face when they kick in with the “woah oh” gang backing vocals and an even bigger one when there’s a nod to James Williamson’s time with The Stooges creeping into the riffage at one point too. System Reset’s soon to be released new single ‘Gas Light’ is a cracker, which alongside a handful of additional live shows brings to a close a very impressive 2023 for the melodic punk rockers. A slot at Rebellion 2024 awaits methinks.
The Pleasures are not as you might first expect, being an avid reader of RPM, the German glam rockers of the same name. Nah, this four piece are from the Gwent valleys and are a world away from anything even remotely glamourous. These four lads hail from one of the most deprived areas in south Wales and as you might expect have the anger and attitude by the bucketload that comes with such a dubious claim to fame. There’s also something that I cannot quite put my finger on about this gang, something that I last felt when I witnessed IDLES open a three band bill in Bristol’s Exchange just a few years back and before that when The Guns first broke on the south Wales scene. Not that they necessarily sound anything like either of the bands you understand, it’s just they have that special ingredient some band’s simply don’t have… charisma.
Singer Caethan Tucker is literally all over Le Pub’s stage and dance floor, he’s also shirtless and dripping sweat after just one song, such is the intensity of the band’s performance, and then when it comes to songs, popping up mid-set they have this monster of a tune called ‘Grandfather’s Bones’ complete with a mantra of ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds’ that literally sounds like it’s ready made for when the boys get their chance to wow a Glastonbury/Reading type of crowd. They have the same kind of breakthrough potential that I witnessed in HotWax when they played just a few yards up the road in McCanns cellar bar and are now touring enormodomes in the US with Royal Blood.
Go give the band’s single ‘Lies’ a listen on YouTube (with coincidently the video being directed by Alex from the aforementioned Guns) and turn the fucker up loud. Oh, and before I forget, any band that can cover the mighty LCD Soundsystem and make the song (‘Daft Punk Is Playing At My House’ in case you are wondering) sound like their own tune, really does deserve your attention. “Woo!”
Croydon’s Wonk Unit have always had a reputation for having great support bands on the bill with them, it’s almost like their singer Alex welcomes the challenge this poses his band, but when it comes to the current six piece band he has carefully assembled he’s more than capable of batting off any young shavers looking to steal the band’s crown as undisputed champions of the UK DIY punk rock scene.
I’ve seriously never heard Wonk Unit sounding as essential as they do here tonight, be it the classics like ‘Guts’, ‘Go Easy’ or ‘Lewisham’ that first introduced me to the band, or the tunes that immediately followed these like ‘Je M’appelle Alex’, ‘Awful Jeans’ and ‘Day Job Wanker’, tonight’s set has more bangers than the rain-soaked pyrotechnic display just over the river at Rodney Parade.
I also get to hear my first Christmas song of the year tonight, but when it comes all wrapped up in the shape of ‘Christmas In A Crackhouse’ you certainly won’t hear any complaints from myself or anyone else packed in down the front.
As always with a Wonk Unit their show is as much about Alex’s between song chats and tonight he’s on tip top form, sharing the hilarious back stories regarding tunes such as ‘She Cut Her Finger’ and ‘Horses’ whilst also displaying his more sensitive and private side ahead of new tune ‘Overwhelming’ (the first of two played) a song that keyboardist Vezzy insists could even have chart potential.
Of course, Wonk Unit live are anything but sensitive and the chaos that ensures once (Johnny) ‘Rambo’ enters Le Pub for the band’s finale is all you’ll ever need in your camouflage jacket pocket if you ever had to give evidence of this fact in a court of law.
I’ve said it many times before, but I’ll say it again, Wonk Unit really are something special, there’s no one else quite like them out there, and in fact they fast becoming something of a national treasure when it comes to DIY punk rock bands. They are no heritage band though, the new songs really sounded great tonight, and the current, settled, line up of Alex and bassist Pwoison, alongside Vezzy, drummer Max and guitarists AJ and Ryan really look like they are relishing every second of being in a band together.