The original Boomtown Rats had their time and place and that ground to a halt in the early/mid-Eighties, amid Geldof’s involvement in Band Aid/Live Aid. They seemed to be a band who never seemed to know if they were a pop band with a bit of a maverick edge, a rock band with a pop edge, or just another New wave band with some big hit potential.

Always known for their gobby frontman who organised Live Aid Geldof like him or loath him he cuts a formidable figure and for all his faults did some incredible things with whatever talent he had be it one of pop music’s most sought after address books or just a flighty temper people were afraid to say no to but there can be no doubt his band the Boomtown Rats took a back seat for a long long time.  Cue 2020 and after some questionable live shows be it good or not so good the Rats were back on the scene.  then 2020 and ‘Citizens of Boomtown’.

With a couple of exceptions, this return to vinyl is pretty damn good. The band have penned ten songs that mostly turn up the guitar amps and rock like a pretty convincing take on garage rock via some Bowie and Iggy if I’m being honest.  the opening stomp of ‘Trash Glam, Baby’, to the Transformer era Lou Reed -meets-The Beatles ‘Passing Through’.  ‘Sweet Thing’, really does sound like Iggy Pop from the ’80s.

The exceptions have to be flagged so ‘K.I.S.S.’ sounds more like a Bwitched song and sits uncomfortably here which is a shame and breaks the flow of what has so far been a really impressive record. Then the other blemish on the record is ‘Rock N Roll Ye Ye’ which makes little sense to me so I’m choosing to gloss over these couple of glitches.

The album does end with ‘Get A Grip’ which whilst a little pompous had me drawing comparisons from some of Alice Cooper’s work with the keyboards and guitar lick joining the terrace chanting of the backing vocals and Geldof runs out of breath on the repeated verses before getting back into that chorus strangely alluring and enjoyable, who’d have thought it eh?

Maybe Sir Bob is letting his hair down and having some fun with his pals and cutting some tunes to fuck with the listener and take things somewhere you wouldn’t expect but I’ve heard the final cut live and used it as an excuse to get out before the masses hit the exits like a pound shop, Jagger, at his finest trying to create a soundtrack anthem about your band fails but I guess with an amount off porter in me maybe I’d hit the dance floor and get down and get with it but not a tune I want to hear over and over but don’t let that put you off generally this is a decent effort.  Winner winner chicken dinner the Boomtown Rats are back in the room and the citizens of any town once the lockdown is over go and pick this up and find out for yourself.  Give Bob yer fuckin’ Money! it’s been 36 years since he released the last one and the bills still need paying.


Author: Dom Daley

The Undertones were from Derry, Northern Ireland an exotic faraway land for this kid from South Wales (might as well be the moon) and they looked like they could have been from the next street with their parkas and doc martins but they stood out because they had tunes and lots of em.

Famously championed by John Peel, who’s favourite all-time track was ‘Teenage Kicks’ played at his funeral I beleive.  But they were much more than that one song, they released thirteen singles and four studio albums between 1978 – 1983, and then in time honoured fashion the singer (Fergal Sharkey) announced his intention to leave. The band was toast but re-formed in 1999 with new singer Paul McLoone.

Subsequently the new Undertones recorded two new albums and have been touring regularly ever since. They even played Glastonbury Festival in June 2005,and marked their 40th anniversary, (40th gulp!) and completed a 46 date world tour only last year.

That’s the history of The Undertones pretty much in a nutshell and less than a 300-page biography but it doesn’t tell the full story, because, when you lift the bonnet and look under the hood their body of work is nothing short of stunning, and for singles, early singles, they were right up there with Buzzcocks as prolific and one of the best punk / post punk / new wave call em what you like bands. The quality was nothing short of magnificent. So it’s about time they got the definitive best-of treatment and ‘West Bank Songs’ pretty much captures the spirit and style of those kids from Derry perfectly.

30 tracks compiled by the band themselves it features 7 top 40 hits (including 4 top 20s): ‘Teenage Kicks’, ‘My Perfect Cousin’, ‘Here Comes The Summer’, ‘Jimmy Jimmy’, ‘You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It!)’, ‘Wednesday Week’, ‘It’s Going To Happen’ plus the Kevin Shields remix of ‘Get Over You’  ah now you remember, not just a ‘one-hit-wonder’ with that song they always play at weddings and school discos.  It’s not just a greatest hits though as they do dig into their four studio albums the self-titled classic debut, ‘The Undertones’ (1979), ‘Hypnotised’ (1980), ‘Positive Touch’ (1981) and ‘The Sin Of Pride’ (1983) so they might have tailed off through the years and they never managed to better the debut (in my humble opinion) but isn’t that often the case?  They’ve obviously taken time and pride in this best of with a take on the Stones ‘Aftermath’ cover this one comes in white and purple vinyl and has a twelve-page booklet with sleeve notes by Undertones bassist Michael Bradley and Mick Houghton, it also includes previously unseen band photos.

As far as walking down memory lane records go this is pretty much as good as it gets.  I’ve not played an Undertones record in a long time and this made me re-evaluate my childhood and boy was I glad I got them first time around and all these years later they’ve not lost an ounce of their energy, melody, catchiness and colour.  the Undertones easily fill a double album of absolute belters and if you love your music then you should pick this up and revel in some of the best-written songs from the UK in the last fifty years.  An absolutely essential purchase.  I can now retire the original albums and play this crackle and pop free best of.

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

Now on this his 12th studio album we see Richard Marx release what I think is a career-defining album. For what makes Limitless a definitive moment in his illustrious career is that Marx has worked with several different producers here and while you do notice the differences, the songs are so good and do exactly what is asked of them and that is to present Richard Marx as one of the best singer-songwriters who are still current and making music that bring happiness to so many people. The opening song of Another One Down which was initially release back in June 2019 and co-written with his son Lucas, who incidentally also produced it as well makes this album a bit of a family affair when you find out that Richard’s wife also co-wrote Let Go as well The next song is the title track Limitless which is a like a ray of sunshine and together with its modern production tweaks gives a new take on the classic Richard Marx sound that he is known for.

The aforementioned song that Marx co-wrote with his wife is the fantastic ‘Let Go’, after this, I hope we will see more writing credits for Daisy Fuentes. It is something of a mid-tempo song that gives the listener hope of what is to come.

However for me, one of the brightest highlights on the album is ‘All Along’ which is the other song co-written by Lucas Marx. Kicking things into gear with a drumbeat straight out of the eighties. The song is the most reminiscent of his early rock releases. The classic songwriting has been brought right up to date with the fantastic production courtesy of Lucas Marx. The sound reminds me of the recent synthwave revolution. but still retaining its own identity as a Richard Marx song.

‘Up All Night’ is up next and another is more reminiscent of his more recent releases, so, therefore, another great singalong which no doubt will sound amazing live as will any of the songs on this album.

At the halfway mark we get the Matt Scannell to co-write in the shape of ‘Front Row Seat’. Which would easily sit on any of the Richard Marx/Matt Scannell releases. The pairing of Vertical Horizon’s Scannell and Marc was a match made in heaven and continues to deliver the goods.

This leads us nicely to another highlight in the form of the ‘Strong Enough’ which is a duet with Jana Kramer. This song feels like the sequel to Lady Antebellum’s booty call anthem Need You Now. Now having only know Jana from her stint in One Tree Hill – I have now found another voice to look into as she and Marx sound amazing together and I will no doubt check her 2 solo albums out soon.

‘Not In Love’ is another in a long line of Richard Marx’s heartwrenching piano-led ballads that he delivers time and time again – which seems effortlessly. However this time I feel so bad for the person who this song is directed to, This song is co-written by Marx and Sara Bareilles and is another piece of melancholy that sounds like roses when sung by Marx. Last Thing I Wanted was first released back in 2016 and is included here and it feels like it was always meant for this album and fits in perfectly. The song which feels like it was written about his meeting with future wife Daisy Fuentes. I love the autobiographical feel of this song and I am glad it is included here.

This album will no doubt win Marx new fans but will also keep his old and current fan base happy that he is still releasing great new music. Now I for one can not wait for his dates at the Union Chapel, London which will feature a few of these soon to be classic Richard Marx songs.

Buy Limitless Here

Author: Dave Tetley Prince

‘Teenage Wildlife’ sees Ash not so much wanting to call it a greatest hits package more a biography.  ‘Teenage Wildlife’ traces the band’s recording career from the teenage days of the debut ‘Jack Names The Planets’ through to the likes of the last album ‘Islands’ and the track ‘BuzzKill’.

Ash has always been a top of the pops botherer and the fact that there are thirteen Top 40 singles included in this here “Biography” is a quite remarkable achievement for a guitar band. Of course, classics like ‘Girl From Mars’, ‘Gold Finger’, and ‘Oh Yeah’ are all present and correct but that’s just part of this here “Biography”.

Ash fans (ones with more than a passing interest in a track or two) will be more interested in the inclusion of nineteen-tracks of rarities, including a version of The Buzzcocks’ classic ‘Everybody’s Happy Nowadays; (featuring Coldplay’s Chris Martin) never thought I’d be typing his name and his bands name on RPM in a positive light. But, hey ho we’re a broad church and everybody is capable of redemption. The amazing cover of “that” undertones classic ‘Teenage Kicks’ (perfect for Ash not due to their geography but its a song that could have been written for the band) and the collection’s infamous title track to name a few included here.

Through the youthful wild days, and the Ivor Novello award wins, and their numerous top 20 albums. Ash keep going about their business penning great songs and great albums and always seeming to let the music do their talking. The fact that this collection comes out in various formats with cool innovative artwork, it’s no mean feat that there is a three-CD set with well over fifty songs (fifty-four to be precise) on that version compared to the (slender in comparison) Vinyl version, ‘Teenage Wildlife’ is as good as any compilation album gets and one that a lot of hard work and thought has clearly gone into.

If Ash isn’t a band you think you like but then on hearing a track or two remember you do quite like, then, this is for you. Besides, they’ve always been great live always come up with great records and alongside the albums, they released great singles and this is proof of that.

I guess being demanding and a bit greedy it might have been nice to have included stuff like the quirky ukelele version of ‘Kung Fu’ or ‘Girl From Mars’ and maybe a live track or two to showcase how good they are live. But like I said having fifty-four tracks on this release maybe I’m asking for the moon on a stick as well.  I know, I’ll leave it there.  To buy or not to buy?  No brainer, Just buy it! You’ll be singing along in no time regardless of if your an ash virgin or someone who forgot how bloody good they are.

Available as limited Lenticular vinyl edition, double vinyl, double CD and special Lenticular 3 CD set including 18 track rarities CD

Buy ‘Teenage Wildlife’ Here
Author: Dom Daley

The first album I ever owned was ‘Sladest’ the 1973 released compilation album by Slade. It came with a second hand cassette recorder my mother picked up for me for my 7th birthday and as such it left a truly indelible mark on my life.

Of the ten 7” singles featured here in this soon to be released box set from BMG the A sides of the first six singles were all featured on ‘Sladest’, so there’s no way I could feel anything other than total delight when listening to the likes of ‘Coz I Love You’ and ‘Gudbuy T’Jane’ and the only thing that kind of disappoints me is that the likes of ‘Look What You Dun’ and ‘Get Down And Get With It’ aren’t included too.

Still you can’t have everything I suppose, its just that after the lavish ‘When Slade Rocked The World’ LP box set released by Salvo back in 2015 which contained a cornucopia of wonderful Slade ephemera from the 1971 -1975 era the fact that nine of the ten singles contained within this set also draw from the same period I do have a real sense of deja-vu when revisiting these songs so soon after, and again if you are going to focus on this period and not include the seismic ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ single then you do start to wonder what BMG are really trying to achieve with this release.

The answer I guess lies in the fact that those nine singles all come housed in internationally released picture sleeves, complete (where applicable) with non-album B sides; songs like the acoustic stomp of ‘My Life Is Natural’, the Kinks-y pop of ‘Kill ‘Em At The Hot Club Tonite’ and the simply superb ‘Wonderin’ Y’, a song Noel Gallagher must have heard many times over when composing most of the ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’ album.  Once again though these tracks have all been released previously on the expanded Salvo versions of the corresponding Slade albums, so it really does boil down to the fact that if you are a Slade completist if the tenth “promo only” 7” of ‘Night Starvation’ is really worth the admission price for this set?

Look, I’ll admit I’ve already pre-ordered a copy of ‘Feel The Noize’, but if you are something of a more casual fan there are certainly much more cost-effective ways of getting these songs. You just won’t have the pic sleeves or the (ahem) flip-top box.

Slade’s music is timeless, and (largely) faultless, they are THE BAND I go to whenever I lose faith in life, plus as I once got caught with me trousers down by Noddy Holder at an Ozzy gig in Birmingham Odeon I do feel like we connected that day. Oh and please remember Slade are for life not just for Christmas, but there’s certainly nothing stopping you adding this box set to your Christmas list.

Buy it Here

Author: Johnny Hayward

Having followed Perry career from the debut Janes Addiction album on XXX that blew my tiny mind through the barren years of pretty average Later Day Janes albums to his return to making half-decent music with Porno For Pyros and Satellite Party to his eclectic solo career.  Farrell is probably better-known for his involvement in Lollapalooza and that hide behind the sofa cringefest reality TV show he and his Mrs did on satellite tv. But some of us remember him as the unique and captivating frontman to one of the finest bands of the late 80s. Fast forward to 2019 and has Mr. Farrell totally lost the plot of has he regained some of the street cred he once owned? Seeing as his last solo album was almost two decades ago has music left him behind or has he left me behind?

Firstly ‘Kind Heaven’ has just your nine songs lasting a shade over half an hour it begins with ‘(Red, White And Blue) Cheerfulness’ which is a mid-tempo romp that has a guitar lick that reminds me of Alice Cooper and Farrells instantly recognisable vocal is as strong as it ever was but the song sort of doesn’t make a statement of intent nor is it utterly bereft of quality its just it sort of enters the room unobtrusively and sits at the back rather than entering the ether with a fanfare maybe the second track which is much more of a classic Janes Addiction groove-driven (with bells and whistles) ‘Pirate Punk Politician’ is decent without being amazing but played at volume the production is as clear as the deep blue sea and at last ‘Kind Heaven ‘ is in the house!

‘Snakes Have Many Hips’ is a jazzy number and mashes up pop with some fancy samples never being afraid to push the envelope Farrell is quite happy to throw everything into his music including the kitchen sink and on ‘Medicine Girl’ he does just that.  With a cool industrial groove, it’s catchy and a decent tune but don’t ask me what he’s on about I don’t even go there.  I guess the thing to do with a Perry Farrell record is to not look too deeply into what’s going on and to just accept it for what it is its none of his previous projects but its all of them he absorb what’s going on like a sponge and spills it all over his own record its a head fuck and I guess that’s part of what he’s trying to do.  Empty the content of his mind on a record is no easy task but to make sense of it might be just as complex.  It’s not all for me but there are songs I really like.


‘One’ is like some 80s new romantic disco number and I just can’t get my noggin around that one and whilst there are no end of special guests from Foo Fighters and Cars and Soundgarden band members its Farrells wife who pops up most offering her sugar-sweet vocals to proceedings and she features heavily on this one. ‘Where Have You Been All My Life’ is a melting pot but largely lift music might be tidy if you’re off your tits in a field but at home looking for some music to play its wide of the mark.

To be fair its pretty much like the last few Janes albums and falls short of the real quality we know Farrell possesses maybe he’s still looking for his mojo or he needs to reconnect with his young and hungry self but fans looking to see what hes up to these days might want to stand back and take a deep breath because there is no Caught stealing or 3 days going on here at all maybe Farrell has moved on and now moves in totally different circles which is a shame – Maybe next time? Maybe.

Buy ‘Kind Heaven’ Here

Author: Dom Daley