Oddly enough this is the second record I’ve reviewed recently based around mushrooms or fungus how weird?  To be honest I didn’t have a scooby what ‘Amanita Pantherina’ was all about and I’m still none the wiser other than I wouldn’t want to ingest any.

Those boys from the North West or Mossley to be precise are back and this time they have sneaked under the radar without any big splash or fanfare and slung a post-punk, post indie post-pop whatever you want to label it record. Maybe wearing a cap fitted by the likes of The Fall or super Furry Animals and a whole lot more besides Cabbage simply write top tunes with wit, humour, clever, abrasive political lyrics and a whole bunch of suss and cool thrown in for good measure.

Live they are a joy a heaving mass of exactly what a live band should sound like and effortlessly hitting the spot with a beautiful noise. I’m not sure if this is the difficult second album or the third joyful cutting loose and experimental one that’ll fuck with you.  Either way its Cabbage doing what Cabbage do best – Just getting on with it.  Writing tunes that flow (even if they don’t) and subtle earworms that burrow in and hatch over time.  The laid back acoustic strum of ‘Hatred’ sits uncomfortably next to throb of ‘Medicine’ with its menacing bass thump and jarring chiming guitar chords its all good stuff mixed in with the 80s inspired key stabs and weird sample noises jumping out of my speakers.

The album’s opener is a right to do entitled ‘Leon the Pig Farmer’ with its rapid racket of guitars thundering along whilst they follow it up with a tune that already sounds like Cabbage if they have a particular sound that is.

Cabbage manages to mix bands who propped up scenes like Madchester maybe a Black Grape with some DK’s or Killing Joke and some PIL for sure just listen to the roar on ‘Once Upon A Time In The North’ its abrasive and dark but always engaging.

‘I Was A Teenage Insect’ God knows?  I don’t but the keyboards are 70s pop mixed with some alternative from the post-punk fall out maybe this ones calling for a keytar when we get back to live shows it could be Abba on acid Marc Almond would approve of these shenanigans as would Marc Bolan if he were still here. ‘Direct-Dictate’ is a twisted Glam Rock riff twisted into a dreamy pop melody.  Head well and truly fucked!

‘Piles Of Smiles’ might be the one that inspired the album artwork and album title. Which only leaves ‘Terminates Here’ to slow dance us out of this one.   A gentle exit if ever there was one, so far from the album opener yet as the album winds and twists through each track its the logical conclusion to a hugely impressive album.

Don’t store this in a dark place let the dim light of fame shine upon these loons and maybe just maybe the kids will all want to play guitars and write loud songs.  The future can be theirs even with a name like Cabbage!  Fuckin’ nutters.

Buy ‘Amanita Pantherina’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

Plenty of Easter eggs for RPM

It seemed normal service had resumed and the UK was no longer under thread or code red because of the weather and the armed forces were asked to stand down from the impending doom that was heading our way if the week-long snow caused the country to slide into the Atlantic. April would see the customary Record Store Day madness that had clogged up pressing plants and caused delays right across the board as the majors jumped the queue with their plethora of reissues and one direction picture discs ready for the record buying public readily camping out on high streets across America and the UK hoping to get their hand on the Bowie seven inch that would only set them back £20 but hey if we didn’t buy into this it wouldn’t happen. 


I digress. April was to be the month The Damned would finally get around to unleashing their new long player on the public after something like a decade since their last long player but this time they’ve gone all out to impress with Tony Visconti taking care of the production and in my humble opinion making it more about him and his knob twiddling duties than The Damned and as a result, an album that promised so much, in reality, delivered so little and won’t feature as anyone’s album of the year even though its not without merit as there are good songs on board but where is Paul Grays signature sound thumping its way through the songs? Did I not mention Gray was back in the fold? Oh sorry, how rude of me.  yup Paul Gray was back in the fold and ‘Evil Spirits’ expectations hit the roof. It is certainly one of those albums you so desperately wanted to love but couldn’t quite convince yourself it was up there with some of their back catalogue but hey ho onwards and upwards and any Damned record however bad is still better than most other bands good albums. Fact. And the live dates were as expected – superb.

As far as other records to come out in April well, there’s always the ever-reliable Wonk Unit and this time out they’re unleashing ‘Terror’ upon us all. Once again it was recorded at the Brook and producer Andy Brook brought the best out of Alex and all who sail or should that be ride on the back of this thoroughbred stallion. it featured some classic Wonk none more so than this festive banger ‘Christmas In A Crackhouse’ but remember this is April.  Nice one Alex.

other worthy mentions have to go to the bonkers Cavemen who wanted to ‘Nuke Earth’ whilst Sarah Shook & The Disarmers impressed Ben with the album ‘Years’

On the 7″ front there were a few notable entries with the top of the pile being The DeRellas with the fantastic ‘High Rise Supersize’ seeing the recording debut of their new frontman and excellent fit Joey DeRella former frontman of the excellent Breakdowns.also on the singles front The Hip Priests released an excellent split with Demons and young upstarts The Kenneths put out a really excellent single in the shape of ‘Favourite Ex’ from the E.P ‘EX’ and hopefully 2019 will see RPM hear more from this most excellent of noise makers.

Onto the live front and a few notable entries would have to be when the country went RSD nuts – south Wales upstarts and ne’re do wells otherwise answering to the name Deathtraps played at what was a marathon of live shows all over Newport which began with Mike Peters of The Alarm playing the towns best venue the rather splendid Le Pub on the Friday night. It then spread to other venues throughout the day keeping live independent music alive and well in this corner of the world.


Also on tour in April was the splendid reformation of Thee Hypnotics who impressed Ben so much he went out and picked up a copy of their box set and Dom and Johnny also parted with some folding money for copies of their documentary when they rolled through Newport south Wales to play Le Pub (once Again). April was really hotting up as some mighty fine new bands rolled into town as part of tours to promote their new records two notable bands were Cabbage who were promoting the excellent ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ and Trampolene who also played Clwb Ifor Bach and both shows were sellouts and both ended in hot sweaty messes just like the best club gigs should.

The only death to report in April would be that of Jesus Christ but that for another website and not here. Keep it RPM as we roll into May…