Not really needing an introduction but here goes anyway, Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy launches Silver Shade Records with two releases. The First is a short sharp poke to the temple of some covers that have helped shape the uber Goth vocalist and performer and he wastes no time in bastardising Iggys ‘Funtime’ into a heaving wall of distortion and wailing and it sounds fantastic and seeing as its live it has a very raw live feel to proceedings and what a way to kick off a record, spot on.

‘Transmission’ is performed in front of Hooky and Murphy owns it with his iconic and most distinctive vocal. To be fair who can forget his band’s cover of ‘Ziggy’ so hearing Murphy perform some iconic tracks in his own style is a joy to behold. He’s done nine studio albums on his own so this series of live recordings is most welcome for his championing some classic tracks and keeping their soul and spirit alive. The quality varies to be fair and the bootleg sound quality or straight from the board of ‘Final Solution’ is chaotic and head fucking in its delivery. Sure ‘Space Oddity’ isn’t exactly pushing the boundaries but so what it’s all about Murphy’s interpretation of the music that shaped him and its nine tracks that are absolutely nailed and his Bowie cover is spine-tingling and sparse.

One track I wasn’t expecting was his take of ‘Purple Rain’ and as we head to its conclusion ‘The Light Pours Out Of Me’ is Gothtastic before ending the record with a wonderful take of @Hurt’ that features the one and only Mr Reznor on Keyboards and sounds like it might have been recorded in his living room with its spine tingling vocal from Murphy worth it for this rendition alone, amazing. Oh, for the record, it was Rezner who wrote it, not Mr Cash as some might have you believe. A real treat even if it is a bit on the expensive side even if it is Pressed on very special Gold Nugget vinyl and housed in a deluxe, embossed and UV glossed sleeve, limited to 2,000 numbered copies.

Buy Here

‘Live Volume Two’ – The second release is still £40 but this time you get two LPs of live Murphy material which is nineteen tracks spread over the two records and is a wonderful recording from 2008. From the chilling intro to the howling feedback goth classic of ‘The Line Between The Devils Teeth’ that flows into the dark brooding chug of ‘Disappearing In Her Hand’ is Murphy at his very best from a whisper to a scream or a howl its engaging and powerful stuff as the listener is treated to a thrilling show that glides effortlessly through his career from Bahaus classics to the very best of his solo material up to the recording. ‘Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem’ and a fascinating ‘A Strange Kind Of Love’ bleeding into ‘Bela Lagosi’s Dead’ and then following the acoustic version into a full electric ‘Shes In Parties’ that stutters into the fantastic ‘Be My Wife’. To release both albums at the same time is cool even at the price I fear these will be must-owns for any self-respecting Goths out there looking for a fix of one of the genre’s finest, most inventive and iconic artists at the very top of his game. Buy Vol Two Here

Author: Dom Daley

Every once in a while, an album comes along that doesn’t just exceed your expectations but totally blows them out of the water.  ‘Sublime Destruction’, the new 11 track album from London punk rockers Desperate Measures is one such record.

Recently inking a deal with Cadiz Music (home to the likes of Cockney Rejects and The Loveless) the signs were always promising regarding what Desperate Measures might do next after their excellent ‘Rinsed’ mini album came kicking and screaming into the post Covid world back in 2021. At the time I remember saying that the quartet’s particular twist on the punk rock genre was “delivered like a boot to the privates”, but with ‘Sublime Destruction’ there’s a whole lot more for you to worried about other than a kick to the coin purse. But hold on a minute, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

The immediate positives in the run up to the recording of this record where not only that the band retained a stable line up of vocalist Eugene Butcher, guitarist Gaff, drummer James Sherry and bassist Ricky McGuire but also that they were able to reunite with ‘Rinsed’ producer Andy Brook, the man who gave Gaff’s guitar more chunk than Fatty Jones’, err… and by that I of course mean his legendary sound.

That tone is there again straight from the off, albeit this time with the subtlest hint of ‘Sonic Temple’ era Billy Duffy as ‘Back To The Rats’ literally explodes out of the speakers.  This track is a perfect example of why Desperate Measures are such a revelation, the dual vocal between Butcher and Gaff is simply fantastic, as is the use of layered backing vocals during the half time breakdown which once again builds to add an extra level to the songwriting. This is something that is even more obvious on one of my favourite tracks on the album ‘Pockets’ which immediately follows. This cocky rocker could very easily have simply ploughed the UK Subs-like furrow of the opening riff and verses, but as soon as the pre-chorus hits you straight between the eyes, you’ll be humming it for weeks to come. Oh, and then there’s the just past the 3 minute “nah nah nah nah” mantra where the band joins in on vocals…there’s just so many hooks going on here its impossible not to take a bite. 

When the album’s title track thunders in next, driven largely by Butcher’s Billy Hopeless meets Vim Fuego bark you’ll perhaps be forgiven for thinking that all the sonic twists the band have to offer were already delivered, but nah ‘The Rich-tual’ is up next and if I called this brute “the best “Fuck The System” terrace anthem you’ll hear anywhere” back in 2021 then it’s even more relevant here in 2024. Oh, and yeah that “Woah oh” outro hook is still pure punk rock gold.

‘Enjoy The Ride’ follows and this turbo-charged Stooges-like stomper is just a one fingered piano riff away from absolute Pop perfection, it’s got the handclaps though, along with a bass sound to wreck your subwoofers, and then right out of left field there’s this almost angelic female backing vocal to send things to the next level once again. Righteous stuff indeed!

Having shared stages with the likes of The Professionals and The Dead Boys following the release of ‘Rinsed’ it’s the influence of the former that seems to have shaped the ‘Sublime Destruction’ version of ‘Lost Angels’ most, this is a song that started its life all the way back in 1988, and not for the first time here I’m thinking of the parallels between this record and Sister Morphine’s excellent (30 years plus in the making) debut album from last year. 

‘Untouchable’ must surely have been in contention for the album title as not only is a great track to place in the lucky number 7 slot but also pretty much sums up this record. Look out for the “I’m still waiting” backing vocals on this one too.

This is something which continues into ‘Thinking Of England’ one of the lead videos released in the run up to the album’s release and it’s a track that somehow manages to make me think of Towers of London and 3 Colours Red whilst still being 100% Desperate Measures.

The sublime Lords Of The New Church-tinged goth of ‘Rinsed’ tune ‘Flowers At Your Door’ ushers in the final 3 tracks on ‘Sublime Destruction’ and these tunes illustrate a slightly more introspective side to the band, via the pounding ode to North London that is ‘Seven Sisters’ and acoustic album closer ‘Still Got Me’ complete with string section!!!!!

And that, that right there folks, is what I was alluding to in the introduction to this review. There aren’t that many punk rock records that go the extra yard to add in that additional sonic dimension to push ahead of the pack, but here on ‘Sublime Destruction’ Desperate Measure (under the watchful eye of Mr Andy Brook) are not so much pushing ahead as out and out leading the pack.

Never mind the bollocks, this is THE bollocks.

‘Sublime Destruction’ is released on the 22nd of March 2024 via Cadiz Music on CD and (coloured vinyl) LP and you can order your copy – HERE!

Author: Johnny Hayward

Power Grab is the ninth studio album from terrace rock legends the Cockney Rejects. Pre Order Here Bosh!

Having created the ‘Street punk’ phenomenon with their EMI released debut album ‘Greatest Hits Volume One’ in 1979 and its eponymous follow up, ‘Greatest Hits Volume Two’ in 1980, the band shifted direction to their preferred hard rock leanings with the Pete Way produced ‘The Wild Ones’ in 1982, to much critical acclaim. After the ‘Lethal’ album in 1990 the band called it a day, exhausted by the ‘Hooligan Rock’ accusations and the lack of live work. In 1999 they enlisted new bass player Tony ‘Van’ Frater and drummer Andrew Laing, and now a touring tour de force they played to ecstatic audiences all over the world and released several albums right until Tony’s untimely death in 2015.

After much soul searching, the band recruited former bass player Vinny Riordan (from the band’s classic first line-up) and powerhouse drummer Joe Perry Sansome (from Reigning Days) and the boys hit the road again, to even more rabid response than before. Then came covid, and like many thousands of bands the world over, they reluctantly had to down tools. Never a band to rest on their laurels, Mick and Jeff began to write, and the band spent long weekends in the studio with producer Kevin Poree creating their finest, and possibly last, studio album, ‘Power Grab.’

And what an album it is. It’s the culmination of 43 years on the road and in the studio (“it’s a microcosm of everything we have learned and loved since 1979,” says guitarist Mick Geggus) resulting in the most cohesive work they have ever done. From their fledgling Punk days to their Rock heyday, it’s all here; the hooks, heartfelt lyrics, searing guitar work and thunderous rhythm section, all in one package. From the gentle, acoustic intro to the blistering Punk snarl of the opener, ‘We were never bothered’ through the mighty title track, to the closer ‘MUG’, there isn’t any filler here- in fact the band jettisoned some six songs to make this collection the most vibrant and vital thing they have ever created.

“It’s 40+ years rolled into one. It’s the culmination of evolution. Everything is on this album” states drummer Joe Sansome.

At the end of 2023 the Cockney Rejects will be retiring from the touring scene. They will leave behind a legacy matched by very few of their contemporaries. Catch them while you still can. And listen to ‘Power Grab’- It’s what Rock ‘N ’Roll SHOULD sound like. The caged beast. And something so alive it hurts. If this indeed is going to be their swansong, they couldn’t go out on a bigger high.

Find the Cockney Rejects Here Bosh!