It may well be 13 years since Flyscreen last played Newport (rock city) but it’s got to be nearly three decades since I last saw the band live, and back then, not only was I sharing a transit van with the boys in the band playing shows up and down the UK, but their line up also featured one Fraser Munro. Yup that’s the same chap you probably now know best (well if you’re reading this anyway) for co/fronting and playing bass in maximum velocity garage punk rockers Deathtraps.

Although tonight he’s no longer doing that.

No, he’s not left the band, it just that Veej, Matty and Fraser have gone and acquired themselves a bass player – step forward Namaan. Which means that Munro has gained two strings and is now co/fronting and playing guitar, with the resulting racket they now create sounding like it could level not just tall buildings. but whole cities, Newport being the first…. of many, I hope.

So, for the second time in a week I’m witnessing the Le Pub sound system dealing out some critical noise levels, with the needles well and truly in the err… red for ‘Red Eyes & Black Kisses’ and to some here tonight, perhaps witnessing the band for the first time, this must have come as something of a sonic shock to the system, as it was for those of us who have seen them many times, with the early inclusion of ‘Hell Of A Girl’ from Matty and Veej’s old band The Sick Livers. I thought this tune might have been just a one-off set list inclusion for their recent blast at Slugfest (where they were still a trio and also played a rollicking cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking The Law’), but no, here it is loud and proud, for a whole new generation of gig goers to lose their shit to. Tidy darts!

Elsewhere the band’s sub thirty-minute aural rip ride flew by in the blink of an eye with the likes of ‘She Said’ and ‘Rip Em Off’, from their exceptional last record ‘Appetite For Prescription’, giving us all bloody noses, whilst the ever present oldie ‘Fuck The Cool Kids’ once again helped shatter the venue’s swear jar in just under three minutes flat.

It’s fast, its furious and its totally fucked-up rock ‘n’ roll, what more could you want on a Saturday night?

I always find it kind of irritating when a venue suddenly fills up for a headliner, but then Flyscreen are a what you might call a “more commercial” sounding musical proposition than the band that has just blown the bloody doors off Le Pub’s live room. It’s most probably why they were snapped up by MCA during the mid ‘90s and why they still have enough of a diehard following in da Port to sell out tonight’s gig, well in advance of showtime. It also doesn’t hurt their popularity one bit that their song ‘Carl Zeiss Jena’ (which was also a top three hit in Germany pop pickers) is also an anthem dedicated to this very city’s football team, and when it’s played here tonight mid-set you can almost taste the passion in the room. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here, because there’s much more to Flyscreen than just that one song, as opener ‘You Sons Of Bitches Shut-up’ quickly proves. Taken from the band’s 2005 album, ‘Only Dirty People Wash’, an album of ten songs I’d somehow totally missed at the time of release, this tune just like ‘Popsong Singalong’ the minor hit single from the album, which also (ouch!!!) pops up mid-set, are both post-New Seattle beauties of the highest order.

There’s of course always going to be the slightest whiff of nineties nostalgia in the air when most of your back catalogue was written in that decade, but when you have songs as strong as ‘Chopperquad’, ‘Ugly Freak Of Nature’ (not the version where singer/bassist Paul suddenly sang the words to ‘Homo’ over it), the always amazing ‘Biffbamaboomalamababe’ and ‘Snowbunny’ in your set list…who cares? That’s because, even whilst Tony, the band’s powerhouse drummer, is normally residing in San Francisco these days, the quartet (completed by guitarists Dave and Marc) have somehow managed to shoehorn recording an all-new record, into the time he’s briefly been back in the UK for tonight’s gig, and after hearing the first fruits of this session ‘I Love Everybody’ tonight, it sounds like it’s going to be an absolute banger.

Flyscreen’s forty odd minute set here tonight once again illustrated to everyone present just why they really should have been up there with the likes of Manic Street Preachers and Feeder in the popularity stakes. But that’s the UK music industry for you eh folks. It’s a shit business…

Author: Johnny Hayward

As we move further into the new normal and as restrictions drop away and we begin the learning process of living in a “post pandemic world” as things move towards becoming endemic, live music has a huge part to play in the healing process, and re-invigorate our thoughts, attitudes and ability to function in a Tory led new world order. Thinking about new world order takes my thought straight to killing joke a band that have constantly pushed against the barriers of genre, attitude and predictability.

 I mean as scribes we constantly bounce our thoughts around look for influences get hooks to our writing and try and introduce the reader to band’s they might like based on their current listening, now ask yourself two questions

  1. Who are the influences that have helped build the Killing Joke sound?
  2. Who do Killing Joke sound like?

The answer to the first is there aren’t any, Killing Joke are constantly shifting the boundaries of music, they draw their power and intensity from fantastic musicians exploring the scope of their instruments with a frontman looking both inwards and  outwards from an almost visionary perspective pulling the threads together.

The answer to the second? No-One !! Killing Joke stand out on their own an enigma pulled together by an enigmatic frontman, present post punk/post modernist future reaching music, moving ever outwards and dictating where music can go rather than following the masses.

Pulling things back there is a support tonight Brooklyn based anglo-American ‘The Imbeciles’

The Imbeciles are: Butch Dante (guitar and backing vocals), Ben Rice (guitars, lap steel, backing vocals), John Kent (lead vocals, bass guitar, backing vocals, drums, percussion), Joshua Lattanzi (guitars and backing vocals), Charlie Culbert (drums).

Youth played bass guitar and co-write the songs on their new album ‘Imbelica’.

Now I have to hold my hands up I didn’t dive in and research them prior through choice, sometimes its worth making your mind up raw without prior influence in the live setting and myself alongside the crowd  really took to the band again not really a band you could pin down to a specific genre, at times hinting at REM, at times drawing on the grunge attitude Nirvana in particular, but staying in the Seattle sound with the Meat puppets and Soundgarden again coming through and all underpinned with almost a classic rock sound. The new LP will be well worth exploring and I would urge people to check them out live.

In all the times I’ve seen Killing Joke alongside the H Bomb’s experiences who provided tonight’s photos well into double figures between us ‘Love like Blood’ has only been  experienced once and never by yours truly and they only opened with it tonight!!! Fair play and then to follow it with ‘Wardance‘ and ‘The Fall Of Because’ I was a happy man, in fact the whole gig was both intense and relentless, presided over by a frontman on top form, engaging and driven, the intensity just continued to ramp up as the band locked in and by the time we’d gone through ‘Money is Not Our God’ and ‘This World Hell’ we were on fire and then ‘Bloodsport’ just tore the roof off. There were so many highlights until we got to the end of the main set with ‘The Wait’ and ‘Pssyche’.

Time to take a breath and we’re back with Requiem dedicated to Taylor Hawkins, ‘I am the Virus’ and ‘Pandemonium’.

So returning to my initial thoughts Killing Joke are still bang on point as relevant today as they were in the beginning moving and dictating what music should sound like tearing their own path Brutal, intense, challenging and forward thinking as all music should be standing alone an Enigma but one that needs to be experienced by one and all.  

Author: Nev Brooks pics Johnny Hayward

Having just completed a run of US shows with Rancid, along with the recording of his first album as guitarist with The Last Resort punkaholic Lars Frederiksen has somehow managed to squeeze a few more hours into his rock ‘n’ roll day to finally deliver his debut solo release, the six track EP ‘To Victory’.

Inspired by a pre-lockdown sold out solo show in Oakland, ‘To Victory’ is a continuation of that show’s format and as such is very much in the style of one of Frederiksen’s heroes, Billy Bragg. It’s a one-man-gang kind of release, with the track listing featuring two songs each from The Old Firm Casuals and Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards all reworked to fit the stripped-down solo format along with a couple of choice cover versions making for a very interesting listen indeed.

It’s back to 2016’s ‘Butcher’s Banquet’ EP originally recorded by The Old Firm Casuals for ‘God And Guns’ to get the acoustic party started and here devoid of any drums the track still somehow pounds along at a fair old pace, and yeah whilst I may long for a drummer to help the track fully kick in, the piano and bass touches that complement the arrangement really do work well within the context of this project.

Likewise, ‘Army of Zombies’ originally from Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards self-titled 2001 released album, which also works particularly well due to a truly magical sprinkling of organ and piano which lifts the track out of merely sounding like a very well recorded acoustic demo up into a whole new sonic universe come the chorus.

Of the two cover versions on offer Lars’ version of UK Subs ‘Tomorrow’s Girl’ is the one that makes absolute sense (seeing as Lars was briefly in the band back in the early nineties) and here for the first time on the EP the song is driven by Lars’ trusty Gibson SG. Something that continues into the monster chug of ‘Motherland’, originally from The Old Firm Casual’s 2019 released ‘Holger Danske’ album. Now, I’ve always thought Frederiksen had more than a hint of Paul Stanley in his voice on the chorus of the original of this track and here it’s even more evident. Surely Lars would never admit to being a KISS fan though, right?

Err wrong, because the second of the covers is actually a mighty fine rendition of ‘Comin’ Home’ originally from that band’s 1974 classic ‘Hotter Than Hell’ album, albeit here it’s got more in common with the version the shock rockers did for their 1995 MTV Unplugged show. It’s certainly the bravest of song choices on ‘To Victory’ and may even win Lars some new fans in the process.

Returning to the electric guitar for an EP closing run through of Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards’ ‘Skunx’, I can’t help but think that having recorded a beefed-up cover of Billy Bragg’s ‘To Have And Have Not’ on their self-titled debut album this version of ‘Skunx’ could actually be Bragg’s payback cover if he were ever up to the challenge.

Released via Pirates Press on 19th November on vinyl, CD, cassette and online ‘To Victory’ is something that seriously has the legs to run as a whole new concept for Lars Frederiksen outside of that solo pre-lockdown gig that started all of this, just him, his guitar and a whole lot of stories certainly makes for an interesting proposition indeed.

Author: Johnny Hayward

‘Coffin Face’ is album number three from UK psychedelic garage punks Table Scraps and its one that comes hot on the heels of their track ‘Motorcycle (Straight To Hell)’ (from their debut album ‘More Time For Strangers’) having been brought to the attention of a potentially whole new audience by Monster Magnet’s excellent lockdown released covers album ‘A Better Dystopia’.


I mention this from the get go simply because whilst both bands might – on paper at least – seem worlds apart, when you do actually dip your toe into the acid-tinged waters of ‘Coffin Face’ musical genres do start to merge and ultimately become totally irrelevant.


I mean great music is great music, right?


The ten tracks that make up this record were written and recorded before, during and after the ongoing global pandemic and via the likes of ‘Judas Christ’, the overdriven Zeppelin throb of ‘Doom Generation’ and the B-Movie magic of ‘Never Liked It Anyway’ we are taken us back to a time when they were selling hippy wigs in Woolworths and the end of a whole musical ideology was but one tragic festival death away from becoming a reality.


Originally conceived as a (cough) “concept” album back in 2018, where a band emerges from the rubble of a post-apocalyptic event, the world events of the past 18 months made the songs that make up ‘Coffin Face’ less of a loosely themed concept and more a reality for the band, who this time around wanted to take themselves to a whole new level.


Adding third member TJ Mobbs on bass guitar, electric piano and synth certainly helped broaden their musical horizon around the time of their second album ‘Autonomy’, but here it’s the fantastic doubled vocals of drummer Poppy Twist and guitarist Scott Vincent Abbott that have never sounded so hypnotic, especially on the double time proto-punk rattle of opener ‘Threads’ (which surely must also take a lead from the 1984 post-apocalyptic TV drama of the same name). It’s when ‘Big Man’ steps out of the speakers sounding just like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have opened up an earthier Birmingham chapter that I can fully understand why the band say that recording Coffin Face’ has either kept them sane or sent them totally insane, such are the multiple musical personality changes being played out within the album’s half hour, which to their credit is something the band does without ever losing their focus on simply recording a great record.


Take ‘You Only Wanna Get High’ for example, this is a track that could have featured in a Matt Helm movie whilst ‘God Of The Rainbow’ has an almost second summer of love shoegaze vibe going on and then there’s the glorious swoon of album closer ‘Heartache’ which just makes me flip the record over and play it all again.


I’ve not stopped playing ‘Coffin Face’ since the slime coloured vinyl first dropped on my turntable a few days ago and I can see it staying there for some time yet, such is the strength of the songs on show here. For those who don’t like vinyl (shame on you) the album also comes on CD and download and is available in a variety of different bundle options via the band’s Bandcamp page.


Brothers and sisters, free your minds and give your aural taste buds a refresher in great music by simply clicking the link below. You can thank RPM later!

Buy Here

Author: Johnny Hayward

Whilst the rest of the UK seems to be going batshit crazy, the Fleece really is the place to be tonight if you want to feel any degree of post-lockdown normality. There’s even one of those much hated 10pm curfews in place and arriving early for a pre-gig catch up with some old mates it’s almost like the last 18 months haven’t happened at all. Especially as the “sold out” flashes had been up on tonight’s gig posters long before anyone had ever heard of Covid-19. That’s right folks Cock Sparrer are finally back in Bristol for what was originally going to be their 2020 Not The Albert Hall Tour of smaller venues and boy does it feel good to be back inside a packed out and sweaty club. That’s not to say that the Fleece hasn’t had to make some changes to deal with the ever evolving post-lockdown situation though.


The most immediately obvious of these changes is perhaps the venue’s turbocharged air-con system, which is cranked up high enough to make the early evening air positively ice-box. So much so that Spunk Volcano has even ditched his trademark on stage action pants for tonight’s show. Then again, this is probably the least of the band’s concerns as having a guitarist walk out just prior to going out on tour and then having to quickly rework your set as a four piece (with the aforementioned Mr Volcano now also taking up second guitarist role as well as being singer) must have been a much more serious matter for them to deal with.


Not that you’d really notice the line-up change though, as the likes of ‘Death Or Glory’, ‘Cellotape’ and ‘Crossfire’ all blast out of the PA at maximum volume and velocity much to the joy of those eager enough to get in early doors. The Eruptions’ excellent lockdown released album ‘Barry Milner Is Thick’ gets an early look in too via the awesome ‘Only Got Eyes for You, and I can’t help thinking the misfits might never have sounded better.


Whether its cruising in his ‘XR3’ or standing on ‘Platform 3’ the ability of Spunk Volcano to turn everyday situations into memorable rock anthems is what really draws people in, and be it a metal or punk audience the band are playing to if you can’t relate to the likes of ‘I Can’t Stop Thinking About You’ then you’ve obviously led a very sheltered life indeed. By almost direct contrast though tonight’s closing track ‘DNA Failure’ stubs a finger in the chest of the crazy world outside the Fleece and screams “fuck you” in its face, seemingly much to the delight of everyone around me.


It’s all over way too quickly, but with an eleven date tour booked for early 2022, if the Eruptions can just slot in a Welsh/Bristol date into their already busy itinerary that would make the ideal early Spunkmas pressie for yours truly and many others here tonight.


Cock Sparrer will also be looking forward to a busy 2022 as they look to celebrate their 50th anniversary, with their recently announced one off “two set” show at London’s Roundhouse close to selling out at the time of writing. It’s their 49th anniversary we’re all finally celebrating tonight though, and as the ‘Overture’ intro segues seamlessly into ‘Riot Squad’ and the inevitable mosh pit follows swiftly kicking any social distancing well into touch, for the next 90 minutes at least we are back to the “old normal”, something I openly admit I’d had my own reservations about. However, once we’re into ‘Watch Your Back’ and the frenzied boogie of ‘Working’ it is impossible not to be a part of it all.


Throwing in a few setlist curveballs is always something Sparrer enjoy doing, largely to keep it fresh for everyone, and tonight we get a searing ‘Sussed’ from the ‘Here We Stand’ album to put everyone’s memories to the test. Meanwhile, three tracks from their 2017 released ‘Forever’ album sees ‘One By One’ emerging to stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of ‘Argy Bargy’ and ‘Take Em All’ as a real fan favourite. For yours truly I’ll never tire of hearing the likes of ‘AU’ and ‘Tough Guys’ or in fact (Colin McFaull’s very own favourite Sparrer song) ‘Because You’re Young’.  These songs all proving without a doubt that the band has always been more than just their seminal ‘Shock Troops’ record in the songwriting department. Although granted it’s the likes of ‘Take ‘Em All’ and ‘Where Are They Now? that really get the Doc Martins moving on the dancefloor and the previously mentioned ice-cold air con is seriously struggling to keep up by the time the band has ripped through the three song encore of ‘Suicide Girls’, ‘England Belongs To Me’ and We’re Coming Back’.

Along with a grin stretching from ear to ear the overriding thought I’m left with leaving the Fleece tonight is the songs that Sparrer didn’t play. You know the ones that you hear people around you shouting for at all Sparrer gigs, songs like ‘Sunday Stripper’, ‘Chip On My Shoulder’ ‘Bird Trouble’ and ‘Bats Out’ (granted that one was me), songs that would make the “two set” Roundhouse show seem even more essential than your usual Sparrer gig. There’s only a year to wait to find out if they will get played again folks, and trust me that time will fly by.


Hit the ticket link below to make sure you don’t miss out on this once in a band’s lifetime event. You can thank me later.


Roundhouse Tickets Here

Author: Johnny Hayward






You really cannot underestimate the importance of Jane’s Addiction to music fans who – at the time of the release the band’s self-released debut live LP – were looking for an alternative to the brainless drivel major record labels were pumping out in the name of hard rock/heavy metal. I myself was lucky enough to be swept up in the largely underground hype surrounding the band towards the tail end of the ‘80s, and whilst I cannot claim to have seen them live on their debut UK tour – and not many can – I was lucky enough to ride the live waves of joy they were generating by the time they had released ‘Ritual de lo habitual’, and that those shows still loom large with me to this very day should be enough for you to understand just how much of a game changer that band really was.

Initially splitting up just as grunge took over the world Jane’s Addiction in many ways became like The Velvet Underground of that scene, and in their singer Perry Farrell, I guess you had the scene’s very own Lou Reed. Albeit without his critical or commercial success, which means a lot of what is contained within this soon to be released ‘The Glitz; The Glamour’ box set might in fact be new material to the more casual listener.

Celebrating the mercurial talents of the self-styled Godfather of Alternative Rock, ‘The Glitz; The Glamour’ then is a 68 track collection of Perry Farrell’s work outside of Jane’s Addiction and Porno For Pyros spread across a 6 CD/Blu-ray and an indie shop exclusive 9 LP/Blu-ray box set, that is a perfectly timed release with Christmas looming large on the horizon.

Let’s face it, with 2020 being the shitshow it has turned out to be we all need something to make us smile right now, and ‘The Glitz; The Glamour’ might just be the thing to make it happen.

Kicking things off with a 5 track EP from Farrell’s pre-Jane’s Addiction band PSI Com, this set is what many will be after in this collection. it’s an engaging glimpse into the life of the young artiste, formed very much in the image of UK post-punk bands like Killing Joke and Public Image, and what’s perhaps most striking is that Farrell himself was already singing in the style he would largely go onto become renowned for in Jane’s Addiction, this is especially prevalent on the likes of ‘Xiola’ where his banshee screams were already waking the dead.

2001’s ‘Song Yet To Be Sung’ is Farrell’s first solo album proper and is a huge shift for him musically, being heavily influenced by the UK drum and bass scene it actually has a kind of Daniel Lanois producing ‘Earthling’ era Bowie feel about it and as such I found myself completely absorbed by its depth and the eclectic nature, especially on tracks like ‘Did You Forget’, ‘King Z’ and ‘Say Something’ which literally bristle with creative electricity.

By contrast, if ‘Song Yet To Be Sung’ was Farrell at his most introspective 2019’s nine track ‘Kind Heaven’ sounds like the soundtrack to kind of party David Lee Roth was renowned for throwing around the time he launched his solo band. Opening track ‘(Red White and Blue) Cheerfulness perfectly summing up Farrell’s joyful intentions for the record in two minutes and 20 seconds flat. There’s no time for self-examination on this record and the heavy involvement of his wife Etty Lau seems to keep the mood of the record very much upbeat. It’s a truly wonderful musical surprise if you’ve yet to hear it.

Sandwiched in between these solo albums was of course Satellite Party, the musical collective Farrell formed with Etty Lau that also featured the likes of Nuno Bettencourt, John Frusciante, Flea, Peter Hook, and Kevin Figueiredo on their one album ‘Ultra Payloaded’ originally released back in 2007. At the time I remember really enjoying this album as it provided a fresh perspective on the voice behind Jane’s Addiction and after their excellent reunion album ‘Strays’ it also kind of gave a glimpse of the more commercial sound the band would follow on 2011’s much-maligned ‘The Great Escape Artist’ opus.  Listening to ‘Ultra Payloaded’ 13 years later the likes of ‘Only Love, Let’s Celebrate’, ‘Kinky’ and ‘Mr. Sunshine’ have me dancing along to a kind of Sly & The Family Stone at the Hacienda groove and there’s a riot going on that’s for sure.

Which rather neatly leads me to the disc of Farrell/Satellite Party tracks remixed and re-imaged by the likes of UNCKLE, Groove Armada, Booka Shade, and a whole lot more besides and also includes Farrell’s dancefloor collaboration with The Avalanches on the ultra-funky ‘Oh The Sunn!’. It’s the ideal soundtrack for driving around town in your Corsa late at night, but eleven tracks of this for the more casual/rock-orientated listener might prove a little bit too much for them to stomach.

Very much more back at the end of the rock end of the spectrum though are the eight tracks contained on the disc of B-sides, where the likes of Starcrawler get to share some studio time with their hero on the feral ‘Turn Over The World’, the two previously unreleased tracks from ‘Rev’ get another day in the sun and ‘Cling To Life’ (recorded with the Kind Heaven Orchestra) once again has me thinking that the Farallels between our once dreadlocked anti-hero and the big band loving solo years of David Lee Roth might be even closer than I alluded to earlier.

With only a stream of this mighty box set on which to base this review I, unfortunately, can’t shed any light of what the ‘Kind Heaven’ record mixed in Dolby Atmos along with three new Atmos tracks from the remix record actually sound like, or in fact what the photographic memoirs hardback book or Zoltan prints aesthetically add to the package, but from what I have heard this really is an essential purchase for any die-hard fan of Perry Farrell’s music outside of Jane’s Addiction and Porno For Pyros.

Oh! ‘The Glitz; The Glamour’ – this is one box set I really do need in my collection.

Buy Perry Farrell – ‘The Glitz; The Glamour’ Here

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Author: Johnny Hayward


“Fuck Genres” proclaims Swedish multi-instrumentalist Henrik Palm in the press blurb that accompanies his second solo album ‘Poverty Metal’. Reflecting on this statement whilst also chuckling at the fact that the album title was derived from a term he’d heard being used to describe the type of cheesy bargain bin 80s metal that labels like Mausoleum used to release was enough to get me to give this eight tracker a cautionary listen, and by Hades am I glad I did.


I have to admit I had no idea that Henrik had once been a member of (the rather splendid) In Solitude or that he was once a Nameless Ghoul in Ghost but one listen to ‘Bully’ the opening track on ‘Poverty Metal’ (and without knowing Palm’s past) you’d perhaps be forgiven for thinking he was lifting influences from both of these bands with the post-punk/gothic background of In Solitude’s superb ‘Sister’ album very much present and the track also topped off with the dramatic melodic pomp and ceremony of Ghost. In many ways it has the same immediate appeal to me as Zeal & Ardor’ ‘Stranger Fruit’ did a couple of years back and that’s probably why I’ve played little else other than ‘Poverty Metal’ since I first discovered it just a day or so ago.


‘Sugar’ is up next and it’s a tune that initially brings to mind noughties UK progressive alt rockers Minuteman before it dissolves into the larger-than-life rock sound that characterised the early major label days of Ghost. ‘Concrete Antichrist’ continues the underlying theme of the opening trio of tunes, twisting and turning into your psyche, heavy on melody whilst never being what you might call an “easy listen.” At 3 minutes and 36 seconds its actually ready made to be a single but given the fragmentated state of conventional rock radio right now it’ll sadly never be aired on anything other than specialist stations.


A track that very much could breakthrough into the mainstream though is ‘Given Demon’, released as a video in the run up to the release of ‘Poverty Metal’ many existing fans of Palm’s work were quick to point out this track has more than a hint of QOTSA about it, but then again didn’t QOTSA have more than a hint of Masters Of Reality about them, and Masters Of Reality just a hint of The Doors? I hope you catch my drift? Whatever the influences ‘Given Demon’ is a wonderful slab of psych-pop especially the dreamy end sequence which actually sounds like it could have been written by Andy Partridge during XTC’s studio only days.


Being something of a huge fanboy of Twisted ‘fucking’ Sister, Palm’s cover of ‘Destroyer’ (originally from the ‘Under The Blade’ album) which crops up just after the record’s halfway mark is not only something of a surprise but also a huge revelation, slowed down to sludge like speed but with a vocal that actually seems to float over the menacing bass throb this is exactly how a cover version should be done as it leaves me shocked and sniggering at the audacity of it all. I hope Dee and the boys like it too.


It’s then, just when think I have the measure of Henrik Palm’s ‘Poverty Metal’ sound that up pops ‘Nihil’, a short and gentle stand out that segues perfectly into ‘Nihilist’ a tune which harks back to the gothic majesty of In Solitude and gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. and sat alongside Division Of Laura Lee’s recent ‘Apartment’ album it reinforces the fact that Sweden is once again producing some of the most refreshingly essential music out there in 2020.


Closing things down we have ‘Last Christmas’ (no not that ‘Last Christmas’) a largely instrumental track that initially draws heavily on the influence of Black Sabbath before spiralling off into another rock galaxy altogether.


At just 37 minutes long ‘Poverty Metal’ is a record that leaves me wanting more, (so much so I immediately went out and also bought Palm’s 2017 debut ‘Many Days’) and in an age when the mainstream rock media seems to think that regurgitating the term “Classic Rock” is some sort of quality mark, ‘Poverty Metal’ sticks a huge middle finger up at that assumption.


Fuck genres, this is poverty metal and I fucking love it.



Buy Here



Given the title of Marilyn Manson’s eleventh studio record you’d half expect it to be an inexorable sonic fist in the face, perhaps even harking back to the fury and anger of his ‘Antichrist Superstar’ days. But think again, because ‘We Are Chaos’ is a body of work designed to challenge and confound listeners, and in fact after numerous listens it actually takes me back to the days of ‘Mechanical Animals’, and a time when screams of ‘SELL OUT’ could be detected from within the more hardcore element of the Manson family.


I suppose discovering that this ten tracker (you get two extra acoustic tracks on the deluxe CD) was being co-produced by Shooter Jennings should have given the more astute Manson fan some indication that that this would be anything but a “by numbers” record (something that perhaps could be levelled at MM’s last two studio records) and on first hearing the acoustic driven title track via the obligatory teaser lyric video I was certainly intrigued to hear more.


Kicking off with the part spoken word ‘Red Black And Blue’ this is without question the most old school Manson sounding track contained herein. The spoken word intro making about as much sense as Manson’s (almost Cantona-essque) press releases these days, it’s not long before the trademark staccato rhythms are banging away at my brain and I can just see the self-styled God Of Fuck screaming his lungs out draped over the lightbox/monitor stage front and centre. Oh, for a live gig though eh?


One of the funniest things I read online in the run up to the album’s September 11th release date was that the title track reminded one listener of an eighties charity single, it’s a comment I simply cannot get out of my head never mind how many times I have subsequently listened to it, so maybe just maybe it is just that, a cry for help in our troubled times, and perhaps something we can all reflect upon.


‘We Chase The Dead’ is up next and this is for me is where the album truly slips into gear, a huge slice of gothic pop, this beauty segues perfectly into the anthemic ‘70s melancholia of ‘Paint You With My Love’ and thus truly submerges you within the qualities of the album as an art form.


This rich vein of songwriting form continues within the Satanic funtime grooves of ‘Perfume’, the prophetic electronic blitz of ‘Infinite Darkness’, which once again touches on the raw Manson nerve endings of old, whilst the down beat ‘Half-Way And One Step Forward’ and ‘Solve Coagula’ perhaps best illustrate what Marilyn means when he says that “shards and slivers of ghosts haunted my hands when I wrote most of these lyrics”.


The epic ‘Broken Needle’ closes things down and this once again acoustic lead track actually has me checking it is Marilyn Manson I’m listening to and not in fact 90s indie rockers Mansun. That’s because like I said at the top of this review ‘We Are Chaos’ is an album that in equal measure will challenge and confound you but thankfully it will not disappoint you.


Oh, and before I sign off, ‘We Are Chaos’ is also a concept album. Good luck figuring that one out.

Buy ‘We Are Chaos’ Here

Author: Johnny Hayward


If you’re one of those eagerly awaiting the chance to spaff a hundred dollars plus over the prospect of Motley Crue getting back in the ring and touring any time soon, then I would implore you to take some time out of your reckless abandon to spare a thought for Crue’s one-time US touring cohorts, Scottish hard rockers Heavy Pettin, who are just about to re-release three of their albums in expanded CD format.

Formed in Glasgow in 1981 guitarist Gordon Bonnar, drummer Gary Moat, bassist Brian Waugh, vocalist Steve ‘Hamie’ Hayman and lead guitarist Punky Mendoza immediately set their sights on hitting the big time just like their heroes UFO (hence the name) releasing their debut single ‘Roll the Dice’ in 1982 on Neat Records. This almost immediacy lead to them inking a multiple album deal with Polydor and with Warner/Chappell Publishing before working with Queen guitarist Brian May and producer Reinhold Mack on their classic 1983 debut LP ‘Lettin’ Loose’ and touring with the likes of KISS, Ozzy and Whitesnake.

Now that’s what you call an impressive two year career path if ever there was one, eh!

With 1985’s ‘Rock Ain’t Dead’ this saw the band looking to take on the world via deals with concert bookers ITB and ICM, but with the hard rock world changing (and hence the reason for my introduction) by the time the band resurfaced with their failed stab at Eurovision glory in 1987 you could almost sense the vultures starting to circle as the UK press was basically working for the Yankee dollar by the time of its release, and Pettin finally called it a day in 1988.

FM Revolver posthumously released the band’s last album for Polydor, the prophetically sounding (and much more AOR tinged) ‘Big Bang’ in 1989 but by then even the classic rock bands Pettin had supported back in their early days had morphed into near mirror images of the Saints of Los Angeles and only the die-hard Pettin fans like yours truly were left to pick up the hand full of copies that eventually did make it into UK record shops.

With the exception of a couple of semi-official reissues in the early noughties these albums have long since been the treasured finds of hard rock collecting eBayers and crate diggers alike…until now that is. And with singer Hamie and guitarist Gordon Bonnar once again touring under the Pettin banner its actually their old drumming pal Gary Moat (who is currently busy fronting his own band Burnt Out Wreck) who we have to thank for these for these three CDs (complete with a handful of bonus tracks) licensing the trio for a late November release via his Burnt Out Wreckords label with distribution through Cherry Red Records.

The big question I suppose though is what will it be like listening to these records again over 30 years on, as the emotional tourism of nostalgia can sometimes cloud the judgement, I’m sure you will agree.

Released the same year as Def Leppard’s ‘Pyromania’ 1983’s ‘Lettin Loose’ has lost none of its youthful charm, and the May/Mack production which at the time I felt was a little lightweight now adds an almost timeless charm to the album’s nine original tracks. It’s the fact that songs like opener ‘In And Out Of Love’ plus the hit single that should have been ‘Love Times Love’ can still stand shoulder to shoulder with anything off Leppard’s multi-Platinum seller that really stands out most for me. There isn’t a bad song on this underrated classic of a debut and after all these years it’s only now that I hear just how much in common Hamie had with one Biff Byford, especially on the rifftastic ‘Victims of The Night’, a song guaranteed to still give you a bit of HBN (that’s headbangers neck) after just one listen. Bolstered by both sides of the band’s debut 7” single on Neat Records (giving the CD a total of eleven tracks) ‘Lettin Loose’ is still a fantastic slab of twin guitar driven melodic hard rock, and is a record that promised so many great things for a band who were by the time of the release of its follow up selling out UK venues like London’s Astoria under their own steam and looking to really take on the big boys.

So with this in mind I’d always wondered with such an upwards career trajectory and such big money backing why ‘Rock Ain’t Dead’ didn’t thrust Heavy Pettin into the arena circuit worldwide? They seemingly had the songs to follow up their superb debut, they slightly tweaked their image to fit with the times and through extensive touring had all the confidence and stage craft to take on all comers. Polydor put an eager young producer like Mark Dearnley (AC/DC) behind the desk for the record, and yet I still get the feeling listening to this album all these years later that the band themselves simply wanted more.

Of the ten tracks that went on to make up ‘Rock Ain’t Dead’ its much easier for me to look behind the hype and for me one of the factors that may have dented this album’s credibility is that all of the sudden for record number two instead of seeing Def Leppard as a peer they suddenly seemingly just wanted to be them. I mean just listen to the bass rhythm of ‘Soul Survivor’ or the ‘Rock Of Ages’ lite of ‘China Boy’ and tell me I’m wrong. Don’t get me wrong they are still decent songs, its just I feel that when Pettin should have been developing and pushing their own sound they actually (perhaps unintentionally) took a sideways step and why oh why anyone thought that Hamie’s upwards inflection shriek at the end of a lot of his vocal lines was a good idea is still beyond me. I do note he has recently dropped these shrieks live during the recent reformation shows, so perhaps I might be onto something here too. It’s only really ‘Heart Attack’ which creeps up just past the half way mark of the album which is in keeping with the adrenalin rush spirit of Pettin’s debut, and the rest, whilst still a very decent record (CD bonus track ‘Crazy’ also being cut of the same striped spandex cloth), actually now strikes me as the sound of a band musically treading water.

Changing management after ‘Rock Ain’t Dead’ certainly didn’t help the Pettin cause in the slightest and then to follow this up with the failed ‘Romeo’ Eurovision bid of 1987 it was just short twelve months later before the band were calling it a day, and with Polydor never releasing the ‘Big Bang’ eight track album (and here given the definitive article treatment) from which that single came, it was left to FM Revolver to try and posthumously make something of the record, and of the three reissues this is the hardest one to listen to in 2019.

Chock full of keyboard samples that conjure up images of Patagonian pan pipes, drums that boof like Robocop’s boots chasing you down a corridor and songs that sound like they were specifically written for 80s action film montage sections the eight tracks that make up ‘Big Bang’ at best (‘Looking For Love’ and ‘Heaven Sent’) sound like Saxon outtakes from their EMI commercial phase and at worst (I mean do I have to spell it out) like something from an 80s Cliff Richard or Chris Rea album. With two tracks added to this reissue (‘Romeo’ 12” B side ‘City Girl’ and the previously unreleased ‘Rock You Endlessly’) the thing that immediately strikes me is whilst it’s rumoured this album was actually recorded as a get out clause for the band Polydor must also have been pushing the band in this much more commercial Bon Jovi/Journey-like direction, and what they actually ended up doing was make Heavy Pettin sound like Skagarack a band already signed to Polydor and hardly a household name either.

So, there you have it folks, (2007’s ‘Prodigal Songs’ unreleased songs collection aside) that’s pretty much the story of Heavy Pettin summed up in three very different albums. They are a band who really should have been huge and who knows if a few business decisions had gone another way they might now be one of the bands vying for a position on Motley Crue’s megabucks reformation tour too.

Author: Johnny Hayward

Buy Heavy Pettin’ Reissues Here

Released to coincide with their recent appearance on the Pavilion stage at Rebellion 2019 ‘Singing Our Souls’ is the second EP from Kid Klumsy the Coalville based five-piece who like to mix metal with punk and feature Weab ex-singer with Dirtbox Disco on lead vocals.

It still doesn’t feel quite right writing “ex singer with Dirtbox Disco” after Weab’s name but having seemingly not been happy fronting the band for quite some time at least here on the six tracks that make up ‘Singing Our Souls’ he sounds much more comfortable singing songs he’s written with his new bandmates.

I’d actually only heard a few older tracks by Kid Klumsy ahead of the recent Rebellion show and to be honest live they seemed to be much more metal than punk, but here on ‘Singing Our Souls’ the balance does switch back more in favour of the punky side of the street.

Lead track ‘Mr. Right Man’ is built on the type of thunderous uptempo guitar riff Dirtbox made their trademark and rumour has it is apparently autobiographical with Weab telling the story of how his larger than life clown figure became something he grew to hate, and true to that ethos Kid Klumsy are very much a jeans and T-Shirt band.

‘Slob’ is up next and this track is much more metal tinged especially on the double bass drum driven chorus breakdowns. ‘Dislexic Monkyz’ meanwhile is perhaps the most Dirtbox sounding track of the six on offer, largely because of Weab’s singing and even given the wacky subject matter it still manages to contain a really catchy hook.

‘Love Is a Battery Field’ is another tune that sticks in the head this time due to the infectious gang backing vocal whilst ‘She’s A Fuck’ is ostensibly a song about a stalker that is built on a thumping Krist Novoselic bass foundation which then adds huge slabs of 90s metal guitar to build its overall structure. Weab is also pushing himself into new areas vocally on this track and I for one certainly like this almost Ricky Warwick meets Dave Gahan style he has developed.

‘Singing Our Souls’ closes up with ‘Maisey’s Song’ a mid-tempo rocker that doesn’t really go anywhere and for me it’s the weakest track here.

Having been a fan of Dirtbox Disco since the days of their first EP at first I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of Kid Klumsy, in fact even after a good few plays of ‘Singing Our Souls’ I’m still not entirely sure. The EP does have the odd flash of brilliance and it certainly is great to hear Weab singing in styles he wants to sing in; it’s just I can’t help but miss that larger than life clown of old you know.

However, with extensive tours already booked both here in the UK and internationally and Kid Klumsy seemingly growing as songwriters the more they are together, I think I’ll reserve full judgement for when the debut album drops, in the meantime though ‘Singing Our Souls’ is certainly an interesting appetiser if you don’t mind a bit of metal mixed in with your punk that is.

Author: Johnny Hayward