When Ginna Rhodes and Ben Marsden from The Main Grains announced they would be forming a little punk rock outfit with The Idol Dead frontman Polly, I don’t think anyone expected too much to come from it. When they subsequently announced a Pledge-funded album and recording sessions with the one and only Dave Draper (Ginger, Ryan Hamilton etc) ears pricked up…maybe they were serious after all. And left to their own devices, it’s amazing what these three have conjured up.

We all pledged without hearing a single note. Why would we put our faith in these 3 loveable Northern herberts? Your guess is as good as mine, but now it’s time to see if The Spangles can deliver.


Ok, first things first. Let’s try to establish a few facts; this is a covers album right? I mean, I seem to know all these tunes already, so it must be. These choruses are already embedded in my DNA it seems, how is that possible?

So if it’s not a covers album, I wanna know how they managed to distill everything I love about the rock n’ roll world into 12 songs? In just under 30 minutes, you’ll hear nods to more 70’s punk and 90’s Britrock legends than you can shake a stick at.

This album is so new I don’t have any info on it, who knows who wrote these glorious slabs of punked-up power pop, and I can only hazard a guess as to who sings what. While Polly is playing bass, Ginna and Ben stick to what they do best and I think the lead vocals are shared out between all three by the sound of it.


Opener ‘Growing Up’ starts strong, like The Yo-Yos jamming with Sorry and the Sinatras, a great chorus but it’s just a taster of what’s to come. The following ‘The Only One’ is surely the greatest song Rivers Cuomo never wrote and the essence of what this band is capable of. A wall of riffage and a chorus so upbeat it will give instant goosebumps and put a smile on the face of the grumpiest fucker in town. You’ll wonder how you ever managed without it in your life.

Powerful, punk-pop goodness follows with ‘One Good Reason’ and ‘Dirty Pictures’, The Spangles do trashy so well. ‘POTUS’ is dumb-ass punk rock, ‘Here We Go Again’ is The Soho Roses and album closer ‘Ramone’ is a burst of fury with a glorious gang vocal refrain that name-checks as many Ramones songs as possible. I name these three songs now, as these are the average songs on the album, and by ‘average’, I mean in the context of this album. As the songs on this album are of a very high standard indeed.

‘Back On The Meds Again’, with its ‘Nita Nitro’ intro, comes on like a classic Wildhearts B side and we all know what a good place that is to be, right? A snotty verse leads to another killer, gang vocal chorus backed by a wall of fat guitars.

‘I Don’t Wanna Go’ sounds like The Buzzcocks meets The Soho Roses. An instant sugar buzz with a euphoric chorus most bands could only dream of. You’ll be singing along to those “whoa-whoa” vocals and the following chorus again and again, believe me.

‘Get Over Yourself’ again, has a massive chorus. With its indie beats and killer riff, it comes on like classic Terrorvision. This song could be a dancefloor filler in rock clubs across the country, make no mistake.

But it’s ‘Hold My Hand’ that is in contention for song of the year. Damn this is sublime power pop. It’s Weezer meets Redd Kross meets Silver Sun. It’s up there man, more infectious than Herpes and twice as fun. On a par with The Interrupters ‘She’s Kerosene’ for song of the year for me.


Not officially released until February, ‘#Sweet AF’ is already a strong contender for next year’s album of the year lists. And considering we have highly anticipated albums from The Wildhearts and Michael Monroe to look forward to, they are in good company.

The surprise, feel-good album of the year with more potential hits than any band should be allowed to possess. They may have started with sweet fuck all, but their debut album is sweet as fuck! Is it too soon to suggest The Spangles could be your new favourite band?

Author: Ben Hughes


March Madness

If you thought February was a bit full on then welcome to March.  Whilst the UK did its usual shit the bed over some snowfall the rest of the planet got on with what it had to do without much fuss. Such was the panic, Fraser had to abort his trip to Londinium to see Turbonegro unless he hired a chopper then paraglided in, he was stuffed due to the Baltic conditions and an inefficient panic-stricken country. Anyway.

RPM scribes did manage to leave the house at some point because Ben caught Ryan Hamilton & the Traitors up North whilst Dom caught the tour in Cardiff. When Ben saw the tour party it was as advertised because on the night in Cardiff the Main Grains couldn’t attend due to…Um… snow on the roof of their car! No Car couldn’t find it under snow, leaves, it had blown away or they couldn’t make it because it was waaay too far when London was next on the schedule, ticket sales weren’t exactly great or some similar excuse, oh well, it wasn’t to be so Hamilton was left to break the news of the Main Grains transport issues cough, cough. Like the trooper he is he and the Traitors played an extended set to the few hardy souls who ventured out into the great wide open to fly their freak flags and a thoroughly enjoyable evening was had. It would have been nice to have both bands but there we go.

So with most people tucked up in their castles listening to punk rock praying that those hardy postal workers managed to get into work so they could deliver a veritable avalanche of new releases, some even made it onto the death decks of future RPM scribes such as Dirt Box Disco with their ‘Immortals’ album and joining them this month would be Eureka Machines with their brand new pledge endorsed campaign ‘Victories’, which went down well (to be fair) all Eureka pledges go well as Chris Catalyst seems like a guy with a plan and knows how to execute  a well-oiled campaign always full of little extras.



There were also some notable records released in March by the likes of Christmas with their most excellent ‘Scum As You Are’, Ryan Hamilton also got recording this time with Tony Wright and their ‘Grand Ole Otley’ and showing that we’re not all about the crash, bang, wallop! Boss Caine and his album ‘Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love‘ was also released this month.

The most hotly anticipated release of the month has to go to those speed dealers Zeke and their brutal, frantic and breakneck take on rock n roll that made ‘Hellbender’ such a success. There was also tour dates announced for a few months that would have some of the scribes at RPM all hot and bothered. Last Great Dreamers released their latest offering also through Pledge it was the most excellent ’13th Floor Renegade’ it certainly got HQ rocking and rolling.

Hot Snakes released ‘Jericho sirens’ mid-March which also bothered turntables and speakers all over our gaff. Its no secret that we love a single here at RPM and seeing as we love the little things in life who could forget some epic 7″ releases in March most notably in the shape of Fireburn and their EP ‘Shine‘ a band that will feature later in the year under more tragic circumstances. Fireburn might not have had the sheer brutality of Todd Youths Bloodclot project it certainly was pretty damn good and along with their EP something we are delighted to champion.

Finally and thankfully people managed to stay out of jail or the morgue this month which is always a good thing. Again its quality over popularity for RPM scribes and the champions of March are plenty but I’d have an inkling if we had a vote it would have to be Zeke for the ‘Hellbender’ album. 1-2-3-4 woosh!




February 2018

Foulmouthed Filthy February or something like that.

February began with a road trip to see a band who for me has been my go-to pilgrimage in North Wales for The Gathering weekend for the last quarter of a century (almost). A weekend celebrating the music of Mike Peters & The Alarm reached a high point on the Saturday night as a Four-hour performance rounded off an impressive weekend. I’ve enjoyed going for almost quarter of a century where special guests have included Billy Duffy, Craig Adams, Steve Diggle, Pete Wylie, Dave sharp, Ian McNabb, Eddie McDonald and a whole bunch of other musicians I’ve forgotten and I’ve managed to attend without missing a single year.

I must admit the thought of such a marathon performance on a Saturday night filled me with dread can any fans watch for four hours? The answer is a resounding yes! It flew by and was one of the best Saturday night shows I’ve ever seen Peters perform especially when he was joined on stage by Craig Adams for the final hour (that still doesn’t sound right – the final hour). Roll on February 2019 when I can do it all again.


Staying on the live front, Other RPM scribes went to some far-flung countries to catch their Rock n Roll with Craggy taking in an excellent show from Fertile Hump live at Kabinet Muz, in Brno. but a large gathering of writers took in a show or two when the Damned went around the UK this time with the added excitement of Paul Gray back in the fold for the first time in decades which was rather nice.  Seeing the Damned with a new album in tow and playing sold out shows all across the UK in decent sized venues was awesome and it has to be said so were the band.  Gray seemed to give them a right shot in the arm just in time for this stint of dates was easily the highlight of February. But with the recent news of our Brother Scott Sorry battling a serious illness the Rock and Roll community rallied and a series of benefit shows were arranged to raise funds for Scott at such a difficult time what with the American Health system being what it is  The likes of Role Models, Main Grains and  The Empty Page rocked out at The Parish to rave reviews whilst Wakefield Warehouse saw the Professionals, the Wildhearts, Massive Wagons and Sonic Boom Six take care of business and send Positive vibes across the ocean as well as money raised at these spectacular shows.

Before Feb was done The UK also saw the return of Bullets And Octane and Ben attended a memorable show in York that proved that Gene Louis had lost none of the fire he had inside his beating heart when he first toured the UK.


As for recordings to hit the shelves, historically early in the year, things open slowly in the music business and January being about new resolutions before finally seeing new releases hit the shelves, so, Feb saw an avalanche of really big hitters for RPM writers.  We had the release of Imperial State Electric’s Live album ‘Anywhere Loud’ as well as some garage awesomeness from the likes of the Cavemen and The Bellrays getting round to release records. 

Several writers were also impressed by the latest Buffalo Tom long player ‘Quiet And Peace’ with Craggy picking it as one of his albums of the year. February belonged to a few foul-mouthed releases, the first came in the shape of Jonesey with their self titled long player with its down n dirty sleazy punk rock n roll and song titles and lyrics that would make a sailor blush no doubt about that. But one of the years highlights hit us like a sledgehammer between the eyes has to be Motherfuckin’ Motherfuckers with ‘MFFFMF’ (I think that’s the correct amount of F’s) inspired by Supershit 666 and the idea of some friends from the most splendid Bitch Queens and Oz and Lee from the mighty Hip Priests recording a mini album packed full of songs that were written in the shortest of times. I’ll let Lee Love tell you, good people, what happened, ” Ah the dumb Lee Love story. Well, me ‘n’ Oz went To Basel for a few days to hang out with our mates from Bitch Queens and we ended up getting pissed (as you do) and I was winding them up saying I could write and get em to record a mini album in a day. So we went into the Queens studio the next day and played through everything once maybe twice and hey presto it was done”.  Creating that Copters supershit 666 vibe.

To be fair this pack of loons rose to the occasion and absolutely knocked it out of the park in fact they didn’t just knock it out of the park they followed out tied it to the back of their pick up truck dragged it around the wood then kicked any life left in it out then did it all again for shits and giggles.  An absolute giant of punk rock n fuckin roll – make no mistake about that! Motherfuckin’ Motherfucker should and one day will rightfully be seen as a classic of its genre.


Also, The motherfuckin’ Dwarves were taking back the night in February as well and a jolly fine record that was.  Maybe it should be renamed Fuckin’ foulmouthed February from now on.  What a month. Outstanding stuff.