Hot on the heels of last year’s Ramones tribute, ‘Basement Beat’, Brad Marino returns with 10 new songs that, ideally, would have been the soundtrack to this summer. Still, it’s a welcome return, and I can almost remember what the sun looks like whilst listening to another top notch collection of tunes.
Whether it’s the Slade-tinged title track, or the slide infused ‘Up And Up’, this is poptastic stuff. Crafting great power pop isn’t easy, but Brad has a knack with it, and none is finer than ‘Hung Up’, with its Rickenbacker-friendly melody. You’ll be “ooh”ing along in no time, perhaps due to it being one of two collaborations with Kurt Baker. They really are made for each other, musically speaking.
Just listen to this and ‘I’m Broke’ for the proof. Fingers crossed for a full album together, though they’re obviously both busy; Kurt’s ‘Rock N Roll Club’ being one of the best albums this year.
They both make it sound effortless, ‘(She’s) Doing Her Thing’ settles in your head like an old friend, in a Flamin’ Groovies style. ‘Lucy’ rattles by, complete with castanets, like Ramones on a sugar high. ‘Looking Then’ is worthy of Paul Collins, and Brad throws the kitchen sink at ‘Another Sad And Lonely Night’, but it pays off, with contributions from members of the “New England Mafia”, Joe Queer and Geoff Palmer.
It’s a no brainer, folks. If quality power pop is your bag, this needs to be in your collection. Big grins all round.
The complete Klark Kent – eighteen tracks spread out over four sides of vinyl. Stewart Copeland taking over vocal duties on what is effectively a new wave, energetic romp through a whole bunch of tunes dating back to 1980 when these songs were first recorded. It was the first solo album (of sorts) for any of the Police. There is the bonus of some unearthed gems to fill out this collection that was pressed on Wax for RSD a while back but this is bigger and better.
Obviously, there is the punky side to Copeland’s work on a fairly hefty dose of his rhythmic new wave that his then-day job in the Police did to enormous levels. There is an exceptional level of musicianship and often a lot is going on throughout the records. But you do get a sense that Copeland had a lot of input into those Police records and his sense of melody is spot on quite often.
I quite like Copelands vocals and I know they can be a little thin at times but they work for the new wave style and songs like ‘Office Girls’ it suits as it does on the catchy ‘Too Kool For Kalypso’ whilst remembering this record, these songs are 40 years old.
Some of the record sounds dated, ‘Away From Home’ with its reggae roots shuffle but that also brings a particular charm with it that I found appealing. What They haven’t done is tamper with the recordings and given them a modern sheen or recording which would have killed any energy stone dead.
The single ‘Don’t Care’ has that time capsule vibe like classic Buzzcocks with the melodies and that’s what works here. A good song is a good song no matter the time or method of recording and Copeland’s rapid snare runs shine like a star. I also like his attitude that if you don’t like it you can suck his socks, so edgy.
The 18-track expanded album will be complemented by a bonus CD of Copeland’s Kent demos, released here for the very first time. But the one gripe I have with the vinyl isn’t the mission demo but the lack of liner notes, I’d love to know the boring details of who plays what where, and why that would have been nice. Oh, and a side note I’m always happy to admit I’m never keen on instrumentals and shy away from them but here I quite enjoyed checking them out and wasn’t tempted to skip not even once. Maybe I’m getting old or just growing up who knows? But one thing I do know is you should check out this record. Be it as a fan of the Police or a curious old new wave/pink rocker who always had a soft spot for the Police and those early records. This is an excellent accompaniment.
PAT TODD and his band THE RANKOUTSIDERS release album number seven and LA’s finest rock’n’roll band comes some 36 years full circle after the label’s first dalliances with Pat., back when he fronted the legendary Lazy Cowgirls of course. The new album shows that Pat has lost none of his spark, that his voice and songwriting have only gotten stronger, and that he’s upgraded the Lazy Girls for Some Rankoutsiders – Yet another killer band to back him.
OK a show of hands please. Has anyone ever not throughly enjoyed a Pat Todd record? No? No, I didn’t think so because whilst you might think it’s a trick question because Pat Todd doesn’t do bad record – Fact. ‘Sons Of The City Ditch’ is just a full force rockin and rollin record.
If this was a Georgia satellite record it would be causing a stir with the likes of ‘Living In A World Of Hurt’ that gets this rowdy do off to a thumping start. But hang on it’s like if Springsteen grew up on a steady diet of the Dolls and the Ramones and had an attitude of swigging beer and barroom brawls he’d be able to sound as vibrant and rockin’ as this.
‘All We Have To Show’ is carrying on the party after hours back at the shared house and the lounge is awash with beer-drinking boys and girls having the best of times and the music is just killer. Turn it up DJ we don’t wanna stop yet.
Oh, yes please ‘State Line’ is like the getaway car theme tune after the perfect heist. Keep on driving and turn that stereo up. Pat Todd and his Rank Outsiders are killing it on this record just playing sweet sweet rock n roll loudly. Fast and Loose its not rocket science it a time honoured tradition and Todd and the gang just get it.
They do kick back and ‘Donna’ made them do it. It’s a love song but soppy it ain’t. ‘Long In The Tooth (Before The Dolls)’ lulls you into a false sense of security before taking off and delivering one of the record’s real highs from the time-honoured riff to the backing vocals and into the dueling guitar solos. Sure it’s unoriginal, and doesn’t deviate from the well-trodden path but it’s all about the songs and delivering just exceptional rock n roll. That’s it, the MO is simple and some people just get it and are able to smash it pretty much every time, that’s Pat Todd that is.
The production lets the music breathe and it works well on the countrified ‘Back Down In The Basement’ another thing Todd knows how to do as well as the likes of The Supersuckers. ‘Hi, Ho Silver Lining’ is something of a glam stomping interval for me. Sure it’s a well delivered anthem but I’m not sure I’d have included it here but what do I know? ‘Goodbye To The World’ has some rasping harmonica added for good measure.
This album is right up there with that first Dan Baird solo LP for me and PAt todd is much the same but with a more punk rock handle on proceedings mixed with his Rock n Roll and his records are always Full of top tunes, great production, and knockout delivery.
Leaving just the title track to sign off in style and possibly leaving the best til last. The soloing and harmonic duel are killer but what else would you expect. Another day another excellent record added to the Pat Todd & The Rank Outsiders arsenal maybe their finest yet it’s got all the vital ingredients to take that title. Buy it!
The latest Motorhead album to get the deluxe 12″ book treatment along side ‘Iron Fist’ and ‘No Sleep’ albums as opposed to the superb box sets of ‘1977’ and ‘Ace Of Spades’ is 1983s ‘Another Perfect Day’ This brand new half speed master from the original tapes also includes a full live show of a recently unearthed concert recorded at Hull City Hall on June 22nd 1983. As well as the story of ‘Another Perfect Day’ told through previously unpublished and new interviews and never before seen photos and rare memorabilia. I’ll let Kenny explain the diamond in this most impressive set.
Motorhead – Live at Hull City Hall, 22nd June 1983
1983 was a strange year in the Motorhead camp. ‘Fast’ Eddie Clark had left the band after Lemmy’s dabbling’s with Wendy O Williams, (apparently, Eddie was less than pleased with their ill-fated cover of Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man.) The man who replaced Eddie was ex Thin Lizzy axeman Brian ‘Robbo’ Robertson. On paper, a good choice you would think. In hindsight, this era was the most divisive in Motorhead’s long history. Robbo was reported to be a bit ‘difficult’ while being in the band, refusing to play standards such as Ace of Spades live and wearing questionable clothing on stage, shorts and ballet shoes?? (much to Lemmy’s annoyance.)
Drummer Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor was said to be a bit of a fanboy of Robbo and he couldn’t do any wrong in his eyes. Robbo’s tenure in the band was short lived but he left us a fine album with Another Perfect Day. The Motorheadbangers were unsure at the time, sales of the album reflected this, it only reached number 20 in the UK charts for example. Over time though, the album has gained critical acclaim, I think it’s a great album myself, Robbo brought some much-needed melody to the songs while it was still unquestionably Motorhead.
As part of the 40th anniversary release of the album we get a cracking snapshot of the Robbo era in a live setting with a full set recorded at Hull City Hall in June ’83. The band really are on fire here, tracks like Heart of Stone, Rock It, Dancing On Your Grave, and standardslike Shoot You In The Back & The Chase Is Better Than The Catch sound great. If there was any animosity between the band members at the time you certainly can’t pick that up here.
This is a wonderful addition to the original album that’s been remastered and repackaged beautifully on vinyl and CD formats. Go and give ‘Another Perfect Day’ a listen if you haven’t for a while. You’ll be pleasantly surprised….
The clue is in the title. Johny gets a couple of chicks on board who wont answer him back, wont drink his rider, argue in the van steal his leather strides and get into fights with the local police,but, can knock out some dirty punk n roll fast n loud and look awesome in a wig.
Turn it up suckers this is no nonsense, loud n fast punk n roll. Its down n dirty and having learnt from the best it also includes a filthy rendition of ‘No Class’ which to be fai ris clearly the MO for this EP. Its back at the marquee on Wardour Street where McCoy n Thunders are hanging out by the cloakroom whist the Lords are tuning up. Clocking in at a thunderous one minute ‘Dancing With The Dead Girls’ is a call to arms and ast enough to get the heart racing and a longing for a time long gone but hell of alot of fun.
Don’t pause because the Lords dripping ‘Bad Intentions’ is a sliding solo to Hell and back as the tempo is like a hog guzzling petrol on the highway to hell with the FTW middle digit to the rest of the pack before buring out rather than fading away.
what a corker Johny hits paydirt with a sleazy slice of ‘No Class’ that Lemmy would certainly be proud of would tip his hat and rattle his jewelery at if he hears it. To be fair I’ve played it loud enough that he might just hear it with a fair wind into the next life. the energy on ‘The Buzz’ is fantasticand having the EP come out of covering ‘No Class’ is a gift from the Rock n Roll Gods and proof that music is plucked from the ether or gifted from the spirits who’ve passed on.
The energy keeps on going and the Dead Girls keep on giving as ‘Where The Action Is’ is a motoring cruise control riff a rama where it builds to the solo that’s on fire! then we’re back to that Lord’s inspired bass n drums breakdown that takes this sucker home.
Closing off the best piece of work mr Skullknuckles has done for a long time and if anyone has been paying attention that is an impressive catalogue behind him and this is the icing on the cake the cream of the crop if you like. ‘Dirty Fucking Rock n Roll’ is a slow-burning groove-infested rocker that does what it says on the tin. Now pop over to Bandcamp and fill yer boots. Stick it on the player and stick it in your ears its music for the soul and music for the connoisseur of Dirty Fuckin Rock n Roll. Now where can I get Silent Sonia’s phone number for my Mate Hotshot, he loves how she does her hair and paradiddles her snare and no doubt holds her liquor. Buy It
I find myself in the exquisite surroundings of one of London’s finest concert halls, The Roundhouse in Camden Town for what is the first time in ages. For I’m about to catch the last night of The Mission’s Deja Vu World Tour. Whilst it seemed like forever ago when I went to the second warm-up show on the tour in Cardiff but that was only Wednesday, April 12th, 2022. Fast forward a year and I then caught a pretty special show in Barcelona, then in the summer it was a support slot with the Cult before rounding off (Boom Boom) in the Roundhouse for the finale. To be fair they were pretty damn good out of the traps on that opening night warm up but hell, the Roundhouse smashed all my expectations.
Sure Barcelona was hot a sweaty fun and the band had already been on the road for twelve months and the new boy Alex was well and truly in the groove but The Roundhouse they were absolutely on fire. Anyway, later. Firstly thanks to the London crosstown traffic and utterly shite weather we managed to miss Ist Ist which was a shame, but, walking into the already full Roundhouse just as Kirk Brandon and the band took to the stage for what was a fantastic no nonsense set of nine Theatre Of Hate songs plus the Spear Of Destiny ‘Grapes Of Wrath’ and this was the first TOH set I’d seen in years having previously caught Spear Of Destiny sets and Brandon Solo, or as part of Dead Men Walking many moons ago. The Saxophone worked well and as part of a post-punk setup up it was different songs like ‘Conquistador’ that went down a treat and Brandon looked and sounded in great shape which was also great to see.
Not much banter from Brandon it was a case of letting the music do the talking and get on with the job at hand so, ‘Incinerator’, ‘Westworld’, and ‘Propaganda’ were fine ways to sign off that evenings warm up. Excellent song delivered well, and a fine way to catch up with a unique talent that is Kirk Brandon now for the headliners.
The Mission, Its no secret and its fair to say I love the band from the first time I heard them burst onto the scene back in the 80s. They’ve been a constant throughout my youth and into adulthood, seeing the band dozens of times from way back in the day at Cardiffs New Ocean Club back before the debut album hit the shelves right up to this point and the final night of a pretty impressive and mammoth world crusade.
Making the most of it or just trying to draw in every last second I hope it’s not their swans song and there is more to come from the band who to be fair have sounded amazing and this night in the big smoke was an absolute triumph. To be fair I know they rehearse so many songs for the tour and then rotate them I’ve seen a pretty varied list of songs played and with the exception of ‘Naked And Savage’ the Roundhouse set was unbelievably good from the opening excitement of The Dam Buster Theme and into the epic ‘Beyond The Pale’ it was all systems go and the band were on fire. tight and road ready the miles had certainly paid off and Alex sounded so comfortable as it was no time for nostalgia or messing about it was pure business as the phenomenal ‘Serpent’s Kiss’ ripped through the PA as fresh as the first time I ever heard it. My mind was racing trying to take it all in and memories came flooding back as the band went through some big hits early doors it was ‘Crystal Ocean then ‘Butterfly On A Wheel’ before one of the newer tunes got a look in and for me, I’ve not been able to get the chorus of ‘Met-amor-Phosis’ out of my head. Sure I love the classics and will never tire of hearing ‘Garden Of Delight’ and ‘Stay With Me’ but equally the newer songs like this and ‘Swan Song ‘ hold similar status in my memories.
Ending the main set with a blustering big mother of a song ‘Deliverance’ delivered. It was time for a drink and then Wayne returned on his own for a quick bit of Sister’s banter and an impeccable ‘Wake’ before the band resumed their positions onstage for an epic one-two of ‘Blood Brothers’ and ‘Wastelands’, I found myself getting a little emotional saying it was moving too fast and can it go on longer but a glance at the watch said time wasn’t our friend and there was only room for one more, but we’d almost been here for two hours It had simply flown by which only left Wayne and Simon on stage for a stumble through ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ before leaving the stage briefly before an absolute monster version of ‘Tower Of Strength’ and a heaving mass of people must have all been thinking the same thing as the band took a final bow and left the stage right. Howling triumphant applause saw the band off it was the least they deserved after such a draining set of songs that were the sound of a band right on the top of their game and a band that could go toe to toe with anyone on this form, simply superb.
I do hope this isn’t the end, but merely yet another chapter for one of the best bands for several decades. Go home, take some time off, and recharge the batteries. look back fondly on an amazing tour where the band got better and better because to go out at this point would be a travesty, especially with significant anniversaries on the horizon. Besides, I want to try a German date next time. This was certainly a taste of God’s Own Medicine and one I will never tire of taking, I treasure these moments that’s for sure. Play on Wayne, Craig, Simon, and Alex that was a special end to some special memories. Nice one.
You can’t keep a good man down, and the Duracell bunny of positivity that is CJ Wildheart is back with a new solo album to improve your life. After the fury and anger of 2020s ‘Siege’, this is a collection of killer tunes that, while often ferocious, maintain a link to the melodies he’s known for. And so it begins with ‘Kick Down The Walls’, the opening chord reminiscent of ‘Sitting At Home’ by the mighty Honeycrack, before launching into an anthemic chorus. “We’re ready for the fight…”, and he still has a knack with a tasty middle eight. It’s the little things that can transform a song into something special.
‘Butterfingers’ is just as infectious, whilst reminiscing of old days at the Marquee; “messing with our hair, getting ready for the night”. You can almost taste the Hard Rock Hairspray. “Are you ready, are you one of us?”, wrapped around a simple but insistent melody. Lovely.
‘Victoria’ has a great, upfront bass line, made for pogoing, while ‘All The Dough’ and ‘S.D.E’ riff it up in a similar fashion to RFTC, and a similar high quality. This doesn’t sound like an album made on a small budget, and Dave Draper has done a fantastic job throughout.
‘Bad Decision’ reminds me of the energy and riffs of Chris Catalyst, as I regularly spin his recent album. Another good guy, for sure. Having listened a few times now, it’s ‘Give The Dog A Bone’ that really sticks in my head immediately, the chorus is classic CJ, from The Jellys onwards, and you will be playing it on repeat.
‘Mr Angry’ is two minutes of focussed fury, and ‘All You Rude Boys’ tackles the lecherous idiots in clubs and bars; “you’ll never set that girl alight, cause she knows damn right that you talk too much and you’re full of shite”.
‘Shweinehund’ is almost heavy Goth, set to a nursery rhyme tune, an unexpected turn. I wonder if he’s heard Mr Catalyst’s ‘Robochrist’ stuff? ‘The Grass Is Greener’ ends on a positive note; “hope, it glimmers in the distant light….on my own, it tastes so good alone”. It certainly sounds like CJ is content with where he is right now. He’s delivered a corker of an album. It pays to be a good guy.
Get in your time machine it’s time to rock! Entering The Earl Haig Club was like stepping back in time, Meat raffle and Sunday Strippers (only joking but that’s the style of this out-of-town workies club do) The place was pretty busy and the support band The Pearl Harts were on stage doing their distorted blues thang a la White Stripes but two females but you get the kinda vibe. They put in a whole hearted set but it didn’t help with the large room and seating around the three sides and the bar at the back but all in all the audience who did watch were suitably warmed up.
By the time Jim Jones All Stars were hitting the stage the place was pretty busy to be fair and for a school night things were looking promising as Jim and his masterful musical ensemble took to the stage with one thing on their mind and that was to cast a spell over this impressive turnout and spent the next ninety minutes well and truly kicking their backsides with a perfect blend of good-time garage rock n fuckin greasy roll.
The volume was suitably impressively loud and the no nonsense aproach from the All Stars is a thing of beauty when they’re in full flight and pumped up and tonight boys and girls they rose to the challenge and gave this up for it audience a seriously really good time.
With a seriously good new record in tow and a back catalogue that goes all the way back to Thee Hypnotics there is an overflowing well of top tunes to turn to should they need to turn the heat up or take it down a notch or two from the unbelievably good ‘Burning Your House Down’ through ‘It’s Your Voodoo Working’ it was horn-honking-tactic as the band hit their groove right from the off and just cruised through the gears with songs like ‘Cement Mixer’ turning into an even bigger snarling beast with the saxophones adding another dimension to the already exhilarating sound. As far as live bands go this is only my second time seeing the All-Stars and my umpteenth time seeing Jim Jones kick out the jams over the decades and hand on heart this is on another level. When he broke up the Revue to pursue other things I was gutted but every shuffle of the pack has been a twist and a shake-down that’s had me on my feet cheering for more. Man, ‘Rock n Roll Psychosis’, and ‘Princess And The Frog’ were immense endings with t eh horns but finishing on ‘Shakedown’ this is how thee Hypnotics were meant to sound and I went home yet again wondering how they could possibly top that.
Of the new songs the band were in their groove and properly gig worn in ‘Troglodyte’ was the cream of the crop whilst their cover of ‘Run Run Run’ was loose baby and was hypnotically casting a spell on the room. If you get the chance I urge you not to pass it up and take full advantage of seeing one of the finest live bands anywhere on the planet. ‘Gimme The Grease’ was an early set warmer upper with a phenominal groove.
Jim Jones All-Stars have the perfect name, to sum up, their evil powers called Rock n Roll. Boundless energy an explosive songs one after another dropping sonic bombs that are equal partsdevastatingg and joyful. Simply superb. Go get yourself shakendown. Amen Brothers and sisters, Afuckinmen! The sermon has been delivered and Cardiff was served. Bosh!
Like London busses Stevie is dorment for ages then several albums rock up in a short space of time. The title track breaks through the silence with its thick throbbing bass line and some overdriven hacking and slashing Rock n Rolling guitars and kicks over the stack before blowing up the speakers.
Its trashy and dripping in sleazy Rock n Roll Back in 2003, Steve had the chance to go back out and play with Faster Pussycat on a UK Tour and managed to pull together a band of musical acquaintances soon to run by the name The X-iDolls. Initially it was planned to do the tour and cut n run. Like a runaway train and musicians enjoying the trip quickly get down to writing and an album’s worth of material soon came together. After a host of other shows supporting Tuuli and The Quireboysit lived and breathed for a while longer than anticipated.
An EP was recorded early on with the album put together in late Summer 2003 but sadly the band was never destined to last and disintegrated before the end of that year, with the album never to see the light of day until now. ‘Some Things Never Fall’ is a Lords bassline borrowed and kicked around the seedy soho backstreets and clothed in some punky attitude its an enjoyable stomp. I like the energy Stevie puts into his music and its clear he believes in what he does and that energy is none more evident than ‘Smashed’ comple with nice gob iron blasts to add texture to the Rock n Roll.
‘For You’ has groove whilst ‘Cherry Bomb’ has a tonne of energy and would be great to hear live as Stevie kicks out his jams. ‘Cry’ is one of those hard soft(er) songs from the picked intro and harmonica wheeze and the shimmering first verse before building through its near six minutes. I like it and it has plenty of charm theres an honesty and lived in feel happening and Stevie does it really well.
This album isn’t polished and has a live energy and authenticity about it thats traceable throughout the seventies and eighties and has that very honest DNA coursing through its songs. The band motors through the latter part of the album from the sing a long of ‘Sixty Six Sick Chicks’ through the party anthem that is ‘Looking At You’ if the party consisted of twenty lucky strikes no filter and a watneys party seven and a bottle of blue and red thunderbird (the true drink of champions) a bevvy of beautiful women and your best mates all having the time of your lives and this pumping on your stereo. ‘Out With A Bang’ is what it says on the tin. A collection of really good tunes from The X-iDolls who do this sleazy punk n roll as good as anyone out there and have better shoes whilst doing it as well #Fact.
First up this cold and wet UK morning is Autogramm, a synth-driven power-pop band from Seattle, Chicago and Vancouver. They have just announced their latest LP ‘Music That Humans Can Play’ with an advance single and video for the track “Plastic Punx”.
Their first album in over two years will be released on vinyl and digital formats world-wide on November 17th via Stomp Records and Beluga Records EU.
New York City guitarist, singer-songwriter Steve Conte has released the music video for his latest single “Girl With No Name.”
The clip was shot on the streets of NYC & in studio by Natborn Productions’ Peter Perenyi & son Orion Perenyi, with motion graphics, lyrics & final touches by David Provan at 12 Inch Media.
The song follows the summer release of his single “Fourth Of July” (co-written with Andy Partridge of XTC).
Conte says, “This is a song of regret…about missed opportunity and lack of skills in meeting someone you’re attracted to.
When putting my new album together, I was looking for songs that would fit nicely alongside the songs that Andy Partridge and I had written for it and I kept thinking of this one. I wrote it back in 1984 and never forgot it – which was a good sign.
Because it came to me so long ago I can’t exactly remember my process for writing it, except that since I was young & single at that time I was probably experiencing these kinds of situations & feelings on a daily basis!
Musically, I can hear what was influencing me back then; mid 60s Beatles, mid 80s XTC, and that beloved Motown groove from a certain Diana Ross & The Supremes song…”
A follow-up LP to Conte’s acclaimed 2021 solo album Bronx Cheer, is expected in Spring 2024 via Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records.