Whilst most of the rest of the UK is seemingly trying to cram itself into Cardiff tonight to watch some talent(less) show pop singer we’re (thankfully) heading in the opposite direction on the M4 (which is like a car park going the other way) as we breeze into Bristol unfashionably early, just in time to catch the first of tonight’s three band bill… which really is the antithesis of everything going on back home.

Seven Crowns from Bath who’ve been shoehorned onto the bill to give maximum value for mayhem get to give those of us in early doors an immediate bloody nose as their brand of punk/metal kind of reminds me of that time I once put an Eyehategod LP on at 45rpm by mistake (go on, try it). It’s fast., brutal and as heavy as a million burnt out suns. The fact that they have been together for 20 years and released multiple albums is quite staggering for yours truly as I really don’t think I’ve ever heard of them before, but in saying that when their singer Jonny Bainbridge admits they can’t be arsed to promote their new single, or in fact name it when they play it live, then perhaps I shouldn’t be that surprised after all. The locals must be aware of them though as they are all crammed around the doorway of The Exchange’s live room, making it almost impossible to get out for a pint or indeed a piss, all seeming positively terrified of the four piece, and there is an element of S.S.S meets Poison Idea like danger to their performance, but me I’m happy to be front and centre savouring every moment of discovering yet another great punk band.

I discovered The Hip Priests, Nottingham’s nefarious purveyors of black denim blitz-rock a long, long time ago. In fact, I’ve probably seen them live more times than any other band, but tonight is the first time I’ve seen them post the release of their fifth studio album ‘Roden House Blues’. Thankfully those who had been cowering in the corner of the venue for Seven Crowns pack the dancefloor for opener ‘Stand For Nothing’, the Jugend pleasing “woah oh woah-ing” chorus hitting the garage punk bullseye straight from the get go.

Whizzing through a set containing some of the band’s best singles (‘Jesus Died So We Could Ride’ and ‘Cheers To Me’ take a bow) along with a tasty smorgasbord of tunes from the aforementioned new album (‘The Best Revenge’, ‘Can’t Abide With Me’ and ‘Shakin Ain’t Fakin’ all getting the faithful dancing) it’s impossible to fault the boundless energy and commitment of the five guys up on the Exchange stage.  Guitarists Austin Rocket and Gentle Ben trade licks like Kramer and Smith on speed at opposite sides of the venue whilst in-between them giant of the bass rumble Lee Love along with frontman Nathan Von Cruz tease and please those diehards draped over the monitors. The surprise performance award tonight though must go to drummer DP Bomber who is like an East Midlands Tommy Lee behind his kit, and as we all know great bands all start with a great drummer.

The Hip Priests most certainly have a tiger in their tank right now, but they save the best until last as they thrash through ‘Juiced Up And Loose’ and leave everyone hot, sweaty and wanting more. Now, talking of which, where was ‘Zero Fucks…..’ Only joking lads, I know it was a support slot and time was tight, although in saying that, tonight the world revolves around Zeke Time.

Zeke really are like no other band in the world right now, as tonight they play for around 40 minutes and in that time bludgeon their way through somewhere in the region of around 25 songs. It’s not fast, its fucking hypersonic hardcore, and the fact that they do all it without a single set list on the stage is nothing short of a modern musical miracle.

Whilst trying to track said set list for the purpose of this review I just had to give up and simply enjoy the moment, as the band, as always, chaperoned by singer guitarist Blind Marky Felchtone, thundered through the likes of ‘Holley 750’ ‘Two Lane Blacktop’ and their as always awesome cover of ‘Shout It Out Loud’ like they were on dreaded a club curfew (they weren’t by the way) and my fellow gig-goers hurtled past me with expressions on their faces like they were trying to escape a zombie apocalypse, by way of some sort of twisted appreciation.

BMF is certainly a man of few words between songs (its normally just a series of noises and grunts, that to my ears have always sounded positively West Country-like) but when he tells everyone that drummer (and band co-founder) Donny Paycheck is playing everything a little fast tonight, the affirmative roar he receives in response should be proof positive that what Zeke do they do very, very well indeed.

Special mention must also go to bassist Jason Freeman and guitarist Jeff Hiatt, who put in a towering shift on the opening night of this extensive European tour, and I can just feel it in my bones that the upcoming album that this line up has just recorded is going to be an absolute headfuck.

With The Exchange situated deep within Bristol City Council’s recently introduced Clean Air Zone I can’t help think the enforcement agency employed to collect the tariff for noxious vehicles travelling within it perhaps missed a trick with Zeke in town tonight, because this eight legged punk rock juggernaut is easily the most toxic thing on the road anywhere in the world right now, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Author: Johnny ‘ZFG’ Hayward 

The year is 2023 and I’m sat at home waiting for my Hanoi Rocks album to be delivered but with many things you simply have to wait and good things are worth waiting for and any original or should that be classic Hanoi Rocks album is well worth the wait.

I used to be a bit sceptical about bands doing a remaster or remix especially if its a classic album but as I’ve got older I’ve dug deep into some of my favourite records when they’ve had the overhaul treatment, especially some of those half speed jobs from Abbey Road and when I heard the difference Japans ‘Quiet Life’ had or some of the classic ‘Rolling Stones’ records sounding like a different album at times it can be a bit of a head fuck when they’re done well. What lowered my scepticism was hearing the Senseless Things overhaul of ‘The First Of Too Many’ and how much better the new version was compared to the muddy original I was converted and won over in one fell swoop and now I’d happily champion and shell out for a well-done remix/master which has brought us to this hallowed spot and the mighty, unparalleled, unrivalled Hanoi Rocks and this here Svart release of ‘Oriental Beat’.

Delays delays delays, I’ve put off reviewing this album and its re(al)mix but couldn’t wait any longer for my record to turn up so I’ve delved into the digital and sat back with my hands over my face as the virtual needle dropped and ‘Oriental Beat’ hit the ether and blew my fragile tiny mind. Wow, congratulations to Svart for doing something I didn’t think possible. ‘Oriental Beat’ sounds like an album that was released yesterday it’s got volume, punch, new clarity and moments I’d either forgotten about or were never listenable to the human ear. Sweet Baby Jesus! Hallalulija hark the herald angels sing. This is how Hanoi Rocks sound just listen to Sami Yaffa’s bass thumping its way through the title opening track it’s unbelievable. Truly a cut above and those BV’s are exceptional. I’ll admit it’s been a couple of years since I spun this album and when I heard it was being treated to an overhaul I wasn’t sure if Genius should be tampered with but on the evidence, Man I’m converted.

The strangest thing abou tthis version would be the track listing but dropping ‘Motorvatin’ deeper into the album is worth it because once you get your head around the sound the intro is a real highlight. The second Hanoi album saw them becomeing a real unique force sure they still leant on their heroes like the best song the Clash never wrote in ‘No Law No Order’ or the Mick n Keif locked in playing on the epic ‘Teenagels Outsiders’ where I think Monroe sounded amazing. Youthful exuberance and developing a unique style I think he’d really come into his own here and the saxophone use was and still is exceptional and I never understood why it wasn’t used more in punk rock when Hanoi used it it was brilliant as it was for bands like The Lords Of The New Church and Johnny Thunders but Hanoi were different, they used it best of all.

The groove and open-heart honesty of McCoys playing on ‘Sweet Home Suburbia’ is incredible the sustain is almost visual. I can’t express how much better this version is and once I get used to the track listing all will be well in the world and I will start to get on to whoever I have to to see if the master tapes for other albums are available for this sort of treatment. I don’t think I’m saying anything outrageous here but this album has only gone to cement how vital each member of the band was and how integral and truly amazing Yaffa was to the sound of the band. There are moments I haven’t fully appreciated before and some of the walking bass lines are majestic ‘Lightnin’ Bar Blues’ as is the harmonica of Monroe on ‘Devil Woman’. The band should be rightfully proud of this project its an emotional and exceptional piece of work that is an absolute must heart for any fan old or new it is worth every single penny and some. Special praise must also go to Petri Majuri for his input into this project and his exceptional work of drawing out the demons and replacing them with angels’ wings ‘Oriental Beat’ is already one of the best albums ever and is now even better – Buy this record!

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Author: Dom Daley

Legendary punk band Subhumans announced a United States with support from Cop/Out and Upchuck on select dates!

This tour comes after a reissue of Subhumans’ first 6 LPs which were all remastered from the original tapes. These records were pressed on several different versions with fans from around the globe quickly snatching up copies. Additionally, a limited edition box set featuring all six records plus an exclusive 10”, slipmat, and 52 page book was released and sold out in a matter of hours.

Subhumans have more surprises and plans throughout the rest of 2023 and beyond so fans will be waiting with anticipation for subsequent announces from Dick Lucas and the rest of the band.

Catch Subhumans live:

May 26 – Minneapolis, MN – Uptown VFW (w/ War//Plague, Cop/Out, Surrogates)

May 27 – Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club +

May 28 – Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge +

May 29 – St Louis, MO – Off Broadway +

May 30 – Indianapolis, IN – Black Circle +

May 31 – Cincinnati, OH – Legends +

June 01 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop +

June 02 – Millersville, PA – Phantom Power +

June 03 – Washington, DC – Black Cat #

June 04 – Richmond, VA – Richmond Music Hall #

June 05 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle #

June 06 – Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern #

June 07 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl

June 08 – Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits #

June 09 – Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub #

June 10 – Tampa, FL – Brass Mug #

+ – w/ Cop/Out
# – w/ Upchuck

After last year’s successful dalliance with the old flame of Scabies – James – Vanian & Sensible it seemed about right and proper that the Modern Damned got back in the saddle for some live shows in support of their new album. This the first night of the UK tour sees the band return to Cardiff Uni the city of many great nights in Damned history being the city that had four Damned bassists on stage at once (The now long gone Point Venue) New Ocean Club was the venue where the MCA years took off and who could forget the Night Vanian decided not to go on tour and carnage ensued at the hippo club.

The Damned in 2023 are a more altogether (cough cough) professional unit. With New drummer Will Taylor sitting in the band launch into ‘Street Of Dreams’ to open the show with a sound system that is absolutely top of the shop and every clanging Paul Gray note and the deft touch of the new boy that was seamless and a pleasure to hear driving the songs on in the engine room letting Sensible do his usual sterling job on the guitar.

The second track was ‘The Invisible Man’ before shifting gears through some old classics from ‘Wait For The Blackout’ and an epic ‘Lively Arts’ Vanian then introduced the audience to tracks off the new album thats coming out next month but it wasn’t going to be one or two new tracks the band were going to showcse the flaming lot! Now I know there are your hardcore who will never be pleased with whatever they decided to delve into from their almost half a century of songs but we’ve done the original line up, The Paladium extravaganze the the Black Album anniversery or the Machine Gun in full sets so it seems right and fitting that the band throw a curve ball and play the whole new album. Me, I’m well up for that I’ve seen the band play almost 100 times and as much as I love a ‘Fan Club’ or a ‘Limit Club’ or recently getting a raft of ‘Music For Pleasure songs on the reunion shows this was something else and I love that about the Damned so bring it on.

‘Motorcycle Man’ sounded fantastic and overall I know it was live but the songs knocked spots off the lukewarm last album and they had more bite and energy about them. and before you knew it ten new songs out of the opening thirteen were done. If you left the venue then it’s your loss but the Damned audience can be a tough crowd sometimes but I think the majority were with me and love it.

There was still time as the band sounded tighter than usual and certainly looked to be enjoying the set and the reception they were getting new boy Will was certainly driving them on with a performance that was more Rat like than I was expecting and it only helped spur on the performance. ‘Born To Kill’ kicked into an epic ‘Love Song’ which in turn segued into ‘2nd Time Around’.

There was time for two encores consisting of ‘Eloise’before ‘Smash It Up’ was ruthlessly played before the excellent ‘Girl Stop’ bowed out, leaving us where it always began with ‘New Rose’ and we were done. Captain showed his appreciation and promised to return if they were all still alive at some point down the road and I left happy. Another day another impressive Damned show – Me I fuckin love em and if I could only see one band again it would be this bunch of rogues and their immense catalogue of songs.

Author: Dom Daley

South Wales noise merchants dish up a refined slimline seven smashers. South Wales is a hotbed of talent at the moment belching up bands left right and centre who are getting out there and delivering their tunes to audiences far and wide. Letting the music do their talking this three piece are hard at the coal face chiselling away their corner of the music scene. Working hard, playing shows refining your craft and dishing up the best songs you can muster is the MO and on this debut release it would appear to be paying dividends.

Kicking off with ‘Syls II’ with its jarring abrasive guitars not a million miles from Fugazi dragging Thrapy? along for the ride, it’s a rallying call where vocalist and guitar player Cameron McIntyre is barking his words into the void for anyone and everyone to hear.

‘Prince Plays At Funerals has one foot on the Idles monitor wedge whilst the other harks back to a time when Nirvana would push back boundaries in the mainstream making it possible for young men to fuck with our ears and people to enjoy that thumping bass that is cold angles poking away at your ears before driving into your head with the sharp guitars and drum assault because this is an assault – make no mistake. It’s not easy listening but once you dial in it’s pretty damn good stuff. The St Pierre Snake Invasion were and are dishing this stuff up across the border in Bristol and the popularity of Idles and their post-punk juggernaut have made post-punk and indy cross over a mainstream concern and the masses are now fair game. With old school alt-punk like Fugazi has to be an influence on the sound created here. It’s great to see and hear bands getting “it” and turning in great records that deserve to be heard far and wide.

The single ‘Swede’ is a great advert for whats coming. It’s not anew sound but boy is it a good one. But there is more going on here with some decent lyrics and great rhythms to go with the rage and passion on display. ‘Greenhouse’ being a great example of that chaos and roaring attitude making for a banging tune. ‘Cwffin Of Flowers’ has that dark melody that the Manics sailed close to when they were deep into the Holy Bible but not with this much rage to go with that darkness. That rumbling bass is excellent and it rings out loud and proud.

Signing off this excellent album is the slower, brooding ‘Malaise’ rising and chest beating before calming down and taking a breath. A fine collection of tunes on a fine platter of post-punk to rival its peers wherever they may be. Only Fools And Corpses by this time next year might not be millionaires but they’ll be out there in the dirt making music and taking names and dishing up some memorable performances on the strength of this very impressive debut offering – get on boys bach its a banger! Nothing vulgar about this Pissant.

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Author: Dom Daley

Sacre farkin’ bleu, Brother and sisters, What a glorious album cover this is. Certainly grabbed my attention and made me want to investigate further. Cum Together? tell me more… RIGHT NOW! Bordeaux, France’s HEARTBEEPS have emerged from the ashes of TV KILLERS (Estrus Records / Dead Beat Records), for a punked-up orgy of noise with current and ex-members of Swindlers, Wild Zeros and Holeshots, and this their debut “Cum Together” LP is a fuckin’ hoot, 100 mph of joyful, reckless punk rock. Like a whirlwind of clashing guitars, and drums. It’s frantic garage-based punk rock n roll. Straight out of the bag marked The Saints, Pagans, DMZ, MC5, Radio Birdman, Dead Moon and more than a dash of Cavemen and of course those early Damned records.

From the opening few bars, you get the impression that Heartbeeps are here for a good time not a long time and with their amps dialled in to 11 there isn’t time to fuck about its crash bang wallop and hey ho let’s go!

It’s the kind of music that got Elvis and Jerry Lee into trouble back in the day. Hip-shaking sweaty rock n roll and from the lead track ‘Criminals’ you know just what’s going down. ‘Sick In Your Head’ is a runaway train heading for the buffers but who ever cared about that? Guitars being rinsed for all they’re worth and you can feel the exhaustion from the drummer’s snare as it rings out. Great opener and a signal of intent.

That’s pretty much the MO of ‘Cum Together’ it’s a rush of blood to the head crash, Bang Wallop! To be fair the minute I saw that artwork I knew I had to hear what was committed to wax because those faces tell a thousand stories and all of them great. ‘Aint No Crime’ is a more measured, slower beast but with a cool riff and a solo that could cut through steel. Hold still kids because you should buckle up for we’re off again running red lights with ‘Nightmare’ and thats wiped out with the grooving ‘Never Stop’ that had me thinking of Garage Rock royalty – Gunfire Dance, from the hip-shaking tambourine through the howling good time vocals this is top notch.

There is the belligerent and snotty ‘I Don’t Care’ but you could pick out any of the songs for praise because this is an absolute Banger of a record from start to finish. ‘Sake Blast’ rings out the chords in true Brian James style before signing the record off with the wonderfully titled ‘Trust No One And Fuck Everybody’, drop the mic and burn the studio to the ground it’s only fair right?

Heartbeeps have smashed out a rip-snorting Garage Punk and Roll Banger and shame on you if you don’t let this light up your life. Ok, Turn it up and let’s take it from the top one more time 1-2-3-4 Go!

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Author: Dom Daley

Punk Rock at the Offie part ii. Oh what a night Russ Abbott sang but he couldn’t possibly have had The St Davids Showdown at Afan Ales & Fine Wines could he? By eleven O’Clock it might have resembled one of Russ’ parties – bodies everywhere inside and out. soaking wet bodies with beaming smiles and bear hugs. This was DIY punk rock at its finest, most primal and the kids were having a ball.

Heavy Groovers Harbour Way got proceedings off to a flier with their Helmet heavy style riff-a-drama. Warming up the audience is no mean feat on nights like this just relax sit back and let go. Sadly for them, the sound was like a hangover from the 80s Russ Abbotts madhouse – all snare drum and no vocals, lost in a wall of noise and feedback. It was tough to distinguish what was what, other than a barking groove – mixed with howling feedback that was threatening these boys’ efforts to kick out the jams. If you want to know what they played then good luck because by the end it they were sweaty, breathless and out of tune. I imagine none of the band could hear what the other was doing or playing and were running on memory which was a pity but nobody seemed detered or put off – things were just warming up.

By the time Only Fools And Corpses took to the floor people were indeed loosening up and the band jumped right in with their short, but sweet set of Hardcore, alternative, and post-punk. Mixing the likes of Idles with old-school Fugazi and Therapy? & a whole lot in between. They dished up songs off their, soon-to-be-released album, ‘Pissant’ and clicked into the vibe of what was happening around them. They used the energy that resulted in them going down a storm. The sound was a little better but still, the vocal was just about audible now either that or the Cider was taking effect and I wasn’t noticing anymore. This south Wales three-piece were coping well trying to tame the savage beast that was the PA but the overall feeling was incredible. I look forward to hearing more from these gents, They did well loosening up the already baying throng of drunken loons.

There is a growing local scene happening in South Wales where the kids are starting bands and playing at every available venue and it’s good to see. To be fair Afan Ales is a fuckin off license. Little more than a shop on a high street that’s crammed to bursting with people jostling for position in what was now a swirling pit of bodies loving life and loving some noisy punk rock.

To top off this evening, The Shunkos got down to business, again, frontman Mal was struggling to cut through with his vocals but he didn’t care in his St Davids Day costume of tight head prop he tried his best to compare and lead the avalanche of noise from the band who to be fair are getting tighter and more tuned in with each show it didn’t matter because this was what local punk rock should sound and look like – no poseurs, no dick swinging, no my bands better than yours it was all for one and one for all and everyone up for a good time.

With this being their home turf it was This St Davids’s Day Massacre that set the hills alive with the sound of The Shunkos. Bodies & Beer everywhere, it was a short but sweet set that had the band beating out their best performance of their short-lived lives, ‘Meal Deal’, ‘Chippy Tea’ the thunderous ‘Uni Mate’ and some of their other recorded tunes being punched out and ending with the anthemic ‘Beer & Gear’, they came they saw, they conquered.

Dare I suggest, next time they come back for the hattrick of Rock at the offie performances they get a PA big enough to cope with the power they want to push out – the PA they bloodywell deserved. Tonight the good people of Port Talbot wanted to hear Harbour Way, Only Fools & Corpses and The Shunkos who ultimatly delivered the goods The real deal or the meal deal you decide bacause this time next year boyos we could all be millionaires.

Top night out everything you want in a DIY punk Show. Cheap Beer, Great music, Great venue, and Great happy people. result!

Punk Rock is alive and kicking and I can’t wait for ‘Punk at the Offie III’ it has to happen – Bosh! ave’ it!

Author: Dom Daley

Shunkos

Only Fools & Corpses

Harbour Way

Situated just a stone’s throw from the city’s railway station, The Cab is Newport’s newest live music venue. Started as a community project it provides a whole lot more for the locals other than live music though, for example, the venue also acts as a warm hub/drop in providing hot meals for those needing them, something I loudly applaud them for doing. Tonight though it’s all about the second night of Grade 2’s tour in support of their recently released ‘Self Titled’ album, and what’s more it’s a sold-out show too.

Playing their second gig of the day it’s Bristol punks Split Dogs who I walk in on mid set (apologies, as I once again struggled to find a nearby parking space so ended up half way across town) and on finding a decent vantage spot in the already steaming hot venue it’s like I’m immediately transported back in time to when TJs was the go-to place in the local area. The atmosphere is friendly, the bar prices are sensible, and perhaps most importantly of all the bands are not about to be fleeced 25% of their merch money at the end of the night. Anyway, I digress (slightly) because Split Dogs are the kind of band that live off their takings on the merch table, and tonight whilst their shirts will set you back just £10, sadly there’s no music to physically buy as what I experience tonight would most certainly have had me parting with my hard earned for a CD or maybe even a piece of vinyl. The mix of gritty female vocals over hard edged old school punk rock reminding me at times of our old US buddies Chesty Malone & The Slice ‘Em Ups and in ‘Tear Down The House’ they have a mighty fine anthem in the making. A terrific start to the night.

Next up tonight are local oi!/streetpunks Fatal Blow, and the established name that they are on the local punk scene they immediately get the crowd moving en masse (in fact I suspect there’s quite a few in here tonight who’ve come to see Fatal Blow first and foremost). Proudly anti-fascist and working class, the likes of ‘Spirit of 69’ and ‘Tent City Reality’ are always going to resonate with anyone with a moral backbone and when they are delivered with the gusto of a Welsh Cock Sparrer what’s not to love? Fatal Blow are proudly old school and bloody brilliant at what they do, full stop.

If Fatal Blow are the keepers of the punk rock flame of old, then London combo (and Grade 2 tour support) Clobber are the punk rock inferno of the future. Singer Chris and his bandmates delivering short, sharp, blasts of hardcore punk that immediately see the younger members of the audience busting out their finest dancefloor moves. With The Cab all about community, Clobber are the venue’s natural house band as their songs deal head-on with subjects like toxic masculinity, capitalism, and the importance of society in the modern day, and you really aren’t going to argue with the ‘Hardcore Hive Mind’ when they are in full flow. Very much for fans of bands like The Chisel or indeed the old-school original lineup of Gallows. I’ll be looking out for what Clobber do next following this run of 17 shows as hopefully they’ll then get to capitalise on the upcoming release of their debut EP via their freshly inked deal with Venn Records (and there I was mentioning early Gallows).  Come ‘n’ ‘ave a go if you think you’re hard enough.

2023 marks the tenth anniversary of Grade 2 as a band, with the trio celebrating their special birthday by touring the arse off their recently released ‘Self Titled’ album (you can read the RPM review HERE), a record that will surely feature highly on everyone’s Albums of the Year lists come the year’s end. Sid, Jacob and Jack are not about to rest of their major label laurels though with headline club shows scheduled right across the UK and Ireland, and tonight is their very first time playing in Wales. It’s also the first time I’ve seen Grade 2 play a headline set, so the mix of old and new tunes is an instant recipe for me (along with around another hundred people) to instantly look to lose our voices singing along to the likes of ‘Brassic’ and ‘Under The Streelight’ from their awesome new record seamlessly blending with the likes of ‘Hearts Of Gold’, ‘Graveyard Island’ and ‘Bowling Green Lane’ to provide the perfect soundtrack to any discerning punk rocker’s night out.  I’ll admit that this time around in this extended headline format the band do remind me more than just a little of ‘…And Out Come The Wolves’ era Rancid than they have when I’ve seen them previously, and their feet are still well and truly planted on the ground. As evidenced when bassist/singer Sid Ryan mentions towards the end of the night that two dates into their six-week tour he’s already “feeling it”, he’s immediately put in his place with local scene legend and Drunken Marksman frontman Pig telling him to “quit moaning and get on with it”, Sid quick as a flash, joking in reply, that the job as his tour motivational coach is now Pig’s. Priceless stuff indeed.

As their first live date in Wales, I’m sure their night in The Cab will long be etched into the Grade 2 memory banks, and for all the right reasons too. That’s because Grade 2 are not only a great live band but also a great bunch of lads too, if you get the chance to see them on this tour or their upcoming UK summer shows with Rancid and The Bronx, do not hesitate to snap up the ticket.

Clobber and Split Dogs pics by Johnny Hayward

Thanks to Kevin “Scottie” Hunt for the use of his Fatal Blow and Grade 2 pics. You can catch Scottie’s excellent ‘This Ain’t No Disco Radio Show’ every Tuesday from 8 pm to 10 pm on Wolfman Radio by scanning the QR code below or going to http://www.wolfmanradio.co.uk/

Author: Johnny Hayward

It’s loud, rapid, lo-fi punk rock oh and its on Drunken Sailor Records so it must be quality right? Right! Gaffer hail from Perth Australia and play punk rock. Thats it in a nut shell. Its inspired from way back when UK punk 82 hit the streets and bands like Chron Gen, Blitz and Partisans were learning to play punk rock. It’s pretty much twelve songs about life hacked out by a bunch of punks living the dream but with grit and determination and a love for what gets them through and enables them to play and record this. ‘Handcuff’ is punchy, mid tempo pogo pogo punk rock. The lyrics are spat out and the guitars are sharp as they hack and slash through your speakers. Old school from the new school paying respect but doing it their way.

‘Factory’ is slower but no less punchy as they champion Factory life. It is what it is with the one string solo hanging on by a thread its punk rock baby – authentic and enchanting. It draws you in and retains your attention exactly as it should be.

The album lists back and fore from fast punk rock with guts and aggression (‘Wonga’) through the more focussed catchy (‘Hang’) to the swaggering (‘Deadbeat’). You have to love the smash and grab of ‘Generation Gap’ as the cymbals crash and that riff cuts deep. It’s true what they say about the louder you play it the better it sounds. It certainly grabs your attention and whilst its nothing new it is a fresh take on a style long forgotten – whilst many of the originators went forward with a more metallic sound Gaffer stay true to their roots and dish up a fine platter of punk for a new generation. The more you dig into this album the better songs jup out on you from ‘Skin Of Your Teeth’, the excellent ‘Stop’ and the early Buzzcocks of ‘Clean Shirt’ my suggestion is if you’re looking for some fresh blood on an old genre of UK 82 then Gaffer is your one stop shop – Go get some and invite your friends.

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Author: Dom Daley

It’s the 13th studio album from the pogoing Pittsburgh punk rockers. The band has gone as far as stating that this record is something of a concept album! Cripes do we run for the hills as punk goes prog, will it unfold as something of a Punk Floyd record? Fuck I hope not. However, it does say that the band’s staple ingredients are front and center so maybe relax and not worry and just drop the needle.

To accompany the first Anti Flag Concept album they have roped in a whole bunch of artists to mix it up on this record from esse Leach of Killswitch Engage, Shane Told of Silverstein, Tim McIlrath of Rise Against & Brian Baker of Bad Religion, Ashrita Kumar of Pinkshift, Campaino of Die Toten Hosen, Tré Burt and Stacey Dee of Bad Cop/Bad Cop. ITs fair to say the band has cast it’s net far and wide and pulled in an impressive and diverse band of brothers and sisters to help them out.

You get eased in gently with the guitar and vocal of ‘Sold Everything’ before the drums pound in with the huge gang vocals. Dare I say it the elephant in the room called Green Day who probably made this kinda record possible and short and sweet it’s a decent opener.

Turn up the heaviness as ‘Modern Meta Medicine’ twists and turns its way through the speakers reaching the chorus with a thumping modern sound. Quite intense leading to some classic Anti Flag in the shape of the chant along ‘Laugh. Cry. Smile. Die’ Not quite a eat em and smile kinda lyrical journey but then this is Anti Flag.

‘The Fight Of Our Lives’ begins with a vocal over a buzzing guitar riff as we head to layered vocals that give proceedings a huge sound and a gloss that you often get from Anti Flag Theirs is a slick operation and nothing is left to improvisation and often comes across as sterile and clinical. ‘Imperialism’ featuring Ashrita Kumar from Pinkshift is the highlight so far thumping out the attitude ten to the dozen on what is a really decent song. Plenty of snot as the punk rock is amped up.

Campaino joins the band on the anthemic ‘Victory Or Death (We Gave Em Hell)’ before ‘The Hazardous’ sees the band head out without a collaborator on board with a thumping song. The next few songs sound intense and flow well together with ‘Work & Struggle’ being another high point on the record.’Nvrevr’ is down with the kids in the title as the song is fired off at a rapid pace with Stacey Dee of Bad Cop/Bad Cop lending a hand.

Hell were on the final cut ‘Only In My Head’, wow, that was quick. Maybe the sign of a good record that it kinda flew by and I wanted to dive straight back in for another round. I would say after having it on rotation with Iggy Pop for the last week I’m enjoying both and different songs are leaning out of the speakers and grabbing me on different plays so I’m hoping this album and its concepts keep giving up secrets here and there with every play and it turns out to be a grower not a shower.

I feel good after listening to the new Anti Flag as a concept it works well and the guests add different flavours to a very distinct style and sound that the band has. The fact that Anti Flag are taking chances means that I’m taking chances and sticking with this record, hoping that by the end of 2023 I’m still spinning it because I’ve always had time for these Pitsburg punks because they’ve always had time for the underdog and the underclass. They’ve rallied against corrupt Governments and injustices with a consistent and quality product that has provided me with a lot of fantastic music over the last few decades. On this evidence, it seems all is right in the Anti-Flag camp and the fire still burns maybe even stronger than ever. It’s never too late to get on board with Anti Flag.

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Author: Dom Daley