I’m always a bit miffed when I see a Japanese glam scuzzy punk rock n roll band breaking through in the West. I know a lot of bands who tour Japan always say how awesome it was touring the land of the rising sun and how energetic and cool the place is especially for lo-fi punk n roll so why aren’t we deluged with household names? Hell knows because I don’t. Well, slovenly know a thing or two about scuzzy punk n roll because they’ve been dishing it up for a couple of decades and rarely do they not hit the mark with the bands they introduce you to. Add Angel Face to that impressive list because from the off these cats are struttin like peacocks knocking out Generation X meets Hanoi meets Dead Boys meets The Parkinsons style punk n roll.

This record is crammed full of banging melodies and hooks by the time you hit the earworm ‘USA’ you’ll be spilling beers and pogoing like a good un. ‘Big City’ is as snotty as those early Hanoi tunes but this one has a borrowed Waldos riff. Man, side one is done and dusted and it flew by and I absolutely loved it!

Come on everybody clap your hands, ‘I Can’t Stop’ is a decibel raising party in your speakers. I hope they were suss enough to get their band name from the Glitter Band track. The fact I can’t find anything on the World Wide Web about them only makes me like them more.

‘Bring Me Back’ unleashes some nasty Cheetah Chrome riffage that we should all love and it also evokes some of that Cavemen recklessness, I bet these would dish up one hell of a party in your pad if they were invited. There is a freshness and innocence about this and thats alluring but they’re tight in the right places like the snotty Thin Lizzy riff-a-rama that is ‘That’s Enough’. Hell, we’ve reached the end and all thats left is a speed enthused ramage through ‘Slippin and Slidin’ which is wonderful and sounds like the perfect take to bring this riot to an end. Lie down in a darkened room for five then put it on again but another notch louder let’s do shots to go with the beers that we’re chuggin’ whilst pogoing. Angel Face is the band rockin’ and fuckin Rollin is their game – Get involved its a no-brainer and one of the most enjoyable records you’ll hear all year – Fact!

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Author: Dom Daley

BULLETS AND OCTANE has once again set the stage ablaze with their latest release, “Space Lord Symphony.” This electrifying single is accompanied by a visually stunning music video that promises to captivate audiences worldwide.

“Space Lord Symphony” is a sonic journey that combines the band’s signature high-energy sound with a cosmic twist. Known for their powerful riffs, anthemic choruses, and relentless energy on stage, Bullets and Octane takes their music to new heights with this intergalactic-inspired anthem.

The accompanying music video, directed by Christine Fullwood, is a cinematic masterpiece that transports viewers into a mesmerizing, surreal odyssey. With mind-bending visuals and a narrative that complements the song’s theme, the “Space Lord Symphony” music video is a visual feast for fans and newcomers alike.

“‘Space Lord Symphony’ is the first single from the new Bullets And Octane album (TBD) due out in 2024. The band, firmly lead by the sober singer and main songwriter GENE LOUIS, is still as raucous, energetic and melodic as ever. The new music will punch you in the face and kick you in the nuts at the same time. Just good time hard rock n roll delivered with a punk snarl.” – UVT ENTERTAINMENT / BULLETS AND OCTANE

BULLETS AND OCTANE has consistently pushed the boundaries of rock music, earning them a dedicated global fanbase. “Space Lord Symphony” is a testament to the band’s evolution and their commitment to delivering fresh, innovative music.

The single is now available on all major streaming platforms, and the music video can be viewed on the band’s official YouTube channel.

Pre Order Here

One of the most fascinating books you are ever likely to pick up regarding the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (or NWOBHM) is John Tucker’s fact packed “Neat & Tidy – The Story of Neat Records”.  Granted it might just focus on the evolution of one of the scene’s many influential players during the dawn of the 1980s, but what a player Neat Records were. The Northeast of England based label provides us denim and leather clad rockers both here in the UK and worldwide early exposure to such seminal names as Tygers of Pan Tang, Venom, Raven, Tobruk, and err Crucifixion, all supported by their groundbreaking (for the time) mail order business.

It’s perhaps no surprise then that HNE Recordings have asked Tucker to not only annotate but also compile this outstanding 4CD salute to the label, ‘All Systems Go – The Neat Singles Volume 1’.

Kicking off with Tygers Of Pan Tang’s 1979 debut ‘Don’t Touch Me There’, and taking us through to Venom’s mighty ‘Warhead’, released in 1984, this set takes in the 37 singles label boss (and studio owner) David Wood’s unleashed on the world during that timeframe (he also released 20+ albums in the same period). Which is an incredible amount of new music from an independent record label, and one that earned Neat Records the tagline of ‘Allegedly Britain’s No.1 Independent Heavy Metal Label’.

My first experience of the label came via a then mate of mine who had picked up a copy of Venom’s classic debut ‘Welcome To Hell’ upon its release back in 1981, which promptly confused the fuck out of us teenage rockers all crammed into his bedroom trying to get our heads around, and not really getting to grips with, just how much of a landmark recording that album actually was, and still is to this very day.

The likes of Tygers Of Pan Tang, White Spirit, and Fist – the first three NWOBHM bands to release singles via Neat (and all captured back to back here as the introduction to the set’s first CD) – had already been snapped up by MCA by this time, so for us, we were immediately playing catch up via records by like likes of Raven, Blitzkrieg, and of course from the very depths of hell, the mighty Venom.  

It’s the lesser-known bands such as (the surprisingly very good, and Celtic Frost approved) Aragorn, Bitches Sin, and Raw Deal (again, all captured on the set’s first CD) that have me taking that same voyage of discovery all over again, albeit four decades on. Plus, as this set progresses it also throws up such other lesser known names (well they were to me anyway) as Steel (who somehow manage to blend Maiden riffs with KISS-like melodies and are fronted by a Jon Deverill wannabe), Valhalla, and the aforementioned Crucifixion, so there’s plenty to get stuck into within this set even if you consider yourself to be something of a die-hard (see what I did there?) fan of Neat Records.

If you have been around the NWOBHM block more than once or twice you may notice that this set is actually very similar to Sanctuary Records’ long since deleted ‘The Neat Singles Collection’ volumes one and two (both of which command an eye watering price on online auction sites right now), however, what this set does that those didn’t, is run the singles’ A and B Sides concurrently, so you’re not having to flip CDs or create playlists simply to play all of Venom’s ‘Warhead’ for example (sadly though the 12” extended version of ‘Warhead’ is once again missing here), plus with ‘All Systems Go – The Neat Singles Volume 1’ you also have a  glorious 20-page booklet with John Tucker’s excellent sleeve notes expanded to forensic levels to completely fill in any knowledge gaps you might have regarding the releases.

If you were too young to experience the NWOBHM first time around, this 82-track collection (which hits the shops on 16th February 2024) is as fine a place as any to visit to inspire you to construct your first denim cut-off, or perhaps step out wearing a bullet belt or studded gauntlet, whilst for those of us with slightly more faded denim cut-offs (that no longer fit us) this is a most welcome trip down memory lane, one that stinks of fags, patchouli oil, Newcastle Brown and is the very birthplace of Black Metal.  

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Author: Johnny ‘Double Denim’ Hayward

What’s that you say? More posthumous live material from Motorhead? Do we really need that? Of course, you do! It’s fuckin’ Motorhead!! And there WERE rock and roll!

This collection consists of decades of shows from Motorhead’s long and illustrious career. The Lost Tapes have been coming at us in dribs and drabs over the last few years and this lovely box set has added the latest set from the Download Festival in 2008 to complete the collection… There may be more, who knows? I’m sure there’s plenty more live material floating around.

The first blistering set is from Madrid in 1995, it’s a varied set with a few gems such as Dog Faced Boy and Over Your Shoulder from the Sacrifice album that they were touring at the time. We even get a cover the Hawkwind classic Silver Machine that sounds great given the Motorhead treatment. Phil Campbell & his Bastard Sons still play Silver Machine to this day. There are 24 tracks here, granted, 2 of those are drum and bass solos but that’s fantastic value for money.

From Madrid we head to Norwich for the next batch of Motorhead madness. This set dates to 1998 and we get another quality set from Lemmy and the lads. All the standards are here including Iron Fist, Overkill, Ace of Spades, Killed by Death, as well as few numbers including Civil War and the title track from the Overnight Sensation album.

Next up, we head into the millennium with a show at the KB Hallen in Malmo, Sweden dated November 2000. Opening with We Are Motorhead, which was a mainstay in their set from this time onwards until Lemmy sadly passed away in 2015, the band delivered another noise-ridden cacophony littered with classics as well as their brilliant cover of the Sex Pistols God Save the Queen.

We go all the way to 1984 for the next disc of greasy goodness with a show from Heilbronn, Germany. Great to hear Nothing Up My Sleeve and Steal Your Face getting an airing here. The amount of material that Motorhead amassed over the years is incredible. We also get a turbocharged version of Ace of Spades; this is probably the fastest version of that song I’ve ever heard! Full on thrash pace!

Lastly, we get the set from Download in 2008. Opener Doctor Rock kicks the proceedings off with style, we have another full-on set of classics including In the Name of Tragedy, Metropolis, Going To Brazil, and a fantastic version of Overkill with ex-guitarist Wurzel putting in a guest appearance.

This box set gives you plenty of bang for your buck with 8 CDs chock a block full of Motorhead mayhem. It really is a must for any true Motorheadbangers collection. That’s the way I like it, baby!

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Author: Kenny Kendrick

Better known for his band Dinosaur Jr and his style of guitar-slinging mixed with his part croaky part winey vocal style he is often seen as the ultimate slacker with his long gray hair and quiet soft demeanor Mascis also has a solo career mainly steeped in acoustic folk rock style mixed with his searing solos often the two are inseparable and I dunno why one is his name whilst the other is Dinosaur Jr maybe it’s one of those things like chicken or the egg dilemmas.

On ‘What Do We Do Now’ you are greeted on entry by the upbeat ‘Can’t Believe We’re Here’ with its big acoustic chords and vibrant drum punches on what can only be described as classic Mascis. I love the body-swaying melodies and the middle eight where we drift off toward one of his trademark fuzzed-up solos that just soars. The title track offers more of the acoustic guitar being the lead instrument over the stripped-back band approach. J is joined on by keyboards by Ken Mauri of The B52s, and steel guitar by Canadian psych/folk/experimental musician Matthew ‘Doc’ Dunn and after only a few plays this is his brightest and most solid set of solo songs I’ve heard on first impressions. Five solo records in and this is instantly gratifying. On finishing the first couple of run-throughs from one to ten I feel refreshed and uplifted with the overall feel of this record. ‘Right Behind You’ is a joy. The format is solid and pretty much runs throughout the album with ‘I Can’t Find You’ being led by a bright piano and guitar in the intro with a twisting melody through the verse that takes the song somewhere different from what’s come before it and that’s the slight variety but the quality is front and center in all the songs on the record.

Halfway in and the strongest track in my humble opinion is ‘It’s True’ It’s like he is channeling his inner Neil Young and the groovy ‘Set Me Down’ follows like something the alt-country bands will swoon over. It’s Wilco meets Jesse Malin but totally J Mascis. I love that the format of Acoustic Guitars, Keys, Bass and basic drums have been the cornerstone throughout the record with the occasional fuzz solo and organ adding texture here and there making for a mellow yet really uplifting hopeful album and fans of MAscis will be delighted with what’s on offer and the fact he’s touring this is exciting I only hope I can get to hear these live that would complete ‘What Do We Do Now’ for me.

We’re only just breaking into February and I’ve heard some amazing records and J Mascis has certainly delivered one of them with this gentle offering compared to the full-force fuzz of his day job this is the perfect yang to the Dinosaur Ying. Beautiful record, Perfect for a wet rainy day just looking out the window as the world drifts by with the stereo turned up and a hot drink in your hand that’s what we do now. Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

The Wildhearts are proud to announce they will be headlining O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London, on June 6th

Join me, Jon Poole, Ben Marsden and Pontus Snibb for a world exclusive show, for which I promise you the biggest production the Wildhearts have ever put on. We couldn’t have got this far without the loyalty and support of you, The Wildhearts community. Come and celebrate the new beginning with us”. Ginger Wildheart.

For three decades The Wildhearts have remained at the forefront of the rock scene, and their incendiary shows have cemented their reputation and legacy as one of the best bands the UK has ever produced, so miss this show at your peril.

Tickets for the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire show go on general sale at 10am Friday 26th January and can be ordered here: https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/3E006037A54F0E93

Regarded as something of old hands at this Hard Rockin nonsense The Boatsman have gotten to album number four and ‘Hard Livin’ is exactly where I’d hoped they’d be. They’ve always turned in decent tunes and were working hard at wearing in these guitars and being the best they could be in a crowded field and on ‘Hard Livin’ my goodness I think they’ve blasted off into the next league up. This is big boys hard rock and these four hairy fuckers have absolutely nailed it.

Sure they’re not sailing far from the mother ship Action Rock but they’re armed to the teeth with better tunes and a more confident sound than ever before and like their Scandi neighbours Scumbag Millionaires they’ve upped their game noticeably and written better songs than ever before. Yes, it’s a lovely mixture of Motorhead, Turbonegro, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, MC5, and a few snotty punk bands that they’ve cut their cloth trying to be as good as, and once the needle drops and the big entry of ‘Livin’ On Lust’ is off like a stray rocket. The thrashing of the riff is wild and reckless and I love that shit. It’s tight and set for maximum excitement and that’s the way to open your album, set your stall out get off to a fuckin’ flyer whatever superlative you like it’s a belter and the solo just kills.

If you think it’s a one-off buckle up mother fuckers because the gonzo punk rock of ‘I Wanna Clone’ is frantic and heading straight for the bull’s eye. ‘Why Wait’ is the first video off the album and sounding like The Hives feasting on a heavy diet of Hard Rock and Ramones melodies is a decent place to start full stop. It’s a decent representation of what the album sounds like but it’s not the best song on the album no sir. Nor is the rapid foot to the floor of ‘Foggy Man’ it’s like the European bastard son of The Hip Priests. ‘Take Me’ is riff after mother fuckin riff and cool as wearing a pair of aviators whilst cruising down the freeway in a Cadillac cabriolet with a bevy of beautiful babes in the back laughing at all your dad jokes.

The title track is like the Four Horsemen have just called you out and handed you a battle jacket and you need to go out and get stuck in for the team. It is a complete record and one that has plenty of exciting riffs and ideas within the songs and boundless energy all tied in with plenty of melody. The Boatsmen have landed and ‘Hard Livin’ is one hell of an album. Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM HERE:

UK TOUR STARTS FEBRUARY 14TH WITH THE DEAD BOYS!

DESPERATE MEASURES, the high energy, London punk and rollers release their brand-new album ‘Sublime Destruction’ on March 22nd on Cadiz Music. Loaded with eleven personal and political, hook laden anthems, the album was written over the last two years and during the pandemic. Featuring previous singles ‘Thinking Of England’, ‘Back To The Rats’, and the title track ‘Sublime Destruction’, the album was recorded with Andy Brook (who has produced, engineered, and toured with the like of Status Quo, Ginger Wildheart, Wonk Unit, Hayseed Dixie) at The Brook Studios, Wallington, Surrey. From the opening roar of ‘Back To The Rats’, the Sex Pistols riffarama of ‘The Rich-Tual’ and the danced-up Stooges grooves of ‘Enjoy The Ride’, through to the Psychedelic Furs like ‘Untouchable’ and the epic ode to North London, ‘Seven Sisters’, ‘Sublime Destruction’, is anything but sublime. Instead, it’s a huge statement of intent from a band that back up their in-your-face attitude 100% on the stage.

Pre-order ‘Sublime Destruction’ HERE:

Desperate Measures are: Eugene Butcher (voctals), James Sherry (drums), Michael Gaffney (guitar/vocals) and Ricky Mc Guire (bass/vocals).

pic: Louise Phillips

Desperate Measures promote the album in the company of U.S punk legends The Dead Boys and the U. K’s Janus Stark at the following venues:

CATCH DESPERATE MEASURES ON TOUR IN 2024!

THE SUBLIME DESTRUCTION TOUR!

February

14 London Underworld w/ Dead Boys

15 Leeds Boom w/ Dead Boys

16 Manchester Rebellion w/ Dead Boys

17 Glasgow Ivory Blacks w/ Dead Boys

18 Birmingham The Asylum w/ Dead Boys

March

1 Stamford Mama Liz’s w/First Wave

2nd Gateshead the Black Bull w/Loudmouth

7th Coventry The Arches w/ Janus Stark

8th Liverpool the Outpost w/ Biteback

9th Cambridge Six Six Bar w/Janus Stark

15 Northampton-The Lab w/Janus Stark

16th Nottingham- The Old Salutation w/Janus Stark

21st Norwich-Bricklayers w/ Janus Stark

22nd London Koko w/Buzzcocks and Neville Staple

30th London Lexington w/The DeRellas, Thrill City

April

6th Bradford On Avon The Three Horseshoes Boa w/The Setbacks

June

21 London New Cross Inn w/Blitzkrieg

August

10 Turku, Finland.

October

Oct 4 London 100 Club with Menace & the Outcasts

Find Desperate Measures online at: FACEBOOK / BANDCAMP

The first taste of live music in 2024 is a trip across the border and into the Exchange for a night of Cider and black and guyliner n Goth for Swedens Agent Side Grinder are opening tonight’s show in support of the most excellent Then Comes Silence.

With a healthy turnout Agent Side Grinder takes to the stage bathed in a sea of Fog (as you’d expect) and turn up the electronic goth tones for a forty-five-minute take on some very impressive Soft Cell meets Depeche Mode whilst absorbing the Gary Numan back catalogue synth Goth (if you looking for a yardstick to measure their sound then these seem like the perfect touching point) This three piece (Two Keyboards and one vocalist) deliver a modern twist on ‘Speak and Spell’ meets ‘Non Stop Erotic Cabaret’ hailing from Stockholm and already having delivered six studio albums in their almost twenty year existence I’m almost ashamed to say this was my first time seeing the band.

Supporting their 2023 album ‘Jack Vegas’ the band got on with business and aided by the most excellent PA in the Exchange they were able to turn it up and dive in. Songs like ‘Waiting Room’, ‘Madeleine’ and ‘Wolf Hour’ sounded excellent and bringing Alex from Then Comes Silence up for a few tracks added another level to their sound that came to life with the additional bass guitar, giving the songs more depth and a big bottom end. Emanuel led this synth trio through an impressive set and I’m glad I was there early enough to catch the perfect opener to ease you back into the live arena after a few weeks off from live shows.

Then Comes Silence are back to a three-piece and take to the stage and proceed to spend the next hour or so delivering the perfect guitar-based Goth Rock currently doing the rounds anywhere. The three-piece kicks off with ‘Ticket To Funerals’ and roll straight into ‘Flashing Pangs Of Love’. Hugo is whirling in circles as he throws out the Brian James Lords-inspired riffs drenched in delay and chorus that evoked memories of a young Daniel Ash at his prime so much so that I commented he played the riff of ‘Fashing Pangs’ at about two o’clock that afternoon such was the delay on the overdrive. However, the sound as per usual in the Exchange is second to none, and Then Comes Silence are playing a blinder. A well-oiled machine that they are they throw out banger after banger touching on Goth greats Such as the aforementioned Lords Of The New Church as well as a host of other post-punk bands who dabbled in Goth. It’s no surprise that Wayne Hussey holds them in such high regard with songs like ‘We Lose The Night’ and ‘Warm Like Blood’ dripping with sheer class and a hint of The Mish in their DNA.

A frenzied pit of Gothness broke out mid-set and a more polite and gentile mosh pit you won’t find anywhere this side of Hades. The fuzz of ‘Strangers’ gave me goosebumps and the relentless attack on my senses was further heightened as the fantastic ‘Strange Kicks’ played out. There wasn’t much in the way of banter between songs more preferring to let the music do their talking and to be fair they sounded fantastic as we headed for the final Hurrah as ‘The Rest Will Follow’ made way for the inspired ‘Animals’ and without fanfare, we were done.

That was nothing short of awesome. How this band are playing small clubs is a mystery, they should be rolling through towns with trucks hauling their gear and large concert venues being laid waste with plumes of dry ice and the sound of distorted decaying riffs ringing through your ears.

This old Goth can go out into the cold winter air happy in the knowledge that 2024 got off to the best possible start gig-wise. I only hope 2024 sees a new album and more live shows from my favourite Swedish Goth Rock band. That set my friends will take some beating and its only just January.

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Author: Dom ‘Nosferatu’ Daley