On 17th May Ferocious Dog proudly release their brand new studio album, ‘Kleptocracy’, on Graphite Records. Kleptocracy, features 12 songs and will be available on CD, Deluxe CD (with 4 bonus songs), transparent red vinyl (exclusive from the band’s website), clear vinyl and all digital platforms.

Kleptocracy, delves into themes of societal injustices and the enduring struggle against exploitation, echoing the band’s commitment to shedding light on the issues plaguing Broken Britain and our world today.

In typical Ferocious Dog fashion the album is a mix up of all sorts of genres! To name a few of the influences that appear: Celtic folk, gypsy folk, blues, dissident folk, pop punk, full on hardcore punk, and straight up rock. However, despite the many styles, primarily this album in particular goes back to a more classic folk punk sound.” – Ferocious Dog.

Kleptocracy is the follow up to The Hope which debuted at Number One on the Official UK & Ireland Folk Album Charts  and entered the National Album charts at Number 31.

With a righteous anger and a brand new line-up, Ferocious Dog “didn’t want this album to sound just like The Hope or previous albums, we wanted to put our own stamp on it. So even though this album has the same undercurrent as all Ferocious Dog albums, it is faster, more rocky and a closer reflection of our live shows. It has been a great venture all working together on this album amidst all the shows and tours.” 

Thought provoking and politically charged, Ferocious Dog seem to have the knack of evolving their dynamic and eclectic music, without losing any of the sound or attitude that made you fall in love with them in the first place. 

To preorder Kleptocracy go to: https://linktr.ee/FerociousDog

To celebrate the release of Kleptocracy, Ferocious Dog have announced 14 headline shows and two festival appearances; Stone Valley South and the Bearded Theory. The Kleptocracy tour starts on May 17th  at the legendary 100 Club in London, includes the Nottingham Rock City on 18th  May, before concluding at the Blackpool Tower on 9th  June. 

“These performances aren’t just about the music; they’re a rallying cry for change, a space to unite and amplify voices against corruption and injustice.” 

Tickets for the tour  can be ordered here: https://ferocious-dog.co.uk/live-events/

Ferocious Dog 2024 Kelptrocarcy tour dates:

May 

Fri 17th 100 Club  London 

Sat 18th Rock City  Nottingham 

Sun  19th The Globe  Cardiff

Mon 20th Phoenix  Exeter

Tue 21st Chalk  Brighton  

Wed 22ndBooking Hall Dover

Thu 23rd Mash  Cambridge

Fri 24th Nightrain  Bradford 

Sat  25th Stone Valley South Hertfordshire

Sun 26th Bearded Theory  Derbyshire  

Fri 31st MK11 Milton Keynes 

June

Sat 1st Guildhall  Gloucester

Sun 2nd The Drill Lincoln

Fri  7th The Georgian Theatre  Stockton-on-tees 

Sat 8th Old Fire Station Carlisle

Sun  9th Blackpool Tower Blackpool 

Before 2023 closes and we welcome in 2024 and everything that brings there are a few special episodes of the podcast to deal with. Firstly there is the small matter of the final regular podcast featuring brand new tracks from Hard-Ons, Neil Leyton, The Chisel and Chuck Norris Experiment there is a brand new one for the season from Naked Giants as well as some classic from The Almighty and The Saints.

Coming over the next week there are a few special episodes where the team at RPM Online got together from around the globe to discuss their favourite live shows they caught in 2023 as well as reveal their personal choices for albums you should be listening to that were released in 2023. But until then to tide you over with some of the best new music heres a link to Episode 12…Enjoy!

Those shirtless Swedish sailors, The Boatsmen, are back with the first single from their fifth, and perhaps greatest, album “Hard Livin’”.  Slated to be released on the 29th of December this year, we wanted to give you a taste of what The Boatsmen have cooking.  It’s less than three minutes, you have three minutes.  Why wait, go give it a listen!

“Hard Livin’” will be available on vinyl and on all major streaming/download services on December 29, 2023.  Available in North America from Spaghetty Town Records. In Europe from Ghost Highway Recordings or from The Boatsmen.

The Boatsmen links


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It’s episode 11 of the RPM Online podcast and this episode begins with a tribute to the legends that are Shane McGowan and Geordie Walker who both passed on recently. As well as new tracks from the likes of Black Bombers, MDC, and Family Battenberg we play classics from the likes of Dead Kennedys and Frank Black. This Episode also features tracks from Ultrabomb who are touring with Bar Stool Preachers and both have albums released in 2023.

How about some Action Rock from the re-issued and first time on vinyl for the A-Bombs on Beluga Records which only leaves Wine Lips on our playlist.

In the coming episodes, we have a bunch of new songs played on episode 12 which is already recorded and coming next week before we have a couple of special interviews we’re cooking up over the festive period with some of our favourite artists as well as the writing team for RPM who are getting together to reveal their favourite releases of 2023 as well as some of the best live shows they witnessed this past year.

FROM NEW ALBUM 
WHAT DO WE DO NOW
OUT FEB 2nd ON SUB POP

PRE-ORDER

musical virtuoso J Mascis releases ‘Set Me Down’, the beguiling and electrifying new single from his forthcoming album What Do We Do Now which will be released worldwide via Sub Pop Records on February 2nd

Recorded at his studio Bisquiteen in Western Massachusetts, What Do We Do Now is J’s first solo album that features full drum and electric leads, although the rhythm parts are still all acoustic. It features a host of guest musicians including including Western Mass local Ken Mauri of The B-52s on keys and Ontario-based polymath Matthew “Doc” Dunn on steel guitar.

‘Set Me Down’ follows on from the record’s lead single, ‘Can’t Believe We’re Here‘, which features appearances from J and a few of his friends and foes. The video was edited by Adam Bale at Ballad Pictures.


J has scheduled two solo headline shows for 2024 in Australia, which coincidentally happens during a run with his other band, Dinosaur Jr. The dates include Sydney’s Liberty Hall on Tuesday, February 20th, and in Brisbane at The Triffid on Saturday, February 24th. Additional solo dates will be announced soon.
 
Mascis is currently on the road with Dinosaur Jr., who are touring to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their sixth studio album, Where You Been.

What Do We Do Now is the fifth solo studio LP recorded by J Mascis since 1996. This is obviously not a very aggressive release schedule, but when you figure in the live albums, guest spots, and records done with his various other bands (Dinosaur Jr.The FogHeavy BlanketWitchSweet Apple, and so on), well, to paraphrase Lou Reed“J’s week beats your year.”

What Do We Do Now began to come together during the waning days of the pandemic. Utilizing his own Bisquiteen Studio, J started working on writing a series of tunes on acoustic with a different dynamic than the stuff he creates for Dino. “When I’m writing for the band,” he says, “I’m always trying to think of doing things Lou and Murph would fit into. For myself, I’m thinking more about what I can do with just an acoustic guitar, even for the leads. Of course, this time, I added full drums and electric leads, although the rhythm parts are still all acoustic. Usually, I try to do the solo stuff more simply so I can play it by myself, but I really wanted to add the drums. Once that started, everything else just fell into place. So it ended up sounding a lot more like a band record. I dunno why I did that exactly, but it’s just what happened.”

Two guest musicians are playing this time out; Western Mass local Ken Mauri (of The B-52s) plays piano on several tracks. Since J himself has some experience with keys, when asked why he needed a hired gun, he says, “Ken is great, and he plays all the keys. I tried playing some keyboards on the first Fog album, but I’m really only comfortable playing the white notes, so it’s kind of limiting. [laughs] Nowadays, I could just turn the pitch on a mini Mellotron to play different sounds, but black keys just seem hard. For whatever reason, I just like banging on the white ones. Seems like it’s harder to figure out how to stretch your fingers around the other ones.”
 

Mauri has no such qualms and plays all the keys very damn well. He sounds especially great on ‘I Can’t Find You,’ where he is Jack Nitzsche to J’s Neil Young, creating one of the album’s loveliest tunes. The other guest musician, Matthew “Doc” Dunn, is also prominent on this track. Dunn’s steel guitar manages to both widen and soften the musical edges of the music, giving it a full classicist profile. Dunn is an Ontario-based polymath who J met through Matt Valentine. After J played on Doc’s great 2022 Sub Pop single, ‘Your Feel,’ he figured it was time for payback. Both Dunn and Mauri add beautifully to the songs here, helping to transform them from acoustic sketches into full-blown post-core power ballads.

What Do We Do Now is the finest set of solo tunes J has yet penned, and the way they’re presented is just about perfect. Asked if he would be touring to support the album, J says he’ll be doing some weekend dates, but he probably won’t be putting a band together. And I’m sure these songs will sound great solo and acoustic, but the arrangements on this album are truly great and put a cool, different spin on Mascis’ instantly recognizable approach to making music.

So, what do we do now? Not sure. But apparently, what J does is to make one of his most killer records ever. Hats off to him.

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Rising from the ashes of punk South Wales brothers fused their vision of punk with gothic rock (influenced by Bowie, Reid and Iggy no doubt). Eventually they embraced American 80s radio-friendly rock. The band danced in and out of the shadows with fleeting moments of recognition from the mainstream with some hits on the charts. From the cold dark Goth roots the band fractured and had very public break ups that are visible to this day with the crazy scene of there being two versions of the band on either side of the Atlantic but the whys and wherefores of that debate might be for others,I’m here to focus on this new album and the music of Jay Aston, James Stevenson and Peter Rizzo. To be fair the trio have dished up some wonderful music on both 2017s ‘Dance Underwater’ capturing their sound perfectly from the roots of Rock and Goth and their mash up of what they’ve stood for for decades. That was 2017 so fast forward a pandemic and into the here and now and the brand new record ‘X’.

Twelve new songs, well, when I say new songs some are certainly not new songs but that will become apparent. If you’re familiar with the band and the sound they’ve turned out for many years will be up to speed with what to expect and this record doesn’t disappoint. When I say it sounds like classic Jezabel you’ll know. Its got an often lush, dreamy smooth feel with plenty of space in the music where the scene is made with broad strokes that deliver a big well rounded sound with excellent production and well-constructed songs that are played immaculatly.

The album begins with the mid-tempo ‘The Man That Time Forgot’ with its reverb dripping guitar chimes and driving bass line and Ashton’s distinguishable vocal delivery, sounding as strong as it did when they first started making records. The song flows nicely with lots going on from swirling keys to hypnotic drum beats and a wall of Stevenson guitar. One that will certainly sit nicely with long-term fans. A romantic charm and something is comforting about the pace of this album. Sure it’s safe and often warm but sometimes that’s exactly what an album needs, nothing risky or groundbreaking just doing what you do and doing it really well.

The one thing that most intrigued me about this album was it contained five cover songs including the Cures ‘In Between Days’ Edwin Collins ‘A Girl Like You’ Marianne Faithfuls ‘Broken English’ Magazines ‘The Light Pours Out Of Me’ and closing the record with the mighty Only Ones ‘Another Girl Another Planet’. What they have done here is treat the originals with respect but, they haven’t just regurgitated them with tribute-like versions instead take The Only Ones ‘Another Girl’ for example, they’ve not gone for a straight mirror version nor have they tried to be clever they’ve slowed it down and given it a ballad like treatment that has taken ownership of the song and with Jays unique vocal owned it and moved it in another direction that is engaging and enjoyable which isn’t something that’s always easy to do.

Anyway, Back into the thick of this new album the sprawling Goth rocker that is ‘Serpent Queen’ is an uptempo chest-beating rocker that brings to the fore the vital elements that made you fall in love with Gene Loves Jezebel in the first place.

Of the gentler songs on offer the atmospheric ‘Breathe Easy’ is acoustic guitars and synths painting a starry picture glued together with some great vocals to showcase James dreamy guitar breaks. The album is heavily leaning in the direction of the more Balladlike material that will take plenty of plays to fully appreciate but on initial plays, I’m impressed by the songs they’ve written and the covers they’ve reconstructed in what is a most welcome Gene Loves Jezabel record especially impressed with ‘You Can”t Hurt Me Anymore’ and the mid-tempo ‘Lone Rider’. Diolch yn fawr iawn Jay and band I’m always happy to add a new Gene Loves Jezabel album to my collection especially when it’s this good.

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Author: Dom Daley

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Steelhouse Festival has added a further acts to its 2024 bill. Taking place over the weekend of the 26th-28th of July, it will be the Welsh festival’s 13th edition. Joining the previously announced ‘BernieFest’ opening day line-up put together in celebration of the late-great Whitesnake guitarist, and long-time friend of the festival, Bernie Marsden are headliners Skindred, and also Mr. Big. Also heading to the Steelhouse Mountain are New York alt-blues duo The Last Internationale, Canadian rockers The Commoners and American blues-guitar powerhouse Jared James Nichols. James And The Cold Gun, Creeping Jean, and Zac & The New Men represent the very best in up-and coming UK talent.

Steelhouse organisers, Max and Mikey say, “We are absolutely buzzed to welcome the mighty Skindred back for their second SH headline set. They’re at the very top of their game – a UK number 2 album, a completely sold-out UK and European tour, appearances on international mega-bills and even Jools Holland! They’re now doing their own arena shows. Everyone knows of their incendiary live performances…People, get ready, The Newport Helicopter is landing on The Steelhouse Mountain!

They go on to say, “And what do you say about Mr. Big? Incredible musicianship, huge hits in a career that spans decades. Individually they are, quite simply legends, collectively they have always been beyond belief. It’s an absolute honour to have them with us. Once again we are looking forward to hosting our visitors – old friends and new, musicians and fans – who come from far and wide to experience the festival on the mountain-top in Wales…We’re looking forward to welcoming you all…Iechyd da!”

With the first 1000 tickets selling out immediately, the event’s Stage 2 Earlybird Tickets are available now, but not for long. Last year was the biggest Steelhouse Festival ever, and the signs are that 2024 will be even better.

Over a decade has passed since the inaugural Steelhouse in 2011, and the Festival at the top of the mountain boasts not only the best views of any UK rock event but one of the most passionate, friendly and loyal followings. With a reputation for not only bringing in the biggest and best names from the international world of Rock, Steelhouse also understands the role it can play in throwing open its prestigious stage to the best of the new breed of bands. It all adds up to a compelling mix of classic and cutting edge Rock, old and new.
 

“So, once again let’s get ready to Rocio y Mynydd / Rock the Mountain!”

Having seen The Cult play a blinding set in the summer when they announced Death Cult dates it seemed only fair to head to Duffys turf and catch the show in the spectacular surroundings of The Albert Hall. Once inside the old church after giving the merch a swerve due to the prices being £40 for a cap and £30 for a poster I put my wallet back in my pocket and headed for the bleachers as Lili Refrain who once again played a thirty minute set of Native chanting and floor tom loops. The minutes flew by and we were ready for what was promising to be an interesting evening of old school Cult. I’d seen social media posts complementing the band on how good they were but I’d avoided too many spoilers then the house lights went off and the swirls of dry ice engulfed the high room as the shadows took to the compact stage as ’83ed Dream’ creaked out of the PA system to howls of approval from the paced room. Duffy hunched over his White Falcon picked the chords whilst Asbury held the mic with a sturdy grip, some dark glassed his hair tied in a ball whilst wearing a leather jacket and black robe the clock was certainly turned back.

The pit was in full flight as ‘Christians’ punched into the ether and ‘Gods Zoo’ confirmed we were really doing this and the band sounded fantastic. I think its fair to say that live Asburys voice hasn’t always been as strong as it does on record but I have to say that in the summer and in Manchester he sounded unbelievable better than I’ve ever heard him. He looks in shape and his voice is strong and powerful and it really struck home on ‘Flowers In The Desert’ as the two bandmates stood alone on the stage and knocked out a really powerful rendition. It was the first sort of break in the set which had been full throttle up to that point.

Its fair to say that the next hal fof the set was spectacular and trying to think of superlatives to pour upon the set is tough because ‘Resurection Joe’ was huge sounding and it elevated the set to the next level but to follow it With the huge ‘Horse Nation’ I began to daydream as to why these songs went missing from the Cult setlist over the last few years of shows. Duffy seemed in the zone as he picked the opening riff from ‘Go West’ only to hit a hattrick of songs starting with ‘Loves’ ‘Hollow Man’ another they should play more often followed by ‘Dreamtime’ and the epic ‘Spiritwalker’ was magnificent and might well be up there as one of the pest live shows I’ve ever seen them do going back to the Love era tour.

It only left ‘Rain’ to finish the main set before the band retired, Earning a thoroughly deserved encore of ‘Moya’ and of course ‘Sanctuary’ and Manchester was now done. The Death Cult came, saw, and conquered and it felt a real privilege to have been there and witnessed such a special performance in such excellent surroundings. The band seemed to enjoy the show as much as the fans did and I hope this isn’t the last of these kind of tours because The Cult are on fire at the moment. They sound and perform better than they have done for decades and that is a fact my friends. Simply stunning.

Author: Dom Daley

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.

Sioux Records For Vinyl

Rum Bar Records for CD & Digital

Or Brad directy Here

Author: Martin Chamarette

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.

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Author: Dom Daley