Those Northern herberts The City Kids are back with a new album under their collective studded bullet belts, and you best believe they mean business this time around. With Covid putting the brakes on any promotion and touring of their debut long player ‘Things That Never Were’, the four-piece punk n’ rollers (led by former Main Grains guitar slinger JJ Watt), avoided becoming ‘the band that never were’ by battening down the hatches during lockdown and planning their sophomore album remotely.
Whereas the debut City Kids album was a collection of songs that frontman JJ had already written and arranged himself, the resulting follow up album ‘Filth’ is a collaborative effort and a step up both sonically, creatively and artistically.
Berty Burton’s bass rumble on the opening title track, paired with Dave Sanders urgent beats ensure the listener is paying attention from the off. JJ’s unmistakable growl has the grit of a 40 a day habit and the stench of last night’s rum & coke session still on his breath, while the metallic licks of former Warrior Soul man Dennis Post seal the deal. ‘Filth’ is…. well, it’s downright filthy from the word go!
Next, the upbeat ‘Alone’ rides along on a glorious melody and some killer guitar work, its over before you’ve had time to sink another drink. Things are certainly cooking in the world of The City Kids two tracks deep.
The overall sound is raw and ramshackle, but with the guidance of a certain Dave Draper overseeing JJ and Andy Brook in the production and mixing department, it is also a bit of a monster. The delivery is cool and collected and the songs are as memorable as the heroes the band aim to channel. Their punk n’ roll sound is a mash of Social Distortion and The Yo-Yo’s with hints of JJ’s previous band to the fore. As with the debut, melody is prevalent and the hooks are there for all to savour.
The gritty, high energy single ‘It Should Have Been You’ is as much fun as you can have with your clothes on and the punchy, Wildhearts-esque ‘You Wanna?’ is an early stand out that sinks its teeth into the subconscious and stays there for good. There’s something overly familiar in the pop-tastic melodies of ‘Scars’ that sits well, and the pub rock goodness of ‘Self-Righteous’ will have you coming back for more time and time again.
Is it me, or have JJ’s vocals got rawer over the past few years? Maybe the dude’s been chewing glass over lockdown to get that authentic Lemmy / Mike Ness rasp! Shout out to the backing vocal department on this album, the likes of ‘Something Faster’ and ‘Ghosts’ have a quality you don’t hear every day. Full band vocals and memorable choruses go a long way to elevate the tunes to anthemic sing-a-longs.
Ten tracks of no-frills filth, job done!
If you like your music with dirt under the fingernails and grease in the hair, if you dig no frills rock n’ roll with 3 chords and tons of attitude then The City Kids could be right up your street. ‘Filth’ is a step in the right direction for JJ and the boys and is available now to purchase on a shiny spinning disc with a cool cover. I suggest you click on the link below and add it to your collection. Hell, buy a few for Xmas pressies, RPM Santa insists!
The City Kids are a band that deserves your attention. The band is made up of four rock’n’roll renegades with a penchant for creating down and out sleazy rock music.
They released their debut album two years ago and was one of this writer’s favorites of that year, with its Wildhearts meets Social Distortion groove but with their own unique sound thrown into the mix.
So while we patiently await the next long-player the band has put together this EP for a celebration of their two-year anniversary. It consists of four tracks which are covers of Motorhead classics and features some very special guests indeed.
First up we have the band’s namesake “City Kids” and we are off to a fast start with ripping guitars and JJ’s throat-shredding vocals and this kids, is how rock’n’roll is supposed to sound.
Next up we have the top tunage of “Bomber” and this time we are treated to vocals from guitarist Dennis and with a guest appearance on lead guitar by Jay Pepper of Tigertailz this is another belter of a track.
Following on we have that classic Headgirl tune “Please don’t touch” and this is a tasty duet between guitarist JJ and Ruyter Suys of Nashville pussy fame and is every bit as good as the head girl version which is high praise indeed.
Last but not least we have Born to raise hell and this beast of a song would indeed have the devil himself raising the horns in salute and with guests Eddie spaghetti and Frank meyer you really are in for some headbanging action.
All that’s left to say is this that JJ – guitar/vocals, Dennis – guitar / vocals, Berty Burton/ bass and Dave Saunders / drums have not only done these classic songs justice they have added their own filthy sound into the mix to make this a must-buy for rock fans.
Well, these are strange times and Rock and Roll won’t be clamped down even if we are. Thanks to the magic of this here interweb we can still get our mitts on new music (gloved up of course) first up on this playlist is a right banger from Noo Yawk Citys Wyldlife . It’s recently been reviewed on RPM and I happen to agree with Ben when he claimed it could be a contender for record of the year. We have added ‘Sacre Bleu’ to our banging playlist.
Next up is a band from Sweden called Dictator Ship and Fraser covered this one and ‘Your Favourite’ is a great slice of scandiRock with ‘Eat The Poor’ making the cut in our Playlist.
Australia is quickly becoming the epicentre of Global Garage Rock and you sure can add The Chats to that list of fine Australian bands and with their recent record ‘High Risk Behaviour’ hitting the shelves we’ve included ‘ The Kids Need Guns’ to our playlist with its classic DC early days rawness and their snotty lyrics The Chats rightly are causing a stir around this globe all of their own.
It’s not all snotty records this month we did have some offerings from the Classic Rock and Grunge crossover of Buffalo Summer so included the excellent ‘Hit The Ground Running’ taken off their recently released album ‘Desolation Blue’ with some fine cool slide on the otherwise beefy riffs it’s a real tour de force from Soth Wales on this new album.
It might have been a lifetime ago that The Psychedelic Furs last released a new album but the wait is over and Made Of Rain is almost upon us. We’ve included the first single taken from the record ‘You’ll Be Mine’.
Naked Six have a new album out and the lead track off that album is ’21st Century Brawl’ and that makes our playlist with its jarring poke before the album kicks off with some great tunes. Well worth investigating so let this opener suck you in but don’t forget to buckle up.
Ben found his stereo working overtime as The City Kids released ‘Things That Never Were’ so we’ve added ‘You Get Nothing’ To our playlist.
I know a girl, a girl called Party, Party Girl. Bono sang that but the Dahlmanns sing ‘Party Girl’ which was released as part of a split with Tommy & The Rockets on Beluga Records a classic castanets clacking slice of power pop with saxophone and New Wave approved piano.
Then Comes Silence who we include ‘Devils’ from their most excellent ‘Machines’ album that was recently reviewed with some dark Goth undertones this has been on heavy rotation around some RPM circles as the corpse paint went on and certain writers were only venturing out after dark with this on their playlists. Get on it kids.
If a bit of Goth isn’t your thang then why not grow out those sidies and some facial hair and get on down with Rookie. We’ve got ourselves a ‘One Way Ticket’ to listen to this great playlist and ride out this Global pandemic.
As well as some awesome reviews April sees us bring some news that bands push out so why not include some of the movers and shakers who are busy this month either re arranging tours or putting the final touches on new releases. How about some Rock with American Jetset? ‘Gold & Nines’ is classic cock rock n roll so it makes the cut. Our old friend Jizzy Pearl also announced that he has signed a new deal with Golden Robot Records so expect some new music and live shows soon. We head back to when he did the album ‘Just A Boy’ and include the cracker ‘Do You Wanna Get High’.
With everybody with a guitar and camera phone shooting home shows we have a few suggestions of who you could check out starting with Rich Ragany & The Digressions who bring ‘Later Than It Is’ to our playlist off the excellent debut album and rumour has it that recording has begun for the follow up which commenced before this lockdown but be sure we’ll bring you the news as and when.
Another artist smashing the numbers watching his home broadcast is Mike Peters with his ‘Big Night In’ I’ve not tuned in yet but rest assured I will. Heres one from his recent output ’13 Dead Raindeers’. Another live streamer is Jesse Malin who we also interviewed recently and who has a brand new single out sadly it’s not on this service yet so make do with a cut off his last album ‘Chemical Heart’.
There’s fifteen reasons to stay in and have RPM Playlist be your companion and while away the hours playing some quality rock and roll . Go on a journey of discovery and see where it takes you as you avoid the rocks on the choppy water of Rock and Roll 2020.
Picture the scene; You’re the guitar player in a cool punk n roll band with a member of The Wildhearts, you release a well-received mini-album, a couple of singles, do a bunch of great support gigs with cool bands, even some great headline shows of your own. Things are looking up. Then The Wildhearts reform, your singer/bass player goes back to said band (quite rightly) to take on the world and record one of the greatest rock albums of the last decade, leaving your little band in hiatus. The drummer and guitar player form a cool as fuck pop-punk band called The Spangles and you’re left twiddling your bleedin’ thumbs until they’ve got it all out of their system.
Well, we may not have The Main Grains anymore, but that loveable rogue JJ Watt is back from the ashes with a new band and he’s only gone and roped in the likes of Kory Clarke and Tracii Guns to guest on his new project The City Kids (no, not the long gone, Cardiff based glam legends, how many times do I have to tell ya?!)
Joining JJ are guitarist Dennis Post (Warrior Soul/Flush The Fashion), Berty Burton (Tigertailz) and Dave Sanders (Falling Red). The City Kids follow the recent single release ‘Best Of You’ with their debut album ‘Things That Never Were’. Self-produced and mastered by the legend that is Dave Draper, ‘Things That Never Were’ is a collection of songs and ideas penned by the guitar player when he was still in The Main Grains. In fact, the overly catchy ‘You Get Nothing’ was a live favourite in their set.
You could say The City Kids sound is no real departure from JJ’s previous band. If anything the sound is rawer, the vocals dirtier, but the melody is still prevalent throughout. This is gritty rock ‘n’ roll with a sound that sits somewhere between Social Distortion and The Yo-Yos.
‘Best Of You’ opens the album in style with a Ramones style “one-two-free-four” count in and a blistering guitar lick. Dirty biker rock is the order of the day, JJ’s vocals as gritty as the guitars are dirty. Fat, ringing power chords fill the verse as it powers to an anthemic and upbeat chorus. A sonic guitar solo that would make Dregen proud and a Wildhearts styled mid-song breakdown gives you a hint where these guys are coming from and where the rest of the album will be taking us.
It’s no surprise the aforementioned ‘You Get Nothing’ was a Main Grains live staple. That chorus refrain is a banger, and hearing a recorded version finally does it justice. At 2 minutes 30 seconds, it’s over in a flash leaving the listener crying out for more.
And much more they give us. Mid-paced rockers such as ‘Before You Fall’ and ‘All I Want’ are all well and good, the latter taken to another level with some blistering fretwork courtesy of LA Guns guitar slinger Tracii Guns. Elsewhere, ‘No More Heroes’ is a catchy, radio-friendly slice of power pop with a punky edge, think The Replacements meets Social Distortion for reference here.
There are a couple of true standout tracks. ‘Rats’ is a killer, trashy ride featuring Billy Tee and Alex Holmes from The Suicide Notes. Their delivery adds a certain sleaziness that gives an edgy, Faster Pussycat meets Backyard Babies feel. The guitars are slung around the knees, the gang vocals spat with venom. This one is a whole lotta fun, as is album closer ‘Round And (A) Round’. A song that was co-written with Warrior Soul legend Kory Clarke and features the man himself sharing lead vocals with JJ, along with those The Suicide Notes dudes, yet again adding gang vocal goodness for the chorus. This is a killer, no-frills anthem. Upbeat, punk and belligerent just as you would expect. Kory’s unmistakable raspy vocals are on fine form and it pretty much sums up the whole feel of the album.
If you like your music, loud, proud and raw as fuck, if you like your rock with some dirt under the fingernails and extra power under the hood, then you could do no better than check out this new long-player from The City Kids.
The limited-edition 2 CD version of ‘Things That Never Were’ sold out in just 5 hours, but you can pre-order the extremely unlimited standard CD from the link below right now.
Considering we’re in the early knockings of a new decade it’s impressive that bands take the time to put out singles at this time of year anyway. We welcome some fresh meat onto our pages and welcome back some brothers we always have time for on RPM for their sheer excellentness and an amazing repertoire of top tuneage. Oh, and good effort on bands like Smash Fashion who are embracing the format with two new bangers which is everything we love about Rock and Roll. So here’s an impressive starting eleven me lovers, check these treats out…
The City Kids – ‘Best Of You’ (self-released) Not to be confused with Welsh glam legends City Kidds, this is the new project from former Main Gains axe-slinger JJ Watt. ‘Best Of You’ is the first single from their upcoming debut album ‘Things That Never Were’ and all proceeds from this release go to Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of Mikey Lawless from Falling Red.
JJ handles vocals and guitar on this project and he is joined by Dennis Post (Warrior Soul/Flush The Fashion), Berty Burton (Tigertailz) on bass and Falling Red drummer Dave Sanders.
‘Best Of You’ is a low slung, gritty rock ‘n’ roll number that stays true to JJ’s roots. Think Circus Of Power meets The Yo-Yos for reference. Vocals that can’t hide a 40 a day habit and a penchant for a rum or two, mix with greasy biker rock and tons of melody, what more could you desire?
Billy Tee and Alex Holmes from The Suicide Notes add vocals, guitar and a certain swagger to the ramshackle ‘Round And A Round’, which was co-written by JJ and a certain Mr Kory Clarke. This four-track release adds demos of the single and an old Main Grains track that they never recorded called ‘You Get Nothing’ that is worth the asking price alone.
All tracks feature on the album, albeit different versions, making this release more than just a curio for lovers of The Main Grains, The Wildhearts, Warrior Soul or anyone with a love of no-frills rock ‘n’ roll. Bandcamp / Facebook
Smash Fashion – ‘Got Da Hee Bee GeeBee’s’/ ‘Benny And The Jets’ (Yeah Right! Records) Smash Fashion tip the hat to the early punk rockers and they manage to spit their gum out long enough to knock this one right out the park. exactly what a 7″ single should sound like, “cool as” kids trust me, Snotty and with a bit of street muscle Smash Fashion turn their efforts to the classic 7″ single and do it justice – nice. Then flip it over for some retro-tinged Hoople hand-clapping, shithouse shaking Rock and Rolla. Damn Smash Fashion just gets better and better. Check it out right now! Its an order. Facebook Pick it up Here
The Hip Priests – ‘Drink To My Demons’ (Speedowax Records) Well as I wipe my brow those Hip Priests are in the house making good on the reason why a singles club is an essential staple of any website. Yeah, so they’ve done plenty of singles so what? This ones a sexy picture disc! They’ve not done that before so new ground there for those purveyors of awesome Garage Rock. With more power than a front row of F1, this is a tasty twosome. ‘Drink To My Demons’ is a banger (of course it is bla bla bla) No it really is. Nobody does it better as Von Cruz spits out the lyrics and no doubt fueled by the world they live in, The Hip Priest lead the charge in 2020, For me, all the intrigue was about the B side and how The Priests were going to tackle the Adam And The Ants B-side from the ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ single – ‘Press Darlings’. Oh wow! truly spectacular this needs to be heard Adam should hand over ownership pronto The Hip Priests absolutely kill it. magic stuff. Don’t pass this one by folks, just buy it or be left with custard pie(ella) on your face. Spasm Gang members can pick it up with some rather tasty beer mats thrown in as well. Facebook
Rotten Mind – Not One Of You (Lövely Records) Today marks the release of “Not One of You”, Rotten Minds third and last single taken from the band’s fourth album “Rat City Dog Boy”, set for release this week February 7 to be precise on Lövely Records. “Not One of You” is the most darkwave- inspired track of the LP. The reverby guitar sounds, fat and pumping bass à la Joy Division and lyrics about alienation contribute to a gloomy atmosphere.Facebook
Hells Ditch – ‘Vacant Hearts’ (Disconnect Disconnect (UK), Rose Coloured Records (UK) & Bypolar Records)
Featuring ex/current members of Bad Ideas, River Jumpers & Dearist Hells Ditch release their debut single next month on 7″ but is available now to stream. With a modern punk rock sound its no surprise to see the band get Mass Giorgini who has previously worked with the likes of Rise Against, Anti Flag and Alcaline Trio. Whilst hailing from the UK they have a sprightly American sound which will have wide appeal. Be interesting to hear some more of these guys they could do really well.
ÅSKVÄDER – ‘NOTHING TO LOSE’ (The Sign Records) Unadulterated pure ’70s Rock that’s where ÅSKVÄDER are coming from with this the first single taken from their upcoming S/T debut album, to be released on The Sign Records this coming March. Yes, they’re from Sweden (where else?) is it Action enough for the Action Rock crowd? (I’d say it certainly is) with some of that southern Rock boogie and a raw on the prowl guitar sound, this is sharp and whilst its roots are back in the mists of time they are not. Check it out on streaming sites everywhere.
The Venomous Pinks – ‘I Want You’ (Die Laughing Records) Tempe, AZ all-female punk rock trio The Venomous Pinks has released a new single and music video, a cover of Joan Jett & The Blackhearts’ “I Want You,” which will appear on the band’s upcoming album of the same name.
The Venomous Pinks hit this particular nail squarely on the head with a ten-pound sledge. No subtlety, no compromise just a damn good interpretation of a Jett classic. Not a band to be trifled with. Top tune! Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter
The Monsters – ‘I’m A Stranger To Me’ (Slovenly Records) Wild, reckless, outta control. Just the way we like it here at RPM. The lead track rattles along in spectacular fashion. With a guitar that’s like a twitching, buzz saw hacks and cuts through the moon the loon style drumming – its a rocket ride of a tune and that’s good enough for us. Check em out. flip it over to see if they are more than a one-trick pony and ‘Carpool Lane’ begins with some white noise before the slow Sabbath with no bottom end enters the fray …oh hang on we’re off on some hypnotic march. Nuts I tell thee but what’s wrong with that? Nothing that’s what. Check out Monsters they rock!
Soraia – ‘Dangerous’ (Wicked Cool Records) Philadelphia rock quartet Soraia will release their new album ‘Dig Your Roots’ on March 13 via Steven Van Zandt’s label Wicked Cool Records. American radio is blowing up over these cats and having been influenced by the likes of Joan Jett and the vines so it’s a no brainer they were going to feature on the pages of RPM. Being part of the Wicked Cool roster isn’t too shabby either. this track released off the album ‘Dig Your Roots’ is punchy and has a decent riff on that chorus as you can see Joan Jett has indeed been an influence and its good to hear that again this month! Facebook
The Ghost Wolves – Lets Go To Mars (Dirty Water Records) Austin Texas has thrown up plenty of noteworthy bands and Ghost Wolves are certainly one of the busiest. Blending rock n’ roll, punk rock, garage and blues with electronic elements, the duo has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in the modern rock n’ roll underground, touring internationally for almost 8 years straight, with nearly 1000 shows between them in 23+ countries including most of Western Europe, USA, U.K., and Japan. ‘Let’s Go To Mars’ is their latest offering on wax
Märvel – ‘Märvellous’ (The Sign Records) The EP contains four tracks of hard hitting Rock n Roll; ‘Amaze-O’, ‘Marvellous’, ‘Public School 75’ and ‘A Taste of Platinum’. Digital and 7″ vinyl.
Märvels debut EP “Märvellous” claimed to be recorded in 2002 for the American label New York Powerhitters during the bands exchange semester in Colorado. Märvel returned to Sweden before the songs were released, and the EP never got to reach the ears of Märvels dedicated fans. Well, Worry no more Märvel fans because the band has re-recorded the EP and it’s here. What does it sound like? Well, its got a flavour of classic Märvel of course but its got classic rock running through it from the Kiss like riffage on ‘Amaze-O’ and the pick of the four would go to ‘Märvellous’ again, more than a nod to what they learnt in Kisstory lessons at Rock school. So you know where this ones going kids its quality Rock! Marvel style. Now go get one before they’re all gone gone gone.