Wow,  Every now and then a record comes and absolutely knocks you off your feet from the first listen to the last refrain of the guitar on the last track of the album. Well, Jordan Jones did that to me from the first minute I dropped the needle and the acoustic guitar sounded the battle call for ‘I Wrote You A Song For Me’.

An absolutely blistering ray of sunshine of an album that just screams summertime and plonks a big fat smile across my chops as I drift away lost in the music.

 

Sure,  its nothing more than ten songs with varying tempos played with traditional instruments in a power-pop Rock and Roll style.  Its got swirling organs – acoustic guitars,  overdriven clanging electric guitars and a sweet vocal not a million miles from the late great Marc Bolans tone.  When you sprinkle in some magic dust and glamtastic harmonies – for me, you’re onto a sure-fire winner and this self-titled ray of Californian sunshine is quite simply fucking Brilliant!

‘My Somebody’ plugs straight into a slab of power pop Posies style but with a heart and soul belonging to Ronnie Lane and some of his Faces style of writing tunes that subtle yet awesome melody.  From the swirling organ to the instrumental breaks that lie behind the slightly distorted riffs – Damn this is good.

Without jumping ahead let’s not ignore the opener that grabbed my attention before the first bar had finished. ‘I Wrote You A Song For Me’ is some street fighting riffs on the old acoustic guitar. A melody so sharp you can hang your hat on it – followed by an almighty arrangement. You might think I’m getting a tad carried away here but this album really is twelve inches of sunshine and great songs.

‘Understood’ is carefree trash ‘n’ roll as it just throws its arms in the air and rocks out as a good power pop song should. Well, one that’s got a dash of The Boys-style punk rock pumping round its heart. ‘No Makeup’ deffo has a hint of The Faces about it as we tread down the familiar pattern of Girls – love – loss – heartache – breakups –  you know the kind of stuff Rock and Roll has always been about – nothing too heavy here.

I couldn’t pick a favourite that would be unkind to the other track but ‘Rumour Girl’ comes pretty close to the top.  Plenty of energy great harmonies and arrangement.  ‘Waiting’ is a slower more peaceful meander like a Teenage Fanclub song with a real 70s edge to the melody. If you don’t like ‘Be My Baby’ then I’d seriously check your pulse it’s like The Exploding Hearts never went away and a fantastic rocker with jangly guitars mixed in for good measure.

Just to back up my gushing praise of this record it seems to get stronger and stronger and unlike many album front-ending the best tunes this one is easing you in gently so your heart doesn’t skip a beat by the time you reach the simple yet so effective acoustic twelve-string pickings of ‘Do You Want To Hang Out’ with its super harmonica break – it’s as simple as that –  storytelling in the same vein as say a Kevin Jr or a Nikki Sudden its just plain and simple and comes across as effortless and hits the spot so so well. The album ends with the gentle ‘Oh My Heavenz’ yup a song with a glam rock Z on the end.  Jordan Jones has released one of the finest debut solo albums of the year.  This guy should be a superstar it comes across as effortless to Jordan but I’m sure it isn’t.  Don’t think about it just buy this record!

Buy Jordan Jones Here (USA)

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Every once in a while an album comes along that almost completely flies under your radar but the tunes on offer stop you in your tracks and kick you straight between the legs like some musical steel toe capped boot.

‘Black Door’ the all-new eleven tracker from Australian five-piece The Volcanics is just such a record. Boasting a Jim Diamond mix job this record cuts, like a fucking knife, the tunes are that sharp. The songwriting adding a fantastic pop twist to the already well-worn garage rock/punk rock formula that sees oh so many bands falling at the final hurdle when it comes to having that extra edge to make them stand apart.

Perhaps The Volcanics secret ingredient is the huge presence of vocalist Johnny Phatouros who shines throughout, and where some singers might just put their foot on the monitor and scream out belters like ‘Talk’  and the album’s title track, Johnny throws in off-kilter vocal hooks that at first seem at odds with the band’s throbbing backbeat, however once they sink in you cannot help but marvel at just how simple and effective his approach is. In many ways, he is like the band’s Pelle Almqvist or their Skye Vaughan-Jayne.

Talking of Skye for a moment the immediate buzz I got when listening to ‘Black Door’ for the first time was this could very easily have been the follow up to The Chelsea Smiles awesome ‘Thirty Six Hours Later’ album from 2006, and if you are familiar with that classic, you’ll know that we don’t make comparisons to that work of absolute punk rock genius that often here at RPM towers. So, if that’s sparked your interest then ‘Changes On My Mind’ is the tune I suggest you listen to first (via the Bandcamp link below) and trust me when I say “have a cold beer in hand when you press play” and “just let the music do the rest.”

With influences as wide-reaching as You Am I and AC/DC The Volcanics actually remind me more of Radio Birdman and Midnight Oil, albeit with (thanks to the aforementioned Diamond mix) a sound that manages to hammer home the intensity of the band whilst retaining the clarity of the melodies, the latter being the essential difference and why tracks like ‘2000 Years Ago’ and ‘You Don’t Even Know The Song’ work so bloody well.

To be honest I’m a little bit gutted that I’m only just discovering The Volcanics now. five albums into their career. Still better late than never eh, and when the first tracks I get to hear by them are as fucking fantastic as those on ‘Black Door’ then the real positive about this situation is I’ve now got four more Volcanics albums to look forward to catching up on.

Look I can’t recommend The Volcanics highly enough, they are chock full of positivity in an age of the negativity and I challenge you right here and now to go listen to ‘Black Door’ and not get the same buzz I did the first time of listening.

Album of the year material? You betcha.

Author: Johnny Hayward

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Following on from the awesome job Beggars did on the ‘Love’ anniversary it seemed about right for them to get stuck into The Cults ‘Sonic Temple’ when the band reached the top of the Hard Rock tree and played Wembley Arena which seems a lifetime ago now (it probably was).  The band enjoyed enormous success with the record and subsequent videos and singles off the album and it looks like once again BB has delivered the goods with these awesome Sets.

The Vinyl BOX SET contains three pieces of vinyl and a cassette plus tour memorabilia and ephemera (replica of original laminate, backstage pass, original press releases, label copy and more). It’s numbered and limited to 3000 pieces worldwide and contains 40 tracks, four of which are previously unreleased. LP1+2 contain the album as originally released. LP3 contains Live At Wembley recorded by the BBC, and the included cassette contains limited-release demos. Four of the live tracks are previously unreleased.

Whilst The FIVE-CD SET contains 53 tracks (including 6 previously unreleased) with the original album on disc 1, alternate edits, mixes, extended versions and acoustic versions on disc 2, limited-release demos on discs 3 & 4 and Live at Wembley recorded by the BBC on disc 5. Six of the live tracks are previously unreleased. It is beautifully packaged in book form with rare photographs and interviews with the band by esteemed journalist James Brown.

 

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to dovetail the releases the Cult return to the UK for a tour dates below

TOUR DATES
Oct 15 Nottingham, UK – Rock City
Oct 17 Birmingham, UK – Academy
Oct 18 Cardiff, Wales – Cardiff University
Oct 20 Leeds, UK – Academy
Oct 21 Aberdeen, Scotland – The Music Hall
Oct 22 Glasgow, Scotland – Academy
Oct 24 Manchester, UK – Apollo
Oct 27 London, UK – Hammersmith Apollo
Oct 28 Bristol, UK – Academy
Oct 29 Portsmouth, UK – Guildhall

Not many guitar players can get away with 3 names, it takes a special kind of player to pull it off. Like his hero Stevie Ray Vaughn before him, Kenny Wayne Shepherd proudly wears his three names across his catalogue of music.

Since bursting onto the scene in the mid-90s, Kenny Wayne has put out album after album of guitar-heavy, Texas-tinged blues rock. He wears his influences on his sleeve and that’s ok because he always puts a spin on things that is distinctly his own.

I’ve been a fan of Kenny for a long time and I’ve spent hours jamming along to his records and trying to capture that incredible Stratocaster tone he produces. His latest offering, The Traveler is no exception.

From the first listen of opening track Woman Like You, I’m hooked. Kenny always starts his albums with an up tempo rocker and this track stands strong to kick off proceedings. Sticking with the hard and driving feel, Long Time Running keeps my head bobbing. Vocalist Noah Hunt sounds on top form and Kenny’s guitar player is just excellent as always. I don’t think I’ve heard this guy play a bad note.

From listening to his back catalogue and seeing him live, I always feel his playing takes on another level in some of his more spacious and slower songs. The third track I Want You has a long guitar solo, but who cares? When someone is playing like that, it can go on for as long as they want it to. It’s full of soul, heart and fire.

Tailwind and Gravity follow up with a dip in tempo to a nice, chilled acoustic lead section of the album. It might feel like the band are taking a breather here, but these songs still kick some serious ass. The chorus of Tailwind was just written to be sung by a room full of music lovers. Gravity is just full of gorgeous melodies and a guitar solo that could make a grown man cry. How he coaxes those notes from a guitar no one will ever know.

I feel that this album offers a bit more head bobbing rockers than the last album from Kenny and co. We All Alright keeps us thundering along with it’s thumping drums and huge chorus.

Take It On Home is one for the lovers in the house. A tender ode to coming home to the place and person you love. Kenny spends a lot of the year on the road so you can certainly believe every word he sings on this track. And yes, I do keep saying it… but wow… what a guitar solo!

Mr. Soul might sound like a familiar riff. It’s very much a Stones influence. I mean, it’s from the right era. Originally written in 1967 by Neil Young for Buffalo Springfield, this riff has given listeners over the years many hours of ahem… Satisfaction.

Every album has got to have one song that makes the listener say “that’s about me!”. It’s that feeling of relating that keeps us coming back to our favourite tracks. Better With Time for me, is that track. It’s an ode to growing up, loving, losing and learning. Like a fine wine, life sometimes gets better with age as we grow older and wiser. Kenny and the band have captured that exact feeling.

The album closes with the Joe Walsh penned Turn To Stone, this has all the southern stomp you need to get on down. Infectious grooves fill the song before the wah-drenched lead guitar epic that kicks in before the second verse. This is only a short lead burst though; Kenny is saving his ammo for the big shootout in the middle of the song.  From 2 minutes and 10 seconds in, the vocals are out. We’re reminded firmly why we came here, to listen to some damn fine guitar playing. For the next 2 minutes, we belong to Kenny Wayne Shepherd as he takes us on a journey through loud and quiet, up and down, fast and slow before bringing the album to a crashing close.

The Traveler has taken me on a journey. Pack your bags, it’s your turn now.

Buy The Traveler Here

Author: Leigh Fuge

Expectations sometimes provide shocks to the system when things prove to be quite different that what you expected. The Poison Boys have released some previous singles/ EPs and material, which I have loved, and I went into this debut album expecting the album to be a more straight forward up tempo punk n roll album. While it is definitely a punk n roll album at its core, these 12 diverse songs make up an album that is diverse, deep, accessible, and a whole lot of fun. I have been following the Poison Boys for a few years now, and I could not be happier with what they have done here. I can imagine everyone from Chuck Berry to Johnny Thunders wanting a chance to come back and guest on this one.

The title track gets the party started and hits my original expectations as it comes on like a cross between the Humpers and Electric Frankenstein. The mix allows the guitar riffs by Matt Dudzik to pop out of the speakers and the bass (mostly Adam Sheets) and drums (mostly Matt Chaney) hit just as hard. ‘Slow Down’ starts with some brief piano notes before everyone else gets in on the action. The riff in the song feels pretty standard, but the song really connects perfectly. I actually thought about old artists like the Big Bopper here as well as someone like the J. Geils Band as this song compels the listener to smile and enjoy the moment. I can picture the glasses in the air as the crowd sings along to the main hook. Another stone cold rock n roll style classic follows in ‘Cut Right Out.’ If anyone out there remembers the likes of Junk Records, this one would have fit like a glove on their roster with those backing ‘wooohs’ settling nicely in the mix. The beat here carries a great groove, guaranteed to get the hips shaking.

Starting on track four with ‘Empty Heart,’ we start to see the band really expanding the songs. The thundering groove of this epic five minute plus song initially may feel a little long, but this one has proven to be a grower with Dudzik’s charismatic vocals being stretched and pulled on the journey. ‘Downtown’ returns to a fairly basic trash rock standard approach with a simple hook that hits the spot. It feels a bit like the Stones jamming with Hanoi Rocks, especially the way some of the guitar pops in the mix where it gets some extra space. I also love the false ending but perhaps I should not give that away. Wrapping up the first half of the album, ‘Up to the Sky’ opens with some acoustic guitar reminding me of Johnny Thunders before the song kicks in at a midtempo pace on this fellow five minute rocker. The acoustic guitar touches really give this album a wonderful depth. Dudzik’s vocals on the chorus really inspire a singalong, even if you are like me and can’t sing a note.

Flip the record over and the good times show no let up with first single/ video ‘Tear Me Apart’ getting it started at breakneck speed. The vocals really take a backseat here with the verses featuring fewer words, and the electrifying guitar riffs pushed to the surface. The hook in the chorus is sharp, but it is the guitar that has stayed with me the most on this one so far. The piano that is featured here and across other songs will hopefully be replicated in the live setting. ‘Desperado’ features some awesome saxophone and again reminds me of early Hanoi Rocks, right down to Dudzik’s vocals, the tasteful backing vocals, and the way the chorus is constructed. This has been one of my early favorites from the record.  Hopefully, the band will get an opportunity to make this a single at some point. Slowing the pace down a bit, ‘True Romance’ simmers along nicely with the groove getting under the skin. The backing ‘woooh’s’ are used again here to awesome effect. When the main chorus hits, it really opens up the whole song with the switch in the dynamics.

‘I Won’t Look Back’ turns the tempo back towards rocket speed with the guitar licks again deserving to be highlighted, but the song itself has been the slowest to connect with me. The band hit trash rock nirvana again with the rollicking ‘Say Goodbye’ reminding me again of the Humpers with the rhythm section nailing this one. Closing song ‘Been Here All Night’ truly feels like it had to be the closer on the album and ends the record on an incredible high. The song shimmies and shakes on the beat with the guitar riffs begging to be played by the listener. Something tells me the guys worked long and hard on this one but knew exactly where it needed to be on the album. It just feels like a celebration musically.

The Poison Boys showcase that there is plenty of magic left in rock n roll over the course of these 12 songs. There has clearly been a ton of heart, sweat, and love used to create this album as these songs drip with the genuine distilled spirits of everything that makes rock n roll amazing. Are the vocals always spotless? Do the instruments hit every note perfectly? Absolutely NOT! This is pure, primal rock n roll the way nature intended. A great summer for music became even better with this album.  Recommended? You should have it put it on order when you started reading my introduction.

‘Out of my Head’ is available Here

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

When I first saw this I must admit to being slightly skeptical off the back off the last studio album maybe they were heading into the quick cash in and bash out an acoustic album of classic Skids.  Well, happy to report I was wrong there.  Whilst it is indeed an acoustic Skids record it gives the impression of being well thought out and lovingly put together from the lush string synth or real strings it matters not because hearing a lush ‘Into the Valley’ is a beautiful thing.  they slow it right down to a funeral march tempo and throw in everything from the strings to the percussion and plentiful backing vocals ‘Into The Valley’ never sounded so good and Jobson’s voice sounds weathered and emotional.

Don’t stop there folks because over the next ten songs this record soars high and to be fair is a majestic thing from the hand claps and drums of ‘World On Fire’ this record is already ablaze and whilst the synths are cheating if you’re calling it an acoustic album but when you drop the needle and crack open that stone cold beer you’ll get the picture when you sink back into a comfy chair and let this wash over you.

Dipping into their last studio album ‘Burning Cities’ for ‘Kings Of the New World Order’ it’s always tough when you try to pitch new with old especially when the old are classics like ‘Into The Valley’ and the piano-driven ‘Saints Are Coming’ with a spectacular arrangement to be fair and again Jobson seems to have found his niche vocally.

‘Days In Europa’ is represented by a Crosby, Stills and Nash vibe on ‘Animation’. ‘Hurry On Boys’ from ‘The Absolute Game’ begins a little bit piraty for my liking and ‘Blood And Soil’ from ‘Joy’ is also reworked into something of an epic and sounds regal on its chorus. I think that’s it, every Skids album represented with ‘Joy’ also lending ‘Fields’ to proceedings.  We’ve also got a brand new track added to proceedings in the shape of ‘Kreuzberg 79but its the finale of ‘Desert Dust’ again from the last studio album that leaves you like a good friend leaving with a reassuring hand to the shoulder.  the Skids have turned in a fantastic record.  Sure Acoustic albums have seen their fifteen minutes when MTV was a thing but every now and again one comes along and hits you for six and this boundary is courtesy of The Skids.  Check it out that’s my advice although I’d have loved to have heard them take on ‘Yankee Dollar’ but I guess you can’t please everybody all the time and this will most certainly do. Good effort.

 

Buy Peaceful Times Here

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Author: Dom Daley

So another record of new(ish) music from Mike Peters and his new version of the Alarm hits the shops this week with a little help from a few of the people in his very impressive address book.  The album is connected to last years album that came out in two parts.  Confused you will be.  If you think you’ve heard some of these before then you’d be right as they’ve been around for a while and avid Alarm disciples will have heard a lot of these over the last few years.

Life isn’t as simple as a band writing enough songs for a record. They can write and record quickly and release music almost straight away through the many available platforms that now exist.  The MPO has always (since the original Alarm ceased to exist post Brixton) been ahead of the curve as far as independent cottage industries go. A personal touch that was different and exciting and it certainly helped keep in touch with the fan base, that hardcore that was always loyal to team Peters.  Today the MPO is a different beast altogether they’ve certainly grown and become a well-oiled machine and through sheer hard work have grown the Alarm name and managed to keep it relevant in an ever-changing industry.

Influenced by his well documented off-field tribulations Peters is a force of nature and his pursuit of making music is enduring and endearing – his passion for his art is second to none and has evolved as a writer, kept a few musicians close and having such talented players like Smiley and James Stevenson by his side Peters is still able to pen some really impressive Rock and Roll (although I do think the sound lack that punch that Craig Adams always brought to proceedings live and on record).

I’m glad Peters still writes new material but have to admit to not always being keen on his latter work I do own every single release he’s ever put out so I always find it difficult to write a review for an Alarm record, a band I’ve seen in many guises (well into triple numbers over the years). Call me a fanboy (I’m not bothered but can a guy in his 50s be a fanboy?) I can also admit when I find some of his lyric wordy and a bit cliched whilst at other times I find his lyrics uplifting and beautiful –  warm and sincere. At the end of the day he’s human and it would be a little odd if I liked everything he ever wrote and he got it right every time.

Well, ‘Sigma’ kicks off in fine fashion with ‘Blood Red Viral Black’ which features fellow coloursound comrade Billy Duffy (of the Cult parish) The song is a good opener and certainly benefits from Duffy’s fretwork  (I wish he’d write more song in this vein) I loved Coloursound and it worked really well.

Always dogged by the poundshop U2 tag something that really used to bug me, but, as I’ve got older there are certainly elements of Peters songwriting where their paths do cross. maybe ‘Brighter Than The Sun’ would be one such tune. ‘Time’ is classic modern Alarm and uses the familiar bass line that he got a lot of success with on songs like ‘Rain In The SummerTime’.  ‘Psalms’ begins with a simple ‘Stand By Me’ guitar strum on the acoustic and builds gently.

‘Equals’ has a guest spot from original Alarm member Dave Sharp that will please some. Then ‘Love and Understanding’ which sound familiar like ‘Strength’ for the Jet Age.  Is self-plagiarism a thing?  I do like ‘Prisoners’ and first impressions are it’s a little different.

As far as love songs go ‘Heroine’ is Peters hitting paydirt with some of his better lyrics and the way the song builds is excellent and its a song I’ve always liked. It sounds sincere and is one of the records shining lights.

Before the album signs off with ‘Two Rivers’, ‘Armageddon In The Morning’ is a bit of a throwback to Peters and his Poets days its a seven-minute journey that builds well and the acoustic and harmonica works really well with smileys rhythm. Again Peters touches on moments throughout his history (intentional or not but you can deffo sing ‘Blaze Of Glory’ over parts) and this one works really well and makes for a great song as it passes quickly.

‘Two Rivers’ is stripped back to piano-driven reprise, fans who’ve seen the band live will be familiar with this set closer but not in this form an excellent way to sign off ‘Sigma’.

I’m not sure how many new fans will buy into ‘Sigma’ and being so familiar with a lot of the songs I find it hard to call as a whole new new record (if you know what I mean) I guess ‘Sigma’ is the final part of a several year journey for The Peters family and something they found themselves working through.

I still believe and still wish all the best for The Alarm and would love them to grab some headlines for their music and work their way into a larger audiences heart, they still have the talent and that unwavering belief in what they do and I fully support that they’re not some nostalgia trip – they’re not one of those has been bands who can’t let go.  They make new music and by and large deliver time after time after time.  Doing things their way against the odds in the face of adversity that would have sunk most mortals.

Buy ‘Sigma’ and start a voyage of discovery and don’t be put off by the size of the back catalogue because there is so much on offer that is right up there with the best of em.  Go the Alarm

Buy Sigma Here

Author: Dom Daley

I’ll put my cards on the table here and admit that when I heard there was a new Subs album coming out I got excited then when I heard it was more covers I wasn’t too bothered. Subversions was a pretty decent effort and there were some great takes on there but, when I saw the tracklist for this I think I was half way through reading and I found I was reading through my fingers and gasping at some of the suggestions.  However, I have a varied taste and it would be boring if they happened to take on songs you would, or could, associate with the band. So I waited for my copy to arrive and would make my mind up yay or Nay after I’d heard the interpretations.

OK here goes, nothing ventured nothing gained I guess. First up is ‘Diversion’ and a jolly uptempo ditty it is too they give it a right good seeing to so I guess I can sit back and relax – for the time being.  Once again Pat Collier has done a sterling job on capturing the band and pulling out a fantastic live feel where everything is crystal clear and super vibrant.   I guess ‘White Light White Heat’ isn’t too much of a stretch and then that riff chimes in as they take on Led Zepplin and ‘Immigrants Song’ and if for hearing Alvin’s bass playing alone this is a resounding success.  Now I obviously know who Led Zepplin are and I have heard them many times before but I can’t say I’ve heard them covered by a punk rock band and sounding so good.  I often joke that Zepplin had a great drummer and a few tidy riffs I might be joking I might not but quite why they get so many column inches is baffling to me but this is one of their better tunes and this version is very well delivered and has exceptional qualities.

Joe Jacksons snappy ‘One More Time’ is afforded similar respect as the Subs do justice with a decent interpretation but it’s not as much of a stretch from the original. Vanilla Fudge ‘Season Of The Witch’ is up next and again kudos to Charlie’s vocals as the band really turn up a few stones to find songs to cover and take ownership of.  Put this one down as one I didn’t see coming but quite enjoyed, in fact, its the ones I was having the sweats over are turning out to be the ones I’m most impressed with.

OK so Alvin toured with Iggy and not the stooges so one of the more predictable covers and an absolute stone-cold classic and one you just knew they would slay and could never fuck up – obviously they don’t disappoint and knock it right out of the park.

Side two kicks off in style with a thunderous take on ‘This Is Rock And Roll’ originally from The Kids closely followed by a suitably sloppy ‘My Generation’ that gives the rhythm section of the Subs a chance to stretch their legs with some awesome solo breaks.  Take a bow Alvin and Jamie – sensational work. I bet nobody saw the Subs tip the hat to Tom Petty and the other Heartbreakers on ‘You Wreck Me’ and what a ball this one is.  As a band the Subs show just how versatile they can be and taking on a song like this and take ownership of the track is a real testament to just how good these boys are.

As we head into the home straight there are three big uns starting with the Neil Young anthem that is ‘Rockin In The Free World’ and rolling it round in the dirt and giving it some right yob treatment on the chorus is a joy to hear.  We know what the Subs are good at and this is them purring like an illite sports car – sure its easy to cover a song like this but you still have to do the right job on it and Straughan owns the solo by leaving it understated rather than running riot over it.  and the Riff is meaty which is nice. Great song great cover.  Now the song I feared most but to be fair the rest of the album is so bloody good I’m not bothered how ‘We Will Rock You Sounds’ but once the band stretch their legs and rock the shit out of it I’m chuffed to report that Charlie might not be Freddie he gives it a right seeing to. what was I worried about  The subs fuckin’ smash it so by the time ‘The Last Time’ chimes in I knew they’d do the Stones justice so finishing on a real high.  I can safely say that when anyone askes what does the Subs sound like doing Queen I can say without any irony or piss taking they do it very well and treat a cover with respect and a challenge check it out.  All thats left to say is I hope it’s not the Last time and there are more more more to come.  Long live the UK Subs. Buy it!

Buy subversions 2 Here

Author: Dom Daley

Pat Todd And The Rank Outsiders don’t make bad records.  Might as well get that out there from the start. So, ‘Past Came Calling’ is no exception then and I spose before I’d dropped the needle I knew this but that’s not going to make much sense to anyone as far as a review goes – I knew it was going to be choc-o-bloc with top tunes that followed the time honoured tradition of Rock and Rollers.  Dan Baird, Jason and the Scorchers, Dr. Feelgood and Rockpile to namedrop a few fellow participants in the fine art of Rock and Roll. Pat and his Rank outsiders do like to kick up a shitstorm that’s a given but there is more to them than just Rockin’ out.

From the opening drum roll of ‘If Only I Could  Fly Backwards In Time’ right through its rollicking verses and chorus to the cool as guitar lick that takes us back to the verse this is a quality opener that shows real intent.  Recorded loud to be played loud as all good time Rock and Roll should be at its unkempt best.  ‘The Ballad Of Crystal Valladares’ ain’t no Ballad though folks its a bad assed Rocker, built around a rolling guitar lick and some country-tinged melody played, it’s like the soundtrack to a getaway drive by.  There’s no flash sound tricks or auto-tune going on here it’s just the sound of a kick-ass band cutting it up in a sweaty studio knowing that with every song they capture a little bit more magic than the last take.

The recording sounds like Mellencamp when he turned up the Les Paul Jr on ‘Whenever We Wanted’.  With songs like ‘Run’ which sounds like they’ve been here before such is the comfortable nature of Todd’s songwriting, it’s classic in its arrangement and one of the best songs on the record.

Todd’s cowpunk roots come to the fore on ‘Down In Old Boerne’ with its acoustic guitar and honkin’ mouth organ. ‘The Ring The Bottle And The Gun’ is pure cowpunk as we position the hay bails as we pour the moonshine ready for the yea – haws!

With fourteen songs on offer and never a let up in the quality on offer its a no brainer if you’re considering picking up a copy of this record its impossible to be disappointed you go from the gob iron of ‘Had A Bad Night’ to the smooth laid back rhythm and blues of ‘any Other Way’ straight into the acoustic jam of ‘Idle Time’ whatever style Todd chooses to write in it’s of the highest order Now if The Supersuckers wrote an album this strong – people would be salivating over it.

‘Just Between You and Me’ is the sign off in the style of Ronnie Wood doing Dylan and it just dawned on me I’ve not mentioned How good Todd’s vocals are throughout -Oh I just have.  Pick it up –  do yourself a favour and whack up the volume you can thank me later.  ‘The Past Came Calling’ is very much in the moment but I wouldn’t sit on it just go pick it up.

Buy ‘The Past Came Calling’ Here