Thursday – WE R BACK.

Three years on from the last Rebellion Festival and we are finally back at our spiritual home, and there’s a few things that have changed. The Winter Gardens has opened a new Conference Centre main entrance, and the old backstage area where we’ve done so many great interviews with bands over the years is no more, so sadly bang goes any chance of doing any of those for you this weekend folks…. sorry! Then of course there’s the new outdoor stage going by the name of R Fest that you can attend on its own if you so wish, at £50 a day, or its free to those with Rebellion weekend wristbands and then finally there’s this sense of freedom in the Blackpool air, something that I certainly haven’t felt in quite some time.

What hasn’t changed though is the fact that Rebellion is still the number one punk and alternative festival here in the UK, returning with another knockout bill (that a few cancellations aside) has the RPM team arriving a day earlier than we have done previously, just so we can ensure we don’t miss any of the bands playing early on the first day of the festival. It wasn’t that long ago that I remember Thursday being the kind of “warm up” day for the event, now it’s the surrounding pubs and clubs that provide that, and we find ourselves crammed into an uber sweaty Tache watching Suzi Moon, when really we should have been getting an early night preparing for the weekend ahead, but fuck it, we really are back, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

THURSDAY

Arriving early doors at the Winter Gardens to catch Janus Stark opening the Empress Stage line up, the first thing that hits me is the size of the queue outside the conference centre waiting for the wristband exchange. We’d followed the festival’s advice online and got ours the night before, so we sailed through, but I can understand some of the anger vented within Facebook groups if you did get caught up in this and missed a band you wanted to see. As it is Gizz Butt and the Stark guys get to play to a smaller crowd than they might have given these circumstances but this doesn’t bother the quartet one iota as they deliver an outstanding performance that proves once again that every little thing does in fact count.

“Alright you English cunts, I bet you wish you’d been stuck in queues too rather than watch us,” is certainly a risky opening gambit from Pizzatramp frontman Jimbob Theodore Logan, but having risen from playing a slot at the festival’s Introducing stage just a few years back to now playing the flagship Empress Ballroom, he’s a man on a mission, and if he can make you laugh, or indeed cry (more of that in a moment) then what the hell? Jimbob’s other half Tia is in the line-up today on bass and backing vocals and that female voice does add a new dynamic to call response element of some of the band’s back catalogue, but then when you have songs as insanely catchy as ‘CCTV’ and ‘Ciggy Butt Brain’ within that canon of work how can the Chepstow pizza crew possibly go wrong? There’s even a touching moment when Jimbob calls his son mid-set just for the crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to him, something that sees the frontman getting “sweat in his eyes” before the obligatory ‘Bono’s A Cunt’ closes a resoundingly successful set for the trio. You know, when people say you have to be “in the know” to get on the Rebellion bill, I always say “well Pizzatramp did it and they are fucking clueless.” There’s really no come back from that one is there….

I first saw Suzi Moon take to the Rebellion stage twelve years ago, playing one of the two stages they then had over in the Olympia, when she was a member of the Hellcat signed Civet. I have to admit I wasn’t that enamoured with the set I’d witnessed at the Tache the night before, largely due to a muddy sound, but Suzi seemed to love it, and for her set in the Pavilion this afternoon, it’s the almost absolute opposite. Here right from opener ‘Special Place In Hell’ the sound out front is stunning, thus ensuring that tracks like the strutting ‘Sonic Attraction’, the glamtastic ‘I’m Not A Man’ and the sultry set closer ‘Animal’ rip through flesh to get their hooks in you. It’s up on stage where Suzi is having guitar problems, that she doesn’t seem quite as in her special place as she did just twelve short hours earlier, and smashing the offending article into the Pavilion stage, you can feel the frustration she must have had boiling up inside. Rest assured though Suzi (If you are reading this) this was a great performance, and pretty much everyone around me seemed to think so too. I mean a bit of mid-set tension never hurt Texas T at Rebellion now did it?

Heading back to the Empress for some Wonk Unit, it’s now a decade since I first witnessed Alex Wonk live (that being at Slugfest 5 back in my hometown of Abertillery) and boy how things have moved on since those early(ish) part spoken word/part grunge/part punk rock days of the band. Only the main man and bassist Pwoison remain from that gig, but once again within this performance today the spirit of vaudeville is still there for everyone to delight in. I’ve often referred to Alex as the “Ian Dury of his generation” and here in the same hall that so many tortured geniuses have played over the years he seems in his element, conducting his glorious-sounding band through the likes of ’Pathetic Merry Go Round of Existence/Heroin’, ‘Day Job Wanker’ and a furious sounding ‘Nan Is Old’. It takes a pitch-perfect ‘Awful Jeans’ to get the sprung dancefloor bouncing for the first time this weekend, and just as ‘Go Easy’ tears out the PA we have our first band clash of the weekend, as we hop, skip, and jump over to Club Casbah in time for the arrival of Dirt Box Disco.

It’s also a decade since I first witnessed the mighty Dirt Box Disco deliver their slamdunk debut at Rebellion, and today they return to the Olympia, now retitled Club Casbah, playing perhaps their finest set since that jaw dropping debut. Some might argue that this is because the set list draws heavily from the ‘Tragic Roundabout’ EP and ‘Legends’ album, but when you have a song as strong as ‘Burning’ that can immediately get the whole of the packed-out Casbah singing as one, you just need to make sure you don’t lose the audience, and then when you can follow that anthem with the likes of ‘Peepshow’ ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Out With You’ and ‘My Girlfriend’s Best Friend’s Sister’ you really are ‘Unstoppable’ and even when Spunk calls his band “rock ‘n’ roll dinosaurs” towards the end of their set, I’m sure he means it in a “Jurassic Park” Alan Partridge kind of way. “Back Of The Net!!!”

After a quick pitstop for some food (we do have to eat too you know) we move back to the Empress for Anti-Flag, or as they like to pronounce it An-tie-Flag, and I have to admit that I’ve never been a huge fan, thinking them to be a band consisting of more style than substance. Tonight, however even an old cynic like me can’t help but get caught up in the moment and singalong with the likes of ‘You’ve Gotta Die for the Government’ and ‘Fuck Police Brutality’ and whilst these tunes might now be over 26 years old they still sound as relevant today, maybe even more so. I do find it odd that in amongst their strongly politically driven setlist that they still have time to do a ‘Stars on 45’ kind of run through some cover tunes like ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’, ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘If the Kids Are United’, but the Empress faithful lap it up and send Anti-Flag off into the night like all conquering heroes. Me, I’m properly distracted by what’s about to follow.

Drawing the largest crowd of the day so far, it’s LA hardcore punk legends Circle Jerks who are up next in the Empress. Originally confirmed for the 2020 Rebellion Festival for what would have been the 40th-anniversary celebration of the band’s seminal debut record ‘Group Sex’, tonight, two years on it’s also the 40th-anniversary celebration of the band’s second album ‘Wild In The Streets’. Guiding us through tonight’s 32 (there may have been more) song battering of the senses that the band like to call a set list there’s the ever-convivial Keith Morris to relay the background story behind each of the blocks of songs the band, made up of bassist Zander Schloss, guitarist Greg Hetson along with guest drummer (the man who makes it all possible according to Morris) the monster that is Joey Castillo, deliver like men a third of their age. From ‘Deny Everything’ through to ‘When the Shit Hits the Fan’ via ‘Red Tape’ there’s even a point towards the end of their set where Castillo has to ask Morris to keep talking just so he can get his breath back, and if you remember that his day job is currently laying down the backbeat for The Bronx then that is surely some feat indeed. With the crowd thinning a little towards the end I do wonder how much of this is down to the relentlessly intense nature of the Circle Jerks set or if it’s just another one of the weekend’s many stage clashes, and as I’d actually forgone a long overdue chance to watch Hawkwind down on the R Fest stage for this Circle Jerks reunion set I for one was certainly glad I made this choice here tonight, as this was something I really would have hated to have missed.

Another potential stage clash was taken out of my hands literally a few days before Rebellion started when Bad Religion were forced to cancel all of their remaining European dates, including their headline slot in the Empress Ballroom, due to a family emergency back in the US. With The Skids stepping in to save the day and me having never been a fan of the band I instead headed over to Club Casbah to catch The Boys once again ploughing through a 19-song set that covered most of the hits from their back catalogue as well as a few deeper cuts to keep the diehards on their Cuban heeled toes. Singer/bassist Kent Norberg may lovingly refer to Boy’s songwriting machine of Matt Dangerfield and Casino Steel as the “Lennon And McCartney of punk rock” but through squinted eyes, Dangerfield would certainly pass more for Keith Richards these days, and not just in his looks either. There’s also the clang of his tight yet loose guitar proving to be the perfect counterpoint to Honest John Plain’s stand in Chips Kiesbye and with Steel closing down the set keyboard-less for ‘Sick On You’ he was giving us perhaps a rare glimpse of his inner Mick Jagger, albeit a slightly reluctant one. Oh, and here’s a footnote to the organisers of Rebellion too regarding this performance, because as The Boys have for some time featured two members of the fantastic Swedish punk rock band Sator. How about asking them over to play as well especially given they’ve just scored a number 1 album back home with their ‘Return Of The Barbie Q Killers’ record?

With just a couple of bands left on my must-see list it’s during the changeover between The Boys and The Bar Stool Preachers that I rechristen my RPM travelling compadres for the weekend, the Goldfish Brothers as everything I seem to tell them they immediately seem to forget. It’s no wind-up either, and never mind how many times I tell them I want to watch Bad Nerves at the ungodly hour of 1 am over in the Arena they instantly forget and ask me “who?” and “where?” time and again. In the end I have to put it down to the cider visors they have both been wearing for most of the day and the fact that one of them left home at 4 am this morning to get here, so instead I just settle in to watch the return of the mighty BSP as their career takes yet another stellar upwards turn.

Having recently announced that they have signed with Pure Noise Records on a two-album deal Brighton’s favourite ska-punk sons can seemingly do no wrong at the moment. Granted, a couple of band members do resemble extras from Nick Love’s The Business as they take to the Rebellion stage with a drum and bass intro tape booming out over the PA, but as soon as ‘Choose My Friends’ kicks in there’s no disputing this is the sound (and look) of The Bar Stool Preachers at the very top of their game. There’s also a smattering of new tunes given a spin around the Club Casbah block tonight and if this is the sound of what is to come then this is probably the last time we’ll be seeing TJ and the lads playing small venues here in the UK. This new stuff is essential listening, and I can’t wait to hear what the third album will sound like when it does finally get released.   There’s only one downer tonight and that’s the fact that the band’s signature tune ‘Bar Stool Preacher’ doesn’t get to be played as the lads are on a strict curfew, but that tiny set list blip aside, this is the sound of the future of punk rock, bold, ballsy and most of all, absolutely brilliant. Look out for them across Europe and UK as the support for The Interrupters tour, things are about to go major league for these guys, you just mark my words.

So with that performance still ringing in my ears, it’s at this point I give up on ever getting the Goldfish Brothers to ever hang around to watch Bad Nerves, but as the weekend progresses I actually find myself not regretting missing them quite as much as I was fearing, but more of that to come.

Adios for now I’m off to bed for some much-needed shut eye. “Woking turn that fucking phone off!” Ha!

Author: Johnny Hayward

NEW SINGLE LAUNCH SHOW LONDON WATER RATS MAY 20TH

It’s shaping up to be another busy year for New Zealand born, London based rockers Desperate Measures. Following their mini album ‘Rinsed’ on Easy Action Records and a full UK tour with Paul Cook’s post-Pistols rockers The Professionals at the end of last year, Desperate Measures have started recording their debut full length album, due early 2023. Working once again 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 in Wallington, Surrey, Desperate Measures have completed work on a new single titled ‘Thinking Of England’ that lyrically captures the yearning to escape from a place or a situation you might not want to be.

The single will be released in time for the Queens Jubilee on June 3rd. Desperate Measures will play a single launch show at London’s Water Rats Theatre on May 20th to coincide. Says Eugene Butcher, “we’ll be showcasing a few songs from our forthcoming album, plus the new single which has just happened to coincide with the Queens Jubilee. And we’ve got The Duel and Seven Days and Doesn’t Die along for the ride so expect a right Royal knees up!”

Tickets for Water Rats May 20th available HERE:

See Desperate Measures in 2022!

April 30                 Angel Weekender, Coalville

May 13                 London Powerhaus (*with Nashville Pussy)

May 14                 Westworld Weekender, Wolverhampton

May 20                 London, Water Rats

June 3                   Strummercamp Fest, Oldham

July 1                     229 Club, London (*with UltraBomb)

July 8                     Bedford Esquires (* with The Rose Of Avalanche)

July 9                     Manchester, Night People (* with The Rose Of Avalanche)

July 22                   Hope & Anchor, London (* with Sick On A Bus)

August 4              Blackpool, Rebellion Festival

August 20            Unity Festival, Corby

September 3      Banfest Festival, Banstead

Find Desperate Measures online at:

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BANDCAMP

Wonk Unit. what can you say about The Wonk that hasn’t already been said? Is Alex a punk rock genius or just plain mentalist? Always thinking outside the box and creating a sound that is thoroughly unique and inventive yet so very punk rock in fact Wonk are the embodiment of what is punk rock in the 21st century. One thing for sure regardless of who plays in the band the songs are always original and on point and fanbloodytastic.

‘Uncle Daddy’ Who knows what the fuck it’s all about I suspect Alex isn’t always sure. Contains twenty, yup twenty songs. From the opener ‘Green Eyed Monster’ to the closing ‘Summer Time’ oozes class and often the work of a songwriting genius.

After a rapid opener in the shape of the effervescent ‘Green Eyed Monster’ There’s a slightly creepy intro from Peter minus his test-tube babies and we’re off again with ‘Strength’ with its synth keyboard feeding the song its melodic line that gives it life as the song skittles along nicely. ‘Skin To Skin’ is smooth like butter as it gallops along to Alex’s direct vocal style. The song soars to its conclusion before ‘Stop’ adds a stomp with its tribal rhythm and distorted vocals it’s a menacing maneuver as the song moves forward with purpose but the beauty of Wonk is the songs don’t last two minutes and often leave you wanting more.

Where Wonk excell is songs like ‘Traditional Punk Song’ with some superb lyrics that really resonate as he takes aim at Patel and tory voters, in general, his conscience is clear as is mine I might add.

‘Raise My Glass’ is like the best Chumbawumba song with a big melody put to a familiar soundscape that just works. An album that comfortably fits on one side of a C90 with room to spare and what amounts to double albums worth of material that never drops below excellent wonk Unit do it again from raging punk rock that is simply uncompromising like ‘My Blood’, ‘Jamie’ and ‘Profiteroles’ to the downright headfuckers of the albums closer ‘Summertime’ with its bonkers lyrics and where they outdo anything the likes of Shaun Ryder could ever come up with at his finest Black Grape of Happy Mondays moments. You also have the 80s theme tune of ‘I’m Ok’ and the quirky ‘Bloodstains’ and the Wonk staples of ‘Cyclist song’ and ‘Disco Fever’ that fuck with the punks who want straight down the line punk rock. Wonk Unit is the embodiment of being a free spirit in a time when bands are vying to fit in and a place where we shoehorn bands into our safe genres, wonk aren’t like that they are a square peg in a round hole and that’s where they work best. Twenty songs is a hefty piece of work for anyone but for Wonk it’s just about perfect. Don’t fuck about get this ordered and in your collection pronto – it’s a real beauty.

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

IDLES have shared a new animated video for album highlight “Kill Them With Kindness”. The video, which was directed and designed by James Carbutt and animated by Pip Williamson, is taken from the band’s critically-acclaimed UK number one album “Ultra Mono“, which was released in September via Partisan Records.

Here’s another beaut from the brand new awesome live Wildhearts album get into some ‘Urge’

Finally, we have Kilfeather with a track off the excellent album ‘Island Of Lost Toys’

Ok so it isn’t Christmas In A Crackhouse but it’s the new old school wonk we love round here.  Get an ear full of some classic Wonk Unit.  Oof!

The DeRellas – ‘Inner City Rock ‘N’ Roll’ (Rockaway Records) produced at Perry Vale Studios by the legendary Pat Collier.  Set in a world of isolation, this is a frantic underworld of Trash as The DeRellas set their time machine for the Bowery and a table booked next to the Dolls and Bowie.  Its brash and the most in your face dirty punk n Roll the band has ever sounded and its a gas gas gas!  Timmy and Luca dish up an appetizing dish of Inner City Rock ‘N’ Roll its a dash of glamour in a seedy dark nighttime world thats just been set on fire and this is the soundtrack blairing across the city.  The new album ‘Something’s Got To Give’ will be out at the end of 2020. so until then this will be Available on download at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc.,

 

 

Stevie R. Pearce & The Hooligans – ‘Rip It Out’ (Self Release) Rip it out for Rock and Roll! Stevie R Pearce & The Hooligans are in the house kids and they’re locked and loaded with a truck full of huuuge Riffs as this lead track set to be released later this month testify being locked up has fueled the fire of a beast of a band who are ready to Rock. Big stomping Riff with a super steady rhythm pounding away as Stevie swings from hushed vocal verses to the soaring chorus.  Rock is not dead and a global pandemic can’t stop this juggernaut.  Get ready kids its a coming!  Pissed off and ready to let you ‘ave it!

 

 

 

Volcanova – ‘Sushi Sam’ (The Sign) Volcanova released an interesting and amusing music video for the single “Sushi Sam”, the first taste of their upcoming album “Radical Waves” out August 21st.  Facebook

R.M.F.C. – ‘Reader’ (Anti Fade Records) R.M.F.C. (or Rock Music Fan Club) is the brainchild of 18-year-old Buz Clatworthy, who writes, performs and records all of the group’s output himself in his bedroom in South-east NSW.
The project began in late 2018 after showing a friend a demo, in which they encouraged a proper release.  A hypnotic rhythm rattles along, an extremely listenable tune that has a great raw guitar hanging in tune by a thread but as the Buzzcocks type tune also hums with a sweet keyboard.  Not an instant hit to be fair but worth investing in for sure.

Buy The single Here

 

 

 

Nico Bones – ‘Cheatin Heart’ (Dead Beat Records/ Wanda Records).  We occasionally miss a great release and for that, we can only beg your forgiveness.  Originally released late 2019 this Cali based bunch of punks showed up on our radar when Dead Beat picked it up and put it out in this month’s releases. Nico Bones plays a  blend of American Rock ‘n Roll influenced by the sleazy original punks like the Heartbreakers, Dead Boys, and the New York Dolls.  The first song sounds like an upbeat Ramones outtake circa 1976…  rambunctious and rockin’.  They follow it up with 3 more cheatin love songs with snotty vocals, supercharged leads, and catchy melodies that sit somewhere between Johnny Thunders, Stiv Bators, Sonny Vincent, and Jeff Dahl.  Facebook / Bandcamp

 

The Hip Priests – ‘ZFG 2020’ (Shitpark Records)  Nothing new going on you say? well, you might be half right but this is the 2020s latest line up of The Hip Priests taking to task one of their finest songs, ‘Zero Fucks Given’. What was already an absolute banger of a tune one of their finest I don’t mind admitting.  Is it possible to love a track more? possibly. This sounds huge and I mean colossal huge but not production huge. It always had that Stooges groove but I’m sure if Iggy were to hear this he’d doff his cap and prob ask if he could cover it on his next album and bow out on top. In recognition of what was built on the Stooges foundations this raw pissed off anthem is still a fuckin’ beast. On the flipside is ‘Social Hand Grenade’ taken from the bands last album ‘Stand For Nothing’ and it seems and sounds more apt with every passing day. One of the albums standout tracks (on an outstanding album it has to be said)  With a limited number of these available you have to be quick to jump on this one as the gang of believers grows with every passing day. One day they will blow up and explode on the wider public. Shit Islands finest are back in the groove. Facebook

 

Mäsh – I Don’t Want You’ (Wanda RecordsFacebook / Bandcamp Alright let’s go! a sloppy twelve-bar Quolian riff gets proceedings off to a flier and by the second verse they’re running through the Chuck Berry guitar lick 101 handbook and we’re down with that all the way.  The song fizzes like a good un and is catchy as hell.  Love the breakdown all it needed was more handclaps and possibly some cowbell and it might have become the blueprint for all future punk rock n roll sleazy singles but we also understand you don’t want to shoot your wad early doors and keeping something in reserve is cool. The B Side ‘Whisper’ is like a really good Diamond Dogs tune I’m sure Sulo would be down with these cats as they shake their shit on another top tune.  Rock and Roll can’t always be serious or dark sometimes its fun and living in the moment and Mäsh have got it going on and even double denim is cool as fuck just like this singe is.!

 

PizzaTramp / Incision – ‘Split’ (Self Release) Imagine being bludgeoned to death by a blunt weapon but quite enjoying it as long as it doesn’t hurt too much and doesn’t last more than 3 minutes.  That what this Split is like.  Repeatedly smashed on the head by a few guitars and a bass drum pedal and some throat-clearing its not painful though and it’s quick but like I say its enjoyable.  Two songs each and Pizzatramp win by virtue of being Welsh and their two songs last a progtastic four minutes but fair play to Incision ‘Jennifer Anniston’ is fuckin’ brutal.   Buy Here

 

 

 

Wonk Unit – ‘Summer Time/You’re Sick’   (Plasterer Records) Laugh I nearly went to Ethiopia.  Fair play to Alex and the gang this is a fuckin hoot. One of if not the most surreal and barmy summers ever now has a soundtrack.  Maybe inspired by the likes of Blue doing ‘Girls and Boys’.  Part dance euro-pop trash but obviously with a huge dollop of Wonkiness.  “Sexy boys sexy girls touch yourself” had me holing I have to be fair. but once it’s in yer noggin’ it’s not leaving any day soon. To cleanse the palate for many is the classic slice of Wonk with ‘You’re Sick’ bringing up the rear.  With a steady beat and familiar caustic guitar riff-a-ram Wonk Unit knock it out of the park as they say in ‘merica   Buy Here

 

Godfathers – ‘I’m Not Your Slave’ (Self Release)    The Godfathers’ brand new, double A-side – ‘I’m Not Your Slave’ & ‘Wild And Free’ Available in limited edition, clear red vinyl single & also limited edition 4 track CD that features the 2 songs, plus demo versions of both songs unavailable in any other format!!  pre-order NOW only from Here This release is for the 35th anniversary of the band’s existence. From the iconic debut to this, there has always been a recognisable sound with crisp, driving guitars and a tight rhythm section and its pleasing to say ‘I’m Not Your Slave’ has all the hallmarks of a classic Godfathers tune. The other side is a steady anthem in the shape of ‘Wild & Free’ following a healthy linage of rockers with attitude from the gang vocals in the chorus to Coyne’s spoken vocals its got groove but I tip my hat to the guitar soloing that’s on display here.  Interesting times as the next chapter of The Godfathers unfolds.

 

The Mercy Kills – ‘Alone’ (Golden Robot Records) Melbourne’s THE MERCY KILLS release their newly remastered single ‘Alone’.   The track is taken from their debut album ‘Happy To Kill You’  and has been remastered and re-released as a single for those reaching out digitally in COVID-19 isolation. The message is simple, “You can’t make it alone!” Mixing up the influences of the likes of L7 from the Grunge heyday along with something more rock such as Faster Pussycat with attitude born from the likes of The Ramones. Facebook

 

The Dust Coda – ‘Early Days – Raw & Unplugged’ (Self Release) In this almost surreal pandemic world, the band decided to brush the dust off some old recordings and release a collection of four acoustic tracks, which will give fans an intimate listening experience. This EP further unveils The Dust Coda calm soothing acoustic works. Each song as gentle as the previous with an almost Southern rock warmth akin to the lighter workings of The Black Crowes sound and style. Throughout the EP mellow guitar riffs combined with the gritty vocals are the key elements setting the scene for an intense acoustic journey. Electricity was used to power a guitar but not a lot.  Chill out in the sun and socially distance kids this retro southern rock will do the job. Facebook

 

Larkin Poe – ‘Back Down South’ (  ) Featuring guest appearance from fellow Nashville musician Tyler Bryant this is another slice of Southern Roots-Rock with some really strong vocals all round and with subtle swirling Hammond thrown into the mix it’s not just about the cotton-picking guitar licking as it approaches the crossroads from the fuzzy slide, these sisters have got it going on with a tune thats got an air of extreme confidence it never breaks out remaining laid back right to the bitter end.  Taken from the forthcoming album ‘Self Made Man’ this will only add to the expectations of the long player.

 

 

 

Onslaught – ‘Religioussuicide’ (AFM Records)  U.K. Thrashers present their new single ‘Religiousuicide’,  The song is taken from the upcoming album ‘Generation Antichrist’, which will be released in August.  ‘Religiousuicide’ marks the debut of new vocalist Dave Garnett who recently replaced long term frontman Sy Keeler. They’re not reinventing the wheel here kids its Thrash Metal as we know it and its exercised to perfection from the rumbling gutwrenching bass to the pneumatic drumming Dave Garnett settles in nicely as the guitars buzz around the speakers towards the dueling solo.  thrashtastic and you know it dives bombs rapid tapping, frantic double bass its all here present and correct and it also has the gang vocals – job done.

 

 

Dead Horse – ‘Night’  The first cut from Londoners Dead Horse EP released next month.  Dead Horse formed in 2019 when former Love Buzzard frontman Kevin Lennon (bass/vox) returned to London from Brighton, meeting up with long time bandmates (Rumour Mill/Kids From K Hole) Duncan Clark (drums) and Josh Kemp (guitar) via a mutual interest in garage rock/punk, old and new.  Facebook

Aerial Salad started as a dream, that turned into a nightmare, that thankfully worked out a dream. Conceived by frontman and guitarist Jamie Munro after he’d attended the legendary punk event The FEST in Gainesville, Florida in 2016, the young Manchester Uni student was so inspired and impressed by what he’d witnessed at the festival, he had to start a band. He HAD to play that festival.

 

“It was a very important time in my young age,” remembers Jamie. “I was like, ‘fuck me, all these people, all these bands are small punk bands, but they’re playing here and they’re all on tour, this is fucking sick this!’ Fuck uni, I hate uni, I’ll start a band. We’ll play The FEST.”

 

And while for many, those dreams would have remained a fantasy as the daily grind of real life tightened its grip, choking out those young teenage dreams, Jamie Munro did form a band with two best friends (Mike Wimbleton – bass/vocals, Matty Mills – drums) and he did play The FEST, but as is so often in life, things did not go as planned.

 

In the run-up to what is now billed in their minds as ‘The Worst Festival Set Of All Time’, the fledgling Aerial Salad recorded a couple of scrappy digital EPs, played a small handful of gigs and through sheer bluster and confidence, somehow blagged themselves onto The FEST. However, bad luck, over-indulgence, technical difficulties and unfamiliar equipment led to a catastrophic performance that made sure the band were never invited back. “The set was so bad that as soon as it finished, I had to run out of the  venue, hide around the corner and cry,” shudders Jamie.

 

Returning home with dreams momentarily shattered, the rag-tag bunch of teenagers may not have found acclaim, but they did find purpose, regrouped and forged ahead. Luck was on their side when they met former Flying Medallions frontman and Wonk Unit leader Alex Johnson who, so taken with the bands spirit and vibe, offered to mentor, manage and help put out Aerial Salad’s debut album – 2017’s ‘Roach’ – on his label Plasterer. He became ‘Daddy Wonk’ to the band and finally finding their stride in ‘Roach’, a sound and boldness started to emerge that  quickly turned heads in the UK punk scene. An album of soaring punk songs, with melody and brash, rough edges that made it fizzle with excitement. The germ of greatness was sown in ‘Roach’. Wonk Unit took them on a three-week tour (“effectively a four year training course on how to actually be a band,”) and Aerial Salad were one step closer to being ready to deliver what the world is about to hear in new album ‘Dirt Mall’.

Armed with a headful of new songs, under the guidance of Daddy Wonk and the production of UK recording legend Paul Tipler (“because he’d recorded ‘Mush’ by Leatherface, which we love,”), Aerial Salad have delivered nine songs of anthemic, driving punk rock that roars with disgust, yet equally joy, at the world around them. Released this coming March 27th  via the bands own Roach Industries, and once again with the help of Plasterer, ‘Dirt Mall’ is the sound of the once rag-tag teenagers finding their sound, feet and minds, frustrated by day jobs, brexshit and the world swirling around them.

 

“It captures everything I’ve seen working as a temp in offices and generally being in my twenties trying to work myself and the world out. With some pop songs thrown in for fun,” admits Jamie, and it is all of that and more. Bristling with energy and passion, each and every song means something. From the charging title track (“people should not have to try and survive life,”), the bass and drum groove and explosive chorus of ‘Such A Pity’ (“about being young and a fucking arsehole,”), the cathartic strut of ‘Stressed’ (“the Tories are basically trying to kill us, that’s the cut and dry,”) and first single ‘Romance?’ (“a song about wanting romance with someone who is otherwise romantically engaged,”), ‘Dirt Mall’ is an album by three best mates, experiencing this life together, and taking it on.

 

Aerial Salad is starting its most exciting chapter.

It’s time for my first gig of the “roaring twenties”, but tonight is sadly also the last one to be put on by Drew and the Cardiff Punk Rock Bowling team as they are seemingly disbanding after tonight’s event. From my experience, it’s always a mixture of joy and pain (well it is the next morning) when you see Wonk Unit live so they as returning headliners for this PRB Awards night feels like the perfect choice to see out this vibrant and close-knit community of Kingpins.

 

Kicking things off tonight at a time when most people are seemingly still enjoying their first (much cheaper) pint in one of the nearby watering holes are Chepstow’s Bottlekids. It’s six months since I last saw the trio live downstairs in this very same venue and inbetween they’ve released a debut self-titled EP to widespread critical acclaim, and here with the benefit of Ifor Bach’s main room sound system the likes of ’25 Days’ sound like stadium filling anthems for the next generation. With a string of German tour dates already ahead of them these are busy times for Bottlekids make sure you check them out.

If Bottlekids see the stadium punk of Green Day as their musical peers then Manchester’s Aerial Salad must look up to DJ Rubble from Paw Patrol. They look so young I can’t help but wonder if they are actually legally supposed in the venue at all. Don’t let their child like appearance fool you though, as once these boys get into their stride, they’ll rip your throat out.  I should perhaps admit that the last time our paths crossed I really didn’t “get” all the fuss that was being generated around the band at the time, and they just kind of felt like a harder pop/punk version of Arctic Monkeys to me. A year and a half on though and tonight I have to say Aerial Salad are nothing short of phenomenal, and I can now see the trio’s immediate appeal plastered across the smiling faces all around me. It’s kind of reassuring to know that the future of punk rock is very much safe in the hands of Jamie, Matt and Mike. Fantastic stuff!

It only feels like a few weeks ago that I was last penning a live review of Wonk Unit for RPM Online, and that’s because it was. Yet as the Wonk faithful know all too well you’ll never get tired of seeing the greatest band ever to come out of Croydon simply because there’s never two Wonk gigs alike, and with the insanity (and nudity) of their valleys shows of old missing from proceedings tonight it really is time for the music to do the talking. So, with added Véronique on keyboards coupled with the aforementioned Clwb Ifor rig I’m pleased to report that Wonk Unit really have never sounded more amazing than they do tonight in the 20 plus times I must have now seen them live.

 

As always Daddy Wonk’s ability to mix deep cuts with “the hits” is always a delight to behold as the Unit are kept well and truly on their toes with the likes of ‘Girlfriend Is A Lunatic’ (from the band’s debut ‘Flying The Japanese Flag’) and ‘Judus Betrayers’ (from the far more recent ‘Terror’) thrown into the set seemingly on a whim, but it is their upmost credit that they never once fail to rise to the challenge.

Likewise it’s great to hear curveballs like ‘Old Trains’ and ‘We Are The England’ sandwiched in alongside the ferocious ‘Depressed?’ and the pogo-tastic ‘Go Easy’ plus there’s the chaos of returning set closer ‘Johnny Rambo’, and I’ll say it again the eclectic influences at the very core of Wonk Unit is what makes them such an essential live band.

 

Clwb Ifor was packed out tonight just 24 hours after Subhumans had done just the same, remind me who was it that said punk rock was dead?

 

Well tonight it’s never been more alive, exciting, or essential… FACT!

Author: Johnny Hayward

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To kick off the year why not follow our recommendations on streaming services.  All the bands are either heading out on tour early 2020, released albums late 2019 or got records ready to drop which we’ve been lucky enough to hear and by lending a helping hand we’re offering you the chance to hear what we’re hearing on our players at RPM Towers.  Go fill yer boots guys n gals and let em know who sent you.

 

Recorded at their Wonkfest 2017 and released on CD & DVD its those mad bastards Wonk Unit at their beautiful best – live and unedited in front of a packed and enthusiastic home crowd.  Alex leads the masses on a crazed juggernaut of Punk Rock.

 

Wonk Unit you either give yourself over to the mind of Alex Wonk and hop on board for the ride or you are left outside scratching your head as to why all these people are wearing big fuck off grins and if you happen across a live show you’ll wonder why everyone is drenched in sweat.  Watch this video and it will become apparent or listen to the CD its fifteen full force Wonk machines of punk rock excellence you might wonder why its taken quite so long for Alex to get this out there but I’m sure Alex has also asked that question of himself but in fairness he’s been a busy boy.  They do get better and better that much is true but he’s had a baby – toured non stop – released more records. so the world kept turning but it seems it slowed down enough to get this finished. The video is a well shot (sometimes unstable) live show but it’s Wonk Unit of course the camera thats in the pit is going to be ever so slightly unstable. You will however get a good idea how bloody good these cats are at playing live music.  Anyone whose ever been to the Dome in Tufnel Park Norf Londun will know what a great room it is to see a band you get all the hits (cough cough) from the Wonk back catalogue you’ll be treated to ‘Lewisham’, ‘Go Easy’ and ‘Donkey Of The Damned’ but I did notice a flaw then as the DVD goes from ‘Je M’Apepelle Alex’  to the monster that is ‘Kings Road Sporting Heroes’ but thats fine.

Alex admitted to sitting on this for twelve months and it might not have come out at all after he wasn’t fussed about a live album but once he sat down to play the mixes he was blown away how good the desk recordings were (warts and all) so it came to pass thats why it was delayed but hearing the finished thing you’ll be glad it has seen the light of day.  The DVD has added wonkyness of commentaries as well as the bands promo videos all thrown in for VFM.

You have to love the brass and Cello on ‘Old Trains’ then to follow it up with the craziness of ‘Awful Jeans’ Tremendous stuff indeed.  If you are new to the Wonk family then treat this as something of a best of Wonk live and a good place to start then you can go pick up the jewson lot your life will be so much more enhanced when you give in.

 

Wonk Unit are a splendid example of punk rock in the 21st century and in Alex they have a genius songwriter who thinks outside the box in fact I don’t think he’s ever looked inside the box let alone be there.  Giddy up kids spend those Chrismas vouchers on something good for a change and ‘Live In Chapan’ is a jolly decent gift so go on treat yourself

Buy Live In Chapan Here