Buy Beat Motel at www.beatmotel.co.uk
A Network of Friends #3
£2 for 100 FootPrinted A5 Pages
Frankly astounding megazine, it’s a split zine between (ready for this?) Agitate, Attitude Problem, Born Caught, DOMD, Gadgie, Headwound, InitOnIt, Ripping Thrash, Toilet Paper Bible and Why. This is a great way to sample some of the best zines this country has to offer. I was particularly pleased to finally read a copy of InitOnIt which I’ve been after for years! Astounding, just amazing, get it while you can.
Steve, P O BOX 152, BURTON-ON-TRENT, STAFFS, DE14 1XX
A Short Fanzine About Rocking #17, #18, #19
£1 for about 76 printed A5 pages
Bloody well written and very full punk rock zine from Manc reliably put out four times a year. I’m struggling with this review a bit, sometimes when something is good there’s no other explaination needed, no fancy words or rambling sentances, this is just good so buy it! Actually, I love the way the reviewers all have clearly very different tastes. You can read a glowing review of one band only to have the same band utterly slated by someone else slightly further down the page! We do that too!
Nick, Flat 18, Tall Trees, 8 Mersey Road, Manchester, M20 2PE
Anarchoi #17, #18 & #19
£1 for around 40 copied A4 pages
I was going to start this review by calling Anarchoi unstoppable, but then I can’t possibly imagine why anyone would want to stop it! Great street punk/ oi coverage with more felt tip pen than a primary school art class!
James, 3 Hazel Grove, Kilwinning, Ayrshire, KA13 7JH
Artcore #21 #22 #23
£2 for about 45 glossy printed A4 pages
Just a great zine, well written, utterly opinionated (that’s a good thing in zines, something that seems forgotten by some!). Articles are approached from unique viewpoint and are without fail fascinating. This zine is worth buying for the artwork alone, zinester Welly has thousands of smart flyers and posters he can seemingly summon to zinedom at will. If you get hold of a copy then issue #23 is well worth tracking down as it comes with an LP! A proper zine, and something to aspire to, love it.
Welly, 1 Aberdulais Road, Gabalfa, Cardiff, CF14 2PH
Applecore #10.5 & #11
50p for 40 A6 pages
Actually issue #10.5 appears to be free and is only 8 pages long. Applecore is a sort of diary of the thoughts and opinons of one person. It’s fairly standard ‘perzien’ fayre, but that’s no bad thing. Unlike most personal zines you can’t really tell where this one will take you from one page to the next, which is something of a refreshing change!
PO BOX 2647, Rugby, Warickshire, CV21 3XQ
£2 for 53 printed A4 pages
One of the most hardcore activism zines I’ve seen since Reason to Believe. The anti Christianity article is one of the most openly blasphemous things I have ever read in my entire life. Celebrate zines like this for daring to fight.
Front Cover, Box F, 67 Tannaghmore Road, ballynahinch, BT24 8NU
Bald Cactus #24
50p for 28 A5 footprinted Pages
It’s been far too long since the last issue of Bald Cactus, but I guess this kind of quality needs to mature like a fine whiskey. This issue appears to have more of zinester Andy’s personal thoughts in it that previous issues, which is a good thing as he comes across in prose like a mate you’d slam your pint on the bar with and verhemently agree with! There’s a chat with scene hero Andy Higgins (my god, has any other man worked so fucking hard for his town?) and bloody nice blokes The Restarts. The back page confused the hell out of me, I even checked Google to see if Thatcher had karked it! Check out Andy’s distro at www.baldcactusdistro.co.uk he’s got some smart shit you won’t find anywhere else, he’s even got copies of Beat Motel issue #2, I don’t even have any of those!
145-149 CARDIGAN ROAD, LEEDS, WEST YORKSHIRE, LS6 1LJ
Bald Cactus #25
50p for 28 A5 footprinted Pages
Wa-hoo! Always a pleasure to find a copy of this zine on my door mat, well unless one of the cats has recently disgraced themselves there, but that’s another tale for another time! Tons of spot on rants and more of the great stuff mentioned in the review, so I’ll shut my yap.
145-149 CARDIGAN ROAD, LEEDS, WEST YORKSHIRE, LS6 1LJ
Barbie’s Dead #21
50p for 20 Photocopied A4 Pages
The prolific output of this zine stands as an example of a standard that all us zinesters should reach for. Whilst in the past zinester Alex appears to have skimped a bit on content, goading other zinesters into joshing that he was pushing zines out (in order to make sure that steady flow of Captain Oi releases continue) but this issue brings things right back on track. Full of knowledgeable, enthusiastic and detailed writings and reviews of football as well as music, this zine appears to have reached some sort of maturity with this 21st issue. Long may Barbies Dead continue!
Alex,THE WOODHOUSE, GUNNISLAKE, CORNWALL, PL18 9BW
Black Lesbian President
£? for 48 FootPrinted A5 pages
I’m amazed I’ve never heard of this zine before, it’s really acomplished! It’s head is in the right place, it’s passion is clearly on it’s sleeve and I love the way the interviews with bands feature short articles and images based on the band’s name! Just some really great stuff here.
Alex, 14 Spring Gardens Terrace, Cardiff, CF24 1QX
Best Zine Ever #4
$? for 32 A5 Printed Pages
Nah, that title isn’t a huge brag, this zine is a collection of reviews and musings about what the editors consider to be the best zines of, oh, 2005! Wow, am I ever behind with my zine reviews! However, zines have a sort of timeless quality so in my opinion most of the reviews in here are still valid as you can probably still get the zines mentioned!
PO BOX 12409, Portland, OR 97212, USA
Bubblegum Slut #26
£1.50 for 72 A5 printed pages
Zinester Alison continues to cram an amazing amount of content into her fur covered zine. This issue covers Towers of London, SuperSuckers, Angie Bowie and just a whole shit load more!
Alison B, 27 Stores Lane, Tiptree, Essex, CO7 0LH
60p for 22 copied pages
I never fail to be impressed when someone can put out a zine monthly. Much like Noisy and Issue this is a locally focussed zine. Based roughly on the Blackburn scene this details not only the bands but also has venue guide, gig listings and tons of other useful stuff. If every scene had it’s own zine like Burnout then this world would be a far more colourful place! Keep up the good work Kerry!
Kerry, 37 Kirby Road, Blackburn, BB2 4HW
50p for 5 copied A4 pages
Well what can be said about this zine that I haven’t said before? Actually copying the very first poem in this issue should give you a fair idea;
We fiddled with our swollen beans
and piddled in our creamy jeans.
It’s worth getting this zine purely for the fact that zinester Caroline still practices the ancient art of writing proper accompanying letters!
45 Richard Avenue, Wivenhoe, Colchester, Essex, CO7 9JQ
Chronicles of a Cheating Heart #3
Nowt for an A3 bit of copied paper folded into 12 pages with a bit of crayon on the front.
Very brief wee zine with some nice zine releated bits and bobs, I’d say this is a zine for zinesters, like a little paper mouthful of zinedom with tons of character. I get the feeling this wee zine only forms a part of this zinesters total creative output.
Kitty Chronic, PO Box 48461, London, SE15 2XY
£1 for 40 FootPrinted Pages
If you’re new to either Beat Motel or Debunk it’s worth me pointing out that both zines started at the same time, both are poo and whiskey obsessed (that’s not a cocktail by the way) and both are column heavy zines. We’re kinda like the ugly sisters of the zine world! This fine issue has a chat with Gallows (pre IATDE buyout!), The King Blues (pre major label buyout) so we should all keep an eye out for who zinester Mafro chats with next and where they go! There’s a very rambling column about my school days snuggly nestled in amoungst tons of opinionated rants and the second part of a chat with Mafro’s christian mate, who quite frankly I’m amazed hasn’t cottoned on yet, maybe he doesn’t read gloriously crude zines like Debunk! Great stuff, and I’m only a little biased!
Mafro, 9 Wyvern Close, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2WY
Devlolution ##11 & #12
£2.50 for around 44 glossy pages
Increasingly turning into a goth fashion mag Devolution has really developed their theme and is running with it. There are right foxy lasses in here too, they had Rikki Flag wondering if he was in the right music scene!
Nickie, 137A Brasenose Road, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 7BP
Diamond in the Rough #6
$2 for 38 Printed A5 Pages
Personal zines are kind of ‘my thing’. I mean, I like music ones too, obviously, but it’s a lot easier to connect with zines about peoples’ lives and all that than zines about American punk bands that play a few underground shows in DC a year. The only problem with this one is that it’s so personal, that it kinds of feels like I can’t form any opinion of it. I’m not a big fan of any of the art or poetry in it (well, they’re more like doodles and journal entries), but what really annoys me is all the moaning about the mass-media. It kind of makes me want to shout “NO ONE IS MAKING YOU EVEN OWN A TV. SHUT UP!” Probably not the most mature of reactions, but there you go. Otherwise, I guess this is pretty good. The Diamond in the Dark zines are mainly about the author’s lead up and recovery from gastric bypass surgery, which probably give you an idea to the rest of the content. It’s not fun to read, but it’s interesting, and if you can look past the whining about television and stuff then it’s probably worth a look.
Donkey Head #1 & #2
£1.50 for 24 printed A5 pages
Lovingly drawn grapic novellette about a chap with a donkey head. Considering he has a donkey head it’s not all that surreal! I’ve got to admit the story line left me a little cold, but it’s worth buying this just for the great artwork.
Earth Zine, Running Zine #5
60p for 14 printed A5 pages
I am so chuffed this arrived in time to make it into this issue of Beat Motel, but also very saddened as this is probably the last every issue of Earth Zine, Running Zine! Consisting mainly of brilliantly simple cartoon strips, with a few interjections (how to survive a dog attack!) and some enviromental info this zine ticks all my boxes and I’ll sadly miss it.
Joe B, Earth Zine, Running Zine, c/o ABC, PO Box 74, Brighton, BN1 4ZQ
El Diablo #1
£1 for 36 A5 Printed Pages
Bloody strong first issue for this new Phychobilly centred zine. Bands featured include Devilish Presley, The Termites, Zombina & The Skeletones and The Pricillas, well okay it’s not ALL Psychobilly in ‘ere! The writing style is solid and detailed without getting too geeky or trainspottery (sp?). The chat with the folk at Stummerville is reason enough for any music fan to grab a copy of this zine. A good start and I’m looking forward to seeing next issue.
Wow, 27 Gibson Street, Bonnyton, Kilmarnock, KA1 2RQ
El Diablo #2
£1 for 36 A5 Printed Pages
Cor Mainy doesn’t hang about does he! Issue 2 proves once and for all that this chap really does know what he’s on about. He must have some sweet contacts (or a shit load of persistence) get such great bands to chat with him. This issue includes The Rezillos, Gogol Bordello, Goldblade, The Epoxies and tons more. I reckon you ought to subscribe to this zine, go on
Mainy, 27 Gibson Street, Bonnyton, Kilmarnock, KA1 2RQ
Empty Playground #5
£2 for 45 colour glossy A5 Pages
One of the fastest developing zines I’ve ever witnessed. From it’s surprisingly recently beginnings Empty Playground already presents itself as if it’s been round the zine block a few time and really knows the score. I’ve got to say it’s the same with most metallic zines, maybe they have a bigger audience than us punks? This issue comes with a free 16 track cd featuring some interesting stuff like Misery Signals, who are also interviewed betwixt the shiny pages.
Ben, 84 Pole Barn lane, Frinton-on-sea, Essex, Co13 9NH
£1 for 36 footprinted A5 pages
Damnit, I just realised this was sent to me months ago (the accompanying letter mentioned Beat Motel #4!) and I somehow managed to lose it until now! Escapades is the kind of zine that’s right up my back passage. It manages to do something that all great zines manage to, it makes you feel like you know the zinester and gives you the desire to sit with said zinester in a pub all night talking shite. I’d say the humour in the articles, photos and even the layout is pretty akin to Beat Motel (albeit a LOT more intelligent), of course I’m not saying I’ve been ripped off, I’m just really pleased I’m not the only person that thinks in a certain way in zineland! Well I’ve know that for a while, ah fuck it, just buy and you’ll see what I mean! I can’t wait to get the next issue, I wanna stock this in my distro too! I’m going to have to, this copy is going to be staying next to my shitter for a good long while!
24 Exeter Road, Selly Oak,
Birmingham, B29 6EU
£1 for 44 printed A5 pages
Another interview heavy zine that is pretty consistant with the quality of thier writing and the bands they chat to. This issue covers Sonic Boom 6, Billy No Mates, Dragster and more. The fact that Everlong doesn’t print standard zine fayre like rants and columns makes it very to the point, so if it’s only the music you’re interested in then you’ll love this zine!
Dave, 7 Nicholas Lane, St George, Bristol, B55 8TY
Fast n Loud #7
£1.50 for 30 A4 printed pages
Consistent ‘proper punk’ zine that is part of a growing number of zines to opt for a colour cover, but why? As usual there’s a great big on the UK Subs and some very honest but informative reviews. I look forward to having more space in Beat Motel so I can use more words to wax lyrical about great punk zines like Fast N Loud that bedrock of the zine scene.
Jon, 88 Overbrook Road, Hardwicke, Gloucester, GL2 4RZ
Fear and Loathing #62
£2 for 36 copied A4 pages
62 issues, imagine that! Andy returns with another crammed issue including The Monks, The Cravats and that band that is seemling everywhere, GoldBlade. I find it astonishing that a zine can run for so long, but here’s proof you can do it without getting stale!
17 Medway Avenue, Witham, Essex, CM8 1TF
Flat Four Zine #7
10p for an A4 copied sheet of paper folded a bunch of times.
I’ve got a lot of affection for itty bitty zines like this and Gash, it shows just how easy it is to put out a zine. The content of Flat Four Zine is sort of newsy as they also have a pretty popular tinternet radio station. I love the wee bit about the DIY market economy crash, it made me really grin!
Gash #1 & #2
50p for folded A4 copied sheet
What is the boy on? It can be a little hard tell where zinester Tom is coming from with this zinette. There are brief mentions of bands but the bulk (although that’s not an entirely appropriate word to use on a one sheet zine) is taken up with totally bizarre fake news reports about stuff like the Pope getting into scraps. I’ve got to admit though, this is pretty funny stuff!
Go Gibbon Go #1
£1 for 12 copied A5 pages
Surprisingly expensive scene zine from Newbury with a few gig reviews and opinions, there’s really not much here but as they are planning to put something out every two months maybe they are pacing themselves?
The Gulper #3
£? For 32 A5 Copied Pages
I’ve always fancied going to San Francisco and zines like this make me really want to make the trip. This is a personal zine detailing a few bike rides and evenings out in the great city, as well as some great looking recipies. The writing style is friendly and informal and each issue of The Gulper is a little like sitting down and catching up with an old friend.
Shoshanna Choen, PO BOX 6294, Portland, OR 97210, USA
£1 for 36 FootPrinted A4 pages
The skull obsessed pritt stick fueled protopunkzine is back! Er, not that ever went away, in fact it’s been pretty busy as you can tell by reading this issue.
145-149 Cardigan Road, Leeds, LS6 1LJ
Hey Surburbia #4
FREE! For 48 A5 Copied Pages
Another zine I picked up at that big fancy Symposium in that nice London squat. I’m bloody glad I did too! This zine appears to be a team effort with each of the main players stamping a slab of individuality in their own way. There are some funny stories, interesting columns including one reminiscing about how great the local skate ramp was till one of their mates burnt it down! The interviews shit out personality apart from one with a Magician who sounds like he was continuously glancing at his watch while the answers were being fired at him, rude bastard! There are also some impressive ’how to’ guides that are a must read for any young punk on a shoe-string. There is so much in this that is appealing, I really rate it! I’m trying to track this lot down as I can’t find a contact anywhere in this zine!
£2 for 44 colour printed pages
A sort of experiment carried out by the folk behind Flat Four Zine. They sent out 100 blank postcards to 100 zinesters and other folk to fill in and send back. The idea was brilliant in it’s simplicity, and one of those things I wish I had thought of first! Each one of the postcards that made it’s way back has been printed in full colour in this great zine. The variety of responses is staggering. Whilst some people saw this project as an opportunity to write an advert for themselves other people have gone to all the trouble of painting something! There are also some gloriously surreal entries, like the ‘Love from Scarborough’ postcard with mountains, guns and cowboys was a particular favourite of mine. Mafro Debunk’s postcard appears to have been written by his five year old self! As mad as it sounds this zine isn’t in the least pretentious, it’s something very special.
€3.00 for 52 glossy A4 pages
Highly thought of by everyone I know that has read it, Riot 77 has the smartest questions in interviews, the most to say in reviews and is an all round top read. It’s a shame I don’t have any space to wax lyrical about it to any greater extent, so you’ll have to find out for yourself how readable this is!
It could do with a few zine reviews.
Cian, 31 St Patricks Park, Clondakin, Dublin 22, Ireland
Riot On Your Own #16
FREE for 24 A5 copied pages
Regular as a bran fan is Billy Riot with this zine, and the standard is pretty damned consistent too. This is issue branches out with some quiz stuff but snaps back in line with the smart live reviews. The highlight of this issue has to be the report on the ‘Wedgie Wars’. Ah bullucks, I just noticed this is an old issues that Billy sent me, well you should get in touch with him and get a copy anyway!
Billy Riot, 5 GLEN ROAD, BELFAST, BT5 7JH
Riot On Your Own #23
FREE for 28 A5 copied pages
Ah, back on track now! Riot on Your Own is a cracking photocopied zine from Northern Ireland, and unlike some other NI zines doesn’t dwell on the nasty stuff that used to go on, zinester just focuses on the fantastic sounding punk scene going on in Belfast. The flavour of local music appears for the most part to be 70s punk, and by the looks of the many photos in this zine they all have a fucking great time at gigs! There’s more fit lasses crammed into this issue than normal, but the centerfold spread is reserved for Running Riot, with yer singer fella looking like he’s just spotted someone gobbing in his pint from his vantage point on stage. In the reviews it’s interesting to see Billy though that ISAWS cd was as shite as I thought it was. There’s tons of reasons you should read this slice of NI life, and it’s free for fucks sake!
Billy Riot, 5 GLEN ROAD, BELFAST, BT5 7JH
Robots and Electronic Brains #17
£1 for 40 printed A5 pages
Review heavy zine with one of the strongest graphical identities going, which after all is a large part of what zines should be about! Reviews are all well considered and littered with retro adverts. Each issue follows a different theme. Now you can buy your very own enamel robot badge, great stuff!
Jimmy Possession, c/o r+eb, 133 Green End Road, Cambridge, CB4 1RW
Runnin’ Feart #13
£2 for 68 A5 printed pages
If Runnin’ Feart was a drummer they would always be in time, always carry their own gear and would probably make good suggestions about song structure. This is a zine that has kinda widened it’s musical scope recently, including Against Me and Dwarves interviews (sorta) in this issue. The reviews are interesting, compelling and above all brief (love the Fall Out Boy review that compares them to McFly). Buy this zine but make sure you have some E11 to put on the pressure sores you’ll have from sitting on the shitter reading for too long! Also wanna add that I prefer the layout this issue compared to the last one, it’s got a ton more personality to it, and at least this time the colours on the front cover won’t make you puke if you’re hungover!
12 Crusader Crescent, Stewarton, Ayrshire, KA3 3BL
Mass Movement #20
£2 for 92 colour glossy A4 pages
Blimey Charlie, I turn my back for a minute and zines start exploding into fully fledged magazines! Mind you, if there was ever a magazine that would benefit from moving to a larger format it was Mass Movement, when it was printed in a similar way to Beat Motel it had so many pages it came in two instalments! Whilst this now looks and feels like a magazine zinester Tim has kept it very much a zine with odd little foibles like having no page numbers! The content is still top notch as well, with columns from such notables as George Tabb (hurrah), the fucking hilarious Bitty, always cool as shit Marv Gadgie and the marvellous Al Quint. Bands covered in great depth include Gorilla Biscuits, Motorhead, Sick of It All, Comeback Kid and more. Tim will hate me for saying it, but Mass Movement is to the UK what Maximum Rock N Roll is to the USA, so there! The only let down with Mass Movement is the total lack of zine reviews, I think each zine carrying reviews of other zines is essential to our survival!
Tim, PO BOX 193, Bridgend, CF31 9BN
massmovementmag.com (it’s all new and cool!)
Negative Reaction #5
£1 for 24 A4 Printed Pages
Still charging through the blithering hoardes of PC humourless wankers on his trusty stead of profanity and truth zinester Trev probably hates bollocks new-art wank descriptions like that. You should buy his zine though, it’s spot on.
Trev, 20 New Front Street, T/Lea, Stanley, Co.Duhram, DH9 9LY
The New Scheme #14
Nowt for 48 printed A4 pages
Kinda like a hybrid between Fracture and Last Hours this nicely laid out US Punk orientated zine seems to have something important to say, I just can’t quite put my finger on what that is yet. Featuring The Lawrence Arms, Black and White, White Noise Ensemble, a ton of cd reviews, but sadly no zine reviews. ‘Kin great cover art though!
PO BOX 7542, Boulder, CO 80306-7542, USA
The New Wave of Cut and Paste #2
£1 for 30 badly stapled A5 pages
Bollocks, here’s another idea I was going to do but now can’t! Simple concept really, it’s a punk zine made up entirely of clipart, which makes the interviews interesting. Hark at The Steal being interviewed in the personas of what apepars to be Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. If this wasn’t written with such attitude the joke would wear off pretty quickly, here’s hoping zinester Toby carries on!
Flat 5, 3 Buckingham Road, Brighton, BN1 3RA
Next Stop Nowhere #1
£? for 56 printed A5 pages
Newbie from Fracture (zine) survivor Dave Monk and this short break away from zineworld has done nothing to dampen his remarkable enthusiasm for all things punk, and for exposing the cunts of this world. The article on Scientology sheds some new light on a subject that I’m constantly amazed isn’t worthy of worldwide revulsion. If a break from regular output is what’s needed to publish a zine as up front as this I suggest a bunch of other zinesters that are hellbent on regular output sit back and watch clouds for a while. This is a keeper. I’m thinking of copying his review policy as well, makes total sense!
Ox Fanzine #68
€4.50 for 140 glossy A4 pages
It’s getting at bit embaressing to always mention that I can’t speak German when reviewing OX, but as always I’m going to say that not being able to read the words in this zine detracts from the excellent content less than you would think! There’s always a nice cd free with each issue as well, so that’s cool. I’m going to pass this on to one of the growing number of German punks we have in Ipswich and ask them to write a review in German, ha, that’l confuse me!
Satan’s Fishtank #22
£2.99 for 100 colour glossy A4 pages
Whilst I really can’t stand almost all of the metal kerrap type bands featured in this zine I love reading it because it’s done just so fucking well! The reviews all have a rating system, have information on which tastes it might appeal to and just loads more of really well thought out content tidbits. It’s like this could be a template for a whole new generation of very pro zines.
17 Eyton Close, Winyates West, Redditch, Worcs, B98 0JY
Slug and Lettuce #86
FREE for 20 A3 Newsprint pages
Issue 86, that’s just stunning quite frankly! Christine takes the coolest live shots, goes to the coolest shows and gets involved in the coolest movements. Slug and Lettuce is a fucking institution, you’ll probably recognise some of the columnists from other big American zines and you’ll definately recognise a bunch of the adverts. I’m agog that this newspaper/ zine is free. Hunt it down, I can’t recomend this highly enough.
PO BOX 26632, Richmond, VA 23261-6632, USA
£? for 22 A5 copied pages
I had to think about if calling this zine photocopied as it doesn’t really do the thick card and lovingly made cover that comes with this issue justice. I could be wrong but I think each issue of Shadowplay has a totally different look about it, which is interesting. This issue has a fairly traditional cut and paste feel to it, with page backgrounds from other publications, which makes the page numbers pretty confusing, by page 5 I thought I’d accidentally missed 17 pages! The content is largely per-zine stuff but with a nice slice of humour, including a bit on chav hugging and something that is becoming pretty common in zines these days, a rubbish agony aunt! The people that put out this zine clearly have an interest in graffiti and there’s a nice centre spread show casing some urban art (sic). Good stuff, I don’t imagine they make many of these so get in touch fast!
Alex Lawson, 91 Harcourt Road, Sheffield, S10 1DH
Snailwell Gazette #3
£1 for 40 cute printed pages
Snailwell Gazette is like having a close family friend write you a letter from the other side of the world. The twist here is that this zine is written by an American family living in the UK, and they use the zine to pass information to their friends and family back home. Reading this zine doesn’t give you the feeling that you’re snooping at all, more like you are a part of this facinating family.
Suck Till I Sag #3
50p for 26 A5 copied pages
I’ve been after a copy of this for ages, and now I’m not sure if I might have nicked this one off Rikki Flag by accident, otherwise it’s an amazing coincidence that I finally got a copy and it’s got a Red Flag 77 interview in it! The flag interview contains the best question ever, “so your bassist is called Fanny, it is cos he’s a cunt?” Suck Till I Sag isn’t as shocking as I expected, but I guess these days you’d have work pretty hard to be shocking. This is a class zine though, full of no bollocks writing, hilarious interviews and the occasional nork. They sum it up themselves best with their own slogan, ‘The Cheap Zine For Skint Unemployed Fat Cunts, Made by Rich Self Employed Thin Cunts’.
http://www.myspace.com/sucktilisagzine (who’d a thunk it!)
£1 for 30 glossy printed A5 pages
Forerunner of the current bulging metal(ish) zine scene. Trashpit is a little light on content but spot on for subject knowledge.
Rob, 95 Frlamstead Ave, Loscoe, Heanor, Derbyshire, DE75 7RP
€2.50 for 68 printed A4 pages
Wa-hoo Trust has been going for a stunning 20 years! And I’m not surprised judging on the way this zine is written. I’m guessing really as this zine is in German and I ceased studying German about the same time Trust was first published! However, much like OX zine this is still worth getting just for the layouts and the little bits and bobs you can glean from it!
That’s Not What Your Mum Said
£? for 22 Copied A5 Pages
This zine delivers exactly what it promises to in it’s oh so brief introduction. It’s budget, irreverent, with no editorial guidelines, random rants, funny poems about Gordon Brown and a load of oddly pro-meat bits. It even has a bit letting us know exactly what the mum in question said. Love it, especially the swearsearch!
I can’t find any contacts for this, gutting!
You Don’t Get There From Here #1 & #2
$2 for 36 printed A6 pages
Huzzah, she made it to issue 2! This zine is a very cutely drawn project about the zinester (Carrie) and acts like a graphic diary of her life. The first issue had a very melancholy feel to it but in this issue Carrie has really cheered up. If you like zines like MorganMuffle you’ll definitely love this little slice of printed loveliness! I so want one of the tee shirts she is wearing on page 3 and most of the rest of this zine! I don’t want to tell you too much about the themes in this issue as it really is worth finding out for yourself!
Carrie McNinch, PO BOX 49403, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA
Youth Culture Killed My Dog
$2 for 50 Copied A5 Pages
I’m really chuffed zinester Sybilla still sends me this, it’s come on leaps and bounds since the last issue two. Although starting with a bit on the sad death of one of thier mates the pace picks up in perfect tribute to said mate. I can’t emphasise how much fun this zine is, it’s utterly crammed full of photos and all kinds of stuff to give you a reallly cool glimpse into the punk rock world of these young folks from accross the pond. Rock on!
310 WS.2nd Street, Anderson, IN 46016, USA
$3 for 40 printed A4 pages
Sparingly published humunggoes bible of zine reviews from all around the world. This is something really special that can really open your eyes to the world of self publsihing, and further proof that zines really ain’t easily divisable into the two genres of music zines and personal zines. This zine also contains tons of (slightly USAcentric) advice on printing and other resources useful to zinesters. I suppose in a way it’s almost like an industry newsletter for zine producers, but in a very cool non-capitalist way. They called Beat Motel a ‘sloppy upstart’, so they’ve figured us out pretty well!
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12 Stone Toddler
Does it Scare You?
CDLP - AMAZON
Cute name, cute song titles, cute songs, cutely clever instrumentation. This is what Electric Six might have sounded like if they were a bit more ‘serious’. A very accomplished sounding album that will probably end up being on some annoying advert. Some songs sound like The Slackers, only with no reggae!
6 Fingered Man
Offering EP and Monkey Disco EP
6 FINGERED RECORDS
These are the first 2 EP’s from Bradford based indie band 6 Fingered Man. I would have reviewed the 3rd one but that somewhere with Andrew Culture for review. But here goes, here are 8 tracks from the 2 EP’s, jangly indie rock in the vein of Tuscan Raiders or Snow Patrol. Another great band from the growing Yorkshire indie scene. Standout tracks ‘She dances in the light’ & ‘Rubber Town’ both on Monkey Disco EP. The band are unsigned on their own label, own website and My Space.
The Adventures of Loki
CDEP - MAITRE-D RECORDS
This release is the musical equivilent of getting loud and lairy at a party with your best freinds. You’re trying to run really fast with your trousers round your ankles singing along at top of your voice to Sonic Youth, you slip then trip on an empty keg and fall face first into the (spiked) punch. But it doesn’t matter, all your friends are holding their stomaches as they laugh at you laying on the floor covered in bits of orange. There’s punch dripping from the now extinguished joint you have in your mouth. There’s even a hint of Violent Playground in here Fucking Ace.
The Mirror and the Destroyer
CDLP - RAT PATROL RECORDS
This seems to be the season for supergroups, this one is formed by members of Jets Vs Sharks, Thirst, last Kiss and Seven Arrows in Your Bastard Heart. The flavour is definately hardcore but done with such sublime wonderfulness. I’m no fan of screechy yelled vocals but the instrumentation totally obliterates this relatively minor quarm. With more than a nod to expansive bands like Pelican and Isis (especially in the last track) this album is both relevant to todays scene and keeps the band on a slightly different plane to the rest of us. I love that Guinness Foregn Extra stuff, it don’t half catch up with you though, especially when cds like this make you drink faster! Stand out tracks are ‘One Four One’ and the last track. If you are a fan of both The Refused and Isis then this album is the one you’ve been waiting for. Shame it rings in at just 23 minutes, and that’s including the last few minutes of the album that appear to be the band packing the gear up and clocking off for the night.
All Out War
Assasins in the House of God
CDLP - VICTORY RECORDS
I’m really not in the mood for any faux-goth religion baiting shouty bollocks today thank you very much.
Wazzed n’ Blasted
CDLP - ANAGRAM
I’m starting to think Chuck Flintstone signed anyone with a double bass in his day, this is number 54, yes 54 in the Anagram reissues series. This isn’t the most standout album I’ve heard so far. It’s got more of a horror slant to it than most in the series, by which I mean there are shite sound effects of screams and chains and whatnot. Ultimately about as scarey as a tax rebate.
Twelve Small Steps, One Giant Disappointment
CDLP - FAT WRECK CHORDS
I’m still now sure about how I feel with regards to these punk supergroups, it all seems a bit, well ‘not punk’ . But I can’t argue against the quality of this album, which is tops. Bad Astronaut are an amalgamation of members of Lagwagon and Sugarcult, plus a bunch of mates. The songs are very mature and well thought out, pretty damned catchy too. You’re going to like this if you’ve a fan of No Use For A Name. Similarly this would be a good album to lend to a mate who was curious about punk and in need of something nicely accessible without being utterly sappy. Good work lads!
CDEP - SELF RELEASED
A bit like Depech Mode on a downer, a kind of sanquinly morose Radiohead. Clever stuff considering it’s all generated by one man and his iBook, and look where that’s gotten Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly.
Whatever Makes You Happy
CDLP - MOON SKA WORLD
If you’ve read the reviews in the last few issues of Beat Motel you’ll be bored arseless by the fact that I used to hate ska with every ounce of my soul. Well it turned out I only hated bad ska, which would explain why I had a soft spot for The Big, I even interviewed them way back in issue two of Beat Motel. With this utterly soulful new album the band have fully realised thier potential. The first of the two discs is a very retro sounding hammond organ driven dancehall adventure topped off by the deliriously gruff vocals that Ed (aka the biggest, and nicest man in any pub he visits) pile drives into each track. The first disc of this albums plays more like a best of that a band would put out after a twenty year career, every track is instantly memorable, has something to say and will get under your skin faster than scabies.
The second disc is where the real magic happens, one thing that used to gaul me about ska is what I percieved as a lack of creativity and originality. The second disc of this album has utterly smashed that preconception and sent me running for the nearest ditch with my tail between my legs. I guess the idea of the second cd is that it contains alternative versions of of the album tracks, but to my mind that’s utter bollocks, what you have here is an entirely new album. This isn’t some knock off cheap crappy remix disc, this is a cd that showcases what remarkable musicians make up this band. The second cd is qutie simply jaw dropping. Think along the lines of the Inner Terestrials, Zounds, Frank Zappa, Cream, Los Salvadores, The Levellers and maybe even ZEEB? This album has been a shining light in the mire of dog shit that I’ve had to review recently. Long live The Big, I’ve got no idea how the fuck they are going to top this with thier next album, but I’ve got every faith they will!
The Black Halos
The Black Halos
CDLP - I USED TO FUCK PEOPLE LIKE YOU IN PRISON
Sometimes being highly competent can go against you in the world of punk rock. The Black Halos play punk very well, but have the the overall air of paying a little to much attention to their art leaving me with an overall cold feeling.
Bomb The Sun
Bomb The Sun
CDEP - SELF RELEASE
About fucking time I got sent something decent! My expectations were high when I saw Kyuss, Fu-Manchu and Led Zeppelin quoted as infludences and I wasn’t let down. This band rocks like a stoned motherfucker. This is heavy rock played the way heavy rock should be, no pretence, no six string fucking basses, no £4000 orange country drum kits, no stupid logos, no overproduced watered down gutiars. What you get hear is pant moisteningly heavy riffs with octaves flung in alongside breaks so demolishingly heavy they could stop a moving train. The vocals are along the lines of a Welsh Ozzy are are wonderfully complimentary. I quite simply love this band and if they didn’t live so damned far away I’d book them for a gig in Ipswich so fast they wouldn’t have time to detune. It’s a shame they didn’t record another couple of these epic (but not prog!) tracks and call this release an album. If they’ve got an album planned next you’d better fucking hold yer bollocks or they’ll be blown clean off. Oh yes, thanks for reaffirming my faith in music! I would like to point out that unlike the Attack! Vipers! review to your left I wrote this one sober. Hell this is so good I’m surprised my cats aren’t gently banging thier heads! Oh the musical details, it’s immense in it’s simplicity. Amazingly they included a note with the CD apologising for the fact this cd hasn’t been mastered yet!!! I’m pretty sure the lack of mastering jiggery pokery isn’t the only thing keeping this cd sounding so blissfully earthy. Bring it on Bomb The Sun, bring it the fuck on!
Born From Pain
CDLP—METAL BLADE RECORDS
This album starts like steaming hardcore slice of aggression along the lines of The Refused but I must admit to being a little disappointed when the first double bass drum pedal and growling vocals kicked in. If there was a dividing line between metal and hardcore Born From Pain would definitely lean heavily to the metal side, whilst keeping maybe a shoe or something in the hardcore side, there’s something more challenging than flat out metal in here, I’m just not sure I’ve got the patience to find it.
Birthing the Giant
CDLP - HASSLE RECORDS
There’s no way in fuck these people haven’t been in bands that have released a shit load before, if not then this is the most accomplished debut album I’ve ever heard. Sounds like a slightly more metalic Fucked Up, in fact if you love Fucked Up and The Refused then this album is the next logical purchase for your cd collection, in fact the metalish moments even have a hint of Send More Paramedics about them. Pretty fucking cool.
Capguns ‘n’ Coke Vs The Grizzley Ends
CDLP - QUINTY JOE RECORDS
Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarkin’ hell Capguns ‘n’ Coke have changed a shit load since I last heard them! They got a pretty smart flavour of popish Rancid or Reason 69 thing developing nicely, I reckon the next release will be a corker! The intro to track four made me wince though, why go to so much effort then have a fucked up guitar take left on? I really enjoyed thier section of the cd, shame they had to spoil it with the cardinal sin of the dreaded fade out on the last track.
The Grizzley Ends have clearly been together for a good long whilst or are just very talented. Their songs all fly along at 120mph and are littered with some nice touches like horns. Overall their six tracks ouze fun and personality. I think this is the first release for this label, and long may it carry on!
The Venerable World
Captain Beard? Captain Beard? Captain Beard? This is an amazing name. I especially like the question mark, like, are you Captain Beard or are you merely Captain Moustache after a week with a broken razor?
I’m currently trying to work out why the band’s got such a rubbish name when the first two words of their album title are perfection in a tiny grey font. I’m also trying to work out why they’re so much more boring than I was hoping that they were going to be. The press release is on a nice postcard, they have a rather twee thank you message that says ‘the boys would like to thank everyone they have ever met’, I like the liner-notes and even some of the backing vocals, but the whole package leaves me a little bit disappointed. If this lot went away, listened to some songs by The Shangri-Las and The Au-Pairs, ate a few too many sweets and halved the lengths of any songs that they wrote, then maybe they’d be on to something. As it stands, this isn’t worth your time. ‘I Appear to be Doing This’ has a nice start, but it’s nine minutes long. Only utter perfection could keep me listening to one song for nine minutes, and this isn’t it.
Buena Vista Bingo Club
CDLP - HOUSEHOLD NAME
A band I’ve constantly seen mentioned on forums, seen countless people wearing their tee shirts and I’ve even tipped cans with them at Reading but I’ve never heard them. Well they sound tight in a way a band only can after playing together for years on end. It’s all very light and accessible punk along the lines of early Green Day, only with more harmonies, and that’s really saying something! Sure all the songs sound very similar, and even the press sheet admits this isn’t a massive departure for Captain Everything but they’ve got some fucking brilliant moments in this album. I wouldn’t listen to it every day, or maybe every month but I’d definitely crack a smile if I found it in a pile in a few months time.
Legendary Demo 1
CDLP - HYDRAHEAD
The solo project of Cave-In axe weilder Adam McGrath this oddly named album is an utterly nuts collection of breakneck riffs that owe more to Hendrix than anything else. The vocals are kinda insignificant and play a very subdued second fiddle to one huge gutiar ride. This album is quite simply bloody awesome unpretentious riff-n-roll. The long dub tail ender makes it sound like they only found their weed stash half way through mastering the last track, this is greatness.
Live and Rockin’
CDLP - ANAGRAM RECORDS
Number 60 in the collection is this live show from The Coffin Nails. It’s a big ropey to start off with all the warts have been left in , even the plug for the tee shirt stall! I’ve heard better Psychobilly but I’ve heard worse, and ambivalence isn’t something that I normally feel about this genre.
CDLP - VICTORY RECORDS
I get the feeling I might be the only person that’s never heard of this band. This is a very expensive sounding hard core album that had me really impressed, until the first track ended in a fade out, I mean, what the fuck? Also, starting the album with a really bad quality quiet gutiar giving way to demolishing loudness, hasn’t that been done a few times before? This is good hardcore, but it still sounds like a ton of other stuff. Nowt outstanding. Love the artwork!
The Conway Story
CDEP - ???
Someone wake me up when they buy distortion pedals.
It’s as brutal as you fail me, with the technical flair that was so apparent on jane doe. converge are one of those bands that have completely thier own sound, you can’t say converge sound like blah blah. they just sound like converge. It’s brutal as fuck and no, your band with the shitty breakdowns and crap fringes will never be this good. no matter how tight your jeans are or how many karate kicks you can do
if it were possible i would tattoo converge on my eyeballs
CDLP - ?
This is a new low for reviews in this zine, I listened to this a few days ago and have now totally lost it! I remember being entertained by some tunefully inoffensive female fronted anarcho stuff. I think this was a collection of everything Dan ever did. I’ll get me coat.
CDP - KEMEDO RECORDS
When Josh Homme called it a day with Kyuss he headed out to the desert with a huge bag of mushrooms to blow his mind wind open and come up with a new sound, Danava are exactly what Queens of The Stone Age would sound like if Mr Homme has spent far too long on that journey. It’s pretty cool, but so spaced out that I can practically feel the cold chill of the dark expanse of the universe. To summerise, Danava sound like a bastard mix of Hawkwind, Queens of The Stone Age and the theme from Flash Gordon, only with a lot more phaser involved.
CDLP - 31G
Starting up with a manic breakneck speed At The Drive In type messed chords and sounding interesting, till some stroppy toddler with an unusually low voice threw tantrum in the studio. You might like this if you’re a converge fan, but by track four I was suffering. When I turned it off I felt a wave of calm wash over me, but in a simular way to when the dentist tells you he’s finished your root canal.
Dead or American
CDLP - PET PIRANHA RECORDS
I’ve been siting on this cd for so long that I’ve lost the press sheet and can’t tell you all that much about this band. Unlike a lot of stuff I get sent I’ve not been putting off reviewing this because it’s shite, quite the opposite. There’s something about this hard edged punk album that I really love but just can’t put my finger on. It could be the unusual chord progressions, it could be surpisingly technical middle 8s, it could be the creative use of the human voice. Sometimes it’s okay to love something and not spend time figuring out why. Buy this if you like stuff like the Refused and At The Drive In.
Destructors 666/ $UP
No Parasan E.P
CDEP - ROWDAY FARAGO RECORDS
Hell, Destructors 666 must be up for some sort of award for thier prolific output! I swear I’ve seen at least three other split EPs that they’ve put out in the last year! This one starts up with JazzSkaThrashPopHornCore chaps $UP. Thier songs are pretty manic but manage to stay just this side of sanity. Destructors bash out another three tracks of roll and roll tinged street punk, and very enjoyable it is too! Here’s to the next five or six split EPs they’ll invariably put out before the year is through! I’ve just noticed Rowdy Farago are based in Peterbugger, I might drop them a copy of Beat Motel next time I go visit my in-laws.
These are Peterborough home-town-heroes, or so I’ve been told. Why? I honestly have no idea. Both bands have admirably managed to beat The Disappointments in the shit name competition, which is amusing, but then they also manage to beat them in being absolute wank. I accidentally listened to Sham 69 earlier today, but these six songs are even worse. I appreciate that there’s a track called ‘FashionXcore’, though, that makes me smile a bit, but it’d be so much better if it was spoken in a French accent, teenagers-style, instead of just yawned out in a sort of sub-Lost Prophets way.
I’m a bit confused as to why Destructors666 have a song called ‘Kick Out The Jams’. I don’t think it’s a cover, but I’ve generally avoided the original, so I could be wrong. Whatever it is, it’s basically the worst thing I’ve ever heard.
CDLP - PUNK SHIT RECORDS
I knew it would happen sooner or later, the jaws-harp has found it’s way into punk! In this case in a pretty entertaining way via some wurzles type observational conversational profane sort of direction. Maybe I ought to start selling a new bumper sticker, ‘old punks don’t die, they just go acoustic’. This is an entertaining album with effortlessly funy lyrics and rhymes, my favour is probably the song about Jonathan King, great stuff.
Surely the band must realise that their name is a music writer’s dream?! Especially when this actually is a bit of a let-down. The silly press release with this is making me a bit angry, also - who cares if the band’s only seventeen? I’m seventeen, doesn’t mean that any piece of rubbish I knock out on a guitar is going to be any good. At least I have the foresight to just avoid it altogether. You know the drill; this band are ‘hardcore’, apparently, they’re boring, they enjoy phlegming into the microphone, growling vaguely about capitalism and, I don’t know, politics and shit. I’ve heard it all before, guys. If you’re going to listen to any of these songs, then the A-side is predictably the best (what ever happened to the shockingly brilliant b-side strategy?), but if I were you then I’d give it a miss and listen to something a bit less rubbish.
X E Cute My X
CDEP - PEBBLE BEACH RECORDS
I reckon these guys were seperately in really great bands in their past, I’m trying to find a positive because this disc is one of the most formulaic safe sounding bits of gutiar pap I’ve heard in a while. I normally listen to something again to see if it will make more of an impression on me, this single failed.
Let’s Finish What We Started
CDLP - FFRUK
I wasn’t too taken with this album when I first heard it, but after being impressed with the band live I was determined to give it another go. The gig that I saw them at was in a pissy little pub in an arse-end of nowhere village called Saxmundham, their guitarist couldn’t make it so the singer showed the guitarist of another band what chords to play using a mobile phone. Impressive! Borrowing from a lot of recognisable sources but adding their own very distinct and very feminine verve to affairs this is an album that grows on you the more times you hear it. The trashy opener ‘Camden Town’ sets the scene very nicely and the second track features non other than Knox from The Vibrators. In an age of billions of soundalike punk bands The Duel have cast into the world an album with real attitude and originality. I’m really pleased The Duel pulled off such an accomplished album, long may they continue.
(I’m Gonna Follow) Your Star Trail
7” - ART GOES POP RECORDS
The Raincoats have got a lot to answer for ya know? But the formula of getting three girls together to bash out some innocent sounding tunes on shit keyboards is still an entertaining one. Nice to hear Steven Hawkings doing some backing vocals on Track 3.
Eddie and the hot rods
CDLP - Captain Oi!
Good pub rock band that didn’t quite make the transition to Punk band when it exploded.I suppose you’d say it’s uptempo R & B,some good tunes which several riffs certainly appeared in tracks by later punk bands.As with most Capt Oi releases it’s well packaged & contains 12 bonus tracks,so serious value for fans.This just doesn’t have any snarl to it.
End of Level Boss
Inside The Difference Engine
CDLP - EXCILE ON MAINSTREAM RECORDS
Hell, this album starts off sounding like Hermano! This album really is all about the riffs, and they are bigger than the bill for building Wembly and tastier than that powder you find in the bottom of Pot Noodles. Some bits of the album seem a little bit lost, but they are always found again by a big riff.
England and the April
This band only sent a cd with ‘england and the april’ written on it and nowt else. I tracked them down and asked what I was supposed to do with this, they kind ordered me to review it. Turns out the cd didn’t work anyway. C’mon people, make an effort! I just noticed they actually quoted me on their website, just from the email I sent asking who they were! That means if they quote this review then it will be a quote of a quote of a quote!
Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour
CDEP - SELF RELEASE
Now I appreciate this band has been shunning major record deals in favour of the DIY ethic, but why the fuck do they feel the need play major label games by sending me just one track? I didn’t actually hate this as much as I thought I would, I mean it does sound like a cross between Aphex Twin and any EMO false metal band about at the moment so I should hate it, I just can’t bring myself to slate something that actually sounds new and interesting. If they deem me worthy to receive any more tracks then I’d be interested in finding out if all songs sound like this or if they have any diversity but for now I’m going to shrug and go take a piss.
Live at Le Harve 1983
CDLP - ANAGRAM RECORDS
Number 53 is the Psychobilly series is a piss poor quality live recording by what sound like the most boring band you’ve ever heard, Odd thing is, the audience sounds even less enthusiastic than I do.
CDLP - JADE TREE
Throughout my career as a music fan I’ve always been instantly turned off by any band that everyone I know raves about. This has saved me considerable trauma and allowed me to avoid buying any Blink 182 albums. It’s not to say my friends don’t have impeccable tastes, it’s more a way of saying I’m a freak. However, as I grow older I start to forget to live by the hundreds of rules I spent my teenage years formulating, maybe I’m mellowing, maybe I’m going senile, but overall this lapse into musical dotage appears to be a positive force. If it wasn’t for this fact I would have missed out on Fucked Up entirely. This album truly defies all rules, self-imposed or otherwise. Songs have the force of fast punk, the dexterity of mini-clasical pieces and carry it off while staying far away from the emo that any band following the above description would inevitably be. By the third listen to this album Fucked Up became a band I dearly love. If it were recorded by any other band ‘Hidden World’ would be stretched out and milked into at least three different albums, each song goes so far beyond a standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-end if makes me embarrassed that I ever dared call my own musical output creative at all. I love music that has something to say, I love fast guitars, I love frantic but rock solid drums, I love half barked vocals, I love odd backing vocals. By fuck, I love Fucked Up.
Orchestra of wolves
CDEP – WARNER BROTHER RECORDS
Now I’m not going to say a whole lot about this as we reviewed the original release (on IATDE) in the last issue of Beat Motel. Gallows got bought off Mark’s label In At the Deep End Records by a major, who repackaged the album with (admittedly tasty) new artwork and a whole second disc full of bbc sessions and the like, which I preffered to the studio versions. If you’re a fan then you’ll probably love the second disc. I’ve got to admit this is a decent band, but I wonder what will happen to them next now that they are on such a huge label. I’ll leave accusations of selling out to other zines, I can’t be arsed.
Ghost of a Thousand
This is Where the Fight Begins
CDLP - UNDERGROVE
Just one of the most demolishing hardcore albums of the year, but with a nice (and oddly fitting) smoothness to proceedings. If you liked the Refused but hated the electro element or the slow bits then this album with probably give you wood.
Guns or Knives
Well sorry Cath as it’s not Andrew doing this there’s no 10 page review. But here goes a nice simple sounding CD single the 1st track is rustic acoustic blues with the 2nd an Americana style in the vein of The Band. Very simple but listenable to.
CDLP - ANAGRAM RECORDS
Number 56 in the Anagram reissues series is the last proper album recorded by one of the few late 80s early 90s Pshycho bands to have a decent nibble at the top forty, and on hearing this album you can tell why as each track is totally acessible rock n roll. Which sadly for me is part of the downfall, I like my Pshycho a little more well, Pshycho!
Most People Are A Waste Of Time
CDLP - HOUSEHOLD NAME RECORDS
Bouncy cheery oz punk, a bit like The Lemonheads but very evidently better off for not diving into skag. Vocals are a little fluffy for my tastes but the skuzzy occasionally vague guitars complement the vocals perfectly. In a similar way to a LoveJunk or Bad Religion album there isn’t a massive amount of diversity, but if you’ve got a sound this good then why stray! Two stand out, and dare I say it ‘fantastic’ tracks are the appropriately titled ‘Bubbles’ and the conversational genius of ‘But Officer I Was Just Doing My Job’ is should please any Prolapse or Velvet Underground fans. Much like the Descendents, I think when you get this band you’ll love them for life.
Echos/ favour this
CDEP – FORTUNE AND GLORY
(Work Hard PR)
Swirly writing on the cover, dark colour and a lass who uses her outdoor voice. You know what this formula adds up to, and I’m sure they’ll be huge, sadly.
20 reasons to end it all
CDLP - Boss Tuneage
Continuing from the previous cd.Here we have tracks from 88 / 89 with the Whose generation 7” & 2 Peel sessions (Gawd we miss that bloke !)..More accomplished musically & production wise.This a good document of that Hardcore era & they didn’t cop out and veer towards that metal edge,though a few slow dirgy bits are acceptable to these ears.Rounded off with a few tracks from their last show.Again nicely packaged with informative booklet.
CDLP - Boss Tuneage
The golden age of uk hardcore in the mid to late 80’s when the likes ENT,Napalm Death,Ripcord,Concrete Sox etc all appeared,and of course Heresy.Hailing from Nottingham,Heresy worked hard at touring & recording for their 3 or 4 year existence.This is the earliest raw recordings covering the bands first few years with demos / flexis & 7”s all included.Nicely packaged with a great booklet packed with history,pics & lyrics.fast,raw vintage uk hardcore.
CDLP - HOUSEHOLD NAME RECORDS
Prooving that Kafren et all can still pick ‘em here’s a very classical new album from Hostage Life. Songs are stronger than Geoff Capes in his prime and probably as hairy. Fists in the air people, it’s time to bring some more proper punk into your lives.
The Human Targets
CDEP - SELF RELEASED
I’ve got a confession to make, ska really gets on my tits. I mean, if I’m well oiled and down at the Steamboat and there’s a ska band, or if I’m hunover and sat in the shop I don’t mind a bit of ska. But listening to it at home is (for me) a bit like when you let slip to your mum that you have a vauge fondness for Shreddies, and then that’s all your condemmed to eat until your old enough to move out and step up to Tennants Super for breakfast. This lot play well enough, I guess, this cd suffers from a lack of direction, possibly down to the self production. It’s Once Over kinda gutiary ska.
CDLP – ANAGRAM
Sort of a Inca Babies best of. This was my introduction to this band and they are (were?) pretty damn cool. Moody psychobilly Nick Cave fabbness. I can’t tell you much more as I’ve lost the cd.
In the Absence of Truth
CDLP - IPECAC RECORDINGS
Starting off a lot softer and more accessibly than Panoptican or Oceanic ‘In The Absence of Truth’ gently lulls you into a false sense of security before sitting you down and putting you in a riff laden trance. Someone told me this is the first Isis album with a double bass drum pedal, and it’s used to great effect, none of that double bass drum tourettes that most bands with that tool of evil seem to suffer from. There’s a lot more actual singing (rather than growling) on this album and it all adds up to this potentially being the album that takes Isis through to the mainstream. There seems to be a lot of this mainly instrumental heavyish music about at the moment, but compared to Isis a lot of the competition seems a little lost. This is the kind of album you could get away with putting on the stereo for your friends that claim they hate metal, and they couldn’t fail to be impressed by the orchestral qualities of this creative canonball. Whilst I still prefer the brutality of Panoptican, ‘In the Absence of Truth’ will be a favourite of mine for years to come.
CDLP - HYDRAHEAD
Follow up to last years brilliant ‘Silver EP’ Jesu have shown a gentle but logical development of their sound that is both crushingly heavy and dreamlike. If you like Mogwai then you’ll probably love this. By the end of album I can’t help but think that the Silver EP proved that an album is just a little bit too much Jesu to be able to sit through without your brain turning to mush, but then I am listening to this totally straight!
Men monsters! Messiahs
CDLP – FAT HIPPY RECORDS
Dutty filthy, bad Karloff, in your bed! Fast paced horror punk with fantastic production and a personality stronger than sociopath.
CDEP (CF Records)
The release of this latest EP shows how the band are developing their musical repertoire and self-confidence. As one of East Anglia’s top bands they perform superbly live, and it’s obvious that all the practice and effort these guys have put in is paying off, gaining excellent reviews. Many more appreciative fans are picking up on their talent, both as highly competent musicians and songwriters.
The songs here demonstrate they can produce interesting musical textures both with the heavier tracks, in particular ‘Looking For Hangnails’ which has an outstanding guitar solo by Ian Crow and highly charged drumming by Bod, and also as they slow the pace down dramatically to perform ‘Hostile’, which builds well and highlights good interplay within the band, giving band members an opportunity to prove their ability as musicians and vocalists on this innovative track.
It’s interesting to see them incorporating other less formal Rock band instruments, using Banjo and Stylophone (eat you heart out Rolf!) to great effect on the more acoustic track ‘Mantra’, which has an almost oriental, ‘East meets West’ 60’s Prog Rock influence. All the E.P. songs featured show the diverse approach and musical inventiveness of Kerbslider, which should project them to far greater heights in the British and international Rock music scene, if there’s any justice in the world.
Looking For Hangnails
CDEP - CF RECORDS
The full on start and continuation of well-structured modulating riffs finds you lost in the deeply intensifying sound quality that tickles every musical taste bud. With an underlying softness, but hard bouncy rhythm and well-toned vocals, you gradually get sucked into a treat of a song. The combination of highs, lows, builds and breaks, hypnotising guitars, tight energetic drums and vocals rises up until you swing smoothly into a forceful, harmonic, pulse-raising guitar solo, sloping down to a memorable end.
The band as a whole play together on a level they all understand. High energy, well-balanced instruments, tight configuration, catchy and meaningful lyrics, and discrete but noticeable chord structures produce an addictive sound. The remix matches the description, taken from a completely different angle, but with remarkably the same level of intensity. Standout percussion, a progressive atmosphere, and bass-heavy environment, all mastered sharply into a full stereo image of clarity.
Their live performance, once seen, gives you the reassurance of knowing you’ll see an all-round quality performance every time. Undoubtedly this makes them good candidates for becoming a band of the future. Definitely got a slot in my record collection.
Sarah Wishes She Was a Robot
CDLP - WILDE CLUB RECORDS
The first thing I heard by this band was the fantastic ‘Punlic Image Ltd’. This E.P opens up sounding oddly like The Kings oef Leon. Kunk follow no lead and think nothing of switching genres mid-song, or even mid-chorus. Riotous inventive slightly unhinged greatness. Overall this great E.P has the feeling of ‘nearly there’, and my god, when they get there then you’d better watch the fuck out! I’d love to hear more stuff along the lines of the third track, the gutiar sound could bring down houses but is still smooth as fuck. Not sure what they are going for with the mega lo-fi slump at the end of this disc though.
Leftover Crack X Citizen Fish
CDLP - FAT WRECK CHORDS
Hell, now this is an interesting pairing! You probably already know, but Citizen fish were the logical progression from semi-anarcho stars The Subhumans. I say logical progression as the music is undoubtedly different, but The Subhumans core values of creative energy and socially agitated commentary are still very much in evidence, especially on the six tracks that kick off this split album. This is Citizen Fish at the absolute peak of their game, six bloody fantastic tracks, each perfectly constructed without being at all musically trite. Oh, and if you’re a bass player you’re going to be blown away by the playing on these tracks, it’s quite frankly remarkable! Citizen Fish end their half of the album with a cover of the Leftover Crack track ‘Clear Channel (Fuck Off)’ and totally make it their own. From what I can gather Leftover Crack switch between musical styles like Tories change policies, their half of this album sways violently between ska, big guitar punk and even a bit of thrash. All tracks are totally accessible and welcoming despite for the most part having vocals so dirty they make Sick of it All sounds like fucking choir boys! There are a few guest spots, most notably a spoken word blast from none other than Jello Biafra. This is a split album a slice above any other I think I’ve ever heard, this is going to be a classic ‘must have’.
Long Lost Psychobilly Volume 1
Various Cool Cats
This is a collection of rarities from the likes of the Frantic Flintstones, Rantanplan, and some bands I’ve never heard of like Scared Stiff. A lot of this stuff is actually more along the lines of more recent ‘HorrorBilly’ like The Horrorpops and Resurex. But as a compilation album it really stands up by itself. Good stuff, defiantly worthy of the massive Anagram Reissues series.
Teachin the Goodies
CDLP - Anagram
Fantastic Dirty Rockin sleazy Psychobilly that will appeal to punks & any lovers of Sex,Booze,Drugs & Rock n Roll.A few old Mad Sin tracks from the vaults & a bunch of covers of some of their personal faves by the likes of Bob Marley,Misfits,Dwarves,Cramps & more.
CDLP – SCHNITZEL
(Work Hard PR)
Got to admit I was expecting this to be more queercore but it’s some fairly straight up, but fairly cool rock and roll punk. Think along the lines of The Dwarves crossed with Deadline. The lyrics get a bit daft though, I very much doubt the singer really does want to shoot police officers, silly man.
Nodes Of Ranvier
Defined By Struggle
CDLP - VICTORY RECORDS
The amount of effort these guys must have put into achieving this tight, rhythmic riff festival of an LP is there for all to hear. The technical ability of the band is undeniably impressive, the production too is commendable (although somewhat lacking in dynamics), and the packaging suitably professional. The problem lies in finding an element that hasn’t been done before and often better; the sound, the spooky intro, the riffs, the melodies, the blast beats, the solo (yes there is just one), the hooks, the scary shouting, generally fine, but just that, not interesting.
The melodic vocal delivery is used disappointingly rarely throughout the LP as when applied it provides a much needed textural addition; the almost consistently growled vocal quickly loses any sense of impact. There are glimpses of invention, for example, the opening riff to ‘Infidelity’ is superb, and occasionally the drummer demonstrates individuality, however these moments are heavily outweighed by an onslaught of material that could be the duller bits from any of a number of your favourite old thrash/death metal LP’s.
Punk singles collection
CDLP - ANAGRAM RECORDS
One of,if the not the first Irish Punk bands.Here you get all the stuff from 1978 onwards with some great Good Vibrations releases from that era
.The band had definately created their own sound by the 80’s & it could vary from Punky reggae to almost Tribal and by the bands demise in 1985 they had a real rockin feel to the tunes.interesting covers of The Glitter band,Stooges & er – Kenny Rogers.Good stuff.
CDLP - ANAGRAM
No.44 in the Psychobilly collection gives us a horror obsessed bunch of lads with an apparent fondness for Al Capone. It’s all reasonable enough but leads me to believe that there was a period of time when Link Records would sign anyone that knew which way to hold up a double bass.
Kings n’ Bosses
CDLP - GO KART RECORDS
Utter fun party rock! With more intelligence than the flat out hendonistic frat-rock of Andrew WK, Malkovich have a vague math rock thing going on but are anything but snooty in their approach. Totally accessible and creatively entertaining.
Always Late and Not Even Close
CDLP - HEPTOWN RECORDS
Competent but not overly original street punk from Sweden. Something along the lines of US Bombs or Beerzone, I got bored.
CDEP - Jackalope Records This is CD single from Berlin based British DIY Indie rockers Myriad Creatures. Very listenable indie rock, particular favourite track is ‘No show from Rilo’, pounding bass lines with jangly guitars crisp production.
Ah Jazuz, just as I was starting to get into some metal this band came along to remind me what’s shit about shit metal. I can’t tell if the singer is a dude or a chick. Fuck this, I’m throwing this out the shop door, smart, a bus went over it!!!
Life is a Grave and I Dig It!
CDLP - HELLCAT RECORDS
(Positive Nuisance PR)
I used to think all Psychobilly was created equal, then I heard the Frantic Flintstones who showed me the error of my ways. (As with Frantic Flintstones) the sound on this album is quite simply stunning, the lyrics are all faux-horror bollocks but I don’t care about that! Jeez, if I paid attention to bollcocks like that I wouldn’t be such a big fan of The Doors! If you want to know what all the fuss about lads with mad hair and double basses is about you could do far worse than grab this album.
Beaker Of Aids EP
CDEP - SELF RELEASED
Four tracks of fast, punchy hardcore from Ipswich/Harkstead/Colchester. OS have only been gigging for a few months, but there is a lot of potential in this EP. All Ages is probably my favourite track, for me it’s the most memorable. Their live shows are chaotic, mental and full of body fluids. The songs are short, right to the point, and more importantly, they don’t take themselves too seriously. And whilst the songwriting may still need some fine tweaking, there is a hell of a lot of potential here. I’m looking forward to a full length.
CDLP - SELF RELEASE
Very English sounding early 80s(ish) street punk from Nottingham. They’ve got some good ideas going on in here, and some of it comes accross as a mix of The Young Ones (yes the tv series) and The Subhumans. Some bits even remind me of very early Junk Culture. They’ve got a message and I suspect they own a few Conflict albums. Good promising stuff, check them out at www.myspace.com/rottenagenda
Me First And The Gimmie Gimmies
Love Their Country
CDLP—FAT WRECK CHORDS
Man, I hate cuntry music. So when it’s being played by such cool folk as Fat Mike and members of Lagwagon, The Swingin’ Utters and The Foo Fighers (interestingly the press sheet says Foo Fighters and not No Use For a Name) I decided I’d at least give it a try. I’ve often that a small part of liking music is identifying with it, maybe the fact I’ve not lost cattle to rustlers and never burn my beans might be what’s putting me off this album. I look forward to the next Me First album when they attempt the rhumba and foxtrot standards.
Wicked Mans Rest
CDLP - CHALKMARK
Sounding like an amalgamation of all the secret charms of most current commercial indie but with a bunch more soul. There’s a movie soundtrack composer involved somewhere and you can really tell. There’s a real sense of quietly satisfied intelligence accomplishment to this album. It’s not my thing, but just like anal sex, I’m not interested but I can see why it rocks so many people’s worlds. This is also the only album ever to remind me of Bill Bailey, the samples in the first track are unintentionally hilarious!
Seek out your foes
CDLP - SMALL TOWN RECORDS
Heard a lot about this band, seen them live (years back) and they seem to pretty much permanently be on tour juding from the amount of flyers I see with their name on. This is the first recorded output I’ve heard and it’s not bad, you can really tell this band plays a LOT. There were a few unexpected widdly widdly bits and I was horrified to hear the henious crime of a fade out ending being used more than once on this album. This is a very accomplished sounding album, but I like a little more danger in my punk rock. Buy this if you like The Misnomer.
I don’t really understand the comparisons with the Postcard records lot that’s in the press release here, but this song’s okay. I like that the band’s from Glasgow, which I’m assuming is where the comparisons to Postcard sprang from (they sound more like Franz Ferdinand after eating a fuzzbox than Orange Juice or Aztec Camera) and I think the singer’s accent on the b-side, ‘Stagecoach’, is really nice. I have no particular issues with this band, they’re nice and they have sugar-rush choruses and a really good amount of ‘la-la-la’s (on the b-side, at least, which makes it a million times better than the a-side) but it’s all a bit unremarkable. I’d like it if they got a tapdancer, or a proper fuzzbox, or an electric coriander player. Or, actually, I think I’ll just play ‘Stagecoach’ again. If that had been the a-side, then this review would be more poisitive, but currently I’m waiting for popup to release a single that matches it.
Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
CDLP - METAL BLADE RECORDS
If you like sweeping melodies and clever musical juxtapositions then this album probably isn’t for you. If you like music that sounds like a room full of guitar playing mental patients being given invasive dental surgery with no anaesthetic you’re going to love this. It’s long the lines of the Architects or something equally torturous and metal.
Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
CDLP - METAL BLADE RECORDS
The “experimental” extreme metal (tech or spazz-metal as some many know it) sound is becoming more and more popular within the music. It’s a relatively new genre created by forerunners such as Praxis (Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins, Buckethead) and the Dillinger Escape Plan. The style is even seeping into American indie with the likes of Maps & Atlases.
This contains all the usual marks: amazing, dextrous, tight musicianship; mind-bending rhythms and tempo changes; and the occasional jazzy moment. It’s the sound of an epileptic-fit.
There are nods to classical music and its melodies within songs such as ‘Kill Us’ and ‘Imogenis Puzzle pt. 2” and others. At it’s heart, these moments are what makes it really stand out from other bands of the genre. It’s a great listen (if you like this sort of thing) and the very nature of the music and what they’re trying to achieve is interesting.
Whoa, this is big music being made by fucking big knarly looking biker dudes. This is one of the most accessible heavy as fuck albums I’ve heard in my whole life. It’s dirty pounding sleazy rock n fucking roll and it’s making me say fuck a lot. If you like any music you need this, if you’re a fan of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity and Alice In Chains then buy this album, get your hands down your pants and start rubbing, you’re gonna shoot your load before the first chorus.
This is more like it! No fancy press release or liner notes, just a small handwritten note, and pretty awesome songs. The girl/boy vocals are really fun (they remind me a bit of a less polished Blood Red Shoes) and the first song here is the best, ‘The Third Wave’, all loud/quiet vocals and subdued screeching guitars kicked through a distortion machine. This isn’t the best demo I’ve ever heard, but when the second song kicks in with those drums and the opposing vocalists sing different lines, it makes me want to dance or write or smile, which is nice. I think that you should all head to serviceusers.tk and get your mitts on these four songs, or at least just ‘The Third Wave’ and ‘Unrequited Doves’. If they ever play the ‘swich, which I doubt, then I’ll be down the front with an orange juice in hand and a silly grin on my face.
How do we make it so angry? CDEP - SNAKES AND LADDERS RECORDS
This CD single doesn’t disappoint, the title track is a stomping pounding indie rock track in the vein of The Automatic or Franz Ferdinand. But the next 2 are far more a mixture of indie and rockabilly. Great single, leaving me wanting to hear more.
Silicon Vultures EP
CDEP (VINYL) - CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY RECORDS
Ya know when Sisters Of Mercy sounded like they had something missing because they used drum machines instead of drummers? Well this band sound like they have a whole lot more missing. I still can’t see the place of the Casio in modern punk rock. And another thing, that whole distant toned out guitars thing has been done to death now, can we just nail down the coffin and move on?
Sick of it All
Death to Tyrants
CDLP - CENTURY MEDIA
(Positive Nuisance PR)
Arriving in a card sleeve and with 15 songs split into 99 tracks it’s not the Sick Of It All that we’re used to. But it’s still the metalic face thumping hardcore that thousands have come to love. No major leaps forward but then I reckon most fans would be gutted with a change of direction. Tis okay, didn’t get me trying to start a circle pit in the living room with my cats though.
Arrivals and Departures
CDLP - VICTORY RECORDS
The material here is difficult to categorise; metal, punk, pop, indie? Whatever, it clearly demonstrates how Silverstein sold 500,000 albums in the US. Except for the intermittent growling vocal that at times seems misplaced amongst carefully constructed harmony, the disparate elements plucked from a variety of genre work well. The opening three tracks, and particularly the single ‘If You Could See Into My Soul’ are particularly strong, well constructed, dynamic, catchy and musically interesting.
Predictably, as the album progresses, fresh ideas occur with less frequency, diluting the sense of individuality, and ironically, the faultless production eventually begins to accentuate a desire for more character. But as a whole the album provides enough surprises to inspire further listens, by which time the best of the hooks have begun to loop in the subconscious. Although not genuinely groundbreaking, ‘Arrivals and Departures’ has successful elements of melting pot innovation, and is on the whole a super-professional product that will no doubt sell by the truckload.
Smoke or Fire
This Sinking Ship
CDLP - FAT WRECK CHORDS
Don’t get it, it’s all sounding a bit generic to me. It’s not too bad as background punk in an american style. It’s just lacking some clout, something to make it stand out.
A conflicting mass of media misinformation
CDEP - SELF RELEASED
Having known Ben of Social Schism for a while and having seen the South End locals come and play in Ipswich many times now (even taking a trip down to the South End to see them play locally), they have finally released a debut 8 track EP (for the bargain price of £4, thats 50p a track!!) and its good. It is very good.
This 8 track EP is a thundering 17 minutes of Hardcore Thrash Punk. Aaron is a master with his Bass and the basslines laid down by this young lad are beautiful. Willbo’s drumming is borderline “blast beat” with such ferocity that it it holds you in awe as he moves with such graces at the same time, playing with a fluid motion. All this is held together by Ben’s grinding buzzsaw-esque guitar while his lungs sonically expiode down the microphone.
The lyrics have been thought about in detail and are very intelligent and reasonably well pieced together, but the importances of the messege shines through the structuring of the verses and still makes you stop and think and take note of the world around you.
Stand out songs have to be “Nick Griffin’s Guilty” (self explanitory), “They Shall Not Pass” the beautifully tuneful ska instrumental which not only shows the musicians skill, but relaxes the listener before giving yourself into the Thrash Vaccume again (A breather between the moshing songs if you will). “They Shall Not Pass” is also the introduction to this Albums greatest song “Battle for Cable Street” what the song is about. “Battle for Cable Street” is a 4 minute romp of grinding guitars, thudding bass and drilling drums about the 1930’s March against Mosley with some excellent sing along moments. Lastly “Fight” is a dance of a song (I dont know what I meant by that, but it just seems to describe how it sounds, the music powerfully, yet gracfully flows around you) about standing up for yourself with some wonderful Gang chants. Most of the songs are backed up by Spike Repulsive (of the Repulsive Love Fairies) and O.N.C. of Ronnie and Carlo (?).
This is a stirling album. Its brilliant, theyre definatly a band to see and this is definatly an album to listen to. BUY IT NOW!! All in all I give it two thumbs up and if I had more thumbs those would go up too.
Something to Proove, Common Thread, Eating Glass
Boss Tuneage bring you digipack reissues of the Spermbirds back catalogue. The Spermbirds arguably became German punks biggest export of the late 80s. Starting here with the first two albums ‘something to prove’ and ‘nothing is easy’ on one CD, which went down a storm at the time of release. I remember many a night with people singing along to such classics as ‘Playboy Subscriber’ and ‘my god rides a skateboard’. It was a good mid-paced (by today’s hardcore standard) punk sound with very much of an American influence. Must admit to not being familiar with the later albums, the next being ‘Common Thread’ which maintains a similar feel to the previous CD. By 1992’s ‘Eating Glass’ album the sound had somewhat matured and we’ve enjoyed listening to the complete set in the shop to review them! All three CDs feature bonus tracks from E.Ps, comps etc.
Parallel Universe Of the Dead
CDLP - BOSS TUNE
It kinda makes sense when you hear it that this is a supergroup. It just has an air of experience and relaxation about it, it really sounds like a bunch of people that have prooved themselves elsewhere and are now having punk rock fun with nothing to proove. Made up from members of Spermbirds, 2Bad and others this album is undenyably pop, but has some really fucked up dark (but funny) lyrics. The vocals are coarse but far from yelled. A great album.
Blackhawks Over Los Angeles
CDLP - FAT WRECK CHORDS
They’ve gone metal! This is a very expensive sounding album that appears to show that Strung Out (whilst they have lost none of their political verve) seem to have lost their violent anger. Nothing very exciting here, seems a shame somehow.
Sugar Puff Demons
Falling From Grace
The never ending (hurrah) Anagram Psychobilly Collectors Series brings us a flavour of more macabre rock ‘n’ roll in the shape of the Sugar Puff Demons. The tunes all have horror related themes but the music is jolly as ever. Worth grabbing if you’re a hardcore psycho fan, if only for the fact this 1989 album must have cemented the ghostly themes that had started to creep into Psychobilly, but then what do I know…
These Arms are Snakes
CDLP - JADE TREE
What the hell is going on? Sounds like this band had about four albums worth of tracks and crammed them into one record! Hell, half the songs sound like they crammed a few songs into one whether it was going to work or not! I saw them two nights in a row supporting Pelican and they put on a hell of a show. It’s all very clever sounding, might be math rock, I don’t know, I’m utterly bewildered!
This Et All
CDLP - FC RECORDINGS
Some bands spend a lot of time getting a good overall sound, this band has a pretty good sound for their own brand of post Mansun post rock thing but seem to be lacking songs. It’s all very clever, but then so is Stephen Hawkins and I wouldn’t want to listen to his musical output. Although he did put out that single called ‘I am not sexless’ when he visited that prozza in Holland. That’s totally true, if you don’t believe me then look it up.
A Raining Sun of Light and Love, For You and You and You
CDLP - TEE PEE RECORDS
I know album titles have been getting longer recently but this just takes the piss! Prog is back ladies and gentlemen, and it’s pretending to be stoner music. Make no mistake, Titan sound like Hawkwind mixed with Tubular bells, but it’s fairly inoffensive. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad with this sort of music!
CDLP - VICTORY RECORDS
Very accomplished and very hoy-rish folk punk. You know what it is, you know what it does, so pour the whisky (Irish spelling of Whiskey doncha know) and get dancing. To tell the truth this stuff leaves me cold on cd when I quite enjoy it live. It’s a bit like having the smell of sex up your nose without your cock in the furry goblet.
Another kind of blues
CDLP - CAPTAIN OI
Well,pretty easy this one,if your into 70’s / 80’s uk punk your gonna know the Subs.if your not then this is an ideal start.The debut album from 1979 packed with classic subs standards including hit singles Stranglehold & Tomorrows Girls,brilliantly packaged in a gatefold digipak by the Captain & including a whooping 9 bonus tracks – Nuff said !
Burn Cambridge Burn
CDLP -R*E*P*E*A*T RECORDS
Never a label/ zine to be afraid of grandiose exclamations, the good word with this release is that we should burn down Cambridge! Rosey and et all have a fair point, bar the Portland Arms I’ve never had much fun in Cambridge, admittedly I’ve never played in any of the other venues, but still, it’s the only place I’ve ever ordered a chicken kebab and they brought out the meat from the back room in a bucket! Anyhoo, this is a split album between Anti-Social Burn-Outs (who are the only band I’ve ever seen with a double double barrelled name!), Cosy Cosy, The Hope and The Khe Sahn Approach. A-S-B-O (fuck man, I get it now!!!) kick off with some pretty polished sounding socio-punk which sets the mood for the entire disc. It’s competent but didn’t really blow me away. Cosy Cosy take the virtual stage next and immediately remind me of early 80s Anarcho-Pop bands like the Lost Cheries, all pouty vocals and ahem ‘loose’ accompaniment. I really enjoyed this band, they have a nice laid back but miffed vibe to them. The Hope are going places, they are so close, so very close to being a classic band and I very much suspect their Manics (wonder if that’s why R*E*P*E*A*T zinester Rosey likes them) grind will come of age very soon. Hate to say it, but the instrumentation is a bit la-sai-faire but gets the job done. Finally we’ve got a band that came damn close to being legends in their own fuzz boxes, The wonderful Khe Sahn Approach. Their Prolapse dripped fighting Fall tunes had the potential to be properly massive. They had something to say, they had a very pretty guitarist (hell, most of my mates call him pretty Richard) and a couple of other scene local celebrities all coming together to remind us that fucking awful phrase ‘indie’ could be dangerous and passionate, and that it hasn’t been killed off by the Keanes and bastard Coldplays of this world. Live this band were a swirling aural hell of feedback and retro keyboard beats all fronted by singer Matt Abysmal at the keys acting up as some sort of snarling vicious conductor of chaos. Fuck me they’ll be missed, the final proper track on this album acts as the perfect accompaniment as I stand by the grave of this band in the section of the musical graveyard marked out for bands that shone bright and brief. ‘Crocodile Tear gas’ perfectly sums up everything about this great band, it’s long, ambitious, pissed off and yet utterly accessible. Whilst all the tracks on this album are top, it’s worth buying for KSA alone. Go buy it now at repeatfanzine.co.uk, it’s only £4 for Peel’s sake! The only pain in the arse thing I’m going to say about this Cambridge comp is that KSA are from Bury and as far as I know The Hope have at least a few members that live in Ippo! Shut up Andrew, it’s time for bed now. zzzzzzzzzz
Go-Kart vs. Corporate Giant 4
Well this CD does what it says on the tin. Here’s a selection of Go-Kart various artists 16 different bands on the 22 tracks. It’s all American punk from the different sub genes so something for most fans, thumping drums, with fast buzz saw or jangly guitars. Give it a try if you want to hear something from the less well known bands, it very listenable with bands you want to hear more from. Standout bands for me are Bambix, Nervous Nellie and the Folk/Punk World Friendship Society.
Rockin’ At The Take 2
Volumes 1 & 2
CDLP - ANAGRAM RECORDS
Great collection of well known and not so well known Psycho bands all recorded at the legenary club in Sheffield. Worth grabbing for some oddities such as Screaming Dead covering ‘Swords of a thousand men’ and an awful Tailgators version of a clash song. Much like the rest of the Anagram collectors series (this is no.57) the real highlights are The Frantic Flintstones and Demented are Go.
This is the A.L.F.
CDLP - Mortarhate
Originally an lp now remastered.It’s the usual Anarcho suspects all with songs relating to Animal rights causes / Abuse / Experimentation / Meat eating,so listen keenly folks & give up the flesh chomping.Good comp including Crass / Conflict / Icons of Filth / Dirt / Subhumans / Chumbas & more
CDLP - UNITREE RECORDI(NGS
Until a few months back, if someone had told me that Hawaii had Hardcore band, I would never have believed them. However now, I would, without a doubt, be proven whole heartedly wrong and thus forced to eat massive amounts of the bitter dish…”Humble Pie”. I discovered the band when a member of theirs, Steve, posted on the Punkmusiccommunity.com forum. He wasn’t there advertising his band, he was just there to talk about Punk music. It wasn’t until much later we all discovered he was in this fantastic Hardcore outfit (Order of the) White Rose (named after a group of students and their teacher who leafleted against Hitler’s dictatorship in Munich and were subsequently arrested and executed for doing so). White Rose are defiantly there, on a small Island off the main coast of Hawaii and they prove that there is defiantly more to the small Islands then grass skirts, Ukuleles and palm tree’s (although there is plenty of that too).
In the vein of bands such as Against Me, Rise Against and to a smaller extent 7 Seconds, they combine Hardcore Punk with softer melodic vocals but also with the belting, lung rendering vocals that Hardcore fans are so accustomed too. The music is played fast and hard in true Punk rock fashion with all the technical ability of Dr. Know of the Bad Brains, accompanied by some fantastic drumming and bass lines melding it together into one brilliant album.
The album in question is “War Machine”, which is 11 tracks of blasting Hardcore Punk with a political ire that burns deep within your soul. Stand out tracks are “White Rose”, “In Control” “Armchair General”, “Who would Jesus Bomb” and “Resist Dispair” all making this album well worth a listen. Their CD is available from their Myspace (being a DIY band) www.myspace.com/whiterosepunk. Hope at least some of you go and get a copy. All in all two thumbs up and if I had more thumbs they’d go up too.
Enjoy Eternal Bliss
CDEP - BIG SCARY MONSTERS RECORDS
It’s too easy to claim I hate emotional music, I mean all music contains some emotion as that’s pretty much the entire reason music exists, to communicate. But I do hate contrived emotional pressure in music. I hate hearing bands moan about how shit life is and all that crap. I saw Yndi Halda in a tiny venue in Ipswich (The Ice Bar), to give you an idea of how small this place was they were supporting my band! As we sat there watching the band prepare to soundcheck we raised a collective eyebrow at the six string bass, the really odd looking guitars and most of all the electric violin. The stage floor looked like the band had robbed an fx pedals factory en route to the show. But then they started, now let me tell you, no band has ever put a lump in my throat and made me well up during a soundcheck! The instrumentation is pretty damned close to being classical and carries an emotion similar to the end of Shawshank Redemption. A joy of life type feeling, like when you are getting over a personal loss, and that exact moment you realise everything is going to be okay and you can start smiling when recalling fond memories of the deceased instead of being emotional crushed. This EP is nothing short of fucking genius. It’s a lot more subtle than ISIS or Pelican and more emotional than the speeches at a Japanese wedding banquet. But please don’t let my use of the ‘E’ word put you off this CD. Calling it an EP just doesn’t do it justice as it weighs in a hefty 65 minutes and 44 seconds! There have been a lot of instrumental bands bubbling under the surface of the mainstream for a few years now, I’ve got a strong feeling that Yndi Halda might be the first to break through and go mainstream. Whilst a lot of other instrumental bands relay on burst of heaviness to keep the vibe going this band uses the much more challenging approach of using damn good song writing, along the lines of Mogwai or even The Doves. I think you get the impression, now go buy this!
The Young Knives
...Are Dead ...And Some
CD - LP
Ah, and now we come to the token band that I’ve heard of. This is a re-release of two early albums that T’Young Knives did for Shifty Disco, and I guess I can’t really blame them for trying to cash in now that the band have got famous and even scored a Mercury nomination with a different label’s backing.
This is okay, but I wouldn’t choose to listen to it. It’s just dull, Henry’s vocals are grating, and bar the loveliness of ‘St Petersburg Wedding’, none of these songs are pleasant or interesting or weird enough to make me press play. It’s just tiring, listening to this - it’s impossible to get enthusiastic about something so concrete-sounding, so grey. They say in the press release that they were influenced by the Buzzcocks and Pavement, but there’s no lightness here and no vocals to match either Shelley or Malkmus, no songs as memorable as theirs, nothing to get excited about beyond the quite good cover art. The Young Knives work better as a more polished band, singing about their girlfriend’s parents and having a hot summer (dream on!), and to be honest I’d just listen to their latest couple of singles and the Buzzcocks instead of wasting time on this.
Settle Down City
CDLP - JADE TREE
Those of you with a sensitive scene disposition should look away now, I’m going to say something negative about Jade Tree... I don’t know if I’m already past it at 31 years old, but I remember back fondly to a day when bands in a recording studio played the same songs as each other, at the same time. It’s the same thing with These Arms Are Snakes (who incidentally make no more sense when you see them live) these bands seem to put a ton of effort and high production values into crowbarring together the most uncomfortable sounding shite ever. I’m not excepting Tom Jones or bloody Beethoven, just chords that go together and don’t make me envy my Dad. I should add my Dad needs hearing aids.
Stations of the Dead
CDLP - IMPRINT RECORDS
What’s with the current revivial for denim rock? At least Zen Motel do something interesting to the genre by using some cool synth noises. It all sounds right for foot stomping hair combing cock rock and the songs are strong. One for fans of Teenage Casket Company. Top props to them for the subtle Replacements influence too, good lads!
CDEP - SELF RELEASED
Great Brittish well written punk tunes, I can’t think of anything else right now that would sum this release up more perfectly than that.
CDEP – SELF RELEASED
Competent and well structured thoughtful and thought provoking northern matured punk. Dunno if this was recorded live in the studio, but I spotted a few bum notes and dodgy drum fills. Damn shame, ignore that and check em out.
CDLP - HYDRA HEAD
Bloody hell, that’s every member of Cave-In that have a solo album out this month bar the drummer! Zozobra is the work of bassist Caleb Scofield, and you can really tell this is a bassist’s album. This album also highlights just how much influence Mr Scofield had over Cave-In, in fact at some points it feels like this entire album is an extended version of Trephanning. This album has a fantastic power and energy to it but the vocals start to really grate, whoever told Caleb he could growl needs a punishment beating. Better than Stephen Brodsky’s Octave Museum but not a patch on McGrath’s simply awesome Clouds album.
CDLP - HYDRA HEAD
i don’t know what they put in the water in Boston but i wish they would bottle it and give it out to some of the bands in this town. there is a certain clique of musicians from that city that breathe conviction, creativity and intensity. Caleb Schofield, the man at the helm of Zozobra is one such person. serving time in cave-in and Old Man Gloom, he has been making tectonic plate shifting music for many years. Zozobra play colossal, droning, immense, celestial rock. if you’re familiar with Caleb’s other bands you’ll know exactly what i’m talking about. soaring riffs, sublime melodies and majestic vocal harmonies that collapse into doomy chasms inhabited by malignant spirits jealous of the world above the surface. if you’re a fan of cave-in/OMG/isis/pretty much anything on hydrahead this will be right up your street.
Big Audio Dynamite – E=MC2 (Cherry Red dvd)
BAD 2 live at the Town & Country,London from 1990.
For those who don’t know it’s Mick Jones post Clash band who notched up a few hits in the late 80’s.This is pretty good,well shot,good sound includes Medicine Show,Rush,E=MC2,The Globe & The Bottom Line which all sound fairly meaty live compared to the studio versions.Some good use of samples in the way Jones was heading by Combat Rock era Clash.If you like Micks vocal tracks on later Clash material then you’d probably dig this dvd.50 minutes running time and rounded of with a version of Princes 1999.
Disorder – 20 years in a van 1986 – 2006 (Cherry Red)
Got a soft spot for Disorder from their chaotic cider fuelled noisy releases from the early 80’s.Early uk hardcore as it was then with a noise not music attitude that influenced the likes of Extreme Noise Terror et all.Loads of tracks culled from around 5 different gigs & featuring varying line ups,though with Taff ever present,includes all the faves but I can’t be arsed to list them.If you know their stuff you know what your gonna get,So get in a Flagon of Thatchers and be bad be glad.
D.O.A. – Live at the Assassination Club (Cherry Red dvd)
Long running influential Canadian Punk band often cited as starting the Hardcore Moniker back in 81, caught in their prime at Leeds in 1984.This would be the time DOA became best known in the UK with Alternative Tentacles releasing Bloodied but Unbowed lp covering the 78-83 releases which were hard to find or expensive on import way back then in the uk.A lot of that lp is included on here along with other classics from the line up of Joey Shithead / Randy Rampage / Dave Gregg & Chuck Biscuits.Plus 3 bonus poetry tracks from Seething Wells / Mensi & Spartacus R.
The Gun Club – Fire of Love (Cherry Red dvd)
Really enjoyed this.2 shows,the first from Manchesters Hacienda in 1983 & Madrid in 85.Great footage of this under rated supergroup led by sadly departed Wildman Jeffrey lee pierce with Patricia Morrison (Sisters of Mercy,Damned) on Bass & Kid Congo Powers (Cramps) on guitar.Creating a great Tribal / Psychobilly / Blues sound.Superb footage & including a bizarre interview from Spanish TV.
The Oppressed / The Warriors – Maximum Oi! (Cherry Red)
Recorded Live in 1996 & the title is self explanatory,if Oi! Is ya bag this is Max Oi ! Oppressed turn in a set of their own faves,Work together etc & a whole bunch of covers from The Clash to the Who.The Warriors is the Last Resort with original singer Saxby instead of Roi Pearce you get all the old resort faves here Violence in our minds,King of the Jungle & lots of band interview footage to boot.
Skeletal Family – Promised Land,Live 1983 – 84 (Cherry Red dvd)
Early 80’s female fronted Yorkshire Goth band That passed me by then as they would now.Not a patch on some of the other Goth scene players of the day like Bauhaus or Sisters.Footage from Bradford,Sheffield & the Marquee + an interview and more recent footage with a different female vocalist.Ok for fans I guess.
Special Beat – Enjoy Yourself (Cherry Red dvd)
Collaboration of Ranking Roger (Beat) with Neville & Lynval (Specials) and band caught live in Tokyo in 1992 performing all the faves from their respective bands from the opener Concrete jungle through Too much too young,Rat Race,Mirror in the bathroom,tears of a clown,Gangsters,Do nothing,Too nice to talk to – There all here.If you’re a fan of the 2-tone era,then you gonna enjoy it.Good infectious dancey ska,enjoy yourself – too right !
This is Our Music
95 Minutes + Bonus Tracks + 2 hours of uncut interviews
This is the story of the Speedfreaks Ball in November 2005. This dvd tells in documentary fashion the story of hundreds of punks, mods, skins, psychobillies, rude boys and a Norfolk Pontins holiday camp (Hemsby) in dark dank November. Most of the action is interview based, talking about motivations and friendships. Considering the majority of the bands on this DVD have been around for twenty or more years it’s very forward thinking. There’s no lilac tinted nostalgia for the old days on show here, it’s all about the living, breathing, fighting, fucking animal that is punk rock. I’ve not been to Speedfreaks ball before, but after seeing this I’m really glad I’m going to be running a stall there this year. Most of the interviews and chat revolve around the hilariously topped Ed Tudor Pole, the friendly Meteors and the ever reliable (or should that be predictable) Captain Sensible. and for some reason the camera crew seem to spend a lot of time following round and interviewing some particularly foxy punkettes. The singer of the Pork Dukes comes across as one of the most down to earth and hilarious people to have ever wound up Ed Tudor Pole. If you went to Speedfreaks last year this documentary is a must for you, we didn’t go and we still spotted tons of people we knew!
Wendy O Williams – Live.Bump ‘n’ Grind. (Cherry Red dvd)
Wendy O sure did her bit in kicking open doors for girls that wanna rock in her heyday with the Plasmatics.She parted company with that band in the early 80’s & went solo,as well as teaming up with Lemmy for a version of Stand by your man before taking her life sadly in 1998.This is a show from London in 85,the band is pretty metally but WOW is hardcore and none stop,just under an hour in performance with a highlight being Lemmy & Wurzel joining her on stage for Jailbait.A sadly missed provocative performer & I thoroughly enjoyed watching this,maybe it’s the skimpy black leather !
Captain Hotknives +LMorgan + Second In Line + Steven Boyle + Tom Allport
London, Kilburn, The Good Ship
A Monday night, a nice chilled out acoustic show in Kilburn. It’s all good to calm you down after the weekend. First up is Newbury artist Tom Allport.
Affectionally know as Bridge Tom, due to his busking. Tom is a great artist, great voice, great songs. Tonight he’s on form as always and delivers some top songs finishing in a Monty Python cover. Next up is Steven Boyle. Not sure whether it’s a technical problem or a guitar problem. But his performance is not really all that hot to be honest. He can definitely play the guitar well, but it’s dropping out of tune all the time and his vocals are not really the strongest. Second In Line are next, and I can’t really review ourselves, but we’re not really an acoustic band but we had a go at it and had a laugh doing it. L Morgan was excellent, really talented songwriter, highly impressive, well worth checking out.
Captain Hotknives is just a lyrical genius. Funny tunes and a setlist scribbled in marker pen up both arms. Another act worth a listen. Overall a pretty darn fine night in the capital, let’s hope the promoter puts a few more shows on like this.
Slough, The Eco Bar
A new night, a new venue for Slough. The place itself doesn’t particularly look like the place you might expect to see band play. It’s got a trendy wine bar look to it. And sure enough the set up isn’t great to be honest, a lack of a p.a. means the vocals are going straight through the in-house speaker system, obviously geared towards a clubbier atmosphere. But Slough punks the Stats plough on with a great fun show of fun tunes. The highlight as always was D.I.S.C.O. - a great tune by a great band. The Stats are one of those bands that are not just a top band, but all round top lads and you really should check them out. Hopefully the venue can sort the teething problems out and the sound and a really cool little live music night can come out of it. There is definite promise there, but The Stats were on fine form. All hail The Stats.
The Big / The Floating Maxwells
Steamboat Tavern – 24th November 2006
I was dead chuffed to hear this gig had been rescheduled following the unexpected demise of the Drum and Monkey recently. You can always rely on Val and the Steamboat to come to the rescue which was excellent news in this case as a Big gig is not to be missed.
These 2 bands played the D&M in July along with The Chancers and what a top night that was even though the heat nearly killed the bands and the crowd such was its intensity. It was also the first ever show played by the Floating Maxwells. Rising from the ashes of The Rejects the line up has changed and been expanded to include a brass section as well as take on more obvious ska influences, hence their close relationship with The Big. At their first show they were clearly nervous but showed enough to suggest this would be a fine band.
And so it turned out, with the addition of trumpet to the existing sax it gives TFM’s a much broader, fuller sound. When not trumpeting there is also the added bonus of more backing vocals which also helps. Uncle J continues to lead the band in an amusing and thoroughly entertaining set and, speaking to him afterwards, they felt the same judging by his sweat soaked shirt and very broad grin. I bought their 4 song CD EP which I hope will be as good as the onstage set suggested. No-one knows if these types of bands will ever achieve the success their hard work deserves but for now you can be sure they’re heading in the right direction.
After a very brief interlude, only long enough in fact to change over the smallest amount of kit, it was time for The Big. Since I first saw them at the D&M some years ago I’ve never missed a chance to catch them live whenever the opportunity arises. I wondered if there would be much of a crowd tonight as there were some other well advertised gigs on locally. I need not have worried, by the time The Big came on The Steamboat was rammed which contributed to a great atmosphere.
As ever, frontman Ed leads the band through a fabulous set of ska and reggae tinged tunes. Ed has changed from a crew-cutted chap to what can only be described as Gizzly Adams younger brother…his close cropped hair replaced by a massive curly ‘fro and huge beard. Being at least 6’ 6” it only adds to his stage presence. Most songs are culled from albums Tears At Dover and Whatever Makes You Happy but when combined with the atmosphere and a band on form make for a thoroughly enjoyable set. Shorn of a full brass section The Big have to rely on a sole sax player which, given the confines of the small stage, is probably a good thing. It doesn’t really affect the sound or the banter onstage as The Big proceed to play a full set of excellent tunes including all the fans favourites…Trains, C*nt etc. I wonder what would happen if they ever got any TV or radio coverage given their interesting lyrics !!!
All in all another good gig night at one of Ippo’s leading music venues. If the proposed threats to The Steamboats music license do materialise it will be a real shame as it is one of the few places you can see 2 cracking live bands in a friendly environment that warms the heart.
New Found Glory / The Early November / Hit The Lights
Norwich UEA – 29th November 2006-11-30
I never miss a chance to see NFG whenever the opportunity arises. Having first seen them at this venue 4 years ago I’ve managed to see them on pretty much all UK tours since, including the surprise support slot on the last Green Day theatre tour.
I was unfamiliar with both support bands but had read bits about them in Big Cheese so had a rough idea what to expect. Hit The Lights were already on when we arrived and the near capacity crowd seemed to be getting into them. Having secured that important first beer of the night we turned our attention to the stage and were presented with an average set of pop / punk that neither offended nor excited us. The band kept trying to illicit a louder response from the crowd after each song but I got the impression most were of the same opinion as us, a decent enough band but nothing out of the ordinary.
Next up were The Early November who I understand are being touted as a potential big act. To be fair they did try something a little different, the songs were musically tight, played well and the use of piano to enhance their tunes made for a broader appeal but again I was left feeling somewhat under whelmed. Whether this was due to me only really being there to see NFG or because the quality of support bands generally being poor is open to debate.
With the stage now cleared, the back-line unveiled and our glasses re-charged we took up a good position to enjoy the headliners. As mentioned earlier I am a fan of this band and despite them representing the so called poppier side of the punk rock spectrum I think they write damn good songs. Recent albums have seen the band move into darker, more mature themes but their live shows still rely purely on the boundless energy of the 5 members.
Having bought and digested new CD Coming Home I was surprised that only a couple of tracks were aired including recent single It’s Not Your Fault. Maybe the band thought it hadn’t been out long enough for the new material to be fully appreciated but whatever the reason the reliance on earlier songs worked well. Vocalist Jordan has lowered his vocal style on the last 2 albums and this has been carried over into the live arena. As a result his voice sounds more powerful and if anything has made him a better singer, the whiney aspect of his vocals happily a thing of the past. Guitarist Chad supplies shouty backing vocals and, like the rest of the band, is very animated throughout. I’m also pleased to report that ‘cuddly’ bassist Ian kept his shirt on which is always good to see!!!
Every song I wanted to hear was played…Hit Or Miss, Dressed To Kill, Catalyst, My Friends Over You…and my own personal favourite Sonny. Each song raised the excitement level and when combined with the boundless energy on display it only added to the fantastic vibe of the show. Our vantage point made it difficult to see drummer Cyrus but he as certainly audible and provided an excellent backbone from which to launch the rest of the sound. Again, being on the left of the stage we were subject to a bass-heavy, somewhat muddy sound but at the UEA if you want to see a band it’s one of the best places to stand.
For me, the set flew by. I sung along to most of the songs and was thoroughly entertained by a band clearly excited by being back on tour and on top form. They even sneaked in a dreadful cover of the Never Ending Story but tonight you could forgive NFG pretty much anything.
18th January 2007
Remember that day that was really windy? That day where people were advised not to travel unless it was necessary? Well, going to see Imogen Heap seemed necessary on that day. However, the journey to Norwich actually took 6 hours. We met at 4.45. Over two hours was spent on a stationary train a minute away from Ipswich Station waiting to get towed back. Time was spent running to my mum’s workplace to borrow a car. A long time was spent driving to Norwich and it took an hour to find parking that wasn’t in a drug-dealing-dogging sort of place. We arrived at The Waterfront at 9.30, had completely missed the support band and Imogen started less than five minutes after our entrance. Imogen Heap is so British and so modest and it makes a nice change to see modesty come across so obviously. Her piano played an integral part in songs and Nemo contributed to songs which required something more than sampling and looping. A majority of the songs were from Speak for Yourself but a couple of Frou Frou tracks and a song from I Megaphone provided a nice change. An a capella Hide and Seek was a definite highlight along with Headlock and Frou Frou’s Let Go with piano accompaniment. Imogen Heap is an act that really has to be seen in order to marvel at how songs that would appear to never work live can transpire well.
SECOND IN LINE
@ SOUTHAMPTON DORCHESTER ARMS
FRI 2ND FEB 2007
The Dorchester Arms is a pretty bizarre little pub to find a show going on, kinda old man to be honest. Gimble suddenly decide they want to go first and put on a pretty tight display of pop punk. It’s very Blink 182 ish and very singalong. Gimble are a fun little pop punk band, so make sure you look them up.
James Barrett and Tommy Comstock both play acoustic sets alternating their songs (they couldn’t decide who was going on first so I came up with this idea, which I found worked really well). James was really good, some fun little songs and lyrics. Tommy however didn’t like using the p.a. and with just an acoustic (not electric acoustic) was hard to hear if you were 10 metres away. Still he stood down the front and shouted his heart out.
Pretty good fun and made a nice diverse part of the night.
We headlined the show and had plenty of technical hitches. A bass amp that was only working every now and then before deciding to blow up for good half way through our set. Still we carried on dropping down to just guitars.
Then broken strings on both guitars cut us down to just one. Luckily Dan was still on there drums, sod’s law he’d put his pedal through the skin, but luckily not. Let’s just hope that’s all the bad luck out of the way.
SECOND IN LINE
THE BLARDY BLARS
THE STATS READING
SUN 11TH FEB 2007
Tonight is the landlord Dee’s birthday bash, a huge shame that The Grizzley Ends had to pull out, but the show is pretty rammed with people anyways.
The Stats hail from Slough and play very straight forward punk rock. This was actually one of the tightest I’ve seen them play and they are definitely a band to check out and go see live. Tracks like Muhammad Ali and Ain’t My Baby are of worthy note. Although they nearly committed band suicide and didn’t play their song Disco - even though a crowd of people were chanting for it. Great set, great lads.
Next up were The Blardy Blars - a band from Reading. It was pure indie and they were well out of place on the bill. Yeah they were talented musicians and can probably get somewhere, but personally with their attitude and lack of supporting the others bands I don’t care one little bit for them. At 7pm that night they apparently weren’t playing, then they turned up, paid no attention to the other bands, only the bass player even bothered to talk to anyone else and then promptly left after their set. Not really the kind of attitude appreciated at all. I’ve got no time for them.
Peng then took the stage, with yet another member, third vocalist Selina.
Now up to a 7 piece Peng play very fast skate punk. 3 vocalists, excellent lyrics, excellent hooks and a sweaty drummer. It amazes me sometimes how Peng aren’t bigger than they are, they definitely have the potential to be.
So check them out without delay.
So we headlined the night after a great introduction from Dee and thoroughly enjoyed the show. I can’t really review the band I’m in, but I hope people enjoyed what we do and the feedback we got was good. Overall it was a pretty good night, packed of mostly cool people and loads of fun. Oh and we’re back there again on the 22nd of this month ... Can’t wait!
Bowling For Soup / Son Of Dork / Army Of Freshmen
Norwich UEA – 15th February 2007
This was supposed to be a 4 band bill but upon arrival we were advised Wheatus had pulled out of the Norwich gig due to illness. Personally this was a disappointment as I felt they were a good addition to the bill and would be worth seeing.
That minor upset aside we arrived in the middle of Army Of Freshmen’s set. To me they sounded like pretty vibrant bunch but as Mickey Red Flag commented “Keyboards in a punk band is a crime, 2 sets of keyboards in a punk band is unforgivable!”. Which was actually very true, the multiple layers offered by the plethora of piano, synth etc rendered their sound a little too poppy for my tastes. I understand AOF will be returning to Norwich to play the Waterfront in a few months time. Maybe with a longer set and greater familiarity they will impress more.
Next up were Son Of Dork featuring that fella from Busted. I saw one of their video’s on TV previously and it looked then as though they were trying too hard to be New Found Glory especially with all the American phrasing and quirky terms which simply do not relate to a UK audience although I suspect most ‘kids’ would claim to get it ! Clearly with more time to mature both the band and their sound they came across a lot less contrived, particularly the lead singer who has stepped out of the shadows of Busted and while still seeming a little nervous fronting the band does a pretty good job. The rest of SOD are tight musically but all seemed a little too pre-occupied with looking good. This is an increasingly worrying trend in music which for me is totally unnecessary. Quite why bands feel the need to tart up their hair, wear ridiculously low slung jeans and generally ponce about on stage is beyond me. Before anyone plays the ‘old fart’ card, yes indeed I am 40 years old but that is irrelevant, music played well should stand up on its own merits and not need an image to make it appeal. The NFG similarities are still apparent but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The key is to have a spark of originality in the music and with time I suspect SOD might achieve it. The main question is whether this band can ever get out from under the spectre of Busted that looms large over them and Fightstar.
Following the withdrawal of Wheatus I fully expected Bowling For Soup to play a longer set but instead they stuck to what had been published on the internet in other reviews. This surprised me as normally they like to play for as long as possible but irrespective it did not affect anyone’s enjoyment of the show. This must have been the 5th or 6th time I have seen BFS live and since they’ve progressed to UEA size venues they’ve really embraced the opportunity to put on a full-blown ROCK show. Entering to the ‘Rocky’ theme music in matching black tracksuits all emblazoned with their names the band ham it up pretending to shadow box and generally warm up until the outer garments are removed by waiting roadies and full punk rock garb is on show. Opening with back to back songs from new CD ‘The Great Burrito Extortion Case’ it was blatantly obvious this was going to be another good show. The piled into the set, Jaret joking with the crowd between songs while the rest of the band kept the musical tempo high. It was pleasing to see guitarist Chris actually playing on this tour. Last time I saw then there was a suspicion he wasn’t even plugged as all he seemed to do was spend time throwing his plectrum in the air and generally show boating to the crowd. This is fine and all very entertaining but it left Jaret to carry the show which seemed a bit unfair. This time around though it’s clear Chris is really into the show as he plays some choice solos.
Current hit “High School Never Ends” is played quite early on but is good for getting the crowd singing which, let’s face it, it what a BFS show is all about. Personal fave “The Bitch Song” is also played earlier than expected but providing it’s in the set then I’m happy. It was noticeable that older songs have been dropped but that is to be expected as bands progress and release more new material. The showmanship on display is impressive but sometimes you do wonder if this detracts from the songs themselves. During “1985” for example the band stop mid-set and get one of the back stage crew up to ring Brendan from Wheatus on a mobile so we could all wish him well and belt out a chorus of “Teenage Dirtbag”…a nice sentiment but it did seem very contrived.
Fortunately with that out of the way the show and our enjoyment of it continued unabated. Other non-album tracks were played such as “Punk Rock 101” which has to have one of the most ironic videos ever made. The band headed towards the end of the set and it was clear they were setting up for the fairly obvious encore of “Girl All The Good Guys Want” which is exactly what we got. By the time they hit the opening chords there were two massive inflatable hands on each side of the stage both flashing the devils horns, a funny touch and one repeated from the last tour.
Surprisingly BFS only played a one song encore which was a little disappointing. As mentioned earlier I would have thought with Wheatus off the bill there would have been more scope for the headliners to play a longer set but sadly this didn’t happen. One thing was clear though and that was this band goes from strength to strength. They know their songs and they know their audience so armed with that knowledge you’re virtually guaranteed a great night. If you get the chance to catch them on the return UK tour in October I suggest you do as everyone really should see BFS live once in their lives.
Red Flag 77
28th July 2007
@ Ipswich Steamboat Tavern
All day shows have a very special place in the musical calendar of Ipswich, they are a chance to spend all day among friends exercising conversation, the ears and the drinking muscles. Whilst there are currently around six all dayers taking place throughout this soggy Suffolk summer the Red Flag 77 all-dayer is easily the longest running and most established. People travel from far and wide, glancing around the packed Steamboat Garden this afternoon I was spotting friends old and new from mainland Europe and even from as far away as New Zealand! More so than for any other all day music event ‘Flag Day’ sees everyone crawl out of the wood work, everyone commits to making an appearance. The garden today is like a who’s who of the alternative Ipswich musical community of the last thirty years, all here not only for the music but also the punk quiz and even the booze laden raffle table. Top tunes were provided outside by Ippo DJ LunaJunkie, all fuelling what is increasingly a very family friendly event. After all, as the alternative community broadens and ages there is now a generation of kids growing up among this fun and viewing it as utter normality, fantastic!
Unfortunately due to other commitments (I had to get the washing in before the rain) I entirely missed Dangers Close. Suspect Device were my musical introduction to the day’s proceedings as they snarled and postured through their set of polished punk covers. Although they are playing other people’s songs they give a unique and very personal breath of life to each punk classic they mount and ride braying into an increasingly appreciative and attentive crowd. After another lap of the garden to greet friends I squeezed myself back indoors to watch The Ballistics. After the release of two albums and the conquering of many local stages its fair to say The Ballistics and their brass splattered ska tracks are well and truly established in this town. It’s a testament to the song writing of the band that the more shows they play; the larger the percentage of the audience feels compelled to sing along. The interaction of the audience at Ballistics’ shows gives every performance the air of mass celebratory jubilation, one that ensures nobody is left with a sullen face by the end of their set.
Considering the many years that punk stars Red Flag 77 have been stomping the boards of Europe they still play with all the urgency and defiance of spotty teens coming to terms with a world that seems alien, greedy and cold. The difference with the way that Red Flag 77 write and perform (compared to some other more clichéd punks) is that they evade entirely the alienation that voicing anger at injustices can instil in between a band and their audience. When you watch this band you very much get they feeling that they are on your side, they understand and will stand by your side fist in the air in undying comradeship until every wrong is righted. This is why Red Flag have such dedicated fans, this is why people make pilgrimage from far and wide at least one day a year to the Steamboat Tavern for ‘Flag Day’ in order to stand in the church of the flag and pledge their allegiance, not to their superiors, but to their comrades.
London’s Inner Terrestrials are a band that I have been looking forward to seeing for quite some time, they appeal on not just a musical level, but on a political and ethical level as well. The Inner Terrestrials started their set with some subtle dub that appeared to catch the audience by surprise, almost as if the room as a whole was unsure as to whether the band had started or were still line-checking their instruments. The second song left us in no doubt as the band launched into a song broaching the first of many subjects the band would attack, discuss, define and declare tonight. The Inner Terrestrials have the ability to switch between vitriolic hardcore guitar pounding punk to chilled out water tight reggae and dub seemingly at the drop of a hat. It’s a remarkable skill that they make full use of to the exhilaration of everyone in the crowd. Watching Paco and the rest tonight felt spiritually nourishing, there are people out there that fight for what we fight for and celebrate all the same pleasures in life that we revel in. These impassioned Londoners inspired a hearty demand for an encore (only the second I have ever seen at the Steamboat), which included (at the insistence of Rikki from Red Flag 77) a cover of The Guns of Brixton, which served as a perfect end to a day celebrating the community inspired by this thing we call Punk Rock. Roll on next year!