Buy Beat Motel at www.beatmotel.co.uk
A Short Fanzine about Rocking #20 & #21
£1 for 71 A5 printed pages
Continuing to put the rest of zineworld to shame with his regularity and insight, Nick appears to put some real thought and expertise into what is primarily a music focused zine. That’s not to say there’s not some more traditional zine fayer like rants and zine reviews. The chap he sent my band’s album to review really fucking hated it, in fact I’d be worried about meeting that reviewer in the street in case he tried to ‘teach me a lesson’. Bollocks, I said I wouldn’t mention that!
Nick, Flat 4, 15A Allsaints Road, Wimbledon, London, sw9 1bu
Anatomical Heart #1
£?/ Trades for 24 A6 copied pages
It’s all over the media that the NHS is in ‘a bit of a pickle’, but this zine highlights the true horror that can be unleashed when the disorganisation of our great health service colludes with the social security system. Interesting, but ultimately really frustrating stuff.
Bettie Walker, Goosewell Farm, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4RN
Anarchoi #19 & #20
£1 for 32 Copied A4 Pages
Not so much cut and paste as scribble and run for this issue. Despite the very slapdash layouts the interviews (Los Cherees, Ned from Flat Earth Recs, Splinter and more) are up to their usual intelligent standard. A solid zine that really doesn’t deserve a twat like me being picky about design in a zine like Beat Motel!
James, 3 Hazel Grove, Kilwinning, Ayrshire, KA13 7JH
£1 for 32 Copied A4 Pages
Pretty solid issue of Anarchoi, zinester James mentions in the intro that he has interviewed two bands that are ‘nationalistic’. One of them being Condemned ‘84 from Ipswich, who don’t appear to have any dodgy lyrics and through all my personal dealings with the band have never uttered anything that struck me as oddly right wing, so I can’t imagine they’re going to be too chuffed that James as added his name to the list of people calling them nationalistic! Anyway, that aside the actual Condemned interview is full of very brief and largely uninteresting answers, none of the questions challenge any of the band’s alleged beliefs. A missed opportunity or proof there’s more to these bands than dodgy reputations? Buy this issue and decide for yourself.
James, 3 Hazel Grove, Kilwinning, Ayrshire, KA13 7JH
Bald Cactus #26
50p for 32 Printed Pages
Apart from the underlying seam of anti-middle class bias (I no more chose to be born middle class than I chose to be born white or English) this is the best issue of Bald Cactus yet! There’s a great chat with J from the Inner Terrestrials who always has something interesting to say as well as a mad huge chat with Dick Lucas. The bits on the Postal Strike help clear up a few things and as usual zinester Andy’s rants are pretty much spot on. I’ve just realised what an odd thing that is for me to say, just because we appear to agree on most things it doesn’t make either of us right or wrong! I particularly like Andy’s gig scoring system, with points given for ‘punkness’ of venue! One odd thing is Pete Wright sending in a ‘statement’ instead of being interviewed, what the fuck is all that about?
Andy Cactus, 145-149 CARDIGAN ROAD, LEEDS, WEST YORKSHIRE, LS6 1LJ
Barbies Dead #24
50p for 14 A4 copied pages
Bit brief this time Alex! There might be less stuff, but it’s more of what I like, zinester Alex can write perfectly ratty little tirades. Good work sir!
Alex, The Woodhouse, Gunnislake, Cornwall, PL18 9BW
Be Young and Shut Up#1
NOWT for several newsprint pages
Political Zine from Australia featuring an exposé of the dirty politics of Melbourne, Post modernism and Women’s Oppression. This zine will also help you get to know your industry parasites and find out ‘what cops want’. There’s also a rather odd article on fetishising neurosis! It’s all packaged in well printed newsprint, it even opens up in an interesting way!
http://beyoungandshutup.blogspot.com/ (I think!)
£1.50 for 36 A5 footprinted pages
First zine collection of ‘toons by my adopted brother Graham. He’s a very talented lad, and this collection of gremlin/ borrower type zines is a great cheery read. He’s got a very distinct and clean illustration style, I can’t recommend this zine highly enough, but then he is my brother!
PO Box 775, Ipswich, IP9 1FT
Black Lesbian President #4
£1.50 for 60 A5 Footprinted Pages
As much as I enjoyed the last issue of this I had the feeling that zinester Alex was somehow holding back something, like he wasn’t quite sure of his feet. Issue 4 sees Alex find his feet, realise they’re cool as fuck and put them on public display for all to enjoy at a wedding (more of that later). The problem with writing as many zine reviews as I do is that the majority of zines follow a certain pattern as far as layout and even section order is concerned, which is why so many zine reviews focus on the overall vibe and feel of a title without going into tons of detail with the content. The holy grail as far as I’m concerned for the ‘feel’ of a zine has to be how personable it is, to explain this I’m going to use the slightly surreal setting of a family wedding you might find yourself at where you don’t know anyone. At one end of the room there’s the slightly embarrassing and over-familiar personal zines that are drunk at the wedding telling you about their medical problems and sexual inadequacies. At the other end are the straight laced music magazines that sit in a corner and refuse to acknowledge your existence because you’re not as cool as them. Black Lesbian President comes across more as someone you might bump into at the bar and share a few pleasantries with, but by the end of the night you’d be sat together on a table at the back of the room howling with laughter as you share tales and find the humour in the room full of drunken dancers and fighters that the wedding has turned into by midnight. You’d promise to stay in touch, but it wouldn’t matter that much if you didn’t, this is a no stress friendship. But at the next family wedding you’d be chuffed sick to spot Black Lesbian President at the bar and make a bee-line for them, as soon is you speak it’s like you’ve never been apart. Is this the most confusing review I’ve ever written? Quite possibly! The bulk of the content of this issue is a report on Alex’s trip to The Fest in Gainesville FL, USA. It’s utterly hilarious and completely endearing at the same time, one tale that sets up this juxpostion perfectly is Alex turning up at the airport to fly to the states and sitting in the arrivals lounge! Alex is considering changing the name of his zine, but I really don’t think he should, it’s perfect as it is, plus after four issues the words in the title become mnemonic and don’t actually mean anything any more. Kudos is also due to this zine for reviewing the Jesu album in terms I agree with using bands names I’ve heard of, like Ride for fucks sake, if he had then mentioned Chapterhouse I would probably have fallen off my chair! I seem to say a lot of zines are my favourites, and Black Lesbian President is definitely worthy of being added to that group. I’d love to know what Alex’s beef with Mass Movement is though; we haven’t had a decent ruck in zineland since the Real Overdose/ Fracture tizzy many years ago!
Alex, 14 Spring Gardens Terrace, Cardiff, CF24 1QX
Breeding Ground – A Parenting Zine
50p for a bunch of page
Now this really appealed to me, a zine for parents, written by parents. Me being a parent and all that I had to check this zine out. This seems like a real mish mash of contributors but overall they all have one thing in common (other than being parents), they believe in home schooling. Breeding Ground is written by parents who seek alternative education for their children. Personally my kids will go to school like most kids and not be home schooled. From what I’ve seen of home schooled kids they lack certain social skills which I don’t think is a good thing. Surely the children should be able to choose their schooling but these parents are refusing to let the system educate their children. This zine offers an alternative outlook on how to raise children, I’m sure this would appeal to some parents, but everyone has their own ideas on how to raise their kids, so for a different opinion then check this out.
Burnout #29 & #30
60 for 24 A5 copied pages
If I was ever to move away from Ipswich I’d really hope to move into a town that had a zine like Burnout resident. Focusing on the Norf West of this realm we call England Burnout is the paper equivalent of an enthusiastic local doing everything they can to make you feel welcome and well informed. It’s kinda cool to see Ipswich’s very own sons ‘The Adicts’ betwixt the pages! There’s also some thoughtful columns, the one about stuff being taken down from YouTube is pretty remarkable/ frustrating. The reviews make it clear zinester Kerry is hassled by much the same PR agents as I am, don’t be afraid to say no!
Kerry, 43 Kirby Road, Blackburn, BB2 4HW
Bubblegum Slut #31
£1.50 for 84 A5 Printed Pages +CD
Whilst our music tastes are pretty wildly different on the whole, I am becoming increasingly fond of this zine for it’s brilliantly off the wall articles on subjects like ‘Britains Most Offensive Band’ and the bloody ace ‘Where to start with Pirate metal.
Alison B, 27 Stores Lane, Tiptree Essex, CO5 0LH
£3.50 for 40 THICK printed pages
More of a book than a zine really, really nicely printed. With one huge frame on each page this illustration/ comic/ graphic novel tells the tale of a tramp buying a luxury yacht and, well, if I told you any more it would spoil the story wouldn’t it! The illustrator Mark Stafford has a very retro style that reminded me a lot of the ‘Tijuana Bibles’ that existed in the early 20th Century. If you’ve never seen a Tijuana Bible then grab a copy of this booklet then google them!
$? for 32 A5 Printed Pages
It’s amazing how you can randomly get hold of a zine from other side of the world and you can find a comic strip that details the oddness of your own existence! Cramhole is a collection of comic strips detailing what with less personality would be a fairly mundane, fortunately for us the creators have shiteloads of personality, making this a damn fine zine! The bit about having shit jobs is fantastic, god knows what kind of style this is drawn in, but seeing Panda bears gambling in a Chinese restaurant really made my day!
billups allen, 2244 east 17th street, tucson, arizona 85719, usa
Cute Baby Christian Monkeys (not at all diseased) #33
£? for small A6 booklet
Definitely one for the ‘what the hell’ category that makes the world of zines so bloody great! This itty bitty booklet is all about wee monkeys being dressed up. Includes a selection of horrendous injuries the owners of these illegal pets have sustained, they don’t go to the doctors for fear of having their malevolent monkeys confiscated!
Got no contact I’m afraid, it came from Sticky Distro in Oz
Dance Like No One’s Watching #4
£1 for 28 A5 printed pages
This seems to bear no relation to the ‘Dance Like No One’s Watching’ zine I picked up and reviewed yonkers ago, that was a photocopied collection of randomness, whereas this zine is a lot more ‘together’ and, er, pro. There’s a great article on cicuit bending (google it), but I’m sure I’d blow myself up if I tried it. A good zine, but there’s no zine reivews, sort it out! Without zine reviews popping up the scene will die! Not that I’ll hold this zine responsible of course, I think the milk I just drank might have been on the turn, it was a bit gamey and now I’m feeling a little queer, and for some reason I’m writing about it in this review. Oh wait, I’ve found a note saying they normally do have zine reviews, but skipped them for this issue...
21 Hillworth Road, Tulse Hill, London, SW2 2DZ
The Devil on 45 #3
€3.50 for 44 A4 Printed Pages
Like an Irish version of ‘Foffle’ this remarkably well written zine strays from the punk path and covers in great depth the history of early twentieth century prison blues in the USA as well as a wealth of other topics. There’s a great article on punk poster art, a look at the portrayal of bands in films and a bizarre feature on Abba! The writing is top notch without wandering into the poncy high-brow bollocks that often gives me the impression that some zines like this are trying to be Mojo Magazine without the budget. In fact if it only had some zine reviews The Devil on 45 would be near perfect!
Ed Hannon, PO BOX 10967, Rutland Place, Dublin 1, Ireland
£2.50 for 60 glossy A4 pages
It seems a bit odd still referring to this still as a zine, it’s now a fully fledged magazine that has really come into it’s own. Devolution focuses on what it knows best, goth fashion and attractive ladies not wearing very many clothes. This is far from sleazy though, well apart from the sleaze metal music they like. I’ve got the feeling it’s about to go mainstream! Good luck to them!
Nickie, 137A BRASENOSE ROAD, DIDCOT, OXON, OX11 7BP
Drink the Sunshine #2, #4 & #6
NOWT for 16 A6 copied pages (#4 is 12 A5 pages)
I think this is the same chap that wrote ‘Are You Really Reading The Sun’ a few years back, it was a great zine destined to chronicle the zinster’s adventure through acedemia, but never appeared to get any further than the first issue. This may explain why in the covering note sent with these zines the creator (Tom) seemed so pleased to have reached issue 6 of Drink in the Sun Shine, although he didn’t send me issue 6! Drink in the Sun Shine is an outlet for Tom’s meandering consciousness and comes across a little like a 3am drunken chat at a party when all the other guests have left and two people are slumped in a settee fighting of sleep by chatting inanely, and I love that sort of thing! Issue 2 covers a few driving lessons and playing football (boo hiss), issue 4 is something of a special edition covering the recent floods round Toms parts (oo-er missis). It’s a pretty perfect zine bar the fact it follows the current staple embargo that creators of such zines are holding steadfast to, read it fast or the pages will slowly separate and before you know it Tom’s zine will be all over your shit house floor, take my word for it. UPDATE - just before this issue of Beat Motel came out Tom compiled the first three issues together in a fancy (but staple-free) omnibus!
Tom Brunsdon, 18 Naunton Crescent,Cheltenham, Glos, GL53 7D
Elvis Goes To Parkes
£? for an A5 booklet
From Australia Elvis Goes to Parkes is a booklet featuring a whole lot of crap Elvis impersonators which on the surface of things doesn’t sound like a very entertaining proposition. But there really are some awesomely bad, but oh so serious Elvis impersonators out there, and obviously seeing them all in one town at once was an ideal opportunity to capture them and imortalise them in the world of zines! I particularly enjoyed bearded Elvis and old lady Elvis. Apparently there’s an Australian state funded film called ‘Elvis Goes To Parkes’, now that sounds well worth looking up!
Got no contact I’m afraid, it came from Sticky Distro in Oz
£1 for 26 A4 copied pages
This zine has been running for a loooooooong time, in fact I’m sure I’ve reviewed this issue before, but then it might just have been forever since I last sat down to write reviews. This is a Scottishcentric hardcoreish punk zine and reads like it’s put together by someone who really knows what they are talking about, which I’m zinester Graham really does! It’s also crammed full of really awesome photos that I assume Graham takes himself. Impressive stuff.
Graham, 93 Craigard Road, Dundee, DD2 4PU
Escapades #3 & #4
£1 for 40 Footprinted Pages
Cor, Chris Escapade doesn’t hang around does he! Escapades zine is based on the idea that life needs distractions, which is something I entirely agree with. This is a zine full of sideways glances at life from a growing number of contributors. If you’re of the kind of mind set that would buy that ‘Making Stuff and Doing Things’ book then this zine will probably appeal to you. I can really identify with the slightly cynical way the writers in this zine view life, a good example is the page that contains photos of posh new flats that have recently been built in Manchester with the headline ‘Future Squats of Manchester’. I have always loved the idea that material objects fawned over by monied fools can be obtained (if we so wish) by us paupers with a bit of patience! My car would have cost well over £30,000 when it was new, it’s now worth fuck all and I paid bugger all for it, to me that’s just anti-capitalist poetry! There’s also an interesting perspective on Tom Hodgekinson’s ‘Idle’ output, which is something that I saw spreading like wildfire through punk/ zineland a mile off, and quite rightly so! Issue 4 contains an Urban Exploration bit, I’d love to see some more of that in future issues.
24 Exeter Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29 6EU
£1 for 40 Footprinted Pages
Well I was going to use the same review for issue three and four but that just wouldn’t do it justice! In issue four Escapades continues to prove that it is one of the smartest and intelligent zines out there, and what’s more remarkable is just how accessible it is! This issue also has some prose/ stories in it, which is nice to see. It’s all thought provoking stuff, but not in a way that makes you feel guilty for not sharing the zinesters exact views. The open letter to Nestlé is corking stuff! A lot of this issue is also given up to discussing graffiti, good stuff!
1014 Pershore Road, Selly Park, Birmingham, B29 7PX
£1 for 44 A5 Printed Pages
Featuring the most terrifying mono-brow I’ve ever seen in my life on the cover this is another great issue of Bristol-centric punk zine Everlong. As well as terrifying facial hair this issue also has a chat with a couple of the Lurkers (not including Arthuro!) and interviews with Kenisia, Welt, Zatopeks and the spoofer’s spoof Geoffry Oi!cott.
Dave, 7 Nicholas Lane, St George, Bristol, B55 8TY
Fast n Loud #8
£1.50 for 28 A4 printed pages
Another slice of retro cool from zinester Jon, the man who appears to know everything (in a good way). Great layouts and greater interviews in this issue, including (very in depth) chats with the Lurkers, 999, MDM and Norwich miscreants Hotwired. At first I thought it a bit odd that there’s such a big section of Captain Oi reviews, but then they do put a helluva lot of stuff out and I’ve given them a section of their own in this Beat Motel so I guess I’ll just shut my fucking yap!
Jon, 88 Overbrook Road, Hardwicke, Gloucester, GL2 4RZ
Fear and Loathing #63
£2 for 40 A4 printed pages
Long running and yet still somewhat fresh and urgent Fear and Loathing is mostly long live reviews and even longer (huge in fact) articles and interviews. It’s oddly reassuring to see zines like this still exist, each issue is an event rather than a throwaway gesture. This issue showcases zinester Andy’s diverse tastes, covering Johnny Moped, Uk Subs and er, Prince!
Andy, 17 Medway Avenue, Witham, Essex, CM8 1TF
NOWT For 12 A5 FootPrinted Pages
Ooh, the printers become the zinesters! This is a wee newsletter/ brochure put out by the inky demigods at Footprinters. These guys must print most of the zines in the UK so it’s bloody interesting to learn what goes on at HQ. They also have a bloody marvelous sense of humour making this so much more than an exercise in flogging stuff, it’s also great to see that an ethical small business that treats both customers, contributors and staff with the utmost respect. Long live footprint! Gissa kiss!
16 Back Sholebroke Avenue, Leeds, LS7 3HB
Funky as Fudge #5
£1 for 26 A5 Footprinted Pages
Reading this zine is a bit like watching someone grow up from afar. Zinester Gareth is off to university soon, gosh, don’t they grow up so fast! Right, I’ll stop being a patronising bastard now and tell you about the zine! Funky as Fudge is a FANzine in the original sense of the word, Gareth uses his zine as a vehicle to rave about the bands he’s currently into. This issue that’s Grand Prix ’86, Beirut, The Early Years, Das Wanderlust and a bunch of others. Grab it quick, he’ll be married with kids before ya know it!
Gareth Ludkin, 57 Chestnut Ave, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 3JB
Hey Monkey Riot #3
£1.70 for 26 Footprinted A5 Pages
In what is a nice accompaniment to Morgenmuffle 16 Last Hours editor Edd heads off to the G8 protests in Germany. Hey Monkey Riot is a self contained cartoon strip featuring the author and his mates as various animals. The style is very accessible and Edd injects a sense of fun into everything he does. Not a lot seemed to happen during this G8 camp and it was all a bit disorganised but it’s still cool to see at least a few English zines reporting this event without making the reader feel any ‘activism fatigue’. It’s also worth picking up Morgenmuffle 16 to see how zinester Isy got on with catering at G8!
High Heels Slut #10
€1.50 for 60 A5 Printed Pages
I really wanted to start this review by saying that High Heels Slut puts the phlegm in Flemish, but as it’s written in English I won’t. Zinester ‘Retard’ Wim knows what he likes and that’s RnR punk rock. I really like the attitude in this zine from Belgium, on the first page bands are invited to send in thier CDs as long as they ‘don’t suck’. This zine is even more infrequent than Beat Motel (but at least Wim has a youngun as an excuse) so you had better grab a copy now if you want one! One last thing, there’s an interview with a band called The Retainers and they come accross as a right bunch of cunts!
Retard Wim, Oude Tramweg 50, 8560 Moorsele, Begium
The Idler #40
£10.99 for 226 Glossy Printed A5 Page
Well it’s more of a thick book really, but it’s certainly 100% zine in attitude! I think I’m correct in saying The Idler started off as a sort of a zine and grew out of control. When you bear in mind the ever growing page count of Beat Motel it’s easy to see how this metamorphosis could happen! Also much like some zines each issue of The Idler appears to have a theme, number 40 is the ‘Carnal Knowledge’ issue, signified by a Damien Hurst photo of some lady fun bags resplendent with vaseline and cucumber! The extensive contents of this issue include tons of what might as well be called columns, along with some rants, advice so bad it makes our very own Aunty Em seem positively kind! There’s also a large chunk given over to Penny Rimbaud, and as usual I haven’t got a fucking clue what he’s on about! This is easily one of the best things I’d read in yonks, and I imagine the windowsill in my shitter will get more interesting the more issues of The Idler I collect! If you want to know more about the chap behind The Idler (Tom Hodgkinson) then check out the review of his book in the last issue of Beat Motel or hang about till the next issue as with any luck I’ll be interviewing the chap himself! Or of course, check out the Idler webshite at...
50p for 16 A4 copied pages
Well what can I say about this zine that I haven’t said before? It’s great, buy it, read it then go make one for your own town.
Neil Duncan, 25 Sarum Hill, Basingstoke, Hants, RG21 8SS
Lick Clean the Food Bowl #3
£? for 16 A5 printed pages
This zine appears to set out to proove that sometmes people that aren’t in bands can give better interviews than those that are, even if they don’t realise they are being interviewed. This zine is brief and left me feeling like the zinesters that created it are better and more intelligent people than me, which wouldn’t be hard.
Lights Go Out #1 & #2
£1 for 36&32 footprinted A5 pages
Whilst I can’t deny that I think the first issue of Mr.T’s new zine come across as a little rushed and sparse (but still ouzing personality) his second issue is quite frankly remarkable. Issue 2 has more crammed into it than perhaps any zine bar R*E*P*E*A*T, no space is wasted and I swear this zinester has managed to fit nearly as much stuff in 30 pages as I do in 80! I’m seriously impressed and can’t wait for the next issue. Whilst he may be an old hand at zines, Paul (I don’t hold with this ‘MR.T’ sillyness) still hasn’t seen the light and gotten a PO Box, what say you we get a ton of free soap samples sent to you?
Mr.T, 10 Sorrell Close, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 2NL
£2 for 40 A5 printed pages
Interesting one this, it’s a punk/ hardcore zine put out by a bunch of Christians, nay ‘JXC’ folk. They claim from the off that it’s not a zine about Christianity, but a zine encompassing an all accepting welcoming of everyone on earth. Now global acceptance is pretty punk if you ask me so this zine comes from a pretty interesting angle. The bands covered aren’t Christian by any means. So this zine is either an interesting irony or an opportunity for us punks to practice what we preach and have a butchers as someone else’s point of view. Bands include The Dillinger Escape Plan, mewithoutYou, Anberlin, Rolo Tamassi, Every Time I Die and Poison the Well. Right, that top part of this review was written before I read this zine. I was brought up in a very religious family and whilst I’m utterly bewildered and repulsed by organised religion (having been both sides of it) it does annoy me how people paint all Christians with the same shitty brush, whilst the same people would be horrified by someone claiming all vegans or Jews are the same. Having lived in a ‘Christian community’ for the first 18 years of my life I can assure you everyone is very different. Anyone, I’m going to let you be the judge of this zine and I’ll say no more. The zinesters have set themselves an amazing challenge if this zine is going to be accepted by the zine community as a whole rather than being seen as something put out by a bunch of superstitious nutters (not my words). I’d love to see a zine review section too, I wanna know what they’d make of Ploppy Pants, Negative Reaction and the like!
Davey Burch, 6 Bedford Street, Coventry, CV1 3EW
Mild Peril #7 & #8
£1 for 48 A5 Printed Pages
No idea how I missed this one until issue 7, it’s from just up the road! Nicely written and printed on oddly thick paper this Norwich zine features The King Blues, All Ages Records, and a bunch of other stuff that’s got chuff all to do with Norwich! Seriously though, just like Issue Zine this proves that ‘local interest’ zines are not just interesting for the locals! Issue 8 has a chat with local heroes Vanilla Pod, a continuation of the great graphic novel thing about a post apocalyptic Norfolk (not that different to current day Norfolk to be fair) and something that all zines should have; toilet facts! This is a corker of a zine, although what the drawings of a lad with a big knob engaging in ‘relations’ with a dog are beyond me, maybe it’s a local thing? When I wrote this review I decided I wouldn’t engage in the whole Norwich Vs Ipswich rivalry thing, but hey, it’s all in the friendliest of natures!
25 Swansea Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 3HU
80p for 32 A5 Footprinted Pages
Another cool as gravy issue of Isy’s cartoon diary of adventures all written and drawn with the usual high standard of cuteness and sincerity. This issue covers catering at the G8 amongst other things and for the first time I’ve seen a bunch of words from other people, shock! Really great, really really great!
Morgenmuffel Bits and Pieces April 2008
40p for 18 A5 Footprinted Pages
I really love The Replacements, I’ve tracked down most of their albums but I’m kinda saving their b-sides and rarities album for last. I’m hoping it will offer up a unique perspective that other albums kinda left out. Hopefully that bit of rambling has summed up why this issue of Morgenmuffel is so cool, it’s a collection of stuff that Isy has left out of other zines. It’s to keep us all satisfied while we wait for issue 18 of ‘Da Muff’.
Most Punks Are Total Arseholes #3
50p for 40 A5 printed pages
When I first flicked through this zine I was expecting it to be your usual class war anarcho fuck the pigs type zine, and whilst there is undoubtedly an element of that in this zine I can’t help but feel zinester Donny is doing it with an enthusiastic and amused grin. Instead of reciting the same tired old slogans Donny’s zine has a more conversational feel to it. There are fascinating bits on stuff like TV (much like me, Donny ain’t got one) and an ace article discussing a controversial but utterly logical answer to the drug ‘problem’. There’s also a ton of funny as fuck stuff like ‘How to be the Exploited’. In short this zine is fucking brilliant, helped in no small way by the utterly crammed layouts, there’s virtually no white space, just the way I like it!
Donny Mark, PO BOX 467, London, E8 3QX
Mulheim Zine Festival 2008
??? for 50 A5 Copied Pages
As I’ve mentioned in my own column at the start of this issue of Beat Motel, me and a bunch of mates went over to a zinefest in Mulheim (Germany) on March 1st 2008. In the middle of the room was a big table covered with everything you could need to make a zine the old fashioned way. Throughout the day the MANY visitors and exhibitors that make zines (and loads that have never done this sort of thing before) contributed a page or two towards a zine that would be collated at the end of the day. It was a fantastic idea and there were loads of really talented people there that day, and me. By the end of the day the full enormity of the challenge that had been set started to sink in. I joined our German friends in a prolonged bout of standing around umming and ahhhing at a huge messy pile of loose papers. I stuck my oar in and got the intro to the zine rolling, although it soon became apparent to all that I’ve only ever done zine layouts on a computer! In the end we all had to leave before the task was done, but true to their remarkable form that day the organisers surprised us all by posting ten copies back to England, and it’s bloody fantastic! I’m not sure if this zine is actually available to the public or not, I guess there must be a few copies floating about somewhere!
Negative Reaction #8 & #10
£1 for 28 A4 FootPrinted Pages
Fuck it, I know I’ve got more copies of this around the house somewhere that I should be mentioning! The problem (for me) with Negative Reaction is that it’s one of the very few zines that I keep after I’ve read. Now as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now I’m something of a fan of zines but I get sent soo fucken many there’s very few I actually keep, that’s why I started my zine distro (Corndog.co.uk). But as I find Negative Reaction so much fun to read I hide copies around my house like some sort of punk squirrel preparing for a zineless harsh winter. They pop up all over the place I can tell thee! But why do I like this zine so much? None of your fucking business you nosey cunt.
Trev, 20 New Front Street, T/Lea, Stanley, Co.Duhram, DH9 9LY
New Wave of Cut and Paste #5
£1 for 30 A5 printed pages
Best issue of this zine yet, we have a wee bit on zinester Toby learning to drive, a great bit with a cartoon mailbox interviewing Andy from Bald Cactus about the postal strikes (really interesting!) We also have the bloody marvellous Sticky Distro in Australia being interviewed by clip-art Crocodile Dundee. I honestly don’t know what more anyone could want from a zine!
Ground Floor, 42 Buckingham Road, Brighton, BN1 3RP
50p for 32 printed pages
This issue of Noisy is something of birthday celebration, happy fifth issue Sophia Noisy! As always the quality is high in this EssexCentric zine, go buy it!
Sophia, 143 High Road, South Benfleet, Essex, SS7 5HY
Not-so singular afterall
£? for 20 A5 copied pages
Well this one has got me beat, no fucken idea what this zine is about. It’s got a bunch of blank pages and the content on the others is limited to a handful of words or tiny images. It could be art, but it could just as easily be arse.
15PLN for 146 glossy A4 pages
Handed to me by a Polish chap that comes into Know Your Product. This zine is HUGE and is utterly jam packed with tons of stuff, including a MASSIVE bit on NoFx. This zine is so huge I think it might actually have every punk band on earth covered. Sadly I haven’t got a scooby what any of the words say, fuck, I don’t even recognise the letters!
Mariusz Prokuski, PO BOX 42, 39-201 Debica3, Poland
Piss Throw Zine/ Go Get Fucked
£? for 36 copied A5 pages
Split issue from two zines that really do belong together, so much so that I’m going to review this split as a single zine! Consisting mainly of short bursts of prose that are either slightly poncy or (possibly unintentionally) hilarious, it reminds me to a certain extent to the kind of stuff the intellectual elite at my school used to punt out, pretentious fuckers that they were. This zine is OK though!
Prevailing Nonsense #1 & #2
NOWT for 20 copied > A5 pages
Whoa Nelly! What the fuck is happening here! This zine really is all over the place in the most glorious fucked up kinda way. It’s like a stream of consciousness of drawings and scribblings, with no filtering! Judging from the politics it’s heart is in the right place, and its’ head is blown wide open. GREAT! I like the way the page numbers follow on from the first to the second issue, there’s something gloriously linear about that!
Yannisfart, 679 St Remi, #727 Montreal, QC, H4C 3G7, CANANDA
Punker Pages #1
NOWT for 24 Footprinted A5 pages
A yellow pages for punks, what a great idea! I found a bunch of stuff in here that I haven’t seen before. My only criticism is that the cover isn’t thick enough to roach, like the real Yellow Pages!
Record Rebellion, 14 Pisgah House Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S10 5BJ
£0 for an A3 bit of photocopied paper folded up a bunch of times
As you may well know this zine used to be about the size of the Yellow Pages, and nearly as infrequent as Beat Motel Well now it’s itty bitty small and consists mostly of reviews and adverts for R*E*P*E*A*T’s label releases. Nowt wrong with this zine per se, just seems a little sad, I mean, is it better to just stop doing a zine when you find you can’t keep it going, or is it better to fade away to a single piece of paper? I’m feeling uncharacteristically ungenerous today, zinester Rosey is a legendary guy, just don’t judge him on one of these tiny issues. That being said there are still some moments of pendantry genius in this issue, like the letter to a mug company, class stuff! Wow, this is one confused review!
Rosey, PO BOX 438, Cambridge,
Ricochet! Ricochet! #7
£? for 28 A5 copied pages
If Adam and Joe made a zine it would be just like this, especially if Adam and Joe were a gay couple. It’s endearing and reads like a drunken table in a corner of a pub, in a good way. Reminds me of zines that used to emerge from a nearby private school here in Ipswich. Clicky but groovy.
3d Worlingham Road, East Dulwich, London, SE22 9HD
Riot on Your Own #30
NOWT for 36 A5 copied pages
Big of a bumper issue this one, and Billy’s sense of humour is again proven to be a constant in this world, showcased this time in the intro to this issue, I won’t go into details as that would spoilt half the fun of it! Billy really has outdone himself this issue, there’s a class chat with one of the nicest men in punk (Arturo Bassik) that makes me even more chuffed to have read his book, the usual dodgy photos of fit lasses on the Belfast scene. There’s an interview with zinester Billy on page 20 of this very issue of Beat Motel, go read it then send him a wadge of cash, cos he’s worth it. Damn, I shouldn’t write zine reviews after drinking *looks at bottle* fucking hell, this real ale is fucking eight percent, no wonder I’m spouting more shite than normal!
Billy Riot, 5 GLEN ROAD, BELFAST, BT5 7JH
Rocket Science Anthology
£2 for 40 A5 printed pages
An utterly spiffing collection of comic strips by a bunch of illustrators with radically different styles. Each two or three page strip ends with a frame that leads into the next story. I’m really impressed with this, a couple of the artists have the most fantastically detailed frames since Calamity James joined the Beano (that’s meant to be a compliment).
Armchair Comics, 8 Brewer St, Brighton, BN2 3HH
Rum Lad #3
£1 for 40 A5 printed pages
It’s been a reet fookin’ saga trying to retain copies of this zine. I first got a stack of them after meeing up with the rum lad himself Steve at the zinefest in Germany that I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this issue. Despite this amazingly fortuirous random meeting I managed to lose the zines, finally getting some more when I bumped into Steve at the London zine symposium. If you’re in the slightest bit interested in the UK zine/ punk zine then you will almost certainly have seen Steve’s work before, his unique style is more virilent (in a good way) than bird flu at a Suffolk farm. Rum lad is a collection of thoughts and travelog type scenes from Steve’s life, and they quite literally are scenes. Each page is like a set piece, an expression of a snapshot of this zinester’s life. This really is good stuff, it’s one of those zines that feels really special, and not special in a Beat Motel/ Joey Deacon type way. Hurry up and get a PO Box Steve, I can’t keep track of you!
Somerset House, Cherry Holt Lane, Sutterton, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE20 2HU
South London Mess #1
£1 for 16 Copied A5 pages
Thrust into my hand at a ZEEB? gig in New Cross I knew this zine would appeal the second I saw the cover which not only had a picture of a pirate but also had the bold slogan ‘Blood, guts and zombies’ on one side, and the odd caveat ‘Not for everyone’ on the other, brilliant! South London Mess is the work of one chap who writes in a friendly style about the gigs he goes to around South London. It sounds like a pretty smart scene, apart from the occasional inexplicable fight (but even they sound pretty entertaining!). Other things I learnt from this zine include the fact that the Morons are still going, the Griswalds are still exactly the same as they always were and J from the Inner Terrestrials does acoustic shows! In a bizarre twist of geographical oddness this London zine also features a bit in it about one of our local towns, Norwich!
£NOWT for 18 copied A5 pages
Each year this zinester writes down the first signs of spring and the associated pagan/ mythological/ natural ramifications. It’s not bad reading, if a little hippyish. No contacts for you I’m afraid as I think I picked this up at the London Zine Symposium.
Suck Till I Sag #6/ Negative Reaction #9
£1 for 32 FootPrinted Pages
Suck Till I Sag draws great strength from it’s existential travel writings. The geographically and culturally roaming authors imbibe local tonics in order to try and fully embrace the cultures they temporarily embed themselves in, and to facilitate the active participation in the customs of the subjects. These high-brow chronicles detail the sociological effects of enthusiastic substance experimentation and how these compounds and liquids enhance or alienate the author in his interactions with the musical community that surrounds him during his investigations. This zine embodies the important anthropological research that has come to define generations of cultural diarists. Think along the lines of Hunter S Thompson, Samuel Pepys and even the mysterious authors of the Anglo Saxon chronicles. Suck Till I Sag is essential reading for today’s students of punk.
Negative Reaction is a fair bit slimmer than normal but that’s totally understandable considering zinester Trev put out a full issue at the same time as this split! It always seems too long since an issue of Negative Reaction has come out, so it seems only par for the course that two come at once! The other reason it always seems too long is that this is just a bloody great fanzine and represents a lot of what I think a zine should be. It’s opinionated, unafraid to speak it’s mind, offensive (I guess, it doesn’t offend me) and above all it’s bloody hilarious! This issue covers Toxic Ephex, The Young Ones (the band, not the show) and has a great report on Rebellion/ HITS/ Wasted, or whatever the fuck it’s called now. There’s also the first part of the ‘Cuntry TV’ listings that I continued in this issue of Beat Motel. New ‘addition’ to the Trev team Dawn really adds to Negative Reaction and I look forward to reading more of her stuff in issue #10, which is reviewed somewhere else in this issue of Beat Motel. Probably just a thumb flick away from this review!
Trev,20 New Front Street,T/Lea,Stanley,Co.Duhram,DH9 9LY
Thirsk First #2/ Inionit #22
50p for 40 A5 Footprinted Pages
Holy shite, I didn’t think I’d ever see another Thirsk First, it’s been years since the first issue! This is the zine equivalent of finding a tenner you’d forgotten about, then finding that same tenner two years later! Thirsk First is quite simply suburb, tons of columns written by opinionated and often hilarious people (including Ippo’s wayward ex-pat Steve Scanner!). I’ve been trying to get hold of a copy of InitOnit for as long as I’ve been putting out Beat Motel, I thought zinester Paul didn’t like me, I’d sent him every single zine I’d ever put out with tentative notes trying to coax him into trading but nuffink. Well it turns out in a fairly standard occurrence for Beat Motel, I just had the wrong address! From it’s reputation I was expecting this zine to be a lot more hardcore than it really is. Zines based around ranting tend to put me on my back foot, I’m naturally defensive when faced with the morals of a zinester that I know would probably really fucking hate me should they ever bump into me, and with Init Onit being based in a town I spend a lot of time in (Peterborough) this seemed like a fair possibility! Turns out as usual I was utterly wrong, whilst this zine is full of rants they’re fairly light hearted! I mean, he’s clearly one angry fucker but not to the point that his arguments become blind rage. Paul comes across as a highly intelligent sort of master of ‘zen, the art of rage’. I also approve of the stunning amount of swearing in this zine, it’s got a fouler mouth than an Edwardian ship workers pickett line! Fucking A.
Paul, 10 Regents Court, Princes Street, Peterborough, PE1 2QR
€3.50 for 60 A4 printed pages
Issue 130 goes some way to confirming my current theory that musically the world of punk rock is blown wide open these days. Whilst outsiders still look upon punk as being an island populated purely by spitting leather clad punks with mohawks Trust shows that punk is in fact a celebration of attitude, not clothing. Love it. This issue covers fun-skate-punkers No Use For a Name, right through to the pelvis shattering metallers Boris.
Dolf, Postfach 11 07 62, 28087 Bremen, Germany
UK Zine Yearbook 2007
£2 for 76 Printed Pages
Frankly astounding idea this one. It’s a megazine with two pages contributed by the following 36 zines; Ploppy Pants, Oscar’s Eye, Morganmuffel, Let’s Just Pretend, Drink The Sunshine, The Computer’s Are Turned Off For A Reason, Initonit, Shadowplay, A Short Fanzine About Rocking, Good For Nothing, The Cat’s Penis, Gadgie, Dance Like No One’s Watching, Suspect Device, Monkey’s In The Sun, In My Head, Rum Lad, Mass Movement, These Words Could Kill, The New Wave Of Cut & Paste, Facial Disobedience, Beat Motel, Bald Cactus, You Can’t Say No To Hope, Remains Of A Caveman, Adventure’s In Menstruating, Sweet Shop Syndicate, Artcore, Lipgloss, Bristle, Punk Or Nothing, Colouring Outside The Lines, Last Hours, Zonked, Southcoast Vegan Cooking Zine, Black Lesbian President.
Hells teeth, get this zine!
Unbelievably Bad #7
AUS$7 for 100 A4 Printed Pages
Unbelievably fucking amazingly brilliant more like! This has pretty much everythign I could ever want from a zine, a foul cover, randomly offensive comic strips, interviews with more personality than a packed Schizophrenic ward! There’s just page after page of cool shit in here that I’m far too tired to describe in minute details, just imagine a less uptight MMR with a better sense of humour and Real Overdose with the snotty attitude dialed up a notch!
10 Unwin Street, Bexley, NSW 2207, Australia
£? for 18 copied A5 pages
Ah, I do love a good pissed off zine. This one appears to be written by someone my age and also appears to note the utter insanity of life that I increasingly mark as I become old older and more septic. Whaaat verges ever so close to being highbrow but manages to remain it’s place as a pamphlet of the people by using the word cunt a lot.
You Can’t Say No To Hope #9
NOWT for 8 photocopied pages
Apparently this is the special ‘Miserable’ issue of Jon’s zine, but it’s not like you can really tell. There are the usual nuggets of nature knowledge (how to tell the difference between Rooks and Crows) as well as practical and useful hints (how to clean up animal skulls). One of the few pointers to the fact that Jon is on a bit of a downer is that on the intro page he makes it clear there’s no thanks to be given out! Well there’s the hate list I guess, but that reads as more of an affirmative statement of positive self belief than a list of moans. Jon wrote to me a few weeks after this issue came out, and let me know he’s feeling more cheerful now, so here’s looking forward to issue ten!
Jon, 317 Bucks Hill, Nuneaton, Warwichshire, CV10 9LD
You Can’t Say No To Hope #10/ Shadowplay #25
NOWT for 16 photocopied pages
Hurrah, he’s cheered up again! I’ve actually met zinester Jon since reviewing issue 9 and he was smaller than I was expecting, but isn’t that always the way with famous people! Shittin’ great issue as always, I loved the interview with the rest of the Nuneaton zine scene (a lass called Jo) that confirms that cats are possibly more important to zinesters than paper itself! There’s more fascinating animal facts, this issues teaches us that Stoats can hypnotise rabbits!
I’ve never really clicked with Shadowplay before, there’s nothing wrong with it but it never really found it’s way into my heart, the new issue has kinda changed that. Issue 25 has a strangely alluring sense of fragility to it. Maybe perzines editors have to be brave enough to show some vulnerability in order to be fully accepted, after all, music zines have established personalities (the bands) to sell themselves so perzine editors shouldn’t be afraid to expose thier own personalities.
Jon, 317 Bucks Hill, Nuneaton, Warwichshire, CV10 9LD
You Don’t Get There From Here #3, #4, #6 & #7
$2 for 36 A6 printed pages
I always read this zine cover to cover on the day it arrives, and this issue was no exception. Zinester Carrie writes a three frame strip each day of her life in a sort of diary fashion, and if something really big happens you get a whole page of details. Now that I’ve read a few issues of YDGTFH (hell, what an acronym!) getting a new copy is very much like getting a letter from a well loved friend. I can’t wait to see what Carrie has been up to, where she’s gone and how her knees are! I really love this zine and I hope Carrie keeps it going for years to come. I got a hell of a shock reading issue #6 late in bed last night when I turned the page to find I was mentioned in one of the strips, hells teeth!
Carrie McNinch, PO BOX 49403, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA
The Zine Directory Verison 0.1
£1.50 for 44 A5 copied pages
I’m constantly amazed that just when I think I’ve got a handle on what’s going on in the UK zine scene something comes along to prove two things; 1 - There are far more zines in the UK than I thought there were. 2.I know bugger all! This zine directory contains very detailed and well researched information about a host of zines from the UK and USA. Useful information includes details of the author, the styles and subjects covered by the zines and even whether they accept submissions. This is a brilliant idea and something I hope to see continue. I can’t help but feel that it might be better off just focussing on the UK though, we already know the USA scene is huge as it’s reported so well in directory/ review zines like Zine World.
2 Aylesbury Place, Longbenton, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE12 8EN
Last minute reviews...
A salute to the poot toot...
I’ve been sent a rather fucking awesome zine about public shitters called XPLOITED ZINE from San Francisco, I mean, is this not the most perfect bog-time reading matter ever! It’s witty and shitty (fnar fnar) and most enlightening as to just what filthy fuckers girlies can be in the bogs! Grab a copy from www.myspace.com/xploitedzine NOW
He’s back, and he’s brought friends...
Fen dweller and lover of all things raging Marv Gadgie has joined forces with a bunch of local zines (Itchy Bum, Rum Lad, Initonit & Ugly Man Punk Rock) to crank out the fucking fanbloodyamazingtastic THIS IS BOSTON NOT BOSTON and you should buy it now really, cos it’s tops!
CDS AND VINYL
12 Stone Toddler
CDEP - Amazon Records
What the fuck is this? In the press sheet, it says this lot are influenced and sound like Mr Bungle and Prince. They are not and do not, because this is fucking awful. It’s repetitive and annoying as hell. To make things worse, the two b-sides are an extended version of track one (by 20 seconds!!!) and a fucking instrumental version of the same song. As if I wanted to hear any more. Awful. They’ll probably be huge.
Just goes to show how diverse our reviewers are, I gave this band a great review in the last issue! - AC
A Better View Of The Rising Moon
CD – Victory Records
At the center of the 1997’s debut, A Better View of the Rising Moon, is the continued search for the band’s creative vision as artists and friends. The band has created a sound and style that is startlingly fresh and distinctive. The male and female harmonies summon elements of contemporary emo, lovelorn pop, groove, and acoustic folk sing-along. The final product defies easy categorization and serves as a refreshing aural canvas for the talents of five unique people with something to say to the world. As the title of the record (taken from a haiku which reads: “Since my house burnt down, I now own a better view of the rising moon”) suggests, 1997 is concerned with sorting through needless worry and distraction to discover essential truths in life, and finding positive linings in all of life’s dark grey clouds.
Wisnu Aka AprilRock
Hit the Ground Running
CDLP – TEN PAST TEN RECORDS
Treading the somewhat dodgy ground between pop-punk and emo, and at the speed their name indicates; East Anglia’s 32FRAMESPERSECOND thrash out melodic anthems at breakneck pace on this 15 track CD. Problem is, by track four it’s all starting to sound a little samey – they may be capable of “rocking the bollocks off Norwich” as the press release states, but they’ll need some more varied tunes in order to break out of their local circuit anytime soon.
A Life Once Lost
CDLP - FERRET RECORDS
A pleasant surprise considering the utter bashing I tend to give anything from this label, in fact I’m amazed they continue to send me stuff to review! This is like Clutch but a lot more fucked up, kinda like southern rock on mescaline.
A Perfect Murder
War Of Aggression
CDLP – VICTORY RECORDS
Heavy heavy metal, with firm classic influences in the likes of Pantera and Machine Head, A Perfect Murder embrace some of the oft forgotten or shunned elements of genre, such as histrionic solos and bluesy rhythm breaks and remind me at times why we all listened to this stuff in the first place. My only criticism of this record though is the vocal, which comes across a bit limp and weedy, like vocalist Kevin is singing always at the limit of his range, instead of confidently within it, which does mar what should be some quite triumphant moments.
CD - Vagrant
Although 5 years may not seem like a long time for most bands to build a career, it has been a slow but steady climb upward for Alkaline Trio. The Chicago-based band has been watching the success of their first four albums increase with each release. Part of this process is the band’s constant interaction with their fans at live shows and their active website. “Good Mourning” is truly the band’s best work to date. Working with white-hot producer Jerry Finn (AFI, Green Day, Blink 182), the band has delivered another slice of dark, ominous punk rock with the signature Trio lyrics...songs about heartache, depression, and dealing with life’s problems. However, there is just enough sunlight and positive energy in these songs to keep you from getting too down while listening.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
Breaking The Curse
CDEP - SELF RELEASE
Well I was about to wrap up the reviews for this issue then this plopped through the door and I just had to include it! Arch Stanton utterly destroy live but their previous recordings seemed more intent on capturing the quality of their song writing rather than the ferocity of their live show, this EP is a much more representative. Sadly I don’t have a ton of space to write about it, but if you like Vanilla Pod style Norfuck punk with about a billion clever tweaks thrown in then you’ll love this, in fact if you like Crime in Stereo you’ll probably also dig this. And if you see the name Arch Stanton pop up on a local flyer then take our advice, don’t miss the chance to see them in the flesh!
Art Of Dying
You don’t know me
CD single, Revolver
It would be churlish to say that this sounds like Nickelback - but, hey, they’re even from Canada! It’s that chuggalong grungey sound and soar-throat vocal which is perfectly well executed and sounds about fifteen years too late in getting here. Considered ‘ a leading underground band’ it says in the press relase. Only, one suspects, in Canada.
Borin Van Loon
At The Throne Of Judgement
CD - Rise
At the Throne of Judgment is a 5 piece metal act hailing from Lebanon, OH. Forming in December of 2005, with just a year under their belt, they are showing no signs of slowing down. “At The Throne of Judgment has that catchy dark metal sound that will quickly grab anyone’s attention. They’re fast, technical, and their music never lets up.” quotes producer Joey Sturgis. Soon after the formation they headed to the studio and recorded a 4 song, self released demo. After going through quite a few member changes they went back and recorded the demo “Horus Rises” grabbing the attention of Rise Records and soon after Joined the family in October of 2006. “At The Throne of Judgment has successfully mixed dark European thrash with American metalcore; there’s no slowing these guys down.”
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
Short Term Manifesto
CDLP - Zip Records
This is a great Album by 3 piece Autrons, who met while auditioning for Dr Who monsters parts . They didn’t get the parts but formed a group instead, taking their name from monsters that brought them together. An Electronic blend of indie rock reminds me of Marc Bolan /T Rex, Goldfrapp early Depeche Mode and even Hazie Fantanise. Stand out tracks are ‘It’s a Strange Thing’, ‘Shine Tester, Shine Tester’ and ‘The Devil in me’, pounding guitars, blending with an electronic Sci-Fi sounding back beat.
Never Odd or Even
CDLP - Self Release
Lots of bleeps and wav. Files pasted into data Becker or some other computer program, I didnt understand it at all so Ive given it to my mate Peter who is into all this bleep thing and Detroit technic’s or whatever its called so hopefully he will review it at some point, but dont hold your breath because he spends most of his time doing oil paintings of computers from the 1980s.
Mr M Paterson.
CDR – Self Released
Six tracks of blistering punk rock from Brighton’s Bastion. There is a mix of punk rock styles in here which makes the demo all that more interesting. The frantic pace of track four – Phthiriasis is for me the outstanding moment. But overall this is a really solid debut and shows a whole lot of promise. Bastion are definitely a band to keep an eye on – oh and the artwork is pretty cool too!
Break The Banks
Promo Album – TRANSGRESSIVE RECORDS
Arty farty wishy washy indie rock I guess is the way to describe this. Yeah sure they’re musically talented and the vocalist is decent enough but yeah personally I did not like this at all. I guess it appeals to indie kids, maybe Goldrush, Muse kinda thing. No thanks.
Beneath The Sky
What Demons Do To Saints
CDLP – VICTORY RECORDS
Ok, maybe it’s just me, but does anyone else get bored of records where the vocal is always satanic growling or a death roar? They have their place on any metal record for sure, but not for every word. Even in the post modern 21st century, it’s still nice to be able to hear a bit of what exactly it is they’re so angry about. And this lot do seem to be really angry about something. Maybe daddy hasn’t managed to get them that Killswitch Engage support slot they wanted for Christmas? Who knows.
Live In LA
DVD – ESCAPI MUSIC
As you’d probably expect, Ice-T’s innovative hip-hop metal crossbreed have been through the wars a bit in the 15 years since they started. Three out of the five original members are now dead, with just Ice himself and guitarist Ernie C left. But this hasn’t stopped them, as this quite excellent Live DVD (In memory of the three lost members) and forthcoming new studio album show – the attitude, the passion, the political anger is still here in stunning proportions. Influencing bands like Limp Bizkit et al has given them a bit of a bad name over the years, but this is to Limp Bizkit what Public Enemy is to 50 Cent – the real fucking deal.
CD – Household Name Records
Yeah this CD is pretty easy to sum up in one word. Rancid. It’s pretty much all Rancid influenced apart from maybe the opening track which at points has a Pennywise-ish sound. But then the Rancid vocals kick in. I have no doubt in saying if you like this kind of thing, then by all means get hold of this record. It’s not like this is a bad album, it’s decent enough, it’s just not very inventive and original for me.
Before Their Eyes
Before Their Eyes
CD - Rise
Before Their Eyes is a five piece Christian hardcore band straight out of Flag City USA, Findlay, Ohio. Not the typical chugga chugga, Before Their Eyes has much more substance, melody and depth to their music. The boys (men) take passion into putting on an energetic, explosive live show that you won’t forget. Since the band’s inception in September 2006, they’ve played shows across the mid-west. Opening at first, then they started headlining due to popular demand. Now a full time touring band, Rise Records quickly signed them and they entered the studio with upstart producer Joey Sturgis (The Devil Wears Prada) to record their self titled debut full length. With gorgeous cover art courtesy of Derek Hess, Before Their Eyes has the full package. For fans of Drop Dead Gorgeous, Chiodos and UnderOath. THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA’s singer Jeremy also appears as guest vocalist on one song.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
Bullets To Broadway
CD – HOUSEHOLD NAME RECORDS
Now this is more like it. Punk rock with dual male + female vocals. I like this very much. It’s Dance Hall Crashers meets Teen Idols and yeah this is a great CD. I have to say on recent years stuff on Household Name has bored me, I’m not sure they’ve been putting the right bands out (with exception to the Satanic Surfers CD) but on this occasion they’ve put a decent record out and one that I would recommend people check out.
Bullets & Octane
Songs For The Underdog
CDLP - Ares Records
I think this is the second album from this Californian 4 piece who churn out fairly formulaic ‘lets have a party’ west coast punk. It’s not earth shattering but once you realize it’s delivered with a certain sense of irony its pretty good natured fun. I bet you would have a right good time at one of their gigs.
Mr M Paterson.
Rumor Has It
CD - Rise
Sacramento, CA’s Catherine just add to the youthful white-belt-metal scene in Northern California, drawing influence from bands like Atreyu, As I Lay Dying and It Dies Today on this, their ten-song debut for Rise Records.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
CDLP - BOSS TUNEAGE
One of the three phoenixes to rise from the Jets Vs Sharks ashes, Chillerton have progressed remarkably well in recent years. The band play what many might nowadays refer to as ‘Gruff punk’, and if so then this has to be one of the sub-genres stand out releases of 2007. A 3-piece, they draw on many influences to spawn their sound. Gunmoll & Leatherface are 2 such references but I can also hear distinct traces of Screw 32 and (dare I say it) early Alkaline Trio in there, amongst others. This is real heart-on-sleeve stuff and surely everyone can relate to at least one track on here. I credit this album for helping me get over my recent break-up. ‘Gruff Punk’? maybe. A band this wonderfully unique shouldn’t be pigeonholed in my opinion. www.chillerton.com
CDEP - Waiting for lunch
This is a new band to me hailing from Detroit, Michigan. Sadly as I write this the band are no more, they broke up in October 2007. From the 1st few notes this is unmistakably American punk, reminds me of Green Day, Sum 41 or Blink 182. A great album to listen to, with the sarcastic lyrics in ‘Spotless’ about voting Republican and been proud of to be narrow minded or tracks like ‘Jonny the American Hatred’ or the melodic ‘Frostbite’. Right up my street, good anti establishment music cheers Andrew for a grass roots American punk band. It always nice to listen to something away from the mainstream.
All’s Well That Ends Well
CD – Equal Vision Records
This album takes getting used to. In this case, that’s not a bad thing. The first time I listened to it, it seemed like noise. The second time I listened to it, I thought it was a solidly good album. The guitar parts are more complicated than most music being made these days. That might not be saying much, but rather than sounding like typical emo/metal/screamo/whatever guitar parts, they sound new. The drum beats are interesting, but they could lose some of the cymbals. But this impresses me the most: I can hear the bass parts. In most music that goes in their “category”, I can’t distinguish one bassist from another and they’re all expendable. I like the bass on this album, though. I don’t know anything about the creation of this album; I don’t stalk Craigery Owens. This is also impressing: the band seems to be able to effortlessly jump from time signature to time signature, genre to genre, and mood to mood. In a split second, they can go from a piano rock ballad to a pop-punk anthem. The next thing you know, there will be a headbanger moment. Honestly, this is the most original album I’ve heard in a long time.
The lyrics are my least favorite part of the album. I never did find out whether or not they were stupid enough to believe there were penguins in Alaska, or whether or not their mothers got mad at them for breaking a lamp while moshing in the living room. Nope, they’re all love songs, or something similar. However, the lyrics sound great with the music, that is, if you can comprehend them without peering into the colorful booklet they kindly provided. It sounds good to me. The singer... I don’t know where to begin. Three cheers for Craigery. His voice sounds excellent on this recording. There is one problem, and it just might affect his voice later: You can tell his vocal cords are just screaming, “Help me! This man is abusing me! I’m going out, training please! I’m gonna die!” He is singing/screaming directly from his cords instead of his diapragm, and at times, you can just hear the pain in his pipes, usually after the screams. People might say that it doesn’t matter, but it will when he blows them out like his friend Sonny Moore.
This album easily goes among my best. I can see why they would tour with From First To Last, the bands are quite similar in mannerisms and about equally talented. I love the originality and free spirit of it more than anything. But originality and free spirit can translate to “noise”, so this isn’t really for everyone. I hate the screaming. Can’t one band of today refrain from doing that consistently? It defaces the purpose of the words they are trying to get across. I don’t mind when it occurs occasionally, but when it’s excessive, then I mind. I would burn a new CD off my computer if this were lost or stolen. The best songs on this CD are “All Nereids Beware”, “Baby, You Wouldn’t Last A Minute On The Creek”, and “No Hardcore Dancing In The Living Room”. I’d recommend this CD to anyone who likes From First To Last or an MCR fan that can take something heavier than what they usually listen to.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
CDLP - The Boss Tuneage Recording Company
This album from 3 piece Chillerton. A melodic rock album, jangle guitars, some heavier sections Favourite tracks include ‘Holden’ & It Runs around the room and me, very listenable. But nothing that special, mainstream rock think Muse, Foo Fighters, Nickleback.
Chronicles Of Adam West
We Walk Unbalanced
CDLP - Holy Roar
I promised I’d review everything that was sent to me. This was sent to me. The press release insists COAW are not a grind band but are ‘tech metal’. One for all you tech metal fans then.
Circle Takes The Square
As The Roots Undo
CD – Robotic Empire
As the Roots Undo opens with a shout of truth: “Rejoice, rejoice, a noble birth!” This trio from Savannah, Georgia, makes torrid, complex scream-ola on this astounding full-length debut, charging its Napalm Death-style time swerves and Fugazi-like guitar meat with a rare, heated male-female vocal attack that puts the X in emo.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
You Fail Me
CD - Epitaph
Very good album.This band just keeps ‘ em comin’.I loved Jane Doe and I guess I was expecting a little bit more of that.But, it really wouldn’t be interesting if they did the same album over and over again.But, the grinding guitars, pulsating drum and screaching vocals are a plus and the lyrics are as brilliant as ever.Great album for long time fans like myself.But, if you’re just getting into Converge, I would suggest Jane Doe.But, this cd is just short of musical genius.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
The Dead Batteries
CDEP - (BOSR)
Debut EP from one of the newest and youngest Ipswich Street Punk bands. Full on energy and attitude from next generation of Ipswich punk. Very Lo-fi and raw but that not a bad thing, as punk has always been more than that. If they can reach the levels of predecessors, The Adicts & Red Flag 77 so keep up the good work lads. Personal favourite track is Media which has made it onto the MP3. Mitch just wanted to say it was great, but Mitch, that would not be enough.
Demented Are Go
In Sickness and Health
CDLP - ANAGRAM
In this reissue of the classic debut from a band even the kids have heard of Demented Are Go explore gothic thrash blues to the theme of the Alf Garnet racist bollocks TV show ‘In Sickness and In Health’. Expect such classics as ‘Armchair Fuckwit’, ‘Elsie Garnett stole my virginity’ and of course their big hit ‘Mrs Hollingberry Caught Me Wanking Over The Daily Mail’. Only joking of course, that would be a stupid song title. Seriously though, this is great gravel voiced psychobilly and not even slightly about the sequel to Till Death Us Do Part!
Many Were Killed few Were Chosen
CD – Rowdy Farrago Records
The Destructors 666 continue their unstoppable recording overkill with an album of dark sci fi and devil worshipping called ‘Many Were Killed, Few Were Chosen’. As with all their releases its on the productive Rowdy Farrago record label. Recorded with Tom Savage at Jigsaw Studios A 17-track CD with mainly new original DESTRUCTORS 666 songs and some old numbers. Musically this is mid tempo heavy rock with some punk elements and a metal production. Some of it is quite catchy but nothing really grabs me. The songs are pretty good if a bit too long, but the production ruins it for me. The whole thing has that new UK DIY metal punk sound of sterile semi-professional digital recordings and transistor amps. This CD includes previously released Dig My Grave (45 Rave) and AK 47 and they’re some of the better songs here. They’ve also rerecorded some more old DESTRUCTORS numbers as well as Northern Ripper by pre-DESTRUCTORS band THE BLANKS and 1970 by THE STOOGES. Lyrics about death, fear, resistance, flying saucers and the NEW YORK DOLLS.
Wisnu Aka AprilRock
Dig For Fire
CDLP - SELF RELEASE
I wanted to cram this in, it’s good, reminds of of something I can’t remember.
The Ruined/Destructors 666
Split CDEP – ROWDY FARRAGO RECORDS
This split release kicks off with the guttural growl of The Ruined’s ‘Poison Ivy’ – which can’t seem to decide if it’s punk or classic rock and as a result sounds like the bastard offspring of Alec Empire and Alice Cooper; followed by a glorious torch song in the form of ‘The Dead are After Me’ – complete with epic keyboard moments. If that hasn’t put you off, then Destructors 666’s bouncy goth romp ‘The Vampire Kiss’ and catchy psychobilly number ‘The Graveyard Stomp’ will be a welcome way to round off a sure-fire release for Halloween if ever there was one.
I’ve just gotta say, holy crap, just how much have Destructors 666 put out in the last couple of years, surely I can’t be the only person to have noticed!!!
Dawn of the Dickies
CDLP - CAPTAIN OI
Funny thing about the Dickies is that through a guy I used to work for I knew their manager from around the time they did Top of The Pops playing Banana Spliz. But he didn’t have a single story to tell about the band, which is why I don’t mention it very often, as annecdotes go it’s a bit of a shit one. So here’s the re-release of the band’s second album, the second of two released in 1979. I can’t imagine many bands these days knocking out a couple of albums in one year! This nice digipack has had the usual Captain Oi treatment so you’ve got a thick booklet and tons of smart stuff to gawp at, as well as a couple of bonus tracks (Gigantor and Bowling With Bedrock Barney).
Distance in Embrace
Utopia Versus Archetype
CDLP – MSK RECORDS
Rousing blend of hardcore and emo from German four-piece – loud, occasionally melodic and bound to appeal to fans of the genre. Interesting choice of song names too – ‘Paper Mache Conversion’ anyone?
Enjoy the time you waste
CDLP - Pebble Beach
Drugdealer Cheerleader. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but the name didn’t bode well from the start.
Songs with titles such as ‘The Guv’nor’, ‘Take it to the Edge’ and ‘Gimme Some Love’ didn’t do anything to change this but I tried to push these thoughts out of my mind and take the plunge. The opening lyrics “She’s got a dirty mouth, I’ve got a dirty mind” killed it for me straight away.
I hoped things couldn’t get worse but Drugdealer Cheerleader were happy to prove me wrong. It’s not that their Guns n’ Roses style rock is bad but I don’t see how anyone can put up with those vocals. I would love to let you in on some of the other lyrical delights on display but if I did I may as well just type up all the lyrics in the album.
The name of the album is Enjoy the Time You Waste. Well, I flat out hated the time I wasted reviewing this.
The Need To Know
CDLP – IN AT THE DEEP END RECORDS
One way ticket to a migraine! At least, that’s what I first thought when this album by Barnsley’s Errander hit the stereo – super-fast, screaming, thrash metal that briefly breaks during ‘Now We’re Gone’ – a cannily titled melodic space-out that indicates the band left their personalities at the door when they embarked on this number that sounds nothing like the rest of the record. The press release says it best: “33 minutes of trembling anger” - if your ears can stand it, that is.
Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky
CDLP – TEE PEE RECORDS
Could some please explain what the frick is going on here? I put the CD on, and am confronted with seemingly endless feedback, my stereo is heartily complaining here. Oh hang on, that’s finished now and we have a distinctly Black Sabbath heavy blues rock, which seems quite pleasant. This would appear to be a pysch-blues-prog-metal type thing, which is not all that bad after all. Although this is verging perhaps a little too close to a concept album, with the first track taking up half the album and being in five parts, and the second track being an extended jam taking up most of the other half. Hmm.
Soundtrack To A Headrush
CD - Vagrant
When asked about the reasoning behind the albums title Breen answers easily,” The songs on Soundtrack, are ten stories from the most fucked up year of my life. I just wrote them one by one as it went along, and this was the music in my head. This was my soundtrack.” This cd is pretty amazing. Its a pretty bizzare mix of pop punk, and i mean pop, with a whole heap of gut renching screaming. I really like the mix. And the lyrics, fuck me, some of those lyrics are brilliantly deep and very heavy. To be honest this cd suits its title perfectly. Its a soundtrack to a headrush.
U dont no whether to scream out or bop around. I rate it highly. Sounds kinda like if The Matches and Underoath got together. If you like pop punk and u like screaming. GET THIS CD! If u like hardcore dont get it. Its not hardcore at all.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
CD Single – Divison Promotions
God only knows how we missed this one. Enter Shikari - the flagship band for the British alt.rock industry have released the ridiculously catchy Johnny Sniper as a single and we love it. Yes, yes we do. Johnny Sniper is without a doubt the most radio friendly and “lightweight” track from Take to The Skies but does that make it bad? Not at all. In fact it makes for some good listening. Why? Because it’s clearly an unadulterated pop track; just with a bit of screaming and the added bonus of some heavy guitar riffage. Going into the record I thought it was going to be an emo mess. The cheesy 80s keyboards and the singing done on the track shift it into the tolerable. Then when the heavy vocals come in it’s a nice change of pace. It’s like Thursday with cheesy keyboards and a little bit angrier.
Wisnu Aka AprilRock
Goodbye To The Gallows
CD – Victory Records
The record is flat-out brutal and meaningful. Few bands can pour their hearts into a record and come back with a monstrous and genuine collection of songs that will pummel you in one instance and humble you the next. Goodbye To The Gallows takes the classic, chugging breakdowns and two-step parts of fellow New Englanders HATEBREED and UNEARTH and adds depth and emotion in the vein of POISON THE WELL and REMEMBERING NEVER. It combines the highs and lows of a battlefield into one lethal force.
Wisnu Aka AprilRock
Every Time I Die
CD - Ferret Music
“Gutter Phenomenon” is a term that was used in the 1950s to describe rock ‘n’ roll music. It was society’s reaction, at the time, to a style of music it considered “sinful.” Rock music was actually viewed as a discredit to American society. The people at the time believed that rock music would lead to people’s downfall. They thought it would never last.
Fast forward 50 years, and rock ‘n’ roll is still a thriving force of expression. However, when any music scene or culture flourishes and prospers, it can become watered down and generic, populated with more than a few been-there, done-that sounding bands, many of which are passionless and whose sole purpose is cashing in. Every Time I Die understands this reality, and aims to shatter it. They’re making rock music new, exciting and dangerous again. Armed with two formidable assault weapons: their breath-stealing new album, “Gutter Phenomenon,” and their devastating, enthralling live shows, this upstate New York wrecking crew is poised to redefine underground music as we know it.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
Self released demo CD.
This is what I like to see, a proper diy punk cover, photocopied, the design is great, reminded me of old demos bands I’ve been in have put out as well. The actual music is along the same lines, it’s sketchy and rough - kinda grunge punk rock, in a way reminiscent of early Nirvana stuff hinting on The Cougars, Pavement in the sound too. They mention in the cover notes about this is not a demo and they do seem to have a great attitude to their music. I get the feeling that this recording doesn’t do them justice and they would a real good band to see play live. They did ask for contact details to be mentioned here so why not (Contact Eviction Party at 6265 North Street, Halifax, NS, B3L 1P4, Canada – oh it’s $5/£2/trade too). Not a great recording, but loads of potential and would love to hear the outcome from a decent studio. Check them out if you can.
Far From Finished
Living in the Fallout
CDLP - People Like You
These New Yorkers deliver an album of punk tunes that musically is of high quality throughout. The gruff vocals fit nicely with the music even if at times the lyrics are a bit too earnest. If I where inclined to do so I would describe FFF as the bastard child of Green Day and The Alarm.
Mr M Paterson.
Far From Finished
The Press Release for ‘Living in the Fallout.’
I never thought when I started out on this journey of discovery they call life I would find myself writing a review of a press release but after reading the incredible claims within this one I had to share it. This band literally emerged from a story, not any old story but one by ‘Charles Bukowski’ no less. They ‘blaze the tragic line between shame and comfort’ and unsurprisingly leave ‘no-one safe along the way.’ They merrily continue to ‘fight through the bullshit and, of course, the sorrow of their troubled souls.’ Incredibly despite all this they are ‘ ..your average kids.’ However rather disappointingly they are ‘.. saying fuck all.’ I decide I must find out more so check out their website, the excitement mounts as I discover they are touring only for my dreams to be dashed by the announcement that they have had to cancel the remaining dates as one of them is ill. I genuinely hope you recover soon and come back to the UK.
Mr M Paterson
Family Of Noise
Killing Made Easy
CDEP - Catmachine Music
Toyah on vocals and a backing band called Chester = Family Of Noise. I’ve never really heard much Toyah if I’m honest but she’s never really been someone I was interested in listening too. But the band that feature here musically are called Chester, a great fun punk rock band from London way. This got put together somehow and to be honest I’m not overly impressed with it personally. Musically it’s decent enough, but for me Chester are a jangly fun punky riff band and this isn’t like their normal stuff. Toyah’s voice sounds annoying as well. The vocals are very repetitive as well. It’s well put together though and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this get airplay on the radio, but with 2 remixes as the other tracks on here, it’s not really blowing me away. Toyah fans, make sure you get hold of this though.
The Fighting Cocks
Music for Lapdancers
CD Sample – FGZ Records
They have had numerous releases on compilations as well as their hugely successful single ‘Love Somebody Yes I do’ released on FGZ Records. The Fighting Cocks’ influences, include classic rock bands, heavy American metal bands, as well as Bollywood. This eclectic mix gives them an individual style that you won’t forget! ‘The Fighting Cocks are unique, there are no other bands that could combine such fun elements into such a varied assault on the ears… magical!. The Fighting Cocks have been deemed ‘The most kick-ass band in Europe’ by Guitar Magazine. The Fighting Cocks are not afraid to push the boundaries and create controversy wherever they go, whether their audiences love them or hate them, they definitely remember them! ‘Aggressive, cynical and knowingly shambolic.
Wisnu Aka AprilRock
Forever Ends Today
Reduce The Volume Of Your Lungs
CDLP – LOCKJAW
Angular, thrashy and disjointed .Plenty of growling (run away, run away!), lots of weird time changes and some very random quiet bits. It is adventurous and clever, I guess, though probably too much so for its own good. The decent ‘Just In Sleep’ aside, there are not a whole bunch of hooks to latch onto. Hard work.
Lift The Curse
CD – Victory Records
In 2003, the ashes and embers of the legendary hardcore pioneers EARTH CRISIS gave birth to a new impenetrable force known as FREYA. Karl Buechner, Erick Edwards and Bulldog went on and formed FREYA with the intent of creating a musical manifestation of abandonment, revenge, solitude and misery funneled through an accessibly melodic and brutally pulverizing soundtrack. Its 3 years later and FREYA have returned to the fold to continue their attack on the world with the brutal new record, Lift The Curse. This record is as ferocious and raw as it is positive and forward thinking. Each song is an encouraging cry to the listener about personal battles and life-long obstacles that everyone and anyone can identify with. Lift The Curse is full of energy and anxiety; exactly the way a FREYA record is suppose to sound. The most promising aspect of FREYA, is that metal fans of SHADOW’S FALL and TRIVIUM, even mainstream fans of DISTURBED and SLIPKNOT can surely embrace it just as much as fans as HATEBREED can.
Wisnu Aka AprilRock
From First To Last
Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has A Body Count
CD - Epitaph
Crust, black metal, rock n’roll, hardcore, and straight up punk rock is what fuels and influences FROM FIRST TO LAST. FFTL’s journey started in Orlando, FL, but in early 2004, the band moved to Los Angeles. Headbanging like there’s no tomorrow and playing till you puke is their motto, and they stay true to their word. They’ve shared the stage with All-American Rejects, Tsunami Bomb, Alexisonfire, Everytime I Die, From Autumn To Ashes, Cave In, Saosin, and Senses Fail. From First To Last has just started and has no plans of slowing down. Touring non stop and playing energetic cut to the chase: music is their passion
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
Fuck Me USA
Fuck Me USA
CDLP - GM Records
This is a CD I came by chance, thanks Rikki, (KYP?) but it might not be to everyone’s taste. But it great electronic punk / industrial dance CD, reminds me of Sigue Sigue Sputnik or Drug Free America ‘Attitude 50 Cent’. Track like ‘Jimmy Stateside’, ‘Southside Johnny’ and ‘LA Girl’. With lyrics about the USA, from far more social observation point of view not as political or anti American as Drug Free America.
Welcome To The End
CDLP - I USED TO FUCK PEOPLE LIKE YOU IN PRISON RECORDS
This is a re-release of the bands first album to celebrate their 10 year anniversary and I have to say I like it! Very old-skool in terms of the music but backed up by soaring and melodic lead & backing vocals. It’s so damn catchy in places! Even the guitar solos. Well why not? Put it this way, I would normally try to find some bands that might have influenced them, but I’m moreso thinking of bands that were influenced BY them. This is well worth a look in. www.the-generators.com
The Get Up Kids
On A Wire
CD - Vagrant
Returning with their highly anticipated full-length studio follow up to “Something To Write Home About”, the GET UP KIDS have yet again raised the bar and set in motion the future direction of independent rock music. Produced by Scott Litt (Nirvana, the Replacements, R.E.M.)
Great mix of alt-country, emo and pop. The melodies are nice, the singing is excellent, and the production (listen to the drums) is top notch! Very different from (and much better than) all their previous recordings.
Check out the tracks “Let the reigns go loose” and “All that I know” to see how the Kids has found their own style. Eventually.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
The Porlock Factor, Psych dreams and other schemes 1985-1990
CDLP - Cherry Red Records
Cherry Red collection from a 80’s indie band, jangly guitars Glaxo Babies were a Peel band in their time, a Bristol band can hear the similarities with fellow Bristol indie pop band The Groove Farm or EMF definably my kind of indie rock. Favourite tracks This Way Out, Under the Sun and Man from Porlock great to discover something that reminds me that era but still sounds fresh. As well as the 80’s indie sounds also some of the later baggy Madchester scene can be glimpsed.
The Great Statesmen
Just Like You
CDEP - (BOSR)
This is a 3 track single, jangly indie rock. Very much in the vein of the current indie bands like, The Automatic, The Libertines. Again listenable favourite track is the title one Just like You the other 2 are more album tracks. Not more a can say.
Symphony of Voices
CDLP - Go Kart Records
This American bunch have apparently played almost 700 shows and supported bands like Sum 41 and all that lot which just about sums up what they sound like to my untrained ear. The press release lists all these folk that think they are great but I have to confess I dont have the foggiest what its all going on about. What I do know however is that here in sunny Manchester a Guff is a Fart.
Mr. M Paterson.
CDEP - Self Release
I’ve lost the press release but I would guess this band come from Leicester. They sound like a mix of The Velvet Underground, Spacemen 3, Primal Scream, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Johnny Cash. If you like this scene then ‘Guile’ are probably worth checking out. I didn’t like the final track ‘140 Hurts’ it sounded like the free Primal Scream single that came with that really crap album they released when they thought they where Rockers.
Mr M Paterson.
The Hat Brothers
the hat brothers
CDEP hatbros 2007
This is a great new release, from this young Suffolk band. A great Gypsy Punk ep, think Gogol Bordello, Pougues meets Half Man Half Biscuit only sheer class and funny. All 4 tracks are great, track 4 ‘The Hat Brothers’ is my favourite, even on the MP3 player. Keep up the great work lads, the only downside, is I want more.
Tete Malade/Sick in the Head
CDS – TKO RECORDS
Seven very brief snippets of arty, tinny, post-punk from Les Hatepinks, featuring the brilliant ‘Should I Kill Myself or go Jogging?’ which really ought to be a staple for every indie disco but probably isn’t. The intriguingly titled ‘Sexual Liberation Is For Animals’ is only slightly barmy, while the title track is fizzy bubblegum punk as it probably ought to be.
The Happiness Patrol
How long Till Babylon Falls (Demo)
CDEP - (BOSR)
This 8 track demo was picked up via (KYP?) desk. Don’t know much about these guys but they’re on My Space, so you can check them out. Good DIY Punk rock fast guitars and samples. But good Northern English social comment in tracks like ‘Our Industrial North’,’ Culture Clash’ reminds me of cross between Billy Bragg, Morrissey, John Cooper Clarke, Chumbwumba and Civilised Society? Great to listen to.
The Heart Attacks
Hellbound and Heartless
CDLP – HELLCAT
Imagine The Towers of London having it out with The New York Dolls and you’re half way to envisioning American punk rockers The Heart Attacks. So gloriously loud and reckless, Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen scrambled to produce this, their debut album – and if you’re a fan of trashy, glam-tinged punk rock then you’ve found your new favourite band. Sadly for this listener, after a few tracks it all begins to sound the same and by the time rock royalty in the form of Joan Jett is brought in for a guest appearance on ‘Tearstained Letters’ towards the end of the album, you’re left feeling it’s a case of too little, too late. One for the die-hard glam punks only.
Heavy Heavy Low Low
Everything’s Watched, Everyone’s Watching
CD - Ferret Music
It is hard to believe that the guys in Heavy Heavy Low Low are not free jazz composers or classically trained metal scholars when you hear them attack their instruments. The band creates a densely layered collage of noise, imbued with the speediness of hardcore punk, the low crushing tones of death metal, the loose and dissonant playfulness of indie rock, and arrangements that hit multiple places at once dissolving into waves of chaos. As complex as the band’s sound is, it is obviously more complex trying to explain it on paper. Heavy Heavy Low Low’s debut, “Everything’s Watched, Everyone’s Watching,” was produced by Casey Bates (Figure Four, Gatsby’s American Dream).
this cd is great...even though they re-recorded most of there old songs. the quality is really good which explains the reason for re-recording. the only thing thats odd about this cd is that they didnt recored ‘shannon’ which seems to be there most poular songs. overall, worth your money!!
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
I Am Ghost
We Are Always Searching
CDEP - Epitaph
The words “dark,” “macabre” and “beautiful” only begin to describe the unique music of I Am Ghost. By seamlessly integrating the raw energy of post-hardcore with contemporary punk rock and elements of classical strings and piano, I Am Ghost have developed a unique style that crosses genres, unites scenes and makes for a powerful overall experience.
Lyrically, the band explores aspects of love, life, tragedy and triumph; the vocals range from incensed hardcore growls and screams to spine-tingling synchronous choruses that seamlessly encapsulate both beauty and sorrow.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
Everything in Transit
CD - Maverick
On the surface, this is a fun summer set of tracks, a Californian beat set to the trained and strained vocals of punk rock musical mastermind Andrew McMahon. But reach underneath the bouncy melodies and sing along songs like “La La Lie” that would fit in comfortably with a Something Corporate album, and you’ll find the maturation of McMahon and a more complete musical style that draws its inspiration from, among others, The Beach Boys.
Everything in Transit is one of the strongest debut albums I’ve heard in a long time, with almost every tune having a distinctly catchy aura. Most importantly, each song is unique; from the emotional riffs in “Dark Blue” that mark the heaviest song of the bunch, to MFEO’s long-winded but lively instrumental background and two part style, almost the entire disk is solid. With the exception of “Miss Delaney,” which might just be too powerful and emotionless for its own good, every track displays a softness that succumbs to itself in the end.
McMahon knows what makes his songs so well liked, and shows flashes of his musical brilliance by keeping his piano backgrounds around for Jack’s Mannequin. He improves the debut’s songs even more by adding depth and occasional instruments, like the horns that are heard in the Beatles-esque “MFEO,” or the harmonica used for my personal favorite track, the undeniably catchy “La La Lie.”
Some of the tunes show more signs than others of McMahon’s maturation since the last Something Corporate outing. “I’m Ready,” “Rescued,” and “Dark Blue” highlight these mature tracks, and each is filled with appropriate angst and spirit. Even with the enhanced meaning in all of the songs on Everything In Transit, the love for California and Venice Beach is evident everywhere; adding to the adult punk feel that makes this band so successful on its first go.
When all of these emotionally and lyrically packed songs add up to the extended “MFEO” (Made For Each Other), and Andrew’s spoken epilogue at its conclusion nine minutes later, I have to admit that I found myself disappointed that such a powerful debut should come to an end so quietly.
Proving how much of a fan he is of his own music scene, McMahon refuses to disappoint and delivers with the perfect pop bang finale, “Into the Airwaves.” When these fireworks die down, Everything In Transit comes to a satisfying end. It closes in the way McMahon loves to be heard, and how we love to hear him - powerfully and loud, sending across a message of packed emotions with his voice and piano better than any endnote ever could
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
Jingo De Lunch
The Independent Years 1987-1989
CDLP - Rookie Records
Apparently ‘Jingo De Lunch’ are one of the most influential German bands of the late 80’s and they mixed Hardcore, Punk and Rock in a unique way blah! Blah! All this makes me think perhaps I should have heard of them but I haven’t. Given the years the tracks on this cd where recorded it probably was ahead of its time but I just don’t get it. It sounds like Rock to me and the Thin Lizzy cover finished me off.
Mr M Paterson.
CDEP - REPEAT RECORDS
Sounding like a very polished Snuff/ Manic Street Preachers hybrid in places Johnny Panic have great F451 style duel vocals and quite a tale to tell, and a great musical way of telling it in a maturely runaway punk styleee.
The Junior Varsity
CDLP – VICTORY RECORDS
Well this is all a bit too nice for my liking. Described by Metal Hammer as ‘Emo with a braincell’ I am already worried. To be honest, this is more radio-friendly indie, with a few rock-lite guitar moments that brings to mind at times late Idlewild – very melodic, catchy and, as the title suggests, wide-eyed epic. I can’t really bring myself to dislike it, but it’s a bit wimpy really.
Kill The Young
We are the birds and the bees, We are the telephone trees
CD single, Art Goes Pop
They could be called ‘Bros’ with inverted commas, these Gorman siblings (no rivalry? - unusual) from Manchester. This long-titled song is rather good, actually. With Laura Viers doing a recent solo tour where she replaced guitar solos in her songs with whistled passages, perhaps the siffleur in the middle section of this song was inspired - no bad thing to hear whistling in a rock song as the late John Peel knew.
Great drumming, good chorus. Watch this lot.
Borin Van Loon
The King Blues
Come fi da youth
CD single, Field/Island
That Augustus Pablo has a lot to answer for. The most unlikely roots-radical instrument after the swanee whistle is the melodica and Pablo made it a feature of deep reggae. Here it is again in a punky dubby confection by Londoners The King Blues and the words “Hard” and “Fi” do spring to mind. Amongst the whirling repeat echo and whip-smart snare drum it charges along well enough.
Borin Van Loon
CD - Vagrant
“It really sounds like THE LEMONHEADS. Maybe a little better.” Evan Dando is getting a bit conspiratorial about the latest incarnation of the legendary pop/punk outfit he formed a full two decades ago, now about to unleash their eighth album. Evan Dando is back with the reformed group’s first album in 10 years and best sounding one yet. Studio performers and collaborators include: J. Mascis (Dinosaur JR), Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag), and Karl Alvarez (Descendents, All). Produced by Bill Stevenson.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
Drink! Pass Out! Repeat!
CDLP - SELF RELEASED
Now this is more like it. You may be able to tell by now I quite like 3-pieces, and true to form this has caught my attention right from the word go. Here we have 7 tracks of quality street punk with 3 way vocals in places, sometimes guttural, melodic in others. The drumming really makes this for me as their sticksman is rather good, it carries the well crafted songs nicely through so as to keep your attention rather than the usual verse-chorus-verse that can be associated with some bands of this ilk. I would love to see this band live.
CD – Ferret Music
With Lovehatehero you are always guaranteed three things. Contagious guitar formulas, teamwork vocals that mount continuous assaults, and plain old fashion fun. Lovehatehero has taken that time and honed their sound to a fine and sharp precision that seeks to entertain thousands. The aerial barrage of guitars isn’t to be stopped as furious fret work dominates absolutely. Pierrick’s vocal quests are ever reaching and stretch from brutal and rumbling to sincere and rhythmic. Producing a close Underoath feeling, they form a complete entirely new entity around their chemistry. Energy is in full effect with every press of the record button. Guitar heavy albums are always on the top of my lists, and this album has an abundance of string masterpieces. Aggressive solos create sunrises of colors with their imaginative formations. It’s like finding the lost city of Atlantis, and trying to think of words to describe that first sight. One picture is worth a thousand words, and one Lovehatehero song is worth a thousand words of praise. The songs capricious lyrics match with the energy that is unleashed as strings break and speakers blow under the stress of the hyper and out of control guitars. A heavier and more dredging song takes the funny title. A very strong finish for the album, and acts as the light at the end of the tunnel that you race to get to and every step of the way you get more excited until you are engulfed in it and the journey was well worth it. Boundless concentration and raging multitudes of power empty their tireless beautiful works in my ears and wake me up every time I hear them. It also acts as a breath of fresh air in a time of a lot of stagnant music. It seems no matter what you think this album is going to deliver, it will pleasantly surprise you on all fronts. Their fresh sound that keeps an upbeat feel and adventurous guitars is a recipe for success. All I have to say is watch out, you might just get caught by this infectious music that shows no sign of stopping.
Wisnu Aka AprilRock
In The Interest Of Absolution
CDEP – HANGMANS JOKE
Oh joy, yet another emo / semi-hardcore band, because you know, there’s a shortage of them at the moment. As they go, this is by no means the worst, there’s some nice metal crunch going on, with some double-kick bass drums that can, if you accidentally leave the bass too high on your stereo, cause aural injury. And bless ‘em, some of the quieter moments are quite sweet really. But overall, this is K! compilation filler.
Make Your Excuses
CDR – Self Released
Two tracks of very run of the mill, I guess Jam/Who influenced indie rock. If you like the Ordinary Boys then yeah by all means get hold of this demo. The press release also states that the singer tragically died just five weeks after making this recording, pretty harsh stuff, so there will be no more so is you like your Ordinary Boys sound but need a break from the whole Preston + Chantelle thing, then this is for you. It’s just not for me.
CDEP – STERN RECORDS
Right now, all over the country, in rehearsal rooms everywhere, enthusiastic and hungry young men are bashing out lacklustre indie-rock tunes just like Mayz’s opening track ‘Monkey Brain’ in the vain hope that one day, they will be rock’s ‘next big thing’. It’s not a bad effort - just forgettable and rather, well, dull. Thankfully, if you can make it through that track then it actually pays off to listen to the rest of the material on this CD as ‘Concrete Syringe’ and ‘The Wrong’ are good, pure 90’s grunge rock in the vein of Tool and Soundgarden, indicating that there may actually be some proof in the accompanying press gubbins’ claims of the band being ‘at the forefront of the New Wave of British hard rock’. It’s a lofty aspiration, but one the band might actually achieve if they remove songs like the title track from future releases!
CDEP - Kill Sound Recordings
Annoyingly, there is only one track on this cd, so it’s hard to get a feel for the band.
In places it reminds me of Forward Russia, which is very much a good thing, but unfortunatly for the most part it’s just standard nu-indie fayre. It’s okay, not offensive and not too cheesy, but for me, there are just far too many bands with synths and loud bass’s at the moment.
CD - Epitaph
This album isn’t bad but I think it’s weak compared to Millencolin’s other stuff. There isn’t much ska in here like “Life on a Plate” but some songs make up for it like Lozin’ Must and Twenty-two. I’ve heard people saying that the song Monkey Boogie is horrible but I think different. It’s just different and makes it stick out. All in all this cd is good but if your just getting into Millencolin then you should buy “Life on a Plate” first. That album shows the good side of the band. Well that’s it.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
The Mojo Fins
CD single, Amazon Records
This is really the posthumous release of an acoustic song by the late guitarist/singer Jon Chandler, killed in a road accident on the M25 in May, 2007. It fills out nicely with other voices and instruments towards the end over Jon’s very English vocals. Whether the rest of this Brighton band can continue is another matter, but this quiet epitaph is poignant indeed.
Borin Van Loon
CDLP - Lojinx
Take a bit of Teenage Fanclub, Pavement, Sonic youth and The Wannadies mix them all together et voila! Montana. Surprisingly this heady mix results in a rather sedate if accomplished sound. I cant help liking this although I try desperately not too. Top track is Good Gone Bad which to be honest sounds exactly the same as every Teenage Fanclub song ever written.
Mr. M Paterson
Motion City Soundtrack
I Am The Movie
CD - Epitaph
This is the debut album from Minneapolis quintet Motion City Soundtrack, and in no-nonsense style it packs 14 tracks into 43 frenetic minutes, which is just the way it should be. The band’s rise to the Epitaph roster has surprised even themselves, as guitarist Jason Pierre previously compared them to a second rate Jimmy Eat World. Refreshing honesty!
It is immediately apparent that these boys have a talent for melodic songs, catchy hooks, spiky lyrics and an untampered sound, similar in many ways to Green Day, or, in weaker moments, resembling Three Colours Red. Pierre sometimes comes across as a young James Dean Bradfield in vocal colour, bearing a stronger top register which gets overused in The Future Freaks Me Out. For me this is the least effective song on the album, with lyrics on Will and Grace clumsily coupled with drum and bass.
That said, when the boys fully rock out they’re well worth hearing. Forthcoming single My Favorite Accident has a central hook of “skin, skin, please let me in” that lends the song a strong punchline, and the “call me back tomorrow” refrain of Capital H provides a strong foil for the relatively geeky verse. Tony Thaxton drums a treat on Red Dress, one of many highpoints where musicianship is concerned.
My main criticism of Motion City Soundtrack is that they’re too one-dimensional, although it’s worth pointing out that only four songs on the album were penned by the current line-up. The occasional forays into college-boy punk don’t help their cause; a raw sound is much more appropriate for the band. They are at their most effective when backing vocals are employed, with closing track A-OK given greater depth and even the coda of The Future Freaks Me Out almost rescuing what went before.
So, if like me, you’d not been aware of Motion City Soundtrack up until now, rest assured that, if you like your Hundred Reasons, Green Day or even Queens Of The Stone Age, this band could tickle your fancy. Expect them to improve further on the second album, which has apparently already been recorded.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
Mustard City Rockers
Mustard City Rockers
CDLP -A Fine City Records
Another great Folk Punk CD, this time from Norwich’s Mustard City Rockers, very much in the vein of The Whisky Priests, Men they couldn’t Hang, Runrig. Topical to the current Norwich, East Anglia scene, with 8 tracks, favourite track is ‘Chapelfields of Dreams’, lamenting Norwich’s need for another shopping mall. Folk Punk at its best, current lyrics with traditional music played fast, well done.
My Secret Life
Whatever It Takes
EP - Self Released
The first thing that struck me about this fella’s vocals was just how much he sounds like Brian Molko from Placebo. In fact, the first track (Easy When You Know How), might as well be Meds by Placebo.
The rest of this cd plods along in a very radio friendly manner, nothing is really awful about it, but at the same time, nothing stands out in any way at all. It just seems to lack bite. Apparently, someone told them they sound like Nirvana and the Pixies, but where as Nirvana were loud and in your face, My Secret Life are quietly standing behind a window staring at you. And where as the Pixies were interesting, beautiful and intelligent,
My Secret Life play it safe, are plain looking and a C+ at best.
By no means terrible and there is potential here, but they need to find their own sound.
Piano driven melancholy from these Ipswich brethren. ‘Lines’ comes across like a lo-rent Keane doing ‘Walking in Memphis’, before launching into a boy-band chorus. And there is nothing wrong with boy-band choruses. Elsewhere, ‘Describe Heaven’ is an OK song crying out for bigger production, ‘I Cry’ is probably best reserved for fans of the relentlessly mawkish and ‘Side by Side’ surprises you with some FM rock riffage and a widdly solo, but ultimately leaves you waiting for that stellar chorus that doesn’t show up.
New Model Army
CDLP - Attack Attack (Records)
This is the 10th studio album from Bradford finest. From the first notes it can only be New Model Army, Justin Sullivan distinctive voice, pounding drums thumping bass lines and guitars. Title track ‘High’ has the sense of Bradford nestling between the Pennine Moors. Whereas ‘All Consuming Fire’ is more of the pounding social comment anthem which New Model Army do so well. ‘Bloodsports’ is another comment about the war and our supposed interested in it, very like an up to date version of ‘Spirit of the Falklands’. Unmistakably New Model Army, listenable I think far more for the established fan than a first time listener.
Diagram For Healing
CD - Vagrant
After heading into the studio with producer, Trever Keith (singer of Face To Face) the band has returned with an astounding sophomore release. No Motive has polished their sound into a steady buzz of melodically injected punk rock with grinding tones and heart-splitting lyrics to match. A genuine treat for your audio palate.
This CD is awesome. The lead singer’s smooth vocals along with the harder guitar riffs sound amazing. The lyrics are beautiful and heartfelt. I saw these guys in concert and they blew me away. BUY THIS CD NOW YOU PUNK! My favorite songs on it are “Celebrate” “Get a Life” “Born Again” and “Throw in the Towel”. But they’re all good. Buy, you, this, now.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
No Use For a Name
All The Best Songs
CDLP - FAT WRECK CHORDS
It’s easy to take bands like NUFAN for granted. You know you’re probably going to love most of the stuff they put out and on listening to this best of I was amazed at just how many songs I knew and found myself (badly) singing along to. The tracklisting is pretty similar to the ‘Live In a Dive Album’ released a few years back, and to be honest out of the two albums I’d still buy the live version, it’s bollocking great! There’s two brand new tracks on this release, the second ‘Stunt Double’ is stunning proof of just how sickeningly talented this band really is.
CDLP - HYDRA HEAD
Just how much coffee and speed has been going down in the Cave In camp? This is fourth album band members have put out in the last few months! This time it’s the turn (again) of singer Stephen Brodsky accompanied of course by his Cave In buddies. This album is a lot more bulky than his last creation ‘Octave Museum’ and has a spirit of boystrous creativity about it. A bit like The Stooges doing Small Faces covers. If you liked the other Cave In variation Clouds then you’re gonna love this.
Poison The Well
CD - Ferret Music
Poison The Well’s new album, “Versions,” is about to turn the heavy music landscape upside down. Like the band, the “kids” wouldn’t have it any other way. The album is imbibed with grooving swampiness and esoteric contemplation, all anchored by the brutal stomp that has been imitated by many in the years since PTW first emerged, but never duplicated.
Heres the thing ... poison the well has to shoulder such extreme expectations because they are one of the best bands in the friggen world and lots of people know this.
That being said this CD doesn’t live up to those extreme expectations, however it is a really good CD if it were any other band. But this is the band that gave us “Nerdy”, “Apathy Is a Cold Body”, “Botchla” and that is whats lacking on this CD is that dynamite stand out track. There isn’t anything that makes me jump up and pay attention.
The CD itself is challenging and like many other bands PTW seem to be trying to make their own version of OK Computer. Don’t mistake challenging for good though, thats arrogant. It takes a while before the nuances and tricks of these songs gets into your head but when they do you get a new appreciation for a CD that takes a few spins before you start to really like it.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
What you will get
CDEP - Raleigh Street Music
Do we need another Muse? I would propose a simple hypothesis: No. This four piece from Liverpool are a talented bunch musically but I fear that like the resentful less successful brother they will forever be the poor relation in the Muse family not they are any less pompous than the rest of the members of this particular genealogy. I would like to point out to Rebecca that they cant be Muse as there already is a band called Muse that play Muse type music. Anyway I believe history will cringe when it looks back at Muse so perhaps Im not the best judge of what Rebecca should do. What I do know however is this review has talked more about Muse than Rebecca and that cant be a good thing.
Mr M Paterson
CD - Cage Match Federation And NY Fag Records
Seven new studio tracks on the A side. Following in the proven Regulations style of going back to the roots of hardcore punk, circa 1980. Catchy, snotty, raw, hardcore punk that would fit right in on Dangerhouse records or the Boston Not L.A. compilation. B side features both 7’s (now out of print) as bonus tracks.
Wisnu Aka AprilRock
The Venomous Grand Design
CDLP – VICTORY
You know those hardcore gigs where blokes run around in circles smacking the shit out of each other? Ringworm are most definitely the band on stage, pumping out thrash metal numbers at finger-bleeding rates. Exciting stuff but undeniably an acquired taste.
CDEP - NRone Records
Debut single from Ipswich band Rosalita, who won a national competition to open last year’s V Festival in Chelmsford. Listenable rock music some humour in the tracks think a modern rock version of Madness or Blur, or even more in vein of Kasier Chiefs. Title track Manga Girl with a look of social comment and up to date, idea soundtrack for current youth television like Skins. Keep up the hard work lads, media friendly could be next big thing.
Saves The Day
Stay What You Are
CD - Vagrant
This new record showcases Saves The Day’s most varied material to date while at the same time continuing in the tradition of the band’s known ability to create direct hitting, pop-fueled music. It is fair to say that fans of this genre, the band or punk rock in general will never be the same again.
Saves The Day gives us more interesting lyrics with some amazing music attached to it. A definate change from their past two albums, but this is a good change (I would guess because Chris Conley wrote almost the entire album). The vocals seem to fit the new style of music a little better. No need to skip any of the songs, they are all great.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
Livin’ The Dream
CDLP – BOSS TUNAGE
Eclectic collection from former ALL singer, covering songs from subsequent bands Goodbye Harry and The Pavers. There is much to like here, including the up-tempo, rockabilly punk of ‘That Noise’ which is a cool song and would not sound out of place on heavy rotation right now (instead of Jimmy Eat World, preferably….please). ‘Half Way to Vegas’ is fun cow punk in a similar vein. There is plenty of spiky pop-punk and varying doses of silliness, via ‘Your Sicko Dad’, ‘Piss Me Off’, ‘Scary Eyes’ and so forth. ‘Angel’ is a likeable slab of cod-bluegrass while the piano based ‘Silver Moon’ is drunk at 3am in an empty bar on the seedy side of town. There is cool pop-rock aswell, like the catchy ‘They’, the very classy ‘Cuda’ and the grungy ‘One to Ten’, which rocks like a looser Foo Fighters (plus a sense of humour).
Elsewhere it is all passable stuff. Always melodic, it doesn’t have to try too hard to be cool or anything. And the 200mph cover of ‘Maybelline’ is either very good, or rubbish – depending on your politics.
Love Love Love
CDEP - Lusty Records
Apparently The Sea doesnt give a crap about the industry which is just as well really as I m reasonably confident that the industry doesnt give a crap about them.
Mr. M Paterson
Sea Street Urchins
Sea Street Urchins
CDLP - Self Release.
Lovely cover with psychedelic sea urchins under a shimmering moon, no press release, hand written CD, so far so good. This 4 piece produce uncompromising Ska and dub influenced tracks which meander hypnotically through various phases of each musical style with a touch of Irish folk music thrown in for good measure. With titles like Ill Dubbed Version, Harmony Dub and Brendub you can be sure that it does what it says on the tin. A special mention is required for Peter Gets A Dubbing a dub version of Peter and The Wolf by Prokofiev, it doesnt work but that doesnt really matter. I have been listening to this CD a lot but I cant work out if this is a work of pure genius or folly so I ask my 4 year old son what he thinks; he listens for a second, screws up his face and shouts aggressively …this is rubbish transformers music!
Mr. M Paterson.
Love’s Sick Disease
CDEP - Shifty Disco
This is a listenable indie single. Very melodic haunting single with 4 tracks, title track Love Sick Disease is the standout and most radio friendly. One of the better ones Andrew passed for review this time. Would like to hear more from this band, remains me of the current Scotish indie bands, The View, and The Fratellis.
Second in Line
This came with a Fat Wreck Chord compilation, which didn’t bode well. I know it’s my age, but punk to me is a studs and bristles, bloodstained leather jacket kind of affair. I can’t fault modern punk idealistically, but the music itself is just too bloody polished. That is not the case with Second in Line. We’re talking photocopied black and white sleeves, CDRs with hastily scrawled titles, guitars way up in the mix, every track a different bloody volume and not a harmony to be heard. Imagine a straight line going from ‘The Gray Race’ to ‘Metal Circus’, and Second in Line would be dead centre. Got a bit of Electro Hippies and Venom in there as well.
The middle of ‘Brewsters’ Millions’ calls to mind Di’anno era Maiden and the bass intro to ‘Joanie Loves Chachi’ is pretty, while the rest is fast as fuck and 3 of the 8 tracks clock in at under 45 seconds. Brilliant. Bet they’re good live.
Love’s Sick Disease
CDEP – SHIFTY DISCO
Hmm, I’m not sure I’m the right person to review an indie release, but I’ve been given the task, so here goes. It’s slow and to be honest a bit dull, I’m really not into this kinda thing at all. The title song is a tad repetitive and is grinding on me now. I can hear a bundle of different influences music wise in their tunes, the second track even has a kinda T-Rex glam rock feel to it. If I wanted something so sickly sweet I’d just eat jelly beans until I made myself sick (again).
See You Next Tuesday
CDLP – FERRET MUSIC
Initially starting as a joke band a few years ago, people have recently started to take this US mob seriously. Big fast noisy metal with an unhinged System Of A Down edge, it is above all great fun to listen to because you’re never quite sure what they’re going to do next. And with song titles like ‘8 Dead, 9 If You Count the Fetus’ and ‘Lets Goes Halvsies on a Bastard’ you really can only guess. I love this, its like a modern day Lawnmower Deth.
CDR - demo
Earnest, yearning metal. Plodding grunge with prog-rock diversions. Kinda passed me by a bit until ‘Let Love’ which actually has a hook or two - and is also remarkable for the vocalist’s (moderately successful) attempt to sound like Kurt Cobain. Generally, I’m finding the vocals badly over-strained – clearly trying too hard - and the lack of memorable choruses a problem. Big riffs though.
Set Your Goals
CDLP - Alveran Records
I’ll admit the start of the first track had me reaching for the skip button.
After five seconds of the nasal Blink 182-style vocals and acoustic guitar dismiss Set Your Goals as another teeny-bopper punk band but when the track changed over I was greeted with the 52 second melodic hardcore blast of Dead Men Tell No Tales.
The song, which sounds like This Time Next Year era Movielife was an instant improvement and set the way for the rest of the album after the initial false start Their brand of poppy hardcore is at its best in the title track ‘Mutiny’ which I would challenge even the most self-righteous punk not to secretly enjoy.
The addition of a gruffer singer helps (they have two) and melodies that while catchy, never stray over the line into teeny bopper territory.
One gripe is the inclusion of some shameful lyrics that wouldn’t be out of place in a piece of GCSE poetry. “We are superior, you are inferior” anyone? But ultimately this is good stuff and I get the feeling things will be improved with the next album. If you’re reading boys get rid of the girly singer, dispense of the rhyming dictionary and you could really be onto something.
I’ll Tell You What!
CDLP - BOSS TUNAGE
You’ll tell me what? That this is chuggy lite-punk with flat, lifeless vocals? That no amount of nice harmonising will fix it? That this sort of thing really really needs to have a bit more balls behind it these days? That, unless you are careful, it will end up sounding like a collection of Wildhearts demos that didn’t make the final cut?
promo track – CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY
Heavy slabs of synths, ‘Doktor Avalanche’ drums, dark guitar lines, mental vocals. This song could well grow on you once you’ve got the hang of the vocals. Definitely ploughing their own furrow, that’s for sure.
Some Velvet Morning
Silence Will Kill You
CDLP - RHYTHMBANK
Possibly one of the most English sounding albums ever, with very evident influence from that current very trendy Talking Heads retro stabby guitars type dealie. Bits sound oddly like Blondie (track 1) and others sound a bit Pink Floyd (track 2). Inoffensive enough and has mass media acceptance written all over it.
Ga ga ga ga ga
CD album, Anti
This is nearly Big League US guitar-rock (with a bit of welcome piano in the mix). With a number of albums to their name and the ignominy of being dropped by Elektra, they have a lot to prove with ‘Ga ga ga ga ga’. Everything depends on singer/guitarist/ songwriter Britt Daniels and he may have produced his best work yet on this set of catchy tunes which sounds more like it emanated from England than Texas. Deserves to be a hit.
Borin Van Loon
Remixes and Remasters
CDLP - (BOSR)
This is a selection of Squad 69 current album. Very fast Anarcho punk with a female voice, very Debbie Harry but that great as Debbie one of my all time singers. A listenable favourite tracks Ev’rything Sucks or Pyramaniaxe. But what makes for me is the Anarcho attitude as you can copy their work as if you don’t make money from them. There something that is very late 80’s as well as Debbie Harry there the attitude of Wendy James, and a sound that a mixture of indie, goth and metal. But can’t put me a finger on the actual bands from that era, but Blondie, New Model Army, Sister of Mercy Jesus & Mary Chain, Transvision Vamp, The Primatives and even the The Fall and Joolz in a blender.
State Run Discography
CDLP - Self Release
This arrived in a brown envelope with no press release so I am immediately drawn to this LP and it doesn’t disappoint. This compilation of two releases on Rat Run and State Run records charts the development of this band of teenagers between 2003 and their demise in 2007. This Porthcawl 4 piece present us with vibrant uncompromising punk in the style of Husker Dus land speed record. Opening track Recite would have been hailed as a seminal track had the Huskers penned it. The album is full of high points all delivered with true energy and conviction which although seemingly influenced by 1980s American punk and alternative music has a sense of originality and energy impossible to contrive. The band split in 2007 which is a travesty, come back State Run, a world grown fat and flabby on a diet of formulaic indie needs you to give it a kick up the arse.
Mr. M Paterson.
Some Velvet Morning
CDLP - Rythmbank Entertainment
Formulaic Indie. It’s very accomplished and to be honest well written but I just can’t be arsed.
Mr M Paterson
CDLP - BLUURG
Just like when your constipated, it can seem like it’s taking forever for a new Subhumans album to come out, and when it does emerge it’s remarkably satisfiying, a great relief and causes splashes. There’s no two ways about it, this is a bloody fantastic album. It’s got plenty to say, it’s creative without being wanky and overall has the feeling of an album that one of your mates could have made, if only your mates were this damn good.
The Rot Stops Here
CDLP - HOUSEHOLD NAME RECORDS
Was really looking forward to this after the storming E.P released earlier in the year. I’d be interested to know where the name came from, I think it makes the band sound more like crust or death metal or something! Suicide bid are one of the current brace of punk supergroups doing the rounds, and are made up of members of Sonic Boom 6, The King Blues, Ex-Cathedra, King Prawn, Deathskulls P.A.I.N and the bloody great Inner Terrestrials. The music is pretty much what you’d expect a combination of the bands above to sound like, it’s punky thrashy, noisy sublime dub ska-reaggae! There’s some shockingly good tracks on here that are only slightly let down by the lo-fi feel the album has. The dodgy sound is quite charming and all that, but just wears a bit thin. Still an essential purchase.
Sunny Day Real Estate
CD - Sub Pop
Sunny Day Real Estate are one of the most well known ‘90s emo band. Emo as in not From First To Last, Fall Out Boy or My Chemical Romance but proper emotional hardcore. And this is their most widely known album. The sound is imense. Emotion filled vocals, nice post-hardcore guitar that goes from quiet to loud in the blink of an eye, franticly busy drumwork and very good production.
Well, the lyrics, though very minimal, never cease to send a shiver down my spine. Jeremy Enigk is excellent, both lyrically and vocally. The lyrics and music mix like beans and honey (a good thing, I assure you).
This album spawned millions of copy-cat bands such as Mineral and Eliot (both of who are excellent) but it trumps them all. Highlights from the album would be In Circles, Seven, Song About An Angel And Shadows but this album must be heard as a whole to be fully appreciated. I love almost everything about this album. Actually, seeing as I cannot think of anything I don’t like about it let’s say I love everything about it. if it was lost or stolen I would get it again for sure and I would sit beside the door waiting for it to be delivered (it’s kinda hard to get so I reccomend ebay). So, an excellent album by an excellent band. Definitely the album I’d reccomend new fans to get followed up by LP2/Sunny Day Real Estate.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
The SchwaB Family system
CD album, 10xBetter
Ought to be on Earache Records following the Mojo Fins. Vocals resemble Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, loads of crunching, bluesy harp and guitar, pounding and merciless. They come from Dalston. Their album looks like they come from Cuckoo-land, which they may. Rather good in a menacing sort of way. Ooh yes, and there’s a touch of Brix Smith-era Fall in there, too. Can’t say fairer than that.
Borin Van Loon
Some kind of urban fulfillment
CD album, Setanta.
Jolly good, this. Infectious indie-pop and no bad thing, either. A quartet fronted by two brothers (whatever happened to sibling rivalry?), The Tacticians are from London and about as far as you can get from the brooding, chippy Hard-Fi as you can imagine. They enjoy and celebrate life in quirky, two-and-a-half minute pop songs involving a glockenspiel and a Wurlitzer when they should be at home in their darkened bedrooms passing out to eighteen minute Tangerine Dream epics, the little tykes.
Borin Van Loon
Live In Stockholm
DVD – Escapi Music
No band deserves as much credit for keeping the gospel of classic - Black Sabbath - derived heavy metal alive during the 1980’s and early 1990’s as Chicago based outfit Trouble. Their work would serve as inspiration for an entire generation of ‘90s bands in the underground doom/stoner metal scene (Monster Magnet, Kyuss etc). With nods to the psychedelic sounds of the late ‘60s thrown in for good measure, and under the wing of legendary producer and guru Rick Rubin the band forged an uncompromising brand of classic metal all their own, with down-tuned riffs and spiritual, often openly religious lyrics all sadly over looked by the record buying public. Despite Management and label wrangling in recent years, the legends of the genre are back with a new album imminent, and this; a DVD of the band Live In Stockholm from their triumphant 2003 show delivering an insanely hi-fidelity set in front of 700 discerning and demanding doom fans. Anyone familiar with the band music will surely be frothing at the mouth by now but the track listing sees cuts from the band entire career will further get you excited such as ‘R.I.P’, ‘Come Touch The Sky’, ‘Memory’s Garden’, ‘The Misery Shows (act II)’, ‘Psalm 9’, ‘Psychotic Reaction’, and ‘The Tempter’ amongst the 14 tracks on offer. Performance wise the band are as tight as can be with the guitar tag team of Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell positively slaying anything in their path with their mix of Iommi meets Frank Marino doom psychedelic interplay, those famous guitar tones (ripped off by Metallica c. Ride The Lightning) are as huge as ever and backed by the ultra tight rhythm team of Chuck Robinson (bass) and Jeff Olson (drums) keep the bottom end pounding. This leads us to the distinctive vocals of Eric Wagner who vocals are a little strained in places (most likely due to the inactivity over recent years), but this doesn’t detract too much from an otherwise superb performance all round. Sound and visual production is excellent throughout with a great mix and camera work that actually follow the right guitarists come solo time. There are also some nice bonuses in the guise of an 36 minute interview with the band and a photo gallery. Anyone that is looking for a natural successor to Black Sabbath’s crown then Trouble are your number one stop. Simply Superb and here’s to the new album due later this year.
Wisnu Aka AprilRock
CDLP - FUZZORAMA RECORDS
They’ve done it! They’ve really fucking gone and done it! The new album from these cool Sweedes captures just about everything that is great about playing electric gutiars with slack strings! There are huge Black Sabbath style riffs, awesome vocal melodies and some very original sounding vaugely industrial stoner rock! There’s the sweeping majestic guitar orchestration of Isis, the subtlety of an early Kyuss instrumental and the bone crushing riffs of ScissorFight. There really is a hell of a lot going on with this new release, I’m pretty stunned! It’s an utter masterpiece! Can’t say enough good things about it, just WOW!
Preaching To The Converted
CD – Caitlin Records
I don’t know how to say about this band coz I don’t really like sound like this but if you turn into industrial rock you will love this stuff. Sounds like Ramstein.
Wisnu Aka AprilRock
Define the Great Line
CD - Tooth And Nail
By far the most anticipated release of the year, Define the Great Line is Underoath’s much talked about follow up to They’re Only Chasing Safety a record that was quite possibly Tooth & Nail’s biggest breakout release in the history of the label. So the pressure was on for the Northern Florida boys. They built a base a few years back with the hardcore carnage of The Changing of Times, but blew up when they went screamo on They’re Only Chasing Safety. Can they possibly bridge the gap and bring fans of the former release up to speed without excluding those that fell in love with Underoath after hearing their latter effort?
The answer, clearly, is yes. Underoath has crafted a record that somehow still contains the accessibility of their last effort, but kicks everything up a notch. Spencer Chamberlain not only screams on Define the Great Line, he roars. Aaron Gillespie’s drums are more intense and urgent, yet still precise. And everything in between has been stepped up. It is a sound that was only hinted at on They’re Only Chasing Safety (“I Don’t Feel Very Receptive Today,” in particular). Rarely does it slow up, either. And when it seems to be losing steam, it is only a sign that another explosion is pending. This one allows for little to no breathing room.
Underoath’s message has changed little since the last time we heard from them. There is a lot of discussion of our depravity, and a need for redemption. Differing from their last release, however, is the frequency at which God is addressed by name, though all are in exclamations of desperation. Most tracks express a lot of pain, weariness, and frustration, but not without the awareness that things need to change. And God’s presence is never factored out of the equation no matter how rough things get. He is a constant source of redemption and is the only way to “wake up” (A metaphor repeated constantly on the album).
Whether or not Define the Great Line will be Underoath’s defining effort is up to history to decide, and it is too soon to say. Emotional attachments to They’re Only Chasing Safety aside, Underoath’s latest is a solid piece of work that holds its own against previous records. Without a second’s hesitation, the hardcore album of the year thus far is Define the Great Line, and I’d like to see another album challenge it
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
The World on Fire
I Live To Tell the Tale
CDLP - Shedio Records
The World on Fire purport to be comparable to At the Drive In etc. While there is a sense that they have been influenced by that particular band actually they sound more like Gene with balls. This results in a whirlwind of finely crafted and at times sublime songs moving rapidly from intricate Smiths style interludes to crunching power chords with enviable ease. In fact the only criticism of this LP is the endlessly re-occurring At the Drive In style fillers.
Mr. M Paterson.
Happy Christmas Vol.4
CD - Tooth And Nail
This latest volume of Christmas songs from Tooth & Nail continues their mix of redone Christmas classics plus some new songs for the season. Squirrel’s favourite is “Baby Please Come Home” by Anberlin. This song was made famous by U2, and Anberlin does their own unique version I also like Mae’s take on “Carol Of The Bells”. Best original song on Vol. 4? Number One Gun’s “Of Two Bearded Men” reminds us that sometimes we can get distracted from the real meaning of Christmas. There are some good songs on this cd. Maybe not a stellar Christmas cd, but there are some songs to light up your Christmas season.
Wisnu AKA Aprilrock
In Goth Daze
CD & DVD Cherry Red Records
Cherry Reds collection of various of their Street level 80’s Goth bands. None of the major bands are on here but still listenable as more the more grass roots but a good introduction if you want to explore this era. Bands often overlooked by mainstream compilations’ of Goth or the Darkside of the 80’s. Favourite tracks are Bone Orchard, Kicking up the Sawdust, Specimen, Sharp teeth Pretty Teeth, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Hollow Eyes and Skeletal Family, Alone She Cries. Both on CD and DVD relive the first generation of goth, with some names I missed first time around.
SKA is Dead
CDLP - Household Name Records
This is album which has been put together 23 bands to show that in fact Ska is far from dead. It is a celebration of the current SKA scene, which is a range from classic Ska or Two-Tone and, Dancehall to the modern blend of ska, punk, reggae and even rockabilly. With great tracks from The Toasters, Night Train to Moscow, Mustard Plug, Puddle of Blood, Chris Murray, Dangerous Hearts and King Django, Hard, Hard Thing Great vibrant, sound just makes you want to get up and dance takes me back to school days and the Two Tone / Mod scene. Differently a good buy and a good introduction to the current ska scene..
There’s no place like home.
CDLP - Geek Scene
This is a compilation of bands based in or who have played in Margate & Canterbury which I have to say prompted me to raise a wry sarcastic eyebrow of anticipation. However as soon as ‘Slicing Grandma’ open up with a surreal hypnotic monologue on small town life and religion culminating in the scream ‘let’s get the chainsaw!’ I am gripped. This eclectic mix of varying quality really works and feels like a compilation you did for your mate and then handed over with a sense of pride. Bands that particularly catch the ear are ‘Aina’ who seem to be some kind of Spanish Oasis crossed with L7, ‘Atlantic Monthly’ who could live a life of almost total musical obscurity as the new Pastels and ‘Good Clean Fun’ who are straight forward punk well done. Now I hate Sigur Ros and I don’t know how to explain this but ‘North by Northwest’, who essentially sound the same, are brilliant. Perhaps it’s because they don’t have a male poison dwarf singing like a fucking castrated pervert.
Mr M Paterson.
Tegan and Sara
+ Eugene Francis Jnr
August 13th 2007
Eugene Francis Jnr didn’t really seem to be a good support act choice. He played the guitar and sang well but was incapable of enthralling the crowd. He lacked confidence, although that may’ve been due to the fact that no-one was paying any attention to him. I haven’t actually said anything about his music but that’s because nothing seems to stand out but I’m almost certain that he will have one of those myspace pages so go and listen to him if you feel like it. Tegan and Sara (in a nutshell: lesbian, Canadian, 27 years old identical twins) are possibly the best act I have ever seen. I say act, rather than band, because their shows aren’t just about playing music. Between songs they tell stories and interact with the audience and in a way it’s like watching stand up comedy when they’re not playing music. Their songs hold up well live, even the ones they choose to play acoustically. They’re coming back to the UK at the end of February/March so go and see them, the Koko club gig is only a tenner. If not, then listen to anything by them really...’So Jealous’ is probably a good album to start off with.
‘Shangri La’ The Church Institute, Prestwich.
20th October 2007
Like Warsaw on a wet weekend North Manchester is comprised of grey concrete, derelict post war housing and heroin addiction. Prestwich is a small area of slightly run down housing surrounding the site of what was once the largest lunatic asylum in the world. I live here so cant help but take a peek at this new night of music and entertainment. The venue is like a small polytechnic student union in 1988 made all the more surreal by a gigantic glitter ball which is suspended from what looks like a dog lead and so continually sways giving the illusion that you are on a boat in rough weather. Spinning the decks is Chilli man who throughout the night played an eclectic mix that I have rarely, if ever encountered. Clare Barry gave us a performance of a monologue delivered with great style and humour the message of which seemed to be that we all turn into our parents so embrace their good points as if you end up with the bad ones you are well and truly fucked. Next up is True belle half of which have not turned up due to some form of internal meltdown. They deliver what is probably described as ambient techno but don’t quote me. Unfortunately I missed most of it as I nipped out the back for a fag but what I did hear sounded promising. Finally we have Band(ism!), I’m not sure if they where supposed to be negatives of the blues brothers, meat packers or had just arrived from a split shift at McVities but they proceeded to churn out some at times earnest and at other times hilarious songs. In the middle of all this compere Dave did his Dirty Quiz resulting in a truly entertaining and bizarre night. The final call to the audience was to inform them that if they wanted to do anything at all on another night to contact the organizers; brilliant.
Mr M Paterson.
Mindless Self Indulgence
Camden Electric Ballroom
11th October 2007
Ok, I would first like to point out it was not my choice to go to this gig, I was keeping a mate company, who was doing a favour to someone else by going. Upon arriving, I had to fight a desperate urge to about turn and just go to the pub down the road – the street outside is infested by the most unappetising bunch of teenage drunks you could ever hope to never meet again. Cybergoths, half naked weirdos on crack, the worst offenders of emo, all here in force, and all underage.
The first band, Scanners, were actually quite pleasant, in a post punk, Chrissie Hynde, modern electro kinda way. How did they end up here I wonder? When the braying pubescent hordes were finally rewarded with Mindless Self Indulgence coming onstage, I tried desperately not to laugh. Guitarist Steve bounds onstage like a giant autistic baby deprived of its medication, whilst ‘singer’ Little Jimmy Urine (you couldn’t make it up…) struts onstage with a cane under his arm looking like Willy Wonka having a bad day in acid hell.
The posturing is arrogant, the performance mentally unstable, and the music somehow manages to blend all the worst bits of emo with all the worst bits of nu-rave. We left a few songs in when Little Jimmy Pissy-pants started off on some spoken word poetry about him travelling to outer space in suspended animation. Ladies and Gentlemen, avoid this band at all costs.
Uh Huh Her
+ Rod Thomas
Carling Academy, Islington
December 3rd 2007
I have never seen so many lesbians in one place before, it was really strange. Uh Huh Her are Camila Grey (apparently she has played bass and synth for Dr Dre and Busta Rhymes, not that I actually know anything about either of those people, and Mellowdrome) and Leisha Hailey (who’s in The L Word which explains the sort of crowd the band received). Rod Thomas is a man who plays the guitar and the tambourine and claps and makes loops of all of these things to a drumbeat. Acoustic guitar and looping combined made me a bit sceptical but it worked really well and gave him a chance to show off his skills as a solo-performer. Uh Huh Her are a relatively new band and so a set of all their songs only lasted 45 minutes and the sound wasn’t fantastic (which they admitted when we hung around afterwards) but there’s something about the presence of the two women (and very hairy guitarist) that makes them so entertaining to watch. Instead of going to see them live, just buy their EP ‘I See Red’ off I-Tunes, it’s a better reflection of what they’re capable of.
Snitcho and the Dinosaurs
The Dead Batteries
@ The Railway, Ipswich
I’d seen quite a lot of promotion for this gig so was surprised to find only a modest turn out when I arrived at the railway, but many of the usual faces were in attendance and spirits were high regardless.
Local boys THE DEAD BATTERIES were the first to take to the stage, plowing through their fast and furious set of RESTARTS influenced street punk fairly quickly to a sadly slightly disinterested audience. The interplay between drummer Simon’s high pitched snarl and bassist Mitch’s lower, more gruff shouts is still working very well and the new material they’ve been playing recently is the best they’ve ever come up with. Unfortunatly tonight was just not their night and they came across as a little lacklustre.
Next up were colchesters ska-core kids SNITCHO AND THE DINOSAURS, a band who’ve been going from strength to strength over the past couple of years, having developed their sound into something more unique with the addition of synth’s into the mix, a touch which is really working and seems to have turned them into one of the most promising young bands on the east anglian punk scene. In typical Railway fashion, the set was plagued with complaints from the management (who went to the extent of standing in front of the stage with a decibel metre!) that the music was too loud but it didnt matter too much as the lads played a tight, energetic set and went down very well.
Bournemouth’s THE EXTINGUISHERS were next up with a set unfortunatly plagued by equipment problems (as well as MORE complaints from captain killjoy about volume levels) which put a downer on an otherwise solid sound. Bassist Chris was particularly impressive.
Evesham boys OFFICER DOWN genuinely seem to be one of the best touring punk bands around at the minute, having taken their slightly LEFTOVER CRACK / CHOKING VICTIM influenced punk/hardcore/ska sound all over the UK in support of their soon to be released debut album on TENT CITY records. Tonights set was filled with energy, you could really feel the enthusiasm for the music coming off this band and it was beyond annoying that their momentum was continually interrupted by the pettiness of a venue that claims to be suffolks best but repeatedly treats bands like crap. If you get the chance to check these lads out at any point, then do so; their modern, socially conscious hardcore punk checks all the right boxes and you’re sure to be hearing more of them soon!
The Dead Batteries
@ The Spread Eagle Ipswich
The Spread Eagle was always well known as one of Ipswich’s alternative pubs until it changed hands around 2001, but much to the joy of many Ipswich gig goers, The Spread is back how it should be and putting on gigs from a variety of alternative genres every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
One such gig was tonight’s punk/rockabilly shindig featuring the triumphant return of local lads THE STINKBOMBS, who finally have a new double bass player and seem all set to get back into the swing of things. Opening with live favourite NATION OF THE UNDEAD, a slightly dark and discordant take on the established punkabilly sound it, was clear that new boy Rich has been settling in very well, despite not having played double bass before joining the band! The whole set was short and sweet, only lasting for about 6 songs, but was very enjoyable and full of promise for the future. The zombie costumes were a really nice touch too!
Straight from their support slot with OFFICER DOWN and THE EXTINGUISHERS a couple of days before, THE DEAD BATTERIES seemed to have rallied and stormed through their set with confidence, merging several songs together and getting the crowd jumping around to great songs like PIRATE RADIO. Overall the lads created a really nice atmosphere and set the night up perfectly.
Out of towners KILLING SEYMOUR closed the night with their horror themed psychobilly which sadly came across as rather bland and uninspired. While they are by no means a bad band, it just seemed that after THE STINKBOMBS more varied and abrasive take on the style, KILLING SEYMOURS generic retro rock n roll riffs were far too obvious to sound anything other than a little hollow. Vocalist Vivian’s guttural snarl did certainly have many redeeming features though and overall the performance was good and contributed greatly to the overall pleasant atmosphere of the night. It just sounded a little overdone to these ears.
@ The Black Horse, Ipswich
Local stoner rock duo ASTEROID have enjoyed a very successful first 6 months as a gigging band, having built up an increasingly large and loyal following in the area, making their regular Ipswich gigs invariably packed out nights.
Musically the bands KYUSS/QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE influenced rock has been developing rapidly also, with a more spontaneous and off-the-cuff feel coming through thanks to this pair’s enviable understanding of each others playing.
There was a slightly smaller crowd out tonight, but considering the gig was all a last minute, rushed affair the amount of people present stands as testament to ASTEROID’s popularity.
Vocalist/guitarist Ryan was on top form tonight, engaging the crowd with a confidence lacking from his earlier performances, creating a great atmosphere and making the crowd feel a part of the show. This heavy, groove driven set was brought to a close with an almighty mindfucking mess of fuzz and noise which so few bands can pull off without appearing contrived, but comes so naturally to this pair. Look out for them in a town near you when they hit the road this summer, you wont be disappointed.
@ ST. NICOLAS CENTRE, IPSWICH
This was the second in a series of monthly electronica nights at the St. Nicolas Centre in Ipswich, and at only 3 pounds entry for a night that runs from 6pm till 1am I couldn’t justify not going down to check it out.
So, arriving early and blagging it in the back door due to a fortunate chance meeting with ASTROBOY on the way to the venue I was instantly hit by the beauty of the church hall that was to play host to all manner of ungodly terror and noise. Ipswich has long been calling out for a venue like the arts centre in Colchester and it seems that in the St. Nicolas Centre, we finally have one. The acoustics are amazing and the whole place definitely creates an atmosphere I’m not used to at gigs round these parts.
After mooching around and grumbling about the poor and over-priced selection on the bar, I sat myself down to watch the first set of the night, a quite varied mix of experimental noise, industrial and more song-like pieces by AM NOT. The visual accompaniment (on a really quite large projector) from the film tetsuo: the iron man was perfectly suited to the early industrial influenced aural punishment that was on offer. What spearates AM NOT from similar efforts I’ve seen though, is the way the set progressed into something altogether more pleasant, finishing with a much more melodic feel (with vocals and everything!), kind of like WIRE, JOY DIVISION etc. Well worth checking out.
After that I knew I was in for an interesting night and with a couple of drinks in me I satrted soaking up the friendly atmosphere and got chatting to people as I wandered round, the general feeling was the same, a collective cry of “it’s about fucking time!”.
The next set was a new side project from the London/Ipswich based Ryan Jordan (zero point energy), which see’s him taking his wearable computing style a step further with the addition of a performance artist named Claire, adding a visual element to the act which makes the gutteral electronic noise a hell of a lot more palatable. The project is called HAC_B (Human Augmentation and Computational Bodies) and uses technology of Mr. Jordan’s own design which fits onto the arms and head of the performer and translates bodily movements into sounds which are then processed via laptop. Mumbo Jumbo aside, what you actually see and hear is really quite disturbing. The room is in complete darkness, save for a strobe rythmically flasing upon the stage, illuminating a girl who stands perfectly still with her head tilted back. This goes on for about a minute until she suddenly begins to contort herself, flooding the stage with light and filling the air with floods of brain destroying noise. Her movements are unnatural, as though controlled, an effect which I for one found quite unnerving. You really do have to see this to appreciate it, but I strongly recommend that you do.
As though right on que after the apocalyptic visions we’d just witnessed, Ipswich’s own ASTROBOY took to the stage and chilled things right out again with his BOARDS OF CANADA, PLAID and ambient drum n bass influenced IDM style, offering one of the only song based sets of the night. Things seemed considerably more upbeat tonight than other times I’ve seen this guy play and it definitely stands out as one of the better performances I’ve seen from him in recent months. He plays on a very regular basis so if you havn’t been and checked him out yet you defintely should.
Human beat boxing from local lad PIKEY ESQUIRE was up next and I fail to see how anyone could leave unimpressed with the range of sounds this guy can get using only his amplified vocal chords. From hip-hop to drum n bass, everything was done in a very convincing and confident way with beats and bass interspersed with spoken and sung parts. The set was met with an enthusiastic response from the audience, though his claim that “everyone loves Ipswich”, rather amusingly, was not.
CATS AGAINST THE BOMB played a mix of guitars and electronic beats next, but I was elsewhere having a cheeky toke at the time, so unfortunatly I cant say anything about it. It was good apparently!
By the time I got back, BIG IN ALBANIA was on stage, in costume, knocking out a mash-up of military themes, politics and cheesy dance tunes accompanied with similar visuals that I found quite hilarious but very professionally done. I’d heard a lot about him before but never had the chance to see him so I dont know how tonights set compared with other nights but I’d definitely watch him again.
After that things stepped up a gear with more dance orientated stuff from PARADROID (electro/breaks), PHUQ and STITCH (techno/beats), FSV (who I didnt watch), THE FEZ! and MACHINOCHRIST (both messed up breakcore sets). I didnt see a bad performance all night and it was really refreshing to see some of the local area’s best and most innovative artists all collected in one beautiful setting for such a ridiculously cheap price. Residents of Ipswich should definitely be keeping an eye out for future events at this venue, as I’m informed that there are many different styles of music planned for the future. All in all it seems that in terms of variety and innovation, the times are a-changing for the better around here. About time too!
@ Trimley St.Martin Memorial Hall
I drove past this gig tonight - looked to be pretty busy!
@ Colchester Arts Centre
Friday 4th April 2008
This was a gig I had been looking forward to for blimmin’ ages. I first saw The Sword was totally by accident in this very same venue (a medieval church) about a year ago supporting Clutch. I’m not even sure why I went to that particular gig in the first place, I’m not exactly the world’s biggest fan of Clutch. I wouldn’t turn them off if they came on the radio, but as I listen to Radio 4 that’s not something that’s very likely to happen, so I think you could safely say I was nonchalantly ambivalent about going. But when the support band (The Sword) came on I damn near shit myself with joy. Well not literally of course, it was a metal gig so I had a certain ‘tough guy’ persona to try and maintain, and if you’ve ever met me in person you’ll know what a challenging deception that is for me to attempt. My mate Lee Culture who was stood next to me got so excited he managed to tip his pint over me, something his younger brother Leon managed to do to me when we were watching Pelican in London a couple of nights later. Must run in the family I guess, weddings must be a right messy palaver. So the point of that rambling intro is to try and instil in you a sense of just how much I dearly love The Sword, the album I bought that very night became one that I had to end up hiding from myself and I simply wasn’t listening to any other music! The new album only added to my near adolenscent obsession with the band. So onto tonights show…
Black Cobra ambled on stage, seemingly very comfortable with the relaxed atmosphere that Colchester Arts Centre seems to instil in both crowd and performers. With a muttered, “hello”, this guitar and drums duo proceeded to make one of the loudest and heaviest noises I’ve ever heard in my life. I would like to mention at this point my growing anxiety at the number of bands popping up without bassists, it’s against nature I tells ya. I’d like you to overlook the fact that I’m a bassist that has just realised my kind could be made extinct by effects pedals. I went to the front to try and take a photo but approaching the PA stack the wall of sound nearly made me retch! They were like a really heavy version of Torche, and that’s really saying something! Sadly the volume was so high Black Cobra (once the novelty wore off) were a bit of a muddy drone, even when you could see the guitarist moving his hand from the bottom to the top of the fret board it appeared to make no discernable difference to the sound! Next up were Saviours, who sounded like an early 80s southern metal band, like a more enthusiastic Lenard Skynyrd, and I’m not just saying that because the singer was wearing a Lenard Skynyrd tee shirt! Not really my thing, a bit heavy on the widdly widdly rather than the groove but they played with such joyous enthusiasm that before long the entire venue was infected! I know I was enjoying them more than I let on (deep down); because when they announced their last song I felt some genuine disappointment!
In what seemed like no time at all the four residents of Austin (Texas) that go by the collective name of THE SWORD were on stage and tuning up/ making grindy noises with their guitars. One reason for their speed in setting up may have been their sobriety; the bassist approached one of my mates earlier in the evening in keen need of some weed! In much the same way as the last time I saw them they pulled no punches in starting their set, going straight into one of their pounding riff stained rock monoliths, (Me? Scared of reviewing cliché? Nah!) If you’ve never heard this band before then I guess I could loosely describe them to you as a cross between early Black Sabbath and a slowed down Metallica, but with FAR better production. But after I’d told you that I may be just as likely to put a hand on your shoulder and give you a patronisingly pitying look. Every one of their songs tonight was arse clenchingly tight and the sound in the venue was utterly fantastic (as it always is). Although they were at the same volume as the opening band (possibly louder) nothing was lost in the mix, mainly because the many stops and starts that this band pull out of their arses would sound good on any PA. They are more dynamic than Hong Kong Fucken Phooey. Half the reason I’m writing so much guff in this review is that reviewing what you consider to be a perfect gig is like trying to describe perfect shag; it’s hard to pick out the mechanical reasoning behind the excellence, and it’s also a little personal! Toward the end of the set I was laughing my arse off at a large group of white males charging about the floor in front of the stage playing air-guitar, what made this scene all the more hilarious was the fact that the floor was slipperier than a New York mayor’s alibi! It was like watching some sort of mad head banging ballet, albeit a ballet filmed with a pissed cast and crew, and on the set of Mad Max. The absolute crowning moment of this limb flailing (and falling) was when a woman tried to walk through the middle of the mob carrying two fresh pints (I know, I know) in those flimsy plastic cups you get given at some venues. Some long haired lad slipped and fell face first towards this beer carrying maiden. I don’t know if he didn’t want to spoil his ‘air solo’ but he did nothing to break his fall, the net result was that his face smashed right through the middle of the two pints of lager utterly destroying the cups! He got back up and was clearly suffering some sort of temporary blindness, and he gasped for air like he was drowning! The woman holding the remains of the cups had a look on her face that made it look like she considered the loss worth it for such an excellent few seconds of entertainment. The chap shook his head about and rubbed his eyes for a bit, nodded and stuck his thumb up at the woman and dived straight back into the mosh. Pure class! After a raging set The Sword briefly hid behind the back curtain for a few seconds before returning for an encore. Before they started the bassist stepped forward to ask what is one of the funniest questions I’ve ever heard from stage,
“Can anyone get us high after the show?”
Saving the crowd pleaser for last they ripped into ‘Freya’, the track used on ‘Guitar Hero II”, and of course, the place went wild. There was suddenly twice the number of people playing air-guitar, and I couldn’t help but wonder if in telepathic unison every player was thinking, “red button, blue button, red , red, red, wang wang, red, red, yellow button!”
The whole scene was framed perfectly by the fact the huge ancient stained glass window behind the stage was now gloriously lit up. Colchester Arts Centre is easily the most metal venue I’ve never been to! I’ve never gotten the impression that The Sword are up their own arses, and this was proved by the fact that as soon as they were done with the encore they pilled off the front of the stage to chat to people that were throwing questions, and with an odd politeness were baying for answers. Mind you, I guess they could have been continuing their search for weed!
Let it Be
Part of the 331/3 series of books based on landmark albums in rock history. Let it be chronicles the authors discovery of this classic Replacements album. Whilst this book was a pleasant enough read about Colin Meloy’s youth it had chuff all to do with the album in question. If you’re a diehard Matts fan then you’ll need this in your collection, but if not then it’s worth reading as a (albeit brief) pleasant read, but nothing more.
OPEN BOOK PRESS
You may know Tim from his long running and well respected zine Mass Movement. You may also have noticed that a lot of us zine editors harbour desires to write books, well Tim is the only fucker that has actually managed it so far! Bizarrely even although I’ve been reading Mass Movement for years, chatting by email with Tim for a good long while and indeed even contributing to Mass Movement I know fuck all about the man, but based on the little I do know about him I can confirm that he is sticking to the age old advice of ‘write what you know’, well at least from the musical side of things, hopefully less so with the brutal killing side of things. Compression tells a fairly familiar tale of a horrific episode in the youth of the main character Michael, and how Michael and his friends cope with said event as they grow into adults. However where compression differs from the normal way of telling this tale is the focus on the lead characters’s obsession with the tragedy, and indeed himself. Michael forms a band with the perpetrator of the drug fuelled crime of their youth, despite seemingly having no respect or tolerance for him. This apparent irony is one of a few aspects to this tale that whilst coming across as confusing diversions may well be pointing to a deeper story vein that I missed out on. It’s quite challenging to write this review without giving away what is in fact a very simple story told with a great deal of empathy and insight. The scale of the tale feels very large, and reaching the conclusion of the book (as cool as it was) left me wondering if there was more to left to tell. Author Tim Cundle appears to have gone to a great deal of effort in introducing the main character in fantastic detail, and finds a great balance between getting the reader to empathise with his neurosis but cleverly staying just a few shades this side of making him an irritatingly feeble character. In my opinion this book suffers a slight Transatlantic personality disorder, I found myself flicking back and forwards through the text to remind myself whether the story was set in England or America. Whilst we are all used to Americanisms in every day spoken language they can still be a little confusing in written form, something I am horrendously guilty of in my own prose.
Personally I am always drawn to takes of rock and roll (my favourite book is ‘Espedair Street’ by Ian banks), but I can see that ‘Compression’ has a far broader appeal. It’s a new angle on an age old take of regret and redemption and I highly recommend it.
Snakepit book: My Life in a Jugular Vein
Following the current trend of collecting a series of zines together in book form (and long may that continue) ‘My Life in a Jugular Vein’ collects together every issue of Snakepit from the forth, fifth and sixth years of Snakepit’s existence. The premise is simple, Ben writes a single three frame comic strip for every day of his life, no matter how dull his day is! Fortunately for us Ben leads a pretty cool punk rock life. In between playing in a bunch of bands (including J.Church) and getting smashed at gigs Ben guides us through the ups and downs of his love life and drug life. Reading Snakepit gives you the impression that nothing is deemed too personal or frank to be left out of these drawn diaries. You’ll cheer as Ben gets his video shop job back for the tenth time after buggering off on tour for weeks on end, you’ll laugh as Ben shakes like a human vibrator thanks to a gut full of Adderol! These are tons of great surprises to be found among these comics, like finding out Ben was the original bassist for the THE SWORD. I also really loved the UK Tour report. Ben freely admits his mistakes with a starkly refreshing honesty that most diarists opt to leave out, perhaps in order to try and maintain some sort of public ‘coolness’. Ben doesn’t give a fuck whether you think he’s cool or not. The great thing about snakepit is that the more you read it the more you want it to never stop, and I guess the beauty of diary zines is that they probably never will stop! Each strip is drawn with a great simplicity that nicely conveys how Ben feels, I really love the expression of his face when he’s eating, it’s something I really identify with. After all, empathy is the most important thing a diary needs to instil in a reader, after all if you don’t care about the writer why on earth would you continue to read about their lives! I love Snakepit, and I know you will too!
After The Celing Cracked
HYDRA HEAD RECORDS
I’ve loved Pelican for some time now, and have even interviewed them for Beat Motel. When a friend first played me ‘March Into The Sea’ I was utterly blown away by the almost orchestral complexity that was presented in such a non-wanky and at times brutally heavy way. Every Pelican release sounds like a life’s work of musical genius and builds musical pressure and glorious release, and whilst I am discussing it in a very arty farty way it’s due to the almost in describe able flavour to this music. It really is very accessible. Now all the above doesn’t sound like it would make a very fascinating live show does it? Well I was proved utterly wrong when I saw Pelican supporting Cave In at The Garage in London a few years ago, they rock the fuck out! The first half of this DVD comprises of a live show at The Scala in London in December 2005 and includes ‘March Into The Sea’ which is a real treat. Whilst I’ve listened to Pelican probably far more than is healthy, and seen them a whole bunch of times live I’ve never really considered what they actually play as musicians. I was astounded when I watched the Scala set at just how amazing this band are as individual musicians. I’d say it’s a great compliment to the band and their accessibility that this was something I had never even considered. There are undeniably moments of doomy down tuned gruffness but there’s not an ounce of metal posturing, this is four blokes on a stage just playing, and clearly having the time of their lives. I can’t figure out why this DVD has taken so long to come out, there isn’t any footage on there that is any younger than a year old and as a consequence there’s no footage from the current album ‘City of Echoes’. With the second half of the DVD taken up with six groups of camcorder footage of live sets going back to 2003, the sound is remarkably good and it’s great to watch a band develop in this way. If you’ve been a fan of Pelican for some time and really loved the bands earlier harder sounding output (as I am) then this DVD is a real treat, nay essential. There’s also an animated/ shit cine film footage film accompanying ‘Autumn Into Winter’, and I’m afraid it really is pretentious wank. Oh, and if you’ve never heard of Pelican you should probably know they are instrumental!
The Frantic Flintstones
The Frantic Flintstones Story
CHERRY RED RECORDS
Well if this DVD is the whole story of the Psychobilly legends Frantic Flintstones then it’s a fairly brief story! In fact I can sum it up in one sentence; Man robs folk but is crap at it so starts cool band’. This is more of an interview than a documentary and lacks the usual clips and sound bites I would expect from something that boldly boasts ‘The Story Of’. That being said Chuck is an entertaining chap and seems to be something of a natural story teller and held my interest pretty well. I’m not the worlds biggest fan of the Frantic Flintstones but they are definitely my favourite Psycho band and put on a hell of a live show. Which is why it’s so odd that Cherry Red decided to put what appears to be a performance in London at one of those fucking awful ‘showcase’ gigs that exist only to rip bands off and have them play to a collection of three ambivalent morons. Admittedly the story this DVD tells isn’t the usual ‘best band in the world’ tack that bigger budget productions do, a point oddly reinforced by such a lame gig! I caught Frantic Flintstones at Speedfreaks Ball last year and they tore the place apart, totally fucking amazing, the total opposite to the gig on this disc, which appears to have been salvaged from an early eighties CCTV camera. The chat with Chuck takes on a surreal edge when he’s talking from what appears to be his very own Hawaiian home bar! Mid-sentence Chuck starts talking in what I think is Dutch! I watched for quite a while before it twigged what was going on, I thought he really had lost it and had started talking tongues! Well that’s just about assured a black eye should I ever meet the man himself! In conclusion, The Frantic Flintstones are a fucking remarkable band and Chuck is a living legend, just don’t let this DVD form your entire impression of the band! If you’re a diehard fan you’re gonna love this, if you’re looking for an introduction to the band get the 20th Anniversary CD that Cherry Red put out last year, it’s a far better introduction and as it’s still on Cherry Red I’m sure they won’t mind. Oh, and fuck knows what they did to Chuck for the interview in this DVD, he looks rough as bollocks and I can bare testament to the fact that in the flesh he looks fit as a fiddle for a chap with only one lung! He was staying in a chalet near us at Speedfreaks!