Bill Bragg Releases New Single ‘Saffiyah Smiles’

COOKCD683Billy Bragg has released his latest single, Saffiyah Smiles, today, October 9th 2017, on the Cooking Vinyl label. The song is a rousing Hammond-drenched country soul shuffle that was inspired by the bravery of Saffiyah Khan, who smiled benignly in the face of the incensed leader of the far right group the English Defence League at an anti-immigrant demonstration in Birmingham (UK) in April ’17. On Friday Nov 3rd, the mini album, Bridges Not Walls, will be released featuring all of the singles he has released over the summer plus two other gems that stand shoulder to shoulder with every song Billy Bragg has written in his 30 year career on the frontline. Bridges Not Walls can be pre-ordered here
You can view the lyric video for Saffiyah Smiles, and Billy Bragg‘s tour dates below

Read More…

Slaughter Beach, Dog Release Stream of ‘Acolyte’

Slaughter Beach Dog BirdieSlaughter Beach, Dog, the solo project of Modern Baseball‘s Jake Ewald, have released a stream of their new song, Acolyte, that is taken from of Slaughter Beach, Dog‘s new album, Birdie, that is due out on October 27th on Lame-O Records. You can pre-order Birdie on physical formats via Lame-O Records in the US here, via Big Scary Monsters Records in Europe here, and in Australia via Cooking Vinyl here.

Acolyte can be streamed via Noisy here

Birdie can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp here

Slaughter Beach, Dog – Fish Fry

Slaughter Beach Dog BirdieSlaughter Beach, Dog, have premiered a new song from their recently announced their new record, Birdie, which will be coming out October 27th on Lame-O Records. Pre-orders for Birdie are available physically here and digitally here via Lame-O Records, in the UK/Europe via Big Scary Monsters Records here, and in Australia via Cooking Vinyl here.

Listen to the new song “Fish Fry” below.

Read More…

Billy Bragg Releases ‘Why We Build The Wall’ Single

Billy Bragg WWBTWBilly Bragg, who will play Rivfest in Warrington this weekend before heading out to North America for the first leg of his Bridges Not Walls tour, has released a new single, Why We Build The Wall, today, Sept 1st 2017, on the Cooking Vinyl label. Why We Build The Wall was written by American singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell, as part of her 2010 ‘folk opera’ Hadestown, the song has taken on a whole new contemporary resonance with Donald Trump’s vow to build a wall between the US and Mexico.

You can download Why We Build The Wall here view the lyric video here

Gogol Bordello

Gogol Bordello

Seekers & Finders

Cooking Vinyl

Rating: 3/5




As someone that considered themselves among Gogol Bordello’s biggest advocates during their years on SideOneDummy Records, I’ve admittedly fallen out of the loop in recent times.  But a quick research session reveals that the American-based gypsy-punk pioneers have been quite busy over the past several years.  The band seems to have shed the bulk of its original members (save for some stage performers, frontman Eugene Hutz and violinist Sergey Ryabtsev), been featured in a European Coke commercial, been sued by their former guitarist for missing remuneration, and released two additional full lengths on increasingly mainstream record labels like American Records and ATO Records.  

Now on to their seventh full length, Seekers and Finders, the band has teamed up with reputable European indie label Cooking Vinyl.  Those that may have lost touch with Gogol Bordello over the past few years will likely view Seekers and Finders as somewhat of a departure from the days of vibrant neon album covers.  While Hutz built his musicianship on outrageous intercontinental mashups and frenetic energy, Seekers and Finders finds the troupe setting an increasingly grave instrumental and lyrical tone.  

Lead single “Walking On the Burning Coal” is sure to polarize fans from the get go.  For starters, the track saunters in at a low tempo with a comparatively barren instrumental soundscape.  Composed of predictable riffs, a sullen atmosphere provided by Ryabtsev’s violin, and occasional chorus-bound trumpet blasts, the song’s intimate setting contrasts with Gogol Bordello’s typical stadium-raising gypsy-punk festivities.  The lyrics reflect humble themes such as self-attainment and perseverance, providing a metaphoric glimpse into the personal journey of one of punk’s most extroverted personalities.  Whether or not fans will agree with the song’s inclusion on a Gogol Bordello record rather than a Eugene Hutz solo project is entirely open for discussion.

That being said, a solid portion of Seekers and Finders makes good on the promise of delivering fast paced Eastern European influenced American-style punk-rock.  Tracks like “Did It All,” “Break Into Your Higher Self” and “Love Gangster” are perhaps the most exemplary of a middle ground.  The acoustic-infused, multilingual return to their Super Taranta-style roots, “We Know Who We Are,” serves as an energetic retrospective of the long running gypsy-punk ambassadors’ varied immigrant identities.  It’s an unquestionable album highlight that bleeds into the lighter-waving swagger of piano-driven album closer, “Still That Way.”  When the band is on target, they hit the mark like old times.

What may serve as a point of contention for fans is the three or four lounge-house tracks that feel more suited for a dimly lit cabaret than a gypsy-punk festival explosion.  Take the title track, which has a nice little earworm of a chorus, but feels as if it is succumbing to the same pitfalls that Gogol Bordello once criticized in the now classic Super Taranta song, “American Wedding.”  Eugene once questioned, “have you ever been to American wedding? Where’s the vodka, where’s marinated herring?  Where’s the supply that’s going to last three days?” – but the metaphor that highlighted uniformity and drab sameness could now easily be redirected to Seekers & Finders songs “Familia Bonfireball,” “Clairvoyance,” and “If I Ever Get Home Before Dark.”  This trio of tunes is particularly experimental and artful, but raise the question, should they have been included under the Gogol Bordello moniker?  In fact half of “If I Ever Get Home Before Dark” is almost solely dominated by Hutz’s vocals and a single ticking drumbeat.  Each listener will need to land on the answer for themselves, but it will be a tough sell.

Over a decade has passed since Gogol Bordello introduced North American to the concept of gypsy punk.  The band’s legacy can be seen in the rise of other multicultural experiments like Brooklyn’s Butcher Knives, Vancouver’s The Dreadnoughts, and those on the other side of the Atlantic like Serbia’s Worldly Savages.  But many of those which Gogol Bordello has inspired, have started to sound more like the Gogol Bordello of the past than Gogol Bordello does in today’s present.  Don’t get me wrong, Seekers and Finders still features some very canonical examples of Gogol Bordello’s gypsy punk prowess, but the overall direction feels muddied – less clear in purpose then songs like “Immigrant Punk” once did.  As a long time fan I really wanted to love Seekers and Finders, but ended up walking away with some nagging reservations.

Slaughter Beach, Dog Announce New Album And UK & US Tours

Slaughter Beach Dog BirdieSlaughter Beach, Dog, has just announced their new record, Birdie, will be coming out October 27th on Lame-O Records and the band are now premiering the first single from the record, Gold and Green. Pre-orders for Birdie are available physically here and digitally here via Lame-O Records, in the UK/Europe via Big Scary Monsters Records here, and in Australia via Cooking Vinyl here. Slaughter Beach, Dog have also announced a headlining US tour this fall with support from Shannen Moser, and Jake Ewald will also be playing a few solo dates in the UK this September.

You can view the video for Gold And Green, and Slaughter Beach, Dog‘s tour dates, below Read More…

The Obsessives Announce Fall Tour

Obsessives Fall Tour 17The Obsessives have just announced a tour this fall with The Wonder Years, Laura Stevenson and Jetty Bones. The tour begins on September 24th in Detroit and runs through to the 8th October in New York. Tickets will be available Friday, August 4th at 10 AM local time, The Obsessives are touring in support of their self titled album that was released earlier this year.
The Obsessives is available here (US), here (UK), here (AU) and digitally here
You can view the video for You’re My God, and The Obsessives tour dates, below

Read More…

Video: Gogol Bordello – Walking On The Burning Coal

Gogol BordelloGypsy punk band Gogol Bordello have premiered a new lyric video for the song, “Walking On The Burning Coal,”  from the upcoming album, Seekers And Finders, which is due out on August 23, 2017 via Cooking Vinyl. Pre-orders are available.

Watch the video below.

Read More…

Billy Bragg Releases New Single ‘The Sleep Of Reason’ Today

Billy Bragg TSORNow that we’re finding out the true meaning of the Chinese curse ‘May you live in interesting times’, Billy Bragg, who has just published his acclaimed book, Roots, Radicals & Rockers, returns to his full-time career as protest singer and has now released a new single, The Sleep Of Reason, today via Cooking Vinyl. The single is an impassioned polemical anthem set to a stark buzzsaw melody that is written in response to the events of 2016, it is the first of several songs Billy Bragg plans to release over the course of the coming months.

You can order The Sleep Of Reason here and view the video and his tour dates below Read More…

Tours: Gogol Bordello

Gogol BordelloGypsy punk band Gogol Bordello has announced that they will be touring this September and October.  The band will be supporting their upcoming LP, Seekers and Finders, which is due out on August 23, 2017 via Cooking Vinyl. Pre-orders are available.

Tour dates are below.

Read More…

Gogol Bordello – Seekers and Finders

Gogol BordelloGypsy punk band Gogol Bordello are to release a new album, “Seekers and Finders”, on August 23, 2017 via Cooking Vinyl. Pre-orders are available.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the new song, “Saboteur Blues,” which can be heard below.

Read More…

The Obsessives Release Video For ‘You’re My God’

obsessives-artworkThe Obsessives have released the new video for the track You’re My God, the song is taken from the band’s self titled sophomore album and is out now physically and digitally via Lame-O Records in the US, Dog Knights Productions in the UK and Europe, and Cooking Vinyl in Australia. The Obsessives US tour with Sorority Noise begins on April 21st in Richmond, VA.

Pre-orders for The Obsessives are available here (USA), here (EU) and here (Au)

You can view the video for You’re My God, and The Obsessives tour dates, below Read More…


The Obsessives

The Obsessives

Lame-O Records

Rating: 3/5




The Obsessives latest self titled album is released today, the 17th March 2017, and it follows on from their debut full length, 2015’s Heck No, Nancy. The Obsessives sophomore album will be released via Lame-O Records in the US, Dog Knights Productions in the UK and Europe and Cooking Vinyl in Australia. The Obsessives will also be undertaking an extensive North American tour this spring with Modern Baseball, Kevin Devine And His Goddamn Band and Sorority Noise

The Obsessives self titled sophomore album starts with a mournful country influenced introduction, this is short lived as it swiftly segues into the noisier discordant indie number, You’re My God. There’s an obvious Pixies reference with the track Surfer Rosa, and it must be said that there is a fair influence from that quartet on this release, this is exemplified by songs such as Violent, that are reminiscent of their bass led unconventional style. The album continues to veer unpredictably between styles, but all the while it embraces a solid core of influences from the more idiosyncratic elements of the indie scene.

For me The Obsessives self titled album is one that treads a path through territory that has already been covered by numerous well known trailblazers, there are obvious influences from acts such as Violent Femmes and Dinosaur Jnr, as well as the aforementioned Pixies, on this release. But, and this is an important but, having said that, if your tastes lean towards the unconventional and noisier side of the indie scene, or if you have a love for modern emo influenced bands such as Modern Baseball and Sorority Noise, then The Obsessives latest album, and their forthcoming tour, really should be on your radar.

The Obsessives self titled album can be streamed and purchased here

The vinyl issue of The Obsessives sophomore album, including coloured vinyl variants, can be purchased here

The Obsessives tour dates can be found here and their Facebook page is here

The Obsessives Release Full Stream Of Sophomore Album

obsessives-artworkThe Obsessives are now streaming their self titled sophomore album in full, The Obsessives will be released on the 17th March via Lame-O Records in the US, Dog Knights Productions in the UK and Europe, and Cooking Vinyl in Australia. The band has also recently announced their new tour with Sorority Noise, including dates with Sinai Vessel, Forth Wanderers,  Matt Kerekes and Shannen Moser.

Pre-orders for The Obsessives are available here (USA), here (EU) and here (Au)

You can stream The Obsessives, and view the tour dates, here

The Obsessives Stream ‘It’s Not Fair’ From Self Titled Album

obsessives-artworkThe Obsessives have released a new song from their forthcoming album.  The single is titled It’s Not Fair and it comes off of the band’s sophomore self titled album, which will be released March 17th via Lame-O Records in the US, Dog Knights Productions in the UK and Europe, and Cooking Vinyl in Australia. 

You can stream the track It’s Not Fair via Gold Flake Paint here

You can pre-order The Obsessives self titled album here (USA), here (EUR) and here (AUS)

The Obsessives Release Video For ‘Surfer Rosa’

obsessives-artworkThe Obsessives have released the new music video for their single Surfer Rosa, the single comes off of the band’s sophomore self titled album, which will be released March 17th via Lame-O Records in the US, Dog Knights Productions in the UK and Europe, and Cooking Vinyl in Australia. The Obsessives will be touring this spring with Modern Baseball, Kevin Devine and Sorority Noise

You can pre-order The Obsessives self titled album here (USA), here (EUR) and here (AUS)

The video for Surfer Rosa, and The Obsessives tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

Billy Bragg And Joe Henry Announce Collaboration

Joe HenryUK folk favourite Billy Bragg and American artist Joe Henry have announced that they will be releasing a new collaborative album.  The disc is titled Shine A Light – Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad and is set to drop on Cooking Vinyl September 23, 2016.  The project is a collection of railway-themed classic songs recorded in the course of a 65 hour journey across the US on the Texas Eagle railroad service.  Bragg comments:

“Railroad songs provided the bedrock of American popular music, from Jimmie Rodgers, the Singing Brakeman, to Lead Belly, whose repertoire provided several of the songs for this project. In this country, Lonnie Donegan’s 1956 hit ‘Rock Island Line’ sparked the skiffle craze, inspiring a generation of British teens to pick up guitars and form the groups that invaded American in the 60s, from the Beatles to Led Zeppelin. 

Growing up in the UK, I’d always been aware of this tradition but when I travelled to the US, I was surprised to find how few people look to the railroad as a means of transport. With this project, we wanted to explore the transformative power that the coming of the railroad had on the lives of ordinary people by taking these songs back to the places that inspired their creation. Travelling on the train and recording the songs as we went allowed us to both visit places that were important 125 years ago when the lines were laid, but to also explore the viability of the railroad as a means of transport in the 21st century.”

Joe’s comments can be found below along with tour dates.

Read More…

Tours: Reverend & The Makers / The Libertines

Reverent & The MakersIndie-rock act Reverend & The Makers has has announced that they will be heading on tour with The Libertines.  The band continues to support their fifth studio full length, Mirrors, was released back in 2015 via Cooking Vinyl.

Tour dates are below.

Read More…

Video: The Fratellis – Imposters (Little By Little)

FratellisThe Fratellis have premiered a new music video.  The video features the track “Imposters (Little By Little)” and comes from their latest album, Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied, released last August on Cooking Vinyl.  The album follows their 2006 debut album.

Listen to the new tune below.

Read More…

Reverend & The Makers – Making’ Babies

Reverent & The MakersIndie-rock act Reverend & The Makers has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Makin’ Babies” from their fifth studio full length, Mirrors, due out October 9, 2015 via Cooking Vinyl.

Watch the new video below.

Read More…

The Fratellis – Baby Don’t You Lie To Me!

FratellisThe Fratellis have premiered a new single.  The tracj is titled “Baby Don’t You Lie To Me!” and taken from their upcoming new album, Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied, out August 21, 2015 on Cooking Vinyl.  The album will follow their 2006 debut album.

Listen to the new tune below.

Read More…

Billy Bragg 30th Anniversary Re-Release of Debut Album

Billy BraggUK folk punk pioneer Billy Bragg will be re-releasing a 30th anniversary edition of his debut album, Life’s A Riot With Spy Vs Spy.

The special edition will be re-mastered and include a solo live performance of the album which was recorded at a London Union Chapel show in June of this year. It will be available from Oct 29th on 180g vinyl, CD and digitally. Bragg and Cooking Vinyl have also launched  ‘Get Behind Billy Bragg, an online commentary series from the man himself about his career which will be released in the lead up to the album release.

You can pre-order the special edition of Life’s A Riot With Spy Vs Spy here.


Billy Bragg - Tooth & Nail

Billy Bragg

Tooth & Nail

Cooking Vinyl

Rating: 3.5/5




Billy Bragg is like a fine wine, enriching his composition and complexity with each passing year.  A man who could comfortably call it quits on the laurels of a career that has already influenced so many, the British folk veteran continues to strap on his guitar and spread his insight.  His latest offering, Tooth & Nail comes five years after the ambitious Mr. Love & Justice, and sees Bragg return to his more intimate roots. 

Those expecting a product meeting the grandeur of Mr. Love & Justice might come across initially disappointed, but should find early forgiveness upon hearing the time and care that Bragg irrefutably wields.  Working with a minimalist’s mindset, Bragg deploys his instruments sparingly, achieving a more meaningful connection when calling on his backing band or piano keys.  Aided by a single tambourine and gently strummed guitar, opener “January Song” exemplifies the strength of Bragg’s words.  “I’m so tightly wound in tension, I feel just like a guitar string, waiting to reveal emotions, touch me and you’ll hear me sing” croons Bragg poetically, his slow instrumental growth careful to not overshadow his eloquence.  A track later on “No One Knows Anything Anymore” he sneaks in a catchy tune with the aid of more distinct guitar and those unmistakably emotive piano strokes.  Contemplating the answers to the universe, Bragg explores the Large Hadron Collider’s search for the “God” particle and imagines a world in which “no one knows nothing anymore.” 

Bragg’s dry humour surfaces throughout the disc, most overt in the witty “Handyman Blues.”  Accepting his ineptitude with a hammer and grace with a guitar, this tangy piece plays like an apology for not being handy around the house, looking to his identity as a songwriter and slyly suggesting that he can “find a way to make my poetry to make a roof over our head.” 

A mid-album series of ballads run at one of Bragg’s most dawdling tempos, and taken together might seem a tad underwhelming.  A few like “I Ain’t Got No Home” burn slow, filling the gaps between more lively songs like “Do Unto Others,” but others like “Swallow My Pride” serve their purpose well.  Tooth & Nail holds some of Bragg’s most personal cuts, and to that end it’s hard to accuse even the weaker songs of being filler.  More likely, Bragg has chosen his songs to compliment each other.  So when the album’s sole stadium rock song and toe tapping standout “There Will Be A Reckoning” emerges from the midnight oil, all is forgiven and Bragg’s roadmap couldn’t be more the work of a master.

A few years back, countryman and popular folk-rock soloist Frank Turner commented in an interview about having Billy Bragg as an opener for a festival that Turner was headlining.  While the interviewer implied that Turner had surpassed Bragg, Turner’s humble response praised Bragg as a living legend, and that he was honoured that Bragg would do such a personal favour.  Tooth & Nail showcases every reason for Turner’s gratitude.  Fast approaching sixty, Billy Bragg remains a goal for songwriters following in his footsteps, remaining much more than a legacy act.