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The Creature Comfort Announce New Single & Launch Party

Creature Comfort Oct 17The Creature Comfort have announced they will release their first new material since 2013, their new single, What We Want (Power Corruption & Lies), will be released on Friday 1st December and will be available via all the usual digital platforms. The release is being celebrated at the official launch party on Saturday 2nd December, with The Creature Comfort headlining Manchester’s legendary Night & Day Cafe. You can order tickets for The Creature Comfort‘s Launch Party here

The Creature Comfort’s website can be found here

You can watch a sneak preview of What We Want (Power Corruption & Lies) below Read More…

The Two Tens Release ‘On Repeat’ LP

Two Tens ORThe Two Tens have just released On Repeat, the follow-up to their acclaimed debut album Volume. Not only have the themes of heartbreak, heartache and depression reared their heads again on the LA based duo’s new studio LP, but the pile-driving rock that dominates these thirteen original tracks, along with a bludgeoning cover of the Unknown Mortal Orchestra track Nerve Damage, are an equal and familiar punch in the gut. On Repeat builds on the raw garage-punk that dominated their previous effort, the duo have also expanded their musical palette to include a poppier edge to some of the tracks.

The Punk Site‘s five star review of On Repeat can be read here

On Repeat can be ordered via Man Della Records here

Two Tens OR

The Two Tens

On Repeat

Man Della Records
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

The Two Tens are set to release their new album, On Repeat, on the 18th August via Man Della Records, there’s a theory that a band’s second album is the hardest as they’ve previously spent years developing and refining the material that populates the debut release, and as a result making the process of delivering a sophomore album that lives up to their debut an impossible task. If this theory is correct then no one has told The Two Tens, I adored their 2016 debut Volume and I will admit to some trepidation as On Repeat has followed so quickly on it’s heels, but any concerns I had were blown away as they haven’t equalled their stunning debut, they’ve surpassed it.

From the opening fuzzed out garage of the title track I start to get the feeling that this album is going to be something very special, this is borne out as every single track carries the infectious hallmarks of their debut, but it all sounds more focused and polished but crucially this is achieved without sacrificing their relentless energy and enthusiasm. Tracks such as Keeping Hope Alive, Stuck In My Head, Burden and Streetlight are perfect rough edged pop gems that no one else does as well as The Two Tens, but these sugar rushes are counterbalanced by fuzzier darker numbers and frantic blasts that carry the insistent hooks and infectious choruses that have become The Two Tens trademark.

The Two Tens are a perfect blend of old school punk energy, snotty garage attitude and sweet sixties pop, and it would seem the duo that make up The Two Tens, Adam Bones and Rikki Styxx, have formed a perfect partnership as they have now released two flawless albums in as many years. The Two Tens have delivered an album that I can’t fault on any level, and I doubt that I’ll hear a better album this year, On Repeat is a prophetic album title as that’s exactly what has happened since I first played it and if The Two Tens keep up their current trajectory then I’m going to have to add another star to our rating system for their next album.

You can pre-order On Repeat via Man Della Records here and Bandcamp here

Perennial TSOAL

Perennial

The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves

Howling Frequency Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Perennial are a Connecticut trio that has risen from the ashes of the now defunct outfits Lion Cub and Aeroplane, 1929, and now the three piece have released their debut album, The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves, but you need to leave any preconceptions that the album’s title may conjure up at the door. The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves might sound like an album title that the likes of Muse would employ, but this is no self indulgent progressive rock album, Perennial have delivered an eclectic, unpredictable and above all experimental album that is built around a core of distorted discordant punk rock.

The album’s title track opens with a squall of jazz sax before launching into short sharp blast of hardcore infused punk, The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves is not a predictable album, elements of punk, hardcore and indie, and even jazz, blues and psyche, are blended together in a bewildering twelve track release that defies description. For me tracks such as Hippolyta!, that brings a brash frantic garage rock infused thrash to the album, and the brief intense referential number Dissolver are the standout moments, but anyone who listens to this will find there own personal highs… and lows.

This is by no means an easy listen, an album that melds as many influences and styles is going to include moments that aren’t to everyone’s tastes, but that’s the price that you pay for producing something that is original and experimental, and as far as I’m concerned it’s a price that’s worth paying. There are moments, in particular the more avant garde instrumental elements, that had me skipping and editing some of the tracks, but that’s a small sacrifice to make. Pernennial have taken punks chaotic spirit and blended it with pretty much everything else to create an album that is unlike anything else I’ve encountered in 2017.

The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves can be streamed and purchased here

Dead Heavens Release Full Stream Of ‘Whatever Witch You Are’

Dead Heavens WWYANew York City’s Dead Heavens, the psych-rock project of guitarist and frontman Walter Schreifels, that boasts ex members of Vanishing Life, Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools, Quicksand, Youth Gone Mad, White Zombie, Psychotica, Youth of Today, Bold, Into Another and Cults, have released their new album Whatever Witch You Are today in the UK via Dine Alone Records. Whatever Witch You Are possesses sharp angular sounds and psych inflections and melodies that seem wrought out of rebar, strong, pared down, and purposeful at every point. If anything, their musical origins have permitted Dead Heavens to approach blues and psych rock without nostalgia, arriving at an audibly honest sound, stripped of any of the tassels or affectations. 
 
You can stream Whatever Witch You Are here and download the album via iTunes here
 

Future War Brides Reveal Video For ‘Gloves Off’

Future War Brides Gloves OffFuture War Bride‘s new single, Gloves Off, is a fragmented example of lead singer Mikkel Boström‘s medicated experience depicting two contrasting universes that collide and create. It’s surprise, psychedelic, ejector-button chorus playing make-weight to the driving off-beat rhythms and synth-led melodies, sounding like a thunder storm in a fight with a rainbow. The video for Gloves Off is a weird reminder of those questions above and at the same time, a portrait of a world where everyone is losing their heads, young, old and all in between. 
 
You can stream Gloves Off here and view the video below

Read More…

Creature Comfort Gullivers 3rd June

The Creature Comfort / The Goa Express / Dreamherbs

Gullivers, Manchester, UK

3rd June 2017
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

Creature Comfort BeesThe Creature Comfort, Manchester’s longest standing outsider psyche rockers, are playing Gullivers and have promised that they will be unveiling the songs that will form the core of their as yet untitled sophomore album. The Creature Comfort have been around almost as long as I’ve been attending punk and alternative shows, I first caught them supporting Crazyhead at the tail end of the eighties at the long lost Manchester International, so the chance to see them live showcasing new material is an opportunity that for the first time has kept me away from Manchester’s annual all day punk festival, North West Calling. Across the road from Gullivers the latest tribute to those that lost their lives on the 22nd May is taking shpae, far from causing fear and division the events of that day have united the city against hatred and terror in a positive way, and I can’t help but feel proud of the way my city has reacted.

Creature Comfort DreamherbsTonight the bands are punctuated by a play list curated by The Creature Comfort that encompasses everything that’s worth a damn in rock ‘n roll, garage and punk and this only adds to the feeling that tonight is going to be something special. First up tonight are London based Dreamherbs, as the name suggests they are from the psychedelic side of the street, they deliver the kind of charged psyche that channels Lemmy era Hawkwind and The 13th Floor Elevators, and makes you wish that you’d been born several decades earlier. Tonight’s psychedelic lighting only heightens the inherent mindwarping soundtrack that they deliver, and for me this London based trio channel an intense and lysergic tinged interpretation that owes as much to punk as it does to psychedelia. The no frills stripped down approach to their set means that the self indulgence that can accompany some psychedelia infused bands is not on the radar, this is the essence of the roots of punk rock and marks a stunning and intense opening to tonight’s show.

Creature Comfort Goa ExpressThe Goa Express are from a little closer to home, albeit from a far flung corner of Greater Manchester, despite being a member down as one of their number is at a festival in Barcelona they deliver an energetic set of psyche that is tainted with the raw spirit of garage punk coupled with the energetic essence of indie rock. Whilst the early part of their set owed more to the bands that populated the Pebbles and Rubble compilations, later in their set they launched into material that owed more to the first wave of punk than to its predecessors, and it seems even the further most outposts of Manchester are developing their own unique soundtrack, and the result is that I’m left wanting to hear a lot more from The Goa Express. Even though this is a band in the fledgling stages of their evolution they are clearly a band deserving of your attention, and one I’m going to make a point of catching live when they have a headline show to accompany the launch of the debut EP later this year.

Creature Comfort Gullivers June 1But the main event, and why everyone is here, is to hear what The Creature Comfort have in store for us with their eagerly anticipated new material. This was alleged to be Jose Luis Ortega‘s last concert with the band, but apparently this is not set in stone, and it appears the lead guitarist will thankfully remain a fixture of The Creature Comfort. From the off frontman Ben Le Jeune channels Iggy Pop and remains one of Manchester’s most idiosyncratic frontmen, their classic single, Sauce, arrives early in the set and it’s delivered with a raw punky quality that makes this crowd pleasing favourite sound even more vibrant than I’ve heard it delivered before. The Creature Comfort tonight sound like a band reborn, the new material coupled with the energised delivery of their back catalogue gives their set a vibrancy that I’ve not encountered before, and for a band I’ve seen a few times over the last few decades that is saying something.

Creature Comfort Gullivers June 4The Creature Comfort are a band who’s time is long overdue and on the basis of tonight’s show the recognition that Manchester’s perennial outsiders deserve cannot be far away. The Creature Comfort have been ploughing their own individual furrow since before most of their audience were conceived and for a band to be producing new material of this quality after all this time is a tribute to their determination and originality. For me tonight signifies that The Creature Comfort‘s time may be coming as the new songs that were previewed ahead of the release of their sophomore album don’t indicate a band that are treading water, instead it suggests a new vitality to their songwriting that after almost three decades is an achievement few manage. The material from their critically acclaimed debut album is received with rapture, and these underground stalwarts have, to my ears, never sounded better than they have tonight.

Creature Comfort Gullivers June 2They close with I Do Need You and as with everything tonight this song has never sounded better. If you aren’t familiar with The Creature Comfort then you need to rectify this as they are as much a part of Manchester’s musical heritage as the usual more well known suspects, but they’ve never compromised, and for me that is about as punk as it gets. Given that North West Calling, which is happening just across the city, features a number of headline bands trading on their former glories then I know that I’ve made the right decision tonight. The Creature Comfort are one of Manchester’s best hidden secrets and it’s no surprise that members of other Manchester luminaries, including Peter Hook And The Light, are present to bear witness to tonight’s triumphant set. The Creature Comfort remain a unique band that should finally be mentioned in Manchester’s musical folklore, it’s the least they deserve. 

Creature Comfort Gullivers June 3Dreamherbs Facebook page is here

The Goa Express‘s Facebook page is located here

The Creature Comfort‘s website can be found here

You can download The Creature Comfort‘s debut album for free here

Live photography is by Rich Pictures and their Facebook page is located here

You can click on any of Rich Pictures photos to view a slide show of the images

Gang Of Youths May 2017

Gang Of Youths / Demob Happy

Sound Control, Manchester, UK

25th May 2017
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Gang Of Youths May 26 Demob Happy 1Manchester has been hit by an unexpected heatwave meaning that all the beer gardens are packed and Sound Control, a place that normally has a reputation for sweaty intimate shows, is like a furnace. The venue is sparsely populated prior to Demob Happy taking the stage, it’s hard to tell whether this is the allure of the beer garden or whether people are deterred by the attack on the Manchester Arena, that occurred less than a week ago. Regardless Demob Happy take the stage and hit us with a wall of fuzzed up indie noise that to my ears owes a significant debt to the MC5, their anthemic blend of fuzzed up indie rock, harmonic vocals and garage and psyche overtones is a welcome return to live music after what has been an emotional week.

Gang Of Youths May 26 Demob Happy 2The crowd slowly grows throughout their set, indicating that the rare appearance of summer in Manchester is more responsible for the initial sparse attendance rather than any sense of fear or trepidation regarding attending live shows. Demob Happy have given it their all tonight in an overheated venue, and I note that not one single person is in the bar area, everyone is up to the front for their set. Their mix of indie rock, garage fuzz and proto punk roots is one that is impressive, to put it mildly. Their set veers into alt rock occasionally, recalling elements of early Muse, but thankfully without the self indulgence and prog influences that seems to populate their shows these days. Trying to pin down exactly where Demob Happy are coming from is like herding cats as they skip between influences and styles without batting an eyelid.

Gang Of Youths May 26 Demob Happy 3At times Demob Happy border on hardcore intensity, others they’re channeling late 60s psyche and fuzzy proto punk, all of this is wrapped in a sheen of indie cool with a raw alt rock veneer, that makes Demob Happy a unique act that I would encourage anyone with a love for the idiosyncratic side of alternative music to go and see live. Their final number is introduced by “we’re Demob Happy, thank you for coming, we think it’s important that you did” and I couldn’t agree more. Tonight Demob Happy played the kind of accomplished genre spanning set that few can deliver, tonight this Brighton based trio of displaced Geordies played an eclectic set that ups the anticipation for their forthcoming EP.

Gang Of Youths May 26 1Gang Of Youths are a very different prospect from Demob Happy, they are darker and richer in sound but with the same tendency to incorporate different styles and influences into their set. Tonight they are showcasing new material from their forthcoming sophomore album, Go Farther In Lightness, to the appreciative crowd, and between songs they release their rhetoric and world view. The first exposure to their new material comes across as Gaslight Anthem viewed through a dark and intense lens that is tinged with the distinctly blue collar feel of heartland rock that is distorted through their unique worldview. Glittering guitar riffs sit alongside the driving rhythms and passionate vocals to create a hypnotic and heartfelt sound that is the kind of uplifting soundtrack that Manchester needs this week.

Gang Of Youths May 26 2Gang Of Youths displayed a level of openness, honesty and personal disclosure that you rarely encounter, and it was one that you can’t help but be moved by. Towards the end of their all too brief set Gang Of Youths encourage the crowd into an anthemic refrain of “I’m not afraid” during the track Poison Drum, this is a song that has the perfect feel for tonight’s show, a defiant and danceable number that makes me think that this really is a song that should be owned by Manchester, and it’s one that will always remind me of tonight whenever it rotates itself back into my playlist. On this hot mancunian night I can’t think of a better show to have attended since the events of Monday, simultaneously defiant and heartfelt, and in places heartbreaking,

Gang Of Youths May 26 3During their final number vocalist David Le’aupepe leaves the stage and enters the crowd and they finish the set as though they’re closing a show to the usual packed crowds they play to in their native Australia, to see a band of this stature in a small grass roots venue is a privilege that you don’t get very often. Tonight was a wonderful mix of styles from the alternative music of the past, present and possibly the future, both Gang Of Youths and Demob Happy delivered near perfect sets tonight and for that I can only thank them, this was my first concert after the events of 22nd May and it reaffirms exactly why music matters and underlines Manchester’s defiance.

Gang Of Youths May 26 4On the way to Sound Control we passed the Arena, the site of attack on the 22nd May, the floral tributes and ongoing Police presence are a sobering reminder of the price 22 people paid who just went out to watch live music. The Punk Site‘s response to the Manchester attack can be read here

Gang Of Youths website can be found here

Demob Happy‘s website is located here

Live photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here,

You can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images

99 Degree BHSC Cover

The 99 Degree / Mold / The Echo Rays

The Castle Hotel, Manchester, UK

12th May 2017
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

99 Degree Castle Hotel May 17Tonight The 99 Degree are playing a triumphant launch show for their debut EP, Boot Hill Surf Club, that was released today, the 12th May 2017 and is now available via all the major streaming services and digital retailers. Tonight The 99 Degree are accompanied fuzzed up noise merchants Mold and reverb heavy surf sounds of The Echo Rays along with a heady DJ set from the lysergic side of the street by Hip-No-Tyzed. We arrive early and already Hip-No-Tyzed are spinning a selection of sounds from the dark and murky history of garage rock and on a warm sunny Mancunian evening The Castle Hotel is already sweaty as hell and the denizens of Manchester’s underground are present for the launch of The 99 Degree‘s Boot Hill Surf Club EP.

99 Degree Castle Hotel May 17 Echo RaysAmongst those present tonight are members of various bands as well as the curious and their established fans, and it appears that Manchester’s underground garage scene is embracing the DIY ethos ,which for me is the way forward for a scene that completely bypasses mainstream sensibilities. First up are The Echo Rays who channel the kind of distorted garage surf that belongs on the soundtrack to the best, and the worst, b-movies. Their sound sits somewhere between The Mummies and Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet and they create a surf soundtrack that makes you wish Manchester wasn’t landlocked, the only thing they’re missing is go-go dancers and an ocean.

99 Degree Castle Hotel May 17 MoldThe more I attend shows in Manchester’s underground the more I’m impressed with the originality and continued force of nature that’s on display by bands who are playing music that at best is appealing to a niche audience, but they’re up there and doing it regardless and to me that is about as punk rock as it gets. Mold take to the stage and visually appear to be cross between Alice Cooper, before his metal years, The Edgar Broughton Band and The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, that assumption is swiftly dispelled as what they initially deliver is a stripped down primitive set of blues influence garage rock that descends into the insanity that the original garage rock bands delivered.

99 Degree Castle Hotel May 17 Mold 2There is no thought whatsoever given to commercial viability, Mold are playing exactly the music they want to make, and like the bands the precede and succede them it’s clear that zero fucks are given, tonight is bands making the music they want to make. Their songs veer from hardcore intensity, through post punk and into psychedelia inspired grooves, often within the same song, and I don’t know what to make of Mold, but I’m pretty sure I liked their idiosyncratic set. The blend of psych, surf and strangeness that has been served up so far is the perfect warm up for The 99 Degree who are launching their impressive self released debut EP, Boot Hill Surf Club, tonight.

99 Degree Castle Hotel May 17 1The Castle Hotel is rammed from front to back and they appear to be a band that are well on their way to writing their own unique chapter in Mancunian musical history, ever since I first caught them supporting Kid Congo And The Pink Monkeybirds last year there’s been an irresistible momentum that is born of self belief. The 99 Degree take to the stage resembling The Beach Boys disreputable cousins and they launch into Hey Bo Diddley with vocalist Joe Sartini resuming his role as a deranged preacher to a congregation of the converted in a rammed Castle Hotel. Tonight the sound is perfect and the underlying primitive beat of the rhythm section is perfectly balanced against the reverb and echo drenched guitar lead.

99 Degree Castle Hotel May 17 2They launch into their deranged debut, the ode to preachercide that is Dead Or Alive, and to me The 99 Degree have achieved a bigger sound that allows the echo heavy Gretsch guitar riffs to stand out in a way that hasn’t previously been present at their shows, Joe Sartini seems in his element tonight whilst Phil Turner occupies an effortlessly cool position on guitar, whilst the rhythm section underpins the whole sound with a kind of spaced out detachment. To say The 99 Degree were on form tonight is an understatement as the sound, the crowd and the sweat soaked venue are the perfect showcase for The 99 Degree‘s brand of surf and garage inspired punk rock.

99 Degree Castle Hotel May 17 4The 99 Degree to my ears have never sounded finer than they have tonight, they channel the original spirit of rock ‘n roll and combine this with psych, garage, punk rock and a suspicious influence that makes them a band that should be on the radar of anyone with a love for the rock ‘n roll underdogs, the bands that inevitably produce the music that makes life worthwhile. Joe Sartini shambles and shakes his way round the stage giving the impression he’s possessed of the original spirits of rock ‘n roll and you can’t help wondering if this Mancunian quartet have sold their souls and are destined to end up stood at a Crossroads with a horned character waiting impatiently in the wings.

99 Degree Castle Hotel May 17 5Their new Boot Hill Surf Club EP gets is full debut, from the opening number to closing strangeness of The Pusher, the EP already sounds better than the recorded version, and it was only been released earlier today. The chaos that is The 99 Degree seem to strangely focused in their own shambolic way tonight, The Ballad Of Henry Brown was one of the highlights of the Boot Hill Surf Club EP, but it’s spaghetti western menace is amplified tonight and adds an edge to the song. The 99 Degree‘s new EP is a thing of wonder in it’s own right but for me they are band that are truly in their element live in front of an enthralled crowd in a sweat drenched venue, making tonight the perfect showcase for the new EP.

99 Degree Castle Hotel May 17 3The 99 Degree are out there on their own, there are obvious comparisons to bands, but they have their own unique sound that possess the primitive spirit of rock n roll and garage, whilst at the same time embodying the fuck you attitude of punk. Something very special seems to be emerging from the primeval basements and rehearsal spaces of Manchester and The 99 Degree are amongst the most original of the denizens that occupy the alternative scene in Manchester. By the end of their set the sweat is dripping from the ceiling and the demons have been well and truly conjured from their resting places, no one is doing anything quite like The 99 Degree and for that I salute them

99 Degree Castle Hotel May 17 6The 99 Degree‘s Soundcloud Page can be found here and their Facebook page is here

The Punk Site review of the Boot Hill Surf Club EP can be read here

Mold‘s Facebook page is here

The Echo Rays website can be found here

Hip-No-Tyzed‘s Facebook presence is here

The Castle Hotel‘s website can be found here

Live photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here,

You can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images

Cult Of Dom Keller PIOF

The Cult Of Dom Keller

Paradiso Is On Fire

Cardinal Fuzz / Sky Lantern Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Paradiso Is On Fire is the first live album from The Cult Of Dom Keller, the album was recorded on a European tour at the tail end of 2016, the recordings are culled from shows that took place in Antwerp, Belguim and at the legendary Paradiso venue in Amsterdam as they toured in support of their latest studio album, Goodbye To The Light. Paradiso Is On Fire was released via a collaboration between Cardinal Fuzz and Sky Lantern Records on double album and CD formats yesterday, the 22nd May 2017, and the album is now available if you hurry, as these are strictly limited pressings.

The band are clearly influenced by the likes of the Spacemen 3, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and in particular, at least to my ears, the often criminally overlooked Loop, but there’s also a heady influence from outsider psyche pioneers of the 60’s present in their DNA. From the extended trip of the opening number Behind All Evil Is A Black Hole, through the excellent driving keyboard heavy Nowhere To Land and the fuzz drenched Shambala Is On Fire, to the strangely disjointed Dead Seas, the echoing Eyes and the dark, almost gothic, Nothing Left To Stay For and the epic closing track Worlds, this is a hedonistic and unique album that indicates the ongoing resurgence of garage and psych influenced bands is still gaining momentum.

Paradiso Is On Fire encompasses The Cult Of Dom Keller‘s three studio albums, whilst the constantly echoing and heady feel of the album is heavily influenced by suspicious psych influences there’s a touch of post punk and alternative drive to the album that stops Paradiso Is On Fire from wallowing in the sea of the psychedelic strangeness that is at their core. Paradiso Is On Fire captures The Cult Of Dom Keller at the height of the powers delivering a hypnotic mind altering live set, and it appears that Cardinal Fuzz have unearthed another band from the dark and fuzzy underbelly of the UK’s alternative scene that, as with all of their releases, offers you a unique and heady experience.

You can order Paradiso Is On Fire via Cardinal Fuzz (UK) here and Sky Lantern Records (USA) here

Get Fucked 2017

Get Fucked Festival

The Peer Hat, Manchester, UK

29th April 2017
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

Get Fucked is an all day, and well into the following morning, event bought to us by Atomic Catfight and Abattoir Blues Records, a combination that promises a full day of primitive rock & roll that features nine acts from the primal swamp of the UK’s underground blues, garage and punk scenes that appropriately is taking place in the basement venue that is The Peer Hat, that is located on the edges of Manchester’s fashionable Northern Quarter. The bands appearing at the inaugural Get Fucked festival are diverse to say the least, but all with one common goal, to deliver dirty distorted rock ‘n roll that is in no way designed to save anyone’s soul.

Get Fucked has put together a line up of punked up blues, garage, psych and punk rock that is irresistible to those of us that grew up on a diet of punks adrenaline fuelled charge, the hallucinatory elements of the garage revival scene and whatever other strange creatures emerged from the underground and promised the illicit pleasures that the original hell bound spirit of rock ‘n roll offered. Tonight’s line up includes The Hipshakes, Uncle Jane, Tensheds, The 99 Degree, The Maitlands, The Jungfraus, GUTS, Death Vignettes, Hopper Propelled Electric and music provided by the esteemed Wet Dreams DJ’s.

20170503_212926

Get Fucked has nine bands playing each getting a half hour slot, the perfect way to organise a festival with no pretensions, just nine slots of punked up garage, psyche and blues with DJ sets playing the best tunes from the last six decades of rock ‘n roll’s dark underbelly. First up are The Hipshakes and after a brief tune up they launch into their opening slot of adrenaline fuelled garage. The energy levels are already off the chart on their first number, and then stay there. They deliver raw distorted garage that is born of the MC5 and The Stooges with a raw amphetamine fused punk edge that on occasion borders on hardcore intensity, The Hipshakes show exactly how to start a festival.

20170503_212521After a another short DJ set from Wet Dreams, that includes the legendary purveyors of fucked up rock n roll, The Cramps, The Maitlands take to the stage, they bring a cross between raw punked up rock ‘n roll and 60s beat that is tinged with the spirit of 77. The Maitlands have brought their sparkling self penned fucked up pop songs to Get Fucked and they build on the foundations laid by The Hipshakes by maintaining the adrenaline charged rush and combining this with a distinctly Mancunian sensibility, and already at this early stage of the day I can’t help thinking that the inaugural Get Fucked Festival is shaping up to be something very special.

20170505_230630The intriguingly named Uncle Jane are next, and they deliver a set of fucked up rock ‘n roll than channels The Sonics, The Mummies and the bands that populated the legendary Pebbles albums. This a rawer more primitive sound than the previous bands, and they are a welcome addition to Get Fucked and capture the spirit of the evening perfectly with bass heavy set that’s laced with lysergic guitar riffs. Tensheds follow and take Get Fucked down a different path with their intense drum and keyboard combination, but despite the lack of any stringed instruments they continue to channel the spirit of Get Fucked in a manner that makes me think of the Dresden Dolls having a head on collision with Nick Cave and Tom Waits.

GIG-110Next up is the bastard blues of GUTS, a band that I made a promise to that I would catch them again when I briefly saw them supporting The Bellrays last year, it might take me a while but I keep my promises. GUTS play a set that is the epitome of what Abattoir Blues Records are about, the heart and soul of blues with the attitude and spirit of punk rock, to me they sound even rawer than when I first encountered them. They cross the experimental side of Captain Beefheart with the grunt of blues, and the cocktail is completed by a punk attitude and delivery that makes their dark intense serial killer blues the perfect soundtrack to the midway point of Get Fucked.

20170503_222428Hopper Propelled Electric deliver a charged alt rock set that recalls Queens Of The Stone Age, in their substance fuelled prime, combined with the primal hedonistic spirit of rock ‘n roll. Their charged set brings yet another facet to tonight’s event and as with every other act tonight you can’t help but be impressed with the DIY spirit that is ever present today. Tonight has been a credit to Manchester’s alternative music scene, the bands playing Get Fucked avoid the clichéd Mancunian references and they all choose their own influences, despite all the bands playing tonight having their own sound and style there is a common unifying theme of the hedonistic qualities of rock ‘n roll.

20170503_221812The 99 Degree bring a set of fucked up spaghetti western influenced garage and this is the last set they’ll play before the release of their eagerly awaited Boot Hill Surf Club EP. Ominous echo heavy tones precede The 99 Degree launching a energetic set that channels the spirit of the old West combined with the reverb and echo heavy trashy garage that makes them one of Manchester’s most idiosyncratic bands. No one else does anything even remotely close to what The 99 Degree are doing, they deliver a mutant hybrid of everything that’s worth a damn in rock ‘n roll, and for me they are the closest thing you’ll get to the untamed spirit of the garage punk origins of The Cramps.

20170503_213200The penultimate act is Death Vignettes who have reformed for a one off performance for the inaugral Get Fucked, they channel everything that Abattoir Blues Records are about, dirty nasty punked up blues played exactly as it oughta be. Death Vignettes make as much noise as it’s possible to extract from one guitar and drums, and they produce a sound that makes other two pieces outfits, such as The White Stripes, sound like an unplugged performance. Death Vignettes come across as nothing less than the personification of the primal howl that signified the birth of rock ‘n roll.

20170503_213542The final act is The Jungfraus, their set is largely culled from the impressive KRAAK album that is now available as a pay what you want download. They bring a heady element to the final set of Get Fucked, they channel sixties garage, psyche, alt rock and alternative influence to create an impressive mind altering combination that makes for a fitting finale to the live acts that have graced the first Get Fucked festival. Tonight has been perfect, everything from the venue, the friendly and good natured crowd, along with every single band that played tonight and with the faultless DJ set from Wet Dreams that was the perfect accompaniment to the tonight’s nine triumphant live sets.

20170503_211307There is a sequel to Get Fucked planned and I can’t wait for this to happen, as tonight has been a perfect combination of the music and attitudes that informed and shaped punk rock. For me today has possessed more attitude and rebellion than the established punk festivals, it channels the roots and captures the attitude of what made us fall in love with music in the first place. If you didn’t attend this then you should make a point of being at the next Get Fucked if you can as this will probably be amongst my favourite shows of the year. We came, we saw, we got fucked, and I can’t wait for the next time

20170503_213308The Abattoir Blues Records website can be found here

The Atomic Catfight Facebook page is here

Death Vignettes Facebook page is here and their Soundcloud is here

GUTS Facebook presence is here and their Soundcloud is here

The Hipshakes Bandcamp is here and their Facebook presence is here

Hopper Propelled Electric can be found on Facebook here and their Bandcamp is here

The Jungfraus Facebook page is here and their Bandcamp is here

The Maitlands Facebook presence is here and their Soundcloud is here

Tensheds website can be found here

Uncle Jane‘s Facebook page is here and their Soundcloud is here

The 99 Degree‘s Facebook page is here and their Bandcamp is here

Live photography by Michael Maffia, you can click on any of Mike’s photos to view a slide show of the images

The 99 Degree Release ‘Boot Hill Surf Club’ EP

99 Degree BHSC CoverThe 99 Degree have released their debut EP, Boot Hill Surf Club, today, the 12th May 2017, the EP features four demented garage surf punk spaghetti western serial killer tales that you didn’t know you neededThe 99 Degree will also be taking to the stage in a few hours time at the release party for the Boot Hill Surf Club EP at Manchester’s Castle Hotel.

The Punk Site review of the Boot Hill Surf Club EP can be read here

Boot Hill Surf Club is now available via all the leading download and streaming sites

99 Degree BHSC Cover

The 99 Degree

Boot Hill Surf Club

Self Released
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Following on from last years impressive debut single, Dead Or Alive, Manchester’s The 99 Degree will unleash their first EP, Boot Hill Surf Club, tomorrow, the 12th May 2017, like their previous release their latest offering is a completely DIY affair that’s born of the original twisted spirit of the garage. The Mancunian quartet have been ploughing their own furrow in Manchester’s underground scene, and their latest release indicates that they are continuing to head off down their own dark and dusty trail.

Straight off The 99 Degree pick up where they left off, the opening track The Banshee delivers the western swagger that their debut Dead Or Alive carried, and it possesses a hypnotic primitive drum beat and some glorious heady reverb and treble laced guitar riffs, but it seems that Manchester psych outsiders are out to prove that there’s more in their arsenal. The haunting The Ballad Of Henry Newton Brown carries their spaghetti western hallmark but takes it into a darker place, if the opening track signified that was surf was up then this track indicated that there’s trouble in town. Losing My Mind is already a live favourite, and with good reason, it has a wonderful hedonistic surf riff that dominates this heavy slice of psyche and dementia, whilst the final track, The Pusher, takes things into darker and stranger territory than anything they’ve previously recorded

The 99 Degree occupy the same undefinable territory as The Cramps, but with their own identity rather than trying recreate another bands sound. The 99 Degree‘s mix of primitive rock ‘n roll, fuzzy garage, surf, dark spaghetti westerns, and whatever the hell else it is the fuels the Manchester quartet, creates a unique blend of influences that channels the essence of the strangeness and originality that is born of the garage. The 99 Degree are a truly original mutant surf band from a city that was famously quoted as having everything except a beach, I can’t wait to hear what they’re going to unleash on full length album.

The 99 Degree will be playing a launch party at The Castle Hotel in Manchester on the 12th May to celebrate the release of the EP

Boot Hill Surf Club will be available from all major digital retailers and streaming services from the 12th May

The Creature Comfort Announce Live Showcase Of New Material

Creature Comfort Gullivers 3rd JuneManchester’s longest-standing outsider psych-rock band The Creature Comfort are set to unveil the new songs that will follow their debut album on Saturday June 3rd at Gullivers in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The Creature Comfort will emerge from their recording studio in deepest Wales for a live unveiling of the new songs that will form the follow up to their critically acclaimed 2013 debut album, their last appearance at this venue was a raucous and sold-out affair so expect more of the same, special guest support is provided by The Goa Express and Dreamherbs.

The Creature Comfort have released a free download of their classic single Sauce here

Tickets for the  show at Gullivers can be purchased here

The 99 Degree Release Stream Of ‘The Banshee’

99 Degree BHSC CoverThe 99 Degree have announced the release of their debut EP, Boot Hill Surf Club, on the 12th May, the EP features four demented garage surf punk spaghetti western serial killer tales that you didn’t know you needed, the EP will be available via all the leading download and streaming sites. Ahead of the release of Boot Hill Surf Club the band have released a stream of the lead track from the EP, The Banshee, and The 99 Degree will also be playing a release party for Boot Hill Surf Club at Manchester’s Castle Hotel on the 12th May.

You can stream The Banshee here

Tickets for the Boot Hill Surf Club launch party can be purchased here

Arc Flash Carbon Copy

Arc Flash

Carbon Copy

High Dive Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Arc Flash have been generating a buzz throughout the scene thanks to endlessly energetic shows and their own unique brand of space punk and mutant pop intensity, now Arc Flash have released Carbon Copy, their full length debut, that was unleashed on the 31st March via High Dive Records, the album is available is on vinyl, on milky white/black split and traditional black variants, and on CD. Arc Flash are a band that mix punk, noise, surf, garage and indie, and to be honest pretty much everything else from the dark underbelly of rock ‘n roll that lurks away from the mainstream.

Carbon Copy is an album that sounds like a combination pf punk rock and the high energy side of the indie scene of the 8o’s that’s played through a time warp to the 1960’s, the production is sparse and spacey, something that matches the tone of the album. The riffs on every track are the hyperactive bastard sons of the original 60’s garage scene, everything is frantic and distorted, and the vocals are echoey and add to the feeling that this is an album born of a potent cocktail of recreational substances, and that’s just fine by me, although this is no throwback to a bygone era, there are obvious influences in the mix but this album is a singular and original creation.

Arc Flash have created an album of twelve monosyllabic titled cuts of fuzzy garage influenced spaced out punk rock, with the exceptions of Ohmmeter and Tuff, that shift into a more experimental psychedelic zone, this is raw fuzzed out garage that captures the spirit of the original first generation of bands that were given the term punk, and later acts such as The Mummies and The Cramps, that’s all performed with a suspicious urgency. If you have a love for any of the fuzzy lo-fi bands that have been spawned since the dawn of rock ‘n roll then I’d recommend you acquaint yourself with Arc Flash.

You can order Carbon Copy on CD and vinyl here

Knitts Retreat

The Knitts

Retreat

Knitting Factory Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Originating in an unassuming industrial area of California there lie a dozen neatly stacked repurposed shipping containers, one of these, the doors of which feature on the album cover, is the home of The Knitts, a band that has spent the last five years playing the live circuit and releasing multiple EPs and singles, before finally recording their debut album in North Hollywood and New York in a frantic week. Their debut full length album, Retreat, will be available on digital and streaming formats from tomorrow, March 3rd 2017, via Knitting Factory Records. 

Opening number, She Likes The Idea Of Gold, takes melodic power pop and infuses it with a sixties sensibility, this mix of styles is something that remains in place throughout the album, they are a band that would wear their influences on their sleeves if they were long enough. Hold Steady Pretty Lady and We Got Time takes the album into a more energetic bouncy place where the punkier side of their personality comes to the fore, before we head back to the garage with Personal Pyramid. The album continues to tread an idiosyncratic path across it’s twelve tracks, encompassing all manner of influences from the dawn of rock ‘n roll onwards.

The Knitts sound takes in a broad range of influences, from sixties psyche and garage pioneers such as The Seeds, through the seventies punk rock explosion with the Ramones and onto the later power pop and indie influences such as The Strokes, all of these elements are skilfully blended on The Knitts debut album. Whilst I doubt there are many people that will love every moment on Retreat, I can pretty much guarantee that there is something that everyone will love, The Knitts have made a unique album that refuses to be pigeonholed or attached to a specific scene, Retreat is an original and impressive debut release that deserves to be heard, and it is something that I’d recommend taking some time out to experience.

The Knitts website can be found here and their Facebook page is here

The Knitting Factory Records website can be found here

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All Them Witches

Sleeping Through The War

New West Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Nashville based psych rock quartet All Them Witches have returned with their latest album, Sleeping Through The War, that will be released released via New West Records on February 24th, 2017. All Them Witches have never a band to settle on a style or formula, despite the success of their 2015 album, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, their latest album heads off down another path, one that feels like a further progression down their idiosyncratic highway. Sleeping Through The War is a timely album, it’s title reflects the current turbulent situation in the world and how many people are reacting to these events, but whilst it challenges the lethargy, this is also an album that provides a welcome escape.

The epic track Bulls opens Sleeping Through The War, a dreamy slice of mellow psyche that’s edged with vintage fuzz that slowly builds up the pace and then eases you back down again, Don’t Bring Me Coffee is a more strident number, more akin to experimental post psychedelic bands of the early 1970’s, the era before rock monsters stalked the earth. The lead single from the album, Bruce Lee, brings a charged slice of garage fuelled psyche, this kind of number is what I’ve always felt was the missing element from an All Them Witches set, and it’s good to hear the kind of track I always hoped they’d produced introduced into their repertoire, in contrast 3.5.7 and Am I Going Up? are a duo of heady floating psyche influenced number that maintains the suspicious haze that is a trademark of an All Them Witches album. The final three numbers are lysergic tinged epic trips, their multi layered echo and reverb drenched soundscapes resonate with the authentic feel of west coast psychedelia, in particular the nine minute closing number, Guess I’ll Go Live On The Internet, is the prefect soundtrack for a journey to the centre of the mind.

All Them Witches are clearly considering the heavy times in which we all live, but they also encompassing influences and styles from the past. Sleeping Through The War feels very much like the natural successor to their 2015 album, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, but at the same time it also surpasses their previous recordings. I was lucky enough to catch All Them Witches on one of last years three European tours, live they stand out alone amongst modern psyche as they capture of the original essence of psychedelia without sounding like an anachronism, and their albums are a reflection of what the manage to convey live. Every album has improved and broadened their sound, Sleeping Through The War is a fine slice of psyche, but their constant forward momentum has already made me start looking forward to their next album.

Sleeping Through The War will be available on all formats and can be pre-ordered here.

Jim And The French Vanilla Release ‘Afraid Of The House’

Jim And The French Vanilla AOTHJim And The French Vanilla is the solo project of Jim Blaha from The Blind Shake. This is his third album under the Jim And The French Vanilla moniker, but the first to be made widely available. The first two albums were acoustic solo releases, but on Afraid Of The House, Jim, along with his brother and bandmate from The Blind Shake, Mike Blaha, expands to a full band sound, to astonishing effect.  The songwriting retains the incredibly distinctive mystical, other-worldly atmosphere of The Blind Shake, but the instrumentation and sound are both stripped down to their essence, dialing back to the loud-psych stamp of the Blind Shake at their heaviest.
 
Afraid Of The House is available via Dirtnap Records here and can be streamed here
 
mark-porkchop-holder-lis

Mark Porkchop Holder

Let It Slide

Alive Naturalsound Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Guitarist, singer, harmonica player and songwriter Mark Porkchop Holder is a founding member of the seminal Tennessee punk rock blues band The Black Diamond Heavies, now he is stepping out on his own and will be releasing his debut solo album, Let It Slide, on the 10th February on all formats via Alive Naturalsound Records. Mark Porchop Holder delivers a heady dose of traditional blues that is refracted though a lens of garage and rock influences, that is delivered with a punk sneer. Let It Slide forms part of the worldwide resurgence of blues music, this movement is one that acknowledges it’s roots, but drags blues kicking and screaming into the modern age.

Let It Slide kicks off with the title track, this brief excerpt of traditional slide guitar fades into Disappearing, an upbeat blues rocker that opens the album in fine style, My Black Name ups the pace and brings a fuzzy mix of swamp rock, slide guitar and garage to Let It Slide. From here on in it’s a road trip through a blues hinterland, Headlights is a tale of late night empty roads under big skies that eases into the more traditional blues of 38, a track that indicates that Mark Porkchop Holder has 61 less problems than Jay Z. The title track reprises with some down and dirty primitive roadhouse blues and Stagger Lee takes the album into a darker more distorted place whilst Stranger leads you out into the desert with a discordant country twang. Let It Slide ends with a rip roaring reworking of Baby Please Don’t Go, a version that differs from the traditional and rock reworkings by boasting a fuzzier heavier vibe than any other version that I’ve heard of this blues standard.

Let It Slide reminds me of The Rolling Stones in places, but back in the mists of time when they were in their blues inspired prime, there are also elements of the pub rock scene that was a precursor to punk, alongside some impressive slabs of blues that veer towards the traditional. This is a blues album at it’s core, but it’s one that incorporates contemporary influences to make this an impressive solo release, if you have any love for the modern grass roots blues acts such as Bones Shake and The Glass Phantoms, or the better known works that have resulted from Jon Spencer and Jack White‘s numerous outings, then Let It Slide is an album that you need in your life.

Let It Slide can be pre-ordered on limited edition vinyl, CD and digital formats here

The Dollyrots Confirm US Tour With The Two Tens

dollyrots WSPunk rock duo The Dollyrots are set to release their sixth studio album, Whiplash Splash, on March 24, the album will be available on CD, limited edition sea foam blue vinyl and digitally on their very own Arrest Youth Label. Whiplash Splash marks their first studio album since 2014’s Barefoot and Pregnant. The Dollyrots plan to tour in support of the album throughout 2017, the first run of dates kick off on March 16 in Chicago and finishes off with two shows in the band’s Southern California home base, all dates will feature support by friends The Two Tens.

Whiplash Splash can be pre-ordered via Pledge Music here

The Dollyrots tour dates with The Two Tens can be viewed below Read More…

Boss Hog To Release First Album In 17 Years ‘Brood X’

Boss Hog Brood XNew York City’s glorious garage-noise mutants Boss Hog are back, with their first studio album in 17 years, Brood X, due for release this March 24th via Bronze Rat Records. Led by Cristina Martinez, who is ably assisted by Jon Spencer, Brood X feels less like the work of a group who’ve been on ice for so long, more a slithering and sludgy monster of an album, a boiling pot of hot funk keys, growling punk attack, searing blues breaks and the ground-shaking holler of Martinez. Having recently shared new track  17, to critical acclaim, today Boss Hog unleash Formula X.

You can stream 17 here and Formula X here

Brood X can be pre-ordered here

guts-bft

GUTS

Blunt Force Trauma

Abattoir Blues Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Earlier this year I reviewed the Trauma EP by Manchester’s dirty blues merchants GUTS, it was the final instalment in their Blunt Force Trauma trilogy of EP’s, now they have finally collated the three EP’s, Blunt, Force and Trauma, to form this album. Blunt Force Trauma is released on the independent Manchester based label, Abattoir Blues Records, this is a label that has the stated intention of the curating the finest contemporary blues based music, and on the strength of this debut full length release from GUTS you get the feeling that they are as good as their word.

Blunt Force Trauma opens with the slow grinding menace of 666, this shifts into the mutant hellbilly of one of the album’s highlights, the macabre Jeffrey Dahmer’s Eyes, a track that possesses a gloriously primitive rock ‘n roll feel, that is followed by the fine swamp grind of Cemi and Be Had. As I noted on the review of the Trauma EP, their reworking of Be My Baby is something to behold, this is not a cover version as the soft and sweet sixties standard has been completely reworked, it now carries a sinister menace that hints at unhealthy obsession and mental illness. This is followed by a quartet of songs, James Brown, Fucked On Your Fuck, Get In The Car and Dirty Mouth, that encompass stripped down dirty rock ‘n roll and raw primitive blues before you get to the fine closing duo. Mean Old Queen is another highpoint that brings a slice of upbeat garage dementia to Blunt Force Trauma, and drags another primal element into the chaotic fray, before Blow brings the album to a dark and stormy close.

Blunt Force Trauma is an impressive collection of eleven tracks that combines the spirit of primitive rock ‘n roll and the slow sinister grind of blues, and injects it with punk attitude and garage psychosis to create a heady turbulent album that has been worth the long wait for it’s arrival. Throughout Blunt Force Trauma vocalist Liam O’Neill delivers an anguished blues howl that sounds like it’s possessed by his personal demons, this is accompanied by a primitive grind that recalls the darker side of rock ‘n roll and hints at mental anguish, obsession, drug use and primal urges, in short everything about rock ‘n roll that your parents warned you about, and in my book that always has to be a good thing.

Blunt Force Trauma can be ordered via Abattoir Blues Records here

datura4-hm

Datura 4

Hairy Mountain

Alive Naturalsound Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Westerm Australia’s Datura4 is the brainchild of Dom Mariani, the former frontman of The Stems and DM3, and Greg Hitchcock, who was previously in You Am I and New Christs, the quartets line up is completed by drummer Warren Hall and bassist Stu Loasby. Datura4 have released their sophomore album, Hairy Mountain, it was released at the end of October via Alive Naturalsound Recordings and it follows on from their acclaimed debut album, Demon Blues.

Hairy Mountain is a mixture of some seriously laid back fuzz drenched psyche, trashy rock ‘n roll, primitive garage rock and dirty blues, this approach is exemplified by the title track but that’s not the end of the story. The album maintains it’s primitive roots throughout, but it also incorporates a sleazy rock ‘n roll charm, alongside an influence from the bourbon drenched rock ‘n roll that hails from the southern side of the United States. After nine tracks of heady substance influenced psyche the album ends with a mellower acoustic feel, Broken Path brings the album to an unexpectedly slow burning close. Hairy Mountain’ is ten solid tracks celebrating an unbridled joy for the kind of primitve rock ‘’n’’ roll that emerged from the 1960’s and 1970’s. This is an album that acknowledges the influences they’ve accumulated from their previous bands, but it’s also a move on from their former outfits. 

Hairy Mountain is an album that incorporates all the suspiciously hazy elements of the bands that emerged from the garages, but it combines it with some seriously accomplished rock and this makes for a fine hybrid of styles. Australia seems to encourage bands the blend garage and psyche with other influences, like the oz outfits before them, such as The Lime Spiders, The Cosmic Psychos and The Vines, Datura4 have taken the garage formula and incorporated other styles to make a unique album of psyche influenced rock.

Hairy Mountain can be ordered on all formats, including the hand mixed starburst vinyl edition, here

The Two Tens Give Away ‘Not Alright’ As A Holiday Gift

two-tens-naThe Two Tens have signed with Man Della Records for the release of their second album. They’ve already tracked three songs, including Keeping Hope Alive, the lead single which will be released on February 10, 2017. In keeping with the festive spirit The Two Tens have released the new track Not Alright for free as a holiday gift.
 
In the holiday spirit, we want to give away our song, “Not Alright,” for free to all our fans that have supported us from the beginning. We really appreciate the people that have kept us going and we want to say thanks by giving them a glimpse into our upcoming album. It’s one of the first songs we had written for the second album and we’ve been playing it live for a while now. We hope it gets everyone excited for what’s to come! Happy Holidays!
You can download Not Alright for free here
 
99-degree-fallow-cafe-2nd-dec

The 99 Degree / Crimsons / La Mode / Sam Craighan

Fallow Café, Manchester, UK

2nd December 2016
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

99-degree-fallow-cafe-dec-1The Fallow Café lies to the South of Manchester, nestled inconspicuously amongst terraced housing, it has a bar and restaurant downstairs, but upstairs lies an intimate venue that is the perfect setting for tonight’s triumphant headline show by The 99 Degree. In addition to the four band bill there is a DJ set by Wet Dreams, both in between bands and then on into the early hours, that captures the mood of the evening perfectly, the playlist covers everything from sixties garage pioneers such as The Sonics through alternative and indie as well as a few punk classics thrown in for good measure, marking what is easily the best DJ set I’ve encountered at a concert this year.

sam-craighan-fallow-cafe-dec-16-1Due to some of the worst traffic I’ve encountered in a long time we arrive late for the show, by the time we get into the Fallow Cafe Sam Craighan is already approaching the end of his set, but the three numbers I do manage to catch hint at a melodic indie sensibility that carries the spirit of the likes of The Libertines. They alternate between keyboard and guitar led numbers, that can carry the spirit and bounce of Britpop, or convey a more melancholy tone. Despite only catching three songs of his set Sam Craighan marked a promising beginning to an evening that showcases some of finest talent that originates from the fuzzy side of this town.

la-mode-fallow-cafe-dec16-1After some more fine tunes from the Wet Dreams DJ La Mode take the stage, I had no previous knowledge of them and their name didn’t suggest what I could expect. They boast a striking vocalist and what appears to be a modern day Viking on bass, rounding out the line up are two more subdued, but no less talented, members that complete the quartet. What is immediately apparent is that vocalist Millie Sproston has a stunning voice that is backed up by a soundtrack that’s informed by the proto punk and rock bands of the late sixties and early seventies, but crucially with a contemporary feel that stops them from being an anachronism in any way shape or form.

la-mode-fallow-cafe-dec16-2I’m finding that the deeper I delve in Manchester’s underground scene the more I realise there are some incredible bands out there, and La Mode can be added to their number. They skilfully straddle the line between rock, alternative and indie, and importantly they do it in style. Their material defies categorisation, there’s even a brief ska element incorporated into the breakdown one of their numbers. My first encounter of La Mode has made a lasting impression on me, whilst they carry a heavy undercurrent of seventies rock influence it is one that is shorn of self indulgence and excess. La Mode delivered a brief hard edged melodic set that for me makes them another band to watch in 2017.

crimsons-fallow-cafe-dec-16-1By the time Crimsons take the stage the Fallow Café is packed to capacity, the temperature is rising and it’s standing room only, and the trio that make up Crimsons bring another dimension to the impressive bill that’s on offer tonight. Crimsons play an echo drenched psyche influenced and lysergic tinged element to the proceedings. They simultaneously channel the best of the psychedelic and garage bands, but they combine this with contemporary influences, in particular elements of Manchester’s post punk era are present in the treble laced guitar style that permeates their set, and this makes for a heady combination that, like La Mode before them, is hard to resist.

crimsons-fallow-cafe-dec-16-2The Crimsons build on the impressive opening by the first two bands, the contrast between each of the bands that has appeared tonight’s show is marked, but rather than this being jarring the differing styles compliment each other. The heady psyche the Crimsons play seems to contain a significant influence from Manchester legends The Chameleons, especially in their guitar sound, but there the comparison ends, the Crimsons have their own distinct sound that meld influences that span the last five generations. They bring a welcome slice of paisley inspired treble laced driving psyche that brings another heady element to the mix prior to tonight’s headliners, The 99 Degree, taking the stage.

99-degree-fallow-cafe-dec-2During each of the three bands that played before them Joe Sartini, the vocalist of The 99 Degree, has been down the front doing his own unique shambling dance moves and yelling encouragement at the bands, it’s this kind of camaraderie amongst the bands that typifies the good natured atmosphere that has been present throughout tonight’s show, now it’s his turn to take to the stage. I’ve caught The 99 Degree twice so far this year, supporting Kid Congo And The Pink Monkeybirds and as a part of a Psychetropic showcase, but tonight they are taking the headlining spot and the support acts, the venue and the crowd have all built up the atmosphere perfectly for The 99 Degree to launch themselves towards 2017.

99-degree-fallow-cafe-dec-3The 99 Degree have bought their deranged mix of rock ‘n roll and garage, that is all delivered with a spaghetti western sneer, to the Fallow Café. They open with their heavy primitive sound that immediately has the crowd moving, and you can’t help but get the feeling that tonight’s performance is what The 99 Degree have been working towards throughout 2016. Tonight they play their own deranged hallucinogenic surf rock, but despite the influences The 99 Degree are in no way buried in the past, they, along with support acts La Mode and Crimsons, are at the forefront of the latest incarnation of bands inspired by the sounds that originated in the sixties and early seventies.

99-degree-fallow-cafe-dec-4Vocalist Joe Sartini announces that “the doors have been locked and the drinks have been spiked” and this is the signal for The 99 Degree to launch into a headlining set of their unique brand of garage dementia. Songs such as Losing My Mind energise the sweaty crowd that has packed out the Fallow Café, the set varies from sinister Link Wray inspired guitar lines, embodied in the track The End Of The Line, to full on garage floor shakers. The singers shambolic stage presence is in sharp contrast to the rest of the band who hammer out the kind of authentic razor sharp rock ‘n roll that is in no way designed to save your soul or be redemptive, they are the real deal.

99-degree-fallow-cafe-dec-6It’s clear The 99 Degree have stepped up a gear, something they have managed to do every time I’ve seen them, which makes them a very exciting prospect for 2017, and tonight they confirmed new material was in the pipeline to follow on from their debut single, Dead Or Alive, which sounded better than ever tonight and brought a taste of the menace of the old west to South Manchester. Tonight they announced that they will be releasing an EP of new material next year and on the basis of the songs they played tonight that will populate the forthcoming The Banshee EP then it can only be a matter of time before The 99 Degree come to wider attention and spread their wings beyond the confines of their hometown.

99-degree-fallow-cafe-dec-5The 99 Degree are possessed by the original untamed spirit of rock ‘ n roll that follows in the tradition of Vince Taylor, The Sonics and The Cramps, every generation has it’s own standard bearers that embody the primitive spirit of excess and hedonism, The 99 Degree haven’t so much picked up the torch, but they’ve stolen it and are using it light a suspicious smoke. The world needs bands like The 99 Degree that carry the spirit of rock ‘n roll and garage, but they also combine it with the fuck you attitude of punk rock and the meance of a Sergio Leone soundtrack to create something that is truly unique and as a result tonight’s show indicates that 2017 could well be their year.

99-degree-fallow-cafe-dec-7Sam Craighan‘s Facebook presence can be found here

La Mode‘s Facebook page is here and their debut EP is available via iTunes

Crimsons Facebook page can be found here

The 99 Degree‘s Soundcloud Page can be found here and their Facebook page is here

Dead Or Alive is available via The 99 Degree‘s Bandcamp here

Photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here,

You can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images

james-williamson

James Williamson And Maia

Sickkk

Leopard Lady Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

James Williamson should need no introduction, he played guitar on the legendary Raw Power album by Iggy And The Stooges, as well as recording subsequent albums with Iggy Pop and his solo material, including an album with The Careless Hearts and 2014’s Re-Licked. For this third, and final, single of 2016 the guitar legend has teamed up with a talented nineteen year old singer songwriter Maia. James Williamson has previously released two singles this year, these saw him team up with Petra Haden and The Bellrays’ vocalist Lisa Kekuala, this latest release see’s him unleash the third and final installment of new material for 2016, which completes an impressive and varied trio of singles. 

James Williamson and Maia have recorded a lead track, Sickkk, that features a classic James Williamson riff, it carries a undeniably rock ‘n roll quality that just hooks you straight into the single, couple this with Maia‘s soulful vocals and you have a winning combination. The flip side features I Made A Mistake, this carries a slightly more laid back feel than the title track, whilst it doesn’t carry the same immediacy as the a side, it has the same energy that you’d expect from a record produced by the legendary guitarist.

James Williamson has produced a triumvirate of singles, each with a different quality that’s tailored to the vocalist he’s collaborated with, in my opinion he’s saved the best for last with this single that introduces us to the vocal and songwriting talents of Maia. Given that three of the founder members of The Stooges have passed away, and the somewhat lacklustre nature of the last few Iggy Pop albums, this single means that James Williamson has become the standard bearer for the legacy of The Stooges.

You can order the digital single of Sickkk here and the vinyl 45 single can be ordered here

Swamp Delta Release ‘Talking To The Girls (On St. 51)’ Video

Swamp Delta have released a video for the track Talking To The Girls (On St. 51) that is taken from their critically acclaimed debut album, Sick Liver Blues. Swamp Delta are a muntant hybrid formed out of the ashes of Crazyhead, Gaye Bykers On Acid and The Hunters Club, they have now launched an all new website for the band and are seeing out the remainder of 2016 with shows at the Camden Rocks festival in London, a hometown show in Leicester and finally supporting punk legends The Rezillos in Nottingham.

Swamp Delta‘s website is here and their Bandcamp is here

You can view the video for Talking To The Girls (On St. 51), and their tour dates, below Read More…

Gang Reveal ‘Enough Nothing’ Video

gang-deadFollowing the sinister tale told in Gang‘s video for  Dead, the Brighton three piece have revealed part two of their grave tale in a new video for Enough Nothing, the flip-side to their AA side single, out now via Ra-Ra Rok Records. Gang have also confirmed they will be playing at 2017’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas in addition to their UK dates in December. You can order the Dead/Enough Nothing AA side single here

The Punk Site review of Dead/Enough Nothing can be found here

You can view the video for Enough Nothing, and their December tour dates, below Read More…

The Two Tens Sign To Man Della Records

the-two-tens-nov-17The Two Tens are made up of Adam Bones, guitar and vocals, and Rikki Styxx, drums and backing vocals, together they have racked up a lot of accomplishments since the release of their first EP, Volume 1, including three additional EPs, the superb full length debut LP Volume and four US tours. The duo’s debut album was an entirely DIY affair that bought them to the attention of Man Della Records, who will be releasing their, as yet untitled, second album. They’ve already tracked three songs, including Keeping Hope Alive, the lead single which will be released next February. The Two Tens will also be releasing an advance track off their new album in December as a free download to their fans.
 
The Punk Site review of The Two Tens stunning debut album, Volume, can be read here
 
Volume can be purchased on all formats here and their tour dates can be viewed below

Read More…

Gang Share ‘Enough Nothing’ From New AA Side Single

gang-nov-16Brighton trio Gang have revealed Enough Nothing, the flip side to their forthcoming AA side single Dead / Enough Nothing, due November 25th via Ra-Ra Rok Records. Following their praised Animalia single that was released earlier this year via Corner Shop Pop Records, alongside a self organised tour of the UK, A tour supporting LA’s Wand and a BBC 6 Music session, Dead and Enough Nothing arrive in a haze of mystic fuzz and tangled dirge-pop.

You can stream Enough Nothing here and pre-order the single here

You can view the video for Dead, and their December tour dates, below Read More…