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JJ and the jerks

JJ And The Real Jerks

Back To The Bottom

Dead Beat Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Californian sleaze punks JJ And The Real Jerks have followed up their debut album, Economy Class Ego Trip, and trio of killer singles with their sophomore full length, Back To The Bottom. On their latest release JJ And The Real Jerks serve up a heady dose of rock ‘n roll inspired punk rock that calls up the spirits of the New York Dolls and the Dead Boys, it’s nine pure hits of drugs, sax and rock ‘n roll that takes you back to the roots of the American punk scene, but thankfully this is no pale recreation of those bands, this is the real deal.

Out Of My Means starts the party with a blast of rock ‘n roll that’s an ode to hedonism and living in the red, the rock ‘n roll is balanced against tracks such as Downed Wires and Bottle And Can Retirement Plan that carry more a nervous punk energy, whilst Damaged Goods, Mr. Good Enough and Back In Business bring us back to the dawn of the New York punk scene. The title track carries more of hard edged garage punk feel that brings another dimension to the party, but for me the finest moments on Back To The Bottom are brought to us by the hard edged rock ‘n roll of Tuned Out and Ice Queen, both of these tracks are backed by a seriously dirty grinding guitar riffs which are delivered with a bucketful of fuck you attitude.

For fans of the aforementioned bands whose influence dominates the album, and bands such as Role Models, The Tranzmitors and Rocket From The Crypt this should be an essential purchase, it channels the original sleazy spirit of rock ‘n roll but combines it with the attitude and delivery of punk rock to create a hedonistic half hour that hits the spot nicely. Back to The Bottom is an album dedicated to living fast and not dying young because there’s far too much fun to be had, if you love the kind of hedonistic sleaze and self belief that was personified in the fledgling punk scene then you my have just found your favourite new band.

Back To The Bottom can be ordered on limited edition blue wax via Dead Beat Records here and on black vinyl 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.

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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

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

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

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

ohio-knife-sobs

Ohio Knife

Scalp Or Be Scalped

We Have Become Vikings Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 
Cincinnati’s Ohio Knife are an unforgiving rock n’ roll influenced band that produces the kind of primitive rock music that was prevalent in the early 1970’s, prior to punk being a gleam in Iggy Pop‘s eye. This retrospective trio bring a combination of raspy vocals, that were the hallmark of singers who overindulged in the fabled trio of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, that are accompanied by trashy fuzzed up guitars, and a solid rhythm section that anchors the trio’s primal rock ‘n roll.
 
Ohio Knife play the kind of rock music that was around in the early to mid 70’s, you can certainly hear that there’s more than a touch of bands such as the MC5 and Creedence Clearwater Revival in Ohio Knife‘s DNA. The whole album boasts a glorious vintage fuzz and possess and very rock ‘n roll sensibility. Just listen to keyboards in my personal favourite from the album, Day And Night, for evidence of that, a glorious Jerry Lee Lewis hellfire piano makes an appearance to accompany the fuzzed up riffs on this number. Scalp Or Be Scalped is an album that spans the early to mid 1970’s, from soulful rockers to the proto punk snarl of Special Plans, if you’re going to do something then you might as well do it properly and Ohio Knife are nothing if not an authentic rock ‘n roll throwback.
 
Like the original bands of that era I personally prefer their more upbeat numbers, but numbers like Be The Dark bring the pace down and bring a fine sinister tone to Scalp Or Be Scalped. This is such an unashamedly retro album it’s hard to not to succumb to it’s charms, whilst a few of the slower numbers aren’t for me I can’t help but fall partially under the spell of Scalp Or Be Scalped. Ohio Knife are a complete anachronism, their sound is conspicuously old fashioned and this album sounds like it’s been transplanted from a bygone era, but it’s done so well that I find that I don’t care.
 
Scalp Or Be Scalped was released in October and is available on vinyl, CD and digital formats.
 
Ohio Knife‘s web presence can be found here
 

The 99 Degree Release Debut Single ‘Dead Or Alive’

the-99-degree-doaThe 99 Degree have announced that their debut single, Dead Or Alive, a dark and deranged spaghetti western, preacher killing, murder ballad, is now available as a pay what you want download via their Bandcamp. The 99 Degree have been tearing up stages in the North West of the UK, now those further afield can be exposed to their unique brand of garage psychosis.

You can read The Punk Site review of The 99 Degree live at The Soup Kitchen here

You can get Dead Or Alive as a name your price download here

Datura4 To Release Their Latest Studio Album ‘Hairy Mountain’ 

datura4-hmRock ‘n’ roll fans, please welcome Hairy Mountain, the second album from West Australia’’s Datura4. Building upon the “‘guitars-to-infinity’” approach of Datura4’‘s acclaimed debut LP ‘Demon Blues’, ‘Hairy Mountain’ is ten solid tracks celebrating an unbridled joy for rock ‘’n’’ roll, with a nod to the spiritual presence of their hairy Oz Rock forefathers. Hairy Mountain is the culmination of a lifetime of musical archaeology and the ongoing search for the never ending riff. Datura4‘s Hairy Mountain will be available on limited hand mixed starburst vinyl, CD and digital formats on October 28th via Alive Naturalsound Records.
 
The limited edition starburst vinyl of Hairy Mountain can be ordered here
 

Ohio Knife To Release New ‘Scapled Or Be Scalped’ Album

ohio-knife-sobsOhio Knife is a punch you in the gut, unforgiving, rock n’ roll band hailing from the great mid-western city of Cincinnati, USA. Utilizing off the beaten path tunings, Ohio Knife‘s Jason Snell brings raspy, two-toned vocals and spooky, soulful, trashy guitars as Joe Suer drops an ass load of low end drums and Scotty Wood provides all the thumping low end bass you could ever wish for in rock. Ohio Knife’s new album Scalp Or Be Scalped will be available October 21st on vinyl, CD and digital formats
 
Scalp Or Be Scalped can be pre-ordered here and their tour dates are below

Read More…

Pussycat And The Dirty Johnsons Announce UK Tour

Pussycat And The Dirty Johnsons 2016 TourPussycat And The Dirty Johnsons have announce extensive UK tour dates throughout the remainder of 2016, they have also confirmed that they already have a number of gigs and festival dates confirmed for 2017, including a trip to Germany. In addition to this they have announced that they will be back in the studio in 2017 to finally record their long awaited, and as yet untitled, third album
 
Their tour dates can be viewed by clicking on the image on the left
 
You can visit the Pussycat And The Dirty Johnsons website here
 
Kingcrows FL

The Kingcrows

Funland

STP Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

The Kingcrows have been with us for about ten years now, they have been relentlessly following their own path and display an unshakeable belief in themselves. If I tell you their latest album, Funland, contains significant traces of both Motorhead and The Ramones in it’s DNA then that description should give you a pretty good idea of where they are coming from, this is bare knuckle high octane rock ‘n roll.

The Kingcrows play their brand of rock ‘n roll with energy and style, for me this is what elevates them above many other bands that tread this this well worn path, they do it with conviction and they do it really well. The pace doesn’t relent for a second on any of the eleven cuts contained on Funland and that’s how it should be for a band like this, if I want thoughtfulness and introspection I know where I can find it, full tilt rock ‘n roll doesn’t need to be either of those things. The opening track, Here We Go, is a mission statement, from the opening chords you know exactly what you’re in for from this point on. The subject matter on the rest of the songs will come as no surprise, tales of the rock ‘n roll lifestyle, rallying calls against the mainstream culture and of course alcohol.

This is a band that will produce few surprises but you don’t always want to be challenged and surprised, sometimes you just need something that makes you feel alive and The Kingcrows do that in spades. Now that both Motorhead and The Ramones are no more we need someone to fill the yawning chasm they left in their wake, I think The Kingcrows could well be the band to bridge that gap, they are energising, fun and whilst there are no surprises in Funland it certainly gets the adrenaline going.

Funland can be ordered from STP Records or directly from the band here

sunset shipwrecks community

The Sunset Shipwrecks

Community

Lugosi Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

The Sunset Shipwrecks are a new project from two members of American Steel, Ryan Massey and Scott Healy, who are joined by Brian Miu and Sean Reilly to complete the quartet. It has been superbly produced by Kevin Army and was recorded at Ryan Massey‘s Sharkbite Studio. If you’re expecting an extension of American Steel then you’re in for a shock, this is rock ‘n roll, and what a damn fine slice of rock n roll it is.

The opening track Leave Me In The Grove recalls the spirit of The Animals with a haunting bluesy number, it is immediately clear that this is quite a musical departure, the title track only goes onto confirm this, the track Community is a piece of foot tapping boogie woogie influenced political rock. Community switches between roots Americana influences throughout the ten tracks and once you’ve gotten over the shock you quickly warm to it’s charms. The Tide Will Rise is the closest thing to an American Steel number on Community, but only if you can imagine they forgot to take most of their effects pedals into the studio. The closing track No Justice is the most political track on here, it’s a raised fist of defiance against the current state of the political landscape and it’s inherent corruption.

This is an album that is going back to the roots of American Music, the album is a blend of blues, rock ‘n roll and there’s even a touch of country thrown into the mix. Whilst this is a change of direction musically, the lyrical content remains as hard hitting as ever. This is a surprising and rather wonderful side project, rather than recreating the sounds of the band half of The Sunset Shipwrecks are better known for, they have made something that keeps the spirit and attitude of their punk roots, but branches out musically, and that is something to be applauded.

You can download Community from the usual sources or you can order the vinyl directly from Lugosi records here