Kim Wilde Ritz Dec 18

The Wilde Wild Xmas Show

Ritz, Manchester, UK

22nd December 2017

Rating: 4.5/5




Wilde Wilde Xmas Show Kim Wilde 1It’s become something of a tradition for there to be an 80’s show to see out my year, last year we covered The Wonder Stuff and Fuzzbox, two artists that are still going strong 30 years later. For 2017 we’re going a little further back to the dawn of the 80’s for a special one off concert at Manchester’s Ritz entitled The Wilde Wild Xmas Show. There are no prizes for guessing that Kim Wilde is headlining, but she is accompanied by another iconic female from that decade in the form of Toyah, also on the bill is Carol Decker of T’Pau, with these three you have a flashback evening that promises to be fun, what’s not so expected is the inclusion of underground thrashers Lawnmowwer Deth, who other than being from the same decade would seem to have little in common with the rest of the line up, unless you scratch the surface.

Wilde Wilde Xmas Show Kim Wilde And Lawnmower Deth 1Back in 1991 Lawnmower Deth covered Kim Wilde‘s classic new wave debut, Kids In America, Kim Wilde has stated publicly that this is her favourite version of the often covered song, and as that list includes the likes of The Bouncing Souls, The Muffs, The Bloodhound Gang, The Donnas and even Foo Fighters it’s up against some stiff competition. Kim Wilde has since appeared with Lawnmower Deth at the Download Festival, and there you have the origin of the most unlikely Christmas team up since The Hives got together with Cyndi Lauper for A Christmas Duel. The unlikely friendship has resulted in 2017’s finest Christmas release, FUKristmas, and their inclusion on this unashamedly retro evening, and the reason why I have found attending tonight so irresistible, that and the first single I ever bought, as opposed to stole off my Brother, was by Kim Wilde.

Wilde Wilde Xmas Show Carol DeckerComing into Manchester on the last Friday before Christmas, which is known as Mad Friday for a good reason, sees the city full of people celebrating finishing work for Xmas and many of the crowd are already thoroughly refreshed before the show starts and as you’d expect there’s a good number wearing antlers, Christmas Jumpers and other festive attire, as well as one particularly sinister looking Santa, for tonight’s throwback to the eighties, as a result It’s no surprise that the soundtrack from the Girls On Film DJ’s for tonight is firmly embedded in that decade. Amongst the crowd are a smattering of die hard Lawnmower Deth fans who stand out from the eighties crowd but they get into the spirit of things early in the evening and are dancing to whatever is played whilst clutching tightly onto their two pint jugs of beer.

Wilde Wilde Xmas Show ToyahFirst up is a surprise appearance by the Doctor, from Doctor And The Medics, who is the compère for tonight’s show and he builds the crowd up perfectly for the appearance of Carole Decker, best known as the vocalist for eighties soft rock band T’Pau, a band I’ll admit I’m not overly familiar with compared to tonight’s other two acts, but she delivers a brief crowd pleasing set that includes the hit singles Heart And Soul and China In Your Hand. There’s no break as we’re straight into one of the new wave era’s most recognisable icons, Toyah, who launches straight into an energetic and all too short set of her new wave classics, including Good Morning Universe, It’s A Mystery and I Want To Be Free. The break that follows sees the Doctor distributing chocolates to the front row of the crowd to ensure the festive theme is kept going in the lull before Kim Wilde takes the stage.

Wilde Wilde Xmas Show Kim Wilde 2Prior to Kim Wilde we get a mix of Christmas classics and new wave and eighties hits from the Girls On Film DJs that keeps a packed Ritz bouncing and drinking before the Doctor returns to introduce Kim Wilde as ‘the queen of Christmas’. Kim Wilde delivers a solo set that spans her lengthy career, and seeing an eighties icon deliver an impressive crowd pleasing set is a pleasure that I never thought I’d get, and I couldn’t be happier that I was here to experience tonight’s show in all its unashamedly retro and festive glory. Cambodia is included in the set, and that was the first record I ever bought I’m hit by a wave of nostalgia, and then we’re straight into the classic new wave hit Water On Glass, that is delivered faster and heavier than I remember on the original single, as you can imagine I’m not complaining.

Wilde Wilde Xmas Show Kim Wilde And Lawnmower Deth 2The set heads off into traditional Christmas territory including Hey Mr Snowman and Let It Snow, that’s gets a hearty singalong from the increasingly festive crowd, before heading back into her extensive back catalogue, including a revved up Chequered Love and You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) in tribute to the late Pete Burns. Kim Wilde returns to the stage with Lawnmower Deth for an encore that’s starts with their Christmas single, F U Kristmas, and Lawnmower Deth bring a touch of chaos to proceedings and not surprisingly a much heavier sound. The Ritz is now awash with balloons and the stage is invaded by a cast of strange characters prior to getting the inevitable punked up Kids In America which sounds like it’s been channelled via the spirits of the Ramones and Motörhead, and to me it’s never sounded better.

Wilde Wilde Xmas Show All Star EncoreA final encore follows featuring Kim Wilde, Toyah, Lawnmower Deth and the Doctor, who together comprise the most unlikely all star band you’re likely to encounter for an inevitablly seasonal encore of festive cheer with the Slade classic Merry Christmas Everybody, which ensures a rousing singalong from everyone packed into the Ritz and this followed by the seasonal favourite of Wizzard‘s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day. This festive encore is topped off with Brenda Lee‘s fifties seasonal staple Rocking Around The Christmas Tree, the rock ‘n roll favourite she recorded with the late Mel Smith. That appeared to be the end of  the evening but Kim Wilde returns for a final encore of her classic hit Kids In America, this time delivered closer to as it was originally performed marking a perfect end to the evening.

Wilde Wilde Xmas Show Kim Wilde 3Tonight was a show that caught the Christmas spirit perfectly, the combination of four eighties icons in the shape of Kim Wilde, Toyah, Carol Decker and the Doctor, and the more than welcome addition of self styled metal bozo clowns Lawnmower Deth, and of course the addition of alcohol and the start of the Christmas weekend, that sees the more than welcome prospect of a few days off for the majority of those attending tonight, meant that the crowd were good natured and you got a flashback to the dawn of decade of excess and regrettable fashions, but one that produced some iconic figures and music. Tonight marked the end to what has been a memorable year of live shows and reviews and this was a fine way to see out 2017, and I’m already looking forward to covering more shows and festivals for The Punk Site in 2018.

Wilde Wilde Xmas Show Kim Wilde 4Live photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here, and you can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images

Kim Wilde‘s website can be found here

Lawnmower Deth‘s web presence is located here

Toyah‘s official website is here

Carol Decker and T’Pau‘s online presence is here

The Dr And The Medics website is here

Kim Wilde Vs LD Xmas

Kim Wilde Vs Lawnmower Deth

F U Kristmas

Wildflower Records

Rating: 4.5/5




Back in 1991 Lawnmower Deth covered Kim Wilde‘s classic new wave debut, Kids In America, Kim Wilde has stated publicly that this is her favourite version of the often covered song, and as that list includes the likes of The Bouncing Souls, The Muffs, The Bloodhound Gang, The Donnas and even Foo Fighters, it’s up against some stiff competition. Kim Wilde has since appeared with Lawnmower Deth at the Download Festival, and there you have the origin of the most unlikely team up since the KLF got together with Extreme Noise Terror.

This unlikely friendship has resulted in 2017’s finest bookmaker bothering Christmas release, F U Kristmas, and what you get with this anti Xmas single is a duet between Pete Lee of Lawnmower Deth and Kim Wilde that blends their thrash and new wave styles perfectly. The end result is a single that sums everything about this time of year perfectly, as it manages to be both seasonal, with all the elements you’d expect on a Christmas single, and distinctly humbug at the same time. The single contains the radio friendly mix, apparently not radio friendly enough for those in charge of these things, but what you want blasting out over your seasonal tipple is the Sweary Mix that has the full blooded Fuck You Kristmas as a chorus.

I do love a good original Xmas tune providing it’s not the sentimental nonsense that plagues the lives of anyone exposed to it at this time of year, if you’re a fan of the likes of Christmas With The Vandals or the other distinctly unseasonal offerings the punk scene throws up over the festive season then this should be on your shopping list. As an added bonus the odds are being shortened on this being the UK Xmas number one and there’s another damn fine reason to invest your pennies in a download, if for no other reason than to save us from another X Factor number one. Lawnmower Deth will also be appearing with Kim Wilde at The Wild Wilde Xmas Show at the Manchester Ritz on the 22nd December, along with Toyah and Carole Decker.

You can and should order F U Kristmas here

Siberian Meat Grinder - MBS

Siberian Meat Grinder

Metal Bear Stomp

Destiny Records

Rating: 3.5/5



Russia’s Siberian Meat Grinder released their new album, Metal Bear Stomp, a few days ago, their latest release is a brutal crossover album that blends elements of thrash metal and hardcore, that are mixed with machine gun raps and touches of black metal, unsurprisingly the result is a truly individual and aggressive soundtrack. Metal Bear Stomp is the band’s first full length release, but it’s one that follows in the wake of their two mini albums, Hail To The Tsar and Vs The World, that were originally released on their own label before being repressed by their current imprint, Destiny Records.
The majority of the tracks on Siberian Meat Grinder are intense fist pumping crossover blasts that have echoes of Slayer and Sacred Reich in their grooves, but there are moments that stand out amidst the almost relentless assault on the senses, an assault that is characterised by heavy breakdowns, heavyweight riffs and breakneck guitar solos. I can guarantee that the aggressive chant of the album’s title track will be lodged in your brain for days, and alongside the expected crossover ingredients there are elements of brutal rap that are seamlessly thrown into the mix, most notably on No Way Back. The combination of these elements makes for a perfectly named album, as I can’t come up with a better description for this release than Metal Bear Stomp.
Siberian Meat Grinder are a band that will appeal to fans of old school thrash, the more brutal side of crossover and for fans of the likes of Bodycount, Fire From The Gods and Suicidal Tendencies, this an intense metal influenced delivery, but, and this is a big but, the unintelligible growls of many modern metal influenced acts are replaced with a rhythmic aggressive style that brings something new to the party. The metal influences are very much to the fore on Metal Bear Stomp and they are delivered in an aggressive hardcore style, yet somehow every single track on Siberian Meat Grinder‘s debut full length has a dancefloor bounce to it, something that makes this an another unique import from Russia that, along with the likes of Svetlanas and Messer Chups, proves once more that all is not so quiet on the Eastern front.
Metal Bear Stomp is available on CD, vinyl and digital formats via Destiny Records here
Straightline VV


Vanishing Values

Bird Attack Records

Rating: 4/5




German melodic skate punkers Straightline will be releasing their latest album, Vanishing Values, worldwide tomorrow, February 10th 2017, through Bird Attack Records. The quartet, who reside in Munich, Germany, have previously released three albums, and an identical number of EPs, all of which are filled with fiery metal riffs built on a solid punk rock backbone. Their latest album, Vanishing Values, brings together the best elements of their past releases in a twelve song package, one that demonstrates why Straightline have built a loyal following that brings metalheads and punks into the fold in equal measure.

Vanishing Lives opens with Generation Lost, a furious hybrid of punk rock that incorporates the less self indulgent elements of thrash metal, including breakdowns and, thankfully brief, technical guitar solos. The album continues to vary the balance, Pleonexia leans towards a stronger influence from melodic hardcore with the metal elements on the back burner, whilst Not Afraid takes things back into the thrash realm, The album continues to veer wildly, combining their influences to produce a unique fusion of thrash metal, punk rock and melodic hardcore, and even touches of dub and folk punk, that you can’t help but be impressed by.

Straightline have produced an album that will please fans from both camps, Vanishing Lives is an album that has managed to balance the competing influences perfectly, it’s wouldn’t take a genius to guess that I prefer the tracks that have a stronger punk influence, but I didn’t encounter anything on the thrashier tracks that had me reaching to skip to the next track. You can detect a hefty influence from the likes of Propaghandi, Strung Out, Good Riddance and Lagwagon in their sound, these are married perfectly to the influences from the parallel universe that metal and thrash inhabit to produce an impressive crossover album, this is not any easy trick to pull off, but it’s one that Straightline have managed to make sound effortless.

The Bird Attack Records Bandcamp can be found here and their website is here

Straghtline‘s Facebook page can be found here and their Bandcamp is here


Destroy The Line


Bird Attack Records

Rating: 3/5




Destroy The Line, who were formerly known as Regress, are a progressive thrash punk quartet from Jacksonville, Florida, they started life as a side music project in the spring of 2015 and are formed from the ashes of numerous Floridian bands including Hatrick, Flag on Fire, Stradladder, Danka, Shadow Agency, His Name Was Iron, Hatchet Face and In Whispers. After building a local following through their live performances, including support slots for the likes of 88 Fingers Louis, they recorded a demo in the summer of 2016 which brought them to the attention of Bird Attack Records, and now less than a year after their formation their debut EP, War, has been released.

The four track War EP opens with the frantic introduction to Ordinary, this carries elements of both punk and thrash which meld together to form a satisfying crossover, the pace builds up on the EP’s title track, with it almost bordering on metalcore during the verses before breaking down into an anthemic chorus. The intensity continues to build across the EP, the urgent beat of Trenches veers further into the thrash influences with a relentless track before you head into the EP’s finale, Between Me And You. This final track eases back slightly from the strident thrash stylings that had become more prominent and, whilst still a frantic number, reverts back to the crossover style and brings the War EP full circle.

The dual vocal style, frantic rhythms and metal influenced riffs do become somewhat repetitive, something I find common in crossover bands, but having said that this is a promising debut from a band that have quickly gained a solid reputation as a live act, and Destroy The Line have produced an EP that seems to capture their essence. Whilst the approach does vary I can’t help feeling that this is something I’ve heard before, there is a predominance of metal infused punk, and punk influenced metal, bands out there and the format that many of these bands choose seems to be set in stone. Destroy The Line have made an EP that indicates they have a promising future, I just hope that they can follow the own path rather become lost amongst the herd.

 The War EP is available from today, the 13th January 2017, via Bird Attack Records here

Destroy The Line To Release ‘War’ EP

destroy-the-line-warDestroy The Line, who were formerly known as Regress, are a progressive thrash punk quartet from Jacksonville, Florida, they started life as a side music project in the spring of 2015 and are formed from the ashes of numerous Floridian bands including Hatrick, Flag on Fire, Stradladder, Danka, Shadow Agency, His Name Was Iron, Hatchet Face and In Whispers.

Their debut EP, War, will be released via Bird Attack Records on the 13th January 2017

Pre-Orders for the War EP will be available from today, the 6th January 2017, here


Thought Vomit

Punks Brutal Retaliation / Sync The Skies

Self Released

Rating: 2.5/5




After the completion of their self financed Makes No Cents tour in April 2016, Thought Vomit have been hard at work on their fourth self produced studio album, Punks Brutal Retaliation/Sync The SkiesGlass Jaw starts proceedings with samples and screaming feedback that lead into a riff that suddenly gains momentum and intensity like it’s been injected with cheap amphetamines, as the pace eases back down I find that I’m transported temporarily back to the eighties hardcore scene, where I first encountered crossover albums like this.

The first nine tracks are all an intense assault and battery of old school crossover hardcore thrash, it’s not until you get to the penultimate track, Flame In The Rain, that things change, and when I say change I mean it, this is a melodic quiet number bookended by samples and sound effects that stands out from the rest of album, it sounds like a completely different band has hijacked the recording studio. After this you then get Sync The Skies, weighing in at almost twelve minutes in length this is an intense and more menacing delivery than the tracks that preceded it, it breaks from the slower paced sinister delivery into growled hardcore and it then settles back into its menacing pace and tone, it’s tempo and intensity varying constantly through this epic final track, this is another unexpected track that for me lifts the album.

This album owes a huge debt to the more recognised bands from this scene such as Suicidal Tendencies and DRI, as well as to the original punk bands that pioneered hardcore, take a bow Black Flag and Dead Kennedys, and the myriad underground and DIY hardcore bands that made the original scene such an exciting movement to be part of. Much of the album is what you’d expect to receive, but the fact that two incredibly diverse and genre hopping tracks are included raises this album above some of its contemporaries. For me hardcore will always be at it’s best when experienced live, but this is a welcome addition to a genre that can all too often slip into a predictable and comfy rut.

Thought Vomit‘s web presence can be found here and their Facebook page is here