PREFAB MESSIAHS CREATE A MONSTER!

Rejuvenated Massachussetts garage-psych explorers THE PREFAB MESSIAHS have unveiled a new video for the appropriately-titled track ‘Monster Riff’ from their acclaimed comeback album Psychspolitation …Today!

The band’s Senior Acting Spokesperson,  Xerox Feinberg gets on the case….

“Way back in the day, a couple members of The Prefabs lived in a crappy off-campus apartment shared by a spoiled metalhead teenager sporting a giant mullet, a padlocked room full of virgin vinyl, and a massive drum set he couldn’t keep a beat on. This kid (just a few years younger than us) had nothing but contempt for our early attempts at garage-rock-pop-psych-revivalism. I traded him Alice Cooper’s Love It To Death for a battered copy of Revolver and never looked back… until now. ‘MONSTER RIFF’ is a long-delayed homage to this crazed roomie and the kind of music I spent decades snobbishly avoiding. There’s some giant guitar riffs (IMHO), bassist Trip Thompson channels a demonic Axl Rose, and somehow The Flamin’ Groovies sorta get in there too. The exquisitely animated video ties it all together with a fairly senseless melange of B-movie monsters and alternative reality Saturday morning cartoons.”

Originally existing on the Boston club scene from 1981 to ’83, The Prefab Messiahs spent the following three decades as just a memory until a Burger Records reissue of a CD-R compilation prompted renewed interest. An 8-song mini-album – Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive – in 2015 was followed earlier this year by Psychsploitation …Today!, a full-length album of all-new material.

Psychsploitation …Today! is out now through Lolipop/Burger Records. You can buy it here.

The Prefab Messiahs on Facebook

Pic by Plastic Mynd

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CHERRY RED ISSUE DOLLS DEMOS AND LIVE SET!

The NEW YORK DOLLS are to have a wealth of live material and rare demo recordings compiled in a new box set.

Debuting in New York City on Christmas Eve 1971, the Dolls are widely regarded as a precursor to punk, becoming a massive influence a wide range of artists, from Kiss tp the Ramones and The Damned and on to Morrissey and Guns’n’Roses. They were briefly managed by Malcolm McLaren pre-Pistols and ex-Dolls guitarist was special guest on the fables Anarchy Tour of ’77, later returning in 2004 for a Morrissey-instigated reunion.

The 5 CD Personality Crisis: Live Recordings & Studio Demos 1972-1975 brings together early demos recorded with original drummer Billy Murcia prior to his tragic death in November ’72, and demos for their debut album in March 73. The set also features three discs worth of live recordings from Paris, NYC, Long Island, Vancouver, Detroit and Dallas, from ’73 to ’75.

Fully remastered for this release, the set also includes a booklet with full sleevenotes and rarely seen photos.

Set for release on 27 April through Cherry Red, Personality Crisis is available to pre-order here.

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NEW D.O.A. ALBUM ARRIVES!

Canadian punk legends D.O.A. return with a new studio album next month.

Fight Back, which is set for release on 1 May, follows on from the band’s previous album Hard Rain Falling in 2015.

The Vancouver band have gone through numerous line-ups since they evolved out of THE SKULLS in 1978. Thei latest configuration sees founding frontman/guitarist Joe ‘Shithead’ Keithley joined by Paddy Duddy on drums and Corkscrew on bass.

Allegedly the first band to use the term ‘hardcore’ in reference to punk, the band have clocked up a whopping 17 studio albums and have played upwards of 4,000 shows on five different continents.

Exhibiting a strong activist ethic, the band has played numerous benefit gigs and staged protests supporting such causes as environmental issues, women’s rights, food bank benefits, and stood against war, racism, weapons proliferation, and countless other causes.

At one time an aspiring civil rights lawyer, as well as author of a book entitled TALK – ACTION = 0, Keithley has recently declared that he is standing for Mayor in his hometown of Burnaby, British Columbia on behalf of the local Green Party, announcing via Instagram,  “I am going to fight for grassroots democracy where everybody’s voice is heard! I will put a stop to the heartless Demovictions that are a disgrace to Burnaby, BC and Canada. The Burnaby Greens will work towards making Burnaby a greener and more sustainable city.”

In May, the band kick off a series of 40th Anniversry dates across the US, with MDC in support. They play….

5/21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
5/22 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
5/23 – Fort Collins,CO @ Hodi’s Half Note
5/24 – Denver, CO @ Streets Of London Pub
5/26 – Las Vegas, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling Festival
5/29 – Laguna Niguel, CA @ Karmann Bar
5/30 – West Hollywood, CA @ The Viper Room
5/31 – San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick

6/02 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge
6/03 – Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
6/04 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
6/05 – Harlingen, TX @ Hop Shop
6/06 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
6/07 – Houston, TX @ The Secret Group
6/08 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
6/09 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar and Grill
6/10 – Tulsa, OK @ Shrine
6/12 – Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
6/13 – Des Moines, IA @ Lefty’s Live Music
6/15 – Billings, MT @ The Pub Station
6/16 – Spokane, WA @ The Pin!

D.O.A. on Facebook

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CLASSIC POSTER BOOK REISSUED!

Extradition Books, the book publishing sister company of Vive Le Rock, is proud to reissue the classic book Pin-Ups 1972-82: Ten Years Of Classic Posters From The Punk, New Wave And Glam Era in a softcover coffee-table format.

Bolstered by dozens of new images and new insights from those who were there, this collection of over 200 posters  – featuring iconic images of timeless artists like Bowie, Blondie, Ramones, The Damned, Adam Ant, Motörhead, Suicide, Iggy Pop, Tom Robinson Band and Lou Reed – celebrates a decade’s music and design.

Drawing on scores of personal interviews with stars, artists, photographers and fly-posting mafiosi, Alwyn Turner and Roger Crimlis tell the stories behind the pictures from a golden age of rock & roll.  Adam Ant – eminently qualified as both art student and popstar – has provided a brand new and insightful foreword to this edition.

Due for publication on 11 May, Pin-Ups is available for pre-order now from Viveleshop.com.

The book will be launched at a pair of events in London next week at…

Daunt’s, Marylebone
Tuesday 24th April 6:30-8:00 pm

The Flood Gallery, Greenwich
Thursday 26th April 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Admission is free by guestlist only. Contact Chris Hewlett at chris@chrishewlett.com to arrange admission.

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GANG OF FOUR UNVEIL NEW TRACK!

GANG OF FOUR have unveiled a new track from their forthcoming EP.

‘Ivanka (Things You Can’t Have)’ is the second track to be lifted from the band’s Complicit EP, which represents their first new music in three years. As you might’ve guessed, it’s inspired by the daughter of the current President of the USA, and features NOVA TWINS’ Amy Love alongside Gang Of Four vocalist Gaoler.

Speaking of the track’s lyrics, which weave in direct quotes from Ivanka about herself and observations about her father, band guitarist and founder Andy Gill says, “It would’ve been easy to be extremely damning about Donald Trump and of course, like everyone else, I could have called him all kinds of names. What drew me to this subject at all was the running commentary from Ivanka in the earlier stages of this administration – it was fascinating to get a kind of explanation or justification from the daughter who had already been given an official position within the White House. And frankly, a lot of it was pretty funny. But although the characters in the Trump family are interesting, it’s more the ideologies and politics which they represent and enable which need describing.”

You can stream ‘Ivanka (Things You Can’t Have)’ here.

The 4-track Complicit EP is set for release on 20 April.

Gang Of Four play the following dates…

27 April BOLOGNA, ITALY Zona Roveri Music Factory

28 April ROME, ITALY Traffic Club Roma

14 May BUENOS ARIES, PALERMO, ARGENTINA Niceto Club

19 May MEXICO CITY, CUAUHTEMOC, MEXICO Festival Marvin, CDMX

3 August HORTEN, NORWAY Bueskytterbanen

5 October LONDON, UK Indie Daze, 100 Club

Gang Of Four on Facebook

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BUSTER SHUFFLE VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Strike a light! Cockney-ska roustabouts BUSTER SHUFFLE are back with a new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘We Fall To Pieces’ is taken from their rambunctious fourth album I’ll Take What I Want which was released through Burning Heart Records last November.

After cruising in the Bahamas with FLOGGING MOLLY, the band have dates in Germany before accompanying THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES around the US, save for a couple of UK shows as guests of MAD CADDIES. Full dates are….

18.04 – Will’s Pub, Orlando, FL – USA
20-23.04 – Flogging Molly’s Salty Dog Cruise, Miami, FL, USA to Bahamas
27.04 – Mephisto, Hannover – Germany
28.04 – Monkey’s Club, Hamburg – Germany
30.04 – Bi Nuu, Berlin – Germany
16-28.05 – Punk Rock Bowling, Las Vegas, NV – USA
26.06 – Ace Of Spades, Sacramento, CA – USA (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
27.06 – The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA – USA (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
30.06 – House Of Blues, San Diego, CA – USA (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
03.07 – The Van Buren, Phoenix, AZ – USA (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
05.07 – Scoot Inn, Austin, TX – USA (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
06.07 – House Of Blues, Houston, TX – USA (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
07.07 – House Of Blues, Dallas, TX – USA (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
31.07 – O2 Academy, Newcastle – UK (with Mad Caddies)
01.08 – O2 Institute 2, Birmingham – UK (with Mad Caddies)
18.08 – Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, ONT – Canada (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
19.08 – Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI – USA (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
21.08 – The Vogue, Miniapolis, IN – USA (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
22.08 – House Of Blues, Chicago, IL – USA (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
23.08 – House Of Blues, Cleveland, OH – USA (with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)

Buster Shuffle on Facebook

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BOOZE AND GLORY VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Award-winning street-punks BOOZE & GLORY have a new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘The Time Is Now’ is lifted from the band’s acclaimed album Chapter IV, their debut for Burning Heart Records, released in March last year.

Produced by Jaka Curlic (JZA CREW / PunkRock Holiday), the video was shot on tour at the end of last year and is the last to feature departed guitarist Liam.

The band recently walked away with the New Blood Award at the inaugural Vive Le Rock Awards held at the O2 Academy in London.

Having already clocked up over 100 shows worldwide since the release of Chapter IV, they now head off on a tour of the USA and Canada, briefly returning to Europe before heading for Australia. Full dates are…

19.04 – Reggies Rock Club – Chicago, IL, USA
20.04 – Sanctuary – Detroit, MI, USA
21.04 – Hard Luck – Toronto, Ont, Canada
22.04 – Coop Katacombes, Montreal, Canada
24.04 – Fuze Box, Albany, NY, USA
25.04 – Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA
26.04 – Brighton Bar – Long Branch, NJ, USA
28.04 – Hard Core Stadium, Cambridge, MA, USA
29.04 – Dover Brickhouse – Dover, DE, USA
02.06 – Paddy Fest, Aerzen – Germany
15,06 – Vaudeville, Lindau (Bodensee) – Germany
16.06 – With Full Force Fest, Grafenhainichen – Germany
30.06 – Ultra Chaos Picnic Fest, Zelebsko – Poland
06.07 – Duycker, Hoofdorp – Netherlands
07-08.07 – Ruhpott Rodeo Fest. Bottrop – Germany
15.07 – Mighty Sounds Fest Tabor – Czech Republic
04.08 – Pol’And’Rock Fest, Kostrzyn – Poland
05.08 – Xtreme Fest, Albi – France
09.08 – Endless Summer Fest, Torgau – Germany
24.08 – Reload Festival, Sulingen – Germany
30.08 – Spirit Fest, Niedergorsdorf – Germany
01.09 – Tattoo Convention, Augsburg – Germany
20.09 – Crown And Anchor, Adelaide – Australia
21.09 – Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne – Australia
22.09 – Transit Bar, Canberra – Australia
23.09 – Valve Bar, Sydney – Australia
25.09 – Rad Bar, Wollongong – Australia
26.09 – Hamilton Station Bar, Newcastle – Australia
28.09 – Crowbar, Brisbane – Australia

Booze & Glory on Facebook

 

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NIKKI SUDDEN’S DUBLIN SESSIONS REISSUED!

NIKKI SUDDEN is to have a collection of rare recordings reissued for Record Store Day.

Originally released on the Irish label Hotwire in 1986, The Last Bandits In The World was recorded in Dublin the previous year, following the initial demise of Sudden and Dave Kusworth’s band, The Jacobites. For the recording, Sudden hooked up with guitarist Johnny Fean of Irish folk-rock legends HORSLIPS and Simon Carmody from garage-psychers THE GOLDEN HORDE for sessions produced by Horslips drummer Eamon Carr.

The Last Bandits In The World – Complete sees the original 10-track release expanded with the addition of the rare ‘Christmas Morning’ single – with Sudden and Carmody joined by sometime WINGS and DR FEELGOOD guitarist Henry McCullough, future Supernatural actor Mark Sheppard and Sam Steiger and John Connors from The Golden Horde  – and the 1989 12″ ‘The Angels Are Calling’, recorded with members of THE WATERBOYS. The set is completed by the inclusion of one previously unreleased studio outtake, ‘Tell Me’.

Fully remastered at Woodbine Studios, Leamington Spa by Carmody with longtime Sudden producer/engineer John A Rivers, The Last Bandits In The World – Complete is being released through Seventeen Records as a limited edition deluxe gatefold 18-track double-album for Record Store Day (21 April), followed in May by a CD release, available to pre-order here.

Listen to ‘Winter’.

The Last Bandits In The World on Facebook

 

 

 

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SMASH FASHION VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

L.A. powerpoppers SMASH FASHION return with a new single and they’re premiering the brilliant new video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Runs In The Family’ is the first single to be taken from the band’s fourth album Rompus Pompous which is out this month and follows on from 2014’s acclaimed debut Big Cat Love.

Blending glam, psych, powerpop and punk, Smash Fashion have been tearing up stages with the likes of Ian Hunter,  Psychedelic Furs, Cheap Trick and Silversun Pickups for a few years. On the strength of this swaggering street-shakin’ party-starter, it looks like the new album will be a real gamechanger for the band.

Smash Fashion on Facebook

Pic by Jeff Forney

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LOUISE DISTRAS UNVEILS NEW SINGLE!

LOUISE DISTRAS returns this month with a new single and a string of dates.

‘Land Of Dope And Glory’ is a first taste of Louise’s forthcoming, as yet untitled, album, set for release this Autumn. The album follows on from her hugely successful and highly acclaimed debut album Dreams From The Factory Floor, first released in the UK 2013 and throughout the rest of the world in 2015.

The new album was recorded in Oakland, California with Ross Petersen (Bruce Springsteen, Goo Goo Dolls, ) and Steve Whale of The Business In the producers’ chairs.

Speaking about the single, Louise says, “G.O.D. stands for gold, oil and drugs. Because in a world where God is money, it feels like the constant consumer manipulation that we as people face on a daily basis from big corporations and government stands against everything we value as human beings; peace, love and understanding.”

Louise heads out on tour this week, playing St Albans tonight and winding up at Camden Underworld on 10 May. Full dates are….

11 April – St. Albans, The Horn
12 April – Newport, Le Pub
13 April – Stowmarket, John Peel Centre
14 April – Tunbridge Wells, Forum Basement
15 April – Southampton, The Joiners
17 April – Nottingham, The Bodega
19 April – Preston, The Ferret
20 April – Bridgwater, The Cobblestones
23 April – Stoke on Trent, The Underground
24 April – Newcastle, The Cluny
25 April – Glasgow, Audio
26 April – Hull, The Polar Bear
28 April – Birmingham, The Castle & Falcon
29 April – Selby, Pop Punk Pile Up
10 May – London, The Underworld

Tickets are available here.

Louise Distras on Facebook

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CELIBATE RIFLES’ MEXICAN STAND-OFF!

Australian punk icons THE CELIBATE RIFLES are back with their first release in 14 years.

Meeting The Mexicans: Live In Melbourne is the Sydney band’s first new album since 2004’s Beyond Respect, and the third live album of their career.

The album is a result of an increased period of activity from the band, who’ve been playing several dates over the past couple of years, including a tour with reformed Aussie legends THE SUNNYBOYS.

Recorded at the city’s Thornbury Theatre in June last year, Meeting The Mexicans features 12 tracks, half electric and half acoustic, including covers of The MC5’s ‘Shakin’ Street’ and Iggy & The Stooges’ ‘Gimme Danger’.

Speaking about the release, guitarist and band founder Kent Steedman told Vive Le Rock, “We had a long soundcheck as we had to set up for two different sets, so it was a longer than usual lead-up. This was the first time in many years that we tried an acoustic set, it went over well as always, despite its imperfections, and listening back to it the feel and humour was there, hence this CD. There’s a couple of handling errors and ‘feet into touch’ because we chose to present it as it was played, rather than fix things in production. The album has been remixed with the intent of giving an idea of the energy conveyed, rather than cleansing and polishing it. Where possible, we included songs that had not been out on previous live records. Meeting The Mexicans is perhaps a happy accident, and is a bit like an old bootleg, but this time we are exploiting ourselves. We hope you enjoy and listen to this CD in that spirit!”

Meeting The Mexicans is released as a limited edition CD here before being made available for streaming.

Check out their version of ‘Gimme Danger’.

Celibate Rifles on Facebook

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BIG BOY BLOATER DROPS PILLS!

Blues-rock titan and Vive Le Rock Awards nominee BIG BOY BLOATER and his band THE LIMITS have just released a new video.

‘Pills’ is the title track from their forthcoming new album which is out on 15 June through Provogue/Mascot.

Following the 2016 release of Luxury Hobo, which made Vive Le Rock‘s Albums of the Year, Bloater and his band have stripped down to a trio, with a rhythm section comprising Matt Cowley on drums and Steven Oates on bass.

Speaking about the title track, Bloater says, “I think the sinister side to it is the pharmaceutical companies want you to take these drugs and they want you to keep on thinking you’re ill so they can sell you tablets. It’s gonna get to the point where you’re taking anti-biotics for everything, eventually they won’t work and we’re all gonna die from a super flu.”

Big Boy Bloater on Facebook

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RADIO BIRDMAN FLY IN!

Aussie legends RADIO BIRDMAN have announced another string of European dates for the autumn.

First formed in 1974, the band have been increasingly active in the live stakes, having last played the UK in 2016.

These latest dates follow on from the success of Descent Into The Maelstrom: The Radio Birdman Story, a full length documentary by Jonathan J Sequeira. The film recently made its UK debut as part of the Vive Le Rock sponsored Soundscreen Film Festival, where Sequeira and the band’s original drummer Ron Keeley were grilled in a Q&A by Vive Le Rock‘s esteemed editor Eugene Butcher.

Inclduding one UK at their regular haunt of The Dome, Tufnell Park, London, Radio Birdman play the following dates….

10 Oct – Patronaat Haarlem, Harlem (ND)
11 Oct – Het Burgerweeshuis, Deventer (ND)
12 Oct – Paard, Den Haag (ND)
13 Oct – Het Bos, Antwerp (BE)
14 Oct – Wilde Westen, Kortrijk (BE)
16 Oct – The Dome, Tufnell Park, London (UK)
17 Oct – Alhambra, Paris (FR)
18 Oct – tba, France
19 Oct – Carnavalorock, St Brieuc (FR)
20 Oct – tba, France
22 Oct – Molotow, Hamburg (DE)
23 Oct – Lido Berlin, Berlin (DE)
25 Oct – Fuzz Live Music Club, Athens (GR)
26 Oct – Locomotiv Club, Bologna (IT)
27 Oct – Otis Tours B-Day at Druso, Bergamo (IT)
28 Oct – Spazio 211, Turin (IT)
30 Oct – Hell Dorado, Vitoria-Gasteiz (SP)
31 Oct – Caracol, Madrid (SP)
1 Nov – Sala Planta Baja, Granada (SP)
2 Nov – Funstastic Dracula, Benidorm (SP)
3 Nov – Sala Zero, Tarragona (SP)

Watch a trailer for Descent Into The Maelstrom.

 

Radio Birdman on Facebook

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AGGRESSION VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Canadian thrashers AGGRESSION unleash a brand new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Tales Of Terror’ is from the band’s accurately-titled fourth album Feels Like Punk, Sounds Like Thrash, which is out on 25 May through Dissonance.

The original incarnation of Aggression was formed in Quebec in the mid-80s, lasting four years and sharing stages with the likes of ANVIL and VOIVOD, releasing the classic Full Treatment album in 1988. Relocating to Vancouver, the band returned in 2014 with a new line-up built around guitarist Sasquatch and extensive gigging. Feels Like Punk… sees them back on form and touring in honour of the 30th Anniversary of Full Treatment.

Aggression on Facebook

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ARTHUR ALEXANDER TRACK PREMIERE!

ARTHUR ALEXANDER, founder of NYC power-poppers SORROWS and the Cyril Jordan-produced THE POPPEES, returns with his debut solo album next month. And he’s sharing the track ‘Psycho-Automatic’ exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Not to be confused with the US soul legend of ‘You Better Move On’ fame, this Arthur Alexander emigrated to New York from Warsaw, forming the The Poppees, who became regulars ad Max’s Kansas City and were the very first new band signed to Greg Shaw’s iconic BOMP! label. Later signing to CBS for two albums with his new band Sorrows, Alexander enjoyed a mid-life career producing album for the likes of T-MODEL FORD and KING MUD for Alive Naturalsound.

His debut solo album One Bar Left makes good use of Arthur’s various influences and experiences on both sides of the desk, running the gamut from power-pop to punk and rock’n’roll.

“I started writing ‘Psycho-Automatic’ in 1984, when I lived in New York City,” he says. “And finished it in Los Angeles as it was percolating in my head til 2016 (what do you mean, I’m slow!?!?!), going through various changes, additions and rewrites. Though the lyrics are pretty ‘out there’ and ‘psycho-conceptual,’ they also reflect in parts the turmoil that was slowly building up in my own life back then. Opening with the 9th chord, undoubtedly, and however subconsciously, inspired by The Beatles’ ‘It’s Getting Better’, I’m rather proud to say that the similarity ends there. Aaron Minton from a great L.A. band – Prima Donna (they have a new record coming out on Wicked Cool Records soon) – on tenor sax, for a blistering and psycho(tic) solo break, and then, Aaron, actually all eight Aarons! ;), turns into a full horn section for the remainder of the song. Also, playing spectacular bass lines is my Polish friend Wojtek Pilichowski, a MONSTER of a bass player. Just google him… and make sure you’re sitting down! He’s featured on several other songs on the album as well.”

One Bar Left is set for release on 4 May through Dead Beat Records. It’s available to pre-order on red and black vinyl and CD here.

Arthur Alexander on Facebook

Pic by Jeremy White

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THE DAMNED’S EVIL SPIRITS – TRACK BY TRACK!

Following a hugely successful UK tour, THE DAMNED returned last month with a double A-side single culled from their forthcoming Evil Spirits album – their first new album in 10 years – which is released on 13 April via Search And Destroy/Spinefarm Records. The single featured the tracks ‘Look Left’ and ‘Devil In Disguise’, two songs that perfectly represent the album’s many shifting moods and styles.

Last week the band put a cap on the first quarter of the year when they headlined the inaugural Vive Le Rock Awards, tearing to the roof of the O2 Academy, Islington and picking up the award for Band Of The Year into the bargain.

They now take a bit of a breather before heading off round Europe in May, returning in June to play a series of UK arena shows as special guests to Alice Cooper’s HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES.

In the meantime, read on for a track-by-track run-down of Evil Spirits….

 

‘Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow’ (watch video)

Up-to-the-minute garage psychedelia that gallops like Scott Walker’s ‘The Seventh Seal’, amid ominous ‘dies irae’ chorale and mucho post-millennial frustration. Vanian: “An optimistic song even though it is about a dark subject. In a world obsessed by ‘self’, this is a cry for humanity to recognize its humanity, before it’s too late. There is a strong influence of Joe Meek here: ‘Telstar’ was a glorious song about the opportunities of the future. I’d like to think that ‘SOTEOT’ reflects a similar sentiment.”

‘The Devil In Disguise’ (listen)

Another energetic garage-punk monster, replete with Monty Oxy Moron’s era-specific Farfisa organ. Pinch: “People gravitate towards blaming individuals rather than the systems they are part of. Figureheads are only puppets. It’s the puppet masters we should be concerned about. The enemy of our enemy is our friend, apparently.”

‘We’re So Nice’

“Where there’s dispute you’ll find us there…” Sensible’s broadside against Anglo-American imperialist meddling around the world bops along gleefully on a Motown beat amid a deluge of melodic excellence. Sensible: “With all that we know about the Iraq war, and its consequences, does anyone still think we were the ‘heroes’?”

‘Look Left’ (listen)

Sugar coated mind grenade, addressing post-millennial society’s “media-induced coma” Vanian: “The weird thing about Pinch is, he listens to the most obnoxious music a lot of the time – all the real hardcore punk stuff – and he a very loud drummer, too, but then he goes and writes this great big show tune – like a massive ensemble cast coming on to sing at the end of the play!” Pinch: “While everybody’s looking left, what the hell is happening right? Tough subject matter is easier to digest when coated in honey rather than vinegar and the message in this song is so important, I couldn’t risk it being a throw away aggro punk tune that was immediately overlooked. I see it more as a love song to the human race. The future is here, and until you awaken your mind, I’ll wait for you.”

‘Evil Spirits’

Fantastically searching, in the best sense ‘progressive’, rocker, with vague echoes of The Who’s ‘Magic Bus’ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’, and some commensurately exploratory soloing from Sensible. An urgently free-spirited riposte to today’s political stasis. Sensible: “Whoever you vote for, nothing changes. Labour or Tory, two cheeks of same bum.” Vanian: “The Who are never far away from The Damned’s sound. We’ve had some big noses in this band, too. I suppose there are some parallels between us, because they were a high-energy band, too, but then Pete started writing his rock-opera stuff, stretching out, looking for different ways of writing. Queen did the same sort of thing as well – we’re one of those bands whose music can cover different genres of music, within one song.”

‘Shadow Evocation’

Quintessential Vanianism, about espousing the night and finding a better way forward than “chasing ghosts of the past”. Features acrobatic backing vocals from American singer-songwriter Kristeen Young. Vanian: ”Kristeen has a remarkable vocal range reminiscent of Yma Sumac [1950’s Peruvian-American soprano]. Her singing at the end of the song was originally played on a Theramin but once Kristeen sang the part, there was no need for the instrument anymore.”

‘Sonar Deceit’

Another garage-psych belter, propelled by a jaunty His Latest Flame-style bassline. “What makes a fish desert the sea?” ponders the Captain in this hard-hitting critique of whales and dolphins being driven insane by bombardment by deafening sonar.

Sensible: “What could it possibly be that drives whales and dolphins to prostrate themselves on beaches around the world?”

‘Procrastination’

Noel Coward-esque study of creative deferral, with more mid-’60s Farfisa from Mr Oxy Moron. Sensible: “One of Monty’s, this one. A bit of self-analysis here: what could be the reason that this band’s last album was recorded back in 2008? It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself – well, at least I think he’s talking about himself there… Isn’t he? Or is it me? Blimey!”

‘Daily Liar’

Co-written by Sensible (tune) and Vanian (lyric), another anger-fuelled barnstormer, with a Kinksian introductory fanfare, a driving beat, and a stirring melodic ascent. All together now: say “no, no, no…no-no” to media misinformation! Sensible: “For his own selfish reasons, Trump started a discussion about ‘fake news’, but it’s one that some might say has been long overdue. Not a pinch of salt required – you need a whole cellar of the stuff these days.”

‘I Don’t Care’

Punk heedlessness rebooted as a triptych of political disaffection, spanning moody piano balladry, Who-y explosiveness, and nocturnal jazz

Vanian: “This should have been a short song, perhaps only a minute long, written on a rainy afternoon in my study. Demoing the song, I almost forgot that there were two more sections, turning it into a three-part epic in about the same amount of minutes, which seems longer because of the differing moods.”

Evil Spirits is available on digital download via Spotify and i-Tunes, on CD and 180g vinyl available to pre-order HERE

Catch The Damned live at….

EUROPE:

May 17 – Frankfurt – Batschkapp
May 19 – Lausanne – Les Docks
May 20 – Milan – Magnolia
May 22 – Munich – Strom
May 23 – Berlin – SO36

May 25 – Hamburg – Fabrik
May 26 – Oberhausen – Turbinenhalle
May 27 – Amsterdam – Melkweg Oude Zaal

May 29 – Paris – Petit Bain

UK:

June 16 – Birmingham – Genting Arena *

June 17 – Manchester – Arena *

June 19 – Glasgow – The SSE Hydro *

June 20 – London – The SSE Arena, Wembley *

US:
July 1 – Oakland – Burger Boogaloo Festival

July 5 – Vancouver – Commodore Ballroom (on sale 4/6 10am PST)
July 6 – Portland – Crystal Ballroom (on sale 4/6 10am PST)
July 7 – Seattle – Showbox at the Market (on sale 4/6 10am PST)

UK:

August 22 – Southampton – 02 Guildhall

August 23 – Holmfirth – Holmfirth Picture House

August 24 – Warrington – Warrington Parr Hall

August 25 – Belfast – Belsonic Festival (main support to Stiff Little Fingers)

* supporting the Hollywood Vampires

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ARCHIE AND THE BUNKERS EXCLUSIVE!

Organ-grinding sibling duo ARCHIE & THE BUNKERS have a new video, which they’re launching exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘She’s A Rockin’ Machine’ is taken from the Cleveland OH outfit’s second album Songs From The Lodge, which is out on 20 April through Dirty Water. Pre-order it here.

The brothers are planning a return to Europe this summer. Check their website for details.

Archie & The Bunkers on Facebook

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BRIAN JAMES: NOT SLOWING DOWN!

While THE DAMNED have been basking in the limelight of their new album, original band founder BRIAN JAMES hasn’t been idle, revealing a brand new video as a taster for an expanded reissue of his hard-to-find debut solo album, as well as announcing a London date.

Brian James was originally recorded in 1990 following the break-up of James’ 80s band THE LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH. It was released on French label New Rose, formed a decade earlier, its name taken from the James- penned Damned debut single.

Reissued on 27 April through Easy Action Records, the album has been fully remastered for vinyl with two bonus tracks, new artwork and liner-notes by Brian. It’s available to pre-order here.

Brian recently went into the studio in Brighton, with drummer Malcolm Mortimer (who played on the original album) and bassist Austin Gayton, to make a video for the track ‘Slow It Down’. The video was shot by Tim and Poppy from fast-rising Birmingham garage trio TABLE SCRAPS.

“Although we’d factored in the usual amount of time for bands to take rests and to fuck up a few takes, Brian, Austin and Malcolm didn’t miss a single beat,” reveals Tim. “They had more energy and enthusiasm during the shoot than any teenage band I’ve filmed or seen play and it’s clear that Brian lives and breathes rock’n’roll.”

Brian James has just announced a show at The Lexington in London on 28 June, with Table Scraps as support. Tickets are on sale here.

Brian is currently working on his autobiography.

© Barry Pitman/www.pixelsonapage.com

 

Brian James on Facebook

 

 

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