Aussie underground legend JOHN DOWLER is back with a new album with his current band THE VANITY PROJECT.
Dowler came to fame (of sorts) as frontman of Adelaide new wave powerpop band YOUNG MODERN who, at odds with the prevailing punk sound peddled by the likes of Radio Birdman and The Saints, burned brightly but briefly during the late 70s, leaving the posthumous album Play Faster.
Dowler go on to front Melbourne’s The Zimmermen during the 80s Australian underground explosion, best known for the jangling classic ‘Don’t Go To Sydney’.
12 Stitches, John Dowler’s Vanity Project’s second album, features ten new originals, plus covers of The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds nugget ‘That’s Not Me’ and Split Enz’s first album classic ‘Time For A Change’.
12 Stitches is available now on CD and download from Half A Cow Records through Bandcamp.
On Friday 1 May, Bandcamp are waiving their fees so that profits from all sales will go directly to the artist/label.
Fans of 80s post-punk/gothic-rockers INCA BABIES can delight that the band’s founder and songwriter HARRY STAFFORD is back with a new solo album.
Gothic Urban Blues finds Stafford working with a new band, featuring members of the Inca Babies and The Membranes, who take their name from his previous album Guitar Shaped Hammers, which came out in 2017.
The album finds Stafford moving away from the strident, caustic punk-blues of the Babies, in favour of a more reflective, haunted, piano-led sound closer to the likes of Nick Cave and Tom Waits.
“The unrelenting noise of the city, the sounds, the music, the traffic, with all its citizens shouting through the hubbub,” says Stafford about the album. “Trying to make a mark with incessant hunger and ruthless desire. All seeking their fortune in the grime. Some satisfied to be alive and some probing for their place among the immortals: someone to love, something to blow your mind and a ‘soul sonic vision’ to look beyond the vista in a penthouse demi-heaven. Half the dream of the urban city sprawl: all the sound of Gothic Urban Blues.”
Pioneers of gypsy-pop-punk, ONE THE JUGGLER are back with their first new single in 35 years!
The South-East London band were tipped for major success during the early 80s with an album and several chart-grazing singles for RCA’s Regard imprint and tour supports with the likes of Big Country and Elvis Costello.
Originally featuring former Eddie & The Hot Rods drummer Steve Nicol, the band would recruit no less than Mick Ronson as guitarist and producer for their second album Some Strange Fashion, before disappearing.
Founder members Rokko, Lushi and Lin recently reconvened to record the new digital single ‘Clockwork Kitty’, a dynamic Clockwork Orange-inspired rocker that shows they’ve lost none or their edge.
‘Clockwork Kitty’ is one of two new tracks added to the reissued 2007 album Destination Planet Blue, a remastered collection of demos and unreleased tracks.
Released through Real Vision Records, Destination Planet Blue and ‘Clockwork Kitty’ are available now through Spotify and all the usual platforms.
London post-hardcore mob DEALING WITH DAMAGE are back with a new EP and they’re premiering a video for the lead track exclusively with Vive Le Rock today!
‘Lady Day’ is taken from the 3-track digital EP Home Security, which comes hot on the heels of the band’s debut album Ask The Questions, released in February.
‘Lady Day’ explores themes of racism and sexism through the life story of jazz legend Billie Holliday. Says frontman Ed Wenn, “’Lady Day’ points to the suffering of women (and women of colour in particular) by the music industry over the years. Andy [Myers, guitar/vocals] and I took moments from the life of jazz singer Billie Holiday to use as examples of the terrible treatment dished out to her and her peers, but it’s impossible not to be moved by the strength and resilience of someone like Lady Day and so we wrap up the song as something of a celebration of her life and how – despite the tragedy of much of it – her work could be symbolic of the triumph of the human spirit over the racist, sexist, machine that she worked under.”
The quartet, who comprise former members of such semi-legendary bands as Sink, K-Line, Done Lying Down, Jerrybuilt, Stupids and The Scum Children, recorded the EP at No Recording Studio near Rayliegh in Essex with engineer John Hannon (Hundred Reasons, Eight Rounds Rapid). The EP also features ‘Making Plans For Misery’, which casts a stark eye on the use of trade sanctions by the US and EU, and a cover of ‘Dust’ from Texas psychonauts 13th Floor Elevators’ undervalued second album Easter Everywhere.
Home Security is set for release on 15 May through Little Rocket Records, and is available to pre-order here.
L.A. punk legends X are back with their original line-up and a brand new album.
Alphabetland marks forty years since the band’s classic Los Angeles album and thirty-five since the line-up of Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake last made an album.
The project’s been brewing since late 2018, when the original foursome convened to work on five songs with producer Rob Schnapf, their first recordings since 1985’s Ain’t Love Grand. The five if them then returned to the studio at the start of this year to lay down a further seven songs completing the tracklisting for Alphabetland.
“When your heart is broken you think every song is about that. These songs were written in the last 18 months and it blows my mind how timely they are,” explains John Doe. “We all want our family, friends and fans to hear our records as soon as it’s finished. This time we could do that. Thanks to Fat Possum and our audience.”
The albums’ been released by Fat Possum via Bandcamp, although the band are looking to release it via alternative avenues as soon as possible.
Ahead of the release of his new album, due out sometime later this year, JIM BOB, of CARTER USM fame, has unveiled the short-but-totally-on-the-money single, ‘2020 WTF!’.
“I wrote ‘2020 WTF!’ at the end of 2019,” he says. “Back then I made an educated guess that the things that seemed so awful and negative – terrorism, war, knife and gun crime, school shootings, toxic masculinity, polarised opinion on social media, etc – wouldn’t miraculously disappear with the final bongs, fireworks and boogie-woogie piano notes of the New Year.
“So I took a punt and included the song in what will be my new album. I’d always planned on releasing ‘2020 WTF!’ as a single around about now. Little did I know how lacking of a third verse it might end up sounding. How elephanty in the room it is. But the sentiment in the song remains the same. Uplifting and moving songs at difficult times are great. ‘Imagine’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ do their trick just fine. But sometimes what you need is 26 seconds of punk rock discombobulation and despair to scream at the wall.”
Canadian rocker PHILIP RAMBOW is to have his back catalogue released as a new box set next month.
The Montreal native, who’s long been resident in the UK, is currently enjoying a resurgence with the release of Canadiana, his first new album in five years.
A man with a much-storied career, Rambow worked the early 70s pub-rock circuit with THE WINKIES, who would be recruited as BRIAN ENO’s backing band before splitting. Rambow went on to a new band with MICK RONSON, later co-writing KIRSTY MacCOLL’S Top 20 hit ‘There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swear’s He’s Elvis’.
Across three CDs, The Rebel Kind – Anthology 1972-2020 brings together Rambow’s two albums for EMI – Shooting Gallery (’79) and Jungle Law (’81), plus his 2015 comeback album Whatever Happened To Phil Rambow?
The set is filled out with a wealth of bonus material, including four previously unreleased songs from his project with Ronson and an unreleased demo with Glen Matlock, Gary Holton and James Stevenson, coming right up-to-date with two songs from Canadiana.
Set for release on 29 May through Cherry Red, The Rebel Kind is available to pre-order here.
Canadiana is released on Friday 24 April through Fretsore Records and is available to pre-order here.
Check out Philip Rambow in action at Dingwalls, London in ’79…
You can read the full story of Philip Rambow in the new edition of Vive Le Rock! available here.
Crazy Italian psych-punks CHOW have just dropped an explosive debut album that looks set to be nipping at the heels of Album Of The Year lists, lockdown or no.
The cryptically-named Ancient Gentle Tower comprises a whopping 14 tracks, fusing breakneck overdriven 80s/90s punk in the manner of Hüsker Dü and Dinosaur Jr with the melodic psych of very early REM and appears to be based around a loose concept about meeting a walrus in the fog.
Hailing from the historic university city of Bologna, the three-piece Chow bring together two members of local psych heroes THE TUNAS and one from powerpop darlings THE CLASSMATES, and have previously released a pair of EPs and a cassette mini-album.
Released through Slack Records, Ancient Gentle Tower is available digitally and on CD through Bandcamp, with a vinyl version to follow.
One of the more pleasing side-effects of the Covid-19 lockdown is the number of musicians engaging in cross-continental collaboration.
The latest bunch to come together over the ether are international garage-rock supergroup THE SANITIZERS.
Comprising members of various well-known garage bands, they’ve recorded the single ‘SA-NI-TI-ZIN” for Spanish label Folc Records, who are releasing it via Bandcamp to raise much-needed funds for Spanish hospitals. And they’re premiering the cheap’n’cheerful homemade video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
The Sanitizers comprise Eric Baconstrip from KING SALAMI & THE CUMBERLAND THREE, Dan Criscuolo and Spencer Evoy from MFC CHICKEN, Peter Greenberg and Phil Lenker (BARRENCE WHITFIELD & THE SAVAGES, THE LYRES) and Peter Zaremba (THE FLESHTONES).
THE GODFATHERS have announced a brand new single for summer release.
The double-A-side single features two news songs – ‘I’m Not Your Slave’ and ‘Wild And Free’. Their release on 17 June marks thirty-five years to the day that the original line-up of the band played their very first gig together at London’s Embassy Club.
The two tracks were recorded just before the UK entered the lockdown period, and although they were written late last year, the lyrics of both songs eerily reflect the current situation.
Band frontman and founder Peter Coyne, describes the songs as “truly exciting, state of the art rock and roll”.
Punk supergroup FAKE NAMES have unveiled another new track from their forthcoming debut album.
As previously revealed, the band – which comprises MINOR THREAT’s Brian Baker, Michael Hampton from S.O.A., Dennis Lyxzén from REFUSED and INTERNATIONAL NOISE CONSPIRACY and Johnny Temple of GIRLS AGAINST BOYS – are set to release their self-titled debut through Epitaph on 8 May.
‘First Everlasting’ follows on from ‘Lost Cause’, dropped by the band a couple of weeks back. Speaking of the new song, Lyxzén explains, “It’s a more existential song, about taking a look at yourself and accepting the role you’ve played in your own life. It’s about growing up and moving forward and learning from past mistakes and failures.”
New Manchester punk poster boys AERIAL SALAD have just dropped another new video.
The trio have been picking up crazy reviews for their second album Dirt Mall, which has just been released on their own Roach Industries imprint via Wonk Unit’s Plasterer label.
The band were due to be out on tour right now, taking the album to the people, but the onset of Coronvirus lockdown has put paid to that. Accordingly, the new single ‘Lazy’ celebrates the fine art of staying in and doing very little.
“‘Lazy’ is a song that came written out of thin air,” explains guitarist and singer Jamie Munro. “I’d taken an edible and after it had settled I picked up my guitar after listening to The Seahorses ‘Love Is The Law’, and wrote that whole song in five minutes, it’s about the fucking joy of having a Saturday in with no plans, sometimes you can’t be arsed with ‘the sesh’ and you just wanna stay at home and embrace your inner lazy, in these times of quarantine that’s every day now.
“The video is simply me and Mike [Wimbleton, bass] and our mate Vez doing what we normally do when we have a Lazy day together.”
The video contains male nudity and recreational drug use, by the way. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Aussie R&B legends THE BREADMAKERS are back with a brand new album.
The band’s seventh full-length, but only their second in more than twenty years, the self-titled album follows on from 2008’s Night Of The Cobra.
Born into Melbourne’s late-80s garage underground, The Breadmakers quickly earned a fierce reputation as one of the best live bands around with their explosive delivery of primitive R&B in the manner of The Pretty Things, Downliners Sect and the early Stones. Since then they’ve made regular appearances at garage festivals across their homeland as well as in Europe and Japan.
Featuring ten new Breadmakers originals, plus a brace of covers in Danny Burk & The Invaders’ ‘Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere’ and The Marksmen’s ‘Moonshine’, the album was recorded by Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s Mikey Young in a surf-shack in Sorrento on the Victorian coast.
Ever-resourceful Brummie tearaways TABLE SCRAPS, unphased by being locked-down at home, have used the opportunity to come up with a new single.
Without leaving the frontdoor, the video for ‘I Wanna Stay Home With U’, using the now ubiquitous medium of the conference call, takes a peak at how various friends and neighbours – including members of Dream Wife, Idles, Amyl & The Sniffers – are spending their ‘in’ time. With hilarious results!
Released through Burger Records, ‘I Wanna Stay Home With U’ is out digitally everywhere from Thursday 16 April. So no need to leave the house!
It takes more than a virus to stop THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE who today launch their new single exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
Paul-Ronney Angel and his coterie had lined up a tour in may to accompany the release of ‘Living In Fear’, but with all dates cancelled because of the COVID-19 lockdown, they decided to buck the trend and bring the release forward by a month.
Written before the whole virus thing went down, although the title has turned out to be spookily prescient, ‘Living In Fear’ is a broader observation on the state of the nation, lyrically alighting on the Windrush scandal and the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Says Paul-Ronney, “Living in fear . . . wow, never in my wildest imagination did I expect to live through something like this – talking about literally the whole world LIVING IN FEAR!”
‘Living In Fear’ and the band’s previous single ‘Johnny Foreigner’ will both be featured on the band’s forthcoming fifth album $nake Oi£ €ngine, due out later in the year.
‘Living In Fear’ is available from Apple, Spotify and the usual digital platforms.
The Italo-punk invasion continues with the return of SMALLTOWN TIGERS, who are premiering their new video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
‘Five Things’ is the title track from the Rimini trio’s debut mini-album which is due out through Area Pirata on 24 April and also features their previous single ‘Just Friends’.
The video was shot by up’n’coming video-maker Amelia Wornell while the band were in London for their first ever UK shows last autumn.
Five Things was produced by garage-punk overlord Stiv Cantarelli and mastered by legendary Detroit producer Jim Diamond (Sonics, White Stripes, Dirtbombs).
Smalltown Tigers formed in 2018 and made early headway on dates with Seattle punks Steal Shit Do Drugs and a nationwide tour with Baby Shakes. Their debut UK dates last October found them sharing stages with Hagar The Womb, The Speedways and The Menstrual Cramps, while the single ‘Just Friends’ earned them substantial radio plays from the likes of The Undertones’ Mickey Bradley on BBC Ulster. A second wave of dates was scheduled for May but the Coronavirus put paid to that. They promise to be back in the autumn.
Five Things is available to pre-order via the Area Pirata website or digitally via Bandcamp, as well as on Spotify and various other platforms.
Read a new interview with Smalltown Tigers in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!
Aussie melodic punks RADIO REJECTS have just dropped a video for their brand new single ‘The Greatest’.
Self-styled exponents of ‘dadcore’, the NSW band had all seen prior service on the Aussie punk scene before coming together as Radio Rejects in 2018. Sharing stages with the likes of Booze & Glory, The Creepshow and The Jet Boys, they released the 2-track Dadcore Demos last year.
A-grade anthemic pop-punk, ‘The Greatest’ was recorded at Wollongong’s Main Street Studios, and mastered by Jason Livermore (NOFX, Alkaline Trio, Lagwagon) at The Blasting Room, Colorado.
‘The Greatest’ is out now through Golden Robot’s Riot Records imprint and is available here.
How we’re keeping it business-as-usual at Vive Le Rock in the face of the Coronavirus.
There’s no denying that the world is in a strange place at the moment but we wanted to take a minute to let you know what we’re doing to keep you up-to-date with the latest from the worlds of punk, rock ‘n’ roll, new wave and beyond.
THE NEW ISSUE The latest issue of Vive Le Rock featuring Stiff Little Fingers, Psychedelic Furs, Gang Of Four, Dexys Midnight Runners, Body Count and more is now on sale online and in WH Smiths, Tescos and independent newsagents from April 10th. If your local Vive Le Rock stockist is closed you can find alternative stockists here If you order online it’ll be shipped to your door here And it’s also available in digital format here
SUBSCRIPTIONS Our new subscription offer is now live and by taking out a subscription for a year you’ll get a choice of Lee Scratch Perry’s Vision Of Paradise, Suzi Q or Joe Strummer: I Need A Dodge on DVD free of charge. You can order that here
BACK ISSUES We’re currently able to accept orders and mail out copies of our back issues from our London office (you can check out available back issues here). Additionally you can purchase back issues in digital format for all three titles (Vive Le Rock, Louder Than War and Down For Life) here
MERCH We also have a limited number of Vive Le Rock hoodies available in the ‘Born A Rocker, Die A Rocker’ style. These are available in Medium, Large and Extra Large at £35 plus P&P here
As we all navigate these troubled times, we want to say thank you to all the Vive Le Rockers out there. Stay safe and Vive Le Rock!