Art-punks THE IMBECILES today issue their long-awaited new EP, their first release with their new line-up.

Following the release of their debut album earlier in the year, the band had a shake-up resulting in a stripped back line-up and the new six-song Dissolution Sessions EP.

“We’ve slimmed down from a meandering, vegan, six-member prog rock combo, to a tight-knit, guitar-led, steak-eating 5-piece,” says mainman Butch Dante. “The guitar sound is fuzzy punk beast-master AF, and we like it.”

As previously announced, the band are heading into the studio early next year to record their new album with Killing Joke’s Youth in the producer’s chair.

To celebrate their new EP, the band recently played a semi-secret gig in Dante’s Brooklyn garage. “It was mad,” he exclaims. “We had to keep it on the DL because the fuzz would have shut it down otherwise but we still had 30 people and a bunch of other locals turned up and peered through the gate. People liked it! And I got to wear my space suit! Yay!”

Check out the live version of recent single ‘Yes I Am’….

Buy Dissolution Sessions here.

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Italian punk sensations SMALLTOWN TIGERS are treating their fans with a witchy new video for Hallowe’en!

The lasses from Rimini should by rights be preparing for a run of UK dates right now, but because of Covid 19, they’ve had to be scrapped. They have, however, released a new video for the track ‘Darling Please!’ from their acclaimed debut album which came out in April through Area Pirata.

“Because of the pandemic, we postponed our UK gigs from May to November,” they explain. “Then, because of ongoing restrictions, we had to cancel them altogether. We apologise to everybody that bought tickets or even just thought about coming to our shows. It is hard for us to stay away from the road.

“We all hope that the situation could be back to normal in 2021 so we could come back strong and play in any club that would be willing to have us. Other than that, we are already working on a new album for release next year. We would love to shake this ugly 2020 off our backs with something new!”

Five Things is available digitally and physically through Bandcamp, as well as Spotify and all the usual platforms.

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American roots-punk songwriter AUSTIN LUCAS is back with a new album, released tomorrow, but he’s chosen to stream it exclusively with Vive Le Rock! today.

A troubadour in the truest sense, Lucas has spent much of the past two decades in Europe and the past few months have found the Indiana-born songwriter and activist locked down in Mainz, Germany. From this Euro vantage point he’s had the time an inclination to cast an eye on the disturbing tinderbox situation in his homeland during this most apocalyptic of years, from Black Lives Matter and the agitation of the far-right to the global shadow of Covid. The result is the ten songs on Alive, In the Hot Zone, arguably his most unrestrained and political statement yet.

“I’ve never had an album come about so fluidly, accidentally and seemingly against all odds,” he explains. “From the fact that everything about the world we’re currently living in found me sleepless, agitated and propelled me to wake up at all hours and write like a madman. To the chance meeting with Oli Rüger, who I immediately recognized for his exceptional skill set as a producer and guitar player.

“This album exists because those of us involved, took a series of obstacles and nightmare scenarios and managed to turn them into an opportunity. Thus realizing a shared creative dream, in the midst of a pandemic and political uprising.”

A veteran of US rust-belt metal and hardcore scene around the turn of the century, Lucas relocated to the Czech Republic and began releasing Americana-influenced solo albums in 2006. A highly prolific artist, his records have emerged through such labels as Hometown Caravan, Last Chance and New West, while he ‘s shared stages along the way with the likes of Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Lucero and Frank Turner.

Lucas’ second album for Cornelius Chapel, Alive, In The Hot Zone is available to order here.

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Aussie rockers MR TEENAGE have just dropped a brand new EP.

The Automatic Love EP marries yob vocals, neanderthal drums and a phenomenal buzzsaw guitar sound with powerpop chops across four wholesome pub-punk burners.

The Melbourne band have only been around about a year, but with the help of their superb stand alone Bandcamp track ‘Neighbourhood’ have been turning a few heads.

The quartet – who line up as brothers Nic and Joe Imfeld on vocals/bass and lead guitar, Carey Paterson also on guitar and Nadine Muller on drums – had a raft of shows booked for 2020, including dates with Cosmic Psychos and Amyl & The Sniffers, but they’ve all gone down the dumper, so you’ll have to make do with this here EP.

Automatic Love is available now from Bandcamp.

Check out ‘Kids’….

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BABY SHAKES have collaborated with THE UNDERTONES on a brand new single.

The glam-stomping ‘Sweet’n’Sour (Part 2)’ is the NYC girls’ take on a track from Undertones guitarist Damian O’Neill’s 2018 solo album Refit, Revise, Reprise, while the B-side ‘Really Really’, a song by drummer Billy Doherty previously to be found on the flipside of the ‘Tones ’79 hit ‘Get Over You’.

The tracks were laid down at Small Town America Studio in Derry by Billy Damian and Stephen Mailey, while the Shakes’ Mary, Judy and Claudia flew in to add their vocals.

“We have been fans of the Baby Shakes ever since they supported us at Southpaw in Brooklyn N.Y back in ‘05,” explains Damian. “I’d like to think that ‘Sweet’n’Sour’ and ‘Really Really’ neatly merge Derry poptones with New York sassy attitude. There’s an infectious new freshness and enthusiasm oozing from the grooves. The entire recording process was a total delight and that’s obvious when you put the needle on the record for the first time.”

“I really, really love the new Baby Shakes version of ‘Really Really’, adds Billy. “Working with them, Damian and my nephew Stephen Mailey was such a tonic. It was so wonderful, enjoyable and refreshing to be intoxicated with everyone’s enthusiasm. Yes, for me it was truly magical and I can’t wait to do it again.”

Set for release on 30 October through Dimple Discs, the single is available to pre-order on download and limited edition 7″ here.

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A new EP by Tyneside punks THE WALL showcases rare and unreleased material.

Formed in 1978 by future SKI PATROL and FOLK DEVILS frontman Ian Lowery alongside friends from Sunderland Poly art school, The Wall released the now classic debut single ‘New Way’ for Small Wonder Records.

Relocating to London, the band recorded sessions at Polydor Studios with Jimmy Pursey and Pete Wilson before Lowery and the band parted ways, the songs rerecorded and released with new lyrics.

Doing exactly what it says on the tin, Ian Lowery’s Long Lost Tracks With The Wall brings together three of those original recordings alongside a fourth, previously, unreleased track. Fully digitally remastered, you can hear them all here…

The EP is available as a download or CD from Bandcamp.

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North London pop-rockers THE MIDDLENIGHT MEN have unveiled another video from their forthcoming debut album.

The epic 10-minite clip for ‘Heroine Heights’ is the result of 5 months preparation, 2 months shooting and 1 month editing.

The follow up to previous singles ‘B.A. Baby’ and ‘Rat Star’, band mainman Nick Hughes says of the song, “The core message of the song itself is something that’s really important to me. I still find myself being constantly embarrassed, every single time, to be a guy when I walk down the street and see all the lecherous, cat calling, rude ass guys who think it’s perfectly acceptable to shout out after girls. It’s disgusting and I can only imagine what it feels like for girls. We wanted to address this but obviously we like mixing humour and seriousness in most of the things we produce so I decided to mix this with the superhero element and refer to some of the relationships between the heroes and villains and relate it back to the core message. That this simply is not okay.”

Taken from the forthcoming album Issue 1, ‘Heroine Heights’ is available here.

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KILLING JOKE frontman Jaz Coleman has expanded his artistic repertoire with a new range of foods!

The maestro has teamed up with South Coast pie company Piecaramba! to introduce two new pies to the world.

The Joker jerk chicken pie – rich with jerk seasoning, spices, and Caribbean flavours wrapped in a gluten free pastry – is a revamp of the pie Coleman launched in New Zealand in July.

The Joker is now joined by The Harlequin vegetarian pie.

“Look here, the pie is the greatest comfort food ever created and has deep meaning at this time!,” says Coleman. “Thanks to Piecaramba we have taken the humble pie to another level. With the finest ingredients and a perfected recipe we have created a masterpiece. Paired with my special reserve hot sauce and mashed potato with grated cheddar cheese, butter, milk, english mustard and black pepper – it’s no wonder why you are all salivating right now! Ha! Ha! Ha!”

And with the help of Bright Hot Sauce Company, he’s created ‘The Joker’ Honour The Fire Hot Sauce, including pomegranate, red habaneros, ghost peppers, fennel and more.

“Hot chilli sauce – now who the fuck would dare to challenge me on a hot sauce?,” he asks. “Who has had the audacity to try and flog an inferior American brand on the market at the same time as mine and… we are doing concerts together next year! Ha ha!”

The Joker Jerk Chicken pie and The Harlequin Vegetable pies will be available from the Winchester and Southampton Piecaramba restaurants, as well as the Fiddler’s Elbow Irish Pub in Brighton. From mid November they’ll also be available to order online for delivery (UK and seasonal only).

The Honour The Fire Hot Sauce will be available from Jaz’s website from 30 October.

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The original line-up of THE DAMNED have announced that they’re reuniting for a UK tour next year.

In a press conference hosted by former Roxy Club DJ Don Letts at lunchtime today at London’s legendary Roundhouse, Brian James, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies and Dave Vanian revealed that they’ll be playing four shows in July. Full dates are…

Fri 9 July – Eventim Apollo, London

Fri 16 July – O2 Academy, Birmingham

Sat 17 July – O2 Academy, Glasgow

Sun 18 July – O2 Academy, Manchester

Tickets go on sale at 10.00 on Friday 23 October here.

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Rock’n’roll revivalists FUMBLE have their complete recordings compiled on a new box set.

Formed in Weston-super-Mare in 1967, the band were regulars on the pub and college circuit in the early 70s, releasing a pair of major label albums – Fumble and Poetry In Lotion – with memorable Hipgnosis sleeves (the latter photographed by Throbbing Gristle’s Peter ‘Sleazey’ Christopherson).

The band were recruited by David Bowie as support on two separate tours, inculding the US Ziggy Stardust jaunt, and keyboard-player Sean Mayes was later co-opted by Bowie for the 1978 Isolar II tour, documented on Stage, and also for the ’79 album Lodger.

The band also featured alongside Shakin’ Stevens in the West End production of Elvis! The Musical and the remake of the 50s TV show Oh Boy!

Over four CDs, Not Fade Away: The Complete Recordings 1964 – 1982 features both Fumble’s original albums plus the ’79 ‘official bootleg’ live album Rumble With Fumble and their final release, the Germany-only It’s Only A Rock’n’Roll Game from ’82. The set is rounded out with tracks from Elvis! and Oh Boy!, stand alone singles, album outtakes, a BBC session and tracks by mid-60s Fumble precursor, The Iveys.

Set for release by Cherry Red on 27 November, Not Fade Away is available to pre-order here.

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THE SINCLAIRS are back with a brand new video, which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Hot on the heels of their spectacular debut album Sparkle, the duo featuring Rat Scabies and Billy Shinbone from Somerset band FLIPRON and Neville Staple’s band have teamed up with our old friend Paul-Ronney Angel from THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE for the timely single ‘Halloween Wings’.

‘Halloween Wings’ is out now through Spotify and all digital platforms via Cleopatra Records. The duo is planning to tour after the world gets back to normal.

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Cult Scottish post-punks THE PRATS have a new compilation album out next month, and they’re trailing it with a video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Aged just 12-14 when they formed, the Edinburgh quartet earned a strong local following, making their vinyl debut on the Fast Product compilation Earcom 1 in 1979. This led to their debut single ‘Die Todten Reyten Schnell’ for Da Da Records and the 1990’s Pop E.P. – featuring the track ‘Disco Pope’, a US college radio favourite – and ‘General Davis’ single for Rough Trade.

The band received a belated profile boost in 2004 when ‘General Davis’ was used in the Hollywood remake of The Manchurian Candidate, starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. Their career is now the subject of a documentary Poxy Pop Groups – The Story of The Prats by independent filmmaker Angus McPake, due out later this year.

The album Prats Way Up High features the band’s three 7-inches plus demos and a previously unreleased John Peel session from ’79, regarded by the maestro as one of his favourites.

The release is dedicated to the band’s bassist Jeff Maguire who passed away in July of this year. The band say, “Jeff was always involved in the band – we used words like roadie and manager initially to describe his role although the reality is that we had very little idea what either of those meant! Jeff was great at engaging with people – a talent he displayed throughout his life and he had no problem collaring the great and the good of the local music scene, getting us gigs, support slots, interviews in fanzines etc.  He eventually joined the band on bass and played on all three singles.   

“After the Prats, Jeff played in local bands, went to university, studied and taught languages, here and in Spain and then worked as a civil servant for the Scottish Government where he was a highly regarded colleague, known for his ability to relate to and get on with pretty much everyone.  He had a wide range of passions including punk, post-punk and classical music; football (he was an avid Hibernian fan); cycling, wine and lots more. He was also a husband and a father, married to Celine and the proud dad of Serena. 

“Somebody came up with a title for a short piece which Jeff did on his experience in the band for a tape magazine in 1980.  It was simply ‘The Joy of Being Jeff’.  The expression was used several times at his funeral to sum up a life which was lived well and to the full but which ended way too early.”

Prats Way Up High is set for release on 13 November through One Little Independent Records. It’s available to pre-order here.

Check out the video for ‘Disco Pope’…

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Folk-punks FEROCIOUS DOG have announced the rescheduled dates for their 2021 UK tour and forthcoming new album The Hope.

The 22-date tour will start in Liverpool at the O2 Academy 2 on Friday 8 October and concludes at the Leadmill in Sheffield on Sunday 4 December.

The band promise those attending “will be part of something very special, watching one of the very best folk-punk bands in the UK with a high octane explosion of the very best live music. People who have attended Ferocious Dog shows know exactly what to expect. People who are new to FD live shows will be welcomed by the ‘Hell Hounds’ as part of the growing FD family.”

To coincide with the tour, Ferocious Dog release their brand new studio album The Hope which takes its name “from a song idea from Dan Booth and written by Dan and myself,” explains Ken Bonsall. “The Hope is a very hard hitting and deep reflection of someone coming to terms and living with depression.” While the album cover, created with Daniel Hubb at Make-North (Bullet For My Valentine), “had to be hard equally hitting to create and capture the sentiment of the song.”

The Hope carries on in the strong tradition of Ferocious Dog albums, with thought-provoking and politically charged lyrics, seamlessly combing with dynamic and eclectic music. Ferocious Dog now have two new band members Johnny Edwards and Ryan Brooks “chomping at the bit to put their stamp on this new album”

Released on 16 October through Graphite Records, The Hope is available to pre-order on CD and vinyl, with ticket and t-Shirt bundles available, plus an exclusive limited edition green vinyl album, limited edition cassette and signed CDs here.

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Aussie stoners TUMBLEWEED are back with their first new music in seven years.

The Wollongong band’s first release since their 2013 reunion album Sounds From The Other Side, the single ‘Shadowland’ was produced by Radio Birdman’s Rob Younger.

“I was always a big fan of Rob Younger’s work as a singer and as a producer and always wanted to work with him,” states frontman Richie Lewis. “When we had the idea to record a string of 45s, we really wanted Rob to produce, considering he was responsible for producing most of our favourite Australian singles. We live in the same town, we have shared band members and crossed paths for the past 25 years but we have never worked together.

“We surrendered to the process, we listened to his guidance, we learned a lot. We’ve all got a lot of respect for Rob Younger, we wanted to impress him, he brought the best out in us.”

Formed in 1990, Tumbleweed released their now classic debut single ‘Captain’s Log’ – produced by Mudhoney’s Mark Arm – in December of that year. Supporting Nirvana at their first ever Australian gig, the band signed to Atlantic, going on to support the Rollins Band on their Australian tour and co-headlining a tour with Monster Magnet.

Having split in 2001, the band returned in 2009, but following the release of Sounds From The Other Side, the band was rocked by the sudden death of founding bassist Jay Curley in 2014. Jay’s place has since been taken in the band by Jamie Cleaves of Wollongong oppos The Dead Set.

“’Shadowland’ is about the uncertainty of the future,” explains Lewis. “These are strange times, dangerous and divisive times. When the truth is not believed, there is little you can trust or count on.”

Available to stream/download now through Spotify and the usual platfoms, ‘Shadowland’ will be released on limited edition 7″ vinyl on 27 November, coupled with the band’s next single ‘Rebellion’. It’s available to pre-order now through Farmer & The Owl.

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Aristo-rocker MICHAEL DES BARRES has announced a new live EP with his current band THE MISTAKES.

Formally the 26th Marquis Des Barres, the UK-born LA-based singer and actor came to prominence with early 70s glam-rockers SILVERHEAD releasing two albums for Deep Purple’s Purple Records, before relasing two albums for Led Zeppelin’s SwanSong label with the US-based band DETECTIVE.

In the early 80s he fronted CHEQUERED PAST with the Pistols’ Steve Jones and members of Blondie and Iggy Pop’s band before replacing Robert Palmer in the Duran Duran spin-off POWER STATION.

Recorded live at LA’s Hi Hat club, the six song Live! EP features songs from across his career, as well as a rock’n’roll medley and covers of Marvin Gaye and T Rex.

Check out ‘Get It On (Bang A Gong)’

Set for a physical release in the New Year on Die Laughing Records via Golden Robot, Live! is available digitally here

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High-octane rock’n’rollers LUCIFER STAR MACHINE have just unveiled a new video.

a cover of Kansas City rocker Lee Dresser’s 1969 loungeabilly classic, ‘El Camino Real’ is taken from the Hamburg quintet’s latest album The Devil’s Breath, which came out in April via The Sign Records.

A Tarantino-esque carcrash of Reservoir Dogs and Smokey And The Bandit, the video was directed by renowned Kustom Kulture filmmaker Dirk Behlau and features a guest appearance from MAD SIN’s Koefte DeVille.

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Remembering the greatness of Eddie Van Halen, Digressions mainman Rich Ragany shares a coming of age story…

My first concert was the VAN HALEN 1984 Tour.

I was 12. My older brother got me and my next door pal Susan tix. She was a year older, very pretty Italian girl. And she DID NOT wanna go! Hahahaha! She styled herself more of a Go Go’s fan (which I was as well haha). My brother was like, “C’mon Susan! It’ll be nice for Rich to have someone his age around!” Poor Susan. She had already endured years of me standing on the sofa with a pink plastic badminton racket pretending to be Johnny Thunders (‘Stranded In The Jungle’) or Ace Frehely (‘Strutter’).

“I wanna play house!”

“Well, we’ll play one hour of house if ya LET me play half an hour of Rock Star!”

Thus began my education of compromise with the ladies. Hahaha! She would sit and pretend to applaud. Poor Susan.

The day of the concert arrived and I was just racked with nervous energy! Seriously freaking out. Susan? Couldn’t care less. “Their music is BORING!”

We got to the Calgary Saddledome and took our seats (just PERFECT seats! Facing the stage. Right on the first balcony, first row. Where the Queen would sit, ya know hahaha!)

Then… You know when the lights go down and IT’S time? That rush of young adrenaline washed over me! That feeling you become addicted too? (Well I did anyway) The first chords came rushing out and WHAMMO! Sorry for the language but Holy Fuck! Just the loudest, best noise I’ve ever heard. Eddie just seemed to be the kingpin and orchestrator of the most IMMENSE sound!

And two songs in it was apparent we were at David Lee Roth’s personal barbecue as well hahaha! He forgot lyrics (I knew them all) and exuded an attitude that just included EVERYONE. Believe it or not, very vaudeville and pretty punk hahaha! That band was on fire.

Then a slow rush of a chant gathered momentum… “Eddie! Eddie! EDDEEEEEEE!” And WHO joined RIGHT in? That Italian girl who I had a crush on (WHOOOOOPS! This thing on???) I just stared at her. She didn’t notice. She was busy adoring someone she told me was boring…..

And I, people, had that movie moment. That moment that really, really changed my life. REALLY!!!
“I gotta get a guitar. HAVE TO! Because guitars change people’s minds!”

Guitars can change people’s minds.

I played a live video to my daughter Jeannie a while back and told her this story.

She approached her mom Justine and I later and said, “I’m sure glad Dad went to that silly loud concert… if he didn’t see that man play guitar then maybe he never would have started… he never would have been on the radio and gone to England and met you. We might never have been a family.”

Sweetheart… put that all together in her 8-year-old-head all on her own. Angel. She got it immediately.

That is how Eddie Van Halen would reach your spirit. He CHANGED people’s lives far beyond tapping on a fretboard (though come on… that was pretty cool!) …he made the world more fun and joyous… inspired us in how music could sound and gave us the courage to be ourselves and take chances… be brave with our lives… all the while flashing that smile, reminding us to enjoy it.

… and his songs coming through a speaker could take a Wednesday noon and transform it into a Friday midnight at the drop of a dime.

The soundtrack to the best times, the greatest parties… the bravest decisions… and the adrenaline to get up and get going.

The memories of driving with my brother George in his car… windows down and blasting ‘Unchained’… the sound transforming a Canadian summer sky into California… will fill my heart all my days.

We are so lucky to have been in this world with him.

The quote of his that I always held in my heart…

“If it sounds good, it is good”

Translation… Be yourself.

Thank you King Edward.

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