BARROW BOYS!

Cumbrian punks THE LIARS CLUB herald their new EP with a brand new live video.

The savage, coruscating ‘8 Tonne’ is taken from the Barrow-in-Furness band’s second EP, Of Self, due out on 18 June through Neoprima Music, and casts a scorching spotlight on the devastation caused by the UK’s cocaine trade, 8 tonnes of the stuff being consumed in London alone each year.

“The song lyric ‘The Angels said to the people, welcome’ is a direct reference to how easy it is to get sucked into a world of drug abuse, and the endemic it has become in most towns and cities across the UK. The song has purposely been written to be close to the bone, with Noah’s aggressive vocals being a literal cry for help; a warning,” they comment.

The release is a belated return for the band: following a highly promising debut EP, Dormant, they were temporarily derailed when original bassist Jake took his own life. Having had a period of hiatus in order to process this tragic event, the band returned to play a series of shows to raise awareness of mental health issues in their comrade’s honour.

“It would be easy to not talk about what happened but what would be the point in that?” says frontman Noah Johnson. “Jake was a massive part of the band so if people take one thing from The Liars Club, it’s that they need to talk to each other.”

The Liars Club have lined up the following Summer shows…

24.06.21 – Ulverston – The Sun, Basement
02.07.21 – Manchester – The Castle

The Liars Club on Facebook

Pic by A Supreme Shot

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RETALIATION FOR THE NATION!

Enigmatic Kent ska-punks 3dBs Down have just marked their 20th Anniversary with a new album and video.

‘Count To A Million’ is taken from the album Get Your Retaliation In First which is out now through Engineer Records.

The band don’t give away much about themselves, but they’ve been described as sounding like Less Than Jake on steroids, which is fine by us! Their new album is their third and follows belatedly on from 2005’s Can Of Worms.

‘Count To A Million’ is “about the uneven distribution of wealth and opportunity between the few and the many, and how the numbers involved are hard to conceive.”

The video was directed and edited by Aaron Noordally.

Get Your Retaliation In First is available here.

3dBs Down have also contributed to the compilation album Hoarses For Causes, raising money for Music Support, a charity providing help and support for those in or employed by the UK music industry affected by mental ill-health and/or addiction.

3dBs Down on Facebook

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ACCELERATION FOR THE NATION!

Punk-jazz supergroup/power trio THE N.J.E. have announced the release of a new mini-album for the first of this year’s Record Store Day Drops.

Formed in Whitechapel, the band features Terry Edwards (PJ Harvey, Gallon Drunk), Mark Bedford (Madness, BUtterfield 8) and Simon Charterton (The Higsons, Alex Harvey).

Following on from 2019’s Afloat In Dub, their collaboration with On-U Sound guru Adrian Sherwood, “Nought To 60” takes its name from the trio’s single released late last year. The release also features the 10-minute ‘Spirit Of Indo’, a tribute to the pub where they first played monthly to an audience of locals and the odd musical celebrity including Matt Johnson, The Undertones’ Damian O’Neill, Reeves Gabrels of Cure and Tin Machine fame and 2 Tone artist Rhoda Dakar. It also includes their version of David Bowie’s ‘Five Years’ commemorating the fifth anniversary of the artist’s passing.

Hear ‘Nought To 60’

Usually held on the third Saturday of April every year, Record Store Day 2021 will take place over two ‘drop’ days – 12 June and 17 July – due to the pandemic.

“Nought To 60” will be available through Sartorial Records on strictly limited 12″ vinyl (with download code) on 12 June. Buyers can find their nearest participating stores here.

The NJE on Facebook

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NEW MOON!

Former Turbulent Hearts singer SUZI MOON gets her solo career off to an incendiary start with her first single and video which she’s premiering with Vive Le Rock!

With its buzzsaw guitar-and-drums attack and shoutalong chorus, ‘Special Place In Hell’ is a perfect declaration of arrival as the lead track from Moon’s debut EP Call The Shots, due out 21 May through Pirates Press.

Moon’s career began by joining her older sister in the Hellcat-signed Longbeach band Civet for eight years before fronting the trio Turbulent Hearts. More recently she had a brief tenure with L.A. Machina, releasing one single for Alternative Tentacles.

However, after 15 years playing in bands, stepping into the spotlight as a solo artist was something of an inevitability. “Songwriting is my passion and I really wanted to own that moving forward. Going solo was a totally natural progression for me. It just took some time for me to be ready. It’s a little bit scary but here I am, unapologetically Suzi Moon, puttin’ it all on the line for everyone that’ll listen!”

The video for ‘Special Place In Hell’ draws its inspiration from Roman Polanski’s 1965 Brit spinechiller Repulsion, starring Catherine Deneuve and Ian Hendry. “It’s one of my favourites and I have always wanted to pay homage to the movie in my own way,” says Moon.

One focus of the video, which was directed by Eric Schraeder from The Enclave Live, is to illustrate Moon’s attempts to balance her time and presence on social media. “Especially in today’s times when most of what artists do is online, there are these moments when you are dressing up and getting ready for ‘showtime’ online” she says. “It’s not very satisfying when you turn off the camera at the end of the night and haven’t received any real physical connection. It can feel a bit empty, wanting more. Balancing Suzi at home baking bread in her sweatpants and Suzi online and in performance mode.”

Suzi Moon on Facebook

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HIGH ON MEFFS!

Fast-rising Essex punks THE MEFFS have just released their second single and they’re premiering the video with Vive Le Rock!

Packing a severe punch for a two-piece, and clearly taking a lead from the early 80s anarcho scene, the angry ‘Scum’ is the Colchester duo’s second single and first new material since the release of their highly-rated self-titled debut album released last year.

“At just 1 minute 25 seconds long, we try to confront shutterbugs and the media about their perceived right of intrusion,” they say. “‘Scum’ references celebrity culture and the detrimental effects of fake news. Lyrics such as, ‘…oh well, so what, you said it’s worth a shot. If you make a quid a minute then you’re making quite a lot!’ try to highlight the focus on reaching an end goal at any cost, regardless of the damage caused to others.”

Having spent the past year just itching to get out there and play live, Lily (guitar/vocals) and Lewis (drums/backing vocals) have already been lined up for Bristol’s Attitude Festival in September alongside Riskee & The Ridicule, Bob Vylan and The Blue Carpet Band, and a show at Lewes Con Club in January next year with Subhumans. Their diary is filling up fast – make sure you don’t miss ’em!

Stream/download ‘Scum’ here.

The Meffs on Facebook

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K÷ VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

K÷, the collaborative project between Jaz and Geordie from KILLING JOKE and former NEW ORDER bassist Peter Hook, have a video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

The haunting, atmospheric ‘Remembrance Day’ is taken from the trio’s K÷ 93 EP which is out this Friday 19 March, while the moving video pays tribute to Gang Of Four’s Andy Gill, Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, Killing Joke’s Paul Raven and others.

“In recent interviews I have talked extensively about how my ‘precognitive’ abilities have affected my work,” says Jaz about the work. “‘Remembrance Day’ is a good example of this being essentially a song about how Covid-19 has changed our lives but written some 30 years ago! Indeed I remember thinking when I wrote the lyric ‘what the fuck is this about?’ – it’s certainly not the conventional 11/11 Remembrance Day dominated by the poem of Rupert Brookes, The Soldier (and others). However, the prose of K÷’s ‘Remembrance Day’ is certainly about megadeaths and now it’s happening in real time.

“Looking back to early 2020 our colleague Andy Gill (of Gang Of Four fame) died unexpectedly from a respiratory problem. Then a year later I received news that my beloved Uncle Bob Pandy (who was a second father to me) died on Christmas Day. I went into shock and contracted a handful of illnesses including Covid-19 from which I have fully recovered I am happy to say!”

As previously revealed, the three tracks on the EP were the result of a session recorded by the trio at Hook’s studio in 1993, that Jaz descries as “spontaneous and magical”.

Remastered from a DAT cassette that recently resurfaced, the EP is now available on clear 10″ vinyl, limited to just 2,000 individual numbered copies.

“I think these tracks are great. I hope something else happens or at least we play them some time. I’ve missed you lads! “ exclaims Hook, while Jaz adds “When you listen to this rare chemistry, you will understand why I’ve always felt this experience begs for a full opus magnum somewhere in the near future.”

K÷ 93 is available on vinyl here along with various merch items. Get it digitally here.

Read a full feature on K÷ in the new edition of Vive Le Rock! out now!

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THE TWELVE-LEGGED GROVE MACHINE!

HAWKWIND: DAYS OF THE UNDERGROUND
Joe Banks
(Strange Attractor)
9/10

Emerging out of the late-60s Ladbroke Grove squat scene, Hawkwind’s story has always seemed to be one of sheer luck more than design, from being in the right place at the right time, cloistered in a space-rock cocoon of bleeps, whooshing sounds, squawking sax and garage-rock guitars while the zeitgeist – both cultural and political – spirals chaotically around them.

The band’s now fifty-year trip has been told before, through other excellent and insightful biographies, but Joe Banks has, perhaps wisely, given the enormity of the task, restricted his book to the band’s first decade – arguably Hawkwind’s Golden Age – when a bunch of freaks soared to the top of the charts, going on to take on the punks at their own game.

Daunting at first, unlike most biographies Days Of the Underground is comprised of different types of chapter – the standard chronology of events; in-depth album-by-album appraisals; searching interviews with key players; and, perhaps most importantly, essays in which Banks adroitly gets to the nub of the musical, philosophical and historical context surrounding the band, their coterie and their environment, throwing early-70s West London in particular and the post-hippie comedown in general into vivid relief.
Gerry Ranson

Days Of The Underground is available here.

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DOIN’ IT FOR THE KIDS!

Fresh-faced Aussie punks THE KIDS have just dropped a video for their latest single.

Not to be confused with the Belgian punk vets of ‘This Is Rock’n’Roll’ fame, these Kids are a bunch of skateboard-loving 18-year-old hardcore yobs from Sydney, who claim they’re “making music with the sole intent to piss you off”.

‘Go Back To Canberra’ is their spiky middle-fingered anti-anthem to Australia’s capital city and seat of government.

You can stream/download ‘Go Back To Canberra’ here.

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SHOW ME THE DOE!

IRIS DOE, a new project from Jeffrey Cain of alt-rockers THE CHURCH, have just issued their debut single.

Cain has been a touring member of the Aussie hitmakers for a number of years, contributing guitar, bass and keyboards, but was promoted to full-time status when band founder reconfigured the line-up following the departure of Peter Koppes in 2019.

Beginning work on a new Church album in Australia at the start of 2020, Cain returned to the States for the duration of the pandemic, where he began working with ex-Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery, keyboardist Jebin Bruni (PiL) and drummer Leslie Van Trease.

A full album is in the works but the first fruit of the sessions is the single ‘The Times’, a slice of darkly elegant pop walking a velvet tightrope between neo-goth and modern psych. The b-side is a version of much-loved Oregon psych punks Dead Moon’s ‘A Miss Of You’, recorded on the night in 2017 that the band’s guitarist/vocalist Fred Cole passed away.

“Dead Moon’s music changed me from the very first listen,” says Cain. “I was caught completely off-guard by Fred’s death and I really just wanted to be alone and sing his songs that night. I had my guitar, a slide and an ebow in the room and that dictated the song’s simplicity. Out of respect for Dead Moon and the band’s devout fans, I didn’t want to release it without the approval of his wife and bandmate, Toody. I was shocked when I received an email from her saying how much she loved hearing Fred’s words again. She thought the song was beautiful and I had her complete blessing.”

 

‘The Times’ is available to stream/download here.

Iris Doe on Facebook

Pic by Maxine Thompson

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VISION THING!

NYC post-punk experimentalists LIVE SKULL have just dropped a video from their latest album.

‘In A Perfect World’ is taken from the album Dangerous Visions, which was released in December through Bronson Recordings.

Says guitarist/singer Mark C, who made the video, “I shot the opening footage on lower Broadway in Manhattan, where I live and remained during lockdown. The occasion was several nights of vibrant Black Lives Matter demonstrations, which were marred by hooded counter demonstrators who smashed storefront windows and committed other acts of vandalism. The twin pandemics, the spread of Covid 19 and the growing empowerment of violent far right groups, provided the backdrop for our writing ‘In A Perfect World’. The siren at the start of the song was recorded from my fire escape. Reflecting the isolation experienced under lockdown, the video is limited to the four band members and their partners. As a contrast to the heaviness of the times, we opted for some simple role playing, while poking fun at themes of identity, fear, and our own mortality; and noting that our time spent alone/together has altered us in ways we might not be aware of.”

Contemporaries of the likes of Swans and Sonic Youth, Live Skull formed in Manhattan in the early 80s out of the tail-end of the No Wave scene. The band released four albums for the Homestead and What Goes On labels before splitting in 1990. Mark C and drummer Richard Hutchins returned in 2016 and with new members Kent Heine (bass) and Dave Hollinghurst (guitar) released the acclaimed Saturday Night Massacre for Bronson in 2019.

Dangerous Visions comprises as side of recent recordings joined by four previously unreleased tracks from a 1989 Peel Session. It’s available to buy here.

Live Skull on Facebook

Pic by Michael Jung

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BACKWORDS INTO THE FUTURE!

Kent punks RISKEE & THE RIDICULE are back with a brand new single and video.

Signing to Bomber Music, the band exploded onto the scene in 2019 with their gamechanging album Body Bag Your Scene. Incendiary performances at Rebellion and Boomtown festivals underlined their forward position, but then Covid came along and up-ended what should arguably have been their breakthrough year.

Fortunately, the band cut a handful of new tracks just prior to lockdown and now one of them, ‘Backwords 2’ – which follows on from ‘Backwords’ on their 2017 album Blame Culture – sees the light of day.

“‘Backwords 2’ is a song about the influence of the media on the general public, how they can be so easily swayed by spun truths and false words,” explains front man Scott Picking. “The close-minded approach to the world we live in has to be torn up. It’s less like a sequel to ‘Backwords’ and more like a progression. We’re a different band who have got better at what we do, this felt like a way to showcase that with different dynamics and new wordplay. Right now, it’s a frustrating and limiting time to be in a band: travel restrictions from the mess that is Brexit still loom, too many venues are suffering or closing down, and we miss playing live. ‘Backwords 2’ put those feelings into a direct song.”

‘Backwords 2’ is available to stream/download here.

Riskee & The Ridicule on Facebook

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THE BLIPS VIDEO PREMIERE!

Alabama pop-punkers THE BLIPS trail their forthcoming debut album with a video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Throw Me Around’ is the second single to be taken from the Birmingham band’s self-titled album which is due out on 9 April through Cornelius Chapel.

“The music to ‘Throw Me Around’ was the first song the band wrote entirely together,” says the band’s Taylor Hollingsworth. “I wrote the words after coming up with the vocal melody. The song is about a relationship you have with someone who lives a fast life. It could be a friend, or a lover, but either way, it’s someone you see as more exciting than yourself. It’s someone you are intrigued by and attracted to, but when you finally join in for the ride, it’s a bit more than you bargained for. You regret letting yourself be persuaded by them, yet when it’s over, you want more.”

Emerging out of the same Alabama southern-punk scene that has produced giants like The Dexateens and Verbena, The Blips are a supergroup of sorts, their five members serving time in a variety of bands over the years including The Dexateens, Timber, Vulture Whale, Holy Youth, Bad Hops, Dead Fingers and Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band.

The ten tracks that comprise their debut were laid down in February 2020, two weeks ahead of prior to lockdown at drummer Wes McDonald’s Ole’ Elegante studio with Verbena’s Les Nuby engineering. The band members were then forced to share their thoughts on the mixing and mastering process via the medium of text-messaging.

The Blips is available to pre-order here.

The Blips on Facebook

Pic by Dustin Timbrook

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SONIC BOOM BOYS!

Cult freak-rockers T2 are to have their classic debut 1970 album reissued in a new 3-disc edition.

The band formed out of the ashes of London mod/psych band Bulldog Breed whose sole album, the highly rated Made In England came out just too late for the first psychedelic era in 1969.

Bassist Bernard Jinks and 17-year-old guitarist Keith Cross recruited singing drummer Pete Dunton from ‘Race With The Devil’ hitmakers Gun to form T2. Signing to Decca for a then huge £10,000 advance, the band recorded It’ll All Work Out In Boomland; comprising just four tracks marrying long proggish passages with Cross’s searing proto-punk guitar, it was at odds with what else was going on musically and sold poorly, going on to become hugely collectable.

The band began working on their second album but internal tensions caused line-up ructions, the band splitting in ’72 with the album going unreleased for years. T2 reformed, without Cross, for more releases during the 90s.

It’ll All Work Out In Boomland has had sporadic reissues across the intervening years, but this new Cherry Red edition has been remastered from the original Decca master tapes and adds two further CDs featuring material from their original 70-72 period.

Set for release on 26 March, It’ll All Work Out In Boomland is available to pre-order here.

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GOOD TIMES AHEAD FOR BLACK SPIDERS!

Reignited Sheffield rockers BLACK SPIDERS have just dropped a video for their new single.

‘Good Times’ is a storming cover of the classic hit by The Easybeats, the Australian band formed by future AC/DC producers Harry Vanda and George Young (brother of Angus and Malcolm), and has been recorded by numerous bands including Shocking Blue, Quartz and The Count Bishops.

The track is the lead song from a four-track EP, Deaf Proof, which precedes the band’s forthcoming new self-titled album and includes three new songs not on the record.

“We recorded a lot of songs for our third album, there was so much material it was difficult to see which songs sounded like an album,” says singer/guitarist Ozzy Lister. “This EP is made up from songs that didn’t make it, but we felt still deserved to be heard.”

Download Deaf Proof here.

Set for release on 26 March, Black Spiders is available to pre-order here.

Black Spiders on Facebook

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THE ALARM UNVEIL NEW ALBUM!

THE ALARM have announced a brand new album for release later this month in a novel way.

War has to be completed by 24 February in order to be serviced around the world at midnight on 25/26 February via the world’s digital music suppliers.

In order to combat production times and to have physical product available immediately, the band is advance-releasing the album (without music) in a special CD-Rom format. Fans will then burn their own copy of the finished record. The album’s writing and recording creative process only commenced on 7 January, but the band promises finished tracks will be sent electronically to fans once the final mix and mastering process has taken place.

War is also available to pre-order as a hand-cut vinyl LP which will be released to fans on 25 February, Mike Peters’ birthday.

Peters, along with band members James Stevenson (guitars) and Smiley
(drums) and producer George Williams, are currently writing and recording the record from scratch using their own isolation studios. Mike’s wife, Jules Jones Peters has been documenting the recording process and creating a very incisive fly on the wall vision of Mike and The Alarm at work, sharing regular videos online at www.thealarm.com

“The record is really starting to take shape,” says Peters. “The responsive nature of the writing and recording situation has given rise to some radical thinking on how to instantly release the album into the modern world and also across all the major formats – stream, download, CD and LP.”

To release the album on vinyl, a specialist cutting-house has been engaged to hand-cut as many pre-ordered vinyl copies as possible, once the final master has been cut in Los Angeles by the legendary Howie Weinberg.

The digital edition of War is being distributed internationally by InGrooves who have already paved the way for this groundbreaking release to appear on all digital service provider platforms on 26 February.

As the artwork has been created in advance, each CD/LP will also have
the album title and band logo painted onto the cover by Peters personally, with the tracklisting left intentionally blank so that fans can write in the song titles themselves, once they receive the completed work.

“I really want the fans to have access to this album as soon as it’s finished,” says Peters. “We have set ourselves a very tight deadline, and the music is already being created out in the open for all to see and hear. The technology is there so that fans who still have access to a CD burner and wish to get involved in the spirit of the project can do so by interacting with the creative process and play their own part in bringing this new Alarm album into the world.”

War is available to pre-order/pre-save here.

The Alarm on Facebook

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PUTTING THE HOOT IN!

Former MICRODISNEY and FATIMA MANSIONS frontman CATHAL COUGHLAN is back with his first new album in more than a decade.

The Cork singer-songwriter is trailing the release with a video for the brooding, nightmarish ‘Owl In The Parlour’.

His sixth solo album, Song Of Co-Aklan comprises 12 new original songs and features guest appearances from friends and former bandmates including Sean O’ Hagan, Jon Fell and John Bennett (Microdisney/High Llamas), Luke Haines (Auteurs/Black Box Recorder), Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti), Aindrías Ó Gruama (Fatima Mansions), Cory Gray (The Delines) and Dublin singer-songwriter Eileen Gogan.

Coughlan formed Microdisney with O’Hagan in 1980, forming Fatima Mansions after their dissolution in 1988. In recent years he’s maintained with his solo career as well as collaborating with Blixa Bargeld, Ute Lemper and Gavin Friday on Change The World, a reimagining of the works of Bertold Brecht at Dublin’s National Concert Hall. This year will see the results of his partnership with producer and musician Jacknife Lee under the name Telefis.

Set for release on 26 March through Dimple Discs, Song Of Co-Aklan is available to pre-order here.

Cathal Coughlan on Facebook

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MIDDLE-AGE WARNING!

Notts punks VERBAL WARNING are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a movie! And we’re not talking a DVD and a takeaway!

Alongside RESISTANCE 77, Verbal Warning are the area’s longest serving punk band.

Unable to gig because of Covid lockdown, the band didn’t want to miss the momentous occasion, though, so have put together a feature-length documentary comprising live and archive footage, as well as old photographs to tell the band’s amazing story from their inception to demise and eventual rebirth.

The band are currently in the process of writing songs for their next album and are looking forward to getting back out on the road just as soon as they are able.

Verbal Warning on Facebook

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KEEP US ON THE RODENT!

Swedish punks ROTTEN MIND have just unveiled a new video.

The four-piece from Uppsala have been going since 2015 and are one of the four original bands associated with leading alternative rock label Lövely Records.

‘City Rats’ is the opening cut from the band’s fourth album Rat City Dog Boy, released last year.

The video, presumably depicting a typical Friday night in Uppsala, was filmed and edited by Daniel Wiberg. Rats in leather jackets: now that we can handle!

Rat City Dog Boy is available here.

Rotten Mind on Facebook

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