THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES have announced the release of a new album for the Spring.
The Boston ska-punk behemoth’s eleventh studio album, When God Was Great follows on from 2018’s While We’re At It and marks their debut for Hellcat Records. Produced by longtime producer Ted Hutt and Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong, the 15 tracks on the album reflect on the peculiar times the band, and the world in general, have found themselves in.
“We were lightly writing songs before the insanity without any sort of timeline in mind,” explains frontman Dicky Barrett. “All of a sudden, the world changed and benchmark events in a very long career that we were looking forward to, such as playing with the Madness at the Greek Theatre, were taken away from us. With all of this time on our hands, we started writing at a quickened pace and we were really inspired. As grim as everything around us was in the outside world, this was the most fun we ever had making a record.”
The band are trailing the album release with the song ‘I Don’t Believe In Anything’…
When God Was Great is set for release on 7 May. It’s available to pre-order here.
Fast-rising Colchester punks PET NEEDS are set to release their debut album next week and they’re trailing it with a new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
Ever since Boudicca sacked the ancient capital in AD60, Colchester people have earned a reputation for sticking it to the man, from the Peasants’ Revolt right up the Miners’ Strike and the Poll Tax riots. The town has also seriously punched above its weight band-wise with the likes of Modern English, Living In Texas, Big Bird and the immortal Bum Gravy all making their mark.
Xtra Mile signings Pet Needs are carrying on that grand tradition with a string of dynamic performances with bands such as Buzzcocks, PiL and The Undertones and a head-turning spot at Camden Rocks flagging them up as ones to watch.
Described by frontman Johnny Marriott as “the ultimate Fractured Party song”, new single ‘Toothpaste’, is the second track to be lifted from their forthcoming debut Fractured Party Music, following on from last month’s ‘Tracy Emin’s Bed’, and observes how mundane, everyday objects can unlock deepseated memories.
The song, says Marriott, “was penned on the M1 on the way home from visiting my mum in Derby. She has bought exactly the same toothpaste for years and every time I use it, standing in the bathroom next to my childhood bedroom, it throws me right back to being an anxious little lad trying to make sense of things, haha.”
Celtic punks FLOGGING MOLLY have announced a special livestreamed gig for St Patrick’s Day.
Obviously, thanks to Covid lockdown, the band are unable to celebrate in the usual way but this year, with help from Bushmills Irish Whiskey, they’ll be streaming the event live from Whelan’s pub in Dublin on 17 March. Amazingly, this is the band’s first St Patrick’s day show on Irish soil.
Kicking off at 7pm GMT, tickets for the event are available in various bundles here. A portion of the money raised will go to the Sweet Relief Crew Fund, benefitting road crew out of work thanks to lockdown.
Formed by ex-Fastway vocalist Dave King, the band started out as house band at Molly Malone’s Irish pub in LA, going on to dominate the Celtic punk scene with more than two decades of relentless touring. The band has recently begun work on their seventh album, the follow up to 2017’s Life Is Good.
DROPKICK MURPHYS have unveiled a new single as a taster for their forthcoming new album.
‘Middle Finger’ is taken from the album Turn Up That Dial, the Boston band’s tenth album, which follows on from 2017’s Billboard Top 10 album 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory.
Working with longtime producer Ted Hutt, the 11 new songs on Turn Up That Dial were recorded under strict lockdown conditions: tracks were laid down at Q Division Studios in Somerville MA in shifts of two band members at a time while backing vocals were recorded in five separate rooms. Hutt, meanwhile, oversaw sessions by videolink from his studio in LA.
Along with ‘Middle Finger’, the album features recent singles ‘Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding’ and ‘Smash Shit Up’. It closes with ‘I Wish You Were Here’, singer Al Barr’s moving tribute to his late father Woody.
“Al’s dad was just an incredible man,” explains band founder and co-lead singer Ken Casey. “He and Al had a very special bond. To watch Al grieve his death was heartbreaking. He persevered through it, even when we had to go back on the road, away from family. He kept his head held high. We’ve never ended an album with a slow song, but we had to end it with a tip of the cap to pay our respects to Woody and so many others. It’s a moment to stop, count our blessings, and remember those who we’ve lost, including the 400,000-plus people to this virus.
“On this record, the overall theme is the importance of music, and the bands that made us who we are,” Casey continues. “We just hope [the album] takes people’s minds off their troubles. We’re so fortunate and grateful to be in the position to share a little happiness in our own way. Our gratitude levels are off the chart. 25 years ago, somebody bet me 30 bucks I couldn’t form a band with three weeks’ notice to open for his band. As kids, we’d never been out of New England and here we are – we’ve made ten records and have been all over the globe. If there’s a message to this album, it’s ‘put your fist up and play it loud.’”
As previously announced, the band will be livestreaming a special St Patrick’s Day show on 17 March at 7pm in Boston time / 11pm London time. Admission is free but donations are encouraged at www.DKMstream.com
Turn Up That Dial is out through the band’s Born & Bred label on 30 April. Pre-order it here.
Just in time for St Valentine’s Day, SPIZZENERGI have unveiled the video for their cover of David Bowie’s ‘Valentine’s Day’.
As previously revealed, the track was mixed by legendary Bowie producer Tony Visconti and will feature on a forthcoming new album, alongside the recent hit single ‘Christmas In Denmark Street’.
“Originally Spizzenergi were tagged as a singles band,” says Spizz. “The modern Spizzenergi, as a performing band, have found it hard to find studio time to put down tracks. The current climate has, if anything, provided that space. The band are relearning the recording process with surprising results. As the main lyric writer, I have to sing songs that mean something and are more than songwriting for songwriting’s sake. So whatever constitutes the final collection there will be no padding. It’ll be passion without the fashion.”
ONE THOUSAND MOTELS, the collaboration between Rat Scabies and Chris Constantinou, have a new album on the way which they’re heralding with a brand new video.
‘When The Rabbit’s Got The Gun’ is taken from Get In Where You Fit In, the follow up to the duo’s debut 2% Out Of Sync, and features Sean Wheeler (Josh Homme, Lemmy, Mad Caddies) on vocals.
The album was recorded in London, Memphis and Palm Springs and features an impressive roll-call of special guests including Marc Franklin and Arthur Edmaiston from the legendary Memphis Horns, Dire Straits guitarist Hal Lindes, The Specials Horns, Essex harp ace Steve ‘West’ Weston, noted session drummer Preston Heyman and pianist Diz Watson of London pub R&B legends Diz and The Doormen.
The video is by RudeGRL
Get In Where You Fit In is due for release through Universal on 30 April.
Following the success of VIVE LE ROCKDOWN back in the summer, we’ve decided to do it all again.
With the music industry decimated by lockdown, we put on our own virtual festival: 20,000 of you tuned in one Facebook and YouTube, raising £1,000 for the Music Venue Trust.
With no return to live music on the horizon, this calls for VIVE LE ROCKDOWN 2!
Taking place on Saturday 20 February from 8.30pm, we’ve out together another amazing line-up including NEW MODEL ARMY, MARC ALMOND, MAID OF ACE, HOLLYWOOD BRATS, STEVE DIGGLE, THE LOVELESS, WAYNE HUSSEY, THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROW, THE BUSINESS, VICE SQUAD,WONK UNIT, DESPERATE MEASURE, THE SPEEDWAYS and more, with still more to be announced.
All proceeds from the night will go directly to the Roadies/Crew Fund. For more details and updates, keep an eye on the Vive Le Rock Facebook page!
One-man punk band RUM LAD has just unveiled a video as a taster for his forthcoming second.
The urgent, angry ‘Lazy Sod’ is taken from Punk AF, the follow up to acclaimed debut album Vandalism on which he sings and plays all the instruments as well as writing all the songs himself.
Brought up on a council estate in Retford, Nottinghamshire, on Vandalism, Rum Lad cast a jaded eye over the state of working-class life in 21st Century Britain and an absolutely scathing one over the politicians who he feels are to blame.
“I harbour no regrets, I enjoyed my upbringing, but I look back and wonder why the world has got so fast and digital,” he says. “Following on from the council estate life in a working-class town I’ve lived up and down the UK for many years with more than a few tales of loss, tragedy, heartbreak, fights and fisticuffs and it’s been eventful for sure, so putting all this stuff in my brain into songs and creating new energy from past negatives has given me an outlet to share my thoughts with the world.”
‘Lazy Sod’ is available digitally and Vandalism on 12″ vinyl here. You can also contribute to the crowdfunder for Punk AF.
Brazilian post-punks HERZEGOVINA unleash their debut album at the end of the month.
Formed in the hills above Rio de Janeiro, the trio of Rafael Crespo (guitar/vocals), Marcello Fernandes (bass) and Mario Mamede (drums) released their debut EP 5AM in 2016, followed by another EP Last Turn two years later.
Recorded during 2019, Emergency ploughs a deeply nostalgic furrow, their icy guitars and throbbing bass effortlessly recalling the early 80s, long overcoat, proto-gothic sounds of The Chameleons, The Sound, Luddites, early Sisters Of Mercy etc.
Emergency is available now through Mandinga Records on yellow vinyl and download.
Pub rock legend BRINSLEY SCHWARZ has a new video which he’s launching exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
Guitarist, singer and keyboard-player Schwarz gave his name to the band Brinsley Schwarz, also featuring Nick Lowe, when they morphed out of pop band Kippington Lodge at the end of the 60s. Darlings of the thriving early-70s London pub rock scene, they released six albums during their lifetime, along with the classic single ‘What’s So Funny About Peace, Love And Understanding’. They split up in ’75 with Schwarz joining The Rumour to back Graham Parker, with who he’s collaborated on and off for the past forty years.
New single ‘Storm In The Hills’, a commentary on climate change, politics and modern times, is taken from Schwarz’s second solo album Tangled, due out later in the year through Fretsore Records. It follows on from his debut solo release Unexpected which came out in 2016 and is also due for reissue.
Sheffield rockers BLACK SPIDERS make good on their return with the announcement of a brand new album.
The self-titled album will be the band’s third, following on from Sons Of The North, released in 2011.
After nearly a decade as one of the UK’s best loved and fastest rising rock bands, the Spiders checked out in 2017. However, during the summer of 2019, singer/guitarist Pete Spiby and guitarist Ozzy Lister reconnected and new songs began emerging thick and fast, resulting in nearly forty new tracks. Before they could hit the studio, though, the world was knocked sideways by Covid-19. Not to be deterred, and thanks to the magic of the Internet, the band reconvened virtually, only entering a real studio (Axis in Doncaster) with regular producer and engineer Matt Elliss when it was deemed pandemically safe to do so.
“It’s certainly been a strange process, in unfamiliar territory,” explains Spiby. “We started to look at how we could do it given the restrictions and not only that, but we had to replace our original drummer too. More obstacles throw in our way to smash through. We found a way. For us and probably most other bands, we would usually take a riff or song idea to a rehearsal and thrash it out ‘till we either had something or it ended up in the song graveyard! This time around we couldn’t do that, so myself, Ozzy and on occasion Adam Irwin (bass player) started to send ideas back and forth until we had something to work with in GarageBand. We got to a point where we had enough song ideas with basic structure to go into a studio proper, at a convenient time, to put something down. It was at this point when we had to look for a new drummer.”
The lucky recipient of the band’s drumstool is none other than Planet Rock Radio DJ Wyatt Wendel…
“I’ve never joined or worked with a band in this way EVER,” he laughs. “2020 certainly made it surreal. One minute I’m making some online drum videos for a radio station and then Pete pops up and asks if I’m busy. In the second minute I’m asked if I’d like to record some tracks. The third minute I agree. Soon after I’m in a studio recording tracks I’ve only heard demos of, having NEVER met the band or rehearsed, and it was all done on a wing and a prayer. In a weird twist of fate none of this would have happened without the pandemic of 2020! Funny how things can work out….”
The band made their reappearance in November 2020 with the release of the brand new digital single ‘Fly In The Soup’, the first new Black Spiders music in six years.
The reception to the track more than convinced the band that the world was indeed ready for a new Black Spiders album. With all the tracks in place, they just had to come up with a title…
“It wasn’t hard picking a title for the album,” says Spiby, “as we decided that the focus should be on the band, not the album title, so we decided not to have one. It was the easiest thing of the whole process. Let the music do the talking….”
Released through Cargo Records on 26 March, Black Spiders is available to pre-order here.
Aussie legends the HOODOO GURUS are to celebrate their 40th Anniversary with the screening of a new mini-documentary on New Year’s Eve, four decades to the day since they first decided to form a band.
The untitled 37-minute doc was put together by band frontman and founder Dave Faulkner from Zoom conversations with co-founders Kimble Rendall and Rod Radalj, who were at that fateful NYE party in Sydney, along with drummer James Baker who joined a few months later.
Veterans of the Perth punk scene, Faulkner and Baker had been in The Victims, while Radalj was in The Scientists. Relocating to Sydney, they hooked up with Rendall who’d been in the XL Capris. It would be nearly two years before the band, then known as Le Hoodoo Gurus, would release their debut single ‘Leilani’, by which time Rendall had left for a career in film.
“To mark the (anniversary of) the occasion I have put together a 37-minute documentary talking about that night we first got the idea of playing together and some other stories from the early days of the band, said Faulkner in a Facebook post. “I say ‘documentary’ but I’m using the term very loosely: it’s really just a couple of Zoom conversations I had with Kimble and Rod, firstly, and then James a week later (James was unable to join us all for the first one). I intercut those two Zoom chats together and tried to piece together the story of the band during those heady days of 1981 and ’82.
“It’s a bit long-winded in places but, hell, it’s free and it’s the unvarnished truth – or as best as we can remember it. I’m going to put it up on YouTube at around 10pm AEST (12 noon GMT). I’ll leave it up for 36 hours so that, wherever you are in the world, you can relive that New Year’s Eve with us from 40 years ago as we all get ready for the arrival of 2021.”
2 TONE RECORDS is the subject of a new book covering all eras of the iconic label.
Founded in Coventry in 1979 by Jerry Dammers, 2 Tone quickly saw commercial success with The Specials, Madness and The Selecter (pictured), sparking a cultural explosion by putting ska and related music at the forefront of the post-punk era.
In 2 Tone – Before, During & After, author Lee Morris looks at the environment that paved the way for the label and the associated scene, focusing on each of the associated bands and artists in depth. Unlike other studies of the label, the book also examines the changes that took place following the initial ska boom, alighting on later acts like Scarborough soul-jazzers The Friday Club, Coventry lounge-ska band The Swinging Cats and legendary Norwich punk-funkers The Higsons.
Published by Media House Books, 2 Tone – Before, During & After is available now, price £9.99, here.
Read a new interview with Terry Edwards in the new edition of Vive Le Rock! out now!
KILLING JOKE members Jaz Coleman and Geordie Walker have collaborated with former JOY DIVISION and NEW ORDER bassist Peter Hook on a project called K÷.
The trio hooked up at Hook’s studio back in 1993, in what Coleman says “could be described as [a] spontaneous and magical” session. Retrieved from a recently rediscovered DAT cassette, the three tracks comprise the limited edition K÷93 10″ EP, set for release on 5 March.
“I think it surprised all of us,” he continues. “Peter encouraged the softer, lower tones of my voice. And then of course we emerged from the haze and went our separate ways… 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.”
“I think these tracks are great. I hope something else happens or at least we play them some time. I’ve missed you lads!,” Hook adds.
The K÷93 EP, t-shirts and mugs are available to pre-order here.
Long-lost mod revivalists THE DIRECT HITS are a to have a compilation of rare tracks released in the new year.
Formed in Battersea in 1980, the trio released several singles and two full-length albums: 1984’s Blow Up for Television Personalities’ mainman Dan Treacy’s Whaam! label, followed by 1986’s House Of Secrets recorded with Sex Pistols’ producer Dave Goodman and released on their own Direct Records.
The Broadway Recording Sessions captures the band nearly two years before the release of their classic debut, bringing together 12 tracks recorded at the tiny Broadway Sound studio in Tooting, south-west London, providing a document of several of the first album tracks in an earlier, rawer, form.
Set for release on 26 February through Optic Nerve Recordings, The Broadway Recording Sessions is available to pre-order on CD and limited edition blue or black vinyl here.
Legendary French post-punks LES THUGS are to have one of their explosive live shows released as a live album.
Formed in the city of Angers in 1983, Les Thugs went on to have wider success outside France, especially in the in US where their records were released by Alternative Tentacles and SubPop, before splitting at the end on 1999.
Released through Nineteen Something Records, Live Paris 1999 was recorded at one of the quartet’s final gigs, before they briefly reformed nearly a decade later, resulting in the live album and DVD Come On, People.
Recorded at the Élysée Montmartre on 9 December, the 76-minute 21-track album misses out on a couple of songs due to tape damage, but stands as a ‘best of’ of the band’s career and even includes a couple of covers in the shape of the Dead Kennedy’s ‘Moon Over Marin’ and Vince Taylor’s ‘Brand New Cadillac’, made famous by The Clash.
The album’s release also coincides with the publication of the band’s biography Radical History. Both the CD and the book are available from the Nineteen Something online shop, with album download available from Bandcamp.