New pop-rock favourites THE MIDDLENIGHT MEN release their long-awaited new album today and they’ve given Vive Le Rock! a sneaky peak!

The band are the brainchild of singer/guitarist Nick Hughes, whose impressive work record has included stints with THE YO-YOS, TERRORVISION and DUNCAN REID & THE BIG HEADS

Written over the course of a year, Hughes went into the studio before lockdown with longtime friend and STATUS QUO drummer Leon Cave, producer Andy Brook and various friends and miscreants to lay down the album. Trailed by three well-received singles – ‘Heroine Heights’, ‘Rat Star’ and ‘B.A. Baby’, the aptly-titled Issue 1 is now ready to see the light of day.

Issue 1 is an epic collection of our biggest influences all rammed in to 45 minutes of gloriously unashamed singalong pop-rock anthems,” says Hughes. “The whole point of this album is both to provide a means of escapism from the shit that we all have to deal with right now and an excuse to stick a load of make-up on and be unashamed as we place ourselves in a different reality where we’re free to sing, dance and drink the night away like it’s 2027, presuming we can by then! If ya like Beach Boys, Wildhearts, Alice Cooper and even McFly, this one’s for you.”

Issue I is available to buy here.

The Middlenight Men are featured in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!

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Coventry ska legends THE SELECTER’s classic debut album is to get a new expanded reissue.

Initially released in February 1980 , Too Much Pressure was the second long-player to emerge on the 2 Tone label, coming just four months after THE SPECIALS’ self-titled debut.

Rising to No.5 in the album charts, the album featured the Top 30 hits ‘Three Minute Hero’ and ‘Missing Words’.

As part of a 2 Tone reissues programme from the recently relaunched Chrysalis label, the album is to be re-released as a 3-CD box set, comprising the original 12-track album and stand-alone singles ‘The Selecter’ and the Top 10 ‘On My Radio’ as well as a Peel Session, live tracks, outtakes and other previously unreleased rarities. The set is completed by a booklet with sleevenotes by author Daniel Rachel.

At the same time, Chrysalis will be releasing a half-speed mastered 45rpm edition of the album on black or clear vinyl, with a bonus 7″ of ‘On My Radio’. Both versions are set for release on 23 April.

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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.

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US punks THE WHEELZ have just dropped a video for their brand new single.

Just the latest in an impressive collection of shoutalong anthems, ‘Politicians’ is taken from the band’s new EP Twenty / Twenty, their first new material since their 2018 debut album.

Kicking back in the same dayglo buzzsaw punk alley as the Toy Dolls, Rezillos, The Briefs and Cyanide Pills, The Wheelz stay true to the ‘no future’ spit’n’glue spirit of ’77 punk, declaring that they are “Going nowhere and not going anywhere. Both at the same time. . .”

Twenty / Twenty is out now on vinyl from No Front Teeth in the UK and Boulevard Trash in the US. It’s also available on cassette from Berlin’s Tape Or Die.

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Pic by Vicious Velma

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Swedish punk-rocker JAKOB MIND heralds his debut solo album with a video which he’s premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Known to his folks as Jakob Arvidsson, he leads a double life as the guitarist and singer with Uppsala punks ROTTEN MIND and ‘Let Them Know’ is taken from the album The One Who Got Away.

Arvidsson’s actually got a track record going back over a decade, starting out as a member of hardcore mob AGENT ATTITUDE who managed to turn out a trio of full-lengths before imploding in 2015, at which point Rotten Mind began.

Prior to sessions for his band’s most recent album Rat City Dog Boy, Jakob slipped into the studio to lay down the tracks that comprise The One Who Got Away, drawing on an array of influences from the Velvet Underground and Roky Erickson to the Ramones, Buzzcocks and Dead Boys.

“It’s a bit different when you play all the instruments by yourself,” he says. “You can’t rehearse it before so pretty much all the drum takes are the first time I play the songs. I just used my acoustic guitar at home and tried to figure out in my head how the songs will sound and then try to re-create that in the studio. It’s not easy all the time but it’s good fun.”

‘Let Them Know’ is out on Friday 5 February through Lövely Records while The One Who Got Away follows in 16 April.

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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.

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The world’s number one mariachi-sleaze band GYPSY PISTOLEROS have just unveiled the first video from their forthcoming new album.

‘Lost In A Town Called Nowhere’ is the taken from the album The Mescalito Vampires, which follows quickly on the heels of last year’s self-descriptively titled The Greatest Flamenco Glam Sleaze Band Ever!, their debut for Golden Robot Records.

Hailing from the lawless badlands of Worcestershire, the Pistoleros have been described as the ideal house band for The Titty Twister, the club in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s classic ’96 Tex-Mex vampire flick From Dusk Till Dawn, fusing Hanoi Rocks-style glam-punk with mariachi horns and flamenco guitars.

Set for release on 26 February, ‘Lost In A Town Called Nowhere’ will be available on Riot Records on limited edition red-and-gold splatter vinyl 7″. Pre-order it from Carnival Records from 12 February.

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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.

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Liverpool kitchencore band PETE BENTHAM & THE DINNER LADIES have just unveiled a new video.

After the year we’ve had and little hope on the horizon, the lockdown video for ‘Life Is Beautiful’ can’t help but inspire positivity with the help of various members of the DIY punk community, including members of Eastfield, Interrobang!? Bratakus, Delinquents, Werecats, Salt the Snail, Crash Mats, Biteback, Riviera Kid, Spam Javelin and Pascal Briggs.

If you enjoy the video – even if you don’t! – you’re encouraged to donate to the Music Venue Trust #saveourvenues crowdfunder.

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Finnish garage-rock legends THE FLAMING SIDEBURNS herald their new album with a brand new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘A Song For Robert’ is taken from the album Silver Flames, the first to feature all five original members of the band in twenty years. The song itself is a tribute to Hellacopters and Thunder Express guitarist Robert Dahlqvist who sadly passed away in 2017.

Formed in Helsinki in 1995, and quickly proving themselves in the Premier League of Northern European garage-rock, the original line-up lasted until their now classic debut album Hallelujah Rock’n’Rollah in 2001, before guitarist Arimatti Jutila moved to the US, forcing the band into a prolonged game of musical chairs.

After two more albums and hundreds of shows, the band finally ground to a halt in 2016, only for the founder members to reunite two years later for reunion dates. Realising the old magic was still there, it wasn’t long before the band returned to the studio with a bunch of arse-kicking new material and longtime friend and producer Jürgen Hendlmeier in the chair.

Silver Flames is set for release through Svart Records on 23 April and is available for pre-order here.

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Pic by Neil Smith

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Boston ska-punk legends THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES have signed to Hellcat Records and celebrate with a brand new single and video.

Referred to as a ‘ska summit’, the 8-minute track was produced by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Grammy Award-winner Ted Hutt and features a multitude of cameo appearances from the great and the good of ska, ska-punk and punk.

The track is accompanied by an animated video directed by YoYoYosef.

“It’s a love letter to Ska music and the people that make Ska music and it’s a whole lot of fun,” says vocalist Dicky Barrett.

The track features appearances from Armstrong, Aimee Interrupter & The Interrupters, Stranger Cole, Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers), Jay Navarro (Suicide Machines), Chris DeMakes, Pete Wesilewski, Roger Lima (Less Than Jake), Jimmy G (Murphy’s Law), Toby Morse, Rusty Pistachio (H2O), John Feldman (Goldfinger), Laila Khan (Sonic Boom Six), Robert Hingley (Toasters), Dan Vitale (Bim Skala Bim), Dave McWane (Big D and The Kids Table), Sirae Richardson, Erin Mackenzie, Brie McWane (The Doped Up Dollys), Jesse Wagner (Aggrolites), Karina Denike (The Dance Hall Crashers), Christian Jaccobs (The Aquabats), Jon Pebsworth (Buck O Nine), Peter Porker (The Porkers), Steve Jackson (The Pietasters), Felipe Galvan (Los Skanarles), Jet Baker (Buster Shuffle), Fumio Ito (Kemuri), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy) and Roddy Radiation (The Specials).

‘The Final Parade’ is available to stream/download here.

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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.

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Rude GRL & CC Video Exclusive!

Last year we premiered the debut video by our old friend and punk veteran Chris Constantinou’s new project Rude GRL & CC, a cover of Vince Taylor’s ‘Brand New Cadillac’ that most of us know from a cover by The Clash.

The pair have now resurrected the song with a brand new up-to-the-minute video which we’re premiering exclusively today!

‘Brand New Cadillac’ is available to pre-save here.

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GRAND ROYALE have just dropped a new video as a taster for their brand new album.

The track ‘Just As Bad As You’ is the third single to be taken from the band’s forthcoming fifth album Carry On and features special guest singer Dregen of Hellacopters and Backyard Babies fame.

The Swedish action rockers are no strangers to working with members of Hellacopters having previously corralled Nicke Andersson to produce their third album Breaking News, their debut for The Sign Records.

This time around, the band have opted to produce the record themselves, with mixing by Robert Pehrsson from the band Humbucker, achieving a much rawer, back to basics sound.

”On our previous record Take It Easy we experimented a lot with different instruments and sounds to challenge ourselves,” says guitarist and singer Gustav Wremer. “To make something that, to us, is a bit unusual and that stands out from our other albums. On ’Carry On’ we’re focusing on what we’re best at – dirty garage rock n roll. We’ve basically recorded and produced the entire record ourselves. I think it ended up great. No fuzz, no muss, just rock!”

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Pittsburgh rock legends THE CHEATS are back with a new video which they’re launching exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Give Up The Ghost’ is taken from the band’s current album Cussin’, Crying ‘N’ Carrying On and the video is a direct result of Covid 19.

“We’re getting bored!” singer Todd Cheat exclaims. “This venue shutdown is killing us. We’ve always been a live band. I was checking out some old Motorhead videos and ‘Ace of Spades’ popped up. They just did it live and I was like, That’s it! That’s what I want to do! Our friends Mary and Matt from Mud City Manglers have a new underground venue called the Shred Shed here in Pittsburgh. We just set up and our long time video producer, Larry Dawgiello came in and just started rolling.”

The band are about to get back into the studio to record new tracks, two of which will go to a single in Screaming Crow Records’ new Rock’n’Roll Jukebox 45 series, which will also boasts sides from the cream of international action rock, including THE HIP PRIESTS, THE DIRTY DENIMS and THE RAVAGERS. Featuring one original song and one cover, the label plan to issue the tracks on a compilation later in the year.

Todd Cheat was recently among 60 Pittsburgh musicians contributing to a charity song ‘SOS2020’ raising money for the city’s beleaguered venues struggling to stay alive during lockdown.

The Cheats will help kick off the SOS2020 series of internet shows on Thursday 28 January in support of the NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) Emergency Relief Fund. Starting at 6pm EST, the two-hour show will also feature sets from ROYAL HONEY and MIDDLE FINGER. It costs an extremely reasonable $3 to view and there’s more details here. Dig deep!

Cussin’, Crying ‘N’ Carrying On has been repressed on Rock Candy Red vinyl and is available here.

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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.

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Essex antagonists EIGHT ROUNDS RAPID have unveiled a new video from their current album.

‘Onesie’ is taken from the Southend band’s acclaimed third album Love Your Work released last year through Tapete.

Directed by Henry Littlechild and Tony Burke, the video stars actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor of Avengers: Infinity War and Peaky Blinders notoriety and is described as “a shank-sharp satire on our soulless and much-beloved Instagram-obsessed post-Brexit Britain”.

Formed in 2010, Eight Rounds Rapid take their cue from the mythical tradition of Thames Delta rhythm and blues, forced kicking and screaming through a post-punk filter via the clanking discordance of Gang Of Four to emerge awkwardly in the 21st Century beside the acerbic lyricism of the likes of Sleaford Mods and IDLES. Since 2014’s Lossleader, they routinely feature in Vive Le Rock‘s albums of the year list.

Love Your Work is available here.

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Pic by Paul Hughes

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