FEBRUARY RECORD REVIEWS (12 reviews inside)
KINGS FOR A DAY – THE VINYL JAPAN YEARS
Bristol second wave punks’ collection of late ‘90s material.
This double disc round-up of tracks recorded for the seminal Vinyl Japan record label is a real treat for fans of Chaos UK. One disc has the whole of the ‘Heard It, Seen It, Done It’ album (originally released in ’99), including three bonus tracks, and the other features the King For A Day EP, the Kanpai EP, the Making Half A Killing mini LP, the split Dangerous Study single and rare cuts from the Punk’s Not Dread covers compilation. With many of these releases deleted this is a great chance to get these 35 tracks of raw and raging UK hardcore punk. Fuckin’ have it.
THE CUT UPS
THE HIGH AND MIGHTY
Second album from Exeter melodic punks almost lives up to its title.
The Cut Ups return with the follow-up to 2006’s ‘Paris Street in Ruins’ and it’s a grower that hooks you in . While the Bouncing Souls influence is still strong and some songs are too basic, such as the opening title track, ‘The High and Mighty’ is a more varied album than their debut. Upbeat anthems such as ‘Die Lieber Zimmer Auf’ and future live favourite ‘These Bones Were Built On Rice’ mix with more restrained tunes such as ‘I Know It’s OK’. These infectious sing-alongs are sure to raise a smile from fans of the Souls, Against Me! And Leatherface. Pick it up and catch them live.
DEAL WITH IT
END TIME PROPHECIES
Debut full-length from Leeds crossover crew.
In the wake of the success of Municipal Waste there have been plenty of wannabes coming out of the woodwork looking to jump on the bandwagon. However, Leeds’ Deal With It sound so energised and dangerous that they’re more likely to ram the bandwagon off the road and torch it than jump on it. With the speed, crew shouts and aggression of hardcore combining with the blazing guitar solos and darkness of metal on tracks like ‘Atlas Shrugged’ and ‘Streets of Rage II’, this is a bleak and pissed off album that looks to the ‘80s for inspiration. With a wild frontman and live show and awesome cover art by the legendary Ed Repka, what’s not to love?
THE GUN CLUB
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JEFFREY LEE PIERCE AND THE GUN CLUB
Extensive retrospective of the late Jeffrey Lee.
A visionary in marrying punk rock’s attitude with the blues and other traditional American musical forms, Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s reputation seems to have undergone a posthumous resurgence lately. This four-disc collection starts with a well-chosen 17-track career overview, and ventures from there into the labyrinthine live archives, charting shows from the band’s myriad line-ups – from the drunkenly anarchic to the downright sublime. Along the way neglected pearls are uncovered, such as a 1980 romp through Bo Diddley‘s ‘Gunslinger’, some ultra-rare solo live recordings and some broadcast-quality cuts from Gun Club’s consummate performances at Lyon in 1990 and Utrecht in 1992.
VOLCANO… BLOODY VOLCANO
Neat debut album from Canadian chaps and chapette.
It’s normally easy to lazily pigeonhole a band, but Hot Panda have been compared to the likes of The Talking Heads and Daniel Johnson. Throw in some garage, pop, an accordion, vocals that could be from a distant relation of (a female) Fred Schneider of the B52s and finally sprinkle on some Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer and you have the genre that these Canucks should be crammed into. We have to settle for describing them as jaunty pop rockers with genuine personality to their music, a sense of fun throughout the record and an infectiously upbeat way of looking at things. Definitely worth a listen.
(In The Red)
Fuzzed up garage car wreck.
If your taste is a frenzied, head-mashing garage rock that bangs sounds into your ears with the aid of a nail gun then this is for you. Although you’re aurally pummelled for the most of the time, you get an almost sinister break as the tempo slows down. It’s sickeningly beautiful how these slower songs are the most evil. They conjur up the same feelings I would imagine a poor, hooded wretch gets when he thinks he’s reprieved only to realise the sound he can hear is the executioner sharpening his axe. The whole thing ends in a blaze of almost sing-along glory. I only hope you get that far.
THE DAY THE COUNTRY DIED / FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE
Swish reissues of ‘80s UK anarcho punks’ first two albums.
Melksham’s Subhumans were an integral part of the early ‘80s UK anarcho scene, bursting with politically charged, heartfelt lyrics, and fierce commitment to the cause. But former Mental vocalist Dick Lucas could always maintain an easy balance between diatribe and easy-going humour and a palatable tune was never too far away. Here you get nicely remastered reissues of their 1983 debut ‘The Day The Country Died’ and the following album ‘From The Cradle To The Grave’. Both come in snazzy digipaks, with a neat poster and lyric booklet, and both provide ample evidence of just why the band are still revered.
JET BLACK LEATHER MACHINE
Brand New Cadillac mans’ retrospective.
He may have come from Uxbridge but 50’s rock n roller Vince Taylor modelled himself as the Hollywood rot rod rocker after living in California during this teenage years. Heading back to the U.K to try his luck in the rock n roll pond, he never quite made it. However he did write possibly one of the greatest British rock n roll songs of the 50’s, the damn near perfect ‘Brand New Cadillac’, included here and made famous by the Clash.’Jet Black Machine’ is another highlight but its all fairly standard stuff. Poor old Vince went downhill after falling inlove with LSD and doing one too many trips, ending up bonkers and believing he was god!! The closing track, ‘Rock n roll station’ is especially disturbing showing Vince had definitely lost his Cadillac and his marbles by 1976!
Eugene Big Cheese
SOME KIND OF KICK
‘Verbed-out garage stompers from Dublin quintet.
Carrying the authentic whiff of garage grease before it, The Things’ debut offering wades up to its neck in the mucky waters of rock ’n’ roll, particularly that of the black leather and bad vibes strain. It’s a mess of rockabilly reverb, creaky frat-shack Farfisa and the V8 throb of Motor City guitar rock. ‘Outrun The Law’ is gleefully reminiscent of Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, while the work of The Cramps comes to mind elsewhere, as on ‘Make Her Cry’ with its swamp-stomp guitar twang. These boys aren’t inventing anything new here, but they do their well-chosen reference points a great deal of justice and it makes for a pretty satisfying trash-rock rave up.
THE WET TEENS
LET IT PEE
Silly and rude but quite fun.
As you can guess from the band name, album title, the fact that its introduced by porn star Ron Jeremy, and song titles like ‘Love Cream’, ‘Lick You To The Core’ and ‘Triple X Sex’, these are recordings of newly discovered religious baroque works by German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, penned by the great man circa 1700. Oh, alright, it’s a lot of smut by some dirty scamps from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Good smut, mind, with pumping drums, pounding guitars, thrusting drums… ahem. Well, I think that’s enough of that.
THE ZERO POINT
SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION
New album by battle-scarred Danish veterans.
The Zero Point formed in 1979 and are one of Denmark’s most enduring punk bands, having been reformed (with a new line-up) by singer Steen Thomsen in 2002 after splitting in ‘87. Since then The Zero Point have been more active than ever. Despite being a fan of the band since way back when, I only clocked them live for the first time last year, and was impressed with their hard-hitting brand of tuneful street punk. And that’s just what you get from the veterans on new album ‘Shameless Self Promotion’. It’s classy, well produced fare and they close with a storming ‘Chinese Rocks’.
ZOMBINA AND THE SKELETONES
OUT OF THE CRYPT AND INTO YOUR HEART
Bone-shakingly good horror punk/pop!
Having been a band for over a decade, this spooky Liverpudlian quintet certainly have a bloodthirsty following and it’s no surprise when you hear their third album. Mixing surf guitars, unhinged organ and devilishly good harmonising, their mix of rock ‘n’ roll, horror punk and pop should see them finally get the recognition they deserve. Zombina is on fine form and her vocals are passionate and distinctive. Like the mutant child of the Misfits and the Shangri-Las, tracks such as the dangerously infectious ‘Evil Science’, the biting ‘Raised In Hell’ and the atmospheric ‘Flaming Skull’ prove that they must have sold their souls to the devil to get this good!