Monthly Archives: August 2014

Bad Self – The Three Daughters of Maria

Bad self
Three Maria

Three Maria cover from Dublin rock band  bad self

Three Maria cover from Dublin rock band bad self

New Dublin band bad self have self released this very well produced and tight record. They have a rocky sound complete with riffs and dirty drum beat.
More of a hint to Queen Of The Stone Age or even Seaweed than the Jesus lizard as their bio suggests. These are well crafted songs that suggests more than a debut offering from a band. You sure wouldn’t think this was a bands maiden voyage. Of course there is pedigree with members of Bambi and Future Kings of Spain being amongst the entourage.

Stay down has a riff throughout that rocks and sets the tone. Most tracks have that riff beat backbone and if you want your music to rock out then check these out. I’m to be convinced as any record that uses the line “the daybreak is coming baby” leaves me wondering what’s going in. Maybe Seaweed had those lines on offer but do we really need to hear something like that being sung in a song?

It is promising, riffy and iffy

niallhope

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Sport – Bon Voyage

Sport
Bon voyage

sport

It’s been a strange wee while. First I heard about the hospitalisation of one of my peers and then of the death of another one. Neither of whom I know personally very well but their music has been in my life over the past 20-30 years. It’s a long time and a lot of music.

I have been wandering aimlessly for a couple of days trying to make sense of it all. Of course no sense can be made of it, both just seem so young to suffer. Which of course is a ridiculous western perception. Whilst wandering I thought of my community, people I know to varying degrees and some of them are really hurt. I feel their hurt but don’t have their tears.

Sport seems like a perfect soundtrack to it. Sounding nothing like the people I’m thinking about but there’s a kinship in here. DIY or independent and happy to call themselves punk rock. Sport’s personal classification is indie punk, some may say emo, others may scream screamo. It’s a sound based on nice guitar riffs immaculately played that mainly break into a screaming vocal match and piercing drums that you can imagine being hit with all the force of a heart attack on your body. Hard and fast at times. The music flows from breakneck to peaceful within the beat of a cymbal

But a screaming plea is never far away. Just like me at the moment. A plea for what I’m not sure. Maybe for you to take care

niallhope

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Declan Snowden

Declan Snowden
Getting My Hope Up EP

declan snowden

Declan is almost the antithesis of epic problem . Singer songwriter with meandering songs. Full on compositions with melody, backing vocals, guitar, keyboard and structure.

Sure they are well crafted but where’s the anger? the energy? the chance to grab you and scream!! However if you’re not looking for any of that in your music and wanna chill whilst being entertained, this will provide that soundtrack, hands down. Completely diy release which has to be applauded

LITE

niallhope

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Dead Kennedys – fresh fruit for Rotting Vegetables – the early years

Dead Kennedys
Fresh fruit for rotting vegetables
By Alex Ogg
PM Press
SKU: 9781604864892

fresh fruit for Rotting Vegetables

This is not a book about the Dead Kennedys career. It is more a tale of how they got together, recorded and released one of the iconic punk rock albums. The story of such a now fractured band requires a lot more discussion

Fresh fruit was different to so many other records at the time as there was no major record label providing financial supports. This was a band that were taking the shock aspect of punk and putting a positive message forward. The book charts the formation of the band as their early singles were released. The first two being “California über alles” and “Holiday in Cambodia”, both having raging guitar hooks, intelligent lyrics and breakneck rhythm. The story behind the controversy of the artwork and Biafra’s onstage antics is given great detail. How the album came about and the involvement of cherry red and subsequent setting up of alternative tentacles is included. All necessary components to the make up of the dks

Most of us now that the band did not finish on a good note or certainly the trajectory since their finish has not been a mutually happy event for the members. However it is good to see that not getting too much exposure here as that can be the sequel. For now we can read about one of the greatest albums of all time by one of the most innovative bands ever. We can get an idea of America at the time, the punk scene and the socio economic environment.

It is quite obvious, reading between the lines, that vocalist Jelllo Biafra, has a completely different outlook then guitarist east bay ray on pretty much all matters Dead Kennedys relating. It is hard to see what tale is fiction and what one isn’t but the fact is the record came out with those songs and we have been able to listen to them for years. The dead Kennedys had such a huge influence on music and this is summed up by the many quotes at the end from people like actor Elijah wood or slash from guns and roses or dave grohl from foo fighter/nirvana. The effect this album has had is phenomenal and is most worthy of the written word too

Another thing the book offers is a reminder of how great the artwork of Winston Smith is. It is reproduced here as are many of the fliers and posters of the day. Considering the author was involved in the art of punk book that came out over a year ago it is no surprise now has teamed up with once again with russ bestley to ensure that the words are accompanied with the relevant graphics and it’s all packaged very well

If you have ever listened to a punk roots and enjoyed it ten you should have a read of this

niallhope

dks logo

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Epic Problem – Lines EP

Epic Problem
Lines EP

epic problem lines ep

So how do you like your music? It’s a pretty hard question to answer isn’t it? Me, I like it all ways. Depends on the mood I suppose. I can take redneck manifesto or god is an astronaut and their post rock instrumental offerings. I can take flies on you and their electronic take on post punk. I can take post punk and the stripped down bare wail of a guitar riff over lofi guitars and drums. I love when bands mix this all up but deep down I love an anthem.

My anthems aren’t Bon Jovi or soft rock. They are short sharp fast songs that you can scream along to. Screaming is important. Top of your lungs shouting til your hoarse. Maybe even a few woooooo-oohs in there too for good measure

Epic problem provide that in abundance. 4 songs of single word titles with sing along loud vocals and speedy tunes. This is great, another record of the year

niallhope

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TV Smith – Acoustic Sessions Volume 1

TV SMith Acoustic Session Vol 1
TV Smith

Acoustic Sessions Vol 1 cover

Acoustic Sessions Vol 1 cover

And so we have a new TV Smith record, well it slipped through the cracks last year and is new for me. Self released in true DIY Punk rock fashion. When history books are written about UK punk we hear many tales of that first wave of bands like the Clash, Sex Pistols and the Damned. The Adverts are quite often criminally ignored or maybe given some space as a footnote. Their first album, Crossing the red sea with the adverts, is one of the classic albums. It was released in 1978 and featured their hit single whcih was released the previous year, Gary Gilmores Eyes. That debut featured 11 songs all reflections of a Britain not quite burning yet but about to go up in flames.

Like many others they went a bit downhill dealing with the difficult second album. And so Cast of Thousands didn’t quite have the energy and exhuberance of their first offering and the adverts dwindled out. But TV Smith kept going, and kept going and is still travelling on the road to change. He then went to have TV Smiths Explorers and moved on to Cheap before deciding that the best way to travel on this road is as a solo artist. Along the way he picks up passengers and has worked with many artists. Every now and then he joins with Barcelonas Bored Teenagers and they play that first classic album. 36 years later and those songs are still fresh.

He is best known now for his solo gigs. One man and his acoustic guitar. They are celebrations of his life, please for people to take control of their own destiny and reflections on todays society. They are a joy to behold. It has been 3 years sonce his last new recorded solo output but it hasn’t stopped TV writing and including these songs in his set.

The acoustic sessions is TV and his guitar in a studio doing acoustic version of two dozen songs he has recorded over a 30 year period from 1977. From No Time To Be 21 which was on that Crossing the red sea album right through to Not In My Name which asks “Why do i have to show My ID?” before proclaiming “Never Again, Not in My Name”. Not IN My Name was on Misinforation Overload, released in 2006 on Boss Tuneage.

The title would suggest there may be an acoustic session volume 2 which I really hope is gonna happen. The sound neatly captures that live gig feel, the raw acoustic guitar as tv sings with feeling, these are raw stripped down version of punk classics which have certainly stood any time test and show how TV Smith should be a chapter in any punk rock story and the footnotes can be for those who disappeared after their five minutes of fame.

niallhope

T.V.Smith

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Louise Distras – Dreams from The Factory Floor

Dreams from the Factory Floor cover

Dreams from the Factory Floor cover

Louise Distras
Dreams From The Factory Floor
http://www.louisedistras.bigcartel.com/

louise_distras__large

“I don’t view myself as a protest singer, I view myself as a young woman passing on a message for the next generation.”

or so Louise proclaims but this is a record full of what seems like protest songs. But then on further inspection they really are stories or appeals.

It will be impossible to review this record without mentioning the message behind it. That’s what really adds to it. One woman and her guitar is how Louise normally plays it but there’s guests on the recordings here that serve to beef up the songs but at their most bare they are most powerful. The website states that these tracks are twelve clenched fists full of fury aimed squarely at consumer society, sexual discrimination, and the ‘chosen few’ who run society in their own interests. That sums it up remarkably well but within the clenched fists and the anger are well crafted songs that you will wish to return to. Sing along parts will haunt you for days. I’m finding myself cycling along singing parts of this album at all times. The kids are getting tired of me shouting to them “Open Your Eyes What can you see, closing your heart won’t set you free” or “Never let the hand you hold, hold you down”

I have been writing reviews in various formats since my first zine in 1984. Every now and then a record or an artist comes along that I want to believe in. Someone that wants to make this world a better place and is using music as ingredient in this change. Louise is one of these people. Please support her.

niallhope

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