BABY SCREAM (Juan Pablo Mazzola) is back with two (!) albums, “Fan, Fan, Fan” and “The Worst Of…”
90s tainted power pop and 60s/70s rock are still the man’s main influences. You’ll find 12 new songs in “Fan, Fan, Fan”, lots of sweet melodies (“Back To Douche”, “Just For A While”), some sunny tracks with disillusionned lyrics (“Loner”, “Captain Hook”, “The Girl Next Door”), touch of cabaret rock (“Cheap Perfume”, “Blue In Berlin”), and some BOWIE-esque ballads (“A Human Being On Mars”, “Haters Will Hate.”)
“The Worst Of…” is a 27 song CD (22 originals and 5 covers), definitely too much for someone like me who enjoys the vinyl format for records, but well, these were taken out of 200 songs!… Stand out songs include “As Long As It Hurts (I’m Fine)” and “Shooting Stars”, two songs with a DINOSAUR JR feel as well as “In A Picture” and its big SUEDE influence.
The covers include the ones BABY SCREAM recorded for an Argentinian record label that released some TV shows/cartoons/movies based compilations, and I have to admit that the “Friends” theme actually fits BABY SCREAM very well!
Fans of The JAYHAWKS, Americana and The BEATLES will enjoy this new albums for sure./Laurent C.
We had a chat with Chris Damien Doll about upcoming CD “The Sex Tapes”, and since he’s always great to interview, we also talked about The BACKSTREET GIRLS, the TRASHCAN DARLINGS reunion show, and Norway’s rock’n’roll scene in 2015…
So, since you’re about to release “The Sex Tapes”, a new 6 song CD. Tell us a bit about it (the recording, the songs…) How different is it from your debut album “Criminal Record”? Why this title (is there some hidden sex videos on the CD!?)?
The SEX TAPES is an unbroken stream of music and soundbites, giving the listener the opportunity to dive into “the best movie never made,” or focus on the songs one-by-one, like on a conventional record. Pure rock’n’roll innovation! We are very proud of it.
It’s the download single that grew into it’s own release. We had a few songs we’d been working on and when the middleeight of BLADERUNNER (TOKYO NiGHTS) fell into place, Lazy got antsy… we all did… and Lazy thought we should release it as a download single, so we could play it live and give our fans something new while they’re waiting for the next album.
Then we were invited to contribute a song to a Backstreet Girls tribute album and all of a sudden we had two songs. When the second round of songwriting for the next studio album started, we realized we had too many great songs for one album and thought, “why not do all these songs that are ready as it’s own standalone mini-album release”… and we did.
We recorded at Pinehead’s Audio Saloon, which is basically C Slim’s Sonic Boom Boom Grotto, and it worked great. Maria Maxwell mixed and mastered it at DogEgg studio, which is also where all the soundbites are done, and did a brilliant job.
I don’t think these songs are that much different from our first album. It still sounds very much like the SUiCiDE BOMBERS and all the songs are great. The record will be released on the 2nd of March, so not many have heard it yet, but those who have love it and the videos for DEVOLiCiOUS BOYS and BLADERUNNER (TOKYO NiGHTS) are doing well on our youtube channel; suicidebombersmusic
The title came about as Lazy and myself were in our hotelroom before a gig somewhere, having a few drinks with the TV on in the background, when a documentary of Celebrity Sex Tapes came on. You know the kind… Some girl signs a deal with a porn company to make a sex tape for a lot of money. Then, when the tape is “leaked” she’ll utter a light protest and sue to add to the controvery, the case is settled out of court and all of a sudden she’s famous. It’s the cheapest way to become a celebrity, so we figured if that shit works for rich girls in LA, imagine what it can do for intergalactic superstars such as ourselves. There are no videos on our Sex Tape, the orgasms are purely sonic.
The line-up is a bit different since the first album, right?
Yeah, we got C Slim, the Thunder Mechanic, on bass and backing vocals.
He’s a brilliant guy! I have known him for years and even produced a few of the albums he did with his previous bands. We’ve had more than one drink on more than one occasion, so to speak. He’s a fantastic bassplayer. Right on the money like the fucking Panzer Divison at full force! His backing vocals are brilliant and he’a able to hit all the high notes. We can’t say enough cool shit about him.
Bitch Commander James Nero quit a while back. When things started happening for both the SUiCiDE BOMBERS and his own band the KILL CITY BANDITS at the same time, he had too much on his plate and had to make a desicion. He was the first member of this band, apart from me, and a great guy, so it was sad to see him go, but we are all still good friends and I think both bands are better off for it. The world now has two brilliant bands rather than just one, so everyone motherfucking wins!
Have you been playing a lot to promote “Criminal Record”? Are you satisfied with how the album was welcomed?
We’ve been around Norway a lot and also done shows in Sweden and Denmark and we are very pleased with the way the album’s been welcomed. We got nothing but great reviews for it! 7/10 in Classic Rock Magazine and 8.5 / 10 in Metal Hammer Norway to name but a few. We set out to make a classic debut album and judging from the reviews and fan feedback, I think we achieved that.
There’s even a fan who tattooed the bat and SB logo from shoulder to shoulder on his back after seeing us live one time! That’s a real honor! Most bands never see anyone tattoo their logos and the ones that do have usually been playing for decades and released lots of records. We’ve only been together for a few years and released one album. When someone goes out and tattoos your bandname, you have really made an impact. You just gotta love that! … So we hired him as our booking agent and have never gotten more gigs.
“The Sex Tapes” is self-released, but you didn’t use the crowdfunding thing like so many bands do nowadays. What do you think about crowdfunding?
We love crowdfunding and had every intention of doing it. We were looking into different options, but was thinking about the next full lenght album, as we didn’t wanna do crowdfunding for a download single, you know. When The SEX TAPES started to grow into what it’s become, it all happened so fast that we never had the time to finalize any crowdfunding. But we’ll try again with the next release.
Do you have any favourite songs on “The Sex Tapes”?
That’s a tough one… I like all of them for different reasons. BLADERUNNER (TOKYO NiGHTS) and PLANETS COLLiDE really turned out great. Both songs were nearly there for so long and kinda got it when the middleparts came. They are both very accomplished musically and everyone is playing great and stretching themselves on those songs. iKill (SUiCiDE ROMEO) I love because it’s the most straight-for-the-throat song we’ve ever done. I’m very proud of the lyrics. The real aggression, anger and intensity really shines through on that one.
X.i. THiNG was the first song we completed and we all loved it so much that we have played it live ever since. It’s another high energy piece and both those songs are probably more intense than anything on the first album, even if we had intense stuff there too. BOYFRiEND (SHA-LA-LA) is a major-key rock’n’roll song and another really well written tune. I think it’s also the song we have put the most stuff on in the studio and when it was all mixed it sounded really good. DEVOLiCiOUS BOYS is of course a Backstreet Girls cover and a damn good song and we’re all very happy with our version of it.
Fuck, Laur, I can’t choose!
You recently released a video for “Devolicious Boys”, a cover of the BACKSTREET GIRLS. This band is highly underrated. Can you tell us a bit about them, and what album/songs should people listen to first?
The BACKSTREET GIRLS are rock’n’roll royalty in Norway. They have been going since the mid 80’s and are still going today, more successful than ever. Petter Baarli, the guitarist, is one of the best rock’n’roll guitarists in the world. We got invited to be on a tribute album to the BACKSTREET GIRLS. A real honor, so we went through their entire catalogue, listenining to the songs not just as fans, but trying to find a song that would fit well for us. DEVOLiCiOUS BOYS is actually from their latest album, which will give you an idea of the quality and presistence of this band.
Musically the BACKSTREET GIRLS are, among other things, a mix of AC/DC, SEX PISTOLS, RAMONES, ROSE TATTOO and CHUCK BERRY and they have developed their own style in the middle of all that. They have so many albums, so it’s hard to pick just one for people to listen to first.
Boogie ‘Til You Puke, the second album from the 80’s, is a lot of people’s favorite, but damn… Coming Down Hard, Hellway To High, Sick My Duck, Tuff Tuff Tuff and the last one Death Before Compromise… are all excellent albums. Or you can just start by watching this one from Hellway To High on youtube:
BACKSTREET GIRLS – LOADED
The TRASHCAN DARLINGS played a reunion show a few months ago, right?
Yeah… We got the sad news that our original drummer and good friend, Skinny Shotgun, died 2 years ago, leaving 2 children behind. That hit us fucking hard, man… So last year Strange? and I got together and organized a benefit concert for his kids. Skinny was a popular guy, so it wasn’t hard to get bands for the benefit. Backstreet Girls, The Carburetors, Cockroach Clan and the SuperKings all performed great sets and we ended the evening with a Trashcan Darlings show. The gig was sold out as fuck, with people coming in from all over Europe to be part of it. All the bands, and several others, also donated merchandise to be sold for the benefit. Kai Kidd of TheCarburetors even auctioned away one of his guitars for the cause. It was a very humbling experience which raised A LOT of money for Skinny’s kids.
Any new band from Norway we should check out?
Backstreet Girls, of course. Kill City Bandits, Bitch Commander James Nero’s band, gets better everytime we see them and they were pretty damn good the first time too! Phillie & The Cruel Faces have gotten Paulie Z on lead vocals. We haven’t heard them with him yet, but they will be one of our special guests at the releaseparty at Gamla on the 28th of February and we can’t wait. They were a cool band before, but with him on vocals they’re gonna be brilliant. My good friend Kjetil who had success with his Trash Pop band Surferosa a few years back has gotten a new band together. They are called Razorbats and are a mix of melodic punk and 70’s hard rock. Their songs are very cool and have gotten tons of national radioplay here all during the autumn. They will also be our special guests at the releaseparty. Niterain is another band in the hard rock genera who’s been doing really well these last years and well worth checking out. Valerie is also very good. Very young guys and recommended for fans of 80’s radio metal. Great musically and great songs.
Last record you’ve bought?
The 200g Drastic Plastic vinyl releases of Johnny Thunders‘ So Alone and David Johansen‘s first solo album from Big Dipper Records in Oslo, and some cool Nikki Sudden live CDs from Easy Action records online.
Last book you’ve read?
Dancing With Myself; The Billy Idol biography. Very cool book, can’t wait for Tony James to release a bio!
Last movie you’ve enjoyed?
A lot of porn while putting together the intros for The SEX TAPES.
When are your next tour plans?
We’ll be all over Norway this spring and also on a short European Tour during easter.
These are the gigs that are booked so far:
SUiCiDE BOMBERS – The SEX TAPES Tour 2015
28th Feb – Gamla, Oslo – Norway
6 March – Chevy’s (Fredagsliven), Stavanger – Norway
27 March – Sport & Live Scenen, Hamar – Norway
28 March – Oak Metal Club, Fosser – Norway
1 April – Pub Anchor Club Asylum, Stockholm – Sweden
3 April – Prauge – czech republic
4 April – Prague zkušebny praha – klub Kantýna: Link: http://www.zkusebnypraha.cz czech republic
5 April – Wild At Heart, Berlin – Germany
11 April – Yes Yes Pub, Årnes – Norway
24 April – Vårt Hjem, Steinkjer, Norway
25 April – Good Omens, Trondheim,
And while you’re at it, check out our videos!
BLADERUNNER (TOKYO NiGHTS) – Promo video from The SEX TAPES
DEVOLiCiOUS BOYS – Promo video from The SEX TAPES
HiGH ON EXPLOSiVES – Promo video from CRiMiNAL RECORD
It’s been a while since we last heard of Hungary’s most promising rock’n’roll band, The JOYSTIX. On this new album, the WILDHEARTS influence gets stronger than ever (“Disconnected”, “In My Head”, “Wasted”… ), but the old-school touch can still be found too, whether it is a bit of MOTÖRHEAD in “Born Under a Bad Sign”, some high-energy punk’n’roll (“Feel Feel Feel”), or some sleazy guitar oriented rock’n’roll (“Fame Train.”)
The production, though still sounds contemporary and a bit of moderni-ish rock such as FOO FIGHTERS can be heard in a song like “Back In The Saddle”, although I like the band better when they get back to their roots and bring us a song like “Last Action Hero”, one of the catchiest tracks on this album!
The blues song (“Dumb Man Blues”) in the middle of the tracklist is a good idea, an interlude in DREGEN‘s “Flat Tyre On A Muddy Road” spirit.
Conclusion: In 2015, The JOYSTIX is still an underrated band./Laurent C.
After two albums under the name VIETCONG PORNSÜRFERS and quite a few European tours, the hard working Swedish band has decided to shorten their name to VCPS. This name change is also linked to a slight change of music direction, less high-energy punk rock’n’roll, more hard rock. While oprening song “Ain’t Nothing For You” is not that different from the band’s latest recordings, songs like “Yes, I can” or “Wild One” remind me more of late HELLACOPTERS or early KISS. DANKO JONES also comes to mind when listening to “All Bad Things.” The tempo change is even more obvious on the groovy JOE COCKER-esque “Hold Me”. The last song, “Take It Outside”, is a pretty catchy hard rock’n’roll tune with bits of early AC/DC and THIN LIZZY touches thrown in it. Only 6 songs, but no bad number. Thumbs up for this new start!/Laurent C. http://www.vcpsofficial.com/ Facebook page
Reviewing a band you played in is far from being the easiest thing to do. Although I wasn’t a full time member, I helped them out for more than a year, played quite a few shows with them and recorded half of their previous album “Black Sorrow.”
Anyway, it was a few years ago, so it probably helps to listen to this album with an outside-ish hear… “Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” is the first song I’ve heard before the album was released, and it actually is the perfect song to open this album, since it shows the band under its best light, DOGS D’AMOUR touches with cool cowboy-ish guitars by Thierry Jones (BAD LOSERS, The JONES…) who also appears on the pop stained “Without You I’m Nothing” (not a PLACEBO cover!) Second song “Nobody Knows” is also one of the best tracks on here, mixing cool STONES/JACOBITES guitars/piano with vocals reminding of Jeffree Lee Pierce, one of Guts’ most perciptible influences. The darkest, almost gothic side of the band can be heard in “Dead Love’s Shadow”, and even more on the acoustic Rocky Horror-ish bonus version you can find on the CD. It’s good to see the band exploring these gloomy territories.
15 musicians have been involved in the making of this new album, so you’ll hear a lot of arrangements (strings, saxophone, harmonica, etc.) on “Beautiful Curse.” The spirit of ROWLAND S. HOWARD is floating over “Death & The Girl” and “Night Of The Vampire” (ROKY ERICKSON cover) ; and a good dose of hypnotic 70s rock’n’roll can be heard in songs like “Fire”, or “Way Down To Hell”, which should make every GUN CLUB fan dance. On a different note, I think “Hot On Our Trail” (a great song from the BABY STRANGE days that unfortunately only appears as a bonus track on the CD version) would have been better as a last song instead of “Slow Down”, and the new version of “Black Sorrow” is not bad, but dispensable on a new release since it was already on the previous album. Anyway, “Beautiful Curse” is still the best rock album hailing out from Paris I’ve heard in a while!
Now on the resuscitated record label Closer records, the GUTTERCATS are ready to hit the road with their best album to date under their arms… /Laurent C.
DUNCAN REID (ex-The BOYS) is back with The BIG HEADS and a fantastic new record (“The Difficult Second Album”) out on Wanda Records. We had to ask him a few questions about the band, the album, The BOYS, second albums and French literature!
How would you compare “The Difficult Second Album” to the first one? Was it that difficult?
No. it wasn’t difficult at all. There’s a saying in the music industry that 2nd album’s are difficult because, whereas you have years to write the first album, you then only have a short time to write the 2nd one. But we don’t follow the music business rules because we put our own albums out and so take as long as we want.
I love both albums but they are different. The first is more “Boys” like (which is good!). The second is more me (which is also good!). Both are a reflection of my life because that’s what I know the most about.
There’s lot of arrangements reminding of 80s pop and 70s glam. Did you have a precise idea of how you wanted the album to sound before recording it?
Yes, but it changed. At the beginning Tony Barber, the producer, asked me what I wanted the album to sound like. I’ve always admired the production on the Foo Fighters records so I said I wanted to sound like them. As we got into the record we went for different influences on different songs, from Gary Newman through the Smiths/Byrds and even Supertramp. I’d say the biggest sound influence was Chris Isaak, though.
Can you introduce your band The BIG HEADS?
There’s me, the Peter Pan of Punk in a pink suit. Alex Gold, the man of whom people ask “is he your son?”, Multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire and teller of terrible, long jokes. Sophie Danger Powers, the most glamourous chicken lover ever to come out of Wales, and Ciara Lavers, banger of the drums and a Siren on the side.
Some of the songs on the album could easily be the soundtrack for a movie or TV shows/series. Have some of your songs already been used this way?
Unfortunately no, but they should be!
You’ve started touring for the album promotion. How has it been so far? Are you satisfied with the live versions of the songs? What are some of your favourite ones to play?
I love the live versions. We are a very energetic live band and the reaction has been great wherever we go. My live favourite at the moment is Long, Long gone. I have to play a melodia live on it. It’s a keyboard you blow into and sounds a bit like an accordion. Very challenging!
I guess that many BOYS fans must come to your shows… How many BOYS songs do you usually play during a gig?
Yes. We always get Boys fans and it’s great to see them. At the moment we play 7 Boys songs, including “First Time” of course, written by the great Honest John Plain and a song I’ll always be honoured to have sung the record of.
I read on the excellent Über Rock that Honest John Plain contributed to “C’Est La Vie”, how exactly?
Mainly in the middle 8 of the song but he also came up with the line “Life’s a mother”. There was a funny thing on the chorus. I’d thought of the line “Oh Sha lalalee, C’est la Vie” but dismissed it as too like the Small Faces song. When I played the verses to John and said “what do you think of for a chorus?” he said: “you should go: Oh Sha lalalee, C’est la Vie”. Great minds think alike!
Can you think of any second albums among your favourites?
Ooh I haven’t thought. Nirvana’s “Nevermind” was much better than their first one but the classic 2nd album of all time was The Ramones’.
Last band you enjoyed live?
The best live band I’ve seen in recent years were the Jim Jones Revue. What a shame they broke up.
Last book you’ve read?
“La Delicatesse” by David Foenkinos. Actually I’m lying. I’m currently reading “Cien Anos de Soledad” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez but I did read “La Delicatesse” in French you’ll be glad to know. I think French is a great language for literature. Better than Spanish and German although I might think that because I speak French better than those 2 languages. There’s a certain dry but charming wit to French. I read “Le Vieux Qui Ne Voulait Pas Fêter Son Anniversaire” and “Le Soleil Se Lève Aussi” in French which are written by Swedish and American writers respectively. I suspect the French versions are better than the originals.
Where are you going to tour next?
Chicago, Milwaukee and Indianapolis! Can’t wait. The Big Heads first time in the US. We’ve got to get to France. It’s my second home after all. I spend a lot of time in the Roussillon and if I didn’t love London so much that is where I would be.