Lorne Behrman Releases Debut Album and Third Single/Video “Harlem River Serenade”

Harlem River Serenade is the third single/video from LORNE BEHRMAN’s solo debut album A LITTLE MIDNIGHT out this FridaySeptember 16 on Spaghetty Town Records. Look for the NYC punk rock n’ roll singer-songwriter-guitarist to celebrate the album’s release that night with a show at Arlene’s Grocery on the Lower East Side. LORNE will hit the stage with a 7-piece band featuring two backup singers at 9:30pm.

“Harlem River Serenade” is a slice of dirty and catchy rock n’ roll scrapped off of the streets of the Bowery, merged with imagery-rich lyrics about moving on from a busted-up romanceToday, LORNE has shared the David J Barron-directed video that was filmed at various locations in NYC including Arlene’s Grocery.

The 10-song A LITTLE MIDNIGHT is a series of New York City vignettes haunted by shadows but guided by light. The words here are literate and lacerating, recalling the street poetics of Lou Reed, Richard Hell, and Television. The songs feature stark and fluid guitar playing in the spirit of The Stooges’ James Williamson, Johnny Thunders, and Lou Reed. It follows LORNE’s acclaimed 2021 four-song EP When I Hit The Floor, which prompted the esteemed Jesse Malin to note: “Real blood and guts rock and roll that bleeds with soul and redemption.”

A LITTLE MIDNIGHT’s raw but polished production aesthetic is courtesy of producer Matt Chiaravalle (Warren Zevon, Joe Bonamassa, Spacehog). A Little Midnight was mastered by Grammy-nominated engineer Joe Lambert. Wyldlife bassist Spencer Alexander designed the album artwork, and it is a subtly playful homage to the cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Damn the Torpedoes.

“This album is about struggling to be reborn,” LORNE shares. “Wanting to run back to the arms of toxic people or the patterns of self-destruction. It’s about clawing your way to a new existence while acknowledging all the causalities, and all you’re letting go. You glimpse a new life, but you don’t feel it yet.”

“Harlem River Serenade” comes on the heels of the album’s first two singles/ videos, the most recent of which was I Hope The Sun Doesn’t Catch Us.” MXDWN noted that “…[the video] gives viewers an incredible sight of Behrman strumming his guitar with fantastic talent and singing about hoping that the sun doesn’t catch us, as we follow a man and woman on the streets of New York trying to get away from the sun that is blaring down on them.” “I Hope The Sun Doesn’t Catch Us” was preceded by the single/video for “A Little Midnight.” Glide raved about how the song “features a blackened riff howl of punk bands like The Damned and The Gun Club mixed with pop sensibilities of The Replacements. When Behrman sings “A little midnight/ it’s alright/A little midnight/does you right,” listeners get a gracious sense of rock and roll escapism at its most pure form.”


Blue Jinns “Baby’s On Drugs” Single

BLUE JINNS from Leeds, England was formed in 2017 by members of various DIY punk hardcore bands (JOHN HOLMES, AND NONE OF THEM WERE ROBOTS, HHH, GOATSPEED, AMPLIFIGHTERS and JADED EYES.) They quickly recorded their first album “Sonic Viagra” before releasing the single “Drinking From The Skull Of Your Favourite Enemy.” “Baby’s On Drugs” is the second single from the upcoming album “Hell Razors” and it’s available on CD and streaming format. This new single offers us some fine and sleazy hard rock’n’roll reminding a bit of The ALMIGHTY or WOLFSBANE. The other track “Krankenstein” is a cool punk rock’n’roll song with a verse that could have been on a SIMON CHAINSAW album and a ’77 punk chorus. We’ll definitely keep an eye on the new album release! /Laurent C.

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Russ Lippitt “F.T.W. Rise of The Anarchy March” (Book – Ravenhawk Books)

The author of The Lion’s Share is back with a new novel. This time the action is happening in post-apoclyptic America in which anarchy is getting stronger and stronger through a movement called The Anarchy March. Politics, corruption, religion and the fight between the rich and the poor have dismantled what used to be The United States of America. We are told about living and fighting in this new world to stay free through the main characters and anti-heroes Darla, Doyle and Jack. You’ll probably enjoy finding many punk/hardcore rederences in this book which is not surprising considering Russ Lippitt’s background. While going through these no future adventures, you get to think that reading this novel a few years ago would have made you think “That’s a great Mad Max kind of fiction!” but looking at the state of the world right now with the countless abuse of powers by Governments and coronavirus, you can only get to think that it might just be a depiction of a not so distant future… /Laurent C.



The Speedways – New London Pop Sounds!

Who said powerpop can only come from sunny places ? The SPEEDWAYS have just put London on the contemporary powerpop map with their fabulous new album « Radio Sounds. » Mauro and Matt tell us more about the band, the new album, their music tastes and much more !…

Can you tell us about the beginning of the band ? It seems like powerpop is not that pouplar in London these days, was it easy to get the band line-up together?

MV: Matt did the first album as pretty much a solo project – he kept in touch with me about how it was going as I wanted his new band to play my powerpop festival (summer 2018)  I’d been friends with him and a big fan of his previous band the Breakdowns for a couple of years, and as I’d left the Godfathers, I was looking to do something new and offered to join on guitar – it worked out great timing-wise!  I suggested Adrian for bass as we both knew him and knew he’d be a great fit.  Kris was the last to come on board, literally weeks before the first gig!  I guess it was kind of easy to get the line up together as we were, in a way, the obvious candidates on the London scene!

Matt: Yeah, it started off as a solo thing really. I had a collection of songs that I really wanted to release. I was “between bands”  so I just thought fuck it, I’ll do it myself (with my old band mate Dec on drums) 

I think people thought I was just being coy when I initially said “1 album, 1 gig” but I genuinely meant it at the time. 

It just so happened that things went well & I got some confidence from that.

The band fell into place really nicely, as Mauro says all the obvious candidates came on board!

I’d been spending a bit of time down in London for a couple of years by that point & had met some lovely people & made a bunch of friends so it was pretty straightforward getting a band together.

What have you released so far?

MV: Two full length albums and three singles, I think?

Matt: Yep, two albums ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ & ‘Radio Sounds’ + the singles ‘Seen Better Days’ , ‘Kisses Are History’ & ‘This Aint A Radio Sound’

Can you tell us about the new album “Radio Sounds”? Where did you record it? Did you have a precise idea of how it should sound before recording it?

MV: I recommended my old pal (and former bandmate from Jonny Cola & the A-Grades) Jez Leather to the others work on the album, as I reckoned he’d work well with us, in terms of musical background and temperament, and working with him went as well as I hoped! 

Matt: Well we knew it would sound different from the first record because we were a proper band by now, and I think we wanted that to be evident, but at the same time we also gave nods to the fact it was a sequel to ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ 

Everyone definitely brought their own style & energy to the tracks.

Jez really helped in the Studio too. He got where we were coming from & was great to work with.

I think if you’re making an album you have to think about it as an album – you open up with your lead single or title track, keep the energy going with the next couple of tunes, then hit them with the first tearjerker etc.. We were all on the same page with those rules.

The plane taking off at the end of the LP is poignant & ties in with the tube train effect on ‘Regular Summer’ – all that kinda stuff was thought out in advance. In that respect there was a precise idea.

Kris recorded his drums separately with Ben from Los Pepes‘ mobile recording gear.

There was a real team effort and it turned out really well. 

Does it take a lot of time to write a song or is it something easy for you?

Matt: It varies really. I either write from a title in my head, like ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ came from a text message I sent where I literally said “it’s just a regular summer now she’s not here any more”  & I wrote all the lyrics in one sitting in a hotel room. They never changed. That doesn’t happen very often though! 

In contrast ‘This Is About A Girl Who Loves The Sun’ was based around a hypnotic riff.. I couldn’t get the title for ages but I had the rest of the song.

I definitely write in spurts – 3 or 4 at a time, and then nothing for months on end!

Melody comes quite easy but the rest can be frustrating at times. 

I try to write lyrics that can be visualised which is why I mention locations a lot! and I like choruses to repeat the song title so that they stick inside your brain!

This is a weird time to release an album because of the coronavirus and quarantine, have you thought about releasing it later in the year?

Matt: I can’t say we ever thought about delaying the release, but of course we knew it would be coming out slap-bang in the middle of lockdown. 

We were working with 3 labels this time so we had to take eachothers situation & availability into account.(Alien Snatch are in Germany, Snap in Spain & Beluga in Sweden) But we were all equally keen to release this summer as planned.

It’s a killer not being able to promote the record at shows though, there’s only so many times you can annoy people with Facebook posts!

It’s not ideal, but it is what it is.

You always have cool artwork, do you do it yourselves?

Matt: thanks, yeah I think it’s really important to have artwork that suits the music.

The whole package kinda thing.

I wanted the first album to be cinematic and primarily black & white with just splashes of colour, so this album it made sense for everything to be as colourful as possible! – that was the direction I gave Josh Clark who did both Speedways album covers. 

I’ve known Josh for a few years & he was one of the first people I spoke to about the Speedways. He said if I ever needed any artwork to give him a shout – so I did!

He’s a fantastic artist and he gets what this is all about perfectly.

Adrian, our bass player is also a brilliant artist and sleeve designer. He’s responsible for the artwork on all our 7″ singles.

It’s cool having both to work with! – whenever I send either of them an idea or whatever they get back to me with exactly what I had in mind!

There’s been many interesting powerpop bands in the US these last years (although it seems like it’s calming down a bit now), do you think there could be such a wave in the UK and Europe or do people’s tastes and culture won’t get along with this idea?

MV: In the UK, I think it’s unlikely – there are quite a few in Europe though, I think, particularly in Spain…?  I’ve been promoting a powerpop weekender for a couple of years now and it seems like the vast majority of bands who would fit on the bill are from Europe or North America!

Matt: yeah, in the last year or so there’s been a bunch of great records from the likes of Tommy & The Commies, The Whiffs, Baby Shakes, The Reflectors etc.. who I feel are coming from a similar place to us influence & presentation wise. We’ve been lucky enough to play with Tommy & The Commies and Baby Shakes too. 

In the UK in terms of ‘Power Pop’ certainly Lucy & The Rats are a band we share stuff in common with. I feel I have a slightly similar writing style to Lucy for sure and we usually end up playing shows together! 

More Kicks as well of course. We share drummers & a love of melody!

You seem to have quite various influences in the band, can you choose 5 albums you love and tell us a few words about them?

Matt: The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead – an album that changed my life when I first heard it. Moz & Marr at their very best.

MVIggy Pop “Lust For Life” – strutting, sensitive, bad-ass, fragile, melodic, snarling, desperate, dangerous – a masterpiece!

Adrian: Void‘s side on the Faith/Void split – 12 blasts of explosive angry East Coast hardcore, kicking off with a expanse of guitar feedback into blistering riffs and a pummelling backbeat, exactly what I needed to hear at age 15 and still to this day. In my opinion the finest thing Discord Records put out.

Kris: The Knack– Get The Knack’ – best combination of pop , punk and 60’s surf. Beatles meet Beach Boys style with punk kick.

Matt: That’s 4! ..so I guess to make 5 it would have to be something like ‘Leave Home’ by The Ramones. Pretty sure we’d all agree it’s a huge influence on us individually & collectively!

The situation for small clubs is really bad in most places these days, I guess it’s the same in London, right?

MV: Yup!  We’re just crossing our fingers and waiting really till things can reopen again, I hope everyone does what they can to support these venues as we’d be lost without them.

Some of you created the Some Weird Sin night, right? Can you tell us about it?

MV: Yeah, that was me and a colleague (Simon who plays bass with the postpunk favourites Desperate Journalist), way back in 2012!  It kind of grew from just being a cool, pretty messy club night where we could play the kind of mix of punk rock, glam, postpunk, New Wave, rock’n’roll etc that we liked, to a night where we put on more and more and bigger bands from all over the world, which has been nice.  Things have got very busy these last couple of years, we put on a hell of a lot of bands of quite a mix of genres – the Briefs, Giuda, the Parkinsons and Dirty Fences have been some of my faves but I often get the biggest buzz putting on bands that are just starting out or that I’m trying to give a break to!  It’s also where Matt and myself first met, so perhaps without SWS I’d never have ended up in the Speedways!

Matt: That’s where I met Mauro yeah! I remember telling someone “I’ve started going to this club night in London where they play Protex, Hanoi Rocks & The Ronettes ffs! I think I’ve found my people!”

It’s hard to plan anything these days, but what would be the ideal plans for The SPEEDWAYS at the end of the year and in 2021?

MV: Just to be able to play live again!  Ideally to get back over to Europe as much as possible, too.

Matt: We definitely want to get out to Europe again.

I’d like to maybe do a few UK shows outside of London next year too if we can find a band to do a little tour with perhaps. Whatever works out for the best.

We hope to put out another single from the album later this year.. & make a video.

We’re also getting the first album re-pressed on LP because it’s sold out, there’ll be new artwork for it which gives it a fresh feel!

Beyond that it’s all still wait & see like it is for all bands right now.

The dream is America ..& Japan would be great too!

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The Brothers Steve – Megaliftic Pop!

3 members of TSAR have formed The BROTHERS STEVE, a glammy powerpop band with strong 60s influences and great vocal harmonies. They tell us about the band, the recording of the album, their favourite records and much more !

How did you get the idea of starting The BROTHERS STEVE?

Jeff Whalen:  We all knew each other from our schoolboy days at UC Santa Barbara, home of the Avo Taco, which was this amazing taco at this place called Freebird’s.  Somebody told me that they don’t make it anymore.

Os Tyler: Yeah, I actually went to Freebird’s a little while back and ordered an Avo Taco and the guy behind the counter’s eyes lit up like a fond distant memory was washing over him and he said, “Wow, it’s like you just came in from outer space.”

JW:  I miss the Avo Taco.  Anyway, but yeah, last summer some friends were throwing a party and they needed a band, so we said let’s do it!  The Brothers Steve!

OT: Yeah, it was that or hire a choir of rubber chickens.

Did you get to find the good line-up easily?

JW:  Sure!  It was automatic.  I love these guys.  And playing with them is a major gas.  It’s just super-gassy.  I mean, we’ve been super-good friends since college—Jeff and Coulter and I are in Tsar, Dylan is like my bro life-partner, and Os is my favorite guy to write songs with, out of anybody on the planet.

OT: Ah, man, that’s too kind. Truth is I probably never would have written song one if it wasn’t for Jeff. I was walking past a window one day and this guy says, “Hey Os, you wanna hear the song we just wrote and recorded?” Turns out it was Jeff Whalen and Jeff Solomon, recording right out of their living room. It was an epiphany moment for me. It was honestly the first time that I realized that people write songs. They don’t magically materialize, people write them. And, well, I’m a people, so why not give it a try.

JW:  My grandma had a dog who thought he was a people.

How did you write the songs? Did you have them before the band got together?

JW:  When Os and I write together, mostly I come up with a chord progression and then Os starts riffing on some words and then we bang around some chorus ideas and then maybe get some lunch.  Os and I have pretty much been writing together this whole time.  We’ve always wanted to put out the songs on some kind of album-type band-situation-type thing, but we’ve been unable to, for whatever reason.  Mostly I think because, left to our own devices, we just keep recording and re-recording and thinking about it and talking about it and never finishing anything.  We have a buncha-buncha songs, so this is cool to be in the Brothers Steve and be able to play and sing them in a thing where we have to finish it or people will get mad at us.

Can you tell us about the recording of the album?

JW:  We tried to record it really fast—like three or four days—mostly to keep Os and me from recording more and more vocals and dragging the process on, potentially for years.  So we finished tracking, and what we had was cool, for sure.  But it wasn’t done-done—the band had a couple pick-up things we needed to do to finish up, maybe another day or two, max.  So, secretly, Os and I took the sessions to his house and recorded more and more vocals without telling anyone.  I remember feeling kind of anxious about it, like everybody’s gonna be pissed that we got all overdubby on it.  But we did our level best to do it with … you know, alacrity.  We got Dylan in on it, to sing more, too, which was great, because I love how we sound, the three of us together.  In the end, I’d say we only dragged the process on an extra month or two.

There’s a lot of vocal harmonies on the album. Is this something you miss in modern music?

JW:  I think I do, now that you mention it.  I’ve been listening to a lot of sunshine pop these days, from the late 60’s/early 70’s, and it’s clear that big harmonies and lots of singing was so important to those guys.

OT: I generally love music of all types but I feel like any song can be enhanced and uplifted by adding human vocal harmonies. There’s no way to replicate an individual human voice, and mixing two or three of them together in harmony gives you this compounded unique-tacity that’s megaliftic.

JW:  Well said.  This is why it takes us years to finish a demo.

What is « Beat Generation Poet Turned Assassin » about?

OT: “Beat Generation Poet” is a biographical sketch of a young man named Bociferous Dillard. Dillard was a little younger than Burroughs and a little older than Ginsberg. He was a cutting edge poet, early to the beat generation scene, and initial assessments suggested he would embody a cultural milestone, and that his poetry would be remembered for eternity.

However, as the now-known voices of establishment Beat Gen society redefined and pushed the movement in the direction that it ultimately embraced, the early critical acclaim of Dillard’s groundbreaking stylistic finesse degenerated to critical disparagement, leading Dillard to utter disillusion and despair.

In his mid-twenties, Dillard began hiring himself out as a contracted killer. Known to have assassinated at least seven men, he would never write another word until his death at age 27. He died beside his last victim, banking mogul Victor Lanchot. Bociferous Dillard’s dying words, scrawled in blue ink on a two-dollar bill: “Your words, not mine.”

JW:  I didn’t know any of that.

The 60s and indie influences are obvious, but since you also play in TSAR, we can hear a few similarities in the glammier songs like « We Got The Hits », « Carolanne » or even « She » do you think some of these songs could have been released by TSAR?

JW:  “We Got the Hits” could be Tsar-ified for sure.  “Carolanne” could probably be on a later Tsar album?  Like one in an alternate timeline, maybe?  An alternate timeline in which the four members simultaneously released solo records, a la KISS?  And the posters all fit together?  And there was only like three or four good songs on all the albums put together?

Have The BROTHERS STEVE played a lot of shows so far?

JW:  No!  We played that party and then we played our album release party for International Pop Overthrow a couple months ago, and then a show last night in Burbank.

OT: We are excited to play more as the anticipation takes us!

Is there any new L.A. Bands you feel close to musicwise?

JW:  We’re friends with Punch Punch Kick—they played the International Pop Overthrow show with us—and they’re amazing.  Super hooky.

OT: I personally love United Ghosts. There are no pure parallel lines between us, but I just dig their thing. They just had a sweet summertime European tour. They’re worth checking out!

5 of your favourite albums and a few words about them.

JW:  Right now I’m listening to Begin by the Millennium at least once or twice a day.  People told me it was supposed to be so good, but the first few times I listened to it, I wasn’t all that knocked out.  I had the CD in my stereo for a while and I’d let it play kind of randomly while not really paying attention and then all of a sudden one day it kicked in.  Now I think it’s brilliant!  Kind of like the Association meets Nilsson meets Paul Williams or something.  Kind of like if Olivia Tremor Control was a polished sunshine pop band.  Or like an easy-listening MGMT.  Lots of vocal harmonies on that one.

OT: It’s a smooth sailing groove.

JW:  Also, check out the New Directions album by Gary Lewis and the Playboys.  You can kind of guarantee that any album called New Directions is going to be terrible, but it’s actually great.  It came out after all his hits, but I’d argue it’s his best album.  That is, if I could ever find anybody who wanted to argue “best Gary Lewis albums” with me.  I’m sure they’re out there.  The record’s full of these weirdly manipulative songs about a lonely guy trying to get girls to pay attention to him.  Solid record.  Gary Lewis is super underrated, I think.  And there’s something about his singing style—if you can call it that—that makes me feel 90’s-y.  Does anyone out there know what I’m talking about?  That kind of, I-know-I-can’t-really-sing-but-really-the-jokes-on-you-because-I’m-not-really-trying-although-I-really-am type of singing from the 90’s?

OT: I do!

JW:  I’ve also been jamming Too Fast For Love by Motley Crue.  Shout at the Devil‘s got some great songs on it, but Too Fast For Love is their masterpiece.  But how must it feel to be in this huge, internationally famous band that’s been around for decades and know that the best thing you ever did, by far, was essentially your demo tape?  Must make you feel like S.E. Hinton or something, writing The Outsiders when she was in high school.  If you hit your peak right out of the box—or before you’re even out of the box—what do you do the rest of your life?  Just Harper-Lee that shit?  Who knows?  Great album, though.  And check this out!  I never noticed—ever!—that the album cover photo is a blowup of Vince Neil’s crotch from the full length picture of him on the back cover.  Does everybody know that except me?  Have I just been walking around, talking to people, living my life and I’m the only one who didn’t know that?  I had always assumed it was a planned crotch shot, an intentional takeoff on Sticky Fingers, right?  I just noticed this like two weeks ago.

OK, that’s three.  Uh, four, let’s say the Xanadu soundtrack.  I’ve always been an ELO-side guy, but lately I’ve been more into the Olivia Newton-John side.  Her voice in that period has a kind of fragile clarity I’m digging.  The song “Dancin’”—the duet with the guy from the Tubes—is so ridiculous.  It’s almost like an experiment in ridiculousness.  Her innocence and his over-the-top, fake-confident lasciviousness, with the 40’s-music-meets-fake-hard-rock medley.  So charming, despite its obvious effort to be charming.

Os, you got a fifth?

OT:  Well yeah, here’s a top 5 album: OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.  Funky, groovy, funny, groomy.  Such great stuff.

JW:  Totally.  Os, have you ever considered “Hey Ya!” as a glam song?

OT:  Not really.  And another fun weird one while I’m thinking on it, The Flaming Lips’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.  Feel good, swim and sway, fully instrumented tunes with plenty of echo-y, glorious harmony vocals.

What’s coming next for The BROTHERS STEVE and TSAR

JW:  The Brothers Steve have a Christmas single coming out on Big Stir records in November, which I’m mega-double jazzed about since I love Christmas music.  Christmas music is the Beatles of music, if you know what I mean.

OT:  Sure!

JW:  And then another full-length record, I’d say.  Right?

OT: If the planets align, I would love that!
JW:  As for Tsar … I dunno!  We talk about it, dream about it.  Just waiting for the right moment, you know, globally or whatever.

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The Leftards “Apocalypse Cabaret” 7″

(-review by Anguish Young)
Yes, yes, I am well aware that Amerikkka’s uptight, think-tank engineered, consensus manufacturing, safe space college culture abhors the use of even deliberately offensive sarcasm-even if it’s the feminist magazine “B Word”, and even the most righteous black radical hip hop artists use of the taboo n word, in the context of self empowerment, and not everybody’s gonna “get”, or like, the name of this crazy Sydney Australia gang of gutter punk mischief makers. Lilly white college people who’ve embraced the Comics Code Authority, and PMRC Temperance League finger waggers, and scolding committees who always show up hoping to make a bust, every time some punks or everyday people wanna express some blue collar rage that ain’t P.C., and properly photo shopped and white washed. That’s why most of us walked away from the hipster hell-holes where everyone is rich and fake and holier than thou with their Mimosas and bullshit poses. We’re all incessantly hassled and reprimanded and sent to the back of the bus if we ain’t had the Sensitivity Studies crunchy granola makeovers, and I kinda get why we are discouraged from ever using the hurtful lingo of our mean-spirited rightwing hate speech oppressors, even if we earnestly believe we are just doing our job, by turning the tables on our rightwing rulers and mocking them, mocking us, but I also get how these radical leftist boot boy provocateurs are wearing the rightwing putdown proudly, and triumphantly, like a badge of honor. They also hate the Dickies and the Three Stooges in the cloistered faux liberal Hillarybot Rachel Redscare college towns. The tone police in the ivory towers have no desire to confront real power, like the evil sons a bitches overthrowing Venezuela and kidnapping indigenous children at the border, so they just wanna wring their hands some more about how they frown upon you liking taboo and forbidden free speech whipping dogs like Richard Pryor, or the Dead Kennedys, or Wasp, or El Duce, or whatever. I avoid the people from the ivory towers. They were never gonna like me, anyway. They are all just like, prudish, modern-day Tipper Gores.
      The anniversary of Sid Vicious’s death seems like the perfect day to crank up this defiantly rebellious, punk as fuck, 45 that spins at 33, from the Dark Clouds now legendary Dee Dee Ramone figure, turned furious truth telling front man, Ronnie Wreckless, and company. Man, how I wish Tim Yo from Maximum Rocknroll was still around to dig this shit. Loud, fast rules, forty ounce in a brown bag on the filthy street corner, abrasive rocknroll street dog madness from the endlessly enchanting land of the Powder Monkeys, Hard Ons, Beasts Of Bourbon, and Rose Tattoo! This stuff will take you back to your own golden moments, before society divided up your friends by class and “identity”, when the kids were still united and could never be divided. When BEING was still every bit as important as HAVING. When motherfuckers still REBELLED and READ BOOKS and THOUGHT FOR THEMSELVES! “Privileged White Guy Blues” reminds me of Billy Bragg or some other righteous testifiers from the real punk rock days when we could all sit as equals on milk crates in the wet basement and come to consensus, before all this bull shit about whoever has the money has the credibility and final say in all matters, forever and ever, Amen. Before the capitalist, corporate con-job of “Alternative” duped everyone with goateed grunge moaning, baby dresses, and rich kid ukuleles, and all those loathsome, buzzkillin’ floods of college wankers came in and stole the scene with their parents fucking money and high school sports team competition social hierarchies, and delivered us collectively into two decades of unlistenably twee and detached hipster rich kid mediocrity and manufactured dance muzak that has reigned over our corporate owned airwaves since ’96. “Useless Generation” reminds me of the last wave of underground punk I felt any connection to-the heyday of Libertine, Moral Crux, Dimestore Haloes, and U.S. Bombs. After that final hour, of Hit-List magazine punk rock, I fell between the cracks, went broke, and never again had spare money to buy records. Their proletariat everyman ideology and smartass sense of humor will immediately appeal to fans of the Spent Idols or Humpers. “Don’t Call ‘ Em Hipster” made me smile, right away-my kinda parody, I’m not a big fan of gentrification brunchers, myself. “Subculture” is bratty, juvie gang, punk right out of the eighties Indiana punk scene, where I grew up. Makes me think of combat boots and brainy goth girls galore. “50 Plus Degrees” and “Cock N Balls” remind me of hard years spent living in shitty vans “that smell like balls, dog, and broken dreams”, in the immortal words of my former travelling companion, shivering in cold rehearsal spaces, drinking malt liquor, and drunken all night sing-alongs, before the rich people stripped us of our joy and freedom, and strong-armed us out of the old neighborhood, before the con-job of “Alternative” where you had to be a kissass Counting Crows, furrowed brow and trust funded, rich person from a fancy college, to even participate in music, in any meaningful way. The Leftards are a welcome clarion call from deepest Garage Land, urging all the sincere punks to get back to where you once belonged! Right the fuck on!

The Stick Arounds “Ways To Hang On”

“Ways To Hang On” is the second album of Michigan’s THE STICK AROUNDS although the members of the band have been playing together for 8 years and played in many bands before. This is American melodic rock influenced by powerpop. You can hear some REPLACEMENTS influences, or even early REM (“Better Off Like This”) and a bit of NEIL YOUNG (“Man Of Action.”) Fine melodies meet dirty guitars in “Majestic Figureheads”, the songwriting is solid, and the backing vocals always sound good, this is the kind of music you think you’d hear when turning on the radio, lost somewhere in the middle of the USA. The atmosphere of this album sometimes bring BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and ELVIS COSTELLO to mind and THE STICK AROUNDS sometimes surprise us when adding some epic arrangements (“Hazlewood”.) They show their catchiest side in the last song on this album “Falling Down On You.” If there’s something like classic alternative, then “Ways To Hang On” should fit right in this genre. /Laurent C.


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Midnight Crisis “Heart Beatings”

Drummer Marty E. (The DIRTY PEARLS) turns into a frontman in this NYC based band. Opener “Take Control” has a cool vibe (although I was afraid it would start with a U2 cover after listening to the drum intro!), somewhere in between early GUNS N’ ROSES, BANG TANGO and The CULT. You sometimes get to think about The THROBS (“Midnight Somewhere”, “Sister Vicodin”) and their sleazy street rock’n’roll, or about ZODIAC MINDWARP (“Kiss My Apocalipps”) and their decadent choruses when listening to this 8 song album. The band’s darker side shows in “Make It Alright”, or in the 80s influenced “Bloodbath Wine”, two songs flirting with goth’n’roll and the spirit of The LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH.
“Heart Beatings” proves that NYC hard rock’n’roll is still alive, even if it’s been hiding in the dark lately… /Laurent C.

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