Sour Candy dances the edge of torn romance with a melodic punk energy of soaring high hopes and razor sharp guitar blasting through wall of sound vocals with distant echoes of 60s pop and a few ‘yeah, yeahs’ kicking in between…
‘Sour Candy’ the latest single by The Dark Shadows will be released though Select-A-Vision Records in collaboration with Icy Cold & Manic Depression Records, Paris and digitally available online through Bandcamp 6th September with a digital release on Apple Music, Spotify, etc. to follow.
The DARK SHADOWS‘ singer/guitarist is back with a 5 song record on beautiful indigo blue 120g vinyl.”Köln” is a tribute to Brigitte’s adopted city. The German influence can be heard from the start in a KRAFTWERK synth on “Köln” (a song recorded with Matahari Ranch.) The vocals in the verse are almost rapped while the catchy chorus brings 00s MADONNA to mind, this is brilliant synthpop! “Daylight” is a modern vampirish goth song with robotic voices and a good vocal line “look outside, daylight goes…” designed to make you dance only at night… On B-side we can hear the dark and poppy “Lament Of A Lost Soul” that was on the “After Dark” 7″ picture disc, the already classic “After Dark” and it’s DAMNED (“Phantasmagoria” era) vibe and the very cinematic “Still Lives…” The records comes out with a full colour poster and lyrics, and that’s one more good reason for you to order it!/ Laurent C.
BRIGITTE HANDLEY (The DARK SHADOWS) is releasing her new single in those weird quarantine/lockdown times. Two songs on a beautiful colourful 7″ vinyl picture dic. “After Dark” is a catchy pop song with a dark twist in which you’ll hear early British punk/rock’n’roll influences such as The CLASH in the guitars/bass and 80s goth rock touches. This song would have been perfect as the soundtrack of some cool 80s post modern vampire movie. B-side offers us a remix of “Lament Of A Lost Soul” by MATAHARI RANCH. Dark electronic, melodic vocals and distorted surf rock guitars are mixing together in order to give the song a new interesting aesthetic compared to the dark folk influenced version you can hear on “The Edge Of Silence.” Ordering records may take a little more time these days, but this one is definitely worth it! /Laurent C.
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!
If you come from fabulous wealth and live in some big city, showbiz dynasty, gentrification bubble and take selfies with the name brand bar owners and replacement members of soldout hair metal bands eight days a week, you might incorrectly assume that music scenes have always been dominated exclusively by ultra affluent surgically enhanced twenty something skinny ingénues and their creepy Svengali producers, because that is what we have all been inundated with, for years now-unhappy girls with lip jobs and techno-pop beats. Nobody really has angry, or rebellious, or energetic rocknroll groups anymore, partly because all the kids are in that consumerist gadget spell, and techno and DJ festival culture prevails among the upperclass unreality show heiresses and Mimosa sippers, but when we were kids, we always had you know-basement bands that played at garage shows and backyard parties, so even the brokest forty ounce leather punks still had a venue, an outlet, our own temporary autonomous zone turf–even if some elitist prick controlled the barscene, but nowadays, there are no spare garages, they are all being rented for $900 a month to some vegan non smoking nursing student. The powers that be have so relentlessly gentrified every former underground art safehaven, pushing out the working class with obscenely jacked up rents and tedious lectures and scoldings about manners and sensitivity-the rich fauxgressive fake liberal college people keep showing up in our shitty neighborhoods with their obligatory pitbulls and college degrees and first it’s bicycle racks everywhere, and artisanal cupcakes, then, it’s the fake dive bar where all the bartenders are like upwardly mobile actress stripper models. Next thing ya know, they are calling the cops on people for smoking tobacco, even outside. Tech money moves in from white flight urban meccas and the class patrols start profiling poor people–criminalizing poverty, houselessness, busking, they start checking poor people’s dog licenses, they outlaw smoking, impose crazy penalties for any public intox, or open container, or improper slouching or dress code infractions, they persecute free speech in public spaces, arrest skateboarders for loitering, beat-up panhandlers, etc., all so the fabulous children of hedge fund managers can feel cozy over cocktails while pursuing overpriced degrees in the liberal arts. Broken window policies are strictly enforced where a kid with a silver paint pen will get the book thrown at him for tagging a wall, but the rich “vibrant and diverse” real estate people hire their grad school honky associates to paint big “hip-hop influenced” murals on the side of high-rise condos that used to be neighborhood bodegas. It’s fucked. DJ Wonderbread is in the house, yo.
Meanwhile, the majority of the country is struggling like hell to just barely even make rent, selling off their prized possessions, pawning the old band p.a., I know good guitarists who no longer own guitars, ya know? So there is just no extra money for rehearsal spaces, guitar strings, recording studios, or insurance on band vans, anymore-just slaving and saving to keep the man off your back. It’s sad. The rich college people who continue to pursue their arty hobbyist NPR rock groups like keeping their tight monopoly on Saturday Night, so there ain’t a lot of shared resources, or communal workspaces, or mutual-aid, anymore, they mostly all deliberately employ the Starbucks strategies of their awful greenhead fathers, to drive out competition, silence other voices, so you got the dominant capitalist scene-rulers whose dad’s are all corporate CEO’s, and their assistants and waiters, ya know? “More Ice! More lemon! Extra olive-oil! Where is that waitress???” Personally, I don’t wanna hear the chubby guys with fuzzy sweaters and mandolins weep about their backyard chickens and rooftop koi pond problems, or pretend they are Barry White lady killers, and I can’t really connect to all the disco waifs with their dieting and one thousand dollar handbag Taylor Swifting. I miss the underground scene from years ago, when real working class zeroes could join forces and pile in a van and go somewhere. Now there ain’t nowhere to go, certainly nowhere affordable to park the van, once you get there.
Those of us who pay attention, have been amazed and inspired by all the real-deal, nitty-gritty, soulful rocknroll that still comes from Australia. It seems like regular everyday people can still afford to congregate in lively bars and share some pints and laughs and conversation and maybe even shake a leg at real live and in person dancehalls where wild rock groups perform. It is a genuine thrill to see some battle hardened, fast travelin’, dangerous, road warrior rocker dudes tear it the fuck up in the latest DARK CLOUDS video, which is a crazy, non-stop rockin’, action packed, hundred miles per hour, Mad Max meets Smoky and The Bandit, Death Proof, Tarantino outlaw freakout like Guns N Roses woulda made, if they didn’t suck. Remember when your older brother used to turn you on to primo stoner-punk classic-rawk like UFO and Thin Lizzy and AC/DC and Alice Cooper, way back in the golden days? DARK CLOUDS are like some great band from another era you just discovered under the bed with the vintage “OUI” porn mags while snoopin’ around for his dope stash. EXACTLY the kind of heavy rock with memorable tunes some of us washed-up yank battle-axes would be aspiring to crank out if we weren’t all so impossibly behind the 8-ball, living in cars with three legged dogs, or pawning off our last few collectible rocknroll books to ripoff record store owners for pennies who will sell them for top dollar on fucking E-Bay. If you were ever a longhaired, whiskey drinkin’, old vinyl blasting rocknroll animal with a bad reputation and a pocket full of pills, DARK CLOUDS is really the still-standing, modern day band for you. These fellas can all take a punch, finish the gallon jug, beat you at pool, stay awake for nine days at a time, and play their asses off, absolutely untamed and unafraid outlaw bluespunk scumbaggery from the land of the lost, where the wild the wild things are. Not for gentrification pussies or trust funded safe spacers.
BRAT FARRAR‘s 7″ “Being With You” was quite a good surprise last year. Here he is back with a 10 song album released by Off The Hip Records on CD, and Kizmiaz Records on vinyl.
“On Your Mind” opens this album in a straight noisy punk way, as if The PXIES did speed for breakfast! The 90s alternative rock influence is still strong in songs like “Make You Mine”, “When I Wake”, “Last Summer”, or “Try To Get Away” and its SONIC YOUTH feel.
At times, some songs get more experimental/shoegazey (“Sugar Coloured Dream” and “Downtown”), and it all gets very interesting when BRAT FARRAR explore darker territories (“Never Gonna Go”, “Waiting For You To Call”) in which 80s synths mix with alternative rock. You’ll even get a surf rock’n’roll touch in “And You Know It Now”! If you miss noisy pop and need to listen to something new in that style, then look no further! /Laurent C.
Bela Lugosi on the cover, cool clear vinyl record, this is a good start! BRAT FARRAR is actually Sam Agostino (DIGGER AND THE PUSSYCATS/KAMIKAZE TRIO/RUSSIAN ROULETTES) doing everything by himself, in the pure DIY way!
“Being With You That Night” has a bit of a MISFITS feel, straight forward dark punk rock, “Let It Go” sounds more 90s indie punk, even bringing some early DINOSAUR JR. to mind, and “Feel This Way” is a catchy new wave/noisy punk song that will appeal to WIRE fans.
This 7″ displays quite an interesting mix of influence and a strong identity, definitely worth checking out!/Laurent C.
These young Australian guys may look like they are in a 80s influenced sleaze rock band from Sweden, but their music has more to do with the BOYS, BITERS or the EXPLODING HEARTS… Teenage vocals, 70s rock’n’roll guitar riffs, poppy backing vocals (in a BEACH BOYS way), and the occasional THIN LIZZY influenced guitar solo, you’ll find all the ingredients you need to get a cool contemporary glammy power pop band.
You’ll get a bit of T.REX in “Don’t Worry About Me”, some RAMONES in “I Wanna Be Wanted”, and a bit of UNDERTONES in “Pretender”, no need to say that these kids have good music tastes!
Bringing youth back in rock’n’roll, a song like “Seventeen” will make you think that BLACK HEART BREAKERS should already be sharing stages with The STRYPES. This self-produced album is now just waiting for you to listen to it!/Laurent C.