British singer/songwriter INDYA started under the name Laudez Rose. This 10 song album could easily find its place in the dark pop category. “Too Goth To Handle” opens the album and sounds a bit like a punked-up GARBAGE with funky touches. “Leather N Lace” is a heavy rock song that take us to a more industrial territory and “Little Crush” has a bit of a “Government Hooker” (LADY GAGA) thing in it that will sure make you dance. Rock guitars and trip-hop rhythms sometimes flirt together (“Fill Me With Ya Love”) and a song like “I Wanna Be The One” could defninitely be a pop metal hit. You’ll also hear a bit of dub in the dance rock track “Raise Ya Vibration (feat. Israelite)” and some 80s rock with a a hip-hop part in “Ignite It (feat. Mc Neat.) “Wasted” and “Finish Her” both give classic rock a modern revamp while “Ferrari” ends this album with a rockin’ moshin’ vibe. Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for new sounds with 80s and 90s references. /Laurent C.
Rachel Stamp “Hymns For Strange Children”
I found out about RACHEL STAMP in 2001 when listening to this first official album I got from an Italian glam friend. “Hymns For Strange Children” was released in February 2000 and here it is coming back again in 2023 like the rebirth of glitter! I remember listening to “Monsters Of The New Wave”and thinking it was very original with its disco drums, new wave synths and second verse made up with KISS song titles! I was playing in SPARKLING BOMBS at the time and once in London with singer Alice, we saw a few RACHEL STAMP shirts in Camden and pictures in magazines which was all a bit confusing since it seems like just a few people outside the UK knew who RACHEL STAMP was! Why? They had the looks, the songs, the musicianship, the energy and the mystique. “Brand New Toy” and “Dirty Bone”are powerful enough to appeal to garage punk rockers or MARILYN MANSON fans, “I Got The Worm” and “Pink Slab” are fabulous heavy rock tunes and “I Wanna Be Your Doll” is catchy enough to be a hit blinking at IGGY & The STOOGES. Speaking of catchy, just listen to “Ladies & Gents”! While the world was still drowning in nu-metal, RACHEL STAMP‘s raw production was just simple, straight to the point and powerful which is why it actually stood the test of time. The album has been remastered but I think the original version would have been just fine too. Yes, the band should have been huge, their song “Didn’t I Break My Heart Over You” proves it every time you listen to it. The pop sensibility in RACHEL STAMP has always been one of their strong features and you can hear this in songs like “Take A Hold Of Yourself” and “My Sweet Rose.” The CD version comes out with 6 bonus tracks including live recordings (a speed-up version of JOHNNY KIDD AND THE PIRATES “Please Don’t Touch”, the hard rock tinged “Girl, You’re Just A Slave To Your Man”, the bluesy “Black Tambourine” and a cover of the country classic “Carmelita.” Back in London, one or two years after I started listening to RACHEL STAMP I bought their second album “Oceans Of Venus” at Tower Records and the question remained “Why aren’t they huge rockstars?!?” Anyway, now I need the vinyl version of “Hymns For Strange Children”! /Laurent C.
Buy from Easy Action Records (CD)
Buy from Easy Action Records (Vinyl)
David Ryder Prangley on Bandcamp
Listen to David Ryder Prangley on Straight To Video podcast Episode 332
V2 “Johnny Rocco/Car Crash” 7″
This 7″ vinyl comes out in two different versions (black and red wth two different sleeves.) Punk pioneers V2 take us back to 1977 with “Johnny Rocco”, a song telling a story about true Manchester characters and “Car Crash”, a track with a strong DEAD BOYS vibe. If you’re looking for the original sound of late 70s punk, then don’t look any further, this one is for you! /Laurent C.
RACHEL STAMP “Hymns For Strange Children” classic debut reissued on Easy Action Records
Pic by Nigel Crane
It’s fair to say that when Rachel Stamp emerged on London’s rock scene in the mid-90s, nobody had seen anything like them in many years. Grunge had taken root at the start of the decade, while the metal scene had delved into new extremes of darkness. Real glamour was conspicuous by its absence. Fronted by the unashamedly gorgeous David Ryder Prangley, Rachel Stamp to the rescue!
Formed in 1994 by singer/bassist Ryder Prangley and guitarist Will Crewdson, the band went through a number of changes, making a name on the London circuit, before signing to WEA to record their debut album. As luck would have it, that album went unreleased when their A&R champion left the label. This would derail many young guns, but not to be deterred, they recruited new drummer Robin Guy, and set out on their own, crashing the lower reaches of the national charts with ‘My Sweet Rose’ on their own Bitch Vinyl imprint.
With the ‘classic’ line-up completed by keyboard-player Shaheena Dax, Rachel Stamp were the ones to watch, picking up serious media coverage from the likes of Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Metal Hammer and even the soaraway Sun, who were suitably outraged by the band’s ‘gender bender’ image.
Recorded and mixed in just seven days with producer John Fryer (Nine Inch Nails, Love And Rockets, White Zombie, HIM), Hymns For Strange Children was released in February 2000. Propelled by a swathe of rave reviews, a Kerrang! front cover, and the radio hit ‘Didn’t I Break My Heart Over You’, a major tour in support of the album climaxed in the band’s biggest ever headline show at the 2,000-capacity London Astoria, where they’d supported No Doubt, Korn and Cheap Trick just months previously.
Now, while all about us is doom and gloom, the world need Rachel Stamp more than ever! Twenty-three years on from its original release, Easy Action Records are releasing Hymns For Strange Children fully remastered and repackaged, for the first time ever on limited edition pink vinyl while a new CD edition adds six bonus tracks.
“We paved the way for a whole generation of fans to be themselves and not to blindly conform to what someone else told them they should be,” says Ryder Prangley today. “It was really tough to walk around looking the way we did back then. There was a lot of verbal and physical abuse directed towards us and I’m sure it was the same for our fans, but we all lived through it and came out the other side for the better.
“I meet a lot of musicians who used to come and see us play when they were teenagers and were inspired by us,” he adds. “But I don’t think there has really been a band since Rachel Stamp that mixed heavy, distorted guitars with synths and melodic vocals like we did. We’re still unique in that way and I’m very excited that Hymns For Strange Children is being re-released and hopefully reaching a whole new audience.”
Fans will get the chance to catch the band live with a special launch show at Islington O2 Academy on Friday 14 April, tickets on sale here https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F005E2DE27235FF
Tim Izzard “Deepfake 99” EP
Tim Izzard is a solo artist from Hailsham, England who is heavily influenced by 70s glam rock. “Walk The Walk”opens this EP in a true BOWIE Diamond Dogs era way (“Over My Shoulder” is actually based on a story of one of Tim’s friends who met BOWIE) while “Press On/Off Here” brings a bit of psychedelism to the glitter party. You’ll also hear a MOTT THE HOOPLE influence in “Alice Pearl” and get to boogie with “Deepfake 99”. The EP ends as it starts with a sparkling BOWIE note in the bonus track “Will The First To Believe Turn On The Lights?” The drum machine sounds a bit rigid at times for that style but “Deepfake 99” is a very enjoyable EP. Moreover, all sales will be donated to the charities UNICEF Ukraine Crisis Appeal and Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. /Laurent C.
The Speedways “Talk Of The Town”
Following their cover 10′ “Borrowed & Blue” record and their two LPs “Just Another Regular Summer” (2018) and “Radio Sounds” (2020), “Talk Of The Town” offers us 13 new songs by London’s finest powerpop band The SPEEDWAYS. “Dead From The Heart Town” opens the record in a BITERS way before “Secrets Secrets” make us dive into 60s powerpop. The TOM PETTY influences can still be heard in “Shoulda Known”, “Strange Love” or in “A Drop In The Ocean” but the band also tried new things on this new album since guitarist Mauro sings on two songs (the sunny “Kiss Me Goodbye” and the poppy “Summer’s Over”) and you’ll get more various influences in songs like “Weekend 155” and its post-punk touches or in the epic “Monday Was The Start Of The Stars (To Forgive & Forget”) as well as in “Talk Of The Town” and its 80s funky vibe. You’ll still get the typical powerpop ingredients like vocal harmonies, teenage themes and 70s rock’n’roll guitars but with more spice thrown in. The SPEEDWAYS know how to write a catchy song, just listen to “A Song Called Jane And A Lie Called Love” and isn’t it one of the most important things when you play powerop? The release date is November 21st (CD/Digital) and December 9th (vinyl.) /Laurent C.
Gunfire Dance “Witness To The Crime”
Unfortunately, I only first heard about GUNFIRE DANCE in the 00s when my friend Franckie sent me a few songs of their demos and then later reviewed their collection CD “Archway Of Thorns” (2007.) GUNFIRE DANCE are one of these 80s bands who didn’t end up signing a record deal despite their great songs and wonderful image. These decadent dandies from Birmingham recorded with Brian James (The DAMNED, The LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH) and shared stages with the best bands in that genre at the time (The DOGS D’AMOUR, The THROBS, D GENERATION, Thee HYPNOTICS…) but it seems like it wasn’t even enough to make it so they kinda became one of the best kept glam rock’n’roll secrets…
Easy Action Records had the good idea to finally release these songs on vinyl, one more reason to enjoy the dirty rock’n’roll of “Blue” and “Pretty As Sin”, the JOHNNY THUNDERS influenced “Bliss Street” and “Burnin’ Ambition”. You’ll also hear a bit of STOOGES in “Bird Doggin'” as well as in “Break It Up” and some chaotic HANOÏ ROCKS in the fabulous “Suit And Tie” and in the powerpop tainted “Gimme Back My Heart”. The band even had his CLASH moments with “Make You Cry” but their real force was to mix all of these influences in style in order to create their own identity. Our friend J.D Monroe was the best person to write the sleevenote of “Witness To The Crime” and he says “They had a seductive mystique about them, a proud, almost regal sense of noble tradition and rocknroll coolness matched by few others” and JEFF DAHL once said “Gunfire Dance were everything righteous, sexy and dangerous that rock’n’roll was all about!!! God bless Ant” and I couldn’t agree more with these quotes. Well, t’s never too late, so this is the right time to get your hands on this record! /Laurent C.
Paradise Alley “Bad Timing And Silver Linings” EP
Just in time before their show at HRH Sleaze festival, this 4 track EP celebrates the 30th anniversary of the band! “Soho Daze” actually takes us back to the times when the band started, when London was witnessing a glam revival mixed to 80s sleaze rock and when flamboyant rock’n’rollers used to hang out at The Marquee, The Fox, The Ship and Gossips. The song really sounds like it’s from the late 80s/early 90s, a kind of mix between The DOGS D’AMOUR and The THROBS! “Backstabber” was written around 2008 and rocks in a STIV BATORS way while “Walk Away” is a heavy rock song with some good STONES guitar riffs thrown in. Finally, the title track of the EP “Bad Timing & Silver Linings” brings back the “Beatutiful Losers” theme in style and makes you want to listen to more. Well done! /Laurent c.