Ashtones “Who Are The Leper Messiahs?”

Lille’s undisputed street punk rock’n’roll  kings ASHTONES are back with a new 10 song album, and opening song “We Are Your Leper” shows us that they still have things to say when it comes to rockin’! This time you’ll hear more melody in “Any Lou Reed At Night”, “Success” (you’ll hear some slight DOGS D’AMOUR and GUNS N’ ROSES influences in this one) and in “Ballad Of The Lower Fives Side.” At times, the guitar riffs tend to sound more hard rock (especially in the song intros), but the usual ASHTONES ingredients can still be found in this new album, which means you’ll still hear some ’77 punk influences, as well as some out of control vocals and wild backing vocals. “Porcupine Gigolo” and “Tonight, Eating Pizzas” bring early TURBONEGRO to mind and songs like “Dirty Romance”, “Rattlesnake” or the street punk “Let The Monkey” must hit you right in the face when played live. Actually, it’s a good thing that the production of this album is definitely on the live edge.
The MANIC STREET PREACHERS used to sing “Condemned To Rock’n’Roll”, and ASHTONES join them when shouting “Victims Of Rock’n’Roll!” If you haven’t heard of them yet, then it’s never too late… /Laurent C.

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The Jones “Silver Faces”

Paris rock’n’rollers The JONES are back with a new 13 track album. Opening song “True Love” mixes DR. FEELGOOD to Les DOGS while “Sid Vicous” brings GARY GLITTER and T.REX to mind. The JONES are no newcomers since they played in many bands before, including BAD LOSERS and CHRIS WILSON, so you can expect some good, solid and tight playing. The 60s influences can be heard in “Shake” or in “Betty Jean” while “No One To Blame” has a cool rockabilly vibe and a pretty catchy chorus. The classic blues rock’n’roll side of the band shows more in “Come Back To Me Baby”, “Silver Faces” and in “Can’t Afford Wasting My Life”, and you’ll get your powerpop fix with “Morning Ghost” and “Look The Part.” You’ll even hear some groovy funky guitars in “Looking For A Fox” and some classy pop in the last song “Twenty Seven.”
Keith Richards once said “The rock is easy, but the roll is another thing…”, and “Silver Faces” shows us how it has to be done! /Laurent C.


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The Irradiates “Lost Transmissions From The Remote Outpost”

10 previously unreleased, live, or rare songs by France’s best surf rock band The IRRADIATES. “All You Need Is… Transmutation” puts you right into the band’s vintage sci-fi world with some strident punked-up surf rock. “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die” is a great song title, and no wonder that you can hear the DEAD KENNEDYS‘ spirit in it. The IRRADIATES have never been a trad surf band, but they sometimes get close to it in songs like “Ca$h” or “Dr. Holidays.”
While the tracks are mostly instrumental, you’ll hear some vocals in “Slide Machine” (13th ELEVATORS cover with JERRY SPIDER GANG‘s vocalist Lo as a guest), “Everything Turns Grey” (live AGENT ORANGE cover with Mike Palm guesting on vocals!), or in “Knowledge From Abroad” that surprisingly almost sounds like a FUGAZI song.
This record comes out in a cool gatefold cover, including notes about each song and black and white pictures of the producers/audio engineers who worked on these songs. Good job again, guys! /Laurent C.
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Badass Mother Fuzzers “Heartbreaker”

This French band has toured in the USA last year, and although I’ve never heard of them before, they seem to have played quite a lot so far since their 2015 live debut in New York. These three guys share influences such as The SONICS (“Dog On A Leash”) and you’ll also hear some speed-up surf rock touches in “Gotta Stop” and in “Don’t Give a Damn” that bring the DEAD KENNEDYS to mind. Songs like “Heartbreaker”, “Hey Hey Hey”, “Feel Alright”, or “Love” sound more punk rock’n’roll while “The Other Side” has a cool CRAMPS-esque atmosphere. You’ll also hear an obvious CLASH influence in “Well Well Well”, and a slight DOGS touch in “Shoot Me Down” or in “I Can’t See.” BADASS MOTHER FUZZERS have opened for bands like DR FEELGOOD and The REAL KIDS, so you’ll probably hear more about them soon. In the meantime, check out this album! /Laurent C.
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Guttercats “Follow Your Instinct”

Paris’ GUTTERCATS are back with a 4th album already. Opener “A Trip Down Memory Lane” displays more pop influences than in their previous works, although you still can hear the obvious GUN CLUB influence. The band also gets darker with “(Beyond The Limits) Before I Die”, the guitars still have this cowboy slide feel, and the drums sometimes get crazy à la Keith Moon. You’ll hear some 60s influences in “I Wonder”, “I Promise” (and its psychedelic end), as well as in the sax infused ballad “Sweet Little Sister” (not to be mistaken for SKID ROW‘s famous sleaze rock’n’roll hit!)
My personal favourite is probably “Follow Your Instinct” and its repetitive, yet groovy hypnotic post-punk tones.
The band’s music sometimes gets close to NICK CAVE‘s (“Don’t Cry On My Shoulder”), and often gets drama-romantic (“Down In a Hole”, “No Remorse No Regrets”) although “On The Road” reminds me of Guts’ old band BABY STRANGE since it goes more into early 90s British glam rock’n’roll territories.
The production of this new album fits the band very well since it sounds live enough to imagine how these songs can sound once they are played on a stage and under the lights.
Let’s face it, GUTTERCATS are only getting better and better with age, just like good wine!/Laurent C.

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Dead End “Suicide Notes”

French punk rock band DEAD END has been around for more than 20 years! Despite all those years and numerous line-up changes, Wattie (vocals/guitar) always managed to keep DEAD END alive and kicking.
On this new album, you can obviously hear Wattie’s punk rock’n’roll roots in songs like “Autophobia”, “The Cheater”, “Loser”, or “Shout”, and while some songs like “Bring Us Solutions”, or “Political Shits” are on the edge of pop punk, they also have a strong anarcho punk feel, which doesn’t make DEAD END an easy band to label. Wattie’s vocals have also always contributed to make DEAD END stand out, and this new album is no exception!… Songs like “Love Is Pain”, or “Degeneration” manage to keep a raw punk rock energy mixed to a darker feel. On the other hand, “N.O.V.A.” and “Forever Missed”‘ bring the best of 90s/early 00s Californian punk rock to mind with sunny and catchy choruses, and “Oi Boy!” is an ode to Oï! Some might be surprised to hear that the song “Black Thoughts” sounds like a tribute to The CURE, but it’s not surprising when you know a bit about the band and Wattie.
“Suicide Notes” proves us once again that DEAD END will never be part of “Mediocracy”, and hopefully, it will help them to finally get the recognition they deserve. /Laurent C.
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Olowex “Discode” EP

Holeg Spies (French musician specialized in movie soundtracks) and electronic music producer Yannis Kamarinos joined forces and ideas in order to create cinematic music under the name OLOWEX, with the help of Thierry Jones (BAD LOSERS, The JONES.) Spies and Jones previously worked together in electro-industrial project KORE KOSMOU. The main track of this EP, “Discode” sounds quite 80s synthpop, and could have been featured in the soundtrack of Luc Besson’s 1985 movie Subway, but it’s actually part of the soundtrack of the French-American film Selling Isobel (awarded best independent movie at London Raindance Festival in 2016.) You’ll find four different versions of “Discode” with various moods on this EP : Extended, radio edit, Sierra remix, and Superfunk Antheme mix. No need to say you’ll have “Discode” stuck in your head for the rest of the day after that!… The other song on here, “Beautiful Ones” is a relaxing ambiant electronica track with female vocals, by Icelandic singer Disa.
It will be interesting to see how this new project evolves after this promising debut EP (available on vinyl – 100 copies limited edition.) /Laurent C.
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Frozen Dead Kittens “Shelter In The Wild” EP

Despite their name, these three guys don’t play horror rock. FROZEN DEAD KITTENS started back in 2011 in France, and have released two EPs and one album (“Dirty Lovers Republic”) in 2013 so far. They’ve decided to get back to their rock’n’roll roots after their second guitar player left in 2014, and it seems like it wasn’t a bad idea at all. Indeed, this 4 song CD almost sounds like it’s a fresh new start, with influences such as HANOÏ ROCKS (“What They Said”, “No Fiction”) or ’77 punk (“Shelter In The Wild”, “Coming Back”), although FDK never sound vintage on this EP. The production is good, the vocals and backing vocals are solid, and the songs are catchy enough to stay in your head just after you’ve listened to them once. Good job, guys! Laurent C.

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