Eddie Mooney & The Grave “Telephones”/”Lockdown Baby” 7″

EDDIE MOONEY started in 1978 in Manchester when the punk scene was at the height of its no future fame. Still Unbeatable Records from Germany reissued the band’s early recordings but also has released two singles recently. The latest one “Telephones” is a good powerpop song with sunny positive energy, hand claps and nice vocal harmonies. “Down The Drain” on side B is also quite a catchy powerpop tune that might stay in your head for a couple of hours!

“Lockdown Baby” is another single with lots of handclaps but this one sounds more glam rock’n’roll with a groovy bass than 60s powerpop. “Working Man”,the second song has a bootboy glam vibe and a catchy chorus too. The production makes it sound like it was recorded in the early 70s, check it out! /Laurent C.


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Robbie Quine “Glitter Hole”

We’ve been following The BARBARELLATONES for years now and although Robbie has been releasing songs on a regular basis we were impatiently waiting for a new album. Here it is under his own name ROBBIE QUINE. “Eclipse” opens the record with an interesting mix of 70s glam rock and medieval vibes reminding a bit of the latest DAMNED stuff before “Betty Page” takes us to mysterious psychedelic rock’n’roll lands. “Just Another Emo Day” sounds more like an epic 60s ballad than an emocore song and “Glitter Train”, “Creeps Me Out” sound close to the cryptic glam rock you can hear in The BARBARELLATONES albums. If you need to hear a great new wave punk song mixing late 70s Berlin and early 80s New York together then “New Wave Girl” is the one for you and if you’re looking for a 70s glam ballad about sharing make-up with a girl then listen to “Glam Rock Girl.” You can also hear some VELVET UNDERGROUND influences in “Run Rabbit Run” and more glitter rock flirting with 60s psych in “Electric Pussycat.” “The Loneliest Clown” brings a comedy/tragedy element to the album and the album ends with a gothic glam touch with “It Came From Beyond” and the sweet and finely arranged ballad “Ode To A Mermaid.” Robbie says that if you put this album in your pipe and smoke it, you will exhale LOTS of glitter. We believe him! /Laurent C.

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Micko & The Mellotronics – “… Everything forgotten hangs in dark dreams of the past, ever threatening to return!”

If you like glam rock then you must have watched Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes, 1998) quite a few times and you probably thought that the mysterious and glittery Jack Fairy was the perfect incarnation of the style. Micko Westmoreland was the perfect person for this role but he is also a musician who has just released a new album called « ½ Dove – ½ Pigeon » with his band MICKO & THE MELLOTRONICS, a fine mix of British pop, glam and art punk wrapped in wry humour and retro aesthetic. Micko tells us about the album, the band as well as his acting experience…

Let’s start with Velvet Goldmine and your role as Jack Fairy. How did you get chosen for it?

My brother & his late partner Richard Glatzer were already good friend’s with director Todd Haynes. So I got an invite to meet with him in Soho in central London, one wet Thursday afternoon & we sat for a couple of hours & chatted. I was fresh out of film school & we hit upon Kenneth Anger; the devil incarnate & his fabulous collection of avant garde short movies. We got on very well so it felt that something positive was going to happen. It did, I tried out with Susie Figgis (casting director) for the role which fell to the brilliant David Hoyle as group stylist. Word filtered through I could audition for the mysterious Jack Fairy, so I did a performance on VHS video of lip synching to ‘All the young Dudes’, by Bowie, two versions were sent in. My brother told me I had got the part, so the work began in ernest. I had very little to no acting experience, so decided to read as much as I could about the era, bought/borrowed a ton of biographies and inadvertently started ‘method acting’ the part. I moved to staying out late and suspending all other aspects of modern life i.e. only music played from the glam era, and lots of other stuffs I picked up from the books. Not eating in front of others, certainly not in public or using the bathroom whilst in company. Subtle things that gave my new personal a slightly other worldly, alien quality.

Jack Fairy is a mysterious glam rock cult figure in the film. What were the references you had in mind for this character?

I felt the role was much more about emanating a presence. People have often asked who ‘Jack’, is based on, Eno/Bolan/Little Richard/Dietrich. Let’s leave the jury out hey.. Jack’s magic is his mysterious quality, he escapes with little to no egg on his face, a kind of patron saint of Glam Rock.

Bowie, Bolan, Eno, Jobriath and many others had something otherwordly in them. Do you think that mystery and magic are important things in glam rock?

Absolutely, the more elusive the more desirable. Todd worked hard on the relationship between fan & star in Velvet Goldmine, gets the hormones racing. Art school Glam was a movement which set about fictionalising itself, partly why Velvet Goldmine works, it’s not a bio pic. Bowie created Ziggy, so in a parallel universe there’s all the variants in-between, Maxwell Demon was after all the name of Eno’s art school band.

Were you allowed to keep « Oscar Wilde’s brooch » after playing in the movie?

Unfortunately not, a deal was done over the costumes so I wasn’t able to walk off the set with a few bits and pieces ala, ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth‘. I did however get the leather coat worn over the opening credits made, it was originally designed for Britt Ekland. I have it moth balled in the cupboard, my alter ego hermetically sealed. As the opening credit decree ‘Histories like ancient ruins, are the fictions of empires, while everything forgotten hangs in dark dreams of the past, ever threatening to return!’.

Were you already playing in bands at the time of the movie?

No, I was making Electronic music under the name The Bowling Green, I got signed to Trent Reznor’s nothing records along with a number of Warp records artists. The 90s was the era of the bedroom musician, I was one of those. The technology was improving so fast at that time, the possibilities seemed endless. I changed gear in the 2000s & got more interested in lyrics & returning to writing on guitar.

What have you released before The MELLOTRONICS?

A ton of stuff, http://www.landlinerecords.com is a good spot to find stuff. The band really came out as a result of the 2015 album ‘Yours etc. abc’, which sounded like a band but was in actual fact mainly just me. It made sense from that to build a group from that sound.

How did you get Jon Klein (SPECIMEN/SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES) to play with you?

We were playing on the same bill, Mellotronics were support. I lent Jon my amp for the show & gave him a record. I got a message from him the next day as I remember, asking how I’d put it together, he liked it. We eventually got together for a drink in Camden Town & it went from there.

I’d just finishing writing Noisy Neighbours & I sent it over to him & he gave it a the Klein dynamic work out treatment, I was amazed at the results.

Can you tell us about the recording of the album? Did you have all the songs ready and arranged before recording?

I provide words, chords & melody, they sometimes get truncated or extended as the track gets worked into full focus.

Jon Klein our guitarist (Specimen/Ex-Banshees) plays a huge part in the sound, he’s an amazing player & a great producer. We worked independently & together on the project. Nick MacKay (drums) & Vicky Carroll (bass) are a great rhythm section. Vicky is 100% dependable & is our newest recruit. Nick was in it from the start. Such a great passion for playing & a brilliant live performer..

Did you have any albums, bands, art or literature references in mind when making the album?

There’s a few obvious ones, a Barrettesque paisley envelope modulating Psychedelic Shirt, The Rutles’ own Neil Innes came to play on You Killed My Father which was inspired by him & there’s a few other miscellaneous musical references for afternoon trainspotting. All good clean fun.

There’s something very British in the Lyrics and the songwriting. I was watching Inside Number 9 a few days ago and thought that your music would have been perfect as a soundtrack for it. Do you have any plans to have your songs in TV shows or movies?

Music for TV & Film comes along sporadically & randomly. It’s more that someone has you in mind than the other way around.

Will you have the album line-up as a live band too?

Absolutely, as notated above.

How would you compare being an actor with being on stage with a rock band?

When I’m on stage I have a hell of a lot to do, I’m more concentrated on delivering the best I can. So here’s no great theatrics on stage, it’s more about poking out the details from the wall fo sound.

Do you think that being an actor helps for music videos?

Yes, I would say so. It’s a fine line between confidence which people love & over making the point which turns people off.

You always have to avoid too much sauce. Treat your audience as highly intelligent, they can see things you don’t.

It’s hard to plan anything these days, but do you have any future plans for The MELLOTRONICS or your acting career?

I don’t really have an acting career any more, that’s parked in the Jack Fairy museum where it should be. The band is as active as we can be at present in covid times. We have two videos to shoot in the new year & of course a second album, writing is underway.

I feel very lucky. I work with talented people & I’ve been no steps removed from the greats! I believe that everyone has the potential to be creative deep down, without wishing to sound preachy, don’t let the perceived judgement of others or for that matter your own, get you down & stop you. Good or bad it’ll all work out for the better that way..

Photo credits: Ashley Jones & Paul London


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Tremendous “Relentless”

British rockers TREMENDOUS introduced their music with a few digital singles last year and they finally release their first album on May 15th. While “Don’t Leave Our Love (Open For Closing)” or “Rock’n’Roll Satellite” have obvious UK 70s glam rock influences, you’ll also hear some 80s American metal in “Bag Of Nails”, “Copycat Killer” or “Daniela.” The band took their time to deliver their debut album and you can hear that they worked hard on these songs but also managed to avoid sounding too polished and they kept the tracks short. “Take a Good Look at My Good” is not that far from 90s grunge ballads and you’ll even find some punk traces in “Heart Sinker” and in “Fightin’ To Lose.”
Whether you like classic rock, glam or indie, you’ll sure find something to your tastes in “Relentless.” /Laurent C

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Rich Kid Expre$$ “Bubblegum Radio” EP

RICH KID EXPRE$$ is a hard rock solo project by Rob Richardson (Squib Kick Records.) Opening song “You Went Too Far” brings us back to the 80s when glam metal rules the US, but then “The Way She Rolls” brings the late 70s to mind when hard rock, power pop and glam rock were heavily flirting together. Speaking of glam and glitter, that’s what you’ll get with “Bubblegum Radio”, a song reminding me of The SWEET and BAY CITY ROLLERS. “Just a Dog” is the heavier song of the EP, a bit like some of ALICE COOPER‘s 80s songs and “Steamroller” is a classic hard rock tune that you could have heard in the soundtrack of any 80s horror movies. Besides being well written, played and produced, you can feel the passion of Rob for 70s and 80s rock in this EP and this is probably why it sounds so natural, as if time had stopped in 1986. Definitely worth checking out! /Laurent C.

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Hollywood Brats + The Vultz – Nell’s (London) 31st August 2019

We’re in London, West Kensington, Nell’s ready to witness a once in a life time event. Hollywood Brats are about to get back together on stage for the first time since 1974. People from all over the world are in the house tonight: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Italy, Germany, France it’s unbelievable! Nell’s packed, totally sold out, there’s not a single spot left on te floor.

The night is opened by The Vultz, awesome ’77 act reminiscent of Buzzcocks, Heartbreakers, Vibrators totally willed to give us a good time. Their set puts a smile on everybody’s face instantly, they connect with the whole audience immediately and we all end up cheering with the band and having a great time.

After The Vultz get back to the dressing rooms the momentum starts to build up and finally here they are, the last of the rock and roll dandies, The Hollywood Brats. Matheson is dressed to kill, flamboyant and sassy as he’s about to show us how a great frontman takes care of business, Casino Steel is giving us his rock and roll royalty realness behind shades, Brady is unpredictable and ready to attack like the devilish slinger he is. Side to side with the original lineup we find Peter Baarli (Backstreet Girls) all wrapped up in a polka dot extravaganza in charge of guitar duties, Martin Hansson (Backstreet Girl, The Boys) on drums wearing his trademark skull chest t-shirt and last but not least Kent Norberg (Sator) ready to provide all the outstanding bass an occasion like this requires.

The band jumps immediately on Tumble With Me, Chez Maxime and Zurich 17, these gentlemen are not kidding, they’re taking no prisoners. They sound dangerous, sleazy remembering us this is no revival we’re witnessing, this is history in the making. Band’s classics like Nightmare, Another School Day, Courtesan fit perfectly with the brand new single Vampire Nazi as well with amphetaminic versions of Chuck Berry’s Sweet Little Sixteen, Dean Martin’s Little Ole Wine Drinker Me and The Kinks I Need You for which the band invites to join them Sir Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats).

The audience is ecstatic, for most of the people here tonight Hollywood Brats is not only a great band but is also a statement of identity, a brick of rock’n’roll history too long neglected and ignored. A way of living music and life that’s never been fully understood. This is not punk, not metal, not blues, not glam rock, this is the way rock and roll could and should have been. This is Jagger in a pink satin suit on Top Of The Pops dancing to Brown Sugar, this is Johansen’s clumpsy pliés at Midnight Special, this is Bowie biting Ronno’s guitar, this is the cheetah sawn on the back of Iggy’s jacket, this is an invitation to the biggest party ever that the world 45 years ago dismissed. Hollywood Brats were fundamental in shaping a way of being, in shaping our tastes, our personalities and everybody here tonight is so thankful and happy to embrace the ones that opened the gates showing us there was a place we can always go back to and feel home.

Baarli, Hansson and Norbert does a wonderful job underlining and enhancing every song in the set, never trying to put their egos in front of the vibe of the compositions. The night could not finish before the band plays their anthem Sick O You on which drive Nell’s totally mental. What a night!!! A 100% once in a lifetime experience… Or maybe the first of more gigs to come? Cross your fingers mates, cheerio!

Lester Greenowski

Electrajets “Transatlantic Tales”

(-review by Moses Midnight)

Electrajets Make Absolutely Epic Psychedelic Glam Masterpiece!

Cried so much his face was wet, so I knew he was not lying… (-Bowie)

To be joyous is to be a mad man in a world of sad ghosts… (-Miller)

Do ya like good music? Do ya like T. Rex? Brevity and under-statement have never really been my mohair suit and electric boots, so if you have a short attention span, or require a refreshing libation or more ice cubes, now is the time to jump off the night train, as I got plenty I wanna convey to my brothers and sisters and friends of the revolution, about halo-headed electric warrior extraordinaire, guitar star, novelist, and all around NYC bohemian hip-cat, JEFF WARD, and his highly talented Electrajets cohorts. Jeff is a poignant, provocative, and impactful artiste in multiple mediums, a fantastic communicator, a seductive story-teller and romantic raconteur, and I’ll be starting today’s rant, at the beginning, when I was 19 or 20, and still working at a rural smalltown record store in soybean country, miles from nowhere. We sold all those cool, eighties, English import, music magazines, back in the dizzying days of hairspray and cowboy boots, when all us dumb, hick kids were still so super-excited about Izzy Stradlin, an Americanized, fast-food drive-through version of our much beloved, Andy McCoy, and initially, we even mistook Nazareth cover band screecher, Axl, for a ginger haired, Midwestern, anti-authoritarian Mike Monroe, before he got crazy drunk on over-night super-fame and promptly turned into Donald Trump (“YOU’RE FIRED!”) in bicycle shorts.

One day, while perusing Kerrang!, I saw a tiny black and white photo of a U.K. band called GUNFIRE DANCE in a column about fresh blood up and comers. I wrote to their address and was thrilled to receive a torrent of lively correspondence from the Gunfires-handwritten letters on cool Gunfire Dance stationary, glossy publicity pix, and cassette demos. I immediately took to their energetic style of trashy rocknroll and commenced much enthusing about their catchy tunes, “Bliss Street” and “Suit & Tied” in my crappy home made fanzines. We were crows of a feather back then, they became my imaginary friends, I felt like their faraway country mouse cousin, as I had my own dodgy Gun Club covers band in the lynchmob loony Midwest, ridiculously sucking in my cheeks and pushing out my lips, infuriating the apemen, like the gawky adolescent Edward Scissorhands I was, puke stains adorning my frilly pink blouse. Something in my eyes has always enraged the klans-people with authority. The locals really wanted to kill me. They are bred and boot-camped to be hateful and hostile, and will never hesitate to burn you at the stake. Since corporate punk bands rebranded music as sports in the nineties, middleclass, gentrified people in that town pretend it is a punk paradise, but 3 of my childhood pals were murdered there and I lost track of the suicides, it was not a nice place. It’s like Whack-A-Mole in the hick states, whenever a new or weirdish voice rises up, the prevailing status-quo always gets frantic that their long established ruling-class pecking-order is somehow being potentially subverted or threatened, so they always go to absurdly nutty extremes to sabotage, shut-out and silence anyone with a walk, or style, or beat, of their own. Even and especially in piss-puddle nothing, humdrum, dried-up and dreary, sports bar drunken, dying mall towns. Nothing is more offensive to the fortunate son, future Trump voters, and Bill O’Reilly listening squares of the flyover states, than offensively effete girly men consorting with unusually desirable female Depeche Mode or Sisters Of Mercy aficionados. It’s always just high-school sports, country club membership, woodsy suburban street names, ugly clothes, terrible top 40 music, cover bands, television, and oversized white trucks forever and ever with super-sized buckets of draft beer and BBQ chicken wings on oversized, Fourth Of July sundecks, forever and ever, Amen. Alan Grayson once said , “they can’t kill us all!”, but I have never felt even half as confident. I got beat up a lot, it leaves an impression on your central nervous system, eventually, all that repeated boot stomping on your face, cracked ribs stuff. Like I said, 3 of my childhood friends were murdered in that piss-town. The joiners and belongers and eager beaver golf people always saw us as being different, we were always “otherized”. The privileged elements of dumbfuck society can not help but want to snuff our little lights out, for liking Bauhaus and Alien Sex Fiend, or for expressing ideas they do not immediately understand. They’d show up at my job in rabid packs of six or seven to threaten to kill me for the crime of attracting females whom they felt they’d somehow already property-patched and branded with their mom’s influence and allowances from dad, or whatever. It was always madness, so I spent a significant time withdrawing into books and records and old yellowy magazines and just dreaming of someday retreating to a far off emerald city where nobody cared if you had a nose ring or liked blue eye shadow or hot pink leather and the NY Dolls. Unpardonable sins, back in Limbaugh country. My intimate clique of Gene Loves Jezebel goth dollies and Charlie Sexton rockabilly brats, wild haired Robert Smith kids and random AC/DC strays, never had one shred of inheritance, or prestige, or fancy equipment, but we had loads of white trash guts, camaraderie, and goonies are gudd enuff, kicks galore. Solidarity and Gabba Gabba Hey gang loyalty seemed like positive solutions to systemic repression and mob-rules violence. The dominant powers only seemed at all interested in collecting meaningless status symbols, lording over others, and stepping on weaker humans. Flatulent, Jager drunk, pizza belching fat guys in baseball caps. And khaki shorts. Even their supposedly posh and genteel, church a goin’ parents would try to get me fired from jobs and stuff for corrupting their daughters with Aqua Net and Replacements lyrics. The smalltown religious people were livid that even a few of us audaciously dared to play music, print fanzines, draw caricatures, paint stuff, dress the way we wanted, and have hootenannies in the privacy of a rented farmhouse on the edge of town. Art was forbidden. So was androgyny. They called me a Manson like cult leader, but really, I just liked Kid Congo Powers, Flesh for Lulu, Hanoi Rocks, and the Dogs D’amour.

In the Bon Jovi and Poison metal years, my cherished rocknroll escapist prayer life was already being infringed upon, hijacked, co-opted, infiltrated by the usual ham-fisted imposter, sports fratboys, corrections guards, life-guards and ignorant suburban people with sadist cop mentalities. GUNFIRE DANCE were real important to some of us, because we could see ourselves in them, so somehow, their (mis)fortunes somehow seemed tethered to our own. Where I grew up, the 100% complicit, dress code enforcing adults-the teachers, preachers, coaches, administrators, cops, all knew we were being unfairly and inhumanely targeted and harassed, stalked, followed around, elbowed in the teeth, knocked backward down stairwells etc., and they only ever green-lit and encouraged that shit. They really, really, REALLY, frowned upon boys wearing makeup. I knew I had to get out. I was forever urging my former amigos and banditos to relocate with me to grimier gutters. Gunfire Dance will always be part of my personal rocknroll pantheon, in part, because they were so heroically unapologetic about wearin’ all the purple velvet and peacock feathers that nobody wears. They weren’t your typical hairy chested Kip Wingers peddling fluffy power ballads, or stinky ape aggressor, empty headed Nugent thrash dudes. I did not need redneck rock stars. I wanted elegant elfen, Oscar Wilde-ish rockstars. They were one of the coolest looking bands I’d ever seen, with a raw and untamed garage punk sound, that seemed so fresh and original, particularly against the non-stop backdrop of MTV corporate assembly-line metal bands. GUNFIRE DANCE played gritty, savage rocknroll the way I like it, a bit like the Heartbreakers, Stiv Bators solo band, Thee Hypnotics, and the Damned. Their singer, Ant, in his newsboy cap and biker vest and tight leather strides, instantly reminded me and some others of, well, myself, but way, way less inhibited or self-conscious, he was a brave hearted, merry making, boisterous, unpredictable onstage presence, who not only looked flash as hell, but was utterly unafraid to get his silk scarves sweaty, or tear it up, Lux Interior style. He only came to get it on, they meant business, man. GUNFIRE DANCE blew the roof off the sucker. They were all stars-balls of fire, blazing constellations, and it seemed like a senselessly cruel trick of fate that a chaotic pin-up star like Ant would ever end up as a depressed janitor of lunacy with an alcohol problem, like me, rather than a major-label coverboy success story with bubble gum cards and metal lunchboxes and shit, he had such a distinctively unique voice all his own that was variously reminiscent of all our favorite singers-Marc Bolan, Rowland S. Howard, Iggy Pop, and David Johansen, without really copying any of them. To me, he was a real big star. He had his own thing, totally. It was at once, fresh and familiar, and he had a crack team of pirate dandies in his white hot band, a big name rockstar producer, it really seemed like stardom was just a matter of… moments away. Even the bass ace, Birchy was a Face, Oz, the drummer: all 4 could play and looked like front-men, in their own light. Jeff Ward was the lead guitar showman that every basement punk vocalist dreamed of being on-stage with. He was the ultimate guitar-throttler, who threw shapes like the Clash and Thunders and arsonist Beatles in Hamburg, or Stones when they were suckin’ in the 70’s! A lanky, leather clad, wild and hungry, blurry vision of never ending hurricane energy, a boundless bon vivant tornado of Elvis attitude and sneery lips and graceful posing, ala Andy McCoy, Brian James, Mick Jones, and Johnny Thunders. That cat was on fire. All the Lower East Side Ronnie Spectors and Patti Palladin dolls went mad for all of them, once GUNFIRE DANCE finally arrived upon our shores, and conquered Manhattan like natural born motherfuckers. I mean, I think even Brigiite West was going to see their shows Then, the Gunfires, broke up, suddenly, and some of us ardent and avid devotee early fans got real glum about it for awhile, we took it personally. Oh My god, I remember being so gloomy about it. As an indoor kid, only child, I’d spent of my childhood, immersed in books about the Beatles and the Stones, and reading articles about the Clash in smash-hits and Creem magazines, so I was always prone to really waxing romantic about my “when you’re a jet, you’re a jet all the way” stay-together street-gangs, I was totally en thrall to the perennial fantasy of 4 misfits who come together, scorning convention, defying cheap cop-outs and formulas, who shook the world with their velvet hats and Cuban boots, so ya know, it always broke my heart when my favorite bands always seem to crash and burn. I did not understand how hard it can be to juggle relationships with ten other inebriated people in the cold rehearsal rooms and stinky band vans. I did not know the Ramones did not get along, in real life. I probably thought they were actual siblings, as a bohomeless teenager. JEFF WARD continued forging his own prolific ouvre of very highbrow, arty, hallucinogenic rocknroll on his own, that was kinda in the strobe-lit vein of Liverpool’s 80’s psychedelic revivalists, it was a bit like low budget Bolan in Thundersland, but that 70’s glam glossy golden sheen was always missing, his songs always deserved a big, larger than love, major-label, laser-lit, Tony Visconti like, multi-layered production, with the string sections and conga drums and theramin and unicorns and girls goin’ “do, do, do, do, do, do do…” Jeff always determinedly applied a hard working, D.I.Y. ethic to his obscure art and was imaginatively adept at conjuring up ethereal otherworlds, even when he only had access to the most basic and primitive, limited recording equipment. You know you got that elusive “it” when you can even make your cellar dweller, duct-tape, jug band sound like a big-deal George Martin, or Arthur Lee on Elektra teenage rampage psychdelic symphony to god, with no budget, fuelled only by convenience store fortified wines, top Ramen, and an abiding love of Johnny Thunders sensitive solo records. Years after first lighting out upon his Electrajets impossible dream, he has finally achieved this high watermark recording, and at long last accessed the top notch production value and world class squad of untouchably impeccable players, that his rose-tinted originals always deserved. I’m over the moon about Electrajets gypsy-fied rocknroll exotica. He’d already carved out a lasting legacy with his scrappy first band-Gunfire Dance, his ongoing work with NY Junk, his essential books, but this new Electrajets album is really something special. A wonder to be experienced.

After relocating to NYC and struggling for awhile, navigating all the usual hurdles, hardships, obstacles, and rocknroll trapdoors and temptations, Jeff Ward was eventually loved and embraced by the last standing survivors of the 70’s downtown art explosion, and soon joined ranks with a literate, moody, thundering songwriter by the name of Joe Sztabnik, who was best known for his JT-affiliated sleaze punk band, the Dragons, but who also co-wrote “Poison Heart” with Dee Dee Ramone, in NY JUNK. NY JUNK also starred Cynthia Ross, better known in collector’s circles as Cynthia B-Girl, who was the original all girl punk band architect, muse, songwriter, and ground zero idol making, power behind the prince, powerhouse punk pioneer, who helped to kick-start many, many galaxies of iconic cult bands and rock scenes, all over the world. NY 77, Canada, Japan, Modernday NYC, she is a one woman art-juggernaut, planting apple seeds all over the place, with her bands, the B-Girls and NY JUNK, but also discovering, cultivating, nurturing, educating, tirelessly promoting, and managing young talents, and here, she accompanies our dashing beat hero, Jeff Ward, in his intergalactic Electrajets space travels. She is also a poignant writer, it’s easy to understand why she and Jeff Ward are so close. Cynthia is not only an extemporary bass player and historical figure; she’s seen it all, done it all, outlived ’em all, and writes these bruised and raw and nakedly revealing poems that will make you cry. Cynthia is hardcore. I can’t wait for her auto-biography. Jeff’s books, Parasite & Carry On Dreaming and Mac & Beth are so important, I can earnestly assure you that you should own them, especially if you have read my ravings this far. I always recognized his white light starpower in the glittery GUNFIRE DANCE phase, but it was his childlike wonderment and crazy abandon, in his ’round the world travelogs and electrified speed poetry and all night record playing and endless faasciantion with America’s activist history and indigenous subcultures and after-hours speakeasies, and respect for jazz and blugrass and hip-hop, appreciation of sixties writers, and long forgotten folklore, that repeatedly confirms for me what an amazing talent he is. You have to get his books. He is an animal rights activist, a human rights activist, a free press advocate, an antiwar yippie hellraiser in the tradition of David Peel and Harold C. Black, a Wobblies quotin’, power in the union, squatter punk solidarity, power fist, righteous soul bro immigrant blues scholar who makes NYC great again by being a soft-spoken, eloquent voice for the people, and a keeper of the good old flame. He knows way more about America’s civil rights history and it’s original people than most tv brainwashed, miseducated, born in the USA, honky propagandized Americans do. Part Phil Ochs, Victor Jara, Part Jack Kerouac and Brett Smiley. I remember when GUNFIRE DANCE first stormed into NYC in full burst crazy cobalt bloom, they smoked most all the local bands, possessed all the raw materials for Billy Idol super-fame, and really had a genuinely encouraging and affirming, and positive affect on similarly cursed troubadours such as myself and Chris Barry, the World Famous Mister Ratboy, and Deanne Clapper, who were all busy putting our own dark glam and voodoo, crash and burn, singer of the flame, gutter gangs together, as well as on most everyone involved with my fanzine, cable access tv show, record store co-workers, band-house roommates, and our dirty little dead-end blues-punk’s band’s friends and entrouge, all our kooky colleagues and counterparts in Boston’s ghetto-punk underground scene. GUNFIRE DANCE never got rich and famous, but they are still in our hearts, remembered ever so fondly, and will likely always remain one of the coolest rocknroll bands who ever stomped the stage at CBGB’s, or the Continental: at least to me and my raggedy little, teeny, lot of damaged outsiders and pirate lords with PTSD.

That’s a hard act to follow, but this evocative and wonderfully astute and glisteningly anthemic ELECTRAJETS disc is so surprisingly sunny and gleaming and visceral and totally unexpected in times as grim as these. Really, it arrives like a dove, or rainbow, or celestial choir, like they just spiked our drinks with a happy end in the nick of time, or something. Old glam devotees, record collectors, garage junkies, bookworms, aging acid heads, intellectual ingénues, and T. Rex hippies are gonna be playing “Transatlantic Tales” all summer long. Jeff Ward is a new frontier seeking, path finding, fear less truth seeking, envelope pushing, abyss staring, artist in all capital letters. What is so irresistibly charming about the dude is how he is just relentlessly overpowered by his profound love of beauty and adventure and soulful testifyin’, carney people, rabble rousin’ and highway jouneyin’. He’s so good, a vital force. Did I mention how you also have to procure his books? “Carry On Dreaming” is my youth-quaking favorite. Nowadays, his old drummer, Oz from the Gunfires, tours England with Walter Lure ,and Birchy plays in two top bands, the Black Bombers, and also in England’s Newest Hit-Makers, The GODFATHERS. Ant is, sadly, no longer with us, in this knotted coil of mortal, but I will always believe in their fairy dust and magic and lovingly recall all the lost boys of Neverland. The Gunfires will always be deeply appreciated as an iconic underground band who cast their impossibly thin shadows upon my entire personal secret history of complete unknowns gutter punknroll, right? Which brings us, now, to the triumphantly majestic Electrajets album, I never thought I’d say it, but it is even better than the Gunfires! The Electrajets have delivered a glorious masterpiece, and it is even going to be available soon…on vinyl. This is a headphones band, a real album, if I smoked ganja, I’d be high on the couch listening to this with my eyes closed right now, rather than drinking two pots of coffee and furiously typing about it.

Jeff Ward and his ever faithful gang of revolution-stoners, tiger-beats, gypsy-jokers, and rabbit-fighters have gone beyond the beyond with this record. It’s just perfect, really. As Sylvain would say, it’s, “the tits”. Especially if you love Love, Bowie, T. Rex, Slade, the psychedelic Rolling Stones pop art 45’s, etc. Truly, a fabulous, landmark achievement. He was wise to enlist Sonic Ray, ’cause everything he touches turns to gold. The Electrajets core trio of Jeff Ward, Cynthia Ross, and Dahm Majuri Cipolla are joined by Sarah Amina, Ray “Sonic” Hanson, and Danny Ray for this exceptional collection of terrific tunes that was engineered by Martin Bisi, mixed by Jeff, with pre-production by Joe Sztabnik and mastered by Paul Gray. It is real gratifying for long-time fans to hear Ward’s always compelling originals fully fleshed-out in full-color, 3-D, vivid surroundsound. A great big toast to the whole team. This record is a marvelous achievement. Not only does that gang provide guidance and shine their influential klieg-lights upon the next generation of young rockers, but they also provide a roadmap for other die hards who put their own crystal visions on hold to raise families and stuff. Our black flag was still there! In a free society, we’d all have access to this kind of quality music, and not just that awful push-button garbage-pop that assaults us from every corporate media platform. Real music, invested with this kind of high level musicianship, emotional dedication and honest self-expression, improves everyone’s entire quality of life, brings us together in person, makes people want to be fully alive again, pick up their clarinets, or go on a road trip, or have a party, which is why gutsy, artistic, heartfelt music has been mostly banned from the big 5 media monopolies corporate- controlled airwaves. There ain’t no war and private-prison profits in promoting sincere rocknroll that brings folks together, rather than dividing us with fear. Like the Beatles, Bowie, Pink Floyd, or T. Rex, the Electrajets might make you wanna get high, or plant a garden, or mobilize a protest, or liberate the dissident whistle-blowers, righteous truth-tellers, and free innocent children imprisoned in racist gulags. It’s a thing of real honest beauty to hear such a high-level, lavish piece of imperishable beauty still being made in these horrifyingly blackening times.

“Transatlantic Tales” is a fantastic voyage through eccentric after-hours bars, and dawn’s early light get togethers, with an inter-generational array of cosmic dancers, soft machines, bewlay brothers, and baby lemonades. If you like the same kinda music I do, that throbbing, pulsing, old time rocknroll, you will very likely be awed by this dazzling display of psychedelic lightshows and pyrotechnics, sensual violins, surreal David Lynch oompa bands, righteous testimonies, religious chants, noir red-light poetry, power to the people guitar lightning, and mysterious epiphanies to burn. This record is a bit of what you fancy, what we were waiting for-sophisticated and intelligent tapestries of silver comets and golden spires and cotton candy castles and crazy sunsets and….it rocks. The Electrajets are here to answer the musical question, “whatever happened to the teenage dream?” And they do it with a considerable lot of energy and finesse and soul-power; and with the actual first hand, been there, authority of “lived it” experience. If you were yearning for rocknroll to resurge and reignite and revitalize itself in a bright blue burst of happy smack and suicide spaceships, femme fatales asking you for a light in the dark alleyways, bootboy terrace stomps, pixie-stick pop melodies, danger, dynamite, sex, and style, you’re gonna probably really love this record. I will revel in this potent and powerful, ultra-paisleyfied, sinister space rock, for eons to come. An updated incarnation of the Slider or Satanic Majesties. Gorgeous stuff. I’m mad for it. A lethal dose of startlingly unbridled genius, and a fully rejuvenated clarion call for all of us to come together right now and get up and stand up and get organized and help co-create a groovier, freer, wilder, untamed world of dancing, purity, solidarity, light, and sensuality and limitless, inspirational possibilities, strummin’ on the old banjo. It’s up to you-yeah, you: soul-driven rocknroll always makes us wanna reach out to our friends and neighbors, beyond our own private soap bubble, it’s hard to hear supernova soul-music and not start moving your body, putting on cool threads, emptying bottles, opening windows, answering phones, it always awakens your desire to travel, to sing, to commune, and collaborate. Jeff Ward walks through a whimsical, Dali-esque dimension, seemingly of his own making, he has a wonderful voice, draws influences from everywhere and sees beauty in all things. An undeniably blessed and gifted character who makes rocknroll music that instantly wins you over, even if you think you’re not in the mood for it. You will turn it up louder. It moves and grooves like a movie, they are real movers. Their violinist, Sarah Amina adds some Scarlet Riviera style mythical illustrations to their flavor and brings a real Mad Juana gypsy-jazz feeling to the proceedings, hazy echoes of Arcadia’s velvety new wave. Very hypnotic and beautiful. Jazzbo holy-man, Danny Ray, from every cool NYC band ever, lends his always passionate saxophone playing to the mix. Sonic Ray is a flame blasting human torch visionary jedi-knight super hero. So, you know. You might wanna give it a listen. May the madcap, mystical messages of the Electrajets shine on and on and on and on.

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