Alex Sindrome “Fantome”

New album by French artist ALEX SINDROME (aka SINDROME) and this one is released on CD and on cassette tape (with great artwork!) “Solidaire Dans L’Isolement” brings the best of 80s French new wave to mind and sounds very appropriate in those lock down times! “Class 1987” (probably my favourite track) will probably make you remember your carefree teenage years if you can understand French and “Nos Ames En Noir” is a dark and catchy dancefloor tune. The minimal influences that could be heard in SINDROME‘s previous releases can be found in “Mélancolie”, “Vampire”, the nihilistic “Sans Issue” or in “Norma Jean” (although you’ll hear a quite powerful and haunting chorus in this one) while you’ll hear some slight disco touches in “Halloween à Neverland.” I was glad hear a bit of SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK in “Antonin Artaud” since I know that our man is a big fan too but you’ll also hear some Peter Hook influenced melodies in the last part of the song. You’ll also get some German industrial influences in “Dès Ce Soir” and some darkwave in “Misanthrope” before ending on an electro dance note with “Aux Fantômes.” “Fantome” is a good album to discover ALEX SINDROME‘s music if you haven’t yet and quarantine should be a good time to find out about new bands and artists, so… /Laurent C.
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New Jarama RPM Recs releases: Honeychain and Autogramm

HONEYCHAIN is a power trio from Los Angeles that bring us 2 songs on transparent yellow vinyl on Spanish record label Jarama 45RPM Recs . “Go Away” is mix of 90s alternative rock with modern girl powerpop and “Through Your Purse” sounds more like punk rock with a college rock touch. You’ll get lots of energy and good melodies on this 7″. A good one for the summer!

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AUTOGRAMM also delivers two songs on Jarama 45RPM Recs. This power trio hails from Vancouver, Canada and plays synth driven punk rock reminding of The CARS or DEVO. “Bad Day” is quite catchy and “Quiero Estar Sedado” sounds like The RAMONES playing with synth. Quite fun!

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Kevin K “and The CBGB Years”

The CBGB was KEVIN K‘s own rock’n’roll highschool, a classroom in which students would carefully study the RAMONES, the DEAD BOYS and the NEW YORK DOLLS. This is an 18 song live retrospective CD of Kevin (and his brother Alan) K’s years in New York City’s rock’n’roll temple, from 1984 to 1997. It starts with NEW TOYS and their catchy new wave, then you can hear 7 LONE COWBOYS songs recorded in 1985, including beautifully chaotic covers of RICHARD HELL & THE VOIDODS (“Love Comes In Spurts”) and ALICE COOPER (“Raped and Freezin”‘.) Honestly, I’ve always wondered why LONE COWBOYS didn’t make it in those days… While their music was the logical road to take after NEW TOYS, they had this dark and urban feel that people refer to as post-punk nowadays, making them the right band at the right moment. Well, you’d think so… Maybe England and France would have welcomed them better in those days? The same way they did with The LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH for instance, who knows?…
You’ll also find 3 ROAD VULTURES songs on this CD (recorded in 1993), and 4 KEVIN K BAND songs recorded in 1997. It’s interesting to hear Kevin’s musical evolution through these 18 songs, from American new wave to JOHNNY THUNDERS inspired rock’n’roll. It all seems natural and logical after you’ve listened to this live album.
Besides the document value of this record, it’s good to hear real live recordings, you can almost feel the beer, the smoke and the pee Kevin talks about in the introductoiry text. /Laurent C.

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Godfathers “A Big Bad Beautiful Noise”

(-maximum bottle review by General Labor)

…Aw, man, it’s apparently, all been forgotten and photo-shopped, whitewashed and revised, now, to fit-in to various updated narratives of convenience, but in the actual push and struggle eighties of my wild, wild youth, our gang was an unlikely alliance of thrash metal dudes in army camo and Slayer shirts from abusive homes; a sweat-shorts wearing, redheaded, Red Hot Chili Peppers, white dude who liked Prince-he heroically intervened on my behalf, while five or six rednecks were beating me to a pulp, in front of the local teen night at the MTV era disco-he and I were like Robin Hood and Little John, for several years after that, and I rallied him to take up bass and join the band; exactly two mohawked hardcores-until one met a chick, went straight, and delved into real estate, or some shit, he vanished promptly after graduation; the other one was a deeply anti-social, talented painter, about ten years older-who lived in a rodent infested basement and made stained glass, we bonded over our common love of Alice Cooper and Johnny Thunders and I gradually lured him in to my longhaired rock-punk band, if only for a year or two; there were only three, or maybe four, death rock chicks, who this whole army of oddballs were all competing for; a Dead Or Alive “want surprises” gay disco kid who owned some cheap drum machines; A Cure bed-headed goth DJ from a nearby town; a mean hearted garage record collector kingpin from a different nearby town; a cologne wearing Duran Duran dude transitioning into INXS, who worked at the record store, in the mall; a bruiser motorcycle riding white trash hellion who had absurdly painted the Mountain Dew logo on the front of his guitar, who initially, served faithfully, as our bodyguard and roadie, he kept burning apartments down by cooking while drunk, and eventually, he became my primary riff-meister; five or six very progressive and open minded, oldschool hip-hop, O.G. rapper/DJ/breakdancer/beatboxing B-Boys from downtown; an aging Blue Cheer stoner who ran a hippie record shop in another nearby town; an extravagantly gorgeous and sensitive and generous and encouraging Smiths fan who broke my stupid heart, and her cousin-a marching band Billy Batson who was somehow (ahem) struck by punknroll lightning and miraculously transformed into a muscle car driving, “Oi Oi” shouting, skinhead Captain Marvel; a white mulleted, Randy Rhoads metal god who we lost to the military when he turned 18; his replacement-another skateboarding, nimble fingered guitar prodigy with a boyish Eddie Van Halen smile who all the girls loved, who also got drafted into my group; some other kind of stunted and awkward guys with real emotional problems we were kinda trying to protect and look out for-peripheral energy suckers, who ended up causing us trouble and creating divisions, later on; and me, in the glasses, whatever I was. Not much of a Scene. Some of my Catholic School “Animal House” beer drinking fratboys-in-training, and the rural town, hick mechanic, pizza delivery drivers, who worked with some of us, at fucking Little Ceasers, where that awful woman, Michelle, always made me change the urinal cakes, as soon as she saw me, in my much loathed hairnet and polyester.

Not much was happening, at all. That’s why I was desperately encouraging all my friends to take up instruments and create a communal space where we could freak, freely. There was nowhere to go, without being hassled by Journey fans in Trans-Ams. I was hated by most of my classmates and considered a disruption at my suburban football highschool. I had spiky, dyed black hair and wore two earrings, sometimes, a little eyeliner, which was, unbelievably, still a big deal, back then. The history teachers were also wrestling coaches, and I knew the bullshit they were shoveling into my peer-group’s heads was all capitalist nonsense about the value of competition and squashing the little guy, and transparently racist, winning is everything, “greed is good”, bullshit propaganda. I consistently challenged their outright falsehoods, and flag-worshipping, golf-shirted, macho-talk, in class, and was therefore, sometimes, well, okay, pretty frequently, made an example of, when I was abruptly jerked from my chair, and manhandled into the classroom closet, or dragged to the principal’s office for a paddling, which they still did, back then. These whistle-wearing, oafish, muscleheads actually encouraged the dumb jock rich kids to knock me down stairwells and elbow me in the face, that kind of stuff happened all the time. Not once, or twenty times, but regularly, for years, hundreds of often unprovoked altercations, seemingly, all because I had a big mouth, and would not wear Izod golf shirts. I’m still kind of pissed-off about all of it.

That awful morning dread, waiting for the school bus filled with hostile preppies, who all totally despised my makeup wearing guts-the bloody noses, repeated pummeling’s, being thrown into a lake, the routine daily humiliations, and the sick, sick adults and administrators who enabled and thoroughly validated the relentless boot-camp torture those suburban country-club rich kids constantly subjected me to. Imagine: “Ducky” from “Pretty In Pink”, but less cute and clever, and nowhere near as smoothly put-together. All I had was a library card that would allow me to escape into books about Houdini, or the Beatles, and Jim Morrison, and music. Sunday, our intimate ritual was to gather together in small groups of freaks and geeks, or just talk, on old-timey rotary land-lines while watching “120 Minutes” in our own little Smashed Hits and N.M.E. magazine pin-up wallpapered boxes. That show transported us culturally deprived, pained little punks and anti-authoritarian weirdos to far more glamorous and exciting, sensual, colorful, free and tolerant realms inhabited by liberating super heroes from misfit galaxies, older rebels, like Iggy and Bowie, who were succeeding in spite of their eccentricities, and that gave us so much courage and inspiration, in spite of all the abuse, and amputations. We could watch Robert Smith and Morrissey and Billy Idol and Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, with awe. They were magic, to me, to us, I know I was not alone, back then. The spirit of wonder and rebellion was still in the hearts and trousers and leather jackets and Epiphones of my former contemporaries…wild possibility was in the air, we saw crazy possibilities, all because of offbeat stars like Cyndi Lauper, Prince, and Richard Butler. Music had not yet been fully weaponized by the Henry Kissinger NWO powers that be. Real, original, outsider voices could still be heard. The Ramones, Bauhaus, Gene Loves Jezebel, Dead Kennedys, Lords Of The New Church. We sponged up all that stuff, from Rick James to Mojo Nixon. From Sisters Of Mercy to Dramarama. U2 had not even started sucking the devil’s dick, yet! I guess you could say, that my own Personal Pistols, were the Godfathers. As an angst-ridden, achingly frustrated and profoundly alienated, bubblegum breathed sixteen year old, with too much hairspray and clownish Bozo makeup, they had the punch and crunch and venom and vigor the wimpier synth-bands all lacked. I can actually HEAR that white-hot fucking solo from “Birth, School, Work, Death”, as I type this. “I’ve been high and I’ve been low and I don’t know where to go” said it ALL, to me. They wore suits, but they were not hypocrite juvenile court judges, or golf-playing school administrators. Peter Coyne, man, he got me. He got it, he understood. This was a role model I could believe in. The Godfathers expressed all the genuine rage and angst I was enduring. Fast forward…25, wait, is it thirty, oddball years or so, and all the same shit sucks even worse, NOW, than it did, in the bad old days. At least in the bad old days, I had my friends in black leather who claimed they felt the same way as me, about the injustice of the world, and we still had all that high-quality, authentic, imaginative, emotion packed GOOD MUSIC to listen to and be revitalized by, it fuelled us, gave us some bottle, gave us some hope, set a good example, “makes you wanna feel, makes ya wanna try, makes you wanna blow the stars from the sky”, as one mop-topped guitar band we loved sang, back then. Ya know?

The intro track of the brand new Godfathers platter is a fully charged, powerhouse spray of inspiring fireworks, reminding me of doing L.S.D. while listening to Love & Rockets, as a misunderstood runaway teen in the middle of a creative awakening-it’s got fuzzy vocals phoned down from the friendly neighborhood spider webs of Mars, blisteringly psychedelic black light poster guitars and smart, simple, streetwise lyrics from a determinedly proud, working class hero perspective. This is what know-nothing sucker NYU grads who write for “Spin” and “Rolling Stone” always pretend that this weeks Oasis spin-off bands are doing, but the Godfathers were the real godfathers of Brit-Pop. These pint-guzzling, graying, hard lads still effortlessly outrock all the smirking copycat Hot-Topic Americans with the white belts and show-biz uncles. The Godfathers bring generations of music history and poetic authority to their regal songs that have one Cuban Beatle boot in the grand Sixties pop tradition and a vomit stained brothel creeper in the post-punk era, with the Steve Jones aggressions and chiming, new wave romantic, noir film sound tracking, of their diverse and impactful song mastery. “Til My Heart Stops Beating” is a thing or majestic beauty like old Echo & The Bunnymen, or Leonard Cohen. Quite dashing and very soulful and uplifting. If radio people weren’t all so drunk on their own stench, those bragging, bought-off paychecks and rule obeying robots, this tune would be on Nirvana rotation, and we’d all be turning it up, as we tooled around in our ruined cars, driving aimlessly around the reservoir and the old Dairy Queen on a sunny spring day.

It’s such a life-affirming, courageously righteous hit song. It reminds me of my own foolish devotion to loved ones, lost loved ones, spontaneity, sunglasses, cruising around the town in ancient blue Oldsmobiles, and the indomitable power of genuine rocknroll. This Peter Coyne fellow abides and abides in his own truth and never sweats the bullshit and lies, like some of us weaker spirits. Trends and gadgets, products, and garbage come and go, and Peter is still standing strong. The hard won voice of bloody knuckled experience, still surprisingly vital and alive in middle age. I have said that Alex Mitchell from Circus Of Power is the only artist I can think of besides Morrissey who rocks significantly harder in his fifties, than he did in his twenties. I have to amend that, now, to also include the powerhouse modern-day Godfathers crew. Peter still has a pop heart, just like I do, but loves the slashing, thrashing adrenaline of the raunchy rocknroll dizzied pogo-pit. “You Don’t Love Me” is upbeat Smithereens, or Deadbeat Poets-style pop-genius that is as likely to appeal to fans of Paul Revere & The Raiders, or Badfinger, or Psychedelic Furs, or Birdland, or Manic Street Preachers-it is timeless, radio-ready, and custom made for accompanying sulking sad sack nostalgia yearnings, or boys are back in town, back porch beer guzzling. People of all ages can appreciate the Godfathers, because they ain’t fakin’ it, like so many others, like nearly all the rest. They still have The Power. I always wonder to myself is my long missing first loves and dwindling pack of former Adam & The Ant and the Alarm enthusiasts are still somewhere listening to any of the same songs I am, and then, I stalk summa them on social-media and see them talking about sports and acquisitions and quoting rightwing radio bigots, and buddying up to our hometown bullies. It kind of makes me question if I ever knew them at all. I know I am the same old reliable, last of the last of the last of the last, in the bulletbelt and mascara, still clinging to the old ideals and the old copy machine, D.I.Y. cassette and vinyl culture, pre cell-phones, pre Starbucks. Nothing’s changed, ultimately. No such thing as was. I’m still perceived as a bad influence and as a disruption and I still refuse to wear those Izod golf shirts.

“If you USED to be punk….!” Peter Coyne is still punk to the core-from his first cigarette, to his last dyin’ day, he is a bona fide rocknroll hero, like John Lennon or Johnny Rotten. He don’t fuck around with the partisan political dog and pony show, unreality tv stuff, he stands firmly with The People, all the time, every time, no questions asked. He’s a real king of the mountain Jetboy, through and through. I respect that so much. I guess that is why I am writing this. I want you to listen to his music, not only because I think you will find it entertaining, it has a good beat and you can dance to it, but because I am hoping it will catch a spark inside you and remind you of who you once said you were, and make you want to live up to that. At least, that is the effect it has on me. It makes me almost kind of want to care, again. Love is the answer and Peter Coyne knows that for sure. The pigs could not break him, the industry could not bend him, no one could kill his fire. Here he is, still writing sensational, surefire tunes about love and hate to accelerate my adolescent summer hijinks and escapades and I am fucking 47. “Poor Boy’s Son” is a proletariat protest song about the rigors of low wage drudgery and the pointless futility of being shamelessly exploited until you are sucked dry to enrich some selfish fat cat bastard who does not give a fuck whether you live or die. When your knees and lower back are ruined from warehouse labor, big-box merchandising, dish-dogging, or house painting, all the office-casual khaki wearers who never laid carpet, or carried shingles up ladders in the hot sun even one single day in their lives, will all still have the audacity to call you lazy, because you suck at math, or maybe weren’t as book-smart, or as good at taking tests, as they were. What a sham. Peter’s been on massive stages and on TV for decades, but he never abandoned his working class roots. He and his tight band-Tim James, Darren Birch, Steve Crittal, and Mauro Venegas, are still WORKERS. They are ALWAYS working. “One Good Reason” is the tune I would open up my radio-show with, tonight, if anybody would let a dangerous Dr. Johnny Fever malcontent like me, anywhere near a microphone. It’s melodic like Cheap Trick, but has a gritty Izzy Stradlin or Tom Petty, highway drivin’ through the cornfields ambience to it. Steve Crittall, Paul Robert Gray, and THE GODFATHERS did a fantastic job producing this record, because every song has an atmosphere all it’s own, but they all hang together perfectly as a collection. This is the right way to make records. “Miss America” is a dynamite social-commentary about the deadly daughters of blood-horny pervert, Uncle Sam, and all his tiny tyrant, figureheads, bribe-taking lawmakers, and petty enforcers with their small hands, long nightsticks, gigantic 4X4 white trucks and big bombs. All those rabid, soulless, blonde-haired millionaire harpies hired to spew Honky Death SpellTM propaganda for Fox “news”. He acknowledges the twisted, hypnotic, car-wreck allure of all those twerking, texting, gossiping, celebrity feuding, Botoxed coke whores of unreality tv we decline and fall Murkkans can’t take our screen-sore, tired eyes, off of. It’s kind of like a Stiv Bators song. Good stuff. Again, with the glorious guitar playing! Whoever that is playing the dreamy coda at the end of that tune, my compliments to you.

“Defibrillator” is a bit like hearing the Jesus & Mary Chain covering “White Light/White Heat”…it’s just remarkably excellent. If you like rocknroll music that has bruised but unbeaten soul, you gotta get this album, “A Big Bad Beautiful Noise”, it is, hands down, my album of the year! It is such a spectacular achievement when a die hard rocknroll hearted geezer like the esteemed and venerable Mister Coyne is able to successfully assemble a fully devoted, crackerjack team of worthy soldiers willing to be merry, for tonight we ride, and tomorrow is a good day to die, who fearlessly storm the barricades, unintimidated by vats of hot boiling oil, being spilt from above. They flawlessly segue from delicate, butterfly winged pop tunes like the La’s, to pounding, tough as nails, Stooges hardcore bluespunk. They make it look so easy, too. A couple of you know, that when I was seventeen and eighteen, I used to publish a dodgy fanzine in my own handwritten scrawl because I couldn’t type, full of collages of photos cadged from Penthouse and Kerrang! and Creem and Hit-Parader, and I frequently wrote about punk and glitter gangs like the Godfathers and Birmingham’s glorious polka dot shots, Gunfire Dance. So it was not much of a surprise to see my old compadre and pen-pal Darren Birch join forces with Coyne & cohorts. He had already played alongside Brian James, and I have long seen him as the son of Tregunna or Yaffa, so it was a natural fit. I am proud he never quit, he’s still at it, playing thundering, emotional rocknroll, even with the aches and pains of no longer being 21. I loved their old bands-Sid Presley Experience, Gunfire Dance, Black Bombers, all prior Godfathers lineups, but in my opinion, right now, they are IN THEIR PRIME. Honestly, these tough as leather old dudes are a ferocious force to be reckoned with. If I had a band, and they asked me to open up for them, I would have to say no. I may be poor, but I am not dumb. The Godfathers remain the flaming embodiment of still surviving, street fightin’ integrity and songwriting greatness from the authentic hard knocks ragged school of rocknroll coolness. A glutton for punishment, I do admittedly still dream about corralling some hoodlums of my own and putting together a discreet punk band, ya know, a humble, basement version of all my old heroes, to more properly document all the songs I’ve written over the years, even though everyone in this dumb world keeps screaming at me that, it’s too late. The Godfathers are a rock group that will always give you hope, and that will never let you down. They keep on showing us what is possible. THEY ARE DOING IT. Why can’t we do our own amateur hour version? We might as well, we’re gonna die, either way, why not die with our winklepickers on, like glam outlaws?

“She’s Mine” showcases Peter’s Ian McCulloch like croon, it’s like a lazy Sunday-ish deep track from some long lost Doors record, minus the carousel keyboards. It’s a beautiful, tender, summer of love song. Makes me wonder why so few can tap in to that divine, soulful, childish purity, anymore. ‘Makes you wanna take your sweetheart to the woods to look for deer and throw pebbles in the shimmering creek, and wear dandelion necklaces and drink cold Thunderbird from the bottle. “She’s mine ’til we’re both outta time”….I guess the thing I love best about The Godfathers, besides their enormous catalog of intensely listenable songs, is how Peter Coyne just IS. He don’t give a flying fuck about what the critics and posers and liars and heiresses and politicians and puppet show/showbiz kids say. He does not change who he is according to seasons, commercials, opinions, hoaxes, what the in-laws or the neighbors say, he is blissfully oblivious to big-media, and it’s empty promises, and multi-platform marketing campaigns. Like Jimi Hendrix, he just shrugs, “it ain’t me”. I don’t know how he acquired that iron man constitution and unshakeable conviction, but he knows who he is, who he loves, what he stands for, and he never strays from that. That is The Cool. He stands with the outcasts and underdogs, the downtrodden, and the dispossessed. He has guts, stamina, sincerity, a nonstop work ethic, and amazingly…a band of really talented, empathetic, like minded, virtuosos who tour relentlessly and somehow manage to look like immaculately dapper dandies under all the harsh lights amidst the slam dancing pits of sweaty, enthusiastic, beer spilling punters who still flock to their shows for cathartic and synergetic displays of primal, “Feedbackin'”. “Let’s Get Higher” is a life-long dropout’s brass-knuckled battle-cry, the kind of thing that Primal Scream would write, if they were only a bit more cerebral. Peter Coyne has a streak of sixties Sly Stone shaman, in him, he’s a gutter punk in a sharp suit, who never obeys orders or follows bandwagons, but he remains here….for you and me, too. “You & Me Against The World” is the name of the acid drenched, gospel tinged, album closer to a record you never want to end. It’s a real sapphire-another absolutely stunning masterpiece, reminiscent of Pink Floyd or Arthur Lee’s Love, it’s a dreamy, heartfelt tune that will steal your dirty hearts away. This is the sort of magical, quicksilver pageantry one can conjure if they ain’t afraid to die, have planets of soul power, and an ace band of dedicated rockers. I always loved the Godfathers, but this, their current, phoenix from the flames incarnation is undeniably as bold as love. When Peter Coyne sings, “it’s you and me against the world”, I understood he means his wife, and band, or brother, or others, but I also knew, immediately, he was talking to me. To Us. I & I. The rocknroll people. VIVE LE GODFATHERS. “A Big Bad Beautiful Noise” is an unparalleled monument to ageless and soulful, mean it, maaaan, rocknroll motherfuckery. Life is fleeting. Have no fear. Do your thing, now. Do it with mercy and grace. BE like the Godfathers.
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Sindrome “Alarmiste”

12 new songs from French darkwave solo artist SINDROME. “Pavillon Noir” sets the mood of this new album right from the start, 80s synth in different shades of black, from robotic dancefloor tunes (“Detox”, “Discocaïne”) to apocalyptic industrial ones (“Errance”, “Sens Le Pire”, “1R2DSFAC.”) SINDROME displays his love for the holy 80s without sounding purely retro-nostalgic, and still manages to surprise us with his visual and musical references (MICHAEL JACKSON, MICHEL POLNAREFF, ALBATOR, RATT…), you’ll even find a tribute to PRINCE in “Minneapolis.”
If you had to compare these new songs with his previous works, we can say that you’ll find more vocal melodies on this record (“Kaléidoscope Noir” and its strong French new wave touch,”Une Dernière Fois”, “Mode Alarme”, or “Démons”), which can only be a good thing since pop melodies can unfortunately rarely be found in the new synthwave scene. As on the previous album, you’ll find cool hard rock guitars by SINDROME‘s longtime friend and FROZEN DEAD KITTENS guitarist Greg Bergen (“Astéroïdes”), so don’t be afraid of the dark.. /Laurent C.

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Club Wow “Nowhere Fast”

(-review by Anguish Young)

“Somewhere down the line, it will all be found…” (-Lazy Cowgirls)
“Let’s get the band back together…” (-Andy Shernoff)
“Those twangy voices stole my choices all away from me…” (-Paul K.)

“If you’ve been trying for years, you already know this song…” (-The Clash)


Like 32 or 34 years ago, I met this girl over the phone through a friend of a friend, one summer, when all my real homeboys were out of state visiting non-custodial parents, and she was a real marvel-a brilliant, funny, gorgeous, happy/sad person who who was into the Psychedelic Furs and David Bowie. She was a smart, arty chick with deeply woeful blue eyes and a beguiling, million dollar smile who introduced me to The Smiths, Lloyd Cole and The Commotions, Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode. She became my “Pretty In Pink” new wave crush that lasted years on end. I wrote a bunch of songs for her, hundreds and hundreds. In my outdoor unheated attic above a neighbor kid’s garage hide-out, and in my older guitarist’s mouse infested basement rat’s nest apartment with the loudly clanging and hissing, turn of the century pipes providing us with Throbbing Gristle style percussion. Lots more in a Cambridge, Ma sub-basement and in an abandoned pool hall. Many were lost to time, some might still exist on cassettes in mouse infested storage spaces, or in notebooks in milk crates in old friends’ garages. Probably all lost. I sang for over a dozen nowhere bands, all inspired by the groups we loved as wayward teenagers. ‘Been putting out “musicians wanted” fliers for the first time, in well over a decade . If you know that Ian Hunter song, “Irene Wilde”, she was my own personal Irene Wilde. Haunted when the minutes drag, haunted by the ghost of her precious love, the ghost in you, she don’t fade. If you know me, you know I left a part of me back there in the eighties, ya know, when the Pretenders and Divinyls and The Cult and Dream Academy were considered the “new music”.
Anyways…Nobody bothered archiving any of our many bands’ own original post-punk rocknroll music much, beyond some sucky covers recorded on tiny tape recorders in somebody’s mom’s living room, and maybe a video taped show or two when we were still stuck in stage fright stunted impersonations of our musical heroes, mainly because my hard rock gang of leather punks rarely coughed up the cash needed to rent yuppie ass recording studios, and were always reviled violently by trust funded trendy bandwagon music scenesters. Damn shame, too , ’cause summa those songs were rather ripping. Most got shitheaped in midnight moves when I could not pay landlords, or when grunge-era girlfriends threw me out. It’s tough losing your songs and personal affects, artifacts, personal scrapbooks of dead friends and family members all because you lost some collegetown popularity contest when “alternative” got trendy. Everybody remembers the Metallica covers band turned Knack nerds in thriftstore suits, the fat cocaine fratboys doing the Barry White karaoke, and the fat rich kids who knocked off the cool underground band few college dweebs were hip to, and the college boy hot rod “Happy Days” spaz-birds jumping up and down, but all those years I squandered in futile negotiations with local monopolies and namebrand associates only ever ended up with other people getting to record covers of our juvenile demos and a handful of college town copycat bands affiliated with my ex bandmates, it was all a big failure, and tragic waste of time. Gutted.
Some of the old pals are still alive but totally unrecognizable as people, after years of military service or upward mobility. Others, are still rocking in the no longer so free world and have all my love and admiration-I see their stuff online sometimes and always feel happy for them. Less happy for me. Sometimes, we just don’t win, we just don’t make it. It’s tough. Losing with dignity. Summa my old cohorts swear by “Appetite For Destruction”, but really, aside from those first Pretenders records, my fave eighties disc was probably “Disconnected” by Stiv Bators, and all his Bomp! singles…ya know? “I stand accused of lovin’ you, babe…”


ClubWow“Nowhere Fast” by Club Wow is the crisp, instantly likeable sound of true power pop perfection. It’s inconceivable to me that this excellent eighties-rock group failed to make it big, while so many lesser shoes and haircut bands became Smash Hit celebrities with synthesizers and mimes. Club Wow had it all-chiming pop hooks galore, excellent cupcake sweet singing, gleaming guitar lines and glistening banks of teen friendly keyboards, smart lyrics about delinquent angst, and a line-up of underground music all-stars from the Dead Boys and Testors, Stiv Bators band and Waldos. If you like Blondie, The Romantics, The Plimsouls, The Shoes, Paul Revere & the Raiders-that kinda thing, Club Wow‘s hot new retrospective collection on Zero Hour records is an urgently essential addition to your most cherished stack of cd’s. Raspberries, Cheap Trick, and even Badfinger fans will rejoice when they get their gnarly old hands on this super shiny disc, as it’s a kickass artifact that transports us back to another time when we still knew common people who had two car garages and wood paneled basements with old pool tables and Kristy McNichol and Olivia Newton john pinups from “Dynamite” magazine on the walls and they still let my greasy kid bands with the Steve Stevens hair hangout, listening top Rick Springfield and Billy Idol and plotting out our futures as famous rebel stars. The guitars on Club Wow are out of this world amazing, the drums, the vocals-these fuckers really studied their “Revolver” and “Rubber Soul”, as kids, and had learned how to compose really nearly flawless pop tunes. It’s just so, so good. It’s as groovy as the Records and I almost never say that. If you loved The Las, or Hello Disaster, or The Beat or 20/20, this is right up your record store alley. My friend, the heavy metal drummer who loves Oasis will totally geek out over sthis stuff. It was the early eighties and Frank Secich was managing a chain record store and juggling that with producing and managing a group called The Infidels, with making this extraordinarily marvelous post-punk group, who were steeped in sixties garage and British Invasion pop craftsmanship. Bratty soul music with hints of bright, skinny tie new wave. Most times after reviewing somebody’s record, I pass it on to one of my kids-ya know, if you can’t afford to buy them cars and send ’em off to college, you teach them what you do know-which is just rocknroll, for some of us, but it will be hard to part with this disc, if I ever do decide to share it with one of them. “It’s A Lie” is a sweetly McCartneyesque masterpiece famously covered by Hanoi Rocks frontman, Mike Monroe, on his first solo album. It’s so beautiful, here-easily as good as Mike’s version. Exquisite popnroll treasures from one of the ultimate coulda, shoulda, woulda bands. I love Hollywood hair-popsters, Candy, but had Club Wow been the mop tops to open up for Rick Springfield on that big tour, you can easily picture so many of these songs being turned into overwrought Cyndi Lauper style videos with over-acting drama and colorful threads, and having a smash-hit appeal to my generation of stripey shirted hair product abusers. “Norman Green” is gonna stay in your head all night long, while you are scraping plates, and taking cake orders, and mopping the kitchen floor at your too old for this shit dead end job. Ya always wondered what happened to those guys from Stiv Bators‘ gang, and here they are-a rare compilation of non stop fun. “Reptile House” is remiscent of The Church‘s early sounds, or vintage Flesh For Lulu, or New Zealand’s Nights Of The Iguana. It has that spooky, sultry, gothic tinged menace that served their brother, Stiv Bators, so well in The Wanderers and Lords Of The New Church. I’ll be listening to this L.P. a lot, from now on. How thrilling is it that Frank Secich and Jimmy Zero’s long lost works of heroic genius are being unearthed and dusted off and made available to sneering generations of sensitive bruisers and brooding leather jacket wearers of all ages! “Sally Is Not Home” is as sweet as the Flamin’ Groovies of Boston’s power-pop powerhouses, The Neighborhoods. It really belongs on the soundtrack of a buttery popcorn teenage summertime sex comedy with heart. Why did they stop making those? I don’t get it at all. Frank and Jimmy “knew people”, this should have been a major, major band, even though all you lifers already know how the best rocknroll is frequently unheard, unsigned, unheralded, and seldom-sold by media monopoloies to mass-markets. Your lead-poisoning, slave plantation rulers and depopulation czars and gentrification city managers and enforcer patrols want you listening to Adele and Pharrell, Kanye and Blake Shelton–not Ronald Koal or Paul K & The Weathermen or Chamber Strings or Club Wow. It’s a cryin’ shame you never hear modern bands with creativity and originality anymore like we did when The Cure and Killing Joke were on the airwaves, and you definitely don’t hear music with heartfelt emotions like the sweet side of the Ramones and all the 60’s bands. Frank and Jimmy were both moody geniuses. Ya know, when I was a bad teen, I thought my idol, Stiv, wrote all those songs by himself, the covers, all of it. Man, did he ever have a lot of help. Talented help!

“Sweet Sixteen” is another would have been hit song we all woulda eagerly included on the cassette mix-tapes we made for all of our gloomy death rock girlfriends back in the day, or was I the only one who mixed the sunshine and bubblegum and hot pants and milkshakes up with the crucifixes, hemlock, and postcards from my mortuary dwelling bloody wrists? “Terminal Town” is the sound of me and my long-estranged, Oldsmobile cruising, outcast wave-o, small town cronies, spray painting our junk cars with skulls and iron crosses and frowning at passerby in the parking lot of the MTV bar we were still too young to get into, before they all joined the military or went to work for the dreaded Man. in hick towns like ours, smalltime psychos will burn your house down if you date the wrong cheerleader–they are all driven nuts with boredom, envy, religious superstitions, racism, and competitive military sports indoctrination, and tobacco chewing, hunting machismo, so it’s appropriate that this sullen tune evokes some of that dark ambience of wanna die teenage passions and suburban ennui and broken home desperation and dead end donut store jobs and dreaming haplessly of leaving that shithole on a Greyhound for some faroff big city like in an old Pat Benatar video, or ubiquitous radio Journey song. All the best music has a movie-like quality and you can see broken images and home movies of your own lonely youth while listening to this number. It’s honestly as great as anything on that brilliant Stiv Bators “Disconnected” record. If I had anybody to form a middle aged, fat dad, punk band with, I’d probably wanna cover that tune, or just name our band that. “There’s A Fire” sputters with those eighties “Space Invaders” and “Ms. Pacman” video-game arcade bleeps and zaps and “Valley Girl” keyboards, and it will remind you of Debbie Harry-she could still do a bang-up job if she felt like covering this. Makes me nostalgic for “French Kissing In The USA” and if you like the new wave era half as much as me, you will swoon. Jimmy Zero, Frank Secich, Jeff West, and Billy Sullivan were one of the most talented bands of beautiful songwriters in a decade when big industry seemed to still almost sometimes begrudgingly appreciate such talents. Everything was better then. I’d take Men At Work and Madness over the shit we got now, eight days a week, and in fact, I mostly just play shit on cassette or ancient youtube videos. Call me a grouchy old man, all you like. “You Don’t Go Away” is one of my favorite songs, now. Honestly, this version is invested with so much melody and yearning, it’s just impeccable. I’d heard Stiv’s rough demo, but this is no demo-it’s a wonderful work of gorgeous beauty. Jesus Christ, how did this gang go unnoticed? Drop whatever it is you’re doing and order this CD, now, if you loved Stiv, or The Only Ones, or romantic, guitar driven pop music of any era. Fast forward to track eleven. As stunningly hypnotizingly beautiful as your first girlfriend, who talked you into becoming vegetarian because she liked The Smiths.


“Pants & Jackets” is my kinda mod-cool new wave! You know, like The Beat, or Real Kids, or Holly & The Italians. Makes me think of middle school and trying to impress the Siouxsie & The Banshees older chicks in the lace gloves with the fishnet and bangles with my checkered Vans, salmon fedora, “Modern Love” suspenders and junk shop paisley smoking jacket, and failing so, so miserably. You know that Hanoi Rocks song that goes, “you said I was a born loser, cause losing is all I’ve ever done”?! The cool girls in my town liked some punk and new wave, but they dated older guys from big cities who looked like Neal X and Charlie Sexton—not gawky twerp J. Geils fans like me with the nerd glasses and Alarm hair. Ha. I ended up with several of those once unattainable women, just as soon as I formed my own early bands with the Sears guitars and Cramps covers. Couple of the old collaborators continued playing music. Me, I was always getting ditched like that monster Jack in the Muppet movies who wants to accompany the gang to Hollywood, chasing the in-crowd down the street with shit falling out of his over-stuffed suitcase and shit. You don’t get far on two feet, by your lonesome. I’m a product from that time and left my heart back there, while everybody else moved on, I stayed behind, ya know, I liked what I liked. I’m not gonna pretend to like the Kardashians and Katy Perry so I can have meaningless conversations with eighteen year olds at record stores. Which brings us to “Million Miles Away”, one of the best songs of all time. I know it’s gonna offend all the Cult Of The Dead junkie tattooed Johnnies, out there in hipster land, but this is hands down, the definitive version, the best rendition of that song, even if you think that sounds sacrilegious, just listen to that guitar. Motherfuck. These boys really, REALLY knew what they were doing, back then. Extraordinarily Quintessential. “Like A Wild Animal” is a feral catcall from the Square Pegs era-me and all my friends used to comb all the college town cut-out bins for anything that looked even mildly punk, or new wave, and would have loved this music had we stumbled upon it back when we were the R.E.M. kids in America, standing in front of Poseur, in East California with our dangling sword earrings and best Inxs pouts. They lost a lot when they lost me, and they can’t reach me today. “My Secret Life” is more throbbing new wave, much like any of your fave one hit wonder bands in headbands and parachute pants, but the songwriting ability rivals Duran Duran and The Beatles, the sugary hooks stay with you all night long. Enuff Z Nuff might have lived up to the hype if their music was as catchy as this. What’s super impressive about CLUB WOW is not just the sterling execution and solid gold hits after hits, but the very real energy they invested into each and every cut. “The Girl Downstairs” is still another undeniable song that one can easily imagine receiving massive radio airplay had it received any promotion at all. It’s hauntingly good pop that’s easily in league with the best bands of the post-punk and commercial new wave era, from Adam Ant to Modern English. It effortlessly eclipses most of the Animotion and Hooters shit that got the permanent green light from the fat cats in the suits, back then. Club Wow were like, as good as The Pretenders, in some ways. Stand-alone greats. This is probably the best “new” elpee I’ve had the pleaure of enjoying in years and years, it’s my kinda music, and if you are in my age group and find yourself still pining for Bauhaus postcards and Jesus & Mary Chain hair-dos and nightclubs blasting Public Image Ltd and girls in Ramones t shirts and watermelon candy kisses and your own first doofy garage bands with the Sisters Of Mercy sunglasses and K Mart drum machines and forty ounces of malt liquor and urinating out the rehearsal space window and killing all the grass, like I am, you’ll trust me here, when I urge you to buy some bubble gum, a box of Loreal blue/black hairdye, and crank CLUB WOW‘S “Nowhere Fast” up to eleven and singalong to “Nights Are So Long” at the top of your lungs, clapping to the handclaps, flipping your bighair to the beat! This magic disc is a very real time machine that will spit you right back where we once belonged strutting around in fresh Creepers on long weekends visiting cemeteries and seeing shows and discovering Dead Boys 12 inch records at Singing Dog, or School Kids records on the avenue. “Hope I pull it off cause I’m developing a cough…” Ya know the places that we used to be really have turned to nagging memories-the band house is a tanning salon, your old pad’s a parking lot, the punk bars, the record stores, even the prized and precious scrapbooks and fliers and souvenirs I had hoped to pass on to my grandkids someday were all lost to mice in storage spaces, bed bugs purges, evictions, divorces, and midnight moves without a car. To me, the old times, the scratchy vinyl and dreaming and believing, that was it. I never understood what the squares and haves thought they were winning with the obedient fitting-in and belonging to mean spirited, hateful churches and endangering people speeding in big white trucks and watching sports. I just don’t get it, at all. Nowadays, even our friends and families, loved ones and former bandmates are all vanishing one by one with the landmarks and values and ephemera of our teenage years, and from here out, it’s just back pains, and paycheck to paycheck, Ramen again, nights of tv, suburbanization, slavery and death. At least sometimes, we still have the music to remind us of when we still felt alive and our black hearts were singing, on the road trip to somewhere beyond the hideous sports bars and malls. Brother, brother, it all zipped by in the blink of my heavily mascared eye. Now, it’s all chicken wings and draft beer and watching Bill fucking O’Reilly barking about Muslims with your dad. Still not my thing. It takes a lot of cheek to cover the Beatles, and Club Wow even do a bang up rendition of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and the whole energetic shebang ends with a live version of “Wild Ride with Vera Jane”, a tribute to Jayne Mansfield. I’ll be skipping back and forth between “Terminal Town” and “A Million Miles Away” and “Nights Are So Long” and “It’s A Lie” for the next many hours, and you should also acquire this cd promptly and even if you think I sound like a Ronco or K-Tell hard sell infomercial, “BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!”, there really IS more, as it even comes with a bonus disc of cool low budget videos and liner notes and an exquisite package so, yeah, you’ll want this thing as soon as possible. Flawless golden rocknroll perfection. The sound of youth. Buy it now! Thank me whenever.

The Bloodtypes “Pull The Plug”

Second album, by Portland’s finest ’77 punk/new wave rock band! The BLOODTYPES have been spreading their toxic sci-fi synth punk disease all over the US and Europe these last years, and their songwriting only improved on this new album.
The band’s energy reminds me of X and early SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES on songs like “Panic”, or “Bored”, “Rejected”, or “Virtual Reality” while their sense of 80s synth melodies in songs like “Going Away” or “Surveillance State” gets closer to BLONDIE (“Television Dreams”), or The REZILLOS.
Punk sometimes has a bit of a garage taste in “Spy”, and you’ll get some darker, horror surf injected atmosphere with “Space Mutants”!
“Modern Love” is a potential hit, it brings space love stories and neon night club romances, mixed to 1978 Berlin images!
The vinyl looks great, and you’ll get a download card with it, so that’s at least two more reasons to get this record!/Laurent C.
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The Röxy Suicide – “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus!”

We wanted to know more about Dave Mansfield’s new band The RÖXY SUICIDE, a flamboyant band mixing glam, new wave and early punk!

Dave, we know you from The MANSFIELDS. How and when did The RÖXY SUICIDE start?

The RÖXY SUICIDE started in 2013 in the form that it is now. We went through a few false starts (2012) in trying to find the right people for the band and that proved to be a lot harder than I imagined. How the band got started is pretty simple. I just wanted to keep touring and playing shows and The Mansfields were, at the time, on a definite hiatus. I was getting offers to do a bunch of stuff and I hated saying no so I just put a band together with some random people. As I said, that proved to be a very trying process as I was dealing with unprofessional individuals who didn’t seem to have a clue how things worked or at least how they worked on the level that I function at. The best thing that came out of that was that is how I hooked up with Olieshox who is now The RÖXY SUICIDE’s guitarist.

Wiener/Burger records is releasing a cassette of your first 6 singles. How did that happen? Have you released the singles in other formats before?

I have been aware of Burger/ Wiener for a few years now and I guess the timing was just right for us to hook up. Those guys work really hard and are really doing well at this point. Back in October a few of us went out to Hollywood for a sort of “working” vacation, Disneyland, networking type stuff. The morning after Disneyland I realized Burger Records was like 5 minutes from there so we went over and hung out a bit just to check it out and it was cool. The Singles have been released previously (some digitally, some CD) on Elekktralux Recordings, whom are still handling all the digital end of it.

You have influences ranging from The RAMONES, The CRAMPS to MÖTLEY CRÜE, BLONDIE and SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK just to name a few. Did you have the idea of mixing these influences before starting the band?

No, not at all. In fact, the whole idea originally was to be something in the vein of The Heartbreakers. I love the fact that it came together this way but it was really a bit of a lucky accident.

Have you played many shows so far? Best ones yet? How would you describe your live shows?

We have done a pretty good amount of shows. We’ve done a few with Faster Pussycat, The Queers, Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks. You know, just support slots and such. We’ve done a good number of headlining shows as well but the band is still pretty new at this point and our style is just starting to get a little more defined. The shows are high energy and lively. That’s a good way to put it. We subscribe to the “don’t bore us, get to the chorus” philosophy. We do a good job of that.

It’s been 30 years since HANOÏ ROCKS’ drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley died. I know you’re a fan too. Any story to share? How did you first get into HANOÏ?

Unfortunately I don’t have any stories involving Razzle himself, but I do have some of Michael and Sami Yaffa. One night we (The Mansfields) were playing the Cat Club in LA and Sami and Sylvain from New York Dolls showed up. This is when New York Dolls were back on the scene and Sami was playing in the Dolls. Needless to say we hit it off with them and ended up hanging out until they literally threw us out onto Sunset Blvd. after the bar closed. We ended up standing out in front of the Cat Club/ Whisky A Go Go for another hour talking and fucking around. I think what was really ironic about that was I had been watching, in the van, the Bob Gruen film about the Dolls and their first trip to LA when they played like 12 sold out shows at the Whisky. 2 Shows a night for 6 nights or something like that. Then here we are out in front of the Whisky getting all these amazing stories from Sami and Syl. Well, it’s safe to say it’s just sad that Razzle died so young and so long ago. Sometimes it dawns on me how much some of these guys have missed out on ya know? It’s a shame.


You’re interested in rock’n’roll history. What are the last biographies you’ve read? Last documentaries you’ve watched?

Yes I am a huge reader and watcher of these things. Memoirs and documentaries are truly inspiring to me. I think maybe the last bios I read were that of Billy Idol and Alex Chilton. I always have about 5 different books going at once on my tablet or hard copy but usually just one Main book that is new to me as I re-read a lot of stuff. Like I just picked up in the middle of the Heroin Diaries and one of Kat Von D’s books too. I see a lot of documentaries but I’m thinking the last one I watched was either the Alex Chilton/ Big Star one or the making of Ziggy Strardust and the Spiders From Mars.

First and last records you bought?

I recall the first 2 records I ever bought with my own money were Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil and Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell. In fact, those were also my first two concerts ever. April ’84 Motley Crue at Colorado Springs City Auditorium with Saxon Supporting and August ’84 Billy Idol at Red Rocks with Clash Supporting. Not a bad way to start. Last record I bought was either Deap Vally’s “Sistronix” vinyl or The Cramps “Rocknreelininaucklandnewzealand” live vinyl.

Best shows you’ve seen this year?

Sean Lennon, Motley Crue / Alice Cooper. The RÖXY SUICIDE actually headlined a show with Richie Ramone in Denver and I have to say that was one of the best shows of the year as well. Richie and his band are for real man, super great stuff there and I loved hearing the Richie era Ramones songs live like Smash You, I Know Better Now…Ya know stuff off of Animal Boy, Too Tough To Die and Halfway To Sanity.

The MANSFIELDS recently played a few shows, right?

The Mansfields played a show just before Halloween. First show in 5 years. It’s interesting because we have come back with a new albums worth of songs and some old favorites but it just seemed so easy to do the show, it was effortless. I am now just singing in the band and we have brought on board an organ in lieu of bass. It’s a super cool Crampsesque kind of thing. It’s an amazing new chapter and what’s great about it is we are getting a lot of offers to do bigger stuff without knocking ourselves out for it. I guess we already did an awful lot of hard work over the years, it great to have people now coming around and recognizing that fact.

Are you thinking of bringing The RÖXY SUICIDE to Europe? Any vinyl release planned yet?

Yes, very much planning on bringing The RÖXY SUICIDE to Europe. Can’t wait man, can’t wait. I haven’t toured there since 2008! Long time. I know that the key to coming over there is finishing a full length and of course, can’t tour proper without the vinyl pressings. The songs have to be great…not good but great. It’s a process but we are getting there.
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