Tommy Ray! “Handful Of Hits”

“First Hits Free”, TOMMY RAY!‘s first album was just released one year ago and here he is again with 11 new powerpop hits. “In Love Again” opens on a melancholic teenage note before hand claps and JERRY LEE LEWIS piano take over in the catchy “No No No”. Third song “On My Wall” slow things down and brings a romantic touch to the album before it quickly fades and let “One Step Closer” brings more sun and fun while “Closer/School Daze” keeps us pogoing and partying (“I don’t care what they say, every day is saturday!”) with its ’77 punk chorus. The JOHNNY THUNDERS influence can especially be heard in “Beer, Wine & Whisky” while “Feel The Pain” will take you to the 60s and “Loser’s Anthem” and its slight new wave touch will make you dance for less than 3 minutes. “If You Need Anything” and “Runnin'” will probably bring The CRY to your mind if you were into them, check them out if you haven’t yet! The last song “I Didn’t Do It” has a bit of this early HANOÏ ROCKS thing to it that will leave you wanting more. The physical version of the album will be released in April. /Laurent C.

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Kris Rodgers “Losing The Frequency”

The name of KRIS RODGERS might not sound familiar to you, but he’s been touring and recording with bands like The CONNECTION, SCOTT SORRY, BULLET PROOF LOVERS, KURT BAKER, etc., and I’m sure you already saw these names before if you’re reading this.
In 2011, KRIS RODGERS started a piano-oriented trio called The DIRTY GEMS, and today, he plays as a solo artist on this full lenght debut on Rum Bar Records, and with the help of his friends The DIRTY GEMS, and KURT BAKER on bass. While you could expect some power pop here, you’ll get surprised with strong 70s radio friendly rock’n’roll. Songs like “Let Go”, “Gone On Too Long”, or “I Know” bring MEAT LOAF and 70s ELTON JOHN to mind (and the piano melodies sure won’t contradict this!), and you’ll find traces of CHEAP TRICK in “Rock’n’Roll Radio.”
The good thing about these songs is that they definitely sound timeless. Put “Black Widow”, or “Revolution” on, and if you don’t know where these songs come from, good chances are you won’t be able to guess they have been released in 2017!
“Losing Ther Frequency” closes with the grandiloquent, almost QUEEN-esque “Who’s Gonna Save You Now”, and you wouldn’t expect less! Who said classic rock has to be something fom the past, anyway? /Laurent C.


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The Latter Day Skanks “Devilishly Dirty” EP

Portland’s punk rock scene seems to be very active nowadays. Preaching a message of equality through satire, The LATTER DAY SKANKS like their punk rock fast and raw as you can hear in opening song “Son Of Perversion (Warren Jeffs.)” These guys probably studied poetry with GG ALLIN (“Piss On Your Face)” and look like a Halloween version of the NEW YORK DOLLS, but songs like “D.D.D.S.G” or the speed metal influenced “Keep It In Ther Family” sound like they must be a lot of fun when played live. The LATTER DAY SKANKS show us that you can talk about serious things while having fun, since their song about street harassment “Cat Callout” features five female vocalists of the Portland scene, which results in a cool girl hooligan chorus!… And well, let’s be honest, trashy punk with 80s hair metal solos and tons of fun can’t be a bad thing, right? /Laurent C.

Volume Bomb Block Party 5

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The Hot LZ’s – Your Hangover’s Hangover!

The HOT LZ’s are bringing back old-school punk rock to the map! We asked them a few questions about the band, Portland, and their debut album “Aggravate My Mind.”

Can you introduce the band?

Jon: Captain Jonny Sensitive. I play the bass
Ethan: Ethan Klickman, I play the drums and I don’t have a nickname
Matt: Matt “Wet” Waters and I play the guitar
Mark: Mark Death I play the guitar and sing

Can you tell us about your album?

Jon: It’s on Hate Street Records. We recorded it at Cat Piss Studios with Greg Odell
Mark: We recorded it over about 8 months and I don’t know… Recording was smooth, releasing it, not so much.
Matt: Once we got the tracks done we had been talking to a label in Europe about putting it out, but that fell through, so we put it out on Hate Street which is Mark and Jon’s label.
Ethan: This is the first record I have ever been on personally, so that is pretty cool!

Will you also release the album on CD or just vinyl and digital?

Matt: I think CDs are largely bullshit and no one wants them anymore.
Jon: CDs are pretty obsolete. People that used to buy CDs are now buying digital shit and putting it on their phone and IPods.
Ethan: We have been thinking of going super underground and putting it on floppy disks. Haha
Mark: And if someone wants to pay for it, it will come out on CD.

The info sheet says that “Aggravate My Mind is the perfect soundtrack for your hangover’s hangover”, is it really?

Mark: Well I can’t speak for anyone else, but most of the songs I wrote on the LP I wrote hungover or drunk!
Matt: I can’t say I would listen to our record hungover, but maybe someone else will. I mean I guess I can relate to it.
Ethan: I don’t like to do anything when I’m hungover but lay there with my face down.

Have you released any other records before?

Mark: Yes, we released a 7” and it did not come out very well, everything went wrong with it.
Matt: Bringdown Comedown Putdown 7” came out a couple years ago. Different band. We had a different drummer and a keyboard player. It had a glow in the dark cover with ink that bled into the record and destroyed the grooves on a bunch of the records. So that’s how that went. There are still a few copies floating around though.

“Aggravate My Mind” has a real old school flavor to it (from the raw sound to the back cover pics), do you think that it’s something missing in today’s music?

Jon: I would say absolutely. Record covers used to be a pretty awesome art form back in the day!
Ethan: It’s because everybody listens to music from an MP3 format so album covers and inserts don’t matter if it’s gonna be on your phone.
Matt: We recorded the record on an analog reel to reel 8 track in a basement with almost no effects. It sounds like we do live.

How is the Rock and Roll scene in Portland?

Mark: Almost all the clubs are closing down because Portland is becoming One Big Condo. There are some good bands. I don’t leave my couch so these guys are who to ask…
Jon: Portland music scene is still thriving and there are some great bands here. When I go to shows and there are other bands playing from around the country usually the Portland bands are the best bands.
Ethan: The Rock and Roll scene seems pretty well intact. On a side note the Crust Punk and Metal scene is consistently poppin’ off. Off topic, but just so you know.
Matt: I would say the glory days of Portland Punk scene are gone, the most recent one at least. What ever was going down 5 years ago is not around any more. Everyone got old, had kids or got priced out of town.

Have you played in any other states? What about Europe?

Mark: We have played in some dives in Washington State. It was interesting and fun. We were supposed to go to Europe this year, but that fell through. Hopefully we are gonna make it over there sometime in the future.
Jon: Europe would be awesome. In the not too distant future I hope!
Mark: Can we stay at your house?
Ethan: If anyone wants to to pay for tickets and food that would be cool.
Matt: We would love to get our record heard more in Europe. We are doing our best to keep it affordable to people that wanna buy it overseas on our bandcamp. We would love to have our LP distributed in Europe.

Five records that are important to you?

Jon: We are all gonna pick one then we will agree on a fifth one. Mine would be Joy Division/Unknown Pleasures.
Mark: Mine would be The Heartbreakers/Like A Motherfucker.
Matt: I’m gonna have to go with The Stooges/Raw Power.
Ethan: I’m gonna look like an asshole here and say Iron Maiden/Killers.
Jon: And Blue Oyster Cult/Tyranny and Mutations.
Mark: We all agree the Chuck Berry/Great 28 fuckin’ rules!

What can we expect from The Hot LZ’s in 2017?

Mark: I would say maybe rock stardom, maybe a triple live album.
Matt: I think all other bands will hear our music and quit. Ha! Because it’s that good. Ha ha!
Ethan: Someone is gonna die and because of that death the record will sell out.
Mark: Not it…
Jon: Making more records and playing more shows and hopefully getting our ass to Europe!

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The Hot LZ’s “Aggravate My Mind”

Founded in 2011 in Portland, Oregon, The HOT LZ’s offer us 12 garage punk songs full of search and destroy energy, with a contemporary powerpop feel in the vocals. Guitars sometimes bring JOHNNY THUNDERS to mind (“Living in Rewind”, “Don’t Wanna See You”), tunes like “Art Of Failing” and “Missing The Point” have a sharp street punk edge, and garage rock’n’roll fans will probably enjoy “Murder In My Heart”.
The HOT LZ’s bring the proto-punk spirit back to life with songs like “Margins (Of My Mind)” or “Drain The Dregs” that sound as if the band just put two mics in a room, drank a few beers, and pressed on the record button. You’ll even hear a bit of surf rock in “Better You Than Me”, and “Fade, Decay (And Blow Away)”, “Baby, You Ain’t Shit”, or “I Can’t Seem To Die” flirt with American old-school hardcore.
“Aggravate My Mind” is raw and real, it is out on vinyl, and it looks as cool as it sounds, so get in touch with the band, and maybe you can have it for Christmas!/Laurent C.

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Breaker Breaker “Wreckin’ Machine”

This power trio from Portland, Oregon seems to have been on a serious 80s heavy metal and 70s hard rock diet for long! While some guitar riffs sometimes evoke early JUDAS PRIEST, songs like “Pistol Grip Baby” or “Evil Woman” shows us that BREAKER BREAKER is all about high energy. rock’n’roll. Some 80s glam metal can also be heard in “Zombie” or opening track “Move It.”
While most hard rock bands tend to sound too clean nowadays, these guys are keeping it raw and sleazy, just the way it should be!
MOTÖRHEAD guitars mixed to early SKID ROW can’t be a bad thing, just listen to “Come Get A Piece” or “Seein’ Red”!, and you’ll want nothing but a good headbanging session! Songs like “Weather Man”, “Wreckin’ Machine” and “Electrify” have a bit of a 90s feel, reminding underrated bands like ELECTRIC BOYS or BANG TANGO.
Don’t look further if you need some real wild hard rock’n’roll, BREAKER BREAKER are one of the best bands I’ve heard in that style this year./Laurent C.

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Lovesores – Rock’n’Roll Animals!

We asked ex-HUMPERS/VICE PRINCIPALS Scott Deluxe Drake a few questions about the LOVESORES. He also tells us about a few records that changed his life, and about his radio show The Golden Age Of Rock’n’Roll.

Can you intoduce the band?

The Lovesores are: Saul Koll (guitar), Adam Kattau (guitar) Alex Fast (bass) Boz Bennes (drums) and me,
Scott Deluxe Drake (vocals)

Can you tell us about your new record “Rock And Roll Animal”?

Rock and Roll Animal is our most recent release, it’s a 10” vinyl EP (4 songs) on Hound Gawd! Records (Germany).
I think it’s our best record yet…but that’s for everyone else to decide.

How did you get to find a song title like “The Erotic Adventures Of Coca-Cola Jones”?

While we were on tour in Europe, we started joking about people who live in Florida…because there are always stories in the news about bizarre crimes that happen in Florida. Adam Kattau said “Maybe all these crimes are being done by one person. His name is Coca-Cola Jones or something like that”…so, Coca-Cola Jones has become a recurring character…he’ll show up in other songs soon.

You toured in Europe last year. How was it? You also toured in Europe before as a solo artist, will you do it again? Or are the LOVESORES a “full-time band”?

The Lovesores are a full-time band…I wouldn’t do a solo tour unless The Lovesores stopped for some reason. We had a BLAST in Europe..I love touring over there..mostly because I think European people have more respect for musicians than American folks do. I’ve always been treated very well in Europe…I can’t wait to go back!

The HUMPERS also played a reunion show in July in California, right?

Yes, The Humpers generally play one or two shows each year…we’ve talked about making another record but it’s difficult because I live 1000 miles away and also because some of the guys are very busy with their day jobs.

Can you tell us a bit about The Golden Age of Rock and Roll?

The Golden Age of Rock and Roll is my radio show in Portland, Oregon (it’s a webcast). Ive been doing it for about a year now. The station it’s on is House of Sound (the only uncensored radio station in Portland). I usually do the show every other week on Tuesday nights. I play everything from early primitive rock and roll from the late 40’s and early 50’s to current bands.

5 records that are important to you (and why? How you found out about them, etc.)

Hmmm…I had to think a lot about this. I decided I’d talk about records that changed my view of music, not necessarily
my “favorite” records. First, I’d choose “Dizzy” by Tommy Roe. I bought this 7” when I was a little kid…maybe 5 or 6 years old? It was the first record that I ever heard on the radio that made me think “ I must have this record!”’s just bubblegum music but I still like it today!
Next would be “Through The Past Darkly” by The Rolling Stones. It’s just a compilation LP of their early hits but it was the first real rock and roll LP I ever got…it made me realize that there was more to life than The Beatles hahaha.
Next would be The Ramones Leave Home…I had only heard one or two songs by The Ramones on the radio and I was fascinated by them. When I finally got this record, I was blown away to think “These are people who think like me!!!” It was very empowering to start imagining…”maybe I could start a band?”.
The first Sex Pistols / Clash / Damned / Generation X LPs were huge to me, but it’s hard to choose which one had the most impact….so…I’ll jump ahead to the first Black Flag record, the Nervous Breakdown EP. This record was important to me because it sort of separated people into two groups…people loved it or hated it. A lot of people saw it as not being “rock and roll” enough…by I really was thrilled by the energy…and ever since then my goal has been to marry the structure of traditional rock and roll with the energy of punk…sometimes it works and sometimes it don’t!

Any new bands you’ve enjoyed lately?

I’m currently enjoying the renewed interest in Glam Rock (and I don’t mean 80’s LA Sunset Strip stuff)…especially the revival of the sounds of the early 70’s British scene….I think Giuda does it best from the bands I’ve heard…I’d love to hear more bands get into that sound and move away from all this stoner / metal / prog, etc.


Your favourite shows with the LOVESORES so far?

I’d say my favorite shows have been in Spain (Bilbao and Teruel) and Germany (Berlin). It’s always a great feeling when you’re far from home and the people “get it”…it makes you feel like there’s a greater purpose to what you’re doing.

What’s next for the LOVESORES?

More rock and roll! We’re currently writing a full-length LP…then we have some gigs in Southern California in January…and hopefully we’ll be touring Europe again in Autumn of 2017…..see you then! Ciao!

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Lovesores “Rock And Roll Animal” 10″

Four brand new tracks on blue vinyl by ex-HUMPERS frontman Scott “Deluxe” Drake and his gang. “Rock’n’Roll Animal” will give you the right idea from the start, mixing 70s glitter rock to early punk, and “The Erotic Adventures Of Coca-Cola Jones” (probably the best song title of the year so far!) will make you sing along, bringing the best of Detroit punk rock’n’roll to mind.
The LOVESORES knows that rock’n’roll is all about being wild and sexy, and you’ll hear that in “The Wicked World” that sounds like an orgy between The STOOGES and the NEW YORK DOLLS! Hard rock’n’rollin’ song “When The Lights Go Out” almost sounds as if TURBONEGRO was getting back to their best era, and it sure will let you think that this is short and you need more… The best LOVESORES release so far!
Hound Gawd! Records brings us a 10″ record that looks as good as it sounds, so hurry up! There might not be enough of them for everyone./Laurent C.

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