Alors que la plupart des artistes pop cherchent à plaire au plus grand nombre sans jamais faire la moindre vague, Morrissey a toujours manié l’art de la provocation, de l’ambiguïté et du paradoxe avec brio réussissant ainsi au fil des années à attirer autant de fans que de détracteurs. Il existe même un club d’ “ex-fans”! Le titre du livre de Nicolas Sauvage semble alors pleinement justifié même si ces 600 et quelques pages s’attardent beaucoup moins sur les scandales et sur la vie personnelle du dandy vegan mancunien que sur son imposante carrière. Chaque album y est disséqué dans les moindres détails (un gros manque dans l’autobiographie parue en 2013!), les dates y sont précises, les différents line-ups étudiés à la loupe et les citations toujours bien choisies.
La fascination du personnage pour le glam rock y est aussi largement abordée, que ce soit en ce qui concerne la fameuse légende du fan club des NEW YORK DOLLS jusqu’à leur reformation (dont Morrissey est à l’origine), son amour de T-REX, BOWIE, SPARKS et du très sous-estimé JOBRIATH, mais aussi sa collaboration avec le regretté Mick Ronson.
L’auteur avoue : “Ecrire sur Morrissey est un exercice délicat. Plus qu’avec d’autres artistes, on s’autorise à être parfois sentencieux et à se montrer systématiquement exigeant. Cette exigence, c’est Morrissey lui-même qui l’a imposée par une règle fixée tacitement.” C’est cette exigence d’une précision chirurgicale qu’on ressent tout au long de cette lecture qui réussi tout de même à tempérer certains propos du chanteur sans forcément les excuser.
Fruit d’un travail de recherche impressionnant et d’une passion entretenue de longue date, cet ouvrage vous apprendra forcément quelquechose sur The SMITHS (mais bien entendu pas la date d’une hypothétique reformation !) ou sur la carrière solo de Steven Patrick Morrissey que vous soyez fan hardcore ou juste amateur de quelques albums. Ce livre vient également enfin combler un manque évident dans la littérature pop en France. /Laurent C.
BITCH QUEENS took some time to record 12 new songs in their home studio during the pandemic and that’s the best thing they could do… “Burn It Down” opens in a quite usual TURBONEGRO way for them but “Con Man Contraband” offers us an interesting mix of heavy rock and metal core before “The Apocalypse” goes further into their modern hard rock search. You’ll even get slight pop touches in “Don’t Be That Dude”, some pop punk with “The Worst Thing” and even a bit of anarcho-punk with “Custom Dystopia”! Although they’ve been playing around with different music styles this time, songs like “Brainwash Radio”, “A Good Day To Forget”, “Ignorance Is Bliss”, “This Is How We Roll In 2020” and a straight forward chorus like in “FU Emily” all show us that BITCH QUEENS still know how to write and play good old punk’n’roll songs but who can resist a little disco rock touch (“Sugar Balls”)? “Custom Dystopia” is definitely BITCH QUEENS‘ most adventurous album, the Basel Böys managed to show us that they can still evolve in a dead end world and keep their Turbojungen roots at the same time. Bravo! /Laurent C.
I’ve been writing reviews for a couple of years now, but never did this with a single. A couple of days ago I got a message from Ariel Belont (Argentina), he’s been sending me files and rough mixes of his new album for a few months now, and he just released “Fake” (the first single from the upcoming album “Sick For The Cure”) I don’t usually write about artists that I’m close with, mainly because I love the concept of being “objective” This is a different case. I first met Ariel some 20 years ago in Buenos Aires, then he spent a lot of years living in L.A. and we remained in contact, dude played and recorded with the likes of Muddy Stardust, John Corabi, Gilby Clarke, Eric Dover and a lot of those amazing artists that you can find in California. So far I love his 3 solo albums, but I’ve been telling him that this one is going to be epic. Produced by Nahuel Martorelli in Buenos Aires (Argentina) “Fake” starts with the main riff and Ariel singing through some sort of megaphone effect, only to explode a few seconds later changing his vocal range and making the start of the song sound like a true revelation. This sounds like a mix of The Knack’s My Sharona with 1970s Classic Rock ala Cheap Trick or even Foghat’s Slow Ride, powerful and energetic, Killer guitars, killer drums, killer bass, a great guitar solo that ends with some twin guitars in pure Thin Lizzy style, small keyboards parts that fit really well with an emphatic chorus, it also features some big guitar riffs in between verses. Apparently from what I can understand the song is kinda inspired in people behind a mask, sometimes the Rock and Roll scenes (everywhere) are filled with characters that prefer to be photographed rather than be remembered for their writing skills and true spirit. I’ve seen it, I think I can tell what’s this all about. This is pretty good, no joke. I’m not writing it as friend at all, more like a fan. Believe me, I can’t wait for the whole album to be released. If you are reading this and you enjoy 1970s Rock with a touch of Glam Rock (Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Slade, Led Zep…..) and catchy as fuck songs I strongly suggest to buy his new album once it’s out. / Juan Pablo Mazzola
BABY SCREAM is back with a collection of old demos, covers and songs that were never used. Opener “Britney Has Left The Building” is a kickass powerpop song with vocals reminding a bit of DINOSAUR JR., a song that was released on a Swedish compilation in 2016. “Cheap Perfume” is an acoustic demo with a very soothing atmosphere while “Fuck This!” is a crazy grunge song with NIRVANA guitars. Speaking of NIRVANA, you’ll also find an interesting cover of “I Hate Myself and I Want To Die.” The cover of Gene Simmons‘ “See You Tonite” has been reworked as a psychedelic pop song and it works really well while the new version of “Mars” displays more BOWIE and BEATLES influences and “Underworld” has a bit of a T.REX/Nikki Sudden vibe. “Plastic Jesus” is a folk song that Paul Newman sang in “Cold Hand Luke and it has been given a cool RAMONES treatment. Finally, “Guts” closes the album in a beautiful way, mixing superb pop and electronic elements. If you haven’t heard BABY SCREAM before, this compilation record will work well as a first encounter. /Laurent C.
“Real blood and guts rock and roll that bleeds with soul and redemption.”
– Jesse Malin, 2021
NYC rocker LORNE BEHRMAN, the singer-songwriter-guitarist who previously played in The Dimestore Haloes, L.E.S. Stitches, The Dead Tricks and most recently The Sweet Things, shares his debut solo single + video, “When I Hit The Floor.”
The rocking-but-reflective “When I Hit The Floor”–a song about “substance abuse and hitting bottom,” says LORNE—is the first release from his debut solo EP of the same name, due October 15 on Spaghetty Town Records. The single is now available on all streaming platforms.
The four-song EP When I Hit The Floor was produced by Matt Chiaravalle (Warren Zevon, Joe Bonamassa, Spacehog) at NYC’s Mercy Sound Studios and mastered by Grammy-nominated engineer Joe Lambert. Lorne played all the guitars, wrote all the songs, and sang all the leads. Joining him are drummer Hector Lopez (Alejandro Escovedo/The Sweet Things), keyboardist Rob Clores (Jesse Malin, Black Crowes, Alejandro Escovedo), and singer Dana Athens (Jane Lee Hooker).
The video for “When I Hit The Floor” was directed by David J Barron and set in Brooklyn, specifically the areas of Midwood, Kensington, and Bay Ridge. The video was shot on 9-minutes of film with a Bolex H16 handheld camera from the 1970s.
American powerpop band The POPRAVINAS are back with a 4th album. Influenced by bands like The REPLACEMENTS, they give a lot of importance to the melodies in their music as you can hear in “Do The Creep” or in “Is There Anybody, Anywhere But Here?” The POPRAVINAS also have an americana (almost country side) in songs like “Self Made Derecho” or “Fade Out.” It sometimes feels like The STONES are jammin’ with SOUL ASYLUM when you listen to “Feasibility Holdout” or “Minor Resistance” and you’ll hear a Western saloon atmosphere in “Bunkin’ In Reno”! A song like “Might Want Out” has a 90s indie vibe, you can easily picture REM playing it while “Zoom To The Ocean” and “Who Started That” both take us to 60s/early 70s California. If you look for a cool summer album with solid songwriting, then look no further! /Laurent C.
Ancient Egypt and eternal life seem to be a recurring theme on this 5th GUTTERCATS album. Do cats really have nine lives? These guys could probably answer the question, paying tribute to wild life in opening track “Wild Animal” with their usual melancholy but they also know that eternal life might not be for everyone, facing life, time and the duty to keep the fire burning in “Keep The Flame” and its GUN CLUB atmosphere. “Dagger In My Heart” might be one of my favourite tracks on this new album, a sad dark pop song with a “Strawberry Field” mellotron in the verse and a rockin’ end. Listening to this album sometimes brings The DOORS to mind (“Farewell”) although the omnipresent violin almost takes us to old celtic territories. On the other hand, “Dark Room” takes us to psychedelic seas before it offers us the catchiest chorus on the album while “End Of Times” and “Know Your Roots” both bring a Western touch to the album. You’ll also hear a bit of a ROWLAND S. HOWARD atmosphere in “If I Had A Loaded Gun”, this one might also stay in your head after you’ve listened to it! The record finishes on the sorrowful notes of “Eternal Life” and “Sweet Lies, Betrayal & Adultery” (the CD version has an acoustic version of “Wild Animal” as a bonus track.) GUTTERCATS still follow their path against all odds and never deceive. /Laurent C.
We talked about Brighton based artist Suzie Stapleton quite a few times through her singles and videos. Here she is back with a self-recorded album with the help of Gavin Jay (JIM JONES AND THE RIGHTEOUSMINDS) on bass and drummer Jim MACAULAY (The STRANGLERS.) “We Are The Plague” opens the album on a dark pyche rock note with intense vocals and fuzzy guitars while “Thylacine” quiets things down, bringing PJ HARVEY to mind. Most songs have their own special atmosphere in a cinematic way, you can easily picture your own video clips while listening to “Blood On The Windscreen”, “September” or “Don’t Look Up” and its desert vibes among others. You’ll hear some gospel influences in “The River Song” and “Angel Speak”‘s beautiful intensity will make you travel very far in unknown territories. “You Were There” has a bit of a DOORS vibe with some 90s alternative influences thrown in while “In The Darkness” has a certain form of minimalism to it before it turns into chaos. We sometimes think of Anna Calvi‘s albums while listening to this record and it sure deserves the same kind of success! The ballad “Silence In My Bones” and “Negative Prophet” both bring a bit of peace near the end of the album, making you think that things could eventually get better in the end even though the question remains “Oh God, do you believe in me?” “We Are The Plague” could be the soundtrack of this coronavirus age but there’s no doubt that it will stand the test of time. /Laurent C.