The Speedways “Talk Of The Town”

Following their cover 10′ “Borrowed & Blue” record and their two LPs “Just Another Regular Summer” (2018) and “Radio Sounds” (2020), “Talk Of The Town” offers us 13 new songs by London’s finest powerpop band The SPEEDWAYS. “Dead From The Heart Town” opens the record in a BITERS way before “Secrets Secrets” make us dive into 60s powerpop. The TOM PETTY influences can still be heard in “Shoulda Known”, “Strange Love” or in “A Drop In The Ocean” but the band also tried new things on this new album since guitarist Mauro sings on two songs (the sunny “Kiss Me Goodbye” and the poppy “Summer’s Over”) and you’ll get more various influences in songs like “Weekend 155” and its post-punk touches or in the epic “Monday Was The Start Of The Stars (To Forgive & Forget”) as well as in “Talk Of The Town” and its 80s funky vibe. You’ll still get the typical powerpop ingredients like vocal harmonies, teenage themes and 70s rock’n’roll guitars but with more spice thrown in. The SPEEDWAYS know how to write a catchy song, just listen to “A Song Called Jane And A Lie Called Love” and isn’t it one of the most important things when you play powerop? The release date is November 21st (CD/Digital) and December 9th (vinyl.) /Laurent C.

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https://thespeedways.bandcamp.com/music

The Duel “Soundtrack To The End Of The World” (The Zak Splash Story)

“Soundtrack To The End Of The World” is a concept album originally written in 2012 featuring Max Splodge from SPLODGENESSABOUNDS on narration duties. Zak Splash being a fictional artist from the 70s who has a comeback hit in this millennium. The opening track “Zak Splash opens on a quite heroic note reminding me a bit of The WANDERERS or The DAMNED. This is punk rock with girl vocals and a post-apocalyptic atmosphere. The keyboard touch adds an interesting new wave touch to the songs while “Invicible” sounds more like a mix of punk rock, post-punk and 80s heavy rock, quite an original mix! You’ll also get a bit of pop in “Less Every Day” or in “Fake Like You”, a touch of goth rock in “Splash On You” and almost post rock vibes in “You Can Do It.” It sometimes sounds as a jam between BLONDIE and SIOUXSIE & The BANSHEES so it can’t be bad, right? The Fire Goes Out” is a kind of futuristic ska putting an end to this uncommon album. “Soundtrack To The End Of The World” is not your typical punk rock record and might not be the easiest album to get into but it’s definitely worth it. Keyboardist Andy Thierum was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2014 and Proceeds from this release go to the MS Society. The album is out on FFR UK.
/Laurent C.

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Slaughter and the Dogs “Il Tradimento Silenzioso”

Manchester’s legendary SLAUGHTER AND THE DOGS is actually now based in Lyon, France. Original singer Wayne Barrett surrounded himself with with four French punk rockers including Thib (NOT SCIENTISTS) and Simon (CLAIMED CHOICE.) Opening with the anthemic street punk “Manchester Boys” and its hooligan backing vocals, things quickly calm down with “Silent Cities” bringing some urban punk desperation and melancholy through a catchy mid-tempo song. You’ll hear a pop touch in “Good Times Are Coming Here Today” and “Ultimatum” is the kind of songs designed to make you sing at their show. The melodic side of the band can especially be heard in “The OK Man” and its acoustic guitar while their rock’n’roll roots come out in “Five Star British Hotel” and their angry punk side in the pychotic up tempo song “Cocaine Smile.” You’ll even get a bit of boogie in “Hooligan Blues” just before “She’s So Far From Home”, one of the catchiest songs on the album. “You Make Me Feel Brand New” brings a sweet pop touch while “Maybe If We Followed The Devil” puts an end to this album with a cinematic atmosphere. Good songs, great vocals and tight musicianship, well you should definitely check “il tradimento silenzioso” out. The album is out on Spaghetty Town Records (US) and Contra Records (Europe.) /Laurent C.

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Steve Vincent “Recovered From My Past”

This is the debut solo album of PARADISE ALLEY‘s frontman Steve Vincent. Steve is also the host of Steve Vincent’s Mystery City, a great radio show with lots of glam punk and sleaze rock. This album was recorded the DIY way from demos that could have been used for PARADISE ALLEY with the help of a few musician friends from around the world (Steve Conte, Ben Marsden, Andy Christie, Matthias Joannsen, Rhoades D’Ablo, Alex Holmes, Danny McCormack, Miqu December and Matt “JD” Connor”) “Yesterday’s Man” opens the album in a STIV BATORS way before “All I Wanna Do” delivers straight rock’n’roll with a cool catchy chorus. It sounds a bit like a heavier version of The QUIREBOYS. “Last Train To Babylon” is about Steve’s experiences in New York while touring in the US and it has a bit of a THROBS flavour and “Can’t Bring Me Down” is a dark rock’n’roll song about psychological and physical abuse. “Falling” reminds me of late 80s/early 90s British glam bands while “Life Ain’t No Bed Of Roses” brings HANOÏ ROCKS to mind. Miqu (PLASTIC TEARS) shares vocals on “Fortune Wheel”, one of the catchiest songs on the album and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (Again)” is not a power ballad despite its title but a heartbroken heavy rock’n’roll song. The STIV BATORS influence is also obvious in “Sleepwalking” and the record ends with a beautiful heartfelt tribute to PARADISE ALLEY‘s first drummer Richie Hale who passed away in 2012. Sometimes solo albums are just ego trips but “Recovered From My Past” is the kind of solo album in which you’ll find lyrics and music from the heart, a real rock’n’roll therapy! /Laurent C.

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Def Leppard “Hysteria” Track-By-Track Anniversary Review

“Hysteria” was released on this day in 1987! DEF LEPPARD wasn’t my favourite band in those days, I was more into sleaze rock and glam metal but there was something special about the band that was growing bigger and bigger while the world was patiently waiting for this promised “No filler” album. Indeed, “Hysteria” was a highly anticipated record since their previous and very successful (over 6 million copies sold !) album “Pyromania” was released in 1983. At that time, 4 years to make an album seemed like an eternity but drummer Rick Allen was involved in a car accident in 1984 and his arm was amputated shortly after due to an infection. He then decided that he could use his legs more than his arms and got a special electronic drum kit designed for him. The band never thought about replacing Allen and he had to practice his new drumming technique for months on his new Simmons kit before being able to play live again. “Hysteria” took over three years of recording and producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange had this idea of making a rock version of Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” in mind.
The cover art by Satori seemed very modern in the 80s and the album had 12 tracks which was considered as quite long since most records had 10 songs (5 on each vinyl side) but CDs were starting to get very popular despite their high prices. 62 minutes might have seemed confusing for most hard rock fans in 1987 although it wouldn’t be anymore a few years later…

1. Women

This is a bit of a weird choice as an opener but when you think about it, it sets the mood for the whole album, the huge electronic snare drum, the melodies, Joe Elliot’s voice and the powerful computerized backing vocals.

2. Rocket

Staring with a Gary Glitter kind of drum sequence, this song is a tribute to 70s glam rock with modern arrangements. The long bridge in the song almost sounds industrial and hip-hop and it perfectly illustrates Lange’s ideas to borrow from many different genres. A crossover that will become the norm later in the 90s.

3. Animal

I had bought this single a couple of months before the album was released and couldn’t stop listening to it. Moreover, it was one of the rare hard rock songs to be featured in the Top 50 (French billboard)! Steve Clark and Phil Collen’s guitars work perfectly together in this song. A catchy chorus and a slight new wave touch that makes it unique.

4. Love Bites

In the 80s, hard rock bands had to write good power ballads if they wanted to have a chance to get on MTV and this song seems to be the perfect one to reach wider audiences especially in the United States. It definitely helped.

5. Pour Some Sugar On Me

The last song that was written for the album and now a hit in every strip club in America! The huge drums and the almost rap verses make it fit very well in the rap/hard rock crossover started by RUN DMC and AEROSMITH only a year before and the crowd-pleasing chorus makes it one of the bests selling singles of the band ever.

6. Armageddon It

Maybe the most “classic rock’n’roll” song on the album digging its influences in the 60s/early 70s and a very memorable chorus again. A lot of fun and a very good choice to end the side A of the vinyl since it definitely makes you want to listen to more!

7. Gods Of War

Probably my favourite song on the album. It was based on the opening riff by Steve Clark.The electronic drum sound coupled with Rick Savage’s bass line used to make me think of The SISTERS OF MERCY and it actually still does! Although this is not goth rock, this song definitely has a dark cold war atmosphere which is increased by the war samples and Margaret Thatcher’s/Ronald Reagan’s voice in the last part.

8. Don’t Shoot Shotgun

Your typical 80s hard rock song with a different approach to production. Probably designed for live shows.

9. Run Riot

Another classic hard rock song with lots of great guitar riffs and plenty of stadium energy. Joe Elliott’s voice gets closer to the AC/DC influenced songs from the previous albums on here.

10. Hysteria

One of the best songs on the album, mellow and emotional with a special atmosphere and Joe Elliot sounding amazing! The solos have a bit of a Bowie‘s “Heroes” mood. What a great song!

11. Excitable

A good rock song with a bit of an 80s disco new wave/new romantic vibe (Duran Duran…) and a sweet dance rock flavour.

12. Love and Affection

A moody midtempo song with a lovely chorus that puts an end to the album in an elegant way.

“Hysteria” sold over 20 million copies in the world which makes it not only the best-selling album of the band but also one of the best-selling hard rock albums ever! It is also the last album of the band to feature guitarist Steve Clark and there is no doubt that there was a before and an after “Hysteria” for the band as well as for the world. It also started a new approach to production: Recording “Hysteria” with modern technology would take much less time but the way it was made is probably part of the reason why it is still special nowadays. I still own my vinyl copy and still play it from time to time… /Laurent C.

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Girls In Synthesis “Konsumrausch” EP

British trio GIRLS IN SYNTHESIS are hard to describe, evolving somewhere between noisy rock and post-punk. Embracing the DIY ethics since 2016 the band is also more a collective than a traditional group, think CRASS for instance! This new EP is out on German label Hound Gawd Records and opens with “Pulling Teeth”, a 9 minute song with a repetitive krautrock beat and aggressive distortion. The second part of the song sounds a bit like a spoken word mixed to SUICIDE and ATARI TEENAGE RIOT. “Enveloped” brings out industrial elements to the dark party with vocals reminding a bit of PIL while “Bypassing” mixes dark techno to noisy rock in a very interesting way. Then, right after the cold and post-apocalyptic “Interlude” you’ll dive into frozen post-punk with “The Engine” which is described as “A nauseous blend of high anxiety in the modern age.” Quite a good soundtrack for today’s society! /Laurent C.

Buy from Hound Gawd! Records

http://girlsinsynthesis.co.uk/

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Suzie Stapleton releases “Angel Speak” video/single

Suzie Stapleton releases “Angel Speak” film/single, a song from her album ‘We Are The Plague.’
‘Angel Speak’ is a stripped back affair with Stapleton making a switch to acoustic guitar and her delicate vocal taking centre stage.
Stapleton filmed and edited the video herself, collecting footage through the changing seasons over the past year around her home town of Brighton. “A year,” she says, “when great beauty has shone from small things often taken for granted and passed by in the rush of life.”
Stapleton will be playing her first shows in 20 months supporting Humanist in the UK in October. She is also working on a follow up album with funding from Arts Council UK.

Suzie Stapleton -Tour Dates October 2021 
Supporting Humanist

Saturday 23rd – Academy 3, MANCHESTER
Monday 25th – The Prince Albert, BRIGHTON
Tuesday 26th – The Lexington, LONDON (Sold Out)

https://www.suziestapleton.com/

Pussycat and The Dirty Johnsons “Beast”

UK based garage rock’n’roll band PUSSYCAT AND THE DIRTY JOHNSONS have a good reputation when it comes to live shows but since it’s quite impossible to see bands in clubs these days, here they are with a fourth album in order to make us wait. “Lying On My Bad” and “Doin’ It” both sound as if The CRAMPS just met a riot girl band and started to jam together. Names like L7, BIKINI KILL or BOSS HOG come to mind when listening to “Abuser”, “Not Your Baby” offers us a distorted bluesy ZZ TOP guitar riff with a noise chorus and “Stale” flirts with 90s alternative rock. The wild and crazy rock’n’roll influences of the band can be heard in “Knee Jerk” while darker influences can be found in “Meat.” If you like sexy rock’n’roll, then you’ll enjoy “She’s An Orgasm”, and if you’re more into punk rock, then “Shit” is probably the one for you. PUSSYCAT AND THE DIRTY JOHNSONS also know how to play sweaty sexy blues with repetitive guitar riffs in “Do Ya Feel” and old-school horror rock growing into chaos with “Beast Will Out.” The records ends with “Hey Honey”, a (not that) sweet pop song with a bit of LOU REED and TRANSVISION VAMP in it. The band offers us a great record that makes the wait to go and see gigs even more unbearable and they probably found the right record label to release this album with Hound Gawd! Records since the limited edition black and white vinyl looks amazing! Go and check yourself! /Laurent C.

Buy from Hound Gawd! Records

http://thedirtyjohnsons.com/
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