Here are a couple of my favourite ‘festive’ tracks. I know they are a few of years old, but GLAM CHOPS did get back together for a show in London the other night, so I thought that was good enough reason to dig out these Christmas offerings.
Although I’ve been doing this ‘reviewing’ caper for many years now, I still find it difficult to express just exactly what it is that makes me sit up and think that a particular band has that special ‘something’ that helps them shine brighter than most other bands. But whatever it is, I think MINIATURE DINOSAURS have it!
Hailing from my old home town of Stirling, they buck the trend of many Scottish bands in that they do not go for the totally Scottish identity thing. Their natural accents do not poke through the vocals and the music is most definitely not tinged with ‘traditional’ sounds and arrangements.
What MINIATURE DINOSAURS do have is a deep, warm indie-rock sound about them. There is a bit of an Eighties feel about the vocal style of Barry MacLean, but not such that they sound dated in any way. In fact,the slight quirkiness of lead track (and earlier single release) ‘Lemonade,’ has a very catchy and ‘current’ sound. They obviously realise how to get inside their listeners’ memory what with the big hooks and sing-a-long choruses.
‘Lip Sync‘ has a bit of a funky feel to it, again with little Eighties nuances and big dramatic chorus. ‘Next Of Kin‘ highlights a more ‘serious’ side to the band, on a song about returning home to Scotland. The backing vocals on the big ‘whoa whoa’ chorus have a touch of the Sound of Guns about them. So that’s another ‘plus!’
Closing track, and EP title-track ‘Turn It On’ is more of a mid-tempo stomper ….. a little Glam influence mixed in here, maybe? Add the shouted backing vocal, slightly growling guitar riffs and melodic keyboard harmonies and I think we’re onto a winner!
Listening to this EP, it’s easy to see why the hype has been building for these guys – they are both very commercially acceptable (for daytime radio play) but equally I think, they haven’t sold their souls to pander to a specifically young and fickle market. They succeed in being both commercial and credible.
Not many can do this.
(Released through Integrity Records on 22nd October 2012)
Australian ex-pats ME have already caused a big fuss on the UK live circuit having played over a hundred shows already in 2012 (including London’s 1400 capacity Koko venue four times), touring with the likes of Kasabian, Death From Above 1979 and Panic at the Disco.
Their new double-A-sided single is due for release on October 8th with ‘Like A Fox’ being lifted from the band’s new mini-album, ‘Another Story High,‘ and reminds me a little of Muse. (I won’t say whether that’s a good or bad thing in my book …….. hmmm …. )
‘Rock And Roll Dandy,‘ is the better of the two in my book, what with its kind of Glam stomp, hand claps, and catchy sing-a-long refrain. Yeah – make this the lead track! (There, I’ve said it!)
ME have announced that they will be supporting Motion City Soundtrack on the following dates:
15th Sep Glasgow King Tut’s
16th Sep Norwich Waterfront
17th Sep London Heaven
18th Sep Brighton The Haunt
20th Sep Manchester Academy 2
24th Sep Oxford Academy 2
25th Sep Leeds Cockpit
They will also be playing a single release show, headlining London’s Sebright Arms on Wednesday 3rd October.
While posting the video for THE LOUD’s ‘Amy’s Gonna Get You,’ I was reminded of the Glam brilliance of American band, IMPERIAL DRAG.
Formed by former JELLYFISH keyboard player, Roger Joseph Manning Jnr together with ex-SLASH’S SNAKEPIT guitarist Eric Dover, they were joined by bassist Joseph Karnes and Eric Skodis on drums.
The band released just one album and one single before splitting up.
Shame! This is quality!
I reviewed this single on LOUD HORIZON several months ago …. and somehow forgot just how good it actually is!
What a chump!
(Check out the Liverpool band’s blog here.)
I recall that when LIMOZINE’s second single ‘You Da Boss’ was released, I was all over it! And I wasn’t the only one either. We’re now a further two years down the line and theLondon lads are still pumping out their distinctive brand of Punk ‘n’ Roll that created such a buzz amongst the diverse circles of Artrocker, Classic Rock Magazine and Radio6 Music’s Tom Robinson.
On ‘Full Service’, the band’s third album, they maintain (their own) tradition of restricting their songs to a three minute max (just about), and manage to belt through eleven songs in less than twenty-nine minutes. This is the good old Rock n’ Roll and punk ethic being adhered to, and I love it!
They also stick pretty much to the same basic backbone to all their music, which can lead to a bit familiarity, but it’s a bit of a winning formula so why change it? What LIMOZINE do however is factor in some subtle sub-genres to flesh out that backbone.
For instance, opening track ‘Twenty Greatest Hits,’ has the stomp and groove of a Seventies Glam Rock track. It’s the kind of song you can envisage Marc Bolan having a bit fun with. ‘Deep Fried Love’ if I remember correctly was also released as a single recently. It’s more simply a straight up first wave New Wave kind of song, quick of pace with catchy chorus and clanging guitar solo. ‘Siamese Twins, ‘ has a kind of Bo Diddley rhythm backing up snarled vocals and gang-shout choruses.
‘Jennifer X’ gallops along like a Country / Punk hybrid, while ‘Girls Don’t’ reverts to the Glam pomp and stomp of earlier. The ‘rat tat tat’ rhythm of ‘Surfin’ In The Dark’ follows, direct and pointed. ‘Beercan Blues’ growls menacingly and again features nice guitar work, while ‘Drink Ya Self Out Of It,’ seems to draw inspiration from Psychobilly type roots, complete as it is with occasional screams and that sort of dark twang to the guitar.
‘Sniffin’ Glue’ has a great, catchy riff (like Sham 69’s ‘Ulster Boy’ perhaps?) ‘Welcome ToThe Rodeo’ sounds a little more R&B (proper R&B, not the modern crap) influenced, though maybe it’s just the guitar that makes me think this. And then, already we’re at the last track, ‘Hotel TV Swimming Pool’ and its AC/DC type chunky riff.
I think the last time I mentioned that I saw LIMOZINE as the vanguard for a new ‘Pub Rock’ movement, I upset a few people – not least the band! But those who like me remember with great fondness bands like Graham Parker & The Rumour; Brinsley Schwartz; Ducks Deluxe, etc. will realise this is indeed a compliment.
(I still stand by that assessment.)
(Released through Beat Atlas Records on 21st Mat 2012)
Without a shadow of doubt, ‘Unleashed & Dangerous’ has to be my favourite Rock-based album of the year!
Yeah – of course there are loads of quality Hardcore and Alt-Rock bands out there who have released material in 2011 that would top many a ‘Best of’ list, but for me, this re-working of WASTED SINNERS’ debut (mini) album just about pips them all!
WASTED SINNERS are a four-piece sleazy Rock band from London. They’ve been around for about three years in total, but following a series of personal setbacks ranging from bereavement and relationship breakdowns to financial problems, they decided upon taking a bit of a hiatus. Now however, they are back with a bang. A pretty loud bang!
What I like about this album is the simplicity. In these days of manufactured, auto-tuned and seemingly cloned bands / artists who use electronic gadgets and pre-recorded effects to produce their anaemic sounds, it’s so refreshing to hear a band who get up there and play some excellent, honest Rock and Roll!
There are no pretences hidden away on this one. It’s just balls-out Classic Rock played with a bit of a scuzzy attitude. It’s all ‘feel good’ music with I feel, a touch of Glam – but not so much as would distract from the sounds.
The vocals are strong and powerful, but actually sung as opposed to the current trend towards growled or screamed styles. OK – so in places there is a bit of an Axl Rose echo with track three, the more down tempo ‘Questions’ being a prime example. And yes – ‘I’m Falling’ has me thinking of classic Aerosmith. Strangely though, although I am by no means a fan of either of these two particular bands, I really like these two songs, the latter being an absolute ‘stadium rocker.’
In fact, although of a slower pace than elsewhere on the album, ‘I’m Falling’ probably typifies WASTED SINNERS in that they play well within themselves. Roxx’s vocals are rock solid and Gary Dainty’s guitar solo stops well short of being self-indulgent when it would have been so easy for both to over-stretch in trying to impress.
The riffs throughout are strong and infectious, while the rhythm section of Dude Rock and Pete Sin drive the whole thing along with a steady and forceful determination. And of course as decreed in the School of Rock handbook, each of the six tracks have resounding, air-punching, sing-a-long choruses.
I tell you what – these guys raaaawk!
(Released through all major digital outlets on 12th December 2012)
That Liverpool band, THE LOUD take inspiration from the Psychedelic and Glam sounds of the Sixties and Seventies is indisputable. This is easily ascertainable from the opening bars of the lead single ‘Amy’s Gonna Get You,’ when the overriding guitar riff is straight from the Marc Bolan book of song writing. The pomp and stomp of the whole track is bound up in a vocal delivery that makes me think of a well-pissed up Alex Turner of The Arctic Monkeys! There is something distinctly ‘Friday night pub closing time’ about this one – especially with the big ‘La La La’ chorus.
(It may not mean much to anyone else, but this opening track on the six track ‘Harris Shutter’ mini-album reminds me a little of a band from back @ 1986 – Imperial Drag. Yeah – I’m sad … but with a long memory!)
Again, second track ‘Horror Scope,’ features a zippy, Bolan-esque ‘Born To Boogie’ styled guitar ‘hook’ while a couple of tracks later, ‘There’s a Bomb In The House,’ slows the pace, and plays on another ‘La La La’ chorus of the T Rex variety.
‘A Little Taste Of Home,’ has a bit more originality about it. It still drips ‘Glam’ but with the sort of slurred-sounding vocals really pronounced allied to the steady stomp, it shows the band have a bit more up their sleeve. Similarly, ‘Avida Dollars,’ which incorporates a great guitar solo over the top of a deep and dark base.
Closing track ‘magic’ has a distinct Sixties feel to it – drenched in reverb and echoing a bit of a West Coast sound.
Overall, this is an excellent debut and although any possible detractors may home in on the T Rex influence, it will certainly do for me!
(Released through Payper Tiger Records on 1st September 2011)
(8.5 / 10)
‘Red Hotel’ is the debut album from vintage rock and rollers Kamp David. Based out of London and with an international line up they are very much inspired by the 80’s rock scene.
Pandering to the glam persona there is enough androgyny to shake an eye liner pencil at. Track three ‘I’m a Nice Girl’ is a tongue in cheek admission of transvestism and Track five ‘Get You Sue‘ is dedicated to the times and tribulations of Dan - a brick laying drag queen. The lyrical content of all the songs is interesting to say the least.
All the technical aspects throughout the album are good. The vocals are well delivered, the instrumental sparring is tight with a good mix of simple and more complex movements. The tempo throughout the album is all a bit slow and meandering, which doesn’t really fit with the style. There are a couple of catchy songs but none of them reach anthemic heights through the choruses.
It is plundering a rather outdated scene, which is rather static with a finite number of ‘accepted’ tracks. Even established acts struggle to much recognition for their recent work. Scene heavy weights such as Def Leppard and Kiss have struggled to shift new material and generally ignore new songs during their live shows. Establishing a new band with an aged sound may prove difficult, 80’s music fans can be a fickle bunch.
Despite being technically astute ‘Red Hotel’ doesn’t offer any stand out tracks. A tribute to a fallen scene but not a revival.
(Released on June 27 through Zube Records)