Thursday, 3 December 2020

Dark Ruby - Taking My Space (Guest Review By Billy Leeds)

      


  Thank you to Billy Leeds for recommending a band from his home city of Frankfurt...

  Formed in 2018, in Frankfurt am Main in Germany (where I live), Dark Ruby (https://www.facebook.com/darkruby) first came to my notice a year later - when they opened for my mates Elastic Waste. in a Frankfurt rock cellar. Here is what I wrote after the gig:

  ...first up were local band Dark Ruby, a melodic rock band, fronted by the lovely Valeska on vocals.
Their first song was their sound check (!) and after two false starts, they kicked into gear. Twin guitars and drums providing a powerful backing for Valeska to deliver her delightful vocals.
Not many people in the pub at the start, but some good applause and whoops for every song.
Halfway thru their set, the Liversedge Elastic Waste fans arrived! A lot of dancing ensued and loud applause and cheering for the last few Dark Ruby songs..
That inspired the band and they went into overdrive for those last four songs! They were called back by the crowd for (I think) two encores, which were well deserved!
Very happy vibe in the cellar and the first sweat was dripping off the walls!

  After that - a few more gigs for the band and then COVID closed the venues (!) - I know a lot of bands who just broke up cos of that shit....Dark Ruby, (who are Jens on drums, Steven and Andre on guitars and the moody and sometimes aggressive vocals from Valeska) however, used lockdown to write and record an excellent EP  "Cure" - and I am glad they did!

  Recorded mostly remotely, tho the drums were recorded in the band's rehearsal room. The production however is as good as most studio recordings - thanks to the skills of Dan Lucas from Anchor Baby Recording Co, who has done a fine job on this EP!

CURE - the review!

  First up is "Taking My Space" - starts off moody then BANG! Singer Valeska goes into sadistic riot gurrl mode!  "I'm your queen - I wanna hear you scream"!
Some excellent twin guitar interchanges and as always, rock solid drumming!  My favourite track on the EP, which is why I have added it as the track to accompany this review - absolutely wonderful!

  Next number is the title track "Cure" - jungle beat drums take us into a rather angry song, lyrically and musically!  Wall of sound guitars and absolutely amazing powerhouse drumming...and Valeska having a great rant on vocals! "I won't be your dirty little secret, I'm not your piece of shit" :O 

  Track 3 is probably the punkiest track on this EP  "Black Eyed Monster".  The "hit" of the EP...this one stays in your head and was a huge success on Mick's show last week, in the chatroom! It even has a guitar solo!!! Catchy chorus too!

  Last song on Cure is "Losing My Mind" that goes from melodic to rock, and lets Valeska explore her vocal capabilities. which she does very well! I hear shades of Maggie Bell and Cyndi Lauper as well as Valeska's own wonderful voice....

  Judge for yourselves  https://darkruby.bandcamp.com/releases   any money you can send will help much needed band funds, to release this as a CD - and record new songs. Thanks to Mick Fletcher for letting me promote this here

    This is Taking My Space... 

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Steele Justice (Feat. Dries Olemans) - Not Today (Guest Review By Dirk Ceustermans)

  


  Dirk returns with something nice and noisy from Genk in his native Belgium today... 

  Steele Justice sounds like the lovechild of Kid Dynamite and The Goonies.
That is what they mention on their Facebook page, well I think it must have been a very romantic happening as the band smear the honey sweet melodies all over the place. 
They will soon have a new album out called "the way the cookie crumbles" on Bearded Punk Records and Morning Wood Records and have just announced this single. 

  SJ have been around since 2015 and so far have released an lp and a cd ep. 

  Now if you are into the sort of sweetness Millencolin or the likes used to put forth, you will have to check out this band. 
With Dries Olemans (from bands such The Setup, Loud Love, Overlord, Circle etc...) collaborating on vocals we get quite a different vibe overall:
Dries puts a bit of the grunt to beef up the song giving it a bit of the “Circle treatment” with tons of power. 
And that dear listener, is bleedin' nice!

  This is Not Today...

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Black Russians - Invasion USA (Guest Review By Ralph J Rivera)

  


  Ralph returns today to let us know who he thinks would win in a fight between The Jasons (https://www.facebook.com/thejasonsband/) and Black Russians (https://www.facebook.com/blackrussiansussr/)

Or something like that...   

So after taking out those Mid-West poseurs "The Radio Buzzkills" (https://theradiobuzzkills.bandcamp.com/album/mutually-assured-destruction) who are the best band in Pop Punk ready to take out next?
Why not those Crystal Lake killers from New Jersey, "The Jasons"!

They THINK they have the upper hand but OH NO!

You THINK you can take down the Red Menace but I DON'T THINK SO!

The Jasons throw out a couple of sad attempts (really awesome actually!) but as always Black Russians PROVE their complete dominance of modern Pop Punk!




You can make up your own mind who wins by checking out the ep. It's available via Moms Basement Records on various coloured vinyl https://momsbasementrecords.bigcartel.com/product/the-jasons-black-russians-split-7-ep and digital download : https://momsbasementrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-jasons-black-russians-split-ep

Behold the absolute brilliance that is "Invasion USA"


Monday, 30 November 2020

Introducing The Officials

   


  Today I'm introducing you to a (sort of) new band called The Officials. Back in the late 80's, over in The States, John Copeland was in an oi band called The Officials. Fast forward to 2019 and he was putting together a new d-beat band called Aesthetic Of Anger (who I featured on here in April   https://justsomepunksongs.blogspot.com/2020/04/aesthetic-of-anger-burn-piggy-burn.html) but who fell apart before they really got going. That wasn't the only iron he had in the fire though. He was also collaborating with vocalist Nath Haywire from Haywire, Armoured Flu Unit and Distance (a band that featured on here a couple of days ago) on an Anarcho-oi project which would resurrect the name of The Officials. They've been hard at work on a debut ep so I thought I'd ask a few questions.  


  JSPS : The Officials. Who's in the band? 

John Copeland : It’s just me and Nath Haywire. I have a friend who comes over and does some guitar work, but he’s not in the project officially


Nath Haywire : I was hugely honoured that John liked my style. It’s fairly easy and relaxed. John sends over tunes and words or I may write a few after I’ve listened to a tune. I set up my home vocal booth – bits of old carpet and blankets to stop the sound bouncing off the walls – then I send the vocals over to John for mixing. I’m trying to get John to do more backing vocals, in keeping with the Oi sound!

JSPS : You're both genre veterans, can I have a quick history of what you've done...

JC : The first band I was in was called Madcat And The Rabid Dogs. It was a four piece from the LA airport area. We had Madcat, an Australian girl who located to LA to do who knows what. Don’t even know how I met her. But we did a demo of pretty much very simple hardcore music. That was 1988-1989 time frame. After that band broke up, Steve Moore, Miguel Hell of early Generators fame and myself formed a band that wanted to do a more Oi! Influenced sound. We had been listening to a lot of Oi! U.K. 2nd wave punk, and some Anarcho stuff. We got 5 songs down and went into Mundista Humanista Studios to do our demo, we recorded and played with the likes of Dogma Mundista, Total Chaos (US), Empirismo, Golpe De Estado, and a bunch of anarcho bands from Huntington Beach, California like Autonomy, Resist and Exist, Armistice, Garblecrat, and many more. Steve and I left the Officials in 1993 to play in Dogma Mundista. We played some shows, mostly in the LA area, and were in the middle of recording an album when the 1994 Northridge earthquake hit and destroyed all of our equipment, including the Tascam 16 track recorder we were using to do the record. From 1995 to 2008 I took a long break from Music to do other things. Work, make money, build a life I was pretty much a gutter kid those few years playing in those bands. I met a guy named Rick who had just left with the rhythm section of Resist And Exist. He wanted to do more of a melodic D-Beat band so we started that in 2009, and recorded a 4 song demo that was featured on a LA comp with a bunch of other bands of different genres. We started to go into a more metal direction with some songs, but alcoholism destroyed the band. Fast forward to 2020... I had been re-recording those old Officials tracks and wanted to find a singer who had the right voice to sing the songs. I heard Nath through some demo stuff Iain Ball from Armoured Flu Unit had done, and I knew he was the guy I wanted to work on this project with. And he fits the bill perfectly. He has rewritten some of the lyrical content to make it more relevant. Since we aren’t teenagers anymore, a song about being “19 and bored” wouldn’t exactly cut it these days. It’s been a good working partnership and I have more material in that style would like to do. I would consider the project Anarchoi! With some humour thrown in. We sing about serious stuff and everyday funny stuff. The song Alcohol Abuse is a true story.

Oh, the Aesthetic Of Anger stuff. Was a guy I met at a Subhumans show who wanted to do back to basics d-beat Discharge style. We even covered “ Fight Back” but he lived 3 hours away and it was never going to be more then a project. I haven’t talked to him in months. He has severe depression and he said he went off his meds. We were recording another ep with lyrical content that had to do with mental health issues. But we never finished it. That was around the time I had approached Nath about doing “The Officials” stuff.

NH : I first joined a band when I was 16 called SOS and we were all still learning how to play. A few gigs but no recordings. Things really got going when I joined Haywire in late 89 as singer. Then in 92 took up bass as well. Things ground to a halt in 94. I rejoined Haywire 9 months later on bass and later vocals, playing up until about 10 years ago (2 tapes, 1 CD, 2 singles). I had also briefly played bass for a straight edge band for 6 months in about 1991 (me being a big drinker! haha). I played guitar for Whole In The Head 2005-2010 (3 singles) and have played guitar for Liberty since 2012. Then Armoured Flu Unit came into being in 2016. And in 2019 I joined Abrazos on guitar. I've played in a few covers band and stood in on the odd gig or people but they don't warrant a mention.

JSPS : I was going to ask what it's like to start a band in 2020 when there's no chance to play live but I suppose with you and Nath being on opposite sides of The Pond anyway the lockdown hasn't really affected you in that way. Do you envisage hooking up at anytime in the future to play a few gigs or is this just a recording project? 


JC : I’m not sure. I will be going to the U.K. for a few months next year assuming the vaccine works as intended so I won’t rule it out. I think it's a sound that’s sorely missing in punk rock these days. I would be fun to get a real band together with Nath and do a few shows.

 NH : Never say never. The way Armoured Flu Unit came together was originally just home recording and then with the offer of a single we assembled a real band which led to gigs and the development of a bigger sound. I’m sure we could find a couple of willing punks if John wants to play live when he’s over! Perhaps borrowed from AFU!

JSPS : How important are the lyrics? Do you find that the angrier you are about a subject, the easier it is to write about it? 


JC : It’s partly cause I'm pissed off at social media, and people just kinda floating through life. We have two songs that deal directly with those subjects. But for me it’s more about writing a good tune in the style of the bands I grew up listening to. I learned how to play the drums by listening to Wilf from Charged GBH and mimicking what he did, so my style of music is based around those drumbeats and how they fit together to make a cohesive track. I generally don’t get involved in writing lyrics cause I can’t. But I do express what I think the song is about, and I let Nath take it from there.

NH : I find it is definitely easier for words to tumble onto the page if you’re angry about something. I spend a lot of time shouting at the TV and radio so I’m sure my partner would prefer it if I wrote it down instead!

 JSPS : It's been over 30 years since the first incarnation of The Officials. Obviously it's a lot easier getting your music out there nowadays, albeit into an over saturated market place, but do you think people value music less highly nowadays than back when it was solely a physical product? 

JC : I think so because it’s more accessible. Just look at Bandcamp. It’s loaded with stuff. Some releases do have physical media, by there is always an option to get the digital version with artwork included in the download. It’s also very important to me that the band has 100% control over the content. From recording to releasing. I dealt with one record company and I will never do it again, unless it’s a company like Grow Your Own Records. Or Dr. Strange here in the states. We take the DIY ethic and go full in with it. All music was recorded in my house.

NH : There is so much great music out there. It’s difficult to keep up with everything and I definitely respond better to things I have a physical copy of. They stay in the conscious part of your mind. Saying that there are some great releases I have downloaded and play a fair amount but they tend to be things that have struck a chord with me through seeing the band live or knowing them as mates.


JSPS : You've just released your debut ep, what can people expect?


JC :  Some good old fashion U.K. '82 inspired pogo music with a message and some fun. Imagine Blitz on 45rpm with a bit of Partisans thrown in for good measure. That about sums it up for me.

NH : If we could come close to Blitz or Partisans I would be a very happy chap. I think there is a bit of an Infa-Riot and Oxymoron vibe to some of John’s songs too.

  

  The ep is titled X Ray Vision and it boasts 4 energetic blasts of raw, in your face punk rock. You can get it here :   https://theofficials.bandcamp.com/releases 

  It's nigh on impossible to choose a favourite song to highlight as all the tracks are great so I'm going to go with the title track. This is Xray Vision... 




Sunday, 29 November 2020

The Red Lite District - Killer Disco

  


  The Red Lite District (https://www.facebook.com/theredlitedistrict/) are a 4 piece from Glasgow who've released a string of eps over the past 3 years in which they take elements of old school punk rock and give it a modern twist. The latest of those, Peephole, is set for a December 11th release but is already streaming on Bandcamp : https://theredlitedistrict.bandcamp.com/album/peephole 

The current line up of the band is David Cameron (Guitar and vocals), Graham Dickson (Guitar and backing vocals), Barry McAvoy (Bass and backing vocals) and Derek McKee (Drums and backing vocals). With the Lockdown scuppering their touring plans this year they concentrated their energies on putting together the new ep. It's 5 tracks which reflect what's been happening both around them and in their minds during 2020. Ghosts is a prime example of this, it's a thoughtful look at the solitude and silence of lockdown. The Idiot ups the tempo a little and hits out at a "venerated idiot" charming their way through life. The Fireman is the ep's longest track, clocking in at over 4 minutes whilst Send In The Clowns is a snarling rager about beggars on the street, tory wet dreams and how the Cayman Islands are just food banks for the fat. 

  The track I'm highlighting is the opener, it's a catchy tale of a local Glasgow killer haunting the discos of the 1960's. It's called Killer Disco... 

Rudi Betamax - Killing People After Skool

  


  Who's Rudi Betamax? I ain't got a clue to be honest other than than what it says on Bandcamp (Art Punk writer and performer. Collaborator and protagonist with Real Shocks and The Videos) and that he's from Stockton On Tees. 

  He's also responsible for releasing not one, but 2 of the month's best releases. 

  First up there's Rudi Betamax & Real Shocks. 8 tracks of quirky budget electro punk with titles like Affection and CurlyWurly (I Need You). And if that ain't enough, there's also a 5 track ep titled Rudi Betamax and the Videos. It's fun stuff that reminds me somewhat of bands like Geza X and the Mommymen. It's playful and inventive and leaves me wanting more. 

  Check 'em out here :  https://rudibetamax.bandcamp.com/ 

  This is the track I'll be playing on this week's Just Some Punk Songs show (it's on later today :  https://www.facebook.com/events/746729319560439/). It's called Killing People After Skool... 

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Distance - Lockdown Punk Rock Radio

  


  I don't think I've ever featured on a record before and as I've absolutely no musical talent I'm almost certain I never will again but just for a split second, at the very start of the song I'm featuring today, you get to hear my voice. The reason being is that the song in question, taken from a brand new ep from UK d-beat outfit Distance (https://www.facebook.com/Distance-110174297301219/), tips it's cap in the direction of a few of the online punk rock radio shows that have played the band's earlier releases. As well as the Just Some Punk Songs, there's also mentions for other great shows such as Pulsebeat, Radio Weirdo, Make A Cup Of Tea Put A Record On and the Tadpole Records Youtube Channel. All great sources that are worth checking out if you're interested in discovering new punk music. We might be in Lockdown, we might not be able to get to gigs but as Distance say, internet connection gives us reach. 

  So Distance, they're a hard hitting "virtual" band featuring contributions from various members of UK punks Haywire (https://www.facebook.com/haywirepunx/) that exist to help get over the frustration of being unable to play live or practice during this period of coronavirus containment. With the pandemic dragging on, their releases keep on a coming. 

  Lockdown 2.0 features 4 new tracks and it's available on Bandcamp as a name your price download. As well as the aforementioned shout out to the online punk community, we also get songs about being sick of the seemingly endless cycle of get up, go to work, go to bed in which our life is stuck on repeat, about how the abuse of animals by humans has led to the current pandemic and about how disaster capitalists are making fortunes from government awarded contracts. 


  This is Lockdown Punk Rock Radio, a song about community and the love of our favourite genre of music. Listen out for a cool Ramones inspired ending... 

So here we are in lockdown 2.0 2 weeks in and 2 weeks left to go Where this is all heading just don't know But the tension and the stress is sure to grow Need chorus Another lockdown here we go Distance on your internet radio show Pulsebeat, Just Some Punk Songs, Radio Weirdo, Make a Cup Of Tea Put A Record On dipped a toe And the Tadpole Youtube channel gave us a go Another lockdown here we go Worldwide punk rock community We break isolation with online solidarity We look out for each other in the breach internet connection gives us reach Another lockdown here we go Another lockdown here we go Punk rock internet radio let's go