DIVINE: Maid In England: CD

DIVINE born Harris Glenn Milstead (October 19, 1945 – March 7, 1988) was an actor, drag artist, and singer who came to prominence having appeared in many of independent filmmaker John Waters early films including Mondo Trasho (1969), Multiple Maniacs (1970), Pink Flamingos (1972) and Female Trouble (1974). The compilation Maid In England, released in 1988, was the performers fourth and last LP and features several Hi-NRG and Disco hits including the 1984 UK top 20 hit “You Think You’re A Man,” as well as “I’m So Beautiful” (both produced by Stock/Aitken/Waterman) and remixes of “Walk Like A Man” and SAM COOKE’s “Twistin’ The Night Away.”

This album came out shortly after DIVINE had passed away from an enlarged heart and became a big seller for good reason too. This album is stuffed full of great songs that just beg you to get up and dance and sing along to. The few clunkers are “Give It Up,” “Show Me Around,” “Twistin’ The Night Away,” and “Little Baby,” but the winners are so good that you just accept that there are going to be a few mediocre tracks and just keep on dancing. The album just has a joy to it and once you put it on you will have a hard time trying to stop the smile from starting, and the happiness that you will feel. The sound is greatly improved and is nice and clear with everything sounding better than previous attempts of putting these tracks out in the past. The jewel cased CD contains a twelve page booklet; with a biography, relevant UK discography and full-page reproductions of those classic single sleeves. The three bonus remixes, “Hey You! (The Trumpet Mix),” “I’m So Beautiful (12” Mix),” and “Walk Like A Man/Man Talk (12” Mix)” are a definite pleasure to have as well.

This is a very welcome release with something for Hi-NRG, Disco, pop and new wave fans alike. This truly is a “Divine” release!

https://www.facebook.com/DivineOfficialFanPage   http://divineofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords  http://www.cherryred.co.uk/

RAWHIDE: Murder One: CD

This Swedish band plays gritty, raw, mid-blowing punk mixed with a dose of hard rock that will get your heart beating fast and your ears begging for more. A hint of MOTORHEAD mixed with TURBONEGRO and shake hard gives you the most awesome band to rip your ears off.

The  songs are played at top speed with angry, spat-out vocals and with enough energy to light up your city for a year. The whirling dervish collection of songs just gets into your head and won’t leave. There is not one slow, boring or useless song on here, just one killer tune after another that will leave your neck sore from head-banging, your body wiped out from being in the pit and your ears bleeding, but wanting more.

This is the real deal shit kids…no wimp-ass music, just hard-hitting, rip your face off music that fills me with joy. If you don’t buy this one…you’re an idiot!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rawhide/328048975709  http://rawhide.bandcamp.com/track/branded-for-life

https://www.facebook.com/patacrecords  http://www.patacrecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ixcraneonegroxi  https://www.facebook.com/DybbukRecords

NEW YORK DOLLS: Too Much Too Soon: CD

The ever difficult second album syndrome hit the DOLLS, but not as bad as everyone thinks. The album isn’t as solid as the first, but there is a lot to enjoy on it all the same.

The band didn’t like the way their debut sounded, so they enlisted Shadow Morton to produce Too Much Too Soon. Morton had become disenchanted by the music industry, but was enthused by the band’s energy and agreed to work with them as a personal challenge and did a very good job at getting the rawness as well as the fun of this band recorded. The album has some great songs on it, “Babylon,” “Stranded In The Jungle,” “(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown,” “Who are the Mystery Girls?,” and “Human Being” being a few of them. You get the gritty playing, boogie swagger, and general sleaziness of New York back in the ’70s all mixed in with female vocals and a hint of hooks that add to the band’s charm. The punk bands that were coming up, took a lot of this and changed a few things and ran with it, while the DOLLS just imploded from the addictions and general pissed off attitude that was starting to show. The sound on this release is great, crisp and clear, giving the guitars the ability to be heard in the mix, and all the little studio effects to be heard better. The album replica just makes it even more special.

Yeah, not the best from the band, but still better than a lot of the pretenders that came after them and took what they wanted from the corpse. With great sound, beautiful packaging and some grit and attitude, you need to get this one.

https://www.facebook.com/nydolls  http://www.nydolls.org/News.html



SCAB COMA: Self-titled: 7″ Single

Scab Coma cover art

The long-awaited debut 7″ of SCAB COMA from Quebec City, Quebec and what a debut it is. Four biting songs of gritty Oi! that brings to mind other French-speaking bands of the scene like HARD TIMES and HORS CONTROLE by keeping their songs in French, and not just singing in English.

Every song on this EP sounds hard, tight and tough but still melodic enough to get your feet tapping. The songs are fairly short and even though I’m Canadian, I don’t speak French so I have no idea what they are singing about, but it sounds like it’s something important…I just wish that I had translated lyrics. The band plays with passion and the energy that they give off is infectious.

If you like Oi!, this is a definite purchase for you! Grab a copy of this intense EP while you can and put on your boots and braces.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/SCAB-COMA-Oi/121789471232003  http://scabcoma.bandcamp.com/album/scab-coma

https://www.facebook.com/contrapunkrecords  http://www.contra-net.com/main.html

CASTALIA: How’s Life?: Download

How's Life? - Castalia

This seven track EP from this Raleigh, NC power pop / punk band is track after track of energetic songs that get stuck in your ears. Formed in 2010, this young band really comes out and gives us an album that would sound great blasting at a pool party with some cool drinks and a nice breeze gently wafting through the trees.

Every track is tightly played with a ton of energy that gets you dancing and the hooks are so great that it feels like you are at a fishing show. The pop is just enough to get things catchy, but not sugary and the punk is the nice gritty guitar playing that is cranked up and furiously played. With seven songs that go by so fast, I just put this on repeat and had a great time hearing the wicked licks that were played with power and the amazing voice of Candace O’Neal.

This is a definite keeper and you should track this one down today. I can only imagine what they are like live…probably amazing.

https://www.facebook.com/castaliamusic  http://castalia.bandcamp.com/album/hows-life

CADAVER DOGS: Too Much: Download

Too Much cover art

This now turned from a trio into a duo, had dropped a huge album to melt your ear-holes and get your head into a wicked place. Ten blistering tracks that just amaze and stick with you after the first listen.

The album starts with a brutal track “Black Out The Blues” and sets a very high standard for what comes after. They come out with a first track that has fantastic growls from singer / guitarist Mat Franklin, a snarling, fuzzed-out riff and drummer Lex Vegas destroys his kit. It just keeps on getting better with every track showing the tight playing that the band has been forced to do since they are now a duo and it just blows away the landscape with the intensity and raw emotional singing. This set of dirty, glammed-up blooze-rock is just the right remedy for all of the limp rock out there being hyped up by the major labels and radio…this is the shit that should get played! “Buzzards” has a VAN HALEN feel to it, you know, catchy, fun, and the kind of song that fits into a party.

Every song is a winner and if this is what they are capable of…wow! This is one of the tightest and most blistering albums that has ripped through my skull in a long time.

https://www.facebook.com/CadaverDogs    http://cadaverfuckingdogs.bandcamp.com/


THE PROWLERS: On The Run: 10″ LP


Montreal, Quebec’s heaviest Oi! band came charging down the streets with boots at the ready to stomp you into dirt, and with one listen, they prove that. A blistering collection of six new songs and a cover of STREET TROOPERS song “Oi! Against Racism.”

The band never disappoints and this EP just blows away everything that came before it. Tight playing, gang vocals, lots of Oi! Oi! Oi!, gruff lead vocal and anger aplenty, plus catchy songs that will get you singing along and turn into crowd favorites live. I don’t have a favorite on here because every song is a killer and I played the hell out of this and will be for a long time. It’s rare that an Oi! band has that great older, classic sound and just keeps improving and not wimping out.

If you are a fan of Oi! or just punk in general, you need to get this EP and turn it up loud! One kick in the face track after another from a band that’s been around for fifteen years and hopefully many, many more.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Prowlers/143209245743349  https://www.facebook.com/insurgencerecords

http://www.insurgence.net/  https://www.facebook.com/aggrobeat

http://www.aggrobeat.com/  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Longshot-Music/132509376830866


POP WILL EAT ITSELF featuring BNegão: Reclaim The Game (Funk FIFA): Single

PWEI have voiced their dislike for FIFA by unveiling a protest song featuring Brazilian singer/rapper BNegão. It originally came as a two song single with a radio edit and a more explicit version, changing the word “Funk” to “Fuck.”

This is a slice of pure and classic PWEI with samples and a groovy beat that will take you right back to the early / mid ’90s when they were all over the radio. In the song, PWEI unleash their dislike of FIFA and its boss Sepp Blatter. They sing about how horrible and tainted its become and show no mercy in their disdain for it all. They also ran a remix contest where the winner (best entry as judged by the band), wins a pair of tickets to the PWEI gig of their choice (travel not included) and a free signed album due in October. You can get the remix CD online or you can download it as well.

A classic song with a bitter edge from PWEI and a great message while you are watching soccer / football / futball and cheering on your team. Grab this one and shout out…”Reclaim the Game (Fuck FIFA!).”

http://shop.popwilleatitself.net/collections/frontpage  https://www.facebook.com/funkfifa

https://www.facebook.com/popwilleatitself  http://www.popwilleatitself.net/pwei/

Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s: Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein: Paperback


As a teenager back in the early ’80s, this music was what I loved and hunted for in every record store that I could find. I taped songs off the radio (CFNY and CHUM FM), hunted down British magazines and the odd book from usually the UK. This gave me a few insights that I had not know before and made me actually care about some of the bands that didn’t really stand out to me back then…or now.

With snappy writing and comments from the two writers telling us their memories and likes and dislikes, it added a nice personal touch to the interviews with the artists. It starts off with a cool intro by Nick Rhodes and ends with Moby giving us their thoughts and memories of the times and in between, we get to hear about certain popular songs and the careers of the bands that stood out back then. I learned that BERLIN messed up their chance to perform at the Oscars by being hardheaded. While “Take My Breath Away” was soaring in the charts, singer Terri Nunn received a call from the Academy Awards’ producers asking the band to perform a few lines as part of a medley. “I said, ‘If I can’t sing the whole song, I’m not doing it.” So they watched the show on TV from “somewhere in Taiwan” as their song, which was performed by Lou Rawls, took Best Original Song. ANIMOTION’s interview was really interesting and made me feel bad about how “Obsession” really destroyed the band, but no matter what, I still don’t care about A-HA. Sorry. The recommended playlist during the interviews are an interesting mix of songs that give you a nice collection to put on your music player. It was also cool to read about the NORMAL which never get written about and having Martyn Ware talk about his days in the early HUMAN LEAGUE, shame that Phil Oakey didn’t want to be interviewed as well.

With some great insights from the artists, plus great pictures and being well-written, this is a great read from cover to cover. I read this book and remembered exactly where I was when I heard these songs and even though it made me a bit sad that those days are over, it made me happy to be there when these songs first came out and music was fresh every time I turned on the radio.

https://www.facebook.com/madworldthebook  http://madworldbook.com/

https://www.facebook.com/abramsbooks  http://abramsbooks.com/