BLOWFUSE: Into The Spiral: CD

Starting in Barcelona, Spain around 2008, originally known as Godfarts, and re-named in 2013 as Blowfuse, they have released two studio albums of punk rock. Influenced by ’80s and ’90s punk rock, hardcore, the skateboard lifestyle, and interesting lyrics, Blowfuse crafts a style all its own.

This album is chock full of ripping guitar licks, throbbing bass lines, pounding drums and snotty, but angry vocals that perfectly suit the awesome noise created by these guys. You get woah-ohs, gang vocals, and enough energy to light up a city, but luckily it is punk rock, not shitty emo, pop punk crap that sounds tired, these guys rip one fast tune out after another and keep you pumped up the entire time. Twelve killer songs including the short intro and not one second is wasted or given to fluff, they managed to hit the target on every track. I really liked “Break,” “Trouble,” “Ripping Out,” “New Approach,” “Where’re You Jimmy?,” and “Mr Dogshit,” but I’m sure that you will find your own favorite songs on here.

A great album that just grabs you as soon as you hit play and just gets better the more that you listen to it. I really need to pay attention to these guys and grab their music as soon as it comes out.


BLACK IRISH TEXAS: An Ode to Saint Cecilia: CD

These five guys from Austin, TX lay down six Celtic songs mixed with punk attitude and raw emotion that will touch you. Not just a drunk Celtic punk band, playing the same old crap that you hear over and over again, no, they mix things up and bring influences from bands such as Mr. Lewis and the Funeral Five, Flatcar Rattlers, Los Hispanos,UK, The Bulemics, and Hipsterectomy just to name a few.

The band get things going on this E.P. with “An Ode to Saint Cecilia,” a very fast-paced song chock full of energy and it really gets you up and dancing. The song has raspy vocals and a big sound that would be killer in a live setting. “Complicated Man” is a slower song with feeling and the violin really stands out giving the song a nice texture and sound that is very haunting. “Thrills of Yesterday” is another fast tune with great gang vocals and a twangy, country western sounding guitar that fits perfectly in the mix. “Puke (Lift Up Your Head)” brings in some more country western music mixed with the whiskey soaked vocals and the mid-paced song really gets your head nodding along, especially when the female vocals come in and bring a sweetness to the song. “Year After Year” starts slowly, but turns into a quick song that has a lot of great gang vocals and that violin is mixing with the guitar playing and just sounds fantastic. “Red Haired Mary” is the last track and it is a killer song that has you singing along with them and again would be great to hear live, it’s such a lively and probably my favorite song on the whole album, plus those female vocals add so much to it.

Only six songs, but what a great bunch of songs on this release. It feels like you’re in the pub with them having a party and makes you want more. This is the kind of multi-faceted Celtic music that I love, not just punk, not just mellow, but a great mixture with a few twists to grab you…and great lyrics too, just be aware that they are fairly raw and maybe not for singing to your grandparents…unless they’re really cool.

RASH DECISION: Seaside Resort to Violence: Download

Seaside Resort to Violence cover art

I’ve reviewed these guys before, but holy shit…this rocks harder and tighter than anything else that they’ve done in the past. Fourteen tracks from these guys is still not enough to satisfy the withdrawal you get when the blast of anger and energy is over.

I really can’t say much about this other than this band grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go. Track after track of pure power that has hooks, but is not wimpy or boring, just a complete attack on your ears that will be won by Rash Decision, but the surrender is pure bliss…you get to listen to this album. Most of the songs are short with no screwing around, they get right to business, and that business is blistering punk mixed with thrash, metal, and hardcore. They never get muddled down into the bad side of those genres, they are able to mix everything together with finesse that you would not think was possible, but damn it…they have the chops. From the insane drumming, the growled vocals, the screaming guitar laying and the rumbling bass, this is one amazing collection of songs.

As I said before, there is not one throwaway song on here, instead you get a solid album that just proves that there are bands out there who can turn you into a fan right away, or turn a fan into a superfan and make you have a new favorite band…that’s this band right here kids.


ION VEIN: Self-titled: CD

After releasing two critically acclaimed albums with 1999’s Beyond Tomorrow and 2003’s Reigning Memories, and going through lineup changes has been the major reason why no new music hit the market for more than eight years. Now, after two digital E.P. releases, we now have the third full length album from the revamped quartet.

As six of these songs have appeared on those previous E.P.s, but now appearing as re-mixed/re-mastered versions, you might be thinking, why should I buy this release? You should because the album flows together, and the band simply kick ass on the new tracks. Ex-ENERTIA singer Scott Featherstone definitely has a more aggressive and grittier approach than the previous singer Russ Klimczak, which I think helps with the shorter, more hook oriented arrangements on this new album. Their power metal has gotten a bit heavier and has added a touch of more modern metal, but still retains everything that made earlier recordings a treat. Every song has power, thick bass, blistering guitar playing, killer drumming and the vocals that fit perfectly with the tighter, harder sound. Some of the highlights for me were, “Fools Parade,” “Enough,” “Face The Truth,” “Love/Hate,” “Anger Inside,” “The Will Of One,” and “Twist Of Fate.”

This album will get the power metal fans on board and with the heavier element, it should appeal to those who want more “heavy” in their metal. The band just keeps getting better and should be one of those groups that starts to garner more fans and attention and hit the higher echelon of metal bands.

ORANGE GOBLIN: Back From The Abyss: CD

Like your heavy metal raw and dirty? Then you’re gonna dig this kick-ass album. Orange Goblin are about to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band, but first, this London, England based act is releasing its eighth studio album.

Starting off with the superb “Sabbath Hex” is a hell of a way to start things off with its immediate and rollicking introduction to the album with great riffs and catchy lyrics. “Heavy Lies The Crown” starts off sounding like a stoner friendly song from the ’70s before turning into a huge riff-filled song. Ben’s gravelly vocals add so much to the growing heaviness of the track. “The Devil’s Whip” was the first single released by the band from this album and it is a killer rock’n’roll number that gets better the more you listen to it. “Into The Arms of Morpheus” slowly turns into a bluesy jam session that gets your head bobbing and makes you get out your air guitar to plat along. “Mythical Knives” has a quiet intro that slowly builds up into a bruiser of a tune that hits you square in the head. “Bloodzilla” is a fast one that just comes at you full tilt and knocks you on your ass, and keeps you down with the awesome power riffs and insane drumming. “Übermensch” has power and energy to spare and added to the gruff vocals, makes for a track that you just can’t get enough of. “Demon Blues” starts off with great riffing, terrific drumming and demonic vocals that turns into a spooky, but heavy as hell track that would rip your head off live. The rest of the album is chock full of hooks and riffs that once you put it on, you will have them cranked up and blowing your speakers.

If you’re a fan then you know what you are getting, but if you are new…wow, this is the real deal here! No glossy ballads, no guitar wanking, no lovey-dovey syrup in the lyrics, just a good, ass-kicking album, one you will be playing a whole lot.

ERASURE: The Violet Flame: CD

Erasure’s The Violet Flame is the sixteenth studio album by this English synthpop duo and has ten new tracks written and composed by Andy Bell and Vince Clarke. The Violet Flame will be released as a standard CD, a deluxe 2-CD, a digital download, and a limited edition 3-CD box set.

I have been a fan of Erasure since I heard them when their first album came out and I have seen Andy Bell singing solo on Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Tour in 2008, so I was really looking forward to an album of upbeat synth pop tunes and they delivered. It truly is a return to what they do best, a mix of fast dance songs and a bit of slower tracks that all get stuck in your ears and get you up and dancing.

“Dead Of Night” opens the album with a trance-like intro, which soon evolves into thumping beats and an immediate club/dance-floor feel, and makes for a very upbeat start to the album. “Elevation” is the lead single from the album and is already available to stream and buy and is another upbeat dance track that has a real Euro-pop sound that didn’t grab me as much as the previous song, but still it grew on me the more that I listened to it. “Reason” has great opening piano notes that quickly give way to a bubbling beat which compliments the joyous vocals of Bell, with uplifting lyrics and a really infectious bridge and chorus. “Promises” has pulsating synths and club-like bass that would feel at home on the dance-floor. “Be The One” is a heartfelt and beautiful song that actually choked me up on the first and repeated listens.The haunting opening is interspersed with a deep bass line joining the mix, and Bell’s vocals are incredible and it brought to mind a touch of Yazoo. This is my favorite song of theirs in a long time and is an instant classic! “Sacred” has pulsating synths and trance-like notes that builds up to an epic track that has a club feel to it, and would sound amazing on the dance floor. Of the last half of the album, I liked “Paradise” with rhythmic synths and thumping beats making you want to get on the nightclub dance-floor, and “Stayed A Little Late Tonight” being a nice mid-tempo track which closes the album in a beautiful way.

Many of the songs have thumping beats, the production is slick, the vocals are strong, and I was particularly impressed with the lyrics on this release. The lyrics are still dominated by love and relationships, but it just seems that they’ve got things going better on here than on some previous releases and I’m sure fans will be ecstatic. This is an album that I’ve been waiting a long time for, and Erasure delivered a home run.

WANG CHUNG: Points On A Curve: CD

Points on the Curve is Wang Chung’s second album and first album since changing their name from Huang Chung and switching from Arista to the Geffen record label. I first heard this when taping songs off the radio and getting into new wave and instantly loved “Dance Hall Days,” and “Don’t Let Go” when I heard them.

Years later, here is a remaster of their second and in my mind, best album…how did it hold out? As soon as I hit play, the memories of hearing “Don’t Let Go” for the first time came flooding back to me and took me back to hanging out in the mall back in high school. A great song that gets you dancing and singing along and a perfect way to start the album. Then comes the massive “Dance Hall Days,” a song that has grown in popularity since the time it was first released. A classic that still holds up and never gets old. You also get the singles “Don’t Be My Enemy,” which was released as the third single from the album, and reached #86 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in late 1984, and “Wait,” which was the only single by Wang Chung that failed to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, however, it peaked at #17 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. The other songs are also good, “True Love” has a great keyboard sound and a powerful beat. “The Wave” is a relaxing track while “Look at Me Now” really kicks it up a notch. “Even If You Dream” is a good new wave track. “Devoted Friends” is a great ballad. “Talk It Out” has a unique sound and is a bit more mellow.

The sound is greatly improved with the remastering and gives the songs a nice punch and clarity that makes it a pleasure to turn up and play loud and dance around the house to. I love the way that they made this release to look like the original album, it helps bring back those memories and for that, there is nothing better.


This is the Inspiral Carpets‘ legendary 1989 mail-order only cassette DUNG 4 on CD for the very first time ever. Originally issued on the band’s own Cow label, this tape was never issued on vinyl or CD and it contained unique songs as well as versions of tracks which were later re-recorded. It sold 8,000 cassettes and has the contents of their earlier demo EP Cow as bonus tracks.

Their debut single “Garage Full Of Flowers” is here in a totally different version, that’s fast and peppy. Their breakthrough single “Joe” is present with a spoken word intro from drummer Craig Gill that’s missing from the better known later version. There’s a version of ? And The Mysterians’ “96 Tears,” that was recorded before The Stranglers had a hit with it on their album 10. “Inside My Head” and “Seeds Of Doubt” are fast and hard-hitting songs, “Sun Don’t Shine” is a beautiful organ-led ballad that was later re-recorded for the band’s debut album Life. “Theme From Cow” is a short stab of organ-led pop that shows their garage roots. “Butterfly” is taken off the band’s second EP, Trainsurfing. as well as “Causeway.” “26” is a slower song that was written before vocalist Stephen Holt left the band. The four bonus tracks from the band’s previous Cow demo cassette capture a slightly harder Inspiral sound than you’re used to hearing. “Head For The Sun” is fast, and driven by Graham Lambert’s wild guitar playing. “Now You’re Gone” has the feel of ’60s psychedelia. “Whisky” is a fast organ based ode to drinking. The final “Love Can Never Lose Its Own” is another shot of ’60s psychedelia. The booklet has great pictures of posters and other bits of memorabilia from the era, plus comments from each band member. The sound has been improved on and sounds nice and clear, giving you the full experience of their earliest recordings.

Yes, the band became a big thing not long after this and for fans, it shows the roots of a band that just kept getting better. It stands as not a relic, but an insight to a band on the cusp of greatness.

MENSTRUAL TRAMPS: No Hesitation, No Defeat: CD

This trio from Minneapolis, MN play short, tight, and angry punk rock that brings to mind the old days when you needed heart and soul instead of pop, metal and glossy production to make a statement. You get nine originals and a cover of “Pro Choice” from Suicidal Supermarket Trolleys and zero filler.

Gruff vocals, buzz saw guitars, thick bass and pounding drums, plus great lyrics…what more do you need? You just need to grab a copy of this album and crank it up loud to piss off your neighbors, that’s all. Every song comes at you like a blast out of a shotgun, trying to blow a hole in your head, but not one to kill, one to blast out the garbage that you’ve been spoon-fed and replaced with knowledge and ideas that will take you to a new enlightened place. Angry and well thought out, the lyrics are a step ahead of a lot of bands trying to get a message across, these ladies really give a damn and want you to know it. Great tracks like “Americanized Suicide,” “No Heroes,” “Burn Fucker Burn,” “History Repeats,” and “Our Fight” kick major ass, but the other tracks are just as good as these ones, plus I really liked the sound bites between the songs…very cool.

An album that you need for your collection to play loud and often and to hear what these women have to say about the shit going on around them. They really need to release more music, this is too good to be this short.