RUINERS: Typecast

This band from Houston, Texas released their debut back in 2016 and after being busy with doing shows and writing new music, they have released the sophomore album. Although it is touted as post-punk, this sounds more like emo-punk with some post-punk mixed in, but it’s still better than straight out emo.

The album is tightly played, with energy to spare from these four guys. The songs have improved from their debut and really show off just how the time between releases has helped. Starting off with “No,” the band gets a blast of power that rips through your skull and continues on the next track “Swipe.” These two songs are a great one-two punch to get things rolling. “Raptor” is another crazy track that is just like a kick in the groin.

The band has matured a bit and you can hear the rawness of the emotions in the music so well on this album. Turn it up and have them cave your head in.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/10/ruiners-typecast.html

http://www.facebook.com/RuinersTX/

https://ruinertx.bandcamp.com/

https://geodesicrecords.com/

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CRUSHWATER: The Cactus Storm EP

This band from Port Angeles, Washington was formed in 2016 when singer/violinist Chandra Johnson joined forces with frontman/guitarist Scott Sullivan and drummer Casey Northern. The three members began melding their various styles together leading up to the release of their debut EP, The Cactus Storm.

Playing a nice mix of country/folk/rock, this three-piece really gets things going on the first real track after the intro. “Fly Fly Fly” has a nice little groove going on and the mix of the male and female vocals really give the song a good contrast since they complement each other so well. The violin just makes this song a real treat since it gives it a terrific sound. “Blue Moon” is another great track with the instruments interweaving so beautifully that the song gave me goosebumps. The way that it gets more rocking really was a nice surprise and I really can’t get enough of this song. “Starry Skies” was a surprise since I was not expecting a Spanish song, but they managed to pull it off well. They mix the English and Spanish lyrics with ease and the music was upbeat and fun. “California” is a great slower track that was melancholy and really had a lot of feeling and emotion in it.

The EP has great playing, amazing vocals and so much real emotion going for it that I fell in love with this band. If this is the first thing they have put out, I’m looking so forward to what the next release will be like.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/10/crushwater-cactus-storm-ep.html

https://crushwatermusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Crushwater/

SECURITY PROJECT: Contact

The previous albums Live 1 and Live 2, the group had been fronted by Brian Cummins, on this new album, new lead vocalist Happy Rhodes takes over after been a guest vocalist on a previous tour. The set list here is almost completely repeated from Live 1, but with the new vocalist, things aren’t a carbon copy of the previous album.

On this album, you not only get Gabriel’s songs, but you also get Kate Bush’s “Mother Stands for Comfort” which is very well done by Rhodes. “I Don’t Remember” is an amazing song that got the hair on my arms standing up with the impeccable sound and the incredible performance. The crowd is very quiet during the songs but is audible at the beginning and the end of the tracks. This makes for a very nice listening experience where the band is the focus, not the crowd noise. “I Have the Touch” is another song that I just loved and can’t get enough of.

Between the vocals and the amazing playing, this gives both the band and Gabriels songs a perfect platform. The band has so much talent that with every new CD that I hear from them, I love the band more and more, and my appreciation of Peter Gabriel’s music becomes larger.

http://securityprojectband.com/go/

https://www.facebook.com/SecurProjectBand/

https://music.7dmedia.com/

https://www.7dmedia.com/

THE SEARCHERS: Another Night: The Sire Recordings 1979–1981

After having numerous hits during the ’60s, the Searchers were still trying to keep fans and get new ones, but the music scene had changed a lot since their heyday. Luckily the time was ripe for short, tight pop-rock that they were good at playing. The punk/new wave scene was not looking for old guys just pretending to be part of the scene, these guys were loving the fact that they could learn a bit from the new school and mix it with their sound and fit right in. The two albums that they released were as good as many of the top stars at the time, but for some reason, they still stayed on the edge of what was happening. This collects both of their albums, plus bonus songs and proves just how good they were during this time period and what people missed out on.

“Hearts in Her Eyes” is a fantastic song that was released as a single and went nowhere sadly. “This Kind of Love Affair” is another great song that would have been a great hit, but again, the band had no luck. “No Dancing” is another song that is full of energy and sounds perfect for the times. The first album showed just how good the band was and had more than enough songs to satisfy anyone who took the time to listen to them. After the eponymous first album, second album Love’s Melodies (released as Play for Today in the UK) was even better. Moon Martin’s “She’s Made a Fool of You” is a great song that shows how good the band was. This also applies to their version of John Fogerty’s “Another Saturday Night.” These two songs are full of fun and give the listener a smile on their face and some bounce in their step. “Radio Romance” and Big Star’s “September Gurls” are another pair of songs that stand out on the album. Both discs have bonus tracks added, the first has three worthy alternate mixes, and the second has “Sick and Tired” (which was on the UK’s Play for Today but not Love’s Melodies), “Changing” (the B-side to the “Love’s Melody” single), and “Back to the War” and “Ambulance Chaser.” The booklet contains album cover artwork from the different territories, and an essay from Scott Schinder, with new interviews from the band’s John McNally and Frank Allen.

This release gives power-pop fans a great collection of songs that managed to slip away from listeners when they were first released. It shows just how good a band that was contemporaries of the Beatles could still knock out music that was every bit as good as younger bands of the time. A very worthy collection.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2267201297/

http://www.the-searchers.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/omnivorerecordings/

https://omnivorerecordings.com/

BAD MANNERS: The Albums 1980 – 85

This collection is a 93 track five-disc clamshell box set rounding up pretty much all of Bad Manners’ releases between 1980-85. As well as having remastered sound, the 20-page booklet contains detailed liner notes, pictures of all the relevant record sleeves,
memorabilia and press clippings from the time.

Fronted by Buster Bloodvessel (born Douglas Trendle), the band was formed in 1976 while the members were together at Woodberry Down Comprehensive School near Manor House, North London. They rose to prominence in the early 1980s as part of the ska revival spearheaded by the likes of The Specials, The Beat, Madness and The Selecter. Unlike those bands, they were never on the 2-Tone label, but they did feature in the 1981 documentary Dance Craze which is where I first heard them. Their live version of “Lip Up Fatty” was amazing and I was a fan from that moment on.

The first CD is debut LP Ska ‘N’ B which spent three months in the UK charts in 1980, peaking at No.34. Includes the hit singles “Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu” (No.28), “Lip Up Fatty” (No.15) and “Special Brew’ (No.3).” The album is half covers and half originals, and contains Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett’s “Monster Mash,” the Magnificent Seven theme song, and Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs’ “Wooly Bully.” This album is fun and a great listen even after all these years, and it features five bonus tracks culled from 7” and 12” releases of the time. CD number two is the Loonee Tunes album which hit No.36 in the National Chart in 1980. This one contains the hit singles ‘Lorraine’ (No.21) and ‘Just A Feeling’ (No.13). This one had more originals and helped get the band more visibility with more TV appearances. Gosh It’s album is what you’ll find on Disc 3. It reached No.18 in the UK charts helped by the inclusion of the hit singles “Can Can” (No.3) and “Walking In The Sunshine” (No.10). Also added as a bonus is the No.34 charting “Buona Sera” single plus two tracks from the Party Party soundtrack that are appearing on CD in the UK for the first time. This is the album that really made it for the band with even better songwriting and production. I played this one a lot and you will too! The fourth disc is 1982’s Forging Ahead LP, a No.78 chart entry that includes the hit singles “Got No Brains” (No.44), “My Girl Lollipop” (No.9), “Samson And Delilah” (No. 58) and “That’ll Do Nicely” (No.49). This version includes 10 bonus tracks, lifted from various single releases. This album deserves to be heard since it contained so many great songs, but with ska going down in popularity, it didn’t get the respect that it deserved at the time. Disc 5 is the ultra-rare Mental Notes album from 1985, originally only released in North America / The Netherlands / Australia & Greece. Amongst the ten bonus tracks are five that have never appeared on CD before, culled from rare American only 12” singles. I owned this album because I lived in Canada at the time and played it frequently since I wasn’t too bothered with trends and still liked ska. The album went against their previous ska sound, but still was a pretty good album, especially their cover of Todd Rundgren’s “Bang The Drum All Day.”

All-in-all, this is a great collection for someone who loves 2-Tone and wants to put a smile on their face. The band is and will always be fun and talented, something that we need more of these days.

https://www.facebook.com/badmannersofficial/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

http://captainoi.com/

https://www.facebook.com/captainoirecords

THE 4 SKINS: The Albums

This 76 track four CD clamshell box set rounds up all that Oi! legends The 4 Skins recorded between 1980 and 1984. They formed in 1979 and disbanded in 1984 – although new line-ups formed in 2007 and 2008. The booklet features in-depth liner notes and is packed full of rare clippings and memorabilia plus many unseen photographs from the time, plus the remastered sound is great.

The first CD features all the tracks recorded by the band’s original vocalist Gary Hodges. It contains all their contributions to the Oi albums, a rough and ready version of their classic “Clockwork Skinhead,” “One Law For Them” single and various live and demos offerings. It gives a great overview of what the band was and where they were going. The second disc contains their first album with new drummer Pete Abbot and singer Tony “Panther” Cummings joining. Their debut album actually managed to crack the top 100 of the UK charts…pretty impressive. The album was split into a studio and live sides, with the live music being “live in the studio,” not in concert. The album includes great songs such as “Plastic Gangsters” and “Yesterday’s Heroes” which are still terrific after all these years. Disc Three is the Fistful Of… 4 Skins album which hit No.11 on the Indie Chart and saw the band led by ex-Last Resort vocalist Roi Pearce. This is the album that I got into the band with and it holds a special place for me. “Forgotten Hero” and “Johnny Go Home” are classics that grabbed my ears when I first heard them and still sound amazing. The last disc is the rare live From Chaos To 1984 which showcases the band playing their hearts out for the punters.

The band was a great blast of energy and proved that skins could sing about more than being a skin, football, drinking, and fighting, they put a lot of thought into what they did and played as hard as they could. This is a great collection that deserves to be in your house and played frequently.

https://www.facebook.com/The-4-Skins-146803058682510/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

http://captainoi.com/

https://www.facebook.com/captainoirecords

COCK SPARRER: The Albums 1994 – 2017

Cock Sparrer is a punk rock band formed in 1972 in the East End of London, England. They are considered one of the most influential street punk bands of all time, helping pave the way for early ’80s punk scene and the Oi! subgenre. This is a collection of their comeback album and more remastered and with bonus tracks added. The detailed 20-page booklet comes complete with rare clippings and memorabilia, informative sleeve notes and pictures of all the releases. The whole project, like the recent 1978-87 The Albums box set – has been overseen by guitarist Daryl Smith. When Cock Sparrer re-emerged in 1994, they added guitarist Darryl Smith to the original lineup and this has remained in place for the last 24 years.

With tight some tight playing and the continued energy that the band is noted for, Guilty As Charged is everything that fans had hoped for in a return. The band gives us songs to sing along to, and great lyrics that the listener was expecting. “Last Train To Dagenham” and “Because You’re Young” are terrific songs that keep the high standard that they are known for, plus you get the complete Run Away EP as well as a bonus. Two Monkeys includes a rare cover version by the band of the 1970 England World Cup Squad’s “Back Home.” “Battersea Bardot,” is a tribute to ill-starred actress Carol White and is not the usual stuff that they do, but shows that they have the skill to include a different sound to their album and it’s a definite treat. Here We Stand is now joined by the 2008 single version of “Because You’re Young” plus a duet with WWF legend Dan Hardy on “England Belongs To Me.” “Gotta Get Out” is a ripper of a tune that I just can’t get enough of, and “Spirit Of ’76” is another fantastic punk song that shows that they have the heart and soul to show the kids just how it’s done. The last CD Forever keeps the high quality going and proves just how vital they are to the scene after all these years.

It’s great to see a band that is still going after all of these years and still giving their all to the fans. They may not be the most prolific band with only seven albums between 1978 and 2017, four live albums, one EP, nine singles and feature on many compilations, but the music is quality and that’s what really counts.

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk

http://captainoi.com/

https://www.facebook.com/captainoirecords

http://www.cocksparrer.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/cocksparreruk/