BLACK BOMBERS : Vol 4

Black Bombers are a Rock ‘n’ Roll band from Birmingham, England that feature Alan Byron (guitar and vocals), Darren Birch (bass guitar), and Dave Twist (drums). Darren Birch is a former member of Gunfire Dance is also a member of The Heartbreakers, Walter Lure’s touring band, and also gigs and records with The Godfathers, Dave Twist is a former member of seminal punk/post-punk band The Prefects and also recorded several albums and toured with The Tenderhooks, and Alan and Darren also play in Birmingham’s long-established, George Romero/Ennio Morricone influenced, Horse Feathers.

“Day After Day” kicks things off with a nice thick sound courtesy of the bouncing bass, the vocals are gruff and impassioned and the guitar is ripping…great start to this EP. “Relentless” is just that, a non-stop attack on your senses that amps up the punk rock and really stands out as a top-notch track. “Animals ‘n’ Cages” makes the punk rock pump up even more and those crazed vocals are terrific. “Gnarly” is an instrumental that holds your ears captive with the raw energy it has. “Sometimes” is another punkish tune with some garage thrown in and sounds like it’s going to fall apart at any time, but stays together in its glorious mess. “Hair Of The Dog” is a cover of Green On Red and it’s another home run. Crunchy, tough-sounding and just as insane as you would hope from them…fantastic.

An EP that goes beyond what I was hoping for and makes for an old-school punk collection that you fans of the 78-77 stuff will love. I was just wondering where the bands were that play this kind of music and here it was all along.

https://www.facebook.com/BlackBombers150/

http://easyaction.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/EasyActionRecords

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BRAINIAC 5 : Back To The Shore

I reviewed their last album here on here in 2017 and their mix of rock, prog, punk, psych and a touch of freak out is still the selling point of this great band. Look for that review to give you a background of this interesting and long-lived band.

We are now presented with eight new tracks that carry on from the previous album and put a smile on my face. Starting off with the punk-fuelled “Long Enough,” the band really gets things going with a ton of energy and gets the foot tapping right away. Next song is the first part of “Back To Shore,” subtitled “A Woman’s Work” that is more folk-rock oriented and has amazing vocals from Chrissy Quayle, and at over eight minutes long, doesn’t feel like it at all. Second, of four parts of the title track is called “This Way,” and has toasting from Oxman, and great harmonica and guitar playing throughout. The bagpipes and female vocals added to this eclectic track work together so well. The third part, “Tribute To Alex Ward” has bongos and a guitar that is perfectly all over the place in style combined with the sax and everything else going on, all I can say is wow! Last part, “The Seal Man” has a great beat and that sax is just incredible. It reminds me of 808 State a bit and the female vocals come in and kick it up a notch. “Elegy” is the shortest track at just over two minutes and is a beautiful instrumental. Back to more rock-oriented music with the catchy “What We Can” and its great beat. Closing things off is “Breaking Up” and its crunchy, punky sound that ends off another great collection of songs.

With another mix of instruments and styles that you would scratch your head at for trying, this band proves how talent can figure it out and make it work beautifully. Every track has its merits and is perfectly played with more than enough emotion and will find a fit on your playlist.

https://www.facebook.com/TheBrainiac5/?fref=ts

http://www.brainiac5.co.uk/

https://brainiac5.bandcamp.com/album/back-to-shore

https://www.facebook.com/RecklessRecords/

https://reckless.com/

MIGHTY QUINN & THE OAKLAND RONIN : S/T

Mighty Quinn aka Quinn Walker is a Musician from Oakland, CA, most famous for his debut single “My Road,” on the TV show “Scrubs” and this is his debut album with this band. The band also includes Geoff Saba (guitar/vocals), Joel Davidson (drums/vocals), and Drew Muhoberc (bass/vocals). “The Nu Punks” kicks things off and it’s a pretty cool sounding garage punk track with a ton of energy and is pretty catchy. “Headfirst” is a terrific rager that is as hard as a kick to the balls, but way better feeling. A driving beat that just makes you want to pogo like a maniac around the house. “Rebel” is an old school sounding punk track that I loved so much and will blast this as much as I can. Great lyrics, anger and a ripping beat, such a great song. “Anxiety” is another song that will kick your ass with the band just going all out and making glorious noise. “Mickey Got Married” is another great song that was a perfect end to the album.

I was hoping for some decent punk rock and got a great punk album that is not the overproduced pop-punk out there, but a bit rawer. Great production that keeps the edge to the songs, but still allows the band’s rough edges to shine.

http://brianleewhite.com/iammightyquinn/

https://mightyquinnwalker.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/iammightyquinn

HOIA : Scavenger

Prateek Rajagopal returns with his newest album as a solo artist titled Scavenger. The album deals with human-sentimentality concepts like nostalgia, demise, anxiety and the need to “scavenge” to survive; bubbled in fictitious concepts as individual stories. This Mumbai based artist has been playing in the Indian metal scene since 2013 and is the guitarist of Mumbai-based death metal band Gutslit. He also plays with Porcupine Tree bassist Colin Edwin and Polish-drummer Wojtek Deregowski on this EP.

Sounding at times like Pink Floyd, the five songs on this EP are just spectacular and I was amazed at how much I loved them. The vocals are well done and give a lot of feeling and depth to the songs. The musicianship is just perfection. You can hear the talent from these guys pouring from your speakers and it just gives me shivers to listen to such a bunch of great artists. Rajagopal obviously has a great talent and ear for music, especially with the beautiful production on this album. I really can’t say which song I like the best since this is an album that needs to be played all at once, not piecemeal.

Having never heard of Prateek Rajagopal’s solo career before, I can say that he has blown me away and any expectations that I had when I first opened the CD. This is a definite keeper and should be heard by as many people as possible.

https://hoiatv.bandcamp.com/album/scavenger

https://www.facebook.com/hoiatv/

DIG TWO GRAVES : Deathwish

Dig Two Graves is a progressive metalcore outfit from central New Jersey. Combining an eclectic mix of Progressive Metal, Djent, and atmospheric dream pop. Starting back in 2017, Dig Two Graves has been working tirelessly to separate them from the pack in a very crowded genre. By combing a variety of musical styles into their all too often, cliché-heavy genre, this is their debut recording.

The first song is an instrumental that starts off interesting and quiet with some samples then gets a bit irritating with the skipping sound that it takes on. The first track, “As Above” starts off nice and heavy and gets your headbanging with the power and driving force it has. The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the screamed vocals, the clean vocals in the song are far better. I really liked the background to most of the songs, light and lilting music that soothes and then bang, the heaviness hits you like a kick to the groin, but the lilting music is still there in the background. Closer “So Below” is an epic song coming in at over 7 minutes and has everything in it, dream pop, progressive and metal, in your face metal. The song is a perfect end to the album with the band firing on all pistons and giving you the raw emotion and power that you expect from the previous songs. The added female vocals are a perfect addition to the track.

While not being too different sounding from track to track, the band does have potential to get a lot of fans and would probably put on one hell of a show live. While not being huge on the screamed vocals, the intensity and rawness does give this a lot of power and does make it stand out from the other bands with everything mixed up the way that they do it.

https://digtwogravesband.com/

https://www.instagram.com/digtwogravesband/

Crossover the Edge: Where Hardcore, Punk And Metal Collide: Book by Alexandros Anesiadis

Crossover The Edge contains in-depth features on over a hundred key bands from the scene’s 1980s heyday including Agnostic Front, Cro Mags, D.R.I., Corrosion of Conformity, Suicidal Tendencies, Dayglo Abortions, Discharge, Broken Bones, and another five hundred bands are also featured however briefly. Pulling together bands from diverse subcultural backgrounds (including the Skinhead, Oi and Anarcho scenes) to create a unique fusion whose appeal reached out to a large proportion of each of their fans, the movement was nevertheless overlooked by purists from each side, its specific mix sometimes balancing uncomfortably between those tribes. Alexandros Anesiadis was born in 1981 in Greece., and is currently living in Luton whilst on his final year of PhD in Media and Arts.

This lengthy, but the interesting book is well over 500 pages, has a ton of pis and is a very good read. Anesiadis is a definite fan and his writing shows that with the enthusiasm that he brings to the topic. He gets into a ton of bands that are both known and virtually unknown except for a few, but now they can get a moment in the spotlight because of this book. When I was younger and this style was happening, people hated metal if they were punks, and metal fans hated punks…that really didn’t seem to change much even with this style of music gaining fans. I liked some punk, some thrash metal and crossover…matter of fact, I got my mother to pick me up Suicidal Tendencies first, and best album, for me when she was visiting my aunt in Texas. She told me that when she went to the store to ask about it, she got some weird looks and didn’t know why…lol. The book has interviews with band members and they also throw in some interesting memories of things that happened during their careers that often times are funny, but always cool to read about. The amount of research that went into this is astounding, with all the flyers and in-depth information that he has dug up. There is a bit of looking back and coming down on some bands that had some un-PC lyrics back then, but with a different time, and different attitudes back then, it’s easy to say that they have awful lyrics and be a bit above it all now which I got that feeling while reading some of the inclusions. One thing that would have made me happy, would be album covers of the bands since there is talk of how good they were and the art on the covers. I also found that some bands mentioned by Anesiadis were as admitted by him, more metal than crossover, strange and weird, and a lot of crust and anarcho bands that were not really crossover.

If you are a fan of this style of music or have listened to any of the hundreds of bands mentioned in this book, you need to get this. While having a few minor flaws, this is still an amazing book that I had a hard time putting down and after being into punk and reading zines since the early 80s, I was astounded with how much I learned from this and now I have way too many albums to look for because of him.

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

https://www.facebook.com/cherryredrecords