BRIAN JAMES: The Guitar That Dripped Blood

British punk royalty Brian James delivers his third solo rock album. The album includes guests such as ex DEAD BOYS Cheetah Chrome, and THE LUSTKILLERS Adam Becvare joining the party, with a sleeve painted by top horror film designer Graham Humphries.

Well, this is a complete blast of old school punk rock fury from one of the originators of the school of 1976. The songs are gritty, tight and full of energy that makes you think that this is someone young and angry, but he’s older and still pissed off…thankfully. The album has a touch of horror punk, but with a cover painted by Graham Humphries, and James coming from THE DAMNED, go figure that horror would be a part of this collection of thrilling songs. There is also a touch of the Dead boys on here, even though Cheetah Chrome only plays on one track, the terrific “Becoming A Nuisance.” The album is just one vitriol filled blast of energy after another. Song after song is just as well written and performed as the one before it and there is no “just a few” good songs, the whole thing is full of good songs that force you to turn the stereo up and play it again and again. James’ voice has a nice hard edge to it and on the slower “Til The Rains Come,” he has a lot of emotion and a mellow timber that fits the song perfectly.

This is the kind of album that should be all over the radio and one the charts, but too many cloth eared twats prevent that from happening. Go out and grab yourself a copy and make yourself and your friends happy that this is out there, and make sure this kind of music gets heard by people.

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SHARK INFESTED WATERS: Various: CD

After being around for ten years, label Easy Action puts out a sampler that encompasses their label and how eccentric, eclectic and wonderful it can be. They have a lot of buried treasures from bands that you know, but they also keep their ears out for newer bands to promote as well.

With a great mix of the old and the new there are so many tracks to tempt and new bands that you can become fans of as well. You get an amazing alternative mix of
“I Got A Right” by Iggy & The Stooges that just kicks ass to start off the collection, you go into heavy tunes from Amebix, Moriaty, The Red Cords, The Hydromatics, and so many more. The cool part of this is the unexpected things they give you like “A Quick Thing” by Rowland S Howard & Nikki Sudden, Lost Dawn with their 60s sounding “The Fall,” the blues of “Mamma You Got A Daughter” from John Lee Hooker, the fun new wave of The B-52s’ “Lava,” the folk king Bob Dylan with “Baby Please Don’t Go,” and an early shot from the Alice Cooper Group’s “Nobody Likes Me.” This really shows off the label and the amazing and varied bands available.

There will be something on here that you love, some you like and some that you won’t, but it will give you a real idea of the amazing music out there that you have been missing from some new bands, and the great stuff you’ve never heard from your favorites. I love these kinds of things, an inexpensive taste that I love and it keeps me hungry for more.

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BRIAN JAMES: Damned If I Do: CD


Some of the seminal punk anthems of 1976 including the U.K.’s first ever punk single “New Rose” redone by the man who wrote them with today’s sound and a ton of energy. It may be a short album, but the enthusiasm and love that James gives to these songs really makes for a great listening experience.Starting with the majestic “New Rose” introduced by Gaye Advert, we get the ball rolling on a great re-interpretation of songs that are classics. “New Rose” is played with the venom and energy that will get you smiling right off the bat. “Born To Kill” adds some piano to great effect, “You Take My Money” has exemplary guitar playing and power, “Feel The Pain” has some interesting accordion playing with James just letting everything get a little loose on this track, and “Sick Of Being Sick” takes the song and amps up the ferocity and makes this a blistering track. The band and James really take control of these songs and infuse them with a modern punch that really adds to the songs and unlike others who have tried this in the past, it doesn’t take away from the great heritage of the originals. “Alone” keeps the intensity going on this album, while “I Fall”, “Fan Club” and “Neat Neat Neat” are one hot trio that will leave you speechless.

Most people will wonder, “Why bother to pick this up when I can get the originals?” The answer is because this is a great album that has the writer of some of the greatest punk songs having fun and it comes out loud and clear on these recordings. Don’t compare, just enjoy the music and turn it up loud.

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