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/

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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/

ANGELIC UPSTARTS: The Albums 1983-91

After having pretty good success on their early releases, the band started to lose some traction and after the failure of the Still From The Heart album, EMI said bye-bye and they were back to the indie scene. This was a great wake up for them since Reason Why? was a terrific album that brought them back to the punk rock glory that people loved them for. “Geordies Wife” and “Dollars And Pounds” are both politically charged poetry that adds something interesting to the album. The cool part is that you get ten bonus tracks added to the original album. CD2 which again comes with ten bonus tracks, mainly rare studio demos that show the bands raw edge. Along with politically charged punk rock, you get a cool cover of Martha Reeve & the Vandellas’ “Nowhere To Run.” Next up is Live In Yugoslavia, which is basically a greatest hits collection of the band’s songs and played with vim and vigor. Disc 4 is 1985’s Power Of The Press album which now comes with the bonus single “Brighton Bomb.” The album is a little more into the new wave sound of the time but still is a great listen. Next up is the even more new wave sounding Blood On The Terraces album with an included extra seven bonus tracks. The band still has some punk, but there is a lot of sound of the times going on and some controversial titles like “Heroin is Good For You,” and a cover of Kenny Rogers and The First Edition’s “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town.” Ending with Bombed Out which saw original guitarist Mond reunited with vocalist Mensi for the first time in nearly a decade. This seemed to invigorate the band and they came back to the punk rock sound again, and the box set ends on a high note.

Although not as mandatory as the first box set, this is still a great collection of songs that sound better on this release than on the originals and will bring back memories to us old guys. The booklet features pictures of all relevant sleeves, liner notes, news clippings, and many previously unpublished photos.

https://www.facebook.com/angelicupstartsofficial/

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

https://www.cherryred.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/captainoirecords/

http://captainoi.com/

999: The Albums 1987-2007

 

Jumping from the previous box set that covered 1977-1980, this one skips a few albums and goes right to their most up-to-date album currently. Maybe there will be another collection of the missing albums…we’ll see.

With just four albums over a twenty-year span, the band slowed their releases down a whole lot, but what we have is a great collection all the same. Starting off with the band’s first official full-length live album Lust Power And Money, recorded at the legendary Klub Foot in London, it has a track listing that reads like a Greatest Hits Live with classics such as “Emergency,” and “Homicide” played with energy and power. Disc 2 contains 1993’s You Us It!, their first studio album in eight years which saw the addition of new member Arturo Bassick, formerly of The Lurkers. The band got right back to the harder-edged sound of their younger days and it was a great return to form. Disc 3 is the Takeover album which was originally released in 1997 and is even better than their last album. A classic from start to finish with tracks that stand up to their older gems. The final disc is 2007’s Death In Soho, which keeps up the high standard of punk rock with catchy choruses and great playing that bands more than half their age would be and should be jealous of. This is a great ending to the box set but makes you yearn for more from them.

The 20-page booklet contains in-depth liner notes, pictures of all relevant sleeves plus memorabilia and clippings from the era. The sound is so good and improves on the original releases by a long shot. Although the classic period was in the previous box set, this is still a terrific collection to get and will definitely be something that you will come back to, time and time again.

https://www.facebook.com/999Music/

http://www.nineninenine.net/

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/captainoirecords/

http://captainoi.com/

THE FLESH EATERS: Continental Club Austin, TX 2/22/19

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So, the Flesh Eaters got the classic lineup back together and out on tour they went, so I obviously had to go see them. There were two other bands playing that night, Sean Wheeler and the Reluctant Messengers, and Churchwood, but I really was there for just one band…the Flesh Eaters! I was looking forward to this show since I heard they were coming to my very extended area, but some mishaps were presented to me that night.

 

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I live around an hour away from Austin, so I had to fight the traffic to get there, as expected it was crappy, but I made it to Austin. Of course, the next obstacle was to find the venue which I had never been to before. I got to the venue, saw that the parking was this ridiculous “back into the spot while blocking traffic style,” which no one would let me do, and I nearly got hit by a car trying to do it. Luckily, there was a side street close to the club and after parking on the street there, I was off to the show. Walking in, I showed my identification and the email pass that I had and of course, I was not on the list…sigh. After a bit of back and forth, I was inside! The show was on! The band blazed through old songs with the energy of guys a third of their present age, reminding me of the old days back in the 80s, which is what the club was like. They played their two new songs, “Black Temptation” and “Ghost Cave Lament” with emotion and the crowd accepted them as if they had always been part of the set. While playing on the cramped stage, the band gave a performance that was smoldering, energetic, and full of raw emotion. Playing some covers as well, especially the fantastic take on Fleetwood Mac’s “The Green Manalishi.” That song was a definite highlight. With banter from lead singer Chris Desjardins, the songs got some explanation and some fun stories about the past. According to the club’s website, they were to only play for around 45 minutes, but they played longer than that and I was in heaven. The sound was a bit off, with a lot of high-end making it a bit hard on the ears at times, but the band’s performance more than made up for that. The saxophone and marimba really gave the band such depth and added a lot to the sound. I really have to give it to Dave Alvin whose guitar playing was tremendous, with such flair and technique, drummer Bill Bateman pounding away in the back and the thick and fluid bass work by John Doe. These guys have proven through the years just how good they are at playing in their own bands and really shined in this setting.

This was a great night, despite some not so fun things that happened, but the good thing is that the band took the negatives and turned my face into a great big smile, and a memory that I will cherish. Thanks for the great night guys, and many more for the future.thumbnail (5)

https://www.flesheaters.com/

https://www.facebook.com/theFlesheaters/

http://www.yeproc.com/

http://www.facebook.com/yeproc

http://continentalclub.com/

 

BOBBIE MORRONE : Lonely St.

Bobbie Morrone launched his music career in approximately 2007. Since then, he has recruited two other musicians; Isaac Vining (drums/percussion), and Adam Skinner (bass guitar), who create a mix of blues, soul and pop music.

Coming on like James Taylor at times, Morrone has a cool, and casual 70s vibe going on throughout this album. Every song feels like something that could be a single, some faster, some slower like the amazing “Holding On,” but they are all terrific. “Holding On” really has powerful emotion and could bring a tear to dead man’s eye, just a beautiful slow song that is a stand out to me. The playing is just exemplary on this album, you can hear and feel the rawness of the emotions and love for this music in every note. Morrone’s vocals are sweet and tender, filled with heartache and the band really gives off the 70s vibe with a great turn on “I Can’t Fall That Far (Intro)” and the vocal song following.

This was a complete surprise to me, not having heard of him before, but now he has a new fan in me and if you take a listen, hopefully in you as well. A collection of amazing songs to bring a tear of sadness and joy to your heart.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2019/01/bobbie-morrone-lonely-st.html

http://bobbiemorrone.com/

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http://bobbiemorrone.bandcamp.com/

THE FLESH EATERS: I Used to Be Pretty

 

The Flesh Eaters, LA’s unconventional “supergroup”, reunites classic 1981 lineup of founding vocalist and songwriter Chris Desjardins — better known as Chris D, Dave Alvin (guitar) and Bill Bateman (drums) of the Blasters; John Doe (bass) and D.J. Bonebrake (marimba and percussion) of X; and Steve Berlin (saxophones) of the Plugz (and later the Blasters and Los Lobos) for I Used to Be Pretty.  On five of the album’s 11 tracks, Julie Christensen, Desjardins’ vocal partner in The Flesh Eaters’ successor band Divine Horsemen, latter-day editions of the original group, and in married life joins in. The Flesh Eaters were among the groundbreaking bands that emerged from the original Hollywood punk club the Masque in 1977, and after using different musicians on early recordings, this is the lineup that holds the most love from fans.

“Black Temptation” is one of two new tracks on here and starts things off with a slow burn that builds to a crescendo and the band is totally on point with a great rocking track to start things off. The other new song is the last one, “Ghost Cave Lament” and what a doozy it is coming in at over 13 minutes long. The track is just amazing with the sax, marimba and the tortured vocals making this a modern-day version of the Doors “The End.” The two new songs show that these guys are every bit as talented as they were on their older album and gives hope for more in the future. Six tracks on I Used to Be Pretty offer forceful reinterpretations of previously released Flesh Eaters songs. “Pony Dress” from the compilation Tooth and Nail (1979), “My Life to Live” and “The Wedding Dice” appeared on Forever Came Today (1982); “Youngest Profession” on Dragstrip Riot (1991); “House Amid the Thickets” on Ashes of Time (1999); and “Miss Muerte” was the title track of the most recent Flesh Eaters album. All of these songs have been updated, but not drastically changed, just given a new sheen from these great musicians, kind of fine-tuning them if you will. They also have three covers on this album; Fleetwood Mac’s “The Green Manalishi,” The Sonics “Cinderella” and The Gun Club’s “She’s Like Heroin To Me.” The covers have the power and guts that this album has given us in spades. The band sounds as though they had never stopped playing together all these years and the dual vocals added so much to the songs.

Tough playing, vocals that are gruff when needed, and having saxophone on an album again just, made me so happy and filled my ears with joy. For a band that hasn’t been on the public’s radar for a long time, I hope that this album changes that. This is a mandatory release for those who want some old/new, punky/swampy music that will get into your soul and lift you up and put a smile on your face.

https://www.flesheaters.com/

https://www.facebook.com/theFlesheaters/

http://www.yeproc.com/

http://www.facebook.com/yeproc