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Monday, 29 May 2017

Monday Reviews #3 featuring The Dead Daisies, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Stephen Pearcy, The Red Eyes, Bash and Pop, Trongate Rum Riots

The Dead Daises – Live and Louder.

The band members of The Dead Daisies have been there, done it, bought the t-shirt, and then done it again, and again, and again.
A list of the bands individual achievements is something that most would consider as Walter Mitty-esque, but everything written on it is true.
Between them they have played in the biggest rock and roll acts going, and they have not just graced the biggest stages of the world, but commanded them.
In essence they are a super group, but being a super group does not necessarily mean that all the talent brought to the table will work well together.
For every artistic idea that sounds good on paper there are plenty of examples of them not being something that transfers over into real life, but when they do, when all the pieces fit together, when the flow is in full effect, then what you get is a blast of magic right in the face.
And that’s what Live and Louder is. A total blast of honest rock and roll that sounds like every drunken trashy night out that was accompanied by loud guitars and dodgy ideas that seemed like a good idea at the time.
It’s the soundtrack to the night you tell people that you would rather forget, but you privately don’t.
It’s the sonic equivalent of a roll of a dice, a slug of a bottle, and an inappropriate comment to the wrong person who just might be right one for the night.
Rock and roll should be big, and at times it should be a decadent anthem extolling the virtues of everything we are told isn’t good for us, and the Dead Daisies know this.
You just bring your ass to a show and they will bring the party.
This album proves that.


Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – Modern Ruin

I can't be the only one that is out of step with Frank Carter.
Yeah I can see the appeal, but I just don’t think he is as good as he is touted as.
I thought that with Gallows, continued to think it with Pure Love, and with the Rattlesnakes I’ve yet to hear anything that shakes the apathy from my ears.
It’s all just so forgettable, nothing sticks.   
His live performances are allegedly where it is at and maybe that’s true, but so far I’ve only experienced him through being subjected to the studio material, and it is dullsville UK so far.
Forgive me, but is there light at the end of this tunnel?

The reputation is of being the saviour of punk rock, but I’m just not getting it. When is he going to deliver on all the promise?
Each to there own, and all that jazz, It's all subjective I hear you cry, but nay, nay, thrice nay, it's so far not for me.
Frank Carter is not the golden child with a spiky Westwood crown on.
He’s at most a passable distraction while we wait for the good stuff to come along, and every track on Modern Ruin just seems to support that view.
He can sing, but someone write a tune for him please.

Stephen Pearcy – Smash

Confession time. The only time that I was at a RATT show was when they opened for Ozzy Osbourne on his Ultimate Sin tour.
That was back in 1986 and I was still a teenager.
It’s a fond memory, and truth be told I was pretty ambivalent about seeing Ozzy as I had already ticked him off the bucket list a few times and was becoming weary of his coke years performances.
I was there to see RATT and I expected to be entertained and I was.
However then life got in the way and my attention on RATT wavered.
It's the usual story of kids, a mortgage and such.
I won't bore you.
Over the intervening years all I have known about them is that there have been multiple line up changes and court visits as members argued over the name, all if this gleaned from casual glances at interviews and headlines of rock websites, but personal memories and background information aside it was a pleasant surprise to see Stephen Pearcy return with a solo album.
He has always had the chops when it comes to being a quality front man and on Smash he ably shows that he hasn’t missed a step in the intervening years when my attention was elsewhere.
There are tracks that are reminiscent of RATT, but also his pre RATT days in Arcade, but SMASH is not a RATT album.
Far from it.
Pearcy has stretched himself and delivered an album that covers far more ground than just revisiting past glories would have.
By raising the ghost of influences such as Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith on this he has showcased his talents to his best advantage and there is literally nothing on display that could be criticised.
This is as strong as any album that will grace the rock play lists of the world right now.
With RATT recently getting back together it would be a shame if this release was overshadowed as it is deserving of some wild plaudits from the rock community.


The Red Eyes – Man and Boy.

While those in punk circles continue to complain that there is nothing of worth out there anymore it is becoming increasingly difficult not to roll the eyes before going off on a rant about how they really should get out more, and maybe even check out bands like The Red Eyes.
With Man and Boy being their fourth full length studio release they are yet to deliver anything that could be considered lacklustre.
This is a band that has been raised on a diet of all the big bands in the scene and most definitely take their lead from the best that punk provided.
The sound of Stiff Little Fingers, the Clash and Buzzcocks proliferate, but the band have also taken a slight deviation from previous outings as there is a shift towards some more mature reflective song writing.
Not that they haven’t dabbled before, and it is to be expected as these guys aren’t in their first flush of youth, but this sounds like a watershed album when consideration is given to a track such as Remember My Name.
It’s far less Oi Oi Oi and far more the result of listening to too much of the Beach Boys, and who would complain about that?
Then No More Tears For Daddy, an anti war anthem, hammers the point home as it is awash with a lush string arrangement, and even an angelic refrain from a child makes an appearance.
The fire and fury of past releases may be slowly making way for a more nuanced approach to punk, but this is still a punk album from a punk band, and yet again it has to be said, as with every release, those who don’t know who The Red Eyes are should rectify that.

Yet another very credible release from them, and yet again it comes as no surprise.

Bash and Pop – Anything Could Happen

If you are a sucker for rootsy Stones styles country-esque rock then Crash and Pop are for you.
Spawning from The Replacements in 1992 with Tommy Stinson at the helm the band recorded one album, disbanded and now here we have Tommy revisiting the name and giving us, Anything Could Happen, and in many ways it could.
If he’s lying he’s flying.
It’s more mature Stinson we hear here, and the song writing reflects his experiences.
From being in one of the most critically acclaimed bands of yesteryear to one of the notorious when he lent his talents to Guns and Roses, he has certainly paid his dues, and now he is sharing his world according to Stinson gospel with us.
And it’s good.
Very good.
Replacement fans will enjoy basking in the afterglow of his embracing his past, but those with a penchant for a bit of Gram Parsons and how he influenced The Rolling Stones will find a great deal to smile about when sitting back and letting this wash over them too.

Trongate Rum Riots - Hymns of the Deep

When the majority hear the term folk music they often jump to thinking about guys in Arran knit sweaters and beards sitting in the corner of a bar lamenting the loss of their one true love, and they don’t necessarily give head space to bands such as the Pogue, or even consider Nick Caves Murder Ballads album as folk, and yet it is both the Pogues and Nick Cave that are more closely aligned to what the Trongates Rum Riots do.
Punk rock sea shanties about death and loss, country styled gypsy meanderings, and odes to drink, drink, and more drink, is the order of the day.
It’s a heady mix.
More akin to a Buckfast bomb than a shandy, and that is exactly as it should be.
The world needs more drunken debauchery and morning after paranoia just to keep everyone on their toes and the Trongate Rum Riots are here to make sure you get that.
Imagine if Johnny Depp  and Shane McGowan decided to have a baby.  
Well that’s Hymns Of The Deep.

So aye, run this one up the mast and salute it with a shot of rum. 

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