Top Sounds - D

DAMNED, THE - 40th Anniversary Tour: Live In Margate {LiveHereNow} PODCAST PLAYED Another live DAMNED album to go with the other 50 or so I have. This is pretty fantastic deluxe package however, being a triple album, yellow vinyl and large fold out sleeve. Needless to say we all know THE DAMNED - but why they recorded this as their 40th Anniversary live album instead of the Albert Hall gig I?m not sure. It?s a pretty odd set too. The entirety of the first album is played, itself a classic, but Captain (with his fucking annoying wah-wah pedal) cannot come close to the jams Brian James cranks out and, good a drummer as Pinch is, he ain?t Rat. They do alright though. The rest of the album is where it gets interesting. The only track from ?Black Album? is ?Twisted Nerve? - and it?s fantastic, possibly an album highlight. ?Absinthe? is played as is ?Amen? from the ?Grave Disorder? album and lots from ?Strawberries?. However, no ?I Just Can?t Be Happy Today?, no ?Wait For The Blackout?, no ?Shadow Of Love?, no ?Disco Man?. Could?ve done without ?White Rabbit? and ?Alone Again Or? too for that matter. The remainder is the obvious - ?Love Song?, ?Smash It Up?, ?Plan 9 Channel 7? and another set stealer in ?Generals?. Side Six is of real interest as it?s the soundcheck featuring another two tracks from ?Grave Disorder? and two from the underrated ?So, Who?s Paranoid?? album - and they sound, sonically, soooo superior to the live gig it?s unreal. As a collector, this is pretty much essential but had I gone to the gig, I would?ve felt a little let down. And please, Captain, stop using that fucking Wah-wah pedal; Brian didn?t need it and nor do you. (31.12.17)

DAYLIGHT ROBBERY - Accumulated Error {Deranged} Third album for this trio outta Chicago and it?s ten tracks of clever and expansive post-Punk that fuses a big SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES influence with a splash of SPECTRES and a neat X vibe. Plenty of highlights including album closer ?Better Off On Mars? that highlights that SIOUXSIE feel and is laden with surging bass and a haunting guitar lead. Elsewhere ?Goon Beat? features guitarist David taking lead vocal and coming on a tad like John Doe, ?Telegraphing? has a great Farfisa-style keyboard, ?New Threat? sees soaring vocal interplay from bassist Christine and guitarist David while my personal favourite is ?Sweet Teeth? that?s got hypnotic beats, fuzztone bass, a fantastic cyclic riff and a wigout guitar solo. Production is spot on for this too, with shards of guitar flying in all directions, some inventive and subtle leads juxtaposed against some frantic rhythm work. Impressive and inventive stuff from a band I hadn?t previously heard. This was released a while ago too - so here?s hoping a new work is imminent. (28.09.17)

DEAD ENDING - Class War {Alternative Tentacles} First out of the blocks with comment on Donald Trump?s ascendency to domination comes from the legend that is Vic Bondi and his slick HC machine, DEAD ENDING. This is a mere two track 7" (pressed on deep blue vinyl), but it?s probably already the most important EP of 2016. ?Class War? is a raging slice of HC, Bondi bellowing and Jeff Dean?s guitar burning. It?s the flip, ?Ivanka Wants Her Orange Back? that is the big deal here. It?s a barbed attack on Trump and his cronies, yet written with a humourous flair. What?s more, musically, it?s the closest Bondi has come to matching the greatness of ARTICLES OF FAITH since ?Give Thanks?. Even the graphics of this represent disgust at Trump, with the subtitle of ?Make America Hate Again!?. DEAD ENDING has made some killer records but ?Ivanka...? stands, quite clearly, as the band?s best yet. Essential material and, if this is an indication of the anger and disgust of the Trump administration, we could be in for some cracking records. Will any top this? If they do, it?ll be a classic. (19.05.17)

DEAD TO ME - I Wanna Die In Los Angeles {Fat Wreck} Seems an age since there has been any new product from DEAD TO ME, so this rather snazzy three-track 7" is most welcome. It?s a bit different from their previous material however with ?Tune It Out? having a number of similarities to TOYS THAT KILL and the wordy ?Comforting The Disturbed And Disturbing The Comfortable? sees several new sounds and production colours coming into that recognised DEAD TO ME sound. Fittingly, the standout song is the lead track, ?I Wanna Die In Los Angeles? that has those soaring melodies backed by concise, rocking Punk dynamics but possibly taking things in a slightly more aggressive direction. There?s no indication of who wrote what song, so I can only assume they are a ?band effort?. Great sleeve photo too of a riot situation in, I assume, LA. Includes a lyric sheet insert and, if this is a taster of things to come from the DEAD TO ME camp, I can say my taste buds are suitably excited! (15.12.17)

DEBT NEGLECTOR - Atomicland {Smart Punk} PODCAST PLAYED Debut from a new quartet featuring members of NEW MEXICAN DISASTER SQUAD, NO FRIENDS and GATORFACE and it?s an absolute fucking cracker!! Think a fusion of JAWBREAKER and NONE MORE BLACK with a hint of DILLINGER FOUR, but with something unique that's the band?s own and you?re there. Kicking off with the title track, which in itself starts with the exact same bass as ?Walk On The Wild Side?, it hooks the listener instantly with the following two tracks, ?Gift Shop? and ?On The Brink?, combining to make what could be the best opening salvo of any album released in 2017. Of the following nine tracks there isn?t a single one that could be considered filler but standouts include the jet-propulsion of ?Extended Check? that spits out a riff that coulda been lifted off the first DAMNED album, ?Half Man Half Couch? that slows the pace a tad but without any loss of power or dynamics and ?Phantom Limbs? that?s a perfect example how a lead guitar line enhances a song rather than destroys it. Production is bold and clear but with an edge. Great band name, great album - pretty much faultless. (24.12.17)

DECLINE, THE - Radio Revolution {Hostage} These fellas have been slugging it out in Long Beach, CA for the best part of 20 years and this searing two-track 7" (pressed on lovely snot-green marble vinyl) should serve as a formidable introduction to the band for those not so savvy in LB Punk Rock History. Both songs are mid-paced Punk Rock stompers with a bit of a grubby garage vibe going on, provided mainly by some deft guitar work from Jeff Porter. Think a fusion of THE CROWD with CHANNEL 3 but with a vocal more sneering, more whiskey ravaged, more Punk Fucking Rock and you?ll have the idea. As Hostage Records is prone to do, not only do you get the lovely slice of vinyl but there is a download festival of extras including the 1994 and 1997 demos, new material and even a CLASH cover (rather sarcastically, ?I?m So Bored With The USA?). Stellar stuff; sure it?s a sound that ain?t gonna change the world or offer anything new, but it?s a great, raw and sincere sound done with style and attitude. Nuff said! (30.05.15)

DIRECT HIT - Wasted Minds {Fat Wreck} Third album from this Milwaukee quartet and, I have to say, the opening two songs just came over as rather average GREEN DAY rips. Odd really as I?ve always liked the band?s previous stuff. However, ?Paid In Brains? then erupts in a cacophony only matched by ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT, then you get the album highlight of ?Promised Land? that includes a magnificent piano and brass in a truly massive arrangement. From there it?s a ripper. Yep, the GREEN DAY vibe remains and it would be easy to say, on a casual listen, this is simplistic Pop-Punk. A closer listen though, especially in headphones, reveals all kindsa stuff going on including multi-layered guitar parts, awesome vocal harmonies and odd sampled type sounds which created a bit of a BEACH BOYS bounce, especially on ?Bleach Music?. There is a theme of drugs going through the album too, which makes for some interesting lyrics. Elsewhere the closing ?Do The Sick? should have you yelling along after two listens while ?Hospital For Heroes? makes rather pensive points. A definite grower (unlike the instant debut, ?Domesplitter?) but fuck, those first couple of songs will take a bit of work. (06.02.17)

DIRTY PRIESTS - s/t {B.D.I Records} Debut album from this LA four piece and it?s a seriously rocking slab boasting 12 killer tracks that have a classic vintage sound about them - imagine SOCIAL DISTORTION, THE CROWD and THE PAGANS rolled into one and given a slight Street Punk vibe and you?re close to the sound these four filthy fathers crank out. Highlights? There ain?t a duffer but opener ?Til The Day I Die? is a perfect tone setter while ?I Remember You? could be INFA RIOT if they upped the pace and came from LA. Elsewhere there?s a take on Merle Haggard?s ?Mama Tried? that THUNDERS woulda been proud of, the near perfect LA Punk of ?This Is A Hold Up?, the rolling swagger of ?Why Won?t You Dance? and the closing ?Stab Your Eyes? that pivots around a fantastic descending riff and a bile-laced vocal delivery; could?ve done without the re-hash of ?I Got The Crabs? from the EP below tho. Totally enjoyable Punk Rock ?n? Roll that rips, swaggers, sneers and flat out rocks and could be a big player at summer Punk Rock barbeques. Great graphics too with the stained glass window pastiche on the inner sleeve and the matching vicar costumes the band wears. (15.06.17)

DIRTY PRIESTS - s/t {DIY} New band outta the City Of Angels and, for those in my old home-town of Ipswich, England, a band that features a very notable drummer (oi oi Jimbo!!) who used to be in THE THREAT and CHEEZE, among others. This is rather impressive four track EP of up-tempo tracks, laden with the spirit of ?77. ?Stab Your Eyes? has a vague DAMNED vibe while ?I Got The Crabs? has the kinda lurching, itchy (oohhhwweee) riff that brought to mind many of the original ?Decline...? LA bands (hello FEAR). Highlight though is closer ?I Don?t Understand? that pivots around a jerky guitar riff and aggravated vocal that had me thinking of AGENT ORANGE minus surf. I?m pretty sure these fellas have been knocking around in the Punk world for many years as the sound embodies quality, no-frills Punk - even the guitar leads owe more to DEAD KENNEDYS than some greaser rock band. My copy came with stickers and a badge - choice bro!! I truly hope this is no a one-off!! (30.05.15)

DISASTER STRIKES - In The Age Of Corporate Personhood {Alternative Tentacles} Album number three (and first in 10 years - really??) from this quartet of political and boisterous Bostonites. While it?s not a concept album, there is certainly a theme - or maybe a united assault would be a better description - running through every song, and that?s against corporate greed and deception. It makes for a potent and intelligent brew lyrically with vocals mixing between flat-out yelling, sneering semi-spoken parts and antagonistic Punk singing. Musically, think a fusion of DEAD ENDING with a hint of SICK OF IT ALL and a dollop of PEARS and you?re close. Plenty of highlights too, be it the title track with a guest appearance from Jello Biafra on vocals, ?Deconstruct The Plot? and the raging ?Drone Strike?. Best track though is a straight battle between ?Your Life = Their Lie? that?s got a vicious riff and ?A New Solidarity? that has the best lyrics of the album backed by a volatile and convincing arrangement. Excellent artwork from Bill Hauser too. If you like your ?core political, angered and not littered with chugga-chugga clunky metal breakdowns, check this out. (19.04.17)

DISCHARGE - Massacre Divine {Westworld} The nightmare continues... Why why why but why would any label consider releasing this - let alone the band wanting it re-released? See below for expanded review - although this is more a case of grating my testicles rather than my nipples. Fucking rubbish.... (13.02.17)

DISCHARGE - Grave New World {Westworld} Well... This was a whole new form of D-Beat!!! If ya don?t know, this slab of preposterousness was released back in ?86 and saw the band that wrote ?Ain?t No Feeble Bastard? and ?Fight Back? release an album of risible, hilarious and down-right-fucking-embarassing Metal. Vocalist Cal sounds like a bad stand-in for Axl Rose during a time Guns ?n? Roses had an off-day due to too much cocaine. The band sound like a really fucking bad glam Metal band... playing a working men?s club... in Bognor Regis.... and said band considers it to be the pinnacle of their career... as they have managed to afford some studs for their W.A.S.P-like cod-pieces. I?d rather grate my nipples on splintered wood while being pissed on by a giraffe than listen to this again. No idea why Westworld felt the need to re-issue this. ?Never Again? indeed.... (09.08.16)

DIS-TANK - D-Beat Machine {Kibou} Let?s face it, with the band name and title of this cassette, you really don?t need a doctorate in Punk Rock Theory to work out that this is DISCHARGE worship. This is a side project of James outta THE DOMESTICS and you get eight tracks of grizzled, distorted and face-burning Punk. Highlight would have to be ?Culture War? that has a neat breakdown. To label this as just D-Beat is a bit unfair as some of the tracks come over like VIOLENT ARREST if fused with that Bristol CHAOS UK/ DISORDER distortion blur. There?s a rather odd choice of cover in ?I Lost My Mind? by THE RAMONES; it?s given the D-Beat treatment though and doesn?t sound outta place. This is limited to a mere 50 copies, includes a fold-out lyric sheet and a download code so you can infect your Ipod with the sounds of a monstrous door slamming in the depths of hell. Brutal stuff - it?d make an ideal gift for any lame Gaslight Anthem fan!! (03.02.15)

D L BURDON - Accidental Aesop {Boss Tuneage} D L is the man who used to be in FORMER CELL MATES, had a time in LEATHERFACE and then went to America and joined ANCHOR BENDS. Now he?s back in Blighty and this is his debut solo album. It?s quite a mellow record, recalling BUFFALO TOM a great deal, particularly with those rich, almost bluesy vocals. It has its moments, particularly ?Stepping On The Bluebird? and ?Emotional Slapstick? that?s got a neat countrified swing about it (and actually recalled the greatness of THE BAND in parts) but ultimately, just like FORMER CELL MATES, I found my attention wandering - especially during ?No One? when I thought I was listening to a fucking STING album, while ?Public Opinion Just Changed? brought to mind BOB SEGER! Yes, I admit the songs are well crafted and well performed but bottom line is, I was left pretty bored. Eleven tracks, limited double vinyl or CD if ya interested. (17.02.17)

D.O.A. - Fucked Up Donald {Sudden Death} You can always rely on Joey Shithead to be first out of the gate to voice his opinion and he?s probably the first to release an anti-Donald Trump single. Long-time fans will realise this is a reworking of the vintage ?Fucked Up Ronnie? but it?s still more than relevant. It?s a brutally raw recording too with Shithead in incredibly sneering, belligerent form. Needless to say, its a rager. The 7" is filled out with a couple of tracks from the recent ?Hard Rain Falling? album (below) in the shape of ?The Cops Shot A Kid? and ?Not Gonna Take Your Crap No More?. The latter is particularly effective when paired with ?Fucked up Donald? while the former, being of a much higher recording quality, certainly emphasises how raw the lead track is. This, along with the recent DEAD ENDING EP, indicate an early galvanising of the Punk community in calling out Trump for what he is. Whether we will see the plethora of great songs that Reagan inspired remains to be seen, but if the early days of his risible policies and dictates have produced these two EPs, then we might be in for an interesting ride! (22.04.17)

D.O.A. - Hard Rain Falling {Sudden Death} Fucking hell - this is smoking!! D.O.A has recorded some average-to-mediocre albums in its time but this baby has to be the best since ?Murder? at least. The opening salvo of ?Punk Rock Hero?, ?You?ve Gone To Far? and ?The Cops Shot A Kid? would not sound outta place on ?Something Better Change? or even ?Bloodied But Unbowed?. ?Warmonger? follows and it would fit on ?War On 45? with ease. Yes - we are talking D.O.A that good. Then you get ?Racism Sucks? and I?m thinking ?Hardcore 81? and ?Ni Hao? could be ?Let?s Wreck The Party?. Sure, it?s not perfect. The low point of the album is either the cover of THE SLICKERS ?Johnny Too Bad? (which isn?t bad - just not as effective as THE ?TONE?s version) and ?He Joined The Gang? which on any other latter day D.O.A album would fit in well, but it just doesn?t quite cut it with the same kind of savagery as the rest of this. Includes a great cover of JOHNNY CASH?s ?San Quentin? too. Production is bold, crisp and cutting and Keithley?s vocals snarl like an old grizzly. It?s without a doubt that when Joe Keithley is writing songs like these, he is pretty much beyond compare. Total return to form - stunning. (11.12.15)

DOCTOR AND THE CRIPPENS - Fired From The Circus; Raphanadosis; Cabaret Style {Boss Tuneage} I saw this lot a few times in the 80s and, I have to say, was never really that impressed. All I really remember is exploding cabbages and a penchant for dressing up. Fun, yes but not enough to make me shell out the hard-earned quids for the band?s records. So, this trio of re-issues is rather welcome. The 1988 debut, ?Fired From The Circus? is pretty much as I remember the band - kinda like THE STUPIDS, several throwaway filler tracks and production that?s a bit muddy. Besides the 22-track album, there is another 20 odd bonus tracks including a 1988 John Peel session and a couple of demos. 1989 saw the release of ?Raphanadosis? which is the pick of the discs for me. It?s fast as hell but more varied than the debut and is played with more confidence and precision than the debut. Even the bonus stuff is worth checking out as it is another Peel session, the tracks from the ?North Atlantic Noise Attack? comp and the ?Avant Gardening? 12" EP. The final disc is made up of two unreleased demos from 1990, some further EP and compilation tracks and a live set from Bristol in 1990, totalling another 32 tracks in all. All these reissues look fucking great too, with liner notes from the band, lots of photos and lyrics. As enjoyable as these discs were in hindsight, I don?t see myself coming back to them too often and, when I do, it will be to ?Raphandosis?. If you?re curious, start with that! (22.08.16)

DOCTOR BISON - Dewhursts: The Musical/ Bring It On {Boss Tuneage} Second compilation of ...BISON material. There was about a two year gap between the last recordings below and the first of these and there is a notably more accessible sound to these tracks. Sure, the guitars are still big but a bit more restrained with the use of acoustics (with ?Life Sentence? from ?Dewhursts? being a totally acoustic number) and even a banjo coming in. That?s not saying there isn?t come crackers here: opener ?Hollywood Cement? could?ve been on the album below while ?Delusion Of Grace? has a CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL vibe about it. ?All Over Me? starts quietly but swells into a massive slab of musical greatness with ?Bring It On? possibly being the highlight with huge ringing guitars and a militaristic feel. Filling the two releases out in the title are four unreleased demo tracks (including an cracking electric version of ?Life Sentence?). Liner notes this time are provided by The Rev and both albums have been remastered adding a new vitality to them. Of the two compilations, the one below is definitely the most instant but you need the pair for maximum effect. (22.12.15)

DOCTOR BISON - The Bloated Vegas Years {Boss Tuneage} If ya didn?t know, this band featured the recently departed Dickie Hammond on guitar; that fact alone imbues these tracks with a certain gravitas that they previously (and obviously) lacked. Have to say, a lot of DOCTOR BISON material passed me by. I didn?t enjoy them anywhere near as much as Dickie?s previous bands, HDQ and LEATHERFACE, and they just seemed a bit sterile. That might be because of the ?Make Me Yours? 7" that is included on this 11-track collection. It is by far the least interesting track here and was the first ...BISON record I got. Soundwise, think first album SUGAR played by GREAT ST. LOUIS with an overriding FACES trait and you?re close. Heaps of highlights, be it the sublime guitar work of ?Sweet Embrace? (probably the best track here), the clawing ?Sense? or the free-flowing drinker?s tune, ?Cut Down?. Closer ?Right About You? embodies that FACES reference in particular. This was, and remains, powerful stuff with some incredible guitar parts throughout the tracks. Additional to Hammond, the band also featured the brothers, Baz and Rev, outta THE ABS. Liner notes from Baz, great layouts and lyrics too. Definitely a band that has improved as I?ve aged... OK, I got it wrong; this is pretty fucking essential. (22.12.15)

DOMESTICS, THE - Pissing On Perfection {Sickworld/ TNS/ Kibou/ Imminent Destruction/ Urinal Vinyl/ Mangel Wax} Britain?s most brutal and prolific Hardcore band drops a blazing 6 track 7" on piss-yellow splatter vinyl and while it continues their trait of incinerating, relentless and uncompromising Hardcore, there is a difference with this one. Y?see, the songs are all cover versions. The obvious are there - a scorching take on GAUZE and OUT COLD in particular, along with RUDIMENTARY PENI, a cracking take on ?Lights Out? by ANGRY SAMOANS, a FALL track that I somehow doubt Mark E Smith would be too flattered about (although I could be wrong - I can?t stand the fucking FALL!) and closing it all off, is the FIVE STRING DROPOUT BAND. If ya know the kinda ear slaughter THE DOMESTICS are capable of inflicting, then you?ll understand that this is yet another barbarous, intense and incisive slab of ?core from James and the boys. What?s more - it?s pretty fucking good!! Comes with a download code so it can infect your Ipod too!! (21.11.17)

DOMESTICS, THE/ VOLUNTEERS - Split {Kibou/ Urinal Vinyl/ Riot Ska/ Almighty Beard/ Global Resistance} Split 7" that kicks of kicking and screaming with THE DOMESTICS and another four tracks to add to what is becoming an increasingly impressive set of releases. The main track here, ?White, Male And Ignorant? is a ripper of a song, bringing to mind (again) CONFLICT, especially with some of the vocal delivery and one of the guitars that?s filling the bludgeon out with something akin to melody. Most surprisingly, and incredibly effective, is the band?s closing track - ?Just Some Arsehole That Plays In A Band?. It?s a spoken word piece aimed at the egotistical, self-righteous musicians that think they?re a cut above. Excellent stuff once again from THE DOMESTICS. Flip it over and we get VOLUNTEERS doing a couple of fuzzed, shouty and rancorous tracks that for some reason had me thinking of RESIST fused with ELECTRO HIPPIES. Comes with a lyric sheet and a download code. If brutal, bludgeon and belligerent are attributes you favour in your ?core, look no further. (31.01.17)

DOMESTICS, THE - Brutal Regimes {Kibou/ Kangaroo} Second full EP from this raucous HC five-piece from my old home county of Suffolk, England. Have to say too, it?s the most impressive thing I?ve heard the band do. The production is crisper and more cutting, the songs retain that bludgeoning, Hardcore blur but now come across as more focused and more damaging while the actual performance of all the players just sounds tighter, more controlled and more effective. I also kept hearing a clear nod to early CONFLICT in a lot of these songs, which is no bad thing in my book. Of the six tracks (pressed on a lovely clear vinyl 7") it?s opener ?I Love My Job? (and fuck me, that DOES sound like my job!!), ?Into The Light? and, in particular, the title track that standout. The title track alone represents all I have mentioned here; it?s a caustic yet intelligent comment on regimes throughout the world and is delivered with barbarous, throat-slashing intensity and precision. Easily the jewel in the band?s already impressive catalogue. Lyric sheet and download code included too. How ya gonna top this one fellas?? (18.07.16)

DOMESTICS, THE - Routine And Ritual {TNS} Second album from this brutal Hardcore band outta the Ipswich, UK area and it?s certainly a step-up. The riffs are speedier and more clinical whilst retaining a distinct Punk abrasion, the rhythm section is locked in and the vocals spat out with a fusion of anger, discontent and aspiration. The 15 songs hurtle by in 17 minutes with highlights being closer ?Nothing Factory II?, the damning ?Punk Points?, the disarmingly catchy ?Pills? and, out right stunner, the destructive riff frenzy that is ?A Pox On This Life?. Dean Jones, of Ipswich legends EXTREME NOISE TERROR belches out some vocal duties on ?Fuck Your War? also. Have to say though, this is not an ENT blast; only ?Commodify Our Love? could be said to feature those ENT-esque blast beats. I actually heard a bit of HERESY here, if mixed with a wipe of DISCHARGE, a dollop of FILTHKICK and a spoonful of POISON IDEA. The Japanese HC vibe of previous releases seemed minimised too. Good stuff and by far the most bilious and savage of releases on TNS thus far. (17.04.15) 

DOWN LOVE - Trust {Boss Tuneage} Debut album from this quartet outta Surrey, UK that includes former members of JERRY BUILT and JETPACK among others. You get 11 tracks of well crafted and occasionally over complex tracks that fuse that 90s style Punk of BROCOLLI with a big dollop of latter day SAMIAM and a hint of Revolution Summer dynamics. Highlights would include ?Who Is Counting?? that?s discordant and bilious, the tribute to the late MEGA CITY 4 frontman Wiz that is ?Those Words You Said?, ?Release? that has a vague TEXAS IS THE REASON vibe about the riff but with a near shouty vocal, the rolling ?Repeater? and the meandering guitar work of ?It Comforts Me?. Highlight though is ?All Of Me? with a taut lead riff and melodic, understated chorus that really stands out from the other tracks on the album. However, it does feature an end segment that sounds a bit out of place and unnecessary - and a few tracks could be guilty of this. Interesting stuff and those mentioned bands do it for ya, so might DOWN LOVE. Pressed on a limited edition double coloured vinyl album, or CD. (24.04.17)

DRAKULAS - Raw Wave {Dirtnap} Formed in Austin, Texas featuring members of RISE AGAINST and RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS, this is the band?s first album. You get ten tracks which slot perfectly into that ?trademark? Dirtnap sound, which is to say a fusion of MARKED MEN and DICKIES (their influence is particularly evident on opener ?Getting Out?) with a hint of EXPLODING HEARTS. It?s a bit of a concept album too with the songs being the view points of various people living in a bustling city in the near future. These sex workers, street preachers, gang members and pornographers consider themselves living in the Raw Wave. Of the songs, ?Beta Max? is darker and droning, ?Headphones-Slit Throats? could be the album?s highlight being an urgent pogo-tastic slice of catchy Punk, although the pulsating riff and rhythm of ?Venus Retreat? runs it close. While lyrically this is decidedly seedy, the concept is well thought-out. The songs are instantaneous but have enough about them to grow on successive listens. Dunno if future releases will continue to focus on life in the Raw Wave - if so it could make for an interesting and original trait of DRAKULAS. (30.04.17)

DREWETT, STEVE - The Jenga Society {Cruel Binary} For those who don?t know, Steve Drewett was the vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter behind one of the great unsung bands of UK Punk - NEWTOWN NEUROTICS. This is, I believe, his first solo album and features 12 tracks that continue the impeccably high standards of writing that have always been a Drewett trait. The first nine songs are pretty much Drewett with his acoustic guitar and include a reworking of ?Mindless Violence?, the rampant ?Sweet Jesus? and the opening title track which, had it a full backing band, could easily have fitted on the classic NEUROTICS album ?Beggars Can Be Choosers?. The closing three tracks feature a band, but Drewett still plays his acoustic. Of those, there?s a decent Christmas tune but ?Around Love? is the pick. Comparisons would have to be TV SMITH?s solo work with a big nod to THE MEN THEY COULDN?T HANG. Without a doubt, Drewett still packs a protest-punch with his lyrics, but there is a great deal of the personal about this album that makes it a rather intimate affair. Have to say, I fucking love it. Drewett hasn?t ever made a duff record and these 12 tracks are a total pleasure. (09.01.16)

DUNCAN REID AND THE BIG HEADS - Bombs Away {LBH} PODCAST  PLAYED The ?tricky? third album from this former BOYS member and his rather spiffy new band - and it opens with a rather grand and subtle piece of piano playing before launching into the rocking ?Can?t Stop?, which is followed by the double hit of the recent ?Bombs Away? and ?C?mon Josephine? single (reviewed below). It makes for an adrenalin laden opening. ?Confetti? then provides the first real sonic change of the album with an acoustic intro and lush, warm melodies evoking ?Rubber Soul? era BEATLES. From there, it?s one power-pop cracker after the other, be it the MADNESS-esque ?Just Because You?re Paranoid?, the reflective ?Wouldn?t Change A Single Thing? that looks back at his time in the early days of THE BOYS or the joyous ?Hey Frank Sinatra? and ?Let?s Skip To The Good Bit?. Then there?s the closing ?God Save Me Now? that comes on like one of Lennon?s very best outtakes and includes fantastic piano. Each track, as with the previous albums, includes a small introduction piece from Reid, which gives the songs an intimate, personal touch. It?s taken me a while to review this; on first listen it didn?t quite connect with me but after many more listens I believe it could be the best from the BIG HEADS so far. There?s greater variation to the songs and significant depth to the song writing. What?s more, it?s also a genuine Best of 2017 contender. (18.12.17)

DUNCAN REID AND THE BIG HEADS - C?mon Josephine {Damaged Goods} Bit of a taster of the imminent third album from former BOYS bassist, Duncan ?Kid? Reid. The previous two albums were absolute crackers and if the lead track on this two track 7" is any indication, the new album is gonna be a stunner!! It?s an energetic Power Pop/ Punk Rock gem with those fantastic lyrics of Reid?s, a chorus that soars and a backing that demonstrates Reid and the Big Heads really know how to write a song. Flip the purple vinyl over and we get ?Bombs Away?. A groove-tastic drum beat opens before a great ?77-esque riff kicks in and we?re looking at another Reid classic. It?s not quite as instant as ?C?mon Josephine?, has a bit more texture and, oddly, had me thinking of ?Tiger Feet? by MUD - especially after that intro!! Aesthetically, there is definitely a purple/ violet theme going on as the predominant sleeve colour matches the coloured vinyl - and both of those match Duncan?s trousers on the cover (not to mention a fantastic pair of bright red DMs!!) Bring on the album!!!! (16.07.17)

DWARVES - Are Younger And Even Better Looking {Recess/ Greedy} Of all the DWARVES albums, this one from 1997 stands as my favourite. That?s no doubt aided by the fact I saw the band do a blitzkrieg set at Camden Dingwalls on the tour to promote this but fact is, there is some brutal, rocking DWARVES classics here be it opener ?Unrepentant?, the bruising ?We Must Have Blood?, the pop groove of ?Everybodies Girl? or the slow burning, antagonistic ?You Gotta Burn?. Every track is a slice of prime-time DWARVES greatness and I ain?t even mentioned the hedonistic nihilism of ?I Will Deny? or the insanely addictive ?One Time Only?. Sure, ?Blood, Guts And Pussy? might be more in your face, but this is a better album. Not only that, but this is an expanded version including a raging live radio set from 1997 that features the album?s best bits along with ?Drug Store?, ?Smack City? and the lurid, relentless ?Fuck ?em All?. There are also another 10 studio tracks including a couple of alternate mixes of album tracks and additional goodies like the Rock ?n? Roll groove of ?The Wicked? and another grinding DWARVES classic in ?Haunt Me?. It?s a double album, pressed on blue vinyl and the only negative is the actual packaging. Sure it?s in a lovely gatefold sleeve laden with bare breasts, but there?s no lyric sheet (unlike the original), no suggestion of where or when the radio show was recorded (bar 1997) and no suggestion where the additional studio tracks have been taken from. That could be seen as a minor quibble, but I kinda feel re-issues should have all that additional info to make it a complete package. Anyway - the music fucking rips - nuff said! (24.06.16)

DWARVES - Gentleman Blag {Fat Wreck} Everyone?s favourite fuck-ups are back with a neat four-track 7" that lifts a couple of tracks from the ?...Invented Rock ?n? Roll? album on Recess. Both are surprisingly accessible with the lead track among the most commercial sounding stuff the band has ever done. The two exclusive tracks ?Trisexual? and ?Stuck In The Void? are more recognisable DWARVES bilious bludgeon with the latter morphing into a sub-Metal growl after some throat-shredding vocal abuse, while the former could be the highlight of the EP. Cover artwork surely is not for the politically-correct (but rather brave of Blag to bare it all) - but fuck - it IS the DWARVES and if you listen to this record or any of the band?s other gear expecting niceties, then you still have a lot to learn. For cultured DWARVES appreciators though, this is another slice of mayhem you need in your collection. File next to: Sugarfix (30.05.15)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2015 including: