Category: CD Reviews

The Suicide Notes – ‘Pleasures Of Despair’ (Quickfix Recordings)

Hang on a second, have we not reviewed this already? Indeed, we have… well, sort of… as Monk shall now explain. Having, not so politely, introduced themselves to us last summer with a brace of singles, The Suicide Notes – the new project from former Black Bullets frontman Billy Tee – proceeded to stick their cowboy boots very firmly in the doorway and wave a bottle of whiskey invitingly in our faces, asking “do you want some more”? Well, we didn’t say no and promptly dived straight into the groove of their debut four-track EP, which coupled those two previously released songs, ‘Smoke It Like A Cigarette’ and ‘Take A Bullet’, with their third single, ‘Momma Sang The Blues’, and a live session, ‘Ragdoll’.

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Stinky – ‘Of Lost Things’ (M-Theory Audio)

Stinky hail from Nantes, France and ILesley M has got to be honest: the connections in her brain conjured up blue cheese from these two pieces of information. Does the term mean something different in France than Scotland? Lesley did German at school so she’s not any help here. At least they had her attention. She dug a little and found that they used to be called ‘Stinky Bollocks’ – and refuses to think any longer about this. Anyway, the inevitable comments on a strange name over, some serious critique should follow…

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The KillerHertz – ‘Innocent Sinners’ EP (NoiseGate Records)

Formed in 2011, Danish hard rockers The KillerHertz – not to be confused with the Norwich thrash act (or even the Brighton DNB one) of a similar nomenclature – have not exactly been prolific in their career to date, having released just two albums (which both featured the mixing talents of Flemming Rasmussen) since their formation at the turn of the last decade. Now, three years down the line from the most recent of those offerings, they present us with this latest, much shorter opus of just four tracks.

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Phil Stiles – ‘The Anchorite’ EP (Epictronic Records)

He knows he has said it a thousand times but John B loves it when artists will reach out and try something new. When he saw saw an EP from Phil Stiles, the frontman of Final Coil, whom he just recently reviewed favorably, our JB was excited. Nothing could have really prepared him though. This is very different than what he was expecting. There is a lot of depth here. Even for a short EP, there is still a lot to dig into. And a very interesting, ominous and oddly aggressive tone that he had not expected slightly….

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Bioplan – ‘Epipath & Ocular’ (Layered Reality Productions)

Jonny B is a big fan of the level of effort that bands are putting into special edition releases of their albums these days. Gone are the days where the best you could hope for was a couple of bonus tracks or maybe even a bonus disk, now bands are getting really creative to deliver some pretty unique special editions! The bigger, well established bands have the money behind them to get pretty lavish with theirs, we’ve seen big box editions, sex toy sets (yes, multiple occasions!) and even a bespoke N64 as rewards for those who go all out for deluxe editions. But you don’t have to spend lots of money to get a pretty unique special edition as Bioplan has shown with the collection release of the two EPs ‘Epipath’ and ‘Ocular’.

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The Outlaw Orchestra – ‘Pantomime Villains’ (Self-Released)

The Outlaw Orchestra have been kicking around the deep South for around and about four years now. Now, that’s the “deep South” of this ‘ere Über Kingdom, y’all understand, ‘cos these good ol’ boys don’t hail from them there Carolinas, or Alabamy, or the swamps of Louisiana – nope, these purveyors of “heavy grass” are from nowhere else than ‘Saint City’ itself, Suvernhampton,, from where they’ve been kickin’ up corndogs, takin’ names and ennertainin’ us all with their brand of south coast fried rock ‘n’ roll with a brace of EPs and now this ‘ere debut long-player…

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Wayward – ‘Wayward’ (This Charming Man)

Wayward may be a new band – they’re a side project of two of the members of German death metallers Deathrite – but they are very much of the old school philosophy, as the title of this, their just-released debut album should very strongly indicate. Yes, these four hallions from Leipzig are seeking to epitomise the punk-fuelled rock ‘n’ roll spirit that Lemmy and his crüe brought to an unsuspecting Überverse back in 1979, with a collection of nine no-nonsense heavy metal homages that neither take no prisoners nor ask for any in return.

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Blacktop Mojo – ‘Static’ EP (Self-Released)

Coming out of small-town Texas, Blacktop Mojo’s blend of rock is southern. That is, whiskey-soaked, blues- tinged hard rock. Apparently, that’s known as “Texas Grunge” …  Now, the grunge Lesley Macdonald used to listen to was arguably fuelled by heroin, not whiskey, so she was wondering what it is exactly that Ishe was going to hear.  Unlike herself, some will be well versed in Blacktop Mojo’s unique sound. The band have been around since 2012. Founded by Matt James (vocals) and Nathan Gillis (percussion), the five-piece have released four albums to date: a self-titled mini-album and three full length albums, two of which, like the four-track ‘Static’ EP, were self-released. 

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Disgraceland – ‘Dose ‘Em Up’ EP (Self-Released)

A little under a year ago, Monk got a message, out of the blue, from a guy called Ollie Stygall. “Hang on a moment,” our Chief Pack Mule said to himself: “I know that name from somewhere”. And, indeed he did: he had been one-third of a bunch of south coast riffriders by the name of Grifter, to whom the boss had been introduced by virtue of the fact that they at one time shared a label with his good friends in Trucker Diablo. After 14 years of playing every toilet that would have them, Grifter had ground to a halt in early 2018; but Ollie and bandmate Foz didn’t sit back and mourn their former band’s passing or take a well-deserved holiday in the sun, but rather jumped straight back into the rock ‘n’ roll cesspool with a new band. Enter now, once again, into the world of Disgraceland and this, their third EP in less than 12 months to grace the ÜRHQ deathdecks and see us turn the volume to neighbour-annoying levels…

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Buzzcocks – ‘Sell You Everything (1991-2014)’ (Cherry Red)

At the time of Pete Shelley’s untimely death in 2018, pop punk pioneers Buzzcocks were already established as a national treasure, at least in the world of alternative music. They’re probably still best known for that incredible run of perfect pop punk singles from 1977 to 1979 that eventually wound up gathered together on the classic ‘Singles Going Steady’ compilation. Of course, that wasn’t the full picture as the band’s original tenure also saw them produce three cracking albums – ‘Another Music In A Different Kitchen’, ‘Loves Bites’ and ‘A Different Kind Of Tension’ – it’s hard to choose between any of them. When Buzzcocks reformed in 1989, and have pretty much been going ever since, whilst we still packed out the concert halls to see them live, it’s probably fair to say we may not have kept up with the new albums they produced since that reformation in the same kind of numbers. So that may be what this new eight CD box set is all about.

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Asenblut – ‘Die Wilde Jagd’ (AFM)

There are many cultures throughout history who have fascinating myths, a variety of Gods causing havoc and elite warriors. However, there are few that really grip the imagination of metalheads across the world like the Vikings. Hell, there are bands out there who dedicate their entire catalogue to tales of the Aesir and the Viking warriors who worshipped them. This really doesn’t come as much surprise because, let’s face it, they’re pretty badass. One such band that finds itself rattling the doors of Valhalla is German melodic death metallers Asenblut…

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