The Undercover: Hippy Truth and Fiction

The Undercover Hippy — his mum calls him Billy — is one mixed up dude: he sounds like he should have long hair but doesn’t; on record he sounds a bit of a crusty but he’s a smart young man (his mum must be proud); he raps like Eminem but to reggae. He’s certainly different. […]

The Jesus And Mary Chain: Damage and Joy

We were never ones to worship bands; we never raved about The Jesus and Mary Chain — they’re just a band, all said and done — so this new album, the first new one in 19 years, seems pretty good. Maybe diehard fans will feel differently. The main problem for the band’s Reid brothers is […]

Creeper: Eternity, In Your Arms

For some reason, were we expecting swampy goth rock from this but it’s mostly punk, in some parts the rapid snare/kick drum punk of bands like NOFX (though there is no band like NOFX, of course), as well as that shouted call/more melodic response thing that punks do. Elsewhere it’s somewhere between AFI/Alkaline Trio/Blink 182, […]

Bleeker: Erase You

Bleeker are a Canadian trio and this album is as polite and well-behaved as the national clichés have it. Opener Highway is somewhat of an imposter and kicks things off in misleading fashion. It’s a sleazy glam stomper, with scuzzy if polished riffs and a throbbing bass. It was, the internet reports, played at the […]

Vant: Dumb Blood

We like this because they sound like a band at all times; some of the songs may not be the best but they always work because the band works as a unit. Opener The Answer is a great first track, with feedback, swirling guitar and throbbing bass held together by a tight drum pattern; if […]

Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes: Modern Ruin

A friend in music radio once told us that some pretty decent bands fail because their members are so unpleasant — be mean to venues, music journalists and sound engineers and your career will be short lived. By the same token, Frank Carter must be the nicest man in music. Despite a decade-long career that’s […]

Beans on Toast: A Spanner in the Works

Beans On Toast is the stage name of folk singer Jay McAllister from Essex. He’s a mate of Frank Turner, and thus gets to play Wembley supporting Frank and then considerably smaller venues on his own account. (He just played Manchester Gorilla). A Spanner in the Works opens with an angry rant about 2016. If […]

The Membranes: Inner Space/Outer Space

We were going to say we’d never heard The Membranes but looking on Wikipedia we have — they are a post-punk band formed in Blackpool in 1977, and their first release was the Flexible Membrane flexi-disc in 1980, which we bought and still have somewhere. The band included John Robb, who we always think of […]

Letlive: If I’m The Devil…

We’ve not come across this band before. From what we can tell from other reviews, their previous albums have mixed raucous punk with soul; singer Jason Aalon Butler is revered by fans as a genius, and this new album is either brilliant or terrible. One website had two reviews, one good one bad. We can […]

Dr John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell: This Time It’s Personal

The original new wave poet and Strangler produce an album of their favourite tunes. Given that an early Stranglers classic was Walk On By it’s perhaps no surprise; what is a surprise is how good Cooper Clarke’s voice is; think Richard Hawley. Nearly as good as Walk On By is their cover of MacArthur Park, […]