Monday, 20 November 2017

Top 10 Songs Chosen By Morgan Brown (Pardon Us, Down And Outs etc)



  I've got a great top 10 for you today chosen by Morgan Brown who's a member of a couple of the best British bands of recent years, Pardon Us and Down And Outs. Originally from Ireby in Cumbria he now lives in Liverpool and has also graced a number of other bands including Flamingo 50, Town Bike and The No Marks.

  Here's a couple of links to some excellent name your price music....

https://pardonus.bandcamp.com/

https://downandouts.bandcamp.com/


Thanks Morgan.....


Firstly, please note that this is a top ten punk songs, rather a top ten songs if any genre - I listen to all kinds of stuff, but figure that readers if this blog can live without me rambling on about old country songs or Beach Boys records. Also, this is hardly definitive - I change my mind all the time, depending on my current mood, and there are definitely loads of songs which I will kick myself for not including here. That said, in no particular order, here we go:

  1)  HUSKER DU - Celebrated Summer

It's no exaggeration to say that the Huskers changed my life when I first heard them at 14. This is my favourite song of theirs, with all the intensity if their early hardcore material, combined with the melancholic, almost folksy tunefulness which Bob Mould was moving towards. The lyrics are at once a joyful hymn to youth, and an elegy for its passing. Perfect.



  2)  SNUFF - Somehow

I think some people probably view Snuff as part of the whole '90s Fat Wreck scene as a result of their later work, but I've always felt that they have a completely distinct sound, especially in their original incarnation. The whole first LP is an exhilarating listen, but this song in particular always gets me...



  3)  SLEATER-KINNEY - One Song For You

Combining the righteous fury of the early Riot Grrrl movement with some stellar musicianship and more nuanced lyrical take on the politics of gender and sexuality, S-K were pretty much untouchable in the later '90s. Dig Me Out may be the go-to album, but this deep cut from follow up The Hot Rock captures their mesmerising vocal and guitar interplay and rhythmic dexterity at a definite peak.



  4)  THE DAMNED - Love Song

Whilst I know the Pistols and Clash were important, The Damned are still my favourite early UK punk band, particularly the Machine Gun Etiquette era line-up. The blend of a raging Motorhead-inspired rhythm section with a big anthemic singalong pop melody was completely new, and stands up brilliantly to this day



  5)  J CHURCH - Tide Of Fate

J Church are criminally underrated, and Lance Hahn was a tremendous song writer, as well as an excellent human. His songs took in all manner of topics, from political history, through conspiracy theories, arthouse cinema, and obscure pop culture references, to more personal themes. This song celebrates the brief, joyous moments of freedom which make the daily grind tolerable, and it's wonderful.



  6)  NAKED RAYGUN - Home Of The Brave

Raygun strike a perfect balance between the artfully weird and upliftingly melodic sides of punk, with this track falling very much into the latter category. I saw Jeff Pezatti play this with The Bomb at a little gig in Stoke a few years ago. Me and my pals got to sing some back-ups, and it's one of my favourite ever gig memories.



  7)  RAMONES - Outsider

Along with Husker Du, the Ramones were my introduction to punk, and I still don't really think there is any better music. The first 3 albums defined their classic sound, but there are tons of gems in the later records too, this being one of the finest!



  8)  RUDIMENTARY PENI - Bloody Jellies

I love a bit of anarcho punk, and, along with the Subhumans, Peni are obvious stand-outs within the genre. Enigmatic, intelligent, chilling and so fucking powerful!



  9)  CAVES - Need It Most

My first 'proper' punk band was Flamingo 50, which me and Lou Hanman started while we were still in Uni. Since then, she's gone on to do great things with Caves, Worriers, the Mikey Erg Band and more, and amazingly seems to keep getting better! The most recent Caves LP is an absolute triumph, and this is one of the highlights. Mega.



 10)  MARTHA - Chekhov's Hangnail

The are so many great DIY punks doing amazing things in the UK right now, and I think Martha are right at the top of the heap, combining the grit and drive of punk with irresistible pop hooks and lyrics which mix the political and personal with warmth, pathos and humour. They're one of the most vital bands in existence right now, and this song is among their finest.


Sunday, 19 November 2017

Vanilla Poppers - Footsteps

 

  I've played Vanilla Poppers a few times on the Just Some Punk Songs show (shows get saved here if anyone wants some cool background music to accompany their internet browsing : https://www.mixcloud.com/mick-fletcher/) and truth be told I thought I'd already featured them on here. Turns out I haven't so today I'll be correcting that oversight.

  They're from Cleveland (Ohio) and Australia (vocalist Christine Pap moved from Melbourne to Cleveland) and formed in 2015 featuring members of  bands such as Prison Moan, Cruester, Grin And Bear It, Rubber Mate, Perverts Again etc...

  They quickly released a name your price demo (https://blowbloodrecords.bandcamp.com/album/vanilla-poppers-demo-cassette) and tour tape (https://blowbloodrecords.bandcamp.com/album/tour-tape). Both were on Pap's own Blow Blood Records  (https://www.facebook.com/BlowBloodRecords/) . Next up was the 7" ep on Negative Jazz records titled Lurking In The Corner Of Cleveland Ohio.

  They returned a couple of months ago with their debut S/T album, it's on Lumpy Records and you can check it out here :  https://blowbloodrecords.bandcamp.com/album/lumpy-records-release-s-t-lp

  As well as Christina Pap, the band also features Jo Coone (guitar), Steve Osborne (bass) and Drew Vaccaro (drums).  This song is about that feeling you get when you're walking home alone and you think you're being followed. You think you've glimpsed something out of the corner of your eye, you can hear footsteps coming up behind you and you're getting paranoid that someone's coming for you. It's called Footsteps....


Saturday, 18 November 2017

B Squadron - This Is England

 

  I've mentioned a few times about the amount of great new oi music that's currently being released. There's been a recent resurgence of exciting new bands who despite often getting bad press and subsequently assumed to be guilty of harbouring extremist political or racist viewpoints are actually nothing of the sort. Most of these bands are apolitical, though in the case of the band I'm featuring today, that doesn't mean they won't write about hard hitting subjects. They aren't prejudiced, they won't discrimnate. If they have a beef with you, expect both barrels no matter who you are.

  I featured Leicester band B Squadron on here a couple of years ago around the time of their debut ep, Saturdays Soldiers. It was a superb debut but as I mentioned at the time they'd just split up. Fortunately (I'm assuming at least in part due to the buzz created by the ep) they soon got back together and have gradually built up a reputation as one of the grittiest and the best new bands around. They wowed the crowds at this year's Rebellion Festival and will be back there next year. It's been a while coming but they're finally preparing to release their debut album.

  Sons Of Tigers is out in January on Rebellion Records and it promises to be a modern day classic. Influenced by the likes of Blitz, 4 Skins, Cockney Rejects, Last Resort etc (you can check out frontman Travis' favourite songs here : http://justsomepunksongs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/top-10-songs-chosen-by-travis-b-squadron.html) it's an album that'll start the new year off with one hell of a bang.

  As a taste of what's to come, they've just released a song from it. This is about our green and (not so) pleasant land and it's called This Is England.....


Friday, 17 November 2017

Urban Vietcong - Attacco ( reviewed by Randy Smith from Rebel Time Records)



  Out of all the Top 10's I've posted on here thus far, my favourite is from Rebel Time Records' Randy Smith. The reason being the effort he put into the update, not only writing extensive comments but also putting up cool picture/videos for his choices (http://justsomepunksongs.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/top-10-songs-chosen-by-randy-smith.html). It was a no brainer that I was going to ask him to do one of the regular Friday guest reviews and he's come through with another winner. If you're interested in checking out Rebel Time Records then here's a couple of handy links :

https://rebeltimeproductions.wordpress.com/

https://rebeltimerecords.bandcamp.com/


 Thanks Randy.....

In the immortal words of Forrest Gump: "My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.”

 Well, in this particular case, the gettin' was good! And what I got, in the form of a FB message, was an introduction to a band called Urban Vietcong.

 Back in May of this year I received a FB message from a guy named Bebe who said he liked the label (Rebel Time Records) and wanted to let me know about the band Urban Vietcong (out of Livorno, Italy) which he sings for. He included a couple of videos and left it at that.

 Sidenote: after some FB back-and-forth with Bebe later on, I was stoked to learn that Bebe and Urban Vietcong's bass player both played in another of my favourite Italian bands, Trade Unions. Bebe seemed stoked to learn that anyone outside of Italy had even heard of Trade Unions. Look for Trade Unions on Youtube ...

 The first video was for the lead-off song "Attacco" from the band's debut release, a 6-song CD called "A Colpi de Machete." What the heck, I press play, and, immediately, just one bite in, realize that this is good, real real good. An ooey-gooey, super-catchy, 3 minute almalgamation of streetpunk/oi and left-radical politics. In fact, the whole album is quite simply a pot of political punk rock gold, chock full of songs of protest and resistance.
 Visually, the video starts off with a quote from Davide Rosci, imprisoned in Italy for his part in the 2011 riots in Rome that saw an armoured police vehicle set ablaze (He was released just a short time ago). Sonically, the video starts off with a sound bite from the movie 'Giordano Bruno,' something along the line of "all men are equal and have the right to think and raise their heads to the sky where the sun shines on the truth." Lyrically, the song deals with, as Bebe put it, "what should we, the proletariat (understood as workers, students, unemployed) do to organize, create and be more united..." Looking at the Italian lyrics, I noticed it name-checked, for example, the Black Panthers, the Viet Cong and the Palestian resistance and called for unity, organization, priortization and attack. A lot to chew on in just one song.

 Musically, Urban Vietcong hits the sweet spot. Attacco is an instantly memorable, melodic and meaningful song. It's taut, it's tense, it's tough. Catchy-as-heck, anthemic, shout-a-long streetpunk(as are all the songs on the album). The kind of song that has me singing along after a first listen. Personally, I'd say the band are, in terms of music and message, comparable to such equally inciteful and insightful contemporaries as Action Sedition, Afterboltxebike, Cor Fort, Mossin Nagant, RPG-7, etc. All bands that, I guess, could be lumped together as 'redcore' bands and all bands that I have on repeat.

 Apparently, the band will be back in the studio to record their second album early in 2018. Something to look forward to for sure.

.........................

Lyrics: " Discoccupati senza dio e rifugiati presi a calci in faccia trattati come feccia il proletariatovariegato e incazzato va reso coscienzoso e pure organizzato PRIORITA' è la casa e si difende coi picchetti PRIORITA' e il lavoro si bastona i sindacati PRIORITA' la scuola lotta con gli studenti PRIORITA' è la strada si difende dai fascisti Non stringeremo le cinghie le farem rotear davvero caricheremo uniti assalteremo il cielo Non mancheremo il colpo vi spazzeremo il via con il sangue agli occhi non sarà solo utopia Lo stato borghese si difende con i maiali sguinzagliando digos usando tribunali seduti sempre dalla parte sbagliata insieme allo sfruttato dietro una barricata ATTACCO vietcong a colpi di machete ATTACCO al razzismo come pantere nere ATTACCO come Palestina contro israele ATTACCO come Spartaco contro il potere "
https://urbanvietcong.bandcamp.com/album/a-colpi-di-machete

  This is Attacco....

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Neutrals - Motorcycle Cop

 

  Neutrals are a couple of guys called Phil and one called Allan and they're from Oakland, California. Relocated Glaswegian Allan McNaughton plays guitar and sings, Phil Benson plays bass and sings whilst Phil Lantz is the drummer and is responsible for recording their music.

  Last year they released the snappily titled Promotional Cassette (official demo of summer 2016). It was such a good title they decided to call their latest release Promotional Cassette 2. They remind me a little bit in places of Suburban Homes with their cool sounding diy indie/post-punk tunes and I'd recommend you check them out on Bandcamp and Facebook (they definitely deserve more than their present 182 likes so click that button!).

 https://neutrals.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/neutralsnotswiss/

  This is the lead track from the new record, it's called Motorcycle Cop.... 



  

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Hi-Fi Spitfires - Doors To The USA

 

  It's been two and a half years since Hi-Fi Spitfires last appeared on here (http://justsomepunksongs.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/hi-fi-spitfires-night-raid.html) but the north east of England punks are back with the title track of their new 5 track cd, Doors To The USA. They've not spent the time away sat round twiddling their thumbs though as vocalist/guitarist Steve Straughan has been playing with UK Subs whilst bassist/vocalist Tony Taylor is in First Wave and drummer/vocalist Nelly is in Garden Gang.

  They've been playing Clash/SLF inspired punk since 2008 and if the song you'll find below is any indication, they're getting better all the time. As well as the new ep, there's plenty of tour dates (many on mainland Europe) lined up and you can check out details here : https://www.facebook.com/Hi-Fi-Spitfires-186592394697401/. Also worth watching out for is the re release of debut album England Screaming which will be on red vinyl.

  This is proper old school style UK punk rock, Doors To The USA.....

 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

First Base - Not That Bad



  First Base are self confessed power pop nerds from Toronto who's sound reminds me very much of Teenage Fanclub when they were effortlessly putting out classics such as Bandwagonesque, Thirteen and Grand Prix. They've been putting out their own string of impressive releases for the best part of a decade    ( https://firstbase.bandcamp.com/) and with new album Not That Bad they've quite possibly come up with their best stuff yet.

  The album is available this week through Drunken Sailor Records, I'm guessing you'll be lucky to snap up one of the initial 100 copies that are on blue vinyl but you can give it a go here :  http://www.drunkensailorrecords.co.uk/products/604468-first-base-not-that-bad-lp-drunken-sailor-records-drunkensailor-079

  Digitally, you can find it here :  https://drunkensailorrecords.bandcamp.com/album/not-that-bad

  Drunken Sailor Records have had an excellent 2017, as well as First Base they also boast excellent releases from the likes of Corner Boys, TV Crime, Booji Boys, Kuken, Cheap Whine, Marvelous Mark, Acrylics and many more.

  You can get more info on First Base here :  https://www.facebook.com/FirstBaseToronto/

  This is the title track from the album, it's called Not That Bad but if you have a listen I think you'll agree it's much better than that....