Category Archives: Video

New Music From NYC’s Mother Feather

Over the past few weeks NYC’s Mother Feather has been busy building hype around, and putting the finishing touches on, their upcoming sophomore LP, which is scheduled to be released sometime in 2018 via Metal Blade Records. The album is produced by Grammy-nominated producer Joshua Valleau (Kanye West, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Common, Imani Coppola, Alice Smith). With two new tracks being introduced quickly one after the other—“Trampoline” and “Egyptology,” respectively—hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later in the year. Both new tracks were released with lyric videos which can be seen on the playlist below.

mother-feather_photo01The lyric video for “Trampoline” was created by King Z (Dylan Bowman). “He made quite a first impression on me,” says Courtney. “It was his first NYC rock show ever and he was totally wild-eyed afterwards, a fireball of pure enthusiasm. I liked him right away. Dylan made the move to Brooklyn to attend art school at Pratt shortly thereafter and I’ve become a big fan of spectacularly psychedelic style, which is on full display in his webseries, ‘King Z.’ I was thrilled when he agreed to collaborate and lend his style to a lyric video for ‘Trampoline.'”

About the song “Egyptology,” Courtney explains, “I wrote ‘Egyptology’ after doing an archeological dig of my soul. It’s pure pop myth–if ancient Egypt looked like the Bowery in 1970’s NYC. It’s a story of rebirth into a supremely fabulous rock and roll afterlife.”MotherFeather-Egyptology Of the new lyric video, she says, “Isaiah King has been a trusted collaborator ever since we made the ‘Mother Feather’ video together. We knew he could build upon the amazing work he’d done with the ‘Egyptology’ single cover artwork, and he blew us away with the final result. It didn’t hurt that he’d taken a trip to Egypt a few years before and had sketchbooks full of incredible material to incorporate.”

Incidentally, both new tracks were featured in two different episodes of Showtime’s smash series Shameless Season 8.

Mother-Feather-promoMother Feather released their self-titled album last year via Metal Blade Records; for their efforts, the group has garnered massive buzz for their unique brand of rock, vibrant Bowie-esque costumes and makeup, and enthralling live show. Having been featured on IFC.com, TeamCoco.com, and HuffingtonPost.com (who declared them as “a great New York City band in the tradition of Great New York City Bands”), Mother Feather was also named “new band of the week” by Metal Hammer, and has received much play on Daniel P. Carter’s Rock Show on BBC Radio 1.

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REVIEW: THE PROFESSIONALS – ‘What in the World’

cover press-05It’s practically been a generation now since the UK rock band the Professionals released their debut LP, I Didn’t see It Coming. Originally formed by Paul Cook and Steve Jones out of the wreckage of the Sex Pistols, the Professionals released their first album back in 1981 but a serious accident whilst on tour in America sidelined the band indefinitely. Fast forward to 2017. From seemingly out of nowhere they recently announced the release of their insanely overdue follow-up LP, What in the World, 35 years later. The band created an excellent PledgeMusic campaign, allowing the fans to be a part of this unique release.

What in the World is built on a foundation of a reliable, true-blue kind of rock & roll that carries the album through to its finish line. Rarely, if ever, does it stop to catch much of a breath. Guitar-driven and anchored with hearty rhythms that never weaken, regardless of tempo, the Professionals churn out twelve expertly structured and refined rock & roll hymns. AHM_9456Though theirs tends to be a classic sneered-lip approach, nuances inside of guitar lines sometimes generate atmosphere reminiscent of the final, post-American tour Pistols’ recordings. In the songs that play like anthems, the catchy, hook-laden choruses beg to be sung along to—with one arm around the person beside you and another one holding sloppy pints in the air as they sing, especially in places like the opening track and “Take Me Now.” Cuts like “Extremadura” and “Bad Baby” play somewhat outside of the lines, adding more dimension to the album and taking the band’s sound to relatively unexpected places.

The band itself is a trio that is Paul Myers, Tom Spence, and Paul Cook. Every song on the album boasts recognizable, even iconic, names that include Duff McKagan (Guns ‘n’ Roses), Marco Pironni (Adam & The Ants), Billy Duffy (The Cult), and Phil Collen (Def Leppard). The Clash’s Mick Jones also pops up in a track, as does the band’s original guitarist, Steve Jones, who appears on three cuts.

An album like What in the World doesn’t come along every day. Not even every year. But when such a band does produce such a release, we’d be wise to drink in every last note in every last measure. Thank the Universe that there’s still good, old-fashioned, salt-of-the-earth rock & roll to be made and that there are still those bad motherfuckers hanging around who know how to make it.

Get the Professionals’ What in the World here

DVD REVIEW: L7 Pretend We’re Dead

31-ogThere’s gotta be a better way to describe the rawness of the unrefined rock & roll that rose to popularity in the 1990s than ‘grunge’. At any rate, L7 was an absolute force to be reckoned with back in those days. Their breakthrough cut ‘Pretend We’re Dead’ was an anthem of subversion, revolution, sex, Generation X’s subversive revolution of the sexes. It’s one of those songs that’re delivered with a simple superficiality cloaking an inner profundity. The song has real staying power to the extent that it’s just as sonically effective in 2017 as it was in 1992 which is pretty phenomenal, albeit somewhat anomalous, just because they produced dozens of equally strong and affecting songs over the span of their five album career.

Like the band itself, ‘Pretend We’re Dead’ has an overall presentation that’s comparatively unorthodox in that it doesn’t necessarily abide by a typical formulaic documentary arrangement, though the story is still told chronologically. Comprised almost completely of archive material—early gigs, travels, recording sessions, extensive touring, interviews, intermittent general time-killing fuck-aroundery—the visual story is told through 10+ years worth accrued video and film footage, much of which has never been seen before now.

Rather than telling the tale via oral narration, the band members engage the audience with pertinent commentary as the film plays through. As the band’s history is retraced, they sometimes delve into deep, and often candid, admissions and discussions. Suzi Gardner’s severed ear, Donita Sparks’ live television bush, the infamous tampon matter; they gladly recount the mishaps and controversies. On the flip side, the’ve included the moments that recall the disillusionment, misfortune, even tragedy during the chaotic whirlwind of a ride.

L7_Mary ScanlonOther than clips and footage, the individual band members don’t really make any appearances in the film, though many of their peers—including Alison Wolfe, Shirley Manson, Alison Roberts Krist Novocelic, Valerie Agnew—show up throughout. The first significant sighting of contemporary L7 comes in the form of recent festival performance footage at the tail end of the movie, which works surprisingly well because it’s almost like an ultimate reveal for the curious anticipation some people might build during the film, to see how the band sounds and appears today. After the dust has settled, ‘Pretend We’re Dead’ is a well-crafted affair that plays as a reverent ode to a band that refused to be labeled or characterized, while insisting on being seen, heard, and felt (even smelled).

Order ‘Pretend We’re Dead’ here

Why You Should Buy The DVD
For those people who need more than just a great movie, you’re in luck. As always, a DVD’s extras usually always make a great argument. With ‘Pretend We’re Dead’ you get the DVD and Blu-ray versions, which worked beautifully for me. Inside the case is an extra thick booklet full of photographs laid out in full color that goes on for 12 pages. The added performance footage is great and expounds on their legend as a life force of nature. And then there’s the movie; a second film. ‘The Beauty Process’s is a second feature that turns out to be a fantastic cheeky extra feature mockumentary that’s directed by Krist Novocelic; the same Krist Novocelic that played bass in an L7 buddy-band called Nirvana.

D.O.A.: A RIGHT OF PASSAGE: Elusive Sex Pistols-centered Punk Rock Doc on DVD… It’s about fucking time!

D.O.A Special One Sheet

For me, Lech Kowalski’s seminal documentary ‘D.O.A: A Right of Passage’ has been like a ‘holy grail’. That’s probably because its scarcity and reverence seem to be equal. I’ve been tenaciously in search of a good copy—preferably on DVD—which has been astoundingly impossible to find. Even in 2017! About 12 years ago I purchased an auction from a seller I found on eBay who claimed to have it on VHS, but that turned out to be another film altogether, called ‘The Punk Rock Movie’, which was cool, but I want ‘D.O.A.’. Then, I thought I had a line on copy back in the Spring of ’07 but that listing turned out to be an ‘estimated release’ from a sham import movie dealer outta Cleveland. Bloody hell!

Now MVD is announcing that they will in fact be releasing ‘D.O.A: A Right of Passage’ on DVD this December, on the 8th. It’ll be the first installment of their new series, MVD Rewind Collection. YAHTZEE!!!

‘D.O.A.’ is an original ‘rock doc’/’rockumentary’, in a ‘visual documentation of the performances and exploits of a band in their element’ kind of way. It essentially chronicles the calamity and utter chaos that was the Sex Pistols’ infamous, ill-fated seven city U.S. tour in January 1978.

The movie was a High Times film—that ‘High Times’. It had a theatrical release during the Spring of 1981, primarily in NYC. But ever since, ‘D.O.A.’ has remained extraordinarily elusive, which only enhances its allure.

img231I’m stoked that D.O.A. is going to be an MVD release, because they roll the dice on releases that’re notoriously hard to find and otherwise unlikely to come by. They’ve come through on some incredible titles from Johnny Thunders—some of my fave rock & roll flix ever—, Iggy Pop, New York Dolls, Sid Vicious, the Clash, the Plasmatics, the Damned, Amphetamine Reptile, the Dicks, the Rye Coalition, so on and so forth. When they drop a significant release like ‘D.O.A.’ I’ve learned that I’m better off grabbing the release sooner rather than later, just because so many of these flix get one run that’s limited much of the time, and then they’re just fucking gone. That happened a few times before I got my shit together and started buying right off the bat.

37-og

This’ll be the first time ever that ‘D.O.A: A Right of Passage’ has been officially available on DVD. It’s actually going to be a highly inclusive 2-disc set loaded with special bonus features and footage. Be sure to take in the list of that information below. Be sure to keep checking in for updates and pre-order information.

D.O.A.: A Right of Passage

D.O.A.: A Right of Passage is the ground-breaking classic “rockumentary” about the origin of punk rock. Centered around the Sex Pistols 1978 tour of the United States which ended with the group breaking up, the tour was the only one the Pistols played in the United States.

Director Lech Kowalski (East of Paradise) followed the band with handheld cameras through the clubs and bars of their seven-city U.S. tour. Mixing this with footage of other contemporary bands, trends in the fashion capitals and punks of all shapes and colors, Kowalski captured a grainy, stained snapshot of the punk movement at its peak (which includes the now famous footage of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen in bed) along with rare interview and concert footage of the late seventies punk rock music scene.

With live performances by the Sex Pistols, The Dead Boys, Generation X (with Billy Idol), The Rich Kids, the X-Ray Spex, and Sham 69, along with additional music from The Clash and Iggy Pop.

81vop9wEIKL._SL1500_SPECIAL FEATURES
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the main feature.
• Original 2.0 Mono Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
• “Dead On Arrival: The Punk Documentary That Almost Never Was” – A feature length documentary about the making of D.O.A. A Rite of Passage produced by award-winning filmmaker (and former MTV Senior Producer) Richard Schenkman and featuring exclusive new interviews with PUNK magazine founder and Ramones cover-artist John Holmstrom, renowned music journalist Chris Salewicz, legendary photographer Roberta Bayley, Sex Pistols’ historian Mick O’Shea, former Rich Kid guitarist and Ultravox lead singer Midge Ure, and original D.O.A. crew members David King, Mary Killen, Rufus Standefer, plus never-before-seen interview footage of Pistols founder, Malcolm McLaren. (HD)
• 12 page booklet with liner notes written by John Holmstrom, founding editor of PUNK Magazine
• Reversible artwork
• Rare Sex Pistols Photo Gallery
• 2-Sided Poster included
• Original Theatrical Trailer (3:48, SD)

95 Minutes
ASPECT RATIO: 1.33:1 (4×3)
AUDIO: Mono
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH
ITEM# MVD0237BR
UPC: 760137023784
Street Date: 12/8/2017

 

FEATURE REVIEW: VULTURE ‘The Guillotine’

 

 

Vulture_The_Guillotine

When Germany’s Vulture released their demo-turned-EP debut, ‘Victim of the Night’, it turned out to be one of 2016’s biggest surprises, and best heavy metal releases of the year. So when the word of the impending release of their debut full-length record came, it absolutely made the day.

Where ‘Victim…’ introduced us to a young outfit with a visceral, vital energy that displayed a penchant for flexing some incredible speed metal chops, ‘The Guillotine’ resumes the assault, turns the page, and ups the ante.

Hailing from a country that’s legendary for producing some of the most vicious thrash metal ever, comparisons are bound to be drawn. But for everything about their music that is familiar, Vulture has begun meticulously creating a presence and ‘sound’ for themselves rather than simply borrowing shamelessly from those who came before them. Instead of taking from the vast sonic landscape built by decades of arduous toiling by their Teutonic thrash forefathers, it appears that Vulture has drawn from many of the same roots that their predecessors did, going back to the basics to forge their own stylistic identity.

Like the EP, ‘The Guillotine’ offers an experience that’s simultaneously classic and galvanizing. The return of the faceless black-gloved killer seen in the giallo-inspired album cover art done in Velio Josto’s distinct quasi-realistic style is like a visual metaphor for the intense sonic affair waiting to be had in its musical contents. So, they open up solid and strong with the single, “Vendetta,” which has a proper, fitting introduction that quickly graduates from a brief majestic build-up to a wide open speed-thrash onslaught. From beginning to end, the album is a perpetual blitz of eight tracks of full-on “High Speed Metal,” roughly averaging between 4 to 6 minutes each. Again and again, Vulture’s attack is swift and keenly focused with barbed, razor sharp riffs that cut with fierce and relentless aggression. Every time, the songs are guided by tight, pummeling percussion and rhythms that drive the music with murderous force and near flawless execution. But despite Vulture’s foundations, all built on lethal speed, ‘The Guillotine’ also benefits from intermittent moments of tempo change and melody that work with other key elements, like soaring twin guitar harmonies, intricate melodic solos, even the briefest hint of synthesized electronics, to add real dimension and substance to the material. Enforcer’s Olof Wikstrand lends his voice to “Adrian’s Cradle,” which stands out as a highlight because of its musical range and atmosphere. The final track, “Cry for Death,” closes the album with one last allusion that yet more musical and stylistic exploration could be a real possibility for Vulture in the near future.

Vulture’s technical awareness and thoughtful arrangement and structuring of the songs is emphatic and an essential component to ‘The Guillotine’s success. There’s plenty of clarity in the instrumental and vocal mix, though they retain rawness by foregoing a load of processing and glossing over every last irrelevant detail. Reverb-coated guitar solos and vocals reinforce the band’s overall classic presence. S. Genözider pulls double-duty on the album, manning a lead guitar and drums. Vocalist L. Steeler delivers a shredding performance, track after track, nailing every shriek, probably as well as Schmier ever did. Everyone involved turns in highly impressive technically precise performances. It’s clear that this band goes far beyond capturing the striking look—which they do in fact have—and simply playing fast. The attention to nuances in the riffs, melodies, compositions, song arrangements, even sequencing, indicates a band that is 100% serious about what they produce and release out into the world. It wouldn’t be too surprising to find out that some material might exist that was omitted due to diminished standard somehow.

Vulture is fast proving to be an absolute force to be reckoned with and a likely front-runner in the world of contemporary heavy metal. This band is going to be real interesting to watch.

Click here to order ‘The Guillotine’

White Reaper KEXP Broadcast Session

Louisville, KY’s White Reaper recently performed a broadcast session for Seattle radio station KEXP while they were on tour up in the Pacific Northwest. The four songs—”Judy French,” “Eagle Beach,” “Little Silver Cross,” and “The Stack”—are all taken from their new LP, ‘The World’s Best American Band’. The entire broadcast can be seen just below. Enjoy.

The Struts Return for “One Night Only”

The Struts have been a busy bunch over the past few years. With what seemed like little to no warning, the band of young English upstarts have been barreling forward since the domestic release of their debut LP, ‘Everybody Wants’, last year. Several full-scale tours later they’ve finally released a taste of follow-up material with a new track called “One Night Only.”

Sonically, “One Night Only” appears to pick up where ‘Everybody Wants’ left off in terms of musical bombast and fulfilled grandiose ambition. The Struts have been touring virtually nonstop, hitting the road hard literally all over the world for a couple of years now. Along the way, the band has forged a special relationship between them and their steadily growing following of fans. “One Night Only,” is dedicated to their audience and serves as an acknowledgement, a wink and a nod, of sorts. The arena-sized track, if measured against their previous work, might be comparable to cuts like “Roll Up,” “Only Just a Call Away,” “Young Stars,” etc., though “One Night Only” is probably the grandest sounding work we’ve heard from the Struts to date. Its relatively subdued beginning leads into a catchy bridge that builds fast into an imploring sing-a-long climax with a choral hook that soars. Vocalist Luke Spiller’s vocal delivery is every bit as good and full as it has been, complete with his signature rolling ‘R’s we that we love. Looking ahead, anxiously anticipating another full-bodied collection of material from the Struts, and reading into Luke Slipper’s own words—“Screaming loud / On the edge of tonight / ‘Cause tomorrow will be ruling the world”—“One Night Only” shows tremendous promise.

the_struts_coverIn addition to other live engagements, the Struts will hit the road with the Foo Fighters for another pass over North America. You can find a list of tour stops below. Keep checking in for more Struts related info music.

THE STRUTS Tour Dates:
Aug 19: Summer Sonic Festival, Osaka, Japan
Aug 20: Summer Sonic Festival, Tokyo, Japan
Sep 02: Ballpark Village, St. Louis, MO
Oct 07: Cal Jam 17, San Bernardino, CA
Oct 12: The Anthem, Washington, D.C.*
Oct 14: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, VA*
Oct 15: Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Greensboro, NC*
Oct 17: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, SC*
Oct 18: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN*
Oct 20: Bank Arena, Cincinnati, OH—US*
Oct 21: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY*
Oct 23: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN*
Oct 24: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN*
Oct 26: BJCC, Birmingham, AL*

* = w/Foo Fighters