Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy… On the 4th of July 2018 our favorite Brass ‘n Grass band from Wichita released their 4th album or EP, it’s only 23 minutes long… I’ve been told this is the first part of a two piece EP release.

It was a long wait for all the fans as “Hatchetations”, the previous album was released in 2013. But it sure was worth the wait! If you have been following the band for years like I have, you have noticed that with each year passing their sound evolved into a more complex pallet without forgetting about their past. The straight forward “on stage party” was sometimes brutally interrupted by long and slow build-ups, creating a dark and eerie atmosphere. The brass section took a huge role in this and by doing so, the drunken party boy in the front would start scratching his confused head… “Is this a jazz show? I came here to party dude…” But oh Holy Crow, was he wrong!!!

“Bowels & Constants”, the second song after the instrumental “Rümpletum” is the perfect example of the description above. The first two minutes of this five minute song is pure “scene setting”… Something is going to happen, it’s coming and I’m not sure if I want to be here to witness it… But I also don’t want to miss it! That is the feeling it gave me. The bass and vocals come in, a brass-section in the background, building up to the suspense… And then at the 3 minute and 15 second marker, like it was faith, There it is… The PARTY!!! The song erupts in a classic CNS tradition and it is marvellous!

The next one is ” All Men Created Equal” and I’m sure you have seen the video on youtube the guys made for this. (if not check below) I think we can say this is a typical Carrie Nation song, but for sure one of the best they have ever written. I can see crowds dancing and going wild on this one, I know I will, at the upcoming PICKING BONES festival in Belgium on the 21st of June. The band plays a headlining show that Friday.

We continue with “We All Believed” This must be the slowest and most depressive song the band has ever put on an album, and I mean this in a good way. This is angst, disbelieve and rebellion put together in one massive monolith of a song.  Phenomenal!
(for me this is not a song the band should play live, as much as I love it, this is a song to listen to at home, in the company of a good drink and a few dogs…)

I like concept albums, yeah I know, I’m one of the few. The great part of most concept albums is that the songs flow into each other. And with “We All Believed” ending and flowing into “Trismegistus”, which is nothing more than an interlude to get to “Gnosis” it still does the trick!

And with “Gnosis” we again get a song that the band is so known for. The perfect combination between string instruments and brass, up-tempo, great vocal parts, genius instrumentation and atmosphere! And all of this in under 4 minutes!

I think it is fair to say that Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy, with this album, have outdone themselves and that it is clear to see for all what a talented band this is.

Oh… A little bird told me that this one will be released on vinyl… Maybe…

Get the new album and shirts here:
https://squareup.com/store/carrienation-and-thespeakeasy

See “All Men Created Equal” here:

Get info about PICKING BONES 2019 here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1983479351716002/

Serious Sam Barrett… English man, modern troubadour, skater and from what I’ve heard a pain in th… nah, I’m joking… I’ve only seen him play once and that was at this years Pirate Farm Fest pre party. I was so tired that I just sat down outside by myself and enjoyed the music going on inside the venue. I did not even talk to him, I just wanted my bed, but had to be there… While listening to this new album I curse myself for not taking up a conversation with him. I’m sure we would have had an interesting one… 😉

Sam has a shittonne of releases on his name and this new one is a very traditional one. English/Irish folk music with his own little twist. If you listen to this album you can not imagine that “this” guy wrote and recorded these songs. Don’t judge a book… Would be in place here… But then again, Sam is known for his take on the old traditionals. Make sure to check out his bandcamp page in the links. Vinyl freaks… You can maybe score some limited editions there.

On to his new album. A mix of traditionals and original songs perfect for a night at your local Irish pub. (I know… he’s not Irish, but what do we, mainlanders know about that shit(e)…) This is mostly a banjo album, and I know for some folks this is turn-off, but the quality of the songs is so high that even you banjo haters should take a good listen. Start out with “Last of the Yorkshire Outlaws”, a great tribute to barflies worldwide. Maybe even to the backbone of our society, the workingmen! Or was it for the drunks?

“I don’t need to wait for heaven” is such a simple song, but if known by the local crew, Sam would have no need to sing it himself. This is one of those songs, that your audience will sing for you. It is beautiful!
“Holmfirth Anthem” is an acapella song in the purest tradition of the great folk singers. It takes me back to the glorious days of our own hometown Irish pub The Celt. We had no idea what we where singing about, but for Sam these songs hold meaning and that makes this one so much more grand.

A song about Robin Hood? YES PLEASE!!!  “Robin Hood and Fifteen Foresters”… As a kid, Robin Hood was my favorite animated film. I’ve seen it a thousand times!!! I remember the time my dad was send out to work in England for a year, working in Nottingham and his residence was in Sherwood. By that time I was in my early 20ies and my dad being a hiker, he was exploring the Sherwood forests, I was so jealous. This song brings back so many good childhood memories and memories of  evenings with my dad at the bar talking about his hikes in those woods when he came home for the weekend every 3 weeks. Thank you Sam!

“Bramhope Tunnel Monument”… You should really LISTEN to this song. Coming from a blue collar family , seeing my father, uncles and cousins working their ass off, knowing that the woman in my family did the same thing in factories and at home, knowing my family history… I wonder why, here in Belgium we don’t have these songs. Are we really that humble, why don’t we have these workingmen songs? This song brings tears to my eyes. A simple banjo riddle, but so pure…

I have no idea when this album is coming out, I hope soon. Knowing Sam, it will be available on vinyl soon enough. Keep an eye on his bandcamp page. If you like English/Irish folk music with a modern twist to it, you should buy this. I loved it, and the memories that came with it where a big plus!

Links:
https://serioussambarrett.bandcamp.com/music

 

HEAR YE, HEAR YE!!! It has finally arrived!!!
The debut studio album by Dylan Walshe sure took some time to be unleashed onto the world. Was it worth the long wait? Yes! Yes it was!

Most of our readers know who Dylan is and what his songs sound like and what emotions they trigger. If you have not heard any of the songs on this album you are in for a surprise. Dylan being a solo artist, we were all used to hear or see just him, his guitar and stompbox on stage. For this album he worked together with very talented friends so to give the songs a more full sound and body. Drums, bass, fiddle… It’s all there. And my dear readers, each and every song sounds beautiful.

For this debut album Dylan re-recorded some of his older songs, crowd favorites so to say. And to be honest, “Blind is Blind” has never sounded so good. Did the style change that much you could ask… Yes and no, I think with this album Dylan steps away a little from the blues folk sound we know him for and adopts a more mature singer-songwriter style. If you take a listen to “Luck is a beggar..”, with it’s wonderful slide-guitar parts you will understand what I’m trying to say.

Like any good singer-songwriter or folk album, also this one has a protest song. With “The Trickle-Down Effect” the wordsmith that is Dylan Walshe shines in all his glory. No this is not a “fist in the air” protest song, this is a “sit down, think, plan your next move” kinda protest song. The music is slow, simple and effective, Dylan’s voice is the main instrument here and what a powerful voice it is.

The album will be released next week, on October 26th, by Dylan himself. Follow the link below to pre-order your copy. For the vinyl snobs like myself, there will be a release on wax later on.
It angers me a little that an artist with his quality can not get the support of a label while there is so much crap been released each day… But we’ll leave that conversation for the pub, while getting shitfaced…

Personal favorites:
At Sea
Blind is Blind
The Trickle-Down Effect
Cut it Down

Links:
https://www.dylanwalshe.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DylanWalshe/

Suburban Drugdealers is a new band from Sweden, but the players sure aren’t new! With Ant Mcmahon from The Intolerants on vocals and a bunch of other members from the Stockholm garage, punk and psychobilly scene these guys know how to write a catchy song and this ep has four of them.

With 3 originals and one cover this ep could be the start for a very cool full album. Let’s hope so! Time for a closer look…

The guys open with “Getting on That Line”, for which you can see the video down below. With a mix of creepy banjo playing and hard hitting guitar parts this is a great opener. Bob Wayne comes to mind, but this is not just another copy. I’m damn sure this song will make it around the world in no time within this “scene” and beyond.
“Don’t Sleep With The Problem” is up next. This slow song comes with a heavy background and the feeling of something lurking in the shadows, again because of the creepy banjo sound. The bass-lines really contribute to this eerie feeling, I don’t know how or why, but they just do. Deal with it!
“What Was I Thinking”… And that is what I was almost thinking the first few seconds of this song. “What the hell where they thinking?!?!?” was my version. It starts out as a fucking campy country song and then it hits you! “Oh shit, this is a song about suicide” and then it all makes sense. It’s the perfect song for the lyrics, and the “camp” feeling vanishes in a heart-beat. It turns into a marvelous song about not giving up on life and the reason for it. The slide guitar gives the song an extra country swung and combined with the punk rock sound in the back this is just an awesome performance!
After these 3 originals we get to the cover song. “Outskirts of Life” by GG Allin!
I love the original but our Suburban Drugdealers make this song their own by adding some harmonica and background vocals and it turns out into a great ending for this way too short release. I can’t wait for a full album, but for now… GET YOUR FIX!  with this video and contact them on FB and get your dirty paws on this ep!

The Wedding Funeral is a new and exciting project from Jersey City’s unconventional blues man Darren Deicide and his partner Ethel Lynn Oxide. You can call it Gothic Americana, Folk Noir or whatever the fuck you want to call it. As long as you call it good music, you’re fine in my book.

During the last months of 2017 they have been dropping songs from their demo album “Beneath The Floor Boards – covered in feces” on iconic dates while the last days of this dreadful year washed away… At the end of it all they gave us four songs, four songs that you will love or hate. There is no in between. I have played this demo to an eclectic mix of friends. Some hated it, most of them loved it. And even the ones that hated it, told me there was something about these songs… Something they couldn’t grasp, something eerie… And eerie it is!

The Wedding Funeral is NOT easy listening music, let me be clear about that. Darren and Ethel both have a very untypical voice. You may know Darren’s voice from his earlier and excellent albums in the past, but Ethel caught me by surprise! After spending in total a few weeks together over the last two years, she never sang to us, so this was a total SHOCK! Her high pitched, ghost like outlets brings this demo to such a level of creepiness, when combined with her playing the saw, the level of comfort drops below zero. And this is a huge compliment!!!

With Darren as the main composer of the songs (so I think) and knowing his previous albums I expected the demo or album (whatever you want to call it) to sound dark, but this release went totally beyond my expectations. It reeks of despair! And that’s the way I like it with this sort of music.
Check out the demo in the link below. And because it’s not easy listening music, make sure to check it out more then once, these songs grow on you, like a cancer grows inside your wretched body…
http://theweddingfuneral.com/album-detail.html

 

Liz and Jared are back, together with Martin Sargent on double bass for the fourth full-length Urban Pioneers album. As the title of the album tells us this is “Hillbilly Swing Music” and seldom I’ve known an album title to cover the music so spot on!

When Jared forwarded the album my way and I put it on, a big smile appeared on my face for the exact reason above. My wife, Inny, looked at me, sitting there on the sofa, my headphones on and this big dumb grin on my face… “What the fuck are you smiling about…?” This album, this title, this music… It makes perfect sense… Was all I could say.

We all remember the times not to long ago when people would ask us what music we listened too… And most of the time my answer would be, “metal, punk, roots, hardcore, dark ambient… blablabla… Never ever would I’ve told them “Hillbilly Swing Music”! Why? Because how uncool is it to tell your friends you listen to Hillbilly Swing Music, I mean… C’mon…
Sure, we all like Waylon, Cash… and the cliché list goes on, but as a European hip cat (look at me, labeling myself) I would never admit to listen to “Hillbilly Swing Music”. Why? Because my mother-in-law had a line dancing bar back in the days and my wife and me hated the music they played at that joint. That music had nothing to do with this fantastic album, but for some reason… Who knows, who cares… I’m drifting… Back to the music!

So what’s new on this Urban Pioneers album? We can hear horns, piano, a slide-guitar, some rockabilly, and a tear-jerker here and there. What’s old and still good on this album? Funny lyrics, clever lyrics, amazing musical talent, honest songs, straight from the soul… Liz and Jared are not your pitch perfect bluegrass vocalists, but that does not matter, it works, it gives the album a sense of honesty, and speaking about honesty, I love the way their vocals sound. This is also the best sounding album they’ve ever released when we talk about production, mastering and all that nerding-out about “sound” kinda stuff.

I think it’s easy to say, I’m a fan of this one. And I guess you’ll be as well…

Check out this live version from the title track below and make sure you buy this album. And go online, bug Jared about releasing it on vinyl!!!!

ps. I’m as honest as I can be about albums, I also like to joke around. Every opinion about the music and the people playing this music is from the heart. If I’m talking about myself or events in the past… Yeah sure some are overrated… It’s called “fake news” these days… I just like to call it “creative fun”…

First things first… This album was send to me for review before it was released. Around the beginning of April I think. So my apologies to the band for this late review. Pirate Farm Fest and my day-time job took away all my free time. After Pirate Farm Fest I didn’t stop working on other people’s projects until my body pulled the brake. I’m at home with a minor heart condition now so I have time to start writing again…

Seeing The Hooten Hallers for the first time sure is one hell of an experience. If you don’t know them and see them setting up you have no idea what to expect… “Are these guys a two men punk band, do they play blues, whoa shit… what’s that girl doing there with that big ass sax”? All this and more… If you do know what to expect, you know you are in for a party!

The new self-entitled album, was released on April 21nd, on “Big Muddy Records“. And before I start talking about the songs I’ll tell you this: It rocks, it swings, it’s a rhythm’n’blues’punkrocking’drenched-in-soul-freak out!!!

The Hooten Hallers bring something to the roots scene I’ve missed for a long time… A dirty take on swing and R&B but with a punk twist. The Kings of Nuthin’ come to mind from time to time and that is a huge compliment!

The album opens with “Charla”, an easy going tune gently pushed by Kellie’s sax that may put you on the wrong foot for the rest of the album, but a great song nonetheless. “Dig” is next, and now we know where this album will take us. The gritty vocals, the dark undertone… What a song! And that dark undertone is present in most of the songs, not always in the lyrics, it’s the use of instruments, notes that are been played, the atmosphere, the vocal use… Just listen to “Rhythm&Blues”…

It’s not all dark and gritty folks, don’t worry, check out the video below for “Further from Shore”, and the songs “Stay away from Joe” and “Garlic Dream”. Not my favorite songs, but hey… Taste is a… fuck it, you know what I’m talking about. That video on the other hand is funny as hell and I love a band that can make fun of themselves.

I can’t wait to see them on stage again and dance my ass off. I hope you can all join me once.

Buy the album below:
https://www.thehootenhallers.com/shop

Looking for some up-tempo/depressing/putting-a-smile-on-your-face/sing-a-long country trash? “Nope, me neither!” But you may want to check out the new Call Me Bronco album…

It will be released on Rusty Knuckles Records at august 25th and if that says anything about how good this album is… Well it does, it is that good! It’s a fucking awesome Country Trash/sing-a-long/putting-a-smile-on-your-face/depressing/up-tempo record that I’m sure you will love!
If like me, you have seen the band live on stage before you will already know a bunch of these songs, some of which appeared on their previous demo, but that doesn’t take anything away from the album. The recording is rough, but in a good way, no over-produced bullshit, you can hear every note played without losing any emotion or heart.

Let’s talk about some of these songs…
We’ll start with 4AM, the opening song that comes with a hilarious video that you can check on youtube and below. It’s a flawless punk song if you ask me. It has all it needs and nothing more: intro, mid-tempo part, sing-a-long, fast part, slow sad part, fast part, outro… Don’t take this so serious dear reader…
On to the next one and it happens to be the second song on the album. The Butcher of Charleston. For some strange reason this reminds me of an Irish punk song in the style of Dropkick but without the Irish influence. It will make sense when you listen to the song I promise.
Burn The witch.. Start that circle pit please ladies and gentlemen, make sure you all run in the same direction, you don’t want to cause any chaos… How I love this song, how I hate circle pits… Trash metal country was that a thing? It is now, with this song!
There are a bunch of songs on this record about drinking and heartache, but my favorite is Four Shots. There have been times in my life that I was drinking to forget and I can relate to this song, and to top it off.. It’s a kick-ass song… Fast tempo, clever lyrics and a great sing-a-long part. What is not to love?

If you are a country fan stay far away from this album. If you are a music-lover with a taste for country and adventure you’ll love this record.

Pre-order below:
Call Me Bronco – Beating A Dead Bronco – CD

And now for something completely different…

Yes, I know this website is mainly about “roots” music, but it still is MY website, so I can write about whatever the fuck I want. Deal with it! I’m going to be writing about pop music, yes, you’ve read that correctly, POP music… But not the kind of pop music you’ll hear on the radio or see in the charts. This is Satanic Pop Music! I can see you scratching your head, it was a new term for me also when I first heard it. And then again, this album has nothing to do with popular music… It’s a thing on it’s own…

About two years ago Nathan Gray, former singer for BoySetsFire, released his first self entitled ep, containing an eclectic mix of songs going from the dark electro powerhouse “Wolves” to “Corson – An Ode to Vital Existence”, the emotional up-call for taking your life by it’s core and making it yours! Now there is “Untill The Darkness Takes Us”, an epic journey into the past and present life of Nathan Gray.

Together with this album Nathan also released a book with the same title, I suggest you buy both to fully understand this album and feel its power. The record opens with “Heathen Blood” and as with “Wolves” from the first ep, this song grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go until you get the message. A venomous testament against organized religion and oppression by those institutions. A very powerful opener and a tone-setter for the rest of the ride.

As there are 13 songs on this album and I know some of you still have shit to do, I’m not going to go in detail on all of them (they are worth it). I’m going to bundle some and elaborate on others. One of the songs I will elaborate on is “Skin”, I hated the song the first time I heard it, it was the only one on the album I did not like, but the more I listen to it, the more I appreciate it. At first it has this very euro-pop vibe, think Covenant and Apoptygma Bezerk, bands I used to love dancing on but got so sick off hearing. For some strange reason this song gets in your brain and it stays there, it’s catchy as fuck! “Desire” is another song that has this euro-pop/dark wave influence with it’s uptempo dance beats and sing-a-long mid-sections.

Let’s continue… The piano songs, as I like to call them… “Damascus” and “Anthemic Hearts”. Two beautiful songs drivin by, you guessed it… Piano… Sigh… Do I need to explain everything? C’mon guys, get with the program… Serious now, both these songs deal with the same theme, and if you read the book you will truly understand them and appreciate them even more. Empowering…

Let’s descend into darkness… Follow me please, don’t touch the walls…  “At War”, Nathan unleashes his demons and takes no prisoners. We can hear a glimpse of his hardcore past, but mostly we hear an industrial battle anthem, and fuck yeah, I’m standing erect, ready to kill! FORWARD!!!

Now RISE up, feel the New Dawn, taste the fruits of your struggle and live your life freely! “Remains” and “Memento Mori”, both testimonies of how a person can take his own life back and start living again, one more electronic then the other… “Remains” could be a piano song, but because of the chorus, which is pure punk-rock in nature,  I did not include it.

“Until The Darkness Takes Us”… A slow moving song, a homecoming,  powerful lyrics… Again, read the book and you will understand… “Jettison” is a full on modern pop-rock song, a perfect combination of guitar and electronics. But so much more honest and fierce then the crap you hear on the radio.

“Lusus Naturae”, the second song on the album. I know it’s a little weird to talk about the second song at the end of the review, but this song holds special meaning to me. It’s one of the most “rocking” songs on the album and absolutely essential on this album, and if you want to know that special meaning…  Come see me…

This still is a site about roots music, but I hope you guys are openminded and will give this album a listen. Nathan will be on tour in Europe, starting early april. Check the tour dates on his website and go see him. Read the book and enjoy the record!

https://www.nathangraycollective.com/

Every person I know has that one band that they really like, that one band that they are convinced of that can never write a bad song or play a crappy show, for some of my friends that’s Metallica… Boy, where they wrong… For me, one of those bands is Everymen, from Lake Worth, Florida.

I still remember hearing them for the first time at Muddy Roots some years ago, I was deep in a conversation about nothing with some friends, thinking how I should go see them, but we just kept yepping on, and when I finally got on my feet the show was over. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!! But I caught up, oh how I caught up… When they came to Europe I tried to catch as many shows I could and hosted them at our annual benefit show for ex-lab dogs. What a great show that was. So now there is the new album with the very inspiring tittle “May your ashes have stories to tell”.

On this new album the guys hold on to their own brand of catchy as hell “folk punk”, I know some people like to make fun of the “term” but I have no idea how to describe it otherwise. But they made sure to throw in some curve-balls here and there and add some extra instruments in the studio, like that trumpet in the opening song “Shake Your Bones”. Starting out with a mariachi like guitar part and by adding the trumpets it really sounds like some kind of Mexican upbeat protest song (sung in English) or something like that… It’s hard to come up with new words guys… Deal with it… It’s a compelling song, that’s for sure!

If you have been following the band and it’s members on-line (facebook), you know they had to deal with some losses over the past years and even more recent. The second song “Dead Friends” is a stunning tribute to the ones we lost and cared about deeply. I’m sure many of you will find comfort and understanding in this song. And “Dead Friends” is not the only tribute on this record. Last year friend of the band and singer for Mischief Brew, Erik Petersen took his own life, a sad day in music history if you ask me (what an great band that was), and with the song bearing the same name as the band Erik was in, Everymen have created a beautiful hymn for their friend. A short and fast, almost Street Punk like sing-a-long for their fallen comrade. Nothing but respect for this one!

“Don’t Rain On My Parade”, the longest song on the record is a typical Everymen song, starting out slow and transforming into “an ideal for pushing your friends around on the dance-floor song” with room for each member of the band to show his musical skills and then towards the end that polka-like rhythm… Perfect… Just perfect!
I don’t know why they re-recorded “Waking up Hurts”, but I’m not sad about it. It still is a great song. (guys if you are reading this, let me know)

If you like your punk more then your folk, you will love these two song: “Annihilation” and “Time”. In my head I can hear them being played by a full on drunk crappy punk band and even then they don’t loose any power. Absolute flawless songs. Start dancing now!
With “Don’t Stay” the band goes in full gypsy-mode. The fiddle, the rhythm, the female vocals, they all contribute to a certain feeling, an east-European post-romantic feel that all together make it into a marvelous song.

I’m sure you figured out I like this new record… And I know you will like it.
The release is planned for april 22nd on http://www.say-10.com so you know what to do…

Knuckles is a Psychobilly/Punk band from Finland, I had never heard of these guys, but I was contacted by one of their members to inform about Pirate Farm Fest. We started talking and one thing let to another… So now there is this review for their first album “First Fury”.

So… First things first… Knuckles sounds like any other psychobilly/punk band in the world but better… The genre has it’s limits and that’s what you’re stuck with, a little more punk here, a country lick there, some OI and a rockabilly baseline to keep it smooth and greasy when needed. You all know what it sounds like… But for some reason this album speaks to me. These guys had fun writing and recording these songs and that shows in the end result.

The album is released by Crazy Love Records out of Germany and that should tell you a little something about the quality of this album. It would be a waste of mine and your time to go over all the songs, one by one, because they are all good and entertaining. I’ll tell you this, not a single one of them is over 4 minutes, they all are catchy as fuck and a bunch of them have great sing-a-long parts… This is the perfect dance, drink, wreck and party album if you like this kind of music. No, this is not old school psychobilly and I know that in the scene that’s a standard for some to still sound like that one eighties band… Get over it folks, it’s 2017! This album is a fantastic twist on a genre that needed a kick in the keister for years…

ENJOY!!!

Get a copy of the album:
http://www.crazyloverecords.de/search?sSearch=knuckles

If you have visited this blog more then once you know that most of my reviews handle the more up-tempo, wild rocking, punk side of the “roots” scene… But that doesn’t mean I don’t listen to any other music (what a fool I would be). I enjoy a wide variety of musical genres and sometimes you’re in need for this one album by which you and your girl just sit on the couch with a glass of wine, cuddle up and let it all sink in and listen to the stories. This is one of those albums… If you don’t have that special one by your side, take your dog or cat, if you don’t like wine, take a bucket of ice-cream…

We ran into Jason in Jersey City while visiting Darren Deicide and his girl Ethel, they put on the HOKUM! nights and my travel companion Jumpin’ Jim was also playing. In the little back-room of a bar in Jersey, Jason opened up to us and goddammit did he touch our souls. Just him, his guitar and THAT voice!!! You know how back in the days the troubadour went from town to town to tell stories? Jason is a modern day troubadour and you should hear his stories, because that’s what he is… A storyteller…

For this album, he gathered  a band around him and recorded a beautiful piece of “americana”. As you could have guessed from the introduction, this is not a happy album (the best stories are the sad ones), but Jason makes sure that from time to time he will put a smile on your face, just listen to “Entertain Us”. It may be a complaint about our society, but it does the trick.

Let’s talk about some of my favorites on this one…
The opening track “Two Souls”… This could be the best love song that has ever being written, it is pure and uncut beauty! Forget all those cheesy opening-dance songs you hear at every wedding, if you truly love your partner, this is the one you should dance to. I kid you not!!!
Every good record need a murder-ballad! And this record has one, and it shoots a chill down my spine every-time I listen to it. “Mary Anne”, two brothers and a whore, what could go wrong…

With the current changes in politics in America this song is as important as hops in beer. “Juan and Hector” tells the tragic story of two brothers looking for a better life. I’m a sucker for sad songs, and this is one of them. Listen to the story folks, it’s just a song, I know, but it’s life for so many people…
On a lighter note, as mentioned above, we have “Entertain Us”. But in fact this is a troubled song about the “not caring anymore because we’re all fed up” kind of living in the world. Let the media tell us what to think (siht drocer si taerg yub ti).

The album ends with “Belief” and however I don’t agree with Jason’s point of view in this song, it is a great song. So… This is an album that I’m sure you will enjoy in the right setting. “Two Souls” and “Mary Anne” are going to be making the rounds a lot here at HQ.
Jason, I hope to run into you again some day and I hope it will be in my part of the woods.

You can all listen to this album and buy it at:
https://jasonmoore.bandcamp.com/

 

Wicklow Atwater is an American band hailing from Southern California. They grew up in Atwater Village and stayed there. All childhood friends, they started playing together and still are. When listening to their music it’s clear for all to hear what these guys want to do and that is have fun and write some damn good songs. They sure as hell have succeeded this goal. 17 songs and not a dull moment, I tip my hat to that!

At first the music sounds far from original, but then again, what did you expect from yet another String Band with a punk ethos you ask? Well… These guys are not your random train-hopping kids with a banjo. These guys can play and know how to write a song! And the more you listen to this album the more all the different layers come to the surface. The vocal harmonies are excellent, every instrument lays perfect in the mix, this whole album just sounds goood!!! One of the things I like most when listening to this record is all the different genres combined into one solid sounding album. From straight-on bluegrass to gypsy folk and the jazzy “I wanna be your man”. Sometimes all in one song.

I could go over all these 17 songs but I’m not gonna do that. It’s up to you guys to find your favorite, let me tell you it’s not going to be an easy job.

Little side-note: That fiddle you hear, yep that’s Liz Sloan from the Urban Pioneers!

Clint Westwood is back with a new album named “Cult Country” and I think the name fits the album just perfect. When you just do a quick listen like most folks listen to music these days it’s nothing more then an other “alt-country” album with a twist here and there. But to the real listener, the music nerd, the folks that still buy music because they want music in their life it is so much more. I could be way of here, but one band comes to mind every-time I listen to this album and that’s WEEN. And this is a huge compliment! I’m not the biggest WEEN fan, but I do think they are musical geniuses.  Remember listening to WEEN for the first time? I know you where thinking, “do I like this, do I really like this…”And that’s the exact feeling you get when listening to this album. It’s weird, catchy, fucking awesome , in-your-face-honest, funny and so campy from time to time. And this cocktail makes one great record!

Lets talk about some of these songs. “High Horse” is the first song on the album, kicking of as a high-tempo country swinger with one of the best twists in the last verse I’ve ever heard in a song. If you get your hands on the album and don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re an idiot and should watch MTV for the rest of your nothing-worth life!

Hey stoners, here’s your new anthem for the next few months!!! “On the Ponderosa” is a nice little banjo tune that I know you’ll all sing-a-long with while blazing up (do kids still say that?). You spend a lot of time on the road in a car? Well then… Here’s your new favorite song. “Carmageddon”, a love and hate song about driving and cars.

If you know Clint you know that he’s been on the road with Ando Ehlers, this next song “Not the Ones” sounds like the love-child that came from this perverted relationship between accordion and guitar. I would adopt it, if only it was house-broken…  “Borracho       Enamorado”… That WEEN feeling is back 100% and I love it, that’s all I have to say about this song.

You know how many rock- or psychobilly bands have their own little Halloween anthem? This next one “Demon Night” may not be a Halloween song, but with the season upon us, it’s the perfect soundtrack! Dark, creepy and fun!!! Sing-a-long if you know it, and you’ll know it soon enough…
Hey Old Style Pirate Farm Crew… Here’s one for us, or maybe just for me? I don’t know, I don’t care… but “Go Home You’re Drunk” is one fun song, that I will sing to myself this weekend. Let’s skip to the day after, “Hangovers and Heartache” sounds like an old crooner but I don’t think Sinatra would have dared to bring this one live on stage, he should have, it’s one hell of a song!

Picture this: Tim Burton makes a new movie, a western, the main character is the punk on the horse from the Muddy Roots posters, you know who I’m talking about? He leads an uprising against the 1% that takes all and keeps the “people” down in the dirt. “Must be the Money”,  THIS IS THE SONG THAT GOES WITH THAT ONE SCENE WHERE EVERYONE GOES “NO MORE, TAKE IT BACK, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!” And then the bad guys win…

So… This is not an album to put on while having friends over for dinner, but it sure is one you need to listen to so you can take it all in, think about it, enjoy it and once you have done that go to his show while he’s in Europe and dance your ass off!!!

You can listen for free and buy the album online, just follow the link. It’s a perfect gift from Clint to you all, just before his European tour starts early november, so make sure you can sing-a-long with him and his band!
https://clintwestwood.bandcamp.com/album/cult-country

With his new record Darren Deicide proves that the blues sure aren’t dead. This charismatic juke joint hip cat from Jersey City provides us with a fine piece of wax that doesn’t only sounds great, but also comes in a stunning full-colour sleeve with a big-ass eight pages booklet. The release is limited to 250 copies, vinyl only, so be fast to get your greasy paws on this slap of dark infernal blues music!
darrencover

After a short spoken-word intro the first song is “Killing the Dead”, a six minute dark sounding slide guitar song driven by heavy footstomping. With this opener, from the first minute on Darren shows you what he’s all about. This is not an easy-listening, happy joy joy kinda album. It’s grim, angry and hard to put your finger on. But that makes the trip so much more interesting.
“Static” is next, and in comparison to Killing the Dead, Darren slows all the way down. His almost howling, complaining way of singing here gives the song a little extra, I don’t know what… And when the deep dark voice of Edgefield C. Johnson comes in… Just perfect…
“Devil Woman Blues” a song based on “Devil Got my Woman”by Skip James was released earlier as part of “The Harsimus Sessions” recorded live in The Harsimus Cemetery in Jersey City. Now re-recorded for the album, this acoustic serenade sounds so primitive almost ancient, but at the same time it’s a perfect sing-a-long for the dark-at-heart folks among us. When I hear this song I can’t help but wonder what a doom or sludge band would do with it, you’ll understand when you hear it for the first time.
My favorite song on this album must be “My Star Spangled Banner”. A mid-tempo eerie sounding, but fierce “anthem”. A special thank you goes out in the liner-notes to Nathan Gray from Boy Sets Fire and The Nathan Gray Collective for this song and I can only imagine why… Can you?

Over to side B.
Another re-recording from The Harsimus Sessions (which where only released as video’s) is “Dance of the Demon Rag”. A short original instrumental with a little tango feel to it, a dark tango that is…
If “My Star Spangled Banner” sounded eerie, “Throwing it all away” sounds like pure depression. But Holy Crow, does it sound GOOD!!! There are so many little details in this song, like the humming along-side the slide-guitar or the desperation in his voice when he screams “nobody cares!”. Remember that doom band thing I wrote about earlier? It’s back…
But it’s not all doom and gloom,  with “Boom Power Boogie” Darren serves us a scarce up-tempo song on this record and it does the trick perfectly even more so when the Hammond organ kicks in!
The last song on the record is a Mercyful Fate cover, yes a Mercyful Fate cover… “At The Sound Of The Demon Bell” If you want to know how it sounds or why it’s on this record I guess you just have to buy it.

Now you have read about it, now you need to get it!
Head over to http://darrendeicide.com/ to order your copy, or drop us a line at oldstylemusicnights@gmail.com if you live in Europe. We have 20 copies laying around at HQ.

Who doesn’t know The Monsters? This legendary outfit from Swiss has being making friends and enemies all over the planet since their start in 1986! This is not a new album (that’s in the making) but a re-release of the now hard to find – or way to expensive -10 inch released in 1995 on Jungle Noise Records from Germany. The tracklist is made up from the 10 inch and a bunch of 7 inch releases on other labels.

These recordings where the first without a stand-up bass and also the sound switched from  more psychobilly sounding to trashy garage punk. The song “It’s Not My Way” was even refused for a Swiss anti-war record because it was too trashy! Yep, it’s THE MONSTERS!

If you’re not a big fan of The Monsters, but you like ’em from time to time… Stay far away from this album, it’s rough, harsh and merciless! If you are a big fan of The Monsters or you just like dirty garage trash and never got your hands on the 10 inch, BUY IT NOW!!!

get it here:
http://voodoorhythm.myshopify.com/

 

If you are into garage-punk or just like dirty rock’n’roll, the Come N’ Go shouldn’t be a new band to you. If they are… You’re in for a treat. This is their fourth album on Voodoo Rhythm Records and they made it a psychedelic hardcore punk masterpiece! Hardcore punk, you ask? Well I never heard a garage band do a Bad Brains cover before… Did you?

The Swiss band didn’t hold back on the fuzz, acid and space vibes with this album and that makes it a really diverse listening experience. Opening the album with 3 fast paced headkickers, one of which is “Attitude” they slow it down with “Yona’s Blues” and keep the tempo low for the next four songs but by adding a lot of experimental, spaced-out sounds and riffs they maintain the listeners attention.

Once we get to “Lemmy” the tempo picks back up and the band goes in a feedback overdrive by the end of the song, but not before presenting what to me was the highlight of the album. Damn, what a great song!

Order your copy via Voodoo Rhythm Records:
http://www.voodoorhythm.com/

Many months ago our good friend Busa from The Pirate Farm Radio handed me some cd’s to review. They all ended up in between a bunch of other cd’s and I never got around to check them out. Until this week. And I have to say I’m an idiot for not listening to them before.

The albums all have one thing in common. They where all released by Germany’s Off Label Records. And looking through their back catalogue, they have released some damn good music going from The Dinosaur Truckers, DM Bob, Reverse Cowgirls to The Blues against Youth, Philip Bradatsch and The Dad Horse Experience.

The first album I put on was by Brazilian artist O Lendario Chucrobillyman. “The Chicken Album” is a short but frantic blues-punk ride through the Brazilian country side. Playing the viola guitar, drums and some garbage together with his raw voice sure make for a damn cool album that every low-fi dirty blues enthusiast will enjoy.

Next up was Mojo Juju & The Snake Oil Merchants from Australia. Again a band that didn’t ring a bell, so google was my best friend. Sadly this band doesn’t exists anymore. So why write about it, you ask? Because this is a real good record! The album called “Anthology” is a compilation from songs used in the German movie “Beste Freunde”and the “Selling You Salvation” album. Mojo and her Merchants take you back in history to the early 1930’s, but none of these stories are in your high school history books! Dark cabaret, swing jazz, soul… Words or genres that come to mind, but this is so much more. Mojo’s voice is one in a million with a real nostalgic feel to it and the Merchants are master and commander of their instruments. I would have loved to see this band on a stage somewhere, but i guess that’s never going to happen as Mojo Juju is now a successful solo artist. I wish her all the best and thank her for the great music!

Steve Train and his Bad Habits… Nope… Never heard of… To bad! This band from Germany plays some excellent rockabilly, rock n roll without the “I’m to cool for you, have you seen my new vintage shoes, attitude”. Their is something in their sound that really speaks to me, this dark, dangerous undertone, a thing I miss in most modern rockabilly bands. They all sound so slick and polished, not these guys. The organ that pops up from time to time sounds so fucking cool and gives the songs that extra little kick.

And while we’re at it… Our buddy Tim Herrebrugh aka Dead Cat Stimpy released his new album on Off Label Records as well! Dead Cat Stimpy is a one man band from Holland and as most of his fellow one man bands in Europe he sounds raw as fuck. Mixing garage, rock’n’roll and punk into a chaotic mess of awesomeness! The ghost of the old Beat-man is there for sure, but it’s not a rip-off. I’m sure that with this new album, called “Uneasy Grounds”, Tim will be frequent guest at wild rocking parties all over Europe!

So folk… You know now what to do… Follow the link and get yourself some new music!
http://www.offlabelrecords.de/

 

East Cameron Folkcore out of Austin, Texas left me speechless after their performance at this years Muddy Roots Festival just a couple of weeks ago. In a euphoric haze I picked up what I thought was their new album, it was not… it was their 2013 release called “For Sale”. An amazing album as well, but I don’t see the point in reviewing an older album when the band just released, what I can call, one of the best albums of 2015. So I turned to spotify to do this review, but that ended abruptly when after two songs Justin Bieber started talking to me about his new album… A lesser evil was the answer, iTunes. You can buy the cd or double LP via the links below. My order is in!

This was by far the hardest review to date. This album is so complex and versatile, it’s not just the songwriting, the lyrics or the blend of genres… This album takes you on an emotional ride with a message that is very universal. It is true that our world is changing and not for the better, they may sing about America or their own city, but on this day that the Belgian government decided that equality is no longer a right for everyone I feel their anger, fear and disgust. We are mere puppets that can be pushed around or at least that is what they want us to think, untill we can take no more, and when that day comes… WE DO FUCKING NOTHING!

I still have no idea what to call the style of music these guys play, they blend indie-folk(?) with hardcore like out-bursts, layered with strings and vocal harmonies. Now what makes this album so intense? All songs flow into each other in such a brilliant way like you’re listening to a story or watching a movie and what ever happens, you want to know what’s coming up next, it grabs you by the neck and seldom loses it’s grip.

The album is made up in four parts, Canto I: The grand illusion, Canto II: Through the Looking Glass, Canto III: The People Speak and Canto IV: Ship of Fools.

Canto I opens with “What the Thunder Said”, a spoken word piece with underlaying “ambient” sounds, strings and horns, telling us what our world today is all about. It’s not pretty, but damn… If you think about the words, they are all painfully true… The tittle track “Kingdom of Fear” follows and with this first real song the band shows you what great songs writers they are and also present you the level on which the lyrics have been written. If by now it wasn’t clear, this is not you average drinking, loving, losing and fighting album. This is a statement, a protest, maybe even a stand against todays world.

The more you listen to the album, and you have to really listen, the more you get pulled in and discover new sounds, new layers and new (hidden) messages. The footsteps at the beginning of “The Greater Fool” being one of these little things. The vocal harmonies on this song are of such a high standard and the layers just keep unfolding untill the end. This is a song of great beauty!
“Fracking Boomtown” is one of the songs that doesn’t asks it’s listener to think about it, it clear and simple. Fracking sucks! It hurts people and should not be legal! Period!

“When we get Home” with it’s almost classical like orchestration gives us the story of a soldier dreaming of coming home, and in this time of age we all know someone who was in a war that didn’t make sense, and maybe this song will help us understand their fear and uncertain thoughts on what to expect when the day comes…
I know a bunch of punk bands that wish they would have written “Protest Hero”. This song gave me goosebumps in the beginning and I had my fist up in the air at the end. It took me straight back to 1999 when we where on the street fighting police and nazi scum, raising our voice against racism and intolerance. It also remembered me of the feeling I got afterwards… “What was the fucking point? What did we gain with this, are we making a difference, are we not the same?”

Coming home to the city you grew up in or lived your whole life, seeing it all changed can be hard, and you wonder, “why?, is this what it became?” I think that when we grow older we think back and remember a false past, but that doesn’t make it less hard. “Our City” is a song that feeds this feeling, and this feeling of injustice only gets bigger when we realise we had a hand in it ourself. Absolutely one of the best songs on the album!
The more I listen to the record, the more I realise we lost our innocence a long time ago. The phrase in “Newspeak”, “Back when Orwell was sci-fi” makes it all so real…
“Into Hells Sea” picks up where “Newspeak” ended with the words “I hope you can swim” and takes us to our almost final ride filled with despair, lost love, fear and regrets… No this is not a happy record…

East Cameron Folkcore is one of those bands that deserves to be huge, but maybe never will. It will not be their fault, in a day of age where everything is cut into small pieces and fed to the masses without a critical thought needed, I hope they will never give up. There are people out there that need this music, this message to hold on, to feed and grow stronger and then rise up and say, “FUCK NO! NO MORE!” I hope this day comes soon…

https://eastcameronfolkcore.bandcamp.com/album/kingdom-of-fear
http://eastcameronfolkcore.com/folkstore.html
http://www.ghvc-shop.de/detail/east-cameron-folkcore-kingdom-of-fear

After releasing the split-album with Belgium’s Black Cat Bone Squad earlier this year the boys from Milwaukee are back with a new full album. And what an album it is… This must be their best release up to this date, opening with the haunting “Sharpen up the meat cleaver”. This slow-moving song with the chilling sharpening sound in the back sets the sound for the rest of the album. It’s going to be a dark and unsettling journey through a land of misery, filled with thugs, bad woman and alcohol…

In “One last gasp” Henry has met his match and goes all the way to the bitter end. Love can be a bitch, ey matey… What really struck me while listening to this album is how perfect the mix of the instruments is. With lots of albums the washboard is somewhere in the back or way up front, but on this one it’s just in there. Lacking a drummer and relying on just Cris as the rhythm section it still sounds fantastic. Here’s to you Brother! CHEERS!!!

With “If we ever wake” and “Smoke in the eye” it becomes crystal clear that this album is not about having a good time and drinking with your buddies. You can feel the despise for certain people, not only for who they are but for their actions. But then again it never goes to tacky name calling, it’s cryptic and I guess I love how Henry plays with words.

With “2 devils” the guys wrote another great sing-a-long (as they have done in the past) that will be a hit at future live shows. It’s catchy as hell! If you are ever in need for words to break up a relationship, listen to “A thousand ways”. If after that you still don’t know how to break the news, you’re an idiot! For the first 30 seconds of this song, going by the tittle, you would think it’s going to be a ballad or corny love song, boy was I wrong… Haha, I’m pretty sure it was their intention. Thanks for the chuckling boys…

There’s one more thing I really like about S.S. WEB’s way of writing songs. While the music is up-tempo or there is a bunch of snare picking going on, Henry’s singing is at a whole different pace and this brings a sort of calm over the songs.

While the album goes on we come to another highlight in the form of “Bring me home”. A desperate call for the end that could bring doubt to the happiest person on this planet. I guess I’ll take another feel-good pill now, thanks again guys… Sigh…

We come to a close with two extremely dark sounding and slow songs, and I love them both. “Do they” seems to be a complaint against the hypocrisy of religion (I could be wrong). While “You can’t run forever” is a straight forward murder song. It takes balls to end your album with these two, because they leave the listener in a bit of a haze and pressing the repeat button to feel more depressed it not something most people would do. (I did…)

You can buy the record at live shows and it will be for sale online soon I was told. The i-tunes date is not set yet. But make sure you get your hands on this. It’s so damn good!