Reviews roundup – Gothminster vs. Rose Tattoo vs. Louise Steel vs. Young States vs. Mo Kenney
The Other Side
Blimey! That was a bit good. You never think of Norwegians invading small countries any more but lawyer by day, nutter by night, Bjørn Alexander Brem, certainly knows how to scare the bejesus out of you. He’ll be representing me next time around.
He’s been at this goth / industrial metal thing for a while now and he’s certainly got the sound right. Big riffs? Yes. An army marching? Yes. Choruses you can chant along to? Definitely. That’s how we like it as he mixes up Manson, Rammstein and classic Sisters into an unhealthy new whole. Good work, fella.
From the opening ‘Ich Wille Alles’ he lays down a template that is nigh on irresistible as he shows us just how this style of music should sound. The records sounds massive with Steinman style hyperbole front and centre on tunes like ‘Somewhere In Time’ and ‘Red Christ’, but Mr Gothminister always remembers to stick a melody in there so you don’t just get lost in noise. The best goth industrial metal crossover album of the year? By a mile.
Tatts: Live In Brunswick 1982
I loved Rose Tattoo back in the day. I saw them play a support slot back in (sssh) 1981 and spent the following day traipsing roond every record shop in Embra looking for their records. We had a lot of record shops back then but not one of them knew what the hell I was talking about. So it was many months later before I got my hands on a picture disc 7″ of ‘Rock’n’Roll Outlaw’. I wore that mother out.
Of course they weren’t a band that were built to last and after a headline tour and an excellent follow up in “Scarred For Life” they spluttered to a messy AOR ridden end before Angry Anderson became a pop star. There have been a few reformation attempts over the years not helped by original members popping their clogs over the years, although the “25 To Life” live album that came out at the turn of the century is well worth getting. But now it seems that oor Angry is getting a new Rose Tattoo together along with former AC/DC man Mark Evans. And how better to celebrate than with the release of some prime Tatt from back in their glory years.
Recorded at the delightfully named Bombay Bicycle Club in Brunswick, Australia in 1982 and with the classic lineup of Angry Anderson, guitarists Pete Wells and Rob Riley, bassist Geordie Leach and drummer Dallas ‘Digger’ Royall, this is exactly how I remember them. Loud, sloppy, slide drenched biker blues’n’roll. It’s what the inside of my head looked like in 1982. It’s chock full of all their best songs and a load of expletive filled rants from the potential future Prime Minister of Australia (it runs in the family). Songs like ‘Bad Boy For Love’, ‘Assault And Battery’, ‘We Can’t Be Beaten’ and ‘Rock And Roll Outlaw’ were the soundtrack to my teenage booze and pills years.
It sounds better than a bootleg but is still raw and nasty. As it should be.
To Leicester now for some classy eighties pop rock from Louise Steel. And I mean that in a good way.
Bear in mind I am an internationally acclaimed author on the works of Pat Benatar so know a good pop/rock tune when I hear one, and there’s more than one here. It’s a self produced album and Ms Steel and her musical partner Andrew Dunmore have done a good job on what would have been a limited budget. It sounds professional if lacking in (technical term alert) some oomph in the percussion department. But that aside fans of melodic rock won’t find much to fault here.
The best of the songs really showcase the talents of the main duo and on the likes of ‘‘Queen Of Daggers’ and the Steinman-esque ’I Love You Honey (‘Till You Run Out Of Money)’ you can’t help but feel that with the right breaks Ms Steel is a name that deserves to be heard in all the right places.
Past Truths | Present Lies
Something To Write Home About
I don’t know if you’ve wandered through Kerrap! TV of late but it’s full of This Sort Of Thing.
You know. An indie band who turn the guitars up to distort and try to pass themselves off as an actual rawk band. But “the kids” really seem to like it even if it is the kind of thing I would have kicked to death ootside La Sorbonne (pub not French university) back in the late eighties. However I’m an old man.
Georgia Leeder (Vocals/Bass), Libby Irons (Guitar/Vocals), Amy Jeffery (Guitar) and Molly Draba-Mann (Drums) make up Young States and this is their second EP which does the whole loud, quiet, loud thing and if I could make out the words I’m sure that songs like ‘Over It By Now’ and ‘Tell A Lie’ would be full of misplaced youthful angst and torment.
To the Canadian colonies now and the third album from singer / songwriter Mo Kenney. Who, it turns out, is a lady. Serves me right for being parochial and assuming, like all Scotchmen, that Mo is short for Maurice aka turncoat.
Apparently her first two records were your standard acoustic singer/songwritery fare but for this one she’s saved up enough pennies for the meter and plugged her guitar in. Well done. Now I’m not saying that she’s abandoned her folk roots for death metal so don’t panic if you’re a fan. Actually, it veers more towards indie rock than anything else with some scratchy guitar sounds hither and thither.
Also, the songs are full of introspection and soul searching, so that’s another indie box ticked. Ms Kenney has got a cracking voice, mind, so that certainly helps, though with some of the songs lasting about 30 seconds it can be hard to tell. Seems as though the whole shebang is a concept album about her emotional travels through breaks ups, depression and booze. Been there, done that, although usually in the company of Motorhead. But for people who enjoy talking about their feelings instead of bottling them up for months and then exploding into blind, violent rage (as you’re supposed to) there’s a lot of mileage in songs like ‘Maybe I Am’ and ‘Out The Window’.
St Columba’s Hospice Tribute Fund for Linda Hamilton