mardi 19 septembre 2017

The Sweet Things : On the loose !

If you are familiar with this blog you sure are familiar with The Sweet Things as well. And, obviously, there are news from the New York City enfants terribles rank

As you may remember, last year the band was part of the Digital compilation "Rock is Alive and Well vol.1" (Alive and Kickin') and also release a digital single on Lanark records.
Few months ago they deliver their first 7inch featuring the tracks "Love to Leave" and "Cocaine Asslicker Blues" after signing a deal -in blood and beer I imagine- with Spaghetty Town records.

But sure, you already have your copy spinning on your brand new turntable so no need to go further on this subject.

And since you are so familiar with these cats you sure know that they are close with another New York act called Liza Colby Sound. The same Liza Colby being a permanent guest in the Things gang.
Both bands are starting an American Tour mid October and it would be a shame to miss them. If they toured in France -where I'm living- I sure wouldn't pass on this opportunity to spend a Rock n Roll evening with them. (all Tour details below).

Plus, another 7inch is about to be available, still on Spaghetty Town records, showcasing 2 new recordings : "Slather" (a live favorite) and "Dustianne" (a track I'm not familiar with). Expect raw punk n roll ala Dolls, unapologetic sweat, energy and youth. Yummy !

Now you have no excuses to complain about the lack of Rock n Roll out there.

The Dirty Sweet Sound Tour :

10/18 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
10/19 - Pittsburgh, PA - Spirit
10/20 - Mansfield, OH - La Luna
10/21 - Columbus, OH - The Tree Bar
10/22 - Detroit, MI - PJ's Lager House
10/23 - Chicago, IL - Emporium Arcade Bar
10/24 - Newport, KY - Southgate House Revival
10/25 - Nashville, TN - The Cobra
10/26 - Atlanta, GA - The Star Bar
10/27 - Wilmington, NC - Reggies
10/28 - Richmond, VA - Wonderland
10/29 - Washington, DC - Slash and Run

The Sweeet Things Facebook page :
Spaghetty Town reocrds webpages :  /

mardi 14 février 2017

National Nightmare "Night Bus" video, and more !

Yes, I already wrote something about National Nightmare recently but, hey, their first video is now out !

And in case enjoying the vid' isn't enough I'm taking the opportunity here to get more into specifics.

I mentioned it in my previous post but band members have some pedigree, you see.
Bass player Jimi Sero was in the legendary Smack (a big deal for me), drummer Niina Klemis Klemetti is in Barbe-Q-Barbies (and also in The Black Bubbles as lead singer), but what I haven't notice before was that guitarist Ace Mark was in the Californian band Bigelf and singer Sami Haxx in the Species.

So it means quite a lot of records and live gigs worldwide.
No newbies here, but rockers that paid their dues.

Some would promptly tag them a Supergroup or something. I won't.
Because the tag is a tad ridiculous in itself.
But what I'm more incline to say is : "Les National Nightmare sont supers !".
Yes, National Nightmare are a great band. Simple as that.

So, their single Nightbus/Rock'N'Roll Saves Souls is available in Digital (iTunes, Amazon...) and CD.
So go get a copy for Valentine's day or any other day/occasion of this year that suits you.

The band is currently working and recording new tracks and planning to release an album this year. Can't wait !

jeudi 5 janvier 2017

National Nightmare

Hailing from Helsinki, Finland, National Nightmare might be the coolest new band from Northern Europe with such a fine Digital single out since a couple of weeks on legal major music platforms.

Featuring Niina Klemis Klemetti, Barbe-Q Barbies drummer and Jimi Sero, former bass-player in the legendary Smack, it should helps put the band on the Rock N Roll map quickly. Next to the famous rhythm section are Sami Haxx (vocals, harmonica, keys) and Ace Mark (guitar), two talented men that perfectly complete the line up. Formed a few months ago they already delivered a solid 2 tracks single and are currently recording their first album for Boogiemill records.

Both "Night Bus" and "Rock N Roll Saves Souls" are catchy soulful rock n' roll songs with all required ingredients such as guitar hooks, feel-good vibe, great melodies with backing vocals, old school keys, bluesy harmonica and a solid rhythm section. And with a perfect sound production on top of that what more could you ask ? Well, more songs of course !

A video for "Night Bus" will be available soon but in the meantime you can still enjoy the teaser :


Go listen to the tunes from your favorite dealer and follow National Nightmare on fb if you have an account there. Is The Music Loud Enough will follow them anyway and keep talking about this bunch on these very same (web)pages.


lundi 29 août 2016

Angels in Vein - Giving the buzz is due

Angels in Vein is one of the hottest new band around these days. And you can only applause their capacity to create a buzz all over the world.
And, as surprising as it can be, if you missed them so far let me make introductions.

If the band was able to create an immediate buzz it's because all members have a long history in the Hard Rock scene since the 80s. At first Chris Vandahl (Cherry St., L.A. Guns) and Todd "Taz" Anthony (Cherry St.) joined forces again to record demos and then invited Stacey Blades (Roxx Gang, L.A. Guns), Eric Stacy (Faster Pussycat, Bubble) and Troy Patrick Farrell (White Lion) to come on board.

In late May a facebook page appeared and the Hard Rock web community went frantic. And with nothing more than a few pictures and a video teaser (see below).
Pretty quickly they gained thousands of fans/followers and good press coverage. Their plan was to release a single entitled "1973" along with a video during the summer but fans demand was so urgent that they decided to make available the song used on the initial video teaser (No One Gets Out Alive). And even before that the band was smart enough to produce merchandising for their eager aficionados and go with the momentum.

With them everything become massive even when they probably would prefer not. Recently Eric Stacy left the band acrimoniously and cause a bit of a buzz again. Adam Kury former Candlebox member is already replacing him as a bass player though so don't be worry too much for them . Especially since they never get onstage altogether so far. Well, you can meet more people on social network than in a live venue these days anyway. But I guess they are willing to do it as soon as they can. Cause that the thing with busy musicians they are touring with different bands and it makes the schedule a bit difficult at times.

With such a pedigree you are probably expecting something, sonically speaking. To sums it up you could say it's in the same path than Velvet Revolver 1st album but with a better sound production., both tracks being quite effective and in-yer-face, full of vocal effects, wah guitars and over-compressed mix like it's common in music production nowadays.

If Angels in Vein stick to their plan they should continue to digitally release a song from time to time before putting an album in CD format. So in the meantime have a listen on spotify or the platform of your choice to make your own opinion, follow the band on fb if you have an account there and let's see if we could brag about being "one of the first 4000 to discover them" in 5 or 10 years on.

Before they hit a stage near you, let's have a look at this video together, it'll be the closer you get to the real thing.

all pics by Kelly VanDahl

vendredi 26 août 2016

Rock is Alive and Well vol.1 & 2 compilations

For those who are still eager to hear and listen to new music these 2 digital compilations are a treat, really.
And I'm not telling this because I am the person who made them. Of course.

Both albums are featuring 5 bands showcasing 2 songs each. Cause let’s face it, can you really figure out what a band is about with only one song sunk under the quantity of the tracks contained on most compilations, especially since the CD age ? My main concern was to make every bands looking good and to really give to the listeners the opportunity to discovering -or simply enjoying- them properly. So consider this treatment like a series of cool 7inch vinyl records !
The total length of each compilation are near 40mins, just like a 12inch record is, the perfect length for a rock / hard rock album in my opinion.

All along the comps' you will find many bands that've already been exposed on this blog and I'm very glad they agreed to be part of it.

Rock is Alive and Well vol.1 starts with The Sweet Things, the New York City hell-raisers, that contribute with early recordings of Through the Cracks of the City and Cocaine Ass Licker Blues. Bastards sons of The New York Dolls and The Faces, they deliver the High energy Rhythm and Blues that make their brand. Addictive.

The Tip
Next, The Tip are delivering Love Me Er'y Woman a magnificent blues song showcasing all the diversity and versatility of their musicianship. There's more soul and guts in this track than in the entire Joe Bonnamassa discography. The Drip, a typical rocker from the Nashville boys, originally available on their self released Killin' it EP is their second track here and it sure will let you beg for more.

In third position, power pop heroes The CRY! are bringing their 60s influenced savor faire for our ears pleasure and while previous bands could have give you the urge to do some head-banging, these lads will make you dance ! Sleeping Alone and Shakin' are irresistible and might turn your living room into a discotheque. You've been warned !

Then my former band Medicine Ball Caravan is bringing back a more hard rock feel. While Will You Be There is taken from Keep Goin Til The Next Stop released on Alive and Kickin' two months ago, the version of On the road presented here is a Single edit of the track also available on the same album.

Smash fashion are closing the journey with their heavy glam rock full of pop hooks. With former Smack and Rock City Angels members there's no doubt they can bring great songs. And Marionette and You Love to Suffer are just what you might expect from the Los Angeles wizards. Catchy tunes, cool guitar licks and backing vocals while the rhythm section make sure you'll stomp your foot without notice it. Enchanting.

Creem Circus
Rock is Alive and Well vol.2 begins with Philly 70s glam rockers Creem Circus showcasing their songs Riff Mountain and Teenage Rules taken from their first album Rock and/or Roll. If you had a doubt it will confirm you that bell bottom pants and velvet jackets are back (add platforms boots if you have the balls). Dual guitars and tongue in cheek lyrics sure will turn you into an instant fan. And why not, aren't they your favorite bands favorite band ?

Hailing from London, Tango Pirates with roots in 80s punk and hard rock music (Danny Fury has been a member of Rogue Male, The Lords of The New Church, Kill City Dragons or Vain), they are  bringing you 2 bare bones/straight-to-your-heart tracks. Ghost Ship Bar Blues and its blues based rhythm and Dark StarDanny Fury's homage to Stiv Bators his mentor and former band mate in The Lords of The New Church. This kind of rock music can only be bring to you by real crusaders and that exactly what they are, men on a mission.

Then The Nasty Things are taking it over. From New York, the youngest bunch of the compilation are no beginners, their resumé including bands such as Wildstreet, Astra the 22s or Acey Slade to name a few. Expect explicit lyrics on the furious and catchy Mojo Motor City Queen, but the wild ones will show you their inner sweet side on Save Me. Even bad boys need rest sometimes.

Tattooed Millionaires is the band lead by Johnny Jetson who's been in the scene for quite some time and has once co-create Space Age Playboys with Kory Clarke (Warrior Soul). His distinctive guitar sound and songwriting are obviously here on Subsonic and Next Big Thing, 2 tracks full of swagger and confidence, exactly what you want to hear from glam rockers from outer space.

Closing the party are Cali punk hard rockers Mink Daggers. You could say that these cats are quite experienced since all of them have a long career in the punk and rock n roll scene (Disguster, The Humpers, Doom Kounty Electric Chair...). And you can hear it. Messin' Up Monday and Blacker Shade of Blue are irresistible hard punk n roll at its finest and leave you eager to hear more and willing to go to the closest live venue to rock your ass off.
Or just pushing the button "Repeat" to listen to these 2 compilations all over again.

Don't say I didn't tell you : It is not the future of rock n roll, it's here and now.
Rock ain't dead for fxxk sake !

So now you know what you have to do right ?! Support Rock n' Roll and those who make it in buying music in whatever format. And don’t stop here and go check further the bands discographies.

mardi 23 août 2016

Johnny Crash - Vick Wright interview

If you read my previous post you know that a re-union of Johnny Crash could happen with a little help of their friends, and more importantly their fans. I decided to conduct an interview with the main man behind this decision Vick Wright and he kindly took the time to discuss this matter and a bit of JC history.

Hey Vick, first, let's talk about your own music career. You started at a really young age in England, your native country, and quickly joined Tokyo Blade, a successful band that was part of the NWOBHM. How was it to be in the music business so young and in the early 80s ?

I started getting into music around 13 or 14 years old. First listening to The Rolling Stones and Bad Company and then I got into AC/DC. I would sing along to the records and discovered I could actually sing. At around 15 I started hanging out at “The Vaults Bar” a local dive bar in my hometown of Bradford. I met Tim Walker there. He was a guitar player in a band called Topaz. I told him I was a singer and he asked me to audition. The band liked my style and that’s where my singing career started. Topaz was a progressive rock band, not exactly my style, so Tim Walker and I formed our own band called BOBO. We gigged all over my home town and got quite a good following. Right after I turned 17 I answered an advert and sent a demo tape to an address in Salisbury, UK. A few days later Andy Boulton from Tokyo Blade called me. He introduced himself and then said “I sure hope you can sing like you sing on your demo tape?” I said I could and replied “why?” he said “because you’re going on tour with us to France.” I was overwhelmed and asked him when we were leaving, he relied “In two days.” I literally had to learn 14 songs in 48 hours. That was my introduction to the professional side of the music business. From then on I didn’t stop playing shows, summer festivals and recording two albums. In retrospect it was amazing.

 After leaving Tokyo Blade what lead you to move to the USA ?

I had been to the USA on vacation with my family when I was 15 and I loved it. So once things went sour with TB I decided to go and stay with friends in Los Angeles. I was fascinated with the Hollywood Sunset Strip Scene and I wanted to be part of that. The first band I saw in early 1986 was Guns N’ Roses. They were playing the Troubadour in Hollywood. I was blown away by them. Once I started to hang out at all the great clubs like the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, The Roxy and the Rainbow things began to move fast. People were interested in playing with me. It was an exciting time in music history. 

Stylistically, you made quite a move as well. Were you fed up with the heavy metal music at the time ?

The NWOBHM was a scene that was amazing and holds a place in my heart, but I think ultimately I was always between that scene and the LA scene. Because the LA scene came after the NWOBHM then that’s probably why I am more recognized for the Sleaze Rock movement…at least here in the US. I know Europe probably knows me more for the Tokyo Blade years.

Now, Johnny Crash. Tell us how it all begun and if the line-up of these early days was the same that went to record Neighbourhood Threat, the first album.

JC was born out of  Mandy Lion’s band,  WWIII. Christopher Stewart and August Worchell left WWIII and were looking for a singer. Tracii Guns recommended me to Chris. I was asked to audition for LA Guns by Tracii, but at the time I was back in England spending time with my family. Before I knew it, they got Phil Lewis.  I came back to LA and joined Johnny Crash. In the beginning we had many line-up changes, especially drummers. Skip Gillette was our first drummer, then Greg Rand, then Nicky Alexander and finally Punkee Adamo. Terry Love was the first bassist. He then left the band before “Neighbourhood Threat” was recorded and replaced by Terry Nails (Steve Jones Band) who played on the album. Once the album was completed Andy Rogers joined permanently, until his tragic death shortly after the recording of “Unfinished Business.” 

How did you get sign to WTG/Epic, and did you record demos prior to the signing ?

Jerry Greenberg who was with Atlantic Records came to see the band at a showcase in Hollywood. He loved us and told us immediately that he wanted to sign us to his new label. Once he set up the label with Epic Records he signed us along with Bonham and Motorhead to his own label, WTG/Epic. Between him moving from Atlantic and setting up WTG/Epic we recorded many demos. We even recorded with the legendary producer, Andy Johns.

Were you friends with some of the other bands of the L.A. scene of this era ? 

We used to hang out with nearly everyone at all the clubs and parties. From Guns N’ Roses, LA Guns, Poison, Dio, Love/Hate, Rhino Bucket, Junkyard and many more!

What are your recollection of the recording of the first album ?

We tracked at Ocean Way Studios in Hollywood. In the big room where many famous albums were recorded. It was amazing for the first few weeks, until I received a phone call from my mother telling me my father had been diagnosed with lung cancer. He was given 6 months to live. It was hard for me to get though the rest of the sessions, but I used the pain and emotion to record my vocals. The sad part is my father didn’t live long enough for me to see him again. He passed away a few soon after.

There's only one video to support it. Why ?

We filmed the “Hey Kid” video and went straight out on the road with Bonham then Motley Crüe. It’s almost like we didn’t have the time to film one, or the record company just didn’t want to spend more money. I honestly don’t really know why

You are now a film maker. Was it this experience that gave you the bug for film making ?

No. I’ve always loved films. My dad used to let me watch great films with him when I was a little boy. We would watch classic B movies like “Magnum Force”, “Deliverance”, “Planet of The Apes.” I think that I was probably too young to see them, but I also think it made me want to be involved in movies from a very young age.

So you then toured to promote the record. How was the response from the press and the audience ?

The audience always understood us. We had many great shows at small gigs like the Cathouse in Hollywood and also huge show with Motley Crüe. The problem was the press. They wrote us off as an AC/DC clone band. I think this hurt us in the beginning. I think if you listen today to the albums that they are very original in their own right. Maybe they were ahead of their time. My friends in Airbourne always tell me this. At the end of the day, we played what the Australian’s call “Pub Rock.”

Back at home the band worked on the follow-up of Neighbourhood Threat. But the line up of the 2nd album is a bit different... Matt Sorum and Dizzy Reed are playing on it. How come ?

It’s a long story, but there were drug problems within the band. Certain members weren’t playing up to standard, or were just too out of it to turn up to rehearsals. Ultimately, Chris Stewart and I decided to change things. August Worchell went first and was replaced by guitarist, JJ Bolt (The Wild) and then Punkee went next. He was replaced by Matt Sorum who did an amazing job. He was never going to be permanent in the band, even though we wanted him to join, Guns N’ Roses was his band.  

In my opinion it's still the best album Sorum recorded so far. Unfortunately it haven't been released until 2008. Can you explain the circumstances that lead to this ?

It really is some of the best drumming Matt ever did. Everyone who hears it generally agrees. We just told him do whatever he wanted and he did an amazing job.
As for the long delay in the album release, well that's a good question. Epic records owned the rights to the recordings and once those rights ran out we released it on a small label.

So it was on Suncity records in 2008 but the booklet's liner notes are quite inexistent. No line-up or recording credits, not even who took care of the supervision of this record. So who was behind the making of Unfinished business and why the booklet information are so, let's say, limited ? At least all the lyrics are included.

It was thrown together and released cheaply. Low-budget, bare bones. It is what it is. We probably should have done a better job with it. I know the fans would have liked to see more credits. Maybe if we do a re-issue then we’ll update it and make it better. ;) 

This record is now out of print and Suncity out of business. Do you know how many copies were produce and can we expect a reissue at some point ?

There were not that many copies released before it went out of print. As to the exact amount I don’t know for sure. As for a reissue, only time will tell. I guess if the fans want it then at some point it might happen. 

We are now in 2016 and here to talk about a possible present and future for Johnny Crash. I'm following you on facebook so when I discovered the news about a re-formation I was quite surprised cause you always said your Rock singer days were over. What happened ?

I have recently been getting a lot of interest from fans around the world. Up until now I didn’t think many people cared about JC anymore. But it seems I was wrong. It’s been something I’ve been contemplating for a couple of months. I think the Kickstarter campaign will help us see if there really is interest in a JC reunion. If I can raise the money then I believe that there is enough interest in us to warrant our return. However, if we can’t raise the money, then it probably isn’t worth getting the band together. Either way, it is in the hands of the fans.

I had the feeling that it still could remained bad blood between some former members. Do you think time could have healed some wounds and are you still in touch with your former bandmates ?

I hear a lot of talk from some of my former band mates and not all of it is good. I like all the guys who have been in the band over the years, maybe not all of them like me. At the end of the day, I aspire to be professional and I really don’t think “airing your dirty laundry in public” is the best thing for any group. If we can come to some sort of an agreement regarding the filming of the “JC reunion gig” using all the original members then that’s what we’ll do. If not, then I will still go ahead with this using guest musicians.

Please tell more about your current plan.

The plan is pretty simple. Most of it is explained on the Kickstarter page. First we raise the $7000. With this money I will put the band into rehearsal, book a show somewhere in Hollywood before the end of the year and play live. I will use my film crew to shoot the whole show, then I will produce a film from this. After the film is made we will then play a series of club/theater gigs around the world.

I personally pledged to get the Double CD with unreleased material, and of course the movie on the come-back. But, really, what can we expect to hear on this brand new release ?

The double CD is a secret.  I can’t discuss what it is at this point in time. All I can tell you is that it contains 2 CDs worth of music.

I'm inviting every JC fans to back this campaign and turn it into a reality. The $7000 goal isn't far out so I wish you all the best and I'm eager to see the result. Would you like to add something to the attention of the readers ?

I want to thank all the Johnny Crash fans out there for all your support so far. If you can pledge even $1 to the Kickstarter campaign then that will help us finance "The return of JOHNNY CRASH" Reunion film. I know that this is achievable with your help. In the event that we don't succeed I will still owe a debt of gratitude to you all for getting the word out there and helping me in this quest. If it's meant to be then it's meant to be.
Long live Rock n' Roll!

Go to the campaign page
Johnny Crash facebook page

dimanche 21 août 2016

Johnny Crash is back !

 Johnny Crash was one of the few good bands that emerged from the Sunset Strip scene during the second part of the 80s. And Vick Wright, singer of the band, is now ready to reunite the gang with the help of the fans.

In 1990, Neighbourhood Threat, Johnny Crash first album was released on WTG/Epic records. I immediately liked its basic AC/DC - Rose Tattoo feel and the image of the band that was more raw than what we used to see from Hollywood during the 80s. The hairspray days were over and Doc Martins boots were the new trend in L.A. (and then, all over the Hard Rock planet).
Since a few years Faster Pussycat, Junkyard and Guns N Roses have delivered great albums and JC was now next in line. The aforementioned bands also released excellent 2nd albums (well, in fact GnR didn't but get the success anyway...) and Johnny Crash had one ready to go out too, but...

Unfinished business has only been released in 2008 on Suncity records, an indie label. A bit late for the band career for sure. Nonetheless the fans bought the initial pressing and the record is pretty rare now but worth the search cause it is really the perfect follow up we expected back then.

Nowadays, and by popular demand, their singer Vick Wright is trying to re-form the gang and is currently launching a collaborative campaign to get money to set up a reunion gig in L.A. and shot a film out of it. And even toured the world if the fans are yelling loud enough for their come-back.

Why not be a part of it ? I am and waiting for to listen to the promised double-CD featuring unreleased material. An of course witness Johnny Crash onstage for the first time when the movie is ready !

Go to the campaign page
Johnny Crash facebook page