Brant Bjork – Bougainvillea Suite

Bougainvillea Suite Album Cover Art

Brant Bjork – Bougainvillea Suite
Heavy Psych Sounds
Release date: 28/10/2022
Running time: 41:16
Review by: Alun Jones
8.5/10

Brant Bjork must be a very busy boy at the moment.  We’ve already had an album out earlier this year from his desert rock supergroup, Stoner, and now here’s a solo effort too.  He’s a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and no mistake, offering up sonic expeditions of varying styles and pace.  Most of all, though, Brant seems to be a decent bloke who’d be ideal company for a beer or three.

For “Bougainvillea Suite”, we’re in a more laid back, but still rockin’ mode.  The album is like a combination of Santana and Steppenwolf, full of relaxed but vital summer vibes. ‘Trip on the Wine’, our first song, has a similar stomp to The Door’s ‘Five to One’, but less angsty. The late 60s-early 70’s groove is maintained throughout, with ‘So They Say’ embellished with a sweet, melodic construction and ‘Broke That Spell’ having an early Purple raunch.

Stoner band mate Ryan Gut adds percussion and keys, whilst the final member of that trio, Nick Oliveri, pops up on ‘Bread for Butter’.  This track and ‘Ya Dig’ are two of the more direct, heads-down rockers, whilst the extended blues jam of ‘Who Do You Love’ is trippy territory augmented with some almost Stooges-like lead guitar.  This last track is a real highlight, it’s like a long-forgotten experiment involving all of the bands I’ve mentioned!

And that’s it: eight songs that whilst not easy listening, can be mellow, psychedelic and still rock your bones.  “Bougainvillea Suite” would make perfect summer evening listening, with a beer and a BBQ as the clear sky fades to black, after good times with good friends and a long day shredding a pool.  But it was released in late Autumn, so what do I know?  Just buy it and enjoy.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Trip On The Wine
02. Good Bones
03. So They Say
04. Broke That Spell
05. Bread For Butter
06. Ya’ Dig
07. Let’s Forget
08. Who Do You Love

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Battalions – King of a Dead World

King of a Dead World Album Cover Art

Battalions – King of a Dead World
APF Records
Release date: 21/10/2022
Running time: 31 mins
Review by: Alun Jones
9.5/10

Battalions return with a pummelling new album, “King of a Dead World” from APF Records. The APF label can be relied upon for quality releases, and there’s no doubting that here. Born of Hullfire – well, they come from Hull – and unleashed in streams of molten lava from the deepest catacombs, here Battalions are channelling all of their experience into a recording of sheer, elemental power.

It falls on the humbled shoulders of yours truly to attempt some journalistic summary of what we have here. But in short – if you’re already a fan of (or just familiar) with Battalions, just go ahead and buy this now. If you’re a new or curious listener, be prepared for a lesson in dense, thick Sludge. With a capital ‘S’.

The music Battalions let loose on the world combines the heaviosity of Sludge with a persistent groove, underlined with the unrelenting intensity of Hardcore. First track ‘Green Boots’ demonstrates this perfectly, with a crushing riff that can make the listener nod their head and scream along.

Phil Wilkinson’s vocals are a harsh growl, well suited to the ferocity of tracks like ‘Parasite’. The guitars of Pete Cross are punishing but also full of variety, as shown on ‘Coughing Nails’ (great title). Meanwhile, Matthew Dennett on bass and Simon Harrison on drums manage to keep it all on track with precision.

‘Bones to Dust’ was another track that particularly impressed; a calmer start (by comparison) that erupts into a huge, bouncing riff which will sandpaper your face off.

“King of a Dead World” is chock full of great ideas and delivers on all of them. Though relatively short at 31 minutes, the album wastes nothing and doesn’t out stay it’s welcome – you’ll want to replay it again and again. It’s unforgiving, powerful and noisy – there’s no slumber on the Humber here. Instead, join Battalions on the Highway to Hull, it’s a full on, exciting ride and you won’t regret it.  

TRACKLISTING:
01. Green Boots
02. Coughing Nails
03. Diagnosis Fucked
04. Bones to Dust
05. No Safe Place
06. Parasite
07. Light a Fire
08. King of a Dead World

LINE-UP:
Phil Wilkinson – Vocals
Pete Cross – Guitars
Matthew Dennett – Bass
Simon Harrison – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Trouble – The Distortion Field

The Distortion Field Album Cover Art

Trouble – The Distortion Field
Hammerheart Records
Release date: 14/10/2022
Running time: 01:03:00
Review by: Alun Jones
9/10

More Trouble! Another welcome re-issue from Trouble’s back catalogue courtesy of Hammerheart Records, here we have their 2013 album “The Distortion Field”, back in circulation. This was the last studio effort the band have released (at this time) – and with vocalist Eric Wagner (RIP) absent, replaced by Kyle Thomas (of Exhorder and Alabama Thunderpussy). 

Sure enough, things get off to a solid start with a thunderous ‘When the Sky Comes Down’ and ‘Paranoia Conspiracy’, both reliably Trouble-some rockers. The album really picks up a gear or three with ‘The Broken Have Spoken’, a lumbering riff juggernaut that reminded me of Pantera. Then there’s ‘Sink or Swim’, a mighty, pacey mountain shaker with a chorus hook so big it could reel in a Kraken.

There’s little of the psychedelic, hippy journeys found on the Def American albums. Instead, there’s the almost ballad ‘Have I Told You’, which haunts like vintage Alice in Chains. The quality only dips with ‘Glass of Lies’, which is a little too barroom boogie for me – though the last section of the song thankfully reverts to a funereal Doom speed.

For the most part though, songs like ‘Hunters of Doom’ deliver exactly the kind of chugging riffology that the listener would expect. ‘Butterflies’ illustrates Trouble’s doom strategy perfectly again – slow, heavy crunch with another almighty chorus. 

Add in the bonus track ‘The Apple from the Snake’ and this is prime Trouble. Newcomers may want to start with something from the band’s earlier work, but a re-issue of “The Distortion Field” is fantastic news for fans. Add this record to your collection and keep your fingers crossed for something new in the near future. 

My mate Keith Moon was a troublemaker who needed no introduction – blowing up toilets, scrappy food fights and driving limousines into swimming pools. He was good as gold round at his old mum’s house, though. I went there once with Keith, and it was all very pleasant. Cup of tea, slice of cake, lovely conversation with Mrs Moon. Very down to earth. Until I got home later that is and spent the entire evening on the loo. Moony told me later that his mum – another practical joker – had laced my food with laxatives. Very bloody funny.

TRACKLISTING:
01. When the Sky Comes Down
02. Paranoia Conspiracy
03. The Broken Have Spoken
04. Sink or Swim
05. One Life
06. Have I Told You
07. Hunters of Doom
08. Glass of Lies
09. Butterflies
10. Sucker
11. The Greying Chill of Autumn
12. Bleeding Alone
13. Your Reflection
14. The Apple From the Snake

LINE-UP:
Rick Wartell – Guitars
Bruce Franklin – Guitars
Kyle Thomas – Vocals
Mark Lira – Drums
Rob Hultz – Bass

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Eddie And The Hot Rods – The Singles 1976 – 1985

Eddie And The Hot Rods – The Singles 1976 – 1985 Album Cover Art

Eddie And The Hot Rods – The Singles 1976 – 1985
Cherry Red Records
Release date: 14/10/2022
Running time: 02:13:00
Review by Alun Jones
9/10

Yes it’s me again, sneaking in some more Punk Rock alongside your regular dose of Ever Metal. Because variety is the spice of life, right? Although to be honest, some trainspotter’s gonna testify that Eddie and the Hot Rods aren’t Punk, they’re “Pub Rock” or “New Wave”. Like I care. 

This compilation from Cherry Red includes 40 tracks over two CD’s, full to the top of the pint glass with Pub / Punk / New Wave from Eddie and the Hot Rods. All the single A and B sides from 1976 to 1985 are squeezed in – in chronological order – leaving no stone unturned, to create a definitive journey through the bands career. 

Starting with the first 45, ‘Writing on the Wall’, and including numerous energetic cover versions like ‘Woolly Bully’, ’96 Tears’ and ‘Satisfaction’, it’s easy to imagine being in a packed pub rocking out to the Hot Rods. These early tracks illustrate nicely how the band were really a revved up R’n’B band in the style of the Stones and early Who – just faster and with even more gung-ho. There’s a direct line here from the rebellious Rock ’n’ Roll of the MC5 – as evidenced by two collaborations with Rob Tyner at the end of disc one. 

The Punk association really blossoms with the superb ‘Teenage Depression’; it’s like Mick, Keith and the other three time travelling ten years into their future and being inspired by the Ramones. The obsessive nature of this collection means we get three versions of all-time classic (and New Wave comp standard) ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’ (including the US single edit and live version from a B side). It’s a good job it’s such a great song.

There’s a clue with that repetition where this compilation will find its audience. For the die-hard fan or seasoned collector, it’s a handy collection covering all bases. The booklet is perfect: details about every single and repro art of each record. It’s far more than a “greatest hits” set, though, so may be too much for the casual listener. 

The last couple of tracks on the second disc suffer from heavy handed mid 80’s production, but it’s quality stuff all the same. Some will prefer to write the band off as coat tail riders, based on the boozy covers, but the sheer exuberance of the performances is addictive. “The Singles 1976 – 1985” shows Eddie and the Hot Rods at their very best; the final product is so chock full of detail it’s a treasure.

TRACKLISTING:

Disc One
01. Writing On The Wall
02. Cruisin’ (In The Lincoln)
03. Wooly Bully
04. Horseplay (Weary Of The Schmaltz)
05. 96 Tears (Live)
06. Get Out Of Denver (Live)
07. Gloria / (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Live)
08. Teenage Depression
09. Shake
10. I Might Be Lying
11. Ignore Them (Always Crashing In The Same Bar)
12. Hard Drivin’ Man (Live)
13. Horseplay (Live)
14. Double Checkin’ Woman (Live)
15. All I Need Is Money (Live)
16. On The Run (Live)
17. Do You Anything You Wanna Do
18. Schoolgirl Love
19. Till The Night Is Gone (Let’s Rock) (with Robin Tyner)
20. Flip-Side Rock (with Robin Tyner)

Disc Two
01. Do Anything You Wanna Do (USA 7” Edit)
02. Quit This Town
03. Distortion May Be Expected (laughbagindub)
04. Life On The Line
05. Do Anything You Wanna Do (Live)
06. What’s Really Goin’ On (Live)
07. Why Can’t It Be (Live)
08. Media Messiahs
09. Horror Through Straightness
10. Power And The Glory
11. Highlands One Hopefuls Two
12. At Night
13. You Better Run
14. Looking Around
15. Wide Eyed Kid
16. Leave Us Alone
17. Farther On Down The Road (You Will Accompany Me)
18. Fish ‘N’ Chips Part Two
19. Fought For You
20. Hey, Tonight

LINE-UP:
Barrie Masters – Vocals
Steve Nicol – Drums, Backing Vocals
Dave Higgs – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Tony “T.C.” Cranney – Bass, Backing Vocals

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Trouble – Live in Stockholm

Live in Stockholm Album Cover Art

Trouble – Live in Stockholm
Hammerheart Records
Release date: 02/09/2022
Running time: 01:17:00
Review by: Alun Jones
8/10

Stockholm, Sweden: sometime in the early 1990’s. At this point in their career, legendary Doom Metal instigators Trouble were signed to Def American records and starting to shift a few extra units. The Chicago band were invited to play in Sweden by fellow pioneers Candlemass, and it’s this gig that provides the music for this double LP live extravaganza. The release covers the never before available, complete set from that evening. Fully remastered by Erwin Hermsen at Toneshed Studio , it’s now unleashed as a double album on seductive, alluring vinyl. 

Track wise, the PR blurb casts this as a “greatest hits” set, and rightly so. Of course, there’s a healthy selection from the Def American albums, such as a blistering ’Come Touch the Sky’, the brilliant ‘Memory’s Garden’ and a crushing ‘End of My Days’. Older tracks also get a fair showcase too, with ‘Psalm 9’ and ‘The Skull’, amongst others, proving how this band achieved their legendary status.

So, this live collection is a great overview of Trouble’s music at this point in time. What’s also encouraging is that the sound really is impressive, the remastering has done a fine job of polishing these tracks. Unlike many live offerings, this album has a reassuringly clear – yet still live and raw – finish. ‘The Misery Shows (Act II)’ is a great example – the mellower parts shimmer, though the crunch is still present when needed.

“Live in Stockholm” is indeed a good place to dive in for anyone who wants to sample Trouble’s catalogue. For the long-term fans, the performance and sound both offer a worthwhile addition to the collection. Personally, there’s nothing new, song wise, here for me – so I really can’t mark this release any higher – but a solid release nonetheless.

You might think that characters like Ozzy, Tommy Lee or Lemmy would’ve been terrible for getting me in trouble in the past, but they were all sweethearts really. The person who got me in more trouble with crazy antics than anyone was actually, believe it or not, new wave pop princess Belinda Carlisle. She was a total deviant. Scary. I can’t tell you anymore because she still thinks I died of an overdose in a Tijuana brothel in 1985. And quite frankly, I’m scared of her. 

TRACKLISTING:
01. R.I.P.
02. Come Touch the Sky
03. End of My Daze
04. Plastic Green Head
05. Fear
06. Memory’s Garden
07. The Misery Shows (Act II)
08. Psalm 9
09. Run to the Light
10. All is Forgiven
11. Psychotic Reaction
12. The Skull
13. Revelation (Life or Death)
14. The Tempter

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Nebula – Transmissions From Mothership Earth

Transmission From Mothership Earth Album Cover Art

Nebula – Transmissions From Mothership Earth
Heavy Pysch Sounds Records
Release Date: 22/07/2022
Running Time: 39:00
Review by: Alun Jones
9/10

As I write this, we’re sweltering in a record-breaking heatwave.  North Wales, which is where I’m based – and also where the nerve centre of Ever Metal can be found – has had some of the highest temperatures in the whole of the UK.  It’s crazy.  And so, a new album from desert rock titans Nebula seems extremely apt right now.  “Transmissions From Mothership Earth” has arrived at exactly the right time.

And it arrives with a welcome burst of fuzz drenched psych rock, exactly as expected, in the first track, ‘Highwired’.  Big fat riffs, dashes of space rock and a whiff of herbal cigarettes: classic Nebula, really.  Up next is the title track, which adds some nice, sixties secret agent vibes to the melting pot, together with a punishingly heavy section.

‘Wilted Flowers’ begins with a mellow guitar section before exploding into a thunderous head tripper.  There’s a feel of Mudhoney and the Stooges with Nebula’s best work, as evidenced here and with ‘Melt Your Head’.  Other tracks like ‘Warzone Speedwulf’ and ‘The Four Horseman’ sound like early Monster Magnet dripped in acid fried Steppenwolf and left to dry in a Tarantino desert landscape.    

No surprises then with this latest Nebula release, and with titles like ‘I Got So High’ you can guess exactly what to expect.  But who cares?  “Transmissions From Mothership Earth” is a solid album of pounding rhythms and spaced-out fuzz rock.  It’s bound to make my end of year best of list, and right now it’s the perfect soundtrack for summer.  Enjoy, fellow explorers – it’s gonna piss it down with rain tomorrow. 

Talking about nebula and space and galaxies and all that, did I tell you about the great telescope trick we played on Bill Ward once?  It was at Brian May’s house, and he’s well into all that astrology business.  Bri’s got this huge telescope for star gazing.  So Tony, Ozzy, Geezer and me persuaded Bill to take a look.  What he didn’t know was that Brian had put black paint inside the lens, so Bill ended up with a great big, black monocle on his face.  Bill didn’t realise, and walked round like that all night – extremely paranoid as to why all the guests were laughing at him.  Great fun!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Highwired
02. Transmissions from Mothership Earth
03. Wilted Flowers
04. Melt Your Head
05. Warzone Speedwulf
06. I Got So High
07. Existential Blues
08. The Four Horseman

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Sergeant Thunderhoof – This Sceptred Veil

This Sceptred Veil Album Cover Artwork

Sergeant Thunderhoof – This Sceptred Veil
Pale Wizard Records
Release Date: 03/06/2022
Running Time: 01:09:00
Review by Alun Jones
9.5/10

OK: so for once, I’m kinda stuck for words. How do I tackle this album, the new offering from Sergeant Thunderhoof? I mean, we can go through a song-by-song overview; try to describe the listening experience for the reader, make comparisons to other bands in a lame attempt to get the message across. But what I really need – or want – to do, is SELL it. Because I care about you, Ever Metal readers, and I don’t want you to miss out. “This Sceptred Veil” is a fantastic record.

Our opening song ‘You’ve Stolen the Words’ lays Sergeant Thunderhoof’s wares out on the table from the off. A mammoth, heavy riff erupts from the speakers and drags the listener along like a tin can in a hurricane. This is a big sound. Mark Sayers guitars are momentous, epic on a biblical scale. Comparisons to Soundgarden are obvious but apt, particularly considering the Olympian vocals of Daniel Flitcroft, soaring on every song.

If I was gonna make more lazy comparisons, there’s a hint of spacey Monster Magnet raunch on ‘King Beyond the Gates’ and maybe even some Maiden gallop on the ‘Show Don’t Tell’. Both tracks testify that the rhythm section – Jim Camp on bass and Darren Ashman on drums – have the skills to rev the engine as well as groove along on the more cerebral tracks.

Speaking of the cerebral, it’s the lengthy Prog work outs that differentiate Thunderhoof from other similar artists. As much as I love the rockin’ numbers (shout out too for ‘Devil’s Daughter’), these guys are extremely comfortable wandering into the realms where Mastodon rule. Witness ‘Avon and Avalon’ Parts I and II: two tracks that, whilst not exactly mellow, certainly take their time to explore and build a musical soundscape. It’s thrilling.

Running at around the 69 minute mark, there is a lot to discover here. You’re going to need to devote some time to this baby, but don’t fret – you’ll be massively rewarded if you do. So please forgive the hard sell. I only mention similar bands in an attempt to reach out to fans who I know will dig this, too. Sergeant Thunderhoof have created a superb album in “This Sceptred Veil” – one of the best of the year, so far. Don’t miss it. 

TRACKLISTING:
01. You’ve Stolen The Words
02. Devil’s Daughter
03. Absolute Blue
04. Foreigner
05. Woman Call
06. King Beyond The Gates
07. Show Don’t Tell
08. Avon & Avalon Part I
09. Avon & Avalon Part II

LINE-UP:
Jim Camp – Bass
Darren Ashman – Drums
Mark Sayer – Guitars
Dan Flitcroft – Vocals

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

UK Subs – XXIV/Yellow Leader Reissues

UK Subs – XXIV/Yellow Leader Reissues
Captain Oi/Cherry Red Records
Release Date: XXIV10/06/2022
Yellow Leader08/07/2022
Running time: 38:00/ 52:00
Review by Alun Jones
XXIV:9/10
Yellow Leader: 8.5/10

Recap time: regular readers may remember that yours truly recently reviewed the re-issue of “Work in Progress” by punk veterans UK Subs.  You may also recall that that album covered the letter W in the bands ongoing mission to release an album for every letter of the alphabet.  Well, the good news is that Captain Oi/Cherry Red Records are also releasing the next two instalments in the series – that’s the letters X and Y (but you knew that).

Working through chronologically, we have “XXIV” – which the lovely record company peeps have released on drool-worthy double 10” vinyl, one green, one clear.  Yummy.  Our first song is an absolute belter: the full-on turbo romp ‘Implosion 77’.  Hold on tight and buckle up!  There’s plenty more fast’n’nasty thrills on offer too: ‘Speed’ has a merciless UK82 vibe; ‘Monkeys’ has a classic Subs singalong chorus; ‘Garden of Good & Evil’ is another pogo-till-your-pants-fall-off rocker.

There’s some well-placed variety too, with the harmonica adorned political thrust of ‘Coalition Government Blues’, and Bo Diddley swagger of ‘Wreckin’ Ball’ – both showing hints of the bands R’n’B origins (like as in, what R’n’B used to be).  Lyrically there are plenty of targets for Charlie to attack, both politically and socially.  ‘Memento Mori’ finishes the album off with one most aggressive tunes on offer, leaving us with a great album of 14 adrenaline infused songs.

“Yellow Leader” follows in a similar fashion, featuring 18 songs (whereas the original vinyl was cut to just 14 due to running times).  To be released on slinky, divine double 10” vinyl (one red, one turquoise here), it’ll be a feast for the eyes and ears.  Again, the album is crammed with more relentless Punk Rock shenanigans like ‘Sick Velveteen’, ‘Chemical’ and ‘Heathens’, all of which will have you jumping around the room like a monkey on a lava stream.

As with the previous record, there’s plenty of other sounds and ideas here. The single ‘Sin City Blues’ has a killer rockabilly feel, and ‘Rebellion Song’ breaks out the acoustic guitar.  The only mis-step is ‘Archaeology’, a strange Post -Punk/ Goth style experiment that, while not awful, isn’t a total success.  All in all, the quality of music is impressively high and the recordings sound excellent.

And there you go, music lovers! Not one, but TWO albums of mighty UK Subs songs, lovingly compiled and curated by those nice folks at Captain Oi/Cherry Red Records.  You lucky people.  Pick ‘em up while you can, nobody is this fortunate twice.    

TRACKLISTING:

XXIV:
01. Implosion 77 
02. Coalition Government Blues 
03. Speed 
04. Rabid 
05. Monkeys 
06. Black Power Salute 
07. Las Vegas Wedding 
08. Stare At The Sun  
09. Garden Of Good And Evil 
10. Workers Revolution 
11. Wreckin’ Ball 
12. Detox 
13. Failed State 
14. Momento Mori 
15. Workers Beer Company

Yellow Leader:
01. Sick Velveteen 
02. Artificial 
03. Bordeaux Red 
04. Chemical 
05. Deconstruct 
06. Diatribe 
07. Feed The Whore 
08. Heathens 
09. Prime Evil 
10. Rebellion Song 
11. Sin City Blues 
12. Slave 
13. Big Bug 
14. Suicidal Girl 
15. Virus 
16. Cry Wolf 
17. Archaeology 
18. 611

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Fourteenth Trip

Brown Acid The Fourteenth Trip Album Cover Art

Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Fourteenth Trip
RidingEasy Records
Release date: 20/04/2022
Running time: 34:00
Review by Alun Jones
7.5/10

Well, that’s it, it’s over – I thought to myself on first perusing this latest entry in the Brown Acid series.  The well has finally run dry.  The RidingEasy Records archaeologists have eventually reached the end of their previously rich vein of rare, obscure and undiscovered proto-metal and vintage hard rock.  How had I arrived at this conclusion?  There are only eight songs, compared to the usual ten; with a running time of just 26 minutes.  

Then I realised that the final track, an 8-minute-long number by a band called Raven, was missing from the press review download I had.  So that extra track would even things out nicely, with a decent longer running time.  Though I wouldn’t be able to review every song, at least the existential crisis of NO MORE ROCK had been avoided!

Volume 14 starts of with the great ‘Fever Games’ by The Legends: it’s a rampant, rollicking late 60’s ode to Blue Cheer, Hendrix and Cream.  Despite aping Jimi a little too closely, this song is a lively opener.  Next up is Mijal & White with ‘I’ve Been You’.  This track sounds like the Monkees cutting a particularly noisy song by The Who, which should encourage you to definitely give it a whirl on your gramophone.  

I don’t know who Henry is, but thanks to the chunky blues rock of Liquid Blue, I know that ‘Henry Can’t Drive’.  This is a more traditional heavy rock number, and as an album highlight it keeps the engine speeding along on a straight track.  There’s a fast rock’n’roll MC5 vibe to ‘Signs’ by San Francisco Trolly Co. This energetic song is followed by Blue Creed’s ‘Need a Friend’, a raw and rough brawler.  It’s a contrast to ‘Play It Cool’ by Transfer, which reminds me of a revved-up surf track.  

‘You’re Not the Only Girl (I’m Out to Get)’ by Appletree finally ushers in some much-needed cowbell.  Reminiscent of Grand Funk Railroad and – gasp – even early Kiss, it’s another quality highlight.  Ideal for playing in an old, rusty’n’trusty Camaro.

Cox’s Army gives us another Hendrix inspired number with ‘I’m Tired’, which bops along in a true groovy manner.  And that, for me, is my last track on my version of “Brown Acid: The Fourteenth Trip”, though as mentioned above, there is another song called

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Legends – Fever Games
02. Mijal & White – I’ve Been You
03. Liquid Blue – Henry Can’t Drive
04. San Francisco Trolley Co – Signs
05. Blue Creed – Need a Friend
06. Transfer – Play it Cool 
07. Appletree – You’re Not the Only Girl (I’m Out to Get)
08. Cox’s Army – I’m Tired
09. Raven – Back to Ohio Blues

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Toyah – Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! (2021 Remaster)

Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! Album Cover Art

Toyah – Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! (2021 Remaster)
Cherry Red Records
Release Date: 13/05/2022
Running Time: 1:01:00
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

Now, your first question may well be: “How did Platinum Al manage to slip a Toyah review onto a Rock / Metal website?” Well, dear reader, let me tell you a story. The first time I ever saw Toyah live was at a local club, where the dynamic lady herself was backed by the mighty Girlschool. All of these fearsome females put on an explosive show, comprising of ultra-rocked-up originals from both artists and Classic Rock covers. So yes, Toyah is more Rock ’N’ Roll than you (or I) will ever be.

To be fair, despite her Pop pedigree, Toyah Willcox has always been more Bowie than Kylie. And on this reissue of the 1980 live album, Cherry Red have presented us with a vibrant – even, dare I say it, rocking – bunch of Post Punk songs that show Toyah and her band in full flight. The expanded deluxe CD set is packaged with a DVD featuring a contemporary documentary. For this review though, we’re focussing purely on the music.

Happily, the production is top notch. Remastered by Nick Watson from the original master tapes, the sound is formidable. The instruments come through crisp and clear and the vocals are excellent, as shown on ‘Victims of the Riddle’ where keyboards maintain a steady melody while lead guitar erupts with energy. Likewise, bass and drums shine on ‘Love Me’ – it’s particularly impressive considering we’re dealing with a 40-year-old live album.

Highlights on “Toyah! Toyah! Toyah!” include ‘Bird in Flight’, ‘Danced’ (which reminded me of the Skids) and the occult war chant of ‘Ieya’. Never truly dark enough to be Goth, the songs here are more “Scary Monsters” with a generous helping of Hawkwind Space Rock, especially on ‘Race Through Space’.

Through it all, Toyah’s one-of-a-kind voice soars. Toyah has never stopped writing and performing music, acting, presenting and so on; these days she’s famous for her lockdown YouTube videos performing kitchen-based Rock covers with husband, King Crimson legend, Robert Fripp. It’s great to hear “Toyah! Toyah! Toyah!” remastered and in pristine condition. Even speaking as a vinyl purist, it looks like my ancient vinyl copy has had its day. 

TRACKLISTING:
01. Victims Of The Riddle 
02. Indecision 
03. Love Me 
04. Vision 
05. Bird In Flight 
06. Tribal Look 
07. Danced 
08. Insects 
09. Race Through Space 
10. Ieya Bonus Tracks 
11. Ghosts 
12. Neon Womb (Unedited) 
13. She 
14. Danced (Encore Version)

LINE-UP:
Toyah Willcox – Vocals & Noises
Joel Bogen – Guitar
Peter Bush – Keyboards
Charlie Francis – Bass
Steve Bray – Drums

LINKS:

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