MOTÖRHEAD ‘Ace Of Spades’ 40TH Anniversary Edition.

Words El Jefe.

Motörhead. Loud. Dirty. Tough. But fair! Led by Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, a murderous bassist with gravel rash pipes, purebred rock and roll heart and the only constant member of the band. They had a forty-year career, and never once compromised their style or attitude.

Hearing the Motörhead classic Ace Of Spades as a teenager was a revelation. That sound! Powerhouse rockin’ metal with a hefty blues boogie spine holding the songs together. Headbangers loved ‘em; punks loved ‘em. Your neighbours hated ‘em but nothing could change the influence they had.

From beginning to end, Ace Of Spades is chock full of bruising tunes like the title track ‘Ace Of Spades’, and bookended by Lemmy’s anti-heroin ode, ‘The Hammer’, with its sledgehammer riffs, and caustic lyrics. The anthemic ‘(We Are) The Road Crew’ was Lemmy’s testament to the team who made the tours happen, and also heavy evidence as to why Lemmy was held in such high regard by all who dealt with him. Continue reading

COMA WALL ‘Ursa Minor’ EP Review.

Words Anthony Moore.
Photo Tom McKibbin.

Some songwriters just seem to suit who you are and match your musical personality so perfectly. For me, John Frusciante, Adalita Srsen, and Craig Westwood, among others, all do this. Whether as a part of their respective bands – being loud and more extreme sounding, or when paired back, solo and just more chilled, I know I’ll dig anything they do.

Which brings me to this release. Coma Wall is the acoustic alter-ego of Oxford, UK sludge doom band Undersmile. This release is a bit of a nostalgic trip for Hel (Sterne – vocals, guitar) and Taz (Corona-Brown – vocals, guitar) who wrote the songs in the band that predated Undersmile called Ursa Minor (hence the name of the EP). The songs date back to around 2006/2007, with these demos recorded in 2012. The songs were recorded live with bass and string overdubs added later. Continue reading

ZENITH MOON ‘Gypsy’ SIngle Review.

Words El Jefe.

So here we have Zenith Moon, and their brand-spankin’ new single ‘Gypsy’. Zenith Moon is a Melbourne trio (who have a tendency to add the necessary members when the wind is blowing in the right direction!) with some heavy retro vibes coursing through their veins, and have been hitting the board since their inception in 2018.

While some pretty, lysergic juices are wrung from the guitars, and peppers the tune with chunky chords, the bassist lays down some Motown-driven melodic bass runs which gives front lady Kahli Rose a clear path to crank out her big, soulful rock’n’roll vocals that lift ‘Gypsy’ to the heights it deserves. Continue reading

WINO ‘Forever Gone’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

So here we have Scott “Wino” Weinrich’s third solo LP, the poignantly titled Forever Gone and another addition to his acoustic work from recent years. With a great interpretation of the Joy Division track ‘Isolation’ released a couple of months back as a “teaser” for the new record, it wasn’t hard to see this was gonna be another commanding album.

The move to acoustic material after decades of bulldozing doom and stoner rock may have come as a surprise to some, although something that immediately came to mind was reading of the Birthday Party, after relocating to England and having limited access to equipment, writing their darkest and most menacing material on acoustic guitars while delving into lounge music. An excellent example of how the discrepancies between influences and style in any creative medium don’t necessarily determine the output. Continue reading

WINO ‘Isolation’ (Joy Division Cover) Single Review.

Words El Jefe.

So Wino is a man who really needs no introduction (but here’s a brief one anyway!) when you’re talkin’ heavy rnr. From St Vitus, The Obsessed through to Spirit Caravan and beyond, and his more recent folky acoustic material, he is someone who has always delivered the goods, and never compromised his vision. So a cover of ‘Isolation’ by Joy Division, who also happen to be an old fave band of mine, struck me as an interesting choice. Continue reading

1000mods ‘Youth Of Dissent’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

Greek band 1000mods have been around the traps for a decade and half, give or take a millennium and have achieved some solid success on the back of their formidable live performances and heavy duty stoner rock. So, on the back of this, they have now produced LP #4, Youth Of Dissent.

On face value, it’s a much more “radio friendly” album than the first three releases, although it’s not without their trademark grit, just with a few more “pop” oriented tunes. And I do have to say, some of the uptempo tunes, like ‘Lucid’ and ‘Pearl’ took me straight back to the Sydney of the ’80s and its glory daze of Aussie beer-fueled riff-rock and the plethora of post Radio Birdman and sub Celibate Rifles bands who kept venues packed. Continue reading

ETHYL ETHER ‘Chrome Neon Jesus’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.
Photo – Louis van Zyl.

Opening my email in the wee small hours, I found lurking the new release by Ethyl Ether, titled Chrome Neon Jesus. Just another bunch of rockers with one foot in the glitter, the other in the grave I thought, but I duly slung it onto the record machine. Let’s just say, I’m fucking glad I did. These southerners (Ok, South Africans to be precise) have certainly got a handle on making a great record. They’re not a one trick pony either, and cover some fairly broad ground stylistically with their material.

The opener to CNJ is ‘The Smoke Waits For No Man’, whose breezy intro quickly becomes a neat ’70s era tune. And mayhaps Scummo [Aust PM – Ed] can purloin this tune as a soundtrack to his next clusterfuck, sorry, I mean “Political Campaign”! This one also had me waiting with bated breath for an epic synth solo, but sadly, they didn’t deliver on this promise. Continue reading

WITCHCRAFT ‘Black Metal’ LP Review

Words El Jefe.

Witchcraft, the brainchild (and only constant member) of Magnus Pelander, have got a new record set for release. With five full length LP’s to their name, and a formidable reputation for producing very authentic sounding ’70s heavy rock records, they have, with the ironically titled Black Metal, recorded a totally acoustic LP, comprised solely of folky-blues tunes, replete with the ol’ lonesome whistle of the freight train rolling over the horizon.

Whilst still released under the moniker of Witchcraft, Pelander is the sole contributor to Black Metal, and on theis record plumbs the depths of despair with his lyrics. Songs like ‘Elegantly Expressed Depression’, ‘Sad People’ and ‘Take Him Away’ perfectly frame the mournful vibe of Black Metal. The pure-bred rawness of these songs played in such a threadbare fashion sees Pelander opening his soul for the world to inspect. And exposing your vulnerable underbelly like this isn’t within the comfort zone of too many people, so such an honest portrait of the human soul is a rare gem to behold. Continue reading

WOMEN OF DOOM LP Review

Words El Jefe.

Women Of Doom. I love the sound of that, and this album showcases some of the outlandish talent that can be found amongst the doom scene. It’s a mixed bag as well, with the artists covering a tonne of ground, stylistically (and not ALL doom; this is just women who, in their day jobs, play doom), but all well worth a listen.

Opening the account is Heavy Temple with a tune called ‘Astral Hand’. It’s got some cool slinky riffs, a grunty bass tone and some soaring vocals. This track, being one of the more structured on WOD was a good choice for an opener.

Amy Tung Barrysmith (Year Of The Cobra) delivers a slow-moving Kate Bush-esque spooky choral doom track. Gentle and melodic, it’s got a very liquid sheen to it. Continue reading

BLACK RAINBOWS ‘Radio 666’ Single Review.

Words El Jefe.

So Black Rainbows, a band straight outta Italy have a new LP entitled Cosmic Ritual Supertrip in the pipeline and have unleashed the first tune from it for our listening pleasure. The song, ‘Radio 666’, is some classic sounding Black Rainbows and is sure to keep the old fans (like me) happy, and should also rope in a few new ones at the same time.

The rasping, raunchy guitar intro has some cool mid ‘60s tones to it, and wouldn’t be outta place on something by The 13th Floor Elevators, which is a bit of a departure from the usual heavy, wall of fuzz wail I usually would expect from this band, but the song itself has some ballsy drive to it. Meshed with the hooky chorus, it easily grabs your ear and takes it for a few laps, beer in hand, of the main drag. Continue reading