The DeRellas : Stick It To The Man Single

If you ever had the misguided belief that the heart and spirit of classic 1977 punk rock had dissipated and been lost over the years than stand by to be reminded and shown by the eager and mischievous new single from  UK rockers The DeRellas that it is alive and bristling to kick your butt. London based with members coming in from Brighton and Portland, The DeRellas do not take you back to the time when attitude and music raised its middle finger and stirred up more than just dust but bring it forth as if it had never laid dormant.

The two tracks that make up the Stick It To the Man single released through Dirty Water Records/Crushworld Records, badgers the heart and inspires urges of mischief with two varied songs reaped from and oozing UK and New York punk, dirty, belligerent and out for a good time any way they can. There is no pretence or attempts to be anything more than they are, just honest, irrepressible rock n roll. With a fine live reputation from playing with the likes of Hanoi Rocks and The Germs the band translate it into a rampant energy that fuels their recorded sound.

First song Stick It To The Man hijacks the ear with boisterous beats and gang chants before opening up the pace with stirring guitars and the baiting vocals of rhythms guitarist Robbie DeRella, who alongside lead guitarist Luca DeRella tease and taunt the essences with uncomplicated and sleazy melodies. It is the incessant bold rhythms of Alex Skinny DeRella alongside the moody bass of Timmy DeRella which capture and ignite the imagination with their glam rock open wantonness. Imagine Sweet or The Glitter Band in a booze addled union with The Dead Boys or The Flys and you have Stick It To The Man. The gang chants and rock n roll spine recalls the height of the great sounds heard at CBGB’s as it brings New York punk and 70’s sleaze/glam elements together to great effect.

Coupling the lead song is the excellent Go Go DeRellas, a scuzzy electrified Ramones homage/garage punk infection. A tongue in cheek instantaneous pleasure the track is simplicity at its best, easily accessible and an irresistible invitation to join in. The sound is equally powered with unrestrained rhythms and inciteful riffs that brings the original New York punks into a party blitzkrieg with Johnny Thunders, The Vibrators, and Suburban Studs.

The DeRellas wear their influences on their sleeve without an ounce of predictability or venturing into dullsville. Yes you can pick recognisable parts out and know their inspiration but it is brought with a flair and energy that sets the band as one of the most refreshing punk bands around and a band which is not only keeping the original sounds and intent alive but living and breathing it.

RingMaster 08/05/2012

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Thirteen Shots: Vaudeville

Hear that creaking and the scraping of fingernails on wood in the dead of night? That is the sound of UK horror punk band Thirteen Shots rising from the cold earth to unleash their debut album Vaudeville. Consisting of eight crypt borne tunes the album stomps and fiddles with the senses with an eager and infectious lingering charm and mischief. The album might not be flawless but it is fresh, vibrant and thrilling, an attention seeking bundle of fun.

The Birmingham based band creates a sound that combines sixties garage rock, horror punk and rock n roll with occasional infusions of psychobilly. It grabs with an eager bony hand to lead the ear in a gravestone leaping tour through realms of the dead and superheroes, each and every detour either a mesmeric wanton skeletal dance or a dirty riled up roughage of sound. Always fun, often silly and at times leaving one wondering why, the release simply does what it says on the tin, offer a full on varied entertainment that makes no apologies in having fun, this is Vaudeville.

Miss Eerie opens up the casket of Vaudeville, a decomposed love song with throbbing bass and firm rhythms spiked with acidic guitar tones and riffs. Part Misfits, part Thee Exciters, and more Johnny Thunders the song is a solid piece of punk rock. The band do not go hell for leather at any point almost having a slight reserve in their intentions but this allows each to shine and bring a distinct part to the sound, from the crisp attack of guitarists Izzy and Joe with eager backing vocals to match, the sinister basslines of GMT (George), and the bone rapping beats of drummer Chelsea, the band find a clean yet dirty mix that brings a strength to this and each song.  With the keen punk vocals of Johnny Roxx Rose scraping up and bringing forth the lyrics there is a accomplished feel to all songs even if some are more successful than others.

This strong start steps up a gear with Inspector George. A recognisable grooved bass and guitar riffs teases the ear whilst the drums bring a metallic punch to open up the listener before the surge of punk energy. The song switches back and forth keeping things interesting and only the feeling the song wants to explode into something more vigorous at times but never does brings a slight question against it.

     Boogie Man continues in similar vein, again suggesting there is more waiting within to spring out but never realised, still it is a very agreeable track that leaves its swagger behind long after it departs. This point marks the moment the album really kicks up some dust as the next three songs prove what a current great band Thirteen Shots is and the distinct promise they have within them for the future. Danzig, and yes you know its theme without us saying, is a hypnotic slice of horror punk, bringing a flavour of the man without stepping on toes and taking the effect too far. This is rock n roll of the Devil and a thoroughly pleasing thing for us mortals.

This Looks Like A Job For Batman leaps in next with cape flying; the band twisting the legendary theme riff into a Meteors flavoured psychobilly taunting that is delicious. With added ska punk grooves and touch of The Adicts it is a gem that demands instant replay before moving on. The song is a must and sets itself up for best track on Vaudeville until the following Dead Girls Don’t Scream makes its claim. A New York Dolls wrapped rock n roll with essences of Misfits and Resurex pours out of the track, a full rounded flavoursome treat that carries a sing-a-long lure and contagious hook to ensure it cannot be denied.

The release is completed with the easy going temptress that is The Graveyard Stomp and the American Rock Song before it.  The Graveyard Stomp is all about instant bonding with very obvious hooks and riffs you have heard often elsewhere and that many bands have played with to far less fun. American Rock Song is a good garage rock/punk song but does not quite live up to the rest of the songs , its taste a little bland in comparison but taken as a separate entity works very well and is easy to return to.

Vaudeville is great fun, a strong album that sets Thirteen Shots as a band with an impressive future. Maybe right now their own distinct sound is still trying to break out but it will surely come and with this much of a pleasing release that is a promise that breeds a great anticipation.

Ringmaster 02/04/2012

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Thirteen Shots – Danzig

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The Haunting – Beyond These Doors

Though not quite veterans US hard rock/heavy metal band The Haunting has been around for just over a decade and is still relatively unknown outside of their homeland but with their latest album Beyond These Doors the chances of that changing are greatly raised. Displaying a straightforward blend of rock, metal and punk the Californian quartet have released an album that is simple pure rock ‘n’ roll without any complications or pretence. Uncluttered and direct Beyond These Doors just parties in the ear with heavy riffs and clean dark melodies that are as engaging as they are punchy.

Formed in 1999 by lead guitarist Randy Korstick and drummer Jessie “2 Feathers” Melendrez, The Haunting gained their current line-up the following year with the addition of vocalist/guitarist Raven Celata and bassist Mike Gjede. Two demos in 2000 and 2002 started gaining them attention alongside shows but it was not until 2009 that the band entered Dinky Music studio in Corona, California to work on and subsequently release their album No One’s Innocent. 2010 saw them spend the whole year writing and working on its follow-up Beyond These Doors to be released earlier this year with the singles from it ‘Crank Up the Amps’ and ‘The Loser in Me’ leading the way. 

The songs on Beyond These Doors are generally themed from horror movies and carry an attitude that challenges you not to like them but no one can win that test with the eager and addict forming tunes on offer. Musically the band is a hybrid of Misfits/Ramones punk metal, Alice Cooper classic rock, and Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers rock ‘n’ roll. The clean simplicity of all those bands in league with ear catching instantaneous riffs and hooks that demand attention combining into an irresistible mix.

The first track ‘Crank Up the Amps’ opens on a definite Heartbreakers type sound, its open rock ‘n’ roll directness eager to have fun. As the track declares “We got a rock ‘n’ roll party tonight” that is what it delivers without any qualms. The early Misfits toned ‘Creation’ takes over with Celata’s slightly Danzig like vocals and striking guitars teasing and taunting with riffs and razor sharp solos.  The song, as is eventually revealed across all songs on the release, is never going to offer up the intricacies of progressive guitars and complicated rhythms from a Mastodon or the rampaging violence of a Brutal Truth but honest music that is just as definite to excite with its dark compulsive rock sounds.

Each song is an intriguing and appeasing slice but ‘The Loser in Me’ with a sound bringing strong flavours from UK 70’s punk, another Misfits spiced burst of catchy rock in the shape of ‘The Knife’, and the addictive ‘Two O’Clock In The Morning’ blessed with more rock ‘n’ roll harking back to Johnny Thunders and a touch of New York Dolls, stand out from what are ten thoroughly enjoyable and fun tracks.

Beyond These Doors to be honest has nothing particularly new about it but that is its big positive in many ways. It’s bringing in of obvious influences which every metal fan will find something to reminisce over, but used in the band’s own dark themed and joyful horror homage is an inviting and deeply satisfying result. The Haunting may still be a band that has still to enter your shadows but once it does their wicked rock ‘n’ roll grip will feed your heart for a long time to come.

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RingMaster 15/12/2011

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