Cockroach Clan – Songs About Blunt Knives and Deep Love

Veterans of the Norwegian punk rock scene, Cockroach Clan has a rich reputation and eagerly loyal fan base but have still been pretty much a secret outside of their home borders. We are only just getting our introduction to them right now and all thanks to a certain producer, Norwegian record label Fysisk Format, and their new riotously irresistible album, Songs About Blunt Knives and Deep Love.

Formed in 1994, Cockroach Clan released debut album Roach that first year with its successor Just Say Blow! unleashed three years later with the Going Underground EP nestled in between. Equally the years have seen the band share stages with the likes of The Toy Dolls, Discharge, UK Subs, The Exploited, Cock Sparrer, Anti-Nowhere League, Vice Squad, and GBH, Cockroach Clan only drawing thick acclaim for their rousing live presence. As for their releases, all three have gained minor classic status within the Norwegian punk scene but given the chance and luck, it is very easy to see the quintet finally embraced far further afield thanks to the glorious irreverent stomp of Songs About Blunt Knives and Deep Love.

Apparently the album came about through an idea cast by producer Hugo Alvarstein (The Good the Bad and the Zugly, Raga Rockers) who told the band, “Pick some gems from your 1990s recordings and rehearse them properly. Then visit my studio and I’ll make that scrap iron shine.” That is exactly what they did, throwing in a handful of new tracks and a cover song for good measure and from the effort has emerged one of the year’s major treats.

The release opens with a cover of the Mountain Goat track, Going to Georgia. Its melodic southern drawl is soon walked through by the punk scowling of Billy Cockroach, a union which lures attention with increasing potency as the slow swing of the track infests ears. It is a great start to the album but to be honest just a healthy appetiser to the more thoroughly addictive morsels to come.

You have a Bun is next, the track almost teasing ears with its initial strum of guitars before settling into an infectious stroll already accosted by Billy’s galvanic tones. The guitars of Akke Knoff Glomstad and Simen Jeistad erupt with a grin on their strings, their craft openly sharing classic rock/metal prowess to their punk instincts. With a slither of Oi goodness to its punk ‘n’ roll, the track makes way for the rousing antics of Fantasyland. Early melodic hookery leads to contagious rioting, mischief coating every note and gravelly shod syllable as the boisterous rhythms of bassist Morten Mormone and drummer Cato Holmen pounce, the song so lively even inanimate objects share its bounce.

The immediate folkish vocal welcome of Three wishes has devilry in its deception, knowing the swift outbreak of voracious punk rock close on its heels. Nevertheless, that initial hue continues to breed a thickly alluring folk punk stomp, vocals an inescapable carousing and guitars again revelling in the skills of their holders.

If the air and exploits of the song are virulent and they are, an epidemic of temptation erupts within the following On an island and indeed its immediate successors. The track bounds in with rhythmic nostrils flared, riffs swinging their muscles as vocals roar. The keys of Hugo Alvarstein add to the incitement, the track a UK Subs-esque riot with a host of sneaky hooks and bold manipulations proving so impossible to resist.

From one of the album’s major romps to another in Crash ka-boom where punk ‘n’ roll irreverence is in full roar and hosting a galvanic vocals mix rich in its own web of hooks aligning to join those in sounds boisterously hugging their horseplay while Necktie party vigorously bobs up and down poking at its victims. Both tracks rigorously got under the skin as too the even deeper burrowing Facts on the wall where old school punk colludes with pandemic rock ‘n’ roll in a track daring you not to leap in with vocal participation and a limb swinging body.

Favourite album moment came with Gene’s got a bun too, a track originally called Barbies on Drugs on the Roach album. Its first breath brings exuberant beats, its second a groove spun hook, both irresistible and only accentuated by the tenacious sounds and rampant vocals that follow with each subsequent lungful of addiction spreading enterprise.

Dit it again with its fiery rock guitar and swinging gait gave body and pleasure another eager workout with its multi-flavoured punk romp, its successor, Believer, then springing another ridiculously persuasive and enslaving hook within its irritable prowl. Both songs just aroused the spot with the latter another which almost alone had us scurrying to acclaim the Cockroach Clan as our new punk favourite to anyone in close proximity.

Closed up by Cockroach Fandango and its anthemic croon, Songs About Blunt Knives and Deep Love is simply glorious, a release no raw edged rocker should ignore. Whether we are talking about veterans like the Cockroach Clan or fresher aged protagonists, surely punk has rarely seen more exciting days with encounters like this thick reason.

Songs About Blunt Knives and Deep Love is out now via Fysisk Format; available @

Pete RingMaster 17/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hooby and the Yabbit Interview

The RingMaster Review makes its first exploration of the root and blues styled sound of British rock and roll troubadours Hooby and the Yabbit with band founder Ian Hawkins

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you all together?

So Hi I am Ian, song writer and band leader, Lee on the bass, and Matt on the drums –at least for this week. It got started in my head in about 1991 but don’t tell anyone. I can be a bit slow you know.

Have you been/are involved in other bands? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Well I have played in more bands than most folks have had breakfasts…yes I think definitely. I have worked with a fine variety of guitar players over the years and I think that’s why I changed from bass to guitar to front this project

What inspired the band name?

Two of my daughter’s cuddly toys are the short answer. I decided they should have an adventure.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

I thought there wasn’t enough rock n roll in the world!

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

This is our first release, but the songs are old now. The new stuff is different for sure, perhaps more sophisticated, and I’ve developed the acoustic part of our sound

Do you find the growth of the band, its sound etc. has been more of an organic movement of sound or deliberately wanting to try new things?

Organic I’d say.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?

OK – The Blues Brothers, you might laugh, but check out where those songs came from, it’s a doorway to an education. We also love a bit of rock, AC/DC, Zeppelin, or Neil Young. We’re not from just one background; I think you’d hear that if you listen to it

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Nah not really, they just sort of happen.

Where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs from?

People, life, injustice, family, love, sex or just random emotional outbursts.

Give us some background to that first release you touched on earlier.

Mostly it’s me in the studio as the band didn’t exist then. Some friends of mine helped with harmonica and saxophone. It’s for late night listening I think, apart from the last song. Put this on next time you’re feeling a bit mental

How about its themes and stories behind songs?

Girls, booze and politics; Guitars and boogie…the songs are meant to be played live I think.

Are you an artist who goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

This release is the former. In future I hope more of the latter. It’s just more fun

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a major favourite aspect of the band?

Sporadic really…Looking forward to more of this. It’s a rock n roll show, and it’s fun. Bring your dancing shoes.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

Locally there is stuff to do but its limited. You have to get out of Dodge really…Simple as that.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success, people illegally downloading etc. or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

Well just the fact you’re asking me that is a thing, yes? I mean you never heard of me before and I never heard of you but here we are talking. That’s got to be a good thing in itself. People have streamed our music all over the world now and that’s in no small way thanks to interviews like this. Maybe in the future we might make recordings that only sell a couple of hundred around the world but that’s a much more positive thing than having something to say and getting no further than making a demo tape that only your friends heard, like it was when I started out.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Everything you ever suspected is true. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. And be nice to your mum. Peace.

Check out Ian and the band further @

Pete RingMaster 18/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright