Album Review: Crazy Arm – Dark Hands, Thunderbolts

“Crazy Arm have spread their wings so that ‘Dark Hands, Thunderbolts’ touches on Americana, country and western, hard rock, folk and even Ennio Morricone-style Spaghetti Western soundtracks. In short, this is a remarkable piece of work.”

Written by Ollie Stygall.

I guess when Wayne Kramer, Iggy Pop, Johnny Thunders, Johnny Ramone and later John Lydon and Captain Sensible were first, unwittingly, laying down the blueprint for what would later become known as punk rock … they had no idea how the genre would flourish and mutate as the years progressed. Punk, since it’s humble beginnings as a hyper-charged form of rock and roll, has sent out many tendrils, grasping at other forms of music and pulling them to its bosom to become a beautiful, multi-faceted musical force. Not many bands embrace this as much as Crazy Arm.

Crazy Arm are, arguably, Plymouth’s most successful punk band, possibly one of the most successful bands full stop. Having seen them in their far more raw early stages, it is breath-taking, 16 years on, to see how they have matured into a band of immense depth and skill. The fire and passion that drove them in their earlier years remains 100% intact but musically they have spread their wings so that Dark Hands, Thunderbolts touches on Americana, country and western, hard rock, folk and even Ennio Morricone-style Spaghetti Western soundtracks. In short, this is a remarkable piece of work.

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Exclusive: Matilda’s Scoundrels release new video single ‘Jousting Crowd’

Be the first to see Matilda’s Scoundrels new music video for ‘Jousting Crowd’, the first single from their new EP ‘The Devil’s Dues’.

Matilda’s Scoundrels are returning the scene with a rousing new single Jousting Crowd. This is the first track from their upcoming EP The Devil’s Dues, due out on TNS Records on February 26th.

Shout Louder were lucky enough to get the first glimpse of the new material, and we wanted to share it with you before its release. With the fitting chorus of ‘bring back the jousting crowd again’, it’s the soundtrack we need for when the lockdown’s lifted.

Remember gigs? The video cobbles together live material with all the memorable bits that happen between the gigs themselves. Reminisce about sleeping in vans, using ice lollies to fix hangovers, Pooh sticks and drinking at people’s houses after gigs.

You can pre-order Matilda’s Scoundrels new 7” The Devil’s Dues now, ahead of it’s release on 26th February. It features two new tracks that were recorded during the As The Tide Turns sessions.

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PAPERCUTS book raises over £1,000 for Music Venue Trust

Shout Louder’s new book about gigs, festivals and tours has raised a grand for Music Venue Trust’s #SaveOurVenues campaign so far.

I’m pleased to announced that our new book PAPERCUTS #2 has raised over £1,000 for the Music Venue Trust on the pre-order alone!

We wanted to give back to grassroots music venues: they were in enough trouble before the pandemic hit, but the recent chaos is threatening many venues with closure. Music Venue Trust are a superb charity that support 670 iconic UK venues through fundraising, resources and guidance. They work to gain recognition of the essential role that these venues fulfil, not only for artist development, but also for the cultural and music industries, the economy and local communities.

Every single penny of profit from PAPERCUTS #2 will be donated towards MVT’s #SaveOurVenues fund. This supports the 30 UK venues that are faced with imminent, permanent closure. We’ve over the moon to have raised over £1,000 so far, but we’re aiming even higher!

PAPERCUTS is a 196-page paperback book celebrating gigs, festivals and tours. Over 50 writers and photographers have contributed to the book, primarily from the UK’s DIY punk scene.

Donate to the Music Venue Trust; buy your copy here: shoutlouder.bigcartel.com

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Podcast: Colin Clark from Colin’s Punk Rock World

“I’m just a man who writes a blog in his pyjamas.” Listen to our conversation with one of the UK best bloggers.

Our latest podcast is a conversation with Colin Clark, blogger extraordinaire, from Colin’s Punk Rock World and CRPW Records.

Colin is one of the most positive, humble and hard-working people in the UK punk community. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of underground music and a true passion for all things DIY.

Sarah spoke to him at the beginning of December 2020, so we inevitably discussed the impact of the pandemic on live music, while also reminiscing about our favourite gigs. We also had an in-depth conversation about our different experiences of sobriety at gigs, as well as our take on the DIY community from the perspective of two bloggers and broadcasters.

Colin also recommended and played select tracks from Boss’ Daughter, Free Dogs and Fine & Great.

Listen below, or on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or any of your favourite podcatching platforms.

Shout Louder’s Top Punk Rock Releases of 2020

Check out Shout Louder’s musical highlights of 2020, including a playlist and a round-up of the year’s best singles and albums.

Listen to our Best Underground Punk Rock of 2020 playlist now!

In the words of Burnt Tapes, “This year’s been a weird one.”

Despite that, it’s not been a bad one. Shout Louder’s been quieter than usual, but I did publish two books (PAPERCUTS #1 & #2 – get yours here!). I started a punk rock radio podcast that was surprisingly popular (65k listens on Episode 4 is surely a fluke?!) and co-hosted Do It Together Fest… which I hope would have made a few folk’s ‘Top 10 Gigs of 2020’ list even if it weren’t one of the only gigs in 2020.

The musical landscape is not the only thing that’s changed dramatically in 2020, but it’s the one I’ve noticed the most. I’ve read that the unpredictability of the year’s events has driven people to a lot of nostalgic listening – replaying comforting past releases rather than diving into new albums. I’ve definitely fallen into that trap: it turns out I still know all the words to Anthology by Alien Ant Farm and every Limp Bizkit and Slipknot album.

I’ve also found myself exploring a lot of genres outside of ‘punk rock’, because for me punk is ultimately about live music. Without gigs, without all-dayers and without people buzzing with excitement around me, I’ve had less interest in discovering new bands. According to my Spotify Wrapped, I’ve spent 2020 listening to ‘jazz rap’, ‘neo-soul’ and grime instead. For anyone interested, my personal 2020 Bangers playlist can be found here.

I’m not doing a traditional Top 10 Releases but I didn’t want to let the occasion pass without identifying a few top albums, EPs and singles that I’ve enjoyed this year.

Listen to our round-up of 2020’s best underground punk rock releases on Spotify.

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Shout Louder Launches PAPERCUTS #2 Pre-Order

Order our new book about gigs, festivals and tours – it’s a celebration of everything we’re missing in 2020.

Since September, we’ve been busy working on a brand new volume of PAPERCUTS. This edition is destined to be bigger and better than the last one, which sold out within two weeks of our launch back in January 2020.

PAPERCUTS #2 is a collaboration between musicians and fans across UK DIY punk scene and further afield, celebrating the gigs, festivals and tours that mean so much to us. Clocking in at approx. 200 pages, it’s a high quality paperback book, filled with fiction, tour stories, essays artwork and live music photography.

It’s all edited and designed by Sarah Williams at Shout Louder and, this time around, every single penny of profit will be going to the Music Venue Trust. Even before the pandemic, grassroots music venues were facing closures and hardships, but MVT work to keep them open through education, support and lobbying for policy change.

Order your copy of PAPERCUTS here: shoutlouder.bigcartel.com

We’re also re-printing our first volume of PAPERCUTS for those of you who missed out the first time. You can grab it on its own or in a great-value bundle of both books.

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Podcast: Lesley-Anne O’Brien of Lockjaw Records & Midwich Cuckoos

Listen to our latest podcast, featuring an interview with Lesley from Lockjaw Records. We talk about inclusivity, marketing music in a pandemic and the current state of the UK music scene.

This instalment of the Shout Louder podcast features an interview with Lesley-Anne O’Brien: label manager at Lockjaw Records and guitarist in Midwich Cuckoos. Lesley is an eternally upbeat, enthusiastic and dedicated member of the UK punk rock community who works tirelessly to help new bands get heard.

We discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on small artists and labels, and how using social media can help bands to get out there right now. We also discuss ways to improve inclusivity in the punk scene and make it more open to all audiences. We even get on to what it’s like to be a woman in a mosh pit!

All our conversation is broken up with fresh new tracks from Borts, Prey Drive and Midwich Cuckoos. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

The podcast is hosted on Soundcloud, but you can subscribe on any podcast platform of your choice (apart from Spotify, who make life difficult for us little podcasters), or listen to it right here. Enjoy!

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Podcast: Punk Rock Radio – Round #5

Listen to our latest punk rock radio show, featuring heaps of brand new music, including Winning Streak, Teresa Banks, The JB Conspiracy and Stöj Snak.

This week’s podcast is brimming with new punk rock releases -I’ve got some great new tracks from up-and-coming bands, with a couple of old favourites thrown in for good measure. If you’re looking to hear some new music, you’re in the right place.

I’ve also got tales of portaloo incidents and socially distanced gigs, some complaints about the state of the world and quick-fire band assessments. My main hope for this episode if that you get to discover some great new bands.

The podcast is hosted on Soundcloud, but you can subscribe on any podcast platform of your choice (apart from Spotify, who make life difficult for us little podcasters), or listen to it right here. Enjoy!

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Interview: The Union Ares

We speak to Todd Giles of The Union Ares about his multi-country musical project, their sound, history and creative ambitions.

The Union Ares are an unusual premise: two bands in one. Linked by guitarist/vocalist Todd Giles, who’s based in The Hague (NL), the first incarnation of the band includes Iain and Huw from Scotland (known for their work in Carson Wells). Their first album Songs From The North was released on April 1st, a literal message from the ‘northern’ band. It’s due a response from the ‘southern’ version of the band, which features Mike and Gabry from The Hague. Confusing, right! We guess they’re making good use of Zoom to keep track of it.

I caught wind of this fascinating new band late last year, and had a chat with Todd Giles to shed some light on it.

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PAPERCUTS #2: Submission Guidelines

We’re seeking contributions for our new PAPERCUTS print zine. Send us your stories, essays, poetry and photography.

Shout Louder’s first print zine was released in January 2020, with 250 copies selling out in two weeks. PAPERCUTS is a 92-page paperback book collecting submissions from 34 writers and photographers from within the DIY punk scene, including authors in the UK, Canada, Belgium, Denmark and South Africa. 

Following the unprecedented success of PAPERCUTS #1, I’m keen to make another high-quality book celebrating the DIY punk scene. This time, a proportion of the proceeds will be donated to The Music Venue Trust’s Grassroots Music Venue Crisis Fund.

The theme for this edition is Gigs, Festivals & Tours. 

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