“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.”
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.
Disgraceland are a relatively new heavy punk ‘n’ roll band from Plymouth, ideal for fans of The Stooges, Dead Kennedys, Reverend Horton Heat or The Jim Jones Revue. Since their inception in 2018, they’ve released two EPs had have picked up some exciting live dates in the South of England.
Featuring Shout Louder’s very own Ollie Stygall on guitar, we had an in depth chat with him about the band’s inception, direction and slow-and-steady-wins-the-race approach.
You’re a new band, but by no means new to the world of punk rock. What projects have you been involved with in the past?
We’ve all been around the block several times over and have clocked up a lot of miles in different bands.
Foz (drums) and I spent 14 years in a band called Grifter who were classed by people as stoner rock, although I hate that term and just thought of us as a rock and roll band. We did OK, put out a couple of albums on an American label, released stuff on a few other labels, did some touring, went to Europe, etc. Foz has also spent time many years ago in a death metal band, a psychobilly band called The Lost Souls and various punk bands: Mr. Pound, Swak Tang, The Obnoxious UK to name a few. Continue reading “Disgraceland: The slow-and-steady DIY punk approach [Interview]”
When was the last time you stood in a small venue and watched a band that you truly thought were something special? A band that had something else about them – dare I say it – star quality?
Yes, there are an awful lot of incredible bands around that deserve more attention and exposure than they maybe get, but occasionally a band comes along that transcends that and lifts them to a higher level. One night in the crappy coastal town of Torquay, in a small venue, playing at gone midnight after a televised boxing match, this happened to me. The band? Crooked Little Sons. Continue reading “Review: Crooked Little Sons – Snake”
Can such a thing as a super-group exist in punk rock? Probably not, but when you have a band consisting of past and present members of The Domestics, Doom, Anti-Cimex, Sore Throat, The Shitty Limits, Revenge Of the Psychotronic Man, Wolfhour, Bring The Drones, Hobopope & The Goldfish Cathedral, Lazarus Blackstar, Dissidents, Bugeyed, Dis-tank and The Filaments it’s hard to call it anything else. The difference is that most super-groups are a cynical cash-in on the members’ previous careers: in punk rock the super-groups exist to make more noise… and PI$$ER make an awesome noise.Continue reading “EP Review: PI$$ER – Wretched Life”
I live in a small, unremarkable Devon town called Chudleigh. It’s relatively quaint, relatively quiet and relatively pleasant.
The most remarkable moment in Chudleigh’s very long history was in 1807 when two thirds of the town burned down in a fire. The only casualty was a pig. Nowadays the residents take to Facebook in righteous indignation over bad parking, minor vandalism and sometimes, on a lighter note, to find a decent plumber!
Chudeligh is not, however, a punk rock haven. I have long suspected that I am the only lover of our beloved form of musical anarchy in our sleepy town. That is until a couple of weeks ago when I got a message from the husband of a friend of my wife to tell me about his band. I was intrigued but, I have to admit, not entirely hopeful. This is Chudleigh after all. I did not expect much. I certainly didn’t expect to be blown away.Continue reading “Album Review: Gunka – Nothing Left To Say”
When I was at university many years ago, at the end of each academic year we had a Summer Ball. This involved us all dressing up smart and having a massive party. Beforehand we would pretend to be civilised and all go for a nice meal together… the calm before the storm, as it were.
One time, whilst walking back to college from the meal, my mate strolled away from the group towards the edge of the pavement. He then proceeded, without missing a step, to vomit into the gutter. He then, still without missing a step, and without getting any on himself, pulled a hanky from his pocket, dabbed his mouth and re-joined the group to continue the conversation where he had left off moments before. This is, and will always remain, the finest example of casual nausea I have ever witnessed.
Ipswich’s Casual Nausea, allegedly named after co-vocalist Zoe Barrow’s pre-gig nerves, are certainly now up there with the above story in my top 10 list of casual nauseae… and I never realised I had such a top 10 list!
This Casual Nausea play punk rock and keep it old school, which is exactly how I like it.
Apart from the updated production values, Casual Nausea wouldn’t have been entirely out of place on the Crass Records roster 35 years ago, as they blast out fast, edgy, politicised punk rock complete with male and female lead vocals and a shit ton of snotty melody. It brings to mind Crass, The Subhumans, The Casualties, Minor Threat, The Distillers, etc. Pop punk this ain’t! Continue reading “Album Review: Casual Nausea – Demons”
Pizzatramp are from Wales so let’s start with some facts about Wales.
Wales is the largest county in England. It is only accessible by a bridge and they make you pay to enter Wales, presumably to discourage you from bothering. Wales is owned by Prince Charles, but he doesn’t live there. The Welsh have their own language but you need an overactive saliva gland to speak it, but that’s OK because 99% of Welsh people don’t understand it.
Wales is full of castles because they’re extremely unpopular and got attacked a lot… they even attacked themselves, because they don’t like each other either! Wales is full of mountains, because even the landscape dislikes the Welsh and has tried to make itself as uninhabitable as possible. Wales has a seaside resort called Barry, like the boring Brummie character from Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Wales has nothing at all to do with the mighty and majestic sea creatures that its name sounds like. Catherine Zeta Jones is Welsh – and hot – but she’d rather shag an American pensioner than Welsh blokes.
However, there is now something exiting to come out of Wales, other than the M4. A musical behemoth that does go some way towards righting the wrongs done by The Manic Street Preachers: and that is Pizzatramp.
This split from Pizzatramp, Grand Collapse, The Domestics, Guilt Police, Wolfbeast Destroyer and Rash Decisions proves that the UK hardcore scene is still very much alive, well and kicking the shit out of music with its size 12 boots.
Growing up as a kid in the ’80s was a great thing. It was very much the golden era of hardcore and saw the D.I.Y. ethic, that had grown up around punk in the late ’70s, expand into interesting areas, particularly the rise of the split release.
Split releases allowed bands and labels to co-operate on co-releases that spread costs while also introducing bands to each other’s fan bases. Some of these split releases have become legendary artefacts of the scene at the time: the Chaos UK/Extreme Noise Terror Earslaughter release still remains, for many, the best document for each band. Split releases, such as the Heresy/Concrete Sox release, paved the way for Earache Records and, perhaps a harder to find and more esoteric release was the 4-way Japanese hardcore beast that combined Outo, Gauze, Lipcream and Systematic Death.
Is it the aggressive take on hard rock first put forward by bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Damned? Is it the metallic rush of bands such as Discharge and The Exploited? Is it the hyperspeed grind of hardcore bands such as Ripcord or Heresy? Is it the melodic, pop-tinged sounds of The Offspring? Is it the off-kilter, angular, dub-infused sounds of Fugazi? The answer is, it’s all of this… and more.
Haest from Hastings (see what they did there?) is punk but don’t easily fit into a convenient punk-rock pigeon hole. To my grizzled, ancient ears they sound like the modern day bedfellows of 80’s crust bands such as Amebix and Axegrinder as they throw a touch of sludge into their grimy grind. Continue reading “Review: Haest – EP #2”
What’s this? Mudhoney on a punk website? Fuck yeah it is!!!! Mudhoney were certainly seen as one of the pioneers of the grunge movement but at their heart they are a punk rock band. They always eschewed the more metallic leanings of bands such as Alice In Chains and Soundgarden and the stadium rock of Pearl Jam and ploughed a furrow that was as informed by old school punk rock as it was psychedelic garage rock. A quick look at some of the bands they’ve covered in their career gives a real clue as to there the band is truly coming from, The Dicks, Angry Samoans, The Damned, The Adolescents, Fang, Black Flag, Void and The Crucifucks to name but a few. Make no mistake my friends, Mudhoney are a punk rock band.
The band’s punk credentials are fully apparent on this new album, their 10th studio offering in 30 years. Recent albums have seen some of the rougher edges shaved off of the band’s sound but Digital Garbage throws the band right back to the raw days of Superfuzz Bigmuff with a sense of vitriol and big, fuzzy guitars that made the band’s name in the first place.