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the gun club

  • stories to tellStories To Tell – The Hangmen (Acetate Records)

    There’s a timeless quality about the music of The Hangmen that can’t be touched by many. Swagger meets roots rock on a seedy Los Angeles backstreet, they’re now up to Album Number Seven with no signs of the fire diminishing.

    Formed in 1984 around singer-guitarist Bryan Small, signed by major labels (twice), they’re (yet another) American band chewed up and spat out by an industry that panders to the lowest common denominator. Always has, always will. Drugs got in the way, too. Raise a glass to little labels like L.A. imprint Acetate for giving them a home. 

  • kid congo promo shotGuess who's coming to dinner? Kid Congo Powers (right) and the Pink Monkey Birds.

    Kid Congo Powers’ musical career is a lens through which can be seen some of the most intense and evocative music of the last 40 years. 

    Born Brian Tristan in the Los Angeles suburb of La Puente, Kid Congo Powers famously met Jeffrey Lee Pierce in the line at a Pere Ubu concert. Pierce was the president of the LA chapter of the Blondie Fan Club; Powers was the president of local chapter of The Ramones Fan Club. Pierce recruited Powers to join his fledgling band, Creeping Ritual, later to become The Gun Club. 

    In 1980 Powers joined psychobilly band The Cramps, who’d recently moved to LA from New York (it was Cramps lead singer Lux Interior who bestowed Brian Tristan with the moniker Kid Congo Powers). 

  • execution days lgeExecution Days: The Life and Times of Spencer P Jones
    By Patrick Emery 
    Love Police

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.-Voltaire

    "I was stripped of all my dignity, blackest clouds hanging over me, I just waited as the moments ticked away, it was like my execution day..."-Spencer P. Jones

    "I thought, hold on, I've got a rock band around here some place!"  - Tex Perkins

    "Grief felt like fear" - C.S. Lewis

    I WAS ALWAYS ON YOUR SIDE

    Man I'm a little bit furious that those fucked-up Fascists at Facebook permanently locked me out and I knew it was coming, because I saw them doing all that same shit to all my friends who are antiwar, pro human rights and civil liberties, all us poor suckers who fell hard for all that phony shit they told us when we were growing up about the Bill Of Rights that they covertly dismantled but insist we still have, even though we very clearly do not, or anyone advocating for freedom for Julian Assange.

    The bullshit fact checking, accusations of violating their so-called community standards, all that shit. I posted a lot of links to antiwar organizers and truth tellers who've been purged from Mocking Bird mass media. Zuckerbergand his Great Lockstep cronies decided it was better to purge some of us completely, rather than have us actively factchecking the factcheckers and pushing back against their dangerous bullshit police state narratives.

    Thankfully, a very thoughtful and considerate friend thought to send me an electronic copy of a book I'd been yearning to read and I guzzled the whole thing down like a pint while I was unable to contact my comrades on social media.

  • eternal lifeEternal Life – Guttercats (Take The City/Wishing Well/Sweet Grooves)

    If you’re one of those genre freaks with a need to categorise every record, good luck. There’s enough going on here to challenge the most obsessive.

    Guttercats are from Paris and take their cues from The Only Ones, Rowland S Howard, the Jacobites, the Bad Seeds and The Gun Club. Their fifth album mixes melodramatic Baroque folk-pop with garage rock, punk and Gothic blues. It’s either hopelessly mired in the ‘80s or bravely staking a claim to a unique place in today’s bland music scene. 

  • execution days lgeExecution Days: The Life and Times of Spencer P. Jones
    By Patrick Emery (Love Police)

    Perhaps the most surprising thing about Melbourne writer Patrick Emery’s exhaustively researched and engrossing biography of the late Spencer P. Jones is that it found a publisher.

    Thanks to the internet, book publishing is a low-margin crap shoot. But Aussie publishing houses were already renowned for their lack of imagination and reluctance to take risks on books about anyone who’s not mainstream, middle-of-the-road or, ahem, National Living Treasures. Even those imprints that are outgrowths of universities, our bastions of free thought.

    If you haven’t received a formal rejection letter from a friendly Aussie publisher after shopping a musician’s autobiography, you haven’t lived. The stupidity of not keeping and framing a letter that read, in part, “there is no market for this because Radio Birdman fans can’t read” is regrettable in hindsight – it should have gone straight to the pool room - but, fuck you, anyway, self-important publisher twat. You deserve to be shot by a ball of your own shit.  

    Patrick Emery suffered his share of similar fools while trying to place “Execution Days”.

  • last gaspWaiting For The Last Gasp Of My Generation – Nasty S and The Ghost Chasers (Twenty Something Records)

    French journeyman Nasty Samyhas been on the European underground touring circuit as long as anyone can remember, playing with the likes of Second Rate, Hawaii Samurai, The Black Zombie Procession, Demon Vendetta, Cab Drivers Stories, Teenage Renegadeand a bunch of other bands you’ve possibly never heard of.

    He’s a lifer.

    He’s also a magazine writer of some repute.

    “Waiting For the Last Gasp…” is a cover album, with Nasty S playing most of the stringed instruments on a selection of ‘80s and ‘90s punkish and powerpop songs that he digs, and with a rotating cast of guest vocalists.

  • darren birch 2021

    Another year with nothin' to do....!! No gigs to speak of though we did manage to fit in one Black Bombersshow just before the years end to blow away the cobwebs..!! Top Ten? Mostly reissues but here goes...

    Bored – “Back For More” (Bang!)
    A UK Record Store Day release. R.I.P. John Nolan

    Endless Boogie- “Admonitions”
    The Boogie is indeed endless.