OK, this is fucking mental, possibly libelous (all characters referred to in this recording are fictitious and any similarity to anyone living or dead is entirely coincidental, maybe!) and it’s bloody brilliant. It’s a balls out, in your face alt rock, pop thrash with a lyric that (possibly) trashes the spouse of a world famous dead rock star. The clue might just be in the band name and song title.

There is nothing subtle about this, which is part of it’s pure joy, it intros at full volume, tempo at full pelt and never let’s up. It’s a pure homage to our US grunge cousins, loud and quiet, pure power and melody, excellent vitriolic lyrics, I’m assuming there’s tongue in cheek alongside the conspiracy theory, ‘Face like a welders bench’, harsh but made me laugh out loud. However I did feel guilty about it later!

Whatever your own point of view with regard to the sensitive subject matter of this song, this slab of a tune brings in it’s own damning verdict in under 3 minutes of pure alt rock joy. Have it!

PS. Explicit lyrics, you have been warned.

We are big fans of the excellent Northern Star record label. Over the last 15 years they’ve put out many great psyche albums of some amazing bands from around the planet. In their time they were a very pro-active label, helping launch some healthy music careers and organising several stellar live events. Of late they’ve been largely quiet, simply been on a hiatus we hope. However this campaign caught our eye, funding a vinyl compilation celebrating 15 years of the label. Given that we’re big vinyl fans at The Kaboomroom we’re up for supporting this. According recent reports on the label’s Facebook page, they’ve hit 50% of their target in the first week or so. We’re hoping to be hearing more about further new releases from Northern Star soon.

The following paragraphs are the message from the label’s Kickstarter campaign page.

THE SOUND OF NORTHERN STAR has been put together to celebrate 15 years since the first ever Northern Star release ‘Psychedelica Vol: 1’ the album that pretty much launched the current psychedelic scene as we know it. It’s also been put together to celebrate 15 years since our first ever shows took place in the USA back in March 2006. 

The original plan was to put this out as a double vinyl album and CD. However Brexit, Covid and the trend towards streaming put paid (excuse the pun) to that. The album was released as a free download only compilation on the Northern Star Bandcamp site throughout March 2021. However, despite it being given away free, we’ve received several requests for a vinyl version of the album hence this kickstarter.

The kickstarter will raise half the costs it takes to deliver such a project. The rest will be funded by yours truly. Anything I can raise over and above that amount and we’ll be in the area of gatefold sleeves and coloured vinyl options. 

Supporting us in a meaningful way will determine whether this is the start of new adventures or whether this is our one final lap of honour. Either way it would mean the world to both myself and the bands involved to get this pressed up as a memento of the last 15 years.

Kickstarter

Bandcamp

Soundcloud

Facebook

It’s been a while but it’s time for action.

In the hot seat today we have multi-instrumentalist Dan Adams; singer and artist, Dunstan Carter and synth bon vivant, John Havelock of the Tameside / Greater Manchester, Slacker Rock combo (their words not mine), Dead Captain.

Dead Captain came to the fore with the following statement:  “The Dead Captain project was born after founding members, Dan and Dunstan, found a brightly coloured shoe box outside a pub in Ashton-Under-Lyne. Over a few drinks they went through the box and found notes, old photos, drawings and grainy music recordings on old VHS tapes. They still don’t know the exact origins of the box, but one thing they found taped to it did strike an immediate chord: a blue Post-It note that simply read “do something with this.”

Who could fail not to have their curiosity piqued with a tale like that? What I can say is the music stands up, never quite what you expect from one song to the next, and there is always a wonderfully slanted lyrical take on everyday reality, from the Covid 19 inspired ‘This Weird Holiday’ through to current social media hysteria and keyboard warriors with ‘@Cryboy83’

1 – Please tell us who Dead Captain are and how you came to be following the discovery of the box.

Dunstan – Dan and I found the shoe box when we were drinking in Ashton one evening. It had loads of interesting things in it like Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ and Neil Young’s ‘Live Rust’ albums on tape, old psychedelic postcards, haikus scribbled onto squares of paper and other bits and bobs. We’d just recorded a tune together for the first about the actor James Earl Jones and the post-it note that said ‘do something with this’ felt like a sign from another world telling us to make some more music and put a band together. We used the things in the box as prompts for lyrics and art ideas and ever since then we’ve been working on tunes together.

Dan – We’ve had John with us for about two years now and he’s the missing piece of the jigsaw. He takes everything up to the next level for us.

John–  shucks.”

2 – Looking around at bands & artists that have emerged over the last decade, if you were starting out now who, if anyone, would be influencing you? 

Dunstan – We like to call ourselves ‘magpie rock’ because we pick interesting and shiny bits and bobs from lots of different sources and influences. Over the past decade acts I’ve really enjoyed and maybe subconsciously pinched little ideas or approaches from include, Bon Iver (I love how Justin Vernon has gone from wood cabin acoustic ballads to experimental electronica), King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (the psychedelic wonderment they evoke and their ludicrous work ethic amaze me) and Big Thief (Adrianne Lenker’s songwriting is otherworldly). Go a couple of decades further back and acts like Pavement, Beck, Guided by Voices, Grandaddy and The Flaming Lips are even bigger influences.

Dan – I like Khruangbin. They’ve got a really interesting sound. I’m a big fan of Cake too, they’re massively underrated. Go way back though and acts like Neil Young, Parliament, Joni Mitchell and The Beastie Boys all float my boat.

John – Maybe, The Vaccines as they remind me of The Damned, but I tend to pursue what I already like to its origins

3 – What would your answer be if a major label came knocking and why?

John – I’d say, “Thanks, what are your overheads?”

Dunstan –  Dan would get a boner, throw up and then pass out probably…

Dan – I’d say “Please can I have a massive advance so I can build a big studio in the woods?” That’s the deal breaker.

Dunstan – I told you we liked Bon Iver.

4 – On the basis of what you now know through your experiences in & around the music scene, what advice would you give to your teenage self as you were just starting out?

Dunstan – Only do it if you love it. The best music comes from artists who feel an innate need to do what they do. Try to keep everything in-house and treat everyone involved like they’re part of a newly formed family. Apart from that I have no idea how you’d tackle the music industry if you wanted to become a huge rock and roll band nowadays or at any point in history, but you definitely need big tunes and plenty of luck.

John – Be happy spending money on something you love and probably seeing zero return for it haha!

5 – Given that there have been massive changes in the whole infrastructure of the music industry over the last 2 decades, what are the challenges for independent artists?

Dunstan – Apart from the main financial challenges – buying gear, building or hiring a studio, renting rehearsal space etc, the main challenge is marketing and finding your audience. Without an audience you’re just pumping sounds into an overcrowded void. The internet is swamped with music. It’s never been easier to get music online and recording and producing your own music is simpler than ever, but without fans you’re just making music for yourself.

Dan – Time. There’s not enough hours in the day.

John – Doing things in-house and having as much artistic control over everything you create is key

6 – If you could collaborate with any musician throughout history who would it be and why?

Dunstan – Brian Eno or Rick Rubin for me. There’d be loads of ideas and lots interesting discussions.

Dan – Vincent Guaraldi – the Charlie Brown guy.

John – I’d collaborate with Bach, just to see if he was actually human. Or Holger Czukay.

7 –  What’s next for Dead Captain?  Any post-pandemic live shows, releases, events or podcasts planned?

Dunstan – We’ve got a new single out at the end of March called “(Shake Off Your) Devil Dust”, and we’re planning on releasing two or three more singles after that then our debut album. It’s a pretty eclectic album with slacker rock stompers sat alongside psych-pop head-wobblers and melancholic folk rock songs. It’s a bit like that old shoe box we found, lots of interesting things that at first seem slightly random but make sense together over time. No events or gigs planned as yet, maybe later in the year.

Dan – We have a couple of gigs from last year that may end up being rescheduled – we’ll need a bit of practise first though!

Dead Captain – Holmfirth Picturedrome February 2020

Twitter – https://twitter.com/DeadCaptain2

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DeadCaptainSongs

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtCVgA9JFlhzjlFSTQ0bw9Q

Over the years the term ‘punk’ has thrown up a lot of debate. What is it? How long did it last? Can anything post -1976 even be called punk at all? My personal and long standing view is that punk is about doing what you wanted on your own terms, more of a philosophy than a definable style. The first rule of punk is that there are no rules. And as Spam Javelin’s new album amply demonstrates, this is as true today as it was back in 1976.

Many of the 1976 bands that broke the punk scene went on to serve the corporate purse, but thankfully they were followed by those with a much harder sound and more politically charged lyrics, who stayed mostly independent and true to the original punk ethos. Spam Javelin fall firmly into that second category, describing themselves as ‘a sub-hardcore band from Wales.’ Their politics and attitude take me back to the halcyon days of CRASS and Conflict, though this lot are way more musical. The early hardcore punk bands might have been big on statements, attitude and noise, but they were largely short on tunes.

Children of The Shoe

‘The Three Chords of The Apocalypse’ is jammed to the hilt with high energy and the politics and protest is there in shovel loads. It fronts up xenophobia, keyboard warriors, Covid 19, the shallowness of society, vacuousness of material obsession, and vintage band Tee shirts worn as fashion statements by the clueless. They have taken a long, hard look at the world around them and found it badly wanting. Delve into the lyrics and you’ll also discover a dark humour, with America in their sights for refusing them entry when they arrived to tour. If you want the back story you’ll have to give the album a listen.

Spam Javelin

This album is a high octane racket, an aural assault of guttural vocals over tight, short tunes. With a classic 3 piece line-up of vocalist/guitar (Neil Crud), bass (Tracey Howarth) and drums (Llion Broadbent), it doesn’t need anything more to get the job done. It’s 15 Songs in just over 25 minutes and in Crud’s words, ‘we hope you enjoy (or hate) it…’ which as any self respecting punk will tell you, is exactly as it should be. I loved it and Spam Javelin are on my list of go-to gigs when live music is back up and running.

SJ

Fuck You

‘The Three Chords Of The Apocalypse’ is the follow up to 2019’s ‘The Crack Whores Of
Betws Garmon’. It’s available on New album – vinyl – CD – download from Link 2 Wales Records (Cat No – L2W 026)


Release Date – January 2021

Auto-Pilot – Live in Germany

Today I’m laying the seven questions on Adrian Collier, the man behind the electro powerhouse that is Auto-Pilot. The new album ‘Freak Electric’ was reviewed here a few months back when it was released, we loved it. I’ve wanted to catch up with Adrian ever since.

There have been several Auto-Pilot albums and I was hooked in a few years ago by the 80’s-inspired album “8-Zero” but that was the tip of the iceberg as Adrian’s music encompasses much of the electronic genre.

Artificial – (8-Zero, Flicknife) 2015

1. Please tell us who Adrian Collier is and how Auto-Pilot came to be.

I’m from Barnsley with an obsession for good music, I just love listening and creating sounds. I’ve been a musician since the late 70’s when I was a little kid in secondary school. I started on trumpet at 11 and by 13 I’d moved on to the bass guitar (was a shit trumpet player btw).

I dabbled with 6 strings until discovering the synthesizer in the mid 80’s. Fast forward to the late 90’s, I was playing bass in a band called the Fokker Pilots, great band but struggled to get noticed (don’t we all).  I had a bunch of electronic tracks I’d made on the Atari ST so I hit on the idea of forming a support project for our gigs (called Auto-Pilot) which would be mostly synth driven (as opposed to electro/rock). It gathered a lot of attention very quickly including label interest so, with two other Fokkers we ran with it, no brainer really.

2.Looking around at bands & artists that have emerged over the last decade, if you were starting out now who, if anyone, would be influencing you?

I’m drawn to bands that just doing their own thing regardless of what’s ‘the in thing at the moment’, there’s a lot out there. Off the top of my head, ‘The Ocillation’ float my boat, I like what they do.

Casio Days Video –(Freak Electric, Broque 2020)

3.What would your answer be if a major label came knocking and why?

Yes, because they have muscle in the industry and push through with a publicity machine that indies can only dream of. It would mean more exposure but I’d resist the expenses as much as possible because that trap door is lethal.

4.On the basis of what you now know through your experiences in & around the music scene, what advice would you give to your teenage self as you were just starting out?

Party less, work harder, even the smallest of success is hard gained, there’s nothing in the music business that’s a sure thing, take nothing for granted and grab every opportunity with both hands.

5.  Given that there have been massive changes in the whole infrastructure of the music industry over the last two decades, what are the challenges for independent artists?

I think most changes are like a double edged sword. The internet is a very powerful tool but it is also over populated with people doing and wanting the same thing. Standing out and being noticed is hard but then again it always has been.

Streaming media services have turned the industry upside down, it’s easier to get your music out there but its killing the industry. Gary Numan recently said he had a song with over a million plays that earned him about 37 quid.. Certainly challenging for any new artist so the hard copy and merch at gigs is essential (says me who always forgets to bring em).

7 Questions for Adrian Collier of Electronic powerhouse Auto-Pilot
Adrian Collier

6.  If you could collaborate with any musicianthroughout history who would it be and why?

Captain Beefheart because I’d hope that whatever was cooking inside his head would rub off on me in some way. Also Mick Karn, the bass player from Japan would have to be up there too. Just a massive fan and such an opportunity would have been amazing.

7. What’s next for Auto-Pilot? Any post-pandemic live shows or podcasts planned?

I have a few tracks finished but with no real plan as yet, this pandemic is great for studio work but I’m not thinking of anything live. I’d like to release another album with Broque, it’s a cool label, lovely peeps. Would love to do another  ‘Atlantic Machine’ type thing.

My New Friend – (The Atlantic Machine, Broque 2012)

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/theAutoPilot

Reverbnation – https://www.reverbnation.com/theautopilot

Website – www.auto-pilot.co.uk

Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/2qc6R0I0drrxDIrJKp5Ccv?si=l1gbFyXEQfGpYyjzNZiHMA

Tameside slacker three-piece Dead Captain deliver a new single on Forest Den Records. This is the follow up tune to their previous, finger on the pulse and poke you in the eye lyrical observations about lockdown, single ‘This Weird Holiday.’

It’s another incredibly astute observation of modern life, an ode to the obsessive oversharing and bewildering outrage at whatever the days hot topics dictate. The song tells the story of fictional Instagram influencer, CryBoy83 @CryBoy83 #CryBoy83, as he experiences yet another existential meltdown.

It’s the kind of tune to spin with your favourite recreative poison to hand. A late night lounge, psychedelic, slacker rock ballad for perpetually perplexed grumpy gits like myself!

Available to stream and download on all your favourite digital platforms from February 9 2021

Bandcamp

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Sammy D

Holy Shit! I need to hear this live, remember live music? Yes that! I can imagine this as the live set opener, it’s highly sinister intro, some serious anticipation and BAM! It delivers, straight into some blistering in your face raucous guitars but coupled with some great melody makes this another winner in my book. I know many of us loved the Purge films, now love the tune that should’ve been on the soundtrack. Maybe on the next movie then!

We’re a big fan of Lee Pequeur’s work all the way back to his days with his alt-power trio Solanoid, he has been one of the most interesting guitar player, songwriters and now producers that I’ve heard for a long time. This is the second single from the forthcoming album, the amazingly named, “Use Your Delusion”, the first was the colossus ‘Tank Gun Soldier’, if these songs are anything to go by this will be an unmissable record. Check Tank Gun Soldier here on Spotify

Release date 30/01/20

Also check out our interview with Lee from last year here

SJ

Spotify

Facebook

Twitter

youtube

Band Website

Bandcamp

Instagram

We’re on a a bit of a darkwave tip this week. Kind of fits with the wider world we live in at the moment.

Getting down with some large Mancunian vibes this week. Old & new, obscure & famous.