WOW, TAKE A LOOK AT PEAKYSPACKAGE!
FORTY years to the day since the release of their debut single and number one indie chart hit, Hull’s seminal 80’s post-punk outfit RED GUITARS will release a new 2023 version and an extended 2023 remix of ‘Good Technology,’ which will be available in a limited edition 12″ red vinyl, all signed by the band, accompanied by a new remix of ‘Fact,’ their second single.
To mark today’s June 24th anniversary the band, who reunited last year in their complete and original line-up, are playing a special gig at O’Riley’s in Hull, followed by the band’s second UK tour in as many years this autumn, along with an album of brand-new material in 2024.
And RGs guitarist John Rowley believes the song is as relevant now, as the day it was released.
“Politically it is still pin sharp but there is no tub thumping here,” he said. “At its core there is a truth. Alternative facts don’t exist despite what the New Right would have you believe.
“Good Technology is a very simple three chord song and for each vocal line telling us of the wonderful new things we’ve got, there is a response from the guitars starting with simple harmonics and building slowly and uneasily to a blistering breathless solo before the pay off. The lyrics remain as barbed and prophetic as ever.
“A dystopian prophesy of things to come. It’s all there. It uncannily predicts the creation of the internet and social media, environmental catastrophe, reality TV, the fast-food industry, and an ever more grotesque arms industry.
“Forty years on and the promise, like the country, is broken. Public services have been hollowed out to the barest shells. Levels of poverty are unprecedented since Victorian times. The new gig economy has left people who are working minimum wage jobs struggling to survive.
“Today there are more food banks in the UK than McDonald’s, and it seems the right time to re-release this song to a new audience. Some very popular songs fade over time as tastes change, but a great song should be able to speak to every new generation that discovers it.”
Purveyors of the most prescient political pop of the period, Red Guitars were arguably one of the more interesting bands of the early eighties. A string of singles that topped the independent charts, appearances on The Tube and Whistle Test, Radio 1 sessions for John Peel and a tour with The Smiths – before self-destructing the very moment they appeared destined for greatness.
“1983 was a different place,” added Rowley.
“The last vestiges of industrial might that had created an Empire were being swept away, scrapped in favour of the deregulated banking and service industries which would make us all wealthy. The burgeoning new technology promised a brighter future for us all.
“But it is hard to name a single technological innovation that’s contributed anything to the overall health and sustainability of our world. The overarching consequence of technological advance has been to alienate us and distance us from a miraculous planet that has sustained us and given us unconditional love.
“The ultimate irony would be that AI led to the extinction of the human race so it could once more return to paradise.”
Released on the band’s own Self Drive Records
Catalogue number SCAR 16T, distributed by Cargo.
T W O
OUT of DeSoto, Missouri, USA, VOODOO PLANET have been making music since 2010.
Masterful purveyors of the classic ‘story within a song’ genre, the band’s influences range from The Beatles to Waits, and all points in between, making them in equal measure difficult to pigeonhole, but easy to admire.
“Our motto has always been ‘anything goes’ with our originals, so we’ve done spoken word, shoegaze, garage, punk, country, surf, and more,” said John Gilbert, (guitar/vocals). “Eclecticism is the goal, but some touchpoints have been pointed out that surface in the originals.”
The album ‘Ripsnorters’ was released three years ago, but the band have been far from idle since, releasing singles ‘Bewitched,’ and ‘Edison’s Medicine’ already this year.
There’s plenty penned online surrounding their recent songs, but it’s listening to ‘War On,’ and ‘The Ship’ that you begin to discover the band’s excellence in crafting traditional American, ‘song with a story,’ classics.
“We’re all part of a tradition and we take that very seriously,” adds Gilbert. “We started writing original songs and eventually transitioned to an all-original band. I guess that is the phase we are in now. Still writing and working at improving both songs and recordings.
“However, ’War On,’ is one of mine, but not from personal experience. It takes the battlefield metaphor into domesticity. Some of the fiercest fighting at the hands of former loved ones, a Pyrrhic victory that prolongs the hurt.
“But ‘The Ship’ is Pat Myers (drums and bass), and I think he saw an article about a retired US warship that was pretty much discarded, left to decay. Not dissimilar to how some veterans and people of a certain age are treated. Once your usefulness diminishes, cast them on the heap.
“Originally ‘The Ship’ was a piano ballad and was terrific, but for some reason I suggested the more upbeat current version. I had in mind The Smiths’ ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again,’ – big Johnny Marr fan here – and it felt like a nice contrast to the mournful lyrics.
“Anyway, Pat also came up with the keyboard part on ‘War On,’ it kind of has a Russian/Eastern European vibe, and I felt like it completed the song.”
And with plenty of work in the pipeline, the band’s longevity appears to have taken some of them by surprise.
“We hoped to be a surf band with no vocals,” adds Myers. “The next logical step was to start singing. We went through a couple lineup changes earlier and eventually adopted a huge setlist of cover songs – four hours’ worth! Stuff like Blondie, George Jones, The Hollies, Joe Jackson, Johnny Cash, Love, the Monkees, Rancid, Squeeze, Violent Femmes, and more.
“We named the band Voodoo Planet after an old sci-fi novel by Andre Norton, but I had no idea we’d be around for over a decade!”
T H R E E
FOLLOWING her recent single ‘Keep Her,’ ERIN K is further teasing her forthcoming new album with second single, ‘Goodbye Song.’
‘Goodbye Song’ eschews genre categorization as its subtle melancholic grooves build and weave their way under the skin. Dealing with accepting and understanding a break-up, the lyrics conjure up memories of places and times spent together with a partner.
To accompany the release, a video filmed on Erin’s recent tour of Italy is also available, a tour which saw her perform twenty dates across the country with her long-time band.
Speaking about the video and the story behind the song, Erin said, “This song follows a single evening in which the narrator is reunited with a previous lover, questioning her feelings, and eventually arriving to the conclusion they cannot continue with any romantic involvement.”
“It was an autobiographical and cathartic piece of writing for me. The structure of the song is a little unusual in that it lacks a chorus, but very true to my early style, with the vocal layers behind the verses. I wanted to song to have a continuous flow, rather than circle back to a question or definitive thought.
“I’m really happy with how the recording came out, especially with the added organ. We spent our entire recent tour in Italy performing a ridiculous dance to this song. I think my bandmates wanted to kill me by the end of it! I used the collected footage in the music video accompaniment, both light and strange, standing in contrast to the subject matter.”
Erin’s narrative-driven songs are as forthright and personal as they are engaging, and the candid nature of her often fearlessly self-deprecating lyrics make repeated listens of the timeless songs rewarding.
With a growing audience of over three million streams on Spotify, following the fruitful collaboration on 2019s ‘I Need Sound’, the American-born London-resident musician has continued her work with co-producer Kristofer Harris (Belle & Sebastian, Ghostpoet) and recorded new album ‘Sink to Swim’ at his Squarehead Studios in Kent.
Erin K’s new album ‘Sink to Swim’ will be released on vinyl LP, CD and digital on 30th June 2023, following a launch show at London’s Slaughtered Lamb on 28th June.
F O U R
INSPIRED by a mutual passion for the sights, sounds and creative experimentation of the mid to late 1960s, THE CRYSTAL TEARDROP are a five-piece garage rock, psychedelia, and acid folk outfit from the UK’s Midlands.
The band’s music demonstrates an innate affection for all things 1966, with influences ranging from The Beatles and The Kinks to West Coast favourites including, The Great Society, Love and The Byrds.
The band’s debut single, ‘Nine Times Nine,’ showcased the group’s innovative and qualities and served to highlight their rawer, garage/psych sound.
Rarer cuts from the Nuggets and Pebbles canon are also deeply embedded within the band’s psyche.
Alexandra Rose (Disques Vérité, 23rd Tangent) and Stuart Gray (Biff Bang Pow) both regularly DJ vinyl collections sourced from across the globe while Leon Jones’ previous kaleidoscopic exploits with Alfa 9 add an extra dimension to the band dynamic.
Completing the line-up are vintage clothes designer Caitlin Hare (The Octopus Garden) and multi-instrumentalist Connor Wells (Formal Sppeedwear).
After making their debut at Le Beat Bespoke Festival 2023, The Crystal Teardrop are appearing at the ‘SUNTRIP! All Dayer’ at ‘Paper Dress Vintage’ in London’s East End on Saturday, July 1st and follow up the live appearance with a new single next month.
THE CRYSTAL TEARDROP online:
F I V E
OUT of Brooklyn, NY, LOCATIONS are a genre-bending alt rock duo, and following the release of their latest single, ‘Better Days,’ are calling for fans to take action with environmental group, Extinction Rebellion.
From today, Tuesday, June 20th, until Saturday 24th, LOCATIONS and Extinction Rebellion will be hosting daily events at McCarren Park in Williamsburg.
“The window for climate action is rapidly closing,” said Thomas Widden, (drums/lead vox).
“To limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7 °F) and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, an immediate halt to new fossil fuel projects is imperative. The consequences are dire, with over one billion people at risk of displacement within the next 30 years.
“No action being taken threatens the collapse of our vital security pillars, including food and water resources, exacerbated conflicts, and destabilized economies.”
‘Better Days’ was written remotely over Facetime in Brooklyn during the early days of the pandemic, by Niko Rummell (guitar/lead vox) and Whidden.
The softer opening of the song gives the band space to explore the feelings they experienced during that time, of loneliness, depression, isolation, and one of helplessness in the face of the worldwide event.
LOCATIONS are harnessing those feelings to take aim at the climate and ecological crisis and use every new release to highlight an issue they care about. To date, they have partnered with ‘Represent Us (Anti-corruption) and The Campaign for NY Health (Universal Healthcare).
This summer, the band will also be embarking on the ‘No New Oil Tour’ in collaboration with Extinction Rebellion NYC, while their second EP drops in October.
“Amplify our message and help us grow the movement. We’re powerless alone, but together we can actually change the world,” added Whidden.
LOCATIONS THE BAND online: