Music Review: Silverhead, Silverhead; 16 And Savaged; Live At The Rainbow, London 1973

Published on August 26th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Metal, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Hanna

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Though largely without commercial success at the time, Silverhead were influential by metal and hair metal, besides also being a well-loved glam rock band. Singer Michael Des Barres is a cult figure in music and acting, having combined a fairly successful career in both, and Nigel Harrison of Blondie also started his career in Silverhead.

This series of releases by Cherry Red includes the entire Silverhead discography: the two released albums, Silverhead and 16 and Savaged, some single mixes, live tracks, and B-sides. The series is rounded out by a live album, Live at the Rainbow, London 1973.

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Music Review: The Hollywood Brats, Sick On You: The Album/A Brats Miscellany

Published on August 12th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Punk, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Hanna

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The Hollywood Brats are really an anomaly; difficult to place and more difficult to analyze the longer you listen to them. While they don’t quite have the almost intellectual artifice of the New York Dolls and Heavy Metal Kids, they do share the same deep sense of bad taste and irony. The defining characteristics of their music are a tendency to shock and a rather cutting irony, combined with a deliberately simplistic style of music which can be seen as a precursor of punk. For a short space of time they were shouting obscenities into the void of American glam rock, before disbanding in 1974. But right now, they’re having a moment of revival after singer Andrew Matheson’s book came out last year out and he’s been playing again, so it’s a good time to have another look at their actual output.

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Music Review: Tiny Tim, Tiny Tim’s America

Published on August 5th, 2016 in: Americana, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews, Underground/Cult |

By Hanna

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The 20-year anniversary of Tiny Tim’s death continues with an absolute treat for fans in the form of Tiny Tim’s America. This release is special because it’s comprised of new material, from recordings Tiny made in 1974 when he was in between recording contracts. Using this demo tape, a number of songs were chosen to compile a vinyl album (plus mp3 download). The original entire demo recording is also included on the mp3 download.

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Music Review: The Twinkeyz, Alpha Jerk

Published on June 15th, 2016 in: Music, Music Reviews, Punk, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Hanna

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The Twinkeyz are the kind of band that record collectors delight in, artistic and obscure enough to have little material, but not so obscure that there is no material available. And more than that, they have a definite and interesting style of music. The Twinkeyz are recommended in particular for fans of protopunk and the Velvet Underground, or even of neo-psychedelica. The Twinkeyz can be seen as part of the development of glam rock into punk, when the parts of punk had emerged, but not yet coalesced into a set of rules or expectations. By the time Alpha Jerk was released, punk had moved on into new genres, but The Twinkeyz were still being different.

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Music Review: Tiny Tim, The Complete Singles Collection (1966-1970)

Published on April 19th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Retrovirus, Reviews, Uncategorized, Underground/Cult |

By Hanna

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This year marks the 20th anniversary of Tiny Tim’s death, providing a good opportunity to revisit his heritage. By now, his place as a cult artist and important archivist of old songs is assured, and most of his work can be found on some compilation or other. This compilation from Cherry Red, however, collects his singles from his breakthrough or “peak era” as they call it, from 1966 to 1970. It represents his journey towards being a mainstream artist, and his attempts to remain one. That specific idea is a new one for a Tiny Tim compilation, and definitely interesting.

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Music Review: Giuda, Speaks Evil

Published on December 29th, 2015 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Hanna

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Giuda’s third album, Speaks Evil, continues where their previous albums left off: the band is still making cheerful glam rock of the stomping, junkshop kind. Image-wise, they have moved away from their earlier Sharpie style, and gone for something more pared down, heavy on monochrome and denim. Now they look like Crushed Butler, or, if you’re in a bitchy mood, a lesbian mechanics’ union. In any case, they look authentic, and they sound authentic, too. If you play a lot of glam rock, this album will blend right into your playlists and nothing will remind you that this was made in 2015, even when–very occasionally–you wish it would.

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Music Review: David Essex, Rock On; David Essex; All The Fun Of The Fair (Reissues)

Published on December 4th, 2015 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Hanna

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With his own jukebox musical and sold-out comeback shows, David Essex has no need of a revival, though by now his career is so long that there are always parts of it that could use extra attention. A documentary from Alan G. Parker is slated for release soon, which is a good enough reason for Cherry Red to re-release Essex’s first three albums on CD: Rock On (1973), David Essex (1974), and All The Fun Of The Fair (1975). All three reissues are fairly straightforward, with the original album art, some informative liner notes by Phil Hendriks, and a couple of interesting bonus tracks.

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Music Review: Frog Eyes, Pickpocket’s Locket

Published on August 28th, 2015 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Hanna

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Pickpocket’s Locket is the follow up to Frog Eyes’ comeback album from last year, Carey’s Cold Spring (review). That album, influenced by a number of personal experiences such as the death of frontman Carey Mercer’s father, led the band into a more restrained and accessible style of music and lyrics. The press release for Pickpocket’s Locket explains the background for the album: Mercer’s father left him an acoustic guitar, which he used as inspiration.

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Music Review: Little Richard, Directly From My Heart (Best of the Specialty and Veejay Days)

Published on June 5th, 2015 in: Current Faves, LGBTQ, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Hanna

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With so many musical legends gone, it’s amazing that Little Richard is still with us. Now, his status as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll stars is firmly established. Even contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race have imitated him (Kennedy Davenport won this season’s Snatch Game with her Little Richard impersonation), so that all parts of his career, including his part in LGBT history, are being celebrated.

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DVD and Music Review: Jobriath A.D.

Published on May 8th, 2015 in: Culture Shock, Current Faves, Documentaries, DVD, DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews, Movie Reviews, Movies, Music, Music Reviews, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Hanna

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Jobriath A.D. tells the story of singer and would-be glam rock star Jobriath’s career and personal life. It focuses on the period when he was professionally active between 1968 and his death in 1983. His story is told nearly entirely from interviews with people who were involved in his life and career at the time or people who were influenced professionally by his work. There is some narration (by Henry Rollins, no less) to tie parts of the interviews together, and a series of animations provide visual interest and make up for the fact that there exists very little actual footage of Jobriath.

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