ZWAN – Live at Rock am Ring 2003

In just two short years, Zwan demoed and recorded a huge amount of material.  Whether in their electric format (The True Poets of Zwan) or stripped back and more acoustic driven (Djali Zwan), the Billy Corgan-fronted project showed a great depth and inventiveness.

Always a prolific writer, with Zwan, Corgan occasionally showed off his power pop influences (‘Lyric’, ‘Yeah’) alongside expansive prog rock indulgences (‘Jesus I/Mary Star of the Sea’).  While not always championed by everyone, this varied approach to material ensured Zwan’s only studio album remains a thrilling listening experience years after the event.

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MORATONES – Moratones EP

Every week, new bands surface playing homage to the Ramones, The Queers and their ilk, and about once a month, you’ll probably find one good enough to add to your regular punk playlist. Such is the case with Moratones, a Spanish take on classic pop punk themes. On this EP release, their music is played with such authenticity that, within about a minute, you’ll completely forget that the vocals are all in Spanish and just get swept along with the band’s general love for the style.

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The Great 70s Project: 1979

Looking back, the three years between the disco and pop oriented sounds of 1976 and the majestic jumble of influences that fill 1979 are a huge gulf. By 1979, disco was on it’s last legs, punk had firmly given airtime to what we now think of as new wave and the pop music of the day was about as strong as it had been since 1975.

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THE DIRTY TRUCKERS – Tiger Stripes EP

Aah, Boston. How we love you. Home to Buffalo Tom. Home to The Russians. Home to Aerosmith, The Lemonheads, Pixies, Mission of Burma, ‘Til Tuesday and countless other great bands. Boston is probably second only to New York as the US’s spiritual home of great rock music.

Boston is also home to The Neighborhoods, Watts, Tom Baker & The Snakes and Worshipper, all of whom have connections to The Dirty Truckers.

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REAL GONE GOES OUT: Bash & Pop, Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate, Kent 30/06/2017

It’s Friday night in Ramsgate. In the harbour, people are going about their usual Friday night business, drinking Belgian beers and eating tapas. On the other side of town, at the Ramsgate Music Hall, something far more unexpected is about to happen. Tommy Stinson is about to take the stage with his band Bash & Pop. For those still unaware, Tommy is a cult hero, possibly even a legend. Between the early 80s and 90s, he played bass with The Replacements, a garage rock/punk band who gained a devoted following and became influential to a future generation of musicians. He’s been a member of both Soul Asylum and Guns N’ Roses. In between those musical ventures, he’s put out a couple of great solo records and two releases with a largely overlooked band, the ironically named Perfect.

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