With their last studio album (‘Curse of The Hidden Mirror’) a distant memory, Blue Öyster Cult had become – to all intents and purposes – a nostalgia act by the middle of the 2010’s, tirelessly gigging up and down the United States playing their back-catalogue to the faithful. Since BÖC were always a brilliant live act and a couple of their latter day studio albums (‘Heaven Forbid’ and ‘Cult Classic’) hadn’t quite hit the mark, their desire to concentrate on playing to the masses made perfect sense. Despite never ending live shows in the US, they didn’t always venture across the Atlantic as often as you would hope, but festival appearances at the UK’s Ramblin’ Man Fair in 2015 and Germany’s Rock of Ages Festival the following year allowed European fans a couple of opportunities to get re-acquainted with their heroes.
For those who’ve previously enjoyed either bands’ works, this split between Ohio based metal/noise rock bands Ghost:hello and Night Goat is much more than a mere collection filler. Although in some ways, the Ghost:hello material doesn’t always live up to the promise of their 2019 full length, between one genuinely great studio track and an unmissable live recording, you really couldn’t call their contribution to the release weak in any way. In fact, despite a couple of flaws, their material is more than capable of going head to head with Night Goat’s much darker aspects. …And as for Night Goat themselves, fans will surely love most of the spacious and unsettling material that lies in wait.
2020 was a busy year for UK garage punk duo Get The Fuck Outta Dodge. A global pandemic might have decimated the music industry and all but written off live performance, but for James (bass/shouting) and Ren (drums/more shouting), no time was wasted. They began the year by recording a brilliant covers record and then kept up momentum by laying down a bunch of their own tunes which were scheduled for a full length album release later in the year. Before that recording (released as ‘Buzzkill’ in October) could reach the sweaty palms of their fanbase, however, they even found time to crank out extra tunes on an EP, ‘We Make The Future Here’. That release captured an intense hardcore punk sound and acted as an excellent primer for new listeners.
A band who’ve previously given the world songs like ‘Insect Politicians’, ‘Politics Is A Bargaining Tool Between Beggars’ and the especially chipper ‘Destroying Everything You Believe In’, Liverpool’s Corrupt Moral Altar have carved out a career out of being especially provocative. Their 2020 EP ‘Patiently Waiting For Wonderful Things’ continues their trend for musical assaults combined with razor-edged lyrical imagery.
Unforeseen sales in Australia for his 1977 LP (helped no end by a number one single) proved enough for the independent Ring-O Records to keep vocalist Graham Bonnet on their books. Eager to capitalise on this success, a follow up was recorded and released relatively quickly. Although ‘Graham Bonnet’ had been a largely patchy affair, compared to 1978’s ‘No Bad Habits’, it was a potential masterpiece.