THE VAPIDS – Teenage Heads

The idea of a punk band covering an entire album is hardly a new phenomenon. In the 90s, Screeching Weasel, The Queers, The Vindictives and Mr. T Experience recorded their own fairly faithful versions of the first four Ramones albums. Thinking a little more broadly, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes thrilled the masses with their themed albums and pop punk heroes MxPx punked up material as diverse as Bryan Adams, Dave Alvin and The Proclaimers on their ‘Cover To Cover’ releases. Yes, indeed… The “punk cover” has become a staple of the scene.

The ubiquity of the punk cover doesn’t stop this album by Ontario punks The Vapids being hugely entertaining. With half the punk world wanting to pay tribute (either directly or indirectly) to Joey and Johnny’s groundbreaking blueprint, it is somewhat refreshing that these Canadian punks would want to pay homage to their own home grown heroes, and so, ‘Teenage Heads’ – originally released in 2002 – finds the band hammering through the ten numbers from Teenage Head’s self titled debut LP from ’79.

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INDONESIAN JUNK – A Life Of Crimes

Indonesian Junk are one of those bands that, on the surface, have seemed to get better over time. Their self-titled debut album was a bit of a mess with rough production values. Hampered further by a sloppy vocal, it was the kind of record that would only ever find love among the most die-hard garage rock fans. Their second LP featured much sharper songs which truly showed a band with great promise and their third release (2018’s ‘Darkness Calling’), although essentially a stop-gap EP, demonstrated a world of sharp riffs and even sharper attitude. It resulting in a release that truly – and finally – showed Indonesian Junk to be a riff-heavy trio that could take on New York Dolls at their best. With 2019’s full length ‘Spiderbites’ more than keeping up momentum, it seemed as if Indonesian Junk had really hit their stride.

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Grab ‘Segall Smeagol’, a free download from Ty Segall

At a time when most of the world is under quarantine, we all need entertainment and cult singer songwriter Ty Segall has a gift for everyone.  A surprise release, ‘Segall Smeagol’ features reworkings of six tracks from the Harry Nilsson album  ‘Nilsson Schmilsson’, a classic long player, reworked in Segall’s own style.

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Black Sabbath @ 50: The debut album covered!

Rock fans and critics have long debated over what constituted “the birth of heavy metal”. Some will claim its roots stem from Dave Davies’s brilliant power chords on those early Kinks singles. Others suggest that the musical genre began to take shape at the end of 1966 when Jimi Hendrix pushed the boundaries and experimented with the sounds an electric guitar could make. Perhaps metal’s origins lie with Deep Purple, as they took 60s beat group and psychedelic sounds into a much more intense direction…? The speed and power could even derive from ‘Communication Breakdown’ from Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut LP. Although Zeppelin have always been keen to distance themselves from the leather trousered, heavier sounds which came later, there’s an obvious root there.

On February 13th 1970, an album was released that would change the world. Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut album was without question one of the heaviest things the world had heard at the start of a new era for rock music.

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SOPHIA MARSHALL – ‘lin-dah’ EP

Kasabian are a huge selling band but, much like Elbow, most of their output hovers somewhere between generic radio filler and just plain dull. The idea of a Kasabian covers EP isn’t necessarily one that should excite: if you love Kasabian – for whatever reason – chances are, you’d want to spin the original tunes; if you hate Kasabian, hearing someone else recycling their often forgettable songs probably isn’t anywhere near the top of your priority list.

The fact that Kasabian are a generic radio filling non-entity didn’t deter singer-songwriter Sophia Marshall. The one time Have-Nots vocalist went to school with three members of the band and uses that as a springboard for her first covers EP of 2018. The cryptically titled ‘lin-dah’ finds the Leeds songstress taking three Kasabian songs and remoulding them in her own image. For something which, on paper, sounds less than pleasurable, the results are…impressive to say the least.
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