Although billed as an EP, with near half an hour’s playing time, this eight song release from Canadian singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Erin Passmore is almost as long as some early/mid 60s albums (and an equal length to an countless number of punk discs). Mixing elements of adult rock/pop and a few jazzier overtones, on her solo debut, the sometime member of Rah Rah presents a slow burner of a disc that has an almost epic feel in places.

The eight tracks cover a full range of sounds, between upbeat rock tunes and more understated vocal led pieces.  The lead track ‘Downtown’ is tough yet very tuneful, placing Passmore neatly into a radio-friendly rock pigeonhole.  Lead guitars add a fair amount of fuzziness to a punchy arrangement over which the vocals are strong and very assured.  In some ways, this is a very accessible entry point into this EP, but Erin Passmore offers other far more interesting musical arrangements and ideas.    With her lead vocal soaring above a selection of instrumental brilliance, ‘Into The Woods’ is one such number.  Beyond those vocals, the drums lay down a laid-back beat, the guitars add a retro twang, undercut by occasional piano and a bottom layer of subtle brass.  It really is a kitchen-sink type arrangement that takes a fair number of spins before you’ve discovered all of its best qualities…but it’s absolutely worth investing time in.

In contrast, ‘Sad Song’ is rather bleak: a drum heartbeat and a feedback drone pave the way for bursts of electric piano, over which Erin offers a personal and rather biting lyric. Chopping between full band sections and moments of sparseness, as her vocal teeters against a spasmodic drum line, this track’s striking nature makes it one of the EP’s choice cuts, even though it could also be considered the release’s most challenging. ‘Fall’ also sounds like it’ll explore Passmore’s softer side at first, as her voice first appears accompanied by a simply struck piano chord.  And then, the tune takes a brilliant and unexpected turn: with the addition of busyish drums and a distorted guitar, it becomes a rather dark and aggressive piece.  While it is musically strong, it’s often the heartfelt lead vocal which makes the track great.  The mismatched nature between music and voice provides an unsettling tone, resulting in something unexpectedly cool. [If you really get into this, then checking out Erin Passmore’s label-mate Rebekah Higgs is also time well spent. While they are not always stylistically that similar, Higgs’s ‘Odd Fellowship’ also occasionally sets out to catch the listener off-guard with a combination of strong vocals and interesting musical arrangements.]

On the similarly introspective (but much smoother) ‘Married’, Passmore really excels.  The sparingly used guitars are atmospheric, allowing a tinkling piano to lead the way on a light-sounding tune.  Passmore’s lead vocal style – moving, as it does, between a low register and (gently) passionate delivery – sounds just lovely, especially on the chorus section where her repeated line of “hold me close, I’m tired darling” emerges from the speakers with an almost lullaby/nursery rhyme quality.  The gentle mood continues through ‘Rock The Boat’, a beautifully arranged track which pitches another very enjoyable lead vocal performance against a gentle choir of backing vocals. While Passmore’s very natural tones sit upfront, the warmth of the whole arrangement shouldn’t be overlooked: gentle jazz drum fills and a strong backing vocal arrangement really flesh out the complete picture.  As Passmore’s lead voice builds to a climax, the piece ends abruptly and unexpectedly.

The title cut aside, the ‘Downtown’ EP often teases the listener by working its magic slowly; but once it’s got you, that’s it.  Between the cinematic soundscapes and Passmore’s natural delivery, it’s a release with plenty of charm.

July 2012

Lamb Of God’s August US tour officially cancelled

It has been announced that Lamb Of God’s upcoming tour with Adult Swim band Dethklok and French metallers Gojira has been “officially cancelled”. [Dates affected can be found here]

The reason for cancellation is due to Randy Blythe’s ongoing imprisonment in the Czech Republic. The Lamb Of God frontman is still being detained following a much publicized manslaughter case.

Lamb Of God’s PR company have issued the following statement:

“Due to the continued incarceration of Lamb Of God singer Randy Blythe in the Czech Republic, the band’s co-headline tour with Dethklok scheduled to begin August 1 in Seattle has been canceled. Lamb Of God regrets the decision but the uncertainty of Randy’s release makes it impossible to carry on with the tour. Upon Randy’s release, it is the band’s intention to rebook a tour in the fall and at this time the band fully intends to participate in the Mayhem Cruise in December.

“LAMB OF GOD wishes to thank Dethklok, Adult Swim and Gojira for their support and patience as well as all of the promoters who had dates on the tour. Last but certainly not least, the band thanks all of the fans who bought tickets for the tour and who have been supportive of Randy and the band over the last month that Randy has been held in Prague. Without the fans, there is no Lamb Of God.”

Recently Blythe’s bail was doubled from $200,000 to an astronomical $400,000 – a figure still being contested by Blythe’s prosecutors.

The case goes on.

Sex Pistols’ ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ to receive deluxe release in Spetember

To celebrate its thirty-fifth birthday the Sex Pistols album ‘Never Mind The Bollocks is to be reissued as a multi-disc special edition in September.

In addition to the remastered album, the package includes various unreleased demos and live tracks and a feature length DVD containing unseen footage.

Also included are a harback book containing 1977 diary entries and more and a 7″ single.

In fact, the package appears fairly comprehensive, but is missing one vital item: the once-controversial tea-time interview with Bill Grundy on the ‘Today’ programme is, sadly, nowhere to be seen.


CD1 – Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols*
Holidays In The Sun
No Feelings
God Save The Queen
Anarchy In The UK
Pretty Vacant
New York

CD2 – 1977 Studio Rarities & B-Sides
The single b-sides remastered.
No Feeling
Did You No Wrong
No Fun
Dave Goodman Jan 1977 demos recorded at Gooseberry Studios **
5. New York
6. EMI
7. Liar
8. Pretty Vacant
9. Problems
10. GSTQ
Chris Thomas Demo’s & Outtakes***
11. Did You Know Wrong (March 3rd 1977)
12. 17 (April 21st 1977)
13. Satellite (April 22nd 1977)
14. Submission (April 22nd 1977)
15. Holidays In The Sun (April 22nd 1977)
16. EMI (April 22nd 1977)
17. 17 (May 16th 1977)
18. Holidays In The Sun (June 11th 1977)
19. Bodies (June 11th 1977)
20. Submission (August 12th 1977)
21. Belsen Was A Gas (original demo) (19 September 1977)****

CD3 – 1977 Live
Ssamfundet Club, Trondheim, Norway – 21st July
Anarchy In The U.K.
I Wanna Be Me
New York
No Fun
No Feelings
God Save The Queen

Happy House, Stockholm, Sweden – 28th July***
10. Anarchy In The UK
11. I Wanna Be Me
12. 17
13. New York
14. EMI
15. Submission
16. No Feelings
17. Problems
18. God Save The Queen
19. Pretty Vacant
20. No Fun

DVD – 1977
Riverboat Party, The River Thames, London – 7th July
Pretty Vacant
Anarchy In The UK
Happy House, Stockholm, Sweden – 28th July***
Anarchy In The UK
I Wanna Be Me
New York
No Fun
S.P.O.T.S. Tour – Winter Gardens, Penzance, Cornwall – 1st September***
No Fun
Anarchy In The UK

God Save The Queen video
Pretty Vacant video
Holidays In The Sun video
The HeyDay Interviews. Interviews by Judy and Fred Vermorel recorded in August 1977 with:
Steve Jones
Paul Cook
John Lydon
Sid Vicious
Glen Matlock
BBC, Radio 1, Rock On, December 12th 1977 – John Tobler interview with John and Sid (previously unheard full uncensored version)


1977 (The Bollocks Diaries)
100 page full-colour hardback diary detailing every significant band event in this explosive year. Written by former Mojo editor Pat Gilbert, the book includes multiple quotes from key figures, previously unseen photos, recording details, memorabilia and much more.

+ replica A&M GSTQ/No Feeling 7″ single.

+ 3FT by 4.5FT Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols replica promo poster.

+ copy of original handwritten lyrics to God Save The Queen.

+ Replica Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols promo stickers.

The box set is released in the UK on September 24th.

And now, for those who still love it, is the complete version of the Bill Grundy interview, pieced together from various sources. Bits have surfaced regularly on slip shows, but the whole thing is rarely seen. NB: it looks like the cutaway to the video clip has been extended rather than being a brief insert as originally seen in 1976, but most importantly, every amusing facial gesture and every sneering remark is as seen and heard by the unsuspecting TV viewers.

Gwar to embark on extensive US tour this coming autumn

Gwar have announced a lengthy run of US/Canadian tour dates for this coming October and beyond.

With absolutely stellar support from DevilDriver, Cancer Bats and Legacy of Disorder at all shows, the intergalactic mutant overlords plan to bring mayhem and destruction to the following cities:

Oct. 12 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
Oct. 14 – Clifton Park, NY – Northern Lights
Oct. 15 – New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
Oct. 16 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Oct. 18 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Oct. 19 – Ybor City, FL – The Ritz Ybor
Oct. 20 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
Oct. 22 – Charlotte, NC – Amos’ Southend
Oct. 24 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
Oct. 25 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
Oct. 26 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
Oct. 27 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Oct. 31 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall
Nov. 01 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
Nov. 02 – Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
Nov. 03 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
Nov. 04 – West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues
Nov. 05 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst
Nov. 06 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
Nov. 08 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory
Nov. 09 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Nov. 10 – Seattle, WA – Showbox at the Market
Nov. 11 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory
Nov. 12 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theater
Nov. 14 – Edmonton, AB – Edmonton Events Centre
Nov. 15 – Calgary, AB – MacEwan Hall Ballroom
Nov. 16 – Saskatoon, SK – Odeon Events Centre
Nov. 17 – Winnipeg, MB – The Garrick Center
Nov. 18 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Nov. 20 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
Nov. 21 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
Nov. 23 – Detroit, MI – Harpo’s
Nov. 24 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
Nov. 26 – Millvale, PA – Mr. Smalls Theater

Lengthy audio interview with guitarist Marty Friedman available online

World renowned guitarist Marty Friedman recently gave a 47 minute interview with Riff-Mag, where he discussed living in Japan and far more.

The lengthy interview with the one-time Cacophony/Megadeth guitarist can be heard in its entirety below.

This year, three titles from Friedman’s extensive back catalogue have been reissued. 2006’s ‘Loudspeaker’, 2008’s ‘Future Addict’ and 2010’s ‘Bad DNA’ are now available from Prosthetic Records. It marks the first time ‘Future Addict’ and ‘Band DNA’ have been available in the US.