FASTER PUSSYCAT – Like A Ghost / Pirate Love

Between 1987 and 1992, Faster Pussycat released a trio of major label albums that gained them a lot of very positive press. Between the trash-glam aesthetic of tracks like ‘Bathroom Wall’ and ‘Smash Alley’, the retro Stones-ish love of ‘House of Pain’ and hard funk of ‘Madam Ruby’s Love Boutique’, the band displayed a broad range of talents and influences, often only linked via Taime Downe’s distinctively scratchy vocal.

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THE VICE RAGS – Midnight Ride EP

The Vice Rags’ 2017 EP, ‘Hope The Neighbours Are Lookin’’, was a wonderfully raucous affair. Its five songs drew from a few classic styles, taking in some full throttle garage rock (‘Shut Up & Love Me’), overdriven rock ‘n’ roll (‘Out On The Street’), and even massive love for The Replacements (‘One Heart’), each track cutting loose in a superbly trashy style. Their self-penned material showed a lot of spark, but it was a supercharged garage punk rendition of Little Richard’s ‘Lucille’ that suggested that this was a band who’d be able to go all out on their follow up release.

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RUBY THE HATCHET – Fear Is A Cruel Master

Ruby The Hatchet made their first inroads into a recording career with the self-released ‘Ouroboros’ in 2012. Aside from the occasional one line hook, the DIY recording captured the raw talents of a brilliant stoner rock/deep psych band. With riffs heavily indebted to Kyuss’ majorly influential bottom end noise and Black Sabbath’s doomy origins, the band immediately had a strong musical root, but in vocalist Jillian Taylor it was clear they had something very special. Taylor’s clear and strong delivery always gave the music a melodic edge that other doomy bands didn’t always have. Even at such an early stage, her clean, crying style often lent the material a brilliantly haunting feel that would be hard to beat.

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PAT TODD & THE RANKOUTSIDERS – Tell Us All A Story / Prison Of Love

Pat Todd first came to prominence with the Lazy Cowgirls in the 70s, but has fronted The Rankoutsiders since 2004. This accompaniment to his ‘Blues, Soul & Rock and Roll’ EP pairs a new Rankoutsiders recording with a cover tune that’s somehow been on Todd’s “to do” list for decades. In doing so, it marries the past and present, neatly drawing a line under a long overdue project whilst simultaneously looking forward.

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ROWSIE – Searching EP

Plying their trade in London and South East England, roots rock band Rowsie spent a long time perfecting their direct musical approach and a core sound. In their case, “perfecting” doesn’t necessarily mean “perfect”, as Rowsie often revel in clinging onto a ragged musical heart. Armed with overdriven guitars that take influence from the noisier aspects of Uncle Tupelo, Grant Lee Buffalo and Crazy Horse and mixing that with a melodic streak that blends roots rock with folk and pop, it creates a full blooded very natural experience. On their ‘Searching’ EP (released in June 2022), they finally make good on the sounds and influences that peppered their earlier single releases.

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