THE CHEAP CASSETTES – See Her In Action! EP

Everything about The Cheap Cassettes’ first full length album ‘All Anxious, All The Time’ did, indeed, scream “cheap”. It’s ten songs sounded like old demos and the choice of artwork – complete with basic Microsoft Word style font – really didn’t give the strongest first impression. However, if you were able to make it past those cosmetic flaws, some of the songs suggested a retro band with a big heart and an even bigger gift for delivering a hook.

Their ‘Kiss The Ass of My Heart’ EP – delivered some four years later, via the Rum Bar Records label – presented a marked improvement. The core of the material came with a much better audio quality and in the case of the title track, it almost felt as if you were eavesdropping on a long lost demo from The Knack. From such rough beginnings, it was more than clear that The Cheap Cassettes were a band with great promise…and indeed, the EP gained some really positive – and well deserved – press from various power pop blogs around the globe.

Continue reading

Check out ‘For The Dreamers’, a new track from Astral Drive

Back in 2018, multi-instrumentalist, producer and one-time member of The Cure launched a new project, Astral Drive.  The “band” acted as an outlet for Thornalley to revisit the kind of 70s AM radio pop he’d always loved.  The album marked itself out as an instant classic, often inviting comparisons to the best works by Todd Rundgren and Jeff Lynne; the kind of record that would keep fans of classic retro pop entertained for years.

The album was then represented in stripped back arrangements on a digital release (self-titled, referred to as “The Green Album”), but it didn’t seem as if the world would see brand new music from Astral Drive again for some time…or possibly ever. The original LP almost sounded like a flash in the pan for retro cool; a perfect statement of the past, recreated for the present.  To follow it up with anything as perfect would be a tall order after all.

Continue reading

Watch the new video from Gentlemen Rogues

When Gentlemen Rogues released their ‘Do The Resurrection!’ 7″ at the tail end of 2020, they gave the year one of its finest rock tracks.  The melodic riffs, straddling a fine line between melody and distortion, harked back to the very best college rock of the 90s.  The three minute banger carried elements of ‘Lick’ era Lemonheads, a massive love for The Replacements and even a bit of Sugar at their most melodic.  For lovers of the style, it surely sounded like an instant classic – a reminder that so much retro sounding 90s rock is now capable of creating a wave of nostalgic feelings.

Continue reading

DURBIN – The Beast Awakens

Rock vocalist James Durbin first came to public attention when he participated in the tenth season of American Idol in 2011. A genuine wildcard amongst pop wannabes, his love of rock music eventually made him stand out, and although not a winner, he gained a respectful top five placing. That relative success later allowed him to perform alongside his heroes Judas Priest on the show. His career took a more credible path later when he became the lead singer for Quiet Riot in 2017, subsequently recording two albums with them for the Frontiers Records label. Despite leaving Quiet Riot after a relatively short time, his association with Frontiers continued and the label released his first solo record in 2021.

Continue reading