2014:     PAGE 1
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RECORD REVIEW INDEX
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PUNK ROCKER
RECORD REVIEW INDEX
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PUNK ROCKER
THE T-55's
'Power Up'
(JanMl Records)
12" EP 2nd June 2014
All the way from Umea in Sweden
comes the rolling or should I say
rampant T
*55's, who are if the sleeve
is anything to go by
, a vivid blue tank
brigade of fast, frantic punk with an
arsenal of energy and an absolutely
rip roaring punk guitar skuzz. They
unleash a power with more fuzz and
buzz than any Russian shell detonation
on the eastern front could muster.
You'd be hard pressed to find a flaw
sound wise
, as they're all firing in all
the right places and remind me of early
Black Flag but with a more rigid
control
. However singer Lisa Linda's
cool casual vocal it leaves us
expecting a lot more? She certainly
gives this band a visual impact to
accompany th
ose salvos, but without
some emotion or real danger, it leaves
us feeling
underwealmed. They sing
songs about the poor and anti religion,
but you don't really notice or care
about the actual message, as the
vocal delivery is pretty half hearted
and one dimensional. I'd hate to see
Lisa in a relaxed environment. But its
the music which really powers up this 5
tracker on explicit blue vinyl. Urgent
and
skuzzy springs to mind when you
describe the music. 'Fire In The Hole'
has a machine gun drum before even
more buzz saw guitar is unleashed
which
I personally never tire of
hearing
. The title track 'Power Up' is by
far the best track and co
mmits with
velocity and pace. I recommend you
check out the video for proof. I just
wish they'd drop a gear once in a while
to add a new dimension to their sound
as some of the tracks can sound pretty
samey. But I bet all the sweat and
carbine they unleash
on stage must
leave them
and the audience dripping
with sweat. The last track 'Government
Get Outta Here' actually does move
down a gear which made a neat
alternative to the 4 previous tracks and
was the next best number
. But again
Lisa didn
't take advantage and show
us she had a different range or even a
spoken word
tirade, especially when
the band drops out
, but were still
waiting? The packaging looks neat,
shame the whole package dont live up
to it.
I read they have now split up due
to time restraints which doesn't really
su
rprise me. So this is one for the vinyl
trainspotters, in about a decade me
thinks.
WORTH A LISTEN
for the music alone.
The T 55's
NEON HEARTS
'Dangerous Planet'
CDEP 2014
First new tunes (apart from
'Synchronisation') out of
Wolverhampton's
Neon Hearts in
nearly 35 years. And i gotta say Tone
Dials vocals are still as unique,
Bowiesque and sarcy
as they have
always been,
but with a more mature
tone
. You'd never guess he was from
Wulfrunia. Estate agent Martin
Radcliffe guitars still sound good too
(shame about his ego). They have lost
that punk edge
, but in its wake they
can now boast a big powerful sound
expanse which gives the songs a
distinct atmosphere. I still think
Steve
Hearts
missing sax would really sell this
to us as the full on package, instead of
the poxy synths. However this is
Neon
Hearts
as a fully merged new entity in
a new century
, instead of a reformed
band playing new versions of
'Regulations', which is a pity coz
thats
what the crowd wants and
you can still
hear the missing sax parts in your
head lol.
They now have the power,
and maybe not the glory, but certainly
the technology and experience. And
add i
ntensity in favour of the frantic
ferocity of their early numbers. The
vibe is definitely more laid back and
stark these days, but adds way more
suspense
and tension to the
proceedings
. A quality that could quite
easily evolve into movie sound tracks
its that
strong. I could even see these
doing a James bond theme if the
producers heard them or their profile
was so much bigger
. They have that
quality in songs like 'Retrograde' and
their delivery especially with Tone
Dials crooning vocal quality's
add the
final element
. This 4 tracker comes
with a great production
, but doesn't hit
you right away
, its a definite creepy
creeper with more plays and in more
ways than one. I picked this up in the
summer of 2014 at a
Neon Hearts gig
in Chasetown
, where you can still here
the older
classic songs live on stage,
but
I can see them slowly being
replaced with new material if the quality
is this good.
A new album is due for
imminent release so watch this space
or as I did visit their facebook page.

WORTH A LISTEN  
Neon Hearts
DRAGSTER
'Dead Punk'
(STP Records)
CD September 1st 2014
I'm ashamed to admit this is the first
album I brought by
Dragster after
stumbling across a few of their tunes
on band camp. After a random pick
from this their latest album 'Dead
Punk', it was 'Death By A Thousand
Cuts' which
came on and immediately
detonated in my skull and made me
buy the whole album within seconds. I
caught them live in Birmingham a few
years ago at a punks picnic and were
very impressed
, but lost track of their
current output. This is a band who
have toured like hell over the last 14
years, playing toilets and auditoriums
with an equally rampaging presence.
Their ain't many punk bands with that
special
kind of aura these days, but
thankfully
Dragster have it in spades.
They are by now one of the tightest
units on the scene. Their calling card
is fast
, brutal, dirty, punk, but what
they add to that often monotonous
style that other less worthy
mortals
bring, is a wealth of addictive, dark
tuneage which is always welcome at
Punk Rocker. And maybe they quite
possibly made a pact with the devil
, as
they are fronted by possibly the most
transfixing front woman to come out
the 21st century UK punk scene. Fi
Dragster
's her name and she can
really sing (see 'Fight Fire With
Gasoline'). She also has a major grip
on
punk delivery, as those often
sussed and venomous tones are both
aurally and visually exciting.
Dragster
are a very professional dedicated
band and make the most out their diy
status. Try checking out their inventive
video that  accompanied the neat title
track 'Dead Punk'. It sells this song
brilliantly and all with no budget
, no
doubt. I really wish they could score a
hit in the mainstream market, if not to
give their artistic flow more range, but
just to show Joe public there is still
rebellion out there in 2014. However
these days talent alone is just not
good enough, unless you have money
men and agents to back it up.
Meanwhile
back in Coventry 'Cattle
Prod' comes in with a deadly opening
riff and Fi rolls off with determined zeal
(while us
mere carnivores just freeze in
our cattle tr
uck) as she wades that
prod so
"demographically" in our
faces
. She reminds me of what Beki
Bondage would've sounded like had
she drank dark sulpher instead of
cider.
Dragster really do own a dark
vibe which makes us the listener
hunger for more and more, which i
quite like. They still sing about zombies
and such, which is tongue in cheek,
but on songs like 'Terminal Loser'
which is absolutely defiant, you get a
more grave view of life's lows. You can
hear all the kids singing along with that
penultimate punch line
"I hear the rest
of the world saying no no no!",
especially when that second guitar
underlines it.
However I didn't really
rate the short
, fast and brutal 'Really
Wanna Fuck'
, which seemed a little
ham fisted, like it was just thrown in.
Maybe if Fi sung it, it would've
registered a
more positive outcome?
But that was only a minor blip on an
album that boasts at least 7 or 8 high
octane punk songs including the ultra
condemning 'Liar Like That'. However
its still 'Death By A Thousand Cuts'
which is without doubt the best
moment. It comes with a fantastic
vocal, brilliant cutting lyrics and a
classic tune
, which owns the best
chorus on the album. And whats even
better is its so contemporary aiming its
beady eye on government cuts...
"Fight go get a grip, whip that bull whip
torpedo the rich kids ship /or run, fast
as you can, go see a gig coz i heard
that crass are hip".
'Fight Fire With
Gasoline' boasts one of Fi's best  
vocal arrangements, which adds
one
more
dimension to the Dragster
sound.
Finally its only fitting we get a
song about the giant skull ring that
adorns feisty Fi's middle finger and as
she points in the direction of you in the
audience who has done wrong, you'd
better beware coz she knows y'know
and you'll
"feel the pain of my
skeletainnnnn".
Shame it comes in a
really shoddy cover which was
disappointing
considering what it
covers,
but inside you get a fantastic
dark booklet with pics and all the lyrics
.
'Dead Punk' is the most exiting punk
album I've heard in a long time. Check
em out fast coz they'll be touring and a
new album is due already, can't wait
!!!
WORLD CONTENDER
Dragster
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