Author: Neil Chapman

I Hope You’re Happy – Blue October

I Hope You’re Happy (Up/Down Records) –  Blue October – Originally out of Houston Texas circa 95, these guys have been around and have seen some dark days. With their 9th studio record, “I Hope You’re Happy”, they have morphed from said dark days to a vibe that is emotionally, physically, and spiritually positive. Bassist Matt Noveskey describes the new record as “emotional”, which is just what the band was looking for. That’s why they put their trust in guitarist/frontman Justin Furstenfeld to produce as “there was a certain way this record needed to sound” and what better to...

Read More

Boston Manor -​ Halo (single/video)

Halo is the first single & video from “Welcome to the Neighbourhood”. The upcoming Pure Noise Records release from Blackpool’s own, Boston Manor. Lead singer Henry Cox is quoted as saying “I’m just trying to draw attention to a few issues​” ​while the first lyric is “Here we are again, A thick brown belt’s on my arm again“​. Excellent start lads, any attention to opiate addiction is much needed. For that, we thank you. Halo sees a shift in sound for the band as they veer from a traditional ​pop/punk vibe to more of a post-hardcore thing. What they haven’t veered from is their ability to write a catchy hook. This writer has had “I can see your halo fall, halo fall​“ in his head for weeks. ​Produced by Chance Wilson and directed by Lewis Cater, the video has the band members playing their instruments under a constant red neon. This captures the vibe and asthetic for both the song and the upcoming album brilliantly. Throw in a massive snake, a woman drowning in a bathtub & a singer with a fresh bowl haircut and we have a winner. Welcome to the Neighborhood​ is due out September 7th​,​ via Pure Noise Record​, and will be available via most streaming platforms. September 2018 sees the band on a United Kingdom tour so check http://bostonmanorband.com​ for tourdates and other...

Read More

Plume Varia – Fact | Fiction

The record opens up with a spoken word thing that has a old school goth vibe reminiscent of Boston Mass’ own Sleep Chamber, among others. No surprise, though, as the production is handled by Bauhaus/Love And Rockets legend David J, After a few listens to Fact | Fiction it’s evident the duo of Shon and Cherie Rae Cobbs are a real life couple. The arrangements, the voices, the instrumentation, and the lyrics just meld into one. I see why they tapped David J to work with. His pedigree brands him perfect for these two as his production cements a definite cohesiveness in sound and...

Read More

Blondie & Garbage: The Rage and Rapture Tour

Jul 30, 2017 Blue Hills Bank Pavilion Boston, Massachusetts Any time I can see Clem Burke and Butch Vig hold down a beat while Chris Stein and the guitar duo of Duke Erikson & Steve Marker bring the noise I’m there. Make no mistake though, this tour is about the ladies.  Shirley Manson bringing the rage and Debbie Harry bringing, well, everything. After catching the last couple songs of guitar/drum female openers Deap Vally, we grabbed a beer and settled in for Garbage. It made sense that electronics littered the stage for the Madison Wisconsin band as the band is made up of studio whiz’ & their second record was called 2.0. After the opener, new single No Horses, the bands ripped into a blistering run which included  Sex Is Not the Enemy, #1 Crush & I Think I’m Paranoid. As expected, the music sounded great and Manson doesn’t seem to have lost a step. The songs are still being played in their original keys and she even took a stroll through the Pavilion, high fiving her loyal, primarily female, fans. After a bathroom break and a stop at the merch booth, it was now time for Blondie. They opened with the nostalgic One Way or Another into Hanging on the Telephone, immediately whipping the crowd into a swarming frenzy. Next up was the track Fun, the first single off their latest release, “Pollinator”. This is especially fitting as Debbie...

Read More

Midnight Oil – The Great Circle Tour – May 11, 2017 House Of Blues Boston Mass

This writer has been waiting for this show for some time now. Last time I saw the Oils was 2002. It was after that tour, for the Capricornia record, 6 foot 6, skinhead lead singer, Peter Garrett, decided to quit the band and focus on a career in politics. Where, for more than 10 years and because of his “team player” attitude, he managed to both please and piss off colleagues and constituents alike. Fast forward to February 2017, Midnight Oil announces The Great Circle Tour. Garrett, with all the key players in place, is finally ready to celebrate and tour the Oils catalogue live for the first time in years. Admittedly, I peeked at a few of the early set lists and was pleased with the mix of classics vs. album cuts. Opener “King of the Mountain” got the evening off to a raucous start. Garrett was in top form professing the band’s love & support for both race car driver Peter Brock and the plight of of the marginalised Australian Aborigines (a common theme throughout the band’s lyrics).  On 10-1’s “Read About It”, the back up vocals of Drummer Rob Hirst and Bassist Bones Hillman are as strong as ever and just how I remember them, always a key part of the sound of the Oils.  1984’s “When the Generals Talk” couldn’t be any more relevant over 30 years after it’s release. What...

Read More