Author: Neil Chapman

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...

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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...

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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...

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The Picturebooks – Home is a Heartache

After several listens, and exactly as their press release stated, I’m not surprised to learn The Picturebooks record in the same garage where they regularly refurbish and repair motorcycles and choppers. Seeing and hearing Fynn Claus Grabke [vocals, guitar] and Philipp Mirtschink [drums] it’s clear these guys aren’t screwing around.  The opener, “Seen Those Days”, clocks in at :34 seconds giving these guys an immediate punk rock vibe, which this reviewer can certainly appreciate. Things then get tribal with “Wardance”, complete with chanting and some wicked deep heavy floor toms played with mallets. Upon further research I see the drum...

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Dropkick Murphys – 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory

Original members Ken Casey and Matt Kelly are back with their cast of characters to deliver what DKM fans long for, a new record. Lots of guitars, lots of noise, and lots of Irish. This writer knows as I’ve been following the band for some 20 years now and haven’t missed a St Patty’s show in almost as long. The Lonesome Boatman is the raucous scream along to open the record followed up by the first single “Blood”. Here we have the boys pledging their allegiance to one and all declaring “If you want Blood we’ll give you some”. The standard cover songs...

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