Author: Neil Chapman

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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AFI – AFI (The Blood Album)

2017 sees the band’s current offering from Concord Records (known mainly for their Jazz artists), their third in as many records. The music is by Jade Puget, who also worked to produce said record with Matt Hyde (Slayer,Monster Magnet). Bass plater/multi instrumentalist Hunter Bergen is back working with drummer Adam Carson to provide the rhythm. Top that off with the fresher than ever sounding vocalist Davey Havok and AFI fans should be excited. The songs are strong, although it’s a little different for this time around, as it was for the last record. Up until “Burials” the credits read “All songs by AFI”....

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U2: The Most Underrated Songs Post Pop

U2, for some it stands for legendary, for others it stands for sell out. Some claim they peaked with Joshua Tree while others say Achtung Baby is one of the greatest records of all time. When a band lasts as long as U2 there is a point when the band goes from young to old, new to used, or in some opinions, silver to tarnished. One could say that, after the release of the commercially underwhelming Pop, U2 made that transition. Regardless where you fall, there’s no denying their repertoire. From studio records to B sides to compilations, to say they have...

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Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds​ – ​ Skeleton Tree

Nick Cave is still with the Bad Seeds and Nick Cave is still making new music with some frequency, both which are comforting. He released the critically acclaimed “Push the Sky Away” record in 2013, which included a tour. I don’t see any tour dates for Skeleton Tree yet but that could, hopefully, change. No one can accuse Nick Cave for being upbeat, especially now. The result of this low point is a slow,methodical record, really slow. There are no particular song structures as it comes off as one big Avant-garde piece with several sections. The production is aces as Nick is...

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