Video of the Day: Gypsy Pistoleros – A Town Called Nowhere

Self described as the worlds greatest Punk, Flamenco, Punk, Rock, Glam band ever, and after listening to a few songs from their catalog, there is no argument here.

The sound is high energy T Rex meets The Ramones, by way of The Dropkick Murphy’s, and a dusting of The Cure if fronted by Billy Idol thrown in for good measure, with a soundscape that is worthy of a Quentin Tarantino movie soundtrack should he ever make a vampire movie.

A single, “What It’s Like To Be A Girl” is scheduled to see the light of ear on June 23’rd in advance of their album, Duende A Go Go Loco.

In the meantime, check out their 2020 album The Greatest Flamenco Sleaze Glam Band Ever!

After an immersive listen of this one, you will finding yourself heading to From Dusk ‘Till Dawn’s Titty Twister cantina embalming yourself in mescal margaritas and a table dance. Their version of “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” is worth the price of admission alone.

Video of the Day: The Defiants – Go Big Or Go Home

There has been a bit of a resurgence of late with many bands channeling the spirit of Night Ranger, Def Leppard, and a myriad of cool bands that do battle in the melodic rock arena.

The Defiants, a band cobbled from the remnants of melodic rock icons Danger Danger, are poised for great things in 2023 if this scorcher is any indication.

Song of the Day: Jesse Malin – TKO (DTK)

Surprisingly, it has been over two years since Jesse Malin released his last critically acclaimed/criminally ignored album Sad and Beautiful World. But now with this nugget leaking out it from his reissue of Fine Art of Self Destruction it looks like we are in for a new record towards the end of the year.

Now Playing: Murder Ballads

Welcome to our new feature her at Rock is the New Roll. We will be featuring random songs we are listening to here at RitNR. Most of the songs will have a category assigned so you can look up all the songs in that category as we build the inventory. First up, a murder ballad courtesy of Charlie Crocket.

It was there that he shot her where the lovers were embraced with the bullet he intended for the man that took his place.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (March 17, 2023)

Bang, Rock, and Roll, this week is a subdued scorcher with an Americana bent to the proceedings. The new, new to us anyway band The Bites lay down a single that brings to the minds ear Van Halen’s “Ice Cream Man” and Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” in equal doses.

Buckcherry continues to deliver their rock a bit on the sleazy side.

And Jesse Dayton and Samantha Fish team up on Deathwish with the LA noir video worth the price of admission alone.

And, if all of that is not enough, here are five new records to tickle the earlobe and assault the senses.

Robert Jon and the Wreck – One of A Kind

It’s no secret that with the recent demise of Gary Rossington that there is a hole in our collective Southern Rock hearts, but fear not, arriving just in time is a new E.P. from Robert Jon & the Wreck, One of a Kind.

Bringing to mind all of the greats from Molly Hatchett and Lynyrd Skynyrd to The Marshall Tucker Tucker Band dusted with a bit of Wet Willie Pop dust along the way. Everything about this band is fantastic.

“Paint No More” has a “Gimme Three Steps” aura around it with Robert Jon extending his Gregg Allman-evoking vocal prowess, “Who Can You Love” is a lower and slower ballad with a bit of a .38 Special sound, and “Come at Me” has a more contemporary feel and is a song that would in quite nicely in a Blackberry Smoke set.

If this is your first foray into the dulcet tones of Robert Jon & The Wreck, while you are waiting on a proper full-length to be released, do your ears a solid and check out their 2021 release Shine A Light On Me Brother.

Eyelids – A Colossal Waste of Light

The band, a supergroup of sorts with members of The Decemberists, Camper Van Beethoven, Guided By Voices, and The Eliott Smit Band doing the heavy lifting plays in the Power Pop sandbox along with Big Star, Badfinger, and Jelly Fish.

The opener, “Crawling Off Your Page” breaks out of your speakers with a Cheap Trick by way of Big Star sensibility with a touch of Replacements in the mix, particularly in the song structure. “Swinging In The Circus could have been a late-era, Tom Petty hit. And, “Everything That I See You See Better” is perfect R.E.M. fare.

A rare supergroup where the sum brightens the individual parts, there is nary a dud in this pack of firecrackers.

Band of Heathens – Simple Things

The Band of Heathens, essentially the musical collective fronted by Gordy Quist and Ed Juri, continues to make solid uplifting music now 15 years into the game. This time out, they deliver a set of tunes that celebrate the simpler things in life, hanging out with friends, soaking up some sun, and being with family.

The opener, “Don’t Let The Darkness,” is ripped right out of the Loggins and Messina playbook, while “Long Lost Son” is Texas red dirt at its core. “Damaged Goods” would be perfect as a later-in-the-night, sway-in-the-moonlight barroom closing time tune, and “Simple Things,” the title track, is a thoughtful reminiscing tune that will remind you of what exactly is important in life.

Eight albums in now, and on the heels of their joyful collaboration of a covers album, Remote Transmissions, Vol. 1 from last year, The Band of Heathens prove once again that they are incapable of producing a bad record.

Doug Paisley – Say What You Like

From the opening salvo of the title track to Say What You Like, the latest from Doug Paisley, the laid-back J.J. Cale vibe will hit you between the ears and immediately level set the rest of the day for you with good vibes and peaceful easy feelings.

“Sometimes It’s So Easy” has a bit of a Dan Fogelberg quality about it, while “Wide Open Plane” sounds like a Cale-Clapton collaboration. The stories told through the record are simple and subtle and will seep into your soul rather than assault your senses.

The ’70s Seals and Croft, Loggins and Messina, almost yacht rock adjacent atmosphere that is presented here is a refreshing counterpoint to the rigors of daily living, case in point, “You Turn Me Around,” a song that could have been a Bob Seger Night Moves Balad.

Various Artists – Stoned Cold Country

Spoiler alert, despite the seemingly lame premise of semi-over the hill along with contemporary country artists covering the Rolling Stones songbook, this time, it actually works. Much like with Elton John’s 2018 release Restoration: The Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, the songs are so good and so ingrained in our collective psyches that when the songs are presented in a different hue than we are used to the quality of the songwriting is brought to the head of the class.

While certainly there are a few miss-steps and awkward pairings here, most notably with Lainey Wilson and her version of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” for the most part, this is a solid effort that will be deserving of a decent spot once the best covers records of the year lists come around.

The Brothers Osborne pair up with The War On Treaty on “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)” and deliver a version that will stand up over the years as one of the best, and Brooks and Dunn show up on “Honky Tonk Women” that sounds like “Honky Tonk Women,” and that is never a bad thing. The guitar work and originality displayed by Marcus King’s rendition of “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” is soul-stirring, and Steve Earles’s poignant take on “Angie” is elegant and much more on-point than one would think given the odd pairing of the song to the artist.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (March 10, 2023)

Summer will be here before we know it, but things are heating up on the music front already. The Ruen brothers are beginning to come out of hibernation with the release of “Seasons Change,” the latest single from their upcoming long-player, Ten Paces.

The mighty Winger will take you back to your rock and roll youth with their latest release, “Proud Desperado.”

And if Tiki music and Tiki drinks are part of your vibe, The Tikiyaki Orchestra and “South Pacific Sojourn” will stir your Mai Tai.

But, enough of the preamble, here are five records that your ears should digest this week.

The Nude Party – Rides On

With their first self-produced affair, The Nude Party rides on with their Classic Rock adjacent retro sound that never fails to put an extra stride in the step and honey-drenched nectar in your ears.

Searching for an early ’70s Blues-Rock feel in the Sticky Fingers mode, one doesn’t have to stray much further past the opener “Word Gets Around” for audible evidence that the mission was definitely accomplished on this song that combines Rolling Stones swagger with T-Rev grooves.

The vocal prowess of singer Patton Magee which seems to channel the devil spawn of Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan carries the day whether he is kicking out the jams on the cowbell swirling, organ magnificence of “Hey Monet,” a song that would have fit in perfectly in the canon of The Flamin’ Groovies back in the day, or laying back on the Phil Spector inspired “Cherry Red Boots.”

Once the first couple of lines of the Velvet’s inspired almost title track “Ride On” hits your ears, the sales pitch is in, and the deal is closed on a record that will remain in heavy rotation well into the summer and beyond.

The Cold Stares – Voices

Blues Rock is back and better than over, case in point, is Voices, the latest from Indiana’s own The Cold Stares. Bringing to the minds-ear other back-in-the-day trios, The Jimi Hendrix Experience on “Come For Me,” Stevie Ray and Double Trouble on the opener “Nothing But The Blues,” and ZZ Top on “Got No Right.”

The semi-funky “Lights Out” is a festival and arena-ready anthem, and while “Waiting For The Rain Again” might ride the rails entering into Kenny Wayne Sheppard or Jonny Lang guitar slinger territory, the muscular drive of the band, locked in the groove, carries the day.

If there is a miss-step here, it might be “Sorry I Was Late.” The Whitesnake meets Night Ranger ballad certainly highlights the vocal prowess of singer Chriss Tapp, for much of the song it sounds like the band is trying to work out the intro to “Stairway To Heaven.”

Overall, this record rocks hard where it needs to and allows time for reflection right at the very time that it is needed.

The Panhandlers – Tough Country

If you ever wanted to experience what it would be like cruising the Texas backroads going from Honky Tonk to Honky Tonk listening to red dirt music the way it was meant to be played, then The Panhandlers and Tough Country is your perfect hill country jam.

Originally coming together as a tribute to the legendary trio The Flatlanders, a band consisting of Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock, The Panhandlers are younger gun Texans, Josh Abbott, John Baumann, William Clark Green, along with Cleto Cordero of Flatland Calvary.

Standing on their own, the Panhandlers celebrate everything Texas on this record. Whether they are celebrating the real Texas on “West Texas Is The Best Texas,” lamenting the hipster take-over of Dallas and Austin, or languishing in the Marfa lights like they are doing on “Moonlight In Marfa,” it sounds like picking up some screw-top wine and a case of beer at the 7-11 and stepping out to the “Midland” Jamboree would be a perfect end to a perfect day spent with this record and the Panhandlers.

Matt Andersen – The Big Bottle of Joy

Rock and Soul is the order of the day on Matt Andersen’s new album, the aptly named The Big Bottle of Joy. From the opening Hammond B-3 riffage of “Let It Slide” the cathartic joyful noise is palpable.

“What’s On My Mind” is a ripped-from-the-headlines plea to get along with one another, and “Rollin’ Down the Road” is taken right from the J.J. Cale songbook. “Only an Island” takes things a bit low and slow in the Joe Cocker Mold, and the closer “Shoes” puts a poignant pin on an album of reflection and joy.

Doolin’ – Circus Boy

Festival favorites on both sides of the pond, the band Doolin’ is a French Celtic supergroup of sorts combining traditional Celtic influences with Creole, French Pop, and Folk inspirations to create a smorgasbord of sounds that transcend boundaries.

“Man Smart (Woman Smarter)” is the band’s New Orleans-style take on the King Radio, made famous by Harry Belafonte, calypso classic, “When I’m Done” has a bit of a Waterboys pathos to it, and the title track “Circus Boy” has a bit of a Kevin Rowland by way of Dawes vibe to the deal.

The “Darkest Day” breaks down like a Lumineers epic ode, and “A Place Where We Belong” could have been on a Bono solo record, if he ever were to record one that is.

Given the disparate influences on this record, it would have been easy to stray away from the core and lack cohesion. Such is not the case on this artistic tour-de-force mostly due to the collaborations from Ashley Davis (The Chieftans), Celtic band Screaming Orphans, and Niahm Gallagher (Lord of the Dance). This is a band that is clearly stretching boundaries and having fun. And, in the end, isn’t that what playing music is supposed to be about?

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (February 24, 2024)

The roll continues to rock this week with some intrinsically cool nuggets perfect for palate cleansing.

The mighty Luke Spiller and The Struts are out with an outstanding E.P., Unplugged at East West.

Americana OG’s The Long Ryders are out with a new video and single in advance of their upcoming record.

And, Brian Dunne, a newcomer we are starting to get behind, has released the single, “It’s A Miracle,” in advance of his soon-to-be-released long player, Loser On The Ropes.

But, enough with the foreplay. Here are five carefully curated selections to please the senses and tickle the earbuds.

Shamus – The Shepherd and the Wolf

Springing from the retro-rockers Sheepdogs collective, a stable that includes The Sheepdogs, the band BROS, and now Shamus, The Shepherd and the Wolf, is the latest project of band member and multi-instrumentalist Shamus Currie. With heavy 1970s influences throughout, the record is a concept album centered around a world of fantasy and adventure.

A rock opera of sorts, there are enough progressive rock touches to satisfy the faithful, leaving the edges to be rounded out with healthy doses of rock and roll. Think of a Jethro Tull without the flute.

From the opening “Days of High Adventure,” the stage is set for an aural journey that will shape-shift your mood back to the days when the music was intelligent and escapism the order of the day. With musical muses the likes of Thin Lizzy, Early Steve Miller, Moody Blues, and King Krimson, the prog riffs are there for sure but are contained to the mini opus level.

Meant to be digested as an entire entity in one sitting, this is a journey worth taking.

Jenny O. – Spectra

Opening with the mighty Hammond B-3 organ on “Pleasure In Function,” Jenny O. introduces us to her newest record which is stylistically a bit of a departure with more indie pop than we may be used to from her.

“You Are Loved Eternally” floats on a George Harrison solo-years cloud, “Prism” is a floater that comes across a bit like Suzanne Vega, while “Advise at A Dinner Party,” a song that reminds us that we get better as we age, has a Bangles dance party vibe about it.

You won’t find yourself passing over any tracks on this record and while Jenny O. might not seem to be as edgy as she was back in her Automechanic Days, this more laid-back introspective version is pretty much perfect for our ears.

Lucero – Should’ve Learned By Now

Having curated a sound that has evolved from Southern rock to Americana, Stax soul and beyond, Lucero continues to release quality music that lifts the spirit and soothes the soul. 

From the cowbell declaration of the opener, “One Last F.U.,” the ears perk up, and the train starts rolling, soundtracking a morality tale anthem that would make Tom Waits cringe. Veering away from the Southern-goth imagery, on this, the band’s twelfth record, they return to the barrooms and the bar-rock roots already well-traveled by The Hold Steady, The National, or the Drive-By Tuckers.

Essentially an album about drinking, “Macon If We Make It” is about waiting out a storm in a backwoods watering hole, “At The Show” espouses the youthful exuberance of waiting for your friends trying to figure out how to get into the bar where your favorite band is playing, and “Drunken Moon” speaks for itself.

Overall, Should’ve Learned By Now should stand up in the upper tier of the band’s canon, and for a band that has put out quality work for more than 20 years with essentially the same band members, that is saying a lot.

The Shootouts – Stampede

Coming quickly on the heels of their last record, Bullseye, the timeline for the follow-up shortened once Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson expressed an interest in working with the band. With Stampede, the band’s third long player, the musical template remains the same, Western swing with heavy doses of classic country and Americana thrown in for good measure.

With guest turns from Mary Stuart on “Better Things We Do,” Buddy Miller on “Anywhere But Here,” and the underrated Jim Lauderdale on “Tomorrow’s Knockin’,” the album at times takes on the collaborative feel of a Willie Nelson picnic.

If Bob Wills is the king of Western Swing, then Ray Benson is the crown prince, case in point, “One Step Forward” as presented here. And, if all of that fails to scratch your honky tonk itch, “I’ll Never Need Anyone More,” with Raul Malo pitching in, should have you heading for the dance floor post haste.

En Attendant Ana – Principia

With a vibe that flows somewhere between Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kate Bush, and the chanteuse go-go boots era, the Parisian combo En Attende Ana will hot tub time machine you back to a simpler time when your television had rabbit ears.

Hipster, stopping just short of being shoegaze, the opener, “Principia,” mood-sets the rest of the record with the jangle-adjacent guitar, echo chamber production, and floating Delores O’Riordan-style vocal textures.

“Ada, Mary, Diane,” while a bit more contemporary sounding than much of the record, is nonetheless a compelling jam, “Black Morning” is a bouncy pop tune that would have fit in quite nicely in Melanies’ canon back in the day, and “Wonder” is a vulnerable piece of art with the evocative lyric, “I’m a good human being, my mama said, I hope she’s right,” is a song right from the Aimee Mann playbook.

A groovy listen from start to finish, with the subtle horns, vintage organs, and selective use of the mellotron all coalescing to take you back to a simpler time while keeping your feet planted in the present.