Tag Archives: Glam

Suicide Helpline: Living In The Future

Suicide Helpline are the perfect band for the modern world. They are unapologetically honest and critical of society’s moral and social decay. This awareness is reflected in the quality of their lyrics and music. It’s a style that effortlessly blends the attitude of late 70’s punk by mixing it with post-punk sensibilities and coupling the flair of glam, but with the infectious pick up of two-tone ska. Other groups that are link minded are The Clash, The Stranglers and Newtown Neurotics.

Suicide Helpline released their latest album Re:Generation in June 2020. Much like their previous release Pink Jazz in 2016, this album continues their deceleration of punk-fueled rebellion against a world plagued by apathy and despair. Songs like “I’m So Sick Of This Generation,” Don’t Really Want To Die,” and “Live In Poverty” brilliantly demonstrate these ideals.

Unfortunately, it would seem Re:Generation found itself ill-fated to be released during the Covid 19 Pandemic. Like many groups worldwide, Suicide Helpline has been affected by the collapse of musical entertainment and the subsequent health mandated restrictions. The result is Suicide Helpline has not performed since March 2020. To find out how they’ve been coping since Covid 19 spread across the world I caught up with Logan and Kevin. We chatted about their new album Re:Generation, playing shows and life during the Pandemic.

NixBeat: Suicide Helpline started as a one band recording project. After releasing the debut album Ready To Die in 2013, the band took shape in 2015. What inspired the creation of Suicide Helpline?

Logan: It was part of a series of projects I was doing at the time, different bands doing different time periods of music. Suicide Helpline was obviously ’77 Punk, and it caught on the most with people I knew who were interested in live music.

NixBeat: Suicide Helpline boasts various styles of 1970’s influenced punk with the  glitter from glam rock, while adding some heavy post punk sensibilities. What are you all drawing from to create Suicide Helpline’s sound?

Logan: Well it was unintentional at first, the term “glam punk” didn’t come about until after our first album Pink Jazz was out. We were just trying to make honest original classic punk music, uninhibited by the ’90s. But we noticed some Bowie and things bleeding through though accidentally, which is my fault as a songwriter.

NixBeat: When I’ve messaged Suicide Helpline through Facebook, your automatic message advertises imalive.org. Can you elaborate on what that site is and why you are supporting it?

Logan: It’s 24 hours and always has someone to actually talk to. That seems essential for someone looking for an actual outlet. We wanted to make sure that anyone looking for live support in an actual crisis had it, that is very important to us.

NixBeat: Suicide Helpline released Pink Jazz on April 25, 2017.  The cover art of Pink Jazz invokes the image of a hand that has been recently sexually stimulating a vagina.  Is that intentional and if so, what prompted this particular imagery?

Logan : The image was shot before the album title was chosen. I had the idea for the picture and then pitched it to the band as an album cover and we came up with the album title from there. Honestly though, it was only supposed to upset your parents like classic punk album covers always seemed to try to.


NixBeat: One of my favorite tracks from Pink Jazz is “Welcome To The Rest Of Your Life.” I found it to be a bit foreboding and describing a monotonous life of privilege. What are you drawing from for this track?

Logan: That was written in the middle of the White Guilt Crisis of the mid-2010s, which I think was a very important step for society. I wanted so badly to shut up, but that song is what happened instead. It ended up being a pretty honest and bleak portrait. I’m not proud of it.

NixBeat: And finally, another favorite of mine, what inspired the track “No Wars, Only Battles?”

Logan: Is it ok to say that war is ‘antiquated’? Is that acceptable to say in America?


NixBeat: On June 7, 2020 Suicide Helpline released Re:Generation. What was working on this album like and how has the reception been to it?

Logan: Releasing an album in the middle of the worst health crisis in modern history has been a terrible idea. We sold less than 10 copies of the album. Working on it was fun though, we recorded it before anything had happened and the sessions had a very ’70s feel to them, we recorded a lot of it live off the floor.

NixBeat: The track “I’m So Sick of This Generation” seems pretty straight forward song. It laments a certain frustration towards a specific generation. What inspired this song?

Logan: I’m really worried that this song brought ABOUT the health crisis. I think I wished the world away. I’m honestly really sorry if that’s the case. If I wrote this now, it would be called “I Really Miss My Generation”. Making this music video as four individual people trapped in their own houses was an adventure though.

NixBeat: The track “Live In Poverty” has a kind of definitive SKA pick up to it. It’s a song that seems oddly appropriate for many people dealing with the consequences of the Covid 19 Pandemic. What are you drawing from “Live In Poverty?”

Logan: Yeah maybe that is way more relevant now, but at the time it was merely about abandoning wealth and stability, in exchange for art.

NixBeat: A particular favorite track on Re:Generation is “Don’t Really Want To Die.” Despite the name of this track It’s got a kind of upbeat feel to it that comes heavily from its’ SKA infused with punk sound. What’s the background with this song?

Logan: This song seemed way too positive and upbeat almost, but I’m glad it’s included at the end of the album. It provides much needed levity to an otherwise very heavy downward spiral of subjects. And especially since we released this album during the health crisis, this seemed like a good choice.

NixBeat: Suicide Helpline has played with numerous groups over the years. Who has been your favorite group to play with and why?

Kevin: Opening for Stiff Little Fingers was surreal. Those shows still feel like a dream to me. Playing with Laurice was an absolute riot, it was inspiring to see him in his 70s still being his strange and wonderful self. Mad Caddies were a ton of fun, and it was a trip hearing from 90s-punk dudes in the crowd about how much our tights and makeup threw them off. Teenage Bottlerocket, Fashionism and The Jolts were some other highlights … I feel like I’m just namedropping now, but it’s a hard question.  

Honestly, some of the funnest shows were the Rockin’ 4 Dollars nights at Buckingham in Edmonton. They’d have a bunch of bands play short sets with covers, so we really got to let loose and the crowds were great. We did tribute sets as the New York Dolls and the Stooges, and also covered songs by NOFX, The Chemical Brothers, the Proclaimers, the Chats and Cyndi Lauper.

NixBeat: How has the members of Suicide Helpline dealt with the Covid 19 Pandemic?

Kevin:
I moved to a farm in BC. I really miss practicing and performing, but we hadn’t jammed since March because of the restrictions, so I don’t know how much physical location matters anymore. I think, like all performers, we’re figuring out how to adjust to a world without sweaty clubs and sing-alongs. But we did the “I’m So Sick Of This Generation” video in total isolation as Logan mentioned, and he turned that into a really unique piece of art. So I have hope that we can work on more virtual projects in creative ways.  

NixBeat: The Covid 19 Pandemic has affected artists and venues alike. With many closing and artists unable to preform. How has the pandemic affected the music community in Edmonton, Alberta? 

Logan: It has disassembled our local music scene for the foreseeable future. All venues are closed and currently people are isolated to houses and unable to play music together. We’re hoping recorded music somehow keeps our small scene alive.

NixBeat: What’s coming up next for Suicide Helpline?

Logan: Well hopefully by the time this pandemic is over, music will have in some way restructured itself or be in the process of a brave new frontier, post-apocalypse. We’d love to be a part of the rebuilding, but right now, we have no idea what the future looks like.

For more about Suicide Helpline, check out their Bandcamp and FaceBook!!

Faz Waltz — Rebel Kicks

Faz Waltz

Rebel Kicks

Spaghetty Town Records

Street: 04/20/2020

Since 2007, Faz Waltz have been releasing hit maker records meant for another era. Each one of their new albums are tighter than the last. However, their 7th album Rebel Kicks is the Crème de la crème. Released on a pandemic ridden world this is music that uplifts and provides a much needed relief. Within this records grooves fans will hear the familiar influences of T-Rex  and David Bowie glam twisting the night away with late Beatles inspired rock n’ roll. Rebel Kick’s superbly demonstrates Faz Waltz’s maturing style and masterful pop-sensible hooks that makes their unique take on a 1970’s inspired rock n’ roll sound.

With Rebel Kicks, Faz Waltz bring forth a nostalgic style meant to tug on youthful determination to inspire the soul. This is demonstrated with the first track, “Grown Up Guy.” This is a song about empowerment in a crazy world where the right time simply exist is always challenged by the powers that be. It’s a killer song that grabs a hold of the listener with an infectious, yet punchy feel. “Grown Up Guy” is also the A-side to the single released on February 21,2020. 

The title track “Rebel Kicks” is a feelgood kind of track. It’s a fast and upbeat rebel anthem. Not surprising since that’s what Faz Waltz is good at knocking. out. Still this one is fun thanks to a strong back beat and Jerry Lewis-like piano playing. Play this loud and the result should motivate it’s listeners to bounce around.

The tracks that stand out on this record are “Got Me Goin,” “Rock n’ Roll Is Tough” and “Do You Remember.” “Got Me Goin” is a mid-tempo groover. It boasts certain junkshop sensibilities that ought to make ones head bop.  I would not be surprised if this tune is dug up in 40 years and placed on a glam rock revival comp meant to commemorate the 2020’s bovver revival with the purpose to initiate the next generation of glitter rockers. 

“Rock N’ Roll Is Tough” could almost be lumped into the standard section of rock song begging for for the golden days of rock music.  This number is meant to be played loud and be danced too.With this track Faz Waltz deliver an almost Hector-like approach by blending a joyous rock n’ roll feeling with a fresh sense of sentimentality. This is done in large part thanks to the lyrics, which are catchy as hell.

“Do You Remember” is a track that tugs on the heart strings. It brings forth Faz Waltz’s T-Rex and Ziggy Stardust operatic influence to the forefront.  Musically and lyrically, it captures a sense of yearning for the past. By doing this, it becomes a song that one would play in dark lit bar to conjure memories of those not present. If you needed a glam track to get you in the feels, “Do You Remember” is it.  

Other songs worthy of note are “Last Train To Nowhere,” “Born In The Wrong Time,” and “Is it Love.” “Last Train To Nowhere” is a true and blue rock n’ roll number. It’s a fast retro-rock number very much in the same vain as somethings recorded by Mud or Showaddywaddy—just minus the doo wop.  “Born In The Wrong Time” is an entertaining track that celebrates a well-covered theme of being born in the wrong decade.

“Is It Love” is a great track to conclude this album with.  If there was a sound that was ever meant to be a homage to Marc Bolan’s style of glam, this is it. “Is It Love” is a smooth and track that treads around the feelings of insecurity surrounding love. It’s glam rock that invites it’s listeners to sway to a mid-tempo beat and fuzz guitar.

Overall, Rebel Kicks is a record full of hits and arguably no misses. Faz Waltz knocks out every number flawlessly. These are the kind of tunes that demand one to get up, move and groove to sounds meant to invigorate the wayward soul. It’s the kind of music that offers a renewed imagination to the forever youthful rebellion evoked by over 70 years of rock n’ roll music.

Rebel Kicks ought to be listened thoroughly to by anyone daring to have dedication to being a rock n’ roller. This record shows off a decade worth of consistent hard work. Their dedication to their craft is almost second to none. Furthermore, Faz Waltz’s material is not the simply regurgitated stuff made by imitators. These guys are the real deal and they bring to the table sounds that are truly exiting. Now go pick up this record and kick out some jams.

Rebel Kicks, Rock N’ Roll and Life In Quarantine: Chatting with Faz Waltz’s Faz La Rocca

Since 2007, Faz Waltz has led the bovver rock revival. They present a unique style that draws from influences such as The Beatles, T-Rex, David Bowie and Queen. The result is sounds that blends contemporary rock n’ roll with pop sensibilities into a nostalgic nod toward the notions of 1970’s junkshop glam.

Over the years, Faz Waltz has never seemed to slow down. They have played numerous performances, released six albums, toured all over Europe and in 2019 made their first appearance in the United States with a brief tour, including playing at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Now Faz Waltz are about to release their seventh album Rebel Kicks on April 20th 2020. After getting a preview of the new record via the Grown Up Guy/ C’Mon Liar 7”,  I contacted Faz Waltz’s frontman Faz La Rocca to learn more . We chatted about his glam rock influences, touring the States, playing the Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival, the new 7” and what life is like in Italy during the Coronavirus quarantine.

NixBeat: After previously playing in punk bands, Faz Waltz formed in 2007. What prompted you to start Faz Waltz?

Faz La Rocca: Well, I was deep into the punk rock scene but there were many punk rock bands around. I wanted to do something different. So I started a band playing the music I loved the since I was a kid — rock ‘n roll.

Nix Beat: Faz Waltz seems to blend boot-boy glam rock styles that harkons on a mix of The Beatles, T-Rex and Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie.  Where does your passion for glam come from?

Faz La Rocca : When I was 7, I discovered Queen. They instantly became my favorite band at that time so I started looking for bands that had the same feel… the Beatles were next, then I went on to find T. Rex, Bowie, Cheap Trick, ELO, Slade, and other great bands.

Nix Beat: In an article published by Louder Than War on May 8, 2016, it was stated that Faz Waltz would write and perform in English since it was considered the universal language of rock n’roll. Why do you think that is?

Faz La Rocca: Ever since I discovered rock n’ roll as a kid, my only dream was to become a musician. My favorite bands were from the UK and the US, so singing in English is the only way for me.

Nix Beat: Faz Waltz played Punk Rock Bowling in 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. How did you get involved in playing the festival?

Faz La Rocca: It all happened thanks to Ted from Spaghetty Town Records. After we were asked to play at Punk Rock Bowling, Ted took care of all the other gigs. We’ve been asked to play in the US and Canada multiple times in the past — we even had a tour planned in 2016. Touring the US and Canada is very expensive with all the  bureaucratic red tape. So we needed a big main event like Punk Rock Bowling to make the tour happen.

NixBeat: How was performing in the States compared to playing in Europe?

Faz La Rocca: It was awesome. This was my very first time in this beautiful country. We got to travel the US and we got to play our music; it was a two-for-one dream come true. Well, playing in the States is different from some European countries but similar to others. One thing was certain: everybody was super excited to see us. We really appreciate everyone who came out and rocked with us.

NixBeat: Your new single Grown Up Guy is came out February 21, 2020. What influenced the title track “Grown Up Guy?”

Faz La Rocca: Although some songs are the fruit of my imagination, many are influenced by real life. Everybody experiences some grief sometimes and it’s not obvious that somebody is there to help. So you have to fend for yourself. This makes you think you don’t need anybody else to get through. It gives you power you didn’t think you had — though in your heart you really don’t want to be alone either.

NixBeat: What are you drawing from for the song “C’mon Liar?”

Faz La Rocca:  “Come On Liar” is the perfect B Side to “Grown Up Guy,” because it’s in the bad times that you discover who is real and who is fake, “Big smiles and big lies.” It’s about friendship, real or presumed.

NixBeat: Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Italian government has enacted strict quarantine measures to limit the spread of the virus.  I saw that Faz La Rocca has been posting videos of himself playing songs like John Lennon’s “Isolation” via webcam. How have you been doing during the quarantine? 

Faz La Rocca: Yes, we do what we can to keep our minds busy while confined at home; playing some music, painting, reading, writing, and watching movies. Some people like me are still working during the day, but when I come home I need to do something that fills the void of no normal socializing.

NixBeat: What’s the mood like in Italy with the quarantine and how have people been coping with the stress.

Faz La Rocca: Northern Italy has been hit quite hard right now, the hospitals are fighting a big battle – they are heroes. Many people are dying and we’re not seeing the end of this yet. But Italy is strong, we’ll make it; we have a positive attitude,  we have faith in our national health service, and we follow all the directives for health security.

The world should learn from how we are living and stop underestimating this pandemic. We underestimated it when China was the only country affected because it looked so distant from us. Now it’s at a global level — what are we waiting for? Stay at home, stop all social contacts. It’s the only way to get through this, nobody is immune.

NixBeat: How has the Corona Virus Pandemic affected the music scene over there?

Faz La Rocca: The Coronavirus has totally affected the music scene. All the clubs are closed, no live shows, we can only play online from our home and all without getting paid. Many bands, clubs, and recording studios are dealing with financial issues due to the forced closure. So any help is appreciated by the bands, for example, you can buy  records and merch as long as the shipping services are in operation.

NixBeat: Faz Waltz’s new album Rebel Kicks is due to be released on April 20th, 2020. What can fans look forward to with the new record? 

Faz La Rocca: Yes, it will be released in April, pre-order is available now. For example on Rebel Kicks there’s fun as always but we also touch on some different topics. The album has some room for an introspective side too and it has a couple of very intense ballads as heard in the previous records. I love writing that pop oriented stuff.

NixBeat: Are you concerned about any delays because of the Coronavirus Pandemic? 

Faz La Rocca: No, there’s no sense in planning when dealing with this pandemic. We all have to live day by day and take all the good from this situation.

NixBeat: What plans does Faz Waltz have for the rest of the year?
Faz La Rocca: First of all, we just all want this period to end as soon as possible. Then we’ll see. We weren’t sure if we made the right move to release the album now — maybe we should have waited for a better time. But come on, life needs to go on. Even during and because of these difficult times, we’d like people to listen to our new album and feel carefree for a while. That’s what music is for! This is why I’ve been making music for all these years. We hope to put some smiles on your faces.

For more about Faz Waltz, check out their Facebook, Bandcamp and at their online shop!

Faz Waltz – Double Decker

Faz Waltz
Double Decker
SpaghettyTown Records
March 21, 2018

Faz Waltz’s new album Double Decker is a worthy successor to their already rich catalogue of music. Since the release of Callin’ Loud in 2016 it’d almost be a surprise if Faz Waltz could top songs like ‘Good Time Is Callin’ Loud.’

However, with Double Decker, fans will be pleased to find an album filled with bangers, catchy anthems and ballads meant to invigorate the soul. Much like with their previous material this album captures the boot-stomping essence of Jook, with Slade meets a Revolver era Beatles-like rock n’ roll sound.

Dig the full review published at Heatwave Magazine!!

Fashionism – Smash Singles LP

Fashionism
Smash Singles LP
Sorry State Records
Released: April 20, 2018

Fashionisms Smash Singles LP is an essential collection of recordings for the lovers of not only power pop, but also clever and intelligent lyricism. This record boasts material from the first four Fashionism singles, which are now hard to come by, with the addition of a couple previously unreleased tracks. Fans of Fashionism will find this record treads mostly familiar territory. For first timers, the Smash Singles LP is a good way to be introduced to one of the more interesting bands of the last decade.

The songs found within the grooves of the Smash Singles LP celebrate the clever nature could have been heard by The Boys or even by the sharp wit of The Adverts. This is largely thanks to vocalist Jeffery McCloy masterful weaving of punchy lyrics that tell a story with a sound that combines the infectious nature of Bay City Rollers like glam rock meeting the sensibilities of The Purple Hearts.

This hybrid style effortlessly combines the intense energy of punk with intelligent social criticism largely lost by the chorus of grunts and growls of the spikey studded cast. While their songs are very socially aware, Fashionism do not deliver their messages as a blow to the head. Rather, they do so via bubblegum styled tunes to bounce about with and be subtly influenced by.

Many of Fashionism’s songs defiantly beg for the nostalgia of times long past. Songs like “Subculture Suicide” lament the painful and frustrating demise of traditional subcultural identity. While others like the new track “Weekend” remains steadfast in the Fashionism tradition of being unapologetically socially critical of shameless social media inspired vanity.

Others hits on this record include my personal favorite “Where Have All The Rock n’ Roll Girls Gone.” This one pays homage to New Town  Animals hit “Rock N Roll Scene.” Another is “Stop, Drop, Rock n’ Roll.” It’s a song that demands dance while McCoy rapidly name drops pop culture references from the McCoys “Hang on Sloopy” to ? and The Mysterians “96 Tears.” Fashionism also have a silly side with tracks like “One Shot.” It’s a song about being delightfully addicted to coffee. This one is fast and melodically furious– not to mention catchy as hell.

This record is well worth getting, particularly, if the Fashionism singles have eluded your capture. This super-group is made of members of The Tranzmitors, The Jolt, The Orange Kyte and New Town Animals. Their sound is deviously infectious and upbeat. It’s good for those familiar and for newcomers alike. Above all, it’s a gem, so go get it.

For More Fashionism, check out their Bandcamp!

Fashionism — Subculture Suicide 7”

Fashionism Subculture Suicide 7” Dirt Cult Records Released: June 23, 2016

Fashionism
Subculture Suicide 7”
Dirt Cult Records
Released: June 23, 2016

Three singles in and Fashionism are still flawlessly knocking out catchy rock n’ roll anthems. Their style evokes a strong longing of nostalgia toward rock n’ rolls golden years while energizing their listener with highly addictive punk infused power pop. It’s a sound that twists the infectious nature of late 1970’s punky power pop with the hit making sensibilities of bubblegum glam rock.

The new single, Subculture Suicide 7” brilliantly continues on this trend by pumping out three songs of provocative high energy wrapped within a volatile twist. Fashionism jolts their listeners to remember when music was a dangerous thing that provoked passions and instilled a razor blade edged code to live by. The title track “Subculture Suicide” ” is easily for the forgotten subcultural romantics who have yet to succumb to the allures of a music inspired lifestyle threatened and rebranded as a cheap commodity. It’s a relevant track and will have any eager listener shaking all about.

“Stop Drop and Rock n’ Roll” stands out as the defiant track  celebrating the gs  relevantly upbeat and will have you shaking all about.  It’s a track perfectlory of all things that shake, shimmy and jive. It’s a song that is riddled with an electric feel of a powerful poppy nature and is easily addicting to the ears. Played loud and often this will have you uncontrollably bopping about.

“Nun of That” is ridiculously and sensationally fun. Provided that you willfully to surrender to feelings of sinful joy inspired by radical chemical imbalance of a ritalin addled mind, then this 1 min and 34 second song is for you. Pogo away.

The Subculture Suicide 7″  is further demonstration of Fashionism’s awesome ability to deliver some stirring hook filled tunes. Each track comes across as lyrically inspiring and has a sound that one can move and groove to.  Only thing missing in this discography is an LP. For now though, one will have to be happily content with dropping the needle on the Subculture Suicide 7”. So, don’t waste any more time and be sure to dig this.
—Nick Kuzmack

For more Fashionism, check out their bandcamp: https://fashionism.bandcamp.com/album/subculture-suicide-7

Check out their first single from Hosehead Records

Giuda – Speaks Evil

Giuda
Speaks Evil
Record Label: Burning Heart Records
Release: November 2015

It is safe to say I have yet to be disappointed with any of Giuda’s releases. I’ve followed their progress since witnessing them perform in 2011 at 12 Bar in London— after hearing “Get It Over,” I was hooked. I find Giuda’s sound blends the nostalgic sensibility of 1970’s Junk Shop Glam with a certain attitude that can only be found in the aggressive, no bullshit stance of the punk side of rock ‘n’ roll that defined an era. Their sound is unique and maintains certain appeal, and can easily translate into something timeless and easily infectious. As one who has caught the Giuda bug, I have been sure to prioritize acquiring their singles and albums as soon they have been released.

Dig the full album review published @ Heatwave Magazine!!

REVIEW: BITERS – ELECTRIC BLOOD

BITERS
ELECTRIC BLOOD
Earache Records
Street: 08.07
Biters = The Boys + Sweet

Electric Blood is no doubt Biters’ sincere testament to the romantic notions of wanderlust and youthful defiance. Listeners should take care to dig this theme, seeing as it’s a relevant illustration of a generation’s inherited frustration toward societal shallowness and its loving nostalgia for the past.

Dig the full album review published @ SLUG Magazine!!

LOCALIZED: DJ NIX BEAT

Vinyl-spinning DJ Nix Beat will bring the true spirit of rock n’ roll to SLUG’s Localized on Nov. 19. Photo: jessicabundyphotography.com

Nick Kuzmack—easily recognizable as the tall, slim, fashionable figure whom you no doubt have seen in record stores, at shows or onstage—has a presence that commands (and in equal parts demands) attention. Kuzmack has, since his birth, been surrounded by a wealth of culture and passion. “I was raised on the legacy of the original greasers from the ’50s and the mods from the ’60s,” he says.

Read the full article about Nix Beat published @ SLUG Magazine!!