Slaughter and the Dogs are one of the original forefathers of punk. Since 1975 they have blended boot boy glam and the defiant attitude of punk rock with particular brilliance. Their latest album IL Tradimento Silenzioso (The Silent Betrayal) is a testament to this philosophy. Within its grooves are tunes that demand a listen and may even find themselves among the mantle that holds up their previous material. Albeit this record carries on with a more mature sound, however it still captures the essence that makes Slaughter and the Dogs great.
This record kicks off with strong with the boot boy football anthem in “Manchester Boys.” If one needed a track to blast loud while sporting the colors of Manchester City or Manchester United, then this one is perfect. This song is fun for its rowdy glam punk style coupled with an uplifting and easy-to-follow chorus. Mind you under the right influences singing along to “Manchester Boys” will no doubt make you some friends—providing you are sporting the right colors.
Other tracks like “Silent Cities” carry a more somber, reflective sound. This one is still well in the same vein of unabashed punk. Most notably as it’s a song pushing the envelope of questioning authority and challenging complacency. In comparison songs like “Good Times Are Coming Here Today” is upbeat and rocking. It’s a feel good number that leaves it’s listener resonating in a good place.
Perhaps my favorite song on IL Tradimento Silenzioso (The Silent Betrayal) is “The Ok Man.” Leading in with a stomping beat, this song draws from the perspective of someone who finds themselves in the thorough of casual chit chat at the pub or cafe. Admittingly, it’s not quite in line with the minimalism found in traditional punk tunes. Rather, this tune is uniquely engaging as it is more developed. It’s a play on a ballad with a folk-like tune. This is brilliantly weaved together via a superior lyrical quality courtesy of Wayne Barret McGrath. Think of it as having a similar quality that can be found with a Joe Strummer and Mescalero’s or Johnny Cash approach. “The Ok Man” is well worth putting on repeat.
The b-side of this record has some tracks that stand out as well. “Five Star British Hotel” is one of the. The theme comments on the boring life of a hotel employee only wanting the stability of a simple life. This song starts off with the recording of “Oh Britannia” and launches into a uptempo tune complete with a keen punk induced critical self awareness. In comparison fellow tracks like “Cocaine Smile” harkens on Slaughter and the Dogs punk roots. In the same vein is “Hooligan Blues.” This is done by playing up on the styles fast and raucous.
Overall IL Tradimento Silenzioso (The Silent Betrayal) captures an essence of charm that only Slaughter and the Dogs could offer. This record blends styles ranging from their glam punk sensibilities to punk styles ebbing with a more reflective tone. If one has appreciated their previous material, then the growth that this record boasts suggest it might be well worth a listen. After all, they have remained consistent with this infectious sound. So, go forth and procure a copy. This is a record that ought to be heard.
The Sorels hail from Winnipeg, Canada. They are Jo Jo Rodriguez (vox, bass) , Jennifer Alexander (guitar) and Jill Lynott (drums, vox). Together they have released their third EP via Reta Records and it is aptly titled Love Your Rock N’ Roll. It’s very much a love letter for the sentimentality of the eternal days of old celebrating rock n’ roll excellence. Within these grooves is a style mending aspects of 1960’s girl groups, glam punk but with the infectious nature of power pop. It rips and ought to be heard.
Each track has it’s own significance and charm. The title song “Love Your Rock N’ Roll” kicks this record off superbly. It blends up-tempo power pop with sprinklings of glam. When the needle hits this one, turn the dial until your sound system registers red hot. Played under the right inhibitions, this ditty will have you moving and grooving.
In contrast “The Jerk” captures the moody nostalgic sensations of early ‘60s girl groups. Admittingly, the Larks made the Jerk a craze in 1964. However, The Sorels lament a longing for the fabled dance and in their homage have brought it new life. “The Jerk” furthermore highlights this yearning by mention of other dances like the Twist, Mashed Potato or Wah Wah-Watusi. This is by invoking the musical spirits of The Shangri-La’s and The Ronettes.
The B-side of this EP continues with the gold. “Make Me Party” perfectly captures the catchiness of the glam rock essence found in 1972. That said, it certainly has a modern flair that’s in line with Giuda’s “Get It Over.” With this track it’s clear The Sorels don’t hold back, are force to be reckoned with. Play this one loud at the next glamracket for it’s a stomping banger.
“Another School Day” is a great track to wrap this EP up with. While it stands on its own, it ends things on a high note. The previous song demonstrated an excellence in glam, but “Another School Day” blends it with punk laden defiance decrying the monotonous nature of another day in school. Think of it along with Alice Cooper, Joan Jett and Nikki Corvette. “Another School Day” ques up in the same vein as the previous rebel without a cause notions, a trend seamlessly found amongst The Sorels other material. Too bad this is the last track, as I wish there was more.
Overall the Love Your Rock N’ Roll EP is hands down brilliant. If there was a record to get your hands on, it would be this one. The Sorels know the substance of rock n’ roll inside out and demonstrate it with exceptional quality. These four tracks certainly play on the familiar heartstrings begging for a revival of the golden age of rock n’ roll. Its not a new story nor is it irrelevant. The Sorels approach this idea with a depth of sincerity and in turn make it fun. It’s quite an enticing listen and as far as a themes for retroism goes, their song “the Jerk” is one to stand out.
Personally, my favorite track is “Make Me Party.” It’s a tune that would fit perfectly in another issue of the Glamstains comps. That said, this EP’s four tracks demand to be played on repeat. To miss out on this record would suggest a lapse in judgement and need for a possible lobotomy. Now, go pick this up, play it loud and annoy your neighbors with something good.
Bad Sex are Portland, Oregon’s answer to power pop. They are Quinn Walls,Nick Kruse, Jerry Fowler and Charles Olsen. Since forming in 2016, Bad Sex have relentlessly jumped to the occasion to make music. They have shared the stage with numerous acts including Giuda, The Dickies, The Queers and Koffin Cats. Their tight catchy melodies nod toward the high energy of 1970s punk rock with the swagger of glam derived rock n’ roll. It’s is a style reminiscent of Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, Protex, or The Beat, all the while twisting to the contemporary flair found in The Exploding Hearts.
Most the world shut down in 2020. However, Bad Sex wasted little time by continuing to write and rehearse. They even made a music video for the track “Miranda.” This hard work paid off with the release of the Miranda/Devil Doll 7” on July 2, 2021. Bad Sex also performed the RKR MTN Rendezvous. This was an all dayer concert that was in conjunction with the RKR MTN Ripper Festival, in Denver, Colorado.
2022 appears to a promising year for Bad Sex. In March, they did a brief west coast tour which included Salt Lake City, Utah on March 13. After the tour, Bad Sex landed in the studio to record an EP set to release later in 2022. In July they will open for TSOL on July 28, and in September embark on 20-day tour, including playing the RKR MTN Ripper Festival. Finally in November, they will open for The Dead Boys, The Briefs and Suzi Moon.
On the way to Denver for RKR MTN Ripper Festival, Bad Sex will grace Salt Lake City at The International on September 7th. Salt Lake City locals Shecock and The Pseudos are set to open. To learn I caught up with Bad Sex and they were kind enough to fill me in on their plans for the remainder of 2022.
NixBeat: Bad Sex formed in 2016. What prompted you to form Bad Sex?
Walls: Everyone I knew was in a band, I wanted to start one too.
Kruse: My band had a space and I figured I could figure out how to play drums so my best friend could be in a band.
Olsen: I saw them play with my band at a house show and thought the songs were good, and if all my friends were in a band, I want in.
Fowler: Quinn and Nick had a new band going, and needed a bassist. So, I learned how to play bass.
NixBeat: Described as a raunchy power pop and degenerate party punk, what influences do draw from for Bad Sex’s sound?
Walls: well that’s an older description, I’d say we’re much more 70’s power pop & rock ‘n’ roll nowadays. Or influences range greatly from person to person. I draw influence from The Exploding Hearts, Rubinoos, Elvis Costello, and The Ramones mostly.
Kruse: I love Ramones, Cheap Trick, The Who (especially the 60’s stuff). My favorite drummers are Tommy Ramone, Marky Ramone, Ritchie Ramone, and Elvis Ramone.
Fowler: I grew up listening to a lot of Alkaline Trio and Rancid. Like mall-punk type stuff. I honestly learned about power-pop upon joining Bad Sex. Dan Andriano from Alkaline is definitely my main influence as far a bass playing goes.
Olsen: Blink-182 is probably my favorite band ever ,along with AC/DC and KISS. The first album I ever bought was Ever Passing Momentby MxPx, and I still listen to that record today.
NixBeat: In January 2019, Bad Sex flew out to Atlanta, Georgia to record your debut album Waste Of Time with Joe Queer and Tuk Smith. What was that process like?
Bad Sex: The first big show we played was with The Dickies and The Queers. After the show, Joe Queer pulled us aside and asked if we wanted to come to Atlanta and record with him at Scabby Road Studio. Quinn had mentioned liking the band Biters, so Joe asked if we wanted Tuk Smith to come into the studio. Tuk had brought along producer Dan Dixon, who helped write harmonies and sing on the ‘Waste of Time’ record.
NixBeat: On September 17th and 18th 2019, Bad Sex opened for Giuda along with The Sadists (in PDX) and with Die Nasty (in Seattle). What was it like to open for Giuda during their North West portion of their tour?
Bad Sex: In two words: Absolutely thrilling. They are so nice, so talented and really fun. We hit it off, talked gear, talked music and played pinball.
NixBeat: On February 28, 2020 Bad Sex opened for The Hollywood Stars alongside The Crazy Squeeze and Nico Bones, with DJ Power Pop Jeff. How did you get involved with this show and what was it like to open for The Hollywood Stars?
Bad Sex: Our friend Nico Bones hit us up out of the blue, and we jumped at the opportunity. We’re more of a west coast band, than a Portland band, so we went for it. Then a month later everything shut down.
NixBeat: In March of 2020, Bad Sex (along with numerous groups around the world) were affected by onset of the Coronavirus. This included gig postponed and job loss. How did you get through the Pandemic?
Bad Sex: We wrote, recorded and made a video. A venue in town, The Goodfoot, let us rehearse in their basement. We kept meeting up several times a week and just didn’t stop.
NixBeat: On July 2, 2021 Bad Sex released the Miranda/Devil Doll 7” visa Crash Assailant Records. What were you drawing from for the track “Miranda?”
Olsen: “Miranda” is all about my first love. we were together for three years and broke up right around the time Bad Sex was taking things more seriously. I’m a big fan of Pete Shelley and love how a lot of his songs were autobiographical. Needless to say, I was pretty hurt at the time. “Miranda” was really the first time I was able to put my feelings into words ,and was in a band that played music that made sense to how I felt at that time.
NixBeat: What inspired the track “Devil Doll?”
Walls: “Devil Doll” was written at the end of a relationship, reflecting on how different feelings are at the beginning and end of relationships. Inspired mostly by The Nerves and Paul Collins Beat.
NixBeat: On September 10th, 2021 Bad Sex played the RKR MTN Rendezvous— which is apart of the RKR MTN Ripper Festival, in Denver, Colorado. How did you get involved with this festival and what was it like to perform again after the Covid hiatus?
Walls: I had talked to Micah from Fast Eddy about us wanting to play that fest and he put us on the bill right away.
Fowler: It was nice to be back playing music, especially in a new city with some of our favorite bands. The whole fest was just what we all needed after a year of fuckin’ nothing.
NixBeat: In March 2022, Bad Sex embarked on a tour that started off in Salt Lake City, Utah. There you played at Quarters DLC with Slick Velveteens with DJ Retrograde and I behind the decks. What was it like for you to play Salt Lake City?
Walls: SLC was so much more beautiful than I had imagined and the venue was so fun, reminded me of when I worked at an arcade.
Olsen: I had a blast. Jerry, Nick and I’s old band GUN used to come to SLC all the time, and play Beehive Social and Dis House. Shout out to Sam and Conrad. Getting to go to Raunch was also super cool and selling some singles there was a dream come true.
NixBeat: This tour also saw Bad Sex support Koffin Kats during several dates in Washington and Oregon. This isn’t the first time Bad Sex has played with Koffin Kats. However, what was it like to pay with them during this tour?
Fowler: It was a goddamn blast. They’re incredible musicians and just all-around nice guys.
Olsen: I feel like we’re cut from the same cloth. Getting to tour with a band like Koffin Kats ,who have done it for so long, taught us so much; I really can’t say enough nice things about those guys. You can expect to see us together more in the future.
NixBeat: During the weekend of September 9th through 11th, Bad Sex will be playing the RKR MTN RIPPER III festival in Denver, Colorado. Other acts include RMBLR, Ravagers, Fast Eddy and more. How did you get involved with this festival and what can readers expect from your performance?
Walls: When we played last year, Micah saw us and immediately wanted us to play the main stage the next year.
Fowler: you can expect a lot of new stuff. We’ve been utilizing our down time with really honing our craft and expanding our horizons.
NixBeat: On the way to Denver Bad Sex will be playing the International Bar in Salt Lake City on September 7th. This time with Shecock and The Pseudos opening. What can Salt Lake City look forward from Bad Sex gracing this city again?
Bad Sex: A damn good time with us, The Pseudos and Shecock.
NixBeat: What does the future hold for Bad Sex?
Olsen: New songs, new merch and more shows. July 28th we’re playing in Portland with T.S.O.L. and playing a couple shows with Dead Boys and The Briefs shortly after that.
Walls: We’ve got a 20-day tour in September that will be announced shortly and there’s another tour in January hitting parts of the country we haven’t played yet. We’ve got lots of stuff on the horizon. It’s hard to keep up!
Fowler: We just finished up the studio. We recorded an EP, and another song for a comp. Both should be out before the end of the year.
Faz Waltz’s new record proves that rock n’ roll is thriving. In contrast to their previous material Faz Waltz step out of the junk shop and into the hop. Their new album On The Ball is a work of homage that devotes it’s energy to tunes harkening on the days of old. It’s a record that brilliantly channels the spirits of the pioneers of rock n’ roll. Particularly that of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Eddie Cochran — with some help from The Beatles with Tony Sheridan. The result is the experience of conjuring the closest thing to the soundtrack of American Graffiti for the ears of the 21st century.
On The Ball wastes no time is serenading it’s listeners with the infectious rock n’ roll. Starting off this record is “Hot Cold Fever.” For this tune Faz Waltz channel the glam n’ roll energy of the late Richard. It’s fast, fun and with unbridled passion. “Hot Cold Fever” is a tune to be played loud. If applied correctly through the speakers, this sound will electrify it’s listener to twist and shout.
In a similar vein is “Shame On You.” This track captures the feeling of Cochran and dare I say a bit of Jerry Lee Lewis. Although a simple tune about a heart scorned, “Shame On You” has a definitive swagger. This song is a favorite from On The Ball. It boasts riffs that Berry invented, played loud enough ought to have it’s listeners shaking, rattling and rolling. So dig this, it’s the devils music and it’s good.
Other tracks like this are “Fool For Your Love” and “Soon I’m gone.” The former track, “Fool For Your Love” shows off definitive Berry characteristics. It’s a track Invoking nods to “School Days” and of course “Johnny B. Goode.” The latter “Soon I’m Gone” carries on with Richards’ wild piano playing style. Both ought to be put on the jukebox to get any party moving.
“Hungry Man” blends the untamed nature of Cochran with the desperation of Presley’s crooning. This tune has a strong build up, but remains in a mid tempo range. That said, this track shapes itself with a raw inflection. The outcome being a song inspiring an uncontrollable urge to start shaking with gyrations.
In true form, Faz Waltz deliver tracks blending T-Rex with a late Beatles-esque styles. These tracks are “Empty Hands” and “Shining Teeth.” Both songs bring forth a groovy yet heavy sound. This is music that begs for invocations of feelings weighted by a certain longing. It’s a method that Faz Waltz has perfected over the years and is reminiscent of “Sleepy Head” from their album Double Decker.
Much of On The Ball celebrates an unyielding feeling of youthful urgency. Not surprising then since that’s what rock n’ roll is. While On The Ball invites nostalgia for the sock hops, hot rods, strawberry milkshakes and poodle skirts, it’s still a sound boasting relevancy. Even in this day and age this genre reveres the idea that there will always be rebels without a cause. It’s a philosophy which Faz Waltz are certainly devotees.
This is an album that demands rock n’ roll is here to stay and it is clear it will never die. It’s a record that fits perfectly in Faz Waltz’s storied catalogue. On The Ball blends sounds that invoke yearning for the vintage and refined. That said, this record should not be overlooked. Faz Waltz deliver the a good time. This album is contiguously fun. It’s music made for cruising around with no particular place to go. Now, go pick this up, and get down and with it.
Since their inception in 2015, Slick Velveteens have been on the forefront of a glam revolution in Salt Lake City. They are Devi Strill,Kenzie Waldo,Danny Cringe and Georgetown “Grimm.” Their influences range from the artists including New York Dolls, The Cramps and Betty Davis. Stylistically they blend bluesy funk and junk shop sleaze rock n’ roll with the visual damnation of 1970’s exploitation films. The result is a unique sound that will melt the faces of non-believers and inspire the next generation of trash city glam rockers.
Slick Velveteens have been active regulars in the Salt Lake City music circuit. Their performances are tight and they provide an experience not to be missed. They have performed with local groups such The Poppees, Shecock & the Rock Princess, Rebel Rebel and many others. For touring acts, they are ever ready to represent Salt Lake’s glam community. Among touring groups Slick Velveteens have even opened for are Bad Sex, Giuda and the metal queen and former RunawayLita Ford.
Other than playing shows, the last few years have seen Slick Velveteens busy with putting out material. They have released a self-titled album in 2017, along with two singles, Double Trouble Singles (2019) and Sweet Victim (2020). In addition, they have made several music videos to accompany their releases. A feat that inspired submitting the video for “Ditch” in the Desertscape International Film Festival in 2021.
The future looks bright for Slick Velveteens. On Saturday, May 21, 2022 they will be opening up for Thelma & The Sleaze. They also plan to release a new album titled Shock Values later 2022. To learn more I tracked them down to learn about how they formed, what it was like opening up for Lita Ford, participating in the Desertscape International Film Festival and their future plans……
NixBeat: Slick Velveteens initially formed in 2015 when Devi Strill and Kenzie Waldo started to collaborate. Then in 2016, the band fully organized with Danny Cringe (drums) and Brandon Richter (bass), with Georgetown “Grimm” later replacing Richter in 2019 as bassist. What prompted starting Slick Velveteens and how has it grown over the last few years?
Waldo: Slick Velveteens’ start is kind of a long story. Devi and I are siblings, so we’ve been playing music together in various forms since we were kids. But Slick Velveteens started at a time where Devi had mysteriously lost his ability to walk (we found out later that it was caused by a form of arthritis). So, I would go over to the house he was living in at the time to keep him company while he was recovering. We were sharing songs that we were writing separately to get another pair of ears on them. It was a few months of that until we decided that we would officially start a band together. I believe the exact words out of Devi’s mouth at that time were, “We should start a band and call it Slick Velveteens.” I’m pretty sure I just said, “okay.” Brandon was living in the basement of the same house and agreed to be the bassist. Around the same time I asked Dan to drum for only one show—even though we had ulterior motives to keep him as our full time drummer. The rest, as they say, is history.
NixBeat: Georgetown “Grimm” joined Slick Velveteens in 2019. How did he get involved?
Grimm: I’ve known these cats since they were kittens yah mean? Seriously though, me and Brandon performed together in Mister Richter and he suggested me as a replacement and it just worked out. I was getting into engineering as they started writing so it turned into a collaborative effort.
Waldo: Georgetown has been around from the beginning. He recorded our first demo and has been our main engineer since!
NixBeat: Self-described as a glam band, what influences do you draw from for your sound and style?
All of Slicks: It’s safe to say that we are a product of anything we find cool. We’re pretty nerdy like that. Sound-wise, our influences span from New York Dolls (+the entirety of the late ‘70s New York music scene) to The Runaways (+ the entirety of the ‘70s Los Angeles music scene) to Richie Valens to funk-legend Betty Davis; Alice Cooper to Sonic Youth to The Cramps to The Shangri-La’s etc. This list never really ends. Stylistically, we pull a lot of inspiration from exploitation films such as Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! to musicals like Chicago. All of these influences overlap so much that our product actually sounds original.
NixBeat: In 2016, Slick Velveteens opened for Lita Ford. How did you get involved with that show and what was it like to open for Lita Ford?
Waldo: I actually just wrote a satirical essay about this story that I’ll be publishing on our website sometime this summer. It’s titled: “MIRAGES: THE HOW-TO GUIDE TO GET YOUR D.I.Y. ROCK ’N’ ROLL BAND TO OPEN FOR ONE OF YOUR CHILDHOOD HEROES.” Long story short, I berated a former booker of a local venue so many times asking to play shows (always met with “NO”) that once this booker started working at The Depot and needed a local rock n’ roll band to open for Lita Ford, we were finally a first choice (or, at least, I hope). I think the booker asked us to play this show a week beforehand, so there was a lot of last minute chaos that ensued to make this happen.
All of Slicks: After we got to watch soundcheck and meet her in person it was worth it. The Runaways is a band we obsess over, it was the biggest show we’ve played yet, it is definitely one of the highlights of our lives.
NixBeat: Slick Velveteens have also opened up for Italian glam rockers Giuda and Portland, Oregon’s power pop quartet Bad Sex. How was it playing with these groups?
All of Slicks: It was awesome! Not only are we big fans of both bands, but we were recommended to play these shows by some of the coolest SLC locals (hint hint).
NixBeat: What have been some of your favorite groups to perform with in Salt Lake City?
Waldo: We’re big fans and friends with The Poppees and love anytime we get to play a show with them. We’ve had some great gigs with other locals such as Shecock & the Rock Princess, Brain Bagz and Rebel Rebel. A recent show we played that has become one of my favorites was with Daytime Lover and Msking.
NixBeat: Slick Velveteens utilizes impressive filmography for their music videos. Common themes include horror, slasher films and 1970s exploitation. What do you look for when creating a music video and how important are music videos in telling the stories of your music?
Strill: I think we’re a lot more than just music. Combining stylistic visuals with our sounds adds a complexion to who we are overall. I’m a big fan of cinema, so it feels like a natural extension adding these kinds of mediums to our music.
NixBeat: In 2020, Slick Velveteens released the video for “Blood Clot” on August 14, 2020. In it you draw from iconic horror films and occult themes. What inspired this song and video?
Strill: “Blood Clots are not fun. So, let’s watch horror movies instead.” It was a music video that highlighted not only our individual interests but also helped in the formation of how Slick Velveteens’ aesthetic was about to take shape.
NixBeat: In 2021, you released your music video for the song “Ditch.” Stylistically it plays out like watching a 1970’s slasher, exploitation film in line with Switchblade Sisters (1975). What are you drawing from for the creation of this song and video?
Strill: Switchblade Sisters, actually, was the main inspiration for this video. I wrote it with that movie in mind along with Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!, The Town that Dreaded Sundown, and Girlboss: Guerrilla.
Waldo: The song is more about touring. But a ditch seemed like a nice visual setting for a music video.
NixBeat: The “Ditch” music video was also accepted in the Desertscape International Film Festival in 2021. How did you get involved with Desertscape and what was it like to participate in the final selections of this festival?
Strill: Our collaborators Blade Sabovick and Maddie Shaw at Silent Jester Media made the submission. It was great to hear the response from a live audience while watching alongside them. Awesome to see our music video on the big screen and big thanks to the Electric Theater for showcasing it!
NixBeat: On May 22, 2022 Slick Velveteens will open for Thelma & The Sleazeat Kilby Court in Salt Lake City. How did you get on this show and what can readers look forward to for your performance?
Waldo: We met Mo from Daytime Lover during a recent show we played together. She recently became the new local booker for Kilby Court and asked if we wanted to play it. I’m a huge Thelma & the Sleaze fan so getting the chance to open for them is going to be epic! We’ll get the party going with our high-energy performance to give Thelma & the Sleaze a warm SLC welcome.
NixBeat: Slick Velveteen’s last release was the Sweet Victim single in 2020. Do you have plans for another single or album?
Slicks: We’ve been working on a full-length album for the last two years. It’s become a longer process than originally thought because we keep pulling new inspiration into it, making it evolve into the exact artistic expression we want it to be. The album is called “SHOCK VALUES” and it will be released by the end of the year.
NixBeat: Where would you like to see Slick Velveteens go from here?
All of Slicks: It would be amazing to have Slick Velveteens become as big as The Beatles (yeah, I said it!) but, overall, I love where Slick Velveteens is right now. It’s become such a collaborative project that is bigger than any of us separately. All ideas are welcome and nothing is too weird to suggest. In a group that is very much grounded in the D.I.Y. mentality, the sky’s the limit for what we can accomplish together. I hope we can continue making shit we think is really cool. But, of course, we would love to focus on Slick Velveteens full-time— touring, making videos and albums until our hearts are content. The coolest thing of all would be to have a cult following. One day!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.