We’re joined by a special guest this week as Ash from Sugar Horse steps up to cast his critical eye over the week’s new releases which are The Ultra Vivid Lament by Manic Street Preachers, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert by Little Simz, Hey What by Low and God is Partying by Andrew W.K.
There are also brief reviews of Bad Pond Festival as well as Arab Strap’s much anticipated debut show in London since the release of their critically lauded come-back album As Days Get Dark.
Oh and there’s a nonsense story about how Classical music leaves us hooked on chocolate biscuits.
It’s a heck of a week for looooong releases with a fair dollop of controversy thrown in there for good measure as we take a look at the long-awaited double album Donda by Kanye West, before also casting a critical eye over Iron Maiden’s latest double opus Senjistsu as well as 21st Century Love Songs by The Wildhearts and Molotov Rocktail by Bokassa.
We also take a brief look at the state of ALT LDN festival, as well as live shows from Voices and Idles.
This episode of Riot Act is dedicated to Mathew Davies (RIP)
On this week’s show, we pay our respects to Charlie Watt, the ‘engine’ behind the drum kit for The Rolling Stones who passed away on 24th August at the age of 80. In other news, Spencer Elden, the baby on the cover of Nirvana’s seminal 1991 album Nevermind, is suing surviving band members Dave Grohl and Krist Noveselic, Courtney Love, photographer Kirk Weddle, the managers of Kurt Cobain’s estate, his Grandma, his second cousin, his dog, the first girl he ever kissed and probably Steve if he ever hears this podcast, after alleging that his parents never signed a release authorising the use of the image for the artwork. The lawsuit also cites the image as ‘child pornography’ … right you are Spence mate…
Albums reviewed on this week’s show are Glow On by Turnstile, Wallflowers by Jinjer, The Live Long After by Sugar Horse, and Push by Sons of Alpha Centauri
Steve and Remfry left the comforted cocoon of their homes to venture to the midlands and sequestered themselves in a small town that one of our hosts (who will remain un-named) referred to as ‘horrid’. Thankfully, we weren’t there to review the local urban metropolises … instead, they gallivanted off to Bloodstock to watch some heavy metal.
Whilst they were away, someone filed a lawsuit against Bob Dylan for sexual misconduct against a minor dating back to 1965, a claim that has caused controversy amongst internet sleuths the world over. We discuss, without drawing any solid conclusions, cause that would be premature without all the facts … unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the internet.
Albums reviewed this week are Infinite Granite by Deafheaven, Colors II by Between the Buried and Me, VI by The Bronx and Transmute by Press to Meco.
There’s a slightly disagreeable air to this week’s show as Steve and Remfry assess the ‘new’ single from Guns N’ Roses, the first song the band have officially released since 2008’s ill-fated Chinese Democracy. An unexpected, punk-inflicted left-turn from the band or a crass, silly Axl rant set to a plodding, uninspired riff? Whilst we’re on GN’R hot takes, Steve never wants to hear Sweet Child O’ Mine EVER again, but lots of other people clearly do, as it reached over 1 billion streams on Spotify this week, making it part of a very exclusive club of songs that have earned the artist over 1 penny … don’t go spending it all at once chaps!
Albums reviewed this week include Distant Populations by Quicksand, Primordial Arcana by Wolves in the Throne Room, King’s Disease II by Nas and Into the Blue by The Joy Formidable.
Remfry’s feeling very hoarse after making an extravagant re-entrance back into non-socially distanced gig-going, as he hurtled himself down to his old stomping ground of Bristol to see 80Trees, the mini-indoor festival hastily put together by the 2000Trees and ArcTanGent team. He huskily reports back on the weekend’s events and shenanigans whilst trying to sound as little like Kathleen Turner as possible. For those of a more mainstream persuasion, we also celebrate Dave’s #1 UK album success and break down a veritable feast of fascinating facts of its success.
Releases reviewed this week include Sinner Get Ready by Lingua Ignota, Draw Down the Moon by Foxing, Darwin Falls by Fawn Limbs and American Noir by Creeper
In part two of our two part look at the career of alternative icons R.E.M. we consider posit that the bands 9th studio album, 1994’s Monster, is actually worthy of inclusion in our list of Classic Albums.
Determined never to repeat themselves, R.E.M. regrouped in 1993 to start work on the follow up to the multi-platinum selling Automatic for the People with the goal of making a loud, raucous rock record and to head out on the road for their first tour in six years. Best laid plans were severely tested in the making of Monster, as the relationship with the band members fell to an all time low, the deaths of close friends River Phoenix and Kurt Cobain severely affected the mindset of Stipe and, with the band being as close as they would ever get to legitimate mainstream celebrities, their relationship with fame confused and unsettled them. The result is an album of confusing, arch, ironic playfulness, that eschews the heart on sleeve approach of Automatic for the People for an album that is often brilliant and often unbalanced, but always interesting, as R.E.M. fucked with their own formula maybe more than they ever have or would. The critical reaction was one of confusion, the fan reaction was one of disappointment, but, 25 years plus down the line, does Monster actually stand up a great record that has been unfairly maligned and misunderstood? Spoiler…. Steve thinks so.
In the first part of our two part Classic Album Special, we look at the 8th album from Athens, Georgia alternative rock megastars R.E.M., 1992’s Automatic for the People.
After a decade in the US indie underground R.E.M. had achieved a significant mainstream breakthrough after signing to Warners and releasing 1988’s Green and 1991’s Out of Time albums. The latter turned the band into near household names with the success of Losing My Religion, so when they came to record a new album they did so with the pressure of following up a legitimate smash hit. As if that wasn’t enough the musical landscape had been changed hugely with the success of Nirvana’s Nevermind, which made the alternative rock of a band like R.E.M. now the hottest sound in music. But, rather than copy the previous album or try and incorporate the sounds of bands that they themselves influenced, R.E.M. stood staunchly to the belief that their own artistic vision was all that mattered. That vision was to lean on their own sense of mortality as frontman Michael Stipe suffered a series of losses in his personal life and wrestled with feelings of grief and thoughts of his own mortality. It resulted in a record that is slower, more melodic, grander and thematically more reflective than anything that was happening in music at the time. Despite the risks, Automatic for the People would go on to become an even bigger success than any of their previous material, spawning a series of hit singles that remain staples of mainstream rock to this very day.
It’s been a very difficult week in the world of metal with three high profile deaths including Mike Howe of Metal Church and Dusty Hill from ZZ Top. But the news is dominated by the tragic death of Slipknot founder Joey Jordison. An absolute beast on drums, Joey changed the face of metal percussion forever, breaking through with his phenomenal chops and song writing intellect on Slipknot’s self-titled album in 1999. He went on to drum on three more Slipknot albums before his dismissal in 2013. In 2016, Jordison revealed that his exit from the band coincided with his getting sick with a disease called transverse myelitis and claimed that his bandmates confused his medical issues with a substance abuse problem. Many hoped that one day Joey would return to Slipknot and drum with them again, but sadly it wasn’t to be. He passed away in his sleep at the age of 46.
We’re also incredibly saddened to see the news that Black Peaks have split up. A band beloved by Remfry, Steve and many Riot Act listeners, Black Peaks often seemed like genuine contenders for an exciting guitar-based British band who actually stood a chance of breaking through into the mainstream. From Shrine to Glass Built Castles, from shows supporting Deftones, A Perfect Circle and Mastodon to the Brighton Centre stream, Black Peaks put 100% into everything they did and approached every challenge with their own distinctive, unique voice.
Reviews this week are We’re All Alone in this Together by Dave, Wildhund by Lantlôs and Celestial Blues by King Woman
It’s our third birthday, so here we present to you a very special surprise podcast with some very special guests. We are joined by Krister Geer and Dave Fensome from the Pop, Collaborate and Listen Podcast to discuss and dissect the fine art of the one hit wonder, specifically during the very best decade to be a one hit wonder artist… obviously we’re talking about the 1990’s.
Krister, Dave, Steve and Remfry have all picked our five favourite one hit wonders, and we also spend some time (a little too long if we’re honest) on trying to work out just exactly what it is that makes a one hit wonder. Does a second single count? Do they need to achieve a certain chart placing? Is it just as simple as being the one song that we all remember? We posit all those questions before getting into our choices. Some are legit bangers, some are hugely underrated and long forgotten gems, some are established and beloved anthems… and some are Remfry’s choices. Still, bit of a laugh innit!