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Riot Act

144 – Bob Vylan Genesis Owusu, Youth Code & King Yosef and Ben Howard

Steve let’s his love for Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore be known in a very unorthodox way and seems intent on bringing the weird perversion up frequently on this week’s show. Remfry, no stranger to wild perversions himself, respects Steve’s life choices, but wants no part of it. 


Thank the God of synth-pop then that there’s plenty to talk about on this week’s show otherwise we’d be stuck in an eternal shitstorm loop. We discuss award show politics and ponder how an artist who has released just one single in the past 12 months can win Best International Female Solo Artist over someone who, in the same period has released three full-length albums all of which have gone to #1 in the UK Charts. Similar pondering occurs over Rage Against the Machine and Iron Maiden still not being deemed worthy entrants to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame … although we’re less fussed about it than the internet seems to be. Plus we discuss Die Antwoord’s removal from ALT+LDN festival and what (if any) implications that has for festival bookings in the future. Oh and listening to heavy metal makes you fat … apparently. 


In terms of reviews, it’s our first catch-up show of 2021, as we dissect releases from bands we missed including Bob Vylan’s We Live Here, For Your Health’s In Spite Of, Genesis Owusu’s Smiling With No Teeth, Youth Code & King Yosef’s collaborative effort A Skeleton Key in the Doors of Depression, Ben Howard’s Collections From the White Out and Kauan’s Ice Fleet. 

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Riot Act

143 – Weezer, Teenage Fanclub, Voronoi and Cruelty

Remfry is uncharacteristically keen to talk about the rumours of a new Spice World film that is set to emerge next year to coincide with Spice Girls’ 25th anniversary (according to The Sun … so maybe don’t get your hopes up Spice Girls fans). Also in the news, one of the best new stories of the year, nay the decade, nay EVER – a drunk man was arrested after swinging a full colostomy bag at police. What has this to do with music? Well, it happened at Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk Rock ‘N Roll Steakhouse in Nashville. So, just another typical day at the Steakhouse then …


Albums reviewed this week are Van Weezer by Weezer, Endless Arcade by Teenage Fanclub, The Last Three Seconds by Voronoi and There Is No God Where I Am by Cruelty.

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Classic Albums

CA31 Soundgarden – Down On The Upside (Part 2)

For the second part of our double Classic Album series podcast we take a look at the follow up to Soundgarden’s monolithic Superunknown; 1996’s Down on the Upside. Whilst grunge was in its commercial pomp back when their previous album was released, it’s a very different story in this part of the story. In the aftermath of Kurt Cobain’s death, and with pop-punk and Brit-pop the new fashionable genres to name check, Soundgarden were sitting ducks in 1996 purely for the crime of coming from Seattle.

We look at the build up to the record, and the effect that the disintegration of the Seattle scene had on the band, before tackling the album itself and then looking at the, frankly fucking embarrassing reaction from a sneering, lazy music press to the album. But, it matters not, because 25 years after the release of Down on the Upside the songs on the record still stand up as some of their best, and definitely most underrated work.

Available over on patreon.com/riotactpodcast.

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Classic Albums

CA31 Soundgarden – Superunknown (Part 1)

We’ve resisted covering some BIG albums on Classic Albums over the year or so that we’ve been putting these out but one area we simply couldn’t resist dipping our toe into any longer was the Seattle Grunge (not a genre) scene. And in typical Riot Act fashion, we start with an album which is about as far away from the ‘typical’ grunge sound as you can get.

In this first part of a two part special, we look back at Superunknown, the 4th (or 5th) album by Soundgarden. Remfry leads the chat and states his case for Superunknown being not only an undeniable classic but pretty much one of the best records of all time (and there’s little disagreement from Steve). Released on 8th March 1994, Superunknown was an expansive, experimental smorgasbord of sound that explored a rich tapestry of psychedelia, stoner rock, crooner vocals and doom-laden riffs, an album which takes a Black Sabbath mixed with The Beatles approach as its starting point(!) and twists that idea into ever more exploratory and fascinating territory.

Universally lauded upon its release, Superunknown was released at a strange time for the scene that the band had sprung from. As George Garner put it so eloquently in his retrospective feature on the album for Kerrang!, “Soundgarden were the first of the big grunge acts to sprout and yet the last to bloom.” This had advantages and disadvantages and with the death of Kurt Cobain exactly 4 weeks after Superunknown was released, the tide was beginning to turn in the press and audience’s interests. But Soundgarden easily transcended the term grunge for those who weren’t blinded by trends and Superunknown is a rich banquet of delights which will endure forever.

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Riot Act

142 – Gojira, Manchester Orchestra, Royal Blood and Evile

With the sad news that 2000Trees has had to postpone their 2021 edition, Steve and Remfry take a realistic look at whether the UK will be seeing festivals this summer or not … don’t get your hopes up. But nevermind, there’s always 2022 and Download have swooped in to cheer us all up by announcing 70+ bands for next year’s line-up, which is exciting isn’t it! … Isn’t it!? Well, in typical Download fashion … no it’s not. Darn!

Still, there is plenty to get excited about as it’s a HUMONGOUS week for new music! We review Fortitude by Gojira, The Million Masks of God by Manchester Orchestra, Typhoons by Royal Blood and Hell Unleashed by Evile. 

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Rioteers Review

RR32 Antemasque – Self-Titled

As suggested by Jed Grainger, Steve and Remfry discuss the debut (and only) album from the short-lived project formed by Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At the Drive-In / The Mars Volta fame. Released digitally on July 1st 2014 (november 10th 2014 physically) Antemasque caused a minor ripple for fans of At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta, which led Antemasque to play their debut London show at the Electric Ballroom, a show which Remfry attended and recalls here via a long lost Team Rock review. Steve generally mopes, but at least he likes Antemasque more than the last At the Drive-In album.

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Riot Act

141 – Dinosaur Jr., London Grammar, Big I Brave and Assertion

Remfry and Steve start this week’s show on a sombre note as we pay tribute to Jim Steinman, the colourful composer behind hits like Bat Out Of Hell and Total Eclipse Of The Heart, who passed away earlier this week from kidney failure after being ill for some time.

In other news, the internet has been a-buzz with hype after Mudvayne announced they are set to return to US festivals to play their first shows since their hiatus in 2010. Exciting news for sure, but maybe not quite as exciting as many people seem to be making out. 

Albums reviewed this week are Sweep It Into Space by Dinosaur Jr., Californian Soil by London Grammar, Vital by Big I Brave, and Intermission by Assertion.

Categories
Classic Albums

CA30 Ben Folds Five – Whatever and Ever Amen

It’s the 30th artist to be inducted into our list of Classic Album, and we’ve gone slightly left of centre this time, as we speak about 1997’s Whatever and Ever Amen, the second studio album from North Carolina’s kings of piano led power pop Ben Folds Five.

We start by looking at that rarest of modern rock instrument; the piano. Where has it gone? What is its relationship with rock music? Why didn’t we see classic honky tonk piano in alternative rock? We try and answer that before delving into the career of Ben Folds Five, one of the most unique and idiosyncratic artists of the 90’s, looking at their stubbornness to conform to what was cool, their success with Brick and trying to re-evaluate the band today to see if they are truly an underrated and important artist… or are we just absolute marks for Folds’ perfect grasp on a pop hook?

Available over on https://www.patreon.com/riotactpodcast

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Riot Act

140 – The Armed, Greta Van Fleet, While She Sleeps and Cannibal Corpse

Steve and Remfry discuss the passing of DMX as well as the dubious reunion of Emperor with ex-member Mortiis (fine) and Faust (…. ah!) Probably not your finest move Ihsahn, we’ll be honest. 


Albums reviewed this week are Ultra Pop by The Armed, The Battle At Garden’s Gate by Greta Van Fleet, Sleeps Society by While She Sleeps and Violence Unimagined by Cannibal Corpse.

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Rioteers Review

RR31 Bloc Party – A Weekend in the City

Steve and Remfry discuss A Weekend in the City, the 2007 sophomore album from Bloc Party, as suggested by Luke (Spunknuts?). Both the Riot Act boys LOVE their debut album Silent Alarm, but how does the follow-up fare 13 years after it’s initial release? They also discuss the band’s forays into electronica, the Radiohead comparisons that came as a result of that plus the generally harsh critical reaction that Bloc Party seem to inspire.