Single reviews: LA GUNS, GILBY CLARKE, PSSR, PHIL X

Golden Robot Records

The LA Guns, PhilX & The Drills, Gilby Clarke and PSSR, all enduring talents who started life in the glow of Eighties’ Hair Metal, are all releasing albums soon on the fast growing Golden Robot Records.

The label is releasing teaser singles every so often, like a trail of crumbs through the lockdown jungle, leading us eventually to the big prize.

L.A. GUNS

We reviewed the LA Guns first single ‘Crawl’ last month.

Next up from the band is ‘Well Oiled Machine’, and yes, there’s photo of a Harley on the cover, but it’s not Biker Rock. At least, not as we know it.

It’s a pounding, piston pumping rock song, and it comes at you fast, before neatly changing gears down into a cool, relatively laid back chorus, with a gorgeously descending melodic hook, beautiful and sinister at one and the same time.

Lyrically, they’ve traded the latent misogyny of the genre’s sexist past for parody and pop metal, “I love my baby, she’s a well oiled machine. She takes me places I’ve never seen”.

Kudos for singing that line with a straight face, guys.

(See “The making of ‘Crawl’)

GILBY CLARKE

Gilby Clarke’s music is always hard to pin down. The music press likes pigeonholes so they usually accuse him of being unoriginal, and of his output being generic.

And yet his bluesy, rootsy albums of the past have proved to be very popular. For his fans, listening to his records was the definition of personal experience.

On the early evidence, he’s sounds like he’s stretched himself a good bit further than usual, challenging the accepted norms. As ‘Gospel Truth’ unfolds, we hear him squeeze out a stream of consciousness narrative, accompanied only by blasts of brass and a throbbing bass rhythm. In doing so he creates a fascinating – and clearly audible – slab of thinking man’s rock’n'roll, encouraging us to question who makes the laws and why. It’s thought provoking rather than ground breaking, but all the better for not being preachy.

PSSR

The little known PSSR comprises Lee Jakobson on vocals and guitar, Frank (Guns’n'Roses) Ferrer, on drums, and Rob Bailey on guitar. Richard (G’n'R) Fortus guests on lead guitar.

‘Busted’ is the 2nd single trailing the upcoming album, and it’s a raucous, ragged edged New York thing, full of jump cut chords and clattering rhythms. Jakobson wraps his grubby, high pitched vocals around the band’s straggly guitar shapes, sounding for all the world like they’re on stage in some dingy club, just waiting for night to fall.

(‘Busted’ video)

Theofilis Xenidis – Phil X to you and me, has been everywhere, man. From Canada’s Triumph in 1992, and their “Edge Of Excess” album to Bon Jovi, with whom he’s spent the last nine years, playing and recording.

His side band, Phil X And The Drills’ new album “Stupid Good Lookings, Vol 2” will be released later this year. Meantime, this single, ‘Right On The Money’, was made with direct fan involvement. It’s a solid, meat and 2 veg rock song, with a catchy Green Day/Weezer pop vibe. See the video on You Tube, and judge for yourself.

Reviews by Brian McGowan


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 March 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 23 March 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GARY HUGHES Decades (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 METALITE A Virtual World (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 KAT DANSER One Eye Open (indie)

Power Plays w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)

ALTZI Point Of No Return (RA Music)
DIRTY LACES Breathe (Golden Robot Records)
ASHEN MOON Ashen Moon (Golden Robot Records)
ANDREWW Shadow Love (indie)
JORDAN RED Freak Show (indie)
HAYES & Y Empty Orchestra (indie)
KELSEY BOVEY Another World (indie)
NEPTUNE RAIN We Breathe The Same (indie)



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