Wednesday 26 December 2018

Movie Review: LEPRECHAUN RETURNS (2018)

Leprechaun Returns

Words cannot truly express the level of euphoria I experienced when I heard that there was a brand new Leprechaun movie, and one that's true to the style of the original. 2014's Leprechaun: Origins was a horrific misfire, and failed because it had virtually nothing in common with the previous six movies, and tried to take itself way too seriously. Leprechaun movies used to have a wicked sense of fun and silliness, mixed in with elements of Horror, which was at the heart of their appeal. Admittedly, they perhaps went a little far with Leprechaun 4: In Space, but in fairness, it was kinda awesome!


Sunday 23 December 2018


Wow! 2018 really has been a fantastic year for music. Choosing my top 30 albums has been particularly difficult, and there are so many genuinely superb records that haven't made the list. I've made my selections on the strengths of these records as pieces of work in their entirety, as opposed to them having just one or two absolutely killer songs.


Saturday 22 December 2018

Album Review: LOVEBITES - Clockwork Immortality

Lovebites - Clockwork Immortality

01. Addicted
02. Pledge Of The Saviour
03. Rising
04. Empty Daydream
05. Mastermind 01
06. M.D.O.
07. Journey To The Otherside
08. The Final Collision
09. We The United
10. Epilogue


Album Review: NORTHWARD - Northward


01. While Love Died
02. Get What You Give
03. Storm In A Glass
04. Drifting Islands
05. Paragon
06. Let Me Out
07. Big Boy
08. Timebomb
09. Bridle Passion
10. I Need
11. Northwards


Thursday 20 December 2018

Album Review: ALICE IN CHAINS - Rainier Fog

Alice In Chains - Rainier Fog

01. The One You Know
02. Rainier Fog
03. Red Giant
04. Fly
05. Drone
06. Deaf Ears Blind Eyes
07. Maybe
08. So Far Under
09. Never Fade
10. All I Am

Album Review: THE SMASHING PUMPKINS - Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol.1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.

The Smashing Pumpkins - Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol.1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.

01. Knights Of Malta
02. Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)
03. Travels
04. Solara
05. Alienation
06. Marchin' On
07.With Sympathy
08. Seek And You Shall Destroy


Wednesday 19 December 2018

Album Review: STRIKER - Play To Win

Striker - Play To Win

01. Heart of Lies
02. Position of Power
03. Head First
04. On The Run
05. The Front
06. Play To Win
07. Standing Alone
08. Summoner
09. Heavy Is The Heart
10. Hands of Time


Album Review: CARPENTER BRUT - Leather Teeth

Carpenter Brut - Leather Teeth

01. Leather Teeth
02. Cheerleader Effect
03. Sunday Lunch
04. Monday Hunt
05. Inferno Galore
06. Beware The Beast
07.Hairspray Hurricane
08. End Titles


Tuesday 18 December 2018

Album Review: SICK OF IT ALL - Wake The Sleeping Dragon!

Sick Of It All - Wake The Sleeping Dragon!

01. Inner Vision
02. That Crazy White Boy Shit
03. The Snake (Break Free)
04. Bull's Anthem
05. Robert Moses Was a Racist
06. Self Important Shithead
07. To the Wolves
08. Always with Us
09. Wake the Sleeping Dragon
10. 2+2
11. Beef Between Vegans
12. Hardcore Horseshoe
13. Mental Furlough
14. Deep State
15. Bad Hombres
16. Work the System
17. The New Slavery


Album Review: GRAVE DIGGER - The Living Dead

Grave Digger - The Living Dead

01. Fear Of The Living Dead
02. Blade Of The Immortal
03. When Death Passes By
04. Shadow Of The Warrior
05. The Power Of Metal
06. Hymn Of The Damned
07. What War Left Behind
08. Fist In Your Face
09. Insane Pain
10. Zombie Dance
11. Glory Or Grave (bonus track)


Monday 17 December 2018

Album Review: BIG TIME KILL - Shock And Awe

Big Time Kill - Shock and Awe

01. Carbon
02. Body Talk
03. I Don't Care Anymore
04. DTs
05. Don't Need You
06. Evil
07. Shock and Awe
08. Answer
09. Echo Heart
10. Overload
11. Failed Regeneration

Album Review: THE PRODIGY - No Tourists

The Prodigy - No Tourists

01. Need Some1
02. Light Up the Sky
03. We Live Forever
04. No Tourists
05. Fight Fire with Fire (feat. Ho99o9)
06. Timebomb Zone
07. Champions of London
08. Boom Boom Tap
09. Resonate
10. Give Me a Signal (feat. Barns Courtney)


Sunday 16 December 2018

Album Review: THE AWAKENING - Chasm

The Awakening - Chasm

01. Other Ghosts
02. Shore
03. About You
04. Raphael Awake
05. Back To Wonderland
06. Gave Up The Ghost
07. Savage Freedom
08. A Minor Incision
09. Hear Me
10. Shadows In The Dark


Saturday 15 December 2018

Album Review: ACE FREHLEY - Spaceman

Ace Frehley - Spaceman

01. Without You I'm Nothing
02. Rockin' With The Boys
03. Your Wish Is My Command
04. Bronx Boy
05. Pursuit Of Rock And Roll
06. I Wanna Go Back (Eddie Money cover)
07. Mission To Mars
08. Off My Back
09. Quantum Flux

Friday 14 December 2018

Album Review: BILLYBIO - Feed The Fire

BILLYBIO - Feed The Fire

01. Freedom's Never Free
02. Feed The Fire
03. No Apologies, No Regrets
04. Generation Z
05. Sick And Tired
06. Remedy (Interlude)
07. Sodality
08. Rise And Slay
09. Stfu
10. Trepidation (Interlude)
11. Untruth
12. Enemy
13. Disaffected World


Thursday 13 December 2018

Album Review: BURNING WITCHES - Hexenhammer

Burning Witches - Hexenhammer

01. The Witch Circle
02. Executed
03. Lords Of War
04. Open Your Mind
05. Don't Cry My Tears
06. Maiden Of Steel
07. Dungeon Of Infamy
08. Dead Ender
09. Hexenhammer
10. Possession
11. Man-Eater
12. Holy Diver (Dio cover)
13. Self Sacrifice (Bonus Track)
14. Don't Cry My Tears (Acoustic Bonis Track)


Wednesday 12 December 2018

Album Review: DORO - Forever Warriors, Forever United

Doro - Forever Warriors, Forever United
Disc 1:
01. All For Metal
02. Bastardos
03. If I Can't Have You, No One Will
04. Soldier Of Metal
05. Turn It Up
06. Blood, Sweat And Rock 'N' Roll
07. Don't Break My Heart Again (Whitesnake cover)
08. Love's Gone To Hell
09. Freunde Furs Leben
10. Backstage To Heaven
11. Be Strong (Bonus Track)
12. Black Ballad (Bonus Track)
13. Bring My Hero Back Home Again (Bonus Track)

Disc 2:
01. Resistance
02. Lift Me Up
03. Heartbroken
04. It Cuts So Deep
05. Love Is A Sin
06. Living Life To The Fullest
07. 1000 Years
08. Fight Through The Fire
09. Lost In The Ozone (Motorhead cover)
10. Caruso (Bonus Track)
11. Tra Como E Coriovallum (Bonus Track)
12. Metal Is My Alcohol (Bonus Track)


Tuesday 11 December 2018

Album Review: DISTURBED - Evolution

Disturbed - Evolution

01. Are You Ready
02. No More
03. A Reason to Fight
04. In Another Time
05. Stronger on Your Own
06. Hold On to Memories
07. Saviour of Nothing
08. Watch You Burn
09. The Best Ones Lie
10. Already Gone
11. The Sound of Silence (Live) [feat. Myles Kennedy] (Bonus Track)
12. This Venom (Bonus Track)
13. Are You Ready (Sam de Jong Remix) (Bonus Track)
14. Uninvited Guest (Bonus Track)


Monday 10 December 2018


After checking out their latest album (read my review here), I was gutted that I missed Sick N' Beautiful on their UK tour earlier this year. Fortunately, they announced three more shows for later in the year, so I trecked up to Bradford to check them out.

First up were the Manchester based Fear Me December. The last time I saw them was at the Girls Rock! Festival back in April (read my review here). I was impressed at how much they'd improved, and tonight, they were better still. This time, they had Freddy, from Novacrow standing in on bass, and they sounded great as a five-piece. Gigging regularly has clearly paid dividends for them, as their performance was super-slick, and tonight they were clearly on top of their game.

Fear Me December
Fear Me December - Photo by Richard Lindley

I've seen Novacrow several times over the last couple of years, and they never fail to put on a great show. Their relentless gigging schedule has chiselled them into a absolute machine of a band, effortlessly winning over every crowd, and this evening was no exception. Tonight, they played a good mix of songs from their debut and also from their recently released sophomore EP Criminal Mastermind (read my review here). It was obvious that the majority of people in attendance were already familiar with Novacrow, and they went down a storm as expected. 

Novacrow at Trash, Bradford 2018
Novacrow - Photo by Richard Lindley
Novacrow at Trash, Bradford 2018
Novacrow - Photo by Richard Lindley

Italy's Sick N' Beautiful are an awesome live band. I love their alien imagery and their larger-than-life stage show. Being a massive fan of Kiss, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie, this kind of Rock show really appeals to me, and it's infinitely more interesting and fun than watching a bunch of musicians in jeans and T-Shirts.

The band tore through all of the fan-favourites including Fire True, Megalomanical, Hellawake, and the 'incendiary' New Witch 666. During the latter, lead singer Herma brings out what looks like a flaming Necronomicon, which I thought was particularly awesome. Visually, Sick N' Beautiful are fantastic, but most importantly, they have some great songs to back them up. Their music is easily accessible, so members of the audience won't have to have listened to their records to be instantly absorbed by the songs and immersed into their alien world.

Sick N' Beautiful ooze charisma, have some killer songs, and are thoroughly entertaining. What more could anyone ask for?

Sick N' Beautiful at Trash, Bradford 2018
Sick N' Beautiful - Photo by Richard Lindley

Sick N' Beautiful at Trash, Bradford 2018
Sick N' Beautiful - Photo by Richard Lindley
Sick N' Beautiful at Trash, Bradford 2018
Sick N' Beautiful - Photo by Richard Lindley
Sick N' Beautiful at Trash, Bradford 2018
Sick N' Beautiful - Photo by Richard Lindley
Sick N' Beautiful at Trash, Bradford 2018
Sick N' Beautiful - Photo by Richard Lindley


Sunday 9 December 2018

About: LESBIAN BED DEATH - The Devil's Bounty Hunters

I'm not really one for nostalgia, as I think indulging in it too much can distract from building new memories and moving forward. However, now and again, it's pleasant to reminisce a little.

I've decided to write an article about the fourth Lesbian Bed Death studio album, The Devil's Bounty Hunters. Out of all our records, this one sold the least, and received very little press. Personally, I feel that this album was pretty damn good, and features some of the best Lesbian Bed Death songs we've ever written. There are lots of reasons why it was commercially doomed from the start, but also plenty of reasons to celebrate this album too. As I'm celebrating its fifth birthday, I thought it was an ideal time to share a few thoughts and memories with you all.

The Devil's Bounty Hunters was released to fans who supported the crowd funding campaign via PledgeMusic on 9th December 2013, and was then officially released to the rest of the world on 25th February 2014. 

I often get asked about crowd funding campaigns, as they've grown significantly in popularity over the last few years. We were early adopters of this novel way to finance a record without a record label, and to engage with fans directly. It's basically a pre-order system, but with lots of extra perks that are exclusive to fans who take part. These fans are known as 'Pledgers' or 'Backers'. We had fun updating our pledgers from the studio in real time, sharing photos and videos of our progress, as well as chatting via the site and getting plenty of valuable feedback from the people who care about us the most.

The thing with crowd funding campaigns is that, generally, a band only gets the money if they hit their goal of 100%. For a band to be successful, you need to set 100% at an amount that you think you may actually raise, as opposed to what you probably need. The truth is that, although we raised an impressive amount of cash, we fell short of what we needed. I spent all of my savings and maxed out my credit cards to finish it off, and pay for a small amount of advertising. In hindsight, I was naive and perhaps a bit of a fool, given my circumstances, but I had to see this record through, and keep everything to the highest standards that we could.

After the previous album, Riot of the Living Dead, the band was in an awkward position. Our bassist and drummer had quit, and we weren't getting any further in the live field. I decided that our best move was to make a new album, and we should write it and record it as a three-piece. Our lead guitarist, Chuckmaster C, is also an amazing drummer and bass player, so that side of things was covered. The only snag was that his day job was teaching in a school, so we had to get the album written and recorded in his Summer holidays, before the start of his term. The studio I wanted us to use was too far away to commute, so it put a time pressure on us.

The positive is that we worked well under the pressure, and there is a chance that some of these tracks wouldn't have turned out as good as they did if there had been extra time to mess with them too much and over-think things. Who knows? I can't complain. The Devil's Bounty Hunters is a beast, and I'm still very proud to have been a part of it.

The whole album was recorded and mixed in just ten days at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire. To be fair, some of those days were very very long. It was produced and engineered by Ewan Davies and Fran Wheeldon, who were both amazing to work with and did a fantastic job. We lived in the studio during the recording sessions, so we were completely immersed.

Chapel Studios is a wonderful studio to record in. Being a converted chapel, the live room has some killer acoustics, and the drum sound we got was absolutely perfect. Prior to coming to Chapel, we were used to sleeping on floors and generally 'roughing it'. Here we had our own bedrooms, a kitchen, and a living room with TV and wi-fi, so the experience of making music was a far more civilized one. There's a lot to be said for not sleeping in a van!

The studio has been used by many famous artists including Artic Monkeys, Paradise Lost, Enter Shikari, Uriah Heep, Carcass, and The Darkness. I even heard a rumour that Machine Head recorded their first live album there! Knowing all of this made the fact that we were there even cooler. At one point, legendary producer Simon Efemey popped in to pick up some hard drives. I did my best to conceal my fan-boy moment, as Simon has produced some of my favourite artists including The Wildhearts and Paradise Lost.

Ewan Davies
Chuckmaster C and Fran Wheeldon

Me and Kittie (no idea what I'm doing here!)

The recording wasn't all roses though. At one point, I had a phone call from home. My dog Henry collapsed and died the following morning. He had lung cancer and we had no idea. His symptoms didn't show until the day before his death. I was absolutely heartbroken. I was several hours from home and there was nothing I could do. As awful as it sounds, I'd just spent every last penny I had on the recording studio, so I took a few hours to compose myself, then pressed on with the album. 

Aside from that, we had a lot of fun making The Devil's Bounty Hunters. Most of it was written in advance, but Kittie and I worked on some of the lyrics while Chuckmaster C was tracking his parts. We were all working in some way on the record from when we woke up until when we couldn't stay awake any longer. The exception was when we were stuffing our faces with food. Studio calories don't count. Ask any musician.

After the recording session, we booked in at a local recording studio called Summerbank Studios to record some acoustic bonus tracks. Chuckmaster C really wanted to do an acoustic version of Seven Days, and Kittie wanted to do Bela Lugosi's Back, as it was always one of her favourites to sing live. I chose Everybody's Dead because I thought an acoustic version of a song like that would be utterly ridiculous and great fun to do. It ended up sounding like the soundtrack to the end of the world, viewed by someone on a beach drinking Tequila. The acoustic tracks all turned out really well, and tied in with the overall theme of the album. Incidentally, the engineer at Summerbank, Paul Hume, plays guitar in the classic NWOBHM band Demon.

When all of the tracks were mixed, I sent the album off to be mastered by the legendary Denis Blackham at Skye MasteringDenis has mastered records for countless artists including Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and The Damned.

Our friend Iris Compiet did the cover art. She had previously done the covers for the singles Soul Sucker and Halloween from Riot of the Living Dead, so she was the obvious choice. I'd met Iris a few years prior when my previous band played some shows in The Netherlands. Having an artist as talented as Iris working with us is something that I'm truly grateful for, and I'm stoked that she's gone on to do so well in the industry. For this album cover, I wanted it to look Goth, yet have a futuristic Wild West vibe. I was thinking about Mean Machine and The Angel Gang from the Judge Dredd comics (well, 2000AD), and also Vertigo's Preacher comics too. As always, Iris delivered something awesome.

Due to having very little money left, and not having a touring line-up ready, we weren't able to promote The Devil's Bounty Hunters as well as it should have been. It was also almost a year after the album's completion when we had enough budget to record any music videos, so it lost momentum. Lesbian Bed Death always had a strong following on YouTube, so not having a video out around the time of release clearly had an effect on both sales and interest from press. By the time the band had got back onto its feet, a lot had changed. After a fantastic show at Whitby Goth Weekend on 1st November 2014, this version of the band fell apart. But that's another story. 

Here are a few words about each of the tracks on The Devil's Bounty Hunters:

1. Dark Passenger
This was the heaviest and most 'Metal' song the band had ever done. It was built up from two unfinished songs Chuckmaster C had written for our previous band, and I managed to convince him that we could splice the two together and it'd work. Around this time, Kittie and I were obsessed with the TV show Dexter, and we knew we had to write some lyrics about it. It all fitted together very nicely, and Dark Passenger remains as one of my favourite Lesbian Bed Death songs, despite being quite different from all of our other material.

2. Drained By Love
This is also one of my favourites. Kittie's vocals in the chorus add some real catchy Pop magic. The lyrics were inspired by The Vampire Diaries, which was one of our guilty TV pleasures, although it was written so it could be about any old vampire shit really. 

3. Ghost In The Mirror
It was time to bring back some serious Goth. It's impossible to listen to this song without putting on eyeliner and drinking red wine. Chuckmaster C wrote the guitar riffs during a thunder storm, adding to the overall 'Gothness'.

4. Death By Stereo
Being a huge Lost Boys fan, I really wanted a song called Death By Stereo. The intro was recorded using a real Hammond organ, making it extra cool. When we go 'full-on Gothic Punk' we do it like bosses, and this song is certainly one of the album's highlights.

5. Skin Crawler
Another heavy song. This one is about obsession and stalkers.

6. Damage The Sound
This is a stripped-down ballad. It's just one vocal and one guitar. The lyrics are very abstract and are open to interpretation.

7. Lonely Assassins
I wrote the lyrics about The Weeping Angels from Doctor Who, and was particularly inspired by the episode 'Blink'. It's one of the greatest episodes of Doctor Who ever, and definitely touches on the Horror genre. However, Kittie and Chuckmaster C both fucking hate Doctor Who, so I threw my toys out of my pram continually until they agreed to do it. As well as being quite Goth, the song also has a nice psychedelic twist. It's very different from anything we'd done before.

8. Never Get Enough
Sometimes you just have to go 'full-on Hard Rock'. This song is us doing just that. It's also worth noting that every great Classic Rock band has at least one song in their repertoire that strippers will pole-dance to for those dirty dollars. This will probably be ours.

9. Broken
A sorrowful power-ballad. This was the last song to be written for the record, and it turned out to be one of the best.

10. The Day Becomes The Night
An empowering rocker about starting over. The outro ended up sounding like Tina Turner jamming with Pantera!

So, there you go! That's the story of The Devil's Bounty Hunters. If you'd like a copy, they're available direct from our shop. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed being part of the team who made it.


Tuesday 4 December 2018

TV Series Review: THE PURGE (Season 1)

The Purge TV Series 2018

As anyone who follows my blog will know, I'm a huge fan of The Purge franchise. When I heard that a Purge TV series was being made, I was really excited because I knew that the concept would lend itself well to that form of media. I was also impressed at how quickly it came out. The last movie, The First Purge (read my review here) was only released a couple of months before the TV series aired, capitalising nicely on the Purge fever that had been recently generated.

The Purge TV series concentrates on a number of different characters and their plans for the night's festivities. It's effectively a number of short stories that entwine together towards the end of the season. The main characters are all well developed, with plenty of back-stories to show the viewer why they're doing what they're doing, or why they're being targeted.


I thought the season was a massive success. It sits perfectly alongside the movies, and develops the Purge Universe in novel ways, exploring more depraved manners in which people choose to celebrate and 'purge'. I liked the 'Gauntlet' live TV show, which was like a cheap and nasty take on The Running Man. I also really enjoyed The Carnival of Flesh, where wealthy people bought victims at auction and could execute them in fantasy ways, mostly based on the horrors of human history such as medieval torture, firing squad, and a plethora of other screwed up methods. The fact that people really did these things to each other was a stark reminder that, although The Purge is fantasy, there is a genuine possibility that something like it could actually happen.

I was impressed by how the show touched on other relevant topics such as domestic violence and rape culture. The movies concentrated more on issues like racism and poverty, but the TV show delved into some very dark territories that must have been even closer to home for many viewers, particularly as they don't all involve murder. For example, we see men using The Purge as a time to beat and abuse their wives. As a direct result, we are introduced to the badass Matron Saints who drive around on Purge Night answering distress calls from women under attack. It's a disturbing reminder of how things might actually be if such a situation was real. There is also a cult whose members offer themselves as sacrifices, as they believe they are helping people to release their pain and anger. This kind of social commentary from the writers is uncomfortably relevant, and their 'finger on the pulse' delivery of these dystopian nightmare scenarios makes for the ideal Horror series of 2018.

The Purge is extremely addictive. It's fast paced and loaded with cliff hangers, making it one of those shows that you feel compelled to binge-watch. Admittedly, there are some annoying characters such as Penny, who seems to be regularly kidnapped, trapped, or finds herself in some kind of peril every five seconds. I lost count of the times her brother had to rescue her. Her brother's character borderlined on being an over-the-top 80's action hero in the vein of Rambo and Snake Plissken. He even gets shot in the arm with a crossbow bolt, but soon carries on like nothing's happened, fighting bad guys with both arms, driving cars, firing guns etc. It's all great entertainment! In fairness, there are some fantastic characters and scenarios brought in throughout the show making it absolutely essential viewing for fans of the movies.

What's also really cool is that this could technically go on forever. Each season could have a completely different set of characters with their own circumstances and intentions on Purge Night. If Blumhouse can keep the quality consistent, there's still a lot of miles in this bona fide classic, and I'm very much looking forward to the next instalment.


Monday 3 December 2018

Album Review: STEPHEN PEARCY - View To A Thrill

Stephen Pearcy - View To A Thrill

01. U Only Live Twice
02. Sky Falling
03. Malibu
04. One In A Million
05. Double Shot
06. Secrets To Tell
07. Not Killin’ Me
08. Dangerous Thing
09. I'm A Ratt
10. From The Inside
11. Violator

Sunday 2 December 2018

Album Review: RISE OF THE NORTHSTAR - The Legacy Of Shi

Rise Of The Northstar - The Legacy Of Shi

01. The Awakening
02. Here Comes The Boom
03. Nekketsu
04. Kozo
05. Teenage Rage
06. Step By Step
07. This Is Crossover
08. Cold Truth
09. All For One
10. Furyo's Day
11. The Legacy Of Shi

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