Reviews June 2017 – Part 2

Reviews June 2017 – Part 2

The Riots

‘Now Or Never’ b/w It’s My Life’ – Single

If ever there was a band that should have been huge, it is The Riots. This single was a follow-up to 2013’s ‘Time For Truth’ debut album which had massive appeal and support from the mod-rock fraternity in the UK. An ill-fated UK tour was arranged, but due to bad planning by the promoter and the British authorities refusing a visa to lead singer and guitarist Sasha Bolotov, the tour went ahead with the other bands while the two other members of The Riots sat out the entire time in a hostel in London with no money and help. Although they toured the rest of Europe successfully, it was the UK market that they really needed and that put a strain on the band who have been inactive for a while now, but there is always hope they will be back. This single shows just what a powerhouse band they were and that they could match contemporaries like The Spitfires, The Orders or The Costellos. A classy piece of powerpop/mod-rock from Moscow’s finest. Скоро вернусь мои друзья (Come back soon Riots)

Samuel S Parkes

‘Lock and Key’ b/w ‘Let Me Go’ – Single

This Leeds-based outfit really have gone from strength to strength over the last few years working with the likes of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and Dennis Greaves. They class their music as ‘new northern’ which is a good way to describe it. ‘Let Me Go’ is a Hammond-driven belter of Northern-influenced dance music, while ‘Lock and Key’ is a delightful soul ballad. Samuel S Parkes is another one of those bands that is destined for even greater things in future and if you haven’t seen them live, you should. Apart from the music, watching backing vocalist and percussionist Rachel Mary Shaw go through her routine is enough to make you feel tired!

Sidewalk Society

‘Strange Roads (the songs of Rolled Gold by The Action)’  – LP

Regular readers of Nutsmag Reviews may well be familiar with Sidewalk Society; the trio from Long Beach, California who have a great love of British music of the 60s. This new album on Fruits De Mer Records is their interpretation of the legendary demos recorded by The Action between ’67 and ‘68 that stayed buried until the early 90s when they were released under the title ‘Rolled Gold’. Losing George Martin as their producer became the catalyst for the breakup of The Action which meant the demos remained just that; demos. So Sidewalk Society decided to interpret these songs in a very considerate, passionate and respectful manner. There is no point trying to make comparisons here, so I’m not going to. Dan Lawrence, Dan West and Jerry Buszek are very talented musicians who have used the base material to explore all possibilities without diluting the class of the songs. Sidewalk Society does have their own ‘sound’, so this is no attempt at being copyists. The arrangements are superb, the production is top drawer and in short, they have made an excellent album.


‘Get Away’ b/w ‘Law and Order’ & ‘Fingers Raised’ – Single

This is the debut single by Isle Of Wight-based four-piece, Weeks. Featuring Liam Hodge (formerly of The Jam DRC), Marc Maitland, Nigel Lynk and Sid Ryan. All three tracks are very definitely in the punk/powerpop/mod-rock style; fast-paced, power chords and angry vocals, but there is something a little different that makes these tracks not quite as predictable as you might assume. Granted, some bands can sound a bit ‘samey’ in this genre, but maybe it’s the fact that all four band members supply vocals or it’s the structure of the tunes or it may be they don’t sound like a rehash of mod ’79. Whatever it is, Weeks have come up with a very impressive debut and they are so new, they haven’t yet organised any social media links, so you will have to go via the splendid Time For Action Records to get a taste or buy a copy.

The Franklys

‘Are You Listening’ – LP

And so, after five years and over 250 reviews for Nutsmag, this album is my final contribution and it almost seems appropriate that it should be The Franklys debut LP. It was April of 2013 that I first reviewed the debut EP from this band. I heard great potential in what they were doing and through these pages, the Nutscast Sessions podcast and at Blues Kitchen for Nutsmag Review Night, I have tried to champion The Franklys because I thought they could ‘make it’. And here they are with a collection of ten songs, some are familiar to die-hard fans (Puppet, Bad News, Weasel for example) and some that are new numbers. Lead track ‘Castaway’ is the very definition of who and what The Franklys are about; brilliant, in-yer-face, all-girl rock and this is a fine a debut album as you could ask for. They are a complete unit with Jennifer Ahlkvist’s attacking vocals, Fanny Broberg’s lead guitar, Zoe Biggs’ solid, dependable bass, all held together by new drummer Lexi Clark. I am extremely proud of  The Franklys because they are proof that Nutsmag really is at the grassroots of music and is not afraid to recognise great new talent and back it with reviews, interviews and gigs. We listened when no one else did, now four years later, mainstreamers like NME and Louder Than War are taking them seriously. Next stop for The Franklys has to be Glastonbury surely?

So thank you all for reading the reviews over the years. I hope you have enjoyed them and they have led you to discover a band that you have become a fan of because they need you as much as you need them. And I just want to thank Rob Bailey and Barry & Denise Pease for all their help.

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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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July 3, 2017 By : Category : Bands,Front Page,Music,Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
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