Tuesday 25 June 2013


US garage rockers the Pedaljets  release their first new material in 23 years in the form of a new album What’s In Between on their own Electric Moth label.  For those who might have missed them the first time around, the roaring riffs of  the single ‘Riverview’, a possible love child of Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan, and the dark insinuation of ‘Terra Nova’, a hearkening back to the their early days with shades of Mission of Burma, The Wipers, and a bit of classic Midwest Replacements-style longing, act as the perfect introduction no matter the decade.   

Originating in Lawrence, Kansas in 1984, the Pedaljets returned to the studio in late 2009. Original Pedaljet lead guitarist Phil Wade was unavailable, so Paul Malinowski (bass player for Midwest rock titans, Shiner and Season to Risk) assumed second guitar duties, as well as performing all recording/engineering. The album was mixed by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, The Hold Steady, etc.) at Headgear Studios, Brooklyn. You can hear the results! Packaged in the inventive design-work of The Sea And Cake’s Archer Prewitt, each song is at once vintage Midwest in-your-face rock and a totally new approach to what is timeless and resonant and beyond conventional formulaic alternative pop and rock. The guys have learned something after all these years.
The Pedaljets could be considered a missing link between The Replacements and Nirvana. From their beginning, the Pedaljets toured the country nonstop, often opening for the likes of Hüsker , Flaming Lips, The Replacements, Meat Puppets, and other usual suspects of 1980s alternative/punk America, releasing two albums – Today Today (1988) and Pedaljets (1989), both albums receiving solid national attention and acclaim, even though the band felt the latter was rushed and unfinished. After six years of almost nonstop touring, and born out of disappointment with that second album, the Pedaljets  disbanded in July 1990. Ironically, at the time they broke up, the Pedaljets’ flag was flying higher than ever, the band packing out clubs around the country and appearing on MTV.
Tentatively resurfacing in 2006, the band discovered that the tapes from the second album were salvageable so, over the course of a year working with engineer Paul Malinowski, the album was completely retooled. Re-recruiting original designer Archer Prewitt for the artwork and working with local label Oxblood Records, the story had come full circle. The LP was rereleased in 2008, MOJO featuring the lead track ‘Giants Of May’ on its playlist.

“Potency and killer riffs in equal measure. A belated but timely return.” 8/10 Uncut
“Grungy country supplied by a Kansas City band that set out to make an album many years ago but only just got around to completing the task. You’ll be glad they did." MOJO

"Riff heavy chugalongs like ‘Long Distance Dead Man’ that spawned a genre of its own, grunge."  Americana-UK


Saturday 22 June 2013


London bluegrass allstars Foghorn Leghorn return to celebrate their 21st Anniversary with their appropriately titled third album Not Before Time on their own Slammer Records label. Recorded during November and December last year at double-bassist Chris Clarke’s Reservoir Studios in North London,  Not Before Time comprises eleven Foghorn originals alongside the Bill Evans instrumental ‘Petersberg Gal’, a perfect showpiece for fleet-finger banjo-picker Tim Kent. But this is no pseudo mountain music: many of the original songs concern themselves with life and death in their home city of London. Accordingly, the album comes wrapped in a vibrant ‘Day Of The Dead’ sleeve design by artist Frank Burgess.

While this momentous occasion is nothing to be sniffed at, the release also marks the fourth year of Foghorn’s own club night, My Grass Is Blue, which takes place every second Thursday of the month at noted London live music pub, The Betsey Trotwood in Clerkenwell. It’s here that the band have roadtested the songs for the album, alongside handpicked special guests including The Coal Porters, The Arlenes, Danny George Wilson and The Cedars. They also put in a cameo appearance on the forthcoming album from Danny & The Champions Of The World, with whom Clarke has been holding down the bass job for the past three years.

With several decades of service on the UK roots music scene between them, Clarke and Kent – both of whom have served time in the legendary Rockingbirds – are joined by Eamonn Flynn (Southern Tenant Folk Union, Hackney 5-O) on mandolin, Kevin O’Neill (Snake Oil Rattlers) on Dobro, Del Brookes on guitar and new boy Paul Fay (Sons Of the Desert, The Other Brothers) on fiddle. Releasing albums Keep It In The Family  (2001) and Grasslands (2004), together they have racked up hundreds of gigs and festivals – including several Glastonbury appearances – and been championed by the great Andy Kershaw. After twenty-one years it’s time to take it to the next level – Not Before Time!

“Hot pickin’ from Hackney!” Andy Kerhsaw

“A sharp injection of jollity!”  Loose Ends, BBC Radio 4