Sunday, April 28, 2013

Jonny Cola & The A-Grades
Straight to Video / Marlborough Road
Double A-Side Single

Jonny Cola & The A-Grades might sound like the name of a punk house band from some illegal drinking den in a slasher movie, and the title of first A-Side of this double A-Side platter, ‘Straight to Video’, even sounds like it might be about a low budget slasher movie.  But it’s not.  The A-Side is more like a melancholy David Bowie than a punk rockin’ Driller Killer and if I’m honest , it is a more artsy and camp/dramatic composition than I than I really know how to review. 

Flip it onto its back though and you get the AA-side, a neat power-pop tight-but-loose melodic guitar anthem entitled ‘Marlborough Road’, a real nugget of a track with suitably foot stomping chorus and on-the-edge guitar solo, more familiar to us leather jacket wearing garage rockin’ types.   Awesome stuff.

The accompanying videos show a story featuring all sorts of sleazy characters and surreal going on, culminating in a Jonny Cola and the A-Grades live show taking place in the sort of sleazy basement rock club that we probably all stumbled into at 4am at one time or another during our 20s. 

Overall, Sleazegrinding rocker types will probably want to gravitate towards the more rockin' ‘Marlborough Road’ side of this double A-Side, but check it out and decide for yourself:

~ Alex Eruptor

Kill for Eden 

This band seem to have been creating a bit of a buzz in classic/melodic rock circles, playing all over England, so the name was familiar although I’d not yet heard their music.  Well produced and neatly executed, Kill for Eden have technical virtuosity and a keen sense of melody that creates a contemporary classic rock sound providing an industrial sized platform for Lyla D’Souza’s powerful lead vocals.  There’s some well crafted dynamics on display with songs veering from from in-yer-face stadium metal riffing, foot tapping hook laden pop rock, taking in quiet/loud structures and clever instrumental layering.  All in all it is very well produced, intelligently constructed and sounds relatively big budget for a self-released opus.   The album opens and closes with two mixes of what appears to be the lead-off single, ‘Kerosene’,   which is catchy enough and probably the poppiest thing they’ve done, but also not the most representative of their sound.  The real rewards on here are found a bit deeper into the album; ‘Untouchables’, a heads-down rocker turns up the power, ‘Beige’ features an huge, angry vocal from D’Souza, and my favourite ‘The Evil That Men Do’ hits the spot with a soaring chorus.  Yes there are obvious elements of melodic rock and euro metal on display but there is also a side to Kill for Eden which clearly draws from alternative rock influences.  Elsewhere, towards the middle of the album, they get all Californian and you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were listening to a collaboration between 70s stadium era Fleetwood Mac and 90s glam grunge scenesters The Nymphs, with maybe a bit of Guns n’ Roses ‘Dust n’ Bones’ swagger and some monster drum beats lifted straight from 70s Brit glitter rock. There’s even a track called ‘Little Wizard’ which might just be the beginning of a whole new genre: HarryPotterCore. Good stuff.  Take a listen at

~ Alex Eruptor

The Crunch
‘Down by the Border’
Legal Records, to be released June 3rd 2013  

First glance at the cover shows four slightly familiar looking dudes sat around in a studio, a couple of acoustic guitars, and an image which somehow combines mod, old-skool punk, and 1970s rockstar burnout chic.  From the logo font and superimposed yellow, white, and blue Union Flag  I was half expecting Sweden’s answer to The Jam or The Who.  This estimate was not too far off the mark. Yes those four dudes are familiar, and should probably need no introduction to loyal Sleazegrinder readers; Sulo Karlsson is also singer with Sweden’s ‘Diamond Dogs’, and alongside him are Dave Tregunna (Lords of The New Church, Sham 69 etc), Terry Chimes (The Clash), and Mick Geggus (Cockney Rejects).  The two songs here show real promise, the vocals sound straight from The Clash and the music is tight, punchy, and well executed.  The biog describes them as ‘power pop’ and that’s a fair summation.  If you like those 1970s/80s Brit pop-punk Godfather’s such as The Clash, The Buzzcocks, and The Jam, then The Crunch will fill the modern day void very nicely.

~ Alex Eruptor

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