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New Album Rented World Is Out Now on Epitaph and streaming in full on YouTube:
The Menzingers premiered a new video for their single ‘I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore’ via Stereogum here and you can now watch it on YouTube. The track is off their new album Rented World which is out this week on Epitaph and streaming in full on YouTube. According to Pitchfork, “Menzingers excel in desperate, earnest melodic punk.” Noisey called the new album “one of the best records of the year.” and SPINrecognises Rented World for its “honest, vulnerable declarations.” Kerrang! have called it “A rock’n’roll monster” and Rock Sound recognise the band as “one of the tightest songwriting units in the indie punk scene.”

No longer housemates in Scranton, PA, the title Rented World, mirrors the band’s lifestyle since moving to Philly in 2008. The band was renting separate spaces around the city, but maintaining a practice space in North Philly where the majority of the record was written. Faithfully archetypal Rust Belt punk, Rented World is an album concerned with maintaining a sense of self, the softening of posture, and the burden of harsh realities.

The Menzingers kept it Philly-local for Rented World and enlisted Jonathan Low to engineer the album at Miner Street Recordings. Low’s distinctively rich Americana sound resonates through the careers of The War On Drugs, Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, and The National.

The Menzingers didn’t write the answers into Rented World. The record admits to an in medias res that comes with one’s late 20s, old enough to know better, but still seeking greater wisdom.

In support of the new album, the band are touring the UK and mainland Europe from next week, kicking off with a special show at the Old Blue Last which sold out in five minutes flat. Full dates are listed below and tickets are available at

April 30 – Old Blue Last – London (UK) – SOLD OUT
May 02 – Groezrock – Meerhout (BE)
May 03 – Monster Bash – Munich (DE)
May 04 – Pirate Satellite Festival –  Stuttgart (DE)
May 05 – Chez Heinz – Hannover (DE)
May 06 – MTC – Cologne (DE)

For more information, visit:


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“…they put the angular into the grungealist revival allowing their riffs to trip and stutter over the beat, it’s spiky but utterly slacker faithful…with a bit of luck in the right places, these guys should be going even more places next year [2014].” Artrocker

“Francobollo will rock your world!”  – John Kennedy – Xfm

After the release of ‘Steven Hawkins‘ and its mental video in March, FRANCOBOLLO are now making the single’s B-side ‘Hot Cars’ available for free:


Breaking their tradition of directing their own videos, for ‘Hot Cars’ FRANCOBOLLO asked their friend of the band Opera Goodwin to make it, on the condition that she’d do it without letting them see any part of it from conception to delivery. Here are the results:


FRANCOBOLLO, made up of Simon Nilsson, Sean Bean and Petter Grevelius, hit the shores of the UK from Sweden in 2009. Picking up Londoner Sam Bailey and more recently fellow Swede Wiya Ngeh on their journey, they’ve honed their raucous own brand of wonky grungy pop, slowly picking up a growing legion of dedicated pit-filling Francophiles along the way. Combining dashes of Beck, Pavement and Nirvana, they create a unique cacophony of melody infused guitar-pop with twinges of electronics picking up the energy.

FRANCOBOLLO have announced they’ll be playing The Great Escape Festival and Artrocker New Blood Festival:

08/05/14 (daytime): Dr. Martens Stage @ The Great Escape Festival – Brighton, UK
08/05/14 (evening): The Bunker @ The Alternative Great Escape, Brighton, UK
13/06/14 – Artrocker New Blood Festival @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London, UK

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“Charming fragility” MOJO // “Intrinsically beautiful” Uncut // “Daring and impressive”DIY

James Apollo unveils ‘White Line’ video 

Watch now

Album Angelorum released May 12th via Code 7/Marterry Music

UK tour begins April 26th

Having recently announced the release of his new album Angelorum, US artist and bandleader James Apollo has unveiled the brand new video for ‘White Line’. Taken with just one continuous shot, the innovative video shows how a night out in a bar plays out for a series of different characters. Watch on James’ YouTube channel now.

The video’s director Jason Affolder says: “’White Line’ sounds gritty, like it was dug out of a filthy ashtray, so I knew we had to set the music video for it in a saloon.  The Circle Bar is one of New Orleans’ great music venues and already has its share of characters; we just added a few of our own.  After concocting various incidents that might occur on any random night in such a joint, we wove them together and ran through the whole scenario successfully nine times. Three of those takes were especially good, so it was difficult choosing the winner. We pulled it off though. One shot, one kill.”

James’ new album follows the acclaimed releases Till Your Feed Bleed and Little War, Little Less. The album very nearly never saw the light of day after initial sessions were lost in the fire that took Minneapolis’s Underwood Studios, and the home of producer Mark Stockert. But James is no stranger to setbacks; in 2010 he was left unable to walk following a motorcycle accident in Brooklyn, resulting in a year of rehabilitation, physical therapy, titanium bones – as well as having to learn how to walk again.

A determined creative force, James has continually used his obstacles to push himself musically. Having previously collaborated with indie hero Damien Juardo, who produced his last album, Apollo was bestowed with a fascination in musical arrangement – as evidenced by Angeloum’s rich and varied musicianship. The album is a bold statement from a continually inspired musician, unafraid to remain stoic and persistently push musical and personal boundaries.

Angelorum is released May 12th via Code 7/Marterry Music. James Apollo will return to the UK for a series of live dates at the end of this month.

Apr 26   The Shakespeare                             Sheffield, United Kingdom
Apr 29   The Slaughtered Lamb                    London, United Kingdom
Apr 30   Cafe Tarifa                                        Oxford, United Kingdom
May 01  Stag & Hounds                                 Bristol, United Kingdom

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Characula, the ‘Monster Mol’, releases disturbing new video

Soul sucking, tarantula munching she-demon does the erotically charged ‘Mummy Dance’

(Photography by Martin Julian CSC/Sunnyland Pictures)

Defying explanation and categorisation, Characula is a horror rock goddess with a difference. Currently living in Southern California, she is neither vampire, nor werewolf, mummy nor any other creature known from myth and folklore. Part sci-fi, part horror and all glamour, she-demon Characula is an entity to behold –and hear!


When she’s not devouring tarantulas or sucking the souls from the anciently departed, Characula has built herself a reputation as an ardent participant in ménage-a-monsters, scouring the streets for creatures and taking them to her bed. She is a black widow and seducer of B-movie incarnates. A literal lady of the night!

The video for her new song ‘Mummy Dance’ is a startling, frightening introduction to the character, showing the ghoulish temptress in full flow:

Uber-eccentric and a progenitor of sizzling sci-fi seduction, Characula is the alter-ego of singer-songwriter Cheri Anaclerio, who is looking to make the rock-horror character into an edgy, memorable reflection of her own spiralling imagination.

It’s a truly unique musical project, produced by renowned rock specialist Dito Godwin (No Doubt, Great White, KISS, Motley Crue). With an album on the way, ‘Mummy Dance’ is our first glimpse into the unknown – a fever dream the likes of which we’ve not seen before.

Rock Goddess Characula Prepares to Horrify the UK This May!


One of the most bizarre and unusual acts on the American circuit at the moment, Horror-rock-goddess Characula is bringing the house down in every venue she plays.

And now she is bringing her ultra-unique live show to the UK this May. A spectacle that has to be seen to be believed, Characula defies explanation – an erotically charged, she-demon spinning rock tales of soul stealing and B-Movie monsters.

Her latest Mummy Dance video can be watched here:


A truly one-off live music experience, you can enter the world of Characula on her ‘Circle of Lust Tour’ at the following venues:

May 13 2014
House of Wolf 181 Upper St, London N1 1RQ 020 7288 1470


May 14 2014
New Cross Inn323a New Cross Rd, London SE14 6AS

May 15 2014
12 bar Club  Denmark St, London WC2H 8NJ


May 17 2014
TBC Intrepid Fox 15 St. Giles High St, London/and or Showcase

May 20 2014
House Of Wolf181 Upper St, London N1 1RQ 020 7288 1470

May 22 2014
The Flying Duck Glasgow142 Renfield St, Glasgow G2 3AU


May 23 2014
Henrys Cellar Bar16 Morrison St, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH3 


May 24th 2014
The Market Bar32 Church St, Inverness, Highland IV1 1EH


More dates to follow! Stay tuned at

Find out more about Characula:


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Judith Owen

‘Ebb & Flow’ album released 7th April 2014

Twanky Records



That Judith Owen’s new album Ebb & Flow evokes the spirit of the halcyon days of the great 1970s troubadours is not accidental.

In a set of potent songs about love and loss, pain and joy, dreams and despair, the Welsh singer-songwriter fearlessly explores the duality of the human condition – and to do justice to the songs, she turned to the legendary musicians who created the seventies’ troubadour sound.

Between them, her core band of drummer Russ Kunkel, bassist Lee Sklar and guitarist Waddy Wachtel played on many of the landmark albums from the era by the likes of Carole King, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne.

“The kind of music I write is so influenced by that sound and period that I wanted to go direct to the source,” Owen explains. “When I write songs, I’m hearing a sound in my head – and they knew the sound because they invented it.”

The songs on  Ebb & Flow  touch on the deepest emotions of Owen’s own storied life with an unswerving honesty. But although her songs are highly personal, the emotions are universal. 

“Singing about the human condition, living under the shadow of loss and frustration and sadness and loneliness and not being gratuitously sentimental about it, instead making something beautiful out of  it – that’s the songwriter’s job,” Owen says.

What she describes as the “bookends” of the album are two particularly heart-rending songs, “You’re Not Here Any More”,  about her mother (whose suicide when she was 15, was the catalyst for her foray into serious song-writing)  and “I Would Give Anything”, about the recent loss of the greatest musical influence, her opera singer father.

 Both songs are poignant expressions of the bittersweet duality that is perhaps the album’s strongest theme and which is reflected in the titleEbb & Flow. “Yes, they’re incredibly sad,” admits Owen. “But they’re also cathartic because they’re the most loving songs I could write and are totally honest about the reality of loss.”

The theme of how to make it through the darkest night informs several other compositions on the album, including “Under Your Door”, “You Are Not My Friend” and “Train Out Of Hollywood”, songs about emotional vulnerability, but always shot through with glimpses of hope and salvation.

But, although Ebb & Flow is a highly personal, solo singer-songwriter album, in a real sense it’s a ‘band’ record too. “One of the great things is that Judith makes space for what we add,” Kunkel notes. “She turned it into a real ensemble thing,” Wachtel adds.

There is a seductive wit and playfulness alongside the introspection too.  A trademark of Owen’s career has been her irreverent ability to subvert well-known songs with unexpected and improbable covers. Over the years she has turned-inside-out songs by the likes of Deep Purple and The Police to render them almost unrecognisable from the originals.

Here it’s Mungo Jerry’s 1970 smash hit “In The Summertime” that gets the unique Owen makeover treatment, rendered as it might have sounded if the song had appeared on Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of The Canyon. “Great songs are like great bones. You can hang whatever you want on them,” she says.”In The Summertime” is a ridiculously silly song, and so I asked  ‘What Would Joni Do?’ It’s warm, with a glint in the eye and a sense of fun.”

The result is the most confident and assured album of Owen’s career to date. After emigrating to America in 1993, Ebb & Flow is Judith Owen’s eighth album since her 1996 debut Emotions On A Postcard. She’s married to the actor and humorist Harry Shearer and in addition to her acclaimed solo work, Judith has for many years been Richard Thompson’s female foil of choice. Both have appeared on each other’s albums and Owen played a leading collaborative part in Thompson’s projects 1000 Years Of Popular Music and Cabaret of Souls. She also co-created “Losing It” with Ruby Wax, a funny yet devastatingly honest two-woman show chronicling descent into mental illness that was a box-office hit in London’s West End in 2011.

But it is her role as an unflinching singer-songwriter baring her soul that remains at the core of Owen’s creativity.  Ebb & Flow, she says, feels like a homecoming.  “It’s the sound I heard as a kid and which made me light up. I’ve brought it home and it feels nice to be here.”


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