Spirit Of The B-Side


Lemon Quay, Truro, 18 April 2014


Exiled from its former home at Bunters after the ubiquitous, Oompa Loompa hued herds of sports enthusiasts ate another small venue, B-Side digs in on the quayside; camping, Bedouin style in a canvas pleasuredome. Organised by B-Side’s indomitable lion and (all too) occasional Mister Postman beat behemoth Liam Jolly, tonight’s show kicked off a bumper weekend that represents a show of defiance, reigniting the embers of so many sweaty, exuberant nights at its former location.

Fittingly, this was a bill for the faithful to luxuriate in – four groups that each possess their own energy and allure; four divergent embodiments of the vitality of rock’n’roll; four live leviathans. Openers, Pirate Copy encapsulate the evening’s joyful spirit, launching forth cannonballs of pithy punk piracy to hit their targets with deadly precision as live favourites including ‘Yarrr’, ‘#bringtherum’, and ‘Sail For Adventure’ combine with some freebooting new material to rouse the incipient scurvy dogs onto the decks.










Then, the rapture. Almost as if they find the sheer immensity of their continuingly developing prowess somehow vulgar, Honey slip quietly onstage to deliver possibly their most perfect set to date. Tonight, the trio of Sarah, Ele and Sammy transcended notions of being a band, emerging from a metasensory cocoon of sound and light to reveal themselves as An Experience. Their set existed as a whole – a fully realised conflation of the rare and wonderful components they have been skilfully assembling over the past couple of years. Soon, the unrecorded gems such as ‘Black Teeth’ that encrust their set will similarly adorn an album. It will be a very special thing indeed.

The men in black arrive to a welcome fit for one of B-Side’s favourites. With a their debut album, ‘The Devil’s Child’ set for release on 9 June, Moriaty are currently on a mission, providing sonic symposiums clearly demonstrating why that disc will make the Album Of The Year lists of anyone that doesn’t have hamhocks for earholes. Like Honey, Moriaty now have a set of material with sufficient depth to enable the duo to construct sets that fit together like a mystery box. There is no fat here, this is all beef, baby. Morphing their dirty blues bedrock into new strata, Jordan’s six-string shamanism weaves in and out of Mat’s rhythmic mindblasts. Futures and pasts are evoked; the thens and nows or rock’n’roll are mashed together on a white hot skillet of sound. A set drawing on the equally fat free album also included a new number that showcased Mat’s vocal dexterity, while Jordan showed little of the exhaustion you’d expect from a man who spent much of the last week engaged in clandestine, Harry Lime-style pursuits in locations throughout Mitteleuropa.










Finally, the Computers boot up with slightly altered personnel to cap the whole night of wonder off with their customary self-evident answer to the question: What if Graham Parker and the Rumour were, like, really good? Drawing heavily upon last year’s storming ‘Love Triangles, Hate Squares’ album but also featuring old favourites like ‘Music Is Dead’, the Computers do what they do best – presiding over an assembly of the church of rock’n’roll, with Screaming Al Kershaw testifying the righteous gospel to the blessed. Venturing far and wide across the venue, courtesy of a guitar lead of Biblicl proportions, Al exults, proclaims and proselytises as things get sweaty in the pews. Praises.

The result of all this was a tent filled with silly grins. The B-Side vibe has been out camping. And it had one hell of an adventure.


The Computers                                     



Pirate Copy

Dick Porter - April 19th, 2014

Alternative Alcester













Good Throb – ‘Fuck Off’ (SuperFi)

Like a thrift store punk jumper made out of recycled dayglo mohair, ‘Fuck Off’ transcends its title/artwork to challenge gender hierarchy to fisticuffs by committee. These uppity neo-Spartans have little or no respect for their elders, and that’s exactly the way it should be. If anyone had tried to tell me how to think back when I still could, I’d have told them to ‘Fuck Off’ too.

Meanwhile, back at the plot (damn you, Alzheimer’s), if preceding seven ‘Culture Vulture’ somehow failed to ignite the blue touch paper, stubbornly treading water after the band’s promising debut EP, Good Throb’s first twelve adequately compensates, and then some. Eleven concise and furious tirades against wankers, squares, suits, dicks, dads, dunces and dunderheads, ‘Fuck Off’ doesn’t do prisoners. Musically ever-inventive, twisting, dodging, never plodding, for a record made out of bits of the past, this mother of all fuckers is the epitome of now. In cahoots with Shopping, Frau & Dregs, Good Throb are defining a new femme-centric dawn for capital-based DIY punk.

There isn’t a dull moment on ‘Fuck Off’, solid from birth to death. From the wailing Banshee-like guitar figures of  ‘Acid House’, via the Ramonic 1-2-3-4s of ‘Double White Denim’, through the expressive riffage of ‘Pale Grey Suits’, all the way down to gender-offender closer, ‘Dog Food Dick’, Good Throb reinvent the wheel with every turn. Singer Ellie used to go to Alcester Grammar, and the spirit of The Cravats and a robust essence of the absurd duly loom large throughout ‘Fuck Off’. We can forgive, but we’ll never forget. ‘Fuck Off’ is a record you won’t forget in a hurry, and Good Throb are a band who have come of age. Come all ye faithful, the party isn’t over just yet.




Jean Encoule - April 16th, 2014

A Parade Of Shiny New Artefacts

Those of you who’ve been hanging around this joint long enough will doubtless remember an early featurette of the nascent trakMARX, namely: ‘A Parade Of Dusty Old Record Sleeves’. Ostensibly, a space-filling exercise back when we had little (or nothing) to say, the general idea was to fill up a page with a collection of sleeve scans from the vinyl vaults of the zine’s staff, and to let tMx web-monkey, Marko, get busy with the witty puns. Oh, how we laughed, inevitably (take a trawl back in time into the record box that time forgot if you don’t believe us: BACK ISSUES).

Obviously, these days we’re more forward-thinking-motherfuckers, and, with that firmly in mind, what better way to both fill up a bit of cyberspace and keep our readers up to date with what’s happening down on the ‘street’ than: ‘A Parade Of Shiny New Artefacts‘? Sadly, the way we build trakMARX these days means Marko takes more of a design-focused back seat, so you’ll have to settle for trite observations from yours truly (dementia allowing, eh ageists?), but we’re sure you’ll agree that that’s a small price to pay for the kind of sage-like insight that follows.

Thematically, this collection focuses on the absolutely sterling effort currently being exerted on the part of the UK‘s young agents of hardcore punk rock. It’s no spurious claim to state that there really hasn’t been a better time to be regularly purchasing hardcore punk artefacts in the UK recently than: right here, right now. We’ve opted for the word ‘artefact’ over the word ‘record’ to take into consideration a number of cassettes featured in this stomptastic top ten, representing, as they do, 40% of the sum total of artefacts on display.

So, come with us now, as we stroll through the record and tape box that time has yet to realise it will one day forget:






These London boys have socked us square on the nose with their devastating brew of heady hardcore rage: http://diecunt.bandcamp.com/











Already being lauded as a contender for album-of-the-year in some quarters: http://theflex.bandcamp.com/








This Harrogate-based three piece put the ‘North Yorkshire’ into NYHC: http://badmanifest.bandcamp.com/








Second twelve from this London crew sees them expand on their debut to coruscating effect: http://staticshockrecords.bandcamp.com/album/great-space-2







Each postcard from seaside hell marks Family Outing down as individual, and every copy of their raucous demo as ‘unique’: http://familyoutingpuke.bandcamp.com/album/some-demo-songs







Still banging this one to bits months down the line:  http://violentreaction.bandcamp.com/








Recent BOTWers and current holders of the most-played-demo award in the tMx bunker: http://armsraceuk.bandcamp.com/






Out on bail, another winner from QCHQ: http://crowncourt.bandcamp.com/









This kicked in the door 18-months or so ago. clearing the way for much of what followed: http://violentreaction.bandcamp.com/album/s-t-ep










As above, so below: http://theflex.bandcamp.com/album/scum-on-the-run

Jean Encoule - April 14th, 2014

BOTW: Lost Dawn


Falmouth duo Lost Dawn have been around for a little while now. In between sporadic, impressive live demonstrations of style and skill, they have – like the Viet Cong – been biding their time; out there, becoming stronger. Now, the duo of Stanley Duke (Vocals/Guitar) and Ben Woods (Drums/Vocals) have reached a point of readiness. Soon they will strike – An album entitled ‘Sacred Mirrors’ is set for August. It is also set to suck your soul and lick your consciousness to a priapic peak.

Initial evidence of this is provided by their recent Ash Hampton directed ‘Song For Robert’ video, which found the duo ready for bath and bedroom, delivering a swaggering glam stomp, rich in texture and crunch, issued with economy and precision. Although the track immediately reveals Lost Dawn’s mesmeric musical talents and fecund wit, it now transpires that this only serves to unearth a small portion of the group’s mastery of a vast range of styles. A sneak preview of ‘Sacred Mirrors’ reflects the image in its totality – 11 tracks that mesh together in a bewildering variety of ways, interlocking and recombining to splice genres and dislocate the norm.

Ranging from the epic, insidious ‘Manchild’, the snake-eyed hypnosis of ‘The Fall’ (within which melody becomes rhythm, as rhythm transforms into melody), to the cocksure sibilant glam racket of ‘Count On Me’, the album is a travelogue of sound, pulsing with incandescence – at times it throbs and oozes, elsewhere it delivers the same rush as a trip hitting; a transcendent, crystalline aural experience that bewilders and delights.

Comparisons are irrelevant here – Lost Dawn’s capabilities are such that they can dip into the well-forked corpus of rock’n’roll to pull out something moist and pulsing and fashion it into new and wondrous forms. In a world where claims of uniqueness are commonplace, Lost Dawn represent the real thing. Check them out – they have such delights to show you.

Lost Dawn on Facebook

Check out the ‘Song For Robert’ video here

Dick Porter - April 13th, 2014

BOTW: Arms Race





Following in the slipstream of Violent Reaction, The Flex, No & DiE, come ‘three skins and a weirdo’ from London Town: Arms Race. Grinding UK82 stomp into the face of 80′s NYHC swank with a well-heeled Doctor Martin boot, Arms Race allegedly feature members of the aforementioned VxR, plus refugees from both Stab (RIP) & Abolition.

With the UK hardcore scene seemingly in its rudest health in years, Arms Race’s demo c/s on Quality Control HQ (Flophouse Records, USA) provides ample evidence that the band are a force to be reckoned with. Taught chords argue gobbily with street-level poetry, solid tub-thumping bickers with terrace-chant-anti-harmonic bluster to deliver six gaping wounds of HC intensity.

Arms Race fill this writer with the unbridled joy of rabid abandonment that all good hardcore punk should engender. Their guitars cut the mustard with panache, encapsulating a myriad of worthy riffage from the lengthy HC lineage stretching out behind them like a chemtrail. For a demo, these recordings piss vinegar in the general direction of many of their contemporaries. To say I’m anticipating their debut seven with keen interest would be a gross understatement.










Bandcamp: http://armsraceuk.bandcamp.com/

Demo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_IV6nEfR70

Full Live Set: vimeo.com/76952321

Buy: http://qualitycontrolhq.bigcartel.com/product/arms-race-demo-2013-cassette-tape

Jean Encoule - April 6th, 2014