A Chat With Affecting Northern Irish Songsmith And Wholehearted Americana Voice LEE ROGERS

20 October 2022

LEE ROGERS is an affecting singer-songwriter from the small town of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland blessed with a warm, melancholic, and wholehearted American voice. His musical inspiration was drawn from classic voices outside of the tensions in his homeland. Bill Withers, Marc Cohen, Tom Waits, and other great ones.

Last May he released his new – 2nd – longplayer named GAMEBLOOD. An arresting
work featuring riveting grooves and soul-stirring balladry, compelling stories, masterly arrangments, instantly sticking melodiousness, and magnific vocals. Before talking about
it and much more Turn Up The Volume starts an interview, as usual, with a piece of music to get us in the right mood.

Hello Lee, welcome

At what age and how did you discover
that you had this remarkable voice?

“I was playing guitar and learning other people’s songs, trying to sing along when I was around 16/17 years old. I think that my voice now reflects the life that I have lived, and feels unique to me.”

At one point you started singing in bars and pubs 7 days a week. For the money?
For the joy of it? You were dreaming of doing this for a living? Or all these things together?

“I started singing in bars and pubs around 1999. At the time I wanted to see if I could
make a living playing music, which I did, but for me, it became soul-destroying playing in those places every night. I wanted something more, so I started recording my originals.”

You’re a DIY artist. What does that really mean in practice?

“I’m not sure what a DIY artist even means. If it means ‘Do it yourself’,
I get too much support from other people to ever say that.”

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You recorded your debut album DRAWING CLOCKS in 2006.
What does it feel like to have a record out and hear yourself
on the radio?

“It’s always nice to hear my own songs on the radio.
It’s something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to.”

Which of your songs would you pick to introduce yourself
as an artist to people who never heard of you?

“Everytime, uneasy love.”

What does making music mean for your heart, soul and mind?

“It had been a while since I have released new music, and I have forgotten all the emotions and feelings that come with playing new songs. It’s a difficult question to answer because today there are so many moving components around going out to play your own music, and lots of that take up your time. But on stage, it is always a spiritual experience.”

There’s a 16-year gap between your debut and your 2nd album.
What happened in between?

“My record label had to take a break from what they were doing, just on the cusp of good things happening, and the break turned out to be a lot longer than expected. I reverted back to my trade, and tattooed folk for a living, which fulfilled my need for art and creation for a time.”

Is there a big picture/theme behind the writing/recording
of your new album GAMEBLOOD?

“Honesty. This had to be an honest album. This had to be me facing my own
demons, looking back, looking forward, and what was happening right now.”

The LP’s title and the artwork look a bit scary.
What’s the story/inspiration behind both?

“I left Mark Reihill with a copy of the music and asked him to create what he envisioned when he was listening to it. With the music with the ‘Gameblood’ title, he came up with
this animalistic and primal version of me.”

Did you listen to records of other artists to inspire
you during in the writing process of the songs?

“No, not at all. I had so many life experiences, lessons learned, life experiences,
as well as my failures and battles, won that it was all the inspiration I needed.
I wasn’t listening to music during these times.”

Suppose GAMEBLOOD was a movie, which one would it be?

“I’m not sure, but if it was a movie, it would be directed
by Tarantino and scripted by Nicholas Sparks. Haha.”

LIFE AND LIES is my absolute favorite of the album.
It feels so real. What’s the inspiration behind the song?

“Barflys, finding love and light in the darkest of places. I’ve had some experiences of those moments myself. Just when you think you have hit rock bottom, there is always a glimmer of hope.”

Slowly but surely 2022 is nearing its end. What’s the best
track and album you heard so far?

“I’m listening to stuff that is immediately around me these days. So for me,
lots of that has been, Gareth Dunlop ‘Animal’ and Foy Vance ‘Signs of life’.”

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Next step for Lee Rogers?

“I never have plans, I never look too far ahead. Life has taught me that planning
day to day is more than enough. At least whatever happens next will always be a surprise.”

Thank you, Lee, for taking
time to do this interview.
May the road rise with you.

Stream GAMEBLOOD here via Spotify

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Available via iTunes

LEE ROGERS: Website – Facebook – Instagram

Grand Irish Voice LEE ROGERS Shares Video Clip For New Album Highlight ‘UNEASY LOVE’

27 August 2022

Artist: LEE ROGERS
Who: Singer-songwriter from the small town of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland.
His musical inspiration was drawn from classic voices outside of the tensions in
his homeland. Bill Withers, Marc Cohen, Tom Waits, and other great ones.

Single: UNEASY LOVE
One of the highlights of his new, 2nd album  Gameblood
(you can read TUTV’s review here)

Rogers about the song: “I once travelled around Australia with a beautiful woman who set me on lots of the better paths I have taken in life, but she left the planet for her next journey a while back. I later had a dream that I was in an old car we had out there, driving in the middle of nowhere, listening to the only tape we had in the car, which was the album ‘Mule Variations’ by Tom Waits. I got excited when I looked round and saw her in the passenger seat, sun-bleached hair, tanned skin, bare feet on the dashboard. She then started glitching in and out of vision, like she was going to disappear completely. I woke up gutted, went to my studio with tears in my eyes and wrote this song.”

About the video: “It wasn’t easy and seemed to give my director Jamie Neish and I the run around! However, when he came up with the idea of projectors and leaning a little into film
noir style visuals, I knew we were onto something.”

A grand voice, a romantic song and a melancholia-colored video clip combined have all it needs to send shivers down your spine. This is what this Irish songsmith does with heart and soul, here and on all the way on his new longplayer.

Listen/watch

LEE ROGERS: Facebook – Instagram

TURN UP THE VOLUME’s 25 Best Tracks Of 2022… So Far

Time flies. Oh yes, we already have six months of 2022 behind us.

Mad summer parties are just around the corner. And here’s the perfect
loud/quiet soundtrack… Turn Up The Volume’s 25 best tracks of 2022,
so far!

ALL TOGETHER on Spotify…

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TRACK BY TRACK
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1. I’ll Make You See God’ by THE AFGHAN WHIGS

The by now legendary passion rockers from Cincinnati, Ohio with mastermind Greg Dulli leading the troops have their new longplayer How Do You Burn? out on 9 September.

This lead single is a sturdy steamroller, a red-hot-heated ripsnorter, an unstoppable cannonball going everywhere fast. Manic blitzkrieg guitars, ruthless drum/bass attacks, Greg Dulli‘s rush of blood vocality, and a brutal finish. Flabbergasting.

Dulli: “That’s one of the hardest rock songs we’ve ever done.
It was written and performed on sheer adrenalin.”

See God here…

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2. ‘Slowly Separate by CROWS (London)

This London post-punk team unleashed their 2nd scorching album
Beware Believers, last April. One of TUTV’s best full-lengths of 2022 (so far).

Single Slowly Separate is a schizo sonic serpent generating a mind-blowing backwash
while chainsaw guitars turn up the decibels to an illegal peak, and man-in-the-middle James Fox rages and blazes through his teeth.

Fucktastic!

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3. ‘I Am Kate Moss’ by DITZ (Brighton, UK)

This frenetic Brit force hit big time with their dazzling debut album
The Great Regression last March (more about it in a couple of days).

Let’s focus now on one of its cast-iron brainbreakers. It’s a poignant, biting, and
anxious uppercut. I’m pretty sure Moss would love this hit-and-run drone when
it would hit her ears. She is, after all, the Femme Punk Fatale of fashion.

Turn up the heat…

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4. ‘Twitchin’ in The Kitchen’ by WARMDUSCHER (London)

This punky-funky disco corker is the perfect pick-me-up tune for all the wacky weirdos who are always in the kitchen at parties waiting for free drinks and waiting for Warmduscher to come in and kick their lazy asses. Big stroke, big chorus, big fun!

From the gang’s thrilling 4th LP At The Hotspot.

Twitch as much as you want here…

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5. ‘Demolition Row’ by METZ (Toronto, CA)

“It’s a warning, an unflinching assessment of the vastness and insignificance of this
life, is precisely counterbalanced by their lesson, which models the resilience that this understanding demands. ‘Demolition Row’ is persistent, concise, and alarmingly physical.”

This blustery belter is vintage Metz. Full blast ahead, no brakes, no breaks.
The track featured on a split 7” with London-based group Adult Life.

From Dylan’s Desolation Row
to Metz’s Demolition Row


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6. ‘Frankenstein’ by TRAMP (Northern Ireland)

“As a story or metaphor, we are all ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ – made up of other people’s opinions and parts that don’t belong to us. That we were born perfect but people, in their
own conditioning, come along and can make us feel undesirable/inadequate/the monster.
But we can choose to be real instead.”

This is without a shadow of a doubt the best debut single I heard so far this year.

A towering tune going low, high and back. A sickly sticky pop gem wrapped in
a big-boisterous-wall-of-sound. And upfront, Sianna Lafferty ‘s phenomenal voice
causes goosebumps when she goes sky-high on the chorus. The ardency of
Porridge Radio comes to mind.

One word: AWESOME.

“I am not what you want me to be
Uncle Sam won’t even point at me
Even the eyes of the Virgin Mary wall
hanging won’t even stare at me.”

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7. ‘Shaman’ by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA (London)

Shaman progresses like a vicious viper sliding to its prey. Determined, but always
wary of sudden danger. It dumbfounds and flummoxes while the song’s tension
intensifies and sends shivers down your spine.

No metallic explosions or abrupt pace changes this time, although it feels like a thunderstorm can happen as the mesmeric music swells along its ominous path
towards a demonic climax. Another appealing piece de resistance, another
psychedelic exploit another step closer to the new album.

From their brand new LP Trust No Leaders, out today.

Face your nature
Face your fears
Face your demons
Wake the dead

Roll the tape and get impressed…

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8. ‘Mañana’ by JAMES DOMESTIC (Essex/Suffolk, UK)

“A paean to taking your foot off the gas and letting things slide, or a warning of the perils of procrastination, perhaps? It’s hard to tell whether ‘Mañana’ is meant to serve as a confessional regarding Domestic’s own perceived lack of willpower, or a celebration of idleness. It could be either of these things; and that’s one of its many joys.”.

A sirens intro, David Bowie‘s saxophone, and steel drums straight from Trinidad. Sounds like an exotic swing and shake ditty is coming up. No folks, it’s a lazy rap-sody you can play the morning after a booze marathon to get up and sober up, slowly.

Soul voice Clare Gillet takes care of the chirpy chorus.

Press play here…

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9. ‘Digging’ by NOTHINGHEADS (London)

“Propelled by a motorik rhythm and abrasive guitars, it stomps toward a doom-laden finale. Inspired by Sebastião Salgado’s (note TUTV: Brasilian photographer) anarchic photos of the Gold Mines of Serra Peladain the Amazon in 1985: the track explores the relentless obsession with grasping a glint of glory from the mud. “

Once I learned that this startling belter is about the horrible exploitation of human
beings by ferocious money sharks this jagged jackhammer blew my mind even harder than I heard it the first time before knowing about the band’s inspiration for this stunner.

Expect rabid guitars, doom and gloom vocals, and frantic
twists and turns until the chaotic finale. Post-punk at
its razorblade best.

Dynamite


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10. ‘Welcome To Hell’ by BLACK MIDI (London)

Geordie Greep (vocalist, guitar): “Almost everything I write is from a true thing, something
I experienced and exaggerated and wrote down. I don’t believe in Hell, but all that old world folly is great for songs, I’ve always loved movies and anything else with a depiction of Hell.”

A screwy zig-zagging haymaker it is. From upcoming, 3rd, LP Hellfire.

Burn here…

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11. ‘Cream’ by BOTCHED TOE (UK)

My fav track from one of my fav albums of the year (so far), baptized
A False Glimmer Of Hope with loudmouth James Domestic (yep, the
guy from above) going bonkers.

This red-hot-blistering hardcore missile punks up your adrenalin and
invites you to open all windows and doors and yell your tits off.

(S)cream here…


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12. ‘Zick Zack’ by RAMMSTEIN (Germany)

The bombastic German metal machine have
a new, their 8th, longplayer out, called Zeit.

Their same old recipe still works.

My fav sledgehammer on the LP is Zick Zack.

Ridiscouly infectious
Great Scheiße shit!

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13. ‘Edie’ by STEPH SWEET (UK)

This is the spellbinding title track of this enigmatic songstress’ new album.

The dark garage guitar swagger of this nightmarish cracker is irresistibly
magnetic. Think trash-and-slash duo Royal Trux. Both eerie and haunted.

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14. ‘Eris’ by VIOLET NOX (Boston, MA)

My favored sonic sci-fi symphony from the duo’s excellent Eris Wakes EP.
Trippy, spooky, trancy. With repetitive mind-twisting Krautrock eurhythmics
that take you on an otherwordly voyage. Top-flight!

Launch your spaceship here…


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15. ‘TV Or Not TV’ by JODIE LANGFORD (UK)

After the piano intro (sounds like the theme tune of classic horror-thriller Halloween) this young outspoken artist fumes with barbed wire temper towards the supersonic chorus that resonates like hardcore rap.

This rushing rollercoaster swings forth and back with grim impetus until the gloomy
synth climax makes way for that ominous piano fragment again. TV or not TV, that’s
the question? The answer is easy. To hell with the relentless idiocy of reality TV stars and influencers constantly putting pressure on growing minds to behave in ways unattainable to most.

Find the answer here…

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16. ‘We Are Ukraian’ by OSCAR MIC (London)

Oscar Mic wrote this song after witnessing the horrific violence of
psycho Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine on the news. All proceeds of
the song go to Save The Children’s Ukraine Appeal.

We Are Ukrainian is a tremendously catchy hip-rap-pop jam featuring steel drums
and timpani balancing somewhere between Roots Manuva and Mr. Scruff.

“Fleeing people running scared, so tell me Where’s the justice? Our leaders say they care,
tell me can you trust this? Urban warfare, your home’s done and dusted, Aiming at the
public, they wouldn’t? They just did,”

Fuck Putin


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17. ‘White Skin’ by THE BANKROBBER (Italy)

The titillating electro- intro echoes early Depeche Mode before they became the darkwave Goth-esque rockers we all know. But in an eye-blink White Skin turns into a swirling synth-pop stomper to fill dancefloors with. It’s an instantly infectious nightclub earworm with an ecstatic chorus.

From the siblings’ forthcoming, second, album.

Start the tape and make your move…

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18. ‘Worthless Souls’ by MELTED WINGS (Toronto, CA)

“A track that calls out how sexism and power corrupt all levels of society.
We all need to recognize this going forward and make sure that it doesn’t
go unchecked.”

The sickly sticky synth beat comes across like an invitation for my feet to kick the butts of vicious sexists and power-horny billionaires ruining people’s lives. Middle finger to them while spinning around mad as a hatter to this bang-on electro buzz. Trust me, you’ll feel much better afterward

From their new Cheer For The Deer album.

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19. ‘Hello Dreamer Baby’ by THE ROYAL FOUNDRY (Canada)

This is what ecstatic pop grandeur is all about. Music that elevates
your state of mind to a titillating level. This pearl generates a feel-good
entrancing buzz.

When the multi-layered vocals/harmonies pop up in a gospel-like choir delight
creates an atmosphere of utter joy comparable with the euphoric drive of
The Polyphonic Spree. Vitalizing vibe, refreshing rapture.

Listen/watch

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20. ‘Life And Lies’ by LEE ROGERS (Northern Ireland)

A mixed-emotions lullaby with Rogers‘ sky-reaching voice as the star. It’s an emotional
and bluesy reflection. Wurlitzer jukeboxes should be reinvented for these heartbreakers so moody minds can cry their eyes out (or cry in their beer) at night in a downtown bar where lonely ones gather and muse about life and lies.

This one is for all barflies out there…

From his new heart and soul album Gameblood.

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21. ‘Chaise Lounge’ by WET LEG
22. ‘Up The Mountain’ by REGINA SPEKTOR
23. ‘All The Good Times'</a> by ANGEL OLSEN
24. ‘Come Back’ by SHARON VAN ETTEN
25. ‘The Dripping Tap’ by KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD

Heart And Soul Americana From Northern Ireland – LEE ROGERS Has His 2nd Album ‘GAMEBLOOD’ Out

20 May 2022

Artist: LEE ROGERS

Who: Singer-songwriter from the small town of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland.
His musical inspiration was drawn from classic voices outside of the tensions in
his homeland. Bill Withers, Marc Cohen, Tom Waits, and other great ones.

New album: GAMEBLOOD
Released: 13 May 2022

Rogers: “It’s a visit to those hard places that most people put to the back of their psyche and build a wall around. This album is a truer reflection of myself, my stories, where I’ve been and where I hope I am now. It’s music for the travelled soul, those folk who have seen a lot of life and can relate to the sentiments of the songs.”

Turn Up The Volume: Songsmith Lee Rogers‘ main instrument is his warmhearted Americana voice. Whether he sings a sad or happy song there’s always a cordial and welcoming attraction for the listener, like with that Belfast Cowboy on his moody lullabies.

Rogers opens up his heart and soul with introspective ballads (Silent Song / Barefoot In The Basement / The House / Homeward Bound / Won’t Find Me) as well as energetic outpourings (Everytime / Haunted and absolute standout Life And Lies). Rogers feels at times lost, at times found and he embeds his mixed emotions in a sepia-colored open book record. Life isn’t a merry-go-round, therefore a comforting voice like Rogers‘ can be a great companion to have around.

Singles/clips: Life and Lies / Everytime

– LIFE AND LIES –

– EVERYTIME –

– SILENT SONG –

Stream Gameblood on Spotify…

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LEE ROGERS: Facebook – Website

All You Need Is Love – Singer/Songwriter LEE ROGERS Shares 2nd Single From Upcoming Album

Daily electricity to load your batteries

24 April 2022

Artist: LEE ROGERS

Who: Singer-songwriter from the small town of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland.
His musical inspiration was drawn from classic voices outside of the tensions in
his homeland. Bill Withers, Marc Cohen, Tom Waits, and other great ones.

New album: GAMEBLOOD
Release: 13 May 2022

New single: EVERYTIME

Rogers says it’s about his beloved wife Nikita: “She is the person who helps fix my mistakes, never judges and soothes me back to the human I am supposed to be,” he explains. “I can’t count how many times she has painstakingly put me back together, held me when I was falling apart and reasoned with me when I wasn’t seeing reason in anything. I know that if you find that person in your life, who calms your storms and puts out the fires, who helps you be what you are meant to be, then you’ll get every word of this song.”

Turn Up The Volume: After lead-single Life And Lies, a heavyhearted tearjerker (already noted in my little end-of-the-year-lists book in the category ‘best ballads of 2022’), Rogers arouses with this Springsteen-esque composed love song. Reflective and mellowly rippling verses and a glowing Americana chorus about his devotion and love for his adored partner.

As the Fab Four once sang, all you need is love

LEE ROGERS: Facebook – Instagram

Turn Up The Volume’s 20 KNOCKOUT TRACKS Of The Month – MARCH 2022

A stream of rattling rippers, jagged jams, and romantic reveries

All 20 together on Spotify

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Knockout by Knockout…

1. ‘Twitchen’ In The Kitchen’ by WARMDUSCHER (UK)

Disco-freak stomper of the month, hands down. This new punky-funky corker follows
the previous 2 shared crackers Wild Flowers and Fatso. They will all be on their upcoming album At the Hot Spot, out tomorrow, 1 April (no joke).

It’s a bangin’ beast with a screamin’ chorus. A perfect pick-me-up tune for all the weirdos
who are always in the kitchen at parties waiting for Warmduscher to kick their lazy asses.

Shake your booty…

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2. ‘I Am Not Maternal’ by OTOBOKE BEAVER (Japan)

Compared to this Japanese red-hot-bloody fury the Ramones sound like choirboys.
Otobeke Beaver‘s race and rush in an overwhelming overdrive. No brakes, no breaks.

Their rabidity rolls like a tsunami through your ears. These perky punkettes produce
moshpit madness on the spot. The average song length is 2 minutes, 120 seconds
of clamorous pandemonium.

New album SUPER CHAMPON out on 6 May 2022

These frenetic champ(i)ons rule…

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3. ‘Territorial Call Of The Female’ by BODEGA (Brooklyn, NY)

The New Yorkers still operate on Parquet Courts’ playground with their new,
2nd full-length Broken Equipment. But they supersized their jangly beats
and they turned up the temperature.

Territorial Call Of The Female is my favorite cut. It activates
every muscle and every nerve in my itching body.

What about you?…


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4. ‘Post Punk’ by THE CRYSTAL METHOD feat. IGGY POP

Scott Kirkland (the remaining member of Las Vegas dance act The Crystal Method)
invited icon Iggy Pop (you can hear him almost any day on a new collaboration, the
past few years) and his British buddy, composer/DJ Hyper in his studio.

The raving result is a techno boom boost, bursting all the way, with Pop‘s voice
strangled by a blender. Sounds spooky, sounds wicked, sounds like lust for life.

Breaking news: Iggy says he’s not a punk anymore!

“I don’t want to be a punk
I don’t want to belong to any of it
I just want to be”

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5. ‘Hi-De-Ho’ by JACK WHITE feat. Q-TIP (UK)

Busy blues-rock bee Jack White canned two new longplayers for this year, titled
Fear Of The Dawn (out 8 April 2022) and Entering Heaven Alive (out 22 July 2022)

The hottest cut I heard so far is Hi-De-Ho (from ‘Fear Of The Dawn’ LP) featuring Q.Tip.

A smoking rock-rap ripper.

Yessssss…

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6. ‘I’ll Make You See God’ by THE AFGHAN WHIGS (USA)

The by now legendary passion rockers from Cincinnati, Ohio with mastermind
Greg Dulli
in control are back from being away for 5 years. Their last album
In Spades came out in 2017.

I’ll Make You See God a striking steamroller, a red-hot-heated stunner, an unstoppable
cannonball going everywhere fast. It will feature in the upcoming PlayStation game
Gran Turismo 7.

See/hear God here…

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7. ‘Nothing Comes Good Easy’ by DEAD LEVEE (Canada)

Wowzer! This sickly uplifting belter (from upcoming EP Rise-Up) elevates your state of mind with fired-up dynamism from the get-go. Rapid-fire rawk and roll riffs switch on a fervent feel of euphoria. It did it in the past, it does it in the present and it will do it in
the future.

Despite all the BS we have to endure (pandemic, Ukraine, natural disasters,
and other threats) it’s never too late to get back on track and why not start
with 4 and a half minutes of heart-warming guitar-fueled boogie-woogie
that breathes hope and assurance.

1-2-3….

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8. ‘Digging’ by NOTHINGHEADS (UK)

Once I learned that this startling uppercut is about the horrible
exploitation of human beings by ferocious money sharks this
jagged jackhammer blew my mind even harder than I heard it
the first time before knowing about the band’s inspiration
for this standout.

Expect rabid guitars, doom and gloom vocals, and frantic twists and turns
until the chaotic finale. Post-punk at its razorblade best. Think fierce Canadian
turbine Metz and London‘s up-and-coming gunslingers Crows.

Dynamite!


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9. ‘Breaking Grounds‘ by SALEM WOLVES (Salem, MA)

This fiery crackerjack goes forth and back with
turbulent velocity. Imagine the full of vim and vigor
intenseness and puissant vocality of The Afghan Whigs.
Anxious, unyielding, and ablaze.

Breaking Grounds races like a rush of blood to the head with
screaming guitars and propelling drum muscularity.

Turn it up, guys…


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10. ‘The Girls Of LA’ by WEIMAR (Manchester, UK)

The first taster from the upcoming debut full-length Dancing On A Volcano.

Imagine the fervid fuzz of punchy guitar pop legends Buzzcocks, with
The Stranglers’ Jean-Jacques Burnel on bass, combined with the cutting
verbality of today’s post-Brexit-punk rebirth and you know a frisky doozy
is coming your way.

Add some American-dream girls of the City of Angles on your imaginary
mind-screen and you’re about to start a champagne party in your head.

Drool here…


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11. ‘The Slump’ by SKINNER (Dublin, Ireland)

The combination of a nasty Gang Of Four bass riff,
frenzied Keith Levene guitars here and there and Skinner
hip-hop-rapping like Beck used to do, works like an ecstatic
upper.

This funk-punk stonker has an immediate intensifying impact on all of your
limbs and your bloodstream’s flow. Add some sexy sax thrills to the mix and
you’ll have all you need to jump out of your slump. Capice?

Make your move here…

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12. ‘Sight Unseen’ by EX-HYENA (Boston, US)

Cut from their sophomore album
‘Moon Reflections’, out on June 24

A rotating synth riff echoes British electro legends New Order and
is the beating heart of this new piece, yet the mood is meditative
and musing, strengthened by the near-whispering and eager vocals.
This darksome and soul-searching reverie gets under your skin after
a couple of spins.


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13. ‘The Hurt Within’ by HOLY COVES (Wales)

This impassioned hard-luck story grows slowly but surely into a soul-stirring and mesmerising heartbreaker with an epic finale. Glowing guitars, a steady drumbeat,
and mixed emotions vocals all come together for a poignant performance.

‘Love Is Cruel / The Hurt Within’. You can feel it.

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14. ‘White Skin’ by THE BANKROBBER (Italy)

You’ll hear titillating electro-echoes of early Depeche Mode before
they became the darkwave Goth-esque rockers we all know. But
in an eye-blink White Skin becomes an infectious nightclub earworm
with an ecstatic chorus.

In a normal world (does that actually exists?) this adrenaline-infused
and hip-swinging spark should top the dance charts around the globe.

Another solid gold hit for the Italian siblings.

Press play and move your feet…

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15. ‘Nice Guy’ by BURN THE LOUVRE (Canada)

The musical project of singer/songwriter Jordan Speare
assisted by guitarist/bassist and friend Andrew Billone.

After a couple of EPs the pair’s canned their first longplayer
called Silhouettes. Release at the end of the year.

I don’t know if it’s the world-famous and historic museum in Paris
they want to burn, that wouldn’t be so nice. What I do know is that their
brisk and spirited sound is infectious and captivating with an immediate
impact on your body’s movements. Expect guitar pop electricity, extra
pushed by lively vocals.

Now that’s nice…


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16. ‘Life And Lies’ by LEE ROGERS (Northern Ireland)

The Americana voice of Northern Ireland releases
his new album Gameblood on 13 May.

Ahead of it came this mixed emotions single with
Rogers‘ sky-reaching voice as the star, once again.

It’s a bluesy goosebumps reflection. Wurlitzer jukeboxes should be reinvented
for these heartbreakers so moody minds can cry their eyes out (or cry in their beer)
at night in a downtown bar where lonely ones gather and chat about life and lies.

This one is for all barflies out there…

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17. ‘Set It Aside’ by SUPERCHUNK (US)

The veteran rockers from North Carolina released
their 11th LP Wild Loneliness
a couple of weeks ago.

One of the highlights is this sweet little ditty.

Start dreaming here…


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18. ‘Blood’ by AGATH CRIST (Canada)

A poppy synth trip with a floating flow and near-whispering vocals. Both eerie and affecting, both dizzy and hypnotic with a frenetic guitar attack coming out of nowhere around the 3-minute mark.

Top stroke…

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19. ‘Do It Over’ by THE DISTRICTS (Philly, US)

The Philly rockers are favorites of mine. Early this month they launched
their 5th LP Great American Painting with this little touching jewel on…


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20. ‘All The Good Times’ by ANGEL OLSEN (USA)

It’s an epic ballad with a country feel. If this melancholic gem was written
in the 60s it would have been sung by Linda Rondstadt, Tammy Waynette
or Dolly Parton, anyway, by an angelic voice like Olsen‘s magnific one.

Classic tearjerker…

See/hear you next month, music junkies

Monumental Voice LEE ROGERS Gears Up For New LP With Bluesy Ballad ‘LIFE AND LIES’

Daily electricity to load your batteries

17 March 2022

Artist: LEE ROGERS

Who: Singer-songwriter from the small town of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland.
His musical inspiration was drawn from classic voices outside of the tensions in
his homeland. Bill Withers, Marc Cohen, Tom Waits, and other great ones.

New album: GAMEBLOOD
Release: 13 May 2022

Lead single: LIFE AND LIES

Rogers: “A slightly cheeky, heartfelt ballad that everyone can relate to, about finding
love and just a little light in the darkest places. Sometimes we just need to get ourselves
to a place where we aren’t afraid to look.” Its excellent video was shot in a Belfast bar,
which he adds was “the perfect setting. The fun part is I was genuinely drunk during
the shooting, so there was little acting needed.”

Turn Up The Volume: Last November this natural-born North Irish singer from
aroused my ears with his soul-stirring 6-track EP Dark Notions, which includes
a stripped-down the bone cover of the Bee Gees‘ blockbuster hit Stayin’ Alive.

On this new mixed-emotions single his sky-reaching voice is the star again. It’s an emotional and bluesy reflection. Wurlitzer jukeboxes should be reinvented for these heartbreakers so moody minds can cry their eyes out (or cry in their beer) at night in
a downtown bar where lonely ones gather and muse about life and lies.

This one is for all barflies out there…

LEE ROGERS: Facebook – Website

2021 Was A Year Full Of Covers – TURN UP THE VOLUME Picked 10

1. ‘Where Is My Mind’ by NANDI BUSHELL

Original by Pixies.
From their 1988 debut LP Surfer Rosa.

This 11-year-old British-Zulu musician of South African
descent and media star is just brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

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2. ‘The Ship Song’ by NELL SMITH and THE FLAMING LIPS (USA)

Original by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

The cover is part of a full Nick Cave tribute LP called
Where The Viaduct Looms by The Flaming Lips and
the wondrous voice of 13-year-old songstress Nell Smith.

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3. ‘You Are A Runner And I Am Your Father’ by PORRIDGE RADIO (Brighton, UK)

Original by Canadian indie rockers Wolf Parade.

Porridge Radio vox Dana Margolin sends shivers
down your spine. Goosebumps all the way.

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4. ‘Highway To Hell’ by TOM MORELLO, THE BOSS and EDDIE VEDDER

Original by AC/DC.

Part of Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello‘s
2021 album The Atlas Underground Fire.

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5. ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by LEE ROGERS (Northern Ireland)

Original by Bee Gees.
This warm Americana voice out of Northern Ireland slows
the classic down, drenches it in a nostalgic sepia bath, and
gives it a haunting and soul-stirring twist corresponding with
the somber lyrics. Compelling version!

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6. ‘Run Run Run’ by KURT VILE

Original by The Velvet Underground.

From I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground and Nico,
celebrating the iconic NYC mavericks, and more specifically their debut
masterpiece LP of 1967.

Kurt Vile‘s pumped-up version of ‘Run Run Run’ is a striking steamroller…

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7. ‘Finest Worksong’ by DESPERATE JOURNALIST (UK)

Original by R.E.M.

This North London band nailed it, spot-on!

From A Carnival of Sorts: R​.​E​.​M. Covers Compilation,
released last August.


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8. ‘Paperback Writer’ by SAXON

Original by The Beatles

Britsih veteran metalheads seem to have big fun with this cover, so am I.

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9. Sad But True’ by ROYAL BLOOD (UK)

Original by Metallica.

From the massive covers compilation called The Metallica Blacklist
featuring no less than 53 artists interpreting a Black Album song, the
breakthrough LP that was released 30 years ago.

Wham royal bloody wham bam…

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10. ‘Silver Machine’ by TOYAH and ROBERT FRIPP

Original by Hawkind (with Lemmy)

Every Sunday for about two years now, the famous British songstress and
her King Crimson husband Robert Fripp entertained us (and still do it) via
YouTube with covers of big crackers. Their performances were/are ridiculously
hilarious. Definitely the stand-up rock comedians of 2021.

Let’s roll…

Northern Irish Songwriter LEE ROGERS Stays Alive With The BEE GEES

23 November 2021


(photo by Ken Haddock)

Artist: LEE ROGERS
Who: Singer-songwriter from the small
town of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland.

Early November this warm Americana voice from Northern Ireland
released an 6-track EP called DARK NOTIONS. An arresting extended
play of six sweet little pearls.

One of the songs is a BEE GEES cover of their 1977 STAYIN’ ALIVE and it’s quite striking.

No helium-affected vocals, no glamorous disco flamboyance. Rogers slows the classic down, drenches it in a nostalgic sepia bath, and gives it a haunting and soul-stirring
twist corresponding with the somber lyrics.

Top version…

The brothers Gibb original…

LEE ROGERS: Facebook

A Warm Americana Voice From Northern Ireland – LEE ROGERS Enchants With New EP ‘DARK NOTIONS’

Extended plays

8 November 2021

Artist: LEE ROGERS

Who: Singer-songwriter from the small town of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland.
His musical inspiration was drawn from classic voices outside of the tensions in
his homeland. Bill Withers, Marc Cohen, Tom Waits, and the like were all bright colours
from a musical palette far away from the often-grim surroundings of Northern Ireland
at that time. Rogers’ voice and sound pull from the vast well of timeless Americana,
all the while underpinned by the authentic writings of his life and its surroundings.

New EP: DARK NOTIONS

Rogers: “I don’t like the idea of songs sitting silently on hard drives. These ones were
written to be heard and I kind of like that they don’t fit with anything else other than back
to back together on their own EP… For this EP I wanted to hark back a bit to the excitement
of holding a piece of music in your hands, reading sleeve notes, taking in the artwork and looking at something other than your phone while listening. There’s so much missing from
the whole experience these days. I still love the ritual of pulling a CD case open, or putting
the needle arm onto a record on the turntable, and I really think the contents of this EP
lend themselves perfectly to that.””


(photo by Ken Haddock)

Turn Up The Volume: This is high-quality songwriting. From riveting grooves
to soul-stirring balladry. Compelling stories, masterly arrangments, instantly
sticking melodiousness, and a magnific Americana voice. Arresting work.

Discover and enjoy all six beauties…

.
Besides the five original songs Rogers also included his remarkable cover of the 1977
Bee Gees’ massive disco hit Stayin’ Alive. Remarkable as he slows the song down in a mesmerizing way and because his warm and melancholic vox – instead of the brothers’ helium vocals – changes the resonance totally. A gem of a cover…

LEE ROGERS: Facebook

(Sublime EP artwork by Lee Rogers)