Lotus Girl by Age Of Gold

Alan Savage, Doug Maloney, Music, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine, Teesside

The  name, Age of Gold comes from the surrealist film by Luis Bunuel (1930).

Age of Gold is a trans-global collaboration between Sav (vocals and keyboards) and Doug Maloney (Guitars, bass, embellishments and mixing) The duo go back a long way in their musical partnership, when they were in The Flaming Mussolinis, who released two albums and five singles for Sony/Portrait/Epic back in the 80s.
Age of Gold’s music is created over the internet, with Doug Maloney (who lives in Sydney, Australia) sending backing tracks made in Garageband to Sav (in U.K), who then adds keyboards and vocals.

Having no home studio, Sav takes his laptop and mic and does the vocals in his car, in a convenient and discreet car park. Age of Gold prove that being a whole world apart does not stop you making music and where there is a will, and an internet connection, there is a way!

The duo have their first track, ‘Lotus Girl’  out now on all streaming sites. They are working to make a full album, to be released by summer 2020.


Neon Primitives by Band Of Holy Joy

Band Of Holy Joy, International Noir, Music, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine
neon primitives
NEON PRIMATIVES is last part of a thematic trilogy which began with the 10″ Brutalism Begins At Home and continued with 2017’s Funambulist We Love You.
Johny Brown – vocals
Mark Beazley – bass guitar, backing vocals
James Stephen Finn – guitars, piano, backing vocals
Peter Smith – organ, synthesizers, backing vocals
Inga Tillere – visuals, collage, cover design

Produced by Band Of Holy Joy and Brian O’Shaunghessy
Executive Producer John Henderson
Recorded by Brian O’Shaunghessy at Bark Studio, London
Mixed by Mark Beazley and James Stephen Finn at Trace Recordings, London
Mastered by Stuart Moxham

Tiny Global Productions, 2019

Margin walkers and midnight drifters, Band of Holy Joy have wandered liminal landscapes of their own making for 3 decades now. The weirdness and wildness of the landscape they stagger through, the askew vision like a crash between Coleridge, Brecht and David Peace, the literary allusions and poetry, the strangeness of it all. A cultural piracy raiding doomed melancholy and gentrified mediocrity.
Band Of Holy Joy

Veridian: Novella: Anecdotes And Ripples Of Sound by Mark McConville

Mark McConville, Music, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine

veridian 1

Hang tight my son. Beware of this sick and swollen world. Youth is on your side, dreams can be met, but you must stave off addictive traits. Be better, do better, pay homage to your heroes, hang tight my son, as this story unfolds.

There’s more to this EP. More than sounds and beats, but incredible song-writing. It isn’t an average, one-dimensional soundtrack to a fluffy love affair. We are taken beyond the norm here. This isn’t a speculative judgement, but an assessment deeper than the void. An assessment which may be gushing, but worthy.

Veridian search for a place to rest their weighty heads and beaten bodies. The type of act, that manage to create atmospheric songs which resonate and become overplayed not in an obsessive way. Packing a punch is what they do impeccably, delivering morsels of soul and therapy, they do in a unified fashion. Unity is fundamental to any band, staying together when the world seems odd and chaotic, means forming trust and bonds, and throughout their new EP Novella, an everlasting feeling of togetherness spikes through these melodic, decisive, anecdotes and ripples of sound.

Sense is key. Overcoming barriers builds confidence. Novella exudes confident song-writing, but under its harmonic undercurrent, there’s many insecurities floating in and out of the sequence. We know Veridian as a band that hurt. And on occasion, dreams twist into despair. Novella, triggers many snapshots, pictures we don’t always find joyous, with that said, it is a record signifying enough hope to keep it above the line.

Drafting in five momentous songs may have been a painstaking task. Veridian have picked these songs with the utmost assurance. Their previous records were story fuelled and daring, but Novella, cranks up the stakes. And when even an EP works faultlessly, when a collection makes the listener come back again to hear harmony intertwine seamlessly with tuneful instrumentals, then all darkness can be put aside.

Novella may not be momentous in terms of sales or reception. It may never hit the glass ceiling, it may never form a ceaseless glow. By supporting the record in an organic fashion, by circulating it in a way which is gracious, will only raise respect for this hard-working band.

Novella opens loudly. Halo swings in, a song powerful in its delivery. Guitars are dutifully on form. Everybody is wearing halos and insecurities burn through the calmness. It’s a fine start. Curtains is the pinnacle. Not a straight-forward rock song. But one which has layers. Instrumentally sound, and a vocal masterclass is on show here. A perfect life is on the agenda, but a broken world is too frightening. Pavement epitomises sorrow and how it attacks the modest and the high-flyers. Someone has had enough of alcoholic tendencies shown by a man hell-bent on not halting his habit. Simple riffs maximise its credibility.

Novella by Veridian shows melody as a relevant competent to the act’s output. They’re a band mixing instrumentals and poetry to a high level, never gleefully shifting their sound to fit the masses.

Bio: Mark McConville is a freelance music journalist who has written for many online and print publications. He also loves to write dark fiction.

Veridian 2

Post PunkCabaret

Art, Indie, Music, Paul Research, Poetry, Poetry Circus, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine, Torch Songs, Voicex

paul research

Poetry Circus and Voicex present the phenomenal Post Punk Cabaret – an electrifying mix of spoken word, physical theatre and music.

Doors open at 7:00pm for a 7:30pm start.

Music Genres:

Electronic, Punk

The Bongo Club in Edinburgh

Friday 27th March 2020

7:00pm til 10:00pm (last entry 7:30pm)

Minimum Age: 18

Post Punk Cabaret tickets



Vapor Vespers Debut with One Act Sonix

Music, Poetry, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine, Sal Cataldi, Vapor Vestas

New York Multi-Instrumentalist Sal Cataldi (aka Spaghetti Eastern Music)

Partners with Alaskan Playwright/Poet Mark Muro for

a Triptastic Slam of Storytelling and Genre-Skipping Sounds

New York/Anchorage, January 7, 2020 – It’s a sonic funhouse that draws upon everything from Fripp & Eno ambience and Krautrock space explorations to 70s Miles Davis funk-jazz-noise bromides, acoustic folk and baroque classicalism, all to season a world of surreal spoken word ruminations. These narratives explore scenes that are as varied as their musical backings – dramas, large and small, that take on “big think” spiritualism, romance, lust, obsession, death and the petty splendors of daily existence – with recitations that are part Eric Bogosian hyper-monologue, Bukowski/Henry Rollins poetry slam and, occasionally, a little un-PC Rudy Ray Moore party record bawdy.

Welcome to the world of Vapor Vespers, an edge- and button-pushing transcontinental collaboration between acclaimed NYC & Hudson Valley-based multi-instrumentalist Sal Cataldi (aka Spaghetti Eastern Music) and Alaskan playwright, actor and slam poet Mark Muro.

Drawing inspiration from music-powered spoken word icons like John Cooper Clarke, The Last Poets, Lord Buckley, Joe Frank, Henry Rollins and beat god Jack Kerouac, and the O.G. of monologues, Ruth Draper, the Vapor Vespers are unwrapping their ambient, industrial, funk, fuzz and jazz noise-flavored brew with One Act Sonix, a 13-track collection now available for digital download, streaming and in CD via CD Baby, Spotify and other services (Bad Egg Records, 4005).

Cataldi and Muro’s partnership goes back to when they met in their teens in Queens, New York. Here, in the heart of blue-collar New York City, they formed a lifetime friendship and creative bond over a steady diet of Carvel Flying Saucers ice cream sandwiches, Sundew Jungle Juice, Sun Ra, Henry Miller, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and the original spoken word recordings of the 50s and 60s from Caedmon Records.

A longtime denizen of the New York City and now Hudson Valley/Woodstock music scenes, guitarist/keyboardist Cataldi is most recently known for his solo project, Spaghetti Eastern Music. Here Cataldi fuses Eastern beats, Spaghetti Western film soundtrack ambience, Krautrock spaciness and psychedelic and funk/fusion flavored electric guitar instrumentals with gentle acoustic vocal songcraft, straight out of the John Martyn/Nick Drake songbook. Time Out New York writes: “Cataldi’s largely instrumental, Eastern-influenced jams are infused with some delicate guitar work and hauntingly moody atmosphere,” while The New York Times proclaims he has “a beat unmistakably his own.” Called “truly excellent” by The Village Voice, “a jazz virtuoso without the need to prove it” by Aquarian Weekly, “beautiful and unique” by WFUV’s Mixed Bag, “wonderfully melodic and off-center” by WFMU and “part Sergio Leone fever dream, part Ravi Shankar raga, a whirling dervish of musical creation” by Hudson Valley One, Cataldi keeps up a steady schedule of performances at leading venues in the Big Apple and the Hudson Valley.

Bronx-born Mark Muro has been a cultural force in Anchorage, Alaska since relocating in the mid-1980s. His short stories and poetry have been published in anthologies including North of Eden and The Anchorage Daily News and he has produced and performed in a series of one-man shows including The Bipolar Express, Indistinct Chatter and Not Marketable at theaters including Cyrano’s and Out North, and also at the annual Alaska One-Minute Play Festival. Muro has acted in numerous independent films and commercials, performed standup comedy, represented the state of Alaska in The National Poetry Slam. He also served as host of the PBS radio show, Stage Talk. His newest one-man show, Bug Boy: Curse of the Ant Queen, premiered in November 2019 at Anchorage’s Cyrano’s Theater.

Recommended listening…

  • Timbuktu – Over Cataldi’s atmospheric soundscape of percolating synths, chunky Pagan drums, distant bells, gnat-like buzzes and bebop guitars, Muro sets a scene of early explorers on a long hot trek across the desert in Mali;
  • Bottomless Seafood Surprise – A trip-phonic, industrial-seasoned monologue about a woman preparing some fresh seafood, and herself (stripped down to an apron with a giddy-up horse illustration) for what she hopes will be a romantic dinner-at-home. Will they, won’t they? Will the fish that talks to her from the sizzling frying pan have any clues? Listen and learn…
  • In the Lap of the Drooling Buddha – Double-dipped wah wah funk of 70s Miles “Agarta” vintage propels a self-examination into the disconnections of virtual desires as a mechanism of social control, the eternal battle between the spiritual, the sexual and the material;
  • The Bells – Funerial atmospheric jazz, a lamentation over a dead pet bird, unrequited lust for hunky workmen and another famous cake left out in the rain;
  • Her Lemon Peel Raincoat (Because It’s Raining) – A 7th inning stretch solo instrumental from Cataldi in his Spaghetti Western style, 7+ minutes of ambient, orchestral nature sounds, with a hallucinatory bed of slippery eBow guitar Frippery, and Django-like acoustics and children on the loose in a summer storm;
  • Birthday and Bubble Squared – Solo spotlights for Muro. The first a swinging and surprising riff on the dead over a Krupa beat; the latter, a nod to the Velvet Underground’s “The Gift,” two out of sync recitations of the same poem about life of the party circuit;
  • Headrest – The dreamy album closer, string quartets and otherworldly electronica, with cameos by the Dalai Lama, Pablo Picasso, Richard Nixon, Pol Pot, Rin Tin Tin and Lee Harvey Oswald getting drunk with Marilyn Monroe;
  • The Meatcleaver and the Butterfly (My Penis) – Following in the hilariously boastful tradition of rapper Mickey Avalon’s 2006 “My D**k,” this is an award-winning slam poetry favorite of Muro’s from the un-PC, pre-Me Too ‘90s. It’s a haughty, tongue-in-cheek ode to the philosophical vicissitudes of a fellow’s sometimes grandiose, sometimes flagging image of his manhood, Shakespearean soliloquy over a funk & noise groove;
  • Maisey Hot and Humid — The flip side/equal bawdy time for women, a swanky wah wah porno soundtrack to a three-part rant of femme fantasies by a sensuous Russian pal, Siberian Sadie.


One Act Sonix was recorded and engineered by Sal Cataldi about the studio aboard his houseboat in Port Washington, Long Island, Houseboat Garlic Knot Studios, and Sonic Garden Studios in West Saugerties, New York (1/4 mile from the legendary Big Pink house made famous by The Band). All tracks were mastered, and several remixed, by Grammy-winning engineer Bob Stander at Parcheesi Studios.

For more information, visit www.reverbnation.com/vaporvespers or www.soundcloud.com/vapor-vespers.

one act sonix

The Ukulele Album by The Besties

Jeremy Thoms, Music, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine, The Besties

the besties

The story behind the album by Felice Arena

I have to thank Ruby, my lively and precocious character in THE BESTIES books for being the inspiration behind the creation of the album. Throughout the series Ruby loves to play her ukulele and make up songs. While I was writing the lyrics for her I sent them off to my super-talented musical mates in the UK to see what they thought.

​Within days they came back to me with a melody and a rough recording, and before we all knew it we were going back-and-forth on WhatsApp with ideas for other songs inspired by Ruby.

​It was soon after that I headed off to Scotland and joined my besties to record an album in Edinburgh – and we had an absolute blast!

We set out to create a children’s album that everyone, including parents and grandparents, could enjoy. But at the same time we wanted to produce something that would also enhance the reading experience of the books. I’d like to think that not only could these songs be incorporated into schools and music programs/concerts but also be an accessible resource for early-grade, music and drama teachers.

Felice Arena, 2019

Alkaline Trio – Through The Years by Mark McConville

Alkaline Trio, Mark McConville, Music, Non-fiction, post punk, punk, Punk Noir Magazine

Punk band Alkaline Trio formed in the humble city of Chicago in 1996. Since then, the band has catapulted into an institution, a band that appeal to the punks, the emo sector and the freaks. By blending heartbreaking lyrics with shuddering guitar parts, the act has evolved into a staple of the music industry. Fronted by the enigmatic Matt Skiba, they’ve earned their right to play funky bars and high end venues. Although the band has been around for a considerable amount of time, they have kept it fresh and daring.

Through the years, Alkaline Trio has released many records. Their bite on the punk scene is profound, their contribution to the industry as a whole has been rightfully commended. This piece will describe each album as stories, chronicles of pain and despair. Not everyone likes Alkaline Trio’s catalog, nor do they like the dark edged aura of the band. But, there’s songs on the act’s list that may appeal to the pop fanatic.

Goddamnit (1998)

Alkaline Trio burst onto the scene with their debut album Goddamnit. A rough around the edges contribution, its rawness took many by surprise. It isn’t a textured release nor is it a polished one, but that’s what punk rock is about. Matt Skiba’s vocals are gritty on this album, but his lyrical genius shades through. Throughout the record, Skiba pinpoints many addictions, including alcohol abuse and substance misuse. On many occasions, we hear him scream and shout, holler at the crippling world. Dissecting this album is complex as there isn’t a linear plot, but it is a stellar opus to kick off Alkaline Trio’s supremacy as dark princes of punk rock.

Top songs:

Nose Over Tail


Sorry About That.

Maybe I’ll Catch Fire (2000)

Alkaline Trio had gone back into the recording studio high on adrenaline. After the battle-hard nature of Goddamnit, the act nurtured their sound and brought us Maybe I’ll Catch Fire. Yet again, the record isn’t a groundbreaking tour de force or a statement of intent, but what it is, is a punk album that takes time to settle. When it does, it enforces the listener to take note. Songs such as Radio and Fuck You Aurora command the room. They’re the type of tracks which resonate, they’re emotionally connecting, fully bloodied and raw. The guitar sound is more abrasive here, and Skiba showcases diversity with his composition. Bassist Dan Adriano, shows he’s a dab hand as a musician also. Drummer Glenn Porter hits the kit ferociously. The subject matter focuses on life’s downtrodden feelings and neglected dreams. Skiba writes like he’s stuck to the pills and is struck by mania.

Top Songs:


Fuck You Aurora

Madam Me.

From Here To Infirmary (2001)

A little more polished. A little more venomous. From Here To Infirmary landed in 2001. Many cite this record as the band’s most complete. Commencing with Private Eye, a song that is praised for being the act’s daring contribution. An endearing song for the punks and the alienated, it signified Alkaline Trio’s prominence as a band to consider. Throughout From Here To Infirmary, there’s also a melancholic vibe, as well as fully versed plot. Skiba and Adriano sing these songs built on vigor and restless nightmares. It isn’t beautiful, it isn’t coated in rose petals, but it’s enthralling. Musically, Skiba plays fearlessly. Those simple but engaging guitar lines offer abrasiveness and sturdiness. It’s a winner all round for Alkaline Trio fans.

Top Songs:

Private Eye

Stupid Kid

Another Innocent Girl.  

Good Mourning (2003)

Sick to their stomachs. Killing time and dreaming of promise and hope. Good Mourning is Alkaline Trio’s battle-cry. It is their darkest, most revealing record. Some love it and some despise its subject matter. Skiba let it all spew out here. His lyrics are sublime, his technique is fundamental to the progression of the album. All of these songs nibble and then bite down. They’re not serene, they’re not gracious, but they’re relevant and full of substance. Guitars are played full throttle. Hearts are stretched, years and years of manic depression takes its toll. With all this commotion and hysteria, Good Mourning is a stellar opus.

Top songs:

This Could Be Love

All On Black

Blue In The Face.

Crimson (2005)

Many critics and fans believe Crimson is Alkaline Trio’s weakest album. Although it doesn’t hit the gut like others, there are many songs that resonate and develop. There’s a track melded in called Sadie. A controversial song in which Skiba sings about a gruesome murder. This theme is swirled throughout the record, a dark, seedy, undercurrent. From the start to the conclusion, the opus is balanced well, but isn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination.   

Top Songs:

Time To Waste

Mercy Me

Fall Victim.

Agony And Irony (2008)

Agony And Irony is an underrated album. Not many praised the collection. Skiba lyrical play was still there in parts, but the whole concept lacked fluidity. This isn’t a damning assessment of the record, but a sincere review. There’s songs here that work tremendously well, in fact, the album isn’t as mediocre as many describe it as. Yes, it doesn’t hold up against prior records, but what it does do is offer the listener an escape route into Skiba’s hardened world. Musically, the rhythm and technique is still present. Songs conveying war soaked lands and fiery confrontations are packed in here.

Top Songs:

Over And Out

Help me

Calling All Skeletons.

This Addiction (2010)

Alkaline Trio walked across a refined terrain here. This Addiction is a polished record. Many of these songs sound overly coated. But, the album is a triumph. Skiba, Adriano, and Grant, take their respective instruments and utilize them brilliantly well. There’s tracks that express loss, hurt, and the craving for redemption. Skiba is on fire here lyrically. He penned some of the band’s most audacious scores. Sonically, the album is solid. Guitars are brazen, words fly like notes. This Addiction is primarily an opus conveying addiction problems, loves bitterness and heartlessness.

Top Songs:

This Addiction

The American Scream

Off The Map

My Shame Is True (2013)

My Shame Is True is certainly a weak spot. Lyrically it is pedestrian. Musically, there are points to like. But, it seems Skiba lost all of his ingenuity. Adriano’s contributions are structured better. They mean much more. He sings with urgency and intent throughout. Keeping it fresh is complex, but My Shame Is True is stale with a few joyous fragments.

Top Songs:  

I Wanna Be A Warhol

I, Pessimist

Only Love.

Is This Thing Cursed? (2018)

Alkaline Trio broke their hiatus. They came forward with Is This Thing Cursed? It is a collection which takes influence from past sounds. Many fans liked this direction, and critics praised the intelligence and sophistication shown throughout. Skiba’s wordplay was back to its best, and he didn’t hold back. The album is a back to basics compendium which kills the bad taste of the ludicrously underpowered My Shame Is True disc. Skiba also took time out of being the other singer/songwriter of pop punk act Blink 182 to focus on his beloved band. Is This Thing Cursed? is Alkaline Trio’s comeback album, and it’s a great punk morsel.

Mark McConville.

Bio: Mark McConville is a freelance music journalist who has written for many online and print publications. He also loves to write dark fiction.

Recommended Read: Bongo Fury by Simon Maltman

Brit Grit, Crime Fiction, Music, Paul D. Brazill, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine, Recommended Reads, Simon Maltman

Jimmy Black runs a small-town music shop called Bongo Fury. He is a family man, a part-time private eye, and a drug dealer, whose brother is a bit of a big noise in the Ulster paramilitary.

The various strands of Jimmy’s life become violently entangled in Simon Maltman’s short n sharp novella collection, Bongo Fury.

Authentic, violent, funny and touching, Bongo Fury is a cracking collection with a bonus music soundtrack.

bongo fury

Recommeneded Read: Four-Iron in the Soul by Lawrence Donegan

Lawrence Donegan, Music, Non-fiction, Paul D. Brazill, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine, Recommended Reads, Sport

Before reading Lawrence Donegan’s Four-Iron In The Soul, I knew very little about golf apart from the Rat Pack, Tiger Woods, Jimmy Tarbuck and, er. bogies. Indeed, for me, golf was just something that was on TV in the early hours in the days before proper 24-hour telly.

And I suspect that I haven’t learned much more about golf after reading Four-Iron In The Soul but the book is an absolute beaut.

Lawrence Donegan used to play the bass in a couple of tasty Scottish post-punk bands – The Bluebells and The Commotions.  But in the ’90s he decided to put away his childish things and become a journalist, working for The Guardian.

Although I was well aware of Donegan’s musical endeavours I can’t say I paid much attention to his career in journalism.  But a few weeks ago, somewhere on the internet, I bumped into Four-Iron In the Soul and took a punt. And I’m glad I did.

In the mid-nineties, Donegan contacted the obscure – to me at any rate – Scottish golfer Ross Drummond and asked to be his caddy for a season.  Drummond agreed and Donegan ended up following the golfer around Europe and beyond. Along the way, he encountered all manner of misfits and oddballs. There were highs and lows, comedy and disappointment.

Lawrence Donegan really is a cracking writer who can fire off sharp one liners as well as many a crime writer. Indeed, Four-Iron In the Soul is as gripping as it touching. Though I’m a bit surprised that no one asked him if his old man was a dustman Four-Iron In The Soul is highly recommended.

Four Iron In The Soul

Recommended Read: Frank Sidebottom-Out Of His Head by Mick Middles

Art, Frank Sidebottom, Humour, Manchester, Mick Middles, Music, Paul D. Brazill, post punk, punk, Punk Noir Magazine, Recommended Reads, The Fall, The Freshies

The mind of Chris Sievey was clearly a treasure trove – indeed, a veritable Aladdin’s Cave – of bright and shiny ideas, many of which, thankfully, came to fruition. Most notably in the effervescent forms of The Freshies and Frank Sidebottom.

The Freshies were a brilliantly eccentric power pop/ new wave band who cheekily surfed the Manchester pre-punk, punk, and post-punk scenes, and came painfully close to success with a bouquet of great singles such as ‘I’m In Love With The Girl On The Manchester Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk’ and ‘I Can’t Get ‘Bouncing Babies’ By The Teardrop Explodes.’

Sievey’s later creation, Frank Sidebottom, was a surreal half-man/ half-puppet version of George Formby whose anarchic performances enlivened kids television shows and late night TV alike in the ‘90s, and whose live shows seemed to have garnered an strangely obsessive fan base. When Chris Sievey died in 2010, however, he left behind a hell of a musical legacy that showed the he was more than just a novelty act.

Out Of His Head was written by Sievey’s friend the journalist Mick Middles and is as intoxicating and sobering as Sievey’s life seems to have been. The book’s timeline spans more than a quarter of a century and includes cameos from Sievey’s family and friends as well as the likes of Mark E Smith, Steve Coogan, Jon Ronson, Caroline Aherne, Chris Evans, Mark Radcliffe, and, er, Bros.

Frank Sidebottom – Out Of His Head is a fascinating and bittersweet read, and is very highly recommended.

out of his head