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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Suspect Parts Euro Tour 2017 starts October 26th!


This band has written THEE best pop song of the year ("Run for your life"), just like yours truly, they like their beers to be ice cold and they start a Euro Tour on Octobre 26th! How many more reasons does this blog need to have a very enlightening conversation with Justin Maurer:

1) For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, What would you tell about SUSPECT PARTS  to introduce yourselves? How did you meet and decided to start a band together? Who is playing what instrument in the band?


Justin: In 2007 Clorox Girls broke up and I moved to Madrid where I worked as an English teacher and DJ.  I was living with my girlfriend Raquel and her roommate Kika and playing in a band called Mono De Mono in Madrid. I felt restless and had a few demos that I was hoping to record with Clorox Girls. Chris Brief was living in Berlin at the time and suggested that we play in a band together. I sent him a few of the demos and that ended up being the "Seventeen Television" single that came out on Deranged Records in 2008. We recorded with Smail from the Shocks in Berlin and I remember that it was fucking cold. We seem to always be recording in Berlin during a bitter winter. Maybe that affects our sound!

Fast forward a year or two later and I was living in London helping my friends who played in Holy Ghost Revival as their tour manager and driver. They played over 100 shows in England, Scotland, Wales, and Germany and I drove them to every single show. Driving a stick-shift mini-bus on the wrong side of the road was interesting, but I figured it out after awhile.  Holy Ghost's label mates included a band called Ripchord and I saw Sulli and Phil from Ripchord play an acoustic set at the Hope and Anchor pub in London.  I thought Sulli was a fucking amazing "ooh ahh," man. His backing vocals were spot-on and he was a great lead guitarist. I poached him (stole him, not poached like the egg),for Suspect Parts.  Sulli became my roommate in London with my girlfriend Marina, who was Holy Ghost Revival's publicist at Sony/Columbia/1965 Records and we wrote some songs like "Change Your Mind," "City Burning," and "Man Eater."  I was reading a Phil Spector biography and wanted to write some hits. Sulli and I worked really well together and he helped me write a lot of the bridges, or as they say in England, "Middle Eighths."

Smail from legendary Berlin punk band The Shocks was recruited on bass and we had a band!  We toured Germany, Spain, and the UK and recorded 4 singles with a Spanish guy named Pepe Tigruss in Gandia, Spain. Our friend Chimita's mother made us paella and we ate it on the beach. It was absolutely fantastic.

2 years ago we toured Europe with Maniac from Los Angeles and Smail was very focused on his new recording studio in Berlin. We were looking for a bassist to join us on tour, and Andru Bourbon came highly recommended to us from some Berlin friends who we trusted. We instantly got along, drank his wonderful cold peppermint schnapps, and learned about the art of grocery shopping for vegan spreads.  Andru also played on our debut album which we recorded with Smail the winter after our Euro tour.

In Brief:

Justin Maurer - guitar vocals (played in other bands like Clorox Girls, Red Dons, Mano De Mono, Maniac, LA Drugz)

James "Sulli" Sullivan - guitar, vocals (played in Ripchord and currently plays in More Kicks)

Chris Brief - drums, vocals (plays in The Briefs)

Andru Bourbon - bass (played in Radio Dead Ones from Berlin)

Former bass players:  Smail Shock (The Shocks), Daniel Hadji Husayn (from Red Dons and Clorox Girls)


2) About the recently released debut full length record, what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?

Justin: We recorded our debut album in the dead of winter at Smail Shock's east Berlin studio. The album was made during a snowstorm, and Chris and I had a hard time finding the studio in the snow, we had no reception on our phones and our GPS didn't work in the snowstorm!   We recorded drums, bass, and guitars all together and then overdubbed vocals, lead guitars, hand claps, piano parts, etc.  I believe Smail's all-analog track limitations were 16 tracks total, so we had to really haul-ass, kick-ass, take names, and not waste any tracks. It was all analog, and we didn't have time or room for any filler, we really had to hustle to get all 10 tracks down in the limited amount of time we had. All-in-all it sounds great. Doctor Smail Shock knows what he is doing.


3) What are your favorite topics to write about or the topics that come easily when you write a new song?

Justin: I can't speak for Sulli, but my own songs usually come from personal experience. Heartbreak, frustration, sexual frustration, restlessness, anger. Some of the best stories come from when things go wrong.  I believe all art is trying to find some meaning in the tragedy of human existence. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I'd like to say that my songs are about trying to find meaning and purpose in a mostly tragic human existence. Does that make sense? I came from a dysfunctional family with a lot of abuse and turmoil, so punk rock was a sanctuary for me. Instead of getting in trouble with the police or self-harming or falling into drug addiction like so many of my peers, I luckily found music and that became my escape, my literal ticket out of a small town. Music is joy and has saved a lot of people including me. I also believe in "being the change you want in the world." I want to play music that I'd like to listen to. Sometimes it seems like 99.9% of music sucks and isn't very fun to listen to. I attempt to tackle some meaningful topics but try and still make it catchy, enjoyable, and fun to listen to.  My life's goal is to write the next "Hey Ya." I haven't done it yet.  For the record, Andre 3000 was listening to the Buzzcocks when he wrote "Hey Ya." Food for thought.

4) Is each of you guys composing his own songs (words and music) or are composing with 8 hands?

Justin: Sulli writes his own music and lyrics and I write my own music and lyrics. What makes it really special is the collaboration. Sulli helps me with a lot of the bridges. And Chris and Andru think of parts that I certainly wouldn't have thought of. The power of collaboration is seriously underrated. The best bands have the most fluid collaborations. Luckily for us, so far the collaboration has been an absolute pleasure. Composing with 8 hands sounds like an Octopus conducting an orchestra. How many hands does an Octopus have?


5) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

Justin: As a child in the 80s, I remember my Dad singing Beach Boys, The Doors, Rolling Stones, and Van Halen. As a teenager in the 90s, I listened to stuff like The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, Minor Threat, Black Flag, The Germs, The Adolescents, GG and The Jabbers, Operation Ivy.  In 1994 I moved to a small town near Seattle, Washington so of course I got all of that grunge and horrible post-grunge stuff. Nirvana were a huge early band for me to get into. We didn't know about The Who and emulated Nirvana trashing their gear. Our teenage punk bands would kick over the drums after the first song!  haha I'm still upset about destroying my Dad's 1970s Remo drumkit. After Cobain's death, the punk scene in Seattle (that was very anti-grunge) was massive for me. I saw local bands like The Rickets, PUD, The Displacements, The Degenerats, The Bloodclots, Bristle, The Catheters, Murder City Devils. There were many all-ages clubs in Seattle like RKCNDY, Velvet Elvis, Fallout Records and I went to Seattle every weekend to see touring punk bands and local bands.  The 3 records that were on the radio at the time that I think still hold up are Weezer's blue album, Nirvana Unplugged in New York, and the Foo Fighters first album. Also still love Violent Femmes. Oasis had a couple of songs on the radio during this time too and of course they still hold up.

My favorite band as a teenager? Probably The Germs. Funnily enough, what we also loved listening to was Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Cash, and Robert Johnson. We were pretty open-minded kids. We even loved the Venga Boys.  Early rock and roll and rockabilly (and shitty 3rd wave ska) were all around. The Specials and Operation Ivy and Rancid were very present as well as a lot of the East Bay punk stuff like early Green Day, Blatz, and Filth.

3 bands that are still an influence on my work today? That's a tough question, but off the top of my head: Roy Orbison, Arthur Lee/Love, and The Beach Boys.

6) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release?

Justin: Yes, we have a video for "Run For Your Life" from our new album that's on YouTube:



7) What can concert goers expect at a gig of SUSPECT PARTS ? Are you playing any famous cover songs?

Justin: Concert-goers can expect that we're gonna play our asses off.  Cover-songs? We'll see how rehearsals go, we have to remember how to play our own songs first!

8) What are your expectations for this soon to star Euro tour?

Justin: We expect the big cities in Germany to be a blast. Haven't played the Czech republic or Belgium in awhile, hope that it's good!  I also hope to expect that the Germans have learned to make their refrigerators properly chill cold beers. Warm beers are no good!  Warm bier ist nicht sehr gut!  I like fucking ice cold frosty beers.

9) For the buyers who prefer CD over vinyl, Will there also be a CD version of this record or will this stay a vinyl only thing?

Justin: Vinyl and download only!  Might do a CD next year so that we can try to get some college radio airplay in the US. That'd be nice.

10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

Justin: 69, dudes!  Catch you on the flipside. Don't eat the yellow snow.



PURCHASE A PHYSICAL COPY HERE: 
https://takenbysurpriserecords.bandcamp.com/merch


HERE ARE THE TOUR DATES. 
BE THERE!






Friday, October 20, 2017

PROPELLER - Don't Ever Let This Let You Down



Hailing from San Rafael, CA, Greg Randall and Will Anderson have been delivering some brilliant power pop over the last years under the moniker PROPELLER. Anyone loving The Replacements, Husker Du, Big Star, or Teenage Fanclub is going to have a soft spot for their latest release "Don't Ever Let This Let You Down"

Here is what the duo told this blog:

1) For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, What would you tell about Propeller to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band? Who is playing what instrument in the band?

Propeller is a band that loves rock and roll, we are fans first!  Propeller dates back some 27 years or so, at least the Greg and Will parts. We played in a couple bands with lots of revolving folks over the years. We had a band called Unbalanced that went through 3 main lineups, basically 3 bands, same name. A couple members of the original band are still very much involved in Propeller to this day, Chaco Daniel writes our bio’s and occasionally makes videos. John Rackerby does all our album cover art and band photos, John even appeared on our first Propeller album with some tasty piano licks. We like to keep it all in the family.

Post Unbalanced, Will and I were in a band called Varsity Drag along with a fella named Ben Deily who was a member of the original Lemonheads. Check out Lemonheads Songs Ever or Second Chance, they are gold. Varsity Drag was in some ways a continuation of both Unbalanced and this early period Lemonheads, we played live a lot and played songs from both Unbalanced and Lemonheads along with loads of new songs.

Propeller however is truly its own thing though, this band has the best songs we have ever written and recorded. We are very proud of each of our releases. We just set out to make timeless rock and roll records and I guess only time will tell if we succeeded. Our simple gauge is, if we like it others will.

2) About the recently released record "Don't Ever Let This Let You Down", what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

Hours and hours of labor and loads of overdubs done track by track. Things change each session, things get added and things get taking out until we find just the right recipe. We might like something one day only to listen on a different day and not like it so much. So, it takes time for sure. One great addition to the new record is the lead guitar playing by our pal Geoffrey Mack, Geoffrey played on a few songs from “Fall Off the World” and they sounded great, so we had no choice but to bring him into the fold and let him rip up on all the new songs! Really great guitar player who naturally adds to the mix.

3) Are you guys using a midi drum/ drum loops or is this a real drummer playing on the record?

Will tends to start the drums using a drum set in our studio, once mixing starts these drums get edited all the way up until the final seconds of mixing. There are combinations of both real drums and midi.

4) What are you exactly referring to in the title "Don't Ever Let This Let You Down"?

It can mean anything to anyone but for us I think it simply means that with rock and roll there can be ups and downs, more down than ups but you still do it because you simply love music, it's the ONLY reason anyone should do it. If you let it let you down then it will frustrate you and make you bitter. I see this bitterness in other bands I know because they tend to expect more than they get. If you do it for fun and keep your expectations low then rock and roll can never let you down.

5) What are your favorite topics to write about or the topics that come easily when you write a
new song?

Girls and summer! Our songs tend to come across as happy sounding but there is darkness and pain in some of those lyrics, I just think we disguise them well under poppy melody. We tend to stay away from current affairs in both the political sense and current pop culture. The best songs and the ones that tend to last forever are the ones we can all relate to, relationships and life’s fears and struggles. At least in our humble opinions.

6) Is each of you guys composing his own songs (words and music) or are composing with 4 hands? 

Will and I both write, at time a lot and at other times not much at all. We both bring in what we call skeletons and then we have fun shaping them into little 3 minutes pieces of ear candy. It is the most fun part of the process and I have never worked with anyone else where we put ego aside and simply laugh a lot, if one of us don’t like an idea we simply move on, no feelings hurt. There are a lot of high fives and the word fella thrown around. We have a lot of fun during the writing phase.

7) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

I think Will and I can both agree on 3 bands easily, Teenage Fanclub, Husker Du and The Replacements. All three still influence everything we do, at least as a foundation. We both like so many bands and it would take pages to list them all. We generally like the same stuff but of course we have our own individual stuff we listen to as well.

Regarding favorite band as a teenager? Well that’s easy, The Ramones! So much so that we paid homage to them on our previous record “Fall Off the World” with “Turn On The Radio”


8) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release?

Not yet, we tend to be slow with these things and I am not sure video has the same impact that maybe it once did. I do know all the songs are somehow on youtube for listening.

9) At times I can hear some "Tom Petty feeling" in your songs. How did you react to the news of his death? Or was he absolute no hero of yours?

Oh man, I think like a lot of us, Tom Petty was embedded in our brains from an early age, a constant figure who paid no attention to genres. I mean name another artist who remained consistently relevant decade after decade after decade. He is the one guy you can put on at a party with rockers, punk rockers, new wavers, country folks or whoever and nobody would get bummed out. You’re not the first one to point out a bit of Petty in our sound but I really think it just comes from sharing a traditional approach to songwriting and Rickenbacker guitars.

10) Is Propeller your full-time activity or are you both having day jobs?

We both have day jobs that can be demanding and draining at times but we really try to make room for Propeller, it is what keeps us from getting unbalanced.

11) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

First off, killer blog, nicely done and thank you for reaching out to our little California band.If any of you readers are fans of power pop type rock and roll, we try help fill a space recognizable to anyone who feels a thrill as a distorted guitar brushes up against a harmony filled chorus while pounding drums ferry you from hook to hook. We know that the only thing that really matters are songs. And on Don’t Ever Let This Let You Down, we think we added 10 shiny new candidates for your top down road trip playlist.



PURCHASE IT HEREhttps://propeller.bandcamp.com/album/dont-ever-let-this-let-you-down



PHYSICAL COPIES can be bought at Kool Kat Records and CDbaby


Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Motors - At The BBC


The Motors - At The BBC
In Wav - Scans are included

John Peel Session (April 1977)
4-1 Emergency  
4-2 Bring In The Morning Light  
4-3 Dancing The Night Away  
John Peel Session (September 1977)
4-4 Phoney Heaven  
4-5 Freeze  
4-6 You Beat The Hell Outta Me  
4-7 Dancing The Night Away

Last and short live CD.

https://www.mediafire.com/file/v1y8al5lze1v5eh/The%20Motors%20-%20At%20The%20BBC.rar

Saturday, October 14, 2017

ROLE MODELS - Dance Moves


This is The Role Models third full length already. Once again the band delivers 13 original songs, soon to be classics, of super catchy, fun, addictive, powerful rock'n'roll with great vocals, driving guitars and an ever pulsating rhythm section.

This new record has some great guests on it. Duncan Reid from legendary powerpop group The Boys, Kris Rodgers of the Scott Sorry Band and some old friends like Stacy Stray. Andy Brook returns as producer and Rich Jones joins once again. 

It was time for this blog to have a very interesting conversation with Rags, the man behind the Role Models.

1) For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, What would you tell about The Role models to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band? Who is playing what instrument in the band?

Hello everyone! What can I say? Role Models are rock n roll band motivated and called to arms by powerpop and punk. That, right there, seems to be the sweet spot of having a great time and singin' your life. Within that holy trinity is where I feel a lot can be said and felt.
We've just released three full length albums in as many years with the fourth already written and ready to go! We wanna earn our bread through the timeless snake oil salesman trade of music. Only our medicine is pretty good, from what I'm told. We have Daniel Husayn on bass, Nick Hughes on guitar and vocals and Simon Maxwell on the pots and pans! Oh And me, Rags. I sing.

2) About the recently released record "Dance Moves", what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

The recording was done with Andy Brook at The Brook in London. He's been with us on every album, EP, single we've done. And we love love love working with that guy! Knows when the tequila needs to be brought out. And put away!
We like to lay down the rhythm section and make sure that is really happening. Then the guitars and vocals and whatever else we dream up. So, no, not live, but kinda traditional in how we work it up, I guess. But, having said that, we try to keep things pretty open. Not too many overdubs weighing it down. A good idea is a good idea. No need to do it a hundred times!

3) It's seems there were a lot of guest musicians invited this time. Tell us more about the collaboration with all these guys and their personal involvement in this new record.

Every album we've made has some guests on it. I feel it gets us excited, and with people in the past like Sami Yaffa and Steve Conte for example, it really feels like we are sharing our music with people who've inspired us in the first place.
This album had Stacy Stray from Toronto's Robin Black and The Intergalactic Rock Stars play the solo on 'Reach Me'. That guy was someone who made my life a way better, fun place years ago when I lived in T. O. and, well, he's a hell of guitar player. I wanted a Alice Cooper vibe and I knew he would get it!
We got Kris Rodgers from the Scott Sorry Band to do keys after touring with them. Man, that tour was something else. We really made some close, close friends there! And, again, what a player! That's kinda the way it goes. A lot of the people who are guests on it are friends we love and who we've played with in one way or another. And if ya got something to share with the people you love, do it! I would mention Rich Jones in all that, but really, he's like a fifth member to us. He's been a real supportive person to me over the years and we always make room for our brutha!

4) What is exactly pictured on the front of "Dance Moves"? And while we are at it, what's with the title? You guys do not really play what is considered as "dance" music these days?

The front cover is just a pic I took backstage at The Borderline recently, and I liked what it said. There is Simon warming up... the Rickenbacker case open and ready to go... all in a little backstage area. Not much glamour, but here we are. Still. You can count on us to keep plugin' away!
The title is something that came up in a conversation joking with Jones on the phone. I said it, and right away... "THAT'S the title of the new album!" Loved how it sounded. It works in the way that this album is about someone who is on a binge weekend. A bender. Trying to forget some pain, some hardships, or maybe remember them, if ya know what I mean. A bit of an exorcism. But this way of dealing with things can't work forever. The person wants to take back a little control, but here we are in the middle of it. We all know how those binges go... HAPPY... saaaaad... nostalgic... paranoid... the regaining of strength and sense of self... and maybe the feeling you can finally move on. A lot of different dance moves.

5) What is your favorite topic to write about or the topic that comes easily when you write a
new song?

A lot of songs come from either personal experiences or what I see affect my loved ones. No favorites, but I don't really make stuff up out of the blue.

6) Are you the exclusive composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?

I write, arrange and demo all the songs at home then send them to Simon who reworks the feel and dynamics. The other two then put their mark on it. Now, all you have to do is listen to a demo and the finished product to know just how absolutely important each one of those guys are to the sound of this band. What those guys do is petty incredible and I am always very impatient and excited to hear that take place!

7) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

I was the youngest of six kids. Ten years younger than than the second last. So, you can imagine there were a lot of amazing records laying around the house. Stones, Beatles, New York Dolls, Nazareth, Kiss, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Led Zep, AC/DC, Sweet, Bowie, Cheap Trick, Motorhead, Damned, Blondie, Tom Petty... the list goes on and on. I was in absolute love with it all. I was a bit lonely as a kid. Kinda smiling away sadness a lot of the time.  But man, down in my room or at the record player, well, I felt so happy. Like I was ok. Unafraid and looking to a bright future.
Three bands that still have an influence from those days? Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, and a band that I discovered without the help of that pile of records, The Replacements. All three seemed to be able to do what they wanted, try new things, and yet retain their individuality. They were opening up their hearts and, whatever was showing, standin' tall! That feeling of, "I never said I would "make it" I just said I'd never quit." Their music and attitude still sticks with me. Feels like good friends.

8) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release? 

We have a youtube picture thing for "I Want More" but no new video as of yet. We have been concentrating on these albums so much! Time to do one I suppose!



9) I hope you will not be offended but -at times- your voice and the way you sing make me think about Tom Petty. How did you react to the news of his death? Or was he absolute no hero of yours?

Oh! I was, and am, quite heartbroken about it. His music has been with me, playing a soundtrack for every part of my life it seems. The feeling that his consciousness, that guy, is no longer walkin' around ready to write or sing another song, is incredibly sad. I will take that comparison as a compliment. Thank you.

10) What can concert goers expect at a gig of  The Role models? Are you playing any famous cover songs?

They can expect us to be playing and singin' our hearts out. The live show can be quite a bit more severe than what's on the album. They can expect a damn good time as well because we'll be having one. They can expect Friday night no matter what night it is!
We used to do some Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, some Plimsouls... but right now, for instance, on the Michael Monroe Tour, we have a slightly shorter set so we wanna explode out of the gate with our stuff.

11) What are the plans for the rest of 2017 as far as The Role models are concerned? Are you guys planning to tour Europe soon to promote this new record?

We have the Michael Monroe tour, some other shows that are being booked as we speak and we are getting ready to record our fourth full length album, "Like We'll Never Make It" Europe will be on the cards for the next record.

12) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

To you and the readers...Thank you! It is blogs, magazines and online communities like this that keep rock n roll alive. In a true sense. Written about, written by, and read by true believers! We as a band are very grateful to be included! Hope to see some of you out there!

PURCHASE IT HERE: glunkrecords.bigcartel.com



Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Motors - Tenement Steps


The Motors - Tenement Steps
In Wav - Scans are included

1 Love And Loneliness  
2 Metropolis  
3 Modern Man  
4 That's What John Said  
5 Tenement Steps  
6 Slum People  
7 Here Comes The Hustler  
8 Nightmare Zero  
Bonus Tracks
9 Love And Loneliness (7" Version)  
10 Time For Make Up  
11 Crazy Alice  
12 That's What John Said (7" Version)  
13 Love Round The Corner  
14 Tenement Steps (7" Version)  
15 Dancing The Night Away (Re-Mix)  
16 Emergency (Re-Mix)  
17 Sensation (Re-Mix)

More Motors, mostly interesting for the Bonus tracks!

https://www.mediafire.com/file/l8g064sqgbqcax8/The%20Motors%20-%20Tenement%20Steps.rar

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Motors - Approved By The Motors


The Motors - Approved By The Motors
In Wav - Scans are included

1 Airport
2 Mamma Rock N Roller
3 Forget About You
4 Do You Mind
5 You Beat The Hell Outta Me
6 Breathless
7 Soul Redeemer
8 Dreaming Your Life Away
9 Sensation
10 Today
Bonus Tracks
11 The Day I Found A Fiver
12 Cold Love (Live)
13 Be What You Gotta Be (Live)
14 i. Picturama ii. The Middle Bit iii. Soul Surrender
15 Today (7" Version)

Approved by the Motors is the second studio album by The Motors, originally released in May 1978. The album only spent 1 week in the UK Albums Charts reaching number 60. Four singles came from the album, "Airport", "Forget About You", "Today" and "Sensation".
The Motors had just completed a 5-week tour of the USA when they started recording the album on 1 February 1978. The album was produced by Peter Ker and the two main songwriters in the group, Nick Garvey and Andy McMaster. It was mostly recorded at Pathway Studios, London and engineered by Andy Miller at IBC Studios and Pathway Studios, Basing Street Studios, Olympic Studios. This album used some material that had been written by McMaster and Garvey before the band had formed the year before.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/20y6b73ilb9o6r6/The_Motors_-_Approved_By_The_Motors.rar