When I decided to review both their debut album and the launch gig at Mannions Prince Arthur in London, backed by the grandiose Scumlord and Fryd Chikin and their relentless battle to win the ultimate-trash crown, I knew how distinct the album and live act were from each other. But I also knew how equally important they are to understand what the band is all about.
The Franklys are an all-girl garage group that blends a volatile mix of Hives inspired garage rock with indie-like psychedelic notions from early 1970s metal. I’ll admit to waiting eagerly for the release of their debut album Are You Listening. It has all of the hits to date.
‘Mindless Entertainment’ is both rock and roll without the pretentiousness and punk without the politics. If the mainstream rock journo-losers reviewed this record they’d no doubt mention the low budget recording quality but fuck those squares, THIS IS THE REAL DEAL!
If it sounds a bit weird or a bit out of this world, chances are I’ll dig it. I’ve been a massive fan of Dead Coast for a while now and with every release – they just blow my mind.
The masters of poppy garage are back with their new album Slow Down. Since The Madcaps last album Hotsauce was a hit for this reviewer, it’s not necessarily a surprise to see that with Slow Down they indeed have something special.
This album is definitely different from the band’s previous releases, but at the same time, it doesn’t necessarily sound like it’s not the Sonic Avenues. It’s got heavy post-punk vibes, but the sound and Max’s vocals maintain that classic Sonic Avenues sound, despite the fact that the songs aren’t really structured like a sort of “classic” punk song, like on their previous albums. This album is extremely complex musically and there’s so much you can take from each song.
Finally after four years in the making, across three countries and two continents, here’s the new record by the cult Aussie guitar slinger and songwriter Johnny Casino.
Whilst working on their long-awaited debut album and touring all over the place, Lucy and the Rats still managed to bring out a second single of pure sweet-sounding goodies.
NEED’s influences were probably welded to them in the darkest room of an abandoned warehouse. Like Hannibal and co they found the necessary amount of musical nuts and bolts needed. Musically there’s pleasure stains of fellow Dutch legends The Stilettos along with an 80’s hardcore vibe a la Adolescents and at times it’s whisky chased along with the cold chill of Joy Division-esque bass lines.
Stated for a January 2017 release, I’m throwing this one in for an early contender for bands to look out for next year. From Madrid, Biznaga are bringing to the table a very original sound of punk with intelligence that I haven’t heard since Miscalulations, or going back to that scene of bands in Sweden that were making the best records in hardcore punk 7 or 8 years ago and then turned a melodic route.
Pizzas rule and you probably don’t. But if you order this one from Slovenly, you can at least get a taste of the good sauce. It’s the perfect flavour to end 2016 on a good note.
Memories are made of this! Nostalgia is the keyword with Gloria’s debut album “In Excelsis Stereo” for it perfectly captures the sound of the 60’s. It’s recorded in Kerwax Studios, France’s best analogue studio, and you can tell, for the dreamy and fuzzy guitars sound like they could come straight from a Jefferson Airplane record
The initially impression that I thought I would find through the sounds of Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll was those that are wrapped in the savage nature of blues driven garage rock. This is not quite the case with this album. Pussycat and The Dirty Johnsons seem to run with their own sound that proceeds to throw downwith a fast punk attitude and a distinctly contemporary rockabilly-style.
Gone are the Cramps and Gun Club influences, this is strictly latter day GG Allin puke-o-rama. The scorching opening track, ‘Savage,’ even reminded me of my scum punk favourites, the almost forgotten, Cocknoose. My favorite on the album is the hilarious and groovy ‘I Hate Art’. You gotta love a song that starts with the line, “Fuck Picasso, fuck Cezanne,” only to top it with, “Andy Warhol can kiss my ass.”
The northwest strikes again with this one, and it’s been in my to mention for a few months now. Seattle has been known for its pop punk and feminist themed bands, but V/H/S (Violent Human System) takes things to a darker, less travelled path. While it’s soaked in chorus guitars and heavy 80s goth influence, it still has that punk tinge that keeps things upbeat and interesting.
Robin Edwards has been at this for a while, and 2016 has been her year to bust out and for good reason. A fellow ally in the northwest scene with Tacocat, Childbirth, and Chastity Belt, she has been planning this solo record out for a while. Adult Teen is 100 percent proof that good things come to those who wait.
Indiana has been brewing some genius aggressive punk shit over the last few years, and Liquids seem to be leading the charge. There are so many bands now I can’t keep up. It seems like every few weeks some new demo surfaces. Whoever is running the operation definitely has the dumb punk sound to a very specific and controlled science. Cal and the Calories, the Coneheads, the Cowboys… I could go on.
In the world of what’s considered ‘classic modern’ garage rock, Angry Angles always come into topic due to the nature of the band’s history. These new recordings were supposed to have disappeared, that Jay had deleted them from his hard drive, at least that’s the rumour I heard years ago.
For fans seeking the freshness of a revival of the 1970s glam that birthed the likes of Slade of the Sweet, you are in for a treat with Italy’s Junkshop stompers, Faz Waltz. Since forming in 2007, each release see’s Faz Waltz continuing to produce a polished and vibrant sound.
If one had to provide a simplified description of Escobar’s new album, Bird of Prey, it would be summed up as a barrage of electrified grunge trash rock ‘n roll, which serves only to excite. This is more than obvious after checking out the opening track, ‘You Must Get Stoned.’ It sets the tone for Bird of Prey by inviting the listener to a sound that is profusely upbeat, wild and frenetic.
One of Britain’s more renowned 90s freakbeat/garage bands, the Embrooks, are back from their lengthy hiatus with a new single, the Nightmare/Helen 7-inch. It is their first record to be released in nearly ten years, so if you have heard these cats before, then you know you’re in for a treat.
When the Honey Time 7” is played, I suggest breaking out some malt ice-creams, and donning flashy poodle skirts and sporting slicked-backed pompadours. It should be no secret that anything that Shannon Shaw (Shannon and The Clams) touches hosts the impeccable delights of all that is weirdo rock n’ roll.
Artifacts from the 1960’s are among the holiest of recordings to bare witness to. Compilations like Garage Punk Unknowns, Nuggets, Pebbles and Back from the Grave are the highly spoken of collections that provide a mandatory experience for listeners to wander into depths of a decade of innocence and authentic teenage rebellion.
There are certainties in life like death, taxes and the Fleshtones. For the last 40 years, these New York garage rockers have been playing some of the most fun shows you could ever experience and have kept churning out albums and singles galore.
Madrid garage party rock ‘n rollers Los Chicos have been together for 15 years and show no sign of slowing down on their latest album, Rockpile of Shit, a joint release on Dirty Water Records and Folc Records. The band serves up a supercharged concoction of garage rock mixed with a splash of soul, rhythm & blues, and country.
At a time where the political scene is full of toxic masculinity and hate, albums like this could not possibly be more necessary. Transgender women in the US face higher rates of harassment, discrimination, poverty and violence, with most states offering no legal protection – knowing this makes the rage in their songs even more palpable. This 7-inch was released days after the Orlando mass shooting that targeted members of the LGBTQ community.
Onstage Lucy channels the toughed-up sexiness of Suzi Quatro via Kurt Cobain’s plaid shirt drawer. It’s a strong look, no messing around, and this hotly anticipated debut single is just as suave.
Public Eye is a new post-punk band out of Portland comprised of Adam Becker, Alex Tryon, Nick Vicario, and Seve Sheldon. They previously played together in the punk band Autistic Youth. Their debut EP, Mood Change Party combines melodic, indie rock sensibilities with laser sharp technical precision.
Cerulean Veins brings me my forever fresh recollections of bands like Joy Division, Bauhaus, New Order, The Chameleons, Siouxsie and the Banshees, or even The Cure, Depeche Mode and Ultravox.
When music veterans meet, everything is possible. Only one thing is certain, they know their business. The Phantoms are different and, at the same time, you feel like you’ve known them forever. This is clear-as-spring-water pure classic rock’n’roll. They are easy on the ear and the heart.
What we have on their new record #2 is a true work of art. Call it a masterpiece if you want, I would fully back you. It is such a great record and with summer casting it’s blazing heat upon us, it makes the ideal soundtrack.
It makes sense that the latest Summer Cannibals’ release is on Kill Rock Stars, a label long associated to bands like Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney, as there is a definite 1990s girl band vibe to the album.
Mean Jeans are back and in a big way. They have joined forces with long-time punk/hardcore label, Fat Wreck, for their third LP, and I have to say this is the most important record this label has released in recent years. Hearing the Nite Vision 7-inch leading up to this release was definitely an eye-opener, as it may be their cleanest sounding record, but I really enjoy what’s going on here.
Fumaça Preta is known for its experimentation with different sounds, rhythms and musical genres and the latest album continues to exemplify that ascription. The opening and title track of Impuros Fanáticos sounds like some kind of haunted rain forest before transitioning into something that can only be described as singer Alex Figueira ranting/singing over a fuzzy spaced out synth beat.
Bloody hell, these Auckland kids come with a bang! Listening to their debut self-titled album is like being in my own pit, surrounded by savage ghosts from former gigs. I can almost smell the sex, drugs and rock n roll infused sweat and the rotten beer on the floor.
These Brits are truly, madly and passionately everywhere when it comes to rock n roll! The new album, Ugly Mobile, is like an encyclopaedia of rock n roll. There is a little bit for everybody – old-school rock ‘n rollers, surfers, rockabillies, greasers, cowboys, hillbillies, swamp voodoo priests, bluesy garage rockers, you name it! And it’s all packed in a crazy-frenzied, yet very mature punk attitude.
Upon dropping the needle it is clear OBN III’s flawlessly knock out some solid rock n roll
that needs to be played ear-splittingly loud. I mean, the speed of the guitar riffs that open up on ‘Rich Old White Men” alone is incredible and threatens to overtake my ability to comprehend my surroundings. However, that is not necessarily what holds my attention. This single boasts some of the finest politically inspired rock n roll that I’ve come across recently.
This record is a further departure from the fast Ramones spurts that hooked me in when I first heard the Mean Jeans back in 2008, I guess it was, but I’m loving this record, as I feel it’s a mature one.
Mind Spiders are back, and wow, this one is a little different. Not to say this hasn’t been a project that has strived to pull away from the sound of the Marked Men, but this is definitely Mark Ryan’s most prolific effort yet. This could have been a completely different band in my eyes. It’s smeared with Screamers, Devo, and Units influence, but still holds a pop hook sincerity that keeps pulling you back in for more.
One of the most talented and, need I say, underrated bands from this area. They have brought us, what I believe, is their best record yet, and dare I say it, one of the best records of all of 2016. It’s more than that though. This record has it all – hooks for days, weeks, and miles. It’s a classic in its own right and I’d argue this with anyone.
There are a handful of bands that I love that are the exact blueprint for post-punk. It’s safe to say that Spectres are one of them. Their new record is about to release and it oozes very early sounds of the Cure, Josef K and possesses a chilling atmosphere that can be found in the likes of Bauhaus and Sisters Of Mercy.
The Dirty Coal Train is brilliant and the new freakishly superb Super Scum is a goddamn fine exemplar of their fire.
There is nothing quite like the awesome power of high voltage rock n’ roll to shock one into absolute attention. Audacity does that and more with their new album Hyper Vessels.
Well, I’m going to just come out and say it, after checking out The Electric Pencils self-titled release I’m a fan.
Garage Rock, regardless of the language it is sung in, should translate to all as being rowdy, fun and something to truly let loose to. It should have elements of insanity and an unconventional soothing effect. It doesn’t matter which country the band in question is from or what their mother tongue is. All that matters is how the music makes you feel.
As if through divine intervention the Telegram’s Operator has finally been released and I can be blessed with their impressive and unique sound whenever I want or need. It’s safe to say, I’ve been under their spell ever since my first encounter with their phenomenal single Follow.Follow illustrates a sound that captures the raw elements of indie, like garage rock, while professing something between a glam like psychedelic Frankenstein.
The Madcaps’ new album Hot Sauce is quite possibly the best thing to infect my ears so far this year. Hot Sauce perfectly represents a sound that is addictively savvy and is instantly likable.
It is clear within seconds of switching on Temporary Mutilation, that Useless Eaters produce a sound that is both provoking and edgy but is above all ominous. This is an EP that requires one to start at the beginning and go through to the last track to fully appreciate its certain brilliance. If you survive this listen, great, if not you’re probably not listening to it correctly or on the right substances.
Now here with Choke Chains’ release, we have an extremely hateful and dark record. I have to admit it took me awhile to understand where this band’s allegiance lies. It’s not quite garage: it’s not punk really. It’s not a rock and roll record either.
They mix garage with noise and post-punk antics, while Wet Ones seems to stick to the sloppy garage formula with some good screaming thrown in there for good measure. It reminds me a lot of the second Black Lips’ record– out of tune and all over the place, but still manages to find clarity somehow in its mess.
The Long Beach sensation, Radiohearts, has come across my desk again and their new EP tops anything they’ve done thus far. They are taking a more traditional power pop direction.
You know when you hear thunder after you hear lightening? Well, if you put that thunder on loop, very, very low – that is Phase Out.
A dark, sax-driven rock and roll band– this is how Harry Violet & the Sharks define themselves, and rightly so. It’s delightful to see such a big revival of the saxophone; it played a vital part back in the golden days and it’s astonishing to see what the new bands are doing with this grandiose sax appeal
So here we have a subsidiary for Slovenly called Mondo Mongo, which features bands writing music in their respective languages. Sometimes it is difficult to express the aggression shown in music if the language being presented isn’t used as often as their native tongue. Here are three records that show off the ability to get things done– no matter what the tongue. Music is a universal language, right? That is most certainly confirmed here
If you haven’t heard of Klammer yet, they are a mixture of post-punk and gothic rock. Their sound reminds me of The Cure, Joy Division, Bauhaus and, at times, even the Ramones, New York Dolls and other new wave acts.
The great thing about discographies and re-releases is that it makes you think about that band you used to listen to and like again, and that’s exactly the case with a Coke Bust’s discography, The Early Years, put out by Carry Weight Records and released on a 12″ red or black vinyl.
“We are gonna fuck you with our music and you’ll get pregnant. Giving birth is wonderful. I love you!”
…is what it says on Billy Carter’s Twitter page. When you listen to them you would never guess this trio is from South Korea.
A second EP from Fleckt Pets is filled with the kind of songs that will make you want to stand on your desk during the math test and dance. It’s eccentric, dark and political– garage punk at its best. As the band suggests on its page, it would probably be enjoyed better live.
Dead Coast is about to release their debut record, Shambolic, on 5th February 2016. If the Beach Boys were new now, they’d probably sound like this band.
Fans of the classic yet simple punk melodies will find a comfortable familiarity with Nervous Twitch’s Don’t Take My TV.