THE JACKETS BE MYSELF/QUEEN OF THE PILL Voodoo Rhythm Records Street: 06.30 The Jackets = The Seeds + King Khan and the BBQ Show + The Satelliters
Hailing from Bern, Switzerland, The Jackets are Jack Torera (aka Jackie Brutsche) on vox/lead guitar, Sam Schmidiger on bass and Chris Rosales on drums. With a combined love for The Seeds, The Music Machine, The Lyre and The Gravedigger V, The Jackets boast an exposition of untamed garage rock that is uniquely executed. It’s a style that is well refined, raw and carefully delivered. I would have thought it would have been hard to top their last record, but it’s not necessarily a surprise that this single breathes new life into their already vibrant sound.
JESSICA HERNANDEZ & THE DELTAS TELEPHONE/TELÉFONO Dead Owl Music / Instant Records Street: 06.23 Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas = Amy Winehouse + Tom Waits + Nick Waterhouse
It should be a thing that any band boasting the name “Deltas” in it will be good. Catching this act in 2014, I was sold on Jessica Hernandez’s gothic take on soul. This band is moving, gripping and addictively dark. The new album, Telephone/Teléfono, takes the familiar style of Secret Evil, but in a noticeably-pop driven direction. Telephone/Teléfono shows off Hernandez’s ability to be personal and provocative. In this record, Hernandez goes a step further by diving straight into her Cuban and Mexican-American heritage. To represent this, Hernandez recorded two versions of her sophomore album—one in English and the other in Spanish.
Both the English and Spanish recordings display a unique and fresh take on the listening experience. It’s pop for everyone, and this record represents the potential of music’s inclusive vitality. Plus, like Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas’ other material, Telephone/Teléfono still has an eclectic range of styles. It’s psychedelia surf with Latin roots, plus a definitive, punky edge—not to mention plenty of the renowned Detroit nitty-gritty….
The Franklys Are You Listening Hälta Hälta Records June 23, 2017
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.
Unlike The Franklys previous string of releases Are You Listening boasts quite the polished sound. This record doesn’t have the gritty production found within the grooves of the Puppet 7-inch. However it still manifests The Franklys’ high-energy style, extenuated by their signature barbed wire riffs and heavy drum beats.
DESTINATION LONELY DEATH OF AN ANGEL Voodoo Rhythm Records Street: 04.14 Destination Lonely= Brain Bagz + The Devils
Destination Lonely’s Death Of An Angel is swampy garage punk at its boggiest. Hailing from Toulouse/Bordeaux, this group delivers sounds infused with heavy guitar distortions and groove moods. It’s a style that’s been heard before, but not with this group’s approach. This is not surprising, given that this album is named after the Donald Woods & Vel-Aires soulful 1955 track of the same name.
The opening track, “Dirt Preacher,” is a cover by the 1980s Memphis-based rockabilly outfit, The Gibson Bros. It’s a sort of chaotic, bluesy, psych-punk tune from the inner depths of the smoke-filled garage. Its swirling distortion effects are enough to make the head spin—given the right additives. Listening to this sober might invite headache or bits of enlightenment.
Radio Hearts Daytime Man EP Wanda Records Release: 04.28.2017
Imagine if The Undertones sang about middle age crisis and responsibility, but were still catchy with an infectiously youthful sound. If you can, then Radio Hearts’ Daytime EP is exactly that. Radio Hearts come from Long Beach, California. Although they formed in 2012, these cats sound like they were cruising around between 1977 and 1979. Radio Hearts have an impressive style about them. It’s punky power pop at it’s vintage yet contemporary’s finest. They channel the poppy fury of The Buzzcocks infused with The Boys into a sound that is addictively familiar.
While their heroes sang about teenage kicks, the Daytime Man EP is 5 tracks that are reflective and meant for lives with some actual experience. The opener, “Alright,” talks about making marriage work through working together with one’s partner. It’s got razer riffs and solid beats making it a solid power pop bopper.
The second track, “Day Time Man,” is an anthem for the mature weekender who longingly looks at their forever-young past with a certain fondness. Clocking at 2 minutes and 9 seconds, this track boasts enough bouncing riffs and hand claps to you moving about and wear you out.
My personal favorite is “Know That Song.” It’s a track that suggests a nostalgic look for a particular sound. Personally, I identify with being a bit stuck in my own way when it comes to music- aka knowing what I like. So this one hits home for me.
Radio Hearts have something timely and special going on. With this Daytime Man EP release, they show an ability to pay homage to the punk of the past while also being it’s offspring. This stuff is good, fast and fun—and like a fine wine, is somewhat aged. So check it out.
BRAIN BAGZ GOD HATES BAGZ Sex Tape Records Street: 05.27 BRAIN BAGZ = Dead Boys +The Stooges + Die Group
Salt Lake’s BRAIN BAGZ have never failed to deliver a sound that absolutely devastates. Within these grooves, there is a highly volatile mix of rockabilly and late ‘70s punk infused with urban-decay-meets-fuzzed-out-psychedelic sensibilities. Those not yet familiar with BRAIN BAGZ are in for a real treat with God Hates BAGZ. This record presents the original lineup with Mikey Blackhurst (guitar, vocals), Kristin Maloney, (bass), Elisar Soueidi (drums) and Max Wilson (sax). This was Wilson’s last recording with BRAIN BAGZ before he departed in November. It was recorded by Die Group’s own Eric BigArm’s studio in L.A.
STEVE DREWETT & THE INDESTRUCTIBLE BEAT DISGRACELAND Cruel Binary Street: 03.10 Steve & The Indestructible Beat = T.V. Smith + Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros
Steve Drewett & The Indestructible Beat were founded in the early ’90s. They came out of a void left by The Newtown Neurotics, who had then temporally split in 1988. Drewett took influence from the compilation album The Indestructible Beat of Soweto—released through The Earthworks Label in 1985—and started the new supergroup. This new band took its cues from African rhythms and the punk spirit,and recorded Disgraceland between 1990 and 1993 at The Square Studio. It was engineered by Nick Robbins, Richard Holgarth and Chris Fallon during different takes. Disgraceland was originally released in 1993 on cassette and has since been an obscurity, until now.
Puke, Spit & Guts Eat Hot Lead LP Gladiator Records June 2, 2017
Out of the refuse of history is Puke, Spit & Gut’s long sought after Eat Hot Lead LP. This record is crass-weirdo garage rock infected with an unapologetically hardcore punk style. Puke Spit & Guts came from the San Fernando, California. They are Donny Death, Captain Worm, Dick Head, Marie Manslaughter and Stuicide.
Eat Hot Lead was originally recorded and released in 1980, through Puke Spit & Guts’ own label, Important Records. Decades later, the idea for reissuing this legendary record was taken on by Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles, before Black Gladiator and Slovenly Recordings got ahold of it – a project ten years in the making!
Suicide Helpline Pink Jazz Self-Released Street: April 25, 2017
Suicide Helpline’s Pink Jazz is all too appropriate for this day and age. This album’s socially aware themes harken on the vast insecurities plaguing the millennial generation’s anxiety toward an uncertain future. Suicide Helpline brilliantly do this with a volatile concoction of Clash meets the Adverts style of punk discontent with post punk sensibilities. This album boasts uniquely intelligent lyrics and within these grooves, I hear the echoes of Joe Strummer’s and TV Smith’s poetic notions of rebellion.
It’s hard to just pick a few songs to showcase, but the opening number is not a bad place to start. “Living Is A Curse” sets the tone for Pink Jazz. It’s is a real attention grabber with a strong beat and bouncing guitar riffs.
My favorite is “Welcome To The Rest Of Your Life.” This is the foreboding song that profoundly describes a privileged monotonous life. Its lyrical commentary satirizes the seemingly aimless existence of the silent majority just going through the motions. It has a sort of Newtown Neurotics unapologetic directness quality to it, but invokes the eeriness of a Hugh Cornwall like Stranglers tune.
“X Youth” is a song that describes the desperation of the X generation. It rings of the frustration invoked by the Dead Kennedys “Kill The Poor,” and maintains an early hardcore edge but with a distinctly post punk feeling. This is the much needed foreboding anthem for what appears to a generation of the soon-to- be-damned. Plus, the chorus is catchy as hell.
“No Wars, Only Battles” is an up-tempo tune to bounce to. With a strong build up curtesy of electro-punk guitar riffs and provoking lyrics, this is a solid tune. Lyrically it exemplifies the pointlessness of the 21st century western imperialism. Play this loud and pogo while decrying the inflammable legacy left by inept political leadership.
If there is a band that matters, it is Suicide Helpine. Pink Jazz is absolutely stunning and it demonstrates that punk is music that still actually has something say. So, be sure to grab this album wherever available.
Os Noctàmbulos I Can’t Read Your Mind 7″ Slice Of Wax Records Release: 05.2017
Os Noctàmbulos’ new single is perfect for the contemporary lover of psychedelia mixed with the tranquility of surf driven garage rock. Like previous releases, Os Noctambulos impresses an addition of pop sensibilities that break free from nostalgic tunes, while offering something quite familiar. It’s a single that falls within the raging genre that blends elements of neo- psych with garage rock. So, that alone may invite some intrigue to this record.
The A-side’s “I Can’t Read Your Mind” is a mid-tempo mover. The cool energy imposed on this track comes from a wicked combination of desperate vocals curtesy of Nick Wheeldon and groovy spaghetti western like surfy riffs. It’s alright, if not something that might have been heard before.
This record’s magic however lies within the B-side’s “I Went Walking.” This is a calming, spooky little ditty. It’s got a deep sensation thanks to a pronounced surf-garage rock infused in a fine sense of psychedelia. It’s the kinds of music that invokes a sort of featherless feeling of floating on warm ocean waves.
Overall this single is a subtle attention grabber, but doesn’t quite leave a lasting impression. It’s clear that this is the kind rock n’ roll that invites one to sway to sounds blanketed in the crashing waves of the surf. Again, the magic on this record is “I Went Walking.” For this track alone, this single may be an consideration.