At long last The Jackets have released their fourth album, Queen of the Pill. It’s a brilliant record that shows off the logical evolution of the sound that made Way Out and Shadow of Sound great.
Queen of the Pill boasts the raw snarl of the fuzzed out garage-punk found in Way Out and combines it with Shadow of Sound’s refined freakbeat influenced garage-psych style. However, what sets Queen of the Pill apart from the previous records is The Stooges-esque proto-punk attitude twisting with elements of King Khan & The BBQ Show’s style, which should come as no surprise since King Khan was involved in this record’s production.
The Woolly Bushmen’s sophomore album is a worthy successor to their first record Ardinu. Not only that, but this album could very much stand on it’s own. In Shambles carries on with The Woolly Bushmen’s signature blues-meets-garage style, but with the distinctive fiery sermonizing sounds of passion driven rock n’ roll. It’s varying styles not only entice, but instill a kind of wanderlust for vintage rock n’ roll with a indie influenced bluesy twist.
For this reason, this record can only be heard properly in a vinyl format. This is because as the needle drops into it’s grooves a certain holy light is brought to life as orchestral sounds emanate through one’s speakers. The first track “What Your Doing To Me” grabs a hold of it’s listener and installs a sense of wild romantic abandonment. This notion is alive and well in the tracks “Paid,” and “Goin Out West.” All of which boast ‘50’s rock n’ roll simplicity with blues-driven grit. With this one could think of a mix of the energy found in The Black Lips infused within the spirit of Little Richard and Willie “Mae” Thornton.
“Let It Be Known” blasts radical fuzz-doused sounds invoking a nod toward Reverend Beatman. It’s a song that immediately holds one’s attention. The theme is calling out someone in a social setting and if I were on the receiving end, the hairs on my neck be at attention. This track is easily my favorite for it’s 1960’s fuzz-garage overtones and wild nature. Plus, it’s got elements of teenage-punk angst, but with a certain modern flair.
Other tracks that share these sensibilities include “Dense” and “I Pushed You.” They are bouncy tunes to bop to. The main difference is with “Dense” which has a discernable orchestral flair thanks to the church-like organ. “Dense” is their magnum opus. It’s a track celebrating the vocal depth of Sheldon Herschfeld and tight composition of the band as a whole.
“Weeping Eyes” is quite the departure from the previous tracks. It’s a low tempo ballad and it shows some range for the Woolly Bushmen. Another similar tune is “Fire Tonight.” This one is a R&B ballad with definable depth. It’s a track that highlights the story of a homeless man and his struggles to survive. This track particularly shows off The Woolly Bushmen’s ability to create provocative mood that backs up Herschfeld impressive vocals.
In Shambles was recorded in Los Angles by Josiah Mazzaschi and in Orlando, Florida at Complete Shambles Recording Laboratory with Simon Palombi. Overall, this record emphasizes The Woolly Bushmen’s ability to blend different styles and genres with a unique brilliance.
Those who dug their first record will find familiarity with this album. In Shambles has a ballads, fuzz garage and of course rock n’ roll. In Shambles also shows of the emotive range of Herschfeld, which combined with the tightness of the band, hits close to perfection. This is a record for lovers of infectious vintage sounds and for those looking for something delightfully new. The Woolly Bushmen knock it out of the park again. Congrats lads. Now go buy this record.
Pale Lips have finally released their sophomore album After Dark. This is a record boasting the infectious nature of power pop while sprinkling heavy doses of bubble gum sensibilities. Those not familiar with Pale Lips will find a kind of familiarity in their style with their previous work. They brilliantly capture the vibrant, playful essence that defined The Baby Shakes, but with the rock n’ roll, switchblade sister elements that invigorated Nikki and The Corvettes or even The Donnas— just not with the same spit and vinegar. They also evoke a sugar and spice that invokes a slight nod toward Peach Kelly Pop.
After Dark is an overall a fun listen that is akin to a sugar rush emboldened by cotton candy dreams and poppy overtones. It’s a record that suggests that Pale Lips are an act to catch live. They are no doubt playful and tight. This is best characterized by the opening track “Some Sort Of Rock n’Roll” It’s a solid banger that combines rock n’ roll themes with power poppy blends of punky defiance .
The next track “I’m A Witch” is a personal favorite because it shows off the magic Pale Lips are capable of. This track is catchy and fun, but with noticeable spunk. It’s a kind of tune that makes one bop up and down, and hooks on with the introduction of a cackling scream and pounding drums. Not to mention, this track has some riffs that over an obvious nod to The Sonics classic “The Witch.”
“You’re A Doll” blends Pale Lips pop-tastic nature in with themes that seek to subvert. This tune is one to fall in love with while bopping about. It’s a track that has the familiar sugary elements but with lyrical content that makes a jab at the wankery of narcissistic consumerism. Above all though, it’s fun and bouncy tune.
“The Old Ghost Don’t Lie” shows a bit of the depth that Pale Lips are capable of. It’s a smooth tune that invokes the doo wop sound of La Luz, but with a killer power poppy drive. Plus, it’s got some soul and feeling in it that isn’t reliant on a upbeat catch.
“Cosmic Love” another that holds this characteristics. While it’s a another song about love, it’s soothing sound doesn’t pound away needlessly. Instead it’s a tune that shows off how Pale Lips are with a sound bordering on something to make one sway instead of bash about in fits. Rather, it’s the track for the hopeless romantic of the tender heart of a rock n’ roll soul.
On the B-Side “The Kids” places on the emphasis on idea of youthful fun and lustful abandonment. The same notion can be found in “Johnny” or Doo-Wop Showaddywaddy.” Overall the After Dark presents it’s listeners with infectious tunes that embody the playful essence of the rock n’ roll ethos in a fully snarky matter that is worthy of Switchblade Sisters styleism mixed in with something delightfully cheeky. For best effect, place this this record on the turntable during a soda pop sugar rush. As you bounce from wall to wall in giddy excitement, you’ll be glad you did.
If one wasn’t already familiar with today’s more interesting punk and rock n’ roll acts then they soon will be. The 14-track Down South Spaghetty Accident compilation proves that rock n’ roll lives and breathes with unabated vibrancy. It includes numerous groups like the Dirty Fences, Mama, Dinos Boys, BBQT, Criminal Kids and many more.
From start to finish Down South Spaghetty Accident does not disappoint. It’s a record with no fillers and only gems. That being said, my top tracks on the Down South Spagetty Accident include those recorded by Dirty Fences, BBQT and Criminal Kids.
Dirty Fences have never shied away from knocking out a sound that mixes garage with power pop sensibilities. Those not aware of these lads should start with their hit “Judy (Don’t Go)” from Full Tramp. After digesting that, check out their new track “M.O.N.E.Y.” True to form, this is ditty captures Dirty Fences bouncy and harmonious poppy nature. Admittingly though “M.O.N.E.Y” is not as raw as some of their previous material.
My favorite track on this comp is BBQT’s“Savage 512.” This track is easily my favorite recording of theirs. It’s modern glam rock meant for the trash rockers of this decadent decade. BBQT has got all attitude that inspires a nod toward Suzi Quatro infusing with a Runaways grab you by the crotch glam-punk savagery. If “Savage 512.” doesn’t make you flail about with wild abandonment, then all hope may be lost to you.
Mama’s“Sugar Burn” also follows in the glam vein. It’s a heavy hitter that reminds me a bit of Bay City Rollers or even Sensations “Black Eyed Woman.” “Sugar Burn” has a vintage style appeal. It’s the kind of track that could have been found on a Glamstains compilation. Luckily for today’s listeners it’s on Down South Spaghetty Accident.
Dinos Boys stay true to their sound with “Ready When You Are” with unbridled punk intensity. It’s got snot and an attitude worthy of the Dead Boys or The MC5. To be sure, with this number punk rock remains alive and well.
Criminal Kids deliver quite the diamond in the rough with “Run From The Police.” Their cover of “Run From The Police” is worthy of being listened to alongside the original by Gangster. Criminal Kids style have got a defiant punk stance mixed with the hi-voltage intensity of early 1970’s glam. In comparison, Gangster’s original is a bit more bouncy with late 1970’s punk and rock sensibilities. The original will always have a special place in my heart. However, Criminal Kids knock out their version with sheer brilliance.
It’s a wonder that such an explosion of sound could be housed in a single LP. This compilation emphases music that ought to germinate the ear and is a must have for any degenerates collection. It’s a record that ought to be played until your record players needle wears thin or until the local authorities pinch you for being a menace to society. So be sure to listen with impunity.
Good lord, it feels as though it’s been ages since Ex Hex released their debut album, Rips in 2014. It’s safe to say that record was nothing short of a marvel that carved out a niche in the vastness of contemporary music. Not only did Rips blend familiarity with freshness, but it was composed with the nitty and delightfully catchy gritty elements of glam infused rock n’ roll. Listening to it, I could hear an album that almost begged for the nostalgia of Suzi Quatro or Bonnie St. Claire. Now, four years later, Ex Hex deliver something entirely different with It’s Real.
Mortigi Tempo Spread The Disease Self-Released August 23rd, 2018
Mortigi Tempo produced something delightfully refreshing and different with their new album. It’s called Spread The Disease. After a pint it’s the kind of music that leaves an infectiously subversive impression. Stylistically, Mortigi Temp seem to touch a kind of indie-rock twirling with elements of industrial influencing post punk that somehow mixes into a gothic feeling ensemble. To be sure, it’s the sort of music that celebrates the ominous while invoking a surrender to move about like an idiot after too manic inducing substances.
Spread The Disease firmly grabs a hold of it’s listener and electrifies them to dance. This is evident within only listening to the first few seconds of the first track “Spread The Disease.” This song starts off with an intro featuring a politically charged PSA on the dangers of complacent boredom courtesy of a prerecorded reading of Wallace Shawn’s “My Dinner With Andre.” It’s dark and warms up for a wild post punky ride of a tune with a strong back beat and erry synth. Think of Love and Rockets with a dash of Killing Joke infused with HMLTD.
The entirety of Spread The Disease is like a wild ride. “Chrome Plated Cookies” breaks off the previous tracks path into the realm of something groovy and indie. While “Jesse Wants To Steal” breaks into a sound invoking nostalgia for early noughties alternative rock.
Further down the track listing each additional tune comes across with a stark difference from that of before. By the end, this albums concluding track “Aftermath” leaves one feeling a bit empty inside—not unlike the commercial driven culture that the first track warns against.
From start to finish Spread The Disease is brilliant. Itpulls it’s listener through the depths of being warned against a rampant self-contented culture. It it is done so in a superbly entertaining way and performed with music that begins by begging one to dance and then to gradually succumb to the mind numbing effects of sounds found in droning of Neo-psychedelia.
MortigiTempo have a unique talent and they superbly demonstrate it through a diversity in style that truly shows offs the majesty of their skill. As a whole Spread The Disease is well worth the listen and it’ll be interesting to see what MortigiTempo comes out with next. Be sure to watch them closely.
The Revox In Mono Soundflat Records September 14, 2018
All the way from Switzerland, The Revox embody the voracious spirit of sounds meant for the wild and untamed. They celebrate a style mixing the essence of the raucous Black Lips twisted with The Chesterfield Kings, but emphasizing the moody but primitive nature of Los Saicos. Their new record In Mono exemplifies their talent to blast out raw garage punk stompers through hi energy tunes of desperate rock n’ roll with dashes of fuzzed out psychedelia.
In Mono is an album that immediately grabs the unwary listener’s attention by the extremities and holds tight. The opening track “Father In Low” boasts a savage sound demanding listeners move around like bewitched dolls. This song brilliantly blends essential elements of snotty punk with a certain maddening defiance. As a far as 1960’s revivalist garage rock goes, this track nails it and cements what is to be found within In Mono.
Another top tune is “Gloria Stompers.” This one easily rips from the riffs of the iconic Van Morisons “Gloria.” It’s a song stepped in a moody garage punk with a definitive attitude. While the instrumentals borrow heavily from “Gloria” it’s a tune that pays homage rather than imitation. Another familiar song on In Mono is the cover of The Leave’s “Hey Joe.” Like Gloria Stompers, The Revox makes a clear nod to the legendary time of the 1960’s, and in doing so it does the garage punk legacy justice.
The real magic on this album is the tune “Never Ending Trip” It’s got a strong build up to a fuzzed out guitar riffs that give way to the infectious chorus of “I’m freaking out!” “Never Ending Trip” could easily be found in a Back From The Grave compilation, if it wasn’t a modern tune. This track is a personal favorite from In Mono. It’s not only catchy as hell, but this song truly demonstrates The Revox’s natural ability to hold their own in the expanse of garage punk music. To not find oneself singing along to “Never Ending Trip” might warrant a keen head examination.
The Revox truly out do themselves with their new record. Compared to their recent single release on Voodoo Rhythm Recordings, In Mono is a little more cleaned up, but that doesn’t hamper their impressive style in the slightest. In Mono is a fantastic album and If one did not consider it as a worthy part of their record collection, that oversight would be a clear indication of a drastic mistake. So beware, get this record and play this one loud enough to upset the neighbors. You’ll be glad you did.
Wild Evel and The Trashbones Digging My Grave Dirty Water Records Released: 11/24/2017
Digging My Grave is a brilliant album that compliments a long standing legacy of garage punk. For me, it captures the essential ingredients that combine the raw nature of garage rock with the defiant attitude of punk. Wild Evel and The Trashbones excel with a musical presence that vaunts the essential essence of adolescent angst, but with a sound arguably more refined. It’s style that is rooted in 1966, but celebrates a likeness to Screaming Lord Sutch, with the fury of The Cramps.
As a whole Digging My Grave is comprised of solid bangers. Each song shows off Wild Evel and The Trashbones exemplary talent to tug on all three chords of the garage punk heart-strings. However, the tracks “Digging My Grave,” “Why Can’t We Be” and “Gotta Leave Town” clearly stand above the rest.
First off the title track “Digging My Grave” harkens on the demonic nature of Screaming Lord Sutch while borrowing the spooky theme from Larry and The Blue Notes “Night Of The Sadist.” It’s the kind of tune to grab your soul and twist you into a savage kind of possession. Perfect for blasting during the witching hour, play this one loud to the haunting benefit of those around.
“Why Can’t We Be” is a humbling tune that pays homage to the all mighty Satelliters. Wild Evel and The Trashbones easily hold their own in comparison to their German cousins. However, as illustrated by this tune, credit is due to The Satelliters for fueling the garage rock torch throughout the European continent.
“Gotta Leave Town” is among the best that Wild Evel and The Trashbones have to offer. This mooder borrows from a blues sensibility while firmly grasping the shy yet primitive nature of sounds emanating from the crypts of teenage-garage punk. While many modern garage rooted tracks place an emphasis on unrelenting passion or attitude, this track dares to be vulnerable with it’s theme of being overwhelmed and seeking to desperately skip town. For like-minded tracks check out check out the newly released Sites and Sounds “The Night Is So Dark” 7” released by Slovenly Records.
This is an album that ought to be among any garage punkers record collection. If you lack excitement, then Wild Evel and the Trashbones are your kind of feral entertainment. Digging My Grave is filled with tunes to excite, make you moan and even inspire one to pull on their chelsea boots, and go out to cause some rebel-without–a–cause kind of hell. So, don’t be square and dip out on this record.
The Laissez Fairs Target On My Back BIRS Recordings Release: November 06, 2017
The Laissez Fairs are the manifestation of 60 years of Mod inspired music. A talented lot, they come from a wide range of influences and comprise the talents of former Steppes frontman John Fallon, his son Cromm Fallon with Joe Lawless and Aaron Archer. They boast styles varying from freakbeat, fuzzed out psychedelia to the nitty gritty of garage-esque brit pop.
Their debut album Target On My Back is a record invoking the sensibilities of sounds reminiscing of Blur infused with The Velvet Underground, while utilizing the flair of The Beatles psychedelic nature from the Revolver era. While dipping into a wide spectrum of mod psychedelia, songs such as “Winter Dying” betray a kind of folky feel. In contrast the title track “Target On My Back” captures the a nostalgic feel for everything upbeat and brit-pop. While “I’ve Got You” is all calm and groovy.
The magic on this record is the track “Bells Ring Out.” For me this track captures a unique provocative essence that exemplifies the idea behind Laissez Fair’s mantra of “Maximum Mod Pysch.” It’s a number that begs for 1960’s freakbeat but twists with 1980’s garage revival. Furthermore It’s got the attitude of The Action and capturing the reserved swagger of the likes of Marc Bolan or Gary Walker.
In all, these Las Vegas Mods are real go getters. Despite the sweltering heat of their desert home these cats clearly show that they can always suit up and deliver. For more about The Laissez Fairs, check out their facebook.
The Blankz White Baby/Sissy Glue 7” Slope Records Street: 07.13 The Blankz = Devo + The Epoxies + The Spits
Born in 2017, The Blankz are a vibrant electrical current of pogo-inducing madness. Together, they are Tommy Blank (vox), Jaime Blank (guitar), Andy Blank (bass), Johnny Blank (drums) and Nikkie Blank (synthesizer), who also fronts The Darts. They are from Phoenix, Arizona, and like their state, they are hot but not bothered. Their debut record, the White Baby/Sissy Glue record, is a lethal combination of orgasmic weirdo pop infused with the sensibilities of raucous punk rock.