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.
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 Cavemen Nuke Earth Slovenly Records Released 18.04.2018
Sinful and nihilistic, The Cavemen’s Nuke Earth does nothing short of leave its listener as a drooling, reverbed drenched mess. Fans of The Cavemen will be comforted to know that their legendary barbarity remains intact. This record is a 25 minute thrill ride that invokes the untamed nature of Guitar Wolf and the brutality of the Dwarves. Much like their other records, The Cavemen do not disappoint by embodying an unapologetic assault on all that is vanilla and bland in the music world.
The Terrorsurfs Mutant Surfin’ Trash Sharawaji Records Street: 02.23 The Terrorsurfs = The Boys Ranch + The Phantom Four + Dick Dale
The tenacious surfing garage rockers The Terrorsurfs are back with their new album Mutant Surfin’ Trash. Like their other releases, fans can easily expect some consistency in The Terrorsurfs’ style. It’s the grittiness of The Cramps twisting through the vivid wild sounds of The Trashmen. Think of it as a soundtrack for a Quentin Tarantino film, like a contemporary Kill Bill Vol 1 or Pulp Fiction, but with the desperation of Robert Rodriguez’s Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
The Devils Iron Butt Voodoo Rhythm Street: 12.15.17 The Devils = Das Clamps + Brain Bagz + Guitar Wolf
The Devils embody the definitive sound of desolation and chaos. Theirs is a style that is nothing short of a symphony meant for utter human annihilation. Their new album is called Iron Butt, and there’s plenty of sex, sin and rock n’ roll. Charming name aside, the absolute primitive noise within these grooves reveal nothing less than a nod toward a sure mental collapse. This is thanks to a chainsaw massacre guitar, death-stomping drum beats and blood-curtailing vocals. For the unaware, The Devils are from Naples, Italy, and they descend from blues-driven, wall-of-fuzz punk rock madness and Ken Russell’s 1971 B-movie of the same name. Think of them as the face-melting garage punk demon offspring of The Cramps’ incestuous relations with The Gories.
ROLANDO BRUNO Y SU ORQUESTA MIDI CUMBIA REACTION Voodoo Rhythm Records Street: 10.14.2013 Rolando Bruno y su Orequesta Midi = Los Peyotes S.A + Jean Paul “El Troglodita”
This Cumbia Reaction EP is a true gem among the rough. Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Rolanda Bruno—formerly of Los Peyotes—comes blasting out with his one-man-band act. Unlike Los Peyotes—which is amazingly raw 1960’s-inspired garage punk music—Bruno brings out something different through this cumbia trash with a mix of psychedelic garage rock and Latin funk. This is his first release since 2013 and was recorded by Bruno at his Midi Home Studio. It’s an infectious four tracks that will keep you moving about like an idiot, as if being hexed.
THE REVOX TALK ABOUT HER / SICK OF YOU Voodoo Rhythm Records Street: 12.09.2016 The Revox = The Sevens + The Dynamites + The Rippers + The Monsters
Screaming from the frozen utopic wastelands of Switzerland come The Revox. According to Voodoo Rhythm Records legend The Revox were recently resurrected from their ice-cold graves in the Swiss mountains to annihilate planet Earth with fuzz-guitar-driven rock n’ roll. With a sound like theirs, I’d be hard-pressed to believe otherwise. This band embodies the devastating yet hedonistic power of the untamed nature of garage rock n’ roll. Their sound is unbridled and crushingly raw. Within this release are sounds that bring up a passion for 1960s garage rock but with the shocking energy of punk rock.
KING KHAN MURDERBURGERS Khannibalism / Ernest Jenning Record Co. Street: 10.13 King Khan = Bob Dylan + King Khan and the Shrines + King Khan and the BBQ Show +The Space Shits
It is not a surprise that another album made by the legendary King Khan is superb. He makes music with an exceeding degree of excellence. His music boasts brilliant hooks and his lyricism is on point with cultural critiques. Khan, furthermore, never fails to capture an early Dylan recipe for an overall provocative sound—with an obvious note that Khan’s style is wholly electric. His structures are vivid and strikingly alive. He could sing about love gone lost or the raptures of narcissism and, in my mind, there would be a pretty and detailed picture showing it all.
THE WOOLLY BUSHMEN ARDUINO Pig Baby Records Street: 10.04 The Woolly Bushmen = The Black Lips + The Booze + Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
The Woolly Bushmen are a true diamond in the rough. They beautifully dance with snarling garage rock twisting with gritty blues tendencies. Their new record, ARDUINO, is a true masterpiece. Within it’s hallowed, see-through orange grooves are 11 rocking rippers that make me feel as if I’m front row at their gig.