Since 2007, Faz Waltz have been releasing hit maker records meant for another era. Each one of their new albums are tighter than the last. However, their 7th album Rebel Kicks is the Crème de la crème. Released on a pandemic ridden world this is music that uplifts and provides a much needed relief. Within this records grooves fans will hear the familiar influences of T-Rex and David Bowie glam twisting the night away with late Beatles inspired rock n’ roll. Rebel Kick’s superbly demonstrates Faz Waltz’s maturing style and masterful pop-sensible hooks that makes their unique take on a 1970’s inspired rock n’ roll sound.
With Rebel Kicks, Faz Waltz bring forth a nostalgic style meant to tug on youthful determination to inspire the soul. This is demonstrated with the first track, “Grown Up Guy.” This is a song about empowerment in a crazy world where the right time simply exist is always challenged by the powers that be. It’s a killer song that grabs a hold of the listener with an infectious, yet punchy feel. “Grown Up Guy” is also the A-side to the single released on February 21,2020.
The title track “Rebel Kicks” is a feelgood kind of track. It’s a fast and upbeat rebel anthem. Not surprising since that’s what Faz Waltz is good at knocking. out. Still this one is fun thanks to a strong back beat and Jerry Lewis-like piano playing. Play this loud and the result should motivate it’s listeners to bounce around.
The tracks that stand out on this record are “Got Me Goin,” “Rock n’ Roll Is Tough” and “Do You Remember.” “Got Me Goin” is a mid-tempo groover. It boasts certain junkshop sensibilities that ought to make ones head bop. I would not be surprised if this tune is dug up in 40 years and placed on a glam rock revival comp meant to commemorate the 2020’s bovver revival with the purpose to initiate the next generation of glitter rockers.
“Rock N’ Roll Is Tough” could almost be lumped into the standard section of rock song begging for for the golden days of rock music. This number is meant to be played loud and be danced too.With this track Faz Waltz deliver an almost Hector-like approach by blending a joyous rock n’ roll feeling with a fresh sense of sentimentality. This is done in large part thanks to the lyrics, which are catchy as hell.
“Do You Remember” is a track that tugs on the heart strings. It brings forth Faz Waltz’s T-Rex and Ziggy Stardust operatic influence to the forefront. Musically and lyrically, it captures a sense of yearning for the past. By doing this, it becomes a song that one would play in dark lit bar to conjure memories of those not present. If you needed a glam track to get you in the feels, “Do You Remember” is it.
Other songs worthy of note are “Last Train To Nowhere,” “Born In The Wrong Time,” and “Is it Love.” “Last Train To Nowhere” is a true and blue rock n’ roll number. It’s a fast retro-rock number very much in the same vain as somethings recorded by Mud or Showaddywaddy—just minus the doo wop. “Born In The Wrong Time” is an entertaining track that celebrates a well-covered theme of being born in the wrong decade.
“Is It Love” is a great track to conclude this album with. If there was a sound that was ever meant to be a homage to Marc Bolan’s style of glam, this is it. “Is It Love” is a smooth and track that treads around the feelings of insecurity surrounding love. It’s glam rock that invites it’s listeners to sway to a mid-tempo beat and fuzz guitar.
Overall, Rebel Kicks is a record full of hits and arguably no misses. Faz Waltz knocks out every number flawlessly. These are the kind of tunes that demand one to get up, move and groove to sounds meant to invigorate the wayward soul. It’s the kind of music that offers a renewed imagination to the forever youthful rebellion evoked by over 70 years of rock n’ roll music.
Rebel Kicks ought to be listened thoroughly to by anyone daring to have dedication to being a rock n’ roller. This record shows off a decade worth of consistent hard work. Their dedication to their craft is almost second to none. Furthermore, Faz Waltz’s material is not the simply regurgitated stuff made by imitators. These guys are the real deal and they bring to the table sounds that are truly exiting. Now go pick up this record and kick out some jams.
Blasting off into outer space are the gonzo space rock n’ rollers The Scaners. From Lyon France, their mission is to abduct and assimilate the uninitiated with their electro-punk sound. It’s an alien technique meant for the supersonic and intergalactic minded weirdos of this third rock from the sun.Think of their music concoction as boasting a mix of Readymades sprinkled in with Miscalculations and the hollowness of Gary Numan’sTubeway Army.
The Scaners no doubt have an impressive sound and it shows in their recordings. The A-side’s “X-Ray Glasses: On” captures their tenacity. This track is pretty straight forward. It starts off with a synth heavy intro that leads into an abrasive beat. “X-Ray Glasse: On” is perfect to sway and lose one’s the mind to. Lyrically this ditty is simple and repetitive. However, what makes it is the disembodied vocals on top of the hollowness of the electro-punk sound, which is like hearing a cyborg play with a distorted 1970’s punk style.
“Alien Boy” is a fast and furious tune. This is the track that is over as soon as it begins. It follows the same method of electric desolation as previous Scaners material, albeit with a more primitive feel. Think of it as Germs-esque,but electrified.
“I Really Want To Know” has a mode that carries a little more familiarity with tracks like “X-Ray Glasses:On.” It’s fast and frantic as though being like being shocked alive on a live wire. This tune boasts a definable punk spite style. If listeners don’t find themselves pogoing like a mother fucker then something is wrong with the stereo.
These tunes don’t betray notions of a cheap parlor trick or a punk rock sound done repeatedly to death. Quite the opposite, The Scaners inspire signs of life into the spirit of punk with something discernibly exciting. This record invokes a style that is rapid and vibrant. It’s an approach that The Scaners very much their own. Nonetheless, it hints toward the playful line of The Briefs but with a synthetic nature of The Marked Men or Radioactivity.
Even though my favorite track on this record is X-Ray “Glasses:On.” As a whole though, this 7” is some brilliant work. Mind you, this is not music for the faint hearted, but for the stargazed rockers of this age. If anything is to evidenced by this record, this is strong material and I have yet to hear anything to the contrary. Don’t waste time. Be sure to get this record.
Ted Dougherty AKA Teddy Spaghetty has long been involved in the underground music world. While living in New York City, he grew disillusioned with major record label executives only caring about seeking out standard hit makers. He was amazed that so many impressive artists were overlooked and did not have material available.
After moving to Atlanta, Dougherty established the independent label Spaghetty Town Records to provide a means for groups to release records for old and new fans alike. Going strong for the last four years, Dougherty has worked with bands, both domestic and internationally. They are renowned for releasing records by rock n’ roll groups like Los Pepes, Jordan Jones and Faz Waltz.
Among his and his labels growing accomplishments are helping the Italian glam rockers Faz Waltz with their first U.S Tour and performance at Punk Rock Bowling in 2019. Additionally in early 2019, Spaghetty Town Records released the Down South Spaghetty Accidentcompilation which featured Dirty Fences, Cheap Tissue, Criminal Kids, BBQT and others. To learn more, I sat down with Dougherty to chat about Spaghetty Town Records, how the onset of the Coronavirius Pandemic has affected his label and his unwavering passion for underground music .
NixBeat: Tell us a
little about yourself. What inspired you
to jump into the world of rock n’ roll?
Dougherty: I’ve always been a huge music nerd, buying records and cassettes, seeing live music whenever possible, working at my college radio station (WSOU) and even my high school radio station (WCVH). All I ever wanted was to work in music, so I got a job at a major label after university. It was fun for a while, it was the late 90s and there was lots of money coming in. Big parties, big artists, fancy dinners but I knew it couldn’t last forever. After 9/11, a lot of people, including myself, lost their jobs. I was living in New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey, so there was always a great band playing, I was still seeing music all the time. That was nearly 20 years ago, and not much has changed, still seeing shows, buying music but now I’m helping bands release music.
originally from Australia, you lived in New Jersey and now live in Atlanta,
Georgia. What’s the music scene like in these places? How are they similar and
Dougherty : I only lived in Australia for a year when I was born, then another year in my 20s. I was just down there and there is so much great music coming out. I spent about 30 years of my life in New Jersey and New York City, which is a great thing if you’re into music. I could see a band on Friday in New York City and if they were great I could see them again in New Jersey or Philly. I’ve been in Atlanta for over a decade now, my first two years took some adjusting. First thing I noticed, the people in Georgia are really friendly. Not to say that people in New Jersey /New York City aren’t, we’re just different. If someone was too nice to me in New York City I’d assume they were trying to hustle me, in Atlanta they’re usually just being nice. New York City also got every show on every tour. When I moved to Atlanta, I noticed we got skipped over, a lot. It was really frustrating because there is a great scene here with great people. In the last few years it’s been better, getting more bands to come down here. But I can’t complain, we also have great bands in the area that probably don’t play up north a lot either.
NixBeat: I know you DJ
in Atlanta. How did you get involved in DJing and what kind of records do you
like to spin?
Dougherty : I was thinking about this the other day, I’ve been doing this a long time. I started playing records when I was in high school on the radio, we could play what we wanted, it was live, but you don’t see the people and have to take breaks, read PSAs etc. The first time I DJed in public was at LIT Lounge in New York City. I remember being terrified that I didn’t know how to do it, then realized after five minutes that five years on the radio pretty much trained me for it. Since then I’ve played records all over New York City, New Jessey and Atlanta. I have a monthly night at Elmyr, a great long running dive bar here. I’ve been there so long they kind of give me carte blanche to play what I want. Usually the first half of the night is more R&B and soul. As the night progresses it turns into more garage, glam and punk records. Just depends on my mood that night.
NixBeat: If readers were to visit Atlanta, where should they look to check out your DJ sets? Dougherty : Second Saturday of every month at Elmyr in Little 5 Points. It used to be every Saturday, but after a while that becomes work and not fun anymore. But Elmyr has been there for over 20 years, and has great food and drinks. The music will vary DJ to DJ—country, hip hop, punk, metal. It’s great! If you come see me, you’ll hear some punk, garage, soul. It’s a fun night with a mix of Atlantans. Be sure to try a Grizz.
NixBeat: Spaghetty Town
Records releases quite the array of dirty rock n’ roll, punk and glam records.
Some notable artists on your label include Faz Waltz, Pale Lips and Jordan
Jones. What prompted you start your label?
Dougherty: After working for a major for so many years I saw these guys running the label that weren’t into music anymore. I assume they were at one point, but weren’t anymore. My boss once said “I’m into hits!” But I was really into music still. I didn’t want to be like those guys. Years later I was seeing all of these great bands that didn’t have releases out, which seemed odd to me. I said to my wife, if I can get a band on board I’m going to start a label. Four years later here we are, I’m about to put out my 25th release. Still can’t believe it.
NixBeat: How did you
get involved with groups like Faz Waltz, Los Pepes and The Scaners?
Dougherty : An Italian friend turned me onto Faz Waltz. So when I went to Italy, I messaged Faz La Rocca to ask what stores I could pick up his album. Anything to avoid paying international shipping. When he started looking for labels for “Julie” he reached out to me. I was thrilled; I was such a fan of his previous records. As for Scaners and Los Pepes, there are a lot of other similar labels around the world working with cool bands in their own countries. I forget who it was, but different international labels reached out to me. They are usually looking for international partners for a release. It helps with promotion in another country or language, helps cut cost and gets a release into another country without having to charge $20 for shipping. After doing this for a few years I’ve worked with so many great labels now throughout Europe and South America. There is a wonderful community of labels around the world, all trying to do the same thing.
NixBeat: What kind of
criteria do you look for when releasing a group through Spaghetty Town Records?
Dougherty: It used to be “would I buy this?” But it’s changed a bit over time. I’ve realized that not everyone buys or can buy records like I do. Now it’s more like “do I think a lot of people will pay $20 for this?” Other things I look at are online presence, it’s not a make or break, but it helps to have a strong online presence. Are they a band that plays shows, do they tour? Are you part of the music community? Also, do we get along, because we’re about to have a relationship. I’ll need help from you, you’ll need help from me. I’ve been really fortunate that every band I’ve worked with have been good people to work with.
NixBeat: In an
interview with Jerseybeat, published in 2019, you stated that it was hard for
bands to break into the US scene. Why do you think that is?
Dougherty: Big time! America is huge, if you want to do a US tour you need time and money. If you’re not an American band, you’ll likely need a visa too —which is very expensive. Also, rock music scene seems smaller than it used to be. Times change, music changes, I don’t see lots of younger people at shows. I joke with every band “can you get more young people out?” A lot of bands tell me they sell merch to a lot of older guys, which includes me. But there are some really talented bands out there (not just mine), touring their asses off, putting out consistently great records that just can’t seem to break. Do I think there will be a resurgence, absolutely. Hopefully we’ll be around for it.
NixBeat: Faz Waltz’s Faz La Roca said you were largely responsible for getting them their US tour in 2019. What was the process like organizing their and performance at Punk Rock Bowling 2019? Do you think your work paid off?
Dougherty: I’d never booked a tour before in my life. I’ve been part of tours, but never booked one. A lot of bands ask me to help them with things because they feel it looks more professional coming from the label instead of band direct. I’m always happy to help out if i can. So we got Faz Waltz on Punk Rock Bowling first, that was actually the easy part. We then built a tour around it based on what time they had available. It’s hard work. I hear a lot of bands comment about how they hate booking tours, I totally get it now. So many emails, phone calls, making arrangements for vans, hotels etc. For Faz Waltz it was also about getting visas. In the end, it was totally worth it. They played great shows in California and ended their tour at Punk Rock Bowling with a big crowd. Also, Faz himself had never been to the US before, so he was really excited. So he was excited to be here, and also got to play.
NixBeat: In 2019,
Spaghetty Town Records released the Down
South Spaghetty Accident Compilation? This record features groups like
Criminal Kids, BBQT, Cheap Tissue and Dirty Fences. What was the process like
putting this compilation together?
Dougherty: That was a lot of fun, I’m really proud of the Spaghetty Accident. Chase Tail (RMBLR, Dino’s Boys, Heart Attacks) approached me and asked if I’d be interested in releasing a compilation for his annual event “The Down South Showdown”. He told me that he had some bands on board, that it was all new music. When I saw the list I was pretty much sold. At that point bands started sending me their tracks and info for the track. I worked with Alex Hagen from Ravagers on the art and found a pressing plant that said they could have the records in my hand in time for the show. The hardest part for me was the song order and having a good flow with 14 different artists. But I guess DJing for all of these years helped. True story, they arrived at my house about 18 hours before the show. Another good one, I spent so much time checking for spelling errors that I left MAMA off of the cover, every band has their name on the cover. It was about 2 weeks before release and the jackets had already been printed. I was freaking out. But Alex suggested that we make a foil sticker of a pinball, have it say MAMA on it and stick it on the record. It was a great idea and totally saved us. Ravagers and Shelly Shellhorn helped put 500 stickers on the records in my kitchen. With so many people it went by really fast.
NixBeat: What kind of
clientele does Spaghetty Town Records attract?
Dougherty : It’s a real mix, probably because we have different types of bands. But it’s serious music fans and vinyl collectors, largely male. They are from all over the US and the world though. When people who weren’t my friends order from me I get really excited still.
NixBeat: With the onset
of the Corona Virus Pandemic, many States have issues social distancing,
quarantines and even lock downs. How has the pandemic affected you and
Spaghetty Town Records?
Dougherty : I haven’t been working that much in the last few weeks. My wife is able to work from home luckily. As for the label, I’ve noticed a slowdown in sales. I’m not surprised; I’ve lost income from my regular job. A lot of my friends are pretty much unemployed now. There is no touring or live shows. We will be adjusting some release dates. I’m hoping when this is all over people will be hungry to see some live music to help get back to normal life.
NixBeat: How can readers support Spaghetty Town Records in this time of crisis?
Dougherty: If they can, buy records from me and the bands we work with. We depend on people buying from us to fund future releases. Since so many artists lost touring and merch income they can buy online, that’s a huge help. And when clubs and bars open again go out and see live music. I know everyone really wants to get back out there again and play.
NixBeat: What future releases should people look out for in 2020 from Spaghetty Town Records?
Dougherty: We’ve been really lucky to work with so many great bands. I know for sure that Fast Eddy, Killer Hearts, Faz Waltz and Ravagers will be releasing new music this year. I asked Criminal Kids and they said “we fucking better put out new music in 2020!”. There are a few other things in the works that aren’t official yet, but I’m really excited about them.
NixBeat: Where would you like to see Spaghetty Town Records in the next couple of years? Dougherty: We plan to keep cranking out records. There has been talk of finding new ways to help artists grow and make money. I really feel like real rock n’ roll is on an upturn again. Maybe bigger labels will look at guitar driven rock bands again instead of a singer and person with a laptop. As long as people keep buying our records, we’ll keep putting them out.
Faz Waltz blast back through the airwaves with their new Grown Up Guy / C’mon Liar single. If you like power-pop driven glam with rebel flare, then this single is for you. Fans of Faz Waltz will be thrilled to find that this record continues to show off their killer 1970’s inspired glam rock style—particularly in the vein of Queen, T-Rex and Ziggy Stardust-era sounds. Grown Up Guy also boldly celebrates their familiar themes of rock n’ roll is here whether you like it or not. This, like former releases, is done with boasting bovver rock roots with a defiant proto-punk attitude.
This single single starts off strong. The A-side’s “Grown Up Guy” is song about empowerment in an ever increasingly hostile world where the right to exist is challenged by society and government alike. This a killer rock n’ roll track. This blends punk and contemporary glam rock, but with a nostalgic and punchy feel. It’s the kind of music that makes you feel good, but is ultimately a song meant for the rebel at heart.
The B-side’s “C’Mon Liar” is a real banger. This track is about being aware of who are your real friends and who the fakes are hanging around. “C’mon Liar” is antagonistic rock n’ roll with a catchy chorus that is easy to bounce about to. It falls stylistically in line with junkshop legends like The Jook and Hello. This songs theme unapologetically pulls no punches and also finds itself with a definable early 1970’s proto-punky attitude, but with certain pop sensibilities. No doubt it’s the kind of music that glam punk is all about.
With over ten years of material and performances behind them, Faz Waltz iconolcast rock n’ roll anthems remain relevant and have yet to disappoint. If this single is any indication of what their next album Rebel Kicks is going to be like, then it looks like it’ll be worth picking up.
This record is a must have for fans of Faz Waltz and more importantly of glam rock. Those not yet familiar with this groups discography can definitely start here, but should then dig into their previously released albums. Like this single, there are many gems to check out.
However, the first thing to do is to get this record and play it for your mates. This is the good stuff, and as history has shown with Faz Waltz, you won’t be led astray.
Hailing from Denver, Colorado, Fast Eddy’s take on rock n’ roll with something meant for the fast and furious. They are comprised of members of Denver’s notable acts, such as Dirty Few and Itchy O. Their release of the Toofer One EP is a special treat that touches on a nostalgic sense of style. It’s the kind of stuff that harkens on sounds emanating from a 1970’s power pop driven classic rock n’ roll sound.
Fast Eddy’s Toofer One EP starts out strong with “Hurricane Alley.” This number emphasizes a nod toward 70’s classic rock through its rolling mid-tempo beat. Overall, it’s a slick and groovy number. It’s short and sweet, but entertaining.
The second track, “Milwaukee” starts off with a jumping beat and carries on with a bit more vocal depth. It’s a kind of nostalgic song with a strong build up to a chorus that is easy to follow. Under the right influence, listening and singing along to “Milwaukee” should inspire one to get out their zippo, light one up and exhibit some kumbaya feels.
The B-side of the Toofer One EP boasts the real charm. The track is called “Lost.” It’s the track that shows how fast Fast Eddy can really go. Starting off, “Lost” shocks and awes it’s listeners with razor sharp riffs. With “Lost,” Fast Eddy wastes little time in enveloping those who spin this record in a frantic notions of blitz-fast rock n’ roll. It’s probably meant to be played loud enough to invoke public citation warnings from the local goon squad.
Fast Eddy’s Toofer One EP is solid for those who want sounds evolving past the simplicity of wild rock n’ roll. This record was produced by Dan Dixton and Tuk Smith (Biters) in Atlanta, Georgia. Out of the three tracks, the B-Side’s fast and raucous “Lost” is my favorite. That being said, this is the kind of record that may grow on you after a few listens. When playing Fast Eddy for your mates, start with “Lost.” You might blow away expectations and then lull friends or foes to the infectious songs on this records A-side.
Los Pepes boast an impressive lineup. They are Ben Primier (Vocals, Guitar), Gui Rujao (guitar, vocals), Seisuke Nakagawa (Bass, Vocals), Kris Kowalski (Drums) with Adam Smith of Newtown Neurotics (performing live Bass.) Their new album “Positive Negative” is a brilliant record. It’s grooves are filled with sonic splitting power pop infused with rapid punk rock.
This record celebrates the natural union between the invigorating sounds of sounds of punk and speedy power pop. Los Pepes style reflects a familiar fury that is akin to bands like The Briefs or Sharp Objects. It also invokes nostalgia for high voltage punk for lovers of The Boys,Motorhead or even Miscalculations.
Positive Negative lives up to the legend of Los Pepes rambunctious nature. This record is filled with hit after hit. Positive Negative is music that captivates with an awe inspiring delivery. When the needle drops on the this record, the result is to immediately succumb to sudden spasmastic shakes and shivers.
Such spasms result to jumping about as if being electrified back into the land of the living— like a rabid pogoing madman. No doubt this is a certain result if the right amount of electrified intensity is induced due to high velocity punk rock ,and a maybe few ales.
This is evident in the first track “Still Belong To Me.” It’s fast and wild and professes a desperate need to kick in the T.V in kind of sound. “Still Belong To Me” wastes no time in simple pleasantries. Rather it’s a tune that blasts the listen clear into the next week. It’s solid opening track.
Personally, my favorite track on Positive Negative is “We Need It.” This is the kind of tune that starts with a strong build up and wallops off with a packing punch. Think of it as cousin to Sharp Objects “Misspent Youth,” but less snotty and a bit tighter. Other tracks in this vein are “Think Back” and “Your Justice.” Some other honorable mentions for immediate consideration include “Let Me Tell You Something” and “Frustration.”
Not acquiring this album would not only be a mistake, but a betrayal of crucial judgment. This record ought to be put on your turntable and blasted from start to finish with the help of some liquid courage inducing vibrancy. If not for you, then do it for the neighbor’s sake. To do anything less may deprive those in close proximity of a vital headache, or inspiration. After all, we need something wild and electric like Los Pepes “Positive Negative” for our bleeding ears and soul.
Faz Waltz Double Decker SpaghettyTown Records March 21, 2018
Faz Waltz’s new album Double Decker is a worthy successor to their already rich catalogue of music. Since the release of Callin’ Loud in 2016 it’d almost be a surprise if Faz Waltz could top songs like ‘Good Time Is Callin’ Loud.’
However, with Double Decker, fans will be pleased to find an album filled with bangers, catchy anthems and ballads meant to invigorate the soul. Much like with their previous material this album captures the boot-stomping essence of Jook, with Slade meets a Revolver era Beatles-like rock n’ roll sound.