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Newtown Neurotics — Cognitive Dissidents

Newtown Neurotics

Cognitive Dissidents

Cadiz Music

Street: 10/21/2022  

For over 40 years Newtown Neurotics have sounded the alarm against the perils of political and social annihilation. They have been brilliantly demonstrating this through an uncompromising punk lead ethos. The artists behind this work toward revolution are Steve Drewett, Simon Lomond and Adam Smith.  The result of their efforts is music used as a tool to inform, agitate and organize against the trapping of complacency.  Their new album Cognitive Dissidents builds upon this method. It’s eight tracks seek to rail against submission to ignorance and in turn rally against the civilizational decay of our time.

The opening track “Climate Emergency” captures the sense of urgency celebrated in Newtown Neurotics’ material. It’s a song demanding it’s listener pay attention to the overwhelming environmental crisis facing today’s world. To do this, Newtown Neurotics unapologetically highlight the severity coming from an onslaught of climate breakdown. True, “Climate Emergency” betrays a seriousness and somber tone, but this tune is catchy.

In “Take Your Dirty Hands Off Our Town” Newtown Neurotics profess nostalgic sentiments for their hometown of Harlow, Essex. This song serenades the origins of Harlow New Town after World War Two while seeking to place present importance on the towns community. In this, vocalist Drewett decries the Tory robbing of Harlow’s civic infrastructure and promise. However, he also celebrates his upbringing along with the changes he’s observed over the years. This is drawn from examples of his youth like organizing bands and standing against the National Front. It’s obvious that this is a tune that clearly hits home for Drewett ,and I imagine anyone living in Harlow.

“Hope” is a song rallying the banner of resistance against the idea of impending doom. This track is easily a favorite of mine.  Newtown Neurotics’ “Hope” urges rising together to face today’s uncertainties.  Many of the topics found in Cognitive Dissidents are about candidly singing about today’s modern challenges. “Hope” manages to offer a way forward and more importantly the potential for a way to live. This is via an emphasis of the importance on hope through connection through love and cooperation in our respective communities. It’s refreshing song against a climate of prevailing despair. Thus, this one ought to considered along other punk lead anthems like The Clash’s “London Calling” or Sham 69’s “If The Kids Are United.”

“Dumb” is another favorite on Cognitive Dissidents. This track takes a satirical look at the absurd nature of conspiracy nuts. “Dumb” is sung from the perspective of a wearer of a right-wing tin foil hat. Drewett highlights the themes that define the conspiracy theorists. This includes finding community in the fringe, dismissal of experts and acceptance of a flat earth. Ever clever, Newtown Neurotics poke fun at these dangerous nutters while listing the importance of their emerging threat to sane discourse and living.

Overall, Cognitive Dissidents is a solid album. It’s Newtown Neurotics first album in about 34 years and neatly picks up where they left off in 1988. Not surprisingly, this album is a bit more mature in style and sound. Drewet’s song writing continues with the pressing anger and creative energy of punk.

In Cognitive Dissidents Newtown Neurotics seek to bring sense to this turbulent world and tell it like it is. It’s a sober, straight forward call to action. This is an approach that makes them consistent and among my favorite groups. To be fair, the world’s still chaotic, and maybe even more so than it was in 1988. That said, Newtown Neurotics are here to poignantly light the way. Now pick this up. It’s relevant and must to be played.

For more about Newtown Neurotics, visit them here.

The Speedways — Talk of the Town

The Speedways

Talk of the Town

Snap/Hurrah Musica/Beluga

Street: 11/26/2022

Since 2018, The Speedways have blazed a trail of hopeless romanticism across the power pop landscape. While initially started as Matthew Julian’s one-off project, The Speedways tuned into a superb collaborative effort between the talents Julian, Adrian Alfonso, Mauro Venegas and Kris Hood. In their four years, the Speedways have honed their craft. They boast a one-of-a-kind authority on longing and heartbreak. Their new record Talk of the Town brilliantly continues this trend. This is by celebrating a spirit of ’79 punky power pop persuasion and adding the infectious elements of 1980’s new wave.

The first track from Talk of the Town “Dead from the Heart Down” is well in line with this philosophy. It kicks off with a sound of a beating heart and then builds upon signature power pop style. The result is being catchy and leading on with consistent grooves. Think of it along the lines of Protex twisting along with the Shivvers and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

In a similar vein are “Secrets Secrets” and “Kiss Me Goodbye.” Both of these songs are upbeat and have a memorable chorus’. In contrast tracks like “A Drop in the Ocean” and “Taken” celebrate a shy and heartfelt approach. Despite being about heartbreak these latter two end on a feel-good note that tugs at the feels.

My favorite two tracks on this record are “Shoulda Known.” and the title song “Talk of the Town.” “Shoulda Known” has a similar quality found on The Speedways debut record Just Another Regular Summer. this track is bright with a strong back beat. “Shoulda Known” is a song about being caught off guard by a romantic situation go awry. It captures a sound beckoning nostalgia for ’77 punk infused power pop along the lines of The Boys or The Outcasts. If one has ever been blindsided by the obvious pitfalls of love, then this is power pop for you.

“Talk of the Town” is a cool, simple and collected track. This song portrays an edge by blending new wave sensibilities with an early ‘80s retro power pop. It’s upbeat and got a solid build up to an easy-to-follow chorus. I wouldn’t be surprised if “Talk of the Town” found itself as a theme song for a cheesy Warriors-like b-film. Play this one loud and often.

The Speedways never disappoint. Each record they put out displays a continuing maturity in sound. They don’t betray their origins and they keep things interesting. The end result being songs professing their signature take on staring off at the stars in search of long-lost love. Talk Of The Town is a keen demonstration as to why The Speedways are the leaders of this power pop revival. This band is tight and they continue to give the romantic at heart relevant songs about heartbreak and teenage kicks. To not consider Talk of the Town would be error is cognitive processing.  Now, go forth and pick up this record.

For more about the Speedways check out my interview with them here!

You can also pre-order Talk of the Town here thespeedways.bigcartel.com

The Mellons — Introducing…The Mellons

The Mellons

Introducing…The Mellons

Earth Libraries

Street: 10/21/2022

The Mellons are a group that manages to exude effortless brilliance. Not surprising then since they draw from the talents of Andrew Colin Beck, Ian Francis, Denny Fuller and Rob Jepson. Their debut record Introducing…The Mellons boasts a harmonic pop masterpiece that nods toward an idea of baroque rock for the 21st century. It’s clearly a work that is inspired by those who appreciate the music of The Monkees or The Zombies, while also tirelessly binging on the sensibilities of The Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds and The Beatles Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band.

A great distinction for Introducing…The Mellons is this groups wall of sound approach.  The recording is clean but overwhelms with a encompassing vibrancy. The result is an album starts strong and doesn’t let it’s listener lapse into mediocrity. Rather Introducing…The Mellons remains engaging with a seemingly endless charm.  This is evident once the needle drops onto the opening track “Introducing…The Mellons” and then leads into “So Much To Say.” The latter track immediately captivates with an orchestral poptastic sound. “So Much To Say” is the kind of longing love song that is warm and easy to digest.

In contrast “Devils Advocate” comes across as a familiar tone found in “She’s Not There” by The Zombies. It’s mellow and groovy. Admittingly, this song doesn’t quite have the same moody tendency. However, “Devils Advocate” stands out by maintaining a smooth and uplifting sound. This is also true for the following track “It’s Just a Phase.”

Perhaps my favorite track on Introducing…The Mellons is “Salad Made of Butterflies.” This is the first track on the B-side and has a largely unique place on this record. For the most the material on Introducing…The Mellons floats along pop sentiments. “Salad Made of Butterflies”, on the other hand, captures the provocative nature of subdued paisley themed psychedelia. For its simplicity, this song is largely an instrumental that under the right influences service to twist and turn the mind. In doing so, this song builds up while leading the listener along to an out of sight abstract poem read by Jerry Meyer (who sounds very much like Ian Mcshane).  It’d do well as a single to be added to the que for a 21st century modernist night. Think of it as being alongside Child of Panoptes “Walk With Me” or The Creation Factory’s “You Got It.”

The next track “Strawberry Girl” offers a notable change in gears. This song comes across as playful and sweet. “Marmalade” brings this charm forward but with an enveloping sound. It’s a song that entices with a broad range. Furthermore “Marmalade” invokes a kind of nostalgia with the fullness of The Beatles Yellow Submarine. A similar notion can be suggested with “Hello, Sun.” As this track is bright and beautifully celebrates The Mellons overwhelming effect of vibrant music.

Introducing……The Mellons is truly a work of art.  If you needed an album to evoke feelings of optimistic tendencies then this is the record to be considered for your listening pleasure. Within its grooves are a combination of indie and pop that dabs with psychedelia. This music draws obvious influences from the iconic sunshine-tinged essence of the 1960s. That said, The Mellons aren’t reinventing the wheel. Instead they seek to bring the music forward while not betraying their influences. In this respect they do this quite well and have added a revived interest in baroque pop. So, go out and give Introducing…The Mellons a twirl on your turntable. You’ll be glad you did.

Chatting with NARC about Powerviolence, Supporting Their Local Community and Upcoming Tour!

NARC is the first band that comes to mind when it comes to powerviolence in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are Emma Anderson (Vox), Spencer Anderson (guitar) and Tyler Barrani (drums). Since 2020, they have brought forth a unique ferocity of raw music that is distinctly fast and heavy. Lyrically, NARC are quite poignant with their political commentary. They draw from varying political ideologies to speak out against abuses of power, the oppression of marginalized communities, as well as drawing from experiences in their own lives. When turning this into their live shows they offer a stunning performance that is second to none.

In the last two years, NARC has toured, released albums and tirelessly promoted the Salt Lake punk, hardcore, powerviolence and metal communities. This is manifested by the members of NARC booking shows, supporting fellow acts and playing benefit gigs. They also book and play regularly at Aces High Saloon, in addition to the not-so secret underground venue Your Mom’s House. Among their celebrated shows are the General Violence Conference on April 30, 2022 and raising money for Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

Starting off the 2022 summer in high spirits NARC released their second album A Waste of Good Suffering on June 10, 2022. It was produced by longtime friend Wolf Nunley. It’s a worthy successor to Personifying the Antithesis of American Values. The main difference is it is noticeably heavier, but still contains NARC’s core elements of savage energy.  

Now NARC is about to embark on a west coast tour. They are set to play ten dates that include Las Vegas, NV, Portland, OR and Seattle WA. To learn more, I caught up with NARC and asked them about how they formed, music as a tool for radical change, booking shows in Salt Lake City, their new album A Waste of Good Suffering and what readers can expect from their fall tour.

Emma Anderson (Vox)

NixBeat: NARC is comprised of members Emma Anderson (Vox), Spencer Anderson (guitar) and Tyler Barrani (drums). What prompted you three to form NARC?

Tyler: I had already been in several bands with Spencer in the past, so we had our musical chemistry locked down. We figured why not cut out the middle man and just write music between the two of us, instead of worrying about trying to find another bassist?

NixBeat: In a SLUG Magazine interview published on September 1, 2021  it was stated that you draw influence from other three-piece, women fronted power violence groups. Who are some of these groups and how do they influence your sound?

Emma: There’s so many awesome hardcore punk/grind/power violence projects fronted by women and non-binary people that inspire us. Punch, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Gouge Away, Shitstormtrooper, Closet Witch, Denial of Life, Snuffed, Generation Decline, of course, our friends in Ribbons…lots of bands we’ve played with or just have been fans of. I’m personally influenced by vocalists that have a really raw sound as opposed to a technically precise one. I love hearing women’s raw anger come through in their vocals.

NixBeat: Your music is very socially conscious. This is evident in tracks like “Blue Lives Splatter” and “Feminine Fuckabilly as Social Currency.” What are you drawing from for these songs?

Spencer: We try to keep the lyrical content of our songs strictly political. We adhere to various radical ideologies but certainly a common theme is abuse of power and oppression of marginalized folks to perpetuate violence. Although many of our songs are influenced by personal experiences with mental health and addiction, we believe those experiences have a direct correlation with our current political climate.

Spencer Anderson (guitar)

NixBeat: NARC self-released A Waste of Good Suffering on June 10, 2022. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Wolf Nunley. How was it working with Wolf Nunley on this album?

Tyler: Wolf has known us for a while and knew what kind of sound we were going for and how to dial us in. It was a pleasure working with him and I admire his attention to detail. He wasn’t afraid to make suggestions or add input where he felt things were lacking. He really pushed us to be the best version of ourselves in the studio.

Emma: When we heard the work Wolf did recording, mixing, and mastering for his own project, Threar, we were blown away and knew he could make our new songs sound really fuckin heavy.

NixBeat: What are some of the differences you noticed in working on A Waste of Good Suffering in comparison to your first record Personifying the Antithesis of American Values released March 7,2021?

Spencer: For me, the creation of the riffs and general tone of our first album was purely experimental and trying to figure out what we were even trying to do. Tyler and I have been in bands together for the past four years and we wanted to try something different with Emma and NARC. Personifying the Antithesis of American Values was written during quarantine and, to be quite honest, we were just throwing shit at a wall to see what stuck. Our follow-up record, A Waste of Good Suffering, was where we actually really took our time in working on tone and overall feel and really started to understand what our collective conscience was working towards.

Tyler: The main difference for me was that we recorded Waste track by track, whereas we did Personifying live.

NixBeat: What influenced the track “Paradox of Innocence?”

Emma: Paradox of Innocence is about all the black victims of police brutality who were murdered for finding themselves in bad situations or simply just existing, particularly the children and teenagers. In most of those situations, had those victims been white, they would’ve been considered “innocent” and lived to share their experience. Because of their race, so many victims of police brutality were considered “violent” and “threatening” with no basis other than racial stereotyping. The song is about the differences in perception and media treatment of victims and perpetrators along racial lines…how black people are villainized, robbed of their chance to be children and be seen as human beings, by law enforcement and the media. Musically, we just wanted to write something darker and heavier to reflect the content of the song.

Tyler Barrani (drums)

NixBeat: Also stated in the SLUG Magazine interview published on September 1st, 2021 it is pointed out that NARC consistently plays benefit shows for community organizations such as the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. What inspires NARC to get involved and play benefit shows for your local community?

Tyler: To give back what’s been given, because we wouldn’t be here if not for the community. We all have to take care of each other and participate in the upkeep of our community, or admit we’re just in love with the idea of it.

Emma: If showing up and playing a set can do anything to help raise funds or awareness for an issue we and our community are passionate about, that’s a rad thing that we want to do as often as we can.

NixBeat: Do you think music can influence change in the community for good and if so, how has it in your community?

Spencer: With minimal exception, music always fosters positive influence in the community. Of course, there are caveats, but overall, and especially in the punk, hardcore, and grind/powerviolence scenes, the effect on the community is intertwined with radical, progressive action. We’ve seen this in SLC. Specifically with the amount of benefit shows, the outreach to the local unsheltered population, and simply the fact that many of the people who play in bands here are also highly involved with radical organizing. There is, more often than not, a pipeline between heavy fuckin music and caring about your community, and making those connections in the music scene makes it easier to get involved.

NixBeat:The three of you are also involved in setting up shows locally. This involvement includes collaborating with Aces High Saloon and the underground venue Your Mom’s House. How did you get involved in booking shows?

Tyler: We all work at Aces High and live at Your Mom’s House…haha

Emma: I got involved in booking through being in NARC and living at Your Mom’s House; Since we’re a contact for our out-of-state friends looking to book shows here, we get hit up pretty frequently about finding venues and local support for touring bands. I recently started helping out with booking at Aces High after bartending there for a while.

NixBeat:What have been some of your favorite shows you’ve booked and why?

Spencer: My personal favorite is gonna have to be General Violence Conference. We had an eclectic mix of local and touring bands and all shit fuckin gnarly. We’re gonna have another GVC April 23rd, 2023 and it shall be grindy. Other than that, The Bimbos from RI, Deconsecration from Seattle, No//Mas from DC, Twompsax from Oakland, Generation Decline from Bremerton, Stinker from LA, Bridge Dweller from LA, the list goes on and on. These are just a few of my favorites and it’s all just based on the energy and positivity these bands brought to the show.

Tyler: GVC was Salt Lake’s first powerviolence/crust/grind fest and I’m immensely proud of the fact that we started it.

Emma: One of the coolest shows we booked at Your Mom’s House was a collaboration with Caio Santos – He booked Sentenced 2 Die with Recidivist and we booked Generation Decline and Azijnpisser with ourselves and Ribbons. It popped the fuck off and it was so cool to have that much death metal and hardcore punk all together in one garage.

NixBeat: Regarding your involvement with Aces High Saloon, how has this new bar changed the music scape of Salt Lake City?

Tyler: Aces High has allowed a space for punk, metal, hardcore, and outlaw country to all share the same stage and collaborate together.

Emma: Aces High fills a niche that needed to be filled in SLC for a long time. It’s become the go-to bar for most of the punks and metalheads we know and it’s allowed that whole community to connect with each other that much more. So many “alternative”, if you will, people know each other now because of Aces. Also, we all bond over damn good vegan food.

NixBeat: On October 20, 2022 NARC embarks on a 11-day tour. You’ll be playing in places like Las Vegas, Portland and Seattle. What can readers expect from your performances?

Tyler: Louder, faster, better.

Emma: Add-in “going ham” to that mix. We’ll also be in Halloween costumes for almost every show. If we get stinky, grumpy, and sick of each other in the midst of it, we’re just gonna get all of that out of our systems during our set. It’s gonna be fun.

Spencer: High energy, loud noises, and a couple of fuckers sendin’ it.

For more about NARC check out their Bandcamp!

Slaughter and the Dogs — IL Tradimento Silenzioso (The Silent Betrayal)

Slaughter and the Dogs

IL Tradimento Silenzioso (The Silent Betrayal)

Spaghetty Town Records

Street: 08/10/2022

Slaughter and the Dogs are one of the original forefathers of punk. Since 1975 they have blended boot boy glam and the defiant attitude of punk rock with particular brilliance. Their latest album IL Tradimento Silenzioso (The Silent Betrayal) is a testament to this philosophy. Within its grooves are tunes that demand a listen and may even find themselves among the mantle that holds up their previous material. Albeit this record carries on with a more mature sound, however it still captures the essence that makes Slaughter and the Dogs great.

This record kicks off with strong with the boot boy football anthem in “Manchester Boys.” If one needed a track to blast loud while sporting the colors of Manchester City or Manchester United, then this one is perfect. This song is fun for its rowdy glam punk style coupled with an uplifting and easy-to-follow chorus.  Mind you under the right influences singing along to “Manchester Boys” will no doubt make you some friends—providing you are sporting the right colors.

Other tracks like “Silent Cities” carry a more somber, reflective sound. This one is still well in the same vein of unabashed punk. Most notably as it’s a song pushing the envelope of questioning authority and challenging complacency. In comparison songs like “Good Times Are Coming Here Today” is upbeat and rocking. It’s a feel good number that leaves it’s listener resonating in a good place.

Perhaps my favorite song on IL Tradimento Silenzioso (The Silent Betrayal) is “The Ok Man.” Leading in with a stomping beat, this song draws from the perspective of someone who finds themselves in the thorough of casual chit chat at the pub or cafe. Admittingly, it’s not quite in line with the minimalism found in traditional punk tunes. Rather, this tune is uniquely engaging as it is more developed. It’s a play on a ballad with a folk-like tune. This is brilliantly weaved together via a superior lyrical quality courtesy of Wayne Barret McGrath. Think of it as having a similar quality that can be found with a Joe Strummer and Mescalero’s or Johnny Cash approach.  “The Ok Man” is well worth putting on repeat.

The b-side of this record has some tracks that stand out as well. “Five Star British Hotel” is one of the. The theme comments on the boring life of a hotel employee only wanting the stability of a simple life. This song starts off with the recording of “Oh Britannia” and launches into a uptempo tune complete with a keen punk induced critical self awareness. In comparison fellow tracks like “Cocaine Smile” harkens on Slaughter and the Dogs punk roots. In the same vein is “Hooligan Blues.” This is done by playing up on the styles fast and raucous.

Overall IL Tradimento Silenzioso (The Silent Betrayal) captures an essence of charm that only Slaughter and the Dogs could offer. This record blends styles ranging from their glam punk sensibilities to punk styles ebbing with a more reflective tone. If one has appreciated their previous material, then the growth that this record boasts suggest it might be well worth a listen. After all, they have remained consistent with this infectious sound. So, go forth and procure a copy. This is a record that ought to be heard.

For more visit https://www.spaghettytown.com/

Natalie Sweet & Brad Marino — Second Time/Over My Head

Natalie Sweet & Brad Marino

 Second Time/Over My Head

Reta Records

Street: 08/26/2022

Natalie Sweet and Brad Marino are two of today’s power pop A-listers. Sweet previously fronted The Shanghais and Control Freaks. While Marino founded and fronted The Connection, and has material out with Rydells and Tommy and The Rockets. Not to mention they both have extensive solo projects that ought to be  heard. The Second Time/ Over My Head 7” is a treat as it is a east coast-to- west coast collaboration. Together they have produced a high energy infectious rock n’ roll.  Despite only being two tracks, it’s the kind of punk meeting pop that hooks on and doesn’t let go.

Both tracks share a kind of duet approach. However, “Second Time” prominently boasts Sweets singing. Lyrically, it’s a song laments the trappings of falling in love again with the same person. In true form, “Second Time” celebrates the nature of of punk blending with power pop. Think of this track as a melding of the Ramones speed meeting the Buzzcocks harmonies .  It’s fast and easy to sing along with. Be sure to turn it up.

“Over My Head” is sung from the perspectives of both Sweet and Marino. This track tells the tale of the slippery slope from a casual relationship transitioning with a partner wanting something more. Between the two of them it’s a fun back and forth. From Marino’s point of view, he sings about his anxiety as things get more serious than intended with the partner to be. In contrast, Sweet character seeks something more and is out to get it.

Overall “Over My Head” is a charming listen. This is the track cementing this duos ability to produce a tune together that is tight and catchy. Listening to this one would almost wonder if they have collaborated before.

The Second Time/Over My Head 7” is a record that draws on both Sweets and Marino’s talents for fast paced lovers lost rock n’ roll with solid hooks. Furthermore, this also demonstrates their seemingly natural ability to work together.  Like their other material this 7” packs a punky power pop punch. Although short and sweet, this is record is addicting to hear. So, drop the needle on this single and dig it.

For more, check out Reta Records Bandcamp!

The Sorels — Love Your Rock N’ Roll EP

The Sorels

 Love Your Rock N’ Roll EP

Reta Records

Street: 09/02/2022

The Sorels hail from Winnipeg, Canada. They are Jo Jo Rodriguez (vox, bass) , Jennifer Alexander (guitar) and Jill Lynott (drums, vox). Together they have released their third EP via Reta Records and it is aptly titled Love Your Rock N’ Roll. It’s very much a love letter for the sentimentality of the eternal days of old celebrating rock n’ roll excellence. Within these grooves is a style mending aspects of 1960’s girl groups, glam punk but with the infectious nature of power pop. It rips and ought to be heard.

Each track has it’s own significance and charm. The title song “Love Your Rock N’ Roll” kicks this record off superbly. It blends up-tempo power pop with sprinklings of glam. When the needle hits this one, turn the dial until your sound system registers red hot. Played under the right inhibitions, this ditty will have you moving and grooving.

In contrast “The Jerk” captures the moody nostalgic sensations of early ‘60s girl groups. Admittingly, the Larks made the Jerk a craze in 1964. However, The Sorels lament a longing for the fabled dance and in their homage have brought it new life. “The Jerk” furthermore highlights this yearning by mention of other dances like the Twist, Mashed Potato or Wah Wah-Watusi. This is by invoking the musical spirits of The Shangri-La’s and The Ronettes.

The B-side of this EP continues with the gold. “Make Me Party” perfectly captures the catchiness of the glam rock essence found in 1972. That said, it certainly has a modern flair that’s in line with Giuda’s “Get It Over.” With this track it’s clear The Sorels don’t hold back, are force to be reckoned with. Play this one loud at the next glamracket for it’s a stomping banger.

“Another School Day” is a great track to wrap this EP up with. While it stands on its own, it ends things on a high note. The previous song demonstrated an excellence in glam, but “Another School Day” blends it with punk laden defiance decrying the monotonous nature of another day in school. Think of it along with Alice Cooper, Joan Jett and Nikki Corvette. “Another School Day” ques up in the same vein as the previous rebel without a cause notions, a trend seamlessly found amongst The Sorels other material. Too bad this is the last track, as I wish there was more.

Overall the Love Your Rock N’ Roll EP is hands down brilliant. If there was a record to get your hands on, it would be this one. The Sorels know the substance of rock n’ roll inside out and demonstrate it with exceptional quality. These four tracks certainly play on the familiar heartstrings begging for a revival of the golden age of rock n’ roll. Its not a new story nor is it irrelevant. The Sorels approach this idea with a depth of sincerity and in turn make it fun. It’s quite an enticing listen and as far as a themes for retroism goes, their song “the Jerk” is one to stand out.

Personally, my favorite track is “Make Me Party.” It’s a tune that would fit perfectly in another issue of the Glamstains comps. That said, this EP’s four tracks demand to be played on repeat. To miss out on this record would suggest a lapse in judgement and need for a possible lobotomy. Now, go pick this up, play it loud and annoy your neighbors with something good.

For more about The Sorels, check out them out on bandcamp!

From Outer Space Here are The Sex Organs

The Sex Organs are on a mission to bring sex back to rock n’ roll. Since 2014, they have blazed a trail of garage punk mayhem across Europe. In doing so they have wiped out the confines of complacency by spreading —in their own words— “sexcitement” across the land. They are Jackie Torera (The Jackets) and Bone (The Anomalys).  The Sex Organs provide a performance that can only be from outer space. They dress the part by presenting themselves as a giant fuzzy alien looking reproductive organs on stage — aka a vagina with teeth and penis with an enormous protruding eye.  

Musically, they play with a primitive set up made up with a stand up drum kit and electric guitar, complete with lyrics about humanity sexual condition. Their style mixes the savage nature of garage rock with the intensity of punk. Think of it along the lines of The Cramps, Bo Diddly and The Mummies, but with the additives of trash driven rock n’ roll.

To share their garage punk infused “sexcitment” with the people of earth, The Sex Organs play numerous clubs across Europe. They have also made appearances at garage rock festivals and even museums. Some of their more notably shows include at Funtastic Dracula Carnival and Bomb Your Brain Fuzztival.

Their exploits don’t stop at touring. The Sex Organs were even banned from Dracula’s Bran Castle in Transylvania in 2017. Originally they were set to play with Hombre Lobo, Dead Elvis and Thee Gravemen. Unfortunately several days before the show, the castle’s manager felt an appearance from The Sex Organs would tarnish Romania’s famous cultural site. Ironically this is a cultural site that also proudly displays iron spiked chastity belts and other charming torture devices—some complete with graphics. (The full story can be found on Facebook)

Apart from relentlessly gigging The Sex Organs have also released a full length Intergalactic Sex Tourists LP and the Fuck The Human Race and I Hate Underpants singles. The former two records were released with Voodoo Rhythm Records. While the I Hate Underpants 7″ was put out via their own label Orgastic Records, established in 2021. Rumor even has it that a new record is on the way.

Life as The Sex Organs is certainly not boring. They are cult favorites in the garage rock circuit and have remained tirelessly creative even as the world seemed to lull during the Covid 19 Pandemic. To learn more about The Sex Organs plans for world domination I caught up with Bone and Jackie and asked them about the origins of The Sex Organs, playing Festival Dracula Carnival, starting their own label, staying creative during covid lockdowns and more!

Nixbeat: The Sex Organs started as an idea between Bone and Jackie before the Funtastic Dracula Carnival in Benidorm, Spain. What inspired you to form The Sex Organs?

Jackie: I was talking to an actor that played a vagina in a theatre peace (like a naturalistic one in skin color) and I immediately had this image in my head and said: if I’d be a vagina on stage, I would be a big black hairy triangle with teeth. And Bone knows a DJ called Kutlul, which means Cuntdick. Then we thought there must already exist a band dressed as sex organs and googled it… The Sex Organs! It didn’t exist and so we knew we had to do it…

NixBeat:  Self-described as intergalactic sex n’ roll from outer space, your music comes across as blending primitive garage with elements of punk rock. What are you drawing from for your sound?

Jackie: I guess from our music path… we always played in garage bands, we love the DIY culture of punk and garage, dressing funny, continue the culture and make something new and authentic with it. (We like to entertain, have fun ourselves, tour, build things (costumes, merch, videos), write good music and lyrics… be part of that huge rock n’ roll community and family around the world.)

Bone: Music wise, I would say we draw from bands like The Cramps and The Gories and the like. My very first garage band from the end of the 90’s was also a duo with me on guitar and Claudia Hek on drums. So I guess I’ve been developing the duo sound for a long time. Experimenting a lot with vintage echo machines and cheap guitars.

NixBeat: In an interview published by internationaltimes.it on February 12, 2022, you stated that performing and playing live is essential to music itself. In which you cite drawing from both of your creative backgrounds to create a way to live and express yourselves through rock n’ roll DIY culture. What inspires your unique performances?

Bone: We both have a background in theatre and performance art. We love to design and create costumes. It’s been amazing to combine this with music. Ever since I was a little kid I was into dress-up parties and still am. Of course the first time I saw the Mummies perform my young mind was blown and I knew where I had to go…

The Sex Organs @ Rössli Bern © 22.12.2016 Patrick Principe

NixBeat:  On February 7, 2017, The Sex Organs released Intergalactic Sex Tourists via Voodoo Rhythm Records. The album plays out as though listening to a kind of raunchy Orson Wells-like radio broadcast about the Sex Organs invasion and the subsequent corrupting moral panic of Earth. What were your drawing from to create this album?

Jackie: As The Sex Organs look a bit different than human sex organs. We always imagined that they are from outer space. The story around the band is as important as everything else… it’s our inspiration and it’s an on going story. The Sex Organs make new encounters and experiences on planet earth… so it was the next obvious step to tell that story on this first record.

Bone: I’m really into radio plays since a long time. I collect these records with especially horror, science fiction and raunchy stories. Also in my early Hip Hop days I was always drawn to songs with a skit in it. It leaves so much to the imagination. I love that. In garage this is very well used by bands like The Brentwoods , The Bassholes or Lightning Beatman.

NixBeat: On April 23, 2021 The Sex Organs released the “I Hate Underpants”/”Where Is My Dildo 7”. What’s the story behind the track “Where’s My Dildo?”

Bone: I used to work a long time in a bar in Amsterdam and a certain part of the clientele would always refer to Bo Diddly as Bo Dildo whenever the man’s genius music was played. So I thought we could turn this pretty lame joke to our advantage and turn it into a homage with appropriate lyrics for our band. (I think we heard that referenced Bo Diddely’s song while dancing and started to sing funny sentences to it…)

NixBeat:  During the height of the pandemic in 2020 The Sex Organs work on the Claymation music video for “I Hate Underpants.” What was that process like?

Jackie: We wanted to show how sex organs have to deal with underpants. So we first thought of gigantic underpants… and then quickly knew that we have to scale down everything and work with animated puppets. We both like to build things and I’m also a film maker. So we just started without having a clue and it became a huge project of course but, we learned a lot, had some fun and it was the perfect project during corona.

Bone: The process was very meticulous and nerve-wrecking. We had never done a stop motion video before so we didn’t really know where we were getting ourselves into. It is unbelievable how much work goes into it. And especially when you realise that the tiniest details are of the utmost importance. The result is completely satisfying though . It makes it all worth it.

NixBeat: To release the “I Hate Underpants”/”Where Is My Dildo 7” The Sex Organs started Orgastic Records. Are you using this label as a beach head to invade Earth and if so, how is that going?

Jackie: We were into going through the whole process of making and releasing a record ,and selling it ourselves on bandcamp as we were not able to tour during Corona. It has been a very insightful experience. We will release small projects on our label, but for albums we will work with other labels.

NixBeat: Ever since Covid 19 germinated the Earth, Bandcamp has risen to the occasion to provide direct payments to bands on the first Friday of the month. I’ve noticed that The Sex Organs have been releasing new shirts and posters designed by Bone as well as special edition action figures. How has the Bandcamp Fridays helped fund The Sex Organs survive the Covid Pandemic?

Jackie: It was incredibly important to have a platform to sell our merch to pay for our record and some running band costs. I think people liked, that the money would go directly to the bands… so you get cool merch and support the band.

NixBeat: What prompted you to create the action figures and since they have sold out, will we ever see another round of them?

Bone: Doesn’t anyone wants an action figure of themselves??? We knew this would be a big seller. You only have to look at every other franchise on the planet. Before we made the actual costumes we already made prototypes of the costumes on two Ken and Barbie dolls that we bought in a thrift store. Lets see when the next batch will be born. I’m sure there will be more where that came from…

NixBeat: On October 29, 2021 The Sex Organs returned to play Funtastic Dracula Carnival Welcome Party. Other acts included Teen Cobra plus DJ’s spinning until 6AM. What was it like to return to Funtastic Dracula after the world shut down due to the Covid 19 Pandemic?

Bone: It was absolutely ecstatic!!! Of course everybody had a little catching up to do. We played as the first band that night. Then came Teen Cobra and Finale ended the night. It was pretty much a dancing, pogoing crazy crowd from the get go. Really FUN!

NixBeat:  On May 20, 2022 The Sex Organs played Bomb Your Brain Fuzztival in Valence, France. Also on the bill were Black Mambas, Tommy and The Commies, Bad Mojos, The Scaners, Thee Gunlocks, La Flingue and Nester Donuts. What was it like to play Bomb Your Brain Fuzztival?

Bone: Two nights of mayhem in Valence. Lots of old friends and a bunch of new ones. Super cool line up. There seemed to be a contest of naked men going on… never seen so many men play naked on stage in one festival. Super nutty after parties including one where the guitar player of the Mamba’s ended up in the garden two stories down after he dropped his phone of the balcony and couldn’t get back up. Had to be rescued with a leader etc… the usual.

Nixbeat: In conjunction with playing Bomb Your Brain Fuzztival, The Sex Organs contributed the track “I Wanna Be Your Pussy” to the Bomb Your Brain- Best of Bastard Compilation Vol. 1 (February 14, 2022) via Pigme Records. How did you get involved with this release?

Bone: Goret the drummer from Thee Gunlocks who organised the festival also put out this fantastic compilation. So when he wrote to us if we wanted to donate a song to this comp. and saw the rest of the bands involved we immediately agreed upon that. Afterwards I asked him if I could DJ the festival since I liked the line up so much. At first we were not supposed to actually play but when the Briefs cancelled their tour I offer to play with the Sex Organs.

The Sex Organs @ Rössli Bern © 22.12.2016 Patrick Principe

NixBeat: Do The Sex Organs have plans to release more material in the near future?

Bone: We sure do but unfortunately the pressing plants won’t let us…. gdmnd. For now we are concentrating on a new album that we will record with Lo Spider this summer.

NixBeat: Do The Sex Organs have plans to play the United States? If you do, where would you like to play?

Bone: Yes of course we would love to play the States. Everywhere where we won’t be run out of town in tar and feathers. We’d love to play the Mosswood Meltdown in San Fransisco presented by John Waters. Portland with The Cyclops. New Orleans with Mr.Quintron and Miss Pussycat. San Diego with the Schizophonics. Memphis, Gonerfest. Detroit with Dan Kroha. Chicago with the Delilahs crew. Get Weird, New York City etc etc etc…. It would be great to see all our friends again in the States!

NixBeat:  What’s next for the Sex Organs?

Bone: For now we are concentrating on a new album that we will record in Toulouse with Lo Spider this summer after playing the Montesquiou on the Rocks festival.

For more about The Sex Organs visit their Bandcamp or Facebook!!

Hard Times — Little Satan 7″

Hard Times

Little Satan

Spaghetty Town Records

Release: 05/06/2022

Hard Times Little Satan is a seemingly one-off diamond in the rough. This EP is a result of boredom and the need to create during the height of the Covid 19 pandemic. This record exudes everything brilliant about the glam-degenerate nature of sleaze infested proto-punk.  It’s not a surprise as it features members from Slick Bags, Desperate Fun and Suicide Generation. They are Sebastian Melmoth, Davide Chessa, Fabio Mongelli, Geoffrey and Paolo Piras.  To top it off, Little Satan was recorded at the New River Music Studios in London, England by Patrice Picard, and was mastered by Jim Diamond.  

This EP is not a record that benefits from low volume. Rather, to fully enjoy this record, the music should only be heard when’s one’s receiver is turned high enough that it’s on the verge of exploding. This is an obvious thing to do upon listening to the title track “Little Satan.” It’s a song that immediately grabs ahold of its listener with a defiant proto-punk adrenaline injection. This is thanks to a fast beat and fuzzed out guitar riffs. It;s the kind of trash glam punk that invokes a nod toward of The Joneses’ but with a style meriting the ferocity of Ex Cult.

In a similar fashion is “Oh Let It Go.” This tune is more in line with snotty glam rock n’ roll. It’s the Hard Times answer for a mover and shaker Think of it along the lines of New York Dolls inspired but, with a rock n’ roll revival aesthetic of the early 1970s. Complete with razer riffs and a strong beat this is a song demand to be danced to. Waste no time to getting rowdy, this is what this music was meant for.

“She Ain’t Here No More” is more on the mellow side record. However, the music picks up with “Do Yo Feel Like Lovin,” This one packs a considerable punch. It’s fast, loud and raucous. “Do You Feel Like Lovin” ends this record on a high note. It might even invite one to sing along to the chorus. Of course this would be helped under the right substantive persuasions.

Little Satan is a record that demands to be heard. This is a creation from a super group of depraved rock n’ rollers. Within it’s grooves are songs of untamed desperation from a deeply uncertain time. It’s music that blasts away notions of stagnation. This thanks to Hard Time’s approach to riotus sleaze glam-punk. Before Little Satan ends up in obscurity, pick it up. If by listening to this the urge to kick something over isn’t apparent, rinse and repeat.  After all, this is the sounds that debauchery is made of. Play it loud.

For more about Hard Times get their record at Spaghetty Town Records or via their Bandcamp!

The Sellwoods — House Rockin’ Party Tonight

The Sellwoods

House Rockin’ Party Tonight

Chaputa Records

Release: 04/29/2022

At last the long awaited LP from The Sellwoods is finally here. It is adequately called House Rockin’ Party Tonight. Within it’s grooves are the caveman stomping sounds reserved for everything delightfully demented about garage punk. Fans of The Incredible Staggers, The Sonics or Miracle Workers will find this record in tune with likeminded savage sounds. So,  it’s not surprising then that House Rockin’ Party Tonight was released via the renowned Chaputa Records. This record is not for the faint hearted. Rather it’s fuzz driven rock n’ roll is for those seeking music akin to the Born Bad compilations.

House Rockin’ Party Tonight kicks off strong with the pounding track “Shakedown.” In pure cave person garage punk fashion this is a song delivering a blow like a blunt club. It has a strong beat, which is extenuated but the prominent use of the organ playing. It’s simple and straight to the point.  In a similar take is “Why.”  Both of these tracks exude the emphasis of playing on the primitive side of garage rock.

Things pick up with “Curse Of The Ramones.” This is a track that edges more on the punk side of garage. Think along the lines of a snotty homage toward the three chord wonders, The Ramones. In contrast “Johnny Needs A Drink” has a Link Wray meeting A Rebel Without A Cause feel to it. It’s the kind of rock n’ roll that borrows off afore mentioned novelty idea by giving it a noticeable b-movie flair.

Much of the strength on House Rockin Party Tonight resides on the b-side. Starting this side off is “Demented Planet.”This track was originally put out on the Demented Planet EP released on June 25, 2021. It’s haunted debauched rock n’ roll at it’s best. This is a song that strikes all the right raunchy chords for untamed garage punk. It’s a feeling brilliantly felt in “Volcano Girl” and the spooky “Down In The Alley.” Both of which is also on the EP.

Another stand out song in this record is “One Eyed Cat.” From start to finish it’s solid, cruising for a bruising music. This is rock n’ roll meant for the simplistic nature of hot rod kicks.It’s a track following in line with the signature nature found in The Sellwoods defiant attitude. Be sure to waste little time by turning the dial red hot to play this one loud.

Among my favorite tracks on House Rockin’ Party Tonight are “The Walk Of Shame” and the cover of “Something Else.” “The Walk Of Shame” is an easy tune to follow. One might guess there may be some prudish societal stigma for leaving a house in the early hours after a passionate affair. The only lyrics are “the walk of shame means nothing.” This comes across as an absolute dismissal against misgiven notions of puritanical shame. If you needed a tune for this kind of meander, then you now have this garage punk anthem for a leisurely, yet self-aware excursion after leaving a bed other than your own. Enjoy!

“Something Else” is tune that ages well. It’s insolent and rebellious approach was arguably perfected by the late Sid Vicious. Now it’s brilliantly done by The Sellwoods. They capture a definitive ’66 garage rock feel by adding the spirit found with a Girls In The Garage comp.. No mistake here, this isn’t a homage to Frank Sinatra, this is rock n’ roll.

The Sellwoods have long chosen which path to follow at the devil’s crossroads. It’s the path of lifelong degenerate rock n’ roll. Now with a host of releases under their belts, they bare House Rockin’ Party Tonight for you to hear. This records boasts the sounds of germinating garage punk demanding to be heard. Top tracks are “Demented Planet,” “The Walk Of Shame” and the cover of “Something Else.” That said, this records in it’s eternity ought to paid attention to. Now, pick up this album.   

For more of The Sellwoods check out their Bandcamp or Facebook!