Category Archives: Top 5 Reviews

NixBeat’s Yearly Top 5 review list.

Top 5 Albums of 2021

Every year, I publish a list of my favorite albums that I have written about or enjoyed. This list isn’t meant as a competition, rather it’s a celebration of work from very talented artists. 2021 was a special time. It saw the release of many great albums and singles. The year brought excitement of the possibility of life returning to a sense of normalcy. Which, for me, was refreshing after the turbulent and Pandemic-ridden year of 2020. Unfortunately, that was not quite the case. Toward the end of 2021 it was becoming to clear of the challenges continuing to face us.

Luckily, navigating 2021 found myself in the midst of great music. Groups like RMBLR, Bambies, The Sex Organs, The Sellwoods and of course La Femme released top notch albums. Since being introduced to them, they have been a constant companion on my turntable and DJ sets — for the willing and unsuspecting listeners alike. Below are my selections that stood out for 2021. All articles were published exclusively here at nixbeat.com, with one honorary mention.

RMBLR MF/EP from (Spaghetty Town Records)

Excerpt: “RMBLR’s new record is one of the most anticipated releases for 2021. For good reason too. Within it’s grooves contains the savage speed of punk with the depravity of trash derived glam rock n’ roll. It boasts a style nodding toward Dead Boys by playing on a familiar sonic devastation coupled with an equally snotty attitude. This concoction delivers the much need adrenaline shot to the pandemic overdosed heart. Which, is not surprising for a band made up with members from The Heart Attacks and Biters.”

Full review here!

Bambies – Summer One (Spaghetty Town Records )

Excerpt: “Bambies have released their new record Summer Soon. This album plays at the blistering speed of 45rpm. Featuring 12 solid tracks, this is a record that demands to be played loud. Which is perfect for this no holds bar punk rock n’ roll band.  This group is a based in Montreal, Canada and are made up of tri-national (Canada, France and Costa Rica) degenerate rebels-without a cause.  If you are fan of The Briefs, The Spits or Les Lullies, then Summer Soon will be up your alley.”

Full review here

The Sex Organs – I Hate Underpants 7” (Orgastic Records)

Excerpt: “Hurtling back toward the planet Earth are fuzzy primitive garage duo The Sex Organs. The third rock from the sun hasn’t been the same since they released their phenomenally outrageous LP Intergalactic Sex Tourists through Voodoo Rhythm Records in 2017. It was a record that shook the fabric of decent society to it’s core. Unfortunately, over the last fours years, the Earth has seemed to lull into an era of un-sexiness. This is largely thanks to a pandemic that has wrought devastation to it’s four corners. Thankfully, The Sex Organs are back with their new 7” via their own label Orgtastic Records ,and they are here to stimulate the desperate lives of a post-covid world.”

Read the full review here.

The Sellwoods – Demented Planet EP (Chaputa Records)

Excerpt: “Since 2012 The Sellwoods have hoisted the black Cuban-heeled flag of garage rock revival.  Based in Portland, Oregon, this group pounds 1960’s garage punk  by blending it with hot rod, sizzled out fuzz driven rock n’ roll.  Fans of The Fuzztones, The Gruesomes or The Cynics with find the Demented Planet EP well among like-minds. It’s not a surprise then that The Sellwoods have found a home with Chaputa Records. Like previous releases, this EP comes via this label which is renowned for garage punk catalogue. So, readers beware. this EP’s lives up to it’s deranged potential. It’s not be handled lightly.”

Read the full review here!

La Femme – Paradigmes (Born Bad Records)

This one is an honorable mention. While not an album I reviewed here on NixBeat.com, it was a release that left a profound impact. La Femme have long been a favorite group that continues to release solid album after album. Their latest Paradigmes perfectly captures a masterpiece mixing sounds of new wave, garage rock with synth driven psychedelia. Listening to this is unlike any other trip and inspires an experience akin to the swirling illusions an out of this world sci fi film noir. Top tracks that are “Paradigme,” “Cool Colorado,” “Nouvelle Orléans” and “Disconnexion.” Play these loud for any discotheque.

Top 5 Album Releases Of 2020

2020 has been quite the odd year. During a normal time, I’d usually be doing more write ups, but this year has been a bit turbulent. There’s been an Earth stopping pandemic, protests, elections and more. The result of all of this has had a considerable effect on musicians, DJ’s, creatives and artists across the world. Not to mention the clubs and venues in which they performed in.

Indeed, there is no certainty for when life will return to a sense of pre-pandemic normalcy. Hopefully, the favorite haunts of memorable concerts will still be around, and there will be dance halls for those fond of the twist and pogo to congregate at again. Only time will tell.

However, despite these wild and unpredictable events, the music manages to live on. This year still saw releases by many notable artists. Almost too many to count. For 2020, I have chosen the records by Faz Waltz, Bad Nerves, The Speedways, Jacob T Skeen and Worst Horse as my top 5 releases for this year. Enjoy!

Faz WaltzRebel Kicks

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.

For the full review, click here!

Bad NervesSelf-Titled

Admittedly, I did not provide a write up for the Bad Nerves record. No doubt about it though, something about this record stuck like glue. Upon hearing the tracks on this release there is no shame by suggesting that it blew apart my rock n’ roll world.  These cats do what The Briefs did, but faster and with an impressively infectious intensity that few can dare match. This is the kind of music that jumping about like an idiot mixed up on a cocktail of formal one fuel is made for. If you like it was razer sharp riffs, high voltage vocals and of course electro-centric punk infused power pop, Bad Nerves are essential for you. Top tracks for consideration are “Baby Drummer,” “Can’t Be Mine,” and “Dreaming Boy.”

The Speedways Radio Sounds



NixBeat: What was the process like writing and recording Radio Sounds? How was it different than the work you did with Just Another Regular Summer?

Matthew: A fair few of the songs on Radio Sounds I’d already written around the time of Just Another Regular Summer. I also dug into my song book for older tunes like “This Aint A Radio Sound” and “Good Girls Don’t Break Hearts” ..then there were new songs that I wrote as a response to the first album – “In A World Without Love It’s Hard To Stay Young..,” “Daydreaming,” “Brown Eyes Look So Blue..,” “This Is About Girl Who Loves The Sun” etc.. So the writing process was more varied than the first record. Obviously with it being a full band this time there was a collaborative effort in terms of arrangement and individual parts which definitely gave the songs more of a band vibe than before. It’s much more satisfying as a song writer to hear other musicians play and interpret your stuff than to do everything yourself. It makes such a difference. Everyone contributed brilliantly in the studio too (including Jez who produced the album). I enjoyed making it & working with everyone. It turned out really well. A step up in quality for sure.

Jacob T Skeen Death, Thou Shalt Die

Listeners of this record ought to be warned that it is not uncommon to feel a staggering malevolence, as though the cold hand of death has drifted over your heart and into your soul.  The first track, “Elizabeth Felt Payne” captures this essence by luring the unwary listening into the depths of the demented. It’s defined by the wailing razor sharp riffs and Skeen’s booming vocals. This is distorted doom blues at its finest.

Read the full article here!

Worst HorseSelf-Titled

The album as a whole is a trip. It’s got the psychedelic notions that with under the right conditions will evoke a out of mind experience. Songs like “Let The Pain In” carry on the introspective nature that defines this work. It’s mellow, but subtly provoking. This is the same with the track “House of Bees.” Though in contrast, this song has more of the dissociated feel that is also found in Worst Horse.

For the full article click here!

Top 5 Albums of 2019

Every year I publish a list of my favorite albums that have been released that year. This list isn’t meant as a competition, rather it’s a celebration of work from very talented artists. All articles were published exclusively here at nixbeat.com or at Heatwave Magazine. I hope you enjoy and Happy New Year!

  1. The Jackets – Queen Of The Pill
The Jackets
Queen Of The Pill
Voodoo Rhythm Records

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.”

Top Track: “Queen Of The Pill”

2. Jordan Jones – Self-Titled

Jordan Jones
Self-Titled
Spaghetty Town Records

“Jordan Jone’s debut release is a power pop masterpiece.  Within this records grooves are sounds begging, if not demanding to be heard. It’s the kind of music that flawlessly delivers a certain calm and charming sound sound that blends a kind of nostalgic sense for early 2000’s style of power pop rock n’ roll. This is due to Jones’ unique style that invokes The Booze twisting with the power pop delivery of the Biters, but channeling the romanticism of The Speedways.”

Top Track: “Wrote You A Song For Me”

The Woolly Bushmen – In Shambles

The Wooly Bushmen
In Shambles
Pig Baby Records

“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.”

Top Track: “Let It Be Known”

Los Pepes – Positive Negative

Los Pepes
Positive Negative
Spaghetty Town Records

“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.”

Top Track: “We Need It”

5. Daddy Longlegs – Lowdown Ways

Daddy Longlegs
Lowdown Ways
Yep Roc Records

“Overall this record demonstrates certain level of wild brilliance and charm.  Daddy Long Legs boasts powerful pub rock n’ roll by invoking nods to the greats like Eddy and The Hot Rods, but really channel the living spirit of Dr. Feelgood during the Wilko Johnson years. This is evident by vocalist Brian Hurd’s rough, whiskey soaked voice and mannerisms that bring forth a fondness for the late rock n’ roll gentleman Lee Brillaux.”

Top Track: “Pink Lemonade”

TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2018

Every year I come out with a little list of albums that have been released throughout the year. This list isn’t meant as a competition. During the turbulent and transformative year of 2018, I have found myself constantly re-listening to these gems. They are remarkable works of very talented artists. All articles were published exclusively here at nixbeat.com, at Utah Stories, SLUG Magazine or Heatwave Magazine. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Reverand Beatman and Nicole Izobel Garcia — Baile Bruja Muerto  (2018) “Beat-Man says ““Everybody that comes to one of our shows will be saved and converted.” Audiences can expect to hear tracks like “Come Back Lord” and “Black Metal.” “Come Back Lord” is upbeat track with a pronounced organ sound. It’s the kind of tune that will evoke the dancefloor to shutter. In contrast “Black Metal” is a kind of dark bluesy ballad. A warning though, this performance is not for the faint hearted, but there will never be anything else quite like it. ”

The Speedways — Just Another Regular Summer ( 05.27.2018 )
“This album was composed by Mathew Julian with the addition of Dec Burns on the drums
. Just Another Regular Summer captures the nostalgic essence of Joey Ramone’s longing vocals by twisting it with an attitude worthy of the Exploding Hearts and infusing it with the hopeless romantic nature of Protex and the Speedies. The tracks on Just Another Regular Summer are performed with a kind of painful restraint but maintains a cool and passionate feeling. This is especially evident with the track “Reunion In The Rain.”

The Revox — In Mono (09.14.2018)
“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.”

Fashionism — Smash Singles LP (04.2018)   The songs found within the grooves of the Smash Singles LP celebrate the clever nature could have been heard by The Boys or even by the sharp wit of The Adverts. This is largely thanks to vocalist Jeffery McCloy masterful weaving of punchy lyrics that tell a story with a sound that combines the infectious nature of Bay City Rollers like glam rock meeting the sensibilities of The Purple Hearts. “

Los Yayaz — Born Dead ( 05.12.2018)
“Los YaYaz have blazed through the Salt Lake City music scene by combining the wild and primitive style of Los Yetis and Los Saicos with the intensity of The Sonics. This new record maintains their iconic blended style with all the trappings of repressed teenage angst and longing desperation. Their delivery is raw and if I didn’t know better I would have sworn Born Dead was some long lost garage-punk- unknown. “

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Honorary Top 5 Mentions

  1. Faz Waltz — Double Decker (03.21.2018)
  2. The Blankz— White Baby/Sissy Glue (07.13.2018)
  3. The Terror Surfs — Mutant Surfin’ Trash  (02.23.2018)
  4. Reverend Beat Man — Blues Trash  (04.05.2018)
  5. Wild Evel and The Trash Bones — Digging My Grave (11.24.2017)

Top 5 Albums of 2017

Every year I come out with a little list of my top albums that have been released throughout the year. During the highs and lows of 2017 I found myself constantly listening to these gems. It’s a healthy mix or power pop, garage rock and everything in-between. All articles were published by SLUG Magazine, Heatwave Magazine or exclusively here at nixbeat.com. Enjoy and happy new year!

  1. Suicide Helpline – Pink Jazz
  2. Fashionism – Back in the Day/ One Shot 7″
  3. The Jackets – Be Myself/ Queen of the Pill 7″
  4. The Woolly Bushmen – Ardunio 
  5. Mattiel- Count Your Blessings/ Whites Of Their Eyes 7″

Honorary Top 5 runner ups

  1. Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas-  Telephone/Teléfono
  2. Radio Hearts – Daytime Man EP
  3. The Schizophonics -Ooga Booga 
  4. The Darts US – Me.Ow
  5. Brain Bagz –  God Hates Bagz 7″ 

Top 3 Books of 2016

Top 3 Books of 2016
1. ECOSOCIALISM: A RADICAL ALTERNATIVE TO CAPITALIST CATASTROPHE
“He explains his theory using examples of the struggle against capitalism and gives step by step solutions to guide readers on a better path. However, while Lowy presents his alternative way of life, he stresses that even his solutions are not a reason for optimism; rather they are the only real way out the catastrophic mess that threatens humanity’s very survival and that time is running out.”
2.SHOCK AND AWE: GLAM ROCK AND ITS LEGACY, FROM THE SEVENTIES TO THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY
“Its reign was brief. glam came out of the 1960s and charged through the 1970s with all that was glitter and gold. It was perhaps the most interesting subculture that emerged out of the woodwork before punk. It boasted a diversified range of groups that represented both high and low culture.”
3. LEE BRILLEAUX: ROCK ‘N’ ROLL GENTLEMAN
“The story of the infamous pub rock/protopunk group is really a tale narrated by the magnitude of Lee Brilleaux’s character. Brilleaux was a man born in the wrong decade. Throughout Brilleaux’s life, he carried a formidable love for the raw nature of the blues, and it was unparalleled and arguably out of place in the backdrop of 1970s England.”

Top 5 Albums of 2016


1. Suicide Helpline — Self Titled EP
“Suicide Helpline initially come across with catchy rock n’ roll that speaks of ‘60s garage rock, but then maintain a firm, raw attitude that harkens on socio-political stances found in that of ‘70’s punk mentality. Unlike others who profess the genre , this four tracks on this EP deliver with a certain and charming diversity in style.”

2. Gloria — In Excelsis Stereo
“In Excelsis Stereo is the perfect album to invoke feelings of reflection. This is because Gloria brings an almost unique a mid-tempo sound that is combined with harmonious vocals to stimulate the mind.”

3. The Monsters — THE JUNGLE NOISE RECORDINGS
“The Jungle Noise Recordings should be considered an essential part of any angsty rock n’ roller’s collection, especially if said individual is still completely able to pride themselves on being full of piss and foul-smelling vinegar. Make no mistake: This album exudes an attitude that exemplifies the dirty thrash-driven desires of gutter-inhabiting rock n’ roll.”

4. La femme — MYSTÈRE
“In its entirety, the record is a ride that initially must be experienced from start to finish. It’s an expedition that guides the forever curious mind through all things vibrant and intriguing.”

5. Hannah Wiliams and The Affirmations — LATE NIGHTS & HEARTBREAKS
“Hannah Williams & The Affirmations are a group whose power to inspire through music is stunning. Certainly, their style is one that begs for familiarity but never fails in their delivery of substance.”


Top 5 Honorable Mentions

1. Fashionism — Subculture Suicide 7”
2.Ivory Williams — Don’t Have To Worry 7”
3. The Wead – By The Whey
4.Rumble Gums — Pool Party Palace
5.The Missing Souls: Alligator/Sweet, Sweet Sadie 7-inch

TOP 5 SOCK HOP N’ ROLL ALBUMS

Your hair’s lookin’ slick, your boots are greased and you’re ready to crash the 1955 Vince Lombardi High Senior Prom. These sock hop n’ roll albums of 2015 will have your teenage kicks all night long.

Dig Nick Kuzmack’s —aka Nix Beat— TOP 5 albums of 2015. Featuring: Miscaculations A View For Glass Eyes , The Jackets Shadows Of Sound, Radioactivity Silent Kill, La Luz Weirdo Shrine and Baby Shakes Starry Eyes published @ SLUG Magazine!!