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.
The Toxenes= The Baby Shakes + The Cramps + The Horror Pops
The Toxenes are a rock ‘n roll trio from Minneapolis. They have previously released a single (2017) and a cassette album Electric Shock (2018). Double Creature Feature is their first LP on Vinyl. For those fans of rockabilly notions riding on garage, all infused with punk-rock messiness, this record is for you. Listening to this record is like binge watching a whole season of sounds. It’s got 18 grooves fully loaded with sugar and doused with rock ‘n roll vinegar.
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.
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.
This invocation of power pop is clearly demonstrated in the opening track “Wrote You A Song For Me.” It’s a harmonious track that blends notions of hopeless romantic notions of youthful yearnings. It’s the tune that perfectly welcomes in the the records listener and keep them hooked.
Digging deeper into this record Jones reveals music that meant to tug at one’s heart strings. This is the case with tracks like “My Somebody,” or the mellow “How to Be” and “Be My Baby.” These are familiar themes that largely characterize this album. That being said, Jones’ isn’t redundant in his delivery, and manages to leave a sound that lingers on.
My personal favorite track is “Rumours Girls.” It’s a tune that starts out with a punch and doesn’t quite get bogged down about being a hopeless romantic. Instead it takes a shot at rock ‘ n roll scenesters emphasis on blind nostalgic romanticism for the culture of the 1970’s. This is pointed out when Jones sings about the folly of needing to look a certain way to fit in.
While the song pokes at the material imagery, there is some betraying a sense of self-deprecation when Jones sings of his own appreciation for the retro style. Overall, it shows Jone’s ability to move beyond the trappings of romantic power pop with the touchings of social awareness.
This all being said, Jordan Jones is record is certainly near the top of the list of vital contemporary artists to be heard. For me this record blends the subdued groovyness that gives power pop it’s rock n’ roll zesty flavor. It is a sounds boasting brilliance with a composition meant to be nothing less that welcoming to the ears.
Furthermore, It would be amiss not to suggest that Jones debut album is among those who help inspire a much needed revival for power pop for this day and age. Other contemporaries in that realm are Fashionism’s “Smash Singles LP” and The Speedways“Another Regular Summer.” To be sure though, Jordan Jones has something more attune to 70’s power pop rock n’ roll than it’s angsty punker sounding cousins.
That doesn’t mean it’s any less worth hearing, though. So, be sure to go out to your local record shop and pick this up. Jordan Jones is a diamond in the rough and truly deserves to be heard.
Good lord, it feels as though it’s been ages since Ex Hex released their debut album, Rips in 2014. It’s safe to say that record was nothing short of a marvel that carved out a niche in the vastness of contemporary music. Not only did Rips blend familiarity with freshness, but it was composed with the nitty and delightfully catchy gritty elements of glam infused rock n’ roll. Listening to it, I could hear an album that almost begged for the nostalgia of Suzi Quatro or Bonnie St. Claire. Now, four years later, Ex Hex deliver something entirely different with It’s Real.
Wild Evel and The Trashbones Digging My Grave Dirty Water Records Released: 11/24/2017
Digging My Grave is a brilliant album that compliments a long standing legacy of garage punk. For me, it captures the essential ingredients that combine the raw nature of garage rock with the defiant attitude of punk. Wild Evel and The Trashbones excel with a musical presence that vaunts the essential essence of adolescent angst, but with a sound arguably more refined. It’s style that is rooted in 1966, but celebrates a likeness to Screaming Lord Sutch, with the fury of The Cramps.
As a whole Digging My Grave is comprised of solid bangers. Each song shows off Wild Evel and The Trashbones exemplary talent to tug on all three chords of the garage punk heart-strings. However, the tracks “Digging My Grave,” “Why Can’t We Be” and “Gotta Leave Town” clearly stand above the rest.
First off the title track “Digging My Grave” harkens on the demonic nature of Screaming Lord Sutch while borrowing the spooky theme from Larry and The Blue Notes “Night Of The Sadist.” It’s the kind of tune to grab your soul and twist you into a savage kind of possession. Perfect for blasting during the witching hour, play this one loud to the haunting benefit of those around.
“Why Can’t We Be” is a humbling tune that pays homage to the all mighty Satelliters. Wild Evel and The Trashbones easily hold their own in comparison to their German cousins. However, as illustrated by this tune, credit is due to The Satelliters for fueling the garage rock torch throughout the European continent.
“Gotta Leave Town” is among the best that Wild Evel and The Trashbones have to offer. This mooder borrows from a blues sensibility while firmly grasping the shy yet primitive nature of sounds emanating from the crypts of teenage-garage punk. While many modern garage rooted tracks place an emphasis on unrelenting passion or attitude, this track dares to be vulnerable with it’s theme of being overwhelmed and seeking to desperately skip town. For like-minded tracks check out check out the newly released Sites and Sounds “The Night Is So Dark” 7” released by Slovenly Records.
This is an album that ought to be among any garage punkers record collection. If you lack excitement, then Wild Evel and the Trashbones are your kind of feral entertainment. Digging My Grave is filled with tunes to excite, make you moan and even inspire one to pull on their chelsea boots, and go out to cause some rebel-without–a–cause kind of hell. So, don’t be square and dip out on this record.
The Laissez Fairs Target On My Back BIRS Recordings Release: November 06, 2017
The Laissez Fairs are the manifestation of 60 years of Mod inspired music. A talented lot, they come from a wide range of influences and comprise the talents of former Steppes frontman John Fallon, his son Cromm Fallon with Joe Lawless and Aaron Archer. They boast styles varying from freakbeat, fuzzed out psychedelia to the nitty gritty of garage-esque brit pop.
Their debut album Target On My Back is a record invoking the sensibilities of sounds reminiscing of Blur infused with The Velvet Underground, while utilizing the flair of The Beatles psychedelic nature from the Revolver era. While dipping into a wide spectrum of mod psychedelia, songs such as “Winter Dying” betray a kind of folky feel. In contrast the title track “Target On My Back” captures the a nostalgic feel for everything upbeat and brit-pop. While “I’ve Got You” is all calm and groovy.
The magic on this record is the track “Bells Ring Out.” For me this track captures a unique provocative essence that exemplifies the idea behind Laissez Fair’s mantra of “Maximum Mod Pysch.” It’s a number that begs for 1960’s freakbeat but twists with 1980’s garage revival. Furthermore It’s got the attitude of The Action and capturing the reserved swagger of the likes of Marc Bolan or Gary Walker.
In all, these Las Vegas Mods are real go getters. Despite the sweltering heat of their desert home these cats clearly show that they can always suit up and deliver. For more about The Laissez Fairs, check out their facebook.
The Cavemen Nuke Earth Slovenly Records Released 18.04.2018
Sinful and nihilistic, The Cavemen’s Nuke Earth does nothing short of leave its listener as a drooling, reverbed drenched mess. Fans of The Cavemen will be comforted to know that their legendary barbarity remains intact. This record is a 25 minute thrill ride that invokes the untamed nature of Guitar Wolf and the brutality of the Dwarves. Much like their other records, The Cavemen do not disappoint by embodying an unapologetic assault on all that is vanilla and bland in the music world.
The Terrorsurfs Mutant Surfin’ Trash Sharawaji Records Street: 02.23 The Terrorsurfs = The Boys Ranch + The Phantom Four + Dick Dale
The tenacious surfing garage rockers The Terrorsurfs are back with their new album Mutant Surfin’ Trash. Like their other releases, fans can easily expect some consistency in The Terrorsurfs’ style. It’s the grittiness of The Cramps twisting through the vivid wild sounds of The Trashmen. Think of it as a soundtrack for a Quentin Tarantino film, like a contemporary Kill Bill Vol 1 or Pulp Fiction, but with the desperation of Robert Rodriguez’s Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
The Devils Iron Butt Voodoo Rhythm Street: 12.15.17 The Devils = Das Clamps + Brain Bagz + Guitar Wolf
The Devils embody the definitive sound of desolation and chaos. Theirs is a style that is nothing short of a symphony meant for utter human annihilation. Their new album is called Iron Butt, and there’s plenty of sex, sin and rock n’ roll. Charming name aside, the absolute primitive noise within these grooves reveal nothing less than a nod toward a sure mental collapse. This is thanks to a chainsaw massacre guitar, death-stomping drum beats and blood-curtailing vocals. For the unaware, The Devils are from Naples, Italy, and they descend from blues-driven, wall-of-fuzz punk rock madness and Ken Russell’s 1971 B-movie of the same name. Think of them as the face-melting garage punk demon offspring of The Cramps’ incestuous relations with The Gories.