Faz Waltz’s new record proves that rock n’ roll is thriving. In contrast to their previous material Faz Waltz step out of the junk shop and into the hop. Their new album On The Ball is a work of homage that devotes it’s energy to tunes harkening on the days of old. It’s a record that brilliantly channels the spirits of the pioneers of rock n’ roll. Particularly that of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Eddie Cochran — with some help from The Beatles with Tony Sheridan. The result is the experience of conjuring the closest thing to the soundtrack of American Graffiti for the ears of the 21st century.
On The Ball wastes no time is serenading it’s listeners with the infectious rock n’ roll. Starting off this record is “Hot Cold Fever.” For this tune Faz Waltz channel the glam n’ roll energy of the late Richard. It’s fast, fun and with unbridled passion. “Hot Cold Fever” is a tune to be played loud. If applied correctly through the speakers, this sound will electrify it’s listener to twist and shout.
In a similar vein is “Shame On You.” This track captures the feeling of Cochran and dare I say a bit of Jerry Lee Lewis. Although a simple tune about a heart scorned, “Shame On You” has a definitive swagger. This song is a favorite from On The Ball. It boasts riffs that Berry invented, played loud enough ought to have it’s listeners shaking, rattling and rolling. So dig this, it’s the devils music and it’s good.
Other tracks like this are “Fool For Your Love” and “Soon I’m gone.” The former track, “Fool For Your Love” shows off definitive Berry characteristics. It’s a track Invoking nods to “School Days” and of course “Johnny B. Goode.” The latter “Soon I’m Gone” carries on with Richards’ wild piano playing style. Both ought to be put on the jukebox to get any party moving.
“Hungry Man” blends the untamed nature of Cochran with the desperation of Presley’s crooning. This tune has a strong build up, but remains in a mid tempo range. That said, this track shapes itself with a raw inflection. The outcome being a song inspiring an uncontrollable urge to start shaking with gyrations.
In true form, Faz Waltz deliver tracks blending T-Rex with a late Beatles-esque styles. These tracks are “Empty Hands” and “Shining Teeth.” Both songs bring forth a groovy yet heavy sound. This is music that begs for invocations of feelings weighted by a certain longing. It’s a method that Faz Waltz has perfected over the years and is reminiscent of “Sleepy Head” from their album Double Decker.
Much of On The Ball celebrates an unyielding feeling of youthful urgency. Not surprising then since that’s what rock n’ roll is. While On The Ball invites nostalgia for the sock hops, hot rods, strawberry milkshakes and poodle skirts, it’s still a sound boasting relevancy. Even in this day and age this genre reveres the idea that there will always be rebels without a cause. It’s a philosophy which Faz Waltz are certainly devotees.
This is an album that demands rock n’ roll is here to stay and it is clear it will never die. It’s a record that fits perfectly in Faz Waltz’s storied catalogue. On The Ball blends sounds that invoke yearning for the vintage and refined. That said, this record should not be overlooked. Faz Waltz deliver the a good time. This album is contiguously fun. It’s music made for cruising around with no particular place to go. Now, go pick this up, and get down and with it.
At long last Denver’s notorious rockers Fast Eddy have released their sophomore LP, Take A Look. Within it’s grooves are soul studded sounds of power pop driven rock n’ roll. It’s their debut LP on Spaghetty Town Records and was produced by Tuk Smith (Biters). Admittingly, there are familiar themes of the music for rebels without a cause. However, Take A Look represents an evolution into a refreshed approach to this ageless genre. Not surprising then that this is perfect for the longings of the hopeless leather jacketed romantic of today’s desperate age.
This record starts off strong with the signature track “Take A Look.” This song is groovy to the ears. It kind of reminds of something that The Booze could boast, but with a style distinctly enmeshed in punk twisting with roguish power pop notions. This song sets the tone for the record by playing a sound that fills the room with illuminating brilliance. If one needed something to kick off the day with, “Take A Look” is that track.
Those who got their hands on the Toofer One 7” in 2018, will already be familiar with “Milwaukee.” It’s the kind of tune to eat your heart out with. This song tells the tale of the trappings of a lifestyle of the iconically decadent ,and will resonate with those succumbing to the affections of rock n’ roll. So open a cold one and sing along to the easy to follow chorus. For those still plugging away at three chords with long lost hope, its for you.
Another track following in this vein is “Frankie Died.” Although upbeat, It’s a tragic song about the demise of Frankie. The subject of this song has unfortunately died, and while a tragedy, it doesn’t seem to be a surprise. Those hoisting the banner of rock n’ roll have all known a “Frankie.” Be sure to listen carefully.
On the other “Help Me” displays Fast Eddy’s superb swagger. It’s a kind of soulful song that gives of the feel goods. Listen to this one to conclude the evening on a high note.
Those more comfortable with Fast Eddy’s punk roots need not fear. Tracks like “Hurricane Alley” and “Lost” perfectly capture their signature approach to unabashed punk n’ roll. They are loud and fast. Play these with impunity.
The magic on Take A Look are with tracks “Game of Love” and “Sunflower Bank.” These two tunes demonstrate Fast Eddy’s ability to blend elements of glam, rock n’ roll and punk into something more than typical projections of head numbing sensations. They are songs that project definitive passion by taking playful rock n’ roll and stretching it toward operatic sensibilities. As such, they should not suffer the limitations of low volume. Rather, they must be given the chance to fill the halls of any dive bar or punk flat.
Fast Eddy know how to deliver stunning rock n’ roll tunes. Their previous material is a testament to is fact. While this record plays on the recognizable and it also shows remarkable range. To miss out on Take A Look would be poor choice to say the least. It’s well worth the listen and should be played on repeat until the needle wears out. After all, its music like this that remind us that rock n’ roll is still breathing, and it seems this is in part due to Fast Eddy. Now, pick this up.
Brad Marino certainly has a lot of swagger. Previously known for his work withThe Connection, Marino’s solo material stands on it’s own. It’s perfectly displayed in his latest LP Looking For Trouble. This record was released by Spaghetty Town Records. Not surprising then that it’s an LP that shows off Marino’s affinity to blend the power pop style of The Nerves with an infusion of Rolling Stones-esque rock n’ roll. Looking For Trouble is the kind of listen that grows on you after each spin. It has it’s gems and they ought to be heard.
Looking For Trouble starts out with “ Even The Score.” A kind of feel good, southern rock n’ roll meets power pop tune. Think of The Booze twisting with Jordan Jones. It’s am approach that sets the musical tone for this record. Following in this line, albeit a bit faster, is “Taillights Fade” and title track “Looking For Trouble.”
For me, the track that comes across as remarkably clever is “Local Show.” If anyone has ever tried to woo their friends in vain to support their performances, this is your new anthem. It’s a catchy tune that takes on a music scenes ever so relevant self-deprecating view of the hurdle’s groups try to make it on their local circuit. May it be folks wanting guest list status or discounted merch, it’s absurdity is mentioned in “Local Show.”
Another stand out track is “Tripwire.” This song breaks out as rock n’ roll tune that could be found in a spaghetti western. Cool and calm, this track superbly demonstrating Marino’s diversified musical talent.
On the B-side of Looking For Trouble is “False Alarm.” This track sounds like it could have come out of Paul Collins’ book of tricks. This theme is true for the rest of this records b-side. It’s particularly evident with like tracks like “Take Your Time” and “Fell In Love Again.” Both of which perfectly capture the power of Marino’s pop driven harmonies.
“What Do You Know” stands out as a more pop driven punk number. This track is decidedly upbeat and easy to sing along to. In addition, this songs sound has a kind of a Beat-like flair. If this one doesn’t inspire some pogoing, then rinse and repeat by playing it again until you start to feel some life again.
Overall Looking For Trouble is a fun listen. The prevailing theme for this LP is it’s infectious charm. Marino knocks it out of the park with a distinct style punk rock n’ roll infused power pop. Top tracks for immediate consideration are “Local Show,” “Tripwire” and “What Do You Know.” For a good time check this one out. This is a record meant to be played. So, drop the needle on Looking For Trouble and boost your receiver.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
The first track “Dirty Taint” is a rowdy sonic blast of power pop infused punk at it’s finest. It brilliantly sets the tone for this album. Think of the Nervous Eaters playing with their definitive rock n’ roll swagger but at the break-neck speed of the Ramones. Next up title track “Summer Soon” follows suite in a similar vein. It is a perfect blend of snotty defiance and catchy sing along fun.
For me the magic on Summer Soon is with ” Echo.” This song is infectious and wild. Much like “Dirty Taint” it carries a Ramones-like quality to it, but with snot filled quality worthy of The Spits. “Echo” the kind of tune meant to bounce around like a speed-freaked idiot. So don’t mess around when playing this one, make sure to boost the receiver. You might make friends with your neighbors or roommates—or not. That’s the risk of playing volatile power pop infused with mutinous punk for the masses. Some get it, some don’t.
The B-side of this record also boasts it’s fair share of gems. Tracks like “Teen Engine” help root Summer Soon’s angsty punk theme. “Teen Engine” has plenty of infectious energy that is easy to get behind. Listening to this should inspire one to fly off the walls as if on a high voltage wire.
Other tracks like “Human Sake” and “RnR With You” capture Bambies superb ability to mix the angst of 70’s punk with garage rock rooted power pop. “Human Sake” is fun and rambunctious. It’s the kind of tune to bash about to. Listen for pure undulated fun. On the other hand, “RNR With You” lives up to it’s name. This track is fast and throws all caution to the wind. Like other track’s it’s got a signature power pop element that is infectious to the ears.
Overall, Summer Soon is an album worth dropping the needle on. Based off sound on this record alone catching Bambies live would be an unforgettable experience. This trio demonstrate an excellence in blending fast paced punk with power pop.
If you the reader needed an album to kick them into an overdriven frenzy, then Summer Soon is for you. So, be sure to pick this up. The result of playing this should be pogoing about like an absolute madman. Anything less will require adjusting to volume to the appropriate levels flashing lights of translucent red. Now dig this.
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.
The first track on the MF/EP is “Machine Gun” and it is brutal in it’s excellence. Fast and heavy, it’s a song that leaves nothing but total devastation in it’s wake. It’s s got simple, yet catchy lyrics. However, what really exemplifies this tracks primordial nature is it’s Johnny Thunders-like riffs and Chase TailsStiv Bators-esque snarling vocals.
Perhaps my favorite track on this is “Hurricane Kiss.” This track immediately grasps hold of the unwary listener with razor wire riffs and a stomping beat. For me it demonstrates RMBLR’s signature take on barbaric rock n’ roll. It’s a superb assault on the senses. “Hurricane Kiss” should be played with impunity.
“Main Muscle” is a catchy song about the tenderness of one’s heart. This track is a mix between fast spitfire punk and the warmth of power pop. Without fail, this is the one track that will inspire a drunken sing along. Play this one for the feels.
The b-side celebrates the tracks “Tal’m Bout,” “Move Over” and “Get Ghost.” “Tal’ M Bout” infuses Atlanta’s punk rock n’’ roll with the Thunders-like glam style. Think of a mix between Streak and the New York Dolls. “Move Over” carries on similarly, but with a harmonious sound reminiscent of Biters meets The Black Lips kind of garage. “Get Ghost” concludes the album by bringing back the raw and raucous punk rock.
RMBLR are set to perform in Denver for RKR MTM RIPPER on the weekend on September 10th. This band lives up to the hype. They are a vital shock to the system that shouts out music ought to alive and well again. Fans of untamed, degenerate punk and rock n’ roll will easily find this record up their alley. This is not a release to dilly dally over. It should be picked up before it becomes scarce. The only other option to acquiring this release is to put one’s head through a window and bite bricks until they explode.
Hailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Los Vigilantes have made their mark on the rock n’ roll world. Since their inception, they toured extensively, worked with labels like Slovenly Recordings and Mandinga Records ,and gained an international following. They have released two albums, Los Vigilantes (2011) and Al Fin (2014), plus a plethora of singles. In their records and on stage they sing in Spanish and play music influenced by styles such as bossa nova, lo-fi, and pop. The result is a unique and exciting take on garage rock.
To learn more, I sat down with the lads of Los Vigilantes. Recently, they have been enduring the conditions of quarantine in Puerto Rico due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We chatted about the music scene in San Juan, playing Funtastic Dracula Carnival (2019), a new single being released digitally and how the recent string of natural disasters —hurricanes, earthquakes and pandemics—have affected life in Puerto Rico.
NixBeat: Los Vigilantes combines the talents of Jorge “Jota” Mundo, Javier Garrote, Pepe Carballido, and Rafael Diaz. I’ve read in staugustine.com on February 29, 2012 they you all have a different background in music tastes. However, together you all bring a Spanish twist to garage rock by singing in Spanish and introducing elements of hardcore, lofi, fun and bossa nova. What prompted you to draw on these influences and how did they inform you to form Los Vigilantes?
Los Vigilantes: We all grew up with different musical backgrounds so it was kind of inevitable that those influences would seep into our music. It’s like when you hear mashups of songs. “Seasons in the Abyss” and “Careless Whisper” is a perfect example of how things that don’t seem to go together do. If you haven’t heard it, look for it online. It’s amazing!
NixBeat: What’s the garage punk scene like in San Juan and how has it changed over the years?
Los Vigliantes: There’s a rock and roll scene. I wouldn’t call it a garage scene necessarily. When we were kids it was all hardcore and metal Lopo Drido, La Experiencia, and Tropiezo for example. In the late 90’s/00’s it started to become more popish with bands like Toy Gun, Pepiniyoz, Jenny Fatale y Los Degolladroes, and all the Bayamón scene. From 2010 on there was a boom of garage rock with Davila 666, Ardillas, Reanimadores, and us. Now I feel like it’s changing again. It seems to be getting darker. New bands like Deshauciados, EspaZmos, La Moral, Bajo Mundo and Trueno Video are painting beautiful things with bleak colors.
NixBeat: If readers wanted to check out the music scene in Puerto Rico, where should they go?
Los Vigilantes: Deshauciados, Bajo Mundo, Campo Formio, EspaZmos, Juventud Crasa, La Moral, Fantasmes, Las Abejas, Ardillas, Re-Animadores, Pepiniyoz, All have stuff out there you can check out.
NixBeat: Los Vigilantes have toured extensively, playing in Europe, The United States and South America. How do you find the garage punk scenes differ in some of these places compared to in San Juan and the rest of Puerto Rico?
Los Vigliantes: The garage scene is pretty the same everywhere, and it is like a family. Musically I think with San Juan, Mexico, and Spain there’s a little bit more cross pollination of different styles which we personally like better.
NixBeat: In November 2019, Los Vigilantes played the Funtastic Dracula Carnival in Benidorm. Spain. The lineup was extensive and included Tommy and The Commies, The Night Times, Davila 666 and many others. What was it like to play Funtastic Dracula Carnival?
Los Viglialantes: It was a lot of fun… I remember Angelito from Davila fell two stories from a balcony and we found him wandering through a closed off construction site thanks to the glitter on his shoes. I’ll never forget it. It was great.
NixBeat: On July 18,2019, Los Vigilantes released the “Quo Descaro”/”Tus Cartas LLegan” 7”. What are you drawing from for the track “Quo Descaro?”
Los Vigilantes: A really bad break up. There’s no trick to that one.
Los Vigilantes:Tus Cartas Llegan is a cover of a Dominican Bachata song by Ramón Torres. We hear that everywhere in San Juan so we figured we’d pay homage to it in our own way.
NixBeat: Your latest 7” was released through the Brazilian label Mandinga Records. How did you get involved with this label?
Los Vigilantes:Pedrinho wrote to us saying he was interested we got a few songs together and that was that. He’s been great to us. We went to Sao Paolo for a few weeks to play and had a great time. Good people.
NixBeat: Can readers expect another album in the works from Los Vigilantes?
Los Vigilantes: We’re releasing a single called Yo No Quiero Ver a Nadie Hoy digitally this week, and we have a lot of songs in our bag so anything is possible. We’re always working.
NixBeat: What are Los Vigilantes plans for the remainder of 2020?
Los Vigilantes: We had plans to tour that fell through because of the outbreak. So for now, we’re writing and recording as much as we can. We’re trying to turn this isolation in our favor and have music out for when we can play shows. And we are oh so ready to play some fucking shows.
NixBeat: Much of the world has been in lockdown to the Coronavirus pandemic. These lockdowns have affected music scenes all over, with gigs being cancelled, shops closing and nightlife suspended. How has Puerto Rico been effected by the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Los Vigilantes: Yeah well we have the strictest lockdown out of all the US. Everything is closed and Marshall Law goes into effect every night and 7pm and no one can leave their house until 5am the next morning. And on Sundays you can’t even buy cigarettes, alcohol or groceries. Only premade food. There is still no reliable testing. The government has been caught twice doing shady things with the tests. The Federal Aid that has been granted to Americans in the mainland has not arrived here, so people are getting desperate. Today, May 1, the government revoked the right to protest, people went out anyway. But it gives you an idea of the climate we’re dealing with.
NixBeat: In 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by two major hurricanes Irma and Maria. The result was massive damage to the Puerto Ricans infrastructure and access to resources, as well as poor recovery efforts from the mainland of the United States. How the music scene was particularly affected by the hurricanes’ destruction and the shortcomings of the subsequent recovery efforts?
Los Vigilantes: Yes the hurricanes were horrible, the government was probably worse. Late in 2019 we also got hit by a series of earthquakes with equally dismal response, there are still people displaced from those. Now, like the rest of the world we’re dealing with Covid. Even though last summer we held historic protests and ousted the governor responsible for the mishandling of the hurricane recovery, the unelected governor that got put in charge of the earthquake recovery and the virus seems to be equally as inept and callous as her predecessor. I think this is creating an atmosphere of anger and resentment that is permeating everything. A lot of the newer bands that we’ve mentioned seem to be reflecting this. Right now there is nothing happening musically other than bands releasing music, but any scene needs live shows to grow and evolve.
Since 2007, Faz Waltz has led the bovver rock revival. They present a unique style that draws from influences such as The Beatles, T-Rex, David Bowie and Queen. The result is sounds that blends contemporary rock n’ roll with pop sensibilities into a nostalgic nod toward the notions of 1970’s junkshop glam.
Over the years, Faz Waltz has never seemed to slow down. They have played numerous performances, released six albums, toured all over Europe and in 2019 made their first appearance in the United States with a brief tour, including playing at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Now Faz Waltz are about to release their seventh album Rebel Kicks on April 20th 2020. After getting a preview of the new record via the Grown Up Guy/ C’Mon Liar 7”, I contacted Faz Waltz’s frontman Faz La Rocca to learn more . We chatted about his glam rock influences, touring the States, playing the Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival, the new 7” and what life is like in Italy during the Coronavirus quarantine.
NixBeat: After previously playing in punk bands, Faz Waltz formed in 2007. What prompted you to start Faz Waltz?
Faz La Rocca: Well, I was deep into the punk rock scene but there were many punk rock bands around. I wanted to do something different. So I started a band playing the music I loved the since I was a kid — rock ‘n roll.
Nix Beat: Faz Waltz seems to blend boot-boy glam rock styles that harkons on a mix of The Beatles, T-Rex and Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie. Where does your passion for glam come from?
Faz La Rocca : When I was 7, I discovered Queen. They instantly became my favorite band at that time so I started looking for bands that had the same feel… the Beatles were next, then I went on to find T. Rex, Bowie, Cheap Trick, ELO, Slade, and other great bands.
Nix Beat: In an article published by Louder Than War on May 8, 2016, it was stated that Faz Waltz would write and perform in English since it was considered the universal language of rock n’roll. Why do you think that is?
Faz La Rocca: Ever since I discovered rock n’ roll as a kid, my only dream was to become a musician. My favorite bands were from the UK and the US, so singing in English is the only way for me.
Nix Beat: Faz Waltz played Punk Rock Bowling in 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. How did you get involved in playing the festival?
Faz La Rocca: It all happened thanks to Ted from Spaghetty Town Records. After we were asked to play at Punk Rock Bowling, Ted took care of all the other gigs. We’ve been asked to play in the US and Canada multiple times in the past — we even had a tour planned in 2016. Touring the US and Canada is very expensive with all the bureaucratic red tape. So we needed a big main event like Punk Rock Bowling to make the tour happen.
NixBeat: How was performing in the States compared to playing in Europe?
Faz La Rocca: It was awesome. This was my very first time in this beautiful country. We got to travel the US and we got to play our music; it was a two-for-one dream come true. Well, playing in the States is different from some European countries but similar to others. One thing was certain: everybody was super excited to see us. We really appreciate everyone who came out and rocked with us.
Faz La Rocca: Although some songs are the fruit of my imagination, many are influenced by real life. Everybody experiences some grief sometimes and it’s not obvious that somebody is there to help. So you have to fend for yourself. This makes you think you don’t need anybody else to get through. It gives you power you didn’t think you had — though in your heart you really don’t want to be alone either.
Faz La Rocca: “Come On Liar” is the perfect B Side to “Grown Up Guy,” because it’s in the bad times that you discover who is real and who is fake, “Big smiles and big lies.” It’s about friendship, real or presumed.
Faz La Rocca: Yes, we do what we can to keep our minds busy while confined at home; playing some music, painting, reading, writing, and watching movies. Some people like me are still working during the day, but when I come home I need to do something that fills the void of no normal socializing.
NixBeat: What’s the mood like in Italy with the quarantine and how have people been coping with the stress.
Faz La Rocca: Northern Italy has been hit quite hard right now, the hospitals are fighting a big battle – they are heroes. Many people are dying and we’re not seeing the end of this yet. But Italy is strong, we’ll make it; we have a positive attitude, we have faith in our national health service, and we follow all the directives for health security.
The world should learn from how we are living and stop underestimating this pandemic. We underestimated it when China was the only country affected because it looked so distant from us. Now it’s at a global level — what are we waiting for? Stay at home, stop all social contacts. It’s the only way to get through this, nobody is immune.
NixBeat: How has the Corona Virus Pandemic affected the music scene over there?
Faz La Rocca: The Coronavirus has totally affected the music scene. All the clubs are closed, no live shows, we can only play online from our home and all without getting paid. Many bands, clubs, and recording studios are dealing with financial issues due to the forced closure. So any help is appreciated by the bands, for example, you can buy records and merch as long as the shipping services are in operation.
NixBeat: Faz Waltz’s new album Rebel Kicks is due to be released on April 20th, 2020. What can fans look forward to with the new record?
Faz La Rocca: Yes, it will be released in April, pre-order is available now. For example on Rebel Kicks there’s fun as always but we also touch on some different topics. The album has some room for an introspective side too and it has a couple of very intense ballads as heard in the previous records. I love writing that pop oriented stuff.
NixBeat: Are you concerned about any delays because of the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Faz La Rocca: No, there’s no sense in planning when dealing with this pandemic. We all have to live day by day and take all the good from this situation.
NixBeat: What plans does Faz Waltz have for the rest of the year? Faz La Rocca: First of all, we just all want this period to end as soon as possible. Then we’ll see. We weren’t sure if we made the right move to release the album now — maybe we should have waited for a better time. But come on, life needs to go on. Even during and because of these difficult times, we’d like people to listen to our new album and feel carefree for a while. That’s what music is for! This is why I’ve been making music for all these years. We hope to put some smiles on your faces.
To those not already familiar with Suicide Generation, there should be warning label on their records. These cats come out of the back alleys of London and in their wake is sonic whirlwind of chaos and destruction. They produce a sound that demands a nod to Detroit’s own The Stooges, but with a sonic flair that is ultimately their own. The results are arguably brain-splitting. Not surprisingly then that their new single Prisoner Of Love follows directly in line with this notion.
The title track “Prisoner Of Love” holds back nothing.Upon listening to this track, one can almost feel the unbridled nature of Suicide Generation blasting through their speakers. It’s a vicious assault of ear-piercing garage punk. If one has been lucky enough to survive one of their shows, then hear this shredding mess ought to bring back fond memories of a live performance. So, beware.
On the B-side of this EP are two tracks boasting of primitive rock n’ roll. The first track “Shitty In The City” harkens toward the raw style of 1970’s punk. It’s kind of along the likes of The Stukas or Johnny and the Self Abusers. If it wasn’t a contemporary song, it’d be surprising that “Shitty In The City” wouldn’t be found on a Killed By Death Compilation.
The other track “Rotten Mind” follows in the somewhere in between “Prisoner Of Love” and “Shitty In The City.” It’s a rapid fire punk number that holds no prisoners and is over almost as soon as it begins. Under the right elicit conditions, this track ought to inspire thrashing out of control. For the uninitiated and delicate “Rotten Mind” is an essential concoction of primal punk rock.
Suicide Generation’s Prisoner Of Love single shows remarkable promise. It’s a record that demonstrates their ability to be tight while still remaining as unbridled and savage as ever. Barring the ability to seem them live, having the volume peaking in the red will give listeners a glance into what it’s like to witness the ferocity of Suicide Generation’s live act—as well as some hearing loss. For that simple reason, check out Prisoner Of Love. It’s not to be overlooked, especially by any self-styled rock n’ roll degenerate.
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.