New album: The Eye Five || The Eye Five

The Eye Five are a surf rock outfit from Eugene, Oregon (US), featuring Danny Romero (guitar, bass, keys) and Jordan Vachal (drums, percussion). Last two years they successively released the Coast Ghost album, the Boogie Bones EP and the Creature Crawl EP, which have now been brought together on a self-titled CD by Greek label Surf Cookie records. The compilation contains thirteen original instrumentals that are as atmospheric and cinematic as they are melancholic and imaginative. Fresh but familiar, the ideal soundtrack for daydreaming about a sunny beach.

The Eye Five’s self-titled compilation is out now digitally and on CD through Surf Cookie Records.

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New EP: Various artists || A 3 Way Split: Cotton Candy And Her Favourite Blue

In their latest release, Chaotic Pop Records continues to captivate with a delightful blend of indie pop goodness. This time, they bring together two talented Indonesion bands (Anti. (Solo, Central Java) & Poplar Tree (Depok, West Java) with Zenxith from Newcastle (UK).

With each band contributing two tracks, the compilation offers a diverse journey through the jangle and twee pop spectrum. Despite operating from distinct points within the genre, there’s a unifying charm that will undoubtedly resonate with a broad audience of indie pop enthusiasts.

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New EP: The Late Shift || Not Yet A Ghost​.​.​.

In the 90s, Al Wilson (vocals), Pete Coleman (lead guitar), Billy Marshall (rhythm guitar) and Pud Perry (drums) already played together in some local bands in South Wales, and apparently the four friends have found each other again – in the common goal of writing and recording an album of joyous, honest and fun to play songs. They’re reportedly putting the finishing touches to that, but we’re getting a first taste of their aptitude: under the moniker of The Late Shift they just released the Not Yet A Ghost… EP. Starting point was an intended fusion of the sound of US post-hardcore bands with the grooves of the ‘Madchester’ scene, as heard in the late 80s and early 90s. The result is solid alternative rock – four fascinating original songs – with a good sense of melody, appealing guitar riffs, ragged-edged vocals and lyrics between hope and fear (“If the tears are the jewels tonight, what the hell is there left to write?” – from Copy). It’s clear that we’re not dealing with youngsters here, yet this music is as thoughtful as it is refreshing.

Not Yet A Ghost​.​.​. is out now digitally. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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New single: Shop Talk || WCUD

Brooklyn trio Shop Talk follow their well-received 2023 EP with a new two-song single that is sure to get rave reviews as well.

Shop Talk colors on a foundation of late ’70s punk and powerpop on the two new tracks. W.C.U.D. is an instant hit in the Dickies and Buzzcocks mold. The band had already won me over well before the kickass “no, it just don’t work like that, what can you do?” hook in the chorus kicked in. It’s one of those songs you want to play again and again. The Will has a more contemporary sound, but with its slightly dissonant guitar lick, it is equally compelling.

I don’t want to sound impatient, but time to hit us with a full length LP, guys!

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New album: The Infinites || The Archetypes

Austin, Texas’ The Infinites are no strangers to concepts. Their band name refers to the use of loops in their music, and on their 2019 debut, each of their songs centered around a different fictional person. On their second album, which is out now through Meritorio Records, each song explores a different archetype, like bureaucrats, expats, and secret agents. Hence its title, The Archetypes.

Suffice to say, The Infinites produce cerebal music that is carefully crafted and designed. Their songs unfold gradually, allowing your mind to roam without losing its way. The use of loops lends a circular quality to The Archetypes. It’s hypnotizing, but subtle. You’ll never feel stuck in a hamster wheel, you can get out whenever you’d like. But why would you want to when those guitar parts keep tickling the pleasure centres of your brain?

The Archetypes is an intriguing indie pop record that sneaks up on you. It’s out now through Madrid’s finest Meritorio Records.

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New EP: The Garnals || Buzz Me In

The Garnals are a Dutch indie rock band featuring Twan Stoffels (guitar, vocals), Lasse Schothorst (drums), Cees van Dijk (bass) and Jelle “Jellephant” Haagsma (guitar). On their new EP Buzz Me In you’ll hear five original tracks that combine frank eagerness and charismatic vocals with effective orchestration and extraordinary guitar duels. The Arnhem-based musicians kick ass on this hook-filled and surprisingly magnetic release.

Buzz Me In is out now digitally and on cassette through Brighter Records.

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New album: Savage Mansion || The Shakes

“There’s something hiding under the ice // An imitation of a sound // There’s something standing behind the door // Would you like to know more?” Those are the promising opening words of the title track of The Shakes, the fourth full-length album by Glasgow-based indie rock band Savage Mansion. Those who are curious enough to open themselves up to the eleven new songs will fall from one bright idea to the next, while Craig Angus (vocals, guitar), Andrew Macpherson (guitar), Jamie Dubber (bass), Adam Forbes (keys) and Lewis Orr (drums, percussion) musically switch between melodic alternative rock and a speak-sung post-punk feel. It’s quite a varied record, but cohesive in sound and always original and classy, raw and thoughtful at the same time. “If you see it, walk on by // Keep your head down, walk on // What’s wrong with your eyes? Nothing” (from Total Colombia).

The Shakes, produced by Julie McLarnon, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Lost Map Records.

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New album: The Drowns || Blacked Out

Seattle-based punk ‘n’ roll outfit The Drowns released the songs Just The Way She Goes and 1979 Trans Am last November on a year-end list-worthy 7″, and if you haven’t bought it yet, you can now also find these tunes on their new full-length album Blacked Out.

There are twelve tracks in total here, in which gravelly vocals and infectious guitar riffs are wrapped in a coat of street punk and glam rock – that’s what Aaron-Rev Peters, Andy Wylie, Jake Margolis and Simon Short can do, and they do it very well. It’s impossible not to smile when hearing the cover of Chinnichap’s 1973 classic Dynamite (Mud’s Dyna-Mite), a worthy successor to their earlier take on The Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz, but the originals are actually just as appealing and entertaining. For optimal effect, all clichés are pulled out – greasy guitar licks, stomping drums, whoo-hoo gang vocals, handclaps – just the way we like it. After eleven bangers with a big sound, the ballad Born To Die in NYC closes the record, and it doesn’t even feel out of place because it comes from the same hearts.

Blacked Out, produced by Ted Hutt, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Pirates Press Records.

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New album: Circles || still.

The new LP by Nantes (France) five-piece Circles (established 2017) is something to get excited about. Like the album art for diverges from typical hardcore punk aesthetics, so does the music included on still..

To be fair, it’s impossible not to namedrop the legendary DC label Dischord Records and the mid-’80s Revolution Summer while writing about still. Parts of the record directly bring Dag Nasty, Embrace and Rites Of Spring to mind, but let’s not dwell on these comparisions. Circles have a mind, talent and sound of their own, finding inventive ways to update an all too familiar sound, unhindered by genre expectations or scene social pressure.

For a thirty-minute record, still. has a lot too offer. LP out now at Shield Recordings and Extinction Burst.

Circles recorded the album at Studio des Moulins with Piermo Broggi. Brian McTernan (of course!) did the mixing and mastering still. at Salad Days Studio.

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New album: Bloodstains || Bloodstains

Orange County’s Bloodstains released their demo in 2020, followed it up with an EP in 2023, and this week they released their biggest and best release yet, their self-titled debut album.

Bloodstains is a punk rock record, and by the sound of it, the four members (David Espinoza, Vince Catanho, Nick Espinoza, and Cesar Marin) are fans of classic American hardcorepunk. Their sound is kinda dark and agressive, and I think the subtle new wave and postpunk influences work really well and refreshing.

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