New single: The Crystal Teardrop || Running Out Of Time / Apres Jeudi

British garage rock five-piece The Crystal Teardrop return with their second 45, one that would have been priceless if it had been released 60 years ago but now only costs a tenner. Alexandra Rose (vocals, guitar), Leon Jones (guitar), Ed Quigley (bass), Stuart Gray (organ) and Connor Wells (drums) tick all the right boxes: catchy guitar riffs and swinging Farfisa melodies, lots of fuzz and irresistible vocals, psych and yé-yé influences, you’ve got it. Both A-side Running Out of Time (in English) and flipside Apres Jeudi (in French) are sing-along floor fillers. Hits! Reportedly even better live.

Running Out Of Time b/w Apres Jeudi, Produced by Leon Jones and Connor Wells, is out now digitally and on 7″ vinyl through Rogue Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp (UK / EU)

New EP: Worms In Dirt || Smoke

Worms In Dirt are an indie punk band from Seattle, and their new EP, Smoke, is a lo-fi, ramshackle gem. The prize song on this four-song collection is the title track, a dirt pop banger infused with old-school pop punk vibes that had me hooked from the start. The other tracks subtly reveal the band’s folky side, adding a distinct twist to their sound.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Plastic Palms || Flip Haus

Plastic Palms are an Italian-American slacker rock band based in Turin, featuring songwriter Clarissa Ghelli (vocals, guitar), Marcello Enea Newman (lead guitar, backing vocals), Daniel Rineer (bass, backing vocals) and Sam Vickers (drums, backing vocals). Their Flip Haus EP contains five new songs that manage to unite contradictions in such a way that they stand out above the countless releases that we don’t post about. Dynamic indie rock goes together with bursts of garage punk and quirky lyrics about sauce, sidelines, shopping, swords and even about Hello Kitty (in standout track HK), while the male backing vocals clash pleasantly with the charismatic female lead vocals. Energetic with a capital E.

Flip Haus is out now digitally via We Were Never Being Boring Collective.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Prise Rapide || Prise Rapide

Marie, Julie, and Éric might have only formed Prise Rapide last year, but they already sound like a well-oiled machine on their self-titled debut, which dropped last month. This Parisian trio operates in the sweet spot between indie punk and post-punk, delivering songs that are both varied and suspenseful. Their raw, unpolished sound fits them perfectly, adding an edge that makes their music stand out. Talk about a cool new band making an instant impact! Grab their cassette now on Palapizza Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: BAMMS || Shame On You

Whenever bands tour Europe, I can’t help but feel a pang of envy for all those Spanish dates on the itinerary. Garage and rock-‘n’-roll music seems to be thriving over there like nowhere else. It’s not just about the foreign bands passing through; Spain has an ecosystem that lets local acts flourish. Case in point: BAMMS, hailing from Hernani.

BAMMS plays like they’ve overheard someone waxing nostalgic about the good old days of rock-‘n’-roll— “They don’t make ’em like they used to, huh?” and decided to prove them wrong. They nailed it with their 2021 album Last Chance, and they’re back to repeat that success with their new 7-track mini-LP Shame On You. BAMMS are the real deal, delivering sleazy rock-‘n’-roll hits that are all about the old-time fun. The LP is out now through Folc Records. Don’t miss it!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Folc

New album: Hot Wheels || Sun Blonde

It’s easy to be misled by the band name Hot Wheels and the sleeve of their full-length debut album Sun Blonde. It turns out to be a solo project by Los Angeles-based painter and musician Dan Bruinooge, who previously played with bands such as Sylvie, Golden Daze, Vinyl Williams and Stacey. The cover features his 2019 painting Faith, plus lyrics from the title track: “I can’t shake this feeling // Like this day isn’t real // Sun Blonde as she shines down // Know just how I feel.” You’ll hear psychedelic indie pop, a kind of quiet and partly instrumental, sliding between new age drones and nostalgic surf rock, where the atmosphere it evokes seems more important than the actual meaning – like a summer counterpart to the soundtrack from Twin Peaks. Warm melancholia as impressionistic art.

Sun Blonde is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP, through Earth Libraries. Written, composed and performed Dan Bruinooge, produced in collaboration with Lionel Williams.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Earth Libraries

New single: Night Spots || Early Nights

Cool new band alert! Night Spots are a rock ‘n’ roll outfit from Portland, Oregon, featuring Brian Lelko (guitar), Matt Miller (guitar), Serenity Storrow (bass) and Jason Powell (drums), who share vocal duties. The first two demos they released, Dandelion Wine b/w The Way You Look Tonight (available on their debut EP Early Nights), are promising. The former is a glam rock stomper with killer riffs, the latter combines an irresistible melody with doo-wop harmonies, both embrace a raw and dirty sound that has elements from the 60s and 70s. Five minutes of euphoria, and again, and again.

Early Nights is out now digitally (self-released). Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Comic Sans || Ojalá fuera mi cumplea​ñ​os

Remember Comic Sans? No, not the infamous typeface, but the Spanish twinkly and mathy emo revivalists. In case you missed it, Comic Sans released one of the finest albums in that genre last year.

Good news: the band from San Sebastian is back with a new quartet of songs that solidifies their newfound status. Without exception, the tracks on the Ojalá fuera mi cumpleaños EP are lively and energetic, featuring brain-tickling guitar licks, communal singing, and addictive melodies. If you loved last year’s Éramos felices y no lo sabíamos, you’ll love this EP, and you’ll love how Comic Sans keeps finding ways to surprise you – e.g., listen to Vale por todo bueno (featuring Mourn from Barelona), which is probably the poppiest song the band ever done, or to El coche de Micho with its tasteful horn parts.

The EP is available now on a 12″ vinyl, with the band’s sold out 2023 LP on the A-side and the new EP on the B-side. Smart move by Through Love and We’re Trying to combine these highly recommended and complementary releases.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp (Through Love) || Bandcamp (We’re Trying)

New album: Small Town Jones || Kintsugi

Kintsugi, which translates as golden joinery, is the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with gold or silver lacquer, based on the idea that cracks are like scars telling their own story. It’s a perfect metaphor for the fragile music of Devon-based singer-songwriter Jim Jones, who borrows the title and cover art from the refined technique for his fourth full-length album under the moniker of Small Town Jones. The fantastic premise is expressed in eleven subdued Americana songs, both musically and lyrically atmospheric and sensitive: “Faith and loss, hope and doubt // Uncertain unseen, with or without // Has the wild goose taken its flight // The path between the mist and the light.” Obviously, perfection is not the goal here – unexpected arrangements and connections make this record even more fascinating – but it comes close. The standout opening track in particular is one to hold on to: “Oh there’s got to be better days.”

Kintsugi, produced by Mike Reed, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP, trough Broken Sea Records. The ceramic heart of the cover photo was created by Taz Pollard.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Kinda Culty || No Astrology / No Parties

I usually keep my distance from anything that sounds kinda culty, but in the case of the Miami band Kinda Culty, I’m all for it. Information on Kinda Culty is pretty scarce. Their last release was in 2018, and the radio silence on their socials suggests they’ve been on hiatus for the past four or five years. But now, they’re back with a two-song single that’s perfect for anyone who loves garage pop punk. No Astrology is the designated garage hit, while No Parties is the faster, punkier track of the two.

Will this mark the beginning of Kinda Culty’s second life? I sure hope so!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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