New single: The Carolyn || Harmful History

2023 is turning out to be a great year if you are into punk rock and indie punk. The Carolyn have another nice three-song single for fans of the genre. Sonically, I’d put the three-piece from Atlanta in the same universe as The Menzingers, Gaslight Anthem and Spanish Love Songs, but the title track has a Swingin’ Utters vibe that suits The Carolyn very well. Harmful History is out now through 59 X Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Night Court || Humans!

Let’s start the weekend off right. We announced it last month, now it’s here! ATW darlings Night Court have a new record out! It’s called Humans! and is a totally lo-fi & DIY affair coming straight out of the band’s home build garage recording studio in Vancouver. Humans! sounds like the logical next step for Night Court after their highly acclaimed and much beloved Nervous Birds duology. That duology came with the spontaneity and excitement of a new band recording six handfuls of songs in just a couple of manic recording sessions. The 16 songs on Humans! sound just a tad more deliberate and accomplished in comparison. Like the band took a little more time in writing and recording the songs.

Rest assured, Night Court haven’t sacrificed the thrill of listening to their music. From opener What’s It Like To Be A Bat, Man? to closer S.O.S. (the ABBA song? YES), Night Court will put a huge smile on your face and turn you into a bobblehead action figure on a pogo stick. Humans! is full of tail waggin’ anthems for the underdog. It celebrates the imperfections of being human and makes being a reject, outsider, zero or dropout sound joyful and aspirational. I love how Night Court drummer Emilor Jayne puts the human experience in perspective in this (recommended!) piece from The Big Takeover: “As we are 70% water, we are essentially cucumbers with anxiety.”  Or like Jiffy Marx sings in Predator: “I don’t care what you think, but I care about you.” In this imperfect world, Night Court sounds like a perfect gang of friends to have. And the amount of heart, empathy and fun they pour into their distorted scratchy pop songs, make Night Court one of my favorite bands around right now.

Humans! is out now on LP through Debt Offensive and Snappy Little Numbers.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Debt Offensive || Snappy Little Numbers

New EP: El Niño Delta || We Are Flamingos

Please meet El Niño Delta aka Alex Arcas (vocals, guitar) from Andalusia (Spain), who this week released his debut EP We Are Flamingos, recorded together with Sergio Flores (drums, percussion), Pepe Lee (double bass, bass) and Marcel López, David Galera & Hector (horns). You’ll hear six swinging tunes, sung in Spanish – basically 50s rockabilly, but spiced up with influences from blues, country, surf and flamenco. Infectious, cheerful and danceable, at least for those who can keep up with the rhythm.

We Are Flamingos, recorded/mixed/mastered by Pike Cavalero, is out now digitally and on CD through Chicken Attack Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: BBQT || Dangerous Dame

“I am gonna punch you in the nose. I hate you baby, and it’s starting to show.”

There is no beating around the bush when Sleaz-E G aka Gabbie Bam Bam picks up her guitar and her notebook. Dangerous Dame is her latest release and 2nd LP with BBQT. It’s a changeup from her previous outings with the band. Part of that is due to the production of the record. BBQT’s highly recommended 2018 album Let’s Go had Matthew Melton’s (Bare Wires, Warm Soda) production all over it. Equally noticeable is that relative to the previous stuff, BBQT has turned the glam down and the (punk) rock all the way up. Like Joan Jett on steroids or speed, BBQT are straight up rockin’ on Dangerous Dame. It is a ferociously hedonistic affair, a loose and raw r’n’r album. In other words, I have zero complaints!

Dangerous Dame will be out on LP through Wanda Records and Surfin’ Ki. Better buy it if you don’t want a bleedy nose.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Arrogants || Brainwash

When we got to know French garage rock band The Arrogants via their debut EP (Introducing .​.​. , 2014) and first album (No Time To Wait, 2015), the band members were still teenagers. Thomas Babczynski (lead guitar, lead vocals), Franck Lecaille (bass, vocals, guitar), Adrien Lepers (rhythm guitar) and Simon Hallier (drums) are young men now, but they haven’t lost any of their swagger. On their highly anticipated sophomore album (Brainwash, 2023), they once again dive into the good old sounds of garage punk, mod, R&B and psych, to brew their own fresh melting pot with those vintage ingredients. The fourteen songs – ranging in length from 01:46 to 05:54 – sneer and stun, with so much variety and quality that you won’t skip a single track.

Brainwash is out now digitally, and on CD and vinyl LP around July 21, through 14th Floor Music / Dirty Water Records. Produced by Yvan Serrano & Vincent Cunat.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Asphalt || Le Blues Du Bulldozer

Asphalt’s Le Blues Du Bulldozer? Are we about to get flattened by a steamroller? Well, don’t judge a record by its title and band name. To be sure, there is definitely a punk attitude to the music of Asphalt, but listening Le Blues Du Bulldozer is like witnessing a metamorphosis. The record opens with the moody protopunk track Bulldozer – see video below. With each subsequent song though, Asphalt increasingly open the curtains and windows to let the light and a breath of fresh air in. What about the irresistible Ustensile, arguably the most pop oriented and sunny track on the EP? From there on out, the transition moves swiftly. The next couple of tracks (Bunker (Technycolor) and Mopedelic) sound more like ’77 punk. Somehow, by the end of Le Blues Du Bulldozer, Asphalt start to sound like an underground pop band from the ’80s. What a trip!

Unfortunately, the EP is only on some streaming agencies right now and is expected to arrive on Bandcamp on June 15th. French label Juvenile Delinquent should have a tape of the record around July 15th – pre-order now!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Angry Adults || Dust And Weight

Look who’s back? Those three Angry Adults (Miku, Rami & Hepis) from Helsinki! And they’ve cooked another batch of Lookout!/Mutant Pop worshipping scrappy pop punk tunes. Waste Away My Heart and Nothing’s Gonna Change My Mind are my favorite of the bunch, the kind of songs that show that Angry Adults can take their foot of the gas a little bit and still be perfectly on time.

The Dust And Weight EP is out now on 7″.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Record Shop X

New album: Generifus || Rearrangel

Generifus is the DIY project of Washington State native Spencer Sult, a prolific local hero who has put around twenty releases on his resume since 2005, and isn’t done yet. “I’m not changing, just rearranging // Rearrangel, bless and save me,” is what you hear in the title track of Rearrangel, his latest full-length album. The ten folk-pop songs here tell about life in the Pacific Northwest, an emotional mix of spiritual vision, road stories and bumper sticker wisdom. Or as sung in standout track Didn’t Even Look at the Mountain: “Take different words and mix them up into the bowl” (while violins weep gently). Get ready for 42 minutes of subdued melancholic music, with lush and sunny instrumentation, and characterful vocals.

Rearrangel, produced by Zach Burba and enigeered by Vin Christopher, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Anything Bagel and Bud Tapes. Featuring Spencer Sult, Lee Baggett, Zach Burba, Wilson Caicedo, Vin Cristopher, Andrew Dorsett, Liam Hindahl, Anna Jeter, Casey Klep, Laith Scherer, Collin Stackhouse and Henry Wilson.

Add to wantlist at Bandcamp: Anything Bagel || Bud Tapes || Generifus

New EP: Sin City || Something’s Cookin’

It was one of my favorite stories last year, how Sin City and their music came to be. Songwriting duo Nick Armstrong (vocals, pianos, bass, guitar, percussion) and Jack Beesley (vocals, guitars, percussion) moved from Auckland, New Zealand to Melbourne, Australia, where they* recorded the Something’s Cookin’ EP. These four fresh songs should ease the wait for their second full-length, which is expected to be released at the end of this year. Their mix of rock ‘n’ roll, country and soul – tough but charming – is at its best live, but these studio versions are also great to consume at home, especially if you can grab some Belgian beer from your fridge.

The Something’s Cookin’ EP, produced by Delaney Davidson, is out now digitally. *Also featuring John Segovia (lap steel guitar, Telecaster), John Egenes (pedal steel on Fringes of Life), Alistair Deverick (drums), Dave Khan (fiddle), Delaney Davidson (guitar, bass) and Takumi Yanai (bass).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Segments || Smiling Faces

Remarkable news this week: smile education is on the rise in Japan, because that facial expression is no longer normal after wearing face masks for a long time. I would like to point out a cheaper and more fun way than such a course: listen to Smiling Faces, the indie flavored debut album of new French power pop outfit The Segments, and it will go by itself. The musicians, known from bands such as The Hi-Lites, The Cavemen V and X-Ray Vision, incorporate influences from glam rock and new wave into twelve exciting stompers full of hooks. The fat guitar melodies catchily tumble over a solid drum beat, the joyful harmony vocals complete the fun. Smiling faces, like pictures from the good old days.

Smiling Faces is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Dangerhouse Skylab / Family Spree Recordings.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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