New album: Tamara Luonto || Honeymoon

The Finnish four piece Tamara Luonto started around five years ago, steadily building a live reputation in their homeland. This week, they dropped their 8-song debut LP Honeymoon (on Humu Records / Hillotehdas / Lempi & Sylvi Discs), and it’s an extremely fun listen, even though I truly have no idea what these songs are about. Tamara Luonto operate on a continuum between punk and indiepop, constantly incorporating influences from powerpop, garage and rock’n’roll. Their songs are charming and full of pop. If you liked that Teini-Pää LP we wrote about a while back, make sure to check this one out as well, or vice versa.

Add to wantlist: Humu Records

New album: The Beatpack || All Good things (Turn To Dust)

Over 30 years ago, UK garage rock band The Beatpack conquered Europe with untamed live shows and a few Billy Childish produced releases, including debut album Could You Walk On Water ‎(1991), then suddenly they disappeared from the scene. They’ve now been back at the front for 10 years, and their sophomore LP All Good Things (Turn to Dust) is finally here. Hugh Dellar (vocals, harmonica, percussion), Simon Harvey (guitars, vocals, percussion), Will Bourton (bass, percussion, vocals, autoharp, thumb piano) en Charlie Gurney (drums, percussion, vocals) haven’t lost any energy. Assisted by John Cheeseman (piano, organ, harpsichord, harmonium, Wurlitzer), Terry Edwards (saxophone, trumpet, flugelhorn), Sam Enthoven (theremin), and Adrian Tuft-Smith & Louis Wiggett (backing vocals) they recorded 12 new songs that are short but powerful and as raw as they are surprising. This is raucous rock ‘n’ roll as it was played in the 60’s, with splashes of punk, R&B, blues and psych added. Not dusty at all.

All Good things (Turn To Dust) is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Spinout Nuggets.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Spinout Productons

New album: New Buck Biloxi || Cellular Automaton

I had no problem with the old Buck Biloxi, but I have to admit that the New Buck Biloxi (aka Robert Craig) sound particularly sharp on their new record Cellular Automaton – out now through Total Punk Records. Cellular Automaton is 16 minutes of primitive punk, but it’s less thrashy and more accessible than the old Buck Biloxi. It’s also more of a team effort compared to the solo at home recordings of the old Buck Biloxi. The self-critical Craig has this to say in Paperface Zine: “This might be my first record that I don’t dislike at all, but I had to re-do it a bunch of times to get it that way.”

I agree that the more diligent approach worked out well. Plenty of people will not dislike this record enough to put it on their wantlists.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Sharp Class || Tales Of A Teenage Mind

A while back we covered a two song single by Midland (UK) mod revivalists Sharp Class. The band’s debut album Tales Of A Teenage Mind is out now, and shows a band ready to breathe new life in the mod movement. This record should come with a warning, because in no time you’ll be getting a haircut and start browsing for Lambretta scooters, new boots, and slim fit suits.

The three lads in Sharp Class cite power pop, soul, rock’n’roll and punk as influences, and it’s impossible not to refer to The Jam while listening to Sharp Class – although The Clash and more recent bands like The Tranzmitors and Fashionism come to mind as well. The band’s sound may sound all too familiar for some, but I see that as one of Sharp Class’ strengths. The ten songs on Tales Of A Teenage Mind are so well executed you have to be a real cynic to dismiss the jolt of excitement Sharp Class brings to the table.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Los Palms || Skeleton Ranch

Fans of bands such as Allah-Las, Mystic Braves, Night Beats, The Growlers and Tijuana Panthers should pay attention now, because most likely they also dig Australian “romantic desert jangle” 5-piece Los Palms. Ant Candlish (vocals, guitar), Sam Arthurson (guitar), Nathan Solly (bass), Code Andrusko (drums, vocals) and Will Bahnisch (keys) just released their full-length debut album Skeleton Ranch and it’s – literally and figuratively – a thrilling one. You’ll hear 9 mysterious songs influenced by garage, surf and psych rock as it came to life in the 60’s – raw, dirty and cinematic. Or as they put it themselves: “Neo-psych ghost stories that create a detailed musical landscape by mixing feedback, fuzz, eerie organs and reverb-soaked guitar and vocals.” They may sing out loud that they don’t want to be cool, but of course they are, while their record is so hot you could warm up to it this fall.

Skeleton Ranch is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Fuzz Club Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Fuzz Club

New album: The Black Halos || How the Darkness Doubled

Let’s make a quick detour to the west coast of Canada for the glam rockin’ foot stompin’ rock’n’rollin’ return of The Black Halos. Formed in 1994, The Black Halos had a succesful period in the late ’90s/early ’00s, culminating in the critically acclaimed and publicly loved Violent Years LP (2001). Unfortunately, the band faced some serious headwind in the decade after. Members changed course, equipment got stolen. Long story short: After a 12 year hiatus, the stars somehow aligned to pave the way for the band to record some new music. More than some I should say, How The Darkness Doubled features twelve new tunes and zero trace of a band that is weary and tired. Instead, The Black Halos sound energized and hardened on this anthemic and sleazy punkrock’n’roll funfest.

Out now through Stomp Records!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Stomp

New album: Model Shop || Love Interest

There is no shortage of motivational quotes about endings and new beginnings. Likely, many of these quotes apply to the Math & Physics Club who released their last  LP (final?) in 2018. In these past seven days, two M&PC related releases were dropped, and it’s definitely an ‘one and one makes three’ kind-of-deal. Singer Charles Bert released his solo debut as Field School last  Friday. And this week marks the debut of Model Shop (Seattle), a new project by M&PC members Kevin Emerson and Ethan Jones together with bassist Jen Fox (Julep, Way South, These People Here).

Like Field School, Model Shop impress from the get go. Album opener Lucky is just one of many highlights on Love Interest. The record is varied and strays further from the M&PC mold than Field School. Model Shop have no issue switching between slow and moody song to upbeat and uplifting tunes. Thoughout it all, Model Shop deliver top of the class indie pop that they generously shower with lush and memorable melodies and delightful harmonies.

Love Interest is out now through Meritorio Records – what a year for that label!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Meritorio

New album: The Beach Berserkers || Revenge of the Skinny Fat Silverback

In Aarhus (Denmark) it’s rainy today, with a temperature of about 6°C, and wind speed varying between 3 and 7 m/s. Yet that’s where the most summery and exciting new surf rock release comes from. Please meet The Beach Berserkers, the band of brothers Svend and Ole Jeppesen, influenced by surf, spaghetti westerns, spy and horror movie soundtracks. They debuted over two years ago with their great debut single Brand New Speedos, with which their first full-length album Revenge of the Skinny Fat Silverback now kicks off. With the other nine instrumental tunes that follow, the duo shows that they easily can come up with more original melodies and witty song titles, something that’s actually quite difficult when you realize how abundant this genre already is. Pretty cool stuff. Look, is that the sun breaking through there?

Revenge of the Skinny Fat Silverback is out now digitally and on vinyl LP via Les Devon Records, CD’s to follow soon.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: GhostDog || Così Parlò Fitzcarraldo

Italian musician and author Manuel Lieta was already active in the Milanese indie underground in the late 90s, first playing in Pranxter, then in the ’00s as founder of Stardog. Eventually he got sick of the scene there, the years of struggle and the infantry of the people involved. Now, based in Berlin, he’s back with newfound energy and new music, as GhostDog. Here’s the debut EP Così parlò Fitzcarraldo under that moniker, featuring five original tracks not only sung in Italian but also sounding as if they are descended from an arthouse film that takes place there. This is cinematic indie rock with touches of post-punk and psych, dark and thrilling, with sensual or ominous lyrics. Not for everyone, but well worth it.

Così Parlò Fitzcarraldo is out now digitally via Gelo Dischi.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp 

New album: The Speedways || Talk Of The Town

There are many reasons why I wish I was around to experience the late ’70s, early ’80s powerpop scene. The idea of seeing The Plimsouls, The (Paul Collins) Beat, 20/20, Shoes, The Romantics, and The Records (etcetera!) at the height of their powers would have been amazing. There is one advantage of being born too late though: Nowadays, you can build quite the power pop record collection without having to break the bank. You can simply browse the bargain bins of record stores. Sure, there are several must own ’45s that are going north of $100 on Discogs, but if you are lucky and patient, those will get an repress eventually and be affordable as well.

Here is a record that will instantly blend in that classic power pop collection. It is the new (and third) Speedways LP Talk Of The Town), which follows Radio Sounds (2020) and Just Another Regular Summer (2019). Like its predecessors, Talk Of The Town offers authentic classic powerpop that is decidedly out of style and without a doubt will quickly win over the hearts and minds of power pop fans around the globe.

Of the three records, Talk Of The Town sounds the most pop oriented. This often marks the moment where early and conservative fans jump ship. With The Speedways I do not see this happening, because the progression is noticeable yet subtle. Not only is this still very much powerpop, it is a display of the many faces of powerpop. For example, the title track could have been written by Peter Case for The Plimsouls. That verse in Shoulda Known? Vintage Elvis Costello! Strange Love? Is that a Tom Petty song? Weekend 155? Mixes ’80s new wave with a killer hook in the chorus that may not even be a chorus but is catchy nonetheless.

Talk Of The Town may be the most pop oriented Speedways record, it also is their most accomplished. Each of the 13 tracks packs a punch in term of harmonies, hooks and melodies. Rather than make you sentimental for first wave powerpop bands, The Speedways fill you with gratitude that power pop of this level is still being created in 2022. Co-released by Snap!! Records, Hurrah! Musica, and Beluga Records, Talk Of The Town is one of the finest power pop records of the year.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Beluga

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