New album: Langkamer || West Country

UK four-piece Langkamer blend rock ‘n’ roll and alt-country into a unique indie rock sound. After two EPs, they now have released their full-length debut album West Country. The 12 new guitar-driven songs vary in tempo and style, sometimes sweet and at other times raucous and abrasive, but always infectious and intriguing. If you write such fine songs, it doesn’t matter that you are The Ugliest Man In Bristol. I wouldn’t be surprised if Langkamer manages to attract a really large audience, but especially restless souls can indulge themselves in West Country.

West Country is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Breakfast Records / TINA Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Breakfast Records

New album: Wildflower || The Ocean Rose

We go to great lengths to keep up to date with new albums and singles from our (potentially) favorite artists, through countless Bandcamp alerts, label mailings, music magazines, record store newsletters, and so on (check out this list of upcoming releases we look forward to). Sometimes it’s difficult to listen to new work, because some bands have names that are not googleable, not everything is available on every platform, and some songs are not even shared online at all. For example, when I was looking for the sophomore LP The Ocean Rose by Portland five-piece Wildflower today, initially I came across another Wildflower, from Santa Barbara, who coincidentally released the EP Into The Night in the same week, with three beautiful acoustic ballads. That even bands with the same name come up with good music at the same time. illustrates nicely how much there is to choose from. Anyway, let me not waste any more words on this little first world problem, but let’s travel to the miniature world of nostalgia and wonder – where past meets present – that The Ocean Rose offers. Close friends Mathew Maiello (keyboards, sax, clarinet), Jason Eckerson (bass), Roby Moulton (drums), Alex Winthrop (electic guitar, slide), and Adrian O’Barr (acoustic guitar, distinctive vocals) play nine warm songs about the simple pleasures of life on the Atlantic ocean. With each spin you’ll extend the summer by 39 minutes and 30 seconds!

The Ocean Rose is out now digitally and on 12″ vinyl LP through Night Bloom Records. RIYL Woods, Neil Young, Rose City Band.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Night Bloom

New EP: The Pre-Amps || Four by Four

Nowadays, some music is still made as in the good old days, as is once again underlined by UK four-piece The Pre-Amps. The 1960s-influenced pop / rock band made some name for themselves by covering their heroes (The Box Tops’ The Letter, The Beatles’ Nowhere Man, The Beach Boys’ Sloop John B, and so on), but are now also writing their own songs. At the end of 2019 they released their debut single Doesn’t Change, followed by Hard To Say b/w With My Baby in early 2021, and those tracks are now bundled together with new tune Learn To Love You on the EP Four by Four. Robert William Gray (bass), Scott Charlton (drums), Lyndon William Philliskirk (keyboards), and Kelvin Banks (guitar / harmonium) can all call themselves songwriter and singer, and here they show that perfect jangle pop songs with captivating melodies and great vocal harmonies are still being created these days. We look forward to a full-length album with more of these gems.

Four by Four is out now digitally, and next week also on 7″EP, through Spanish label Hurrah! Música.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Divine Horsemen || Hot Rise Of An Ice Cream Phoenix

On their 1981 album A Minute To Pray A Second To Die, The Flesh Eaters sang about Divine Horsemen (“Their hearts are in the right place // Right in the palm of my hand”). After disbanding his band a few years later, Chris Desjardins (a.k.a. Chris D.) continued with Julie Christensen on a new punk / folk project, which took its name from this song. In 1988, after a few LPs, Divine Horsemen ceased to exist, but the two L.A. musicians remained in touch, and after 33 years (and The Flesh Eaters’ recent reunion) they now have even released a collection of all-new recordings. It was worth the wait. For their new full-length Hot Rise Of An Ice Cream Phoenix, the singers reunited with onetime Divine Horsemen guitarist Peter Andrus and bassist Robyn Jameson (he tragically died following a street assault, after which his spot was taken over by Bobby Permanent), and in addition drummer DJ Bonebrake (X) and keyboardist Doug Lacy were recruited. The record contains original songs, influenced by European folk, Spanish flamenco, and murder ballads, but also a number of covers, such as the beautiful track Any Day Now by Tim Lee and Susan Bauer Lee (Tim Lee 3), and 25th Floor by Patti Smith and Ivan Kral. This is fine fine folk rock, where the distinctive vocals form a fascinating combination, and the experienced musicians understand how to give a song power and emotion at the same time. RIYL Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Scientists, The Dream Syndicate, The Wave Pictures.

Hot Rise Of An Ice Cream Phoenix is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through In The Red Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || In The Red

New album: Cromm Fallon || Presents The P200

Cromm Fallon is one of those prolific musicians who live for music. The Las Vegas based multi-instrument played in multiple bands – The Laissez Fairs, The Van Der Rohe, Double Whammys, Headwinds, … – and he’s also regularly behind the turntables as DJ Cromm. The tunes that he then blasts from the speakers – 60s garage, punk, and rock ‘n’ roll – clearly influence the songs he writes himself. However, his sophomore full-length album is more wide-ranging than that. For example, listen to the jangly power pop hit Closer Distance (the lyrics kick off strongly with “I’ve run out of words // So writing just makes sense”, and then the lines get even better), and the heavy noise of Taste., and you have a pretty good idea of what Fallon has to offer. Irresistible guitar riffs, sharply songwriting in which you can lose yourself, vocals full of dedication. You can expect something good from a gifted artist who lives for the music, but Fallon more than lives up to it.

Cromm Fallon Presents The P200 is out now digitally and on CD through Rum Bar Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Sweet Crisis || Tricks On My Mind

To be honest, after listening to Sweet Crisis‘ full-length debut album Tricks On My Mind when it came out on a packed release day last month, I put it aside. It simply didn’t click with me enough to pay more attention to it, to add it to my want list, to write about it. For some reason the record blasted out of my speakers again this week, and now it did hit me. Strange how that works, but I think the band understands it, because their lyrics for standout track Ain’t Got Soul (video below) is consistent with this: “Rollin’ around, looking for the next big thing // Taking my time , to listen to everything // Then comes a new face, searching for a quick glimpse of fame // The radios drowned, playing the same old thing, over and over and over again.” I now realize that these new faces – Leo Robarts (vocals), Piers Mortimer (guitar), Matt Dudurym (bass), Dom Briggs-Fish (keyboards), and Joe Taylor (drums) – may soon no longer be able to go out on the street without sunglasses and a cap.

Sweet Crisis are a soulful blues rock band from the UK, with an “American” sound that is most reminiscent of the later own work of The Black Keys (also: a mix of Free, Donny Hathaway, and Led Zeppelin). They themselves cite classic rock and soul music of the 70’s as their main influences (they previously did a creditable cover version of Oh Well, in tribute to the late guitar legend Peter Green from Fleetwood Mac), but although they stay true to that quality, their energetic, powerful songs fit very well in 2021. Give it a listen, and if it doesn’t catch on right away, try again later.

“If it ain’t got soul, I don’t want to know, don’t want to know // If it ain’t got soul, I don’t want to know, I just don’t want to know”

Tricks On My Mind is out now on vinyl LP through Headline Records. Add to wantlist: Discogs

Throwback Thursday: Silk Rhodes || Pains

Now that I’ve finally watched High Fidelity, the American television series starring Zoë Kravitz, Jake Lacy, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and David H. Holmes, I’m kind of addicted to Pains by Silk Rhodes. The standout song of the rich and varied soundtrack, featured in episode 9 and 10,  comes from the first and only full-length album (self-titled, 2014) by producer Michael Collins and vocalist Sasha Desree. It’s cinematic soul with an early 70’s vibe, which once again proves how music can enhance images, and the other way around. RIYL The Delfonics, Bobby Oroza, Portishead.

“All things must change and remain // Growing pains”

Silk Rhodes is available digitally, on cassette, CD, and vinyl LP through Stones Throw.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New post: The Hornets || Heavier Than A Stone

In 2016, Italian friends Stefano Francia (guitar / vocals), Alberto Francia (bass / vocals), Giovanni Artioli (guitar / vocals), Andrea Rovituso (drums) formed The Hornets, from a shared love for rock ‘n’ roll, and to justify the purchase of a 1988 Chevrolet Van. Although their playing together was initially just for fun, they spent many hours behind their instruments before releasing their full-length debut album Heavier Than A Stone this summer. It was worth the effort, it was worth the wait. Influenced by 70’s classic rock and 80’s hard rock, to which they add touches of blues, garage, glam, and psych, they stand on the shoulders of Thin Lizzy. Heavy guitar riffs, great hooks, choruses to roar along with your fist in the air – nine strong new songs for those who love rock ‘n’ roll too.

Stream the full album below.

Out digitally and on vinyl LP through Go Down Records.  Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Pwdin Reis || Neis Fel Pwdin Reis

If this doesn’t make you happy, I don’t know what will. Pwdin Reis is a Welsh band that successfully combines rockabilly and jazz: jump, jive and wail to the max, sung in Welsh. The experienced musicians have just released their debut full-length album Neis Fel Pwdin Reis (translated: nice as a rice pudding), recorded using original instruments from the 50’s: Neil Rosser plays an old orange Gretsch guitar (signed by Stray Cats’ Brian Setzer), and Norman Roberts the double bass. The eleven songs, including covers of Kim Wilde’s Kids in America and Blondie’s Call Me, are energetic and cheerful, sung delightfully and enthusiastically by lead vocalist Betsan Evans. Nostalgic, but not dated, and above all much tastier than rice pudding. Enjoy!

Out now digitally. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Robert Jon & The Wreck || Shine A Light On Me Brother

Robert Jon Burrison (lead vocals/guitar), Andrew Espantman (drums), Steve Maggiora (keyboards), Henry James (lead guitar), and Warren Murrel (bass) have been building a quality discography and impressive live reputation since 2011. The music of Robert Jon & The Wreck may be filed under the Southern Rock category, but it’s the way they mix rock & roll, country and blues with soul and gospel influences that makes their sound stand out. Their new full length album Shine A Light On Me Brother proves once again that we are dealing with first-class musicians – delightful playing and great whiskey drenched vocals. The record opens  ecstatic and euphoric with the title track, Every Day, and Ain’t No Young Love Song, then slows down for some ballads, to close with the party boogie of Radio – whether they’re rocking hard or slowing down the tempo, all ten songs are equally intense. These are songs you really have to experience live; it turns out that the band is on tour right now, so grab your chance.

Stream the full album below.

Shine A Light On Me Brother is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP via Continental Record Services.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Band’s EU/UK Store or USA Store ||  Discogs

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