New single: Faz Waltz || Rave A​-​Comin’ / Jackal Hop

New work from Italian power trio Faz Waltz always is good news. On last year’s On The Ball LP, songwriter Faz La Rocca (vocals, guitar, piano) and his pals Diego Angelini (bass) and Marco Galimberti (drums) changed direction to good old rock ‘n’ roll, now they push the accelerator even further. Rave A​-​Comin’, the A-side of their new 45, is a raucous floorfiller with a piano shooting great balls of fire, flipside Jackal Hop is a delicious sax-driven rhythm & blues stomper, in both cases with those characteristic gravelly vocals in the leading role. Sing along: “Everybody’s having fun, dance, dance!”

Rave A​-​Comin’ b/w Jackal Hop, produced by Brown Barcella & Faz La Rocca, is out now digitally and on 7″ vinyl (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Faz Waltz

New EP: Head 1st || First

Please meet French indie-rock/post-punk outfit Head 1st and their debut EP First. We get five dynamic tracks with exciting tempo changes and vocals that radiate urgency as they present the haunting lyrics. Criticism of commerce is far from new in music, but standout track PR Says could easily become an anthem: “Your selling thin air // PR doesn’t care.” Each tune got its own video to further enhance the music, but on its own this sound will also get the audience moving.

The First EP is out now digitally (self-released). Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Zeno Jones || Disillusion Blues

For blues fans who regularly scroll through our blog, Zeno Jones probably is a household name by now. We wrote about his band Cold Beverage and his solo EP Stonewater Music , and he shared his inspirations in our Gimme 5! feature. His new full-length album Disillusion Blues is also worth checking out – its cover suggests a score of five out of six stars, no reason to dispute that. We get twelve original garage blues rock songs (largely fresh work, with the exception of Upton Blues and Cold Beverage Blues, in an earlier version also on the 2021 self-titled debut LP), songs that are raw and primitive, heavy and straightforward, honest and authentic. Even more than before, the Louisville, Kentucky-based musician proves himself as both an amazing guitarist and a gifted singer, performing as a one-man band that has found the perfect balance between his tough vocals, a mean guitar, an old suitcase drum and a rusty tambourine. Pretty intense and impressive, again.

Disillusion Blues is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Charlène Darling || La Porte

Singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Charlène Darling aka Charlotte Kouklia is not only one quarter of the band Rose Mercie, the Paris-born/Brussels-based artist also has her solo project – together with three other musicians. Her sophomore full-length album La Porte is an exploration of misplaced desire and all-consuming romantic obsession, captured in ten quite idiosyncratic songs in poetic French (with a little bit of English). The main ingredient of this synth-driven cocktail is dreamy leftfield pop, but shaken with experimental noise, psych and post-punk elements. The lyrics of standout track Disparais – nice video below – reflect the accompanying mix of emotions quite well: “Tu sauras jamais ce que je pense vraiment // Tu sauras jamais ce que je pense vraiment // C’est mieux comme ça” (translated: “You will never know how I really feel // You will never know how I really feel // It’s better that way”). Expect an alienating and intriguing 42 minutes that enchant.

La Porte, produced by Valentin Noiret, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Disciples. Featuring Charlotte Kouklia (vocals, guitar, synths), Erika Ratti (tape loops, harmonies, synths), Quentin Chevalier (drums, percussions, synths) and Regis Turner (bass, synths), assisted by Romain De Ferron, Luca Retraite and Gianlorenzo Nardi on selected tracks.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Craig Brown Band || Let’s Never Leave This Filthy World

We know Craig Brown from cool garage rock outfits such as Liquor Store, The Mahonies and Terrible Twos, but with his own Craig Brown Band it becomes clear what else he has to offer – an alt-country jacket appears to suit him very well. After his 2017 The Lucky Ones Forget LP (on Third Man Records), he returns with Let’s Never Leave This Filthy World (new on Lazy Boy Record Co., a cassette was already available via Painters Tapes last year). It’s a warm and richly orchestrated album, diverse and fascinating, with 12 raw and honest roots rock songs that become more convincing with every listen. Brown’s intense, raspy tenor and characterful guitar sound get under your skin, but the affecting contributions of his skilled bandmates certainly contribute to this. Detroit Rock City strikes again.

Let’s Never Leave This Filthy World is out now streaming and on vinyl LP through Lazy Boy Record Co. For fans of Tom Petty, Country Westerns, Reigning Sound, Loose Koozies.

Add to wantlist: Discogs

New album: Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers || The Age of Invention

This week’s imaginary award for most eclectic and exuberant album goes to Rory Danger & the Danger Danger‘s for their second full-length, The Age of Invention (their previous LP The Age Of Exploration was released in 2014, although they make it seem like it was 1914). We’re talking about New Orleans’ first and only theatrical stunt rock cooperative, a creative 7-piece that comes up with 22 tunes in which more happens than we can list. It’s a weird but effective melting pot of genres, styles, tempos and instruments, ranging from rockabilly and folk to musicals and soundscapes, from synths and saxophones to fiddles and flutes, from adventurous pieces of over 7 minutes to a cover of the Everly Brothers’ Bye Bye Love and advertising-like skits. Even the more straightforward songs (listen below) contain many inventive hooks and sounds, such as the organ alarm in Death Ray (“There are so many @#$$% buttons // And one of them is reddish in color, look at it”). Extravaganza rules, fun to the max.

The Age of Invention, produced by Bill Malchow, Andre Bohren and Aurora Nealand, is out now digitally and on vinyl 2LP (self-released). Featuring Rory Danger (vocals, saxophones, fiddle, flute, penny whistle), Pepe Peligroso (vocals, guitars, lap steel, cello), C-Jay Bongo Danger (guitar, percussion, vocals), Billy Digits Danger (piano, organ, synths, accordion, vocals percussion), Spike Danger (guitars, vocals, lap steel), Professor Potts (bass, screams) and D’Ranger Danger (drums), with various musical friends on selected tracks.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Louisiana Music Factory

New album: The Wanton Bishops || Under The Sun

About ten years ago, The Wanton Bishops made a very convincing debut with their Sleep With The Lights On LP, twelve tracks of irresistibly groovy blues rock laced with Middle Eastern influences. The genius behind the band, Beirut native Nader Mansour, then traveled through America’s deep south for a while, to experience the roots of Mississippi blues. That led to a freshly inspired musical vision and the long-awaited sophomore full-length album Under The Sun, both an exploration of identity and a love letter to his hometown. In the ten new songs here, the Delta swamps have made way for the Lebanese mountains, with a sound that is more eclectic and more electronic (and to be honest: less easy to grasp, which is not a bad thing). Nader explains: “It’s Lebanese rock, a new genre, a blueprint for future music. It’s not fusion, it’s confusion, it’s not world music, it’s rock music from the world, for the world.” Heavy, danceable, colorful and special at the same time. Ten years later, The Wanton Bishops manage to surprise and impress again.

Under The Sun, produced by Jules Apollinaire, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP via gnu roam / Bucks Music Group. Featuring Nader Mansour (vocals, keyboards, synths), Jules Apollinaire (guitar, bass, keyboards) and Rene Van Diessen (drums).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Kartel Music Group

New album: The Blips || Again

Two years ago, rock ‘n’ roll consortium The Blips captured our hearts and year-end lists with their self-titled debut album, and they continue that triumphant march with their sophomore LP, aptly titled Again. Although the band* consists of veteran front men from the Birmingham, Alabama rock scene who all hold their own when it comes to writing, singing or playing multiple instruments, this doesn’t lead to an ego battle but rather to a strengthening of forces. As if it takes no effort at all, we get another nine catchy tunes in which appealing elements of power pop, garage rock, alt-country and Southern rock come together (infectious hooks, guitar riffs, vocal harmonies and hand claps, that is). Worthy of your attention.

Again, written and produced by The Blips, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Cornelius Chapel Records. *Featuring Taylor Hollingsworth, Chris McCauley, Wes McDonald, Will Stewart and Eric Wallace.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Jon Rauhouse & Blaine Long || One Day Will Never Come Back

Fans of soulful Americana take note. Jon Rauhouse and Blaine Long have written seven beautiful songs, collected on their new LP One Day Will Never Come Back. The personal lyrics of the title track clearly reflect how light and dark go together here: “Feels good, I’m OK, it’s alright, there should be a little pain // A broken heart, some cry, some laugh.” The skilled musicians do what they do best – poetic sophistication, graceful guitar melodies and magical dark vocals – but the superb line-up of guests bringing their best game takes these tracks to an even higher level. Especially the horn arrangements are a tasteful addition, but if you start a song with the words “Living like Bukowski will get you dying like Bukowski” (from Thanksgiving) you’ve already won me over anyway.

One Day Will Never Come Back, produced by Jon Rauhouse and recorded by Darren Baum, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Fort Lowell Records. Featuring Jon Rauhouse (electric guitars, pedal steel, triangle), Blaine Long (vocals, acoustic guitar), Lindsay Cates (bass) and Frank Rowland (drums), joined on selected tracks by Steve Berlin (saxophones), Ty Bailie (Hammond B3), Betsy Ganz (vocals), Raquel Denis (vocals), Paula Tesoriero (vocals), Rachel Flotard (vocals), Jesse Valenzeula (guitar), Megyn Neff (violin, viola) and Emily Hunt (cello).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Fort Lowell

New EP: Interstellar Riders || Interstellar Riders

Interstellar Riders are a relatively new surf / rockabilly trio from Vancouver (Canada), featuring seasoned musicians Joe Rotundo (guitar), Jeremy Holmes (bass) and Todd Biffard (drums). On their self-titled debut EP you’ll hear four instrumental tunes full of sonic reverb and space echo twang, as is usual in this genre, but what sets this release apart are the original melodies, graceful interplay and amazing sound. Are those aliens I see dancing there?

Interstellar Riders’ self-titled EP officially drops on November 24. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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