New EP: Field School || A Familiar Fate

“If you need patience, i will give you time
if you need faith, i will give you mine
if you are stuck, i will kick in the door
if you are broken, i will love you more”
(taken from I Think You’re Amazing, Grace)

Generous lad, that Charles Bert (Math & Physics Club and Unlikely Friends) isn’t he? Not just with his words full of love, heartbreak and yearning, but with his music under the Field School moniker as well, a project ignited by pandemic boredom, dread and an abundance of time. The latest EP, Field School’s fourth EP and fifth release in little over 20 months (ICYMI make sure to check that 2022 LP), is another W for Bert. Honestly, I could listen to this guy strum, jangle and chime his guitar all day. Same for that warm and honest voice of his.

A Familiar Fate is out now on Tape via Sm. Craft Advisory.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Teenage Hearts || Didn’t Get Invited

Teenage Hearts is a classic power pop name, but the band from Nantes plays a more straightforward mix of late ’70s punk and oi. The band features familiar faces with members of Janitors, Daltonz, Puissance Cube, and Bart and the Brats. On their new LP, Teenage Hearts kick it old school and do so loud and proud. Didn’t Get Invited is out now on three labels: Primator Crew (Nantes), Tough Ain’t Enough (Madrid) and Insurgence (Toronto).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: The Subjunctives || Let’s Try This Again

The ashes of Seattle pop punk heroes Sicko proves to be a fertile breeding ground. We loved getting to know The Drolls featuring two thirds of Sicko, and here are The Subjunctives featuring the other third of Sicko (Ean Hernandez) as well as members of Four Lights and Desolate Coast. The Subjunctives sure keep the Sicko spirit alive on their second LP Let’s Try This Again. Not just because they cover Sicko’s Believe, it’s the contagious nature and vibe of the tunes. To be sure, The Subjunctives have created their own distinct sound, but if you are a fan of Sicko you’ll like The Subjunctives’ new LP as well. Full of sweet harmonies and well constructed songs with no wasted space or down time, this is one killer old school pop punk record.

Extra credit to the band for the nods to some well loved bands, like Mr. T Experience (the ba ba ba ba ba ending of I Don’t Have The Time), Black Flag (the Rise Above intro of The Henry Rollins School Of Menacing), J-Church (It’s A Shame We Didn’t Get More Time Lance), as well as brainy punks like Greg Graffin and Milo Auckerman in Smart Punks – “smart punks reading books / writing hooks ergo sum / punk rock doesn’t have to be dumb.”

Let’s Try This Again is out now through Hernandez’s own Top Drawer Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Top Drawer

New EP: Robots || El Plan

Barcelona three-piece Robots have a new EP out called El Plan. The majority of the seven songs on the EP are melodic pop punk, with hints of indie pop as well as garage pop. What these songs have in common is how easy to digest and instantly likeable they are. Fun stuff.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Rang-Rangs || 9 Jahitan

It took Indonesian pop punk trio The Rang-Rangs seven years to create their debut album 9 Jahitan. That’s quite a long time to create 32 minutes of music. Fortunately The Rang-Rangs makes most seconds count on 9 Jahitan. Their poppy punkrock is characterized by sugary harmonies and bubblegummy hooks and it’s not really a stretch to call The Rang-Rangs Jakarta’s answer to The Yum Yums.

9 Jahitan is not available on Bandcamp (yet?), but it’s out on Tape (see link below) and not that hard to find on the streaming services. Highlights for me are Lekas Pulang Johnny, Sekarang Juga en Aku Cium Pacarmu.

Add to wantlist: The Rang-Rangs

New album: Another Michael || Wishes To Fulfill

I initially dismissed Another Michael’s new Wishes To Fulfill album. Fortunately, I was so zoned in at work that I did not took the time to put on the next record in my mailbox. The Philadelphia band slowly won me over. Although Wishes To Fulfill is a departure of the loud ramshackleness of my common musical diet, it definitely is something special. To my noise battered ears, Another Michael sound like a mix of ’70s AM pop, Pinegrove and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. They display a level of talent and skill that invites listeners to sit back with a lyric sheet on their lap and a pot of coffee or tea close. In a world that keeps spinning, inertia can offer a reminder of the finer things in life, and Another Michael provide a fantastic soundtrack for taking it all in.

Wishes To Fulfill is out now at Run For cover Records. It’s part of a duology of which the second, more experimental installment (Pick Me Up, Turn Me Upside Down) is expected to arrive in 2024.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Run For Cover

New EP: Neil Jung || Infinity is Whatever

Brooklyn based four-piece Neil Jung were all ready to go early 2020 with their first shows played and their debut EP recorded and set for release. Then that kinda big thing happened and Neil Jung opted for the let’s postpone and wait-it-out approach. Now, in 2023, the band has found a steady heartbeat again, ready to take on whatever the world throws at them. That starts with the release (finally!) of Infinity is Whatever, an EP that is simply to good to leave on the shelf. Of the six songs, I like the middle two the most. Washing Machine and Washer both sound like power pop songs through the ears of kids who grew up on indie rock.

Neil Jung are back before they even started. Let’s see where they will take us next. Buy the Infinity Is Whatever Tape at the band’s Bandcamp page.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: The Casper Fight Scene || Haymaker

The Marquette music scene is alive and kicking. Type in Marquette in the search bar and you’ll find some of my favorite finds of that area. The latest one is a new EP by The Casper Fight Scene. Haymaker contains five songs of emo tinged indiepunk. Fabric is the song that sees The Casper Fight Scene shine brightest. It’s not the only song that is reminiscent of Joyce Manor. The slow burning Soft Parade is the outlier track, but in a way that makes for a fantastic closing track. The Haymaker EP was originally self-released a couple of weeks ago, and immediately got picked by No Sleep Records. Seems like a strong fit for both parties. I am definitely keeping an eye out for this band!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Toxic Neurotic || Toxic Neurotic

What’s this noise? It’s Matty, Buzzy and Tater blowin’ the doors off the neighbor’s garage with their Toxic Neurotic band. The Lancaster (Pennsylvania) three-piece play collage punk, cutting and tearing pieces of rock’n’roll history to create something wild and exciting. Listen to The Fisherman’s Wife for example, a song in which Toxic Neurotic find a way to mix the Bro Hymn chords, the Beach Boys’ Barbara Ann, and classic rock’n’roll banters and even build in a scorching guitar solo.

Stooges’ guitar work, ’80s American Hardcore and punk, ’80s pop punk (We Like Trash TV sounds like an early Descendents track), and late ’70s UK punk all have a place in the sound of Toxic Neurotic. Of all the things I like about (what I assume is) the band’s self-titled debut album, I like the unpredictable nature of the songs the most. Each song is full of surprising turns. And just when you think you’ve found your favorite new song (Been To The Zoo), you find another (Hollywood Starlet).

I have absolutely no idea who these guys are, nor where they are headed. Perhaps this record is a lost gem from a past era. I do know one thing: This one is freakin’ fun!

Toxic Neurotic is out now at Narcotique Music and Tiger Hawk Recordings.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Pkew Pkew Pkew ||| Siiick Days

On their first couple of albums, Pkew Pkew Pkew have shown they can make a statement of fact sound anthemic (e.g., “This Is A Building” from 2016’s Asshole Pandemic) and that self-deprecation and punkrock are a match made in heaven. On their new LP Siiick Days, the band’s fourth LP and first on Stomp Records, the Toronto band again find inspiration in the mundane. Like regret selling your Playstation when the world’s closing down because of the Covid Pandemic. “Really hope that guy sell me my Playstation back” sure makes for a killer chorus. It is no surprise the literary genius Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) is a massive fan of Pkew Pkew Pkew. Finn also is credited as lyrical consultant for the record, which I assume means he wrote some red inked comments like “awesome,” “love this” and “this made me LOL” on the papers the band sent him.

Pete Steinkopf from The Bouncing Souls produced Siiick Days. I think it may be the best and most accomplished Pkew Pkew Pkew have sounded yet. Buy Siiick Days now at Stomp Records!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Stomp Records

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