New album: Drinking Boys And Girls Choir || Marriage License

Deagu City, Korea will make a first appearance on the wantlist in 1,2,3,4. Meet Drinking Boys And Girls Choir, a punk threesome that released their debut album in 2019 but only now popped on my radar with their short but sweet sophomore album Marriage License. The band is inspired by Sum41, NOFX and the hardcore/punk/indiescene of Deagu in the ’90s and ’00s. I am not sure whether you can pinpoint those influences on Marriage License though. There is a lot of variety on the record, and the band’s sound ranges from speedy hardcorepunk (Hit The Corner, Grab The Chance) to dreamy indierock (My Second Universe, Time). The band toured with fellow Koreans Say Sue Me, and I hear touches of that band in these latter songs. For me, the band shines brightest when they play the kind of indiepunk of bands like Martha, Joanna Gruesome and Radiator Hospital (on their early albums) excel in. I am referring to songs like There is No Spring and Odoby. Listen below. And while you are listening, make sure to read more about the band and their struggle for LGBTQ acceptance back home, which will help to understand the title of record.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp 

Gimme 5! Geoff Palmer Shares 5 Albums That Influenced Charts And Graphs (Out 7/23)

With ‘Gimme 5!’ we take a peek into the collections of artists we admire. The premise is simple: artists WE like share 5 records THEY love.

If I had a paper calendar, there would be a big red circle on Friday July 23rd. That date marks the release of the highly anticipated new Geoff Palmer record Charts And Graphs. I’ll write a review on it later this week, but I can already say that if you are a fan of Geoff Palmer’s previous solo album Pulling Out All The Stops, but also his work in The Connection, New Trocaderos, and Kurt Baker Band, you are guaranteed to like the new record as well. And yet, Charts And Graphs sees Geoff expanding his sound in different directions. Geoff recently discussed this with the excellent powerpop blog Sweet Sweet Music: “I love change. One thing that has always been a judge of success for me with a record or a band is doing something new, playing new places, trying new ideas for writing styles, new production ideas, anything we haven’t done before.” [post continues below]

New song: Televisionaries || Charlotte Beach

We seldom post teaser tracks to new albums. The reason why I am breaking this rule is my infatuation with this surfrock-‘n’-roll song by Televisionaries. Televisionaries features three Lake brothers (Austin, Brendan and Tevor) and Aaron Milka. Trevor and Aaron also play in The Shine and Danny’s favorites, two additional projects we featured. Full album expected this fall on Hi-Tide Recordings.

C-H-A-R-L-O-T-T-E, let’s go!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Greg Antista And The Lonely Streets || Under The Neon Heat

Greg Antista And The Lonely Streets exceed expectations. The band consists of four veterans of the Southern Californian punk scene: Greg Antista (lead guitar, vocals), Frank Agnew (lead guitar, vocals), Warren Renfrow (bass, vocals), and Jorge E. Disguster (drums). The list of bands they played in is long and includes Joyride, Foxy, Adolescents, TSOL, Manic Hispanic and Mink Daggers. Who would’ve expected back in the eighties that these punk kids would still be making music in 2021? And, more importantly, who would have expected that music to actually sound really good?

Under The Neon Heat is the band’s second album and finds the band in perfect shape. Is it punk? Definitely not. Powerpop is probably the most apt descripion. These essentially are three minute guitar-driven and hook-filled pop songs. But the band’s sound has also been described as rock-‘n’-roll with a touch of americana and I get that as well. Fair to say, if you like the music Rum Bar Records usually puts out (e.g., Brad Marino), you will like this as well. The vocals of Antista and his vocal melodies is reminiscent of Mighty Mighty Bosstones, but without the ska and the horns. There is a familiarity to this songs which makes this record easy to get into, but there is freshness to it as well showing that the punk spirit in these four veterans is still burning bright. Like I said, the band exceeds expectations, including mine. I did not expect to enjoy this record as much as I would. Under The Neon Heat is out now on pink vinyl on Primal Beat / Smelvis Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Road Dog Merch

New single: Jenny || Trajinero b/w Kids Of Today

Jenny, the new powerpop project from Justin Maurer (Clorox Girls, Suspect Parts, Maniac), release their new single today. The Dirt Cult & Wanda Records co-release is the follow-up to the band’s highly enjoyable self-titled debut EP from last year. On the A-side, there is the catchy and bouncy Trajinero, which is fully sung in Spanish further adding to the summer feel of the song. Flipside Kids Of Today is classic powerpop in the Gentleman Jesse mold. Fingers crossed that Maurer will record a Jenny full-length in the near future. But for now, he is working on a very interesting and cool project called Falling On Deaf Eyes: a comedy based on his experiences as a “rambunctious teenage punk rocker living with his single Deaf mother and hearing siblings on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the 1990’s.”

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Ultrabann || Big Trouble In Little Haiti

It’s usually a good sign when you have to check if a new release is not some kind of reissue of a sixties or seventies garagepunk record. But no, Ultrabann is a new band born out of befriended musicians from different bands (Ghetto Blasters, Future Virgins, Vacation, Barrence Whitfield & the Savages, Cincinnati Suds) messing with their instruments from home during a pandemic. The result is a guitar worshipping, sleazy punkrock-‘n’-roll record, with the swagger of The Stooges and the thrill of a high-octane rollercoaster. Try sitting still to Tight But Loose. Try to keep your head from nodding to the beat and guitar riff of I’m Sick. I know I can’t. And those are only two of the many highlights on the record.

I didn’t see this one coming, and it’s hitting me hard. Out now on Let’s Pretend and Mondo Trasho Records and limited to only 200 LPs.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Let’s Pretend Records || Mondo Trasho Records

New single: Tee-Vee Repairmann || Patterns

Must own single alert! There is only one way to play the Patterns EP of Tee-Vee Repairmann and that is with the volume turned all the way up. Take the guitar riffs of Sheer Mag, throw in some snotty Aussie vocals, back it up with drum beats from either a human or a machine and you get the incredible contagious powerpop-meets-garage meets-punk mashup that is Tee-vee Repairmann.

Teevee-Repairmann is the latest project of Sydney native Ishka Edmeades, a human centipede who plays in a multitude of bands (Research Reactor Corporation, Set-Top Box, Satanic Togas, G.T.R.R.C, Gee Tee), has a record label (Wartmann Inc), a zine (TV Guide), and is a graffiti artist. Want to find out more about this artist? Go here.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Christopher Peifer || The Social Distance

Music is front and center in the life of Christopher Peifer. The New Yorker works as a producer and sound designer, and throughout the years has amassed an extensive discography with acts such as Kowalskis, Blockhouses, Sir, Frances Farmer My Hero, and Heavy Creatures. He released a more than solid solo record last year called Suicide Mission, which I enjoyed but ultimately got lost in the continous flow of new music. Now, less than a year later, Peifer has released the follow up, the appropriately titled The Social Distance. I have a feeling this one won’t get lost.

The Social Distance is 30 minutes of powerpop heaven. It’s how I imagine it would sound if Paul Westerberg and Nick Lowe started a band together. Sometimes this particular brand of powerpop can sound too glossy, or too dad rock like, but you don’t have to worry about that with Peifer. He infuses his songs with just the right amount of punk and rock-‘n’-roll attitude, and his sandpaper voice has the perfect grit size. The Social Distance truly is an outstanding collection of songs with guaranteed lifetime replayability.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Throwback Thursday: Popsicko || Natassja

In the mid ’90s, Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape started My Records. His first release was Happy Meals, a fun compilation featuring bands like Nerf Herder, Bodyjar and Armchair Martian I still play every now and then. Back then of course, compilation CDs were the go-to strategy to discover new bands. In this case, there were several bands unknown to me that stood out. But the song I was blown away the most was the perfect powerpop of Against You by Popsicko. Naturally, I started looking for more music of this band, and was shocked to read that the frontman of the band (Keith Morris) had recently died in a car accident. An thus, the band’s output was limited to only one full length album, the ominously titled Off To A Bad Start. It’s a great collection of alt-pop, powerpop and pop punk songs, and a bittersweet document of a band on the verge of breaking out. The remaining Popsicko members went on to play in bands like Summercamp, The Rentals, Sugarcult and Bad Astronaut.

Now, 25 years later, Popsicko is getting renewed recognition thanks to Big Stir Records, who decided to release a standalone single of the stellar Popsicko song Nastassja, with Gettin’ Used To You on the flipside. Not only is there a great joy in revisiting these songs, and rediscovering the sheer power of the songwriting of Popsicko, it’s also great to read more about the band. The Santa Barbara Independent published an oral history of Popsicko last week that is full of interesting facts and includes quotes from members of bands like Nerf Herder, Lagwagon, Pennywise and Foo Fighters. Its author, S.W. Lauden (who also drums in The Brothers Steve), wrote an accompanying piece about his personal connection to the band as well. Both articles and the Big Stir release are well timed, well deserved and sincere tributes to a heartfelt and soulful band that may be gone, but not without leaving a lasting legacy.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: The Wind-Ups || Try Not To Think

The Wind-ups is the brainchild of the multitalented Jake Sprecher, who either played or still plays in Smokescreens, Terry Malts, and Jonathan Richman. Sprecher made good use of his Covid-induced boredom by purchasing a TASCAM 388 and recording a new solo bedroom-project as The Wind-Ups. The result is Try Not To Think, a 19 minute powerpop masterpiece disguised as lo-fi garagepunk record. In anticipation of the release, we asked Sprecher to share 5 albums that influenced the record. He agreed and then came up with what arguably is the most surprising lists we had on the site so far. And although the list tells you absolutely nothing about the sound of The Wind-Ups, it does offer a peak into how passionate Sprecher is about music and how broad and varied his tastes are.

It makes it all the more surprising how blunt and direct the songs on Try Not To Think sound. Don’t take that for simplism though. In truth, it takes skill to write songs that are this straightforward and yet so memorable. Of his previous bands, The Wind-Ups is sonically nearest to the early Terry Malts stuff, but a tad louder and slightly slower paced. My favorite part of Try Not To Think is probably the middle. Starting with Cat In The Hat, there is a group of six or seven songs that are all extremely short (most are sub 90 seconds) and insanely infectious. It’s in this part where The Wind-Ups relentlessly pile up hit upon hit. By the end of the record, The Wind-Ups leave you wanting more. Fortunately, Sprecher has already recorded half of the follow-up album, but that’s for another time. Try Not To Think is out today at Mt. St. Mtn.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Mt.St.Mtn || Midheaven

[note: this post contains parts from our Gimme 5 post with Jake Sprecher.]

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