Niek

New album: The Sino Hearts || Rock ‘N’ Roll Hurricane

The Sino Hearts are based in Bejing, China. They play garage/powerpop/rock-‘n’-roll hits with a punk attitude – it is clear that the band adores Exploding Hearts. The band already has two records under its belt, neither of which was perfect, but both contained several killer tracks. That’s why I am excited by their new release. On Rock ‘N’ Roll Hurricane the band picked the best tracks of both albums, added an exclusive track and pressed them on randomly colored vinyl. Out now on Texas indie label Otitis Media Records. I am definitely buying this.


Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New EP: Civic Mimic || Selective Listening

Civic Mimic is a side-project of Jeff Hersch from the band Glazer. The songs I’ve heard from Glazer to me sound a little like a mix of Parquet Courts and Nirvana. Civic Mimic has a more garage and punk sound. Their new EP Selective Listening reminds me of one of my favorite punk bands of the past ten years: Tenement. I am not saying Civic Mimic is on that level yet, but I am really enjoying songs like Pity Patterns, Business Whip and Grass Placebo. Apparently, Selective Listening is Civic Mimic’s third EP, which is impressive considering their first one was released only nine months ago.


Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Amoeba Earhart || Brain Eater

Amoeba Earhart is fun. The name of the band is a fun corruption of the name of the aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. The band describes their garage pop as “happy, fuzzy, and scuzzy,” or as I would put it: fun. Just listen to Getting Older Sucks, and you will see what I mean. That song is a classic simple and effective protopunktrack. Fun, right? Or what about Too Involved? Fun. Speaking of fun, if you want to sleep tonight, don’t google Amoeba Earhart Brain Eater.


Add to wantlist: Bandcamp (Name your price download)

New single: Ma’aM || Cruisin All The Time / A Horse Is A Corpse

The tags on Ma’aM’s Bandcamp page include country, outlaw, cowpunk, and garage rock, leaving plenty of room to put their music in whatever corner you prefer. Wat I do know is this: Cruisin’ All the Time, the A-side to their latest single, has an earworm chorus that I don’t mind at all. Out now on a hand cut clear 7″ lathe record.


So I’ll get into my car and drive away // Cruisin up and down the highway // Thinkin’ about the things I shouldn’t say // And I’ll be quiet

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Modern Cynics || Auditory Postcards

Auditory Postcards is a fitting title for a record that plays 18 tracks in 19 minutes. I am referring to the first full length release by Modern Cynics,  which is the brainchild of Matty Grace of Future Girls. Matty plays all the instruments on Auditory Postcards, another quarantine project born out of isolation and  frustration.  Staying in line with a world full of restrictions, the lyrics to the songs were limited to 20 words or less.

Call it punkrock or quarantine core, there is a dark edge to these songs, creating a haunting listening experience that won’t be for everyone, but I am intrigued. Dirt Cult Records has a way of finding these sorts of bands. RIYL Mind Spiders.


Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Telephone Numbers || Leviathan

When we talk about quality indiepop, we often talk about Melbourne. We should not count out San Francisco though. Here is one example: The Telephone Numbers released their first physical release Leviathan today on Fruits & Flowers. The A-side is a jangle pop gem, the B-side has hints of Teenage Fanclub. Suffice to say, I like this a lot.


Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Overlooked album: Davey Woodward And The Winter Orphans || Love And Optimism

If you are into indie and janglepop from around the globe, I recommended subscribing to DJ nstop’s (Jen Matson) weekly radio show Cycles Per Second. I had her latest show playing in the background this morning while working from home, and this one song grabbed my attention. It was Bad Day by Davey Woodward And The Winter Orphans. It’s the latest single from their album Love and Optimism, which was released a couple of months ago. Davey Woodward is a scene veteran, having played in bands such as Brilliant Corners and The Experimental Pop Band. What a fine surprise this record is. It’s described as pop music for grownups. I am not sure about that, but it definitely is not the pop music for juvenile delinquents I usually abuse my ears with. Still, it’s a safe bet that if you like Lou Reed and Velvet Underground, you’ll appreciate this record. Love and Optimism is a testimony of Woodward’s strong songwriting skills. The band recorded the record live in the studio, giving the songs a natural feel and edge that I believe soothes them well. The result? A record that is perfect for a gray and rainy day.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New EP: Vera Bloom || Vera Bloom

“Tonight’s a good night for making bad decisions,” Vera Bloom sings on the standout track of her self-titled EP, before adding some well-timed “uh huh’s.” Both lyrically and musically, the track feels like a straight-up tribute to the glampunkrock of the Donnas. The rest of the EP sounds completely different. On her EP, Vera Bloom goes from powerballads (Breathe, Love Like Knives), to ’90’s alternative rock (Sharp Shooter), and indie rock (Blue, my 2nd favorite track on the EP). I guess this mix of styles won’t be for everyone, but I am adding Vera Bloom to my artists to watch.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Cereal Milk || Cereal Milk

From the moment I got into punkrock and hardcore back in the mid-nineties, I don’t think I ever fully grasped the concept of emo. To my ears, most of the music I was listening to oozed emotion. Whether it was anger, angst, hate, love, melancholy, hope(lessness) or feeling left out, I always felt that the best punk and hardcore bands have that emotional edge: they feel real, and whatever emotions they convey, they feel authentic, making them stand out from most mainstream music. As such, I struggle considering emo to be a distinct genre, but rather an almost necessary element of great punk and hardcore music. Perhaps this explains why I’ve taken an immediate liking to the self-titled record of Cereal Milk. Here is a band that literally is leaving it all out there: Cereal Milk no longer is a band and this posthumous record will be their final release. Some of its songs have been previously released, for example on the 2017 Amazing Singer Record comp by Emotional Response. Cereal Milk is an intense though melodic record, with a singer absolutely singing his heart out. It’s a dynamic record, with plenty of palm muting, cool guitar riffs, and well timed tempo and soft-loud variations. Shoutout to Californian label Phat ‘n’ Phunky for putting this out.

then, as they dropped the gates // and the bets were placed // your’s was against me // like some insider trade // you were privy to my fate // i’m the horse with the broken leg


Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Sekunderna || Hjärtet EP

Sekunderna have been described as the perfect mix between ABBA and Marked Men. That ABBA reference is far-fetched, even though the band is from Sweden. But clearly, Sekunderna know how to make their garage poppunk melodic and memorable. This EP stands out from the pack. Out now on a 7″ at Luftslott Records.


Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

Scroll to Top