New album: Wavevom || 2500

Remember being at live shows and sensing how the a band’s energy jumps over to the crowd, and vice versa? Remember seeing sweaty people pogo and jump on and off each other? If you have trouble recalling those experiences, listen to the new “album” by Aussie garagepoppunks Wavevom. Okay, short-length LP may be a better description for 2500 since its ten songs probably will fit on a 7″. Anyhow, the record offers 10 minutes of escapism with songs that are catchy, fun and full of energy and tailor made for partying with your mates. In the end, 2500 sounds like a celebration of being alive, despite the heavy lyrical content on battling mental health.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Judge Grumble || Overruled!

Judge Grumble are an indierock/indiepunk band from Richmond, Virginia. They recently released their second album, Overruled! It’s the second act in a trilogy of concept albums and it’s quite the trip. Buckle up for an eclectic mix of poppy indiepunk tracks (Shy Guy, Kudos To You), quirky indierock (Literati, Quiltbag), and sketches that are plain weird. I asked the band to explain the origins of their cartoonesque bandname and the spoken word sketches on their record. “Back in high school we had this joke where we would come up with random phrases and call them “indie band names.” I’m not 100% sure but I think Judge Grumble was one of those. Waaaay way back in the first iteration of the band (2012 or so?) the “character” of judge grumble became an inside joke. We’d do the whole voice and improv little skits during practices and stuff. Eventually we decided we wanted to bring some of those skits to life in between the tracks for fun (and also to pad the length).”

Given the variety of songs, and the quirkiness of the sketches and some of the songs, it’s unlikely that you will like every single track on Overruled! But, Judge Grumble have made an album that is definitely worth your time. I particularly like how the band aims to make every song interesting. Listen to the many elements they’ve stuffed in Chewed Out for example. Right before the 5-minute song appears to overstay its welcome, the band introduces a pretty cool group vocal harmony that transitions in a punkrock fade-out. Judge Grumble doesn’t need to be quirky or eclectic to be interesting though. The straightforward indie rock of Braindead is one of my favorite songs on the record. But the song that especially drew me in to Judge Grumble is Weehawken, a throwback to the emo poppunk of the early ’00s with an infectious chorus. The band explains: “On the surface, Weehawken is about a little town on the far north side of new jersey and the ennui of a guy who commutes between there and NYC. But none of us have ever lived in NY or NJ… we just really liked the name—it sounds slangy, like “are you hawkin’? cause we hawkin’.” Somehow Alex turned that wordplay into something more meaningful.” Download Overruled! now on Bandcamp.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Missile Studs || With Love From The Missile Studs

Managing expectations is important. So when a band self-describes as “stupid music for stupid people,” and the tagline of their label is “purveyors of low brow music from around the world,” don’t say you weren’t warned. The Missile Studs are a snotty punkrock band from Adelaide, Australia that knows the power of playing songs that are fast, loud and fun. And the power of not taking yourself too seriously – according to the band’s FB page, band members include Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.

I asked the band about their upcoming record (With Love From The Missile Studs) and how they managed to record it in a pandemic: “We actually recorded it before COVID. It was part of the same sessions as our split with Thee Evil Twin which came out in the middle of last year. Our influences are pretty self evident in our songs, we’re not trying to re-invent rock n roll. We just play a style that is as close as we can get to the stuff we’ve grown up listening to. We’re not smart, we’re not trying to pretend we have some insightful message. We just try to write songs that we’d want to hear. Catchy little ear worms that are fun to play.”

If you haven’t already, that split LP with Thee Evil Twin is worth checking out. The new record includes three songs from that record, including the super catchy Missile Studs Theme song. Anyhow, the new record is a classic case of underpromise and overdeliver. My favorite track, at least for now, is Boredumb, which is a classic ’77 punk nugget. With Love From The Missile Studs will be out on May 7 jointly released by Stamp Out Disco and Dirtyflair Record Company (Australia) and No Front Teeth (UK). You can stream it in full on bandcamp. Meanwhile,The Missile Studs are patiently waiting out the pandemic: “It’s still a bit too uncertain to be able to make any real plans, I’m sure at some point things will get a bit more predictable and then we’ll start working on the next stage of blowing this planet up.”

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Waste Man || One Day It’ll All Be You

I’ve never understood why moody postpunk bands like Protomartyr and Fontaines D.C. are such critics darlings and tend to end up in a lot of AOTY lists. Okay, Fontaines D.C. have some songs I like, but for the most part bands like that are too bleak or too boring for me. Basically, I have trouble connecting with them, which, of course, is a matter of personal taste – or more likely, a lack of complexity in my taste palet. But every now and then, there is a band that manages to pull off moody and complex postpunk in a way that I can fully get behind. Take Waste Man from New Orleans. On their second LP (One Day It’ll All Be You) they take punk and hardcore in new directions without losing any of the thrill of actual punk music.

Waste Man offer tempo variations, edgy bass lines and excellent guitar riffs. They constantly keep you on the tip of your toes with the unpredictability in their songs. It’s a record full of surprises that offers thrills, excitement, and cathartic releases that I often find to be lacking in this kind of music. Album opener The Siren is a good example of the many sides of Waste Man, where danceable postpunk verses and hardcore punk choruses bounce off each other. Run All Night is one of the most catchy songs on the record, which distantly sounds like a mashup between the Stooges and Thin Lizzy. Proofreaders, Singles, And Philosophers is one of the most exciting songs released in 2021, and already is one of my favorites of the year. And then there is album closer Wishful Thinking, in which Waste Man introduce the power rock ballad to the postpunk world. Quite the week for Feel It Records, who simultaneously released that excellent Spread Joy record.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Feel It Records

New EP: Dazy || The Crowded Mind

Early 2020, Dazy released a three song digital single called Revolving Door. It was my first taste of the band, and the 90 second song Weatherman Got It Wrong hinted upon your-new-favorite-band material. Three months later, we are treated to an 8-song EP that shows even more potential: The Crowded Mind. Dazy play noisy and fuzzy altpop that will appeal to fans of Lemonheads and guitar-driven britpop. Underneath Dazy’s distorted sound are excellent pop songs, and tracks like See The Bottom, Right As Rain and Perpetual Motion would have received major air time in the nineties.

The crazy thing is, Dazy is not even a band. It’s a solo project by a music publicist (James Goodson). Goodson is also a member of grungepunk band Teen Death and poppunk band Bashful – make sure to check out their 2020 album Driving. Dazy’s releases are currently digital only. Let’s hope that Goodson ultimately will release his best tunes on a LP.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Spread Joy || Spread Joy

Efficient and effective. I apologize for the business lingo, but those are the first two words that come to mind after listening to the debut LP of Spread Joy (Chicago). The record is less than 14 minutes long, but it’s enough for Spread Joy to make an impression. Here is a band that understands the power of scarcity, leaving listeners wanting more, like a love interest playing hard to get. This is classic punk/no wave with tight drumming, excellent angular guitar work, a voice that is a perfect fit for this style of music, and a bass player that is absolutely killing it. Let me add a third word to describe this record: Awesome. Just listen to songs like St. Tropez, Unoriginal, Kanst Du and Mystery Curtain, and you’ll see what I mean. Spread Joy is out now on the ever reliable Feel It Records. It is a perfect purchase if you are looking to exercise more, because you will keep returning to your turntable tow switch sides every 7 minutes or so.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Feel It Records

New single: The See-Saw || At Any Time

Folc Records is a Spanish rock-‘n’-roll label with a broad interpretation of rock-‘n’-roll that includes punk, soul, blues, fratrock and powerpop. The label is not bounded by international borders, and bands on their roster are from all over the planet. Their latest international addition is The See-Saw, an all-female trio from Kyoto (Japan) that came out of the ashes of the legendary Kansai band Nylon. It is a band that fits Folc Records to perfection. They took their name from a Setting Sons track by The Jam and play energetic and exciting garagepoppunk’n’roll. Their new two-song single is the band’s third single, but the first one released in Europe. It is a fantastic follow-up to their 2019 single on Secret Mission Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Folc Records

Shorter, Faster, Louder (Monthly Hardcore Wrap-Up) || Changes, Slant, Central, Alien Nosejob, Electric Chair, Taqbir

Though the majority of my posts are punk and garage leaning, I also listen to music that push the boundaries and expectations of this blog. I am talking about music that is a bit more extreme in terms of length, speed, and loudness. It’s the kind of music that may scare or disturb some, or met with plain disinterest by others, but I believe are still worth checking oout. Each month I wrap-up those releases in one post. It definitely is an  international bunch this time, with bands from Malaysia, Australia, South-Korea, Morocco, Russia and the US. Click on read more to check them out.

New single: Lilac || Remember, No Regrets

Lilac are Oisín & Cian Walsh, two brothers from Ireland with great hair. Lilac play fuzzy powerpop, with garagerock influences and dashes of britpop. On A-side Remember, No Regrets the band sounds like a mix of Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, Ash and Weezer. It’s a spong that would have been a major hit twenty years ago. The video to the songs is built from archival sports footage and a joy to watch, aesthetically consistent with the vintage and colorful coverart for the single. Flipside (I’m) Pretending To Be Sad is a tad heavier but has an infectious chorus. Lilacs are fully DIY, homerecording, self-producing and releasing their single on their own label Rufus Records. They are an instant add to my bands-to-watch list.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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