Garage Rock

New EP: Continental Lovers || Dale Arden Vs The World

Here is another band that knows how to find the sweet spot between powerpop, r’n’r, punk, garage and glam. Continental Lover reside in London (UK) but based on their sound I assumed they were an US band. The band’s new Dale Arden Vs The World EP is a celebration of all things good about r’n’r. It’s catchy, it’s sleazy and it rocks. They even pay tribute to Joan Jett (on St. Joan). My favorite track is the mid-tempo Really Doesn’t Matter. It’s a massive hit. By the way, given the whole Brexit fiasco, how timely awesome is the band’s name?

Above all, the six song Dale Arden Vs The World EP is a sign of things to come. Four of these songs will also be available on 7″ through Snap! Records (Spain) in September and a full-length album should arrive before the end of the year. Can’t Hardly Wait.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Quiet Confusion || Magella

Ten years after the release of their debut LP, Quiet Confusion is back with their fourth full-length studio album Magella (the title is a tribute to freedom of expression). Although the Italian trio has changed their line-up (below you listen to Antonio Cortina (vocals, guitar), Giovanni Franceschini (drums) and Roberto Panarotto (bass)), remained has the stoner rock ‘n’ roll that is deeply drenched in heavy blues and psychedelics. The album title is a tribute to freedom of expression, because the three musicians had the privilege to explore soundscapes in an instinctive and genuine way. This led to standout opening track Long Wave, which with a (far too short) running time of only 2:42 is unique in this genre, in which long jams such as the instrumental closing track J.J. are common. This band shows how to master both and everything in between. This is powerful and exciting music with a live feeling and authentic sound.

Magella is out now digitally and on CD through Go Down Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Go Down

New album: The Sino Hearts || Lightening The Darkness

Last time we checked in with The Sino Hearts they released a compilation with the best tracks of their first two records. For me that offered the best of both worlds, because neither record was perfect but both contained some killer tracks. Now, the Bejing band (who moved to Berlin recently) returns with their third album called Lightening The Darkness. Mark this record as the moment where The Sino Hearts fully live up to the expectations raised by those killer tracks. To be honest, The Sino Hearts exceed my expectations. I’m blown away by how good this record is.

Whereas the band’s previous output was very much Exploding Hearts influenced – never a bad thing, it’s almost like The Sino Hearts finally found a sound of their own. Like a writer finding his or her own voice, The Sino Hearts brand of powerpop/gaarage/rnr/’70s punk is more effective than before, and you won’t find any filler on Lightening The Darkness. It’s hit upon hit. Goodbye Tonight. Passing Shades. Stranglehold On My Heart. Falling Out Of Love. All hits, and those are the first songs on the record! Or what about Commotion Of Love?

Lightening The Darkness is a must have. Out now through Topsy Turvy & Otitis Media.

Add to wantlist: Discogs || Soundflat

New album: Fleur! || Fleur Fleur Fleur!

The girl group sound is also kept alive in Indonesia, not in the least by rock ‘n’ roll trio Fleur! (not to be confused with Dutch yé-yé singer/musician Fleur), formerly Flower Girls. After a recording process that took almost two years, Tanya Ditaputri (guitar, vocals), Tika Pramesti (drums, vocals) and Yuyi Trirachma (bass, vocals) have now released their full-length Fleur Fleur Fleur! and it’s everything you hope it is. You’ll hear influences from the big names of the 60s as well as local traditions, but the eleven songs here – sung in their native language – are truly original, contemporary, diverse and captivating. Fleur! looks cool, Fleur! sounds cool.

Fleur Fleur Fleur! is out now digitally and on CD through La Munai Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || La Munai

New album: Pronk || Mayonaise

At live shows from Dutch boogie-rock outfit Pronk, there are two kinds of people: the audience with a fist in the air – dancing , laughing, screaming, stomping, sweating, and drinking too much – and behind them some casual attendees who look open-mouthed wtf is going on. If you listen to the 11 new songs on their sophomore full-length Mayonaise, you can probably imagine that. It doesn’t matter that you don’t speak the language – most fans in the Netherlands don’t really understand this dialect either – but you’ll undoubtedly have an idea what it’s all about. Singer/guitarist Arjan Pronk (The Prodigal Sons, 16Down, Bökkers), drummer Henk Jonkers (Hallo Venray, Fatal Flowers), guitarist Sam Pols (Magnetic Spacemen) and singer Dion Legebeke (The Damned Few) play dirty, hard, bold and catchy rock ‘ n’ roll – party guaranteed – that you can’t get out of your head. This music is just as fat, unmistakable and shameless as the product from the album title, and that’s a compliment.

Add to wantlist: Mayonaise is out now on vinyl LP through Excelsior Recordings.

New album: I Mitomani Beat || Ciononostante

Here are 12 new Italian beat songs with a 60s feel, here is the new full-length album Ciononostante by I Mitomani Beat from Rome. This is upbeat rock ‘n’ roll with influences from garage rock, psych and surf – you’ll hear delicious organ melodies, harmony vocals and handclaps, but also cinematic soundscapes – that let the sun shine from your speakers. Letizia Lèti from Lisa Beat e i Bugiardi guests on Resta qui, an Italian cover of Rescue Me, originally from Fontella Bass.

Ciononostante is out now digitally, and on August 7 also on CD, through Area Pirata.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: TV Sound || The Extended​-​Play Mystery

The Golden Age of Television (aka Peak TV) started around Y2k. Around the same time, TV Sound (New Jersey) released their first record (Record Jacket Life). In 2022, the band is still alive and kicking, despite a hiatus here and there.

Their latest release is a six-song EP. It has a blend of powerpop, mod, garage and rock-‘n’-roll I’m pretty sure Steven Van Zandt will appreciate. My favorite track is All Fallen Down, with In April and Coca​-​Cola Motorcycle Cowboy as other tracks I recommended checkin’ out. I doubt we’ll ever see the golden age of TV Sound, but I’m pretty sure the band will happily provide the soundtrack anyway. The Extended​-​Play Mystery is out now on Killing Horse Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: T.J. Cabot || King Grove

Time for a dirty rockin’ EP from Moncton, New Brunswick. TJ Cabot returns with 5 loud and infectious garagepunk hits by the way of New Bomb Turks. With the intensity level high, the melodies strong and the ear drums tested, it’s hard to find fault with any of these songs. There even is a killer cover of Need by Eric’s Trip. But the main prize here is the 156 second nugget that is Tumbleweed (Lining Up the Dominoes).

Mastered by James O’Toole of Outtacontroller who dropped the first single of their upcoming record this week. Good times, right now and coming up.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Shiny Giant || Slacker Logic

Good friends Joe Whalen (vocals, guitars) and Tom Smallcomb (drums) have been part of the northern Pennsylvania music scene for years, mostly with cover bands, but under the moniker of Shiny Giant – a hobby project – they now also bring their own songs. On their debut EP Slacker Logic – great title – you can hear the first six tasters of what they are capable of. At my request, songwriter Joe explains how the tunes came about: “Each individual track is recorded from start to finish in one take directly into an old Zoom 16 track recorder, with no edits or computer tricks. The idea is to have a raw, live-sounding recording. The songs themselves are all based on things I’ve experienced in my lifetime and topics include bad decisions, failing relationships, mental health issues, depression, and fast women, hahaha.” This process has led to to these lo-fi and primitive yet energetic basement rock hits, relatable both musically and lyrically, somewhat reminiscent of JEFF The Brotherhood in their Heavy Days period. The expression ‘slacker logic’ is one to remember (I guess it’s the realization that life has no rationale that you can control, without making a problem of it), and this band is one to keep an eye on.

Slacker Logic is out now digitally and on CD (self-released). Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Steven Lipsticks And His Magic Band || Pilot

Steven Lipsticks And His Magic Band is essentially a home recording project by Stefano Rossetti, an Italian musician who is unafraid to mix up different styles. On his new record Pilot, there is a little bit of everything for everyone – garage pop, powerpop, punk pop, britpop, grunge pop and guitar pop. Mikal Cronin may be a good reference point for the sound of Steven Lipsticks And His Magic Band, particularly in Steven’s Problems, one of the best tracks on the record – watch the Subterranean Homesick Blues inspired video below of the song (that for some reason is not included on Spotify).

On Pilot, Rossetti gives us scrappy songs with a pop heart and also shows he is unafraid to challenge himself with a slow burner like (Don’t Be) Uptight. Pretty good stuff really! Pilot is out now on Cassette through More Letter Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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