Joni Ekman is a prolific songsmith from Finland. With Joni Ekman & Koira, Ekman unabashedly churns out guitar-driven pubrock’n’roll hits that should appeal to fans of throwback acts like Giuda and Faz Waltz. It’s the band’s third full length. Expect cool guitar riffs, licks and fills, and songs that rock as hard as they are melodic. Iso Kolmonen is fully sung in the band’s native language, so if you’d like to know what these guys are singing about, you probably need a translator. But you should be fine enjoying these songs regardless. With Joni Ekman & Koira, it’s all about rockin’ out. Digitally for now, as the vinyl release has been delayed until mid October.
Cromm Fallon is one of those prolific musicians who live for music. The Las Vegas based multi-instrument played in multiple bands – The Laissez Fairs, The Van Der Rohe, Double Whammys, Headwinds, … – and he’s also regularly behind the turntables as DJ Cromm. The tunes that he then blasts from the speakers – 60s garage, punk, and rock ‘n’ roll – clearly influence the songs he writes himself. However, his sophomore full-length album is more wide-ranging than that. For example, listen to the jangly power pop hit Closer Distance (the lyrics kick off strongly with “I’ve run out of words // So writing just makes sense”, and then the lines get even better), and the heavy noise of Taste., and you have a pretty good idea of what Fallon has to offer. Irresistible guitar riffs, sharply songwriting in which you can lose yourself, vocals full of dedication. You can expect something good from a gifted artist who lives for the music, but Fallon more than lives up to it.
Cromm Fallon Presents The P200 is out now digitally and on CD through Rum Bar Records.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp
Although NYC glamr’n’r outfit Big City started out in 2013, Big Kisses is only their first LP. So don’t feel bad when this is your first taste of the band, It’s mine too. That first taste is exquisite though. There is a sense of familiarity to the sound of Big City, and they seem to draw influences from all cardinal directions of ’70s rock ‘n’ roll. Artists that come to mind while listening to this LP include Bruce Springsteen, Thin Lizzy, New York Dolls, Todd Rundgren, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, David Bowie and Big Star. And yet, the songs on Big Kisses never sound redundant. Despite the somewhat lo-fi production, you can tell that this is a talented group of musicians: plenty of layers, plenty of dynamics and plenty of instruments. I’m really curious how the music of Big City translates to a live setting – likely even better.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp
Are you feeling meh? Here’s the perfect cure. Stop what you are doing right now. Just turn the volume up and press play on the song below. I promise you will feel better afterwards.
What a track right? And the best news is that there are three additional songs on this debut single by Mr. Teenage, who are from Melbourne, Australia. What is striking about this single, which was originally self-released last year and will be released on a 7″ by Drunken Sailor on September 17, is that each song has a distinct sound. The title track mixes punkrock’n’roll with a robotic chorus that has an 80s new wave vibe. Waste Of Time, is more straightforward punkrock where the vocals channel Joey Ramone. And then there is The Loser, a garage pop hit heavily influenced by ’60s girlgroup. Add that to the guitar heavy powerpop perfection of the song you’ve just heard (Kids) – A song that showcases the awesome voice of the band’s frontman Nic Imfeld, and you have a must own single.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp
“We are Pleasure Island. We are from Pleasure Island.”
Pleasure Island use little words to introduce themselves. For a more informative introduction of this new band, that is actually from Carolina Beach (North Carolina), take a listen to their self-titled debut EP. Pleasure Island play a melancholic and nostalgic form of garagepop that incorporates elements of psych and surf. The songs are quite mellow, which allows the band’s great vocalist to shine. When We’re Together is a prime example. What a tune! But there’s an edge to the band as well, and the band’s not afraid to up the tempo and intensity, particularly in EP closer Cut Me Loose. Don’t know about you, but I’m keepin an eye on Pleasure Island.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp
Uni Boys self-released two highly enjoyable records in 2020 which I kind of lost track off and had to include in my overlooked records end-of-the-year retrospect. The LA band’s first release of 2021 is a two song single, and the band’s first to get pressed on vinyl (thanx Curation Records!). Both songs won me over on the first spin. Uni Boys sounds like an authenthic ’70s powerpop band. I can see fans of the music of Matthew Melton (Bare Wires, Warm Soda) warm easily to this single as well. Both songs set a high standard for the band’s next full-length. But, if they can pull it off we’re talking AOTY contenders. One word review of this single: HITS!
Strolling through the new releases on Bandcamp, I was happily swinging along to the music of Sweet Pete, when in his bio the band tag Jacques Le Coque caught my attention. The Connecticut four-piece made some nice records, and their single Tip of my Tongue is an awesome garage rock banger that I still play regularly. Sweet Pete is the latest project from New Jersey based singer / songwriter / guitarist Pete Mazza, the frontman of Jacques Le Coque for the past ten years. Pete is a big fan of early rock & roll, and has long wanted to honor the pioneers with a new outfit of his own. Bolstered by Trevor Lake (you saw his name on this site before: in The Shine, Danny’s Favorites, and Televisionaries) on bass and drums, and Collin J. Rocker (Old Lady) on six string guitar, he recorded 11 original songs that are energetic and will make you happy. Their debut full-length Say Hello may be influenced by the past, but is not dated anywhere. Above all, however, it’s really fun to listen to – sitting still is impossible. We already knew it, of course, but it’s great that there is new evidence: rock & roll is here to stay.
Out now digitally and on cassette. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp
My summer was pretty good, but right now my return to work and blogging feels like one giant game of catchup and I am getting no way close. This may explain why Summer Soon by Canadian three piece Bambies is such a welcome record. Uncomplicated and upbeat, Bambies play the kind of garage pop punk’n’roll that mixes bubblegum goodness with Heartbreakers swagger. From the one-two opening punch of Dirty Taint and Summer Soon, through the glam hit Tear Off My Face, it’s clear that Bambies is a band that sounds fun because they are having fun. It’s exactly what I need right now. Add Bambies to an already long list of cool Canadian bands. There was a time I associated Canada with its beautiful nature. Nowadays, my first association with Canada is great garage and power pop.
Straight from a garage in Edmonton (Canada) to your heart, here’s the latest single by Sister Suzie. Sister Suzie plays the kind of music that rocks and roll hard. The short and sweet Claws, with its Donnas/Runaways vibe, is my favorite track on the single. But the remaining pair of tracks are from fillers. Don’t Want To and Are You Gonna (Give Me A Kiss) have a decidedly more bluesy and glammy sound, and plenty of swagger to get you head boppin’ and your foot stompin’.
Another strong joint release by Reta Records and Surfin’ Ki! Pre-order now to get the vinyl color and cover variant of your liking.
What better way to return from a short summer break with a record that is fun, catchy and rocks like crazy. Albany’s (NY) finest garagepoppers Mystery Girl recently released their first full length LP, which offers eleven glammy garagepop’n’roll nuggets. The record is the highly anticipated follow up to the band’s 2019 killer single Heartbreaker. The music of Mystery Girl is like a death match between sleazy guitars in one corner and pop hooks in the opposite, with one clear winner from the fight: the audience. I bet fans of Dirty Fences, Tough Shits and Barreracudas will go crazy for this one. Out now on Boulevard Trash (US) and No Front Teeth (UK).