Garage Rock

New single: L​.​A. Mason || Move On Up / I’m In Love With Everything

Columbus, Ohio-based singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Lee Mason was the genius behind garage rock bands Comrade Question and Garbage Greek, but this solo project as L​.​A. Mason is also one to keep an eye on. Together with some of his old bandmates he has now released his debut single Move On Up, along with bonus track I’m In Love With Everything. The former in particular is a great rock ‘n’ roll stomper, with a killer riff and a sing-along chorus that settles into your brain as a new passenger. These are the first tasters from an upcoming album, a collection of songs that have been in the works for over a decade.

L.A. Mason’s two track self-titled digital single, recorded & mixed by Keith Hanlon and mastered by Jon Chinn, is out now digitally (self-released). Featuring Lee Mason (vocals, guitar, bass, piano, percussion), Patrick Koch (bass, percussion), Jason Winner (drums, percussion). The fabulous cover art is by Dawn-Elyse Munro.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Shadow Pattern || By Day By Night

Two years after their debut EP Demonstration, and with two additional band members, Seattle’s Shadow Pattern return with new EP By Day By Night. Olivia Claire (vocals, tambourine), Stetson Curtis (guitar, backing vocals), Kevin Hyde (keys, organs, backing vocals), DKB (bass) and Meesh Boscole (drums) play garage psych decorated with surf, blues and shoegaze influences. The four fresh tracks are wonderfully structured, with exciting twists, surprising hooks and original guitar riffs – it’s hard to choose a favorite, because each one has something unique that makes it outstanding. Musically they all are quite rich and compelling, the hazy, angelic vocals round it out well.

By Day By Night is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: TV’s Daniel || Never Change

Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Daniel Fried made his mark in bands like Bad Sports, Radioactivity, Mind Spiders, Video, Wax Museums and Silver Shampoo, but ultimately he also wanted something with his own name, his own sound and his own principles. It led to TV’s Daniel, and to this full-length debut album, Never Change. Ever since the release of the Maybe We’ll All Die 7″ in 2019, with the amazing anthem Better Than It’s Been on the B-side, I’ve been looking forward to this moment, only now understanding why it took so long. We get ten diverse songs (including the A-side of the aforementioned single) exploring heartbreak, death and self-worth, songs that are difficult to pigeonhole due to their atypical orchestration and structures. At its core this is punk rock, but influences from Britpop, glam rock and even electronic dance music make this a lot richer than usual. From cinematic soundscapes to bombastic percussion and a closing track of almost 8 minutes: it’s a lot to take in, but I think TV’s Daniel has just raised the bar for contemporary alternative music.

Never Change, produced by Chico Jones and Daniel Fried, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Wild Honey Records. Featuring Daniel Fried (vocals, guitar, bass, synth), Lisa Alley (bass, vocals), Jason Smith (lead guitar, synth), Mike Garrido (guitar, space drum, vocoder), Chris Prorock (drums), Zach Blair (guitar, vocals), Chico Jones (vocals, piano, additional instruments), Erin Frazier (additional vocals) and Something Samuel (saxophone).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Dome La Muerte E.X.P. || El Santo

Domenico Petrosino aka Dome La Muerte has been active in the Italian rock scene for over 40 years. After a career with various bands, he released his first solo effort Poems For Renegades in 2011, from which the band Dome La Muerte E.X.P. emerged, who now follow up 2017’s debut Lazy Sunny Day with sophomore LP El Santo. It’s a concept album with a social and political background. Dome La Muerte (electric and acoustic guitar, percussion, harp), Luca Valdambrini (organ, synth, acoustic guitar, backing vocals), Alessandro Quaglierini (bass) and Emiliano Giuliani (drums) take us on a Spaghetti Western trip inspired by Ennio Morricone. There are fifteen short songs, all dedicated to revolutionary characters fighting against injustice and the establishment. They may be instrumentals, but you have to imagine that each tune tells a story of redemption and courage full of poets, actors, activists, native Americans and rebels – all ‘saints’ in their own way. The vocal bonus track When The Night Is Over at the end, featuring Massimiliano Larocca, Hugo Race, Nicola Baronti and Matteo Sodini, understandably is a crowd favorite.

El Santo is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Go Down Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Go Down

New album: Toxic Neurotic || Toxic Neurotic

What’s this noise? It’s Matty, Buzzy and Tater blowin’ the doors off the neighbor’s garage with their Toxic Neurotic band. The Lancaster (Pennsylvania) three-piece play collage punk, cutting and tearing pieces of rock’n’roll history to create something wild and exciting. Listen to The Fisherman’s Wife for example, a song in which Toxic Neurotic find a way to mix the Bro Hymn chords, the Beach Boys’ Barbara Ann, and classic rock’n’roll banters and even build in a scorching guitar solo.

Stooges’ guitar work, ’80s American Hardcore and punk, ’80s pop punk (We Like Trash TV sounds like an early Descendents track), and late ’70s UK punk all have a place in the sound of Toxic Neurotic. Of all the things I like about (what I assume is) the band’s self-titled debut album, I like the unpredictable nature of the songs the most. Each song is full of surprising turns. And just when you think you’ve found your favorite new song (Been To The Zoo), you find another (Hollywood Starlet).

I have absolutely no idea who these guys are, nor where they are headed. Perhaps this record is a lost gem from a past era. I do know one thing: This one is freakin’ fun!

Toxic Neurotic is out now at Narcotique Music and Tiger Hawk Recordings.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Barrence Whitfield And The Savages || Glory

Forty years after their self-titled debut album and five years after their previous one, American rock & soul collective Barrence Whitfield And The Savages return with a new LP titled Glory, recorded last May in Valencia (Spain) to round off a long European tour. To be honest, I didn’t know they had been around for so long (I’ve been on board since 2013’s amazing Dig Thy Savage Soul), and their sound is so energetic and passionate that you wouldn’t assume so. “I’m Young”, the charismatic frontman sings defiantly in one of the standout tracks, and that’s how it feels. In the other eleven tunes, the mix of rhythm & blues, garage punk and pub rock is just as exciting, with the growling vocalist and veteran musicians creating a steamy party vibe – the greater the madness, the greater the fun.

Glory, produced by Mike Mariconda, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Folc Records. Featuring original line-up core members Barrence Whitfield, Peter Greenberg and Phil Lenker, along with Andy Jody, Tom Quartulli and Spencer Evoy.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Folc

New album: The Fauxs || Burn The City

That’s a way to kick off your album: “Smash the lights you know // See the urban glow // Tell the stores that it’s time to go // Light a match // It’s time to burn this town // Grab a mask, don’t choke // And a yellow coat // Snort a line and I guess you’re fine // Light a match // It’s time to burn this town.” If badass glam punk and/or feminist discontent is your thing: I’d like to introduce you to Portland’s femme powerhouse The Fauxs, who describe their music as something between a protest and a party. In the nine songs on their high-energetic debut LP Burn The City, Melanie Hindman (vox/guitar), Aliah O’Neill (guitar), Tara Umesh (bass) and Kara Lancaster (drums) make a stunning impression with a swinging rhythm section, passionate guitar riffs, cheerful sing-along harmonies, and explicit but witty lyrics (“I dance in bed like Fred Astaire // And please pardon my Français // I like it in the derrière” – from Madonna/Whore). There are nice covers of Ça Plane Pour Moi (Plastic Bertrand) and Don’t Dictate (Penetration), and Sheela nods to Sheena Is a Punk Rocker (Ramones), but the originals are at least as cool.

Burn The City, produced & engineered by Kara Lancaster, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: The Jungo Swank || Wildfire b​/​w Dark Waters

The Jungo Swank are a new project from Jonas Morbach (organ, vocals), Joe Pepe (guitar) and Ken Viste (drums, percussion). The Los Angeles-based trio play a raw and raucous mix of rhythm & blues, rockabilly and garage punk. Their first two songs, Wildfire and Dark Waters, leave us wanting more. A grooving organ, rowdy guitar riffs, thumping beats,  gritty vocals, everything is equally cool. Fuzzy, danceable and pretty awesome.

Wildfire b​/​w Dark Waters is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Brian Setzer || The Devil Always Collects

Way over forty years into his career, but American singer/songwriter/guitarist Brian Setzer (Stray Cats, Brian Setzer Orchestra, ) sounds fresh and eager as ever on his new album The Devil Always Collects. He doesn’t seem to be bothered by the ominous words from the title track: “I bought that ticket to heaven // That he had to sell // But I guess I missed the fine print // About the detour to hell.” No, with a cheerful mood the iconic rock ‘n’ roller swings through eleven infectious songs – including two covers; Girl on the Billboard (Del Reeves) and The Living Dead (Jim Burgett) – that evoke a dance party with nostalgic feeling (lyrically it’s as if time has stood still since the late 1950s). Fortunately: “He ain’t in no hurry // He’s got a lifetime to burn.”

The Devil Always Collects, produced by Brian Setzer and Julian Raymond, and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge, is out now on CD and vinyl LP through Surfdog Records.

Add to wantlist: Discogs || Mascot Label Group || Surfdog

New album: Datenight (US) || Clueless And Hangless

Datenight (US) released Mother’s Day right around the start of Summer. It was a messy lo-fi ball of excitement kinda record. The end of Summer officially is still a week away, but would you look at that, Datenight (US) have just released another one! Clueless And Hangless sees the Nashville band continue the trajectory of Mother’s Day of becoming less frantic and loud as their earlier work. There still is plenty of nervous energy though, and the lo-fi recordings have a demo like feel to them. Who knows, perhaps these are actual demo’s or stuff the band had lying around from previous recording sessions. It’s hard to tell with a band like Datenight (US). It’s not like they provide any information alongside the release.

At the same time, the underproduced quality of the songs has always been part of the appeal of the band. On Clueless And Hangless, Datenight (US) bounce around between punk, garage slacker rock, indie rock and powerpop. It’s a fuzzy unhinged mix that is packed with poppy hooks.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Scroll to Top