Garage Rock

New single: Stephen’s Ruin || Runaround

International poprock hunters Big Stir Records have uncovered another gem for their single series. Stephen’s Ruin are five lads in their early twenties from Düsseldorf (Germany) who clearly are inspired by all the good stuff from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. With a mix of beatmusic, classic powerpop and rock-n-roll, and some sweet vocal harmonies for good measure, Stephen’s Ruin approach pop perfection on this single. Runaround  is the kind of song I could play all day. It’s energetic, full of hooks and melody, and the final 30 seconds give me butterflies. Tonight is a bit more mellow in comparison, but a worthy flipside nonetheless. If you like The Reflectors single I wrote about yesterday, I guarantee you will like this as well.

Oh and you know what’s crazy? This is the second coming of Stephen’s Ruin. For a short period in the ’80s Stephen’s Ruin created a fun blend of beat, psych and mod/punk. 30 years later two sons of original band member Stephen Leech decided to breathe new life in the band, together with three friends.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Los Traiciones || Express

Please meet Los Traiciones, a cool looking four-piece from Buenos Aires (Argentina) that plays energetic power pop which will appeal to fans of Black Lips, Bee Bee Sea, The Parrots, etc. They have now released the (digital) EP Express, with three guitar-driven hits with a lot of who-oh’s that you can sing along to right away, even if you don’t speak the language. What a great discovery!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

“New” EP: X Ray Cat Trio & Harriet Hyde || Bubblegum

Originally released on a 7″ late 2020 on Buzzard’s Claw Records, it took me a tape reissue by Belgian label Nosebleed Records to discover this gem of a single by X Ray Cat Trio & Harriet Hyde. X Ray Cat Trio are a surf-punk-rnr-rockabilly-doowop hybrid from Leeds. They team up with fellow Loiner Harriet Hyde (Black Moth). If we can get Hyde to permanently join X Ray Cat Trio, I would be all for it (with the obvious name change of course), because it’s a winning combination. Only One and Chainsmoke are straight up Shannon And The Clams material, whereas Bubblegum is an instant garage pop classic. I want more of this authentic throwback to the ’50s and ’60s!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: The Shine || The Shine

Tetryon Tapes strikes again! In April they released an awesome tape by Danny’s Favorites. This week, they released another project by the two members that make up Danny’s Favorites, multi-instrumentalist Trevor Lake and drummer Aaron Mika. Together with Lake’s brother Brendan (bass/vocals) and Derek Sapienza (guitar/vocals) they are were * The Shine. Two years ago, the band recorded an album of lo-fidelity throwback rock-and-roll-and-soul-and-garage. I totally missed this 2019 self-release on Bandcamp, so thank you Tetryon Tapes for giving this self-titled album a second life.

On the album, The Shine essentially take you on a tour through rock-‘n’-roll history. They open the record with Give Us Some Credit, which is as close to a classic r-‘n’-r sound they get on the album. Reconcile, however, with Les Greene on guest vocals, has the heart and soul of a Reigning Sound track. And then there are songs like Same Song, Smooth Operator and Lucky One, which have a serious late ’70s powerpop vibe and sound like they come frome the vaults of Paul Collins, Jack Lee and/or Peter Case. Oh, and let’s not forget Give It To Me Straight and When I Think Back. Those are beautiful classic ’60s pop songs with hints of the Beach Boys. You get the point, I like this one a lot!

*Unfortunately, The Tetryon Tapes tape of The Shine marks the first and, most likely, last physical release of The Shine. The band is no longer around. Fortunately, Lake and Mika have a new band together with Lake’s two brothers. They are called Televisionaries, and their sound builds on what they try to do with The Shine. Make sure to check Televisionaries’ video for their standout track Over And Out.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Freedom || Freedom

There’s no shortage of hard-to-google bands on this blog, but we have a new leader on the board that will be hard to beat. The name of the band? Freedom. The title of the new record? Freedom. So yeah, my information about the release is limited to this: Freedom are from Stockholm and this is their first LP. It’s currently digital only, but will be available on LP this summer; order directly through the band on Bandcamp or contact them at their Facebook page.

The music is pretty great though. Freedom plays blue collar music with soulful vocals – it’s hard not to think about Bruce Springsteen when listening to this record. Fans of Gaslight anthem and particularly Nato Coles And The Blue Diamond Band will go wild for the band’s sound. While Freedom opts for a slightly more authentic rock sound relative to those bands, they play their songs at sufficient pace to also draw in fans of punk, garage and powerpop. All in all, for an impossible to google band, Freedom are an awesome find.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Supreme Joy || Joy

Supreme Joy is a new project of Ryan Wong which allows him to be a bit more experimental than in his work with his main band Cool Ghouls. On Supreme Joy’s 8-song debut Joy, Wong expertly blends psych pop, surf and garage influences to create a record that oozes nostalgia and melancholy. Body Contact by Supreme Joy is a smash hit and given its topic an instant quarantine classic. It’s a perfect guitar driven garage pop track that I can keep on playing. RIYL Woolen Men, Sonny And The Sunsets.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Horseloverfat || Greetings From Nowhere

Horseloverfat is an unusual name. That also applies to their music, which is all over the place and kinda awesome. The band from Italy self-desribes as “a psichedelic (sic) krautrock group, a transnational and stateless parody that encompasses all without regards to purism and coherence.” On their new record Greetings From Nowhere, Horseloverfat goes from postpunk to psychedelic to protopunk to country to kraut to glam in their songs. Somehow, the band manages to pull it off without creating a unlistenable mess. They recorded Greetings From Nowhere in March in an old school fashion: as a live band, and with limited digital intereference. The result is a time portal to the music of the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s. Step in, if you’d like!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Treetops || Rev It Up!

If you listen closely, you’ll hear a motor getting started in the opening seconds of the new Treetops album Rev It Up! The Florida band keeps that motor running throughout album opener Easy Street. It’s a fun pubrock’n’roll hit straight from the garage, and one of my favorites on the record. Hangin’ On is another fun old time rnr song, but The Treetops play a mixture of styles on Rev It Up!

The Treetops clearly are a band that in addition to rock-‘n’- roll, also love soul & disco (Something In The Air), blues, and boogie woogie. I think the lo-fi sound fits the band well, but ultimately, these songs likely are experienced even better in raucous live performances.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Girls || Armed To The Teeth

The Girls are a band from Wilmington (North Carolina) that cares more about rockin’ out than their Google ranking. It would be a shame if you missed out though. The eight songs on Armed To The Teeth will be right in your wheelhouse if you like your powerpop sleazy and with plenty of rock-‘n’-roll. The Girls have that confident swagger that makes this kind of music work. My favorite track on the album is Schools For Fools, a smooth addition to the extended history of rock songs about (not) going to school. RIYL: Wyldlife, Outtacontroller and Dangereens.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Top Left Club || Shoulders At 90

Top Left Club are from Brighton (UK), and recently released their debut LP on the French label Beast Records. Don’t be fooled by the looks of the band or the album art that is clearly inspired by the classic Judas Priest album Screaming For Vengeance. Top Left Club are not a heavy metal band. On Shoulders At 90, which was written and recorded in two months and in a budget friendly manner, the band plays garagepunk seasoned with rippin’ guitars and dirty synths for extra rock-‘n’-roll swagger. Cool stuff, and RIP is an instant classic.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Beast Records

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