Garage Rock

New EP: Class || Class EP

Is nowthatsclass dot bandcamp dot com the best spot to start your week at? Yes! It has my favorite short format release of late. It’s by a band from Tucson (Arizona) called Class featuring members of Rik And The Pigs, The Resonars, Brown Sugar and The Green Teas.

The magic formula that makes Class’ sound on their 5-song self-titled debut EP so great? Equal doses of ’70s rock, powerpop and punk. More specifically, Class mix ’70s NYC punk attitude with the musicianship and sense of melody of Big Star. It’s really something special, and if you’d told me that the Class EP is actually a lost classic from the ’70s I’d believe you. Into The Night and Oh! The Nerve are particularly catchy, but a major strength of Class is that none of their songs are alike, and all of them are interesting.

The cassette is already sold out (Revolver, Sorry State, and Torn Light may have a couple left), but supposedly a 12″ 45rpm LP is coming out later this year through Feel It Records. It should come with a sticker warning that this may very well be your new favorite band.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The New Brutarians || Hysteria

Here is a debut LP by a band that’s been teasing and increasing curiosity since early 2020: Hysteria by The New Brutarians – featuring Adam Turkel (guitar) and Christina Wright (drums) from Saint Petersburg (Florida).

For those of you who associate Hysteria with a certain record that’s sold over 20 million copies, don’t worry. The primary similarity between The New Brutarians and Def Leppard is that both bands have a glammy side. But The New Brutarians are lo-fi, straight from the garage, delightfully ramshackle, and have a drummer with a smaller drum kit but more arms. Their sound is more ’70s New York proto punk than ’80s L.A./UK hairspray.

If you’ve been keeping tag of this band, you’ll recognize a lot of the songs on Hysteria, since most have been released as digital singles. I don’t mind at all, although I would have liked the band’s brutal version of Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way made the tracklist. Their version of Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man did make the cut though.

Hysteria is out July 1st through Alien Snatch! Records, but it’s already on Spotify. Give it a spin if you need a kickstart to the start of your weekend. Have a good one!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Hazy Sour Cherry || Strange World

Japanese four-piece Hazy Sour Cherry released their successful debut album Tour De Tokyo in 2019, which they are now following with the new LP Strange World, again very nice. Tsuzumi (vocals), Jun Ham (guitar), Karin (drums), and Poppo Professor (bass – now replaced by Chiba) play rattling indie rock, with 60s girl-groups, 50s doowop and older traditional influences, that sounds contemporary. The twelve new songs are energetic, infectious and uplifting. We may live in a strange world, but these sympathetic twenty-somethings keep their spirits up. And so do we, thanks to them.

Strange World is out now digitally, and soon on vinyl LP, through Damnably.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Runaway Lovers || Bilbao

Now this is fun. Spanish rock ‘n’ roll outfit Runaway Lovers are back with a new full-length album, which refers to their hometown Bilbao in name and theme, but as always with all kinds of references to their musical influences. This is swinging music rooted in the 50s and 60s, but done so cheerful, reverence and entertaining that it’s still credible in 2022. Santiago Delgado, Juanjo Ibarra, Igor Martínez, Carlos Beltrán, Julio Ortiz and Ricardo Ibáñez share vocal and handclap duties, adding to the joy. Their eleven new songs here – two covers: we know Me Enamoré as The Coasters’ I Must Be Dreamin’, and Chuck Berry’s Viva Viva Rock ‘n’ Roll – were created during the pandemic, but you won’t notice that, because tunes can’t be much more carefree than this.

Bilbao is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Family Spree Recordings.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Your Pest Band || Reflecting Board

We almost exclusively cover new releases on our site. But still, I can appreciate how Dead Broke Rekerds every now and then places the spotlight on previously released work that they feel has been criminally overlooked. It’s how I discovered this great EP by Outpatient. And here’s a recent reissue I am grateful for: Reflecting Board, a mini album Japanese veterans Your Pest Band released in 2021.

Reflecting Board features 7 tracks that takes influences from ’70s classic rock and ’80s punk, which combined sound like a mix of early ’80’s powerpop and The Replacements. Classic songs from a veteran band in full possession of their songwriting chops and, I fully agree with Dead Broke Rekerds, far too good to pass up.

Reflecting Board is out now on 12″ vinyl. The artwork is kinda ugly, but the tunes are kinda awesome.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Green/Blue || Paper Thin

Listen. We get it. There is a definite rebound effect to the pandemic. Records were shelved, tours were postponed. Bands and fans had to wait for what felt like forever to get reacquainted and celebrate their shared love of music. As such, we’ve seen so many releases this year that we’re struggling to keep up. But it gets worse when bands release not one but two great records a mere six months apart. So damn you, Green/Blue!

I’m looking at you, Jim Blaha (Blind Shake/Shadow In The Cracks), Annie Sparrows (Soviettes/Awesome Snakes), Dan Henry (Sgt 6 Assault/Dummies/France Has The Bomb), and Hideo Takahashi (France Has The Bomb/Sweet J.A.P./Nice & Neat Records). I know you are respected veterans of the Minneapolis scene, but you are turning us into spoiled little brats if you continue on this path. With your short and tight mid-fi mesmerizing new wavish, garagy, postpunky pop nuggets. With these ten tracks on Paper Thin that are just as great as the ten songs on Offering. Another reason to be kinda mad: how am I going to pick one of these records over the other in my AOTY list?

On Paper Thin, Green/Blue sound like a punkrock version of the Cure or like Arcade Fire on a diet of everything that is good about underground ’80s music, or like Jeff Burke (of Radioactivity/Marked Men fame) fronting either of these bands. It’s freakin’ great and out now through Feel It Records. But in all fairness,, it should be the last Green/Blue record for at least six months.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Feel It Records

New EP: Los Recuerdos || Entre Macca Y Juan Gabriel

There is no shortage of solid powerpop and rock-‘n’-roll bands from Spain, and Los Recuerdos is one of my favorite new ones. The band’s second EP is out now and it’s called Entre Macca Y Juan Gabriel. The title is a nod to the wide range of influences of the band, including Paul “Macca” McCartney and Juan Gabriel. But despite their many likes, the sonic aim of Los Recuerdos ultimately seems straightforward and, if you’d ask me, in exactly the right direction.

That direction? Uptempo jangly powerpop, which Los Recuerdos have further tightened and polished on these four new tracks. On EP standout Una Idea Genial they incorporate some very welcome Undertonesque pop punk vibes. Últimos de Julio is another excellent track showcasing the band’s talent for writing strong and contagious melodies.

Curious to see if Los Recuerdos are ready to graduate from the EP format to a full length. I think they may very well be!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Yellow Pills || Too Many Metrics

Yellow Pills is the solo bedroom project by Chicago-based musician Ryan Miera. At a fast pace he writes and records cinematic garage psych tracks with surf influences, largely instrumental although occasionally vocals pop up. I like the title of his new album – Too Many Metrics – but the song titles also evoke all kinds of images and stories (What does The Letter H stand for? Does The Devil’s Drug Dealer also supply yellow pills? Etc). More importantly though, this is simply very entertaining music. Diverse, quirky and exciting.

Too Many Metrics is out now via Mint 400 Records – streaming only for now.

New album: Puhelinseksi || Vieraita Toisillemme

Puhelinseksi are a band of four from Rovaniemi, a city in Finland locate slightly below the arctic circle. The light can get a bit weird there, and perhaps this helps to explain the dark and melancholic undertones in Puhelinseksi’s brand of punky and melodic powerpop. Their sophomore record is called Vieraita Toisillemme, and the nine songs on it range from pretty good to pretty great. I am particularly drawn by the band’s killer choruses and the new wavey guitar work. Without understanding the lyrics, the emotion in the voice of Puhelinski’s frontwoman hints upon the dark themes in the lyrics (loneliness, alienation, mental health problems and broken hearts). This heartfelt honest voice is complemented nicely by the strong melodies in Puhelinseksi’s music.

Good stuff again from Svart Records. Vieraita Toisillemme is available on CD and on black and purple vinyl.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Svart Records

New EP: The Girls || Tea Party

Following up their 2021 mini-LP Armed To The Teeth, The Girls (Wilmington, North Carolina) return with another hard-to-google release; the 5-song Tea Party EP. The EP offers more of the hard poppin’ rock-‘n’-roll sleaze I’ve come to love about this band – the band has ’77 in their social media user name and on their Bandcamp page, which should give you an idea of their sound.

Recently, the band made the soundtrack of Netflix original Along For The Ride with their standout song Schools For Fools. That likely will have brought some new pairs of ears to The Girls, and the Tea Party EP makes good on the promise of that song. My favorite track on the Tea Party EP is Love Song. That chorus is massive! Make sure to also check The Girls’ version of Primal Astrology by Zodiac Panthers.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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