Garage Rock

New album: The Wind-Ups || Try Not To Think

The Wind-ups is the brainchild of the multitalented Jake Sprecher, who either played or still plays in Smokescreens, Terry Malts, and Jonathan Richman. Sprecher made good use of his Covid-induced boredom by purchasing a TASCAM 388 and recording a new solo bedroom-project as The Wind-Ups. The result is Try Not To Think, a 19 minute powerpop masterpiece disguised as lo-fi garagepunk record. In anticipation of the release, we asked Sprecher to share 5 albums that influenced the record. He agreed and then came up with what arguably is the most surprising lists we had on the site so far. And although the list tells you absolutely nothing about the sound of The Wind-Ups, it does offer a peak into how passionate Sprecher is about music and how broad and varied his tastes are.

It makes it all the more surprising how blunt and direct the songs on Try Not To Think sound. Don’t take that for simplism though. In truth, it takes skill to write songs that are this straightforward and yet so memorable. Of his previous bands, The Wind-Ups is sonically nearest to the early Terry Malts stuff, but a tad louder and slightly slower paced. My favorite part of Try Not To Think is probably the middle. Starting with Cat In The Hat, there is a group of six or seven songs that are all extremely short (most are sub 90 seconds) and insanely infectious. It’s in this part where The Wind-Ups relentlessly pile up hit upon hit. By the end of the record, The Wind-Ups leave you wanting more. Fortunately, Sprecher has already recorded half of the follow-up album, but that’s for another time. Try Not To Think is out today at Mt. St. Mtn.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Mt.St.Mtn || Midheaven

[note: this post contains parts from our Gimme 5 post with Jake Sprecher.]

New EP: The Flaming Sideburns / The Maharajas || Split EP

Now this is fun: the Finnish garage punk rock band The Flaming Sideburns (active since 1995) and the Swedish 60s garage rock band The Maharajas (since 1998) together on one EP! From The Flaming Sideburns you can spin Searching Like a Hyena and Nibiru, taken from their latest LP (Silver Flames, 2021). And although The Maharajas also have a new album out (Floor Killers, 2021), they recorded two new songs for this EP: Where The Action Was and Kill Your Darlings. Four garage bangers, eleven minutes of pure fun. Out now on both black and swamp green vinyl 7″ through Chaputa! Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Chaputa!

New single: Bad Sex || Bad Sex (Miranda b/w Devil Doll)

Okay, I am going to keep this short, before I give in to any of the other bad puns the name of this band evokes. I am talking about Bad Sex, who are a raunchy and sleazy powerpop’n’roll outfit from Portland. With their latest single, the band sends a well-aimed arrow to anyone who gets excited by The Sweet, The Cry, The Exploding Hearts and Gentleman Jesse. Bad Sex hits that sweet spot between powerpop, punk, glam and rock-‘n’-roll on both of these songs, and I hope to hear more from them soon. Out now on a 7″ at Crash Assailant Records. Talk to you later, going to clean up my browser history now.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Crash Assailant

Gimme 5! Zeno Jones and Rodney B. (Cold Beverage) Share 5 Records That Influenced Their Debut Album ‘Hot Wax’

With ‘Gimme 5!’ we take a peek into the collections of artists we admire. The premise is simple: artists WE like share 5 records THEY love.

Two weeks ago I raved about Hot Wax, the debut album by guitar-drum duo Cold Beverage. They play rock & roll garage blues with surprising structures, heavy riffs and raw vocals – very cool imho. Unfortunately, no physical release is planned yet, but the good news is that the songs are now available on all of the streaming services. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen on Spotify and add it to your wantlist on Bandcamp.

Given the nature of the music, I wanted to know what the band members themselves are listening to, and I’m really glad guitarist Zeno Jones was willing to answer that question. Not only did he come up with a great selection that says a lot about the two band members, but he also knows how to describe it in an enviable way. Anything mentioned below that I don’t already have, I’d love to add to my record collection. How about you?

New album: Ghost Bomber || GHOST BOMBER!

The nice thing about instrumental music is that you can dream away in your own story, not guided by lyrics; when done right, you can envision things that are not necessarily really there.  Ghost Bomber is real though, and it’s a joy to fly with the self-titled debut album of this American 5-piece. Primed by the category tag “circus pop” I visualized images of clumsy clowns on speed at track 3, and at track 4 I thought of a belly dancer with a snake around her neck – only later did I see that these songs were titled Porn Machine and Carpool Tunnel respectively (as said, everyone dreams their own story). Anyway, this is crazy party music with a mix of garage rock, ska, punk, freak wave, psych and cabaret on board. After 2:52 minutes of the eclectic closing song Boogie ‘Til You Die, the musicians actually start singing too, and that sounds exactly as you hope and expect. A rocking circus show that we would love to see live. Stream the full album below. RIYL Gogol Bordello, La Pegatina, Hogchoker.

Out now digitally and on CD. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Foshays || Not So Now

And now for something completely different…meet The Foshays, a cartoon rock band from Minneapolis. The mastermind behind this project is illustrator BiL Sherman, who writes the songs and draws the cartoons. Together with the members of his band Mannequins on Welfare, he recorded the songs that make up The Foshays debut album Not So Now. There are 13 songs on the record. Four of these songs were also on the bands 2019 Foshays First EP 7″, which, in perfect harmony with the cartoon band image, also contained a 12 page comic book.

To be clear, although The Foshays are a cartoon band, these songs are all originals of self-proclaimed bubblegum hardrock. I think that is a solid description of the music, although I would add glam, soul, garage and rock-‘n’-roll as well. Like the best comic books, the records starts and finishes strongly: the album opener and the album closer are my favorite songs. But the middle part is not too shabby neither. Keep in touch with the adventures of The Foshays on Twitter.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Total Shock || Use Your Illusion IV

Total Shock are a four-piece (power)pop band disguised as punk band. Their new record Use Your Illusion IV is easy to overlook. It’s neither fast nor loud, and the production is rather lo-fi. It’s essentially the kind of record you quickly dismiss if you only take a quick browse through the songs. You’d be missing out though. Total Shock have a knack for writing a mean hook and killer chorus. Have a taste by sampling the poppy garagepunk of Back There Again or the sleazy and glammy punkrock’n’roll of Do It Yourself.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Lancashire Bombers || Into The Sun

Bret Bolton (vocals / guitar), Pete Lay (guitar), Alan Walshe (bass / organ), and Dave Prince (drums / screams) have individually fired decibels whitin several other cool bands, but now  they’ve boarded an imaginary fighter plane together, to pour their guitar riffs and drum salvos on whoever wants to hear them. The experienced, like-minded musicians gathered in mid-2020, during the COVID-19 apocalypse; as the Lancashire Bombers they’ve recorded their debut LP Into The Sun as a convincing proof of their strength. Although you might expect otherwise based on the band name, cover art and menacing roar in the intro and outro of the record, the lyrics don’t contain war language, but deal with less serious conflict (“I left her crying, whoohoo”). This is garage rock like countless young bands played in the 60’s, wild rhythm & beat that can make a party explode, a musical bombardment to enjoy. Stream the full album below. Out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Spinout Nuggets.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Spinout Nuggets

New EP: RMBLR || MF / EP

If you like the music that Spaghetty Town Records and Wanda Records usually put out, make sure to check the labels’ latest (co-)release: MF/EP by RMBLR. It has six anthemic glamgarage’n’roll hits – including one vinyl only track. The Atlanta band consists of a constantly changing cast of characters including members of Barreracudas, Gentleman Jesse, BBQT and Ravagers around frontman and primary songwriter Chase Tail (DINOS Boys, The Heart Attacks). RMBLR offers the prototype of what makes this kind of music great. It’s tough yet melodic, straightforward but not simplistic. And the louder you play it, the better it sounds. Sorry neighbors.

My favorite song on the records is Move Over, a song about police violence and racial injustice. Boiled up frustration seldom sounded so smooth. Who says this kind of music should only be about partying?

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Spaghetty Town (US) || Wanda Records (EU)

New album: The Murlocs || Bittersweet Demons

The five skinny kids of soulful garage rock band The Murlocs have of course shown before that they can write great songs, but on their fifth album Bittersweet Demons – out now digitally and on vinyl LP through ATO Records – they prove that again. As you’ll read in every other review, the members of the Melbourne-based band – Ambrose Kenny-Smith (lead vocals / guitar / harmonica), Callum Shortal (guitar), Matt Blach (drums), Cook Craig (bass), and Tim Karmouche (keys) – play also in other well-known bands, but here they rise above themselves. The new record contains a collection of more personal songs, written mostly on piano, reflecting on the people who leave a profound imprint on their lives, the saviors and hell-raisers, and assorted other mystifying characters. Album opener Francesca (an ode to the frontman’s mother) and the title track (it might look like others have got everything figured out, but there’s always those underlying demons that no one realizes) are the obvious hits, but the bluesy rock ballad Skewiff is my absolute favourite, and not just because the title is such a beautiful word: that melody! that harmonica! those lyrics! that emotion! – goosebumps on repeat.

“If it ain’t quite working out // Then maybe it ain’t worth it now // If it feels a little skew-whiff now // A little off balance // You gotta put yourself in their shoes”

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

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