Garage Rock

New album: Les Shirley || Forever Is Now

Forever Is Now, the debut album of Montreal trio Les Shirley, has a budget friendly album cover with a hairmetal font. Add in song titles like Easy Target and Pick Up The Phone, and one could mistake this band for a Donnas ripoff. That’s definitely not the case. What do you get? Straightforward catchy pop tunes with a rock and roll edge, and a full guitar sound. Two-thirds of Les Shirley also play in NOBRO, so you may already know that these women have a knack for writing songs that earworm their way through your brain. Les Shirley is a different beast though, sounding somewhere between Wyldlife and Ex-Hex. Do not expect this record to shatter your world in terms of originality or complexity (who cares anyway), but it’s hard to find any fault in songs like sadgirlsclub, Courtney and hit single Fuck It I’m In Love. For radio stations that may object to that last one, Les Shirley even include a radio friendly version (Forget It I’m In Love).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp 

New single: Slander Tongue || Ride

13 months after they released their excellent self-titled LP, Berlin greasy glamgaragerockers Slander Tongue return in style with a two song single. It is inspired by lockdown fatigue, with the band “in need of a good time.” Fortunately, the two songs sound far from wearied. They have plenty of groove and energy. Out now on Slovenly Recordings.

“Now it’s May and I should be faraway // But I do the same thing as yesterday // This shit goes all year long // And I keep playing that song.“

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

Throwback Thursday: Palms || LOVE

To my surprise, I just found out that Australian indie rock band Palms have released a new single entitled Calling. Not bad at all, and cool that they still make music! It reminded me of LOVE, their great track from 2012, which can also be found on the album Step Brothers (2013). The song is backed by a fun video by Angela Bermuda, inspired by Hanna-Barbera cartoons and featuring heaps of A-list celeb cameos. One not to forget.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: The Scratch-Offs || The Scratch-Offs

What do you do when you’ve just formed a band and are excited about the songs you’ve been writing, but a pandemic leaves no room to perform? The Scratch-Offs, a garage-country-r’n’r-hybrid from Madison (Wisconsin), decided to use their free time to record their self-titled debut. The Scratch-Offs may be a new band, but they hardly lack experience: the band consists of past and current members of Wood Chickens, Jane Rose and the Deadend Boys, Westernwhere, Psychic Drag and the Smells. That experience pays off in the opening track WIS-60. The band cites the Stones and CCR as their influences and this song could be the lovechild of those two classic bands. It may be my favorite song on the record. The second track (Shit Attitude) offers some pleasant old tyme rock, with an infectious chorus. It’s followed up by the fun Chuck Berry indebted Down On A Thing. The rest of the album has plenty to offer as well. Justin Perkins mastered the record – does that guy ever sleep? But still, there’s that naggin’ feeling. I can’t help but feel how this particular brand of music is best experienced live in sweaty bars. Let’s hope we will be able to see this band perform rather sooner than later. The record is out digitally today, with LPs scheduled at the pressing plant, and CDs and cassettes in the works (pre-orders coming soon).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Off Judy || Grow Up

Time for some fun? Then you’ve come to the right place with the Australian garage rock duo Off Judy. The cover picture of their EP Grow Up says it all: these two friends – Finn Mcildowie and Tom Cameron-Duncan – don’t want to grow up at all. Listen to the lyrics of opening track End of the Line: “When I think of those days I look back and I say // They were more than alright // And better than ok // Because at the end of the line // All we ever tried to find was // A way that we could have a good time // And that’s what we used to do.” These are four catchy, melodic songs that will definitely give you a good time. RIYL: Black Lips, The Molochs, Jacuzzi Boys.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Fake Fruit || Fake Fruit

Rocks In Your Head is a record label from San Francisco founded by Sonny Smith. I am a huge Sonny (and the Sunsets) fan, and I am excited by the early goings of this label, which clearly reflects Sonny’s broad musical tastes and knack for experimentation. Rocks In Your Head has already put out a solid compilation and albums by The Gonks and Galore and the most recent Sonny and The  Sunsets record. This week, the label released a debut by a band that probaby will release their next album on a much bigger label. Not because Rocks In Your Head is not a good fit, but because the band sounds like they are on the verge of breaking out to a bigger (huge?) audience. I am talking about Fake Fruit, whose self-titled record sounds chaotic yet focused, messy yet confident. The album is full of cool guitar riffs, and frontwoman Hannah D’Amato strikes just the right balance between singing and howling that works perfectly for this type of music. On the great opening track No Mutuals, there is a sonic similarity to Sleater Kinney, and album closer Milkman sounds like a Parquet Courts jam, but throughout the record, Fake Fruit have very much created their own niche. It’s a dynamic and diverse corner of the planet, with start-stop postpunk (Miscommunication, No Space For Residence), garagerock (Old Skin, Don’t Put It On Me), and indie rock balladry (Keep You, and the delightful Stroke My Ego). Don’t sit on this one folks!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Monsieur Paul & Les Solutions || Plagier Dutronc / Waiting For True Love

If you just look at the posts today, you can see that the music taste of my fellow blogger is quite different from mine. We both check a lot of new sounds and sometimes you hear something that suits the other better. Niek pointed me to this single by Monsieur Paul & Les Solutions this afternoon with the comment ‘You’ll enjoy this one’ and he was right (thanks bro!). French garage rock, I like that indeed.

The English B side Waiting For True Love is nice, but the French A side Plagier Dutronc is extraordinary: the great lyrics tell in an entertaining way that contemporary bands stand on the shoulders of the heroes of the past: ‘Our goal is to follow suit to The Limiñanas // But for psyche rock, on the French side // You have to plagiarize Dutronc, that’s good!” Have you ever heard such original plagiarism?

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Warm Exit || Warm Exit

Warm Exit are a synthpunk band from the capital of Belgium (and the EU), Brussels. Their new self-titled EP is quite the trip through  a mixture of ideas and styles, despite its brevity – 4 songs, a playing total of ten minutes. The band  integrates breakneck speed garagesynthpunk with (old movie?) samples, and yet, underneath there is plenty of melody. Usually, I apply the term ‘eclectic mix’ for records I don’t really get or understand, but that does not apply here. In spite of, or should I say because of the chaos, Warm Exit make these songs work. Seven inch single out now on Drink and Drive Records!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: The Howlers || I Don’t Love You All the Time

It turns out that desert rockers also roam the deserted streets of London, just watch the video below. As The Howlers Adam Young (vocals / guitar), Guus ter Braak (bass), and Cameron Black (drums) have already made a few singles – Matador in particular is a strong track – and slowly but surely they are being embraced by more and more music lovers. New single I Don’t Love You All The Time will certainly contribute to that. RIYL The Black Keys, Eagles of Death Metal.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Sueves || Tears Of Joy

Simplicity, in all its ramshackle glory, is one of the charms of garage rock. That appeal can wear off quickly though when a band’s songwriting is subpar and/or the execution is poor. The Sueves new record is the perfect example of how rewarding it can be when a band challenges itself; when a band is not afraid to go beyond self- or other-imposed boundaries of the genre; when a band invests a little more time in writing and recording music. On Tears of Joy, The Sueves sound more layered, diverse and dynamic than most garage bands, but also in comparison to their past selves. They do so without sacrificing any of the energy and excitement of their earlier work.  Mop Bucket is a modern garage rock classic. Short and fast songs like Alexxxa, Find The Right Fit and Stare will draw in punk fans. Other songs (e.g., Deflect The World) move into The Stooges territory. To be sure, the Sueves have created their own enterprise, and never sound like copycats.
Overall, Tears of Joy is a thrilling listen, a kick to the nuts of those who complain that guitar music nowadays is redundant. I am pretty confident that the allure of the record is more likely to expand than wear off upon further listens. That leaves us with one concern. Now that the band has ran out of primary colors for their album covers – red for their debut, blue for their second one and yellow for Tears Of Joy, what will they do next? Based on this record, the Sueves are just getting started.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Magicatolog

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