Seeers, where have you been for the past five years*? In 2015, The Seeers were my band to watch and I frequently played their single in the Windian Records Subscription Series featuring the awesome Without Lites. But then…crickets, like they vanished. It’s absolutely a nice surprise (2021, let’s keep em coming okay?) that they released a full length this week. But is it any good? YES! Better than that actually, it’s full of garagepoppunk hits with a healthy dose of psych influences. Crossed fingers for a physical release, because I need to have this in my collection.
*UPDATE: The band informed me that technically this is not a new release. Happy Peaks was recorded back in 2015 on a Tascam 4-track tape machine. It was never released and this is the first time it’s made available online. Regretfully, this the last recorded material of The Seeers. They stopped being a band in 2016.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp
By now I thought I knew most of the last of the garage punk unknowns, but The Treez’s 60’s track You Lied To Me Before was new to me. Discovered thanks to a nice cover by the Scottish garage rock band The Nettelles on their debut album Do You Believe In …. – released last month through Back to Beat Records, both digital and on vinyl. The LP contains a few more covers, but most of them are own songs, all equally fun. The band members have been around for a while in different other bands, but this music is played with audible enthusiasm and enjoyment as if they had just started. I particularly enjoy the organ and the choirs. RIYL Thee Headcoatees, Have You Ever Seen the Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?.
PS Very sad to read that the band’s co-founder / lead songwriter / vocalist / guitarist Clare Scrivener died of cancer way too young last August. All proceeds made from these record sales go to two charities: Maggie’s Center Edinburgh and Girls Rock School Edinburgh.
Okay, enough with the 2020 reflections already. Time for the first 2021 release I am genuinely excited about: the Skin People EP by The Morgus Creeps. This UK band, who I guess are named after a 1964 horror single by Daringers, play a creepy kind of garage rock. The songs on this killer EP would fit perfectly on the garage compilations of Crypt! Records. For now, this appears to be a digital only release, available as a name-your-price download.
Add to Wantlist: Bandcamp
I’ve been checking out several 2020 AOTY lists in the past couple of weeks and have to admit: I missed a few. It happens, right? Perfection is overrated anyway. Here are 20+ releases from all kinds of musical directions that I either overlooked or was too quick to dismiss in 2020. They are on my wantlist now, that is all that matters. Click below to check them out. As always, I’ve included links to the purchasing locations for these releases. ICYMI also check out my favorite 2020 albums, singles and EPs, 2020 playlists and Dennis’ 2020 AOTY list. Happy new year!
Rum Bar Records just released EST 81 by The Dogmatics in digital format, a collection of the songs of the Boston garage / pub rock band from the 80’s. Not really a new compilation, because available on CD in 1998 as Dogmatics 1981-86, but very welcome. Now, over 30 years later, the band is back, with the excellent single She’s the One (2019), singer-guitarist Jerry Lehane released an equally excellent self-titled EP (2020) and more new music is expected to follow in the new year, but it’s cool to hear the old work again. They are still great songs! What would be even more welcome than these downloadable tracks, is a vinyl version of EST 81. Please!?
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp
What a pleasant surprise from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard! The Australian rock band released Teenage Gizzard, a compilation of their first songs, recorded in 2010 and 2011. Very cool to hear how they started: short rock songs with surf influences, in which the characteristic singing style and hypnotic guitars are already central, but less complex and drawn-out than in their later work. The ten tracks are available as a digital album, but you can also bootleg the album yourself (like seven other albums – live shows or demos). The audio master files and cover art can be downloaded for free by anyone who wants to release this album (in 2017 they did something similar with Polygondwanaland, now 288 different versions have been made). I look forward to the creative outbursts this new challenge will yield and I want to have at least one of them in my collection.
Early this year, RECKLING (Kelsey Reckling) recorded 24 Hours for the Burger Records Quarantunes compilation series. I liked that song enough to start following her on Bandcamp. She released her debut full length on cassette in 2018, which is worth checking out if you are into garagepop/rock. Last week she released another great tune, Spiders. This garagerock track has a strong ’90’s alternative music vibe. It’s the kind of song MTV would have played to death in the nineties, and I wouldn’t have minded that at all. The song features Max from Fidlar on drums, who also produced the song. Fingers crossed RECKLING will release her sophomore album in 2021.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp
At the start of each year, I create a playlist to keep track of newly released songs I like. Then, at the end of the year, I pick out the best song from this list to create a year-end mixtape, a playlist I like to return to every now and then, and revisit or rediscover songs and memories of a specific period of time. The thing is, I am not a very efficient person. So basically I drag songs to the playlist for 350 days resulting in quite the mess – the playlist currently has 1944 songs, almost 92 hours of music. Then, with the year coming to its close, I frantically go to work trimming down the playlist to its essence. That’s the hard part, because I am way better in adding stuff than throwing things away, or so I am told. I usually end up with a playlist around 300-400 songs, in spite of my good intentions to keep it shorter. This year is no exception. What I did do differently this year however, is split up the songs in two playlists that reflect my two musical taste buds: a playlist with more straightforward punk, powerpop and garage hits from 2020, and one playlist with a little less distortion (i.e., indiepop, jangle, twee, but also postpunk, and more fuzzy and surfy popsounds). As always, one song per artists. Click read more to check them out. Hope you’ll like ’em, and will uncover some new favorite tunes! BTW, in case this is my final post of the year, take care, be well and see you in 2021!
Last week, I published my Top 50 Albums of 2020. The week before, Dennis published his. Time for the final AtW list of 2020: my Top 40 Singles and EP’s of year. There was a lot to choose from, and I am sure I overlooked and forgot several releases that would otherwise be included on this list. I opted out of the painstaking process of ranking these singles and EPs, so the bands are in alphabetical order. If I had to choose though, Romero probably would be my #1 pick, followed by Hard Action, Civic. Click below on read more to go to the list. I’ve included short explanations and my favorite song of each single/EP, either with a bandcamp embed or a video. If you like what you hear, just click on the title and AddToWantlist. There is an almost complete Spotify playlist of the releases at the bottom of this post – six are currently not on that platform.