Joni Ekman is a prolific songsmith from Finland. With Joni Ekman & Koira, Ekman unabashedly churns out guitar-driven pubrock’n’roll hits that should appeal to fans of throwback acts like Giuda and Faz Waltz. It’s the band’s third full length. Expect cool guitar riffs, licks and fills, and songs that rock as hard as they are melodic. Iso Kolmonen is fully sung in the band’s native language, so if you’d like to know what these guys are singing about, you probably need a translator. But you should be fine enjoying these songs regardless. With Joni Ekman & Koira, it’s all about rockin’ out. Digitally for now, as the vinyl release has been delayed until mid October.
Although NYC glamr’n’r outfit Big City started out in 2013, Big Kisses is only their first LP. So don’t feel bad when this is your first taste of the band, It’s mine too. That first taste is exquisite though. There is a sense of familiarity to the sound of Big City, and they seem to draw influences from all cardinal directions of ’70s rock ‘n’ roll. Artists that come to mind while listening to this LP include Bruce Springsteen, Thin Lizzy, New York Dolls, Todd Rundgren, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, David Bowie and Big Star. And yet, the songs on Big Kisses never sound redundant. Despite the somewhat lo-fi production, you can tell that this is a talented group of musicians: plenty of layers, plenty of dynamics and plenty of instruments. I’m really curious how the music of Big City translates to a live setting – likely even better.
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Straight from a garage in Edmonton (Canada) to your heart, here’s the latest single by Sister Suzie. Sister Suzie plays the kind of music that rocks and roll hard. The short and sweet Claws, with its Donnas/Runaways vibe, is my favorite track on the single. But the remaining pair of tracks are from fillers. Don’t Want To and Are You Gonna (Give Me A Kiss) have a decidedly more bluesy and glammy sound, and plenty of swagger to get you head boppin’ and your foot stompin’.
Another strong joint release by Reta Records and Surfin’ Ki! Pre-order now to get the vinyl color and cover variant of your liking.
What better way to return from a short summer break with a record that is fun, catchy and rocks like crazy. Albany’s (NY) finest garagepoppers Mystery Girl recently released their first full length LP, which offers eleven glammy garagepop’n’roll nuggets. The record is the highly anticipated follow up to the band’s 2019 killer single Heartbreaker. The music of Mystery Girl is like a death match between sleazy guitars in one corner and pop hooks in the opposite, with one clear winner from the fight: the audience. I bet fans of Dirty Fences, Tough Shits and Barreracudas will go crazy for this one. Out now on Boulevard Trash (US) and No Front Teeth (UK).
Geoff Palmer’s 2019 solo debut Pulling Out All The Stops is a modern day pop punk classic. Given the acclaim he received for the record and his ability to write insanely catchy tunes with self-deprecating and funny lyrics, I’d expected Palmer to take a similar approach with his follow-up album Charts And Graphs. But no, on Charts And Graphs we see him expanding his sound, trying out new directions and instruments (pedal steel, organ, harmonica), and writing songs that are a bit longer. Before you get worried, Palmer definitely pulls it off with the help of a strong supporting cast including Zack Sprague, Dave Strong, Kris Rodgers, Perry Leenhouts and many others. The main difference is that whereas Pulling Out All The Stops had that instant sugar rush, Charts And Graphs is winning me over one song at a time – probably more healthy in the long run.
That isn’t to say the sugar rush has evaporated. Album openers Many More Drugs and Don’t Be provide the familiar classic pop punk we all love about Palmer’s previous outing. Every time I play Don’t Be, with its infectious truth-to-power chorus (Don’t Be, Don’t Be, An Asshole // Don’t Be, Don’t Be, A Jerk), it brings a smile to my face, but I am also thinking the song should be mandatory listening for anyone who posts on social media platforms. [post continues below]
New York City cool is back. Please meet the Women of the Night, three guys with the right looks, hairstyles and sunglasses. Singer / songwriter / guitarist Jordan D’Arsie, drummer Kyubae Lee and bassist / slide guitarist Gray Watson play a headstrong mix of proto-punk, new wave, psych, glam and garage rock. The interesting thing is that you’ll hear all kinds of well-known influences on their debut album Sub Rosa, but it isn’t possible to name them exactly; it resembles bands like New York Dolls, The Strokes, Television, Velvet Underground and Modern Lovers, but it’s different and elusive. These are three guys with their own sound, riffs and vocals. This is cool, this is good, this could get big. Listen to songs like The Stranger and Dark Horsey and it won’t take much effort to imagine that these are going to be hits. Sub Rosa is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Declared Goods (USA) and Heavy Soul Records (UK).
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After a great uplifting single, Boy Golden now releases his debut album Church of Better Daze, which as a whole is just as enjoyable. The Canadian songwriter / musician / audio engineer called Liam Duncan in real life only wants one thing – enjoy each day and make good music – and thanks to collaboration, common goals and lots of cannabis, he succeeds very well with this character and concept. It’s a quirky, intriguing and cool record, with positive lyrics and summery, mellow melodies. Musically it’s a potpourri of indie, garage rock, alt-country, glam and gospel – varied, experimental and versatile (you keep hearing new Easter eggs) – but miraculously it works out well. Church of Better Daze is out now digitally, on CD, cassette and vinyl LP, through Six Shooter Records. For fans of JJ Cale, Dope Lemon, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard. Stream the full album below.
Those who’ve listened to Big City’s Stone Angels on the fifteen-minute drive to wherever, and are looking for something for the way back, can turn up the volume a little more for Bakemono Stereo’s first EP. All we know about the band is that they are Arnaud (guitar/bass), Hugo (vocals) and Jasper (drums), but their sound speaks for itself. The Berlin based rock ‘n’ roll trio play fast punk rock with a touch of glam that will leave you exhausted. Stream the songs below.
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New York five-piece Big City throws power pop and glam rock into the blender and then tops the mixture with a sauce of soul. Their new (digital) EP Stone Angels has five strong tracks, which make the fifteen minute ride to the mall more than bearable. The lyrics serve the music (“Pulled up in Chevy, and you said // Oh so heavy”), but the music is mighty fine, not least thanks to the horn arrangements. Stream the songs below.
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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.