Glam Rock

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: Walker Brigade || If Only

Walker Brigade’s biography raises as much questions as it provides answers. For example: How does it take a band that’s been “serving up anthemic despair with savoir faire since 2014” eight years to finally release their debut full-length? And how did Walker Brigade end up on a first ballot for the Grammy Awards before even releasing an album? But mostly: how did a band this good remain hidden for so long? Well the secret is out now. It’s called If Only, and it’s an exciting compilation of new material, the out-of-print debut mini-album Therapy Animal, and a significant amount of bonus material including alternate versions and cover songs.

How to describe the sound of Walker Brigade? Essentially, this is rock’n’roll, but with an artsy post punky kind of vibe. The band cites X, X-Ray Spex, The Soft Boys, Mission of Burma as their influences. The band also covers songs by Wire (Sand In My Joints), Mel Brooks (I’m Tired as originally performed by Madeline Kahn in Blazing Saddles), The Soft Boys (I Wanna Destroy You and Rock ‘n’ Roll Toilet) and The Only Ones (Lovers Of Today) – the latter two included as bonus tracks. If you give Walker Brigade the attention they deserve, you’ll find a lot of additional influences as well. In that sense, If Only is the next best thing to time travel for those wanting to experience rock’n’roll history.

But at no point those associations with past bands become a distraction. The songwriting is just too skilled, the execution too good, and with the production unpolished yet crisp, the strong melodies are memorable and  superfluous. Listen to openers Fallout and Disease for example, or the short and catchy What Is Wrong With Me? Another highlight is Tower, how can you not fall for that chorus?

I am finding new things to like about this record with each play, and feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. If Only is out on CD through Big Stir Records. It may very well be the label’s best release yet.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Big Stir Records

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of March 2022

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

Never – since we started this website – have I seen so many good covers come along as this March. We already wrote about Night Owls’ heavy soul and dub infusedVersions, Wednesday released the nice country-gaze cover album Mowing the Leaves Instead of Piling ’em Up, Black Midi came out with their surprising Cavalcovers EP, there was a second volume of The William Loveday Intention’s The New And Improved Bob Dylan, and so on. On the list we compiled during the month, there were 35+ covers that were good enough to share below, but we forced ourselves to be critical, with enough variety. So here again are our ten top picks!

Here Comes The Summer || Cover: Sweet Nobody || Original: The Undertones
Californian indie pop 4-piece released Five Star Diary, one of the standout tracks from their album We’re Trying Our Best, on 7″ vinyl. On the flipside you can hear a really cool version of The Undertones’ Here Comes The Summer. Irresistible catchy! Out through Lazy Perfection Records.

New single: Faz Waltz || Hot Cold Fever

After the release of their Rebel Kicks album (April, 2020) we had to wait almost two years, but Italian power rock trio Faz Waltz is back with new music. It’s a single with Hot Cold Fever on the A side and Lotta Lovin’ on the B side, together good for 4 minutes of dancing pleasure. Faz La Rocca (vocals, guitar), Diego Angelini (bass), and Marco Galimberti (drums) have exchanged their familiar heavy glam rock sound for an infectious rockabilly approach. No problem, they also master that style, these songs are really fun to listen to. More good news: reportedly we can expect a new LP as well.

Hot Cold Fever b/w Lotta Lovin’ is out now digitally and on 7″ vinyl through Spaghetty Town Records (USA), Snap!! Records (Spain), and Surfin Ki Records (Italy).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Faz Waltz

New single: Cyanide Pills || The Kids Can’t Be Trusted With Rock ‘N’ Roll

Yes! New Cyanide Pills! And the band from Leeds provides exactly what you expect on their new two song single: late ’70s poppy punkrock like the past four decades haven’t happened.

A-side The Kids Can’t Be Trusted With Rock ‘N’ Roll is an instant classic. On the song, Cyanide Pills proof that Joey Ramone’s OH NO! OOOH NOOHOO! will never sound redundant when you write a kickass song. Flipside Do You Wanna Know is another winner. The bridge, that follows some sweet guitar work, is my favorite part. Singer Phil Privilige doing a fade out of Do you wanna know-know-know gets me everytime.

Single out now through Damaged Goods. Limited to 500 copies, so grab one quick. This one’s gonna fly out of record stores worldwide.

Add to wantlist: Discogs || Damaged Goods

New album: No Monster Club || Deadbeat Effervescent

Time for some new music that is quirky and puts a bigger smile on my face with each play. Deadbeat Effervescent is the seventh (I think) full length by Irish three piece No Monster Club. It’s a delightful mess of styles and sounds that’s hard to pinpoint.

In a way the record reminds of me of Architecture In Helsinki’s In Case We Die. It has that same energy and varied instrumentation. Other mid 00’s bands come to mind as well, like The Spinto Band and The Boy Least Likely To. But No Monster Club is more bubblegummy, more glammy and more garagy, I believe. Or like the press release describes it: “At times on this LP, No Monster Club come across like the improbable missing link between ABBA and Daniel Johnston.”

You see, this record is kinda weird and that’s what makes it so much fun. Songs like Waterfight!, Black & White, Case By Case Basis and Save The Circus are here to brighten your mood any time, all the time. Deadbeat Effervescent is out now on Emotional Response.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Emotional Response

New album: Ravagers || Badlands

Throwback monday? Badlands is the first full-length album by Baltimore glampunk’n’rollers Ravagers. It was recorded recently, but to my ears Badlands sounds like a mid-to late ’80s glammetal band. To be sure, I don’t mean the glossy kind, but rather the metal bands that were heavily influenced by ’70’s punk.

Hence the throwback feel to the record. I’m getting just as much touches of New York Dolls as Skid Row from Ravagers. And at certain times the band even reminds me of A.F.I., and not just because Ravagers singer Hagen has a similar sound as Davey Havok, but also because both bands write similar massive catchy choruses.

Barely touching 28 minutes, there is a lot to like about Badlands. Play it loud!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Vulture City

Music Year-End List || Niek’s Favorite Singles and EP’s of 2021

Our last 2021 wrap-up list showcases my favorite singles and EPs of 2021. ICYMI, Dennis posted his short format favs last week. Previously, we posted our Album top 50s here and here.

For me, 2021 had an abundance of great music to offer, and I believe this applies to singles and EPs as well. To avoid decision anxiety, I’ve listed them alphabetically. I’ve excluded some killer EPs and singles because (some of the) songs would later appear on the artists’  full lengths.

Enjoy reading and listening. See you all next year! If you’re looking for a convenient playlist of most (43 of 50) of the songs, check here. [post continues below]

Alvilda || Négatif 
Alvilda, a jangly powerpop sensation from Paris, mix ’60s girl group with ’70s Good Vibrations pop punk influences and je t’aime it a lot.

Music Year-End List || Dennis’ Favorite Singles and EP’s of 2021

You’ve already seen our lists with favorite albums – here‘s Niek’s list and there‘s mine – but also many shorter format releases were wantlist worthy. Below you can listen to an overview of the Top 50 singles and EPs that I thought were the best from 2021. I’ve excluded releases with songs that also appear on my album list. Links point to Discogs or Bandcamp (the headings), and to previously posted reviews (in the body text) – add to your wantlist (or collection) what you like!

1. Noah C Lekas || Sounds From The Shadow Factory
[Beat Poetry, US || Blind Owl] To be honest I haven’t been able to give this one as much attention as I would have liked. Not only because I mainly spent my time on full-length albums, but also for practical reasons: only two songs are shared on Bandcamp, YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify, and unfortunately a physical copy wasn’t available in Europe (and sold out quickly in the US). Still, I didn’t doubt for a moment whether this should be at the top, simply because this was the most impressive release of the past year in all respects. Poems and rock music form a great combination here: “It’s jazz for the mind // It’s blues for the soul.” It’s Art!

Music Year-End List || Niek’s Favorite Albums of 2021

Okay, time to look back and reflect on the musical year that was 2021. Even though I’ve always spent most of my listening time on new music, I don’t think I’ve ever spent this much time browsing, scanning, and prowling for it as I did in 2021. I did not keep track of the exact numbers (Dennis is our stats guy as he showed in his Top 50 of 2021 post last week – make sure to check that one out if you haven’t already!), but trust me, it was a lot. The focus on new releases came at the cost of not spending as much time as I may have liked with some 2021 records which are decidedly great. The list below reflects the records I ultimately played and enjoyed the most.

Overall, I think 2021 was a really strong year for music, with many of the bands in my list releasing their best work yet. Like always, my list is heavy on punk, powerpop, garage and indie rock. But I’ve also included many indie and jangle pop records, a genre that had a particularly strong year. My number one album of 2021 in some way is an outlier, but I believe it is a modern classic.

Final thought: while working on this list, my mind frequently wandered to Jan Kooi who suddenly died this year. Jan was a record store (co)owner who had impeccable taste in anything music related and whose taste I, and I speak for Dennis as well, blindly trusted. I didn’t know Jan personally, but his curiosity and generosity in sharing new music was one of the main inspirations for starting Add To Wantlist. His top 31 records of the year list was consistently great and his legacy will not be forgotten. So long Jan, and thank you for the tunes.

Check out my Top 50 records (and 50 additional notable records!) below. Here is a convenient playlist with my favorite tracks of the 100 albums (98, because two records are not on Spotify).

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