Glam Rock

New album: The Black Halos || How the Darkness Doubled

Let’s make a quick detour to the west coast of Canada for the glam rockin’ foot stompin’ rock’n’rollin’ return of The Black Halos. Formed in 1994, The Black Halos had a succesful period in the late ’90s/early ’00s, culminating in the critically acclaimed and publicly loved Violent Years LP (2001). Unfortunately, the band faced some serious headwind in the decade after. Members changed course, equipment got stolen. Long story short: After a 12 year hiatus, the stars somehow aligned to pave the way for the band to record some new music. More than some I should say, How The Darkness Doubled features twelve new tunes and zero trace of a band that is weary and tired. Instead, The Black Halos sound energized and hardened on this anthemic and sleazy punkrock’n’roll funfest.

Out now through Stomp Records!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Stomp

New EP: Snoopy And The Who?! || Snoopy And The Who?!

Snoopy And The Who?! To be honest, the first time I heard the name, my curiosity was peaked. The two songs the band teased last year showed a lot of promise further building up the buzz. Both these songs (My Regeneration and Shadow & Shade) are on SATW?!’s self-titled debut EP, which is out now. It’s a solid first outing that sees a band channeling ’70s rock, unafraid to step over boundaries between styles and genres. I guess you could call it garage rock -certainly in its approach and attitude, but it is also glitter rock, arena rock (distant touches of Led Zeppelin and AC/DC), and Velvet Undergroundesque rock’n’roll.

Perhaps it’s the name letter effect*, perhaps its because the four members are lifelong friends, but there is something really likeable about this Brooklyn band. Most likely, it’s just the music. More to come in 2023!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

* The name letter effect is our tendency to evaluate alphabetical letters (particularly initials) we share in a name favorably. …And The Who, Add To Wantlist. ATW!

New single: Ingrates || Don’t Be a Stranger b​/​w I Don’t Care

Ingrates (California) released their first single at the end of 2021. Less than 12 months later, they’ve already dropped their third single. In the meantime, Ingrates founders Nick Norrman (Lude Boys, Banshee, Male Nurses) and Justin Jurgens (Sirs, Dust Star) picked up lead guitarist Stephen DeWitt. Oh and Jurgens released a killer power pop record with Dust Star – Norrman made a guest appearance on that record as well.

The new two single finds Ingrates at their glammiest yet, yet still lo-fi and unpolished. It’s a bit like Slade but played by Exploding Hearts. It’s pretty great. Ingrates are quickly rising on my list of favorite new(er) acts. Keep those singles coming, guys!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Oxys || A Date With The Oxys

A Date With The Oxys may be their debut album, but The Oxys have firm roots in punkrock’n’roll history with members having played with the Dead Boys, The Flash Boys, Sylvain Sylvain and M.O.D. What happened in the past of course is no guarantee for current succes, but in case of The Oxys there is no need to worry. The ten songs on A Date With The Oxys are driven by sleazy guitars, catchy hooks and worship to the altar of ’70s glampunk’n’roll. A strong first outing by the band, and songs like Voodoo Queen and Rock n Roll Eyes sound like instant classics.

A Date With The Oxys is out now through Dead Beat Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: 7Horse || The Last Resort

The big discovery of The Wolf Of Wall Street soundtrack (2013) was the track Meth Lab Zoso Sticker by 7Horse, for me the main reason to buy the CD at the time (and still an awesome tune). Somehow I never got to delve deeper into the band (shame on me), but by chance I heard new music this week that I immediately recognized as 7Horse. Since 2011, this has been the “post-punk dystopian blues” project of American multi-instrumentalists Phil Leavitt and Joie Calio, with which they say they are “blurring the lines between ’70s-sized rock & roll, Vegas showbiz glitz and bluesy grit with a sound rooted in groove and Gretsch guitars, rhythm and riffs, desert-rock crunch and cinematic sweep.” Turns out they’ve released four albums before – what I heard was their fifth LP, called The Last Resort. You’ll hear 10 versatile songs that are sometimes rocking, sometimes poppy, sometimes danceable, sometimes understated and sometimes exotic, but always catchy, grand and enthralling. The new record starts off winsome with Hippies On Acid (a riff that smells like teen spirit and an infectious chorus that makes you shout along right away) and then surpasses it with Non Sono Un Ragazzo (an irresistible vibe and great lyrics including references to the aforementioned soundtrack banger). Although these are the most striking tunes, the level remains quite high after that, especially Try To Forget It, Hey Vámonos! and The Record Collector stand out. A big hit can be a yoke, but 7Horse prove to have much more to offer.

Add to wantlist: streaming only for now (self-released).

Festival report || Left of the Dial 2022

Left of the Dial is an annual international showcase festival that takes place in mid-October in the city center of Rotterdam. The tastemaker event, named after that song by The Replacements, offers three days of new alternative music: more than 100 bands (many of them perform twice or even thrice) on 12 different stages (including a sailing boat, a stationary lightship, a beautiful church, and an improvised gym where you have to cycle to put the performers in the spotlight) – it must have been a complex logistical challenge. Because we love Rotterdam, but even more because the program fits very well with the releases we’ve written about before, the Add To Wantlist crew was happy to be there. We enjoyed a lot of great bands in really cool locations (in most cases with surprisingly good sound quality), along with other music fans (and members of performing bands in the audience) who weren’t there just to catch up, but to enjoy all those amazing shows. If one thing became clear: rock ‘n’ roll isn’t dead, far from it.

New EP: Wet Nights || Energy

Energy is the third and final act of the Big Cat Energy trilogy of glammy r’n’rollers Wet Nights (Denver, Colorado). The similarities between the three EPs are multiple. Each EP has a famous cartoon cat character on the cover, each EP has four songs and sonically the twelve songs are a coherent bunch. As such, I assume (or hope) they will be released together on one convenient piece of vinyl.

But still, this final installment of the trilogy may be my favorite one yet, Highway Life and Velvet Touch especially. Throwback r’n’r that is best experienced loud and live.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Chris Lund || Indian Summer

Chris Lund has been going at it for 40 years or something. He played in Loser, International Pop Overthrow and The Lund Bros with his brother Sean. His latest release is his second solo record and it’s called Indian Summer. I have to admit I’m unfamiliar with Lund’s backcatalogue, but Indian Summer introduces a songwriter in full control of his guitar and who clearly is stuck in the ’70s. And I mean that in the best possible way. Indian Summer is filled to the brim with nostalgia. For loud guitars, classic (arena) rock, powerpop and glam, and from the sound of it, for the music of Todd Rundgren, Cheap Trick, The Raspberries and Big Star.

Indian Summer is a solo record in the most literal sense. Lund did everything on the record, which he intended as a soundtrack to the kind of Summer you’ll remember for the rest of your life. “Indian Summer is all about having a nice car, loud rock and roll on the stereo, a great girl and a long hot Indian Summer that seems to last forever to enjoy it all.” If you ever feel that you were born too late or that you miss the good old days, have a crack at this record. It may just be what the doctor ordered.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: The Sorels || Love Your Rock N’ Roll

Rock-‘n’-roll needs no saving, but if it did I’m pretty sure we could count on The Sorels. There is not a second on their latest EP that doesn’t reveal The Sorels’ devotion to and love for rock-‘n’-roll. The Canadian trio start the EP (and the title track) with a classic drumroll that’s the heartbeat of glamrock, before introducing loud guitars, bass, and a vocal delivery full of soul, conviction, and hints of the best pop music of 5 to 6 decades ago. Enter track two (The Jerk), a ’60s girl group throwback that takes a tour of the dance moves of a different era but rather than a party song it’s full of melancholy of days gone by. The Sorels then show their most soulful side in Make Me Party, a song with a particularly strong vocal performance. The fourth and final track is Another School Day, a fun cover of British ’70s glamrockers The Hello.

I liked the Sorels previous single a lot, but the Love Your Rock N’ Roll EP is a major step up in every way! Another strong co-release by Reta Records (Canada) and Surfin’Ki (Italy).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Surfin’ Ki

New EP: Big Rat || Rock ‘n’ Roll Fever

Enjoying that Tuxedo Cats EP and in the mood for more garagerock’n’roll? Here’s Big Rat, a four piece I have trouble finding any intel on. I’m guessing here, but surely, these dudes must like their rock’n’roll sleazy, dirty, snotty and with a punk rock edge. The four song Rock ‘n’ Roll Fever EP, out now on tape through Oakland label Manic Noise Records, sure is a fun introduction to the band. There even is a Leader Of The Pack like dialogue between the members in one of the songs (ACAB) that fits this band very well.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Manic Noise

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