Glam Rock

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

New EP: Tuxedo Cats || Out The Bag

Every now and then you stumble on a record that makes you drop everything and tell all of your friends that you’ve found a new favorite band. It’s that time (again)! Please meet Tuxedo Cats, a NYC five piece featuring members from Tough Shits, Apache and Dancer. If you are familiar with those acts, you should know what to expect: Glammy garagerock-‘n’-roll with a strong ’70s vibe. That’s right in my wheelhouse so I expected to like this release. I did not anticipate to be blown away though, which is exactly what Tuxedo Cats did with Out Of The Bag – the band’s debut EP. And still do after four consecutive spins of the EP. Tuxedo Cats lure you with massive hooks, electrifying dual guitar work, gang vocals and all around coolness. Their songs are like magnets that you can’t escape once you get exposed to them.

The Out The Bag EP is out now on 7″ vinyl through Reminder Records, a record label that usually only puts out killer music from past eras. That alone tells you something about the authentic awesomeness of Tuxedo Cats.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Reminder Records

New album: Joey Joesph || Do You Bongo?

Joey Cook used to play in psych indie pop outfit Pomegranates, but currently records and performs as Joey Joesph – which I keep reading as Joey Joseph. Despite several releases preceding Do You Bongo, it is the first post-Promegranates work I’ve heard from Cook/Joesph. The record is hard to overlook though. Opener Bellezebub immediately grabs your attention with its Warm Sodaesque retro powerpop. From there on out, Do You Bongo is a delightfully weird mesh (mess?) of sounds and styles. There is proto punk, glam, power pop, synth pop, rock’n’roll, psychelic rock, and new wave. Psychedelic Baby Magazine sums it up as “rock & roll through a lens shaped by Saturday morning cartoons, half-remembered AM pop, and home-recording hero worship,” and that makes totally sense once you’ve listened to the record.

As such, you probably won’t like all of the songs on Do You Bongo, but the gems here (like Bellezebub, Little Brother, Rock & Roll Music, I Feel Nervous and Bongo 3) make the trip worthwhile nonetheless. Cool concept, cool execution.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Continental Lovers || Dale Arden Vs The World

Here is another band that knows how to find the sweet spot between powerpop, r’n’r, punk, garage and glam. Continental Lover reside in London (UK) but based on their sound I assumed they were an US band. The band’s new Dale Arden Vs The World EP is a celebration of all things good about r’n’r. It’s catchy, it’s sleazy and it rocks. They even pay tribute to Joan Jett (on St. Joan). My favorite track is the mid-tempo Really Doesn’t Matter. It’s a massive hit. By the way, given the whole Brexit fiasco, how timely awesome is the band’s name?

Above all, the six song Dale Arden Vs The World EP is a sign of things to come. Four of these songs will also be available on 7″ through Snap! Records (Spain) in September and a full-length album should arrive before the end of the year. Can’t Hardly Wait.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Sino Hearts || Lightening The Darkness

Last time we checked in with The Sino Hearts they released a compilation with the best tracks of their first two records. For me that offered the best of both worlds, because neither record was perfect but both contained some killer tracks. Now, the Bejing band (who moved to Berlin recently) returns with their third album called Lightening The Darkness. Mark this record as the moment where The Sino Hearts fully live up to the expectations raised by those killer tracks. To be honest, The Sino Hearts exceed my expectations. I’m blown away by how good this record is.

Whereas the band’s previous output was very much Exploding Hearts influenced – never a bad thing, it’s almost like The Sino Hearts finally found a sound of their own. Like a writer finding his or her own voice, The Sino Hearts brand of powerpop/garage/rnr/’70s punk is more effective than before, and you won’t find any filler on Lightening The Darkness. It’s hit upon hit. Goodbye Tonight. Passing Shades. Stranglehold On My Heart. Falling Out Of Love. All hits, and those are the first songs on the record! Or what about Commotion Of Love?

Lightening The Darkness is a must have. Out now through Topsy Turvy & Otitis Media.

Add to wantlist: Discogs || Soundflat

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