Glam Rock

New album: Teddy Grey || The Great Failed Romances Of The Twentieth Century

There are worse, much worse ideas for a concept album than The Great Failed Romances Of The Twentieth Century. It’s the focus of an ambitious project by NY based artist Teddy Grey. Grey picked and wrote songs about 30 celebrity romances that went wrong, including iconic couples (Sid & Nancy, Hepburn & Tracy, Ike & Tina, Sonny & Cher, Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks), but also weird ones (Vanilla Ice & Madonna), and romances that may not have actually occured (Monroe & JFK, Brando & Dean). An extensive supporting cast of musicians helped out in the recordings.

Part satire, part heartfelt tribute to pop culture history, The Great Failed Romances Of The Twentieth Century is packed with wit and catchy melodies. Musically, the record is all over the place with each song sounding differently, from pop punk to arena rock, from ballads to retro pop, giving the record a theatrical, musical vibe that harbors more than a touch of Weird Al Yankovich as well. Consequently, the record can be hit or miss depending on your taste. Put differently, you are unlikely to care for all 84 minutes of the record, but there will be a little bit for everyone. It’s no surprise that Grey describes his music as “Rock N Roll McDonalds.”

Highlights for me are the Sid & Nancy jam There’s Nothing That I Love (But You Come Close), Unwritten Gay Romantic History (Greta & Mercedes), Little Black Book (James & Marlon), and Letters (Virginia & Vita). Cool concept, fun tunes.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Dirty Flix || Set Your Radio On Fire

Set Your Radio On Fire is the debut full length of Dirty Flix. That title could either be read as a command or as a warning, because a) the music of Dirty Flix is clearly out of step with what gets played on the radio nowadays, and b) if you play this one loud your radio may in fact catch on fire. That is, Dirty Flix’s mix of glam, sleaze, rock’n’roll, powerpop and punk is highly combustible, full of energy and contagious as hell. Underneath the sleazy guitars there is a lot of pop, which should come as no surprise. The members of Dirty Flix used to play in bubblegum pop punk outfit The Lettermans and cite Cheap Trick as one of their primary influences. Dirty Flix sounds much louder and faster than Cheap Trick though. I see The Cry! and Barreracudas as more recent reference points of the band’s sound – the band also namedrops The Rolling Stones, The Replacements, and New York Dolls.

Speaking of the radio, the band’s lead single Hollywood Dreamgirl already received airtime by legendary dj Rodney Bingenheimer on the underground Garage. Not all radio sucks right? That song is a major hit, but that applies to A LOT of songs on Set Your Radio On Fire, including a fun cover of The Jags’ Back Of My Hand. Perhaps my favorite track on the record is the kickass anthem Dying Of Boredom – by far the longest track on the record but still one I have on constant repeat right now.

Set Your Radio On Fire is a hook-filled high octane rock’n’roll party that will test your speaker system and your neighbors’ patience. Stream the record now, buy later: LPs in different colors coming soon at Punk Head Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Punk Head Records

New compilation: Various Artists || Heroes Of the Night – Punk, Pop, And Wave From The UK Underground ’79-’83

We recently wrote about The Go-Go’s, one of the first all-female bands to write their own songs and have a number #1 hit record. But they were not the only female pioneers trying to break barriers. Heroes Of The Night is a new compilation that pays tribute to a specific group of boundary movers: frontwomen in the U.K. and Irish Punk, Powerpop, New Wave, Hard Rock and Synth-Pop underground of the late ’70s, early ’80s. The compilation features 12 artists including The Russians, Cheap Cinema, Vermillion and the Aces, The Chevrons and Teachers Pet. Three Phase provide the closing track, exclusive to the vinyl release.

The compilation features some of the coolest and rarest singles of that scene and era. As separate 45s, these songs are either impossible to find or will cost you a fortune. Thanx to Brooklyn label Reminder Records, conveyors of quality punk, glam & powerpop reissues, we can finally own all these underground classics on one convenient platter. It’s not like we needed a reminder (pun not intended) that this was probably the best era for this kind of music, but I’m grateful for compilations like this one. Three-word review: Must own compilation.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Reminder Records || Discogs

New album: The Brothers Steve || Dose

Okay, let’s start with some background. The Brothers Steve is fronted by singers and guitarists Os Tyler and Jeff Whaler, helped out by Steve Coulter on drums, Jeff Solomon (bass), and Dylan Champion (guitar). It’s not the first time we covered some of these dudes on Add To Wantlist. Whaler, Solomon and Coulter played in the band Tsar, whose debut Rob Nesbitt of The Suitesixteen dubbed “a near perfect record” in his Gimme 5 feature. We covered the writing of Steve Coulter (under the pseudonym S.W, Lauden) in a post about the legendary Santa Barbara band Popsicko. The Brothers Steve debuted with in 2019 with #1. Today marks the release of the band’s second album Dose.

Listening to Dose, there is almost nothing to suggest that this is in fact a 2021 record. Rather, the sound of The Brothers Steve harkens back to different golden eras of guitar music, most notably ’70s powerpop and glam, late ’60s psychedelic rock, and bubblegum pop. In less capable hands, Dose could have been a hot mess of false sentimentalism and opportunistic revivalism. The hands (and feet) of The Brothers Steve seem perfectly fine though: Dose is a timeless record if ever. What stands out first is how authentic and well built the record sounds. But the real appreciation, at least for me, starts once you notice how much fun the record is. Sugarfoot and Better Get Ready are smile-inducing bubblegum pop classics in the making with instantly sing-alongable lyrics. Griffith Observatory is layered in harmonies and backing vocals and its chorus should come with a warning sign for risk of addiction. Oh, and don’t overlook the booty shakin’ glamrock’n’roll hits Wizard Of Love and Electro-Love.

In a world of short attention spans looking for the shiny and loud objects, Dose is the kind of record that will easily be overlooked. The qualities of Dose may be too subtle at first. I kindly recommend not giving in to that temptation and giving this a chance. The Brothers Steve will reward you for your patience, I promise.

Dose is out now on CD at Big Stir Records.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Bitchkiss || All Blondes Go To Hell

The cover of the All Blondes Go To Hell EP features a mashup of the two members of Bitchkiss: Zach Megalis and his girlfriend Ellie. Zach writes the music and plays all the instruments, Ellie writes all the words and sings them with full conviction. Which is just as well with song titles like Hot Sex, Hollywood Perverts, and Death At The Beach. Oh and the title track of course, which Ellie, who is a blonde herself, introduces by exlaiming seductively: “I’m not Sweet, Just Nasty.” As soon as the music kicks in,  the sound of Bitchkiss reveals itself: Glamrock that is equal parts The Runaways and ’80s hair metal but without the guitar solo’s and the song length. Oh, and with a lot of palm muted guitar riffs (which I am a sucker for), a growling singer and maximum punk attitude. I find myself returing to the EP frequently, always turning up the volume.

The couple recorded the four-song EP in their apartment in Hollywood. “The EP is inspired by the many perversions & delusions of Southern California,” Zach explains. Zach, by the way, did the album art. Mashing up faces is a recurring theme, see his Instagram page for more of his work. I particularly like the comic book mashups.

Anything else, Bitchkiss? “We were born 2,000 years ago on Planet Mars. We love lobster tails, margaritas, beach parties, and sex shops. Our favorite color is green.”

Bitchkiss plans on releasing the EP on vinyl sometime soon. Music video’s are also in the works.
Add to wantlist : Bandcamp

New album: Barmudas || Every Day Is Saturday Night

Italian four-piece Barmudas take their band’s name from the unknown Barmuda district in Florence’s old town, the last bastion against the invasion of zombie-tourists, hipsters, indie posers, baristas, cover bands, fashion influencers and snob-intellectuals, a place where outsiders with poor taste in look, music and artistic stuff rule. In short, the perfect environment for a dirty glittered shiny cheap mixture of raucous rock ‘n’ roll, and that’s exactly what Smendock (voals), Luca Nacker (bass), King-Dom guitar), and Zak (drums) play. They just released their full-length debut album Every Day is Saturday Night, and the expectations raised by the cover art are satisfied by the music. This is crazee glam rock for those who like Pink Boots & Lipstick, ten energetic party tunes to stomp on (Rock the Barmudas!) and shout along (Shake A Shaker!). Stream the full album below. Highly recommended for fans of Giuda, Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs, New Swears (or for the older readers: Slade, New York Dolls, Sweet). The speakers just blew up at Add To Wantlist HQ, be warned.

Every Day is Saturday Night is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Area Pirata Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Mäsh || Mäsh

Mäsh are a classic rock-‘n’-roll outfit from Berlin. Last year, Mäsh released two singles that showed a lot of potential. Their first full length makes good on that promise, and shows a band on a roll ready to conquer stages all over Europe and beyond.

Mäsh’s self-titled debut LP is a tribute to the boot-stomping, fist pumping, and glam struttin’ hardrock of the Seventies. It’s the kind of music that probably will never be fashionable or hip, but when executed well provides something more important: good vibes all around. And boy, do Mäsh know how to combine Chuck Berry guitar licks with gang vocals and catchy melodies.  The lads in Mäsh either share a parent with the guys in Giuda or Faz Waltz, or have a similar record collection, because their musical DNA definitely overlaps.

From album opener Nico, it is clear that this is a feel good record. The bands sounds tight, and the production is crisp. This is the kind of record that sounds good regardless of the playing volume, but is best experienced ALAP (As Loud As Possible). Mäsh is out now on Wanda Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Wanda Records

New album: Killer Hearts || Skintight Electric

Opening the record with some high octane guitars, fast drumming and the vocals howling oeh’s and aah’s, Killer Hearts from the get-go provide you with two options on their debut full-length Skintight Electric: you’ll either hate us or love us. But either way, the Houston band (w/ members of Texas Terri & The Stiff Ones, and The Wrong Ones) play their energetic version of glampunk’n’roll with full conviction. It’s not just the denim and leather, there’s a decidedly ’70s vibe to the songs of Killer Hearts – imagine New York Dolls, but faster and louder. Killer Hearts harbour a sense of suspense and meanness and I wouldn’t be surprised if Killer Hearts sound even more intense in their live shows.

That album opener of course is Get Some, a song that was already making some waves last year. It’s a major hit, and made me mark Skintight Electric as an album to look forward to. It was originally slated for a 2020 release, but with the pandemic and all (or vinyl press delays, who knows) the record took another year to land, and I almost forget about the band. Fortunately, Skintight Electric does not disappoint and shows that Get Some was no fluke, but rather their standard of quality.

Then again, Skintight Electric is the kind of record where its release date is inconsequential. Regardless of it being released in 1977, 2020 or 2021, there will always be an audience for this kind of music when it’s executed this well.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Spaghetty Town Records || Dragstrip Riot (Europe)

New album: The Cocktail Slippers || Shout It Out Loud!

Don’t you love it when music sounds the way you hope based on the artwork? Take a look at the cover photo of Shout It Out Loud!, the 5th full-length album (and first in 7 years) by The Cocktail Slippers. You see the Norwegian five-piece all-woman rock outfit in golden panther print, posing enthusiastically, with fireworks in the background. This must be a loud glam rock party, right? right! In the 10 songs on the new LP, produced by the band, and co-produced by hero Stevie Van Zandt and Mike Hartung, you can tell from the fun they make their instruments react to each other that they are a tight-knit gang of friends. All the rock clichés are there – the fist in the air sing-along anthem (She Devil (Shout It Out Loud!)), the sensitive ballad (I’ll Be Here For You – written for the band’s daughters), the cover of a classic (Joe South’s Hush), etc. – and that’s the way it is supposed to be. Moreover, Hope (lead vocals), Vega (guitar), Rocket Queen (guitar), Sugar (bass), and Miss A-OK (drums) master this genre very well. The harmony vocals, the wink to Guns ‘n’ Roses (Night Train) and the satirical spoken word cameo from The Woggles’ Mighty Manfred will only enhance your smile. RIYL The Go-Go’s, KISS, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.

Stream the full album below.

Shout It Out Loud! is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Wicked Cool Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Joni Ekman & Koira || Iso Kolmonen

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.

Add to wantlist: Recordshop X || Swamp Music

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