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 single: Sharp Class || Tales Of A Teenage Mind

Midlands (UK) mod revivalist Sharp Class have opened a time portal to the late ’70s. Would you like to step in, please? On their latest two songs single, Sharp Class pays worship to the altar of The Jam. They absolute nail that sound, and it’s a blast.

Keep an eye on this band. By their sound and looks, these lads clearly know what they are doing. Or as they sing in I’ve Got It Coming: “And I know where I stand // And I like to think I know who I am // What is set in my soul // I’ve sewn onto the sleeve of my coat.”

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Hutchie || Some Other Way

Let me introduce you to Hutchie, a band of three featuring members of Le Saboteur, Ol’ Doris, and BUGS. Some Other Way is Hutchie’s debut (mini)album, and it is comprised of eight rockin’ indiepunk tracks. Hutchie are a band that writes songs out of necessity, and their song touch upon the relational and deeply personal (Seat Next 2 U and The Summer Your Dog Died), as well as dealing with societal developments (Out Here). “This is a record full of disappointment, sadness, addiction, and isolation, sure. But’s that’s balanced against an equal dose of love, lust and hopefulness,” singer Michelle Pannell explains.

Feeling out of step with world has fueled angsty and true music for decades. But Some Other Way sounds brighter and more melodic than you’d expect based on that quote. This doesn’t sound like an angry record, but there is definitely a sense of urgency and true emotions oozing through these songs. Yep, I am enjoying this one a lot.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Aggi || Aggi Hates You (Completely)

If you, like me, have never heard of Aggi, you shouldn’t feel bad. The short-lived Indonesian band released just ten songs spread out over four singles between 2013 and 2016. All of the releases have long been out of print and hard to find. Fortunately, Jigsaw Records have released the complete output of the band on one handy CD.

Jigsaw Records head honcho Chris MacFarlane discovered the band when he was trading records with HeyHo! Records. “One of that label’s final releases in 2014 was the College Friend cdep from Aggi and the second I heard it, I was FLOORED, to say the least. I mean c’mon, three songs in under 4½ minutes that sounded exactly like vintage Henry’s Dress?! How have I NOT found my new favorite band??” I can totally relate to that touch of awe from first discovering the music of Aggi. Call it tweepunk, call it noisepop or call it C86-core, the indie pop of Aggi is primitively fun and sweet.

Buy the CD through Jigsaw Record, you won’t regret it.

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/gaarage/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

New EP: The Dumpies || Roberto Clemente

An EP with more songs (6) than minutes (5)? Short attention spanners rejoice! The Dumpies return with their latest EP, which they of course again named after a sports icon. After tackling Bill Laimbeer, Jim Thorpe, Zola Budd, Mark Spitz, and Billie Jean King, this time it’s Roberto Clemente – the first Latin-American player to be inducted in the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

I am kinda surprised the band didn’t pick a Hockey player for this one since these songs have more in common with the short agressive and speedy shifts of a bunch of fourth liners than the leisurely pace of a baseball game. The short punk bursts of The Dumpies sound good to me though and fun as (w)(h)ell. The longest track on Roberto Clemente is a blistering cover of Shang-a-lang’s Commotion. Extra credits for cutting twenty seconds of the already fast original.

Roberto Clemente is out now on 7″vinyl at Hovercraft Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Hovercraft Records

New album: Ram Vela & the Easy Targets || Stuck on Yesterday

Please meet Ram Vela (songwriting, lead vocals, guitars) and The Easy Targets – Nathan Snyder (guitars, vocals), Dan Walker (bass, vocals) and Rachel “Spanky” Fuhrer (drums) – who are firing seven exciting new tunes at you from Austin, Texas. Their debut album Stuck on Yesterday is admittedly influenced by the past – 70s power pop / new wave (it’s somewhat reminiscent of Elvis Costello) and 90’s alt-rock / 00s punk rock (Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, Motion City Soundtrack, etc. ) – but the songs here are more original than the somewhat pessimistic title suggests. Standout track Pick Up Where I Left Off is a catchy hit full of sing-along lyrics, Let’s Start a Band is a relatable anthem for all aspiring young musicians. If upstart bands are as good as Ram Vela & the Easy Targets, the future of rock music looks bright.

Stuck on Yesterday is out now digitally (self-released). Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Martha || Beat Perpetual

As if I needed any more reason to love Durham (UK) indiepoppunks Martha, they recently started covering some of my favorite bands. On their last single, they included a fun cover of an Allo Darlin’s classic (covered in our Monthly Dusted feature). This time, they do Tenement’s Dreaming Out Loud, and it’s another good one that’s stays true to the original.

But what really stands out on their latest 7″ is the Martha original and instant pop punk hit Beat Perpetual. It may very well be the catchiest song I’ve heard lately. Its chorus is massive and glorious and perhaps the poppiest they’ve recorded in their already super melodic discography. Have I told you yet how much I love this band?

Beat Perpetual is out through Dirtnap Records, and available through Green Noise (USA) and Specialist Subject (UK/EU). It’s a must own.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Green Noise || Specialist Subject

Album premiere: Near Beer || Near Beer

We are excited to premiere the (*spoiler alert* excellent) self-titled debut LP of Near Beer, a three-piece from LA fronted by Joey Siara (of The Henry Clay People and Fakers) who is joined by Brent Stranathan (drums) and Jeremy Levy (bass, backup vocals). Press play below, and continue scrolling to find out more about the band.

New single: Star 99 || Star 99

Last year, San Jose’s Star 99 dropped their excellent debut EP My Year In Lists. I almost forgot about that one, so I was happy to have Bandcamp notify me of new Star 99 material.

The new single has three songs: Born To Run (not a cover), Vegas, and Wyoming – The latter sounded so familiar, I was searching my brain for the original artist only to discover it’s a rerecorded version of a Star 99 original from last year’s EP. The new version strips away all instrumentation of the original except for the guitar and vocals. In doing so, it places a spotlight on the songwriting skills of Star 99.

The two additional tracks on the single (Born To Run and Vegas) further solidify my appreciation for the melodic indiepunk/altpop of Star 99. I have yet to hear a weak song from this band, and am curious to see where they go next.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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