New album: Evening Standards || The Shining

Scrappy basement pop anthems designed for massive singalongs

Basement pop champions Evening Standards are back with their fourth album The Shining, and they’re still cranking out irresistible guitar pop like it’s going out of style (spoiler alert: it’s not). The band may have traded Bloomington for Gainesville, but their sound remains a perfect cocktail of alt-country twang and punk rock swagger.

In all honesty, Evening Standards are the kind of band you might miss if you blink. But once you’re in on the secret, you’re hooked for life. The Shining is packed with scrappy pop anthems perfectly designed for singalongs. The dual vocals of Chris Mott and Daun (alumni of Landlord, Purple 7, The Door-Keys, and Fat Shadow) create a vibe that has “your coolest friends jamming in the garage” written all over it. When they belt out lines like “I’m the same as you, honey. I’ve got shit to do” (from Sniffing Glue), you can’t help but relate.

It’s not just the relatable lyrics and catchy vocals that’ll grab you. Evening Standards deliver their tunes with a perfect blend of heart, grit, energy and melody that quickly becomes outright addictive. The Shining is out now on LP at Dead Broke Rekerds who state that this is “probably our favorite record to drop this year,” and honestly, they have a strong case. Highly recommended!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Dead Broke Rekerds

New album: The Sheaves || A Salve For Institution

A Scratchy Take On Jangly Post-Punk

The Sheaves, a Phoenix-based jangly post-punk band, have followed up their debut album Excess Death Cult Time — originally released on cassette in 2022 and later on vinyl in 2023, with their new record A Salve For Institution. This release is a collaborative effort between sdz records (Paris) and Dot Dash Sounds (New York).

The Sheaves are anything but ordinary. On A Salve For Institution, they expertly challenge and tease their audience. The album is just the right amount of lo-fi, featuring scratchy, dissonant guitar work and a vocal style that borders on spoken word. Some tracks are trippy and make your mind wander, while others feel like being lost in a desert, thirsty and disoriented.

But if you stick with it, you’ll be rewarded—not just with some catchy tunes but with a burst of creativity that makes this album special. The Sheaves take you on a unique musical journey that’s well worth the trip.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || sdz

New album: G.C.C. || Lobotomias A Domicilio

Meet Costa Rica Garage Pop Punk sensation Gold City Cigarettes!

The thrill that drives this website is discovering a new record that gets you giddy with excitement, eager to share it with the world. There’s something extra special about finding a gem from a place where your knowledge of the local scene is practically nonexistent.

Enter Lobotomias A Domicilio, the debut full-length album from G.C.C., also known as the Gold City Cigarettes, hailing from San Jose, Costa Rica. Picture this: you’re scrolling through the depths of Bandcamp when suddenly, a burst of high-energy, irresistible garage pop punk grabs your attention. That’s G.C.C. for you.

This 15-song collection is an infectious blend of catchy riffs, spirited vocals, and sheer pop punk exuberance. By the time the band’s charming rendition of Lipstick On Your Collar (made famous by Connie Francis) kicks in, you’re already head-bobbing and hooked on their unique sound. Songs like X.S.S., No Eres Tú (Soy Yo), Faro Bajo El Agua, and Agujas Y Gacillas will have you singing along, even if you’re just guessing the lyrics. These tracks are perfect for pogoing around your living room, spilling stuff on your floor and not caring one bit. And then there’s Mamapichas, a blisteringly fast track with a Banned In DC blueprint that feels like a sonic adrenaline shot, guaranteed to ignite any mosh pit.

G.C.C.’s Lobotomias A Domicilio is a thrilling introduction to a band that’s sure to make waves far beyond their local scene. So, grab your headphones, turn up the volume, and let the Gold City Cigarettes light up your day.

Album out now on Bien Malo Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: The Covids || Banned From The USA

Amsterdam punks use a major setback to their advantage on latest single

In 2023, Amsterdam-based punk band The Covids were all set for their first USA tour, but a visa mix-up led to two members being banned by American border police. With their tour canceled, the two remaining members teamed up with their Spanish friend, Nestter Donuts, to record a song about the ordeal while drowning their sorrows at Savannah Studios. The result? A single featuring two versions of Banned From The USA: one recorded in the States and the other back on Dutch territory with the whole band. It’s fun to compare the two. The original take is a killer stripped-down, lo-fi garage rocker, while the full-band studio recording (see video below) transforms it into a rockin’ slab of late ’70s punk.

Another exciting release from a Dutch punk scene that currently feels like a volcano waiting to erupt. Bands are popping up everywhere, and the political climate in the Netherlands is driving adolescents of all ages into loud, fast, and angry music. The Covids prove once again they are at the forefront of this movement.

The Banned From The USA single is out now on 7″ at Wap Shop Wap Records and comes with amazing artwork and an equally well-produced video.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New Album: Smokers || The Rat That Gnawed the Rope

Oakland’s latest punk sensation debut strongly

When we write about Bay Area bands, it’s often about the jangle pop variety. However, the region’s rich punk history is undeniable. Enter Smokers, a new Oakland band whose debut LP The Rat That Gnawed the Rope showcases their talent and attitude, and keeps the punk flame very much alive.

Smokers comprises Cas Andy Asp (Nuisance, The Pattern), Cyrus Comiskey (Black Fork, Drunk Horse), Jim Nastic (Talk is Poison, Year Future), and Omen Starr (St. James Infirmary). Together, they deliver a brand of melodic punk rock infused with early post-punk, late ’70s pop punk, pub rock, and ’80s Our Band Could Be Your Life vibes.

Despite the familiar influences, The Rat That Gnawed the Rope stands out for its unique quality. Rather than reheating leftovers, Smokers mix, mash and season pantry staples into something unexpectedly tasty — a dish you can’t wait to have again and recommend to your friends.

LP available now through Mouth Magazine Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Friends Of Cesar Romero || Last Summer A Year From Now

J Waylon Strikes Again

Rapid City’s songwriting anomaly J Waylon makes an unsurprising yet very welcome return to the Wantlist with the 42nd installment in his acclaimed Doomed Babe Series.

The five-song EP, Last Summer A Year From Now, offers five more reasons to be in awe of Waylon’s songwriting chops. He never seems to run out of words on love and heartbreak, packing them into concise hooky and punchy guitar pop tunes. Like I said, J Waylon is an anomaly, and the world is better for it.

Add to Wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Martin Savage And The Jiggerz || Martin Savage And The Jiggerz

Fancy some good old gritty garage punk disguised as pub rock? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s the self-titled debut full-length of international power trio Martin Savage & the Jiggerz, featuring singer/guitarist Martin Savage (The Blacks, the Locomotions, Tokyo Knives, The Playmobils, …) from Sweden, bassist Kamikaze U.T. Vincent (King Salami & The Cumberland Three, Chinese Lungs, The Hateful, …) from Japan and drummer Eric Baconstrip (King Salami & The Cumberland Three, The Playmobils, The Chinese Lungs, Boycott, La Perra Blanco, …) from France. The experienced supergroup has already released some cool 45s on cool labels in recent years (Time To Get Out on Folc, Between The Lines on Topsy Turvy, Runaway Train on Chaputa!, …), but with this LP (on Damaged Goods, at least as cool) we can finally enjoy them a little longer. In just half an hour you’ll hear twelve riff-driven stompers (including covers of The Stripes’ Observer, Backstabbers’ Fly by Night and The Records’ In The Eyes Of A Blind Man), straightforward, pure and unbreakable. This may be rooted in the 70s, but it makes the 20s a lot more fun.

Martin Savage And The Jiggerz’ self-titled album, recorded by Ed Deegan, is out digitally and on vinyl LP through Damaged Goods Records.

Add to wantlist: Damaged Goods

New album: The Cretins || We’re Gonna Get So Old

Yesterday, in my post discussing the new J Prozac, I mentioned how this has been another stellar week for pop punk. Here is the second reason why: The Cretins have a new record out! Starting in the mid-’90s, The Cretins supported classic bands like The Queers, Mr. T Experience, and Groovie Ghoulies. Despite a few hiatuses, they are still going strong, and their 2022 album Pop Rocks is just one example of how the Boston-based band remains relevant today.

The Cretins’ newest release, We’re Gonna Get So Old, is a 15-song album that reboots a selection of tracks from their 1998 debut album We’re Gonna Get So Laid and their I Feel Better Already EP from 1996. If I had read this information before listening, I might have dismissed the record, turning my attention to another shiny new object instead.

However, I have no recollection of ever having listened to these songs. To my ears, these are new songs that sound like The Cretins have never truly left the ’90s. Listening to We’re Gonna Get So Old will reaffirm your love for true pop punk. The sharp and clever songwriting has me scratching my head. Why did it take twenty five years for this band to appear on my radar? Apparently, I needed a nudge.

Have friends who love Parasites’ Retro Pop Remasters? Buy this record for them; they will be forever grateful. We’re Gonna Get So Old is out now on Rum Bar Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp 

New album: J Prozac || Obsession

In another stellar week for fans of old school pop punk, J Prozac (known from The Prozacs, The Grand Prixx, and Stiletto Bomb) has released his third “solo” album Obsession. On this follow up to his excellent 2022 LP Won’t Let Go, Prozac is joined by Rob Pajer, Greg Russian, and Vic Rosario on drums, bass, and guitar, respectively.

J Prozac once again proves he’s a masterful craftsman of classic pop punk tunes. A one-trick pony going through the motions? Not a chance. Want something bubblegummy? He’s got your back. Prefer something faster? You got it. Looking for stripped-down or acoustic tracks? Obsession gives you plenty of room to pace yourself. Or maybe you crave something more punk rock? No worries! Hooks and strong melodies shine brightly in Prozac’s hands, especially on the standout mid-album track Take In The Sunshine, a slow-burning yet infinitely rewarding song. Prozac covers a lot of bases here and hits a lot of balls out of the park. If there were a pop punk fantasy league, I’d definitely draft him for my team.

Obsession is out now on CD and LP through Rum Bar Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Rum Bar

New album: the Retrospects || The Retrospects

A reunion show and an odd-and-ends compilation gave me the perfect excuse to write about my love for all things White Wires – arguably my most played band around 2010. While the reunion show appears to be a one-off, keep an eye out for the comp that should be out eventually on It’s Alive! Records. In the meantime, I’m thrilled to share the next best thing to new White Wires music: a solo record by White Wires frontman Ian Manhire.

Under the moniker the Retrospects, Manhire delivers synthy garage pop — a 16-bit version of White Wires, if you will. Still recorded on a budget but sounding more polished, this self-titled album is a must-listen if you want to see if Manhire still has that knack for writing infectious tunes and uncomplicated killer hooks. Spoiler alert: he does! What a fun little record this is.

Unfortunately, the record isn’t available on Bandcamp yet, but you can stream it on your preferred platform. LP is available at Record Centre in Ottawa and available for mailorder at Forbidden Beat, Goner Records and Green Noise. Meanwhile, Manhire have built a band around the project and they played their first show last week, closing out with a cover of Bruce Cockburn’s radio hit Lovers In A Dangerous Time. Find a video of the performance at the band’s Instagram, and give them a follow while you are there.

Add to wantlist: soon?

Scroll to Top