New album: Puhelinseksi || Vieraita Toisillemme

Puhelinseksi are a band of four from Rovaniemi, a city in Finland locate slightly below the arctic circle. The light can get a bit weird there, and perhaps this helps to explain the dark and melancholic undertones in Puhelinseksi’s brand of punky and melodic powerpop. Their sophomore record is called Vieraita Toisillemme, and the nine songs on it range from pretty good to pretty great. I am particularly drawn by the band’s killer choruses and the new wavey guitar work. Without understanding the lyrics, the emotion in the voice of Puhelinski’s frontwoman hints upon the dark themes in the lyrics (loneliness, alienation, mental health problems and broken hearts). This heartfelt honest voice is complemented nicely by the strong melodies in Puhelinseksi’s music.

Good stuff again from Svart Records. Vieraita Toisillemme is available on CD and on black and purple vinyl.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Svart Records

New EP: The Girls || Tea Party

Following up their 2021 mini-LP Armed To The Teeth, The Girls (Wilmington, North Carolina) return with another hard-to-google release; the 5-song Tea Party EP. The EP offers more of the hard poppin’ rock-‘n’-roll sleaze I’ve come to love about this band – the band has ’77 in their social media user name and on their Bandcamp page, which should give you an idea of their sound.

Recently, the band made the soundtrack of Netflix original Along For The Ride with their standout song Schools For Fools. That likely will have brought some new pairs of ears to The Girls, and the Tea Party EP makes good on the promise of that song. My favorite track on the Tea Party EP is Love Song. That chorus is massive! Make sure to also check The Girls’ version of Primal Astrology by Zodiac Panthers.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Rat Parade || Phantom Draw b​/​w Pressure Cooker

Hamiltion (Ontario) three-piece just dropped their latest cassingle featuring two new songs they recorded in Threshold Recording Studio. Pressure Cooker is a solid punk rock track, but it’s Phantom Draw that makes this cassette worth the purchase. It’s super catchy and has a massive chorus you’ll be singing along to before you know it.

Out now through Weepy Eye!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Beta Máximo || Spain Vice

Here are the ingredients that makes Beta Máximo’s new EP Spain Vice such a blast:
* One drum machine that operates at 200BPM or higher;
* killer pop punk melodies;
* synthy egg punk weirdness;
* a primitive recording device;
* a bedroom to record the songs in.

The four songs on the Spain Vice should come with a disclaimer that warns against potential hyperventilation, induced nervous energy and/or a big smile on your face. Or as one Bandcamp fan put it: “I love the part where it goes tick tick tick tick tick.”

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Teenage Tom Petties || Teenage Tom Petties

Tom Brown makes up half of Rural France, who last year released a quality record full of ’60s pop disguised as ’90s slacker indie rock. One of the songs on that record was called Teenage Tom Petty, and its plural is the name of Brown’s latest project. Under the moniker Teenage Tom Petties, Brown filled his Eastpak with his favorite ’90s slacker indie rock CDs, his ’80s underground pop 45’s, and some classic punk LP’s. He also took some primitive recording device along for the ride. Brown than recorded the eight songs that make up his self-titled solo debut in an abandoned shed somewhere around Wiltshire, all in one frantic and inspired take.

None of this is true (or is it?), but it’s how I like to imagine the birth of Teenage Tom Petties. Tom Brown banging away on his instrument, letting those creative juices flow, aiming for spontaneity and melody rather than polished perfection. I’d say mission accomplished. Play this one front-to-back. Repeat. What a blast!

Teenage Tom Petties is out now through Repeating Cloud and Safe Suburban Home Records.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Kiss Disease || You Met Me At A Strange Time

When Kiss Disease (Helsinki, Finland) started recording their debut LP You Met Me at a Strange Time, they had no record deal in sight. But Svart Records were quick to jump the gun once they heard the early recordings. It’s easy to hear why. The band’s blend of garage, protopunk and powerpop is sleazy, glammy and exciting. It’s the kind of sound Little Steven covets with his Underground Garage radio station, and if you are reading this Steven (sure!), I’d like to nominate Season Creep for your Coolest Song In The World feature.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Svart Records

New album: Extra Arms || What Is Even Happening Right Now?

Extra Arms used to be the (brilliantly titled) backing band of Ryan Allen, but the collaboration quickly developed into something more. So Ryan Allen & The Extra Arms quickly became Extra Arms, and they sound particularly inspired on their new record What Is Even Happening Right Now? I was a big fan of Basement Punk (2016), but became more of a casual fan in the years since. But my total fandom returned with What Is Even Happening Right Now? It is something else, and my early impresion is it’s the best thing they’ve put out so far.

Although the title clearly references a world in turmoil or existential crisis, and the lyrics hint upon mental health struggles, the record sounds more like a celebration. The powerpop/pop punk of Extra Arms is powerful, energetic, catchy and rockin’, and the huge choruses have arena size fistpumpin’ potential – Listen to Fun Guy and Life In A Cube. What I love about the record is how it sounds modern but you can also hear influences going back to Elvis Costello, The Cars and similar artists of the late ’70s and early ’80s – Feeling Alright is a good example of this direction. There is an impressive list of guest appearances as well, including Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), Bob Nanna (Braid/Hey Mercedes) and Gregory Macdonald (Sloan).

If anything, What Is Even Happening Right Now? is proof that, whatever is going on in our world and personal lives, music is often the best coping mechanism we’ve got. It is out now through Forge Again Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Forge Again Records

New EP: Stay Put || 2

Stay Put made a strong entrance to the scene with their debut EP last year. They return even more strongly with their second EP which simply is called 2. The four new songs showcases Stay Put’s exciting blend of punk rock, college rock and altpop. The B-side of this 7″ contains the two major hits Zap Gun and Working Holiday which reveal the poppy side of Stay Put, but it may very well be A-side Big Slump that is my favorite by the band so far. I’m really enjoying the trajectory this band is on, and can’t wait to discover what’s next.

2 is out now on pink 7″ through Crew Cuts (UK) and Blind Rage Records (US).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Crew Cuts || Blind Rage Records

New album: Cathedral Ceilings || Summer Of Misguided Dynamite

Concidence or not, in the same week I finished Tom Beajour’s extremely fun oral history of Hair Metal, I stumbled on an extremely fun record he recorded and helped produce: Cathedral Ceilings’ Summer Of Misguided Dynamite, which for the record has nothing to do with Hair Metal, but is very much a punk rock record. If there are any similarities, it’s that Cathedral Ceiling is unafraid to show their pop sensibility. This is catchy stuff, really.

Summer Of Misguided Dynamite also is highly energetic and dynamic, and given the youthful enthusiasm that seeps through the songs, I was kind of suprised to discover Cathedral Ceilings is actually a band of scene veterans. Throughout the record, the band effortlessly bridges the gap between being pop punk or punk rock. They kinda sound like a mix of Sicko, late career 7 seconds, Lawrence Arms and Dillinger Four, if that makes any sense. Plenty to like on this one!

Purchase Summer Of Misguided Dynamite on LP through Dromedary Records.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of May 2022

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

In May we saw A Tribute to Jawbreaker’s Dear You collection (Sell The Heart Records subscriber exclusive), The Black Crowes’ 1972 EP (Amazon exclusive), Todo Muere SBXV (artists from the Sacred Bones roster covering their favourite tunes), Sarah Brown singing Mahalia Jackson and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band doing Bob Dylan, the previously announced Coverama compilation, Lester Greenowski tackling the discography of Kiss on Kover All Over and various ladies performing songs of The Boss, Bryan Ferry’s smooth Love Letters EP, and nice releases from The Soul Jacket, R.E. Seraphin, Ditches, Zeno Jones, Walker Brigade, Praise, The Christian Family and Rat Tamango with some successful cover versions. And there was a lot more, but below you hear the 10 best that we haven’t mentioned yet.

It’s Raining || Cover: JD McPherson || Original: Irma Thomas
American singer-songwriter/guitarist JD McPherson’s released The Warm Covers EP, Vol. 2, a great sequel to his 2014 cover collection (the new 5-track EP is out now digitally through New West Records, a physical edition including additional bonus tracks will follow sometime in 2023). The obvious choice here would be his interpretation of a song originally performed by Iggy Pop or Pixies, but thanks in part to It’s Rainin’ (4am) by Bob Forrest’s The Bicycle Thief, I don’t miss a chance to listen to this Irma Thomas classic. Heartfelt rhythm ‘n’ blues the way it’s meant to be.

Scroll to Top