New EP: La Culpa || La Culpa

La Culpa has only been together for 5 or 6 months, but their selftitled debut mini-album/EP has already arrived. The Spanish four-piece play a suspenseful brand of punky new wave or post-punk, that sounds bright yet moody, melodic yet tense, catchy yet aggressive. They sound tighter and far more developed than you would suspect from a band that’s been together for such a short time.

If you have just 90 seconds to spare, listen to the outstanding Mágico Trágico which is a short but sweet indiepunk classic showcasing all of the strength of La Culpa. Try playing that one and not become curious about the other 7 tracks (and 14 minutes) on the record.

La Culpa is out now on Humo Internacional.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Humo Internacional

New album: Ex-Vöid || Bigger Than Before

If there was one record I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, it’s the debut of Ex-Vöid. I was a massive fan of Joanna Gruesome, and the fingerprints of that band all over Ex-Vöid. And I mean that literally: the two primary songwriters and singers of Joanna Gruesome (Lan McArdle and Owen Williams) are also in Ex-Vöid taking a similar approach. The trademark dual boy-girl vocal attack of Joanna Gruesome is omnipresent on Ex-Vöid’s debut LP. The pair also brought a smorgasbord of hooks. Any doubt that they used all those up in the megacatchy songs of Joanna Gruesome dissolves in album opener Churchyard – I love every second of that song.

Hence, the likelihood between liking one if you like the other is close to 100%. Still, as the album title seem to imply, I can see Ex-Vöid ultimately ending up with a wider audience with the new band. It would be the logical consequence of a broader and more varied sound. McArdle and Williams sound as punchy and energetic as they did with Joanna Gruesome – listen to the punked up Chemical Reaction with its sugary sweet chorus for example, but they are more in control of their powers, and unafraid to open the windows and breathe some fresh air and space in the songs. There are also hints of The Beths, and I believe some of the songs on Bigger Than Before (particularly (Angry At You) Baby, Boyfriend, So Neurotic) rival the best work of that band.

Like the band explains, they “draw on guitar pop through the ages – The Byrds, Big Star, Teenage Fanclub – and attack it with the ferocity and economy of a hardcore punk band.” Call it altpoppunk if you will. Summer festivals with room to spare on their bill, would be crazy not to book this band.

Bigger Than Before is hit packed and ready to make many rounds on your turntable this year. It’s out now on Don Giovanni Records (US) and Prefect Records (UK).

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

New EP: Neutrals || Bus Stop Nights EP

What better way to kick off the weekend then with four new hits by Neutrals. Their Bus Stop Nights EP is the band’s most recent masterclass in reviving the best parts of Television Personalities and The Times. Each of the songs is a winner in my book, but Gary Borthwick Says particularly makes my heart jump. It’s a massive underground pop hit that sits nicely between The Go-Betweens’ Lee Remick and Television Personalities’ Geoffrey Ingram.

The Bus Stop Nights EP is out now on Static Shock. I absolutely love it.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Cheese Wreck || Cheese Wreck EP

I’d like to introduce you to a new trio from Pennsylvania. They are called Cheese Wreck and feature members of Brick Nova. Brick Nova played the kind of music that would have made it to the soundtrack of The O.C. back in the day. But with Cheese Wreck, the three-piece show their love for pop punk that is bubblegummy and surfy.

The three originals on the EP are sweet and catchy – Danse Macabre sounds like a reworked version of Rockaway Beach. To close the EP there is a Goo Goo Dolls cover. Solid and fun stuff to start the weekend with!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Rude Television || Distractions

If you like the unhinged ramshackle qualities of the synth/eggpunk genre, but you’d love some more melody to it, you might like Rude Television. Particularly on Exactly and Distractions, Rude Television incorporates some catchy ’77 punk influences. More of where that came from please!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: VICEPREZ || Juger

VICEPREZ is a new collective featuring members of the punk scene of Lyon (France) and bands like Sport, The Reaction and The Smudjas. The band grew out of a shared love for playing pingpong tournaments, playing cards and the punk rock community. The pretty cool album cover of Juger was created by Marco Imov, who provides an indication of how the band recorded their debut LP.

The band finds inspiration in bands like Jodie Faster, Youth Avoiders, Black Flag and the Minutemen, but have created their own brand of melodic punkrock with a hardcore attitude and, dare I say it, a pop heart? Very catchy stuff – listen to Tony Hanks for example. VICEPREZ is a band that doesn’t limit themselves to one subgenre of punk. Juger is a very varied record, and a must listen if you’re up for some exciting, tight and kickass punk rock.

The band keeps piling cool song after cool song. Try Tru My Window for example. What a way to start a record. That handclap around 1:17 that ends the bridge and kickstarts the remainder of the track is such a jolt of awesomeness. It’s followed by the title track that rocks like crazy. I don’t want to spoil the record any further, better to go in without expectation and let yourself be surprised.

One of my favorite discoveries of late. I am definitely buying this! Out now on Berlin label Adagio 830.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Varonas || Instinto Animal

Varonas may be a new name, but the four band members – Vanessa Herrero (guitar, vocals), Gema Bañares (bass, vocals), David Cortés (drums), and José Alberto “El Pato” López (guitar) – are experienced musicians who have played in or with various Madrid bands. On their debut single Instinto Animal you’ll hear three Spanish-language punk rock songs, where the shared female vocals convince you even if you don’t know what they’re singing about. Better believe it: this music is just as fiery, powerful and idiosyncratic as the cover art.

Instinto Animal releases April 1, digitally and on 7″ vinyl, through Delia Records, Folc Records and Snap!! Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Gimme 5! Trevor Lake Shares 5 All-Time Favs In Anticipation of Televisionaries’ Debut LP Mad About You

Photo by Cam Lawson

With ‘Gimme 5!’ we take a peek into the collections of artists we admire. The premise is simple: artists WE like share 5 records THEY love.

Trevor Lake has been poppin’ up in different capacities since we started this website. We covered his work with Sweet Pete, The Shine, Danny’s Favorites and Televisionaries. So yeah, to say we are fans of the music of Trevor Lake is an understatement. Two things stand out with Lake.  One: whatever style he plays, whether it’s punk, surf or rock-‘n’-roll, it sounds very authentic, pure and true to its origins – making him the perfect candidate for a Gimme 5. Two: he makes it look all so easy and effortless. [post continues below]

New album: Pinch Points || Process

When Australian turbo(post)punks Pinch Points released Reasons To Be Anxious as a teaser single of their sophomore album (Process), they raised the bar in terms of expectations. Now that Process is out, does the band deliver on that promise?

I definitely think so, although Reasons To Be Anxious probably is the most ferocious track on the record. But, it’s not like the rest is a stroll to the park. There is plenty of aggression and nervous energy on the record. The main ingredients of Pinch Points: start stop rhythms, cool angular guitar and bass riffs, talksinging with a heavy Australian accent combined with anthemic sing-a-longs.

My favorite part about Process is that Pinch Points can sound absolutely pissed off and in your face in one song, then all of a sudden can come across as surprisingly nuanced and inhibited. Am I Okay harbours all of that in one song and shows that underneath all the shouting there is vulnerability. It takes the sharpest edges off and makes the band even more likeable.

Process is out now through Mistletone Records and Exploding in Sound.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Exploding In Sound || Discogs


Now that we’re talking punky indie rock that is running way ahead of the pack (looking at you Good Grief), let’s talk PLOSIVS. Here’s a band featuring John Reis (Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, Rocket From The Crypt), Rob Crow (Pinback), Atom Willard (Against Me!, The Offspring, Social Distortion) and Jordan Clark (Mrs. Magician). If that line-up’s got you excited, they sound exactly as great as you could have hoped for.

I’m not going to write too many words on it though, as I’m sure all the major websites will cover the release – and you likely already have heard the record. But if not, here are some words that came to mind when listening to this record: Tight! Yeah! Rocks! Banger! Flawless! Catchy! Effortless! Hit! So good! Repeat.

PLOSIVS is out now on Swami Records. There is a good chance you’ll want to buy it once you’ve tried it.

Add to wantlist: Discogs

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