New EP: Fresh || The Summer I Got Good At Guitar

The title of this 5 track EP evokes a world of stories and is worth mentioning for that reason alone. The music lives up to this promise: the UK punk / emo four-piece Fresh tells those stories in convincing, empowering songs. A band to take seriously, with catchy songs to embrace. The Summer I Got Good At Guitar is out now digitally, on cassette, and colored 12″ vinyl through Specialist Subject Records. All 5 tracks are worth listening to, but My Redemption Arc stands out for me.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Dead Broke (US) || Specialist Subject (UK)

Shorter, Faster, Louder (April Hardcore Wrap-Up) || Dry Socket, Esperanza, Incisions, Infiltro, Locked In, Pössed, Spleen, Thought Control

Though the majority of my posts are punk and garage leaning, I also listen to music that push the boundaries and expectations of this blog. I am talking about music that is a bit more extreme in terms of length, speed, and loudness. It’s the kind of music that may scare or disturb some, or met with plain disinterest by others, but I believe are still worth checking out. Each month I wrap-up those releases in one post: Shorter, Faster, Louder. [continues below]

New EP: Baby Strange || Land Of Nothing

The sound of the Scottish indie rock three-piece Baby Strange has little to do with the T-Rex song they share their name with. This is not glam, but raw post-punk that will appeal to fans of The Fall, Fontaines D.C., Cabbage, The Ruts – driving guitars and the characteristic talking vocals, but more melodic than usual in the genre. “Now that’s what I call music”, singer / guitarist Johnny Madden shouts in More! More! More!, a delightful indictment of house parties with tunes that give rock heads a headache (it is not without reason that they launched Club Sabbath, their own club night at The Priory in Glasgow and The Old Blue Last in London, to which a song is also dedicated on this mini-album.). The opening track of the Land of Nothing EP is great, but the other four songs are also worth your attention. Out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP via Icons Creating Evil Art (ICEA).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Rough Trade

New single: The Embrooks || It’s Time You Realised

The Embrooks are garagepop & freakbeat legends from the UK. With the exception of several hiatus, they’ve been releasing timeless music since the late nineties. Their most recent one is a two song single for Spinout Nuggets & State Records. The A-side is the mono version of Human Living Vampire, a song from their 2018 LP We Who Are – I think this song works even better in the mono version. The B-side is It’s Time You Realised, a perfectly executed cover of the ’66 punk classic by the Morlochs.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Harker || Axiom

Upon listening to Axiom, I had to revisit Harker’s previous record No Discordance to check if I misremembered the band’s sound. But no, Axiom is quite the sonic leap from No Discordance. What I loved about No Discordance was its heartfelled nature and how the band made up what it may lack in originality (to be honest, a superfluous quality to judge punkrock by) with top notch songwriting and execution. Axiom is a different beast, with the band expanding their sound in every direction. It’s more rock-oriented, it’s more varied, more dynamic. It manifests a band full of ambition and willing to challenge themselves. What particularly stands out on Axiom is the vocals. Harker already had a great singer in Mark Boniface, but on the new record  the harmonies with the rest of the band are a thing to behold – listen to Sigh Of Crows. On Axiom, Harker swims upstream, not sure where it will take them, and I’m curious to see how this record will be received by fans of their previous work – if reluctant, they should at the very least enjoy HellionFlex Yr Head and No Sun, three songs that in terms of that old school Harker sound are among the best they’ve recorded. I for one am rooting for the band to be rewarded for their effort. Axiom is out now through  Disconnect Disconnect Records (UK), Shield Recordings (Netherlands), Wiretap Records  (US) and Fixing A Hole Records (Japan).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

Gimme 5! Devon Milley Shares The Top 5 Records He And His Ex Press Bandmate Matt Bonded Over During The Pandemic

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.

Ex Press are a new band I’m really exited about. I recently wrote about their first EP Itchy To Move, which Ex Press (Devon Milley & Matthew Fudge) recorded with Glassjaw frontman Daryl Palumbo. If you are unfamiliar with Ex Press, their lead single Headrest is a perfect example of their hybrid of synthpunk, powerpop, new wave and pop punk. Watch the Daniel Fried (TV’s Daniel, Bad Sports, Radioactivity) produced video below.

Given the distinct sound of Ex Press, I was curious about the band’s influences. Devon Milley, who takes charge of vocals, drums & guitar for the band, was so kind to share a Gimme 5! list with the albums he and his bandmate Matthew obsessed over during the pandemic. His list makes me even more excited for the new 3-song Ex Press single they recorded and will release later this year. [Post continues below]

New album: Bamms || Last Chance

Last week I wrote about how Spain is the European hotbed for all things rock-‘n’-roll. In the slipstream of the new records from Anamorados (Barcelona) and Rata Negra (Madrid) we covered, here is Bamms from Hernani – a small city in the Northeastern part of Spain. Unlike the two beforementioned bands who have more punk and pop leanings in their sound, Bamms play classic and sleazy guitar driven rock-‘n’-roll. It’s the kind of music best experienced at maximum volume in a sweaty bar.  Available on black or blue vinyl at Artza Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New single: Prisoner / Witchcake || Split

Dead Broke Rekerds have a high standard for their releases – at least I believe they do. Outpatient (who we recently covered), Laika’s Orbit and Notches are just some examples of bands on their roster with the intangibles to make them  stand out of the punkrock pack. This latest release, a split 7″ (limited to 350 copies, of which 100 blue/white swirl) with Prisoner & Witchcake is no exception. Prisoner (ex-Dude Jams) play futuristic garagepunk.Ten Years Done could be a Mark Ryan song (Mind Spiders, Marked Men), and that’s a good thing. On the flipside, Witchcake (ex-Grumpies/Dead Dog) offer garagerock that is slightly pop and psych oriented. Satellite is an infectious track with hit potential, and the band’s second song is a pretty great cover of The Rats’ Can’t Stand Back.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Confio En Tus Amigos || Rapida Comida

Next up in the category “I don’t understand their lyrics, but I do like their songs,” we have Confio En Tus Amigos. The band from Chile just released their second album Rapida Comida, which, if I’m not mistaken, translates to Fast Food. It’s a well chosen title for a record that offers 11 bites you can gobble up in 16 minutes. And unlike the cover suggests, the menu is more varied than you’d expect. Confio En Tus  Amigos have no issue bouncing around garage, psych, punk and even Latin influences. I don’t know about you, but I am having seconds!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Danny’s Favorites || There Still Punk

Wow. While everyone was struggling in quarantine, Trevor Lake apparently fell into a magic well full of strands of Good Vibrations and Lookout! Records DNA. Recorded last year in his basement with Aaron Mika on drums, Lake writes classic pop punk tunes as they are meant to be. Trust me, listening  to album opener Public Figure should be your #1 priority right now. It is a prime example why you should never stop digging for new music.  What a jam! Originally a 2020 self-release, Tetryon Tapes has now put it out on cassette. Fingers crossed that more Danny’s Favorites is in the works.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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