New EP: Desborde || “Todo es una mierda”

Why write 2-, 3- or 4-minute songs when you can make your point within 60 seconds? Argentinian frenetic synthpunks Desborde waste no time on their new EP “Todo es una mierda.” That title translates to Everything Sucks, but you no translator to sense the frustration the band communicates with their songs.

Of the 5 songs, 5 minute EP my absolute favorite is Panico! Play it loud!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: MalaBrava || Historia Natural

There’s been a lot of nice rumble coming from Spain lately, and Andrea Tararea (vocals), Margarita Leches (drums), Rozzy Osbourne (guitar, backing vocals), and Sofía WonderBass (bass, backing vocals) make a solid contribution to this. As MalaBrava they play rhythmic garage rock with a clear surf twist, wild music that will make you dance like crazy. On their new EP Historia Natural you’ll find six Spanish-language tracks with fine guitar riffs and an exciting combination of growling voices. Wooooooohh!

Historia Natural is out now digitally and soon on 10″ vinyl via Delia Records and Snap!! Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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: Afterpartees || Family Names

Niek (vocals), Teun (drums), Jesse (bass), Sjors (guitar), and Bas (guitar) spent three weeks in a cabin in the woods of their hometown Horst, Limburg (The Netherlands), where they recorded the third Afterpartees album on a diet of soup and biscuits. Family Names features 11 captivating songs about the impossible things in life, like carnival parades that never end and visiting your favorite pub forever. Musically, it’s a combination of uplifting power pop and smart indie rock, which will appeal to fans of Vampire Weekend, Jonathan Richman, and Mozes and the Firstborn. The tracks are always melodic, with well chosen tempo changes, catchy hooks, and surprising contributions (for example in The Buun, a sentimental farewell to the band’s favorite bar, you hear a cello and saxophone), and evoke both a feeling of sensitive melancholy and of summery joyfulness. This LP is a sympathetic ode to togetherness, friendship and food, an ode to cherish for all fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters.

Family Names is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through AT EASE / Goomah Music.

Add to wantlist: AT EASE || Bandcamp

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 album: U.S. Highball || A Parkhead Cross of The Mind

You need to hear just one song to know that U.S. Highball are firmly rooted in Scottish indie pop tradition. The band is a result of a 17-year old friendship between James Hindle and Calvin Halliday. The duo also played in The Pooches – remember their killer record from 2016?

U.S. Highball’s latest record, the band’s third, is called A Parkhead Cross Of The Mind. It’s a continuation of the duo’s search for writing perfect guitar pop songs. With just two members, it helps that they are on the same page in musical tastes. The record is full of references to their likes, including Yo La Tengo, Suicide, Neil Young, Fountains of Wayne and They Might Be Giants.

Sonically, U.S. Highball opted for a louder and punchier sound on A Parkhead Cross of The Mind, but it’s all relative. In its heart, the record is indie pop. If something does stand out, it’s the quality of the songs. The result of cutting a longlist of 40 written songs to 12.

A Parkhead Cross of The Mind is great Spring listening. It’s out now on Lame-O Records (US) and Bingo Records (UK).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Lame-O Records

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: Un Día Soleado || “Y Todo Sigue Igual​.​.​.​”

Un Día Soleado from Argentina has released a lot of music recently and somehow, despiting enjoying all of the singles released, we failed to cover any of them. If you missed out on these releases, “Y Todo Sigue Igual​.​.​.​” compiles them in one handy (digital) record. The first six songs on the record are the 2021 singles. They are followed by three covers (of songs by Another Sunny Day, 1994 and Muziki Ammapola), and four live tracks.

What to expect? Surfy upbeat jangly goodness that is easy to digest. Healthy ear candy from Argentina!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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