New album: Levitation Room || Strange Weather

At first listen, it doesn’t seem that special what Los Angeles-based neo-psychedelic pop outfit Levitation Room does, but give the ten new songs on their third album Strange Weather a few spins and a different world opens up. It’s a cosmic journey of half an hour that largely sounds dreamy, warm and cinematic – occasionally erupting, but always evoking a feeling of escapism in technicolor images. As they angelically convey in recent single Heaven: “Soft are the strings // That descend down on me.”

Strange Weather is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP, through Greenway Records / The Reverberation Appreciation Society.

Add to wantlist: Discogs || Greenway || Levitation

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New single: Danny’s Favorites || Silent Movies b/w Turn My Motor On

Yes! Danny’s Favorites is back! The band created one of my favorite jams of 2020, and it turned out to be the first of many appearances of the mastermind behind the band on our blog. I’m talking about Trevor Lake – we wrote about his work with Sweet Pete, The Shine, and multiple times about Televisionaries. Oh, and don’t miss out his Gimme 5 feature on our site. In short, we are pretty terrible at hiding our fandom of the fellow.

In all of his musical endeavours, Trevor Lake’s talent for writing fast classic rock’n’roll nuggets shines bright. Danny’s Favorites, which is all Trevor Lake on the new recordings, is probably the most punk-oriented. Like his previous tape, the new tunes have a healthy dose of Good Vibrations  – I am referring to the legendary Belfast label, not the Beach Boys song.  But to be fair, Lake does make the B-side of the single, a reworked version of Kirsty MacColl’s Turn My Motor On, sound kinda Beach Boy-ish. The cover is a freakin’ blast, and I would play it more often If I could only stop playing the other song on the single. Silent Movies, what a hit! It’s a Trevor Lake original, a song he wrote in his head while dry locking his basement after a mold outbreak. Skills!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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New album: Tandoori Knights || 14 Hits That Don’t Quit

Anyone who knows the work of prolific Canadian musicians King Khan and Bloodshot Bill can estimate what to expect from their joint project Tandoori Knights. Last year they made an individual impression with The Invaders film score and the Psyche-O-Billy LP respectively, but this new album – the follow-up to 2010’s Curry Up – is a different story. In just 19 minutes they bring 14 diverse songs to the table, tunes that are as lo-fi, raw, messy and gritty as they are infectious, humorous, charming and uplifting. Titles such as Bacon is Too Good, Boo, Chkn Blvd, Honey Glazed and Oil Me Up reveal that we shouldn’t take it all too seriously, but that doesn’t detract from the purity and entertainment value. The rattling combinations – in glorious mono – of garage rock, R&B, country, rockabilly and Eastern influences works very well, and the distinctive vocals complement each other wonderfully.

A continuation of the collaboration between these two idiosyncratic and experienced legends, that couldn’t really go wrong, but it might be even more fun than hoped for.

14 Hits That Don’t Quit is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Rad Girlfriend Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Rad Girlfriend

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New album: Lazy Sunday || Another Summer

I have a soft spot for poppy indie punk – a mix of energetic indie rock and ’90s pop punk. Portland quartet Lazy Sunday know exactly where to hit me with their debut LP Another Summer. The eleven songs on the LP are concise, melancholic, and often played with a contagious energy. Everything sounds fresh and crisp, and the fuzzy guitars, tight but loose drumming, and sweet (often dual) vocals complement each other nicely.

Long Con, Flutter, and Differentiation are some of my favorite songs on Another Summer. Peaches is another, and its “I’m not bitter, just a bit sad” is just one example of how Lazy Sunday can build a great tune over a simple line. It is easy to see why Salinas records picked up this band, as DNA tests might uncover them as younger siblings of fellow Salinas bands Radiator Hospital, Joyride!.

The super likeable Another Summer is out now on LP.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

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New single: Les Dynamites || Uzi Kinrot / Sea Gull

Ready for some Middle Eastern grooves? Jerusalem, Israel-based trio Les Dynamites return with a 45 featuring two funky instrumentals that sound happier than you probably would expect. Roy Bar-Tour (guitar, keys), Atzmon Avrahami (drums) and Adam Yodfat (sousaphone) mix Mediterranean and classic surf rock with Balkan and Yemini folk, a sound you don’t hear too often. On A-side Uzi Kinrot, named after guitarists Uzi Feinerman and Uri Kinrot from surf rock outfit Boom Pam, you’ll hear earworm melodies plus infectious handclaps and traditional shouts. B-side Sea Gull is a successful, more surfy tribute to Greek-Israeli guitarist/singer Aris San, just as exciting. If political leaders were half as unifying as these music, the world would be a better place.

Uzi Kinrot b/w Sea Gull, produced by Uri Wertheim, is out now digitally and on 7″ vinyl through Batov Records.

Add to want list: Bandcamp

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New single The Courettes || Shake!

Not to be confused with the cover of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, with which the fabulous Courettes ended last year, here’s their new (original) single Shake!, which is actually a lot more electrifying. Flávia & Martin Couri already have quite a few killer songs to their name, but this untamed floor filler is their biggest hit to date – irresistibly fuzzy, groovy and catchy. It’s a promising taster of the next album by the Brazilian/Danish garage rock duo, the follow-up to 2021’s Back In Mono, expected next September. B-side You Woo Me, not available online (yet?), is exclusive to this 45. Cool stuff!

Shake! c/w You Woo Me, produced by Søren Christensen & The Courettes, is out now digitally and on gold colored 7″ vinyl through Damaged Goods Records.

Add to wantlist: Damaged Goods

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New album: Gentlemen Rogues || Surface Noise

Finally, the wait is over. Surface Noise, the new Gentlemen Rogues LP has arrived! The band from Austin has never been the most prolific, and the gaps between releases are pretty huge. Perhaps this is due to work, family and other life demands, but I like to believe it is because they spent so much time sharpening their hooks and making small adjustments to craft their songs to perfection. The attention to detail sure would explain the impressive strength of Surface Noise.

Surface Noise features two old favorites in Do The Resurrection! and Francy, but it’s mostly new tunes, each one another shot to the heart of aggressive guitar pop enthusiasts. Songs like Half Empty, Half Fool and Never The Bride will have you tapping your foot and nodding along in no time. That also applies to the standout Involuntary Solitary with its infectious hooks and clever wordplay. Gentlemen Rogues are bit like the Hold Steady in the sense that they have a huge rockin’ sound with the vocals and guitars taking a prominent spot in the mix. But whereas Craig Finn and his buddies build on a foundation of classic rock, the roots of Gentlemen Rogue lies more in ‘90’s altpop reminiscent of Superdrag – or Lemonheads on steroids.

I guess what I’m trying to say, this is a kickass record. Surface Noise is out now at Double Helix Records and Shifting Sounds.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

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New single (Premiere!): Autogramm || Diana b/w Licht Aus

Here are two things to get excited about regarding Canadian synthy power poppers/new wavers Autogramm. First of all, the band is on the verge of a two-week European tour spanning The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany. The tour starts March 16, and we can’t wait to see the band on their first date in Haarlem on March 16. Find the other dates here.

Second, and more pressing, Beluga Records (Sweden) will soon drop a two-song 7″ to coincide with the tour – pre-order here. This release follows hot on the heels of their rock-solid and immensely enjoyable Music That Humans Can Play LP. We are thrilled to debut the single (Diana b/w Licht Aus) right here, right now.

On the A-side, prepare to be transported back to the ’80s with Diana, a track that showcases Autogramm at their most Depeche Modesque and Human League-ish yet. With its catchy chorus, it’s a true ’80s hit in the making — an area Autogramm consistently excels in. The song has some unexpected dark undertones. Autogramm’s The Silo explains: “It’s not just another Autogramm song with a proper noun in the title, Diana ramps up the drama to eleven to create a miniature synth-pop soap opera!”

And that’s not all! Flip over to the B-side to discover Autogramm’s surprising cover of Licht Aus by German new-wave band Nichts, adding their own unique twist to this track from 1982 and translating most of the words to English.

From their upcoming European tour to the release of their latest single, Autogramm is on fire with excitement. And so are we!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Beluga

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New vinyl compilation: Various Artists || Blow My Mind! The Doré-Era-Mira Punk & Psych Legacy

There have been countless compilations with garage rock unknowns from the mid-60s, but rough diamonds are still being dug up or recycled. On Blow My Mind!, twenty-five nuggets are brought together by Ace’s rock ‘n’ roll fanatic Alec Palao, tracks released on the record labels Doré, Era and Mira at the time. This selection was released on CD in 2021 through Big Beat Records, but thanks to Munster Records it is now also available on vinyl for the first time. Fans of the genre will already know or have many of these tunes (from bands like The Lyrics, The Leaves, The Syndicate, The Motion, The Wrench, etc.), but regardless, this is one not to be missed, also because the original 45s are not affordable. If you’re not yet convinced, check out the snippets via the Bandcamp embed below.

Blow My Mind! is out now on vinyl 2LP through Munster Records. It’s the natural sequel to the Lost Innocence Garpax 1960s Punk & Psych collection.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp 

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New album: The Meteoroids || The Meteoroids

The Meteoroids are a Southern California-based surf rock outfit featuring Jeff Carr (guitar), Brett Arnold (guitar), Rob Welch (bass), Chris Poage (organ) and Dave Irish (percussion), names you may know from Boss Fink or The Baffles. On their self-titled debut full-length you’ll hear thirteen rolling instrumentals, including covers of The Ventures’ The Swingin’ Creeper (abbreviated here to The Creeper) and Mono Men’s Phantom On Lane 12. Cinematic, exciting and summery, exactly as it was meant to be.

The Meteoroids’ self-titled LP, recorded & mixed by Jarrod Keith, is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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