New EP: Pedico || Winter Dance Party

Here is quick peek in the hard work that goes into this site. Earlier this week, I received a Bandcamp notification that Pedico had released a new EP. Having loved their previous output, I immediately checked it out. Loved the tunes (again), but finding zero information about the release (again), I slided into the Instagram of @pediconyc. Here is what happened next.

@addtowantlist: Hi! Hope all is well. I see you have new music out. And of course I am going to write about it :). Do you have some information on it that I could use in my post?

@pediconyc: Yo Niek! Most definitely: Named after the fateful winter tour that brought us the untimely demise of Buddy Holly and Richie Valens, Winter Dance Party is a bit of a departure from the straight-ahead punk that Pedico is typically known for. Turned down tempo and fuzzed out, reverby guitars are more of the sound on this EP, which features 8 brand new original tunes, all paying homage in one way or another to early rock and roll and the Phil Spector 60s sound. The record’s lyrics are a tableau of teenage heartbreak, after school rumbles, UFOs, and packs of Kools rolled up in shirt sleeves, exemplified in choruses like “I’ve been walking down an empty street / with Ronnie Spector on repeat.” With a tongue-in-the-cheek and a pair of brass knuckles on the fist, this record is a prelude to the evolving direction we can expect from future Pedico releases.

@addtowantlist: Dude, did you just write my post for me?

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Turn Turn Turn || New Rays From An Old Sun

The Byrds already knew it in 1965: “To everything (turn, turn, turn) // There is a season (turn, turn, turn) // And a time to every purpose, under heaven.” It was inevitable that a band would derive its moniker from that, especially if its members bonded over a mutual love of close harmony 60s and 70s country, folk and pop. That goes for Adam Levy (guitar, vocals), Savannah Smith (guitar, vocals) and Barb Brynstad (bass, vocals), veterans of the Minnesota music scene. The influences of Turn Turn Turn are clear, but the eleven new songs on their sophomore album are original, fresh and contemporary – this interpretation cannot be put into words more beautiful than its title New Rays From An Old Sun. This is swinging and uplifting Americana that embraces you with warmth. Perhaps musicians in the future will find inspiration on this LP: “Don’t run for cover everyone has got to learn // You’re lost and you misread the signs // You’re a stranger in a strange land // At the strangest time” (from opening track Stranger in a Strange Land).

New Rays From An Old Sun is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP via Simon Recordings.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Running Man || Running Man

Running Man (Rock Island, Illinois) may be a new project, but its members are scene veterans. Skip Greer (Wynona Riders, and currrent Dead Kennedys frontman) is the band vocalist, and he is joined by musicians with a history in bands like Mondo Drag, The Multiple Cat, Humans, Lord Green, Meth and Goats, and Tambourine: Jamie Warren, Chad Gooch, Dennis Hockaday, and Patrick Stolley. Their 8-song self-titled debut rocks pretty hard in old school fashion. Running Man are not necessarily a proto punk band, nor a power pop or garage band, but all of these sonic directions are present in their sound. It’s unpolished, slightly offbeat and quite original. Running Man seems to operate in the same exciting corner as The Cowboys and Class. This is definitely recommended listening if you like those bands.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Glyders || Maria’s Hunt

The cover art doesn’t give much away what to expect, but Glyders are a Chicago-based trio that turn up the heat with their neo-psychedelic Americana peppered with T. Rex influences. Their full-length debut LP Maria’s Hunt contains ten atmospheric songs, dreamy and mysterious – recorded analogue at home, classic quality. Josh Condon (vocals, guitar), Eliza Weber (bass) Joe Seger (drums) have created a wonderful album full of colorful music that could be the soundtrack of a road movie through the desert.

Maria’s Hunt is out now digitally, on cassette and vinyl LP through Country Thyme/Drag City Records. You can listen to the full album via Soundcloud and the streaming services. RILY The Stands’ All Years Leaving and The Wheels’ The Year Of The Monkey.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Drag City

New album: Traumahelikopter || Save Yourself

Exactly ten years after the release of their self-titled debut album, Dutch garage rock band Traumahelikopter is back with their fourth LP, defiantly titled Save Yourself – an indictment of selfishness. The idiosyncratic bassless trio – Mark van der Ploeg (vocals, guitar), Daan van Dalen (guitar) and Roel van Berloo (drums) – from Groningen rock city basically still does the same as back then, although a little more thoughtful and a little less boisterous, and that suits them well. The ten new songs are energetic, melodic and catchy, with appealing lyrics and strong varied guitars and vocals. Expect a kind of mix of the power pop of Shoes and the alternative rock of Jimmy Eat World, with a clear sound and a slightly melancholy vibe. Highlights on this record are Can’t Resist, Leaving On Your Own (featuring Hanna Lahaije), Please Don’t and Next Move.

Save Yourself is out now on CD and vinyl LP through Excelsior Recordings.

Add to wantlist: Discogs || Excelsior

New album: Kacimi || Couronne d’Eph​é​m​è​res

Alexis Kacimi is the owner of Le Pop Club Records, but he also writes and records music under his own (sur)name. His latest LP is Couronne d’Eph​é​m​è​res, where he joins forces with La Mécréance, a freakbeat combo from Geneva. The record starts off strongly with Monter Dans Le Ciel. The song is a psychedelic garage pop treat and a perfection entrance point to the varied bunch of songs. Kacimi et al touch many corners of ’60s and ’70s pop music on Couronne d’Eph​é​m​è​res, and offers a little bit for everyone and a lot for some. It is a seductive record that makes you bop your head, shake your hips, but also allows some quiet contemplation. It is out now on CD, Tape and vinyl through Le Pop Club.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: The Playground Bullies || Don’t Worry, She Gets Fed by Strange Men

For a moment I thought I had discovered a new cool band from New York, but a bell rang in the distance. Hadn’t I heard this music before? The Playground Bullies appears to be a new project by Max Foreign Keen from Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada), whose EP The Evangelist Forgets Her Creature At The Grocery Store we wrote about a few months ago. You can hear three of those tunes on Don’t Worry, She Gets Fed by Strange Men, but in lo-fi garage rock versions that are as raw as they are irresistible. (In my opinion even better than the originals, a good reason to share them again.) Gritty vocals, strong hooks and poetic lyrics? Check! If you are not yet convinced by the amazing opening song Raison D’Être, you will be after the ten minutes that the closing track One Less Mouth to Feed (at the Eucharist) lasts.

Don’t Worry, She Gets Fed by Strange Men is out digitally via Burner Phone Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp (Note: On Max Foreign Keen’s personal Bandcamp page you can find an EP with the demo versions, under the title I Sell My Body For Spare Parts)

New album: Neverland Ranch Davidians || Neverland Ranch Davidians

Billed as “smoldering, psychotic R’n’B like the missing link between Blues Explosion, Suicide, and Stax Records,” here’s the self-titled debut album from the Neverland Ranch Davidians. (I think we can also safely mention The Dirtbombs and The Gun Club as reference names.) That the L.A. trio mixes punk, blues, rockabilly, psych and soul doesn’t say much in itself, it’s about the who and what. We’re talking about Tex Mosley (guitar, vocals), known from The Hangmen, Will Bentley (guitar, backing vocals) and Max Hagen (drums, backing vocals), and their sound is raw, primitive, distorted and authentic. They cover Link Wray (Butts In My Beer) and Ray Charles (I Believe to My Soul) in a creditable way, but the ten original songs here are even more powerful. As far as I’m concerned, Rat Patrol and Knee On My Neck stand out, respectively a garage rock banger with doo-wop influences and a blues rocker with a message, but actually the whole record is fascinating. Those heavy guitars and screamed lyrics – breathtaking.

Neverland Ranch Davidians is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Heavy Medication Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Heavy Medication

New album: Kepi Ghoulie || Full Moon Fever

I count Kepi Ghoulie as pop punk royalty. His distinct voice, infectious enthusiasm and love for music has brought us countless memorable songs, moments and shows. He truly is a positive force in underground music. After the beloved Groovie Ghoulies called it quits, Kepi has built quite the discography as a solo artist. His latest is called Full Moon Fever, a record that started as a challenge from Slackers drummer Ara Babajian: would he, together with B-Face on bass, be interested in transforming their shared love for the darker side of rock, pop, goth, and new wave eras into a covers album? They quickly made a selection of songs by The Cure, Nick Cave, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Lou Reed, Mazzy Star, The Lords Of The New Church, and Peter Murphy. Looking at their track list, they decided that with the addition of Heroes (Bowie) and Cosmic Dancer (T-Rex), they would create a personal desert island mix tape – about the most convincing argument to include these classics.

Full Moon Fever is out now through Pirates Press Records – with artwork of Tom Neely and pressed on neon violet vinyl. It’s a covers record that stays away from parody and irony. Nor should you expect one-for-one copies of the originals. What you will get? A fun record full of tasteful renditions and lively reimaginations of well and lesser known classics – below are some of my current favorites. And if this record has gotten you excited, did you know that Pirates Press plans on reissuing several records from Kepi’s back catalogue, including several Groovie Ghoulies LP’s? Siked for that as well, but first things first. Put on Full Moon Fever and enjoy the ride.

Looking for more cover songs? Make sure to follow our monthly covers overview.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New single: CC Voltage || Berliner Pilsner

Last time we checked in with CC Voltage aka Chad Cornies, he was casually cycling his way to a studio booked by Richard Branson, who gave his band Autogramm one final opportunity to record a hit. Of course, you never put all of your money in one basket, so Cornies also has been working on a side project: a two-song single that will be out on 7″ through Spanish label Snap! Records.

While CC Voltage’s name may be on the cover in a huge font size, these two songs are by no means a solo endeavour. Cornies reached out to some (former and current) band members from The Spitfires and The Black Halos (James Solyom, Jay Milette, Rich Jones, Graham Tuson) as well as James Sullivan (More Kicks) to help him out. It sounds like they had a blast.

This resulted in two excellent sleazy, glammy and poppy rock’n’roll tracks that are multilayered and pack a punch. Title track Berliner Pilsner, referencing Cornies’ decade living in the German city, is a major hit. Flipside Bummer Party is dynamic and has an earworm chorus. Two songs that get better the louder you play them. And vice versa.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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