New album: Band of Young Saints || Misadventure

Misadventure, the new album by Band of Young Saints (B.O.Y.S.) from Brooklyn (NY), is a welcome surprise. The cover art caught my eye, the music wouldn’t let me go. The four band members look cool, and that’s how they sound. A lot happens in the seven uptempo songs, the instruments challenge each other but are in balance, the vocals are exciting. Very nice.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Ratboys || More Songs About Girls And Heartaches

‘They sing Everybody Loves The Ramones and this Belgian rock band clearly does that too’ – that’s what I wrote about The Ratboys’ Click in my music year-end list of 2020. Now here’s the follow-up with the title More Songs About Girls And Heartaches, and that is an equally striking description. More fun it is: twelve straightforward power pop / punk rock tunes, including two covers: Talkin ‘in your Sleep (The Romantics) and Zero Hour (The Plimsouls).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: S:Bahn || Queen Of Diamonds

Can you still call it a sophomore album when there is a 25 year gap between a band’s debut and second full-length? I am not sure, but I am glad that Melbourne based indie rock band S:Bahn came out of a long hibernation. The band’s second record sounds varied and inspired and is called Queen of Diamonds. Songs like Sync or Swim and We Move will appeal to fans of the postpunk of Fontaines D.C and Ought, whereas songs like Exhaustion, The Tide That Pulls Me Away From You (my personal favorite ) and Pulse are more melodic and straightforward indie rock. Vinyl orders available through Polaks Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Boogie Beasts || Bring It On

Sometimes you just want to let good electric Delta blues blare from your speakers, right? If you want to hear something different than the classics of John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, R.L. Burnside or The Black Keys, if you want to discover something new, Belgium is probably not the first country that comes to mind. But check out the new single from Boogie Beasts. These four Belgians know how to hurt their guitars, drums and harmonica. Ooh ooh!

Add to wantlist: NAKED

New single: Genevieve & Hemmy || Last One For The Road

The photos stand out on the website of Genevieve & Hemmy.  Two travelin’ street musicians, two guitars, one kickdrum, one open guitar case with a cardboard note (“anything helps”), two dogs. The three songs that make up The last One For The Road EP sound nothing like those from their previous act, the loud grunge/blues outfit Beneath Trees. These days, Genevieve & Hemmy opt for a garage take on folkrock. Usually, I am not that into folkrock, but the band incorporates a variety of influences that make this a compelling EP. The opener is the most rocking song on the EP, with an organ giving the song a seventies rock vibe. Stillness, the second track, is a well executed jangle pop song; it’s my favorite track. And finally, Sisters is a tad slower, more dreamy. G & H’s music is inspired by travel, love, nature & spirit. I look forward to find out where Genevieve & Hemmy are off to next.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Alternative Radio || To Hell In A Handbasket

The band members themselves say that Alternative Radio looks back at the past to look to the future and returns to the primitive punk rock and roll of the 70’s and early 80’s. The likeable Milwaukee duo take off where the local scene left off at the time, taking cue from bands like Oil Tasters, Couch Flambeau, and The Haskels. A revival that I can appreciate, especially because they do it quite well: powerful short songs with effective guitar and drum playing – I particularly enjoy the added piano – and sung raw as it should be. Just listen to Alternative Radio’s debut album To Hell in a Handbasket for yourself.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: The Reytons || May Seriously Harm You and Others Around You

The Reytons will have heard the comparison with that other band from South Yorkshire (UK) too often, but the music that that other band made 15 years ago they don’t make anymore and there is still a need for it. So good news that the “right ones” are here, even better news that they have released a new EP – good album title, good cover photo, good songs. Let’s hope we can see them live soon, so that we can roar along: ‘Tie up your laces, this city is ours!’

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || The Reytons Shop

New album: Quality Used Cars || Good Days/Bad Days

Musician / singer / songwriter Francis Tait has been part of the Melbourne music scene for a while. The combination of soul, jazz, blues, disco, psychedelica and surf rock with which he has been involved over the years, you will not hear on his debut solo album Good Days/Bad Days, under the moniker Quality Used Cars. The versatile experience pays off, but the emphasis is now more on the songwriting process that he has been shaping in the background all this time, successfully. In the ten captivating songs on the record, Francis’ storytelling takes you to other places, half spoken / half sung with his idiosyncratic voice, accompanied by jangly indie / folk rock. Listen below to To Wendy Love Steve, my favorite track from the LP.

Out now through Spoilsport Records. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Spires || Era Was

The Spires are from California. They play timeless guitar pop that is pleasant to the ears, soul and mind. Era was, I believe, is the band’s fifth full-length, which “started off as a full band live record then ended up a bedroom headphone jammer.” Recommended if you like your indie rock understated, subtle, and well executed.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Noah C Lekas || Sounds From The Shadow Factory

Now this is an impressive release, which you can rightly call art. Noah C. Lekas is an American writer / musician, and the author of Saturday Night Sage, a collection of poetry about mysticism and menial labor, drawing inspiration from Jack Kerouac, Patti Smith, Bob Kaufman and Nick Cave. These poems turn out to be a great combination with rock music, as you can hear on the mini-album Sounds from the Shadow Factory. Very good beat poetry in my opinion (“It’s jazz for the mind // It’s blues for the soul”, as spoken in the track Out of the Storm Drains), very cool in every way. Not only the music and lyrics are impressive, so is the accompanying video for Saturday Night Sage (with Howlin’Rain and Garcia Peoples’ Pat Gubler) by Shelby Baldock with artwork by Alan Forbes – watch below. The EP is out now through Blind Owl, on limited edition 10″ vinyl or CD, including the book.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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