New EP: Los Traiciones || Express

Please meet Los Traiciones, a cool looking four-piece from Buenos Aires (Argentina) that plays energetic power pop which will appeal to fans of Black Lips, Bee Bee Sea, The Parrots, etc. They have now released the (digital) EP Express, with three guitar-driven hits with a lot of who-oh’s that you can sing along to right away, even if you don’t speak the language. What a great discovery!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Mark Murphy And The Meds || Crest Of A Different Wave

“Hey, have you heard Mark Murphy’s latest project yet?” In a different world, this question would lead to excitement and curiosity. In the real world, I am getting blank stares. Which is a pity, because Mark Murphy is a master in churning melodic pop punk tunes and his batting average is well above the mean. Murphy’s previous bands include The No Marks, Crocodile God and Hey Maxine. His latest project is Mark Murphy And The Meds. Crest Of A Different Wave is the band’s debut EP. It features the kind of pop punk that would have fit on the ’90s roster of Fat Wreck but also on Lookout! Records, which I believe is somewhat rare and pretty cool. My favorite song on the EP is Cider, a perfectly constructed punk anthem of two minutes that staples reward on reward. Keep an eye out for a full-length record later in the year!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Teenage X || The Point Of Everything

If I had to do an one word review of the new self-titled EP by Canadian powerpop band Teenage X it would be HOOKS! Or HITS! Teenage X create the kind of massively catchy and well produced punk infused powerpop songs that would have been radio hits in a different era. It’s a glorious return by the Toronto band who’s been together for almost 14 years, but hasn’t released new music since 2013. In fact, according to the band’s Facebook page, they started recording this EP in 2019 and finished it right at the start of the pandemic. Anyhow, The Point Of Everything was worth the wait. Let’s hope, it’s a sign of more to come.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

“New” EP: X Ray Cat Trio & Harriet Hyde || Bubblegum

Originally released on a 7″ late 2020 on Buzzard’s Claw Records, it took me a tape reissue by Belgian label Nosebleed Records to discover this gem of a single by X Ray Cat Trio & Harriet Hyde. X Ray Cat Trio are a surf-punk-rnr-rockabilly-doowop hybrid from Leeds. They team up with fellow Loiner Harriet Hyde (Black Moth). If we can get Hyde to permanently join X Ray Cat Trio, I would be all for it (with the obvious name change of course), because it’s a winning combination. Only One and Chainsmoke are straight up Shannon And The Clams material, whereas Bubblegum is an instant garage pop classic. I want more of this authentic throwback to the ’50s and ’60s!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: Patty PerShayla & The Mayhaps || Cheap Diction

Singer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist Patty PerShayla has a beautiful name, but more importantly, she has a great powerful voice that she knows how to use in the right raw way. After her solo EP Oracle Bones (2019) and many cover requests, she has now released the full length debut album Cheap Diction, together with guitarist Lucas Powell and drummer Alec Klinefelter. Here the power trio plays ten energetic songs, inspired by blues and classic / progressive rock, with a nostalgic feel (there are even guitar solos) but completely contemporary in terms of lyrics and sound. “I’ll lose my balance if I // Tiptoe around your feelings // You might have the floor, sure // But I’m dancing on the ceiling”, PerShayla sings on opening track Walking on My Hands. Like I’m upside down from this music.

Out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Gimme 5! Nakia & Simon Black (The Sound Station) Share 5 Must Own Records

Photo by Rachel Yas

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.

Here is a love story. Two strangers coincidentally end up in the same apartment building in Atlanta. They are introduced by a mutual friend who invites them to jam and rock out together. They instantly bond and become best buddies over a shared love for Velvet Underground, The Stooges, Love with Arthur Lee, Howlin Wolf, T. Rex, We Five, The Beach Boys, Captain Beefheart and many many others. They both recognize they are falling in love, but don’t want to mess up their good musical chemistry. Those two strangers are Nakia and Simon Black, who ultimately decided to take that leap anyway. To this day, they have zero regrets.

What about that musical chemistry in Nakia and Simon’s band The Sound Station? As evidenced by their two songs on a  2020 split single for Outro Records, it never left. Give Your Lovin’ To Me is an absolute blast, and Things Will Never Be The Same is another killer track. Kafadan Kontak picked up the two songs to promote it online, and the band received rave reviews. The songs of Sound Station are the kind of nuggets you’d expect on your favorite greasy garage rock-‘n’-roll compilation. Fortunately, a new Sound Station record is in the making.  “We’re going back to the Jazzcats studio with Jonny Bell to record an album’s worth of material. In the meantime, this summer, we are releasing 3 previously recorded early versions of our songs to streaming platforms that we will re-record for the album release,” Nakia explains. The first of that trilogy has just been put online. It’s called Down To The City and is a teaser of good things to come. [post continues below]

New album: The Planes || Eternity On Its Edge

Certain styles of music occupy a constant spot in the music world: never going out of style, but always at a safe distance from becoming the latest fad. That spot is exactly where The Planes operates on their new record Eternity On Its Edge. The trio from New York play catchy straightforward indie rock that is neither complex nor simplistic. The vocals are hushed and understated, the guitar work drive these songs to their destination unafraid to take some jangly sidetours, and the drums are tight and upbeat.  On Eternity On Its Edge, The Planes leave it up to you how much attention you’d like to spend on their music. Regardless of whether you’re playing it as a backdrop to your workday, play it loud in your car or or carefully take it all in with the lyric sheet, it all seems to work. RIYL: Knapsack, The Jealous Sound, The Magnolias and Eric Richter post-Christie Front Drive (The 101, Golden City).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Dany Laj And The Looks || Ten Easy Pieces

It’s the NHL playoffs and when I noticed Dany Laj rooting for the Habs aka the Montreal Canadiens, I had this voice in my head saying “I am definitely not writing about this dude’s new record.” You see, I support the historical rivals of the Habs, and am basically programmed to hate anything Habs related. But then I actually listened to Laj’s new record, and suddenly that sports rivalry felt kinda petty and trivial.

Ten Easy Pieces, out now on We Are Busy Bodies, is Laj’s third record with The Looks and his very best yet. It’s a well chosen title, because the music is an highly accessible mix of different forms of upbeat pop, including powerpop, ’60s, Paisley Underground and even some country influences. Ten Easy Pieces is a sympathetic and carefree record full of hook filled and punchy sunshine pop that evoke images of some of the best music of the sixties, seventies, eighties. The videos provide some old school entertainment as well – watch You & Me, and one of my favorite tracks on the record; Don’t Keep Me Guessin’.

So congrats Dany Laj on a great record. And on the Habs making it to the Semi-Finals whereas my team got beat by the freakin’ Islanders. Okay, gonna watch this video of the Bruins beating the Habs in Game 7 overtime on repeat now.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: Quivers || Golden Doubt

It’s perfect timing when a pre-ordered album arrives on the day of its release. It’s even better when you discover that the full album exceeds the high expectations raised by the previously released singles. Truly, Golden Doubt by Melbourne jangle masters Quivers is quite the achievement. Musically, this is beautiful indie pop, with great harmonies and group vocals. All of the best qualities of Quivers are on full display in Gutters Of Love, and that is only the first song on the record. It’s the kind of song that starts slowly and keeps building up tension ultimately ending in cathartic release. It’s the ultimate show closer that will leave  audiences elated and with goosebumps.

To fully appreciate Golden Doubt, note that the band describes it as “life-damaged but hopeful jangle pop”. It is a record born out of grief – two band members lost their brothers. But the record is also an appreciation of how friends, music and the occasional laugh can help us get through even the darkest times.  Quivers will break your heart with their songs but also mend it, putting the pieces back together one at a time. For example, listen to songs like Nostalgia Will Kill You (“It’s a poisonous dart / It will slow you down / If it reaches your heart”) and You’re Not Always On My Mind (“Just mostly all the time / And I miss you”). Golden Doubt is a gorgeous record that is given me the feels. Get it now at Ba Da Bing (US), Bobo Integral (Europe) & Spunk Records (Australia).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: Die Mädchen || Wenn die Gesellschaft​.​.​.

To be honest, I don’t really speak the German language, but sometimes it adds a dimension to music. For example, imho David Bowie’s Heroes gained eloquence when he performed it in German (“Und wir sind dann Helden // Für einen Tag”). That said, I don’t understand most of what Die Mädchen (translated: the girls) sing and shout on their album Wenn die Gesellschaft​.​.​. (translated: ‘when the company…’), but it does get to me. The mysterious punk / krautrock / electronic artist group from Düsseldorf is inspired by the music of Kraftwerk, NEU! and CAN, but they translated that into an original sound of their own. Electronic noise isn’t necessarily a bad thing, when it’s blended so well with strong guitar, organ and drums structures and fascinating vocals. These eight songs are about solidarity, empathy, freedom and education – this is political rock that wants to change society. Die Mädchen in the role of heroes?

Out now digitally and on vinyl LP. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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