New EP: Joyless || Friends

Norwegian punk rockers Joyless have already garnered national acclaim in Scandinavia, and their new EP Friends has the potential to make waves across the pond, especially on the West Coast of the United States. The band’s sound—part early FIDLAR, part Jeff Burke—is sunny and perfectly poised to provide the soundtrack for your next skateboard or surf video. Joyless delivers fast, tight, and addictive songs and the Friends EP is like opening a bag of potato chips — once you take your first bite, you’ll devour the whole bag before you know it.

Cassette out now on Vestkyst Records.

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New album: Guppy || Something is Happening​.​.​.

“Hey audience here comes the show // Your favorite band that no one knows // And I’m just hoping we don’t choke // Yeah I’m just hoping we don’t choke.” Los Angeles-based mall rock band Guppy makes it clear that we still shouldn’t see them as a big fish. Although with Something is Happening​.​.​. they have released their fourth full-length album, two years after the very nice Big Man Says Slappydoo LP, their sound is still as idiosyncratic and infectious as before. The attractive garage pop of J Lebow (guitar, vocals, keys, percussion), Marc Babcock (bass, vocals, keys, guitar), Ian Cohen (drums, vocals, keys, percussion) and new band member Kabir Kumar (guitar, vocals, keys, percussion) may seem a little less exuberant (or more mature), but lyrics like “I ate my own homework // The dog made me do it” and “I’m digging up worms // I’m taking them to church” will still bring a smile to both old and young.

Something is Happening​.​.​. is out now digitally and on vinyl LP trough Lauren Records. Also featuring Sarah Tudzin (keys, vocals), who produced and engineered the record. Tyler English (pedal steel) and Deana Kiner (flute) guest on selected tracks.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Lauren

New album: Bermuda Squares || Outsider

Minneapolis musicians from bands like Sinks, Neo Neos, Citric Dummies, Color TV, Green/Blue, Retainers, Dummy, The Soviettes, IV, and Awesome Snakes have teamed up for a record that’s been picked up by Feel It Records, the planet’s premiere purveyor of edgy garage and punk records. Talk about the perfect breeding ground for an amazing record! This is one of those instances where you don’t need to sample the music to know you’re going to love it.

Head to your local record store asap, grab the Outsider LP, and set that monster spinning on your turntable. From start to finish, this is garage pop punk excellence. Imagine throwing the Ramones, Hüsker Dü and Marked Men into a blender, tossing in some nails, bolts, and screws, and hitting the highest speed. The result? Fuzzy, catchy tunes with a raw, unpolished edge. It’s superficially moronic by design yet brilliantly constructed, reveling in its gritty, glorious chaos.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Feel It

New album: Crumbs || You’re Just Jealous

Crumbs are an irresistible indie-pop-mixed-with-post-punk band from Leeds, UK, featuring Ruth Gilmore (vocals), Stuart Alexander (guitar), Jamie Wilson (bass) and songwriter Gem Prout (drums). Their 2017 debut LP Mind Yr Manners (on Everything Sucks) finally gets a successor with You’re Just Jealous (on Skep Wax). Above all, these twelve new songs are bursting with motivation and expressiveness – the meters that indicate the energy level go way into the red. The guitar riffs are urgent but melodic, the rhythm section is unstoppable but tight, the vocals are charismatic but infectious. Breathtaking.

You’re Just Jealous is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP, through Skep Wax Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Skep Wax

New album: Memo PST || Memo PST

Chris Shaw (Ex-Cult, GØGGS) and Orville Neeley (Bad Sports, OBN III’s) started Memo PST in 2022 and already recorded their debut LP last May in a handful of days in the studio of the John Dwyer and Eric Bauer owned Discount Mirrors studio. Twelve months later we can hear the result on a 12-song self-titled debut LP courtesy of In The Red Records.

What stands out from the get-go is how loud this self-titled debut is. I guess you could call it a punk record, particularly in attitude and vocal delivery. But to my ears, Memo PST is, at its core, a rock record. It’s hard-rocking and primal, with standout guitar work that harks back to Neeley’s OBN III’s roots. Neeley wrote the songs, Shaw sings them and penned the lyrics, creating a powerful dynamic duo. At times, Memo PST sounds like America’s answer to Split System (Australia). Both bands feature a barking vocalist paired with killer guitar riffs and a tight rhythm section. Memo PST doesn’t quite match the frenetic pace of Split System though. But it’s not a competition, and a couple of exceptions aside, Memo PST proves you don’t need speed to make your speakers—or your local venue—explode. Just watch this awesome performance on HLPtv by the band.

The record is not on Bandcamp right now, but streaming everywhere. Suggested sample tracks: Dog Meds, Platform Damage (video below), Night Circuit.

Add to wantlist: In The Red || Discogs

New album: Goblyns || Hunki Bobo

Goblyns are a psych-groove trio featuring Giovanni Votano, Liam Broek and Francis Broek, hailing from Berlin and Amsterdam. They now follow up last year’s This is Spaghettification EP with their full-length debut album Hunki Bobo, influenced by both the past (CAN, The Meters) and the present (Khruangbin, The Budos Band). It concerns eight instrumental tracks in which a mix of raw psychedelic rock and dreamy Afrofunk is sprinkled with a spicy spaghetti western sauce. The ideas for the tunes come from a feeling rather than a concept or story, but I envision a coarse-grained technicolor film in split-screen, with an exciting chase scene on one side and close-ups of the protagonists in slow motion on the other. This record is sunny, cinematic and accessible, undoubtedly the soundtrack for quite a few holidaymakers this summer.

Hunki Bobo, recorded & mixed by André Leo, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP, through Crazysane Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: The Cords || Bo’s New Haircut / Rather Not Stay

Ready for some charming and catchy C86 coolness? On the lookout for something new and twee? Meet The Cords from Scotland aka the sister duo Eva and Grace Tedeschi who, based on this two-song single they just dropped, seemed destined to become the next indie pop darlings from the Glasgow music scene. I, for one, can’t seem to stop playing it.

Cassingle out now through Heavenly Creature Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Ahem || Avoider

Hooks, harmonies and healing. That’s what Minneapolis-based trio Ahem blasts from the speakers via their new full-length album Avoider, which is released five years after their debut LP Try Again. In 25 electrifying minutes, Erik Anderson (guitar, vocals), Courtney Berndt (bass) and Alyse Emanuel (drums, vocals) serve us ten original songs in which power pop and alternative rock blend together. The beautiful cover art, by Alexis Politz, is darker than the sound of this record. The beautiful cover art, by Alexis Politz, is certainly darker than the energizing sound of this record. Just listen to standout track Better and try not to nod along in approval and enjoyment.

Avoider is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Forged Artifacts.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Los Recuerdos || Pop Mesetario

Madrid’s Los Recuerdos made an instant impact with their debut EP in 2021, showcasing an energetic, ramshackle, jangly power pop sound that immediately caught my ear. Their sophomore EP in 2022 saw the band tighten up their sound, adding some very welcome Undertones-esque pop punk vibes. So, where are Los Recuerdos at in 2024?

For one, their new release, the Pop Mesetario EP is their longest release yet, nearly doubling their songbook. The ambition shines through in the songwriting, making this arguably the broadest the band has sounded. Opener Escondite Inglés is a Latin-influenced indie rock track reminiscent of The Walkmen’s Lisbon era. Slow-moving and brooding, it’s an atypical song for the band, but it works well as a starting point for the next trio of songs. The standouts and extremely fun Rápido, Quiero Quiero, and Ataque Relámpago, three energetic songs that surely will get listeners moving. The first two are concise garage poppers, while the third sees Los Recuerdos succesfully incorporating soul influences.

Closer Hay Algo en el Acohol is the closest Los Recuerdos come to power pop on Pop Mesetario. But while I inititally placed Los Recuerdos in the power pop folder, they are blossoming in a band that has more tricks up its sleeve, constantly challenges themselves and refuses to rest on their laurels. If they aren’t already on your bands-to-watch-out-for list, make sure to keep an eye out!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Zero Point Energy || Tilted Planet

Zero Point Energy, or ZPE for short, are Genesis Edenfield and Ben Jackson, previously playing at Atlanta’s Warehouse, now based in Brooklyn, New York. Their debut album Tilted Planet contains twelve dynamic songs that raise questions about the self and its resilience, songs that come across as so mature, well thought out and convincing that they probably came to fruition over a longer period of time. This is compelling indie rock in which wholehearted vocals paint an affecting landscape, and jangly guitars don’t shy away from complex structures. Far above the energy level that the band name suggests.

Tilted Planet, recorded with engineer Matt Labozza, is out now digitally, on cassette, CD and vinyl LP, through Danger Collective Records. Also featuring Jimmy Sullivan (bass) and Nick Corbo (drums).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Danger Collective

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