New album: Jonah Gold And His Silver Apples || Spread The Disease

If there’s one man in the Dutch music scene to keep an eye on, it’s Arjan Spies. We know him from The Kik, Combo Koedijk, Les Robots, The Kryng, and Fleur, but apparently he also found time to record Spread The Disease, the new (second) album of Jonah Gold and his Silver Apples. Another nice one. The German four-piece plays raw and catchy garage punk the way garage punk is meant to be; 12 songs that sound like they were made in the 60s heyday, that wouldn’t have been out of place on the Back From The Grave compilations. With the difference that these are new originals from Dimitriou, Jackson, Lamp, and Runge. Despite the bandname this isn’t sweet fruit, but for the hipshakers who like heavier stuff.

Stream the full album below.

Out now on cassette through Harry Records. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp (digital version)

New album: The Mindreaders || Continuation

When Bruce Brand and Eric Goulden had left the Len Bright Combo, Russell Wilkins (vocals / guitar) along with Richard Ipaint (vocals / drums) and Sexton Ming (vocals / guitar) continued as The Mindreaders. With a borrowed drum kit, a Vox Defiant, a Framus Nashville and a Les Paul copy, the trio recorded Ban The Mindreader, which was released in 1987. Fast forward 30+ years, the three band members not only found each other again, but also the fun of playing together. After a few gigs, they convened in a garage in Scotland, and recorded 20+ new songs onto a Tascam 8 track, 1/2” recorder. Eleven of those recordings have now been collected on Continuation, an album that is surprisingly good (compare it to Billy Childish at his peaks). Multidimensional garage rock with a punk attitude, full of good ideas, smart melodies and heavy guitars, varied and captivating. So cool that musicians like this follow their hearts and keep making great music!

Out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Spinout Nuggets.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Spinout

New album: Catbite || Nice One

After the first seconds it is already clear that this album lives up to its title. Nice One is the sophomore, well-produced full-length by American four-piece ska / power pop band Catbite. Ten catchy songs driven by energetic guitars, groovy drums, effective keys and cool vocals, in which saxophone, trombone, trumpet and handclaps provide extra fun. For fans of Rancid, The Specials, The Selecter. Watch the video for standout track Call Your Bluff.  Great one!

Stream the full album below.

Out digitally and on vinyl LP through Bad Time Records. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: Alex Rex || Paradise

UK singer/drummer Alex Neilson has played with Trembling Bells, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Shirley Collins and Current 93, and under his solo moniker Alex Rex he has now released his fourth full-length. Paradise is a good one, with 13 psych-folk songs of life, love and loss. Musically it goes in all directions, but Neilson’s versatile gritty voice keeps things together. This LP is an Eldorado for music lovers who like to name influences and genres. For example, watch the video for one of the standout tracks, What’s Shouted In The Dark (The Dark Shouts Back), which lyrically nods to New York Dolls and Nick Lowe.

Stream the full album below.

Out digitally and on vinyl LP through Neolithic Recordings. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Juleah || Stoked On Planet Summer

Back at my laptop after a three-week vacation, I work my way through a huge pile of new music that came out during this period. The first great find, the fourth album by Austria’s one-woman band Juleah aka Julia H. (Julia Hummer), is aptly titled Stoked On Planet Summer. These are ten psychedelic pop songs, bright but atmospheric, with hints of surf rock and jangle pop. These are songs that will make you dream away to better places: “If life granted me a wish // I’d say // Stay forever like this // Forever like this.” These are songs with captivating melodies and shimmering guitars, with hooks and sounds that keep you on your toes while you laze around. This is a watercolor cocktail with flashy fruit for a bite. Thanks to Juleah I’m still holding on to my holiday feeling.

Out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Little Cloud Records (US) and Konkord (elsewhere).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Vacation || Existential Risks And Returns

It’s summer, and as you may have noticed, we will be posting less frequently this month. What better band to do a post about than Vacation? The Cincinatti (Ohio) indiepunkers have been quite prolific in the past, with their Southern Grass double album in 2017 as their most ambitious project, but their new album is their first in three years. Like on their previous records, expect a catchy and energetic blend of punkrock, powerpop, grunge and GBV-fi – the band self-describes as grit pop. I’ve always enjoyed this band’s records. One of Vacation’s strengths is that they know how to balance between more noisy experimental songs, and really infectious and hooky pop songs. Existential Risks And Returns is no exception. Stand out tracks for me are Colored By Numbers, Luminary Jerry, and Quantum Cafe, but from past experiences, I already predict that’s subject to change.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: The Umbrellas || The Umbrellas

It’s a good thing music is not a competition, because right now there is a staggering amount of frontrunners in the indie and jangle pop field. After a slow start to the year, we had top notch releases from bands like Massage, The Telephone Numbers, The Laughing Chimes, Quivers, Holiday Ghosts and many others. Add The Umbrellas to this list, because they just released a magnificent self-titled debut LP on the ever reliable Slumberland Records. Of all before mentioned bands, The Umbrellas arguably is the most twee. Fans of Sarah Records and bands like Comet Gain, Tullycraft and The Pastels likely will embrace The Umbrellas within ten seconds of album opener Lonely. Despite the dark undertones of the lyrics, this is feel good music. The Umbrellas’ music is made for summer, even when it’s raining.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Animal Steel || A Surefire Way To Get Sober

Here is an example of how the artwork drew me in, and the music made me stay. A Surefire Way To Get Sober may be The Animal Steel’s debut album, but its members have been playing music since the ’90s. Unburdened by a need to be cool – they are dads nowadays, the record is simply a product of true passion and love. From the first couple of songs it’s clear that approach pays off for the band. They play a heartfelt blue-collar kind of punkrock that incorporates elements of emocore (think Boysetsfire) and orgcore (somewehere between Iron Chic and The Ship Thieves). Good music, good artwork, nice vinyl color. There are worse, much worse ways to spend your money.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: The Onesies || Sub-Urbia I

When I use a word like eclectic or mention that I’m intrigued by a band’s sound, it usually means I like the music but I don’t really understand it nor have the words to explain it. Both terms apply to Sub-Urbia I, the new (first) album by Charlotte (Carolina) band The Onesies. The band plays an experimental form of sunshine and jangle pop. Their songs sound like they cut cool parts from different songs by different bands, put them in a blender, and pasted them back together in short songs – the album is only 18 minutes long. There are no clear endings to most of their songs and often it’s like they skip all introduction and start somewhere in the middle. The result is a sound that is within a triangle of The Byrds, Beach Boys and Guided By Voices. Yeah, I’d call this electic and I AM definitely intrigued!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Dave Strong || Little Girl/I Would

Best known for his work in The Guts and as a contributor to releases by Palmer and Tommy And The Rockets and many others, here’s Dave Strong’s first solo single. And let me add DIY to solo: Strong basically did everything himself on this single, with his daughter Kyra on backing vocals. Both songs are very catchy and have a strong Leftovers/Kurt Baker vibe. Little Girl is a pop punk hit from the get-go, whereas flipside I Would is more restrained and classic powerpop oriented. It’s a strong first outing which make me curious about the next songs Strong will put out – He already has plans to follow up the single with an EP.

Remember how Geoff Palmer a couple of years ago was putting out a new song every couple of weeks just for fun? And how these songs ultimately culminated into his great solo debut Pulling Out All The Stops? I am kinda hoping his buddy Dave Strong will have a similar trajectory.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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