New album: The Airport 77s || Rotation

Although they occasionally dress as such, the Airport 77s are not airline pilots, but they play their guitars and drums with enough energy to take flight. Bassist Chuck Dolan, drummer John Kelly, and guitarist Andy Sullivan came together over a shared love of obscure 1970s power pop, so not surprising that they cover Bram Tchaikovsky’s Girl Of My Dreams on their self-produced debut album Rotation. The other seven tracks are own work, a selection from the slowly but surely built up repertoire of more than 100 songs, just as good (according to the band bio, the premise was that “the original material had to be good enough to follow Jessie’s Girl in the set”). The music is power pop like power pop is meant to be, but the lyrics really bring a smile to your face – just listen to (When You’re Kissing On Me Do You Think Of) James McAvoy, an ode to the Scottish actor: (“If Coldplay was his jam / Would you say they’re your favorite band? / It’s like you don’t give a damn about human dignity.”)

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New EP: Fletcher || Frog EP

Fletcher is an American indie rock band consisting of four best friends. Their joint Spotify playlist features Real Estate, Magic Potion, Mac DeMarco, Vacations, Her’s, Peach Pit, boy pablo and Good Morning – credible influences. But the young multi-instrumentalists themselves offer a valuable addition to the jangle / slacker pop genre with their Frog EP released today. From the first notes of the great track 2005 VW Passat you will be grabbed and they will not let you go until last song Hannah’s Ford ends.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New Album: Hjelle || Det Måste Inte Vara Så Här

Hjelle is the singer for Swedish pubpunkband extraordinaire Bäddat För Trubbel. Det Måste Inte Vara Så Här (It Must Not Be Like This) is his third solorecord. It was released last month by the Swedish Ken Rock Label, but only just arrived on Spotify which is how I discovered its existence. The record consists of 15 short and sweet lo-fi tunes that border between pubrock and rock’n’roll with the occasional and very welcome sax-solo. If you like Bäddat För Trubbel, I am pretty sure you’ll dig this as well.

Add to wantlist: Discogs ||

New compilation: Various Artists || Fakes

I’ve always had a weak spot for cover compilations, particularly when the originals are classics and the recreations sound faster, angrier of weirder. So thank you, Drunk Dial Records for asking some of today’s best punk and garage acts to cover their favorite song of fictional artists from movies and tv shows. The result is a highly entertaining compilation. What about Pavid Vermin covering The Beets from ’90’s cartoon Doug? Or Jiffy Marx & kcar doing a delightfully weird version of Sugar Sugar? Or Berwanger doing Welcome to the Dollhouse? What about Careful making this Mitch & Mickey song actually sound good? And bless Charlie Continental for changing Wet Wet Wet’s Love is all Around into Covid’s All Around (“there was a start, there will be an end”). Though I hope this will ultimately get a physical release, it’s currently digital only. There are worse ways to spend $5. And if you need any further encouragement, all proceeds will be divided between the bands and four charities.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Overlooked single: The Sound Station || The Sound Station

Thanx to the ever prolific bandcamp label Kafadan Kontak, I came across this killer single by LA garage rnr band The Sound Station. These two songs were part of a split single with The Creepy Crawlies released by Outro Records in 2020. Wanna know why this single is currently at the top of my wantlist? Just check out Give Your Lovin’ To Me.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: The GTO’s || ¡No Están Muertos!

The GTO’s are from Spain and play fast bubblegum poppunk in the vein of Screeching Weasel and The Queers. This type of music is made for summer, but I don’t mind at all that the band released their new record ¡No Están Muertos! in the middle of winter. The songs are catchy, the music is tight and the record injects a welcome burst of energy into my brain. Great album cover as well, which, if I am not mistaken, is taken from a Jack Kirby horror comic.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: The Vapour Trails || Underneath Tomorrow

The Scottish five-peace The Vapour Trails have released a mini album with seven new songs. As in their previous work, on Underneath Tomorrow you hear chiming guitars and beautiful harmonies again (the alternative jangle / pop / psych / rock band is influenced by The Byrds, Teenage Fanclub and 90’s Brit stuff). Give it a listen below. A CD and digital album are out now through Futureman Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New reissue: The Paragons || Abba / Better Man Than I

In 1966 The Paragons recorded the ebullient, melodic, infectious, and danceable song Abba (no, it’s not about the Swedish pop group ABBA). At the time it wasn’t a national (or international) hit, but it’s now seen as one of the best garage rock classics. The track is still played by DJs with taste, and countless bands have covered it (The Satelliters, The Cynics, The Rosalyns, The Madd, etc.). For a copy of the original 45 you have to pay a ridiculously high amount, but the German independent music label Altercat comes to the rescue with the first official reissue of the 7″, an affordable one. The single comes with a 12-page info booklet with liner notes and previously unseen pictures.

Add to wantlist: Altercat || Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: Subsonic Eye || Nature Of Things

Straight from Singapore comes a new Subsonic Eye record. Nature Of Things is their third full-length, but I don’t recall listening to their previous work. The new one has my full attention though. It’s a diverse record. The kind that draws you in upon first listen, but leaves plenty to discover. The guitar work and vocals are particularly strong in the sound of the band, which balances between indie rock and indiepop – Snail Mail comes to mind in several songs. Standout tracks are Fruitcake, Further, Spiral and Unearth (video below).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Fastcut Records

New EP: Drens || Live at Eurosonic 2021

Despite the corona pandemic, showcase festival Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) has not been canceled this year. Understandably not as usual live with an audience in Groningen, the Netherlands, but online short performances by around 350 European artists can be streamed online these days. Yesterday Drens provided one of the most fun concerts, which can be viewed below. The surf punk four-piece from Dortmund played two songs from their EP Pet Peeves and their new single M vs. D. The show was also released today as a digital album (name your price download). Can’t wait to see some real live shows again, but for now this is a commendable alternative.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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