With 12 songs in roughly 26 minutes, songs about girls and more songs about girls, Toronto’s First Base are a pop punk band in every way. After releasing several singles and EPs over the past few years, First Base has finally released their debut self-titled LP with Hozac Records. Check out “You Can Come Over” (below), it’s pure teeth rotting candy for your ears. Snag yourself a copy now. Enjoy.
The dense, lo-fi, garage rock of Chicago’s Heavy Times has had me captivated for the past several days. Their recently released 3rd LP, Fix It Alone out on Hozac Records, is an 18 songs in 33 minutes frenzy of jangly garage rock, heavy fuzzed-out lo-fi and in your face punk rock that will leave you exhausted and wanting more. Check out the :41 second blast of “Future Creeps” along with the fuzzed out “In My Sleep” below, both songs are killer and represent the album well. Head over to Hozac’s site and snag you a copy before they are gone, I highly recommend it. Enjoy.
North Carolina’s all female garage punk band Barren Girls formed back in 2011. After catching the eyes and ears of Merge Records at a show back in September, they recorded this 4-song EP in their cotton mill practice space. The EP blows by at pretty scorching speeds, with only one song clocking in at over 3 minutes. Alter Ego (below) is the shortest song on the EP, it’s also the most powerful. It’s short blast of strained vocals and hi-energy music sounds like the bands rhythm section is in an all-out race to the finish with guitarist/vocalist Carla Wolff. You will definitely need to catch your breath when it’s over. Enjoy.
Orange County’s The Lovely Bad Things are right up my alley. They play infectious, hook-driven garage rock, sounding like a mixture of The Soviettes, Pretty Girls Make Graves and The Pixies. They also appeal to the geek in me by referencing Star Wars and Macho Man Randy Savage on three of their song titles. They even have an image of Bigfoot on the album cover.
The Pixies influence is strong on “Fried Eyes” (below) with spoken-word vocals and the laid-back, Kim Deal bass line. “Hear or Anywhere” (also below) the opening track from their new album, The Late Great Whatever, starts the album off right with sugar-sweet female vocals and pounding drums. The Late Great Whatever is out now on Volcom. For all of the analog lovers out there you can get this on cassette as well from Burger Records.
I think it’s pretty obvious from a lot of my posts, that I have a fondness for anything punk rock. Cocktails are no exception. This San Francisco quartet’s just released, self-titled EP with Father Daughter Records, pulls at all my strings, with it’s power-pop, hook-filled, super catchy 4 songs in 11 minutes formula. Check out the hooky, suger-sweet melodies on opening track, “No Blondes (In California)” (below) to see what I mean. It’s sure to get you out of your seat. You might even find yourself shaking things you didn’t know you could shake, at least that’s what I’ve been doing while listening to it. Head over to Father/Daughter’s site and snag you a copy of the EP before they are gone.
Nothing beats an old comfortable chair. You can sit in other chairs and they’ll treat you right, but you always go back to the comfortable one. I have a chair like this in my house. It’s way old, a bit tattered, and you can feel a couple of the springs when you sit in it, but man, when you need to relax it always does the trick. Punk rock is like the old comfortable chair. I can go far away from it, listening to music on the opposite end of the spectrum, but when I hear a good punk rock song, it’s like being back in the comfortable chair. When I heard Low Culture for the first time today, I was back in the comfortable chair. Low Culture just released their debut LP (vinyl only for now) Screens on Dirtnap. The band is made up of members of The Marked Men and Shang-A-Lang. The title track below is a great punk rock song. It’s quick, it’s tight, it’s kind of grimey–not over-produced. Hear for yourself, then hurry over to Dirtnap’s store and get you a copy of the LP, they only pressed a few hundred, or you can wait until the digital version is released on January 9th. Enjoy.
Darker than Devo, faster than Depeche Mode, denser than Killing Joke, but sharing the apocalyptic atmosphere of those artists, San Francisco trio King Loses Crown releases their new single today, “My Revenge.” We reviewed an earlier demo version of this song a few years back, but the band has since added a member, beefed up production and further honed their sound. And as luck would have it, their sonic assault met its visual match in visual effects director Jim Mitchell (Harry Potter, Sleepy Hollow, and Jurassic Park III). Mitchell directed the video, also released today, a documentary style, sci-fi look into the future where our technology catches up with us and our darkest impulses.
It’s not everyday that a full-fledged Hollywood filmmaker produces the video for an emerging band, so I checked in with Mitchell to see why he decided to get involved with King Loses Crown. He told me that a friend invited him to see the band at the Elbo Room and he was “blown away by the intensity and energy of their songs.” Mitchell had been developing a robot character and when he heard “My Revenge” he realized the song’s theme was “similar to what [he] was imagining for the world of the character.” He edited a few of his robot animations to the song and “couldn’t believe how it just seemed to naturally sync up like they were meant to be together.” The band agreed. So do I. You probably will too.
My Revenge from You Can’t Escape EP, February 2013
My introduction to the Super Vacations came by way of a 7″ split that I received in the mail. I hadn’t heard of either band on the split, and had no idea what to expect when I put the needle down. The driving rhythms and psych-tinged guitar instantly grabbed my attention. I was pleasantly surprised, and blown away by The Super Vacations. They released their 3rd full length album, Heater Pt. II, with Funny / Not Funny Records back in September. Check out the two songs below from this release, “Controller”, and “El Ray”, then hurry over to F/NF‘s site and get you a copy before they are all gone.
Swedish punk rock…kind of hard to imagine from a country whose top exports have been outfitting the world’s middle class for decades and whose social system is famously egalitarian. But Sweden has its share of factories and, no matter how good your health benefits are, working in a factory sucks. That’s how the Holograms met: going out for drinks after their factory shift. Their brand of working class punk is accented by gravelly basslines and frayed synths (they are Swedish after all). The self-titled debut is packed with chilly, desperate war cries like “ABC City”. If you dig, get your hands on the entire album — it’s one of my top five of 2012 so far.
Mean Jeans are a pop-punk band out of Portland Oregon. They released their second album, On Mars, back in April on Dirtnap, it is catchy as hell! Full of rad hooks and goofy lyrics, On Mars blows through 36 minutes without really taking any time to breathe. The track below, “Anybody Out There”, they pull out all the stops with xylophone (i’m guessing) at the beginning and “oh-oh-oh’s” throughout. It’s a great punk rock track, and would fit nicely into any summertime playlist. Enjoy.