Kansas duo Arc Flash are set to release Carbon Copy, their full length debut on March 31st via High Dive Records and today they are sharing the record’s first single, Earls. The duo of Mark Rockwell (drums) and James Thomblison (guitar/vocals), who also play in garage psych band Psychic Heat, have been generating a buzz throughout the scene thanks to their unique brand of “space punk” and “mutant pop”. Full of blistering punk energy, infectious hooks, and raw fuzz, the band’s sound is as explosive and aggressively catchy.
You can stream the single, Earls, here and you can pre-order Carbon Copy here
You can view Arc Flash‘s upcoming US tour dates below Read More…
Afraid Of The House
Blind Shake Records / Dirtnap Records
Afraid Of The House is an album that is born of the bands that appeared on the legendary Pebbles compilations, the fabled collections of obscure snotty sixties garage bands that were punk long before punk. Jim And The French Vanilla combine the attitude of the sixties garage and psyche bands, along with a dash of prime motown, that’s all topped off with punk energy and attitude, this is a convergence of influences that marks Afraid Of The House out as a unique record to surface in 2017, and I mean that in a good way. Dirtnap Records released Afraid Of The House on the 10th February, it is now available digitally and on limited edition vinyl, on black and vibrant orange variants.
I normally avoid doing track run throughs and try to give a feel of the album, and maybe mention the stand out tracks, but that’s just not possible on a release of this type. Afraid Of The House skips between styles, from the raw r ‘n b influenced garage of the opening track When You’re Down, through the prime treble laced fuzz of I’m Just Sitting Here, Grow Like Rabbits and Take It To The Grave to the primal acid drenched throb of Eye For An Eye and Lonely Man. These frantic elements cohabit happily with the softer psyche influence of tracks like Back Home, Psychic Killer and Not Even War, the frantic tormented vibe of I Have To Slow Down and the raw Link Wray influenced instrumental Green Curtains.
Afraid Of The House is a raw lo-fi recording, there is no way that a record like this should be recorded any other way, this is at it’s heart an album of primal garage and psyche, but it’s one that is refocused and refined with some contemporary influences, and it’s this that stops it from being an album that lurks in the shadows of the past. Jim And The French Vanilla are a band that deserve to be heard, and hopefully the release of Afraid Of The House on Dirtnap Records, the home of the dark underbelly of rock n’ roll, will ensure that happens.
Afraid Of The House can be streamed and purchased, on vinyl and download, via the Dirtnap Records Bandcamp here
Jim And The French Vanilla‘s Facebook presence can be found here
The Dirtnap Records website can be found here
Roosevelt Records have released the Lemonade EP by Switzerland’s Capital Youth, the label was created for the release of the band’s debut EP and is owned by the band themselves, making this very much a DIY affair. Capital Youth‘s debut release embraces the fuzzier garage influenced side of punk, from the Ramones through to The Strokes and beyond, the Lemonade EP sits comfortably alongside releases by their contemporaries, especially bands such as Culture Abuse and The Two Tens who made two of my favourite albums in 2016, in making an impressively glorious noise that restores your faith in punk rock.
Lemonade kicks off with the an amazing blast of Garage Punk in the shape of Chinatown, this is swiftly followed by the equally impressive Where You Are, and you don’t have time to draw breath before the hyperactive In A Maze ups the ante. Moving On continues the relentless fuzzy garage assault and the EP culminates in Without You. Normally I can pick a stand out track or a personal favourite from a release, but on Lemonade that isn’t possible as every single track is equally striking. It’s not often a release impresses me this much, let alone on a debut EP, but Lemonade marks Capital Youth out as a band that, if there’s any justice, should be packing venues out shortly.
To say this is an impressive debut is an understatement, when you couple that with the fact that Capital Youth are doing everything on their own terms, something that I always admire, then you have a band that have made a serious statement of intent with their debut release. Lemonade is delivered in five perfect two minute servings that hit the spot every time, Capital Youth have produced what will undoubtedly be one of my favourite releases from 2017 with their debut release. From the opening fuzzy chords of Chinatown to the closing notes of Without You there is not a single moment on this EP that disappoints, in short Lemonade is a perfect five tracks of fuzzy garage influenced punk rock that is the best ten minutes of new music you’ll have heard so far this year.
You can order Lemonade via Capital Youth‘s Bandcamp here
The ten inch vinyl of Lemonade can be purchased here
Geneva’s Capital Youth have released their debut EP, Lemonade, via their own label, Roosevelt Records. The release can be purchased and streamed via Capital Youth‘s Bandcamp and a review of the EP will be posted on The Punk Site shortly.
Capital Youth‘s Facebook page can be located here and the Roosevelt Records Facebook page can be found here
The Lemonade EP can be streamed and downloaded here
The Soup Kitchen, Manchester, UK
17th September 2016
The Soup Kitchen lies in the heart of Manchester’s thriving Northern Quarter, it’s a new venue to me although I do have a vague hazy recollection of visiting the venue on a previous long lost weekend. I arrive in Manchester early as the venue has adopted the increasingly common practice of concerts starting and finishing early to make way for a club night, this isn’t a practice I’m fond of as getting to the venue in time isn’t always possible. However, in an age where independent venues are under assault from gentrification and town planners I understand the need for a venue to make enough money to stay in business. I decide to make to best of the situation, and as September has remained unseasonably warm and dry I take the opportunity to enjoy a pint in the early evening sunshine and watch as the city begins it’s changeover between the post football and shopping crowds, and the nocturnal denizens who are slowly beginning to filter into the city.
Tonight The 99 Degree are playing in the basement of the Soup Kitchen, this a stripped down venue with bare brick walls and exposed pipework which sets the vibe nicely for The 99 Degree‘s brand of primitive surf inspired garage rock. Tonight is the first of a series of nights that goes under the banner of Psychetropic, this will hopefully become a showcase for local bands whose music is inspired by psychoactive compounds and the primal elements of rock n roll, if this is the case then The 99 Degree are the perfect band to play the inaugural Psychetropic event.
To my ears The 99 Degree channel The Gun Club and The Cramps whilst adding their own unique elements into the mix, the lead singer shakes and shambles around the stage and reminds of me of nothing less than a deranged preacher from the old west, the guitarist makes a glorious primitive noise from his Gretsch whilst the rhythm section hammer out a solid backbeat. I’m not sure what it is about their combination of garage rock, deranged spaghetti western soundtrack and primitive rock n roll I find compelling about them, but for me they are a unique band amidst a sea of wannabe bands that recreate, rather than be influenced by, the sounds of the past. The reverb and echo drenched guitar riffs are reminiscent of the kind of primitive noise that Poison Ivy, of The Cramps, was famous for, the vocalist has an authentic brimstone garage howl and the rhythm section provide a solid backing that keeps the insanity anchored.
The 99 Degree are one of Manchester’s most unhinged and original bands, and I’d recommend catching them live if you have any love for the garage bands that originally emerged from the mid 60s or the subsequent garage revival bands. The 99 Degree live are the equivalent of a soundtrack from a deranged Quentin Tarantino movie that was made under the influence of bad acid, they simultaneously have one foot in the past whilst making their own contemporary and demented take on garage and surf rock. The 99 Degree will be entering the studio later this year and I can’t wait to hear whether they can capture the essence of their live set on a recording, because if they can then that will be something to treasure.
The 99 Degree‘s Soundcloud Page can be found here and their Facebook page is here
Somewhere between the fuzzy acid drenched vibes of 60’s garage rock and the more recent garage rock resurgence lie Pink Mexico, this is their sophomore album, following up 2013’s Pnik Mexico. Apparently this album was written in a windowless ten by ten rooms from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, fueled by hangovers, coffee and cigarettes. Personally I can’t help wondering if anything else was consumed in those rooms, and just how long they spent in there, as this has an incredibly authentic feel about it.
Opening track Buzzkill launches the album with a fuzzy upbeat guitar riff with a vocal delivery reminiscent of the 60s garage bands, the album carries on in this vein and delivers low fi fuzzy goodness with more than distinct nod to the bands that emerged out of the garages in the mid 60’s clutching Vox Phantom’s and a handful of suspicious pills. This is probably the closest thing I’ve heard to authentic record of that era since The Fuzztones, whereas those self proclaimed guru’s of garage directly recreated the look and sound of the era, I get the feeling that Pink Mexico is a much more organic affair, rather than a contrived attempt to recreate the sound of a previous era.
The relentless barrage of upbeat fuzz stops rarely relents, except for the downbeat number Darkness Is My Sherbert and the untitled, and unnecessary, jarring final track, the rest of Fool is a rather joyous snotty chunk of garage rock. Most of the tracks contained on this album wouldn’t sound out of place alongside the bands that eventually populated the wonderful Pebbles compilations. I in no way think Fool is just a retro album, but it is so heavily influenced by the garage rock of the 60s it’s hard not to think of it in those terms, maybe contemporary retro garage is a thing? regardless, this is a damn fine album and one I think will be a fine addition to the collection of anyone who appreciates their garage rock with a primitive edge.
Visit the Burger Records website to order Fool here