By AJ Phink
The Bad Larrys are a five piece proto punk and psych surf outfit outta Philadelphia, PA, the quintet’s sound combines a love of classic surf rock and storytelling with the raw power of pre-punk rock and roll. Leveraging the talented hands and vintage equipment of Drowning Fish Studios and the Grammy award-winning mastering of Pete Lyman’s Infrasonic Sound. The Bad Larrys first full length album, Hodads, is due for a digital release today, the 2nd February 2018, and Hodads will be manifesting itself on vinyl in the near future.
From opening track, the album’s lead single Deep Space Radio, it’s clear this is an unashamedly retro trip back to the days when snarling garage bands populated almost every town and city in the USA. The spirit of the likes of The Shadows Of Knight, The Chocolate Watch Band and Gonn haunts every groove in Hodads, although It’s not all snotty garage, there are demented surftones thrown into the mix that sit alongside moments that are rooted in rock ‘n roll. However for me it’s when the fuzz and fury erupts that The Bad Larry’s are at their best, the likes of the charged garage rocker Fired In The Morning and the grinding psyche of Rama, Mammon, Abraxas And Ahriman are when The Bad Larry’s truly shine.
If you’re a fan of the original garage bands that populated the legendary Pebbles and Rubble compilations, or of established purveyors of demented surf and garage such as The Fuzztones, Messer Chups, The Nomads or The 99 Degree then The Bad Larry’s will be a welcome addition to your playlist. Hodads is a throwback to an era of primitive garage bands, and there’s nothing wrong with that when it captures the original sound and attitude of an era, and believe me The Bad Larry’s have certainly done that on their debut full length.
Hodads can be downloaded via The Bad Larry’s Bandcamp here
The Bad Larry’s Facebook page can be found here
The Surfin’ Birds have released a brand new video for the track This Song’s Passé, the song is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming sophomore album, All My Dreams, that is set to be released on the Fuelled By Cider label. The Surfin’ Birds will also be playing an album launch party this Friday, the 19th January, at the Dorchester Corn Exchange.
You can stream and purchase The Surfin’ Birds back catalogue via Bandcamp here
You can view the video for This Song’s Passé below Read More…
This Is RattlerockMoon Skull Records
By AJ Phink
This Is Rattlerock is the debut full length from Yorkshire duo Snakerattlers that is now available via Moon Skull Records. The Snakerattlers emerged from the ashes of The Franceens and have transformed themselves into a band that channels the primal soul of rock ‘n roll via the sinister reverb heavy chords of Link Wray, the unhinged psychobilly of The Meteors and the primitive origins of The Cramps to create something that has the essence of their influences, but crucially they manage to avoid being derivative or in any way an anachronism.
From the dark ominous opening chords of I Won’t Hold Back you know that you’re for a demonic take on rock ‘n roll that is in no way designed to save anyone’s soul, with This Is Rattlerock the Snakerattlers take every facet and mutation of rock ‘n roll and twist it into their own stripped down hybrid. At times they’re channelling the original spirit of the orginators before veering off into a demented psychobilly rampage, the result being that they have delivered a debut album that simultaneously recalls Link Wray‘s Rumble and The Cramps debut full length, Songs The Lord Taught Us, via the insanity and originality of the spirit of the best of the unhinged garage bands, both past and present.
I recently caught the Snakerattlers live, which added to my intrigue in hearing how their raw and primitive menace would transfer to the studio, it turns out that with This Is Rattlerock the Snakerattlers have managed to capture the raw essence and dark energy of their live performance, something that few bands manage when they make the transition from the stage to the studio. With This Is Rattlerock the Snakerattlers have delivered an impressive debut album that hits the spot on every single track, if the devil has the best tunes then there’s no doubt that the Snakerattlers debut full length is playing on repeat on hell’s jukebox.
This Is Rattlerock and be streamed and purchased, on CD and digital formats, via Moon Skull Records here
The Snakerattlers website can be found here
Illuminated psych rock band The Creature Comfort will release their new single, What We Want (Power Corruption & Lies), on Friday 15th December via all good digital retailers. This is The Creature Comfort‘s first single since their critically acclaimed 2013 debut album, it’s also the first glimpse of their new material, material carefully crafted over the past four years and kept under wraps until now. The Creature Comfort will also be playing a release show for the single at Manchester’s Night And Day Cafe on the 2nd December.
The Creature Comfort‘s website can be found here
You can view a preview of the video for What We Want (Power, Corruption And Lies) below Read More…
By AJ Phink
The Liza Colby Sound hail from New York City and are set to release their new EP, Draw, on the 17th November. Draw contains four songs that give you a fleeting glimpse into everything the Liza Colby Sound is about, the soulful vocals of Liza Colby herself are combined with a soundtrack that embodies dirty, hard hitting rock ‘n roll by a trio who have performed with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, The Jim Carroll Band, The Del Fuegos and Joey Ramone, amongst other well-known names, to create a mesmerising hybrid of styles.
The opening track on the Draw EP, My World, is a glorious dirty slab of rock ‘n roll that channels The Stooges and Led Zeppelin, the rock ‘n roll soundtrack is topped with the sultry soulful vocal delivery by Liza Colby, one that raises the hairs on the back of your neck. I Love You brings the pace down, and delivers a soulful and heartfelt moment on the EP, White Light channels the blues before finally Cryin’ brings things to a close, with a track that encompasses their rock, soul and blues influences.
The only comparable act to the Liza Colby Sound is The Bellrays, and If you love them then you will adore the Draw EP, the Liza Colby Sound mix soul, garage and proto rock to create a stunning hybrid of styles. The result is that I love every moment on this EP, from it’s charged garage fuelled opener, through it’s tender soulful moments and blues heartbeat to the closing track that blends every element together, this is an introduction to a band that seamlessly blend the energy of the garage bands and the swagger of best rock acts with the heart of true soul music.
Sound Control, Manchester, UK1st October 2017
By AJ Phink
It’s almost a year to the day since All Them Witches last appeared in Manchester, since their last appearance they’ve unleashed their finest full length to date, Sleeping Through The War, and are currently touring in support of the album, and they’ve bought The Ghost Wolves along for the ride on their latest European tour. It’s always a good sign to walk into a venue to hear The Cramps being played, standing at the bar you realise they’re playing a good chunk from the Off The Bone album, this is followed by a selection of dark and twisted psyche and alternative which sets the tone nicely for tonight’s opening act. The Ghost Wolves hail from the capital of the most unhinged elements of American garage and psyche, Austin Texas, and they are a worthy successor to the illustrious list of bands from that city, one that includes The 13th Floor Elevators, Butthole Surfers and The Black Angels.
BOPSRose Coloured Records / Mauvaise Foi Records
By AJ Phink
BOPS were bottle fed on sixties music, they digested The Beach Boys harmonies and The Kinks savage pop before feeding on the booming sounds of Ty Segall and Girl Band. After relentlessly touring their native France BOPS are now set to release their self tilted debut album, which will be released on vinyl in France, Italy and the UK, BOPS will also be touring in support of the album across those countries. BOPS self titled debut album will be released via Rose Coloured Records (UK) and Mauvaise Foi Records (Europe) on the 13th October.
From the opening beat of Mary it’s clear that BOPS are completely immersed in 60’s garage, pop and psych, elements of the best bands from that decade are littered throughout the self titled album, but to be clear this isn’t a total sixties throwback, the wonderfully titled Mad Oyster contains elements of new wave and power pop in it’s grooves. These elements sit alongside unhinged and eccentric moments of psyche, such as Slit It, Sing I, Jim and Fantasia, the dark and dirty garage of No Voices and Mr Cubalouder, moments of Link Wray inspired distortion such as Sing II and See You There and even a touch of unhinged rock ‘n roll in the form of Wrong and Dunder Mifflin.
BOPS self titled debut album is an instantly familiar, yet totally original, trawl through the trashier side of rock ‘n roll that comes across like a previously unreleased Pebbles compilation, and as Get Primitive!, the legendary best of volume of that series, sits amongst my favourite albums that’s about as higher praise as I can impose on this album. For anyone who has a love for the original garage bands, the eighties garage revival or the current resurgence in the garage and psych scenes you need to acquaint yourself with BOPS, as this unhinged French trio have produced an electic and original release.
BOPS can be pre-ordered via Rose Coloured Records website here
BOPS Facebook page can be found here
By AJ Phink
Bottle fed on sixties music, BOPS digested The Beach Boys harmonies and The Kinks savage pop before feeding on the booming sounds of Ty Segall and Girl Band. After relentlessly touring their native France BOPS are now set to release their debut album, which will be released on vinyl in France, Italy and the UK, BOPS will also be touring in support of the album across those countries. BOPS self titled debut album will be released via Rose Coloured Records (UK) and Mauvaise Foi Records (Europe) on the 13th October. The Rose Coloured Records website can be found here
All Aboard is Washer‘s sophomore album, it is built on a blend of aggressive pop music, off-kilter structures, earnest lyrics, and minimalist garage rock. They’ve described their sound as “trying to do a lot with a little,” contorting simple pop formulas into fuzzy punk hits. Built around themes of personal doubt, self-reflection, and being stuck in place, All Aboard is a dark record, but Washer continue to fight toward brighter days. With a never ending onslaught of ramshackle hooks, sing-a-long anthems, and unexpected shifts, Washer have made an album where every moment counts and every song is a single.
All Aboard is now available via Exploding In Sound Records here
Snotty garage punk duo Teen Mortgage have released a music video for Is It, a track taken from their debut EP Strange Times that was released earlier this year on Wiener Records. Is It is the first single taken from the EP, a release that is a heavy collision of skate punk sensibilities and low fi garage fuzz, that makes it perfectly clear that genre boundaries can and should be collapsed at every opportunity.
Strange Times can be streamed and purchased here
You can view the video for Is It below Read More…
Gold Phoenix are a soundclash of raw and riff heavy garage rock, their new single, Lotion, is released today, the 14th August, and it is an energetic tongue in cheek three minutes that boasts a unique video. Lotion follows on from last year’s acclaimed single, Oh So Hard, and see’s the band return to both recording and touring, with the remainder of 2017 to be spent touring the UK with European dates to follow in 2018.
California’s Decent Criminal have signed with Dodgeball Records, the newly founded label started by Showoff frontman Chris Messer, his wife Dani and Mike Felumlee of the Smoking Popes. Decent Criminal will release their debut album, Bloom, on October 13th, with pre-orders, including vinyl, launching on September 29th via Dodgeball Records.
You can stream Deviant, that is taken from their forthcoming album, here
Dodgeball Records Website is here
Brooklyn’s Washer have announced that their new record, All Aboard, is set to be released on September 15th via Exploding In Sound Reords and the band is now streaming a new song, Your Guess Is As Bad As Mine. All Aboard is an album filled with fuzz, aggression, off-kilter rhythmic structures and mangled pop hooks, throughout the record Washer filter complex musical ideas into minimalist garage rock, creating a brilliant and bright sampling of DIY punk.
You can stream Your Guess Is As Bad As Mine here
You can pre-order All Aboard via Exploding In Sound Records here
The Two Tens are set to release the follow up to their stunning debut album, Volume, later this summer, the familiar themes of heartbreak, heartache and depression have reared their heads again on the LA based duo’s new studio LP, On Repeat, but the pile driving garage rock that dominates the thirteen original tracks are an equal and familiar punch in the gut. The Two Tens also plan to hit the road hard later this summer in support of On Repeat, and promise a number of music videos to accompany the high octane tracks that fuel this new release.
On Repeat can be pre-ordered on physical formats via Man Della Records here
You can stream the title track from the forthcoming album here
TsukiLittle Dickman Records
By AJ Phink
The core of Sharkmuffin is the New York duo of Tarra Thiessen and Natalie Kirch, along with other musicians who flesh out their line up for live shows, currently the line up is augmented by Drew Adler on drums and Chris Nunez on guitar, and has previously included Hole‘s Patty Schemel. The duo proudly integrate a wide range of influences into their sound, everything from The Ronettes to Nirvana is thrown into the melting pot to create a unique combination of styles, now Sharkmuffin have released their sophomore album, Tsuki, that follows on from their 2015 debut full length, Chartreuse. Tsuki is available via Little Dickman Records from today, the 5th May 2017, on celestial splatter vinyl and download formats.
Tsuki starts with a short introduction that contains some wise words on Grandmother Sharkmuffin Says, “don’t worry about shit but you go have a fun time”, following that piece of wisdom Sharkmuffin seem intent on following her advice. Space Glow kicks in and manages to embrace their broad influences with a short slice of lo-fi garage punk, but that’s not the end of the story. The attitude and delivery varies across the whole of Tsuki, whether it’s the full on fuzz of Stacey, the more sinister vibe of the innocent sounding Puppy Love, the dark undercurrent of I Wanna Be You, the unsettling mid way marker of Atama or the twisted sixties pop of Too Much Fun and unsettling psyche soundscape of Scully Is A Sharkmuffin, this is album that veers wildly across genre’s.
Grandmother Sharkmuffin clearly knows her stuff as Sharkmuffin have delivered an album that manages to embrace the swagger of garage punk, the attitude of the punk and the drive of grunge, which are all wrapped up in a twisted lo-fi pop sensibility. There is a heavy influence from the riot grrrl and grunge scenes, along with an ever pervading sway from the worlds of punk and garage, in short Tsuki is an incredibly original hybrid of pretty much everything from the headier side of the alternative scenes, not an easy trick to pull off but Sharkmuffin have done exactly that with an idiosyncratic and unpredictable album.
Tsuki can be ordered via Little Dickman Records here
Sharkmuffin‘s website can be found here
Horn Ur MarkenCardinal Fuzz
By AJ Phink
Cardinal Fuzz have unleashed yet another release from the strange and fuzzy place in which this label exists, this time they have brought us Sweden’s The Janitors who are self styled purveyors of ‘Stökpsych’ a scuzzy barbed wall of fuzz that channels the dark recesses from the worlds of garage and psyche. The Janitors latest full length, Horn Ur Marken, follows on the their last release, Evil Doings Of An Evil Kind, that was released two long years ago. Horn Ur Marken is now available from Cardinal Fuzz on black vinyl, that is presented in a full colour fluorescent UV sleeve, and CD.
Horn Ur Marken kicks in as it means to go on with a seriously dark slab of fuzz in the shape of the opening track, Trojan Horse, where treble laced guitar sits atop a wall of dark fuzz and a pounding relentless drum beat, this is followed by the slow grind of the album’s epic title track, the intensity builds up across this ten minute opus until it ends it a squall of feedback that fades into the mind warping dark groove of Neon Times. The relentless dark twisted tones continue with the almost hypnotic beat of Blizzard and the sinister vibes of Into The Woods and Fear Of All before the tripped out finale, Alarmatica, brings Horn Ur Marken to an end.
The Janitors have delivered a dark slice of psyche from the dark heart of Scandinavia, Horn Ur Marken is an album with immense walls of fuzz that are coupled with a consistently sinister undercurrent. If you are a fan of the darker side of psyche and garage then The Janitors are a band that should definitely be on your radar. Their unique blend of influences, that are shaped by the current state of world affairs, is one that is idiosyncratic and whilst it follows in the tradition of fellow Swedish purveyors of fuzz such as The Nomads, The Hellacopters and The Hives, Horn Ur Marken takes things into a darker place and you can’t help but feel that in Cardinal Fuzz they have found their spiritual home.
Horn Ur Marken can be ordered from Cardinal Fuzz here
Sound Control, Manchester, UK6th April 2017
By AJ Phink
Welcome to musical menagerie that sees Pulled Apart By Horses and Tigercub visit Manchester’s Sound Control, as is the increasingly common and very annoying policy of many venues, the bands start ridiculously early, especially for those of us who reside in the suburbs, to make way for a club night, so we’ve missed Thee MVPs by the time we finally get into the venue. This is annoying as I always try to catch every band and was looking forward to seeing them, hopefully I’ll catch them on their next visit to the city. On the plus side at least we arrived in time for Tigercub, as with the last gig I attended at Sound Control bass heavy hip hop precedes the arrival of the bands.
Tigercub make an unassuming entrance and launch into a haunting introduction, before their bass heavy aural assault laced with reverb drenched guitar hooks kicks in. Tigercub are underpinned by a remorseless rhythm section that is complimented with some twisted guitar riffs, all of which is overlaid with a vocal drawl that is delivered with a laid back style that belies the energy of their material. Tigercub straddle genres, they possess the bass heavy drive of grunge that is mixed with indie, punk and garage, and a dash of pretty much everything else is thrown into the mix, to create a cocktail that’s hard to describe, but if you think of a J. Mascis fronted Nirvana channelling early Muse and you’re about half way there.
Tigercub deliver a grinding heavy mix of alternative styles that defies categorisation, even when you think you’ve got a handle on them another card is dealt from the bottom of the pack to keep you off balance. I had no idea what to expect from a band called Tigercub, but it wasn’t the heady pounding mix that is delivered by this Brighton Trio, what I do know is that they have a captivating and original sound that I hope to experience again. What was a sparsely populated Sound Control at the start of the night has filled up nicely during the course of Tigercub‘s support slot, ready for Pulled Apart By Horses headlining set in support of the excellent new album, The Haze, that was released last month via Caroline International.
After a lengthy set up and an eclectic, to say the least, DJ set, Pulled Apart By Horses take to the stage to an absolutely packed Sound Control, from the first number they kick straight into overdrive with their high octane garage infused rock, and its clear from the off that they already have an established, and very vocal fan base, in Manchester. As the second song kicks in an enthusiastic and sweaty mosh pit has already formed and as good as I thought the The Haze album was, what has becomes immediately clear is that Pulled Apart By Horses are a band whose natural home is on stage, as the energy levels have already been raised to critical levels.
Pulled Apart By Horses set encompasses their four albums, throughout they maintain their high energy levels for a set of genre spanning rock that really has to be experienced live, their onstage intensity is matched by the crowds reaction, one that is as enthusiastic as I’ve seen at a midweek gig in Manchester. The set played tonight is one that’s as relentless as I’ve heard, there is no slow number to pause for breath or to slip to the bar, every song they deliver is as good as the last, and if you want to see the spirit of rock ‘n roll embodied in a band then go and see Pulled Apart By Horses, as their brand of garage fuelled rock ‘n roll is as good as anyone I’ve seen, thankfully there are no metal or rock clichés or excesses as this is stripped down rock ‘n roll at its finest.
My previous exposure to Pulled Apart By Horses was reviewing The Haze and I thought that was a damn fine album, but as good as that album was live they are a totally different prospect, and as energetic as the band were it must be said that just as much credit must go the audience who have given it everything tonight, from circle pits and demented mosh pits to a steady wave of crowdsurfing throughout the set. Pulled Apart By Horses would seem to be an odd choice of name, but after seeing them live it’s one that makes perfect sense, after seeing the commitment of the crowd and the band tonight I can only imagine that’s exactly what they feel like after a show like this.
Pulled Apart By Horses include an intense cover of The Beatles classic Helter-Skelter in the set, that is delivered with the spirit of the original, and its a compliment to them to say that this is easily the best cover I’ve heard of this classic number, and believe me I’ve heard a few. It was impressive that the pit was that frantic and frenzied as I’ve seen in a while, as an added bonus it kept people filming the show to an minimum, and I can’t think of a better way of keeping this annoying trend out of live shows. The night ended with the vocalist and guitarist Tom Hudson surfing across the crowd, it seems that the last hour has flown by in a loud, sweaty, energetic blur and if tonight wasn’t rock ‘n roll then I don’t know what is.
Pulled Apart By Horses website is here
The Punk Site Review of The Haze can be read here
Tigercub‘s web presence can be found here
Photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here,
You can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images
The 99 Degree‘s new EP, Boot Hill Surf Club, will be released in the near future with a launch show confirmed for the 12th May at Manchester’s Castle Hotel. They will be warming up for the release of their new EP with an appearance at Manchester’s Get Fucked festival on the 29th April. The 99 Degree‘s debut single, Dead Or Alive, is still available as free download here
Tickets for the launch show on the 12th May can be purchased here
You can listen the teaser for the forthcoming Boot Hill Surf Club EP here
Lawrence, Kansas duo Arc Flash are set to release Carbon Copy, their explosive full length debut on March 31st via High Dive Records and ahead of the release date the band have released a full stream of the record. Carbon Copy is an album full of blistering punk energy, infectious hooks, and raw fuzz, that makes the band’s sound explosive and aggressively catchy.
You can stream Carbon Copy in full via Uproxx here
Carbon Copy can be pre-ordered here
The Two Tens have released their new single, Keeping Hope Alive, on vinyl and digital formats, the new release also features a Little Richard cover, Bama Lama Bama Loo, on the b side. Keeping Hope Alive is taken from The Two Tens forthcoming sophomore album, that is due for release in July 2017 on Man Della Records. The Two Tens will be performing a series of headline shows before touring with The Dollyrots and Go Betty Go
Keeping Hope Alive can purchased and streamed here
The Video for Keeping Hope Alive, and the band’s tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…
Dead Or AliveSelf Released
By AJ Phink
The 99 Degree released their debut single, Dead Or Alive, earlier this year, they play an unhinged combination of surf, psych and garage which sounds like it originates from a sparsely populated ghost town in the mid west of America, rather than the urban sprawl of Greater Manchester in the UK. The 99 Degree have regularly been tearing up stages in the North West of England, but now those further afield can be exposed to their unique brand of garage psychosis
Dead Or Alive opens with the kind of ominous tones that usually precede a mysterious stranger gunning people down in a spaghetti western, this is a dark and deranged preacher killing murder ballad that captures the spirit of the best Sergio Leone westerns and combines this with the ghost of the original spirit of deranged rock ‘n roll. Vocalist Joe Sartini delivers the murderous tale with his transatlantic spanning vocal style while Phil Turner‘s twisted Gretsch guitar tones give the single it’s underlying menace, the whole package is underpinned by Paul Featherstone and Craig Trickett‘s rock solid rhythm section that keeps The 99 Degree‘s excesses securely anchored.
If you have any love for primitive garage bands such as The Cramps, or the original purveyors of garage and psyche that populated the legendary Pebbles compilations, then The 99 Degree are a band you need to acquaint yourself with, and as this single has been made available as a name your price download then what are you waiting for?
Dead Or Alive is available as a name your price download via The 99 Degree‘s Bandcamp here
Live In BrusselsSelf Released
By AJ Phink
Ahead of their October tour of the UK, Nashville’s All Them Witches released Live In Brussels, a new live album recorded at Belgium’s Ancienne Belgique whilst on their first European tour in March 2016. Live In Brussels continues All Them Witches tradition of releasing live recordings off their own back, direct to their fans, who are as loyal as they come. On their recent summer tour across North America the band were robbed of $4500’s worth of their venue checks and merchandise sales, and faced little other option than to set up an online donation page to try and recoup lost funds in the middle of the tour, their fans impressively topped the goal in under 24 hours. So what has caused this level of dedication amongst their fan base?
The first observation is that for an album release that All Them Witches are giving away the quality is stunning, every note and instrument is crystal clear. The opening number, The Death Of Coyote Woman, has elements of The Doors at their peak along with some fine blues stylings. Funeral For a Great Dying Bird eases into When God Comes Back and the tempo increases and this incorporates some excellent fuzz drenched guitar work. All Them Witches build up and bring down the pace throughout Live In Brussels building up to the triumphant final track My Last Name Is The Blues. This is an accomplished fourteen track live album of laid back psychedelia, blues and stoner rock, and if you have any love for the bands of the mid to late 1960’s that pioneered this style then you should really be adding this to your collection.
All Them Witches first two studio albums, 2012’s Our Mother Electricity and 2014’s Lightning at the Door, laid the groundwork for where we find ourselves today, their latest LP Dying Surfer Meets His Maker has seem them evolve into a sophisticated psych-rock outfit that remains faithful to the bands that paved the way for them. Live In Brussels follows on from their critically acclaimed new album Dying Surfer Meets His Maker and it is a live album as it oughta be, a complete and uncut live performance without overdubs. As Live In Brussels is available as a ‘name your price’ download you really have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by checking this band out
Dying Surfer Meets His Maker can be purchased here
Live In Brussels can be downloaded as a ‘name your price’ download here
The Punk Site‘s live review of All Them Witches from October 2016 can be read here
In addition to the release of their new single and video, Cowboy, Leopold And His Fiction have commenced a global tour this week with stops in New Orleans, London, Hamburg and a home town show in Austin, Texas. Leopold And His Fiction combine gritty ingenuity, delicately crafted lyrics and blistering guitar work to produce an impactful live performance. The tour is in anticipation of their new album Darling Destroyer, slated for release in early 2017 and Cowboy can be downloaded via iTunes
The video for Cowboy and the Tour Dates can be viewed Below Read More…