Baby Scream “Fan, Fan, Fan”/”The Worst Of…”

BabyScreamFanFanFanBABY SCREAM (Juan Pablo Mazzola) is back with two (!) albums, “Fan, Fan, Fan” and “The Worst Of…”
90s tainted power pop and 60s/70s rock are still the man’s main influences. You’ll find 12 new songs in “Fan, Fan, Fan”, lots of sweet melodies (“Back To Douche”, “Just For A While”), some sunny tracks with disillusionned lyrics (“Loner”, “Captain Hook”, “The Girl Next Door”), touch of cabaret rock (“Cheap Perfume”, “Blue In Berlin”), and some BOWIE-esque ballads (“A Human Being On Mars”, “Haters Will Hate.”)
“The Worst Of…” is a 27 song CD (22 originals and 5 covers), definitely too much for someone like me who enjoys the vinyl format for records, but well, these were taken out of 200 songs!… Stand out songs include “As Long As It Hurts (I’m Fine)” and “Shooting Stars”, two songs with a DINOSAUR JR feel as well as “In A Picture” and its big SUEDE influence.
The covers include the ones BABY SCREAM recorded for an Argentinian record label that released some TV shows/cartoons/movies based compilations, and I have to admit that the “Friends” theme actually fits BABY SCREAM very well!
Fans of The JAYHAWKS, Americana and The BEATLES will enjoy this new albums for sure./Laurent C.

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The Joystix “Punchline”

TheJoystixPunchlineIt’s been a while since we last heard of Hungary’s most promising rock’n’roll band, The JOYSTIX. On this new album, the WILDHEARTS influence gets stronger than ever (“Disconnected”, “In My Head”, “Wasted”… ), but the old-school touch can still be found too, whether it is a bit of MOTÖRHEAD in “Born Under a Bad Sign”, some high-energy punk’n’roll (“Feel Feel Feel”), or some sleazy guitar oriented rock’n’roll (“Fame Train.”)
The production, though still sounds contemporary and a bit of moderni-ish rock such as FOO FIGHTERS can be heard in a song like “Back In The Saddle”, although I like the band better when they get back to their roots and bring us a song like “Last Action Hero”, one of the catchiest tracks on this album!
The blues song (“Dumb Man Blues”) in the middle of the tracklist is a good idea, an interlude in DREGEN‘s “Flat Tyre On A Muddy Road” spirit.
Conclusion: In 2015, The JOYSTIX is still an underrated band./Laurent C.

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VCPS “S/T”

VCPS- Album coverAfter two albums under the name VIETCONG PORNSÜRFERS and quite a few European tours, the hard working Swedish band has decided to shorten their name to VCPS. This name change is also linked to a slight change of music direction, less high-energy punk rock’n’roll, more hard rock. While oprening song “Ain’t Nothing For You” is not that different from the band’s latest recordings, songs like “Yes, I can” or “Wild One” remind me more of late HELLACOPTERS or early KISS. DANKO JONES also comes to mind when listening to “All Bad Things.” The tempo change is even more obvious on the groovy JOE COCKER-esque “Hold Me”. The last song, “Take It Outside”, is a pretty catchy hard rock’n’roll tune with bits of early AC/DC and THIN LIZZY touches thrown in it. Only 6 songs, but no bad number. Thumbs up for this new start!/Laurent C. http://www.vcpsofficial.com/
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Guttercats “Beautiful Curse”

GuttercatsBCReviewing a band you played in is far from being the easiest thing to do. Although I wasn’t a full time member, I helped them out for more than a year, played quite a few shows with them and recorded half of their previous album “Black Sorrow.”
Anyway, it was a few years ago, so it probably helps to listen to this album with an outside-ish hear… “Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” is the first song I’ve heard before the album was released, and it actually is the perfect song to open this album, since it shows the band under its best light, DOGS D’AMOUR touches with cool cowboy-ish guitars by Thierry Jones (BAD LOSERS, The JONES…) who also appears on the pop stained “Without You I’m Nothing” (not a PLACEBO cover!) Second song “Nobody Knows” is also one of the best tracks on here, mixing cool STONES/JACOBITES guitars/piano with vocals reminding of Jeffree Lee Pierce, one of Guts’ most perciptible influences. The darkest, almost gothic side of the band can be heard in “Dead Love’s Shadow”, and even more on the acoustic Rocky Horror-ish bonus version you can find on the CD. It’s good to see the band exploring these gloomy territories.
15 musicians have been involved in the making of this new album, so you’ll hear a lot of arrangements (strings, saxophone, harmonica, etc.) on “Beautiful Curse.” The spirit of ROWLAND S. HOWARD is floating over “Death & The Girl” and “Night Of The Vampire” (ROKY ERICKSON cover) ; and a good dose of hypnotic 70s rock’n’roll can be heard in songs like “Fire”, or “Way Down To Hell”, which should make every GUN CLUB fan dance. On a different note, I think “Hot On Our Trail” (a great song from the BABY STRANGE days that unfortunately only appears as a bonus track on the CD version) would have been better as a last song instead of “Slow Down”, and the new version of “Black Sorrow” is not bad, but dispensable on a new release since it was already on the previous album. Anyway, “Beautiful Curse” is still the best rock album hailing out from Paris I’ve heard in a while!
Now on the resuscitated record label Closer records, the GUTTERCATS are ready to hit the road with their best album to date under their arms… /Laurent C.

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