The Latter Day Skanks “Devilishly Dirty” EP

Portland’s punk rock scene seems to be very active nowadays. Preaching a message of equality through satire, The LATTER DAY SKANKS like their punk rock fast and raw as you can hear in opening song “Son Of Perversion (Warren Jeffs.)” These guys probably studied poetry with GG ALLIN (“Piss On Your Face)” and look like a Halloween version of the NEW YORK DOLLS, but songs like “D.D.D.S.G” or the speed metal influenced “Keep It In Ther Family” sound like they must be a lot of fun when played live. The LATTER DAY SKANKS show us that you can talk about serious things while having fun, since their song about street harassment “Cat Callout” features five female vocalists of the Portland scene, which results in a cool girl hooligan chorus!… And well, let’s be honest, trashy punk with 80s hair metal solos and tons of fun can’t be a bad thing, right? /Laurent C.

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Frozen Dead Kittens “Shelter In The Wild” EP

Despite their name, these three guys don’t play horror rock. FROZEN DEAD KITTENS started back in 2011 in France, and have released two EPs and one album (“Dirty Lovers Republic”) in 2013 so far. They’ve decided to get back to their rock’n’roll roots after their second guitar player left in 2014, and it seems like it wasn’t a bad idea at all. Indeed, this 4 song CD almost sounds like it’s a fresh new start, with influences such as HANOÏ ROCKS (“What They Said”, “No Fiction”) or ’77 punk (“Shelter In The Wild”, “Coming Back”), although FDK never sound vintage on this EP. The production is good, the vocals and backing vocals are solid, and the songs are catchy enough to stay in your head just after you’ve listened to them once. Good job, guys! Laurent C.

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Suicide Bombers “Suicide Idols”

This is the third SUICIDE BOMBERS release already if you don’t count the “Appetite For Explosions” 3 song debut CDR (2012.) As usual, the record opens with a SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK kind of intro, just before getting right into the heart of the matter, delivering some high quality hard rock’n’roll with “Suicide Idol”!
“Ready For Tonight” slows the tempo down, with sunny guitar leads and a catchy chorus, a bit like a dirtier POISON, also reminding of Chris Damien Dolls’ old band TRASHCAN DARLINGS (same thing with “Waiting”.) Classic hard rock fans will love “Next World War”, “Generation Kill” (you’ll hear a bit of a “Looks That Kills” tribute in this one), “We Got Tonight”, or “Keep An Eye On You” that has a bit of an early SKID ROW flavour in it. “Never Gonna Change” is a slow one, but it manages to bring an interesting atmosphere, somewhere between melancholy and desperation, while the other slow song of the album “Sex Star Icon” is a good heavy sleazy tune. Just before the outro, “Just One Fuck” ends “Suicide Idols”, leaving a catchy chorus stuck in your head. Something that is really nice with SUICIDE BOMBERS is their will to keep an old-school hard rock sound when too many new bands in this style choose the boring modern sound nowadays. Well, since the world has been goin’ crazy lately, its end might be near, so this is definitely an album you should play at your farewell party! /Laurent C.

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The Ghost Wolves “Texa$ Platinum”

This guitar duo from Austin, Texas was formed in 2011 and bring us their second album, released by German record label Hound Gawd records! 14 songs of garage punk with a riot grrl touch that sometimes bring a band like BABES IN TOYLAND to mind. “Attitude Problem” and “Strychnine In My Lemonade” both display the punk rock’n’roll side of the band, while “Crybabies Go Home” sounds as if The CRAMPS have been on a heavy psychedelic diet. Carley Wolf’s, almost childish vocals sometimes remind me of QUEEN ADREENA, and Jonathan Wolf’s wild and natural drumming sounds very refreshing in this world of pro-tools editing. The band’s minimal musical approach can especially be heard in “Triple Full Moon”, and keeping things raw, without tons of arrangements is something that fits them very well, a bit like early bluesmen when you think about it (“DYGKD” confirms this a the end of B-side.)
The band cites The KILLS as an influence, and it shows a bit in songs like “Whettin’ My Knife”, “Vroom Vroom/$$/I Got Money $$”, or in the bluesy “Bunny Run.” Blues sometimes get doomy in “Shouldnt’ Have Lied” or in “Noisy Neighbors/Yuppie Scum”, but the chaotic spirit remains.
You can hear some exciting live energy on “Texa$ Platinum”, so there’s no doubt that The GHOST WOLVES must be an amazing live act. The limited edition “ultra clear blood hazed” vinyl looks great, which is always a big bonus. /Laurent C.

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Cyclope Espion “Friday Night Epitath”

CYCLOPE ESPION is the project of Thomaxe, you might have read some of his articles/columns in various ‘zines, including ours, or if you’re lucky enough to live in New York City, then you might have seen him play in a rock’n’roll club with his bands, or jamming with local rock’n’rollers. Thomaxe was a French teacher in NYC, but since all things have an end, he’s now back in France.
CYCLOPE ESPION is mostly about his life, and the years he has spent in New York, it is a DIY effort that consists of Thomaxe and producer Nate Kohrs.
Expecting some RAMONES influenced songs would be too easy, CYCLOPE ESPION is a personal project based on experience, life and feelings, so you’ll find many different sounds and colours on this album. “Faux Départ” is a French pop song full of melancholy while “Friday Night Epitath” and “Wishful Thinking” are sad ballads in which vocals sometimes have a bit of JEFFREY LEE PIERCE in them, and although it might not sound like him, NIKKI SUDDEN came to my mind while listening to these songs. Vocals also remind me of French band GUTTERCATS at times, especially in songs like “Snapdragon”and “D.B. Cooper.” Listening to “Mad Love & The Self”, “Indélébile and “Satellite” instantly make you think that this album is a very personal one in which feelings mix with stories in the most sincere way.
“Friday Night Epitath” might not be the easiest album to get into you’ll ever find, but there’s definitely beauty into it. /Laurent C.

Brat Farrar “III”

BRAT FARRAR‘s 7″ “Being With You” was quite a good surprise last year. Here he is back with a 10 song album released by Off The Hip Records on CD, and Kizmiaz Records on vinyl.
“On Your Mind” opens this album in a straight noisy punk way, as if The PXIES did speed for breakfast! The 90s alternative rock influence is still strong in songs like “Make You Mine”, “When I Wake”, “Last Summer”, or “Try To Get Away” and its SONIC YOUTH feel.
At times, some songs get more experimental/shoegazey (“Sugar Coloured Dream” and “Downtown”), and it all gets very interesting when BRAT FARRAR explore darker territories (“Never Gonna Go”, “Waiting For You To Call”) in which 80s synths mix with alternative rock. You’ll even get a surf rock’n’roll touch in “And You Know It Now”! If you miss noisy pop and need to listen to something new in that style, then look no further! /Laurent C.

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Bitch Queens “L.O.V.E.”

This record opens with a song called “Anti-Social”, but it’s not a TRUST song! It sounds more like old TURBONEGRO, but well, these guys will probably admit it since they’ve never hidden their love for Norway’s Denim Demons. Punk rock’n’roll guitars and choruses that are easy to sing along is what you’ll find on “L.O.V.E”, with songs like “Deadbeat Generation”, “Girls Girls Boys Boys”, or “Collateral Damage”. The band can get more groovy on “Naked or Denim” and “Boy Toys Of Glory”, or straight punk rock on “Polymeric Lover”.
Fans of BACKYARD BABIES will probably love “B-Stock Babies” since it almost sounds like an outtake of “Making Enemies Is Good”, but although influences are sometimes quite obvious, BITCH QUEENS also know how to sound more personal, especially on the last song, “Techno is Dead.” “L.O.V.E.” is probably the band’s best release to date, so don’t be afraid of the beard on the cover, this is no stoner or hipster folk! (“L.O.V.E.” will be out on May 5th.) Laurent C.
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