Sugar Lady “S/T” EP

Hailing from The Netherlands, SUGAR LADY get most of their influences from NYC 77′ punk rock’n’roll, when rock’n’roll was dirty and dangerous. The HEARTBREAKERS/JOHNNY THUNDERS influence is quite obvious in “Welcome To The Real World”, but the vocals remind me a bit of NASHVILLE PUSSY, so it doesn’t sound like an imitation at all. The trio slows things down in “Friday” before ending with “Motör Lady”, an up tempo MOTÖRHEAD influenced song. SUGAR LADY still sound raw and young, but they have this good old LAMF spirit that is so rare nowadays. So, keep an eye on them, we will! /Laurent C

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The Carvels NYC “Everything With You Is A Travesty” EP

In Downtown NYC, Brian Morgan is probably best known for slinging guitar for the Disruptors, the last of the great, pre gentrification, CBGB’s sleazy gutter punks, but in the Midwest, the guy is a legendary hero among the record store loiterers and sneering delinquent teenagers of all ages, for all his early garage-land bands like Subculture, Aural Sects, Big Bone Lick, and Gut Pistons, bands that inspired waves of other kids to first start listening to the groups that influenced his many, many underrated, highly influential Ohio musical ventures. He introduced generations of younger kids to music like the Cramps, Gun Club, Suicide, Deadboys, the Damned, the Clash, and old Alice Cooper. He is probably single handedly responsible for generating more small town Ohio punk bands than anyone else. Born in Van Wert, home of Brownsville Station, Morgan had an eight inch Mohawk in 1977, grew up reading “Search & Destroy”, “East Coast Rocker” and all the weekly English music mags like “NME” and “Melody Maker”, and forming a long list of brothel creeper and cowboy shirt wearing, black leather punk bands, creating fanzines, and organizing basement shows, when that was just not done, in those viciously intolerant hick towns. Not merely pre-internet, but pre Black Flag, ya dig? As a bored teenager, he looked just like Charlie Sexton and dressed as cool as the Clash or Stray Cats.
In his early twenties, he dedicated himself to a more Anti-Nowhere League, proto Zodiac Mindwarp biker-glam image, that provoked outrage among furious, flyover state rednecks, and total devotion from his growing cult of goth and grebo, scruffy crust-punk, and rejected weirdo, hangers on. Even his paintings and sleek band logos inspired copycats. His guitar style is like a mixture of Buxton and Bruce, Thunders and Chrome, Derwood and Brian James. A Warhol-esque scene-maker, he could be considered the Phillip Salon of Middle America, in that his after hours salon would regularly fill up with many hero-worshipping adolescent runaways, dropouts, Siouxsie and Madonna wannabe’s, cross dressers, hooligans, malcontents, and would be beat writers, who would sponge up all his bone-art-jewelry, creepy paintings, obscure imported records, sinister humor, innovative style, and rocknroll expertise. In addition to his ferocious space-cowboy guitar styling’s, and formidable songwriting ability, he was an early mentor to countless legions of Oi boys, hardcores, rockabillies and glam kids, who all went on to perform in various groups you’ve probably heard of. After lending his fiery talent to many NYC underground groups like the Disruptors, Black Bators, and Sunset Strippers, he forged an alliance with the talented Lynne Von Pang from Da Willys and Flipside faves, Trick Babies, and their distinctive sound is as Lower East Side as it gets. Part sixties girl group, with a Ramones sense of fun, X Ray Spex malt-shop saxophones, vintage Waldos attitude, and a call to style, like Blondie and the Heartbreakers.

“Everything You Do Is A Travesty” comes in an ace cartoon sleeve with a boss as hell skateboard sticker, as everything the Carvels do is invested with an infectious spirit of fun. Lynne Von Pang can really sing her heart out! Brian Morgan was friends with Amy Wichmann from Miniskirt Mob, and you can feel her smiling down on this classic bubblegum and trashy rocknroll record. “Questioningly’ is all timeless true romance, and Phil Spector and Brian Wilson pop-opera longing, showcasing Von Pang’s soulful pipes and the Carvels understated mastery of dreamy and free Blondie-esque rocknroll. Surprising that Little Steven has not picked this track as his “Coolest Song In The World”. If I was Rodney on the Roq, this would be my pick to click! It transports you straight back to your long gone “Pretty In Pink” youth you wasted pining hopelessly, with a helpless crush on a short skirted, roller-skating waitress in the parking lot of Frisch’s Big Boy. “You Make Me Wanna Be Alone” is a righteous kiss-off to some time-wasting, loser boyfriend. “It Wasn’t My Idea To Break your Heart” is another pop gem, sure to please fans of the B-Girls and Nikki Corvette. Steve Pang and Steven Fallon are a Pretenders solid rhythm section and Dave Spinley’s Psychedelic Furs like saxophone playing makes me miss my own brief stint in Manhattan, going to see NY sax stars in scuzzy bars, like Jamie Heath and Danny Ray. “I Don’t Know How You Do What You Do” features Brian Morgan’s James Honeyman Scott like, exquisitely tasteful soloing. All in all, it is a really fun, sunny, upbeat, and energetic, soda fountain of youthful, teenage-spirited CD from some very seasoned old school veterans. I don’t know how they do what they do, but I hope they keep doing it. (-Vega Death)

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Toward Space release “Devil Eyes” video

Richmond garage rock’n’roll band TOWARD SPACE have just released a new video for their song “Devil Eyes.”

“”Devil Eyes” is the look she gives you that excites and frightens your soul.
This video is a glimpse at the invincible sensation of youth and the beauty of femininity. ”

Song by Toward Space, mixed and mastered at Sound of Music Studios in Richmond, VA
Directed by Seyla Hossaini of Toward Space
Shot and Edited by Nicholas Von Thrower

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The Erotics “Stuck Between Venus And Mars” EP

One year after “United We Can’t Stand”, The EROTICS are back with 6 brand new songs. While the EP cover reminds me a bit of the excellent “Where You Been” by DINOSAUR JR., opening song “Stop Drop and Roll” confirms that The EROTICS still play 80s influenced hard rock’n’roll. “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” is heavy and sleazy with a memorable chorus, “Stuck Between Venus and Mars” is a classic glam metal tune with great guitar riffs, and this time, the band has also decided to slow things down a bit with “Best Song Of The Night”, a power ballad somewhere between GUNS N’ ROSES‘ version of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” and POISON‘s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” This being said, The EROTICS also keep their punk metal edge and dark humour lyrics with the catchy “Dismember You” and offer us a powerful cover of The MISFITS‘ “Skulls.” This is a great EP, and The EROTICS will be on tour in England soon (see dates below), so don’t miss them if you can go to one of these shows. /Laurent C.
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The Connection “Wish You Success”

“Wish You Success” is the third full length album of The CONNECTION. The band mixes its American punk rock roots (“You Know”, “In The End”, “Mechanical Heart”) with excellent pop songwriting (“Checking”, “Color Me Unimpressed”, “What a Shame”), and their power pop rock’n’roll sometimes flirts with country music in “Wish You Success” or in “Thinking Out Loud.” The CONNECTION might be influenced by bands from the past, but they manage to mix this vintage flavour with a more modern sound even when they dig into 60s garage (“The Girl Is Trouble.”) You’ll also hear some ROLLING STONES influences in “Heaven Or Hell.” Whether you like the RAMONES, TOM PETTY or CHEAP TRICK, you’ll find something for you in this album, and if you like the three of them, then this album will find a good place in your top list!
Songwriters Brad Marino and Geoff Palmer have also put out good solo releases you should check out. /Laurent C.

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