Canadian hard rock’n’rollers DIRTBAG REPUBLIC are back with 11 new songs filled with heavy rock guitar riffs and sleazy hooks. Opener “Main Objective” brings us right in the matter saying that “rock’n’roll will never die” in a way that could have been done by the coolest Scandinavian bands from the 00s. “Skinny” has a very welcome glam punk vibe that makes it really catchy and “Wannabees” reminds me of MICHAEL MONROE‘s solo albums. “Days Are Gone” they say but the spirit can still be found in this record since you’ll even get some QUIREBOYS piano in “Don’t Answer To No One” and a dash of TRASHCAN DARLINGS in “Tear Down Your Idols”. Things slow down a bit with “Sorry” and “Did All I Cold” but don’t worry, there’s no cheesy ballad on this record! “Superficial” will probably stay in your mind for a while, “When I Was Young” will be every HANOÏ ROCKS‘ fan’s new favourite and “Turn Back Fast” is the perfect song to end this album that shows that bands can still play sleaze rock in 2021 and do it very well! /Laurent C.
At first glance, this one could be a metal album but The CUTTHROAT BROTHERS and MIKE WATT (MINUTEMEN…) are more into rock’n’roll and garage, and they like it heavy, bluesy with dirty guitars. “Been Away” is quite catchy, “Devil In Berlin” almost has a psychobilly vibe and “Love, Drugs, Etc.” and “Kiss The Moon” are good old timeless rock’n’roll singles. You’ll also get a little boogie with “Cherry” and it gets darker at times (“Cold Dead Night”, “Wild Western”) or even psyche (“Out of Our Cage”) but still bluesy with slide guitar. The wild and cryptic spirit of The CRAMPS also haunts this album, especially in “Like A Zombie”! The great thing about this record is that it sounds as if the guys were playing in your room if you listen to it loud enough.
For some reason, this record also reminds me of some Seattle bands like MUDHONEY and especially Matt Cameron’s garage rock project HATER. Considering this, it’s not surprising to see the name of Jack Endino as a producer on this record. The SCREAMING TREES also come to mind when it comes to grungy rock, a song like “Magic Tricks” could easily have been on one of their albums. If you’re looking for a great rock record to bury 2021, then this is the one! /Laurent C.
BITCH QUEENS took some time to record 12 new songs in their home studio during the pandemic and that’s the best thing they could do… “Burn It Down” opens in a quite usual TURBONEGRO way for them but “Con Man Contraband” offers us an interesting mix of heavy rock and metal core before “The Apocalypse” goes further into their modern hard rock search. You’ll even get slight pop touches in “Don’t Be That Dude”, some pop punk with “The Worst Thing” and even a bit of anarcho-punk with “Custom Dystopia”! Although they’ve been playing around with different music styles this time, songs like “Brainwash Radio”, “A Good Day To Forget”, “Ignorance Is Bliss”, “This Is How We Roll In 2020” and a straight forward chorus like in “FU Emily” all show us that BITCH QUEENS still know how to write and play good old punk’n’roll songs but who can resist a little disco rock touch (“Sugar Balls”)? “Custom Dystopia” is definitely BITCH QUEENS‘ most adventurous album, the Basel Böys managed to show us that they can still evolve in a dead end world and keep their Turbojungen roots at the same time. Bravo! /Laurent C.