The Roxies “Don’t Wanna Dance Because I’m Told To”

This punk rock band from Berlin is definitely influenced by the ’77 scene but you’ll also get an indie vibe when listening to these songs. A bit of PIXIES in “Underdog” or even a little ARCTIC MONKEYS in “Scapegoat.” The vocals are snotty enough to please any PISTOLS/BUZZCOCKS fan and you’ll find enough guitar melodies to seduce Brit pop lovers, especially with songs like “Down” or “Bad Parenting.” The guitars actually remind me of The LIBERTINES at times. Since the band mixes both punk and pop so well, it’s not very surprising to find some RAMONES and BOYS influences in “Beat Of The Street” or in “Lovedrunk.” Bass player Imke did a great job with the backing vocals, they give a little HANOÏ ROCKS vibe in “Cat Caller” You”ll also get a bit of post-punk with “Filmriss” and “Stereo” and you’ll probably want to listen to “Adolescent Depression” again just after you’ve listened to it for the first time. I wasn’t expecting some blues to end this record but it actually was a good idea since “Blue” sounds like a jam with the ghost of Jeffrey Lee Pierce. This cool album is a Co-release by Family Spree Recordings (Spain) & Dirt Cult Records (USA). /Laurent C.

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Bella Wreck “S/T”

BellaWreckBerlin’s brand new rock’n’roll sensation BELLA WRECK offers us this fine debut album, mixing classic punk to the best of Australian rock (singer Dave is actually Australian.) Have you ever thought about how the DEAD BOYS would have sounded if they had lived in Australia? Well, just listen to “Untold Story” or “Vienna” and you’ll get something close to it!
Cool hooks and 70s guitars in songs like “Whether You Like It”, “Fun”,”Trash” or “Fight” will just make you want to have a drink and dance, which is quite a good thing for rock’n’roll album, right?
You’ll also get a bit of a Swedish aftertaste in “31, 000 years” and “Fear Me”, both reminding me a bit of late HELLACOPTERS ; Actually, The NOMADS also come to mind at times when listening to the album… If you’re more into 60s power pop, then the band didn’t forget about you, just listen to “Downtown” and “Run”… I must add that the production on this record fits really well with BELLA WRECK‘s music, it’s raw but clear, no overproduced shit!
Whether you’re into RADIO BIRDMAN, The REAL KIDS, The RAMONES, The DICTATORS or The NEW YORK DOLLS, chances are you will love this album!/Laurent C.

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Dead Sexy “Rodeo Boys”

CoverDeadSexyFrench electro-glam-punk band DEAD SEXY are back with 12 new songs wrapped in flashy pink. Now based in Berlin, the runaway boys logically added some sound influences from the capital city of Germany in their music (“Panorama”, “Plastik Emotion”…), but they also kept their love for poppy dancey rock’n’roll alive, mixing The STOOGES and BLUR in “Anyway”,rocking to dancey boogie glitter beats in “Forever High”, occasionally flirting with punk rock (“This Is Rodeo Böys (dedicated to Rob Reiner), “Just a Dog”), and Mickey Blow (Johnny Thunders band) appears as a guest on harmonica. Founding members and vocalists Emmanuelle H and Stéphane H both use English and French, and they sure know how to make their Frenchness stand out, the best example being “Lonesome Poupée”, just imagine a place somewhere in time where the Yé-yés suddenly decided to start playing electro-clash and you’ll be getting close to the idea…
Some of these songs like “Slow Motion” and “You Can Make It” will stay stuck in your mind as soon as you listen to them, and it will be hard for you to keep your feet still while listening to “Rodeo Boys”. So, get this album without further delay, put your glitter boots on, and don’t be afraid to smear some lipstick on! This is how they rock!/Laurent C.

Velvet Condom “Vanity & Revolt”

vanity-and-revoltThe Berlin-based French synth pop duo has been around for 8 years already, and have released 2 albums, 1 EP as well as a few songs for various compilations. Thus, Rustblade records has rightfully decided to release this “best-of” compilation (the limited box also includes a DVD with some videos and live footage.)
While duos were really popular until a few years ago, it seems like the trend has been fading out a bit lately, but the best ones remain, and VELVET CONDOM is definitely one of them. Their mix of synthpop and post-punk with glammy vocals has always managed to evolve through the years… Starting as a minimalistic neue deutsche welle influenced duo, they then developped their style to get closer to 80s French coldwave, and finally included little by little more noisy (almost shoegaze) guitars on their last album “Stadtgeil”, a fine mix of dirty pop and weird wave in their own words.
So, whether you like to dance to 80s drum machine/synth beats (“Never Ever”, “Kalter “Lippenstift”), enjoy more dreamy-sexy atmospheres such as “Collapse In Slow Motion”, “Rouge City” or “Menace”, or 90s noisy guitars mixed to fine melodies (“Separ-Hate”) you’ll find what you need among these 19 songs. Add the creepy post-punk blues “Silky Lolita” and and the dark and catchy “Self Injury”, and you’ll get the perfect VELVET CONDOM compilation. Influences from a band like The CURE are also obvious on early songs such as “Trash Vaudeville” and “Poison & Maquillage”. Among the few rarities that have been added, 70s glam fans will also enjoy the amazing version of BRIAN ENO’s “Driving Me Backwards” that closes the record.
Icing on the cake, “Vanity & Revolt” is a great title and the cover art looks really good. Come on and feel the Velvet touch!/Laurent C.

Velvet Condom “Safe & Elegant” (2008)

While most French electro bands just take the easy DAFT PUNK way turning into DJs who do nothing but play their own music on CDs at shows, you’ll still find some more underground minimalistic acts that have more in common with German robotic genre originators KRAFTWERK. VELVET CONDOM (I know, you have to get used to the name!) is one of them, adding electric guitars and a noisy rock touch to their 80s synth driven pop. The vocals may sound familiar to some of you Veglam readers since Alice Von Glass is actually Alyss in Sparkling Bombs. As you would think that the digital duo is just one more 80s revivalist with opening track “Never Ever” (one of their best songs this being said), you will quickly change your mind after “Teenage Innocence” reminding more of experimental early 90s pop/shoegazing (a musical style that can be boring on the long run but also interesting when used thriftily like they do) and bands like MY BLOODY VALENTINE. “Talented Boy”, “Spiritualized” or “Self Injury” are closer to 80s new wave such as The CURE or NEW ORDER but the duo borrows from the style without falling into kitsch or cheap imitation like it has been happening too many times these last years. VELVET CONDOM also has a tendency to experiment with styles and is not afraid to give into the difficult electro ballad genre with songs like “My Own Tragic Escape” and its DEPECHE MODE/AIR references or “Seduce And Kill Her”. The darkest side of VELVET CONDOM can be found in tracks like “Numbed” (one of my personal favourites on here) and its SUICIDE-like synthetic rock’n’roll bass or in the creepy incestuous “Silky Lolita” and its bluesy guitar mixed to mechanical drum machine beats. As you probably have guessed by now, VELVET CONDOM is not your typical 80s revival party electro band dressed up in flashy colours and I won’t complain about it since they managed to mix the danceable pop elements of the genre to darker experimental ones ingeniously on this first album. Elegant for sure, but probably not as safe as the album title suggests./Laurent C.