I’m a bit late on this one since the album was released in August 2019, but it would have been a pity not to talk about it. The X-RAY EYES come from Leeds, UK and seem to have a special thing for ’77 punk rock. The energy of the first songs (“Track One” and “Hallelujah”) brings The BRIEFS to mind while “E.V.I.L” and “Blind Sniper” remind me of the mid-00s action rock scene (HELLACOPTERS…) and “I Think I’m Ready Now”could be every HIVES fan’s new favourite! You’ll also hear some slight 60s garage influences in “Trouble”, 70s rock touches in “I’m Not Buying It!” whereas “You’re Not Human” is a catchy glammy punk tune and “Afraid Of You” is new wave powerpop that will make you want to sing and dance to it. Put your 3-D glasses on and keep an eye on The X-RAY EYES! /Laurent C.
Some of you probably know FRANKIE DELMANE from The CRAZY SQUEEZE but he has also been active in various rock’n’roll bands (including TEENAGE FRAMES) and as a solo artist. “Penetration Street” contains 18 songs from his 365 songs in 365 days project and offers us a wide variety of his musician and songwriter talents in songs that rarely exceed 3 minutes. The sound is real and raw, opening on a JOHNNY THUNDERS note with “Little Johnny” before Frankie shows us he can alwo write a good post punk tune with “Broken Eyes.” Proto-punk influences mix with hard rock in “When The Silence Breaks The Sound” or in “Thrown Away In Time.” You’ll also hear some good powerpop in “Feel That Far” and “Lost The Game (Start Again)’, 60s influenced psyche (“Under The Sun with You”, “Here with You Tonight”, “Talked About Yesterday”), old-school garage (“Problem”, “She’s In Love Every Single Night”) and some distorted “77 punk (“This Sick Beat”, “It’s Gotta Be Me”.) The song “Street Penetration” sounds a bit as if The BOYS were jamming with early AC/DC and “Uptight Daylight” could be an obscure gem from a 70s glam rock compilation. You’ll hear some VELVET UNDERGROUND and ROLLING STONES influences quite a few times on this album but they are always used sparingly with style. For once, 18 songs don’t sound too long to me on a record, and some of them are actually a bit frustrating because you wish they were longer, but this is part of the urgency! I like the imperfection of this album, and was hoping FRANKIE would release some of his songs from his “365 project.” Start 2020 with something real! /Laurent C.
The BEATERSBAND from Italy is back with a 4 song Christmas EP, opening with a RAMONES influenced ‘Frosty The Snowman” before bringing their 60s powerpop influences back with “Black Christmas” (in which the vocals sound more like modern pop punk) and “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.’ “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” takes us back to the 50s with its rockabilly beat and girl pop vocals. In these four songs, the band’s garage sound still mixes pretty well with the female vocals, bubblegum backing vocals and vintage guitars.
I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas records, but these songs sound good, and if you’re looking for one, this one might be for you! /Laurent C.
If you were into 00s powerpop/glam, then you probably remember Los Angeles band TSAR. If you don’t, then rush and grab their albums! 3 members of TSAR play in The BROTHERS STEVE, but the music of the band is more influenced by TEENAGE FANCLUB, GUIDED BY VOICES or The KINKS. The 60s powerpop influences perfectly mix with 90s altenative Brit pop in “Angeline” and some strong 70s glam rock influences can be heard in the very catchy “We Got The Hits” and in “Carry Me.”Songs like “She”, the organic “C’mon Pappy” or “Carolanne” are rooted in the 60s but manage to sound modern at the same time and The BROTHERS STEVE also display some garage rock’n’roll influences in “Songwriter” or in “Beat Generation Poets Turned Assassin.” Although this album doesn’t sound like TSAR, it definitely has some similarities in the songwriting, the bubblegum melodies and vocal harmonies, and I personally won’t complain about it.
That’s modern powerpop at its best, and the perfect summer album if you’re still looking for one! /Laurent C.
Las Vegas Psych mods The LAISSEZ FAIRS are back with this 16 song album (double album?) on Rum Bar Records. Opening song “Long Grow The Marigolds” brings you back to 60s psychedelism before “Phantom Stranger” will make you space dance! “My Thursday” Girl” has a bit of an early BOWIE vibe, “Mister Wryly” and “We’ll Get There Someday” have a bit of BAUHAUS in them and “Redundant Beach” is a good modern psych glam song. While the whole album definitely has its roots deep in the past, there’s also a modern approach to it in the songwriting and in the arrangements and that’s a big part of the band’s identity. The shadow of the VELVET UNDERGROUND also appears at times (“Dirty Alice Jones”, “Remember Her”) and the garage influences can mostly be heard in “Follow The Money” or in “Lillie May”, but rather than describing and comparing, just take a trip with The LAISSEZ FAIRS! /Laurent C.
I’ve seen The JACKETS live a couple of times and they are quite an entertaining band with lots of energy, ALICE COOPER eye make-up, freaky fuzz and 60s garage influenced beats. Despite these obvious qualities, I never had the opportunity to listen to a full record of this Swiss/American band. Here they are back with “Queen Of The Pill” on Voodoo Rhythm Records. Their epic live energy can be heard from the start in the two first songs (“Dreamer”,”What About You”) and old-school garage fans will enjoy “Steam Queen” and “Don’t Leave Me Alone.”The trio also manages to mix vintage pop to crpytic garage in “Move On” and 50s rock’n’roll to proto-punk in “Queen Of The Pill.” The atmosphere gets cinematic in “Floating Alice” but you’ll also get your punk rock fix with “Loser’s Lullaby.” The album is produced by King Khan (KING KHAN & The SHRINES), recorded by Nene Baratto and mixed and mastered by Jim Diamond (WHITE STRIPES, The SONICS) so you can easily imagine it sounds the way it should be sounding! If you’re like me and haven’t checked their albums yet, it’s never too late! /Laurent C.
Voodoo Rhythm Records
ItsOnlyRockMusic webmag Issue 1 (May 2019)
44 pages of Rock N Roll!
Featuring Sick Things, Corazones Muertos, The Flaming Sideburns’ Eduardo Martinez, Sabertooth Rockers, Howard, Gyasi, Criminal Kids, Roxanne, Still Square, Dirty Action, Twin Temple, The Morlocks, Salty Dog, Guns N Roses, Alice Cooper Group, Baby Grande,The Limboos, MonoDelux, The Liza Colby Sound, Doomstress, Hammered Satin, Babylon Shakes, The Bad Somethings, L.A. Guns, Every Mother’s Nightmare and Jetboy.
This debut EP was first released in 2014 as a self-produced CD and Hound Gawd! Records have decided to give it a second life on 10″ vinyl. ROD HAMDALLAH is from Atlanta, GA so it’s no surprise to hear some soul and blues in his garage rock’n’roll. While “Think About It” opens on a quite punk rock note, “Carry You Home” (featuring Colonel J.D. Wilkes of The LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS) is filled with interesting soul and rockabilly touches and in case you need to find a song to play after The WHITE STRIPES during a DJ set, then “I Don’t Mind” will be a great choice. Side B offers us “Heatbeat”, a quiet bluesy song with a voodoo/gypsy feel, and “Take Me Back”, a bluesy rock’n’roll song with a powerful guitar-driven chorus.
Whether you like traditional garage or modern rock’n’roll, you’ll find something for your tastes in this EP. ROD HAMDALLAH seems to be touring a lot, and will be back to Europe soon, so keep an eye on him… /Laurent C.
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