Lester Greenowski “Kover All Over”

Another KISS tribute album? Well this one was made by a true fan for true fans. Lester even took his name from the first name of the band WICKED LESTER… He was also involved in the “”Keep On Shoutin’ – Not Your Average KISS Tribute”, a fundraising project in memory of Rock’n’Roll Photographer Alex Ruffini. Here, Lester has teamed up with a bunch of friends and guests to record these songs during the pandemic and it turned out to be a great idea. The choice of the songs is particularly interesting since they often are some fans’ favourites although they aren’t singles. “Radioactive” or “Got To Choose” (featuring Faz La Rocca of FAZ WALTZ) will make every KISS fan sing along from the first note to the last one! You’ll also hear a really cool punked-up version of “New York Groove” (featuring Irene from VIBORAS) as well as an explosive NEW YORK DOLL-ed version of “Kissin’ Time”. “Cold Gin” also gets a punk rock treatment and “Strutter” almost sounds like a BLONDIE song here, Debbie Harry should have been a guest on this one! “Parasite” is faster than the original version too but still manages to keep the heaviness and loudness of the song while “It’s My Life” alsmost sounds powerpop and “Getaway” sounds like a song from The HELLACOPTERS. One of the most surprising versions is “I Love It Loud”, turning this heavy monster into a punk rock anthem. Well, a good song is a good song! The cherry on top is the Italian version of “Radioactive” (“Radioattiva”) featuring Paul Del Bello (DOBERMANN.) This records will make you want to rock and roll all night and party every day, obviously! /Laurent C.

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Faz Waltz “On The Ball”

Italian power trio FAZ WALTZ are still going strong although they have changed styles a bit, from power pop to glam pop to 50s/60s retrock’n’roll. Songs like “Shame On You” or “Lotta Lovin'” bring EDDIE COCHRAN to mind and “Cold Touch” or “Soon I’m Gone” have bit of a LITTLE RICHARD vibe. The production takes you back to the golden age of rock’n’roll and the songs are all short and straight to the point. The spirit of The STRAY CATS also wanders around in songs like “She’s Mine” and “Hungry Man” and you’ll hear traces of power pop in “Empty Hands” as well as a glam rock touch in “Love Time Bomb”and in the BOWIE-esque “Shining Teeth”. If you’re looking for some good ol’ rock’n’roll, then look no further! /Laurent C.

Buy from Spaghetty Town Records

http://www.fazwaltz.com/

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The Beatersband “Vol Due”

This very prolific Italian band is back with 8 new cover songs. Opening with a punk poppy version of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (The SHIRELLES), you can hear the same power pop and 60s influences as in their previous releases with good female vocals. “Calendar Girl”, a 1961 cover of Neil Sedaka gets into the boogie territory and The BEACH BOYS‘ “Don’t Worry Baby” actually brings The BOYS to mind with its catchy melody. You’ll also hear a good Italian version of “If I Had A Hammer” (“Dametti Un Martello”) and the Italian language also works really well in “Pugni Chiusi” and in “Quelli Della Mia Età”, a cool cover of Françoise Hardy‘s “Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles.” You’ll also hear a cover of The McCoys‘ “Hang On Sloopy” and a personal version of The CHANTELS‘ “Maybe.” Nothing really new under the sun, but at least these covers sound good! /Laurent C.

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Teenage Bubblegums “In Limbo”

Looking at the name of the band, I was expecting some bubblegum punk or glammy punk, but this Italian trio is more into in your face punk rock with a dark and heavy guitar sound, so if they chew bubblegum, they probably spit it right after it! Vocals are shared between Billy and Ally, which adds more melody in songs like “How I Feel” or “In Limbo”. Songs like “Never Again” or “Burn” also have cool lead guitar melodies (almost surf rock at times) and “Full of Agony”, “How I Feel” and “Compassion” have a bit of an early TURBONEGRO vibe.
TEENAGE BUBBLEGUMS describe their music as popunk filled with sadness, angst and despair. This is quite an accurate description, and this album can probably find quite a few listeners among crust/d-beat fans as well. /Laurent C.

Buy from Monster Zero Records

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The Beatersband “Black Christmas” EP

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.

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The Beatersband “Vol Uno”

This Italian trio has decided to record eight 50s/60s rock’n’roll classics, and give them a new life with a rearranged powerpop sound, especially on their versions of ELVIS‘ “The Girl Of My Best Friend” or RITCHIE VALENS‘ “Donna.” Their cover of The CRYSTALS‘ “Then He Kissed Me” is probably my favourite on this album although “Do You Wanna Dance” (BOBBY FREEMAN) sounds great too. The last song should make you dance since it’s “Surfin’ Bird.” Nothing new under the sun, but a good summer album to listen to! /Laurent C.

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Psycho Barbies “Stupid Cupid” EP

I can’t really remember when was the last time I reviewed a bubblegum glam punk band. Unfortunately, the style has disappeared quite a long time ago, so it’s good to see a band from Italy bringing the pink glittery corpse of bubblegum glam punk back to life! PSYCHO BARBIES first released a 4 song demo CD in 2017 and are now back with better songs and this CD EP. Their image remind me a bit of TRASHCAN DARLINGS, but their music has more to do with the late 80s/early 90s Californian glam punk scene. This being said, opening song “Go On” makes me think of Germany’s HOLLYWOOD TEASZE, but “DARE” has more of a GLAMOUR PUNKS taste to it. We can also hear a bit of SUGAR SHOCK in the punky sugar sweet “She’s Insane” and the influence of HEART THROB MOB and PEPPERMINT CREEPS can also be heard in “Lollipop Superstar”, “Punky Lullaby” or in “Mayday”. This is quite amazing how these 6 songs sound just like a cassette from the Sunset Strip glam punk golden days (raw drums, loud backing vocals…), I’ve always thought that “cheap” productions were an important thing of the style, just like cut and paste flyers! If you’re reading this, big chances are you’ve been missing bands like this, so get a sugar fix with PSYCHO BARBIES! /Laurent C.

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