Trifle “All that Used To Be” EP

Once in a while, you can read a review of an “emo” record on here, because there’s nothing wrong with it as long as it rocks. Bands like HOT WATER MUSIC, early GET UP KIDS or The PROMISE RING were all good, and TRIFLE carry the torch of this indie rock style that was quite popular in the late 90s, from the hardcore scene to college radio. You’ll hear some good guitar melodies in “I Ain’t Ever Feel Free” or in “Uncertain”, some poppy melancholy and the vocals are not bad, though typical of this style. I would personally say that the band is better when they add a little noisy touch to their music, and give birth to something more personal, like in “Tramp.” These four songs are out on Italian label Lostdog Records. /Laurent C.

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LATTE+ “Next To Ruin”

22 years, 8 albums… This Italian band isn’t really new, but they are back with a 13 song self-produced album. The record starts with “Next To Ruin”, an up-tempo punk rock song reminding of The QUEERS or SCREECHING WEASEL, but songs like “Phocomelic Boy” or “Everybody Likes Your Wife” have a RAMONES-like energy while “Waiting For You” or “Very Abormal People” sound more like GREEN DAY. The band knows how to write good sunny punk pop songs (“Cookie”, “I Miss You”, “She Cracks The Whip”) but will also sure make you rock to “Sleepyhead” or “Lost In Berlin.” You’ll also hear a tribute to Dee Dee Ramone (“Hey Hey It’s Dee Dee’s Birthday Today.”) I know, there’s plenty of bands playing this RAMONES meet pop punk style, but these guys have been around long enough to be able to do it really well! /Laurent C.

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Lester Greenowski “Out Of Tune, Out Of Key”

Opening on an 80s sax note, this new album gets on fire from the start with the RAMONES influenced “Let’s Get Fucked Up” which already sounds like an anthem! Then, “The Perfect Time To React” and “Until Wrong Turned Right” (with some cool piano and killer sax solo) bring back a bit of a 00s glam punk flavour, when energy, melody and style were all getting along perfectly in rock’n’roll. “Love Me (A Stalker’s Song)” and “Maybe” are typical LESTER songs with catchy choruses while “Voices In Her Head” would be on every radio station in a perfect world. Punk rock fans will enjoy “Here She Goes To The Top” and “If You Want To Stay The Night”, and “Poor’s Men De Niro” is not only a great song title, it seriously rocks! Lester has a great voice for ballads and you can hear this in the intro of “Out Of Tune, Out Of Key”, another song that should be a hit single! There’s some 70s grandiloquence in this song. You’ll find two bonus tracks: “All These Dreams Could Kill”, a killer up tempo song, and “Coo Ca Choo”, a glammy punk pop tune. Don’t tell me you won’t find anything to your taste in this new record! /Laurent C.

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The Gentlemens “Triage”

This is the third full-length album of punk blues Italian trio The GENTLEMENS. The vinyl version is released by Hound Gawd! Records, so it looks very nice as usual. ‘Still I Am” gives this album a quite brilliant opening, bringing a vibe somewhere between The CRAMPS and JOHN SPENCER, while second song “Sheltered” is a great high primitive energy track. The band also sounds more modern garage rock with noisy dissonance in “Shame-Love”, and even adds some pop to the recipe in “I Let You Die” and in “Sin Love Pray.” The garage influence is especially strong in “Out Of Here”, “Dlana’s Flavour” or in “Lower Ground Floor.” You’ll even here some blues (“She Made Me Hard”) and a bit of funk in “A Second Coming”, while “John Q Public Blues” sounds darker, hypnotic and more cinematic.
Italy has been offereing us some quite interesting rock’n’roll bands lately, and The GENTLEMENS are definitely one of them! /Laurent C.

http://www.the-gentlemens.com/

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Sloks “Holy Motor”

“One Up” and “Rat” open this album in a very no wave way full of noise and repetitive beats, but the Italian power trio has its roots in primitive garage as you can hear in “Holy Motor.” SLOKS tell us that “Jazz Is Dead” in a psychedelic chaotic celebration of noise, but also admit they can make your dad dance to indie garage rock (“Dad Can Dance”, “Lost Memory”) and lo-fi grunge (“The Swamp”, “Crashing.”) Actually, a song like “By The River” could make SONIC YOUTH sound as an overproduced band! I often think that this kind of music is better live than on record, but the production makes the band sounds as if they were playing right in front of you.
It’s raw, it’s primitive and it is out on Swiss record label Voodoo Rhythm Records. /Laurent C.

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The Innocent “S/T”

Italy has brought us some exciting rock’n’roll bands these last years (GIUDA, IDOL LIPS, LESTER GREENOWSKI, etc.), and it seems like it won’t stop now. Max (vocals/guitar) studied rock’n’roll at a good school since he played with RICKY RAT both in Europe and in the USA. Back in Italy, he found three rock’n’rollers to express his love for glam punk rock’n’roll. His JOHNNY THUNDERS guitar style hits us right from the start with “What You Gonna Do”, and influences such as the DEAD BOYS or The PROFESSIONALS can be spotted in “Out Of Kicks”, “Nobodies From Nowhere”, or in “Nothing At All.” The raw energy and angry anthemic backing vocals on this album also remind me of The BLACK HALOS, and songs like “Crazy Talk” or “Blah Blah Girl” have no problem to get stuck in your head! The INNOCENT sometimes flirts with street punk in songs like “I Can’t Find A Cure” or “No More”, but you’ll still get these cool THUNDERS guitar solos. The band even has their own “Pipeline” with the closing song called “Lafayette.” Nine ’77 punk infuenced songs played with syle, and no fillers, this is the kind of album I needed to listen to these days! /Laurent C.

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Idol Lips “Street Values”

Italian punk rock’n’rollers IDOL LIPS are back with a new album on German record label Wanda Records. Although the band still owes a lot to JOHNNY THUNDERS (“Too Loose”…), you’ll hear some obvious TURBONEGRO influences in “Don’t Need Your Love”, “Waiting To Die Around”, or “Too Loud For The Crowd”, and the band’s snotty spirit sometmes reminds me of The BRIEFS. The guitars are dirty, the choruses are catchy (“Feeling Blue”, “Out Of Control”), and “No One To Blame” brings GIUDA to mind, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
If you miss the 70s NYC punk sound, leopard print, pink suit jackets and safety pins, then don’t miss this album! /Laurent C.

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