Some RAMONES influenced punk rock by our favourite pop punk record label, Monster Zero Records!
Sweatpants Party “S/T”
Kevin Apers offers us 12 songs in The APERS vein. From fast angry punk (“I.K.E.A.”, “Fucking Useless”, “Elevator”) to RAMONES tributes (“Gimme Gimme Wok Treatment”) and cool punk rockin’ songs (“Happy Heart”, “Wasting No More Tears”, “Super Disappointed”), you’ll get all the ingredients that used to makeThe APERS so great. It’s not hard to imagine that songs like “I Will Never Drink Again” or “Weird Brain” can only be killer live, so keep your eyes open.
The Wimpys “Lookin’ Westward”
This Japanese band started in the mid-90s and you can hear that they know what they’re talking about! Their music is a cool bastard son of rock’n’roll and punk as you can hear in “Back On The Attack”, “Seventeen Seventeen”, “Walk Like A Man”, “Fun Tonight” or in “Work Out.” The spirit of the RAMONES can also be heard in “Too Busy” or in “Sad Little Girl” and you’ll even hear surf rock touches here and there and in “Back To The Summer Beach” as well as a bit of powerpop in “Excuse.” Good old rock’n’roll with punk energy. Sometimes you don’t need more to have a good time!
The Pigeon Boys “Detox/Retox”
These guys from Innsbruck, Austria play fast melodic pop punk à la NO FX but can also lean more on the powerpop side with “The Day You Gave Me Your Heart” or “My Heart Is Beating For You.” You’ll also get some RAMONES influenced punk rock with “Spaceship” or “The Night Himo Died” and a touch of 90s emo punk in “Quit Pro Quo.” Party punk all the way!
The Budweisers “Look out, Below!”
As you can imagine, this Spanish band isn’t a straight edge hardcore one. I was expecting some silly punk pop but songs like “500 Days Of Summer”, “Deepest Of My Heart” or “I Should Have Cried” have a bit of melancholy into them and the RAMONES influence is obvious in songs like “Look Out Below”, or in “Take A Ride.” The band also gets more in the rock and roll territory with “In The Basement” or in “Weirdo.” Oh, and these guys can also sing perfect vocal harmonies, always a plus in that style!
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Japanese band The PIGGIES have been around since 1997 although they broke up in 2001 and reappeared in 2017. They are a quite mysterious band (it’s actually hard to find any info about them online!) with cartoonesque girl vocals. They mix power pop, 60s girl bands and punk pop in an interesting way as you can hear in “Tell Me”. Songs like “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” or the amphetamine fueled rock’n’roll “Evelyn” are very catchy and hard to resist. Short but sweet, this 6 song 12″ is out on Monster Zero Records (on nice clear vinyl!) /Laurent C.
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After releasing their EP “Hexed” 3 years ago and a few other EPs and digital releases before, The HALLINGTONS from Norway are back with a full LP on Monster Zero Records. The RAMONES influence is still very strong and these new songs have quite a few catchy choruses (“Not Coming Back To You”, “Business Boy”, “Slaughterhouse”, “Spinning Me Around”, “My My My Mexico”) The sunny pop punk side of the band shows more in songs like “Your Boy”, “Becky’s On E” or “Alien Girl” and you’ll get a good dose of old-school punk rock riffs in this album (“Go Godzilla”, “Figures You Out”.) The album closes with “Hallington Hop”, a song that must be the band’s anthem. Quite a fun summer punk rockin’ album!/Laurent.
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The CHEAP POPS are a pop punk from Germany. They’ve probably used their Lookout records after intense listening hours. You’ll get the short and fast songs with melodic vocals and the kind of things you’re expecting from a band in that style. “Star Wars” sounds like a mix of RAMONES and NO FX (although they don’t have only good things to say about Fat Wreck Records in the song “Fat Wreck”) and “Slobs” and “Beavis and Butthead” are good teenage summer songs. The CHEAP POPS say goodbye in pure punk style with a catchy “Shut Up.” They describe their album as “Short, fun and careless” which is quite a good description for it! 90s pop punk enthusiasts, go for it! /Laurent C.
Neon Bone “I Wanted You To Know” 7″
Four pop punk songs with vocals reminding of BAD RELIGION. “I Wanted You To Know” is quite catchy, “Put It On a Rest” is sunny enough for the summer, “Why Did You Go Away” has a bit of a RAMONES feel to it and “Island Of Dreams” brings early SOCIAL DISTORTION to mind. Worth getting if you like good pop punk.
F.A.N.T.A. “El Paciente Cero” 7″
F.A.N.T.A. is a melodic punk from Barcelona and they offer us two songs on a 7″, the old-school way! “El Paciente Cero” is a pretty cool rockin’ tune and “Yo Nunca Tuve A Nadie Como Tu (I Never Got The Girl)” sounds more like the slower RAMONES songs. The Spanish vocals fit quite well with this kind of punk rock. Quite a pleasant release!
It’s officially summer so it might be the right time for a pop punk release and Monster Zero Records know it all about this! RANDELLS offer us quite a catchy opener with “Kicks” and potential beach hit “Pick Me Up.” Of course you’ll find your usual RAMONES riff (“I Can’t Make It In The Bedroom”) but “Holiday In The Sun” is not a SEX PISTOLS cover, more of a melancholic Californian punk tune with a cool little surf rock guitar part. The Swedish power trio also has its hardcore-ish moments with “I Don’t Wanna Be A Deadbeat” and “El Mundo Loco” but also chews bublegum in “Karen” and “Gum In My Hair.” “I don’t Wanna Go” is a pleasant surprise on this album since it offers us some kind of ’77 punk rock’n’roll from outer space. The bands sings about “The End Of The Summer” with BEACH BOYS backing vocals and then you realize the album is already over. It can’t be a bad sign. /Laurent C.
Three years after their album “II”, Norway’s party rockers RAZORBATS offer us 10 brand new songs. Although the opening song is named “Rock’n’Roll Kills”, the band sounds alive and well delivering some fine poppy rock’n’roll with a DARKNESS kind of guitar riff. The vocals and arrangements bring the 00s pop punk scene to mind when you listen to “Working For The Weekend” but “Rebel Soul” and “Big Time” have American power pop roots and “Little Ms. Crazy” sounds like a good old classic rock ballad, not in a cheesy MTV way but more in a D.A.D. vein… On the other hand, if you like your ballads cheesier, then you’ll have to listen to “Venice.” The 80s hard rock influences can also be heard in “The City”, “Nightcrawlers” or in “White Trash Radio” and we get to think of MARVELOUS 3 while listening to “Cocaine Karma.” They say that this new album is a tribute to the rocker lifestyle and we believe them! Just fun rock songs that will sound perfect with the first Spring sunbeams. /Laurent C.
Pop punk champion record label Monster Zeros Records are bringing us 3 hot releases for this winter:
Neon Bone “Make It Last”
Punk pop from Germany with songs going from RAMONES influenced punk rock (“Number One”, “I’m Coming Home”, “Another You”) to 90s sunny pop punk (“I Got A Friend”.) You also get to think of BAD RELIGION while listening to “Baby Don’t You Cry” and “Don’t Say No More” or NOFX (“You’re Eating My Brain.”) The band sometimes clearly slides to the pop side with “Girl You Should Know”, “Talk Yo Me”, “It’s Up Yo You” or “Surrender To You.” An album that keeps the pop punk flame high in the air!
So-Cho Pistons “Knuckeheads”
Hiroshima punk rock veterans are back and offer us 18 ultra fast punk rock songs in 30 minutes! “No Way”, “Don’t Be A Liar” or “To Dancing” show us that these guys must dig the RAMONES but you’ll also hear a bit of 77 punk/street punk (“I Love Fifi”, “No”) and traces of 80s punk hardcore (“Rise Up”, “Tou Senbo” “Teo Nobase – Raise Your Hand”, “One Rocket”) You might need to learn Japanese to understand the lyrics but it fits well with the music. This is fast, this loud, this is raw, this is punk! Ready Steady Go!
The Skullingtons “En”
This is the first release of this Norwegian band although they’ve been touring a lot. The intro song “S.K.U.L.L.IN.G.T.O.N.S” is pure RAMONES style but then “Phantom Limb” takes us somewhere where The MISFITS could be hanging out. This is no surprise that you’ll get a bit of horror influenced lyrics (“Jenna is a Necrophiliac”, “I Don’t Wanna Go on the Murder Train”, “Highschool Of The Dead.”) The band can sound very poppy on “She Could Be The One” and even sound 60s influenced on “No Spark.” The vocals stand somewhere between The GROOVIE GHOULIES and the TOY DOLLS and the raw production fits quite well with the teenage punk spirit of these songs.