I haven’t reviewed any split records in a while, so here’s one of two punk rock bands, JAGGER HOLLY (US) and The WINDOWSILL ‘The Netherlands.) JAGGER HOLLY plays pop punk the way it has to be played, short songs with sweet melodies, sometimes with a RAMONES touch (“Out Of Luck”) and a bit of late 70s American new wave in “All The Boys” as well as 90s emo (“Better Off Without You”.) The WINDOWSILL is the band of Marien Nicotine (ex-APERS) and they open their side on a RAMONES riff (“Cigarettes Kill”) before they rock to the mid-tempo and sunny “Don’t Worry Baby.” Their Californian side also shows in “Leads Back To You” and in “Last September” which will probably bing some sunlight to your dark winter and make you get back on your skateboard earlier this year! This record is available from Hey Pizza Records and Shield Recordings. /Laurent C.
Norway might be famous for TURBONEGRO and black metal, but The HALLINGTONS are more influenced by American bands, especially the RAMONES (“Not My Deal”) and pop punk (listen to the chorus in “Jesus Freak” or the song “Pretty Neat” that reminds me a bit of The GROOVIE GHOULIES.) There’s more vocal harmonies in “The Witch” but “She’s On Repeat” keeps it all fun and simple.
6 fast poppy teenage punk songs the way it has to be done, and you probably won’t be surprised to hear that this EP is released by Monster Zero records. /Laurent C.
Pop punk is always better with some bubblegum added to it, and The YOOHOOS from Germany definitely know about this! This German power trio with both male and female vocals are influenced by GROOVIE GHOULIES, CHIXDIGGIT and 90s indie college rock, but songs like “Hello”, “Planet Heart”, “Spread The Magic” or “Decisions” could have been played by any early 90s underground Sunset Strip bubblegum glam punk band. The college rock touch shows in “Love Disposal Service”, “Heart On” and “Rainy Cloud” while “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “Rusty Robot” have late 90s/early 00s pop punk traces in them. You’ll also hear some good old CHUCK BERRY rock’n’roll with “Little Alien” and a short and interesting electronic dreamy ballad called “Spaceboy” just before the sweet punk rock song “Cuddle All The Kittens” that puts an end to the album. “Up Goes The Rocket” is out on Monster Zero records and you should grab it!/Laurent C.
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.
This is the second EP of this Swedish band. They play pop punk the way it used to sound on Lookout! Records in the early 00s, but this 7″ is out on Monster Zero Records (based in Austria.) They don’t try to change the world, or even the style, but they do it really well, with youthful energy and passion. You can hear this in songs like “Stupid World” or “Out Of Order.” “Done With You” has a bit of a ’77 punk flavour although it has more to do with skateboards than heroin chic.
If you’re like me and don’t really listen to this style these days, just give this 7″ a try, because these guys definitely know what they are doing! /Laurent C.
Wassup Rocker Radio/Alex Kish (Ohio) have decided to gather some of their favourite tracks on a free 32 song compilation. This is a good idea to promote these underground bands as well as the radio! If you regularly read these pages, then you must be familiar with names like RAZORBATS, The CRAZY SQUEEZE, FAZ WALTZ, TEENAGE FRAMES, or The CONNECTION. The songs on here go from girl pop (LUCY AND THE RATS, The EXBATS) to garage (The DARTS, RIK & The PIGS, VOIID, GINO & The GOONS) and angry punk’n’roll (CRIMINAL KIDS.) You’ll also hear some good pop punk (GEOFF PALMER, BLACK HEART BREAKERS, LATTE), some power pop (BRAD MARINO) some modern garage (The WHY OH WHYS, STUFFT CRUST), some ’77 influenced punk rock (GLITTER TRASH, DEVIOUS ONES, PRIVATE FUNCTION, The CHEETAHS, KILLER HEARTS, KÜKEN, MOLLY & The KRELLS, The SOLD AND BONES, DIRTY CHEETAH…) and some cool glam rock’n’roll (The MATT TRUMAN EGO TRIP, The HANDCUFFS, BBQT.) You’ll even hear a bit of postpunk (ROSEGARDEN FUNERAL PARTY) ska reminding of The CLASH with XSLF.
This is free and this is good, so you should just download this compilation and then buy the releases of the bands you enjoy the most! /Laurent C.
Californian punky power pop, mixing the energy of the RAMONES, the snottiness of the BUZZCOCKS, and a good dose of UNDERTONES (“Decisions.”) I never heard of the RADIOHEARTS before, but it seems like they already released a couple of EPs before.
The raw production, powerful bass, and guitar melodies bring The JAM to mind on “Let Them Know’, and you can also hear a CHEAP TRICK influence on “Heartbeat”, which can’t be a bad thing.
This 4 song EP is quite a good introduction to the RADIOHEARTS, and since we’re talking about hearts, if you rermember and loved The EXPLODING HEARTS, then check this EP out!/Laurent C.
The idea of starting a four, or five piece band with musicians who will play together for years has become more than difficult in 2015. Rich Rags knows about it! From his New York days to Soho in London, he’s been through many incarnations of his project to finally give birth to these 11 songs, with a little help from his friends Rich Jones (MICHAEL MONROE, BLACK HALOS…), and Sam Yaffa (HANOÏ ROCKS, MICHAEL MONROE, NEW YORK DOLLS, etc.), no less!
Good melodic power pop songs in the vein of The REPLACEMENTS, TOM PETTY, or The PLIMSOULS, something that you can’t find easily on records nowadays… While the first songs on here, “Lie For Today”, “Saturday Night Sailor”, and “Show Me The Way” are very good, the album will grow on you song after song, and you’ll get hooked by “Nowhere”,”The Jerk”, and “Cherry Dear”!
Names like GOO GOO DOLLS, CHEAP TRICK, or The WILDHEARTS also come to mind when listening to this album, since melodic vocals and powerful guitars perfectly mix together, but you’ll also get your up tempo punked-up fix with “The Go-To Guy.”
“Reality Holiday” brings some “everything good has to end” feeling before the album is even finished ; sunny, and full of melancholy at the same time, “The Go-To Guy” makes a great summer album, and more than this…/Laurent C.