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.
Holy smokes, my brothers and sisters and friends of the revolution, if you like good music, this record is gonna shock you with it’s Replacements like greatness. It is extraordinarily, mind bogglingly good. Reminds me, some, of that Sylvain song from the Dolls reunion record, “End Of The Summer” and the Generation X song, “Heaven’s Inside” and not just thematically, but his guitar playing has become somewhat spectacular, his singing’s been perfected, the songs themselves are beautiful, he’s become an all around fantastic entertainer over these past few decades, and I can say that to you as somebody who knew him briefly in our early twenties, when we shared many of the same influences, collaborators and even common experiences. I was writing about his early work in my personal memoirs, how I remember really digging a goth demo he did called “Tombstone Radio”, and then, seeing his Manic Street Preachers influenced band, A Streetcar Named Disaster, and then, appreciating the Dimestore Haloes song, “Hot Pink Stereo”. I have not kept up with his prolific discography in recent years ’cause I been otherwise involved, but honestly, man, oh man. It’s just so good. You like Paul Collins the Beat, or Candy, or Rick Springfield, Chris Isaak, or Material Issue? This album might become one of your very favorite records. He is eclipsing some of his own former influences, at this point. “Ever Since Ever Since” is undoubtedly one of the best power pop records I’ve heard in a long time. Sensational, uplifting, energizing, it’s what you want. “One Black Summer” reminds me of my whole youth, really, the bottles we emptied, basement shows, and girls we knew who wore a lot of makeup. I think the big, right now, solid platinum hit you need to hear most urgently is called, “Endless Summer Ends”. I’m an absolute fan club, total sucker for this stuff. Just dig this right now. I dunno about you, but I really love this. Also, he has a good sense of humor, and does not take life so dead seriously like I do, and in perilous, uncertain, tumultuous, oppressive and regressive times like these, I’ve come to really respect and sincerely appreciate his work. Vive le Cheap Cassettes! /JD Misfortune.
First album by FAST EDDY from Denver who flew to Atlanta during the pandemic to record 10 songs with Tuk Smith and Dan Dixon. “Take A Look” is a great opener, it offers us THIN LIZZY influenced guitars in the intro and vocals that remind me of RHINO BUCKET. It definitely makes the listener want to hear more! Second song “Milwaukee” sounds like a hit from the 70s played by 2010s US power pop rock’n’rollers while “Kill City” sounds more modern with its up tempo beat and angry vocals but you can definitely hear some 80s roots in it. The band also takes influences from British indie rock in songs like “Dead Eyes”, “Sunflower” or “Help Me” and mixes the STONES and ELVIS COSTELLO with fresh punk energy in “Hurricane Alley.” FAST EDDY also pays tribute to CHUCK BERRY with the killer “Lost” and gets soulful in “Game Of Love.” Different songs, different moods, the band manages to mix their various influences in style whether it is 70s American rock’n’roll, British pop, punk rock or even sunny boogie (“Frankie Died”.) Well, we can already say that “Take A Look” is a great 2022 album! /LaurentC.
Argentinian powerpop/indie artist Juan Pablo Mazzola (AKA BABY SCREAM) has just released “Guts”, a song with a BOLAN/ALICE IN CHAINS/LENNON vibe. The end of the video includes extracts from a conversation Pablo had with a friend.
Pablo is working on a new BABY SCREAM album at the moment.
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.
HONEYCHAIN is a power trio from Los Angeles that bring us 2 songs on transparent yellow vinyl on Spanish record label Jarama 45RPM Recs . “Go Away” is mix of 90s alternative rock with modern girl powerpop and “Through Your Purse” sounds more like punk rock with a college rock touch. You’ll get lots of energy and good melodies on this 7″. A good one for the summer!
AUTOGRAMM also delivers two songs on Jarama 45RPM Recs. This power trio hails from Vancouver, Canada and plays synth driven punk rock reminding of The CARS or DEVO. “Bad Day” is quite catchy and “Quiero Estar Sedado” sounds like The RAMONES playing with synth. Quite fun!
JOE NORMAL AND THE ANYTOWN’rs are located in Los Angeles, but Joe is originally from New Jersey and you can fee lt in the songwriting. Melody and energy meets in a way that brings The REPLACEMENTS to mind in “Anytown” while “Nuthin’ (I Got Nothing)” has classic British rock’n’roll (STONES, FACES…) influences, and “Into The City Tonight” is a sunny 60s power pop song with great sounding guitars.The band’s biography says they’ve worked with IZZY STRADLIN, STIV BATORS, SYL SYLVAIN and DRAMARAMA among others in the past, so you know these guys can’t be wrong. This is short, but these 3 songs are a pretty good introduction to the band and this EP will definitely make you want to listen to more! /Laurent C.
“Wish You Success” is the third full length album of The CONNECTION. The band mixes its American punk rock roots (“You Know”, “In The End”, “Mechanical Heart”) with excellent pop songwriting (“Checking”, “Color Me Unimpressed”, “What a Shame”), and their power pop rock’n’roll sometimes flirts with country music in “Wish You Success” or in “Thinking Out Loud.” The CONNECTION might be influenced by bands from the past, but they manage to mix this vintage flavour with a more modern sound even when they dig into 60s garage (“The Girl Is Trouble.”) You’ll also hear some ROLLING STONES influences in “Heaven Or Hell.” Whether you like the RAMONES, TOM PETTY or CHEAP TRICK, you’ll find something for you in this album, and if you like the three of them, then this album will find a good place in your top list!
Songwriters Brad Marino and Geoff Palmer have also put out good solo releases you should check out. /Laurent C.