Hyperactive musician JOE NORMAL has finally put most of his singles together on one album. “Small Town Factory”, “Bayway Refinery” and “Living In The Borough” pay homage to his hometown Elizabeth, New Jersey mixing nostalgia and blue collar stories. “Setback” offers us an interesting mix of blues and electronic percussions while “New England Girl” offers us some well-arranged romantic pop. On the other hand, you’ll hear a touch of sadness in “I Ain’t No” and in “Warinanco Pond” as well as a bit of psychedelism in “Is It My Imagination”. The BEATLES influence is quite obvious when listening to these songs especially in “Ya Gotta Open Your Heart” or in “The Usung Heroes That Time Never Knew”. Joe describes is music as Glamericana and that’s quite a good word for it when you listen to “Summer Jobs” or “We Are The Normal”. Former ZEROS member is now turning into a working class hero, make sure you listen to this album. /Laurent C.
The Dahmers “Ghouls In The Garage” 7″
Every day is Halloween for Swedish horror rockers The DAHMERS and that’s what you’ll hear in opening song “On Halloween”, a 60s garage influenced song with hardcore backing vocals. “Bats Need Friends” starts like a surf rock tune before turning into a high-energy powerpop song while “Black Widow” almost sounds classic rock with its glammy handclaps and early KISS vibe but the bridge takes you right into a psych-gothy land. The last track of the EP, “The Ghost Of Roy Orbison” is pure 60s that will make you smile and want to listen to some more. Horror can be fun indeed. /Laurent C.
Buy from Spaghetty Town Records
Civil Rats “Your Dummest Friends” EP
Philadelphia’s CIVIL RATS are introducing themselves with 5 short powerpop/garage songs on this self-produced EP. “Snacks” starts the party with tons of punk energy before slowing the pace down with “Don’t Know Your Name” and its 60s garage accent. On the other hand, “Party Mood” definitely has a RAMONES vibe and “Too Much Information” and “Let’s Take a Quantum Leap” sound like a punker version of BLONDIE. Short but sweet, you’ll feel like you want to hear more after the last song. Keep an eye on this powerpop trio. /Laurent C.
Lester Greenowski “Carpenter’s Cult”
We all know that Lester is a man of taste. He is proving it again with this new album featuring 13 songs inspired by 13 titles of genius American filmmaker John Carpenter. Each song is introduced with a movie sample and of course, it’s starting with “Halloween”, Carpenter’s most famous horror movie here turning into a horror punk song MISFITS style. “Christine” is given a 60s rock’n’roll treatment while “Prince Of Darkness” (famous for ALICE COOPER‘s role) offers us some fine punk powerpop flirting with 80s heavy rock. “Vampires” is a good punk rock song à la The BOYS and “Assault Of Precint 13” and “The Thing” both bring the RAMONES to mind. You’ll also hear a LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH touch in the very catchy and 80s flavoured “They Live” and a CARS one in “In The Mouth Of Madness” as well as a FUZZTONES one in “Village Of The Damned.” On the glam punk side, “Big Trouble In Little China” has a bit of a PEPPERMINT CREEPS feel to it in the guitar melody. “Escape From New York” is a catchy hard rock’n’roll punk song, “Ghosts Of Mars” is a killer and epic dark punk tune that could have been on a DAMNED album and “The Fog” puts an end to this album with the spirit of STIV BATORS wandering around. This is a great album full of cinema and music references that shows more variety in its songs than the band’s previous records. Are you looking for a sci-fi/horror punk present for Christmas? This one is definitely for you!/ Laurent C.
“Nuits Blanches” V/A
Lollipop Records have been running their label and record shop for long now in sunny Marseille, France. This new compilation was originally an idea from T.Boy (LULLIES) so it’s not surprising to hear Les LULLIES opening the record with “Dernier Soir” a catchy powerpop rock’n’roll song in French. Then you’ll hear the very good “Electric Fear” by PARADE who are more influenced by British indie rock and post-punk followed by SCANERS and their ’77 punk rock/new wave on speed from outer space influenced by The BRIEFS. ALVIDA offers us some fun candy powerpop with a French yéyé touch on “Moustique” while FOOD FIGHT seem to be more influenced by The CLASH in their song “Permanent Departure Master.” On the dirty garage side, you’ll find HOLESHOTS, POGY ET LES KEFARS from Marseille and LA FLINGUE (with some ex-HATEPINKS members) with a brilliant poetic song title “A genoux dans la pisse.” Side B starts with a good dose of punk rock : “Red Signal” by BOSS mixes 70s British punk with early 80s American new wave and BART AND THE BRATS brings the original DEAD KENNEDYS spirit back to life. Then, a bit of French powerpop with “Epluchure” by ASPHALT and some American influenced powerpop meets TEENAGE FANCLUB in a very catchy “Find Out (feat. Pogy)” by ALMOST LOVERS. 60s garage, powerpop and LOU REED mix quite well in “This Love In Me” by PLEASURES and The SUTTLES offer us a pretty good bubblegum song with “Lucy.” Marseille brings us more powerpop with FLATHEAD and “Sunset Girl” before TEENAGE HEARTS put an end to this album with their bootboy glam bovver rock song “Simple Needs.” They say this album should become a cult record in 15 years and maybe it will but the great thing about it is that you’ll hear a lot of new French bands and none of them suck!/Laurent C.
The Speedways “Talk Of The Town”
Following their cover 10′ “Borrowed & Blue” record and their two LPs “Just Another Regular Summer” (2018) and “Radio Sounds” (2020), “Talk Of The Town” offers us 13 new songs by London’s finest powerpop band The SPEEDWAYS. “Dead From The Heart Town” opens the record in a BITERS way before “Secrets Secrets” make us dive into 60s powerpop. The TOM PETTY influences can still be heard in “Shoulda Known”, “Strange Love” or in “A Drop In The Ocean” but the band also tried new things on this new album since guitarist Mauro sings on two songs (the sunny “Kiss Me Goodbye” and the poppy “Summer’s Over”) and you’ll get more various influences in songs like “Weekend 155” and its post-punk touches or in the epic “Monday Was The Start Of The Stars (To Forgive & Forget”) as well as in “Talk Of The Town” and its 80s funky vibe. You’ll still get the typical powerpop ingredients like vocal harmonies, teenage themes and 70s rock’n’roll guitars but with more spice thrown in. The SPEEDWAYS know how to write a catchy song, just listen to “A Song Called Jane And A Lie Called Love” and isn’t it one of the most important things when you play powerop? The release date is November 21st (CD/Digital) and December 9th (vinyl.) /Laurent C.
Joe Normal releases “We Are The Normal” video/single
Filmed on location in Downtown Los Angeles, come take a ride on the Metro with Joe Normal and see what shenanigans transpire in downtown L.A.
The Dark Shadows release new single “Sour Candy”
Sour Candy dances the edge of torn romance with a melodic punk energy of soaring high hopes and razor sharp guitar blasting through wall of sound vocals with distant echoes of 60s pop and a few ‘yeah, yeahs’ kicking in between…
‘Sour Candy’ the latest single by The Dark Shadows will be released though Select-A-Vision Records in collaboration with Icy Cold & Manic Depression Records, Paris and digitally available online through Bandcamp 6th September with a digital release on Apple Music, Spotify, etc. to follow.
Official web: http://thedarkshadows.com.au