Kurt Baker “After Party”

When I started writing reviews a couple of years ago I decided I was going to write about stuff that I love, I just like the idea of promoting music I fall in love with. Some years ago when I was still living in Argentina I discovered Kurt Baker’s music by following some Power Pop blogs, been a fan since then.
When I moved to Spain I thought I was going to catch him live and I did, twice. So when I went to his last show I bought “After Party” and to be honest I can’t stop listening to it. I know for sure this is going to be personal favourite, mainly because you don’t get to buy albums that are 100 % perfect in the year 2021.
This dude carries the flag of amazing old school Power Pop, it’s The Records, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Dwight Twilley and The Flamin’ Groovies all rolled up into one. Of course there’s the beatlesque twist, go and listen to “Waiting For You”, if he wanted to create that atmosphere, then he nailed it with a 1960’s vibe.
I wouldn’t know where to start describing this album because it is literally composed of 12 hits, period. It’s a nonstop dream of Pop bliss and I can’t decide which song is the one that I like the most because it starts with an explosive gem like “New Direction” and the Punk attitude of “I Like Her a Lot”, somewhere in the middle you get some brilliant mid tempo underground inspired song like “Good”, almost mysterious, btw, the album is filled with some kind of monologues that are brilliant.
While driving my car a few days ago I told my wife that “Over You” was my personal favourite here,(that was before listening to the whole album like 50 times) because it has this 1980s hook that is epic”.
Something that is occurring to me since I don’t have that much time to pay attention to albums is that I just listen to them without getting to know the names of the songs, so it makes sense that every time “A Song and Drink” was played in my car I immediately wanted to drink red wine, this could have been a “Burt Bacharach” song, easily.
Kurt sings some kind of apology letter to somebody in “Should Have Been The One” and he says that he “can’t change his ways”, maybe he shouldn’t.
This album is a complete masterpiece for the 21st century, a horrible era for real Rock and Roll, glad to know that some people are still that good and I can still become a fan. /Juan Pablo Mazzola.

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Jagger Holly/The Windowsill “Saving The Genre, And You Know It…” Split 10″

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.

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Teenage Renegade “Continental Divide” CD+Book

Nasty Samy is known for being a road warrior, taking his bands (DUMBELL, TEENAGE RENEGADE, BLACK ZOMBIE PROCESSION, SIMON CHAINSAW…) all around Europe, but two years ago he decided to take break in order to cross the USA with his American wife for 6 months!
“Continental Divide” is all about this road trip, a 170 page book (in French) in which he’s taking us all over the great America, from Mississippi to New Jersey, Texas and California among others (more than 30 States!) The amazing thing about all of this is that this book also ends up being a really cool record shop guide since Sam tells us about everything he buys (more than 300 records!) on the road, offering us nice, detailed and personal reviews (he actually lost most of his collection in a fire one year before this road trip, so this is the perfect occasion to re-buy some of his lost records and tell us what they mean to him.) You’ll also get to read show/film reviews and cool interviews (and I’m not only saying that ’cause I’m interviewed!) This is a crazy amount of work and a must-read for all you French readers and rock nerds!
The book comes out with the new TEENAGE RENEGADE album as a musical companion. It was recorded and mixed in various places along the road (France and USA) and the production ends up being very good, tight and full of energy. The band still plays 90s power pop influenced punk rock, but this time you’ll find more variety in their music, with surprising metal parts (yes, that EARTH CRISIS riff in “Fade and Fall Away”!) and radio friendly arrangements (“Do me In”or the beautiful ballad “Continental Divide”.) Of course, you’ll get some crazy Nasty solos, and Erin’s voice only gets better and better, I still can find a bit of Kim Wilde in her voice! Good surprise in the cover choices as they decided to record Chaz Matthews’ “Detox Girl”, and “We” by The DESCENDENTS. They also cover a song by PORTER HALL, a band that sees to play HOT WATER MUSIC kind of emo punk.
This will only cost you 24 Euros, so hurry-up before it’s all gone!/Laurent C.http://www.nastymerch.com/index.php?r=1