EP released back in 2015. The snap and jangle of "In The Upper World" and the first class Jam worship of "All Change" start off the record auspiciously, but what impresses me as the album progresses is the band's ability to slow the tempo and really let those melodies shine. "Magical Springs", "Miss Grievous", and "Finger Snap" are fine examples of power pop with an undercurrent of melancholy. And "Beside You" fully embraces the dramatic possibilities of a good ballad. This may be a funny observation, but I like hearing this style of music sung in a French accent. All in all, the band does a great job of taking tried-and-true influences and creating something that feels fresh and current and genuinely original. If you like mod/powerpop, this ought to be right up your alley. Vinyl LP releases this coming Friday!
Monday, January 16, 2017
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Meet Surf Cassette!
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Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Order the 7" from No Front Teeth!
Monday, January 09, 2017
Unfinished Business: Death By Unga Bunga - Fight!
Friday, January 06, 2017
Unfinished Business: Nervous Triggers - Demo 2016
Sore Points, Grit, The Vitamens). And Nervous Triggers were definitely part of that elite group. What really sets the band apart is the exceptional quality of its lyrics - which can largely be attributed to the extensive musical and life experience these four pals from the Jersey shore bring to the table. These fellas have been slugging it out in the New Jersey punk and hardcore scenes for years - with members having played in such bands as $H!TFiT, Teen Wolves, The Insults, brick mower, Secretary Legs, Black Wine, Hunchback, Psyched To Die, Backpocket, and Sun Puddles. The band name is a reference to a lyric in the Clash song "Groovy Times", and so it's no surprise that Nervous Triggers have a lot to say about government, society, and how our individual struggles fit into the equation. Given how corny and cliched most "political" punk music ends up being, it's a pleasant surprise to hear a band express these types of ideas with such intelligence, insight, and intense conviction. It might be lazy journalism to suggest checking out Nervous Triggers if you like Night Birds. But unquestionably, these two bands share extensive spiritual DNA. Head on over to the group's Bandcamp page where you can stream the entire demo and read all of the lyrics. Look for a debut EP soon called Do the Drool - easily one of my most highly anticipated punk releases of 2017!
Nervous Triggers on YouTube
Nervous Triggers on YouTube
Thursday, January 05, 2017
Unfinished Business: Mikey Erg - Tentative Decisions
Wednesday, January 04, 2017
Unfinished Business: First Base - "Together Again"
Tuesday, January 03, 2017
So What's debut album!
Hard 'gum, obviously, is short for hard bubblegum. Think late '60s/early '70s bubblegum pop meets classic era U.K. junkshop glam forged under the heavy influence of perhaps the most underrated rock n' roll band of all-time - The Equals. So What's first two singles were nothing short of fantastic, and for sure I had high hopes that the Oakland foursome would deliver an equally strong LP. Hard Gum, a split release between singer/guitarist Jason Duncan's venerable Just Add Water imprint and Italy's Surfin' Ki Records, is absolutely the hand-clapping, foot-stomping extravaganza I was hoping for! The existing A-sides "What You Do To Me" (re-recorded for the album) and "Why Can't I See You Tonight" bookend a stellar collection of rockin' and massively hook-laden tunes. This is probably the most fun you can have with your pants on (although I don't think that's necessarily a requirement). And while So What is just one of many modern-day bands to draw from glam rock and bubblegum influences, I don't think anyone does it with greater authenticity or a more thorough appreciation for the history of these genres. For one thing, the sound is totally spot-on. If you're looking for big drums and fuzzy guitars with just the right touch of Moog synth, So What has got it! It would be easy to convince just about anyone that this album was actually recorded in 1973! Just as importantly, Duncan is a fine songwriter with a terrific grasp of what a three minute pop song ought to be. The new take on "What You Do To Me" burns even hotter than the single version- kicking off the album with such a bang that you just know the whole thing is gonna be great! Tracks such as "Don't Wanna Come Back To You" and "Where We Goin'" sizzle in a similar vein, while that Equals influence really comes through in riff-tastic booty-shakers like "What You Said" and "Don't Come Back". The '50s flavored "Untouched By Life" brings to mind label mates Juvie, and the teen hooligan anthem "My Life Is Tight" puts the "hard" in 'hard gum!
I can't think of a better way to kick off another year of F & L than with this post on Hard Gum! This is one of those albums that was just made to be enjoyed. I don't see how you can listen to this record and not wanna dance around like crazy while you tear it up on air guitar. If you dig super-catchy pop with balls, no one's doing it better than So What!
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