Monday, May 31, 2021

The Speedways - Borrowed & Blue

As a Speedways super fan, I am excited to write about the band's new EP Borrowed & Blue purely for the benefit of other Speedways super fans. Borrowed & Blue is certainly not the ideal place to start if you are just looking to become familiar with The Speedways. It's a collection of cover songs -- two of which have already appeared on previous releases. For those of us who love this band, Borrowed & Blue is an absolute treat. The premise for this record is simple: the band decided to record covers of a bunch of its favorite songs. There was no real attempt to reimagine or transform these songs. While certainly receiving a bit of that Speedways touch, all of these covers are largely faithful to the original versions. And that's the whole point. This EP is not about The Speedways. It's about the songs. 

I find it appealing that none of these songs were obvious choices for a "power pop" band, yet they are all truly extraordinary pop songs. The songs selected were "11th Street Kids" by Hanoi Rocks, the ABBA classic "SOS", Kirsty MacColl's "They Don't Know", Billy Ocean's "Love Really Hurts Without You", and Roky Erickson's "Starry Eyes". As Matt Julian so wonderfully put it, he got to sing "two sweet female leads, some Caribbean soul, a bit of Finnish rock n roll, and a splash of extra terrestrial pop from Austin, Texas." This really cuts to the core of what The Speedways are all about: timeless tunes with great hooks and indelible melodies. The band's version of "11th Street Kids" is absolutely aces. If it causes at least one person to seek out a copy of Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks, that will be a win for everyone. You have to hand it to The Speedways for deciding to cover the best ABBA song. And if you think covering the best ABBA song is easy, you've probably never suffered through the version in the Mama Mia! movie. The Speedways give "SOS" the great modern treatment that it so thoroughly deserves. "Love Really Hurts Without You" was a massive smash in the U.K. in 1976 but remains largely unknown here in the States. If you enjoy The Speedways' version, be sure to check out the original. If you only know Billy Ocean from his 1980s output, you will be shocked! What can you say about "They Don't Know" other than that it's one of the most perfect pop songs ever written? While no one could come close to matching the original, The Speedways turn in a more than respectable showing. The band's take on "Starry Eyes" is also quite excellent and should point more than a few people in the direction of Roky Erickson's two definitive versions. 

Borrowed & Blue is available as both a compact disc and a 10-inch record.  The CD also features all of the tracks from Sunday Will Never Be The Same -- the digital live album The Speedways released this past December. Adrian Alfonso did the artwork for this release, and it looks absolutely stunning. If you're a Speedways fan, you will not want to miss this EP. It celebrates five songs that the band loves. And any song that The Speedways love is a song you ought to love as well! Finally: if you've somehow read this far without yet owning any Speedways music, go buy Radio Sounds for heaven's sake!

Sunday, May 30, 2021

MONONEGATIVES - Apparatus Division

Call it synth-punk, electro-punk, post-punk, punk/new wave, or whatever you like. Just know that MONONEGATIVES do it better than almost any band out there. On its debut album Apparatus Division, the London, Ontario trio has condensed all the anxieties and terrors of present times into a 12-track synth-punk masterpiece. Out on the legendary labels No Front Teeth and Big Neck Records, Apparatus Division expands and refines the musical vision of last year's extraordinary EP Sure Shock. A laboratory analysis of MONONEGATIVES' musical DNA would confirm the group's ancestral relations to Devo, Wire, The Screamers, Joy Division, and Tubeway Army. But this band manages to take those influences (and others) and craft a sound that comes off as original and contemporary in the modern-day dystopian nightmare of 2021. 

I would still describe MONONEGATIVES as a band that puts the "punk" in synth-punk. 10 of these dozen tracks clock in at under three minutes, and four come in under two. These guys still can rip into a song with speed and fury. But even with the relatively short running times, a lot of these tracks find the band slowing tempos and using synthesizers to create tone and atmosphere. The approach to songwriting is so creative that some tracks are like two songs in one -- transforming from moody post-punk to a raging ball of fire without warning. I like how this band takes full advantage of synthesizers in punk rock. The synths are not just there as background -- they are central to the songs and developed with a composer's mentality. Impressively, the band pulls off a sound like this that successfully mixes the primal guts of garage/punk with the synthetic sensibilities of electronic new wave. It's all part of a larger artistic vision that also encompasses the band name, song titles, and art work. Apparatus Division is the sort of album that ought to be absorbed with headphones. Just press play and let MONONEGATIVES pull you into their wild, strange world. Are you entering a surrealist future or just the frightening present that your conscious mind won't allow you to acknowledge? The answer is open to interpretation. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Tommy Ray! - Handful of Hits

Handful of Hits is the second solo album from Tommy Ray!, front man for power pop greats The Cry! It's hard for me to believe that it's been nearly a decade since I first wrote about The Cry! Man, time flies! After going several years without hearing any new music from Tommy Ray!, we have been blessed to receive two albums from him in two years. Handful of Hits continues in a manner similar to last year's fantastic solo debut First Hits Free. The lyrics are personal, brutally honest, and in some cases quite dark. Yet with this being a Tommy Ray! album, you know you're getting upbeat melodies and irresistible hooks. 

Compared to First Hits Free, Handful of Hits is an even stronger selection of songs. Ray continues to turn out tunes reflective of his experiences as a young adult trying to find his way in the world. "One Step Forward" is about trying to grow up but not being able to fully pull it off. "Loser's Anthem" and "School Daze" explore similar themes of being young and aimless. "No No No" and "Feel the Pain" are classic Tommy Ray! "bummer love songs". Hearing these songs for the first time gave me chills because they reminded me so much of my own 20s when life was so full of letdowns and uncertainties. The realism and honesty of Ray's songwriting just blow me away. Elsewhere, Ray shows his sweeter side on "If You Need Anything" and engages in classic storytelling on "I Didn't Do It". Musically, he continues to draw from inspirations ranging from '50s/'60s rock and roll to '70s glam and punk to modern-day power pop. Songs like "Runnin'", "If You Need Anything", and "Beer Wine and Whiskey" would not sound out of place on a Cry! album. "In Love Again", "One Step Forward", and "Feel the Pain" are bona fide pop hits in that signature Tommy Ray! style. And then there's "On My Wall" -- which is modern, moody, and totally unlike any song Ray has released before. 

Handful of Hits, like First Hits Free, is very simply produced. And that's a good thing. Without any bells and whistles in the production department, the quality of the songwriting really comes to the forefront. Tommy Ray! again shows himself to be one of the finest young songwriters in the world of power pop and rock and roll in general. There are few things in life more satisfying than a perfectly executed three-minute pop song. Handful of Hits is chock full of that very thing -- living up to its title for sure. Vinyl coming next month on GadM and Beluga Records!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Beatnik Termites - Sweatin' To The Termites

I've mentioned two or three or 20 times that my favorite pop-punk bands tend to be the ones that fully embrace the pop side of the genre. On that note, you would expect the Beatnik Termites to be way up there on my list of all-time favorite pop-punk groups. Indeed, the Termites would be included in my personal holy trinity of pop-punk (most likely joined by The Queers and Parasites). With a legacy dating back to the dawn of the '90s, the Termites paved the way for every subsequent pop-punk band that would take its primary musical influence from the worlds of doo-wop, surf, bubblegum, and '50s rock and roll. If "oldiescore" is a recognized strain of modern-day pop-punk, it's no stretch to say that Pat Termite pioneered it! 

And so it's a true joy to hear the old master still at the top of his game in 2021. Out now on Mom's Basement Records, Sweatin' To The Termites is the first Beatnik Termites album in 18 years and just the fourth proper album in the band's history. I was excited by the return of the Termites but wasn't sure how a new release would stack up to the band's classic albums. Well let me tell you: it stacks up just fine! This is a vintage Termites release all the way. The Termites were always the band you could play for your parents if you wanted to turn them onto pop-punk. Well now it's your grandparents that you're converting, and Sweatin' To The Termites is fully up to the task! The formula hasn't changed in over 30 years, any why should it? The band still excels at writing harmony-drenched pop songs about pretty girls and the ups and downs of love. On Sweatin' To The Termites, the group embraces its love for doo-wop and early rock and roll like never before. Throw in nods to the Beach Boys, bubblegum, and (of course) the almighty Ramones, and you've got yourself a recipe for another classic Beatnik Termites album! Songs like "Pet Shop Girl", "Denise Marie", "Out of My League", "Summer Summer", and "My Darling Maryann" instantly rocket into to the top tier of Termites songs. "Tell Me Why" demonstrates that even bubblegum bands can have a serious side. "Rubber City Roller Girl" brings to mind the Ramones on Sha Na Na. "She's Gonna Kill Me" finds the Termites at their punkiest. 

It seems fitting that I'm typing a review of a record called Sweatin' To The Termites on a 90-degree day. This really is the ultimate summertime record from the ultimate summertime band. Thinking back to the days when Taste the Sand was a foundational piece of my initiation into the world of pop-punk, I am pleased as punch to discover that the Beatnik Termites have withstood the test of time without having to fundamentally change their approach to music. If you like pop and punk and rock and roll, it doesn't get much better than this.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Geoff Palmer - "Many More Drugs"

Smash hit alert! Geoff Palmer is back with a new solo single, and it's a total banger! That should hardly be a surprise considering the consistent quality of his solo output in 2018-19. And of course his collaborative EP with Lucy Ellis almost saved 2020. "Many More Drugs", off of the forthcoming album Charts & Graphs, is a vintage Geoff Palmer number. It's upbeat pop/punk that's catchy as hell and above all else FUN! Seriously: if this song doesn't put a smile on your face, there's probably no hope for you! "Too Many Drugs" tells the hilarious tale of a young Palmer mishearing the lyrics to the Dickies classic "Manny, Moe And Jack" and his subsequent challenges in finding the song on record. That's a funny story --- and it's one that almost all of us can relate to. The Dickies were surely a rite of passage for anyone who came to love poppy punk rock over the last 40 years. And as much as I love the way modern technology gives us instant access to a seemingly limitless library of recorded music, I must admit there was something really thrilling about the days when you had to track down a record if there was a particular band or song you wanted to hear. "Many More Drugs", while definitely an homage to "Manny, Moe And Jack", is above all else an anthem for music geeks. It's available now as both a digital single and a 7" release from the mighty Stardumb Records. The 7" features two exclusive non-album B-side tracks. They're so exclusive that if you want to hear them right now, you'll have to --- you guessed it --- buy the record! Charts & Graphs will be out July 23rd, 2021 on Stardumb, Rum Bar, Memorable But Not Honorable Records!

Friday, May 21, 2021

Radio Days - Rave On!

Hey there, power pop fans! Your day has come! Rave On!, the fourth album by Italian trio Radio Days, releases today on a multitude of fine record labels. It has been a half-decade since Radio Days last put out an LP, so Rave On! most definitely qualifies as a highly anticipated release. And it does not disappoint! A co-release between Ammonia Records, Screaming Apple Records, Rock Indiana, Sounds Rad, and Wizzard in Vinyl, this is what you'd call a classic power pop album. It's full of perfect pop songs in the neighborhood of three minutes long -- with hooks to die for and melodies you can whistle all day. The album takes you on a musical journey through the history and pre-history of power pop: from Buddy Holly (the inspiration for the album title) to the British Invasion to the Big Star/Raspberries heyday to the new wave to the alt-rocking '90s. 

If you're like me and have been excited for years about a follow-up to Radio Days' last album Back In The DayRave On! will be everything you hoped for and then some. This is a vintage Radio Days release -- and in my book, it's the band's best album yet! When it comes to songwriting, vocals, and musicianship, the band is at the very top of its game. You could randomly select any song on the album and land on a potential radio hit. With the Paul Collins' Beat and The Knack cited as the album's starting inspirations, you've got a good idea of what to expect here. Songs like "I Got a Love", "When I'm With You", and "What Is Life?" are prime slices of power pop right out of the textbook. The latter finds Paul Collins, Kurt Baker, and members of The Yum Yums & Psychotic Youth joining in on vocals to form the ultimate power pop supergroup! Elsewhere, the band gets a touch punky on "Lose Control", tips the cap to Teenage Fanclub on "Walk Alone", masterfully rips off Weezer on "No One To Blame", and shows off its elegant side on "Till The End Of The Night" and the Beatlesque epic "Between the Lines". It's a great mix of songs. Just importantly, it's a mix of great songs! If you love power pop, you'll be raving about Rave On!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Chelsea Curve - "All in Time"

One of the wonderful ironies of this brave new world of streaming and downloading is that it has given new life to one of the most traditional formats in recorded music: the single. Don't get me wrong -- I still love albums. But as a lifelong music fan, I've always found it rewarding to "consume" music one song at a time. When I was a kid, there was always something super cool about buying a 45 and playing the A-side over and over and over again. That way I really got to know the song. These days, it's a similar experience when a band releases a digital single. I really enjoy taking in a song as a singular artistic creation. On that note, I love what The Chelsea Curve is doing right now: releasing a series of monthly singles that will culminate with an album release. "All in Time", out on Red On Red Records, is the Boston trio's second single and a more than satisfying follow-up to its stunning debut "Girl Cavedog". "All In Time" is another energetic shot of mod-inspired power pop meets poppy punk. It brings great energy, tons of hooks, and tremendous lyrical substance. And as always, Linda Pardee's voice sounds absolutely amazing. This is a song about "trying to keep one's own mental faculties together while watching a loved one lose theirs". No doubt that's a very serious theme, but the song is carried off in an uplifting, hopeful way. Running just a few ticks past two-and-a-half minutes, it always leaves me wanting more. Thankfully another single is coming very soon!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Watts - Shady Rock & Rollers

It's hard to believe that it's been five years since Watts released The Black Heart Of Rock-N-Roll -- the greatest '70s rock record of the 21st Century. A string of fantastic singles ("All Done With Rock n Roll", "Queens", "Breaking Glass") followed in the ensuing years -- suggesting that Watts had yet another epic rock album in the works. Today the Boston foursome finally unleashes its long-awaited follow-up to The Black Heart Of Rock-N-Roll. Out on Rum Bar Records, Shady Rock & Rollers is both a vintage Watts record and a logical next step in the band's progression. 

While Shady Rock & Rollers finds Watts still carrying on in the grand tradition of Aerosmith, KISS, and AC/DC, it broadens the band's musical vision with a more refined sound and major nods to its glam rock foundations. Building off the '70s hard rock purism of The Black Heart Of Rock-N-Roll, Shady Rock & Rollers brings to mind a time when there was no shame in aspiring to write massive radio hits that would dominate the airwaves and fill arenas. The band still delivers on all the essential fundamentals: big riffs, big hooks, ripping solos, and stellar work from one of one of modern-day rock's finest rhythm sections. If you want fist-pumping rock anthems, the bookend tracks "Loud & Fast" and the aforementioned "All Done With Rock n Roll" are sure to satisfy. "Queens" is like the best KISS song in 40 years. "The Night The Lights Went Down", featuring drummer John Lynch on lead vocals, is a punchy barroom rocker right in that Mott the Hoople/'70s Stones/early Aerosmith wheelhouse. But a particular strength of this album is the way the band complements its loud & fast side by also mastering the art of hard & slow. There are a number of tracks here that find Watts leaning hard into pop territory (yet still rocking hard!). "Shady" seems inhabited by the spirit of Marc Bolan, while "Heavy Metal Kids" and "Shocking Pink" are firmly rooted in the Cheap Trick wing of power pop. "When the Party Ends" is that rare power ballad that's actually powerful.  

It is to all of our benefit that Shady Rock & Rollers' concluding track "All Done With Rock n Roll" is not a retirement letter but rather a lamentation on how real rock and roll has fallen out of the mainstream. Watts is most definitely not done with rock and roll and has just delivered another fantastic album redolent of a time when the likes of Cheap Trick, KISS, and the almighty Stones reigned supreme. Uninterested in fame and fortune, Watts makes rock and roll for rock and roll's sake. Having missed the heyday of arena rock (I was only six years old in 1977), I can still experience a similar magic every time I put on a Watts record. It doesn't get much sweeter than popping Shady Rock & Rollers into my car CD player on a sunny day and cranking it loud! Now let's see if we can talk Malibu Lou into simultaneously releasing four solo albums from each member of Watts. Maybe next year?

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Jackson Reid Briggs & The Heaters - Waiting In A Corner


I know the joke is getting old, but I'll repeat it anyway: what in the world is going on in Australia to produce all of this incredible punk music lately? Is it in the air? The water? Something in the Aussie diet? Well the correct answer is that this has been going on for nearly 50 years, and the larger world is finally noticing. Hot on the heels of fantastic long players by Stiff Richards and Civic, the fifth album by Melbourne-based Jackson Reid Briggs & The Heaters completes a holy trinity of essential '20-'21 Aussie punk rock and roll long players. Originally issued in April on Legless Records, Waiting In A Corner will get its European release on Drunken Sailor Records at the end of this month. On these nine tracks, Briggs & The Heaters tear into some powerhouse rock and roll that's got The Saints and Radio Birdman embedded in its DNA yet still sounds right at home in the modern-day world of garage and punk. This is a timeless sound done right: hard-driving, tough as nails, and crackling with raw energy. The band is on fire, and Briggs's lyrics profoundly reflect on big picture themes like change, growth, and devastating loss. Waiting In A Corner is bookended by two brief instrumentals, so the meat of the album is the seven songs in between. And each one is totally killer! There's nothing even close to a sub-par track on this release. I love that "Eaten Alive" and "Too Many Years" -- which comprise over a third of the album's running time -- are two of its strongest tracks. Sometimes five-minute plus punk rock songs are novelties; here they are highlights. 

In Drunken Sailor's press release for Waiting In A Corner, Will Fitzpatrick characterizes the album as a "goddamn classic upon arrival". I could not agree more. Reserve yourself a copy while you still can!

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Nervous Triggers - "Good Run"

With most of our hardships and struggles, we can usually rationalize with the words, "But it's not the end of the world." But what if it actually is? That is the premise behind "Good Run", Nervous Triggers' new single and the band's first new music in nearly four-and-a-half years. On this release, the Jersey Shore surf-punks reflect on the ultimate worst-case scenario: the fiery demise of a failed human race. It's a dire message, but not one without some wickedly dark humor ("Running out the clock on the human race/But at least Bill Gates can escape into space") and spot-on social commentary ("And my long-term plan for managing debt/Is the inevitability of a merciful death"). Musically, "Good Run" is textbook beach punk: powerful, melodic, and more than a little dark. The last time I encountered new music from Nervous Triggers was when they released "Do The Drool" -- a song that terrified me largely because I knew that the dystopian nightmare it envisioned was already well on its way to becoming a reality. It was a great song, but it was kind of hard to listen to! It's odd that a song about the obliteration of humanity would be easier for me to stomach, but there's always that hope that "Good Run" is more of a warning and less of a prophecy. Or to paraphrase a line from this song, perhaps this is a reminder for us to get our living in as fast as we can. That's a good life philosophy even if you aren't pessimistic about the fate of humanity. I've always avoided the lazy Night Birds comparison with Nervous Triggers, but I must mention that Joe Keller guest stars on this release on "surf punk backing vocals" and delivers the goods as expected. "Good Run" is the first song from Nervous Triggers' pre-COVID recording sessions to see the light of day, and I've got a feeling more tracks are on their way. For now, have some fun with the end of the world!

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Poison Suckers - self titled 7"


With me notoriously being a geek for Canadian punk rock, it always bothered me that I never really had a favorite punk band from Winnipeg. Then I got turned on to The Sorels, and it was all settled. Now with the arrival of Poison Suckers, I can say I have two favorite bands from Winnipeg! And there's a connection: Poison Suckers are Joanne from The Sorels and her husband Joe from Fashion Bathers, Shitbots, etc. With this band, you get cool elements from both of these formidable talents. Poison Suckers don't really sound like any of the aforementioned bands, but in listening to the duo's debut EP you can totally sense Joanne's love for girl groups and dirty glam rock and Joe's fondness for blown-out lo-fi garage punk. Put it all together, and you've got a marriage made in heaven! Out now on Transistor 66 (on slime green vinyl, no less!), the four-song debut from Poison Suckers is an absolute treat for lovers of budget rock. It's super lo-fi, but not in a shitty way. You could probably pass these songs off as the work of some forgotten garage band from 55 years ago! "Grain Alcohol" and "You Like Me" conjure some old school girl group magic with a rawness and budget fidelity that serve the songs completely. On "Take My Time", the band tears into some down and dirty, riff-driven rock and roll featuring a powerhouse vocal from Joanne. And speaking of powerhouse vocals, Joanne brings it full force on the MC5-inspired scorcher "Stick Up"! If you like trashy rock and roll with soul, guts, and brilliant songwriting, you've got yourself a brand-new must-have record to chase down!

Nasty Party - "People On The Street"


It looks like I have a new favorite EP of 2021! Based in Sydney and London, Nasty Party is a duo consisting of Nasty Simon and Rhys Nasty. Back in December, I reviewed the band's debut EP to considerable acclaim. The follow-up has proven to be even better! All the qualities that I loved about the previous release remain fully in tact: a classic '77-style punk sound, irresistibly catchy tunes, and incredible lyrics that opine on contemporary social and political issues. "People On The Street" leans a little more to the punk side of punk/new wave, and two of the tracks reference issues in Australia that the band cares about deeply. The title track refers to the recent "Watergate" scandal which mismanaged the largest river system in Australia. Musically, it brings to mind '80s Clash with a touch of Wire/Gang of Four. It's funky and jumpy and sure to get you up and dancing. And if you like a song's opening lyrics to make an impression, dig this: 

The dirtiest mutts on the planet/
Diggin' up our own backyard/
From Parakeelia to the left wing thugs/
If you think that’s bad grab your popcorn cos/
We got irrigation thieves

Wow! Would you expect anything less from a band that calls itself Nasty Party? Just as passionate is "Locked Out", which addresses Sydney's draconian Lock-Out laws of 2014 that devastated the city's small businesses. On this track, the band rips into some high energy '77 punk-pop rooted in pub rock. Again, the lyrics are sharp as hell and full of righteous indignation. The title of the EP establishes a clear theme for this release: if your elected representatives are failing you, get out there and demand that they do better! Sandwiched in between the two political anthems is "Beautiful", which kind of sounds like the Buzzcocks on speed. All in all, this makes for a brilliant EP and a fully satisfying follow-up to one of last year's most promising debut records. Nasty Party hits a real sweet spot for me, with a sound rooted in the late '70s/early '80s and lyrics focused on right now. I can't wait to hear what this duo does next!

Friday, May 07, 2021

Autogramm - No Rules

2021 has already produced a slew of outstanding full-length albums, and Autogramm's sophomore long player No Rules is up there with the best of 'em. Out on Nevado Music, the 11-track No Rules finds the Vancouver and Chicago based trio further refining and expanding its new wave influenced sound. While this album is not without its power pop leaning moments, it also ventures quite extensively into the darker, moodier realms of synth-pop and post-modern rock. In terms of stylistic variety and artistic vision, Autogramm has taken a big step forward on this release while remaining as enamored as ever with its core influences (Gary Numan, Devo, The Cars, etc.). Here the band offers everything from the new wave dance anthem "No Rules" to the quirky, punky "Jody Is A Cop" to the robo-pop earworm "Fuck Fast Fashion" to the Police inspired "Future Primate". There are certain songs on this album that I probably would have mistaken for actual '80s new wave songs if I hadn't known they were by Autogramm. And yet in spite of the obvious reference points which tick all the nostalgic boxes for anyone my age, there's plenty about this album that feels current in 2021. "Mantra", while inspired by a personal experience of singer/guitarist Jiffy Marx, comes off like a survival guide for life in modern times. And it's quite interesting that the album's two "poppiest" songs are about anxiety and depression. Full of undeniable hooks and profound, relatable lyrics, "Anxiety" and "Bad Day" would be massive radio hits in a perfect world.  

I love that Autogramm is unapologetically a new wave band. There isn't a trace of irony or kitsch in what they do. They are inspired by a form of music that they genuinely love, and they execute the style superbly with just enough of a modern touch. Far from a sophomore slump, No Rules delights from start to finish. Hail the newest wave of new wave!

Los Pepes - "I Want You Back"

If you need a jolt of sonic energy to wake you up or liven up your day, the new single from Los Pepes ought to do the trick! "I Want You Back" is available now in digital form and will be releasing on vinyl May 14th via Black Wax Noise Division. And for this release, Los Pepes are not fooling around! These tracks are vintage Los Pepes -- kicking up a veritable tornado of punk rock, power pop, and balls-out rock and roll. This is all ripping guitars, smashing drums, and racing melodies. The energy level is an 11 out of 10. But even amidst all the speed and fury, the hooks still stand out. The band has released music videos for "I Want You Back" and "Never Get It Right" -- both of which will give you a little taste of the crackling Los Pepes live experience. "Tell Me" is a little more on the power pop side of things with the emphasis on the power. This is my first time writing about Los Pepes since September of 2019. I've gotta say the band is sounding as good as ever! If you like loud pop that rocks, "I Want You Back" is guaranteed to please. These gentlemen will be returning to the stage at the end of this month, and you know they're itching to melt some faces. Locals be ready!