Category: punk rock

Earlier this year, I wrote about the New York-based rock/punk act Baby Shakes.  The act, which is currently comprised of Mary  (lead vocals), Judy (guitar, vocals), Claudia (bass, vocals) and Ryan (drums) was formed back in 2005. And since their formation, they’ve released a handful of one-off singles, a singles compilation, a 10 inch heart-shaped EP and three albums that have firmly established their sound and aesthetic — a sound that generally draws from Ramones, Chuck Berry, 60s Motown-era girl groups with melodic vocals, fuzzy and distorted power chords and enormous hooks within breakneck songs.

The members of the band have toured across the US, Japan, China, Ireland, the UK and the European Union and shared stages with the likes of The Romantics, The Boys, The Shadows of Knight, The Undertones, The Barracudas, Protex, Black Lips, Paul Collins’ Beat, Iggy Pop and a growing list of others. Now, as you may recall, Baby Shakes’ latest effort Cause a Scene is slated for release next week, and the album is reportedly inspired by and indebted to the original wave of punk — in particular, The Nerves, The Kids, early Bangles and The Go-Gos, The Runaways, as well as the Ramones.

Nowhere Fast,” the album’s first single was a breakneck bit of fuzzy, old school punk with an infectious power pop-like hook that reminded me of a seamless synthesis of Ramones and The Go-Gos. The album’s second single,  “Love Song In Reverse” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor: it’s all fuzzy and distorted power chords and enormous hooks. And while clocking in at a little over two minutes — roughly 2:25 in this case — the song manages to be an infectious mixture of sugary sweet pop confection and sleazy barroom rock.

 

 

 

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Interestingly, over the past couple of years, I’ve written about Madison, WI-based punk act The Hussy here and there, and as you may recall the band formed back in 2008 as a duo featuring by Bobby Hussy (guitar, vocals) and Heather Hussy (drums, vocals) — with both members contributing vocals. The duo quickly developed a reputation for a trashy and scuzzy take on punk and for a chaotic live show that wound up with the duo playing shows alongside a who’s who list of indie rock and punk — including Mudhoney, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Twin Peaks, Reigning Sound,Spectrum, Black Bananas, Black Lips, King Khan & BBQ, White Fence, The Faint, Tenement and countless others. All of that helped the band gain a cult-like following across the Midwestern underground scene.

Between 2009 and 2015, the band went through one of their most prolific periods of their history, in which they released material through 20 different labels and in countless different formats. During that same period, the duo also went through a relentless touring schedule across US and the European Union, including an appearance at Gonerfest after the release of their beloved sophomore album 2012’s Weed Seizure. Additionally, they also pulled double duty as the opening and backing band for NOBUNNY through tours of the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

Since touring with NOBUNNY, the band’s founding duo have split time between The Hussy and a series of other creative pursuits. Bobby Hussy has continued to tour off and on with NOBUNNY as a touring bassist. His other projects include playing in Fire Heads with Tyler Fassnacht, who recently joined The Hussy to help further flesh out their live sound — and synth wave post-punk act Cave Curse, who released a full-length in 2017. Heather Hussy is also a member of Proud Parents, an act that released their full-length debut through  Dirtnap Records last year.

At the end of last year, the members of the newly constituted trio began tracking their forthcoming full-length album Looming, the follow-up to 2015’s Galore. Galore saw the band moving into a more focused direction with their songwriting, and it included material with more complex arrangements paired with a mid-fi production. And while the album reflected an evolution in their sound and approach, they managed to retain the infectious pop-leaning hooks that won them cult-favorite status. Interestingly, the album which is slated for a September 27, 2019 release, finds the band going in a much darker thematic direction, as the material touches upon death and sudden loss, divorce, addiction and our  current horrifying, infuriating, and depressing sociopolitical moment.

Last month, I wrote about album single “Coast.” Beginning with a deceptive and upbeat intro featuring plinking and chiming guitars, the song quickly turned into a scuzzy power-chord ripper with an infectiously anthemic hook. “Sorry,” Looming‘s latest single is a decidedly 90s alt rock-inspired fuzz pop anthem featuring ironic lyrics, fluttering blasts of flute, layers of distortion pedaled guitars and thunderous drumming. Sonically speaking, “Sorry” will likely bring to mind a series of 120 Minutes-era MTV titans, like Hole, Veruca Salt, The Breeders and others with a similar gritty and bilious quality.

The members of The Hussy will be embarking on a lengthy tour during the fall. Check out the tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates
09/13 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
09/14 – Madison, WI @ Mickey’s Tavern
09/19 – Chicago, IL @ Reed’s
09/20 – Springfield, IL @ Dumb Records
09/21 – Fayetteville, AR @ Backspace w/ The Wirms
09/22 – Dalls, TX @ Ruins in Deep Ellum
09/23 – Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas w/ Xetas
09/24 – New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar w/ Thelma and the Sleaze
09/25- Hattiesburg, MS @ The Looney Bin
09/26 – Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone – Gonerfest 16!
10/11 – Madison, WI @ Crystal Corner Bar – Turkeyfest 10 w/ Vacation
10/12 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall w/ Oh Sees & Prettiest Eyes
10/13 – Detroit, MI @ Outer Limits
10/14 – Cleveland, OH @ Little Rose Tavern
10/15 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rock Room
10/16 – Washington, D.C. @ Slash/Run w/ Natural Velvet
10/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Century
10/18 – New York City
10/19 – Stamford, CT @ Boy’s Club w/ Jacques Le Coque
10/20 – New Haven, CT @ Three Sheets w/ Jacques Le Coque
10/21 – Boston, MA @ The Greek w/ G Gordon Gritty
10/22 – Providence, NJ @ News Cafe
10/23 – Salem, MA @ Front Street Coffee House
10/24 – Montreal, Quebec – Canada @ Quai des brumes
10/25 – Buffalo, NY
10/26 – Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR

New Video: The Paranoyds Release an Interactive and Trippy, 360º Visual for “Face First”

Formed back in 2015, the buzz-worthy Los Angeles-based punk act The Paranoyds, derive their name as a bit of an apt summary of their general outlook on technology and modern culture — but ironically, the act can trace its origins to a friendship forged between its founding members Staz Lindes (bass, vocals) and Laila Hashemi (keys vocals) over MySpace in their early teens. Initially bonding over a shared interest in local underground music, the duo eventually became friends in real life. Eventually, the duo recruited Hashemi’s childhood friend Lexi Funston to join the band — with David Ruiz (drums) completing the band’s lineup in 2015.

Since their formation, the band has developed a reputation as one of Los Angeles’ most exciting bands as a result of tours with the likes of DIIV, White Reaper, Albert Hammond, Jr., Sunflower Bean, Tacocat, BRONCHO and others, and for playing major festivals like Coachella. The band’s highly-anticipated (and long-awaited) full-length debut Carnage Bargain is slated for a September 13, 2019 release through Suicide Squeeze Records — and the album is reportedly a raucous blend of gritty garage rock, New Wave swagger, B movie camp and a myriad of other left-of-center influences.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the album’s second single, album title track “Carnage Bargain,” a track which found the band pairing ironically delivered lyrics that offered a scathing observation of our world of instant gratification with quirky yet infectious pop hooks, fuzzy power chords  and forceful drumming. Beginning with a pair of alternating half-tones that sound like sirens piercing through the air, the album’s third and latest single, album opener “Face First”  quickly develops a motorik groove featuring some explosive blasts of post punk skronk and squeal. And over that the band’s Lexi Funston sings lyrics about watching other people’s private lives unfold on social media and on our phones. 

Directed by David Gantz and Theo Cohn, the recently released video for “Face First” is  trippy 360º and interactive visual that follows a stalker. “We wanted the video to be driving, as the song has always reminded us of some sort of forward movement, like running, driving in a car late at night, etc.,” the members of The Paranoyds say in a statement. “The song is loosely about a stalker and we wanted that idea to be involved in the movement somehow. The video directors, our friends Theo Cohn and David Gantz, wanted to challenge themselves by doing something they had never done before–shooting with a 360º camera. This allowed us to show the point of view of these stalkers, where you could watch the video multiple times and still notice little Easter eggs each time depending on where you look. So many people watch videos on their phones now, and a 360º video makes for a much more interesting and fulfilling experience on a phone.”

New Audio: Sylvia Black’s Swinging and Noir-ish Take on Fat White Family’s “Touch the Leather”

Born Sylvia Gordon, the New York-based singer/songwriter, bassist and producer Sylvia Black may be best known for her work as the frontwoman of the internationally acclaimed electro pop act K.U.D.U, as well as collaborations with the likes of The Black-Eyed Peas, Moby, William Orbit, Kelis, Spank Rock, The Knocks, and Telepopmusik.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering Gordon’s solo side project Betty Black, a project that received attention across the blogosphere for a sound that drew from an eclectic array of genres and sources including garage rock, Southern gothic blues, Ennio Morricone soundtracks and ambient electronica while thematically exploring love, lust, longing and obsession.

The restlessly creative Gordon has also released material as Sylvia Black and her forthcoming Sylvia Black album Twilight Animals (Originals and Covers for Tortured Lovers), which is slated for an October 18, 2019 release finds Gordon effortlessly hopping  back and forth between electro pop, noir-ish jazz, Texan blues and twangy country and the sounds of Morocco and India. The album reportedly is a mix of unique unique covers and interpretations of some of the JOVM mainstay’s favorite artists including Fat White Family, JOVM mainstays The Horrors, Psychedelic Furs, Van Halen and Huey Lewis and the News among others. Of course, the album features some originals — with some of the album’s tracks being collaborations with legendary No Wave Lydia Lunch. (In fact, the duo’s collaboration was so fruitful that they’ve also worked together on a full-length album.)

Earlier this month, I wrote about Twilight Animals’ firsts ingle, the slow-burning and sultry David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino-like”Walking With Fire,” a collaboration with Lydia Lunch. Interestingly, the album’s second and latest single is a swinging, noir-ish jazz take on Fat White Family’s “Touch the Leather” that features an arrangement of strutting horns, plinking xylophone, shuffling drums and Black’s imitable and sultry vocals. 

New Video: METZ Releases an Explosive Take on a Gary Numan Classic

I’ve written quite a bit about the Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ over the years and if you’ve been frequenting this during that same period, you may recall that their third album, 2017’s Strange Peace found the band pushing their songwriting in new directions with their most personal and politically charged work to date — and while retaining the furious and blistering energy of their live sets, the material managed to capture the anxiety, uncertainty, fear and outrage that many of have felt over the past couple of years. 

Earlier this year, Sub Pop Records released Automat, a collection of METZ’s non-album singles, B-sides and rarities dating back to 2009 on vinyl for the first time — including, the band’s long out-of-print (pre-Sub Pop) recordings. Essentially, the album is designed as a chronological trip through the acclaimed Canadian JOVM mainstays lesser-known material. Interestingly, the vinyl version of Automat included a bonus 7′ single of the band covering three very diverse songs, which will offer fans and listeners a glimpse into their wide-ranging tastes — a cover of Sparklehorse’s “Pig” off a very limited 2012 Record Store Day split single, originally released by Toronto-based record store, Sonic Boom; a cover of The Urinals’ “I’m a Bug” originally released on YouTube in 2014′; and lastly, a previously unreleased cover of Gary Numan’s “M.E.” Today, the three bonus tracks were made available to all digital services. So with that in mind, check out METZ’s explosive, feedback-driven take on Gary Numan’s classic “M.E.” 

Featuring a three-headed Pleasure Principle hydra illustrated by Kirin Booth and animation by Martin MacPherson, the recently released video for “M.E.” is a mesmerizing and hallucinogenic romp.

New Video: Up-and-Coming Garage Punk Act The Bobby Lees Release a Feral and Energetic Visual for “GutterMilk”

The Booby Lees are an up-and-coming Woodstock, NY-based garage punk act, comprised of Sam Quartin (vocals, guitar), Kendall Wind (Bass), Nick Casa (Lead Guitar), and Macky Bowman (Drums). And over the past year, the up-and-coming, garage punk quartet have honed their live show opening for The Black Lips, Murphy’s Law and Boss Hog. 

The band’s latest single, the Jon Spencer-produced “GuttterMilk” is 94 seconds of feral garage punk, centered around a rumbling and propulsive baseline, thundering drumming, buzzing and slashing guitars and Quartin’s howled vocals that nods at Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Jon Spencer’s work with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. 

Directed by John Swab, the recently released video employs a simple concept — the band performing the song with in an abandoned building with raw and hungry energy. 

New Audio: Acclaimed Punk Act Ceremony Releases a Shimmering Post-Punk Inspired Single

Currently featuring Ross Farrar (vocals), Anthony Anzaldo (guitar), Justin Davis (bass), Andy Nelson (guitar) and Jake Casarotti (drums), the Rohnert Park, CA-based punk act Ceremony can trace their origins to 2005, when they formed as a sextet with Farrar, Anzaldo, Davis, Nelson, Casarotti and Ryan Mattos (guitar) under the name Violent World before eventually changing their name. 

With the release of their earliest work — in particular, 2005’s Ruined EP and Violence Violence, 2008’s Still Nothing Move You, the band quickly developed a reputation for a relentlessly brutal and bruising hardcore punk sound compared to the likes of Infest and others. Building upon a growing profile, the Rohnert Park, CA-based punk act toured across the world with bands like Blacklisted, Converge, and AFI before releasing 2010’s Rohnert Park. 

Shortly before they signed to Matador Records in 2011, the band went through a lineup change with the departure of Ryan Mattos. The following year saw the release of the band’s fourth album Zoo, an album that was a radical sonic departure from the band, as it saw them moving from the bruising hardcore sound of their earliest efforts towards a pre-hardcore, post-punk inspired sound much like Pink Flag-era Wire. 2015’s The L-Shaped Man found the band sonically moving further towards post-punk with a sound that was compared to the likes of Joy Division and others. 

The band’s soon-to-be released sixth album In The Spirit World Now is slated for an August 23, 2019 release through Relapse Records and the album reportedly finds the band’s sound further pulling from the post punk influences that’s driven their last couple of albums — but there’s also a bit of a rock influence. And unsurprisingly, the band has managed to evolve their sound while remaining true to themselves as songwriters and artists.  Interestingly, the album’s latest single, the hook-driven “Presaging the End” is centered around shimmering and slashing guitars and a motorik-like groove, the song finds the acclaimed punk act sounding much more like The Fixx — in particular “The Sign of Fire” and “Red Skies” but while retaining a punk rock intensity and earnestness. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Prettiest Eyes Pay Homage to John Carpenter in Visual for “Mr. President”

Over the past few years, I’ve written a bit about the Los Angeles-based synth punk act Prettiest Eyes, and as you may recall the act which is comprised of San Juan, Puerto Rico-born, Los Angeles, CA-based founding members Pachy Garcia (drums, vocals), and Marcos Rodriguez (bass, vocals) along with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico-born, Los Angeles, CA-based Paco Casanova (keys, synths vocals) can trace their origins back to San Juan, where the band’s founding members played in a number of local bands before relocating to Los Angeles to seriously pursue music. Casanova independently relocated to Los Angeles and joined the band to complete its lineup. And with the release of a couple of EPs and their first two albums,  2015’s Looks and last year’s Pools, the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays firmly established a reputation for crafting sleazy and primal synth punk that throbs with a muscular insistence.  

The band’s third full-length album, the aptly titled Vol. 3 was released earlier this year through Castle Face Records, and album single “Nekrodisco” was a off-center, post apocalyptic ripper, seemingly inspired by Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!-era DEVO. Interestingly, the album’s first single “Mr. President” is a minimalist track centered around howled mantra-like lyrics, industrial clang and clatter and a relentless motorik groove that seethes with uncertainty and menace. 

Directed and edited by Andrew Frescas, the recently released video further emphasizes the song’s murkiness and menace — and interestingly enough, finds the video’s director and the band collaborating to pay homage to John Carpenter’s They Live!