Datenight - Clueless and Hangless

At first glance i wasn't quite sure if this Nashville group's newest LP isn't gonna be just a bit too mel­low for my taste but even­tu­al­ly, the sheer strength of their Lo-Fi in­die rock songcraft wins me over once again, the whole thing hav­ing the feel of a scrap­py odds-and-ends col­lec­tion which might just be the case. This as­sess­ment is on­ly be­ing re­in­forced by the fact that the songs ap­pear in al­pha­bet­i­cal or­der here - the tunes them­selves are pure A-grade stuff though.

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Daughter Bat and the Lip Stings - Secret Tape

This Syd­ney group has nev­er dis­ap­point­ed and nei­ther do they on their newest top-se­cret EP, so se­cret in fact, that even the song ti­tles shall re­main a mys­tery for the time be­ing. What i can tell you though is that this thing once again fuck­ing slams - an­oth­er per­fect run of lo-fi pow­er pop, garage-, fuzz- and egg­punk. Just don't tell any­one, okay?

Noise Violations & Sprgrs - Split

Aus­tralian la­bel Painscale Records de­liv­ers its strongest en­try so far in a se­ries of split cas­settes. Main at­trac­tion here is clear­ly the longer side com­pris­ing the de­but batch of Mel­bourne group Noise Vi­o­la­tions, who set ablaze an ir­re­sistible bar­rage of catchy hooks in a slight­ly egg-ad­ja­cent brand of garage punk with echoes of well-renowned genre pow­er­hous­es such as Sa­tan­ic To­gas, R.M.F.C., Ghoulies, Boo­ji Boys, Met­al Gu­ru, Erik Ner­vous or Gee Tee, to name just a few.
The oth­er side then con­tains the pre­vi­ous­ly re­leased 2022 EP by Grana­da, Spain group Sprgrs, which is well worth an­oth­er lis­ten for fans of dance­able Lo-Fi punk stuff in the vein of, say, Prison Af­fair, Beer, Nuts, Pringue, Dee Bee Rich and Be­ta Max­i­mo.

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M.O.T.O. - The Wall of Phlegm

What a god­damn beau­ty! Paul Ca­por­i­no of cult garage punk /​ pow­er pop vet­er­an project M.O.T.O. at long last has com­piled a new set of beau­ti­ful­ly fuzzy record­ings in the well-worn 4-track so­lo fash­ion, kick­ing things off with a fuckin' Motör­head cov­er of all things and sub­se­quent­ly pulling off what must be his most high-val­ue, hook-laden set of tunes in a long time, noth­ing short of a new lo-fi pop mas­ter­piece if you ask me. Many songs have al­ready ap­peard on one oc­ca­sion or an­oth­er but hon­est­ly, who cares re­al­ly as this thing kin­da plays out like an all-killer-no-filler best of from his re­cent decade-plus of cre­ative out­put, pre­sent­ed in uniqe, un­heard record­ings.

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Balloon Thief - Balloon Thief

Fol­low­ing up on a neat first EP from last year, this Prov­i­dence, Rhode Is­land group's sec­ond batch of tunes is a marked re­fine­ment in pret­ty much every as­pect, their mix of garage punk and pow­er pop hav­ing reached a whole new lev­el of catchy­ness that al­so wouldn't sound out of place next to shit like Sweet Reaper, Pow­er Pants, Gee Tee, Alien Nose­job, Set-Top Box or Sa­tan­ic To­gas.

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Silicone Values - Disposable Music /​ New Cold War?

Britain's most awe­some DIY melod­ic post punk /​ pow­er pop group of our time has yet an­oth­er dig­i­tal sin­gle out and you al­ready guessed it: It's the great­est thing in the world ever - six-and-a-half min­utes of pure ec­sta­t­ic bliss and by the way, what have y'all been do­ing all the fuck­ing time be­cause in a just world, these folks would be on top of every­thing sell­ing out fuck­ing are­nas. Al­so, why the hell hasn't there been some com­pi­la­tion LP on Drunk­en Sailor or Er­ste Theke or To­tal Punk or what­ev­er yet? It's about fuck­ing time i'd say. Argh, every­one out there can be so god­damn use­less some­times…

Wristwatch - II

This Madi­son, Wis­con­sin duo's sec­ond LP de­liv­ers more of their very own brand of mod­er­ate­ly De­vo-fied, catchy lit­tle Garage-, Post Punk and Pow­er Pop con­structs with some added Wire-es­que mo­ments. What still came across as a bit samey and over­pow­er­ing on the first record has gained a lot in class and ma­tu­ri­ty on this one - not least thanks to tons more va­ri­ety - call­ing to mind groups as di­verse as Pow­er­plant, Andy Hu­man & The Rep­toids, Nick Nor­mal, Smirk, Dele­tions, Why Both­er?, Iso­tope Soap and Erik Ner­vous.

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Pogy & Les Kefars - Dans Ton Retro

The long-play­ing de­but of this group from Mar­seille, France - orig­i­nal­ly self-re­leased in 2021 and re­cent­ly reis­sued by Ly­on la­bel Echo Canyon - is a bot­tom­less well of out­ra­geous­ly catchy pow­er pop gems brought to the next lev­el by rock-sol­id song­writ­ing chops. I'm re­mind­ed of a full wealth of con­tem­po­rary house­hold names like Tom­my and the Com­mies, Warm So­da, Ra­dioac­tiv­i­ty, Mr. Teenage, Cor­ner Boys, Bad Sports or Patsy's Rats.

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Metal Guru - Metal Guru

Their re­cent split tape with Dadgad was plen­ty of fun al­ready and their newest EP, mark­ing the Ro­man group's (for­mer­ly known as the garage one-man-band Mus­tard) de­but as a full band line­up, di­als up the good­ness to ridicu­lous lev­els with an over­all vibe that you might com­pare to the best mo­ments of fair­ly melod­ic garage punk acts á la Liq­uids, Boo­ji Boys or Erik Ner­vous, with some added psychedelic/​british in­va­sion Vibe akin to, say, the Res­onars in the clos­ing track Samu­rai.

Motorbike - Motorbike

On this record, every new song kin­da re­minds me of a dif­fer­ent bunch of groups which is great re­al­ly, many of those be­ing aus­tralian which is al­so rarely a bad sign! The open­ing track, for ex­am­ple con­tains echoes of The Es­tranged, Red Dons, Xe­tas, Civic, a touch of Saints and Bird­man. True Method has the sleazy rockin' qual­i­ties of Gold­en Pel­i­cans and some­thing else i can't re­al­ly put my fin­ger on right now. Throt­tle has some dumb straight-ahead Feed­time en­er­gy to it and the sub­se­quent stretch of songs then has straight­for­ward garage punk á la Ex-Cult, Sauna Youth blend­ing in­to more melod­ic garage and pow­er pop shit á la Ra­dioac­tic­i­ty, Bad Sports, Mind Spi­ders, Bed Wet­tin' Bad Boys. Po­ten­tial to Ride shares a sim­i­lar vibe with psy­che­del­i­cal­ly in­clined post punk acts á la Pub­lic Eye, Waste Man or Mar­bled Eye. Fi­nal­ly, the two clos­ing tracks re­mind me of the sim­ple, undi­lut­ed im­pact of aus­tralian pow­er­hous­es Split Sys­tem, Po­lute, Jack­son Reid Brig­gs and the Heaters. All of this is ground­ed in un­fail­ing, con­fi­dent songcraft and com­pact­ed in­to an in­cred­i­bly tight, cer­ti­fied all-killer LP.

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