Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Teenage Bubblegums



Teenage Bubblegums
     
       In their halcyon days, Teenage Bubblegums used to write and sing love songs. According to the band those days are long gone. Much like one who has had their first taste of heartbreak after the initial “puppy love” period, Teenage Bubblegums have filled their new LP, Days of Nothing with nothing, but “[s]adness, darkness, pain, suffering and death.” No, they haven’t become Bauhaus, but the songs are a little faster, darker and meaner, but still retain an underlying pop-punk charm.

Interview by J Castro


Who is currently in the band and what does everyone do in it?
ALLY: We are a power trio.
Ally Bubblegum, Bass and Vocal
Billy Bubblegum, Guitar and Vocal
Mingu Bubblegum, Drums

How did you all meet and decide to play music together?
ALLY: Billy and I are brother and sister in real life so we started to play music together since we were both young. After some years, we decided to start a band. We met Mingu at the show, with his old band and damn; he was so good. We started to play together in the basement of my home. It was magical.

What band or musician first inspired you to want to pick up an instrument and learn to play and/or write music?
ALLY: When Billy and I were young we used to listen to Ramones and stuff like that. Mingu came out from hardcore before he met us.

How would you describe you band to your grandparents?
ALLY: We are good guys. Just it.

What sorts of things do you typically enjoy writing songs about? 
ALLY: Sadness, darkness, pain, suffering and death. We used to play love songs only but love is a thing of the past.


I’ve heard people say that playing and writing music is therapeutic to them.  Have you ever found this to be true?
ALLY: Sort of. Writing about some painful things in your life is kind of an atonement.

Does it annoy you or distract you at all to see some of your audience members fondling their phones while you’re up on stage performing?
ALLY: We don’t care.

After one of your shows, what sort of feeling or sentiment do you hope your audience walks away with? 
ALLY: The same feeling we have when we listen to a cool band or see a cool show. I still really hope that people will listen to our album the day after.

What is your favorite album to listen to from start to finish?
ALLY: The Creeps - Eulogies

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you that you still follow to this day?
ALLY: Keep doing what you’re doing. Go on stage, switch on the instruments, play non-stop for 20 minutes, switch off the instruments, go off stage.


What is the best way people can hear and get a hold of your music?
ALLY: You can follow us on
or maybe you can grab a copy of our albums or go to our shows.

 What lies ahead for the band in 2016?
ALLY: Touring for sure. We miss the road and sleeping on the floor. We have some shows in Italy until July and some plans for Europe in September. We would like record a new album and do the same old stuff. We love the routine.









Thursday, July 7, 2016

May/June Reviews Part 2



May/June Reviews  Part 2

Aanthems – Die Every Night EP (Self-Release)
“You’re The Devil” opens up with a riff that would have made “Waiting Room” era Fugazi proud. After the opening riff, the song builds into a Fugazi style punk song like the ones Ian used to sing. Aanthems are a two-piece bass and drums band that sounds like a full band. If you’re thinking Death From Above 1979, White Stripes or other two-piece bands, do not. Aanthems is more punk and travels more of a Gaslight Anthem road with ‘90’s alternative written into the mix. – Ed Stuart

Action Jets – Tarot Cards 7” (Self-Release)
Action Jets are back with Tarot Cards, which according to the band is a revamped version of a previously recorded version of “Tarot Cards.” I’m not that familiar with the original version. The new version starts with a later Jam style chord progression while going into some Guided By Voices territory for the verses and back to a Jam influenced chorus. The Jam is always a good choice and Action Jets do it right. Action Jets have carved out a little niche in the Phoenix scene playing this style, but unfortunately they may be an army of one though. The B-side is an instrumental called “Action Jets Muscle Theme.” On their LP, the band had song titles with the band name in the title, almost as if the band was a character too. I thought this was more of the same thing, but they kept it instrumental instead. – Ed Stuart

Barry Knoedl – Baby Don’t Give Up 7” (Frodis)
I can only imagine what the original listeners thought after dropping the needle onto Baby Don’t Give Up after reading the big Death Records logo on the record label? My guess is surprise to say the least. Thankfully, Frodis released/re-issued Barry Knoedl. The story behind this release is Knoedl, while bass on a recording session, asked to record the two songs you hear on this single. Knoedl plays an American power-pop with a nod to ‘60’s bubblegum pop and ‘70’s AM radio. “Baby Don’t Give Up” is as if 1910 Fruitgum Company decided to go power-pop. The B-side “I Just Want To Make You Happy” is a song that could have fit right in with ‘70’s rock radio.  – Ed Stuart

Bloody Show – Root Nerve 7” (Heel Turn)
Bloody Show plays a heavy MC5/proto-punk on Root Nerve. Bloody Show definitely lean more toward the “Kick Out The Jams” fuzzed out rock MC5 than anything on the band did on Back To The USA. Root Nerve is full of rawk, fuzz and guitar driven mayhem that would be right at home in the late ‘60’s/early ‘70’s. – Ed Stuart

The Bradburys – Marilyn 7” (Frodis)
The Bradburys are the last of the Frodis four pack and doesn’t go back as far chronologically as their other releases. The Bradburys was an Illinois band from the late ‘90’s featuring members of The Good and The Stepping-stones. The most famous thing about this release is that Ted from Material Issue played bass on this single. “Marilyn” is a power-pop run through a mid-80’s new wave blender. The song is catchy and a little dark at the same time. Maybe it’s the subject matter? “Hello Hello” opens up with bravado from a series of horns then settles more into ‘80’s melodic college rock with early REM melody.  – Ed Stuart

Bruce Moody – Fresh Out! 7” (Meanbean)
Unfortunately, the world is a cruel place and the music scene is a prime example. Sometimes in a sea of quantity, quality doesn’t rise to the top when it should and takes much longer to surface. This is the case of Bruce Moody. Originally released in 1982, Fresh Out! was released at the right time in the right place, but somehow never got the right results. Moody writes and sings a power-pop with heavy Beatles influence, which was a staple of American power-pop’s more radio friendly bent. Fresh Out! can be placed along with bands like Shoes or 20/20 more than their UK counterparts. Moody’s songs feature melodies that shine and sore while the distortion is kept at bay. It’s a fabulous release that power-pop ears have been waiting to hear.  – Ed Stuart

Chandeli’ers – Breaker LP (Dirt Cult/Dead Broke)
Chandeli’ers are mix of members from Brooklyn bands like Ringers, Besties and World Inferno Friendship Society. Chandeli’ers is quite a surprise considering the usual releases from Dirt Cult. The cover art doesn’t clue the listener into what they are about to hear. Breaker is a blast of Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, early Blondie with touches of ‘60’s R&B and other ’77-’79 power-pop that is more on pop than power. – Ed Stuart

Cult Values – S/T LP (Sabotage/Deranged)
Cult Values is a pretty global project incorporating members from United States, New Zealand, Germany and Austria. Cult Values plays dark punk hardcore not melodic hardcore. Think early Husker Du, goth-era T.S.O.L., Articles of Faith and Dag Nasty. This S/T LP keeps the energy of hardcore, but the guitar sounds as if Bob Mould is playing it. High energy, mid-80’s influenced punk/hardcore that is equally aggressive and melodic. Sabotage is a label that has been putting out good bands lately and this is another one that doesn’t disappoint.  – Ed Stuart

Cut Worms – Don’t Want To Say Good-Bye 7” (Randy)
I had to check the year of this release after starting to listen to it. “Like Going Down Sideways” sounds like a folk-era record much like early Dylan with touches of Simon/Garfunkel era Paul Simon. The B-side, “Don’t Want To Say Good-Bye,” is a nod to early ‘60’s California pop like the Byrds with a hint of Everly Brothers harmonies. Cut Worms is the solo project of Max Clarke from The Sueves. Max has really nailed the songs and sound of the period so that it doesn’t a throwback, but an honest homage to a musical time and place.  – Ed Stuart

Daylight Robbery – Accumulated Error LP (Deranged)
Daylight Robbery is a post-punk/punk trio out of Chicago. Imagine if the Wipers had X (the Los Angeles version) style guy/girl trade-off vocals. Accumulated Error, the band’s third LP, is full of dark melody and reverb without wallowing in its own brooding. The songs are up-tempo like “Goon Beat” and “Telegraphing.” The self-described adult rock band has written an LP that pulls influences from the past, but that the new kids will be into as well. – Ed Stuart

Direct Hit! – Wasted Mind LP (Fat Wreck)
Like their previous LP, Brainless God, Wasted Mind is a concept album. Wasted Mind follows the story of a person who takes drugs, the effects of the drugs on the person, what happens when one takes drugs, the appeal, addiction, the treatment and rehabilitation process as the result of drug use. According to the band, Naked Lunch, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, an assortment of drug themed movies and personal use were big influences. Wasted Mind is the band’s fourth release, but the first for Fat. Direct Hit!’s sound is radio friendly ‘90’s pop-punk. From other reviews I’ve read, writers have been calling Wasted Mind Direct Hit!’s punk opus. The band is definitely going for the opus concept LP feel by adding piano and an assortment of other instruments. Direct Hit! is another band in the Fat revitalization of the last few years and this release will be a nod to Fat’s past and it’s future. – Ed Stuart

Drunk Couples – Blasted LP (Bob)
Drunk Couples are a power-trio from South Carolina and pound their instruments as much they play them. There really isn’t much finesse in the power chord riff mania on Blasted. Drunk Couples is early Helmet, Melvins, Murder City Devils with some punk thrown in. Drunk Couples are being billed as punk rock, but I think it would make more sense to call it rock with punk. Blasted is for fans of riff driven rock that isn’t interested in slowing down for stop signs or pedestrians.  – Ed Stuart

Excelsior – Punk Floyd EP (It’s Trash)
At first, I listened to this in my car and could barely hear anything at all of what Excelsior was doing. I know this has been written about in other reviews, but the sound quality is somewhere between super lo-fi DIY, recorded down the street from the studio and garage practice recording demo. On the headphones, I could hear a little better what the band was doing. Excelsior is a lo-fi garage punk that has some melodic parts that are buried/lost in the recording. Punk Floyd makes some of the Rip Off Records bands seem overproduced.  – Ed Stuart

Faz Waltz – Callin Out Loud LP (Contra/Longshot)
On previous releases, I felt Faz Waltz, had a more a T. Rex feel, but Callin Out Loud is full of glam stompers straight from the Slade/Sweet songbook. Faz Waltz really knows the ‘70’s UK glam/Bovver sound and it’s in full effect on their new LP. Callin Out Loud is the band’s fifth LP and the Italian bootboys don’t show any sign of stopping. Slade/Sweet were masters of tough edge glam pop songs filled with rock n’ roll riffs and Faz Waltz is doing precisely the same thing. How Faz doesn’t get the attention Guida does is a mystery to me? For those already clued into Faz, this new LP is for you.  – Ed Stuart

Guitar Gangsters – Aftershow EP (Wanda)
Aftershow shows Guitar Gangsters playing the Cocksparrer style mid-tempo streetpunk with punchy melodic catchy choruses that should be of no surprise to their fans. Guitar Gangsters have been doing this since 1987. After playing for twenty plus years and having nine releases under their belt, they know a thing or two about how to write a song. The title track, “Aftershow,” has a little Buddy Holly chord progression mixed with Cocksparrer influence while the other three songs showcase their love of ’77 with big football sing-along chorus.  – Ed Stuart

Heart Attack Kids – S/T EP (It’s Trash)
Two-piece that doesn’t sounds like one at all. The band is from London, Ontario. Heart Attack Kids play a raging fuzzed out dirty, trashy, garage-tinged punk rock n’ roll. These four songs don’t seem to let up at all. “Platonic Love Bomb” opens up with a Hives style riff that would make most indie bands jealous and that’s only the beginning. “Shoulda Come From Japan” and “Eh OK” capture the energy of a band that sounds like it has more members than it actually does. This release is from 2014, but it looks like the band is still going and recently put out an LP with Underground Options. – Ed Stuart

Hi-Fi’s – Look What You’ve Done 7” (Meanbean)
I don’t know where Meanbean keeps finding these power-pop diamonds in the rough to re-issue, but I don’t want them to stop. Hi-Fi’s, from Toronto, were formed in the late ‘70’s and feature future members of Blue Rodeo. How was this single missed? Who knows? Originally released in 1980, this release features “Look What You’ve Done” which by all rights should have been a hit, but wasn’t. It’s full of ’77 energy with ‘60’s pop melodies. This song fits on any Powerpearls comp. “I Don’t Know Why (You Love Me)” sounds more like a ‘60’s Beatles/early Who that is more mid-tempo, but is equally catchy. Hi-Fi’s could have run with either style, but all we get is two songs on this release, which is unfortunate for us listeners.  – Ed Stuart

Impo & The Tents – Anxious Times EP (Alien Snatch)
What if The Dickies singer fronted an Undertones/’79 Power-pop band heavily influenced by bubblegum bands like 1910 Fruitgum Company? Impo & The Tents would be the answer. Listen to “Do The Things You Wanna Do” and you’ll see what I mean. Anxious Times is a fun release much like their previous LP, Peek After A Poke is. Anxious Times leans more power-pop than its predecessor LP did. The new addition for Impo is the farfisa sounding organ which gives the band a more ‘60/s mod dimension.  – Ed Stuart

La Flingue – Piss-Tape Zero Quatre 12” EP (Wanda/P. Trash)
Ex-Hatepinks and Irritones have conspired to create La Flingue, which means The Pistol in French. Piss-Tape Zero Quatre is a high up-tempo garage punk with treble guitars that slice and a rhythm that doesn’t stop like Teengenerate/Registrators/early Kids. When you think that all La Flingue is about, you would be wrong. Songs like “Hamster Norvegius” and  “ABC Not D” sound like a catchy ’77 influenced Briefs. “Porcelaine God” uses the melodic bass driven verse style of Joy Division to great effect. La Flingue might just be the sleeper hit of the Wanda roster.  – Ed Stuart

Los Pepes – All Good Now LP (Wanda)
For having three straight releases in as many years, Los Pepes have been putting out quality records that seem to go a little too unnoticed. I realize that Canadian power-pop bands are all the rage right now, and believe me a lot of those Canadian bands are top notch, but so are Los Pepes. All Good Now is a heavy Buzzcocks/Undertones power-pop/punk one-two punch with all the pop in the right place to soothe all the punk bite marks. Los Pepes, amidst the line-up changes, have continued to write and produce quality and All Good Now continues to showcase this.  – Ed Stuart

Lost Balloons – S/T LP (Alien Snatch)
Lost Balloons is a project four years in the making. The origin story starts when Jeff Burke (Radioactivity, Marked Men) took his Japan sabbatical/extended stay and was asked to work on a song by Yusuke (Suspicious Beasts, Blotto). One song wasn’t enough for these two and after both moved back to the US, more songs were written and recordings were finalized. The product is this S/T LP. Both men share songwriting duties. Yes, some songs sound like their other bands, but oddly some of the experimental stuff sounds like Mind Spiders. Songs like “Back Again” and “Don’t Count On Me” are more ‘60’s influenced and more melodically driven than velocity. “Jump Ship” could fit right into a Radioactivity LP. Lost Balloons is a very good release, which isn’t a surprise to Jeff Burke fans, but don’t be expecting a carbon copy Radioactivity style release because Lost Balloons are going for the poppy at heart.  – Ed Stuart

Lovesores – Rock N’ Roll Animal 10” (Hound Gawd)
If you already liked/loved Lovesores, Rock N’ Roll Animal will keep the love affair going strong. Lovesores have been prone to changing some band members in the past, but this is the same line-up as Focke-Wulf vs. Spitfire. Should you be surprised when I tell you this 10” is killer? No. Lovesores set the bar so high; you shouldn’t expect anything less. Rock N’ Roll Animal is more NY Dolls/early Humpers/LAMF/Chuck Berry/MC5 dive bar rock n’ roll madness played by rock n’ roll warriors who know this game inside and out.  – Ed Stuart

Maniac – Midnight Kino 7” (Modern Action)
First of all, Modern Action is back?!? When did this happen? The label that lay dormant for so long re-enters the game with Maniac’s new single, Midnight Kino. Maniac, LA’s all-star band made up of Cute Lepers/Clorox Girls/Images/LA Drugz members, may be the best band in LA right now. The Gentlemen Punks do not disappoint on their new 2-song single. More ‘77/early LA meets Briefs that is both catchy and effortless. My main issue is that I can’t decide which song I like better and that’s always a nice problem to have.  – Ed Stuart

Marchildon – Night Screamer EP (Purple Hill)
Owen Marchildon has gone under a few aliases like From Fiction, Purple Hill and now he’s just using his last name. Marchildon’s voice sounds a little like Lou Reed, but more melodic and less deadpan. Night Screamer is a mix of rock, folk, country and a touch of indie Americana.  – Ed Stuart

Marshmallow Generation – VA-Ontario LP (It’s Trash)
This compilation contains bands from Ontario. Compilations are great ways to hear a lot bands at once, but really sink or swim based on which bands make the cut. On Marshmallow Generation, some of the bands are Terminal Licks, Zex, First Base and Strange Attractor. VA-Ontario is mostly punk in either a ’77, rock n’ roll, street punk, power-pop, or garage way. Terminal Licks, First Base and Zex are the standout bands. – Ed Stuart

Mean Jeans – Tight New Dimension LP (Fat Wreck)
I’m not sure what I could write about Mean Jeans that most of you don’t already know. Tight New Dimension is the Jeans’ third LP and the first one for Fat Wreck. Mean Jeans mix a healthy dose of Ramones by way of The Queers pop-punk filled with songs titles like, “4 Coors Meal” and “Michael Jackson Was Tight.” Tight New Dimension doesn’t have the recklessness party abandon of Are You Serious, but most third LP’s don’t. It would be the like the party master of yore still hanging at the frat house long after his kegger reign was over. Eventually, you have to leave the party, go home and move out. Does Mean Jeans deliver on the Ramones-infused punk-pop that they are known for? Yes. The production on Tight is a bit better, but the fun is still there. – Ed Stuart

Moped – Eklig LP (Wanda)
I believe Moped is from Germany. First of all, Moped sing in their native language so; unless you speak the language, you never have any idea of what is being sung. Maybe it’s fitting that Wanda, a German label, released their record. Moped reminds me of ’77 bands likes PVC, Newtown Neurotics and Chron Gen. Eklig, is the fourth LP from the band and it’s a brand of self-described power-punk.  – Ed Stuart

Nasty Rumors – All Alone 7” (No Front Teeth)
From the first chords of “All Alone,” I knew this single would be damn good. Nasty Rumors are very good and this single is killer. “All Alone” starts off with a riff Steve Jones himself could/would have written for The Professionals, but could have worked in the Pistols. The B-side, “T&M” continues the Professionals/Boys/’77 UK punk rock n’ roll love fest. Nasty Rumors have been putting out solid singles for a while, but I wonder if an LP is in the works for these Swiss punks.  – Ed Stuart

Noise Pollution – VA-Hamilton EP (It’s Trash)
While VA-Ontario was an LP, VA-Hamilton is only an EP. My guess is Toronto is a much bigger city and scene than Hamilton, which might be the reason for the format difference. Noise Pollution has four bands, which are Flesh Rag, Jimmy and The Jerks, Get Off The Cop and Nobles Savages, Much like VA-Ontario, VA-Hamilton, is a punk compilation. The songs all fall into a punk, rock n’ roll garage description and provide a good introduction to these bands if you haven’t heard them before.  – Ed Stuart

Pezband – Women and Politics 12” EP (Frodis)
When I first Pezband, it was with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” which was awash in American Power-pop and Beatles influence. Women and Politics has Pezband playing with a little more bite without sacrificing their melody. Women and Politics was recorded in ’82 was never released until now. At the time of the recording, Pezband was trying to revive interest in the band again after the labels had lost interest. Pezband ditches the The Beatles influence for more of a Knack/Vapors style, but sadly it didn’t grab label’s ears. It’s interesting because the ‘80’s had hits from the same musical ballpark as the songs on EP especially “Office Girls” and “Waiting In Line.” Instead of trying to figure the decision label suits, Frodis release of new/old Pezband material is their loss and our gain.  – Ed Stuart

Pkew Pkew Pkew – S/T LP (Royal Mountain)
First of all this band does not take it seriously at all. If you watch their video for “Mid 20’s Skateboarder,” they spoof Tony Hawk Pro Skater by combining beer with skateboarding to get added points. Pkew Pkew Pkew, which is the sound a gunshot makes, plays pop-punk that likes to party. The band takes a lot of bits from Rocket From The Crypt minus the horns and early Against Me! and Teenage Bottlerocket style pop-punk that isn’t reinventing the wheel. It seems like all the vocals are gang vocals that collectively sing about topics like pizza, starting a band, drinking and skateboarding. The gang vocals make the verses and actual chorus seem like one big extended sing along chorus, but it actually works here. These Canadian party boys may have one-upped early Mean Jeans and Dirty Fences on the party meter. This LP is enjoyable and should find it’s way to the kids because Pkew Pkew Pkew tours with the likes of Direct Hit and PUP.  – Ed Stuart

Public Eye – Mood Change EP (Sabotage)
Public Eye is Autistic Youth when they switch instruments and start a new band. Sabotage has re-released the band’s cassette release from last year. Public Eye has a sparse songwriting style that falls in with Fall, early Wire and Joy Division. You wonder how much of the keep it simple style songwriting is by choice or lack of familiarity with their new instruments. Mood Change is post-punk that contains droning/dirge like moments of early goth that most of the time presents a bleak picture like an industrial town whose constant tower smoke has blocked out the sun.  – Ed Stuart

Pussywhips – S/T EP (Surf & Turf)
Pussywhips are a trio from Portugal that is blender of styles mixed up of Cramps, post-punk, ‘80’s goth, rockabilly and ‘60’s garage. The guitar is soaked in reverb just like how Cramps and Gun Club used to make it sound, but doesn’t stick only to rock n’ roll. Some of the rhythms are very primal like on “Fifty Shades (To Summer Days).” It reminds me of Bauhaus or early industrial. Pussywhips is a walk on the road less traveled, but not to those wholly familiar with the recipe.  – Ed Stuart

Razorbats – Camp Rock LP (Self Destructo/Glunk)
Razorbats are from the home of black metal, deep in the heart of Norway. While Razorbats may share an affinity for denim and leather, they listened to Hanoi Rocks, Cheap Trick, early Def Leppard, KISS, and Judas Priest. Camp Rock came out late last year on Self Destructo, but Glunk is issuing the LP again. The first song title says it all, “Planet Riff.” The LP songs are catchy metal tinged rock n’ roll with a bunch of pop hooks and even a couple power ballads to boot. What makes Razorbats pull off this style is that they understand that the early ‘80’s metal bands were really rock bands with pop hearts and Camp Rock is no different.  – Ed Stuart

Razz – Pleasantries 7” (Warm Wet)
Oakland is slowly becoming a hotbed for bands right now. It might be because San Francisco is so expensive now that only tech employees can afford to live there so everyone else had to move to the East Bay for cheaper rent. Razz is members of The Pets, Glitz, Reptoids and Cocktails. Razz plays a power-pop of an early Who meets Raspberries meets Twilley/Seymour meets dB’s. Razz falls more on the American Power-pop side with the subtle Beatles-esque melodies nestled inside solid songwriting that may not have the flash of the UK model, but has the all the qualities. – Ed Stuart

Sightlines – “North” LP (Alarum/Big Smoke)
Sightlines have finally released their debut LP, “North.” It seemed like the band had released every other format previously except the LP. Sightlines debut LP seems heavily influenced by Jawbreaker’s Dear You in vocals and songwriting. The band has a melodic pop-punk meets ‘90’s sound informed by early emo, fuzz, lo-fi and alternative. – Ed Stuart

Shameless Idols – Shamed and Defamed LP (Self-Release)
The Shameless Idols are a four-piece band from Boston. There wasn’t a lot of information about the band other than their bio. The bio described the band as having “elements of roots, garage, alt-country, power pop and zip-a-dee-doo-dah.” Shamed and Defaced leans more to alt-country and rock n’ roll. The songwriting reminds me a lot of bar rock n’ roll band influenced more by Wilco than the Stones.  – Ed Stuart

Shitty Life – S/T EP (Surfin Ki)
Shitty Life is all about the barn-burners. This 7-song EP is full of Rip-Off Records mixed with Group Sex-era Circle Jerks. The band is from Italy and made up of members of Drug Problems, VAM Society, You Sucks!, and The Secret Tape. 7 songs in 8 minutes according to the Surfin Ki website and that’s about right. High energy garage punk with a touch of early punk-hardcore or as the band bills it, “power trash.” – Ed Stuart

Spit Pink – Night Of The Lizard LP (Wanda)
Germany’s punk scene is either blowing up or just being so well documented by Wanda that us foreigners are getting an inside ear into the scene. Spit Pink plays Stooges/New York Dolls mixed with Saints, Radio Birdman and Fun Things blues-based punk rock n’ roll. Night of The Lizard is as much a rock n’ roll record as it is a punk record. The riffs are a plenty on this record and the style of Thunders is well heard throughout. Spit Pink is a band for fans that like their guitars and riffs leading the show.  – Ed Stuart

Terminal Licks – S/T EP (It’s Trash)
Members of Cheap Thrills, Diemonds, City Sweethearts, Absolut get together to make some really, really good power-pop rock n’ roll. Yes, Canada is at again, this time its Toronto. There is a heavy Exploding Hearts influence on “You Won’t Se Me Go.” On “Come Over Tonight,” it’s like Thunders joined Cheap Trick without losing his rock n’ roll swagger and keeping those sweet Cheap Trick choruses. The only problem for Terminal Licks is this is looking to be their only ever release because their drummer passed away before this S/T was released.   – Ed Stuart

The Toms – Fake Christmas 7” (Frodis)
The Toms is really Tommy Marolda. The origin story of The Toms is that Marolda wrote over forty songs, played all the instruments and recorded all of them in one weekend. The result of his efforts was called The Toms. The Toms had an LP release called The Toms, which is full of potential hits that were never realized. Later, there was a 2-CD release of all The Toms songs, which included the B-side “It’s Needless (demo). The A-side, “Fake Christmas” is not on the 2-CD release, but was originally released on a Christmas LP, Marolda released. The Toms always had a heavy Beatles influence and attention to guitar/vocal melody and Fake Christmas is no different. The title track is American power-pop with Beatles harmonies and other Lennon/McCartney songwriting signatures mixed with late ‘70’s/early ‘80’s pop/new wave. Marolda who has made a bigger name producing may get his just rewards for the songwriter he always was.  – Ed Stuart

Torpedohead – III LP (Woodhouse)
Torpedohead, from Germany, are more rock than punk. III reminds me of the rock LP’s from the early to mid 80’s when bands like LA Guns, Faster Pussycat and The Cult were putting out records. You could even argue for Backyard Babies and Hellacopters too. Torpedohead are a 3-piece that plays a rock that is not afraid to show the guitar chops with big riffs, big rock and some poppy choruses. – Ed Stuart

Useless ID – We Don’t Want The Airwaves EP (Fat Wreck)
This EP opens up with the title track “We Don’t Want The Airwaves,” which is an ode to The Ramones and a play on “We Want The Airwaves.” So you would think, three more like this are coming, but you would be wrong. This EP jumps around stylistically. First, it’s aforementioned pop-punk honoring the Ramones. Second and fourth is Billy Bragg-ish/Against Me! politically tinged numbers more reflective of the singer’s solo career. The third song veers more toward Rise Against/Foo Figthers rock. Useless ID is releasing a new LP later this year and I feel this EP is to hold over fans until then.  – Ed Stuart

Useless ID – State Is Burning LP (Fat Wreck)
Useless ID channel their inner Bad Religion, NOFX, No Use For A Name for their eighth LP, State Is Burning. Useless ID have been around for twenty years now and they figured they would celebrate by returning their roots and dust off the Bad Religion LP’s they cut their teeth on. Two of the songs from their previous EP made it to this LP. While We Want The Airwaves seemed unfocused, State Is Burning is the opposite. From the opening track, “Land of Idiocracy,” you know what you’re in for. Despite the flourishes of ‘00’s punk, this LP is call back to Fat and Epitaph of yesteryear.   – Ed Stuart

Yum Yuckers – A Tragic History 7” (Dig My Grave)
Verge Campus named Yum Yuckers one of the bands to watch at this years’ Punk Island in New York City. Yum Yuckers is ex-members of Coffin' Fit, and The Devotchkas. Yum Yuckers play a tough heavy, dirty, grungy, sludgy punk rock n’ roll like Murder City Devils did, but with a singer that sounds somewhat similar to Danzig. If you can imagine a heavier, slower Walk Among Us minuses the whoa-oh’s, you’ll be in the right ballpark.  – Ed Stuart