Considering January is supposed to be the longest and most miserable month, February 2022 seems to be going on forever. Between a world seemingly dominated by bad news, and the UK braced for not one, but two storms – it feels like things will get worse before springtime eventually hits.
We all need a distraction, and the two Johns from They Might Be Giants have the very thing. For the next few hours, they’re offering everyone two digital album releases FREE of charge.
For a rock band so well loved, Def Leppard aren’t often given the cover tune treatment. You might remember Emm Gryner’s excellent ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ on which, the Canadian singer songwriter gave the Leps’ huge hit the “full Tori Amos” treatment, or perhaps, you’re fond of Hayseed Dixie’s bluegrass take of ‘Photograph’, but for a multi-million selling band, reinterpretations of their work seem few and far between.
‘Behind The Mask’, J Prozac’s solo EP from 2018, was a short and sharp punk/Ramonescore gem. By pairing a couple of self-penned tunes with covers of well known Tom Petty and Ramones songs, the sometime Prozacs frontman ensured that his extra-curricular endeavour was as broadly appealing as possible. A full length release from The Prozacs swiftly followed in 2019, further cementing the band’s obsessions with Johnny & Joey, before an excellent thirty three track collection (‘Fan Favs & Wannabe Hits’) gave everyone a golden opportunity to take stock of the band’s progress so far. For those outside Massachusetts, there was every chance that such a compilation acted as a welcome introduction to their work.
Although their name might not be among garage punk’s most familiar, The Heartdrops released a couple of enjoyable albums back in the late 90s. Their debut, ‘This Is The Heartdrops’ (issued on Melted Records in 1997), served up a relentless collection of riff-based numbers, almost guaranteed to make an indelible impression. The band never got the big break they deserved at the time, but the internet has always been a handy tool for rediscovering overlooked artists and lost gems, and this three track freebie is a superb introduction to The Heartdrops’ world of riffs. The three songs were originally issued on a shared EP with The Spills in ’99 – effectively the band’s swansong – but decades on, the tunes sound as good as ever, and certainly don’t sound like the work of a band that would soon throw in the towel.
It’s only been a few weeks since Rum Bar Records gave out the excellent ‘XOXOXO, Volume One’ sampler showcasing some of their current roster and upcoming releases, but the label is already giving away yet more music to satisfy your underground rock and pop needs.
‘Rocktober II’ features a few current bits and pieces, but in a brilliant contrast to ‘XOXOXO’, it digs much further back into the label’s history, providing a superb recap for those who’ve only just discovered Rum Bar and their family of musicians.