Back in 2019, The Morning Line released their third album ‘North’. With its retro sound calling back to some of the 90s college rock greats, it was easy to draw parallels with the album’s best material and past classics by Buffalo Tom, Soul Asylum and Third Eye Blind. It became one of that year’s best DIY releases and gained praise from all seventeen people that actually heard it. A follow up single ‘Back On Earth’ appeared at the beginning of 2021, and although it showed off a more sedate side to the band with hints of ‘Behind The Sun’ era R.E.M. at its core, the same retro charms were more than present, cementing Stephen Smith’s reputation as a fine songwriter.
Over the past couple of years, the Rum Bar label has gone from strength to strength. True champions of the US underground rock scene, they’ve continued to promote old friends Watts and Tom Baker, but they’ve also brought listeners a whole world of new and often retro sounds along the way.
On July 23rd 2021, Rum Bar Records are hosting a special gig. Their “Boston Blowout” will be headlined by garage rock legends Dogmatics, and feature a strong supporting line up of four of the city’s best loved underground bands.
If you’re the kind of person who always expects musical perfection, Boston garage rockers A Bunch of Jerks just won’t be for you. Since their inception, the band have always championed a ragged style: their sound is often driven by an overly loud drum kit; there are never any attempts made to fix any wobbly vocal moments and, generally, you get the feeling the band put the same level of care into their recordings as they put into their frankly terrible choice of band name. Regardless of their trashy aesthetic, they’ve plugged on and won fans and supporters – not least of all from the bands within the Rum Bar family – and by 2020, they seemed to have a fairly solid online presence.
Their ‘White Girl Wasted’ digital EP – released in March ’20 – provided a reasonable snapshot of their no-frills style, presenting front-woman Stabby’s vocals high in the mix on a couple of raw, self-penned tunes. The free download also gave a welcome look into their broad world of influences via a spirited (but somewhat unfussy) cover of The Rezillos’ ‘Flying Saucer Attack’ which showed bassist Bat to be a pleasingly muscular player.
In September 2020, Greek musician James Basdanis released his ‘Diddycoy’ EP. The short release was a welcome piece of jazz fusion that also took in elements of rock and funk to give it occasional prog leanings. [You can read a full review here.]
For this Bandcamp Friday, James has a gift for a lucky few. He’s shared a few download codes for a free copy.