It’s felt like an age since their 2016 LP ‘Black Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ was a new release, but Boston rockers Watts are back! To celebrate – and to relieve the anticipation for the new LP – they’re offering you a new song for free.
Teaming The Zeros’ vocalist Victor Penalosa with The Trebles’ guitarist Xavier Anaya, garage rock band The Phantoms released a full length on Rum Bar Records back in 2015. Tapping into various retro grooves and kicking off with the superbly trashy bar-room workout ‘Baby Loves Her Rock ‘n’ Roll’, the record was well received by the underground press. Two years on, the band reunited and recorded a bunch of no-frills cover tunes.
In August ’17, Boston rockers Justine and Unclean unleashed their debut single via Rum Bar Records. A double A-sided download, ‘Love Got Me Into This Mess’ and ‘Passive Aggressive Baby’ delivered an adrenaline-shot of good old r’n’r, mixing the sounds of Ramones with something a little sweeter. The tracks retained a punky enough edge to thrill the pop-punk crowd and yet retained a little something to suggest their forthcoming album might just be a touch more varied.
Russia’s Always Sick are another band joining the onslaught of punkers either channelling classic Ramones or ‘39/Smooth’ era Green Day for their primary influences. Ranging from the almost piss-takingly good (Riverdales, Tough) to the flat out awful, there’s a world’s worth of acts channelling the same four chords to make their punky mark. So many, in fact, there are now too many to even count, so it’s unsurprising when many slip by unnoticed.
No lions, no tigers, just bears…and judging by their use of punctuation, the proximity of said bears would seem to be a matter of some urgency for this Rhode Island ska punk troupe. Having expanded their horn section since the release of 2015’s ‘Bad News Bears! Bears! Bears!’, their second EP carries on where the previous release left off and, yes, urgency is very much the watchword here. The six tracks on ‘Every Piece Counts’ owe a huge debt to the works of Less Than Jake but, in terms of general enthusiasm, Bears sound much more appealing than Chris, Roger and Vinny have since the days of ‘Hello Rockview!’…and it’s somewhat frightening to note that at the time of this EP’s release, that LTJ album is almost two decades old.