It took Milwaukee garage punk trio three releases to strike gold. Their debut album was ragged beyond belief and very much an acquired taste; its follow up, 2017’s ‘Stars In The Night’ took their hybrid of garage rock, punk and sleaze up a notch, and although it included a couple of far superior songs, it would still be a stretch to call it an essential listen. With 2018’s ‘Darkness Calling’, they finally released a disc that showed their true potential as heirs to the Johnny Thunders and New York Dolls legacies. Its blend of trashy riffs, big choruses and party attitude deserved to be appreciated by fans of a proto-punk sound everywhere.
Hi/Jack’s 2016 album ‘No Cover’ is one of those records that lacks something. Across its forty minutes, the duo pound through eleven tracks that blend a garage punk aesthetic with furious metal riffs. They certainly couldn’t be accused of approaching their work in a half-arsed way, but it shows why the guitar/drums/no bass set up is perfect for a purer garage rock sound but not much else. When applied to music that should be given the full bells and whistles approach – as with the semi-metallic influences that infuse most of Max Liam’s guitar playing – the lo-fi approach just sounds shoddy.
What would happen if you allowed the drummer from garage punk band Wirms a completely free rein to record whatever he wanted with some friends? You’d get a cassette of punk noise, showcasing a handful of songs that take a loose and childish inspiration from various film titles. …And he’d then decide that Musclegoose would make a fitting name.
After the release of The Mad Doctors’ second album (the excellent ‘No Waves, Just Sharks‘), the Brooklyn garage rockers released a few standalone tracks that helped cement their cult status. Nearer the end of that year, their ‘Yeungling Malmsteen’ showed off their uglier side on a number loaded with buzzsaw guitar riffs and a world of distortion; 2018’s less than subtle ‘Fuck Sean Hannity’ took a rare detour into the political realm where the band sounded angrier than ever and the dark and bluesy ‘Sister Act II…’ presented some great basslines mixed with an almost space-rock trippiness.
Basic Bitches began as a band in 2014 but it would be another four years until a stable line up was established. That line up featuring Naomi Scott (gtr/vox) and Krystal Grow (drums) entered the recording studio soon after and the resulting EP ‘Relatable Content’ was released to an unsuspecting world in the Spring of 2019.
Its four numbers offer the finest in hard garage rock sounds, recorded in such a way that the loud end of the drums and the fuzz from the guitar give off a very natural and live sound. Unlike some similar bands you might come across in your quests for relatively lo-fi goodness, though, there’s just enough polish to ensure Basic Bitches don’t ever sound like they’ve been recorded on a portable cassette deck from the far end of the room.