Formed in 2016, Ditches are a Swedish band who mix garage rock, surf rock and punk. Their 2018 release ‘1000 Elephants’ was mixed and mastered by Mark Ryan and Jeff Burke (both previously of The Marked Men) and featured five frenzied rockers that filled the gap left by Hives when they became more commercial.
After over two decades in the business, Italian garage rock/power pop band The Peawees have created more than a musical legacy. Their 2018 LP ‘Moving Target’ provided an excellent insight into the band’s style – a great listen for anyone unfamiliar with the band – delivering great hook after great hook. A tribute to Phil Spector on the suitably titled ‘Phil Spector’ provided an album highlight on a track big on retro riffs and even bigger on sleigh bells.
A new track, ‘You Don’t Know Me’ adds further to the band’s legacy with a three minute, guitar driven blaster that combines the more commercial feel of early 90s Social Distortion with the chorus thrills of Gaslight Anthem, all wrapped up in something that pays homage to ‘I Fought The Law’.
Romania mightn’t be the first place you’d go looking for surf rock sounds, but Grave For Sale are a band deeply immersed in the retro style. Their musical universe draws influence from greats like The Ventures, but also applies sounds that could be found at the heart of horror rock, often resulting in tunes that sound like a blend of fine garage based melodies and a deep cut from a Tarantino soundtrack.
Their second EP, 2019’s ‘Garajo’ is seriously great. It has an old spirit, but a really beefy sound and its five tracks cover a lot of ground, yet at the same time, sound like tunes that belong together. In short, it’s a superb twenty minute showcase for a band whom deserve a larger fan-base.
Active on the live circuit since Halloween 2017, Runhidefight is a relatively new band fronted by Geeta Simons (formerly of Swisher). They’ve been championed by Rodney Bigenheimer and Sirius XM radio, been likened to Cheap Trick and The Sonics and they’re about to play live on the same bill as Justine and The Unclean.
With the release of ‘Killer’ in 1971, Alice Cooper – the band, as they were then and not just the man – had perfected a blend of hard rock, art rock and glam. Tracks like ‘Under My Wheels’ had – and continue to have – a destructive brilliance, while even the more throwaway material like ‘You Drive Me Nervous’ provided a great, rough hewn alternative to the closest British equivalent in the Sweet. Somewhere between, the dark artistry of ‘Halo of Flies’ and ‘Dead Babies’ transpired the horror schlock of the band’s notorious live show into the kind of audio nightmares that irked America’s moral guardians.
Perfection doesn’t come over night of course, and it had taken the band three albums to really hit their stride. Their 1969 debut ‘Pretties For You’ – aside from one obvious exception – bears absolutely no resemblance to their not too distant hit making future. The Alice Cooper of the late 60s were a chaotic art band and most of the music that filled their debut (released on Frank Zappa’s Straight Records in the summer of that year) is certainly closer to Mothers of Invention than the glam/proto-metal that would gain them worldwide acclaim.