Best known as a member of Fleshtones, Ken Fox tackles retro sounds of a slightly different persuasion on his 2020 EP ‘Ken Fox And Knock Yourself Out’. Taking a pinch of 70s glam, a touch of rock ‘n’ roll, a whole world of 80s power pop and Kurt Baker‘s ability to summon good times, these five songs whip up a rock and pop storm almost guaranteed to please a wide cross section of garage rock and power pop fans.
Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, three piece rock band Ugly Runner make a gloriously retro noise on their debut EP ‘Romanticizer’. Across its lean and mean nineteen minutes, you’ll hear echoes of the Stooges, Pixies, The Strokes and more as the band presents six tracks of fierce garage rock mixed with the noisier end of late 80s indie.
Green Day have undergone a few dramatic changes over the years. They’ve grown from being a straight up pop-punk band to one that seemingly knows no boundaries. They’ve dabbled with elements of 60s rock (the title track from their 2000 album ‘Warning’ brazenly ripped off The Kinks and the same album took in other retro styles previously untouched by the trio); delivered one of their generation’s most pointed political statements (‘American Idiot’); dabbled with a rock opera (’21st Century Breakdown’) and even staged a piece of musical theatre based on the ‘American Idiot’ album. Through it all, they have held on to a very loyal fanbase. You could accuse Green Day of many things (even becoming dull, as evidenced on their ‘Uno’, ‘Dos’ and ‘Tre’ trilogy from 2012), but you could never accuse them of standing still.
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.
A few seconds into this 2019 EP from London based two-piece rock band Yur Mum, it becomes evident that first impressions most definitely do not apply. ‘What Do You Want?’ wastes no time in cranking a huge riff – part 90s metal, part stoner rock – that makes the band sound like a cross between Godsmack and the heaviest parts of Shinedown. It’s most definitely not what you’d expect from a band who’ve decided that a moniker like Yur Mum best represents them. As the track progresses with a mid-paced, absolute crusher of a riff – something that’s brilliantly juxtaposed with Anelise Kunz’s howling and almost brattish vocal – you’ll soon realise that, despite appearances, these guys are serious. …And then, with a teeny bit more time to acclimatise to their heavy sound, you’ll then realise that the brilliant, groove laden riffs have enough force and volume to take on a full spectrum of moods. Nope, this is certainly not the work of a band whom, in name terms, might have you believe they were a teen pop-punk phenomenon.