Detroit three piece The Stools take the guts of garage rock and pull at them until some of the uglier elements of the genre are the dominant force. Despite its title and despite their location, you shouldn’t expect their 2018 cassette ‘Milk River Blues’ to be overly concerned with drawing from bluesy elements; nor should you approach them thinking that either the legacies of MC5 or The Stooges strongly apply. The Stools are slightly unhinged and are probably best approached with caution.
In 2014, cult garage rock band Greasy Hearts released some of their best material on a split release with fuzz rockers Sun Voyager. A short while later, they announced they’d be taking a break. Vocalist Peter Wilderotter resurfaced in Mammoth Spirit, an experimental rock band, a year or so later. After that, everything went very quiet in the Greasy Hearts camp. It actually seemed like the band had permanently called time on their short career.
Four years on from the ‘Greasy Voyage’ split and Greasy Hearts are back! Their two track digital/7″ release ‘Man Could Get Lucky’ is both a welcome return and a surprise.
Recorded in a day during the summer of 2018, Indonesian Junk’s ‘Darkness Calling’ EP presents the sound of a band who’ve finally matured. They sounded incredibly ragged on their debut from just two years earlier; 2017’s follow up ‘Stars In The Night‘ was sharper in almost every respect but stlll hit and miss, but three of the four tracks on this third release make good on previous glimmers of hope and half-promises – musically, Indonesian Junk finally sound like heirs to the New York Dolls and Dictators legacies.
The sounds of psychedelia’s peak from 1967 and going into 1968 have been well documented. Whether delving into the classics of the era or digging for obscurities, there are a wealth of great tunes to be found within an eighteen month period. By 1969, the musical tide was very much turning; British whimsy and three minute pop gems about myriad cups of tea and talking gnomes had largely been pushed aside for harder rock sounds. Various bands clung on for dear life, of course, and even well into 1969 there were bands across Britain knocking out various 7” pieces of plastic for the psychedelic cause. In another volume of musical history, Grapefruit Records have dug deep to bring three discs of interesting cuts from the year. The results are quite often less gaudily coloured, but you’ll still find a few bands sticking to familiar formulae. While at least half of the material gathered here is more of the well-honed pop/rock variety than flat out psych, the journey is one that’s still more than worth taking. Covering over seventy tracks in all, such a box set could seem daunting, but the curators have included at least ten familiar names, which actually adds to the commercial appeal without detracting from the potential obscurities and rarities.
In April 2018, Ramsgate Music Hall played host to Japanese indie/punk legends Shonen Knife. It was one of the greatest nights the venue had seen to date. Making what had already promised to be a fun night even better, the night’s support received a rapturous response. That band, KOLARS – a garage rock/retro duo from the US – impressed almost everyone with their display of sweat, sparkle and a tap dancing drummer. Within two weeks, the band had been confirmed to return for their own headline show and on July 16th, they took the stage at Music Hall once more.