Garage punks Sonic Angels are billed as promising “high octane, lo-fi fun” on their self titled release from ’21. Those already familiar with the band will more than know what to expect from their music, but the fact that the band continue to plough a familiar, loud and fast furrow is actually something to celebrate. After all, when you do something so well, why mess with a winning formula?
By crediting themselves as “garage pop from the desert”, French Girls instantly disarm the listener by suggesting there will be an obvious pop (or power pop) element to their sound. On this self-titled EP from 2021, any allusions to making obvious pop sounds are fleeting and most sugary melodies are quickly kicked to the kerb with a hefty amount of distortion. Although you will find an occasional nod to Phil Spector girl groups, such moments are delivered with a massive sneer. This EP is raw, attitude filled and sometimes ugly. From a garage punk perspective, it’s also brilliant.
Somewhere near the beginning of their career, blues duo Black Pistol Fire released ‘Big Beat ’59’, a raw as hell album that cast them in a musical mould somewhere between The White Stripes and The Dead Exs. It didn’t always show a lot of invention in terms of garage blues, but it had a lot of balls, resulting in the kind of rough and ready record that should’ve appealed to all lovers of the style. The albums which followed showed a slight musical progression each time, along with a slightly slicker sound and the suggestion of a slightly bigger budget. This culminated in the release of 2017’s ‘Deadbeat Graffiti’ where the expected Black Pistol Fire raucousness was tempered by far more of an indie rock/blues hybrid sound in places. It was a sound that suited the band well, and on tracks like ‘Fever Breaks’ and ‘Bully’ they even appeared to give Arctic Monkeys a run for their money.
Sheffield duo Get The Fuck Outta Dodge are one of the best two piece garage punk outfits ever. Their fuzz heavy debut LP ‘Climbin’ Higher Than King Kong’ valued heavy fuzz over almost everything and by combining intensive riffs with a dual vocal attack, their barrage of crashy noises and shouting made an instant impression. It wasn’t especially original, but between some massively sweary hooks and lo-fi sounds it managed to be the best hardcore influenced noise since Mongol Horde unleashed their debut LP in 2014.
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.