When Italian punks Mega released ‘May The Force Be With You’ in 2015, they put themselves on the Euro punk map. The recording was a little rough and ready, but the potential was clear for all to hear. Although they weren’t exactly famous outside of their home country at the time of release, that record opened them up to a broader fan base – partly due to having Star Wars themed material – and it showed off a band who could be every bit as good as The Apers and Manges.
Two years on from their ‘No More Than Three Chords‘ album, Italian punks Latte+ returned with ‘Stitches’, an album that captured the band’s supercharged Ramonescore sound in a slightly more polished way. Despite a better final mix, the band’s sense of speed and guts still dominated and in songs like ‘Everyone Listens To The Ramones Even My Mom’, the Screeching Weasel-tastic ‘Darkness Inside Your Heart’ and the melodic punk punch of ‘Another Sleepless Night’, they managed to show off the complete range of their always improving sound. It seemed like an album that would break them outside of their home country, but despite such a strong effort, Latte+ (always pronounced “LattePiu”) still seemed destined to be found lurking somewhere within the ranks of dozens of other Europunks and not mentioned in the same breath as Screeching Weasel, Dan Vapid and Teen Idols.
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’.
In 2014 Italian punks The Nuts released their self titled EP. It gave the world four short and sharp pieces of female-oriented Ramonescore that set the band out as one to watch. Even in a world awash with similar bands, there was something about The Nuts’ gutsy performances and love for the style that made them truly stand out.
Split releases are always interesting, but once in a while one will come along that’ll be utterly amazing. This 2018 release from I Buy Records (Italy) in conjunction with Mom’s Basement Records (USA) featuring unreleased tracks by Italian punks Proton Packs and The Livermores is such a disc. Although neither band is hugely well known outside their home country, both are capable of supplying first rate Ramones styled pop punk that’s as well played as any.