STINKING POLECATS – Stinking Polecats EP

After spending years fronting Ramones obsessives Tough, bassist Chris Polecat revived The Stinking Polecats. It was an unlikely move, given that Tough had gained some really positive press and the Polecats had been away for fifteen years – more than your average hiatus. But like so many good punk bands, those fifteen years might as well just have been two or three, since upon their return, the band merely picked up where they’d left off and sounded as good as ever.

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THE LIVERMORES – The Livermores

The Livermores’ 2019 self-titled disc follows a couple of EP releases (including a fun split with Proton Packs), is advertised as a full album but still only clocks in at a length that some bands would still consider an EP. In an especially lean twenty four minutes, though, this band smashes their way through a full thirteen tracks of speed-driven punk, creating a listen that’s both enjoyable and incredibly energetic.

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MEGA – Narcissistic Punk Rock Disorder

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.

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LATTE+ – Next To Ruin

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.

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Free download: The Peawees – ‘Cause You Don’t Know Me

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’.

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