VARIOUS ARTISTS – Shellshock Rock: Alternative Blasts From Northern Ireland 1977-1984

From the team that brought the world the fantastic ‘Big Gold Dreams’, a lavish box set exploring the corners of alternative music from Scotland, ‘Shellshock Rock’ provides a similarly loving look back at the punk and post-punk sounds emerging from Northern Ireland during the late 70s and early 80s.

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GIANT EAGLES – Second Landing

A collaboration between members of Dutch punk bands The Windowsill and Accelerators, Giant Eagles takes both groups’ pop-punk roots, applies slabs of synthesiser and massive power pop choruses to create sounds that show off an almost equal love of Ramonescore and early 80s new wave. Seven years on from their debut, the Eagles’ comeback disc ‘Second Landing’ presents thirty two minutes of near perfection, where catchy as hell choruses mesh with some brilliantly constructed and shamelessly retro tunes.

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BEST BOYS ELECTRIC – Brett Pop Affairs EP

It’s not immediately clear what (or, indeed, whom) “Brett Pop” is, but it’s obviously really important to this group of musicians from Bremen. Immersing themselves in a retro, cartoonish world, Best Boys Electric are out for fun. Sure, music can be deep and cerebral, but that’s not so much a focus here, as these guys set out to stoke up good times throughout this EP.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Harmony In My Head: UK Power Pop & New Wave 1977-81

Back in the 90s, Rhino Records released two compilations celebrating the birth and subsequent explosion of power pop in the US between 1975-1981. Entitled ‘Come Out & Play (American Power Pop 1975-1978)’ and ‘Shake It Up (American Power Pop 1979-1981)’, those discs are an invaluable addition to any power pop collection, introducing many to the works of Pearl Harbor & The Explosions, 20/20 and Earth Quake, alongside more familiar cult recordings by Shoes, Off Broadway, Cheap Trick, Chris Bell and far more besides.

‘Harmony In My Head: UK Power Pop & New Wave 1977-1981’, a 2018 box set from Cherry Red Records exploring the UK power pop and new wave scenes, is every bit as wonderful as those US-centric discs, presenting the popular and familiar alongside some also-rans and bands whom never made the big time.

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