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.
They’ve been fired and they’ve got lost…and now they’re bored. Finding themselves in this situation having been worn down by the corruption of US politics and months of isolation during a global pandemic, The Radio Buzzkills have filled some time recording an EP of covers. It may be a stopgap until live performances resume, but it’s anything but tossed off. In fact, the five tunes draw from a wonderfully broad musical palate, which the Buzzkills remould into high energy slabs of pop-punk that you’ll definitely love if you’ve had any time at all for their previous work.
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.
Approximately eighteen months after releasing two new songs on a split EP with the Raging Nathans, Chicago pop-punk legends Parasites gave fans yet more previously unreleased material in February 2020 as part a split with Dutch punks Lone Wolf. At the time of release, it started to feel like an eternity since the world last saw a new full length disc from Dave Parasite – his preference for releasing a couple of new songs every couple of years certainly keeps the fans ever hoping – but any new music is welcome, especially with one of the tracks from ‘Passport Split Series Vol. 4’ approaching somewhere near top-drawer Parasites.
Best known as a member of The Ergs!, Worriers and sometime collaborator with For Science and House Boat, the ever-busy Mikey Erg embarked on a solo career in 2011. His second full-length album, 2019’s ‘Waxbuilt Castles’, found Erg moving away from his typical pop-punk and taking more of a singer-songwriter stance. Often veering into (pre-country music) Ben Kweller territory, it sort of suited him, but came as a surprise for some fans.
For those who disliked Mikey’s more reflective side on that album, some consolation comes with 2020’s ‘Bon Voyage’ EP’ moving back to punk. The EP was specially commissioned by Stardumb Records and Mikey immediately thought about the punk EP’s of his youth, of how they were often a gateway to a new band, often featured exclusive tracks and often featured a cover tune along the way. ‘Bon Voyage’ ticks all of those boxes.