When billing as power pop punk, the new single from Toronto’s Talk Show Host might seem like an oxymoron, but in many ways, it’s a fairly accurate description. ‘Crisis Actors’ features the kind of buoyant vocals – and vocal filtering – you’ve come to expect from so much twenty first century pop punk, but musically, the track comes with much bigger boots.
Their name might not be among punk’s most familiar, but Twister are one of many great punk bands from Italy. They’ve shared labels with Latte+, Mega and Killtime, churned out some solid melodic punk and Ramonescore sounds, and slowly forged their way to cult status. Their 2016 LP ‘We’ll Be OK’ gained a few positive online reviews, but became most memorable due to a sleeve that paid homage to the legendary Teen Idols. By the end of 2020, they were still relative unknowns compared to some of their peers, but they were still capable of releasing some fine, melodic fare.
Ohio pop punkers Cotter use their debut EP ‘On Sunset’ to deliver a barrage of emotionally charged messages. Its title, agreed on by the whole band, ‘On Sunset’ refers directly to their formation on Sunset Drive, but also – in their own words – how “heartbreak occurred, [the band] started and something beautiful came at the end of from it.” For those who’d rather not get too immersed in the song’s personal messages, most of the songs are loaded with absolutely classic pop punk riffs. Whether they’re tackling the Sum 41-esque bounce of ‘Blackout!’ or the obviously Fall Out Boy derived ‘Clumsy’, their musical talents shine brightly.
When K7s debut album ‘Take 1’ appeared in 2018, it presented itself as an instant classic. In the middle of a pandemic of emo inflected punk, and a bunch of pop punk releases that had too much focus on the pop, the US/Spanish combo gave everyone a perfect reminder of the punk sounds they loved in the 90s. Its half an hour packed in riff after riff, drawing from Ramones, Screeching Weasel and The Apers, quickly setting itself up as an unmissable disc.
The world waited for ‘Take Two’. …And waited. Then, finally, at the beginning of 2021, the band returned with a new work, but fans would still be left waiting for a new disc of self-penned bangers.
Towards the end of 2020, Octopus Montage released three digital singles with accompanying video clips. In November, ‘A Shortcut (To The Unconscious Mind)’ gave their followers and potential new fans a glimpse of their heavier side via various glitchy metalcore riffs. Combined with a deep growling vocal, the track was reminiscent of earlier works by Her Dying Regret. [Watch the video here.]