1977 saw a change on the UK music front as punk made a fairly grand entrance. It wasn’t the giant new broom that revisionists will have you believe, as disco and pop still had a strong grip and the prog rock bands remained a fixture in the album charts.
Perhaps the greatest thing the punk movement brought was the idea that such energy could be used to create great three minute songs. In 1978, utilising the energies of punk and a firm grasp of radio friendly pop choruses, bands like Blondie and The Jam went from strength to strength.
Russia’s Always Sick are another band joining the onslaught of punkers either channelling classic Ramones or ‘39/Smooth’ era Green Day for their primary influences. Ranging from the almost piss-takingly good (Riverdales, Tough) to the flat out awful, there’s a world’s worth of acts channelling the same four chords to make their punky mark. So many, in fact, there are now too many to even count, so it’s unsurprising when many slip by unnoticed.
You’ve probably not heard of The Radio Buzzkills. Chances are, even if you’re a big punk fan, the band have still slipped under your radar. In 2017, the St Louis based band celebrated their fifteenth anniversary and they also achieved a career high point when they shared a stage with one of their all time heroes. In January, they stopped by at Real Gone to tell us all about that soon-to-be legendary gig…and more besides.
When a band advertises themselves as Ramonescore, you know almost exactly what you’ll get. Four chords, short songs and a fairly carefree attitude, resulting in something that – at best – resembles the second Ramones LP (the peerless ‘Leave Home’), or – at worst – ends up a lo-fi, tossed off approximation of Joey and Johnny that never quite works out. Baltimore’s Canker Blossom are not the best band you’ll ever hear. On the fraudulently titled ‘That’s So Killer’, they’re rarely inspiring.
Japan has always had a liking of Ramones styled punk-pop. Perhaps their most famous export are Fat Wreck signings Hi-Standard, whom despite their love of dog poo, Elvis suits and heavy accents, could musically rival any of their US counterparts. Formed in 2012, Tokyo’s Nerdy Jugheads are every bit as good – though perhaps not quite as bonkers – and as their name suggests, at least one band member has an obsession with Screeching Weasel, a band to whom they pay homage more than any other.