Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the individual mp3s that have landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. Always a home for the varied and eclectic, this selection is no exception. In this – hopefully entertaining – batch, we bring you some solid sounding shoegaze, some synth based alt-pop from New Zealand, some hazy sounding indie folk and even a nod to big band swing sounds. As always, we hope you find something new to enjoy!
Active since 1980, Zero Boys emerged from the US hardcore punk scene, but the sounds on this twin tracker owe almost nothing to the influences and styles most readily associated with that vein of musical history. They have a retro and punky spirit that can’t be ignored, but the Zero Boys of 2023 present have a brilliantly melodic core that draws as much from garage rock and punk ‘n’ roll, and does so in a way that appears to create a sound that pre-dates most actual punk.
The thirteenth release from Das Kapitans (2022’s ‘Debut’) marked a turning point for the band. Not only was it the first release where all of the band members played on all tracks, but the album appeared to have a much more confident and bigger sound. Bigger didn’t necessarily mean more commercial, of course, and on numbers like ‘That’ll Do Pig’ and ‘Big Muff’, their combination of post punk anger and Mudhoney-esque energy sounded absolutely furious. It was the kind of album that captured the band’s raw essence perfectly. If that didn’t help to build their fan base via enthusiastic word of mouth via the internet, nothing would. Not that Das Kapitans are in it for the fame and fortune; as founders of the Socks On record label, their commitment to the ideals of a musical collective and keeping things DIY is solid, and the music comes above everything else.
From the Basel underground, Switzerland’s Bitch Queens mix sleazy hard rock and a classic punk attitude in a way that’s impossible to ignore. This four track release is the perfect distillation of their sound, as well as a shameless celebration of glam rock’s trashier excesses. One listen to the title cut is enough for their massive sound to win over the unsuspecting genre fan with its relentless barrage of gang vocals, shout along hook and generally crashy mood. It’s the kind of tune that Gluecifer would’ve driven into people’s ears back in the 90s, yet at the same time, it has a certain freshness that suggests these Queens could give the sleazier end of the rock scene a welcome kick up the arse.
Imagine a band that takes the energy and ferocity of The Cramps and fuses that with the DIY charm off 60s obsessed garage rockers Gallows Birds, adds a little surf rock cool, a pinch of R&B infused pub rock and a smidgeon of The Real Kids’ proto punk, and the chances are, you’d end up with something that sounds a bit like Mad Mojo Jett. That might sound a little messy in theory, but scratch below its fairly raucous surface, and you’ll discover a band with a timeless appeal. A pandemic collaboration between Joe Holland (Low Rats), Eric Levy (Jet Kick) and Monet Wong & Madalyn Rowell from The Toxenes, this is a quartet that’s big on energy and even bigger on garage rock thrills, creating a sound that’s retro yet timeless. Their musical moods value rawness, but the songs latch onto some major hooks along the way.