LOBSTERBOMB – Go! Go! Go!

Formed in Germany during the Coronavirus lockdown of 2020, Lobsterbomb have an intense sound and positive spirit that combats the negative vibe of the time in which their first songs were written. By combining the lower budget end of the early Yeah Yeah Yeahs sound and the unrestrained yelping of Katie Jane Garside, they hit upon a classic garage punk sound, and after releasing a trio of digital singles in fairly quick succession during the first quarter of 2021, they connected with an audience of like-minded DIY music fans. Although there wasn’t necessarily much in the way of originality in the sound itself, in terms of rousing an energy and an ability to deliver a lyric or two that seemed more self-aware than most, these recordings more than hit the mark.

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FRENCH GIRLS – French Girls

When Rum Bar Records reissued the French Girls’ self-titled 2013 EP at the beginning of 2021, it instantly gave the band some well deserved exposure, such is the label’s enthusiasm for digital mailouts and keenness on spreading the word via social media channels. For those who missed French Girls the first time around, this timely reissue more than set out the band as an act to watch out for. That EP’s four songs worked a fierce and distorted approach that could rival many a raw, DIY garage punk band. Those with sharper ears may have detected occasional nods to old 60s girl groups, but in the main, the short release had most of its intents set on creating a gloriously raw noise. It was thrilling – exactly the kind of thing you’d expect from ex-members of Les Hell On Heels and Sympathy For The Record Industry signings The Peeps.

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THE RIZZOS / TOP NACHOS – Split EP

Bringing together four unreleased tunes by The Rizzos and Top Nachos, this split release from King Pizza Records is a fine DIY recording. Split releases are a good way of introducing people to new bands and for Top Nachos the opportunity to appear alongside The Rizzos is definitely a chance for the Queens-based, self-proclaimed “silly-core” band to build upon their following. For extant fans of The Rizzos, of course, a purchase of this release will be a no-brainer. It has something a bittersweet feel, too, presenting both an end and a beginning: the Rizzos’ tracks are the last to feature drummer and founding member Bettina Warshaw while, for most listeners, the release will provide a first time exposure to the rather juvenile world of Top Nachos and their occasional cardboard headgear, fascination with junk food and unfashionable facial hair.

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GET THE FUCK OUTTA DODGE – These Songs Still Aren’t Ours

Following a couple of DIY recordings, UK hardcore/noise punk duo Get The Fuck Outta Dodge turned their hand to the covers album. ‘These Songs Aren’t Ours’ brought an equal mix of punky chaos and fun when James (bass/shouting) and Ren (drums/more shouting) hammered their way through the expected (tunes by Black Flag, Misfits and Rollins Band), to the inspired (a fuzz heavy version of The Cure’s ‘Screw’) to the joyous and bizarre (hardcore reworkings of tunes by the oft forgotten Whale and 80s pop stars Fuzzbox). It showed why a covers album need not be lazy or uninspired. After what felt like about thirty six hours, the never resting duo returned with a new EP, proving their minimalist hardcore had a lot more to give, before ending the year with another full-length. At the point you’d expect their drums/bass/shouting approach to be wearing thin, ‘Buzzkill’ actually presented GTFOD at their most visceral on one of the best releases of 2020.

Four months later, the duo released a second onslaught of cover tunes, ‘These Songs Still Aren’t Ours’, which very much follows the same pattern as their first covers release. Nothing is off limits; everything is subjected to a barrage of distortion, and as before, their choice of material is both classic and off-piste. With twenty two tracks filling a strictly limited cassette, it really gives fans a lot to enjoy.

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Gunslingers – Live At The Butchers Shoppe, Boston, April 7th 2010

Gunslingers were a band who just instinctively knew how to make a ferocious noise.  From their inception through to their split in 2012, the band constantly pushed the boundaries of garage rock, garage punk and no wave/rock in the name of their art.

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