INDONESIAN JUNK – Living In A Nightmare

Since their debut album appeared in 2016, Milwaukee’s Indonesian Junk have remained quite prolific. Following that release they cranked out a new record every year – each one better than the previous – up until the release of ‘Spiderbites’ in 2019. Although still raw, ‘Spiderbites’ contained many of the band’s best songs to date; the CBGB’s inspired garage punk sound they’d been slowly cultivating reached full maturity, and they could legitimately claim to be true successors to bands like New York Dolls and the Dead Boys.

Prior to its release in March 2021, their fourth album proper (not counting the EPs and the excellent rarities comp ‘A Life of Crimes’) attracted a bit of an early buzz among the band and label’s followers. People seemed keen for a strong follow up, but more than that, the promise of a couple of guests immediately seemed to set the album in a position of strength. …And indeed, the lead single, ‘Type of A Girl’ (used wisely to open the album itself) confirmed most people’s hunches that – despite some wobbly beginnings – Indonesian Junk were in top form and had approached the new record much in the same way as ‘Spiderbites’ and that ‘Living In A Nightmare’ would be an album big on hooks.

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Watch: New York Dolls – Live on Musikladen & Old Grey Whistle Test 1973

The words innovative and iconic are muchly overused when describing bands in the twenty first century. Both are very much words that apply to New York Dolls. A band that championed excess and trashiness in every sense, they ushered in a sleazy style that joined The Stooges in laying the groundwork for punk, but also providing a core influence for the likes of Motley Crue and the LA glam metal scene that dominated MTV during a decade long after the Dolls first burst of stardom had burnt out.

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GOLDIE DAWN – Goldie Dawn EP

Few recordings whip up instant excitement as effectively as this debut EP from Goldie Dawn. The Glasgow based band recycle a few obvious punk and garage rock influences, but they do it in such a way that most of their music feels utterly convincing. Three of the four songs on this self titled release whip up an incendiary sound – big on riffs, bigger on attitude – and those will be enough for fans of the style to fall in love in an instant.

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GET THE FUCK OUTTA DODGE – Buzzkill

2020 was a busy year for UK garage punk duo Get The Fuck Outta Dodge. A global pandemic might have decimated the music industry and all but written off live performance, but for James (bass/shouting) and Ren (drums/more shouting), no time was wasted. They began the year by recording a brilliant covers record and then kept up momentum by laying down a bunch of their own tunes which were scheduled for a full length album release later in the year. Before that recording (released as ‘Buzzkill’ in October) could reach the sweaty palms of their fanbase, however, they even found time to crank out extra tunes on an EP, ‘We Make The Future Here’. That release captured an intense hardcore punk sound and acted as an excellent primer for new listeners.

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INDONESIAN JUNK – A Life Of Crimes

Indonesian Junk are one of those bands that, on the surface, have seemed to get better over time. Their self-titled debut album was a bit of a mess with rough production values. Hampered further by a sloppy vocal, it was the kind of record that would only ever find love among the most die-hard garage rock fans. Their second LP featured much sharper songs which truly showed a band with great promise and their third release (2018’s ‘Darkness Calling’), although essentially a stop-gap EP, demonstrated a world of sharp riffs and even sharper attitude. It resulting in a release that truly – and finally – showed Indonesian Junk to be a riff-heavy trio that could take on New York Dolls at their best. With 2019’s full length ‘Spiderbites’ more than keeping up momentum, it seemed as if Indonesian Junk had really hit their stride.

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