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.
Tag Archives: garage rock
JAKE SIMMONS – My American Dream EP
Like many musicians, singer-songwriter Jake Simmons had great plans for 2020. The time had come to start thinking about a follow up to his ‘Shake So Easy’ LP recorded with The Little Ghosts, but by the time he’d hoped to resurrect the band, the world had other ideas and sidelined everything and everyone with a global pandemic.
HOLLY BETH VINCENT – Hey Boy / Smash
This two track 7” by Holly Beth Vincent is an unexpected treat. Released a decade on from her ‘Minnesota-California’ album (a record that appears to have never made it past self-released CD-r status), these Travis Ramin produced tunes – first released via Ramo Records in 2012 – capture the one-time Holly & The Italians vocalist in a really sharp mood. Ramin’s studio techniques obviously have a hand in creating a pleasingly punchy sound and there are occasional parallels with his own recordings with Beebe Gallini and The Short Fuses, but that might amount to nothing if Holly weren’t in such interesting vocal shape.
MAD MOJO JETT – Get Your Mind Straight
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.
DETROIT REBELLION – Fake News
Back in 2013, Detroit Rebellion self-released their ‘Detroit Rebellion ’67’ EP, a four track blast of noisy garage blues delivered by two men who often valued pure grit over musical finesse. Continuing in the vein of the now missed Dead Exs and the perfect successor to their ‘Fork In The Road’ release, it showed how the rawness of a pure garage blues sound could often be relied upon to hit the spot, despite working to a fairly formulaic approach.
Some of the best tracks from those EPs were recycled for 2017’s full length release ‘The Man’, and when heard as part of a broader musical canvas, they lost none of their power. The duo continued to plough forward with 2018’s ‘See You Next Year’, channelling Morphine – sans saxophones – on ‘Snake Eyes’, conveying a really spooky edge on ‘Spit Fire’, and working their usual rowdy voodoo on ‘Wrong Number’, all of which suggested that, going forward, there would be even more mileage in their gritty sound.