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.
Likened to early Replacements meeting with Johnny Thunders, the Dogmatics were very much a cult band on the Boston rock ‘n’ roll/power pop scene in the 80s. During their original run, they toured with Dinosaur Jr., The Bangles, Hoodoo Gurus, The Fleshtones and dozens of other well known rock bands. Tragedy struck in 1986 when bassist Paul O’Halloran died in a motorbike accident and with just two studio albums to their credit, the band called time on their short career. [A twenty track anthology, ‘1981-86’, brings together twenty Dogmatics recordings and is the ultimate primer for anyone unfamiliar with their work.]
In February 2020, Ken Fox & Knock Yourself Out released their debut EP and the sometime Fleshtones man treated fans to a brilliant but short collection of tunes that celebrated many of his power pop and garage rock influences.
Among the self-penned material was a great cover of The Pink Fairies’ cult classic ‘Do It’ (a track also recorded by The Rollins Band and others). As far as covers go, it fit among the unfamiliar material seamlessly, while also showing the band’s slightly angrier chops.
Best known as a member of Fleshtones, Ken Fox tackles retro sounds of a slightly different persuasion on his 2020 EP ‘Ken Fox And Knock Yourself Out’. Taking a pinch of 70s glam, a touch of rock ‘n’ roll, a whole world of 80s power pop and Kurt Baker‘s ability to summon good times, these five songs whip up a rock and pop storm almost guaranteed to please a wide cross section of garage rock and power pop fans.
Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, three piece rock band Ugly Runner make a gloriously retro noise on their debut EP ‘Romanticizer’. Across its lean and mean nineteen minutes, you’ll hear echoes of the Stooges, Pixies, The Strokes and more as the band presents six tracks of fierce garage rock mixed with the noisier end of late 80s indie.