Back in February 2020, just before the world went utterly tits up and various things became far more important than punk rock, French band Maladroit released a great EP entitled ‘Steven Island’. Its four songs blended simple punk hooks with Spielberg obsessed lyrical themes, and although it was all rather silly, it showed off a band that could knock together a catchy tune or three. Obviously, that EP subsequently got lost in the noise, but as with all good music, it’s never too late to check it out retrospectively. You’ll be glad you did.
Following a string of digital singles and an EP, this album by Austrian punks felt a long time coming. Not only because the gradual release of singles built up interest slowly, but also because the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the planned recording of the bulk of the material. Better late than never, The Pigeon Boys finally released their first full length in the summer of 2022.
A new band for 2022, the terribly named Sweatpants Party marks a long overdue return for the almost legendary Kevin Aper. Marketed as sounding “just like The Apers”, fans are automatically given a heads up as to what they can expect, and indeed, the new band’s core sound recycles many elements of Kevin’s past works brilliantly. Although working from a solid pop punk stock, there’s a little more to the Sweatpants, though, since this musical vehicle – teaming Kev with members of Jagger Holly and Stockkampf – takes in bubblegum punk and a little power pop along the way. The focus is on unashamed pop punk and trashy lyrics, of course, and that’s enough to win over The Apers’ entire fan base in a heartbeat.
Mondo Wave’s ‘Quarantine Dream’ EP is potentially one of the greatest things to emerge from a troubled world. You might well think you’re tired of lockdown recordings and releases playing on the themes of viruses and quarantine, but this band are here to set you straight. Their 2021 release is a total blast; a short, sharp dose of garage punk that makes New Bomb Turks appear over polished and tired, and reduces The Hives to seeming like an over-commercial prospect. In a little over thirteen minutes, this will smash you into oblivion and make you remember all the best rough and ready garage punk noise of the 90s whilst still sounding new and exciting.
Between 2013 and 2019, The Hallingtons released a string of EPs that slowly found them perfecting their own homage to Ramones. Hundreds of bands had recorded in a similar style before, but few had managed to capture the early sounds from Joey and Johnny quite as perfectly as The Hallingtons’ ‘Hexed’, proving the world was more than ready for the Norwegian punks to deliver a full length musical assault.