THE LEMON DROP GANG – Sweetie Pie / The Party’s Over

This two track release from garage rockers The Lemon Drop Gang presents the band’s first new music since 2020’s cult sensation ‘I’m Not The One!’, and for those who loved that full length release, these tunes will certainly be hailed as a welcome return. New listeners will, perhaps, have to work slightly harder to reap those listening rewards, but they’re very much there, and should present themselves very definitely somewhere around the fourth play.

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THE DOLLYROTS – Christmas Time With You / The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)

Since the turn of the millennium, The Dollyrots have been an important fixture on the pop punk scene. In an era where so many “punk” bands took a more emo route, vocalist Kelly Ogden and friends constantly served up classic pop punk riffs – 90s style – injected with a little power pop sugariness, which often put the band somewhere between peak blink-182 and the noisier elements of Letters To Cleo. Naturally, their often buoyant and fun approach to everything attracted Jaret Reddick and his band Bowling For Soup. Strong bonds were made in the name of friendship, and over the years, the two bands could often be found sharing a stage or three.

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THE PRIZE – Wrong Side Of Town EP

Formed during the pandemic restrictions of 2021, The Prize are promoted as a power pop band, but those looking for a world of Jellyfish and McCartney inspired throwbacks should be forewarned that this band really don’t indulge in that kind of perfection or sugariness. There is a power pop heart to their sound, but it’s far more indebted to bands like The Nerves (of ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ fame) and The Real Kids, occasionally fused with the more melodic end of The Buzzcocks’ output. With a pinch of early Flamin’ Groovies and the occasional nod to fellow Aussies The Saints to be discovered along the way, this debut EP stirs up a world of energy, but matches the spiky riffs with massive, catchy hooks at every turn.

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DUNGEON OF SKELETONS – Patterns

Since 2010, singer songwriter Justin Kline’s on-off recording career has taken in various different aspects of melodic pop and rock. His early solo releases explored a classic power pop sound; as frontman with the short-lived Origami Hologram, he ventured into a very retro world of alternative rock, before his return to solo work occasionally took him in a Weezer-ly direction.

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DOT DASH – Madman In The Rain

Following a string of fairly jagged albums that pulled together punk, emo and mod influences, Dot Dash’s sound had a drastic overhaul on their 2018 LP ‘Proto Retro’. The rougher edges were smoothed out and in their place came some hugely melodic power pop. The bulk of the record’s tunes came with a 60s jangle as heard through a 90s filter, sometimes as if stumbling upon deep cuts from Teenage Fanclub; sometimes showing a massive love for Buffalo Tom. The musical changes were all for the better, since no matter where you dropped into the record, it was possible to hear something with huge hooks and a really positive feel.

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