The Uppers’ debut EP ‘Get Down With…’ introduced garage rock fans to a high energy band whose stock sounds often sounded like a souped up version of The Real Kids. Armed with a 60s twang and a CBGB’s punk energy, the St. Louis four piece immediately sounded ready to take on the world.
2023 was a particularly busy year for The Drowns. The US punk ‘n’ roll band – featuring ex members of The Shell Corporation, The Briggs, and Success – released a split with The Last Gang, another split with noise punks Wonk Unit, and a cover of Sweet’s classic ‘Ballroom Blitz’. The latter continued to show off their massive love for 70s glam fare, having already covered Slade’s ‘Know Who You Are’ the previous year. In addition, they toured extensively, and their live shows even took in a huge run of dates across Europe. It’s almost as if The Drowns had long given up on the idea of sleeping…
The Beatersband’s third full length release – the aptly named ‘Vol Tre’, released in 2022 – was a really fun slab of punk ‘n’ roll. The Italian band put their own stamp on a variety of cover tunes ranging from Del Shannon to The Troggs, and although it could never claim to be “high art”, the DIY recording showed off some great bass work and enthusiastic vocals. In short, despite never aiming for perfection, the release made it easy to hear why fans of punk and high energy rock ‘n’ roll might love these guys.
Bad Mary’s third release, 2016’s ‘We Could Have Saved The World’ presented a great blend of pop punk and trashy rock, as if the band had absorbed little bits of the second Save Ferris album and Duff McKagan’s Loaded, before regurgitated them with bits of Bowling For Soup’s pop savvy, which created something of their own. It was the kind of EP that deserved to win fans quickly, and on their 2019 full length, the band showed off an equally impressive array of musical skills that suggested their love of classic styles wasn’t about to wear thin any time soon.
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.