Over the past couple of years, the Rum Bar label has gone from strength to strength. True champions of the US underground rock scene, they’ve continued to promote old friends Watts and Tom Baker, but they’ve also brought listeners a whole world of new and often retro sounds along the way.
When Rum Bar Records reissued the French Girls’ self-titled 2013 EP at the beginning of 2021, it instantly gave the band some well deserved exposure, such is the label’s enthusiasm for digital mailouts and keenness on spreading the word via social media channels. For those who missed French Girls the first time around, this timely reissue more than set out the band as an act to watch out for. That EP’s four songs worked a fierce and distorted approach that could rival many a raw, DIY garage punk band. Those with sharper ears may have detected occasional nods to old 60s girl groups, but in the main, the short release had most of its intents set on creating a gloriously raw noise. It was thrilling – exactly the kind of thing you’d expect from ex-members of Les Hell On Heels and Sympathy For The Record Industry signings The Peeps.
It seems unbelievable that we’re now half way through the year, but here we are. We discovered and shared a truckload of new music during the first quarter, half expecting things to fizzle out as we moved towards the northern hemisphere summer, but it really wasn’t the case. If anything, the year’s second quarter was every bit as strong.
On July 23rd 2021, Rum Bar Records are hosting a special gig. Their “Boston Blowout” will be headlined by garage rock legends Dogmatics, and feature a strong supporting line up of four of the city’s best loved underground bands.
Unless you happen to be from Ontario, or perhaps have an unhealthy obsession with Transatlantic power pop, there’s a good chance the name Dany Laj will not mean much to you. With his band The Looks, Dany has been cranking out quirky pop-rock sounds since 2016, but his recorded output goes back even further with a (now rare) solo EP from 2010. The third album by Dany Laj and The Looks – 2019’s ‘Everything New Is New Again’ – received some very positive notices from established DIY power pop blogs around the net, cementing the band’s place as a cult act, but the bulk of the Looks’ 2021 LP ‘Ten Easy Pieces’ (featuring twelve songs) runs rings around their previous works.