DeeCRACKS’ 2021 LP ‘Serious Issues’ was by far the best of their career. On that LP, the vocals were still a little too aggressive for their often melodic punk sounds, but the Austrian band’s command of a riff and a catchy hook was still a cut above their earlier work, and a lot of other European punk acts. It was the kind of record that was capable of reminding people that Euro punk was far from dead, and even with DeeCRACKS dropping into some very familiar riffs on occasion, the speed and energy within the material suggested the band had a huge belief in the material.
‘Behind The Mask’, J Prozac’s solo EP from 2018, was a short and sharp punk/Ramonescore gem. By pairing a couple of self-penned tunes with covers of well known Tom Petty and Ramones songs, the sometime Prozacs frontman ensured that his extra-curricular endeavour was as broadly appealing as possible. A full length release from The Prozacs swiftly followed in 2019, further cementing the band’s obsessions with Johnny & Joey, before an excellent thirty three track collection (‘Fan Favs & Wannabe Hits’) gave everyone a golden opportunity to take stock of the band’s progress so far. For those outside Massachusetts, there was every chance that such a compilation acted as a welcome introduction to their work.
Italy isn’t short of great punk rock bands. The Manges have gained a big cult following with their Ramones-obsessed schtick, enough to secure them a US released split with the legendary Queers; Killtime do almost as good a job at being Screeching Weasel than the Weasel themselves; then in addition to those who’ve broken through to the US, there’s a whole scene of hardcore bands… Hailing from Piacenza, The Nuts are another Italian band on which to keep a very close eye. The three piece band are yet another outfit that take four chords and an unhealthy obsession with Joey & Johnny, but like so many others borrowing from such a timeless source, the results are absolutely first rate. On their 2014 EP they capture four lightning bolts of punk guaranteed to please.