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.
Switching between being an actor, a musician and a radio host, Michael Des Barres has had a long and interesting career. You might remember him as the vocalist with 70s rock bands Silverhead and Detective. If hard rock wasn’t your thing back then, you might know Michael as the cool, scene stealing kid in To Sir With Love. Maybe you saw him get murdered in an alley in the Amicus horror film I, Monster. You almost certainly saw him fronting The Power Station during the TV coverage of the Live Aid footage. The point is that Des Barres has always been there, doing his thing.
By 2019, he returned to the rock scene fronting The Mistakes, whose ‘Crackle & Hiss’ single captured a great retro sound, injecting a little garage punk spirit into some huge swaggering riffs. The kind of number best played loudly, it placed Michael in a similar musical sphere to Duff McKagan’s extra curricular projects Neurotic Outsiders and Loaded.
It took Milwaukee garage punk trio three releases to strike gold. Their debut album was ragged beyond belief and very much an acquired taste; its follow up, 2017’s ‘Stars In The Night’ took their hybrid of garage rock, punk and sleaze up a notch, and although it included a couple of far superior songs, it would still be a stretch to call it an essential listen. With 2018’s ‘Darkness Calling’, they finally released a disc that showed their true potential as heirs to the Johnny Thunders and New York Dolls legacies. Its blend of trashy riffs, big choruses and party attitude deserved to be appreciated by fans of a proto-punk sound everywhere.
Recorded in a day during the summer of 2018, Indonesian Junk’s ‘Darkness Calling’ EP presents the sound of a band who’ve finally matured. They sounded incredibly ragged on their debut from just two years earlier; 2017’s follow up ‘Stars In The Night‘ was sharper in almost every respect but stlll hit and miss, but three of the four tracks on this third release make good on previous glimmers of hope and half-promises – musically, Indonesian Junk finally sound like heirs to the New York Dolls and Dictators legacies.
Over the past couple of years, Rum Bar Records has delivered a truckload of great DIY music. We’ve seen great rock and releases from Watts, Kris Rodgers and K7s (featuring Kurt Baker). We’ve seen an equally impressive soul revue from Shanda & The Howlers.
[Articles/streams of each can be found behind the HTML links]
The hits keep coming… The label now has another free download for you in the shape of the new single from Duck & Cover ahead of the Summer release of their EP.