Stream a New EP from Connections

connectionsOne of the great little-known bands I’ve come across in the last few years has been Connections; I got turned onto them by a friend at the record store. They had a great effort, Into Sixes, that may have been drastically overlooked this year, but this new EP deserves a lot of attention. It’s a short little EP, offering up some more gems for fans of catchy power pop fans; it was just released this week by Hozac Records. I promise, you’ll love every song on the 5 Imaginary Boys EP.

Enjoy Rainbow Gun Show

artworks-000041789858-k35f4p-t500x500I just picked up this gem of a 7″ from Rainbow Gun Show the other day at the record store, and I’m so hooked that I had to share it with you all.  The Chicago act has this lo-fi quality that bursts with catchy melodies.  I can’ describe the sound perfectly, so I won’t even try, but I think that this 7″ has the making of a great future for the group; they clearly have elements that make their music accessible and interesting.  If you’re into the sound, you can pick the release up from Hozac Records, who I consider pretty dependable.

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New Power Pop from Games

For those of you clamoring to the era of late 70s rock n’ roll where glam met pop met punk, you’re going to love listening to Games.  I came across the band a bit back while catching up with the work of Hozac Records, but the rocking blog, Raven Sings the Blues, just tossed up this gem a few weeks ago so I’m forced to share.  On this track, the group has a softer edge, giving them a hint of refinement, as opposed to some of the other/faster groups that kick out the jams.  You can grab the self-titled debut from Games right now over at Hozac!

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Show Preview: The People’s Temple @ the Mohawk (9.17)

Date Monday, September 17th
Location Mohawk
Doors 9 PM
Tickets $9 at the Door

There’s pretty much a great show to attend every night of this week, so if you’re a die-hard rock n’ roller, you should probably start your week off right over at the Mohawk.  The People’s Temple are one of the bands I stumbled upon a few years back, and I’ve been following them pretty closely since then.  They recently put out a great new 7″ on Hozac Records, and that’s only made me more excited to hear their psychedelic garage rock this Monday evening.  Opening the show will be Dead Space and Foreign Mothers, helping to round out a pretty noteworthy evening at one of our favorite spots.


Download:People’s Temple – Sons of Stone [MP3]

New Jam from The People’s Temple

It’s been almost an entire year since I’ve heard anything from the Michigan crew, The People’s Temple.  These cats play straight-up rock n’ roll, with a bit of swagger and a whole lot of history.  Their album Sons of Stone almost wore itself out on my record player, so I’m pleased to share with you this new tune off the group’s Looter’s Game 7″. For me, the tambourine is the standout in this song, wiggling it’s way around in the background, providing that classic psych sound that’s gaining prevalence on our ATH pages.  You can pick up your copy of the new 7″ from Hozac Records right now.

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Great Track from Plateaus

After catching a show with Plateaus last month, I’ve been putting them on my daily play rotation, tapping my feet all the while.  They recently (end of May) put out this killer single I wanted to share with you, and I’ll point you to another great track as well. They’ve got this real low-key punk rock vibe, that’s as gritty as it is infectious.  You can buy their 7″ for this song from Hozac, but there’s also a great gem coming out soon from Art Fag Recordings, which you should pick up HERE.  The band will have an album out in the Fall, but for now, enjoy the jams.


Download:Plateaus – Do It For You [MP3]

Dark Jam from Rayon Beach

Just a bit ago we were watching a passionate set from Austin’s Rayon Beach, with the three piece punk-of-sorts band opening for Terry Malts.  Their songs were catchy and powerful, even without the presence of a bass guitar.  Luckily for fans of the band it’s time for you all to open up your ears and check out the group’s new LP, This Looks Serious, which you can purchase from Hozac Records (gold colored vinyl if you’re a nerd like that). I dig the shady darkness that kind of has the band brooding here, giving them this weird sensation of facing peril head-on.  It’s only a matter of time before Austin’s darlings make bigger waves–this LP seems to be that step out the door.  AND…if you’re in Austin, the band has their LP release tonight at 29th Street Ballroom.


Download:Rayon Beach – Where Are the Cities [MP3]

New Tune from Radar Eyes

I’ve been hearing about Radar Eyes for some time now, and I especially loved their track “Miracle.”  Now the band’s signed on with Hozac Records, and they’re about to release their long awaited debut this February.  For those of you that like your rock n’ roll with a bit of an emotional haunt, then you’ll surely find pleasure in the off-beat wash of noise that accompanies the rather nice pop undertones of this track.  If you’re looking to do more research on the Chicago act, you can find their album closer that was released last week.  This track is left of the left of center, so maybe that’s why we’ve got a bit of “disconnection.”


Download:Radar Eyes – Disconnection [MP3]

Wax Idols – No Future

Rating: ★★★½☆

It seems like a lot of bands are really channeling a nice mix between garage and punk, especially the bands coming out of California.  You could probably toss Wax Idols into that, but you’d be amiss if you just lumped them in with the rest of those groups, as the band, predominantly the work of Heather Fedewa, goes beyond just rehashing the hits on No Future.

Listening to the opening track “Dead Like You” you definitely can feel a bit of Cali guitars blasting through, but Fedewa’s delivery, as well as the call-and-response backing vocals are a bit more than that, harkening back to more innocent punk rock days, sort of like a more ballsy version of the Donnas.  For me, the biggest differentiating factor is the amount of heart and soul you can clearly see shining through the music on No Future.

“Dilno” is a fast paced track, almost ending before the track even gets going, but that’s where a lot of the Wax Idols tracks are so successful, giving you a simple, no frills approach to the middling ground between punk rock and garage music.  And come on, who’s not going to enjoy the sporadic shouts in the background.  Of course, there’s more than just nostalgic girl-punk leanings.  Just one listen to “Gold Sneakers,” the record’s phenomenal track.  It’s got everything you could ask for from a band: great hooks, catchy lyrics, and some distorted guitar to go with precision drumming.  A lot of cliche girl-core tracks just don’t ring as true as this number.

You’re also going to enjoy some of the variance throughout No Future, such as the semi-Blondie homage on “Bad Future.”  Fedewa definitely maintains a bit of that sex appeal, but you can tell she’s a touch more bratty, in the most endearing way, of course.  It’s a pleasure to see that not everyone comes off sounding as tired and bored.  Punk was supposed to be fun, and it seems that’s just what we’re hearing here.  “Grey Area” similarly takes off in the same fashion, giving a bit of grit to great pop tradition of bright guitars and pounding rhythms.  Seems like these tracks were made with a youthful vitality only achieved through spinning around in your bedroom with the stereo on high.

Perhaps Wax Idols doesn’t have the brand recognition that you’re looking for, but that’s sort of sad, as you’ll have twice as much fun jamming to this record as you would if you just picked up the run of the mill garage girl-core album.  No Future has twists and turns, and most of all, it has fun.  It’s a reminder that music can have serious tones, but doesn’t have to be tired and banal.  Let’s put the fun back in rock n’ roll, and jam to this record all night.

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