Salsa Punk From Crocodiles


Southern California Duo Crocodiles have been rather prolific since their 2008 origins, putting out three full length albums and a slew of EPs. “Crybaby Demon,” is the first single from their April-slated forthcoming fourth LP, Boys, which will be released via Zoo Music. And if you listen, it’s impossible to miss the influence of Mexico City, where they ventured to record the track and the album. This track is bomb, giving you both the fuzzy-lo garage guitars that you love from Crocodiles as well as this infectious beat underneath it all that makes it impossible to not dance to this song. Get behind this track and get ready for the new album; sounds like we’re in for a treat.

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Little Touch of Psychedelia from Haunted Hearts

hauntedheartsLet’s face it, when you heard about the musical union of lovers, Dee Dee and Brandon (Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles, respectively), you were a little bit skeptical right?  I know that I was, but with the latest single from Haunted Hearts, I’m starting to turn my head more towards anticipation.  In this episode, there’s this slight wash of psychedelia that’s draped over the band’s pop tendencies.  It makes for a dreamy number that’s not really stuck too far in either direction, which is why the union definitely seems fruitful, aside from the obvious happy marriage of the two.  Zoo Music will release their debut, Initiations, next Tuesday.

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Dig This Gay Single

gayNo. This single is not gay; it’s an inanimate object, silly.  Gay is the name of the band, who hail from Denmark.  It’s definitely a song with a different feeling than other worldly music goings-on.  For one, the guitar is just this distorted ringing sound, emphasized by the electronic programming that’s used to fill the background.  But, the vocal performance makes this song ridiculously catchy, and that’s precisely the reason I picked it out for you to jam with today. This track is the A-Side to the band’s new 7″, which will have a physical release on March 4th via Zoo Music.

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More New Rock From Virals

We ATH kids have jumped on board the band wagon for UK group Virals this year.  We’ve already shared two songs with you  going by the rocking names of “Summer Girls” and “Gloria”.  Well now the band has yet another new song to share with all of you entitled “Strange Fruit” and it’s got just as much rock to offer as those other jams.  This one goes in more of a fuzzy Fresh & Onlys type of direction and I know most everyone around these parts will be into that.

This track appears on a new EP from Virals entitled Strange Fruit which drops next week via Zoo Music.

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New Tunes from Virals

You’d think that with a track title like “Summer Girls” that there’d be a heap of sunny pop resonating in your ears, but that’s not necessarily the case with the latest single from Virals.  Okay, so there’s a slight bit of those jangling guitars sounds, but what struck me is the wash over the vocals.  It takes on a different role, giving the chugging guitars a bit of an indie pop edge–you know I like that.  It’s all part of the highly anticipated debut from the group, culminating in the release of Strange Fruit via Zoo Music on January 14th.  Yet again, something to look forward to in 2013.

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Punks On Mars – Bad Expectations

Rating: ★★★★☆

Ryan Howe’s not new to the music world, but his newest endeavor as Punks On Mars is sort of a new creation.  Listening to the entirety of Bad Expectations, you’re rushed through a compilation of Howe’s influences, re-imagined and perfected by his gift for pop sensibility.  Sure, you can say it’s all over the place, musically, but that makes it one hell of a good listen.

After moving beyond “Overture,” the interlude opener of Bad Expectations you get tossed right into “Chandelier,” which opens with a Ramones-tinted guitar chord.  But, Howe comes in with his semi-erratic vocal delivery, and carries on in his own fashion during the chorus, making the song his own, despite obvious nods.  The punk theme is definitely present on this record, though it’s not stamped onto every song.  It appears on tracks like “Hey! Tiffany” and “Poltergeist,” but you get the feeling that these are just a nice allusion to the heritage in Ryan’s record collection.  He even adds his own vision, draping oddball electronic touches in oddball places, leaving a fresh impression on the listener.

For me, the adoration for Punks On Mars comes from the group’s ability to meet in the space left voided by punk rock and glam.  My mind recalls the progressive tunes that Television banged out, or maybe even Generation X (Kiss Me Deadly), where guitar playing was heralded and song structure was tightened.  If you’re looking for a song that meets my references then just take a listen to the short “Victoria’s World,” using a gleaming guitar and pounding rhythm to clear out the punk rock and replace it with generous elements of pop.  However, there’s also lurking places where the early mod stylings of The Jam are apparent.  Well, at least that’s what I thought when I first gave a listen to “Showers of Pain;” it’s music sounds propulsive, almost carrying a military sensation within it, but there’s more anthemic moments that seem to push it beyond the boundaries of limitations.

In the end, Bad Expectations succeeds because it’s got doses of everyone’s favorite bands, but these aren’t stale renditions, rather an artist putting his own stamp on the music he enjoys.  Many of the songs have electronic elements or keys added in to give a new coat to a sound that seems so familiar.  But that’s why I love Punks On Mars.  Like Ryan Howe, I’ve got tons of punk rock and glam rock in my collection, but in between there’s other bits of clever pop and more orchestral genres.  It seems like this entire effort is a blend of all that, with Howe taking the helm, aiming to freshen up the music of your youth that just might have grown a bit tired.   It’s nice to see someone going outside the normal re-hash and creating something I’ll adore for its obviousness, yet still find myself, and my ears, challenged.


Download:Punks On Mars – Showers of Pain [MP3]

Bad Expectations is available now from Zoo Music.

New Jam from Punks On Mars

As much as I hate to run the same stuff as P4K, I have to continue for Ryan Howe and his project, Punks On Mars.  His newest track encapsulates every inch of what I love about his music, using hooks wrapped around Bolan-esque guitar riffs, all the while traveling off the beaten path just a tad.  It’s in the same vein as my faves King Tuff and Hunx, but in a completely different manner.   If you’re loving this jam, you’ll find more tunes just like it when his new full-length, Bad Expectations, comes out via Zoo Music on October 30th.


Download:Punks On Mars – Showers of Pain [MP3]

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