The Breakdowns “The Kids Don’t Wanna Bop Any More”
From the UK…. Fans of The Ramones will enjoy this one. The band describes themselves as ‘bubblegum garage rock’ and I have to agree that these tracks are freakin’ sweet. Lead singer Joe has a rough vocal, but it drips with authenticity and energy. Catchy tracks that bring back the “Rock N Roll High School” with great driving beats and buzzsaw riffs with a touch of organ are featured on “Summertime Twist”. Listen to the easy rock of “Hey Veronica” or the Kiss meets Cheap Trick tune “Samantha Jones”. Any way you slice this album, you get awesome rock and roll done right.
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The Virtues “ReRepeater”
From a small town in Sweden, the duo of Per Bergkvist and Flamman took great care in mixing harmonies and guitars to get us ReRepeater. Per has great range in his vocal, sounding like Collective Soul on “No Show” and then shifting to a Ric Ocasek approach on “All The Commotion.” The rock riffs are front and center on “I Go” and then on “Bleak Ways” its all jangle and falsetto. But what each song has behind it is melodic consistency. Even on the pedestrian “Reader” it never gets dull and surprises are in each track, like “Errors of Youth” sounds like a lost Steely Dan song. The variety makes it hard to peg down into a neat single “style” – but that’s also the band’s strength. Definitely worth exploring.
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