Hemmit “Straight Outta Nowhere”
Portland, Oregon rock duo of songwriters Adam Rohosy and Keith Fleming are the hard charging band Hemmit. Opening with “Brohemoth,” it references the Beatie Boys with its power chord and cow bell anthem. Next is a perfect cover of The Rolling Stones “19th Nervous Breakdown,” sounding almost better than the original. The sound shifts to a poppier vibe on “Thank You” with its tightly crafted melody. The late’ 60s influence is mixed with 90’s hard rock on “I’m The Man” and “ADHD,” and it never gets predictable, “So Deluxe” is another riff busting gem that’s sure to please. You know these guys are fun, as “Happy Friday” mixes wah-wah bass and synth chords with the those meaty guitar riffs. Nothing really mediocre here, and the band’s enthusiasm and talent goes a long way to making this LP one of my highly recommended picks.
Mono in Stereo “Long For Yesterday”
Rockford, Illinois’s Mono in Stereo falls somewhere between the lines of punk rock and power pop but they’re not too far stylistically from Watts or The Satisfactors. “Late Night Confessor,” opens with fast riffs and a throaty delivery that sets the template for most of the album. “Long For Yesterday” is rant of regret that recalls The Ramones with its fast tight melody and stripped punk vocals. “Start Again” is another song that treads the same ground thematically. Slowly the sound gets grungier and songs get much longer like “Never Coming Down” and “Feels Alright.” I felt the songwriting loses its way a little here, but it still sounds good. My favorite on the LP is the power pop gem “Bakersfield” with its simple catchy chorus that I couldn’t get out of my head, like a Kinks classic. Hopefully future releases will have more of this.