REVIEWS

The Curse - Calcutta Sunrise

Gerry Ranson - Vive le Rock Magazine 8/10

Rumors that the Swedish garage-punk mines are nearing exhaustion appear to be unfounded, as evidence by this Stockholm quartet. Releasing their first record since 2010, these guys give little away, content to let the music do the talking, which it does in spades. Produced by garage maven Dave Klein, “Calcutta Sunrise” is very much chiseled from the same stones as The Hellacopters, slavering deliriously at the altar of Detroit rock ‘n’ roll. The name of the game is distortion pedals set to 10, heads down, see you at the end, save for the ‘acoustic interlude’ of ‘City of the Dead’, taking the Stooges’ ‘Gimme Danger’ as it’s lead. Appropriately enough, this is followed by ‘Let’s Settle the Score’, based on a sinewy ‘Shake Appeal’ riff. Naturally, originality is not the main priority on this slab of head-shakin’ rock action.

The Hellflowers Create Magic on New Single

Emily Hinde - No Drepression/The Journal of Roots Music

Making the rounds this year, I found myself falling head over heals from the debut release from The Hellflowers. The group who have recently released their debut EP, Come on Let's Dance! has been leaving quite an impression on fans and critics alike. Their familiar and slightly nostalgic punk rock  sound brings to the table enticing elements that draw you in with each listen. The title track "Come On Let's Dance!," is fun, vibrant and brings the personality of the band to life. Recorded and produced by Agent Orange’s Dave Klein, and  mastered by Jamison Weddle of StudioCat Productions (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nils Lofgren). The Hellflowers will be returning to the studio to record a follow up EP to be released before they hit the road to Europe in 2017...and we can't wait!

EP Review: The Hellflowers –“Come On Let’s Dance”

Joel Ekdahl - Echo Cloud

The debut EP from The Hellflowers, Come On Let’s Dance, starts off out the gate wanting to make ya get to movin’, It Sounds like if the Ramones and The Go Go’s got together and asked Brian Wilson to produce.  This makes for some amazing power pop, you’d think you wandered into CBGB’s.

SONG OF THE WEEK: In The Whale “Ride”

Under The Gun

Denver rock duo In The Whale have spent 2014 becoming one of the most closely watched buzz bands in the world of rock. Now, following the release of two killer EPs and numerous nationwide tours, the band have shared a new track that rips like no other single in recent memory. “Ride” is the kind of song you put on to drown out the world and get shit accomplished. You can run from the cops to this song just as easily as you jam it while burning calories at the gym or working away at the dead-end cubicle job you keep telling yourself will improve in time (it won’t). 

NEW MUSIC FROM PHOENIX BANDS: The Hellflowers "Running Through The Fog"

Mitchell Hillman - Phoenix New Times


"Running Through The Fog" is the debut single and video from the band, and it recalls early alternative music in the vein of The Primitives, but drenched in a unique, desert guitar rain. While this is definitely rock music, this almost comes across as southwestern power pop on this first single, to great effect. The jangling guitars, crashing drums, thumping bass, and Lopez' seductive voice create an immediately likable sound that may give you the urge to dance.

The Hellflowers “Come on Let's Dance"

Schwindy's Indie Music Spotlight

As a music journalistA, I regularly receive new music from a lot of avenues. However, I am still happy to receive recommendations from folks who are not publicists, and the best recommendations are those that come from people who have a pretty good idea of what I'll like. I heard about The Hellflowers from someone whose musical recommendations hold a lot of weight, so I was pretty excited to check out the new EP from the band.

 

"Come On Let's Dance" opens with a beat that will get you tapping your toes. Then you hear the melody, and it's hard not to think about The Go-Go's. The biggest difference is that the guitar in this song - especially the solo - is a lot more fierce than anything you'll hear in a song by The Go-Go's. It's like a garage-guitar part in a power pop song.

 

The tempo slows down for "Running through the Fog", which helps you focus on the pretty backing vocals that are such a nice accent to the lead provided by Christina Lopez. That being said, the vocals aren't the only thing you'll notice in this song. The rhythm definitely drives the song, which features some more great guitar work.

 

"Johnnie, Jack, and Jim" is a little different than the other songs. This features an organ part that sounds like 60s garage rock. It provides a bright sound to the song and fits right in with both the guitar and the rhythm section.

 

This is an incredibly catchy EP produced by Dave Klein of Agent Orange. The only trouble is that with only four songs, it's too short. That is the point of an EP though. It gives you a taste of a band and leaves you wanting more. This definitely leaves you wanting more of The Hellflowers, but take what you can get for now. After all, in these four songs, the band will definitely have you tapping your feet and moving your head. Come On Let's Dance is available now.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang "Love Me, Kill Me"

Little Stevens Underground Garage "Coolest Song In The World"

KKBB finds their sound from various classic 60's garage, psychedelic and soul bands along with a contemporary sound that is pure Los Angeles.

KKBB released their debut CD "Kaboom" in February 2012. This 11 song disc was produced by Dave Klein (Agent Orange/Ghastly Ones) and recorded at Dave Klein Recording in Highland Park. 

The song "Love Me Kill Me" was picked "Coolest Song in the World" by Little Steven's Underground Garage for the week of March 4-11 and was played to over 1 million listeners nationwide and in Europe.

Ding Dong Devils “Hello Little Olives”

Grave Diggers Local 16

The Ding Dong Devils are back! While the songs are all new, their unique brand of playful exotica/surfabilly/fuzzy rock is still the same. Hello Little Olives is loaded with musical shout-outs, which ranges from Don Ho to GG Allin!

 

“Meet Me At the Hula Hut” kicks things off with a laid back Hawaiian beat. As the Ding Dong group sings about an amazing sounding (and most likely fictional) Tiki bar and how they want you to join them, some exotica legends get name checked. References to other musicians also pop up in “We’re the Ding Dong Devils,” which features a “Quiet Village meets Iron Butterfly” segment that is simply not to be missed. Fans of the “Ding Dong Devils Theme” from their first album will definitely enjoy this.

 

The retro rock and tambourines of “BBQ Tiki Ribs” set the perfect party atmosphere for your barbecue (or any other get together)…so long as you have ribs on the menu. Long before Guardians of the Galaxy made Blue Swede’s cover of “Hooked on a Feeling” popular again, the Ding Dong Devils paid tribute to it in “Hula Hula Hot Rod.” It’s a tale of how someone who bought a hot rod online and, unsurprisingly, it has issues. Issues that make for an entertaining song!

 

In “Weeki Wachee,” the band sings about an island with swingin’ mermaids. The wild instrumental break seems to be intended to simulate what it’s like to be underwater. The title “Yes, Master!” might make you think of hunchbacked lab assistants and brain transplants, but the sound of a cracking whip which opens it makes it very clear what this track is about. This is a cover of the 1958 song by the Whips and Julia “Nepheria” Devine provides both the vocals and whipping! It’s a bouncy tune and has a lighter feel than the original. But you know what? I like it!

 

“Tiki Caliente” means “hot (as in attractive) Tiki” and its use of guiros add to the track’s classic exotica feel with Hawaiian touches. Light drums and cymbals bring us into the mysterious sounding surf guitar work of “From Vine to Vine.” I particularly loved the brief bongo interlude with “native” chattering.

 

“Dance of the Tsetse Fly” is a cute and catchy song, which is pretty impressive given how its subject is a blood drinking fly best known for spreading disease. Fans of Spongebob Squarepants are sure to love this (along with anyone with good taste in music).

 

“The Lonely Bultaco” has quite the back story to it. In addition to both referencing a type of motorcycle and Herb Alpert’s “The Lonely Bull,” it’s also a cover of a song from Brent Walker’s old band Del Noah and the Mt. Ararat Finks. As for the track itself, it has a great road trip feel. The lack of vocals add to the lonely feel. There’s plenty of reverb and a little exotic percussion thrown in for good measure. It’s longer than the original, which had a heavier feel, but I like them both. Although I do miss the saxophone work somewhat, it would have admittedly clashed with the percussion.

 

The organ-based opening of “Yummy Yummy Rummy Rummy” sets the tone for a jaunty song about drinking rum. Oh, did I mention the song is sung from the point of view from a kid who’s sneaking his parents rum and sharing it with his friends? “Room Crawl” asks why should you go all over the city on a bar crawl when you can go from neighbor to neighbor’s apartment to try each tenant’s specialty drink? I love the descriptions of the fictional drinks and their serving settings, especially due to the numerous amounts of freaky stuff.

 

“Rum Snob” has an opening based on “The Streets of Cairo,” although we knew it under a different name as kids. Great great guitars and percussion back the vocals of a man throwing a party with only finest specialty rum. The instrumental track “Congo Glide” has a wonderful “oddball Hawaiian” feel. In addition to the soft triangle and steel guitar, there’s a healthy dose of sci-fi “woo” noises! “Mooka Mooka Island” is a soft and soothing song about a tropical romantic paradise. Bongo beats and touches of humor abound, along with some excellent steel guitar work.

 

“Cat Nap” mixes a soft triangle and guitars with the sounds of crickets, birds and a sleeping, growling cat. As as the case in many old school exotica works, the some of the animal noises (the cat’s) are done by a human performer. It’s delightfully goofy and always brings a smile to my face. Even if I heard this without seeing the artist’s name, I’d know it was a Dingo Dong Devils ditty.

 

Just like their last album, this is pressed onto a glass-mastered CD to ensure the highest quality. Artist Derek Yaniger has once again provided the cover art and has even done work for Tiki Oasis. Judging from how well their last two releases have turned out, I’m confident the new album will be just as amazing.

The Hellflowers “Come On Let’s Dance!” EP

Ravenheart Music

The Hellflowers from LA (USA) is a rock band reminiscent of 90's alternative rock, the music of which they have dragged by the short and curlies into the 21st century. Their debut EP "Come One Let's Dance!" was released March 16th and offers up 4 tracks of catchy rock, very reminiscent of bands similar to Blondie and the like. This release is very enjoyable, very inoffensive, and absolutely ideal for radio airplay.

SEPO Self Titled EP

Vincent Daemon - The Intestinal Fortitude

On this album are a series of catchy, classic, sonic blasters that absolutely beg to be PLAYED LOUD, much like all classic punk. But make no mistake, this is quite original material, and not some rehash of the classic SoCal punk of 30 years ago. Nor is it “pop-punk,” emo-esque in any way, Epitaphed *(those in the punk community will know what I mean by that), diluted down for the masses, or suffering from any of the other casualties and various maladies that have plagued most “punk” since the late 80’s. 

 

Of the songs on here, “Pariah” struck a certain chord with me instantly, a short song about becoming *(or more feeling like) the proverbial pariah, and the shit talkers who partake in such activities to induce said feelings. The back stabbers of the world; those who laugh behind your back, yet cower away when you turn and they see your eyes, fear your confrontation. The anthem “California” explodes from the speaker, a true and total classic about the Golden Lies of the Golden State, the chaos that runs the streets, the ruination of a land and lives by fracking *(at least that’s what I got out of it), and the shallow meaninglessness of, well, all of it. Probably my favorite track, followed by the slower, yet sicker, and just as truthful “The City,” a song about observation and participation, of knowing the dark places, sickened by the self-absorption one is forever surrounded by, and coping with it the only way one sometimes can – – – especially amongst the isolation of an overcrowded, greedy city where no one will even look anyone else in the eye. It’s a slower punk rock-n-roll anthem for the lonely and isolated, who are well acquainted with their own demons. It’s like a modern day take on IGGY POP’S “The Passenger,” only the inverse. Instead of seeing shining stars and lights, all that is to be found here are drugs, loneliness, devils, and blight. Most of these songs are deep bursts of modern truths backed by a classic, yet original, sound.

 

And speaking of sound, the recording quality is top notch. Not only that, but this contains one last little soo-prize, which would also account for the beautiful “old school” anthemic vibe and smooth sound of the album. It was produced by DAVE KLEIN, current drummer for AGENT ORANGE *(and a whole host of other bands, going as far back as THE GHASTLY ONES), whom also played bass for these sessions as well.

 

Being as this will be SEPO’S 3rd release, I’m a little ashamed I’ve not found them sooner (they’ve been around since 2012). But I sure as fukk am glad that I have *(wait, I used that phrase already – – – eh, fukk it), because this album really is, to my tastes, spectacular. So all of you deadbeats put the pipe down for a minute and BUY THIS FUKKING ALBUM.

 

The Seriously's "Keepin it Shrill"

One Thirty Eight

The Seriouslys release, Keepin' It Shrill, has become their swan song and what a swan song it is! The 6 songs on here are some well played Punk Pop goodness, catchy as all fucking gets, with buzz saw guitars that go from dirty and nasty to light and airy in a matter of seconds, bass runs that climb and hop all over the fret board, and drum beats that snap and crack and keep everything toe tapping and head nodding. The songs are short, sweet and infectious. Fantastic stuff. Lots of bands sing about Politics and War and Love and all that, but no one sings about space monsters, finding blood in their friends swimming pool, or Local drama queens. There's some classic stuff on this release. It sounds killer! Keepin' It Shrill is a 6 song treasure. Kudos Ladies, Kudos. :-)

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The Curse "Calcutta Sunrise"

Sivere Vincent - Rolling Stone Magazine fr

June 2017 Rolling Stone Magazine FR gives 3.5⭐️ for The Curse's "Calcutta Sunrise" album production and mix by Dave Klein. 

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