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Randells – Kicks

It seems appropriate that The Randells would release an album just in time for the summer. This trio from the south of Sweden creates an eternal summer with its music. Even if it’s below freezing outside, a Randells record always transports you to a world of warm weather, abundant sunshine, picturesque beaches, and pretty girls. Following a great run of singles in 2020, The Randells have hooked up with the labels Monster Zero, Waterslide Records, and Memorable But Not Honorable to release a dynamite full-length album called Kicks. Over the course of 12 tracks, The Randells execute their patented mix of pop-punk, bubblegum, and surf to ear-pleasing perfection. You know what you’re in for: buzzing guitars, sticky-sweet melodies, and lyrics ranging from sentimental to silly. The legendary Perry Leenhauts mixed and mastered the album, so of course it sounds like a million bucks! 

When I think about my longtime fondness for European pop-punk, bands that immediately come to mind are Travoltas, The Yum Yums, and The Hawaiians. I’d put Randells in the same category. The influence of the Ramones and Beach Boys is obvious, but this band offers its own fresh take on that storied musical tradition. Kicks really is a perfect pop-punk album — satisfying on both the pop and punk sides of the equation. It’s on the bubblegum side of pop-punk, but for sure it absolutely rocks! Play it now as you soak up the summer. And when the temperatures turn cold and the sky grows dismal, this album will take you back to the beach in spirit.

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Album review: NERGARD – Eternal White

Nergard-Eternal-White-1500x1500-400x400Pride & Joy Music [release date 21.04.21] Norwegian musician/songwriter/producer, Andreas Nergard creates symphonic experiences which enthrall audiences. The fact that he uses “Metal” as his chosen vehicle is almost incidental. You could add that the fact he uses voices is … Continue reading

The post Album review: NERGARD – Eternal White appeared first on Get Ready to ROCK!.

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Randells – “Karen”

The calendar and the weather tell me it’s still February. But it’s always summertime when a Randells song is playing! The Swedish trio was considerate enough to drop a pair of digital singles to warm our souls in the middle of this winter. The latest, “Karen”, is a classic blast of surf-tinged bubblegum punk rock that falls right in line with fellow Scandinavians Psychotic Youth and The Yum Yums. “Karen”, featuring a guest appearance on vocals by Valentina De Rosa, is a tearjerker punk-pop tune for hopeless romantics and teenage delinquents alike. It arrives fast on the heels of “Gum In My Hair”, a high-energy jolt of big hooks and buzzing guitars. In a perfect world, you’d hear these songs on the car radio while you were driving to the beach with your friends. This pair of tracks will chase away the winter blahs in a hurry. And yay! A new Randells album is due out this spring on Monster Zero!

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New Artist Of The Day: Vex

Vex

Vex puts his ‘Guilt’ aside for a while to start the dance with a new take on electropop. Louderthanwar’s Christopher Lloyd reports.

Meet Tobias Kastberg, who has taken time away from playing in the amazingly frenetic band ‘The Guilt’ to form a new solo act, named Vex. Tobias professes to having bad hair but great dance moves, and upon listening to the first tasters from his upcoming album, Average Minds Think Alike, it’s not difficult to see why he wouldn’t be good at throwing shapes on the kitchen dance floor.

The sound of Vex is one of pulsating electronic pop in the vein of Devo, albeit re-imagined in a euro-dance fashion whilst adding a sprinkling of angular post-punk aggression. Lyrically Vex takes on the classic tropes of feeling the emotional outsider, although far from taking a naval-gazing approach to that topic, it’s approached with a more knowing and playful edge.

Fittingly, the studio the debut album was recorded in is entitled GG All In Studio’s, located in Malmö, Sweden.

The debut album ‘Average minds think alike’ is set for release on March 12th 2021, and comes in a variety of formats including a very limited amount of vinyl album copies which come with a special yellow liquid window sleeve, which Tobias thought “sounded like a terrible idea at the time, and it’s funny ’cause it’s true!”

You can find out more on Vex at his official Bandcamp, Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Words by Christopher Lloyd, Vex Photograph by Johan Lilja. More writing by Christopher can be found at his author’s archive.

The post New Artist Of The Day: Vex appeared first on Louder Than War.

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Psychotic Youth – Forever and Never

After 35 years, Psychotic Youth still sounds like….Psychotic Youth! The legendary Swedish band has just released its 14th album Forever and Never. In the same vein as the band’s 2017 comeback album The Voice of Summer and last year’s superb 21, Forever and Never has all the hallmarks of a vintage Psychotic Youth record. It features 15 tracks of classic power pop with touches of punk, surf, and garage rock. Again working with Norwegian super producer Christian Jacobsen (The Yum Yums, The Dahlmanns), singer/guitarist Jörgen Westman has put on another master display on how to write three-minute pop songs that would top the charts in a better world. Also on board are longtime band members Ulf Abrahamsson (guitar), Anders Nordstrand (bass), Gunnar Frick (organ), and Kent Sjöholm (drums). Four of these five have been with the band going back to the very beginning in 1985. Yet after three and a half decades, these guys remain as faithful as ever to their original punky pop blueprint. And the eternal teenager Westman has never stopped writing perfect little songs about the highs and lows of romantic love. 

From the snappy power pop of “Come On (And Give Me Something)” to the garage rockin’ “Takes You Down” to the ’50s inspired “Goodbye Summer” to the sweet & sentimental “Before You” to the ripping punker “Detention”, Forever and Never has something for just about everyone. Along the way, the band treats you to some textbook Psychotic Youth numbers (“Don’t Be Like That”, “Sucker for a Bliss”) and a couple of dandy covers (Secret Service’s “Ten O’Clock Postman” and The Messengers’ “That’s the Way a Woman Is”). Not just due to Jacobsen’s production touches, Forever and Never ought to appeal to anyone who loves the most recent Yum Yums album. Behold the sweet spot where power pop and bubblegum punk converge. Now as always, Psychotic Youth is the gold standard!

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