Surfacing from New York in the USA the trio of IanJosh and Mike form the new-wave band Monograms.

Monograms - new-wave from the USA


Combining elements of Blondie and shoegaze the listener is led into a treat of CBGBs reworking as Monograms elongate flat extenders far more than is politic and it is for this melodious drone that they capture the attention.

Only a band from Brooklyn or San Francisco could display such disdainful disinterest in their out-put that the listener falls into a tumble of delight as they deliver a sound which the audience carries high on their own shoulders. Early Blondie and the life cycle of The Nuns and Ramones were able to carry-off the nonchalance with such aplomb as underneath the laissez-faire delivery Monograms have a passion to reflect of how they feel treated by the world around their lives.

A couple of EPs behind them Downer and FaderMonograms is a band the wider sphere needs to add to their playlist to remind them of the contempt with which the 1% treat the 99% as they reflect of the branding of the slavery of socio-capitalism by which the bailout of banking is deemed a ‘success story’ followed by decades of ever greater collateral damage of the irrelevant 99% of the worlds population to maintain the posture of what was a failure of a economic and social model in the ’70s and their forbears protested about that is coming home to roost in the ’10s.


Downer – EP – Monograms is available on iTunes.*

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The Motel Beds

The Motel Beds from Dayton in the USA is the garage rock quartet of PJ, Tommy, Derl, Ian and Tod.

The Motel Beds - Garage Rock from the USA

The Motel Beds

Taking British Blues Rock references and adding dashes of Americana The Motel Beds deliver a sound which has a hint of psychedelia inside the rock formulations, giving the music a shimmering cross border appeal.

Relatively well established The Motel Beds have developed the ability to add flourishes to the basic constructs, without heading off into tangents unknown. There is something easy to extract from the compositions, whilst equally, for more cerebral moments there is plenty to keep the head busy. The deft way the quartet put together the music, gives the audience a sense of spaciousness as the notes unhurriedly float past the ears.

There is an instant recognizability to the songs, but The Motel Beds are able to create a space of difference which gives the band the potential to spread their wings across wide genres of listeners.

Not seeking to reinvent the wheel, the quartet nonetheless have something of value to the world of music and although not a collection I will be adding on to my everyday playlist – I can find this fitting into the more considered moments of calmness, where they have an immediate connection.


These Are the Days Gone By (Remastered) – Motel Beds is available on iTunes*

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Inflatable Best Friend

Inflatable Best Friend from Kalamazoo in the USA is the garage rock trio of Austin (Bass) Ian (Drums) and Tanner (Guitar / Vocal).

Inflatable Best Friend - image - Dwayne Hoover

Inflatable Best Friend – image – Dwayne Hoover

A hurling fuzzed bass fuses the speakers as Inflatable Best Friend put a psychedelic twist to new wave rock. The percussion relentlessly hammers out an unforgiving pace, whilst the guitar trips out in the corner as the vocal keeps the mixture together. It is the lo-fi unpretentious flippancy with which the trio approach the music that gives it the impressive resonance it holds.

Well received on the touring circuit Inflatable Best Friend is able to take the raw power into the studio to allow those who don’t have the opportunity to see them live to get the feeling they are present.  A recent ten track LP Ectoplasmic Puke Wizard looks set to to have a follow-up in short order as the trio are soon to head back in to the studio.

Established for a few years now Inflatable Best Friend have gained confidence in their idiosyncratic space in the world of music and long may they keep carving out their own room.

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Meat Market

Meat Market from Oakland in the USA is the garage rock quartet of Ian, Jeffrey, Jake and Alex.

Meat Market - garage rock from the USA

Meat Market – photo by Raphael Villet

Subsumed inside polarities of sound lays a sharp and sardonic reflective of life being lived. Meat Market deliver their music within string bending distortion that shards the speakers prior to scattering around the room.

Better known for live performance than recorded material Meat Market is a band who have much to offer the wider world and I hope to hear news of the follow-up to the eponymous 2012 ten track LP.

The music hurtles across the ears in a tumult of coincidences which the quartet manage to herd into formation like a seasoned shepherd rounding up sheep. The ears are boxed with a continual flailing which Meat Market deflect with some mastery and rather than emerging with a bloodied face, the audience turns around with a wide grin and thankful for having spent the time.

Not for the first time do I find myself reviewing a band on the roster of the label underthegun with good reason.

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The Tarsiers

The Tarsiers from Birmingham is the the rock band of DudzIan and Ryan.

The Tarsiers - rock from England

The Tarsiers

Retro glam-rock comes to mind on hitting play as The Tarsiers deliver big open spaces of rock which flow around the room in soaring compositions which don’t try to be anything other than what they are, good old fashioned fun-times. Whilst stylistically the music resonates of the past and any number of lists of ‘reminds me of’ could be written, the songs themselves are of today and it this is ability to combine the past with present that gives the trio an interesting out-put.

The Tarsiers produce pieces that convince the ears there must be more than three people involved, as although there is much activity by the individual players, they are able to deliver the tracks both with power and control.

Whilst the music translates well to recorded out-put, in fact there is a five track EP on it’s way, this is music best enjoyed with a crowd of other people at the front of the stage.


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