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RATING: 8.9/10 – TOP TRASH

Swedish punk sung in French reviewed by an American writer. Globalization’s nuts. I know maybe 10 words in French, so I’ve no clue what they’re singing about, but it’s fast, it’s catchy, and it’ll get you moving. The band makes use of keytar, giving them a really strong LOST SOUNDS vibe, but it’s not used as a gimmick or a LOOK AT US – it’s just another instrument, put to excellent use on tracks like “Remords,” shooting the track through with some awesome squiggly Atari vibes. The song instantly burrows into your skull, even if you haven’t got the faintest clue what it might be about. This 84 second rager is over before you blink, but this veers into the utterly inexplainable “Le Voleur de Chaleur.” This track opens with a minute-long ye-ye detour – FRANCOISE HARDY vibes abounding, before dropping into a wasteland of fuzz as the party is suddenly crashed by ripping hardcore. Next comes “Le Vague Noire,” a mid-tempo song adorned by spoken vocals. The Game Boy sonic aesthetic works here really well. The keytar is immediately recognizable and adds to the music, but also shares space with the guitar on tracks like “Questions.”

The point is: Keytars aren’t a novelty here. It’s used to the same efficacy as any other instrument, and all 6 songs on this are winners. This isn’t being put out by any label yet, but it ought to be.

LISTEN: Cikatri$ Bandcamp

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RATING: 7.5/10

Destination Lonely ply an exciting, energetic brand of garage rock. This LP for Les Disques Steak (not sure if I really wanna call it an LP) is 6 tracks of fire. The opening title track is a tumbling, CHEAP FREAKS-like psych-garage stomp, with a scorching solo. The cover art’s somehow very indicative of the sound, and this band knows how to work the wah like Ron Asheton on half the coke in Colombia. “I’m Down” is slower, but no less ferocious – a tight ball of energy that explodes into another solid guitar workout. There’s also a BILLY CHILDISH vibe here, but this is polished and slick where that band is rough and ragged (but by no means the worse for it). This is probably my favorite thing about the release – Destination Lonely have some real, honest-to-god swagger – the brashness of the music is matched by the total control they maintain over it; there’s not a hair out of place on this band’s shiny waxed-pomp.

Instrumental “The Axeman Cometh” has a nocturnal vibe to it – echoing, lonely sounding guitars and lethargic drums. It’s good, but with each successive track, I miss the absolute hell-raising of the opener, even though later tracks like “So Blue” have a good shivering, vintage-pop feel. Thankfully, the closer hearkens back to the energy of the first – Mosurock thinks they sound like THE HIVES, and he’s not wrong. It should be longer – this is a pretty dainty LP. With these 6, if they were all like the first and last one, this would be a “snag this now.” As it stands, it’s a solid listen by a band that shows a lot of promise.

LISTEN/BUY: Les Disques Steak Bandcamp

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