Tuesday, December 3, 2013


THE PEARLS - S/T LP (Rijapov)
Part of the Italian punk and garage scene that's home to Schonwald, His Electro Blue Voice, Miss Chain & The Broken Heel, Wildmen and Cane! (just to name a few), two-pieced The Pearls from Milan stick out from the other mentioned groups with their minimalist approach. This duo definitely knows how to make a lot out of a little: they need no more than galopping beats, charming guitar licks and dual vocal harmonies to write their brilliant garage stompers. The music is heavy on the pop-side. Their selftitled debut album is filled with propulsive, sugar-sweet melodies, dreamy lyrics and a slight dose of reverb and fuzz. The record glides easily between shades of garage-pop and chillier sounds. It offers some hints of 60s psych, folk and indie, but the focus is definitely on creating catchy music with a strong 60s pop sensibility. Think of a more stripped down product of Vivian Girls, Best Coast and The Babies. Very nice! (Listen to it here)

After a release hiatus during the past four years Rijapov Records from Italy has returned this year with three brand new LP releases by The Miss Chain & The Broken Heels, The Pearls and this brilliant Milan based four-piece. The Sensibles play power pop-punk driven by razor-sharp guitar riffs and melodic hooks drenched with some really spectacular vocals and choruses, that are both catchy as hell and punchy from start to end. The tunes give you a impressive fusion of a Ramones meats The Donnas bubblegum treatment, classic UK powerpop and the sound of current Dirtnap releases. "A bunch of animals" is a fun-filled, feel-good, pop-punk record, that gets stuck in your head right after the first listen. The Sensibles blast through twelve heavily infectious tunes. None of them is longer than three minutes, but there's nothing missing and it's really a pleasantly reduced style. This is the kind of music you want to take right to the next party. (Listen to it here)

This 7" already came out in 2009. Don't expect a typical kind of split 7" consisting of separate tracks from each band. Instead, both Italian bands have joined the forces to write the songs together. This is really a great concept. More bands should imitate it. On the one hand the product of Vermillion Sands and Movie Star Junkies shows influences of both groups, but on the other they create something new and fresh. The recordings draw from rhythm and blues, country, music from the 1960s and Movie Star Junkies' strong Birthday Party and The Gun Club influences. Both songs combine distinctive electric piano overtones with driving drums, trashy distorted guitars and dusty mixed-gender vocals. The slow moody ballads are driven by a swampy, moody touch. If you either dig Vermillion Sands or Movie Star Junkies, you'll also be digging this 7". (Listen to it here)