The new release mojo is hitting its stride this week with artists jockeying for position, releasing new singles before proper releases to see the light of ear later in the year.
Connor Selby is the real Soul-Blues deal. If Ray Charles had played the guitar instead of the piano, this is pretty much what he would have sounded like.
Dangereens are bringing their Stones meets NY Dolls meets Hanoi Rocks T Rex Boogie rock to the masses with “Lucky In Love.”
And, La Luz Frontwoman Shana Cleveland is out with a new atmospheric single, “Ghost.”
But, as per usual this is all just foreplay for the main event. Here are five newly hatched records to savor from this week’s musical selections.
Wig Wam – Out of the Dark
Widely recognized in the trade as the father of Scandaviavan ’80s Sunset Strip Rock, Wig Wam is back with gusto on this high-voltage set of tunes that will make your hair grow with each subsequent listen.
Lighters lit from the opening track, “Out of the Dark” which has a hint of Van Halen in the air if you listen closely enough, and “High n Dry” would have fit in nicely on any Billy Squire album from back in the day.
With enough interesting curves veering into ’80s Sleaze Rock, ’70s AC/DC, and even ’90s grunge in places, there is enough variety to give this one sustainability over several listens. And, we’re still trying to figure out what to make of the call to arms anthem, “Forever,” a song that literally features the style of Mongolian throat singers The Hu, along with a Celtic dirge vibe.
Come for the Ronnie James Dio splendor of “Uppercut Shazam” and stay for the blast of the Van Halen meets AC/DC of “Bad Luck Chuck” on this fun rollercoaster ride of a record.
Baby Cool – Earthling on the Road to Self Love
As debut albums go, Baby Cool’s is as fine an example as we have heard year-to-date. Firmly implanted in the hazy Psych-Pop genre, there is a certain scene setting to this record that will make you go limp in some places, and will give you over to the music in others.
The shoegaze of “The Sea” starts things off by transporting the listener to a marshmallow cloud full of peaceful vibes, and “Poison” has a bit of a surf guitar and mellotron vibe that will carry you away. And, once the slow-down, deep country evoking “Daydream” washes over your eardrums you will be looking for that last edible to end the evening in blissful contentment.
Doomsday Outlaw – Damaged Goods
Not quite shedding their Southern Rock past, there are still some heavy doses of Blackberry Smoke wafting in the air around these guys, what they have morphed into is a tightly constructed rock and roll band that can rip off Van Halen Worthy Riffs, and an AC/DC high voltage vocal barrage with equal aplomb.
The opener, “In Too Deep” burns the house down and opens up all of the cylinders to set the stage for the rock party that is about to break out. “On My Way,” cowbell indeed, is a cool hybrid of Blackberry Smoke and the Black Crows, and a potential instant classic. “Turn Me Loose” is a loose-limbed rocker, and “My Woman Comes On Strong” stacks up to anything that the Winery Dogs or Black Star Rider are throwing drown on the rock and roll front these days.
Not necessarily recreating the wheel here, when the debate continues that rock and roll is dead, Doomsday Outlaw and Damaged Goods is exhibit A to the contrary.
Laure Briard – Ne pas trop rester bleu
A strong contender for chanteuse record of the year, Laure Briard is a worthy descendant of Francois Hardy or Vashti Bunyan. Here she slips effortlessly between French and English on a sublime set of early ’60s hipster-noir tunes.
Based in Toulouse, France, while her vibe may be French, her spirit is firmly planted in the California desert, after a visit to Joshua Tree, with heavy influences from Carol King, Lee Hazelwood, and the psychedelic scene.
Translated to “don’t stay too blue,” the album title says it all about this record. There is a whimsical beauty to “My Love Is Right,” “Magical Beauty” could have fit in quite nicely in the Burt Bacharach ’60s canon, and “Me Pardonner” puts the chant in chanteuse.
Give this one multiple spins and listen for her songs in the Netflix series Emily in Paris.
CIVIC – Taken By Force
Steeped in the punk-adjacent world of Aussie pub rock, Melbourne’s CIVIC brings to the minds-ear the best of The Saints or Radio Birdman. Every song on this CBGB-worthy, kick out the jams blast of sonic energy is true to form.
“Born On The Heat” could have easily been a mid-era Clash anthem and the Pop-Punk gloss of “Wars or Hands of Time” carries the spirit of Iggy Pop in the days of The Stooges.
There is no real new ground broken here, just solid songwriting, a punk sneer, and a rebellious attitude that carries the day amongst searing guitar solos and propulsive energy. From start to finish this one rocks.