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Monday, August 24, 2020

The Reflectors - First Impression

The REFLECTORS are a power pop/rock'n'roll four piece hailing for Los Angeles, California. Influenced by the likes of Buzzcocks or, closer to their hometown, The Plimsouls or The Nerves, the quartet has released the most utterly perfect debut album, the aptly titled "First Impression". And never was a first impression so convincing. Just the right amount of crunchy guitars, hooks a plenty and instant melodies.

The expression "All killers and no fillers" is often used but in the case of The REFLECTORS, it is the totally true. Purchase immediately two copies of this brilliant album because this record is so good that your first copy will very quickly be worn out! 

This blog had an interesting conversation with James Carman, singer and guitar player in THE REFLECTORS.

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about The Reflectors to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band?  Who is playing what instrument in the band nowadays? How are you doing in these strange times?

Greetings - We are The Reflectors and we are a Los Angeles based punk and power-pop entity. Formally known as "Images", The Reflectors have now been together for 2 years. We have been a band ever since our childhood, each one of us listening and loving the same music. It's what ultimately inspired us to begin our journey.

The Reflectors are: James Carman (guitar/vox), Johnny Reyes (drums), Ryan Miranda (bass), Nick Faciane (guitar/vox). We are doing pretty good during these strange and Orwellian times. Every day there is a new challenge but as a society we need to recognize and be aware of our surroundings and the people that occupy them. Treat one another with respect and dignity, be the change that we all speak of. I hope for the best outcome after this is all said and done.

2) About the full length record "First Impression", what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

We recorded "First Impression" at Jazzcats studios in Long Beach with Jonny Bell. He has an incredible set up with analog tape machines. It is eventually processed into ProTools Digitally - but the charm is always there. We always record live and then overdub what we need to. We like to keep the process as simple as possible.

3) Do you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?

Always prefer Analog first - we haven't experimented outside of it but we may in the future.

4) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?

James and Nick are the main songwriters but everyone has a massive role on how these songs pan out. We have been playing so long together that we can sort of read each other's minds when it comes to songwriting.

5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

 Anything that is troubling, really. Most songs stem from a way a person feels or a message they are trying to get across. It's also fun to create a narrative in songs - something people can recognize and relate to. And almost every song sounds better with some good harmonies!

6) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers and does it still influence your today work? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

We grew up listening to all things punk, new wave, rock n roll in all shapes and forms. 3 bands that we loved as a teenager and still inspire us today: 1) Buzzcocks 2) Exploding Hearts 3) The Cars

7) Do you have a new video on youtube featuring a track from the LP?  "Storm And Thunder"

8) What can concert goers expect at a gig of The Reflectors? Are you playing any famous cover songs? 

Well don't expect a gig for a long time! But we like to play with pure excitement and energy. For all of us, there's no better feeling! We hope to get back to gigging soon. Once in every blue moon, you'll hear us playing "Ever Fallen In Love" by Buzzcocks. A tribute to the great Pete Shelley.

9) Are there any bands in California today you consider yourself close to, musically speaking?

The Tearaways featuring Clem Burke, Exploding Flowers, Adult Toys, The Resonars (from AZ), Mogg.

10) Can you explain what the beef is with Burger records and why you choose to longer continue your partnership with Burger Records? Here in Europe we did not get the full explanation and we really would love to have it.

Sexual allegations against some of their earliest bands signed to the label and within some of the staff as well. Once we learned of these allegations, we decided to separate all ties from the label immediately.

11) What are the plans for 2020 as far as The Reflectors are concerned?

We have plans to track our second album with a single. Stay tuned!

12) Anything you wanna add?

Hope everyone is well and safe! These troubling times have been detrimental to our souls - we need to be stronger inside as well as outside. Make sure to support locally and not large corporations who are turning a massive profit at the expense of our lives. Keep up your faith, good health, and be kind to one another! Over and out.

Purchase this flawless album HERE:

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Psychotic Youth celebrates 35 years in 2020

Despite Corona and the lack of a live stage, 2020 is the year for the Göteborg band 
PSYCHOTIC YOUTH to shine. The band turns an incredible 35 years old and celebrates this by reissuing two of their most famous full lengths, by releasing a brand new album and by streaming a live show.

The band arose in 1985 and by 1989 the label Radium Records released the album "Some Fun" which would become style-forming in its genre of hard fast guitar-pop with voices that would make Beach Boys jealous. Surf, punk and power-pop have been mentioned in the band's wake. 

And with additional albums in the 90's like "Be In The Sun", "Juice!" and "Pop" these gentlemen made their mark on many bands around the world before dropping the guitars (temporarily) in 1999. 

On July 1, the cassette "RETRO" was released with 14 newly recorded songs in the true garage rock spirit and printed only in 60 copies. 

This is to celebrate their very first release in 1985 which was a - cassette, which was also printed in 60 copies. Sold only through direct contact with the band to affectionate fans.

First up is a streamed concert through the streaming company QTech (broadcast on Friday 28 August 20:00 via Facebook and

"STEREOIDS REVISITED" will be released on 29 AUGUST 2020

And the very next day, a remixed version of "STEREOIDS REVISITED" will be released in
transparent green vinyl. This version will feature a new mix by Christian Jacobsen - the Norwegian wizard who is internationally known for working with bands like Yum Yums, The Dahlmanns etc. 

"FOREVER AND NEVER" will be released on October 30 

This will be the 14th album by PSYCHOTIC YOUTH  and  it's featuring new material of driven Power pop that mixes with heavier Detroit punk, fuzzy garage and a slew of 50's influences. The vinyl will come in a tasteful turquoise vinyl.  

Waterslide Records in Japan will release a CD version that will include 2 bonus tracks.

"BAMBOOZLE" will be released on November 6

This is the second reissue. This album is best know for its covers of the hit "Japanese boy" and for its brilliant rendition of "How long will it take" originally by the Plimsouls.

The record will  be pressed on a beautiful red transparent vinyl.  

For more information about the various reissues or about the brand new record you can easily go to:

Sunday, August 16, 2020

The Yum Yums - For Those About to Pop

Since the release of their first single "Girls Like That", in 1994, The Yums Yums have always been a band dear to my Powerpoppers' heart. 6 years in the making, but finally here is their latest release, the aptly titled "For Those About To Pop!" And it was certainly worth the wait because this is probably their best offering so far. 

It's got everything one loves so much about the Yum-Yums: instant vocal melodies, powerful playing, bubblegum backing vocals, hooks a plenty and endless stories about girls, girls and girls. 

There are many versions of this new album but this blog choose the Japanese version released on WATERSLIDE Records

Today Morten Henriksen is the only remaining member of the Yums-Yums yours truly witnessed at the Pit's way back in the day. So it was a pleasure for this blog to have the opportunity to interview him. Here it goes:

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about The YUM YUMS to introduce yourselves? What was your musical background? Who is playing what instrument in the band nowadays? 

Well. The Yum Yums are a power pop / pop punk band from Norway, who has been around since 1993. We have released 5 albums, a 10’’ mini album and a bunch of singles and toured all around the world!

2) One quick look at the names of the people who played on "Girls like that" and the ones who play these days on "For Those About to Pop" and it is obvious those are totally different musicians. So are YOU the Yum-Yums? Could you play the same music with anybody filling in on bass, drums and 2nd guitar?

Ha ha… yes, I think we can say that I am The Yum Yums as I am the only member of the band from the start, plus I am the songwriter and singer of the band. We have had lots of lineup changes, but the sound of the band seem to be consistent. We actually just got a new bass player, a good addition to the band! A good back-up singer, too!

3) Usually the voice of a singer tends to get deeper and deeper in tones with the age. Iggy Pop is a fine example, he started out, ....well like Iggy... and now he has the voice of a Baritone. So my question is: From one grandpa to another, how do you manage at your venerable age to still have the voice of a 16 years old teenager?

I don’t really know. I haven’t done anything to keep it this way. I didn’t start singing before I was 30, so the voice wasn’t worn out already. That may have something to do with it. I write songs that don’t need a graspy rock’n’roll voice. Nice pop songs do the trick! I remember, at a very early age, that I would never be Noddy Holder (Slade) or Paul Stanley (Kiss), anyway.

4) About the newly released full length record "For Those About to Pop",  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

We actually spent 6 years writing songs and recording them. It was when the Covid thing hit in the middle of march, I found time to draw the line and finish the album… We really had too many songs to choose from, but I am really happy with the choices we made. A little bit of pop punk, a little bit of standard pop, a little bit of glam rock and hints of doo wop and surf music thrown in. I think it’s our best album so far! So, we sent the files to our mixer, who also suddenly had time to mix. Luckily Perry Travolta also had time to master it!

Usually we record the drums in a real recording studio, with click-track demos. The guitars we did in our practice place. The bass, vocals and percussion I did at home, on my mac! I have to give it to our mixing guy Christian Jacobsen, who did a fantastic job! He is also my son in law, and helps out on keyboard!

5) Do you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you only work with analog machines in analog studios?

Being a Mac guy, I LOVE recording digitally! I like being in control of the process! I got to have real drums and real guitar amps, though.

6) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have an influence on your own work today?

I can name one. The Ramones!!! Well, actually the whole punk rock movement were a huge influence, and so were the late 70’s power pop bands. I also have to mention the glam/glitter wave of the early 70’s, who I still listen to and steal ideas from! Oh… and 60’s bubblegum, of course!

7) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

I’ll give you one guess…

8) If I were to describe The YUM YUMS as a "power pop band with a lot of power and a little bit of bubblegum pop", would you agree with this description? Would you be proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that?

It’s a pretty good description, and I would be proud to claim that. There is more though. I get inspired by all kinds of music with good melodies. Standard pop, vocal surf, girl groups, doo wop… and more!

9) Do you have a new video on youtube featuring a track from the LP?? 

No, we don’t… The Covid situation put a stop to that, but we’re looking into it! We absolutely should make something.

In the meantime, here is some live footage at Punk Rock Raduno 4

10) What can concert goers expect at a The YUM YUMS gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs during the concert? 

It’s hard for me to say what to expect. A good time, I guess! We always do some covers, especially some from our early recordings. Out Of Luck, Chewy Chewy, Valerie, Wig Wam Bam, All Kindsa Girls, Walking Out On Love, We Just Wanna Dance, Rush Hour… We have too many originals to focus on, these days. And a new album doesn’t make it easier… but we may surprise you…

11) Are there any bands around the world today you consider yourself close to musically speaking?

With Lucy and Geoff
Yes, quite a few… musically and personal… Psychotic Youth, The Queers, Chixdiggit, Dan Vapid, Kurt Baker Combo / Band, Tommy and The Rockets; The Spazzys  / Lucy and The Rats; Geoff Palmer; Suzy and Los Quattro and many more!

12) What are the plans for the rest of 2020 as far as The YUM YUMS are concerned?

An old dream is to play Belgium’s Sjock Festival. Maybe next year? Due to the already mentioned Covid situation, we’re not getting our hopes up for this year. I guess we’ll just keep on writing songs and release new records! Hopefully it won’t be 6 years until the next album. Famous last words ha ha…

13) Anything you wanna add?

Caroline and The Treats are back! Look out for a new album this year!

Purchase the Japanese CD version here:

CDs are also available on:
Rum Bar Records in the USA
House Of Rock Records in Norway / Europe
And the LP is released on Screaming Apple Records in Germany

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Thee MARTIAN BOYFRIENDS! - Take Over The World

It's been exactly 10 years since the release of Thee MARTIAN BOYFRIENDS self titled debut CD. Things changed radically in this period of time. Eric St John is the only remaining original member of Thee MARTIAN BOYFRIENDS. From a quartet the band is now reduced to a 3 piece. New comers are drummer Paul HAMESSE with whom Eric also plays in the VICE BARONS and Eric's daughter IRIS who is now playing bass.

So it is fair to say that half of the VICE BARONS are present on these recordings.

The sound of the band has also evolved during this period of time. 10 years ago Thee MARTIAN BOYFRIENDS were some frantic 60's garage outfit mainly influenced by the "Back from the grave" compilations.

These days, the fuzz is still there but way more in the background of the songs. On most of the tunes, clean, drenched in reverb guitars are mostly playing in the foreground and they wrap all these newly recorded tracks up in some melancholycal mood. You might even hear some acoustic guitar on "Dance around the fire". This new guitar sounds is really a direction in which Thee Martian Boyfriends want to experiment in the future.

The group is really proud of these new recordings that manage to capture the primitive and melancholical side of their sound. All the tracks on this new album are originals written and composed by Eric St JOHN. No covers on this one.

The cover art of the album, as for the previous one, reflects the band's love for 50's Sci-Fi movies. But this time around you will notice that all ambiguity is gone: creatures from the Red Planet (that is Mars, for you Morons) are REALLY gonna take over the world!


The vinyl version will be release on RAVING POP BLAST on September 7th

To purchase a vinyl copy go to: