Rocks in Your Head

Fake Fruit Fake Fruit LP

Indie/pop gusto galore, Oakland, CA’s FAKE FRUIT make a lovely splash with this debut album. Stringy guitar lines, sparse drums, and bass-led tracks range from the quiet and melodic (“Swing and a Miss”), to the more upbeat and confrontational (“Yolk”). The center piece that is Hannah D’Amato’s vocals shines throughout—a spoken style like COURTNEY BARNETT with the edge of PYLON.

Galore Galore LP

The first album from GALORE, a San Francisco quartet conceptually descended from a musical lineage that can be traced back to the VELVET UNDERGROUND, as well as the PASTELS, BEAT HAPPENING, and any number of C86-era greats after them—jangling and melodic, but also charmingly imperfect and a little rough around the edges. The LP’s most sprawling tracks like “Deja Vu” and “Henry” (still only about three minutes long!) tumble along slow and sweet like molasses, all unhurried beats and understated chiming guitar that’s so stripped down that it almost fades into oblivion, grounded by the occasional tambourine rattle or xylophone strike. That languid vibe is countered by a much more raucous streak, especially in the spiky “Lydia” and “Shiver,” that strikes the sort of balance between sharp, staccato post-punk and spartan pop perfection that modern OZ DIY bands like TERRY and PRIMO! have absolutely dominated lately, although they could be facing some serious cross-Pacific competition from GALORE now—an auspicious beginning!

Juicebumps Jumbo LP

This is a deliciously maximalist approach to punk that engages and entertains from the first note. Three chords and the truth is great and all, but this scratches a wide range of itches. Sort of a less proggy descendant of CARDIACS, and even reminiscent of the cross-genre collage rock of MR. BUNGLE, especially with the group’s penchant for hooks couched in the herky-jerk and the healthy dollop of surf music woven throughout. The band is cool, confident, and has excess energy that an aging punk like me can only be envious of. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more satisfying and boogie-inducing track as the aptly-named “Wiggler,” which rides a juicy bass line through a total funhouse of riffs and is full-to-bursting with melodic tangents. It’s got bite, but it’s also a joyful affair unlike most bands out there getting it done.