Voodoo Rhythm

Bad Mojos I Hope You OD CD

Judging this band by its cover and its label I was expecting a bluesy garage band. BAD MOJOS are poppy punk with buzzsaw guitars, and a vocalist that sounds like that guy from the SPITS. It’s high energy and every song is under two minutes.

E.T. Explore Me Shine CD

Cinematic and psychedelic rock from the Netherlands, complete with a ’60s garage tilt. Shine sounds like a true catch-all for this lot, as they freely try their hand at straight organ fuzz, campy go-go schlock, “vintage future” sci-fi traipsing, and general turkeyisms. As is so often the case with this thang, it’s got all the makings of wonderful night out at the garrrrage gig, but it’s not the sort of record you’ll throw on at home for a casual cruise.

E.T. Explore Me Drug Me CD

It’s difficult to use the tools of the past to make something that sounds new, coming from its own strange point of view. E.T. EXPLORE ME is firmly indebted to garage rock from all its resurrections, including that of the early ’00s, to refreshingly potent effect. With a crunchy organ highlighted in practically every hook, these Dutch rockers have a sonic palette that hammers home a disaffected-cool boogie. Track after track oozes with alien attitude, helped along by a lush use of synths that squabble and stab underneath hushed vocals and original applications of percussion. It’s all very danceable and never stale, sitting comfortably alongside tried-and-true acts like QUINTRON AND MISS PUSSYCAT and even dabbling in darker psych realms à la MOON DUO. Title track “Drug Me” in particular has a locked-in zaniness impossible not to bop around to especially with an utterly cranked organ sound that is deliciously dank ‘n’ dirty. All in all, a cool time that feels like a throwback to the future.

Revenend Beat-Man / Izobel Garcia Baile Bruja Muerto CD

IZOBEL GARCIA is such a nice collaborator for REVEREND BEAT-MAN. His vocal style is rough and gritty, and hers is sassy, tough, and feminine. They sound perfect together. The music is stripped down. It is simply guitar and drums with an occasional bit of organ. It’s primitive garage rock with a snarling attitude. Unfortunately, Garcia doesn’t sing on every song. She should. Especially on the cover of “Love Me Two Times.” That one needed her.

Nestter Donuts Flamenco Trash CD

The label describes NESTTER DONUTS as “thee one and only flamenco trash one-man band.” They had me at “thee” (hee hee). I am MRR’s resident one-man band expert after all. Fun, rocking, trashy garage music with a foot-stomping style. DONUT is energetic and dramatic in the best possible ways. It’s a rollicking good time.

Sloks A Knife in Your Hand CD

From Turin, Italy comes this fuzzed-out, noisy rock’n’roll mess. Like a very Euro take on the early bassless CRAMPS or art school debauchery of the GORIES or PUSSY GALORE, they rock the listener through eleven tracks of blown-out guitar, tribal drums, and vocals so echoed out they’re barely discernible at times. I only wish the songs were a little more interesting as I dig their recording style quite a bit. There are some moments such as in “Killer Vs. Killer” or “Last Grave” where they bend the formula slightly, waking up my ears, but overall it’s just kinda…eh.

The Christian Family The Raw and Primitive Sounds of… CD

I really liked this one. It’s a strange combo of really catchy and herky-jerky. It’s super melodic, but also kind of eerie. That is kind of remarkable when you consider they’re a duo, just guitar and drums. At times it seems like the emphasis is on the female vocals. But the guitar work is really impressive. They remind me, at times, of the MAXINES, another duo. Excellent record.

The Monsters You’re Class, I’m Trash CD

It feels like there’s been a steady flow of product out of the LIGHTNING/REVEREND BEAT-MAN camp as of late. Here’s another long-player of the best of the bunch, the MONSTERS. You get much of the same matching-suit Euro kind of garage trash rock. This is especially true on songs like “Smell My Tongue” and “Get Drunk on You,” which are great but nothing really special. It’s the noisier psych and horror-inspired numbers such as “Carpool Lane,” “Devil Baby,” and the two versions of the song “Dead” that make this really a thing. There’s two great Euro horror-inspired videos of these latter tracks online as well, which are pretty swell. COVID has been kind to the MONSTERS and allowed creativity to flow as to create some memorable art here. They’re just so Swiss! Look at their pictures and you’ll know exactly what I mean. I feel like the LSD has gotten pretty good there lately, so tune in, drop in…blahhh.