Tag Archives: the strange boys

 Nu Rave Brain Wave Top 10 Albums, Top 5 EPs, and Top 5 7″s of 2011:

Top 5 7″ of 2011:
05 Bitch Prefect – 7″ (RIP Society Records)

This is really breezy and effortless pop songs done in the best kind of way from Aussie upstarts Bitch Prefect.


04 The Growlers – Gay Thoughts 7″ (Everloving Records)

It wouldn’t be a NRBW list without a mention of the Growlers, but despite having the mp3s of this record for months before the Record Store Day exclusive release, I still waited for over an hour at Origami Vinyl to buy a copy. So, I guess it’s pretty good.


03 Brown Brogues – Don’t Touch My Hair 7″ (Suffering Jukebox)

Brown Brogues are undoubtably one of my favorite discoveries of this year and this is probably like the best anthem written this year that I’m aware of.


02 Catholic Spray/Assassins88//TV Colours – Split 7″ (XVIII Records)

I would’ve bought this record for Catholic Spray’s sinister, weird garage punk rippers, but the collaboration of hands down two of the best bands in the world the Australian super fuzzed out, stunningly catchy team of Assassins 88 and Dream Damage label mates TV Colours is absolutely astounding.


01 TV Colours / Assassins 88 – Split 7″ (Dream Damage Records)

That’s right, Dream Damage’s split between these two Aussie bands is the greatest piece of wax I bought this year. Both TV Colours jams have been replayed over and over to the billionth power, they’re both sonic fuzz bombs that are so ridiculously catchy and perfect for the gym (this is a compliment, btw). The exact same goes for Assassins 88 side. I just find it hard to fault a single thing either band does.

top 10 EPs of 2011:


05 Bummer High – Lost Highway (Green Burrito Records)

I fell immediately in love with Bummer High‘s Lost Highway, and it’s not all due to the fact that it was released on a label called Green Burrito. Their whimsical, twangin’, psych-country-garage is absolutely wonderful and if you like fellow Canadian brethren Demon’s Claws, Dead Ghosts, or Indian Wars, this is for you.


04 Toto & The Bad Eggs – Wallet Droppin’ (PNKSLM Recordings)

The closest thing to a garage-punk supergroup that the UK is going to see for probably quite some time, Toto & The Bad Eggs contains members of Sex Beet, Jerry Tropicano and Brown Brogues who each take my personal favorite parts of the music they make in their original bands and bring it to this EP. Obviously, it’s pretty special.


03 Ghost Outfit – Young Ghosts EP (Self Released)

Haven’t been able to stop listening to this Ghost Outfit EP since it’s been given to me, which I think was 2010, but fuck it, it’s so good it deserves a place on my 2011 list as well. Not only do they make weird and haunting noisy songs, but they also make expert pop songs.


02 The Bell Peppers – Cooking With The Bell Peppers (Self Released)

This fine Manchester duo put out the best self-released EP that showcases their slicked-back, cry-baby garage-blues-r’n'b in the most effortless and just straight up fucking cool way ever. I would buy at least three copies if this was released on any format.


01 The Growlers/Thee Ludds 12″ Split (Palmist Records)

Although the Growlers songs were technically not new in 2011, I think it’s a testament that they hold up so strongly to even a fan as well versed in their catalogue as I am — their beach goth, drip-drop-drip, swamp stomps have always sounded incredibly fresh and illuminating and the UK should feel lucky to have this released for them. Thee Ludds frenzied astral-psych-punk pulls strongly from the same 60s references as the Growlers but makes it new like a bucket of water to the face. In a good way.

Honorable Mentions:
Die Jungen – $
Carnivores – Chandelier EP
Ty Segall – Ty Rex
Cosmonauts – New Psychic Denim EP
Thee Oh Sees/Total Control Split EP

Top 10 LPs of 2011


10 Kanye West & Jay Z – Watch The Throne

I’m not angry when people talk about wealth, but maybe that’s because the best advice I ever received is surround yourself with wealth.


09 Royal Headache – S/T (XVIII Records)

This record literally came out of nowhere and really hit me hard. I hope I always have a soft spot for succinct, groovy power pop with soulful vocals. The buzzwords I had to use to describe Australia’s Royal Headache are grotesque, but this album is incredible.


08 Mind Spiders – The Mind Spiders (Dirtnap Records)

Denton, TX’s salvation, Mind Spiders, put this record out in the early portion of the year, but their brand of fast and loose garage rock filled with quick hits, the catchiest song you’ve ever heard (Don’t Let Her Go) and a ballad. This is a whip-smart garage punk record.


07 Cosmonauts – S/T (Permanent Records)

Cosmonauts are one of the most underrated bands to come out of the Burger scene, and this LP is filled with buzzing psychedelic, ramshackle punk punk, and rhythm ‘n 12 bar blues jams all jumbled together and vomited back up into the form of this excellent, excellent record.


06 The Castillians – Show Your Teeth (Cold Rice Records)

A long-awaited debut collection of 100% hits from the UK’s most underrated garage band, The Castillians,  as strong as any I’ve heard this year.


05 Shannon & The Clams – Sleep Talk (1-2-3-4 Go! Records)

I have the biggest love for Shannon of Shannon & the Clams, and this album is a beautiful dose of weird, wild 50s doo-wop garage-pop that while awesome, always seems (for me at least) to take the back seat to Shannon’s incredible voice. But then again, I could listen to hear sing the Wikipedia for Grizzly Bear and it would actually make it worth listening to.


04 School Knights – All Dawgz Go 2 Heaven (Dracula Horse)

I have fallen in love with everything that School Knights have ever done, and I’m not ashamed of that. Although half of these songs had already been released on Rush SK EP, they sound as fresh as ever and the new jams (previously heard by my ears only live) prove that they’re one of the best bands that I’m aware of. Their balls-to-the-wall attitude live, their use of absolutely infectuous riffs, drum slammage and heavy use of reverb is flat out perfect on this album.


03 Mellowhype – BlackenedWhite (Fat Possum)

The best rap album that was released (or, um, reissued) was hands down MellowHype. I’ve always found Hodgy Beats to be the most fascinating member and best rapper in OF, his work with LeftBrain is engaging, thoughtful and most importantly catchy as balls.


02 Bass Drum of Death – GB City (Fat Possum)

This album is an undeniable ass-slaying ripper from start to finish. If it’s not tailor made to be played as loud as possible, with heads banging, I don’t know what it’s for. I do know that each jam could be a stand-alone single. It’s effortless, catchy, and punk as fuck.


01 The Babies – The Babies (Shrimper Records)

It’s hard to write a sentence about why this Babies record is my favorite, but it’s a collection of horrendously underrated treasure pop gems that jangle, fuzz and snap with fervent wildness and a little bit of Americana seen through a garage rock kaleidoscope. It’s not certainly not a faultless record but it’s gotten better with a year of listening behind me.

Honorable Mentions
The Beets – Stay Home
Black Lips – Arabia Mountain
Pangea – Living Dummy
The Strange Boys – Live Music
Diarrhea Planet – Loose Jewels
TRMRS – Sea Change
Cumstain – Why Don’t You Kill Yourself Scumbag Your Mother Wont Miss U
Monster Rally – Coral
Dirty Beaches – Badlands
Hunx & His Punx – Too Young To Be In Love



Ever since The Strange Boys released their new video/mp3 for Me and You off their new album Live Music which we will all hear on the 25th of this month courtesy of Rough Trade, I’ve been revisiting their first album, some real old stuff, and letting the second LP grow on me a bit. In this time, I got my hands on an old tour CD dubbed The Strange Boys Will Forever Be Known As The Martin Luther Kings that I’ve been wanting for many years now. I was super keen to hear some of the demo versions of songs that ended up on their beloved first LP And Girls, especially Should Have Shot Paul whose riff gets stuck in my head more easily than food gets stuck in my hair. While this version isn’t substantially different from the album version, it’s a little slower and it’s got a little bit of dust on it’s proverbial boots, but it reminds me of everything I love about this band and why I’m super excited for the new album.

mp3: The Strange Boys – Should Have Shot Paul


Just got onto this new Strange Boys jam. Known for being garage rock MLK kings, and leaders of “modern southern garage rock”, they deliver American Radio to your ears. It’s kind of a strange mish-mash of stuff, kind of smooth in the beginning and then it’s swampy and then the harmonica comes in and of course, there’s always Ryan’s signature caterwauling that you love. I don’t know if this should be indicative of future material – but it’s going to come to you via the greatness at Scion A/V Club. There’s a Natural Child mp3 on the flip side. Grab this.

Scion A/V Garage: Strange Boys / Natural Child by ScionAV


It’s pretty well documented how much I love the Babies! They are seriously the best band and I cannot wait for their LP to drop in February. Thank god for me, they’re doing a little West Coast tour with the great White Fence. Besides digging Tim Presley’s every day outfit (Darker My Love) and his side outfit (The Strange Boys), I adore White Fence’s super 60s garage melodies and I’m also way stoked for his second LP which will be released soon as well. We’ve got two LA dates and you can guarantee that I’ll be at both. Check out the poster, the dates below and some tunes. You’d be a fool not to.

The Babies + White Fence West Coast Tour

January 7: The Holland Project | 30 Cheney Street, Reno, Nevada, 89501
January 8: The Hub | 4913 47th Ave Sacramento, CA 95824
January 9: Hemlock | SF
January 13: The Women House | LA
January 14: The Smell | LA

January 15: Tin Can Ale House | 1863 5th Ave (between Elm St & Fir St) San Diego, CA 92101

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I know all of my readers know the score: I’m from California (where it was 85 degrees yseterday) but currently in Brighton (where it’s balls cold all year long). And it’s the holidays, so I’m fleeing this cold arctic winter place for the milder climate, but I thought I’d pay tribute to England via a mixtape. I hope England appreciates the 10 minutes of effort I put into this (hey, I had to open up Photoshop and put text on the picture, okay?). But first, let me say that listening to cold, gloomy, depressing, “winter-y” songs when it’s cold is a fool’s game. The best way to keep warm when it’s disgusting outside (well, the sun is currently out but it’s still frigid) is to listen to the most summery songs possible. Now, do it:

01 The Barbaras – Summertime Road
02 Best Coast – Sun Was High (So Was I) (Demo)
03 Dead Ghosts – I Want Your Love (Live Tape 12″ Version)
04 The Strange Boys – All The Kings Are The Same
05 King Tuff – So Desperate
06 The Growlers – No Trees In The Desert
07 Chuck Berry – Oh Baby Doll (1957 Single Version)
08 The Beets – I Wish I Knew How My Life Should Be
09 The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Acapella)
10 Woven Bones – Your Sorcery
11 Sweaters – You’re My Sexual Friend (Mothering)

mp3 | Nu Rave Brain Wave Mix – Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)


2010 has been a pretty fun year for music. Every year, I discover more music, better music, and sometimes it cracks me up to see how my music taste grows and differs as the years go by, but I think 2010 has been a great year for new bands and kickass albums. I’ve compiled my list of 10 albums that I really loved, 5 EPs that just got to me, and then 30 songs that I’ve called Top Songs, but they’re just 30 songs that I liked a hell of a lot and came to me as I thought about it and scanned carelessly through iTunes. It’s interesting to note that half of my favorite albums are from California bands.

Top 10 Albums of 2010

10 Ty Segall | Melted | Goner

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09 Woven Bones | In & Out & Back Again | Hozac

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08 Dead Ghosts | S/T | Florida’s Dying

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07 Heavy Hawaii | HH | Artfag Records

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06 The Strange Boys | Be Brave | In The Red

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05 Fool’s Gold | Fool’s Gold | IAMSOUND Records

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04 Avi Buffalo | Avi Buffalo | Subpop

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03 The Soft Pack | The Soft Pack | Mexican Summer

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02 Harlem | Hippies | Matador

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01 Happy Birthday | Happy Birthday | Subpop

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Top 5 EPs of 2010

05 Monster Rally | Monster Rally EP | Self Released

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04 Unouomedude | Marsh EP | Self Released

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03 Caitlin Rose | Dead Flowers EP | Names Records

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02 Sex Beet | EP | TBA

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(note: this is totally not the artwork, as this isn’t released yet, but the EP is too good to not be included on this list.)

01 The Growlers | Hot Tropics EP | Everloving

mp3 :: [download id="149" format="2"]

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Top 30 Songs of 2010:

01 The Babies | Meet Me In The City | Listen

02 Happy Birthday | Perverted Girl | Listen

03 Sex Beet | Stay

04 Friends | Make It Better

05 The Meanest Boys | Strangest Things

06 Tennis | South Carolina | Listen

07 Spectrals | Leave Me Be | Listen

08 Family Trees | Dream Talkin’ | Listen

09 Cee Lo Green | Fuck You | Listen

10 Sonny & The Sunsets | Too Young To Burn | Listen

11 Beach Fossils| Sometimes | Listen

12 Woven Bones | Wanna Tell Ya | Listen

13 Ty Segall | Bullet Proof Nothing

14 Surfer Blood | Take It Easy | Listen

15 School Knights | Lunch Money

16 Happy Birthday | Subliminal Message | Listen

17 The Growlers | Sea Lion Goth Blues | Listen

18 Unouomedude | Buildings | Listen

19 The Strange Boys | Laugh At Sex (Not At Her) | Listen

20 Mind Spiders | World’s Destroyed

21 Fair Ohs | Hey Lizzy | Listen

22 Fergus & Geronimo | Girls With English Accents

23 French Kissing | You Just Don’t Know What Love Is For

24 Sweaters | Fruit On The Vine

25 Demon’s Claws | Fucked on K | Listen

26 Swampmeat | Brand New Cadillac

27 Gaoler’s Daughter | Meet You On The Other Side of the World

28 Shimmering Stars | I’m Gonna Try | Listen

29 My Pet Saddle | Il Fait Beau | Listen

30 Cults | Go Outside | Listen


I was basically the worst person at SXSW this year, and instead of doing what I was supposed to do, just had a good time. I mean, it was totally worth it, but I super slacked off. And last night I was organizing some stuff, and I found these old videos. This year, we had our videographer Mia Hanks with us, and she shot most of the video you’re about to see. What I love about these videos is that, just like NRBW, it is actually so horrendous that it’s endearing. It’s so fucking bad and wonderful, that you have to adore it. That’s pretty much how I’m sure people think of me, this blog and pretty much everything I’m involved with. And I’m okay with this. Check out our footage of The Strange Boys, Beans on Toast (doing an epic rap, might I add) and the awesome Johnny Flynn.

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It’s finally that time, y’all and we’ll start rolling out all our end of year coverage and this year we’re starting with my top 10 gigs of the year. I saw a lot of great music this year, and practically no shitty music, which I think is a decided improvement upon 2009′s showing. 2010 brought me to shows in four states, two countries, seven cities and while my list features predominantly California bands, not one of my favorite shows of this year happened in Los Angeles. Here’s to the greatness of 2010 and the probability that 2011 will put it all to shame:


10 The Entrance Band @ Red 7, Austin, TX | March 18, 2010

Crazy acid rain haze Friday of SXSW ended with a smoky, incendiary set that did half justice to anything Jimi Hendrix started and that’s probably the best compliment I could give. Real psychy.

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09 The Jim Jones Revue @ Komedia Downstairs, Brighton, UK | October 6, 2010

A too-small-for-them, but, perfect-for-the-gig room echoing with real, dirty, sweaty, down home blues rock with spastic keys and the most magnetic front-man I’ve seen in, well, maybe ever. Older dudes showing us young kids how to fucking do it.

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08 Pavement @ The Fox Theatre, Pomona, CA | April 15, 2010

Pavement. Two hours. Three encores. Everything I wanted to hear except ‘Harness Your Hopes’. Does anything more need to be said?

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07 The Soft Pack @ The Freebutt, Brighton, UK | February 14, 2010

Some of LA’s best garage rippers came to Brighton to brighten (pun intended) the most horrible day of the year and cemented in my mind the fact that they get tighter and catchier every time I see them.

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06 Happy Birthday, Residual Echoes @ Tin Can Ale House, San Diego, CA | August 10, 2010

Tiny bar on a beautiful San Diego night, 30 people jumping madly for some of the best pop songs of the entire year. Best Happy Birthday show of the year. Subliminal Message!

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05 The Strange Boys @ Emo’s Jr., Austin, TX | March 17, 2010

Was a little nervous about hearing material from the 2nd album, which is definitely a grower — The Strange Boys wowed me as usual, converting me to a fan of Be Brave, and played the best material off their perfect first album. Also, this was one of the greatest dance parties I’ve ever had in my life to ‘Woe Is You And Me’.

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04 Happy Birthday, Fergus & Geronimo, Sex Beet, Thee Oh Sees @ Santos Party House, New York, NYC | September 20, 2010

Gig that wins the award for furthest traveled to see. Fergus & Geronimo were a bit meh, but still have at least two excellent songs; Happy Birthday ripped through some of the most underrated, gold pop songs. Sex Beet converted the sizable crowd of their first ever US show with their noisy and fuzzy as fuck jams that refuse to leave my head. And Thee Oh Sees. Hardest working, if not best live, garage band on the planet ruled the night playing fast and furious through tons of their best.

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03 The Black Lips @ Village Underground, London, UK | October 29, 2010

Typical crazy Black Lips show featuring a rowdy moshpit, tons of shoving and about a million stage invasions causing the PA to be turned off atleast once. London’s hipsters couldn’t even manage to be a blight upon the Black Lips though, as their countrified new material was the star of the show.

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02 tUnE-yArDs @ The Freebutt, Brighton, UK | February 9, 2010

There’s not many gigs where I know nothing of the artist, and end up walking up the wrong stairwell, grinning because of the fantastic showing. tUnE-yArDs wowed Brighton with her simulatenously tender and incredibly powerful voice, altogether homegrown brilliance, and intense and utter modesty. It was moving stuff.

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01 The Growlers @ Kung Fu Saloon | March 19, 2010

Even on the coldest day of South By, the Growlers set the brick patio of Kung Fu Saloon on fire after a spectacular 5 other showings at SXSW. ‘Sea Lion Goth Blues’, ‘Underneath Our Palms Blues’, ‘Mean People Suck’, fistpumping party, ski ball and cheap ass rum and cokes made this the only 12/10 showing of the entire year, cementing the Growlers are my absolute favorite band in the world.

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I decided to put together a little playlist to celebrate Thanksgiving. For the 20 years that I lived in America, it was my least favorite holiday: you have to hang out with your family, be dull, overeat and watch football. Basically my definition of ‘I’m not coming’, but since moving abroad — and more specifically, my last Thanksgiving was spent watching a puppet show (albiet it was cool as fuck), drinking too much, and actually not eating a single meal all day, and now I’m really into the idea of Thanksgiving. Personally, I’m throwing a Baby’s First Thanksgiving party for all of my unfortunately British friends to be thankful for like, each other, and that I get to go back and remember what it’s like to be warm really soon. So I thought I’d make a mix of bands that I’m thankful ever even bothered to make music. I had to consciously not put only Bob Dylan. You’ll thank me later.

01 The Sonics – Money
02 Monks – Higgle-Dy Piggle-Dy
03 The Velvet Underground – After Hours
04 The Growlers – Average Man
05 The Strange Boys – Drugs Iggy Drugs
06 tUnE-yArDs – Fiya
07 The Carpenters – Goodbye To Love
08 Robert Johnson – Dead Shrimp Blues
09 Bob Dylan – Spanish Harlem Incident
10 Django Reinhardt – St. Louis Blues
11 Fionn Regan – Put A Penny In The Slot

mp3 | Nu Rave Brain Wave Does Thanksgiving Mixtape


You guys, I’m crying of joy. As we all know, I’m trapped in probably the worst place ever where it’s freezing as fuck and it’s only going to get worse (I heard maybe SNOW on Saturday so consider this my suicide note) so the second wave of bands announced for SXSW 2011 is making me so goddamned excited for March. I can’t wait to don shorts and tank tops and skip through the streets of Austin seeing the following AMAZING bands which practically made me tear up out of joy, and the knowledge that I’ll be getting a 7 week spring break. Booyah.

The Bellrays (Los Angeles CA)
Demon’s Claws (Montreal CANADA)
Fergus & Geronimo (Brooklyn NY)
Grass Widow (San Francisco CA)
The Happy Hollows (Los Angeles CA)
J Mascis (Amherst MA)
JEFF The Brotherhood (Nashville TN)
La Sera (Los Angeles CA)
Quintron and Miss Pussycat (New Orleans LA)
The Strange Boys (Austin TX)
Thee Oh Sees (San Francisco CA)
Turbo Fruits (Nashville TN)
Ty Segall (San Francisco CA)
The Vaccines (London UK-ENGLAND)
Voxhaul Broadcast (Los Angeles CA)

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