E.S.P. EP cover art

This wild psychobilly trio from Chicago’s Southside has been making noise since May 2006 and have released a great sounding and fun set of five songs. The album has that rockabilly sound, but it has a nice dose of punk rock mixed in, giving it a hard edge.

Lots of energy from the band, making enough of a racket that you would think that there were more than just three guys creating the music and add in the wailing vocals to the mix, now it’s a party! The songs go by fairly fast and with a great sense of fun and excitement that is infectious and will get you in a party mood.

It was great to hear more punk rock in the songs instead of just a hint and it really helped add to the intensity of the songs. These guys really can throw down and you can bet that this would sound great live.


Rip It Up In A Modern Way cover art

Coming from Chicago, MODERN DAY RIPPERS were formed in the fall of 2008 and have released their debut album of fourteen punk rock ditties that will get a smile on your face, and have you jumping around.

If you miss the old days when punk wasn’t the PC baby zone that it’s turned into, you like FEAR and dirty sounding production, then kids…I have the band for you! Fourteen songs of goofy and fun punk rock that made me happy to hear and a slew of hooks played in that old school punk rock style that I miss from my high school days. Great gruff vocals, guitar licks and with titles like “I Believe in Pills”, “Abortion (I’m An)”, “I Want Your Hole”, “Liquor Store Blues” and “Whip Its”, you kind of get the place that they’re coming from and what a great place it is.

This is the kind of album that I can throw on and it’s a great listen from start to finish with zero tracks to skip. Lots of melody and hooks throughout, and so much fun that you’ll play these short songs over and over again.

THE NIGHT BRIGADE: Save My Soul: 10″


Save My Soul cover art

THE NIGHT BRIGADE formed in late 2008 in Normal, IL on the campus of Illinois State University, their debut E.P. was released in the summer of 2009 and now they have this 10″ single out on Sexy Baby Records on red and black split color vinyl.

First song “Airing of Grievances” is a great jumping in point, hard-hitting punk rock with great vocals about not taking shit from people and plenty whoa-ohs, the band playing on high-speed, bass line banging…awesome! “We’ve Gone Too Far” has the whoa-ohs, the great bass taking a prominent place, trombone, vocals that have a touch of Joe Strummer in them, it’s kind of when he was with THE MESCALEROS with the mixture of punk, a touch of ska and a bit of country thrown into a blender. “Save My Soul” talks about how music has been the saving grace and kept them going all these years from youth to adulthood and its played with conviction and is very heartfelt and powerful knowing that music means that much to them. “I Rode Mine (Sturgis , South Dakota)” is a great punchy punk rock song with a great guitar solo thrown in and the band hits the road running on a full tank. “I’m Coming Home” is another great rocking song about getting together with friends and feeling the love and comfort of being with them. Finally we come to the last song “Conversations with Sam Schild”, the longest song on the single at just over four and a half minutes long is a great song about missing your friend and reminiscing about the times you had with them, and the band plays more straight forward punk rock with anthemic main vocals, background vocals adding to the mix, the guitars ringing clear and full of melody, the bass rolling, the drums giving a big sound to the song, and the vocals actually have a feeling of longing and sadness to them, this had to be the song that made this single go that much more into great.

This was one of those singles where you put it on and went wow, this is cool, and it just got better. The lyrics are fantastic, other bands might go off into emo or boring clichés, but THE NIGHT BRIGADE put a lot of effort into making a record that goes beyond the average band and made this into a tour de force for them.

RUST BELT DEMONS: Never Mind The Singles…Here’s The Flexi Babies: 7″ Flexi Disc

Never Mind the Singles... Here's the Flexi Babies, Vol. 1 cover art

Milwaukee’s working class punk rock and rollers the RUST BELT DEMONS have put out a cool flexi disc for Sexy Baby Records that has two songs on it, but if you buy the download or the flexi that has a download card included, you get an exclusive bonus song. The songs on the flexi were all recorded live at WMSE 91.7 FM in Milwaukee, WI.

RUST BELT DEMONS have a great mixture of older punk rock and streetpunk mixed together and they have the sound and feel of those old records that you used to listen to from your older siblings when they would let you into their room when you were a kid. That’s not to say that they’re not modern, not at all, but they don’t pander to what is cool and trendy, they stick to what they love and they do it with gust. A very punchy sound on this flexi, especially for being a live recording which has so much energy coming at you. The flexi kicks off with “Burn Suburbia”, a very angry and energetic tirade against the mediocrity of that life with great raw vocals, powerful drumming, thundering bass, and guitar playing that gets your blood pumping. “City Of Lies” has a nice bouncing bass line, strong guitar playing, hard-hitting drums, and the angry vocals singing about how things are shit, and the bonus song “True ‘Til Death” has that bouncy bass line, guitars with feedback and at times chiming, tight drumming, and vocals that are a little more subdued, but still powerful.

This was a great flexi that gave me a taste of what RUST BELT DEMONS sound like live and I loved what I heard. It’s always great when a band that sounds good on a studio recording can play live and not sound like shit, but bring the energy from their records to life and add to it…these guys did that in spades.



This is the return of THE VINDICTIVES after more than ten years away from making music together on Sexy Baby Records. The EP was recorded, mixed and produced by founding members Joey Vindictive and Johnny Personality.

The EP starts with the poppy “Touch It” which has a country twang to the guitar and is very quick paced, “Nightmare, Man” is a power pop song with a bit of 1950s rock influence on the background vocals and has a little feel of “Stacy’s Mom” by FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE going on, “Joining The Circus” is reminiscent of THE DICKIES with the fun, goofy lyrics and nasal vocals, and “Shrinkerhead” continues the feel of THE DICKIES. Bonus track “Shrinkerhead” appears on the digital download card only, not on the vinyl record itself. THE VINDICTIVES have got all of the fun back on this release, just like they never went away in the first place. It’s always a treat when a band you really like comes back and still puts out material of quality, and doesn’t follow any trends, but sticks to what made them great in the past and in the present, fun! They truly sound like they had a blast making this EP and it shows in the tight playing, and the enjoyment in the vocals to be back out there again.

THE VINDICTIVES sound has always been one of pop punk, but not cheesy or limp, and they hit the nail on the head with the playing on this one. Great work fellas, glad to have you back, stick around for a while, pop punk needs you!

STAT DAD: Mominatrix: 7″

Stat Dad - Mominatrix - Cover

Wyoming’s Stat Dad has released their debut EP, “Mominatrix” through Sexy Baby Records. Stat Dad is a side-project for Miguel Chen on bass/vocals from TEENAGE Bottlerocket and THAT GUY!, JD on guitar/vocals from REDBUSH, along with Ferg on drums from THAT GUY! and Clint Carlin on guitar.

Seven awesome punk rock songs that are raw and full of energy that will get your ass up off of your seat and get you jumping around like a maniac. Feedback starts off the EP, then some hi-hat then they kick off into “The Church Of Shit” which is a great catchy punk rager, then you get “Sunday Night” which takes things on to an even higher punk rock plateau with the ripping guitar licks and gang vocals and the band just keeps up the frenetic pace throughout the EP. The guitar on here is buzz-sawing away, the drums and relentless, the bass hits you in the forehead with its power and between some gang vocals, dual vocals and the slightly rough lead vocals, you have one powerhouse of a band. The production is crisp, clear, but not overdone, it’s not smoothed out, but has a professional feel to it.

For a side project, this is one hell of a great band. They could keep doing this and probably have as much success with it as with their other bands. A great EP and one that I’ve already played the hell out of, and will continue to in the future.

TUTU & THE PIRATES / HOTLIPS MESSIAH: Get Weird Split-release: 7″


I had never heard of either of these bands when I received this single, now I’m a fan of both of these bands and want more from them! TUTU & THE PIRATES are considered to be Chicago’s first punk band who never released anything back in the old days and HOTLIPS MESSIAH also from Chicago who play like they are from the old days are a perfect match on this single.

Both bands have a fun punk sound that has the sound and feel of THE DICKIES, but they have just enough of a taste of them to remind you of that style instead of being a copy of it. The first two songs from TUTU & THE PIRATES have some grit and a touch of David Johanson in the vocals, especially on “American Taliban” and “Debbie Debbie Debbie (and her) Prison Baby” had that DICKIES feel to it, but damn, I loved that song so much! The buzzing guitar, the manic drumming, the pumping bass and the bouncy vocals made this one of my new favorite songs. HOTLIPS MESSIAH’s had a feel of a more punky DEVO on their two tracks which were super catchy and they had a hint of THE EPOXIES as well. Their songs reminded me more of music from the late 1970s and early 1980s with their songs “Radiation Makes Things Special”, and “Time To Drop The Bomb” which were reminiscent of topics from those times. They had keyboards added a nice feel to the songs, drumming that was punchy, bouncy bass, gritty guitar work and catchy vocals that really meshed well with the background vocals and had a lot of melody.

This was one of the best singles that I have heard in a long time and since I now have two favorite bands because of it, I would say that this was more than a success. This has the best of the old punk rock sound mixed with some newer touches and I cannot stop listening to it.