The PSYATICS: Famous Monsters

The Psyatics are a three-piece garage, surf and noise band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Formed in 2012, the current lineup consists of Rob Bell (bass guitar and vocals), Jack Ball (guitar) and Mark Baertschi (drums). The band plays a mix of Rock, Punk, Garage, Noise, and Surf Rock with feeling.

With a glance at the cover, and the titles of the songs, you can see that they have a fascination for the more overt strangeness that other bands skip over: monsters, serial killers and B-movies, and for that alone, I salute them. The band mixes up all the different styles and comes up with a sound that takes your head and wraps it in craziness and power that should hurt, but feels like the hot breath of the werewolf breathing on your neck, scary and raises the hair on your body with excitement. The songs are catchy, and play with an intensity that is infectious and will get you dancing, or at least jumping around, either way, you will not be able to stand still while listening to this album. “You Killed Me First” has a great mix of funk and Two-tone ska that I really dug. “Burnt Offerings” has a great surf sound with manic vocals that really stuck with me. The songs are played with rawness and without a tongue in cheek sense of humor that makes them sound more convincing. The band isn’t a joke band, they really do like these twisted and strange things and give them the respect and love that makes for repeated listens. The band has a rawness to them that makes the album sound dangerous and creepy, but still has the ability to make you an instant fan.

Their third album is a definite anomaly in the music world nowadays, not easy to pigeon-hole and filled with more giddy strangeness than you would think most people would want to perform, but these guys love it and it shows with every lick played. The band has hit one out of the park with this album and it isn’t a baseball, it’s a severed head.

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Cold Pizza & Warm Beer (SDR 017) cover art

This San Jose, CA band, really just two guys, plays a great mix of surf and punk rock that is sure to put a smile on your face. This is their fifth album and it sounds like they are coming at you with guns blazing and tunes rocking your ass off.

All songs are written by Manak except for “Don’t Talk To Me” by GG And The Jabbers, and “New Race” by Radio Birdman. Manak also plays guitar, bass, piano and does vocals, while Thor DSR bangs those drums with vigor. The songs are catchy and immediate earworms that you never want to leave. The playing is impressive, with everything given room to be heard and the vocals have the right amount of snottiness to them that adds to the grit on the album. “Live In A Cube” has a fantastic early punk sound, kind of a mix of The Dead Boys and Iggy that I Can’t get enough of. That’s not saying that these guys don’t have any other good songs…that would be a lie since I liked every song on here and hit replay as soon as the album was over to hear it all again.

You can hear the fun that they had making this record and it will infuse you with the same excitement and cause random bursts of dancing, and singalongs, but that’s ok, there’s a cure for that…….play the album again! This is the kind of stuff that I look for and never find, but somehow, I got lucky and this found me.

DEL-TOROS: Surfvival Of The Rockest: CD

Del-toros are a three piece surf/punk/stoner band from the town of Alkmaar (West Holland). These guys have been slowly, but steadily releasing great music and playing around Western Europe and Scandinavia since they formed a few years ago.

Really nice guitar solo right at the beginning. Nice tempo, smooth, high energy, and fast paced. Lyrics are nice and clear to understand. The guitar plays a big role in this album, it’s the back bone that gives the music its rough around the edges feel, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s heavy, fearless, not so much in your face but you can’t help but to notice it and pay attention.  The vocals are really good and nicely done. Have the real sense of true and real hard rock. Easy to dance to, the energy doesn’t slow down; it’s consistent throughout the album. Its multidimensional, nothing is flat on this album, and nothing boring.

Over all its fun, a really nice mix of good music, fun lyrics, high energy, nice tempo, and good vocals makes for a well balanced album and a really good time.

Review by: AMY EAST

THE HAMBURGLARS: Self-titled: 10″

The Hamburglars - 10"

You have a masked band that’s dressed in full Hamburglar costumes, they play garage punk mixed with some surf music, and almost every lyric is “robble robble robble robble robble robble  robble robble robble,” and it makes me smile, shake my head and laugh.

Six tasty treats on this release that will make Mayor McCheese happy, and when you crank this up and start to dance, you will knock over everyone’s Shamrock shakes, but don’t you dare screw with the hamburgers!

A great bunch of songs that just are funny as hell, and played with energy and reckless abandon. Definitely a treat, just like the one you get in your Happy Meal, but better.



San Francisco based power trio ROCKETSHIP ROCKETSHIP play a fantastic mix of punk, rockabilly, and surf that gets the old feet tapping right away.

These five songs are a nice mix of styles and really show off the energy and talent that this trio has, lots of fun and a mix of instrumentals and edgy, but sweet female vocals carry this recording far. Every song has its own feel and vibe that makes you hit the repeat button again and again.

Check these guys out, they really have the chops and a lot of raw talent that deserves to be heard by the masses. Totally fun and it made me smile…can’t get better than that!

Man Or Astro-man: Defcon 5…4…3…2…1: CD

Man or Astro-man? is a surf rock group that formed in Auburn, Alabama, in 1992 and after twelve years have released a new album. The twelve song album reunites core members Birdstuff (drummer Brian Teasley), Coco (bassist Robert DelBuerno) and Star Crunch  (guitarist/vocalist Brian Causey) after reuniting for a tour in 2010.  The new album was recorded with longtime Astro copilot, Steve Albini in Chicago, IL and also with Daniel Farris of Denial Labs in Birmingham, AL.

Album opener “Defcon 5” is a pretty heavy track with the surf sound getting beefed up and still sounding great. “Antimatter Man” is a vocal track with a definite punk rock edge that I just loved as soon as the song started. “All Systems to Go” is more in the surf rock style and locks into a tight groove that gets you moving. “Disintegrate” is another vocal track that gets your feet tapping and has a hook that will get stuck in your head. “Defcon 4” is a keyboard track that would have fit in on a techno album, but I still liked it a lot. “Codebreaker Seventy Eight” would sound fantastic in a surfer video, watching them catch  some giant waves would be a great combination with this song. “Communication Breakdown Pt. II” has some deft guitar playing and vocals with some echo and a cool spacey sound that added to the song. “Defcon 3” is a great classic surf guitar song that I turned up loud and then listened to it again…so good! “Electric Arc” is a great new wave song that brought me back to my youth in the ’80s and was my favorite song on the album. “Defcon 2” sounded like a combination of a techno song and something that you would hear in a soundtrack to a movie. “New Cocoon” is another vocal song that was a slow burner, lots of tension and a sense of closeness. “Defcon 1” was a nice mash-up of every style on the album and was a great ending to a varied, but great album.

After all this time was it worth the wait? Yes it was. An album filled with songs that you would expect and songs that will surprise you, to me, that’s the mark of a band that wants to challenge themselves and give their fans more than a rehash of what came before. With all the styles on here, something will grab you, something might not, but give this album a chance to surprise you, especially with all the vocal tracks that they did this time.