Courtney Ranshaw, the man behind Black Adidas, is a rocket scientist during the day, and and fronts up a killer punk rock band in his down time. This is his second foray into album territory. Released on punk indie Dirt Cult Records, lying somewhere between Rancid and Social Distortion Black Adidas is steeped in vintage punk rock from as far back as the Clash.

Produced by Dave Newton at Rollercoaster Recording in Ranshaw’s hometown of Burbank, Black Adidas, unlike the debut, this one features a full real live band consisting of Daniel Alexander on keyboards and Carl Raether on bass, with Kari G. Child playing the drums on three tracks and Rob Wolk handling the rest.

To be fair it has the feel of a rockin’ combo all locked in and kicking ass. from the loud and triumphant opener ‘Be Cool’ with its snotty gang vocals it’s a swaggering and staggering call to arms from the swirling keys to the Who-like power chords.

“In My Head,” is a love letter to his wife, whom he met in the same Burbank bar, where he met his producer Newton, If you’re looking for other inspirations and influences the theres always the Replacements inspired ‘Miscellaneous’ with its countrified acoustic and organ. or the rough riffage that is ‘Home’ with its soothing organ stiching together a great track. ‘Cool Riffs’ has a touch of Dinosaur Jrs J Mascis in the vocals over those big acoustic strumming just to chill out and relax for a while.

‘My Favourite Song’ no not literally (Although it might be) has the swagger of the Pogues at their most rowdy if they were covering a Rancid song. Or whatabout the cover of the Ramones’ “Howling at the Moon (Sha La La)’, so it might not reach the dizzy quality of the original but its not a whole distance behind it’. As we reach the final knockings of this album we have the uplifting ‘These Precious Sins’ before the epic closing ‘Strawberry Kisses’, a pandemic-inspired song that tips the hat to knowing you’ve just written one mighty fine tune.

I am so glad I stumbled across the path of Black Adidas and look forward to playing this record more and more and continuing the journey with such a talented songwriter. Go get it now!

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Author: Dom Daley

Buy the single Here
“Trajinero” music video was animated by Miguel Jara and Celestial Brizuela at Estudio Pneuma, Mexico City, 2021.
JENNY “Trajinero b/w Kids of Today” is the sophomore EP by Justin Maurer (CLOROX GIRLS, MANIAC, SUSPECT PARTS, L.A. DRUGZ) featuring a little help from his friends Jacobo Fernandez (LAS BRUSCAS, LES TRAGIQUES, DESOBEDIENTES) and Gabriel Lopez (ESPECTROPLASMA, SONIDO GALLO NEGRO) as well as his former bandmates in LA DRUGZ who play on the B-Side “Kids of Today”. “Trajinero” is JENNY’s debut Spanish language single with the B-side “Kids of Today” sung in English. “Trajinero” was conceived during Maurer’s visit to Mexico City in November 2020. Maurer, Fernandez, and his girlfriend Corey were enjoying a Sunday afternoon boat ride in the swamps of Xochimilco, Mexico City, and Maurer was fascinated by the rough and tumble trajineros who expertly manned their hand-painted gondolas in the canals.
Over a bottle of ice-cold Don Julio Blanco, Maurer and Fernandez envisioned a plot where a lovelorn working-class trajinero must commit crimes to keep his upper-middle class fresa girlfriend happy. Loosely based on the plot of Emilio “El Indio” Fernández 1943 film Maria Candelaria, our protagonist commits a crime of passion and ends up in jail. He makes a plea to himself for his own happiness and survival, a passionate cry of “Ni Carcel/Ni Ella/Ni Nerds” which translates to “Not jail, not her, not nerds.” (The Mexican Spanish equivalent of nerds, ñoños, is sung on the final word of the song.) Maurer has been a student of the Spanish language for a couple of decades with stints living and working in both Spain and Mexico. Native Spanish speaker and homegrown chilango, Fernandez, helped him with the lyrics – scrawled quickly during an acoustic rehearsal on the rooftop of his Mexico City apartment a few days before entering T-Vox Studios to record. Covid-19 was in full swing in Mexico City in November 2020 when “Trajinero” was laid down and Maurer, Fernandez, and engineer Gabriel Lopez all double masked in the studio which is attached to the Lopez family home in Aragon; near the airport where Maurer had his flight home a few hours later. He nearly missed his flight, but a stone-cold hit was recorded. Lopez’s uncle Miguel Angel was dancing around the studio throughout the session which the boys took to be a good sign. Along with engineering and mixing the single, Lopez also played lead guitar and Vox Organ. “Kids Of Today” is a catchy banger recorded by Grammy award-winning engineer Mark Rains at Stationhouse Studios Los Angeles. The up-tempo B-side features former LA DRUGZ bandmates Cezar Mora (THE BAD MACHINE, THE WAYWARD CHAPEL), James Carman (REFLECTORS, MANIAC, IMAGES), and Johnny “JD” Reyes (REFLECTORS) handily backing Maurer up. Both sides were mastered by Daniel “Hadji” Husayn (RED DONS) at North London Bomb Factory. The limited first pressing of 300 is the complete package with beautiful cover layout and design by Snake Davis.
JENNY “Trajinero b/w Kids Of Today” 300 first-pressing copies available now for pre-order. 100 on clear vinyl, 200 on black.  
Pre-Order “Trajinero b/w Kids Of Today” in North America from Dirt Cult Records: Here
Pre-Order “Trajinero b/w Kids Of Today” in Europe from Wanda Records: Here
Follow JENNY: Bandcamp:Here

Somewhere between The Hold Steady and The Replacements or Soul Asylum and Husker Du with just enough rough assed Buffalo Tom slung in for good measure.  Vancouver’s Needles/Pins dish up a tasty din. With some sumptuous melodies wrapped in barbed wire overdrive and last orders vocals, this album just keeps giving, play after play.  Subtle yet thoroughly addictive.  Released via Dirt Cult Records . Ahead of the release Needles//Pins revealed the lead single ‘A Rather Strained Apologetic‘ and already I was sold but it was merely a glimpse into what was to come.  Sometimes you just want a record to not be clever or sing songs about everybody’s pandemic or chuck in a token ballad Needles//Pins are that band from top to bottom they just wanna cut some rug and just turn the amps up and rock out.


This isn’t Needles//Pins’ first time out mind it’s their fourth album. From the surging rush of opener ‘Woe Is Us’ this record just oozes class.  ‘Of Things Best Left To Chance’ is like a Nirvana melody on top of a steady beat whilst the guitars go all Bob Stinson and Westerberg at their best.  It’s a really unapologetic album that’s just kicking back and dishing out top tunes aplenty and if you’re in then cool, jump on board. If it’s not polished enough then just move on.  ‘Winnipeg ‘03’ has a cool organ honking away in the background just enough to layer a rather splendid melody on the vocals that screams warm beer on a hot afternoon.


‘Gleamer’ is a smouldering monster that builds over its short existence and those backing vocals are caveman-like and primal as the song just fades away into the distance. Splendid stuff.  the songs are all pretty much under three minutes and a lot of them are sub-two minutes which is just long enough ‘I Was Just Underjoted If That’s A Word’ is a great example as the song build to a cacophony of primal screams on top of swirling organs and a steady pounding beat that falls away to make room for the uptempo ‘Baleful’ and ‘Grow’ before signing off with the anthemic closer ‘The Tyranny Of Comforts’, then were done.  dust yourself down take a throat sweet catch forty winks then go back in for another swing but this time turn it up some more.

The raw vocal delivery is the perfect ying for the power-pop yang and it’s all tied together beautifully by the rough you up guitar tones.  This is something of an onion album (no it doesn’t make you weep) its got layers and layers going on and the next is more interesting as the last.  Top tunes thats a given, Top Bloody Tunes!




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Author: Dom Daley

When the opening tune ‘Who Took The Rain’ explodes out of the speakers it’s like alt post-punk was back in the room.  Combining punk rock early 80s style and pop tunes it’s a real flashback to Thatchers UK but with better production.

Mixing that reverb-drenched Dead Kennedys guitar squeal the Brats go for the jugular on the rapid ‘Signs And Semantics’ delivers the lyrics with a punch and a smeared lipstick kiss and encapsulates everything that’s good about this record. It won’t be to everyone’s liking but if you do crave some punk rock with a twist then this is going to wrap a smile around your noggin’ ‘Miss America Pageant’ is quality and begins a roller coaster ride of crash bang wallop over the next few tunes.

These California punks dive head-first into songs about the environmental crisis, systemic oppression, interpersonal/intrapersonal conflict, and the trappings of modern existence and everything in between. They can be punk as fuck and they can wrap it up in some awesome pop melodies and vocal lines whilst pogoing with the best of em.  The record was recorded early 2020 (which seems like a lifetime ago now) but with no means to tour the songs or get out and about it’s been held back until now.


By the time we reach ‘We’ll Find You’ the band are using it to hunt down their base when all this is in the rearview mirror and as the band hurtle on so does the pace of the songs as they shift through the gears to reach punk rock warp speed. It hits the meltdown into hardcore by the time they spit out the fantastic ‘Harvey Weinstein (is a symptom)’ which bleeds into the highlight of this here album ‘All Nazis Must Die’ (well, title wise anyway) its a cool surf/punk number but if they’d penned lyrics to go with this it would have been freakin awesome.  Oh well, a sentiment we endorse here at HQ anyway. 


As the album reaches its final knockings they pump out the brutal ‘LeBron James’ and the virtual slamdancing begins.  To shut this party down we are treated to the L7 meets Betty Blowtorch styled ‘I Want You’ and the Brats bow out of this top-notch punk rock party on my stereo – but I’ve not had enough yet I want more so I’ll just have to go back to the start and do this all again just like I’m sure you will when you go out and get a copy of ‘Confines Of Life’ with all its magnificent splendor.  Top Notch!

Buy ‘Confines Of Life’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

Oakland California has delivered more than its fair share of bands to the pantheons of Punk Rock and I’d like to shine a light once again into that corner of the globe and give a big shout out to The Neighbourhood Brats and their Claw Marks.

Neighborhood Brats were formed in December 2010 by vocalist Jenny Angelillo, guitarist George Rager, drummer Kirk Podell and bassist Jasmine Watson. Originally based in San Francisco, Rager and Angelillo (the band’s principal songwriters) relocated frequently around and between northern and southern California during the band’s formative years releasing an EP back in 2013 followed by an LP a year later.

I reviewed a single back about twelve months ago and was really impressed so it was always a no brainer that I would get my mitts on a long player if it was to show up and then hey presto ‘Claw Marks’ is dropped. I might be slightly behind the curve but hey that’s punk rock for you and it takes a while to make it over to certain corners of this cursed island.

With Jenny and George being the two mainstays in the band and other musicians being utilised as and when claw Marks has a great flow to it.  From the fast-paced melodic opener, ‘Dear Angelo’ Jenny’s vocals sound like she’s pacing herself for a marathon and not a sprint even if the rapid rhythm is more Bolt than a gentle stroll and that pace is carried through the first three songs with ‘Late Stage Capitalism’ being the pick of the opening salvo. some great guitar soloing to boot before the breakdown.

‘Night Shift’ is up next and it still sounds great and you have to love the furious piano tonking which also adds variety. Damn ‘Misery Parade’ is a blast and the playing is tight as fuck through the chord changes. The songs are relentless in their pursuit of each other as one hurtles out of the traps and bursts into flames the next one is along in the blink of an eye. With only a few time changes here and there it’s pretty one-paced (fast) I know its not that much of a stretch but imagine nomeansno playing the DK’s on ‘Nina’s ghost’ then we have a bit of a swerve with the pop melody of ‘Down 3rd’ before normal service is resumed for the closer ‘Touching The Void’ in fairness it mixes it up by not hurtling along in a wall of noise.  It’s certainly an interesting album and has a style and is undeniably West coast in its DNA the songs are tight and the pair have worked hard to perfect them and its paid off.  If you want fast tight punk with a bit of edge and great lyrics then ‘Claw Marks’ is what you should be reaching for.  Before they record their third at least!


Buy Claw Marks Here


Author: Dom Daley