18 Recent Life Changing Albums


Over the course of the last 2 months I’ve been jotting down the names of bands and releases that have grabbed my attention and gone totally unnoticed by the general public. Below are eighteen* releases accompanied by micro reviews (in no particular order) that will change the lazy complaint of ” there isn’t any good music anymore” to “holy shit this band just changed my life!”


The Coathangers

Suck My Shirt

Straight up good ol’ rock n’ roll. The guitars and bass alone on “Suck My Shirt” make this entry from Atlanta’s The Coathangers one of the best rock records of 2014. Everthing else is just icing on the cake.


Carsick Cars / Flavour Crystals

Split 7”

The Carsick Cars song “Yoko” is fucking fantastic. Don’t take my word for it click on the stream below. I wish more bands would take a cue on paying attention to writing honest, good rock like these. So far “Yoko” is my pick for ‘Single of the Year’. On the flip side, Flavour Crystals’ track “Mirror in my mind” does not disappoint with their haunting guitars and vocals.

creeping ivies

The Creeping Ivies

Ghost World

Dundee, Scotland’s  minimalist act The Creeping Ivies  achieve new heights writing music that not only captures your ears but will find you singing along. Take a listen to the track Love Kills.



Cheap Trick

Refused + At the Drive-In x gnarly as fuck guitars= Magic!

Nuff said.



Phantom Pop Star

Beijing noise pop heroes Hedgehog return with Phantom Pop Star. Not surprisingly, this record does somersaults past their previous records.




When I first heard Portland’s PASS they reminded me of the glory days of the Pixies. Then I realized that this is just PASS’s demo. Holy fuck they’re amazing.



Dude, Relax

You know how when any song off Weezer’s blue album comes on the radio you find yourself screaming along in your car while passerby’s drive by  looking at you all bewildered like?  Chimpanzebras’s Dude, Relax is kind of like that.

Hark! How the Bells


A young Kathleen Hanna would tear this four song EP up, son.


Los Viernes


Argentina’s Los Viernes’ Yaz Huenchuman’s vocals melt so beautifully with the bands lo-fi synth sound that it’s almost like a sexual experience for your auditory nerves. So yes, after listening to Los Viernes, I need a cigarette. Everytime.


La Luz Mandarina


Beautiful Spanish music from Bolivia. Get ready for something totally unexpected.

Bouche Merde resized

Bouche Merde

Y’a plus d’place pour l’amour

This is certainly the strangest entry on this list. Lo-fi sound with a mixed bag of tricks up its sleeve.


The Irradiates

Revenge of the Plants

If the Phenomenauts had sex with Man or Astroman! while Dick Dale quietly sat back and watched in some shady hourly motel; the spawn of that copulation would result in the Irradiates –  the French masters of surf rock.

The Slashdogs

The Slashdogs

Even Preachers Wear Black

Johannesburg, South Africa’s The Slashdogs are taking good ol’ rock n’ roll back from the fakes, wimps and blasphemous scum. Straight up you’ll wanna beat someone with a pool cue after listening to these dudes.


Turbo Fruits

Pick Up The Scraps

Garage rock has its new saviors. Listen to this and thank me later.

The Icypoles

The Icypoles

My World Was Made For You

Melbourne, Australia’s The Icypoles’ vocals are some the best ever captured on tape. Yes, I said EVER. Wonderful, gorgeous songs about absurd and whimsical things.


The Turkletons

Fur Frontal

It’s good to know that super awesome pop punk is still a thing. No I’m not talking about that nü pop-punk screamo bullshit . I’mtalking about pop punk in the vein of The Queers and MTX. Pop-Punk is safe in the hands of the Turkletons and for that we should be grateful.



You Are Not Good At This

Holy fuck! Go listen to Struckout’s song “Avoiding Parables” off You Are Not Good At This RIGHT NOW! That kind of shit gives the world hope that life changing music is still happening.

*Made you look. Learn how to count punk, there’s only 17 albums!

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Chuck Livid

Chuck Livid hails from Miami, Florida. He did a zine in the '90s called Muddy Chaos and is best known for his work with independent music label Livid Records. Chuck lives in Boca Raton, Fl with his wife illustrator Helena Garcia and their son Nico. He founded TuffGnarl.com and hosts TuffGnarl.com's official music podcast - Another Music Podcast which is available on iTunes & Google Play


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