Longtime heroines to the LGBT folks, the Canadian Quin sisters, Tegan and Sara have a new one, "Heartthrob," which is their seventh album, just out on Warner Brothers. No long funky folkies - or even lite rockers as they were a few months back at the Bowl in Santa Barbara - they now sound like those other ten zillion disco pop dance divas. They'll probably make millions - I used to like them better before as these are fairly interchangeable and far from terrific. You need to check out "Creeping Out Sara," some drunken foolishness from NOFX about a chance awkward misunderstanding at the Warped Tour.
The Cash Box Kings have a new one - that would be "Black Toppin"' and it's on Blind Pig. These guys play old school Chicago blues as it was intended - down and dirty, foot stompin' and sweaty. Nothin' mellow about these guys - all virtuoso players raging away, somehow making drinking to excess and dancing funny seem like the right thing to do. This one is an advance of the album due out in March - it's sure to end up on the year end 2013 list of cool albums. If more blues were like this, there would be more blues fans.
The new one from Masked Intruder is self-titled and it's on Fat Wreck Chords out of the Bay Area. This is clearly an obvious example of truth in advertising - each of the four members wear a mask of a different color as in Intruder Blue etc. As you read this, they're on tour as part of a pop punk dream line-up - the Queers, Teenage Bottlerocket and these dudes. They sort of remind me of Bowling For Soup meets the Queers while the Ramones play Beach Boys songs in the garage - great harmonies, short blazing songs, chainsaw guitars in tune and wonderfully whiny vocals. What else could one expect from a band that claims such diverse influences as Bonnie and Clyde, Buddy Holly, Weezer and the Hamburglar? This is a re-issue of their debut from last summer - hopefully, it'll work better this time.