Top 5 Sock Hop n’ Roll Albums
Year-End Top 5
Your hair’s lookin’ slick, your boots are greased and you’re ready to crash the 1955 Vince Lombardi High Senior Prom. These sock hop n’ roll albums of 2015 will have your teenage kicks all night long.
A View For Glass Eyes
Miscalculations = The Pop Group + Radioactivity + The Gaggers
My overall appreciation for A View For Glass Eyes comes from an outlook that is bleak but attempts to be optimistic in a world consumed by an overwhelming stench of death, senseless greed and corruption. Miscalculations are a group composed of members from celebrated groups like Disco Lepers and The Gaggers, so it should not be a surprise that their sophomore album beautifully illustrates a sound that is simple yet hauntingly brilliant. To the listener, I would be remiss if I did not immediately point out the definitive, razor-sharp riffs and distorted, disembodied vocals that—combined with a fast-paced, energetic, electric feel—generates a post-punk heaviness that is both unique and provoking. However, I must also point out that A View For Glass Eyes characterizes urban alienation through a sound that is consistently high-tempo, yet always feels cold and synthetic. To me, this perfectly reflects the despair and depravity of a Western civilization on the brink of losing its ability to be in touch with the remnants of feeling anything remotely human. It is like being aware of being on the beach, observing the end while still having the necessary punk attitude to defiantly take in a lasting breath. To be sure, A View For Glass Eyes has no filler and is stunning from start to finish. Top numbers for a listener’s immediate consideration are “Clairvoyant Stare,” “Pain As A Language,” “Severing The Spine Of Confidence” and “Cutting Room Floor.” Any aversion to spinning this would invite controversy and suggest a need to be committed.
Shadows of Sound
Voodoo Rhythm Records
The Jackets = Shadows of Knight + The Satelliters + The Renegades
If your music tastes are confined to the North American continent, then you should expand your horizons and seek out The Jackets’ Shadow Of Sound. This album embodies all the brilliant aspects of mod revival mixed with freakbeat notions, producing the twisted combination of a hauntingly infectious sound fit only for something from the darkest corner of the garage. There’s no filler here, but the jumping tracks are found in “Don’t Turn Yourself In,” “Sometimes Maybe,” “KEEP YOURSELF ALIVE” and “Hands Off Me.” If this is not played over your speakers with the volume turned to dangerously high levels, there might be something terminally wrong with you.
Radioactivity = Sharp Objects + Miscalculations + Death
Radioactivity have produced yet another killer diller, straight from the superb sound that represents what the best of electrifying punk rock—defined by razor-sharp riffs and super-charged vocals—has to offer. Start to finish, Silent Kill will get the listener moving and writhing about as though they were subject to a pulsating, high-voltage infection. Top numbers for immediate consideration include “Battered,” “No Connection” and “Pretty Girl.” However, listeners would be remiss if this consistently brilliant LP did not find a place in their collections.
La Luz = The Ronettes + The Starlets + Habibi + Lyn and the Invaders
With a theme that converses romanticism and death, La Luz’s sophomore album, Weirdo Shrine, is the rock n’ roll album for the hopeless romantic. Its 11 tracks maintain a dreamy but hauntingly beautiful sound. Listeners are sure to discover how La Luz take their unique doo wop–meets–surf rock n’ roll to an evocatively dark yet rose-colored place. Beware, though—with the right dose of this devil’s music, this album will provoke deep feelings of love and inspire partners to dance hip-to-hip like they are under some sort of deviously wonderful spell. Be sure to pick this up, light some candles and let yourself fade away.
Lil Chewy Records
Baby Shakes = Peach Kelli Pop + The Boys + The Undertones
It’s been too long since the Baby Shakes’ bubblegum power-pop sound has drifted over my speakers. With their new—and may I say—highly anticipated release of Starry Eyes, I now have my 2015 fix of a band that knows how to rock like the Ramones, sock hop harder than their contemporaries Peach Kelli Pop and do it all with a definitive, switchblade edge. That said, be sure to dig this album. It is the underrated yet perfect incarnation of catchy rock n’ roll for today’s nostalgic, sugar-filled listeners, and it should be digested immediately and without restraint.