Category Archives: new music

Loud, fast punk rock from Basel Switzerland

Incognito pick of the week: Bitch Queens

Well, it’s Wednesday and here at Incognito that means it’s time for our pick of the week. This is where we highlight some new music from any genre and anywhere.

I didn’t go out searching for Bitch Queens. An email was sent to me about this punk band from Basel, Switzerland. Before I get to the music, I have to tell you that I make an honest effort to listen to every submission I receive here at Incognito.

After receiving the message, I checked out the band’s songs on Soundcloud. And I’m glad I did. This band plays some seriously loud punk rock and these guys can shred on the guitar. Just listen to that work toward the end of “Gimme a Kiss.”

“Woe Is Me” is a song with the classic theme of forgetting what you did the previous evening. The guitar in this song carries not only a furious sound, but also a furious energy. Of course the other musicians don’t exactly lack in the energy or volume departments either.

Check out the tunes and video for yourself. If you like good old-fashioned punk rock, you will dig Bitch Queens. I do, and I hope to hear more from this band.

Some (not so) bold predictions for 2014

Well, a new year is upon us and it’s time for me to gaze into my crystal ball for some musical predictions for the upcoming year. And yes, I will remind you of these predictions throughout the year.

  • Some one-named female pop singer will come out of nowhere and sell approximately 20 jillion albums. I will wonder what everyone else hears in the album that I don’t…just like with Adele and Lorde. OK, so I’ll grant that Adele has a good voice although her songs are about as uplifting as Morrissey’s. Lorde on the other hand…I just wish someone would explain to me what is so appealing about “Royals.” All I can say is that song bores the stuffing out of me.
What's so interesting?

What’s so interesting?

  • Along the same lines, a new media darling will come along. Seemingly every music writer in the world will tell you that you must listen to the record and the best reason those writers will give is that you have to listen to it because it’s the new album from (insert name here).
  • Someone will do something “outrageous” at the VMAs. It will have gossip sites buzzing for weeks…right until the time that the performer of the outrageous act releases a new single. (Just remember that I told you this on the second day of the year.) Oh, and after about one hour of the outrage that comes from every direction, you will hope that you never have to hear the name of the “shocking” artist again.



Like I said, these aren’t exactly bold predictions. What’s more interesting to me is the things I can’t predict for this year in music. Namely, what bands will I encounter for the first time? What genre will really grab my attention? A couple years ago, I explored a lot of garage punk. Last year, I found myself searching for a lot of fuzz (or stoner in the parlance of our times) rock. And then of course is the question of what will end up in my list of favorite albums of the year. Stay tuned, loyal reader, and ride along as I explore new music and present it to you.


Trashy Tuesday: Selfies

Welcome to another edition of Trashy Tuesday, loyal reader. I know what you’re thinking. I went with something trashy for ‘Billy Monday, but what can I tell you? I’m a sucker for the trashy sound. I will say that the trashy sounds featured today are a little different than the trashy sounds we featured yesterday. But in the words of Pete the Cat (not the one from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), “It’s all good.”

Bad Blood begins with some guitar sound that can only be described as sludgy. Have a listen for yourself and see if you disagree. I should give you a caveat though. If you’re looking for slick sounds (and if you are…you’ve made it to the wrong blog, but go ahead and have a read anyway), this is not it. This is the kind of lowdown, fuzzy, lo-fi goodness that drags slick, overproduced sounds through a lake of used motor oil, then parks them in a vacant, dusty (and windy) lot.

Selfies is not a band for everyone, but then the next time I write about a band that is for everyone will be the first time. However, if you like your music with a sludgy sound and a lot of energy, Selfies will be a good addition to your collection.


Delightfully trashy Meixcan rockabilly

‘Billy Monday: Los Benders

Allow me to begin by welcoming you to another working week. In the words of Elvis Costello, “I know it don’t thrill you, I hope it don’t kill you.” Just let me say, loyal reader, that we are here to make your Monday better with some good tunes. Get ready to give your ears a treat.

If you’ve read this blog even once, you know that we here at Incognito HQ are total suckers for music with a real trashy sound. For one thing, if an album has a raw, trashy sound, I know it hasn’t been overproduced. For another. I think it just makes for some fun music.

Now, I don’t have an explanation for this particular phenomenon, but quite a few bands that sing in Spanish have mastered the trashy sound we love. Enter Los Benders. It doesn’t take long to realize this band has mastered the trashy sound. You can hear it in what was once described to me as “cathouse sax” in the opening track. Saxophone in a rockabilly band? Yes, indeed. And this particular track sounds a lot like the stuff from the 50s that was punk before punk existed as a genre.

I’m not going to go over every track. After all, you can (and should) listen to the full album yourself. I will, however, discuss the second song, “Ampayita.” This sounds a lot like what would happen if the vocalist from Wau Y Los Arrrghs!!! collaborated with a rockabilly band. The guitar has that clean tone that you expect from rockabilly, while the vocals and everything else provide the trashy sound. If you like tunes that are both swingin’ and trashy, Los Benders is definitely a band you should get to know. Now crank up the volume, and let Los Benders improve your Monday dramatically.



Feel-Good Friday: The Pepper Pots

If you’ve ever read this blog at all, you know that I am a sucker for funk and soul. Needless to say, I didn’t need any convincing to give The Pepper Pots a listen. In listening to this album, I was particularly smitten with “You’ve Got the Future.” It is a great song in general, but it is especially good for Feel-Good Friday.

This song has the kind of message that you frequently hear in inspirational quotes: namely that the only person who holds your future is you. Of course what sets this apart from some inspirational quote is that it is set to a soulful melody that will get your toes tapping. But in the midst of that catchy tune is a message that encourages you to start your future now. Indeed. That is advice we would all do well to follow. Enjoy your Feel-Good Friday, everyone, and heed the wisdom of The Pepper Pots.


Incognito pick of the week: Stephanie Kong

I know this is a lot different than the music we normally cover here at Incognito HQ, but the fact that we are featuring Steph (aka Steph the Lyricist) is proof what a good intro can do. This young lady introduced herself to us in an e-mail explaining that she recently graduated high school. Let’s face it: high school can be a rough time for lots of people, and Steph knows that as well as anyone.

Without broadcasting her entire email to you, allow me to say that Steph’s goal – with her music and in general – is to help people that are dealing with suicidal thoughts. That noble goal is what leads me to feature her here today. Sometimes you just have to go beyond the ordinary to present a bigger picture of things that are more important than music. After all, if we do nothing to help people in whatever way, then we are abject failures as failures as human beings. And let’s face it: music can be a powerful tooI, particularly for lifting the spirits of people. I don’t feel like I need to say anything more. I will just invite you to listen to Steph’s song “Her” (it’s a beautiful song) and to let her know that you support what she’s doing.



Trashy Tuesday: Bluesfuckers

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. A lot of Spanish bands sure are doing garage rock right. Maybe Farfisas are dirt cheap in Spain. I don’t really know how to explain it, but I’m sure not complaining. Bluesfuckers steps right into line with some of the other great Spanish garage bands that we’ve featured here.

I should say that I don’t really understand any of the lyrics of this band…except for the word zombie in “Festa Zombie.” But then I don’t have to. Who needs to understand lyrics when you can hear fuzzy guitar, primal rhythms, and a Farfisa that transports you back to 1963?

Granted, any one of the songs on this EP are a good example of the trashy sound we love. But if you want a song that encapsulates what Trashy Tuesday is all about, check out “Quant de Fill de Puta.” (OK, so puta is another word I understand.) The guitar sound in this song is about as lowdown and fuzzy as you can get, and you will probably feel it somewhere deep in your gut. Just give it a listen and tell me if I’m wrong.

The band finishes the EP with another wonderfully trashy song made even trashier by the harmonica. Seriously, this is a call to all rock n roll bands out there…I don’t need more cowbell, but I sure could go for more harmonica. It is such a simple enhancement to rock n roll.

If you like some of the other Spanish garage bands we’ve featured here (Wau y Los Arrrghs!!!, Duo Divergente, etc.), you’ll like Bluesfuckers.


Incognito pick of the week: A Day As Wolves

I’ve had some pretty good success recently searching the term fuzz rock on Bandcamp. that streak continued when I found A Day As Wolves from Calgary. Yeah, so it’s only three songs, but it’s good stuff. This certainly fits the fuzz rock category, but it also has a classic-rock sound to it. “Killing Time” reminds me a lot of Cream. No, I’m not kidding. It’s a mixture of fuzz, blues, and psychedelia that will get you grooving.

“Broken Heart City” is more of the same. If anything, it’s more psychedelic than “Killing Time” – and possibly more fuzzy. This tune also has a bass line that you’ll feel rumbling in your gut.

The self-titled EP from A Day As Wolves is available now on Bandcamp. If you like classic fuzz rock, this band will fit right into your collection.


‘Billy Monday: The Steady Swagger

Generally ‘Billy Monday is reserved for rockabilly and psychobilly bands, but today I’m doing a little something different. As I mentioned last week, sometimes I ask bands where they would file their music in a record store. More than that, I give them the latitude to create their own file-under category. Well, The Steady Swagger has created its own file-under category: Whiskeybilly.

What is whiskeybilly? Well, the recipe might go something like this: Take one part Tom Waits, one part Sleepy LaBeef, and one part United Steel Workers of Montreal, and one part gypsy punk. Add a cask of rum, and a healthy dose of pirate rock. Now let me explain at least some of the ingredients in this musical cocktail. The vocals frequently sound like the theatrical growl of Tom Waits. There is some definite classic rockabilly sound (as well as some vocals like Sleepy LaBeef) in “One More Shot.” The backing vocals by drummer Brigitte Desjardins sometimes remind me of Felicity Hamer of United Steel Workers of Montreal. As for the rum…something has to fuel this band and its energetic recordings. As for the pirate rock, what can I say? My two boys have become big fans of Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

While that description is pretty accurate, it still doesn’t do this band complete justice. Do yourself a favor. Pour yourself a big shot of rum (since you’re listening to this band, don’t mix it with anything this time), crank up the volume, and give The Steady Swagger a listen. It will get you rocking, and it just might get you shopping for an eyepatch.


Feel-Good Friday: The Green

Welcome to another edition of Feel-Good Friday. If you’ve listened to Jay Mohr Sports, you know that every Thursday is Positivity Thursday on his show. Feel-Good Friday has the same idea. We want to send you off to the weekend with some good vibes.

Our song for this edition of Feel-Good Friday is “Power in the Words” by The Green. This song encourages you to think about the words you say. If you’re thoughtless when you speak, then negative things will come your way. On the other hand, if you say a lot of good words to others, then positive things will come your way. It’s hardly earth-shattering, but frankly it’s a message we probably all need to hear at some point. So on this Friday, let’s all take the words of The Green to heart. Let’s all feel good on this Friday by saying good things about others.

The Green’s latest album Hawai’i 13 is available now from Easy Star Records.