The Choo Choo Trains- (All I Ever Think About Is) Rabbits
The Choo Choo Trains are a London based trio, and are probably the best reason I will ever have to use the term “Ones to watch”. I have seen them live a few times over the past few years, and every time each member of the audience was completely fixated. So it is great to see them gaining more and more attention.
It’s difficult to describe them without defaulting them as twee, although it leans much more towards 60s influences of girl groups and surf. It’s hard to avoid words like cute when they’ve got songs entitled such as this, “Cherry Pie” and “Rocket Bicycle”. There is a naive sort of mood that they en-capture, but they are all individually skilled musicians. It’s not all sunshine and lollipops underneath the veil, as the subject material captures a more lonely outlook. It is very bittersweet.
They’ve recently debuted their first release with a very D.I.Y. style cassette. It is most certainly recommended that you see them live, to best understand this gem of a band.
La La Vasquez is an American television personality best known for hosting TRL AHH WRONG BIO a Brighton based three piece. While on some heavier tracks, they lean towards post punk, they would fit in quite cozily amongst anything from the C86 era.
Honestly, I would like to write much more about these girls, but there isn’t a whole lot around about them. They do however, run a very nice blog you can find here which is full of great music choices. So, a tip of the hat to them.
The greatest thing about starting this place is the random discoveries I get to make from day to day. This one being due to the fact that they just started following me!
If this song is anything to go by, I will be expecting a lot of good things from this band. The vocal harmonies blend pretty much perfectly, even with the shouting. Musically it’s somewhere between Velocity Girl, Dear Nora, Cub and… The Strokes. Apparently they’ve been together since school, and are from Hayes, Middlesex. Which, thankfully for me, means they’ll probably be playing London quite a bit.
It’s still early days, but I fear a good third of this place is going to be made up entirely of Rose Melberg’s contributions to music. If it wasn’t twee legends Tiger Trap, it was Gaze, and she also brought us both The Softies and was a part of Go Sailor. I might as well change the title to “Rose Melberg Appreciation Society”.
This is her most recent project, based out of Vancouver, Brave Irene. It’s got more of a psychedelic influence than her previous work, but that could be entirely the organ. It’s certainly got her familiar style and flair all over it, all the same.
This is from their self titled EP, released last year.
New York City trio. They share vocal duties, and record everything themselves. It’s not just that it’s lo-fi, but the way they put things together, it makes even their poppier material sound sort of sinister. It’s like if Joe Meek had gotten his hands on twee.
Some Nirvana “fans” may dismiss this instantly, but that says they didn’t know Kurt Cobain very well. This is pretty much everything he ever loved. A dodgy, poorly recorded, shouty version of one of his songs by a grrrl band. It also starts with the phrase, “Kurt Cobain is dead. I am not Kurt Cobain.”
Finally Punk were a four piece from Austin, TX. They sound like most of the stuff found on Kill Rock Stars, and ended up releasing their material through the label after a bit of backing from Tobi Vail. Of course, as the story usually seems to go, they were short lived and broke up after a mere two years together.
New Bloods are an all grrl post punk band from Portland. They’re a trio consisting of drums, bass and violin. Their sound is quite similar to bands like The Ex.
I wanted to write a lot more about this group because they’re amazing, but apparently it’s impossible to find anything else about them other than the basic, previously mentioned facts. I guess it’s enough just to say they’re great. If anyone has any information on this band, or if they’re still even playing together, please let me know!
Swedish all-girl twee band. Although they sound like something from the late 80’s/early 90s era, they’re from uh, right now. I’m not complaining or anything, as it’s far too late for me to be able to ever see a band like Tiger Trap live. I don’t usually use bands to live vicariously through, but I will make the exception.
Oakland, CA four piece doing jangly garage pop that sounds like it would fit in nicely in between the K Records and Kill Rock Stars rosters. It’s like if twee were the awkward, shy girl in class and she suddenly started showing up in a leather jacket and Raybans. Yeah, I’m still working on description writing.
On a side note, the footage from this video is from the film “She Devils On Wheels”, which is an absolutely brilliant 60s movie about an all girl motorcycle gang, played by actual bikers (and very obviously, not actors, but it works so well).
WARNING: The following post features opinions such as “Their early stuff was better” and “Boo major labels” also known as basic music blogger automated material. This does not typically reflect the nature of this site’s writer as she typically does not care where her music comes from regardless of label or money. It was just unavoidable in this situation. Thank you for still reading this far, even after this silly intro.
So, chances are you already know who The Donnas are, unless you’re under the age of 15 or didn’t own a television in 2002. If you fall in to either of those brackets… fair enough. The Donnas were quite a breakthrough for girls in bands, even if a lot of girls IN bands don’t want to admit that. They were the first big MTV rock band of the 2000s to be entirely all female. Obviously, there were others around at their same time, such as Sahara Hotnights who had a favourable amount of airplay, but few were as recognizable as The Donnas.
They have been around since the early 90s and began to work their way into pop culture towards the end of that decade, as the stage/prom band in teen movies Jawbreaker and Drive Me Crazy. After the success of single “Take It Off”, they started showing up everywhere, in television shows both live and fictional. Their songs were used in commercials and movies constantly. It was hard to escape them at one point.
Anyway, this post isn’t about that. I’m not one to use the “I liked their older stuff better” card, typically, but I’ll make an exception. The Donnas had already been around for the better part of a decade when they released their major label debut, Spend The Night, and by this point had become exceptionally accomplished musicians. Their sound was polished, the songs were tight, and they could easily stand beside (more like ahead of) any other rock band on the charts at the time. But… rock music on the chart sort of sucked in the early 2000s. This is the point I’m trying to reach with this one. Their early material was four girls who wanted to be The Ramones. The later was four girls who just sounded a lot like (new) Foo Fighters/stadium rock. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just much more fun to go with the former.
So, in the case that you only know this band for what you heard on some car commercial a few years ago or saw in that weird Rose McGowan movie - that was totally not for 12 year olds - here’s a gem from back in the day. Fifteen years ago, in fact (shudder). Yes, the production is rough, the video’s budget looks like it was done as a school project, but it’s FUN, and sometimes that’s all I want in my music.