I have two main loves- music and pizza. I can’t make music, but I can make pizza. Come round, and I’ll make you one. Or maybe two so you can have it for lunch the next day. I guess in a way Garage Rock might not be deemed as a “proper” genre of music, and even though labeling music is bullshit- I’m allowing myself to contradict myself for the god knows how many time just to talk about a certain kind of noise that I absolutely love. There’s correlation between Punk and Garage Rock, well for me there is. And that’s probably why I love both a hell of a lot. My record collection doesn’t hold much weight compared to some but my most prized possession is my copy of The Gruesomes’ first record. Nobody will ever understand how much me owning that record means. The Gruesomes are Canadian-not Italian, and this is about Italian Garage Rock bands. Turns out there’s a wealth of them and for the past few nights, it’s what I’ve been listening to. I’ve dragged myself through today on 3 hours sleep. If I’m falling into a pattern I had 5/6 years ago, then so be it. I’ll use my time wisely finding music to write about. If I was going to take the easy route I’d probably mention a few songs and make life easy for myself. I don’t know how to make life easy and if there isn’t a wave of chaos about to hit me, I won’t know what to do. This is unplanned, for my own benefit- the result of having an internet connection. I’ll educate myself, and maybe you’ll find something you like. If not, then at least I got this out of my system. ANDIAMO!
To start off, I’m going with my favourite and one of the hardest bands to find ANYTHING out about. This song is 50 years old. It probably sounded perfect back then, and it sounds perfect 50 years on. It’s got a typical Garage Rock sound going on. What I love about a lot of Garage Rock songs is how they seem to be about pining for someone who is a bit of a dickhead. We’ve all been there, it’s completely fine. Songs like this are the ones that get you through it. Cupidation reminds me slightly of I Never Loved Her by The Gruesomes- I think it’s all in the vocals and that alone makes it one of my favourites.
See what I mean? Italians know how to do to this. The Rippers have a sound that’s off the wall and unlike anything else. I Wanna Put A Tiger In Your Tank is hopefully a euphemism for something- if it isn’t, I’ll be pretty sad about that because it’s a pretty great euphemism. Imagine using that line on someone. Hey if it works, then go for it. The Rippers have a brilliant style that comes across in how they look and how they sound. Sometimes bands get it twisted and pay more attention to how they look rather than how they sound, and that can be a sure waste of talent. Thankfully The Rippers didn’t fall victim to that.
I found out about The Hangee V last year when in Camden looking through some old records. I was on my lunch break, and I felt the need to buy some music. I was sifting through the records, and the cover of one of The HangeeV’s records caught my eye. I loved their menacing look, and how they looked like a bunch of undertakers who would probably dig a grave for you-even if you were still alive. They’re easily one of my favourite bands, and I love the mystery about them. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, that’s fine and all- but buy records based on the artwork, chances are it will be just fine.
I got a little sidetracked finding these bands, and quite possibly have ended up with more recent bands than not. That’s alright-if anything it just shows how great the music scene is in Italy. The Mighties are from Perugia. I remember visiting there when I was about 12 years old and just falling in love. I’ve been to only a handful of places that felt like “home” to me, and Perugia was one of them. It’s a beautiful city, and is home to one of Italy’s finest bands. I’m not sure how well known The Mighties are but they sound like a band who have taken on board what bands before them have done and made their own scene, on their own terms.
Gli Sciacalli may have been around in the 90s but they captured that typical 60s Garage Rock sound like no other. This is a song I would definitely place in my favourites of all time-regardless of genre. It sounds slightly like the Beach Boys mixed with some Mersey Beat. It’s the perfect Garage Rock sound, and Mai is a song I really can’t get enough of. Much like The Bumpers who have a few decades on this band, they still capture that raw Garage Rock sound.
There are many many more bands I could mention, and I’m probably a tool for missing some out. Maybe I’ll do a part 2 some day. Special mention needs to go to Go!Zilla who are one of the best new(ish) bands around and will get a deserving piece written about them soon. I think condensing it down to 5 for now was a semi-wise move. I could have kept going, but maybe on another trip to buy records I’ll find something else to write about. I know I should have mentioned The Kartoons. Next time. Next time.