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Hozac hit us hard, not only with the recently reviewed Winter Bear single, but a couple of brilliant LPs. Heavy Times will probably count as veterans now they’ve added a third album to their discography, but judging by Fix It Alone they keep honing their skills. Almost to the effect that the record sounds more like a collection of hooks instead of songs, most of them barely passing the 1½ minute mark. It definitely the most catchy album for ages from an American garage/punk band, ranging from breakneck speed rampages like “Future Creeps” to an acoustic ditty like “Give Up” to dark singalongs like “Ouija Board”. At this point no one can deny that Heavy Times have grafted themselves a unique and instantly recogniseable sound. How long can they keep going?

Shocked Minds is a brand new group from Atlanta formed by two ex-Carbonas members and a guy from Games. If those are not clues enough, you’ll find that we talking about a classic ’77 punk / powerpop sound here, albeit slightly more polished than the Carbonas and Beat Beat Beat. But still with just as much punch and melody. Check out the video for “Face to Face” above, but also the last and definitely the best track “You Want Me to Stay”. Anyone who digs Dead Boys or Bad Sports shouldn’t miss this record.

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August 4, 2013

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