BRUCE – ‘My Latest Popstar Crush’.

BRUCE – Aarschot, Belgium.


Cover photo credit: Marc Bauwens.

Garage Punk, a genre that is both far more common than many are aware and a genre that is by far one of the most simplistically entertaining from the now broad and diverse Punk-Rock spectrum.

Belgium has a vibrant music scene when it comes to the guitar driven and up-tempo and with it’s Punk scene, its hard not to find something to like. This is where BRUCE and their latest, My Latest PopStar Crush, comes in.

The eponymous track takes a Dead Kennedys quirk and a chord progression that almost sits a little close to Social Distortion alongside an obvious adoration for the band’s Australian heroes, the Cosmic Psychos.

‘Fix My Brain’ is very much a classic Punk moan that although seemingly simplistic, messy and playful, shows a hidden intelligence between the lines. It boasts the simple cutting wit that made many of the UK and Australian bands stand part from most of the more politicised US Punk of the first fateful years of the genres development.

‘Sinful Ink’ sets itself up with a far more melodic and almost foreboding intro that one would expect from Leatherface, before something that sits on 1977’s shoulders while gazing the melodies that would infect Punk from the late 80’s onwards.

One of the strengths of Garage Punk is its gritty ensemble and the way it through either sub-parr or certainly on parr production sounds on point regardless. ‘Perfect Ladygarden’ doesn’t really leave a lot to the imagination with its title and lyricisms, while musically it sits somewhere between The Clash‘s early sound, the Ramones and Social Distortion.

My Latest Popstar Crush is a release that is really quite reserved. By track five of eight, its old-school Hardcore Punk fantasies are barely containing themselves and with tracks such as ‘Pass Pa’ the Garage Rock foundation is (violently) thrown out the window.

After the lyrical smut of the above, the serious lack of taking anything too seriously is continued in another “for the hell of it” classic Punk number in ‘Treehugger’, where you can’t help but hear more of a dated Social Distortion guitar tone.

With ‘Next Time’ and ‘Bug Me’ you are presented with the band’s lighter, slower sound in the former and their more abrasive in the latter. Both tracks finish a strong mini-album in solid continuity but do feel a little exhausted in comparison to the middle of the release.

That said, this is an entertaining album perfect for those with a more classic taste in Punk as well as those who need to release and quite frankly, get a little silly.

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Matthew Speer

Matt has 2.1 BA in History and is most likely somewhere in his twenties. He enjoys a wide range of music, but has a strong penchant for Punk-Rock. Originally he hails from the Isle Of Wight off the South Coast of England, UK and spends most of his time around England's South-West.

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