September New Music Roundup Part II - PET NEEDS, The Dollheads, Highly Suspect and Timeshares

September has been a particularly busy month for indie rock and punk bands to release new music. So, in order to even ATTEMPT to keep up, I am going to compile quite a few albums into one article so that you will have some great recommendations, and so we can highlight these deserving artists.

It’s just unfortunate that there are only so many hours in a week to write reviews, otherwise, I would give them all great attention. Sorry to the artists ahead of time for not being able to put in longer hours in a day or being able to write even faster than I already do. Ha ha

You can find all of these albums and many more on our Best of 2022 Rock Music Playlist on Spotify!

 


PET NEEDS - Primetime Entertainment - 4.7 out of 5 stars

I saw this UK-based band live when they opened for Frank Turner in Las Vegas at the end of July this year, and I was stoked that they were putting out a new album, because they were a great live show.

Well, turns out they make absolutely killer albums as well, because this is the second straight album by the band that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

The album perfectly combines a bit of hardcore punk with more pop-punk and the veritable Brit-punk that you only get from a handful of bands.

From the first song “Lost Again” to the last song “Nobody Ever Warned Us” you are taken on a wild roller coaster of ups and downs both in sound and content.

Thanks for the Invite” is damn near a metal-anthem as well. You get the full gamut of rock music on this album, and it is a huge contrast to the previous song “Dear Abi” which is a sweet, lullaby-esque song performed on acoustic guitar.

This is a definite must-listen album. It’s so damn good.

Song Recommendations: “Lost Again” and “Only Happy"

 

The Dollheads - What Teenage Angst? - 4.7 out of 5 stars

This Vegas-based band is comprised of three teenage siblings (Angela, singer/guitar - 15, Samantha, bass - 14, Austin, drums - 12) which makes this album all the more remarkable.

I was actually told about it by a fellow Las Vegas musician, and I was blown away when I started listening to this album, because even though you can tell that young people made the music, their abilities and subject matter are instantly credible at any stage of life.

This isn’t one of those gimmick bands that puts out music to be radio-famous. The music is good, because the band is good.

I think some of the songs on this album are incredibly well done and the lyrics are clever. For example, the song “I Wish I Were a Demon” is about wanting to become a demon in order to get the demons out of your own head. At least, that’s the hope. It’s done really well.

Other songs like “January 28th” and “Better Half of Me” are anything but typical high school crush songs. They are thoughtful and avoid classic clichés. 

I am really impressed with this band, and they are going to be playing at Las Vegas’s biggest music festival, Life Is Beautiful, this weekend. I definitely see big things available to this band in the future.

Song Recommendations: “I Wish I Were a Demon” and “January 28th” (but seriously, the whole album is really good)

 

Highly Suspect - The Midnight Demon Club - 4.6 out of 5 stars

I was VERY pleasantly surprised by this album. I never know what to expect from bands that get frequent radio rotation, but Highly Suspect manages to find and maintain a good balance of creating music that still feels “indie” while adding all the bells and whistles of a high-production album.

Are there a few too many effects on this album? Yeah, in some parts (especially in “Ice Cold”), but they are a rock band that has grown legitimately over the years to become a band that has mass appeal, and some of those sounds are what people like about the band.

I always thought that Highly Suspect is a good example of what bands like Imagine Dragons COULD have been if they didn’t go and make shitty music after a decent debut.

Highly Suspect gets tons of respect from me for keeping the band so tight and for making such personal songs, and this album is another example of how singer Johnny Stevens is compelled to speak from his heart as much as possible. 

Some of these songs are REALLY hard too for a mainstream rock band. It’s pretty great. Because while I am not a fan of metal or most hard rock, when done right, it can sound awesome (and most of these songs are great examples of it going well).

Song Recommendations: “The Sound” and “Need To Say

 

Timeshares - Limb - 4.6 out of 5 stars

The new album from the New York-based band Timeshares is a good example of combining genres seamlessly into one rock-filled sound.

You can hear country hints playing over punk rock instrumentation as lead singer Jon Hernandez belts out 90’s style rock vocals (think Wallflowers or Wilco). Some of these songs are incredibly poignant for grown men.

It could also be typecast as “dad rock,” due to the subject matter of the album, but to me, this is just good ass rock n roll with a focus on growing up.

Some lines from the album are really good too. I think my favorite is on the song “The Moon” where the concept of being tied to a connection with a spouse or loved one (or close friend) is summed up perfectly by saying, “Like how the moon pulls on the sea, I can feel you pulling me.”

Still Awake” reminds me of good Less Than Jake songs for some reason, and when I was listening to it, I was like, “The only thing missing is some horns.” Well, then about halfway through the song, there are some horns too. Really well done.

If you like honest, straight-to-the-point rock and roll, then I highly recommend this album.

Song Recommendations: “Still Awake” and “The Moon