by Wheaton Hop

Hey hey, Dummies!

Let’s take a little trip, shall we? If you’ve been hanging around the Dummy Room group page, you may have noticed we’ve been on a weekly World Tour of sorts finding all the hidden gems we may have missed along our musical journey. This time, I couldn’t think of a better way to cap it all off with a stop to one of punk rock’s premier hot spots, Italia! I think you’re going to love it there because I am about to introduce you to Italy’s latest supergroup, Limoges!

Do you like Italian punk rock power pop? Well, of course you do. So here’s your opportunity to jump into one of the newest bands and freshest albums of the year. Streaming right now and ready to satiate your ear buds and energize you for months to come, I bring you Milan Shakes, Turin Shocks, Limoges Rocks from Limoges and released by none other than the great, tasty Hey Pizza! Records label. “Who?”, you ask. “Limoges? What? Never heard of them.” Chances are, you actually have in one formation or another.

The pedigree and influence of this newly created band stretches from the glorious roots of the Ponches, MEGA, Volkov, Morbeats, and (one of my favorites from the past year) Komet. All solid, impressive bands in their own right. These Italian maestros have masterfully managed to combine the sounds and vibes of all 5 bands and morph into Limoges. Bringing us one of the most energetic and catchy albums we’ve heard in a long, long time.

Not much positive can be said of the past 2 years of the Covid pandemic but one thing is certain. It has proven that the one thing that can carry us through most of the adversity life throws our way is, in fact, music. Limoges was born of desperate, fearful times and uncertainty of what the world could become. It created a need for expression and catharsis. It drove some of us to seclusion and brought some really top creatives together. Cue the trio of Italian Lockdown Punk Rock Vigilantes. Davide (Volkov/Morbeats), Lorenzo (Ponches/Komet), and Mitan (MEGA/Morbeats) have managed to encapsulate the frustrations, hopes, and anxiety of it all and wrapped it up in driving beats, gritty guitars, and clever but poignant lyrics. This album is a trip of reminiscence highlighting the nostalgic desires and missed opportunities that years of quarantine invariably conjures. They are the band we didn’t know we needed and they will be the force that pushes us through it all with their blend of raw, explosive energy that will have us singing along well after the last track ends. This talented trio just wails. The hooks, melodies, and harmonies on this album are the vaccine for all the trite shit that ails us. Consider yourself heretofore inoculated.

The album opens with the aptly titled, Virus. This forceful, catchy (no pun intended) track is a frenetic, dizzying introduction that references a fear of something that could exterminate us all as we’re crouched on the floor, completely frustrated and confused. Track 2, The Girl I’ll Meet Yesterday, was the first single and is a fantastic retro power pop inspired tale of being forced into social distancing and how our lives and connections became increasingly and necessarily carried out online. It found us all craving “respite from the crazy isolation”. Reaching out long distance until the light of dawn, never letting go of that hope of someday sharing that bottle of wine we planned on cracking open in the before times. And the “do-do-do-do-do” is an infectious groove that I can not get out of my head! Brilliant.

Feel The Blues, 36, A Late Night Giaveno’s Perspective, and Little Kid From Lucania fill this album with full, rich, retro vibes. “I can feel you, I can feel the blues.” Says it all. Because we’ve felt it. Spending nights looking back with joys and hopes and regrets, only to notice the sun has risen and we’re still here with our unrequited emotions and we would do anything to make it alright, if only the times were different. Each of these songs carries a story with its own personal perspective delivering clever, sharp lyrics and an instrumental concoction that takes you on a journey through the decades of rock and roll, seamlessly blending each style and genre and ultimately becoming a sound uniquely their own.

With all that said, Milan State Of Mind, Mystic Manuscript, and TV Show drive the point of emotional honesty and human fragility all the way home with rhythm and style begging for truth without pretense. We’ve all got “dysfunctional minds” needing to figure it all out, feeling like we need to apologize for something. Truth is, if we spoke as openly in real life like Limoges does on this record, we’ll realize we don’t need to “be afraid to be rude.” Tell it like it is. Truth rules as much as this band and this album does.

Which leads me to the only complaint I have with this and by complaint, I mean they’re just plain wrong but in the best way. The final track, Sounds Like The End, is a meaty, gritty, melodic track that ends with the chant, “No one likes us, we don’t care.” Um. Wrong. I absolutely love everything about this album and I’m willing to bet most Dummies who hear it are going to agree with me.

Limoges have managed to create a recipe of magnificent, melodic, popgaragepunk inspired deliciousness and served us up a triumphant collection of tunes bound to carry us to the other side of the last few years of wreckage. If you love the bands these guys have honed their skills with as well as Superchunk, Windowsill, Manges, TOUGH, Paul Collins, Buzzcocks, Briefs (jesus, I could go on and on about all the greatness I hear with every new spin), you will fall in love with Limoges. I have. Auguri, ragazzi! You made a cynical old gal excited again.

It may still be spring but this is already my album of the summer. You can stream it all now but be sure to preorder your physical copies at Hey Pizza! for vinyl, Memorable But Not Honorable for cassette, and CDs from SLACK. Look for the physical releases to be on their way to you by mid/late April. Tell ’em Mom sent ya.

Wheaton Hop Out.

PS… Trivia fun fact to throw around at parties… Limoges is a city in France as well as an ice hockey term meaning scoring an own goal. Which inspired the band name? I don’t know for sure but that bit of nerdage is sure to get you some attention. You’re welcome. XOX.