The Frecks, Old Smile & The Return of The Duke of Surl: August Round Up

If you follow the RCU Instagram account, you would’ve seen me gush about these three releases/artists, but they all definitely deserve some mentions here.

First up, we have The Frecks, a raw, no-fucks given punk group out of Tucson.


This is one of the rare times where IG recommended a video for me that was actually interesting (or well, anything that wasn’t just a Simpsons meme or something). It was a short clip of the group on a small DIY looking stage and absolutely ripping the place to shreds. I was simply blown away within seconds. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with every track that I have heard on their SoundCloud, Bandcamp and elsewhere on IG so far (especially “EAD SHiD”) . Their sound is pure molten, ass-kicking punk garage rock that just pummels you every which way.

If you dig anything on King Pizza or Burger Records, check this out right the fuck now.

Next up, we’ve got the psychedelic sounds of New Jersey jack-of-all-trades, Old Smile.


As you may have gathered, I am very passionate about local music and regional music scenes. I am always on the hunt for artists that operate out of whatever area that I happen to be living in, especially ones that have a body of work that falls within more niche and murky, hard to define genres.

So you could imagine my joy and excitement when I stumbled upon Old Smile, a very dreamy, psychedelic garage pop act out of New Jersey. This Jerz artist (real name Tom Herman Jr) has several incredible releases on Bandcamp and the release below, Ripple Trail (which was dropped only a few weeks ago) is an especially lysergic trip.

Sounding somewhere between the Elephant 6 collective’s lo-fi psychedelia, the surreal jangle of The Rain Parade and the neo-acid pop grandeur of Melody’s Echo Chamber, Old Smiles’ latest is very worth checking out (as is well, to be honest, all of his other releases, including my personal fave, Out of Reach).

Speaking of New Jersey artists…

NJ-to-Italy transplant Will Brown (The Duke of Surl) has returned with an excellent full-length that we’ve all been needing in our lives.


The Duke of Surl has been unleashing a steady stream of righteous, garage-pop digital singles over the last year or so (and your favorite, ever humble music reviewer here has been covering each one) so it’s very exciting to finally have a brand new full-length release to please all of our ears with.

Out Of It does not disappoint!! Each track is a rocking, catchy-as-fuck summery gem. Fans of The Go, Nobunny and pretty much anything out on Burger or Gnar Tapes, you’re gonna love this album to death. Blast this baby loud!

PS: Grab the tape while you can!



Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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