Travel Check - 66$ (Howlin Banana Records) 
Travel Check - 66$

Release Date:  20th January 2014

I used to go to France a lot as a kid on family holidays and I never really saw any evidence of a music scene in any the towns that we visited. Mind you, we spent most of our time walking around old WWII sites which don't lend themselves to much apart from the odd indie photo shoot I suppose. Recently, however, there has been a definite surge in French alternative music and, more specifically, Garage pop. Parisian combo Travel Check are the latest bunch to saunter across the Channel to chat up the ladies and smoke incredibly strong cigarettes whilst being cool as fuck. Opening track '66$' has the kind of shambolic appeal you'd expect from Babyshambles or the Clash whilst the vocals have that half-drunk, slurring appeal that you get from bands not singing in their native tongue. 'Druggy Daddy' is hugely reminiscent of a band called Holy City Rollers from Indonesia that I can't recommend highly enough as well as LWM favourite's Dead Coast so it's got a tick from my point of view.

The second half of this EP kicks off with 'La Graviere' (the Gravel in English) which is a balls out, no-nonsense, speed punk of a tune driven by some furious bass work and unforgiving drums. Finishing up with the more laid back 'Feels Alright', Travel Check show off their more expansive side as they toy with time signatures and layer on the distortion in a way that Lou Reed and Iggy Pop would thoroughly approve of. The main thing that I'm going to take from this EP is that I should probably head back to France sometime soon to get a look at the musical talent on offer. And to fill my car with cheap wine and bread, natch.