MONTY VEGA & THE SITTIN’ SHIVAS: Closed No Fun: CS

Monty Vega & The Sittin’ Shivas are one of my favorite discoveries of 2021 so far. The band’s ’60s power pop meets Ramones-esque punk sound had me rocking out from the opening notes of “Last Step,” the first of fourteen tracks jammed onto this album. The needle on the gauge between their power pop and Ramones influences swings from track to track, but I enjoyed the variety this provided. Every one of the songs on Closed No Fun is a banger, making it hard to pick a favorite, but there’s also nothing that you don’t want to hear after repeated listens. I particularly enjoyed their cover of Scandal’s “Goodbye to You,” an example obviously leaning more towards the power pop end of their sound, but with an edge to their version not present in the original. –Paul J. Comeau (montyvegathesittinshivas.bandcamp.com)