Okay, time to start digging out from under this mountain of reviews and get the Termbo machine back in running order. Here’s a link to latest reviews section, some of which are embarrassingly late, some of which are surprisingly timely. Hope you find something you like in there, old or new or both. I had to cheat a little bit to get caught up further, as I resort to the “column” format below to clean up some stuff I had left on the desk. I’ll be doing the same with a XXL sized stack of LPs next. If you sent something in and it’s missing drop us a line and we’ll figure it out. Other than that, it’s onwards and upwards – more reviews, a demos/tapes section soon after and I’ll finally be putting the finishing the finishing touches on Termbo print issue #4 and other paper goods. All that and more from the Loki Label and friends really soon.

(Again, go check out this big ol page of new reviews here before or even after you’ve read what’s below.)

Might as well start with the best 45 label in the land, Total Punk. TIMMYS ORGANISM finally make an appearance on the roster with their latest offering coming off their LP on Third Man, and this one sounds like Vulgar might be dusting off old Clone Defects tracks (which is fine by me). “Lick Up Your Town” is a little sleazy lyrically (“Powder your garden with my fertilizer!”) and is a huge sounding mid-tempo rocker, with Vulgar’s jet-engine squeal guitar sound stealing the show. Flip is “Sweet Tooth” with a lascivious spoken intro that leads into a blues stomper with Timmy V emoting equally on vox and strings. Now that’s rock’n’roll. Also makes good use of the full sleeve rubber stamp with a nice eye catching design. BLACK ABBA’s (or just Bl’Abba if you’re on friendly terms) second single starts with their best tune to date, “Lost Dog”, a somewhat minimal sounding lo-fi punker with a wandering synth line and less-is-more solo – great lyrics too. “The Manager” is a winner as well, sounds loose and has a more DIY/artpunk feel, the doubled-up vocals add some disorientation and again it seems as if that synth is just meandering around the song, and it works. The tunes sound very organic yet still weird, and the simple construction benefits from the added nuances of the little things they do right – and I swear that guitar solo part is lifted from somewhere, but I just can’t place it…I’ll be sure to let you know when I figure it out. Best band member name on insert: Cher II.

LYSOL have been in heavy rotation around TB HQ all winter, and I’ll fess up to being a little late catching up after the tapes. The two songs on this Total Punk 7” were also the L.I. tour tape if you picked that up – “Wired” b/w “Knucklehead” and they’re both hot enough to singe your eyebrows. Am I in the majority thinking Lysol is better than Freak Vibe? Rob Vertigo, can I get a ruling on this? “Knucklehead” reminds me some of Brown Sugar and Mognoloid in its rock’n’roll + hardcore approach – there’s a piano in there right? – it’s just a real crusher. “Wired” is more of the same (yes I know this is the A-Side), another powerbomb rocker that demands repeat listens despite the bruising that might cause. These tunes sound more aggro than the stuff on the ‘On the Corner’ LP (which is a great record nonetheless) and I dig it. These cats are probably in the top dozen or so current acts out there right now, and if I wouldn’t have had my head up my ass for most of 2016 I’d of touted them more. So as to not let that mistake happen again though, I’m going to tell you that this FNU CLONE 12″ is amazing right off the bat. The head FNU has done away with the Ronnies (or at least left them on the other side of the country) and recorded all of this by himself, and it might be even more insane than ‘Saddle Up’ was. The sounds of technology revolting against you, hard digital punk, raw rock in general. Drum machines are brutally run through their programs, synthesizers are spliced into human DNA, effects pedals are abused and grafted onto voiceboxes. The A-Side is weird enough, but the B-Side of this thing is a fucking beast. The clone’s humanity might come through a bit more on this side, but it’s no less eccentric. The three song run from “Shake the Hand” through the Motorhead cover essentially reinvents weird-punk. Science fiction come to low-budget life. Incredible. One of the best records of the year thus far, and I cannot stop with that B-Side. I think it has injected some sort of binary virus into my head at this point. Must be heard to be believed, the only thing it somewhat reminds me of is Gary Wrong, if that guy was a cyborg monster instead of an analog wizzard – but it has a similarly busy all-hands-on-holodeck approach. FNU Clone has really outdone himself here, and I’m of the belief FNU Ronnies were one of the best things going while they were active – like I said, this thing pushes the boundaries even further into space and time and just raised the bar considerably. (

Know what? This PLAYBOY 12” from Negative Jazz is also the best record to come out in 2017 thus far. I cannot stress ho much I enjoy this one enough. I’ve listened to it 100 times by now easily and it keeps getting better. A four song 12” 45rpm monster called “Celebration” that weighs in just under 18 minutes or so, it’s unlike much else out there. Flipper is the no-brainer comparison, but it’s true – rubbery, gooey, sex beat/sax bleat, smart and degenerate lyrics. This is not some rehash sludgefest though, there’s something airy about the sound, almost spacey. Vocals are perfect, they sound strained but he’s not really yelling, the delivery is fittingly odd, and he’s often answered by the sax (as on “Outside”). It’s truly weird, in that I haven’t heard much like it around – not some predictably weird-punk stock moves you’ve come to expect. Pretty sure there’s no guitar player, did I mention that? Anyway, these dudes are from Montreal and are the best thing outta there in some time – and Playboy have an Omega or two or more in their ranks from what I’m told, and I like Omegas, but this Playboy shit blows them away. Artwork matches the bizarre tunes to a tee and thank god for the lyric sheet that’s full of more strangeness and charm – I’ve been trying to figure the words out for a good 2-3 months, and I wasn’t even close. Go buy this immediately, please. (

Now let’s talk random Euros. The Mastermind Records label outta Denmark almost always delivers (see Narcosatanicos and Angkor Wrack along with their fondness for Clevo-tardation via F/S and Trichecos), and this SMERTEGRAENSENS TOLDERE 7” is good enough that I took the time to spell that fucking name right (although I’ll be damned if I know how to format that AE as the same letter shit), they’re from Aarhaus (talk about a cool name for a city), they blow through seven songs in about seven minutes, and I swear it sounds like HFOS if they weren’t joking around – bad reference I know, but I have no clue as to a Danish HC band to relate them to – it’s slightly metallic, super burly, maybe a little 9ST fury in there. One of the Cola Freaks is in this band? Would’ve never guessed. Monstrous. The tasteful picture of a boxcutter on the cover sums up their aesthetic rather well. (

From Denmark we wander over to the UK, where shambolic and quirky DIY records are coming out like it’s 1982 all over again. Firstly we have THE STICKS ‘No Sustain’ EP, their first record in a few years and it’s rather decent stuff. I remember not caring for a 12” of theirs, but I can handle this – they go for the more rhythmic and bass-led approach, not quite lo-fi either, these dudes know their way around a studio. Reminds me some of Yummy Fur as well as the usual Messthetics – scratchy guitars over locked-in grooves and then sprinkled with weird touches and deep voiced dudes talking their lyrics. Very enjoyable though, and limited to 300 in a risographed sleeve with insert on Market Square – who did the first Suburban Homes 7″ if you want some references.( Next we have VITAL IDLES from Glasgow with a two-songer of female-fronted DIY-pop that I’m really digging the A-Side of – “My Sentiments” is all sharp guitars and a lurkingly heavy bassline, Jessica Higgins’ vox are a delight – talked but in what I feel like is a real smartass way – it’s a bit of raw punker even. “The Garden” on the flip couldn’t be more different. A dramatic slow turn/ballad with violin and trumpet accompaniment, sort of sad-sounding but brightened up by that horn – a quaint recreation of a summer day perhaps, but I again get the sense Jessica is being a little sarcastic, which is why I like it. A swell little single either way (Not Unloved – Over now to South London for this GOAT GIRL 7”, which I’m mentioning because the A-Side is called “Country Sleaze” and is an ode to Wallers & Co. (“Wallers find me you country tease” she croons!?) – and while I think it sounds more like a tune from the True Detective soundtrack than DIY, I do appreciate that four girls from London are this into the Country Teasers in 2017. B-Side is called “Scum”, is straight C&W, and I will say that at the least this girl has a nice smoky voice. On Rough Trade, you should at least hear “Country Sleaze” just to say you did.

OK, enough of Europe, let’s talk the latest in American Guitar Rock. Sophomore Lounge is the name of the label, and they just pulled the pin on a double-headed 7” bomb – one from the grunts known as TROPICAL TRASH, their first waxing since the highly regarded LP on Load (there was some primo tape and such action in between there as well, talking about the ‘Live at the Fillmore’ cassette and that “Big Game John Cage” thing) and the big change to the line-up card here is that they now have Bim “Obnox” Thomas on drums/gtr to make them even more of a force of jazzfry destruction. ‘Decisions Empty Nest’ is the name of the EP, three songs recorded by Maccarrone in Clevo, which is an alliance I fully support. “Early Wish” covers the A-Side and it’s just evil. Sounds like a short-circuting organ crying in the background under a tractor beam bass sound and some vocals that they’ve added some satanic effects to. Devastating. Think of ‘UFO Rot’ with Bim destroying the drum kit. Think about it. That’s what we have here. B-Side picks up right where the A-Side left off with the ending of “Early Wish” then “Exit Dust” pulls a weapons-grade riff out of the arsenal and then things start getting good and loose on “Troubleshot”. A real mind eraser from some of the top guys in the game. And if that wasn’t good enough, they’ve paired it with the latest 7” from our boys MORDECAI. “What is Art” is four songs, the two on the A-Side come from the ‘Abstract Recipe’ sessions with the “classic” Eli/Holt/Gavin line-up and “Seeing In” is an incredible bit of Shakey-esque hook-rock, and Holt ponders the big question of the title track over a steady groove that these guys lock into in their own way, lots of guitar slash. As always, magic happens. The B-Side is played via a truncated line-up of Gavin and Holt and recorded in the living room. According to Holt’s notes, this was a sort of experiment in deconstruction, in particular replacing drums with a cooking pan. “Spite” is built on that primitive drum idea with both Gavin and Holt getting free on the guitars and falls into place and apart in wonderful fashion. “What is Over” was inspired by Ego Summit and a hangover and is more of an abstract folky-jangler with continued wandrin’ guitar work. This record really made a shitty day into a great one when it arrived, if you need some evidence of the mystic power Mordecai and their music have. In my mind, the most remarkable band we have around today. With ‘Abstract Recipe’ and this 7” out now, the boys have fulfilled their yearly recording quota, and with all three of our heroes now spread out in different towns we’re left to wonder what happens next. I’m hopeful we’ll possibly see them live this year while school is out. Both of these records come in silkscreened pocket sleeves and in a hurtfully limited edition of 300 so keep your eyes peeled. (

CHOKE CHAINS are the latest Thomas Jackson Potter outfit, joined by a Chinese Millionaire, Lindsey from No Bails and a guy named Chizz (!). “Cairo Scholars” is high octane garage-punking, maybe even qualifying as action rock, and has a real nasty solo. The flip is a cover of the opening track from the Deviants third record (“Billy the Monster”) that they give a big low-end revamp. Mastered for maximum garage turkeyness by Tim Warren, typically solid stuff from Potter. ( Speaking of solid hands who have been making great music for 20+ years covering songs that are nearly 50 years old, there’s a new 7” from JAMES ARTHUR’S MANHUNT where he blows through The Grounhogs’ “Cherry Red” making it sound like a Texas acid-rock classic instead of UK blueshammering – actually it sounds a little like James Gang too, but that might have something to do with the fact I listened to “The Bomber” like ten times today. It’s hard to tell, but Manhunt really stretch out on it and give it a good shaking. That’s the B-Side, on the frontside JA actually does an Angry Samoans cover! Proving he’s a smart cat he does the Turner classic “Staring at the Sun” from the oft and unrightfully maligned ‘STP Not LSD’ LP. It’s a rousing and quite ballsy rendition. ( To continue our old-timers paragraph here, I was certainly not expecting a new SLICING GRANDPA record in the mail. If you’re unaware, SG have been going for nearly 20 years now as the experimental recording project of John Laux, current Musk-man and former Tractor Sex Fatality. This one’s ominously titled ‘Finyl Vinyl’ and is a four banger – “Fake Mistake” is my fave, with a trebly shitbox recording, vocals that sound like he’s using a tin can and a piece of string, and a handful of swirly echo effects and things – a truly DIY sound and nearly hypnotic. Actually “I Showed Up” on the B-Side is now my favorite, because I’m arguing with myself as to whether it sounds more like Jandek or the Shadow Ring. The wonderfully titled “No Toilet” is an “instrumental” finisher that sounds like incidental music from a SOV horror movie. If you’ve never heard SG before, here’s your chance. (

Keeping things retro, I received correspondence from the fine folks responsible for the Savage Damage Digest regarding a warehouse find of dead stock Richmond Records singles. If you’re unaware (as I was), Richmond was a New Wave label active from 1979-82 whose flagship act was Psychotic Pineapple. What they have available are the GLORIA BALSAM novelty record made “famous” by Dr. Demento – Gloria does a wacky cover of “High Hopes” and a tune about her missing dog “Fluffy” backed by Rubinoos and Pineapples. Woof?! Somewhat better than that is the RAL PHENO 7” (backed by Psychotic Pineapple of course), another of the New Wave novelty/weirdo persuasion, but not nearly as annoying as Gloria – “Let’s Get Stupid” is actually a pretty good piano pounder/sax wailer that wouldn’t be out of place on the soundtrack to an Eighties teen comedy. But the best of the bunch is THE IDYLLS 7”, an obscure power-popper/waver that has a pretty solid A-Side in “Why” that sounds a bit like an edgier Blondie. “White Lies” on the flip is a ballad that is interesting in a car crash way. (

Sticking with the era, some reissues of note. Firstly, Last Laugh have THE DOGS “Slash Your Face” 7” for us, a KBD ripper of the highest quality. Strong like viet cong. A legit from the masters job with pocket sleeve that’s of a far higher quality than the previous “reissue”. And in case you haven’t noticed, in between KBD bonzers, LL has been steadily releasing quality INCREDIBLE KIDDA BAND singles, with “Bullet In My Heart” being the fourth in the series – both songs are choice late Seventies studio tracks, and did Kidda Band ever write a bad song? ( There are few records more unexplainable than the TAPEWORM 7”, which Death Vault has just officially reissued for the first time (forget that shitty bootleg), with the added bonus of a four page insert with liners from Fuzz Box Flynn himself. Still no sign of “Fuzz Bassolo” though! I shouldn’t have to discuss how great this record is with you, but if there is some way one of you don’t know about it, I do envy you getting to experience “Break My Face” for the first time. Surely one of the 7” reissues of the year, Death Vault really does good work all around – BUT as if that wasn’t enough, DV also popped out a reish of the XTERMINATORS 7” as well, of “Microwave Radiation” fame and always memorable in my book for having some of the most ridiculous vocals – those nasally back-ups get me every time, and it’s certainly a killer tune besides. “Occasional Lay” on the flip is actually really good too (Break the Rules “good”) and has dumb back-up vocals too, thankfully. You should be able to get these from Florida’s Dying…

As a sidenote, the compiling of this installment was predominately soundtracked by the WRITHING SQUARES LP “In the Void Above” which came out late last year on Siltbreeze. It was in my Top Ten LPs, but in case you missed that I want to mention it again, it’s that good. Absolutely magnificent American space-rock built on bass and sax that rocks straight-up at times, then dips into Hawkwind-like grooves, kraut-rock runs, electronic rock explorations, it’s all very otherworldly and done with class including the best flute part on a rock record in recent memory. I’ve been listening to it a few times a week for at least six months and I’m still addicted to it. From some of the minds behind Taiwan Housing Project (whose LP is out any day), and Purling Hiss/Spacin’. Check em out on bandcamp if you don’t believe me.

Again, if you missed it or are a bit slow on the uptake, there’s a another huge pages of new reviews here.

That’s all for now kids, we’ll be back in a few with more reviews (LPs mostly now) and some zine talk on top. Tapes after that – thanks everyone.


Hello everybody. It’s been too long, I know. Here are quite a few reviews of records that we’ve been compiling for some time now. Please note that further reviews/commentary on releases (some also included here, some not) are/were available via the 2015 recap from the staff as well Termbo print issue #3. I’m trying my damnedest to get caught up and organized for more frequent spring/summer updates. It’s well known the worst thing about zines is the editor making excuses why the new issue is late, and even worse than that is saying about how lame it is then doing it anyway. Let’s just say that it’s been a pretty rough stretch at Termbo HQ. Forging onward, demos/tapes are getting ready to go as we speak, and there’s another heap of record reviews coming soon as well, along with an interview with Marcia Clifton of The Klitz. And Termbo print #4 ready for summer beach reading. Apologies to all for the tardiness, drop the editor a line with comments/questions/outrage. RIP STABB.



Hey now. Here’s a bunch of tape/demo reviews for you to read. We will have short updates in the next weeks focusing on New Haven bands/records, Rochester/Rotcore releases and an All Canadian update. So if your releases fall under those headings, please be patient. Other than that, we have more records reviews, zine reviews, Termbo print issue #3 coming in October and other surprises. Catch up on older zines and tapes over at the Loki Label. If anyone out there wants to contribute to the zine or the site drop us a line with some ideas: –

(picture by Dave Hyde)


Hey there, it’s been a long time since we last rapped at ya. Here’s a large page full of overdue record reviews of the vinyl sort. Some older, some newer, we hope you find some thing you might like or have missed or are just finding out about. Still have another file full of vinyl reviews to edit and an even larger file full of tape/demo reviews to paste up, both of which should be happening soon now that we’re back from summer vacation. We also have a couple of interviews ready to roll as well. In other news, look for print Termbo Issue #3 around the end of summer, accompanied by a Giant Sized Best of Termbo as well. Back issues are still available via our friends at The Loki Label. And speaking of the Loki Label, the first annual Loki Fest is happening next weekend, July 18th at the Ace of Cups in scenic Columbus, Ohio with performances by Unholy Two, Mordecai, Cheater Slicks and Counter Intuits. There’s some more info about it here and we hope to see you there. Back soon. Direct all questions/comments/requests to the editor at


2014: DEAD

After some serious decision-making and last minute vote recounting, our “What We Liked About 2014” staff lists are available for review, just in case you might have missed anything this past year. Check that stuff out here. Up next we have a TONNE of reviews to get us caught up and into the new year plus a very special Garbage Can from our friend Ryan Dinosaur. All this and more very soon, including some print news as well….

Final review before press...


Finally, a brand new GARBAGE CAN has been completed, this time by our pal Levon from Canadian goth-rockers (I kid…) SEX CHURCH. Firstly, I think people should know Sex Church are supposedly recording their next LP as we speak, so you have that to look forward to. Secondly, I’d like to personally congratulate Levon for being the only man to complete the Garbage Can in almost four years (the last being our buddy Black Mike), and quite a few have tried. I’d estimate we have about a .225 or so average when it comes to The Can, so if you’d like to help us get a bit further above the Mendoza Line, please drop the editor a line. Serious inquiries only, but we need the help, as the garbage pile never ends. There’s currently one out on assignment right now which I have high hopes for (so if you’re reading this – you know who you are – get cracking with those pie charts and visual aids). While you’re distracted thinking about garbage, we’re going to finish editing a HUGE reviews section, plus some Printed Matter and a Demo Zone. Be back real soon.


Now that an all-too-brief summer seems to sadly be over, it’s time to get back to business. Months ago I promised an All Australian update, and here it is. I had a few more things planned but time was running out, so I think maybe we’ll do this again in the near future and add some addendums to it sooner than later. What we do have to offer in the now are interviews with Owen from Straight Arrows and Lynton from from Satanic Rockers; a recap of Home Blitz’s Australian tour and some downloadable music from their radio appearance; an All Aussie record review section; and and interview we did with Brendon from NGL a few years ago and some writing from him on RIP Society’s Success Summit from 2010. These two articles were meant for publication in a print zine that never happened and I hated to see them languishing on my desktop. Without Brendon’s help I would never have been able to have such an appreciation of the modern Australian music scene that I love so much. I miss having him telling me which bands suck and which are genius, among many other things. I also need to thank DX for all of his help in keeping me current via Distort and correspondence, as well as Owen from Straight Arrowns and Al from UV Race who answered many questions for me and Rich Dropkick for his assitance and help over the years. And a GIGANTIC thanks to Bruce Saltmarsh. Without Bruce I would never have been able to hear so many great records by so many great bands. I’ve had a lifelong obsession with Aussie music, from spending my allowance on AC/DC cassettes, to hearing my first Saints records, to hearing The Scientists for the first time (both “versions”), a decades long chase/infatuation with the Black Eye Records label/”sound”, still pursuing a Waste Sausage comp to this day, a love affair with Cosmic Psychos, right up to today and driving hundreds of miles to see ECSR and reading issues of Negative Guest List and Distort front-to-back multiple times in order to squeeze every kernel of information out of them. I’m just thrilled to be able to watch the amazing scene over there from afar with the help of some very gracious human beings mentioned above. I was thinking of writing an editorial about what it is that makes Aussie music so great, but after asking a few people questions along those lines it just seemed sort of silly. We all know what the magic is, and any bunch of words I could string together (no bullshit/no frills/grunt/swamp/burl/blahblahblah) will never do it justice. Have at it here. As I said, now that the weather is less favorable for gardening and outdoor beer drinking, expect more from us more regularly: we have a tall stack of reviews just about ready to go, some long-in-the-works interviews finished and even some serious blogging coming up. Thanks as always for everything, all of you, and see you soon.


V/A White Whale/Mallwalkers split 7”
White Whale side has two short ones with a rougher recording quality than the ‘No Solace’ 7” that fits the rapid-fire tunes and shows off the punker side of the Whale. The idea behind Mallwalkers sounds terrible on paper – a six-piece collision of funk/soul, New Wave and Post-Punk with a horn section and a guy singing into a telephone handset. Recipe for disaster, but I shit you not when I say it works out great. “Won’t You Dance With Me?” combines surfy guitar, bubbling bass and full-on brass attack (with a saxbleat solo that evens gives it a little No Wave flavor) into a herky New Wave whiteboy-groove that will definitely get things moving on the floor. I think the singer sounds just like the guy from The Hates, and the lyrics are certainly not going to blow minds, but danceable hits like this need that simple phrasing. “Lo-Fi Losers” exceeds expectations again with an organ grind that suddenly morphs into a guitarline that leads this punkified horn stomper. This one’s a real fist pumper, with more A-plus bass playing towing the party boat. This isn’t the cheese-funk or lame ska-style shinola your mind might be conjuring up images of. It’s not even Big Boys covering Kool & the Gang. It’s post-punk dance music, I guess…my difficulty coming up with a handy description should be seen as a good thing. That they execute these songs with good taste is quite a feat. I’m glad they’re up to the challenge, and I eagerly await more. Scum stats: 330 copies. (RK)
(Feral Kid //
(Subject //

Human Touch s/t 7”
Newer Buffalonian quartet, playing fastpunk jammers with off-the-rails girl vox. A-Side packs in four tracks on the more hardcore side, velocity-wise. “Youth Prison” has some agile tempo-changes, “Skeletons” sounds like the young lady laid down her vocal track in the midst of a nervous breakdown (which is a good thing, at least music-wise, but I hope she’s okay though), “Cold Hands, Cold Hearts” has a touch of keyboard and a lil’ breakdown for semi-hard pitting and “Blank Page” finishes with a brief mosher. The B-Side has only the (theme?) song “Human Touch”, a more mid-tempo indie-rocker that seems a bit restrained. Recording is clean, almost too clean – the guitar sound is pretty bland and something tougher or even louder would have given this some needed bite. As it stands, it’s the vocals that save this from being pretty generic. The band can certainly play, but I wish they sounded as wild as the vox so she doesn’t have to shoulder so much of the load. Scum stats: 320 copies, silkscreened sleeves. (RK)
(Feral Kid Records //
(One Percent Press // www.

White Whale “No Solace” 7”
Third single from White Whale, the current full-time project of the driving forces behind the now defunct Everything Falls Apart. One song per side, with “No Solace” being another of their Hot Snakes-esque guitar rockers, full of angsty riffing and having a decent hook. B-Side (“Waxing”) slows things way down for an emotive and mature indie tune. I’m never a fan of bands slowing down or maturing, but I also think White Load released two of the best records of the year, so you know my head is in the shitter. It’s recorded wonderfully, but I’d still recommend either of their earlier singles if you want to give them a shot. This one does have their best artwork though, with a clever obi-strip-like presentation that actually serves a purpose instead of just being a strip of paper that gets in the way when you want to listen to the record. Scum stats: 320 copies, silkscreened art and insert with a picture from a show I actually think I was at, which is always cool. (RK)
(Feral Kid Records //
(One Percent Press // www.

Rational Animals “Gabrielle” 7”
Rotcore’s most popular act (outside of Monroe County at least), with their first release since their breakout LP from last year. A-Side is their song-about-a-girl, and it’s mid-tempo chug with a lackluster solo, at least for the standard Will has established on previous outings. Seems like one of those formulaic songs where a band decides they need to write a catchy A-Side, but just doesn’t execute it well. One of the few times these cats have let me down. “Eating My Words” makes up for it on the flip, with a slowed down thrash riff and the type of guitar chug I expect from this guy, full-on whammy bar action, dropped/cracked note soling and a tripped out overall feel. It starts off slow and then they slow it down more for a real queasy finale. Creeping and crawling. Now that’s a song. If you’ve been dying for a new record by these kids, this is still a winning situation for you – even if the A-Side’s a bit of clunker, it ain’t terrible, and the flip is a choice cut. This record looks fucking great too, with the front being Nic’s version of the Sub Pop singles club aesthetic and the back cover designed by Rotcore overlord Brett “Bad Taste” Kucharski himself. Scum stats: part of Cowabunga’s Sick Club (full details here), which means a single press of 500 (which will surely sell out), with 100 on color for subscribers only. (RK)
(Cowabunga Records //

The Narcs “Long Hot Summer” 7”
Second EP from Rotchester sketch-lords The Narcs. I never really thought their first single did them justice (and they’ll forever be one of those bands whose live presence will never be rightfully captured on wax), but this six-song outing does them much better. Title cut is all riffs and snot, “High Robot” is hilariously dumb “concept” punk (a retarded A-Frames take from a band that I’m 99% sure have never heard the A-Frames) that could even pass for a younger and dumber Spits, and the epic “Rat Bone” is a live set favorite with a bouncy guitar/bass thump rev-up that turns to total level 11 punkitude (“I don’t grow up, I throw up!”) and then devolves into a sleaze jam breakdown. One of their best songs, lyrically and musically. Shwag Side kicks off with the retardo-blues-punker “Mobile Jail” which has terrible harmonica playing and a slip-n-slide solo. “R.O.T. Blood” is another live set shit-kicker and “Slime” is guitar punkola ala Livefastdie, but these kids aren’t joking. A far better sampling of The Narcs’ wares this time around, if you were let down by the first single this one is a far better representation of Rotcore’s most dangerous outfit. And do not ever miss them should they play within 100 miles of your town. Scum stats: first 50 on blue flavored vinyl.(RK)
(Cowabunga Records //

Flip Shit “Outgoing Rockers” EP
Debut vinyl from young shavers Flip Shit and the first record released by the Reel Time empire in a bit, and I’m glad to see the label back on track. Brett must have spent the downtime saving up money for the packaging on this thing: brown paper company sleeves that must have been a pain in the ass to get printed (including a clever “hooks” graphic and ‘The Quality Cut’ logo), inserts that were printed on loose leaf paper to look like they were scribbled with a pencil during study hall (complete with individual lipstick kisses on each copy) and the outer sleeves themselves have three-color screening on the absolute thickest pocket sleeves I’ve ever seen. Musically, Flip Shit are Rotcore incarnate. Young, loud and sloppy. Six songs spread thick over both sides, full of rat-a-tat drumming and guitar shred, some of which carry the mandatory Rotcore surf-twang inflection, jabber jawing vocals and bucketloads of piss and drool. From “Stoop Rock” into “Watch Your Mouth” they remind me of the modern WNY version of Suicidal Tendencies, barfing out anti-authoritarian hate-anthems perfect for dropping into either the pit or the pool. B-Side opener “America” has the hottest licks as they try to play fast enough to spontaneously combust. “End It All” is Living In Darkenss-era Agent Orange on poppers and “Shit Out of Luck” is DK-influenced punk without any of the smarts. Hailing from the outlying Rochester burg of Hilton, where the “real punks” apparently live, and which is home to two more of my favorite current Rotcore acts (sharing members with Flip Shit), Beastman and Crue Pie, who I hope have records out soon (or just someday at all). Scum stats: 300 copies only, with aforementioned bonkers packaging which is worth the price of admission alone. (RK)
(Reel Time Records //

Gas Chamber “Modern Vision of the Erect Nightmare” EP
I’ve never been a fan of much power-violence, and even though Gas Chamber’s lineage comes from some of Buffalo’s most legendary acts in that particular frame of reference (They Live, Slavestate, Running for Cover), they’ve gone beyond whatever genre confines that nametag might apply to music. Their last EP was a stunning example of what can (and should) simply be called brute force hardcore. Truly heavy music, with an attention to aesthetic that I admire and wish more bands possessed. Deep thought taken with thetotal package is evident here. Painstakingly detailed art and design that is relevant and part and parcel to the music. The cover image, taken from a 1970s suicide at Buffalo’s city hall where a jumper impaled himself on a flag pole, is immediately striking. The insert is a panoramic photo, shot from the observation deck where the dead man probably sat before hurling himself into the wind. The music, well it’s all atmosphere and concept. Wrapped around both sides is one long “song”, beginning with some circuit-bending noise, nearly industrial, which cuts off into a metallic dirge with violently barked vocals (one thing I’ve never understood is taking the time to write some profound words, and then bark them out nearly unintelligibly, but I guess that’s what lyric sheets are for) about uh…violence and suffering and the futility of life and architecture. Common themes for a band operating in this arena, sure, but done with more gravitas than just pulling images of war atrocities from some history book and rendering them in black and white. The piece segues back into the noisy echo which bridges the sides, becomes a bit less industrial and more of a haunting electric hum, with more bloody gargling of lyrics over this moody subliminal electric pulse and an ominous sound that begins to make its presence felt, like girders bending or the creaking of a submarine’s steel hull that you’d hear when all is quiet twenty thousand leagues under. The record then bleeds out into a delicate acoustic guitar coda. It’s quite ambitious, and more of high concept art project than the hardcore of their previous efforts. I admire the tenacity with which they brought their ideas to fruition, and the last time I saw them live my jaw and mind were totally dropped by what I can only refer to as prog-power-violence. This is not a record I will be spinning when I’m in need of some tunes, but it is a work of art I’m glad to own and can see myself re-visiting. If more bands had the attention to detail and depth of vision that Gas Chamber have I’d have a lot less to bitch about in most of the reviews I write these days. Scum stats: 500 copies.(RK)
(Nerve Altar //

Utah Jazz s/t 7”
Long-anticipated (‘round these parts at least) debut waxing from Buffalo’s wyldest three-piece unit. For non-locals, you’ve got one part Brown Sugar, one part Mayday and one part gal drummer who played in some heavier-style outfits the names of which will just go over yer head if you don’t live in the 716. If you were hip enough to grab their demo, you get some tunes from that re-done and a couple more winners, five knockouts all told. Twin-guitar twang instrumental “Lookin’ Like Howwywood” hits a lead-off single which they drive home with “Florida”, here given the deluxe treatment with some flute soloing that’ll have people thinking the Jazz have listened to an Ohsees record or two, and I can assure they have, but this is more rock than psych – guitars run lines in and around each other while, get this, the girl actually sings(!). Stellar stuff. B-Side gets all punk and shit, “Media Schlitz” has some real shitkicking drum action under the guitar dueling, “Contact Low” keeps the pace manic, “Seeing the Eye Doctor” is garage-jam-punk-tastic. These kids have a ton of tunes in the can, expect more action soon. There are times when I think the Jazz are better than any of the participant’s “main” bands. Which is a tall order, and certainly makes the record one of the best Buffalo has to offer for export these days. Scum stats: 500 copies, 25 copy special edition record release sleeve. (RK)
(Media Schlitz //


This time around: Canadian reissues from two recently reinvigorated Canadian labels. Some classic pre-punk sounds from Supreme Echo (who did the Jerk Ward retrospective and Polski Punk comps a few years ago), who also have a Neos discography LP, Dishrags comp LP and more Twich on tap, as well as the now-available reissue of Arctic Inuit-rockers Northern Haze. More details here, ordering info for the below singles is located here and you can e-mail the label direct at or check their not really updated website.

Simon Harvey’s Ugly Pop has been delivering the goods for many years, whether it be crucial Japcore (Paintbox, Warhead), Raw Power/Fratricide/Dream Dates reissues, early 2000’s Canadian hardcore and punk from his time in both Toronto and Vancouver, but he’s recently started work on a incredible Canadian garage and punk reissue spree, the first two batches of which are reviewed below. First wave was Dream Dates/Arson/CK5, second wave is RNR Bitches/Hot Nasties/Spys and the third wave will be comprised of Sixties garage rock 7″ classics from A Passing Fancy, Bent Wind and Northwest Company and will even later lapse into modern day punk with a Hygiene single, a Hackamore Brick reissue(!) and even more in the works. Watch this page for more news.

The Twitch “Things” EP
Four tracks from obscuro 1973 Vancouver rockers who graduated from the Sixties teen garage scene, compiling their first two 45s over two sides. “Things” is the centerpiece, a brooding bad-trip sounding proto-punker that bridges the gap between Sixties garage and psych (even if the band held the burgeoning “psych” movement in disdain) which was backed with the biker-rock “Pickup Is Illegal on 401 (Hitchhiker’s Blues)” that certainly brought their dreams of being a true hard rock power trio to fruition, with what you have to call a stone-groove of a drumbeat interrupted by tough vox and power moves on the chorus. Their second 45 fills the less-essential B-Side, with “Sweet Thursday” being an uptempo and sunny rocker that reminds me a bit of the brighter moments of CCR with a poppier bent and the joke of “Country Tune”, which could be the early equivalent of the 70’s anti-disco punk tune which they fry out at the end with some fuzz pedals and a squealing solo. I imagine Stompin’ Tom Connors was none too pleased if he ever heard this. The accompanying booklet provides a great history, repros of early newspaper clippings and vintage pics. The striking group you see on the sleeve is what the band evolved into later on in ’73, cribbing from Alice Cooper or Roy Wood, and seeking to push their already “ear-splitting” reputation further they adopted the make-up and costumes, two of them looking like Norwegian Death Metallers twenty years ahead of their time while the drummer opted for impersonating the In-Betweener. According to the liners, they went into a “Dark Years” phase which had them turning into some sort of proto-doom band, with heavier tunes and imagery, which I would love to hear based on the Stooges/Pentagram description dropped by the label for the forthcoming LP compiling this era. Well packaged and researched, this is a pretty choice package for the A-Side alone. There’s supposedly a limited version that comes with full color trading cards as well.(RK)
(Supreme Echo //

Sphex “Time” 7″
Absolutely killer reissue from small-town Ontario Seventies rockers Sphex, whose story is told in great detail in the booklet, but to paraphrase they obviously never got much recognition outside their hometown due to your typical bad timing/tough luck story. They recorded these songs as part of the soundtrack to a film, which were released as a small run single a little too late to save them, and then an ill-fated tour nailed the coffin closed. The proto-punk tag doesn’t seem so fitting for this one. What you can hear are some prog leanings, but they thankfully cater to the more space-rock side of the genre than sprawling Yes-like bores. They’re rockers for sure though, prog-style or not. Guitar player is a total cape-wearing nut and his playing carries the tunes all the way. “Time” certainly summons up some phased-out spacetime bliss, with teenaged hot licks splayed all over while the band steers the vessel with some surprisingly talented drumming and steady rhythms. “Leaving This Crazy City” might actually warrant the proto-punk tag, sounding like a more well-mannered Soggy. It’s a killer riff-driven hard rocker that chugs with a certain punk-like menace, and the soloing on this side sounds more Stoogey than the noodly work on “Time”. As I’m sure I’ve said 100 times before, it’s so rare these days to find unheard-of gems like this, and the quality of both tracks is pretty impressive. Singer might be a Seventies hard rock stereotype, but the thud on Side B is certainly worth a look. Impeccable packaging again, well done on all fronts.(RK)
(Supreme Echo //

Crash Kills Five “What Do You Do At Night?” 7″
Pre-Young Lions (! – who I’ve always been told were Toronto’s first hardcore band – and best along with YYY) and pre-Shadowy Men on Shadowy Planet (!! – and I should mention the Shadowy Men discography is being reissued on vinyl by Mammoth Cave this summer in conjunction with a couple of reunion shows – and Ugly Pop is releasing a 7″ from Filthy Gaze of Europe which features Don [Shadowy Men/CK5] and Dallas from Sadies/Elevator playing with guest vocalists…)!  These Toronto punk rocker’s only single from 1980 gets the reissue treatment here on the reactivated Ugly Pop label. Pop hooks and catchy choruses abound, title cut has a particularly Buzzcockian build, “It’s Always There” has a Ramonesy dum dum vocal and adept rock-n-pop mix, “Special School” continues with some more punk edge offset by backing harmonies. A fine compliment to The Diodes, Teenage Head and other hyperactive hook-driven Ontario punks of the era. Informative liners in a nice tri-fold insert presentation (an idea that probably could have saved insane Tim Warren from having to print a gatefold sleeve to cover all the Psycho Surgeons liners…) including the anecdote that after their remaining singles sat around the bass player’s apartment for years after band called it quits, he decided to give them away to trick-or-treaters one Halloween. Tasty treats indeed. (RK)
(Ugly Pop //

Arson “White Folks” 7″
Faithful repro of this obscure ’79 punk jammer from Arson, a super group with members from Viletones, The Ugly and others, with “Coho! Coho!” being a favorite of mine from back on the first volume of ‘Smash the State’, a total guitars-blazin’ punk rocker with frantic and rough pacing and a great singalongable chorus. Sort of a friendlier (or just Canadian) Dead Boys approach that carries over to the B-Side as well, which is a slow burner called “(Livin’ With The) White Folks” where the singer shows off his well-honed sneering and leering Stiv-like delivery. Definitely my fave of this first batcch, and probably the most overtly punk. Both sides are more than worthwhile and this is the one to get if you only have enough lunch money for one of this inital round of pups. Nothing as far as liners, but does come with a lyric insert.(RK)
(Ugly Pop //

Dream Dates “Surfer Joe” 7″
Not technically a reissue, but the release of the Dream Dates final single recorded in 1979, from the same sessions that gave us “The Mess You’re In” and “Moans on the Phone” 7″es which Ugly Pop unearthed some years ago (and were comped on a 12″ by Re-Force as well), so you know this is a special band as far as the label CEO is concerned, and rightfully so, as they’re probably one of the more well-rounded of the classic Toronto punk outfits – and one of most American sounding, if that makes any sense. Two covers this time around, which is a slight bummer, but they do a killer buzzsaw-guitar take on the Surfaris’ tune, which sounds like a way uptempo Dolls and even a bit like The Saints. They do “Tallahassee Lassie” on the flip (and keep in mind these covers made a lot of sense 30+ years ago) which has super crunchy guitars and sounds like a Heartbreakers/Dictators jam session/drinking marathon. If you have the others, there’s no reason to not complete the set. Insert features a promo shot of Beef Stu and Co., but no sign of the leather-catsuit wearing minx from “The Mess..” 7″ sleeve…(RK)
(Ugly Pop //

Hot Nasties “Invasion of The Tribbles” EP
Fantastic 1980 punkola from Calgary’s Hot Nasties that isn’t so much young, loud and snotty as it is young, dorky and fun a la a more serious (and proficient) Gizmos or other nerdy rockers on the sci-fi referential “Invasion of the Tribbles” with some art school nods in the back seat. Reminded me a little of the best 63 Monroe cuts even. “I Am A Confused Teenager” is inspiringly angsty with lyrical content that belies the seemingly fun-loving tune, great cracked-voice “singing”, lots of UK-style bonehead plodding all over a good hook and pub-style singalong chorus. B-Side is the slowed up “The Secret of Immortality” that sounds quite British in a more serious DIY fashion for a change of pace. I should note that band “leader” Waren Kinsella is now a lawyer/politician of some stature in Toronto, but still acknowledges his punk roots. Only in Canada! Contains fold-out  insert with lyrics and humorous liners. My favorite of the very strong second wave/trio of the label’s reissues. (RK)
(Ugly Pop //

Rock’n’Roll Bitches “Wild West” EP
Edmonton punker’s super-rare and only record from 1980 reissued. Teenage Head vs. The New York Dolls is the recurring theme, with some Thunders-esque guitar melded to a punker template throughout. “Someone Could Lose An Eye” is the sing-a-long anthem, “Broad Daylight” is frantic and buzzing with strong riff and vocals. “Welder’s Song” reminds me of Canadian City Rock, with a hearty Midwest feel to it even if the vox are a bit off (I think there’s a different – and not as confident- singer on this one), but it adds some charm. “Wild West” closes with some Maximum R&B infused Saints-esque raving. A real solid mix, all four tracks are worth a spin for a definite got-your-moneys-worth satisfaction. Comes with two inserts showing off vintage pics.(RK)
(Ugly Pop //

The Spys “Underground” 7″
Two song banger from Windsor, ON, which is the Canadian burg directly across the water from Detroit for those of you bad at geography. There’s a definite Motor City buzz to “Going Underground” (Windsor also boasts a GM Transmission plant, by the way), but it’s also real deal KBD tough rocking with a bit of attitudical snot.  There are certainly plenty things punk about going underground, one way or another, and it’s a sneakily catchy number. Flipside is “Machine Shop”, complete with fake jazzbo intro which breaks into post-Groovies rock’n’punk, simple yet effective, very Ramones-esque as well. Repeat the same five or six words or so along with the title – “All work, no play, hey!”  – and you’ve got a winning formula. A strong single from 1980 that sounds like it could even be a couple years older than that. Comes with repros of both sleeves plus some unseen photos. The sleeper pick of the second batch, I don’t remember the A-Side being this great!(RK)
(Ugly Pop //


GG King “Last of the Night Wiggers” 12”
Tour-only 12” (pressed for The Rockaround and Tejas shows) repacking of the ‘Last of the Night Wiggers’ six-song demo tape which preceded all of the records, adding a couple bonus cuts as well. 8 tracks, 4 per side at 45rpm for maximum volume. A-Side has the demo (and superior version, according to GG) of “Babbling Voices”, the never-on-vinyl “Head in the Clouds” which is one of my favorite King cuts, demo version of “Drug Zoo”, and the thrashpunk (and unwaxed) “Flowing Robes” , which is pretty sick. B-Side is rough versions of “Witching Hour” and the cover of “The Letter” from the ‘Drug Zoo’ EP, the previously unreleased (unless you own the ‘Chris Van Etten’s Last Stand’ cassette, which is possibly a fictional release) and live “Lord of Light” (yes, a Hawkwind cover) and a “sicker, slower” version of “Parameciums” from the LP sourced from another (again, possibly fictional) demo tape . There aren’t many bands I dig more than GG King’s outfit these days, and he’s supposedly working on a new LP as we speak. Great liner notes and budget paste-on sleeves make this an essential part of the story thus far. Scum stats: 165 copies. Good luck. (RK)
(Scavenger of Death //

GG King “Joyless Masturbation” 7″
The concept of joyless masturbation is something that is familiar to men (or perhaps boys is the proper term) who have spent some time bottomed out, maybe on the booze or drugs or just on the unpleasant gifts life (and ladies) sometimes dump on your head with seemingly relentless zeal. A perfunctory habit that offers the absolute cheapest of thrills when you can no longer be thrilled or even care to be. Sometimes you just do things because you can. It’s something I at least thought about when spinning this single, a habit that itself can at times fall into the same rut. Sometimes I feel like I have to listen to records. Sometimes the repetition of reviewing these 7″ slabs of plastic has become like nothing but beating my meat out of sheer habit. Something once thrilling, now turned boring. But sometimes you get a return, and this song (which isn’t even the “hit” on this single), full of droning vox and a busy drum “beat” (yuk), is at the very least a forceful punk tune for banging your head (either one) against a wall. As on the ‘Esoteric Lore’ LP, Mr. King takes things a few steps forward content-wise than things ever got with the Carbonas. Dark places I’m sure we’re all comfortable in, perhaps awkward, but saying a little more than just your average punk-tune, which is admirable. A high quality A-Side that might be made forgettable by the seemingly inane virtue of the B-Side, “Bag”, which runs hot and spirited and is the finest song I think I’ve heard this year that I can at least remember. You ball it up, wrap it up, you wad it in a ball and you put in a bag….or something like that? What the fuck is he talking about? Everything, anything, who gives a shit. Maybe he’s talking about huffing glue, maybe he’s talking about storing away your feelings. I don’t care, yet I do. A great song that is surely fitting to be released on a label called Total Punk any which way you slice it. I love this guy, his band, this song, the ripping guitar part that sounds like a zip gun. My favorite single of 2012 so far. Scum stats: 85 mailorder-only copies with a sharp looking promo poster, and an undisclosed amount of the “Gary Wrong Killed Total Punk” edition (see the labels for explanation). The “regular” version (with the always classy hand-stamped Total Punk sleeves) should do you just fine as well.(RK)
(Total Punk //

] Wymyns Prysyn “Payday” 7″
Scavenger of Death are quietly batting 1.000 down in Georgia, and this single keeps their hitting streak alive. Title cut is an absolute blazer, taking the ATL sound and adding some bigger balls to it. Very bottom heavy, with some real macho guitar drive, seemingly derived more from US hardcore than the KBD-influenced bands we already know and love from Atlanta. The closest geographical reference might be The Frantic or Predator, but darker and faster and meaner. “Cat Pills” speeds by with catchy downer riffing and whiplash velocity. B-Side is an instrumental that switches gears into Wipers territory, a la one of Sage’s wandering spacey guitar jams with some crunchy breaks. Obviously allied with the ex-Carbonas crew (guess who mastered this one), but sounding little like them – which shouldn’t put off fans of that sound either, as I like most of the bands that sound like the ‘bonas anyway. Scum stats: 50 copies with alt sleeve.(RK)
(Scavenger of Death //

Vincas “Blood Bleeds” LP
For his latest release the Douchemaster leaves Atlanta and travels up the road to Athens to bring us the debut LP from Vincas, a three-piece charting some territories we’re all quite familiar with already. I’m talking about the swamp-blues, sludgily rocking and heavily soaked with the influence of The Scientists and Birthday Party and other Orstralian meat-eaters and cavern-dwellers. Mix in some Gun Club death and desperation and a little bit of NYC Chrome Cranks garage-scum and you have the basic outline for what Vincas do. Most of the time the band colors things in exciting ways (even if we’ve heard them done before), and the way they stir the ingredients makes them come out sounding like the Necessary Evils (“Gravity”, “Hell Ride”) and/or The Beguiled (“Saw Her”,“Stone Girl”) more often than not. That’s not a complaint. “Deadache” is a pretty good hard-guitar garage-punk song in the Beasts of Bourbon mold. “Red Eyed” has a heavy psych-throb drone more aligned with modern rockers like Birds of Maya than anything garage. Sure, they slip up on a couple tunes like resorting to Cramps-a-billy on “Dead and Alone” or the regrettably hokey “In My Bones”, but you’re gonna break a couple eggs when playing in this genre. If I hadn’t listened to the last two tracks on the A-Side I’d have little to complain about here. I’ve enjoyed listening to this for a couple days now, particularly when the guy just sings instead of getting all Lux-y on us. They’re very tasteful with the reverb, and whip up a real fury on most of the tracks instead of hitting us over the head with trudging no-tempo downers or the aforementioned rockabilly schtick, managing to avoid thepitfalls of the style. Like I said, reminding me of The Beguiled is a good thing, and Vincas play the garage-creep card without getting overly corny or BBQ’ed. Heavy, loud and dark and worth a pick-up if you dig anything I name dropped above. Not for fans of the Hex Dispensers and pop-punk. Scum stats: self-released band edition of 100 with screened sleeves, with the Douchemaster copies in standard sleeves for a total of 500.(RK)
(Douchemaster Records //

thanks to Floridas Dying for the pic