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RECORD REVIEWS WINTER/SPRING 2016

Key: (SB: Young Steve)(DH: Dave Hyde)(RK: Rich K.)(RSF: Rob Vertigo)(NG: Nick Goode)(RL: Ryan Leach)



Absent Friends "Stand Up And Fight" 7"
Hands down, the wimpiest band to ever call a song "Stand Up And Fight" (it has some real hot trumpet on it though..), but seriously if you thought Spandau Ballet were too heavy this Absent Friends single is right up your alley....(RK)
(Manufactured Recordings // www.omnianmusicgroup.com)

Accelerators s/t EP
The Acclerators record is a long time love affair of mine. In 1984 pop-punk didn't even exist yet. I've heard people call this record pop-punk - and they're wrong. I dont care if one of the guys went on to start The Parasites. The Accelerators are pure punk with hooks from a still-innocent time, maybe the last year actual punk even truly even existed. And this 7" is on Mutha Records, possibly my favorite record label of all time. All six songs are 100% legit smokers, almost what Angry Samoans could have sounded like had they been more concerned with chicks and scoring instead of being obnoxious goofballs and pissing people off. This is a punk trio doing it all right, non-stop guitar, big-big-big hooks, harmonizing on the chorus - and no striped shirts or matching suits, these dudes are straight up Jersey leather jacket bros. If you've never heard this before, you are missing out, my friend. It will completely destroy 99% of the powerpop records in your collection with the hooks on the A-Side alone. Fuck off. I have a hard time picking a favorite off this EP, but when pressed I usually go with "She's So Fine". Add this to your collection immediately.(RK)
(Manufactured Recordings // www.omnianmusicgroup.com)

Aggro "Maelstrom" 7"
Aggro "My Vice" 7"
Apparently the days of Japanese punk bands having that high-treble guitar and scratchy low-fi sound are over. Lots of these newer bands are going with full-fi production values, guitars blazing, drums and bass booming in the mix. Aggro are a particularly high energy example of the approach. The "Malestrom" 7" is full of screaming guitar and full-on production shine - shit, "Self Control" is almost metal in its crunch (anyone else notice they crib a little guitar part from 'Master of Puppets'?), the title track has a huge chorus and bigtime soloing. Talk about action rock, I bet their live show is like watching a tornado. 'My Vice' is the newer single, sounds like it could be the same session. The lead guitar player is a maniac, A-Side is the ripper, B-Side is more of a crusher with some real twin guitar fury. These guys are definitely bringing the Japanese rawk to the man - serious business.(RK)
(Beerdrop Records // beerdrop.bandcamp.com)

Charles Albright “Short Skirt” 7”
Always late to the game, this is the first release I’ve heard by Sacto’s Charles Albright, a one-sided disk that is over all too quickly. Only two cuts here: “Short Skirt,” a wall of guitar—heavy and loud, Flag and grunge. The vocals are a refrain of the title, yelled out a couple of times before a bridge and explosion of feedback. And then that repeats again. Did I mention grunge? So then they kick into “Territorial Pissings” full of gusto and reverence and I was pogoing and yelling along the whole time. Really great stuff. (DH)
(Sacramento Records // 331 21st St, Sacto, CA 95811)

Alparchie “Spacepunk Vol. 2” 7”
“Ex-members of White Slaves (infamous hardcore punk MTL)”…”5 penis-punk songs”…”pink sex toy vinyl”…”groovy punk”….if any of those snippets from the promo blurb sound appealing, help yourself to my copy of this. It'll be in the recycling bin by the curb this coming Thursday. It’s not even offensive aside from being bad music sung in French. (RK)
(Zaxxon // www.zaxxon.ca)

Angkor Wrack "Built to Kill" LP
You'd be tempted to say this LP has bad artwork at first glance, but once you listen to it everything makes sense. This LP plays out like the aural equivalent of some Euro post-apocalypse film knockoff - a movie genre the Italians did best, but instead of an Italian film, we get an LP from some Danes. The intro works, roll titles, bomb blast and some chase scene music where maybe you just see the souped-up and poorly constructed Mad Max-esque vehicles rolling down the hills, possibly in slow-motion, or maybe even a few mutants emerging from a cloud of nuclear fallout smoke (also in slow-motion). After that it's a steady succession of four tracks that play out like a Danish Spits, if the Wood brothers were real creeps and not the fun-loving dudes they actually are. This singer sounds like he got a nasty dose of nuclear slime all over his vocal cords - it sounds like his voice is actually melting on some of these songs. Maybe Steve Austin (the other one) with a mutated toxic larynx. A disturbing vocal presence to accompany some top-notch lo-fi synth/drums/bass thump. "Mutate to Survive" actually makes you think they're playing a slowed down copy of "Shitty World" for a minute, really slimy vocals on this one too. In an honestly quite witty joke, Side B begins with the sequel, "Mutate to Survive 2" - better than the original too! Extra guitar noise and real dum-dum plod go a long way to make part 2 triumph. Four more on this side, "Tower of Doom" adds some cheesy synth and backing static - shit, if they cut these vox out it would be the perfct thing to roll credits over. "Unholy Alliance" ends things, and someone else takes over vox on this one (and maybe they should've let this guy do the whole thing instead of that melting guy), and his thickly accented english plays perfectly over this deadbeat anthem - slow and lowbrow, really perfect tune (that bell/synth ring really skeeves it up a bit). Crazy shit happening in Denmark.(RK)
(Mastermind Records // mastermindrec.tictail.com)

Angry Angles s/t LP
Collection of all of the Angry Angles singles and then some. Obviously this is essential, even if you own all of the singles, if just to hear all of these songs together and consider how great they truly are. I think some people new to the Jay catalog might think of AA as a brief side-project sort of thing considering the band's short lifespan, when in actuality this material is some of Jay's strongest and shows his transition into the more pop-oriented/hook-laden style that catapulted his star further into orbit. The liner notes here from Alix, Eric and Zac are perfect, each bringing up touching memories and interesting factual info. AA were technically Jay's last collaborative band, as after this it was all Jay himself in the studio, and having Alix as his foil here creates the perfect tension. It's a fact that there is not a bad Angry Angles song - and the covers they did are some of my favorites of all time ("Blockhead" and "The 15th" in particular), and this LP adds "Memphis Creep" to their repetoire. Aside from the Oblivians tribute (and another version of "Things Are Moving", both recorded by Jay), the unheard material also includes a spectacular three song session recorded in Montreal in 2006 with Ryan Rousseau on drums which the huge "Set in Stone" is the highlight of (and also shows off an early take of "Can't Do It Anymore" which Jay ended up using on 'Watch Me Fall'). Includes a download code for their Gonerfest set as a bonus (and it was a classy move not padding the LP itself with live material) which sounds incredible and reinforces the strength of the songs/band. I fell in love with this stuff all over again, as should you.(RK)
(Goner Records // www.goner-records.com)

David Arvedon "The Best of - Volume One" LP
The third volume in Arvedon's backwards Best of..., this one wraps up most of the first disc from the Arf!Arf! 2XCD comp. Before I go any further, I have to say that Arvedon's liner notes for this volume are incredible, no matter how brief - funny, honest, insightful and some words that'll make you think. Musically the A-Side is all business, includes a version of the Psychopath's "Til the Stroke of Dawn" (a song about Dracula if you're not familiar), the short version of "Fancy Woman" which is a pretty smokin' number with soul and organ, "Move A Your Caboose" is a sax-laden weird one lyrically but quite smooth rhythmically and Dave weepily ends the side on "Write it on My Epitaph" where his voice ventures into some registers we've not heard before. The B-Side is the "goofy" side - a little wordplay on "San Francisco Francisco" goes a long way, there's some frat-sax on "When Your Name is Jalapos Pakedos" which is semi-stompin', "Ha-Di Ha Ha Ha" juxtaposes laughter with some heavy raga and flute vibes for one of Dave's deepest cuts ever and regrettaby the "Raw Power" here is not the cover I was hoping for, but is still a little bit of a rocker. So is this all for the Best of Arvedon? Is there a Volume 4? Is Arvedon sitting on more unreleased genius? Only Dave and Jim Nabors know for sure....stay tuned and find out! Scum stats: 200 copies onyl, 24 copies with black screened jacket the rest are blue.(RK)
(Mighty Mouth // www.almostreadyrecords.com)

Avenue Z "Azimut" LP
Unbeknownst to me on first spin, this is The Magnetix moonlighting with a lone Catholic Spray member adding bonus synth sounds to their mix."Ephemerol" jumps off in a totally different head - thick with sci-fi blip and a nearly new age feel - until it combats itself while introducing a bastardized "One Way Or Another" riff at the halfway marker. An odd choice, but it works like a hard edged Aussie Night Terrors or something else in that vein. Instrumental themes squiggle and dissipate as tracks settle in for a more lazer-tagged and fuckered run through the ol' Magnetix M.O. Heavy, low toned rockers commence, only this new found keyboard warp adds heaps of space junk to their usual trajectory. "Zetron Libre" and "Pile Ou Face" showcase the most of all players on deck, with driving cinematic groovers that wouldn't feel out of place scoring some lost French New Wave flick - or a frisky Rollin vampire film - as they shimmy back and forth in a particle haze. Elsewhere I'm reminded of their stablemates Feeling Of Love's latest leanings into psych sprawl. "Magnarum Rerun" drops in a guitar crunch that's as thick as Bleach, only to let it muck about under stiff industrial battering and a electronic crackle. To be honest, it still sounds a hell of a lot like The Magnetix, only with synths splattered to and fro. This is not meant as a slight, either. Their 'Double Negative LP has been one of the highlights to my reviewing tenure 'round here and I was more than stoked to finally see them play the US last summer. If your a Magnetix fan - or if you've been jonesing for something with that French Triple Alliance vibe as of late - I can't imagine why you wouldn't be down for the ride. (RSF)
(Slovenly Records //www.slovenly.com)

Badaboum s/t LP
French female trio, members have done time previously in Headwar, The Dreams and Heimat and other La Grand Triple Alliance affiliated projects. It's an eerie record, hitting some really creepy notes without being too deliberate about it - unsettling might be a better word. They get a lot of that effect from twisting organ sounds into disconcerting shards and swathes (or sometimes just pumping really creepy church organ) and there's some violence to their DIY bashing, especially when they're wringing unnatural sounds out of horns. The vocals run the gamut from savage shrieking, to cultish chanting, some emotional torch-style singing and just general moaning and groaning. I'm no language expert, but I feel like they switch from French to German at points and sometimes are just speaking in guttural made-up tongues. The B-Side's beginner ("Reubenoit XVI") and ender ("Samedi?") are the two I kept returning to. Avant-gluewave that's effective at making the listener ill at ease, which I would imagine these ladies would consider a win. Bruit Direct is really bringing the pain with this batch of LPs (Wonderfuls, Kitchen's Floor...).(RK)
(Bruit Direct // bruit-direct.org)

Beekeepers "II" LP
That Beekeepers 7" on X! Records was an intriguing listen - it wasn't your typical Detroit rocker. Here, the 'keepers go off a cliff into eccentric prog-rock land, throwing in plenty of jokes along the way (how 'bout that angelfire website gag, huh?) on their debut LP entitled "II"...Singer/guitarist Patrick Robinson is said to the brains here, and I struggle to figure out where he's coming from, which is a good thing more often that not I suppose. I don't think the music itself is a joke at all here, the smooth-organ prog-rock songs are just done too well. He sneaks some good jazz tricks in, and there's plenty of that Detroit weird-punk (Uncle Jimbo in particular, mixed with the new X!-men) but little of the trad Motor City Rock. Ten songs that are a mix of interesting weird-garage-prog cuts and some other songs that sound EXACTLY like what sends me running from from certain establishments that cater to "jam bands" and often have Zappa tribute nights. It's a unique sound for sure, and the songwriting and playing is top notch on every level, so much so that even the synth-heavy stuff sounds great. "Normal Dressed Man" gets freaky and noisy and is the best cut here, along with the psych-out vibes on "Billboards", and "Dragon Priest" is some kinda genius - more cuts like those and I'd be on board more fully. But there's a good five or six tunes here that make me feel like I'm listening to the soundtrack to a rock opera, or some smooth prog-rock AM station - and not in a good way, if there even is a good way for that to happen. A very smart record from a creative standpoint, but not one I really want to listen to again and again.(RK)
(Stubbs Group // beekeepersweb.angelfire.com)

Big Huge “Orama” 7”
First record from this NYC outfit, sporting a great recording that is perfect for what they’re doing. “Late at Nite” is a fast and fairly Scientists-influenced track with a bunch of rock-ass guitar leads on top. “Carnal Pleasure” and “Infinite Gap” kind of use the same tricks Shannon & the Clams do to join the wall of noise revival movement, and the singer(s?) have the chops to justify it. “Can’t Lie” closes the record out with a Thin Lizzy-ass riff that makes more sense than it should in this post-Sheer Mag world. Incredible Kidda Band vibes are peppered nicely throughout. Great record, well worth seeking out. “Infinite Gap” is a fuckin’ hit. (NG)
(Nobody’s Baby // www.nobodysbaby.bigcartel.com)

Birds of Paradise “Ghost of A Lover” 7”
Birds of Paradise on this record are Roy/Choyce and his wife Hannah backed by a band called Slates from Edmonton playing folksy garage-rock with some prairie C&W vibes. Title track is a good one, an emotional torch song filled with some sad electric guitar and resonatingly melancholic acoustic with husky vocals from Hannah that carry some real weight. The B-Side is a cover of Suicide’s “Diamonds, Fur Coat & Champagne” that’s actually quite brilliant – minimal guitar, tasteful percussion, almost-not-there bass, what sounds like the wind blowing and Hannah just breathes out the words. Absolutely beautiful. Not what you’re used to getting from a “Roy band”, and this is far from a throwaway. Really outstanding and evocative stuff.(RK)
(Zaxxon // www.zaxxon.ca)

Birds of Paradise “Love Is Confusion” 7”
I was completely thrown when I put this on—seeing the Dusty Medical imprint and associating it immediately with In the Red garage/punk a la Catholic Boys and Livefastdie, this was not what I was expecting. I suppose we all grow up, expand our horizons, develop a more nuanced ear. I have, certainly, which may be why, after taking a minute to adjust and realign my expectations, I found myself enjoying this quite a bit. “Love Is Confusion” opens sparsely—opening lines sung powerfully by vocalist Hannah Lewis with a piano accompaniment before layers build into an intense crescendo. “Baby Daughters” is the only track here that relies on a predominant guitar sound and adds in crashing percussion for heavy, mesmerizing effect. (DH)
(Dusty Medical // www.dustymedical.com)

Black Abba "Betting on Death" 7"
Debut 7" (get the tape too, neither of these tunes are on it) from NOLA's Black Abba featuring everyone from NOLA that's not in Gary Wrong Group (I think) including the man named Buck Biloxi, "Betting On Death" is chilling (like frightening, not all laid back and chillin') commentary on the futility of life itself, delivered with lo-fi guitar ineptitude and a bargain synth sound, whoever said Kleenex meets the Shit Dogs should've just written this review. I give up. A+ and depressing. "Civilized" gets even looser, that synth sound is just killing me, that has to be Biloxi on guitar or someone just ripping off his steez - only he can play guitar that out of tune and make it sound good. Kinda. A total winner and so bleak they really live up to having a name with black in it. Dark stuff. Buy multiples instead of those fucking powerball tickets maaaan. Clear vinyl for the mailorder heads.(RK)
(Goner // www.goner-records.com)

Black Panties "Future" EP
Now that I don't feel that I have to keep defending Black Panties to you as an artist of merit, we can just get right on down to the meat here. "Future" is one of his best, has the big guitar riff and the type of shout-a-long chorus that works so great for our masked hero - filled with the expected vitriol that will never go out of style ("I've seeen the future and I hate it..."). "You'll Never Find My Body" is one of the best song titles I've seen in awhile and it's a nasty little garage-core ripper. "Nothing Left" continues the loathing, delivering it via a very metal riff this time, loud as hell, big drum sound, sounds great (and no synth!) and they even mosh it out a bit at the end. "Born Into Shit" closes with a plod (and get that fucking synth outta here!). A very fine continuation of the Panties story thus far, I love the guy as much as he hates himself.(RK)
(Windian // www.windianrecords.com)

Black Panties "Prophet of Hate" 7"
"Prophet of Hate" is hands down one of my top three songs of 2015. There hasn't been a better song written in the Bobby Sox/Drunks with Guns mold since those guys were actually active bands. Heavy, misanthropic and darkly humorous, a monster riff and great vocals and lyrics. Seriously, there's some great lines in this one (" I am a lighthouse of apathy"!). One of those tunes you have to listen to like three times every time you put it on. The only bummer is "Violence" on the B-Side. Total toss-off with a terribly annoying synth riff. Panties didnt even try on this one and it shows, even the lyrics blow. That being said, you must own this record for "Prophet of Hate". It's a no-brainer. Watch Panties' liner notes too, he's been slipping some good zingers in there.(RK)
(Total Punk // www.floridasdying.com)

Eric Boros “Desolation Sound” EP
The story behind this record is admittedly more intriguing than the music. Eric Boros is an old power-violence guy, who was in Third World Planet in the Nineties and has remained active as a composer/artist/archivist of world music and the music of his homeland of Vancouver Island (which is not the city of Vancouver). Here he does six acoustic covers of powerviolence/grindcore songs from the Nineties scene he was a part of. Living in an isolated community and the camaraderie that it creates amongst the band of freaks unfortunate enough to dwell there – well that’s a vibe I can appreciate. Even though I’d rather read an article about it than listen to some hippie-folk tunes…I mean, this just sounds silly. (RK)
(S.K. // skrecords.org)

Brown Spiders "It's Something To Do" 7"
Brown Spiders are the sister band to the Make Overs, both from South Africa and on Hozac as part of their foreign exchange program. Brown Spiders sound Australian, which is a dumb description (and lazy), but it's true. "It's Something To Do" is a real solid tune, built on a bassline, maybe like a slightly more energetic Martyr Privates or a heavier Ooga Boogas. It's catchy, aggro, heavy and all that. Solid. B-Side isn't as hot, the verse is like a driving sort of ECSR garage-rocker, but then they do some stuttery jacked-up chorus part that gums up the works. Recording on this one is pretty muddy, and not in a good way either. Still, it's a decent enough sampler where you'd want to hear more.(RK)
(Hozac // www.hozacrecords.com)



Brudte Løfter “København” 7”
Brudte Løfter is a throwback to—or continuation of?—the glory days of 21st century K-town HC. No one will ever match Amdi Petersens Arme, the greatest of the greats, but the two songs on side B do bring to mind that style of US + Danish influenced HC, light on distortion full speed ahead punk with vocals in their native tongue. On the flip, the title track, “København” is quite a change-up, slower and far more rock/crossover, closer to the sound of many a classic USHC act’s second albums. I have yet to develop an ear for this style. Too much cowbell on both sides of this, tbh. (DH)
(Halshugga // Halshuggarecords.tictail.com)

Cellulite "Dust Wave" 12”
America’s Punk Drew Owen steps into the synthesizer game - ten tracks of harsh drum machines and phased synths with vocals shifted to sound like Shao Khan from Mortal Kombat. One gets the impression that this was recorded in less time than the 21 minutes it runs for - a great quality, in my opinion. Is it unbridled, pseudo-industrial genius or is it two Esplendor Geometrico records played at the same time? Does it matter? For fans of the style, it’s a pretty enjoyable and weird record. For Sick Thoughts completists, this one may not be for you. (NG)
(Slovenly / Black Gladiator // www.slovenly.com)

Century Palm “Valley Cyan” 7”
Century Palm “White Light” 7”
The fact this is ex-members of bands like Ketamines, Zebrassieres and Dirty Beaches is more likely to draw my ire than my interest. Out of the four tracks on these two singles “New Creation” is musically the most interesting, drawing on some 80s downtown NYC vibes (the sax helps) and creates some real tension/energy even if the deadpan lyrics sound a bit too affectedly “wasted”, but it at least has some bite. “Valley Cyan” is bland new wave pop that at least shoehorns in some Bunnymen vibes between the sing-song vocals. The “White Light” single is again effectively and tightly constructed and the title track has a catchy bounce to it – if you’re looking for smooth retro-wave pop, have at it. A bit too squeaky clean for me. “New Creation” has a slightly Eno-esque composition and some theatrics worked into the hook. I don’t find any tension here, just a bunch of parts smoothly rubbing against each other, a well thought out and, in the end, rather bland black-and-white experience.(RK)
(Deranged/Symbolic Capital Industries // centurypalm.com)

Charles De Goal "Zigzag" 7"
Charles De Goal made what might be one of the best French coldwave LPs, 'Algorythmes' , in 1980 and continued on through that decade releasing at least two more LPs and a handful of singles on New Rose, continuing the work Metal Urbain had begun. This 7" is not a reissue of any of that material, it's a brand new single, recorded in 2015 by the reformed band. It's not a bad bit of electro-punk moderne, "Zigzag" fits right in where the gluewave was going when Volt were on top of the game, and it's the far superior track. "Damaged Goods" just sounds like phoned-in discopunk from some old timers. Look for Danger Records' reissue of 'Algorhytmes' (or the C.O.M.A. LP) before you go anywhere near this. Scum stats: 500 copies.(RK)
(Danger Records // dangerrecords.bandcamp.com)

Le Chemin De La Honte "Sans Titre" LP
'Tis been moons since I've seen the Great Triple Alliance logo pop up on a record sleeve in the mailbag. Welcome back! What we get here is a chilly post-punk with roots in the Feeling Of Love/Delacave brigade. Interesting take on the well played out, often regurgitated genre.While it seems like there should be a synthesizer in the mix, there isn't. They utilize a second bass player for all the added squiggle. Tracks like "Les Joies Du Metier" and the instrumental "Pour Le Moment" work best as they meld low tone riffs ala' Magnetix to the stiff mechanized ride of Frustration and slush about in a drunken spy themed wooze. Hard to shake the Feeling Of Love vibe up in here, and I'm sure those fans aren't disappointed. There's a myriad of bands doing this sorta' thing all over the globe, but this here is as good of any place for one to start digging in with fresh ears. Danger Records is always worthy of a few of our francs, so I suggest picking this up when you go to grab the Plastix reissue next payday. (RSF)
(Danger Records // www.dangerrecords.bandcamp.com)

Chrome Reverse "Yeah Yeah We Are..." EP
Latest band from the first lady of French Punk, Lili Zeller (sorry Cecilia!), with her bandmate Iwan from No Talents on bass (and he was also in Les Teckels, one of the best French punk bands of that time as well) and couple of younger turks on drums/guitar. Four tracks of American Fifties/Sixties hot rod rocking, with some nastier surf/twang sounds too. "I Can't Dance" is am uptempo cooker and their theme song works that "Jack the Ripper" riff/rhythm for all it's worth. Lili's vox sound great here, and it's nice to hear her, and a band in general, play some "oldies". "Cat Fight" is straight from an Annette & Frankie beach movie and "Cigarettes & Alcohol" is operates in a Johnny Rivers style. Not the punkest thing Lili's ever done (and she's still in T.I.T.S. from what I know) but if you want to hear some Fifties hop-rock (or miss Four Slicks) here ya go.(RK)
(Mag Wheels // soundcloud.com/chrome-reverse)

Concealed Blade "Demo 2015" EP
Pittsburgh powerhouse sharing members with Blood Pressure, Hounds of Hate, No Time and a lot more I'm guessing (Drug Lust?), and let's just say while I'm not a fan of meathead hardcore for the most part, when it's this fucking meatheaded I heartily enjoy it. Minute-and-a-half songs, XXL riffs and feedback, bonkers mosh parts, ridiculous gang vox and a singer with the right bark. If "Don't Get Caught" into "All Against All" doesn't make you want to living room mosh you might be dead inside. I mean, I'm a fucking old man and I still felt it, even if I'm waaay too old for this shit and my war is long over. A near perfect example of the form, and another incredible looking record from Beach Impediment. Scum stats: 100 on clear mailorder edition.(RK)
(Beach Impediment // beachimpedimentrecords.bigcartel.com)

Counter Intuits "Monosyllabilly" LP
No other band really needs to release an LP for the rest of 2016 now - album of the year right here, no one else should even bother. This second LP from House & Phillips is 13 tracks of genius-level American garage rock'n'roll, plain and simple. No magic tricks here. Just intelligent and earnest songwriting from two creative minds who seem to have found the perfect compliment to one another. I feel like this is some of House's snappiest songwriting/lyricizing (""Password (Is Password)", "Actors Running Sound", "Deep Storage Space") and Phillips whips the Junior Division right into shape, a perfect bandleader and writer - from the most straighforward garage ("Bright Green Shirt") to the Eels/Ubu leftfield numbers ("Sunglasses After Death", the title cut), these two have a very magical collaboration. Another in the long, long line of Ohio records that will stand the test of time as the high water marks of our pop culture, and it's laced with autobiographical moments (like "Bernie's Bagels Saga") that Columbus rock'n'roll acts are spiritually indebted to include on their recordings (even though this one was recorded in Cleveland!). Album of the year thus far...(RK)
(Pyramid Scheme // try a discerning distro like Floridas Dying)

Dark Blue "Vicious Romance" 7"
Third single from Dark Blue, a band whose LP I did not care for but who I think make exceptional singles, with this one being no exception. "Vicious Romance" is a tough guitar pop anthem, showing off Sharkey's appreciation of Moz with an ambiguosly romantic lyric delivered with those golden pipes. Thinking music for the working man, a demographic who will surely enjoy "Delco Runts" on the flip, a tune about a blue collar Philly area. I appreciate the earnestly punk approach with a big hook, very much like The Professionals would have done it. Double A side here folks, get a grip. (RK)
(12xU // www.12xu.net)

Dead Bod s/t 7"
Quite serviceable garage punk banger from the depths of Utah, reminiscent of various Rip Off-era platters. They chuck about a few Germs riffs here ("Sonny Sparks"), toss some Sonny Vincent croon there ("Lights Out") and viola! - the soundtrack to a Saturday night blackout in primed. These four tracks never stray from their roots and should appease folks who need more leather jacket rock in their collection. Perhaps bump up the production quality, seek out some high notes and work on the sleeve design next time out? I'm interested to hear what shakes loose around the bend. (RSF)
(Diabolical Records // facebook.com/DiabolicalRecords)

Detached Objects s/t 12”
Introspective and bleak rock from the southwestern deserts, with pretty great and vaguely ominous cover art. “Smell It” is your lead-off, the rhythm and vocals strongly bring CPC Gangbangs to mind. They play with dynamics, but whenever it goes full tilt, the rhythm section locks into both tone and gallop that I’d describe as Cheater Slicks-esque more than a few times. “Look Away” is a banger, kind of like D. Unit, but with many more Tom G. Warrior “uuughhs” (always a good thing). It might be unfair to make the comparison since they’re from Arizona as well, but this band would definitely make sense on a bill with Tokyo Electron or Destruction Unit, though they’re a bit more subdued and melancholy than either of those two. Desert sound for now people. (NG)
(Gilgongo Records // www.gilgongorecords.com)

The Early Stages “Waiting Around For Rides” 7”
A neat single out of Austin, TX. The Early Stages put forth three tracks of dreamy art rock—a solid entry in the tradition of Wire>Clean>Pavement>Times New Viking, slightly off-kilter and jangly pop with a coupla’ good hooks. As a fan of the concise, I gravitated more to the flipside where two tracks combine to a shorter length than the rambler on side A. Sharp looking record, too—hand stamped labels, well designed sleeve, and, inexplicably, humorously, a pixilated color inkjet printed insert. Good stuff. (DH)
(self-released // theearlystagesmusic.com)

Jimbo Easter s/t 7"
Wonderful one-sided 7" from our pal Uncle Jimbo, former frontman of Piranhas and Druid Perfume, swimmer in the Garbage River, and current king of the Moonhairy kingdom if you're not paying attention here. The yin to Timmy Vulgar's yang perhaps (or vice versa? not sure how that goes...). Jimbo's an incredible visual artist (Check him out) and this stands as a close aural approximation of one of his paintings, packing a whole lotta weird onto these seven inches. Five tracks are given titles buts it's one large quivering mass of goo comprised of spoken word segments, no-fi synth noodling, Zappa-esque freakiness, at least four different vocal treatments/voices, maybe some bongos and an assortment of other out-sounds. I love it, and though he's released many records with his various bands over the years, I'd really love to hear an LP's worth of this strangeness.(RK)
(Terror Trash // via www.dustymedicalrecords.com)

Ebenezer and the Bludgeons "Peer Pressure" 7" EP
Ebenezer and the Bludgeons' sole release, 1978's Peer Pressure EP, has just been reissued by Windian Records. Although three of the four tracks here have appeared on KBD comps, this is your first chance to get a copy of 'Peer Pressure' — with faithful original cover art reproduction — at a working-class price (median cost of original pressings on Discogs: $138.00). Outside of being from Baltimore, Maryland, I know very little about Ebenezer and the Bludgeons. However, it's clear from listening to this EP that these guys had chops, and likely weathered the doldrums of the mid '70s playing in other bands. Ebenezer and the Bludgeons also had varied tastes: "Gerti" predates the early Paisley Underground sound by a few years; "Oh! I Love This Weather" has an incredible main-guitar riff that's nearly Flamin' Groovies good. "Weekend Nazi" is the band's stab at writing an orthodox punk song. And here's the kicker: Ebenezer and the Bludgeons weren't really "punk." This EP is more indebted to the New York Dolls and their mid-tempo rockers than to the breakneck speed/anti-solo assault of the Ramones. That's not taking away from Peer Pressure: it fucking rips and these guys were likely nothing but trouble. An added bonus to this EP is just how well it was recorded—likely at a semi-professional demo studio. This reissue was transferred from the original analog tape and re-mastered by Eric Brady, so it was done right. And what's the asking price? $6? Consider it a no-fucking-brainer.(RL)
(Windian Records // www.windianrecords.com)

EEL s/t 7"
Pittsburgh's Eel are one of the most aesthetically....maybe dumb is the word...bands of today, but also one of the most entertaining (on record and live - at least I imagine, as I have not managed to see them in person yet since they have either cancelled or not shown up to shows they were supposed to play no less than three times on me thus far). I guess the formula has changed a bit from the earlier power tools schtick, but it's really just noise-core, and it's just about perfect. Four tunes here, all thick and dense slabs of monster hardcore, derived from d-beat, Japcore, crust, grind, just about anything raw and stinking you can throw in there. Chuggagaga-hot solo-chugagagaga-vocal growls-bashbash. I could write a paragraph about the song titles and how they have somehow channeled the Japanese masters: "Fuck Off Human Insect", "Hell" and "Noise for Neighbor" are the originals, without a wasted word. Not sure if 1984 even writes lyrics, or just growls in gibberish. It works either way - and yeah, even the band pseudonyms are awesome: 1984 on vox, Dr. Shitta (!) on drums, Old $ on noiseray. A-Side is ""Fuck Off..." which is thee cut here, motorcharged with spicy soloing and some deathray thrown in for good measure, thrashy as hell. And speaking of "Hell", it's a smear of a song, just absolute carnage. "Noise for Neighbor" on the B goes straight for the deathray, some insane fret-melting soloing, almost Disclose-esque, then they close with a Disorder cover ("Today's World") which is a meat grinder to stick your face in, and they really kick that noiseray into like interdimensional Dr. Who mode. Utterly fantastic. One of the guys from Doom drew the cover of this, back cover is some japcore mimicking fiasco that looks great and there's a huge fold out poster inside (14x14!) that is insane. What aren't these guys doing right? Scums stats: there was some red vinyl, but that's all gone.(RK)
(Beach Impediment // beachimpedimentrecords.bigcartel.com)

Eel "The Mind Cure Years" 12"
Quite literally what it says, this compiles most of the early Eel stuff onto a handy 12", including the singles club 7" from 2013, the 'Endless Fucker' 12" and the split with Pissbath. As I said in an other review somehwere around here, Eel are aesthetically perfect and really beyond criticism. The only thing I can possibly say in some sort of critical way is that as gonzo as the stuff on this 12" is, that Beach Impediment 7" really ups the ante for painful stupid noise. But this selection of tracks has its killers, all d-beated into the ground and laden with feedback and distortion, you can really hear them falling into the groove - 'Violent Anarky", "Who Kill Bum?", "Combat Amputee Victim" and more will rip out your lungs. I forgot how good "Window of My Eye Is From Decay" and the other split tracks are. Well, I actually know why I forgot, it's because they're on a fucking split with terrible band that I will never listen to - saved from obscurity by Mind Cure! Anyway, this is the story thus far (aside from a bunch of tapes), get on it or stick your head in the oven. Scum stats: heavy variations on this pup - test press version of 15 with the alternate cover and title 'A Collection of the Worst Song Ever', silkscreened sleeve edition with variant art, regular printed sleeve edition with another art variation that also came in green and blue vinyl. You should have at least one.(RK)
(Mind Cure // www.mindcurerecords.com)

En Kernaghan Band s/t LP
Bedroom recording antics from a young Brisbane lad (real name Ethan Kernaghan) who has released a few cassettes under different aliases. This LP was originally self-released in 2014 on tape, and must be the cream of the crop for e/n to choose it for a vinyl treatment. Promo sheet says he's "interpreting" classics by Pussy Galore and The Cramps among others, which in The Cramps case amounts to him retitling "All Tore Up" as "Standet" while he imitates Lux by hyperventilating into a paper bag. It's very straight garage-rock more often than not, sounding like a BBQ record at points (sans the playing guitar and drums at the same time OMB gimmick), maybe like a less weird Junkpile Jimmy at it's more noisy/punk junctures. Ethan's "thing" on this is doing the garage-turkey trot with Krishna lyrics (whether he's sincere or not, I have no idea, but if he's not I hope JJ doesn't find out) - I'm not in love with it, but he really does give it his all on the vocals (perhaps overdoing it on some tracks, but I think that's the point), the recording sounds perfect in the lower-mid-fi range and while I do not want to say it's corny in the slightest, as I'm always game for listening to this type of project (and as a home-recorder, he scores high), it maybe sounds a little bit young and precocious and not high on substance. Maybe like those early Drew Owen records where he was just mimicking Jay Reatard, this is some formative stuff from a kid feeling his oats. An interesting spin for an evening or two, but it won't make it much further than that. It does continue on the e/n mission of bringing Australian rock to American audiences. Scum stats: 200 copies, which seems about right.(RK)
(Ever/Never // evernever.bigcartel.com)

Exhaustion "Phased Out" 12"
12" maxi-single or EP or whatever from Exhaustion with two new cuts on the A-Side and some fancy ass remixes of the songs on the flip. Line-up card change if you're scoring at home: Jensen Tjhung is out on bass this time, replaced with the venerable Rich Stanley (Onyas, Ooga Boogas, Dropkick Records, all around great dude). "Phased Out" continues their run of impeccable records, an aggressive drumbeat starts the chase immediatley accompanied by....phased out....vocals and guitars, the way Blachford's distortion cuts in and out at times is a thing of beauty. Kinetic artpunk with enough guitar damage and grim determination to forgive the "art". A massive, massive song. "Colleague" has the band's jaw set a bit firmer, more of a stoic basher/droner with Blachford heaping on the tractor beam effects pedals and the vocals taking on an almost chant-like cadence and echo, then the pulse starts racing a bit faster, Stanley's bass acting as motor. It's as if they buried a 1-2 punk tune inside a larger noise composition. Fantastic stuff from a fantastic band. Remix side I can live without. DJ Mikey Young turns "Phased Out" into neo New Wave, keeping the original vocal intact. "Colleague" is turned into an S&M club dancefloor number by Rites Wild, at least this tune might have a chance at being optioned by a film producer looking for some background music for a convincing "club" scene. I feel the need to say again that these two originals are spectacular, and while I appreciate the idea of the remix B-Side, it really brings nothing to the (turn)table.(RK)
(12XU // www.12xu.net)

Flesh Rag s/t 7"
The world can always use some more dead-end hardcore-punk, and Hamilton's Flesh Rag are happy to provide it. FR has members of both TV Freaks and Rocket Reducers, but is an altogether tougher beast than those outfits. "It Aint Enough" works out a real good mid-tempo bummer riff, vocals have a good'n'tough bit of sneer, it's a real slugger - they also pack in "Ugly Death" on the last minute of the A-Side and it actually reminds me a little of an early Baseball Furies corker with a hardcore singer. They try and do a Dead Boys "Not Annymore" kinda thing on the flip with a rock ballad of sorts, works out okay and sounds a bit junkie-punk. Yeah, it's actually pretty good for the form. I like these guys a lot here, but I also dig Golden Horseshoe rock'n'roll more than most. Go Bulldogs!(RK)
(Loose Lips // fleshrag.bandcamp.com)

Four Gods "Enchanted House" 7"
Able Label goodness from 1981, and the only record Four Gods did. Jangly and sort of moody post-punk that has a loose Go-Betweens connection, "Enchanted House" has some serious harmonies and works some tribal drum/bass stuff into a jagged bit of post-pop. "Restless" is sort of Gang of Four-ish, hits some militant beats but then drifts off into a sea of Aussie harmoniousness, then steps back in line for some marching again - it's a cool bit of juxtaposition. Another winner I probably would've never heard of without this reissue - thanks DIY Archives! (RK)
(Manufactured Recordings // www.omnianmusicgroup.com)



Frantic Stuffs "Last Wave"
Pretty wacky and rocking stuff for Japanese punk of today - this is not striped shirt powerpop or neon sock New Wave retro-schtick. Frantic Stuffs rock out pretty hard, with a seriously chunky guitar sound and loud and full production (i.e. no scratchy high-treble sounds, which seemed to be the fashion for awhile there). Stuffs go for a pretty slick straight-ahead approach that isnt too far off from Scando-rawk of the Nineties (big riffs, big drums, lots of sped-up Dictators style stuff or SRB/Detroit style movin'), and I won't say that's a bad thing. They certainly arent scared of guitar solos or the wah-wah pedal. Nothing too weird-punk either, just a lot of tunes about rocking, "Dead Meat", "Break Loose", stuff like that - traditonal rock'n'roll values maaan. This here is like the mid-point between the more recent Raydios records and 'Apocalypse Dudes'-era Turbonegro. Which is probably right in someone's wheelhouse out there. And I can't get it out of my head that the lyric to "Crap Kidz!" isn't "Crab Cakes!" though.(RK)
(Episode Sounds // episodesounds.bandcamp.com)

Frightening Lights s/t LP
Compelling and beautiful LP from Melbourne's Frightening Lights, a duo of singer Elizabeth Downey (who also plays some guitar) and Dan Hawkins on synths/keys/bass. Downey's pillow-soft voice murmurs of dreams and travels (her own from Australia, Russia, Poland, Paris and back to Oz), films and novels, and the tragedy and triumph of everyday life. Folk music somewhere between Sybille Baier and Meg Baird, it's a mesmerizing listen. Hawkins uses a variety of keys (Farfisa, Hammond, Conn) to set up hazy and seemingly momentary beds for Downey's lyrics (and some acoustic guitar), somewhat eerie at times but in a warming and pleasant way - mournful perhaps but never evil or ominous. Takes you into those spaces where you're just settling into sleep, in between light and dark, the LP cover a perfect depiction of light peeking through the trees creating that ethereal effect. Nine tracks that float by like a dream. Recommended.(RK)
(Bruit Direct // bruit-direct.org)

Fucking "Atomic Orgasm" 7"
Fucking "Intimacy Issues" 7"
For a band called Fucking, I will give them credit for some very nice visual aesthetics and the thematic packaging on these singles. Unfortunately they are a band called Fucking, and sound about as annoying as you would probably imagine. Singer sounds like an adult baby, they do some sped-up wacky hardcore stuff, totally not my thing, but hey I dig the sax part on the second 7". At least they're goofy and not some faux-creepy weird powerviolence thing. I was thinking of why it's ok to call your band Fucked Up, but not Fucking, and then realized what I was thinking about. Write me a letter if you want to the anwer to that one. Anyhooooo, these Fucking guys are at least good at what they do (playing zany hardcore) and have a good eye for design. (RK)
(self-released // fuckingpunks.bandcamp.com)



Gino and the Goons “Push Your Luck” 7”
Gino and the Goons is one of those bands whose name I recognize from Total Punk news updates but have never heard. And I think the sound is about what I’d have guessed by the band name alone: kind of dumb, middle of the road quality-wise, and way punk. They cover “Ball Me Out” by DMZ or, if you grew up at the right time and didn’t know any better (like me), by The Devil Dogs. Reminds me a bit of fellow New Orleansers Kajun SS but without Louie’s songwriting chops to elevate them to greatness. (DH)
(Pelican Pow Wow // www.pelicanpowwow.com)

Grump “North End Generic” EP
Are Grump Halifax’s best hardcore band? I’m guessing yes. After three tapes this is their vinyl debut on Various Records which finds them somewhere in between the Toxic State (CS/DOH) and Cool Death (Leather Lickers/Gutter Gods) sounds – aggressive and burly hardcore with “weird” touches, they get that background outer-space guitar oscillator sound that permeated ‘Innersense’ and the entirety of Side B sounds really dialed-in – they slow it down/crunch it up on “Antagonism” and “Recurrent” is the highlight, they churn up a great mosh part with some nauseous guitar and the ending segment is weirdly melodic in a very good way. A-Side has them thrashing though three faster and louder, “Flatline” has a punishing breakdown with a nice and sharp cymbal sound (sounds like someone breaking china) and they careen all over the side with NYHC beatdowns and weird hardcore breaks. When held up to their peers it’s certainly not quite as remarkable, but I like that there’re kids in Halifax tuned in and smashing their own town up alongside the rest of the world. (RK)
(Various // variousrecords.blogspot.ca)

Half Human “Leave Behind” 7”
Half Human’s debut single “Leave Behind” is bit of a tough pill to swallow. I cut my teeth listening to college radio in a town that had half a dozen Half Humans of its own, all decent enough and inoffensive and unoriginal. Big Jehu fans, we all were! But after my third Gasball Festival, a daylong event with a marathon of math rock, I fulfilled my obligation to the genre and no longer have to endure aspirational Nemesis Records recording artists. Bonus chaff: the band describes themselves in their hype sheet to This Heat and Pere Ubu, so the choice is yours! (DH)
(self-released // halfhumansound.com)

The Hangmen "What a Girl Can't Do" 7"
Windian's come through with another reissue this month—this time it's of the Hangmen's late 1965 single, "What a Girl Can't Do"/"The Girl Who Faded Away." Back when regional radio existed, "What a Girl Can't Do" was a smash hit in the Washington DC area. And for good reason: it's a great track, capturing the then-contemporary sound of the teen scene. Lead singer Dave Ottley is a respectable blue-eyed soul singer; this is effectively the sound that would score the Box Tops a four-million seller in "The Letter" the following year. "What a Girl Can't Do" remained a largely regional hit and the Hangmen never built upon its momentum. That's a shame seeing as the single's flipside, again penned by Hangmen guitarist Tom Guernsey, is a solid Zombies-influenced number. Like a lot of bands from this era, the Hangmen were either dropped by their label (Monument) or had members drafted (Vietnam) before the decade was over, leading to this scene's premature decline. This reissue comes on really heavy vinyl and was re-mastered from the original tape (sounds really good). The B Side is mislabeled with the name of another song, the only flaw on an otherwise stellar reissue.(RL)
(Windian Records // www.windianrecords.com)

Harmonica Lewinski "Naked Brunch" EP
If you can get past the name, HL are quite a surprise in many ways. They just don't make sense, even for Rochester. It's some hybrid of the usual 50's greaser Reel Time/Rotcore aesthetic, combined with some creepy carnie vibes, a little bit of vulgar Frolic Diner style stuff, and just tight as hell garage-rock. "Black Pussy Blues" (!) is a slinky little instro soundtrack to walking through the funhouse (literally, that's not some sort of cute Stooges reference), then "Boy on Fire" sounds like a Brimstone Howl tune, an organ driven real-deal garage jammer with a dark underside. A good reminder to not underestimate how musically proficient these Rotcore acts can be - it ain't slop city out there, these kids have chops. "Titty City" (holy shit on that title) is somewhere between Booker T & The MGs and Shadowy Men, a cool instro again with some soul. Then "Har Har Bizzarre" cramps its way out, horror organ bleats, deadpan vox, it's all very well done. If these kids had been around in the late Nineties they'd be on Estrus with Art Chantry doing their artwork. They really deserve a better name I suppose, but considering the gratuitous pussy references and vintage porn artwork, maybe it's fitting. I should add that you should really check out the collage that is the record sleeve, it's really something. Not some photoshopped crap, but a real life collage (with real food!) laid out on a table and photographed. As always, the detailed Reel Time packaging here puts all other labels to shame.(RK)
(Reel Time Records // www.reeltimerecordss.bigcartel.com)

Hero Dishonest “Kaikki Hajoaa” 7”
The long-running Finnish punks drop another EP - I have to say that their records jumped up in quality at the same time that they changed their typography - we are now treated to some tasteful distorted italic Helvetica, instead of that unfortunate distorted type we had seen on their earlier records. “Jumalan Selätys” is a pretty straight-on cover of the Proletariat’s “Religion…” - it’s well-done, and it’s pretty cool to hear it in Finnish. The rest of the tracks go back and forth between some analogue of mid-period Die Kreuzen’s angular barbarism and thrashy late 90’s/early 00’s hardcore, all with totally frenetic vocals that bolster the fact that Finnish remains the greatest shouted language.(NG)
(Peterwalkee Records // www.peterwalkeerecords.com)

hMAS "Fear God Honour The King" LP
Unreleased 1997 LP from this obscure Tasmanian punk band with an inspiring story. In the liners by Julian Teakle (of Native Cats) their tale plays out like so: living in a culturally isolated location (Wynyard, a far off city on an island that's pretty isolated to begin with), the 2-3 weird/punk kids bond together over music handed down from older siblings an whatever they could read about in the NME, start a band and a scene for themselves, release tapes no one but the locals hear, graduate high school, go to college in the "big city" (Hobart in this case), record an LP that is never released and are left to obscurity and local legend. A classic punk story - and one that winds up with us having a sometimes interesting LP recovered from history. I've championed the theory that these late Nineties bands, emulating or reacting to grunge could be fruitful ground for a KBD-esque unearthing instead of looking in the obvious punk places. Much like those obscure '77-82 punk bands were emulating punk they might not have ever actually heard or seen, from afar they were doing what they thought was right and coming up with true and honest music. hMAS could fall into that category, their years of operating falling squarely into the "Grunge Years" and they were said to be listening to everything from Devo to Pixies to Sabbath and REM. Side 1 starts out sounding a bit like a slightly inept Dino Jr - fuzz guitar, fuzz bass, and the first few tracks give you the sense the drummer might have been playing a totally different song than the other two members of the band. They work a lot of the soft/loud dynamics popular at the time (Pixies, yes) with a wild undercurrent of punk free-for-all. Very Mudhoney-esque at times as well, on a track like "Fungus" they channel some of that bigmuff-rock action while the drummer tries to keep up. Somehow on Side B they slip into the zone though. A tape loop intro, into the fuzzbuster of "Absurd", dead-end punk racket ("Bucket Boy"), then the real killer of "Friend is Dead" that has a massive skidmark of a distorted riff over which they deadpan absurdist lyrics to great effect ("I think my friend is dead/his wife keeps calling me") into the primitive angularity of ""Interruption" and end with the ripping "Anarchy Jam". 'Fear God...' definitely sounds of its time - dated, yes, but dated in a very charming way. I won't try and tell you this is some amazing record that's going to destroy your mind - what it is, is a very good time capsule, an archaeological listen with some great moments and perhaps a lesson behind it (there's still so much out there, stop looking under the obvious rocks...). Along the way these kids ended up being essential cogs in the Hobart music culture that most of us know nothing of (and hMAs founder Ben Crothers' label Consumer Productions has released much of Tasmania's underground music, including the very fist Native Cats effort) and it was a pleasure to become educated. LP also includes a download of two of their cassette releases which I'm getting ready to dig into now. Scum stats: 300 copies, full color inner sleeve with liner notes from Teakle and journalist Andy Hazel with massive insert that has pages from the band's handwritten "zine" and includes their great help wanted advertisment: "2 amateur punks seek drummer - must be young and insane"!(RK)
(Homeless // www.homelessvinyl.com.au)

Hierophants "Parallax Error" LP
Ausmuteants-lite for those who felt 'Order of Operation' was way too metal. Whether that is a bad or good thing is completely up to you. The pace is pretty leisurely throughout, and they seem to be taking pride in the simplicity of their songwriting (and a good portion of the lyrics). Nothing too shocking here. Best tracks are the ones where they up the pulse slightly and end up sounding like Eighties New Wave pop (maybe Duran Duran demos from the period between their s/t LP and 'Rio'), or the few tracks that actually use the surf beat/twang ("Stress"). Out of fourteen tracks I'd wager there's a half-dozen keepers - and 2-3 tunes that are bad enough to skip - and then some lightweight filler. Not nearly as exciting a band as Ausmuteants (and not many are) which is sadly who they have to live up to. This would be good for newer fans who want the Ausmuteants without the reckless abandon and shit jokes. And if you want to hear a really good band with Jake in it, wait for that Leather Towel LP to come out.(RK)
(Goner // www.wonder-records.com)

The Higher State "(Consider It) A Debt Repaid" 7"
A new single from the Kent-based group. "(Consider It) A Debt Repaid" has all the touchstones fans of The Byrds and The Beau Brummels are likely looking for—harmonies, existential lyrics about faltering relationships and, of course, a Rickenbacker 12 string. In terms of nailing the sounds of Los Angeles and San Francisco in '66, The Higher State are hard to beat. Paul Messis (solo, Suburban Homes), who joined the band a few years back, pens the B side ("In a World that Just Don't Care"). (RL)
(13 O' Clock Records // www.13oclockrecords.com)

Holy Shit! “Old Hat” 7”
Holy Shit!/Groaning Groove split 7”
I love that Holy Shit! are still up there in Milwaukee cranking out frantic thrash, blurring speed with quick tempo changes and a heavy dose of goofiness. Despite my enduring love for their debut EP “What The Fuck?!” I forgot how awesome this band is and am smitten that they remain true to their vision, unaffected by trends or time. Their style is reminiscent, perhaps, of Japanese speed-punk bands like Jellyroll Rockheads or Total Fury so perhaps it’s no coincidence that the band toured Japan recently and continues to release records on Japanese labels, as with the Groaning Groove split here. Their counterparts on that split are an odd pair musically, with a beefier more rock sound that strives for late-era P.I., maybe, but leaves the riffs at home. “Old Hat” pulls the old Dropdead “Black Album” trick and is mastered to spin from inside out, a fun gimmick that only had me fooled for like 30 seconds, tops. Regretfully, the artwork here will appeal exclusively to fans of Electric Frankenstein so I suspect many would-be listeners will flip right by these in the bins. (DH)
(Vinyl Smash // www.vinylsmash.com)
(Snuffy Smiles // Japan!)

The Hunches s/t LP
It's no secret that The Hunches were one of the greatest bands of the past decade of music. 'Exit Dreams' was the ultimate swan song, and LP that was so draining on the band emotionally and physically that they could no longer go on once it was complete. As a listener, their experiences were felt - one of the most moving and truly human examples of rock'n'roll I've ever heard. It was a record that had an impact on my own life, one that I found difficult to hear at times because of the effect it had on me and what was happening to me at the time. I haven't been able to listen to it now for over a year - and it's one of my favorite records ever. Anyway, I use this preface to establish the force of nature the band ended up becoming, and now that the smoke has cleared from the wreckage, we're able to go back in time to this LP - their first recording session from 2001, never before available aside from CDrs and soulseek. Fresh off the innocence of The Conmen and full of that youthful enthusiasm, the band cut these dozen tracks in Seattle in hopes of getting it released on one of the bigger garage labels at the time - Rip Off, Estrus, Flying Bomb, In the Red - and it did indeed get to Larry Hardy and got them on ITR. The recordings themselves were scrapped; according to Chris Gunn they were happy with them until Adam Stonehouse heard the tape and told them they "fucked up" - that it was too clean and sounded nothing like the actual band. Some of the songs did appear - "Mind Fuck Blues" and "Dance Alone" on the Flying Bomb 7", "You'll Never Get Away With My Heart" (still one of my favorite Hunches songs) on a CD only Gearhead comp - and "Got Some Hate" and "Radiation" were later re-recorded for future singles. This LP that never was is still powerful, the genesis of what they would become, the songs still bristling with emotion, even if the band itself does sound younger and cleaner than what they would end up becoming after visiting Mike McHugh at The Distillery. One thing it never does sound like is any sort of typical garage band. You can tell they were something special even here, even on what some might call a dumb garage-bloozer like "Blind Man Boogie". They're already honing in on those heartfelt ballad-like numbers on "Pamela" and "You'd Better Think Twice" (possibly the best song here), and slicing through aggro rockers like "Sucide Ride" and this early take on "Got Some Hate". There have been some great records released this year so far, but none of them have made me happier than this one. Scum stats: limited version on pink vinyl.(RK)
(Almost Ready // www.almostreadyrecords.com)

K9 Sniffies "Master's Touch" LP
Oustanding long-player from Detroit's K9 Sniffies, follwing up on their 7" (also on Urinal Cake) and a tape or two. I have no idea if or how their line-up intersects with other current Detroit bands (they all seem to overlap somehow), but they've made a Motor City garage-punk record that deserves comparisons to Tyvek, in particular that bands earliest and more freewheelin' rock'n'roll (and less art-punk) moments, and even remind me of Clone Defects on some tracks in the way their straightahead garagepunk sounds Motor City but not at all rawk. They attack from various angles, giving 'Master's Touch' quite a bit of welcome variety - "Hey! Hungry Foodies" closes the record with big riffing and sax bleating, there's rough garage-pop that is reminscent of Ponys or TNV, the aforementioned punk blasters ("The Navy" is just nasty) and top notch garage rockers ("One Moring") and off-kilter DIY-stuff that falls in line with Roachclip and the All Gone label (who they just did a tape with that consists of a 28 minute cover of "Darkstar"!). The entire thing sounds fantastic as well (produced by Fred Thomas), straddling the right line between loud-as-hell and mid-fidelity. I kinda thought this record was going to be a bit more "weird" (and it is plenty weird, don't get me wrong), but maybe I'm just surprised at how much it honestly rocks. Probably the best full length to come out of Detroit since the last Tyvek LP and one of the high points of my year to date. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.(RK)
(Urinal Cake // www.urinalcakerecords.com)

Laurice "G.A.Y.D.A.R." LP
"The non-stop, all gay, tour de force"! So says the hype sticker, and they're not lying. Laurice goes so far beyond campy here into just full blown homoerotic innuendo. "Brokeback Mountain" is gay techno, "Big Boy" is gay pop that starts upping the lyrical ante into total raunch, "Fantasy Man" keeps going further into raunchville, I dont even know what else to say. It all culminates in a Blowfly-esque reworking of "Sugar Sugar". I'm not sure how recently this was recorded (but it must have been in the least few years), and it sounds like a tribute to Eighties disco-rock (is that even a thing?) and synth-pop, obviously made for play in the gay club setting. The lyric sheet should not be shown to minors. This is obviously not the record for you if you're looking for more Grudge-like stuff or even his campier glitter rock music. Laurice made this for gay men to enjoy, and if anyone else is along for the ride I'm sure he's okay with that. I'm trying really hard to not make jokes here. If you thought Divine wasn't gay or raunchy enough, Laurice has filled that void for you. So gay there's even a rainbow vinyl special edition.(RK)
(Mighty Mouth // www.almostreadyrecords.com)

Life Stinks "You'll Never Make It" LP
Another year wasted in the Bay Area. Another year spent griping about everything. If only I could sell off this massive cube of vinyl I've hoarded for nearly thirty years - maybe then I could afford to flee this sinking ship. Move to an aluminum roofed shack out in the wilds and grow a big bushy beard. Grab the wife and the dogs and leave this internet bullshit behind. Fuck the "us vs. them" attitude. It's now "us vs. US". Ted Nugent is running against Larry David for a seat in the offal orifice. Aborted fetuses are out bombing mosques for Chrissakes. The time has come to power down this gigabyte machine and throw the iPhone under the BART tracks. But here we are. Here I am. All talk, no fucking walk. And here's a new Life Stinks record, setting you straight and draining you of all hope. You'll Never Make It. Why try? Just walk the wheel, my friend. Your a bad machine. A broken machine. Just like the rest of us. Continue to circle the goddamn drain. But what of the album? It speaks bluntly to my blackened and dehydrated heart. And if you feel the heat of the world at hand right now, It should topple your ass too. Tunes like the title track and "Strange Prison" give you their trademarked "Stinks Beat" - a relentless slow driving pound that locks in step with the bass, dragging you towards the tenth circle of hell that Dante never dared write about. Guitars goose squawk along their neck, mastering the one note solo til drained of all lifeblood. Vocals bounce between not giving a damn, giving too much of a damn and damned if they can even remember what they were talking about. "I'm A Weed" features a futile uphill scale, wah-wah'd lead breaks and the lyrical promise of no matter how many times you try to free yourself from life's shit-heels, soon another will follow. "Portraits" returns once again to pull you through some Flipper driven misery, but unlike it's earlier Total Punk incarnation it adds some sleigh bell sass and a Baker Street city rocker sax this time 'round. Some synthesizer squelch stirs things up throughout the Stick Men stank of "When We Next Meet" adding extra bite to the bitterness. Bummer punk aside, there's still a shimmer of optimism to be found within these shallow grooves. Sure - these shimmers could actually be just platitudes read from a lousy bodega greeting card rack - but hey, at least they're pretending to look up. "Anchor" and "People Say I should Check It Out" are filled with such pop fizzled falsitudes, disguised in a level twelve creep factor of perkiness. Catchy as they may seem on the surface, nothing good ever comes from a Life Stinks song. All of the above is grand and personal faves change from day to day - usually depending on how many serotonin stabilizers I've gobbled down - but what's left here at the end of side B could be considered their master strokes. The epic, horn fueled slam rocker "Sliding Down A Wire" is a prime example of syrup-core that soars the listener to near Hawkwind velocities, especially when treated to the dual guitar and full frontal saxophone attack in a live setting. Chad's vocals unhinge their shit as he bounds about like a seizuring sock puppet, spewing vitriol and (actual) bile like sewage plant run off. Quite a terrifying sight to behold, and this field recording captures the vibe well. If I was native to the sunshine state, I'd possibly even say it's "hella sick". Sorry. That's a phrase for stoned tweens. I'm miserable, my bones ache and the sciatic nerves act up. This shit can be very therapeutic. Lastly comes the simple, quiet-time coda called "In A Place". A very personal Stephanie Says sorta' ballad with heart-broke beat and gentle recorder accompaniment. This little song has actually brought me to tears after repeated listens. For real. I cried. Like I was listening to Will Oldham. Truly crushing, You'll Never Make it. You'll Never Make it. You'll Never Make it. Flip and continue. I'm gonna go hibernate til the fucking planet burns. (RSF)
(S-S Records // www.ss-records-sol-re-sol-records.myshopify.com)

Liquid Screen “Alls Fair in Love and War” 7”
A Japanese release with members of Flat Tire Punk luminaries First Alert, Radio Shanghai, Nailclippers, and more. The songwriting here is not dissimilar to those earlier groups but with a big time studio production, way more “pro” sounding. Do I hear some mouth harp in there? I think so! While I suspect this would appeal more to an adventurous second stage Coachella fan than a Termbo rocker, it might be worth a listen for deep fans of this group’s members’ prior outfits. Confoundingly issued on that direst of all formats, the 7” picture disc. (DH)
(Episode Sounds // episodesounds.bandcamp.com)

The Madcaps “All I Really Wanna Do” 7”
It is remarkable that the world is still cranking out singles like this. Four tracks of good ol’ bland and generic frat rock. A xerox of a xerox of a xerox that has somehow come to be without any mutations or interesting quirks unfolding along the way. You can practically smell the privilege as you close your eyes and imagine yourself at a campus party full of bros who’ve schooled themselves out of ’Nam. But perhaps this style remains relevant in France, where these cats reside, so I will refrain from further judgment and add that if you’d like to throw it back to the days before the Velvets and punk revitalized rock, you may well enjoy the experience of politely tapping your toes along to this one. On Howling’ Banana records and yellow vinyl because of course. (DH)
(Howlin’ Banana Records // www.howlinbananarecords.com)

Mama "Speed Trap" EP
Some powepop simps I know were talking this Chi-town band up a bit, so I was more than happy to check in. This is Mama's second record, as they self-released a 2x7" previously, and this EP actually appeared as a tape first. Two cuts per side, A-Side barges right into the room with some cowbell and bad Eighties guitar effects. Are they going for a a gag here? I just heard a lyric actually mention "the heat of the night", so I'm thinking yes this has to be like a parody band of some sort. Ripping off Cheap Trick in the most AOR sense, Mama recreate that not-so-magic time in the early Eighties where bar rock bands turned to playing power-pop in the hopes of perhaps getting themselves a record deal riding in on the tail end of New Wave. The A-side is almost funny, B-Side tries way hard to rock out, which makes me realize this might not be a joke after all...their "Bad Reputation" is not a cover, although it might have helped if it was. Notso hotso. Scum stats: did Hozac change their ressing quantities? Internet machine says 100 on gold and 300 on black?(RK)
(Hozac Records // www.hozacrecords.com)

Mamitori Ulithi Empress Yonaguni San "23/12/2013" LP
A flower plowered shit mess of bad acid damage, smear pop and psych collapse brought on by this Japanese free-for-all. It's like a crippled LSD March going headlong into The Shaggs vortex of unplayability. I'm not fooled, as they know what they're doing. The guitars (all three or more) come off as agitated stress baskets, frantically trying to make up for their improper tuning. The occasional song sprouts up in the cacophony, but I wouldn't expect listeners to hum these tunes in the afterglow. Dare I bring back "ramshackle" to my tired and overused review vocabulary? It's never been more apt than here. They could have done the casual ear a favor and trimmed some of the fat and dead air off the disc - but I suppose they wanted that live show feel, stumbling blocks and all. I bet their studio tracks smoke. Or snort. Whatever those early Royal Trux recordings were on. (RSF)
(Bruit Direct Disques // www.bruit-direct.org)

Manateees "Croc N My Pocket" LP
Second large format platter from Abe White's Manateees continuing the band's ongoing trend of killer garage-metal records with painstakingly bad artwork. Actually this one might be so-bad-it's-almost-good for a parody sleeve (and title). Abe has a new backing band these days (all short hairs now too, runing that killer hesher hair in the face look they had when I saw them in Florida) but there's no drop in quality and actually things might've tightened up a bit. Only seven tunes here, two of them from the singles ("Under the Gun" from the first and ""Witch" from the TTT 7"), but it still seems like a beefy 12 inches. A-Side seems to be the garage-punking side, with "Buoyant Life" having an applicably twangy guitar tone, "My Playground" is a hit with some great trebly guitar work and a nice and simple mid-tempo force and "Stellar" races to end the side. Business picks up even further on the flip, with three lengthy excursions into the dark lands of metal. "River of Death" might be Abe's masterpiece thus far, a dirgey monster of a song with great lyrics and heavy with evil, summoning Sabbath even. "On the Run" is a fantastic and explosive instrumental that I like a lot, adding some Jew's harp (I think?) to create some kinda updated "Run Through the Jungle" bayou quality in my head with great guitar runs by Abe. "Witch" is a tune from what I think is their best single, and it's really just straight metal, with Abe's vocals sounding like he has to be wearing corpse paint. Total destruction. The band is touring the Midwest in March, and this LP seems like a good reset for Manateees Mk.2 to take off from. Scum stats: 200 on croc colored vinyl.(RK)
I caught the Manatees at Goner Fest 10 and wasn't swayed either way (granted, this was an outdoor daytime show, so that's not much to go on). That's looking to be my loss, as "Crock N My Pocket" is really good. Fans of Black Time, the Faction and King Loser will likely be into this lo-fi EP. Stylistically, "Croc N My Pocket" is fairly varied, but it makes sense. The A side has some killer cuts ("Buoyant Life"), the B Side's likely for the fans, with the dirge-like "River of Death" and long instrumental "On the Run." The cover—a dada montage of the first Crue record—continues Memphis' tradition of stellar garage/punk album art (think Sharp Balloons and Dutch Masters). Recommended. (RL)
(12XU // www.12XU.net)

Mansion "Early Life" LP
You would think - this being the new "issue" of Degenerate Zine n' all - that it would come with an interview booklet or possibly contain the largest flexi disc to date (bring back that Dynaflex technology!). Young scribe, Samuel Lefebv-brewhathaveyou steps into the hard plastic release arena with this doozy of art gallery pummel and bleat. Mansion's cacophony summons the post No Wave years with barbs burrowed firmly in the dirty NYC clangor of the mid eighties. I reckon this'd be a Blast First or Neutral release had it come out in the days of yore. A good battering and spacious scrape akin to early Swans, the more abrasive Dustdevils outings or even Sonic Youth at its most polarizing moments. An overdose of demon wailed banshee screech, cold pound and feral de-tuned guitar work straight from the Chatham school of corrosion. Lullabies for smothering weak and feeble children, brought about by tossing Neptune and Kleenex together in a rusty gravel spreader. Not as much songs as fettered chunks of caustic attitude. The polar opposite of what one expects from Sunny California-land. Good on ya. Housed in a sharp matte sleeve with what looks like an outtake from Sweet Movie printed upon it. Has a lyric sheet as well, but I can't read it - 'cuz the font is far too tiny and I'm fucking OLD. (RSF)
(Degenerate Magazine // www.degeneratemag.bigcartel.com)

Dan Melchior “A Non Person” 7”
Another month, another couple tracks from Melchior. Dan’s releases are as reliable a marker of the passage of time as checks mailed out to the rent man. Eclectic, electric, and with quite a bounce, “A Non Person” is an original cut that patches together some maximum fuzz with a singalong chorus for a fun track. “Hesitation Blues” is a moody, bluesy arrangement of a traditional tune, a powerful take on this solid number. (DH)
(Spacecase Records // www.spacecaserecords.com)



Milk Lines "Ceramic" LP
It's been a while since I've seen a new Jeff Clarke (Demon's Claws and Hell Shovel) album. So 'Ceramic', the recent release by his new band Milk Lines, is a pleasant discovery. 'Ceramic' is a nice collection of blues-punk psychedelia that occasionally ventures into country-rock territory. The album's cover gives away Clarke's musical direction—he's decked out like Marc Moreland while collaborator Emily Frances could've filled in for Diana DeRose of The Rose Garden. Fans of Jeff's past work will have no problem with this LP. Most of this material could've landed on a Demon's Claw LP, and Clarke's occasionally twisted and morbid songwriting is still alive and well ("Crib Death"). My only criticism of it is the recording quality sounds more like a demo than a finished LP. But that's life in the garage-punk ghetto. As I look back on the Montreal garage-punk scene of the early '00s, it's Jeff Clarke's catalog I find myself going back to the most. His work has held up well. 'Ceramic' furthers Clarke's reputation as a solid and consistent songwriter.(RL)
(In the Red // www.intheredrecords.com)

Mind Meld "You're Not Free" flexi
Some of the cats from Permanent Records recorded this in the shop on a Tascam and put it on a flexi just for you. Pretty much what you'd expect, a variation on West Coast garage-sike of the 2010's - some keys on this, male vox, more of a pop-siker than a fuzz-siker. It's a cool looking flexi. Scum stats: 200 copies.(RK)
(Mock Records // mockrecords.bandcamp.com)



Mr. California & the Mr. California Band "Drunk Batman" 7"
Mr. C comes at you with nine tracks of his usual brutal honesty here, with a full backing band...shit I think this a five piece. Two guitars even! Honestly one of the better back-up units he's had since the Flintstone Sound Express...but anyway, Mr. C gets raw on this one, from "Wet Pussy" to salad-tossing, throws in a solid stab at the Batman theme, reinvents The Who, revisits a classic ("Black Flag Tattoo"!) and just generally gives you more entertainment value for your dollar than you're probably even entitled to, you spoiled brat. The man is a national treasure, and it makes me proud to be an American knowing Mr. California is down there in Ohio writing songs to offend thin-skinned zinesters/bloggers and other no-fun types all over the world. God Bless America.(RK)
(Saucepan Records // saucepanrecords.bigcartel.com)

The Moderns s/t 7” EP
Reissue of this Swedish classic from 1979. As you can tell by the band logo, Moderns have some mod influence (duh) that works out great on “The Year of Today” which is the killer on this one, and “Got to Have Pop” is a nice beat-infected power-popper. The Moderns’ bass player is fucking great by the way, and really makes these tunes top notch. Love the A-Side, and “When the Time Comes” is a nice pubby sounding popper as well. The only bad thing about this record is “Say Yes” which is a Beatles-esque turd and is surprising when held up to the prime cuts on the rest of the record. Anyway, it’s well worth it for three tunes of some of the better mod-punk you’ll hear, and the Moderns are more than deserving to be on the cover of Powerpearls 2. They did another 7” (which is good) and an LP (which I’ve never heard) and have a comp CD out on 1977. Nice job by Hosehead on this one, beats the hell out of having to pay $25 for a Japanese repress.(RK)
(Hosehead Records // hoseheadrecords.bigcartel.com)

Mothmen "Pay Attention!" LP
Lost post-punk "classic" from 1980 featuring members of Durutti Column (Tony Bowers), future members of Simply Red, and most interestingly (to me at least) ex-members of Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias (Bowers and Bob Harding). Of course, I have never heard this before and it starts out really promising with some fake dub, a genre I like very much. It proceeds to get wackier and wackier for the next three cuts, some goofy reggae stylings, lots of horn bleating, rubberized bass lines, zany vocals. But they bring it back into line with the last two tracks, "Please Let Go" is good art-damage with drumbox and lush effects (a lil' Eno-ish perhaps), and "Tardis" is pretty inventive soundscaping, no matter how brief. Side Two is one long track called "Mothman" of course (inpsired by The Mothman Prophecies, yes) that is at least a half-hour of the same drum beat and guitar over and over with very very slight variations in backing noise and some horns towards the end. I have to admit it's grueling and not fun. So that leaves us with about half of a good A-Side on this one - not quite a classic, it seems. I will say that the massive fold-out insert with liners from Harding are a super entertaining read though and made this one a bit more palatable in the end. Also comes with a download for six more tracks I dared not mess with.(RK)
(On-U Sound // www.on-usound.com)

Mujeres “Lose Control” 7”
If I see a release called “Lose Control,” I want to hear some wild, over the top, hanging-together-by-a-thread slop! Is that too much to ask? Mujeres here, well, it’s 1234 upbeat punk that chugs along, verse-chorus-verse-solo-chorus for, like, 2:45 and stops on a dime. For better or worse, this is complete control. The flip is more of a high school dance ballad, fine and all for your slow dance needs. I dunno, I skipped the prom, so I’ll never give this another spin. Very cool looking sleeve and insert, though. (DH)
(Galgo Diamante/Digestation Records // digestationrecords.bigcartel.com)



Narcosatanicos "Live At Gutter Island" LP
A heady mix of violent shoegaze, gothic doom riddled clang and saxophone nosebleed from this Denmark outfit. A cathedrals worth of atmosphere encompasses their triple guitar attack and Kraut driven backbeat. Also worthy of mention is their high flying horn squok, since it's truly of a caliber worth being jealous of. There's a seasick noiserock glue that holds this live set together, but it's fraying apart towards stoned JapRock sensibilities and spiritual long hauls like the ones Hawkwind birthed. The occasional Tuvan throat singing creeps forth as well and they're not afraid to show off early industrial overtones either. This is the kind of field document that makes me wanna' check out a bands studio output. Pretty cool shit that should speak to those who worship at the altar of Sex Church and the like. Definitely not what I was expecting when I first saw the Gism looking LP sleeve poking out from the review pile. (RSF)
(self-released //www.narcosatanicos.bandcamp.com)

NASA Space Universe "70 AD" 12"
Final record from one of the high points of the hardcore scene of the past half dozen years (especially when considering West Coast bands). Ten outer space blasts of science fiction hardcore punk, with some actual creative song writing and weird structures. And they dont sacrifice anything in the process - it's still 100% ripping punk, as they're talented enough to work in twists and left turns without going all "arty". Everything has that sort of Die Kreuzen vibe, where it's all dark and the guitar sounds like it could be evil. The vox definitely help too, as they always scored high on the raspy psycho with kinda frightening delivery scale, and it's not the same voice you hear on every other HC record. Find yourself a good frontman with some charisma/pipes and you're halfway there, kids. And this thing sounds like it was recorded in an underground bunker, which adds even more to the heavy vibes. And besides the heavy vibes, there's heavy riffs too, brother, (that crushing breakdown on "Psuicibin" is no joke) and NSU are so totally dialed-in here it's nuts. Bass player is a stone killer, guitarist shreds all fucking day and doesn't play through a dozen different pedals on this (I think he just uses one called "SICK TONE") and the drummer does not stop for air. I hate to say they made a perfect record here, but they really picked the right one to go out on - it's no-nonsense destruction thoughout, charismatic, dramatic and a bit enigmatic - these guys will be sorely missed around here. And it's a bummer I'll never see them live now. Buy this record and weep into your copy of MRR while you listen.(RK)
(Feel It // feelitrecords.bigcartel.com)

Nausea "Vocal Expression" 7"
Belgian coldwave I had never heard before, and I'm all in on this one. Goes along nicely with the 'Cease & Desist' comp. 'Vocal Expression' is icy yet somehow warming, a very subtle drum beat/cymbal that's almost not there, and two basslines playing along and into each other and maybe two guitars, all doing some very subtle and classy and quiet interplay - the vocals are just a whisper. Very cool. "Killing Time" on the flip is serious about it's subject ("Time must be destroyed..."), and works the same subtle lines as the A-Side, with maybe a bit more volume - totally killer. This turned out to be their only record, but they also appeared on an installment of the FM-BX Society tapes (S-S reissued one of them on vinyl a few years back, but not the tape Nausea are on). Originally from '82 on the impeccably named Sandwich Records label, who also released a hell of a lot of Polyphonic Size records.(RK)
(Manufactured Recordings // www.omnianmusicgroup.com)

Negative Scanner s/t LP
It's always weird to hear a new band you think is pretty good (Negative Scanner in this case) that is basically another band you thought stunk (Tyler Jon Tyler in this case) with a few slight changes. What made the difference? Well, they're not writing generic garage-pop anymore, instead going for a post-punky garage thing. Rebecca's vocals are confidently up front in the mix, and she has a good handle on the delivery, never going shrill and putting some theatrics on without going overboard. The coupla singles that preceded this were above average, but I think this LP is just average at best. Too much? When faced with 11 songs from them instead of just a couple they all start to take on the same tone and the lyrics/songwrting show some holes ("Ivy League Asshole"? Oof). It's all well done, but there aren't really any standouts here, and I'm instead thinking of a couple of bands who've done similar material better on record - Dasher and Vexx in particular. I've seen reports that they are incredible live, which I do believe 100%.(RK)
(Trouble in Mind // troubleinmindrecs.com)

Nothing of Merit “Coke and Snickers” 7”
I hate to take the easy way out, but the band name says it all. I don’t really know what to make of this. The first track is a cover, more or less, of a JFA song but is inexplicably credited as an original (tho honestly, if using another song’s title and half of its lyrics to a genericized interpretation of its music does enable you to take a writing credit, doing so surely ain’t taking the high road). Four songs total, two of which are instrumental, and badly pixilated artwork. (DH)
(Reason For Resistance // .........)

OBN IIIs "Worth A Lot Of Money" LP
Looks and sounds like The IIIs have finally gotten comfortable in their 70's flares and 80's hesher boots. Stripping away most all the garage grease from the past outings, this LP displays a heavy, heapin' cock rockin' overdose, scattering bits of pro-attitude Van Halen wank and a Phil Lynott possession with ease. Orville's been working for while to get one foot up on that stage monitor and show off his microphone gun-holster - and here it is. Bask in it. Weaker folk (probably wearing spandex or headbands) would be seen as exceptionally corny in this arena, but here the swagger suits 'em just fine. This. Is. Rock. And. Roll. "Living On A Trash Heap" hits blacktop like a Dictators anthem and "4KD" has a boiled down AC/DC streak running through its Marshal stacks. The Lynott nod up there wasn't a joke. Tunes like "Let The Music" and "What Happened To You" worships the hell out of Thin Lizzy. It actually fooled no less than three customers at my record shop, believing it was a Fighting-era outtake. Elsewhere there's nods to Rick Nielsen soloing, extra crispy SG boogie and the ever so popular creepy stalker tropes of the chosen era. The whole damn package comes off like a K-Tel greatest hits LP infomercial that I'd be willing to call in for toll free. Freedom rock? Turn it up man! (RSF)
(12XU // www.12xu.bigcartel.com)

The Ornerys "Wanna Get Dead" 7"
Milwaukee trash trio ("bass sucks") which I'm fairly sure is Tony Sagger's latest outfit, and is quite honestly the best record he's been on since the Sagger days. Two perfect tracks of zero-fi two guitar trashrock with some serious vocal wailing that I dig. Just the meat here, no wacky distortion or reverb overloading (which I think hurt Drugs Dragons) - two guitars, minimal caveman drumcrush, and those vox. Reminds me of the good ol' days of the early 2000's - Rust Belt Revolt, Mistreaters, Big Neck Records, back when it seemed like a new cool Wisconsin band was playing here every month. And I will now use this space for my usual "Sagger were such a great/under-rated band" since I haven't done it in a while - their four singles are some of the best music released during that period, and they were one of the best outfits to come out of WI right beside Mistreaters and Catholic Boys/Teenage Rejects. Would LOVE to see a retrospective LP with all those tracks and the demos of the pre-Skull Rider days too. Anyway, this one scratches an itch I haven't felt in a while. Dig it, squares. Scum stats: 300 copies, some with paste on sleeve, some with screened dust sleeve.(RK)
(Terror Trash // via www.dustymedicalrecords.com)

Patois Counselors s/t 7"
I'm mad at myself for not paying enough attention to this record when it came out last year, as it's most definitely one of the best 7"es to have come out in 2015. Hey, sometimes I drop the ball, I'll admit it. From what I'm reading, Patois Counselors began as a studio project of North Carolina's Bo White (who was in a band called Yardwork I don't think I've heard) who recorded and wrote the songs solo, then ended up getting an offer for this 7" and put together a band to record and play live (membership includes that Nick guy from Brain F=) and here we are with an LP supposedly in the works. Four songs that do to post-punk what ISS did to hip-hop. The Fall are obviously heavy in the air here, but it's not your typical take on that often imititated sound - the instrumentation here is full of electronics, an array of synth sounds, and crafty songwriting that expands on instead of imitates. Bo even puts on a bit of an accent for effect (and the delivery reminds me a bit of the Protomartyr guy) - "Free Jazz Complaint" jerks around with submarine bass, whizzing and whirring electronics creating a new weird rhythm. "Preowned" is reminscent of Hygiene gone a bit art-school. "Clean Skits" races through time to create future-punk, "Guidelines for Schooling" is planted firmly in a repeated beat and then does all it can to disconcert you with synth buzz and more keyboard lines than I can count. Sounds like dystopian Ballard vibes made into music. And there's even hooks. A remarkable record that I wish I had been able to tell you about earlier and one that would have my revising my Faves of 2015 list if that sort of thing were allowed around here.(RK)
(Negative Jazz // negativejazz.bigcartel.com)

Patsy "Tuley-Tude High" 7"
Patsy "Eat It" 7"
With Mystic Inane already being one of the country's best hardcore bands, I was hesitant to believe that members could have another band of equal quality. I thought it could perhaps be a case of the popularity of M/I just opening the door for whatever other side projects the members had regardless of how good. I was very, very wrong. Patsy are obviously a totally different sounding outfit, but the 1-2 punch of "Tuley-Tude High" and "Paradise" is nearly as good as anything M/I have done yet. Getting specific, I'm honestly not sure how many members these two bands share other than Candice, who is as stunningly punk a vocalist as she is a guitar player. Both tracks on the debut are relentless punk blasts with mega-catchy riffs and Candice's vocals really setting them apart from the pack - not exactly a sneer, but more of a spirited punk yelp with a distinctive tone that mixes the best of Darby and Exene. The "Eat It" 7" has a strong A-Side, and hearing her drawl and stammer out "EAT IT-EAT IT-EAT IT" over the burly riff is a textbook example of how a frontperson can make or break a band, and the way they bend the song at the end is perhaps the only resemblance to M/I. B-Side is a succint little Dangerhouser that is again worth it for the vocals alone. There are still a couple songs off the demo tape (that I wish I owned) that aren't on vinyl yet...(RK)
(Total Punk // www.floridasdying.com)

David Peel & Death "King of Punk" LP
While I often give Hozac shit for some of their modern roster, they really are doing the lord's work via the Hozac Archival series. If you haven't heard any David Peel before, well you need to fix that, and this is the best record to start with. Peel was a dirty hippie who had some success with the novelty record 'Have A Marijuana' in the late Sixties, cut a near-classic proto-punk LP called 'The American Revolution', was then "rediscovered" by fellow dirty hippie John Lennnon (who produced another Peel novelty, 'The Pope Smokes Dope'), then sunk into the background only to re-emerge again in 1978 to rail against punk rock by claiming himself the "King of Punk" and cutting this record on his own Orange Records label (future home of GG Allin). It' a ridiculous record, a hippie calling out the CBGBs crowd as phony punks, but it contains two classics in the title track and the even better song called simply "Punk Rock" (later covered to great effect by Anal Babes). A lof of people thought Peel was an asshole - a money-grubbing hippie ready to exploit whatever trend necessary, a guy who made a career out of cutting novelty records (pro-weed, anti-Santa Claus, anti-punk, anti-disco, anti-whatever) and never hesitated to cash in on his relationships with Lennon and GG. But hey, a lot of assholes made pretty good music, and regardless of intent, this record deserves a spot in any good collection, even if "Who Killed Brian Jones" is one of the most gruelling songs to get through of all time (listening to the lyrics will work once, after that you're on your own). There are some more shining moments on the rest of the LP, which is a tour-de-force of his usual topics: cops are bad, the government is bad, weed rules, religion is a joke. "Murder Burgers" is good for a laugh and there's some real pioneering folk-punk here, a gross combination if there ever was one. The only bad thing about this is the shocking lack of any liner notes at all, and it's kind of funny that the back sleeve is altered from the orginal - where there once was an extensive list of band members/credits is now simply replaced with a picture of Peel himself! Gotta love the guy's balls. (RK)
(Hozac // www.hozacrecords.com)

PF Commando "Manipulerade Mongon" LP
PF Commando "Rough Sound" 7"
Sometimes I just take things for granted and assume that everyone knows certain things - like the fact that PF Commando are one of the greatest Euro-punk outfits ever, and my personal favorite Swedish punk band of all time. The LP is a stone classic of dumb buzzsaw power, and "Go Go Go" into "Get Fucked" is one of the highest points 1979 punk rock ever climbed to. The entire record is a perfect example of what punk should be - primal aggression played out with complete abandon. Vocals are delivered in shouted snotty broken English and sneering Swedish with impeccable guitar tone, unstoppable forward velocity and just the right amount of slop. They certainly do not make them like this anymore. This has been booted at least twice over the past 20 years, and it's such an important record that this is the third copy I now own, and this legit package from Ugly Pop is the keeper (all new insert included) obviously. The three song "Rough Sound" EP goes perfectly with it, a bit catchier and covering the standard topics: TV, rock'n'roll and having fun. If you are unaware of the importance of Punk Force Commando (they even had a perfect name!), please do the right thing and get this pronto. Now if someone would just reissue 'Jag En Duva' now.....(RK)
(Ugly Pop // uglypop.bigcartel.com)

Piccadilly Circus "Till I Get to the TOp" 7"
The first in a series of unreleased 50s-60s garage tunes from Ohio via My Mind's Eye, and it's a damn good start. Two unreleased 1967 garagers from Athens, OH, students at Ohio U. Led by a guitar player who had spent his high school years in the UK as part of a traveling military family, he returned to the states to record these tunes in the back room of a movie theeater, to eventually be released on the Wooster-based Discotech imprint. Forgotten until now and taken direct from the masters, "Till I Get to the Top" is a semi-psychedelic and melodic pop-siker, but the flip is the real monster - "Do You Feel It" - that sounds a bit like a Midwest version of Them and slightly Elevators-esque even. A wonderful job here, sounds super crisp and the company sleeve is a nice touch. (RK)
(My Minds Eye // www.mymindseyerecords.com)

Pigeons “Buoy” 7”
Two tracks here of lush, precious psych-pop. Apparently, this group was around my borough of The Bronx for a while before heading upstate and I wish I’d known as I’d have popped in to check them at some pub, laundromat, or wherever they gigged around here. But having logged decent time in both locations, I am certain Pigeons are better suited to the beautiful nature found up the river, as this music lends itself to stretch out, open up and breathe. “Buoy,” a rustic and laidback tune, is energized by an extended solo that injects a nice dose of fuzz into the mix. (DH)
(Soft Abuse // www.softabuse.com)

Pizza Ninja Squad s/t 7”
Three tracks of very, very dumb Rip Off garage, all about America’s favorite sewer dwellers. The Krang drawing reminds me of a Ninja Turtles porno cartoon that was big on Newgrounds or something in the early 2000s. “Turtle Van” is the best effort of the three, with kind of a Registrators momentum to it, and “Krang” is kind of a hit, too - KBD v.187 would have room for one of these songs. In 2016, the Idiot Punk wave seems saturated, but this record fills a niche that had a bit of room left. All three songs do indeed deliver on what’s promised - a Ninja Turtle-themed record on Euro Trash Records. Talk about it, be about it, I suppose. (NG)
(Euro Trash Records // www.trashrecords.eu)

Post-Materialists "Moist Rita" 7"
Received a whopper of package from Post-Materialists, a self-described experimental band from Moscow. Included were a massive silscreened poster, their zine called Town of Pirates (half art and half articles/interviews in Russian with Terror Bird, Purple Pilgrims and what I think is the band's tour diary) which is a beautiful digest-sized pro-printed color affair with some homemade touches, various fliers and pictures, a 5" lathe cut I could not get to play on my turntable, and this one-sided 7" with artwork on the B-Side, a screened cover, postcard and booklet that contains a manifesto from the band and some info on the two songs. Believe it or not, it's some weird shit. Good weird shit. "Moist Rita" was conceived with a "head full of glue" and from the sounds of it they're not making that up - vocals are molasses played at the wrong speed underwater, with synth line menace as backing, some fractured and minimal piano and some other synth/tape/sampler/whoknows stuff happening - Lynchian perhaps, very eerie and seedily arty. "Glyptique" credits sax, xylophone, guitar and "effects" as the instrumentation - I spent some time trying to figure it out and I think they're taping stuff and playing it backwards, I believe I found the sax line, but I swear there's some harmonica...it a short instrumental taken from a ballet if I'm reading right. I'm not one for the kling-klang stuff usually, but this is the real deal, seemingly unpretentious and aesthetically very reminscent of Jimbo Easter. They have various full lengths and other compositions available via their bandcamp, and the label itself is dedicated to the promotion of the Russian experimental scene via records and accompanying artwork. I spent a couple of hours down this wormhole one night - it's amazing what the world has to offer if you look hard enough.(RK)
(Post-Materialization Music // post-mat.bandcamp.com)

Power "Electric Glitter Boogie" LP
'Electric Glitter Boogie' delivers on the heavy promise that the demo cassette laid down last year - eight songs of pure unadulterated rock action. Both tunes from the demo are given a beefed up recording job, and the new ones sizzle just as hot. Title track is a total no-brainer ballbuster, of course they have a theme song that scorches, "The Reaper" is the hard-groover with one of many gonzo solos - there's not a bum track to be had here. I think I might have heard some internet pundits actually comment that this thing might rock TOO HARD and dismiss it with the old "raWk" tag - whatever man, what are you expecting from a trio called fucking POWER?! I think this thing is more indebted to the heaviest and most driving of NWOBHM than anything else, with a healthy portion of the old Ausie grillfat rock (more Rose Tattoo than Coloured Balls) and the unbridled energy of hardcore punk. This is the sound swinging chains, switchblades, loose broads and fists in faces - what I always hoped stuff branded as "biker rock" would sound like. Highly recommended for non-squares and men. Snakeskin textured sleeves were well worth how ever much it cost to make them. (RK)
(Cool Death // via www.feeelitrecords.bigcartel.com in the US)

Predator "Drag" 7"
Another killer punk single from Predator, one of the more underrated bands in the country. There are alot of good things about living in a city with a great scene and multiple great bands, but the bad thing is if you're not THE BAND it's easy to get lost in the crowd. And dont get me wrong, Predator would be be THE BAND in most American cities, but in ATL there will always be a Carbonas or GG King in front of them (and the personnel changes and such seemed to have kept them from touring a ton or getting records out there in a timely manner) - but anyway, Predator are truly a great band. Both sides of this are impeccable examples of the dark and taut punk (almost hardcore) they excel at. At times they're like the evil version of Carbonas, replacing that band's uptempo pop leanings with downward spiral deathpunk. "Drag" provides a more dynamic and hypnotic amphetaine high, while "First To Know" (my preferred cut by a slim margin) is more like taking downers and hanging out in the woods drinking by yourself. What? Great single, Total Punk rules, you all drool.(RK)
(Total Punk // www.floridasdying.com)

Pronto s/t LP
Fast flying full player of Melbourne garage buzz. Pronto rages this time out with a smidge o' Rip Off records here and a tinge o' The Reatards catalog workout there - but with its throttle foot planted firmly on the gruff attitude of their homelands finest from way back. Eschewing quite a bit of their earlier pop leanings for a blistering full frontal punk pound. A good move, kids. I'll be honest - Aussie power pop is better than any other power pop in my notebook, but I like it much more now that they sputter, punch it out and tackle the KBD collection with mucho gusto. Not to say some of the sounds of early Scientists or even the catchiest Victims tunes doesn't still sprout up in the mix. "Animal", "Don't Pick Me Up" and "On The Slots" bring a muscular power to their pep and hold up quite nicely to the Birdmen who flew before them - especially if those acts were fronted by throats shredded from smoking unfilters and permanently damaged by the gargled shards of busted long necks. Tunes like "Fad Cult" smack you around like the Wilful Boys battering ram jams and "Static Pragmatics" should hold up with the finest OBN III singles. Call it whatever you want - it's still rock 'n' roll. Good ol' fashioned, beer battered, deep fried, pit sweat, rock 'n' fuckin' roll. So, let us not forget that. It is why we're all here isn't it? (RSF)
(Slovenly Records // www.slovenly.com)

Psychic Baos “Society’s Lien On Peace of Mind” 7”
In a sea of lame carbon copies, it is extra refreshing to stumble across a BFTG/Oblivians-influenced budget rock band that has a bit of a fresh take. As expected, no frills here, a rock trio with farfisa, guitar, drums, vocals. No bass but a couple of nice hooks and more to latch onto than your typical retro act make this stand out from the crowd. It does feel a little odd to see a record with the tag “File Under: Psycho-Delic Scuzz” also come with a download code, but I s’pose that’s the world we’re living in now. Nice simple but sharp cut’n’paste sleeve, too. (DH)
(Magnetic South // www.magneticsouthrecordings.org)

Pure Shit "Beyond God EP" 7"
Copious amounts of aluminum chew and feedback from the SoCal underbelly and (strangely) not Rhode Island. Beyond Shit vibes so much of those late 90's Load records that it makes my molars ache. Imagine Lightning Bolt getting lost on the Jersey turnpike, far from their day-glo warehouse scene and getting rerouted towards Harry Pussy's roach infested Miami hovel. I'm sure all parties involved would kick back, raise a glass and take in a much needed larvae fueled snack break. There's a mouth involved - this much I know - yet words ain't so important. Also various flailing appendages. Not much else to relay on y'all, 'cept I find it a interesting and intensely compact jazz-punk type of shit-splatter that cleanses the palette nicely after a grueling day spent peddling worn, dollar copies of Steely Dan's 'Pretzel Logic'. This barfed up static should appeal to fans of those camps mentioned above or to folks who tackle the No Babies output every so often. They pressed up less than 200 of this suckers. You might wanna creep over to their webstore and support some actual "art", you punks. (RSF)
(Lament Records // www.lamentrecords.bigcartel.com)

Raw Pony s/t 7"
Are Raw Pony Thee Headcoatees or Delmonas of Columbus? Ah, that's not fair, but the spirit is definitely there. In all reality they sound more like the Gories than anybody, but it's gotta be hard to not sound like Gories when doing "Bo Diddley" I suppose. "Shattered" is not the Stones cover I was hoping for, but is really raw (!) and it sounds fantastic, imperfections glowing, slightly inept, definitely sloppy, but rough and tumble and certainly reeking of Columbus. Not sure if these gals are in any other bands, but if they are they should quit them all now and take this show on the road. Heelturn finally releases a good one, third times the charm right? Not to be confused with SS Records artists Pony Time. Or the Ass Ponys for that matter.(RK)
(Heel Turn Records // www.heelturnrecords.com)

Red Mass "EP Rouge N.2" 12"
Red Mass has resurrected its m.i.a. dark side with this half platter of demonic synth punk, industrial bleat and metallic gruel. Dedicated to the Zulawski (RIP) flick Possession, "Rouge N.2" features some of Roy's finest hesher guit-fits yet and a throbbing electronic backbeat that cuts things real close to John Carpenter-ville. "Noir et Blanc" pairs Metal Urban with a dry-run through the Return Of The Living Dead score to nice effect. Dark riffs ala' Agent Orange or TSOL mood up the tune and add possible DJ heft where some of the other tracks would scare the average leather jacketed bopper off. I've always been fond of The Mass' collective experimental hive mind over their peppier glam-pop leanings, so when "Confession D'un Chacal" and "Infidele" crank out a Laibach grind, fuggeredly warbled solos and an aggressive thrash blast writhing through a mechanized pulse, it swells my guts with warmth. The lo-fi guitar belch and propulsive pound of "KDAVR" brings forth a ghetto Maiden gallop to most of their art spunk. "Apres Moi Deluge"seals the tomb with a stompin' groove and a reoccurring banshee screech of a string stab. Stylistically, this sucker is more in line with the earliest RM collections (the S/T 12" for instance) and it's a pretty great return to form for this ever changing collective. Surely I'm forgetting something from the past mailbags, but for now I'm comfortable saying this is possibly the finest one-sided, thematically cohesive EP since Feeling Of Love's love letter to Julie Cafritz a few yeas back. WARNING: It's in French, so dumb 'muricans like myself have no goddamn clue what's being sung, but it's safe to assume it isn't all munchkin cats and rainbow sherbet in there. Oh yeah - the flip features an etching of some mystical shit that I'm sure Jodorowski would love to throw onto his next tarot deck. Impressed. (RSF)
(Mondo Mongo - Slovenly Records // www.slovenly.com)

The Remedials “Four Song EP” 7” EP
Originally released in 1981, Mean Bean gives this Montreal rock’n’rolla outfit the deluxe reissue treatment. Judging from the liners and looks here (and there are two very quality band pictures here featuring striped shirts, suspenders, at least one headband) these dudes (and one gal) were veteran 70s rockers trying to perhaps catch the crest of the New Wave, but were at least doing it on their own terms by just playing rock’n’roll – not punking it up exploitation-style or adding a synth or whatever – perhaps power-pop-like rock, but this is just rock’n’roll at heart. Sure, maybe the guitars get some cool phaser thing, there’s some workmanlike hooks here – shit this might actually qualify as City Rock. “That Look” is a straight rocker, “The Teaser” has a little bit of Stones-tonk to it, “Lifetime” is the poppiest of the bunch and I think I dig “You Make It” the most for the hamfisted double-entendre (she makes it hard, duh) delivered with some put-on Gizmos-eqsue dum-dum vocals. Loggins might have ripped off this riff for ‘Footloose’ too, these guys should consult legal counsel. Or a barrister... I find this one interesting in the fact that it’s essentially just bar rock with zero glam/flamboyance really, and no matter how you dress it up these guys could only play honest rock’n’roll in what is essentially it’s purest pop-centric form.(RK)
(Mean Bean // meanbeanrecords.bigcartel.com)

Rocket Robert s/t LP
Fancy reissue treatment for the sole release of lone Oregonian analogue warrior, Robert Moore, AKA: Rocket Robert. Don't worry if you never heard of him - few have since the initial early 80's press run of was under two hundred copies. Robert's performances on deck run the gamut from goofy electro-pop boogie to moody oscillations of a more serious tone. "Space Bass Blues" or "Walkin' In Space" wouldn't sound outta' place backing an 8-Bit menu screen of your favorite Intellivision cartridge or even spliced into the original Star Wars cantina scene. "Star Flight" pairs up the BBC Radiophonic Workshop outings to Roger Corman's haphazard New World-era SciFi scores. Other standouts like "Journey Into the Unknown" or "Bottomless Pit Of Space" could be themes to a Carl Sagan or Omni TV special. A large part of the flipside heavily relies on soundscapes like linear Subotnick outings or even Tangerine Dream, who were real hot at the time. "Deltoids From Space" brings some Mole Show Residents rollick and there's even a whimsy ape on the E.T. theme that's the proof in the pudding (or dehydrated ice cream) he wasn't too stuffy about it all. This record also contains two unreleased bonus vocal cuts of screwball, glam-synth disco that're kinda' off-putting to my ears - but I'm sure some of you far out space nuts, Laurice collectors and private press goons are clamoring for 'em. Overall, good stuff. (RSF)
(Got Kinda Lost Records // www.gotkindalostrecords.bigcartel.com)

Ruby Karinto s/t 7”
Victoria-based co-ed quartet playing “No Wave” – bass, drums, oscillator and a Japanese-Canadian singer who utilizes both languages. The B-Side “JugeMu” is the closest to actual No Wave, the rhythmic bass-drum bob is fantastic motion as are the bells and outer space oscillator are as far out as the Japanese vocals. “Ai Is A Pencil” is a cute (seriously, for lack of a better word) where the singer (Ai) talks about being a pencil over a slurred beat and squiggly synthetics, “Zoot Suit” has verses in both languages and a peppy little bassline and traffics in nostalgia lyrically much like the OG No Wavers might have. Cute stuff. Art school cute, yes. Limited to 250, 50 on color. (RK)
(self-released // rubykarinto.bandcamp.com)

Sacred Product "$ A Ride" 12"
Even though our beloved Satanic Rockers have now moved on to the list of defunct greats, Lynton Denovan has not paused in his mission to lay down heavy riffage on us - and if you missed the old Termbo interview with him you might realize his discography goes back to pre-SR outfits like the obscure Sod Cocks or Rockshop, and that Sacred Product have been a longish-running concern as well, coinciding and possibly predating SR. Biography aside, "$ A Ride" boasts a perfect half-dozen songs, all instruments played by Denovan and extending the work done on 'Wastex' and the self-titled LP into further murky waters. Each song is constructed on a python of a bassline, each more foreboding than the previous, most slithering by at half-speed, sometimes picking up the tempo to a brisk stroll. Vox are deadpanned with various degrees of distortion and echo, often doubled-up or pitchshifted and run through who knows what pedals/filters. Same for the guitars, sometimes falling from the sky sharp as knives, or appearing as massively twisted hunks of steel, prickly soloing, staticked riffing - he puts on a clinic, always showing up at the right times, often in multiple tracks. Drumming is tasteful and never overbearing, and there are other layers of what must be tape manipulation/noise, and I'm hesistant to say there's any synth as most of the noises here are unidentifiable but still definitively Lynton. Massive stuff that has to be called sludgy even though I've been trying not to use the word - although "Working Is A Waste" is as prickly a punk tune as can be. Syrupy? "Sick Day" is practically space rock for chrissakes. "Sitting On Seats" (!) is as in-the-pocket as can be, but I give top billing to "Thirsty River" for the most lumbering bassline groove matched up with guitar needles. Top shelf effort from the guy I think heads up the Australian Guitar Rock movement at this point, at least spiritually. With the usual off-kilter artwork from the man himself (hobby horse, tank, Juggalo submariner...).(RK)
(Quemada // quemadarecords.bigcartel.com)

Savoy Motel "Hot One" 7"
Savoy Motel is Jeffrey Novak's new project. No doubt Termbo readers will know Jeffrey from his former/current projects the Rat Traps and Cheap Time, as well as his numerous solo records and 45s. Joining him in Savoy Motel is Jessica McFarland (Cheap Time), Mimi Galbierz and Dillon Watson. Those expecting a band similar to Cheap Time will be in for a surprise with Savoy Motel. Never one to stagnate, young Novak is clearly working through a heavy infatuation with mid '70s Island Records (particularly Cale), '81 NYC post punk and Dennis Coffey's tenure at Motown. This is sure to be a divisive 45, but to those with a wide frame of reference, they'll likely consider this as good (if not superior) to anything Novak's previously released. This is a white label promo, limited to 300 copies. Included was a signed 8" x 10" glossy photo of the band, as well as a press release on the band's letterhead. Savoy Motel isn't messing around.(RL)
(Official Memorabilia // promo only?)

Scraper "Misery" LP
I thought Scraper's debut LP on Cut-Rate from a few years ago was exceptional and seemingly unheralded, and then they seemed to disappear from the Termbo radar only to resurface on Slovenly. I think these guys are right there with Pampers as to what I think garage-punk shoud probably be sounding like these days, or at least the In the Red strain of garage (had things not gone in the Ty Segall direction), pretty dirty but fast moving. Think of a sped-up Lamps, or Golden Pelicans gone weirdpunk. Very solid low end rooting everything down, guitars are staticky and just a bit sleazy but most importantly they sound punk. "Blue Velvet" smokes and kinda sounds like an updated Damned song, "Reaction" is burly and Aussie-sounding, "Animal" is one of many just-catchy-enough tunes where the hook is there but not enough for me to call it pop. "Under My Tongue" blasts like Angry Samoans being covered by Oblivians - you get my drift yet? Super solid record here, Woodhouse has them sounding dialed in, and the best thing Ive heard on Slovenly in some time.(RK)
(Slovenly // www.slovenly.com)

Screature "Four Columns" LP
Second full length by these Sacramento bat cavers - this time on their local label's dime (S-S Records). Four Columns is a darkly lit yet very dance-able post punk that lies in the realm between Scream-era Banshees, Modern English at their most abrasive or even dark scum dwellers like Live Skull. Morose, soaring vocals that are heavy handed but handled with enough care to not to drip with that ever popular overreaching flutter most acts of this ilk fall for (I blame Jarboe). The guitar really slices thru the cavern sound, cutting loose with the occasional grotesque buzzsaw howl or almost Snakefinger like swirl and chime ("Down Boys" lead breaks for instance). Highlights include the nihilist boneshaker "Crumbling" that bounces along at a rockabilly pace with some surreal neck-bending string work and the near perfect grim-pop of "Half Past Midnight". Here I am, half way through the record and I just noticed there's no bass on it!? Organ takes to the drivers seat, setting the funeral parlor tone just right during "Lost Ones" and grooves the drum trot expertly while backing the shimmering sonic assault of "Graves And Heirs". Nothing is lost or obliterated in the mix - also a plus in this often plagued genre - thanks to Chris Woodhouse's production. That dude knows how to mic a room. If you dug that Stickers release from last year, this would make a damn fine pairing. (RSF)
(S-S Records // www.ss-records-sol-re-sol-records.myshopify.com)

Seger Liberation Army "Innervenus Eyes" LP
Big Neck goes to the well one more time with this SLA material (8 of these 14 songs already appeared first as two 7"es, then were comped on the 'Down Home' CD) but I can't blame Bart, as I love this stuff as much as him. SLA are breaking no new ground here, and if you're unaware it is Thomas Jackson Potter of Bantam Rooster infamy doing all Seger covers backed by an all-star line-up of ex-Dirtbombs (Pat Pantanao, and super producer Diamond Jim Diamond) and Jim Weber from New Bomb Turks. For this LP they actually recorded six more "new" tunes, including a pretty inspiring take on "Death Row" (which was the B-Side to "2+2=?") and a rocking "School Teacher" as the closer. If you haven't experienced this stuff yet, you should do so - Potter is a legend for good reason, and that first batch of 8 songs they did (which are over ten years old now!) are immaculate. It will definitely appeal to your inner garage turkey and makes a great party record (much like 'Ultraglide in Black' did). And while were at it, someone please release that recording that supposedly exists of just the Tom Potter stage banter from the OG line-up Dirtbombs shows - or at the very least send me a fucking copy of it.(RK)
(Big Neck Records // www.bigneckrecords.com)

Sewers "Weight" LP
Seconds LP from Australia's Sewers, a band I'm not totally fond of but who toe the line fairly well here. An LP full of rugged garage-rock, they seem to have found a place inbetween The Stabs and Cuntz on the burl-o-meter, not completely swampy but still pretty outback. Bassline fueled and ground into the dirt kind of stuff, not really A-list material, but very solid B-grade work. I mean, they're not bad, but they're merely competent in playing in a style that many before have done exceptionally well enough to define the genre and many of their peers are doing better right now (Cuntz, Gentlemen, Rat King). A place-filler that goes by without being very memorable in the end, but if you're a rabid fan of this particular sound it'll sit very well - if not, might I suggest another LP titled 'Weight' by an interesting little outfit called The Rollins Band instead?(RK)
(Homeless // homelessvinyl.com.au)

Sex Church “Flowers” LP
Third and final 12" from Vancouver’s Sex Church, one of my personal favorites of the past few years, an outfit who delivered both live and on record and who created guitar rock free from pretension and full of emotion, which is all I ask. This is a sad record, as would be expected from a band recording an LP knowingly on their way out, unsure if they even have a label to release it, cramped inside a tiny rehearsal room, but there’s triumph is the sorrow and even some pride. “Drifter” is truly psychedelic, a phantom of a song that washes over you. “Twice Dead” shows that sorrow isn’t exactly the only facet here, an angry and fiery bit of garage-rock. “Decimate” interprets the guitar angst of the Shannon brothers into a fitting homage of sorts. “Suffocation” is massively depressing and beautiful. “Watch it Burn” is what you play for people when they want to know what a modern garage-psych band should sound like, the flaming ending in particular. “Flowers” shows off a skronky side I never knew that had, which is wonderful. At least they went out in style. Scum stats: 320 (or so) copies with 100 on opaque green and all with wonderful Jesse Lortz artwork. (RK)
(Limited Appeal // limitedappealrecords.bigcartel.com)

Sex Tide "Vernacular Splatter" LP
Sophomore LP from Columbus' Sex Tide, and the first I've heard from them. When listening to a Columbus band you of course have to try and connect the dots - so Sex Tide have a link to Geraldine via the guitar player, and Mike Rep as well, but who in Columbus hasn't played in a band with Rep? It seems like every song on this LP has the same drum beat. The big beat from badsville Cramps thump, maybe slowed or sped slightly and that thump turns to a plod after a few laps. But considering this girl is singing and playing stand-up drums at the same time, I guess there's not too much you can do. Gun Club as interpreted by players who have seen a lot of Cheater Slicks shows. They slip a little Scientists in there as well some Obivians to cover all the right bases. Six tunes, all rather straightforward stuff without a lot of twists or turns. This girl does have some savage pipes though, she really shreds 'em on a couple of these. There's not a lot that sticks here though, they make a good racket but not a memorable one - wanna know who did something similar to this in Columbus, and were memorable (or at least should be remembered)? Grave Blankets. Now that was a hell of a band while they lasted. Scum Stats: 300 copies, 150 black/150 violet.(RK)
(Superdreamer // www.superdreamerrecordsmain.comm)

Shadow In The Cracks s/t LP
The Blaha bros of Blind Shake fame go the one man band route - only with two men (!?) - and proceed to bash out some Simla Beat, trance inducing psychrock. A flurry of buzzing baritone guitar gets washed away in the f/x rack tide as the lone kick and chiming bells interweave a tribal, rain-dance sorta' shimmy. "Timeless" kicks things off with Middle Eastern swagger and the sort of sinister undertow one would expect from the guys who just spent a year out road warrioring about with John Reis' bottom heavy surf unit. The simple thump never falters as the tunes sprawl out towards the moodiest moments in the Clinic or Black Angels back catalog, only with more of an lowbrow edge to their riff & roll. A Gothic love letter to the American International label is perhaps is the best way I could chuck a bone. Blues rooted clankers like "Ship Rolls In" strip away all the bullshit of modern day VU/OCS clones and prove getting back to basics work best. "Penguins Blood" and "When The Bubbles Stop" creep about in a near Snakefinger haze and feature some of the best whirling pedal massacres on deck. The title tune wouldn't seem outta' place on any or all Min Yee post-punk players - from the A-Frames up til Dream Salon - and that's something Termboners can really chew on. I've never really gotten behind the Blind Shake wagon totally, but this type of grotesque surf and blasted dune rock is right up my alley. Possibly the best S-S record released on Goner in 2015. (RSF)
(Goner Records // www.gonerrecords.com)

Matt K Shrugg “Goes Bananas” flexi
On this yellow colored flexidisc, Matt K Shrugg covers three songs from The Bananas’ “Forbidden Fruit” album. The label art pays homage to the original album’s cover. As you might expect, this is a fun little release and these revved up takes on the Sacto legends make for a nice tribute. (DH)
(Sacramento Records // 331 21st St, Sacto, CA 95811)



Sick Thoughts "Aborted World" 7"
Brief two song outing from Baltimore's most popular teenager Drew "DD" Owen, trading off the Reatard-rippage for a more KDB-ripper approach this time around. "Aborted World" blazes by, points given for pud-pulling lyric and two second guitar solo. Vox are delivered in a Jeff Clayton-esque growl for this session. "G.O.O.M.F." on the flip borrows wholesale from Porno Cassettes, has a weird 90's alt-rock guitar break and races along well enough for a tune that probably took five minutes to think up. Probably not worth paying import 7" price for about three minutes of music, but the tunes are decent. Drew's jacked out around 17-18 releases in three years as Sick Thoughts, with about half of them on Euro labels, where he just toured. International superstar. Scum stats: 100 copies with clear sleeve limited edition, regular comes with green sleeve.(RK)
(No Front Teeth // www.nofrontteeth.co.uk)

Silent Noise "I've Been Hurt" 7"
Straight repro of the sole Silent Noise 7", originally self-released on their own Easy Records label in 1979. Their retrospective LP on Low Down Kids ('Whatever Happened To Us') is one my favorites on the label, based on some of the harder/punker tunes therein ("Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down" in particular), but at heart Silent Noise are a power pop band and both tunes here reflect that. "I've Been Hurt" is spunky pop in a Undertones-ish way, and "Heart to Heart" on the flip is taken from a different demo session and has a a slight bit of grit on the guitars that steers it more towards my wheelhouse, but it's still undeniably poppy and catchy. A worthwhile UK power-popper for aficionados, and I heartily recommend the LDK LP if you should ever see a copy.(RK)
(Breakout Records // purepunk.it)

Slick "Slick!" LP
So this kid here went from The Impediments (who had a couple OK songs of teenage snot), to Apache (who had a huge debut 7" and then went south fast - for me at least) to Glitz (who I can't ever remember in the constant train of glam-rock Bay Area outfits) and has now become the man known as Slick (not to be confused with The Doctor of Style either), a man audacious enough to go straight to the 12" format right off the bat and name it after himself to boot. Gotta admire his brass balls. Muscially, I want to come right out and say that the guitars on this record sound fucking great no matter how bad the song they appear in might be. And for the record the song "Know It Tonight" might be an almost perfect rock'n'roll tune - it's simple, hooky and has an audacious solo. The rest of the record is filled with attempts that don't come close, not for lack of trying. The Slickster here goes through all the genres - T.Rex glam, Dollsy rock, some sockhop slow jam, Groovies jammer, maybe a City Rocker, powerpop, a song that sounds like it's from the fucking Rocky Horror soundtrack...no amount of cocky attitude (faux or not), handclaps or piano will cover up the fact that more than a few of these tunes ain't so hot, and neither will working blue (there's actually a song called "Mother Fucker!"). Another in the seemingly relentless stream of medicore Bay Area rock'n'roll records, a scene that does however seem big enough to support itself. At least Slick wrote one good song though, I'll give him that.(RK)
(King Rocker Records // www.kingrockerrecords.com)

Snooty Garbagemen s/t LP
A Houston TX, OBN IIIs offshoot that has rapidly pulled itself ahead of the pack around my compound. A teeth gnashing, freakrawk throwback to the Bag Of Hammers years or many fine Rep related Ohio outings. Hank IV laid down a similar throb and shake, but these Garbage folk are still desperately clinging to their youthfulness, as if the Thomas Jefferson Slave Apts had never found a grey pube in their skivvies. "Sad Sack" clanks along like a meth riled Sam & Dave before tearing through a gloriously messy CPC Gangbangs sorta' mulch, complete with stellar loud leads as one would expect from an Orville Neeley sidekick. "You and Ernie" scrapes a shoddy jangle fuck, mid-tempo Motorhead from their collective refuse barrel, rattling loose strings and reeking of early morning beer sweats. Being that all involved are under 40, they do grind a little closer to the hardcore edge. "Apart At The Seams" has a Toxic State barnstorm beat propping it up, though it seems weighed down by greasy cheeseburgers or brisket. "Superman" rides firmly in line with Lumpy and his Spotted Midwestern Race and "Don't Know How To Play Guitar" is a bald-faced lie. The snot of despair cakes exceptionally thick on their sleeve during the blistering "My Keys" and the concept of "Cigarette Juice" is just too fuggin' gross to even discuss. There's some stuff that chaffs close to balladry up in here as well, but their violent shakes and over caffeinated edge works against such an idea. A grand slice of the craptastic junk punk n' roll pie. 12xU rolls out the tattered and moldy carpet once again, giving the gold star treatment to the elder-punk ears of these pages. Evidently some were pressed on green vinyl and are STILL available direct from the source. What's wrong with you people? (RSF)
(12XU // www.12xu.bigcartel.com)

Soda Boys "Burgers & Fries" 7"
After that killer demo tape Soda Boys show up on vinyl on none other that Total Punk. Rich is just scooping up all the hot new acts, it's like no one else is even trying anymore. So, said demo was spectacular Midwest punk-rock-and-rolla (almost proto-) and this 7" contains two short but delicious tracks of primo hooked-up punk ('76-77 version). "Burgers & Fries" is about food and girls, like all of the best Dictators songs, and it's sizzingly lo-fi, catchy and kinda tuff too. Please dont mistake these St' Louis boys for some Burger Records pop-punk hipster bullshit - this is punk straight from the heart of America, espousing sleeping with the TV on and cars and girls and everything else good about life, from kids who are probably often drunk and definitely not hip. "Doghouse" is a bit more punk sounding in the grand Gulcher tradition and is over way too soon. We need more fro these kids ASAP, and watch for them on tour to Total Fuck Off in Orlando this year. So when does Lumpy or MW1 release the comp of all these STL and NWI bands that will be the Red Snerts of today?(RK)
(Total Punk // www.floridasdying.com)

Sokea Piste “Välikäsi” 12"
Finland is bringing the heat pretty steadily these days, and we’re fortunate to get a second 12” from Sokea Piste (some of the guys from the great Kyklooppien Sukupuutto). A little bit slower than the previous effort, but still sounds mostly like a Lama record where they’re obsessed with Rudimentary Peni, or Post Regiment’s guitarist with twenty times the negativity. It comes across as a thinking man’s deathrock record - plodding tempos with bizarre and intelligent guitarwork and impassioned (and informed) vocals. “Kriittinen Tila” is probably the best example of their idiosyncratic style thus far, with a light, hypnotic guitar line that ends up accumulating into a katamari of riffs. Well worth investigating. As with their other records, it’s covered in stellar artwork from Heikki Hautala. (NG)
(Peterwalkee Records // www.peterwalkeerecords.com )

Soupcans “Soft Party” LP
Second LP proper from Toronto’s Soupcans and it packs a solid punch. I felt their first LP lacked a bit of the whallop a band considering themselves “noise-rock” should deliver, but they come out slugging this time around. The faster they play the better they are, and hard chargers like “Crime I” or “Dish Pig” scratch that itch, like Mayyors without the mountain of pedal-effects, or the most straight moments of the Tropical Trash LP. There’s a good half dozen tunes of this ilk that really get the pummel down and do so without a mountain of effects and echo – just quite direct rock hammering. There are a couple off-kilter benders where they collide Lamps and The Intelligence perhaps that aren’t their strong suit (“Psychosomatic Rash” sounds like a Wounded Lion song or something else I disagree with), and the lengthy Melvins-esque jam “Young N EZ” is unnecessary sludge that just slows them down. They offset that time-burner with a couple minute long blasters, of which “Razor Face” is a great drumroll-driven cooker. They save the title cut for last, and on this one they slow it up with favorable results, having the drummer play metronome and letting the guitars whang and bang for a nearly DWG-like affair. A very successful sophomore effort from a band that would probably be getting more heads turning if they were American, but this would rank up there with most stuff on the current In the Red roster I reckon, and they improved from their debut which is what bands should be doing, right? A great sounding record too, which I assume has something to do with Mikey Young mastering. (RK)
(Telephone Explosion // www.telephoneexplosion.com)

Spacin' "Total Freedom" LP
Spacin' is Jason Killinger from Birds of Maya with some co-conspirators that include his wife, Mike Polizze (Purling Hiss/Birds of Maya), and various other Violators/Philly rockers. 'Total Freedom' is not quite as heavy as I remember his first LP being, but it breezes by sounding like it was mailed to us from 1968 (or maybe 1973) somewhere in the no man's land between The Stones and The Dead - and I'm at a point in my life where referencing the Dead might not be a bad thing anymore, but this also hits a million other notes in between. Calling this LP total freedom is no accident, and it's the kind of always flowing and borderless rock'n'roll that is the standard the US guitar rock scene is built upon. "Titchy" really sounds like it could have been an Oblivians outtake, "Stopping Man" could be a no-fi Zeppelin demo, and the entire concept behind "U.S. Ruse" is brilliant. Ending on the title track that sounds like the Stones practicing circa 1967 is the perfect way to fade off into the sunset. If you're not paying close attention you might think Spacin' aren't one of the more important US guitar bands right now, and you'd be sorely mistaken bro. Limited copies with screened sleeves. (RK)
(Richie Records // testtostertunes.bigcartel.com)

Spite House "Perfect Vision" 7"
Originally recorded in 2013, this Spite House 7" should be spared from MRR's fatwa on gothy post-punk due to timing - they were somewhat ahead of the curve here. Four songs from the darkside, with a sharp feminine vocal presence. Title track is pointed and fast, "Dreams" gets a bit more deliberate and hones the guitar even further to a razor's edge, then goes all pedally for a blazing outro. B-Side has another charger in "Cult Leaders" with a killer barbed guitar hook and bass undertow and closes with the brooding "Limits of Language", which dials down the vox and the music goes all ice age (or Ice Age?). A very solid record for the form, which I will admit is a genre that has become rather populous lately, but the vox here make it a winner as does the rather tasteful use of the effects. Well done.(RK)
(No Patience // nopatience.org)

Splat st 7"
Eight tracks of Cleveland junk-punk from this trio that includes at least one Bad Noid. Garagey-punky stuff that makes me think these kids might've been paying more attention to Homostupids than say Inmates, though the spirit of both is certainly present. Surprisingly lucid considering the "scene" we're dealing with here, I dig that it sounds pretty decent recording-wise (meaning the vox are discernible and it wasn't recorded on a boombox - thanks to Paul Mac recording) for a change, a couple tunes actuallly remind me a bit of Utah Jazz (and there's one that sounds a lot like Out With A Bang), maybe a little Kill the Hippies, and I like that they work the band name in as a lyric a few times. Scum stats: green and black vinyl versions available.(RK)
(Saucepan Records // saucepanrecords.bigcartel.com)


Spray Paint "Dopers" LP
The most monotonous band in sport, here with a double dose for the review page. 'Dopers', mehhh - "Goth Apologist" is a pretty good song title I'll admit, even if the tune doesn't live up to it, but on "Anyone Else Want In" they actually make some pretty good noise for a change, and "Gravity Drainer" sounds real cool even though it's just a pile of sound effects. Other than that, I'm in the apparent minority who don't dig what SP lay down. Maybe they're one of those "gotta see 'em live" bands? I dunno, I dont get it, more often than not they leave me thinking either "What if the A-Frames weren't an amazing band?" or "Is that one of the worst guitar sounds ever?". 'Punters...' I will say is the best record Ive heard from them yet. They alter the formula enough to not make me want to drive a spike through my head - "Day of the Rope" has synth-drone and handclap that do wonders, "I Hate Your Paintings" use some some out-of-time structure that keeps you on edge, "Ian's Theme" sounds punk(!), "Middle Relief" drones in a good way (finally...). 'Dopers' I can do without, but 'Punters on A Barge' might just be the Spray Paint LP that stays in rotation.(RK)
(Homeless // homelessvinyl.com.au)
(Monofonus Press // monofonuspress.com)

Strutter s/t EP
First time hearing Strutter after people told me good things about their demo tape which I could never get a copy of (I try not to cheat and listen online if I can help it). I had the bar set quite high for this one, I'll admit. Leadoff cut is average 'core of today, but they do much better on "Busted" mainly due the whole slow it down and jam it out second half. B-Side has two more, it's all fast and loud, just nothing that stands out. A perfectly fine modern hardcore record, but one of the filler variety I think. Strutter has memebers of Impalers and Glue, both of which are superior bands. I would like to note that the artwork for this is great though, and mention that BIR has been on a roll with good-looking records lately - the Blood Pressure LP looks incredible, this one, the Absolut/Paranoid split, even the Concealed Blade 7" was charming...Scum Stats: 150 on blue for mailorder - also a Euro edition forthcoming on Static Shock.(RK)
(Beach Impediment // beachimpedimentrecords.bigcartel.com)

Subtractions "It's Exposed" EP
The Subtractions were Fresno punkers formed in 1979, and this EP collects tracks from a 1980 studio session that was unreleased until now. I won't give you the whole history lesson, as you should have already read all about it in Savage Damage Digest #4, and Cory Linstrum contributes some short but sweet liners here as well. Four cuts that have a nice and raunchy guitar sound captured well in the studio environment. It's not a real mind-blower as far as total-KBD-destruction standards go as they're not total weirdos or no-fi morons. We have set our standards for what we've come to expect from unheard stuff of this era possibly unfairly high, but they settle into a nice place between Adolescents and maybe DKs with an appreciated dead-end vibe for what I would hesitantly call the standard punk sound of the time - buzzsaw, snotty vox, tight playing and all that. These could've been some of the lesser tracks on a What? Records compilation.(RK)
(Hozac // www.hozacrecords.com)

Suburban Homes "Conformity in the UK" 7"
The first Sub Homes 7" was an unexpected and welcome shot of neo-DIY done so perfectly it was almost suspicious. They've finally got around to the follow-up, and it's a split affair for me. While the sentiment of "Conformity..." is certainly inspired, musically I find it less than inspired aside from that static machine-gun fuzz solo towards the end - other than that it's sort of rote jangle with an awkward vocal - one of those instances where it sounds like he's jamming too may words in, rushing the delivery - and maybe that's done purposefully, but it still doesn't come off. "Television Spies" on the flip does succeed, almost by doing the exact things the A-Side did, just with a sharp delivery. A good sing-songish lyric, simple guitar jangle with a needly solo, well placed "Whoah-oh" chorus, very British lyrics (makes me think of The Prisoner) about surveillance paranoia (it's no wonder considering the amount of cameras on the streets of London) and if I'm getting the first line right ("Just wanna stay home, tape in my room...") it's even more likeable. While I certainly wasn't expecting something as great as the debut, this one sort of treads water.(RK)
(Total Punk // www.floridasdying.com)

Surveillance “Man” 7”
I’ve been pleading for a Surveillance record for some time after a string of exceptional tape releases, and here it is courtesy of Various Records. Three songs of that Nova Scotian indie-rock I love. “Death” is a fuzzed-out rocker with a deceptive hook that I will call grunge in the most complimentary way. “Bud” sounds like an angel singing over a sick bass solo but all this interference from the short wave radio on some primitive UFO is getting in the way. It makes for a nice dream. “Surveillance” spans the entire B-Side and is the perfect example of their lo-fi and blow-out rock, almost coming off like one of the really punk RFTC songs, but also sounding plenty like Eric’s Trip as well, with that sort of Stereo Mountain recording quality where it sounds as if noise is bleeding over from the other side of the tape, but it works, like another subliminal song on top of the one playing. Poor description on my part, but great recoring done by the band. Very recommended.(RK)
(Various // variousrecords.blogspot.ca)

Sweet Talk "Double Perfect" LP
Sweet Talk's latest album should appeal to fans of power-pop and early glam; it's not far removed from the sound Jeffrey Novak dialed in on Cheap Time's "Self-titled" LP. By my count "Double Perfect" is Sweet Talk's third release on 12XU. It's a catchy record and left-handed guitar shredder Mitch Fraizer (formerly of Church Shoes) destroys it. I'm not sure of the pressing details, but my copy came on orange vinyl. Recommended. (RL)
(12xu // www.12xu.net)

Billy Synth & The Turn Ups "Off The Deep End" LP
Billy Synth "We Have Got To Make It On Our Own" LP
Hailing from the other Harrisburg (not the one in OH, but apparently just the name creates some weird music....), Billy Synth is a Pennsylvania punk legend who released a string of records from 1978-83 that are worth your attention if you're interested in the punk rock of that period at all. It's shocking that the man is not a KBD/proto-punk legend of wider renown (some people did take notice), an injustice Mind Cure is out to rectify with a vengeance. Synth himself was the brains behind the Psychedelic Unknowns compilation series (you'll notice the artwork similarities between the covers of the 2x7" comps and the Turn Ups LP) of the late Seventies, and his encyclopedic knowledge of 60s garage would certainly help color his own forays into proto-punk/punk/wave beinning with the Blue Ice 7" in 1977. The right people noticed him at the time, as he was the third release on Sordide Sentimental after Joy Division and Throbbing Gristle which had a 1/2 Japanese cameo on it as as well (a fact I also think speaks volumes), appeared on Voxx's 'Battle of the Garages' LP and the Bona Fide Records 'Train to Disaster' comp (alongside Slickee Boys, George Brigman, The Left and more) and was a fanzine favorite of Prevost, Stigliano and others. He was also self-releasing his own records under the Cracked and Tragik imprints (and doing the PU comps under the Calico Records banner), records which combined his love of psychedelic garage rock with the DIY movement happening at the time, and his taking on the Synth pseudonymn is obviously apt. The Turn Ups LP couldn't have a more fitting name, as the circuit bending and squiggling is definitely wild for 1980, and the tunes fall somewhere in between Simply Saucer and MX-80 with a far more garage-rock influence and a less 'serious' mood, maybe like Gizmos go synth crazy even. It's almost half covers ("I Wanna Be Your Dog" twice, and as a guy that is a true believer that The Stooges are the greatest band ever no contest, he does the tune some justice with a pretty mean guitar sound and laying a primitve synth over it even if the "woof woof" adlib turns it a bit goofy) synthing out Nightcrawlers, Beach Boys, VU, and Kinks for some fun-lovin' rolling and rocking. "Young Kids on Drugs" is the hit that should've been comped on a KBD somewhere, "Land Of Dinosaurs" is the weird-jammer, the title track really goes for the punk crunch. The "We Have..." LP compiles tracks from the self-released singles, the second Turn Ups LP and others from the vaults, highlighted by the frantic punk of "The Mask" with it's screaming synth and Damned-like breakneck pace, "I'm So Sick Of It" which is outsider New Wave anti-disco ranting (two versions) and a cover of "Captain Groovy" given the sci-fi treatment. Both LPs are exquisitely packaged, liners from Dave Martin and John Olson on full-size inserts with plenty of vintage pics and ephemera. I feel like maybe some people are put off by the goofier moments, but I think both LPs are 100% fun listens and provide a glimpse into a corner of the DIY-weirdo world many of us haven't spent too much time in yet.(RK)
(Mind Cure // www.mindcurerecords.com)

Timmy's Organism "Wild Humanoid" 7"
Timmy's O was my least favorite of Vulgar's projects (which means I still like it, but just not as much as Clone Defects or Human Eye) and I wasn't that into the last LP for whatever reason. This is a powerful two song platter though that has me second-guessing my judgement. "Wild Humanoid" is heavy space-rock trucking, sounding more like what Human Eye were doing, which is what I'm waaay into. A really potent mid-tempo crusher with tractor beam guitar and an armada of squeaks and squiggles and bent notes surrounding it along with a pretty tasteful/restrained vocal from Timmy. "William" (who I like to think is a sasquatch, judging by the artwork narrative on the sleeve) is a trash-rock killer with a somewhat pop whoa-whoa hook on the chrous (that gets completely vaporized by guitar damage at one point) - killer tune. Crytpo-punk? Hey, Thrasher is giving them some play too, which is awesome. Scum stats: this one is a good'un, and one you need to jump on - 300 copies only (40 green, 100 clear, 160 black). (RK)
(Urinal Cake // urinalcakerecords.com)

Timmy's Organism "Heartless Heathen" LP
Some reviews needn't be written. The chances of one of you not knowing of Timmy's output or finding merit in his work is next to nil. This Termbo universe owes a large chunk of its existence to him. Vulgar is upper echelon - a king in the court holding rank alongside the Hunches, Reatard and most of the Crypt Catalog. So reviews aren't really necessary at this juncture. Instead of rambling on, there should just be a click-bait advert under the opening page blogroll that sends the casual reader to Paypal, forcing him to buy this LP. But for the ten sad-sacks left who were either born after Obama's inauguration or are unaware of what rock and roll is/was/always shall be - I'll give you a quick rundown. The once freakier, solo strain to Timmy Vulgar's DNA (yes, even freakier than Human Eye at its earliest incarnation) has gone to become his tightest, most straight forward rock combo yet. Some would find it a slight to say this is accessible or even close to being radio friendly - but goddamn, if someone was gonna' hijack the airwaves and take over the amphitheater circuit, there's no better candidate. Bias aside, the dude exudes attitude and seeps righteous riffs from his pores like squid ink. Its virtually impossible to take a bad picture of him in action as well, so stick the motherfucker on the cover of Circus Magazine already. "Get Up Get Out" is the battle cry, a Kick Out The Jams bombastic punt to the gut, dropping you headlong into the soup. The stunted guitar boogie of "Heartless Heathen" flat out slays like a bastardized James Gang dumpsterfunk under a vicious wah attack. Better than a million Porklet Amy rejects combined. "Please Don't Be Going" sways within a Bolan/Bowie glam gunk, featuring string section and backing coos - a tavern closing shanty so early in the mix. "Mental Boy", "Back In The Dungeon" and "Wicked Man" pull out the biker rock and a thick Brigman fuzz. Troglodyte stomp in full effect. Is there a signature Vulgar guitar pedal yet? Get Death By Audio on the horn and alleviate this oversight, pronto. Few punkers alive have the cahones to open up tracks with arena ready solos of this caliber. "My Angel Above" is probably the most heartstring pulling ballad he's penned since the Defects days - akin to the Chris Gunn tearjerkers of yore - riding along swells of piano and hand drums til the galloping bridge fights back. "Hey Eddie" is the eulogy for Fast Eddie Altesleben. A Thunders style crusher that seems more a celebration of life than the downer of sadness that's at hand. "Wounded White Dove" wraps the package up with some neanderthal prog done respect, squashing stoner rock metalheads of a similar sect with slick slime stains and amplifier buzz. Detroit is willing to give him awards, so how about a R&R Hall Of Fame nod? If Timmy keeps this up, we'll be watching Dave Grohl wax on about him in an insufferable documentary interview sometime around 2019. Go for the gold. Scum stats: There was a color vinyl edition color version available during the Devil's Night Showcase in Nashville, but damned if I've come across one in the wild. Perhaps if poppa Jack is reading this, he could tie one to a balloon and send it sailing my way? Thanks in advance. (RSF)
(Third Man // www.thirdmanrecords.com)

Tommy T & The Classical Mishaps "I Hate Tommy T" 7"
Pretty effin killer single from the Cool Death contingent - synthed-up real punk rock with a true Dangerhouse feel (the Black Randy and Geza X wing of the house - and Geza mastered this for extra authenticity) and not too far off from the best Le Shok had to offer (and I'm a Le Shok fan) sans the fashion posing. Who is Tommy T? Why do we hate him? I'm not really sure, but the membership here is part of the same family tree as Dribble, Soma Coma and Power, plus we get a Snake guest shot on saxophone. A-Side has a coupla real cutters, with Tommy's nasal ultra-sneer leading the charge. "Business Man" throws a tantrum, bass/guitar/synth all in line for a good stomp, "Perfection" is a dizzying roller with paranoid guitar shred and plants a huge hook right on your kisser with some vibes as a bonus. Both tunes are a lyrical success as well - short, simple, stupid-smart. "I Hate Tommy T" is a side long whine that winds itself up for a coupla minutes then springs into action - so snotty it almost does make you hate Tommmy T. Possibly the most punk record I've heard all year. Buy in bulk.(RK)
(Cool Death // in the us via feelitrecords.bigcartel.com)

Toxin III "I Rock I Ran" 7"
I shouldn't really have to sell you on this one - one of the best of the KBD singles, great artwork, great guitar sound, all reproduced faithfully by Jeth Row. A must have. Here's some other tidbts to chew on: most forget that this record is six (!) song EP, providing maximum value for your buck, and Ive always been a fan of the B-Side were they get real weird and off-kilter on "It's Dead" and "Middle Class" especially, reminds me of Chain Gang a little bit. Also of note is Cecil Doyle of the band did a great trash/horror fanzine in the 80s called Subhuman which was actually quite popular (Rob Zombie himself was a subscriber back in the day, yeah) during it's run. Anyway, KBD don't get much better than this, and one of the best Southern punkers of all time.(RK)
(Jeth Row // jethrowrecords.bigcartel.com)

Trampoline Team "Make It Faster" LP
What do you think a band named Trampoline Team will sound like? I went in blind and guessed pop-punk. Thankfully I was mostly wrong, at least it's more punk than pop much of the time. The NOLA trio plays supefast (duh) garage-rock that isn't far off from the tightest bands of the Rip Off roster (maybe a really amped-up Suspicions for a direct line of reference, or a hotshit Spastics), and this thing really does whip by at 45rpms. A dozen tunes, the gal sinigng has a real Debbie Harry thing going on (Blondie fan club member over here) for a lot of the tunes that I dig, they do the guy/gal harmonies on a few, lots of catchy bits and they do a good job of covering all the punk songwriting bases: "I Don't Like You", "I Don't Wanna", "I'll Destroy You", "You're Wrong", "Everybody Dies"...you have to like where their heads are at. "Ave My Friends" and "I Ain't Got Shit" are my picks to click - they just sound super pissed on those in particular. Exceeded my expectations, and fitting labelmates for the likes of Manateees and No Bails. If they had released this 15 years ago Lowery and Long Gone John would be fist fighting to release it.(RK)
(Pelican Pow Wow // wwww.pelicanpowwow.com)

Triton Warrior “Satan’s Train” 7”
Dee-lux reissue of Triton Warrior’s lone 7” originally released in 1972. High school doom from the Toronto taking obligatory cues from Sabbath, but I think I hear a bit more Deep Purple. Members later went on to venture into prog-rock operas, and you can hear the prog theatrics already peeking out. “Satan’s Train” certainly gives the drummer some via the extended drum solo, the vox are on the theatric side, but the evil riff is there (and could be there more) and the guitar solo jam-out part is definitely fiery. “Sealed in a Grave” rates enough among those in the know to appear on Numero’s ‘Darkscorch Canticles’ role-playing game LP, and it’s a jammer that sounds like a kindler and gentler (i.e. Canadian) Sabbath crossed with Grand Funk, different singer on this one who is less of a ham and Id say the riff on this one is a bit catchier. You almost wished the production made them sound a bit rawer or more evil, but in the extensive 12-page booklet the band themselves complain about being neutered in the studio. I’m no expert, but I’d rate this as a rocker. Limited to 500. Available via PukeNVomit in the US and Clear Spot in Eurosville.(RK)
(Supreme Echo // www.supremeecho.com)

TV Freaks "Leeches" 7"
Seems like TV Freaks get louder and weirder every time I hear them, which is great, but on "Leeches" I think they also got dumber which I fully applaud. The tune's a real catchy punkeroo on the dum-dum side with the blabbering vox and all that, and it's sort of sloptastic but not inept or anything, just a total balls-out bit of mongo-rocking that we can always use more of. They continue the trashing and thrashing right into the B-Side, "Mommy's Place" is just a hard-garage blaster that's a minute of guitars and drool, segues into "Lose It" which goes back into that stuttery thing that the A-Side did a bit as well (sort of Devo-y), catchy and spunky and most importantly punky. Could be their best showing yet, it's at least the one I'd play if you asked me about em while hanging around the office. Canada is kinda killing it right now if you're not paying attention: Glitter, Strange Attractor, Surveillance and TV Freaks are all shit you gotta hear.(RK)
(Hosehead // hoseheadrecords.bigcartel.com)

TV Freaks "Bad Luck Charms" LP
Third LP from Hammer City's punkest bunch. Serious credentials on this one: record by Don Pyle, prouced by Dallas Good, mastered by Mikey Young - with a line-up like that this LP had better be good. And it is pretty good, maybe even great for a brief couple of moments - high scores all around. Sounds like a transitional LP for them and their thing, the songs are maximum energy punk rock with only some scattered remnants of garage remaning. I feel like this could have been a record Fucked Up might have made early on had they not found punk to be too limiting of a genre to play in and became a prog-rock band instead. It's punk that stretches the boundaries of what punk can be before turning into indie-rock - and they do good things pushing that envelope, creating some memorable hooks while they still maintain some street-level toughness (that oftens remonds me of Baseball Furies) even though they're smoothing some of the edges off. Lets call it honing their blades (or sharpening their skates, eh?) in anticipation of bigger things - and I'lll go on record now and say these kids have some potential to crossover into that bigger pond someday, they're that good and have the right mixture of chops, energy and charisma to appeal to a pretty wide range (and they've made it to Deranged, which is more than halfway there anyway). Canada is just full of surprises these days. (RK)
(Deranged Records // www.derangedrecords.com)

Charlie Tweddle "Four Empty Bottles" 12" EP
Hurtfully and perhaps unjustly limited 12" EP from Charlie Tweddle, outsider artist, milliner, country rebel, hillbilly troubadour and many many other things. "Four Empty Bottles" is the entirety of the A-Side, bookended by some of Charlie's found sound doodles (a fishing boat and perhaps some "field recordings" from around the ranch), a plaintive hillbilly folk song with guitar backed by whispers/whistles, birdsounds, the rain and an odd arrhythmic heartbeat as subliminal percussion. All you want out of a Tweddle number. B-Side features the slurred holler-blues-billy of "What's Happening" with backing music that sounds built from junk laying around the yard and Charlie doubling his own vocals (?) and the low-key testimonial of "Jesus and the Devil" that seems to have some shit-fi psychedelics in the background (and a dove as well) and closes with the whole thing being teleported into outer space in the ending fragment. Hillbilly genius. Scum stats: 100 copies, screened sleeves.(RK) (Mighty Mouth Music // www.almsotreadyrecords.com)

Twitch “Dark Years” LP
Remember that pretty killer Twitch 7” reissued a few years ago? Well here’s twelve more inches. Twitch were one of those bands that look too good to be real – guys dressing in corpse paint and using stage blood in 1974 Vancouver, but they deliver. Starting out as a more glam-oriented outfit, they took some Alice Cooper influence a long way, generating an occult stage show with crosses, smoke and blood culminating in thee stage murder of the drummer. They even pre-dated Kiss in creating a persona for each member: the wizard, the golden demon, the silver ghoul, the victim, all done up with mosaaive amounts of paint, glitter and spandex. These seven tracks were home-recorded by the band, and the rough edge definitely helps. “Litany to Raise the Dead” is a Sabbath-pounder with a good chugging guitar riff and the vocals giving it an almost Spinal Tap feel (in a good way). “I am the Wizard” is absolutely dunderheaded proto-metal with the wizard himself giving up a sermon. “Satan’s Blood” then sounds a bit like a Flamin’ Groovies mid-tempo rocker with satanic lyrics! It gets better, as “Sweet Judy C.T.” is a speedy lo-fi proto-punker not far from Gizmos or Unnatural Axe territory with a ripping solo too. “Vaseline” continues on the proto-punk edge, this ones heavier and almost touches on Motorhead at their nicest with more Gizmos-esque party vibes and more of that hot guitar action. “Roaring Drunk” is another winner, they’re almost getting into pop territory on some of these, again getting Groovie in ways but with some b-movie-esque humor. Drummer is a real mover too. The end with “Jessica”, their slow-jam about a witch burning, that has CS&N (and Young) vibes. Overall a great reissue, these songs are endlessly entertaining, huge booklet with all the info you could want on the band with tons of pics and fliers (some in color). Eventually these guys saw Kiss in ’75 and knew they couldn’t compete, so they ended up ditching the make-up and took up what they referred to as a “Good Time Punkers” angle, recorded a couple more tunes in that vein (which SE is supposedly releasing next) and then gave up when New Wave took over. Available via PukeNVomit in the US and Clear Spot in Eurosville. 500 copies.(RK)
(Supreme Echo // www.supremeecho.com)

Tyrannamen s/t LP
Not what you're going to expect from Cool Death, home of some of the most visceral punk of the last few years via Leather Lickers, Velvet Whip, Gutter Gods and Dribble. Tyrannamen is members of Stevens, Boomgates, Twerps, Teen Archer and more of course, and they do a pretty convincing mock-up of the Reigning Sound (so much so they even backed up Greg Cartwright when he toured Australia). Eight tunes of soulful garage (with just a small dash of punk) about women and the stuff they do to men in love with them. It's certainly fine for what it is, but won't have you packing up your copy of 'Time Bomb High School' either. I don't want to be "that guy" who says gimme a new Velvet Whip tape instead of this, but hey, let's get a new Velvet Whip tape out there.(RK)
(Cool Death // availabe in the US via www.feelitrecords.bigcartel.com)

UFUX s/t 7"
Latest scum-rock outft from Dr. Filth and whatever lowlifes he's currently running around Chicago with. I can dig it. Riffy mid-tempo garbage rock, reminds me some of the Blowtops at their zenith ("Trash Walk"), their theme song is of course my favorite, but "You Look Dark" is a pretty severe bit of damage, rather steamrollerish where Killdozer meets Unsane with a lil' Laughing Hyenas for good measure. A very fitting band for the Jeth Row imprint as well. And a milliom times better than Daily Void in case you're wondering.(RK)
(Jeth Row Records // jethrowrecords.bigcartel.com)

Uh Bones "Honey Coma" LP
Do you miss the Bomp-era Black Lips as much as me? Well you're in luck, son. The Uh Bones scratch that itch, although in a far kinder and gentler fashion. The so-vintage-it-hurts lo-fi recording is absolute perfection, and although they lack the truly drug-addled quirks and charm of Cole & Co., they make up for it with some Sexareenos like organ-grinding and grooving. A pretty tight band for sure, the somewhat thin production suits the songs well, very sharp and agile, guitars have some twang and fuzz but it's never excessive. Gang vocals are shouted like brothers-in-arms. I guess "Trippy" is their drug song and it sounds like the least druggy Lips tune, but still cool enough. "Loretta" fulfills the song-with-girls-name-for-a-title quota, and is a good riff-n-roller. "Trouble No More" is the tambo-stomper. "Everyday Killer" opens side 2 with a vocal that you would swear is from 'Let It Bloom', and it's a good twang-rocker, and all six cuts on the side are worth the time. I dug the 7" these kids did, but wasnt expecting a full LP to sound quite like this - 'Honey Coma' is as fine of a modern garage record you'll get, just tough enough to sound like juvie-deinquents, and there's none of the West Coast neo-psych or Burger Records pop here that I can detect (or at least not in off-putting quantities). Sure, it's not gonna burn the house down, but this thing has been a pleasant listen more than a few times around here already. I might file it and forget it later, but it's working just fine right now, and that's what counts right?(RK)
(Randy Records // randyrecords.bigcartel.com - released via Bachelor in Europe)

Vanity of the Tongue "Reality Fantasies" LP
Confusingly mysterious guy hardcore-as-art? Ostensibly a hardcore record by definition (and a pretty good hardcore record at its root), like when they're playing a meathead knuckledragger called "Tower of Strength" for example, they stretch the boundaries with some seemingly random cut-and-paste (I gave up trying to connect the dots as to why they do what/where) false starts and stops, noise digressions, complete audio dropouts, what sounds like them actually playing a tape of one of the songs back in a bathroom and recording it and a mid-song spoken word breakdown. All the tricks do make it a bit interesting I suppose, arbitrarily done or not doesn't matter and I think my searching for some sort of rhyme or reason was a fool's errand - whether it "works" or not isn't the endgame, as I'm getting the impession maybe it wasn't meant to "work" in the first place. Nuts and bolts, it's a handful of heavy hardcore misanthropy that wouldn't be out of place on the Iron Lung roster. Scum stats: 300 copies.(RK)
(Crisis of Taste // tasteofcrisis.blogspot.com)

V/A Estrogen Highs/Frustrations split LP
The final Estrogen Highs vinyl release is upon us, and Stefan and Co. begin in style with the frantic Wipers-esque "Keep Out the Vanguard", an excellent piece of guitar-punk. Speaking of guitars, "Graffiti Pt. 2" is a lengthy adventure with the instrument, juxtaposing a folky-droner with copious amounts of string-damage. "Something Or Another" is anthemic garage-rock that sounds very Columbus with some screeching guitar work as well. "The View From Adams" closes out our final EH waxing with a deeply melancholic bit of strum-folk, guitars and vox only, and I now see it as the perfect capper to the saga - for as much as love E-Highs as a rocking American guitar outfit, I think in the end what made them special was their capability to elicit emotion in moments like this. Music that makes you feel something is all we can ask for these days, and the Estrogen Highs always gave it up. My constant championing of EHighs as one of the most underrated bands of recent vintage doesn't really carry as much weight when they're the A-Side of a split with Detroit's Frustrations, a band that often seems to get lost in the Detroit shuffle unjustly. I mean, the guy who runs X! Records is in the band, how does this happpen? And their drummer is 100% hot shit (so much so he steppped in for Hurricane Hafer in Human Eye) and they totally destroy, for a trio in particular. Their side is jammed with guitar-damaged noise rock, "Sing Like A Bird" opens with plentiful shredding and feedback wrangle, "Gunshots" lies in the sweet spot mixing weird-punk with skronk-skulk (and has my favrite guitar sound on the record - waaaahahhhhh), and the close-out of "Unfathomable Voctory" is tape-warp time-warp that hits some serious outer space overdrive (I want to say Bailter Space) but it's a fucken katzenjammer. The split is a tough sell no matter how good the bands, I'll admit, but if I had to throw my hat in the ring for one, this is it. Scum stats: onlly 250 made, which should entice you to get on it...(RK)
(Safety Meeting // www.safetymeeting.net)

V/A “The Marshmallow Generation” comp LP
14 tracks compiling the “NOW” sound of Ontario garage-rock. Highlights: Foam out of London (home of the Knights) do a pretty good echo-sludge intstrumental track to open, the Zex track is okay female –fronted UK-style punk, Chloroform do a catchy neo-punker, BSHC represent Guelph (go Storm!) with some short-sharp garage-core, the First Base tune is really good (the unreleased “If I See You With That Girl Again”), Paul Jacobs is just-fine one-man-band stomp, and the true highlight is Strange Attractor further cementing the idea I have that they just might be the best band in Canada – their tune (the unreleased “You Say No”) is the shortest on the comp and the best hands down. The other half is below average power pop, action rawk, neo-garage and nth generation Rip Off Records/Supercharger worship. A .500 batting average isn’t bad for a comp at all, especially a regional one at that – as a sampler this is good, in particular for Canada-philes like myself – meaning Im glad I heard it and have a couple of bands to investigate further. For casual fans though I might just suggest going and buying a Strange Attractor record and get right to the point. (RK)
(It’s Trash Records // itstrashrecords.bandcamp.com)

V/A Spray Paint/Exek split 7"
Spray Paint are one of the bands that just haven't clicked with me as much as I've tried. I sometimes like what they're doing, but just dont love it. This Aussie tour single has two from them, "Country Singer" is desolate sci-fi with big drums and repetitive guitar string trickle and "Yr Shedding" continues in the same fashion with more off-kilter guitar and doubled vocals with a hint more paranoia in the mix. It's like A-Frames with less concern for writing catchy tunes and more of a noise-band notes-and-chords-mean-nothing-to-me vibe. I was quite interested in hearing Exek (there's a Martyr Privates connection there somewhere, but other than that I know nothing about them aside from the fact I want a copy of their tape now), and "The Theme From Judge Judy" is built on a base of what I'm going to call "fake dub" (and I dont mean that dispargaingly), heeavily echoed drum snap, unbeatable bassline, then they stretch some sharp guitar over it very deftly, and give it a sort of sleepy vocal meander which creates a winning combination. It's nighttime nod-out stuff and plays very well - could definitely use more. I guess all I can hope for from a split single is to get a taste of a band I want to hear more of on their own and then stick it in the lonesome split singles box that sits on the bottom of the stack and hardly ever gets to see daylight. Scum stats: 400 copies; copies actually sold in Oz on tour have stickers with the tour dates on the plastic.(RK)
(Homeless // homelessvinyl.com.au)

V/A Televisonaries/Fox Sisters split 7"
I've called records/bands sock-hop before, but never have I meant it more literally than right now. Televisionaries (and most of the Reel Time roster, and Rotcore in general) would turn the city of Rochester back into some 1950's Pleasantville if they were granted such a time warping wish. TV's do one original "The Sun and You", which is a surfy shaker that's too fast for the twist but you could probably figure it out, and then they do a a pretty straight cover of "Love Potion No. 9"! WHY? These kids mean business of some sort. The Fox Sisters do some pretty goddamn good and soulful rhythm and rock, complete with horns, testifying vocals, and Hammond keys. Like a more reverential and fuller sounding Yolks. It's a good cut, and the side I'd play more often if I actually believed in owning split singles. Impeccable packaging as always from Reel Time. (RK)
(Reel Time Records // www.reeltimerecordss.bigcartel.com)

V/A "3rd Annual Grease Pit Dance" CD
'Grease Pit Danc'e documents the current New Zealand garage/punk underground scene well. Are there some omissions? Sure — Tapeman, X-Ray Fiends, Celia Mancini, and Celia's favorite current NZ band The Cavemen. But as a primer this is a great place to start. 'Grease Pit Dance' was a two-day event held in Auckland last November (2015). Without even looking at the booklet, it was clear this was an Andrew Tolley production (ex-Hasselhoff Experiment and Perpetrator Records) with Luke Wood on show poster design. No one else in NZ has Tolley's indefatigable spirit for putting on unprofitable events like this one. Tolley's proto-punk/thump band Hot Grease has two tracks on the collection. Invisible Threads tracks are interesting — more of a 'Red Snerts' vibe. Bozo is stripped down, sort of King Loser-esque. The Admiral appears to be a cover band of hits few have heard (outside of the Termbo board), all informed by the Perpetrators. Lots of other cool shit. Definitely of interest to folks looking for what's going on in NZ behind the F-Nun curtain (which I unequivocally love). How to get this? Best bet is to track Andrew Tolley down. I'm surprised as hell I got a copy. (NOTE: I did my due diligence and asked Celia Mancini for a Grease Pit show report, but alas—at the time she was in the hospital, recovering from injuries sustained from being hit by a car. My vote for biggest bad ass in NZ, similar injuries would have killed a lesser mortal like you and me.)(RL)
( ? // ?? )

Vial s/t EP
Outstanding debut on vinyl from this LA band (they had a tape out previously) that I believe has ties to Pang and Nodzzz (based soley on internet/discogs "detective" work). I'm still surprised when a good LA band pops up, as it seems like a wasteland for music aside from the East 7th Punks/Blazing Eye hardcore scene and Lamps (if they're currently active or not). Four tracks that have a modernized and aggro-ed up take on the classic "Dangerhouse style" reminding me a little bit of Pampers/Scraper, or a rawer take on what Ex-Cult/Nots do. "You're Not Safe" rips this thing wide open from the get-go and follows with three more of equal quality, "Void" in particular with its slightly off-time rhythm and the dual vox really work well here (and throughout). Great loud and thudding recording gives them the authoritative force the songs require. Well executed and one of the best real punk platters I've heard in a bit. Scum stats: 100 red, 200 black = 300 copies only!(RK)
(Cut-Rate Records // www.cutraterecords.com)

Wetbrain "Acoustic/Live at Mountaineer Skatepark" LP
At the last (not)Horriblefest there was some talk of an acoustic set Wetbrain had done a few days earlier that absolutely killed. Here's the proof that it did indeed happen and it did indeed kill for two reasons. Recorded live at "Mountaineer Skate Park" (figure it out), firstly it should be no surprise that these guys can pull off acoustic versions of their songs as Wetbrain are first and foremost a band made up of incredible musicians (Wedge, Filley and Sheldon) and that's 100% fact. Secondly, in this intimate setting it gives Larry time to do what he does best, i.e. do some crooning and adlib a standup comedy routine. If you're some sort of serious business dope without taste that doesn't think that Cleveland is the #1 rock'n'roll city in the world and follow their music scene like a religion, well you wont like this record and you are no friend of mine. If you do "get it", well you won't find a more enjoyable platter to spend an evening with and wish you were there to hear the most tasteful cover of "Wang Dang Sweet Poon Tang" ever committed to vinyl. Add this to the Cleveland section of your collection ASAP. Yes, you should keep your Cleveland records separate. Don't allow them to co-mingle with the rest of your inferior records, what are you some kind of savage? Jesus. Scum stats: 300 copies.(RK)
(Start Sucking // (216) 221-8576)

Wives "Devoted To You" LP
Very dark and quite bleak LP in an icy post-punk vein from Canberra's Wives. Anja Loughhead's vocals and lyrics are the focus, taking aim at the patriarchy and religion with equal vigor (and often at the same time), changing her delivery a bit from a dry monotone to punky chirp to New Wave ice from track to track. It livens things up a bit, and the band does best when moving faster. It almost seems like the more heavy Anja's sermons get the slower the music becomes. Very Crass-like aesthetically, lots of wordplay with the gender-politics and religion: confessing, sacraments, consuming flesh, lust, sins, skin, fucking, altars....not exactly summer time hits. If youre feeling serious, this could be a good ride for you - Pleasure Leftists or Rule of Thirds fans looking for something a bit less "fun" might appreciate it. Me, I just feel guilty for something every time I listen, but I'm also a lapsed Catholic male. (RK)
(No Patience // www.nopatience.org)

Wolf Eyes "I Am A Problem: Mind In Pieces" LP
It's been like 10 years since I've taken in a Wolf Eyes release. Back in the days of Dread they could do no wrong. I witnessed their shock and awe tactics go down in settings as varied as Comets On Fire drunk rock bills to Paul Flaherty jazzbo coffee house events - and they never disappointed. If anything they just became too much too often. Only Henry Rollins has the stamina to keep up with their unfettered/unfiltered discography. This outfit has managed to meld Broken Neck electronics, needle scrape dub, black metal thrash and free skronk for two decades and have never slowed, even after intense personnel shifts. So why would Third Man wanna' unleash an LP of Whitehouse noise and Reign in Blood riffage on a bunch of 78 collectors and sweaty White Stripes fans? I assume it has to do with their moderne talent scout over at the Wonka Wax Factory being Ben Blackwell, a man who's always kept his digits on the pulse of the Detroit underground. Timmy's Organism makes perfect sense when you take 10 seconds to sort the facts in yer noggin, but this is like a genius fuck-all that I stand behind 110%. It even makes up for the Juggalo thing. Now before I lead y'all to believe this is some brash noise slopping around back beats that would even make Death Grips jealous. I have to say Wolf Eyes in 2015 is pretty accessible. There's still plenty of pulsing tone and spliced tomfoolery on hand, but they've managed to build themselves into an honest to God psych-rock outfit (or Trip Metal as they call it in the press release). The opener "Catching The Rich Train" should feel right at home with the Hanson Tapes crowd at first, but then the toms kick in and a guitar belches forth causing a simmer and bubble as if Sonic Boom is at the helm. "Twister Nightfall" lets the guitars sprawl even more, giving a sense of We Will Fall Stooges nod-rock paired with some Loop groove. "Asbestos Youth" utilizes their trademarked electronic buzzing, kettle whistle probing and dub production, but during "T.O.D.D." that doom laden guitar crunch comes to the forefront once again. If they haven't been listening to Gary Wrong records the past couple of years, I'd be surprised. "Enemy Ladder" sets amps aflame over more pow-wow drumming and screams like Destruction Unit bringing the apocalypse. "Cynthia Vortex" is the epic sprawl at the end, featuring the best moments of Morricone's The Thing score, Holodeck soundbites and slushed Japrock heroin frazzled vocals. Guitar crackles and deteriorates over nine minutes of popcorn kernel clatter and dilaudid drip rhythms. Nothing is certain and nothing gets tied up neatly. After some flute or recorder bouts and soft thump the track abruptly ceases to be. I can only imagine how happy this all makes Julian Cope. Wolf Eyes, it's been quite a while. welcome back to my moist meat of my mind. (RSF)
(Third Man // www.thirdmanrecords.com)

Wonderfuls "Only Shadows Now" LP
Wonderfuls records are truly remarkable experiences - harrowingly beautiful music about depression and the horrors of human life, sprung from the soul of "noted wastoid" Bobby Bot (Kitchen's Floor drummer and also part of Meat Thump) accompanied on somber guitar by his cousin Danny McGirr (who has released some solo recordings as well) and synth moods from Natasha Buchanan (who adds some backing vocals on a couple tracks as well). 'Only Shadows...' actually seems less bleak than 'Salty Town', but that's still rather bleak relatively. "Sit With Me" and "Car Parks" remind me of the most fragile Syd Barrett accoustic tragedies, "These Moments" sounds like a funeral, a couple songs even allow some dim light to peek in between the drawn shades ("Dynasty", "Thieves Who Dream"). Buchanan and McGirr's instrumentation is minimal yet lush, utilizing a variety of guitar and synth effects that can summon feelings of heart and gut wrenching nostalgia and melancholy like few other modern bands (a trick The Hunches were wonderful at pulling off in a very different way as well) and Bobby's lyrics and their delivery have a frightening depth that puts you right in the thick of things. A very real and very beautiful record that makes those Kitchen's Floor and Frightening Lights records (both wonderful as well) sound like The Monkees in comparison. This LP also reminds me of Annesley and how excited he would have been to release it on NGL.(RK)
(Bruit Direct // bruit-direct.org)

Gary Wrong Group "Away In Heathen Darkness" 12"
Four song 12" EP from GWG, each tune with a mutated line-up of GW, Quintron, Weird Steve and Benny Divine. "Massacre Island" serves as the warm-up instrumental, all synth and drums which you could possibly envision as the opening credits to an Italian zombie knockoff film. "Stuck Inside" is a doom march that builds intensity via synth squeals and zaps, sort of a lo-fi armageddon with a groove. "Destroy You" has some realy "nyahhh-nyahhh" lyrics, one of Wrong's most inspiringly irritating deliveries yet, it's almost zero-fi rapping over Quntron beats. "Thank You" is my favorite tune of the record, with Wrong again doing some inspired vocalizing over a simple yet nighmarish tune, very Bobby Soxx inspired (lyrically and sonically) in its distilled 100 proof hate. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this artwork, and in typically cursed Wrong fashion a bunch of copies got lost by the USPS. Which makes it even more rare, so you go and buy now scumbag. (RK)
(Scavenger of Death // scavengerofdeath.storenvy.com)

The Yolks "Don't Cry Anymore" 7"
Hey, while we're talking about under-appreciated bands, here's the latest 7" from The Yolks. These Chicago kids have been at it long enough that they're not even kids anymore! Thank you! But seriously, think about that (killer) first 7". It came out 8 years ago! The band has had some downs (that first LP) and ups ('Songs the Yolks Taught Themselves') since then, and are still plugging away and are still well worth checking out. The A-Side is actually a departure for these guys, it's a killer almost Everly Brothers like rock'n'pop number with Nathan and Spencer absolutely killing it on the vocals (and with the ladies too I imagine). An awesome tune that shows yet another facet of this very talented band. B-Side is a total budget punk banger in "I Wanna Be Dumb" that might as well have Radio X labels on it. Guitar solo = blistering. Highly recommend, this one!(RK)
(Randy Records // randyrecords.bigcartel.com - released via Bachelor in Europe)

Zipper s/t LP
First proper/official reissue of the Zipper LP, after appearing as a boot at least twice (maybe more?) over the past forty years since it was released. In the Fred Cole catalog, Zipper sits post-Lollipop Shoppe and pre-Rats, recorded after he and Toody took a break from rock'n'roll for a couple years having become disenchanted with the record label game after Weeds/LP called it quits. It's also the first of numerous self-released ventures from the Coles, this being the first on the Whizeagle imprint that preceded Tombstone. This is straight up mid-Seventies cock-rock wank, sounds plenty like Grand Funk, with some asides into Sabbath-ian riffage, Led Zep blooze even some Alice Cooper Band theatrical-sounidng stuff ("Face Of Stone") and acoustic hippie-shit ("Behind the Door"). "Bullets" always seems to be the cut people talk about, because of it's lyrical stream of bad sexual entendres, and I suppose it was cool for '75 but the better cuts on this are the blowouts like "Born Yesterday" (Fred's best vocal on the record) and "Scars". The more boogie-ing tracks bum me out a bit, but the rockers on this one are pretty ace for the time and the two bonus tracks added on are both scorchers, "Racing for A Dollar" in particular. And I'll say this is still better than most Acid Archives-hyped obscurities. (RK)
(Permanent // permanentrecordschicago.com)




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