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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Gary Wrong Group “Knights of Misery” 12”gwg12

The first official release from the Gary Wrong Group, following up the ill-fated “Pollen Christ” 7” on Total Punk and the “Mayhem Troopers” 7” on Bat Shit (and its many wonderful cover variations) credited as simply Gary Wrong. Those singles were mainly one-man recording efforts (with help from Wizzard Sleeve accomplice Benny Devine), but the Group expands things to a quartet including Quintron on drums/organ and a fella named Weird Steve on synths along with Devine and Wrong. Six songs at 45 rpm, with things sounding far more deep via extensive synth squiggling from Steve, acting in a capacity much like LZR does in Human Eye, not laying down rhythms as much as adding sound effects and background noise – and this is in addition to Quintron’s more direct organ lines and Devine doubling on Casio. The dual percussive efforts produce results as well – avoiding the two-drummers-playing-the-same-thing pitfall much of the time, but alternating fills and differing their patterns enough to keep you guessing. “Post Natal Pre Death” is a lockstep march that could easily be the intro to the giant monster attack depicted in the album art, a heavy stomp with extra-dimensional synth.  The parenthetical addendum to the title “Reasons To Shive (Ode to Ubu)” rears its head as an effectively repetitive downer-trip into darkness and “Heroin Beach Serpents Attack” repurposes the original for more B-movie scifi-esque mayhem. “St. Theo” is very Quintron-esque, with upbeat organ breaks cutting up the doomy repetition and sorta rapped lyrics. The tail end of this repeats “Pollen Christ” and their “Streets of Iron” cover from the 7”, which I have no beef with since barely anyone got a copy of that 7” anyway, and they seem to have tinkered with them a bit. An impressive concoction from some true Southern-fried weirdos – a bit raunchier and rockier than Wizzard Sleeve, with a Roger Corman budget and aesthetic.  Scum stats: 500 copies (all gone!), with insert and fantastic silkscreened cover art that is just begging you to grab some markers and color it in. Intrepid readers should carry on with the Life and Times of Gary Wrong here…(RK)
(Total Punk //
(Jeth-Row //

(Ed: For those not that internet savvy, here is a link to a Gary Wrong interview. This should tide you over for a week until we finish the Aussie issue…)


Despite what some people seem to recall, the Nineties were a great era to be into indie/underground music. Or at least I’m forced to remember it that way, as those were my twenty-something years of age, the time when I think most find their direction as far as music/culture go. It’s remarkable to still be reviewing records from guys like Ron House, Timmy Vulgar, Eric Davidson, Fink and others who made a big impression on me back then (and I’ll admit to shoehorning some of these artists into the timeframe via their beginnings in the very late years of the 20th century). It’s also fantastic to see a guy like Andrew Lersten still making vital music and still carving out his own niche, perhaps not achieving the acclaim of a band like The Oblivians, but maybe even doing more in his own way to keep the underground vibrant, alive and weird. I love new music and hearing kids out there bringing the now sounds, but I’m also a slave to nostalgia, for better or worse, and here’s a brief update with a heavy whiff of it. It’s strange to realize I’ve been listening to records on In the Red for over 20 years, more than half of my life. I would never have thought that in 2013 that I’d see an Action Swingers 7″ released on Total Punk. It’s amazing to think that one of the Shadowy Men made a record with members of Fucked Up, Elevator and The Curse. It’s heartwarming that guys from the early Rip Off roster are still active. Twenty year old me would’ve been mindblown to know I’d be getting a record in the mail from members of Truman’s Water nearly 20 years later. As always, thanks to everyone for sending in review material, and we’ll have a bunch more up real soon…

Action Swingers “Miserable Life” 7″miserablelife
Honestly, I think this is the most totally punk record on Total Punk because Rich Evans proved he is one of the most daring record execs of all time by going into business with Ned Hayden and coming out of it alive and with a record that is actually available for sale. I’m somewhat shocked that Ned agreed to his end of it as well, as I never would have thought he’d want to work with a current label. I guess finding someone that was excited about releasing songs that are almost 20 years old got his attention. And all joking about Ned Hayden aside, Action Swingers did some absolutely killer stuff, with these two songs being some prime examples. “Miserable Life” is an absolute classic of misanthropy and belongs in the canon of hate with Fang, Drunks with Guns, Big Black and whatever other bile-spewers you have on your list. Just a repeated riff that swirls around the bowl that is your mind just waiting to be flushed. Such a beautiful tune. “Losing My Cool” is a bit rawkier and NYC-sounding but still has Ned and his all-star band wallowing in their own mess. I always wished someone would put ‘Quit While Your Ahead’ on wax, but I guess if you just pick up this single and the “Bum My Trip”/”Kicked in the Head” 7″ up you’re going to be all set. I again have to extend kudos and a certain degree of astonishment out to Rich at Total Punk for pulling this off. I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY. Scum stats: 500 copies, one and only pressing, DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS ONE KIDDIES AND/OR JOHAN KUGELBURG COMPLETISTS. (RK)
(Total Punk //

Autodramatics “Emotional Static” LPautodramaticslp
Debut full length from Autodramatics, the post-Horrors (whose first record came out in ’98!) vehicle of Andy Caffrey, backed up here by members of Diplomats of Solid Sound and Rib Cage (and a few other bands I’d guess), with the rub being two female back-up singers belting out the call-n-response/harmonies. It’s an interesting dynamic, with Andy on lead vox and lead axe, a rhythm guitar player and a guy playing a stripped-down drum kit – taking the trad 3-piece garage-blues line-up and adding the sexy/tough girl vocalizing. It works enough to keep my attaention, the tunes don’t get too bloozy (“There’s no blues in this explosion!”), and Caffrey’s songwriting here reminds me a bit of Bassholes or even the Slicks at times, with a healthy dose of Oblivians and Fireworks as well. The gals’ singing is tastefully used – just some harmonizing coos and woos at times, delivering the chorus or echoing the verses and sometimes just belting it out. Soulful, but not annoyingly so, like if the Bellrays were a really trashy band instead of a slicked up rawk-n-soul revue. Someone said this could be where The Dirtbombs ended up if they took a different turn after ‘Ultraglide…’ and I like that idea too. The record sounds great (having Mike McHugh and John Golden on board helps a lot), fittingly grimy and loud. “Treble Addict” is a cool experiment (and is the most Junkpile Jimmy-esque), “Find the Gun” sounds like a full blown Doo Rag (with harmonica!) and “Children’s Song” is the big soul-rock number with a strong vocal from the gals (although I think it borrows from The Hunches catalog a bit too much, as do some other moments on the record). The bad thing about this is that there isn’t a huge home run of a song on this that has me hooked – it just sounds decent as a whole. I hear they have a second album finished which will be ready in time for their Gonerfest appearance, so maybe that one will have a couple dingers on it. (RK)
(Damn Easy // try In the Red or Goner)

Bunny Skulls “Your Life EP” 7”bunnyskulls
Andrew Lersten has been releasing music since the mid-Nineties under the Vilently Ill moniker, a “band” (Andrew and a drum machine) you need to catch up with now if you’re unaware (start with the “Where is The Next Wave?” EP and work backwards). One of the true heroes of the underground, both via his music and his Knot Music label (home to the Speed Freaks comps and other fine releases), a guy who seems to play music because he has to, audience be damned. I’ve heard that when Mr. California and The Grabbies toured the US they insisted that Vilenty Ill play their MI show – that’s a pretty good recommendation if you have similar (shitty) tastes as me. Andrew has zero web presence (that old Knot Music site seems to have disappeared from the internet) and still runs things via letters and a PO Box. You have to respect that kind of determination. Bunny Skulls are basically Vilently Ill as a full band – 30 second punk songs hammered out one after another, but they’re GREAT 30 second tunes with killer riffs and verses and choruses somehow. This isn’t garbage noise bleats, we’re taking genuine punk rock here, done humorously (but with serious guitar playing) and with a message too (basically fuck “the scene”, fuck trends and eat shit). Nine songs (including an Exploited cover) packed on one side, this might even be better than Vilently Ill just because real drums are better than programmed beats any day. I strongly urge you to drop $5 (and that’s ppd) in an envelope and mail it Knot Music HQ now – and ask what else he has available as well. Scum stats: 300 on black, 50 on yellow. (RK)
(Knot Music // PO Box 501, South Haven, MI 49090-0501)

Connections “Private Airplane” LPconnectionslp
84 Nash were the first non-GBV release on Bob Pollard’s Rockathon Records, and that fact certainly colors not just that band’s work but also this LP from Connections, which features Kevin Elliott and Andy Hampel from 84 Nash along with members of El Jesus de Magico and Times New Viking (Kevin’s brother Adam). Unless you lived in Ohio or were a GBV fanatic, I don’t think you were listening to much 84 Nash in the Nineties. They’re a fine example of an unheralded under-the-radar band that coulda been contenders (depending on who you ask and where they’re from). I’ll be honest, I barely have an opinion on the band – their records were middle-of-the-road college radio fare at the time, and I think I might’ve heard some of their tunes on WBNY. While Connections aren’t the same band, ‘Private Airplane’ is certainly the evolution of the noise-pop the band was crafting then – and it sounds a lot better to me today than it did to a far younger and more punk me over a dozen years ago. Whether that’s my fault or theirs, I do not know, but if you want to hear a pretty damn good GBV-inspired record today here you go. There are hooks all over this thing, it sounds just scrappy enough production-wise and I wouldn’t mind having a single of “1980 Called” (the one song I think is truly great on this LP) b/w “Totally Carpool” (which I will call the best of the half-dozen or so really good songs on this), both of which have that wonderful Ohio stink all over them. With 15 songs in about 35 minutes it goes by so fast you can’t really say anything bad about it. I can’t help but think (or hope) that this would be a huge hit on college radio today, if college radio today wasn’t a fucking joke. (RK)
(Anyway Records //

Counter Intuits s/t LPcounterintuits
I’ve never met a Ron House record I didn’t like. And talk about a guy who has a great Nineties discography: the TJSA catalog, the Ego Summit LP, the “New Wave as the Next Guy” CD, and we can even drag Great Plains’ Eighties output into the convo, but that would be overkill. Counter Intuits are House and Jared Phillips from Times New Viking (another in the long line of bands I finally got into after they pretty much called it quits) playing loose with the already loose DIY principle – Phillips provides the music, House the vox (natch), and anything goes. This LP (which I believe is self-titled, although some are referring to it as ‘Sheet(s) of Hits’) is what I had hoped just about every record labeled as DIY/post-punk released over the past few years would have sounded like. No formulaic “sound” where every tune is the same except for a different guitar pedal, there’s just no formula at all. Unlearned/sloppy guitar playing (the pretty damn funny “No Computer Blues”), faux-folk Americana (“Oxycontin Blues”), loping bass-n-synth (“Stickin Pins”), fake punk turned real (“Anarchy on Yr Face”), no-fi pop (“Time Was Update”), what sound like lost (Sebadoh-style) Nineties tape-rock classics (“Study Hall Art” or “Non-Essential Personnel”), out of tune free-form wackiness (“Lather and the Din”)…every song is a revelation. I loved the Psandwich record, but this one trumps it with some of Ron’s finest lyrical turns since the TJSA days. It’s the type of record where a different tune will run on a loop in your head after each listen. And just so you don’t think it’s all weirded out, there are raw rockers like “Stolen Souls” to settle your brain. If you haven’t already bought this you are out of your mind, because they are practically giving this away for free ($10 from most distros?!) and it’s one of the best records of the year. The screened/pasted sleeves are as DIY as it gets, and this has one of the best inserts of recent memory if you need even more reasons to not be a dick and pick this up. (RK)
(Pyramid Scheme Recdords // try Fusetron or Indoorsman)

Fatal Figures “Caterwaul” LPfatalfigslp
Late Nineties Buffalo was actually a pretty happening spot in the garage scene, believe it or not. We were home to one of the best labels (Big Neck Records), the preeminent music fest of the day (Rust Belt Revolt), great record stores (Home of Hits and New World Records), great venues (and bookers) that made it easy for touring bands to stop (Sanctuary, Mohawk and others) and some of the finest bands of the era, the Blowtops being one of them. A dozen or so years later, all of those venues and stores are closed, Bart and Big Neck (along with the fest) were run out of town and relocated to Virginia and all the bands from that era have either left the city or broken up. (I should note we had another great run a couple of years ago, but that’s another story…). The Blowtops persevered through it all, closing up shop some five years ago after European and US tours, four or five full lengths and at least a dozen singles. Fatal Figures were borne from that last Blowtops line-up (Adduci/Tracy/Scott/Creepy Dave), with Aaron taking over vocals from the departed Creepy and streamlining into a trio. Sadly, this debut LP might also prove to be their last, as serious health issues have made Scott unable to play drums any longer. ‘Caterwaul’ is a vast improvement from their debut 7” (in regards to both sound and cover art) and surely continues the Blowtops sound somewhat but bringing the NYC noise rock tendencies to the forefront (Chrome Cranks) and putting the garage vibes in the backseat. It’s really not that far off from some of the burl emanating from Australia these days, a strong bass backbone, Scott’s drumming sounds a bit more reined in but still powerful and this is honestly some of Aaron’s best guitar playing and he turns in a surprisingly great vocal turn as well. The LP is a concise nine songs recorded by Diamond Jim Diamond, “Go Down” brings to mind labelmates The Mistreaters, “Televison” seriously swings, and the 1-2 closing of “New God” and “Get Out” is the band’s finest moment. A good and loud record for noise mongers everywhere. (RK)
(Big Neck Records //

The Filthy Gaze of Europe “Domestic Accidents” 7″filthygaze
In another example of “How did these guys get to this sound?”, we have Toronto’s TFGOE. One part Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet and one part Sadies combine with some guest vocalists (including Pink Eye, Amanda Schenk, Mickey Skin from The Curse and the guy from Left for Dead) to make what the label aptly describes as “electronic thrash” – think Suicide if they had formed thirty years later in Canada. Industrial strength drum programming, harsh synths, heavy basslines and guitar scree. The Sadies were never a favorite of mine, but they were a fine band who I always felt rose above their “genre” and were honestly great live – plus, Dallas Good did a tour of duty with Elevator, who might just be my favorite Canadian band of all time (and one of the most under-appreciated acts ever). Don Pyle was in Crash Kills Five (whose excellent 1980 single was reissued by Ugly Pop) before going on to SMOASP, who most will simply recall as the band who did the Kids in the Hall theme and write off as a goofy surf band, but who were actually an excellent instrumental group who (along with Man or Astroman?) transcended the surf tag and made three great LPs that were as funny and witty as they were rocking and were just great music regardless of genre. Their debut LP ‘Savvy Show Stoppers’ was recently reissued on Mammoth Cave and comes highly recommended. So yeah, how did those guys get here? “Domestic Accidents” is the better side, almost reminds me of the paranoiac future-punk of The Pink Noise, but far more aggro. Includes a Casio bongo(?!) solo and has the better guest vox (Skin and Colohan). “On Fire” is the B-Side and has an even harsher instrumentation and overblown vocals from Damian and Schenk, who sound like they’re really hamming it up here. This one might be more for fans of digital hardcore or breakcore (am I just making these genres up?) than traditional punk, and was definitely not what I was expecting. Scum stats: 200 copies each on green, white and red wax. (RK)
(Ugly Pop //

FOOD “Four Pieces From Candyland” 12″ EPFOOD
FOOD is an acronym for Far Out Old Dudes. I’m not kidding. And the old dudes in question are a veritable Nineties uh…what’s the opposite of supergroup? Led by Ed fROMOHIO of fIREHOSE backed by the bass player from Gumball and the drummer from The Cynics, this is four songs of what is of course described as “stripped-down, straightforward, no bullshit” rock’n’roll. Punk rock is mentioned in the press release more than a few times as well. It’s standard alt-rock made by dudes in their fifties, with the only truly cringeworthy moment being the hokey country-rock of “Jesus and Johnny Cash”. There’s one slow song, one rocker that sounds like a Goo Goo Dolls tune and one other that reminds me of that “Closing Time” song. Adult contemporary bar rock, but I suppose we should give these guys credit for writing new music, as opposed to some old-timers out there still trying to play punk songs they wrote when they were 18 years old. Thankfully these guys kept the fedora wearing to only one in the band photo. (RK)
(Phratry Records //

The Hot LZ’s “Bringdown Comedown Putdown” 7” EPhotlzs
I first thought this band’s name had something to do with hot lesbian action, but it’s actually a reference to Vietnam-era military slang for a hot landing zone. Huh. Hot LZ’s are the latest Mark Death band, a guy who has been playing shitty garage rock (both the good and bad kind) since the mid-Nineties in The Halfways, who had some really good tracks on their singles (especially the ones Matt Odietus played on). Then there was the Moneychangers, who did some fine shit-fi work of their own (the ‘Missed Chords..’ EP in particular – “Burnside Trash” was a personal fave). There was also a band with Scott Drake I think, but maybe that was just a guest shot on the Wittdrawls record (which wasn’t so hot). Anyway, it’s all B-team stuff, but sometimes the B-team is more fun, especially when it’s borderline incompetent. Hot LZ’s carry over some of the Moneychangers line-up for this four song debut EP. “Margins of My Mind” is mid-tempo garage plod with awkward vocal phrasings galore, “I’m A Bring Down” busts out the wah pedal for some really dumb garage-punk with lyrics so bad you’ll love them (“I’ll bring you down/make you look like a clown/I hope you drown…” etc..). It’s the hit, if this record has such a thing. “Wrong Side (of Right)” is like a really slow Loli & The Chones song, more dumb lyrics and songwriting so plain/basic it hurts. Listening to Death shoehorn the lyrics into these songs starts becoming really interesting on this one, which also includes the most blistering solo (meaning it’s rudimentary at best). “Dumb it Down” closes up shop, and this is song is pretty terrible, some kind of weird Humpers/Dolls jungle rhythm with shakers and an organ. I’m not sure what to say here – this is certainly not a good record and hardly even a so-bad-it’s-good record. It’s just a bad record, but I might be so far down the rabbit hole at this point I’m starting to enjoy listening to legit bad records just because they’re usually more interesting than average/good. It’s sort of fascinating to hear a bad band try and dumb it down even further (or are they even dumbing it down at all?). I listened to this like seven times in a row and I’m just confused about life at this point. Good job guys? Scum stats: 200 copies with some bizarre covers. At first I was wondering why the fuck anyone would coat the sleeves of their records in wax, but then I realized this thing glows in the dark – and it works great! Talk about DIY packaging. The screened art looks like a fourth generation photo copy in classic budget rock style and it comes on garbage colored vinyl with one of those built in center spindles that looks cool. I also really enjoyed the Mark Death business card (MARK DEATH – SHOW BUSINESS). (RK)
(Hate Street Records //

Human Eye “4:Into Unknown” LPhumaneye4
Human Eye are certainly of of the top five bands operating in the solar system today and you could easily make a case to put them on the top of that list. They’re absolutely incredible both live and on record, and this fourth LP shows them taking their sound to even further reaches. If ‘They Came From The Sky’ was Vulgar and his crew battling slime creatures from outer space for dominance over the planet Earth, ‘Into Unknown’ has them comandeering those alien spaceships and blasting off into space for further adventures. This isn’t as full of all-out psych-rock blasters, although it still has a few (tracks like “Buzzin’ Flies” still have them in heavy monster sound mode), but shows the band going off on some more Sixties/Seventies indebted space rock and even prog excursions. There’s still plenty of Motor City rock action, and “Juciy Jaw” and “Alligator Dance” are the type of Detroit-style rockers that the Clone Defects perfected. “Gettin’ Mean” opens the record with some intergalactic strut that is the bridge between the band’s past efforts and this LP. “Immortal Soldier” is an epic outer space ballad, and songs like “Surface of Pluto” and “Outlaw Lone Wolf” really show off the prog moves including some flute playing, Vulgar crooning out the vox and some extended passages of instrumental work doing some non-verbal storytelling of a sort. “Faces in the Shadows” has a classic Seventies stoned-rock feel to it (Sir Lord Vulgar perhaps) and the title track closes the record with their most Hawkwind-esque song to date, shooting them into the wormhole, bound for the outlying reaches, leaving us to wonder if we’ll ever see them again. Vulgar could have easily blown our heads off with another devasting splatter-psych record but instead chose to show off some different (and more technical) approaches to melting our minds. There is still plenty of blasting guitar work from Timmy, Johnny LZR’s synth squeal adds sci-fi scope (as usual) to the more “out” passages and Colin Simon (from Fontana) is such a great drummer that you forget that Billy Hafer is no longer manning kit (although he and Thommy Hawk do appear on “Immortal Soldier”). Even though there are some mellower vibes at work here, this is by no means a sedate album – it’s always moving and changing forms, coming out of the speakers as viscous sound. A fantastic voyage of an LP that gives us more than we could have asked for. The first Clone Defects 7″ came out in 1999, and here we are in 2013, with Tim Vulgar rocking no less hard, but somehow even weirder, and the the closest thing we have to a modern rock god. He’s real fucking deal all the way, as are Human Eye. Scum stats: 100(?) copies came on white vinyl with red streaks that looks just like an eyeball (which I need a copy of) and the Vulgar/LZR artwork is top notch – and it’s about time someone gave them a gatefold to work with.(RK)
(Goner Records //

Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds “Conjure Man” 7”kidcongo7
Kid Congo will forever get a pass from anyone with good taste for his service with The Cramps, Gun Club and Bad Seeds. A true legend. The Nineties weren’t his best years, however, as Congo Norvell weren’t much to write home about and I always thought The Knoxville Girls were a letdown. But for as goofy a band name as Pink Monkey Birds is, that ‘Dracula Boots’ LP was pretty cool (and was actually recorded in a high school gymnasium) as is this 7″ teaser for the upcoming ‘Haunted Head’ LP on ITR (I should note there were two records in between ‘Dracula Boots’ and this that I have not heard). “Conjure Man” is Southern swamp Americana, could have been on the ‘Wild at Heart’ soundtrack and fit in perfectly. The flip is a cover of The Seeds’ “Lose Your Mind” which sounds like Diddley-gone-psych with some weird theremin/synth/guitar sounds and deadpan Kid vox with some female back-ups. Maybe a bit of a toss off B-Sider, but “Conjure Man” I dig a lot, and I’d maybe wait to see if it shows up on the LP if you’re on a budget. Scum stats: 500 copies with 100 on red, and I did not expect to get a great looking sleeve silkscreened on the back of a Hamm’s 12 pack from this label or artist. Nice.(RK)
(In the Red //

Livids “Your House or the Courthouse” 7″lividsslov
This counts as either the second or third Livids 7″ depending on the order you bought this and the Goodbye Boozy one I guess. Title cut is action rock with a prominent bass sound and a pretty subdued vocal coming from a guy as energetic as Eric Davidson. The hook is there and I enjoy the crisp guitar sound and Jami Wolf’s backup vox. “Zilch” sounds way louder, sharper and faster, and even if it’s about a minute long, it’s a great 90s throwbacker. New Bomb Turks always excelled at cover songs, to the point where I was excited to hear who they were covering as much as their originals. Eric seems to be trying to do the same with Livids, but this drab run through “New Values” isn’t at all exciting. This one has a decent A-Side, but the worst artwork of the Livids records so far. (RK)
(Slovenly Records //

MOTO “Bolt!” LPmotobolt
MOTO “E Pluribus MOTO” LP
If you haven’t been keeping up, aside from their great KBD and STL reissues of late, Rerun Records has also taken up the task of reissuing much of MOTO’s back catalog on vinyl (and even starting up a fan club soon…), and these two LPs are just the beginning. In regards to MOTO, I think everyone has a soft spot for them somewhere in their heart. A truly cult band, Paul Caporino (and whoever he has playing with him) has been at it for over 30 years now, with a MASSIVE catalog of hits (and shits) behind him that I’m sure it’s daunting to the uninitiated. If you’re new, you might as well start with “Bolt!” (which I never knew stood for Best Of Lent Tapes – as this cassette album was recorded during Lent 1986), which itself starts with one of the most classic MOTO tunes, “Dick About it”. You couldn’t pick a better song as your first MOTO experience – killer pop-rock dick jokes as social commentary. The rest of ‘Bolt!’ is 45 minutes of top notch lo-fi punk, garage and rock’n’roll with a surprising amount of melodic hooks and songcraft for so early in the game. The guy’s just got a knack for these tunes, and I have to say I always appreciated that MOTO always keeps the rock at the forefront and rarely if ever could be classified as pop-punk. There’s something goofily Richman-esque about Caporino’s tunes at times, sort of waxing nostalgic about babes and b-movies in the same ways. Personal faves: “Big Black Boots” is damn punk, “Catholic World” hits home, I love the sentiment of “California in the Summertime” and it was fun to see a Barry Goubler songwriting credit here (for those of us who remember Goubler’s Goner Board persona). emoto“E Pluribus MOTO” was first released in 1993 and is Caporino playing along with a drum machine (like most early MOTO records are) and this one has a big hit (like most MOTO records) in “It Tastes Just Like A Milkshake”. I always thought this one sounded a little too drum-“machiney” (if that makes sense, and ‘Bolt!’ is a good example of non-drum machiney for reference), but “Cancer In My Dick” is one of Paul’s funniest and “Transformoto” is wacky spoken word/comedy skit stuff that I wish there was more of. Just in case you didn’t know, both of these were released on vinyl in Euroland back in the Nineties and were getting some insane bids on eBay, so good on Rerun for hitting back at the machine. If I had to pick, I’d choose ‘Bolt!’ everyday, but fanatics will need both. Scum stats: limited to 500 copies, and watch for more MOTO from Rerun soon.(RK)
(Rerun Records //

Negro Spirituals “Black Garden” 7″negrospirit
The Nineties rub on this one is that A Wicked Company is a new label from the guy who used to do Vertical Records. Look ’em up on discogs, and you’ll see that Vertical released early Sebadoh, Royal Trux and Cop Shoot Cop records along with stuff from weirdos like Merzbow, Caroliner and Lisa Suckdog. That’s a pretty decent label. Negro Spirituals is the first record under the AWC banner, and I have to question restarting a label in 2013 to release this one, as it comes off like a sloppy version of the neo-goth sound so popular with the kids today. I love excessive amounts of reverb more than most, but these guys didn’t even get that right. It just seems muddy and confused, amps sound blown in a way that is not good. It’s as if the idea here was write a post-punky bassline, then plop some echoed out vocals and synth on top and voila, here’s our new goth band. Pretty lame. The fact that this is a Tenement side project is not surprising, because that band kinda sucks. This sounds like a poorly dubbed tape of a bad Rayon Beach (or some other Woven Bones side project) single that isn’t even on Hozac. Not a great debut release for the label (or the band), but their next single is from G. Green so I’ll stick around. Not being into Merzbow didn’t stop me from buying the “Spike Cyclone” 2×7″, if you know what I’m saying…(RK)
(A Wicked Company //

Oblivians “Desperation” LPoblivsdesp
The big deal with the first Oblivians studio record since ’99 (if my math is right – and obviously not counting live records, ‘On the Go’ or their side of that Scion split) seems to be people saying something along the lines of “It’s no ‘Soul Food'” or something similarly dismissive. And of course it’s not ‘Soul Food’ redux, nor should you expect it to be. It’s a new record from a band whose first single came out twenty years ago – and it’s hard to realize “Call the Shots” (and myself in relation) has been kicking around for that long. This is a damn good record regardless of whatever baggage you want to bring into it. I think it was Eric who summed it up perfectly in the excellent Goner/Oblivians feature in a recent issue of Thrasher, saying something to the extent of instead of them recording at 2:00 am fueled by booze they recorded this one at 8:00 am hopped up on coffee. People and bands age, and some do it tastefully as Greg, Jack and Eric have. 14 songs, six of them being Greg tracks, two Erics, three Jacks and three covers (“Lovin’ Cup”, “Call the Police” and “Mama Guitar”, all impeccably chosen and played). I’ll admit that the Greg songs that open both sides sound like Reigning Sound played through the Oblivs filter (“I’ll Be Gone” and “Come A Little Closer”), but he backs that up with a real fun rocker (“Pinball King”), one his classic garagers-’bout-a-girl (“Em”) and two great punkers (the title cut and “Oblivion” – which was their song from the Scion split). Jack really comes through on this one with what might be the two best songs – the slow and dirty “Back Street Hangout” (killer solo, and maybe the most desperate sounding cut on a record called ‘Desperation’) and the freight-train garage-punk of “Run for Cover”. Eric handles the two most punk cuts (“Fire Detector” and “Woke Up In A Police Car” – which makes a great 1-2 bunch with “Call the Police”, which in turn might be one of their best covers ever, with help from Quintron once again). It’s very hard to look at this record in regards to their back catalog – songs that are ingrained in our consciousness after over a decade of marinating. It’s not them blazing through “Kick Your Ass” or “And Then I Fucked Her” haphazardly in their twenties, and I hope that’s not what you want out of this record. This is the record I hoped they would make in 2013 as three guys who have done a hell of a lot in between this and 1999. There’s not a bad song in the bunch, as expected, and I’ll say my only minor complaints are maybe wishing there were a couple more Jack or Eric tunes, and I wish they would’ve got D’lana for a cover model just for old time’s sake. If you want some dickheaded record review spew, I’ll say I like this record better than any Reigning Sound record since ‘Too Much Guitar’ and I might end up listening to it more than ‘Play 9 Songs…’ in the long run. A fitting return from one of the greatest garage-punk bands ever. Scum stats: there’s a limited blue vinyl mailorder version that people seem to be fond of…(RK)
(In the Red //

Octa#grape “As Long As I Forget” 7″octagrape
The terribly named Octa#grape are a group of major players from the Nineties San Diego scene – two guys from Truman’s Water (including the guy who was also in Soul-Junk! Oof!) and the guitar player from Olivelawn (and fluf), plus a guy from a band called Vytear that I’m not familiar with, but who apparently play “chillwave”. Truman’s Water were a tough band for me to get into (although recalling some of their album/song titles, the name of this band makes a little more sense), for awhile I felt they were Pavement apers and then they became a band that was too arty/free for me to dig fully, but I really tried. A telling moment in my relationship with the band is that I’ve owned at least five or six of their records, and right now none of them are still in my possession. Olivelawn and fluf, I’ll confess to thinking of them as SD’s version of grunge (Jack Endino production included), and they had a song or two I’m sure I was into back then – and it should be noted that O(tis) is a real renaissance man, also moonlighting as a skate photograpaher, a “famous” roadie, producer (of Blink 182’s first record most notably) and record label CEO among many other things. Thinking about all this history, I’m very surprised at what this sounds like – and what it sounds like is Flight (the band – remember them?) right down to the vocal effect and recording, with some Woven Bones and SF-style “garage” touches. Maybe they’ve been hanging with the Volar Records guy or the kids from The Beaters or Ale Mania. I have no idea how these dudes got to this sound from where they were twenty years ago – I almost thought whoever wrote this note was fucking with me about the band members until I internetted this shit. Neither song is bad if you’re into this sound, there are certainly a coupla hooks here and the playing is tight, but fuck, that kid from Flight should get his lawyers on this. It should also be noted that these dudes are playing songs in a genre “created” over the past few years by a bunch of kids and doing it better than most of those kids, for whatever that’s worth. (RK)
(Thing Thing Thing //

The Raydios “Do You Wanna Walk With Me?” 7”raydioswalk
The latest from the revived Raydios, who’ve been pretty busy the past couple of years since the demise of Firestarter (four 7”es and an LP by my count). I’ll admit to not being aware enough to get the last couple of singles they did on Mangrove, but this one is pretty hot and shockingly tough. “Do You Wanna Walk With Me?” reminds me of The Dictators first and foremost, perhaps with a slight glam-stomp to it, but it’s a banger with a gang chorus and catchy riff. Fink’s vox sound great here, and it even has a bit of a Ramones-y hard-pop breakdown as well. “Lies” is again tough stuff, but cooks with some more Teengenerate fire (“GO!”), upping the tempo with a thumping bassline, scratchy guitar and another killer break-up – and again, it gets all ‘tators-NYC-ish at the end, which I’m liking a lot. The best Raydios record I’ve heard since the Nineties. I’m serious. (RK)
(Target Earth //

The Shirks s/t 12″ EPshirks12
After a few singles, DC’s The Shirks step up to 12 inches in size for this eight song EP. If you’ve been following the story so far, this is Al from The Problematics new outfit for all you Rip Off Records aficionados, but it’s certainly not rehashing the old sounds so much as it is punking it up more. Some of these tunes sound like Devil Dogs blasting through hardcore tunes, others sound like a modern buzzsaw-guitar version of New Bomb Turks. Faves include “9:30 Dicks”, which takes a jab at the DC venue, and “I Don’t Want to Work It” which is somehow a great modern take on junkie-punk. “Bad Area” ends up sounding a little Fat Wreckords-y, but I guess it’s a fine line to walk when you try to play anthemic punk rock these days. Decent enough throwback stuff here, and I hate to say it but I think the best tunes on this are what I was hoping The Livids were going to sound like. Scum stats: first 100 copies on red vinyl. (RK)
(Grave Mistake //

V/A “Big Neck Record Store Day Compilation” 7”bigneckrsd
Bart Hart jumps into the RSD game for the first time with this four band compilation with some new acts and some Nineties players as well. The Livids song on this might be my favorite of theirs so far, as “Stop Bleeding” is just straightforward punk blaze with no frills and it goes down with some good burn. Then the X-Rays show up on this thing for a total Nineties flashback (yes the UK band who did the ‘Double Godzilla With Cheese’ LP), and “Six Pack Style” sounds so much like a vintage New Bomb Turks tune it’s remarkable – I don’t ever remember them sounding this good? I guess they have a new LP coming out soon as well. The Nineties really are back. The B-Side has Ireland’s Cheap Freaks, who have members of The Things, a band I never really thought were very good but I’m guessing they sold a decent enough amount of records in Europe. Their tune is passable Euro-garage with gruff vocals. The awkwardly named Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb from DC close it out with a treble-charger of Rip Off-style punk that pays tribute to White Castle, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that. I think most people will be interested in this to satisfy their Livids jones, but the X-Rays track is surprisingly good and SWALTB are better than their name has you thinking. Scum stats: 600 on mixed-color vinyl. (RK)
(Big Neck Records //

UP NEXT: The 80s call, Australia and Canada drop by, and Termbo Giant Size Annual #36….




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

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

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

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

thanks to Floridas Dying for the pic