Cool Sorcery - Terra Invaders

The newest LP of Brazil's prime pur­vey­or of quirky, hy­per­ac­tive garage-/synth-/eg­g­punk good­ness cer­tain­ly takes a gam­ble or two, be­ing full of col­lab­o­ra­tions with oth­er egg-mind­ed acts all across the globe… or the cos­mos, if you wan­na roll with the con­cept and i'm sure the likes of Tombeau, Bil­liam and Gob­lin Day­care don't need any in­tro­duc­tion, right? I mean, right? Not every­thing works here (es­pe­cial­ly the funky R'n'B stylings of She's Kin­da Cute and OMG They Look So Bad just strike me as ill-con­sid­ered speed bumps, in­ter­rupt­ing the record's oth­er­wise con­sid­er­able mo­men­tum) but most things cer­tain­ly do and where the record hits the mark, it hits hard, at times ap­proach­ing the lev­el of any­thing-goes chaos and eclec­ti­cism of Trash­dog or Check­point. And af­ter all, i very much pre­fer a record that tries bold­ly and fails in some places over one that's not even both­er­ing.

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Unsheather - Demo

File un­der: Poi­son Ruïn and their af­ter­math… Un­sheather from Belling­ham, Wash­ing­ton tack­le the aes­thet­ics of end­less strug­gle fa­cil­i­tat­ed by heavy ar­mor and weapon­ry from much more of a raw hard­core an­gle - less epic and way more prim­i­tive and un­pol­ished, which is prob­a­bly a good strate­gic start­ing point any­way in this still kin­da ear­ly phase of the on­go­ing dun­geon punk saga as the eleb­o­rate at­mos­pher­ic epics of genre's supreme over­lords will sure take a good while to find a wor­thy chal­lenger. Un­til then, i'm glad to sa­vor any bit of grim, me­dieval-themed axe-wield­ing fun along the way and Un­sheather are an ex­cel­lent choice for that!

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SPRGRS & Möney - Split

Two of the - so far at least - mi­nor play­ers in the cur­rent egg­punk game join forces and make a con­vinc­ing case for a re-eval­u­a­tion of that sta­tus as both, while not ex­act­ly rein­vent­ing the wheel here, have cleary re­fined their for­mu­las quite a bit on this neat lit­tle split cas­sette. SPRGRS of Grana­da, Spain make for a great start with their quirky, pul­sat­ing and melod­ic take on the genre much in line with what we've heard re­cent­ly from groups like Prison Af­fair, Beer, Paulo Vi­cious and Gob­lin Day­care. Even bet­ter though are the three new tracks by Bristol's Möney, who show some great va­ri­ety and top-notch song­writ­ing chops here, over­all sat­u­rat­ing their sound with more of a surf-y and psy­che­del­ic post punk vibe, most no­tably in the clos­ing track Eman­ci­pa­tion which calls to mind the likes of Elec­tric Prawns 2, Check­point, Grem­lin and Pow­er­plant. Then again, Plas­tic Trees is a sur­pris­ing lit­tle gem made up of glis­ten­ing noise-/pow­er-/dream­pop stylings and re­al­ly giv­en a spe­cial shine by a guest vo­cal per­for­mance cred­it­ed to a mys­te­ri­ous Miss Clien­ty.

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Reduced - Reduced

This Not­ting­ham, UK group's de­but EP feels pleas­ant­ly out of place to me in the cur­rent scene, chan­nel­ing a num­ber of cur­rents of the mid-eight­ies to ear­ly nineties punk and al­ter­na­tive rock era. Most strik­ing­ly i'm re­mind­ed of Mega City Four with fur­ther bits and pieces of, say, Mov­ing Tar­gets, lat­er Naked Ray­gun and even some traces of mid­dle-pe­ri­od Hüsker Dü to be found in there, all of it an­chored by some rock sol­id songcraft un­der­neath. In ad­di­tion, you might as well com­pare this stuff to a bunch of the pre­vi­ous decade's acts such as Pale An­gels, Milk Mu­sic, Geron­i­mo, Milked and Cal­i­for­nia X.

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Toy Brigade - Demo

Here we've got yet an­oth­er ex­cel­lent burst of garage- and synth punk by yet an­oth­er Mel­bourne group that, de­spite some shared son­ic pa­ra­me­ters, hits just a good bit hard­er than your av­er­age quirky egg­punk act. Rather, i'm re­mind­ed of the likes of Quit­ter, Beef, Bust­ed Head Rack­et and Bro­ken Prayer plus, at some points, that ever-present Djinn/​Zhoop/​Nightman/​Brundle/​RONi, etc dude.

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Pirouette - Pirouette

This Los An­ge­les group con­fi­dent­ly kicks up an ab­solute­ly re­spectable fuzz uti­liz­ing rather mod­est means. These five rip­pers sound a bit like what i'd imag­ine it would be like if you in­fused a more dumb­ed-down vari­ant of the earthy and noisy post-/garage punk hy­brids of The Cow­boy or Flat Worms with a good deal of Gun Club- and Feed­time-es­que blues- and cow­punk. The re­sult, as you might've fig­ured al­ready, doesn't add any­thing new to the mix but still man­ages the hit the sweet spot every sin­gle time.

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Negative Gears - Moraliser

It took them over five years to fol­low up on their ex­cel­lent de­but EP from 2019, but at long last here it is, the first LP by Sydney's Neg­a­tive Gears, on which they present an even more pitch-black, stone-cold vi­sion than be­fore, fun­neled in­to sig­nif­i­cant­ly ma­tured and re­fined com­po­si­tions and arrange­ments. Com­par­isons to US groups like ear­ly In­sti­tute, Rank/​Xerox, Crim­i­nal Code and Nag still ap­ply, kind of… but al­so i can sense some kin­ship with the widescreen dra­ma of berlin-based duo Dead Finks and its sort-of pre­cur­sor group, New Zeeland's Trust Punks. Then again, songs like the open­ing track Neg­a­tive Gear and Pills car­ry some of the hall­marks of british post punk pow­er­hous­es like Girls In Syn­the­sis and Sieve­head while in calmer mo­ments like Ants and Zoned, a melan­cho­lia and el­e­gance rem­i­nis­cent of re­cent Mar­bled Eye or Tube Al­loys shines through.

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Monda - VIII

The fol­low-up to this To­towa, New Jer­sey group's re­cent opus Stiff Jum­bo, which con­sist­ed of no less than four­ty be­low-one-minute punk smash­ers, comes across as a some­what more con­ven­tion­al of­fer­ing of catchy tunes lo­cat­ed in­be­tween the son­ic pa­ra­me­ters of garage punk, noise pop and old­school '80s/'90s in­die rock. What hasn't changed at all though is the sheer strength and con­sis­ten­cy of these songs, whose song­writ­ing ex­cel­lence nev­er fal­ters even once. This shit is eas­i­ly on a lev­el with high­ly re­gard­ed con­tem­po­raries of the Vaguess, Boo­ji Boys, Datenight, Bad Sports, Va­ca­tion, Teen Line, The Wind-Ups and Bed Wet­tin' Bad Boys cal­iber.

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Showroom Dummies - Showroom Dummies

This lat­est EP by this Win­nipeg, Man­i­to­ba group treats us to four ex­cel­lent blasts on the rougher end of the garage-/fuzz-/synth punk spec­trum, ham­mered home by a com­plete­ly un­hinged mad­man vo­cal per­for­mance. This EP is a safe-bet crowd­pleas­er guar­an­teed to de­light con­noiseurs of shit á la The Gobs, 3D and the Holo­grams, Ghoulies, Daugh­ter Bat and the Lip Stings and Fac­to­ry City Chil­dren, con­clud­ing in a ful­ly charged burst of hard­core punk evok­ing fur­ther com­par­isons to groups such as Witch Piss, Spewed Brain and Ge­o­duck Diodes.

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Assistert Sjølmord - Assistert Sjølmord

Hard­core punk from Oslo, Nor­way that sticks out with some rough garage edge to their cer­tain­ly sim­ple and straight­for­ward, yet un­doubt­ed­ly el­e­gant and well-bal­anced punk at­tacks and the undi­lut­ed fury trans­port­ed by a thor­ough­ly caf­feinat­ed front­woman. All in all, this shit hits me kin­da like a more stripped-down, fast-and-loose play­ing vari­ant of swedish heavy hit­ters Vidro, fused with a gen­er­ous dose of Judy and the Jerks.

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