CB Radio Gorgeous - CB Radio Gorgeous 7"

Some­how i must've over­looked this Chica­go quartet's first EP two years ago… got­ta catch up on that now, since their new 7" im­me­di­ate­ly won me over with its first-rate blend of some­what garage- and hard­core-in­fused no-fuss punk rock not too far off from Neg­a­tive Scan­ner (whose des­ig­nat­ed gui­tar user Matt Re­vers is al­so among the per­pe­tra­tors at work here), Vexx and round­ed off by a mea­sured dose of Amyl & The Snif­fers-es­que '77 style riff­ing.

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Das Drip - _​

Sad to hear that not long af­ter their genre-de­fy­ing/de­stroy­ing/­fuck­ing/de­con­struct­ing/­ex­plod­ing al­bum of last year, this EP is al­ready the swan song of North Carolina's hottest ad­dress in con­tem­po­rary hard­core. So take this last chance to mar­vel at Das Drip's am­bi­tious hardcore/​postcore/​artcore/​weirdcore… cer­tain­ly nev­er bor­ing­core.

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Donors - Donors

Now this one's a cu­ri­ous beast. Nashville group Donors al­ready won my at­ten­tion two years ago with their first EP and a some­what more con­ven­tion­al mix of garage- and post punk, but this is a dif­fer­ent lev­el of weird­ness al­to­geth­er, as they in­fuse their sound with in­creas­ing amounts of dis­so­nant no wave hav­oc and pro­to noise rock á la Flip­per, No Trend. What in the world could i com­pare this stuff to? Tyvek or Con­stant Mon­grel reimag­ined as a no wave act? Spray Paint as a garage band? I'm not en­tire­ly sure what they ac­tu­al­ly set out to do but there's no doubt they're suc­ceed­ing with fly­ing col­ors. Just when you thought you made sense of the whole thing, the clos­ing track Fine Print man­ages to sur­prise once again by adding some Haunt­ed Hors­es-style in­dus­tri­al fla­vor to the mix.

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Nuts - Demo

The cologne scene ap­pears to be pick­ing up steam in re­cent months. Newest piece of ev­i­dence is this thor­ough­ly en­joy­able de­mo of quirky one-man DIY garage punk some­what in the vein of acts like Prison Af­fair, Set-Top Box, T.L.B.M, Dot.Com, Dee Bee Rich… maybe even a bit of ear­ly Erik Ner­vous. Fine stuff!

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Freaks - Freaks

An un­re­lent­ing storm of raw KBD-meets-ston­er punk kicked loose by the Freaks of Philadel­phia, en­forced with loads of hard­core propul­sion. Starts out kin­da like an amal­ga­ma­tion of ear­ly Milk Mu­sic or Di­nosaur Jr. with Every­thing Falls Apart-era Hüsker Dü, then set­tles in­to a mode that comes across like a mix of Tarantüla/​Cülo, Fried Egg, a hint of Launch­er and some added sludge and death rock vibes, the lat­ter re­mind­ing me of Be­ta Boys.

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Stuck - Change Is Bad

The de­but al­bum by Chica­go group Stuck is pret­ty much every­thing you could hope for and a mas­sive leap in so­phis­ti­ca­tion over their al­ready rock sol­id de­but EP. Just like back then, Stuck still have no in­ten­tion of rein­vent­ing the post­core wheel, but in­stead ex­hib­it a thor­ough un­der­stand­ing of their genre's ins and outs and the skill­ful us­age of its gram­mar and vo­cab­u­lary to quite thrilling ef­fect. While there's un­de­ni­ably some in­flu­ence of their home­town scene of yes­ter­year - as well as the oblig­a­tory traces of 90s Wash­ing­ton - their sound most­ly re­minds me of cur­rent acts such as USA Nails and even more of the re­cent wave of aus­tralian bands like Bat­piss, Bench Press and Noughts.

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Neutrals - Rent /​ Your House EP

Fol­low­ing two strong de­mo tapes and the flaw­less rip­per that was last year's de­but al­bum via Emo­tion­al Re­sponse Records, Oakland's Neu­trals al­ready have an­oth­er EP out on which they seem­less­ly re­sume their re­mark­able win­ning spree. No oth­er band right now so ef­fort­less­ly nails this spe­cif­ic sub­genre of end­less­ly charm­ing, qirky heart-on-its-sleeve style DIY post-/art punk sure­ly in­spired by the likes of Tele­vi­sion Per­son­al­i­ties, ear­ly Mekons or Des­per­ate Bi­cy­cles, while still seem­ing firm­ly root­ed in this day and age.

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Xetas - The Cypher

Their third LP - once again re­leased via the taste­ful­ly named la­bel 12XU Records (which i'm to­tal­ly not in­volved with, i promise!) - presents Austin punks Xe­tas' sound in its most ma­ture in­car­na­tion yet, most no­tice­able in terms of its more con­fi­dent, var­ied and al­ways rock sol­id songcraft. Still rid­ing the fine line be­tween straight­for­ward punk rock and en­er­getic post punk/-core, with the nee­dle point­ing a bit more in the lat­ter di­rec­tion this time, you might de­scribe this shit as a cu­ri­ous mix be­tween Red Dons, Video, Meat Wave and Day­light Rob­bery. In oth­er words: Qual­i­ty Stuff!

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Shrinkwrap Killers - Stolen Electronics To Shove Up Your Ass 7"

On their re­cent 7" via Iron Lung, Oakland's Shrinkwrap Killers blow a pret­ty lit­tle hole in your speak­ers by way of a flaw­less one-two punch made up of fuzzy, melod­ic garage punk and bear­ing some sim­i­lar­i­ty to The Stal­ins Of Sounds, S.B.F. or Kid Chrome. Nuff said.

The Cowboy - WiFi on the Prairie

Not too long af­ter their re­cent 7" sug­gest­ed some amount of re­lax­ation in the Cleve­land trio's sound, they fall right back in­to their tense and grit­ty old ways on their sec­ond al­bum - even dou­ble down on them com­pared to the al­ready rough blast of their de­but al­bum three years ago - amount­ing to an­oth­er per­fect round of fuzzed out garage noise glo­ry, this time re­mind­ing me of ear­ly Green­berg-era The Men in all their un­com­pro­mis­ing force.

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