Kobra - Confusione

Whoa… got­ta say i wasn't pre­pared for the kind of storm this group from Mi­lan, Italy lets loose on their first long­play­er. On a sur­face lev­el this is some va­ri­ety of vague­ly old­school hard­core punk with strong an­ar­cho in­flu­ences, some traces of crust - you know, the kind of stuff we've had no short­age of in re­cent years. But then again, this record is char­ac­ter­is­lzed by an end­less string of col­or­ful, un­con­ven­tion­al de­ci­sions and flour­ish­es, mak­ing what could have been a rather cook­ie-cut­ter, de­cent genre ef­fort in­to an am­bi­tious, thrilling beau­ty to be­hold. Al­so helped by a pro­duc­tion which strikes the per­fect bal­ance be­tween re­lent­less propul­sion and blown out Lo-Fi scuzz. As far as con­tem­po­rary hard­core goes, this shit stands com­plete­ly on its own and sim­ply hits evey sin­gle nail on its head.

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Cool Jerks - England

Man, do i not wan­na live in Eng­land right now. Well, Cool Jerks still do and their first full length ef­fort paints a con­vinc­ing­ly grim pic­ture while ex­celling on the son­ic front once again, rid­ding their sound of their first EP's garage el­e­ments in fa­vor of a sim­ple, mod­ern blend of punchy post­core with noisy tex­tures, com­pa­ra­ble to a sim­pli­fied ver­sion of Bad Breed­ing, As­cot Stab­ber or Acrylics.

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Public Eye - Music For Leisure

Portland's Pub­lic Eye al­ready were one of the more in­ter­est­ing and ad­ven­tur­ous post punk groups of our time to be­gin with and i al­ways felt we hadn't quite heard their best yet. Turns out i was right about some­thing for a change… On Mu­sic For Leisure their sound has evolved pret­ty much in­to its own thing. Imag­ine the works of some 2010's post punk stand­outs like Diät, Mar­bled Eye, The Es­tranged, In­sti­tute, Rank Xe­rox, Cre­ative Adult and Bruised rolled in­to one. Then add a fair amount of garage punk of the ear­ly Teenanger, Sauna Youth, Flat Worms va­ri­ety, sprin­kle in a hint of Wire and some jan­g­ly folk in­flu­ences á la Vol­cano Suns. Pub­lic Eye bun­dle all of that, then slow it down to a com­fort­able strolling pace while tack­ling the whole thing with a de­cid­ed­ly song-based ap­proach. The re­sult is one of the most ma­ture, con­sis­tant, well-con­struct­ed post punk records i've heard in a good while.

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Cutters - Cutters

This Mel­bourne group's de­but 7" is a con­cen­trat­ed blast of high­ly flam­ma­ble garagecore spiked with ad­di­tion­al noise- & post­core ac­cel­er­ants, achiev­ing a res­olute punch akin to ADVLTS, Bad Breed­ing while their un­ruly garage & old­school hard­core ri­ot leaves a trail of de­struc­tion not un­like Fried E/​M, Elec­tric Chair or Mod­ern Needs.

Vaguess - Directions For Use

Re­spect­ed Los An­ge­les garage pow­er­house Vin­ny Vaguess keeps things in­ter­est­ing. While his pre­vi­ous two long­play­ers turned out a bit mel­low­er, lean­ing quite heav­i­ly in­to pow­er­pop melod­ic­i­ty, his newest EP mix­es things up again in some­what un­ex­pect­ed ways by in­tro­duc­ing quirky post punk el­e­ments, of­ten mak­ing gen­er­ous use of vague­ly de­vo-es­que synths. Speak­ing of the dev­il… with Less­er Of Two we even get a full-blown synth pop hymn, not dis­sim­i­lar to some stuff Alien Nose­job did re­cent­ly. Oth­er points of ref­er­ence might be Nick Nor­mal, Andy Hu­man and the Rep­toids, Teenanger, oc­ca­sion­al flash­es of Aus­muteants. Every­thing works ad­mirably here, in no small part thanks to the kind of ex­cel­lent songcraft we've come to ex­pect from this dude.

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Boogie Board - Station

Some chica­go dude's lat­est EP de­liv­ers four and a half short & sweet bursts of ex­tra blown-out krauty space­rockin' psy­che­del­ic garage fuzz ec­sta­sy. De­struc­tion Unit-meet-Chrome, Drag­gs col­lide with Dr. Mix & The Remix. Turn on, tune in and… run to your stereo and hit play again 'cos the whole thing is on­ly nine min­utes long.

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Cherry Cheeks - Motivator /​ No Ticket /​ Neighborhood WATCH!

I tried hard to dis­miss this Or­lan­do, Flori­da project as just an­oth­er cook­ie cut­ter DIY synth punk/-garage ar­ti­fact of our times… with the first EP that was. The sec­ond one was able to sow some mis­trust in my own judge­ment. Num­ber three fi­nal­ly served as a re­minder on how full of run­ny shit my dys­func­tion­al lump of grey mat­ter can be some­times - so bad i wish some­one would trans­plant an anus on­to my head. Evo­lu­tion, you're such a ter­ri­ble dis­ap­point­ment… These twelve songs are an in­cred­i­bly fun synth punk ride over­all, the kin­da pop ori­ent­ed va­ri­ety, just get­ting pro­gres­sive­ly bet­ter with each new EP. Take a juicy bite if you can stand stuff like Trash­dog, Warm Ex­it, Dot.com, Set Top Box, Pow­er Plant, T.L.B.M., Spy­roids.

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Tommy And The Commies - Hurtin' 4 Certain

New tunes by Sud­bury, Canada's Tom­my and the Com­mies. You should know what to ex­pect by now: A bright and col­or­ful spec­ta­cle made up of top notch qual­i­ty pow­er pop, a bit of garage and a whole truck­load of buz­zcocks-style straight and melod­ic punk rock, el­e­vat­ed by a punchy per­for­mance as well as some un­err­ing song­writ­ing skill.

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Pork Belly - Jinx & Chew

Promis­ing and fun shit, this first dig­i­tal sin­gle by some San Fran­cis­co group. Post-/art punk of the par­tic­u­lar­ly quirky, play­ful kind that ad­mir­ers of bands like Pat­ti, Rolex, Re­al­i­ty Group or Emer­gency Con­tact will sure­ly ap­pre­ci­ate.

Mini Skirt - Casino

Al­ready hav­ing a bunch of strong EPs un­der their belt, Mi­ni Skirt of By­ron Bay, Aus­tralia are now de­liv­er­ing their first LP. Of course they do have a few more bones to pick, find­ing ex­pres­sion in some of their most pissed off lyrics to date, while on the mu­si­cal side of things, we get all the good­ness fa­mil­iar from their EPs and more… Garage Punk/​Pub Rock some­what sim­i­lar to Dumb Punts, Pissed Id­iots or WOD, that coun­ter­bal­ances its com­par­a­tive­ly re­laxed pace with a vig­or­ous per­for­mance, this time even re­luc­tant­ly ex­pand­ing their styl­is­tic palette with oc­ca­sion­al flash­es of old­school late 80's/early 90s in­die rock.

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