Choke Boy - Chalk

This group from Dort­mund, Ger­many plays a dis­tinct­ly old-fash­ioned style of rather straight­for­ward, melody-dri­ven post punk, the kind that was in fash­ion for a short pe­ri­od in the late 2000s/​early 2010s, prob­a­bly em­bod­ied in its purest form by The Es­tranged, slight­ly less so by Crim­i­nal Code and as­pects of which have been picked up more re­cent­ly by groups such as Anx­ious Liv­ing, VR Sex and Ufos­ek­te. Sure, this EP is still pret­ty ba­sic and, as far as this par­tic­u­lar sub­genre goes, not the epit­o­me of orig­i­nal­i­ty, but then again all the ba­sic el­e­ments fall in­to place just right to form a rock-sol­id foun­da­tion that will hope­ful­ly en­able the band to ex­pand, ex­plore and elab­o­rate fur­ther.

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Meal - Jimmy

NJ/​NY La­bel State Cham­pi­on Records has yet an­oth­er quite awe­some tape for us and this time it's by a group from Helsin­ki, Fin­land who de­liv­er a ful­ly re­al­ized sound tak­ing cues from so much of what's good in re­cent years, i don't re­al­ly know where to start… The EP starts out with propul­sive post punk that feels like a fu­sion of dark­er sound­ing groups in the Rank/​Xerox or Pi­geon vein with art­sy post- and garage punk groups like Pat­ti, Lithics, Re­al­i­ty Group, Vin­tage Crop or Yam­mer­er. The mid­dle two songs then in­tro­duce a more re­laxed, slight­ly in­die rock lean­ing vibe á la Go­tobeds, Sleepies, Tape/​Off or B-Boys, with the clos­ing track Plas­tic Ma­rine feel­ing like the per­fect sym­bio­sis of both ten­den­cies.

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Optic Nerve - In A Fast Car Waving Goodbye

The Syd­ney group's lat­est EP seam­less­ly builds up­on the awe­some­ness of their 2019 de­but, set­ting off a per­fect storm of post punk/-core that ap­pears to draw just as much in­spi­ra­tion from the more odd cor­ners of the 80's scene like Sac­cha­rine Trust, Re­al­ly Red or Man Sized Ac­tion as it does from the folk- and cow­punk of Angst, with some un­de­ni­able Hot Snakes mo­men­tum on top.

Al­bum-Stream →

The Wind-Ups - Try Not To Think

No won­der this shit feels fa­mil­iar. The Wind-Ups is a new so­lo project of none oth­er than Jake Sprech­er of Ter­ry Malts and Smoke­screens fame. Much raw­er and loud­er than any of his oth­er groups have dared to sound re­cent­ly (al­beit not quite reach­ing ear­ly Ter­ry Malts lev­els of speed and fuzzy­ness), this at times sounds like a fu­sion of Ter­ry Malts' melod­ic­i­ty with slight­ly post punk-lean­ing garage groups like Tyvek or Par­quet Courts, while in oth­er mo­ments you can sense a breeze of The Spits, Ricky Hell or any­thing Reatard(s)-related. Yet when he goes all-in on pow­er pop, there are some un­de­ni­able british in­va­sion vibes em­a­nat­ing from his arrange­ments and com­po­si­tions.

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Big Bopper - Introducing Big Bopper

Phew… this thing must've been mixed/​mastered by a deaf per­son. I'm pret­ty much used to all kinds of son­ic ex­tremes by now but this must be the first time ever that i can't bear lis­ten­ing to a thing with­out at least ap­ply­ing some heavy EQ. Maybe the ac­tu­al cas­sette re­lease is less painful to lis­ten to though…

Oth­er­wise this thing kicks butt with un­err­ing pre­ci­sion. Don't know how i man­aged to over­look this so far but some­how stu­pid me need­ed an­oth­er re­minder in the form of a (dig­i­tal on­ly?) reis­sue on Good­bye Boozy to fi­nal­ly no­tice its qual­i­ties. These tex­ans play some pret­ty wild and un­pre­dictable amal­ga­ma­tion of post- and garage punk, noise rock and post­core which you might, at dif­fer­ent points, com­pare to groups like Pat­ti, Cutie, Rolex, Mys­tic Inane or Brandy.

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TVO - Fall In A Pit

An­oth­er kick­ass EP by this Philadel­phia group. This time they crank up the garage fac­tor con­sid­er­ably while main­tain­ing their taste for old­school pro­to-noise rock and -sludge. Think of a cu­ri­ous mix be­tween NY's Cutie and aussie garage groups like Mi­ni Skirt, Pist Id­iots on a col­li­sion course with old-timey noise­mak­ers of the U-Men, Sci­en­tists, X (Syd­ney, not L.A.) va­ri­ety plus a slight touch of Mud­honey.

Wails - Killer Wails

Whoosh! The sec­ond EP by Stock­holm group Wails holds yet an­oth­er per­fect­ly sol­id batch of noise-in­fused high-oc­tane straight­for­ward garage punk tracks, a sound some­where in­be­tween the son­ic virtues of pow­er­hous­es such as The Cow­boy, Sauna Youth, Ex-Cult and True Sons Of Thun­der.

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Tarred Cell - Tarred Cell

Pret­ty awe­some noisec­ore shit is flush­ing out the ear canals on this de­but EP by a group with mem­bers strewn all across Berlin, Leipzig and Bonn. This cer­tain­ly has some touch­es of Acrylics, Vul­ture Shit, Soup­cans and Stink­hole… or maybe of an al­ter­nate uni­verse in­car­na­tion of No Trend, Flip­per and Bro­ken Tal­ent played at triple speed.

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Puritans - Puritans

Rough­ly four years af­ter their last sign of life we quite un­ex­pect­ed­ly get an­oth­er fine EP from this Van­cou­ver group, who pulled off a flaw­less first EP in 2016/​17, fol­lowed by a some­what dis­ap­point­ing, slight­ly un­der­cooked sec­ond ef­fort. On this one, how­ev­er, they're back in their zone and al­ter­nate be­tween two ex­cel­lent in-your-face rip­pers and an­oth­er pair of slow­er, more melan­cholic songs de­mand­ing a bit more pa­tience from the lis­ten­er but cul­mi­nat­ing in a wor­thy pay­off. As be­fore, they re­mind me a lot of a more melan­cholic, sub­dued and melod­ic in­car­na­tion of Rank Xe­rox, Sar­casm or Sieve­head.

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Tee-Vee Repairman - Patterns

Speak­ing of the dev­il… here's the lat­est ven­ture of the mighty Warttman em­pire and it's yet an­oth­er beau­ty to be­hold. Four rough gems of catchy garage punk and pow­er pop that, of all the Warttman-re­lat­ed groups, re­minds me most of R.F.M.C. and Sa­tan­ic To­gas, al­beit with a cer­tain south­ern rock (in this par­tic­u­lar case… south­ern what, ac­tu­al­ly??) bent bear­ing some sim­i­lar­i­ty to what you heard on ear­ly Sheer Mag EPs.

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