Smirk - Material

New shit from Nick Vic­ario aka Smirk, al­so known as part of such po­tent punk pow­er­hous­es as Pub­lic Eye, Cri­sis Man und Ce­men­to. His sec­ond LP car­ries more of his eclec­tic post- and garage punk ex­trav­a­gan­za sourced out of a gen­er­ous grab bag of punk sam­ples, bear­ing fleet­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties to such di­verse acts as ISS, In­sti­tute, Alien Nose­job, Cher­ry Cheeks, Ura­ni­um Club, Re­al­i­ty Group or Mar­bled Eye.

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Rider/​Horse - Feed 'Em Salt

The sec­ond LP by that Duo fea­tur­ing none oth­er than Spray Paint's Cory Plump as well as some mys­te­ri­ous Chris, who has in some ca­pac­i­ty worked with Les Savy Fav, Trans Am and Scene Cream­ers in the past, de­liv­ers more of their ad­dic­tive melange of post punk and noise rock with that cer­tain in­dus­tri­al feel, as ex­per­i­men­tal as it's hyp­not­ic and catchy all the same. Maybe it's just due to the mix and mas­ter­ing, but the son­ic spec­trum ap­pears some­what de­clut­tered here com­pared to the pre­de­ces­sor with an at times less claus­tro­pho­bic, more nat­ur­al feel and plen­ty of room to breathe. Still tons of Swell Maps or, al­ter­nate­ly, Ex­ek vibes to go around though and there's even a hint of Pro­tomar­tyr in Rot­ting Prof­its, some echoes of Wire in Flori­da Gaso­line.

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Snooper - Town Topic

Three fifths of this EP have al­ready trick­led out very slow­ly in the form of demos and dig­i­tal sin­gles. Fi­nal­ly, we can wit­ness the thing in full now. I'd say the Nashville out­fit have found their own unique lit­tle niche in­side a crowd­ed pool of egg-re­lat­ed weird­ness, their jan­g­ly garage punk det­o­na­tions shrunk­en to mi­cro­scop­ic scale… a bit like a su­per-mut­ed in­car­na­tion of R.M.F.C. with ad­di­tion­al hints of Print Head, Neo Neos or ear­ly Erik Ner­vous.

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Pisse - Lambada

I'm sure everyone's al­ready tak­en no­tice, but i can't leave that one out here, a new re­lease by the on­ly ger­man punk group i've ever heard of. In a nut­shell, Pisse are still very much Pisse (and yes, that is in­deed the ger­man word for piss), their jet of yel­low liq­uid still be­ing very pre­cise­ly fo­cused on the var­i­ous process­es and phe­nom­e­na in­volved in the grad­ual crush­ing of the hu­man soul in that so­ci­ety of ours while not spar­ing the punk scene their due amount of ridicule ei­ther. Their mu­sic on the fringes of post- and garage punk ain't noth­ing to be em­bar­rassed about ei­ther, even in the clos­ing track Fa­vorit, which drags some Sui­cide-es­que synth min­i­mal­ism through a de­cid­ed­ly ger­man schlager hell.

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Famous Logs in History - Fancy!

The New York group's newest cas­sette clicks with me in­stant­ly, their quirky pow­er pop tunes strik­ing me as a some­what new wave-ish melange of melod­ic, pre­dom­i­nant­ly ear­ly british post punk some­where in the ex­tend­ed neigh­bor­hood of groups such as Des­per­ate Bi­cy­cles, Mekons, Tele­vi­sion Per­son­al­i­ties and Swell Maps.

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The Blinds - Endless Fascination

This Mel­bourne group's 2017 de­but EP still res­onates with me as one of the most unique ex­pe­ri­ences in the garage-/post-/art punk spere of its time. Al­most five years hav­ing passed since then, it's no sur­prise their fol­low-up EP show­cas­es a some­what more stream­lined yet still am­bi­tious and sur­pris­ing grab-bag of songs which con­tin­ue to draw plen­ty of in­spi­ra­tion from both Chairs Miss­ing-era Wire and ear­ly, Syd Bar­rett-era Pink Floyd, this time lean­ing in heav­ier on the spaced-out post punk side of things, al­so sound­ing not quite un­like a more eleb­o­rate ver­sion of B-Boys or Go­tobeds. Then at their most melod­ic and straight­for­ward, Else­where is the kind of an­themic old­school in­die rock smash­er rarely en­coun­tered these days.

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Peace De Résistance - Bits and Pieces

When this New York dude's en­chant­i­ng and be­wil­der­ing 2020 de­but EP Hedge­mak­ers hit, i didn't have the slight­est clue who's the mas­ter­mind be­hind Peace De Ré­sis­tance. Turns out it's none oth­er than In­sti­tute vo­cal­ist Moses Brown - yeah, kin­da makes sense in ret­ro­spect, i guess. Dun­no how i missed that. His first long­play­er now un­folds a some­what more elab­o­rate, yet still pret­ty min­i­mal­ist sound­scape that once again feels out of place in all the best ways - a time cap­sule of hazy false mem­o­ries weav­ing ear­ly strains of pro­to-, art- and post punk in­to a vivid, se­mi-plau­si­ble case of the Man­dela ef­fect.

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Vision 3D - Hypnose

Pret­ty fuck­ing amaz­ing shit, the sec­ond long play­er of this group from Tour­nai, Bel­gium. Right out of the gate i'm re­mind­ed of so much good stuff both an­cient and con­tem­po­rary on the in­ter­sec­tion of art-, post- and garage punk, round­ed out by a dis­tinct­ly dis­so­nant no wave-ish, noise rock-y edge. Some­times they sound a bit like as if the amer­i­cana-in­fused post punk of Angst were to col­lide with the sim­plis­tic beat of Man Sized Ac­tion and a good mea­sure of ear­ly The Fall strum­mi­ness. Oth­er mo­ments, i imag­ine to hear echos of Mem­branes, Gor­dons or Swell Maps, while you might just as well draw com­par­isons to more re­cent acts such as Hon­ey Radar, Toe Ring, Lithics, Germ House, Shark Toys and Sub­tle Turn­hips.

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Society - All Flies Go To Hell

Four-and-a-half fun litte strum­ming ex­cer­cis­es of the heav­i­ly pro­to punk in­spired kind, done by a dude who al­so hap­pens to be a mem­ber of Toe Ring. Sounds a bit like a mix of Peace De Re­sis­tance, Woolen Men and Hon­ey Radar with a hint of Mod­ern Lovers on top.

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Rogue - Rogue

Qual­i­ty shit from Phan­tom Records once again. The cul­prits, this time, are yet an­oth­er Berlin group play­ing a breed of post punk (re­al­ly, who'd have guessed.…) which proud­ly wears its ori­gins on its sleeves yet man­ages to put an in­ven­tive and play­ful spin on every sin­gle track. Funky but thank­ful­ly not too pol­ished, there's al­so a promi­nent surf rock vibe at play here ric­o­chet­ing through their arrange­ments like a steel rod will­ful­ly thrown in­to the spokes, al­ways mak­ing for some de­light­ful stunts and ma­neu­vers. Some­times we al­so get a touch of rock­a­bil­ly as put through a Gun Club-meet-The Fall meat­grinder. My per­son­al fave here is a lit­tle banger called Anger­man which per­fect­ly ap­plies the car­rot-and-stick ap­proach in its jux­ta­po­si­tion of dis­so­nant noise and melod­i­cism.

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