Poison Ruïn - Härvest

In a some­what un­ex­pect­ed but, all things con­sid­ered, per­fect­ly sen­si­ble move, the Philadel­phia group on the cut­ting edge of the still kin­da vague­ly de­fined and de­vel­op­ing dun­geon punk genre re­lease their first full length ef­fort on the well es­tab­lished, rather met­al-lean­ing la­bel Re­lapse Records. Thank­ful­ly this has pre­cious lit­tle in­flu­ence on their sound, aes­thet­ics and pro­duc­tion val­ues, with their newest batch of songs even pre­sent­ing the group at their grit­ti­est and most Lo-Fi so far, their still ab­solute­ly sin­gu­lar, elab­o­rate son­ic con­structs made up of post- and garage punk, noise rock, post­core, a very slight hint of Oi! and on­ly the most an­cient in­gre­di­ents of pro­to- and old-old­school met­al re­main­ing ob­scured by in a thick lay­er of tape hiss all the time. Yeah, the whole thing sounds glo­ri­ous i got­ta say!

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Pïss Bäth - Hoodrat Shit Vol. 1

A kick­ass EP of this Glas­gow group orig­i­nal­ly re­leased rough­ly a year ago, now hope­ful­ly get­ting saved from rel­a­tive ob­scu­ri­ty by lo­cal la­bel Gold Mold Records who've just reis­sued this beau­ty dig­i­tal­ly and on cas­sette. On it, we get fresh sup­ply from the realm of dun­geon punk-aja­cent noise rem­i­nis­cent of a whole range of groups like, nat­u­ral­ly, the cur­rent genre over­lords Poi­son Ruïn, the heav­i­ly motörized/​sleazified garage punk of Cheap Heat, Gold­en Pel­i­cans and Po­lute, hard-/post­core-lean­ing acts like Taran­tüla, Bloody Gears and Video.

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Thee Khai Aehm - Samhainia!

More beau­ti­ful de­light­ful garage punk may­hem by the dun­geon-dwellers from Karl­sruhe, Ger­many, this time in a slight­ly less lo-fi yet per­fect­ly po­tent sound aes­thet­ic. Once again you might be re­mem­bered of acts like Strange At­trac­tor, Salamirecorder and, most of all, var­i­ous in­car­na­tions of Thee Oh Sees over the years. My Spell, then again, sounds a bit as if the lat­ter had been cross­bred with the no-wave in­fused drones of noise rock­ers Spray Paint.

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Sex Hater /​ Clinic /​ pH People /​ Alien Birth

Just an­oth­er quick roundup of nois­es and dis­tur­bances out of the ex­tend­ed hard­core or­bit. Start­ing off the batch with Sex Hater of Kansas City, who will sure­ly please ad­mir­ers of chaot­ic and down­right filthy hard­core shit in a sim­i­lar vein to groups á la To­tal Sham, Fried E/​m or Launch­er.

Speak­ing of filth, Clin­ic from Fres­no, Cal­i­for­nia di­al that cer­tain as­pect even fur­ther - their lat­est EP feel­ing like one sin­gle murky pud­dle of prim­i­tive anger and deep de­spair, not en­tire­ly dis­sim­i­lar in some places to the ear­ly Beast Fiend EPs.

pH Peo­ple, a group of un­known ori­gin, then slow the tem­po down con­sid­ery­bly while by no means lack­ing en­er­gy - their tape on Ur­ticaria Records is a po­tent mix­ture from the fringes of har­core punk and (pro­to-) noise rock with clear echoes of most­ly old­er stuff á la Flip­per, Spike In Vain, Nox­ious Fumes or Bro­ken Tal­ent.

And last­ly, there's one for the dun­geon dwellers among us in the form of Philadelphia's Alien Birth who de­liv­er an old­school met­al-in­fest­ed beast kin­da like a mix be­tween a more prim­i­tive Poi­son Ruïn and Gold­en Pel­i­cans go­ing all in on their sleaze rock lean­ings.

Drýsildjöfull - Dýflissupaunk

You know what's re­al­ly been miss­ing re­cent­ly? A new dun­geon punk scorcher! This ar­ti­fact of un­clear ori­gin goes the buz­z­saw syn­th­punk-meets-black-met­al route and does a for­mi­da­ble job at get­ting you in­to the mood for some skull-split­ting ac­tion in the musty cat­a­combs.

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Polute - Polute

An­oth­er aus­tralian su­per­group made up of folks who gave us, among oth­ers, the won­ders of C.O.F.F.I.N, White Dog, Re­search Re­ac­tor Corp, Sa­tan­ic To­gas, Stiff Richards, Split Sys­tem and Cut­ters - a fuckin' who's who of re­cent garage punk good­ness down un­der. Of course Po­lute de­liv­ers the goods, with a twist though as there's a strong old­school "heavy"-/speed met­al vibe im­print­ed here on the fa­mil­iar garage punk sound, re­mind­ing me of fair­ly re­cent acts á la Taran­tüla, Ce­ment Shoes and even the in­cred­i­ble Poi­son Ruïn may serve as a vi­able com­par­i­son - dun­geon dwellers will ap­prove for sure.

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Thee Khai Aehm - Parrier

A new dun­geon punk ar­ti­fact from Karl­sruhe, Ger­many. In con­trast to the bulk of this young micro-genre's acts, Thee Khai Aehm don't in­cor­po­rate a whole lot of old­school met­al in­flu­ences, rather ap­proach­ing the musty dun­geon aes­thet­ic from a dis­tinct psych-/acid rock an­gle, kin­da like a mix be­tween clas­sic Oh Sees, Strange At­trac­tor and… Salamirecorder, maybe? Al­ways play­ful, most­ly weird, some­times epic and pre­sent­ed with a mud­dy, dusty pro­duc­tion aes­thet­ic as if these songs haven't been ex­posed to day­light and oxy­gen for cen­turies.

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Klint - Heat Wave

New shit by the world's on­ly viking synth punk project… and we've got an­oth­er win­ner! The ti­tle track just sucks you right in with a throb­bing beat not un­like to the re­cent Dance sin­gle, spiked with a hint of an­cient eu­ro­trash cheesi­ness. With Go Ahead we then get an ef­fec­tive straight-up no-frills punk smash­er, while the odd­ly placed/​titled In­stru­men­tal In­ter­lude feels like fun hom­mage to clas­sic chip­tunes that will al­so mesh well with the on­go­ing dun­geon syn­th/-punk wave.

Poison Ruïn - Not Today, Not Tomorrow

Dun­geon punk's chief am­bas­sadors be­stow up­on us the gift of three new bat­tle cries and oh boy, are they get­ting more epic, de­ter­mined, elab­o­rate and ridicu­lous with each re­lease… and i'm all down for it!

Swordbreaker - Demo

A new en­try in­to the young dun­geon punk mi­cro­genre com­ing our way from me­dieval Utrecht. That means com­pe­tent new fod­der for con­nois­seurs of D&D-savy im­agery and themes, of heavy ar­mor and blunt weapons as well as a small but ex­pand­ing round­table of skull­crush­ers á la Poi­son Ruïn, Bloody Keep, Weenog, Steröid or who­ev­er else has re­cent­ly been busy unit­ing the aes­thet­ics of garage punk with those of old­school black- and/​or su­per-an­cient "heavy" met­al.

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