Cold Comfort - Maximum Effort

A neat and ex­plo­sive lit­tle pack­age, this EP by some Nor­wich, UK dude com­ing across like a healthy mid­dle ground be­tween garage groups rough­ly ad­her­ing to the Sauna Youth, Ex-Cult, Tyvek or Sweet Reaper for­mu­la and the fuzz punk sytylings of ear­ly 2010s groups á la Wavves or Male Bond­ing.

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Split System - Vol.1

The first full length of the Mel­bourne group fea­tur­ing mem­bers of Stiff Richards, Speed Week and front­ed by the fab­u­lous Jack­son Reid Brig­gs eas­i­ly ex­ceeds all ex­pec­ta­tions. Sound-wise you know what you're in for - straight­for­ward yet elab­o­rate garage punk from an un­mis­tak­ably aus­tralian lin­eage, a ful­ly ma­tured sound be­ing dri­ven forth with un­re­lent­ing en­er­gy in the more sim­ple, riff-heavy mid­dle stretch while the old­school songcraft on dis­play in tunes such as It Aint You, De­mo­li­tion and Time Killer is noth­ing short of spec­tac­u­lar!

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Egg Idiot - Help!

More in­san­i­ty to make your brain hurt from that cer­tain Leipzig garage-/synth punk out­fit fuck­ing around, as the name would sug­gest, on­ly in the eggi­est cor­ners of eggdom. Full of hooks and catchy most of the time, weird as fuck all of the time. Friends of shit á la Nuts, Set-Top Box, Met­dog, Nubot555 and Dee Bee Rich are gonna have an­oth­er ball with this.

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Headcheese - Best Before 2022

This group from Kaloomps, BC, Cana­da de­liv­ers a joy­ous lit­tle ride around the weird­er fringes of ear­ly-to-mid 80s hard- and post­core with some mean funky grooves thrown in as well as that cer­tain garage punk ad­di­tive and - to make the mess per­fect - giv­en a thor­ough KBD-style fuck­over. Al­so not too far off from some­what re­cent groups in the vein of, say, Mys­tic Inane or Fried E/​m, among oth­ers.

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Die TV - Side C

Though Side B didn't click with me quite as much as his Side A de­but EP, this Marmo­ra, New Jer­sey dude is op­er­at­ing in the gold­en zone once again on his newest Side C with a rough­ly 80% hit ra­tio. Less goth-lean­ing this time, his DIY garage- and post punk minia­tures come across as un­pre­dictable as ever with echoes of stuff á la S.B.F., Set-Top Box, Stal­ins of Sound, Erik Ner­vous or The Spits scat­tered through­out this fun lit­tle grab bag of tunes.

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Dadar - Iron Cage

Good­bye Boozy re­leas­es tend to come in batch­es and here we have the clear stand­out of this lat­est one - the newest EP or LP or what­ev­er by Par­ma, Italy garage punks Dadar who take an­oth­er kin­da straight­for­ward, risk-averse ap­proach here styl­is­ti­cal­ly, while they once again ex­cell at en­gi­neer­ing catchy melod­ic det­o­na­tions of pure garage- and synth punk fun in the well-trod­den neigh­bor­hood of Aus­muteants, Mononeg­a­tives, Use­less Eaters and the like.

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Catastrophic Dance Ensemble - Panko /​ Sad Machine

Al­ready hav­ing made a great first im­pres­sion with their re­cent Vol. 1 tape, Cincinnati's Cat­a­stroph­ic Dance En­sem­ble have an­oth­er tiny treat for us, rough­ly two-and-a-half new songs in their heav­i­ly egg-lean­ing odd­ball cheesy mix­ture of garage-, post- and synth punk that friends of, say… Set-Top Box, R.M.F.C., Eu­gh, Met­dog, Mononeg­a­tives, Nuts are gonna have an­oth­er field day with.

Sick Thoughts - Heaven Is No Fun

I don't think Drew Owen aka Sick Thoughts needs an in­tro­duc­tion by now, hav­ing been a fix­ture of the garage punk scene for close to a decade now. His 2018 self-ti­tled LP al­ready count­ing as a genre clas­sic of its own, i'd say he's now cre­at­ed his de­fin­i­tive mas­ter­piece with this newest one car­ry­ing the To­tal Punk seal of qual­i­ty. Dou­bling down on the strong '77 vibes of his most re­cent Poor Boys /​ Drug Rock 7", this is an unim­peach­able set of hits and al­so his most styl­is­ti­cal­ly di­verse ef­fort so far, most no­table here be­ing oc­ca­sion­al de­tours in­to sev­en­ties hard-, glam- and sleaze rock as has been hint­ed at be­fore by the teas­er sin­gle Moth­er I Love Sa­tan - al­ready to be con­sid­ered an all-time clas­sic of taste­ful dev­il wor­ship mu­sic - and fur­ther ex­plored here in such tunes as Sub­ma­chine Love and Rich Kid.

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S.U.G.A.R. - II

Fol­low­ing last year's some­what un­even de­but LP of this Berlin group, their newest al­bum is a huge step for­ward in every as­pect - the huge­ly im­proved song sub­stance be­ing dri­ven forth with un­re­lent­ing mo­men­tum and cap­tured in a mid-fi aes­thet­ic that fits them per­fect­ly. Sound­wise, they're clear­ly tak­ing cues from a long lin­eage of pro­to- and old­school garage punk - ob­vi­ous­ly Stooges, MC5 and Death to be­gin with, in ad­di­tion to Dead Moon and some Wipers touch­es but, most of all, that austal­ian breed of groups like Saints, Ra­dio Bird­man, Sci­en­tists ap­pear to have left their mark in their sound, not to men­tion the larg­er-than-life fuzz punk one-hit-won­ders God - but while the lat­ter seemed to flame up and burn out over the short du­ra­tion of one glo­ri­ous A-side nev­er to reach such heights again, S.U.G.A.R. show no signs of wear yet, re­peat­ing that mar­vel eight­fold for a cer­ti­fied all-killer-no-filler al­bum.

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Flash - Flash

A marked change of pace for La Vi­da Es Un Mus Dis­cos - a la­bel usu­al­ly more con­cerned with the rougher ends of the hard- and post­core spec­trum - the de­but al­bum of this basque group has a con­tem­po­rary Lo-Fi ap­peal to its unique take on garage punk with a some­what murky and bent (or dare i say: Warttman-es­que?) sound aes­thet­ic where ei­ther gui­tars sound like synths or vice ver­sa, i wouldn't be able to tell ei­ther way. While their play­ful­ness and melod­ic­i­ty call to mind re­cent stuff by the likes of Prison Af­fair, Alien Nosejob's hard­core 45s, Be­ta Max­i­mo or Al­gara, there's al­so a raw and au­then­tic 80s hard­core un­der­cur­rent go­ing on here pep­pered with some gen­tle flash­es of Oi! and 90s emo­core.

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