Erik Nervous - Halfass

An­oth­er re­lease by Kala­ma­zoo, Michi­gan garage punk lu­mi­nary Erik Ner­vous is al­ways a rusty buck­et full of of pure joy to be­hold. Large­ly de­liv­ered with a bor­der­line-hard­core en­er­gy lev­el (hal­fass my ass!), this EP is with­out ques­tion among his most di­rect, com­pact and stream­lined batch­es of tight-ass smash­ers to date. Oh, and what would an Erik Ner­vous re­lease be with­out the promise of a yet-to-be-record­ed va­por­ware song that might or might not crop up at some point?

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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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Reckless Randy - Reckless Randy

Some­how i must've over­looked this Ocean City, NJ dude so far. His long play­ing de­but and third re­lease al­toghether hits my nerve dead-on though, with a va­ri­ety of sim­ple & stu­pid garage-/elec­tro- and, oc­ca­sion­al­ly, synth punk, of­ten with a dis­tinct 77-ish bent call­ing to mind old pi­o­neers à la Scream­ers, MX-80, Met­al Urbain/​Dr. Mix & The Remix as well as a slight hint of Chrome. In Coun­try Girls, quite fit­ting­ly, we even get a touch of Gun Club-es­que amer­i­cana-/cow­punk while of the more re­cent scene, you might draw com­par­isons to groups like S.B.F., Kid Chrome, Zoids or Ma­teo Man­ic.

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The Neuros - The Neuros 7"

This Mel­bourne group de­liv­ers some of the most straight-the-fuck-ahead, no-frills an­cient-school '77 style (garage-) punk imag­in­able on their de­but EP, kin­da like a way, way more tra­di­tion­al sound­ing in­car­na­tion of Amyl and the Snif­fers. The fact they're able to pull this thing off with­out sound­ing the least bit stale and dusty speaks for their chops as a band as much as the raw strength of their songcraft.

Rude Television - Distractions

Hav­ing al­ready giv­en an ex­cel­lent first im­pres­sion pre­vi­ous­ly on a split tape with the great AJ Cortez, this West Palm Beach dude's fol­low-up EP main­tains the high stan­dard of his garage- and synth punk, ra­di­at­ing the quirky en­er­gy of groups such as Sa­tan­ic To­gas, Erik Ner­vous, Prison Af­fair, Mononeg­a­tives, RMFC… while al­so in­cor­po­rat­ing some '77-ish pow­er pop sen­si­bil­i­ties akin to Tom­my and the Com­mies and to­wards the end, there's al­so an in­creas­ing­ly Alien Nose­job- /​ Aus­muteants-es­que thing goin' on.

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Viceprez - Juger

Wow, this group from Borée, France is jug­gling a shit­load of dif­fer­ent styles with strik­ing con­fi­dence on their de­but al­bum. The thing starts out with a short, straight­for­ward, sim­ple blast of hard­core punk, then has them cy­cling through a wide ar­ray of styles in­clud­ing force­ful post­core, hard rockin' up­per-mid-tem­po garage rock/-punk, groovy an­gu­lar post punk and even some vague­ly Pix­ies-es­que, surf-in­fused old­school 80s in­die-/al­ter­na­tive rock. All of this they pull off with ease - there's not a sin­gle weak link on this record. Im­pres­sive shit all the way through!

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Air Vent Dweller - Air Vent Dweller

A nice lit­tle bat­tery of vague­ly egg-ish garage punk and fuzz pop com­bin­ing more re­cent weird­ness à la Print Head or Freak Genes with a good mea­sure of Des­per­ate Bi­cy­cles, some ear­ly Fly­ing Nun Records vibes - es­pe­cial­ly The Clean and The Stones - a touch of C86 pop (as in Cow­boys Aren't Re­al) or al­so: loads of ran­dom 80s cas­sette cul­ture ar­ti­facts that might or might not have cropped up on some Messthetics/​Homework/​Hyped To Death com­pi­la­tion over the years.

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Die Verlierer - Die Verlierer

Heav­i­ly retro-lean­ing post punk, made in Berlin and sound­ing ex­act­ly like you'd come to ex­pect by that fact. You might rec­og­nize a fa­mil­iar voice grum­bling about here, the dude hav­ing done a sim­i­lar thing with his oth­er band Maske, al­though the over­all vibe here is even a notch more grit­ty, some­times hav­ing a slight­ly Wipers-es­que qual­i­ty and, at oth­er points, a touch of S.Y.P.H. as well as more re­cent phe­nom­e­na like Aus, Hyäne, Die Wärme or Pe­ter Muf­fin und die Heil­sarmee. In oth­er words: This might have come out some­time around '81 just as well. There's a cou­ple of un­der­whelm­ing filler tracks on here - for­giv­able and to­tal­ly made up for by the un­de­ni­able high­lights of this al­bum. Just don’t try an­oth­er at­tempt at funk next time, okay?

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Split System - Split System

Here we have an­oth­er kick­ass, kin­da old­school aus­tralian garage punk ar­ti­fact con­jured up by some folks who un­ques­tion­ably know their craft. On vo­cal du­ties we got none oth­er than the great Jack­son Reid Brig­gs who, free of the temp­ta­tions of gui­tars and ped­als and shit, sounds kin­da re­vi­tal­ized here, un­leash­ing a more nu­anced per­for­mance than what we’ve been used to, while the rest of the line-up does by no means con­sist of un­known faces ei­ther, boast­ing mem­bers of Stiff Richards and Speed Week, among oth­ers. Cap­ti­vat­ing through sim­ple but well-bal­anced songcraft and an un­stop­pable dri­ve, this shit sounds in­stant­ly fa­mil­iar yet comes across play­ful and ver­sa­tile enough to clear­ly dif­fer­en­ti­ate these songs from any of the afore­men­tioned groups.

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Print Head - Change

A new tape by that mys­tery out­fit (pos­si­bly) from Hicksville, NY on which they stay as un­pre­dictable as ever, this time de­liv­er­ing a batch of in­fec­tious be­low-one-minute melod­ic garage smash­ers - high speed fuzzy pow­er pop kin­da like an al­ter­nate-re­al­i­ty garage in­car­na­tion of ear­ly Guid­ed By Voic­es.

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