Isotope Soap - In Need Of Systematic Entropy

With quite a bit of de­lay - as has un­for­tu­nate­ly be­come kind of the new nor­mal for any­thing in­tend­ed to be re­leased on vinyl - we get the newest opus of sweden’s prime synth punk out­fit Iso­tope Soap and oh boy, is this a spaced out new lev­el of quirky and weird even for this group. As you might have no­ticed by now, i’m a suck­er for this kind. Con­sist­ing rough­ly half of in­stru­men­tal in­ter­ludes ra­di­at­ing vibes not un­like a bizarro John Car­pen­ter score, the ac­tu­al Songs on this LP more than ever seem to draw in­spi­ra­tion from old­school pi­o­neers of the genre - yeah, of course there is some De­vo in there but even more i’d sug­gest stuff like Scream­ers, Units and Ner­vous Gen­der, all mixed with more re­cent groups 'a la Set-Top Box, Dig­i­tal Leater and, oc­ca­sion­al­ly, i even sense a touch of grim post punk in the vein of Video or VHS.

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Big Baby - Big Baby's Big Fuckin' Record

Well here’s yet an­oth­er batch of low-orig­i­nal­i­ty, high-en­joy­a­bil­i­ty first-rate kick­ass Garage Punk, the straight­for­ward no-frills kind that will help out those who are al­ready show­ing their first Sick Thoughts with­draw­al symp­toms and the kind that won’t alarm fans of Dadar, Shit­ty Life or, at some points, Boo­ji Boys too much ei­ther. These pret­ty nor­mal Ba­bies on­ly drink beer af­ter all, rather than blood. Ad­mit­ted­ly, that’s mild­ly sur­pris­ing in­deed for a group from Tritts­burgh, Trenn­syl­va­nia.

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Animated Violence - Demo

A fun, smart high-en­er­gy blow of garage-in­fused hard­core punk de­liv­ered by a group that might or mightn’t be from Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, hold­ing a per­fect bal­ance be­tween dumb straight-ahead old­school en­er­gy and the var­i­ous quirks and ec­cen­tric­i­ties of more re­cent hard­core phe­nom­e­na, which sor­ta lo­cates them on the genre map some­where in the ex­cel­lent com­pa­ny of oth­er con­tem­po­rary trou­ble­mak­ers such as Mys­tic Inane, Launch­er, Fried E/​M, Mod­ern Needs or Liq­uid As­sets.

The Crawlies - Demos

Such a neat cloudy pud­dle of in­no­cent and filthy joy, this set of lo-fi de­mo record­ings by some philadel­phia garage group kick­ing up a fuzz of the most old­school and prim­i­tive kind. Kin­da like the ear­ly works of Ed­dy Cur­rent Sup­pres­sion Ring and UV Race au­gu­ment­ed with that more pri­mal en­er­gy akin to ear­li­er acts such as Gories, Obli­vians, Reatards.

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F.E.I.D.L. - Wödmusik

Ooohkay… still re­cov­er­ing from yesterday's "deutsch­punk" am­bush, let's now fo­cus on our for­eign lan­guage /​ world mu­sic de­part­ment again. "Wöd" ap­pears to be aus­tri­an for "World", as well as "pret­ty fuckin' rad", at least that's what the in­ter­net says and the in­ter­net is al­ways right. So yeah, this shit's pret­ty wöd, as you'd ex­pect from the suc­ces­sor to the Vi­en­na garage punk group's kin­da lei­wand 2020 EP.

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Sex Mex - Vol. 1

Their re­cent Skeleton/​Runaway dig­i­tal sin­gle was some qual­i­ty shit al­ready and a huge step up from pre­vi­ous re­leas­es. With their newest EP, the Austin, Texas group keeps the good stuff com­ing, clear high­lights this time be­ing the per­fect pow­er pop one-two punch The Amaz­ing Su­per Ul­tra Spi­der­man & Shit Me Out but the rest is great fun too, com­ing across a bit like an amaz­ing su­per ul­tra holy trin­i­ty of Aus­muteants, S.B.F. and Set-Top Box.

Rifle - Holloway Demos

A high­ly ap­pe­tiz­ing first taste that is, the de­but EP of this Lon­don group play­ing a some­what hard to pin down, ad­e­quate­ly rough-edged yet al­so kin­da catchy style that's like 60% garage punk and 40% post­core, over­all re­mind­ing me of a rather di­verse clus­ter of groups among which are the likes of The Aban­dos, Obits, Gold­en Pel­i­cans, Mass Lines, Dumb Punts and As­cot Stab­ber.

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208 - Nearby

I got­ta say i'm more than de­light­ed with the ver­sa­tile and smart and weird ways in which garage punk has evolved over more re­cent years but, you know, some­times i'm just crav­ing for some­thing more old­school and pri­mal. De­troit duo 208's new cas­sette on Painters Tapes does a fab­u­lous job scratch­ing that par­tic­u­lar itch, con­tain­ing the raw, prim­i­tive, sweaty and drunk­en blues va­ri­ety of garage punk, the kind you need to have a soul but no brain to ap­pre­ci­ate. Yeah, i'm aware that the soul is a pure­ly re­li­gious con­struct that has ze­ro ev­i­dence go­ing for it in re­al life. So let's say in­stead that you need a bro­ken soul­ful brain to ap­pre­ci­ate it, or some­thing like that, okay?. The fi­deli­ty of this is just per­fect, the kind of pro­duc­tion where heavy clip­ping both dig­i­tal and ana­log is a fea­ture, not a bug - a fuzz-saw man­gler of jams which might evoke com­par­isons to most­ly old­er shit like Obli­vians, Gories, Pussy Ga­lore, Feed­time, Reatards and what­not.

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Aspanya - Aspanya

The span­ish garage scene is full of gold late­ly (and speak­ing of el di­a­blo… have you all heard that fab­u­lous Hog­ar LP yet?) - lat­est piece of ev­i­dence is this nice lit­tle EP by a group from… Barcelona, i guess? At least that's one of the few words i'm able to recog­nise in their lyrics. They're play­ing a fun va­ri­ety of garage punk that most­ly al­ter­nates be­tween straight and stu­pid '77-ish sim­plic­i­ty and a more con­tem­po­rary, an­gu­lar groove á la Ura­ni­um Club, Pinch Points.

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Liquid Face - II

For his sec­ond 7" on Good­bye Boozy Records, Cal Don­ald aka Liq­uid Face in­creas­es both the en­er­gy- and dis­tor­tion lev­els con­sid­er­ably, mak­ing his spe­cial sauce of garage-/synth-/post punk come across kin­da like a weird cross­breed be­tween Pow­er­plant, Mononeg­a­tives and the noise punk of Brandy.

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