S:Bahn - Queen of Diamonds

This Mel­bourne group has been around be­fore. That was some­time dur­ing the 90's and back then, their sound could be de­scribed as your typ­i­cal, slight­ly emo-fied post­core style of that pe­ri­od with echoes of Chavez, Slint and Pol­vo. Their first new songs in a quar­ter-cen­tu­ry how­ev­er are quite far from a nos­tal­gic re­tread of their ear­li­er tunes. In­stead, we get pre­sent­ed an all-new and slick post punk sound clear­ly be­long­ing in­to the present day, which doesn't look out of place among acts like say, Sleepies, Go­tobeds or Drahla, at the same time sound­ing rather time­less and ma­ture in all the best ways, at times al­so evok­ing a sub­tle Mov­ing Tar­gets or Vol­cano Suns vibe.

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Ope - Tapes 1-3

Here's a holdover from last week by a sin­gle Mil­wau­kee dude (i guess) that i first planned to omit here but on clos­er lis­ten­ing turned out to be much stronger than i ini­tial­ly thought. A catchy, dreamy, melan­cholic blend of lo-fi noise pop, or­gan-and-synth punk un­folds on these tapes that al­so ra­di­ates a good deal of old­school Fly­ing Nun-type psy­che­delia.

Keith Ival - Keith Ival

A beau­ti­ful so­lo EP of well-craft­ed, ul­tra-clas­sic old­school in­die rock that's just as much a throw­back to late 80's, ear­ly 90's strum­ming - rough­ly in the neigh­bor­hood of Se­badoh, ear­ly Eric's Trip and some echoes of the C86 gen­er­a­tion - as it is rem­i­nis­cent of more con­tem­po­rary stuff like Rat Columns, The Molds, Omi Palone or Ovlov.

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The Deadbeat Club - Vital Earnings

An­oth­er love­ly treat from Austin la­bel Dig­i­tal Hot­dogs. The rather quirky kind, rough around the edges and full of sweet­ness in­side, strange and fa­mil­iar at the same time. Just like you've prob­a­bly come to ex­pect of any­thing re­leased by this out­let. There's bare­ly any in­fo on the ac­tu­al band in ques­tion. I found two bands of this name list­ed on band­camp, but i don't think we're deal­ing with ei­ther of those here. What we get in­stead is a sheer wealth of catchy as fuck tunes wrapped in­to dreamy, yet pow­er­ful sound­scapes some­where in the realm of post punk, noise pop, shoegaze and 90s In­die Rock, some­what rem­i­nis­cent of the ear­ly Lo-Fi ad­ven­tures by Eric's Trip, Guid­ed By Voic­es, Fly­ing Saucer At­tack, maybe even a bit of Se­badoh. Or you may choose to draw com­par­isons to more con­tem­po­rary acts in the vein of The Molds, Tree­house, Par­don­er, Rat Columns or Teardrop Fac­to­ry. What­ev­er your view­point on this, you've got im­pec­ca­ble taste, sir. You are made for this record.

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Glen Schenau - Jhumble​/​​Jearnest 7"

Glen Schenau, oth­er­wise prob­a­bly best known as the Front­man of Bris­bane group Kitchen's Floor, has so far re­leased two EPs of bor­der­line-avant garde art rock, con­vinc­ing by virtue of its sheer weird­ness, marked by dis­so­nant, hy­per­ac­tive gui­tar strum­ming - kin­da like an out-of-tune funky al­ter­nate re­al­i­ty ver­sion of The Wed­ding Present - com­ple­ment­ed by crude pots-and-pans style per­cus­sion. On his newest 7", the lat­ter gives way to an ac­tu­al drum kit as well as a full band sound and as a whole this takes on a slight­ly less ex­per­i­men­tal, way more tan­gi­ble form on the fringes of post punk, noise rock and 90s in­die rock while re­tain­ing the quirky, in­ven­tive qual­i­ties of its pre­de­ces­sors. Melk­bel­ly-meets-Live Skull? Nah, not quite… but not too far off ei­ther.

Unclaimed Diamonds - The First Five Slabs

This Philadel­phia band's de­but tape via State Cham­pi­on Records al­ready makes an ex­cel­lent first im­pres­sion. Dis­tinct­ly 90's in­die rock vibes akin to Breed­ers or more re­cent stuff by Melk­bel­ly col­lide with rather con­tem­po­rary sound­ing post punk el­e­ments, somwhat com­pa­ra­ble to WALL or The Ba­by, ra­di­at­ing a won­der­ful­ly crude, off-kil­ter charme through­out.

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Big Bite - Trinity

Last year's long play­ing de­but by Seat­tle group Big Bite al­ready struck me as an anom­aly of the most wel­come kind. Now their sopho­more ef­fort comes across as no less bril­liant - once again breath­ing new life in­to a par­tic­u­lar 90s niche, os­cil­lat­ing some­where be­tween straight­for­ward, no-fuss but high-thrust in­die- and al­ter­na­tive rock plus a bit of shoegaze. Think Sug­ar, Pol­vo or Swervedriv­er when it comes to bands of the afore­men­tioned era, or of more re­cent acts like ear­ly Ovlov, Par­don­er, Milked or Dead Soft. Psy­che­del­ic mo­ments are giv­en a bit more em­pha­sis here than on their first, while in the album's fi­nal stretch you can sense a sub­tle post punk vibe of the Teenanger or Con­stant Mon­grel va­ri­ety.

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