LLRR - < = >

This EP by Ky­oto group LLRR is a re­al treat! Post punk that's si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly catchy and abra­sive, of­ten dance­able, some­times lean­ing to­wards math rock struc­tures and old­school no-wave-funky in oth­er places. A rock-sol­id rhythm sec­tion cre­ates the ide­al space for gui­tarist Yuzu­ru Sano's un­ruly yet of­ten quite melod­ic erup­tions of noise to un­fold as well as the hyp­not­ic chants by vo­cal­ist Mi­na­mi Yoko­ta, the lat­ter be­ing in­ter­wo­ven in­to the rhyth­mic foun­da­tion to a de­gree sel­dem heard from con­tem­po­rary groups.

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Trigger Cut - Rogo

On their sec­ond LP, noise rock/​postcore trio Trig­ger Cut con­sid­er­ably raise the en­er­gy lev­el with­out sac­ri­fic­ing much of the pre­ci­sion work, so­phis­ti­cat­ed struc­tures and arrange­ments we've al­ready wit­nessed on their de­but al­bum. Es­pe­cial­ly in the first half there are some se­ri­ous Jaw­box and Bas­tro vibes go­ing on. In the past i'd have told you that Ralf Schaarschmidt's cur­rent and past bands are among the very best the ger­man noise rock scene has to of­fer but hon­est­ly, at this point, even world­wide there aren't that many groups op­er­at­ing at their lev­el.

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Shifting - It Was Good

Hav­ing on­ly re­leased one 7" be­fore, the ma­tu­ri­ty of this Dublin group's de­but al­bum is quite stun­ning - noth­ing less than a ful­ly re­al­ized, ver­sa­tile and in­ven­tive take on Noise Rock, Post­core and Math Rock clear­ly tak­ing some cues from clas­sic 90's and ear­ly 00's acts like Un­wound, Bas­tro, Chavez, Fro­dus, some ear­ly Shel­lac, while still stand­ing on its own two feet. In the cur­rent genre land­scape, Mul­ti­c­ult might al­so be a some­what use­ful com­par­i­son.

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Luggage - Shift

With their third Al­bum, Chicago's Lug­gage de­liv­er a seam­less con­tin­u­a­tion of the qual­i­ties es­tab­lished on their 2017 ef­fort Three, even dou­ble down on those. Fit­ting­ly and un­mis­tak­ably record­ed at Elec­tri­cal Au­dio, a brit­tle, of­ten crawl­ing sound in the rough area of Noise- and Math Rock, Post- and Slow­core al­lows it­self am­ple time to un­fold and sounds a lot like their home­town in the late 80s to 90s. Or, at dif­fer­ent points, like a more straight­for­ward Shel­lac, slow mo­tion Tar, much loud­er Slint or an even more bleak vari­ant of Codeine.

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