Monda - VIII

The fol­low-up to this To­towa, New Jer­sey group's re­cent opus Stiff Jum­bo, which con­sist­ed of no less than four­ty be­low-one-minute punk smash­ers, comes across as a some­what more con­ven­tion­al of­fer­ing of catchy tunes lo­cat­ed in­be­tween the son­ic pa­ra­me­ters of garage punk, noise pop and old­school '80s/'90s in­die rock. What hasn't changed at all though is the sheer strength and con­sis­ten­cy of these songs, whose song­writ­ing ex­cel­lence nev­er fal­ters even once. This shit is eas­i­ly on a lev­el with high­ly re­gard­ed con­tem­po­raries of the Vaguess, Boo­ji Boys, Datenight, Bad Sports, Va­ca­tion, Teen Line, The Wind-Ups and Bed Wet­tin' Bad Boys cal­iber.

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.cum - .cum

A mag­nif­i­cent de­but sin­gle by a neb­u­lous group from nowhere serves up two un­de­ni­ably tasty synth punk an­thems rem­i­nis­cent as much of the 2000s in­die rock era (as in: Re­mem­ber when Pitch­fork was a thing?) as of more re­cent phe­nom­e­na in the Cher­ry Cheeks, Ope or Smirk vein, with a frost­ing of Dig­i­tal Leather-es­que fla­vors on top. What's not to like about that?

Mr. Pescado - Dusty Perils

The sec­ond tape by this New York group, brought to us by lo­cal NY spe­cial­ist la­bel Fuzzy War­bles Cas­settes, is an in­sane­ly sat­is­fy­ing mix­ture os­cil­lat­ing be­tween the pa­ra­me­ters of re­laxed garage punk and equal­ly slacked-off in­die rock, a bit like a more in­die rock-lean­ing Vaguess mixed with some ear­ly Woolen Men, Bed Wet­tin' Bad Boys, re­cent Datenight or maybe a less cramped ver­sion of that lat­est Mon­da LP.

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Autobahns - First LP!

The Leipzig post-/garage punk scene nev­er ceas­es to amaze, as Au­to­bahns al­ready did on oc­ca­sion of their split EP with the al­so bril­liant S.G.A.T.V.. Now here's their full-length de­but co-re­leased by three usu­al-sus­pect la­bels from around the globe and this one's a treat, folks! Right from the start there's some strong Bil­liam-es­que en­er­gy to these songs, mod­er­ate­ly egg-ish garage punk smash­ers that al­so call to mind stuff like Tom­my Cos­sack, Set-Top Box and fur­ther ec­cen­tric­i­ties of the Snoop­er, Beer or Prison Af­fair kind or maybe Germany's very own Egg Id­iot. Tellin' Ya trans­ports some of the best traits of re­cent Vaguess records in­to a more dis­tinct egg­punk con­text. All the while, Au­to­bahns op­er­ate as a su­per-tight unit here, ex­pert­ly kick­ing up a hell of a storm while nev­er los­ing their iron­clad grip on their melod­ic sen­si­bil­i­ties… this is some catchy shit all the way through, reach­ing its peak in the undi­lut­ed noise pop ec­sta­sy of Loss Of The Rights.

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Electric Prawns 2 - I Wanna Be UR Simp /​ TV Screen & Prawn Party

One of the best kept se­crets of the con­tem­po­rary aus­tralian garage punk un­der­ground demon­strates its god­like po­ten­cy once more in the form of two new dig­i­tal sin­gles amount­ing to three tracks in to­tal, each one of those hav­ing its very own dis­tinct vibe. I Wan­na Be UR Simp sports a strong psy­che­del­ic flour­ish not en­tire­ly dis­sim­i­lar to the likes of Mononeg­a­tives, Zoids, Cor­pus Earth­ling and lat­er Use­less Eaters, com­bined with the catchy garage pop of, say, Set-Top Box, Gee Tee and the likes. Prawn Par­ty then plun­ders its way through an en­tire­ly dif­fer­ent place and era, most in line with the cur­rent wave of pre-'77 New York re­vival­ism as ex­em­pli­fied by Peace de Ré­sis­tance, Jean Mignon and the most re­cent In­sti­tute LP but you might just as well find traces of The Drin's kraut rock vibes and the catchy garage rock­ers of cer­tain Alien Nose­job in­car­na­tions in there. TV Screen once again shapeshifts in­to the guise of both ear­ly New Zee­land Fly­ing Nun-style jan­g­ly pow­er pop á la The Clean and The Stones on one hand, and british DIY (post-)punk pi­o­neers like The Mekons and Tele­vi­sion Per­son­al­i­ties on the oth­er.

Crayon Cats - Demo

The de­mo of this group from Jakar­ta, In­done­sia de­lights with two kick­ass blasts of melod­ic DIY noise pop, pret­ty much in line with groups á la UV-TV, Fea­ture, Joan­na Grue­some, Slow­coach­es and Star Par­ty, who in turn might have drawn in­spi­ra­tion from the likes of Fast­backs, the ear­ly works of eight­ies fuzz pop greats The Prim­i­tives, as well as a bunch of C86-ish ar­ti­facts and the whole Slum­ber­land and Sarah Records-spawned uni­verse of old­school noise- and in­die pop.

Monda - Stiff Jumbo

The newest of a, to be per­fect­ly hon­est, fuck­ing in­pen­e­tra­ble amount of re­leas­es which have ac­cu­mu­lat­ed on this To­towa, New Jer­sey group's band­camp page over the past few years, de­liv­ers a pure spec­ta­cle of short and catchy lit­tle tunes with a max­i­mum length of ex­act­ly one minute, fir­ing off four­ty tracks in­be­tween the co­or­di­nates of garage punk, pow­er pop, old­school in­die rock and fuzz punk in well un­der half an hour. The whole thing makes me think of a cou­ple of 1980s DIY punk and in­die rock land­marks like the ear­ly works of Guid­ed By Voic­es, Fast­backs and M.O.T.O. just as much as a cou­ple more re­cent bands like Boo­ji Boys, Print Head, Vaguess and Datenight.

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Gee Tee - Prehistoric Chrome

The Syd­ney garage-/eg­g­punk powerhouse's newest record is ac­tu­al­ly more of a col­lec­tion of scraps, demos, odds and ends left on the cut­ting room floor over the years but… damn! If this shit here rep­re­sents Gee Tee's b-ma­te­r­i­al, i'm glad­ly gonna eat up what­ev­er c-list shit they've got lin­ger­ing in the archives too. This is a bril­liant record from start to fin­ish and manda­to­ry lis­ten­ing for any dis­cern­ing con­nois­seur of catchy good­ness in the realms of garage punk, fuzz- and pow­er pop, all killer no filler!

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Vacation - Rare Earth

Cincin­nati group Va­ca­tion re­main a rare zeit­geist-de­fy­ing gem, once again de­liv­er­ing a bril­liant new batch of bangers equal­ly catchy and propul­sive, to be lo­cat­ed in the rough ball­park of Pow­er Pop, Garage Punk, Noise Pop and old­school melod­ic In­die Rock, brim­ming with a per­va­sive sense of joy and eu­pho­ria in the face of rough times ahead while nev­er miss­ing the mark thanks to their re­mark­able skill in craft­ing sim­ple but ef­fec­tive, per­fect­ly bal­anced and to-the-point lit­tle tunes they then like to blow up to larg­er-than-life cin­e­mas­cope pro­por­tions.

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Jimsobbins /​ Cindy7 - Split

Yet an­oth­er thor­ough­ly com­pelling load of new egg-ish garage- and synth punk good­ness comes to us by way of this crunchy split cas­sette fea­tur­ing two Prov­i­dence, Rhode Is­land groups. Jim­sob­bins are a duo com­prised of Adam and Lucy. Is that the same Adam who's al­so in Bal­loon Thief? Plau­si­ble but un­con­firmed. With the ad­di­tion of vo­cal­ist El­la, they then trans­form in­to the trio Cindy7. Jim­sob­bins are the more typ­i­cal­ly egg­punk-sound­ing of the two groups, call­ing to mind stuff like Daugh­ter Bat and the Lip Stings, Gee Gee, Bil­liam and Toe Ring… plus a slight sham­bol­ic touch of Neo Neos in Leop­ard. The lat­ter ten­den­cy then per­sists through­out Cindy7's side, ex­hibit­ing even more of that scrap­py DIY charm, with their open­ing track Gonna Break! even evok­ing a bit of an old­school no wave vibe while the fi­nal two tracks charge things up with an in­creas­ing amount of chaot­ic hard­core en­er­gy.

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