Vacation - Existential Risks and Returns

Once again stu­pid me was way too late notic­ing that a new record by Cincin­nati, Ohio's pop wiz­ards Va­ca­tion has hit the shelves via Sali­nas Records, re­peat­ed­ly prov­ing their knack for craft­ing re­fined jew­els of melod­ic noise at the in­ter­sec­tion of old­school nineties-style in­die rock, grace­ful pow­er- and noise pop. This shit is catchy as fuck with­out ever get­ting too for­mu­la­ic or pre­dictable. A rare breed these days and even more rarely does it ever come across as pow­er­ful and flaw­less­ly ex­e­cut­ed as here. An al­bum of twelve hits and ze­ro miss­es as for this group, "pret­ty good" sim­ply doesn't cut it.

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Can Kicker - Demo

This de­mo by a Cardiff group lures the lis­ten­er in with an ul­tra-raw hard­core red her­ring, though it doesn't take long af­ter that to re­al­ize there's a lot more to this burst of con­cen­trat­ed Lo-Fi en­er­gy as you blaze a trail through a thick lay­er of fuzz and dis­tor­tion, which fi­nal­ly gives way to bright flash­es of melody and an over­all sound­scape com­bin­ing core in­gre­di­ents of post punk and noise pop, com­ing across kin­da like a beau­ti­ful­ly de­formed cross­breed be­tween Sieve­head and Piles.

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Coach - Coach

An abra­sive yet quite melod­ic wall-of-sound piles up on this Aarhus group's de­but al­bum, a sound in­be­tween the worlds of noise pop, art- and post punk, equal­ly rem­i­nis­cent of Tek­sti TV 666 and Open Your Heart-era The Men, 80's Son­i­cY­outh-isms and some MX-80 edge. And as if all that weren't com­pelling enough on its own, the ad­di­tion of a rest­less brass sec­tion makes the whole thing out­right ir­re­sistible.

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Cosme - Demo

Now that thing's a treat! Some group from Ciu­dad López Ma­teos, Mex­i­co de­liv­ers a truck­load of pure joy on this tape, con­densed in­to three straight­for­ward-as-fuck bangers made out of fuzzed-out garage- and bub­blegum punk with some synth-sweet­ness on top, trans­mit­ting an undi­lut­ed sug­ar rush straight in­to your blood­stream.

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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.

Shimmer Bed - Aquaria, Escapism & Other Favorites

The re­cent record­ed out­put by Los An­ge­les garage project Shim­mer Bed is, to be quite hon­est, a bit too pro­lif­ic for me to dive deep­er in­to right now - which is why this ex­cel­lent com­pi­la­tion tape put out by the span­ish la­bel Dis­cos Per­o­qué­bi­en is such a wel­come gift that made me aware of this dude in the first place. Over the span of a whop­ping 22 tracks we get to wit­ness a re­mark­ably di­verse spec­trum of sounds rang­ing from bed­room weirdo garage punk that might evoke the melod­ic­i­ty of Vaguess, the noise pop of Jah Hell and the play­ful­ness of Dee Bee Rich, Nuts or Prison Af­fair, to psy­che­del­ic pop rem­i­nis­cent Rat Columns or var­i­ous eight­ies Fly­ing Nun acts and in­be­tween al this, there's even time for some noisy post punk sketch­es.

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Jah Hell - Lockdown Love Songs

An­oth­er fresh new batch of hissy, dis­tort­ed, melod­ic and sim­ply awe­some garage punk, fuzz- & noise pop bangers by this one-man project from Ely, UK.

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Jah Hell - Hell On Earth 2020

Fun and taste­ful no-frills melod­ic Fuzz Punk /​ Noise Pop from the UK, con­sist­ing most­ly of crunchy nois­es, per­cus­sive nois­es and tape hiss. Re­gard­ing two of these Songs, On The House and Pedi­gree Chums… I've heard these be­fore from a band/​project called Crown Mould­ing so i as­sume some kind of con­nec­tion here, ge­nius pop mu­sic Sher­lock that i am.

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Permanent Collection - Nothing Good Is Normal

Didn't ex­pect this to hap­pen… A whop­ping sev­en years af­ter his last EP, Oakland's Ja­son Hen­dardy aka Per­ma­nent Col­lec­tion is re­ac­ti­vat­ing his old mu­si­cal en­deav­or and de­liv­ers a bril­liant new al­bum which - in spite of its rather fa­tal­is­tic sound­ing ti­tle - di­als back the son­ic doom and gloom of his pre­vi­ous ef­forts, the dark post punk tone tak­ing the back seat while the melod­ic noise pop & shoegaze as­pects take cen­ter stage - a con­sis­tant­ly fun high en­er­gy ride from start to fin­ish. If you ever wished acts like A Place To Bury Strangers or Cer­e­mo­ny (VA) woud spend less time less time spac­ing out and cut straight to the chase in­stead, this record ist for you.

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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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