A neat little yet-to-be-pressed 7" by a Sydney group sounding a little as if a more spiky version of Lithics collided with the likes of noisy post punkers Brandy, the recent noisecore of Shove, a very slight hint of Wipers and the ancient recordings of noise rockers World Domination Enterprises.
Following up on their already quite awesome 2019 demo, Austin group Dregs shift their sound a good bit away from a more garage- and fuzz punk leaning sound, further towards a harder to pin-down mix of influences on the fringes of 80s-to-mid-90s hard- and postcore, among others suggesting the likes of X (US), Dicks or Flipper at some points, postcore groups like Gray Matter or Drive Like Jehu at others while more recent bands like Vexx, Cel Ray, Gen Pop or Little Ugly Girls wouldn't sound too far off either.
This group from Portarlington, Australia creates a droning, sprawling and nonetheless absolutely ripping soundscape that combines the traits of such timeless greats as Wipers, 80s Sonic Youth, U-Men or Live Skull, just as much as a fuzzy clump of AUS and NZ groups like The Gordons, Fungus Brains, X and Feedtime.
Tempe, Arizona group Soft Shoulder have been at it for way over a decade now and still seem as lively and productive as ever, having churned out a steady stream of singles and EPs released digitally and as limited lathe cuts the past year. Their newest LP presents them as focused as they haven't been in a long while though, their quirky-as-fuck mixture of post punk and noise rock bursting with energy as catchy grooves somewhat reminiscent of The Fall from the late eighties onward collides with a decidedly no-wave school of noise and dissonance.
It took me a while to notice but the newest LP by Marseille group Catalogue turns out to be their strongest effort to date. Where their sound could still be a little tiring on their previous LP, they show a lot more variety on their newest one keeping things interesting throughout. Their noisy post punk, as usual being driven forward by eighties-style drum machine beats, may owe a little to Big Black in some parts, Live Skull in others or some no-wave dissonance gets loaded up with catchy hooks. In Houseplants we even get to hear some almost synth-/new wave stylings.
More awesome shit courtesy of Painters Tapes by a Detroit group having a strong proto-grunge vibe to them that wouldn't seem out of place next to early Mudhoney, U-Men, Feedtime, X (the australian group) or 80s Scientists. Also you might find some traces of american proto noise rock á la Flipper, Broken Talent just as well as more recent groups roughly in the orbit of TVO or Vexx in there.
A beautifully out-of-fashion 7" by a Leeds group creating a sound located amidst the rough coordinates of math rock, postcore and noise rock, obviously paying trubute primarily to the 90s-to-2000s era of Dischord Records and in particular to groups of the Jawbox, Autoclave, Hoover, Lungfish, Q and not U variety.
Having made somewhat of a splash with their unpredictable 2019 demo and a more conventinally hardcore-leaning EP in 2021, the Richmond, Virginia group is shaking things up once again with their first full-length effort, significantly slowing things down and seemingly taking plenty of cues from left-field 80s acts on the experimental intersection of hardcore punk and (proto-)noise rock in the vein of, among others, Flipper, No Trend, Spike in Vain or Broken Talent, while also not entirely dissimilar to more recent groups like Soupcans, Vulture Shit, C-Krit or Stinkhole.
When it comes to contemporary noise rock, i'm notoriously hard to please but this L.A. group easily does the trick for me, playing a variant of the genre approaching Big Black levels of dissonant shredding while also reminding me a bit of oldschool acts like Distorted Pony, Bastro, Drunks With Guns as well as more recent stuff á la Spray Paint… or, maybe, an ultra-straightforward version of Multicult, driven along by vicious, at times almost Gang of Four-esque grooves.
Back from the literal ashes of a certain practice space apocalypse, noise rockers Trigger Cut return as strong and vital as ever with their newest LP which sees the group increasingly carving out their own little place inside their genre while skillfully paying hommage to numerous classics all the while - think of shit like Bastro, Distorted Pony, anything Albini-related… also some real surprises here, like the opener Water Fukkery, having a melodic oldschool emo-/postcore vibe to it reminiscent of classic acts in the vicinity of Drive Like Jehu, Autoclave, Quicksand or Jawbox. Without question this is their most diverse, inventive and playful record to date.