Brain Bagz & Blood Bags - Split LP

Thor­oug­ly en­joy­able shit, this split LP on Big Neck Records.
Blood Bags from Auck­land, New Zee­land sure know how to trig­ger a de­li­cious­ly blown out garage-/fuzz-/s­ton­er punk ri­ot evok­ing com­par­isons to The Cow­boy and ear­ly The Men, com­plet­ing the fun with some raw stooges pow­er, strong Fun­house-es­que propul­sion.
Salt Lake City's Brain Bagz then pro­duce a Sound that feels close­ly re­lat­ed in spir­it and in its pri­mal en­er­gy, but casts a much wider net in its choice of in­flu­ences - start­ing off with a kin­da Cramps-meet-Scratch Acid vibe and sub­se­quent­ly tak­ing many cues from the 80s pro­to noise rock com­plex in­clud­ing the likes of No Trend, Flip­per, Live Skull.

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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.

DeStructos - Blast!

A flaw­less de­but EP by a Philadel­phia Duo, de­liv­er­ing four pre­ci­sion blows of a quite smart and ver­sa­tile mix­ture lo­cat­ed some­where in the con­tem­po­rary post­core-/noise rock-/post punk neigh­bor­hood and rem­i­nis­cent of such di­verse acts as Dash­er, Cutie, Donors, Lit­tle Ug­ly Girls, Hit Bar­gain, Street Eaters, Xe­tas.

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Still /​ Form - Still /​ Form

Isn't that the Mar­riage + Can­cer guy groan­ing his vo­cals? Yep, same guy. The mu­sic on this Port­land trio's first EP ain't all that dif­fer­ent ei­ther. Noise Rock of an ul­tra-clas­sic 90s va­ri­ety with a hint of math, pret­ty much in the mid­dle be­tween the more smar­tass Touch & Go and the more sludge- and met­al-affine Am­phet­a­mine Rep­tile uni­vers­es.

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Flat Worms - Antarctica

Al­ready a hand­ful of re­leas­es in­to their discog­ra­phy, we kin­da know what to ex­pect from a new Flat Worms record by now. How­ev­er, that doesn't mean they're stand­ing still ex­act­ly. Rather, with every new re­lease they man­aged to fo­cus on and ex­pand up­on a cer­tain facet of their garage-, psy­che­del­ic- and fuzz punk sound, keep­ing things fresh and in­ter­est­ing at all times. This time, record­ing with Steve Al­bi­ni at Elec­tri­cal Au­dio, the re­sult does not on­ly show Albini's trade­mark son­ic char­ac­ter­is­tics, but al­so their over­all sound seems to em­brace some of his lega­cy as a pro­duc­er au­dio en­gi­neer, veer­ing in­to a dis­tinct­ly noise rock/​postcore di­rec­tion that, once again, was al­ways sub­tly present on their pre­vi­ous records but nev­er as much on dis­play as here and might be com­pared to con­tem­po­rary bands like Meat Wave, Metz or USA Nails. Oth­er small but pleas­ant sur­pris­es come in the form of the ti­tle track - a garage jam you could al­most de­scribe as re­laxed - as well as the 90s in­die rock vibes in Mar­ket Forces.

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Donors - Donors

Now this one's a cu­ri­ous beast. Nashville group Donors al­ready won my at­ten­tion two years ago with their first EP and a some­what more con­ven­tion­al mix of garage- and post punk, but this is a dif­fer­ent lev­el of weird­ness al­to­geth­er, as they in­fuse their sound with in­creas­ing amounts of dis­so­nant no wave hav­oc and pro­to noise rock á la Flip­per, No Trend. What in the world could i com­pare this stuff to? Tyvek or Con­stant Mon­grel reimag­ined as a no wave act? Spray Paint as a garage band? I'm not en­tire­ly sure what they ac­tu­al­ly set out to do but there's no doubt they're suc­ceed­ing with fly­ing col­ors. Just when you thought you made sense of the whole thing, the clos­ing track Fine Print man­ages to sur­prise once again by adding some Haunt­ed Hors­es-style in­dus­tri­al fla­vor to the mix.

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Signal - Love w/​o Moisture

On their sec­ond EP, New York punks Sig­nal brew up a strong po­tion con­sist­ing of raw noise-/fuzz punk and post punk/-core. To me it sounds a bit like an amal­ga­ma­tion of ear­li­er Lié and Lit­tly Ug­ly girls, but al­so con­tains quite some of the rough, garagey vibes sim­i­lar to Warp or Vexxx.

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Vangas - Dog Walker /​ Waltz In E Minor

At­lanta noise rock­ers Van­gas stay beau­ti­ful­ly un­con­ven­tion­al on their new 7" via Chun­klet. On the A-side, a slow-burn­ing groove creeps along to­ward an in­evitable erup­tion at its mid­point, where shit fi­nal­ly gets weird. The even more un­pleas­ant B-side then re­minds me quite a bit of their Port­land noise rock con­tem­po­raries Mar­riage + Can­cer or cana­di­ans Near­ly Dead.

Maximum Roach - Dry Rot

This group, prob­a­bly from Phoenix, Ari­zona, sets up some chem­i­cal­ly un­sta­ble noise punk shit weld­ed to a garagecore rock­et dri­ve ready to blow up in your face. At times you might feel pleas­ant­ly re­mind­ed of acts like Beast Fiend, Anx­i­ety, Bo Gritz or Mys­tic Inane.

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B.E.E.F. 39X - Man-Simulator 5

At first lis­ten, i can't help but think of the tex­an (neo) no wave/​chaotic noise rock con­nec­tion around bands like Flesh Narc, Gay Cum Dad­dies and a few oth­er projects shar­ing much of the same per­son­nel. How­ev­er, this band is from Philadel­phia, mak­ing any as­so­ci­a­tion with those rather un­like­ly. Al­so, on clos­er in­spec­tion, their sound and songs come across a lot more struc­tured, com­pared with the kin­da se­mi-im­pro­vised feel of the Den­ton scene's out­put. Sound­wise, this is some­what less in the no wave camp, lean­ing more in­to the noise rock side of things and now that i'm think­ing of it… I al­so see quite some sim­i­lar­i­ties to their ge­o­graph­i­cal­ly much clos­er New York con­tem­po­raries Spray Paint and Big Neck Po­lice, as well as a hint of cana­di­an noise punks Sop­cans.

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