Dog Date - Zinger

This New York group is kind of a cu­ri­ous, zeit­geist-de­fy­ing beast in this day and age, wear­ing their fond­ness of late eight­ies to ear­ly nineties punk, grunge and in­die rock on their sleeves with the open­ing track even be­ing ti­tled Nir­vana, al­though i'd rather liken them to ear­ly Mud­honey and the noisy, ear­ly in­car­na­tion of The Pix­ies, maybe a hint of U-Men, Scratch Acid and Dri­ve Like Je­hu aswell. So ba­si­cal­ly, they're the kind of group that would've got­ten var­i­ous Pitch­fork writ­ers wet a decade-and-a-half ago, when the height of the first '90s nos­tal­gia wave hit. These days though, they're kind of an ob­scure odd­i­ty and that makes this record all the more en­dear­ing to me.

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This Syd­ney group brings a lot of lo­cal bag­gage to the ta­ble with its mem­bers hav­ing been, among oth­er things, in groups such as Bed Wet­tin' Bad Boys, Roy­al Headache, Tim and the Boys and Mun­do Prim­i­ti­vo. But hon­est­ly, they don't sound one bit like any of these groups. Rather, their ra­bid mix­ture of post- and hard­core re­minds me a quite a bit of At­lanta wreck­ing crews Nag and Preda­tor as well as oth­er US groups like ear­ly In­sti­tute, Acrylics, Tube Al­loys, Pyrex, Cork­er and Crim­i­nal Code or, al­ter­nate­ly, Sydney's very own Ar­se and Xilch. Add to that some ul­tra-raw pro­to-noise rock edge á la Flip­per or No Trend and you're rough­ly in the right ball­park. The un­hinged bark of the singer, how­ev­er, re­minds me a lot of UK group Akne.

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Mo egg on ya face (Paulo Vicious /​ Dårskap /​ Gurk)

In re­cent years, i high­ly doubt there's ever been such a thing as a bad week for egg­punk but this one has been es­pe­cial­ly fruit­ful with three no­table, way above av­er­age re­leas­es. Paulo Vi­cious of Tel Aviv you might al­ready be fa­mil­iar with from last winter's kick­ass de­but EP and on this one, they seem­less­ly con­tin­ue the de­praved fun with strong echos of Prison Af­fair, Set-Top Box, Nubot555 and, at times, an added sheen of 8-bit chip­tunes. Oslo, Nor­way act Dårskap then ap­proach egg-re­lat­ed nois­es with a bit of a dun­geon un­der­tone and some ever-so-slight traces of old­school death rock, beg­ging the ques­tion if there's some over­lap with an­oth­er Oslo group, Mol­bo, who've al­so been fea­tured on here just a week ago. To round things out with what is prob­a­bly the most straight­for­ward and clas­sic (hah!) sound­ing ex­am­ple of the bunch, Stock­holm, Sweden's very own Gurk de­liv­er four new at­tacks of ul­tra-catchy egg-in­duced joy on their newest EP that might just be their strongest ef­fort to date.

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Klint - Somebody Cut Out My Brain

As thrilling and en­er­giz­ing as ever, this new dig­i­tal two-track sin­gle by Schleswig, Ger­many viking synth punk wiz­ard Klint. Lots of catchy trea­sure to be found in there if you can make it alive to the bot­tom of this filthy, rat-in­fest­ed spike pit. And yeah, thats no ex­ag­ger­a­tion here as es­pe­cial­ly the ti­tle track takes his one-of-a-kind odd­ball aes­thet­ics to a whole new lev­el of noisy and abra­sive depths while nev­er fail­ing to de­rive plen­ty of joy­ful de­light out of the process!

Molbo - Rettferdighetens Ridder /​/​ Kerozine - Living In A Nightmare

Two no­table, more or less dun­geon punk-ad­ja­cent re­leas­es have land­ed this week. First off, there's the de­but cas­sette of Oslo group Mol­bo who, on the sur­face, pri­mar­i­ly seem to draw in­flu­ences from that genre com­plex of eight­ies goth, death rock and post punk that's been so en vogue once again for the last decade or so. What sets them apart in that par­tic­u­lar niche though is a cer­tain whim­si­cal egg­punk aes­thet­ic, a sense of joy and fun not of­ten found in an oth­er­wise of­ten overky self-se­ri­ous genre, though ad­mit­ted­ly this can at times have an un­in­ten­tion­al­ly com­i­cal ef­fect as well.

Ip­swich, UK duo Kerozine then ap­proach a vague­ly dun­geon-es­que aes­thet­ic from a more straight­for­ward yet de­light­ful­ly noisy synth-/elec­tro punk an­gle that's every bit as dri­ving and hard-hit­ting as it's catchy, the best rea­son­ably re­cent com­par­isons i can come up with right now be­ing the likes of Spy­roids, O-D-EX, Drýsild­jö­full, Chan­nel 83, C57BL/​6, Ex­pose and Beef.

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Chaos OK - Demo /​/​ Valtatyhjiö - Kuristusleikki

Raleigh, North Car­oli­na hard-/post­core pow­er­house Sor­ry State Records has two new treats in store for us. First there's the de­mo cas­sette by At­lanta group Chaos OK. Their name sug­gest­ing some con­nec­tion to old­school british punk al­ready, i'd in­deed say the EP starts out with a some­what UK82-ish vibe in par­tic­u­lar, which then lat­er morphs in­to a shape vague­ly sim­i­lar to more re­cent, slight­ly garage-in­fused hard­core acts á la ear­ly Elec­tric Chair and Kalei­do­scope, on­ly to end things in the guise of time­less pro­to noise, post­core and -punk some­where in­be­tween the worlds of, say, Crass, Flip­per and Dri­ve Like Je­hu. Ex­cit­ing shit!

An­oth­er old­school-ish, al­though a lot more sim­ple and prim­i­tive force of na­ture is the newest 7" by Finland's Val­taty­hjiö who con­vince by sheer force on this one, hav­ing both some traits of '80s con­ti­nen­tal eu­ro­pean hard­core to them as well as - to come full cir­cle as far as british in­flu­ence is con­cerned - some flour­ish­es of clear­ly NWOBHM-in­spired (speed-)metal.

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Marbled Eye - Read The Air

What i said about Ura­ni­um Club's ef­fect on garage punk a cou­ple weeks back, sim­i­lar things i can at­test to this Oak­land group con­cern­ing their par­tic­u­lar (sub-)genre. Here we have a new LP by an­oth­er band who, de­spite far from be­ing the most pro­lif­ic of acts out there, has clear­ly sent plen­ty of rip­ples through the post- and art punk scene of re­cent years. It's been over five years since their last record and sure­ly things have kept mov­ing since then, as ev­i­denced by a ma­tured sound on dis­play here that once again presents them on the cut­ting edge of their own niche, con­sid­er­ably ad­vanc­ing and de­vel­op­ing their sound and craft while still re­tain­ing all the traits that made them so spe­cial in the first place. What's al­ready been for­shad­owed with their 2022 dig­i­tal sin­gle Dirty Wa­ter comes in­to full bloom here - their songs and arrange­ments, while still be­ing every bit as eleb­o­rate and an­gu­lar con­struc­tions, have gained a lot in terms of el­e­gance and melod­ic sen­si­bil­i­ty, their com­po­si­tions al­ways be­ing ground­ed in care­ful and in­tri­cate song­writ­ing crafts­man­ship. Songs like the bril­liant first sin­gle See It Too kin­da chan­nel the most melod­ic and catchy as­pects of '70s Wire while en­rich­ing those smar­ty­pants aes­thet­ics with tons of hu­man warmth and sin­cere emo­tion.

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Cartoon - Nyuck Nyuck Boing!

Now here's some bril­liant shit i've been to­tal­ly un­pre­pared for, cer­tain­ly hav­ing a mind of its own and be­ing de­light­ful­ly out of touch with the zeit­geist! Sure, the whole thing feels kin­da old. I'm kin­da old too, so i like that. Imag­ine the likes of Sac­cha­rine Trust, Min­ute­men, Swell Maps and The Pop Group par­tak­ing in an oc­cult rit­u­al to con­jure up an an­cient '60s acid rock de­mon, an un­holy cross­breed of psych- and math rock. This is quite ter­ri­bly self-in­dul­gent of course, but that as­pect kin­da comes with both of those gen­res, i guess. At this point i'm pret­ty sure you've al­ready made up your mind about it and know if you're gonna love or hate it. In my hum­ble opin­ion, what the Philadel­phia group hal­lu­ci­nates up here is pret­ty fuck­ing swell and to­tal­ly should be le­gal­ized!

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Nervous Tick and the Zipper Lips - The Monochromatic Mind Of… /​ More Monochromatic

Af­ter a some­what mixed bag of a cas­sette four years ago and a string of col­lab­o­ra­tion EPs with the likes of Eyes And Flies, Sci­ence Man and Ricky Hell, the newest al­bum and ac­com­pa­ny­ing ex­tend­ed play cas­sette of Buf­fa­lo, NY group Ner­vous Tick and the Zip­per Lips sees them re­turn­ing at their most fo­cused to date, their mix of post-, garage- and synth punk with just a slight hint of in­dus­tri­al com­ing across like a de­cent mid­dle ground be­tween, say, Droids Blood, Beef and The Spits - far from rein­vent­ing the wheel here but al­ways en­er­getic, catchy and ef­fec­tive.

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Arse - Kaputt.

It took the Syd­ney group like a half decade to come up with their third EP but here it fi­nal­ly is in all its glo­ry and spec­ta­cle. Their very own fu­sion of noise rock, hard- and post­core has re­tained every bit of their fran­tic en­er­gy while mix­ing shit up just enough to keep things in­ter­est­ing, for ex­am­ple in Shame Bomb, in which they con­jure up a pre­vi­ous­ly un­heard sense of melan­choly. Oth­er times, their speeds and lev­els of dev­as­ta­tion are reach­ing the ex­plo­sive force of their de­but EP in songs such as Lev­el Skip­per and Prick in the Franger, af­ter the slight­ly more for­giv­ing pre­vi­ous Safe Word EP, while tracks like Night Shift Blues once again su­per­charge all the grime and dirt of old­school Am­phet­a­mine Repile-style riff­ing with a re­lent­less hard­core at­tack.

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