A neat split release via Berlin's order05records. The opening track by Atlanta post punk institution Nag surprises with some synth-equipped psychedelic vibes á la Mononegatives or some later stuff by Useless Eaters, while detonating another charge of their rough and abrasive sound we've come to know and love in the other song. On the flipside then, Italy's Astio complement the sonic assault with a slightly more conventional but no less classy, mature make of moderately melodic oldschool post punk energy, the kind we've heard before from the likes of Criminal Code, Sievehead or, more recently, Pyrex, Body Maintenance or Schedule 1.
This Adelaide group has been around for well over a decade by now, yet it almost appears as if they've finally found their own groove just now on LP number four - or at the very least i can say, having taken a perfunctory glance over their previous records, that their newest one is playing in a different league altogether as everything here from the songwriting to the arrangements and production smoothly assembles into a way more realized vision while keeping things interesting with plenty of stylistic variety. I'm reminded of a whole bunch of other Australian groups in the garage-/post punk spectrum, among which are garage-/pub rock-leaning acts á la Mini Skirt, Hideous Sun Demon and Pist Idiots, post punk/-core acts like Batpiss, Bench Press or Rip Room aswell as some traces of classics from the likes of ('80s) Scientists and The New Crists.
Following their most ambitious record so far in last year's Material LP, which expanded the sonic pallette out into the weirder fringes of somewhat Desperate Bicycles-leaning art punk and also featured some of the most infectious power pop songwriting of that year, the newest 7" by Nick Vicario aka Smirk, who's also known as a member of Public Eye, Crisis Man und Cemento among others, keeps things comparatively simple and straightforward this time while his heavily sample-backed songs and arrangements still unerringly hit their mark every single time.
Last year's steamroller of a (mini-)LP named Estray is a tough act to follow up for sure but the (probably) Leipzig/Berlin-based group manages to do so admiarably well on their newest album, retaining all of their previous qualities while expanding their garage punk sound with quite a bit of an abrasive noise rock edge which reminds me a lot of NY noise-/garage punk act Brandy and earlier Science Man. A good deal of melodic pop smashers á la Wouldn't You, Fomo or Get Clean is still present here so fans of that catchy, somewhat Booji Boys-esque power pop won't feel duped either.
A delightful batch of laid-back, off-kilter psychedelic- and garage punk goodness by a Toronto group. These tunes do have some slight US proto punk vibe to them in addition to pretty unmistakable space-/acid rock leanings, kinda like a mix between recent LPs by Jean Mignon, Peace de Résistance or older stuff like Faux Ferocious, even some early White Fence - with plenty of eggpunk weirdness on top. What's not to like?
A smart and intricately constructed mixture of Post Punk, Noise Rock and Postcore is being set off by this New York group on this plainly phenomenal demo. There's no way around addressing the elephant in the room though: This reminds me a lot of Straw Man Army - especially of their first LP - but you could do a lot worse than being compared to a band of such stature, right? Friends of Bloody Gears, Faraquet, Meat Wave and such will also get a kick out of this.
As i understand, Brick Head is the solo project of Sarah Hardiman who's also playing in Deaf Wish, Moon Rituals and a bunch of other groups you might've heard of. Following a still somewhat shaky debut album, the overall vision comes into much sharper focus here as all the parts just click into place on this one, interweaving familiar styles and flourishes into an ultimately quite unique experience. Carriying the hallmarks of a number of australian groups, the first things to come to mind are various incarnations of Alien Nosejob, the straightforward garage punk of Eddy Current Suppression Ring, the minimalism of The UV Race while over the course of the record, a kinda hazy, melancholic melodicism á la Kitchen's Floor increasingly takes center stage.
Excellent shit as usual via Total Punk. This New York group's debut LP certainly won't open a new chapter for pitch black post punk, yet it manages to captivate nonetheless, by means of sheer force and intensity rather than finesse, charging up a sound familiar to fans of, say, Criminal Code, Sievehead or Rank/Xerox with a raw energy akin to Atlanta groups Nag and Predator, some of the psychedelic undercurrents of stuff á la Public Interest, Waste Man or Public Eye.
Sadly overshadowed by the death of their their guitar player Darrell, the Sydney group's first LP via Erste Theke signifies a major leap in quality after their already quite enjoyable previous E.T.A. EP, showcasing the band as a much tighter unit delivering their simple but effective, always catchy and danceable blend of timeless post punk with impressive precision and confidence. As before, there's plenty of Pylon groove and energy contained in here while at different points you might also find similarities to contemporary acts such as Lithics, Pinch Points, Rank/Xerox, Slumb Party or Nots, with occasional flashes of Pixies-esque surf-ish guitar leads.
A whole barrage of digital singles in recent weeks already appeared to foreshadow a new record by the London, Ontario group and indeed here it is, their second LP in all its glory, carrying an excellent new batch of their quite distinct, catchy as hell, always slightly off-kilter and quirky genre mixture containing elements of garage-, post- and synth punk, space- and psychedelic rock. You might compare some bits and pieces here to such groups as Pow!, Useless Eaters and of course the recent collaboration Telegenic Pleasures which also features some of the band members at work here - at this point though, i'd say they're pretty much carved out their own, instantly recognizable little niche.