Kaleidoscope - Decolonization /​/​ Straw Man Army - Age Of Exile

Two noisy new ar­ti­facts brought to us by New York's ex­quis­ite D4MT la­bel. First, there's a new ex­tend­ed play by hard-/post­core pow­er­house Kalei­do­scope on which their sound comes across a tiny bit more more sim­pli­fied and straight­for­ward than on last year's killer de­but LP, yet as in­spired, play­ful and in­ven­tive as ever.
Sim­i­lar things can be said about the de­but al­bum of Straw Man Army, a duo i can't find much in­for­ma­tion on, but at a quick glance they seem to con­sist of none oth­er than Kaleidoscope's drum­mer boy and some oth­er dude. Just as you'd ex­pect, this is an­oth­er quite ad­ven­tur­ous ride through the realms of dark post punk both clas­sic and con­tem­po­rary, some­times bor­der­ing on Crass-style min­i­mal­ism, Wipers-es­que melan­cho­lia while al­so re­mind­ing me of more re­cent ec­cen­tric­i­ties by the likes of Mur­der­er or Wymyns Prysyn.

Al­bum-Streams →

Warm Red - Decades Of Breakfast

As was to be ex­pect­ed, this At­lanta group's first full length ef­fort is thir­ty min­utes of pure post punk bliss, re­mind­ing me, at sev­er­al points, of some of the genre's best con­tem­po­raries - the rigid rhythms of Know­so and Nag come to mind, mixed with the more play­ful flour­ish­es of Pat­ti or Mar­bled Eye. Oth­er valid com­par­isons might be acts like Bruised, Sar­casm or La­bor.

Al­bum-Stream →

Lip - Commodity

Baltimore's Lip first won my at­ten­tion through a split EP with Nag a while ago. While there's def­i­nite­ly some sim­i­lar­i­ty to said At­lanta post punk group, i'd say what they're pulling off on their lat­est EP bears a much clos­er re­sem­blance to groups like Sieve­head, Rank Xe­rox or Crim­i­nal Code. At times, their sound has a more pro­nounced old­school goth/​death rock vibe to it though, bring­ing to mind Dis­joy or, more re­cent­ly, Clock Of Time.

Al­bum-Stream →

Wax Chattels - Clot

Two years af­ter their promis­ing, though at times some­what un­der­cooked de­but LP, we get to hear a way more con­sis­tent sopho­more ef­fort by this Auck­land, New Zee­land trio. Their rather ab­stract yet al­ways catchy com­po­si­tions some­where on the fringes of Post Punk and Noise Rock - plus a hint of In­dus­tri­al - at sev­er­al points re­mind me of Acts like Girls In Syn­the­sis, Haunt­ed Hors­es, Ice Bal­loons or Tu­nic - with a small dose of Light­ning Bolt sprin­kled in for good mea­sure.

Al­bum-Stream →

Diode - Diode

Some Los An­ge­les group con­sist­ing of a tru­ly all-star garage line­up de­liv­ers a pleas­ant­ly quirky mix of garage-, post- and synth punk, some­times com­ing across like a cross­breed of Nots and Pow!, or like Prim­i­tive Cal­cu­la­tors-meet-Use­less Eaters in oth­er mo­ments.

Al­bum-Stream →

Brandy - The Gift Of Repetition

It's quite fit­ting that the first-ever 12" record on US garage über­la­bel To­tal Punk starts with a thump­ing groove rem­i­nis­cent of ISS, whose most re­cent EP might have been the last 7" ever to be re­leased on that la­bel - the tran­si­tion in­to a new To­tal Punk era couldn't feel any smoother re­al­ly, re­as­sur­ing us that de­spite a change in for­mat, the label's spir­it is still the same, is alive and well. Grown up a bit, maybe. New York garage noise group Brandy sound their most com­pact and force­ful on their sopho­more LP af­ter hav­ing cut their teeth al­ready on a rough and bril­liant de­but al­bum and on an­oth­er 7" - guess on what la­bel that one came out… More ever be­fore you can feel some dis­tinct Feed­time in­flu­ence, while in their most ab­stract mo­ments there's some kind of a Spray Paint vibe go­ing on. But even more than that, i'm re­mind­ed of con­tem­po­rary post punk acts Know­so and NAG, both of whom had re­leased records on To­tal Punk in the past - just amaz­ing how things come full cir­cle here.

Al­bum-Stream →

Girls In Synthesis - Now Here's An Echo From Your Future

Af­ter re­leas­ing a true shit­load of EPs over the past few years and their sound show­ing a steady in­crease in ma­tu­ri­ty, it's re­al­ly no sur­prise that their de­but al­bum comes across as the most ac­com­plished batch of songs by this Lon­don group yet, their very own for­mu­la made up of post punk, noise rock and post­core el­e­ments fine-tuned and en­gi­neered in­to a smooth­ly run­ning, high pre­ci­sion ma­chine while still oc­ca­sion­aly ex­pand­ing their mu­si­cal vo­cab­u­lary - like some Wire-meet-Big Black-isms in Set Up To Fail for ex­am­ple or the bleak doom­scapes á la ear­ly Uni­form in Hu­man Frailty.

Al­bum-Stream →

Clock Of Time - Pestilent Planet

An­oth­er Berlin group whose mem­bers al­ready made some waves else­where in the 12XUniverse, name­ly in Bands like Diät, Aus­muteants or Vexx, al­though Diät cer­tain­ly are the clos­est match here in terms of sound - with a some­what more pro­nounced 80s death rock vibe, maybe. Al­so there's some sim­i­lar­i­ty to a slowed down in­car­na­tion of Pret­ty Hurts, Crim­i­nal Code or aus­tri­an col­leagues Red Gaze.

Al­bum-Stream →

Vintage Crop - Serve To Serve Again

Con­sid­er­ing the Mel­bourne group's pre­vi­ous track record, i didn't ex­pect their third full length to be any­thing less than su­perb… and sur­prise: This is yet an­oth­er very strong record oc­cu­py­ing a spot of their own in this par­tic­u­lar niche at the junc­tion of play­ful smar­ty­pants garage-, post- and art punk. Wor­thy new pre­mi­um fod­der for ad­mir­ers of Ura­ni­um Club, Pinch Points, Re­al­i­ty Group… you might al­so find a bit of Sauna Youth or Pat­ti in there.

Al­bum-Stream →

Tom Lyngcoln - Raging Head

An stun­ning sec­ond so­lo ef­fort by some dude who sim­ply knows what he's do­ing, hav­ing so far played in noise rock and post­core groups Pale Heads, The Na­tion Blue as well as the more folk lean­ing Lee Memo­r­i­al and Har­mo­ny, among oth­ers. This record strong­ly veers to­ward the loud­er side of his discog­ra­phy while still adding a few new in­gre­di­ents to the mix, cov­er­ing a quite im­pres­sive spec­trum in­clud­ing malan­choly Wipers-es­que post punk with hints of Red Dons or Ner­vosas, post­core of the rather melod­ic va­ri­ety rem­i­nis­cent, to vary­ing de­grees, of Meat Wave, Bloody Gears, Hot Snakes as well as some breath­less garage en­er­gy á la Jack­son Reid Brig­gs & The Heaters. Tons worth of larg­er than life dra­ma, the songs to pull it of and a per­for­mance pow­er­ful enough to make you be­lieve every sin­gle note.

Al­bum-Stream →