Knowso - Rare Auld Trip /​ Specialtronics Green Vision

Covid year turns out to be quite a pro­duc­tive one for Cleve­land garage-/post punk group Know­so who re­cent­ly un­leashed both a new EP and LP, their sec­ond and third re­leas­es this year alone. Son­i­cal­ly, this is a seam­less con­tin­u­a­tion of their pre­vi­ous awe­some­ness - min­i­mal­ist, ab­stract Post Punk bear­ing some sim­i­lar­i­ty to Nag, Brandy, Con­stant Mon­grel or more re­cent Us­less Eaters. What sets them apart is the sheer ef­fi­cien­cy of their arrange­ments and per­for­mance, kin­da like their riffs and beats are pur­pose­ful­ly de­signed to play nice with con­vey­or belts, be eas­i­ly stack­able on pal­lets, best moved around with a fork­lift.

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Public Eye - Music For Leisure

Portland's Pub­lic Eye al­ready were one of the more in­ter­est­ing and ad­ven­tur­ous post punk groups of our time to be­gin with and i al­ways felt we hadn't quite heard their best yet. Turns out i was right about some­thing for a change… On Mu­sic For Leisure their sound has evolved pret­ty much in­to its own thing. Imag­ine the works of some 2010's post punk stand­outs like Diät, Mar­bled Eye, The Es­tranged, In­sti­tute, Rank Xe­rox, Cre­ative Adult and Bruised rolled in­to one. Then add a fair amount of garage punk of the ear­ly Teenanger, Sauna Youth, Flat Worms va­ri­ety, sprin­kle in a hint of Wire and some jan­g­ly folk in­flu­ences á la Vol­cano Suns. Pub­lic Eye bun­dle all of that, then slow it down to a com­fort­able strolling pace while tack­ling the whole thing with a de­cid­ed­ly song-based ap­proach. The re­sult is one of the most ma­ture, con­sis­tant, well-con­struct­ed post punk records i've heard in a good while.

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Vaguess - Directions For Use

Re­spect­ed Los An­ge­les garage pow­er­house Vin­ny Vaguess keeps things in­ter­est­ing. While his pre­vi­ous two long­play­ers turned out a bit mel­low­er, lean­ing quite heav­i­ly in­to pow­er­pop melod­ic­i­ty, his newest EP mix­es things up again in some­what un­ex­pect­ed ways by in­tro­duc­ing quirky post punk el­e­ments, of­ten mak­ing gen­er­ous use of vague­ly de­vo-es­que synths. Speak­ing of the dev­il… with Less­er Of Two we even get a full-blown synth pop hymn, not dis­sim­i­lar to some stuff Alien Nose­job did re­cent­ly. Oth­er points of ref­er­ence might be Nick Nor­mal, Andy Hu­man and the Rep­toids, Teenanger, oc­ca­sion­al flash­es of Aus­muteants. Every­thing works ad­mirably here, in no small part thanks to the kind of ex­cel­lent songcraft we've come to ex­pect from this dude.

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Pork Belly - Jinx & Chew

Promis­ing and fun shit, this first dig­i­tal sin­gle by some San Fran­cis­co group. Post-/art punk of the par­tic­u­lar­ly quirky, play­ful kind that ad­mir­ers of bands like Pat­ti, Rolex, Re­al­i­ty Group or Emer­gency Con­tact will sure­ly ap­pre­ci­ate.

Nag - Dead Deer

Atlanta's Nag have been a con­stant pres­ence in the con­tem­po­rary post punk scene for quite a while now, so i'm kin­da sur­prised it took them this long to come up with their first long play­er. The sur­pris­es don't end here. Hav­ing been kind of the genre's bad boys - al­ways a bit more rough and un­kempt than most of their peers - we fi­nal­ly get to hear them in a com­par­a­tive­ly hi-fi sound, strip­ping away some lay­ers of fuzz and noise, in­stead re­veal­ing a sharp­ened rhyth­mi­cal fo­cus and a much di­ver­si­fied set of styl­is­tic choic­es, draw­ing com­par­isons to var­i­ous house­hold names à la Neg­a­tive Space, Rank/​Xerox, Pret­ty Hurts, Diät, Know­so, Bruised or Ex­it Group.

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Future - Demo

Now that's™ some po­tent shit com­ing out of poland, pre­sum­ably. Equal parts hard­core- and garage punk, ef­fi­cient­ly pro­pelled for­ward by an ul­tra-sim­plis­tic drum­ming style giv­ing the whole thing an al­most cow­punk vibe, but al­so leav­ing plen­ty of room for the noise-laden son­ic tex­tures by the string tor­tur­ing di­vi­sion to spread out - kin­da like you might have heard in the past from Bands like Leche, Mur­der­er, Yam­bag, Lux… maybe even a bit of Wymyns Prysyn hid­den in there.

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Permanent Collection - Nothing Good Is Normal

Didn't ex­pect this to hap­pen… A whop­ping sev­en years af­ter his last EP, Oakland's Ja­son Hen­dardy aka Per­ma­nent Col­lec­tion is re­ac­ti­vat­ing his old mu­si­cal en­deav­or and de­liv­ers a bril­liant new al­bum which - in spite of its rather fa­tal­is­tic sound­ing ti­tle - di­als back the son­ic doom and gloom of his pre­vi­ous ef­forts, the dark post punk tone tak­ing the back seat while the melod­ic noise pop & shoegaze as­pects take cen­ter stage - a con­sis­tant­ly fun high en­er­gy ride from start to fin­ish. If you ever wished acts like A Place To Bury Strangers or Cer­e­mo­ny (VA) woud spend less time less time spac­ing out and cut straight to the chase in­stead, this record ist for you.

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The Deadbeat Club - Vital Earnings

An­oth­er love­ly treat from Austin la­bel Dig­i­tal Hot­dogs. The rather quirky kind, rough around the edges and full of sweet­ness in­side, strange and fa­mil­iar at the same time. Just like you've prob­a­bly come to ex­pect of any­thing re­leased by this out­let. There's bare­ly any in­fo on the ac­tu­al band in ques­tion. I found two bands of this name list­ed on band­camp, but i don't think we're deal­ing with ei­ther of those here. What we get in­stead is a sheer wealth of catchy as fuck tunes wrapped in­to dreamy, yet pow­er­ful sound­scapes some­where in the realm of post punk, noise pop, shoegaze and 90s In­die Rock, some­what rem­i­nis­cent of the ear­ly Lo-Fi ad­ven­tures by Eric's Trip, Guid­ed By Voic­es, Fly­ing Saucer At­tack, maybe even a bit of Se­badoh. Or you may choose to draw com­par­isons to more con­tem­po­rary acts in the vein of The Molds, Tree­house, Par­don­er, Rat Columns or Teardrop Fac­to­ry. What­ev­er your view­point on this, you've got im­pec­ca­ble taste, sir. You are made for this record.

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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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