Credit Bureau - Credit Bureau

Re­al­ly quite a lot of eggy goodness/​insanity goin' on this week. In an ef­fort not to re­peat my­self i'll keep it short: Here's the lat­est Cas­sette from the al­ways ex­cel­lent Deluxe Bias im­print, a record­ing that fit­ting­ly sounds a bit over-bi­ased. Ask your par­ents what that means.

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Choke Boy - Chalk

This group from Dort­mund, Ger­many plays a dis­tinct­ly old-fash­ioned style of rather straight­for­ward, melody-dri­ven post punk, the kind that was in fash­ion for a short pe­ri­od in the late 2000s/​early 2010s, prob­a­bly em­bod­ied in its purest form by The Es­tranged, slight­ly less so by Crim­i­nal Code and as­pects of which have been picked up more re­cent­ly by groups such as Anx­ious Liv­ing, VR Sex and Ufos­ek­te. Sure, this EP is still pret­ty ba­sic and, as far as this par­tic­u­lar sub­genre goes, not the epit­o­me of orig­i­nal­i­ty, but then again all the ba­sic el­e­ments fall in­to place just right to form a rock-sol­id foun­da­tion that will hope­ful­ly en­able the band to ex­pand, ex­plore and elab­o­rate fur­ther.

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Meal - Jimmy

NJ/​NY La­bel State Cham­pi­on Records has yet an­oth­er quite awe­some tape for us and this time it's by a group from Helsin­ki, Fin­land who de­liv­er a ful­ly re­al­ized sound tak­ing cues from so much of what's good in re­cent years, i don't re­al­ly know where to start… The EP starts out with propul­sive post punk that feels like a fu­sion of dark­er sound­ing groups in the Rank/​Xerox or Pi­geon vein with art­sy post- and garage punk groups like Pat­ti, Lithics, Re­al­i­ty Group, Vin­tage Crop or Yam­mer­er. The mid­dle two songs then in­tro­duce a more re­laxed, slight­ly in­die rock lean­ing vibe á la Go­tobeds, Sleepies, Tape/​Off or B-Boys, with the clos­ing track Plas­tic Ma­rine feel­ing like the per­fect sym­bio­sis of both ten­den­cies.

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Optic Nerve - In A Fast Car Waving Goodbye

The Syd­ney group's lat­est EP seam­less­ly builds up­on the awe­some­ness of their 2019 de­but, set­ting off a per­fect storm of post punk/-core that ap­pears to draw just as much in­spi­ra­tion from the more odd cor­ners of the 80's scene like Sac­cha­rine Trust, Re­al­ly Red or Man Sized Ac­tion as it does from the folk- and cow­punk of Angst, with some un­de­ni­able Hot Snakes mo­men­tum on top.

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Big Bopper - Introducing Big Bopper

Phew… this thing must've been mixed/​mastered by a deaf per­son. I'm pret­ty much used to all kinds of son­ic ex­tremes by now but this must be the first time ever that i can't bear lis­ten­ing to a thing with­out at least ap­ply­ing some heavy EQ. Maybe the ac­tu­al cas­sette re­lease is less painful to lis­ten to though…

Oth­er­wise this thing kicks butt with un­err­ing pre­ci­sion. Don't know how i man­aged to over­look this so far but some­how stu­pid me need­ed an­oth­er re­minder in the form of a (dig­i­tal on­ly?) reis­sue on Good­bye Boozy to fi­nal­ly no­tice its qual­i­ties. These tex­ans play some pret­ty wild and un­pre­dictable amal­ga­ma­tion of post- and garage punk, noise rock and post­core which you might, at dif­fer­ent points, com­pare to groups like Pat­ti, Cutie, Rolex, Mys­tic Inane or Brandy.

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TVO - Fall In A Pit

An­oth­er kick­ass EP by this Philadel­phia group. This time they crank up the garage fac­tor con­sid­er­ably while main­tain­ing their taste for old­school pro­to-noise rock and -sludge. Think of a cu­ri­ous mix be­tween NY's Cutie and aussie garage groups like Mi­ni Skirt, Pist Id­iots on a col­li­sion course with old-timey noise­mak­ers of the U-Men, Sci­en­tists, X (Syd­ney, not L.A.) va­ri­ety plus a slight touch of Mud­honey.

Puritans - Puritans

Rough­ly four years af­ter their last sign of life we quite un­ex­pect­ed­ly get an­oth­er fine EP from this Van­cou­ver group, who pulled off a flaw­less first EP in 2016/​17, fol­lowed by a some­what dis­ap­point­ing, slight­ly un­der­cooked sec­ond ef­fort. On this one, how­ev­er, they're back in their zone and al­ter­nate be­tween two ex­cel­lent in-your-face rip­pers and an­oth­er pair of slow­er, more melan­cholic songs de­mand­ing a bit more pa­tience from the lis­ten­er but cul­mi­nat­ing in a wor­thy pay­off. As be­fore, they re­mind me a lot of a more melan­cholic, sub­dued and melod­ic in­car­na­tion of Rank Xe­rox, Sar­casm or Sieve­head.

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Skeleton Glove - Skeleton Glove

Berlin group Skele­ton Glove have al­ready put out a bunch of demos, all of which suf­fered to a vary­ing ex­tent from their Lo-Fi pro­duc­tion val­ues, so it's nice to fi­nal­ly hear them in a sound that does their sheer son­ic force jus­tice. The re­sult is every bit as good as i could've hoped for, their ul­tra-pri­mal brand of post- and hard­core punk with flour­ish­es of death rock and garage nev­er fail­ing to hit where it hurts the most.

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LLRR - < = >

This EP by Ky­oto group LLRR is a re­al treat! Post punk that's si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly catchy and abra­sive, of­ten dance­able, some­times lean­ing to­wards math rock struc­tures and old­school no-wave-funky in oth­er places. A rock-sol­id rhythm sec­tion cre­ates the ide­al space for gui­tarist Yuzu­ru Sano's un­ruly yet of­ten quite melod­ic erup­tions of noise to un­fold as well as the hyp­not­ic chants by vo­cal­ist Mi­na­mi Yoko­ta, the lat­ter be­ing in­ter­wo­ven in­to the rhyth­mic foun­da­tion to a de­gree sel­dem heard from con­tem­po­rary groups.

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Off Peak Arson - Off Peak Arson

Whoa, what an ex­cel­lent de­but EP by a Mem­phis, Ten­nessee group! The open­er plays out kin­da like Dri­ve Like Je­hu or Hot Snakes in cre­ative over­drive mode, al­so be­ing some­what rem­i­nis­cent of con­tem­po­rary bands like Meat Wave, Mys­tic Inane, Tu­nic or Wymyns Prysyn. Next they change gear en­tire­ly and come up with a mid-tem­po post punk tune in which a puls­ing beat col­lides with some se­ri­ous Fly­ing Nun-style psy­che­delia and a cer­tain Sauna Youth vibe. The lat­ter al­so per­me­ates the sub­se­quent two garage punk smash­ers with echoes of Ex-Cult, ear­ly Teenanger or Dumb Punts, grad­u­al­ly shapeshift­ing in­to more of a post punk and in­die rock style not un­like Go­tobeds, Sleepies or B-Boys, which in the clos­ing track once again morphs in­to kind of a Swervedriv­er-es­que slow jam. There's not a sin­gle weak spot to be found on this record!

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