Pork Belly - I'm Okay, You're Okay, Everything is Okay

The sec­ond EP by this San Fran­cis­co group, com­ing to us by way of the weirdo suits at the head­quar­ters of Dis­con­tin­u­ous In­no­va­tion Inc., marks a quite im­pres­sive step up in en­er­gy, so­phis­ti­ca­tion, el­e­gance and styl­is­tic va­ri­ety af­ter their al­ready per­fect­ly en­joy­able de­but cass­in­gle in 2020. In the year 2024, their quirky and chaot­ic mix of post­core, post- and art punk with just a smidge of garage punk thrown in for good mea­sure is still gonna evoke uni­ver­sal­ly fa­vor­able com­par­isons to quirky noise­mak­ers in the vein of Rolex, Pat­ti, Re­al­i­ty Group, Big Bop­per, Warm Bod­ies, Ura­ni­um Club and Brandy.

Alien Nosejob - Cold Bare Facts

Jake Robertson's Alien Nose­job usu­al­ly finds some way to sub­vert our ex­pec­ta­tions and their newest 7", com­ing to us as usu­al via An­ti Fade Records, ain't no ex­cep­tion in that re­gard! The Ex­e­cu­tion­er sur­pris­es with what might eas­i­ly be the most post punk the group has ever sound­ed as cold and raw elec­tric beats get weld­ed to an equal­ly rigid con­struct of repet­i­tive gui­tar riffs, com­bin­ing in­to a slight­ly in­dus­tri­al-ish over­all vibe. West Side Sto­ry then is clos­er to the fa­mil­iar and beloved stan­dard Alien Nose­job for­mu­la, a straight­for­ward yet el­e­gant garage punk smash­er based on a sin­gle ex­quis­ite riff that could just go on for­ev­er but con­ve­nient­ly gets fad­ed out in time be­fore it can cause any last­ing (hear­ing-) dam­age.

Spewed Brain - Spewed Brain

Fol­low­ing up on their much rougher, hard­core-lean­ing In­ter­na­tion­al Heart­throb EP of last year, Indiana's Spewed Brain take their sound in­to a catch­i­er, slight­ly egg-ish di­rec­tion on their new LP while stay­ing de­light­ful­ly fucked-up and un­pre­dictable, at dif­fer­ent times re­mind­ing me of groups as di­verse as, say, Trau­ma Har­ness, Print Head, Exwhite, The Gobs, Snoop­er, Rolex, Witch Piss or Slimex.

Al­bum-Stream →

Vaguess - Thanks /​/​ No Thanks

A main­stay of re­cent years in garage punk is back with a some­what more high-pro­file LP via Er­ste Theke Ton­träger fol­low­ing a re­cent string of more un­der­stat­ed cas­sette and dig­i­tal re­leas­es. This thing is as eclec­tic as any of these but at the same time, a lot more fo­cused, de­ter­mined and con­sis­tent than some of those more scrap­py re­cent of­fer­ings. Span­ning a spec­trum from the propul­sive post punk of the open­ing sal­vo (When It's Gone, A.P.A.C.), melan­choly in­die rock bal­lads (Texas Cloud), comp­fy synth pop tunes (Let U Know) to straight­for­ward garage-/fuzz punk ex­plo­sions (Can't Take It, 2 Car Garage), there's plen­ty of meat to dig your teeth in­to, all held to­geth­er by Vin­ny Earley's al­ways con­fi­dent, of­ten plain­ly bril­liant song­writ­ing pow­ers. Last but not least, Week­end Shad­ows and Car­ry­on are fur­ther ex­am­ples of ex­act­ly that kind of supreme pow­er-/fuzz pop hymn the dude has al­ways ex­celled at.

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Paulo Vicious - Paulo Vicious /​ Beer - Beer II

An­oth­er mys­te­ri­ous egg­punk bomb has dropped from… well, where in the world ac­tu­al­ly? Re­leased on a Tel Aviv la­bel, the song ti­tles, as google trans­late tells me, are ap­par­ent­ly por­tuguese. Then again, sound-wise, the clos­est ref­er­ence would prob­a­bly be the blown-out may­hem of Barcelona genre over­lords Prison Af­fair with fur­ther com­par­isons to be made to Cologne's Nuts, the ear­ly works of aus­tralian groups á la Set-Top Box, Eu­gh, Midgee, Re­search Re­ac­tor Corp and, to come full cir­cle even­tu­al­ly, Tel Aviv's own crude egg­punk sen­sa­tion Vic­tor would fit nice­ly in there too. So, long sto­ry short, this is some pre­mi­um grade glo­be­trot­ting shit, re­gard­less of where these folks might ac­tu­al­ly be lo­cat­ed.

Yet an­oth­er good ref­er­ence point, then again, would be Charleston, South Carolina's Beer and, speak­ing of the dev­il, the world's most beer­est beer band has just re­leased their sec­ond ex­tend­ed play to which most of what i've just said is gonna ap­ply ver­ba­tim so i'm not gonna re­peat my­self and in­stead just gonna crank up the good shit and ad­vise you to do the same 'cos i know your neigh­bors are just gonna love it!

Al­bum-Streams →

MKVulture - Terminal Freakout

A dense and noisy post punk spec­ta­cle un­folds on this Rich­mond, Vir­ginia group's de­but EP, its four elab­o­rate­ly con­struct­ed songs mak­ing a ful­ly ma­ture and con­fi­dent im­pres­sion al­ready. At times this has a cu­ri­ous vibe of, say, Straw Man Army plus a sub­tle trace of Poi­son Ruïn while in oth­er places this shit re­minds me a lot of some of the past decade's more melan­choly and song-ori­ent­ed post punk acts in the vein of ear­ly Es­tranged, Pub­lic Eye, Crim­i­nal Code, Bruised, VHS, Waste Man as well as At­lanta heavy­weights Wymyns Prysyn and Institute/Mothers's Milk.

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Aus - Der Schöne Schein

Few groups have ex­em­pli­fied the Berlin post punk vibe boiled down to such a pure and defin­ing form as Aus, of whom we're get­ting the first new tunes in al­most four years on this new 7". On this one, the pre­vi­ous two records' rather purist, suf­fo­cat­ing bleak­ness gets opened up just a bit by way of a new­found sense of groove, a much need­ed pro­pel­lant and change of pace re­veal­ing a plau­si­ble way for­ward for a group that could, at times, feel a bit averse to change.

Warm Exit - Ultra Violence

When Brus­sels group Warm Ex­it toured Ger­many last year few of us, my­self in­clud­ed, had an­tic­i­pat­ed the kind of sur­prise we'd gonna be in for, al­though their 2022 TV /​ Ul­tra Vi­o­lence sin­gle al­ready hint­ed at their sound mor­ph­ing in­to more of a clas­sic post punk di­rec­tion. On stage though, it im­me­di­ate­ly be­came clear what a rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion this group had gone through with bare­ly a speck to be found of their ini­tial sound more in line the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of quirky garage-/synth-/eg­g­punk acts, now re­placed by an in­tense and pitch-black abyss of at­mos­pher­ic post punk, which is now al­so re­flect­ed on their full length de­but, call­ing to mind a il­lus­trous and di­verse ar­ray of groups like Rank Xe­rox, Crim­i­nal Code, Diät, Girls In Syn­the­sis, Sieve­head or Neg­a­tive Space.

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Knowso - Pulsating Gore

Cleveland's Know­so for sure have been among the most idio­syn­crat­ic and mem­o­rable groups of the past cou­ple years. Their newest full length shows them at the height of their strength once again, their amal­ga­ma­tion of post punk, noise- and math rock still com­ing across just as quirky and whim­si­cal as it is tight, rigid and an­gu­lar all the same, com­bin­ing a seem­ing­ly pro­ce­dur­al and ef­fi­cient, math­e­mat­i­cal ap­proach with an amount of fun and catchy­ness you wouldn't re­al­ly ex­pect in­side these rough pa­ra­me­ters. At this point, their sound is pret­ty much their own thing but if you ab­soiute­ly must com­pare them to oth­er groups, you might find some sim­i­lar­i­ties to stuff such as Brandy, Landown­er, Big Bop­per or maybe Nag in their more ap­proach­able mo­ments.

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Cthtr - Cthtr

Al­ready hav­ing a cou­ple EPs un­der his belt, this Whit­ti­er, Cal­i­for­nia dude's first full length cas­sette, al­so his first re­lease fol­low­ing over five years of ra­dio si­lence, im­me­di­at­ley clicks with me. That shit is right up my al­ley with its en­dear­ing­ly crude, mod­er­ate­ly psy­che­del­ic mix of garage-, post- and synth punk car­ry­ing the traits of so many house­hold names, among them the likes of Mononeg­a­tives, Use­less Eaters, Die TV, Elec­tric Prawns 2, Beef, ear­ly Pow­er­plant, Pow!, Freak Genes and Lost Pack­ages.

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