Mononegatives - Apparatus Division

This Lon­don, On­tario group had put out a cou­ple of al­ready quite neat EP's in 2019 but it's on­ly on their new full length de­but that all the mov­ing pieces re­al­ly click in­to place for twelve 12XU-cer­ti­fied killer tracks made up of charm­ing­ly odd, high­ly in­ven­tive and ex­quis­ite­ly en­er­getic garage-, synth- and post punk echo­ing shit like Use­less Eaters, Pow!, Ex-Cult and Preda­tor.

Al­bum-Stream →

Coach - Coach

An abra­sive yet quite melod­ic wall-of-sound piles up on this Aarhus group's de­but al­bum, a sound in­be­tween the worlds of noise pop, art- and post punk, equal­ly rem­i­nis­cent of Tek­sti TV 666 and Open Your Heart-era The Men, 80's Son­i­cY­outh-isms and some MX-80 edge. And as if all that weren't com­pelling enough on its own, the ad­di­tion of a rest­less brass sec­tion makes the whole thing out­right ir­re­sistible.

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VR Sex - Cyber Crimes

This Los An­ge­les group's most re­cent EP is some ex­cel­lent, al­beit dis­turb­ing shit. Gloomy post punk about rather dark sub­ject mat­ter con­cern­ing the hu­man abysses both ex­posed and en­abled by our mod­ern tech­nol­o­gy (and yes, that ex­plic­it­ly in­cludes child porn and -abuse, among oth­er things). Sound-wise, i would de­scribe this as a weird fu­sion of The Es­tranged and The Spits, sup­ple­ment­ed with some se­ri­ous death rock and synth wave ac­tion.

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Predator - Spiral Unfolds

I've been a bit late to the par­ty when it comes to this At­lanta group which has been around for over a decade by now, with their 2018 No Face 7" be­ing my first ex­po­sure to them. Al­so, i didn't know at that time they're shar­ing mem­bers with post punk min­i­mal­ists Nag. Now that cer­tain­ly makes sense. Not on­ly is this clear­ly the same singer here, but there are al­so abun­dant son­ic sim­i­lar­i­ties to note. Preda­tor kin­da sound like the slight­ly more so­cia­ble cousin to Nag, lean­ing heav­ier in­to garage ter­ri­to­ry with oc­ca­sion­al hard­core mo­ments. I mean like… at times they al­most sound like they're ac­tu­al­ly en­joy­ing them­selves!

Hear the full thing on Band­camp →

Hideous Sun Demon - Development Hell

This Mel­bourne group's newest EP starts out quite good, then be­comes even bet­ter with every song, first sug­gest­ing kind of a mix be­tween synth-less (at first) Aus­muteants, Ex-Cult, Sauna Youth, ear­ly Teenanger… but al­so with a slight post punk edge á la Flat Worms, Con­stant Mon­grel. The lat­ter ten­den­cy (plus the for­mer­ly elu­sive synths) then kicks in­to over­drive in the record's sec­ond half and that's where things go from good to great, cul­mi­nat­ing in the epic an­ti-hymn Aus­tralia - an un­mis­tak­able fuck you to na­tion­al­ism in their home coun­try whose lyrics strike me as un­apolo­get­i­cal­ly frank and straight­for­ward.

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Italia 90 - Borderline 7"

An­oth­er wor­thy re­lease by Lon­don group Italia 90. The A-Side Bor­der­line presents their post punk sound in its most slick and ac­ces­si­ble it­er­a­tion so far, hav­ing a bit of a Go­tobeds, Sleepies or B-Boys bent. If you ask me though, the main at­trac­tion here is the much dark­er, edgi­er b-side De­clare, which comes across like a more so­phis­ti­cat­ed throw­back to their very first EP, show­ing a sim­i­lar min­i­mal­ist, noisy Swell Maps- and Mem­branes-lean­ing vibe.

TVO - Alive!

An awe­some new ruckus let loose by some Philadel­phia group, equal parts garage punk and noise rock and car­ry­ing the spir­it of so much clas­sic shit on the in­ter­sec­tion of old school (post-) punk and (pro­to-) noise rock. At one point you might re­call Braini­ac, but most­ly it's 80's stuff like U-Men, X (AUS), Flip­per, Feed­time, No Trend… even a hint of ear­ly Min­ute­men shines through on the clos­ing track. Of the more re­cent scene, i'm think­ing of acts like Cutie or Pat­ti.

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Nasty Party - Celebration

This Sydney/​London based duo hits every nail on the head straight­away on their first EP with an hon­est ur­gency to their straight­for­ward lyrics and a sound not en­tire­ly dis­sim­i­lar to re­cent british DIY phe­nom­e­na like Sil­i­cone Val­ues or Sub­ur­ban Homes, al­though Nasty Par­ty sup­ple­ment their ob­vi­ous Tele­vi­sion Per­son­al­i­ties vibes with quite a bit of Buz­zcocks dri­ve. I'm al­so vague­ly re­mind­ed of Pro­to Id­iot and Freak Genes.

Last Quokka & False Cobra - The West Ghost Split

Plen­ty of good­ness on this split 7" by two aus­tralian bands. Last Quokka's side show­cas­es some of their best ma­te­r­i­al to date and their fa­mil­iar, heav­i­ly garage-boost­ed post­core sound with traces of Hot Snakes and ear­ly Jaw­box, as well as more re­cent groups like Video, Bad Breed­ing and As­cot Stab­ber.

This marks the first time i hear about False Co­bra. Some of the above com­par­isons may al­so ap­ply to their songs, though over­all they lean a lot heav­ier in­to the garage and clas­sic punk side of things, hav­ing a bit of a Ruts or X (L.A.) vibe and al­so some vague sim­i­nar­i­ty to The Liv­ing Eyes, Mi­ni Skirt or ear­ly Teenanger.

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Waste Man - One Day It'll All Be You

On their sec­ond long­play­er, New Or­leans group Waste Man have got­ten rid al­most en­tire­ly of the hard­core el­e­ments that were still front and cen­ter on their in­cred­i­ble 2018 tape A New Type Of Wor­ry, but that doesn't mean their newest LP is any less thrilling. Quite on the con­traty, this has be­come both their most am­bi­tious and well-round­ed re­lease so far, a cap­ti­vat­ing and un­pre­dictable ride at dif­fer­ent points re­mind­ing me of smar­ty­pants garage punk of the Vin­tage Crop, Dumb or Ura­ni­um Club va­ri­ety, art punk akin to Lith­hics or Pat­ti as well as con­tem­po­rary post punk in the vein of Pub­lic Eye, The Go­tobeds and Bam­bara… at the same time emit­ting some dis­tinct­ly old­school vibes - faint echoes of Wire and Sac­cha­rine Trust be­ing the most no­tice­able ones here.

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