Big Bite - Trinity

Last year's long play­ing de­but by Seat­tle group Big Bite al­ready struck me as an anom­aly of the most wel­come kind. Now their sopho­more ef­fort comes across as no less bril­liant - once again breath­ing new life in­to a par­tic­u­lar 90s niche, os­cil­lat­ing some­where be­tween straight­for­ward, no-fuss but high-thrust in­die- and al­ter­na­tive rock plus a bit of shoegaze. Think Sug­ar, Pol­vo or Swervedriv­er when it comes to bands of the afore­men­tioned era, or of more re­cent acts like ear­ly Ovlov, Par­don­er, Milked or Dead Soft. Psy­che­del­ic mo­ments are giv­en a bit more em­pha­sis here than on their first, while in the album's fi­nal stretch you can sense a sub­tle post punk vibe of the Teenanger or Con­stant Mon­grel va­ri­ety.

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Plataforma - La Equitativa

Once again Barcelona's scene is killing it! Platafor­ma man­age to do just that thanks to a beau­ti­ful­ly rough, DIY-as-fuck sound in the realm of dark-/post punk with a healthy dose of goth/​death rock doom & gloom. Cri­sis come to mind as well as the ear­ly 2010's Kopen­hagen scene - think Low­er and ear­ly Iceage - and some more re­cent stuff like britain's Dis­joy.

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Girls In Synthesis - Arterial Movements 7"

While their last EP Fan The Flames didn't ap­peal to me as much as i hoped for, their newest 7" shows London's Girls In Syn­the­sis at their best. Just like be­fore, their sound is a skilled bal­anc­ing act on the thresh­old be­tween post punk and noise rock, thus op­er­at­ing in much of the same realm as Bands like USA Nails, Tu­nic or John (timest­wo), among oth­ers. The def­i­nite high­light here is Smart­ing with its kin­da Big Black-es­que way of gui­tar shred­ding.

Lux - New Day

Barcelona's Lux al­ready have a de­mo and a promis­ing de­but al­bum un­der their belt, but with this re­cent EP their sound re­al­ly clicks in­to gear, in which some of the more ex­cen­tric strands of 80s post- and hard­core punk - Man Sized Ac­tion and The Pro­le­tari­at come to mind - col­lide with dis­tinc­tive goth/​deathpunk bass lines. You might al­so be re­mind­ed of more re­cend bands like Street Eaters or the po­tent cow­punk propul­sion of Mur­der­er.

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Dee Bee Rich - Demo

Not too long af­ter a rather synth-heavy tape by that guy who re­cent­ly seems to be in­volved in pret­ty much any oth­er Berlin band, we get a small en­core ex­hibit­ing a more gui­tar-cen­tric sound, shift­ing the son­ic co­or­di­nates clos­er to the garage. The over­all vibe here kin­da re­minds me of ear­ly Erik Ner­vous.

Italia 90 - III

Al­though oth­er british bands of their genre en­joyed much more me­dia at­ten­tion than lon­don art-/post punks Italia 90 have in re­cent years, few oth­er bands, in my hum­ble opin­ion, em­body so much of the soul and re­bel­lious no-bull­shit DIY at­ti­tude of the scene, a bit­ter and emo­tion­al in­dict­ment of a so­ci­ety col­lec­tive­ly shrug­ging off its own guilty con­science. It's about time this Band gets no­ticed a lot more. On their third EP -just like on its pre­de­ces­sors - i hear strong echoes of old post punk greats: Cri­sis, Mem­branes, Swell Maps and ear­ly Mekons for ex­am­ple. Si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly Italia 90 keep ex­pand­ing on their son­ic spec­trum. Usu­al­ly when punks go slow, this tends to re­sult in a hor­ri­ble train­wreck. But sur­pris­ing­ly, the slow­est, most sub­dued mo­ments are the clear high­lights of this record. In Open Veins, the gen­tle per­for­mance col­lides with the dis­il­lu­sioned and an­gry charges de­liv­ered by its lyrics. This com­bi­na­tion re­minds me a bit of re­cent Pro­tomar­tyr, while the clos­ing track Against The Wall has a sub­tle psy­che­del­ic note in com­mon with Wire's Chairs Miss­ing al­bum.

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Austerity - Anarcho Punk Dance Party

What the ti­tle promis­es, this record de­liv­ers. Dance­able shit? You bet! An­ar­chist mes­sages? Tons of those get pro­claimed here in such den­si­ty you re­al­ly can't miss or ig­nore them. Mu­si­cal­ly, this is not ex­act­ly some­thing you'd as­so­ciate with an­ar­cho punk, al­though this stuff clear­ly has much of the same spir­it. This is in­fec­touis post punk with a punchy post­core edge which, de­spite its dance­floor ef­fec­tive­ness, al­so suc­ceeds in the noise de­part­ment, show­ing no fear of wak­ing up the neigh­bors. This, and their ex­plic­it­ly po­lit­i­cal lyrics seper­ate them quite a bit from last decade's short-lived dance punk ex­plo­sion. In­stead of New York cool you get an ap­pro­pri­ate­ly blunt and dis­tinct­ly british sense of ur­gency, even as they seem to share many of the same in­flu­ences. Gang Of Four, ob­vi­ous­ly, as well as Min­ute­men, mid- to late eight­ies Mem­branes, The Pop Group. And in the present, com­par­ing them to Tics, Pill, Slumb Par­ty, Spe­cial In­ter­est or UZS wouldn't be too far off.

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Basement Boys - Basement Boys

A some­what quirky an­i­mal, this de­but al­bum by Min­neapo­lis' Base­ment Boys. Starts out by ra­di­at­ing a kind of post punk vibe sim­i­lar to Plax or The Cow­boy, then in­creas­ing­ly skews to­ward garage punk, au­gu­ment­ed by a small dose of noise and some beach goth melan­choly, at times re­mind­ing me of stuff like Co Sonn, Ex-Cult, Shark Toys or ear­ly Wavves.

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Sandré - Ave Muñón

On their de­but LP, Barcelona's San­dré de­liv­er a round­house kick of un­err­ing pre­ci­sion, a sound lo­cat­ed some­where on the fringes of post punk, post- and noisec­ore; al­ways keep­ing the del­i­cate bal­ance be­tween a raw, im­me­di­ate im­pact and self-con­fi­dent am­bi­tion. Spec­u­lat­ing about pos­si­ble in­flu­ences, i'm think­ing of a wide ar­ray of bands like Down­town Boys, ear­ly Die! Die! Die!, Les Savy Fav - but i'm al­so feel­ing a very dis­tinct vibe akin to oth­er span­ish acts of re­cent years, es­pe­cial­ly the likes of Ju­ven­tud Juché, Be­tu­niz­er and Cubano Vale.

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Rita Repulsa - Rita's Revenge

Boston elec­tro punk duo Ri­ta Re­pul­sa en­ter the scene with their first EP, whose large­ly sam­ple-dri­ven con­tents rough­ly re­sem­ble the charme of an ex­tra brain dam­aged ver­sion of North Carolina's ISS, sup­ple­ment­ed with a sub­tle dose of noise rock and a lyri­cal fix­a­tion on… Mighty Mor­phin Pow­er Rangers?!? Works for me.

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