Kaleidoscope - Decolonization /​/​ Straw Man Army - Age Of Exile

Two noisy new ar­ti­facts brought to us by New York's ex­quis­ite D4MT la­bel. First, there's a new ex­tend­ed play by hard-/post­core pow­er­house Kalei­do­scope on which their sound comes across a tiny bit more more sim­pli­fied and straight­for­ward than on last year's killer de­but LP, yet as in­spired, play­ful and in­ven­tive as ever.
Sim­i­lar things can be said about the de­but al­bum of Straw Man Army, a duo i can't find much in­for­ma­tion on, but at a quick glance they seem to con­sist of none oth­er than Kaleidoscope's drum­mer boy and some oth­er dude. Just as you'd ex­pect, this is an­oth­er quite ad­ven­tur­ous ride through the realms of dark post punk both clas­sic and con­tem­po­rary, some­times bor­der­ing on Crass-style min­i­mal­ism, Wipers-es­que melan­cho­lia while al­so re­mind­ing me of more re­cent ec­cen­tric­i­ties by the likes of Mur­der­er or Wymyns Prysyn.

Al­bum-Streams →

The Unfit - The Unfit

This Seat­tle group has been around for quite a few years now, but it took them just as long to come up with their de­but LP. Thus, it's no re­al sur­prise this thing sounds rather ma­ture for a de­but record, with a firm grip on this par­tic­u­lar sub­genre some­where be­tween the garage-lean­ing zones of the post­core spec­trum and some con­tem­po­rary noise rock - right in the neigh­bor­hood of bands like ear­ly Video, Hot Snakes, As­cot Stab­ber, Da­vid­i­ans or Flow­ers Of Evil.

Al­bum-Stream →

Other Half - Big Twenty

Yet an­oth­er post­core LP by yet an­oth­er UK group, this time of the more con­ven­tion­al yet thor­ough­ly con­vinc­ing va­ri­ety. Think of a mix of old guard sta­ples like Jaw­box, Dri­ve Like Je­hu, Hot Snakes… while of the new school, Bench Press, Stuck or USA Nails might come come to mind.

Al­bum-Stream →

Shifting - It Was Good

Hav­ing on­ly re­leased one 7" be­fore, the ma­tu­ri­ty of this Dublin group's de­but al­bum is quite stun­ning - noth­ing less than a ful­ly re­al­ized, ver­sa­tile and in­ven­tive take on Noise Rock, Post­core and Math Rock clear­ly tak­ing some cues from clas­sic 90's and ear­ly 00's acts like Un­wound, Bas­tro, Chavez, Fro­dus, some ear­ly Shel­lac, while still stand­ing on its own two feet. In the cur­rent genre land­scape, Mul­ti­c­ult might al­so be a some­what use­ful com­par­i­son.

Al­bum-Stream →

Girls In Synthesis - Now Here's An Echo From Your Future

Af­ter re­leas­ing a true shit­load of EPs over the past few years and their sound show­ing a steady in­crease in ma­tu­ri­ty, it's re­al­ly no sur­prise that their de­but al­bum comes across as the most ac­com­plished batch of songs by this Lon­don group yet, their very own for­mu­la made up of post punk, noise rock and post­core el­e­ments fine-tuned and en­gi­neered in­to a smooth­ly run­ning, high pre­ci­sion ma­chine while still oc­ca­sion­aly ex­pand­ing their mu­si­cal vo­cab­u­lary - like some Wire-meet-Big Black-isms in Set Up To Fail for ex­am­ple or the bleak doom­scapes á la ear­ly Uni­form in Hu­man Frailty.

Al­bum-Stream →

Help - 2053

Their de­but EP a year ago al­ready was an ex­cel­lent rack­et, but what this group from Port­land (i think) pulls off on their new full length is just plain awe­some, a punchy as fuck piece of noise rock/​postcore bliss of the high­est cal­iber. Re­gard­ing their sound, they're cer­tain­ly root­ed in the present day, re­mind­ing me of acts like Tu­nic, Death Pan­els, John (timest­wo), USA Nails, Girls In Syn­the­sis. Athough this record doesn't ex­act­ly break new ground, as a genre piece - helped by every song hav­ing an elab­o­rate and ro­bust com­po­si­tion at its core - it suc­ceeds at every step along the way. A per­fect mael­strom of propul­sive rhythms, wicked bass grooves, in­fer­nal noise erup­tions and - as they al­ready show­cased ear­ly on their EP - a wise­ly mea­sured and thus ex­tra ef­fec­tive sense of melody, well ca­pa­ble of el­e­vat­ing all that dra­ma to the next lev­el.

Al­bum-Stream →

Tom Lyngcoln - Raging Head

An stun­ning sec­ond so­lo ef­fort by some dude who sim­ply knows what he's do­ing, hav­ing so far played in noise rock and post­core groups Pale Heads, The Na­tion Blue as well as the more folk lean­ing Lee Memo­r­i­al and Har­mo­ny, among oth­ers. This record strong­ly veers to­ward the loud­er side of his discog­ra­phy while still adding a few new in­gre­di­ents to the mix, cov­er­ing a quite im­pres­sive spec­trum in­clud­ing malan­choly Wipers-es­que post punk with hints of Red Dons or Ner­vosas, post­core of the rather melod­ic va­ri­ety rem­i­nis­cent, to vary­ing de­grees, of Meat Wave, Bloody Gears, Hot Snakes as well as some breath­less garage en­er­gy á la Jack­son Reid Brig­gs & The Heaters. Tons worth of larg­er than life dra­ma, the songs to pull it of and a per­for­mance pow­er­ful enough to make you be­lieve every sin­gle note.

Al­bum-Stream →

Kobra - Confusione

Whoa… got­ta say i wasn't pre­pared for the kind of storm this group from Mi­lan, Italy lets loose on their first long­play­er. On a sur­face lev­el this is some va­ri­ety of vague­ly old­school hard­core punk with strong an­ar­cho in­flu­ences, some traces of crust - you know, the kind of stuff we've had no short­age of in re­cent years. But then again, this record is char­ac­ter­is­lzed by an end­less string of col­or­ful, un­con­ven­tion­al de­ci­sions and flour­ish­es, mak­ing what could have been a rather cook­ie-cut­ter, de­cent genre ef­fort in­to an am­bi­tious, thrilling beau­ty to be­hold. Al­so helped by a pro­duc­tion which strikes the per­fect bal­ance be­tween re­lent­less propul­sion and blown out Lo-Fi scuzz. As far as con­tem­po­rary hard­core goes, this shit stands com­plete­ly on its own and sim­ply hits evey sin­gle nail on its head.

Al­bum-Stream →

Cool Jerks - England

Man, do i not wan­na live in Eng­land right now. Well, Cool Jerks still do and their first full length ef­fort paints a con­vinc­ing­ly grim pic­ture while ex­celling on the son­ic front once again, rid­ding their sound of their first EP's garage el­e­ments in fa­vor of a sim­ple, mod­ern blend of punchy post­core with noisy tex­tures, com­pa­ra­ble to a sim­pli­fied ver­sion of Bad Breed­ing, As­cot Stab­ber or Acrylics.

Al­bum-Stream →

Cutters - Cutters

This Mel­bourne group's de­but 7" is a con­cen­trat­ed blast of high­ly flam­ma­ble garagecore spiked with ad­di­tion­al noise- & post­core ac­cel­er­ants, achiev­ing a res­olute punch akin to ADVLTS, Bad Breed­ing while their un­ruly garage & old­school hard­core ri­ot leaves a trail of de­struc­tion not un­like Fried E/​M, Elec­tric Chair or Mod­ern Needs.