Fen Fen - 3 Songs

The first few noisy ar­ti­facts of this De­troit group - a kick­ass EP's worth of stand­alone tracks un­cer­e­mo­ni­ous­ly dumped on their band­camp page - span a gamut evok­ing some of the best ref­er­ences on the in­ter­sec­tion of garage punk and post­core, rang­ing from straight­for­ward garage R'n'R acts á la Sick Thoughts, ear­ly Video & Teenanger, to the ex­plo­sive genre bas­tards of Cri­sis Man, As­cot Stab­ber and Flow­ers Of Evil, not to men­tion some un­mis­tak­able Hot Snakes kind of vibe all the way through.

Crisis Man - Asleep In America

An­oth­er pow­er­ful punch in the nuts from that Cal­i­for­nia su­per­group shar­ing mem­bers with the likes of Acrylics, Pub­lic Eye, Vi­o­lent Change and Cer­e­mo­ny. Here, they de­liv­er their most com­pact and vig­or­ous set of new tunes so far, hav­ing fine-tuned their for­mu­la of equal parts hard­core- and garage punk for max­i­mum im­pact, fus­ing the un­re­lent­ing force of Acrylics and Bad Breed­ing with the abra­sive garage qual­i­ties of, say… ear­ly Teenanger or Video.

Al­bum-Stream →

Straw Man Army - SOS

The sec­ond long­play­er (ig­nor­ing last year's Her Majesty's Ship OST) by this Kalei­do­scope-ad­ja­cent New York duo sees their son­ics shift­ing in­to a com­par­a­tive­ly down­beat, dark­er and more cum­ber­some, yet equal­ly re­ward­ing di­rec­tion. There's sim­ply no oth­er group quite like them in the cur­rent post punk/-core land­scape and these chaps clear­ly main­tain their po­si­tion on the cut­ting edge of con­tem­po­rary (art-/post-)punk while si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly be­ing per­fect­ly aware of its rich his­to­ry, cul­mi­nat­ing in what to me is the crown­ing achieve­ment of this al­bum - the slow-burn­ing, sprawl­ing Be­ware, which kin­da sounds like clas­sic land­mark records of the Chairs Miss­ing and The Ar­gu­ment cal­iber boiled down to their very essence.

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Viceprez - Juger

Wow, this group from Borée, France is jug­gling a shit­load of dif­fer­ent styles with strik­ing con­fi­dence on their de­but al­bum. The thing starts out with a short, straight­for­ward, sim­ple blast of hard­core punk, then has them cy­cling through a wide ar­ray of styles in­clud­ing force­ful post­core, hard rockin' up­per-mid-tem­po garage rock/-punk, groovy an­gu­lar post punk and even some vague­ly Pix­ies-es­que, surf-in­fused old­school 80s in­die-/al­ter­na­tive rock. All of this they pull off with ease - there's not a sin­gle weak link on this record. Im­pres­sive shit all the way through!

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Hippyfuckers - ????

A ver­i­ta­ble gut punch, the de­but tape of this St. Louis, Mis­souri group. Hard­core punk with elab­o­rate & flex­i­ble any­thing-goes song struc­tures, at times catchy and melod­ic, in oth­er parts show­ing a gloomy post punk /​ death rock un­der­cur­rent and al­so there’s some of that oh-so-fash­ion­able (don’t get me wrong, i to­tal­ly love that) garage edge to it. You might be re­mind­ed of hard­core-era Hüsker Dü at some points, as well as re­cent hard- and post­core stuff such as Nopes, Pink Gui­tars, Ce­ment Shoes or the col­or­ful yet night­mar­ish hard­core psy­che­delia of Mur­der­er.

Al­bum-Stream →

Animated Violence - Demo

A fun, smart high-en­er­gy blow of garage-in­fused hard­core punk de­liv­ered by a group that might or mightn’t be from Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, hold­ing a per­fect bal­ance be­tween dumb straight-ahead old­school en­er­gy and the var­i­ous quirks and ec­cen­tric­i­ties of more re­cent hard­core phe­nom­e­na, which sor­ta lo­cates them on the genre map some­where in the ex­cel­lent com­pa­ny of oth­er con­tem­po­rary trou­ble­mak­ers such as Mys­tic Inane, Launch­er, Fried E/​M, Mod­ern Needs or Liq­uid As­sets.

Rifle - Holloway Demos

A high­ly ap­pe­tiz­ing first taste that is, the de­but EP of this Lon­don group play­ing a some­what hard to pin down, ad­e­quate­ly rough-edged yet al­so kin­da catchy style that's like 60% garage punk and 40% post­core, over­all re­mind­ing me of a rather di­verse clus­ter of groups among which are the likes of The Aban­dos, Obits, Gold­en Pel­i­cans, Mass Lines, Dumb Punts and As­cot Stab­ber.

Al­bum-Stream →

Enemic Interior - Enemic Interior

This Barcelona group plays a cer­tain breed of post punk - the catchy and melod­ic kind that has been rarely heard in re­cent months - which i'd say is rem­i­nis­cent of a rather di­verse clus­ter of genre pow­er­hous­es such as Night­watch­ers, Sieve­head, Red Dons, Crim­i­nal Code and ear­ly The Es­tranged. Oc­ca­sion­al­ly they over­lap a bit in­to hard­core ter­ri­to­ry and in these mo­ments, Acrylics come to mind.

Al­bum-Stream →

Soft Torture - Soft Torture

This Philadel­phia group's line-up brings to­geth­er gen­er­a­tions of punks, hav­ing Chuck Mee­han of hard­core di­nosaurs YDI among its ranks as well as mem­bers of more re­cent acts like Blank Spell, Hal­dol and De­Struc­tos. Their first EP ex­plodes right in­to your face with eight-and-a-half bursts of un­pre­dictable, chaot­ic and noise-in­fused hard-/post-/weird­core rough­ly in the ball­park of what you might've heard in re­cent years from bands like Kalei­do­scope, Day­dream or Fugi­tive Bub­ble.

Al­bum-Stream →

Hungry Man - Permanent Crisis

Damn, that's some top-notch qual­i­ty old­school post­core shit here, the kind ca­pa­ble of trans­port­ing mid­dle-aged fucks like me in­to high­er spheres, elab­o­rate yet un­pre­ten­tious and with a melod­ic sen­si­bil­i­ty that evokes the glo­ry days of Vol­cano Suns, Mov­ing Tar­gets and Mis­sion of Bur­ma. The mon­u­men­tal open­ing suite, on the oth­er hand, kin­da re­minds me of Dra­goon, the open­ing be­he­moth of Bitch Magnet's fi­nal al­bum Ben Hur. Oth­er­wise, 90s Dischord in­flu­ences rule supreme here with ubiq­ui­tous echoes of the likes of Au­to­clave, Bluetip, Hoover, Crown­hate Ru­in, Kerosene 454, ear­ly Jaw­box… you name it! And yeah, of course there's al­so a bit of Fugazi go­ing on but i'd say they're far from a pri­ma­ry in­flu­ence here. Hun­gry Man are able to pull off all that with­out com­ing across like a dull ripoff and rather like a band who val­ues its in­flu­ences, yet per­fect­ly stands on its own two feet, speak­ing in­to the present day with their own voice.

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