What kind of twisted punk student exchange program would lead to an album being recorded both in London, Ontario and London, England? The band committing the deed appears to have connnections to some London's Gaggers and Miscalculations as well as some other London's Isolation Party and Mononegatives - the latter being the most obvious comparison though, as their very own brand of spaced-out synth- and garage punk reigns supreme on this record too, along with flourishes of Pow!, Useless Eaters, Freak Genes, Isotope Soap, Mind Spiders, Powerplant and Digital Leather. Fucking awesome shit, in other words.
…now that's kind of an insane move, dumping four to six LPs worth of material in a single album on bandcamp. Didn't see that coming at all, good thing we like insane shit here at 12XU HQ. With this album the group from Moffat Beach, Australia seriously earned the title "The Guided by Voices of space egg punk". Amazingly, most of this stuff is pretty freakin' awesome too, although a fair bit of fat and redundancy sure could've been trimmed off this 2-hour release for an even stronger 80-minute album to emerge in the process. Their high egg-factor mixture of Psychedelic-/Space Rock, Post- and Garage Punk might draw comparisons to the likes of Mononegatives, Neo Neos, Liquids, The Gobs, Set-Top Box, Print Head or Useless Eaters in its more high-energy moments while in the more relaxed and/or downbeat songs, groups like Die TV, Cool Sorcery, Snooper might come to mind or even an extra Lo-Fi version of the Woolen Men!
Class from Tucson, Arizona deliver their strongest release so far via the seemingly infallible Feel It Records. Their whereabouts certainly make The Resonars come to mind and indeed their mastermind Matt Rendon has been involved in the production and further similarities can be drawn in their somewhat british invasion-fueled brand of slightly psychedelic brand of garage rock, jangle- and power pop. Class, however, deal in a way more straightforward and rougher-edged garage punk sound - the overall vibe of Burning Cash wouldn't feel out of place on the recent Strange Attractor LP.
More beautiful delightful garage punk mayhem by the dungeon-dwellers from Karlsruhe, Germany, this time in a slightly less lo-fi yet perfectly potent sound aesthetic. Once again you might be remembered of acts like Strange Attractor, Salamirecorder and, most of all, various incarnations of Thee Oh Sees over the years. My Spell, then again, sounds a bit as if the latter had been crossbred with the no-wave infused drones of noise rockers Spray Paint.
A new dungeon punk artifact from Karlsruhe, Germany. In contrast to the bulk of this young micro-genre's acts, Thee Khai Aehm don't incorporate a whole lot of oldschool metal influences, rather approaching the musty dungeon aesthetic from a distinct psych-/acid rock angle, kinda like a mix between classic Oh Sees, Strange Attractor and… Salamirecorder, maybe? Always playful, mostly weird, sometimes epic and presented with a muddy, dusty production aesthetic as if these songs haven't been exposed to daylight and oxygen for centuries.
This Melbourne group's 2017 debut EP still resonates with me as one of the most unique experiences in the garage-/post-/art punk spere of its time. Almost five years having passed since then, it's no surprise their follow-up EP showcases a somewhat more streamlined yet still ambitious and surprising grab-bag of songs which continue to draw plenty of inspiration from both Chairs Missing-era Wire and early, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, this time leaning in heavier on the spaced-out post punk side of things, also sounding not quite unlike a more eleborate version of B-Boys or Gotobeds. Then at their most melodic and straightforward, Elsewhere is the kind of anthemic oldschool indie rock smasher rarely encountered these days.
I somehow managed to overlook this enchanting album of not-your-average post punk fare when it first came out as a cassette on Future Shock and damn, i should totally hang for that. Here's my second chance however, as this thing has now been reissued on vinyl by Drunken Sailor Records. The Drin is a solo project of Dylan McCartney with whom you might already be familiar as part of groups such as Vacation, The Serfs, Crime Of Passing and The Switzerlands, among others. The record starts off with a Joy Division-esque beat getting drenched in drones that have a certain Suicide-meets-Chrome vibe to them. Next up is a track that sounds kinda as if early Ride had reached dub-enlightenment. Subsequently, this shit appears to cycle through random iterations of early british DIY post punk, more than once conjuring up the spirit of The Membranes, Desperate Bicycles and Swell Maps. Of more recent acts, you might draw some comparisons to Exek at its more dub-heavy outgrowths as well as the neo kraut and space rock explorations of Moon Duo. The whole thing's such a beauty all the way through.
A wondrous and strange little EP full of otherworldly garage-/power-/fuzz pop from a Philadelphia Duo. The tape starts out as if the insane pop qualities of, say, Booji Boys or Daughter Bat & The Lip Stings collided with the smart rhythmic post punk of Lithics, while the remaining three songs then settle into a slightly more low-key kraut-leaning psychedelic groove, the likes of which you might suspect somewhere in the lo-fi pop worlds of acts like Germ House, Far Corners, Violent Change, Honey Radar or even early Woolen Men. Excellent shit throughout.
Last year's Health EP was some quality shit already but their newest release is just so ridiculously appealing i wasn't at all prepared for that kind of mayhem. This trio is from Nashville and i suspect that Connor and Sean are the very same dudes best known as Skull Cult otherwise - not a fuckin' clue who Cam is. Oh, and there's one more thing: Being in charge of mixing and mastering, none other than Erik Nervous left his own trademark beer stains all over this cassette whose sound is just as wild and eclectic as consistently catchy. Some echoey garage surf twang? Spaced out psychedelic freakouts? Wire & Mission of Burma vibin' on Benzos? You name it! And hovering even a notch above all that shit, there's the downright perfect 70s power pop-meets-80s hair metal masterpiece Be With You, a knockout punch of the most pleasant kind.
Now this is some pretty incredible shit right here. The minimalistic DIY garage rock on this tape by some NYC dude (or band, not sure about that) sounds kinda like some lost proto punk relic and would just as well blend in on any one of those Messthetics/Homework compilations. The sparse percussion, weary vocals, overall lean arrangements and Lo-Fi production values all do their part in lending these songs a particular quality that feels both gritty and drowsy.