Red Dons - Generations

An un­ex­pect­ed new EP of the fab­u­lous Red Dons, whose mas­ter­mind Daniel Husayn ap­par­ent­ly has, in re­cent years, been most­ly busy with mas­ter­ing great tunes rather than play­ing and record­ing such. So now here we have the first new ma­te­r­i­al in close to six years of the orig­i­nal­ly Port­land-based group . It's among their most solemn, moody and qui­et stuff so far and the gam­ble pays off just ad­mirably thanks to their un­wa­ver­ing song­writ­ing ex­cel­lence, an un­bend­ing per­for­mance and that cer­tain har­mon­ic sen­si­bil­i­ty that is very much their own.

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Motorbike - Motorbike

On this record, every new song kin­da re­minds me of a dif­fer­ent bunch of groups which is great re­al­ly, many of those be­ing aus­tralian which is al­so rarely a bad sign! The open­ing track, for ex­am­ple con­tains echoes of The Es­tranged, Red Dons, Xe­tas, Civic, a touch of Saints and Bird­man. True Method has the sleazy rockin' qual­i­ties of Gold­en Pel­i­cans and some­thing else i can't re­al­ly put my fin­ger on right now. Throt­tle has some dumb straight-ahead Feed­time en­er­gy to it and the sub­se­quent stretch of songs then has straight­for­ward garage punk á la Ex-Cult, Sauna Youth blend­ing in­to more melod­ic garage and pow­er pop shit á la Ra­dioac­tic­i­ty, Bad Sports, Mind Spi­ders, Bed Wet­tin' Bad Boys. Po­ten­tial to Ride shares a sim­i­lar vibe with psy­che­del­i­cal­ly in­clined post punk acts á la Pub­lic Eye, Waste Man or Mar­bled Eye. Fi­nal­ly, the two clos­ing tracks re­mind me of the sim­ple, undi­lut­ed im­pact of aus­tralian pow­er­hous­es Split Sys­tem, Po­lute, Jack­son Reid Brig­gs and the Heaters. All of this is ground­ed in un­fail­ing, con­fi­dent songcraft and com­pact­ed in­to an in­cred­i­bly tight, cer­ti­fied all-killer LP.

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Shop Talk - The Offering

I think this is the same band i've been yap­ping about many moons ago.. Their 2016 EP ap­pears to have been com­plete­ly wiped from the face of the earth and the web though, which is a fuck­ing shame re­al­ly 'cos this was good stuff al­ready. But ad­mit­ted­ly, this shit is so much bet­ter… Melod­ic punk and garage vibes rule supreme here with more than a lit­tle hint of Dick­ies and some dis­tinct '77 and pow­er pop fla­vors that would al­ready make for a per­fect­ly sol­id EP. What pro­pells this one from good to plain out-of-the-ball­park spec­tac­u­lar though are the ad­vanced song­writ­ing chops on dis­play here, run­ning cir­cles around 99% of all oth­er cur­rent punk groups play­ing sim­ple, straight­for­ward pop tunes. This is tru­ly tran­scen­dent, next-lev­el shit, i mean it!

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Faulty Cognitions - Demo

This San An­to­nio, Texas group de­lights with a throw­back to the most melod­ic parts of eight­ies punk, in­die- and col­lege rock, clear­ly in­formed by the likes of Hüsker Dü, Re­place­ments, Mov­ing Tar­gets, Guid­ed By Voic­es and Di­nosaur Jr. in the more jan­g­ly melod­ic mo­ments, as well as some ear­ly Naked Ray­gun in the straight-ahead rockin' tunes, all of it held to­geth­er by fric­tion­less song­writ­ing that wouldn't feel too out of place with more re­cent bands á la Boo­ji Boys, Bad Sports, TV Crime or Bed Wet­tin' Bad Boys ei­ther.

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People's Temple /​ Hood Rats /​ Hickey

Three hard­core re­leas­es es­pe­cial­ly stuck out this week, all of 'em more or less tread­ing off the genre's beat­en paths. The most con­ven­tion­al­ly sound­ing - rel­a­tive­ly speak­ing of course - is the EP by People's Tem­ple on NY la­bel Roach­Leg Records, giv­ing us an ex­treme­ly tune­ful vari­a­tion on 80s hard­core, at times com­ing across like a blend of Cir­cle Jerks with ear­ly-to-mid­dle-era Naked Ray­gun and with oc­ca­sion­al flour­ish­es of Hüsker Dü to boot. Of more re­cend Bands, Fried E/​m might al­so fit the bill.
Hickey's tape on Arch­fiend records then in­fus­es con­tem­po­rary strands of garage-, synth- and egg­punk weird­ness with plen­ty of old­school hard­core en­er­gy, along the way al­so evok­ing the some vibes of Flip­per, Spike in Vain, Bro­ken Tal­ent… With this re­lease, we might just be en­ter­ing the eggcore era!
Montreal's Hood Rats op­er­ate in a vague­ly sim­i­lar ter­ri­to­ry, al­so hav­ing a sound ground­ed in garage punk brim­ming with lo-fi egg­punk quirky­ness just as much as with an un­kempt KBD en­er­gy and the tunes to make it stick.

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Civic - Taken By Force

On their sec­ond full length, Mal­bourne group Civic con­tin­ue hold up the ban­ner of old­school garage punk of the heav­i­ly Bird­man-in­debt­ed va­ri­ety while still cau­tious­ly ex­pand­ing on their son­ic spec­trum. Blood Rush­es, for ex­am­ple, has some pow­er pop vibe to it, rem­i­nis­cent of ear­ly Sci­en­tists while in Trick of the Light, a touch of mid-eight­ies Wipers in the vers­es leads in­to some se­ri­ous New Christs-like riff­ing in the cho­rus.

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Day Residue - Day Residue

More awe­some shit cour­tesy of Painters Tapes by a De­troit group hav­ing a strong pro­to-grunge vibe to them that wouldn't seem out of place next to ear­ly Mud­honey, U-Men, Feed­time, X (the aus­tralian group) or 80s Sci­en­tists. Al­so you might find some traces of amer­i­can pro­to noise rock á la Flip­per, Bro­ken Tal­ent just as well as more re­cent groups rough­ly in the or­bit of TVO or Vexx in there.

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Silicone Values - Bystander Apathy /​ When The Future Seems Futile

It took the Bris­tol group just shy of a year to come up with the newest in­stall­ment in their, so far, ab­solute­ly spec­tac­u­lar and flaw­less run of (dig­i­tal) sin­gles. I'm glad to an­nounce that i've got noth­ing new to say about this one - these two tunes are yet an­oth­er mas­ter­class of melod­ic post punk and pow­er pop songcraft with clear echoes of Buz­zcocks, Tele­vi­sion Per­son­al­i­ties, Mekons and many more arte­facts of pre­dom­i­nant­ly british DIY punk his­to­ry.

Nag - Human Coward Coyote

A new mi­ni LP by Atlanta's post punk force of na­ture Nag - i guess every­body knows what to ex­pect at this point and i'm to­tal­ly okay with that as there still ain't a whole lot of groups quite like them. De­spite the raw in­gre­di­ents of their sound be­ing as old as post punk it­self, there's a unique qual­i­ty to their vi­sion, about as sim­plis­tic as you can get away with in some places while amaz­ing­ly elab­o­rate where it counts in oth­ers, with the oc­ca­sion­al touch of psy­che­delia and ham­mered home with a rough and un­re­lent­ing force.

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Sid Eargle - Cheap Thrills

I over­looked this this gem by South Car­oli­na dude or band Sid Ear­gle the first time around so i'm glad the greek la­bel Body Blows shoved this in my face a sec­ond time. Hid­den in­be­tween a mess of in­stru­men­tals and in­ter­ludes there's al­so an ex­cel­lent al­bum to be found plun­der­ing away at old­school garage and punk his­to­ry with an un­de­ni­able Dead Boys vibe, among oth­er things.

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