Stalled Minds - Shades

It's been a whop­ping five years since this Paris group's de­but EP but the wait has paid off hand­some­ly on their first full length re­lease, de­liv­er­ing an end­less stream of high-oc­tane melod­ic (garage-)punk smash­ers in the vein of groups like Cheap Whine, Short Days, Red Dons and Telecult… you might al­so sense a hint of Marked Men, Roy­al Headache or The Ther­mals. In a few in­stances, the song­writ­ing doesn't quite cut it and that's when they veer dager­ous­ly close to shal­low pop punk ter­ri­to­ry. How­ev­er, when they hit, they hit hard and even man­age to evoke a sub­tle retro 60s pow­er pop vibe along the way.

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Mess - Traidores

Guadala­jara, Mex­i­co group Mess re­cent­ly put out yet an­oth­er EP whose to­tal­ly unashamed oi!-ness is, to be per­fect­ly hon­est, a bit too much for me to bear. This more post punk-lean­ing two-track dig­i­tal sin­gle they re­leased just a week ear­li­er is pure gold though.

DDR - The Morning Grey

A kin­da un­ex­pect­ed and ex­cel­lent mu­sic sub­mis­sion came in here by a group from Za­greb, Croa­t­ia play­ing a va­ri­ety of dark old­school post punk with a very slight goth edge, re­mind­ing my at dif­fer­ent points of con­tem­po­rary groups like Day­light Rob­bery, The Es­tranged, Prim­i­tive Teeth, Anx­ious Liv­ing, Crim­i­nal Code or Xe­tas while of the old guard, there's cer­tain­ly some Wipers-es­que gui­tar work in there and maybe some mid-80s Naked Ray­gun? In the sec­ond half of the al­bum, things get in­creas­ing­ly more melod­ic, gain­ing some kind of melan­cholic Leather­face-, HDQ- or mid-to-late 80s Gov­ern­ment Is­sue vibe.

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The Wind-Ups - Try Not To Think

No won­der this shit feels fa­mil­iar. The Wind-Ups is a new so­lo project of none oth­er than Jake Sprech­er of Ter­ry Malts and Smoke­screens fame. Much raw­er and loud­er than any of his oth­er groups have dared to sound re­cent­ly (al­beit not quite reach­ing ear­ly Ter­ry Malts lev­els of speed and fuzzy­ness), this at times sounds like a fu­sion of Ter­ry Malts' melod­ic­i­ty with slight­ly post punk-lean­ing garage groups like Tyvek or Par­quet Courts, while in oth­er mo­ments you can sense a breeze of The Spits, Ricky Hell or any­thing Reatard(s)-related. Yet when he goes all-in on pow­er pop, there are some un­de­ni­able british in­va­sion vibes em­a­nat­ing from his arrange­ments and com­po­si­tions.

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Full Toilet - Why

As a coun­ter­bal­ance to my last post, here's kind of a mu­si­cal shit­post cre­at­ed by some seat­tle dude who al­so hap­pened to play in one or the oth­er lo­cal leg­end you might have heard of. A four­teen-act rock opera of 7"-sized pro­por­tions that kin­da plays out like an odd fu­sion of 80's Nomeansno, ear­ly Min­ute­men and Sac­cha­rine Trust… chances are i'm al­ready over­think­ing this though.

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Needles/​/​Pins - Needles/​/​Pins

Not a whole lot ever changes in the mu­sic of Vancouver's Needles/​/​Pins and in crap times like the past year-and-a-half, this fa­mil­iar­i­ty is rather com­fort­ing. They still play that cer­tain kind of punk rock… you know the one. The whol­ly un­sub­tle und un­apolo­get­i­cal­ly earnest, melod­ic, emo­tion­al and eu­phor­ic, the folk- and amer­i­cana-in­fused kind. The kind that in­evitably leads to em­bar­rass­ing sin­ga­longs and awk­ward dis­plays of emo­tion from con­cert au­di­ences. Dis­gust­ing, man. I miss it so much…

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The Smog - First Time, Last Chance

Let me be blunt here: You guys wan­na con­vince me to pay the equiv­a­lent of ~4,60€ for a dig­i­tal down­load of on­ly two songs, those two songs bet­ter be fuck­ing bril­liant. Luck­i­ly, fuck­ing bril­liant is ex­act­ly what these these two tracks by some Tokyo group are. Ka-ching!

Nasty Party - Celebration

This Sydney/​London based duo hits every nail on the head straight­away on their first EP with an hon­est ur­gency to their straight­for­ward lyrics and a sound not en­tire­ly dis­sim­i­lar to re­cent british DIY phe­nom­e­na like Sil­i­cone Val­ues or Sub­ur­ban Homes, al­though Nasty Par­ty sup­ple­ment their ob­vi­ous Tele­vi­sion Per­son­al­i­ties vibes with quite a bit of Buz­zcocks dri­ve. I'm al­so vague­ly re­mind­ed of Pro­to Id­iot and Freak Genes.

Slayer Jr - Slayer Jr

An­oth­er way-too-short cas­sette bear­ing the gift of qual­i­ty dumb old­school punk crank­i­ness of the heav­i­ly KBD-lean­ing kind, made by two mem­bers of L.A. weirdos Launch­er. What's not to like?

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Cosme - Demo

Now that thing's a treat! Some group from Ciu­dad López Ma­teos, Mex­i­co de­liv­ers a truck­load of pure joy on this tape, con­densed in­to three straight­for­ward-as-fuck bangers made out of fuzzed-out garage- and bub­blegum punk with some synth-sweet­ness on top, trans­mit­ting an undi­lut­ed sug­ar rush straight in­to your blood­stream.

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