Hood Rats - Crime, Hysteria & Useless Information

Fi­nal­ly, a full al­bum of Montreal's Hood Rats who've been mak­ing noise for a while al­ready, al­though their sound re­al­ly snapped in­to gear on their two most re­cent EPs in the win­ter of '22 - '23. Now this one is com­prised most­ly of punchy new record­ings of songs al­ready known from said EPs and a 2022 de­mo, but that shouldn't dis­tract you from the fact of what a joy­ous and com­plete as­sault of ear­ly '80s straight-ahead, no-frills US punk- and hard­core en­er­gy this is, en­riched with bits of an­cient KBD- and con­tem­po­rary garage punk. Cer­tain­ly the de­fin­i­tive in­car­na­tion for this lav­ish set of killer tunes!

Al­bum-Stream →

Chaos OK - Demo /​/​ Valtatyhjiö - Kuristusleikki

Raleigh, North Car­oli­na hard-/post­core pow­er­house Sor­ry State Records has two new treats in store for us. First there's the de­mo cas­sette by At­lanta group Chaos OK. Their name sug­gest­ing some con­nec­tion to old­school british punk al­ready, i'd in­deed say the EP starts out with a some­what UK82-ish vibe in par­tic­u­lar, which then lat­er morphs in­to a shape vague­ly sim­i­lar to more re­cent, slight­ly garage-in­fused hard­core acts á la ear­ly Elec­tric Chair and Kalei­do­scope, on­ly to end things in the guise of time­less pro­to noise, post­core and -punk some­where in­be­tween the worlds of, say, Crass, Flip­per and Dri­ve Like Je­hu. Ex­cit­ing shit!

An­oth­er old­school-ish, al­though a lot more sim­ple and prim­i­tive force of na­ture is the newest 7" by Finland's Val­taty­hjiö who con­vince by sheer force on this one, hav­ing both some traits of '80s con­ti­nen­tal eu­ro­pean hard­core to them as well as - to come full cir­cle as far as british in­flu­ence is con­cerned - some flour­ish­es of clear­ly NWOBHM-in­spired (speed-)metal.

Al­bum-Stream →

Antenna - Antenna

Awe­some to hear this dude's an­gel voice again! Just a cou­ple weeks ago, Shogun, best known as the pow­er­house front man of Roy­al Headache, made his tri­umphant re­turn (let's not for­get the neat 2018 Shogun and the Sheets 7" though) with the de­but EP of Finno­guns Wake, the duo com­pris­ing of him and Finn Berzin and now, pret­ty much out of nowhere, there's al­so the de­but EP by an­oth­er band of his, An­ten­na, pop­ping up which, of his projects so far, aligns clos­est to the old­school Roy­al Headache vibe in terms of its song ma­te­r­i­al while mov­ing on from the rough garage sound to­wards a some­what slick­er aes­thet­ic in­be­tween the pa­ra­me­ters of straight-up melod­ic punk rock, noise- and pow­er pop with a kin­da un­ex­pect­ed Leather­face edge to it. Sweet!

Al­bum-Stream →

The Slads - Tough Times

Bril­liant, thrilling old­school ac­tion on this Philadel­phia group's de­but EP on which a hy­brid garage/​hardcore vibe á la Cut­ters gets fused with a dis­tinct Oi! ten­den­cy rem­i­nis­cent of The Chis­el, Chub­by And The Gang. Then again, there are some ocur­rences of Poi­son Ruïn-es­que riff­ing to be spot­ted as well and some­times the gui­tar leads op­er­ate in clas­sic Ra­dio Bird­man ter­ri­to­ry.

Al­bum-Stream →

ØL - Demo

Ger­man lan­guage "deutsch­punk" that doesn't suck still is much of a rar­i­ty, sad­ly. This thing here in­deed does not suck in the slight­est though. The de­but LP of this group from Aachen treads an in­ter­est­ing mid­dle ground, hav­ing clear echoes of some of the bet­ter and quite ob­vi­ous ger­man in­flu­ences (think the likes of Oma Hans, ear­ly Muff Pot­ter, Tur­bostaat, Oiro, Düsen­jäger…) while at the same time hav­ing a more garage-lean­ing vibe to them rem­i­nis­cent of a quite di­verse bunch of in­ter­na­tion­al acts like Cri­sis Man, Flow­ers Of Evil, Waste Man, As­cot Stab­ber, Mys­tic Inane… plus the oca­sion­al hint of Hot Snakes /​ Dri­ve Like Je­hu to boot!

Al­bum-Stream →

Citric Dummies - Zen and the Arcade of Beating Your Ass

Damn, it ap­pears for some weird rea­son i've skipped post­ing about all pre­vi­ous re­leas­es of this Min­neapo­lis group here, beg­ging the ques­tion of what the fuck has been wrong with me all the time. While i'm con­sult­ing my ther­a­pist about that, lemme just say that this newest Cit­ric Dum­mies LP is a per­fect knock­out punch of ear­ly '80s-in­flu­enced-old­school-en­er­gy-meets-con­tem­po­rary-garage-punk good­ness pack­ing an ex­tra punch due to the al­ways ex­cel­lent pro­duc­tion du­ties of garage prodi­gy Erik Ner­vous, of whom we're gonna hear again this week. While the Hüsker Dü-ref­er­enc­ing ti­tle and art­work feel kin­da goofy at first glance, they're al­so not en­tire­ly out of place as these songs con­jure up a fury not en­tire­ly dis­sim­i­lar to the Dü in their prime but sim­i­lar things could be said of ear­ly Naked Ray­gun, Ado­les­cents, an oc­ca­sion­al hint of Bad Brains or a touch of Dick­ies in their catchi­est mo­ments. Every fuck­ing song on here is a sim­ple and pre­cise, pre­med­i­tat­ed hit in the guts, their in­cred­i­ble song wiz­ardry nev­er fail­ing to land even once.

Al­bum-Stream →

Zero Bars - Demo 2023

A strong de­mo by this Toron­to group has four de­li­cious no-frills bangers in store for us lo­cat­ed rough­ly on the in­ter­sec­tion of garage punk and post­core, hav­ing some Hot Snakes en­er­gy to them and a sim­i­lar vibe to the ear­ly works of Video and Teenanger in ad­di­tion to straight­for­ward punk acts such as As­cot Stab­ber, Flow­ers Of Evil, Piss Test as well as a more ec­cen­tric breed of garage-meets-hard­core acts á la Launch­er and Mys­tic Inane. Mu­sic to my ears!

Al­bum-Stream →

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.

Al­bum-Stream →

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.

Al­bum-Stream →

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!

Al­bum-Stream →