Smarts - Who Needs Smarts, Anyway?

An­oth­er Gee­long su­per­group fea­tur­ing high pro­file names such as Jake Robert­son (Aus­muteants, Alien Nose­job, Leather Tow­el etc.), Bil­ly Gard­ner (The Liv­ing Eyes, Ce­re­al Killer, Aus­muteants), Mitch Cam­ple­man (The Liv­ing Eyes) and Stel­la Ren­nex (Parsnip, Ba­nana­gun). Sound-wise, this doesn't stray too far from the es­tab­lished Aus­muteants for­mu­la and i'm to­tal­ly okay with that. Not the most orig­i­nal thing i've ever heard but a fun and thrilling ride nonethe­less, from start to fin­ish.

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Liquid Face - Crumbling Structure

Qual­i­ty stuff from Good­bye Boozy Records, as usu­al. Liq­uid Face is a project of Cal Don­ald, who al­so plays in Drag­gs, al­though what we get to hear on this 7" is even a bit quirki­er than any­thing Drag­gs have ever done. Synth-/garage punk some­what rem­i­nis­cent of C57BL/​6, Stal­ins of Sound, Puff! or any­thing Cruz Somers has un­leashed up­on us (S.B.F., Race Car, etc…). In re­gard to the aus­tralian scene specif­i­cal­ly, this wouldn't feel out of place along­side the Warttman Inc. cat­a­log ei­ther.

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Modern Needs - Genetic Makeup

Don't know how i didn't ever stum­ble up­on this San Fran­cis­co dude's out­put be­fore ear­li­er this year, when Mod­ern Needs re­leased a cer­tain killer tape called Sur­vey of the An­i­mal King­dom. Well, what's more im­por­tant is that he's got a new al­bum out al­ready and just as ex­pect­ed, it once again de­liv­ers loads of stu­pid fun made up of some old­school US west coast shit, time­less garage punk and plen­ty of KBD-style weird­ness. Of the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion you might think of Launch­er, Liq­uid As­sets, Frea­kees, Fried E/​M… or of old­er ar­ti­facts by The Men­tal­ly Ill, Nox­ious Fumes. Al­so this time, the gen­er­ous use of Synths cre­ates an un­de­ni­able Aus­muteants feel.

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Moth - Modern Madness

An­oth­er sol­id EP by Melbourne's Moth, this time com­ing across a bit less synth-heavy than on their last one. Once again this takes some cues from fa­mil­iar garage punk acts like Use­less Eaters, Ex-Cult, Aus­muteants and ear­ly Teenanger, as well as some of the Warttman Inc.-affiliated groups like Re­search Re­ac­tor Corp., Set-Top Box. Al­so, in Dig­i­tal Cri­sis, their sound takes an un­ex­pect­ed turn to­wards dark post punk of the Ex­it Group, Diät, Rank/​Xerox va­ri­ety.

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Wax Chattels - Clot

Two years af­ter their promis­ing, though at times some­what un­der­cooked de­but LP, we get to hear a way more con­sis­tent sopho­more ef­fort by this Auck­land, New Zee­land trio. Their rather ab­stract yet al­ways catchy com­po­si­tions some­where on the fringes of Post Punk and Noise Rock - plus a hint of In­dus­tri­al - at sev­er­al points re­mind me of Acts like Girls In Syn­the­sis, Haunt­ed Hors­es, Ice Bal­loons or Tu­nic - with a small dose of Light­ning Bolt sprin­kled in for good mea­sure.

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Diode - Diode

Some Los An­ge­les group con­sist­ing of a tru­ly all-star garage line­up de­liv­ers a pleas­ant­ly quirky mix of garage-, post- and synth punk, some­times com­ing across like a cross­breed of Nots and Pow!, or like Prim­i­tive Cal­cu­la­tors-meet-Use­less Eaters in oth­er mo­ments.

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Satanic Togas - X-Ray Vision

An­oth­er re­lease cour­tesy of Sa­tan. Thanx a lot Sa­tan, we're all big fans of your work over here at 12XU. The newest long­play­er on Sydney's ex­quis­ite Warttman La­bel along with ital­ian pow­er­house Good­bye Boozy amazes with an­oth­er fun, fast-paced twen­ty min­utes of odd­ball garage- and synth punk that has quite a lot in com­mon with oth­er Warttman acts á la Re­search Re­ac­tor Corp., Dot.com, Set-Top Box. Oth­er than that, com­par­isons to ear­ly Use­less Eaters or Aus­muteants don't seem too far fetched ei­ther.

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I Am The Fly - I Am The Fly 7"

Well… i like to dis­cour­age folks from mail­ing me phys­i­cal copies of stuff for good rea­son, since in most cas­es all this amounts to is a tremen­dous waste of mon­ey and nat­ur­al re­sources while dig­i­tal files are way eas­i­er to dis­pose of. How­ev­er, these sev­en inch­es of black PVC ar­riv­ing at my doorstep from a duo based not that far away from… said doorstep, has quite a bit of un­ex­pect­ed class - propul­sive synth punk in a man­ner you might cur­rent­ly as­so­ciate with the likes of Le Prince Har­ry, Clarko, Pow­er­plant or R. Clown, while those eng­lish lyrics straight from the Klaus Meine bar­gain bin just add to its kin­da cute & campy DIY charme.

Cherry Cheeks - Motivator /​ No Ticket /​ Neighborhood WATCH!

I tried hard to dis­miss this Or­lan­do, Flori­da project as just an­oth­er cook­ie cut­ter DIY synth punk/-garage ar­ti­fact of our times… with the first EP that was. The sec­ond one was able to sow some mis­trust in my own judge­ment. Num­ber three fi­nal­ly served as a re­minder on how full of run­ny shit my dys­func­tion­al lump of grey mat­ter can be some­times - so bad i wish some­one would trans­plant an anus on­to my head. Evo­lu­tion, you're such a ter­ri­ble dis­ap­point­ment… These twelve songs are an in­cred­i­bly fun synth punk ride over­all, the kin­da pop ori­ent­ed va­ri­ety, just get­ting pro­gres­sive­ly bet­ter with each new EP. Take a juicy bite if you can stand stuff like Trash­dog, Warm Ex­it, Dot.com, Set Top Box, Pow­er Plant, T.L.B.M., Spy­roids.

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Moth - Machine Nation

Mel­bourne group Moth al­ready had a de­cent de­mo out not too long ago, but this new set of tunes is so much stronger. This is your typ­i­cal con­tem­po­rary garage-/synth punk stuff, plain and sim­ple… but al­so quite com­pe­tent­ly done, pack­ing some se­ri­ous punch and adding a slight psy­che­del­ic touch to the mix - oth­er­wise rough­ly ad­her­ing to the Use­less Eaters, Pow!, Flat Worms and Ex-Cult core for­mu­las. You can't go wrong with these.

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