Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Fade’

Vintage Crop

Aussie punks Vintage Crop have managed to embrace the same sinewy, elastic brand of rock that endeared their countrymen Eddy Current Suppression Ring to fans the world over. Their first LP for the strikingly consistent Anti-Fade Recs crackles with a sweaty, twitchy, inherently muscular brand of punk that’s aesthetically bumping up against the signposts of post-punk, making this one straddle eras of influence with a vital electricity. They’re still cracking the whip as far as energy, but there’s a supple twang to the guitars here and they weld that to the trampoline bounce of bass and gnashed-teeth gang vocals that feel ripe for the pit.

The record, as with their previous tape, gets some shaping from label-head Billy Gardner (see also: The Living Eyes, Ausmuteants) and official Aussie-quality mastering house Mikey Young. The album bumps elbows and jostles heavily against the more laconic trends down in the South-Hemi way these days, replacing tales of couch life and dead-end jobs with nervy tin-hat assertions about flying saucers and altered reality. Though they do get a good shot in about being too lazy to clean up after themselves (on title track “New Age”), they just give it a jolt of twitchy joints by running the slacker-pop sensibilities through a Mark E. Smith filter.

The record pushes the impulses that pounded out their previous tape to their logical ends, feeling all the more vital and for the extra angles and Mapplethorpe lighting they’ve splashed over the top of New Age. The record feels like the start of something great for the Geelong boys. Hopefully they’ll keep pushing the boundaries further towards post-punk’s creep. Either that or they’ll leave an excellent watershed for us to all to enjoy on its own merits.




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Vintage Crop – “Gerald Part 2”

Feel like I’m leaning hard on Anti-Fade lately, but I’ll be damned if they aren’t kicking out some choice gems from their stable of upcoming cuts for 2018. Vintage Crop, like labelmates Civic, are full of brutal punk slap, but they knot it up with the kind of muscular precision that made Eddy Current Suppression Ring perennial favorites here, and well, everywhere. “Gerald Part 2” sweats it out with the best South-hemi stranglers but veers to the frantically weird, which is always something I’ve found heartening about bands hanging in Ausmuteants’ orbit (the band’s Billy Gardner produces). Gonna want to keep the ears peeled for this one when it hits in April. Maybe stash away some lunch money until then to put this one on the table proper.




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CIVIC – “New Vietnam”

New crust out of Geelong, Aus from the always reputable Anti-Fade Records. CIVIC pounds with a dirt black howl that’s culling liberally from The Stooges/MC5 Motor City contingent of proto-punk sounds. The first cut from their upcoming 12″, “New Vietnam” is a breathless grind, choked out with exhaust fumes and powered by ragged denim and blood. Recorded by Billy Gardner (Ausmuteants, The Living Eyes), the song embraces the kind of toughened edge that his own works have often tapped into. The nation has long been a pocket of bristling punk, from The Saints to The Scientists and CIVIC jump in to the lineup with their own brutal blow to the thorax with this one. They’re proving that along with Ausmuteants, The Living Eyes, Wet Blankets and Hierophants, Geelong’s got grit.



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The Living Eyes

One of the most consistent exports from the Aussie underground comes via Anti-Fade Records’ agit-punks The Living Eyes. On their third LP for the imprint they continue to sneer ‘n shred their way through a dozen compact punk nuggets that feel like they’re handed down from the conglomerate schools of The Saints, Richard Hell, Pere Ubu and Toy Love. While keeping things distinctly Aussie (and sharing a searing similarity to labelmates Ausmuteants) they’re kindred spirits to the kind of itchy, agitated, raw-nerve of punk that festered in the American Mid-West some 40-odd years prior.

The difference is that while they seem to carry the outsider jitters in their very DNA, they’ve also found a way to inject an incredible amount of catchiness into the core of their songs, much like South-Hemi heroes Eddy Current Suppression Ring before them. That band’s Mikey Young pops up in the supply chain here on mixing and mastering duties, so you know things are kept brittle and pushing well into the red. The band has always been a fave around here but I have to admit they’ve outdone themselves on this one. They’ve never sounded more vital, electric or combustible as they do on Modern Living.

At the risk of beating the drum too hard in their praise, this is one of the rawest, most delightfully jagged pieces of punk to roll down the belt this year. Its been a good year for unrest and a bad year for everything else, but this one jolts like a car battery to the tongue. It’s chomping tinfoil like breath mints and dusting any contenders that are hoping to paddle through their wake. I know we’re all looking for a salve these days, and it’s nice to sink back into a malted hazed of indie stupor sometimes, but Modern Living is a good reminder to stay agitated and jolt a few others on your way out of the room.




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Parsnip – “Health”

There’s been a bit of a decline in girl-group punk swagger since the heydays of lo-fi faded into the background, but Parsnip brings the sound rushing back in full color for their debut single on Anti-Fade. The track is swooning with ’60s vocal harmonies but rooted in the Paisley-punk of bands like The Pandoras, doubling down on twangin’ guitars and squirming organ. The song is caffeinated cool, careening around hooks with a sugar buzz that’s pretty damn hard to ignore. Why would you possibly want to, though? This is a top-down stoplight dance party from start to finish and I’m keeping it on repeat.




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The Living Eyes – “Horseplay”

These Geelong punks are back in action. Always one of my faves from the Aussie circuit, The Living Eyes’ third record is out in November on Anti-Fade. They launch into another heavy hitter in a catalog stuffed with whip-smart punk. This time the boards are manned by none other than King Gizz captain Stu McKenzie, proving that KG are everywhere at once and always pushing the quality out of the South Hemi. “Horseplay” is a brief burst of bouncy fun, clocking in at just over 2 min, so consider this just something to whet your appetite for the full release.




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