Posts Tagged ‘Punk’

Ausmuteants – “Forever Cops”

New Ausmuteants on the scene this week and it’s a doozy, as could only be imagined by the band. Taking off from the dyspeptic seeds they sowed on the track “We’re Cops” from 2014’s Order of Operations, the band swings back with a full album written from the perspective of an authority crazed walker of the beat. The band cites a loss of faith in law enforcement worldwide as the impetus for the album and they paint a vivid picture of overreach on “Forever Cops.” Its no less dystopian than they’ve ever been, just maybe a bit more prescient. The song is soaked in drunk-sick keys, rabid guitars and fever panicked vocals with a finger on the trigger. Take a listen below and look for the full rager on April 26th.



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Gonzo – “Never Say Never Again”

Geelong garage-punks Gonzo are back already with a new single and matching vid off their upcoming Anti-Fade. The track’s another ripper – octane oozin’ punk that’s sinewy and sweaty, oddly buttoned up, yet tearing apart at the seams. The boys pair the panther pounce of the song’s nimble grooves with a strangely silly vid that shows the band wandering the streets dressed as plants. Who cares if it brings something new to the table, the clip is offbeat and the song’s flexin’ for a fight. The LP lands at the end of the month on Anti-Fade (who are having a great year already). Pick it up!



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The Uranium Club

Minneapolis’ cracked punk purveyors Uranium Club are back with another LP that draws from the miscreant/art axis of ‘70s derangement that exists between the loosened strands of punk and the buttoned-up prescription of post-punk. The band swings through manic guitar runs, folding riffs into origami shapes that seem ill-advised, yet wind up absurdly catchy if the circadian rhythms of your psyche are knocked properly askew. The band is breaking the catalogs of Dow Jones & the Industrials, Pere Ubu, Devo, MX-80, and Wire over their knee and shuffling the pieces into an order that reads like a buried Burroughs if only you could find the cipher.

They jumped off of the counter and onto the decks with their last EP, proved the madness can’t be contained to 33 revolutions per minute on a live follow-up, and now they’re rubbing oven cleaner in the wounds left raw and reeling with a brand-new slab for hire. The Cosmo Cleaners is stretching your consciousness out through the left nostril and jamming the nozzle of an aerosol air freshener up the other, 9V batter firmly planted on the tongue for full effect. Seemingly stumbling from chord to chord, Uranium Club has actually got the chaos mapped meticulously and printed on line ruled circuit boards for the taking. They punctuate the perilous peaks and crumpled valleys of their songs with car horns attenuated to specific frequencies that’ll induce involuntary full-body jerking. They keep the rolled aluminum din swinging while simultaneously laying out a full spoken word screed over the top. They won’t be taking questions after the session.

With The Cosmo Cleaners the band is proving that their lauded early releases were no fluke of human condition, and more to the point, should have served as a warning rather than a welcome. They’ve set out a statement of ill invective with their latest for Static Shock, built of motor oil and bacteria and given life like a viral golem doomed to wander the streets in search of blood. There’s a heavy sense that the members of Uranium Club find themselves to be more intelligent than you, and perhaps they’re right, but they’ve been left bored and bruised and no job sates the backlog of bile in their system quite like issuing ire through reel to reel. So, they’ll take your twenty dollars and stuff it their socks, saving up for another aural attack, another manifestation of manifesto made metal down the line. Enjoy it… or don’t. I’m not sure that it makes a difference, but it definitely leaves a mark.



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Alien Nosejob – Buffet of Love 12″

Following up on his LP from last year, Jake Robertson (Ausmuteants, School Damage) serves four tracks of minimalist dance delirium. Shifted away from the squirm pop of his previous LP, Robertson keeps the emphasis on endless pining and extraterrestrial love but sets the scene amid a backdrop of stripped-down beats and cold-call synths. While he claims a bedridden bout with Italo-disco deep dives on YouTube is at work here, there’s also more than a few shades of German beat mongers in the bones of this EP as well. Echoing the insistent pop predicaments of Monopol and Rheingold, the EP’s four tracks are shorn of the goofy warmth that pervaded his album and zipped up in the icy folds of Nosejob’s new phase.

Whether this is a permanent shift or Alien Nosejob remains a pop chameleon destined to forever shed its skin remains to be seen. The four tracks here serve a potent dose of no-frills dance, but perhaps there are already new shores to be littered with tales of love lost and missed abductions. For now, this acts as a nice document of dance built for isolation – bedroom pop gems that don’t need a room full of gyrating sympathizers to make their Teutonic twists last.

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Hexdebt – “Loops”

Melbourne four-piecer Hexdebt drops a jagged jolt of post-punk down on us with the second single from their upcoming album Rule of Four. The track is shot through with the anguished guitar and vocal venom of singer/slinger Agnes Whalan. The rhythm section batters the listener until the glass around one’s resolve cracks under pressure. The song’s a short shout, but effective as hell in its mission to bury the bullshit under a wave of amp fury. Much like their Poison City label-mates, the band has a knack for dipping the targets in an acid bath of sound, stripping those who’d cross them down to the bone and coming back for more. As the band have mentioned elsewhere, the album seeks “the evolution and hopeful deconstruction of archaic systems of power, the monetization of personal pleasure and social capital, autonomy over the self and the painful muffling of oppressed voices and the passing of time.” For anyone on the receiving end of their ire, I feel quite sorry. If any album has the sonic might to achieve these goals, Hexdebt are topping the pile.




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Nots – “Half Painted House”

Memphis’ Nots return to the fold to slap a little more post-punk into an already teeming 2019. The first track off of their upcoming 3 is a tense and taut affair, but unlike many of their peers its not brittle or bouncy in any regard. The band excels at injecting something of a pillowy anxiety into their music – dragging lines down both the shoegaze and post-punk playbooks without committing fully to either one. Bass and snare hammer at the base of the skull while those keys just fill the mind with smoke and Sulphur. The lights seem to flicker and dim in response to the track, charging the air with static, while the walls confusingly sweat with condensation and the lungs fill with humidity to the point of choking. The song’s a conduit of contradiction.

If “Half Painted House” is any indication of where the band is headed on the album, then this threatens to up the expectations on Nots exponentially. This is definitely Nots at their bitten best. The record lands May 10th on Goner.






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The Coathangers

On their sixth album The Coathangers are focusing their fury to a fine point, channeling their irritation with the world into targeted tension that’s more mulled than their early works. They’re no strangers to the scratch n’ slash punk pound but they’d been swinging more wild on their early records. While tracks like “Shut Up” are excellent reasons to shout down the shitstorm, on Devil You Know the band has zeroed in on what’s burrowed under their skin, whether its the NRA or unwanted advances. The album’s packed with pop hooks but those hooks’ll snag ya every time, and that’s what makes Coathangers great.

As they’ve acknowledged themselves, this record does congeal more than they’ve attempted to in the past. The band had been blessed and cursed with three songwriters and they’d typically split the album into the respective writers’ songs. Each was effective but the effect was often disjointed. Now, instead of sounding like power pop, punk and post-punk thrown in a jar and shaken to order, the tracks shift under your feet from tense rhythm chokers to candy choruses in the span of three-minute marvels. They even yank the plug and take the temperature down to a chill with the pillow-soft strains of “Lithium.”

And with that ‘90s-nodded title the band gives away what works best about The Devil You Know. Their tattered and taped vision of alt rock brings echoes that golden era for guitars without pulling it on like a punchline. Where Pixies, Veruca Salt, and Elastica bounced pop’s gloss and punk’s power back and forth, The Coathangers are true heirs apparent. The whip tension like pros, nail their targets to the wall and come off with the songs that peel paint while getting stuck solid in your head for days. The band has long proven that they can hang with the heavies in a genre of two, but it seems that by letting go of purity they found themselves at their best. If you’d ever written the band off, or pigeon holed them in any regard, its time for another listen.



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Amyl and the Sniffers – “Monsoon Rock”

After a host of EPs, singles and compilations of those EPs, Amyl and the Sniffers are embarking on their debut LP for Flightless Records. The band, whose raucous punk spirit elevates the dual rock prongs of punk and pub to a the kind of snotty, deviant level that brought us The Saints, Dead Boys, and The Weirdos. Monsoon Rock blows the sound out in all directions. It’s bigger than ever, churning the rock n’ roll stew to a whirlpool of leather n’ sweat. Amy Taylor’s vocals are as acidic as ever – sneered, seared and spit out in fits of vocal venom. It’s pretty much everything you could want from an Amyl and the Sniffers track. The accompanying video is, however, absurd. Nothing says hectic punk fury like hand puppets. That’s what I always say. Pretty fun nonetheless. Check the clip out and keep perked for the album on May 24th.

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Paint Thinner

Invariably when Detroit is thrown down as a geographical pinpoint, thoughts turn to soul, funk, proto-punk, and to the Aughts’ onslaught of garage. More recently, though, with an abundant availability of warehouse space and relatively lower living costs, noise and art-punk have hunkered down in the Motor City as well. Not such a stretch, considering the same has been true of anchor points just south in Columbus and Cleveland, and as a native of Michigan, I can’t think of any better forms to express the pent-up frustrations of six months of frigid climes pinned to the creeping permanence of strip mall sprawl. Its in this climate that Paint Thinner make their move. While the band isdefinitely not garage, they aren’t exactly punks by design either.

The group (which pulls members from Human Eye, Terrible Twos and Frustrations) hovers in the crevices between noise and punk, soaking in the acerbic juices that once fostered Wire’s transition away from streamlined punk strategies and towards something more sinister. There’s a lot of tension at play in the band’s songs – builds that don’t necessarily resolve, a chewing of strings, a twist of discordance that gives the album an overcast pallor. Like Sonic Youth, Royal Trux, and Television before them, though, the band tends to find their best moments in emerging from noise just slightly to play with catchier forms, before lurching back into the churn.

The bulk of The Sea of Pulp, however, raises its head above the noise barrier only to establish forms and then it tugs between the dirge draggin’ modes of the ‘90s and the more introverted dropouts of Slint and their ilk looking to find bliss between the pedals. There are some genuine moments that raise this up, but also a few that lose steam in the pot. In the end the album runs on the unexpected ninety-degree twist, as perhaps most articulated by their admitted influence in Syd Barrett. While Barrett might have been truly lost in his own musical non-sequiturs, Paint Thinner seem to always be eyeing the crowd with raised brows. This makes that unexpected twist, rather expected by the end of the record. Lots to love here, but perhaps it feels like we’ve been down these roads before.



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The World – “White Radish”

The 2017 debut from Oakland post-punks The World was a biting and bouncy delight, invested as much in groove as it was in lyrical invective. As such, the news that the band has a new mini-LP coming out on new label, Microminiature, comes with great anticipation. The first cut off of that release hits today and “White Radish” is just as infectious as anything the band has done. With sharp shards of guitar, loping bass, a kitchen sink’s worth of clattering percussion and the sax squawks of the band’s Stanley Martinez, this one’s a keeper. File it next to great latter-day post-punk from Lithics, Vital Idles, Uranium Club, and Primo for maximum rhythm damage and keep an eye out for the mini-LP to land on March 20th.



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