Posts Tagged ‘Punk’

Cable Ties – “Sandcastles”

Super happy to have this track in the box today. Cable Ties have long been simmering in the Aussie underground and have positioned themselves as one of the most ferocious bands in the country. I’m pretty sure that RSTB yelled out every single that came through the channels in the last couple of years hoping that everyone would share in the joy, pain, indignation, and invigoration that the band embodied. Seems like someone else was listening.

The band are expanding their reach with a new record, Far Enough, released as a split between their old home at Poison City and Merge here in the States. The first single “Sandcastles” takes on the gatekeepers of activism who are more concerned with language and codes of behavior than inclusion and change. The song, like so many of their others, simmers with a barely contained bile. When singer Jenny McKechnie turns her sonic sweep on a target, there’s no mercy, no restraint. The band are heirs apparent to X-Ray Spex and Au Pairs, a guiding force for a new generation. Damn glad they’re out there steering the rudder of change. Far Enough lands March 23rd on Merge.



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Wasted Shirt – “Double The Dream”

Well I’d be remiss not to mention this one given it involves a couple of Raven faves. Ty Segall and Brian Chippendale team their respective ecstatic impulses under the name Wasted Shirt. While the band name definitely conjures a late-night half-formed promise that “we’ll totally make a record, and its gonna be called Wasted Shirt,” the results are more than just some off-handed impulsiveness. Rooting the sound in a scarred-earth static, the pair explore the ragged terrain of the redline valley. Chippendale’s drumming is as rapid-fire as ever and the pulse pushes “Double the Dream” along like a fevered gulp. The rest of the track is pocked with a scorched hardcore turned inside out by psychedelic impulses. The song’s pace is only matched by the engrossing video laid out with animation by Somer Stampley. Feeling this one for sure. The band’s debut, Fungus II lands February 28th from Famous Class.



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Taxidermists – “Meet Again”

Massachusetts’ Taxidermists fire back with a tripleshot single after their sorely overlooked Feeding Tube LP from last year. Still tightly wound and ready to blow, the songs are pop rocks packets of angst and angles. There’s a brittleness that the duo shares with No Age, though they often come off like a scrappier Omni. Those overtones are present on all three tracks here, but the opener, “Meet Again” is laced with a lingering sadness that’s not always present in the band’s work. It’s brittle, but ready to crumble under the emotional weight behind it. The band, so far, has bubbled far beneath the radar but here’s hoping they keep pushing out great records like this until their catalog begs a look. The EP is out now on a pay as you wish version on Bandcamp. Throw the band some love and a few bucks if you can.




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Lux – New Day EP

A ferocious EP from Barcelona’s Lux hits like a giddy hammer to the head. Over these four tracks the band barely takes a breath, forging a formidable punk gauntlet that tears at the listener from all sides. Spain’s been having a pretty admirable punk resurgence and this fits right in alongside Moan or Rata Negra. The EP rumbles into view with the suburban assault of “Action,” the band’s riot underpinned by the sonic slap of vocals that never let the listener off of the hook. The whole thing’s over in six minutes but not an ounce of sweat is spared over the four tracks. It’s cold out there, so maybe this is the best way to melt the ice and march on through the rest of these sun-forsaken months. Lux know just what you’re looking for and bring int 4x harder and faster than the rest. Recommended on repeat.

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Alien Nosejob – “Television Sets”

Excellent news rolling in today from the South Hemi as Alien Nosejob sets up for a new LP with Anti-Fade and Drunken Sailor. The band, led by Jake Robertson (Ausmuteants, School Damage) has been a pretty loose-genre affair, finding inroads in synth, disco and punk but it’s sounding like a combo of the synth and punk strands on this one, leaving the leanings of his disco days behind. “Television Sets” slings into the screen with a driving rhythm and both the guitars and the keys on full-bore fuzz. There are definitely a couple of Ausmuteants overhangs here, but this is less angular than their agenda, letting the teeth sink into the flesh a bit more. I’d definitely recommend hitting this one up and getting it on those wishlists.



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Eddy Current Suppression Ring

Couldn’t have been more surprised to see this one pop up on the radar for 2019. After a lengthy hiatus that saw rise to tributaries like Total Control, the aughts’ most potent punks are back and bashing with a new long player this year. The record would probably daunt lesser souls – a pristine reputation left dangling for a decade is dusted off and the band feel like they’ve made the logical next step in their sound. Still walking the line between the bar fight bruisers of pub rock that crept out of the gutter in the ‘70s to become punk’s nascent form, the band also finds a way to skip over the meat of those very same punk years and add in the wiry wreckage of post-punk fallout to the mix. They’re the alpha and the omega hurtling through the speakers in riot-wracked glory.

Ten-odd years behind the mixing desk and twisting the knobs on a synth set hasn’t dulled Mikey Young’s guitar attack one bit. He’s still bashing out angles that others would overlook – slinging hooks like a tried and true record collector who’s absorbed an era’s worth of wreckage by osmosis. Then there’s the gloved-menace himself, Brendan Huntly, who brings the nasal hammer once again, a punk-poet who doesn’t go for the pretense. He’s Richard Hell if Hell spent less time artfully arranging holes on his shirt and just got straight to the jitters. They update the invective for a new round of political punishment by the worldwide punters of 2019 but through the faces change the burn remains the same. This is a band that pretty much touched off what’s been ripping through the Aussie underground in the interim since they left and its good to see them kick the kids off the throne and casually tip the crown on their heads. A late slip into the 2019 fold, but this one should be on your year’s best for sure.




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DENNIS – “Stiffs Parade”

A bare-bones punk scorcher from Melbourne punks DENNIS marks the second single off their upcoming Homeless LP, The Enthusiast. The band picks up first wave nods to The Saints, Germs, and raw and ragged tales of The Stooges, though perhaps the most modern connection seems to be from Timmy Vulgar’s camp. There’s more than a bit of his acid gargle in the vocals here. There’s a snottiness to the record that’s surely on par with The Dead Boys, though the approach is much harsher — DENNIS boasts less swagger than even those degenerates and proudly so. The band contains members of Bits of Shit and Chugga and The Fuckheads, both slime-sodden Aussie rounders that feed into the sound at play on “Stiffs Parade.” The record was laid to tape by punk impresario Billy Gardner, head of Anti-Fade and captain of the Living Eyes ship and mastered by none other than Mikey Young (who else?). The video places the band in the clean and healthy confines of a gym, but the contradiction remains evident. This is a scum dredged vision of punk, just as it should be, soaked and sodden and wrung dry over the tape machine until all the bile was documented and decoded.



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Woolen Men

Feels like I’m constantly making the point that Portland’s Woolen Men are viciously underrated, or maybe they’re constantly making that point for me. Either way, the band has been consistently kicking out taut n’ toned indie that plucks from the punk and post-punk piles with equal fervor. Their last album amped up the Feelies and Go-Betweens riffage while finding a new muse in rhythm, but this time around they’re toughening up the tincture and heading back to their high-school hangs with rough-nubbed workouts that gnaw at R.E.M., mid-period SST, late-period Dischord, The Fall, and as always, the Dü. The band’s prowess has always been the ability to throw these bits in the blender and not let one of them rise to the surface too heavily, letting the scent of past scenes float on the air while their frothy jams hold down substance of their own accord.

There’s not too many that do this with quite the same skill, but the addition of Possible Humans to the fold this year makes me wish for a double bill by the two bands as soon as possible. Like the Aussie upstarts, Portland’s finest seem to shift gears without any crunch on the clutch. The airy coolness of “Crash,” while worlds away, feels a kinship with the muscular pound of opener “Mexico City Blues” or the reckless rail of “Space Invader.” I’ve made the point in the past that its not style that defines Woolen Men, but an operating level that’s just a touch above the rest. While it would be hard to beat out the latter-day gem that is Post the band does a good job of giving it a companion in their current catalog and I’d highly recommend getting acquainted.



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Omni

As so often happens, the cultivation of culture at smaller labels befits the bigger kids on the playground too. When time knocks a band up the rungs and into the arms of broader reach, there’s always worry that expectations will change their sound. Omni may have shifted the logo on their jackets from Trouble in Mind to Sub Pop, but that relationship status change hasn’t affected their output too much. Sure there’s a bit more flash on their third album but its still rooted in the search for the perfect amalgam of the bookend of punk. The band has quiet often been heard chasing the dragon of ’77, rather than ‘81 — not post-punk as most always hang on them— but rather somewhere in that sliver of time when Television and Richard Hell were figuring out how to slice the stigma of soul away from rock n’ roll and let the blood drip into their strings. Those prickly heat guitar lines remain and give the feeling that Omni’s still onto something, but they’ve never been as caustic as Verlaine or Hell at their core. So while they might fashion themselves as Little Johnny Jewels in the rough, there’s a good deal of Wire’s humanism that sneaks in as well and that influence begins to creep ever forward on Networker — pop edges peek, experiments in sound seep, and the album is littered with jazz scraps and dub tags without homes.

There are synth strains that filter through the vents on “Skeleton Key” and “Present Tense,” and dare I say strums under those sunburned strings on “Genuine Person.” On “Moat” they sound less like their favored punk encampments and more like the ‘90s thrashers that found those ’77 tapes through friends and zines, giving their Sonic Youth nods where appropriate. Hell, on the album’s title track they’re downright smooth, a cool slap of water on the flash fry irritant that creeps under the skin of their sound. It works though, most notably because they’re following that rabbit hole of mid-period Wire and their willingness to adapt, experiment, and absorb new sounds while making them their own. Omni feel like they’re following similar threads, making this journey their own even if they have a guiding light to show them where the paths lead. The band’s sound still feels immediate, urgent in a way that won’t let the listener shove it to the background. Three albums on and the Atlanta trio are still worth the price of admission, elevated, but untarnished by a newfound fame.




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The Whiffs -“Now I Know”

Dig Records brings forth another snapped off revver from Kansas City’s power pop pumpers The Whiffs. The new single is forged on the punk / power pop line and echoing the carefree careen and mile wide sneer of Gentleman Jesse, The Barraracudas, and early Bad Sports. There’s no mixed messages or complications here, it’s 100% ripped wide open and ready to blow. The band packs fifteen tons of sweat, howl, and shake into just over two minutes, but even that’s enough to leave the listener crumpled and crying for more. The band’s sophomore LP, Another Whiff, is out December 6th and the band’s headed out with The Get Up Kids starting on Wednesday.

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