Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Okay, it has been some time since last post. Busy with school finals, then having family visit for 2 weeks left me with little time to listen to music, much less get on the computer. My mind was complete mush to be honest. 
It's hot as hell, and summer is here, and I have some free time again, so that means time to listen to music, and obsess about music, and wonder what's coming out next, etc. Catching up with the stuff I've received, as well as purchased over the past couple months. Here's the latest. I will post more reviews in the next week. 

Midwestern Hardcore early 80s style. Raw and unhinged, as only that region can produce (seems the coasts are too self-aware to make music this good, among other things). Lyrically it's to the point, no political sloganeering, just angst and insolence. "My Walls" and "Hate Group" are my favorites on here. Sound wise, think Necros meets Vilently Ill. This is members from Cülo, and Nick from Cowabunga, so you should have an idea what lies in wait. Proceed with haste. (Cowabunga c/o Nick Lovro, 311 Stearn Dr, Genoa, IL 60135 / cowabungarecords.com)

BRAIN F ≠ - So Dim 7"
Lo-fi punk rock that hearkens back to the days of yore, and yet is very much of the moment. For some reason I can't quite figure out, I'm reminded of the Tyrades. Anyhow, these two songs are raw, fuzzed out, and straight to the point. The energy is up, but they never get thrashy or wild. Slightly hyper and focused, you could say. I like the dual vocals, and the female vocals is what really gives the sound a distinct edge. The title track is my favorite, and the second song, "Symptom Set" t'aint bad either. Makes me want to hear more, fer sure.  Need to pick up the previous single now... (Grave Mistake, PO Box 12482, Richmond, VA 23241 / gravemistakerecords.com)

COKE BUST - Degradation EP
First time I heard these guys was on the A Product of Six Cents II compilation. For a band that plays it hard and fast to stand out on a collection of other bands who aim to break speed records, says something. I still have yet to hear the LP though. Which I'm told is pretty good. So for now, I have this EP to crank. Which I think is pretty damn good. Obvious comparisons are Infest and Ripcord. I also hear some early NYHC in there as well, in particular the breakdowns. A bit of feedback between songs give this a feel that everything was done in one take. Makes me look forward to their potential West Coast tour later this year. The majority of the songs are speed fests, with "Deathbed" being the slowest, and maybe because of that, also the standout track. Not to say any of the other songs suck, because they're all good. But it's "Deathbed" that really grabs your attention. Mid-tempo, with heavy percussion, and repetitive riff that recalls classic hardcore of twenty-five plus years ago. (Grave Mistake, PO Box 12482, Richmond, VA 23241 / gravemistakerecords.com)

INSTANGD - Drag Utan Drog EP
Picks up where their second EP, "Konkret Och Brutal", left off. Straight forward no frills hardcore punk that mixes US and Scandanavian influences seamlessly. Short, raw, and largely quick tempo blasts, throwing in time changes, pauses, and more to keep it interesting. Really like introduction to "Primitiv Energi". Sounds like it's going to be post-punk, then they let it rip with some full on hardcore. "Instangd/Fri?" is another stand out, with it's catchy rhythm, and over in seconds. The whole record is pretty good I should point out. Comes pressed on orange vinyl. I keep wondering when they're going to fly out and play some shows in Los Angeles. (Sorry State, 111 Old Pittsboro Rd, Carrboro, NC 27510 / sorrystaterecords.com) 

NIGHT BIRDS - Fresh Kills Vol. 1 CD
So a couple years ago I wrote a snarky asshole review of this band's demo for Razorcake. Fuck, was I a prick. Now I'm  eating crow like no tomorrow. A complete change of opinion. Listening to this, I am now of the opinion Night Birds are one of the best bands in the US. Certainly a band I'm going to push on my friends as I embark on my "super awesome summer". This disc is the perfect soundtrack for this warm season. These guys sound like they stepped straight out of late 70s / early 80s OC punk. Definite Adolescents and Agent Orange influences. This is the music that the Adolescents should have been cranking out after their classic blue album. Fast tempos, catchy as hell, a lot of attitude in the delivery, and the guitar playing is top notch with it's surf-esque style - just check out "Prognosis: Negative". This disc collects their "Killer Waves" 7", "Midnight Movies" EP, self-titled EP, and the aformentioned demo from 2009.

Fuck yeah!!! This is some high energy Pee-unk rawk right here. Think of the Saints bred with the Stitches. It's driving as hell, catchy, and there's a slightly sketchy  edge that really puts this over the top. The title track has a chorus that reeks of a future classic. "On Time" is just as ripping, and if anything, ups the energy even more. Can't get enough of the line, "I'm on time for a good time", and how it's delivered. "Prostitution Summer" slows down sightly, giving the song more swagger and attitude. Live, these guys must rip it up. They better! Reminds me of the late 90s/early 00s when there were some good bands playing places like Al's Bar, Bar Deluxe, and to a lesser degree, the Garage here in LA. (Grave Mistake, PO Box 12482, Richmond, VA 23241 / gravemistakerecords.com)

WET HAIR - Radiant Lines 7"
This is well worth your time to seek out. Wet Hair remind me a lot of Suicide, with just a little more going on. Synth driven, with layers underneath the shimmery drone. Music for late afternoons. The title track has a slight swagger to it. The drums shuffle, while the synthesizer climbs and rolls around, and the vocals sit somewhere in the back corner.  "Decay" buries the vocals underneath the synthesizers, which have a layer of drone on one level, and a poppier/playful layer riding over the top. Comes packaged in a 7" x 7" booklet of color collages constructed by Wet Hair: Shawn Reed and Ryan Garbes. One time pressing of 500. I checked the Not Not Fun site, and it's out of print. So check their distributors. You can find that information here: http://notnotfun.com/past.html