Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 TOP TEN: PUNK 7"s

While most current Swedish bands seem to be into 70s retro punk, Beast are proving the continuance of Scandinavian bands, who still know how to mix a good dose of rock'n'roll and 70s rock into their punkrock. The Hellacopters and Gluecifer are obvious references, but Beast is definitiley more than just a poor rip off. The rockish female vocals are really outstanding with their very own charming coolness. And they know, how to play guitar solos, that don't suck. If i had to describe this 7" with one word it would be: heavy. So get this beast! (Listen to it here)

Another amazing new band from New York. It’s quite possible, that Call Of The Wild are named after the Deep Purple song of the same title, since these two songs are definitely influenced by rock music from the 70s, even if it’s still more punk than rock. Imagine some Stooges like protopunk mixed with blasting killed by death punkrock and awesome 70s rock guitar riffs and you might get an idea, how good this 7” is. “The Call” is one of the best songs I’ve heart since a long time. It’s both catchy and hard rockin’. It’s a shame that this 7” is limited to 300 handnumbered copies only. (Listen to it here)

COPS - PREMONITIONS 7" (Rob's House)
Cops from Atlanta is another ex-Carbonas band featuring Gentleman Jesse, GG King and the bass player of the Bukkake Boys. Of course this ex-band blabla sucks, but for this debut 7" it's seems to be usefull, since everyone how likes The Carbonas won't be dissapointed. You get five short punk smasher without any frills. The songs are pretty fast and Gentleman Jesse's vocals are as great as usual. The best track for my taste is "Tired And I Wanna Go Home" with a super cool refrain, that keeps in mind. (Listen to it here

DARK TIMES - GIRL HATE 7" (Fysisk Format)
Second 7" by this fresh Norwegian 2/3 girl band. They've grabbed a lot attention with their debut 7" by MRR and others. And yes I have to admit, this is great music. Fast, primitive and super wild punkrock or protohardcore. Reminds a lot of Teen Idles or Middle Class. The guitar sounds a bit out of tune. Everyone can play the drum beats. after a fews days practice. It's all very elementary and that's just the great thing about Dark Times. (Listen to it here)
DIÄT - PICK A LINE 7" (Iron Lung)
Great new Berlin based band featuring two native Australians and Iffi from Static Age Records on drums. Diät are more focused on the new wave of Australien bands, than beeing another average German band without individuality. The two tracks of their debut double a-side 7" combine the sound of Total Control's first 7" with 80s UK Wave-Punk like Crisis or New Model Army's first LP. What's really oustanding, are Diät's vocals: they sound ice cold not very oz, but British in the tradition of UK postpunk and new wave. The artwork looks great too. (Listen to it here)

NERVOSAS - S/T 7" (Meth Mouth)
After two demo tapes this is Nervosas' first 7" release. The 3 songs are strapped with an arsenal of dark moody guitars comparable to The Wipers or Dead Moon and a good dose of late 70s/ early 80s Orange County punk in the vein of Agent Orange or The Adolescents. The vocals sound pretty unique, but also totally amazing. Comparable to other current Wipers influenced bands like Criminal Code, Bloody Gears or Red Dons. It's just as good. (Listen to it here)

PAMPERS - GUTS 7" (Jack Shack)
Their debut 7" from last year was allready really amazing, but this one is even better! Brooklyn's Pampers play snotty punkrock with hints of garage. "Guts" and "Lies" are super cool, sophisticated midtempo songs with some of the best guitar noise parts, I've heart in a while. The third song "Rathole" is a straightforward punk smasher, whichs sounds like it has been taken directly from a Killed By Death Compilation. Imagine the catchiness of of The Hex Hispensers paired with the weirdness of the The Urinals and you might know how this brilliant 7" sounds like. It's nice, that Pampers have kept the cover-artwork conecpt from their first 7". This should be continued! (Listen to it here)
The latest single from The Secret Prostitutes (what a cool name for a band!?) is yet another hot punk record. This band from Houston, Texas is simply one of the today's greatest retro bands. You get five short songs, made with everything a great punk record should have: it's primitive, it's weird, it's straight forward and it's catchy. The vocals are in Indonesian language, so it's a complete mystery what they might be singing about, but it sounds totally crazy with high recognition value. (Listen to it here)
Seth Sutton, the guys behind Useless Eaters, is a productive man: After three Singles and one LP "The Moves" is his fifth output in 2012. The fact, that he's a solo artist from Tennessee might me a reason, why Useless Eaters are often compared with Jay Reatard, but his music is definitely more than just a copy. This 7" represents his talent of writing very good songs based on with primtive three chord punk riffs, short breaks and melodies. "The Moves" is the outstanding track on this amazing 4 track 7", a super catchy retro punk burner. Do we need Hitler's head and girls in bikinis on the front cover? I don't think so. (Listen to it here

Watery Love is an amazing band from Philadelphia with members of Clockcleaner and Home Blitz. I still haven't got their debut 7" from 2009, so I'm glad to hold a copy of their new strictly limited record in my hands. "Die With Dignity" on the a-side is midtempo song based and the repeat of a monotonous guitar riff, a simple drum beat and a chorus that's keeps in mind. The lyrics deal with ending your life with an amonut of grace, no matter how stupid your life is. "Leave Me Alone" on the flipside is a successful interpretation of a Lou Reed song. It's really hard to put Watery Love into any categories. Basically it's simple, negative punkrock with some of the best charasmatic vocals and slight hints of noiserock. They've released another new 7" on Negative Guestlist, which is worth to check out as well. (Listen to it here)

Sunday, December 30, 2012


I bet this record will reach the status of a modern Boston hardcore classic. At least it has the potential to become one. It features tough, straight ahead 80s style hardcore filled with punsihing mid tempo songs, showing hints of British Oi! and classic punkrock. It's got a heavy SS Decontrol "Get It Away" era influence whilst adding a touch of Blitz "Voice Of A Generation". On top of that Boston Strangler have some really amazing deep and gnarly vocals. This is just throughout a great hardcore record. (Listen to it here)
CREEM - S/T LP (Katorga Works / Deranged)
This 12" is a lot better than their debut 7". A great mix of early 80s Boston and NY Hardcore with hints of classic 70s punkrock not unlike current bands like Boston Strangler or Prisoner Abuse. Based on throaty vocals, short guitar solos and a good change of catchy midtempo parts and blasting hardcore. Furthermore Creem have a great old-fashioned production. 6 songs plus a cover of "What The Fuck" by Black Easter, well known from Killed By Death #5. Frontcover and backcover pictures looks untypical for a hardcore record and that's just perfect. (Listen to it here)
Another great new band from Boston. "Violence Is Their Currency" features 10 songs of Discharge and Scandinavian d-beat influenced hardcore, but don't expect this popular kind of noisy d-beat full of reverbs and distortion. Green Beret are more focused on writing simple, fast and catchy songs with some 80s US hardcore mixed in for good measure. It would not be possible to review this record without referencing Totalitär, since the way the guitar sounds like is heavily influenced by them. Members from Social Cirkle are involved here. (Listen to it here)
So many current bands play a noisy style of hardcorepunk inspired by Confuse, Gai, Disorder, Atrocious Madness, Gloom and others. While most of them are pretty boring (at least outside Japan), Florida's Mauser are the ultimate figureheads of this trend and they are at least as good as the originals! After an amazing debut 7" and their three way Split 7" with D-Clone and Folkeiis, this is their first full lenght release. You get super distorted hardcorepunk, done by musicans, that definitely know how to play their instruments. And the recording has an amazing production: it's super noisy, but still powerfull. (Listen to it here)
Noise is a steady growing influence in Neon Blud's discogrpahy: Their first 7" featured noisy punk/ proto-hc, their "B-Girls" 12" and Split 7" with Diet Cokeheads were influenced by the noisy aspects of Sonic Youth and their current full lengh gets them in the door to pure droning noise and experimental music, heaviliy influenced by drugs. At least that's how it sounds like. It's an amazing trip trough distortion, reverbs and improvisation. There's a lack of common song structrures, but within this chaos Neon Blud still remaine the control to turn it into something special. (Listen to it here)

OFF! - S/T LP (Vice)
Off! is an allstar band including Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks) and other ex-members. These old guys still now how to play the classic style of hardcorepunk. they are famous for: It has all the frustration and angst-ridden approach, you would only expect from a bunch of teenagers. The songs are very short, but Off! come to the point and there's absolutely nothing missing. Not only because of Keith Morris' distinctive vocals, Off! sounds a lot like early Black Flag or Circle Jerks's "Group Sex" LP, but it would be wrong to desciribe Off! as a copy of their old bands. It's definitely more than this. (Listen to it here)  

This might be the best 80s styled hardcore record in 2012. So don't expect something new: Prisoner Abuse's brand of pummeling straight edge hardcore sounds like an lost Xclaim! release from 1983. Imagine a mix of your favourite Boston and New York hardcore records from Negative FX, SS Decontrol, The Absued or Antidote and you'll get an impression how amazing Prisoners Abuse debut lenght is. Also the artwork looks this release came directly from the early 80s. (Listen to it here)

TRAUMA - S/T LP (Feral Ward)
Trauma feature two guys from Tragedy, but fortunataly they pass on emo-crust melodies, shitty vocals and atmospheric parts. This is just straight forward pounding Portland style hardcorepunk, that doesn't give a fuck about any current trends and hypes. There's not a single slow or midtempo song on this record. Sounds a lot like Deathreat with some links of Japanese hardcore like Warhead, Death Side or European clones like Burial and Selfish. (Listen to it here)

This is White Lung's best release so far. They are often compared to Bikini Kill, but the fact, that they are a 3 girls involved, doesn't necessarily mean, that it's a simular style of music. The rythm-section plays a more or less typical hardcorepunk style, while the guitarist does some real weird stuff: He plays melodies most of the time and It has almost an free-jazz approach or whatever, but it works. Furthermore I have to mention the brilliant, shouted or melodic vocals, that are characteristic for White Lung's very own brand of hardcorepunk. (Listen to it here)

London based all-girl band, doing a kind of music, that is hard to be labeled. So don't expect any typical sounds here. It's a wild and primitive mix of dissonant punk, proto-hardcore and ugly noisy parts. The full playtime of this 10 song lp is about 13 minutes, so you know Woolf like it short and straight to the point. Sound like they combine Crass with Bikini Kil while playing hardcorepunk. This is defenitely no standard music and that's the great thing about this record. Awesome! (Listen to it here)

Friday, December 28, 2012


ANASAZI - ATTIC NOISE 7" (Toxic State)
To be honest, I'm not a gig fan of this current American hype of goth-rock and dark-wave influenced punk. Actually most of those bands really suck. New York's Anasazi are one of the few exceptions. While thier 7" on Sacred Bones was'n that amazing, "Attic Noise" offers some real good dark punkrock, taking the best moments of Christian Death, New Model Army, Sisters of Mercy and Joy Divsion to create their very own unique style of goth-punk. (Listen to it here)

CRIMSON SCARLET - S/T 7" (Cool Summer)
Crimson Scarlet have a great death-rock meets 80s UK wave sound! They are defintely into bands like Dead Moon, Chrsitian Death, Siouxsie And The Banshees or even The Gun Club. This 7" features two amazing tracks of dark punkrock with super cool melodic riffs, catchy female vocals and driving goth beats. They merge punkrock with metal, psychobilly and goth and the result sounds fuckin' great. Especially "sanctuary" on the a-side is a brilliant death-rock burner. (Listen to it here

Alex Zhang Hungtai, the guy behind Dirty Beaches, takes influences from the early rock'n'roll sound from the 50s and mixes it with a lo-fi heavy distorted sound, samples and electronic drones. The result sounds like The Cramps meets Sucide on drugs. "Dunewalker" features two weird 5 minute trips, borne by Alex Zhang Hungtai's disctinctive and dark vocals. As great as his "Badlands" full lenght from last year. (Listen to it here

Family Stoned are yet another example for Olympia's hot current scene with bands like Broken Water, Weird TV or Son Skull. The A-Side is a slow rock, folk and country influenced germ. "Rituals" on the flipside offers typical Olympia style early 90s indierock in the vein of Dinosaur Jr., Pavement or Sonic Youth. A super catchy song with a great melodic riff and Kim Gordon like female vocals. (Listen to it here
KING TUFF - WILD DESIRE 7"(Suicide Squeeze)
"Wild Desire" is defintely the best song King Tuff has ever written. It's a power-pop, glamrock and punk influenced number based on a super melodic guitar riff. This tune will make you listen to this 7" over and over again while jumping and screaming through your living-room. Should be played at every boozing party. "Hole In My Head" on the flipside is another well-done catchy number, not that great, but still above average. Limited to 750 copies. (Listen to it here

This 7" was originally released as a tape on Posh Isolation in late 2011. Both bands rank among the best current acts from Northern Europe concerning electronic music. Sweden's Lust For Youth crank out a New Order inspired minimal synth tune with an pounding heavy beat. The War song sounds pretty damaged, like it has been recorded two floors under their rehearsal room. It's based on the sound of broken synthesisers, a loop of a catchy keyboard melody and very low vocals (you can hardly understand a single word). Sounds strange, but the result is amazing.  (Listen to it here)

OBNOX - PURPLE REIGN 7" (Negative Guestlist) 
Obnox is the brainchild of Bim Thomas, who's well known from bands like Puffy Areolas, The Bassholes or This Moment In Black History. This 7" is less noisy than his amazing “I’m Bleeding Now” LP and all three songs have a quite different musical focusing. The opening track "Without a Soul" is a straight, super catchy garage punk smasher somewhere between The Dirtbombs and Dan Melchior. "Jack and Jill" is a slow, melodic burner with hints of blues and 70s rock. On the flipside we have “Only Black Man In South Dakota”, sounding a lot more psychedelic made with a wall of guitar noise and monotone repeat. (Listen to ot here)

PROTOMARTYR- DREADS 85 84 7" (Urinal Cake)
Great new band from Detroit with their debut 7". Protomartyer play straight punkrock with a variety of styles. A-side starts with "King Boots" a standard punkrock number with a melodic hook. "Bubba Helms" is a short track with cool of 70s rock guitar riff. "Cartier E.G.S" on the b-side is influenced by British postpunk with a dark melody not unlike Joy Division. The cover art looks like it's done by Raymond Pettibon. By the way: their "No Passion All Technique" LP is also worth to check out. (Listen to it here)

This 7" is about the father of American rocketry John Whiteside Parson. While I'm usually not that much into most Six Organs Of Addmitance's releases, I have to admit, that these two hot instrumentals are fuckin' brilliant. "Mission Abort" is the soundtrack for a random trip through space. "Blues For Jack Parsons" is not a blues. It is based on the hypnotic repeat of a bass-line and there's some kind of psychedelic guitar sounds added for good measure. (Listen to it here)

First new release since their amazing "$kum Of The Earth" full lenght on Negative Guest List two years ago and their first one with three guitars. Many current bands play noisy music, only a few have such a radical and damaged sound like The Unholy Two. Made with distortion, reverbs, "confusing" song structures, they create two ugly and slow noise tunes without a spark of hope. This is probably the most radical noise-rock since Harry Pussy.(Listen to it here)

Thursday, December 27, 2012


It's quite hip today to play dark Wipers inspired punkrock. Among all those bands Bloody Gears are definetely a stand out: Especially because of their vocalists, who really sounds like Greg Sage's double. Obviously their music also shows a strong Wipers influence, but it's more than just a poor rip-off and they've developed their style from their demo further to a more varied and complex sound. In fact this is some of the best dark punrkock I've heart since years. (Listen to it here)  

Crimal Code's debut 7" was one of my biggest surprises in 2011 and this follow up 12" is also totaly amazing. They combine dark punkrock influenced by The Wipers with Hüsker Dü's strange, distorted guitar sound and a wave influence just like the Replacement's, but in the end, it's their own unique style of dark postpunk. They've released two more 7"s in 2012 on Deranged and Inimical, which are also highly recommended. (Listen to it here)

GUINEA WORMS - SMILES LP (Columbus Discount)
After a two year release hiatus Guinea Worms are back with a full new album. "Smiles"  is their darkest and most difficult realease so far. It's full of ugly and punsihing  5 minute tracks, made with heavy 70s rock riffs, discords, manic repeats and hypnotizing rhythms. Their early straight garage punk approach has been replaced by influences from Fipper or the b-side of Black Flags "My War" LP (without the hardcore), while still remaining their very typical sound and very own kind of weirdness. The reslut is amazing!! (Listen to it here)

Great follow up release to their amazing  debut 7". This is not the typical kind of music, you might expect from a Toxic State Release. So if you're looking for some wild hardcorepunk, you might be disappointed, since New York's Hank Wood And The Hammerheads first full lenght is yet another smashing effort of blasting 70s inspired punkrock. The songs are packed with a primtive, straigh forward punk approach, a touch of high speed rock'n'roll (including an organ) like The Stooges or MC5 and gruffy, super angry vocals. The recording is again raw and old fashioned, which is the perfect addition to Hank Wood & The Hammerheads classic punkrock sound. (Listen to it here

I've never been too much into the Marked Men, but the Mind Spiders rule and this is their best release so far. "Meltdown" features pretty simple punkrock made with a few long played guitar chords, 60s organ and synth (only on the b-side) melodies, straight drum beats and distinctive, monotone vocals. The whole record is super catchy and keeps in mind after the first few spins. The songwriting and the arrengmens are just perfect. There's nothing missing. The opening track "Your are dead" is probably the most memorable song. "Fall in line" might be Mind Spiders homage to Texas' 60s psychedelic sound, while the final track "Meltdown" ends up in some bizarre synthie noise. (Listen to it here)   
NÜ SENSAE - SUNDOWNING LP (Hollywood Squeeze)
Nü Sensae were origanaly a twopiece consisting of bass and drums only. Now they've added a guitarist, which of course had an influence on their sound. Compared to their prior releases the songs have a longer playtime and you can hear more variations. Nü Sensae allways had an grunge influence, but with a guitar "Sundowning" even more sounds like an LP released on Subpop in the early 90s. Early Nirvana or L7 come to mind, but Nü Sensae have remained a punk attitude and an own unique sound with their typical shouted female vocals. (Listen to it here

This is already Puffy Areolas second full lenght. Once again this Ohio threepiece cranks out their devastating mix of proto-punk. psychedelic and free punk power. The result is a mess of noisy guitars effects and solos, synchronizing vocals and pure energy. It sounds like they are playing with a free jazz aproach illustrated in chaotic and noisy song structures. But Puffy Areolas remain their straightforwardness to keep their music from beeing some kind of arty crap. (Listen to it here)
SYNTHETIC ID - APERTURES 12" (Erste Theke Tonträger)
This is a great new band from San Fransisco. Their demo 7" was already pretty good,  this 12" is even better. Many reviews compare them with The Wipers and current bands, that want to sound like The Wipers (Red Dons, The Oberservers etc.), even if Synthetic ID play a different kind of music: it's dissonant  with hints of british postpunk like The Fall or even Gang Of Four, but still straight enough to maintain a classic 70s US punkrock influence. The result is their very own and fresh style of postpunk. (Listen to it here
To be honest, Tyvek's last full lenght "Nothing Fits" couldn't grab my attention. However "On Triple Beams" follows up the sound of their early releases. It's straighter and more focused and catchy song structures, still capturing their hometown'st high energy rock tradition plus an arty garagepunk approach. On top of that we have their typical spoken trademark vocals and a serious smash hit called "Say Yeah".  (Listen to it here)

WEIRD TV - S/T 12" (Perennial)
After a brialliant demo tape and a 7", this is Weird TV's debut 12" and it features some of today's best punkrock. The songs are pretty simple and guitar-driven, but they are filled with catchy melodies and energy. They have a great West Coast heft to it's riffs and arrangements. X or The Avengers come to mind. On the other hand it reminds of The Gits and Kill Rock Stars bands from the early 90s. What's really outstanding are the female vocals, sung in Spanish language. They sound more like some kind of 90s Riot Grrrl stufff. (Listen to it here)  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Besides Neon Blud, Merchandise and Diet Cokeheads this is next brilliant band from Florida. American Snakeskin merge punkrock with the genres of blues, psychobilly and dark UK postpunk. The result are slow, amtospheric songs with a dark, reverb-friendly sound. Reminds me a lot of The Gun Club, but it's definitely more than just a copy. 5 tracks only - that's way too short. (Listen to it here)
DEGREASER - SWEATY HANDS LP (Negative Guestlist)
Second full lenght by New York's Degreaser and it's another masterpiece of weird dissonant postpunk. Sounds like Birthday Party on hard drugs, unable to play their songs, but keep on playing anyway. The guitar doesn't play any regular riffs, it's just creating noise. The vocals are out of step and there's not a single straight drum beat. All those single components together produce Degreaser's very own, uncompromising sound. No lyric sheets, no song titles - seems to be too typical for a band like Degreaser. (Listen to it here)

KANDODO - S/T LP (Thrill Jockey)
This is the solo project by Simon Price from The Heads. With Kandodo Price seems  to achieve are more experimental kind of music, driven by the idea of discovering new sounds. That's how he creates instrumental soundscapes, that drift into fascinating trips, showing obvious hints of krautrock. Early Kraftwerk or Neu! come to mind while listening to this amazing LP. The songs are quiet and catchy in their very own way with a great clean production. Comes with a gatefold sleeve and white vinyl. (Listen to it here)

After his hardly limited and surprising good first LP "Eyewash Silver" from 2010,"Vengeance, Man" is the second installment of King Bloods very own ugly sound of psychedelic music. Armed with a nasty distored sound he creates instrumental songs based on the manic repeat of a guitar riffs with the temporary addition of melodies. Moon Duo write songs with a comperable kind of composition, but King Blood's sound is a lot more radical and devastating. (Listen to it here)

MARK FEEHAN - MF LP (Siltbreeze)
First solo release by Mark Feehan, well known from Harry Pussy, the most brutal and radical noise rock group of the 90s. This LPs features instrumental songs, many of them only made with different multitracked guitar loops. The first two songs are pretty quiet, at least it's not the kind of music you would expect from Mark Freehan, but then starts "Sopio" and the music turns into a mess of noise, which is starting signal for Feehan's more radical and incalculable side (Listen to it here).

MYRRH - S/T LP (Soft Abuse)
This is the vinyl relase of their selfreleased debut tape from 2010. It feitures eight untiteled instrumentals showing influences of doom, psechedelic and 70s rock. Myrrh's songs are based on a monotonic drum beat and a viola loop. These quiet parts turn all of a sudden into a wall of distortion and ugly feedbacks. That's how Myrrh's tunes develop their very own atmospheric and mesmerizing sound, that will sear into your memory with it's massive repeats. This is defenitely some kind of  "taking drugs to make music to take drugs to"-music. (Listen to it here)

SOFT MOON - ZEROS LP (Captured Tracks) 
I've been digging all previois releases, Luis Vasquez has released under his moniker Soft Moon. His latest full lenght "Zeros" marks no exception. Take the best parts of Chrome, Suicide and The Cure and you'll get an imagination of Soft Moon's mix of minimal wave, electronic music, krautrock and goth-punk. The songs are affected by an dark atmosphere, created with effect-loaded verbal sounds, distorted synthezisers and hypnotozing beats. Compared to Vaquez' previous works, "Zeros" is a bit less heavy and radical, but it still illustrates his very own brandmark sound. (Listen to it here)

While playing this LP over and over agin, it becomes obvious, that there are people from Birds Of Maya and Purling Hiss involved. It's that same kind of super lo-fi rock'n'roll sound, that gives these recordings it's very own charm. Spacin' play two different kind of styles: On the one hand "Deep Thuds" features funny, straight 70s high energy rock numbers with catchy hooks, on the other hand it offers fuzzed out, spacy psychedelic rock, reflecting the kind of sound, we know from Purling Hiss and Birds of Maya. Nice Rolling Stones rip off on the frontcover. (Listen to it here)   
This records neglects most typical structures of music. "Emergency Stairway" is a nightmare of electronic audio experencies. Surface industrial sounds leave the feeling of beeing surrounded by a possible threat. Though Broadcast's damaged and devastating mix of Throbbing Gristle like noise, musique concrete and industrial amalgamtes to a sheer claustrophobic horror trip. This fear has it's very own kind of attraction. (Listen to it here)

Another installment in White Fence's extensive discography. Tim Presley, the guy behind White Fence, is part of San Francisco's current neo-hippie scene along with acts like TY Segall, Mikal Cronin or The Fresh & Onlys. "Family Perfume Vol.1" is the first part of a record split into two volumes and it features White Fence's best recordings so far. The well written songs are focused on the sounds from the 60s, combining garage punk with folk, blues and fuzzed out pschedelic rock. On top of that Tim Presley's vocals sound like he's the better double of Bob Dylan. (Listen to it here)