Sunday, September 1, 2013


ALPHA COP / CARTON - SPLIT 7" (Negative Fun)
The two owner's of the Negative Fun pursue the idea of putting out split 7"s by bands coming from the regions they live in: North Carolina and New Hampshire. This 7" is the first part of this split-series. The side of Alpha Cop, who represent North Carolina, is at the beginning 90s emo influenced, but just when you think, they go over in a catchy chorus, the song turns into instrumental hypnotic realms. It ends with experimental post-rock flowing together with a central violin melody. Their five minute track has not a single moment that feels wasted. It's equipped with many different sounds and ideas, but Alpha Cop remain a clear idea, where their brilliance lies. Carton from Vermont seem to combine two contradictory influences. On the one hand their music shows a melodic Dinosaur Jr. SST indie-rock vibe, on the other they sound dissonant and heavy povided with feedbacks, noisy guitars and pounding drums. Just like Alpha Cop they are really comfortable with their instruments and they write varied songs without losing the focus. (Listen to it here)

RED HEX - SHOULDA KNOWN 7"(Negative Fun)
Red Hex are a trio hailing from Tacoma, the hometown of The Sonics. Their music traces the historical development of the garage genre with influences ranging from classic 60s groups to DMZ, Mudhoney, The Oblivians and Ty Segall. At the same time Red Hex don't forget to give their music a fresh feel with their own unique modernized sound garment. Typical for their tunes is their clear preference for a loud, noisy and highly destructive sound made with fuzzy guitar crunches, furious distorted vocals and bashing drums. The titletrack is first of all a straight blasting tune based on a simple, but brilliant 70s punk riff and a catchy-as-hell chorus. They slow things down a bit on the flipside. "Down In The Dirt" pushes the noisy stunning guitar into the forefront and fuses garage with early 90s grunge in the vein of Mudhoney or Nirvana. You really shouldn't miss this 7"! (Listen to it here)

Both bands on this split 7" add a heavy dose of tough as nails rock to their hardcore roots. She Rides feature a member of Dropdead. They merge blown out 70s rock with catchy refrains, metallic clanging guitars and melodic solos sounding like a tribute to Iron Maiden. The whole performance is tight as hell including superb high (but not too high) screaming vocals. She Rides crank out two killer tracks and I slighty prefer their side of this split, even if Dripping Slits are als worth it. Their two numbers are of a simular nature, but they skip the melodies and are a lot more focused on cranking out full-on dirty and heavy hardrock. In conformity with their bandname the lyrics are offensive and sexual. Think of a straight 70s rock version of Eyehategod. If you dig other current bands with a simular approach like for example Doomriders, you'll probably also be digging this split 7". (Listen to it here)

Negative Fun doesn't seem to care about genre boundaries. At least each of their first four 7" releases covers a different style of music. Wormburner are a five-piece from New York City, that takes influences from rock, indie, folk and poppunk. The focus is on frontman Steve Henry's narrative lyrics, his spoken style of singing and his voice sounding a bit like Hutch Harris of The Thermals. "Today Might Be Our Day" is the single's stand-out track. It's a catchy anthem rooted in the classic sound of Bruce Springsteen and The Pogues, even if it's poppier with an undercurrent of fantastic melodies. The bleating lyrical folk songs of The Mountain Goats are another obvious reference. "Parliaments on Sunday" on the flipside sounds different with a indie-pop vibe in the central focus and it features Sean Eden of Luna as a guest-guitarist. (Listen to it here)