Thursday, May 29, 2014

NEW 7"s PART 4 OF 4

THE ACHTUNGS – S/T 7" (Going Underground)
Don't let the German bandname fool you. The Achtungs are a Finish band that recalls the classic sound of late 70s punk. If I didn't know it any better, I would suggest that the six tracks on their vinyl debut were recorded 35 years earlier. With a raw, vintage production this trio crafts a truly classic sound all while managing to create furious punk blasts that sounds fresh and not contrived. The Achtungs play simple one-and-a-half-minute songs built from razor-sharp guitar riffs, short fucked up solos, constantly pounding drum beats,  tons of amazing vocal harmonies and some hints of garage. This sloppy, unpolished, and basic style of punkrock sounds like it was directly taken from a "Bloodstains Across Europe" compilation. Fantastic! (Listen to it here

Following their debut 7" on Lockin Out Records Back To Back from Houston, Texas return with three brand new hardcore scorchers. "Narcissist" and "Isolate" on the a-side are two frantic blasts of gnarly, noisy, fast hardcore fronted by super potent vocals that are both throaty and harsh. It's amazing how both tunes fuse a crushing mid-tempo groove and bursting riffs with fast raging hardcore break-outs. Strong references to Die Kreuzen, S.O.A. and Negative Approach can be found here, but of course they don't forget to add a lot of their own identity. "Ignore Me" on the flipside is an four minute. mid-tempo stomper that leads into a more gloomy and noisy direction. This is really a very strong hardcore 7". (Listen to it here)

HAPPY HOOKERS FOR JESUS - S/T 7" (Erste Theke Tonträger)
This debut 7" by Denmark's Happy Hookers For Jesus originally came out last year on Vulgar Deformity in a limited edition of 200 copies. The record was quickly sold out, but thanks to Erste Theke Tonträger here's a repress of this modern Danish punk classic. You get four blasts of heavy, energetic, high speed punk that take influences from 70s killed by death bands and early New Bomb Turks, but in the end it's the band's very own nonconform and really pissed off style. The recordings are fueled by buzzing guitars, feedbacks, a pounding rhythm section, misanthropic lyrics, oustanding echo vocals and an uncompromising, insane attitude. A monstrous barrage of raw punk energy and something you should not miss! (Listen to it here)

LEECHFEAST / MARNOST - SPLIT 7" (Dingleberry/ Burina/ Neanderthal Stench/ Rope Or Guillotine/ Catanarchy)
This split 7" features two Eastern European bands that both provide epic slabs of dark and heavy hardcore. Marnost from the Czech Republic use lyrics taken from the works of  deceased authors. In this case their words are based on a poem written by Stanislav Kostka Neumann in 1927. Musically they have developed a unique, experimental style of black metal inspired hardcore buried under a mush of atmospheric noise attacks. Hailing from Slovenia Leechfeast dole out a slow motion punishment of brutal 90s style sludge. "Miasmata" is an ugly ode of slowmotion killer riffs, heavy grooves, frighteningly screamed vocals and pounding beats. Both bands rule, just like this whole split 7" fuckin' rules! (Listen to it here

Montreal's Proxy consist of former and current members of Inepsy, Kontempt and Truncheons. Their latest 7" contains some of today's catchiest and most well-written hardcorepunk. Taking cues from Blitz, Motörhead, Leatherface and '82 style punk in the vein of G.B.H. this band cranks out a instantly recognizable product of enormous guitar-work, pummeling drums, churning bass lines and highly charismatic vocals. The special thing about Proxy is their ability to turn raw hardcorepunk tunes into smashing anthems with some of the catchies sing alongs one can imagine. The a-side offers a guitar-driven melodic tune, while "Lawless" is a rougher and faster hardcore cut. (Listen to it here)

This is a really weird 7". After releasing two full LPs in 2013 Finland's Räjäyttäjät return with a brandnew two track single released by US label White Denim. This band has developed  a truely unmistakble signature punk style that won't leave you indifferent, as they fuse influences ranging from surf, proto-punk and Scandinavian killed by death punk in a way as you have never heard it before. Surrounded by bizarre surf and spoken word intros and outros they write songs that pick up from the more traditional sounds of late 70s Poko releases, the untamed ferocity of The Stooges and their own kind of strangeness. The result sounds very fresh and lacks of  musical cliches. The single comes hosted in multi-colored colloge style 70s soft porn artwork that's just as weird as the music. Great! (Listen to it here)  

Following 7"s by Bodysnatchers, Young Identities, Kicks and Just Urbain this is the final release in the 70s Brisbane punk reissues series by Texas based label 540. After Just Urbain were disbanded they continued under the name Section Urbane and created a slightly different musical style. Their one and only 7" orginally came out on Shake Records in 1984. The four songs take the classic sound of Aussie punk and the bass-driven sound of British D.I.Y. post-punk to mix it with the darkness of Velvet Underground. “I'd Rather Stay Home And Watch TV” is a first-classic smashing punk tune. The remaining tracks blaze with a snotty, spoken vocal style, discordant grooves and heavy doses of originality and intensity. This nice 7" should be mentioned in the same breath as Division Four, The Chosen Few and X! (Listen to it here)

SHANTIH SHANTIH - RUBY Digital Single (Shit Music For Shit People)
Former Vermillion Sands member Anna Barattin moved to Atlanta, Georgia and founded another very promising band. If you are looking for some new and great 60s inspired music, here you got it. On their two tracks debut single Shantih Shantih deliver a unique blend of 60s garage, vintage rock'n'roll, the earliest days of psych and a strong 80s pop sensibility. With mesmeric guitar leads, stomping beats, Anna Brattin's beautiful voice and tons of multiple background vocal harmonies they create super catchy songs  that will be stuck in your head with the first listen. If you dig Miss Chain & The Broken Heels, Shannon & The Calms, The Babies and Vivian Girls you will also be digging this. Shantih Shantih will play a three week tour through Europe this June. Don't miss them and don't miss this nice single. (Listen to it here)

While most againg punk heros play music that either sounds like crap or like a boring imitation of their own glorious past, the more than 60 years old Sonny Vincent never stopped to write raging punk tunes with a fresh and original sound. Since the early 70s he has constantly released countless of amazing records and played in a couple of brilliant bands among which the best known are probably The Testors. On his latest 7" Sonny Vincent blasts through three smashing punk cuts based on skilfully arranged guitar leads, bursting riffs, hard hitting drums and his disctinctive vocals that are both aggressive and catchy. This 7" is a s great as everythin Sonny Vincent has produced in the past 45 years! (Listen to it here)

THE TERRORISTS – CRAZY LIFE 7" (Going Underground)
Going Underground Records has unearthed the one and only 7" from Bakerfield, California's early 80s punk group The Terrorists. "Crazy Life" originally came out in 1982 on Rorschach Records. In contrast to the original pressing the b-side track "Cry Girl Cry" has been replaced by an so far unheard live recording of "Crazy Life". Wouldn't it have been a better choice to include both songs? However, the titletrack is a great example of pure, undiluted killed by death punk and the lo-fi quality of the recordings gives it a fascinating life of its own. With blazing riffs, cheap drum machine beats, snotty vocals, great lyrics and a strangely catchy chorus "Crazy Life" is a smashing punk tune that would have made a cozy addition to one of the "American punk, no foreign junk" killed by death volumes. (Listen to it here)

This is the vinyl debut by Trampoline Team from New Orleans released on their local Pelican Pow Wow label. This trio delivers four solid, frantic and sweet punk gems locking in at under two minutes each. There are elements of '70s punk and powerpop lurking throughout, but at the same time the recordings sound fresh and unmistakable. Wiith a blend of great melodies, catchy choruses, distinctive vocals, blazing guitars and brilliant songwriting skills Trampoline Team develop an intense, high energy sound that finds a perfect balance between poppy melodies and the original energy of punk. This highly recommended 7" is really a very promising first release and I can't wait for more! (Listen to it here)

VA - BERLIN TRISTESSE 7" (Heartfirst) 
This nice Berlin hardcore compilation turns far way from the city's large hipness factor and it's stealthy process of gentrification. Instead, this 7" features seven angry and dirty groups that keep the true spirit of D.I.Y. hardcore alive. Peacebastard consist of former members of M.V.D., To What End? and Reactory. They kick off this 7" with their filthy style of hardcore played with loud, blazing guitars, snotty shouted vocals and a raw punk feel. Pig//Control is probably Germany's best current hardcore group. "Die Invasion" is another winner track delivered with power and intensity. Crack Under Pressure recall the classic sound of 90s westcoast power-violence. "I Watch TV" by Bitter Crop is a guitar-driven mid-tempo punk scorcher with great hooks and melodies. Mülltüte are a two-piece that sounds like a product of early German punk and fast raging 80s hardcore. Nuclear Cult consist of former Y members. "V wie Faschoschutz" is a merciless blast of blistering hardcore brutality. Earth Crust Displacement conclude this 7" with their noisy style of hardcore that shows some similarities to Japanese bands. All killer no filler! (Listen to it here)

VIDEO - (JOIN THE) HATE WAVE 7" (Total Punk)
Two years after their amazing debut full lenght Play Pinball! Records Texas punks Video are back with a smashing two track 7". This four-piece features members of numerous other great Texas bands like Bad Sports, Wax Museums, Radioactivity, Sweet Talk, Mind Spiders or Wiccans. Both tracks on this single demonstrates the group's ability to produce immensely catchy hooks and brilliant choruses while remaining a raw, snotty 70s punk vibe. The titletrack with it's perfect vocal delivery, tasteful guitar solos and super energetic, musical performance is the kind of song you want to take right to the next party. "Capitvity" on the b-side is another totally worthwile tune. A must have! (Listen to it here)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

NEW 7"s PART 3 OF 4

Die Schacht from Berlin are an offshoot of the jazz punk collective Hiroshima Bird Market and they are the first German band with a release on Siltbreeze. With a rough lo-fi production their three track vinyl debut recalls the golden days of German punk during the late 70s and early 80s. "Finsternis" and "Zwang Und Nachweis" are no frills punk blasts driven by loud blazing guitars, sharp riffs, rhythmical killer grooves and undercooled vocals. Classic bands like S.Y.P.H. and Der KFC come to mind while listening to both songs. The final tune "Benzin" with it's minimal beats and cheap Casio melodies leads into a experimental post-punk direction that's very close to Die Tödliche Doris. Limited to 300 copies. (Listen to it here)

The Seaport & The Airport is the alter-ego of Sydney based musician Oscar Wuts who has been playing in bands like Degrees K, Teenager and Hand Me My Jetpack. The two songs on his first solo 7" fuse dreamy, synthesized sleepwalks with moody modified vocal harmonies and complex driving rhythms. "An Old Bride" and "The Shell Of Your Mother" are textural electronic melancholias that use influences ranging from wave, house, early techno and minimal pop music, to create something playful, fresh and enthraling. Fans of recent Not Not Fun releases and bands like Boards Of Canada and Burial won't be dissapointed here. Very nice. (Listen to it here)

SHOES THIS HIGH - S/T 7" (Siltbreeze)
Siltbreeze finally delivers this official reissue of Shoes This High's classic 7". This short-lived band transfixed the early '80s Kiwi underground scene with their unique sound and energetic style of post-punk, releasing just this self-released 7" in 1981 before calling it quits. In contrast to the more 60s inspired early Christchurch scene Shoes This High were heavily influenced by UK bands like Wire, The Fall and Gang Of Four. This single features four heavy driving post-punk tunes based on a varied guitar work, some really outstanding vocals and pounding drum-bass rhythms section that create a discordant killer groove. This 7" is nothing but a true post-punk classic. (Listen to it here)

Following their debut album on Dead Beat Records Thee Mighty Fevers from Kobe, Japan are back to continue their unadulterated 90s style garage mayhem. They combine equal parts of Teengenerate, The Mummies, The Rip Offs and The Devil Dogs and bury them under a mush of heavy distortions, fuzz effects and a very extreme lo-fi production. The Morbeats from Italy mixes perfectly the simplicity of early punk with catchy melodies and vocal harmonies resulting in well done tunes that recall the sound of 90s Rip Off releases. You get one original and one cover versions by each band. Thee Mighty Versions play the Elivis classic "That's Alright Mama" and The Morbeats bring you their version of "Sex Cow" orginally performed by Teengenerate. It is not without reason that this single comes with a free couple of earplugs. A must have for fans of 90s garage and punk. (Listen to it here)

TRAVEL CHECK - 66$ 7" (Howlin Banana)
Paris based four-piece  are yet another great example of the incredibly corrosive French 60s scene that has produced countless of amazing bands during the last couple of years. Their latest 7" picks up right where the last two left off, showing a penchant for pop songwriting skills mixed with vintage 60s garage, psych and rock'n'roll influences. You get four tracks based on bright guitar jangles, fuzz effects, heavy stomping beats and tons of sweet vocal harmonies with a lasting impact on your aural memory. Travel Check twist the limits of both garage and pop music in really smart and catchy way. Everyone who has a love for bands like Dead Ghost, Black Lips, King Khan will also enjoy this incredibly good 7". (Listen to it here)

VA - SWEET TIMES 7" (Who Can You Trust?)
If you are a fan of vintage rock music, you will definitely have "Sweet Times" while listening to this well done compilation. San Francisco's Hot Lunch have previously released a highly recommended LP and 7" on Who Can You Trust?. On this 7" they dish up an amazing cover version of "Love Is All Around Me" originally performed by Crushed Butler. Glitter Wizzard are another SF group. They use classic 60s and 70s rock influences and underlay them with spacy electric organ and synth sounds. "Siren" is a straight blasting tune with a punchy sound and a catchy as hell chorus. New York's Dirty Fences give you a furious cover version of Blondie's "Will Anything Happen" that's just as catchy and brilliant as the original. Ovvl recall the sound of 70s pschedelic rock and protometal. Things are based on Sabbath riffs, tasteful guitar leads, a heavy killer groove and brilliant Ozzy inspired vocals. Don't miss this 7" compilation. (Listen to it here)

Sonic Playground is a Greek music label that only puts out releases in the form of files and you can download them for free. The label's latest release features two tracks by England's Velvet Morning who are a project led by Samual Jones.The recordings sound like a modern take on classic influences of psychedelic music. The music is not psychedelic because of reverb or shredding through pedals but for the way the songs explore obscure sounds and  create a dreamy, infinite atmosphere. With echoing guitars, grooving rhythms, surrealist lyrics and sweet melodies Velvet Morning combine the looseness of psychedelica with a strong and well arranged pop songwriting skills. Fantastic! (Listen to it here)

VOW - CYPRESS / THE LIGHT 7" (Our Voltage)
This is the very promising debut release by Berlin based duo Vow who consist of former Rhythm King An Her Friends member Linda Wölfel and Fender Schrade. In a singer/songwriter manner they create beautiful, minimal tunes based on skillfull keyboard melodies, discreetly used guitars, electronic overtones, smart poetic lyrics and a really outstanding and unique vocal delivery. The result sounds really fresh and unmistakble. Both songs on this 7" are  wounderful examples of arty indie-pop full of suprises, twists and turns. This single will immerse you in a dark yet dreamy, but always thrilling atmosphere. Highly recommended! (Listen to it here)

Zentralheizung Of Death are a 60s inspired punk quartet based in Berlin,Germany.  This 7" finally follows their debut 10" from 2010 and it features one of the best garage and rock'n'roll fusions one's minds can arrange. With a wild, furious and noisy approach they set themself apart from beeing just a another 60s revival group. Of course ZHOD takes cues from classic acts like The Mummies, The Sonics and New Bomb Turks but they don't forget to add their own personal note. All three songs on this 7" are full of surprises and unexpected twists. The band's tight and super varied perfomance is the main reason why they succeed to create something vintage that somehow maintains a modern and fresh appeal. All this together is the perfect concoction to make this a great punk record. (Listen to it here)

This is the fourth 7" release by Los Angeles based protopunks Zig Zags. It's not really a new release, because the single features two a-side tracks taken from their first two long sold out 7"s on Tubesteak Tuesday and Mexican Summer. The blown out, vintage production gives the impression that time stood still during the 1970s. With a heavy guitar crunch and strong similarities to early Black Sabbath records this trio blasts through two, tastefully arranged killer tunes that combine the ferocity of protometal and the wild groove of 70s rock with the straighforward energy of early punk. If they had showed up 40 years earlier Zig Zags would have made a cozy addition to one of the "Bonehead Crunchers" compilations. A total banger!  (Listen to it here)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

NEW 7"s PART 2 OF 4

LA MISMA - S/T 7" (Toxic State)
New York's La Misma follow up their two demo tapes with a four-song 7" debut. This four-piece plays a raw and vigorous style of punkrock that shows some similarities to Vice Squad and classic Latino punk, but everything's backed with more profound songwriting skills and a healthy dose of brilliant melodies. La Misma has a way of making simple punkrock sound more vicious and hectoring than almost anything else out there. With high-pitched screaming vocals all sung in Portuguese language and a snotty original punk vibe this 7" churns in a territory of crashing guitars and wild rhythms that drive heavily. Like all Toxic State releases the production sounds rough in a most poignant way and the record comes hosted in a very nice D.I.Y. style silkscreen cover. (Listen to it here)

St. Louis's noise-punks Lumpy & The Dumpers' music is driven by unrestrained raw and simplistic impulses. This two track 7" opens the doors into a world of feedbacks, heavy distortion, thrashing guitars, wild rumbling drum beats and ugly screamed mutant vocals. The title track is a sludgy mid paced stomper with a catchy chorus part and one of the best saxophone solos in the history of punk. "Ghoul" on the b-side is a more gloomy and faster-paced hardcore-punk cut underlayed with squeaking guitar noise. This single is one of the best examples how to create a fresh no frills version of punk in the year 2014, simply because Lumpy & The Dumpers sound more raunchy and pissed off than everything else. A must have! (Listen to it here)

THE MADCAPS- S/T 7" (Howlin Banana)
Hailing from Rennes, France The Madcaps play a melodic style of 60s inspired music. On their vinyl debut this four-piece cranks out four killer cuts. They use influences ranging from wild blasting garage-punk, original rock'n'rol and melodic pop music and blend them all into one tasty treat for your ears. With a perfect balance between raw wildness and great harmonies this band writes fast, energetic songs full of incredibly catchy hooks and sing-along choruses that won't leave your head right after the first listen. The Mad Caps create a sweeping and fresh style of 60’s garage pop huddle that stands in line with such killer bands like The Frowning Clouds, Sultan Bathery, Davila 666 or early Black Lips. Highly recommended. (Listen to it here)

MIKAL CRONIN / WAND - SPLIT 7" (Famous Class)
This is already the eleventh part of the "Less Artists More Condos" split 7" series on Famous Class. All money goes to the to the Ariel Panero Memorial Fund at VH1 Save the Music. The idea is to bring together a better known artist who picks the band for the flipside. "Soul in Motion" is a typical Mikal Cronin tune that sounds as brilliant as all his previous releases, even if it contains unfamiliar elements like drum computer beats, a saxophone part and organ melodies. With thoughtfully arranged songwriting skills, a strong pop sensibilty. and plenty of super catchy vocal harmonies Cronin continues his mixture of 60s garage-pop and 90s college rock. WAND's vinyl debut features "Screaming Eye". The song begins with proppeling bass lines and driving post-punk grooves that are expanded by bursting psych-influenced guitars. This band will soon release a full LP on In The Red recorded by Ty Segall and their side of this split 7" is a highly promising introduction. (Listen to it here)

On their vinyl debut East Germany's Pisse deliver six tracks of excellent wave-punk. A vintage production, manic screamed vocals, blasting 70s punk beats, fast riffs and an undercurrent of synth sounds places this 7"s somewhere between the tradition of Devo's frantic wave-punk and German bands from the late 70s and early 80s like ZK, Der KFC or Hans-a-plast. Pisse write memorable songs with relentless energy that sets them apart from the typical patterns of retro-punk. The ironic German lyrics are another main highlight. With a full playtime of thirteen minutes this 7" provides both high quality and high quantity and it's really a worthwhile investment. (Listen to it here)

If you are into vintage rock music from the late 60s and 70s you really can't go wrong with a record released by the German Who Can You Trust? label and this debut 7" by Oakland, California's Planes of Satori is no exception. "Son Of A Gun" is based on propelling percussions, grooving bass lines and characteristic, clean vocals. The focus is on the consistently used and tastefully arranged guitar leads . "Dichotomies" on the flipside is a more quiet number with wah-wah guitars and repetitive drum beats. Both tunes are driven by a loose, experimental approach. While sounding like no one exactly, this is exemplary traditional rock music that would fit in nicely with the likes of Can, Soft Machine and the best moments of Santana. (Listen to it here)

PRAG- DEMO 7" (Crucificados Pelo Sistema)
With bands like Extortion, Warthreat, Suffer, People Problem and Nervous Trend the city of Perth seems like the last Australian bastion of true hardcore-punk. Prag are this town's latest highlight. What we've got here is a vinyl version of their their demo tape and it's nothing but a true winner release. You get six drity slabs of in-your-face, aggro hardcore-punk that's rooted in the music of Italian, Japanese and Scandinavian bands from the early 80s. Prag create a ugly and noisy hardcore assault that sounds extremely raw and gripping. With echoing mutant vocals, simple blasting beats, heavy distorted guitars and feedbacks they delve into into the raw side of punk and hardcore to pull out songs that bring to mind Lumpy & The Dumpers and classic acts like Gai, Riistetyt, Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers and Shitlickers. (Listen to it here)

Following their debut single on Push My Button Records Protokids are back with a brandnew release. This Paris based four-piece delivers an 7" filled with four excellent guitar driven power-pop gems. Protokids play an sugar-sweet brand of poppy punkrock with plenty of infectious melodies and choruses. They throw around influences from both classic UK and American bands like The Real Kids, Protex and The Undertones, but at the same time don't forget to stamp a whole lot of their own unique personality on to each and every song. It's impressive how the recordings balance the wild power of classic punk with the catchiest melodies one can imagine. You get three originals and a well done cover version of "Self Conscious Over You" by The Outcasts. This 7" is a true powerpearl from the 21st century. (Listen to it here

Who Can You Trust? releases a lot of bands from the USA, but what we've got here is the debut single by a German band hailing from the Westerwald (a.k.a. the middle of nowhere). Ragged Baracudas plays classic rock that brings together ideas coming from different directions to create a fresh and really exicting sound with a loose laidback  atmosphere. The music is mainly a throwback at 70s hard rock with lots psychedelic, protopunk and blues influences, all pushed forward with the help of a fine vintage production. The three songs are bursting with raw energy that's made with a killer guitar work, shimmering leads, a loud drum-bass rhythm section and some really potent vocals. This 7" is a great example of modern day rock done right! (Listen to it here)

SELECT SEX - S/T 7" (Our Voltage)
Select Sex is an Los Angeles based allstar group featuring members of  Mukilteo Fairies, Replicator, Behead the Prophet (No Lord Shall Live), Cartographer and Warm Streams. Their first vinyl release is a massive slab of modern, thrashing hardcore-punk with a level of ferocity and variety matched by few bands. This four-piece band pushes their limits with exciting arrangements, super potent vocals and a crushing midtemp groove that's impossible to resist. The four songs are heavy without any blast beats and they succeed to combine several different ideas without loosing their straight-forwardness. Select Sex take influences from very different sounding bands like Limp Wrist, Refused or Swing Kids and update them with with plenty of creativity. Very nice! (Listen to it here)