Tuesday, July 15, 2014


AAS – MMXIII LP (Mechanic)
Aas is dark and heavy hardcore trio from Hamburg, Germany. On their one-sided 12" vinyl debut they take the brutality of His Hero Is Gone and the complexity of Coalesce and Converge to create their own unique brand of relentless thundering hardcore. With ferocious metal riffs, occasional used melodies, a few blast-beats and really potent vocals Aas blast through eight, devastating tracks. The songs are all short and straight forward, but at the they same time they are super varied with influences ranging from hardcore, crust, metal and sludge. The result is a record made with vicious intensity and monstrous precision. Highly recommended. (Listen to it here)

The sound of The Bad Doctors from Philadelphia blurs the boundaries between synth-pop, post-punk, wave and indie in a refreshing way. This trio layers similarities to New Order, Joy Division and Tubeway Army on a foundation of melodic punkrock and addictive pop sensibilities. With strong Devo and Kraftwerk influences they break away from the darkness of the current international wave-punk revival. The Bad Doctor's eleven sonic bursts of poppy wave-punk are accentuated and brought to life by powerful, signature vocals. Frantic undercurrents of synthesizers and electronics go hand in hand with razor-sharp riffs, tight, punchy drums and pounding bass lines. Fantastic! (Listen to it here)

BI-HOUR - AN ACCIDENT EP (Vacant Valley)
In addition to Native Cats here's another duo hailing from Hobart, Australia. Bi-Hour craft a experimental brand of post-punk that's really thrilling and oppressive. Following their "Strawberry Locorice" debut album this new five song EP ranges from gloomy and churning to instrumental and strange. The tiltletrack with it's deep, bleak vocals and organ harmonies recalls the classic sound of both Joy Divsion and early Christchurch groups. The other tracks lead into avant synth-pop territories, grounded by an subtle, open.minded and playful approach. With the the use of severlal different instruments Bi-Hour create a sounds that combines various moods and textures. "An Accident" is a great example of the exuberant diversity and freshness of Australias current underground scene. Limited to 100 copies. (Listen to it here)

The first edition of this LP sold out very fast, but fortunately Little Big Chief has now repressed the third album by Philadelphias lo-fi hard-rockers Birds Of Maya. The bands two offshots Purling Hiss and Spacin' have probably received a little more attention in the last couple of years, even if Birds Of Maya are those with the more radical and shredding appraoch. With a imminent and crushing barrage of guitars this band develops a new level of ferocity. You get two extented tunes that are stretched out over both sides of this record. "Celebration" is an unusual haze of ripping solos, drums on heavy repeat, pounding bass lines and occasionally used vocals forming a very unique angle on the possibilities that the 1970s rock format could aspire towards. (Listen to it here)

Hailing from Östergötland in eastern Sweden Class Of Kill'em High recall the classic sound  of 90s slacker rock. Their selftitled debut album is heavily influenced by classic American bands like Pavement, Bulit To Spill, Silver Jews, Dinosaur Jr. and Beck. This four-piece writes well-crafted indie-rock tunes based on a loose guitar playing and a quirky approach. Class Of Kill 'Em High's strong rock sensibility is artfully framed within a fiercely dynamic and assured melodic sensibility. The refreshing and sound defining vocals are another main highlight. If you like rock served with fluffy hooks, buzzing with heady energy, intelligence, muscular rhythms and infectious choruses, you really can't go wrong with this well done record. (Listen to it here)

CRUELSTER - POTATOE BOYS LP (Turbine Piss, Roots Of Evil, All We Know)
On their first vinyl release Cruelester from Cleveland, Ohio continue where they left off with their demo tape from 2012. The album is filled with twelve, raging assault of no frills hardcore-punk. All songs are super short with a playtime of about one minute and there's not a single second of wasted time. Musically Cruelster look back at both 80's Touch & Go hardcore and the sound of early UK Oi! whilst adding a heatlthy dose of different, more current influences. There are even some melodies and hints of Jay Reatard. The recordings are dirty and harsh, balancing between stomping mid-temp sections and fast, violent hardcore. The gruff vocals are another main highlight. Don't miss out if you're into hardcore! (Listen to it here)

During the last couple of years France is known for beeing a bastion of vintage punk and garage music. Departure Kids from Marseille in the south are another new incredibly good band. The nine tracks on their debut release show a strong ability to write fantastic, super catchy tunes. This four-piece recalls the golden era of power-pop in the late 70s whilst adding influences ranging from rock'n'roll, garage and the infectious harmonies of British Invasion pop. Even if "On The Go" is grounded in musical influences from the past, the record develops a fresh, current and exciting sound. The enormous drive all the songs and the tons of catchy melodies hold together this album and inject it with life. Also the production perfectly fits to the sound of the band. Very nice! (Listen to it here)

When I set up a show for Cleveland's Pleasure Leftists in my hometown some weeks ago their bassist and Homostupids member Steve Peffer was kind enough to give me a copy of this LP. It's not a new release, the record already came out in 2011, but it's on heavy rotation in the Ride A Dove headquarter. Under his Factorymen moniker Steve Peffer drifts away from the straighter punk influences of his previous mentioned bands to discover new sounds and possibilities. "Yellow Eyes And The Sound Of Vomit" offers strange and fragmented experimental music. The album advances through a widening pass of musical inspiration ranging from wave, drone, disco music, noise and post-punk. With abstruse structures based on searing riffs, cheap drum beats, broken synths, samples and unsetting vocals Steve Peffer leads you in his very own universe of auditory ideas. Weird stuff in a great and open-minded way! (Listen to it here)

GAS RAG- BEATS OFF LP (Even Worse / Beach Impediment)
On their first 12" release Chicago's Gas Rag pick up where they left off with their previous "Human Rights" 7" and demo tape, unleashing eleven wild and uncontrollable hardcore tracks that truly capture the spirit and sound of bands from the early 80s. Expect a super intense and urgent cross between classic midwest bands and early Swedish hardcore. Gas Rag don't create something completly new, but they are able to transform well known formulas into something more raging. The result is a frantic assault that speaks its own language. Fueled by pounding d-beat drumming, pummeling bass lines, ripping riffs and super gruff vocals this four-piece has released one of the best hardcore records in 2014. This is hardcore played the way it ought to be. (Listen to it here)