Friday, August 8, 2014

NEW LPs PART 3 OF 4

PISS TEST - BIGGEST BAND IN EUROPE LP (Taken By Surpise)
After a single on Johnny Cat and a split single with Fist City on Drunken Sailor Piss Test are back with their third strike: A thirteen song LP filled with no frills punk rock written by people who also play in such great bands as Red Dons, Soda Pop Kids, Dottie Attie and Scott Baio Army among others. "Biggest Band In Europe" catches the spirit, nihilism, irony and rage of the first generation of European and American punk bands. This LP brings the attack with sharp riffs, pounding drums and raging vocals. The songs are tight and stripped down to minumum necessities. Like The Lewd, Bobby Soxx, Filth, Big Balls & The Great White Idiot, The Next and all your other Killed By Death punk heros Piss Test know how to turn little into a lot. They use well-known formulas, but their snotty blasts are delivered with class and intensity. Don't miss if you are into punk. (Listen to it here)

QUETZAL SNAKES - LOVELY SORT OF DEATH 12" (Retard, Howlin' Banana)
Quetzal Snakes don't sound so much like a psych-rock band from 2014 as they totally recall the classic sound and spirit of bands from the late 1960s. This four-piece from Marseiles, France sounds like a perfect cross between vintage rock'n'roll and  Nuggets-era psych. It's amazing how the recordings find a balance between repetitive, psychedelic song structures and strong pop sensibilities. With smart instrumental arrangements based on well done guitar interplay, powerful rhythmic bass lines, mesmerizing groove, brilliant vocal harmonies and plenty of riffs that take you over the edge "Lovely Sort Of Death" offers a original, well-crafted style of garage-psych sounding like it’s been stripped out of the ashes of time. A throwback record with a fresh and unique sound. Highly recommended. (Listen to it here)

RUINED FORTUNE - S/T LP (HoZac)
Ruined Fortune consist of R.I.P. Society label owner Nic Warnock and Angelic Garrick who is involved in numerous other bands like Southern Confort, Circle Pit or Straight Arrows. On their selftitled debut LP not much remained of the hook-filled punk rock of their first "Bulls Eye" 7". The eight songs feel more diverse, cumbersome and less focused than the previous output. Familiar trademarks like the guitar-driven song structures and shaping vocal harmonies are still in place but now appear more broken and gloomier. A swaggering guitar playing and relentlessly thuggish riffs recall the spirit of classic Australian rock'n'roll. At the same time the songs are driven by repetive, almost psychedelic groove and a sludgy style. The records leads into various different musical directions: "Closing Tiff"  with it's drum machine beat and cheap casio melodies sounds like lost recording from the golden age of British post-punk and minimal wave. Royal Trux serve as a another main source of inspiration, but of course Ruined Fortune know how to merge these influences without losing their own, unmistakable sound. A true winner recordst! (Listen to it here)

SHOVELS - S/T LP (Homeless)
Shovels is a trio with members split between San Francisco and Melbourne. On their debut LP they manage to contribute something that truely sounds like a fresh breath. Shovels revels in dissonant, layered guitars with a shaping influence on the music. The songs are fronted by a spoken vocal style that drifts in and out of each track. The bass sounds powerful yet hold an air of precision. Drums are relentless and unorthodox. The whole recordings show a right instinct for improvisations: With a loose approach and atypical song structures Shovels create dense sonic textures, that even include some incursions into psychedelic territories. Their selftitled album is mainly rooted in the 1990s and blurs the lines between post-punk, post-rock and noise-rock. Another high quality record released by the great Homeless label. (Listen to it here)

SLEAFORD MODS - DIVIDE AND EXIT LP (Harbinger Sound) 
After a series of 7"s over the past year Sleaford Mods return with a brandnew album. This duo from Notthingham, UK has been making music since a couple of years, but recently it seems like they've become fashionable. And with good reason: Sleaford Mods have developed a sound that's as easy to find as unicorns. Nowadays punk is too often too predictable and stereotype. In contrast, Sleaford Mods have developed and perfected a style that's really fresh and exciting. With raging rap vocals, cheap drum-samples, pumping bass lines and electronics they are everything else but a "typical" punk band. Sleaford Mods' influences lie somewhere between hip-hop and early British post-punk, but their attitude and appoach are punk as fuck: the songs are straight, simple and pissed off. It's a perfect pair: Jason Williamson yells out his raging, unadapted vocals and Andrew Fearn adds his heavy grooving sounds. The result is a modern masterpiece of punk. (Listen to it here

SPACE RAFT - S/T LP (Bachelor)
Too many current 70s rock inspired bands find their models in the heavyness of Black Sabbath, the wildness of The Stooges and spaciness of Hawkwind. Space Raft who consist of former and current members of Mystery Girls, Call Me Mightning and Goodnight Loving succeed to create a vintage sound that defies easy musical categorization. There are hints of psych, glam and proto-punk but in the end it's a style that speaks a musical language of it's own. With chugging melodies, striking guitar leads, a bombastic rhythm section and an undercurrent of warm keyboard sounds this four-piece from Milwauke, Wisconsin delivers an amazing pop-rock album. The core of Space Raft are the band's strong musical interplay and variety. Some songs are bright pop tunes and others turn into a deeper psychedelic direction. Very nice! (Listen to it here

STALINS OF SOUND - TANK TRACKS LP (Slovenly)
Following two 7"s on Volar Records, Stalins Of Sound return with their first full album. On "Tank Tracks" this trio has perfected it's tribute to the first wave of bands that combined the futuristic sounds of synth music with the rawness and energy of the upcoming punk movement. The nine tracks exhibit an incredible knack for writing songs that are both powerfully intense and as frantic as Devo. Almost immediately, they bring to mind such greats as The Screamers, The Units, The Normal and Bob. Muffled drums machine beats and sureal-sounding electronics are propelled by throbbing bass lines and razor sharp guitar riffs. The result are chaotic, weird, yet melodic tunes undercut by distorted shouts or modified roboter vocals. Fantastic! (Listen to it here)

STREET EATERS - BLOOD::MUSCLES::BONES LP (Contraszt)
Following several 7" releases, a 12" on Cut The Chord That... and one full LP Street Eaters from Berkeley, California return with a brand new full lenght. The band features former and current members of The Fleshies, Younger Loversm and Harbinger among others. In a minimalist two-piece line up consisting of drums and bass only they succeed to create a full and energetic sound that lacks nothing. Merging mixed gender vocals, a raunchy, heavy distorted bass, great up-tempo rhythms and rootsy pop harmonies Street Eaters develop a truely unmistakable and open-minded style of punk rock, that's hard to be pigeonholed into typical categories. The ten tracks show different strands of ideas. Elements of straight blasting pop-punk are backed by 90s influences ranging from indie-rock to riot-girl punk in the vein of L7. A total banger! (Listen to it here)

SUBTLE TURNHIPS - REDHAIR WITH SOME LP (Homeless)
Among all the great music that's currently coming out of France Subtle Turnships are one of the main highlights. This band is still a bit overseen even if they are active since more than twenty years and put out five full albums during the last decade. They play that kind of post-punk that, while somehow catchy, has no problem showing rough edges. With their arty, broken, nihilistic and snotty style Subtle Turnships' sounds aren’t exactly the most pleasing to the ears. "Redhair With Some" contains thriteen tracks driven by throbbing bass lines, noisy distorted guitar, imperfect vocals and driving beats reduced to the essentials. The album walks the line between early British post-punk and some hints of 90s noise-rock while propelling into some weirdo psych deconstructions. Bands like Swell Maps, Television Personalities, The Tronics and Brainbombs come to mind, but of course this LP speaks it's very own musical language. (Listen to it here)

TREEHOUSE - INTERZONE LP (Vacant Valley)
"Interzone" originally came out last year as a self-made cassette. Now Melbourne based label Vacant Valley has released the album on a piece of vinyl. Treehouse from Hobart, Australia have crafted a wholly unique mixture of several different influences from the 1990's ranging from punk and grunge to indie-rock. The trio's grungy riffs, lo-fi production, skewed sound and guitar-driven compositions recall the classic sound of Silver Jews, Codeine and Dinsosaur Jr.. A dejected feel combined with understatedly catchy hooks and addictive melodies, are the main reasons why the ten tracks offer a truely fresh and unconventional interpretation of classic influences. The songs on the a-side are straighter and faster, while the b-side manifests itself through monotone, repetitive structures. The LP comes with a digital download code, that includes eight bonus tracks. Don't miss it! (Listen to it here)

TYRANNY IS TYRANNY - LET IT COME FROM WHOM IT MAY LP (Phraty)  
Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, Tyranny Is Tyranny have the rare ability to reinterpret a multitude of musical genres into a sound uniquely their own. Their debut full lenght offers a fresh listening experience that combines the traditional spirit of early 90s Touch & Go noise-rock with post-hardcore and a modern post-rock styled approach to formulate a really intense sound. The band's strong and super varied guitarwork results in a epic, dynamic, and repetitive songs that are backed by driving beats, long drawn-out shouted vocals and an overall strong rhythm section. It's amazing how Tyranny Is Tyranny balance hard and sweaty rock parts with quiet soundsacpes. The lyrics with it's radical anti-capitalist content are another main highlight. Highly recommended! (Listen to it here)