Sunday, July 22, 2018

July Reviews

Bikini Cops – Three 7” (Drunken Sailor/Televised Suicide)
Early ‘80’s So Cal meets some mid ‘80’s DC early alternative. Three is in reference to the band third release. This 7-inch is 6 songs of Circle Jerks meet post-Minor Threat DC blasts in 10 minutes. Bikini Cops, hail from Australia and do not solve crimes that we know of, have had many a Black Flag/Circle Jerks LP make it’s way across the Pacific, which hasn’t hurt them at all.  – Ed Stuart

Chiller – Chiller LP (Dirt Cult)
Feral Trash part 2 or Chiller, origin story, you decide. Eric and Illisha played in Feral Trash, but for Chiller they recruited members of Mother’s Children and Black Union. Chiller is a mix of Wipers and Marked Men with male/female vocals. Pop that veers to its darker minor chord fueled opposite end without losing its melody. Chiller relies a lot on the vocals to supply the melody much like the early Thermals did while rhythm continues its Marked Men momentum. – Ed Stuart

Dboy – Prove Your Love (Live In Belem) LP (Self-release)
If you believe what you read, Dboy either hails from Welland, Canada or parts unknown. Dboy is into their secrecy, only communicate through their representative and live by their 13-point manifesto. Musically, Prove Your Love is Misfits and Hives meets Stooges. Live In Belem isn’t really live, but I’m thinking you might have guessed that, but in their defense how many live albums are truly recorded live? – Ed Stuart

Down and Outs – Double Negative LP (All In Vinyl/Yo Yo/Waterslide)
Hailing from Liverpool is never going to be an easy feat considering it’s the Beatles hometown. Luckily, Down and Outs don’t bother emulating them. The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers mixed with Leatherface, Lawrence Arms and Gaslight Anthem, influence Double Negative’s songs. Down and Outs mix the personal and political lyrically over crunchy melodic guitars, raspy vocals and energetic bass and drums.  – Ed Stuart

Erik Nervous – Assorted Anxieties LP (Drunken Sailor/Neck Chop)
Assorted Anxieties is more a compilation than straight LP. Drunken Sailor has complied several of Nervous’s EP’s, cassette releases and comp tracks to fill this LP. Nervous plays a trashy indie punk sort of like Wire/Fall meets Minutemen that leans toward Rip Off in the production value, but doesn’t lack energy.   – Ed Stuart

Last Gang – Keep Them Counting LP (Fat Wreck)
Last Gang’s debut LP, Keep Them Counting is full of Rancid/Distillers/Dance Hall Crashers inspired tunes. It’s easy to forget how influential Rancid actually is on a lot of modern bands. Last Gang, hailing from Los Angeles, has been around for ten years with a breakup/hiatus in the middle, but without much recorded output to show for it. Last year, they released Sing for Your Supper as a teaser for this upcoming LP. Girl fronted punk with raspy vocals that fits right at home with other Fat bands like Bad Cop Bad Cop.  – Ed Stuart

Magpie – Picasso On A Log EP (Kool Kat)
In a lot of ways this sounds like a lost release from the mid ‘60’s. Magpie mixes California pop like the Byrds, melodic Kinks and bits of folk vocal harmonies together. Magpie hails from Somerset and features members of Bad Detective and Bronco Bullfrog. Picasso On A Log, shows Magpie are all in on the sound and songwriting. – Ed Stuart

Marriage Material – Making The Worry Worth It Part 1 7” (Dirt Cult)
Los Angeles three piece featuring members of God Equals Genocide, Spokenest, Pinned in Place, and Summer Vacation. The band released a demo earlier in the year and Making The Worry Worth It is the band’s second release. Melodic Material plays gritty melodic Midwestern punk influenced pop-punk that isn’t afraid too get a little arty. – Ed Stuart

Outtacontroller – No Echo EP or 7” (Jarama)
Halifax, Nova Scotia’s plays a slight fuzzed out punk pop that falls somewhere between Ramones and early Mean Jeans. No Echo is nothing, but fun, which shouldn’t come as a surprise it’s on Jarama. This is the follow up to their LP, Television Zombie from 2016. Outtacontroller plays four songs under 10 minutes, which is a good recipe for a band playing ’77 infused punk pop.  – Ed Stuart

The Ravagers – Drowning In Blood 7” (Spaghetty Town/No Front Teeth/Gods Candy)
You know what you’re getting into when a band features members of RMBLR and Biters and this single doesn’t disappoint. It’s been a few years since we heard from Baltimore’s The Ravagers, but Drowning in Blood will make you forget that. The Ravagers play a Dead Boys, Turbonegro, Backyard Babies punk ROCK. Yes, emphasis is on the rock and the guitar playing with Hagen (RMBLR) and Gabs (Biters) doesn’t shy away from leads. The A-side is more rock and the B-side, Suzi (Has An Uzi), is more punk like early Damned meets Dead Boys. Supposedly there is an LP on the way; hopefully we won’t have to wait another two to three years for new material.  – Ed Stuart

Razorbats – II LP (Rob Mules)
Hanoi Rocks meets Hellacopters/Backyard Babies meets punk touches. Before the band released II, Norway’s Razorbats changed their singer and bass player, but instead of packing it in they decided to keep going. Razorbats have their musical toes dipped in the hard rock and punk world. “Social Rejects” mixes both, but other songs go for the hard melodic rock jugular like “Dead Boy City.” Is hard rock punk or rock punk a sub genre yet? If not, Razorbats could heed the call.  – Ed Stuart

Spring – II Cassette (Sabotage)
Spring is from Northern Germany and released a demo in 2015. II is the follow up to that demo with five new songs. There isn’t a whole lot of info I could find about them. Spring plays a sludgy, dirty lo-fi mid ‘80’s hardcore.  – Ed Stuart

Syndrome 81 – Beton Nostalgie LP (Sabotage)
Since releasing their first demo in 2013, France’s Syndrome 81 has been gaining steam in the French punk scene. Beton Nostaglie sounds like ‘80’s UK, think Blitz, mixed with Oi!, but Syndrome 81 also adds some dark melodic pop to not be one trick ponies. The LP is sung in French so it will be tough to join in on the gang vocals, but fans of French Oi! won’t mind. Beton Nostalgie is a collection of songs from their demo, Litovsk split, UVPR compilation song, Desert Urbain, BMAB single serie and Urban Savage split.  – Ed Stuart

Various Artists – Scrap! LP (Secret Mission)
Six new Japanese bands (Car Crash, Middle Edge, Centipede, Black and White, Dials and Loudmouth) are featured on this Secret Mission LP. I should really say six singles for the price of one. Most comps give one track by each band, but Scrap! gives each band three tracks to shine. Much like Secret Mission releases the music ranges from ’77 punk to KBD to mod pop. If you’re a Secret Mission fan, this is worth checking out. – Ed Stuart

The Whiffs – S/T LP (Drunken Sailor)
For a band that borrows their band logo from Stiff Records, has far more US influences than UK. Prior to starting, half the band had never met before. Kansas City’s, The Whiffs feature members from The Conquerors, Wet Ones, Nubiles and The Caves. The Whiffs take Tom Petty, Big Star, Dwight Tilley, and The Nerves to make one of the finest LP’s you’ll hear this year. Originally titled Take A Whiff, Drunken Sailor re-issued the LP with the S/T title, but the title doesn’t change a thing. The Whiffs mix jangly, gritty guitars that give the right amount of toughness and melody. Okay, they aren’t that tough, but what they lack in toughness The Whiffs make for in melody.   – Ed Stuart