Hot Track Alert

Beta Boys: Puzzled Panther November 30, 2016 21:04

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If the Beta Boys' previous release Real Rockers was a joyous, lo-fi celebration during the daytime, then the sun has now set in the west and After Dark has come into this wuhoooorld like a "Puzzled Panther."  There seems to be some early LA punk inspiration going on with the Beta Boys, the repeated nods to Darby Crash being one element, but this opening track is also giving me a "Sounds of Laughter" by TSOL vibe.  Not only do the pounding drums and pulsing, single-note bass introduce the song before the riff kicks in, but also sonically, this is a darker and much more dense recording.  If this is any indication of the band's direction, I'm looking forward to the heavy use of piano on the next record.

Omegas: The Glimpse November 18, 2016 00:00

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After a thorough barrage of sudden, neck-breaking twists and turns, the intro of this song provides a short breath and a false sense of comfort: a slow and groovy riff just before launching back into chaos.  While listening to this new Omegas record, I notice a physical reaction where I feel my head twitching and my eyes darting back and forth.  It renders a listening experience more like a claustrophobic, drug-induced disarray than just another ripping hardcore record.  As "The Glimpse" weaves in and out of a blazing pace, it also slows down in the middle for a moment bordering on melody.  The song builds back up again, with repeated lyrics craving a "glimpse."  But if there is a glimpse of light at the end of this euphoric tunnel, hopefully there's a few more killer riffs before this song lets you sober up.

Davidians: Ole Smokey November 16, 2016 00:00

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Davidians' debut LP City Trends is far from short on highlights, but on an LP completely packed with gripping, memorable moments my absolute favorite one is the Tom Warrior-esque "OOOH" that happens at the 2:09 mark... the first dozen or so times I listened to the LP that's the moment I was waiting for, when that vocal punctuation cuts through the mix and signals that gnarly bass drop... it feels like you've just crested the hill on a big roller coaster and you immediately feel your stomach push up into your throat. 

Skeletal Family: Promised Land November 14, 2016 00:00

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For some reason, it does seem strange to pick a "hot track" from a compilation because it's only one dose of a single artist against 10 others that one must digest over the course of a listen.  It's especially strange when the compilation was just released, and the song that you assume is brand new turns out to be recorded by a band from the early 80s.  Between the main riff that immediately brought to mind "September" by Peter and The Test Tube Babies and a rhythm section that sounds more like Siouxsie and the Banshees, it's a shame this song isn't by a current band.  Oh well, it's still the standout track and is worth a listen.

Klout: Yuppie Genocide November 09, 2016 00:00

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This whole 7" is great, but it's hard to ignore the track that declares "You yuppie motherfucker, get away from me!"  Floridian punks Klout get some 86 comparisons, which I understand, but even with deep vocals and behind-the-beat fast parts, I still don't really pick up on an Oi! vibe.  Their execution is hard as nails, but the songs still manage to have a tuneful and catchy approach toward USHC.  This particular track has the pit-clearing SSD-esque ending, only after the excellent and unforgettable spoken word moment incentivizing a murderous motive against all the yuppie motherfuckers.  This track is for non-suckers only.

Pink Section: Shopping November 07, 2016 00:00

Shopping season is almost upon us.  Black Friday is only a couple of weeks away.  This song really captures the anxiety of going out and purchasing goods to give other people while battling through crowds of hysterical people.  Perfect post/art-punk song to wipe away your holiday shopping blues/madness by helping you realize that someone else understands.

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3D: 2 Segundas November 04, 2016 00:00

This track totally sounds like a meaner rougher Dangerhouse single. Late 80s Brazilian punk that is super simplistic but super catchy. I had never heard this before so big ups to Nada Nada Discos and Punch Drunk for bringing it to the light since this is a total banger. Even if you aren't a punk historian check this out because it is a lo-fi punk ripper.

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TVTV: I'm Trouble November 02, 2016 00:00

Upon first listen of this song I couldn't figure out what in the hell is going on.  It felt like my world was falling apart suddenly.  After focusing my attention past the guitar in the right channel just endlessly playing super high single notes in the forefront of the mix everything seemed to come back together and the world slowly formed again in front of me.  On first listen this feels like chaos because everything is swirling in the mix behind those droning high notes.  This song really is a good garage song that fits well in the vein of Episode Sounds' roster, reminding me somewhat of the Reatards.  That guitar makes this a whole different thing though and i'm into it.  Imagine doing a ton of poppers and then cranking the treble on your stereo all the way up.  

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Patsy's Rats: Nowhere Close October 31, 2016 00:00

You all are probably familiar by now with the fact that I love a good power-pop track.  Hell I love some pretty bad ones too.  Nowhere Close is perfection.  The beat just takes the lead and makes you instantly start bobbing your head slowly, bobbing it a little more with each second until you're pretty much dancing around in your seat by the time the chorus hits.  This band hits the dynamics hard and perfect, with perfectly subtle synth in the background and the guitar hanging back in the pocket until the great super tasteful solo.  The vocals are super hooky and have a somber feeling to them making this the perfect soundtrack to sitting on your car's hood drinking on a fall night.  

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PMS 84: Guillotine October 28, 2016 00:00

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I would definitely say this qualifies as the "stomper" on this new EP from PMS 84. They don't seem to shy away from the UK82 comparisons, and this track in particular sounds like it could've been on a Riot City single by Mayhem or something by Black Easter. With their new vocalist, I swear the whole vibe of the band is more tough, and this song is hard as nails with the words barked anthemically.   What stands out more than anything is the constantly moving bass lines, which are up front and punchy in the mix.  There's a great moment where everything drops out and the bass rides on this ascending riff, and everything just keeps building while the bass hits melodic high notes. The build comes to a climax and breaks into solo bass playing the main riff just before punching back into the intro.  Perfect.

Rikk Agnew: Cosmetic Plague October 26, 2016 00:00

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I guess that sometime last year Rikk Agnew released a split 7" with SoCal also-rans Symbol Six. My expectations for this enterprise really could not have been lower, particularly since Rikk's side consists solely of two covers. However, I must say that he CRUSHES these two tracks... his cover of the Viletones' "Screaming Fist" is really good, but he knocks "Cosmetic Plague" by Rudimentary Peni out of the park. Now, excuse me while I go and meditate on the idea of Rikk Agnew sitting around listening to Rudimentary Peni for a little longer...

Pollen: Mindless October 24, 2016 00:00

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Well, the new Pollen EP is probably the most extreme, ear-catching record to emerge from the d-beat genre since we were still seeing regular releases from Zyanose and Isterismo. While a lot of super noisy bands really lay on the treble, Pollen go for the opposite approach, blowing out the bottom end in a way that reminds me as much of early Carcass and Napalm Death as it does of Discharge or any of their descendants. Definitely one of the best things going in d-beat right now.

Blazing Eye: Ways to Die October 21, 2016 00:00

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Well, Blazing Eye have a new EP and if you thought things couldn't get any better than "Lonely Corpse," well, you were wrong... this is the best Blazing Eye material yet! For me the standout is the title track, "Ways to Die." Listen to that blood-curdling scream toward the end! I can think of few moments as genuine and as thrilling on a modern punk record than that. Highest possible recommendation!

Notes: 1. The YouTube vid is ripped from an advance tape... the vinyl sounds about a million times better. 2. "Ways to Die" is the 4th and final track, but I'm sure you want to listen to all of it.

Liquids: Head Meat October 19, 2016 10:03

This whole record is just hot track after hot track.  Head Meat stands out a little more to me though because it's the mid-paced pop song of the album.  Definitely some Zeros vibes going on in this one.  This song is for all the people that spell tough TUFF.


Dangus Tarkus: Amerika October 14, 2016 00:00

I think in the monthly newsletter I wrote that this song should replace Yackity Sax as the go to song for Benny Hill-esque running in circles sequences.  I was really sick and in a fragile state of mind while writing that but still agree.  This song is just pure energy and makes life feel like the fast forward button is mashed down.  Truly the anthem of the sweet land of punks and geeks.

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Haram: Put It In Your Head October 12, 2016 00:00

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Well, it sure doesn't look like a normal Toxic State release.  Would you ever guess this band was from New York if you didn't know anything about them? I would probably guess somewhere in Eastern Europe.  Diverging ideas is a good way to describe the elements that make up this band. Seems pretty obvious the singer is not singing in English based on the Arabic style writing and song titles, but I also feel like Haram doesn't neatly fit neatly into "pogo" or "raw punk" like one might expect.  Sticking with the theme of divergence, this particular track has moments where the guitar and bass take off in completely different directions.  There's a lot to listen for, whether it's the melodic, chorus-drenched guitar lines or the frantic, but interesting drum fills.  This song ends by breaking into a slow part where the guitar plays a dissonant chord pattern, but the bass plays this groovy, almost dub style rhythm underneath.  Kinda crazy, but atypical from what you might expect, which is refreshing.

Drugcharge: Death of Nicole October 10, 2016 00:00

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That biting, punchy, all down-picked bass starts pulsing, and before you know it, the toms start thudding and a low-bellowed groan creeps in beneath just before this rager takes off.  Drugcharge always manages to sneak in a dancey, pogo-tempo song or two amongst their speed-fueled numbers or pit-clearing stompers.  And sometimes, a claustrophobic, deceptively simple riff is so good that you just want to hear it over and over again.  There is also a pummeling half-time part that comes in unexpectedly and is sort of this off-kilter, strange rhythm just before launching back into the "money riff."

Still, the foundation of "Death of Nicole" is one killer riff, that to me brings to mind the catchier, fist-pumping moments of Confuse, particularly songs like Fight Against The Plutocrats.    Lyrically, I think this also one of the more personal songs that Drugcharge has, making the intention of the song much more powerful.

The Fall: Leave the Capitol October 07, 2016 00:00

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When push comes to shove, I generally name the Fall as my favorite band. Choosing a favorite Fall record is a more difficult task, but one of my go-to answers is the Slates 10", which was recently reissued by Superior Viaduct (only the Fall would be obnoxious enough to make possibly their best record a fucking ten-inch). Even though it's only a 6-song EP, it still has much of what makes this greatest era of the Fall so great, from the brood of "Middle Mass" to the bash and crash of "Prole Art Threat" to the amphetamine-fed rockabilly of "Fit and Working Again," but "Leave the Capitol" is something of an aberration for the Fall, a rare sprig of gentleness growing among the usual weeds of aggression and alienation. These sweeter, gentler moments of the Fall don't come around very often, so when they do I tend to savor them, and "Leave the Capitol" may be the best one they ever recorded.

Dow Jones & The Industrials: Remember Your Manners October 03, 2016 00:00

Man usually when releases boast "unreleased" material what you get is a half hashed out song or a barely audible recording of a song that obviously just wasn't good enough to release. This song is none of that. Killer new wave that is probably the catchiest thing to have hit my ears in a while. HOW WAS THIS NEVER RELEASED! This is Dow Jones & The Industrials perfecting the pop of Can't Stand The Midwest with a little bit of polish on it to make it all shiny and big.

Ausmuteants: Spankwire September 30, 2016 00:00

Ausmuteants have a new LP!   Man every song is a Hot Track on this one, but the one that stood out the most for me is Spankwire (obviously the most punk one).  It really reminds me of the Shitty Limits earlier 7"s, super frantic and fast with a similar biting wit. 

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Vanity: As Expected September 28, 2016 00:00

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When sitting down and trying to absorb this new Vanity record, it was difficult to pin down one "Hot Track" because there's so much material to discuss on this record.  How fitting that the song I chose is entitled "As Expected," because this song does not represent the genre-bending, bold new territory that the rest of Don't Be Shy boasts. As soon as I heard that opening guitar though it stood out, and I found myself coming back to this track.  This being the second track on the album, it's almost like after hearing a taste of their new direction, they just had to give up a song that kicks in with this energy that's so immediate and catchy.

Maybe it's just me, but I tend to gravitate toward songs on records that are inexplicably satisfying and memorable to my songwriting taste buds.  Unlike other interesting moments on the record, there's no acoustic guitars, no brit-pop sensibility, but I would still describe this as a departure from Vanity's first couple releases.  There's no real Oi! to be heard here. Rather, this almost comes across like a forgotten gem from a 70s power-pop B-side.  

Nots: Inherently Low September 26, 2016 00:00

Nots have been on everyone's hype radar for a while now and it's been well deserved. With their second LP Cosmetic I feel like they have fully realized their sound. Inherently Low seems to bring all of the parts together the best.  The synth and guitar match up so well while the bass and drums act as the glue holding it all together.  The vocals give the song plenty of room to breathe, hopping in and out and letting the guitar do most of the talking in a way.  Everything on this recording comes out super clear and sounds so good.

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Race Car: 911! Dang Wolf September 23, 2016 00:00

Man those drums.  Coolest sounding drum machine when matched with the choppy guitar and bass make this song feel super bouncy.  Definitely a song for the Pogo-Punx.  If you're into all the stuff from the midwest then you'll love this.  If we're still around in 2040 this will be on every KBD equivalent compilation.

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Marbled Eye: Numb September 21, 2016 00:00

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Without meaning to sound patronizing, as the gorgeously clean guitar arpeggio introduces "Numb," you kind of wonder to yourself, "Is this gonna go anywhere?" I've heard a lot of people describe Oakland's Marbled Eye as a post-punk band, which I could understand because of the lack of bombast and the low-pitch droll of the vocals. 

With this track in particular, I get some Neu!-esque krautrock sounds from Marbled Eye too, with that constant backbeat and layers of guitars creating a dazing, circular simplicity.  While this track seems to have a typical pop structure, two-thirds in it breaks into this seemingly plodding guitar riff.  What I love is during your envelopment within this minimalistic daze, the most subtle developments underneath the guitar have the greatest impact, making the repetitiveness seem purposeful and gratifying.