Hot Track Alert

The Scientists: Larry January 18, 2017 09:23

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I've been on a huge Scientists kick lately. There are so many tracks from this early era of the band (i.e. before they went "swampy" and when they shared a drummer with the great, underrated Victims), but lately I've been kind of fixated on "Larry." The bubbly, Undertones-esque melodies are right up my alley, and the lyrics are great too. There's a consistent theme of escapism in the lyrics on this first Scientists LP (see also, for instance, "High Noon"), but at the moment, at least, "Larry" is my favorite articulation of that theme. 

Urochromes: My Dickies January 06, 2017 11:06

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Urochromes' debut 7" on Lumpy was killer, but this one is even better. It sounds like the band have really found their sound and grown comfortable with their own voice, and now they're willing to experiment. There are lots of little out-of-the-box touches on the Night Bully EP, but my favorite is the brief little melodic guitar lead that pops up in "My Dickies." More of that please!

DSS: Animal January 02, 2017 00:00

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You can sue me for designating a cover tune as a Hot Track if you want -- somehow though, even sounding like a black metal-twinged thrash band, DSS seems to make a W.A.S.P. song fit in. Sure, maybe Deep Space Sorcery doesn't have cover art with a sawblade codpiece, but I can't let this track go unacknowledged.   It's nice to see some metalpunks not taking themselves too seriously, and perhaps even the most kvlt of rockers still need to "Fuck Like A Beast."  I'm sure Tipper Gore would cringe at the sight of this tape.

Suburban Homes: Cul-De-Sac December 29, 2016 14:38

Suburban Homes is top of the game when it comes to recreating the sound of a lost '77 punk single.  This song could have been tossed on a KBD comp and nobody would have known better.  The sound of the guitar is super thin and tinny and the whole thing comes off sounding like Television Personalities (in my mind it sounds more like The Numbers from Sussex but i think that's a reference that might not hit for a lot of people, but check that band out too because it's one of my favorite 7"s).  I think the subtle whoas in the background make this song one of my favorite.  It was seriously hard to pick one song off this album when they all could be A-Sides on a single.  

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Detergents: Catastrophe December 20, 2016 09:24

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When considering why a band decides on a certain title track for their record, it's funny that upon further listening you realize it often misrepresents the sound of their other material.  When listening to "General Public," you might assume Detergents are a straight up '77-style band, when truly songs like "Catastrophe" are the real rippers.  Maybe it's just that the vocals have the same snotty character, but after hearing the "fock-off" that ends the song, there are some definite Partisans vibes going on with this track.  This sounds like the backdrop for a bunch of young degenerates stomping their boots and fist-pumpin'.  Packaged with a big, catchy riff and comes complete with a just-drums-and-vocals-sing-along chorus.  

Erik Nervous: People Falling Over December 14, 2016 00:00

Note: "People Falling Over" starts at 2:22

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New EP from this Northwest Indiana phenom, and while everyone is flipping out over his Coneheads-esque herky jerky rhythms, my favorite is the synth-laden pop gem, which plays sort of like a synth version of the theme music to The Love Boat being spit out of a slowed-down, malfunctioning VHS.

Janitor Scum: Gummiquin/Vacuum Rebuilder December 12, 2016 21:17

It was too hard to pick just one song off of this album so I decided that you get a two for one deal. Gummiquin is the super punk song of the album.  It's the snot and spit rager so it's obviously a SSR favorite. Also even though it has the clearest vocals of the album, I still have no clue what she's saying.

Vacuum Rebuilder is a little bit of a departure from the speed and chaos of the rest of the album and gives us a look into the pop melodies that are hiding under the other songs. It has the pop sensibilities of something like Peach Kelli Pop, seemingly sweet and innocent for a brain worm that will bore its way into your skull.  The little whatever that provides the main melody gets stuck in my head non-stop

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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.