Hot Track Alert

Nurse: Foreign Object March 22, 2017 22:50

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Wow, what an opening track!  I mean it in the nicest possible way when I say that Atlanta's Nurse have evolved from the noisy pogo punk style band that started out.  On this new EP, they've created a sound with just as much snarl and rage, but with leaner, more complex songs and interesting contradictions in the guitar work.  I can't tell if this is a product of faction between the current members of the band, but the result is intriguing.  "Foreign Object" makes strong use of weaving between a simple but effective riff and a creepy single-note melody.  The song feels chaotic and claustrophobic, careening into a lot of unexpected turns, -- instruments dropping out, tempo changes, etc. -- but the structure still comes across as intentional and memorable.  When looking for something left-of-center, this is what I want out of my weirdo hardcore.  

Hez: La Muerte No Espera March 15, 2017 00:00

La Muerte No Espera is the tough stomping intro to side two and work really well.  My interest has already been hooked and I'm invested enough to embrace the build up of it.  The bass tone is so mean, it feels like it's about to come out of the speakers and punch me in the face, or maybe my speakers will become possessed and eat me Black Roses style (Youtube Black Roses Vincent Pastore if you haven't seen it. It's totally worth it).  So turn off the lights, get it all nice and spooky and then let out all your aggro with this one.

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Fashionism: One Shot March 13, 2017 00:00

As a big power pop fan and a fan of the Tranzmitors this song obviously is right up my alley.  Super big hooky power pop that would snuggle in nice and cozy on any of the Power Pearls compilations (well at least the first couple).  Sweet and simple and to the point just like it should be.  Also I really have been digging Fashionism's visual aesthetic (I think I really just like that color of blue a lot).

You have more than one shot to BUY IT HERE . But it won't be around forever so you might want to do it now.

Aquarian Blood: Funeral Moon March 10, 2017 00:00

Hey look we managed to write about a song that isn't the super punk one!  Aquarian Blood's LP is full of punk bangers but for some reason the slower, weirder and darker Funeral Moon caught my attention.  Maybe it's because everything just feels slightly off.  The drums have a weird stutter to it and some of the keys seem kind of off time at points and it all just feels weird.  It also feels pretty raw and has some dark anarcho punk vibes.  Really cool stuff all around. 

Get it HERE!

Exotica: Leech March 07, 2017 13:25

I don't know if I gushed a ton about the Exotica tape, but if I didn't I should have.  The drums really sell this track for me.  They could have gone with a straight pogo beat to match the driving bass but switching it up gives it an anxious energy that I really like.  Oh yeah and I'm always a fan of a good grunt.  I feel like I should have more to say about this because I listen to it constantly but for real it just does everything I like about punk right.  This whole 7" rips though so do yourself a favor and click that link below.  

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Rat Cage: No Consolation February 27, 2017 10:05

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When that build-up continues to pulse faster and faster, you know you're in for some Mängel-style punishment.  Apparently Rat Cage is just one guy?  Well, he must love Totalitär as much as I do.  "No Consolation" as a closing track just absolutely rages, almost to a tiring degree.  But finally, just when the tension needs to be broken, the song launches into that groovy, half-time pace that'll have you circle-pitting until the track finishes fading out.  Afterward, you can throw on that ski mask and go cool off in a nice bath of Swedish hardcore 7"s.

Dangus Tarkus: You Are My Friend February 20, 2017 00:01

I personally can't get enough of Joe Sussman. Luckily we have Nancy and Dangus Tarkus to provide us with high energy rock in a time when we need it most.  It feels a little weird to pick a cover for one of these but Dangus Tarkus makes this their song.  The original is by Pantherman from Holland and is a very Bowie-esque glam rocker with a little disco feel to it.  I highly suggest at least googling Pantherman because his costume is great.  Sadly there's no live videos to confirm if he wore that while performing (it would be a shame if he didn't).  The DT's turn it into a tough rocker that really shines at the chorus.  Sussman's voice is almost melancholy when he sings it.  It feels super heartfelt and honest in a way.  It makes me feel things about friendship and what not.  I could totally see this song playing over the ending credits of an 80s coming of age/summer friendship movie.

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Midnite Snaxxx: Why Do I? February 16, 2017 14:57

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At a quick glimpse, the bright, cartoony aesthetic that brings to mind 90s pop punk might have been a turn-off for me.  Still, there's really just an upbeat ray of positivity emanating from this LP.  And sometimes, me liking a band just comes down to good songs, and when I heard "Why Do I?" it stood out amongst the other tracks coated with saccharine as having a more bitter flavor.  This song might induce a slow shimmy rather than energetic hopping up and down, but the melody has an addicting 70s power-pop vibe -- almost like "Why Do I?" could be mistaken for a more sullen moment on a Holly and The Italians record.  It's not a sad song exactly, but it's got this subtle sense of longing.  I'm also sucker for a call-and-response vocal part: Q: "Not this time." A: "No, not this time."  

Rata Negra: Aguas Negras February 10, 2017 00:00

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"Aguas Negras," the closing track of Side A, is a single banger among many on this debut LP from Rata Negra.  If I understand correctly, this band is comprised of people from both La Urss and Juanita Y Los Feos.  Upon hearing this record, that combination is immediately familiar because the rocked-out edge from La Urss comes through, and then is coupled with the unmistakable vocal signature of Violeta from Juanita Y Los Feos.  Rata Negra rides that line of shameless melodicism in their brand of punk without crossing into the dreaded vibes of  pop-punk territory.  This record is chock full 'o catchy numbers, and "Aguas Negras" just happens to be the most infectious of the bunch, and stands out as a nice melodic moment both in terms of the vocals and opening guitar line.  Though upbeat, there is also this eerie melancholy feeling brought on by distant echoing backing vocals.  Plus, you get the most bang-for-your-buck in terms of squeezing in syllables.

SBF: Burn Both Ends February 08, 2017 00:00

I used to hate drum machines.  I never understood the need for them.  Maybe this came from being a drummer and obviously never having trouble finding a drummer for a band.  With age I have come to really love the sound and feeling of drum machines, it really can add something different to a song.  Drums are also super expensive and break constantly so for real a drum machine is a much more cost efficient route and it also won't get too drunk to play before your set and won't skip out on band practice because it's not feeling good or hurt your feelings by telling you it doesn't like the song you wrote.  I really enjoyed the Racecar cassette we had last year and liked UV-B stuff i've heard and SBF is the best of both worlds.  Burn Both Ends is definitely the Ramones, only downpicking "ballad?" of this 7".  It kind of reminds me of the song Vaccuum Rebuilder off of the Janitor Scum LP, the kind of slower poppier finisher to the whole thing.  This definitely has more of the 70s punk vibe to it though, kind of like The Boys  (for some reason First Time by The Boys keeps popping in my head after listening to this song).  But yeah the whole 7" rips and this is the perfect close to it (even though I hate a fadeout).  

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Warm Bodies: My Face Fell Off February 06, 2017 00:00

I have been in love with everything Warm Bodies related as of late.  Their demo (or domo) started it all off though.  I've had a copy of the cassette upstairs in my "office"/giant room of clutter for a while and it gets played constantly.  Sadly the quality of it isn't the best and usually I'm working on something when I get a chance to listen to it.  So it's super exciting to have this on vinyl and sounding super clear and loud.  My Face Fell Off is the weird ripper.  The lyrics are definitely a thing of their own.  I don't even know where to begin with those.  I mean I guess if I was going to throw away a body part on purspose I would start with my nose.  But yeah this is a certified rager in the current Mid-western variety.  Super tight drums and bass with super loose vocals and guitar.  The whole band is a driving force while you are being pleaded for help to find the singer's eye and nose (which was willfully thrown away).  

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Concealed Blade: Bought And Sold February 03, 2017 00:00

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So this time around, while you can still expect the tough, pit-clearing parts and wild, avant-garde divebombs from Concealed Blade, there's still this element of being unashamed of your love for hard rock on this record.  Between the nod to Kiss at the beginning of track 1 and the Quiet Riot-esque drum intro on this track, this record doesn't simply make my mind jump to think just a typical tough hardcore record.  "Bought And Sold" is one of the slower songs on the record, and while it's a "hard" jam no question, it's also kind of the sing-along, fist-pumping rock anthem of the record.  The middle section has this dissonant guitar break and then what follows alludes to a proper guitar solo!  I don't know if people will read this and think I'm crazy, but I think YINZ all need to embrace some rockin' in your hardcore every once in a while.

Uranium Club: Opus February 01, 2017 00:00

Uranium Club is getting down to the bottom of who makes things in this day and age.  Who made the man? You did.  Who built the wheel? Uranium Club of course.  Who made an amazing album that's sure to be at the top of everyone's 2017 end of year lists? Uranium Club of course.  Their song Opus feels like four different songs seamlessly put together into one masterpiece.  Taking the formulas of Wire and Gang of Four with a dash of Television Personalities to make a new proof, which is angular, catchy and driving.  The repetitive nature of the "choruses" gets this song stuck in your head immediately.  

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Black Abba: Lost Dog January 30, 2017 00:00

Total Punk is usually a staple for simplicity.  The minimalism of the packaging and artwork of a Total Punk single doesn't always translates into the music on it.  Lost Dog is a fairly simple song though, but I usually find the simplest songs to be the catchiest.  The synth really catches my attention on this song and kind of keeps it.  It holds the main melody of the song to me.  Then every once and while it'll slip and I'll catch some of the vocals during the verse and hear weird things like "I called my friends, I said I've been stabbed, then they told me to just call a cab".  Also a big yes to single note guitar solos. 

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Pura Mania: Cerebros Punk January 26, 2017 12:22

There's something about the titular song on an album.  The band's often just telling you "This is the hit!"  I always have a desire to fight that but usually fail.  I love this whole album, but Cerebros Punk just has so much melody to get behind.  Also that little toy piano (or whatever it is) in the background really does it for me.  I love subtle little things in songs that you might miss on the first listen if you aren't paying attention.  This song is super anthemic and catchy but still has the grit of Pura Mania.  If you liked the 7"s then this LP is a sure bet.  

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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.